the unknown

19DEEF51-CD17-48AF-83F0-78B6886C8543For the most part we are surrounded with that which is familiar— family, friends, hobbies, books, habits, work, neighborhoods. Not much surprises us. Our lives aren’t so much predictable as they are routine. Never boring because our perceptions continually change or adapt.

There are things that happened this year I could not have foreseen. Rescue dog Lily’s two knee surgeries and remarkable recoveries. Political ‘resistors’ in America who violently attacked innocent individuals. New neighbors next door who turned out to be a dear, kind couple. My son calling a few days before Thanksgiving to let me know he will visit me.

0537814D-DD4E-41AB-9168-347F036FC7B0Some pathways are clear. There are boundaries to keep us in a safe area. We know to follow this. Well, mostly. I can remember driving home after a day’s work with my free-spirited father who had salvaged a small business in receivership. In the companionable silence he’d suddenly brake the car, saying something like, “let’s see where this goes,” turning off the highway onto an obscure road, not really concerned whether we’d wind up lost. Dad was never lost. He had the strongest centrifugal force of anyone I knew.

Those adventures translated into other life decisions which I suppose taught me no matter what your decision, things can be worked for good.

0A3CE1C3-C245-4451-A364-CD4101A1C000So though at times the curve up ahead may appear at first to be a dead end, keep moving forward. There are many forces —mostly good— that travel with us.

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I wish everyone a Happy New Year.

 

gifts, 2

So the first round of gifts were store-bought. My favorite shortbread cookies, packaged chocolates. I included a lovely card with my name and address with the festive bags. Yet the second round of gifts were received much more readily than the first.

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These included homemade sweet banana breads with walnuts, and delicious cookies from a blogger family I follow who often post wonderful recipes. Here is a link for the ones I made which were raved about. I recommend you visit their blog. Always informative and interesting:

Kitchen Sink Cookies

Anyway, these treats went to a nearby fire station and my local post office. The best thing about these kinds of presents was the look of happy surprise when I handed them over.

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I still have one more delivery, a pecan pie and a festive box of Hershey’s treats to my other local fire station. I will take these on Christmas Eve because they are there working on Christmas Eve. Not with their families. Maybe the firefighters there that day are all unmarried people and volunteer to work over the holiday, but maybe not. Beside, it makes me happy.

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So whatever your plans, whomever you will have near and hold dear, whatever you celebrate I wish you love, joy, peace, and wonderful friendship.

 

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gifts

Talent. This word makes me think of someone who can sing, dance, play an instrument, play a sport or sail.

Gifted makes me think of someone who has intellectual acumen, or who can make things– knit, paint, draw, pottery, jewelry.

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Imagine creating this. A leaf. It has beauty, it feeds its plant, it gives shade, makes nests for animals, fuel. So our talents and gifts we are either born with or at least have the ability to learn.

All of us are capable of creating beauty in some way.  I took cookies to our local sheriff’s department. I have done this before and was asked for my name and address. This year when I said I had brought cookies no one said a thing. Just stared at me. The people who were in the lobby as well as the deputies. So I added, “I bring y’all cookies every year.” A person in the waiting area muttered, “isn’t that nice,” which prompted a deputy to say “Aww”, guardedly.

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Really?? Cookies. Maybe it was the festive bag and tissue paper. Maybe I look suspect. I think I look rather ordinary. Whatever, there was palpable tension as I stood there, until one of the brave deputies said, “You can hand it through here” indicating a glass shield with an opening the bag could fit through. I noticed the x-ray machine where persons put their briefcases and purses when they came to visit people in the jail and was glad I didn’t have to put it through that. But still. It’s sad to me that you can’t do anything nice for people without causing some degree of alarm.

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I brought a bag of treats to the nearby police station. There was an employee outside the building, talking with someone. As I caught her eye she said she worked in the building but did not say to give her the festive holiday bag, so I asked, “I can give this to you?” Not defensive, just clarifying. She nodded and I handed it off. Then went on to my volunteering stint at the city garden. I felt pretty good that I had done something nice for people, but sad that it had caused them some concern if not alarm.

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How should this be handled? I get why law enforcement might be concerned when someone brings a bag. I suppose it could be anything.

Maybe next year I will mail it.

 

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(almost) freedom

So husky-mix rescue dog Lily had her vet recheck this week. Cautiously guarded, he gave Lily his blessing and released her to normal activity.

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“Chasing bunnies and squirrels?” I asked. He nodded.

“Going up and down stairs on her own?” Another nod.

He told me to keep watching for plate rejection which they thought caused the irritation that made her chew a spot on her leg, now healed. She still wears the “cone of shame” at night and if I leave the house (which happens seldom since she goes pretty much wherever I go). So we enjoyed many celebratory walkies this week. Her favorite by the river. Her most favorite at the nature preserve. She made the whole trail walk, about 2 miles.

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So for now we are enjoying the freedom of no restrictions. I had not realized before how completely restrained we had been. She could not be off-leash at all. She could not bolt if she saw a rabbit, squirrel or a cat. She would look at me as I shouted “NO!” without defiance, just confused obedience. Which makes me wish I could be as resilient as she. And as compliant. I suppose for Lily obedience is pretty easy. Here I am standing right there telling her what to do or not to do. Pretty clear. She can either do what I said or not.  She doesn’t have to question or try to figure it out.

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When she was younger there was some of that. I would give her a command, she would hear me, look straight at me, and not do what I said. Or we’d be on our morning run and she’d dash in front of me sending me flipping over her while she chased whatever it was she saw in the half-light of early morning.

But now she is older. She is 12. A little stiff, less lean, more patient. She has mellowed. It is sad I suppose that so many years go by before a friendship becomes so comfortable, so easy. Companionable. But worth it.

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