Fly Fishing a Day on the River

Yesterday was supposed to be a mother and son fly fishing trip to Putah Creek. This is a creek known for some wonderful trout. The starting point for our trip was supposed to begin at the base of Montecello Dam. This dam is at Lake Berryessa in California and Putah Creek flows from it.   There are about four miles along the creek that have easily accessible spots to fish. It is a beautiful area.

This probably was not the best choice for us to start our adventure.  We are both new to the fly fishing world and from what I’ve been told the waters are a bit “technical” to fish.   I’m not sure what that means other than I think the fish might be able to outsmart us beginner fisher people.   Also, at this time of year water is being released from the lake.   This results in a high water flow. To high to wade into safely. It’s also an agricultural area so they are releasing water for irrigation. I’m learning a lot.

I don’t know who was more excited for our fly fishing day to begin, my son or me. I know I was excited because I finally jumped into fly-fishing feet first after over three decades of wanting to try it. Mostly though, I was excited about spending the day with my son after so many long teenage years of him pushing me away for no other reason other than that’s what teenagers do. I took no offense to the process.  I know our children have to go through this to become the adults they are supposed to be. Who wants a kid that has never learned to be independent and strong? Trust me, mine is both independent and strong!   He’s also 29 years old now and loves to spend time with me.

Getting ready to prepare his fishing rod.
Preparing his fly fishing rod for the take.

We originally agreed to be on the road by 7:00 a.m., somehow that got bumped up to about 6:15. No problem, I could do that. It’s a little harder for me these days even though I’m an early riser.   I’m retired and normally don’t have to be anywhere at any specific time.

I didn’t get much sleep that night because anytime I set an alarm clock I spend half the night waking up to see how much time I have left before I have to get up. Before retirement I was up at 5:00 a.m., no alarm clock necessary.

Needless to say I was up and ready to go fly fishing by 6:00 a.m.. Tick, tock…6:15, no son, tick tock…6:30 no son…I checked my phone for a message.   Sure enough…”mom, I’m running behind, I forgot to water my vegetable garden last night and it’s going to be hot today.” I responded, “no problem,” which it wasn’t because little did he know we had to make alternate plans.  Just our luck, there was a massive fire near our planned destination and we could not access Putah Creek. I felt bad, not for us, but because of the fire. That’s never a good thing and people were be evacuated.

My son showed up around 8:00 and we began to make alternate plans. First, we decided to head out for a nice breakfast so we could decide what plan B was going to be. Then we stopped by the local fly shop.  W checked out their new store location and their rearranged inventory and talked to the guys running the shop that morning.

They gave us a couple of suggestions of places to fish. We decided since it was getting late in the day we would just head down to the American River and try our luck. The American River runs right through town so easy, peasy.

We stumbled our way to one of the river access points that we were both somewhat familiar with. It was a beautiful wide spot on the river.   The river flowed wide and gently towards our position and passed by us calmly but swiftly. The flow broke downstream and glided past a huge gravel bar where on each side we could see ripples and white water as the water continued to flow downstream.

We stood there at the waters edge for a few moments just taking in the beauty of it all. We  looked at each other and smiled. I said, “it’s hard to believe there is housing and traffic and the hustle and bustle of life just on the other side of the tree line. He nodded in silent agreement.

Fly fishing
Low water gravel bar.

 

We didn’t bother with waders and boots, we were both dressed in shorts and water shoes. It was a 90 plus degree-day and the water was surprisingly cool not cold…refreshing. We waded across a short shallow width of the river onto a gravel bar, taking each step carefully on the slippery rocks. We dropped our back packs and rigged our rods.   He was done and in the water while I was meticulously trying to tie a fly onto my tippet with a clinch knot.   Even though I was painfully slow at the process I was smiling inside just for the fact that I was doing it with no assistance! This meant I was making progress in my fly-fishing journey.

We were out in the river for several hours. Close enough to each other to communicate, but far enough from each other that we each felt the solitude of the river.   We would talk occasionally and change up our lines with different flies, adding and removing weight and maybe adding or removing an indicator. It all seemed to come naturally for my son.  He must have remembered fishing skills he learned with his childhood friends when they fished a local pond together.   I’m thankful for that.

