Fallen Tree

When a tree falls you can think of the destruction that it has made. Such as the tree that fell on our back deck and destroyed a portion of it during a storm. Yet out of those fallen trees can become new growth or new uses for the fallen parts of the tree. For example there was a portion of the tree that was too heavy for us to remove from my lawn or could not be cut up and we have kept it in our lawn. The grandchildren have thoroughly enjoyed climbing on it and jumping off from it. Fallen trees can do damage just like a person who has fallen in their own life can do damage to others or to things around them. But we must remember that the fallen branch or fallen tree used to be a productive person just as the tree was productive and useful. When a person suffers from a tragedy they may not feel whole just as the tree that has lost a portion of it. Trees, most times can recover with time and the same can be said about people. Although trees can sometimes recover with the help of nature, people may need the help of others to recover and it may take longer than they would like. As we look around our world and how it has changed within the past few months we have seen how people depend on others to help them through the “broken branch” times. Just as a tree can be renewed so can people. Given the chance to reach out most people can be renewed with faith and friends. Don’t become the person that just sees the “fallen tree”, be the one that helps to give that “fallen tree” a new outlook on life.

My Neighborhood

I love the still before the storm and the dusk before the dawn. The morning mist and the morning dew that linger in the sky and on the lawn. Although these things may be subtle they still remind us that even gentle and subtle ways can make something very beautiful and encouraging. Dusk and dawn with their beautiful colors can encourage us to dream. The mist although it may be a little difficult to see through we know there is sunshine on the other side. The morning dew it’s just a reminder of what’s left over for the night before. When we look at nature we can always find something beautiful no matter where we are. I think when we look at other people we should do that as well instead of judging.

This is a piece I wrote some years ago and I think it just goes to the above:

This is My Neighborhood But it Could be Anyone’s Neighborhood

   They say my neighborhood is a drug ridden area that caters to drug addicts and alcoholics. This could be said about many neighborhoods in My City. It just takes a little action to change a neighborhood. What people may say they see when they “drive through” my neighborhood. Drug addicts, drug dealers, people not willing to work, people not proud of their neighborhood, etc… What I see are people making a living and taking care of their families the only way they know how. For some this is a generational thing and for some this is a forced way of living whether they had good or bad parents or they lost their job and found a fast way to take care of their family. I also see many people going to work at all hours of the day so one parent can stay home with the children while the other works. I see generations of families taking care of their own through sickness and disparity. I see young fathers pushing their children in the stroller so they can spend time with them. I see uncles of children taking any chance they can to see their nieces and nephews despite the lack of concern on the part of the children’s parents. I see children willing to learn how to be a role model to their younger siblings. I see the neighbor taking an interest in the deteriorating houses that are left vacant and how the other neighbors take hold of this concept and contribute to this effort. I see many ethnicities able to cohabitate in my neighborhood. I also see the police go up and down the street several times a day not bothering to stop and say hi to those same children that they could have a promising effect on. I see the dilapidated houses that are left to stand even after a devastating fire because the process seems to take time to tear them down. I wonder if these same houses were in the suburbs would they still be standing. I see a couple take down branches hanging over a sidewalk so a mother does not have to walk in the road, after the city had been called about the exact same issue. I see another neighbor trying to cut down even more of that same tree. I see a woman that feeds the birds and watches as blue jays, cardinals, sparrows, finches and squirrels eat from the same feeder all at one time. If different species can get along why can’t we. Must we always feel the need to label people. The guy that talks to himself, the mother with too many children, the alcoholic that looks on the ground for cigarette butts to smoke are people just like us. We have not one idea why that person has become the person they have. I understand there are some people that have learned they can beat the system this way, but not all people are that way. Why do we find it so hard to reach out to our own neighbors but are eager to come to the aid of those so far away. I am not against helping others, but let us help our own neighbors before we contribute our damaging ways to another society. Let’s make absent landlords responsible for their properties, let’s encourage neighborhood celebrations, let’s find places of encouragement for our children to learn of yesterday and what a good future can be with their help. Our children are our future, why don’t we start investing our time and attention on those talented children that don’t have the advantage of those that come from “upper class” families. This is not to bash the “upper class” as again our society has a label for people that have a higher income from others. This part of society has some of the same issues as those in my neighborhood, but their issues are not brought to the forefront as in my neighborhood. This comes from a woman that works and sees my neighborhood in a way I would like the political heads of our city to see it. Take a walk down one of those streets you would not normally go down and take a good look at what you see, not what you think you see. Look at the child happy to have a scooter to go up and down the sidewalk with. Look at the mother happy to have a park to take the children to. Look at the squirrels wandering around to see what leftovers they can find. Start looking at the potential and keep the negative thoughts out and you too will see the beauty in all neighborhoods. All I ask is to give those neighborhoods a chance. This is my neighborhood, but it could be anyone’s neighborhood and I AM PROUD OF WHERE I LIVE!!

