Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘changes’

Montana Mountain Trails


Montana Mountain Trails

ATV Travel - Cloudy Sky

I love living in Montana.
I love the opportunities it provides for me
and my husband, Bob, to get out into nature.
I love the mountains, the numerous trails,
and the scenery – everywhere I go…
… everywhere I look,
it’s beautiful in a unique kind of way

 

Come along with me, and Bob, and our Boston Terrier, TazE,
and three other couples and a single guy with his dog.
We headed north-west outta Ennis
to Twin Bridges and then
turned west, took a break,
and went north into the
Big Hole area.


The ride on “Lucille”
(our red-headed Polaris Razor on which we have a BALL),
was much tamer than the ATV ride I took earlier this week!

IMG_7537

We made a rest stop in Twin Bridges
– a little more than 3/4 of the way to our destination.

Rest stop - Twin Bridges

Then on we went – seemingly forever – off the main road –
headed for some unknown destination
(at least it was unknown to me and Bob and our trusty traveler, TazE).

 

You couldn’t hear me over the roar of the engine.
I said, “Wide-open country-side!”

We had no idea our destination was a remote graveyard
in what used to be Rochester, MT
and an old abandoned mine far up the trail
in those mountains out there –
where the sky kept getting darker and darker.

Cemetery sign

There are eleven graves labeled “UNKNOWN” in this cemetery.
How strange!
In a community of only 2,000 at its max,
how was anyone “unknown?”

cemetery4.jpg

Most of the gravestones were well marked. Some even appeared to have had recent visitors. We were way the heck away from civilization… but here were flowers at the grave site of 3 Claridge siblings who died at 3 1/2 months and their sister who died at birth a year before. Doesn’t your heart go out to those parents??


Cemetery6

In these harsh conditions, some did live to full adulthood.
I wish they could tell their stories.

Cemetery2

I loved Margaret’s tombstone
(as much as “love” and “tombstone”
dare go together in the same sentence!).
Look at it… I think she was 90!
Her story was partially told on this stone:
“Do not go gentle into that good night. ..
Rage against the dying of the light.”

Cemetery5

When I die, I am sure I will not “rage against the dying of the light.”
I want to fly toward the Light…
and indeed, that Faith is what keeps me going!
I wanna keep loving extravagantly until I am 90+
Don’t you?

bird in sunset sky

Isn’t this old gate that greeted us
when we entered the cemetery a treasure to behold?

Cemetery gate

The sagebrush in this area inspired the clothing
I have chosen to wear to my granddaughter’s wedding next month.
I love the earth tones of pale green and beige.
Don’t you?

sage brush

We stopped at an old mine and had lunch.
Just finished before it started to rain.
Whew!

Caroline-Gail - mine

Those are two of our ATV buddies, Caroline and Gail,
chatting about whether or not to chance
getting the chairs and lunches out and sitting down to relax.
We all did… and finished just in time.

Here’s Bob – looking down at TazE – asking,
“You wanna get back into Lucille?”

Bob w Lucille

She said, “You bet!”

TazE ATV

I had her on a leash
because she was not friendly with Boone,
the other dog on this trip.
TazE is an “only child,”
and not used to being around other dogs.

We passed some wonderful white-faced cattle
on our way back to the pickups and trailers.

cattle in Big Hole plains

white-faced cattle1

Some of them ran to get out of our way
(our four-wheelers are noisy),
but others ran alongside to try and race us!

The remains of civilization were everywhere along the way.
Hard to believe there were 2,000 people living back in here once upon a time!

Fence remains

ATV-fence-valley-sky

Cattle guards kept the animals from following us out.
We returned to our bluer skies –
getting hooked up and into our pick-ups
just before a huge hailstorm hit.
I thought I’d see dents in the pickup hood when we got home.

But, no… all was well.

It was a fun and an interesting, educational day.
Thanks for taking time to travel vicariously with us!

Someday you need to make a trip to Montana
and come out four-wheeling!!


heart of love
See ya tomorrow.

Everything Happens for a Reason


A Reason for Everything

I believe everything happens for a reason. Do you?

We may not see the reason at the time, but eventually, if we are perceptive, if we are thoughtful, if we are open to it, the reason will become apparent.

