My Bib Overalls

a winter past… here on the farm

     There are some things in life that I just don’t want to part with and one are my winter overalls. Yep, those beautiful, hang below the crotch bibs that keep me warm early in the morning when I venture out to do my barn chores. Once I start wearing them…I just can’t stop until spring. Somehow I become dependent upon them and if not worn the winter seems to cut right through me (even on a sunny winter day). I hold out as long as I can but at some point I don them with an eagerness equated with a new outfit- and they are anything but…

     A couple of years ago I sprang for new ones as I caught the old on a rusty nail sticking out of the wall of the barn. The rip was huge on my left thigh. I gasped in panic. The iron on patch could only hold it together for a winter and the thermal stuffing was sneaking out whenever it could. So…there I was in the farm store looking for another. I tell you there is nothing glamorous in finding a new pair of overalls. They do not look very trendy or fashionable on the hangers (or on me) and the sizes….oh to get a pair to fit over jeans and a sweatshirt takes courage and determination. This is much more than buying boots ½ size larger to take in account for heavy socks. Currently I sport a deep purple pair with frayed leg bottoms. I don’t know why I bought purple but at least they were in a women’s size. Somehow the makers still have this hang up about the crotch though…Oh well.

     My faithful purple overalls are currently hanging up waiting to be used again tomorrow morning. We will meet up…no exchange of hello but maybe a yawn or two from me…and head out. But I could not get through the winter without them. Maybe as I get older I realize comfort is becoming more important than fashion….Oh boy- I don’t own any velour sweatpants  yet but who knows….

Random Thoughts Of Thankfulness…

Lavendar Sunshine (wallpaper4me.com)

     Some thoughts on what I am thankful for….I have limited myself to those random thoughts that immediately flooded my head…the ones that rushed in as I opened the gates. They seemed most eager to express themselves…yet know there are many more unwritten that I have not pulled from my heart and painted with words.

 I am thankful for the wonderful yellow sun…warming me from inside out and making me squint into a wrinkled smile – I can not imagine life without it

 I am thankful for the summer breeze that cools my skin when I think I can barely take the sweltering heat of the sun for one more minute

 I am thankful for spring which is the earth’s promise to me that new life is forthcoming and once again I will be captivated by rows of exquisite flowers for sale with lush shades of color coaxing me to once more try my hand at gardening

I am thankful for the autumn change of leaves, the beauty of which astounds me and takes away my sadness at my gardening failures now withering before me

I am thankful for the brisk winter cold, for without it I don’t know if I would fully appreciate the ongoing heat of the summer

I am thankful for the courtesy of others, strangers who hold the door open when my hands are full- I hope to return the favor by instinct and not obligation

I am thankful for the kindness of others, who are willing to acknowledge my presence with a smile or a hello,  as I hope to do in return

I am thankful for color…..what would life be like in black and white…never to look at the sunset or sunrise with the amazing glows of pinks, reds and purples…the green grass after a rain…and the blue sky above me….oh I could go on about color which is one of my favorite things in life

I am thankful for love…the feeling of completeness that it gives me…purpose…and connection with others. My friends and my family, loved ones here and gone- so important to my past and imprinted onto my future and always present

I am thankful for those who have taught me about the hardships of life: pain, fear, suffering. For without their courage, my life would not be the same. Showing me that life is so much more and coaxing me to think outside of the box time and time again.

I am so thankful for those who encourage my dreams and hopes and love me for who I am. Laughing with me at life and holding me when I cry. They accept my quirks, my off track thoughts and liberal values.

I am thankful for awakening the ability to feel compassion and empathy for others- I truly feel connected to a life truth in some way as I witness another’s life with a semblance of understanding. A gift so to speak that we all have – yet many never opened. I love this particular awakening and encourage anyone else to seek it.

I am thankful for my breath- for the ability to draw upon it at those moments when stress and emotions take hostage of my body, a deep intoxicating breath that grounds my feet and clears my head. Always there to the end, breath gets me through the hardest moments.

I am thankful for my days upon this earth, and if I should end my time here tomorrow…I would be thankful for having experienced this amazing journey.

The Devil Named Addiction

Lake Erie Sunrise- “A New Day”

     Ferociously eating away at our self-esteem, while filling us with false satiety and satisfaction. This devil knows no boundaries and carries a bottomless appetite. It pounces upon us relentlessly day in…day out. Sometimes our resolve is torn and trampled and we wave the white flag in surrender. Thinking we are a failure…weak and undeserving. But we should know there is always hope. We may not be able to slay the dragon, but we can learn to master it. While this adversary can rob us of our health both physical and emotional…never ever can it consume our soul.

