Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Time To Make A New List

 Last year I made a list of 62 things to do before my 62nd birthday.   Today my time was up for completing that list.  As you can see from the "progress" list on my sidebar,  I got a lot of them done.   More (frankly) than I expected.     I had bloggy giveaways, I shelled with my grandkids, I fished with my brother.   I made soup, I played with crafts, I did silly things with my grandchildren, I tried to show my kids that I love them by doing little loving things.   It was a good thing to do, and it lead to many good things.

I'm not sure whether I'll make a new list -- 63 things seems like a LOT to think up!   But I think I will take some time over the next week or so to come up with a few goals for my next year.   And I think that snorkeling with turtles will be on that list!

It was a good birthday.    I think it will be a wonderful year.    That's my plan, anyway.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

We Got Snow!



 I worked about 12 hours today and when I walked outside, my car was COVERED with several inches of heavy snow.    A day ago, after a lot of rain, my grass was bright green and covered with bunnies.   Tonight,  the lawn and trees are white and every branch stands out against the night sky.   What an amazing world.

So, this was nice.   Can winter be over now?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Murphy's Law?

This morning gas at my local station was $2.98.  I didn't really need gas so I passed it by, even though there were no other cars in line.    This afternoon, same station, the gas was $3.35, cars were lined up, and I needed a fill up.

Yup.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful

I am thankful for so many things.   I am not exactly thankful for the colder weather, but I am thankful for my warm bed on cold nights, and for my forced air furnace in the mornings. 

I am thankful for hot soup simmering on my stove and for candles in my fireplace (My lovely fireplace is not functional.   But nobody's perfect, and it IS lovely, so I'm thankful).

I am thankful for my family.   I treasure my siblings, I adore my son and daughter in law (what a silly phrase),  words can't describe how I feel about my grandchildren, and I love my daughter.

I am thankful to have enough money to pay my bills.    My work brings me into contact with a lot of death, which makes me more thankful than ever for life.   I am thankful for the hospice families who share their journeys with me, for the lessons I am learning, and for the resulting peace they often allow me to witness.

I am thankful for the twinkly lights on the trees I will put up this weekend.   Something about twinkly lights just makes me smile.
I am thankful for a plan to walk the beaches of Sanibel at least one more time.   I will be thankful to bring home a few more shells.
I may not have everything I want, but I surely have everything I need.    I hope you do, too.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Blessing of Hands

I got a phone call a week or so ago, in the middle of a Sunday afternoon, from someone who works in the Pastoral Care Department at a hospital.    It had just occurred to her that no one had told me that the next day I would be expected to begin a week-long Blessing of the Hands at the campuses where I work.

After receiving her call, I found myself thinking about all the different jobs, all the different hands that I encounter each day.    Hands that clean, hands that feed, hands that soothe the dying, hands that prepare potions to reduce pain, hand that offer solace to the living.   Hands that reach out to me for comfort, hands that reach into thin air as if they see something (or someone) there.  Hands that draw me in.    Crippled hands, wrinkled hands that seek my touch.   And young hands, too, healthy hands.    Plump little hands that are open to life, full of fun and sweetness, smudged from art projects and play.

In the course of my job, I said a blessing over many hands that week.   But, as usual, the real blessing was to me.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

November Already?!

This year has flown by.   Again.   I am already neck-deep in Holiday planning at work -- as you know or can imagine, the holidays are a difficult time for families in hospice or anyone who has suffered a loss, especially a recent loss.   And of course, no matter how busy or hopeful we are, people keep dying, and it can seem especially cruel for families this time of year.    

As a sort of balance, I am also looking at toys and decorations for my own family, a happier kind of planning.   I am avoiding as much as possible thinking about my upcoming birthday, which is rushing toward me WAY too quickly.  In some ways, working at hospice has made me grateful for every year but has also put a sharper edge on getting older.    I can no longer avoid thinking about death, even for a day.    

I am mentally packing for my mid-holiday trip to Sanibel Island, where I hope to see a couple of friends and enlarge my seashell stash!   Meanwhile, my house is more of a mess than I can every remember it being.    There are intended projects and reminder notes and stacks of things I meant to read EVERYWHERE.   Patterns and fabrics and fly-tying materials and recipes and unwrapped presents in every corner.

November is also when I peek for the first time into my $5 savings plan.   All year, I tuck away every $5-bill I receive, whether in change or from the bank, and consider it my Christmas savings account.    I counted it today and was amazed to find that I saved $450 in $5-bills this year!    It is a great savings plan for me, almost painless (except for the times when I get three fives as change for a twenty!)  

We are nearing the end of the year. There are a lot of dark clouds and the nights are getting colder.   The furnace is on, and there is plenty of time for candlelight at night, no matter how early I go to bed. The days are often crisp, I love wearing cozy fleece, and it's finally soup weather.        It's all good.
Just don't talk to me about snow, because that is a different story altogether.