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Posts Tagged ‘HAPPINESS’

I awoke this morning to the sound of loud singing. Not from people, they’re all still snoozing. It was the birds. It’s one of those things that I noticed right away when I moved into this house – there are birds that start their singing early in the morning. On sunny mornings, they seem to be a little more loud and boisterous. I can relate, I tend to get that way myself when the sun comes out.

This morning was the first bit of sunshine I’ve seen for a while. It was creeping through the front window, making a halo of sorts around the cats sleeping there. My hand reached for the camera, as always. I stood on the front porch and captured the first few rays sneaking over the horizon.

Then I returned to my desk. After a few moments, it became suddenly brighter in the room and I felt compelled to look again. From my vantage point in the window, I could see the huge ball of fire that was the source for the little rays I had photographed.

I reached for my camera again and stepped onto the front porch. In that moment, I had a deep appreciation for the beauty of the world. The birds were singing loudly, the sun was making a blazing arrival on the horizon. There was a slight chill in the air, but it wasn’t so cold that I needed to bundle up. The old Beatles song “Here comes the sun” began playing in my head and I smiled.

It’s a beautiful day. Make it a great one!

The Birds were singing.

The sun sneaking up.

Sunrise!

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Hercules is recovered, pretty fully I believe. Last night, a friend of mine was here picking up his repaired computer and he brought Herc a bone. Hercules sniffed at the foil wrapped treat and then nudged it. When the bone fell to the ground, my friend reached to pick it up to give to the dog.

He straightened up immediately and took a step back when Herc swung his head around with a mean sounding growl (letting him know that it was NOT ok to touch the bone once it hit the floor).

Tonight, I cleaned out the fridge. There was some lunch meat that was nearing it’s end of life and a little bit of ham left. He devoured it as though I’d been starving him (which I have not!). And then he circled me, asking for more.

I don’t know if it’s because the weather is a little warmer or if it’s because I’ve been slipping him the medicine every night that the vet gave me for him.

Whatever it is, I’m incredibly grateful. There’s still a lot of life in that old dog. Ask my friend who tried to touch his food!

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It was the early 90’s and I was in the midst of divorcing the man with whom I’d planned on spending the rest of my life.  It wasn’t a pretty time.  We fought with the same passion we’d had in loving each other.  The lawyers became our only method of communication.

At some point, things began to settle down and life as we knew it fell into a pattern.  I worked, attended classes, raised the boys to the best of my ability.  He took the boys every other weekend.  At some point, my ex-husband and I became civil to one another.  He got into a relationship with someone else and so did I.

One afternoon my phone rang and it was him.  It was odd for him to call me and I assumed it was something to do with the children.  Instead, he asked a question that rather caught me by surprise.  “Could I get your recipes for some of my favorite meals to give to my girlfriend?”

I chuckled to myself and made copies for him.  And, in spite of encouragement from my friends to not include everything, I copied them as exactly as I could.

I thought of him today, when Mike’s son returned from a visit with his aunt and grandparents.  We were sitting down to dinner when they arrived.  It was one of my quick meals – tuna casserole, green beans and garlic bread.

When they came in, I asked if they had eaten and they said they had.  I fed the others and wandered back and forth between the kitchen and living room, alternating between supervising the meal and visiting with the family.

When the children were done eating I went into the kitchen to clear off the table and put away any leftovers.  And there I found Mike’s younger son, with a plate of tuna casserole in front of him.

I grinned.  “I thought you just ate before you came home.”  He grinned back.  “I did, but you know I love your cheesy tuna casserole.”

After dinner, I peeled and chopped potatoes and an onion for tomorrow’s potato soup.  I put them on to cook and continued with my other little projects.  Before I knew it, there were three children at the table.  “Whatcha’ cooking?”  “Potato soup for tomorrow’s lunch.”  “Oh.  It sure smells good.”  In that moment, I felt like I’d received the ultimate compliment again.

