Monday, August 12, 2013

Recognition, Appreciation and Thank you

   Survivors are hope we are winning..YOU are the link to the tools and weapons to fight the battle.

Saturday night, August 10th was the East Gaston / Belmont Relay for Life wrap-up party. We celebrated a successful year coming just a little shy of our full goal. As was stated at the party, much was accomplished and much was learned. Next season should be an even better one as we are ready to go forward with what we have learned and put it into practice.
 I wanted to thank everyone who helped me with donations to not only reach but go beyond all of the goals that I hoped for. Thanks to you and your generosity HEART for a Cure was a top ten earning team. Thanks to you and your generosity I  again made Grand Relay- which means I raised at least a thousand dollars.
 This was my first year at having my own team, I walked in with somewhat blind eyes as to what was needed, I was naive and nervous yet determined to at least raise something. You my friends, went above and beyond what I had hoped for and I can not thank you enough. As a Survivor and one who knows many who have fought or are currently fighting cancer, I wanted you to know that your generosity and kindness is not unappreciated.
Thank you again, the money that you so kindly gave will go to the fight. Not only for research, but for the many programs that help those who are fighting. Look Good/ Feel Good programs, Rider programs, educational... the list goes on.
 As of now I don't know when the kick off is for next season, but I am hoping that you will once again consider helping out in the fight, with your talents, with your time, with your dollars. (I can always use the help and HEART For a Cure could always use members-near and near at heart)  We can not beat this without your help. For now-I only wish to say once again and many times from now.. thank you..thank you.. thank you
 Thank you my friends, you are the best.

Current plans are for HEART for a Cure to have a site at the Stanley NC Country Festival.. hope to see you there, I'll have an extra chair set up so we can sit and visit...

(I don't know how long the links will be good.. I understand that they will be shutting down the site to prepare for next season..I am not asking for donations with this message..just added the links in case you wanted to see the totals before they are removed)


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

How Often?

                                      Mornings are always special-life is precious-our days are gifts

Good morning all--its early on a Tuesday morning. As I sit here enjoying that first cup of coffee waiting for time to head in to work I'm  listening to the rain falling steadily outside and listening to my son James as he laments over car windows left open.  You would think that after all of the rain we have had this so called summer he would have known better. In the very least making sure the windows were up before he called it a night last night.A simple, should have done it action, that would have taken only a few moments of his time. Yet he didn't, and now he will pay the cost.

How often is there something that should have been done, but was left undone?

How often is it, when you could have made a call, to a family member, to a friend? When you could have returned a missed call just to make sure that everything was okay? Afraid that call would interrupt a schedule or take too much of your precious time? So you put it off. Did an elderly family member or friend need you to run an errand for them? Did someone who is unable due to a temporary setback or permanent handicap need you to do something but you couldn't- wouldn't for what ever reason?  Could you have given a ride, helped in a crisis or a need? Have you driven by someone broken down without a second thought? Watched a homeless person shuffle aimless or sit on a sidewalk with that helpless look? Did you think about volunteering for a project, time at a shelter or soup kitchen? Have you walked past someone struggling to get an item just out of reach, or open a door with arms full or with a handicap preventing? How often?

  Do you have regrets over things left undone? Do you feel guilty over not helping the one you saw struggling? That door is closed, we can't go back and change what was. We can however go forward with a different attitude, with a different heart.

   There are variations of a story where we cannot change the world by a single action, but we can change the world for the ones we are able to help. (Oh and grandstanding about your help...doesn't help) Simple actions, kind words, compassion..actions of heart and mercy to one can create a ripple effect that can change a world. Rome wasn't built in a day, a fence is build one post at a time, a home one brick at a time. Life and lives are changed, one action at a time. If you are able to make one person feel better, give them reason to smile, then most often, they will seek out ways to share that feeling. And change has begun.
 Be blessed--

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Blessings of the Heart 101--parents

 Growing up, our Grandparents lived next door to us. Now, my parents live next door. As I had the blessing of growing up with the love and teaching of Grandparents, so is my son. Its amazing in a way how life flips things around.

   Growing up, our Grandparents lived next door to us. Now, my parents live next door. AS I had the blessing of growing up with the love and teaching of loving Grandparents, so is my son. It is amazing in a way how life flips things around.

As  a young girl I watched as my mother and grandmother would leave out every Saturday to go downtown shopping. Some trips they brought things back, often times they came back empty handed. They were never really gone all that long, a few hours here or there and then the car would pull back into the drive and the trip was over. When I got a little older I was invited to go with them some weekends. I learned then the mysteries that went on during those trips. It was a lot of walking and window shopping. Stores that are no longer around invited us in to look around. Some of the stores even had areas to eat. One had the very best, to die for cheese cake. I drank my first cup of coffee here. There was a clothing store that had the best and latest outfits that had me feeling current and trendy. On the corner was a record store that I had to visit, no if's and's or but's about it. Those visits filled over four record boxes. Memories.

