Oregon is walking into spring. Alaska is being dumped on by more snow. At least, The Peninsula part. My former neighbor sent me a text to say they got 10 more inches last night, making for about 5 feet in some of the level spots of the yard. The lovely white stuff we had is gone-there were some remnants of piles here and there, but the temps have pretty much erased them. One of the worst parts of spring are allergies. On the OR coast we had red alder, here, am not sure what is in the air. However, it is causing congestion and illness. One of the things I have often done in early March is follow the Iditarod. This year, with being sick and having a wonky laptop, I haven’t been as focused as I’d like. Earlier, read that SP Kennel (Aliy and Allen) were retiring after the race. Today, learned that Aliy was injured on Tuesday, and after getting her dogs in safely, was flown out! Sending her and her pups a bouquet of crocus and a lot of love and prayers for healing.
This last week several things happened. One of them, however, may not have happened without the other. That made me realise how threads in a life tapestry often need nudged into place, even after they are a part of the picture. Had an odd to me thing occur within my banking account, so called my favorite banker in Alaska for help. Was scheduled in and after Dan called and fixed the problem, we veered off into life and people and what not. While talking about classmates who have gone places, my dear friend Connie came into the conversation. Time and again, the two of us have wondered if we’ve really made a difference when we look at some of the rest of our classmates. Personally, am pretty sure she has. Connie is a hair stylist, but she is also so much more. She listens and helps and is constantly giving of herself to others. Connie is also taking care of her mom. Helen is the most lovely woman ever ad it is obvious Connie is following in many of those steps. Anyway, Helen recently broke her wrist-almost right after it had healed from a previous break and when I mentioned I’d not written to them in a few weeks, Dan mentioned I should.
After our conversation, decided to send them flowers, instead. Now, sending flowers in AK is easy. FTD is everywhere. Yet, I didn’t like any of those bouquets. So, I called the floral department in a local grocery and asked if I could just purchase an Alaska Bouquet. Am not exactly sure it is called that, but it is one of my favorite big bunches of flowers. The florist had some already made up and, so, that is what we did. She added a note, wrapped them in purple for me, and called Connie to tell her flowers were waiting. No, they were not delivered-not sure why their delivery isn’t available right now, but Connie and her mom only live moments from the grocer. Later, Connie sent me a picture of Mom Carlson with the flowers. Absolutely blessed by these two. And Dan, for nudging me. Now, after lunch, will call Nedra E. Because if you are thinking about someone and are blessed by them, tell them!!! I’d send Nedra flowers, too, but am not as sure the stores in Anchorage would be as helpful!
Today is the end of Jan 20, 2021 in the USA. Probably in other places, too, but will look at a new step for America. Not a political post, but a thankful post. A post looking at promise and hope and chances for people to grow in a positive manner from littles into adulthood. A post looking at ways for many different thoughts and tastes to merge together to make one. Where diversity isn’t challenged as bad, but embraced. Yes, I am thankful tonight and will give thanks. There are 10,000 reasons to bless Him and today was just one of them.
Rings, circles, spheres, all never ending. Many persons are saying this New Year’s Eve is the end of a crazy year. It isn’t, not exactly. Much of 2020 will last into 2021. Winter, Covid, results from the Croatia earthquake this last week, the US presidency has a few weeks left before a hopeful change, and the groceries purchased last week should last at least til the second week of January!! It was crazy, yet not any more crazy than most years, it was just we were looking for the crazy and highlighted it.
Some positive things happened (not the more than likely illegal fireworks outside right now at 8 pm…). Mum’s house was sold and there is one box still needing shipped from the north. So, no more power bills of over $500!!! I’ve paid off a couple of medical bills. I got the watch mom left me fixed. Many people over the last couple of years helped me empty mum and dad’s house, my thankfulness cannot even being to cover the work those blessed people did. I made many new friends, re-met old ones, and one of those blessed persons, Kari, helped finish something that has been bothering me since before mom died.
