The Week of It

It has been a fabulous week of back to reality after the wedding of my dreams. There has been a lot of bad weather here in Texas, and a few days before the weeding, the skies opened up and it was a monsoon of rain for several days. Aaaand a huge puddle of water on the floor due to a leak in the roof. In between picking friends and family form the airport, breakfast with bridesmaids and general wedding stuff, I was talking to the insurance company, the contractor and the adjuster. Yeehaw.

And both of us were back to work, as we are taking our honeymoon in the fall. So it was back to work, and bills, and housecleaning, and laundry and life. Except it was better. Because I am a wife now, with a husband. Because we are together, bound by law and in God’s eyes. We are building this life, this love, this everything to be exactly what we want it to be. And there are blessing all around.

Indeed, I have never felt as beautiful as I did on my wedding day. It was truly magic. It was supposed to rain all day, but the clouds parted and the sun was shining for most of the day. It was glorious. And those I love and who love me where there as witnesses. And life will never be the same.

And that is the thing about love, it transforms our lives into the spectacular miracle that only love can make it. Because life without love is…nothing. And now I know what my parents talked about when they spoke about their love, and how they felt about each other, and all of the miracles it took to bring them together. And I know that they ae smiling down on my, and my husband.

And I understand why it didn’t work with any of my ex’s. Why all of the others, many of them quite nice, were just not quite…right. And I see the bullets that were dodged, and how it was such a blessing to not end up with some of them – the alcoholic financial exec, the narcissist that cheated on me with prostitutes and strippers, the one who ghosted me to mow his lawn, the one….and on and on. I understand all of those unanswered prayers. Because God knew there was someone for me, right here in Texas. He knew we were meant for each other even before we met. And maybe I sound like a mushy sap, and I am. And that’s OK, because I am also ridiculously happy.

Life is short. And finally I found my person. My partner. My love. And life will never be the same. Even in the every day ordinary of day to day dealings. And I will never be the same either. And that is the best answered prayer of all.

The Day is Almost Here

Hi Mom and Dad,

It feels so strange to be getting married and not have you here. No Mother-daughters moments getting ready, no Dad walking me down the isle. And yet here I am, just a few days away from one of the happiest days of my life. And I am beyond excited, and happy, and every emotion that comes along with planning a wedding and getting married. But you guys are really not here, not in the physical sense. And that is so very strange.

And I just wanted to say that, or write that, out loud. Because when I write it, it’s real. I wish you could have met this wonderful man, because I know you both would like him. Dad you would enjoy talking about engineering, and beer. Mom, you guys would stay up talking about about politics and the state of the world. Both of you would enjoy discussing history with him, as he is incredible well read and knowledgeable.

Dad, two wonderful men are walking me down the isle to give me away, two because they have some huge shoes to fill. Mom, you would like my mother-in-law too and I am blessed have her in my life.

I know you will be looking down on me, smiling at my wedding. Just know that you are loved and missed. And you are always in my heart.

A Glimps

It seems that life has been so busy and full lately, and I just want to soak every minute, every second up like a sponge. Between wrapping up contracts, shopping for new contracts, interviewing, planning the wedding, dinner parties, bridal showers, exercising and trying to lose that last 5 pounds…It has been crazy. And wonderful.

Sometimes in life, maybe you do get everything you want. Maybe somewhere after puberty and all the hard work of being an adult, somewhere in between hope and laughter, and in the space that separates fact from fiction, our dreams become reality and we find happiness.

And what a long strange journey it has been to where I stand now. To be here now, with a full heart and more love than I knew a life could hold. Sometimes I have to remind myself that this really is my life, and yes I do deserve it.

And I wonder would I be here now if I had not taken the roads less travelled? Would I have found my way here, in this place in this moment, if I had not had the struggles, heartaches, missteps and adventures leading up to now? Which begs the questions are we the sum of our parts in that respect?

Yes, I think we are, even though we are also more than the sum as a whole. I don’t know if I would still be in this exact place if a million little moments, miracles, and decisions didn’t line up exactly so. I do know that every experience in my life has made me who I am now. And maybe that is the glimpse into the future, knowing that all of our collective experiences lead us and build our lives into one huge, wonderful, complex novel.

We write the chapters of our lives with each step and decision that we make. And we are free to change direction nd start over anytime we want. We are never too old, too young or too anything to start over, change direction, make a new decision, or new direction. So if you feel stuck in life – whether it’s a job, or city, or relationship, you can change that with one decision. That is all it takes.

So take that chance, take the step, make the move and write the next chapter – make it whatever you want it to be. No one can change you life except for you. Remember that.

A little over three years ago I moved 1,000 miles away to where I am now. I was devastated from the death of my parents, family drama concerning the will, and a broken relationship. And then I woke up one morning and realized I didn’t have to be there any more. Some people called me crazy, but most of my friends reminded me of who I was, and that anything was possible. They helped me pack and move. And life wasn’t perfect just because I moved, but it did slowly get better, as my heartache healed.

Life is short. Too short to be stuck when you don’t have to be, and you never have to be. If we are the collective sum of our parts and experiences, then you have nothing to loose and everything to gain. Take. The. Chance. I promise you it’s worth it.

On Lent Time

Lent is a time of reflection and discipline. And that is good. Many people dread the time of Lent, afraid to slow down and really examine self and things around our lives that create the little worlds we live in. But I look forward to it every year. It is an automatic slow down that I need to take stock and plan out the rest of the year. But this year was a little different. It was peppered with death of close friends and world tragedies.

While I might not be as disciplined as I like, this has been a time of quiet thought. And what I have realized, right down to the deepest parts of my soul, is that I have been incredibly blessed. Even in my worst time, even when things looks the darkest, or most painful, I have been blessed to have this life, and get to enjoy so much now.

And maybe the loss of those you love makes you more aware of the every day blessings. I don’t know. But what I do know, is that I never want to take any day that I am given for granted. Each day that I am here, that those I love are here, is a day to celebrate and do my best at what the days holds. That doesn’t mean be happy every moment. But it does mean keeping things in perspective.

I am with the love of my life, and the rest of my loved ones are healthy and doing well. I have a job and a career that I love. My man and I love our house in this great neighborhood, and the most challenging things at the moment are trying to find the time to pant the garden, clean the house, exercise, keep in touch with friends, have a social life and fold the piles of laundry. That’s not bad considering what is could be, or even looking at where I was 2 years ago, 4 years ago, etc.

And that is the thing about life – it is often subjective. Depending on your point of view, every situation could either be good or bad. The secret is being an optimistic realist – acknowledging the bad but always being hopeful about the future and grateful for all the wonderful thing in he present.

Life is short, too short to be grumpy. So go out and enjoy the sunshine and the rain, because both are necessary for the flowers, and for a good life.

Party of 75

It was two months of planning in secret. Secret calls and emails, incognito communication and code words. It was finding a venue, looking over the menu, picking the band, ordering the cake, getting the decorations, and coming up with a story. And it was all done by my wonderful man for his father’s surprise 75th birthday party. And it was marvelous.

My man came up with the idea and it was a big hit. He contacted friends from 20 years ago or longer, all the way up to the most recent. He poured over every single detail, making sure it was all in place and on schedule. It was fun to be his little helper, doing the things he needed to make sure his father never knew..

