Who Knew?

I remember a third grade assignment: “Ask your parents about your ancestry.” Where did you come from? My teacher talked about race, countries and such. My Dad’s answer has always stuck with me, “Your a Heinz 57 –You’re grandparents down the line are from all over the world! Dink, you’re an American!” Later, my Mom’s genealogical studies and DNA test confirmed that to be true.

Ancestor CollageI descend from a line of worldly, quirky, brave, and normal folks –some are still living through their stories. Honestly, I could care less if my ancestors were Italian and Hungarian, English, French and more. My P-pop claimed we were part of the Cherokee Indian tribe too. Oh! The list goes on. I’m proud to have a mixed pedigree, I’m proud to be a mutt. Yes, my roots are colorful. I would probably be sat in the back if invited to he royal wedding this weekend, eh?

I’m more interested ancestral stories. I come from a line of homesteaders, settlers, farmers, builders, home-makers, hypochondriacs, bartenders, bootleggers, soldiers and a “Lady of the Night”. I’m so happy I know their stories. Stories mean more to me than bloodline.

This makes me think . . . what will our Great-Great-Grand-babies know about us? What stories will form their image of who they are, where they came from? What does that make us today? I know, it is a heavy, wonderful, awesome responsibility! In an earlier blog,  Something to Live By, I summarized life as, who knew you loved them? I don’t know about you, but to me, that is the pedigree I want to pass on!

Enjoying the Adventure (Especially the love part),

Dr. Dink

Daily Prompt

Slight Glance to the Left

I visited our property in the Bradshaw Mountains foothills yesterday. I’ll be leaving Arizona soon and just had to visit once more before I head back East. Something happens to me when I’m in this strange desert land. My best description of it is that it is so beautiful you “feel like” your in a National Park but didn’t have to pay $20 for the privilege of driving through.img_20180513_1220339731450335011.jpg

I drove my son-in-law’s Hyundai Elantra up this dirt road . . . slowly! 12 miles of dirt road can have it’s little surprises. The better choice of vehicle is an ATV’s, Jeep, or at least a Pickup Truck. Until recently, I thought that “desert” meant it looked like the Sahara, or eastern Southern California –you know, drifts of endless sand. But this area has massive rocks, cliffs, creek beds & beautiful cacti, mesquite and palo verde trees. It is breathtakingly awesome!!!

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As I was driving back, I saw a slight movement of white to the left so I slowed down, slower than I was already going. In the shade of a group of palo verde trees was a huge bull. There are free range cattle in this area and I see cows and their calves frequently, but this bull! He was framed so beautifully, so I backed up to get the perfect photo from my cell phone and then he stands up. When this happens there is a part of you that thinks, “Will he charge?” But it was mid-afternoon and desert-hot so I wasn’t too worried because I was sure he would rather go back to his afternoon siesta. Actually, I think he was posing, he knew he was a gorgeous specimen.

There was a moment. Human looking at bull. Bull looking at human . . . A moment of peace for the human. What was this beauty thinking? Was he as curious about me as I was him? Was he nervous that I would charge him? Was he pissed that I interrupted his siesta? Was he saying, “Yeah, I know . . . I’m a stud . . . gorgeous, don’t you think?” -or- “Move on Chickie!”

This morning, here I am, kinda emotional over this encounter with dignity. Human to bull, bull to human. I find myself in awe of this creature and all that he represents,

Strength and power in an extraordinary place

Peace and tranquility found in an incredibly rough terrain

Life lessons (I can learn from the cattle, donkeys and wildlife about survival in the desert).

Rest. These creatures know “when to stop” it may be the difference between life and death in the hot sun. If only humanity could learn this lesson (means me too????)

FREEDOM! The cattle are free to roam other than a few fences, but if you want to practice freedom, fences are to be respected, or you’ll end up where they don’t want you & you don’t want to be anyway!

Beauty—I mean really, look at that bull, he is majestic.

Hard work– Let me tell you something, it is not easy to be wandering free in the desert. Think about it, finding water, food, shade, it’s work and that work has it’s benefits.

What I gain from this encounter of beauty is respect. Respect for all the things mentioned above, and for this and other creatures that can thrive in a dry, dry land. I wonder how I can learn from them for my own survival when I move to the desert, but not only that, to take those lessons along with me everywhere and live life to the fullest.

Enjoying the Adventure (a bit more because of a slight glance to the left)

Dr. Dink

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Postivity-ness-ly-ism to the Core

 

When you’re sad, or stressed, you don’t necessarily need to wear it on your shoulder, but that plastic smiley face you have glued to your nose really doesn’t hide a thing.

I started writing about being positive to the core and stopped, I knew I was writing a book, each word was requiring at least a paragraph, leading to a chapter.  The attitude and ability to be positive doesn’t mean that you have a forced smile, it means that you live in reality, with real issues that may affect you in real ways. It means you do your best to live through them. It means you try to see beauty in the midst of the ugly. It means you recognize and be responsible for the financial stress, the worry about the sickness, the project at work. It means living life . . . honestly.

So Dr. Dink, how do I remain positive?  Guess what . . . some days you can’t. That doesn’t mean you don’t have hope for another day. It may mean training yourself to see and experience positivity. It may mean separating yourself from that negative influence. It means being honest and dealing with the  situation (s) that pull you down.

Having positivity-ness-ly-ism isn’t faking it. Isn’t denying life. However, it is living though the messiness of life and still trying to smell roses anyway, looking for beauty, having hope for a new day and helping others deal with the messy shit in life in a real way so that the world, our word can be a better place.

Even when I’m not trying to write a book, I still see the outline here, sorry that’s frustrating. Life is complicated. There is hope. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. There is today, let’s make the best of it, eh?

