Monday, January 22, 2018

From the Dark Arose Compassion & Grace

This morning seeing the sun shining on a fresh dusting of snow and just as I looked out at this view, the song "Morning has Broken" by Third Day was playing.... pure magic
Sometimes when something hits close to home, it is a good reminder to be thankful for the beautiful day and enjoy it with those you love. And with that...

I remember being on a tour of the Lewis & Clark Caverns in Montana several years ago and during the tour,  the  guide turned off the light, and we were pitched into complete and total darkness.  And that image of darkness flashed into my head when I read the sad news of the WSU Quarterback, Tyler Hilinski who took his life at age 21.  Although I didn’t know this young man, it looked like he was living the dream with a bright future ahead of him.  All I can imagine is that in his mind, a black abyss was all around him.  While I’ve had dark days, they were never to that point, but I have been part of a suicide aftermath in our own family and my heart understands what his parents are going through.   And it can only be described as having your personal life destroyed by a tornado of grief and remnants of life and memories are strewn about in fragments.   My heart breaks for Tyler’s family and friends or anyone else’s for that matter who are left in the wake of grief.  I want to share a text number that I saw about a free service for those depressed or suicidal. Text 741741 and a crisis worker will text back.  My heartfelt thoughts go out to all who experience this type of depression and plead they reach out for help to escape that black hole.

One thing for certain, or at least for me, is that after going through something like that, I gained more appreciation of life.  I realize how fragile life can be and that each day isn’t a given, rather a gift to enjoy.   As hard as I try, sometimes I don’t relish my gift of a day or use it wisely, but almost always I’ll experience some kind of beauty whether in the form of a sweet gesture, smile or act, or simply enjoying a beautiful sunrise or sunset. I also realize the value of time spent with my loved ones and that I need to keep a firm grip on my self-imposed busyness. Far too often I've let my task driven focus rob me of enjoying that time with my people. Another reason to try to live mindfully, Another reason to move quality time with others on the top of my to-do list.

Cakes in the making

And with that, this week-end two of the three grand-angels have January birthdays, and we as a family, have always celebrated each other and another year of being together.  So the sweeties and I baked cakes .... it was a gooey sticky mess of a kitchen afterward, but sweet memories were made.

Miss B, Mss M with their beautiful mamma, Jen. Brother Barry, sis-in-law Denise, and Grandpa Tim

And those who were able to make it for dinner at my place gathered to celebrate these wonderful little lives. And on the menu? The kiddos also choose the main course.. which is lasagna and also meatless lentil chili. And, as we gather around the dinner table to enjoy the meal, I said a silent prayer for another year together.

Bday dinner 2018, part 2

Of course in true fashion, I awoke in the wee hours to put the blog together to share. For some reason it doesn't feel complete....and I'm not sure why... but I'll imagine that more quality time with the laptop will be happening as the words start to flow again.

I wish you a great week ahead, and hope you can spend some quality time with your peeps.  =)

All my best Gayle

The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.  John 1:5
A gorgeous sunset. A hope at the end of each day that it was lived with purpose, joy and grace.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Living Mindfully

Living mindfully are the two words that I awoke to ….  precisely at 2:09am this morning. Ugh.....  And while at the time I didn’t know what they meant, I just wrote them down and tried to go back to sleep.

The last couple of nights I’ve been restless in sleep and my taste in music seems to somehow intuitively sense a story that was in the making.  And so tonight I put on Rascal Flatts as this band has such powerful lyrics that permeates my soul, poured myself a glass of wine and opened the laptop.  

While I never exactly know what words are going to start pouring out, I had an inkling that the beginnings of a story had started last week when I attended a women’s wine night at Adrian’s house, which just so happened to be my folk’s old house. While the house itself wasn’t where I grew up, it was where I learned about true family love and fun.  The house was where I transitioned from being a single young woman, to being married, then becoming a mom, and then becoming a grandmother myself. That house has seen so much, it’s almost like it’s a diary. It was a  place that was safe, even magical for me for so many years. And when the wine night invite came, I was nervous to attend, as I didn’t know where I would be on the emotional scale.  But the event was held in the new shop so it was a neutral spot, but I asked permission to take a peek inside the house.  And surprisingly, the interior was almost the same as when mom left to begin her new life after leaving  “The Ranch House”. The place was sold furnished and the new owners had kept almost everything the same and I almost felt like I’d see my step-dad walking into the kitchen to grab his favorite snack, raw onions and a hunk of cheese.  The memories of holidays and countless hours of pure family fun crept in and it made me smile.  One of my favorite memories was when I was eight months pregnant with Jennifer, my oldest and it was December.  My mom, step-dad and I had spent the better part of a Saturday making Christmas decorations from fabric in the shapes of trees and bells that we  sewed and then stuffed. Today I still have all those ornaments and they are as special now as they were back then.

