Monday, June 29, 2015

Happy 4th Of July

Happy 4th of July week...Hope you all enjoy your family, friends and all the activities
 that come with this holiday celebrating our Independence!  Be safe and have FUN!

Monday, June 15, 2015

If you ever see Mary Hazlett

Have you ever dipped your toe into a pool of water and watched as the ripples move?  Watching this phenomenon, I ponder how far reaching the effects are with such a small and simple thing as barely touching the water. 

With yet another Mother's day come and gone, I took the time to reflect on my mother as well as my own opportunity of motherhood.  From a storage bag, I gently removed the letters and notes that my mom had given me over the years.  I read them, cried on them, smelled them, and even hugged them as each one brought back a memory.  The card my mom gave me with the birth of my first child still plays the lullaby when you open it.  One note in particular is my favorite...and it was not given to me in an envelope or for any special reason.  

My mother loved little notebooks and she collected many.  The one that I am specifically remembering is pictured here and hung in my mother's sewing room for years.  Its home was on a pin, just above my mother's sewing machine.  I often spent time with my mother in her sewing room.  I loved to watch her create beautiful things.  She was very determined in making things just right... I got to pick out several seams in my day.  

Knowing the hours my mother would be spending sitting at her sewing machine, I wrote a note to my mom in this little notebook that read, "Mom if you ever see this, I love you lots!"  Gauging by the handwriting I would guess that I was only 12 years old.  I knew my mom would see that note at a time she was working and quite possibly frustrated with a project... and perhaps needed a little encouragement.  It made me happy knowing I could help her even a little.

Well, the years did pass as they always do and I had forgotten about that little note.  And for any of you that has lost a loved one, you know what happens when you enter into the home of your lost loved one.  First you go around the house touching everything that they might have touched, smelling their things, and closing your eyes imagining that they are there with you.  I did this too... and the first place I went was to my mother's sewing room.  I sat on her chair, closed my eyes to imagine my mom there with me and when I opened them I saw the notebook.  I reached for the notebook and lifted the front cover.  Inside was that little note I had wrote to my mother all those years ago...stapled to the cover of the notebook with this response, "Mary if you ever see this, I love you lots too!  Mom OX".

With tears beyond control, I thanked our Father for that little note.  I thanked Him for such a mother who cherished those little things and gave her love so willingly back to me.  For who would have guessed that 21 years earlier that this small note would be so profound to a hurting daughter...a daughter that needed her mother's words and strength at that very moment.   I will forever cherish that little notebook.  

So I too would love to be that kind of mother to my three darling children.  For I see how fortunate I am to have these beautiful children and to experience motherhood.   I can only hope that I may be the kind of mother my mom I will begin by saying to my darling children:  If you ever see this ... I love you lots and thank you for making me a mother!  

Monday, June 8, 2015

"All that's Gold Does NOT Glitter...but it can sure make it easier to find it under the mud" Gina Waite

The Faith of a child is a beautiful thing! To be able to witness that faith…well you’ve just found a little piece of Heaven on Earth. I remember when my daughter was three-years-old. She loved nothing more than to stand on a step close to the top of our home’s full flight of stairs…wait for her Uncle Mike to arrive and position himself at the bottom, and then would freely, and uninhibitedly, jump into the air in a swan-dive- type pose…only to be caught by her Uncle just before hitting the ground. As I watched with trepidation, I realized that with each and every jump my daughter would take, it was EQUALLY as important for her Uncle to believe in her ability to launch herself appropriately into his arms. It was as essential to her faith in knowing she would be caught that my brother exemplified complete determination and dedication to being there as a support to catch her before she hit the ground. This example of complete faith and unwavering determination reminds me of a recent experience between a certain nephew and his precious ring!

