Change

Today’s blog is in response to a request. “Karen, can you write about change?” Oh my, change, no matter what the change is can bring different responses. Change can bring great joy, ambiguity or great stress. Even change that we ask for can cause us to be unsure, afraid, and excited all at the same time. Change is usually coupled with new responsibilities and differences which can be hard to identify at first.

When we experience changes in our lives, some are greeted with a sense of relief. Only you know those times in your life when things were tough and you made a decision to do something about it. Possibly you threw your hands in the air and said, “Enough is enough!” I have made the decision that this will not happen anymore and you became the catalyst for change. As much as you know this was necessary, there were more questions than answers, more mystery than common stability.

Oftentimes change surprises us. The event may be celebratory or filled with grief. But, no matter what, we are different afterwards. How can I write about the essence of change? Because, like every other human being, I’ve experienced it too. Over and over, some change was welcome, some vilified. I think the ability to handle life-change may have a lot to do with our personality type or possibly how we were raised and our life experiences. However, I do know we all handle it differently. I’ve taken many classes to learn about life change. I’ve had my own life experience, and have also helped others to either welcome or learn to live through change. I don’t much appreciate it when there is an expectation that everyone will respond to the same thing similarly. None of us truly knows all the dynamics that bring us to today and today’s response, or for that matter the thought of tomorrow.

For me, most change is welcome. I have always signed letters and now this blog, “Enjoying the Adventure!” Rather than think of change as imposing it’s way upon me, I look ahead wondering, “What’s next?” Therefore, when change occurs, I’m more likely to embrace it. Although, there are some very serious instances where I just wanted to tuck my proverbial tail between my legs, shiver, hide under the carpet and hope that I would wake up only to find that I was having a nightmare. I’d be a fool to pretend that all change has been welcomed and it would be deceiving to write in such a way.

Let me give an illustration through a gift I recently received. While away last weekend, we had the opportunity to watch a demonstration of a tree being sliced into slats of wood. It was a poplar tree. The event was amazing to me as I have been a woodworker most of my adult life. The tree itself had a very light colored wood, not a whole lot of character, other than a knot in the wood every now and then. It is pretty, and it could certainly make a nice piece of furniture but not extraordinary.

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Then the next slice was made. The stunning piece of wood hidden deep inside this tree was so fantastic that they stopped the demonstration so that the folks gathered could walk up and see it’s beauty. I am an observer of people and what I noticed is that after about a half hour of gazing at what had been hidden by the mundane, the people were in true community. They were talking about the beauty of this wood, then conversations evolved. The people were talking and laughing together, some knew each other well, others were total strangers, but this revelation of beauty brought peace in the woods that day. There was beauty within that we all enjoyed and were touched by.  May I remind you that this beauty was revealed by a huge band saw cutting 2 inch slices into this tree? Is it even remotely possible that our life band saws cutting into our ordinary stable lives may feel quite painful, but also have the opportunity to bring about something incredibly beautiful?

Please take a look at the board pictured above.

Now, let me reveal what the next slice (The other side of the above board) revealed.

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How can something with such nice, but not extraordinary character have such beauty so close, so hidden. This basically white board had deep mahogany, purple, gold and gray colors. Somehow that basic pattern of wood became one of the most unique and beautiful specimens I have ever encountered. I feel so privileged that it was given to me as a gift. When I make something with it, (I’m not quite sure what yet) I think that it will have to be displayed in such a way to see both sides to remind me that there may be incredible beauty hidden in the most surprising places.

So, what about change? It happens. If we think that all will remain “as is” we kid ourselves. Sometimes change brings great pain and grief. Even that pain can be something we look back on and say, “Wow! If I only knew that it would lead me to where I am now!”  If we walk in the reality that  we know change, good and bad, will come so that we are not surprised by it

, we may be more able to accept and possibly even walk through even the most difficult change knowing that we can do it! We can adjust! We can find our lives rich and full once again.

