Monday Gets A Birthday Celebration

I had the wonderful experience of celebrating my son’s birthday in a special kind of way this year.  He had taken an amazing trip to parts of Europe and I flew to NYC to meet him on his return trip.  We spent the evening celebrating his special day with family.  It is so nice to celebrate a birthday with people all around that love you.

The next day we took a little ‘walk down memory lane’ and visited special places in his early life.  We went to the hospital where he was born, visited the tiny little carriage house where we lived until he was about six months old, went to his elementary school and even went to get a pizza from a special restaurant that we had always loved.

Some things had changed drastically, but some things were almost exactly the same.  And some things for me were exactly the same….but for my son (who had experienced them at a very young age) found them shockingly different.  His memory of a house way down the lane was actually just a few hundred feet across the street.  A hill that he had remembered to be almost insurmountable as he learned to ride his bike was actually just a small hump in the road.

Isn’t it funny how our brain takes a picture of something that we think will never change?  We live with that memory for a long time and would swear that we knew every little detail of the image.  But….then we see it years later and it is so awkward and different from the memory we had been recalling over and over.  It makes me want to take a picture of every thing I see, so that I can keep referring to it and keeping the vision accurate in my mind.

I think it is different with people we love and care about though.  We spend time with someone and somehow we connect to more of what is inside them rather than what is on the surface.  We may not see them for a very long time; but yet when we do reunite, it seems like nothing has changed and we have somehow been close to them the whole time.  We still laugh at the same silly things and remember many insignificant events and know every detail of its happening.  After a while, we don’t even register that this person’s face is sometimes drawn with lines of age or their hair is far from the original color of their youth.  We just ‘see’ the person we remembered long ago.   Isn’t it interesting how our heart “captures” pictures that our brain doesn’t seem to be able to recall?!!

There are lots of happenings that I don’t remember about my son’s early years, but yet I can recall with great detail the first moment of seeing his face.  I can remember his sweet smell and the feel of his pudgy body.   I can remember sitting alone with him the first night in the hospital nursery and rocking him quietly as he slept.  I can remember feeling the fear that I wouldn’t be a good enough Mom or the overwhelming quantity of things that I needed to learn in order to take good care of him.  I can also remember the joy and love I felt for this tiny little being and how I promised him that night that I would always do my very best to protect him and teach him and help him grow.  Yes, my heart captured a very clear picture that first birthday night…..the sweet love of my life was born!

I hope you have a few of these joyful recalls in your life.

Take some time to just sit and let your mind return to some of those heartfelt moments……there is no better medicine!

When you let yourself ‘re-live’ some of those special times in your life,

it feels like you are floating on clouds and there is nothing that is wrong or negative in this world.

And be sure to create some new memories too.

Don’t let yourself get caught up in all the details of an event, but rather just focus on the people that you are with at the moment.

Be sure to let your heart take a snapshot!

In fact….do it today.

It’s Monday….a good day to start.

Smiles,

Nancy

Monday Gets Respectful of the Elderly

This is a picture of a sweet little human being that I pass by almost daily.  If you look closely, at the very end of the sidewalk alley, you can barely see her little being in the shadow of the trees.  This is a true representation of what I perceive to be her daily feeling of existence….just a tiny little speck on this earth!  I took the picture far away because even though I don’t know her, I respect her and want to protect her from harm.  Each day when I pass her, I call out “Good Morning” to her; but most days, I get no reply.  Only rarely, do I hear this tiny little voice, a sound that would be the voice of a hummingbird if they could talk, reply “good morning”.  So far, I have only heard it twice.  And, each time, I feel myself lifted as if on wings and I have to restrain myself from running to her and hugging her and thanking her for the gift she gives me.

I know she has put up walls because of being fearful of our undependable community situation and the harm that come from “letting strangers in”.  Each time she responds, I feel that I have given her a little security to hold onto that times will get better.

I am not sure “her story” but somehow I feel it is filled with many years of loneliness and sadness and fear.  However, I have conceived hopes for her that she has a family that will take care of her one day when her little body becomes even more fragile and frail.  And that they come to visit her at least once a week even now.  My mind’s visions includes them bringing her flowers that she can plant in her well-tended garden that she is bent over every day, watering and nurturing with love and enjoyment.  I project that she has grandchildren too that hug her and sit next to her as she quietly reads them a story.  These are the bubble thoughts that go through my mind each day as I pass….I don’t want anyone to pop them!!!

Unfortunately, I hear the words of John Prine’s old 70’s song creep through,  “Old People just grow lonesome, Waiting for someone to say, “Hello in there, Hello” and they start to pierce my bubble with each encounter.

