Tag Archives: Blessings

A Day at the Beach

On Thursday we had our annual trip to Lake Erie with the grandkids. Each year I am amazed that we have such a gem only a little over an hour from our house. We usually go to the beach at Geneva State Park but the beach at Mentor Headlands is a fine one too. This time, it was to Geneva.

It is always a great day. The waves and sand are relaxing. Even the cloudy days there are great because then it’s not crowded. As you can see, our weather this year was perfect.

We spend the whole day there. That is a long time for me to go without a dog fix. Luckily, other people brought dogs. This one was named Cody and built like a Labrador but had slightly longer brindle fur. It’s a good thing he was there with his family because I loved him! He wanted to go in the water but every time a wave came near, he jumped back.

There are impromptu works of art that people leave as monuments to their beach trips. I saw a couple young boys make this one. They set the sand with water and kept exclaiming to their mother “It’s so sturdy!” They were very proud. Future engineers?

My granddaughter Maddie spent some time swimming with her Papaw, while grandson Tyler hung out with Aunt Livvi and me on the beach. Later we switched and Maddie and I strolled down the beach looking for beach glass. I realized I was too late to add to my beach glass collection this year as we passed a woman with a sieve, panning for the glass.

No trip to the beach is complete for us without a trip to the ice cream stand at the end of the day. The stand has a soft serve flavor of the week which this time was banana. The banana and chocolate twist was a hit. My granddaughter and I got the Lake Erie Salt Mine ice cream. Lots of chocolate in various forms with whole cashews. No salt in evidence. (The actual salt mines are under Lake Erie, hence the name.)

After such a perfect day, I can hardly wait until we go back next year!

We Wish You a Merry Christmas!

I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. In this world of electronics we make friends far and wide via Facebook, email, etc. I know I have become acquainted with people that I value highly and who are a part of my days. Many more than I could ever get cards out to. These various media forms allow me to stay in contact with friends both old and new in addition to reconnecting with far away family. So to each of you, may the spirit of Christmas be present in your lives through the coming year.

A Very Good Girl

Shelby is a happy girl. Daddy said she is the best behaved dog we have ever had!

She has never had a potty accident in the house, at home or anywhere else either. She can go for walks off leash and come back reliably even if there are other dogs or squirrels. She does give the school bus a dirty look before she comes.

Shelby is good when meeting new dogs or cats. She doesn’t eat poop. When the cats get into a scuffle amongst themselves, she breaks it up.

She is a very good girl but indeed.

Blessings

Clay Art-Heart

Blessings are all around us, we just have to be aware of them.

My coworker flipped his calendar to November and it is still October. You may wonder how this could possibly be a blessing. Maybe I’ve just lost it? I think not. (At least not because of this!) The calendar has people, organizations, or groups to pray for each day.  And a monthly picture of someone in need of prayer. It is quite a worthy calendar. I appreciate this calendar.

However the picture for October was of someone undergoing some type of water torture. I suspect it was water boarding but I am not knowledgeable about such things. The picture was unpleasant and I walked by it every time I left my desk. One day last week I peeked at the photo for November and commented, “Oh good, the photo for next month is not as distressing” and gave a little chuckle.

This week, with an entire week of October remaining, I notice that the calendar is flipped to November. It was not pointed out to me, just done as a kind gesture.

To be sure, the poor gentleman on the calendar was worthy of needing prayers. I just happen to be sensitive to these kinds of things and they become imprinted on my mind.

What a blessing to have such a compassionate, caring office mate. May God bless him, as well as the gentleman in the photograph, and his tormenters.

The Gift, aka Encounter with the Ex’s Wife

Garden gate, flowers

I had the most wonderful experience this past weekend at a post funeral dinner. The funeral was for my one time mother-in-law (MIL), and forever mom and friend. The service was beautifully orchestrated by the aforementioned MIL. It was a fine send off, with some tears, and a whole lot of celebration of her life.  And there was a lot to celebrate.

Afterwards, there was “the Luncheon”. This was a somewhat uncertain event for me because it would be the first encounter with my ex-husband since our divorce some 17 years previously. And calculating out just how long it had actually been, makes me wonder why I gave it any credence at all. That is one heck of a long time!

I have remained family and friends with the ex-husband’s relatives over these many years. They continued to play an important part in my life, even becoming friends with my new husband. This was as it should be. I got divorced from one person, not a family.

There were some minor concerns in my mind about how the whole day would go. I didn’t know how my reception would from my ex and his current wife. Over the years I had thought there were some negative thoughts and impressions of me, and no doubt at some point there were. That would be natural and expected.

