Sunday, June 24, 2018

Cats and Dogs

     I've been thinking a little bit lately about cats and dogs.... no, not about pets we've known and loved, and not about torrentially rainy days.... about love.

     It occured to me while talking to a young friend about how stifled and closed she feels like her relationship with her husband is, how many times I've heard the same complaint from my female kith and kin over the years.  Their hearts have been torn, they have felt loneliness and rejection from their husbands.  Yet they will say things like, "I really have no reason to complain.  He's good to me, he's faithful, he comes home every night to me and the kids.  He buys sweet gifts for Mother's Day, my birthday, Valentine's Day."  But then they go on to say, "But somehow we just don't feel connected.  We don't really share our lives.  He just comes and goes in our relationship."

     I hear comments like, "It doesn't matter how much attention I give to him, how much I praise him, snuggle with him on the couch.  He accepts only as much of my advances, courting, or wooing as he's in the mood for, and then he moves on."  

    Now, I don't intend to imply that this is the case in all marriages, or in any marriage all of the time.  It most likely doesn't apply to yours at all.  It really doesn't apply to mine.  (I live with a psychiatric therapist.)  I'm speaking in generalities, and we don't really live in generalities for the most part. It's kind of like finding and describing the "average" person.  What is average, anyway?  But I digress. 

    It has been brought to my attention often enough, and by a large enough number of women to cause me to reflect on the way men love women, and the way women love men.  Here's a thought that popped into my mind.  Like all analogies, it is imperfect.  Please read it gently.

    A cat is an independent animal.  He has a life completely separate from the family he shares a home with.  He comes into the yard or the house to be fed and watered, to sleep on his bed, and to jump on his master's lap for petting.... until he's had all he wants.  Then he simply wants to be left alone.  Often, he will express his appreciation for stroking his fur by snuggling close to you and  purring gently before falling asleep in your arms.  When he wakes, he may or may not stretch, but there is no cuddling, no purring, no licking your hand, he just jumps down and moves into his day. Now and then he will bring you a mouse or some other gift to let you know that you are HIS special person. He drops it at your feet and waits for you to acknowledge his gift.  Kinda like a man.

   A dog is a pleaser.  He wants nothing more than to make you happy.  His day begins and ends with you.  He wags his tail, sometimes his entire body, in excitement when you walk in the door.  He will run to you, bark a happy greeting, beg for your attention.  When he receives it, he gives all of his attention to you in return.  No matter how tired he appears, when he senses a playful spirit in you, he is ready to fetch the ball you throw, jump in the water with you, or accompany you on a hike in the hills.  He is keenly aware of your moods, lonely, depressed, worried, or when you're sick or injured, and he will stay by your side until he's assured you're feeling better.  Kinda like a woman.

     As I stated, it isn't a perfect analogy, they seldom are.... but in my mind, close enough to play around with.  So, toss it in the air, kick it around, roll on the ground with it, and see where it lands for you.  

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

I find it odd...

     I do find it a wee bit odd how our lives mellow and meld into nature as we age.  I've noticed that the older I get, the more interested and entertained I am by the simplest of things. 

     As I dressed this morning, I was struck by how often we seem to decorate our day by decorating ourselves.  I shimmied into a pair of jean capris from last summer that I almost fit in,  pulled a favorite denim blouse from the back of the closet, and then placed three pearl bracelets on my wrist, and an eight strand pearl necklace around my neck.  Sounds a bit strange, I know.... but the overall look is casual, and it came together exceptionally well.  I was both surprised and tickled at the outcome. I was interested and entertained by the everyday act of putting together something to wear.

     I walked to the kitchen and put the teapot on to boil.  I hummed as I sliced an orange that was picked from a Southern California tree only days ago, and watched the tiny rivers of juice as they spilled onto the counter. I smiled broadly when the teapot began to whistle and took took a blue china cup from the cupboard, filled it with steaming water, and the aromatic blend of my morning "cupa hot".  I was interested and entertained as I submerged myself in the daily routine.

     I sipped the soothing brew and watched two small lizards chasing one another up and down the trunk of a Mimosa tree that shades our pond.  I found myself writing and rewriting the story of their romance as they scampered behind branches playing a game of hide and seek with one another.  It was delightful.  I noticed the Mourning Doves, Robins, and Finches that come several times each day to nibble on the birdseed that I set on our wall, and to splash and drink from the flowing water as it burbles and glides over flat rocks that form a waterfall above the pond.  I was interested and entertained as I became a peeping Tom, melding into one small act of nature taking place in my backyard.

