Sunday, November 28, 2010

We Made Elvis Cry

I love this picture of Shari and me...obviously we're freezing (look at Shari's rather cherry nose) and we're getting along well in spite of our winter-weather chill (observe my elbow nailing Shari where it counts).  The pic really doesn't have anything to do with this post except that we were younger girls and it was winter when it happened...

There was the most cantankerous individual sharing residency in the neighborhood where I lived.  His name was Elvis and everyone was afraid of least afraid of being on the other side of his wrath.  He stood maybe 5 foot 6, stocky and wore a military flat top.  Nobody, and I mean nobody messed with Elvis.

One day, my dad pulled me and any sisters (who happened to be within voice-range) aside and said, "Who wants to see Elvis cry".  Oh YEAH!  I'm down!  So we loaded in the car and drove off to watch my dad take Elivs on!  After only about five minutes, we arrived at Elvis' doorstep and dad bravely reached up to the doorbell and pushed the button with superhuman confidence.  As the door edged open, I watched as my hero dad lifted both hands (I knew this was going to be thought of the blood sacrifice, he was going to let Elis have it!).  Dad lifted both palms...and handed Elvis a turkey.  Yup!  A store bought, frozen 20lb turkey. 

And guess what that mean old Elis did.....he cried.

Elvis was a little softer with my dad after that day and I was a little wiser (not sure about Shari and Mindy, but I'm thinking they remember that day as well as I do).

Today it's snowing again, steady and very picture-postcard like.  Brett and I donned our shovels and began scraping the driveway.  Almost simulataneously, we turned to each other and said, "let's go shovel that driveway".  It belongs to the Elvis living here on on my street. 

Yup!  Today I delivered the "Millstream Elvis" a turkey....and I cried.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

There's a Blizzard Outside and I'm Hunkerin' Down

This afternoon, I was sitting in my office catching up on some reports and injecting late-comers with the seasonal flu vaccination at about 2:30 pm today. An email "alert" came across my desk that stated hospital officials supported state weather alert warning by offering over-night accomodations for staff that would not be able to return home after their shift due to the storm. Flash-back to the 2007 Firestorms in San Diego! My mind immediately began to subconsciously check off our "emergency preparedness" supplies at home in anticipation of hybernating for the next few days.

Fortunately, I was prepared with food, water, comfort "treats", lanterns, first aide, etc. if needed. We could lose power, water and the ability to be mobile at any time and still be okay (of course, we'd definitely feel the effects of losing the TV and DVD player with the power loss, but hey...BOOKS are in the many bookcases lining this house!)

There is a feeling of peace that comes with being prepared. There is joy in "hunkering" down with family in a cozy home that is filled with love and laughter and good food! I sit here, right at this very moment, watching a downpour of white snowflakes blanketing everything outside of my cozy "four walls" and I feel safe, warm and happy.

Surviving the storms in our lives make us strong and bring confidence that the next storm will be conquerable. Finding joy and putting color in a flat-light moment attests to our power to overcome.
I wish for you the ability to be prepared for whatever life may hurl your way, strength to overcome and peace in knowing who you are and what you can become.

Happiest of this Thankgiving holiday!


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Mindfulness and Difficult People

This afternoon, I had a patient enter my office with long, bold strides, interrupt my work and demand to "speak her mind". I thought her overtly aggressive entrance was appaulling and sat, I'm sure, staring with wide-eyed wonder at this rude woman intruding on my time and space. Fortunately, I was not in the mood to confront her offensive behavior (I had just come from teaching a meditation course and was still feeling very "mellow" from it all), so I inhaled and sat quiet for a moment. The sound of Japanese wood flutes played softly from my computer, encouraging stillness in the room.


I spoke only her name. She looked at me rather abruptly and literally fell into the chair behind her, exhausted from expelling so much negative energy.

It was an interesting experience.


Tonight, I ran across a wonderful post in Pema Chodron's blog. Her title is nearly copied on this blog, as the words written carry the reader down a new path to dealing with the difficult people in our lives. One line from her blog, I would like to quote for you:

"If we can learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher."
(Pema Chodron)


What an interesting concept. I still have not grasped it but hope to meditate on it and come to a better understanding of it through this week. This will be my challenge, one I hope you will share with me. Let me ask the same questions Pema asked, "Who in you life drives you bananas? Can you put yourself in their shoes, seeing their pain, and begin wishing them well? What does this teach you about yourself?"


So I ask myself, how did this patient become my teacher this afternoon and what did she need to teach me at that moment? I have not found the answer yet, but I will let you know when it comes. I hope you will too...

Namaste ~


Monday, November 8, 2010

Saying Goodbye

I have been delinquent with blogging and want to apologize to those of you who look for this every Sunday and Wednesday. I have a good excuse though....

This weekend was a quick trip to Denver, dropping off my dearest four-legged companion with my daughter-in-law (the reason for this is another blog...). The weekend flew by with happy moments spent with Miss Izzy and Miss Abby, and of course Kindall. Delightful to have my granddaughter climb onto my lab and cuddle with both tiny arms wraped snug around my neck as we watched college football.

 Unforgettable as bright blue eyes looked at me with a whispered "ohhh" as her sister discovered once again the bright lights of a familiar toy.

Such joy cannot be contained!

Then came the "goodbyes" and I pulled each of them into my arms, kissed them and promised "HuHu will be back again very soon". I blinked quickly as tears welled and hugged my sweet beagle who looked at me with trusting eyes. I knew these three innocents could not comprehend that this woman they loved would return or what the words whispered to them really meant. Only I knew the depth of the promise left to them. So, I said goodbye and walked away from them, tears now spilling as I saw three faces watch me go wondering why they weren't going along.

How treasured is the trust and faith of the innocent. I felt it yesterday and comforted my feelings of abandonment and guilt through a new resolve to make the trip out to visit again soon, as I promised. That promise is real to me and hoped for by them. 

Until that blessed day when I can gather them all in my arms again...