And the term “living mindfully” made sense as today I read one of the most heart wrenching but beautiful obits from a young woman whose life was cut short by cancer. Her words were powerful about living life to the fullest, making memories and not sweating the small stuff. She cautioned to not collect stuff, but rather collect cherished memories by truly living.  Her words were hauntingly beautiful.  And the memory of witnessing the last rights being given to my step-dad floated up.    I remember sitting in the hospital room and thought to myself that when you get to that stage of life, that all you have are the memories. Material stuff isn’t important, it’s the memories that are the precious keepsakes. And as I begin this new year, in a new farmhouse in a new town, I’ve started making the storyboard of a beautiful life.  In the short 10 months that I’ve lived here, I’ve hosted 3 work events, a neighborhood get to know you party,  a Christmas gathering of family friends as well as Christmas itself. My sweetheart and I have spent some cozy evenings together with many more in the works.   And I can see where more gatherings are on the horizon when I gather family and friends to celebrate life here in my little piece of heaven on earth.  And for me, the everyday goal will be to enjoy the beautiful moments of each day and live that day as if it were my last.

And as I close,  it is a privilege to me that you stopped by. I hope that somewhere in these words and the emotions that get poured out in the blog, that you will find a way for you to live mindfully in a way that makes your heart and soul sing. 

As always, nothing warms this girl’s heart more than comments if this particular blog resonated to you.  Feel free to leave a comment on FB page for S-Wheatfarmlife or post a comment on the blog.

All my best, Gayle

Here are some photos found and I had to take a picture of the picture.... so please forgive the poor images
My sweet step-dad holding  the new grand-baby. He was terrified of holding babies
RIP Grandpa Doug  11-30-2011

Winter fun on the farm hills. The  Ranch House is in the back

Summer fun during one of our crazy croquette games at the ranch
Horse fun with mom, daughter Jen and my step-dad

Monday, January 1, 2018

Enroute - A Life Journey

Me, the dogettes and my vintage tractor
Sometimes memories feel like a cozy blanket, when you wrap yourself up in it, you feel snug, warm and content.  Having some of the best Christmas memories still fresh in this girl’s mind, I have to confess I still have a holiday glow.   This year it was more to do with the gathering of close friends that feel like family, as well as those you are connected to by blood that made me count my blessings as new memories were being made at my new farmette. My youngest daughter had arrived on the 22nd but was enroute right after the holidays to start a new life with her man in Hagerstown, MD. Her life was literally “enroute” as her household contents, including her dog and car were headed across the country. Knowing she would fly out on December 26, we enjoyed some good mom and daughter time, hanging out in jammies, drinking coffee in the morning, wine at night and realizing from here on out that Christmas would be different and that the reality would be we may not spend holidays together every year due to children's schedules and just life in general.

                                          Our first morning chatting and looking for recipes for Christmas dinner.                                                                      P.S., I'm going to be in big trouble if Miss Kaitlyn see's this picture... Lol)
An informal shot of a fun game we were playing after dinner ( I won one hand) yahoo

My girls, mom and me

A blessed day with almost all of the family. It was a good day.
We were missing Kaitlyn's man & his kiddos, my man, and Doug & Edie's boys

My brothers, Doug, Barry, mom and me
And today, as I anticipate a bright new shiny 2018 year ahead, I enjoyed morning coffee looking over a frosty landscape, compiled a music playlist, read poignant thoughts from friends & families on social media and mentally began composing a New Year’s blog post.

The term enroute has captured my attention with it’s official definition “on or along the way”.  It was sort of an “aha moment” as I thought, “yup we are all enroute in some form or fashion whether or not we realize it”.   For me, it’s going to be my theme for the year.   I read something from Lisa Hammond that just spoke to me, and it said, “sometimes on the way to your dream you get lost and find a better one.  Life is too short to not follow your heart.  Make a life list  instead of a to-do list and constantly add to it. Learn, start and go.  Yup it’s gonna be a wonderful 2018, and I’m excited to share some of those life lists through words, pictures and who knows??? Maybe drag you into a few crazy adventures with me.  

As always, thank you for taking time out of your life to come take a peek at mine.  I wish you  a splendid year and hope that you seek your own “life list”.   I would love to have you send me a note or update on where your enroute adventures take you.  As always, I am only a click away at .  All my best, Gayle