     Now that I take another look at all of this... I don't find it odd at all.   Life is delicious!  It is my hope that I will maintain a measure of awareness for all that is mine to relish in and savor in this marvel of a world that is ours...all that a benevolent Father in Heaven has bestowed on us all to keep us interested and entertained. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Don't Blink

June 22, 2016

My son-in-law, who we share a home with for five to six months out of the year, is a music hound. He has music playing most of the day.  Now, this is not soothing Indian Flute or Celtic Harp music softly playing in the background. This is (for the most part) Get Thee Up and MOVE Your Body music.  He likes a lot of country western tunes that tell stories or give advice.  Once such tune that he's been playing a lot lately is a little ditty by the name of "Don't Blink" by Kenny Chesney.  This is not a toe tapper.... it is not one you'd grab a partner and swing to.  It's one that makes you want to LISTEN to what is being said... and it's a doozy of a message!  It's my second favorite of the "if you're smart, you're going to heed what I'm telling you" tunes that I am quickly becoming fond of. We will discuss my all time number one choice another time.. and soon.

The gist:

A man who is 102 is being interviewed before the song begins.  He tells the young fella who is conducting the interview to tell your mama and pop every day that you love em.  Especially your mama.  Then the old man goes on to say that 100 years goes by faster than you think.... as fast as a blink.  It made me think about just how quickly I went from a skinny little 10 year old afraid of everything, to a chunky 74 year old who believes she can take on whatever comes her way and.. well, if not always win... at least survive with a little flair.

I remember when I was 14 just how much I wanted to be a 16 year old who had driving privileges and could date.  Then I wanted to be 18 so I could look for an apartment with a friend and be independant.  Then I wanted to be 21 so I could vote and feel like a REAL adult.  I just kept wanting to be a little bit older than I was.  When I was 23, I told everyone I was 25.  When I was 25, I told everyone I was 27.  When I was 27, I told everyone I was 30.  Why?  I don't know.  Maybe I wanted to be told I looked younger than my age. Who knows?  But, what in the heck was the rush?  (By the way.... I always DID look younger than my age)

I'll be 75 this November.  (Wow!  I've lived almost three quarters of a Century.)  And you know what? I'm not in a hurry to be older anymore.  I'm fine being 74 until I'm actually 75.  And I shall remain 75 until November 18 2017, when I really am 76.  Odd how that happened when it struck me that old age wasn't something in my future, was HERE.

What I've learned along the path to being a "senior citizen" is that life really does go by in a blink. I blinked and I was no longer a high school student.  I blinked and I was no longer a happy go lucky young girl in her early 20's, dating and being wooed by a bevy of suitors.  I blinked and I was a wife. I blinked and I was the mother of a beautiful baby boy...blink...two baby boys.  Blink... and a tiny, perfect, pink little girl,  ...Blink...a fourth baby was born.  I didn't mean to, but I blinked again, and these four adorable toddlers were driving, dating, graduating from high school... moving away from home.  Blink... a couple of them went to college. Blink... a couple of them married and had children of their own.  Blink... I am a grandmother.

I lie in bed in the still of the night and remember so many years that were filled with the making of memories. Winters sitting on the heater under a blanket laughing, sharing stories, planning vacations. (too many of them that were never taken)  There were some long nights waiting in the living room for a child to come home from a date, a school or church activity.  Mornings that we ate sleepy breakfasts of french toast, scrambled eggs, face pancakes, or Cream of Wheat.  Long walks were taken together in the orchard. Camping trips were taken with cousins.  Easter baskets were found at the end of yards and yards of string woven throughout the house.  Christmas was...well... Christmas was fantasy come to life.... always with a tree that took up half of the living room, and presents that spilled onto the other half.  Christmas breakfast was face pancakes with a red hat made of ham and whipped cream for fur and a beard.


We can't stop blinking... But, when we aren't, when our eyes are wide open, we can pay attention.  We can look deeply.  We can concentrate, focus.  We can really see .... and record, what's going on in our lives so that the memories will stay a little clearer, a little longer.


We don't camp with extended family any more.... maybe a trip every other year or so.  We don't sit on the heater and share giggles and hopes.  Breakfasts are rarely eaten together, and when we do, they're generally everyone grabbing what they're in the mood for... or have the time for.  The orchards have been turned into a subdivision.  Easter traditions are topics of conversation now and then, nothing more. And they each have their own (much smaller) trees, their own private, individual, time opening (far fewer) presents, and their own breakfast menu.


Those times we shared with one another are gone, the but the memories linger.  These days I try to watch my children and grandchildren with intent.  I lick their daily activities into memory the way I might lick a creamy twist cone on a hot summer day....slowly, savoring every bit of coolness, and the rich combination of distinct flavors.

And I try not to blink.

Monday, June 20, 2016

I think one of the greatest days of my entire life was when I was able to pass my first born child to my husband and watch the tears well as he held his son and realized that he was a father. He was so proud, and a wee bit overwhelmed by it all. It was a sweet moment.

And now, I watch my son as a father and it's such a joy to see the baton passed.

