Inner Peace, musings

A Special Place

IMG_1557Roughly 11 miles from home down a curvy road leading to the woods where the only sounds are bird songs is a special place.

IMG_8977Arriving at this little cottage slows my heart and calms my spirit.

IMG_1555I love walking beneath the arbor where the sweet smell of roses perfumes the air.

IMG_1556All around is a profusion of colorful blooms that last until leaves fall and there is a hint of frost.

IMG_1558They are tended by the same loving hands that know all the secrets of my body.

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Carrying outside images in my head, I enter the cottage, take the stairs to the second level and nestle on the massage table beneath a light cover. I close my eyes and a peacefulness washes over me as I await the touch of those hands.

As they begin their work relieving the tightness and tension of muscle and joints, my mind stills.

I breathe. I sometimes cry softly when I remember my brother or a friend or wonder how to resolve a troubling brokenness that from time to time occurs in the family.  The hands stroke my hair with understanding.

Two hours fly by and when they are over I am renewed and so appreciative of those tender loving hands that exist in this very special place.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

happy place, musings

On Being Happy

sunset/anchorA few days ago my very good friend called asking if I’d be home for a while.  “I need to talk to you,” she said with such intensity that it scared me a little.  Imagining all kinds of things I waited impatiently for her to appear at my door.

Immediately upon entering she asked, “Are you happy?” I was stunned by the question and queried why she was asking. “Because,” she answered, “it seems so many people I know are unhappy, and I want to know about you.”

After thinking for a few minutes, I told her I wasn’t sure I was always happy but that my life was good in so many ways it was easy to be content.  That seemed to satisfy her and we went on to have a wonderful conversation about being happy.

Since then I’ve thought a lot about our talk and what prompted it asking over and over again what is happy.  Among the dictionary definitions is feeling or showing pleasure or contentment.  OK, so if I am content I must be happy, right?

The truth is I’m not always happy.  When things aren’t right in my family, I am very long faced.   A bad day playing tennis or duplicate bridge can put me in a funk.  Conflict of any kind causes my emotional barometer to be very unsteady.  Having a friend learn that cancer has returned or who suffers from dementia breaks my heart.  Losing a family member or a friend upsets the rhythms of my life.

Is that all to say that life resembles a roller coaster?  It has its ups and downs meaning we have no choice but to roll with it being sure not to let the downs become a permanent condition. Being happy can be such a challenge because some days are just bad days or as one friend says, “There’s no such thing as a bad day. Some days are just better than others.” When those days occur, there is a choice to make and that is whether to embrace life with all it has to offer or to remain stuck in place.  Can you guess my choice?

Boy, I don’t have all the answers for what it takes to be happy, but I do think that part of it is the ability to move on, to choose how you are going to let life affect you.  What I know for sure is that I am on the downside having lived more than half my life and I don’t want to waste a single minute being unhappy. I want to find joy in the ordinary of each day and in loving and being loved.

How about you?  What is your take on happy?

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

entertainment, musings, Random

Hamilton: My Take

23658880_2002841116409422_3647036226683360056_nWhen there is as much hype surrounding an event as has happened with the block buster show Hamilton, one can only wonder if it is as good as advertised.  The answer is an enthusiastic YES! I held off going during its Houston run because the tickets are pricey, but at the last minute there were some single seats available for a somewhat reasonable price, and I bit ending up with a great seat close to the stage.

What immediately grabbed me is the energy of the production which the audience responded to in kind.  Throughout the performance, theater goers were showing their appreciation with cheers and hands together.  I was among them, but there was something else that generated my response, and that is the sheer genius of the show.

41Va8thFjQL._SL500_As the story goes, the creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, was inspired by Ron Chernow’s book Hamilton.  Now, I read the book and while I learned much about Alexander Hamilton and his contemporaries, I got so bogged down in detail that I couldn’t imagine being creatively inspired.  Thankfully, Miranda did not have the same response.  As a result, he presents American history with a lesser known founding father, Hamilton, as the central character surrounded by the more familiar Washington, Jefferson, Madison and others.

There is no question that Hamilton is successful theater, but I think it is more than that.  It is a reminder that perhaps we don’t know as much about history as we might.  Alexander Hamilton has been little more than a blip on the screen with reference to him being that he was the first Secretary of the Treasury and that he was killed by Aaron Burr.  What the play does is enlarge his role among the founding fathers and engage an audience by entertaining with fact.  There were a lot of young people in the theater, and I doubt they were thinking about Hamilton being a learning opportunity but there it was. As I observed their faces and responded to their cheers, I couldn’t help but wonder if they might be inspired to pay more attention to history and current events if it were presented more creatively.

Not often do I leave theater with so many thoughts swirling in my head.  I have such appreciation for Chernow for having written a book about a relatively obscure historical person and for Miranda whose unique creative response has had such impact.  Not everyone will have the opportunity to see Hamilton on stage, but I’m betting its influence will be felt far and wide.  It is not theater that I will soon forget, and it will be interesting to see what the followup is.