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I had just returned from a trip for work and was sharing the pictures I had taken with a friend.  I had visited Las Vegas, NV and wandered out to Red Rock canyon and then Mount Charleston in my spare time.

She looked through the pictures and made sounds of appreciation for the beauty I had captured with my camera.  After a while, she sighed and said “Oh you go to such beautiful places!”  I contemplated her assumption for a moment, but before I could respond she commented again.

“Or is it that you find beauty wherever you go?”

What do you see when you look at the world?  Do you find beauty wherever you go?  If you don’t , you should try it sometime.  It has brought me many joyful moments in my life.

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Flashback to the last big snow. . . .December 16, 2007

I woke up this morning to a snow covered world – it was beautiful and peaceful and the snow was pristine – having floated from the heavens and landed softly on the yards, trees, houses, cars & fences all over my neighborhood. There were no tracks in it at all – not even dog prints. Herc had begged to come in last night and spent the night in the garage next to the radiant heater. Sorry, pal, it’s the best I can do for the moment.

Two hours later, much of the snowfall was stll intact. Our front yard, however, was obviously the scene of an all out war. Tracks led here and there, hither and yon. Big holes of empty air had replaced much of the smooth blanket of snow, where children (of all ages) had scooped up the snow, pressed it into a snowball and launched it at one of the others doing much the same.

By noon, Jordan and Chaney had been invited to join – and the yard and driveway looked more and more like a war zone. I left to get a soda and made a secret stop at KMart where I bought the last sled they had – 66″ of plastic toboggan. The luge sled, it was labeled. And hats, and gloves so that when the ones we were wearing got soaked, we could throw them in the dryer, put on dry ones and just keep having fun!

Two cars were required to go to Ellis school – I took the sleds – the new toboggan, the little yellow disk sled left over from Brian’s youth (WOW, say the children THIS YELLOW ONE GOES FAST!). And three from Jordan and Chaney’s house.

Mike took all the children – Derrick, Bradley, Makayla, Jordan and Chaney. And the sledding adventure began. It had to happen, you see, because I found out this morning that Mike’s children have NEVER been sledding. Never. Bradley is 10 years old and today was his first time to ride a sled down a hill in the snow. I tried to wrap my brain around it – remembering my children on sleds going down Ellis hill before they were even old enough to attend the school. Brian in a snowsuit, 2 years old, sitting on his mother or father’s lap down the hill.

Derrick was perhaps the most fun to watch – awkwardly – arms and legs flailing here and there down the hill as fast as he could make it go, leaning this way and that trying to turn it. He took over the toboggan – it was big enough to hold his sixteen year old body and fast enough to please his 4 or 5 year old mind.

Bradley took the yellow one. Of course, it goes fast. And Makayla took the little red disk with the built in handles on the side. I got a shot of them running, dragging their sleds behind them, towards Ellis hill. Except for Bradley, he was too close to me to get in the pictures. I did my best to stay at the top of the hill and get pictures of them streaking down the hill. Mike is prone to belly flopping onto the sled and launching it as fast and far as he can. I tried it, with a lifetime of memories flooding through my brain. Trying to imagine my life without sledding. I can’t.

I am thankful for the snow. I am thankful for the people in my world that put me on a sled and launched me down a hill when I could barely walk. I’m thankful for this day in time, when I can pass that on to the Fabulous Five children in my world. Apparently Chaney and Jordan aren’t very experienced sledders either.

And so, if you haven’t done so lately, I highly recommend grabbing a sled, or a snow shovel, or a piece of flat plastic anything and standing at the top of a big hill, throwing yourself onto the sled or whatever and careening down the hill. It is still fun!!

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It’s one of those details I notice in life:  the background music.  My son Brian, the musician in the family, has noted the “coincidence” many times of just the right music playing at just the right time.  He refers to it as “the soundtrack of my life”.  I have to agree.  I remember times when music saved me from moments of deep despair.  “The River” by Garth Brooks was constantly playing in the months during my divorce so long ago.

