Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Family stories’ Category

The symbol of the turtle. Turtles take their homes with them wherever they go. Turtles remind us to remember our roots while still welcoming new places and phases in life.

Turtles remind us to appreciate our simple, true necessities; shelter, food, drink and most importantly,  faith.

 

The turtle’s slow gait requires the animal to have faith that it will eventually get where it is going and that its needs will be satisfied along the way.

I have been doing some process art study with Cat Caracelo over the past year, including Quest Journeying with image and art mediums and turtle has come over and over again to me.

Turtle once visited our labyrinth in our backyard, a very large land turtle.

Turtles are on my mind.

 

I wonder how the turtles fared during Hurricane Irma.

 

One of the most beautiful beaches in the world was hit hard by hurricane force. This is a beach we have had the pleasure of being on several times when visited my parents.

 

St. Johns Virgin Island

 

 

Read Full Post »

 

It is Monday morning, September 11, 2017 and Hurricane Irma, with devastating power, has torn across the Carribbean  islands, leaving wide wreckage in its path, then winding northward between Cuba and the Bahamas now has made landfall in seven different places on the Florida coast.

The sounds and force of the blowing plus one hundred miles per hour winds and the sights of the surge out to sea and back in again play across the television screens of all of those not knocked out of electrical power in the effected areas.

Hurricane Irma cuts a wide path of destruction across the entire peninsula as her Cat 5 rating lowers to a 2 and then as a 1. Then the tropical storm heads into the Southeastern states with plenty of wind and rain left to cause havoc to residents along the way.

The sounds and images of this traveling disaster that are imprinted upon me, one who resides outside the danger area, are the human sounds and sights of help and consideration. Everywhere in the physical areas awaiting the storm, officials took charge and put their Disaster Plan into effect and kept their number 1 priority the safety of its citizens. Even with warnings that went ignored by some at their own peril, their directives were largely heeded by the majority of Floridians.

Individuals and families prepared their physical properties as well as they could and followed the evacuation orders or shelter in place so as to save life and limb. Gas and oil companies, so often maligned, did everything they could to keep gas flowing for those travelers who had to leave precious belongings behind but take the only thing that really mattered out of harm’s way — their own lives.

People out of the danger areas offered up space in their own homes so the journey would not be so far for those with homes in flood zones. Out of State friends and family of Florida residents, if they could do no other, kept the highest good for their beloved ones in the top of their minds and hearts and offered what they could in support by prayer, monetary and durable goods to “flood” into the area that would have great needs over the next few weeks.

THESE ARE GOOD SIGHTS AND SOUNDS IN THE FACE OF HIGH IMMINENT DANGER.

This is humanity choosing to move forward each day, confident that somewhere within themselves they have the RESOURCES  and ABILITY to express life, love, wisdom and even the seed of divinity.

“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Ps. 118:24  Well, maybe we don’t rejoice IN the day that brings hardship, sorrow and trouble, but we reside IN the day with a spirit that is summed up in the Serenity Prayer:

Grant me the Serenity
to accept the things I cannot change.
To change the things I can
and the Wisdom to know the difference.

There were many people in Florida embodying that short statement and still are.

And all God’s creatures.

 

And one mayor said,  “How can you help us?…Prayer is not the last thing, it is the FIRST!”

A friend told me this morning that she was recently in NYC and had seen and been deeply affected by the 9/11 Memorial. Today is sixteen years after the unspeakable horror of the attack on 9/11/2001.  She wrote this interesting observation:

“I’m guessing all of us remember were we were when we heard about these events of that day and how that morning turned quickly from the everyday, common tasks to grief and fear and so many other emotions. Why is it that we don’t realize the significance and beauty of ordinary things until those things are threatened or taken away?”

I ask myself that same question, realizing how the ordinary can blind us to its beauty and truth.

I learned in my childhood faith that a man who knew himself as Divine — Jesus — told us in many different ways, “I came so that you may have life, and have it more abundantly.”

I still believe that today, as a well-travelled spiritual seeker of truth, peace and love and elder  citizen.  Only I recognize that I don’t always know or acknowledge what and where my true abundance is.

I think the it is, for some reason, more visible in a time of danger and need. Can we carry this truth, peace and love on into our ordinary days ahead, once we have been restored to the normal in our lives and the disarray of our political system.

Read Full Post »

 

 

Good Morning! I will believe in Good Morning. My body is still achy, numb, tired, and compassionate for my friends and their families who have suffered a sudden and traumatic and violent loss of their loved one.

 

A mother has lost her beloved daughter. A husband suffers the solitary loss of his soulmate wife who together created a life of good in their home, their work, and their play. Two young adult college age daughters have lost their earthly bond to their mother. Brother and sisters are minus one in their family – minus two, as they lost their father in his passing two years ago. Cousins, young, lively, playful, and filled with family outing memories, like the one they were returning from when disaster on the highway struck, suffer a hole too big to replace in the family fabric.  Friends and companion teachers stand present, yet walled in by the daily absence of Judy’s presence in their lives.  Students, present and past, have lost a friend, mentor and extraordinary woman.

