Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Family, New Family, Friends, and New Friends...It's Peace to me!

J and I have just returned from our trip back to Connecticut!

This is 321 Alma Drive.
Fairfield, Connecticut.

It is where my little sister B and I grew up. I lived in this ranch style house for just over 18 years. My B lived there with our Mom and our Granny till I believe, B was in her 20's.
Our parents, bought and built this house back in 1961. The year I was born. If I recall what I have been told correctly, we had moved in on my first birthday! My bedroom was in the back right-hand corner and B's is to the right of the front door. I can't even imagine how many layers of my family's life, is in the walls and foundation of this house. If it could talk.

Each visit back to Connecticut, we always drive by both J's and my "homestead's." J's in Westport and the one we both started our family in. That is located in Huntington, Connecticut. This time back though, I sadly admit, the house had changed quite allot!
We had moved our Mom out here to Arizona back in 1990. The next trip out to visit, we noticed right a way a few changes here and there. This time though, sitting in the car looking out at her, we noticed the garage is all redone. Our Father built that garage all by himself alone, with his own 2 hands! Our Grandfather, (his Father) was big in the Fairfield Lumber business, way back then. It was a shock to see it this way. All the windows on the house have been replaced. The huge screened in porch (again, something our Father built with his own 2 hands!) and patio off the side of the garage is now gone. We did spied a small picnic table and some chairs set up on the slab of concrete. Still, not the one that we did. Gone were the 3 Japanese Elms that stood in the front yard. They were a gift from our Grandparents to our folk's for a anniversary if I remember right. There are picture's of our oldest, when toddler and a little bit older, climbing them. There are also one's of him helping to hang Easter eggs with his Granny on some of the boughs. Mom had so many daffodils and crocus, that were scattered all amongst the front. Gone or replaced. All up the left side of the driveway, planted and stood so tall, were our 2nd and 3rd Christmas trees in our house as a new family. They're all gone now! Sadly, we could still see remnants of the stumps left behind. There still was our 1st Christmas tree standing really really tall and majestic in the right hand side of the backyard. I was so glad that the owners saw fit to keep it, at least that one. Four of Mom's lilac trees, gone. Forsythia, all removed.
Putting the camera away, I turn to J and say, "maybe our drive-by's should start to be less and less, come our future visits. It is changing too much for me."

I have so much in my heart that it is still taking time for me to process and digest. All of the what the what it was for me, in my "back home." I started to feel it get all twiggly in me, slipping into the car rental and heading out onto familiar earth. The highways. Interstate 91 and 95. All the various trees with their sizes and types, the green of it all, the canopy's of our Mother Nature and her protecting her bounty, the aroma of the rain that had just fallen and the sight of the steam rising up. The humidity that lingered on my skin and each strand of my hair swelling in moisture, our scanning of the radio stations, to see if the ones we grew up on are still on the air.
It was all twiggly.

Alice Leigh.

We designed our vacation, with arriving first to visit with J's sister's family in Madison. Our amazing and beautiful niece M, a month ago, brought into our world and to our family, this precious new angel, Alice. All pink, soft and hope. Alice is perfection personified, aren't all angels from heaven? It is quite silly of me to state, that while I was holding my great niece, I soaked her and me with so many of my tears! It was like I immediately went back in time! Here I am looking down into her round angelic pefection, and I was back holding my niece M all over again. So surreal for me.
Our visit was of course, far too short and we didn't fill in all that we wanted to! All the love there and exchanged was huge none the less. It very much reminded us, that family that isn't close in distance, is just as important to that of those that are near to J and I here in the desert. In the car ride, J and I promised one another that we would go back every year now.

After our tearful farewell with J's family and all of the kisses still damp on our cheeks and on sweet-baby's forehead, we ventured out to Fairfield area and had the pleasure to stay with two of our dearest, oldest, and loved friends, N and T! These two incredible friends, have stuck with us through so much and are always up for any adventure we can find. T and J have been friends since they were 14 years old. My becoming N's friend in that process, has been the icing on an already beautiful cake. Both of them and their 18 year old Oscar, has us stay with them.