And it was getting the house ready for all of the company. So many boxes were still unpacked, and family was coming from out of town to stay for the weekend. Fifty boxes of books to be unpacked, sorted, place on shelves. Pictures were hung and furniture that remained was moved in to fill the spaces and rooms. And it was marvelous. And exhausting. And inspiring. And all that work has been the spring board for the plans we have now.

And then the family came into town. And there was laughing and conversations, and showing the house, and cooking and eating and getting to know everyone better. And anticipation of the party. As I fixed and put out snacks and hors d’oeuvres, I used my mother’s dishes, platters, plates and snack forks, I thought of her. I missed her greatly in that moment. There were always gatherings growing up, and she always made sure she had the proper things about. She would have been proud of me, I think, zipping around, with all the delish treats, using the things she gave me. And I hope she was smiling.

And then it was here. And his father was overwhelmed with surprise as he smiled and hugged those he loved but had not seen for many years. and there was more laughter, and drinks and dancing, and cake.

And that is the thing when you have a family man in your life. There are always gatherings, always love, always relatives close by, always sharing.

Life is short, too short to be isolated and never have any one over. Too short for lonely nights with no family. So celebrate every moment you have with those you love. Make it loud and fun and memorable.

The Buzz of Spring

Today there is a buzz in the air. As the days get a little longer every day, the temperatures also start to rise. and slowly, nature wakes up from her Winter slumber. It is Spring and there is an excitement in the air that is tangible. It is the promise of the new, with warm days and cool nights. It is the promise of buds growing from dormant brown stems, reaching up to the morning sun and stretching into the afternoon.

And for me this Spring hold so much about which to be excited. There is everything with the new house, concerts, trips to see family, birthday parties, time with my love out on the patio, making plans and discussing life. There will be conversations and laughter by the firepit drinking wine, and smiles with friends while sharing stories. There is planting and garden with new flowers and vegetables and herbs, to make the yard a fragrant place of life, color and wonderful scents as blooms shine in the sun. It is the promise of hard work and good times.

Why is it that this time of year inspires such gentle excitement? Maybe it’s because everything is waking up from hibernation and starting new. Maybe it is all the fresh life around us that makes us want to smile. maybe it’s the warmer weather setting in so we can spend time outside in the fresh air, after being inside for the cold. Maybe it is the signal of growth before the summer, when the sun peaks out and we know that the seeds we plant to day, whether it’s a garden, or studies, or for our careers, it will pay off and grow during this season.

Find what excites you the most and makes you feel the best about each part of the year. Find what makes you smile and what makes you feel most alive. This is especially true if you are going through a bit of a tough time, because as corny as it sounds, finding those little things in each season will help because it gives you something to look forward to, even if just a few moments. A lifetime can be lived in the moments, and the moments in between.

Life is short. Feel the buzz and find the magic of Spring.

Diamond in the Pieces

Every morning I get up, make coffee, meditate, pray and work in the garden. I have never been a morning person, s most of that gets done during of after coffee. But one thing that is for sure, gardening is a lot of work. I must spend time weeding the every. Single. morning. And if I skip a few days, it shows. I am not sure how the weeds grow faster than any of the flowers and vegetables, but they do. It is as if the weeds grow in fast forward and everything else grows in slow motion. And so I get outside, which is wonderful, and weed while I drink the coffee. I breathe in the morning air, notice the sky, and appreciate my life.

And I realize that there are many parallels between life and gardening. Both take a lot of work. Both take dedication. Both require you to get up every day, decide to work hard, and then you do it. And sometimes you must weed out the clutter, the toxic people and minutia or order for what is good to not just grow, but thrive.

No matter what you do in life, or what goals you have, hard work and dedication is what is needed to get you there. It takes hard work to earn a degree, or be successful at a job, to have healthy relationships, do stay in good physical and mental shape, to play piano…or to have a garden. And that is the thing about life, you get out what you put into it. So choose your hard.

I choose to work hard, play hard, rest hard and love hard. With all of my heart. And it shows. Because there must also be balance. And that is what I struggle with the most. Working hard and going hard it easy, it’s the balance that is difficult. Because that to do list is always calling. But I am learning to do things in smaller pieces. For instance, I am tempted to weed all of the gardens in one morning. But if I did that, it would take most of the day. But if I work in the gardens for 45-60 minutes each morning, there is time to weed and do other tasks. It is resisting to “all or nothing urge that I have as a Type A person.

The same with working out. I do not have time to exercise for a time, however, if I do a few sit ups, crunches and squats through out the day, I can get them done. So I have started working hard, a little at a time. And it’s working. Things are getting done, even if it is a little at a time. In resisting the urge to go hard and get it all done in one fell swoop, I do some as I can, then move on to the next.

And maybe that is the key to a happy life as well. You go and do a little at a time, so everything and everyone gets attention, and there is no burnout, even when you give it everything you have. Rome wasn’t built in a day, that garden won’t grow and produce all at once, and there is time to do it all. Once we slow down enough to break it up into pieces.

Life is short. And many times it’s not easy. So chose your hard, and go for it with all that you have. Take it in small chunks, and soon, after all of the hard work, your life will shine like a diamond.

Moving on Out

There is a saying that God will place you exactly where you need to be.  Many times in life we pray for direction, for wisdom and help in making decisions. And then we must get still and listen to the voice of God. Or sometimes the answer to our prayers will be so loud that we cannot miss them. But sometimes even then we do not listen.

What I have found is that things are more difficult, or simply don’t work out at all, when I do not listen to the answers that should be more than obvious. So I have learned the hard way to listen. When I started praying as to whether or not I should move or stay in place, I made an extra prayer to “please God, make it extremely clear, something I cannot miss because you know that I do not get hints.”

God listened and answered. Loudly. He answered in a text from my landlord stating that they would not be renewing the current rental lease. That made it pretty clear, thanks.

And so I  must go. I must plan and place and pack and pray and move and leave. I must find a new place to call home. And that is the thing about life – it is always developing. Your story is always being written because your life continues to be lived. You never know what paths, twists or turns or events that might take place, so you have to enjoy every minute of where you are right now.

Keeping that in mind I look around at where I am. This place, this house, has been my safe place and my sanctuary for the last two years. When I came here I was broken, actually shattered, from such devastating loss and grief. But I have rebuilt myself, slowly filled in the cracks with tears that flowed and seasoned into steadfast love. There has been healing, building, trying, failing, hoping, praying, crying, working, resting and much, much more. It is here, inside and protected by these walls, that I have learned to breath again. I have learned to feel joy in the sunlight and felt the determination of a stubborn heart.

It is here, in this house, in this yard, with these walls, that I have build a home, and felt love, given love, built love, built a life, out of nothing at all. It has been in this location that I have been so utterly tired and exasperated and hurt and lonely, that I had no where to turn but up to God, crying so fiercely that only He could understand my whimpers.

