The good ole days weren’t always good, and tomorrow ain’t as bad as it seems. ~Billy Joel

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Sometimes we get caught up in the crazy. It’s unavoidable. It’s right in front of us … ALL THE TIME!! We are what we eat and we eat what we see. We are the stories we have created. Nothing wrong with that… usually it’s a pretty ok place to be.

“We are not trapped by our thoughts. What we generally do, however, is create thoughts that trap us.” (p.162)”
― Joshua David Stone, A Beginner’s Guide to the Path of Ascension

We move through these stories rarely realizing that we are just piece actors in parts we have developed in realities we have invented. Stuck in the now or stuck in the new or stuck in the sticky web of our imagination. Often not realizing that we can change the words, the act, the reality just by changing the view.. the viewpoint.. the point of view. I am always eventually bringing myself back to my theme on perspective.

We look back on the past with fond memories of the things we think we ate. Foods, friends, fun, dinners, parks, and whatever made you feel happy and real.  

Always forgetting the mad rush from job to job to home to school to the hospital to a friend’s side to a parents death to the birth of a child to the torment of a lost love to the current political crisis to the next election to the (and the list goes on and on and on).

“We all live in a house on fire, no fire department to call; no way out, just the upstairs window to look out of while the fire burns the house down with us trapped, locked in it.”
― Tennessee Williams, The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore

We eat these things every day and drown in their pools of darkness. And yet, when they pass.. and all things pass, we usually recover and go on and on and on. Until the next bit of madness consumes us.

My dad is my biggest current consumption.  He turns 80 in October.  That’s his goal.  He wants to eat 80.   80 is BIG.  HUGE.  That’s almost a century for you non-math folks.  He wants to dance with it, sing with it, and celebrate it.  He’s worked hard for it, so why shouldn’t he be able to?  Unfortunately, cancer is consuming HIM quickly.  He’s handling it like a trooper, a real pro.  This is actually more than I can say for myself. 

Catch on fire and people will come for miles to see you burn. John Wesley

He has no regrets BUT he has so many stories yet to tell (said in a very whiny, child-like voice).  I’m happy I was able to spend last month with him, my sister, my kids, and my grandkids.  BUT it really wasn’t enough time (voice even more whiny).  It’s not like we never spent time together.  We spent time when we could but we were and are still always so busy… but we were and are still always so broke …but we were and are still always so consumed with the chaos that we are surrounded in.. that we surround ourselves in..  But.. but.. but.. now… now… we rush home.. we rush to this catastrophe.. to this sadness.. to this dark night of the soul to this physical burning of a huge part of our lives, of our story.

BUT.. (again the buts) this will also pass.  It’s not like it will ever go away completely but it will be reduced to another chaotic meal in my life.  I mean.. not everyone makes it to 80 right?  Everyone’s story goes away eventually.  Even the best stories fade.  A landmark in our lives didn’t just fade, it disappeared completely.  As if it had never existed.. had never ever even been there.  A hill. A hill with a tree.  A hill with a tree with windchimes in it.  A hill with a tree with windchimes in it and carved out stones laying beside it.  A hill that represented other folks that faded… disappeared completely.. as if they had never existed. Not only did the hill fade (disappear).. but a giant metal horse and a baby horse also faded (disappeared).  Literally, not figuratively, disappeared. 

It was part of a story that we had all created in our lives.  A story that we did not think would ever disappear.  Which in retrospect is silly.  We had trespassed for 50 years onto this property because it was mom’s place.  Still is.. even though it is gone.  Even though she is gone.  Characters in a play is all.  Nothing remains when the curtains close.

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like. Lao Tzu

So goes the story.  So the story goes.  The past, the present, and now the future.  It really isn’t as bad as it seems.  You just have to write it.. and re-write it.. and right it and re- right it. Here’s to my hope for the future.

Wish I were a dog.. wish I had a dog!!


Times have been rough.. people being mean and careless about the plight of others…  out of money.. bad health news …. family fighting… Well…no matter how you’re feeling, a little dog gunna love you

 

Animals have come to mean so much in our lives. We live in a fragmented and disconnected culture. Politics are ugly, religion is struggling, technology is stressful, and the economy is unfortunate. What’s one thing that we have in our lives that we can depend on? A dog or a cat loving us unconditionally, every day, very faithfully.              ~~~~~Jon Katz

Dad – Behind every great daughter is a truly amazing dad


My last post about my dad was back in June.  I just went back and read it about 3 times.  Loved looking at the photos and remembering him how he was.  He has always been the most influential man in my life.  He lifted my self-esteem (Sami, you are my favorite!). He helped me grow great work ethics (It’s better to do a job right the first time then have to re-do the job) and a superb ability to out stubborn anyone (Sami, always admit when you are wrong, but if you are right, never back down).  He developed in me a crazy ability to laugh at my own jokes, even if no one else did and to tell really, really terrible jokes (Little Johnny was in the classroom and had to go to the bathroom, he raised his hand and said…).

I am who I am because of him.

My Daddy was my hero. He was always there for me when I needed him. He listened to me and taught me so many things. But most of all he was fun.
—Bindi Irwin

No worries, he’s still here.  But he’s aging, getting sick, being hospitalized, getting out, continuing on with his crazy life, going a little crazy at times, getting sick again, acting like a child, getting old, and just moving through life faster than I want him to.