That day for me was more of just getting out on the water and trying different things.  I was glad to have my sons company. I was glad to be with the “boy” I raised even though he’s a man now. It’s been a long while since we have had the opportunity to go out and do something like this. I’m thankful he is taking an interest in this new world that we are both learning about together.

Now, the journey continues…

fly fishing
A visiting duck.

How About Some Structure in your Day?

What do you think about doing housework? Do you do it? It’s not my favorite thing to do. I’ve done it for far to long.   The really difficult thing about not liking to do housework is the fact that I really do enjoy have a home that sparkles and has order. While I like a home that sparkles and has order I have reached the point where it is not my top priority. You see, I am retired now and if you are like me you could make a career out of doing housework. There is always something that needs doing.

So here is my dilemma.   I really would prefer not to be doing housework but when I try to take time to do hobbies like writing, or gardening, I am constantly distracted by things that need doing around the house.   Like that pile of laundry that will only take a minute to toss in the washer, or those couple of dishes left over from my morning snack. (no left over breakfast dishes because my sweet husband takes care of those…love that man)

My husband calls it the “shinny object” syndrome. My neighbor calls it the “SQUIRREL!!” syndrome.   Whatever you call it, it’s enough ongoing persistent distractions that I don’t get a darn thing done. Not any good quality housework, no writing, no hobbies, and well, you should see my garden! It’s sad.

Believe it or not I found some help for my dilemma on a fly fishing website! (There’s another story here for another day) The short version is fly fishing is one of my newest hobbies and   I am in the “research” stage so I don’t come across like a total idiot when I sign up for a beginning fly fishing class. I found an article on this fly fishing website written by Dave Stewart titled “8 Fly Tying Tips to Start Tying Today.” Theflyfishingbasics.com/8-fly-tying-tips/   This article even had a “Ted Talk” video in it. I would recommend watching it as well. So much good stuff I could hardly take it all in!

From here I was directed to a website that had a list of 20 ways to find more free time. The article was written by Leo Babauta called, “ Reclaim Your Time: 20 Ways to Find More Free Time.” Pretty clever huh?

zenhabits.net/reclaim-your-time-20-great-ways-to-find-more-free-time/

Not everything in this article applied to my situation however, nor will it to yours, but it was really a great article that made me think about how my days are structured.   Or rather, how they are not structured.   Every since I retired (5 years ago) I have struggled with the lack of structure in my days. I worked in an office environment, ok, I worked in a cubicle crunching numbers, putting numbers in little boxes for 20 some odd years.   I loved it, so when I hear my son or my husband say something like “I would have to kill myself if I worked in a cubicle” all I can think is… “I loved working in my cubicle!!” Oh well, to each his or her own I say.   (excuse me for a moment, my dryer just turned off, I need to rotate my laundry.   I’m still working on that “shinny object” thing)… Ok, I’m back.

 One of the things I took away from this article was to “Find your essentials. What do you love to do?   Make a short list of 4-5 things.   These are the things you want to make room for.” One of the things for me was writing. And look! Here I am!   Writing! Yay me!

Another thing I took away from this article was “Find your time-wasters. What do you spend a lot of your time on that isn’t on your essential list? Take a close look at these things and really think about whether they’re necessary, or if there are ways to reduce, minimize or eliminate these things.”

Another was “Schedule the time”…and on and on the article went. I started to get excited because, well, I work well with structure.   Otherwise I would not have functioned so well in my “cubicle life.” This article got me thinking, it got me motivated and it got me to do these lists and think about how I wanted my days to go.

I know what your thinking…right? Look at her go. She’s doing one of the things she loves to do and even though she got up and rotated her laundry, (and changed the sheets on the bed) she got some writing done today. And you know what else? When I’m done here, I’m going for a short bicycle ride. That has been on my “essential” list forever! When you retire you become more inactive so you have to make yourself do things to keep active and healthy!

I’m glad you stopped by to read my blog. I hope you will visit the two website links I’ve noted. You might find a new hobby in fly-fishing (I can’t wait!) and you might find a new way to think about and organize your days. Both are good things…win/win.

Always have something to look forward to, always have something to get up in the morning for, to be excited about, and to accomplish.

And smile while you do it.   Pass it on with a smile.