And it is here, within these walls, inside these doors, along this staircase and hallway, that I found myself again. It is here, in this kitchen, that I found my soul again, and my joy, cooking for those friends I love. It is here that I found my smile again, hiding along the baseboards, seeking sunlight from the window. It is resting on these window panes, that I found my faith in myself again, as the tears rolled down my cheeks. And here that I danced in the rain, in the yard, letting my tears mingle with the raindrops, washing away the cold grime of grief.

It is this house, this gift from God, as he knew exactly where I needed to be two years ago, from where this Phoenix shall rise and fly again; joyful, beautiful, faithful and free. Yes, it is here where I found my happiness again. Where I found my new family, my nourishment and my strength for this next amazing chapter.

And soon it  will be time for me to rise up and fly, always thankful for the blessings and safeties of here.

Life is short. Find where you are safe. Find where you are loved. It is there where you will find what you need. And always know that home is where you make it, where you build it and where you love it.


Anticipation is defined as excitement, waiting eagerly for something you know is going to happen. And oooooh, this is where I am in life. There are several trips that are in the process of being planned.

The first up is a to Belize, which I have wanted to do for several years.  Originally I wanted to take my Dad on the trip, one last time for him to see the ocean, but his health prevented it. Now, since it’s just me, I am going to enjoy. Visiting friends, playing in the water, the beach and the waves, and maybe even getting a bit less pale. Having a few frozen drinks, listening to music, even seeing family while there.

You have to do things that awaken you, that make you smile, that make you excited, that make you anticipate Life. It could be a trip, a project, an adventure of some sort, or maybe even a persona challenge, but find that anticipation.

And it is not just the event or trip, the excitement is in the journey of the preparation too.  Planning who is going with me, all the clothes to take, all the things to do, books to read…and all the sunscreen to take (many bottles). All the laughter and memories to be made. Even getting all the laundry done and the pet sitter scheduled is part of it and fun.

And that is the thing about life, you have to take a break and do what excites you. But some choose not to be enchanted, and they want to stay in their misery instead. Why?  I don’t know. I’ve been depressed in life, after the loss of family and it is horrible. So why anyone would choose to stay in that place is truly beyond my understanding.  The good thing is that you don’t have to worry about them. Because they will suck the life out of any room that they are in. So go forward without them. When and if they get tired of being miserable, they will catch up.  If not, oh well.

Take the trip, buy the lipstick, wear the shoes, kiss the guy, take the chances.  You only get this one life. And it is short. So we might as well enjoy it, and milk it for every beautiful, wonderful, exciting moment possible. Always be curious. And always anticipate joy, love, and happiness.

The Great Purge of 2019

Everyone at some point in their lives, if not several times in their lives, will feel the need to purge our lives. The desire to simplify, to lighten, to de-clutter can be overwhelming. What what precipitates such a desire?  It can be any number of things; such as a tumultuous time in life, or a session with a life coach, or maybe an impending move, it could be anything really.  For me it is a combination of several things.  After a difficult time, where I had to keep many things for many people, and keep records for just in case, I am now ready to purge what is not needed.

It is also letting go of my old life. It is letting go of everything that came before. And you can let go while still honoring the past. But you cannot build a future of you are still holding onto that “has happened.” And sometime you need to clean out the old to make room for the new.

I am ready for the new, ready to shed ALL OF IT. And so starts the Great Purge of 2019. I started with the clothes, and have bagged over 15 bags to be taken to the trash or Goodwill.  And the result is surprisingly cathartic.  I already feel so much lighter and more is coming. I contacted a charity to get the furniture that needs to go away.  And I am going through paperwork and old records that no longer need to be kept.  And last will be all the extra “stuff.”

It is time to clean out all the debris, all the old, all of the baggage, all of the irrelevant minutia that can bog down the mind and spirit. It is more than cleaning out, more that getting rid of clutter, it is the purging of all that I will not be taking with me in this move. It is exciting and wonderful, preparing for this new time.

Life is short. Clean it out sometimes. Take the old, dust it off, enjoy them memories and let go of the bad. Because in letting go we make room for all of the wonderful that is to come. And the wonderful is coming…a lot of it is already here.

When you have been shattered, the new you can emerge.

The Best New Years Eve Ever

I was probably too sick to go out, but I did any way. I had been down with a bad cold and coughing for days.  But it was NYE, and this one felt extra special, for many different reasons.  and I was excited for the first time in years.  Even though it was rainy and wet and I “could get pneumonia,”  this was not something I was going to miss.  So armed with my great red dress, prayers and an abundance of cold medicine, I went out for something amazing.

The crowd cheered as the countdown continued until the very end. And I stood there, and I was kissed a wonderful, beautiful kiss, with eyes smiling back at me. Then and I looked up at the fireworks. It was raining, and it was wet, it was messy, and it was spectacular.

And something surprising happened. I was taken over by emotion and started sobbing. I cried because I actually did it, I survived it, not just 2018, but of the two years prior as well, and I was in one piece. I was sobbing in the rain and repeating, “Oh my God, I did it, I made it through.”

And the one of the most amazing and beautiful things of my life happened – I was suddenly enveloped in this tight embrace as I sobbed and buried myself in big shoulders while one of my favorite songs played on big speakers.

I closed my eyes, felt the rain all over my face, washing away the makeup that covered the scars, the last scars of the year. I closed my eyes even tighter and concentrated on the beautiful moment and emotion and embrace that enveloped me, as thousands of people rushed by, but there was nothing else that existed.

And as I held on tight to that beautiful embrace, thousands of umbrellas rushing by, yelling, screaming, celebrating,  getting out of the rain and getting home after the countdown.

Thousands of people, yet the world stood still for those minutes in my world. This one woman, in a red dress, in that embrace, as the rest of the world continued.

And finally when the moment was over, we walked with the crowd, tears and rain mixing on my eyes and down my cheeks. Others saw me and smiled, it is as if they knew… that this is the woman in the red dress that stood in the embrace, letting all of everything that was 2018 be cleansed away.

And in retrospect, it is very fitting that it poured rain, washing my soul clean, washing away all of the sorrow and pain that was, making room for all the wonderful love that is coming, that is already here. It is fitting that God sent this storm – that He himself blessed me, this year, as His rain washed over me, in that beautiful embrace, as my tears mixed with His sacred water.  There was nothing else more sacred, but that moment, and that embrace, and that song, which will forever be associated with this new year. It was  acknowledgement and the beautiful letting go. And now it is the beautiful fulfillment of all which I have prayed.

Now, there is no sadness, only celebration and love and all that is good.

And that is how I welcomed this beautiful new year of 2019.

The Happiest of New Years

Yes, it is that time of year again, then end of one and the beginning of another. Tomorrow the last day of this 2018, and I am not sad to say goodbye.  It has been a difficult year, and it seems that way for most I know,  Most years are filled with a mixture of good and bad.

But 2018, though better than the two years before, has been less than stellar.  But not only did I survive, I did so with dignity and Grace – yes, grace. I managed not to kill anyone, punch anyone in the throat, even when my greedy nephew got in my face. That alone is an accomplishment to be celebrated.

I said goodbye to one of my best friends this year, as she lost her battle with cancer.  By the time they found it, it has spread to everywhere just about.  I said goodbye to the family compound and to family period. I said goodbye to those toxic. And I am proud of that.

