Category: Joy

FREE Kindle Ebook for Mother’s Day May 7 & 8

May 7 and 8 are upon us!

Download your FREE Kindle copy of The Last Violet: Mourning My Mother, Moving Beyond Regret at http://www.ow.ly/vfH8E. This version was beautifully formatted by Gary Hall of http://www.greystrokecreative.com. If you don't have a Kindle, you can download to your computer without charge.

It is interesting to me to see that some of what I wrote in this book as a daughter is now being played out in my own life. How could I have known when I wrote The Last Violet that I was writing a guidebook for myself? 

Vignette

Helplessly I watch

as they make their mad dash

to the bathroom

her pale, thin arm clutching his

their weary feet shuffling

over the light Berber carpet

their bodies stopped with

the weight of many years

They've been together since

they were very young

sometimes they've been happy

sometimes not

but here they walk side by side

as cancer interrupts

whatever they were doing

as cancer eats her body

and tears his heart

"In sickness and in health," they vowed

"until death do us part," they vowed

Helplessly I watch

and then

I go into the kitchen and weep…

(Excerpted from The Last Violet: Mourning My Mother)

My Marriage Book – FREE Download Today

Today's the day! You can click on http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BT4P0SI and download a FREE copy of This Path We Share: Reflecting on 60 Years of Marriage for your KindleGary Hall formatted it beautifully for eBook. (Find Gary at http://www.greystrokecreative.com.) I am pleased that This Path has seventeen five-star reviews so far and has won three awards.

I worked for a long time on this book. Years longer than I worked on the other two. Perhaps I was afraid that if I finished the book, the story would end. Finally I realized that if I did not complete it before either Les or I took seriously ill or died, I never would. I finished the book. Unfortunately all stories do end. 

I worked especially hard on the last chapter. I wanted it to be just right. And I toiled intently on the last three words. For days, actually. (Of course I won't tell you what they are right now. Gentle smile).

And as it turns out, they were easier said than done.

I hope you find encouragement, entertainment, and, maybe, even a little inspiration.

And Happy Valentine's Day!

(If you don't have a Kindle, you can download one for your PC.)

Wow! It Pays to Declutter!

Just when I'm in the middle of writing my annual (?) blog about decluttering. Just when I'm in the middle of my annual (no question mark) decluttering projects. Just when it is all getting boring and ho-hum – been there, done that, every dang year….

I was cleaning out the middle drawer of my desk yesterday. Way in the back I have a couple of little boxes that are space-holders so that the divider with all the neat little compartments doesn't slip back there. 

Well, I pulled them out and guess what? In one of them was $81. The same $81 dollars that Les gave me for my 81st birthday, a year ago last October. The same $81 dollars that I stashed there in a quick moment to hide it just before we left on a trip. (I never leave money in the house so that was odd.) The same $81 dollars that I had rummaged through every drawer in the house to find. I had this vague recollection of hiding it far in the back of somewhere, but finally gave up.

And then two hours later, I removed everything under the sink in the basement, wiped the shelf, and put back the trays, the vinegar bottle, and the little brushes. And just before I shoved in the old canner with all the rags, I impulsively rummaged through the rags. OCD, perhaps.

And guess what? There at the bottom were my favorite pair of red "cheater" glasses. In the rag bag.

Anyone want to guess how long and how hard I had looked for them?

Wow. It pays to declutter.

Probably pays to declutter our minds, too. Who knows what we will find?  

And what have you found when you deep-clean?

 

No Lifeguard on Duty

I started the second morning of January with a talk for the Littleton United Methodist Church Optimist Club. It was my 595th speech.

As we left home at 8:30, I said to Les, "There won't be anyone there. It's too cold. The year is too new."

And he said, "Who is there is who is there."

When we entered the room, almost two dozen faces smiled at us and we were immediately pulled into the warmth of this lively group. 

As I began reading "No Lifeguard on Duty," one woman interrupted, "Oh, I know who you are. I have that poem on my desk! And to think I almost didn't come this morning!"   

Later she told me about the many sadnesses she has had in her life. Somewhere she had heard of that particular poem, but could only remember one line. A friend of hers Googled it and found the poem. My new friend printed it out and kept it on her desk. I felt humbled and honored when she told me that it had given her comfort and courage when she needed it. 

So, just in case you need a helping hand this morning, here it is once more:

No Lifeguard on Duty

It is difficult
when one is drowning
to wave to the people
on shore

One wants to be
friendly, of course,

but perhaps it is
more important
to keep

swimming

(Excerpted from Fine Black Lines, © 1993, 2003, Lois Tschetter Hjelmstad) 

Happy New Year!

 

 

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5 Tips on Marriage from Someone Who Really Doesn’t Know

64 years and 13 days.

As our anniversary month nears a close, I think of many things I would have liked to have shared. Oh, well, maybe next year! Or maybe this Thursday.

I don't usually talk about tips because I firmly believe that each new day in a marriage is an adventure with the possibility to be totally amazing and the possibility of falling off a cliff with a steep climb back. (The steep climb back is only feasible if the fall has not been fatal.)

"Amazing" or "devastating" depend somewhat on the affect of the two persons involved on a given day and somewhat on events that unfold and somewhat on events that occurred years ago that tend to pop up at the most inopportune moments. (People talk about leaving past altercations in the past. Good for them.)

And I don't give advice because, even after 64 years, no one is an expert on marriage.

Anyway, if these help, I'm happy.

  • Create a post-parenthood marriage. It will be different from pre-parenthood and vastly different from the years you were bearing and raising children.
  • Remember no partner in a marriage is ever 100% right.
  • Make a commitment to life-long sexual connection. You'll be glad you did.
  • Reinvent your lives as necessary.
  • Realize that your shared history becomes more precious as each year goes by.

 

I'd like to hear your tips. 

And remember the special offer stands through September 30. Copies of This Path We Share for only $10 plus FREE shipping. Click on "Order Direct Add to Cart." Any questions, 303.781.8974. Money back guarantee.