Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas 2010

No pictures at present. Just haven't gotten around to that this trip. Today is Christmas and I'm missing family terribly. Being away, lacking decorations and any hustle and bustle makes this feel like any other day of the year.

We tried Christmas Mass. We went to St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church last night. The decor was beautiful, the music good, all the familiar carols. But as usual the "sermon" disappointing. I love the ritual of my old church. The prayers, and standing, kneeling, singing, the smells that I grew up with. But the other thing that has remained the same is the lack of message. I know not everyone can be a "preacher", but come on, how can this lack of inspiration be so pervasive. I can't believe the Church as we know it can survive. It needs to change and it needs to do more than turn the altar around. I learn so much more about God and His love from the people in my life than from my old teacher. I think, no, I know I am in a different place. I have walked beyond what organized religion has to offer me. I think I have to be my own compass now. I guess "The Church" was my stepping stone. Another old familiar thing that I will say goodbye to.

I look about me and see the imbalance in humanity. I see the suffering and wonder how can this be fair? Is the person who is suffering a deformity here to teach me compassion. Has his or her soul chosen this experience to become more Godlike? Is this how they have chosen to be in service to others? What am I doing for my growth? Where am I supposed to be? Am I going the right way? Am I present to you? Am I wasting the gift of my time? Just questions that I am thinking about. How is it that those who can reach out to the masses don't ask any questions? My guess is they aren't thinking......

Until next time.......As always, Kathleen




Saturday, September 11, 2010

Photos of exterior of our new place





Chapter 5













It is difficult to believe that in the beginning of August, I was unsure if I could get our house on McMillan listed this summer.
The house made the Multi-Listing by 8/18 and was sold by 8/27.
My earlier trepidation has now turned to excitement as we learned this morning that our offer on 3502 Country Club Drive has been accepted.

The pictures posted are limited views of what we think is a terrific place. I will post more pictures after I finish writing.

We should be able to be in our new home about 4 weeks before we leave for Florida. The work we want to do is cosmetic in nature. It will be a wonderful feeling to be able to turn a key and walk away to spend 5 wonderful months in Florida. We will return to a new adventure.

We are going to take some of our favorite pieces of furniture with us. We'll be replacing couches and chairs for a whole new look. We'll keep you updated as Chapter 5 develops. Wish us well and please plan on visiting. We will have the room and a pool!

Until next time, as always........Kathleen

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Turning the Page


Saying goodbye has always been difficult for me. I'm one of those sentimental people who gets attached to people and things and places. Especially houses. I have only lived in three houses in my life. My Mom and Dad's on Kingsville, my first house in St. Clair Shores, and now my house with Tom, known as McMillan.


We are getting ready to put the for sale sign on the lawn. The formal step of signing papers takes place on Tuesday evening. I love this house, the neighbors, my wonderful front porch, the memories we've made there.
It is no longer a practical place to be though. It is too big. It costs to much for the amount of time we spend there. We are getting more and more in need of a place with everything on one level. We have both arrived at the place in our life when we fully realize we don't need everything we own and have accumulated. Slowly the purging has been taking place, picking up speed in the past two days.

On Friday my friend Barb Eppert donated her time and we began the basement purge. Today my daughter Ann came and we pretty much completed the daunting task. What is it about basements? They become the holding area of all the things we can't say goodbye to right at this moment. We place them in an empty spot, a shelf, a box, a cupboard, a closet. We lower the lid, close the door and we don't look again. This thing we can't part with has now become a part of the wall, the bottom of a box, a thing we walk by and never really see again. Suddenly there comes the day when urgency demands you look. What is it you see? Something you know you don't want to move to yet another place. Something you totally forgot was there. Something someone else could have been using. So now, you begin the piles. Throw out, recycle, donate, garage sale, give away to a friend. It takes hours of your time. You are exhausted. But guess what? Even though you are aching, even though you want to simply shower and lay down; you notice a lightness in your spirit. Your breath comes easier. You ask yourself, was this "stuff" holding me down, holding me back? Why did it mean something yesterday but it really doesn't today?


I can't deny I am feeling sad, a little apprehensive. But I believe that once again, I am exactly where I am supposed to be, doing exactly what I am supposed to do. I trust that my Higher Power will support me through this time. I trust that I will be led to make the right decisions. I trust that I have Someone to trust in, if I am only open to it. I turn this page to begin yet another chapter. I challenge all of you to start the purge, feel the lightness, breath easier, live more. I am thankful for my life. I am thankful for where I am in my life. Until next time.....Always, Kathleen
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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

MY SUMMER


Here we are, midway through summer. How did this happen? My days start and end with a blink of the eye. Each day is full of new wonder and so much appreciation for all the blessings in my life. I have finally reached a spot where I am just so comfortable and content. I never imagined I could feel so complete, but I do.