When the four of us get together for whatever amount of time that is permitted, there is always an amount of laughter that has us all in tears! We either having one or some of us having to leave the room just so that we can catch our breaths! Our sides ache for stretches of time! Nothing is off limits to the hilarity that we 4 share.
We have camped with T and N back in the days of our friendship, was beginning as couples. (and yes, this N here did indeed camp!) We have gone sight seeing with them here in Arizona. Vacationed a few times. They even came out to help us move into our house in Chandler from the apartment we had up on in Phoenix. We have river rafted all together, hiked goat trails down through the Grand Canyon. River tubed down in Connecticut. We have had party after party with them.
Each visit J and I go back, N and T always try and bring the "old" group together. Be it a party in the evening or a picnic. As long as it is a gathering so, that we get to see all the ones that J grew up with. N and T do this all themselves and it is just for us! Saying thanks doesn't even come close to touch upon our gratitude for them. Alas, this time back was the first, that it didn't happen that we could see all the old group. It truly was no bother or harm, just a little sad. Being in N and T's company is just the best to be around in regardless. N is also a phenomenal chef that knows food. A feast she put on for us and I am still trying to fit into my jeans! They are love exemplified and in J's and my heart, there are no two people like them on this earth! Leaving them on Monday was yet again, immensely difficult. Farewells seemed to have been the verse for this trip.

So, let me introduce you to the Class of 1979 alumni's!

Saturday night was the reunion and believe me, I am still having a hard time processing the whole affair! So very very different than the 20th. My observation was that we are getting older and seeing life in far new personal perspectives. All of my emotions are still a jumble and I am still dropping tears every time I see a photo or read the posts on our Facebook pages.
These were the friends of my youth and I have loved them so and still do. It was a night to remember, as the saying goes, and everyone who was in attendance didn't want it to end.

Here is my Angie.
Who I have the greatest love in and whom I had adored first in my very youg life! Angie was my hearts first design in friendship and acceptance.

This is my Eddie.
The guy who taught me how to be a friend with a guy. My articulating of words, will never be just, in true description of what and how I feel for this beautiful man.
Love is all I can think of to say.

My Phil. (Hooker)
Silver and still so wonderful! You are just filled with joy when in his presence. I literally can fall into his smile!

My Mike.
The guy that stole my heart in true kindness towards me and compassion of a damaged life.

Please meet my Brenda.
This girl was a HUGE part of my teenage years! Jr. high and high school had me wanting to always be near her.

My Joe.
Kind and funny! Hadn't changed one bit.

My Debbie.
Sweetness and cuteness to the hilt! Debbie is exactly who she was in school.

This my Doug.
His entire family, throughout Jr. High, was intertwined with mine on so many levels. Doug was kind and shy then. He was full of joy and love that night!

My sweet Liz, with me and Angie.
Liz was and is the joy of living a happy and good existence! Her smile is still one of the best kind to be given! She was for me, in our elementary years, one of the truest examples of behavior and appropriateness. I always wanted to be near her.

My Jean, me, and Angie.
Jean was ans is still the girl that always always had a laugh to be had! Sense of humor? I sear she wrote a huge chapter of it in school! I adored being in her company all the time. Funny funny soul to know!

There are so many more photo's that I took that night of course. I would show them all on this post but, it came down to all about room! A memory card that was exceeded!

So, here is the
Class of 1979 in 2009!

J and I had the most surreal and full of love, of time spent everywhere, we were in our home state of Connecticut. The reunion proved to be more and more as the night went on to be everything I could have wished for. Though, 4 hours was not even close to enough time, to be able to acknowledge or chat with, all of those that filled our days of youth. No one wanted it to end. No one wanted to go home. I for one forgot to sit long enough to enjoy the food that they had for dinner. The hotel bar, after the actual reunion was over and we decided to go and all gather at, kicked us out before 2am! So, around 1am,all the so-longs, hugs, kisses, and tears were having to be exchanged. Hard doesn't even touch the depth it was to have to leave them all. I am left with having them each and everyone, placed in cherished and loved memories again.

I have loved these people for 30 years! Some far longer than that! For J and I back there, we were reminded the preciousness that life's-light is. How it can be distinguished. Life is precious and can be short. The memorials that the reunion set up, of those that have since passed, brought us to our knees.