482435_413385842011298_1079521178_n

Synchronicity

I believe in coincidence. Do you?

I think coincidences are God’s synchronicity. In fact, it’s not “coincidence” at all… it’s part of a Master Plan.

Bear with me.

Let me tell you what happened this week while our grandson, Chris, was here in Ennis visiting us – on a ten day leave from the Anaconda Job Corps.

Chris took the leave because his parents (our daughter, DeAna, and her husband André) are here from their home in Switzerland. Chris (who has dual citizenship, by the way) hasn’t seen his parents in six months, so of course he wanted to have this time with them.

We are at the end of the ten days now. The three of them will leave today. De & Andre’ will drive Chris back to the Job Corps. Then they will be on their way to Los Angeles to fly back home to their place in the Alps.

IMG_2630

Meanwhile…

Two days ago we learned that the USA government is reorganizing their Job Corps program AND in the process, they are closing nine training sites across the USA. The Anaconda Job Corps training site is one of nine sites scheduled to deactivate by the end of 2019.

In fact, one news article indicated Anaconda will be closed by the end of August 2019!

Chris is not scheduled to finish his Heavy Equipment mechanics program  until December or January.

Where is the Coincidence?

What does this have to do with synchronicity?

Well, Anaconda Job Corps opened its doors in 1966, the year DeAna was conceived. For 53 years it has trained thousands of young people between the ages of 16 and 24. This particular year when it is scheduled to close –  is the year DeAna’s youngest son is training there.

I believe it is no coincidence that Chris is here at this time – – – and that he was gone when the shocking news was announced. There is a reason. There are reasons. But, we don’t see them yet.

Two days ago we received this e-mail announcement from a friend:
The Chief posted more information on the Job Corps Centers this morning on “Inside the Forest Service”.   Click on – www.fs.fed.us/inside-fs

 

Leadership

Chris has been in Anaconda four months, and has moved rapidly through the ranks to become a leader among the other trainees. His experience there has helped him grow in maturity, self-esteem, and self-confidence. He has gained “alpha” status, and the respect of his fellows.

We are so proud of what he accomplished so far there at Job Corps!

Us w Chris

The experience and the training he has received in Anaconda so far will not be lost.

The announcement of potential closure more than likely was made while Chris was away from the site this week (I can’t imagine with it being in the local newspapers and on-line that it was not a major topic of discussion there). I anticipate that he will return today to a lot of friends who are in turmoil.

He is a level-headed, compassionate young man – – – and he can lend a listening ear, and a voice of reason.

Unknowns

There are so many unknowns.

  • Where and when will the 150+ students be transferred to other sites to finish their training?
  • Do they WANT to transfer to another place? Will some just quit?
  • The Job Corps sites that were contracted out and run by the US Forest Service are being transferred to the Department of Labor (if they are not targetted to close). What will happen to the staff hired by the Forest service?
  • Will their years of service and their retirement plans be honored by the Dept. of Labor?
  • Will they have jobs offered to them at other locations? If they live in Anaconda, will they WANT to transfer to Butte or Darby, Montana or one of the other Job Corps locations?
  • What will happen to the little town of Anaconda? The Job Corps is one of its greatest employers!
  • How does this fit into some Master Plan that will ultimately be beneficial?

Choices

When one door closes, another opens. I have heard that all my life. Have you?

Do you believe it?

Everything happens for a reason.

man holding brown boombox radio

Photo by Nicholas Githiri on Pexels.com


Stay tuned in!

pexels-photo-887349
See you tomorrow

Meaningful Memories


Welcome to Day #13
of my A-Z series,

How to
Add Greater Meaning
and Find More Purpose
in Life

Today’s letter is “M”
The topic: Meaningful Memories


My Memories Haiku

All have memories
Some more vivid than others
We’d like some to fade

person uses pen on book

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

But, not really…
Even painful memories serve a purpose.
As we reflect on them years later, we uncover truths –
Truths about ourselves we may not have realized at the time.
That’s what makes them meaningful!

As a writer who loves to write poetry, and someone who is exploring the significance of memories for adding meaning to our lives, I was fascinated by this

Interview with Poet kjmunro

by Frank J. Tassone

Question #3 was, “Is there anything you dislike about being a poet?”

