Category Archives: Nature

Lessons of My Tree – Part 2

Spring has finally arrived!  I, like so many, am ready for the warmer temperatures and the end to the seemingly endless snowfall we have had this past winter.  I am ready to spend time outside: basking in the glorious sunshine; breathing in fresh, clean air; listening to wonderful sounds of all of Nature’s glory; and, sitting in the shade of my tree!  Yes, you heard correctly, the shade of my TREE!!!!  For those of you who haven’t read my earlier blog about my tree, please do so now, as this won’t make a lot of sense otherwise.  (   )   When I went out to fill the bird feeder earlier this week, I was very happy to see buds on the tree branches.  I went over to my tree and gave her a big hug and thanked her for hanging in there with me.  I swear I heard a sigh.  And I felt her strength.  And I’ve hugged her each day since then; and she has given me strength each day since then.  I hope I’ve given her some too.  I don’t want to take all of her strength, as I want my tree to live and to thrive; I want the “tree man” who looked at her and said she was dying to be wrong.  I want to heal her and help her to live.  And she has.

She survived the “polar vortex,”  not just once, but many times this past winter.  She stood strong against the cold and piercing winds that shook her branches.  She maintained her strength when the ice and snow clung to her and froze her over and over and over.  She clung to life and has been able to show the “polar vortex” that she is stronger than its cold wind, ice and snow.  She is a pillar of strength of what is good and just in this world.  She asks for so little, just water and air, and she gives much in return: strength, oxygen, beauty, grace, shade, healing, etc. And even through her own suffering and pain, she continues to give out all that she can, all that she knows she must, as she knows, innately, what her purpose is on the earth. And she honors that purpose.

I have spent so many years searching for the purpose to my life.  I am not sure that I have found it, however, I do think that whatever I came here to do, I have either done or it will find me, as long as I am open to it.  Maybe I am tired of searching.  Maybe I feel like searching is taking up too much of the time I could be living.  Recently, I’ve spent more time wondering what my “legacy” will be, or if I want one. I do not have children, not human ones at least, so there will be no descendants.  My fur kids are spayed or neutered, so none there either (bet most of you didn’t think of your fur-kids as descendants!)  And, considering my cultural background,  descendants is where it’s at.  My parents worked hard, saved a lot and left us, their children a tidy sum when they died.  I will not have children to pass things down to, but I will keep my parent’s things in the family; I’m big on stuff like that.  I’ve taken a financial beating to keep stuff “in the family.”   But I digress.  Again, I wonder what will be my legacy?  Will I leave any mark that I have been on this earth?  Is that even important?  I am not sure what the answers to these questions are at this point, but I am beginning to realize that my tree may hold the answers for me.

My tree’s purpose is clear: to give the earth oxygen, beauty, shade, nutrients, healing, etc.  She has, probably, never questioned her purpose on this earth since was a little sapling.  She has always, probably, known what she was born to do and she has done it with grace and strength, the way she innately knew how to do it.  So, what can she teach me about her legacy?  After all, she has no saplings that I know of;  I never let those little maple “whirligigs” grow; you know, the ones that clog your gutters and get everywhere every spring! (Although I might try to grow a few this spring, just to see what happens, you know.)

So what will she “leave behind?”  For one, there will be an enormous hole in my life.  She will not be there to wake up to each morning or to say goodnight to each evening.  I will not be able to converse with her and gain strength and wisdom from her.  The shade won’t be there in the summer and the birds will not have a place for their feeder to hang in the winter.  Her beauty will be missed by all, as many comment about how much they love my tree.  My neighbor has even asked the “tree man” how to save her; she is very loved!  There will be less oxygen to breathe because my tree is gone, although I am not sure that will be one of the things that is thought of at the time.  And I know a myriad of other ways that she will leave her mark on this world that I that escapes me. What strikes me as I write this is that once I am gone, either by moving or death, the memory of my tree will be gone also.  But I think that is the way it happens with people, too.  My parents are remembered by their children and grandchildren; but their great-grandchildren never knew them and, so, the knowledge of who they were as people, will die.  Yes, there is a tombstone for genealogists or family who want to know, but they will never really know, they can’t.  Just as no one can really know my tree.