Fairfield, Connecticut will always be "home" for me. The places I lived and the people all there, helped shape who I am in this world today. All of the ugly and all of the beauty that is in me. The love seen and experienced on this trip, must never be looked at as a given. It is a privilege to stand in anyone's love and allow it to just wash and lap over us. I have stated before and I will state it again, all family and friends, should hold the same unconditionalism, that it was created to be from the heavens.

I already miss so much of our home parts in Connecticut, as I sit here writing this post. New England with all it's magnificences in colors and textures. The many "not-really-aged-at-all" faces and hearts of all our loved ones. All the rich and deep smells of the damp and luscious earth. The aroma's of it's sky there. The honest and pure of soul laughter, that can cure any ailment had.
An d most importantly, the realizing that it really is so true,

"There is no Place like Home!"

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Peace in the year "1979!"

The year was 1979.

Roger Ludlowe High School.
Fairfield, Connecticut.

This was my Graduation night. It was held out on the front lawn of the school. The back ground is showing our "daisy-chain" girls. They were all the Junior honor students. Each held bouquets of daisies and they led us down in the processional.

Each of the Senior graduating girl's, had to wear long white gowns. My gown was a Gunny Sak that I had coveted for over a year back then. They were so amazing and it was all layered with eyelet cotton and had these beautiful draped hippie sleeves. A long tied bow in the back. I was beside myself in the fact that my Mom got it for me. They were very expensive and a luxury that was so out of the realm for my parents. My Mom knew though how much I thought them to be so pretty! That I felt grown-up in it with my ballet flats to go with it.

All the Senior girl's held and walked with bouquets of red roses too. Then each of the Senior graduating guy's wore white dinner jackets with tuxedo pants and a single red rose for a boutonnière. I remember the night being such a beautiful sight to see!

I have such fond memories of my graduation night. The many parties that we all attended and us all going to the beach, again! The tried and true friendships I had made and were deeply entrusted with. To the ending of our night in sealing our, "we will never lose touch with each other ever", with toasts and of adult now tears. I had come to adore these souls that helped create the steps towards my adulthood. They each gave me something that I carried with me to this day. Yes, there are some that did lose touch with. And I am sure that their lives have gone on without us well and happy. Yet, I cherish so much the ones that have chosen to resided with me, as if we have never parted.

These photo's are of some of the friends that I shared 4 years of growth with. The hard years, the discovery years. We were friends. We were the best of friends, and I adored them all.

This is my Tommy Holmes and my childhood neighbor/friend Debbie DeMattia. Tommy was such a good person with a crazy side that would scare any right minded person. Doing doughnuts in the snow down at the beach! Partying till there was no seeing straight at all! Being the guy with a shoulder to cry on when one is so unhappy. A wit that would have your ribs splitting. A protector of the girls that were his friends that he loved and treasured!

Debbie was a few years behind us but, that sure didn't matter. She was ever so kind and so shy. The tiniest too. I had known her entire family since we both grew up on Alma Drive. It was her brother Mark, that was the first boy that kissed me and he was also my first date too with a boy. Such fond and happy memories I still have swirling around in my mind, of the rainy days we played Barbie's and of tobogganing and ice skating, in those snowy an cold winter months on the hill and pond by our houses.

This is Mike McGuinness one of our great soccer players at our school. Again the same grade as Debbie and as well, it didn't cause us any issues. He was a guy that was enjoyable to be with. Fun and happy ALL the time. A good friend and true to a fault of kindness.

One of our groups past times during lunch while in school, could be various things to occupy us! Be it once we sought one another out, getting our lunch together, then sitting and eating it all at the "saved" table that was OURS in the lunchroom. Then we would all head out to the "back-wall." We would sit againt the wall and catch up on the going on's, having and/or bumming a cigarette or two. Discussing the plans for the upcoming weekend and where we all are going to be and do. Till the last bell rang for class, we would all stay there together and walk in to class, late as usual.

This is a photo of some of us, is during one of those "back wall" moments. We decided to form a pyramid. Donny Schnipes, Mike Carusol, Eddie Colacurio and Buddy Harley are the bottom row. Mike Buckley, Mike Russell, Gary Groppuso are the middle. Don Laufer and Tommy Holmes and then cutie-pie, Debbie Neverdouski as our topper! Even our on lookers are Kim Jarboe, Danny Bepko, and Annie Reynold's.

