Books by the old Leather Chair
- Snow In The Summer
- My Bible
- The Power of Silence
- What Comes Next and to Like It
- Encore Provence
- A Year in Provence
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
She was making her early morning inspection of stores. She noticed him for several days,
sitting by the window. The saddest expression she had ever seen on someones face.
She usually did not offer to freshen a customer's coffee, the shop was almost empty and she approached him.
He looked at her and she saw the most beautiful blue eyes that she had ever seen.
A slightly built older man with sad blue eyes. He smiled and said thank you.
In a few days she noticed him again. She once again approached him with fresh coffee.
A conversation started. She learned that he had lost his wife not many months before.
What sparks that deep compassion for someone when you really do not know them or their story?
A friendship developed and he was always special to her. He often told her that he was so depressed when she approached him and that she saved his life by reaching out to him. She adored him. Not the adoration of someone that she would marry. But a love that just came out of her heart and there was a tenderness towards him. Almost maternal.
At times she would hear a comment of "why do you enjoy that older man's company"?
She just did.
Much was shared over the years. She would listen and encourage him when he had struggles. He would listen to her. She was with him through several surgeries and she could have dinner with him and hardly utter a word and all was well.
She watched him come out of his deep grief and once again begin to make a life for himself. Interest she really did not share. She smiled at his popularity with the older women and would tease him about it.
He never forgot her birthday, Christmas or what he called their anniversary of the time she poured him a cup of coffee. She misses him. They were always a phone call away from one another. He passed away this year.
So special friend you are not near, but you are never forgotten.
Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for a while and leave footprints on our hearts.
Friendship needs no words
Monday, December 29, 2008
Oh my, this sounds good, especially since I have a number of creative thoughts going through my mind. Wonder if this is just teasing me.
It's hard to understand where your inspiration comes from now, yet it is like a fresh wind blowing in a new season. Your muse may be leading you on to manifest something of great beauty, however she is speaking in an alien tongue, making it a challenge for you to use the material. No matter how odd it seems, try to take the ideas that come to you and work them into what you create.
This may be too much for this One Woman to take in at this late stage of her continued journey
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Stacks of cards sent and many letters written as it seemed a special time to get in touch with those who were special. Many of those special ones had not been seen in years but they came to mind at this time of the year. The endless decorating the house inside and out. Special candle light Christmas Eve service at church. The beautiful hymns and the Lords Supper. A special time of reflection into the past, present and future. The children so excited they could hardly sleep and then Christmas morning everyone was up at dawn. Really special if it was snowing.
The excitement of the gifts everyone would receive and she would always receive something so special from the father of her children. Gifts at that time for a lifestyle at a different time in her life. Now her life is so much simpler and that type of gift would have no appeal.
A special big breakfast was made. A southern breakfast. She scrambled a dozen or more eggs, sausage, bacon and ham, biscuits and milk gravy. Usually banana bread or pumpkin bread, a coffee cake and special jams and jelly's that had been made the summer before. Coffee, tea and juice for everyone to help themselves. Oh the smells of Christmas breakfast. Later in the day more family and sometimes some friends of the children would arrive. Then the big dinner of turkey, dressing, scalloped oysters (my son's favorite) several kinds of vegetables (some from the freezer of summer freezing, corn and green beans) and a relish tray filled with stuffed celery. At one time her homemade yeast rolls and sour dough bread. Then on to the desert of jam cake, sour cream pound cake and every one's favorite chocolate fudge cake. Along with tea, coffee, wine and eggnog on a sideboard.
She cannot remember all that was prepared but these she remembers this cold rainy morning.
She remembers the endless pictures being taken and the movie camera that dad used continually.
She remembers with a thankful heart and tears. She is amazed at how fast the years have gone by. Some children and grandchildren near and some far away. She wonders if they remember the family times in the past.
Now there is a special meal during the holidays for her family and then on to her youngest daughter on Christmas day to view the excitement of those two special little ones. Three and six years old is such a special and magical time for them. They run and and hug her and usually say "grandma I love you" sometime during this visit. The sentiment and hug bless her. Guess she misses the hugs of life so much.
She has so much to be thankful for. There is much with some members of family that she wishes was different. They view her as very strong, self sufficient and not needy. She is this and a rich life has been given her. A life of little and a life of much and now a life of desired simplicity. But in these last years the love and the contact with her are the priceless gifts that can be given to her.
So another Christmas Eve and she has thoughts of what her continued journey through this life has to offer.
She smiles to herself for all is well in her heart, mind and soul. What more could you ask for then this.
One wish for all to be together once again on a Christmas morning.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Hand me down clothes that she was thrilled to wear. They were usually much nicer then what mom could buy. Or rather more expensive.
