Fourth of July = grateful heart

The 4th of July always makes me teary eyed and very grateful for what I have.

Let me share with you what I am grateful for on this 4th of July:

I am grateful for my husband, my family, my in-laws and friends.  I am very lucky to have these people in my life.  They support us, guide us, and are there for us whenever we need them and for this I am grateful.

I am grateful for the four day holiday weekend the great company I work for gave me. It was very gracious of them to give us a floating holiday for Monday so that we could have a four day week.  I sure needed it!

I am grateful for the job that I have and the income it provides to have the things that I want and need.  I’m also grateful for the great friends that I have at work.  We are a tight knit group.  I couldn’t ask for better co-workers.

I am grateful I have the opportunity to write this blog, express myself and to share my story with people from all over the world and for them to share their story with me. Thank you!

I am grateful for the 5th wheel trailer and permanent campsite we have.  My brother has the campsite next to ours and my brother-in-law and his wife have the campsite next to my brother.  It’s close enough to  family and friends so that they can drive out  and share our weekend retreat with us.  I’m grateful for anti gravity lounge chairs.

I am grateful to have a nice ranch house with a beautiful back yard to rent and the upcoming house we are going to purchase.  Hopefully soon…..

I am grateful that I have a nice SUV to drive.  Today I drove back from the campsite alone — Journey blasting from my CD player  — along the Lake Michigan shoreline.  The views were gorgeous.  I love cruising!

I am blessed to live in the United States of America.  We have many freedoms other countries don’t and I try not to take my freedom for granted.  We are very fortunate and for that I am grateful.

God Bless the USA and all of the freedoms we have on this 4th of July.

I Pick Up Pennies

“Find a penny, pick it up, and all day you will have good luck” My dad would tell me he picked up a penny off of the ground.

Ever since I was little I remember my dad always picked up pennies and other coins and put them in his front pocket.  He always had change in his front left pocket.  I loved to listen to it jingle.  Every night he would empty his pocket and put the change into a decorative glass bottle.  My parents would use that money to go on vacation.

I would cringe as a teenager when my dad would check the coin return of a public phone or candy machine to see if anyone had left change in it and hoped nobody I knew saw him doing that.  I didn’t understand why he did that.  We weren’t poor.  We always had food on the table.  I just didn’t get it.

I started to save change when I was in high school.  I, too, had a decorative glass bottle (probably found at a garage sale) that I kept in the front left corner of my closet.  I could see my change bottle from my bed.  I was proud of my change.  “Dad, look at how much change I have!” I would say to him.   He would smile.  I picked up coins, too, but I didn’t dig in any coin returns.

30+ years later I still save my change.  My husband and I have a big Coke bottle bank that we put our silver coins in and a small Coke bank that we put our pennies in.  The big Coke bottle holds so much change we have to put it in two buckets when we take it to the bank.  We don’t use our change to go on vacation.  We use it as our emergency fund.

I even save our change when we go to Vegas.  I always have a plastic baggie in my purse and all our change comes home with us.  If someone leaves a ticket from a slot machine for a penny or seven cents I cash it in and put it in my change baggie.  So, in that way, I guess I am more like my dad than I realize.

I still pick up coins, but I look at it a little differently now.  Since my dad passed every time I pick up a coin I say “Hi Dad”.  For me they aren’t pennies from Heaven, they are coins from Heaven.  It’s my dad saying “hi” and letting me know he is with me.

I finally understand why he looked in those change returns.  It wasn’t because we needed money.  It was because it was free money and it added money to our vacation fund.  The more money that was in there the more stuff we could do.  I didn’t realize it then but my dad was teaching me a life long lesson.

Save your money.

And I do.  I have a cup in my truck that I put change in.  I have a small coin purse I keep change in at work.  My husband has a plastic coffee can in his semi.  We even keep our change at the trailer in a Coke straw holder we bought in Vegas.

Change is good!

