Secret Getaways

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Take me away to a snow filled place

Just you and I

Where the cold welcomes me

My breath freezes on the wind

It is my dream to sleep beneath

the stars with snow all around

A magical place of snow and ice

You are my warmth, my shelter

I want to wake to the sunrise

surrounded by a sea of white

Just you and I

Your arms encircle me

We are alone in the snowy land

I find peace in the icy quiet

Noises muted on the snow covered world

Crystals shimmer like the dust from a fairy

No tropical masses

No sun drenched beach

Just you and I beneath the stars

Snuggled in out of the cold

with soft blankets and each other

Just you and I

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Winter Toes, Summer Water

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There is magic in water.  It is life-giving and taking.  It washes us clean both physically and spiritually.  We consume, immerse, bend, play, collect, rearrange, covet, and transport our water.  We have a very special connection with this liquid.  It is part of us, literally.

I love the water, open oceans, sprays from a sprinkler, warm showers, rain from the heavens, but most of all, the cooling waters of a swimming pool.  I have maintained a swimming pool of some sort for the last fifteen summers.  I have loving established a small wading pool for my toddler to cool off in during our muggy, hot August days together.  I have graduated all the way up to a 5,000 gallon above ground back yard pool, where you must keep PH, alkalinity, and chlorine levels at a precise amount.  Dutifully changing filters, skimming leaves, refilling water after a wild splashing party.  I find my focus on the perfection of the crystal H2O distracts me from my general dislike of summer. 

My favorite treat in the winter is a dip in an indoor pool.  Letting the chlorinated vapors saturate my sense of smell, the warmth of the pool consuming my body in a truly warming embrace.  I use the stairs to ritually step on to the first of the concrete slabs to my ultimate relaxation.  The water gently caressing my toes, my ankles, my knees, and waist, until I dive under to feel the weightlessness of my watery delight.

Water is also a focal point for my meditations.  I love the varied colors of water in nature, muddy brown with green tinges to light aquamarine, reflecting to the sky above.  I imagine the rapids of a cold river, quiet tropical coves of salt water, expanses of natural and man-made lakes, water trickling down a fountain, cascades of water falling to pools below splashing noisily.  My mind seems to focus and relax, calm transcends my spirit.  Find your focal point and put your winter toes in summer water.

Anticipation

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We live in a world of instant gratification.  Our documents can be received in the blink of an eye.  We are able to call anyone, anywhere, anytime, we choose.  News travels at the speed of light.  What happens when we stop to truly wait for something?

Wait for it….

Are you still with me?….

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Finally the moment arrives!  The anticipation of an event bursts into reality.  Like bubbles floating on the wind, bursting at the slightest touch of a blade of grass.  The wait is over!

The past few months have been an epic marathon of anticipation for me.  I had to wait for my favorite holiday.  Then I had to wait again for another.  Christmas couldn’t get here soon enough.  The celebrations of birthdays stood patiently in line waiting to be noticed. Snowfall in my region was waited on by me (alone, I think).  2015 couldn’t get here soon enough.  I happily ushered out 2014 and embraced the start of a new year!  With all the activity around me I have not been on a roadtrip in a while.

My anticipation is nearing it’s end!  I leave in just a few short hours on my first family roadtrip of 2015!  I love traveling in the winter.  The cool crisp air is refreshing when you step out of your vehicle, for a much needed stretch.  Traffic is lessened by the absent vacationers.  The scenery is clear, vistas are not hampered by foliage.  I feel free!

As I gather all the added essentials for our winter excursion, I feel warm.  The cozy moments gathered with loved ones feel….warmer.  The warm splash of an indoor swimming pool, while you look out the huge picture windows at snow drifts, feels warmly refreshing. The smiles of the kiddos warm your heart and soul.  The wind will howl.  The snow may fall. The winter weather will continue to slow travel plans.  Yet it is the anticipation of this winter roadtrip that makes all the extras worth it.

Travel well my friends!

Good Morning!

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The wind left me a “going away gift” this morning! I paused appreciating this leaf tucked securely into the handle of my car door. Fumbling with my purse, phone, gloves and laptop, I snapped a quick picture of my reminder to appreciate all the “gifts” of our natural world….even if it blows in on a sub-zero gale!

No School…Again

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I originally wrote this on January 6th 2014.  I find if amusing that I am sitting in my living room, snuggled under blankets, watching a movie with my teenagers almost exactly the way I was 1 year ago to the day.