Enjoying the Adventure! (Even though sometimes that Adventure is messy!)

Dr. Dink

 

 

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Word Power!

 

Words heal & hurt,

Words emote love & hatred,

Words bless & curse,

Words help us with directions or get us lost,

Words vary, depending upon our mood.

There’s a vast forest of words to chose from that may have control over our day, even our existence. In order to have positivity influence our everyday lives those things that come from our lips often reflect exactly where our heart is.

Surely those of us who write get stuck when creativity is lost or blocked. Therefore, along with my trusty thesaurus, one of my new favorite sites has become Urban Dictionary.  It can be quite entertaining to explore the evolution of words. Let’s face it, my Great Grand Father that I wrote about yesterday had no idea that “COOL” would come to have about a million different meanings, for instance, “The breeze feels cool on this Montana morning, reminds me winter is on it’s way.” —-Code for, “Oh Shit! Do we have enough wood split? I don’t want to be out there when it’s 20 below ZERO in February!” This is a perfect description of my husband and I this winter. We just didn’t prepare enough dead trees from the Pennsylvania forest neatly split & stacked in the yard to feed the wood-stove. Winter was colder than usual and longer than Spring this year. We spent a lot of time in the cold to get warm! Regrettable, just regrettable. I digress . . . back to words.

Words are incredibly powerful. We need to choose them wisely. I challenge you, dear reader, find some words that describe who you want to be, where you want to go, use those words as weapons against that which keeps you away from where you are heading. What words will strengthen relationships? What words will build? Have some fun –bring the positive into your life and the lives of others!  Find even one word each day that will bring you to a better place.

Enjoying the Adventure!

Dr. Dink

 

 

via Daily Prompt: Forest

Stranger things . . .

The first time I saw one, I laughed. If you are from the Northeast, like me, and you’ve never visited the Southwest, you may be like I was and thought that the desert looks like the Sahara and that’s it. No one driving through Southern California would argue that image, except the sand is whiter.

Last year, when my daughter and I drove Rt. 8 from Phoenix on our way to visit my son in San Diego, I was astounded by the “nothingness”. White sand dunes and more white sand dunes. It was wonderfully beautiful and strange. Rt. 8 runs so close to the Mexican border that if you spit out your gum, it might land in a different country. Unlike the hilly, mountainous desert surrounding the Phoenix area, this exactly what I perceived as  DESERT. So imagine my giggles when someone was heading EAST with a big ol’ boat behind their truck!

I mean, really?!?!?!?!

Not uncommon either!

Just wish I had a photo!

Enjoying The Adventure,

Dr. Dink

Rebel of a Man

screenshot_20180510-151109~2821368290..jpgMy Great-Grandfather, Mr. George Bunting was an intriguing man. I wish that I could travel back in time to meet him. He served in the United States Navy during the Spanish American War. I  am fortunate to have a few of his log books, filled with meticulous notes of what foods and items were used in the ship’s galley. He also kept a personal diary of the ship’s journeys, mostly port to port with the dates they sailed and landed. One day they came across a ship that was sinking and they took the sailors on-board, saving their lives from the treacherous sea. He was a sailor and I call him rebel but that’s not the full story!

My Great Grandfather was more than brave and adventurous, he was homesteader! After the war, he relocated his wife and five children to Montana from Maryland. Imagine with me if you will, it is around the year 1899. Times were tough and this young father hears that there may be good opportunity to settle and thrive in a distant land. I’m not sure how they got there, or how they moved their things, it may have been by horse, train, or both. What I do know is that they risked EVERYTHING to homestead. They struggled in ways that we of the 21st Century will never understand. Many years later, they lost the farm, but his son Lewis’ favorite stories came from this time of his life. I can still hear my Grandpop’s voice telling me, “You think it’s cold and snowy here in New Jersey? Well, let me tell you, the snow was so deep in Montana, we used to sled off the barn roof!” His Daddy was a rebel, but that’s not the full story!

My Great Grandfather was strong. He picked up the pieces of their broken lives and moved back east to farm near family. I know they were poor. I know they struggled. My Great Grandfather was a rebel in that he looked at the enemy of disappointment, loss and struggle smack in the face and said, “I will go on!”  I’m grateful to have his DNA!

May we all find our rebel within!

Enjoying the Adventure!

Dr. Dink

 

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Negative Blindness

So, Yeah, I realized this morning that I have a case of negative blindness. It makes it very difficult to see, you see, and that is a good thing!

Last week I made a commitment to write about positive things. I’m just so tired of being bombarded by negative voices. These voices may be heard on the news, late night talk shows (whatever happened to comedy?), or a feed in social media. Negativity enters into many aspects of life when we are constantly hearing that voice and seeing those images. It just gets tiring, actually quite boring, reminding me of a skipping skipping vinyl record . . . blip, blip, blip. I decided to do something about it and guess what has happened in a very short time? I’m blinded! I’m having difficulty seeing it.

Consider me an optimistic cynic. I do ask questions, I do wonder what truth is, I do realize that bitching about something is perfectly normal & guess what? I’m not naive, I know that there will be plenty of time for bitching! That doesn’t necessarily take away from trying to have a more positive outlook, it just recognizes the reality of life is not a perfect rose-garden with sunshine & lollipops all the time. Shit happens & darn it, that just sucks.

One can easily get caught up in that last paragraph and be blinded from seeing beauty, grace, laughter and yes, sunshine & roses. However, wouldn’t it be wonderful if the entire world could just embrace positivity for a day? One day would lead to a week, month and so on. I like that I’m literally seeing things with a positive world-view. It changes everything.

Enjoying the Adventure & Quite Happy to Be Blinded!

Dr. Dink

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