Sunday, December 26, 2021

Saying Yes to Living Life Large

And he says yes. to adventures, to projects, to my whims, to the requests made by the inherited grandkids to do things and mostly to living life large. That’s my sweet man, Rod who I usually refer to as “Mr. Right”.  Who knew five years ago when I accepted a date with this guy that we would end up enjoying life together, embracing each other’s kids, family members and friends?    This is the guy who doesn’t complain when the garbage disposal switch went out on Christmas Eve morning. He just went to town to get the part and fix it.  This is the same guy who has never told me no to any project that I think up… nope, he just figures out how to do it. With that thought in mind, what does he ask for Christmas? More power tools for projects, so that is what I gave him. 

Yesterday on Christmas morning as Rod’s kids weren’t here with us, we invaded Jen & her girls to watch them open gifts and have breakfast.  And the girls made seating placements for everyone, and where do they put Rod (a/k/a “Pops”)?..... well he was the only one invited to sit at the kid’s table.  And when they asked Pops to take them skiing today, he said yes, so off to the slopes is where he, Jen and the girls will enjoy the snow. That makes my heart so happy.

I have to admit, I’m not really a very smart person and often get tunnel vision on life.  The good thing is that I am a committed life learner and I absorb so much from others on how they enjoy life. Plus, for an added benefit, I truly feel God knew he had to give me some earthly human help and placed Mr. Right in my life.  For that I know I am blessed beyond measure.  Funny thing is - that Rod says he is the one who is lucky.  Either way, life is good, we are grateful for all that we have.  And yes, we both know we are far from perfect and when we drive each other crazy… well we take a step back and yep…. You guessed it – we look at what is “right in our lives” and that rebalances us.

And what did I get for Christmas from Mr. Right?  It’s a “mystery history tour adventure” scheduled for next month.  All I have to do is pack for cold weather, bring books and be prepared to enjoy the fun he has planned. Seriously, is that not the best thing ever?  The recipe for living life large brought to me by this very special man of mine.    

And as 2022 will be ushered in within the next few days, once again I’ll try my best to saying yes more often to the unexpected opportunities for fun and playing.  We’ve both worked so much of our lives, that now is the time to seize the moments of joy and see life just like a 5 year old does.  It's about seeing more good and what is "right" in life, in people and in our everyday surroundings. How about you? What are your goals and hopes?  Hugs, blessings and love to all, Gayle


Wednesday, December 15, 2021


A fun trip to Longwood Gardens in PA

Christmas 2021


As I am writing this letter in the evening hours of December 13, it is with a thankful heart.  I’m warm & cozy sitting by the fire sipping a glass of wine and alternating writing and watching the snow fall outside the window. Rod and all three spoiled pooches are (snoozing) and close by.  This is my kind of bliss. After 2020 and now days away from the end of 2021, the small everyday events that were once taken for granted and given little thought have now been elevated to an awareness of sincere appreciation.  Who knew little things like going to get coffee at a local shop, having the ability to travel, interacting with people in person and so many more everyday actions would be celebrations of the return to normal?   Normal is a good thing and at the end of the day I marvel at the ordinary pace of life. 

Other blessings in my life are that I retired on my birthday and retirement is beyond wonderful. I could ramble on for paragraphs, but trust me on this, I relish this stage of life.  I started a custom baking business and days spent in the kitchen are simply fun.  The best part of this is that I don’t have to make a living and slave away, a post retirement career is where I get to simply enjoy the passion of the adventure and work when I want to.  (Rod says), I too retired and agree with Gayle, I have yet found that I or we have little time on our hands!  And that’s a good thing.  My first project of getting Dad's courting car completely redone and the old farm sleigh is the newest project. 

As for the rest of life, so far so good – healthy, happy and content. We usually don’t know what day it is, except I do make a point to know when it is garbage day…but other than that, life is basically 6 Saturdays and a Sunday.   Can it get any better?   The highlights are that Rod and I have traveled to Louisiana as a birthday/retirement celebration, always fun to go and even better to go home. We traveled to Seattle to visit Rod’s daughter, Chelsea over July 4th holiday and then were able to spend Thanksgiving with Kaitlyn and her family in Maryland. We also enjoy getting to see family who live around here and are hoping that Rod’s son, Zach, who is now a senior at the UI will stay in the area after graduation.  Oh!! and I beat my mom at Scrabble (once) so I’m gloating as most times, I get regularly beat by the feisty 85 yoa matriarch. (Rod says), and another great trip to the San Juans where I masterfully pulled 13 crabs in one set!  We love taking the boat to the Canadian Gulf Islands, but Canada was closed by boat at the time, so we stuck to the Juans. There just so many places to go in the islands.  Additionally, I can’t believe she left out our Montana trip!  Our first night in Phillipsburg was grand.  I booked a hotel in Phillipsburg months earlier…Phillipsburg Kansas that is and didn’t realize it until about 7 p.m.  While I was on the phone trying to get a room, Gayle was busy making friends in the bar which led to us getting a spectacular room in a beautiful old 1889 hotel!  It figures.  

We’re getting ready to host Christmas here on the farmette and look forward to seeing even more of the extended family who now bring with them these sweet new little babies to hug on. (Rod says), and I love my inherited grandkids too, they are special!

As for goals for 2022, well…. it will definitely be devoted to embracing more quality time with family and friends. That is hands down the spice of life.  It is gathering together and making memories to cherish.  I’ll continue to look for those small little everyday miracles that make you realize you just received a “God Kiss”.  (Rod says), My goals are to keep Gayle from working too hard, I think I’ll sprinkle some more trips in there.

In closing, may you enjoy your version of a normal and beautiful life in 2022.  And that you continue to enjoy the wonderment of life’s blessings.    And in the wise words of Albert Einstein – “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle” Ditto!

Love and hugs,  

Gayle and Rod