Sunday, June 19, 2011

Birthday Countdown

   My thirty-second birthday is just days away.  While that in and of itself is hard to believe, it is even harder to believe that I will be having knee surgery the day after.  But, with thirty one birthdays that have come and gone, with another one just round the bend, I have been thinking about my past birthdays.  We moved a lot when I was a kid.  No, I wasn’t a military brat, but a corporate one instead.  We moved with my dad’s job, taking us from places in Ohio to Kentucky to Florida to Ohio to Iowa.  I laugh now as I think of how many of the places I was completely unaware of their existence, let alone the people in them.  Now, I think of birthdays that were celebrated along the way.  I would imagine that some of the birthday celebrations would look a little quiet to those on the outside.  But, moving so much, the family bond has strengthened and those quiet family dinners, complete with cake and song, are precious to me. 
   Now, with this new birthday approaching, I have been bouncing back and forth between trying to decide what treat to take to work (chocolate or savory), and how to prepare for surgery.  The reaction most people have when they hear about one following the other, is a look like what are you thinking about combined with an unspoken, “really?”.  Yes – really! 
   So, with all of that this is my thought about that.  A new year is about to begin.  And, I can’t know what will come.  However, I am trying to look at it as an auspicious beginning to this year, as the beginning of knee health.  It’s a bit nerve wracking because we don’t really know what is wrong the knee.  Nothing on x-ray or MRI, just a persistent pain, that has kept me stuck and missing out on doing activities.  All of that leads me to my hope that this will be a year that is soon full of long walks, hikes, and being able to walk more than a block. 
   I still don’t know what I will take to work Thursday – gooey dessert or vegetables…  

Monday, June 13, 2011


    It has been a busy weekend, with plants, tree frogs tad poles, mustangs with eagle feathers, and little baby robins fledglings.  The robins we have been watching for the last few weeks took their chances and left the nest.  It is amazing to me how these little lives can know how to fly after being alive and out of their shells less than a month!  Their eyes aren’t even open for about five days.  To know that they are now out there, and on their own is very exciting.  As much as miss seeing those little feathered faces with wide open mouths as I stand at the kitchen sink, it is a thrill to see some adolescent robin fly from limb to limb. 
    The precious state of life, fragile in baby birds or little tadpoles was demonstrated this weekend.  A trip to a friend’s house led me to spend some time happily taking pictures of various animals, including tree frog eggs and tadpoles.  These tiny dots would become the little fish like creatures, and then on to become tree frogs.  Surrounded by these little creatures, chicks, hens, and beautiful plants, it was a gently vibrant place where life was flourishing. 
    I think we may take life for granted some days, get used to what is around us and forget it’s miraculous nature in just being present.  I mean, think of the variety of those frogs, birds, and plants.  They are so diverse that it boggles the imagination.  

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


   A little post has been going around facebook about drug testing for those on welfare.  Something about how Florida legislation is about to enact a drug testing policy for those on welfare.  I can put out the disclaimer that I am neither a legal expert or political one.  I’m just a citizen who has seen some of the “poor”, rich in family, hope, and dreams – poor in finances, economic stability, and economic growth potential. 
   So, welfare drug testing, don’t have drug testing – I don’t know.  We are making complicated issues so simplistic in arguments that it doesn’t even provide the justice to understand that these are the lives of real people.  And, unfortunately, I also don’t have any big suggestions on how to fix this.  There is abuse of this system, which shouldn’t occur.  But, how do we really fix this?  How do we really, as communities, reach out to those who are truly unable to work and prepare them to be productive workers?  How do we move into the next generation to teach them with spirited compassion, restoring and renewing?  How do we address the real problems, without cutting out the source of provider that may be tending to the rest of the family? 
   There is a legend of a Gordian knot.  The legend goes that a city had a knot that was a centerpiece of their temple, with 100 ropes woven in and out.  It was extremely complex and none of the ends showed.  It was considered lucky to stop and try to figure out the knot’s secret before leaving the town, but nobody could succeed.  One day, Alexander the Great came to this city and challenged with this knot, he simply sliced it into two parts – thus the knot was dissolved. 
   This whole thing, it’s a great big Gordian knot, with well more than one hundred parts.  There are ends not exposed and other ends that look real, but are really fake.  This whole well (sound, able, thriving, properly, goodly) fare (get along, manage, cope, progress, advance), will hopefully become sound progress, thriving advancement, goodly coping, and properly getting along.  That will live it up to it’s name.  Of course, it will take a community to do.  

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Birthday Celebrations - Capturing Moments

   For some when they are stressed, they want exercise or a drink or shopping… I want chocolate, good chocolate.  And I want good chocolate when I’m hurting or tired or happy – or just in general… Yeah, what can I say, I like chocolate.  Birthdays are an excellent time to bring out the chocolate.  So, with a chocolate cake, and a blend of chocolate and vanilla ice cream, we celebrated my mom’s birthday.  Birthdays are wonderful things, even knowing that some pretend to be a younger age or a certain age and holding that.  But, they are a celebration of what was and a moment to consider what can or will be.  I have my own birthday coming up later this month.  And as those numbers add up, I want to celebrate each one. 
   I had a chance this last week to celebrate a birthday of a darling girl who turned eight.  Missing a lot of family birthday parties over my life due to living away, these times are extra special to me.  There were sounds of laughter, teasing of cousins, car sounds from little boys, and giggles from the little girls.  Three sisters moved through the room, with a special bond, even as others they loved were there celebrating with them.   I imagine that these three women have celebrated many birthdays together, complete with various forms of gifts, games, and foods.  Family moments are really so precious, even with families being messy things and made up of imperfect people.  But, in this time there was a celebration of this little girl and the joy of her life. 
   What a precious thing it is to stop and celebrate.  Life gets so busy that we can forget to celebrate the momentous passing times, and it can help to have these little stops sort of pre-built into our schedules.  Because the momentous times are often only lasting a moment and then it is gone and has moved on.  Grab the candles, the cupcakes, balloons, and your best singing voice; find the moment and celebrate it!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Catching Up - Part I

  I have started writing a blog over the last few weeks and found myself stuck, not because I have ran out of things to say (but because I have been doing a lot of writing at work and my brain seems to want to be in neutral at home).  So, let me recap….
   There was Memorial Day – wonderful sleeping in day!  I love a sale as much as the next person, but that day is really not about sales for me.  I have had many people in my family that have served in the military.  And, it is a day that I remember not only those who served or are serving, but also those who are left behind and serve at home.  The mothers, wives, and children who waited at home for the letters from far off battle field held it all together until the family was joined again. 
   It was graduation weekend too – with parties and ceremonies and a combination of memories remembered and new ones made.  There are a few kids saying bye-bye to high school and hello to the new adventure of college.  Of course, it brought back memories of my own high school graduation.  We held our ceremony outside, and the memories of that day and the celebration came rolling back.
   A birthday girl turned 8 years old!  And I had such fun helping to celebrate that with her.  She is growing up so beautifully, inside and out.  I have spent the majority of my growing up away from family, so I have missed many birthday parties.  It is so much fun to participate in these family parties with special friends. 
There was more, but it will have to wait for another day – my mind is tired and my eyes say it is time to ditch the contacts and go to sleep.