Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Orange

For the first 50 years of my like, I disliked the color orange. Might go so far as to say I hated it. Truth be told, I almost did not go to Oregon State because orange and black were the colors. I loved yellow and everything "down" from there on the rainbow, but was no fan of red, and like I said, didn't care for orange, not one little bit.

A funny thing happened when we started redecorating our living room.

Orange.

Orange crept in and I let it. Then I went in search of it. Now, orange is the major accent color in my living room, and I absolutely love it.




I've been doing some chakra work - learning about the chakras, the different parts of the body they correlate to, how to induce healing, clearing, energy, etc.  I learned that orange is associated with the second chakra, the sacral chakra, associated with creativity, amongst other things. I've also been reading about physical ailments associated with the different chakras, and let's just say, my second chakra could use some attention.

Do you all know about Richard Rohr? You should. I get his daily e-mails, and they are fantastic, very thought-provoking and helpful in every way. He talks a lot about the second half of life and how different our thought processes are (ideally). I will say this about being over 50, what you thought served you well during the first half of life, is called into question.

Orange is just one visual reminder to me that change is taking place - different perspectives, appreciations, needs and priorities are coming into being.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Blessed

Wil woke up extra "janked" this morning, off-the-charts. Went to bed at 7:30 last night and had seven granola bars for breakfast, on top of his usual breakfast (two pieces of garlic toast and six pieces of bacon). Growth spurt? Spring fever? Your guess is as good as mine.

"Care, we need to go to Food Mart on the way to school, there are things I need." For those of you unfamiliar with Food Mart, it is your basic convenience store attached to a gas station. There is nothing anyone needs at Food Mart, especially at 7:15 AM.

So, of course we went to Food Mart.

We walked in and our favorite gal (he's pulled this before) was at the register. She lit up when she say us. As he galavanted around the store loudly proclaiming, "I LOVE SHOPPING!" she looked at me and said, "He's a pistol!'

"Oh, for sure," I said.

The man that pumps the gas (one cannot pump one's own gas in Oregon), was hanging out in the store waiting for a customer. He looked at me and said, "You should buy him a Red Bull, I see that he needs help waking up!"

"Yea," I said with a forced laugh, "well, there's a name for this!"

As Wil made his way to the counter with all his necessities, Chex Mix and a University of Oregon water bottle for school and Laffy Taffy for when he gets home, the gal said to me, "He makes my day whenever he comes in."

Wil shoved his stuff into the collapsible bag I had in my purse, and he smiled at the gal and said, "Now, you have a blessed day!"

"You, too!" she said back.

"Oh, ALL my days are blessed!" he answered.

Amen.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Hi, From Devohn


Happy Easter Monday, everyone! When we woke up on Easter morning, this was hanging between two trees in front of our house. Those of you that have been around for awhile (THANK YOU), know all about Wil's obsession with Devohn, the Easter Bunny. Someone asked me yesterday how Devohn got his name.

Um.

How do any of these things get started? Your guess is as good as mine.

Now, at nearly 18, Wil is every bit as excited for Devohn to come and leave him candy (and quarters for the vending machines), as he was as a little boy. Maybe more so. "Care, some people don't believe in the Easter Bunny," he told me a couple weeks ago. The look on his face said, "Those poor schmucks."

Now, with the addition of not one, but two masses to attend, he was pressed for time to do an egg hunt before prepping for church, but don't you worry, he got it in. What he didn't do for the first time, however, was he didn't crack open each and every egg as he found it, scattering the contents all over the house for Flicka to go for, and causing me to have a panic attack. He collected all the eggs in a bag and put the bag in the pantry to be dealt with after church.

Not a lot was made of Devohn hanging in front of our house, until after he got home and was ready to resume the festivities. "Devohn is cute hanging there," he said. Several times throughout the day he looked out the window and said, "Devohn is still there!"

We have our sneaking suspicion who placed Devohn there for us to enjoy. Someone with a truck. Someone with a ladder. Someone with a helper. Someone that loves Wil. Someone that knows that Easter is a time of new life, a time of new hope, and a time of old faith in the things that can't be proven, but we know exist.

Like the Easter Bunny.


Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday

(Photo of our fridge calendar, which Wil has amended)


My post is up at Hopeful Parents. See you over there!

Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Blog Tour

I had the pleasure of meeting young author, Rena Marthaler and her mother recently. Rena is the author of Magic: The Crest.


How impressed are you that a fourth grader has written and published a book? I know. She tagged me in a blog tour, you can read all about it here. Because I know all of you are busy and most of you have been tagged in blog tours already, I am going to make this voluntary. If any of you would like to participate, please do! Thank you!

Below are my responses to Rena's questions:

WHAT AM I WORKING ON? Since my book came out in early 2013, I have been having a lot of fun promoting it in various ways. I've done a lot of book groups, a bookstore event, a couple fund-raisers, and I have a reading at a library coming up. I was asked to join a group of retired teachers that do philanthropic work, and that was an honor. I am looking forward to doing an event with Albertina Kerr, an organization devoted to children's mental and developmental health.