She spotted the shoes. Oh they were beautiful. She would usually have a pair of shoes purchased for her once a year. Such a narrow foot and only some kind of not very pretty oxford that laced up. Oh these shoes were beautiful. She tried them on and they were a little big but that did not matter. She stuffed paper in the toes and proudly wore them to school the next day.
She was so proud of them. The first comment from a classmate "those shoes are too big for you." She quickly replied "oh no - they fit just fine." She kept a smile on her face throughout the school day.
But the comment saddened her, she cried all the way home from school that day and never wore the shoes again.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Trip to to restroom and a waitress appeared sharing that someone quite well known would like to meet her. A stranger she would not consider. After several episodes like this a phone number was shared. It was shared with the thought that this individual, whoever he was could easily be rejected.
A week later on an evening with this stranger in the same setting - it was magical. As the evening ended and the car pulled out with the soft snow falling he held her hand. At the moment she would have gone anywhere with him and he felt the same. The beginning of love in youth is magical. Many times it does not last. Then it is good that we all grow up.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
These short days and long nights should be a time of semi-hibernation, a time for One Woman to rest and rejuvenate. I am staying inside more but I have not slowed my mind and body.
I do not like the restlessness that I am experiencing. Wonder if anyone else is like this? It may have something to do with the holiday season. I am doing less this year then ever before and I like it. I would like to curl up in my chair in front of the fire with a cup of tea and read all day. This has not happened. How can One Woman find such endless activities as morning yoga, meditation, cleaning, cooking, washing, errands, writing, phone rings and a quick bite to eat and the day is gone.
Maybe my time by the fire with book in hand will happen in the next several months before Spring starts surfacing. I surely hope so.
It seems I hear a voice speaking to my heart and it is saying "what do you intend to do with the rest of your life". I want to answer " at the moment I do not know for sure but I have a pretty good idea". I do know I am increasingly aware how limited my time on this earth is from now on.
If we had no winter, the Spring would not be so pleasant.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Married - William Lee Nolen - October 18, 1908 - Parents - William Nolen Sr. and Rebecca Jane
I reach out in love to her with all my heart - this early morning. I reach out with a child and grown woman's heart. Oh how she would have loved my children and grandchildren.
Will not go into all of the stories. She passed away at the age of 81. I cannot think of her without my eyes filling with tears and a deep sense of gratitude for all of the encouragement and love she gave me through her lifetime. I do not remember ever receiving a written card from her (or I would have saved it) or a gift. But she gave me the best gift of all "love".
She loved me in a way that no one else has ever loved me. My parents were young. Mother 17 years old when she married. Now that is a child in my eyes. As I grew older and more mature (which took a while) I realized that I expected something in my childhood that was just not there.
I spent my happiest times with this grandmother. There was always encouragment. My parents relocated to Detroit to work when I was a toddler. I was raised in apartments and my grandmother would come to Detroit and take me home with her. Also when my parents went to Nashville during the summer they would sometimes leave me with my grandmother. I can remember running and hiding at departing time as I did not want to go home with my parents. I wanted to stay with my grandmother. What wonderful memories. Times at my aunts homes, family gatherings and just sitting on her porch on the swing. Memories of home made ice cream, playing under sprinkler, her starching my dresses until they could stand in the corner and no way could we miss church on Sunday morning and Sunday night and on Wednesday night. I can remember walking to the church in the sweltering heat and everyone fanning themselves with paper fans.
I remember night sounds, her brushing my hair, the ice cream man going by in front of the house, a man going by with a horse drawn cart selling vegetables and even chickens. I always wanted a bike but because of living in the busy city I never had one. But when visiting "ma"
It does not sound like enough to just say she loved this skinny little girl and made me feel bright and pretty and just plain wonderful. So many wonderful memories from my childhood visits with her.
Since I lived in an apartment it seemed at that time like her white cottage surrounded by hedge with big trees in the yard was a mansion.
In the past I drove by and could not believe my eyes. I viewed this very small home, hedge and trees no longer there and it looked so small, simple and plain.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Lately I have been noticing a hum in the atmosphere. Told my son about this and his reply was "that's the interstate". Certain times of the year you notice it more. Still getting use the sounds in this city cottage. Also I can remember waking up in the night and thinking "what is that".
I opened the front door and could hear the train. I never notice it in the daytime but do at night .
In my country space there is no sound. Or rather you might hear some cattle in the distance.
With frequent trips my memory is returning of the special country sounds. Here in the city with the street lights on it is never dark. I remember in the country the total blackness at night. Then you would become use to the dark and the moon would light up different places.
Oh well I am dreaming again. I am enjoying the process of planning this cottage and garden area. Many times I have heard the comment that I should have done this professionally.
I have only had the energy to do this for my dwellings. They are a part of me. Do not think I could give this much of myself to someone else.
Just received call for septic system approval and driveway approval. Next to have my area cleared and picture in my mind my setting and then building permit.
Will be interesting to see if this will progress. So I send up to Heaven requests for positive energy, health, wisdom and financial plans to fall in place.
If there is any problem with any of this - I stop. I Continue to take one day at a time.
How do geese know when to fly to the sun. Who tells them the seasons? How do we humans know when it is time to move on. As with the migrant birds, so surely with us, there is a voice within if only we would listen.
Elizabeth Kubler - Ross
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
I felt secure as I had plenty of wood on my porch and my little red wagon was loaded and was at the back door in the house. Plenty of groceries, batteries and I felt there was no need to worry.
In the night there were cracking sounds, like tree limbs falling. I fell back to sleep.
I awoke a little later to utter blackness. The current was off. I thought it will back on soon. I fell back to sleep.
When I awoke just before daybreak and could see my surroundings Oh My!!
First thought that came to mind was the sight was spectacular and beautiful, but almost frightening is what I just read in my journal entry at that time. The landscape looked like someone had decorated every branch, bush, lawn with shining crystals, it was a sight to behold. Almost unreal. Every branch sparkled and was bent from the weight of the ice. Then I saw the hundreds of branches and limbs lying everywhere in my yard and in my drive. There were large branches that were broken but had not fell to the ground. My drive was totally blocked. I could not have pulled my car out of garage if I wanted to as the door was frozen. I could only walk on the grass as my brick walks and concrete drive were so slick I was afraid to step on them even with my boots in place. All surfaces looked like a skating ring.
So, I thought it will melt in a few days and I will be fine. But it did not melt in a few days. I was confident the current would soon be restored. My children used one of their favorite words regarding me. Look at this as an adventure. Well the adventure turned into a nightmare as far as this One Woman was concerned.
It continued to be bitter cold and nothing melted. No current was restored.
I will be fine I kept thinking, I have wood and food and this cannot go on for long. It was very tiring with the continual filling the wood stove. This wood stove was made for pleasure on damp or cold days. It was not installed as the main source of heat for this old farm house.
As the days went by and the house grew colder I was wearing my jacket, scarf and gloves in the house. I kept pipes from freezing with the wood stove heat but the house was truly cold and I was getting to the point that I felt continually chilly. I would read at night with the aid of my flashlight and the dim light of the fire. Mostly my Bible.
Items in my freezer began to thaw and I knew that all the wonderful summer produce that I had worked at putting in my freezer was ruined. It truly did not matter as I just wanted to be warm again.
Well the current stayed off for 14 days. I would listen on my battery radio to the local station every morning and every day they would share how many more area's the current had been restored too.
It was finally reported that there are just a few homes still without current. I was one of those homes.
My son did make several trips to my home to bring a cooler with ice and some things I needed. He brought in a big supply of wood. Now I was stacking it in the house.
He cleared my drive. Later a chain saw had to be used to cut off huge limbs that had broken. He wanted me to leave my home and I would not. I was not comfortable leaving it and not keeping the fire going. Afraid of frozen pipes, telephone finally was restored in about 7 days. So children kept in touch to see if I was making it. Also a few calls came in. I think because my appearance of always having everything under control most people probably thought I was fine. If I had not been alone this experience probably would not have phased me.
I remember catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror. My heavy jacket, scarf on my
head and gloves - and I was in the house. I remember shaking my head at my reflection. Everything I ate was cold. I would keep water on the wood stove to warm for tea and oatmeal.
Someone asked me later did I miss hot water for bathing. I truly have to say this did not enter my mind. I did not think of bathing at this time. I thought of just surviving this storm. I wanted to be warm again and eat something warm.
It was at this time that I began to have severe colon problems. It has never left. The stress of this left a depth of anxiety I guess that I have not been able to reach and heal.
It took me weeks to recover from this experience and I began to seriously consider leaving my isolated farm home. This did take place a few years later.
Enough shared this early morning from my city cottage.
Another memory on this One Woman's Journey Through This Life.
Friday, December 5, 2008
There's a home
I know by heart.
Where I tend the garden
and read my books.
Where dreams are dreamt
and memories made.
Where children grew up
and grandchildren visted
and I grew old.
There's a home
where life is lived
A home where I belong
Some thoughts from this One Woman on her Journey Through This Life
Thursday, December 4, 2008
So I can close my eyes and smell the ocean and hear the waves. I can remember the special islanders who remembered our family each time we returned. Can remember the time that one special young man never left our family and when I returned home I did some special inquirying about bringing him to our home in the states. I still remember him bringing a box lunch to our family on departing day and I could see him waving as our plane pulled off. Remembering it still brings tears to my eyes. Winston, what has happened in your life? Please forgive me that I could not fulfill your dream at that time.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
I have always had the ability to take a chance and go with my gut instinct. Always felt in my heart that when you are doing what you are suppose to do, everything falls in place. I do not go against the flow. Any major problem or something does not look right - then I stop in my tracks. It has always worked in the past for this One Woman.