I also said goodbye to grief.  I will always grieve the loss of my parents, but I am no longer submerged in the exhausting daily battle.  I said goodbye to grief running my life.

But this is also the year that I said hello to finally taking care of y self again.  I said hello to indulging in small guilty pleasures that make me smile.  I said hello to exercise and PiYo, and running again.  I said hello to organizing and getting my life under control. And, this is the year that I said hello to him.

This next year holds all the promise of the New Chapter.  The old has been neatly tied up and closed. So I am also celebrating what is next and oh how that excites me! There are trips and love and adventures and life that is waiting. And I am more than ready.

There are no resolutions this year, only goals and things I know that I want and will do. Starting my new life my new businesses, my new goals, my new adventures. If this is my life, and we write our own story, then I am going wide open.

There is an energy around that has not happened in a long time.  It is the energy of Hope. The energy of knowing that all that you worked for, is coming for you, in spades.

So goodbye to 2018. And Hello to all that the future holds. It is going to be spectacular.  I have not been this excited for many years. And it is not just the excitement of the unknown; it is, fr the first time in a long time, the excitement of what I know is coming as well.

So here is to the last year – it didn’t kill us. And to the next – May it make us happier than we ever thought possible.

Life is short. Celebrate it.

The Best Christmas Gift

During the holidays it is easy to get caught up in all of the commercialism of gifts.  And it is fun to buy gifts for people, it is one of my favorite things about this season, but it is not the main reason to celebrate.  As a Christian, I indeed celebrate the birth of Our savior, but I also celebrate those who are close to me as well.  All to often the holidays are also a reminder of all whom we have lost through out the years.

Last Christmas may not have been the worst, but it was close.  So this year, I was determined to make this holiday season good. No, great.  And sometimes that is what we have to do in life.  We have to make a decision to enjoy ourselves.  We have to make an effort, every day, to smile. to be thankful, to be gracious. Because it could always be worse, which is not a theory I want to test after the last few years.

And when we make that decision to enjoy what is around us, our whole outlook changes.  Last year, as the first Christmas without both parents, there was not too much too enjoy, as grief seemed to not only be at the table, but on the couch, on the bed, and moved in completely.  This year, was going to be different, dammit.

So there was decorations, and a real tree, that leaned a little too far to the right. There were also friends invited over to enjoy. Because the holidays must be spent with those we love and who love us.  So it would be my family of choice, And they did not let me down. And more friends over for Christmas dinner.

And so it was Christmas day, and there was a flurry of activity from the kitchen.  One of my best friends and my man, all prepping and helping get food ready.  And there was a ton of food. All kinds of yummies.  I made some of my mother’s favorite things.

And when it was all ready, and the table was set, I saw how blessed I am.  There, sitting at the family dinner table I have been sitting at since I was a little girl, the table that is now at my house, were my family of choice. My best friends who had come to share in good food, good drinks and lots of love for Christmas.

And after the meal, when the left overs were taken home, and everyone’s had full bellies, and all had left for the night, I looked out again mt my wrecked, messy kitchen and saw the best gift ever – love. There it as, staring back at me through dirty dishes piled up in the sick and all across the kitchen counter. And I loved it.

Life is short. Appreciate all those dirty dishes, because that means you have people who love you with whom to share your meals. And love is the best dish, and gift, of all.

The Closing Table

It was much easier than expected. Papers were signed, keys were given, smiles were exchanged and it was done.  Eighteen years in our family, and the touch was passed from our family to theirs.  They now will enjoy the fruit trees and the gardens, they will now enjoy the beautiful view of the waters, and hear the sounds of the lake at night. They will enjoy the land and the workshop and the warmth of the hearth ad the love my parents set into motion.

And oddly enough, it was not hard at all.  Maybe after all of the drama, maybe after all of the fights, maybe after this bringing out the worst in almost everyone, it was time to let go.  I kept my cool, for the most part, most of the time during the struggle of almost 2 years since my father passed. Oh, but it has been hard, and tested every bit of me.

And so the closing was more than just a legal and real estate deal.  It was the closing of a huge chapter for me.  It was the closing of one of the most difficult chapters – no, THE most difficult chapter of my life thus far. Taking care of Mom when she was sick, Mom’s passing, taking care of Dad alone while he was sick, Dad’s passing, taking care of the estate with greedy, sniping siblings, dealing with negotiations, offers, counter offers, contracts, hurricanes, repairs, contractors, insurance…and finally, the sale. Handles completely alone.

Now the estate is settled. My job is complete. There is no more to do.

And now, I am free. Free to do as I please, where I choose, with whomever I choose. My debts have been paid in full, and I owe nothing. And that freedom is both daunting and intoxicating. Life is an open road. Where shall I go? And damn where I want. I live by my rules now.

And so is the closing on one chapter, and the beginning of another. Life is short. Have adventures.

The Last Night

It was the last night at the compound, after two of the most difficult weeks. The contractor refusing to finish the job, having to get more contractors in to finish everything, lots of family drama, lots of loose ends to get tied up, lots of rain making things hard, not much sleep and a lot of stress.  And then…suddenly, it was the night before closing, and all through the house, I was the only mouse stirring.

It was surreal as I gently packed up the last of what I would take and arranged everything to look good for the new family that would move in in less than 24 hours. I cried, as I thought of all the wonderful memories of the good times here, while we were all still a family. FAMILY. A sacred word in that space, in that house in that time.

But it was time to let it all go.  Life then is not the same life it is now.  So many are gone and not coming back. It was time to pass the torch to another family, to make wonderful memories in that beautiful place. Other laughter, other good times, other gifts given to others from others. Yes, it was time to let go.

And on that last night, there was closure of the circle. And I slept sound, comfortable in the knowledge that all was as it should be.  That the saga was over, and life is budding with new opportunities.

And in that last night, I said goodbye. And is saying goodbye, I found Peace.  And isn’t that just how life is?  Sometimes, even when it is difficult, when it is time to let go, there is a peace at the end of it. And after all, that which gives you peace will lead to happiness. And so it goes…

The Busy Time

It is that time of year where everything gets cray busy. Between work, friends, decorating, shopping, planning tips, catching up, and everyday business, it is hard to cach your breath.  Add to that the craziness that has been getting ready for the closing, doing voice work, dealing with crazy family drama and moving things up from point A to point B…and Life has been going at break neck speed. I need to double my vitamins just to keep up.

I am very much looking forward to the day when things slow down.  When I can breath and when all of everything is handled. But even in the most hectic of times, we must take a breath and let go.  I have been praying that it all comes together and works out, letting God work His magic through my life. After you have done everything you can do, it is what ever it will be.

And isn’t that the case with life?  We cannot force it, and if we do, things usually end up worse how they started. Maybe we try to force it because we are afraid of it not working out the way we envisioned. Or maybe we, as humans, are just stubborn to give up control.

When this week has been overwhelming, I go to where all the heirlooms are in my house.  Those wonderful things that have been passed down to me.  And I am instantly at peace with the world.  I am not a materialist person, but these items, cherished my my parents, are now cherished by me.  There is comfort and belonging with them.

