A Slice of Life Writing

Thank you for stopping by!

My Own Velvet Room is now A Slice of Life Writing. You will be redirected there in 6 seconds. I hope you will become a regular visitor there.

Missing Y'All!

I've discovered that changing homes on the web is not all that different from changing homes in real life. I moved to A Slice of Life Writing a couple of weeks ago and I'm feeling kind of lonely. Some of the friends I have here in the Velvet Room haven't made it over to the new place to visit yet.

I'm still unpacking and putting things away but I would love to have you drop and check out the new place. I'll be cruising around to your places as soon as I can too. This moving business takes more time and effort than I imagined - not unlike my last move in real life.

Hope to see you soon over at A Slice of Life Writing

Moving Day

Over two years ago I moved into this cozy Velvet Room. Over the years I tweaked things here and there and made it my own. Along the way I have been blessed to have come into contact with a fantastic group of fellow bloggers and writers and friends. Thank you all for stopping by the Velvet Room whether you were a regular or occasional visitor, I have appreciated you greatly.

Sometimes, when one looks ahead to future plans and goals, they come to the realization that their abode is not quite going to do what they need it to for them. And today, dear friends, that is the case with me.

Over the past while I have been packing and moving to a new home. Well, it's not technically new because what I am doing is combining My Own Velvet Room, Arms of Adoption and my writer website into one brand new home.

I hope you stop by my new home at A Slice of Lifewriting. C'mon over and leave a comment to let me know you've arrived! And don't forget to become a follower; I don't want to lose anyone in the move!

With warm hugs and thanks,

Adoption Awareness Month

November is Adoption Awareness month. Have you been touched by adoption in some way? According to statistics posted at Grown in My Heart, chances are you have.

In the absence of an "official" symbol to commemmerate the month I have adopted these hearts as my adoption awareness symbol.

Check out Arms of Adoption to find out why.

Smells Lke Hanukkah!

A few nights ago it was Halloween. Gerry and I settled in for the evening to watch the baseball game knowing there would be many distractions. We had a fire in the fireplace and I lit my new pumpkin scented Yankee candle. (Yankee candles are one of the reasons I appreciate the change of seasons.)

Chelsea went crazy every time the doorbell rang; I would hold her 2.7 pounds feisty frame in my arms while Gerry doled out the chocolate. Maya on the other hand, a substantial 7 pounder,  sat where whe was told to and watched the action from her spot at the edge of the carpet.

At one point when Gerry opened the door to a group of young boys one of them must have caught the scent of the pumpkin candle because he exclaimed "Oh! It smells like Hanukkah!"

I'm not Jewish and I have no idea what the smells of Hannukkah might be but I was struck by his remark and reminded of what a powerful took the sense of smell is in evoking memories.

I have a bottle of body lotion tucked away and every so often I pull it out and take a whiff and I am transported immediately to the Dominican Republic where we enjoyed a vacation a few years ago. I slathered that lotion on every day while we were there.

The scent of Jergens hand lotion reminds me of Mom and tiny squirt of lotion she would put on my hand when I was a child and we were getting ready to go out into the cold Saskatchewan winter.

A strong coffee smell makes me think of Mrs. Crooks, a neighbor who lived behind us when I was a child. Mom used to take me with her when she went to visit and Mrs. Crooks always had one of those Pyrex coffee pots sitting on her stove and the scent of perculating coffee filled her kitchen.

As we get older we amass an array of memories that are grounded in smell. What smells evoke strong memory with you?


I almost killed my husband once. It would have been unintentional had I succeeded; I'm sure it would have been ruled accidental or I would have been declared not guilty by reason of insanity; for insane I was.

We were on vacation in Mexico, spending the day at a beautiful place called Xel Ha, and planned to go snorkeling. I'm not a water person so it was only to please my husband that I agreed to don the flippers. life jacket, mask and snorkel and get into the water.

I am blessed with the most patient and understanding man in the world (he has to be to put up with me!) and he gently encouraged me and held on to my hand as we moved farther out in the water. Finally, when we were far enough out, he coached to put my face in the water and, well, begin snorkeling.