Poet Kjmunro responded, “Sometimes I wish that I could be more comfortable in a crowd – but that may have more to do with being an introvert than being a poet. Writing poetry helps me to make sense of my life & my experiences, & because of it I have pushed my boundaries, accepted challenges, & pursued opportunities that have enriched my life… I can’t imagine my life without it.”

(You can click on the interview title above and see more of this meaningful post.)

woman holding blue shakspere book over face

Photo by JJ Jordan on Pexels.com

 

Likewise, I cannot imagine my life without the gift of writing – both poetry and prose. I enjoy writing poetry. I love reading it. I treasure the opportunity to share it.  Writing is a way to keep memories alive. It is a way to make sense of my life and my experiences. It is a way to express gratitude, to plan ahead, and to reflect. It is a way to push boundaries and accept challenges.

Yesterday in our Writers’ Group, the writing prompt was, “Tell Us About Someone You Used to Love.” The prompt brought to mind some very vivid, meaningful memories. Let me share my story with you:

Someone I Used to Love

I need to get up and face the student body on this October Spring Rally Day. But, I don’t want to.

I have made it as far as the front steps of the historic, brick Turlock Union High School before sitting down and letting the tears fall.

The sun is bright. Because it’s school spirit day, I have on one blue and one gold sock. My black and white saddle shoes are tucked beneath my poodle skirt with layers of crinoline fluffing around me. The blue and gold pom-poms lie motionless beside me. I look for the usual friends. No one approaches. They must all be inside already. Loneliness rings as the bell sounds the warning: first period will begin in ten minutes

What is it that has created such reluctance and dread in my soul?

About a week ago, my tall, athletic ex-boyfriend approached me in the hallway. “You know you don’t have any friends. The only reason people say Hi to you is because you say Hi to them first. If you didn’t, no one would talk to you.”

Oh my! Could it be true? Why was Richard telling me this? I used to love him. We used to have great fun together. Mutt and Jeff, they called us. Just because I broke up with him and am now dating soeone my own size, does that mean this 6’4″ basketball star should suddenly start bullying me?

Back in the 50’s I don’t think I knew the term “bullying.” I didn’t realize that’s what Richard was doing. His words cut deeply.

I decided to test out his hypothesis. I stopped cheerfully greeting everyone I saw with a “Hi!” Instead, I looked at them, waiting to hear their greeting first.

Richard was right! Most kids just looked quizically in my direction and walked past – or worse yet – they didn’t look at me at all. I felt like I must have forgotten my deodorant that day!

Now I’m feeling alone and abandoned on the front steps. I have ten minutes to get to class. With a deep sigh, I get up, take a deep breath, pick up my pom-poms, and head inside. My buddy, Phil, voted “Best Dressed Guy” in the senior class, walked up to me when I entered the building. I glance in his direction.

“What’s wrong with you lately?” he asked. “You’re being so stuck up!”

I told him what Richard had said.

“Oh, for cryin’ out loud,” he reprimanded, taking me by the shoulders.

I looked up into his caring blue eyes with tears in mine. “But Richard…” I sobbed, “he said…” I couldn’t go on.

Phil wrapped me tightly in his arms right there in the middle of Turlock High’s crowded hallway. Backing up a bit, he put his hands on my shoulders again. He leaned down and whispered, “He’s just jealous – and hurt. A big basketball star can’t stand it that his girl left him for a 5’3″ Stumper. He’s just trying to hurt you back. You just be the girl you always were. Don’t let anyone take away your perkiness.”

I used to love Richard. Now I just feel sorry for him. I saw him coming toward me as I headed for class.

“Hi!” I perked in his direction and walked on – shoulders squared – head held high.

***

Reliving these vivid memories more than sixty years later, I realize how impactful Richard’s words and Phil’s encouragement were. It was an important growing up experience. I haven’t let anyone take away my perkiness since then.

Meaningful memories stay with us – and change us – forever.
Thank you, Phil, and Richard!

***

Do you have a meaningful memory?
One that helps you make sense of your life and experiences?

Will You Imagine That?


Welcome to Day #9 in the A-Z series,
“Adding Meaning and Finding Purpose in Life.”

