Ghost Memories

For the time being, please stop here. Let ghost memories swirl around you. Envelope you like a late winter fog smothering the last remnants of snow.

Stop running. Memories have no legs, but cannot be outrun for they are experts in the art of pursuit, relentless in the chase.

Stand firm. Relinquish power to the moment. Enjoy the leaf blessed with vivid colors as it floats down the stream. Experience its journey. The beauty of a single leaf touches the spirit more than the memory of a hundred trees.

Surrender.  Azure skies remain despite the gray. Even the tiniest bird can soar above the clouds. Flex its wings in even the strongest wind.

For the time, being please stop here. Be the hunter, not the prey. Find strength, not solitude. Ghost memories need not haunt you.

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At War with Food

After years of living to eat instead of eating to live, I find myself in a position shared with many others…food is now the enemy.  I have been lactose intolerant for most of my life, which I have been able to manage by carefully balancing what I eat with those little miracle lactose supplement pills, but over the last year something changed. I found myself nauseous after every meal, sometimes just a little and other times to the point of talking myself down from vomiting. I cut out all dairy and even gluten, but the problem persisted. After months of tests and trial and error, the latest diagnosis of functional dyspepsia and/or gastroparesis is the winner.  I have been told my stomach does not empty properly, a lifelong condition to be managed by careful diet and consumption limits.

Thankfully, all of my changes have resulted in feeling better than I have for over a year, but eating is a full time job. My days consist of dairy free, gluten free, no raw vegetables, lean fats, high protein, oh, and I can only eat small amounts every few hours. My measuring stick for small amounts…a deck of cards. By limiting myself to all of the above and portions no more than the size of two decks of cards, I have found the silver bullet!

The challenge now is within my mind. Walking away from chocolate frosted donuts when I get my Iced Tea at Dunkin Donuts, never eating pizza again, and passing on the warm dinner rolls in a restaurant even though they smell like heaven. Once in a while, I fall off the wagon, but my symptoms are always there to remind me.

 

Mount Washington, New Hampshire

A must see adventure when traveling in New England!

The Mount Washington Auto Road leads to one of the most beautiful places on earth. While known for record breaking winds and cold, spectacular vistas set in an almost mystical background provide a paradise for outdoor lovers, photography buffs, and thrill seekers. Note…the auto road is not for the faint at heart. Anyone with a fear of heights should consider taking the Cog Railway, another adventure in itself.

As you wind up the narrow road, take your time to stop and explore the areas (plus your car will appreciate the break). This is a two lane road, so meeting traffic requires a little finesse. Once at the top, break out your sweatshirt…even in the summer. The day I went was a beautiful 70 degree day, but the summit was 42 degrees with a wind chill of 17 degrees.

You will find breathtaking hiking trails, but heed any warning signs and always be prepared. Tuckerman’s Ravine is one of the most famous trails in the world, but can also be dangerous…respect the terrain.  After your summit adventure, take a break in their cafe for a warm cup of chili and enjoy a museum dedicated to this famous mountain.

More than a memory.

The valentines card made by my daughter just weeks before my mother died is just another in a long stream of precious artifacts. Since my father’s passing in September, our family has painstakingly sifted through over a century of memories. My parents bought their house in the 1960’s, and ever since have collected treasures from our family. As the older generations of grandparents, aunts, and uncles passed away, my parent’s three story barn became an archive of memories.

I never understood why the older generations kept every little piece of their life, but now, I am grateful for their ways. Letters from my uncle who stormed the beaches of Normandy, my great-great grandfather’s civil war medal, and a beautiful wedding dress worn by someone that I’ll never know.

Unfortunately, my generation has gone to the extreme. I have not printed a photo in years, tossed my yearbooks as useless clutter, and failed to save almost everything from my childhood. My kids and grandkids will never know what meant the most to me over the years.

Here’s to a future made of a happy middle between packrat and minimalist!

 

 

Thoughts on Memorial Day

Last summer, we brought my Dad to the cemetery to decorate our mother’s grave. I did not know at the time, but this was his last visit. As we unloaded my Mom’s favorite flowers from the car, I turned to find my Dad resting. In the final stages of cancer, he was too weak to stand. There are instances in your life when time stands still. I will never forget his expression or the realization I had in that moment…he was ready.

My Dad was the silent veteran. He served in the Berlin Crisis and for many years in the National Guard. He rarely spoke of his service and never sought praise or thanks. This week, our family received a presidential letter thanking him for his service. Today, we will decorate their grave. Thank you, Dad, and we will think of you today and honor your memory.

 

 

Spring Palette Cleanser

Since it is April 21st and my ground is still covered in snow, I am revisiting some of my favorite places to cleanse my visual palette!

How do you describe beauty? Words cannot do justice to one of the most beautiful places on earth. If you have a bucket list, add a drive along the A2 from Zurich, Switzerland to Italy onto the list. Simply breathtaking!