September means cooler weather and falling leaves, but here in California we’re having warm weather and sultry breezes. I enjoyed lots of sunshine and fresh air from an open window at my elbow while I sifted and sorted through my assorted baubles, bangles and beads. I had a request for a birthday bracelet so that meant I had an excuse to play with my many options. Putting together any piece of jewelry takes time to assemble, but even more time to select just the right combination of beads. I love being able to choose just the right colors and the exact variety of textures to evoke surprise, pleasure and enjoyment. It’s a puzzle to which there is no diagram or direction. It’s also a challenge to create a distinctive item that reflects a certain something extra, a degree of sophistication along with a bit of whimsy. Judging from the compliments I’ve received on items previously completed, I’m happy to report I have been successful in my endeavors. I hope those who receive the bracelets will have as much fun wearing them as I did making them!
This week my husband and I celebrated our 37th wedding anniversary. Oh, how young we were!
But look at us now! We’ve survived so much. Losing two jobs because the companies folded resulted in two major moves. Thrilling and terrifying at the same time. I think we’ve thrived because of it. We’ve travelled and seen so much: Hawaii, London, Paris, Rome, Venice, and Florence. We’ve been blessed to live in three beautiful parts of the world: Minnesota, Colorado and now California. We’ve left a little piece of our hearts in each of them. Creating life anew and starting over has been challenging and exhiliarating. Comparing, contrasting and constructing a new routine made our little family unit more appreciative of the little things that were familiar as well as delighting in new discoveries.
We went out to dinner and had a good time, but what I savored more than the wonderful meal was spending time with my life’s companion talking about our time together. Laughing about how it was the hottest June they’d had in Rome for over a decade the summer we visited. Or the time the cab driver in Paris pushed the car to get it started while we sat bewildered in the back seat not understanding what was going on. More recent trips were up and down the 5 visiting our daughter in college. I think we just barely spent equal amounts of time with her as we did on the road! Thankfully, we ‘ve had each other for those long trips and for all the trips in our foreseeable future.
Happy Anniversary for everyone celebrating milestones. Savor the moment now!
Glue sticks – opportunities to stick with new ideas.
Spiral notebooks – fresh pages of possibilities.
Sharpened pencils, a rainbow of pens, markers, and crayons – reflecting all the shades of your life’s passion.
School days signaled a shift in attitude and marked a definitive dividing line in the seasons for much of my life. When I was young, school began the day after Labor Day and summer came to an abrupt halt. As a mother, I experienced many more first days of school with my daughter. Unfortunately, school districts decided their own schedules, and school often started mid-August instead of early September. In fact, my duaghter was still at French Camp in Minnesota the summer of her Sophmore year when it came time for registration. I found myself going to the school office and registering for her classes. I feel sorry for the kids who have to sit in a stuffy, hot classroom when there are perfectly good summer days still to be enjoyed.
You don’t have to have someone going back to school to take advantage of the back to school sales on notebooks, colored pens and glue sticks. Get creative and choose fun shaped notes to write your grocery list, or use colored pens or markers to keep track of your appointments, meetings on your calendar. Remember you are entitled to PLAY whether you are on the playground or not!
While at Target recently I was picking up notebooks at the back-to-school sale, and the scene made me think of a black and white photo of my brothers and me heading back to school in 1960. Standing among harried mothers clutching their school supply lists and children choosing between the playful dolphin or the neon pink Barbie embossed notebook, I knew we’d never been given those choices for any school supplies.
We attended a small parochial school run by Franciscan Nuns whose brown habits covered every inch of their body, except for their hands and faces. We only saw their long slender fingers and faces framed in starched white wimples. No matter what the Midwestern weather, they were always calm and collected under all that wool fabric. Classrooms and teacher were at a premium, so I spent five out of my eight years at Sacred Heart Elementary School in the same classroom with my older brother. Back then school supplies didn’t get more high tech than a mechanical pencil. Kids today may be required to do not only research on a computer, but also turn in a document in Microsoft Word format and hot off the printer. And with all the texting and e-mails, our younger generation feels they don’t have to learn spelling or grammar. As long as the message is received and understood, they are satisfied. Well, I am not. That’s not an adequate method of communication and it’s up to us as adults to set a better example.
I love language. I love how words comfort and soothe, excite and ignite, invite and entice. Children’s literacy appears to be a priority, but when Story Hour consists of popping a DVD into the computer and sitting the child down in front of the monitor I feel sad for both the child and adult involved. I grew up in a little farming town, but I knew the world through books and reading. And I learned to love writing. Writing in my journal has been a safe place to vent, a confidant, and where I work out my problems. Writing in my journal helped me to cope with challenges as catastrophic as being diagnosed with breast cancer, to the annoyance of developing an allergy to fragrance at the advanced age of 50.
“Wow!” a young boy in a green t-shirt and baggy shorts commented on all the notebooks in my cart. “How many kids do you have?”
“Actually,” I smiled as his mom looked up from the pile of red notebooks in her hand, “these notebooks are for ladies like your mom. I like to have lots of them on hand to offer to the ladies who come to my Creativity and Simple Abundance Close-to-Home workshops. They use them for class notes, or as a place to record their thoughts, hopes and dreams. I like to use them as journals and sometimes I decorate the covers with collages, colorful papers, fabric or even paint.”
“Oh, cool,” said the soon-to-be 3rd grader.
“Interesting,” said the woman who recognized she was being acknowledged as her own person rather than a busy wife and mother of 4 children less than 10 years-of-age.
“Way cool,” I said as we finished selecting our notebooks and headed for the check-out.
As I was driving home tonight, the sky was a delicious shade of pink with whisps of white fog billowing as if it were an ice cream sundae with streams of cherry juice running through a huge scoop of vanilla. I absolutely adore living where I do even if we do experience foggy days. I certainly prefer it to the heat other parts of the Bay Area endures. The soft blanket of fog nurtures Creativity in women, men, children, and all varieties of plant life. My garden not only grows, it thrives here on the Coastside. Nature is responsible for the lush green vegetation’s bountiful beauty. I take no credit for it because despite the fact I am a farmer’s daughter, I only posesses an appreciation of gardening – I do not have an affinity for it. It is embarassing to admit, but many a plant has died before it’s time because it was left in my care. I recognize my role is to admire the abundant display of Nature and praise her repeated accomplishments. Also, to lavish words of encouragement and gratitude. My hope is that you too have a quiet garden spot to visit and spend some quality time with yourself while reveling in the bounty of Nature. If not, I urge you to seek one out – you should see what you’re missing!