Years ago he said to me as we were sitting in a dive bar in Spokane, “Sami, you see that young man walking through that door? How old do you think he is?” I looked at the young man walking in the bar and said, “Well he’s at least 21!”  Dad said, “Yeah, at least 21!  That’s how I see myself when I think of myself.  Then I walk by a mirror and I think….who is that old man looking back at me.  I can’t imagine it’s me.  I never feel that way.  I can’t imagine it’s me.  I really can’t”

We both sort of laughed about it and moved on with our lives.  Fast forward about 20 years.  I feel what he felt sometimes.  But I feel it more when i look at him now.  Especially being so far away from him.

When I was working in Nepal, I had just gone through the earthquake and so was a little shattered and scattered and I happened to call him up.  He didn’t sound like himself at all.  I was convinced he had had a minor stroke.  I rushed home as quickly as I could.. which is a feat.. let me tell you.  The folks I worked for were super amazing and supported me through this emotional roller coaster.  I arrived back in Spokane and for the most part it seemed like all was well and I had panicked for no reason at all.  Except, every once in a while, he would sort of tear up.  Right before I was due to leave for my next assignment, I met up with him and he looked ecstatic.  I asked him why he was so darn happy all of a sudden.  He told me he had received GREAT news from the doctor.. all of his tests came back clean and he was as healthy as an old horse like him could be.  So, apparently there had been a reason for me to sort of panic.  Dads.. what are you gonna do.

Well, about 3 good years later and here we go again.  A few weeks ago, I got a call from my sister.  She said, “Dad’s been in the hospital with heart and kidney problems.  He also has pneumonia.  Apparently he had been in an auto accident several  weeks ago and didn’t tell anyone.”  He checked himself out of the hospital because he didn’t want to stay there. Wouldn’t follow any of the doctor’s recommendations and was being a pain in the butt to everyone.  She flew to Arizona and worked him through his situation and attitude. Got his meds worked out and sent some pictures to help my other sister and i get emotionally prepared for whatever might happen.

Snidely Whiplash

This is a little doohickey dad found in a parking lot. Snidely rode with my dad for nearly 40 years when he was a truck driver. I began using it as a “keep dad safe” lucky charm.

Over the course of the past few weeks, my sis has been going from Washington to Arizona to check in on him, get him set up with doctors, physical therapy.  I’m not sure what I would have done, or how I would have handled it without her.  It’s been super stressful and emotional.  It’s so weird to see him in this position.  It breaks my heart.

When I think of him that is now how I see him.  I can’t imagine it’s him.  In my minds eye and in my heart, that’s not how I see him.  Then I look at these pictures or see him in person and I think….who is that old man looking back at me.  I can’t imagine it’s him.  I really can’t.

Then, as I was writing this blog, literally just now, my sister sent me the below messages and photos.

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IMG_0734IMG_0744

I catch my breath and in my head say, “Thank you!!” Because now, for a minute at least,  I can imagine him .. how I think of him ..

Old as she was, she still missed her daddy sometimes.
—Gloria Naylor

 

A few of my favorite things – 2013 in review


Thanks to all who have been following my blog, commenting on it and actually enjoying it.  I really appreciate your comments.  I mean I really, really do.  I have enjoyed and have been inspired my many of your posts as well.  Thanks again to all who have stopped by and even nominated me for special awards. In honor of the end of an old year and the beginning of a new year I am going to highlight the past year with some of my favorite, favorite photos from 2013.

I left Venezuela in December of 2012 and from Venezuela went and visited my children in Washington State, from Washington, I took a train with my youngest daughter and her son to Chicago and then went on to New York.  After a few weeks in New York I traveled down to DC and on to North Carolina for a week.  After North Carolina I went back to DC and began an 8 month Nepali language course.  During the course I had several old friends visit me in DC.  Some friends were from the military and some were from high school.  I took trips to New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Richmond, VA.  I went to wine tastings and food festivals.  Finally I passed my Nepali test and WOW.. ended up in Kathmandu, Nepal.  Those are the nuts and bolts.

What happened emotionally for me was some beautiful births from family and long-time friends.  My sister got married and the wedding was such a touching and emotional event for me. I can’t adequately describe to you now nor to my sister at the time at how proud of her I was and glad I was to be her sister. I had emotional break downs with my older sister who got me to laughing and re-thinking my state. Man I love that girl.  I was able to meet up with family and friends I haven’t seen for so long and it was like time had never passed.  There was a completely unexpected death of a very amazing young friend that shook me to the core.  I’m still dealing with some of the emotions that came from that. I was able to find a very old and dear friend that meant so much to me for so long and from that I had to come to terms with some truths about life and love.  Letting go and reconnecting, meeting new friends and re-affirming long time friendships. I have spent a lot of time this year coming to terms with who I am and what I’m willing to accept and realizing that there are some serious changes in me that need to take place. There was awe, joy and great satisfaction at people, places and things and personal accomplishments.  There was shock, horror and extreme emotional despair at people, places and things and a new-found understanding of life in general. I put up way too many photos here but there were tons more that could have been used.  No photo can clearly express how I am feeling at this moment of remembering all of these things and right now there are no more words to say.

To all, have a prosperous and happy (focus on happy) New Year. Stay safe.

I hope you enjoy.

A memory is what is left when something happens and does not completely unhappen.  ~Edward de Bono

Have a safe and happy new year.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,100 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Attractions in 2013

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Some of your most popular posts were written before 2013. Your writing has staying power! Consider writing about those topics again.

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