Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Just Because...

I was reminded of my mother recently.
She loved giving "just because" gifts.

The gifts she most enjoyed giving were those inspired by love and meaning. 
If she saw a trinket or an item that reminded her of someone, she often couldn't resist the purchase.
The special gift was was bought, wrapped, and delivered.
It was a "just because" gift.
(Just because the person was loved, remembered, or maybe needed a boost.)
These items didn't cost much - my mom was not wealthy.
However, as a sometimes recipient of the gifts,
I can tell you they were cherished and so appreciated.
I still have some of my mother's "just because" gifts -
she died when I was in my mid-30's. 
The gifts remain to remind me of her love and kindness and generosity of spirit.

Last week, I received a package - a "just because" gift.
One of my blog friends sent me a letter board.
She thought I'd enjoy playing with it.
I was surprised and touched.
How can someone I've never met face to face know me so well?

It's a wonder and a blessing to be touched by someone's kindness.
Thank you, Jenny, for my special surprise.
And thank you, too, for reawakening memories of my mother's "just because" gifts.

Next week, I'll trade this scene for sun and sand and surf!
I'll be leaving winter in search of spring.

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Thursday, April 18, 2019

The Dance of the Seasons

I've lived at high altitude in the mountains of Colorado since 1989.
Winter and spring always dance together through April and May.
Winter always leads.
(Every year, I learn this fact anew.)

Sometimes at the end of April, we have a glimpse of spring.
Temperatures rise 20 degrees above freezing and snow melts.

Then,  temperatures plummet and icicles form.
Snow squalls add new whiteness to older, dirtier snow.
Weather changes constantly, hour by hour.
The waltz of melt/freeze continues.

At the end of April, I'm seeing more open water in the streams and rivers.
Ice is melting on Maggie Pond at the base of Peak 9.
However, spring doesn't stand a chance at high altitude.
Winter always dominates.

I go outside to exercise most days.
Yesterday, I walked with graupel falling.
Graupel is ice-covered snow flakes.
The little hard balls look like styrofoam.
They bounce off whatever they hit (including me).

I've been meeting foxes on my walks.
The females give birth in spring and stay close to their dens while hunting.
The two videos I'm sharing are of female foxes.

This female approaching my front porch looks like she may have just emerged from her den.
She has a lot of dirt and debris on her fur.

The second female I met while walking on the rec path.
She was favoring her left front paw.

Nature's surprises are  always among my Good Things.

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Sunday, April 7, 2019

Peace and Love Abide with You

March was hectic with record snowfall and company.
We had family visiting over their spring breaks from school.

The push/pull of the seasons continues.
April is sometimes mild and sometimes chilly.
Snow continues to fall, but melt is underway.
The dirt road where I normally walk is a muddy mess.
Winter still dominates at high altitude.
It often grips the landscape through May.

I got a new "smart" sports watch this week.
I didn't want one that I could use as a phone or camera.
I did want one that has great battery life and has navigation tools for hiking/biking.
I also wanted a wrist heart rate monitor.
Unfortunately, the Garmin Instinct is smarter than I am, so it took me hours to set it up.

Today, the watch and I went on the Rec Path to walk 5 miles.
I walked - the watch told me many things (some of which I didn't need to know).
It was a sunny, blue-sky day with temps 10-15 degrees above freezing.
As usual, I smiled most of the way.

even Kachina and the Eagle were smiling

Did you know that just the act of smiling is very beneficial to your health?
I always start the day by looking at myself in the mirror and smiling.
I smile at random people, and they return the favor.
A smile is like a yawn - the brain automatically responds to a smile with a smile.
When I pass people, I bless them by thinking, "May peace and love abide with you."
I do this for animals, too.

the Blue River is free from ice and snow at some places

Today, beside people smiles, I received a smile from a large Malamute dog.
(Perhaps he sensed my blessing...)

I've been doing a lot of reading about new brain research.
I'm watching podcasts on brain/heart/gut connections.
I hope to share some of the things I'm learning in future posts.

I'd encourage you to smile more often.
See if your attitude doesn't change.
I bet you'll feel more positive about your life.
I think it will help you find One Good Thing.

May Peace and Love abide with you.

One Good Thing

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