Thursday, December 8, 2022

Christmas Magic

It was just a few weeks until Christmas and I could hardly wait.

We had moved into our beautiful new house, and I had my very own bedroom.  No more sharing with my annoying younger brother.

Mom was busy decorating and getting ready for the holiday.  I’m not sure I had ever seen her so happy.  She finally met someone who treated her well and even liked us kids too. 

Buzz was a kind man, quiet and gentle with a warm smile.  Walking in with his dusty work boots, exhausted from work, he was never too tired to pick me up and give me a huge bear hug.

We were living a life I could never have imagined.  There was so much food in the house we had to put another refrigerator on the back porch.  We didn’t have to worry about moving in the middle of the night because we couldn’t pay the rent.  Life was very good.

“You are not going to start another project this close to Christmas.” I heard my mom telling Buzz.

He was always working on something.  He built a new patio with a rock garden for mom in the summer and a mini playhouse for me and my brother.

Despite her protests, he began working.  

It was unusual for him to be doing it inside, but it was winter, so I didn’t think much of it. 

Mom was beside herself with the mess.  She had worked so hard to clean and decorate the house.  He had even pushed the Christmas tree off into the corner.

I was surprised and confused when I came home from school and saw that he was actually tearing down the living room wall. 

He and mom almost never argued but this was different.  There were pieces of wood and sheet rock everywhere.  I was happy I had a room to go to where I could stay away from it all.

As the days passed, mom accepted that this was going to happen whether she liked it or not. 

Just a couple of days until Christmas now and I was more excited than ever.  This was our first Christmas in the new house.

Behind the canvas tarps, Buzz worked away, he looked like the Wizard of Oz behind the curtain.

He even enlisted my brother to help with his “secret project”.
I was a little jealous that I wasn’t included but I kept myself busy playing with my dolls and reading in my room.

Finally, it was Christmas eve.  I knew this year would be special, but I had no idea how much. 

After dinner, mom sent me and my brother to our rooms.  “We have something to do before Santa comes, so you have to stay there until we tell you to come out,” she instructed. “And no peeking,” she nodded to my brother.

Presents, it must be our presents we both thought. 

When she opened the door, she told me to close my eyes.  Gently guiding me, we walked into the front room. 

When I opened my eyes, I saw the most incredible fireplace I had ever seen.  

That is what Buzz had been working on.  Whoever had lived there before had covered up the fireplace with a wall.

It looked like something out of a fairy tale – the fire was glowing with twinkles of light reflecting on the hearth.

Under the tree were two boxes, one for me and one for my brother. 

We didn’t usually get to open any gifts before Christmas morning, so this was another unexpected surprise. 

My box was not wrapped, so it was easy to just open the top.  As I did, up popped the most beautiful little gray kitten in the world.  

Immediately I began to cry, as I carefully lifted her out of the box.

“Is she really for me?” I asked in disbelief, petting her gently. "I think I'll call her Thumbelina because she's so tiny," I said.

My brother grinned at me and began opening his package.  It was a toolbox with real tools to build things, he was thrilled.

Mom smiled and watched quietly as we laughed and played.  Buzz reached down from his rocking chair and lifted me, still holding the kitten, into his lap.

It was truly a magical Christmas.

Give Peace a Chance

Today is the anniversary of John Lennon’s death.  It's hard to believe that so much time has passed and how much has happened.

I was 24 and remember vividly the cold December day that it happened.  It sent shock waves through my family.  

It was 1980 and as I walked through my neighborhood, there was a large poster hung on a front porch, trimmed with Christmas lights, sharing John’s message “Give Peace a Chance”.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Powers of Manifestation

I need to remember to use my powers of manifestation to attract wanted, not unwanted experiences.

I believe that there are no actual coincidences in life – although there may be incidents that coincide but whatever is appearing in our lives is because we are attracting it with our vibration.

This week has been a great reminder for me to be more deliberate in how I think about seemingly little things that can easily become much larger if I don’t pay attention. 

A couple of months ago, I rented my house out and started traveling again.  I’ve been staying at hotels and planning the rest of my journey.

This is the perfect opportunity for me to get out of my comfort zone and press reset. 

It is also an environment full of unique experiences that require much more consideration than when I am at home. 

When I am away, I know that my energy can be so strong that even the slightest thought will manifest in some unexpected way.

This past week I have had several experiences that have literally woken me up to the absolute power of the law of attraction. 

A few days ago, I was having dinner at the hotel when a large family with several young children came in.  They were adorable and very lively, I remember thinking how those parents really had their hands full.  

I finished my dinner and went back upstairs only to find that they were in the room next to me.  Needless to say, I didn’t get much sleep.

How did I attract that?  I was tired and hoping that I wouldn’t have noisy neighbors.  I had focused on that family in a way that was not what I wanted.

