Friendship

Friendship is good. We all need to have friends and especially the ones that “get us”. Those kindred spirits. The ones where a spoken word sometimes isn’t necessary, they just know.

There are so many levels of friendship.  Some refer to you as their best friend but you hardly know them and somehow they think they know you. Some are just acquaintances and some are those Facebook “friends” that you accepted their friend request but still have to wonder who they are when they appear in your newsfeed..

But those kindle spirits. Those people. The ones that just understand your words and hear your heart. Those are the ones we cherish so much and feel such a loss when they are gone.

This past week I lost two of them.  Not to arguments or disagreements, but to life on this earth. These two left us for the arms of Jesus. They are truly the lucky ones and no more earthly pain for them. This makes me very glad because of my faith, I know I will see them again. But they left a hole in my heart here on earth.

Susan Irene Fox, a fellow blogger, is gone from us and greatly missed – her smile and melodic voice, both in words and on Skype. A true kindred spirit even though we never met in physically proximity the love and friendship was there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And there is Sandi.  I met Sandi many years ago, MANY. She was a single mom of several kids…… Her smile lit up a room and a neighborhood. We were instant friends – kindred spirits.

Sandi’s journey in life wasn’t easy. But she always kept smiling. Her love for God and family was endless. She was full of hope.  She spent the last several years of life in sickness. Weak, but her spirit was strong. The morning of the pending solar eclipse she went home to her beloved God and I know she is dancing again.  Some say she caused the eclipse – LOL

She is greatly missed. But I am blessed abundantly for having known her and laughed and cried with her and saw many answered prayers for us both because of our prayers together.

Sandi and Me – 2007 California

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I love you girls and see ya later!

Cate B

 

 

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Love is the Key

This season of my life has been hard. I lost my best pup the beginning of November and then came to the close of semester as I wrapped up caring for our youngest grand daughter.

I was grieving. Big time. I had cared for our granddaughters for the most of the last five years of my life. I knew I wouldn’t do it forever but I had no idea how it would impact me.

I am relieved in many ways since I am a Grandma and not of childbearing age. But the loss was great to me. I actually fell onto a bit of depression and anxiety.

It would come and go and I would cry out to my God to take this from me.

Well, after a few days of intense cold and ice outside that caused us to stay indoors for the most part, I was a mess. Crying and sadness were overcoming me. I cried out to God again and the very day – yesterday – the sun (or shall I say Son ) shined bright in my heart.

We adopted a puppy. Whoever thinks animal therapy is nonsense is very wrong. It may not be for everyone but it is for me!

A friend of mine had an unexpected guest show up at her house in the fall. A pregnant dog who appeared to have had some abuse. Naturally she took her in and cared for her. The sweetest terrier mix with a great personality. She birthed the pups of many colors and I considered taking one when they were of the proper age.

Well, the sweet momma went and got ran over. So sad. She left about six or so pups orphaned but fortunately, they were eating puppy mash at that time.

Because of their orphan state I decided we would take one in a few weeks. I picked the one I wanted. I was still apprehensive until I received a text yesterday saying that there was concern about them being left alone all day in their ever energetic state of puppyhood. Can I take him now?

Of course! I jumped into action. Cleaned the crate and mopped the floors and sent the hubby to the store for puppy chow and replacement milk.

Funny thing is……… all my anxiety symptoms vanished. I came home yesterday evening with a sweet bundle of fur and puppy breath. He needed me.

But more than him needing me….. I needed him. My prayers were answered. Never underestimate the power of prayer. The answers come in many shapes and sizes. Mine came in a bundle of furry mutt that looks like he rolled in a few colors of paint.

I am so thankful. And now, without further adieu…… meet Teddy Roosevelt, the new brother of George Bailey……. Enjoy!

Cate B

The Simple Things – Around The Burg

I have always loved nature. The wildlife especially. I love to look at images from around the world and feast my eyes on creatures I’ve never see. I love the diversity in this beautiful world.

I watched a series on Netflix that took place in Scotland. It wasn’t a nature series but a drama with comedy interlaced within. In one of the episodes there were cattle. Beautiful, hairy cattle that were vastly different from your typical American cattle. I learned they were Highland Cattle.

Always loving most anything Scottish, I had to google to see if by some chance a rancher in the state of Missouri was raising these fine specimens. I found some not very close by and even in some surrounding states. I mentally put it on my list of road trips in the future.

image from a google search - Highland Cattle
image from a google search – Highland Cattle
image from a google search - Highland Cattle
image from a google search – Highland Cattle
image from a google search - Highland Cattle
image from a google search – Highland Cattle

One day, a couple of weeks ago when the weather was warmer and no ice or snow in sight, my husband and I took off on a local country drive. We ended up on a highway that took us back toward our main highway. Nothing but farmland. It was brown and beautiful.

All of a sudden we saw some cattle lying in their pasture just chilling’ and enjoying the winter sun. I remember seeing their hairdo between some hefty horns and remarked that they were not your common beef seen in these here parts.

We turned around. Missouri is fond of no shoulders on these country roads and only ditches. Fortunately, there were no other vehicles on the road so we stopped. I expressed to my husband that they could possible be Highland Cattle from the bonnie banks of Scotland. I quickly shot some images from my husbands iPhone.

I couldn’t stop thinking about those cattle. I just love Highland Cattle and wanted to see them in person! It just makes me happy beyond words to feast my eyes on creation. Could they be? I asked a friend who happens to be a cattle person…..and he knew immediately that they were the ones I was looking for! As a matter of fact, he told me that his neighbor has a few Highland Cattle and I could come take pics of them.

Well, as soon as the cold weather that is now full of ice passes I will be out there!

Am I the only one who gets excited over things like this? The little things in life that come at the right moment. I call them gifts. Little gifts from above that make my heart glad. The simple gifts in life that let me know there is someone who knows me more than I know me. That someone who watches over me and cares enough to lead us down a country road so I can see cattle!

Such love.

Missouri Highland Cattle
Missouri Highland Cattle

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Enjoy!

Cate B

Life is Beautiful

We moved to this lovely mid-west town, affectionately known as The Burg, two and a half years ago. Little did we know that we would fall in love with this town and it’s people.

Sure, it has it’s frustrations like all relationships, but the people here and the countryside puts you right back into perspective.

Shortly before we moved here we met a great couple that were part of us feeling at home. We became fast friends.

Early in our relationship we found that the wife, Shirley, had been battling cancer. We became fast warriors in prayers of complete recovery.

Complete recovery can have perspectives just like a painting. We never seem to see all the outcome or the image at once. Some see victory on earth, some see the battle and the hard work associated with it, and some see the victory being the dance and the songs in the courts of Heaven.

As humans we would like the earthly answer. It’s where we are now. So many have overcome the ravages of cancer and some the overcoming came too early and continues in eternity with no more pain.

That was our Shirley. I had plans with our friendship. We were going to tramp through woods and see wildlife. She was going to feed them as I took pictures. I chuckle as I write this. Not to mention her husband and her children and grand children had plans of a future together.

We just don’t know. As a Christian I believe in healing. I’ve seen healing. I believe we can, scripture says, raise the dead. But sometimes that terrible, yet beautiful, mystery of our God takes us to where we  humans do not want to go. Death.

If we could just step back and see our life here, on this earth, is a part of the picture. Our lives continue into eternity. It hurts to lose. I know this.

As painful as it is I get to still be a part of the earthly tribe. The parts of Shirley that still live one. The heart of her husband that beats with joy, though pained, and a giving heart so big. Her daughter carries her mother’s heart for her own children and husband that shines with faith and love so deep for so many. Her son carries her creativity in levels that go so deep I am sure Shirley is rejoicing over them! And those grand children! An amazing legacy!

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That brings me to the images I want to share. There is a property in Russellville, MO that has been in Shirley’s family for quite a while. It is beautiful! If you go there and sit on the front porch with her son and his wife you feel completely at home.

There is a peace there and a piece there of Shirley’s inheritance that I cannot find words for. There is hope there. There is vision for the future there.

A vision to help those who have struggled to come and farm and learn and use their talents to make their life better. A vision of hope for the hopeless.

As this project develops I will write more about it. But right now I honor Shirley and her inheritance. It is so wonderful to see that it never ends when our pained and broken bodies fail and leave this earth. Life does go on. History teaches us that. Memories are like gold and seeing someone living on in the hearts and talents and actions of those still here is priceless.

In the old barns they found the original tools for farming – made of wood!

Enjoy!

Cate B

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Another Cup Please…….

I just poured myself another cup of coffee. Join me as I sip and ponder, music playing in the background, thoughts circling and swirling in the lyrics with a sense of assurance and breathing in and out the colors of hope.

We have lived in what we call The Burg for just a hair over two years. While culturally I am still adjusting and trying not to voice my strong north eastern opinions on how wrong they are here (said in sarcastic jest), I feel almost at home.

I think it is real to say that this is the second place in my life that I feel at home and welcome. You see, when you are one who “travels to the beat of a different drum” it can be quite hard to fit in. But that’s just it, fitting in and different drums don’t always go together….. yet they should. It’s like having an orchestra or a band without that one different instrument that takes it over the top.

There is a place for us “drummers“. Not all will see it or see you for who you are but I, for one, have to remain true to myself. True to who I was made to be. Good grief, it has taken me years, decades, to find who I am and to walk confidently in who I am.

And then you move to a small mid-western town with strange definitions for words and ideas that are so different than you ever knew and POW! There are people here who like you. Just last night I was with a group of people who see me. They enjoy me. They encourage me. Some don’t get all of me and guess what? I don’t get all of them. But we flow together in similar philosophies of life.

And best of all we accept each other for being different and thinking differently.  I do believe they call it love.

Have another cup and ponder. May you find you and find your symphony in life.

 

Enjoy!

Cate B ❤

 

I Now Know My Name

I came across this video the other day and have now listened to this girl about five times. I weep as soon as she opens her mouth. Some of you will totally understand why I cry and why it touches me. Some will not. And that is OK if you fall into the “not” category.

I will try and explain. Some of us wonderful humans came into this world quietly. We’ve sat in shadows and listened to others and let them talk. We have even been invisible, in a sense. These types are usually bent on the creative side of life. Not always but many are.

I fall into that category. I never minded being in the background. I like the quietness and sometimes the solitude. However, I also like the visibility at times. Especially as I got older and found out more of who I am and what makes me tick. I like me. I like others like me. I like this twelve year old girl named Grace. I feel the words of her song. I feel her heart.

Having married someone of the opposite spectrum has been good – for both of us. Sometimes though, I feel very invisible and have actually been snubbed and mis-judged. It is OK but sometimes quite aggravating. My spouse knows that I complete him. I know that he completes me. It’s those others that can’t see that. Sad for them.

This girl and this song speaks to me of these feelings. And guess what? I do know my name even if no one else does. I do keep trying and I tend not to play by the rules of the game.

This post isn’t for you to understand me. It’s for you to understand others and for those who are like me and this girl named Grace. “I’m lost, trying to get found in an ocean of people”.

Like I said before, I like me. I like Grace. I like people who find themselves in an ocean of people. I know you will like us too. Even if you never understand. You need people like us. 😉 We all need others to complete us. To see more of the puzzle of life. None of us can do this thing called life alone. None of us.

So try, just as we have had to try you try to see beyond you and drop those religious ideas and narrow minded thinking. There is a whole big puzzle out there waiting to be put together and it takes all kinds of pieces, called people, to put it together. It takes a lifetime.

Love ya, Enjoy! Listen to her heart sing…..

cate b