I managed to keep my fear in check and began to appreciate the beautiful underwater world but suddenly I was overcome with panic and instinct took over. Even as I was doing it I told myself to stop, but I was unable to prevent myself from climbing onto my husband's shoulders in an attempt to get myself out of the water.

Logically, I knew my behaviour had the potential to drown the man I loved, but I was absolutely unable to stop. Self-preservation, the will to survive, panic, instinct, call it what you will, it was a force to be reckoned with.

Finally, Gerry managed to fling me off of his shoulders and away from him far enough to prevent me from climbing back on top of him. My patient husband wasn't upset with me, he proceeded to calm me down and even got me to resume our snorkeling adventure.

I was in awe at what we were seeing in the underwater world, but I never quite got over my fear and every now and then an involuntary sharp intake of breath signaled to me that panic was not far away.

Sometimes, in the middle of the night when I can't sleep, I feel something similar to that physical sense of panic. In the wee hours, my mind wanders hither and yon and sometimes rests upon a "what if" scenario that stabs me with a bolt of fear.

It's silly really, getting worked about about an imaginary situation that will likely never happen, but the nighttime world is not unlike the underwater sometimes. Inexplicably, involuntary, irrationally, I'm pierced with a panic that I find myself powerless to resist.

When I started writing this post my intention was to write about someone who's life I think about sometimes as a way of quelling the fear of the unknown, but I think I will save that story for another day. I'll leave you with this tale of the power of panic and ask you: have you ever been gripped with a fear you found difficult to let go of? What did you do to overcome it?


I posted discussion on my Arms of Adoption blog between two women who, as young pregnant unmarried woman, had thier newborn babies taken from them according to government policy.

Hearing these woman recount what they went through breaks my heart. I hope you'll hop over and have a listen to an adoption experience from the perspective of the adoptive mom.

It's powerful and moving.

The Grandma

Many of us remember her from our childhood - that older woman who lived on our street who knew the names of all of the neighborhood kids. She may have baked cookies and handed them out now and then (back in the days before we had to forbid our children to take anything from anyone). She may have taken time to sit and listen to a child rattle on about a whole lot of not very much. Perhaps she had a little dog and would stop so you could pet it when she was out for a walk. She was nice, but she wouldn't hesitate to scold anyone who misbehaved, either.

Remember her? She was the Neighborhood Grandma.

I remember Mrs. Montgomery who lived across the street from us in a brick house. I am not sure how old she was, or if she was a grandma or a mother at all. She was my mom's friend and had known me my whole life. When I was twelve years and we moved away, she gave me a red wallet with the name of my hometown written on it.

Next door to Mrs. Montgomery, lived Mrs. Small. Mrs. Small also lived in a house made of bricks, but it was smaller than Mrs. Montomery's. Oddly enough, in my mind Mrs. Small herself was of a more diminutive stature than her neighbor as well. Hmmm.

It warms me to think of these grandmother-type women who knew me from the time I was born and who, in my mind, assumed the title of Neighborhood Grandma. I am sure that having these woman in the periphery of my life contributed to the sense of security and safety I felt in my neighborhood at all times.

This afternoon after work, I was out in the yard enjoying the unseasonably warm weather. I had geraniums to take out (we winter them), tulip and daffodil bulbs to plant, and winter pansies to put in the ground. They continue to warn us about a harsh winter ahead, but I am not thinking that far ahead. I'm enjoying the here and now.

After I got all of my gardening tools out, I set up the pen for Yorkies so they could enjoy the sunshine with me. No sooner had I deposited the dogs in the pen with a treat and one of their favorite chews, than a batch of children ran over to pet the dogs. One little one in particular caught my attention and made me smile.

Her name is Piper and she lives with her mommy and daddy and older siblings across the street from us. I have known her since she was born too. She's a sweet little one, just a touch older than my grandchildren, with a soft heart for my dogs.

Her mommy followed her across the street and we chatted while I showed Piper how to gently pet the dogs. Eventually, it was time for her to go home and as they walked back across the street I heard snippets of their conversation.

"The grandma let me pet her puppies!" said Piper.

The grandma! Oh I had to smile when I heard her say that!

And I thought, not for the first time, that I think Gerry and I are the oldest couple on the block. We are the neighborhood grandparents!  With this realization comes responsibility. I am going to have to make sure I learn the names of all the children on the street, and which house they belong to. I may even have to start baking cookies again!

The thought that one of these little ones might remember me as their Neighborhood Grandma one day made me smile. Life is like that, isn't it?

Circles within circles like ripples on a pond.

Friday Already?

Oh my, it's Friday already!

Most weeks I am saying Hallellulah! It's Friday! but this week it snuck up on me mainly because I got home from vacation on Wednesday and was only on the office for two days this week. It was just enough time for me to realize how far behind I am on some things. My to-do list and desk at home is no better; it's stacked with things that need my attention too.

I would like to go to the library and spend some time working on my book this weekend.

I would like to finish (actually start) the piece for my writing circle that meets next Saturday.

I would like to spend an hour or so curled up with a book I want to finish.

I would like to try out a new recipe.

I would like to spend time in the yard and get my winter flowers planted.

I would like to update my website.

I would like.....

The list goes on and on. Some things will get done and others will have to wait - it's just the reality that I have so many things I want to do and not enough time to do them all.

I hope that everyone reading this has a wonderful autumn weekend filled with must-do's and a splash of want-to-do's!

Tell me, what's on your list for this weekend?

P.S. I do want to tell you all about the new look for Story Circle Network's Telling Herstories blog. It's jam-packed with all sorts of useful information about lifewriting.

A Ticking Clock

We are heading home today after a wonderful time in Calgary. The "official" reason for our visit this time was to look after our grandson while his parents were away. We are fortunate that our granddaughter and her parents live just twenty minutes away so we have been blessed to have been able to spend time with both of them.

It seems that each time we are hear I hear the faint sound of a ticking clock counting down the minutes until we have to leave. Every day, every hour, every minute, every second we spend here is so precious.

I hear the ticking clock more often these days - even when we are not here.

Perhaps part of the reason is that I will turn fifty-two in a few months and my mom died suddenly at age fifty-five. I can't help but think about her and what dreams and hopes she may have had when she was fifty-two and all that she missed out on.

She adored my children, her grandchildren, as much as I adore my own grandchildren. It breaks my heart that she died so young and did not have the opportunity to see Michael and Laurinda grow up; just as it breaks my heart to consider not having that opportunity with Makiya and Jaxon. It's one of the reasons I started paying more attention to my health, and it's another reason I want to retire early so I can spend more time with them.

Sometimes the sound of the ticking clock is so loud that I forget to stop and enjoy the small, seemingly insignificant, moments that each day brings.

This week I have enjoyed time reading to the grands, playing with them, taking them for walks, and sitting an amazement at how much that have grown and changed in the short time since I saw them last. I have also been blessed to have been able to spend time talking with Laurinda about things that are important to each of us, though those precious moments seem to have been so brief.

I took time to appreciate the beauty of fallen fall leaves, the crunching sound they make when you walk through them, smile at black squirrels running across a yard, laugh as a jack rabbit caught the attention of my grandson, breath in cool morning air, and appreciate the sun on my skin on unseasonably-warm afternoons.

The clock continues to count down; I am filled with gratitude that the moments between each tick-tock are filled with wonder and beauty and family.

A Mystery

I love a good mystery, don't you? This week I received an anonymous invitation to visit a brand new blog written by someone known as Enna Scott.

Who is Enna Scott? Well, I don't know!

What I do know is that The Story of Enna Scott will unfold post by post on her blog and I am intrigued.

Join me, won't you, in the unfolding tale of the elusive Enna Scott.


In my newspaper column this month I am discussing early retirement and ladders; yes they do have something in common!

Check out my article in the Covington Reporter site and find out what it is

I would love to hear your thoughts on this article.


There have been ghosts all around me today.

I am in a city where I used to live, where I lived for a very long time as a matter of fact, and took some time this afternoon to visit some once-familiar places. I walked, I drove, I remembered, conjured ghosts of days gone by, the kind of thing I have enjoyed doing in the past.

It was different this time.

I was overcome with a powerful sense of grief; the kind of grief that I remember from many years ago, the kind that hurts physically as well as emotionally. And lonliness.

I can't say what prompted these emotions. I am the kind of person who has always cherished solitude, sought it out even, so I was taken aback by the overwhelming emotion that came over me for no apparent reason. I pushed through it as I have done many times in the past.

Later, I worked for a number of hours on my memoir. I went back in time to the 1970's and found ghosts there as well. I learned that in my writing I tend to gloss over periods of deep emotion and the 70's were, most definitely for me, filled with periods of deep emotion.

So now, at the end of the day, having coped with these ghosts all day, I am exhausted. I pray that I sleep deep and dreamless and that the ghosts have moved on by morning.

Running Away

I am running away from home tomorrow. 

I am going to get up early, when it is still dark, and throw some necessary things into my car. I'll take my Kindle, my Droid X, my laptop, the hard-copy draft of my memoir, toiletries, and a change of clothes. I won't need much else.

I will stop for coffee before I go too far: a venti soy carmel macchiato. I will plug my Droid into the auxillery jack in my car and listen to the Pandora radio that I recently discovered. Perhaps, after a while, I will switch to the satellite radio and my favorite classical station for something different.

In time, I will turn it all off and enjoy the silence.

Road trips stimulate my brain; I find myself thinking of things I want to write about. That reminds me, I will need to take my notebook and favorite pen along too.

Solitude. It is what recharges me when I am exhausted. It is what I need right now.

I have an appointment to go to on Monday afternoon, but this trip  is also a mini writing retreat. I should arrive at my destination around lunch time tomorrow and will have lots of time to myself. I have a reservation at a nice hotel that I know has comfy beds, quiet rooms, and good writing desks.
There is a park not too far away and I may take my pen and notebook and sit by the water for a while. I may go for a walk to a special place I know of; I may take a few pictures. I know I will go to the bookstore. I will probably get a cup of coffee and spend a hour or so browsing.
Later, when it gets dark I will go to my hotel room, pull on some comfy lounging clothes, turn on my laptop and bring up the fourth draft of my memoir. I have got a flow going and it's hard to maintain when life keeps getting in the way of writing time. This time alone will be good.
Don't look for me at church tomorrow; don't look for me at work on Monday. I am running away to write; I am running away to find someone I have been missing lately.

Happy Birthday, Laurinda!

Thirty-two years ago today, at 11:24 in the morning this sweet little girl was born!
She weighted 9 lbs 12 oz, she had a lot of black hair, and she was the first human being I every saw who shared my DNA.

Laurinda is a precious gift;
she is both my daughter and my friend.

Laurinda is a gifted writer, an avid reader, and a creative photographer.

She is an amazing mother.
One of the greatest sources of pride and joy in my life has been watching Laurinda blossom into motherhood.

She is introspective and comfortable with solitude.
I am often blown away by wisdom she shares in posts on her Seasons of Life blog.

Happy Birthday, Laurinda!
I am proud of you in more ways than you could imagine.

Happy Birthday, Michael!

Thirty years ago today this smiling baby boy was born! I was looking through his baby book yesterday and was flooded with memories of that day.

The book records that he arrived at 5:24 pm on Thursday, September 25, 1980. He weighted 8 lbs 15 ounces and he was 21 inches long. He had black hair and deep blue eyes.

We brought him home three days after he was born and Grandma Brauer (my mom) was there. "We came home around noon and it was a beautiful day. Michael just slept all the time. Everyone thought he was just darling and Laurinda gave him a big kiss!"

Michael is a joy and a delight to have for a son. 

He has always had a goofy sense of humor and delights in making people laugh, he is tender-hearted and generous, he is gifted as a carpenter, he is an outstanding cook. 

He loves baseball (New York Yankees) and hockey (Vancouver Canucks). He is an avid reader (Wilbur Smith and Clive Cussler).

What a handsome young man he has turned out to be!

Happy Birthday, Son.
I'm proud of you today and every day.

Missing Manderley

Perhaps you remember my Manderley dreams from earlier this year.

We first went to Manderley in the spring.  It was mid-March when I stood on the snow-covered land and breathed in the peace of the place that fed a hunger within me that I didn't know I had.

Six weeks later we were there and discovered that spring had come to the farm. I shared othe story in four posts (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4)

I even shared some video of the land with you.

It's been five months since that last trip to Manderley; since we came to the decision not to purchase the land, but I have not been able to put Manderley out of my mind.

I saved the link to the real estate listing in my favorites, I even memorized the MLS listing number, and every once in a while when I feel the need for a break I call it up. I remember the peace; I remember who I was when I was there.

Sometimes, unexpectedly, Gerry or I will say "imagine if we were at Manderley right now" or "remember what we were going to do at Manderley". We haven't forgotten our Manderley dream.

A few days ago I felt the need for a bit of Manderley and I clicked on the link I had saved. Like so many times in the past I expected to see the picture of the farm yard come up in my browser; instead I found myself looking at the real estate page but the listing for Manderley had been removed. My heart must have stopped for a moment as I considered what this meant.

Had someone else purchased it? Had the owner taken it off of the market? I did some Google searches; perhaps it had been relisted with another real estate company. All of my searching turned up nothing; I found myself feeling empty.

I'm not sure what to make of this longing, even grief, that I have felt since then. Manderley was, and is, more than just a piece of land to me.  It represents hope, my future, my past, a simpler way of life, and it conjured up the woman I might have been, might still become one day.

I liked the "me" I was when I was there. I hope I find that woman again.

Embracing Autumn

This morning when we came out of church there was a light mist falling; later we had to run from the green grocer to our car as the rain was coming down in buckets. When we got home with our harvest bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables, and after we enjoyed a bite of lunch, we agreed that it felt like the kind of day that was made for settling down on the sofa with a good book, so that's what we did.

I lit the new pumpkin pie scented candle I bought yesterday, brought down a couple of quilts, and we curled up with our books. That's my idea of a good way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

I am determined not to let the demise of summer discourage me this year; I am working on embracing the change of seasons and welcoming autumn into my life. This afternoon reminded me of one of the pleasures of the cooler weather and how cozy it can feel to be indoors on a blustery rainy afternoon.

The cooler weather, and the return to indoor living, will allow more time for going through closets and cupboards and getting rid of unneeded and unwanted items that serve to complicate my life. The older I get, the more I am drawn to that what is simple.

A few forgotten knitting projects have caught my attention lately and I'm looking forward to getting back at them. I remember the serenity that the rhythm of knitting brought me last year; I could use some more of that.

I want to cook more as well. Big pots of stews and soups that simmer on the stove all afternoon and are eaten with biscuits still warm from the oven and smothered with melting butter.

I want to bake some apple pies using Mom's recipe; this will be the year I return to making homemade pastry.

I was at the mall yesterday and saw some beautiful fall sweaters. Oh to feel cool enough to want to wear a sweater! Maybe this will be the year for that too!

I have learned to rejoice at many of the changes that have come in what I consider the autumn of my own life. In fact, I am looking forward with great anticipation to many more changes in the next few years.

It's time for me to begin to appreciate and welcome the season's change as well. After all, if there was no autumn, there would be no winter, which would mean there would be no spring. And I would most definitely miss the return to spring.

Morning Lesson

It was almost six-thirty this morning when I climbed out of my car, tossed my keys in my purse as I flung it over my shoulder, picked up my tote out of the back seat, and reached in to grab my coffee cup before closing the car door. It was still dark and the morning air was cool, but the light sweater I wore was more than enough to keep me warm.

The short walk from my car to the office building where I spend so much of my day is a pleasant one. The campus where the office is located is surrounded by trees and green space; there is a large pond next to the office where geese make their home and the building itself is covered with ivy. I appreciate the serenity of the quiet walk every morning yet I still find myself walking quickly, my mind already on the day ahead of me.