Yes, in this busy time, we can all take a moment to observe what gives us peace, purpose and fulfillment.  Because on the busiest or hardest of days, that is what will get us through. And now, all before this chapter is closed and other is spectacularly opened, I cherish those quiet seconds, as I am comfortable with my place in this world.

The Happy Christmas Tree

There are times in life when we look up and realize that things have all worked out, that we are good, that life is good.  This realization can happen in the grocery store, at home, at work, in the car, or just about anywhere. And many times it is not one huge moment either. Many times it is a quiet moment, a small stitch in time, when it happens. And when it does, you the reaction isn’t always big, but many times small as well.  Subtle, maybe even unnoticeable to those who are not observant.  But you smile and feel warm all over.

It is the holiday season, one of the hardest seasons of the year for many people. Those who are alone, who have lost loved ones or who are away from home. Last Christmas was terrible difficult for me. And throughout the year, there have been some very hard moments.  There has been some very deep healing. And many times, you do not even realize that the healing is happening, because you are simply going through your day and your life, getting things done.

Last night I was putting up the Christmas tree. I decided that this year, Christmas was going to be celebrated. The tree, the ornaments, the decorations, the lights, they were all going up.  This year, life and all it’s trappings will be celebrated. And I put the lights on the tree, quietly humming and smiling. And then it was all the ornaments, placed carefully, finding the perfect place for each of them.

And there in my living room, I had a wonderful, small, quiet moment. I looked up from the tree and felt a warmth in my heart. There I was in my little house, decorating the tree, celebrating the holidays and my little life. And it occurred to me that I am happy.  Blissfully happy.  In this moment,  everything for which I have prayed: A life full of love, wonderful friends, a great job, a wonderful career, I am no longer alone and everything is falling into place.

And maybe that is how it is in life…slowly, surely, as we are busy taking all of those baby steps, we travel thousands of miles to where we are happy. And so seamless is the transition, we don’t even feel it until we are fully in its embrace.

Then when we get to that happy place, we get to decorate our life however we want.  Because we feel joy borne from tragedy. And that kind of joy bubbling up from the deepest places is so true, so distinct, so strong, that it can make any life beautiful.

And so it goes.



All as it Should

The holiday season can be a hard time for those who have lost loved ones. It can be a hard time for those who are alone, or those who have moved away from family, or those who find themselves in the middle of a transition in their life. Facing the holidays can be daunting as you try to figure out what to do and how.

We all have those moments were we realize that there has been a shift . It could be a change in season, a relationship, a job, or life.  And in this holiday season, there has been a huge shift in my life.

Last holiday season was one of the worst I have ever experienced. It was the first without both of my parents. There had been so much loss including love and siblings, that I was truly devastated.

When hard times happen, you have c choice to let it drag you down, or use it to rise above. I chose to make love so present in my life that it is tangible.  So, if I didn’t have any family, I was going to make it the best Framily holiday ever.

An interesting and wonderful thing happens with you live life with love forward…it is returned back to you.  Several wonderful close friends extended invitations for Thanksgiving. And then I got an invitation from a dear cousin, and immediately excepted.  Excited to see them, I hit the road for the short trip Thanksgiving morning.  And the adventure began…

It was wonderful, seeing everyone, catching up, and laughing. My heart was full and happy as I saw family that I had not seen in a year or more. There was so much love in that house an in those conversations.  Many smiles and hugs and genuine conversations. So much support.

I had forgotten what it was like to have a family. To have those who love you and whom you love around.  In the midst of grief and being so busy, I had forgotten what it was like to feel loved.

And then as I snuggled down into the sheets and under the big blankets of my cousins bed, I realized that I was no longer alone.

And I felt so loved and so not alone, that I slept deeper than I had in a few years. I woke up  feeling light and happy and wonderful.

The rest of the Thanksgiving weekend was spent at the family compound, then visiting my dearest friends, more laughter, drinks, good food and more love.

Finally, my life has shifted. And I ma so thankful and happy that I just sat down and sobbed when I go home. This is it. This is the life I have wanted and worked and prayed for. This is life as it should be.

I am no longer alone. I have a wonderful family and amazing friends. This is all that life should be. And this is the life that I am blessed to have.

Life is short. Love much, love hard, and love forward.

What Are You Hungry For?

We all have those moments that give us pause. And sometimes they can come from the strangest places. Like last night. It is a tag line I heard while the TV was on in the background. It was an interview with Deepak Chopra’s new book, What are You Hungry For? And suddenly my ears perked up and time stopped for a moment.  In this time of transition, it is a timely question. And it made me think…

What am I hungry for? In short, on word cam e to mind: Life. I am hungry for life. But on my terms, which, let’s face it, doesn’t always happen. So how do we navigate this game called life when the terms are not always our own?  Well,I don;t know what works for everyone, but for me it is prayer.  Because I a not the most patient person, I am not the most gracious, or graceful.

So I have to pray for those things. Because I want what I want and I want it now.  And I am constantly playing chess so to speak. Meaning that I am always planning 2-3 (or more) moves ahead. I am constantly working and planning and adjusting.  While it may seem like I am a fly by the seat of my pants kind of person, and in many ways I am, the risks I take have been calculated. The spontaneous plans are because I have done the leg work already,  and the odds are in my favor – even if no one sees it but me. Because I have been planning all along.

But that takes work. And a lot of prayer and faith. But Ia m hungry, for all that this life has to offer.  I am hungry for these pans I have to work out, for the adventures the experiences, the thrills and the chills. I am hungry for it all. After the last few years I feel a if I have been starving, and I can smell a five start seven course meal.

But hungry for more than that, I am hungry for warmth, and love and friendship and laughter, and trust and loyalty and deep embraces and stability. I am hungry for food for the soul and healing.  I am hungry for all that my family of choice have to offer and what I can share with them as well  I am ready to get on with it.

Everything I want, everything for which I have prayed, is within reach.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, I jut have to make it to the finish line. And I pray that it all works out, because in the end it always does. And when it does not work out on your terms so to speak, then just adapt. Make it your terms and work with what you have, Because the Universe loves a stubborn heart.

Life is short. Feast on what you are hungry for. Feast on what will feed your soul and heart.


There is a feeling that we all get from time to time.  It starts out small, from deep within.  Then it grows and grows until it is satiated. It is thirst. Thirst for life, for adventure, for love, a sense of knowing and feeling that were are alive. A sense of knowing that we are fully experiencing life. It is breaking out of the lonely  or isolation and turning to your dreams, with your feet still on the ground. It is thirst for knowledge as well.

There is a wanderlust to see new places, experience new things, make new memories. Fresh air from fresh perspectives.  Why do we go through phases of thirst?  Maybe after a long, hard time, we need to break out.  Maybe after feeling responsible for too much for too long. Or maybe just a simple need to feed curiosity and to learn new things. A thirst to mix in a bit of adventure into the every day. Take pictures of the strange pleases visited and have stories to tell around the hearth of a happy home.

I have always said that we must always be curious about life and the world around us. And that curiosity has created a deep thirst inside of me. I want to go and see and do and be.  I want to break out of all that has passed and celebrate life at full force.  Tired of waiting, patience has not always been my strong point, especially when I know what I want.