 

 

 

Meeting My Other Son

I distinctly remember the day my son-in-law came into my life.   I don’t exactly remember how the day came about but I do remember the moment my daughter came through the front door along with her then, boyfriend.   I was going through one of the darkest times of my life and the world just kept moving forward around me.   It’s funny how that happens.   When we are in crisis we expect the world to stop, but it doesn’t, nor should it.

They came into the room where I was sitting. I looked at my daughter and then at the man that stood behind her like a giant. I remember thinking… Oh. My. Goodness.   This guy was big. He stood at least 6’4” tall, he was broad and strong, he had no hair, and he was covered with tattoos!  Again I thought, Oh. My. Goodness. I couldn’t take my eyes off of  him.

My daughter introduced him to me and that’s when he spoke. As he spoke I began to melt. His speech was gentle and kind and his eyes were warm and comforting. I welcomed him into my home. I looked at my daughter and then at him and I knew this was going to be good.

He seemed so shy in the beginning. I soon discovered he was one of those people that had to get to know you before he would open up. I understood that. It really did take quite a long time to get to know him. Over time I watched and I waited. He became engaged to my daughter and she bubbled over with happiness.

Like a good friendship his relationship with all of us evolved slowly. Honestly I worried a little in the beginning but as time went on the bonds between him and each of our family members began to take root.   He first became a brother to my son.   As much as my son wanted to hate him for no other reason than he was dating his sister, well it just didn’t happen.   They became fast friends…they became brothers.

My husband, who wasn’t yet my husband, was asked to perform their wedding ceremony. He got licensed for the day, performed the ceremony, danced the father daughter dance with my daughter and in my eyes on that day our family melded together into a new and beautiful family unit.   That day was one of the best days of my life.

My husband and I are now grandparents to their two beautiful children. I have watched my son-in-law through these past years. He has treated my daughter with love and affection and yes, he sometimes tames the firecracker that is within her. He is a strong loving father to their two children. He is a good brother to my son. And best of all he is more of a son than a son-in-law to my husband and me.

I…we could not have asked for a better son-in-law. I am thankful and I love him like he is my own.

Happy Birthday to you…Son

 

Son, Family
One of my favorite pictures.

 

Starting Strong in the New Year!

I don’t know about you but I feel really good about this New Year!  I’m feeling strong!  It’s only the second week of the year and the feeling of starting fresh is hanging with me. I hope it is for you too.

Think about what you want your 2018 to be like. When you think about it, try to be positive. If I have learned nothing else this past year I learned that when I remained positive and when I kept my focus on God and not myself, I began to feel down right good about the little things that previously annoyed me. You know, those little everyday things that you have to do that you wish you didn’t have to do.  Things like cleaning the bathroom sink or cleaning the shower.   The things that need to be done but you really would rather be lunching with your friends or riding your bicycle on a warm spring day.

This past year when I would  focus on being thankful instead of feeling ungrateful my attitude started to change. I found myself smiling and laughing more and more.   I realized that I became thankful for the fact that I had running hot and cold water in order to clean my bathroom sink and my shower. I would think about the women that came before me in history that had to cart their water into their homes and heat it over a wood stove. Yes, that sounds like it could be fun, once or twice maybe. I started to literally thank God for providing all the niceties of our modern world.   The more I thanked him the less those tasks became “chores.” Do I still like cleaning the sink and shower? Not really, but I’m sure thankful to have a clean shower to hop into each morning, especially on those cold mornings when that hot water feels so good. I am thankful.

It’s really quite basic.   We all have choices. We can choose to be grumpy and ungrateful and complain about everything. Or…we can choose to look at life as a precious gift and to appreciate everything we have. I think we all will reach a point in our lives where we wish we could recapture a time or a place that we took for granted. I don’t know where you are in life at this moment, but can you think of a time you wish you could have back? If you do, then take advantage of that feeling. Tell yourself your not going to take things for granted anymore.   Tell yourself it doesn’t matter if someone leaves a mess in the spot you just cleaned. Be thankful and give that person a hug, tell him or her you love them and you’re thankful for them and watch a smile cross their face.

So how about it? Are you feeling like your starting strong this year?

Off to a strong start!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

I thought I would start this blog post by reviewing all the things that I accomplished in this past year. Then I thought, well, I really don’t think I accomplished all that much, but as I began to write and reflect, I realized what I did was all good quality stuff.   It was full of love, family, and some new experiences. It was all good and full of happy things.

Lobster dinner in Bar Harbor, Maine
Lobster dinner for my birthday in Bar Harbor, Maine! Lucky me!!

The highlight of the year for me was the trip to Maine my husband took me on for my 60th birthday! I have always, always wanted to go to the state of Maine. If for no other reason it is that state that is way up there on the tip of the east coast. It has always intrigued me. I never thought I would get to see it, so when my husband asked me what I wanted to do for my 60th birthday, I told him I’d like a really nice lobster dinner. Get it?   Next thing I know we’re booking a trip to Maine for a really nice lobster dinner!

Toastmaster Installation of Officers. That’s me in the middle.

Let’s see…next, I joined a Toastmasters group!   That was huge for me. It was a scary big step. It was so scary for me I didn’t even tell my husband what I was doing until I returned from my first meeting. It was great. I met some really nice eclectic people who I really do love. I learned a lot and gained a lot of clarity about myself and others.

I also did one of my favorite things which was playing in my yard, i.e. gardening. I didn’t do as much as I normally would have due to the time I put in to preparing my toastmaster speeches.   The lesson learned here is that if you add something to your life, be prepared to back off of something else.   That’s one reason why I’m not going to continue with the group. That, and it was kind of a bucket list item for me. Now that I’ve done it I want to move to something else, and my yard is a big neglected mess. Really, it is.

As you get older, you realize life gets short.   I want to start trying all the things I put off all my life because I was busy doing that work thing that people do in order to survive. I’ve been retired a few years now so I need to get at it!

Let’s see…what else did I do last year. Oh yes. I watched my grand kiddos when their regular routine was disrupted by holidays, illnesses etc. I love those days. Usually it’s a day or two here and there. Just enough to fill my cup with grand-baby love and then go home and collapse. I love my time with them and we have made some pretty good memories. More to come I hope.

I also spent a lot of time with my aging mom.   She’s 93 and still going strong.   She’s not driving these days so I take her out at least once a week for a shopping outing. During the holidays we headed out twice a week, one day for groceries and one day for Christmas shopping. She is a woman that doesn’t like to impose on people and is always saying she doesn’t want to take up my time. I always tell her, “it’s quality time mom and we won’t get it back, so lets enjoy each other while we can.”   This is what she told me this morning when I talked to her on the phone. She said, “well, I really don’t have much grocery shopping to do this week, so let’s just make it a fun day okay?” How good is that? Very!

So now what? The new year is here and I want to get busy! Goals are good right? Do you do the “New Year Resolution” thing? I don’t because they never get fulfilled and it’s usually something like “I’m going to exercise more,” which I do really want to do but it never seems to be a high priority, so it doesn’t get done.

This year instead of giving up something or trying to stick to a new year resolution I’ve decided to make a list of things I want to try, things that I’ve never done before, things that have stirred in the back of my mind for years but for whatever reason I have just never done them.   In addition, I want to continue to do some of the things I’ve been working on half halfheartedly because of the lack of good time management. Like what I’m doing now, writing! For some reason I love to write. Am I good at it? My husband seems to think so.   That’s good enough for me! And, the fact that I just love doing it!   So I’ll be doing much more blogging this year.   My goal for now is at least one post per week. I figure if I right it down I can hold myself accountable.

I’m proud to say I got a head start on my list of goals. I asked my husband for a fly tying kit for Christmas and I got it! What a good husband! What is a fly tying kit you ask? Ever heard of fly-fishing?  I’m sure you have.  I’m going to make the pretty flys that the fisher people use when they fly fish. And…I’m going to start fly fishing myself!! We live just a couple of miles from one of the most beautiful rivers in our country, so no excuses for not doing it!

How about dance lessons? I’m working on that one. I want to learn with my husband, no other partner will do for me! He’s sort of almost on board with the idea.

I also received some art supplies that I asked for last year at Christmas. Yep, from my husband, he’s a gem. I got interested in painting when I went to one of those “paint and sip” events with some of my girlfriends. You can’t really go wrong at those events. Everyone comes out with a pretty painting. My mom was talented in this area as well as one of my sisters, so what the heck. I’m going to try it. Those sip and paint people have help classes that you can just drop in for on an hourly basis. So really there is no excuse not to do it. Scheduling.   Maybe I’ll take my mom.

I could go on and on with things I want to do, in fact I probably will when I sit down and make my next journal entry.   I’ll jot down some things I want to do this year. I’ll try to create a menu of sorts. That’s a good idea. I’ll create a menu of fun things to do, some vacation things to do, I’ll throw in some things to do for others. The goals can’t be all selfish. We all have to give back somehow. I’ll come up with some good fun, giving, ideas for the list.

I’ll pick some and then next year, I’ll report out on what I accomplished. One of my goals will be to have a readership for my blog, for now, well I’m just enjoying writing and publishing my own stuff. It’s fulfilling in some weird way.

So for now, Happy New Year and I’ll be back next week. (holding myself accountable)

Maine Day One

My sweet husband and I arrived in Maine this evening!  It was a long day of travel but we made it!    Our flight was scheduled to leave around 7:45 a.m.  so we decided to get up and at it early.

As it usually happens whenever I know I’m going to be waking up to an alarm I wake up almost every hour and look at the clock to see how much, or rather, how little time I have left to sleep.  Needless to say not much sleep happens. So when the alarm went off I decided to get up, hop in the shower and get moving.

After my shower I went to the kitchen to start the coffee brewing.  I looked at the clock on the coffee maker and it said 3:20.  I thought how can that be if that sweet husband of mine set the alarm for 3:30?  Yep, you guessed it, he set it for 3:00 instead.  I felt so duped… I got over it.

We got all our last minute packing adjustments done.  It’s not easy packing just the right things.  We caught ourselves packing with the mindset that we were going to a tropical climate.  That’s our norm.  The east coast is all new and different for us.  We figured it out.

Finally we were off and running! Or at least out the door and driving down the freeway.  On schedule mind you!  I thought something was bugging my husband and then I thought, no, he just didn’t get enough sleep, he doesn’t function well when he doesn’t get enough sleep, when he said,  “I think I didn’t put the bag with the computer and the go pro in the car.”  Uh oh,  we pulled off on the next off ramp and he checked the back of the car.  Phew!  We had it!  So, we’re off again!

We get to the airport and I’ll be darned we can’t find the “overnight” parking lot.  Well, there’s a reason for that!  They don’t call it “overnight” parking.  They call it “daily” parking.  Who knew?   We’re still doing good on our time!  I’m thinking that early alarm clock episode really worked out to our benefit.

We just take things in stride and move past each hiccup the best we can.  Life is to short to stress over things.  We are just happy to be able to do the things we enjoy.

Everything went pretty smoothly the rest of the day.  We sat next to a lovely young 20 year old named Krissy.  She is a young free spirit, she’s a jewelry artist and is learning about blown glass.  I believe she will be quite successful in life.  She lives near us and we exchanged contact info.  I love meeting people this way, you learn so much.

Well, it’s late and time to call it a day.  We’re going to head to Bar Harbor tomorrow.  I can’t wait to see what the day brings us!  Some lobster I hope!

 

 

 

 

 

I Turned 60!!

I turned 60 this month and I feel great. Not only physically (ok, I have a few new aches and pains) but mentally. When I married my husband almost six years ago, I remember sitting at the breakfast table the day after our wedding and asking him if he felt different. I told him that I did. I told him I felt like the circle was complete. I looked at his wedding band (which was my fathers wedding band) and I told him I never felt like that circle was complete before, there was always something missing, like the circle that the wedding band represents never came fully around to meet the other side. I now felt that completeness in my life and in my heart, with him.

So, now I’m sixty!   Sixty!! I can’t believe it, and somehow I feel rejuvenated! I have no idea why.  I’m feeling like I did that morning sitting at the breakfast table with my husband.  Like a new and wonderful shift has just occured.

I compartmentalize my life into decades. It seems as I enter each new decade in my life I feel something different. In my 20’s, I had everything and a lifetime ahead of me. My choices were endless. I had no idea what I was doing but I felt unlimited potential.

My thirties was a rough decade. I felt like, “well, I’m not in my 20’s anymore, I’m no longer cool.” I realized that when I was getting my hair cut one day and the girl cutting my hair said something like, “well don’t you look cute with you mom jeans and tennis shoes on!” I think she meant it as a compliment but I felt overweight, tired and ugly wearing my big plastic glasses that I had to start wearing after the birth of my daughter.  In a short time I had my second child, my son.    I hadn’t really gained a lot of weight after having my kids but everything shifted and got soft. I would look in the mirror and feel ugly. No one told me otherwise.

Then my forties rolled around. I had kind of recuperated from my thirties. I realized I wasn’t cool anymore and I accepted that. I realized that yes my body had shifted and changed but I still wasn’t doing to bad for my age and compared to some of my friends I was doing pretty good.   I had a good job, was making decent money, enough to cover the bills anyway. I never had enough for the “extras” and every month life felt pinched. That got more difficult as the two kids got older and started “wanting” more things.   It’s hard to say no when all their friends seemed to have everything they wanted whenever they wanted.

The strain of those kinds of demands and the kids being in their teenage years was starting to ware on me. The strain of “life” was beginning to bare down. My spouse was for all intents and purposes “checked out.” I was basically becoming a single parent to my children; I had an angry teenage son, and a daughter who thankfully took life in stride. She was my anchor. I don’t know if she ever really knew that, but I drew a lot of strength from her, and I still do (She’s thirty now.)

As I was just scraping by that decade my fifties hit. Whoopie, I get a big surprise party (that I didn’t want) and a month later, just after a miserable Thanksgiving holiday my spouse informed me he didn’t want to be married to me any more. Well, welcome to my fifties!   After an even more miserable next three months he left for good. Well, okay, I asked (told) him to leave for good. He wasn’t there anyway, for any of us and we needed to move on.   Apparently he did to, because  we haven’t seen him since. Ouch…. I used to cry, but at some point I made the healthy decision that he would not get any more of my thoughts, energy or tears.

So my fifties was a big turning point. I became single, my kids were forced onto the fast track to become amazing, independent young adults. The three of us bonded in so many wonderfully special ways it’s hard to describe. My son and daughter began to love and protect each other fiercely, and I mean fiercely. If you were to look at one of them cross- eyed, the other one would be there to protect and defend. It was amazing to watch. My daughter became my caretaker for a time when I wasn’t able to care for myself. I was so devastated by what seemed like the total destruction of the life I knew that I was only functioning.   I smile and am thankful at the many times she put a bowl of oatmeal or a bowl of soup in front of me and said, “mom, here…you need to eat this, you need to eat something.” I will be forever grateful for her nurturing me during that ugly time.

And, I will be forever grateful to my son for “manning up” and becoming the pillar of strength that I needed him to be. He became the “man of the house” and he watched over me with caring protectiveness.

The three of us struggled and battled our way through that time. We grew strong and fierce and life moved forward. My daughter met her now husband during that “fifties decade.” They are married now with two children.

I reached out to the man I had dated right out of high school, when I was 17 and he was 20. We had dated for five years before going our separate ways. (there is another story)   We reconnected, dated for four years and have been married now for six years. During the dating time, he performed the marriage of “our” daughter to her husband, he has become grandpa to our two grandchildren and he has bonded and helped “our” son with a business venture. And somewhere in there I retired from my job of 20 years. We are a family and life is good.

And, now?…I turned 60!!   I turned 60 and I feel like this is a new decade that will consist of wonderful new life experiences and adventures.   So far, I’ve had lunch with my best friend who I worked with for 17 years, my husband and I had dinner with a friend of my husbands from many, many years ago and his wife. They are fabulous funny people who are moving to Hawaii! I see adventure there! I had a birthday dinner with my husband at Bella Bru, we had a fabulous waitress and fabulous dessert! I had In and Out with my mom (93 yrs young) yesterday after we went shopping. That’s her new favorite hang out. We’re meeting up with our daughter and her husband tonight for another dinner and soon we are leaving for Maine!!

Yes, my sweet husband asked me what I wanted to do for my 60th birthday and I said I’d like a nice lobster dinner. He said, okay, “I’ll make a reservation.” I said, “no, you don’t understand, I want a really good lobster dinner!” Next thing I know we’re booking a trip to Maine.   Is he the best or what!?

So you see, life at sixty is beginning with a new adventure! I’ll tell you all about our trip when we get back. It’s gonna be great! This decade is gonna be great!!