Do you ever pass someone who gives you this feeling?  Maybe it’s a neighbor or someone sitting at a park bench waiting for a bus?  Maybe, it’s even someone that is part of your family that you have put on the bottom of your list to visit?  So, today, here is what you can do…..

Monday Gets Respectful of the Elderly

Giving less than 10 seconds of your day can make a difference in someone’s day.  There are many elderly that are very lonely and would feel like a million bucks if they felt someone cared about them and took the time to acknowledge their presence and “throw” them a smile or a “hello”.  These lyrics by Prine keep echoing in my head and I think they say it best……..

“So, if you’re walking down the street sometimes

And spot some hollow, ancient eyes

Please don’t pass ’em by and stare

As if you didn’t care, instead say Hello in there,

Hello.”

They Matter….and You Matter too!

This is a video from You Tube that I hope “imbeds” in your head the need to make a difference and show the elderly that we care.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfwGkplB_sY&feature=em-share_video_user

Happy Monday!

Smiles,

Nancy

Monday Gets Historical

Have you realized that as you are cruising around during each day that you are passing buildings or trees or houses or structures that are filled with history…some are 50+ years old, some 100+ years old….some even more advanced in age.  Don’t you wish they could talk?  I decided to share with a few that I came across today.  They are all part of history and should be given the respect they deserve to have survived so long.

This sign indicates this road area was part of the Route 66 trail (now known as Santa Monica Blvd in Los Angeles).  Route 66 served as a major path for those who migrated west, especially during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, and it supported the economies of the communities through which the road passed. People doing business along the route became prosperous due to the growing popularity of the highway.  Next to the sign is an old neon sign that has its own history for the early 60s, a well-known donut stop in L.A.

Here’s the gates of the studio area that is today known as The Lot.  The studios were built in 1920 and in 1928 they were known as the Pickford-Fairbanks Studios where classics like The Thief of Bagdad and Robin Hood were filmed.  In 1933, Lucille Ball played a slave girl in her first movie, Roman Scandals.  Since that time it has had actors like Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, Laurence Olivier, Eddie Murphy, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock and many others stroll thru these gates to create the Hollywood magic of movies, TV and sound recordings.  Sadly, a big section of this amazing walk in history is now just a pile of dirt as it makes room for space to build more technologically-updated space and creates a venue for the next generation of talent of Hollywood.

Can’t come to Hollywood without visiting the infamous Pink’s Hot Dogs.  A landmark on LaBrea since 1939 when it was just a large wheeled push cart and hot dogs sold for 10 cents.  It has changed a bit since the beginning days—hot dogs are now $3.45; but still in the same place and still draws crowds every day.  You can go by here at 10 in the morning or 10 at night and there is ALWAYS a line waiting to partake of their scrumptious hot dogs!

A favorite of mine is the old Charlie Chaplin Studios built around 1917 when the area was nothing but acres and acres of orange groves.  “The Little Tramp” kept his movie crew busy over the next two decades creating classics like Modern Times, City Lights and The Great Dictator.  Now, the lot is the home of another mark in history—Jim Henson Productions, which gave us the beloved Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy and the other Muppets.

What an amazing conglomerate of many interesting and groundbreaking moments in history.  As we look back, we wonder what life must have been like in this area in the early 1900s.  Hundreds of orange trees growing everywhere.  Some of the eucalyptus trees in this area look like they are even hundreds of years old.  Amazing times for sure!  Difficult times too! There are a lot of bungalows around these historical landmarks that were built by the studios to house the actors.  Some of the places have nice patios in the back that were once areas where they kept a few horses for the actors to ride to the studios.  How different in a town that now boasts it has more cars registered in the county than people.

It’s important to stop and appreciate these relics that are around us.  I’m sure you have your own historical places in the town where you live. We need to take care of these special places and show them the respect they deserve for withstanding many “battles” in their lifetime.

 So Monday Gets Historical.

Take time to appreciate the old structures and their beauty.

Many amazing craftsman’s art is being preserved for future generations to appreciate and experience.

Look at nature’s creations too that continue to reach to the sky.

Within walking distance, I am sure you can find many treasures.

So take a walk.  See the beauty.   Experience days gone by.  And along the way take time to remember your own history and the “good ole days”

Hope it’s a history-appreciation Monday for you.

Smiles,

Nancy

Monday gets Thankful for the Memories

When I was walking my dog, Tramp, yesterday, I realized something interesting about myself.  By writing this Blog each week, it makes me stop to reflect about my life and makes me more appreciative of where I am in my journey today.  I know the many thoughts cross my mind daily; but writing them down adds value and nourishment to their existence and gives them a feeling of abundance.