And that is perhaps one of the most difficult things for me, at this moment. To be ready and thirsty, but have to wait. Even just a little while longer. Trips are being planned, adventures to enjoy that will mark the start of a new phase of this life. Leaving all the old, tattered and torn behind, to step into and embrace what moving forward is all about.

But that does not always mean you must go far and away. And so closer to home there is learning the Tango, and going to new places to eat when meeting old friends. It is something to celebrate because the thirst also marks something else – the return of my curiosity, and the energy to follow it. The adrenaline junkie within me, sitting on my shoulder now, whispering in my ear.

But it is a thirst for more than adventure and excitement.  It is a thirst for a fulfilling life. It is a thirst to do better and be better in every way.  To work hard, play hard, and rest heard. To laugh as much as possible because there have been more tears shed than are even in the ocean. It is the thirst for balance. It is the search for deep love, acceptance, friendships, understanding, compassion and empathy. It is the thirst for the beauty and humanity in life. It is the thirst for enjoying the perfect small moments as well as having your breath taken away by what you never thought existed.

So here I am and here I go, drinking in every delicious moment of life, down to the last drop. The Fall air will (eventually) bring cooler temperatures, perfect for talking on outside patios and decks. My home finally settled, life is getting good. Thirsty for more, looking forward to a big tall glass, maybe even a pitcher, of all the future holds.

Life is short. Stay thirsty my friends.

The Joy of Girling

There is a joy in being the girl. There is a joy in being feminine. A joy to curling the eyelashes, applying the lipstick and moving in mysterious ways. There is a joy in being soft and smelling wonderful.

And I am loving all of it.  Fixing my hair again, long baths in wonderful oils, and candles glowing, giving off a warm light.  I feel good, I look good, smell good, and did I mention, feel good?  My nails are polished, both fingers and toes. The hair is fresh. And life is good.

And there is a smile that travels across my face, from the depths of my heart. Someone  this passed weekend, reminded me that “they have been through a lot.” And indeed they have.  Everyone has been through a lot by a certain age. And to declare it and want attention for it, is like saying “I have two feet!” big deal, So does everybody else. The same with all the “a lot” we have all been through.

The trick is how we come out of it, if we do. Some people choose to let it make them fearful.  They shrivel up, keeping others at arms distance, out of fear of being hurt and going through “a lot” again. Some let it make them bitter. Some simply hide it a little hole and bury themselves in work and excuses to stop living and start just existing.

But not me. I will do none of that. The worst that has happened is not where I am going to set the bar. No, I will not have my worst days as the boundaries of my life and my heart. I will not let what has broken my heart, even recently, make me anything but finer. You won’t see me throwing a pity party, or lowering my head.

I will instead stand at the edge of the cliff, arms open wide and shout out to the wind that I am ready. I will face life, and all that is in it, head on. I am not scared or intimidated in any way. Bring. It. On. With a smile on my lips, a mischievous twinkle in my eye, and a spring in my step, I will make this spectacular.

What “a lot” I have been through is no measure of my life. It is however, what has made me brave, and strong, and ready to love with no boundaries. I want to feel life in full force. After all, if my “a lot” hasn’t killed me, then what do I have to fear?


So I want to love fully, with my whole heart, I want to hold hands, and feel kisses, and enjoy this fall weather (if it ever cools down). I want to laugh uncontrollably, have have tears falling down my cheeks from that laughter. I want smiles and late night conversations, and snuggles and closeness. I want LIFE.

The offer has been finalized and the house is selling. Career is wonderful and friends are all around. Only one thing is missing, and I have a sneaky feeling it will be along presently. In the meantime…

I will enjoy being a woman. I will relish doing all things girly. The hair, the nails. the shoes, the everything of being feminine. Because part of life is having fun. Part of living to the fullest is enjoying who you are, where you are, and understanding that where you stand is holy ground.

Life is short. Life is what you make it. So make it full of wonderful.

Playing Dress Up

It was a great night, with wine, friends, lots of love and dresses that I had not tried on in years. A much needed night of fun amd dress up. As girls, we never outgrow fixing our hair and make up, and putting on a pretty dress. As women, we never outgrow feeling pretty.

Always celebrate yourself and what you have to offer the world. Be the best human being you can, work hard, and have fun.

Life is short. Celebrate it.


It seems, and I have read in several places, that one of the keys to knocking things off the To Do list is to divide everything up in chunks.  This makes sense but can be very hard for someone who likes to tackle things all at once, like me.

It has even been suggested that you can divide your day into 30 minute chunks.  That way, even if you only have 30 minutes in between tasks or meetings, you can still chip away at the things you need to do.

Think about how much we could accomplish if we folded clothes for 30 minutes before leaving for dinner, or worked out for 30 minutes , or the thousand things that we need to do, for just 30 minutes each day. Or even if we took care of ourselves and meditated or sat quietly for 30 minutes.

This may also be the key to not getting overwhelmed by that To Do list.  Because, let’s face it, sometimes that list can seem like the Giant in Jack and the Beanstalk.  For instance, I have many articles to write, need to do laundry, and the dust bunnies are waging war with the fur balls under the bed. Dusting needs to be done, mopping, organizing my closet (cleaning it out), and let’s not forget the exercise thing.

It is easy to procrastinate a lot if we don’t have an entire day to work on those major projects, like the closet, or the garage. But if we slowly chip away chunks of those tasks, in baby steps, maybe we can get them done after all.

And is’t it the same with life?  When we are trying to make major changes and shifts in our life, it requires a lot of time and work. And we may get discouraged or may not start, or feel that we are stuck – because we don’t have the large amount of time required to do it all in once, graceful swoop. But when is life ever graceful?

Change is uncomfortable and working to make change is arduous, but worth it. That is why we have to stick with it to be successful, not matter of it is mopping the floor, or changing your life situation. An honestly, what can we not endure for 30 minutes?  No matter how much you dislike something, you can make yourself do 30 minutes of it – exercise, yard work, dealing with a difficult person.  I can even tread water for 30 minutes if I have to.

And maybe if we go in 30 minute baby step chunks, we can get there faster than we think. The great thing about life is that it is never too late to start. So join me won’t you?

Life short. So are 30 minutes intervals. Make them add up to something spectacular.

This Day

This day, September 11th, will always be remembered by those who were old enough to experience it. At the risk of sounding old, the younger generation has no idea what it is like to see, either in person or on the news, an area that vast, where rescuers are still looking for remains even a year later. They have no idea what it is like to know people who were or should have been in those buildings, wondering if they are alive, or if they were one of the many who jumped or were buried alive.

They have no idea what it was like to go and see Ground Zero, before it was built back up, before there were monuments and new buildings, when it was just a huge hole, larger than you could ever imagine, and know that so many people were now part of the dust.

To me this day is a somber one, but one we should never forget because there are so many lessons that were learned.  It was the day our innocence was lost as a country, I think.

But for me it is also a day to be thankful.  thankful that I live in this wonderful country. No matter how many problems we seem to have, at least we are free.  And I am thankful for that freedom.  That were are still Americans and not subject to Sharia Law. That as a woman, I am still allowed every right I had before that date so many years ago.

I am thankful for my job and amazing career, for my friends, and that we are all OK. That we work hard and have a roof over our heads, food, running water, electricity, a comfortable bed where we sleep and do not hear the sounds of guns shots and war, as many in other countries do.