A New Home for an Old Home.

I work for two private attorneys who are in the process of moving our office. They have decided to move to a building that is a historical landmark, which at one time used to be a home. Beneath the walls are the signs of olden times which include wallpaper of days gone by. The beauty and richness of this building is much to behold. As it is transformed for new life we see remnants of the old life. Some of those remnants will not disappear, as we want to hold them dear to our hearts. While other remnants will be given a makeover and be a little more updated. Just as this old building is holding onto old remnants as a reminder of days gone by, we tend to hold on to things from our past. These remnants from our past remind us who we are and where we came from and we don’t want to lose that. But just as this building is getting a makeover to include the past, we sometimes have to do a makeover on ourselves and include the past in that. We take from our past what we have learned from the good and the bad and we challenge ourselves to do better with those reminders. There are fireplaces of old which will be kept to remind us of the warmth that it has given all of the families and businesses in the past. There is marble which will hold strong on the floors and on the walls just as this building has held strong throughout the years. If we look at ourselves we will see the same. Most of the walls are made of brick which were strategically-placed one-by-one to build the strong wall that would last throughout the years. If we were to draw a brick wall I wonder what we would put as names for each of those bricks that have given us our solid foundation. These are just some of the bricks of my foundation and walls what are yours?

BossesHolidaysTalks with DadTime with Mom
DeceitDoctorsDeathTroubled times
Memories of Times Gone By.

My Tree Life

As I look at the tree blowing in the wind, I am astonished by how it goes through the seasons of life strong and steady. It goes to show with strong roots the tree endures just as we as humans with strong roots endure. Now in humans strong roots may not always develop in our childhood. Sometimes the situations we go through give us those strong roots. A Maple tree starts out as, what some people call a helicopter seed. Within a few years, if you let it, that seed will grow. It can grow into a strong durable tree to withstand most storms. Just as we humans can withstand storms throughout our lives. A tree bends and does not break easily. Even if you have gone through difficult times, if you look back you did not break easily. Some of us go through times when we are at our lowest, but being faithful to ourselves and our beliefs can bring us through it. Even if a tree is knocked down or torn out of the ground there remains some portion of their roots in the ground. Even as we go through tough times the roots of our being remain for us. If we look at the tree’s life we see that it is not a fast growing tree. We are also not fast growing and if we take our time to grow and plant our roots we too can stand tall and steady. Sometimes we look for the quick or easy way. Most times this is not a solution to any problems we are having. As we go through life we are constantly changing. If you think of a tree’s roots spreading out, you will notice if a way is blocked the tree will send its roots in another direction to make it steadfast. We as humans will also go in another direction in our lives several times to get to where we want to be. Each year a maple tree will shed old leaves in the Fall and get new leaves in the Spring. The Fall leaves that are shed are beautiful but have served their purpose. As we go through our life we will also go through the seasons of Fall and Spring. In our lives I believe Fall is the shedding of old ways and Spring is the beginning of new ways. Even as you shed your old ways they have brought beauty to your life just as the Fall leaves of a tree brings beauty to the world. A tree can turn over a leaf when the wind blows, but most leaves stay steadfast to the tree. Think back on a time when a wind blew through your life and you were steadfast until the wind subsided. Look around you there are many things in nature that we can compare how they grow to our lives. A tree beautifies and makes for a healthy environment and is grounded, these are the things I strive for everyday in my life. Take a minute to think about how you would compare your life to that of a tree. I bet you will find several similarities. Thank you for reading my blog!

