Saturday, April 29, 2017

What Defines You

The Color Of My Hair Does Not Define Me

Getting older is an interesting experience and as many say "not for sissies." It is a road we will all walk down. Others may share with us their journeys but we quickly learn that each individual path has it's own dips and turns and detours.
As the years have added up, I have watched the progression of my friends and their outlook and expectations of life. How is it similar and how is it different from my own?
So much of the way we live out the 'later' years of our lives depends upon our perspective...

For me it started several years ago at my grandson's baseball game. My hair had turned snowy at an early age, but only a couple times had I attempted to change the color. (I always found it such a shocking experience when I passed the mirror that I soon decided it wasn't worth the 'loss of years' :) Pink has been the only color I have embraced.  As I trained for, and then walked the 3Day 60 Miles for breast cancer I wore a 'hint' of pink.

At this particular game I watched and listened as the entire front row of white haired ladies interacted during the game.
As the game ended and we headed toward the car I proclaimed to my family that "I don't want to ever be known as a little ol' white haired lady!!" In the years since I have tried to keep myself active and healthy being able to enjoy my children, grandchildren and great-grandchild!!
As the mother of 5, my 3 boys have always proudly assured me that I have earned every one of my white hairs. They come as a 'badge of honor' for a busy, adventure filled life!

It was interesting, however, when at a meeting last week, a woman across the table, pointed at me as she was talking about "little ol' white haired ladies." When I realized that she was referring to ME as being a member of that group, my first response was "Well, I'm going brown tomorrow!!" Now, I must clarify that she was a stranger and didn't know me at all, nor my lifestyle. But still it was an hilarious moment shared with my daughter who knows my thoughts on said subject.
In watching others walk through the years it is evident that the color of the hair does not prove to be the catalyst for 'old age'. Some people choose to be old long before the first strand of grey appears. That old-adage that you can speak something into existence is a truth for many. They claim, as impossibilities, many challenges of life. With those choices they miss out on many of the "AH HA" moments and the joy of crossing that 'impossible' finish line. 
I have learned that AGE does not need to define who I am or place limitations on my dreams.

The last five years of my life (I've been a 'senior' for several) have been filled with many firsts; activities I never would have attempted as a teen. Why?? Because I have come to realize the true blessing of life and living it to the fullest!! My goal... Enjoy life, endeavor to encourage and inspire others...and bring HOPE where it has lost it's way!

No matter the years marked by the calendar or the color of your hair I invite you to join me in making the remaining years memorable and full of meaning!!

Monday, April 17, 2017

When you have asked for God's protection....

After heading out of Arizona we turned south toward New Mexico and Texas to spend some time with yet more family.

God has been gracious as we have traveled these hundreds of miles; to give us safe travels although there have been opportunities to pause for thanksgiving.

 As we were traveling in New Mexico, the traffic slowed.  Several moments later we passed a pick up in the meridian turned on it's roof with  personal belongings leaving a trail for several miles. After a prayer for the driver we continued on.
Later in Texas we pulled into a rest area for lunch and a little walk.  After an hour or so we buckled up and were ready to go again. It was evident immediately that our plans were to be delayed. The next 3 hours we spent reading the engine manual and attempting to 'fire it up." It was  Good Friday and Easter weekend so the hope of finding help was not very promising.  As a last resort Jim pulled out a safety chip and replaced it again. The roar of a running engine never sounded better!!
In the midst of frustration, we were reminded of something we had read several years ago. The author had challenged.."When you have prayed and ask for God's traveling mercies...don't question when you find yourself delayed.  Instead be thankful for His protection even though you may never know what was in your path!" We decided this was a perfect time to put that into action. Amazing how that changes the perspective!! He loves us THAT much!! (When we stopped for the night an impressive storm had passed through the area ahead of us)

Our travels continued and we arrived safely in Duncanville, TX to the welcoming hugs of our nephew, his wife, and later our niece and family.
In our 50 years of marriage, many of those years have been spent living a far distance from family. Separation is often difficult and family visits become a treasure. This certainly proved to be true as we spent hours these past few days sharing old memories and making new ones.

Easter was spent together,celebrating the ressurrection of our Savior and the blessing of family!

Today found us back on the road excited for the adventures to come.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

New Home, New Friends, New Adventures

After 3 weeks in Mesa, Arizona we are on the road again...

We stopped in Palm Gardens Retirement Park in Mesa to thaw out after a long Montana winter. After a few days of walking the park, meeting some of the residents and enjoying the fellowship; we purchased a little home! Next winter we will join the other residents, as " snow birds" from Montana.

One of the best things about traveling is the people you meet. Mesa proved to be a treasure trove of new friends and fun activities to be a part of.
The older gentleman we bought our new home from, will be a forever friend. A dairy farmer from Michigan, father of 5 boys and grandfather of 16, was a joy to visit with. We promised to make the house our "HOME" and share some times of joy and love with others.
As the days passed we re-united with friends from our stay 3 years ago, and made new ones. We left town with phone numbers, addresses and promises to keep in touch; until we return next fall.
A writing class full of incredible women and led by a former English teacher was a bonus find for me. It provides a new opportunity to be challenged and learn from others.
The Arizona 'Grand Ol' Oprey" dinner theater provided an evening of good food, laughter and fun.
Finding the Mesa Swap Meet served to quench the need for shopping. Four tents, each a quarter mile long, filled with sales goods of all kinds, gives the opportunity to "shop till ya drop."
Sitting outside in the evenings, watching the airplanes overhead and the full moon through the tops of the palm trees we found peace.
As the time to leave approached we knew our decision to add an Arizona address to this new chapter in our lives was a good thing :)

After moving out of the motor home, we spent 3 nights making a new house, a home! Then it was back to the motor home and  'on the road again!'
 After  a short day of travel we find ourselves in Deming, New Mexico at the 81 Palms Resort for a night of rest.

Tomorrow we will fire up our home on wheels and add another day to this 50th year adventure.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Life Changes

Being the youngest in a large family brings with it many changes and phases through life. As the 'baby sister' I spent years being watched over. I was given advise, love and pretty much anything my little heart desired. I was taken on shopping trips with treats, and that dress that was sure to transform me into the cutest thing ever!! Among the memories is a little black patent leather purse, shaped like a Scottie Dog. Yes, as a mom now, I have to admit I was probably a bit spoiled, or VERY WELL LOVED! (Perspective, right??)

In my teen years, when my brothers and sisters were raising children of their own; I was still seen as the baby sister. Our parents were older at that point and there were decisions that needed to be made concerning their health issues. Often those decisions were made without my input. Not,I realize now, because they meant to hurt me, but because from their perspective I was still the 'baby sister.'
There came the day I married, had children of my own and became an equal in their sight. Relationships blossomed and grew and new respect and memories were shared. Then as was bound to happen with the vast differences in age (21, 18 and 16 years) the dreaded day arrived and I have watched their health deteriorate and life as they had known it changed. In many ways I am once again that 'baby sister' on the outside looking in.

Finally, I am a "Big Girl"and sometimes I long for the pigtails and cute purses of days gone by!

It has been a strange place to be at times; that of a listening ear to my siblings, and that of the aunt whose age matches their own.
 I, with my siblings have already been through the health issues and loss of our parents. Constantly the new seasons of life bring with them new challenges and opportunities. My hope is that as I walk through the 'Golden Years' now with my siblings that I learn to value each day!

 It is with a heart praying for wisdom that I share the concerns from both generations and endeavor to be an encouragement and support to both.