Speaking of Annie Reynold's, here be the sweetheart of us all, Miss Annie Reynold's. Annie loved horses and had one of her own. She was such a great friend to me towards my Senior year. I always always knew where I stood with her. She helped me through some really hard patches of growing up then. Her smile was so healing for me. I always felt right with her. Even Annie being one grade behind us, the year us Seniors graduated, 5 of us went down to Florida's Walt DisneyWorld and rented a condo. Annie, Kim, Lisa, Julie, and me. I have many many memories of that trip and some are still a little blurry too! *hick*

Allow me to introduce you to Sammy Hefzallah. Sammy was from Egypt and if I remember correctly, she came into our school, I believe in our Junior year. She was the best kind of fun! Being with her was always a party waiting to happen! I loved and admired her brutal honesty she gave all the time. Thinking back, I really wish we had stayed closer after we all graduated.

Mr. Buddy Harley. The first guy that I met as a freshmen and didn't want anything more of me than to be my friend! I so loved him! He was kind and funny. We could get him to do anything! For Buddy, if it meant a laugh in the end, he was on it! I have some of the greatest times remembering hanging out at his house when we would skip school. I also adored his Mom. I think he is a Minister now!

Next to my sister Barbara as being my "first" best friend, there was my Angie, Angie Cotone. Angie was my bestest friend! We had met first, back when we were around 5 or 6 years old. Her Aunt, Uncle, and three cousins, lived down the street from us. On one day, while I was walking Billie my Auntie's poodle, in my doll pram, Angie came out and wanted to push the dog in the pram too. We have been "Best Friends" ever since! Even with losing brief touch with her during the later elementary school years, we caught up with one another again, in Junior High. Her entire family, became my family when I felt I had none of my own. Her Mom was and still is "my" Michaelina! I adore her! It was Angie that would always cut and trim my hair, because she was going to beauty school at night. Our sleep overs were almost monthly and her and I would sing to Billy Joel all the time. We were truly inseparable 99% of the time spent at Ludlowe.

This photo is of Angie and I's 18th birthday. Her and I share the very same birthday and she is but, 5 minutes older than me if I remember correctly! I believe that it was my Donny Schnipes and our many of our other closest friends, that surprised us one evening down in my parents basement. I recall never feeling so loved like I was that night by all my friends. If remembering right, there were around 50 of us that hung out down in my parents basement, playing pool, and partying, and listening to music every weekend. I had so much fun my Senior year!

And now, this is Angie and I at our 20th Roger Ludlowe reunion, 10 years ago this past June. By looking at the photo, not allot has changed if you look real close. The absolute joy and love is all over our faces still! It was 1988, when J and I moved our family out here to the desert. Angie and a few others are ones that I still wish we lived closer to. I wish I saw her children grow-up outside of our the annual exchanging of Christmas cards. I still wish I had her cutting my hair and singing loudly to the world to all the Billy Joel music that is out now. I wish we could have our sleep overs again. With all the sleepless giggles and sneaking cigarettes in middle of the night. I wish I had her so much closer and my prayer is that one day, one day God may have that plan for us.

And here is my Eddie! My Eddie Colacurcio was by far, the best guy I could have ever had known in high school. Beyond kind to me without any pause or question. He always always accepted me. I do not believe he will ever know, the depth that he meant to me going through high school. Eddie was consistent and constant with me in his friendship. I never felt hurt from him nor, ever tolerated by him. I always knew I had truth with Eddie. He taught me what a friend is with a guy.

Please let me now introduce you to my Phil Upton. Better known as "Hooker!" Phil was our resident "greaser" of the school and group of us. This guy could fix a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g that had wheels! He now has a collection that even the most presitgeous collector would be envious of! His Dad had owned a body shop back then and Phil would work there of course. The nickname "Hooker" came about because, Phil would always wear, on occasion a t-shirt that said "Hooker Headers" across the front of it. It just stuck one day and I couldn't even tell you who called it out to him! Phil was our quiet guy in our group. Never made a fool of himself. A pure and genuine soul. And he possesed an infectious laugh that I can still barely hear, when looking at this photo. He was always happy and he had a smile that could melt any girls heart!

This photo personifies our evening at the reunion! Our Sammy is here in this one too. Of course there were the ones that couldn't be there with us that night. Mike Buckley and George Kaczegowicz. Tim Casale, Julie Knauer, and Heidi Lockwood come to mind. It was also felt as well as, the ones that were a year and two years behind us not being there with us.

