Time Flies

On the threshold of the new year, we all tend to look back to the year past. Today’s media are doing the same: famous people who left us, couples who married, split, got babies, worst and best dressed, tragedies and triumphs, the year in politics, the weather in 2012, surviving the end of the Mayan calendar…and the list goes on. Gossip blended with more serious stuff.

We all have a few things on the top of our minds when we think back to the year just ending. And similarly, we probably have a few visions for the new year. But most of us might agree that the year has passed very fast, where did it go? And we say: time flies! When I look back on my year, I thought that I could tell a short story using some of the pictures I’ve taken of birds.

Early last spring, our adult son had a very serious accident, which resulted in several surgeries and kept him on crutches for the rest of this year. In seeking balance, strength and peace of mind, I walked a lot in the nature reserve close by.

I observed the many birds that live there and every now and then snapped a picture. It was calming and soothing just to be in the nature. And these walks helped me to remain positive through some of the heaviest weeks “on record” for me.

Being on the water was also helpful to me. And there of course were the pelicans keeping us company.

Then came the hight of the summer. Mind much calmer now, things looking up slightly. And with the heat came tropical storm Debby.

The nature reserve and the beach flooded…the birds withdrew to dry land for a while. I guess there was enough food for them outside the flooded marsh, in the park and even in our yard.

The summer brought lots of joy and comfort in the form of visits by family and friends. On our regular walks on the beach we could observe the herons, pelicans and sea gulls.

In the middle of the summer, literally, I also started my blog. Its title was influenced by my own tough lessons playing out right at that time. Blogging has given me so much on many different levels: continuously learning from others, new friends and a new community, and an opportunity to write. I consider this one of the really positive “events” of this past year.

Of course there has been work too, but obviously of much lesser priority for me than previously. I’ve been traveling, mostly in Europe and here in the US. I see travel as a window to the world that widens our perspectives and look forward to doing a bit more of that in the new year, both for work and pleasure.

The late fall finally brought good health news and other positive developments to the family.  The best Christmas gifts one can wish for.

The rough ride has taught me many valuable life lessons this year. Maybe most importantly: live in the now, do not take anything for granted, and always remain grateful for who and what you have in your life.

So now it’s officially winter. Time to soak in the hot tub. Cleanse the soul and look forward to the new year with positive expectations and hope of being able to make a small difference, to bring a few rays of light to the world. That would be wonderful. Blessings and Happy New Year!

Journey to a New Year

Life is a journey

sometimes the ride is smooth

the highway newly paved

the speed pleasant

we’re going places

happily riding along.

Other times

the going gets rough

disappointments muddy the road

setbacks and obstacles

like small stones

are thrown our way.

We may be forced to stop

park for a while

review, reflect and learn

renew our faith

and then continue

better equipped

our journey that is life.

Now that the journey takes us to a new year, I wish that all my readers – and myself – will have

  • wisdom and willingness to continue to learn
  • faith and trust in life
  • strength to overcome whatever life throws our way
  • ability to be grateful for what we have.

I wish us all a blessed and happy 2013.

Boxing Day…(or Guest Post XI)

Hiff there! I hope it’s not too late to say Merry Christmas? It’s all continuing tomorrow, Boxing Day, right?

Bumble telling stories
Anyway, I’m just sending you all Seasons Greetings, taking advantage of the fact that mom and dad have gone to bed early today. That’s very different from yesterday, let me tell you! Food, presents, hugs, friends, food, Xmas glogg …Xmas songs by Elvis and Louis Armstrong…more food. It was lively and it was late!

Bumble xmas 2012
I sat in the easy chair the whole evening. Better to be out of the way. I mean whenever I wasn’t helping in the kitchen. You know, carving the ham and the turkey. Or helping with the desserts.
Santa Lamp
I like Christmas. Particularly the food part and the gifts. This year I got a new leash, one that blinks in the dark so the drivers can see us whenever I need to take mom across the street on her evening walk. I also got a bag of yummy bacon-wrapped biscuits and a new fox. It doesn’t look very new anymore, of course…it was a long night.

My fox

I have only one complaint about Christmas. I don’t understand why I should wear some ridiculous red hat or a costume! I’m not the Santa! Do I look happy in these outfits?

Bumble xmas hat

I didn’t think so. After putting up with these pageants for a few years, I finally had a heart to heart with mom about it last year. I thought she got it.

Merry Christmas Bumble

But this year again when she took the decorations from the storage, I saw the little costume. She had not gotten rid of it. So I gave her the look. You know the one for didn’t we discuss this already. She finally got it and didn’t try to make me put it on. But she left it on the sofa in her office.

My Santa costume

I may need to plan a play sesson with my fox so that we just happen to step on it…a few times. Repeatedly. If that doesn’t work out, I may need to put on some weight during the year. That shouldn’t be too hard, provided that mom collaborates. None of us wants to see that ridiculous costume next year. I hope I’m right.

Xmas tree today

But you know, all in all, it’s been a wonderful Holiday Season so far. And tomorrow is only the Boxing Day. Just in case I don’t get an opportunity to borrow mom’s laptop again in the next few days, I’d like to wish all my friends a Neff  Year full of yummy treats, tummy rubs and exciting explorations. Be good.

Christmas Spirit

old house snowed in

Christmas is knocking on the door

yet again

as it has done so many times before.

The old woman remembers

the Holidays of years past

her house full of life.

 Warmth and laughter

would blend with familiar scents

of Christmas foods and a fresh tree.

This Season she has no company

her home is silent

her garden covered by new snow.

 Memories flood her mind

beautiful images of Christmases past

fill her heart with joy.

She sends her love to everyone

grateful for her full life

she owns the message of peace.

Her quiet musings are broken

by a barely audible sound outside

the Christmas Spirit has arrived.