This morning as I drew near to the office door and got ready to loop the handles of my tote bag over my arm so I could transfer my coffee to that hand allowing me to reach for the security badge attached to a lanyard around my neck, I heard a voice from behind me.

“I’ll get that door for you; you’ve got your hands full.”

I turned and saw a young man walking about twenty feet behind me; another early-riser who starts work before many others have even gotten out of bed. My first instinct was to brush off his offer of assistance.

“It’s okay, I’ve got it.” I had to choke back the words before they escaped from my mouth when I realized how rude it would have been for me to ignore is gesture.

I have done this throughout much of my life - refused assistance and insisted on my own self-reliance. It struck me for the first time this morning, how the independent demeanor I portray might be perceived as impolite and how many times I miss interacting with someone, however briefly, when I insist on relying on my on ability.

This morning I did something different.

“Thank you!” I smiled at the young man and then stepped aside and allowed him to use his security badge to unlock the door and pull it open for me.

I walked through the door, wished him a good day, and we both went our separate ways. To an onlooker it would have seemed like nothing, but in that moment I made a conscious decision to do something different, I deviated from the well-worn path I was used to taking, and allowed myself to act upon a prompting from within.

I believe that it is often in the small, seemingly insignificant, moments like this when God speaks to us, when we can feel the hand of God resting upon us, when we can learn the lessons He would have us learn.

It was a good way to start this day.


Central to the Amish culture is something called Gellassenheit, a German word roughly translated to mean submission to the will of God. It is based on the words of Jesus "not my will but thine be done."

The dimensions of Gelessenheit permeate every aspect of the Amish life:

Personality: reserved, modest, calm, quiet
Values: submission, obedience, humility, simplicity
Symbols: dress, horse, carriage, lantern
Structure: small, informal, local, decentralized
Ritual: baptism, footwashing, confession, ordination

I am not Amish but the concept of Gellassenheit appeals to me on some level. Sometimes I think we (me) care too much about appearance, posessions, and status. What does it really take in order for us to be happy?

Shelter over our heads, food in our belly, health, family and friends.

Does it really matter if we have the fanciest house, the fastest cars, food that has come from the other side of the earth? Of course it doesn't.

I have been thinking about simplicity lately and the word Gellassenheit came to mind, out of the blue, one afternoon when I was struggling with a stressful situation.

I am now using it as a mantra of sorts, a kind of prayer, a whispered reminder to slow down, appreciate simple things, and to be thankful for the many blessings I have in my life.


Covington Reporter Columnist: Linda Hoye

A couple of weeks ago I posted about my first visit to the local library and in her comment, Karen suggested that I submit it to the local paper. I took that post, tidied it up a bit, contacted the local paper, and the rest is history.

Here is a link to my first column in the Covington Reporter! I am going to be a monthly contributor!

Thank you for the encouragement and suggestion, Karen! And thanks to everyone else who leaves such kind comments on every post. I appreciate each and every one of you!


I had the best of intentions: clean up my bookshelves, find a few to donate, make room for others I have scattered about the house, and make it look more aesthetically pleasing like the bookshelves I see in magazines. It was a simple goal, one easily achieved on a Labor Day afternoon.

To me books are like old friends, and sorting through the shelves was like taking a walk down memory lane or going to a family reunion. Some titles made me smile as I remembered a time in my life when I came to own a book. Others reminded me of more challenging times, like my copy of The Joy of Stress which is tattered and well worn and which I set aside to reread.

I sorted and made piles and gradually my bookshelves began to look like something I could work with. I imagined little knick-knacks, photographs, special souvenirs I could put here and there on the slelves. With my bookshelf looking less cluttered I was certain I would feel less stressed each time I walked past; the tidy shelves would be a source of peace.

Later in the afternoon when Gerry came in from outside where he had been working, I called him to come upstairs and see the shelves. I wasn't finished yet, but I was certain he would be impressed with my progress thus far.