Now at this later stage in life - I wonder do I continue to take a chance and go with my gut instinct? Then I answer my question - why not - I am not ready to sit and do nothing. At the moment I take one day at a time. I am aware that much could change but I am enjoying the process of planning and dreaming. Health issues or finances could stop this project from becoming a reality. But nothing will stop me from this planning project!!!
I have no answer on a number of things that are staying on my mind and taking up a lot of time. The process of planning and visuallizing a finished project seems to make my energy level soar and my creative nature takes over. When project is finished on paper, I will continue sketching a small fenced area and what I will plant. Since this home is at the edge of the woods I am going with Rhodedendrums around the house. Less flowers then I have in this city garden but must have a small vegetable garden and a swing in a tree for my little girls. Clarity regarding an image continues to surface. It always does.
So I continue to sketch the floor plan of this country home. Measuring where the furnishings that I keep will fit it. If this falls in place it is another downscaling project and a number of items will have to go. A challenge for this home to blend into the wooded area and to use the most economical products.
Destiny, the path that gets you exactly where you are suppose to be.
I truly do not know any other way to go through this life. So this One Woman will continue on her pathway through this life - until the last leaf has fallen
More important than the quest for certainty is the quest for clarity
Monday, December 1, 2008
When I moved to the country I wanted a truck sooo bad. My son found an older truck that a professor was selling. So that was my first truck. It was really my son's but he did not drive it but several times. So it was mine. I could drive all over the fields and through the woods and not worry about banging up anything. I could haul mulch, feed, fence post, dogs and grandchildren. It stayed on the farm and I did drive it to the place where you took your trash.
But I never drove it to town.
When Jamie, my youngest left for college I began to think of leaving my isolated country home. SO the farm home was sold and the truck had a new owner. I sold the truck for $200 to the doctor who bought that home.
After a brief episode at an upscale condo on a golf course I returned to my country property. That is another story. I thought I was ready for retirement or whatever they call it. Possibly I would travel I thought looking out my windows at the golf course would seem like I was looking at my country property. How wrong I was. I was there 6 months. I guess I am happiest around nature and digging in the dirt.
Went back to my country property and built a new home 1000 feet off the road. There was an article in the paper about me moving back. Saying you could return home.
I Immediately bought myself a new Ford pickup.
Oh, I loved that truck. Now this truck I drove everywhere. I had never driven a truck for my daily errands before. I liked that I was sitting up higher then in my car. So my truck and I had a lot of fun. Did get stuck in the mud by my pond after many days of rain and had to call a neighbor to pull me out with his tractor.
The first couple of summers in this country home I think I hauled mulch for my garden weekly. Not to far from my home they would load it with a tractor and I would head home and spread the mulch with my pitchfork.
I can remember the owner of this business commenting one week of all the mulch I spread and also my daughter in Massachusetts commented on this also saying "mama you spread more mulch then anyone I know".
I really was doing more then I should for my size and getting older. But I love working outside. All the outside work and being surrounded by nature was healing and I was never happier.
One of my problems I have always worked hard at what ever I do but this continual physical work was a new older life experience for me. Like when I moved to the farmhome and kept a fire going in the fireplace many months out of the year. There is nothing like a real fire. The pleasure was worth all the work of me bringing in and burning many ricks of wood.
This home was eventually sold to another doctor and a retired professor and I built a home in the historical part of a neighboring town. This home located about 10 minutes from my country home. I hauled a number of truck loads of cuttings from my plants and once again created a garden.
By this time several injuries to myself had occurred in regards to the truck.
One time when up in the bed cleaning it out I fell over the guidewire. Also from spreading so much mulch and lifting heavy bags I tore a muscle in my right arm. Still have damage to that arm. Anyway several accidents of this type.
My son intervened. I can remember him saying "I do not think with you living in the city that you need a truck and a car and keep hauling all the things you do. You are going to hurt yourself and it may not be minor". He could use another vehicle at his business - so my son bought my much loved truck. Occassionally when something is delivered, like many bags of mulch or sealer for my terrace and walks one of his workers will arrive with my truck.
I always tell them how I miss that truck and even have asked for it back. But Jimmy smiles and says "mama you sold it".
So there is nothing wrong with my car but I am having thoughts of a truck.
When I drive to the country I have all kinds of wild thoughts. Like I could drive back in the fields and in the woods. I could pick up rocks for my flower beds and what I haul in my car (which I never thought I would do this) could be in the truck.
I have always been fussy about my car and keeping in perfectly clean. But then again my son keeps telling me " whatever you pick up just put it in the car".