Tom and I are making decisions that are changing a lot about our lives. We are in many ways living more simply. It takes very little to make us happy. We are content in the company of one another as we step along our life path. We sit in quiet in quiet of morning as we share our slow paced breakfast. Our breakfast feels like dinner in Italy. We can drag out fruit, cereal and toast as if it were a seven course meal. All while reading the little that there is in the morning paper.
We are spending more and more time at our cottage in Amherstburg, Canada. I sleep like a log there and feel no particular rush to do anything. Slowly I am working at making it more of a home. Landscaping is taking hold and flowers now deck the porches. Our picnic table is out on the pavers, a welcome spot that hasn't seen the outdoor light in at least 5 years. Sunsets and cloud watching have become a pastime. The sky is an ever changing thing on the Great Lakes, our home being on Lake Erie.

We've managed to tuck in visits with Evelyn and our big kids in the UP. In fact they are coming here in just two more weeks. And then, we are going there just two weeks later. How great to be free to pick up and go when we feel like it. We do more and more of that as we get older. Reminding each other that we should do it now, while we still can.


Evelyn has brought so much joy to our lives. She just turned two on July 2nd and had a great family party. She is beautiful, bright, bouncing,
and every other wonderful adjective you can think of. She is sheer entertainment and has the humor that is indicative of our family.

Well more about Evelyn's Birthday and her antics on another day.

I'm still here, still living my life, still searching, but think I may have found myself.

Until next time......Always, Kathleen










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Sunday, April 18, 2010

SOMETIMES


Sometimes I wonder, what is going on with me? This winter has found me such a different place than usual. Sometimes, I've been concerned about it. Most of the time, I've said, what the heck, go with the flow. And now suddenly all the sometimes have come together and I think I know where I've been....in the Present. Yep, more often than not. I find this quite incredible.

The season has found me sorting through emotions and attachments....and not very consciously. It seems being in the moment, just enjoying, has allowed some better part of me to make some decisions I otherwise would have been wrestling with. The months have passed and I've found myself not "doing" as I usually do. For a better part of my life, I've been a gal with a list, a task to be done, a problem to be tackled. I think I dropped my "to do" list in Toledo on the way down here.

Tom and I have pretty much decided to work on getting our house on the market. Neither of us feels we need all the "stuff" we have. We feel no rush to buy another place.
We'll likely sell our "stuff", donate, give to the family. Then we'll stay at our Cottage for summer and rent in Naples for the winter. Doesn't that sound like a simpler life? With the new found freedom and the cut in expenses, I can fly to see Lara, Brian and Evelyn more often. I can bunk with Ann and David & Becka for a few day visit(if they agree). I'll have more time to "Be" and less to "Do".

I pretty much feel like the pictures I've included. Peaceful and happy.

Until next time....Always, Kathleen

Saturday, April 10, 2010

How Did This Happen?



Grandma and Evelyn in the pool

Sunset at Naples Pier Beach

Evelyn(in stroller)seeing Grandma and Grandpa for the first time on arrival

Video of Evelyn shelling at the beach
video

These photos are a little out of sinc. This was the first time I loaded a video and I found it a bit of a challenge.

We had a wonderful visit over the last week. Evelyn entertained us all. She is an absolute delight. Her Mom and Dad are doing a wonderful job with her. She is by nature and I believe a lot of nurture a very happy child. She has as much love to give as she receives. More later, don't want to loose this video.

Until next time......Always, Kathleen

Saturday, February 27, 2010

THINKING OF MOM TONIGHT



























Mom(Eva) seated,sister Helen on her left,
brother John behind her, and sister Bertha on her
right.





Mom(Eva) standing. Chief Cook and Bottle Washer!







Tom and I had a wonderful dinner tonight at a little place called "Little Prague".
They served Slavic and Czech food. However, it reminded me of my Mom and all the wonderful meals(Polish) that she used to make. We had side dishes of red cabbage and sauerkraut and those were thing I grew up on. The CD that was playing was of Polkas...and visions of my Mother, especially as a younger woman came vividly to mind. I found myself pensive and a little teary. I missed her a lot tonight.

I did not begin thinking about my Mother as a young woman with hopes and dreams and expectations of life until I got a lot older. I'm so sorry I couldn't have seen and appreciated those commonalities long ago. I would guess that is a common thing that happens with Mothers and their daughters. Why is it so hard to see the "person" behind that parent role?

I hope my Mother heard me thanking her tonight for being the best she could be. For giving me so many opportunities. I hope she forgives me for all the times I under appreciated her or forgot that she was human and had feelings too.

I hope my children see the "me" behind the Mom. I hope they know I've tried my best.

Until next time....Always, Kathleen

Friday, February 19, 2010

ARE WE IN FLORIDA YET?



Barb and Ann














David and Me














David and Becka





















"Miss Kathy" and Cammie


























Well here I am finally! Missing in action since the 1st of January. Wondering where I've been?
Me too! Being a firm believer in the "I am exactly where I am supposed to be", I continue on this life journey a little less centered and reflective. I guess it was that confusing round about I turned on awhile back. I've been meandering along, no particular destination in mind....faltering from time to time and of course falling for the tricks my EGO is so skilled at playing on me. But somehow that better part of me could see what was going on. I have since turned back and am retracing my steps. Looking for the round about and seeing if I can find a better route to follow.

Beginning Ash Wednesday, I am walking alone again. I find I need the quiet time to allow me to spend time with my other man...Eckhart Tolle. Don't worry, Tom knows all about him! I have listened and re listened to his book "A New Earth" and find it such a wonderful tool to help me live my life in a way that brings out my better self. I marvel at how many ways there are in this world to find God in our lives. Wouldn't it be great if organized religions could figure this out? My way is not necessarily your way, but at the end perhaps we are in the same place.

The weather here is still cool. Nearly half our time is gone and we have spent so little time outdoors. Of course we still have sun and most days blue skies, but the wind and temperature leaves a lot to be desired. Tomorrow is supposed to bring warmer temps.

We've had quite a few visitors already. Tim(Tom's son) was here, Ann came and David and Becka just left. My cousin Barb came for a weekend and we laughed till it hurt. We are alone for a month now and will enjoy our time together. Kathy McDonald is due in a month and then Lara, Brian and Evelyn for Easter week. I've attached a few pictures. I've taken few which is a reflection of the inside activities. Hope to be more active on my blog site. Internet access is intermittent so that is one of my excuses.

Until next time......Always, Kathleen

Friday, January 1, 2010

Reflections on 2009/Gratitude

GOODBYE 2009














BEST FRIENDS FOR 30 YEARS


















THE JOY OF A LITTLE ONE TO BOND A WONDERFUL FAMILY EVEN FURTHER























ALL OF MY WONDERFUL FAMILY















Goodbye 2009! Welcome 2010, a New Year, a new decade. I've heard so many resounds of "good riddance to 2009". That doesn't reflect my sentiments at all. 2009 was a year filled with so many good and wonderful things.....and lots of personal growth for myself and many of the people I love.

Of course there is ALWAYS Evelyn. She has brought so much delight to this family. She has bonded us even more. She is the center
of our stage whenever we are all together. It has been wonderful watching her grow and mark so many milestones. She is surrounded with the love of so many people. We can't help but to remember to be grateful for the decision her birth mother Amber made and the gift she gave to Lara and Brian and all the rest of us.

My new knee, though an unexpected gift and further proof that "things happen for a reason" and "I am always where I am supposed to be, "especially when I can remember to be in the moment, a huge blessing it was and is. From that surgery came six months of having Ann in our home. Tom and I both loved having her. With her came Telly(her dog) and he too was a blessing. He taught me how to be a "Dog Whisperer" and he helped confirm the fact that neither Tom or I want the responsibility of a dog. We have been tempted in the past, but now have moved beyond that tempting notion. Thank you Telly!

Ann's temporary move to McMillan to help me recover from surgery brought with it new insight for her. She had enough distance and time to do some reflecting and to move out of a long term relationship that just wasn't the right fit. With support of family and her many friends she has made that break and is moving on with her life. Back in her own home, finally making it "hers". She has grown so much and handled so many difficult times with grace and unbelievable patience, embracing the belief, "I'm right where I need to be."

And here we are again, in Naples. Another respite from the Michigan winter. Both of us feeling so fortunate for this time.

I have taken from this poor economic climate, lessons that I needed to learn. I have more honestly viewed my own consumptive behavior and am pulling in the reigns. I look at my house, filled with things I do not use, do not need, and really do not want. I have slowly begun paring down, giving away. And truly, I am buying less. Believe me that is a change. I was the consummate shopper. Put me in any store, just once and the layout is forever imprinted in my brain. Now I just enjoy looking at fliers, and perusing the aisles, but I can actually leave without a purchase. Well, that isn't totally honest....there is still the Costco thing to deal with! What is that about?

I would be negligent to not mention my gratitude for my friends. Especially Kathy McDonald. We have a connection that has bridged thirty + years. Through that time we have been true soul mates. I teach her, she teaches me. We bring much laughter and joy to each other's lives. Friendship is one of God's biggest blessings.

To all of you, my friends, my family who read this, I leave you with this thought: "If you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus 1 day, so I never have to live without you." ---Winnie the Pooh

Until next time......Always,
Kathleen
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