 

I will believe in Good Morning….

 

Judy was a bright light and she shone brightest in two areas of her life – her family and her middle school classroom.  There is no light switch that can remedy the darkness in these spaces. A dimmer dims the spots she occupied and for now, it looks very dark and it hurts.

 

I will believe in Good Morning…

 

For awhile, our personal and world compass is turned upside down. South is the new North. Each of us must find new paths – paths we never intended or suspected we would have to take. Paths we don’t want to take. We look for an escape route and it is not there. We are stuck with  “what is.”  And we surely don’t like what is.  We are tired, beyond what we know, and each day comes, asking of us to take one step forward.  We don’t want to.

 

I will believe in Good Morning…

 

Husband, daughters, sisters, brother, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, mother…..we want to be there for you in our own little daily world. It can look like, after the initial liturgies and visitations are performed, we go about our lives, as usual.  But it is not true.

 

You, dear ones, are the ones most deeply touched by unspeakable grief. But, as your friends on the outside, we too are changed forever. We will never, ever be the same within our families or our world, as we were before this loss befell you. It is in us as well and it will never leave us. Our composition is altered. We will all find new light eventually. We will all suffer the “new life” that will be lived. We will all feel the hole that only faith, hope and love can heal. We will all look at life with “new eyes” – eyes that cannot understand –eyes that want to see differently – eyes that look toward an earthly horizon and into the heart of the beloved one who has gone home.

 

I will believe in Good Morning…with a heart of hurting love.

Read Full Post »

beautiful-moon

Napkinwriter is wishing my readers, family members and friends NEWNESS in your day……exciting STARTS in creativity, spirituality, kindness and wondrous living in your lives and in our world.   PEACE BE in 2017.

 

“Start Close In”
by David Whyte

Start close in,
don’t take the second step
or the third,
start with the first
thing
close in,
the step you don’t want to take.

Read Full Post »

affirmation-message

 

December 21, 2016

Da da dadadum doobie da dadum…..Catching Up is hard to do. Hearing the old melody and lyrics of the Breaking Up is Hard to Do run through my memory station.

I am trying to catch up a little bit for Napkinwriter. I never like to be away from her for too long.  And it is not that I’ve been uninspired or leading a dull life. It’s been quite the opposite.  I haven’t even written a Christmas letter at this late date of Solstice, December 21, 2016. But, I will look back now at what has been a rather Fast Forward year all year long. I did not even journal as much as usual.

 

After the Christmas concerts and festivities of 2015, we leaped right into the winter weather of January and February. There were ridiculous storms piled upon us, one after another. From the day before Thanksgiving, snow befell us continually. During this time, we were often enroute to Ann Arbor via the treacherous I-94 for Tom’s skin cancer treatment for ever more involved procedures to rid his body of this demanding disease. An exhausting and dangerous trip, made under forced bad weather conditions. We were brought through safely each time during which there were multiple pile-ups and one that was over 122 car and truck pileup.

I looked for my angel billboard messages — and the encouraged me; usually a brief look at a board with only one word on it, but it was the word I needed at the time …..brave………confident……you got this…….healed.  I wanted to write this down, but I also was not journaling as much as usual this year. I plan to turn over a new leaf in 2017.

 

It’s been kind of a year where I needed to do this:

 

big-girl-britches

 

but I have a precious loosely formed band of magnificent girlfriends who helped me feel more like we were doing this:

 

campfire-quest-companions

 

A very dear friend of mine, Marsha Pricco English died suddenly this summer and stunned myself and our Resurrection High School classmates as well.

Marsha - Duane & Scotty

Several others passed too, yet Marsha’s was the deepest sorrow.  A grieving husband, Duane, is having the worst year of his life as December grows to a stop.

The extent toward which Tom has had physical problems this year, and my own body creaking around with new discoveries of limitations and challenges has caused us to take stock and think of maybe changing directions a little in our own lives. Maybe we need to be out of our home, with its growing costs and responsibilities and consider another type of abode. Maybe, as one of our daughters looked into new professional opportunity for her, we might even expand our definition of possibilities for us. Whatever it is, love will lead the way.

 

labyrinth cardinals

 

Another pull on my heart was the sudden death of my brother, Dave, who after suffering a long period of time with progressive Early Onset of Alzheimers, collapsed departed Earth to a calling of Higher Being. I love Dave with all my heart and miss being able to be with him.

dave-sue

brother-and-sister

John and his wife, Joan remain in a nursing home in Diamondale and for various reasons our trips over to see them and join our Class of ’61 monthly luncheons have diminished.  I continue to pray for his needs.

Wonderful blessings as life keeps expressing itself fill my life, as well. I had a wondrous visit in Sarasota Florida, flown down by my friend Martha and we had the best of girl time together, visiting the white sands of the beach and watching the flow of the ocean waves. A balm of joy washed over me, as well as the stay I had in her beautiful home with pool and full suite to myself. How pampering. I definitely was “raised up” when I returned to Michigan.