So these are in part, some of the greatest friends a girl could have been allowed, while growing in her teenaged years.

Tomorrow, the 22nd of this month, J and I will be heading back to Connecticut and to Roger Ludlowe's 30th reunion the Saturday night. I am beside myself excited! Angie and I have been non-stop in texting or Facebooking one another. Eddie has put together a gathering at the "Seagrape" formally known as "The Naut", prior to attending the reunion and I am just silly with my excitement for this all to be!

I absolutely love these old friends. We have known one another when we were ugly and unkind sometimes. Yet, we still loved and forgave. Time of course has apssed and we have families of our own. The relationships that we have all shared, has sustained us in this life. I cannot imagine my existance without any of these friends. As they were my friends of my youth and I adored them.

And they were my introduction to the seeking of

Friday, July 17, 2009

Purrrrrr-fect Peace.

This is our Roxy!

"Long live the Queen!"

"You are all my subjects!"

"Kneel and bow so that you are to be worthy of me!"

Roxy is the embodiment of contempt of her surroundings and of us!

this is my Minie!

"Ha-ha, you found me!"

"Oh my, I can't find my tail!"

"Do you think if I lay in here long enough, no one will ever find me?"

My Minie is TRULY a package of French fries short of a Happy Meal!

Be that they are chasing their own tails or each other's, from catching the dust molecules in the sun-streams, to flipping and leaping, them hiding and seeking one another, of the hypnotic rhythm of their purring and of them sleeping. When they are searching for that one small square inch of sun drenched carpet to bask in and curling up tight be it in a basket, a box, on a lap or in any kind of bag. The warmth and feeling one gets when they are weaving in between your ankles when trying to walk. Their tired heads nuzzling into our body parts. Their claws extended in the kneading of a patch of our body, to settle into the "right spot." Them caressing our legs with their tails as we walk by them. Hearing them conversing with the bugs in their clicks and chatter-isms. Having open a cupboard only to find one hiding and startling you! To walking into a room and finding them all in a nook and crevice so small it seems impossible for them to be comfortable.

I love a cat's life!

They bring us such joy and constant hilarity each and everyday!

I had truly forgotten how fun it is to have them around and especially because,
they chose to live with us!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Peace and Birthday Blessings!

This is my R.

In past posts I have written about R but, I don't believe I have given the proper props to her, in any way that describes her magical spirit who is truly a "gift" to me! I am so very much aware that, there are many other souls in this world, that claim R to be theirs too. R really IS my R.

For you see, there was a plan and of course we know that there is always a plan for us all. I call it,

God's plan.

I can with such pure of love and innocence in my heart say, that I have only been truly wise, or some have referred it as a saying of, " the presence of mind", 4 times in my almost 50 years of life. It was one of these moments, that occurred for me some 18 years ago. A group of women all gathered together in friendship and conversation at a neighbor's home. Across sitting at a table, I am introduced to R, who was not only drop dead gorgeous, she also displayed a smile to me, that could heal any persons wound visible or non and settle so softly upon your heart, her presence was of true Swedish decent and who's aura of brilliant colors, radiated and encompassed her when she walked and spoke. All with immense peace, lovable joy, and a pure silence of the knowing. Oh how I so craved to be apart of this woman's surroundings.

All God's plan.

R, I soon realized in those first 15 minutes of being in her presence, was one of those moments in ones life, when you are witnessing the grace of a persons soul. You breathe and release all the is around you in that moment. Do you decided to jump right in feet first or do you proceed with care and caution? Obviously, I chose to jump feet first with "grace" in my sights! Each time after that evening, when we would be all together, I would be anxious when with my R. Wanting so much to soak her in and let all that she talked of wash me down. Learning more and more that our lives as young ones, were so similar that it caused us goose-bumps because we finished one another sentences in descriptions. Closer and closer we became on this common earth.

It also occurred to me one afternoon, that my R had taught me so much about friendship with another women too. The best friend kind. The real kind. You see, my past was not of a great track record, when it came to sustaining long-lasting and healthy girlfriend friendships. As a teenager growing up, my best friend, as I have stated in earlier posts, was my dear sister B. There was also A. Who is so important to me and I know that I to her. We have known one another for almost 30 years. Childhood friends when she would visit her cousin in our neighborhood and we have never lost touch.

