We Are Deep Into Fall-And You Know What That Means…

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THIS come next!

Yup, this is me.  I should be enjoying the beauty of fall.  Don’t get me wrong. I do.  I love everything about fall.  The colors of the trees when they change are incredible.

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(Photo by Beth Ann Brown Chiles used by permission)

I love pumpkin anything, so it goes without saying I would love the season of the pumpkin. Pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin froyo, pumpkin lattes…. Think I am getting hungry!

But I know what is coming.

Winter.

Cold. Snow. Blizzards. Ice….

As harsh as it can be like in the first picture, it can also be very beautiful.

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It still gets old and long very fast. We complain but we stay. You may wonder why.

We always get to look forward to spring and summer.  Spring is my favorite season. It is a time of renewal.  I love seeing everything turn green again. After the cold and white of winter, the green and warmth are more than welcome. They are necessary.

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One of the best things about living in the Midwest that people will tell you is the changing of the seasons. It is something I love. There is something beautiful in each one.

Yes, I will complain about the cold and the snow, especially if it is happening every other day. I will still keep you updated on Facebook as to the weather situation and I will still get ribbed about it. But I will still find the beauty in the new snow and I will look forward to the warmth and renewal of the spring!

Random Picture Tuesday on Wednesday

I do know that yesterday was my Random Picture Tuesday day.  I was given two different numbers to pick from but the pictures just didn’t work or give me anything to write about that would be different.  Do you really need to see another sunrise or another New York City picture?  Not at the moment, I didn’t think.  I tried all day, and nothing.  So I decided to try this morning.  And I got this.

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This is a picture truly different from my others. It should be a Throwback Thursday picture. This one goes WAY back!  It was taken when I was in high school!

My creative writing/journalism/newspaper advisor teacher came to us right out of college. It was a bit strange having a teacher in high school that was barely older than you were.  I remember many times her first year that the guys in the class would make her cry and she would leave the room!  She ended up being one of my favorite teachers ever.  I was the yearbook editor and she was the advisor for that and I learned a lot about picture placement and white space that I still use today. (I wish many had learned what we had and would use it.  I can’t tell you how it makes me cringe when a picture is placed to that it looks like someone is looking off the page!)

But about this picture!

Our teacher was dating the town’s newspaper editor at the time and he got an invite to an evening with Roy and Dale Rogers.  Their son was with them too.  She brought three of us from the high school paper with her.  It was an interesting evening. When we got our picture taken with Roy, the lady to the left ran up and got in it.  She is not our teacher and I have no idea who she was!  The girl in the middle was our editor.  I wonder sometimes where she ended up.  Then there is me.  No comment.  Okay, one…nice hair!  Hey, it was the 70’s!

Then Bill, may he RIP!   Bill was one great fun friendly guy!  We had some great times.  I remember several years ago, seeing his obituary in the paper.  He had moved to California.  They had found him in his home, passed away.  I never heard why.  I just knew I was sad knowing he was gone and gone too soon.  Somehow we seem to lose a lot of good people far too soon!

Share Your World-2014 Week 42

What would be your preference, awake before dawn or awake before noon?

Another easy easy question for me.  Before dawn. Always. Every day. There is something quite special about the quiet solitude of the early morning. Of course, if you have read here at all, you know how much I LOVE the sunrises in the country!  There is nothing as beautiful!

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I could fill this up with sunrise pictures!  I know you have seen that last one, but I had to include it-it is one of the most beautiful cloud picture at sunrise I have ever taken!

If you could choose between Wisdom and Luck, which one would you pick?

Wisdom. There are just so many reasons for picking wisdom over luck. I feel wisdom is more valuable by far. If you are wise or have wisdom, then why would you even need luck.  Luck is so random, anyhow. I don’t want to gain things, or live a life led by luck.

If you were given the opportunity for free skydiving lessons would you take them? Why or why not?