 

beach-martha-and-sue

Friendship — long, long friendships — are rare and dear. Another dear friend from Kentucky days of the 60’s – 70s visited us in September,  Lucretia Thomas.  And Tom helped us take her hither and yon to show her a good time, as her own style of Southern hospitality is  something to behold.

lucretia-is-here

Family remains the most precious and centering vitality. Our daughters provide rich gifts in their chosen professions. Kathleen, in her music education to school children, and music and drama in the Marshall Community Theater, along with gigs  with the jazz band, “Misdirection” she founded and fills venues with.

kathleen-and-us

Dr. Laura Mitchell, after more than twenty years in her chosen field of Optometry, made a really big change and chose a new Optometric practice to join in her birth hometown of Lexington, Kentucky.  They have just arrived there and are settling into the return to the Bluegrass way of life. It holds so many new openings for them at a stage of life where she will be able to balance home and work much better and she is looking forward to that.

kentucky-blue

And oh, my the Grands!  Devon got married to the one and only love of her life, Tyler; and she is nearing the end of her undergraduate education in Music and Creative Writing at CMU, on full scholarship.

 

bride-and-groom-dance

Andrew is finishing up senior year at Marshall High School, making and leading music everywhere anytime, as percussion section leader and Marshall Singers president. He has his sights set on UK, University of Kentucky, and we will watch how that turns out.

andrew

And Amy, the darling of my heart. What fun we have together, just as I did with those others when they were toddlers and small children. Amy and I love to do art together. Amy LOVES Star Wars and has brought Tom and me up to speed on the whole saga.  She plays piano beautifully and proudly.  She’s just a tad on the dramatic side.

clownfish

img_7833

Tom and I are catching up on ourselves too…..and that  has come to mean preparing for a move of our own — to Lexington Kentucky also where we have found a beautiful apartment, near where Laura lives, filled with amenities which we intend to use to focus on improving the status of our health and giving us freedom from the many responsibilities of home ownership.  Wahoo!  A return to the surroundings of where our married life and mission started over 51 years ago.  We are blessed and happy and have a moving date of January 28, 2017.

sue-tom-hajec-r61-1

So this actually became sort of a Christmas letter; one that will never be sent.  It is too long, but I will keep it on file here in Napkinwriter. And Napkinwriter, somehow will be faithful to shorter posts about life on a regular basis as we enter into the new year.

Read Full Post »

img_6680

One time when we were visiting Laura at college when she was in Optometry school, we followed her to a college party, where she had to explain us to her friends. It seems we have not broken this habit, as we are now going to follow her back to Lexington, KY where we spent the first 12 years of our married lives and both Laura and Kathleen were born. It is never too late for a new adventure. Last year we climbed the waterfall trails and high points in the Smokies, just as we did 50 years ago on our honeymoon. Like the Israelites, we have “wandered in the desert” for 40 years, kept our covenant with our loving God, and God with us, and NOW we return to the place where our married love took root.

cumberland-falls-tom-and-sue

God is Love.

Read Full Post »

Fireworks behind statue of liberty

Fireworks behind statue of liberty

 

Almost every one of the last twenty years, we have enjoyed “that old time feeling” of going back in time and celebration at the Marshall Michigan 4th of July kids and pet parade and the community concert, featuring fresh bar-b-q chicken during the concert intermission.

Our daughter, granddaughter and grandson all play in the featured and spirited marches and patriotic music, ending with a tribute to every branch of our United States armed serves. The concert this year will begin in about one-half hour. We will not be there this year as Tom is still recovering from his last skin cancer Mohs operation. But I can hear it —  even from a distance — in my heart and soul, not even needing my ears. I feel blessed to have been there so often.

And there’s always next year to look forward to.

Here is a repost from 2011 to show you what it looks like.

 

Marshall MI 4th of July – Thanks for the Memories

Conductor flanked by redheads Kathleen and Devon

Inserted into a collection of rousing, high-spirited American patriotic marches was a melody of nostalgic tunes including “Thanks For the Memories.” And that’s what I would like to do — thank the Marshall Community Band and the 4th of July Festivity planners for another spirits-raising day at the Fountain Park.

It’s been tradition for us to travel from Kalamazoo to Marshall for this summer treat, followed by goodies shared at the Warriner home. This year, I brought home-made apple crisp. Last year, Kathleen served fresh strawberry shortcake. You can’t beat them for 4th of July desserts.

You have to get there early, that’s a proven fact. Not just to see the kids’ parade, but to set up in a cozy spot protected with shade from the gracious trees that grace the park.

 

The kids’ parade, pets, wagons, bikes, costumes start the fun, and here they come!

Now, we’re ready to hear the music!

The band plays on and on the great American patriotic marches and we love it!  During the break, we enjoy grilled chicken from the Rotary Band Booster Fund Raisers. The concert concludes with a rousing crowd appreciation number honoring all the branches of the Armed Forces and ends each year with the Encore of STARS AND STRIPES FOREVER.

Our spirit is lifted high as we leave the park singing something about being kind to our web-footed friends.

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »