Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Friend In Need

When I was in the fourth grade we moved to paradise. We lived in the big city in a cramped 2nd floor apartment with a bed that folded up into the wall, a couch six inches away where I slept, a closet sized kitchen with a tiny booth for eating and a bathroom barely large enough to accommodate the necessary facilities.

The country house we moved to was not large by anyone's standards, but it was heaven for me. A cute little eat-in kitchen that actually held a table and chairs and a connecting back porch that expanded the kitchen space, a living room with a sofa AND chairs AND end tables AND coffee table AND a TV stand AND a desk AND still room for the oil heating stove. True, I still had to sleep on the couch, but there was a separate bedroom with a door that gave everyone more privacy.

There were outbuildings galore that I would fill with animals and find my true self and a detached garage that matched the house with it's native stone construction. I didn't know it at the time but that garage would one day be all mine; an island of respite, a little haven to sleep and dream and write in journals.

This rainbows-end sat on 9 3/4 acres of rocky wooded wonderland. A world away from the noisy crowded city streets I came from. By the time the weekend was over and the station wagon slash school bus squeaked to a stop in front of my house I was a true country girl. At least in spirit.

I was the third passenger; I stiffly took an empty seat and avoided eye contact. By the time we pulled into the parking area the bus was full: six students. The last to get on and the first off was a boy in a football helmet with auburn hair barely sticking out. About an hour later I discovered it was a girl. She took no guff from the boys, looked the teacher straight in the eye when spoken to, made a grand slam at recess and aced every quiz. My idol.

She was a few years older than I; several of the students were. But, there was an equal mix of younger kids, too. The one room school seemed like a family to me. Brothers and sisters I didn't have. Kids talked to me and included me and traded sandwiches. New feelings erupted. Of belonging. Of becoming. Of being born.

A scant three years later I learned a word that struck terror and made my insides freeze over. Consolidation. The entire summer my folks and all our neighbors who had children in the country school ranted and raved and retold horror stories of what happened to kids in the city schools.

I cried and prayed and begged God to please let the little country school stay open. I remembered the city schools. I wanted no part of what they offered: loneliness, humiliation, failing grades.

When the inevitable came it was big and yellow but the brakes still squeaked. The driver was different but the kids were the same. An hours ride gave us plenty of time to speculate and commiserate that we would never be in the same classroom again.

I wasn't good at meeting strangers. I didn't want to. I was afraid to. The faces of the bullies from my big city school loomed in my mind. I was doomed.

By the time I was seated at my desk my hands clenched, my teeth gritted, my stomach queased. It was all I could do to keep from crying. Instead of a grown up eighth grader I was that little miserable scared fourth grader all over again.

But, more things happen at lunch than bologna sandwiches. She walked right over to me and smiled. "Hi", she said. "I'm Janet."

Those words changed my life. Really. Changed my life. She became my role model, my confidante, my go to person for all my girl stuff, school stuff, parent stuff, teen stuff, boy stuff. Her mom became my mom, her dad-my dad, her brother-my brother.

She was my day and night, my life jacket, my friend. I can honestly say I don't know what would have become of me if it had not been for her. She believed in me then; she believes in me now. Through all the ups and downs in my life and in hers she has tethered me to saneness.

And, the beautiful thing is--I'm not the only one who feels that way about her. Everyone loves her because she has been a friend to all. She will do anything for you; she is always there for you--loving and listening.

I love you, Janet. WE love you--the "kids" from that "city school" I was so afraid of. Thank you for your life-and-beyond friendship. Thank you for being you.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Going Mentos

I was looking through some photos and remembered that I gave one of my grandsons a pack of Mentos and a pop bottle. Need I say more? When that thing blows, it blows! It was great fun, we were all wet and giggly. I feel like that at times, not giggly. Well, yes, that, too, but I meant I sometimes feel so full of life that I just may explode.

Full of gratitude, of ideas, of love, of exuberance. Sometimes I just have to run with the goats or laugh uproariously or clean out the barn or hang upside down on a swing. I am popping with energy, grinning at nothing, singing out of key. Maybe it's a good thing I moved to the country.
Life is Good.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Give Yourself a Placebo

I love the Placebo Effect. It demonstrates that where your thoughts go, you go. It shows that what you believe does matter. It's the big SECRET upon which Napoleon Hill founded his "Philosophy of Achievement" which later morphed into the monumental successful book "Think And Grow Rich". It's the secret behind "The Secret" by Rhonda Byrne!

What do you believe? Not just what's in your head...but what's in your heart? your soul? Deep down in you? What do you SEE in your future? What is your VISION for yourself? Without vision people perish.

If you are having trouble aligning your beliefs with what you want in your life, try giving yourself a placebo. I recently heard a story about a couple of folks who were having knee surgery. The doctors (with family consent) "operated" on two of the patients: they cut small incisions in the knee so it looked like they had performed the surgery. On the others they did the scheduled knee operations. Two years later the patients with the "placebo" surgeries still had no pain in their knees.

I read of one fella who put small candies in a pill bottle, labeled it to target his illness and took his "medicine" every day. He was convincing himself that it would make him better and you know what? It did.

Two other ladies with breast cancer had totally different visions of the effects of radiation. One saw death rays entering her body each time she had a treatment. She became very ill with radiation sickness. The other woman envisioned healing light targeting her illness...she sailed through her treatments with no side effects.

What you believe matters. What do you need to convince yourself? Notes taped to the mirror? Pictures on the frig? A self-made video on your computer? We NEED visuals. God told Abraham to look at the stars in the sky and then to look at the grains of sand so he would have a visual of his progeny. You need a picture in your mind; you need a vision. Do whatever it takes to foster YOUR belief.

A couple of years ago we bought a farm. We had been dreaming of it for several years. My husband and I sat down and made a list of just what we wanted our farm to have. We saw farm ground, hills, lots of trees, a little creek bubbling and gurgling, a FLAT driveway. This 40 acres of heaven dropped right into our lap before we were even ready for it, complete with everything on our list.

Our little elm sprout.

In the concrete by the house was a teeny tiny hole about the circumference of a pencil. When summer came a sprout peeked out and eventually grew into a diminutive elm tree. I loved it! I'm sure it came from Minerva, our big elm tree in the yard. Winter came and it died. Summer came and there she was again. Winter is here now, but I'm sure she will be back when Spring arrives.

To me, that little sprout represents belief. Like faith, it's things hoped for but unseen. Against all odds, it happens. In spite of dire predictions, naysayers and ill-wishers, it happens.

Remember, what you think, what you say, what you do feeds and fuels your belief. As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.