Life is truly like a wave.   You have to roll with the plan that is your life. I firmly believe that we each have a road map for our lives. Our life maps are determined by God before we are even born.   God has given us “free will”, so it’s up to us to decide how we are going to deal with and handle the plan that was laid out for us. I know for a fact that we can live in joy and peace while all this ugly stuff is going on in our lives. That joy and that peace is an inner peace that only comes from God.

That joy and that peace for me, comes when I spend time in Gods word. That is the time that God talks to me, not literally, but within me.   It is another one of those things that is hard to explain, you really have to live it and open yourself up to it.   Open yourself up to God and amazing things will happen. When I say that, I mean amazing things will happen within you. You will be changed. You will look at people differently, as if you see them through Gods eyes. It’s amazing.

I thank God for bringing me to this point in my life. I will never understand why things happen the way they do. I now understand that I cannot “control” things. I understand now that I have to roll with those waves that come in and out of our lives. Those waves that are sometimes seemingly insurmountable and the waves that are insignificant. I have learned to trust God and let him take me where he wants me to go and to become the person he wants me to be. It’s an ongoing never-ending process. As the saying goes, I’m not were I need to be, but I’m not where I used to be.   Something like that, anyway.

God is good… life is good.

 

End of Watch…Deputy Robert French

The sirens where already blasting when my husband stopped by the house for lunch the day before yesterday, August 30th.  I looked at him and said, "This is never good.  When we hear this amount of sirens, it's never good."  He shook his head in agreement.  

It in fact was not good.  A Sacramento County Sheriff's Officer lost his life and two other CHP officers were injured. 


Police captain, Timothy Albright, of the Elk Grove Police Department wrote the following article on Linkedin.  In my opinion it needs to be on the front page of every newspaper every time an officer or deputy is killed in the line of duty.  It's a reality check.  I personally am so sick of the bad guys always being portrayed as victims.  It disgusts me. This deputy had a family, he had loved ones, he had co-workers and he had a community that loved him.  He was a well respected and loved member of the Sacramento Sheriffs Department.  

I for one support our law enforcement family.  This is my small effort to show my support.  They need our support.  They risk their lives every day for each of us.  

Rest in peace Deputy Robert French and thank you for your ultimate sacrifice for which I am very saddened.

Imagine

EOW 8.30.2017
Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputy Robert French EOW 8.30.2017

Police Captain at Elk Grove Police Department

Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, Deputy Robert “Bob” French EOW August 30, 2017

I really wrestled with writing this for I did not want this piece to appear disingenuous, as if I was searching for professional sympathy or was trying to engage in the woe-is-us. I wrestled with the disconnect between what law enforcement professionals really deal with and what our communities think we deal with. I did not want my ideas of that disconnect to serve as a further wedge between that supportive and valued community and those in the business. But I felt it cathartic to write, to provide a glimpse. If they could only imagine…

Imagine going to work everyday and not knowing if today would be your last day on earth…because of your job. Does the IT professional worry about this? How about the surgeon, the accountant, the tax professional, the salesman, the attorney, the window installer, the fence builder, the teacher, the telemarketer, the preacher, the plumber, the architect? Imagine coaching your last baseball game, not knowing it was your last. Imagine the last “I love you,” the last “I cannot wait for the weekend,” the last “I’ll call you later.” Imagine being called a racist, yet you know you are not. Imagine being called an idiot, but you have eight years of college education. Imagine having your every move examined by in-car cameras, body-worn cameras, traffic cameras, cell phone cameras, news cameras. Imagine everybody is an expert…except you.

Imagine burying your 6th co-worker in 8 years.

Imagine going to work, everyday, not knowing whether or not you will see the co-worker you had coffee with, ate with, cried with. Imagine people wanting to kill you for the uniform you wear, the oath that you took, for what you represent. Imagine being called a pig, a bigot, worthless, a waste. Imagine having to simply take it because that is what you signed up for.

Imagine burying your 9th co-worker in 10 years.

Imagine playing baseball with the son of one of your brave co-workers…who will never play baseball with his son. Imagine telling him how brave his dad was, how much he loved him.

 

Imagine burying your 12th co-worker in 11 years.

