Another year has passed. No it's not New Year's Day, it has been the anniversary of my birth. I was born one year too early to be counted among the "baby boomers" since it was 1944. Yep, that makes me sixty-eight! Not ashamed to admit it, in fact, I'm kinda proud to have made it this far.
This has been the year that I developed a deep spirituality while hiking in the woods. I call hiking the act of entering the Temple of the Tall Trees. I am grounded and centered while in the woods. It doesn't matter if it is the flat terrain of Cooper North or the challenge of the Pimiteoui. I get some of that same feeling when practicing Tai Chi. I need to practice more often!
This year brought the birth of my fourth grandchild. A beautiful little girl named Brianna. She joins Angie, Evren and Milo as the lights of my life.
This was the year that my oncologist said I didn't need to see him anymore. Fifteen years cancer free! I went into a state of panic. I reminded him that he is the one that orders my other annual tests, biannual bone scan and my two prescriptions. I was relieved to be scheduled for next year. I don't care if I am seen by the Nurse Practitioner, it is reassuring to be in the office.
This was the year that I attended my 50th class reunion. Fifty years since I graduated high school. It does not seem possible! I have made contact with some classmates through Facebook, but others I had not see for fifty years! It was good to see people again.
This was the year that I joined the Riverplex. Had I known how much I enjoy going to the gym, I might have joined long ago. I do believe that things happen when they are meant to happen. This was my time. Since August 1st, I have missed three days. Once I was out of town and twice, I was "under the weather", Many days, I go more than once. I'm back in my "skinny jeans" and feel great!
This was the year that I kept my commitment to volunteer at PAWS if I found that I did not have to go back to work. I look forward to Friday mornings walking the dogs.
I have so much to be grateful for, and I am!
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
The first Tuesday in August has been set aside as National Night Out for over 25 years and hosted in Peoria for 12 or 13 years. Last night the occasion was marked in several neighborhoods throughout Peoria, including the East Bluff. In years past, East Bluff neighborhoods held their own events, almost seeking bragging rights as to which could "do it best". For the last couple of years, Serenity, Glen Oak and East Bluff United neighborhoods have joined forces to sponsor the event. Still, the emphasis was on agencies passing out information and goodies (I am still using my pens from PDC last year), fire trucks, Armadillos, and food. A block party for lots of blocks.
The media was there. We had WMBD/Fox 43, PJS and Dennis Eggemeyer coordinating PCCEO's Captions coverage of events. 31/43 had nice coverage on the local news and PJS had a good photo of the diverse group that formed to "take it to the streets". A commenter on PJS said the "gangbangers had a good laugh". Perhaps they did, but it very well may not be the last laugh. There are many of us in the East Bluff that are committed to change, positive change and transformation.
This year, the focus changed to action. The East Bluff neighborhoods joined forces for a rally to bring awareness to the residents that crime prevention begins with us, the residents. Of course there were a few activities for kids. Face painting, frisbees, a toss game, water sprayer and an appearance by McRuff.
Friday, August 3, 2012
Monday, July 30, 2012
The trail starts with a few steps, then a path and then a lot more steps! On the way back, I counted the steps. There are 197 of them. It wasn't bad going down them, but we won't talk about going back up! At the bottom of the steps the trail continues to a dry creek bed that serves as the crossing to the trail that then begins to go up hill.
From the trail head, there is no indication as to how many steps there will be. They just keep going and going!
I drove along Wesley Road and found a little park on the opposite side of the train tracks that had benches, grills and picnic tables. It provided a great area to sit near the Illinois River and contemplate the state of the world. The park also offered a visit to the past. It has an old two-swing swing set. The seats were weathered wood and all the metal parts looked really old. From the park, you can look to the right and see Peoria in the distance or to the left and see barges, the lock & dam area and the I474 bridge in the distance.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
see anyone on the Spindler Marina trails, just me, the woods, the sand
and the geese.
What a great walk! It was different walking on flat land since I usually hike where there are steep climbs. It was a nice change of pace. As much as I would like to walk these trails again, I will probably wait until the heat subsides a bit. Otherwise, I would have to start very early in the morning. Walking is great exercise, but it is also good for the soul. I refer to my hikes as going to the Temple of the Tall Trees.
Thursday, June 14, 2012
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Harriet came into our home as a kitten in 1994. I found her at Harrison Homes as we were preparing for PHA Day. Someone had used a marker to put a red "X" on the top of her head. I thought that if she survived the traffic of PHA Day, she would not survive the target on her head. I took her home. She had enough Siamese in her heritage to have beautiful blue eyes. She grew into a very loving companion. She made friends with everyone - human and animal.
Back in the day when computer monitors were large, she would curl up on top where it was warm. After the flat panel monitor arrived, I would often find her on top of the stove near the pilot lights (since I seldom cook much, I would just clean the top before I did). The new stove I bought has raised grates and make it impossible for her to rest there. She found that the DISH receiver, ROKU and DVD player gave off a good amount of warmth. She could often be found on top of them.
Until about a week ago, there had been little or no change in her behavior or status. I began to notice that she was spending a great deal of time sleeping in the bottom of the cat condo. She would come out when petted. She stopped eating. I tempted her with canned cat food, cat treats, milk and yogurt. These were all things she had loved, but she wasn't tempted to eat. She left the cat condo and began to sleep on the back porch. She seldom left the area.
I knew last Friday that decision time was drawing close. The Vet's office was closed yesterday (Memorial Day) so I called early this morning to do the last thing I could do to bring an end to her suffering. At 8:00 A.M. I was on the way to the office. The office is a short trip from the house, but Harriet did not tolerate the ride. She exerted too much energy climbing out of the box and died quite peacefully while in the parking lot. I took her inside, she was checked and there was no heartbeat. She had chosen her own time and in her last act of love, took the decision out of my hands.
I have re-read "The Feline Spirit" several times today. I think of Harriet, but also Smokey, Leo, Skyler and Libby. They all were wonderful companions. My home still has feline occupants, each special in their own way. Just like humans, each has their own personality.
Rest in Peace, Harriet. As you crossed the Rainbow Bridge, I hope Smokey, Leo, Skyler and Libby were waiting for you along with Cinnamon (your dachshund buddy from years ago).