 

 

 

 

 

Should I Get Something In Return For Being Nice?

“What are you getting in return?”  A coworker asked me when I told her we were giving the sellers of the home we are trying to purchase another month to find a house three states away because their deal fell through on the house they were going to purchase.

“Nothing,” I answered.

Her comment made me think.  Should we be getting something in return?  And if so, what would that something be?  A $100 gift card to Menards, Target or Kohl’s?  A cheaper purchase price?  New carpeting in the basement?

I never thought buying a house would be this difficult.  It has been a bumpy ride almost since day one, but we signed a contract to buy the house and I’m going to what I can do to honor that.

I was raised to be nice and to treat others like I want to be treated.  If someone needs help you help them.

Do we always need to get something in return for the good deeds we do?  I don’t think so.  Sometimes you don’t get something in return, but I think that down the road in some form you get compensated.  For example, you might buy a lottery ticket and win $100 or someone gives you something that you really wanted or need for free.

I believe in paying it forward.  I use coupons and coupon apps so I can donate food and household items to my church to go to the food bank.   Every year for our wedding anniversary we donate boxes of school supplies to the church for the grade school they sponsor.  I donate miscellaneous items to the local resale shop to raise funds for the animal shelter they work with.   I put money in people’s parking meters that are out of time so they don’t get tickets.

I don’t believe that every time I do something nice for someone that I deserve something in return.  I don’t believe this should be my focus.  I do good things for people makes me feel good.

I may be more a bitch and more demanding (Yes, I do want the house right now!) in this menopause part of my life, but I think it has softened me in ways.  I think I’m able to see the whole picture of things instead of just my point to view.  It’s easier for me to step back and look at what is going on on my side of this house deal, but to also to see what they are going through.  It can’t be easy for them to buy a house three states away, pack everything they own, secure jobs, etc.

I know the sellers are trying their hardest to make this move happen.  Could they have planned better?  Hell yeah!   But that’s the way life goes sometimes so when your handed lemons you have to make lemonade or try to.

Will we get something in return for the good things we’ve done to get this deal done?  I don’t know.  Maybe. If we do, we do and if we don’t, we don’t.  In the grand scheme of things does it matter?  Not really.  Maybe I feel this way because the house has a good vibe and we are willing to wait for it.  I feel that we have something to learn in that house.  That it has something to teach us.

For today I’m going to be grateful that I don’t have any errands to run for the house loan and I have the morning to myself.

And I have time to write my blog post. 🙂

I Really Hate Saying Goodbye

Saying goodbye to people is really hard for me.  It always has been.  I used to avoid it like the plague, but I’m getting better.

The reason I hate saying goodbye is that I cry.  I get all teary eyed and then I get embarrassed.  Even if I don’t know the person very well I still get teary eyed.  Everyone else can say goodbye, laugh, hug and joke around but I can’t.  I cry.   And I don’t know why.

I have had this problem since I was a little kid.  My parents wouldn’t let me watch the tv show Lassie (I know I am dating myself) because I would cry uncontrollably when Lassie couldn’t find his way home.  I have always felt this enormous amount of grief when I have to say good-bye to people.

I hate the fact that I can’t hold back my feelings.  I hate the fact that I get teary eyed when no one else does.  I get frustrated because I can’t explain how I feel or why.  I just get sad.  Then when I try to talk my voice cracks and sounds high pitched and this makes me uncomfortable.  I just hate the whole situation.

Today was one of my coworkers last day of work.  All day I felt that sadness.  The thing is is that I really don’t know her that well.  We aren’t close.  I like her.  She’s a nice person, but she’s not someone I would share a problem with because I don’t know her that well.  And then I get teary eyed when I say goodbye to her tonight……it doesn’t make any sense.  I don’t understand where that sadness comes from.

The more I put myself into the saying goodbye situation the better it gets and the more sadness I let go of.  I used to feel sad for weeks.  I would use my vacation or call in sick so I wouldn’t have to say goodbye to someone.

