Saturday, July 30, 2016

July's Last Hurrah

There has not been much from me on the blog this month, but not because there have not been thoughts. Oh my, have there been thoughts.

So on the last day of the month, I am going to do a bit of a weekly roundup from Facebook, focusing on my Earth Healed and Daily Gratitudes offerings, that bit will be at the end. I am also going to let my small but loyal group of followers here know that I have signed up for another month long writing challenge, so I expect you will be seeing more posts in the month of August.

The actual challenge is a Small Stone challenge, that will have specific daily prompts, so they will be definitely guided. I also ran across a prose writing challenge, to write a page a day for August ... I am thinking that may turn into part of my post a day here on the blog, because while mindful writing is challenging, and has a beauty in the brevity and simplicity it embodies, it does not make for very substantial blog posts.

So we will begin with July 23:

My Daily Gratitudes

Heat breaking rain on a summer day
Waking and hearing I love you Sweetie
Intoxicating aroma of newly mown hay
Being able to respond to a friend's entreaty

Cats on the porch rail enjoying the sun
The tinkle of ice being dropped in a glass
Pulled pork and coleslaw served on a bun
Watching toddlers play in the grass

The unique relief of sleep when so weary
Paying a bill before and for once not late
Reading a good book and getting teary
The eerie slow creak of an old wooden gate

I have a vision of an Earth that is healed
Of all people making the decision to be kind
Happy swarms of honeybees pollinating a field
New definitions of success found and refined

July 24

This is my daily gratitude. Please take a moment, and look at the pictures, and read the captions.

When we moved into the house where my mother still lives, I had just turned 8 years old. There was an old wood frame house on the land next door. Gertie Nipper (we called her Granny Nipper) lived there. This lady reminds me of Gertie. She had electricity, and town water, but she lived old ways. There was a potbellied stove in the living room she would cook on. I still remember going to see her - I was always one to 'visit' the neighbors as a child - and she would make popcorn for us, on the stove in the living room.

She always wore dark clothing, long dresses and heavy black shoes. She had gray hair she wore in a bun. She had a garden on the hillside behind the house, and she would be up there real early hoeing weeds. You could hear the scratch of the hoe in the rocky soil.

So my gratitude today is to Jeanie Lawson, who is a friend of a friend here on Facebook, for helping me remember Granny Nipper, and what a gift it was to know her, even though she passed soon after we moved to the house on Virginia Avenue. Granny Nipper was kind to us little children, and was generous to all who knew her.

I have a vision of Earth, healed. An Earth where people like Granny Nipper and Ms. Issacs are the norm, not the exception or a curiosity.

Be blessed, and Bless others in your abundance as well as when you are in need.

This Facebook post was referenced.

July 25 (which was our 14th wedding Anniversary)

Lady Luna 
be my muse
Be my midnight 
be my guide
Month by month 
in varied hues
Behind cloudy mist 
though you may hide
In stormy times 
I know you're there
Illumine well
my woodland way
Lady Luna 
gentle and fair
Lead me to
a brighter day

When we met, he told me we knew one another even before we were born. That we played together as angels on the clouds, and pinky swore that because he was given his parents 9 months before I was given mine that we would find each other again. It took us 43 years, and a failed first marriage each, but find each other we did! We married on July 25, 2002. His choice, so our anniversary would always be Christmas in July. Fourteen years later, and we still love each other, and like one another's company.

We have had a challenging year, from last anniversary to this, but in all of our challenges we stick together.

He is my Daily Gratitude, every single day.

On July 25, 2002 Roger and I were married at the Magistrates Office in Abingdon, Va. We had met online via Yahoo Personals in June of 2001 and he came to meet me in person on June 26, 2001. This picture was taken right after we were married. The past ten years have been so good - I love him, and like him. We can talk, or be comfortable with silence. I am blessed beyond measure to be his wife. Happy Anniversary, Roger!

Life is so fragile, when all is said and done. So very, very fragile. I just saw here, on Facebook, that Greg Hankins passed away. He graduated from my alma mater, RHS, in 1975. He and Marcy were the quintessential childhood sweethearts. You knew love was real, if you knew them, or just saw them together in the cafeteria or hallway. They were that perfect together. Hail and Farewell, Greg. You touched many lives I am sure, and impacted more than you will ever know. 