So again, to anyone that follows me on One Woman's Journey, you will begin to know a little of my past, present and future, my thoughts, strong points and the weak side of me. My oldest granddaughter wrote me the other day and said "grandma I love reading your journal and I am learning some things about you that I did not know". That said it all. This writing may bring some pleasure to my other grandchildren. Especially my little ones who can only know of my much loved country homes by grandma sharing about them.
So some more thoughts of the past from this One Woman on her Journey Through This Life
Friday, November 28, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
From One Woman this Thanksgiving Day
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
I shared how very - not normal - I have been feeling. He said it was probably a combination of three things. Swollen gland usually means infection, strong antibiotic for 10 days - they always make me feel bad, and the sinus or whatever virus that has been going through this family. Also since I have Sjogren's Syndrome and am plagued with dry mouth and eyes - was told that may be why the gland was swollen and infected.
So thank you for thinking of me and have a happy Thanksgiving in whatever way you are celebrating.
I continued on to the country after doctor appointment. My special friend had a plate of lots of good eating and her special coconut cake. Her and twin sister had prepared a luncheon for 50 relatives and friends that would soon be arriving. I was invited but headed back to my city cottage.
Sharing this evening from One Woman on her Journey Through This Life.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Lunchtime and grandma still not in normal health. We decided on a cheese sandwich and soup. I called it toasted and she called it grilled. Guess toasted is in the toaster and grilled is in a pan on the stove.
We settled on grilled. Her comment as she was eating "grandma you could be a chef".
Oh my, you know that made me smile.
My grandchildren are always passing on simple words and they are not aware how they bless me. They always seem to come at the right moment.
Also as time goes by - it does not take much to please this One Woman. A smile, hug, saying "I love you" or telling me I could be a chef.
Caitlin just arrived for another day with grandma. In hand a gift from her mama to me.
AND WINTER CAME by ENYA. If music can heal - this will heal me. Jamie, thank you.
Kind words are such a blessing, if one but knew the pleasure they bring
Monday, November 24, 2008
What are some of my difficulties? I have a problem of sitting still. I envy people who seem so relaxed and can sit for hours. I am well organized and everything always appears neat and taken care of. I have a number of lists of things to do. They are on my desk and in the kitchen. You would think I was running a business instead of One Woman living in the smallest home she has lived in. Now I want something even smaller and sometimes think of wanting to be an aging female Thoreau. Maybe I have lost it!!! Do know I am more at peace surrounded by nature.
One of the reasons for the title of this journal "My Journey To Mindfulness" is I am trying so diligently to do one thing at a time instead of multi-tasking. In the past I would never talk on the phone without roaming. I would be straightening a drawer, dusting and just pacing the floor. When I was eating I would sometimes be glancing at something that needed to be read or sometimes be watching the news.
I find it very difficult to still my mind and relax. That is one of the reasons I like to garden. Also read when I can make myself sit still. Winter months are good for this. But I find I am restless.
My new interest in writing my journal and photography should be good for me. My stepfather use to make the comment that I had to many interest. I would marvel at this man that could sit for hours at his desk or a table tinkering with a clock and my mother could sit for hours and quilt.
For as far as I can remember I have always had a project. Guess that is one reason for me planning another project. I do have a good trait that I can plan in detail something and if it does not come to be it does not bother me. I had someone remark once that if they put all that thought into something, it would bother them if it did not become a reality.
When I was looking at homes in this area and thinking of a move I could visualize living in the home and where I would place items. In my mind the landscaping and gardening was also created.
I obsess sometimes to a fault. When I do not have the full information it truly bothers me.
If I have all the information - like health concerns - then I am fine and can accept what is happening. I stay concerned about my children, my grandchildren and close friends.
I plan to far in the future. Having different options in my mind for different things that might happen. This is good as I age but then again I do it to a fault. I try to take one day at a time and not look back. I do not do to well at this. I want so to be good at this aging process and I do not think I am doing to well, at the moment - hope to improved.
So, what are some of your imperfections? Can you confess like this One Woman?
Peace Is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh is a book I pick up often. Maybe not often enough.
Some thoughts from One Woman on her Journey Through This Life
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
The words were hastily scrawled on a piece of cardboard: "Yard Sale Today, Everything Must Go." Beneath it, in smaller letters, were the words "Free Dog." Yes indeed, I thought, everything must go.
I intended to look at the glassware and skim through the books on one of the tables, but my eyes were drawn to a large, comfortable-looking dog in the backyard. He scratched and yawned, revealing two rows of teeth that could in all probability take care of a good chunk of meat whenever they were allowed to. The dog looked over the horde of bargain hunters, decided they posed no threat, then plunked down in the sun for probably the fourth snooze of the morning.
