THE DREAM

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img_0055Early this morning I had a dream. Not just an ordinary dream, destined to enter my sleep, erupt my thought patterns and leave just as swiftly as it had come.
No, this was a full-fledged dream, and as I awoke, I remembered the warmth and the glorious feeling of it all surrounding me in my warm bed. You see, in my dream I had a brand new baby, she was mine, and I held her and felt the incredible miracle of how a brand new baby feels, the cuddling and the softness of her skin, and the delight of being a mother. I marveled at how big she was and remembered that all of my babies, all boys, had been so big. But this was a girl and I was overcome with joy! I realized that we must give her a name and at first I thought of Elizabeth, my favorite name as a teenager. But then I thought of my mother, and the name became Leona, in my mind. My mothers middle name had been Leone. That was it. I hugged her and said “my sweet Leona”, and knew the joy of being a parent again as I held her and caressed her. I felt the certainty of it all and never realized I was dreaming.
But then I began to wake up. Remembering how vivid this experience had been to me, I began to wonder. Was it a dream or was it an experience? As I sit right here writing I can still know that something amazing happened to me, and in my mind I can still feel and see it. Who is to say what really happened? I know that dreams usually fade away, but I also know that writing this down will keep it fresh in my memory. In this strange and mysterious world of ours how are we to know what is real and what is imaginary? Years from now the scientists may tell us for sure that dreams fortell our experiences, either past or future. Maybe I was remembering an event of long ago in another lifetime.
What triggers a dream? Could it be all of the pictures of babies I see every day on Facebook, being held by granddaughters or grandsons or nieces? I don’t know.
All I know is, it felt so vivid and so real that now I know I must keep watch wherever I go in my daily life. Maybe this warm and beautiful little girl exists somewhere watching over us and I was lucky enough to hold her in my arms for a little while. But I will be sure to remember my sweet Leona, wherever she may be.

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GRATITUDE 

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Today is a day for me to give some special thanks and gratitude to two very special women in my life. Yesterday I had my annual physical here in Michigan and it really pleased both my doctor and me. Better blood pressure, chlorestrol, and a good feeling that I am feeling much better and stronger. For several years Tammy Jager had been encouraging me to get a walker or some such thing because I was having trouble taking long walks. I resisted her mightily for a long time due to my pride and foolishness. But this winter another voice joined the chorus, Debra Rider, and I began to realize that they only had my best interests at heart. So I broke down, bought a red Rollerator, started walking each day, and now I walk 25 minutes at a time.  I met new friends while I was in Florida, and found that there are lots of us who can use a little help.  And I love it because it has brought me freedom. I don’t need it at home, thank goodness.  I heap praise upon my husband, Bob Rider, who always tags along with me.

But it gives me great pleasure to give kudos to Debra and Tammy whom I love, especially because they didn’t give up on me.  I owe them for many special things in my life, but this one deserves a special thank you.

BACK HOME AGAIN

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IMG_0855One of the first things I look for when we drive into our driveway is  the beautiful forsythia bush.  It is about the first thing that blooms in our yard every spring and it seems to send a welcoming signal that it is glad we arrived home safely.     After a long ride north making the transition from hot weather to cool we are just thankful that we have made it once again.  Walking into the house and checking everything out, I am really glad that I left it looking great, everything put into its place and no heavy housekeeping to do.

Because of course now comes the fun part. Unloading the car, hauling it all in, and now it must all be put away in its place. Just the opposite of when we packed it all down south, now we must do the unpacking. But one thing I have learned,  I don’t have to do it all the very first day. There are plenty of other things to do. The batteries seem to have given out on the television remote. The clocks are all flashing, plus the stove and microwave. I know this means the electric went out, probably in a storm. There is no food in the frig and so I start my big grocery list right away. The water must be turned on and adjustments made to the thermostat.  Of course I must make sure the wi-fi is working.

Going on an extended trip is a wonderful thing. Coming back seems to be even better.  The birds are starting to find the feeder. Looking out at our beautiful green yard we can see the raking ahead of us. But there is no doubt, looking at the waiting bed is starting to look better and better. It has been a very long day.

Ah, it is so good to be back home and looking forward to the holiday with family this year. Tomorrow is another day, or maybe even Monday or Tuesday.

In the fall the cycle will begin again, and we will start the list making and the packing. We will be looking forward to a warm sunny winter with old friends and new.  The time will fly by until the siren call of Michigan beckons us again.  Two wonderful seasons and it is almost impossible to choose one over the other.  We just count our blessings, and name them one by one.

WHY DID I DO THAT?