The temperature this morning is -8° below zero.  I love winter and yet this is too chilly, even for me.  The call came in yesterday evening around 5 p.m., schools were closing. 

This phone call was exciting!  My boys will be home all day for us to enjoy one more lazy, watch TV, play video games, eat snacks, do nothing kind of day.  A small extension of their winter break from school. 

Recently calls of this nature were a life line of hope while I was working at a day care center.  If the public schools closed so did this particular institution.  The cancellation of school was a ticket to relaxation.

When I was younger, in the public school system, we didn’t get phone calls.  The responsibility of knowing if your child was to be at school in inclement weather rested solely on the shoulders of the parent.  The parents had an easy job here.  This was news every student in the district would happily receive for their parents.  The news station, yes it was singular in my house, would scroll a banner of school closings across the bottom of the screen.  Every child would sit, transfixed, to read each school listed.  The silent prayers for your school to be closed flooding the heavens.  Brothers and sisters would stop their teasing, teeth would go unbrushed, pets would become restless at the silence in the house.  Sometimes children would be chased to bed because hopes had not been answered, yet.  Sometimes the district wouldn’t make a decision until the morning.  At 6 a.m. the TV would come to life, cereal bowl in hand, more prayers…waiting…waiting…

Then it would happen!  The announcement would come, NO SCHOOL TODAY DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER.  Chaos would ensue.  Siblings who couldn’t sit next to each other at the dinner table, would suddenly embrace with joy.  The cheering was deafening.  Parents would scramble to make sure appropriate care was in place for the younger children.  Pets would join in with the celebrations with yapping and hissing at the commotion.  Nothing compares to the news of unexpected days off from school.

It seems in our technologically advanced era the excitement has not ebbed.  Social media was flooded with reports of the closings the moment it happened.  My teenagers happily stayed awake as late as they chose.  The anticipation of rest and laziness just for the sake of being lazy is almost intoxicating.  In my house today I will enjoy the company of my boys while I work. I will bake cookies for the sheer love of warm cookies. I will embrace the calm of a restful day that does not require make-up or jewelry.  

Have a warm, restful day.

Christmas Thoughts of 2014

In the quiet, contemplative, moments of my life, it crossed my mind, how did I become the older generation of my family? We are enjoying a cozy day in our home.  I being the crazy mom decided we should have full on Christmas dinner just the five of us.  As I was setting the table it occurred to me I have not completed this task, on my own, for years. I remember when I was delegated this chore, by the elder women of my family, attempting to keep me busy and out from under their feet.  The kitchen was a flurry of family members orchestrating the perfect meal. I was the youngest during these gatherings, with too much energy and usually “starving”.  My mom would guide me to the table with a handful of silverware, instructing me to ‘help get dinner ready’.  I, in my childhood memories, would carefully set each piece of silver in its proper place.  My little hands only able to carry a few spoons, forks, or knives at a time. Round and round the huge table I would walk, my mission clear. Now time has passed over me, blessing me with my own home, my own children, and a wisdom that only aging graces us with.  As I laid each utensil next to each plate I remembered those precious moments of my youth.  Embrace your yesterdays and live in your present.  Merry Christmas eve, eve!

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From Endings to Beginnings

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

This is the greeting I was raised with.  From my very earliest years of adulthood I remember signing all my Christmas cards with this salutation.  I realize today that my Christmas celebrating also encompasses so many other celebrations.  I love all the variety in our amazing world.  I feel energized when talking with friends and family about their different celebrations.  Although I did not grow up in the midst of diverse cultures, I grew up with culture.  A family who embraced differences, while continuing our own traditions.  My family also consumes knowledge with fervor that rivals the Tasmanian Devil chasing Bugs Bunny.  This love of knowledge propels me to learn all I can about this wonderful world.  I carry our traditions with me in my daily life that are immersed with diversity.

On this, the first day of a brand new year, I feel hung-over with all the holiday celebrations.  The gifts are given, the parties in clean up stages, the mountains of food consumed, the hugs and best wishes are bestowed.  I loved all the activity but now as I clean up and prepare for the coming quiet of the post holidays season I feel…no better words for it…hung-over.

May your 2015 lead you on an adventure of self discovery, spiritual growth and love that encompasses your soul.  Be well, be happy, be loving.

Travel well my friends!