Posted tagged ‘friendship’

Autumn Chill

October 7, 2012

A favorite fall color and tree.

We’ve had to turn on our furnace.

I’ve broken out the sweat pants and sweatshirts to wear while writing. The winds are cold and howling off the lake. The vibrant color of the leaves which turned quickly are dropping just as fast.

October is here.

It slipped in with a fantastic event for me as a writer. I was able to break away for a few days to drive to Green Bay and participate with other writers as part of a Book Fair and Sale. So much fun to interact with other writers of all types and talk writing and book plots. I’ve missed that terribly. But I treasure each of the hours I had doing so. As a result on the drive home I decided on my next projects which will likely take me most of next year and what’s left of this one.

On the way home I pulled off the road…

Plus, I had the pleasure of talking with readers, avid readers, who talked about how much more they’re reading with their digital devices though they still treasure the feeling of holding print books with great covers in their hands. I had one reader who bought a print copy of Seasons of Wine and Love to put in their vacation home in the wine country where this book is set. She also downloaded a digital copy to read. She loved the gorgeous cover which doesn’t give as much pleasure to the reader in digital format. (Thank you, talented cover artist) Also check out my Seasons page on this site.

And my newest, just released book, More Than A Trifle, also got picked up and admired a lot. Comments ranged from “Oh, this looks delicious. I’ll bet the story is too,” to “Wow! That makes me hungry for dessert.” (Again, thank you very talented Elle) Trifle also has a page on this site; check it out.

Different tree but still my favorite color.

I treasure most though the hours spent chatting with my writer friends and wishing as we all do that writing isn’t by necessity more lonely than we’d always like. Especially as we see the winter creeping closer and the weather becoming less likely to predict which makes traveling dangerous.

But this coming week is back to reality and normal daily patterns. And thinking about those few days I skipped away from daily life and recharged my batteries so to speak. And as I enjoyed the vibrant colorama of the trees as I drove, I pondered how autumn resembles my life at this present time. Nature’s winding down in a flourish of beauty, wondrous colors, and times of deep sadness as we watch summer’s brilliant blooms shrivel and die quickly while hardier ones fight to the very last moment.

I acknowledge I’m now in the autumn of my life. I glory in the gifts of joy and brilliance. I hold steady against the chilling winds of fate, bad situations, deaths, and illness that have filled my life and the lives of those I treasure. I’m hoping my autumn lasts a very long time.

October Sunrise

So what season are you in?

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2012: A Better Year?

January 1, 2012

London New Year's Eve 2011

New Years Day. If you believe the Mayan calendar, it will be the last one. So enjoy it.

Maybe sleeping in–if you partied too late or too hard last night.

Or perhaps, you got up early to watch the sunrise. Winter sunrises where I live can be spectacular. But that kind of spectacular event didn’t happen today.

New Year’s Day isn’t just about the birth of a new year. It’s the day when babies are born, especially those special ones we read about every year on January 2nd or late news on January 1st. You know, those first babies of the year.

To Nancy

I have a dear friend who was one of those special babies–or a few years ago–who’s celebrating her birthday today. Knowing her she’s probably hoping the Packers win their last regular season game.  My birthday wish for her is to have a good year, a healthy year, a relatively stress-free daily life.

That would be the best gift other than my forever friendship that I could give her.

New Year’s Day is also a day when people make resolutions. You know those goals or changes individuals write out. Usually those goals relate to becoming better or more successful, either in their personal, professional, emotional, intellectual, family, or spiritual lives. Some people write out goals for all those spheres.

Many of them are never achieved or even remembered after the first week of January. I have my theories about why this happens. But that’s the topic for another blog.

Anyway, I have a few goals for this year. One of them is to identify and write out what’s on my bucket list. I think I’ve reached that time in life where I should really think about doing this. But I’ll have two of them. One will be a bucket list of things to do if my life changes drastically.

The other one will be what I want to achieve if the parameters of my life conditions remain stable. I hope these become the items I achieve. For the most part I like my life and those who are part of it.

So here’s my point–if I have one today. Resolutions, goals, bucket lists–all of them are helpful to reinforce motivation. They provide the framework from which we can direct our daily, weekly, monthly yearly goals and accomplishments occur.

But the unexpected will happen and significantly change a person’s direction in life. Those who are successful realize this and work with it.

