Randomness

Battening Down the Hatches

  Battening down the hatches describes our activities this time of year, don’t you think? It’s all we seem to be doing these days, in one form or another. The patio furniture has been stored away, even if all that means is stacking it on the side of the house and covering it with a tarp. The barbeque grill is under cover and the Velcro straps are all secured, the flag has been taken down for the season and the boats are out of the water- engines winterized and tarps bungied from one side to the other. And the sailboat? Well, it’s in the marina with the brass padlocks securing the hatch. Let the storms begin! We are ready…or are we? There may be more to battening down the hatches than all that. The word batten means to secure. And what is a hatch? It’s a small connecting door. So, battening down the hatches is the same as saying secure all small connecting doors, regardless of where they connect: to the cabin of a boat, to an attic, through the floor to a crawl space, or maybe, just maybe, something as totally unexpected as to the door to our hearts.…

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Randomness

Getting Back in the Groove!

  I’ve missed blogging! Life got in the way BIG time but I’m ready to get going again. Blogging keeps my writing  life in order, my goals on target, and my mind sharp. Stepping out of the routine for such an extended period of time has proven to be fatal. Time to regroup and get back to it. I’ve spent the past six months taking care of family and friends and although I  feel blessed to have had the chance to be there, it’s good things are settling down now because my keyboard is screaming for use. Words have gotten backed up in my brain and need to be released. They are fluttering around looking for a landing place on a page where a story is forming, questions are being asked, and emotions are shown. Words so full they explode like the sweetness of blackberries in peach cobbler or sparkles in the sky on the Forth of July. So, I’ve settled on a word for the day. Today’s word is inertia. It means the inability or unwillingness to move; to act, kind of like I’ve been for half a year. Well, it’s time to move, time to act, time to…

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Randomness

Surprise! Surprise.

The roller coaster of life continues. Ever notice how the nice, peaceful, contented times last for such a short stretch? Like sometimes as little as an hour or two? And then there will be a time, like a whole two weeks where we get lulled into thinking all the challenges and struggles and negatives are done with. We’ve faced it all and handled it all! We’re done! Not quite. Exhausting isn’t it? I thank God for my sense of humor. Without it, I would be hiding away in some tiny cabin deep in the mountains somewhere, chopping wood and washing my hair in rain water. If I couldn’t laugh at life, there would be no sink or swim; there would only be sink. Humor is magic. It’s s gift that allows us to release tension and stress without having to cry all the time. The motor won’t start, there is no wind for our sails, and we’re stuck out on the water at nightfall.  How are we getting home?  Humor got us there.  We celebrated our thirty eighth anniversary the other day. Without a sense of humor, we would never have made even ten.  I look in the mirror –…

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Randomness

Road Trip

  A lot of time has passed since I’ve taken a good long road trip, but I have one coming up. The price of filling up the gas tank has taken the fun out of this good old American pastime. We used to do them often, every chance we had. Driving allows travelers to observe the country as it is, not from above the clouds where everything appears to have a sense of order. A road trip is the real thing. Did you know, outside of the Pacific Northwest, lush and green and amazing as it is, the sun is shining? Not only that, but the temperatures resemble the summers of old. Nice and warm in most places, downright hot in others. Looking out the window this morning, I’ve decided to wear sweat pants, a long sleeved t-shirt, and a rain jacket to take my morning walk. I’ll need a hat. It’s raining. If the wind were blowing I’d be wearing a fleece under my rain coat, but thankfully it’s not. The dogs will be soaked to the bone by the time we get back. A little sun would do us good. So a road trip to the sunshiny state…

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Randomness

Eagle Eye

I sat in my neighbors kitchen close to the window where an eagle perched on the lip of a bird bath not ten feet away. The magnificent creature was very aware of our presence, so we spoke quietly and moved slowly not wanting it to leave. A good thirty minutes past, with our camera’s flashing and a crow making a perfect pest of itself by diving at the eagle’s head, cawing continuously. The most extraordinary thing about the bald eagle is it’s vision. They can see forever. I watched the head that can turn nearly 180 degrees and the eyes that scan for miles and wondered how it would be to have such vision. Would we see danger coming long before it arrived? Would we see warnings written on the walls, whereas we miss it all now? Vision is tricky. It’s subject to our open or closed hearts. There are times we see sadness, despair, and rejection, in the eyes of each other, only because our hearts are soft and receiving. The other times are navigated by the coldness of our hard hearts as we refuse to see past the outer layer of those in our midst, past our anger,…