Oh, if you happen to have opportunity to see the show, I recommend listening to the music in advance as it makes it easier to follow during the performance.  The soundtrack is on uTube.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

musings, Random

What’s a Parent to Do?

“Mom, Dad, you guys need to start getting rid of some of your stuff.”  

These are the words we are hearing often from our daughters.  While they may be right, here’s what we hear in those words.

  1.  You are getting old.
  2.  We don’t want to have to deal with it when you can’t.
  3.  We don’t want any of it.

Now, there’s probably some truth in all of that, but none of it feels very good.  And, it makes me a little sad that none of what we have seems important to our kids.  There was a time when things were passed down, but these days it appears that is not the case as adult children enjoy more collecting their own things.

So, what’s a parent to do?  Well, the easiest thing would be to donate the unnecessaries.  Eventually, I will do that, but for now I still enjoy having a garage sale.  Of course, you sell for pennies on the dollar, but people who buy think they are getting a good deal and I like the interacting and the deal making which is a big part of a garage sale.

IMG_1008While some clever person actually published a wonderful book of garage sale photos, I’m probably not that ambitious, so I focus on the presentation as if I were doing a shop.

IMG_0991Clothes are carefully organized by style, size and gender.  A simple rack the hubby made for me back in the days when I did shows displaying my woven pieces has been invaluable for garage sales.

IMG_0993The same is true for another of his clever creations which works perfectly for arranging accessories.

IMG_0990Household and kitchen goods are arranged just so making it easy for shoppers to see without having to move things around.

IMG_0992Books are always a challenge, and no matter how orderly I arrange them it doesn’t take long for them to be all askew.

IMG_0999At the end of the day most of the stuff is gone, and I feel good about having gotten rid of some of what the girls don’t want to have to deal with.  My only disappointment is that this top didn’t sell.  Maybe all the stories that go with it mean that it should stay with me for at least one more Christmas dinner!

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

musings

How Things Change

West UWhen we built our house 26 years ago in a style influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright, our sanity was questioned.

IMG_0564Here we were in the midst of very traditional homes, many dating back to the 1930’s, and we were introducing a totally different style.

To make matters worse, during construction I was running for office. Someone who apparently objected to the look we had chosen wrote a letter to the editor questioning my abilities considering my taste in architecture!  After that there was never a time when we came by to view progress that we didn’t find curious people walking through. That was a pretty easy way to meet folks and I’ve always laughed thinking that the house provided a successful campaign outcome.  

IMG_0560Well, that was then and this is now.

IMG_0578In the last couple of years, new construction indicates a changing taste in architecture.

IMG_0561Since the 1980’s when redevelopment in this area began, decades have been defined by home styles so these may well be the look for the second decade of the 21st century. 

IMG_0576 (1)I am glad that our house no longer stands alone when it comes to architectural style. It is reassuring that it is as relevant today as it would have been had it been built in the 1930’s which was our intent.  No matter one’s taste in architecture,  an important criteria is that it withstand the test of time.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

 

 

musings, Random

It’s Time

It is not often I share personal opinions on my blog as it is safer to write about food or travel or art. The recent tragedy at Parkland High School, however, compels me to speak out because it is silence that keeps change from happening. One thing I know for sure is that these senseless killings must not continue and our voices must be heard.

Americans own more guns than people in any other country.  We’ve not had them in our house, and in these parts that may be the exception rather than the norm. Now I have no problem with regular people like you and me owning guns provided they are gotten through appropriate channels and used primarily for recreational purposes. That does not include shooting aimlessly into a crowd of people. What I do have a problem with is the seemingly easy access to high powered automatic assault rifles.  Couple that with mental illness and there is a recipe for disaster as evidenced in the mass killings that have occurred since Columbine.

Why politicians have been so slow to address these tragedies with more than a sympathetic comment or two is beyond me, but maybe, just maybe, the current response of this country’s teenagers will get their attention. This is not a time for left vs. right or Republican vs. Democrat. It is a time for every effort to be made to stop these acts of uncalled for violence that rock the country. For sure, there must be more rigid controls and background checks that make it harder for anyone to buy weapons, but that alone will not prevent another tragedy. 

In the near term, maybe we as individuals can have an impact by supporting those businesses like WalMart and Dick’s Sporting Goods that are pulling assault rifles from their inventory. We can choose to acknowledge our approval of and do business with those like Delta and United airlines, Hertz, MetLife, Wyndham and so many others who’ve withdrawn their support from the NRA. We can let our elected officials know that it’s time for them to take action.

It is time for all of us who call America home to come together to help create a safer place to work, go to school, attend concerts, walk in the park. I’d like to think that can be done without arming teachers who have no experience with guns. Am I an idealist? Yes, but I believe in the goodness of people and think that together we can help right some wrongs. Won’t you join me?

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind