10/20/2017

Tapestry of Your Life

I once heard someone describe our lives as a beautiful tapestry. He went on to say each thread is interwoven and may circle back with a purpose and each is put in by design
creating a colorful legacy. I rather like this imagery description of our existence here on earth.  Are we not each a master of all the images we are creating of our lives?

So what kind of tapestry are you creating?  I think the colors should be vast and variegated. Life should not be mundane or there is no growth.  A picture is captivating in black and white but a tapestry draws no attention without color. Your live should be colorful and eye-appealing if reviewed in full.

Draw outside of the lines. Conformity is entirely too overrated. Why make the picture of you look like everyone else?  I always told my children dare to be different. Be the one that stands out in a crowd. We all have a destiny. Discover yours and fill it. You can’t if you do nothing but always walk rank and file.

Dare yourself to take risks.  This is when new threads begin in the tapestry of your life.  These are the ah-ha moments that give your existence a new dimension.  It doesn’t matter if it is a new career,  a new sport, or a challenge but sometimes do the things no one things you are capable of.  Believe in you. Life is only one shot so give yourself that chance if you think it is worth taking. Passion is a hunger that should be quenched!

Don’t close the door to the past simply because it is over.  That fabric is part of your make up; it is in your tapestry and is part of your beauty with its joys and sorrows.  It is to be celebrated because it has made you part of who you are and the life you are now living.   The threads are critical to the image!

God sees our lives as a beautiful tapestry from above that we weave of our own freewill. Our choices are the ebb and flow of the wave of colors and the overall look and feel of the final image.  Additions in your life may very well be thread changes so don’t settle for staying idle, never moving forward or outward at all.

 As you move through your life, ask yourself, is there color in your life? Do you allow change and growth opportunities or do you run from a challenge that forces you to grow or become more passionate?  Do you allow any new threads to intertwine?  Do you smother the flames of any sort of passion outside your comfort zone?  

Live your life to the fullest but, define it with your own definition of greatness, not someone else’s.  Most importantly, make your tapestry a masterpiece.  It should reflect the legacy of a life fully embraced with  your passion that shows the world you alone could only create this wonderful tapestry! Get to work!  

10/15/2017

And They Danced Their Final Dance

They were young and in love, or so it seemed because their smiles were like sunshine beams. It was if their whole life they had waited to simply get to this point, this one spot in the universe to find each other. As they gazed in each other’s eyes, they were like two crossed eye teen age lovers, so be smitten they lost track of everyone else in the room.  Young love at the final pass.

So many tender years and many of shed tears. Mountains both of these had crossed without each other. But God had brought them together, to find a love that was pure, simple and unconditional at a time in life when many simply wait to die.   These two were making new rules, making the rest of us look like fools.  They were taking love and life to new heights, embracing each other with all their might.

As everyone in the room watched, they circled around the dance floor locking eyes with
abandonment. Their bodies were swaying to the music, oblivious to the crowd who was mesmerized by the display of unbridled love on the floor of these two young old souls.  They clasped hands, smiled as their faces lit up with passion, friendship and love. Laughter rang out, peals of it though out the dance hall, making everyone else unable to contain themselves, laughing in direct proportion to their laughter.   They looked around as if surprised anyone else was in the room, smiling at others in the crowd of people but not bothered in the least that anyone see their obvious affection for the other. Public displays of affection were their reward for a life well lived, for finding their perfect mate, for knowing life is too short to stand on formality.  Many began thinking with wonder how to unleash that kind of passion, abandon stringent principles that hold us back. They whispered, “There is magic between those two!” 

The music transitioned to a soft ballad and as it did the embrace between them changed. 
The old man looked at his lady with sheer love in his eyes and put his arms around her waist to pull her inwards.  She smiled and teared up laying her arms upon his shoulders as she gently kissed his cheek. You would have thought he won the lotto with the peck he received.   They began to rock to and fro as if time stood still and it was only those two in the world.  Perhaps it was as we were all barely breathing taking it all in. How could you not be captivated watching what almost looked like such selfishly love?


Tonight, as I learned that Don is with hospice. I shall forever treasure the days I was blessed to see him dancing with his beloved Margaret. If ever a love so pure is on display, such as theirs, for you, be sure to simply be still. Watch it, closely and praise God for letting you be there, caught up in that special moment!  

10/12/2017

It's Been A Year Charley

What do I miss most about Charley since it has been one year today since he has been gone?  
This is a toss-up since there are so many things I use to write about. He is the dog that everyone seemed to fall in love with, even those that never met him! At the end of the day, I would have to say the crazy way he had of making every day begin and end with laughter and love!

From the moment we picked up Charley he was commotion in motion!  I followed the breeder down to where he was at with the puppies in the litter all scurrying around a baby pool. Naturally the one I was taking home was literally climbing up everyone’s back as she is telling me “He is such a sweetie!”  I am thinking “He looks like a royal mess, a little bear who needs obedience training for toddlers.”


As she tried to give us all the information, he kept running away, another trait we became all too

familiar with over time. Charley was the escape artist as the neighborhood was well aware of.
Luckily all of them loved him, the big galoot. That is, except for the foul-mouthed man in the back-end of the subdivision who had lots of guns who threatened to shoot him if he ever laid another paw in his yard,  He even pounded on our door one night at 10:30 to tell us he thought Charley had been up there earlier that night while he was gone. We have no idea how when we were home all night and avoided his place like the plague!  I think, by then, Charley didn't even want to pee in his yard! I think he just hated labs or me because nobody hated Charley!  Maybe I should have let Charley get close enough to lick his face when he was outside our front door screaming. But maybe not, maybe that would have been the one time in Charley's life he'd have acted like a guard dog! God knows, at no other time did he!

Charley started the day like a little kid, bugging us to get up. If it was just me home, he literally bumped my head. If I ignored him, he jumped on the bed, and began pulling the covers off of me. Next he pulled the pillow out from under my head. Then became the face washing. Anyone that knew the size of Charley’s head, more precisely his tongue, knows you can’t stand this for any length of time!  Morning has broken, Charley style!

Taking a walk was more fun with Charley on a leash. You couldn’t help but notice every critter that moved by, even fly by leaves or plastic bags that appeared, to him, to be potential prey.  He had enough of the hunting field dog in him to want to impress us. But we had to keep it real and tell him he wasn’t all that smart and was lucky we adopted him because living on leaves and roadkill wasn’t nearly as luxurious as what we were feeding him.


One of the highlights of every summer day was watching him swim in our pool. I have seen dogs jump off a landings into pools. Charley flew!  It was incredible but not a picture of grace.  And if you didn’t want to get wet, you couldn’t be standing anywhere on the deck! We threw Frisbees and he would catch it in his mouth, he could carry it back, he could retrieve it under water. Charley was halftime entertainment for neighbors. 


Charley would swim with us and play with my granddaughter in the pool. What a joy to have a big 125 lb. moving toy in the pool who just loved being there and was interactive!  If we tried to keep him out, he sat at the window or at the patio doors barking his head off like there were burglars outside.

Speaking off security, Jim always said he was a poor excuse for protection for our home!  Jim could walk in at lunchtime or at the end of the day and find Charley sprawled out on our bed.  He walks in to where he found Charley and asks him accusingly “What if I was a burglar Charley, would you just lay there and do nothing?”  Thank God we never had to find out! I think the answer is that as long as they weren’t going for his treats, they were okay to come in to his house!

Having a dog everyone talks about because he is like a big Marmaduke is really hard to replace and get over losing. But the stories I have are endless and so many friends that knew him and of him keep our special Charley as much alive in many ways as he was for 13 years.  He was so loyal to me that during my chemotherapy, I am not sure anyone was with me as much as him next to Jim. He never left my side no matter where I was at, even hanging by the bathroom door if I was sick, whining if he heard me till I was well and back in bed or in another room and okay.

I miss him horribly but knowing, at the end, he was suffering I am so relieved he was out of pain. He deserved to be free again, at peace, in heaven running and jumping and harassing all the other dogs up there before him.  I know that I won’t have to look for him when I get up there. All I will have to do is say his name and he will come running and I need to remember to not lock my knees…..  Some things about Charley won’t change, not even in heaven!   My loveable angel Charley, love and miss you! Momma





10/09/2017

Is the Friendship Real?

I use to write about friendships quite abit. Over the years I quit writing about them but have noticed, as I have aged, maybe I should more.  They change over time, as one ages. The
attitude about them changes, they become more valued, the close ones and the casual ones, less worrisome when they are, shall we say, fly by nights. As we become more confident in whom we are, our basis for a friendship becomes more grounded.

In younger years, the focus seems to be more on having a quantity of friends. When the time is right to go out, most of us literally flip thru the phone list of friends on speed dial finding someone free for the night. Anything is preferable to staying in or staying home alone.  The people with the most friends are equated with the person with the most personality, the one everyone seems to want to be around or emulate.

What is often the case, beneath the surface is this person is the one most craving the attention. This type of person has the most difficulty being alone and needs the constant affirmation from others. Do you know that there have been studies that reveal more intelligent people are introverts and prefer time alone rather than being with friends?  The theory also goes that more intelligent people are less likely to be brought down by friends and can be more focused on their career options and quality of their relationships which is why they prefer not to have a large quantity of friends.

Also when we are younger we use the term friend frivolously. There is a major difference between friend and an associate, someone we know casually, either through work, close proximity through another or social media or just hanging out with. A true friend is a reciprocal relationship.  Several studies have been done by psychology departments, cross-sectional and found people would be surprised to find the ones they think regard them as friends do not.

Thus, as we age, we become more attuned that to get a great deal out of relationship we must put energy into one. That takes time, passion and commitment. Who has the time and energy to do that with so many people?  Having fewer means having better. Work smarter rather than harder and have quality friendships. Many folks I know have better friendship relationships than family connections.

Connecting with people is wonderful and not to be discouraged. However, to retain and develop a relationship must take a commitment on both sides. Each relationship or rather friendship that is worthwhile is a slight cost to another friendship, in a sense or an addition to it if its meaningful and adding something to your life. I personally prefer those that build each other up, support each other’s diversity of ideas and create a supportive fun attitude of life. Without an undercurrent of accepting real unconditional regard and love, know that that friendship does matter but don’t short change the ones that will always carry a piece of you in their heart.  

10/03/2017

Patience Sometimes Take Humility

“Patience is the companion of wisdom,” Saint Augustine said.  I was reminded that lesson today.  God is amazing that He reminds us of the truly important lessons in life in the simplest of gestures. Watch, wait and listen with a happy heart and good things come to pass to those who wait!

As I was out today, trying to quickly do some returns in the store and pick up a few needed items, I was getting rather annoyed as no one seemed to be present at any single register. Everywhere I went I was greeted with This Register is Closed displayed in black and white like a HaHa sign aimed right at me; you are wasting your time lady. I would have left but I had a return bag in my hand from an online purchase I wanted to get off my charge card.

Finally I saw a register open with a lady at it and as I  approached I noticed only one customer at the counter. As I congratulated myself on my good luck, my hopes were quickly dashed. Walking closer, this woman had the dreaded massive overload cart of too many items to count!  And she looked to me to be Miss High Maintenance.  I was in no mood for this and was hoping she would turn around, make eye contact with me and say, go ahead of me.

Well, she did turn around and look at me but the words she uttered were “I am sorry for the wait this may be.”  Oh, I felt like she had smacked me, just like those darn signs that said Register Closed. What was this, conspiracy day against Veronica Gliatti at the retail store or what?  Should I wait or should I go? 

Out comes my cell, my BFF when stuck in a slow moving line. I knew I was not going anywhere quickly. And then, to my surprise, one pair of shoes after 
another were placed on the counter. With each pair the customer insisted the cashier check each shoe to ensure the size matched the size marked on the outside box label and each shoe pair were the same, in size and style!  All I could think off, while watching this transpire out of the corner of my eye was why she could not have done this prior to coming to the checkout line! 

As this progressed, there was some discussion going on about the shoes I did not even want to hear as my frustration grew!  There were big shoes, little shoes, male shoes, female shoes, kids shoes, all clearance but I kept thinking what the hell lady, did you buy every damn pair in the store! 

At one point, the cashier actually asked her, in hushed tones, but it caught my ear, if she wanted her to call someone to get matching sizes of pairs that were incorrectly matched. I just about lost it by then, keying into my phone to my best friend my anger. What the hell is wrong with today, I asked?  Is it storming outside bad luck?  I am behind a moron shoe fetish lady!  Help me; I will need heeling after this!  If the cashier left the register to retrieve matchy sizes and shoes going to the shoe department I was determined I would consider leaving. That was where my battle line would have to be drawn.

Luck was on my side and apparently the lady said what she had that matched would suffice. There was a Shoe God! Eventually this sale was over, along with about 20 pairs of shoes  and the lady turned around, politely,  probably sensing my frustration and again apologized for taking up so much time. I naturally told her it was fine. I even said, it is a pain to get home with shoes that don’t match in sizes.  I thought, especially a whole wardrobe of them!

As the lady left, the cashier leaned across the counter towards me. She said “I was really sorry for the long wait. I wonder if you knew what she was doing and why the matching mattered.” I was about ready to respond with a curtly, “Why didn’t she check them herself” but before I could the cashier continued speaking. “That woman is mailing all of those shoes out of the country to Puerto Rico to hurricane victims. She got sizes for victims in need. Isn’t that wonderful!"


Right then and there, my sense of humility kicked in big time.  I had been so busy worrying about my sense of time, my sense of purpose, returning some dumb item that I had not even bothered to think perhaps what someone else was doing in front of me had a far greater purpose.

Too often we have people come into our lives that are meant to touch us in very special ways. We are given the chance to embrace these opportunities and must be patient about what the lesson is. We have to give it time, it may not be able to be rushed and be on God's timeline, not ours. The message may be so worth it, so valuable, so life-changing. Is it worth not learning, not taking the chance?  Dare to find out with a bit of patience. And, just like the shoes, our souls always need some healing.  
God bless the people in Puerto Rico as they continue to heal! 

10/01/2017

Nature Brings Hope

She sat upon the porch,
With her head hanging down,
Not a soul was outside
Surrounded by nature’s sounds.
  
Her hands were clasped,
Her thoughts were far away,
A tear slipped from her eye,
On this sunny day.

A couple walked past,
At a bright cheery pace,
She heard their footsteps passing
But still hid her face.

As music began playing,
From somewhere down the street
She rose her head so gently,
And started tapping her feet.

Her demeanor seemed to change,
She looked like someone who could cope
With all that life threw at her
The twinkle in her eye was hope.

I saw a butterfly land on her finger
As she gazed at the garden
You could see her hardships
Had not made her heart harden
  
Whatever she was thinking of
Or saying a pray for
Must have felt answered
Had God opened a door?

There wasn’t a trace on her face of fears of creating new tears.









9/27/2017

High School Moments

High school is such an awkward time for so many of us. It is only the few that are full of
self-confidence and win the Popularity Award. More high schoolers are struggling to make their mark and figure out where they fit in to the social structure.  Relationships come into play, at this stage of life and are a reflection of where you are with your own development. Yet the emphasis is on relationships.

I recall, in my high school, the most common topic was who was dating whom. The pressure was always on to be dating. More often than not, it didn’t even matter if you liked the person or not, it was more about if the person was in the ‘in crowd.’

The sad part about this mentality is plenty of good people were left by the wayside. Some of the best people to be dating were ignored for some real losers. And this paradox occurs even today, a fact of high school years. So many parents I meet tell me of their teens disappointment of not having dates when their children are so wonderful. Many teens just don’t stand out enough, for no apparent reason. At a time when they could be formulating ideas of how relationships work, the nuances, many teens are left out cold.  The advantage of this experience is perhaps it may help less missteps made in marriage causing repaired relationships instead of divorce. Or, the other good outcome would be, experience in relationships can lead to better distinction between what is healthy attraction verses pure lust and won’t last.

I know in my case, I did relatively little dating in high school. I didn’t have much of a grasp of how relationships worked, even less of my own value. When I met an older guy, at a particularly low time, I assumed he knew a heck of a lot more about relationships than I did. I was also very flattered that he was interested in me.  Quickly in the marriage, I learned he had no dated in high school at all! So we found ourselves married, two people with virtually no experience at relationships at all and I was eighteen.

There are many ways of getting confidence as a young person, a good education, developing faith in God, a solid family.  Getting attention from the opposite sex also builds up teens value and if any of the later is not present, the young person will suffer.

I have spoken with counselors working with teens from broken homes or homes where abuse is present. These kids have major self-esteem homes.  Young adults living in poverty have an uphill battle even without relationships struggle.   These added issues have a profound effect on their feelings towards themselves making them more vulnerable to bad relationships or none at all.  It is natural when a relationship goes south or no one wants to date them for them, internally to attribute it to themselves and not to the other person.   For me,  it was hard to accept attention even from someone willing to give it. I felt unworthy of it and as if a guy willing to give it must have something wrong with him. Inside I was struggling with me but didn’t want anyone else to see or know that.  Teens want to keep everything secret many times.  Perhaps today teen suicide is an all-time high.

Self-esteem building is the best way for a young person to have a healthy life and good relationships that foster future success. Without it, they are more apt to have disappointments along the way.

Schools allow bullying much more than they should.  This issue has always been there, it is not so much new. Yes social media possibly has made it worse but is your child adding to it by their public media posts?  Don’t allow them to be part of the problem, fueling their own issues. If they complain, ask them if they are adding to their own issues.

I firmly believe if you don’t like something, be an advocate for change. Try to create solutions for your children so they don’t live your mistakes. They won’t listen to you, if they are ‘normal’ but school systems might, your church may very well. It is a good place to start.


I recently heard from an old friend. It reminded me of something I always wanted to say. Sorry does seem to be the hardest word.  Brushing aside someone who cares was not helpful. And having regrets would have been nice for them to know. For years I wanted to undo the wrong and wish I could go back and replay it. I wondered many times ‘what if’ but won’t get the chance. Life teaches you that you can’t go back but you can share your lessons and your triumphs with others. Care enough to teach your kids even if no one is asking you out, your value is immeasurable.  Do not settle for less and don’t overlook the good people God places in your life.  Your time is coming!