Mom had been given a doll from a friend with serious mental handicaps. Mom had planned on fixing the hair on it. She never did. Cathy would call mom every single week for years and in the 20 min conversations, she’d always ask about the doll. I had no idea where it was, other than in my sister’s room. Which was full to the brim with stash. In the emptying of the place, I found a doll that might have been the one mom was planning on mending. In her own handmade dolls, there was one with a face that had been ruined. I wondered if I could take the hair off that doll and affix it to the other one. I didn’t know if it was the right doll, but it was worth a shot. I managed to put new hair on the large stuffed doll not long before I left North Kenai. We’d been looking for Cathy, but she wasn’t at the last address I had for her. Kari continued to look. She then took the doll, with some money to mail it in case Cathy was found, and I flew away. Just this month, Kari discovered a way to connect with Cathy’s relatives and got the doll to her. Kari sent me the photo below and I cried. A many year long promise was finally kept. That circle is going on to be a way to remember my mom and the love this girl has for a doll she has missed for over 10 years. The money wasn’t used, so I asked Kari to send on the spark of goodwill by taking someone out for coffee or ice cream.
Rings, circles, spheres, they really are never ending.
There are so many things to be thankful for. I’d never met a live friendly turkey and the lady above, who is not destined for a dinner, was incredibly coquettish. We met her and her spouse, who was slated to become a dinner in the next month, when we drove across OR so Jon could buy some bunnies. The button on my arm is another blessing. Not always a great one, but it is a blessing. It is a Freestyle Libre 2 Continuous Glucose Monitor sensor. Fiddly at times, handy at others, it is technology for persons with Diabetes that can be a life changer. Moses is another one of those dubious blessings!!! Cooking, I’m so thankful to be able to have a larger kitchen to dink around in! Books. I am always thankful for books. This particular read needs returned, yet I’d love to keep it! Mrs. Obama is an excellent author. she shares a side of becoming a president’s wife and being in that position I’ve not read before. I was incredibly impressed with so many passages, I kept wanting to write notes and finally opted to just read it! Her story ranges from her grade-school years to a mom, making me realise she’s not really much different from the rest of us female sorts.
My last blessing for this post is one I’ve shared over and over. While washing dishes the other night, I was so grateful for a working septic system. Using water, hot and cold water, while not worrying about a back up somewhere or a leak or tiny rocks in the pipes, almost always makes me want to cry with thankful!!
We really do live in a wonderful world!! (Jon took the tree picture)
Many people take the US Veteran’s Day as a day to honor and memorialize anyone in the military. It was established by President Eisenhower and was for that purpose. I prefer to honor those who have given their bodies and place the US Memorial Day in May for honoring those who have given their lives. Being a mom of a soldier who came home broken and cannot get help he needs, I have a great many frustrations with governmental help for our returned vets. Yet, I look at today and am not surprised. Eons ago Bing Crosby sang a song in ‘White Christmas’ about a lauded hero who a few months later people ask ‘General Who?’ Soldiers who gave of their bodies and lives and parents who gave of their children are often dragged into politics. Vote for this, because it is for vets. Yet, in the whole picture, that vote doesn’t really help.
There is so much anger I see today. I’m incredibly saddened by the dissension caused, not by one icky man who was lauded as NOT being a politician, but by years of a push me pull you government. American democracy seems to be waning. Yet, honoring those in public uniform should not. Our firemen, our police forces, our military, those exist when politics pass on. Those are who I honor today.
Tony, my son. Travis, one of Tony’s best friends. Zach and Christina. Bethany, who helped my youngest learn the bari sax. Bob Miles, who Tony honored at his Eagle ceremony and who taught my eldest so much. Keith ‘Pod Man’, who has become a dear friend in recent years. There are so many more, but I’ll stop because I try to keep blessing posts short! Thank you for being a part of my country’s past and a hope for my country’s future.
As one of my dear friends texted, ‘We’re not promised tomorrow.’