The House That Shelters

Let me introduce myself, I am a house that lives in the city. I have been a shelter for many people. Those that bought me, those that rented me and those who have squatted within my walls. I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly of the humans that have lived and visited here. All in all I must say that the good has outweighed the bad and ugly throughout the years. I have housed children that have grown up to be scholars,doctors, reporters, firemen, cashiers, mothers, fathers and so much more. I have watched them grow and help shelter them as they go through the seasons of their lives. Through the Spring of blossoming, the Summer when it’s hot and just can’t seem to get comfortable, through Autumn as they prepare for what’s to come and through the Winters when it’s barren and cold and you feel like you’re alone. I stand here now weathered and beaten, but still I stand. As I stand here tall and erect with my imperfections, I do not think, what are those people thinking of me now. The only thing I think is will I be abandoned or will someone look at me and see the true beauty that lies within my walls. We, as humans, sometimes build up walls around us emotionally and sometimes even physically, so as not to get hurt. If only we could be like this house and  that even though we may not appear as we think we want to, we should acknowledge our accomplishments and know that we are beautiful in our own rights. I encourage you to take a few moments each day to see the beauty within you and the strength of the frame that continues to hold you throughout the years. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.

We may feel weathered and beaten, but we still have a strong frame inside of us to persevere through our struggles. Photo by suzukii xingfu on Pexels.com

Build Up and Laugh

I continue to read Ecclesiastes 3:3-4 from the Bible “A time to break down a time to build up, a time to weep and a time to laugh”. We all, sooner or later, have a breakdown that we don’t think we’ll ever get over. Whether it be finances too strained, too much work to do or being a single mom/dad trying to figure out how to pay the bills. Then we come to the realization that we can only control what we can control and we start building up ourselves and those around us. We build up our confidence and we build up our children. Building up our confidences and our children for example, those are things that will never go away. A time to weep and a time to laugh. We all have moments where we will weep and laugh. Whether it be the loss of a loved one, losss of a pet, loss of a job or loss of a relationship, all of those things will make us weep. In those losses there are some things that we may laugh about. The one that has passed on, we laugh at some of the things that they did while they were still with us. Such as my dad who has passed away. I weep that he is gone but I laugh at the moments when I could see him smile and chuckle. The pranks that he played on everyone at Christmas, how he would steal a biscuit that you had just buttered and the bonfires that he used to hold. So, as I am sorry for the loss of my father, I also enjoy and laugh at the life that we had together. At this time my mother has now been diagnosed with dementia. As we deal with this, we as siblings will build each other up as we have our little breakdowns in the realization that our mother is losing her memory. Things will be different from this point forward. We weep that she has lost some of her memory. We laugh at the little things that we remember about her and that she even does to this day. The two things that stands out to me is when we would go out dancing and when we went shopping we would tell our partners that the other one bought what we brought home. The laughter is not at that person, but at the joy we have at still seeing her and able to have a positive interaction no matter how small.

As the sun rises over the clouds so shall We rise over our clouds.

Plantings in Life’s Path

As I start on another endeavor I have been wanting to do, reading the Bible more. I came across “Ecclesiastes 3:2-3 “A time to be born and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to pluck what is planted” (New King James Version). I noticed how much that has to do with how I am now going down a different path. The non-profit and sole business were born out of what I thought was necessity and desire. They are now in the process dying, although I will not forget how each of those endeavors took me to where I am now. A new path is being born. The seeds that I once planted with those two are now being plucked out of the path to make room for the new “plants”. As we grow there are actions and circumstances that birth ideas, positions, and proposed paths. All of us have at one time or another had to make changes to our paths. Whether it be a difficult or easy task those changes were necessary to make room for the different times in our lives. When I read the scripture above, I never thought of it as pertaining to an actual physical life, although it absolutely could. I thought of it as the changes that take place in our lives. Not everything, that has such words associated with it as “die”, have a negative meaning. We all know about physical death, but have we ever looked at such things as leaving high school or college as a death. In a way it can be, but it also gives birth to new ideas and plans. Plucking a plant may not be exactly as it states, although it certainly is one way to think about it. As we leave high school and college, we pluck that which was planted. The knowledge we received and the diploma/degree we earned are plucked from those entities and set us up to plant more in our lives. As well we could look at those ideas in the same way as we continue down our life’s path. Every time there is a change in our lives something dies and something new eventually is born and leads us either on the continued path or we turn to another path. Each time we learn something new there is something planted in us. We can then just pluck out what is not necessary and then make room for more positive “plantings”. Although we must never forget what has been planted in our paths and how that has steered us on our current paths, we know that such changes are necessary to lead a fulfilled positive life. Thank you for reading my blog.