Today’s letter is “I”

Imagination + Intention = Inspiration

It’s hard to imagine a child without imagination.
The sky’s the limit when it comes to their ability to play make-believe.

woman wearing fairy costume

Photo by Tú Nguyễn on Pexels.com

Mary Ann & Frederic Brussat in their book, Spiritual Literacy, wrote,

“Give imagination free rein in your life.
Explore its images and ponder its meaning-making moments,
and it will always present you with something
new to be seen, felt, or made known.”

boy child clouds kid

Photo by Porapak Apichodilok on Pexels.com

 

The Imagination of a Child

Our little Superman with the plastic cape reminds me of our 4 year-old friend, Cord. He can turn a beanbag chair into a pirate’s cave in two seconds. With the intention of hiding from his Sunday School teachers when we walked into the room, his imagination takes hold, and under the beanbag he tucks himself, and with a flurry and a pirate’s roar jumps out to surprise us. Of course, we always fake surprise – and welcome the pirate onto the children’s wooden bench in the classroom.

Can We or Will We?

The question is not, “Can we imagine things as little chldren do?” The question is “Will we?” Will we keep our imagination alive and allow it to help us see the pirate’s cave in the beanbag chair? Will we maintain the intention to use our imaginations to inspire us to greater creativity?

In the Bible, Matthew 18:1-4 says, “At that time, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ He called a little child and had them stand among them. And He said, ‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

Jesus was not suggesting the disciples become “childish.” He was telling them they need to be “child-like.” There’s a big difference.

To be “child-like” is to be humble. It is to be imaginative and playful, happy and trusting, open and engaged. Will we allow our imagination free rein to help us see things anew, feel things more deeply, and know people more openly? Can we? Will we?

Imagination used with positive intentions is magical! It is one of the keys to living life more fully with greater joy.

Add the Magic of Intention

Imagination becomes indescribably incredible when it is applied intentionally to create a better world around us.

Some one had to imagine that first wheel and intentionally chisel away the squareness of the stone to make it round so it would roll, don’t you think?

brown carriage wheel

Photo by Navneet Shanu on Pexels.com

Someone had to look at this world as it is and decide, “That’s not the way I want it,” and intentionally create a way to improve it. They imagined a clock before a clock was developed.

the world the way i want it

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

They imagined a computer smaller than the one that took up a whole room before the Apple was invented. They imagined a computer combined with a phone that could fit in the palm of your hand. They used their imagination with intention and were inspired to see if that fictional Dick Tracy watch that I grew up seeing in the comic books could actually become a reality.

pexels-photo-2202515.jpeg

Photo by Hoang Do on Pexels.com

 

rose gold aluminum case apple watch with white sports band

Photo by Alexandr Borecky on Pexels.com

Imagination needs intention
before the two can equal
the inspiration that
changes your life and mine.

You Decide

Some changes are positive. Some are not. Everything in this world can be used for good or evil. It is up to us to decide how we use our imaginations. What intentions we have.  What thoughts linger and direct us. And where our inspiration leads us.

photo of a sign and eyeglasses on table

Photo by Binti Malu on Pexels.com

I pray that
we can use our gift
of imagination
to inspire us
to fulfill our purpose
intentionally
and glorify God
each day
of our indescribable,
incredible lives.
Don’t you?

Will you imagine that?

 

Accept Grace & Express Gratitude


Day #7 in the A-Z series: Adding Meaning and Purpose to Life

G = Grace and Gratitude

Are you grateful for God’s chisel?

pexels-photo-1486470.jpeg

Photo by Werlley Meira on Pexels.com

You know, our lives are filled with things that crowd out what’s really important. Sometimes, we clutter our time with frivolity. (Do you ever feel like your blogging might qualify in that category?) Transforming our lives so that the most significant goes to the top of our to-do list is not an easy task.

The shaping tool that God uses is like a chisel. By His Grace, He chips away at our selfishness, our self-centeredness, our pride, our laziness, and our greed. When we accept His Grace, He replaces those attitudes with generosity, concern for others, diligence, and a far-sightedness that only He can give.

Unlike my SnapChat app that can instantly turn my skin silky, vibrant, and wrinkle-free, and surround me with hearts of love, God’s chisel is not a one-click deal!

