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Just Take The Time To Listen To Your OWN Heart...

Monday, September 24, 2012

First, there was the initial misunderstanding. Brian looked me square in the eyes and opened his mouth.

"Better not buy meat in New England."
"What??! Why? What happened??"
"I don't know. I didn't watch it."
"You didn't watch what? The news??"
"The game."
"Wait...what did you say??"
"I SAID Baltimore beat New England!"
"Oh. I thought you said...never mind."
"Are you hearing things again?"

These things seem to be happening alot lately. It's either that he is not speaking clearly or my mind has been elsewhere. It's probably been a combination of both if I am to be completely honest.

I have worked hard to get where I am today. Mentally, physically, spiritually, I have been delving deep into the heart of me and finding out all kinds of things. Like, what makes me tick, what tickles my funny bone, what God has given and taken away in my life. I've been restless. In all areas. Some days have been wonderful, some filled with uncertainty. But each day I've been looking closer and picking at the things that seem to unsettle me. I've asked myself why they do, what nerve do they hit and why do they hit it a certain way...

I've also torn the soil out from under my feet on my hikes. I've begun each adventure with tender steps only to find myself tearing it up within minutes. The more I think, the harder I trod, the faster I go, as if to keep up with my racing thoughts. Afterwards I am spent, out of breath, only to fall to the earth heavily and suddenly begin speaking to God...

I've realized that I am only one person. I realize that I am beautiful in my own way and I just wish that I had realized it sooner. I realize now that I have tried so hard to be someone else's definition of a good person when all I had to do was be ME. For I AM a good person, made just the way I was supposed to be in the very beginning. I've wasted so much time...when all I had to do was just be silent, listen to my heart and go with God's quiet whispers.

"Well? What's going on with you, Michelle?"
Turning to look at my husband, eyes wide, I put my arms around him and spoke my heart.
"Am I doing okay? Am I somebody that, if you just met, would want to get to know better? Am I interesting? Good? Weird? What am I?"
I could feel his arms pull me tighter and I heard him take a deep breath as he rested his head on top of my own.
"You are doing okay. You are good, a little weird, somewhat hard-of-hearing, and definitely someone I would want to get to know better. In fact, I DO want to get to know you better. Today. So why don't you try talking to ME a little more instead of just yourself? I'm here, ya know."

Yes. I know. For 20+ years he has been. Through the good AND the bad. He's been there, allowing me to "find" myself. Allowing me to blunder, fail, succeed. There are times I do not agree with his point of view (and vice versa) AND we've had disagreements that would burn the hair off of a monkey's back, but we've still managed to find our way through. I try, also, for the most part, to take his advice as well.

So, I'm going to trust him AND MYSELF that I am doing okay. The rest of the day before he had to leave for work was, well, WONDERFUL. We laughed. We even playfully chased each other around the house before we collapsed on the back deck in breathless chaos. Then I realized something...even though I've known all along that I love my husband, I LOVE my husband....

And I love you. God bless each and every one of you. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. Through and through.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARON10002 9/28/2012 6:07PM

    You've got a keeper there (and visa versa)! I am loving getting to know you through your blogs, and your notes. Maybe I should go back and read your blogs from the very beginning. . . I have to say, I'm glad I found you!

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LOLAINSC 9/25/2012 9:36PM

    Brian has a way with words...and honesty. You are most blessed.

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JADOMB 9/25/2012 12:45PM

    You have a great thing, don't ever lose it.

I think we have so many things in common and I think we are actually going through many of the same things at the same time. Even though I am older, our children seem to leave the roost at the same time and I think that is what is ailing us. The empty nest has it's way of putting us in a fog and making us reevaluate our lives that have been turned upside down for so many years.