Once again, my tree all ties everything together. My tree’s purpose is to “Just Be” and by doing so provides those that love her with the gifts that they need.  Once again, she is showing me the way, as my theme for the year is to “Just Be.”  Hopefully by doing so, I can give someone else a gift that they need.  Her legacy?  Well, I guess that is yet to be determined, as is mine, but she is teaching me…



Gratitude and My Kids

I have decided that I am not a prolific writer.   I am a prolific thinker.  Now I just need to be able to turn that into written words! Not that every thought I have is worthy to be written, far from it!  Most I would be embarrassed to share.  You know the ones; why did they put that stupid show on TV?;  can’t that person drive their car faster than 15 MPH?;  Do you really have to get up at 6 AM to go outside?  But now I do want to share my thoughts.

The window in front of my desk faces east and there is the most gorgeous sunrise this morning!  (If I didn’t have a big utility pole with a transformer on it I would take a picture and shared it with you.)  It is red and pink and orange, like fire rising from the dark horizon.  It meets dark clouds that won’t let its light through, yet it powers on, never ceasing, until it wins. It has given all the clouds light, just on the underside, so they are pink and orange bursts of cotton candy floating in the sky.  Isn’t mother nature grand!  The sunset was much the same last night, although I couldn’t get a picture of it either!

What this made me think of is gratitude!  All the “things”in life I am so very grateful for, that I hold dear in my heart.  None of them are things, unless they represent some other intangible “thing.”  Like my house, I am very grateful for my house, as it gives me a safe , warm, dry place to be. And my car, because it allows to get to where I need to be, whether that be with friends, family, doctors or whomever.  But the “things” I am really grateful for are not things, they are people.  Like my wonderful friends in St. Louis, with out whom I would literally not survive!  My great friends in Quincy, both new and old, who have given me support and love.  My family, some of whom have been by my side through everything.  And my kids, without whom I would never have survived everything, everyday!

I have three furry, four legged kids, who are the center of my world!  You know the saying “Love me, Love my dogs,” well, I might take that to extremes!  The oldest is Rudy and he is “Da Man” of the house.  He found me at the Humane Society when he was 9 months old!  I was very lucky!  He is almost 12 and has diabetes, which I think I am finally getting under control.  He is a good boy, very loving and mostly well-behaved.  Any behavior problems he has is strictly my fault; he needs more exercise, which I can’t give him.  That would just about be it!IMG_0893

Then there is Alli, who is the “middle child” and is almost 9.  She is a beagle, might be full and might be a mix.  She was  a Humane Society rescue also.  I’m not sure who found who with Alli.  I think I felt very, very sorry for her.  She had been there over a year and no one was interested because she is…weird.  She has so many funky behaviors that she drives me nuts sometimes, but I have to remind myself how abused she was and how scared she was before she came to live with me.  She didn’t walk across the floor, she crawled on her belly.  Now she runs and barks and barks and barks and barks…  You get the picture!


Last, but certainly not least, is Willie. The Princess.  The Ruler of the House.  She is going on 6 and is a Mini-Doxie.  She is also very stubborn, wants her own way, thinks every toy in the house is hers and is generally obnoxious!  She is also my baby.  That about says it all doesn’t it.  Yes, the baby of the family does seem to get away with more, or at the very least, gets more coddling.  I try to give them all the same things…if one gets a treat all do, if one gets a new toy, all do, etc.  She is little though, so she spends more time on my lap because she fits.  She also sleeps under the covers next to me, because she fits and because Rudy won’t!  My friends get on me because I spend too much time loving on her and not enough on the other two, so I have tried to be more fair about this.  I suck at it! I do keep trying though.


See, a face you can’t resist!  Okay, they ALL have faces you can’t resist!  At least I can’t!  Of course, I can’t resist any puppy’s face. And yes, they are all puppies to me, no matter how old they get!

So there is my gratitude list: My Kids, My Friends, My Family, My House, My Car, Sunrises, Sunsets and I know there are Hundreds of Others that go on the list! But that will be another post for another day, when I am thinking of them.