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Randomness

It’s all about the babies…

None of us can forget the emotional rush that transported us from being a mere woman to being a woman who is also a mother. How can it be explained? Nothing has ever felt as spiritually all consuming as the moment I took that precious newborn in my arms, inhaled that intoxicating newborn smell, and felt the heart beat of my child against my chest. It’s overpowering. Unexplainable. Unbelievable. As a mother, we never forget the moment when the world stopped and all of heaven and earth smiled upon it’s newest addition. Pure magic. It’s the reason Mother’s Day is such a big deal. It doesn’t seam to matter what happened after that, the memory on Mother’s Day is the one where we are sitting in the glider holding our newborn and feeling nothing but contetment and love. But then, I’d never been a grandmother. Until now, that is. Oh, my, I love being a mom, but being Grandma is the best! Us Grandma’s are consumed with an intense love of the new grand-baby that courses through our veins like the flood of rushing water spilling over Niagara Falls in the spring. It’s beyond words. We want to breath that…

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Randomness

When Things Get Tough…

Just about the time we’re ready to throw in the towel, when everything gets to be too much, when one more piece of bad news will break the camels back, more bad news shows up wearing a smile. A sinister smile, yet none the less, an actual smile. So smile back. And don’t make it sinister; make it real. Smile because no matter what comes our way, we have a mighty powerful God who is in control of everything, absolutely everything, and He knows what He’s doing.  We have the privilege to speak with Him at any time and under any and all circumstances. So talk. He wants to answer our prayers yet we cannot forget to ask for His help. “Ask and You Shall Receive.” So ask. Ask over and over and over again and just see what happens! Expect miracles everyday. They happen all the time all around us without our being aware, yet occasionally, when we’re really paying attention, we know. And then we smile from the deepest part of our hearts and know He is here, with us every step of the way. Have a great day! Later, Mary Ann

Randomness

Kick Start

I’ve been gone for a while, in my head anyway. Life can throw a person off balance now and then. Yet, I’ve been missing my blog and missing comments from my few readers, precious as you are, so it’s time to get busy again. I’m a grandma now, and couldn’t be happier. I can’t believe how much I love this little guy and I’ve yet to hold him. He came a little early, about ten weeks actually, so he’s busy growing still. Yet one of these days soon he’ll be out of the NICU and I’ll have him cradled in my arms and it will be so much more real to me than it is now. I can hardly wait! In the mean time, I need to get my head out of the nursery and back to my writing. I’ve been terribly neglectful and totally absent in all respects. “The Trouble with Tony” (sequel to “A Friend Like Frank) is in the editing stage and should be ready in about a month. I will let you know when it’s on Amazon.com. I’m going to put it out as an ebook first, then as a printed book later. In the mean…

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Randomness

Starting Over – Again

The other day we helped our friend pack up her household in preparation for a move.  He husbands death has left her alone in a house much too large for one. We seam to always be starting over, in one way or the other. We go from the home of our parents, to the home of our own, to our home shared with spouses and children, and then empty again. Each change is a new beginning, starting fresh, starting over – again. We’re about to start over, to visit a whole new realm of life we’ve never been before. I’ve been told that being a grandparent is better than being a parent. It’s another new beginning yet they say the second time around is much easier than the first. I love that fresh new starts continue to happen all through our lives, keeping us from getting stale. Every time we start over, we can chose to do better and embrace the chance to impress ourselves with new found flexibility and acceptance. Every time we have the chance to start over, we should start over with the attitude of adventure, one we’ll make the most of no matter what. The hard…

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Randomness

Sunshine or Bust!

  A week ago, my husband and I, along with our son and daughter-in-law, were excitedly packing up to escape the glum commonly associated with a typical Seattle winter. We were going where sunshine was all but guaranteed, soft sandy beaches preheated and waiting just for us. As we boarded the plane, I took one last look over my shoulder at what we were leaving behind: a blanket of grayness barely visible through the sheet of rain. I shivered. Just look ahead, I told myself. Flight attendants greeted us with cheerful “Aloha’s” as we made our way down the narrow crowded isle to our seats. I didn’t care if we were stacked on top of each other, as long as we ended up in Hawaii. Hawaii! It might as well be re-named “Paradise.” We were as happy as a surfer riding the perfect wave. Look ahead, I reminded myself as I blocked out the gray and pulled down the window shade. We were headed to Hawaii! Upon our arrival, we couldn’t help but notice the dark billowing clouds blocking the sun. We pretended not to be bothered. At least the temperature was nice. A motor coach arrived and escorted us…

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