For me this is a day to be thankful and realize how lucky I am, how lucky we are, as a nation. And I thank God.

And every day, I should do my bet to be my best, because by miracle and luck, I am in this country, the greatest country in the world.  And I should not take anything for granted. Life is delicate and fragile.  And today is not a dress rehearsal.

Life is short. Make it good. Make it memorable. Make it worth it.

Live in the Questions

In life, we are driven not only to asks questions, but to find the answers. But what if that is not the best way?  What if we have it wrong, forever searching for the answers to the questions we ask?

In a world of social media, Snapchat filters and who ever is perfect is the best, can we afford to not know? In a world of Google and the fastest with the answer wins, can it be that being patient with ourselves could be the secret? I think so.


Maybe the key to is to be patient with ourselves. Maybe we don’t have to know all the answers all of the time. What if we give ourselves permission to not know what we are doing, where we are going, or with whom?  Because let’s face it. No one knows all of the answers all of time. And even the people who seem to have it the most together, often times do not when the doors are closed and the blinds are drawn.

We have often heard that if we cannot change the circumstance, we can change our attitude about it. So, what if we savor the questions as part of the journey instead of tearing the world upside down looking for the answers?  No doubt, it is uncomfortable to not know the answers, but we were never promised to always be comfortable in life. We are not owed anything, much less always being comfortable. And discomfort, being out of our comfort zone, is often where the most growth happens.

What if we did view the questions as books, a great novel for us to read, that ultimately adds to our own life? It is often said that we find what we want when we stop searching.

My great search as of late, has been how to pick up and rebuild my life after this huge title wave took my family and left me with an unfamiliar landscape.  To say finding the answers has been brutal is an understatement.  And I still do not know exactly what the answers are. But maybe we are not supposed to know.  Maybe it is just in living my life every day, loving as much as I can, having faith and believing with all of my heart.  Maybe it is getting out of bed every day, and no matter how bad or depressed you feel, knowing deep down that you are stronger than all of it, and that you will rise.

Maybe it is simply allowing ourselves the comfort of the discomfort in not knowing. It’s OK, to be confused, or bored, or restless, or whatever. There is nothing so urgent that we have to know right now, or even tomorrow, or even next week or month.

So let’s leave the answers to the experts and just enjoy life.  Let Google sleep. Instead, let’s try to be the best that we can be, and strive to be better every day.  Think of how much energy we will save and laughter we will have when the great search is off of our shoulders.  Let’s always be curious about life, but not forget that what we seek is also seeking us. And let the answers come to us, as we are busy living, loving, being and growing, creating the wonderful, complex, amazing, tragic, spectacular life that we are destined to live.


Striving for Fall

As the holiday weekend approaches, it is the official end of summer.  Yes, in the south there will still be days of 90 or higher, but already the temperatures are cooler at night. The first day of fall is still some time away, but you can feel the shift in the air and in the attitudes of people.  Summer is carefree, vacations, day drinking, out on the lake, lazy weekends.  But fall is one of my favorite times of the year.

For me summer has always been a busy time, but in fall I can enjoy my days more.  Windows are open so a  fresh breeze can flow through the house, but this time with no danger of pollen. Temperatures of more enjoyable as the heat of summer subsides, making outside patios more inviting.  the humidity lowers a bit, and even on the cool evenings it is easier to spend time on the deck with friends, sipping wine or hot tea.

The weekend is the last blowout of summer.  It also brings with it my father’s birthday – he would have been 82. And so a quiet toast to the man who was my first love, the man who taught me how a woman should be treated, the man who made my mother so undeniably happy.

This weekend also brings the welcome of the next season for me.  I have worked hard to get everything lined up, and with a lot of prayer, sweat equity and faith, it is all coming to fruition.  All I have to do is stay the course.

But what do we do when life is falling into place?  That may seem like a strange question, but it makes sense.  We strive, because we must always work hard to be better and to be curious of the world around us. When we stop learning and growing then we become stagnant.

Sometimes that means fine tuning our daily habits.  Because ultimately our daily habits define who we are and what we are to become. For me, this means, as much as I hate to admit it, I need some routine in my life.  I am working on getting to bed earlier, to get up earlier, work out, drink more water, read more, depend on technology less. Which means I need discipline to reduce the bad habits.

By reducing our bad habits, we open the door for more positivity to come into our lives. And who can’t use more of that? Oh, but it is hard.  Because we certainly do enjoy those bad habits or at least I do.  But maybe if we can reduce the frequency of the bad habits, then they can instead become guilty pleasures, to be indulged less often, but enjoyed much more. And maybe that is one of the secrets to life.

So this Fall I strive. And hopefully striving will continue to thriving. And the warmth of all of it, of a happy life and a happy heart, will keep me cozy during winter’s cold.  After all, there is nothing like a fire in the soul to heat the heart and the home. So strive.

Life is short.  Make it good.


The Fruition of a Passionate Soul on Fire

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.  – Maya Angelou

There are times in life when you just feel the electricity in the  air.  It is the energy of possibilities of the future. There is a shift, and all of the sudden you are sensitive to everything that is within your grasp. And it is exciting. Maybe it happens after a hard time. Or maybe after working hard, and after the dust clears, you see a glimpse of the future. Maybe it is an “ah-ha” moment, when the light comes on in your mind. Who knows, but no matter the source, the energy is undeniable.

There is a fire within me, burns from my soul to and goes where the heart meets the mind. After a few years of sleeping, the passion has awakened and I am excited about all of the possibilities in the future. I have set my intentions – the latest contract, remote freelance, personal business and investment goals.  Fitness goals, travel and fun.

I have more energy than I have had in a long time, even if I have a hard time keeping focused.

There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living. – Nelson Mandela

I am acutely aware that everything for which I have prayed, I have been given.  By the Grace of God go I. There has been a lot of work and a lot of preparation, but in two months, the landscape of life will look completely different. This is extremely exciting.

And what is also exciting is when you see everything lining up with your goals and aspirations. You work hard in this life, dream big, pour your heart and soul, blood, sweat and tears into building the life that you want. And then, you see the light at the end of the tunnel. You see things lining up, you feel those dreams getting closer.  And you cannot wait, excitement brimming from every part of you.

This is where I am. A friend of mine sent me a massage saying that she loved seeing all of my happy posts on social media.  What is even better than seeing them, is posting them. Know that this is my time. But it is more than that.  There is a deeper happiness, a deeper appreciation, a deeper sense of self and satisfaction than ever before.

Patience has never been my strong point, and I am anxious for these changes and the new good to start.  But there are moments here to still savor.  There is so much beauty in where I am, and where I am going, that I do not want to miss a single moment. Every breath, every heartbeat, every second, is a gift filled with all the magic mysteries of life.  And I am beyond grateful for all of them.

Finally, this little life that has been under construction for so long, is about to break free, shiny, new, and glorious. Life is short.  Make it good.

Skydiving: Life is Short Make it Fun

“Life is short, so enjoy it to the fullest.” – John Walters

We have all heard the saying that life is short. And it is.  And I think you realize that more and more the older that you get.  Because as we age we see more and more how delicate life is balanced.

