Challenge Accepted

I have been really enjoying a writing group that gives a word a day to prompt thoughts. Some have been difficult, because this blog is “all about positivity” and let’s face it, not all words lead to positive thoughts! However, having a word stretches the imagination. A few days ago, the word was archaic and I must admit, difficult for me, as if that makes sense!  I’m surrounded by the subject. Being a lover of antiques, I get pretty excited about archaic things!

There is nothing better than adopting an old handmade quilt. Just the fact that it is still in one piece after 50? 100 years? fascinates me. I have one my great-grandmother made, it is ugly as sin, yet beautiful. Made from the material of old shirts and cotton dresses because they came from a time where you used everything up to the best advantage. Why throw all that good cotton away just because of a rip or stain?

What is THAT? I don’t know, but it’s cool looking!

Old pianos, the older the better! I love ripping them apart. The craftsmanship, hand carving and delicacy and patience of the mechanics, they make some pretty cool repurposed works of art!

And my favorite —my adopted family of photographs. It saddens me that these wonderful people, or maybe not so wonderful people . . . have no identity. Who are they? Where did they come from? What was their story? How many kids did they have? Were they farmers, bankers, etc. Thus my second blog, The Brown Bag Letter, named after a letter written in 1899 and passed down in my family written on a brown bag because paper wasn’t available.

So I guess archaic isn’t so hard after all, I’m surrounded by it. You may like new things, that’s fine. We are all very different and that’s OK. Sometimes it is easy to look at ourselves and wonder why, or even be judgmental because we are different. I’m sure some haven’t read this far, thinking of the old shit I like because they prefer, At Home, IKEA, or wherever . . . that’s OK too. Celebrate who you are, what you like, your surroundings. You are you! And you are awesome!

Enjoying the Adventure!  (Even when sometimes the adventure looks back!)

Dr. Dink

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Please visit my other Blog:  Brown Bag Letter

I encourage you to visit other bloggers. You’ll find almost everything imaginable that can be written, in every form, from all over the world!

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Grateful

Today is Memorial Day here in America. There will be remembrances in nearly every community. For the most part, those ceremonies have been the same each and every year since “anyone can remember”. I’ve been to many, participated in a few. They make me grateful.

The evolution of this weekend has become a celebration of picnics, the beach season officially opening, summer is here so gas prices rise and traffic jams along the coast & to mountainous resort areas increase for most. Yet, it is good to remember the real reason behind this holiday which has become a good excuse to buy a six pack, or another bottle or two of red.

Memorial day is about Death and Gratefulness. Death has been such a huge part of my life as I was a pastor for 22 years. Death was a reality I was always prepared to face, yet not quite ready to face.  There was an expectation whether that death had just occurred, or was imminent in the next few months that I would be intimately involved in the process. When you are intimately involved with death on a regular basis, it can make you or break you. Think about it, there really isn’t a middle ground, is there? Well, I guess, middle ground would be numb.

Dealing with death has made me grateful. I know it hits others in different ways, but for me, grateful. I live with the understanding that each and every day is a gift. A gift to be opened, enjoyed and used. A gift to show off to your friends, and decide not to share with those . . . . well, you don’t want to share your daily gift with!

Yesterday, I spend some time with a friend at the grave of her father, she talked of his untimely death, “too young”, she said, “he was two years younger than I am now”. He, like my father, served in the Korean War. It was a precious time we had, talking of our Dad’s, being thankful that they served, but didn’t die in the war. Private, personal ceremony. A time to remember, it was beautiful. I walked away grateful.

When I think of the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the military, and of their families who have had such great loss, of someone they loved gone, usually, “incredibly too young”, I am grateful. I’m grateful that because of them, I have the right to express my opinions on this blog, on social media, at the coffee house or on a public square. I’m grateful that I could choose to walk away from my career of 22 years because I couldn’t accept the ethics any longer. I’m grateful that I could start up and close a business or two. I’m grateful that I can talk on the phone, or text my family. I’m grateful that I can have a dog and a fish.

I started this blog because of the negativity pandemic that is going on in our society right now. I hate it, truly. But I’m grateful that we have the right to be miserable if we choose to be. Although I’m not a march-in-the-streets-protester, I can protest the life-sucking-negativity, in my own way because I have the freedom to do so.

So, my ceremony for today is my new discipline of early morning writing. I’m grateful I have that choice. I’m grateful for the many lives lost that give me the right to be who I am and for you to be who you are. I’m grateful for many years of being intimate with death so that I can celebrate life . . . daily.