However, at “the Luncheon” my ex’s wife approached me with something to say. And what she had to say was this, which I will paraphrase. “Thank you for coming. It was very kind of you to come. Insert MIL’s name, loved you and she would be happy that you are here.” There were a few other pleasantries of a similar nature passed back and forth but this was the crux of it.

I can’t think of a more kind, compassionate, heartfelt gesture she could have made. This was a true gift. I didn’t have to wonder any more how things would go. What a special person she has proven herself to be.

I take a lesson from this encounter. Be kind. Always. It makes the world a better place.

More Flowers!

Primula

These primulas came up in our yard this year. We don’t know where they came from but they are a wonderful gift. Once they are done blooming I will transplant them into one of the flowerbeds so we can mow that area again.

White violets

These white violets also grow in our yard. They come up every year and I love to see them. The flowers disappear before it is time to mow. How considerate they are.

Trillium

This trillium grows in our pine grove. Each year it adds another bloom. I would love to divide it but fear it would not flower if I did. I have heard they are very particular. Their trumpets surely are a thing of splendor and beauty.

Valentine Blessings

image

Valentine’s Day is a family event for us. And what a blessing our family is. My husband cooks a dinner for all the women in his family. The men of the family are allowed to tag along too.

This year was a five course dinner. Two soups, a salad, entrée, and chocolate layer cake. All from scratch. I was allowed to make the bread sticks this year. That was nice because I got to hang out in the kitchen and we talked while while I kneaded the dough and rolled out the bread sticks.

image

This year we had my husband and myself, his mother, our daughter and her boyfriend, and my brother, his wife, and their little girl. We had such fun! My niece saw the cake being frosted in the kitchen and her eyes got big. She kept wanting to know when it was time for the cake and announced “I like cake”. A girl after my own heart.

image

And nothing at our house is complete without the animals. Here Morty inspects the flowers which were courtesy of my mother-in-law. In addition to our four dogs we also had Coco the Corgi.

image

I hope that each of you had a Valentine’s Day that contained as many blessings as ours did! Happy Valentine’s Day, my friends.

My Three Mothers

Flowers

I have been fortunate to have the blessing of multiple good mothers. “Multiple mothers?”, you may wonder? Yes, there are three. They have overlapped in time so that most of my life I have had more than one at once. Lucky me!

First there was my biological mother. She passed on last week and that is what got me to thinking about the whole concept. She, obviously, gave birth to me and raised me. She was a good mother. Always looking out for my best interests and preparing me for life. I have many fond memories of her even though she had been ill for some years now.

Then came my second mother. She is a strong woman who does good things in her community. She loves all the furry creatures and on this we certainly connect. She started out as my mother-in-law, the mother of my first husband. He and I parted ways some years ago. But his mother, I kept. (Along with some of his other relatives.) We are still in contact and love to visit with each other and catch up. So, in my mind, after the divorce his mother “graduated” to become mother #2. You know the saying, don’t throw the baby out with the bath water? Applies here. The ex-husband goes but the family stays. I made out pretty well in that deal. I love them.

And then there is mother #3. I was fortunate enough to gain her as my mother when I married my current husband. What a wonderful lady. She is kind and caring and understanding. Not just with me but with the world in general. She also serves her community in many ways. I can learn a thing or two from her about forgiveness and tolerance. From my experiences in life I have learned a thing or two so she has already “graduated” from mother-in-law to mother in my life.

These mothers have all been a blessing. Some people do not have the benefit of knowing even one mother in their lives and I have been given three. My cup runneth over. They have all loved me and helped to guide the course of my life. The old mother-in-law stigma has not been true in my life. I have received positive experiences and acceptance. I look at the list of “Gandhi’s Top 10 Fundamentals for Changing the World” hanging by my desk and realize that each of my mothers has been an example and helped me realize multiple insights on the list. Here is the list:

Gandhi’s Top 10 Fundamentals for Changing the World

1. Change Yourself

2. You Are in Control

3. Forgive and Let Go

4. Without Action You Aren’t Going Anywhere

5.Take Care of this Moment

6. Everyone is Human

7. Persist

8. See the Good in People & Help Them

9. Be Congruent, be Authentic, be your True Self

10. Continue to Grow & Evolve

If I were to write about the examples each woman gave me in regards to this list, the pages would be many. I would have enough material for a book. There are lessons to be learned from people all around us if we take the time to learn them. I hope to honor these women by the life I live.