Tag Archives: Happy New Year

New Year’s Musings

30 Dec

Many people that I know claim that 2016 has not been a good year… and I’ve heard many folks say that the are looking forward to 2017 thinking “things couldn’t get worse.” This is a terrible thing to say as things can ALWAYS get worse… as this  children’s book by Margot Zemach clearly illustrates.

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A pie in progress for Angelina and Josephine.

On a personal level, the year has been challenging for me in several respects. First, there was the loss of my Dad this spring.  He was such a fixture in my life and moving on after that loss has not been easy because, unfortunately, grief has a way of taking its’ own sweet time.

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Another event has also left a scar.  A few months ago, I was betrayed by a person that I loved and trusted.  This news came as quite a shock to me and realizing that someone that I cared about could hurt me in such a profound way has left me questioning everything.

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A pie for Charles on his birthday.

For most of my life, I have tried to believe that the world was a good place and that we should treat others as we would want to be treated.  Now that I have been faced with this situation, I find myself wondering if I’ll be able to do that anymore.   The short answer is, I truly hope so, however, I am sure that this incident will bring a transformation of some kind.

On a positive note, after a short time, I found myself baking pies once again.  That is a good sign for sure!  This pie baking “thing” really seems to help me be the person that I want to be…. kind, caring, and perhaps even a little bit vulnerable.

On Christmas Day, I watched “It’s a Wonderful Life” with my kids, Alex and Coco. At the end of the movie, my daughter asked, “Did Mr. Potter ever give the money back to George Bailey?”  I said, “I I don’t think so. But it really doesn’t matter because George didn’t need the money… the people that he had helped all his life came to help him in his hour of need.” George truly was “the richest man in town” because he had so many people that loved him.  My wish for you, is that when you are in need, that you are as lucky, and as loved, as George Bailey.

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My very best wishes to everyone for a very Happy New Year!

“Betray a friend and you will often find that you have ruined yourself.”  Aesop, Aesop’s Fables

 

 

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Time for an Epiphany?

6 Jan

Noah's Pie

A Pie for Noah on his Birthday

It’s a bit late to say this but, but I want to wish everyone a very Happy New Year!  My hope is that the year to come brings you more joy than sorrow, more prosperity than hardship, and enough love and support to help you grow into your best self.

On a very sad note, this week my cousin Wayne lost his battle with cancer. Wayne was funny, smart, and big-hearted and he’s left us way too soon. My heartfelt sympathy goes to his family, friends, and loved ones.

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Among the many other thoughts crowding my head these past few weeks has been the issue of homelessness. Each week, our church opens on Monday to offer shelter to those without homes.  We are fortunate that there are many wonderful volunteers who serve as hosts on these nights.  For my part, I try to make sure that there is a warm pot of soup available for those weary souls.

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Over the time that I’ve helped with this mission, I have become familiar with some of our guests and will check in with them if I see them around town. Occasionally, I will buy them coffee or offer a peanut butter sandwich, but I know that even stopping to say hello is important. It demonstrates that these people exist… they are not invisible.

A few nights ago, I watched a film called, “Time out of Mind.” In this movie, Richard Gere plays a homeless man in New York City.  You don’t know much about what went wrong for his character, but you get a glimpse into how hard it is to be homeless.  In one interview, Gere shared that for a scene in the movie he stood on a street corner in Manhattan for 90 minutes begging for change. In that time he received about $1.50 but he said that not one person who gave him money looked him in the eye and no one recognized him at all.

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Recently, on a bitter cold day, I bought a coffee a local Dutch Bros kiosk. As I was waiting for it to be made, I noticed a homeless person across the parking lot and decided to give it to them. However, by the time I turned my car around, he was gone. Determined to find someone to share this treat with, I headed home scouting for someone in need.

When I passed through our downtown, I saw a man with a backpack walking his dog. I wanted to stop but all of a sudden was overcome with this thought “How presumptuous of me to think that he was homeless!”  This made me pass him by, but as I’d not seen anyone else around, I gathered my courage and drove back to him.

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He was a man of about 50 and he walked with a slight limp.With my window rolled down, I asked, “Sir, would you like a latte?” The man stopped and looked at me for a moment before he spoke and then he said, “Yes, thank you, Maam.”  I handed it to him and said, “He’s a cute dog.” He said it was a “she” and that’s when he seemed to straighten up and grow taller. Then he stated his full name, and these last words, “US Navy Seal.” I thanked him for his service, and if you know me at all, you know I drove home crying.

According to many traditions, today is celebrated as the day the Three Kings visited the Christ Child”; it’s known as the epiphany.” This word is also used to describe “a moment in which you suddenly see or understand something in a new or very clear way.” My wish is, if  nothing else, that the next time you see someone on the street, that you not turn away, for there, but for the grace of God, go you or I.

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A quiche for Sue and her new knee

Do not judge by appearances; a rich heart may be under a poor coat.       Scottish Proverb

I always wondered why somebody didn’t do something about that. Then I realized, I am somebody.  Unknown

The idea that anyone who has worn our country’s uniform spends their nights sleeping on the ground should horrify us.  Michelle Obama

 

Day 270: Welcome 2012

1 Jan

This morning as I scanned Facebook posts wishing everyone a Happy New Year, I read a note written by my friend Aimee.  She mentioned that she had recently been told about a website called 750 Words.  You can read more about it here, but in a nutshell, we are encouraged to begin each day by writing 750 words (roughly three pages).  It is based on an idea promoted in the book The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.  As I understand it, it’s a way to release all the “clutter” in your mind so that you can allow the important thoughts, ideas, etc. to come through.

I’d read about this “practice” a few years ago, and from time to time I have begun my day in this way.  The first time I tried it, it was hard to imagine what I would find to write about but in a few minutes the words began to pour onto the page and in ten or 15 minutes I was done.  Each successive attempt at writing my three pages has been equally successful.

So, why don’t I do this more often?  I suppose sometimes I get lazy or I forget about it or maybe I feel too busy with other things.  But I think that will change with the “750 words” website.  One big difference is that you are typing and not writing long hand (which makes reading my work infinitely easier!) and there are little rewards built-in to make it fun.  Today it took me about 15 minutes to get to 750 words and I felt better at the end of the exercise.  While not really a New Year’s resolution, I hope to make this a daily habit and encourage you to see if it is something that would interest you.

As for my pie of the day,  a neighbor of mine mentioned that her friend Peggy might like to receive a pie.  She thought a quiche might be appreciated and that was pretty much all that I needed to get started.  I cooked bacon, spinach and onions and grated some sharp white cheddar for this pie.  In no time at all it was in the oven and an hour or so later we were on our way to deliver the quiche.

I was met at the door by a man who welcomed me in and went to announce me to Peggy.  When she first saw me, she definitely seemed a bit curious.  Immediately I mentioned my neighbor’s name so that she would feel more at ease and then I briefly explained my pie project and that today’s pie was for her.  When she had heard my tale,  Peggy’s beautiful smile was the best reaction I could ask for… and an absolutely wonderful beginning for the new year.

Because that’s what kindness is.  It’s not doing something for someone else because they can’t, but because you can.  ~Andrew Iskander