I focused my attention on some interesting looking glasses with etchings of sailboats on them and decided to take all six. As I reached into my purse for some money. I realized I was being watched by an elderly gentleman whose job, I presumed, was to mind the table in front of him. I handed him the money and pointed to the etched glasses. He removed the short stub of a cigar from his mouth and said, "Do you want the dog too?" It seemed like an odd question. I had momentarily forgotten about the poor animal in the back yard, who was now blissfully lost in sweet slumber.
"Do you want the dog, too?" came the question again - this time with an edge of impatience.
"Oh my, no, just the glasses" I replied. The old man looked at me as if I had insulted the queen. His eyes lifted occasionally to meet mine as his work-weary hands carefully wrapped each glass.
I reminded myself that the good thing about a yard sale is that you don't have to feel obliged to buy anything, and you certainly are not obligated to take the family dog, even if it is free. "Why are you getting rid of him?" I asked, hoping not to appear too interested. Through his parched lips "It's Time". A chill went through me and I knew that this giveaway was perhaps the dogs last chance at a longer life. I didn't ask any more questions.
To get my mind off the dog, I picked up a vase with a picture of a goose on it. The vase had a chip near the top but the man still wanted a dollar and some change. Before I could give him the money, he had maneuvered himself out of the his chair and limped into the backyard to unleash the day's real bargain. The dog, as if on cue, came lumbering over. He was quite a friendly mutt. He looked like he might like to shake my hand, pat me on the back, and say, "Well ma'am, I am mighty happy to make your acquaintance. When do we leave?"
The elderly gentleman was seated once again and shared that the poor old beast went by the name of Ralph.
Ralph and I continued to make eye contact. Ralph followed me to the edge of the yard and watched me as I got in and closed the door of the car.
I passed the same yard later that afternoon. There were few shoppers at this late hour and most of the junk was gone. But not Ralph. Ralph sat obediently next to the old man now, his future still uncertain.
There sits man's best friend, I thought, with probably a decade or more of loyal service, companionship, and unconditional love, and he cannot be given away.
Now, several days later, I reflect on the possibility that if we are lucky, our fate will not be in the hands of others someday. If we are lucky, we will be loved and cared for and valued until the day we die. Who among us is destined to be that lucky, I wondered.
My thoughts are interrupted by a soft tapping sound on the kitchen floor.
"What's the matter, Ralph old boy?"
Written by Helen Loring Smith who lives in Kingston, Mass.
I do not remember what magazine I tore this out of - but I found it touching.
From One Woman on this cold afternoon.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Thich Nhat Hanh
Thoughts from One Woman on this cold Friday morning.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I hoped it would go away. I had my little girls on Saturday night as mom and dad had a wedding to go to. My son returned them to their parents on Sunday as I did not feel up to driving them home.
Monday I had the thought, could this be a tooth. Nothing was hurting but my neck was really swollen. So Tuesday morning trip to the dentist and an x-ray was done. Seems I have an infection under a tooth by the bone.
I have never had teeth problems. I have all my teeth, and just two crowns and three fillings so I was surprised, especially since there was no pain.
Long story made short I am on a strong antibiotic and then could not get an appointment for consultation with surgeon until week after Thanksgiving. The dentist shared the tooth needed to be removed and he did not feel comfortable doing this procedure.
At the moment I have a severely swollen neck and do not feel too well. Forgive me for complaining.
Just miss being on computer and this is the first time I can remember that I just do not feel like going online.
I have always had Thanksgiving dinner at my home. In earlier years my parents always joined us. Sometimes other members of family and friends.
This is the first Thanksgiving I will not be cooking and thought of taking family out to dinner. Now I am having thoughts of just being home and not going anywhere.
I know this is not that big a deal considering all that you can have. But I do not like it!!!!
Monday, November 17, 2008
I love books. I always have and always will. Even if I am not reading them I have to be surrounded by them. On shelves, tables, beside my chair, beside my bed, on my desk and on and on. I seem to find comfort in their presence. All types of books, serious, humorous, mind stretching, lessons to learn, biographies, cookbooks, old sellers, and best sellers.
I usually have three beside my chair with bookmarks in them. One for pleasure, another that is teaching me something, and one of my old friends that is yellow with age and many passages are underlined.
I can remember on long winter days surrounding myself with my cookbook's and reading them like novels. After my divorce, I read my Bible constantly. Would read for hours and underline passage after passage that spoke healing, wisdom and a way of hope for the One Woman.
Books have aways brought me joy. I can remember as a child receiving my short list for Christmas and devouring them in a few days. Finding a corner in my small childhood home or I can even remember reading in a neighbors tree in the summer time. I have learned late in life to seldom share my special books because when they are not returned it troubles me. If someone is truly interested in a book I have I would rather buy them a copy and then I am not worried about them returning it. I can remember a comment one of my youngest daughter made to me regarding borrowing one of my books. She commented she did not like to borrow my books because some of them were like a diary where I had underlined special words or made quotation.