Andrew, nephew extraordinaire and willing enthusiast of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of The Rings” and “The Hobbit,” novels, worked very hard to earn enough money to buy himself a very convincing replica of the famed books’ ring. After playing outside and single-handedly trying to recreate Peter Jackson’s cinematography magic when the golden ring rotates perfectly, and mesmerizingly slowly, through the air…Andrew disappointedly expressed his sadness at his inability to catch the “precious." As the ring was then lost in a half-acre worth of thick, Kentucky Bluegrass, hope seemed futile as it was very possible he would never recover it…but a pleading prayer and innocent faith would inspire all who loved him to help search for the ring.

Hour after hour his family searched until one day, and the fine pin-pointed accuracy of a dear friend’s metal detector (thank you Lamoyne and J Ann), the general location of the ring’s whereabouts was identified and it's muddy grave, exposed. I watched as my brother Richard, a very loving father, remind our Andrew that through his example of faith and prayerful supplication…it inspired unwavering dedication and the process by which the ring was finally recovered. Presentation of “The ONE Ring” then ensued and the pay-off for all the time and recovery efforts was truly in watching our Andrew’s face light up as the ring was then restored to it’s rightful owner! As I said before, to witness the faith of a child is to experience a little piece of Heaven…and to quote from Shakespeare, “All that’s gold does NOT glitter,” but it can sure help you find it under the mud!

Monday, June 1, 2015

"Lions and Tigers and Bears" Jim Terry

While surfing the net the other day, I noticed a picture from a famous movie known to most of us…”The Wizard of Oz.”  As you recall, Dorothy, the main character in the movie, is swept away by a tornado only to experience a remarkable journey in a world very much different from what she was used to.  While there, she met and conversed with munchkins, saw flying monkeys and followed a yellow brick road to the Emerald City.  During her adventure, she also had many different experiences with people, fictitious characters and even encountered “lions and tigers and bears”…well maybe not all of those animals, but certainly a cowardly lion.  And since it is now OFFICIALLY the travel season and we all like to be swept away and experience our own journeys known as “family vacations”, I wanted to provide you with a suggestion of something to do.

I recently took a trip down the California coast to a sleepy little coastal town known as Monterey.  Monterey is located about two hours south of the San Francisco area.  If you have the time and are an adventurous personality, I would HIGHLY recommend forgoing the major freeways and take Highway 1 south instead.  It will definitely take you more time to reach your destination but then you will be able to see the lighthouses that are frequent along the coast, smell the salty air, gaze at the cliffs that plummet into the Pacific Ocean below, andif you want to stopcan even experience the sand on your feet and in between your toes.  

Once you finally reach Monterey you can then head to the aquarium, stroll along cannery row and head over to their version of “Fisherman’s Wharf.”  As you meander down the boardwalk you will notice all of the traditional gift shops and restaurants that one may expect in a “tourist trap,” but at the end of the pier is where I found the “diamond in the rough”…Monterey Bay Whale Watch. I had seen photos, watched videos and heard the stories about whales breaching the water, but now I was ready for my own journey to begin.

As I boarded the ship for my four-hour tour, I must admit that I was bursting with excitement…I seriously was like a kid in a candy store or definitely like a kid on Christmas morning.  I had experienced plenty of nature before since I grew up by Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, but never in my day had I experienced, let alone anticipated, how exhilarating it might be to see a FORTY TON mammal leap from the water. 

The seas were a bit rough and cold that day but each person that turned yellow and threw up, each crash of the waves on the bow of the ship that tried to drench my camera and its lens, and every cold splash of water that was lanced against my face from the piercing wind, only made me more determined to get what I paid for…”an EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME.”

So without further adieu, I will let the collage associated with today’s blog speak for itself in whether or not you think I saw anything or got what I paid for.   I will say just one thing though, “I, like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, did have an experience in a world that was foreign to me but definitely turned out extraordinary, impressive and remarkable in the end.  And even though I didn’t see ‘lions and tigers and bears’, I did see…sea lions and dolphins and whales!”

“Some Journeys Take Us Far From Home.  Some Adventures Lead Us To Our DESTINY!”  ~C.S. Lewis~