As far as the hearing thing, I have a theory on that. First, it seems that my wife's hearing was just fine until she put that wedding ring on. From that point on it has gotten worse and worse. So I've thought of hiding the ring from my wife for awhile to see if her hearing gets better. ;-)

So you are just fine and yes, beautiful. You husband knows it and loves you for more than just the outward beauty. So build on that and regain the SPARK that you guys once had before children. Now is a great time to truly enjoy what you had and what you have. May God bless you and your family.

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STAYCXL-NOMORE 9/25/2012 12:28PM

    Great Blog , enjoy that love my friend :) its rare !!!

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WOLFKITTY 9/25/2012 1:48AM

    How utterly, and heartbreakingly sweet. Thank you for sharing.
Take care,

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FLEMIDG 9/25/2012 12:42AM

    You are a beautiful person, inside and out, Michelle. I am glad you are finally realizing that. I am so glad you and your dh are so good together. I can hear your love for him in your words. You are two lucky people. God bless you.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BRADMILL2922 9/25/2012 12:11AM

    It is so great that you have come to realize about yourself what all your Spark friends already know! You have worked really hard to get where you have gotten today. It is beautiful that you know how far you have come and can appreciate it. It is beautiful that you have really gotten to know who you are!

You are such a great story teller and this is no exception! Thanks for sharing it and inspiring us all! Sounds like you have a great guy and sounds like you have a lucky guy for having you!

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JERMADSON7 9/24/2012 11:07PM

    That's great. He is lucky to have a gal like you, you know. He's not stupid.

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BEAR8MM 9/24/2012 10:50PM

    You rock!

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SCOTMAMA 9/24/2012 10:39PM

    I love your blogs! I find myself visualizing you and Brian, and I'll admit that most of the time I side with you -- except the other day when he was telling to to just be your age, and stop trying to look younger. lol

I become so involved in your stories, and I smile and relate them to things that have happened to me. You are such a good story-teller!

Have a great day/evening, and remember: YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!

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Tragic? Or Magic?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I didn't want to do it.

I didn't want to get dressed, stretch and go walking. I didn't want to fool with it at all. I decided in my heart-of-hearts that I could "get by" without one day of hiking. Plain and simple. Whatever. Yada, yada and yada. Then I saw the box of donuts that Brian had bought for his lunchbox. Hmmm. Looking around, not seeing anyone, I took a step closer. Pinching my bottom lip between my thumb and index finger, I toyed heavily with the one would know. No one.

Then my brain started blaring.

"What's this?! You get on Spark and tell everyone to do their best, to BE their best and you're gonna SNEAK a DONUT?!"
"Shush, annoying little one. What do YOU know? I've worked hard. I deserve it."
"You are a hypocrite."
"WHO'S a hypocrite?!"
"YOU. Wahhh, you don't "feel" like walking today. Whatever! How many times have you told someone to put one foot in front of the other and the rest will take care of itself?"

Then it seemed, as if on cue, the old man came around the corner. His face lit up then suddenly frowned when he saw me hovering near his goodies. Tsk-tsk-tsking me, he scowled and removed them from my presence.

"Have you hiked today?"
" Not yet..."
"You're usually out the door."
"Yeah, well."
"Yeah well what?"
"I was getting ready to go."
"Really? In your house slippers?"

Fifteen minutes later, I was "appropriately" dressed and mumbling to myself. It's chilly outside. It's too "breezy." I'm "not feeling it" today. Grabbing my iPod, I crammed the ear pieces into my ears and took off out the door. Just one trip through. That's all I was willing to put into it.

"Shut up, brain."

I put on Alter Bridge, my favorite band, and the song "One Day Remains" came screaming through. Atop the hill, ready to begin my ascent into my woods, the phrase "And I ask you, why do you question the strength inside?" enveloped my ears. Hmmm. Then another, "When the distance to your dreams starts being reached, don't lay down and die."

What? Oh no, I'm not going to lay down and give up, not when I'm THIS close...

Then Myles, in his beautiful voice, bellowed out, "You need to know how it feels to be alive!"

