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Life Lesson #192 ~ Life is NOT a Competition

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"Life is a journey, not a competition." ~ Unknown
As a little girl growing up in the 1970's and 80's I was surrounded by books, comics and my imagination. I'd spend hours outside running, jumping rope, climbing trees, crossing monkey bars, roller skating down the sidewalks and riding my bike anywhere I could. I loved to go berry picking, build forts and spend the weekends cooking out with our family and friends at the state parks. I loved skipping, fishing on the pier or out by the lake and roasting marshmallows every chance I got. I loved the long summer days we spent on the beach, the sand between my feet and the cool spring evenings we spent playing mini putt putt at the castle. I grew up an only child, this is a fact. So for me this meant I had to learn early on how to entertain myself and not get bored. Because of this I learned to use my imagination quite well and to explore and to take adventures within an adventure. I was the girl with wild ideas and impo…

Life Lesson #193~ When We're Old and Gray

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"I chose you easy, but, not because I think it will always be easy, because with you I know that even on the dreadful, wretched, luckless days, when the troubles of the world are downpours of thick, clamoring, beating rain ~ you will laugh, take my hand, and whisper delightfully, Dance with me." ~ Beau Taplin/The Dance
It's funny when I think of how Johnny and I met some 22 years ago. We were both so young, just getting out into the world, finding our footing. I was just out of college and he was a real country boy. He showed up for our first meeting in wranglers, boots and a black cowboy hat. I was absolutely smitten as he took my hand and led me out onto the dance floor. I was late, he was early but somehow our first meeting happened. We'd been talking on the phone for a month and had decided to take that fateful first step, meeting in person, for the first time in public, on a real date. I was beyond nervous, and so was this good looking American Indian, county bo…

Life Lesson 191 ~Down the Rabbit's Hole, Through The Looking Glass And Back Home Again

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"I am out with lanterns looking for myself."  ~ Emily Dickinson

So here we are once again looking forward and backwards at the same time. Together we've reached the final chapter of our story. And it been quite the adventure too, hasn't it? 'Awallago' as we say here in the South (translating to a while ago) I'd have agreed with Alice when  she met the Cheshire Cat for the first time. "I've often seen a cat with a grin; but a grin without a cat! It's the most curious thing I ever saw in my life!" But since we first met Ches I think it's safe to say we've seen and experienced a great deal more curiosities than just a disappearing cat. Since we first fell down this rabbit's hole and gazed into Wonderland's looking glass we've chased a white rabbit with a pocket watch, practically been burned out of his house by a Dodo bird and been introduced to some fairly uppity flowers. But along the way we've also spoken to a wis…

Life Lesson #190 ~ I'll Lead You Home

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"There is a point where you no longer care if there's a light at the end of the tunnel or not. You're just sick of the tunnel." ~ Ranata Suzuki

The year was 1979 and I was not quite six years old. We were living in Bossier City, Louisiana at the time. We were literally two skips and a jump away, or in non southern speak, about a mile right outside of Barksdale Airforce Base. My dad however was stationed in Osan, South Korea, attached to the Air Force Base there. He called it the bucket site. This pretty much translates to cold, cold and colder. It also meant for the first time in my life my dad  was on the opposite and complete other side of the world from me. In the military this is what's known as a hardship tour. Which basically meant for us our family was going to be separated for a year by thousands and thousands of miles. For my dad it meant he was going to live in a remote, frozen region of the world for as long as Uncle Sam deeded appropriate. This was th…

Life Lesson #189 ~ I Will Sit With You

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'When you can't look on the bright side, I will sit with you in the dark." ~ Unknown
I am a lover of books. I read often. My taste is vast and wide as I can appreciate the differences in styles, topics and genre's.  I grew up inside libraries reading the classics. I'd sit up for hours after the lights went off, under my sheets with a flash light sailing the Seven Seas, sitting at the Round Table, running around with Tom Sawyer, searching for Treasure Island, diving 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, chasing a Thousand and One Nights, following the Lost Boys and falling down rabbit holes. Of all my adventures though, Alice and the Hatter became characters the most dear to my heart. Now, I love the purity of Lewis Carroll's original stories and nothing can compare. After all these are the books I read growing up, drawing me down that darn rabbit's hole and through the looking glass. These books are the same stories I read to our boys, and the very same books stil…

Life Lesson #188 ~ Time Waits For No Man

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"Time is non-refundable, use it with intention." ~ Unknown
Alice once asked the White Rabbit, "How long is forever?" The White Rabbit replied, "Sometimes just one second."And the truth is this is exactly how life can feel sometimes. Time seems to pass so quickly...almost too fast honestly. One day we're young, running around with pig tales, playing with dolls and and the next we're tucking our own mini me into bed. It feels like our children were born just yesterday and then, boom! Today they're grown with families of their own, carrying babies around on their shoulders who look just like them and living a life vastly different from ours under a roof of their own. How can it be? How can time be both our friend and our enemy? And how can we embrace both the present and the passing of time with grace? I have asked myself this very question often. But very much like Leo Christopher I have always understood this: "There's only one thing mo…