     Whether your difficult battle is with food, money, television, video games, sex, hoarding, alcohol or drugs….in reality the list is endless. You must know you are not alone – a secret that is hidden like a guarded treasure in the lyre of the beast. It wants you to anguish and feel outcast, defeated and worthless. This savage so desires us to think we are insufficient so it can seep into our spirit and numb us from the beauty of life.

     We all find life difficult at times and have had to struggle physically and emotionally to meet the day. We all have fought the fight sometime in our life. We all have stumbled in the past and may again in the future. But some of us have a bigger, stronger demon to combat.

     Oh life is hard, harder so for some…I don’t know why this devil feasts upon some with such aggression. My fight is meager and I still have defeats and exhaustion at time. I can only imagine what some must go through when the struggle is literally life and death. I so wish we could slay this predator and it would exist no more. Watching the pain and exhaustion of others as they fight so hard, losing their hope and self-esteem. Feeling alone, out of control and not worthy of the battle. But they are worthy…and instead of shaking our heads and turning our backs- sending them the message that we too give up on them… we must let them know that we will help light the way.

     Addiction is the devil that plunder our hopes and roars to us that we are no longer in control. I have seen a bit of what this can do to lives of others…I have come to detest addiction in all of its forms. I know that I have my benign battles with the beast. But mine have not been the painful fight of severe addiction…that which many of us do not understand therefore carry no patience for the addicted and no comprehension of the strength of the demon. Those who live fighting this battle…I think of them often. I hope they know that they have the right to a better life. They have a right to chain the dragon and they can. Do not give up hope- everyday is a new one bringing the prospect of change. I stand by them in acknowledgment of the struggle, their pain and adversity. I truly wish for their success and better tomorrows. May they find hope and gain control- a victory in the war with the devil named addiction.

W A R

Afghanistan War (courtesy USA Today)

War…three little letters when put in a particular order become heavy in connotation and serious in responsibility. No longer a simple card game of my youth. Yet I fear we are becoming desensitized to this little word that means so much. How have we become so far removed from the battlefield when we watch the despair and destruction play out on our huge Hdtv flat screens. How have we have come to accept ongoing war as part of our life. Well maybe not our life- as we go about to our daily jobs, party with our friends and eat out in our favorite restaurants. But the lives of those willing to sacrifice in the name of our country. Those who leave loved ones behind to fight the good fight for us all.

War…three little letters that describe anxiety, pain, determination, fear, stress, bombs, raids, bullets, guns….and more guts than many of us could ever muster. Many times leaving the human body and soul in unimaginable pain. It is a monster that entangles humanity like tentacles of a preying octopus. Drawing us in, consuming us whole while squeezing every last breath from us.

I detest war…I don’t understand why humanity can not get away from the addiction to power and control that in turn attracts war like a light attracts moths from the darkness. I wish for a different future, free of war and the senseless loss it brings. Understand, I am proud of those who serve our country…it takes a determination and willingness to sacrifice that few will ever know. But…someday I hope to no longer speak those three little letters nor witness the drama and agony which they have befriended. Until then, I watch our brave ones continue to march before us into the battle, risking their lives like so many before them..I do not forget what they have sacrificed. I embrace their courage and fortitude…but I will never ever believe that war is the answer to the worlds problems. Humanity must not be so naive and complacent. Humanity is losing the battle.

War…three little letters…that change the world and all those who live in it.

Just Not Black And White

     If life were only painted with a thick sable brush using midnight black and winter white. Clearly showing us right from wrong with a broad stroke. But it isn’t. There are no clear lines just a blurry smudge of grey as we struggle to find our moral boundaries. I have come to accept this as I have tried to find my way- looking for the “real answers” to life’s questions.

     So many social issues confront us daily. It is up to each of us to decide how we will respond. I believe that my best choices are those made with compassion and thought. Sometimes it seems so clear and easy as to what is right- especially when we believe we will never be in the position to need to consider the alternative. But empathy brings the full picture into better view and makes it less fuzzy for me. I find that if I put myself in the place of another, I can begin to see how that alternative may be a necessary surrogate option.

     Yet there are many individuals out there who carry such anger and fear for the rest of us. The self-righteousness is blinding and does not let one view the world as perfectly imperfect place that it is. Instead the world is seen as rigid, casting people into lots of right and wrong, good and bad, and alas sinners and saints. This attitude never gives one the opportunity to explore another view and steals the ability to compromise- right out from under them.

     I don’t know how some people can be so rigid in their thinking. So bound by their thoughts that they can not see beyond- trapped in a sense, by their own choosing. For every ideal, value and thought that fills my head, I try to also see that it need be fluid, mercurial in a sense. For what seems to fit today in the puzzle of life, just can’t be jammed into the same spot tomorrow.