Of course I can say now being older and through life experiences, that B and A were all that I needed in growing up. They gave me unselfishly all their unconditional love and acceptance. Yet, as teenagers are in a circle of many friends, I was aware that I was still used and abused by some of these other girlfriends they claimed they were to me. After graduation, leaving and marriage, those were the friendships I had remembered, that caused me to look at girlfriends with a fair amount of disdain and of true suspicion. So many of them, gave me cause for suspicions or their warped agenda's were always discovered. I would still gravitated towards the spirits that were damaged and of self destruction of me, for that is what I thought a girlfriend was.

Then I met my R.

God's plan.

This head-to-toe beautiful love! My R taught me about loving and in acceptance for another women. My R has no airs to her walking in this world. It is of my personal belief, that my R is as close to perfection in spirit than, God may have intended us to experience. My R, regardless of any of the whys she is here, my R has each and every time been in my corner. She has always helped me sort through the ugliness that I am and see what the worth is in me. Validation and acceptance without ever feeling tolerated! My R was my only friend that took time away from herself and her family at a time, to pull me out of an abyss of the darkest darkness, that no God-born soul should have ever had to grope through. Only God will ever be able to explain to me, why I had to go through that at all, yet in the same thought and breath, it was God that lovingly placed my R in that part of time.

God's plan.

So many small or grand issues have risen in my life and it was my R that had S-A-V-E-D me on so many occasions. For me it feels like "coming home" when I am in the company of her. I can still catch myself, sometimes asking the question of my worthiness in her life. Secretly asking, "have I been truly a valid and honest enough Child of God, to be an existence in my R's life?" "Have I led a somewhat sinless enough life, to have her still want to be with me?" "Have I forgiven myself enough in my daily life, to honor my R and her breath-taking presence?" I ponder and I analysis the whys of such greatness I have been given.

Over and over again.

God's plan.

I also need to tell you another side of my R. Not only is she one of the loves of my true-life-heart, but oh, let me also tell you about the talent she has been given! I truly believe, any and all works of Mrs. B, should be hanging in the most prestigious of art galleries everywhere!

This is just one, one of her truest art creations to me. (R has also painted one for my Chica C too!) Can you see by this unjust photo, my R's God gift? My R painted 3 Autumn leaves, representing me, R, and C together. God kissed tears were shed and goose-bumps formed when we were presented with these piece of her soul and essence. I so wish that I could have her fill my entire home with her blessed talent of colors and strokes of a simple art brush. She is by far one of the greatest artists I have come to know. Her view of this wacky life and of all daily items, bring me immense peace and of the true light. In each of her strokes, my R can tell a story not just by it's color or texture. Her gifts are bottomless and of consistent love.

God's plan.

My R has fulfilled me beyond my own fulfillment! Be it, we sit with one another for a days pot of coffee, laughing over margarita's, to celebrating times like today when the heavens gave us all my R! Her and I have never been in search of words to fill our space. I am taken care of, even in her silence and I do say, her silence speaks louder than anything I have ever heard in my life.

My R is the women that gave me first, the lesson of what a real and true girlfriend is suppose to be. The rest is all grace and gravy! Back on that day of us being introduced, I am so grateful that I was wise and that I paused long enough to see more in her smile, that later launched me into bliss and oblivion! It is all permanently etched into my heart! And it was all apart of

God's plan.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Peaceful Reverence.

Do you Pray?


Do you Meditate?


Do you give thanks?


Do you pay homage to something greater than you?


Do you "really" hear the whisper?


I do.....

Isn't this just beautiful in color and texture? Do you "feel" the warmth and comfort just in the photo of it? This is my Prayer-Shawl. Colors of Monet, a favorite Artist of mine for as long as I can remember. Most of his reproductions hung on my teenager walls. Postcards stuck around my vanity mirror. Stroking the glossy pages of Art books, that contained print after print of his works of color and emotion. A man who was totally blind in the end.

My best friend/ ya-ya/ and my Chica C, made this for me a few birthdays back. Can you see each knit that was cast, was done with such love and of great thought? C finishing off this beautiful sacred treasure of mine, do you see the "mini-mala" that dangles all my hopes and dreams in it?

