Saturday, July 16, 2016

Looking For the Good...

When I think of all that I am thankful for I find the list amazing. There is no room for any complaints at all. I am blessed with good people all around me. People who are real and good and kind. And on the whole, very helpful, if I am wise enough to recognize the help when it comes. Just this past week I have been very cognizant of this blessing that I did not realize right away was going to be so.

Here is the story to explain...

Some time ago, like the summer of 2005, three of us, Sherwin, Seth and me, were travelling in the truck south to Walla Walla. That is 11 years ago so Seth was 8 that summer.

He had read his books and was looking around for some new way to dispel the boredom of a long road trip. I told him I didn't have anything with me he would want to read but opened the glove box and said, There is always the owner's manual for you to read. He said, Great, hand it back, please.

And he read it for some time, absolutely enjoying all the tricks our new truck was capable of.

Then he says, Grandma, have you learned how the key pad lock on the door works? No, I said, haven't done that yet. He says to me, Well, Grandma, you would really like this feature if you would learn to use it.

And I said, OK, tell me how it works. Seth proceeded to teach me and I smiled and said Thanks and sort of just went on with life.

We still have the same 2004 truck and we still love it. It has served us well and over and over I use that feature on the driver's door a lot.

Now there is more than one blessing in this story.
1. A bright grandson who loves to teach me things.
2. A faithful old truck that still works hard for us.
and lastly...
3. I am thankful to the Lord that He shows me on a daily basis all the little things of life that He blesses me with, even a key pad on the door of the truck.

"There is an abiding beauty which may be appreciated by those who will see things as they are and will ask for no reward except to see them."
-Vera Brittain

Friday, June 17, 2016

My Father, My Hero

"I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren't trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom."
-Umberto Eco

Tonight I am thankful for all that my father taught me, here and there, now and then throughout my childhood.

Just this week I have been thinking of times he and I spent together.

I remember going to town with him in the grain truck, more than once, to take a load to the Wanham elevators. That was in the day of no booster seats or seat belts so I do remember bouncing around on the seat beside him and looking up at him.

I remember watching him work in the shop south of the house, fixing tools, using the bellows to make the coals hotter. I loved to poke through his trays and boxes of odds and sods he kept there. Sometimes he let me sort and tidy.

I remember him lifting me up to see the robin's nest tucked into a tool hanging on the outside wall of the shop.

I remember learning to make egg foo yung and cheese souffle with him the winter I was in 10th grade. He was a patient teacher.

Tonight I am thankful that I had the opportunity to learn from him and somewhat sad that he isn't here to thank.

"He promised us that everything would be okay. I was a child, but I knew that everything would not be okay. That did not make my father a liar. It made him my father."
-Jonathan Foer

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Even the Sky Can Teach a Lesson or Two...

"Scrape the grey sky clean. Realize that every grey cloud is a smoke screen to blind us from the truth, and the truth is whether we see them or not the sun and moon are still there, and always there is light."
                                                                         -Shane Koyczan

"People are just as wonderful as sunsets if you let them be. When I look at a sunset I don't find myself saying, 'Soften the orange a bit on the right hand corner.' I don't try to control a sunset. I watch in awe as it unfolds."
-Carl R. Rogers

Good wishes to you all.
And to all a great week!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Life Lessons From the Desert

Lesson #2

Be careful where you look 
for support along the path. 
We do not leave home without these hiking sticks that have saved our bacon more than once.

You may find yourself on a side hill leaning into the hill because of the drop off on the other side. Support from your hiking stick is very important. Coming down from the top of the mountain/hill is so much easier if you have the support of a good hiking stick.

I have found myself in situations where there was a major saguaro on one side...

and a lovely barrel cactus on the other...

I am feeling dizzy so am about to reach out and grab whatever but peripheral vision lets me know quickly to use only the stick. 

I often think of my friends and family as I am out hiking. Some have been 'hiking sticks' in my life and for those I am truly thankful. Some have been there to help me see the thorns and prickers, giving me their hand for support.

"Close friends are truly life's treasures. Sometimes they know us better than we know ourselves. With gentle honesty, they are there to guide and support us, to share our laughter and our tears.Their presence reminds us that are never really alone."
- Vincent van Gogh

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Life Lessons From the Desert

Lesson 1

"Each thing in its way, 
when true to its own character, 
is equally beautiful."
- Edward Abbey

Many folk find the desert unattractive, dry and desolate. Now I would tend to agree with you if I were to stay on the freeway or tucked away in my house refusing to look out. But the desert is like all other places. 

Look closely. That is the key. Use your best observational skill and look at what is around you.

Wherever you find yourself at this moment, look around. You can see beauty if you choose to do so.

"If you sing of beauty
though alone in the heart of the desert 
you will have an audience."
-Kahlil Gibran

Lesson No. 1: You will see beauty if you want to. You may have to search your own soul first to make it ready for the beauty that is there.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year!

"Don't look back - a new day is breaking."

"May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art - write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself." - Neil Gaiman

Love to all my friends and family. Big Hugs!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Canadian Girl Who Went Up a Mountain and Came Down a Hill!*

"Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity." -John Muir

This morning we headed out the door and drove to the base of Pistol Hill, only minutes from our house in Vail. We are blessed with numerous choices for our daily walk.

You can tell by the colours that we were getting early morning sunshine.

"Sunrise over the mountain-forest was gorgeous. Aurora brushing out her golden tresses with a comb of dark-needled pine and bare limbed oak." 
-J. Aleksandr Wootten

My eyes are always on the alert for rocks that are shaped like hearts. This one was too large to be carried back. I must satisfy myself with photos of found treasures, sometimes.

Looking ahead against our little Pistol Hill I could see Rincon Peak, the mountain Sherwin tackled last week.

And looking back we could see how close we truly were to home.

Soon we were on top! Hallelujah!

"Succeeding, whatever that may mean to you, is hard, and the need to do so constantly renews itself (success is like a mountain that keeps growing ahead of you while you hike it)." 
-George Saunders

Some people have built a cairn to commemorate their 'success'.
I was more interested in the legal monument...

It says, "Pima County, Mon 3". Tah Dah!! 

We looked all around us on every side and then...

turned around and headed down again.

Looking back I could see it is a small hill but I was happy to have conquered it.

As I hauled my walking stick, camera, water jugs and jacket back to the front door I saw neighbour Char had a little visitor on her tree. I stood there, transfixed by the tiny bird, then said to myself, "Good heavens, woman, you have your camera with you. Shoot it!" And he posed so sweetly.

"Hiking's not for everyone. 
Notice the wilderness is mostly empty." 
-Sonja Yoerg

* My blog title today comes from a Hugh Grant movie, The Englishman Who Went Up a Mountain and Came Down a Hill.

Be well.