Then, suddenly, as if something kicked me in the rear, I took off. My heart raced, my legs burned and something sat my heart on fire. With each drop of sweat that I felt running down my back, I pushed harder, climbed harder, breathed harder. I could feel the muscles pulling in the back of my legs, growing stronger with each forceful step. Then I realized something...

I wanted more.

I climbed, descended, climbed some more, almost at a running pace, until I could breath no more. Laughing, I plopped to the ground and massaged my legs, breathing in deep breathes and exhaling with jubilation. Checking my watch my eyes grew big. One hour and fifteen minutes?! No kidding, I just started a few minutes ago...

Then Myles said to me, "I see in you more than you will EVER know..."

Closing my eyes, I removed my ear pieces and listened to the air around me as my heart rate and lungs returned to normal. My stress was spent. My irritation, gone. My slothful temptation definitely silenced. I was left with calmness and a peace that can be described with no words.

I returned to the house where there was a lone donut laying on the table and a note from Brian which said, "Did you get lost? Leaving for work. Here's your donut. If you still feel like eating it."

Throwing it in the trash, I surmised that it would be one less donut for him to eat when he got home. He didn't need it either.

"Well, now, looks like you proved yourself wrong."
"Thanks, brain, I did it!"
"And you did two and half more miles than your norm! High five!"
"How do I high-five my brain?"
"It's time to stop talking to yourself now..."

There's going to be days when you don't feel doing jack-squat. Perhaps those are the days when you can break through your own barriers. When you can prove yourself wrong? Your thinking CAN be tragic to your state of mind... or it can be magic, surprising you with your true potential.

Which is it? Only you can decide. But let me tell you something...I don't want to be a hypocrite and tell you to do something that I am not willing to do myself. I proved a major point to myself today. Unless I am physically ill or have a handicap or broken bone that prevents me from doing something good for my body, then there are NO excuses. NO EXCUSES.

Don't question your strength.

Your dreams are within your reach. They are.

God bless. You are loved...more than you'll ever know.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FUNSIZE0789 1/29/2014 8:36AM

    I dream of the day I can run 2.5 miles, let alone as many as you did. Great job, I'm going to subscribe to your blog I found it funny and refreshing lol Check out mine!!

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GREGGWEISBROD 1/29/2014 12:38AM

    Technically, wouldn't smacking your head be kind of like high-giving your brain? One would look awfully funny smacking themselves in the head every time they accomplished something. :-D

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SHARON10002 9/28/2012 6:00PM

    emoticon Proud of you!

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KAILYNSTAR 9/22/2012 4:00PM

    What's that? Oh, sorry, that was my brain laughing at your brain. It sure got to you didn't it?! emoticon

Loved the blog and the past four others. You are so precious!!!!

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IRP1114 9/21/2012 9:26AM

    Awesome blog. Glad you got out there! emoticon

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JADOMB 9/20/2012 5:56PM

    You got it sweetie. Proud of ya.

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OLDERDANDRT 9/20/2012 2:55PM

    emoticon and well said!! Love you, girl! You are setting great example!!
Thank you, my friend, for throwing away the donut and taking that hike to new heights!!! High five, my sweet friend! emoticon emoticon

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BKNOCK 9/20/2012 10:06AM

    and how do you feel today? I like Barb's comment too!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JUNIAATROME 9/20/2012 1:58AM

    Tend to agree with Barb on everything. Isn't that spooky?

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FLEMIDG 9/20/2012 1:13AM

    Awesome blog. Good for you for not giving into the temptation of that donut and for getting out there and DOING IT. You are an inspiration. Keep up the great work. You're worth it. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BRADMILL2922 9/19/2012 11:14PM

    Really cool and motivational story! Makes me want to get out and do something right now! Glad you got in your hike and got in a brain high-five. I think that should be on a t-shirt!


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NOCALORIES 9/19/2012 10:17PM

    Thank you for your blog. A real motivation to get up and push to really burn some calories. You are appreciated.

