This Time of Year . . .

Happy Holidays
This time of year is always reflective to us as we gather to celebrate with family and friends. I remember every holiday (Christmas, New Year, Easter and Mother’s Day and sometimes in between) our family on my Mom’s side would get in the car and travel to New Jersey to one of my aunt’s houses. My Dad would grumble that he would have to put up with the Uncles-in-Law habits like Uncle Fred snoring loudly in the overstuffed chair after dinner or having to smell Uncle Harry’s cheap cigars, or that he couldn’t watch the football game he wanted because Cousin Jimmy had control of the dials, a transistor radio on each ear, plus our two TVs.
It was always a fun time for me because all us girl cousins, who were around the same age, would lock ourselves in the bedroom and talk about all sorts of things. No little kids or boys allowed. I can’t remember anything specifically that we talked about, probably boys and school and I remember we laughed a lot. Then, someone would bang loudly on our door, we quickly silenced our conversation. It was time to eat with the family, although many times we got our own table, away from the grown ups. After dinner, we had to help with the dishes. We’d all would pitch in and I usually dried because then I wouldn’t get pruney fingers from being in the dish water too long and I didn’t have to put anything away. Then, off we would go outside to do some sort of activity, like walk on the boardwalk by the ocean or take a walk around the neighborhood while the men snored a symphony in front of the TV, and the Sisters talked around the kitchen table. But before anyone went home, we had to all get together and take a family picture. And that’s a tradition we have kept all these years.
Cousins Club with Uncles

Love this photo of the Cousins and Uncles. (Where are the Aunts?)

 I am grateful for those holiday memories and traditions, then and now. It’s brought me to where I am on my journey. It’s amazing how we have become aware of our awareness, isn’t it? With each passing day, remember and be grateful for family and friends. Reflect back in your journey where you were ten years ago, or five, or just a year ago. Be in Gratitude for coming into your awareness.
Thank you to each of you has followed my journey over the past year. I am honored that you “like” and “share” what I write and photograph. During this time of year, don’t forget to tell someone you love them.  Do random acts of kindness. Give smiles and hugs freely.
Namaste!

Weekly Photo Challenge: One

In a cat’s eye, all things belong to cats.
~ English Proverb ~

 I have lived with several Zen masters, all of them cats.
~ Eckhart Tolle ~

Thou art the Great Cat, the avenger of the Gods, and the judge of words,
and the president of the sovereign chiefs and the governor of the holy Circle;
thou art indeed…the Great Cat.
~ Inscription on the Royal Tombs at Thebes ~

In memory of Graham

December 5, 1993 – March 13, 2012

A.K.A. Mr. Boy and Grammer T. Boy

(named after Graham Chapman of Monty Python fame)

There was only one like you

a special bond we had

listening to you purr as we slept

cuddling, hugging, traveling, playing

such sweetness nestled close into my shoulder

kneading my hair, (sometimes way too vigorously)

I told you to stop and you meowed your displeasure

assuming your authority when the dogs did something bad

all your mischievous and playful entertainment brought such happiness

Yes, there was only ONE Graham and I miss you constantly under my feet when you want to be fed.

But you are safe and loved overlooking the river where beautiful sunsets paint the sky

where birds fly freely and flowers bloom profusely and horses ride

dried flowers top your dust still from when last I visited

my heart and being remembers you today and everyday

Happy Longer Days! Happy Solstice!

Unless you’ve ever owned a cat, you have no clue of what I speak!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Grand

grand

There is a grand scheme of things.  Finding it? Ah, that’s part of the journey.

Who are you and what is your purpose? Knowing this allows the Universe to take you on a wild journey. But when obstacles get in the way or situations don’t go well, we wonder, “Why do these things always happen to me?”  We’ve all had personal trauma and drama like death, divorce, or losing a job. We complain with destructive self-talk and become our own helpless victims. This is how we live.

grand_sunset

But, what if we harnessed that energy and turned it into something positive, redirected our lives forward, instead of backwards? What might happen?

Take something away from every circumstance, every day. Like the energy and tranquility of the sunset unfolding before your eyes, let your journey lead you, always being open to all possibilities.

There is a grand scheme of things, with many obstacles. Everybody experiences them. There is a reason and a purpose in the grand scheme of things.

About the photos: The sunset photo was taken the same time and to the left of the first photo in Sedona, AZ.
Although there was no evidence of it, it reminded me of a sky where there had been forest fires.