George & 2 Oldest Daughters

George & 2 Oldest Daughters
George, Oldest Daughter, and Me, 2nd Daughter 1968.

Caroline and Oldest Daughter

Caroline and Oldest Daughter
Caroline and Oldest Daughter in Photo Booth 1964

Boy George

Boy George
George and younger sister in 1940's

George and his Oldest Daughter

George and his Oldest Daughter
George and His Oldest Daughter 1964 in Photo Booth

Monday, August 23, 2010

I am happy...

I am happy, and have been told that it is showing. I am healthy, much more stress free, and seeing a future with joy, optimism, and nothing but possibility. Regardless of any news of illness, financial issues, or trivial tantrums thrown by kids....I am better able to deal with them than I was last year at this time. Why? I have learned to let the water roll off my back like a to speak :) At least, I hope so.

This week, I am reorganizing my house to be ready with a study spot for me, a little corner of my rabbit hutch home devoted to homework for University...and I couldn't be more pleased!!!! I am finding that the more I follow the course to education and open myself up to new ideas and experiences, the happier I become. In reflection of my happiness, the kids are also happier and relaxed as well.

I encourage everyone to find their bliss, follow their joy, and keep their smile on. A little bit of happiness goes a long way I am finding....

Sunday, August 22, 2010

How do I love thee...?

"How do I love thee, let me count the ways..." Those words lead into sentiment, devotion and commitment between a husband and wife for each other. The Brownings were renowned for their love (I have the complete series...) for each other, that they put down onto paper and immortalized their words to each other.

To me, I am a single female, and those words apply to my children, my father, my mother, brothers, sisters, etc. I do not know how I can count the ways that I love them, but I can certainly attempt it...

1. When I hear you are in pain or distress, I seek to ease that pain, for when you hurt, I hurt.

2. I am available to you and lend the ear without judgement if you need me, no questions asked.

3. I have that shoulder that is broad, and can carry a lot of burden if necessary...give it a try, I'm not scared...:)

4. My arms are open, and so is my heart. There is never a day when I will look at you and ask why you believed I would care, I do, and I always will.

This is all mushy stuff...I know. Recently, word came of an illness in our family. It makes you reassess the importance of life, and just where you are at with everyone. Regardless of the pettiness many of us seem to embroil ourselves in, there comes a time when that all must be put aside, or ideally, swept away entirely, and the family bond strengthened. To me, nothing is more important than those I love. George taught us this, and exemplifies it in his daily walk in life. My children are also rallying and showing the same mettle. Thank goodness we have each other, and the love that does not question "why?", but just "is" love...

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, --- I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! --- and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Walkabout at home.....

I found a part of me that had been suppressed for a long time whilst on vacation in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia...:) The lighthearted imp that had wings for the wind to catch and let her soar...

Going to Sydney was like stepping back in time to my childhood years during the 70's and 80's. People operate with common sense and courtesy. It seemed to me to be more of a live and let live society, with a myriad of attractions, people, and opportunities to express yourself. The physical beauty of the land and coastline is dramatic and unquestionable. Walking along the coastline was a blessing and a privilege. It is rather expensive to live there, yes, however, worth the effort to make it in my estimation. It really is a "chill" type of place. Their shops CLOSE at night, and people actually have lives...imagine that. Do you have memories of being here in the States when there were not any 24 hour stores? I do....

So, now that I am back home, I am continuing my walks, and readying for the first day of university in two weeks time. I will continue to look for,and find the beauty around me daily, and take joy in following the path I have been given. Be well!!!

I Smell Australia...

I smell Australia....what does that mean? Well, to me, it is a myriad of things. I have been unpacking and going through the bits in my luggage. The clothes I laundered and hung out to dry on the clothesline smell like North Bondi...of sea, fresh air, and sunshine. Can I really smell ALL of those things? Well, maybe not specifically, but certainly, the fragrance of the clothing is an embedded memory of all of those things, and more.

Coffee....yes, I smell coffee, and the organic bakery, along with the new clothes smell of the shops I visited, and the perfume I wore while down under; Michael Kors...yes, I smell Australia. Do I want to go back...what do you think??? The only thing missing now is another opportunity to wake up and walk to the surf...soon, I will be back soon...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Home Again...Sydney still beckons...

Well, I am home now. Seattle is sunny, Mount Rainier is out in all of her glory, university begins for me in the first week of September (hurray!!!), and my children are all on their educational paths. Life couldn't have a rosier glow cast about it...but...Sydney still beckons.

Like the Sirens of old, I hear the sea calling to me, the surf rolling in my ears, and the sun beating upon me as I walk, and walk, and walk. Yes, I walked everywhere, and took the public transportation. The multi-pass cost me $41 Australian Dollars a week, and covered the ferry system, trains, and buses. I found much to enjoy about the ease of the commute, yet, still felt at times as though I was in a Dr. Who episode at times. Everyone politely (most of the time) funneled in lines as they were directed, dressed properly, spoke properly, worked on crossword puzzles, there were newspapers handed out at the stations for free, and the horoscope page read "should I get out of bed tomorrow" or something similar....hmmm, let me see...a resounding YES!

I walked from King's Cross to the Sydney Opera House, and then took the ferry to Birkenshead/Birkenhead Point to do some damage to my budget. A conscientious fellow informed me I would only have 25 minutes to shop, and spoke with me about Sydney and Seattle. Terrific conversation, and a definite example of the type of people I would meet throughout my stay in Sydney. Although...he was one of the few men I met taller than me in heels...:)

So, yes, I will begin school, study like a fiend, and keep working on myself and moving forward down my path. George picked me up from the airport, and let me know how glad he was to have me home. My dad is the salt of the earth, as were the people I met "down under". I left a piece of me in Oz....

Monday, August 9, 2010

Another Country...same me

Yes, I am in Sydney, Australia. This is my 10th day of 17 days here. Today, I am staying in, cooking Goulash for my host and I, and feeling happily domesticated. Yes, I love the beach, walks, and sightseeing. However, this is my FIRST trip ever abroad. I like to enjoy the quiet things that make life enjoyable. Doing laundry and hanging it on the line, writing, hunkering down with a good book, exercising and walking to alleviate stress, cooking a meal from scratch and watching others enjoy it, and laughter with good friends I have known most of my life. I have all of that here at the moment, and feel truly blessed.

I have met some good people locally, and will be attempting to cultivate and maintain those connections into longtime friendships. Walking in the gusty wind and warm rain today from the local butcher and green grocer was a pleasure, as I had a mocha (no sugars) in my hand. The only thing that makes life any better is knowing I have my family to return to when this journey is at a close, and a heart full of precious memories and experiences to reflect over for the rest of my life.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

You Never Know....

So, this post is finding me on my first vacation as an adult of my lifetime, for an extended period of time. Of course, in order to take this "vacation", much planning was involved to have the bills paid prior to leaving, monies for time here, staying with friends, and wrapping my mind around finally following my feet to where they want and need to travel. I am loving Australia!

To date, I have ventured to Watson's Bay, from North Bondi Beach to Coogee Beach, Mrs. Macquarie's Chair/Bushwalk to Sydney Harbor to the Opera House, Camp Cove, Darling Harbor and the Maritime Museum. I am on my way to yoga in a bit with my host. Life is good! More to come later!