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BEAR8MM 9/19/2012 9:45PM

    WOOT! Good for you! I was going to slack today, but the brain whispered, surgery tomorrow, flat on your back all day tomorrow, and the fat cells screamed YESSS! I told them all to shut up, and did my 6 miler, 938 calories in 94 minutes. It IS worth it!

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CARTOONB 9/19/2012 9:32PM

    A slap on your forehead is the same as a high five to your brain, right?

Great job!

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A Little Dab'll Do Ya

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I was trying to clean my bathroom last night when I realized I didn't have enough space for "my stuff." When I say "my stuff," that means lotions, creams, serums, oils, shampoos, conditioners, the usual things that women accumulate here and there for a "youthful glow," "younger-looking skin" and "bouncy, youthful hair." (I'm a junkie. I should have bought stock in Avon years ago.) I've got banishing creams, dramatic firming creams, tonics, spritzes and sprays. Got crow's feet?? Heck, I got a cream for that! Discoloration under the eyes?? Well, I got something for that, too.

One evening a few weeks ago, as I was getting ready for bed, I slathered on my concoctions and the Old Man walked by. He has this somewhat-annoying habit of crowding into the bathroom with me, pretending to look for something, when he turns, with hands on hips, looking at me.

"What's that one for?"
"What? This?? Firming lotion."
"What's it firming?"
"My th...can't you tell???"
"Ya know, one of these nights you're gonna slip outta bed like a fish." Picking up the small vial of eye serum he squints to read the fine print. "Hydra...hyda...dicapryl...pfff. CARROT SEED OIL??"
"Don't squint. It's bad for the eyes."
"That's okay. I'll just eat some of this because carrots are good for your vision. Right??"

I didn't mind his quips. He has given me a "hard time" for this since we got together over 20 years ago.

We went out to dinner Saturday evening. He was sitting across from me and we began reviewing the menus. I was trying to decide what I wanted to order and happened to glance up at him. He had laid his menu down and was staring at me. I apologized for taking so long and he shook his head slowly, reaching across the table to take my hand.

"You need to stop."
"I am 52 years old. Do you realize how many of the guys at work think you are my daughter???"
"Your picture. I have it on my locker door. I think that you need to cool it now and just age gracefully WITH me. Do you realize how pretty you would be with gray hair? Why do you try so hard? You don't have to. I was smitten with a twenty-year-old beautiful girl. I'm in LOVE with a 43-year-old mother, grandmother, wife, woman. There's nothing you can do with the crow's feet, honey. Between you and me, they are, well, just sexy."

And there I sat, in the middle of Olive Garden, amidst the all-you-can-eat-breadsticks, with alligator tears in my eyes. He looked at me and winked.

"Do you know when I think you're most beautiful?"
I strangled out a, "When?" through my touched heart.
"When you first wake up in the mornings, hair all over the place, free of make-up with those great big gorgeous brown eyes, then you smile. It makes me a giant jittery mess." And then he feigned shaking...

The dinner was wonderful. Amazing.

I went home and washed my face. I dabbed a little cream on the corners of my eyes. I wanted to do more but...

We went to bed and I felt his hand caress my hair. Then it wandered to my face. He must have caressed my cheek forever...and I heard a sleepy voice say, "Ah, so soft..."

I'm probably not going to give up my hair dye anytime soon but today I bagged up alot of the potions in my cabinet. I have kept a few essentials, just regular lotion and face cream (sorry, Brian, but me and Oil of Olay cannot part at this time). But perhaps I need to just "cool it," like he said. There is nothing wrong with trying to look your best, I believe, but there IS such a thing as over-kill, too.

I believe, as well, that beauty is more than skin-deep. Some of the most beautiful faces I have ever seen are the ones that are just simply smiling. From the child that has gotten all dirty and sweaty from a day's worth of play outside. From the face of the elderly woman across the street who's face has a hundred wrinkles...but each one has a story to tell. From the face of the one who has seen adversity and blazed through it with grit and hard-core determination.

That is TRUE beauty through and through...

I want THAT.

Hey, do me a favor and look in the mirror today. Don't fret over the pimple on your forehead, the crooked nose, the little lines forming around your eyes or mouth. Look at the beautiful, unique, one-of-a-kind individual that you really are and OWN it. You are wonderfully made. From the top of your head to the bottom of your feet, you are just the way you were meant to be. Don't you realize that when you smile, it is a gift? To yourself? AND ESPECIALLY others?

Do your best to be healthy and happy. Exercise. Eat right. But most importantly, be confident that your true beauty comes from WITHIN. That's what people will remember the most.

Not if you used Miss Clairol No. 20, Deepest-Darkest-Brown.

God bless you today. You are loved. And most importantly, you are gorgeous. Just the way you are.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ADARKARA 1/29/2014 10:11AM

    You have a wonderful husband! Mine is very similar, he could care less if I wear makeup. emoticon

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TIGER_LILY_613 1/29/2014 6:47AM

    Wow. Got emotional reading this post. Your hubby's a gem emoticon Thank you for writing this.

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GREGGWEISBROD 1/29/2014 12:28AM

    Goodness... you probably already know this... but you've got a wonderful man right there. A wonderful man. Wow.

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SHARON10002 9/28/2012 5:55PM

    Oh my gosh! What a wonderful man! He could make a mint teaching that kind of stuff! emoticon I could feel myself sliding out of my chair as I read his words, and I don't use body cream! You are one lucky lady. . .
I totally agree with your comments about faces. I don't understand women and men who have to have plastic surgery so they do not age. I mean look at Joan Rivers . . . the woman had a perpetual fake smile! I love the picture you've included at the end. Now that woman has lived a rich, full, life. Would love to hear some of her stories.
emoticon for such an emoticon blog!

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BRADMILL2922 9/19/2012 11:10PM


Such a great blog as usual. Hey, guys can be right! (sometimes emoticon)

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AJDOVER1 9/19/2012 7:49PM

    you are truly beautiful.

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SWEETZMIX 9/19/2012 4:33PM

    I loved this blog and I think I love your hubby!! He is awesome. Why do we do it to ourselves sometimes lol As much as they can and will annoy us, they are usually right!

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OLDERDANDRT 9/19/2012 2:25PM

    emoticon emoticon

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JADOMB 9/19/2012 12:21PM

    Great blog. And so true on many levels. BUT, I got two points to make.

First, as a husband that is also 8 years older than my wife, I didn't want her to catch up to me at 58 and failing fast. I went back to her age so that then we could age gracefully together. I think it is our duty to make these old bones age as gracefully and respectfully as possible. So a little dye, Oil of Olay, etc. for external use and good foods and exercise for BOTH external and internal use, is just fine.

Second, on the excessive amounts of bottles of "goodies" in the bathroom. LOL That bothered me too since I was forever fighting bits of mold and such that would form under some of the less used bottles that would still gather moisture. I have my ONE bottle of head and shoulders that I even use for my soap. I'm a simple man. My wife had a line of 10 bottles of who knows what for each and every section of her body. No wonder it takes her so long to take a shower or bath. But I won't take them away from her since her beauty benefits both of us. What I did though was found this nice 2 level wooden stand that now sits outside the tub and against the wall. She can put around 8 bottles of STUFF in it and reach it whenever she wants, but keeping only 2 bottle of heavily used shampoo and conditioner in the enclosure. FIXED IT.

Anyway, you just keep on keeping on, you are doing great. Just get that old man of yours to join in and become a 43 year old again. He'll enjoy it just as much as you do. ;-)

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BEESPARKLE 9/19/2012 10:00AM

    Great blog.
I was 17 when I fell in love with my guy. Married at 19.
For 51 years Sept 16th the other day. He is still telling me I am pretty. I mean at 70 . What a compliment.

