INTENTIONS TO SHOW UP

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GIRL ON THE RIGHT ONCE ENCOURAGED OTHERS!

I am convinced that memories are all about an intention, an aim, a plan. I am like a fish out of water wandering the planet without direction. It is like a strange hovering fog obstructing my vision forward.

I love sitting on the patio, listening to Pandora Radio (Nat King Cole Station), drinking coffee, and watching my new puppy scamper about the place. I love reading books when I can find good ones. I have good intentions to be with others, then do not act. Problem comes when I realize that I am living my story and need to make more memories.

I say all of this to conclude that my intentions need to translate into a conscience effort to schedule activities and show up in the lives of others.

“It’s been a long, a long time comin’, But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will…” -Sam Cooke (1964) (A heart felt song for anyone in transition, yet written for the Civil Rights Movement)

PSEUDO MIDLIFE CRISIS

Dance

THE AUDACITY TO WANT MORE

Women of the 1960’s grew up with the message, “You can accomplish anything.” Mirroring Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs, some of us feel quite able to meet our needs of safety, sustainability, and status on our own. I admit to being self-sufficient. Although others might think my life should be smooth sailing, it is okay to lose my equilibrium in a “pseudo midlife crisis.”

None of this is about recovering lost youth. It is quite simple—I like doing life with a guy. I want MAGIC moments again, and someone to make my HEART beat fast. I miss being in love. When I am in love, I feel really alive and vibrant. I want it back—just can’t seem to find it. I feel like I am on a road to no where with no one. I want what Etta James sang about in the 1960 classic AT LAST–“…I found a dream I could speak to, A dream to call my own…” I am aware of the audacity to want more after experiencing such a full married life with delightful children and grandchildren.

You would think I had a better grip on life at this stage, although my HEART keeps telling my brain about my NEED to fall in love again. THE HEART IS DECEITFUL ABOVE ALL THINGS & BEYOND CURE. WHO CAN UNDERSTAND IT? Jeremiah 17:9.

Somehow a version of me seems incomplete. I realize that a 70+ grandma should know how to behave herself and join the other ladies doing wonderful things for others. With my wild ideas, I feel “society” telling me to SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP.

Tune in next year and see if you find me living another Etta James classic, STORMY WEATHER “…I just can’t get my poor self together…if HE stays away, Old ROCKING CHAIR’s gonna get me…keeps raining all of the time…”

I hate it when I discover that I am just a “human.” Sometimes even the most invincible people need to take life one breath at a time.

OLD FRIENDS

myself, RANDY and RACHEL COWLING at the Stock Yard in Fort Worth, TX

myself, RANDY and RACHEL COWLING at the Stock Yard in Fort Worth, TX

“Lord, when all my work is done, bless my life and grant me one old friend at least one old friend.”
(Words from 1982, OLD FRIENDS by Willie Nelson, Roger Miller, & Ray Price)

Recently, I lost my wedding ring, and every woman knows the deep sadness inside to lose such a possession. Yet, I learned years ago to hold on to the things of this world “loosely,” even symbols of deep love. I save my serious grieving for losses of loved ones—I hold on tightly until they vanish from this dimension. My favorite part of life seems to be relationships with others and all the unforgettable moments.

Although longtime friendships and marriages ebb and flow, the “impressionable moments” that these relationships create seem to energize one’s days and nights for a lifetime. Deep connections with friends have enriched me and continue to make everything meaningful. Good memories appear to be simply ”moments in time.” I hope if someone recalls moments with me that he or she smiles.

I plan to make another memory next week with an “old friend.” She and I will probably check out some Christmas sales and drop by a cafe. Crazy wonderful friends who know what you are thinking without much explanation cause a peace and calm in your soul. Possessions do not hold a candle to feelings of acceptance and understanding from an “old friend” who has history with you.

I am convinced the reason I struggle in my new place to meet friends may be my own limitation of having piles of irreplaceable “old friends” from the past. None live in my neighborhood, yet, in our world of technology–just a click away. Two such friends just left my house after touring around Fort Worth with me. I love it when friends have sleep overs.

My ring may turn up one of these days, and if not, family and “old friends” will be here to comfort me with “warm” friendship.