My Chica has made me a scarf and this Prayer Shawl. She is so good at her hand work that, I marvel at her accomplishment's. To admit, I have tried to knit and I just do not have the patience for it. My mind wanders and focusing is alien to me. So, here is this creation, of color, PEACE, and birthday wishes.

As a Child of God, I have always believed in the greater than me. I will spare you my philosophical truths and theories of my spirituality. Still, my Chica honored my beliefs, when thinking of and then putting her hands to works of love, in her creating and the giving to me this Prayer Shawl.

I have also indulged others with my wearing this out in public. I have taken it to the movies in winter. Theaters are just so so cold! Every evening if necessary, when friends are gathered over, I have draped it around me on the chilly nights sitting out back on the patio. Mornings when the chill is still in the air, and coffee is casting off a slight steam, I sit on the patio and sip my cup and read my book. All underneath the warmth of my Prayer shawl.

And this is my Prayer Mala. One that "I" (yes, I wrote I) created. It was last July when all us "Ya-ya's" went up to the cabin (as we have for 4 or 5 years now) I should check with Carol on that time line! LOL! We do this to be celebratory of each of us and of who we are to one another. All these momentous times, C has always found ways to acknowledge our time spent, as well as, ways that we could share the same PEACE in the silence that is up there to be had. Last year, with all expense to herself, she brought with her all her beads, wire, tools, "special" glass beads, semi-precious stones of all kinds, and fringe pieces of the threads from the Prayer Shawls she made. (Of course, she made one for R too!) We all sat in the Ramada by the "cabins-in-the-woods" and she instructed and lovingly explained what Mala's are and what chakras are. What the definition of each stone and/or bead meant. She told us that there is no right or wrong way of making one. That it is us and our spirit that will guide us through what we create. Speaking for myself, with the OCD that I have, I wanted it all done and over with quickly so that I could be with the end result and at the same time, was consumed with it being perfect and exact.....BUT.....I became aware that the "process" was more of the prayer than the end result was.

After a few hours of stringing and restringing, I developed and settled with this treasure. Allowing my inner spirit to help me. Choosing the 7 chakras. Amethyst my favorite stone. One for serenity. Garnet as my birth stone. 5 white pearls representing J, me, sons J and T and daughter-in-law M. 4 small bells for my best friends, R, C, B, and N all together. A small white cross for those that have passed on and have moved on. The center leaf to pay respect to our Earth. The tail and fringe of my Mala represents longevity. Ending to the beautiful glass bead, which for me, represents the "wackiness" that life is and our "non-control" of it all.

I love my Mala.

Every weekday morning, after J and son T goes off to work, and of course with kisses and "have a great day!" given to them, as well as, the last of the coffee is poured into my mug, and the dishes are washed and put away, I then go over with said mug of coffee and I wrap my Prayer shawl around my heavey and tired shoulders. I sit quietly in the rocker and I close my eyes. I breathe in and out to be still. I sit my coffee on the table and take my Prayer Mala in hand. In and out I breathe and resume my silence.

At first my thoughts always racing....."what needs to be done today?"....."I need to remember to call such and such today"....."where did I put my book from last night?"....."what are my gratitudes for my blog today?"....."the dogs want out".....everything is loud in my and out.....and slowly, I begin to be quiet. I vacate my mind more and I say all of my blessings one by one. I do my best to recall each and everyone of them. As I am revisiting my blessings, I am running my fingers all around my loved Mala. for the blessings of actions that I acknowledge from myself and from others. I then say Prayers for our world. For the Earth and the Universe. For the family/friends that are in strife and struggle. For acceptance and understanding in the unknown of life. For my tongue to speak only in kindness and compassion. For guidance in my personal strifes and hurt.

And lastly for PEACE.

It truly sets my day in the right direction for me. It has become apart of my breathing and of my walking throughout my day. Some days I remember to add something new or of value to me the next morning. Of course there are mornings that I have to fly through my blessings but, I do acknowledge them.

I am so grateful to my C for this gift and for her showing us the Mala's. Of my precious Prayer shawl. I have her with me every morning and that is such a gift unto itself. More importantly for me, I have whispers and they begin my day with the perfect sound.

Blessings for all of you and for you to hear whispers too.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy Peaceful Fourth of July!