The next morning, I realized I had been thinking about it in a negative way and started to think about them as a beautiful family traveling together and how happy those children were laughing and playing.  Within an hour the family checked out of the hotel.

Still a bit tired from lack of sleep, I decided to take myself out to lunch.  Pizza and a beer sounded great. 
 
It was midweek so there weren’t many people there.  As I looked over the menu, I thought I might try something new.  The waiter was a very kind young man and said the dish I was thinking of trying was his favorite and they didn’t have the beer I wanted but had a good alternative. 
 
He was right, both were delicious.  I enjoyed a nice relaxing meal and then headed back to the hotel for a great nap.

How did I attract that?  I thought about how much I enjoy peace and quiet.  That I love meeting nice people wherever I go.   And, how truly fortunate I feel to have such a wonderful life.

Next, as I was going to take some belongings back to storage, I discovered my car battery was dead.  I have never, ever had a dead battery in over 50 years of driving.  I also have never used my auto roadside service. 

How did I attract that?  Earlier that day, I received a renewal notice for the service and I thought I might not renew because I had never used it.  Also, I was feeling a little overwhelmed at how disorganized my car was with all my excess baggage.

At first, I panicked.  I hadn’t dealt with this before and felt very insecure.  I wondered how easy or difficult this process would really be.  

For the next hour, I tried to navigate the phone and online system to get my request processed.  It was feeling like a challenge.

I knew I needed to relax, I was in a safe place and as always, I had many options.  I decided to walk across the street to get some lunch while I waited.  

As soon as I placed my order, the service technician called to say they were on the way.  I wondered what this man would be like or maybe it could be a woman? 

Inside of 30 minutes, a lovely young woman from the auto club, recharged my battery and I was back on track.

Then last night – I ran a hot shower to get some moisture into a very dry hotel room.  I checked to see where the smoke detectors were, so I didn’t accidently set one off.  I had a nice relaxing evening and went to bed.  

At midnight, the fire alarm was shrieking, and I had to scramble to get my clothes on and get outside in the freezing cold. 

How did I attract that?  As I was checking for the smoke detectors, I noticed the unit on the wall next to the bed and thought I would certainly wake up if that goes off.  It absolutely did, my ears are still ringing it was so loud.  I had also been thinking of how scattered my clothes were and what would I do if I needed to leave in a hurry.  

I went down to my car where I could get warm and remembered I had extra winter gear in my trunk for emergencies.  Once again, I reminded myself that I was safe and no matter what, everything would be fine.  Of course, it was a false alarm, someone probably triggered it burning popcorn in the microwave or maybe even taking a shower. 

This post began as a simple thought about the Law of Attraction and how it works in our lives.

Whatever I give my attention to will expand and how I feel about it will dictate the manifestation. 

I love knowing that I can create anything and that I need to stay mindful about how that comes about.

There were a few reasons for this trip.  One was to write more, and another was to focus on my spiritual journey.  

So far both are feeling very satisfying and that I will happily continue to manifest.
 

Sunday, June 5, 2022

A Moment of Joy

 You never know when something will happen that will surprise and delight you.

As I was walking through the parking lot, on my way to get groceries.  I smiled at a woman loading her car with hanging baskets of wilted petunias.

Just as I passed her, she called out to me.  I turned to see her waving me back toward her. 
 
Not sure what she needed, I walked back over.

Smiling, she said something in Spanish and handed me one of the baskets.  

I understood enough that there were no more, and this was for me.  She said "agua" and then motioned big growth.  

Her daughter watched us as we tried to communicate.

It was a moment of pure joy.


Monday, March 14, 2022

Emotional Decluttering in my 60s

As I look back on my life, I can see all the events and circumstances that brought me to where I am now.  I am grateful for every situation and relationship that helped me to grow into the woman I am today. 

What I have realized is that some of what I have been holding onto no longer serves me and it is time to let it go.  Just like that closet packed with clothes that I no longer wear; it is time to clear some of the emotional clutter.
 
Letting go can be difficult but when I look at the benefit it brings, it becomes easier. 
 
It doesn’t happen all at once. 
 
Just like sorting through that closet, I needed to take my time and try some things on.  How does it feel?  Does it work for who I am and what my life is about today?  If so, I will happily keep it – if not, I have to release it.

I like the philosophy of Treasure or Toss in decluttering and it helped to ease some of the emotional discomfort I felt about this process.
 
One thing I seemed to have accumulated a lot of over the years are unhealthy relationships.  Those interactions that, no matter how hard I to try to fix them, they never get better. 

What I have discovered is that abuse comes in all shapes and sizes (physical, verbal, emotional, financial, spiritual).  Running the gamut from unkind and disrespectful to controlling and manipulative, it all has the same outcome – pain.

Replace what you don’t need with what you do want.

In the beginning, everything felt like a loss.  Now, I look at what I have to gain in the process.  Once I removed the anxiety and discomfort, I found peace and clarity. 