Now that no family is with me I can read whenever I want to. As a wife, mother and working years ago, there seemed to be no time to pursue this pleasure.
My saddest memory regarding my books is when as a young woman I married and packed my books away to store for a few weeks. They were at my parents home and when I returned to retrieve them they were gone. They had given them away. That is painful to this day and it has probably been 50 years since I lost these friends.
It gives me pleasure to see some of my children's love of books, especially my son's extensive library.
From the memory of One Woman on her Journey Through Life
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
One more piece of the puzzle fell in place. Electric company just called and said there will be no problem putting current to this 1200 to 1400 feet off the road property and no extra cost. That was something I did not think I would hear. So water department contacted and also gas company. Now health department about septic system approval. Then the big one is sitting down with my builder and showing him my sketch.
We will go to the material supply source and get estimates.
So it will be interesting to see if this is going to be a dream or a reality. I may have a shelter next Spring instead of a chair under a tree.
Oh, I almost forgot I saw a dozen wild turkey coming down the road but could not stop car and get my camera out fast enough.
Also wrote a neighbor that joins my woods on my back line to alert him that family will be in those woods and I want no deer hunting.
As I read some of my postings I have the thought - I sound rather simple and boring.
Some afternoon thoughts from this One Woman on her Journey Through this life.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Caitlin I am proud of you. http://blondemomblog.com/
I did a couple of loads of wash, vacumed and some dusting and finished reading "The Big House".
I enjoyed this book but it seemed to make a lot of past memories surface.
As the day went on I seemed to become very blue. Many thoughts of past, present and future.
I truly thought with the creating of this home and garden that I would settle into city life and live happily ever after. Well that is not happening. I am becoming very restless and I do not like it. I know the time of year is contributing to this. Also I thrive in a state of doing. Happiest when creating homes and gardens. I have created 3 in the past 10 years.
I strive so for balance and maybe this is a part of being a Libra which is the sign of the scales.
It is difficult to make new friends as you grow older and at my age and given the fact that throughout my lifetime most of the people I felt the closest to were older then me and the fact that I have continually put myself in new enviorments every few years - now it seems I almost stand alone. In a new location and with my interests being home, family, gardening and nature - where does that put me. I shared with my son recently that lately I feel like I am invisable.
He smiled and said that well known people travel places where they can enjoy this. So maybe it is an asset that I have not realized.
My son encourages me continually to get out of my enviorment. Go the the library, book store,
yoga lessons and on and on. Just seems it is becoming more difficult for me to want to go anywhere. I do not like crowds or large gatherings of people. I have shared bits and pieces throughout my journal. My grandchildren will certainly know some about their grandmother's personality. I probably would have been a good Thoreau.
My youngest daughter encourages me to do volunteer work (I did try some of this) find a new church home (this has been a big part of my life in the past) and I am not led to do this.
Thoughts entered my mind yesterday if I would be anymore lonely looking out my window at the fields, woods and wildlife then looking out of this city cottage window at the cars whizzing past and the city sounds?
I know my children are tired of me sharing and I do not blame them. But I know my answer will come for direction as it always does.
I also am well aware that when I can stay outside and garden I am the happiest. So with my new interest of writing and photography I will have some added interest for the winter months.
Back to yesterday. About 4:00 pm my son called and told me he was going to a wine and cheese open house at his accountants office and invited me to go with him. I tearfully shared I just do not like these gatherings. There is not much that has not touched my long life. He went on to say it was right after work at 5:30 and he would only stay about an hour and he would call back at 5:00 to see if I changed my mind.
Well I did change my mind. At 5:30 he pulled in front of my cottage and helped me in his car.
Long story made short, it did pull me out of the pit of gloom I was in. Each room and there were about a dozen of them represented a different country. Wine and cheese from that country. Enjoyed the different types of cheese. Also with a dry mouth condition I do not enjoy dry wines. But a local winery from my country area had some fruit wines. I bought a bottle of peach and another of strawberry. Will be good to make smoothies or at some time when I feel like a touch of summer.
So my good son, your mom thanks you. You are the best.
Some more sharing on another gloomy morning from this One Woman on her Journey Through This Life.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I remember so well the day I noticed my youngest daughter sitting on the steps that led to the upstairs bedroom. She would sit on one step and then scoot up to the next step. She was doing this instead of walking up the steps. I just thought she wanted to do this instead of walking up the stairs and did not comment on this even though I saw her do this several times during the day. Soon after that she came to me and said "mama I can't put my barrette in my hair"
I commented "what do you mean" she shared she could not squeeze the clasp. I put the barrette in her hair and immediately I knew something was wrong.