I used to pack on the make up at 21. After my first big son weighing in at 10 pounds. I felt old. How silly was that.

Then my hubby like your man. Said same thing. I used to have when any body knocked on my door. They would say to me Is your Mother in. Back then I hated it. Yet everyone told me that I looked so young as a first time Mom. Two more bbes after that. Now they are inprime of hitting 50 and then my youngest is 40. Married with two children.

I do wear make up on special occasions but other then that like you see in my exercise outfit. Hair all out. I got the nerve to put it up as my background page. Tell all and see all.

So I do wear night cream but rub it in well. That is all i wear. All the other is pass in the garbage and gone.. I do have the smooth skin people tell me when they meet me in person even men and they cannot believe I am 70 . I do have weight to lose for sure . If you see my other pictures on my page. You will see so far I am starting to say thank you everyone for your compliments.
So that is one big compliment from your man. He is a Keeper for sure.

My daughter also has stuff that you say. She could own a section in the Elizabeth Arden Section also. She also has gone to natural. I have her up in my photos.

She is a beauty .my only girl she is 47.

So now you are finding the person you really are.

Wake up call from your love of your life but isn't it wonderful! He told you the truth. Your his pin up girl and he is proud of you so much. Even his friends think. emoticon

Amen sister in the Lord!

Comment edited on: 9/19/2012 10:02:22 AM

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LIZZYP609 9/19/2012 9:34AM

    Yea, as 40 is getting closer and closer I have found myself using more of my creams on a regular basis. I know it is just a number and NO I don't feel like I am 5 months from 40 but I am having a hard time with it. I don't want to look like a 20 year old...but if I look like I am mid 30s forever, I won't complain! Yea, I am not giving up my hair dyes either! ;-) good blog Michelle, as always emoticon

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LMB-ESQ 9/19/2012 5:10AM

    Your hubby is one smart dude! I'm still hanging on to my Miss Clairol though :-) emoticon

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JUNIAATROME 9/19/2012 1:43AM

    what on earth are crow's feet?! May be I don't want to know?! emoticon
Must get myself some Oil of Olay - my mother swore by it, I have not tried that yet and I am 52! shame on me.

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SCOTMAMA 9/19/2012 12:44AM

    Not only do YOU have a way with words, my dear, but your hubby's not too shabby either! What a wonderful story, and I could just picture the whole evening in my mind. You do look young -- not knowing what your DH looks like I can't say if I'd figure you were his daughter or not -- but it surely was a sweet compliment! God Love Him!

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GEEMAWEST 9/18/2012 10:39PM

    Ahhhhh! So sweet. You have a very smart man there and you are very wise to listen to him. Good for you! Good for you both!!

P.S. I won't part with my Oil of Olay either. emoticon

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USFBULL 9/18/2012 10:10PM

    Nice job only one photo, LOL emoticon emoticon

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CARTOONB 9/18/2012 9:48PM

    You have a good man. And a good mind to listen to him. Love it!

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NEEKEPOO 9/18/2012 8:51PM

    That was truly a wonderful blog. You have such a fun way with words but it was the sincerity in the blog that hit me hardest. Thank you so much for sharing!

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SEXBOBOMB 9/18/2012 7:39PM

    Well done, Brian! emoticon
(Any chance he send that script to my husband?)

Comment edited on: 9/18/2012 7:40:36 PM

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BKNOCK 9/18/2012 7:14PM

    Great blog! Glad Brian can still blow you out of the water!

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CHEETARA79 9/18/2012 5:54PM

    Your husband is so sweet!

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SANDYCRANE 9/18/2012 5:53PM

    Great blog and all of it so true. A smile transforms ones face, more than dyes and cremes. But I am with you, I will not give up my Oil of Olay. emoticon

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Wanna Hike With Me?