I hope that as you experience change that you can look forward, find peace and yes, know it will visit us again.

Enjoying the Adventure,

Dr. Dink

 

Tree Photo by Pixabay, Pexel

After the Storm

I’ve wanted to experience one of the intense Sonoran Desert storms and finally got my wish! We plan to move to Arizona in a couple of years. We will live is in the desert highlands north of Phoenix. It is wild, beautiful country. One thing that my daughter has noticed living in “The Valley of the Sun” is that many of the storms in monsoon season are “up north”. Oh was I up north when this one hit!

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Anticipation grew as we watched the storm slowly move toward us. It rains very little in the desert, but when it does, LOOK OUT! It will make up for lost time! When the storm finally hit, it was a total wash out. We couldn’t see beyond 50 ft because of the solid white wall of water. Thunder and lightening were loud and plentiful and then, before you knew it, the storm ceased.

After the storm passed, I was told go out and look quickly, it won’t last long –what I experienced was beautiful streamline waterfalls flowing down our cliff. They looked like shiny little precious silver necklace strands. There were so many! I wish I had a better camera to help them show themselves off! Within a few moments all that water gathered into the creek below and once again there was a loud roaring sound. The sound wasn’t thunder this time but from the flash flood. I’m just glad as I stood taking this photo from our house-pad that I was 300ft above it all!

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Then the most glorious sight of all happened. The sky began to show off toward the west as the sun began to set. I was in the middle of majesty, surrounded by ocotilo, giant saguaro cacti responding immediately to the water. The cliffs even seemed pronounced. I was in complete awe. I found myself running from one place to the next to experience such beauty.

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Ocotillo Cactus after a good drink of water!

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Giant Saguaro Cactus at Sunset — King of the Sonoran Desert

What analogy do I give this wonderful, scary, exhilarating experience? Should I leave it for the beauty that it provided? Should I compare it to the storms of life? I know that this same storm wreaked havoc further southeast and homes were flooded in a few communities. For me what brought excitement and beauty caused stress and insurance claims for others. Isn’t that the way it is sometimes?

I think that being someone who has suffered a few of life storms, I am tempted so say that sometimes, and I repeat sometimes, it is possible to have something of great beauty when the storm has passed. Maybe the beauty was there all along and the storm just helped enhance that beauty. I’ve been a part of people’s lives as storms have raged and watched them thrive. I’ve also seen the opposite. So, I’m not naive enough to say that all your storms will be something that leaves beauty behind. However, I think it doesn’t hurt to have hope. A new day is coming.

That Simple

My daughter was cutting up small pieces of paper, of course, I had to ask. She motioned to the fireplace mantle and said it’s a gratitude jar. That simple.

I remember cuss jars at work. If you let a 4-letter fly, you were to put a quarter in the jar. But that was in the day of having change in your pocket! (Obviously, if you read my blog, I don’t mind so much having no quarters in my pocket!)

I like this idea of a special place set aside for gratitude. A reminder. I believe gratitude is the basis for all sorts of positive reactions to life.

Begs the question . . . what are you grateful for?

Enjoying the Adventure! (And grateful to be on it)

Dr. Dink

I’d love to hear your comments and questions & promise to get back to you quickly!

You are welcome visit my other blogs:

Nail in My Pocket            —-Adventures in Frugal House-Flipping

Down to Earth Positive   — Looking at positivity in everyday life

Brown Bag Letter            —-Antique Photos and family folklore preserving personal history.

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They Clapped!

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Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on Pexels.com

It was toward the end of the 10 mile race and a young woman came in toward the finish line.  Everyone clapped! Even the elderly couple sitting on a bench stood up and clapped. She wasn’t first, as a matter of fact, she was probably close to last. She was a runner. They clapped for them all. I’m not a runner and have never been to the end of a race before, it touched me to the core that everyone, just for finishing was acknowledged.

It got me quite emotional. It makes me want to clap my hands for others!

Have a wonderful day!