We also understand the need to have fun. Truly all work and no play makes for a very tiring life.  We need things to celebrate, to remind us that there is life past our own noses and jobs. There is life beyond our own little problems.

It was a right of passage in a way.  It was also a way to honor my mother’s memory and her ever adventurous spirit. ( And it was an excuse to do something I had always wanted to do. So I did it, and my friend H did it with me.  We went skydiving.

The day started with a quick stop for quick breakfast.  We ended up being serenaded by two older gentlemen who were playing guitar and fiddle, singing old time blue grass music.  What a wonderful way to start the adventure.

Next stop was the municipal airport where the adventure would take place. Two buildings – an airplane hanger and a small shed. And a tiny runway. H and I looked at each other and wondered if we were in the right place. We went in and sure enough, there was a buzz of activity and people getting ready to jump out of a plane. We signed in and signed the very long waiver, which was also being read on video, by a man who looked like he could have led the Branch Davidians – long beard, crazy wild eyes, a dark panel background and very bad lighting.  H and I giggled as we settled in to wait for out turn.

There were four girls in our group and after we were all harnessed up, one of the girls, in her mid 20s,  announced that the contraption which were were all in looked like a sex-swing, and even pointed out where the feet would go.  Again we giggle, and wondered how she knew such things. She blushed after she realized she had made the announcement out loud, in her “outside” voice.

I had to take off my cross, and when I took it to the car I noticed the time on my cell phone – 12:16. Mom passed on 12:18. I smiled at the coinsedence. I then walked back to the area we were we were all waiting, and saw a wonderful, beautiful butterfly flutter across the airplane terminal and across the tarmac.  And smiled again as I took it as a sign from my mother.

Next we met our jump masters and loaded up onto the the plane. My guy was called Dark Side. I took that as another good sign. The plane had two benches and we were crammed in, all of us excited and nervous.  My friend and I exchanged several nervous glances as we went up 14,000 feet.  It’s at this point where things take quite a commical turn. Anyone who knows me knows I wear hard contact lenses, and have had many adventures of loosing them in several strange and inteeresting ways. But this may beat all.

As Dark side adjusted on goggles, one of my contacts popped out as the goggles went tight around my head and eyes.  We were about 20 seconds away from jumping, so there was no time to adjust.  And as we stood at the endge of the plane, the wind of outside roaring in my ears, I figured the lens was gone and quickly realized excitement was turning into a fear. Holy crap, I was about to jump out of a plane at 14,000 feet.

And then we jumped. The roar of the wind was loud, and the experience took my breath away.  Fear quickly turned to thrill as the adenaline rushed through my veins. It was amazing.  The view was amazing.  I took out the envelope that contained my mothers letter, said a prayer and let it go, for the Angels to deliver to her.

After an amazing free fall, Dark Side opened the parachute and we slowed down to a peaceful float.  He took my goggles of and I enjoyed the view. And Then, then I felt something on my cheek.  It was the lost contact lens, somehow sticking on my cheek through the jump, through the free fall and through the chute opening and goggles being taken off.  I quickly got it off my cheek and placed it in my mouth – what else are you going to do with it at 5,000 feet? I just had to laugh dumbfounded at my luck.

We continued to float down, as he spun me around this way and that way until it was time to land. It was an incredible experience. It marked the end of mourning and the start of this new phase of life. Mom has been gone for 2 years and I have served the family well. I honored her, and did something fun and amazing for myself. Everything is lining up for moving forward. And it feels wonderful.

Life is short. Make it fun. Make it spectacular.

The Accidental Staycation

When you do contract work, you have a lot of flexibility.  If you need time off, have an appointment, if you need to work later or get off earlier..typically as long as your works gets done, most places give you as much flexibility as you need. However, it swings both ways and it that regard, you are at the mercy of those for whom you are working. I was told earlier this week that the team with which I work would be pretty much off this week.  It is holiday week, summer and most are out of the office.  Therefor, I would have off too.

The short notice did not allow for any trips to be taken, and I am happy with that.  How many times have I thought to myself “wish I had a week to get my house in oder…or to play in the garden, or to relax and catch up on movies, or reading, or writing…or all of the above?

And so it goes.  I will have my first official staycation of the year.  A few days of sleeping later because trying to gt used to going to bed earlier, and rising in time to enjoy cool summer mornings on the back deck, with coffee. There will be cleaning, and organizing, and unpacking and planning.  And exercising. There will be hiking and visiting a Buddist center. There will be wine and laughter and friends. And a lot of wonderful.

I am so excited about this unexpected  time off that I am about to pop.  Tickled pink and planning all kinds of thing for the next 9 days. Life is what you make it, my friend. SO make it good, and make it happy.

Let the Fierce within you sleep

Though she be but little, she is fierce. –  Shakespeare

It has been said by many that you must be fierce in order to survive in this day and age.  Indeed, with internet trolls, bullying, rude people, and those who just don’t care, it’s a tough world out there. And indeed, I have had to be fierce as well.  Especially after the passing of my parents.  Dealing with estate issues, family issues, legal issues and financial issues, I was all issued out.  And I had to be assertive to make sure that everything was done correctly, on time and by the right people.

But being fierce will also wear you out.  Because you must constantly be on the lookout, always aware, always “on.” You cannot be fierce all the time, you must be able to relax and enjoy life too. You must be able to be vulnerable, to laugh and smile and have fun as well. You must be able to have compassion and empathy and kindness and grace. The fact of the matter is that there is a season for everything in life, and fierceness cannot last.

With God, you are stronger than your struggles and more fierce than your fears.

And so it is with me.  This is the season, this summer, of relaxing.  Of having fun. Of enjoying fireflies and putting my bare feet up on the dash board while singing at the top of my lungs. It is planting 130+ day lilies from my mother’s garden.  It is enjoying the smell of the honey suckle and watching the humming birds at the feeder. It is spending time with sick friends, talking softly over fears and memories. It is walking in the woods, being in nature and breathing deeply.  It is live music, and many concerts that I will be attending this summer.

The mountains, the forest, and the sea, render men savage; they develop the fierce, but yet do not destroy the human. – Victor Hugo

When you are strong, you do not need to wear that strength and fierceness on your sleeve, you do not need to advertise it or make sure that others see it.  It is there, when you need it.  And whether or not it is seen is not your concern. Your concern is to be happy, and to love life. You concern is to live the life you intended, the life you will be happy with in your last moments, will as few regrets as possible.  Your concern is to smile at the sun and howl at the moon, to run with the starts and sing with the wind.

I don’t always feel fierce and fearless, but I do feel like I’m a rock star at being human. – Tracee Ellis Ross

And I will let the fierce within me sleep.  I have fought to have everything in order, I have fought to put myself back together, one heartbeat at a time.  I have fought to have only those who deserve to be at my table, and I have fought to drive out those who are not worthy. My soul needs the rest and my mind needs to fun. My lips need to smile and my heart needs to laugh.

And so goes.

The interval between the decay of the old and the formation and establishment of the new constitutes a period of transition which must always necessarily be one of uncertainty, confusion, error, and wild and fierce fanaticism.  – John C. Calhoun