Honestly? Can I say it? I like Father's Day so much more than I do Mother's Day. I enjoy every part of it more. I love watching the kids with their dad. They are so tender...and so playful when they interact. I love knowing that these children are a gift that I gave him. I love knowing that a part of my husband will live on through his children and I played a major role in that legacy. It fills me! Yup! For me, Father's Day trumps Mother's. There I said it. Don't get me wrong, I like Mother's Day...well, all but the primary program/sacrament meeting part. I really, REALLY love being a mother! But, I don't know how to express the joy I receive from paying homage to the man who made it all possible, not just through his seed...but because he has provided for and protected us in every way. He has been a comfort, a companion, advocate, and teacher through both word and example. Happy Father's Day Wayne. I raise my glass to you, and to father's everywhere... young and old.
June 19, 2016 at 1:20 PM

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Happy Father's Day to daddy's and dad's, papa's and pop's, father's, grandpa's and "Poppy's" everywhere.

I was going to post a few thoughts on Fathers here, but I already said pretty much what I had to say in a comment I left on Lin's blog.  And truth be told, I don't know if anyone at all will read anything I blog but, I am dang SURE that not one single daddy, dad, papa or pop that I know will ever see this. Not one of them would have a clue how to get on anyone's blog, nor do they have an interest in doing so.  So, I think I'm going to give a big hug, a handmade card, and a little gift to each and every one of them on my list.  This is not a viable platform for me to send them smooches and happy wishes...not to mention smooches are a lot more fun face to face.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Well.... whaddaya know?  A couple of my cyber pals from years ago sent me a surprise!  A sweet little note to let me know they were still out there and that they thought maybe I should post again. So.... I think I will.  What to say?  Let's see....  How about I start with:


At the moment, I'm sitting on a small deck that is just outside the french doors to my bedroom.  It has tall, VERY tall pine trees in front of me and to my right.  To my left, there is scrub oak, lawn and a creek.  One of my several flower beds is growing lavishly underneath the pine trees that are on my right.  It's a glorious place to spend time.

We spend half of the year (the winter months) in St, George Utah.  It's a cute little home with some unusual views of mountains and valleys for that area.  We enjoy it immensely while we're there....but, that being said, I forget while we're gone just how much I love it here!  Life moves at a slower pace in Pleasant View.  Oh, not the town in general.... but OUR lives, our home among the pines. The tender breeze coaxes the windchimes to softly sing their melody.  The Mourning Doves and Finches chatter and banter, claiming their territory, as they flit among the higher branches of the Oak trees.  I love the throaty whisper of the creek, and all of the emerald shades of the leaves, grasses, and stems bobbing with their heavy heads of blooms. Our yard is my own private Eden.  I sit on my deck in complete wonder at it all, and I am forever and always full of gratitude for the sweet blessing of living here.   We are so fortunate, so lucky... so blessed.  And, the best part of it is, I get to share it with a hunk of a guy who makes me laugh, still gives me butterflies, and is one of the most honorable men ever to breathe.  Yup! I LOVE MY LIFE!

Is it odd that I have found that such happiness is often tinted with a light Cobalt  blue shade of melancholy? There is an underlying touch of sadness when I reflect on how many women are struggling daily to find some measure of joy...just a smidge of peace.  I want to find a way to have all of them share in what I have.  I don't mean by giving them a good lunch or dinner now and then,  I do that.  I volunteer at the local homeless shelter, and I have learned that a hot plate of meatloaf and a baked potato may very well fill the belly, but it doesn't begin to fill the void left by loneliness and the nagging fear that no one really loves them.  One evening late in the month last October, I saw one of the women who comes to the shelter standing on the street.  It was mildly chilly outside and she was rubbing her arms through a thin sweater.  I waved, she waved back and gave me a nearly toothless smile.  I stopped my car, talked to her for a few minutes, took off my heavy scarf, wrapped it around her shoulders, took her face in my hands and told her I'd see her tomorrow  The look in her tear filled eyes was the warmest coat I wore the remainder of that winter.  It takes so little of the abundance that some of us enjoy to fill the bucket of those who walk with dropped shoulders and a gut wrenching emptiness in their lives.  Anyway... I'm beginning to sound a tad lugubrious, here...  Let's move on.

Well....enough for one day. I shall be back.  Hopefully soon, although I make no promises.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

So.... it's been a lifetime since I posted anything.  Other than Lin, (Oh, and Cake Wrecks)  I wasn't even sure people still blogged.  None of my family does it anymore.  But, this morning I got a hankerin to check in on some of the folks I used to keep track of and found a few had kept up the fine art of sharing with others.  Nice.  So, as soon as I can move my upper body fast enough to shake some of the sawdust out of my brain.... I may just join the throng.  Okay, maybe not a throng exactly... more a select group.  I tried to remember how to post a photo, and I failed miserably.  I am SO not a techie!   Anyway, this could be the start of something, or a fluke.  Who knows?  The "Shadow knows".  Gads!  Where did that come from?  Some pretty deep recesses... that's for dang sure.  This is sort of a test run to see if I can even post a blurb.  Here goes, ready to pull the handle.

TA DA... this is a codicil.  I did it.  hmmmmm..... maybe this will be fun again.