The Portrait

There is a portrait of me on the wall.  My husband David took it with his cell phone when we were at a local restaurant a few years ago.  I’ve got a bit of a tan, my eyes are bright and shining, I’m smiling with a hint of laughter on my face.  I’m wearing a pink tunic that has sparkling trim around the neckline. It portrays a confident me, a happy me, a healthy me.  
It is a good picture, one I like because it reflects a happy time in my life.We were (and still are) very happily married, living in a beautiful lakeside home.Our three children enjoyed successful careers and relationships; four grandsons rounded out the family.I walked five miles every day, I was active in my church and community, had a circle of friends and lots of activities and hobbies that I enjoyed.
These days, I find myself standing in front of that portrait, staring at the smiling woman.I speak to her, asking “Where did you go?I can’t seem to find you now.” This past June, I was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis.In a …


Someone recently asked me about my "writing story."  I never have given that a lot of thought, to be honest, and I gave a rather short response.  So when a day or two later, I received an email writing prompt, asking me the very same question, I thought maybe I need to sit up and take notice.

I remember learning to write my ABC's, sitting in my daddy's lap.

I also remember my first grade teacher, Miss Randall, teaching me to read -- what a GIFT she gave me!  During the summer between 2nd and 3rd grades, my classmate Cathy and I wrote letters to each other.  (Darn, I wish I still had those letters, they'd be a hoot to read!)  As I grew older, I had several "pen pals" -- a couple of friends who moved away, a friend I met at the beach, an airmail penpal from Germany, and another one from Sweden.
I always enjoyed reading and writing in school; my favorite English assignments always dealt with creative writing or story-telling.

I kept journals and diaries sp…

Does It Bring You Joy?

I've felt the urge to de-clutter in the past few months, and decided this year would be THE YEAR to do it. I am giving myself the entire year to work through this house. Hey, I only have so much energy, you know. 

The latest book rage seems to be "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" by Marie Kondo.  So.... I downloaded the book and read it.  Cover to cover.
In it, the author advocates touching every single item in your house and asking yourself, "Does this bring you joy?"  If it DOES, you keep it.  If not -- toss it.

(I've got to tell you, tossing the bras was truly a joyful experience!)
As with most advice books, I take some of the tips and use them, modify others, and then roll my eyes (and ignore) at what I think does not fit me or my situation. For example, she suggests rolling your socks rather than stuffing one inside the other (as I've done my whole life) as a way to save space.  I started to toss that idea but thought I'd just try it and…

Look FORWARD / Joey Trees

Someone once told me that you don't drive a car looking in the rear-view mirror, you've got to keep LOOKING FORWARD!
I am most definitely looking forward to starting a new year -- this past one has been a long strange ride.

Do you prepare New Year's Resolutions?  I remember doing them as a child, writing on blue-lined notebook paper things like "Be kind," or "Be nicer to my sister."  I suppose I managed to keep those as well as a child could.  Hmm.  I will have to ask my sister....

As I grew older, the resolutions became more specific, I guess you'd say... like "Lose weight" and "Get more exercise" and "Get control of spending."  I can tell you for sure, they lasted usually about two weeks before I'd give up on them.
Since "Resolutions" seemed like an instant recipe for failure, I eventually decided to ditch making them.

Then a few years ago, I re-invented the process for myself. I recently had made some …