In Another Time, Another Place

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You would open up to me,

Share with me

what’s on the inside of you

 

you would take me

to those places that

you hold on too

the places where you dream

 

You would share more

give more than hour or two

even lose track of time

tell me who you are

show me without words

 

you would be silent with me

and just be there

in each other’s silences

quiet and safe

 

you would reach for me

to play and to just be

you would need me

in a way that didn’t require words

Pay Attention

2012-02-09manual-typewriter-0209stockHow do we talk about the the things we need to say without breaking down?  So, many think tears directly relate to weakness or being broken.  Sometimes this is true but for me I can try to hold them back but everyone who is close to me knows that my eyes well up when I am happy when I am laughing, and also through the difficult heartbreaking shit too.  Sometimes I cry out of joy, and other times to put it simply – I have an extremely tender heart and I usually underestimate my strength. Letting the tears fall is a release for me – some have told me they can’t talk to me because they don’t want to see me cry.  If we are going to split hairs about it – I will suck it up and not cry but also stop yelling at me and talking down to me in ultimatums.

I have trained myself to deal with many things by hiding and digging deeper to bury the things that have become patterns in my life.  I have spoken up but it is always when I have reached my explosive point.  I carry on and keep moving forward but at the cost to myself and who I am. I can fundamentally disagree with some and just sit there and listen to them but in the last five to six months I have started to voice my opinion – not to disagree or cause an argument but to get into the habit of speaking up for myself.

There are two sides to everything, every relationship, and every choice we make.  We need to be conscious of this and the people around us, we need to build each other up instead of tearing them down.  Give back when you can and live on a little less that day.  Don’t buy that cup of coffee for yourself but give it expecting nothing in return from the shivering person sitting against the building outside covered in a trash bag trying to stay dry.

I used to write with a pen and any piece of paper I could get my hands on, I have notebooks full of words, love letters, poetry, and stories.  Now, I stare at a screen when I write – the passion I had for my pen and paper fades because typing seems so easy and more efficient.  As a child I remember my grandfather typing on a typewriter – pushing back and forth as he would reach one side of the paper or the other, the ding when he hit the return key, and when he would manually feed a new sheet of paper in the machine – and the hunting and pecking of his typing skills.  I hardly ever hear that sound any more but when I do it brings tears to my eyes – it brings back a heartfelt memory back and a reminder that life used to be very different.

 

 

 

 

Don’t Hold Back, Give Back

 

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Sometimes it takes a new perspective to slap you across the face and wake you up.  I don’t mean…a strong cup of coffee-type wake up, I mean…running into a brick wall at full speed ahead-wake up.

The same things happen day in and day out, there are seasons in everyone’s lives whether they are farmers, teachers, real estate agents, the list could go on and on.  Everyone has a busy time and every one has a slower time.  I can appreciate everyone’s busy and slow times-its about what you choose to do in those extra minutes that makes up the surprises in your life.  The sparks, the twinkle you see in someone’s eye, the way someone smiles, or doing something for someone else expecting nothing in return.

Pay attention, people!  We are surrounded every week by hundreds of people if you take the time to pay attention to others.  Yesterday I was in the grocery store and I notice an older woman in a wheelchair putting back groceries as she added her items up with her coupons.  I could see she was trying to figure out what she “wanted” and what she “needed”. My heart ached for her, I wanted to say something but I didn’t.  I didn’t want her to feel embarrassed or offended by my reaching out to her.  Or was it that I was projecting those feelings of mine onto her.  My observation was she was was struggling.

As I continued to fill my cart with things that I needed and things that were not a necessity, I continued up and down the aisles, I passed the woman two more times. As I walked up and down the fourth aisle, I realized there was absolutely nothing in my cart that I or my family had to have in that exact moment.  Maybe, the milk, the eggs but I knew none of those things were something that my family needed to survive for the next few days.

Selfishly, I walked to the checkout and started unloading my cart as I stood there waiting for my total, I saw the woman waiting three people behind me in line.  Something in my gut told me to do something, it was instinctive.  The guilt I was feeling walking around the store slapped me in the face. I decided, there is nothing I can do to change her life but I can at least help her pay for her groceries.  I bought a gift card and asked the employee helping me to please give it to the women waiting in the line.  The employee smiled and thanked me.

I left the store feeling pretty good, feeling blessed that I am able to provide for my family, and that we all can probably live on a lot less than we do.  I am challenging myself to do something like this every week for someone…it doesn’t have to involve money…sometimes it’s as simple as picking up the phone and reaching out to someone you know is struggling, or stopping and smiling at someone.

Take time, pay attention, be present in the moments we have, and if you’re drowning where you are, if you are losing parts of the person you thought you were…find a way to climb out of that hole…swim like hell to find something that will keep you afloat, we are the ones who hold our own selves back. Its all on us!

Be courageous! Be strong!  We all have this one life!

 

 

Writing and Photography

There are days when I struggle to put pen to paper or fingers to my laptop. I am drawn to be creative, to do something that will mean something to others.  I don’t need recognition at all.  Its that look people have/get when I am working on something whether it be a book or in my photographs. I feel truly inspired and blessed by both of these creative outputs.

