Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Big Lost Cove Cliffs Hike

The Big Lost Cove Cliffs hike.  We really enjoy this hike as it is near by with beautiful views.  So we have hiked this before and probably will again.  I think these photos were from 2 weekends ago, busy weekend but we took a Sunday and hit the mountain.  Beautiful, peaceful, only us and the rattlesnake. This was the first time I have run into a rattlesnake while hiking.  He was pretty amazing as well.  We let him be and he let us be.

Great place for lunch and a nap

It feels like you can see forever

Monday, August 28, 2017

People Are More Important Than Things

" People are more important than things." I keep this mantra rolling in my head.  It was a phrase my mother lived by, but she never said it quite that way.  She always believed that she could be anywhere and could do anything as long as her family was with her.

I once asked my husband, "if you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?"  He responded that as long as the kids and I were with him, he could live anywhere, it didn't matter.  I thought that was a great answer.

And in thinking about the events of the past couple of weeks, with civil war statues and monuments, I think it is important to really evaluate personal values and belief systems.  Are statutes more important than people or are people what really matters.  People matter more than things.  Here is what I wrote in a letter to the editor:

"The events of the past few days have really made me stop and think.  Think about why this Maine girl ended up here in Burke County.  I know there is a Confederate monument in Morganton.  But really I have not taken the time to stop and read what it is about.  It holds no place in my heart, it means nothing to me.

But I can tell you what does mean something to me.  This is the place where my boys grew into fine young men.  This is the county where my husband found work, when we were looking for a place to call home.  The mountains call to me, the trees breath life into this community.  I am surrounded by such amazing diversity.  I have made friends with people of different cultures, races, religions and no religion.  This diversity has enriched my life beyond measure.  I enjoy talking with people who were born and raised in Burke County as well as people who were born all over the county and the world but have also landed here in the place and in this time. 

I see the hatred elsewhere and know that there are people here who would do anything for me and my family, as I would for them.  I may not agree with everyone on everything, but I can always find common ground somewhere.  That is why I call Burke County home. "

Remember that people matter more than things, reach out and find that common ground.  

Wednesday, August 9, 2017


I was listening to NPR this past weekend.  There was an interview with Ariel Levy, author of The Rules Do Not Apply

During the interview she was recounting a couple of life changing personal experiences.  A miscarriage at 5 months of pregnancy, and the loss of her marriage from her spouse's addiction. The interview was so interesting that I purchased the book and am just starting it now.  Toward the end of the interview she said something so profound, it made me stop and think.  The author talked about coming to the realization that those were things in her life over which she had no control. That all this time she was trying to change those things, and it was a futile attempt.  She had to let go of those circumstances, release that effort of control, and focus on those areas of her life which were under her control, those things she could impact to change her life situation.

She decided to let go, to release.  That word, release, was my word for the year 2014.  A thoughtful, life changing word for me. Releasing events, people, circumstances, effort, things, and making room for more, so much more.

It can be so freeing to let go.  Try it.  Really take inventory of your life, every aspect, your friends, your interests, your relationships, your living situation and make decisions.  Are these things working for you, are they moving you in a forward direction toward more.  Or are they wasted effort.  Are there areas you want to change over which you have control, or does that control fall somewhere else. Then make the conscious choice to let go, to release.  When you release you free up space in your head, in your life, in your day, for other relationships to blossom, for other ideas to percolate, for other interests to take root.  You free up time to work toward the change you want to see happen.  You free up energy to work on those areas that pull on your attention.  Great things happen when you make the choice to release that which is not serving you.

I need to revisit that space periodically.  Like a room in my house, it needs cleaning on a regular basis.  I need to focus energy on releasing, to make way for continued growth.  I am so looking forward to reading this book, and seeing her process.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Have Tos...

A friend of mine, on social media, posed a question a few days ago, on her page, 'what do your children have to spend their own personal money on.'  And that isn't an exact quote, but pretty close. I was going to respond, then I decided to hold back after I read a couple of the responses.  I was questioning my interpretation of her question and figured I had not understood what she was asking, so I passed it by. But couldn't help thinking about it over the course of the next several days.

As I read her question, in my own head, what I was hearing was "What options do your children have available on which to spend their own personal money."  I gathered after reading the responses, that the intended meaning was "what items do you, as the parent, make your children purchase with their own personal money."  Way different intent, and meaning.  I guess it does show how my thinking has evolved over my 23 years of parenting.  In thinking back to my own childhood, I would have taken that question to be a parenting question of force.  But in my evolution, I am happy to say, that my initial interpretation was one of options.  So much more freeing, so much more autonomy, less about control and judgment.  I am so pleased with my process and my thinking.  It really shows how what initially might take time and effort to change, will become a gut instinct.  That you really can change how you think and respond on a deep level, it may take time but it can be done and is worth every moment of effort.

As a reader, it also confirms, to me, why face to face interactions are important, and on line conversations can be difficult, for me.  You can't always read an intent.

Back to the question, the answer I was going to leave in response, would have been something like...
"Lots of things.  My children have lots of interests and save some of their money, they do enjoy purchasing new computer games, steam games.  They also choose books or at times art supplies. Those are some of the choices they make about spending their own personal money."  I won't get into the "have to" aspect as my boys have never "had to" do anything.  When issues arise we work on them as a family, and that includes money issues.  A topic for another day.