WITH MY MOUTH WIDE OPEN

HELP! MY MOUTH IS LOCKED OPEN.

HELP! MY MOUTH IS LOCKED OPEN.

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Let’s just cut to the chase about people over fifty years old and under fifty. I remember the lyrics “On the Backside of Thirty” –John Conlee (1979). Now I am way on the backside of fifty, and it caught me off guard during a routine dental check up last Friday when my jaw locked open. I was not screaming, but tearing with pain as the dental team kept asking me, “Please close your mouth.” This was not the first time others have told me to “button it up,” although this time their expressions appeared rather “frightening.”

The downside happenings at this stage in life do not distract me from the great “perks.” I love not working and money still rolling in every month, as well as the freedom of planning my schedule or NO SCHEDULE. I do have those pesky grown children harping on me about volunteering. JUST LIKE GOOD PARENTS, they want me to participate in many activities in my BACKSIDE OF FIFTY HIGH SCHOOL, so I will be well rounded, healthy, and not live at their house all my life. Does that sound familiar?

Meanwhile, I love reading books, writing about “OUT OF THIS WORLD THRILLING TOPICS,” seeing my grandchildren do their thing at events, talking to neighbors in the yard, and staying in touch with old friends from across the country.

Another sweet “perk” is a deep groaning in my spirit which says “IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL.” Actually, it is a hymn written by Horatio Spafford in 1876 after losing his business in the Great Chicago Fire, then coming upon the scene where his 4 daughters lost their lives in a ship wreck.

People under fifty are not as likely to have experienced enough loss and failure to distinguish the “essential” ingredient to overcome troubles, thus another “perk” of being part of the over “fifty.” My crowd is more likely to discern the “essential” needs from the “extra wants” that it takes to move forward with life, no matter what is taken away.

James 4:14 NIV “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow…”

I am ready for the unknown that life throws at me—who knows how grand.

GOLDEN CIRCLE

ME AND KAREN BUVINGHAUSEN AT THE HISTORIC SPINDLETOP ON LAMAR UNIVERSITY'S CAMPUS 10-24-2015

ME AND KAREN BUVINGHAUSEN AT THE HISTORIC SPINDLETOP ON LAMAR UNIVERSITY’S CAMPUS 10-24-2015

If you ever find yourself at a college reunion being inducted into a “GOLDEN CIRCLE” of any kind, heads up on the “GOLDEN” word. The administration proudly inducted Lamar University’s Class of 1965 (alias Lamar Tech) into this “GOLDEN CIRCLE” with the usual poster displaying our “deceased” class members. Not only did I get stuck on the “GOLDEN” word, but the display honoring the deceased members gave me pause. The deceased alone caused me to reflect on who might be next. I understand the fine traditions, especially with the “Golden Age” metaphor intending to indicate a time of great happiness, success, and achievement. It is not intended for someone like me to “over” analyze the dog out of it, although “golden age” seems to be used as a marketing euphemism to replace and enhance the “senior citizen” label.

Historically, any “Golden” time typically refers to periods after a high peak compared to a downward definite low point that follows such as the “Golden Age of Hollywood.” A “Golden Age” is usually not declared until the time of the decline. The subliminal message that hit my subconscious with the “Golden Circle” idea seemed to be a declaration of the past accomplishments being “as good as it gets.”

Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers sang “ALL THE GOLD IN CALIFORNIA” with the words, “It don’t matter at all where you’ve played before. California’s a brand new game.” (1979)

It doesn’t matter at all what I achieved or did not achieve before—as now and tomorrow begin brand new. None of us have done our best work yet, if we are still roaming the planet.

An important highlight in driving 5 hours was spending time with friends in the area like Janice Foreman and Henry Sattler. Janice and Henry, especially, hold my heart. I enjoyed greatly the priceless moments of connecting with classmates from back in the day.

I loved seeing my college roommate Karen Buvinghausen from my freshman and sophomore years. I could have made this reunion memory all about my most HIGH ACHIEVEMENT & glorious time when Karen and I dressed like men to hop a freight to Houston and were campused for 6 weeks for jumping off the dorm at 3 a.m., but that would be hard for me to follow with a “higher achievement.” I guess I will just relax and be content to hold hands with my other classmates in the GOLDEN CIRCLE.