Enjoying the Adventure,

Dr. Dink

Memory & Hopes & Dreams

I am amazed by the power of memory, its effect on us, and how it can lead us to our hopes and dreams.  After a text conversation with a friend last night about Arizona, I received a message from my daughter this morning. She said when they drive on dirt roads when on an Arizona discovery adventure, that my grandson starts talking about wanting to see a cow! I find this, not only exciting, but AMAZING!

My grandson is so young so I wonder how can he remember a ride or two over the past year? How does the mind work that he associates dirt roads with cows?

One of the best parts of our property and future home in Arizona is the 12 mile dirt-road-adventure to get there! Along the way, it is commonplace to see free range cattle. Truthfully, it is difficult not to stop and tell them how beautiful they are! Mooooooo a time or two, and if Grandbaby is along, to say, “Look at that cow”, “Cow says, MOO!”  This particular bull was eating a Prickly Pear Cactus for breakfast —I know, right?

As if free range cattle isn’t enough, for me, the wild donkey take first prize. They are the cutest animals . . . EVER!

Donkey and baby

Now Gbaby has my memory going wild!

This reminds me of my first visit to Rickett’s Glenn State Park. It was easier when I lived closer, but I try and make a yearly pilgrimage there. It is a place of peace for me. When we first moved to that area we took a ride to see the park and I had this weird, “I’ve been here before familiarity feeling of, WHAT?”  Only to find out that when I was nine months old, my family went camping and did the 19 Waterfall Trail. My Mom’s a tough one, she carried me most of the way for 3 1/2 miles!

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With this experience in mind, and Gbaby relating to cows and dirt roads, I am reminded of just how amazingly powerful memory is. Memory can lead us to good, bad, or neutral feelings. But it can lead us into our day or even the future. It can affect our life-choices and relationships. I think the most important thing to keep in mind is that the memories we concentrate on, as well as, those we are creating for ourselves and others really can make a difference. Even if it is something as simple as riding on a dirt road!

 

These memories, particularly of Arizona and hugging my Gbaby, give me a sense of expectancy and urgency for today. It makes me want to climb up on the roof of the house we are flippig and nail in those shingles! Even though I know it will not be easy, it brings us one step closer to our dream. It gives me gumption to want to finish the model of the house we will build out in the desert highlands. Memory is a powerful tool for the future!

future house model

I write this blog as my protest against the negative era we find ourselves living in. I believe that we are all effected by it in various ways and different levels. I do what I can to “fight it” because I believe it is much healthier to embrace a more positive attitude, thus changing the world for the better.

I generally try and ask a question, or give a challenge in my blog. Today begs two questions:

  1. What memories just make you feel great?
  2. What will you do TODAY to create a good memory for yourself or someone else? (How about tomorrow?)

I hope that today you find yourself enjoying your memories and challenged to create new ones! You are welcome to share your thoughts, memories and hopes for new ones in the comments!

(Truly) Enjoying the Adventure,

Dr. Dink

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Please visit my other blog: The Brown Bag Letter

An earlier Cow blog —- one of my favorites!   Slight Glance to the Left

The Beautiful waterfall image was found at: https://www.google.com/search?q=waterfall+trail+ricketts+glen&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjU5Ym28dXcAhXnpVkKHZU0BGIQ_AUICygC&biw=1242&bih=557#imgrc=-8iGBceeF_usqM:

Can’t Help but Giggle!

We had some pretty significant flooding here in Pennsylvania yesterday. Our yard became a lake for a short time, well, actually twice. Thank goodness our house was unharmed and we actually had fun, I mean, there is nothing better than playing with a German Shepherd in your flooded yard!

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We saw waterfalls on our hill that we never knew existed.

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One of the highlights of the day was finding a mother duck and 8 ducklings at our local park. They must have hatched during the rain the night before, they were so small.

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While I was admiring them and taking photos and squeaking, “How cute!”, my husband says, “This poor mama is exhausted and there is no way the little ones can get out of here.” They were stuck in a dead-end area with walls and steps that were too high for the little ones to manage.