Today, I learned one of my very favorite-not-especially-old friends had a heart attack on the night of Nov. 3. Audrey gave to me in so many ways over the course of my Alaskan journey. As the manager of the Nikiski Post Office, she knew everyone and kept an eye on the pulse of the town. That post office was not your typical post office. She and her ‘knitting circle’ as another friend put it, always knew what was going on. If you were elderly and ill and had not had your mail picked up lately, a call would be made to see how you were. If you sent a letter to one address and she knew that person had an address out north, it would go in that box. If you walked in needing a doctor, the ladies would help find you one and schedule you for an appointment. If you needed a hug, they gave you one. If you needed to talk, they were there. They knew all our names and where we lived. North Kenai has an interesting address system. If you have a PO box, it was Nikiski and the Nikiski zip. However, if you had a cluster box or got mail at your home, it was Kenai and that zip code. If one of the big companies delivered to the Nikiski Post Office, they’d know who you were and how to reach you. It was a post office of a time long ago.
Audrey took me to Anchorage with mom. She took days off to take me to Anchorage. She was a member of the local Elks and a member of the North Star Methodist church. She helped me find help over the last summer, she purchased some larger metal shelving from mom’s, Audrey was a huge part of the last years of my life.
I like to write Thankful cards to people and she was on my list of persons to write to in the next week. I’m actually glad I didn’t send it earlier. I’d have bawled to have it returned to me. One of the last things she gave to me was a recipe. She called these cookies “Princess Cookies’, because they were a recipe from Disney and Disney was Princesses. It aches to know Audrey is gone, yet, she’s another who will live forever in my recipe box. Scenting the kitchen with spices and sugar with a hint of sarcasm and that lovely Audrey laugh .
In Oregon, citizens are able to vote by mail. Not mail we need to add a stamp to, but we fill a ballot out with our choices and drop it in either a voting box or a post box. I talked with a former deputy sheriff volunteering on election day and he said it has taken OR 10 years to get it right. I only wish people in other states had this opportunity. Oddly, I’ve talked to many who insist our OR voting is filled with fraud and problems. No one will ever be satisfied. However, if my single choice can help make a difference somewhere, then I am content.
I was appalled to read about places in the United States who cannot vote. The voting hours are during times when people might be working, some lower income areas have few places to go, and I’m made to realise that even if American citizens have the right to vote, we don’t all have the ability. That is incredibly sad in a ‘free’ country.
Making a difference. My vote may or may not count, but I have chosen to vote. It was a choice I made. My choices will make a difference somewhere. Every time. I can choose to leave a tip, I can choose to purchases stamps to mail encouraging notes, I can choose to smile at someone. I can choose to be angry or be kind. I can choose kindness, generosity, graciousness, to be open minded, to look at an opinion from all sides, and I can choose to pay it forward.
It was a lovely day for the last one in October. Got the iris bed emptied and ready to be replanted, Moses had a relaxing afternoon in the sunshine, I got cookies made, and, in spite of the pandemic, opened the door to 22 dressed up youngsters. Much less than a usual Halloween, but I’m sure the candy won’t go to waste..waist, yes! Ended the evening with one of our favorite movies, The Artistocats. Moses and Mittens agree, everybody wants to be a cat!
A day full of blessings, poured out like notes from a smooth saxophone!
Once you zoom in, crop out the city and the bits of humanity, the sunsets make a good visual when they happen!! It isn’t easy to see sunsets from this house in the middle of town, but if I stand on the back steps or on top of the bathtub planter in the back yard, it works!
While my friends up north are putting away plants and their gardens before it snows this week, I’m digging up iris that should have been taken care of years ago. It is a daunting task that I need rain for. The grass is so thick it has stuck the rhizomes tight!! I disturbed several ladybirds, but couldn’t get photos of the cute beetles, and found violets blooming! A wonderful surprise!!
The kid also relocated a rather fat mantis to the gardens. A much better place to lay eggs than the side of a house!