THE JOY OF CONTRADICTIONS

HAPPY FALL DAYS! Painting by Pam Blaies

HAPPY FALL DAYS!
Painting by Pam Blaies

When Fall hits, the whole world begins rushing toward the close of another year. In contrast the Fall Season sparkles with new beginnings everywhere—school starts, football, Halloween, Thanksgiving, festivals, parties, events. After a lethargic summer the Fall breathes new focus and purpose. I love the Fall. I love the contradiction of leaves decaying into colors of splendor. The magic of a cool, crisp morning compared to a “spring like” (almost summer) sunny afternoon.

Life itself appears to be a contradiction. I “tear up” at the meaningful moments and laugh when too many overwhelming circumstances hit at once. Even some of the hardest things to accept can turn out to be essential in the over all plan—go figure.

There are no “DO OVERS” in life. Every time I chase rabbits about the “what if’s,” I stop the scenario in my head. I am convinced that a second try at major choices would have resulted in unwanted consequences. Sometimes the passing of TIME itself seems to be a reminder of the inevitable nearness of the “finish line” in this game of life.

When I was about ten years old, my Grandmother and I were attempting to make a train connection together. As I pulled on her hand to walk faster, she said, “NO NEED TO HURRY ‘LINDY,’ THE WORLD MOVES IN DUE TIME AND YOU WON’T BE LEFT BEHIND.” The following song, “I WISH WE’D ALL BEEN READY” -JORDIN SPARKS has these words–“There’s no time to change your mind. The Son has come, and you’ve been Left Behind.” When I listened to this song, my Grandmother’s words echoed back in a prophetic way as I DID CHOOSE THE SON IN TIME AND WON’T BE LEFT BEHIND.

These Autumn days become more precious every year as I reflect on sweet and fun memories. I share some “G” rated memories with my grandchildren. I can probably offer my grandsons a few tips about how to win a girl’s heart. Actually, what my grandchildren really want is for someone to listen to them. I love to sit with a grandchild one on one and listen. My children (their parents) seem to relax when I listen and not share my stories. Why so nervous?—everyone knows that a “harmless” little granny radiates “innocence.” Contradictions abound!

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?

GRANDCHILDREN

GRANDCHILDREN

HOW I TREAT OTHERS seems to remain the steady important THEME of my lifetime. Even though I am more than likely past the stage of life where anyone really notices much about my appearance or my qualifications, I am convinced that HOW I TREAT OTHERS still rules. Parents appear to worry about their children in beauty, intelligence, abilities, and achievements.

“Mommy, the other kids say that I have big ears,” says the boy.
“Honey, you are Mommy’s handsome boy, and the other kids are jealous of you,” comforts the Mom. What about encouraging the boy by pointing out his qualities to be a good friend? Maybe the boy can realize the possibility that something is wrong with some of the ring leaders and not him. Notice that the ones who say the unkind words the most probably do not understand how to be a friend? Usually, there is something wrong with the one who is making the accusation. Your child can learn to help and to learn skills to treat the “hard to love” people with understanding. Needless to say, beauty fades and credentials become useless, but our character and personalities last a lifetime. People remember us by how we have treated them.

At present I am going through a stage of social difficulty in an attempt to figure out where I fit. My husband died about fours years ago, and I feel awkward socially. When I walk into a room full of people by myself, I feel anxiety. This is a new feeling for me, and the more I think of how others in the room may be feeling (awkward or depressed), the more sensitive to others I become. The less of me, the more can be offered to others. I do not have to go to my “Mommy” and complain that someone said that my “ears were too big.” I begin to concentrate on “Let’s be friends.” Of course, I do not do this all the time, and I fail miserably quite a bit.

I am guilty of saying drastic comments that may affect someone adversely. James 1:19 “Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to take offense, and to get angry.” I guess God gave us two ears and one mouth, in order for us to listen more, and speak less.

Encouraging our children and grandchildren to develop a focus on helping others may be worth the effort compared to the idea of “flawless looks” or “most intelligent.”

ow it at the time, but he was letting off steam with such a comment. His actions proved t