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So, he slowly and gently leads them toward the steps. He guided the babes up along with Mama who suddenly decides that he’s a predator and went after him. (I have video, it’s hilarious!) Determined, he continued his mission and the babes and Mama were reunited with the other ducks and waddled off telling them about their recent adventure.

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Later in the day, hubby shows me his hand where there’s a red mark —- evidently, he was bit by Mama-Duck! This morning I can’t help but giggle, I mean, really, WHO GETS BIT BY A DUCK!?!?!?!

Many people have stories to tell of grand adventures, but what a wonderful minority hubby can now claim. . . bit by a duck. Now, that’s something to tell the grandkids!

Enjoying the Adventure,

Dr. Dink

Ditch the Muscles!

This story is by request. Keep in mind, I’ll be 58 this month (Presents accepted). We are flipping a house. It is built on a very steep hill and my legs are gaining muscles going up and down, up and down, up and down S.T.E.P.S. Lots of them. To get to the basement level, there are 19 steps up. We are currently working on the roof. Need I say more?

Erosion doesn’t only happen at the beach, or rivers when in flood stage.  Hills also have a mind of their own. There happens to be huge chunk of concrete that slipped crooked along the steps going up from street level. We keep looking at it, knowing that it has to be dug out before we determine how to straighten. Yesterday Hubby was working on a solo section of the roof and I assigned myself to trimming and cleaning up the yard. So, after trimming and dealing with the grass, I got out my trusty shovel and

started to dig a ditch

about 15ft x 2ft x 2 ft

on a 45 degree angle hill

after about 5 days of heavy rain

I’m just grateful my name isn’t Jill, or Jack for that matter because I did not fall down that slippery, wet hill, although I came close a few times. The hill ends up at the edge of a narrow busy street. It would have been UGLY. I mean UGLY.  I had to engage every muscle just to keep myself upright, let alone dig a damn ditch! Oh, that’s poetic: Dig a Damn Ditch! I’d like to hear a poet tackle that one, or say fast 10 times. I digress, sorry.

So excuse me if I bitch and complain about every muscle in my body hurting this morning! It hurt to pick up my coffee cup. Come to think of it, rolling, literally, out of bed was a groaning situation. Oh no! The sun is out today & we will be back at Harry this morning. Don’t you name your houses?  I think I’ll crawl up those steps today groaning & moaning! My poor husband, I’ll have to dig out noise cancelling ear pods, selective hearing won’t prevent hearing these groans.

My muscles are complaining this morning, but in actuality, I’m not. I pushed myself beyond what I would expect of me yesterday. It was actually a lot of fun (?) and the feeling of pride and accomplishment cannot be beat. Sometimes pushing ourselves beyond our self-imposed limitations can stretch our muscles, possibly our emotions, or our mental capacities, but it is always good to try.  My suggestion for today is try something different or new. Do something that stretches those things that you think limit you.

Now, if I could only get off the couch!

Enjoying the Adventure!

Dr. Dink

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Please visit my other blog: The Brown Bag Letter

Image by Plexels

 

 

Dinner . . . someday!

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When I want something done, I get it done, make it, whatever is necessary. I must confess, I guess you could describe me as impulsive, maybe even impatient with some things.Yet, there are times when I can be incredibly patient, even slow. Gardening is something that slows me down and can be so rewarding. It takes time for harvest, eh? The reward is worth waiting for. Our squash garden is at the point of “oh no honey, we can’t get in!” Even though we built a pallet fence to give the plants opportunity to climb, some of these renegades are just having too much fun traveling on the vine. I have no idea which one this flower is, it may be butternut, spaghetti, or a zucchini squash.

Did you ever stop and just appreciate the wonder of nature? In a couple of months, this beautiful flower will have transformed into a big ol’ squash, beggin’ me to make some soup. In the meantime, I find the deliciousness of saute’d squash greens, garlic & onion to be ridiculously amazing, so there is some reward for this impatient gardener!