I have always been one to appreciate small things; but somehow, every little thing I encounter now, seems so much more important.  I wonder what would happen if we allowed school-aged children to have a time in their daily lessons to reflect about their day.   No grade to be given or even any kind of judgment or revealing to others….just a moment to acknowledge their difficulties or happiness for the day.  I bet we would have a society of much more well-balanced individuals.

Do you take time to write your thoughts in a journal?  Probably everyone had a diary at some point in their lives.  I wish I had done more of it.  There are things when I was younger that I have just vague memories of that I would like to recall more details.  Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone kept journals?  If my Grandmother had kept a journal, I would love to be able to read it now.  She lived to be 96 and told tales of her life of leaving Virginia in a covered wagon to move to Tennessee.  What an adventure!   What a great treasure it would have been to have something like that to pass onto other generations! Hmmmmm….well, I didn’t take a covered wagon; but I did cross the country to move to California.  Guess that counts for a bit of adventure too…And I have pictures to go along with the documenting of the journey.

Perhaps, you should consider starting the habit of taking notes of your daily life.  Maybe it will help you realize how many good things come your way.  Or perhaps, it will be something that you can read ten years from now and recall some really special moments.  Or maybe, your children or your grandchildren will read it some day and “get to know you” a little better.  I bet iPhones even have an App for the process!   Whatever you do, don’t let the precious moments get lost.

Let’s see what can we call this Monday??

I know…let’s call it

Monday Gets Thankful for the Memories

Hope you take the time to reflect on some of the special times that have happened in your life.  Maybe call someone that you haven’t talked to in ‘many moons’ to reminisce about some good memories.

It’s another wonderful Monday….Make it a good memory!!

Smiles, Nancy

Monday Gets Bee-U-Ti-Ful

Thought I would take a walk and get inspired to write my Blog post for this week.  Flowers and shrubs and trees are blooming everywhere here.  Hummingbirds are swarming and appear to have trouble deciding just which flower to dine at today.  Wish I could have gotten a picture of one; but they are much too quick for my amateur photography skills.

I find it very interesting how, when we are going through our daily routine,  we often don’t take the time to observe what is happening right in front of our face!  Our eyes “see” what is in front of us; but somehow it just doesn’t register with the rest of our being.  I wonder if we just get ‘hardened’ to the daily mundane or if we actually have to train ourselves to really “see” with more than our eyes.  I know when I was strolling around I started feeling very excited about what I might anticipate finding around the corner.  I have gone on the same walk and saw many of the things I saw today; but somehow the appreciation of them didn’t quite equal the excitement of the experience today.  What beauty there is in the most simple, ‘plain jane’ plants, trees, rocks and even the grass!!

The color palette alone of everything I saw today could fill the largest box of Crayola crayons.  As I strolled along, I felt like there should be a large orchestra with a rising crescendo following along with me.  I felt like singing….but restrained myself….my dog, Tramp looked at me strangely when I started humming to myself.

Maybe this is how our lives get so out of sync.  We forget to find the joy in our daily lives.  We sometimes consider our lives boring and mundane; but they’re really not!  We are exposed to so many beautiful and extraordinary things each day.  Hmmmm….I wonder if a person who makes their living as a landscape photographer ever gets tired of marveling in their subjects??!!

Another thing I realized is that because I was planning to share these photos with you, my enthusiasm seemed to increase with each photo I took.

        

Perhaps, that’s the key to having a happier and more satisfied life…..maybe we need to always remember to share our experiences with others in order to enhance our own individual experiences.  As Winnie the Pooh would say, “It’s so much more friendly with two.”  Isn’t that interesting?!!….Even though my dog, Tramp, annoys the heck out of me on our walks because he pulls too much and he often forgets the most basic leash commands (I know ‘Train the Trainer’ some of you are saying), I still enjoy my walks more when he is with me.  Guess Pooh was right.

I have to share with you just a few pictures of where my stroll ended today.  Our garden on the patio seems to be growing by leaps and bounds…..I think it happened overnight!  A little bit of SoCal rain and…..Poof!….Magic!!

Wow!  I can hardly wait for all these plants to start bearing fruit.  Yums!!  Thank you California Sunshine!

So…my Monday has been quite enlightened and filled with beauty and color.  Hope you find something today that allows your eyes to “see” everything you encounter and to marvel in its beauty.  Thought I would share a little wisdom from one of my favorite story tellers….

“What day is it?” asked Pooh.

“It’s today!” squeaked Piglet.

“My Favorite Day!” said Pooh.

Today is Monday….My Favorite Day too!

Monday Gets Bee-U-Ti-Ful!

Hope yours is too.

Smiles,

Nancy