Monday, September 17, 2012

This may look like a mess of leaves and trees to you but to ME it is my hour-long get-away to another world! Nestled deep in my woods is a place where I find contentment and a place that gets my heart pumping.

Leaving my house, I trek up the hill to the opening of the minuscule forest that awaits me.

The outskirts are lush and green...

Let's enter here...

Watch yer head...

Don't roll down this hill like I did once. Here, hold my hand...

Let's go up here.

You're not outta the woods yet...

Just about there...

Juuuust about there...

There. Pant, pant...that wasn't so bad, now was it? We just gotta walk back through to get home now...

Ohh, THAT??? I have NO IDEA where that came from! I need to tell my Old Man. I bet he will be FURIOUS that someone posted that up here.

Thank you for coming...but I bet you have something YOUR way you can explore and share with US.

God bless. And you guessed it, you are loved.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARON10002 9/23/2012 11:25PM

    Thanks for the wonderful pictures, and for taking me along with you. It looks so peaceful. . . Made me think of the area where I grew up. . . I miss the country!

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L1ZB3TH354 9/19/2012 7:16PM

    Thanks for taking us along. Love the pictures. emoticon

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LMB-ESQ 9/19/2012 5:11AM

    I am so jealous.....

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JADOMB 9/18/2012 12:47PM

    Yep, I wanna hike with you. If I had that outside my back door, I'd sell my treadmill. Or at least put it away for bad days. What a beautiful setting. I sure miss when I was raised on a ranch 13 miles from town.

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KIMCOLLINGS 9/18/2012 11:52AM

    What a beautiful place to take a walk. Thanks for taking us along on your amazing get-away!

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-MOJOJOJO- 9/18/2012 11:31AM

    How lovely! I wish we had trails like that here!! Thanks for sharing! I ought to do this on my desert hike someday!' ~_~

Comment edited on: 9/18/2012 11:32:03 AM

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BRADMILL2922 9/17/2012 10:47PM

    Wow, that is a really pretty walk! Thanks for sharing the pics! It looks really peaceful. I don't blame you for walking that all the time because I know I would!


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AJDOVER1 9/17/2012 10:27PM

    That was so fun! I wonder if I could learn to walk and take pictures at the same time. I don't think I'm as talented as you are. I'll just tag along with you.

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ANDYLIN90 9/17/2012 9:47PM

    Loved going on a hike with you! Thanks for posting.

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CARTOONB 9/17/2012 8:29PM

    Did you roll down the hill on purpose?

Gorgeous area!

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OLDERDANDRT 9/17/2012 6:38PM

    So pretty!! We have some parks nearby that have lovely wooded walking trails, but none so lovely as your spot! Thanks so much for taking me along with you this time!! What fun! emoticon

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BKNOCK 9/17/2012 6:32PM

    Great pictures!

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DEBBIELCG 9/17/2012 5:56PM

    i wish i could walk through there everyday.

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NEEKEPOO 9/17/2012 5:37PM

    Love it! I may just have to invite you along for our next bike ride! emoticon

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USFBULL 9/17/2012 5:31PM

    Well done, thanks for showing some of your neighborhood. Looks like a great place for winding down the pace and listening to nature. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LINDAMARIEZ1 9/17/2012 5:23PM

    Thank you for the hike! I am always alone! I had fun! Lets do it again sometime?
linda emoticon emoticon

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SANDYCRANE 9/17/2012 5:21PM

    I enjoyed the tour of your hike. emoticon

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Yeah, Hiking Does THAT!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

It is my haven. My meditation. It makes me feel some sort of connection to everything that is on this big blue ball of life and energy. I feel what it is like to be away from the noise, chaos, interruptions of the every day. I get to be comfortable in my OWN skin, my OWN little world of, well, ME. I learn alot about myself in these 45 minutes. Sometimes I hike longer just for the heck of it. Sometimes I sit down on the rock beside the pond and just listen. To what? Nothing but the sound of nature. There are times I stand still, closing my eyes, letting the breeze caress my face. Then there are times I allow the moment to spark me, spur me, and I set off ablaze, deeper in my woods, deeper down the hills until I am spent. But happy. Very very happy.