"I kind of liked it with all the books piled together on top of one another," he said upon observing the shelves and hearing of my plans.

And with that I began to doubt my plan. If Gerry liked it filled with books and he wasn't even a tenth the bibliophile that I was, could I really be happy with designer bookshelves? Would I miss the old friends I decided to dispose of? Were bookshelves really meant to hold ornaments instead of books? And what about my fantasy of having my picture taken in front of my bookshelves for the author photo on my first book?

I decided to sleep on it.

Today, my bookshelves are full once again. I changed the orientation of some books to add some visual appeal, but the shelves are definitely full. In removing some books, I made room for others that I had stored in my nightstand and in my office so my effort wasn't in vain.

Now I have four full recyclable grocery bags filled with books that I removed from the shelves. My intent is to donate them but, just for now, I tucked the bags in the attic. I'll wait a few days, probably go through them again, and then make the final determination of what goes and what stays.

Like my dad, and Robert Burns, used to say: "the best laid plans of mice and men gang aft aglay".

Getting Personal

Excuse me if this seems too personal, but do you have a history of heart disease or cancer? What about diabetes or depression? Your doctor is interested in things like that because the answers may determine how he treats you. You are probably interested as well; if you have a close relative who had heart disease you may take extra precaution to make sure you are living a heart-healthy lifestyle.

As an adoptee, I have struggled with questions about my family medical history all of  my adult life; there are no easy answers. I've written about that on my Arms of Adoption blog where I am celebrating the publication of a new report published by the Adoption Institute about adult adoptees access to their original birth certificates.

Miracle Baby

I caught a glimpse of the story yesterday as I was taking my daily walk around the perimeter of my office building. We have flat screen TV's posted in strategic places that play non-stop news and provide company information. Yesterday, I was drawn to a picture of a young woman cuddling what looked like a new born infant and I had to stop and see what the story was about.

From what I could glean in the few moments I stood there, the baby had been born premature, pronounced dead by the doctors, and then held lovingly by the mother for two hours, presumably as she grieved and attempted to say goodbye to her child.

Then the child began to move. Some are calling it a miracle.

I was thinking how interesting it would be to catch up with this miracle-child in a few years to find out how his life turns out. Surely, this child is born to accomplish something wonderful!

Then I thought about my own life; all of our lives really. The story of my birth, the story of your birth, they all have snippets of the miraculous. Our lives are meant for greatness too.

Sometimes, I have faltered and greatness of any kind is the last thing I ever thought I would accomplish in my life. Othertimes, I have caught a glimpse of a miracle in the birth of my children and my granddaughter.

Truly, I believe we are all miracles destined to do great things and those great things are as unique as wel are. We may be destined to make music, to write, to speak, to travel. Maybe our destiny has smaller parameters tha involve making a home for our family.

Or perhaps like Baby Jamie's mom, our destiny is to cuddle a premature baby back to life.

I am still fascinated to see how the life of this precious baby turns out in the years to come; just as I am looking forward to seeing what twists and turns yours and mine make in the future.

Because we are alll miracle babies at some level.

It's Not You; It's Me

Today I am sharing a post I wrote last year at this time with you. I hope you like it!

Before I start, let me just say that there's nothing wrong with you. You are beautiful in your own unique way and it's not your fault I don't appreciate you more.

When we first met a few months ago, I confess that I had a touch of spring fever. Who wouldn't after a long, dark and wet winter? I remember those first sunny weeks when it seemed like there was rebirth wherever I looked. I wanted to take in as much sunshine and fresh air as possible. It was glorious! And then one day, there you were.

I knew there was something different about you from the beginning. You stood out from the crowd, your appearance as distinct a your name. It was useless for me to try and resist your charms, I wanted to have you from the beginning. I was ready for a change.

I watched as you tried to fit in, but soon realized that something wasn't working. By the time I admitted to myself that I had made the wrong choice it was too late to do anything about it. When I look at pictures taken last year, when another was in the place you now occupy, I regret my impulsive decision.