If I was 100% guaranteed that it would go perfect, then, MAYBE.  Not going to lie, the thought of jumping out of an airplane, while I am sure is exhilarating, scares me.  Now, if we go by the last question, since I don’t have luck, but wisdom, I would say, I would be WISE enough not to, knowing it is possible I would not be LUCKY enough to have a successful jump.

Is the glass half empty or half full? What is in the glass?

Always, always, always half full.  It has to be for me. No matter how dark the days are at the time, I have to have the hope for better days. There is always something to be thankful for, something to love! In the glass?  Water. Not sure why…just what I picture is in mine!

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I am stuck on this one.  Wow.  I am sure there must be something to be grateful for.  Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for just about everything! Sometimes it is just finding the joy in the every day things of life. Hey, there is my answer!  I am grateful that I can find the joy in the every day things of life.  I found myself smiling with that gratitude a couple times last week! What am I most looking forward to? Spending time with friends and family and making progress on the de-cluttering of my house!

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Having Coffee With My Mom

I am sitting here, like any day, catching up on my email and seeing what is new on Facebook. I have brewed a second pot of coffee and grabbed the coffee cup that I have been using lately, again. IMG_2369 As I grabbed it, I smiled, thinking, I am having coffee with my mom. You see, this was her cup and when I would go visit her, the coffee would be on and this is the cup I would grab to use. It is my ‘coffee with mom’ cup! I often remember going to her house, walking in the back door, seeing her sitting in her chair at the end of the table. She most days would have a book in her hand, a coffee cup in front of her.  If the coffee happened to be out at the moment, she would be sure to brew a new pot so we could have some. I started drinking it in middle school. I have never stopped!  My kids drink it too, and we carry on the tradition of drinking it together. Sometimes at local coffee shops.  I don’t know if they have any particular cup that they would think of as the one they had coffee with mom with, but one of my sons often grabs the one that was my grandmother’s.  I have a couple of hers, too. Jamie has a cup of coffee each morning with breakfast and he always picks one of her cups.  Maybe he likes having coffee with his great grandma! After my stepfather passed away, my mom sold the house and moved to an apartment. I would still go visit and still have coffee in this cup with her.  Truth be told, I sure missed pulling into the driveway of her house and going in that familiar back door, sitting at her kitchen table, having coffee there with her! After the apartment came assisted living and although she had a kitchenette in her apartment there, I don’t recall ever making coffee there.  I would walk down to their common area and grab a cup.  It, of course, was not the same. When my mom passed away, there wasn’t a lot to divide, and I really only wanted something that meant something to me.  Like this cup. It may seem so simple or even silly to some, but it means a lot to me. When I grab a cup of coffee in it, it makes me smile and think of my mom. Sure, it makes me miss her, but I like to think that maybe we are still having a cup of coffee together, still!

Share Your World-Week 41

Would you rather take pictures or be in pictures? 

Easiest question ever asked!  Anyone who knows me knows how much I DESPISE having my picture taken…whether it is alone, with someone else, or in a crowd. For some reason I am uncomfortable having it taken.  I just don’t like it. Now, taking pictures?  I LOVE that!  If you could see all the pictures I have right now in photo albums, etc you would understand why it is taking so long to sort them all!  I have many on my computer too!

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What did you most enjoy doing this past week?

This past week? I have nothing that is jumping out at me.  I think it was a pretty normal week.  I did enjoy having my 6 year old nephew here.  He is a joy to have around always. I started de-cluttering.  It is a lot of work, but I enjoy how much better it is after. I enjoyed trying some new recipes.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Traveling. It is also one of my greatest joys.

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Which letter of the alphabet describes you best?

I was going to be a smart alec and say ‘U’. Not funny?  I am not sure one really fits.  Maybe ‘S’ as it is never a straight line.  That is kind of how I do things.  I get distracted, I never seem to do anything in a straight line, if that makes sense!

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Most grateful for?  Everything. It was one of those normal weeks, for which I am grateful for.  I am grateful to live in the country and to be able to see some very incredible sunrises. Most looking forward to? Every day with my family. Sometimes that is enough to look forward to. Not just sometimes.  Always.