Same Time, Next Year?

My wish for all of you is that this coming year sees you all with the energy and verve to achieve your resolutions or goals–and if you’re faced with major changes, you see the opportunity and challenge and use the circumstances to grow and see the implications for creating unexpected adventures in your lives.

Happy New Year.

Birthday Women–Pure Platinum

December 4, 2011

For Stella and Ella

Two very special women are celebrating their birthdays. My world is better for knowing both of them. I’m quite sure others who know them feel the same. While I can’t be with them today, I’m with them in my thoughts and I’m remembering the times I’d see them regularly.

Stella came into my life first. My mother taught her children. Her family attended the same church my family did. She taught at the college my brother attended and she was one of his professors. When I started back to college part time, I would nod at her and she’d nod at me. After all, we did see each other in church. She knew who I was. I knew who she was.

Then my life fell apart. My husband and I separated after 10 years of marriage; I was basically single parenting three young boys and trying to support them on a work/study job which only allowed me to work ten hours per week. Just prior to this, Stella was promoted at the college and became the head of her division. She heard I needed a job or I’d likely have to drop out of school. Now if my personal life was a mess, my academic life wasn’t. I was doing very well, exceeding in all my classes.

Ella--tiny and terrific

Well, one day just as I got home from picking up my sons from school the phone rang. The caller was Stella’s assistant. She indicated Stella suggested she talk to me as she needed some help in the office. She would like to interview me for some work in the office. Could we establish a time to discuss what she wanted.

That assistant was Ella, the other birthday woman today.

Ella offered me the job. While I worked in that office under her direction, Ella taught me so much. I have used that knowledge in so many ways with every task and in every position I have held since then. She was a mentor, a friend, a woman to admire. I owe Ella. And she holds a very special place in my heart. Working full time around my classes and on the same campus made my life much easier.

While taking classes, I was able to take several from Stella. I not only learned grammar, writing skills, and literature from her, I watched and learned how she handled her classes, interacted with her students, displayed her deep love of her subject in such a way she pulled her students into her world and learning became a powerful adventure.

She became professor, mentor, friend. But I never called her Stella until I started teaching and she offered me a part time position teaching writing. But I still found it difficult not to call her by her title. She’s that inspirational.

When I left the college to pursue graduate work in another city, my days of interacting daily with two women ceased. But not our friendship. Not what I owe them for aiding me on my journey to become the woman I am. (The photos today were taken at the “goodbye” gathering on my last day of work.)

Stella and Me

Stella and Ella are pure platinum. These days their hair color reflects their inner worth. I am honored I had my time in your very special worlds.

So a very happy birthday, Stella and Ella, my two platinum friends. And thank you so much for taking me under your wings and into your hearts when you did.

Ella and me

About Glad

October 23, 2011

Morning sunrise October 20, 2011

Last week the news hit the world that Moammar Gadhafi was dead. News programs were broadcasting the news with a warning that the photos/videos to follow might be upsetting to some viewers. While I suspect many who were oppressed by his tyranny and lost loved ones because of his actions and thus really wanted to see just how gruesome he was in death, I didn’t.

Certainly not because I sympathized with him or his philosophy. I understood the celebration at the news of his death, and I’m very happy one less evil person wreaks havoc in this world.

But I also heard of another death this past week. I doubt this quiet and unexpected death will make global news, nor would the person who died want that. But that death has touched me more deeply. I mourn the loss of one less good and generous person in this world.

She was a colleague of mine for nearly thirty years. She did much for her students both in the classroom and as club advisor and organizer of events. She was out in the community with special involvement in Special Olympics activities and Cancer Relay for Life events each year.

She was a caretaker. And in that role, she touched far more lives than I know about. If trouble was in your life, she was there–with a smile, a meal, a kind joke.

She was a traveler and loved going places and seeing new things. She enjoyed meeting new people and maintained communications with those new acquaintances long after the trip was over.

She was a great cook. Some of her recipes are favorites in my family now–because she shared.

Her baking skills were extraordinary. Her tiramisu and biscotti were the best ever.

Her gardens were lovely. The tables she dressed for her gatherings always had a theme and were lovely.

Was she perfect? She’d be the first to say “no.” And like genuine people, she wasn’t perfect.

Glad and I watched this sunset on a trip to Door County several years ago

She was Glad.

She was my friend.

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.