We had moved to the country farm home a number of years earlier but since she was 11 years old I still took her to the pedatrician in Nashville. I called and had an appointment the next day. She was checked, many questions asked and I do not remember if they did blood work at that time. I do know that my baby girl was admitted into Vanderbilt Children's Hospital for more tests.
The results Guillain Barre. Another name is French Polio. I had never heard of such a disorder. It surely unsettled this mother. It turned out to be what they called a mild case but the constant fear of how far it would progress never left me. I read everything I could pertaining to this disorder.
Even though it was mild it was disturbing that summer to see my healthy young daughter become thinner and weak concerning her walking and arm skills. It progressed during the summer and then suddenly started going away. The good thing was this was the end of the school year in the Spring and she was well enough in the Fall to return to school.
Who knows what makes memories arise from out of our consciousness. During the night this memory surfaced. I realize more and more that I have some deep memories that are surfacing on their own. Some of them happy, some sad and some very painful. We all have our stories, special memories and dreams.
Some more sharing on this One Woman's Journey Through This Life.
Monday, November 10, 2008
If one advances confidently in the direction of his dream, and endeavors to live a life which he imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
Henry Dvid Thoreau
Sunday, November 9, 2008
there is no way I can hide my weakness.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Ten thousand flowers in the Spring
The moon in Autumn
A cool breeze in the Summer
Snow in the Winter
If your mind is not clouded by unnecessary things
This is the best Season of your life
Friday, November 7, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
I can remember the day I tasted a piece of this pie at my mother's. I know it has been close to 25 years ago. My mother's younger sister had left off several pieces. I tried this and thought this is the best I have ever tasted It has become a family favorite.
So many years later with a recipe card that is so stained I have to retype - here goes.
Thank you Aunt Johnnie
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tbs flour
3 tbs cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
1 large can evaporated milk
4 large egg yolks, beaten
2 tbs melted butter
2 tsp vanilla
Sift together sugar, flour, cocoa and salt. Add milk beaten egg yolks, butter and vanilla. Mix well. Pour in deep dish pie shell and bake 425 degrees for 10 minutes and then 325 for 30 to 35 minutes.
Spread meringue on pie. Bake until slightly brown.
Best Ever Meringue
8 tbs sugar
1 tbs cornstarch
1/2 cup water
3 egg whites ( sometimes use the 4 left over )
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
Combine 2 tbs sugar with the cornstarch in small saucepan and add water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick and clear. Beat egg whites with salt and vanilla until soft mounds form. Add 6 tbs sugar gradually, beating well after each addition. Add hot mixture in a stream and continuing beating until meringue stands in stiff peaks. Spoon over filling. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Now on to my next project. I will continue to check out cost and feasibility of my Thoreau Cottage at the edge of the woods. Time will tell if it will be a shelter or a chair I sit in at the edge of the woods. Either way I will have my camera, binoculars and a pad and pencil in my hand. I do not think all three at once. But there will be peace in my heart and a smile on my face.
But there is no way I cannot write about my faith and
there is no way that I cannot make an entry on what I witnessed last night. I enter this for my children and especially for my grandchildren. It comes to mind and makes me smile that my older grandchildren who are in college are commenting "grandma I am getting to know you in a way that I did not know you - because of what you write and share".
I thank God for what I witnessed last night.
I thank him for allowing me to witness this historic moment.
I do not have the words to describe the emotion that I feel. I have wept in a way that I thought I could not weep anymore. Tears of thankfulness and tears of joy.
I feel such a pride and love for this young man that is going to lead our country.
I am so thankful.
Our world has hope.
I felt deep in my heart that he would win. If I had been wrong I think I would have lost much hope and wept a different kind of tears.
Obama has my continual prayers for his wisdom and safety. Oh what a monumental job he has ahead of him. So my children please pray for him. I have never asked you to pray for a leader before.
Some special thoughts from One Woman on her Journey Through This Life
Monday, November 3, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
Some sharing from One Woman on her Journey Through This Life
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
and Playing Tricks is Dandy
But When it Comes to Halloween
It's all About the Candy
All through the years Halloween was a big deal for my children. But my Jamie, the youngest, somehow got left out.
Memories surface how she would stand at the window watching to see if a car turned off the main highway and was heading down our country road. The outside lights were on and a big bowl of treats awaited any visitor. The visitors never came. Once in a great while she would become excited and say "I see car lights I think someone is coming." No they just were on our road and drove past our country home. So this is one of the disadvantages of living in the country.
I can still picture her standing by the window. I think one time a friend from church brought her little girl by our home.
So my youngest daughter's Halloween was usually spent at a party at school or church.
Usually not trick or treating like I remember from my childhood and her older sisters and brother. Also not like her little girls who are all dressed up and everyone visits the homes in their neighborhood.
Just a memory from this One Woman's Journey