When I say constantly, I’m not kidding.  I made a tape that was just that song over and over and over.  And I played it.  All the time.  The lyrics resonated with me on a deep level and propelled me forward through the tough times.

It’s always been true in my life that music has affected me.  I’ve had great learning over the last few years as my son Brian pursued his studies – music theory and music history and the soundtrack became interesting and beautiful.

I’ve studied Pat O’Brien and Joe Vitale’s “clearing audios” that are designed to open up your mind to the possibilities.   I’ve often started my day with Pat’s 7 minute buzz just to test the theories he presents.

This morning, I was showering and a song started playing in my head.  It was a song that melded my past, my present, my future all into one and I found myself singing it loudly, testing the voice I haven’t properly exercised or cultivated in years.

I was alone in the house and free to make whatever noise I chose.  I chose a joyful noise.   A bold and happy rendition of one of the hymns from yesterday’s church service.  I stretched to reach the higher notes and listened as my voice strained to reach notes it likely hasn’t touched in years.

As I sang, I could hear my cousin’s voice singing along from my childhood.  And my mother and grandmother and aunt and the rest.  “He Lives!  He lives!”.  I’m not certain how it sounded, but it FELT GOOD!  “You ask me how I know he lives…….. he LIVVVES within my heaaaaaaaaart!”

This morning, I have a deep appreciation for the music in my world, in my soul and spirit.  And I ask you this “What music is playing on the soundtrack of your life these days?  Are you making a joyful noise?  Or are you singing the blues?”  And I’ll add this reminder – if the music that is playing on the soundtrack of your life isn’t bringing you joy, perhaps it’s time to change the channel!

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I have a book that sits on my desk. It’s covered in pink cloth and has little flowers scattered across it. In the front it says:

This Book Belongs to: Holly J Burdett
From Jeannie
Christmas 1983

I remember the excitement I had when she gave it to me. She said “This is for you to keep your writings in. I love your poetry, you should keep it up.”

I contemplated what I would put in the book. At that time, more so than recent years, I wrote a great many things. Poems and stories and dreams and lists….. I contemplated what the book would hold. Because it was a special gift from a good friend and coworker.  Then came my “parenting years”, unexpectedly I changed course.  What a wonderful journey that was!  Every now and then, I’d scribble something in my notebook or on a sheet of paper that I believed qualified to be in “the book”.  Then I would carefully transcribe it, clarifying it in the process.

I’ve shared the contents of the book with just a few people over the years. Periodically, I would open the book and share something that seemed appropriate for a particular time and place. I’ve been encouraged lately by my friends at Milagroworld to share some of my stories.  They tell me my stories are uplifting and insightful.

I’ve always been shy about doing so, but…. Today, I will begin my journey of sharing of insights and poems and “stuff” that I’ve gathered in my little pink book and beyond over the years.  It is my hope that you will find it useful and helpful in your own adventures.

Here’s how it begins – Page 1 of my collection:

Inside this book
of mine you’ll find

So many things
I’ve left behind
Sometimes they’re good
Sometimes they’re bad
Sometimes joyful
Others so sad
I put them here
inside this book
Where I can pick it
up and look….
I search through them
like buried treasure
Reread them all
and then remeasure
How they have each
Affected me
And made me what
I’ve come to be.

It’s a truism.  I find that, especially when I’m troubled, I write and write and write and then just put it away for a day or two.  When I look back on it later, it helps clarify for me what thoughts and feelings came from that moment of darkness.

And it’s also true that every choice I’ve made since the moment I began this life has led me to this moment.  And, in this moment, I am happy.  That’s not to say that there are no struggles in my world, there are.  It’s not to say that life is perfect.  It’s not.   But I am happy nonetheless.  It’s all in how you choose to respond to your circumstances.  Every moment, I choose to respond with happiness and love.  It’s the only way to go!

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