It’s only since menopause/menopause has crashed into my life that I have had the guts to look into why I feel all of the sadness I do.  I have tried to talk to a counselor, but the sadness I feel is hard to explain so it really doesn’t get resolved.  It’s embarrassing to talk to coworkers because they tell me I should be able to hold it in and I can’t.  I try, but the tears come spilling out.

I have always dreamed about quitting my job and writing full time, but I don’t think I can face that last day of saying good-bye and not cry my eyes out.  I know this must seem really silly to some of my readers, but I have to be honest with myself and others. This is the way I feel, but I’m not all comfortable with it.  I can’t leave my job because I am afraid of crying (feeling all of that grief) on my last day so I stay put.

That’s so sad.

When my coworker left the building tonight she was smiling and waving “Catch ya on the other side.”  I was teary eyed by myself at my desk teary feeling totally frustrated with the way I was feeling.  Why can’t be like that?  Why can’t talk and laugh with people on their last day instead of being trapped by my sadness.

I know this post is way too emotional for a Friday night/Saturday morning, but I’m 52 years old and I need to figure this issue out for myself.   I think it’s time I deal with this issue so I can move on with my life and be the writer I dream of being.  I have a responsibility to myself to be the best person I can be and to live out my dreams.

I don’t think I’m doing a very good job of that right now and I need to figure out what to do to change it.

 

 

 

 

 

I Miss My Dad Today

I’m not a big fan of Father’s Day since my dad passed away two and a half years ago.  It’s not the same.  It hurts and I don’t know what to do to fill that void.

I never thought I would be the one to go to the cemetery to visit his crypt or to put flowers in the vase or hang a teddy bear on the vase, but I do.  I want the people that look at his crypt to know he was loved and that we visit to show our love.

Instead of spending time with him today I went to his crypt.  Even though it’s been two and half years I still get teary eyed.  I miss him so much.  I was daddy’s girl and now I’m without a daddy and I hate it.

Today when I kissed my hand and then touched my hand to his name on the crypt it sounded like a hollow knock.  For a brief moment I wondered if he would answer, but then I remembered where I was and that that wasn’t possible.

I wish I could open the crypt and give him a big hug and a kiss on the cheek.

I don’t doubt he’s around.  I can feel his presence.  When I smell cigarette smoke when no one else is around I know he’s with me.  I hated the fact that he smoked so now he’s picking on me from the other side with the smell I hate and he’s probably laughing about it.

I miss him.

I miss seeing him sitting on the porch smoking a cigarette.

I miss him joking around.

I miss him saying “Hey kid”.

I miss him asking me “How the big guy (my husband)?” when I walked in the front door.

I miss watching football with him.

I miss his hugs and his smile.

I miss my dad.  My life isn’t the same without him.

I miss him.

Every. Single. Day.

Father’s Day is the hardest day to get through because I know other people are spending time with their dad and I’m not.

When I walked around the campground this morning I saw a family with four small kids — two boys and two girls — and it brought me back to when I was young and my mom, dad, my two brothers, and my sister would go camping in our pop-up.

He was a good dad and a good man.  He taught me to smile, to be nice and to always give back.  And he taught me to shoot pool like a shark.  He had such a big heart and was a very giving man.

Happy Father’s Day Dad.   Thank you for all that I am and all you have given me.

I love you.

I Love The Artwork Of Kelly Rae Roberts!!

I’m so excited!  In a month or so I get to have my own office.  My own office.  It was part of the deal my husband and I made when we started looking for a house.  He gets the garage he wants and I get my own office.   Right now we share an office.  It’s really not a big deal.  He’s not a bother.  I just want my own space.

Having my own office means I get to decorate it the way I want and I’m really excited to do this.   I have been a big fan of Kelly Rae Roberts for the last couple of years.   Her artwork speaks to my soul.  Her artwork gives me courage to move forward in my life.  It’s like she knows what I am thinking deep inside and her artwork is the answer to my inner yearnings.