  My dad worked out o town a lot, but when he was home, it was special. Dad cleared an area to build a place to play softball. That if you build it they will come is true. Dad taught us how to fish, took us on wondrous vacations, and how to multitask. I didn't know of anyone who could watch a ball game and golf and listen to a race on the radio and know every bit of what was going on.

 Mom tried to teach me how to sew- no hope there. She taught me to respect, to believe in hard work, to ignore and laugh off the insults of others. She taught love.

I was the usual teenager thinking that my parents did not understand me. I was the young adult that felt guilty over mistakes and hurt caused them. No matter the mistakes, they never stopped loving me, and they let me know through words and actions of that love. They helped me escape a bad situation, helped me to get home from half a country away and helped me to heal from the pain. Never asking, never bringing it up. Just glad that I was home.

Living next door I am able to see my parents often. They do not interfere with my life, but they have sure come to my rescue often. Many times we have helped each other, by watching homes and taking care of pets. Living next door, I can see my parents aging. I know that it is a blessing that they are still here. Family history what it is, my dad has lived longer than any other male member of the family. I am so very glad that my son has gotten to know him so well, to be here to help him and learn from him. I'm glad that he has his grandmother to teach him self respect and love.

Now, it is me taking mom shopping. We don't go downtown- the stores once that are long gone. We usually go to the same places, walk the same aisles and fully enjoy each other's company. We may or may not run into people we know, we may get the chance to make new friends. We've found good deals and we've gone home empty handed. But we've always come back fully appreciative of the gift of each other's time and company. I miss my grandparents, they left us much too soon. I'm grateful and understanding in just how much I am blessed in the gift of my family still being with us.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Blessings of the Heart 101 My Grandparents

How does one describe what is true? How does one show gratitude for a blessing so incredible? 

    How does one describe what is true? How does one show gratitude for a blessing so incredible?

    I have told before that I grew up here in this house, on this dead end, narrow dirt road in a rural part of the county. Over the course of time it has become less rural and more crowded as houses are build and people move in around us. Very little, however,  has changed on this road. The artistic side of me, that beats in my heart and flows through my veins wants to share the simple beauty that is this place. No great and grand vistas, no sweeping fields of grass and grains, no grizzles or moose, but a place that is special just as it is.

   When my brothers and I were growing up our grandparents lived next door. Less that the distance of a football field away. I don't know that there were any problems for my parents with them living so close, but I do know that we were given a great gift in their being there. With both of our parents working and dad actually out of town most times, mom would make sure we were up and our Grandmother would come up, stay with us  and make sure we caught the bus. I will forever remember her sitting at that window watching for that big yellow machine to go down the road. We had just a few minutes to get up the road and wait its return. This yellow beast would take us from our dirt road to the real world, crowded with people who had little to no idea of a place I thought so special. Town life to me was a curiosity, something to visit and enjoy but not linger. The noise and activity was interesting, but nothing to give up my love of freedom and privacy for.
 Our Grandparents were strict but loving. Summers- make that life then- were in retrospect, magical times. This was before video games, before hundreds of channels on television and before computers and cell phones. How did we ever live? We lived outdoors. From daylight to dark, we found life outside. Our family not only encouraged it, it was expected. If we so much as dared to think the word, much less speak it, bored quickly became weeding the flowers or pulling the expired buds from stems. It became harvesting the garden, which of course could easily turn into a game of hide and seek among the corn stalks. Bored long forgotten. We played in the sand, creating majestic kingdoms for the small plastic toys to inhabit. The more elaborate the better. We played in the puddles created by summer showers. The muddy red clay squeezed up between bare toes, the puddles becoming oceans and lakes for leaves, bark and sticks to become boats. Riding bikes at full speed through the middle spraying water to the sides and splattering bare legs with red mud.
   We chased and were chased by snakes. I unknowingly have stood barefoot within inches of a large snake only to find out just how fast one in bare feet could run up a rock strewn hillside. We learned how to 'fish' worms from their hole and destroy the tornado shaped home in the sand of a doodle bug in search of the odd little insect. We caught lightening bugs and June bugs.
Imagination was encouraged and strengthened by our Grandfather who supplied many items to our journey from childhood to adult. These woods became our playground. We fought imaginary battles, created homesteads and discovered wondrous things. We hiked, we rode stick horses, we rode our bikes.
 If the summer heat became too much there was always the hammocks under the big Oaks to stretch out and watch the rare breeze make the leaves above do a slow shuffle.
 Meals were of a simple fare. The kind of cooking that lives in memories. Fresh vegetables from the garden, real hot cocoa on winter days, pinto beans and fried taters. Food prepared in a way that would melt in your mouth and have you nearly begging for more.
 Above all, was the love and respect not only taught but lived.
  My Grandparents are long gone now, but I still hear their voices in my memories, I feel the hugs from my Grandmother and remember the wisdom of my Grandfather. We were kids with the tendencies of the young to create mischief, and except for the time I set the woods on fire, all were minor. Even the fire was caught small before it became something in need of real firefighters. I miss my Grandparents, but they live on within us, helping me to realize the great blessing in my life, that they were.