Imagine how on top of the worry of whether you or your co-worker will go home that day, you see the destruction of families by virtue of drugs, battles with mental health, alcohol, gang violence, child abuse, sexual assault, sex trafficking, greed, and the list goes on.

Imagine the 13th and 14th co-worker coming on the same day – that was year 12. Imagine being told your wife was one of those killed, only to learn she was spared.

Imagine doing CPR for the 4th time on a child, trying like hell to deliver a miracle…again. Imagine being unsuccessful…again. Imagine these things landing upon your shoulders like 100 pound weights…again and again and again. How much can you carry?

Imagine burying your 15th co-worker in 17 years.

Imagine today: Imagine what it is like looking at your staff directory to gain an understanding of who knew Bob: the 19th hero to be killed for wearing a uniform, for taking that oath for caring about people. Imagine figuring out how to tell your staff delicately, timely and while holding it together. That happened seven times today. Imagine coming home to your family, for the 19th time, and assuring them all will be ok, that you will be there to coach your son’s baseball team, that you will be there to say I love you, that you will not let it happen to you.

Imagine waiting for the 20th…it is coming. It always does.

I know it is hard to imagine. I know.

The Farmers Wife is a Wise Mom

My mother is a wise women.   We spend a lot of time together. Sometimes shopping, sometimes lunching and sometimes she wants to stop at Starbucks for a Caramel Frappuccino. We talk a lot. This was our conversation one day.

Mom: How old is your sister going to be this year?

Me: Which one?

Mom: Cheryl

Me: She turned 60 last year so she’ll be 61 in September.

Mom: Oh! That means you’ll be 60 this year!

Me: Yep. (Long Pause) Mom looks at me and says, “Life begins at 60 you know….(another pause) It does you know!”

Me: Yep, I think I’m beginning to realize that.

I was going to say my mom is wise beyond her years, but she is 93 years young.   She doesn’t see herself as being old and was very insulted when the ladies from her church gave her a hand knitted lap blanket.  She said, “What do they think, I’m old?”  Then she went out to her yard and raked some leaves.   I love my mom.  She has spunk, she will have spunk until she draws her last breath.  And…don’t call her old!

There Comes a Day

I found this post on facebook today and it so profoundly struck a cord in my life that I had to share it.  My mother was not one to show her true self to us girls (she had three of us) but once and a while she would, in her own unique way.  I distinctly remember her sharing with me once that she had felt she reached and age where she could truly be herself.  Even though I was pretty young at the time I remember fully understanding what she was telling me.  I wish I could remember her exact words.  When I read this article today I remembered our conversation just as though these words were coming from her.  We share many more of these kinds of moments these days.  She’s 93 now and I am thankful for her.

I hope every woman young or old who reads these words can truly understand them, relate to them and then pass them on.  I thank the author for sharing her thoughts.

Ladies Pass it On

July 10 at 12:10pm

There comes a day, somewhere in the middle of every woman’s life, when Mother Nature herself stands behind us and wraps her arms around our shoulders, whispering

“It’s time.”

“You have taken enough now. It’s time to stop growing up, stop growing older and start growing wiser and wilder.

There are adventures still waiting on you and this time, you will enjoy them with the vision of wisdom and the companionship of hindsight, and you will really let go.

It’s time to stop the madness of comparison and the ridicule of schedule and conformity and start experiencing the joys that a life, free of containment and guilt, can bring.”

She will shake your shoulders gently and remind you that you’ve done your bit. You’ve given too much, cared too much, you’ve suffered too much.

You’ve bought the book, as it were, and worn the t-shirt.

Worse, you’ve worn the chains and carried the weight of a burden far too heavy for your shoulders.

“It’s time” she will say.

“Let it go, really let it go and feel the freedom of the fresh, clean spaces within you. Fill them with discovery, love and laughter. Fill yourself so full you will no longer fear what is ahead and instead you will greet each day with the excitement of a child.”

She will remind you that if you choose to stop caring what other people think of you and instead care what you think of you, you will experience a new era of your life you never dreamed possible.

‘It’s time’ she will say…

“to write the ending, or new beginning, of your own story.”

https://ladiespassiton.com/…/stop-growing-up-older-start-g…/
Words: Donna Ashworth
Beautiful, Wonderful, Fabulous Lady: Helen Mirren
LPIO 2017