My first love is writing but I am lucky enough to have two first loves.  Photography is my second. Last year around this time I left my job of seven years where I had spent those years using my cameras (I have four) whether it be a farmer in his crop, photos of the the way a certain crop is harvest, or portraits that my job required.  I am passionate about agriculture photography because it is so important to Oregon and my home is surrounded by at least 10 different crops.  We as farmers and individuals must take care of our soil and crops to feed the world.  I am passionate about that as our population continues to grow!

I have been taking photographs for almost 10 years.  I was given my first Nikon D90 by my dad for Christmas.  Every chance I had I would take his camera and start shooting so I guess it seemed fitting to get me a camera of my own.

Right away, I started taking photos.  I started with people, portraits, families, weddings, candid’s and natural landscapes.  Candid’s are so beautiful because if I can catch a glimpse into someone’s life without them knowing the moment I capture is full of hope and truth.

My dad and I started shooting weddings together about eight years ago.  It was an amazing experience-two things I loved all wrapped up in someone else’s day filled with love.  Although those days were long and we had some demanding couples and brides – I spent the entire day laughing with my dad and taking photos.  Those were some amazing days I will never forget.

I started to do more family, individual, anniversary, bridal showers, babies on my own time.  Call me stupid but I didn’t do it for the money (I rarely charged people), I did it for the love of photography.  I would have a lot more money if I would have changed more or at least half what most photographers charge.

I am so passionate about photography and on rare days my camera trumps my writing if I can’t find the words but taking off by foot or in my car with my camera always leads me back to my writing.  So, my passion for writing and photographs are deeply rooted and wrap around each other. Writing is my first love!

“Writing allows me to taste life twice.”

-Anais Nin

 

 

 

 

 

I

All You Need Is Twenty Seconds of Insane Courage…

Tackle football has now been added to the mix for my boys, along with 7th grade, and the amount of homework has tripled at least.

I pick my boys up every evening after practice. I have seen them for years play organized sports on many fields. The first day I saw them playing in full pads and helmets, I felt as if I was run over by a train that smashed through my chest.  I had a mom moment, if you are a mom you have had these moments.

All of a sudden my chest was heavy, I took a long deep breath in, and blinked rapidly to fight back the tears.  I wasn’t sad, upset, or frustrated—I was proud and wondered, how the hell did we get here?  WTF, they were just in diapers. And, will I be able to watch them get pummeled into the ground when someone else’s child is running full speed ahead toward either of them.

Okay, okay…I know my kids are not in the NFL but in my mind, that’s what I see…you know, the replays of the NFL tackles on game day where the feed is played in slow motion so every one can say, “damn, that was a hard hit”.  Their first game is next Wednesday and they are so excited…I am terrified! We will have to wait and see how that plays out…

I am told this is a rite of passage for kids…it kicks off their future years in sports that will carry them through until high school. I can already picture the excitement on their faces on game day.

I can still remember all of those days I had in school. I remember playing as a team and working together, what it felt like to when we won and also, when we lost.  Juggling homework, a job, and sports made me work even harder through school, it taught me how to balance my time and it forced me to be responsible to figure out what worked for me to keep all of it organized.

I know, my kids are no where near graduation day. However, each day that passes they get closer and I have to trust more that I have instilled in them what is right and what is wrong, to think about the decisions they make on a daily basis because that decision can have a positive or negative outcome (which they have to face either way). And well, for this momma I need to suck it up a bit and realize they will keep growing and nothing I do or say is going to stop that. No matter what happens next Wednesday on field, I will be one proud momma! But, every day between now and that day, I need to get my shit together because this will be the first of many games and I don’t want to be the crazy mom in the bleachers crying and cheering on the team!

 

“You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.”

                                                                                                            -Benjamin Mee

Family.

30a42e0ecfc93ebfbf49395ccb624c56There are times when family comes together whether it be for Labor Day, Birthdays, or the most celebrated holidays like Christmas but then there are other times that you plan to see each other for no other reason but to just “visit” my family often says.  It is the event of just “being” in the same space, same moment, just laughing together…even if you had plans during your time together to forage the bounty of agriculture around you, go to a famous water park, or finally have family photos taken because you are all together.  It is these moments that the days and hours don’t matter.  Just take that cliché’ term and really “relish in the moments” you have together.  No one really knows how much time we have left in this life.

There are so many “holidays” to be together but what about all the months, days, and moments together??  My family was together over the weekend…two birthdays and an anniversary celebrated together. There is hustle and bustle, getting to this place and that, everyone having their own idea about what should or should not happen when we are all together.  But that all falls away when you come together with the people you KNOW will always be there.

It was in the moments of sitting in my living room reading “meme’s” from the internet with my sister and our kids in the back room playing that I looked over at her and realized I could just be in the same room with her and know that my life could be peeled back like the skin of an onion and all “my tribe” would be in those layers.  In the same space with her makes me feel whole, understood, and complete. She is of my “people”!