I think one of the best ways to remain positive, at least for me, is to appreciate the various stages of life and life’s gifts.

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It may be a garden, a project of some kind . . . .What do you find yourself “enjoying along the way?” What drives you nuts waiting for? What do you find exciting, comforting or enjoyable about “stages”?

Enjoying the Adventure! (patiently waiting for squash for dinner!)

Dr. Dink

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Please visit my other blog: The Brown Bag Letter

Beauty Surprise!

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Usually, robins, yellow finch & chick-a-dee visit my sisters bird feeder tree. I was minding my own business washing a piece of fruit at the sink and I hear her husband say, “Oh! look at that!” My sister is quite the accomplished photographer and preparing for a show in the fall so she ran off to get her camera. I got out my cell phone. Poor sissy, he flew off just as she came back. She would have got a much better photo. I got a great memory!

Red Shouldered Hawk baby. My, my, my! Beauty is everywhere, sometimes it sneaks up in surprising places!

Enjoying the Adventure (A little more than my sissy on this day!)

Dr. Dink

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Please visit my other blog: The Brown Bag Letter

 

Feed the Monster!

Long time, no Blog. If you’ve been following my blog I guess I’ve been kind of absent in the past couple of weeks. It’s all about priorities!

Some fellow bloggers and entrepreneurs may be critical . . . consistency is important, and I agree! However, my blog is about being positive in life. In order to do that y’all need to feed the positivity monster. I can set goals, measure stats, create growth strategy, and make this work, or enjoy the ride along the way. I am personally tired of the push, push, push world of “whatever it is I’m trying to present.” It makes for great stress. In these couple of weeks of non-blogishness—-

I have edited a book I’ve been writing for the past year (LOL, no title yet!)

Together with my husband in an six hour time span we carried 6800 lbs of materials up approx. up 3100 steps! It took a few days to recover from that craziness! (I am freaking WOman!)

I have picked berries, had a few campfires & taken walks.

I’ve studied different CBD oil companies to try and decipher if I would like to become an affiliate and make some side income.

I have found myself in a very creative space of re-purposing furniture and I can sit back and look at what I’ve created with great pride.

I’ve visited two senior living facilities and shared my stories of days gone by.

Best of all, this weekend I had the privilege of visiting with family. I mean, really, when the choice comes to having a cup of coffee with your mom or writing because you’ve set some inner goal for yourself . . . I’ll choose the relationship with my Mom. Or, visit with my son here from the West Coast. Oh gee! Sorry Brandon, I can’t do that because I’ve set some goal for myself. (No way! What’s positive about THAT?)

OK, Positivity Girl! What point are you trying to make here? I enjoy writing about positive things, it has truly been a wonderful discipline. It has helped me to perceive the world in a positive way just by the attitude I am embracing and looking for.  I enjoy writing about personal history on the Brown Bag Letter blog too. My point is that too often in life we can get caught up in the “not having fun in life because we live in a social era of push, push, push.” In my former career, there were so many deadlines, meetings and statistical bullshit—all in the name of spirituality!!!!! (Go ahead, make sense of that one!) I refuse to do this to myself!

During this same time-span of not writing so much, one of my very best friends died and I am once again reminded to enjoy life at it’s fullest, each day, as it comes because there may not be another.

Let me ask you a question or two, OK, maybe more than that:

What feeds your positivity monster?

What activities in life are keeping you from enjoying today?

What areas of stress do you allow to overcome what you know is best for your own personal health?

Are you so worried about stuff that doesn’t really matter, that you neglect the things that do? OUCH!

OK, if you got this far in reading this, I hope you are challenged to look a little deeper and discover the positive, less-stressed monster within & are thinking about some ways to feed him or her. Make the time to do whatever it is that you have to do to enjoy each and every moment of this thing called life.

I sign off each blog with “Enjoying the Adventure”

Are you?

Dr. Dink

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The Brown Bag Letter