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Why did I ever DO that?, an intriguing question that popped into my mind while searching for the answer as to why my life is where it is right now?

Looking back over an extensive period of time it is pretty easy to see how I could have done things a lot differently.  Also a lot smarter. The problems that seemed so overwhelming at one time brought forth the urgent need to do something to change the situation I was in. It became “Dam the torpedoes, full speed ahead!” as a famous Naval officer David Farragut once said.

It seems as if somewhere in our thought processes we begin to see only one side of a problem, and then the results become less than what is desirable. Saying to ourselves over and over again, “Why in the world did I ever do that?” becomes a self-defeating process.  At some point after being miserable about our own failures we have to change our thinking. We can begin to ask, “What can I do to change my own attitudes? Have I learned anything from my life lessons? Am I trying to listen to other peoples viewpoint instead of exclusively my own?”

I have a new question for myself. When I decide I want to change something in my life, what else am I considering besides what happens to me? In the overall scheme of things, what we decide to do is more important to others than we can easily comprehend. We might say to our own inner voice, do I really want or need to do this? Kindliness is next to Godliness, I was told as a child, and a good mantra for me to remember. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, is another.

it seems that so many of the older platitudes that we were taught when we were young have stood us in good stead. If we had always practiced them all we would never have to look back, and wonder, “Why in the world did I ever do that?”

So today, friends, I am looking forward, and I like what I see. I no longer feel that I must look back, because I know there are bright days ahead for us all. Forward is good!

NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS TOMORROW

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No matter what happens tomorrow

I know I will enjoy today.

Remembering all of the smiles that you have given me,

Remembering all of the encouragement that has come my way,

Thinking of all of the places that we have seen together,

Capturing the flavors and scents of lands that we enjoyed,

Picturing the towering mountains everywhere we journeyed,

The flowing rivers, the waterfalls that seemed to pour forth from the sky,

The sun baked deserts, the mountain trails, the red hot lava at our feet,

The glaciers, so wild and so beautiful it took our breath away,

The eagles soaring overhead, the wildlife putting on a show for us,

All is in our memories, and we will never forget them.

No matter what happens tomorrow

I know I will enjoy today.

Friends and family beckon, memories of the old days abound,

Pictures of our loved ones are always in our mind.

Children grow up and become parents such as us.

Grandchildren and even great grandchildren make their place in our hearts.

We marvel at how the whole world seems to work

As if there really is a pattern as to how we live our lives.

We watch and we love and we know why we are here,

No matter what happens tomorrow,

I know I will be happy today.

 

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IF SOMEONE GAVE ME A MILLION DOLLARS

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If someone gave me a million dollars

And I could do whatever I wanted

Would I spend wisely, would I spend foolishly,

Would I spread a little love, or

Would I just put it in the bank,

Look at my account book,

Feel a sense of security,

And know that I am safe from all of the fears that bind me?

If someone gave me a million wishes

Would I spend wisely, would I spend foolishly

Would I share them wherever I went

Or would I just keep them in my mind or heart

Know that I am safe with all of my wishes

And not feel the need to share them?

If someone gave me a million hugs

Would I give them wisely, would I waste them foolishly

Would I share them wherever I went

Would I know that I am blessed with all of the hugs,

Or would I keep all of them hidden from

A weary world who definitely needs them?

I hope I would want to share my gifts.

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THE ROAD NOT TAKEN

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One of the things about retirement that I really appreciate the most is the idea that I can read as much as I want to – heaven in one little sentence.

So one of the well known poems that has come to mind lately is The Road Not Taken, written by Robert Frost in 1920. This poem has always intrigued me, the idea that we all walk down a well traveled road, doing pretty much the same things as most of our friends and family.  Altho we may not be overjoyed with the choices on the road, it is our own road and we are on the path to somewhere, just as innumerable people have always done.

But then, suddenly ahead of us, there is a fork in the road.  We know that most people will continue on their journey on the same path, and become the person that they had always wanted to be, a part of the crowd, one that everyone felt comfortable with, and this is fine for them. We don’t all want to be different, we may want to be a major part of the society that we aspire to.

But maybe you are the one who decides to take the narrower road, realizing that you will be more alone, but it is a good choice for you, and now you move forward in a new direction.

Along comes a surprise when the Law of Attraction kicks in.  You begin to meet others who are of like mind, and as you travel together your new path begins to widen.  More and more people become attracted to your lifestyle and you travel forward together.

So what happens next? At some point another fork will appear in the road.  Will you continue on your now well traveled road, or will you take the new road not taken?

Life is full of adventures, and we always have the choice…..

To go on or to veer unto another direction, that will be a new question.

Which one will you choose?

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