There is nothing like returning to my starting point at the top of the hill and looking down on the fields around me. I feel like a conqueress. A lioness. Strong. Enabled with a grit and determination that has claimed the territory around me. But yet, I am not too strong as to be able to reach down and caress the small and fragile beauty of the caterpillar that is making its way beside me. I am bold. But not too bold as to frighten away the small bird that has landed to stand beside me only a few feet away...

This is the moment that defines me. This is the small piece of world that is mine and mine alone that gives me wings and a spirit of "can do." I am beautiful. I am a woman of many colors, many textures, many layers. Yet, this moment, this little carving of space, reveals to me who I TRULY am. I am fragile, yet determined. I am small but a crucial piece to the make-up of the world around me. When I breathe, I don't just breathe in air or push out air. When I breathe I am making a difference to myself and, hopefully, to others.

There are times I decide to go back into the enclosure of the trees while my heart is winding down. I grab the low-hanging limbs and put my face into them, smelling the color of fall that is slowly changing them. At times I smile, finding little patterns in the veins and observing how intricately they are woven together. God's paintbrush is gentle, strong and decisive. The Painter gave each stroke, each line, His careful consideration. That is what He did with me as well. AND you. Can you imagine that? Someone who loves us all so very much that He made us beautifully, lovingly and with careful detail? That no one in this huge world is just like me? Just like YOU?

I whip out of the enclosure with a newfound sense of belonging. I am unique. I have fears, setbacks, imperfections. However, I don't have to limit myself because of them. I can break out of my own self-imposed ideas and get to know myself all over again. I am older. But my heart is as young as the small fawn grazing across the fence, waiting on its mother to return. I am wiser, but still willing to be taught more lessons in humility and forgiveness.

Hiking is my euphoria. My tunnel, my path, my drug of choice. It sends me to a different level of being that is yet to be touched by anything else.

I am me.

I love me.

I am strong. I am determined. I am YOU.

God bless you all so very much today.

You are loved.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GREGGWEISBROD 1/29/2014 12:22AM

    Once the great thaw sets in finally, and spring begins to wrap it's arms of renewal around your world... I hope you'll hike like this again, and share it with us in much the same way as you did here. Beautiful.

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 9/18/2012 6:30AM

    Makes me want to go hiking today. Have not been in a long time and I have miles of trails in the Cleveland Metroparks, the Ohio Buckeye trail right outside my door....

I need to take advantage of them once again....

Thanks for the vivid reminder.

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OLDERDANDRT 9/17/2012 3:15PM

    You are blessed, my friend and loved very much! emoticon

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JADOMB 9/17/2012 12:33PM

    You are fortunate to have such beauty so near to you. I miss the wide open spaces of my youth. Now, if I go for a hike, I have to take a stick to fend of dogs and thugs. LOL But once I get through my home projects and other obligations, I plan to get out more to the beautiful places that we do have near us. I love God and all his creations.

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BRADMILL2922 9/17/2012 12:47AM

    Great blog! Thanks for sharing! Love the fall weather and getting outside more and enjoying nature! Glad you got to get out and enjoy!


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JUNIAATROME 9/16/2012 10:59PM

    Nature heals! Life looks so much better out there. Why don't I get out there more often???!!! emoticon

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BKNOCK 9/16/2012 10:06PM

    I am glad to hear that you are investigating the outdoors again! Great blog!

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CARTOONB 9/16/2012 10:04PM

    Well said, as always.

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SHELLIECAN 9/16/2012 4:22PM

    WoW !!! Inspiring words.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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IAM_HIS2 9/16/2012 4:04PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon what a blessing this blog was to me. emoticon

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