Over the years I have gained and lost people in my life…sometimes for the best and for the worst of reasons but these people were placed in my life for a purpose.  I have celebrated the holidays with these people.  Some are easier to let go of than others.  I have learned that other than a few select humans; my family is what is–still, concrete, and steadfast in my life.

I have been told by many over the years to “not over think it” but that is just part of who I am and I don’t think it is necessarily always a negative quality but with some, I think this is how they see it.  I admit, to thinking about the consequences of my actions, the things that I say and what will happen even before I have said them, way too much.  I think about the words I am wanting to say to someone and then spend too much time trying to figure out if I am going to say them or ask them too much and often, I spend days going back and forth and thus, torturing myself with this second guessing and draining behavior in my life.  This was all self inflicted!

There were times in the past that I spent endless amounts of time biting my tongue and trying to be the way I thought others thought I should be because I hate confrontation.  I hate the feeling that others might think I am being rude or confrontational. However, who I was, was coming at an expense.  There comes a point where you must say what you need too because it begins to tear you apart as a person. This can be where you start to lose who you are or were. So, don’t it! Please don’t!

There are very few people I let into my life some riskier than others but I trust, have faith, and believe the best of them.  I will not lie but yes, I do get let down.   I will still keep risking this because the value of a relationship/friendship sometimes can change your life forever.

The one true thing I know is that family will always be there.  No matter what the circumstances.  I could call anyone in my family and if I needed them, no matter what the day. My family is steadfast and loves me unconditionally.

 

 

The World Can Wait…

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There were times when we had trouble together.

I lived one way and you the other but

We lived under the same roof

Shared chores, the same dining room table

 

Taking you to school seemed such a burden

Trying to keep track of you

I felt so much pressure around you

I was afraid to take a step this way or that

Our personalities so different

 

Today, you are grown

With a family of your own

 

I see photos of you with your son,

Your wife to be, and your step-daughter

 

Where did this softness come from…?

I always knew you loved our family

But the love for your own…

Takes my breath away

 

I always wished you would have this

A special gift waiting around the next corner of life

But you waited and it came to you…

 

I keep hearing in my head

“the world will wait, my son”

And my eyes are wide open

My heart full…

 

Life will not always be perfect

Marriage and being a parent is hard work

But I am thrilled you have found your

Family…to complete you.

You always said you would protect us

Now, them…

 

Your life is full, my brother

“and the world can wait”

for you to relish in today

Life Is Short

Flame by Foreigner

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I have been reminded lately that life is so short.  Things can change in the blink of an eye and some people don’t see it coming at all.  It feels like running full speed ahead into a brick wall and I won’t break threw it, I bounce back on my butt as if I was a rubber ball hitting that wall.

In the last week, I have found out that one of my family’s dearest friends has cancer. He has just started chemo but his hands are full with work, his other children, and fiancé’. It is the most wonderful person and has been in our lives for the past 13 years.  He has a wonderful sense of humor which I believe will take him far in this journey.  I saw him before his treatment and I love this guy so much and we have gone through so much in our sudo-family that I couldn’t hold back some tears.  I think I hugged him like four times and at the end he was reassuring me that everything would be fine.

Last night I got a call while I was watching a movie that someone I love with my whole heart, had fallen and was taken by ambulance to the hospital with a concussion and doctors were taking x-rays of her entire body.  Again, I was again reminded- life is so short.  Thankfully, she will only be bruised and sore but she was taken home last night.  My children saw the entire fall happen and were great helpers but I could see the worry in their eyes.

I didn’t sleep well last night.  My mind filled with love and prayer for these two people and their families.  Life changes quickly.  My friends and family were lucky at least for yesterday, they are lucky, because things could have been much worse! I have this strong desire to seize the day, carpe diem, or whatever mantra you believe in.

Care for the people who care for you and care of the people who just need to be cared for whether you know them or not.  Show the world you are kind and do something for someone else this weekend without expecting anything in return.  Pray for more kindness and always have faith.

Light

 

Burning Christmas candles
Seasonal background with an array of burning Christmas candles with festive twinkling flames on a black background with shallow dof

But what kind of Light?

Light that squeezes tightly through an old fashion key hole

Light that drips up over the edge of a mountain and fills a valley

Light that breaks through the heavily wooded Douglas fir trees down to the moist soil

Sticks crack and break under my feet

Light paints the sky and slowly fills the Grand Canyon glowing in pinks, oranges, and yellows

Light sparkles from a diamond when the sun hits it just right

Light I invite into my home as I pull the blinds every morning filling the house room by room

Light means something different to everyone.  It can be used in many sentences in many different ways. But for today.  Light is how my soul feels.

I love book reviews!!

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Just read the book Grandpa’s Orchard. It is a children’s book based on a true story of an Oregon family hazelnut farm! Oh and the author is my friend Darcy Kirk. It is the cutest story and very informational on how hazelnuts are grown! I learned things about hazelnuts that I never knew before! So proud of Darcy for believing in herself enough to dream big and to follow through on her dreams! It is a great book and anxious to give copies to my grandkids! Congratulations Darcy, be proud of yourself and write more books!!

Thank you, Barb!! It means so much that you like the book!  You will always be like a second mom to me!! Thank you for all your support of the many years of my life!!