HOW DOES MY WORK DIFFER FROM OTHERS OF ITS GENRE? Good question! There are a lot of memoirs out there about mothers, in particular, and their autistic children. With the incredible rate at which autism is being diagnosed, and the huge impact it has on families, it's not surprising there are a million memoirs out there on the subject. How my book is different, is that it focuses on my own spiritual evolution through the process, my own "end" to suffering, if you will, arriving at a place of acceptance and even gratitude for the life I have - so different from the one I planned.

WHY DO I WRITE WHAT I DO? I believe we are all here to teach, that being said, some of us are more effective teachers than others. I believe my son came to teach us how to live without ego, without  any of the trappings we can so easily get caught up in. He came to teach, by example, a pure and powerful connection to the Divine. Free from all dogma, all fear, all baggage, if you will, he demonstrates a true spiritual connection that is inspirational.

HOW DOES MY WRITING PROCESS WORK? Hmmm... that's a tough one. I tend to write in fits and spurts. There are times (wonderful times) when what I write seems to be downloaded - I might be doing some tedious household chore, and all of a sudden a complete blog post or chapter of my book just "comes" to me. Other times I fight and fight to keep my butt in the chair and pound it out. I'm not disciplined enough to have a sacred writing time each day that I keep free from other obligations, although when I was working on my book, I would carve out particular hours/days/weekends to go somewhere and work on a particular part of the book.

I always admire writers that have a routine and firm boundaries around it. I am many things besides a writer, and for me, the writing has to fit in around all of those other responsibilities.

If you are a writer and would like to take part in this tour, we'd appreciate it! Courtney Sheinmel? Jenny Rough? Kario?


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Stations


I came home from running around today and there on my doorstep were two bouquets of my all-time favorite flower, the tulip. And these particular colors/varieties are my favorite among favorites. There was a small card with them. Inside it said, "You spread joy every day." That's all it said. No name. Didn't recognize the handwriting.

Saw on Facebook that other friends were thanking the anonymous person that had left flowers on their doorstop today.

The Tulip Fairy. I love it and everything about it. 

I was reading something recently about how we can personalize the Stations of the Cross, making it a "today" event. Praying for 14 minorities that suffer. Praying for 14 places of war. Visiting 14 rooms in a nursing home. Writing 14 notes to people that are sad, afraid, hurt or alone.


Those ideas are all great, and I am all for them. That being said, there is nothing wrong with spreading the love to the regular folk, too. Finding those tulips on my front porch raised my own game and made me want to pay it forward.

Good is good and good begets good.

Be good.

Do good.

Amen.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Autism Awareness Day


I am always torn each year when this date rolls around. Awareness? Really? With 1 in 68 children, 1 in 42 boys being diagnosed with autism, is there really a lack of awareness that it exists? More a lack of awareness of the cause(s), and what the hell to do about it. I dare say, everyone is aware of autism. If you aren't, you will be. 30% increase in the last two years. Do the math.




Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Vocation Cross


It is the tradition of our parish, to continually pray for those considering a religious vocation. Individuals  or families sign up to receive the Vocation Cross, and on the sign-up sheet they indicate which of the three weekend Masses they will be attending. At the end of that Mass, the priest says something to the effect of, "This week the Vocation Cross will be in the home of..." and that individual or family walks up to receive it.

After we'd been attending this parish for awhile, Wil caught on and wanted in on the game. He marched himself over to the sign-up sheet at the back of the church, and in huge bold letters covering two or three lines, wrote, "WILSON LINK." We came home, put that date on our family calendar and he mentioned his excitement to receive it, no fewer than two million times.

The first time he received it, he was nearly to the front of the church ready and waiting, before the priest had even gotten the first words out of his mouth. We brought the Cross home, prayed each and every day, and reluctantly returned the Cross at the end of the week, so that some other lucky soul could take their turn.

Sunday, it was our turn to receive it again. As luck would have it, my brother, sister-in-law and nephew were in town for Spring Break. Wil was so excited that his "brother," or cho-cho (Tibetan for brother), would be there to witness him receive the Vocation Cross.

As we entered the church the priest said to me, "Wil is receiving the Vocation Cross today."

"Oh, don't I know it," I said.

As soon as Mass was about over and the presentation was about to begin, Wil was out of his seat and halfway up the aisle. He turned to our section of the church and said, "I'll be back, guys." We all smiled and watched him nearly run to meet the priest halfway.

The priest said, "This week the Vocation Cross goes to, hmmm...., I don't know, oh, yes, it's the one, the only, the famous, Wil! I'm so proud of Wil. He has become my little helper, keeping me on time. Wil comes to both morning Masses because he just loves being part of this community so much, it's just tremendous."

Then, the church broke into spontaneous applause.

Wil has found that place where the needs of the world and his talents cross.