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Random Picture Tuesday-October 14

I remembered!  Today’s number comes from a roll of a dice.  My son left some of his gaming dice on a shelf so I grabbed one and rolled it.  I got… Lucky number 13. Which is this picture today… IMG_0050 Ah, Times Square. New York City. LOVE the place! I never thought in my life I would ever make it out to New York City. It seemed like somewhere that was out of my reach. I have had several trips out there and hope to have many more!  It has become one of my very favorite places to go. I remember the first time I went there.  I was in awe.  If front of me were all the places and the landmarks I had seen on tv and in the movies. You know how everything looks so different in person? This did too. But it held up to all expectations.  I remember the first couple visits, I spent a lot of time in Times Square.  It is an amazing, yet super crowded place.  I love all of the lights at night.  That still Is an incredible site to see. I remember the first time I was walking by myself through Times Square, knowing where I was going. It made me smile. During one of my visits, I was walking to a dinner destination with a friend when we were stopped for directions.  Was it because we were dressed in black, we didn’t look like tourists? Who knows.  Better than being stopped, was that we knew just where it was she was looking for directions to and we could tell her! I found that the more I went to NYC, the more I liked to expand to other places.  I have walked to Central Park and through it a couple times! I have made a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art-and definitely plan to return there!  What an incredible place! The art from so long ago absolutely fascinated me! I have been to Carnegie Hall, and attended the finale of Celebrity Apprentice. One of my favorite things to do while visiting NYC is to take in Broadway shows!  I could spend all my time doing that! The talent always blows me away and there is absolutely nothing like sitting in the audience and getting to experience one of these shows live! I hope if you ever get the chance, and have ever wanted to go to NYC, you will do it!  It is an incredible place with so much going on, once will never be enough!

Survivor’s Guilt

it’s October and you know what that means, don’t you?

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We are reminded at least 5,230 times a day!  Or so it seems! (While I am writing this, I am watching the Today show and guess what the story is right now?!) I always struggle with this month.  It just feels like a superficial money grab for so many companies.  I am not a fan of pink!

Why pick just one cancer and why just one month?  I think we need a cancer awareness month, no year.  Cancer awareness every single day. I saw a picture on Facebook yesterday that showed cheerleaders in their pink for ‘breast cancer awareness’ outfits, ribbons.  It said that was not breast cancer awareness and showed what WAS. Pictures of brave women and their scars-the real truth that people don’t see or like to think about.

The other day a good friend asked me if I ever felt guilty?  I had wrote a status on Facebook about a friend struggling with and fighting against cancer again. It was funny he had asked, because I had just thought about that.

You who are survivors, do you have survivor’s guilt?

I do. Every time I lose a family member, a friend. Every time someone is diagnosed, for the first time, second, even third or more.  I even feel it when I hear about people I don’t know fighting and losing. Each struggle, each battle, whether won or lost, makes me feel it.

I wonder why. We, as humans, like to ask that a lot I think.  Why them?  Why are they not a 12 year survivor?  Why me?  My sister told me once my work here is not done, but who really thinks that their’s is?  Don’t we always want more, have more to do?  Why did my dear, dear uncle have it return to only lose his battle?  Why do my friends have to go through the hell that is diagnosis and treatment?  Why do I have a dear friend in the battle for her life now?

The why’s can drive you crazy if you let them!  I just have to remember to be thankful. For every year, every day, every single minute.  I try to be kind, do good and take care of those things and people that I need to take care of.

I have told my story in the hopes of helping others.

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As I have shared, I was afraid to tell my story at first. Or at least to write the book about my journey.  I was afraid. What if that was what I was still here for and when I got done……  Funny how our minds work.

I am not sure how to get over the survivor’s guilt. If I ever will.  I am not sure I ever want to. It serves as a reminder to be to be thankful. For so much.  For everything. Every single day.

And I am.