Tidal Wave Silver Petunia, you just didn't turn out the way that I had expected. You've seemed a bit spindly from the beginning. Perhaps it's your color, or lack thereof, that makes you look like you've passed your prime. In another garden, in another flower pot, perhaps with different plants to accent your unique hue, I'm sure you would be beautiful. Just not in my garden.

I just should have stuck with my tried and true Tidal Wave Pink Petunia. Don't feel bad if I walk past you next spring as if I don't know you. Just remember: It's not you, it's me.

P.S. I did walk past the Tidal Wave Silver Petunia this year. Lesson learned!

Welcome to the Blogosphere

Won't you join me in welcoming Mary Jo to the blogosphere. Pop over to her brand new blog called Musings From a Patchwork Quilt Life and read her first post. I promise, you won't be disappointed.

Welcome, Mary Jo! I look forward to reading more from your Patchwork Quilt Life.

This 'n That

The last week of August is typically one of the busiest of the year for me at work and this week is no exception. During this week last year I ended up in the hospital with chest pain; I am doing much better at managing my stress this year!
In addition to dealing with all that is happening at the office, I have been preparing for the first meeting of the Story Circle group I am starting. I'm looking forward to meeting a group of women on Saturday who are as interested in lifewriting as I am. (It's that whole "tribe" thing that I've been thinking about lately, and that I am sure will become a blog post one of these days.)

Gerry and I got our new Droid X phones this week. I've felt like a child waiting for Christmas morning these past few weeks! We have the phones now and I've put my geek hat on and spent some time checking out all of the cool features. I am expecting that the Droid will help me simplify my life and stay better organized. In fact, just this afternoon I was able to respond to some email and check in on my Facebook friends while waiting for my doctor's appointment. (Speaking of my doctor's appointment: Soy + Yoga = Lower Cholesterol.)

So, no, I haven't dropped off the face of the blogosphere. I am still here: somewhat frazzled, a little bit tired, a tad cranky, but looking forward to what's ahead.

By the way, if you are not a regular visitor to my Arms of Adoption blog, I invite you to drop by and read about my brother, Frank who lost his battle with cancer this week. He was a man of integrity.

I Guess I'm Home

I have had a library card for as long as I can remember. I can still picture the library in the city I grew up in; it was a big old brick building in park in the middle of the city.

I found it comforting to be in the library in the winter when the frigid wind blew snow into drifts outside.The blanket of quietness inside the library warmed me from my earliest memory.

On summer days when it was too hot to play outside, the peace of the library was a cool haven away from the summer heat, filled with books that could take me places I could only imagine.

Sometimes, the library came to me in the form of a bookmobile that parked just down the street from where we lived. I always visited the bookmobile and stocked up on a fresh stack of books that I could lose myself in for a few hours.

I started taking my children to the library when they were infants; they grew up going to the library. Whenever I wanted to learn about something new, I went to the library. I learned to quilt by reading library books; I learned about my Mennonite heritage by reading library books; I learned how to take care of cats by reading library books; I learned what it meant to have faith by reading library books.

When we moved to the Pacific Northwest three years ago I stopped going to the library. Every time we drove past I would say "Oh, I have to sign up for a library card" but I never fot around to it.

Until today.

Something prompted me to turn into the parking lot of the library this afternoon, to walk through the tree lined courtyard, to open the glass doors, and to go inside. I walked up to the counter, told the lady I wanted to sign up for a library card, filled out a sheet of paper, showed her my ID, and just like that I held in my hand a brand new library card.

Card in hand, I walked through the library getting a feel for where everything was. The familiar Dewey Decimal numbers posted on the ends of the shelves directed me to the sections I once spent so much time in. My body remembered the library-posture of tilting my head to the right to read the titles on the spines of the books. My mind recalled the hours I spent in a library browsing, reading, forgetting everything else except the books.

I checked out three books from section 305 (They have self-checkout now!) and as I left the library with my books in my arms, my walk seemed a little bouncier, and I seemed to breathe a little easier.

Having obtained a library card I guess I am officially planted here for now.

I guess I'm home.