I am grateful for the shaping tools God uses to help me slough away the detrimental parts of my being. (I wish it COULD be a one-click deal, don’t you?)

In yesterday’s devotional page in Daily Guideposts, Isabella Yosuico identifies some of those shaping tools:

He sends people to challenge some obstinate defects in me.

He puts me into circumstances beyond my existing skills to control… to compel me to grow.

He allows problems that overwhelm me. They are sometimes so beyond me that I have no choice but to turn to a Higher Power, and surrender to His/Her solution.

By Grace, I have

Love,

Courage,

Strength, and

Wisdom.

By Grace, I can exhibit

Sympathy,

Loyalty, and

Power –

The Power that lifts me into The Word.

bible blur christ christianity

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

In my eight decades of living on this troubled earth, I have found the wisest and, ultimately, the easiest path to a meaningfulness, purpose-filled, contented life is to submit fully to the Chiseler’s Hands. The Word, my Bible, is my guide. Its guidance directs my attitudes and actions. The Holy Spirit is my constant companion. I am grateful for its presence in the heart of me.

The Grace of the Holy Spirit + Gratitude = HAPPINESS 

Tales from the Mama Duck – family5power –
posted this from the image: Medium
on the subject of Gratitude today:

gratitude=happiness
May The Chiseler’s grace continue to shape me.

God Bless You, my “Ideal Reader.” I am grateful for you.

May God’s Shaping Tools continue to chisel away at you, too!

Are You Stuck?


Is my blog stuck?

Is writing on the same topic,
“Adding Meaning to Life,”
everyday related to being in a rut?

red car on muddy road near trees

Photo by ahmad syahrir on Pexels.com

At my request, professional blogger of excellence,
The Art of Blogging, Cristian Mihai,
gave me ten tips on how to improve my blog.
One of them was,

“… choose one day of the week
to write some weekly type of blog
that [your] ideal reader would love.”

Before making that suggestion, he asked me to define my “ideal reader.” You, my blogging friend, or my daughter, or my creative, encouraging friend, you are it!

1390553f-787d-4807-b92b-df0906206227
That’s DeDe, my dear daughter

You know I often use Sundays to post my sermon notes. You know I listen intently to capture what the minister is saying to me, and I record my notes in poetry.

It’s not a stretch to call this my “different weekly type of blog.” I hope you look forward each Sunday to seeing/hearing what the message was in church this morning. Here is today’s:

Rev. Jean Johnson, Madison Valley Presbyterian Church

Ennis, MT, April 28, 2019, John 20:19-31

STUCK?

The disciples were stuck

In the same room as they

Were a week ago when

It was a glorious Easter Day.

.

Why were they still there?

What difference did Christ make?

What difference has his death

Made for your life’s sake?

.

Has His resurrection made

A difference in your days?

Or are you, like the disciples,

Stuck in your usual ways?

.

I should be doing better –

Living more authentically today.

I should be listening carefully

Like the disciples on their Emmaus way.

.

But changing old patterns

Is a process that takes time.

Is staying behind locked doors

A cowardly, unacceptable crime?

.

I wanted to wake up today

To a whole new world of joy.

But the news today was the same old

Sad, violent acts, and hates that destroy.

.

Change is well overdue.

I want to see instant relief,

But the hatred in this world

Tends to shake my firm belief.

.

The empty tomb tells me

That the risen Christ is here.

He’s working with you and me

To change our doubts to cheer.

.

Where you are is your

Starting place where you are.

It’s the place Christ comes

And lets you out to follow His star.

.

Have faith to see

Christ is risen;

He’s unstuck.

So should we be!

pexels-photo-301599

We cannot be stuck in this place of 
violence, synagogue shootings, and
a world of intolerance, prejudice,
wars, and hunger. Listen to the pleads
of the Rabbi who spoke to us today.
Don’t let this dark period hide the light.
Go out and BE THE LIGHT!!

Quote

Be Led, Not Driven


On this Monday following Easter, I am revisiting some of my old blogs.

The emergence of spring in the air and the “drive” to get some spring cleaning done has me reflecting on life and its purpose.

commit-purpose

Some of my newer followers may not have seen this thoughtful post. Please click below and contemplate with me this idea:    via Be Led, Not Driven

Tag Cloud