Kelly believes that artwork heals and that we have to make our own rules.  She used to be a medical social worker, but then she started experimenting with art.  She creates the coolest stuff.  She even has painting e courses.  She has definitely found her calling and I love what she creates.  (go check out her website @ kellyraeroberts.com.  I’m sorry but I don’t know how to link things yet.)

I have her 2017 calendar (which I found on accident – well maybe not).   For the month of June there is a beautiful butterfly and the words “Allow the Unfolding”.   I love butterflies.  To me butterflies represent change and with this upcoming move I am in the middle of a big change.  “Allow the Unfolding”  OMG!  That is me going through every piece of what I own and asking myself if this is going to be something in need in the last half of my life.  It means to let things happen and take time to deal with the emotions and move forward.  That it’s ok to move forward and have the life that I want and to make my dreams come true.

Since I turned 50 I knew I wanted my 50’s to be fabulous and part of that fab is to follow my passion to write.  I need to let go of all of the preconceived notions I had about being a writer and all of the times I have sent query letters to magazines that weren’t interested in publishing my soul work and listen to stirring of my soul.  I need to examine my writing self and see what is truly there.  In comes my office…..

One of the reasons I’m so excited about my new office is I get to paint it any color I want.   I’m thinking of a light yellow.  I want to paint a portion of one wall with chalkboard paint so can write a list or draw or do whatever I want.

This office gives me a chance to explore myself and find out who I really am as a writer  (That’s partially why I started this blog).  It gives me a place to put all of my books.  I can have all of my writing in one place instead of in my office and on the coffee table in the living room.  I can’t wait to have my rocking chair in my office so I can rock and read.  It’s my “ME” room.

I think it’s important in our 50’s to have what speaks to us close to us and I can’t wait to have more Kelly Rae Roberts in my office.   Maybe a print on every wall….

Thanks Kelly for all that you do!  You’re amazing 🙂

 

 

 

 

I Am Grateful Today

There’s a lot of stuff stressing me out lately.  I’ve been grinding my teeth and I am probably kind of difficult to be around — at home and at work.

We are purchasing a house or trying to….there’s been problems on the sellers side. We’ve done everything we can on our end.  We had the home inspection a couple of weeks ago and we have all of our paper work in order, but that is still not making it any easier.  I never thought buying a house would be this hard.

We are on ten hours of mandatory overtime a day and I don’t want to work it.  We haven’t been very busy this year at work and we’ve only on voluntary overtime so I have been taking it easy and not working the overtime.  I’m down sixty hours of overtime from last year.

Even though my mom and sister and I had a garage sale in April and I sold a ton of stuff I still have more stuff than I thought I did.  I am overwhelmed because I don’t want to deal with my being a hoarder in some areas in my life (like my book collection).  How did I collect so much stuff and not know I had it?  Probably because I put it in a cabinet in the basement.

I spent the afternoon with my sister and had a great time talking and eating pizza on my back deck.  We laughed and goofed around.  Relaxed.

After she left I sat in my husband’s recliner in the living room and looked at the mess in front of me.  Screw it! I said out loud.  This stuff can wait til tomorrow.  For the rest of the day I’m not going to stress on my problems — instead I’m going to be grateful.

Grateful for the great apartment I’m currently renting from my cousin and all of things I have in it and around it.

Grateful that I have a job and that I’m given the opportunity to work overtime and make damn good money working it.

Grateful for the sellers for selling the great house so that we can buy it and that I get my own office that I can’t wait to decorate and write and create in.

Grateful for the great family, in laws and friends I have who are always there for me and love me just the way I am.

Grateful for readers who read and follow my blog.   Your support, encouragement and kind words mean the world to me.

Grateful for my wonderful, caring and amazing husband who I get to share this amazing journey called life with.

Are you grateful today?  Please share your reasons with me.  We can be grateful together.