July 26

My Daily Gratitudes

I saw Justin Olivo in Wal-Mart this morning. He was a team manager at AT&T that had the misfortune of trying to keep me in line for a few months. I told him he deserves a button that says " I Survived Being Ellen's Boss". He always smiles. Nice to seem him, and thankful he took the time to chat.

Updates on my mother indicate that physically she is doing well after her recent fall and hospitalization. I am thankful she is still able to be living in her own home.

For the first time in almost six years, I am able to qualify for at least partial benefits through my employment. I am so thankful to Wal-Mart, and the job I have with them.

A butterfly landed on the windshield when I came home from work. It was so beautiful ... 
There was fog hanging low and heavy in the hollows and valleys this morning, it was like driving through the clouds to get to work ... 
I am thankful today for the opportunity to notice and enjoy this beautiful Earth.

Be kind, and remember - your smile may be the only one someone receives today.

This picture is about 5 years old
You know who you are, my dear friends, who are adjusting to realities without siblings, parents, spouses, children. I would enfold each of you in a hug, and grieve and remember with you the unique unequalled loved one you will never forget. Remember, what is remembered, lives, forever in your heart. Love to each of you.

July 27

My Daily Gratitudes
This morning, I think it was about 6:30, I was standing outside at work on break. There is a hillside in the distance, back behind the store, that is partially wooded, then there is a section that is pasture, then the wooded area begins again. In the pasture portion, there is a lone tree, I think it may be an Oak. The woods to the left of the pasture resemble a fat groundhog. The woods to the right of the pasture look like a bunny rabbit. The Oak in the pasture, well it very well could be a morsel of food the two woodland creatures are both going after at the same time. 
I am grateful that I am gifted with a childlike imagination that takes flights of fancy while watching the sky, and can see pictures not just in clouds but grass and trees as well.
The S-10 is state legal for another year. I am thankful there were no issues that could have been costly.
I am thankful for Tammy Shelton - my hairdresser - who gives me haircuts that I can wash and wear. I hate fixing my hair.
And once again, I am very grateful for heat-breaking rain showers. Dog Days are hot this year, but at least they are not dry.

Be kind - to yourself as well as others. Love to all.

July 28

My Daily Gratitudes
Love Evi Schumacher - I have the best friends! And the most talented husband, who has sketched me an Owl holding a Luna Shield and a ceremonial spear. I will use my watercolor pencils to color it. Evi made the bookmark. I have already placed it in my copy of Ink and Honey. What a wonderful Thursday!

I am thankful today for a break in the heat that made it bearable to cook. I have baked beans and barbecue chicken in the oven, and I made a bowl of potato salad.

I am thankful for family, and the wonderful gift of a phone call from my dear cousin Georgenne yesterday evening.

My lagniappe for the day was a wee pretty child in the grocery store, whom I admit I would have stolen were I not so old and slow. Children are a blessing.

July 29

Vincent van Gogh crossed the veil on this date in 1890

Lyrics to Vincent by Don McLean

Starry night
Paint your palette blue and grey
Look out on a summer's day
With eyes that know the
Darkness in my soul.
Shadows on the hills
Sketch the trees and the daffodils
Catch the breeze and the winter chills
In colors on the snowy linen land.
And now I understand what you tried to say to me
How you suffered for your sanity
How you tried to set them free.
They would not listen
They did not know how
Perhaps they'll listen now.
Starry night
Flaming flo'rs that brightly blaze
Swirling clouds in violet haze reflect in
Vincent's eyes of China blue.
Colors changing hue
Morning fields of amber grain
Weathered faces lined in pain
Are soothed beneath the artist's
Loving hand.
And now I understand what you tried to say to me
How you suffered for your sanity
How you tried to set them free.
Perhaps they'll listen now.
For they could not love you
But still your love was true
And when no hope was left in sight on that starry
Starry night.
You took your life
As lovers often do;
But I could have told you
This world was never
Meant for one
As beautiful as you.
Starry night
Portraits hung in empty halls
Frameless heads on nameless walls
With eyes
That watch the world and can't forget.
Like the stranger that you've met
The ragged men in ragged clothes
The silver thorn of bloody rose
Lie crushed and broken
On the virgin snow.
And now I think I know what you tried to say to me
How you suffered for your sanity
How you tried to set them free.
They would not listen
They're not
List'ning still
Perhaps they never will.

July 30

And so July is drawing to a close. 

I still have a vision of Earth, healed, One smile, one random act of kindness, one hug, one blessing at a time. 

Be blessed, and bless others in the blessing.


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