What are you grateful for today?

Enjoying the Adventure, (And greatful to have the freedom to do so!)

Dr. Dink

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Please visit my other Blog:  Brown Bag Letter

I encourage you to visit other bloggers at the following sites. You’ll find almost everything imaginable that can be written, in every form, from all over the world!

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Daily Post

New Eyes

I’ve been away for six weeks. When I left Pennsylvania there was snow on the ground and we arrived in the desert to sunshine and 93 degrees. Yesterday, I was surrounded by blue skies and was floating in a pool. I came from the dry air of the desert with warnings of wild fires, back to the Northeast and buckets of rain, buckets!. Everything feels damp, everything. For the past six weeks I’ve been experiencing the world from the eyes of a two-year-old in his toddler proof home. Today, I’m home, surrounded familiar antiques. The opposites are too many to list.

During these six weeks, I’ve been trained by a little human. He has taught me the wowness of the mundane. The excitement of what has been there and taken advantage of as “the norm”. He has shown me to see with new eyes again.

As I sit here this morning surrounded by my familiar,  I realize that there can be no assumptions —everything is not the same, although nothing much has changed. Because I’ve been retrained by this little guy, I do see things differently and with a renewed sense of appreciation.

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I was greeted by Smiley, my African statue and our collection of beautiful antique mirrors begging to give reflection, the best cow oil painting ever and the weather-vane in the window. Memories, comfort, old things . . . seen with new eyes, retrained to see by an inquisitive boy.

 

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Look around you, what do you see? Look again, what is so familiar that you don’t see or appreciate it as it deserves? It may be a trinket, a wedding band, something from your childhood, or the person next to you . . .

Enjoying the Adventure,

Dr. Dink

________________

 

Please visit my other Blog:  Brown Bag Letter

I encourage you to visit other bloggers at the following sites. You’ll find almost everything imaginable that can be written, in every form, from all over the world!

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Daily Post

 

My Love

img_20180412_172510463_burst001828445920.jpgThis man is a freak. Honestly, that is my word for “most wonderful man in the world.” He’s a guy’s guy kind of a guy. He can fix anything, he loves soccer with a passion, he will drop any “important project” that he’s working on if one of his kids call, or if I ask for some stupid thing that really can wait.

He fixes inside, outside, upside down (especially working on the truck or yucky plumbing). I’ve watched him persevere in the craziest of situations. My favorite was three days of “snaking the drain line” on a house we were working on. Oh my –it was rude to say the least and three days!!!  Did I say, 3?

With all this down to earth stuff of life, he also writes computer program. I mean really, a full description is quite complicated! I’m thrilled to say that this freak of a man is my husband.

Oh, I almost forgot . . . he talks funny too.  We have a small city near us named Altoona. He constantly calls it “AltooNER”.  He also pronounces, PAAArC, for what we normal people here in the US of A say, “Park”. When we were first dating that accent slayed me! I wanted him to read fairy tales to me . . .

img_20180519_060227930532885991.jpgSo imagine this morning, I’m currently in a different time zone & he calls, “Are you watching the wedding?”  It was 5:30am! So I got up and turned on the television while listening to him telling me about the beauty that was before me. I hear him saying, “I’ve been there.” (And I bet this man’s man kind of a man had a few little tears brewing in his English born eyes).

img_20180412_145612401305200189.jpgRoots are powerful. Here in Arizona, our second home-to-be, I’ve been hearing the doves calling out, “who, who, who” and it is strange how it brings me back to my childhood where I heard their call as a little girl. While here, three time zones and 5 decades later, there have been a few moments when I’ve had my eyes closed and I hear those doves and actually see my childhood home, feel the humidity-filled-Southern-New-Jersey air, and smile.

I’m happy that my love woke me up this morning. I’m so grateful that he got to remember his roots through this awe-inspiring event of love. Best part is, I know that I’m loved by this Brit each & every day.

Today, with all the terrible things going on in the world, it is good to have a break from the chaos and celebrate love. What memories do you cherish? What memories are you building? I’d love to hear your responses to these questions! As the day continues, I’m going to go play with that grandbaby before I fly back to my prince!img_20180412_1053396151562422611.jpg

Oh yes, I’m 

Enjoying the Adventure!

Karen 

(a.k.a. Dr. Dink)

 

P.S. As for the Royals, I hope they are as blessed as me!

 

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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

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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