Gently, I began sorting through my feelings.  I evaluated each situation carefully and asked myself – does this bring me joy?

The answer isn’t always clear cut, relationships are complicated.  But if I am serious about improving my life then I need to prioritize what I give my time and energy to.

Aging clarified what is most important in my life.

After turning 60 I no longer felt like I had forever but, in many ways, it felt like my life was just beginning. 

What I didn’t want to do was to waste one moment being unhappy.  Life can be short or long, but it is all very precious, and we have to make the most of it.

For me, that means taking the time to appreciate all of the wonderful experiences I have had and letting the rest go.
 
Clearing what no longer fits feels like creating space for what is yet to come - more joy and satisfaction at this beautiful time in my life.

Did your outlook on life and relationships change after turning 60?  What impact has aging had on your relationships?  Share your stories and join the conversation.

Sunday, March 13, 2022

What I Didn't Know About Ireland

                                


As an Irish American, I grew up thinking that I knew certain things about Ireland.   Of course, I had always heard how beautiful it was and how friendly the people were, but I was surprised to discover that there are so many things that as Americans we don't really know about Ireland.

Here are just some of the things that surprised and delighted me during my travels to the lovely green isle.

Top o' the Mornin 

I've never heard an Irish person say this in over 20 years of traveling there.

Corned Beef and Cabbage is not the national dish

The most common or traditional meal I found all through the country is boiled back bacon (pork), potatoes, cabbage and a lovely parsley cream sauce, it's just like the country boiled dinner my grandmother made when I was growing up.  Corned beef and cabbage developed in America due to the cost of food and immigrants living in the same communities with some who did not eat pork.  


Irish Bacon is not the same as Canadian Bacon 

It a gorgeous slice of pork loin (rashers) that I adore!

St. Patrick's Day began as a religious holiday to honor their patron Saint

Until 1970 pubs were required by law to close for the day.  Irish immigrants in America began celebrating in remembrance of their homeland and it has evolved into the green madness we know today. 

The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are separate countries

Although they share a border with the South, Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom.

Pubs in Ireland are truly Public Houses

They are a place to meet, gather and conduct business.  You are as likely to find a hardware store or linen shop in the same building.  I even found one that had a mortuary on the other side.  Many have become more of a drinking establishment, but you'll still find many true pubs throughout the country.

To say that the Irish are heavy drinkers, is not a fair reflection of the culture

I found drinking to be more of a social activity, and many prefer tea or soft drinks over alcohol when they are out.  My favorite was black currant juice mixed with water, very refreshing.

Having said that, there is a very healthy respect for the black stuff

During my travels I would often see Guinness mini coupes driving through the country to inspect and service the tiny pubs in the towns and villages.  As a woman you are more likely to be offered a glass instead of a pint when you order a beer, just tell them you want a pint, and you'll get a smile and a wink.

We've all heard of Irish Wakes 

I was very moved to hear the story about families having American Wakes for their loved ones who were emigrating to the US - they knew they would probably never see them again.  

Christian - Pagan - Ancient Celts

As I trekked up the Hill of Tara, I was surprised to see a very modest statue of St. Patrick and all of the surrounding monuments and symbols to honor their ancient pagan history as well.

Cherish the History

That is something very unique about Ireland - they don't remove something just because it is old or seems out of date.  A lovely caretaker I met at the Kylemore Abbey gardens explained to me that anything that thrives there stays there. 

Taxi drivers are more like professional tour operators 

They will give you great information about the local area.  It will also be the most interesting conversation you will ever have.  The Irish are very well informed about news and world events and love to chat with travelers about all of it.

How lovely and social they are is not a myth 

If they ask you about yourself, it isn't simply to be polite - they really want to know.  When I lived there, I was told early on, to allow extra time when you go out so you can chat with the people you meet along the way.  

The Irish have an incredible, irrepressible, independent spirit

That is perfectly displayed on the Painted Doors of Dublin.  At the same time, they have a deep love and loyalty to their country, like singing the national anthem at the end of the night after drinking and dancing.  That is something you would never see at an American bar.

They are the warmest, kindest most generous people I have ever met, and the countryside is absolutely stunning.  

If you've been there, then you know what I'm talking about.  If you haven't, then you must see it for yourself to understand the true beauty of this very special place.

To say I was charmed by Ireland would be a tremendous understatement.  It's not only the home of my ancestors but has become the homeplace of my heart. 






Sunday, January 30, 2022

12 Years

It's hard to believe that 12 years have passed since I began this blog.

I remember being very nervous to actually publish my innermost, private thoughts and musings.

At first, I was hesitant to even post what I was writing.  I couldn't believe that anyone would want to read about such simple things.

Then little by little, with a lot of support and encouragement, I began to share my thoughts.

I was astonished at the warm and wonderful reception I received.

My deepest appreciation goes to all of you who have supported me in this grand personal experiment.

Wishing you all love and joy!