From my house to yours.....

Many quality hours spent this holiday weekend, in the gathering of family and friends.

For all of us, in pausing to remembering the costs that were made for us, to be able to live in this amazing country. The U.S.A.

For each and every man, women, and child, that built our country from our Mother earth. With the sweat and broken backs of each of them.

For all of those that guard our country's borders and whilst they give out democracy, in their handshakes in friendship.

For all the homes made and places of bowed worship being created, to be able to give gratitude for all that we have.

For the Idealistic men that stood with purpose and poise when giving speeches of,

"We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves, and to our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States of America."

"Four score and seven years ago, our Fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."

" I have a Dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but, by the content of their character."

"Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."

For how we as a nation and as neighbors to one another, respect how we should all treat one another truly.

Everyday that we share on this planet.

From my house to yours, have a Happy Fourth of July and may you always be blessed and have Peace in your words.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Peace in Sadness

J and I may seemingly look happy in this photo.....
I assure you it was a sad sad day for us both.....

My amazing, tool-around-the-state and other-places-we-would-go, hair blowin-in-the-wind, gear-shiftin, music-playin, car-seat-dancing, hunk-of-pure-pleasure-metal ride of a Jeep, has had to be shut all up, from our Arizona sun-scorching blare and of the concrete city of unfathomable heat!


So sad.

Very sad.

We spent the early part of one evening, taking apart her soft, sand colored bikini top. J had just bought one this past spring season. (as you would know, I was just besides myself with joy and had broken into a "happy-feet" occasion!) Her cute little revealing top, enabled us to have an extra month, than the past years, being "all closed up." Folding up her bikini top with immense love and gratitude, till next year's season permits, we encased her in clear plastic and we laid her upon the shelf.

We stood and unclipped from her rear sides, all the poles, braces, and brackets, that holds up her soft sandy roof. Gently, we began with unfolding her roof from her back, pulling up and over, forming her distinct beautiful boxed shape. Once snapped into place on the top of her windshield, we slowly and with care and caution, began to unfurl her back window down. It is done this way so not to create the hard creases that can happen to each of them. It will blur ones driving vision. We then take down from the another shelf, her gingerlyed-coiled rolled windows, that were all wrapped in clear plastic and began to flatten each of them out. Standing next to my Jeep, we carefully aligning her zippers and attach them onto each side of her. Smoothing them with a slow downward motion to even them out. Then turning to lift her half side door windows, we lovingly caressing each with a cloth to remove all garage-dust. We then wiggle-slide her door windows into each of her slots.

Shutting her doors closed now, there is a sound only distinct to that of a soft-roofed Jeep. A vacuum sucking sound of being encased and of no longer being free! For me this is not a "happy" sound. It is a reminder that the sun will no longer be kissing my face and bringing to surface all of my God-given freckles. (and some would say, age spots too) It will not have my hair caressed by our suns joy, as also, having it blowing through the wind in catches of the movement. Or tucked underneath a cowboy hat. J will no longer be doning a bandanna on his beautiful balding dome. (He is so sexy in it and owns at least 10 different colors and patterns!) There will be no aroma of Coppertone sunscreen wafting at all the traffic stops we make.

It all is sad.

So sad.

Yes, very sad.

Oh, I mean no intention of implying that my sadness is that I no longer "love" to be in my Jeep anymore. It is just that the "freedom" of the exuberantness of driving her all open is lessened now. I smile when I open the garage door and spy her there waiting for me. I can promise too that I still have to catch my breath when I get into her drivers seat. I am giddy each and every time I spend with her. She truly brings my absolute pure bliss! As chica C would call it, "I'm just stupid for her!"

Have I also mentioned that she hasn't had a "bath" in well over a year? If not even longer than that! She's a Jeep and she is beautiful just as she is! Just like her driver for sure!

It is my hope and prayer, that I will be driving one till the good Lord decides otherwise for me. With my still peace and with girly-giggles at the age of 85, and with all my faculties intact I will be driving her! Oh yes, my hair maybe so very coarse, white and gray by then yet, I am still looking forward to the wind twirling and carrying each strand of my locks with all it's gentleness. As for my sun-wrinkled face, I will be of glee and gratitude for the time spent!

And honestly, I really think I can last till February when I take her apart again!

Oh yes, to be free again.....