Just as a snail changes its path many times in a lifetime, so do we.

Cleaning Up The Past

As I decide to change what I do with my free time, I realize that there are things I need to do to clean up what I had started in the past. Six years ago, I started a non-profit to help the community. It appeared that the community was unsure of our presence. We did what we could do to try to be one of the positive places on the street. I enjoyed every part of this organization meeting the people you may not normally meet, working with the city to get a problem house torn down and putting out a newsletter. Then I decided, two years after that, to stop working for a legal organization to babysit for my grandchildren and start my own business. Within months we were guardians of six of our grandchildren ranging from ages 18 months to 9, including two sets of twins. This took up quite a bit of my time and therefore I was not dedicating much of my time to the non-profit. I also then asked one of my clients if he needed someone to work in his office and I was hired to work for three private attorneys. I also published a book during that time. Now fast forward to today and we are now the permanent guardians of three of those six grandchildren, and I am working for two of the three attorneys. I have decided that I do not want to do my daily work as my side work or hobby. I enjoy taking pictures and writing therefore I will concentrate on those. While I make these decisions, I am reminded that I need to close out the items that have been lingering in my life. I have now deleted all email addresses and websites associated with those past endeavors. I will now go and close the non-profit as well as the side job. I also have several copies of my book that I would like to sell, as the publisher is no longer in business. We all have something in the past that we may need to take care of. Whether it be a hobby that you no longer do and need to clear out everything associated with it or just taking care of interactions with family and friends that you may have been avoiding. Just taking a little step towards cleaning up some of those items (now known as glitches if you are not working on them) has made me feel better and taken a load off. As we explore our everyday life, we may come across things that need to be taken care of. When this is accomplished it leaves more room in our lives to do the things we want to do now. As we change so do our lives and cleaning up the past is only part of moving forward. Thank you for taking the time to read my post.

My book of photos and sayings.

A Simple Smile

Is all it takes to change the mood of the day. Lately I have been going through photos of my grandchildren to make books for them for Christmas. It has been a frustrating task as my computer is acting up and I do not know why. Each time I look at a picture where they are smiling, I am reminded to smile as well. Maybe if we all kept a smiling picture in our head when we get down or angered that could help us through tough times. Those smiling faces surround us every day a child in the street, an ad with a smile and our families’ smiles. I enjoy watching the wildlife in my front yard, but I also enjoy watching my grandchildren and children in the neighborhood play as well. The little girls playing with their new dog, my grandsons learning to ride their bike and my granddaughter learning different techniques to her artwork. Smiling has been known to bring happiness even in the darkest hours of our lives. As we go on this rollercoaster ride called our lives, we come across many glitches that tend to veer us off our paths. We must try our best to stick to the path to better our lives Each time we “slip up” we should look for that smile to let us know everything will be alright and we will get there. Just in case you need a little help or example I have shared my granddaughter’s picture as an example. Just look at how her smile lights up the room as she is so happy playing with one of our dogs. This is part of exploring our everyday life and embracing life’s glitches because without the glitches moments like this would not have as much meaning. See if you can find an old photo that makes you smile and make a large print out of it and hang it in your house where you will see it every day. I am sure this will help get you through some glitches. Thank your for taking the time to read my blog, have a good night and a better tomorrow.

Maya and Brooklyn having fun together.