Tag Archives: november

When Dreams Are More – A Story About Gratitude – NaBloPoMo


It’s the month of November, the month we celebrate Thanksgiving.  The month we supposedly deeply feel, express and show gratitude in all its forms.  And yet, right out of the gates, I have felt like complaining this first week.  I’ve read things that have gotten under my skin, been irritated with tasks I’ve been volunteered for (ahem, voluntold for), there are things I want to get done and haven’t been able to, and there’s my struggling to be and do everything, everywhere, all at once.  Plus there are very real and unfair things taking place at this time in my life.  Things I can’t control and just have to deal with or ignore.  If anyone has a right to complain just a little, it’s me.

And yet there are blessings too.  And there are times I think, when the only way to deal with things is to shift our state and be reminded of our blessings.

And so I often find inspiration comes in unusual forms in my life, if I’ll just but listen.

I am a dreamer.  It is part of who I am.  I have always dreamed dreams of significance.  As such, it is really interesting sometimes the things that come out as wonderful experiences and lessons that often only the dream world can provide.  I keep saying I’ll write a book about my dreams.  Maybe someday.

One night I had an opportunity to reflect within during my sleep.  There were all sorts of things dreaming through my head that night, but at one point, I suddenly became aware of a single state of being – Gratitude.

In my dream, all the people of my childhood began to flow before my eyes, like a river of stories.  But they weren’t the major figures that are easy to look back upon and remember.  The people I was reminded of were those who played small but important roles, whether I was aware of them as a child or not.  Some of them had faces and others, I did not know them, but I was shown stories of the roles they played that at some point made way into my life.

The grade school principal who I rarely saw or was aware of, but who depended heavily upon my mother as PTA president, the parent volunteers who put together the carnival I bought my first jewelry at, the mother who part-time coached my basketball and volleyball team one year, the grandmother from church who rode the bus with my brother to make sure he got to basketball tournaments without mishap, the friends of my parents who were great about supporting their role as parents and sometimes took us kids to give them a break, the lady at the concession stand who always had a smile, the mothers who volunteered to cook in that hot cabin kitchen at summer camp whose faces I can’t even see, the teenagers who listened to my stories as a kid, the girl who taught me to make mud pies.  And there were so many more.  Such small and even tiny events in my life throughout my childhood and then on into my adulthood.

So many people who had indirect and yet important positive influence upon my life.  And it was time for every one of them to be told “Thank You.”  Thank you for who you were then and who you are now.  Thank you for the small roles you have played, even if you didn’t think it mattered or anyone noticed.  Thank you for doing things the best you could or stepping out to do a small thing that had a trickle down effect upon the Soul that I AM.  Thank you for taking the time to Smile and to Listen.  Thank you for believing in me even when I didn’t know you.  Thank you for playing chase with a couple of bored kids stuck at an adult gathering. Thank you for loving my parents and believing that their job was important enough to support, even when you did not have children of your own.  Thank you for judging and encouraging me at the science fair. Thank you for sending my teacher that info on volunteer opportunities for young kids. Thank you for taking the time at the grocery store to tell me that a bag of apples can help you make a long drive better than gallons of coffee.  It’s saved me time and again!

Yes – those carnivals you slaved over meant something and positively affected us as kids.  Yes, taking the time to laugh at our jokes and look at our creations made a difference.  Yes, that piggyback ride at the church picnic made for a positive reference point in my sense of community. Yes, that handful of change you gave me at the store, when you didn’t even know me, touched my heart. Yes, that heart-felt talk you had at the city council meeting changed my life for the better, even if you weren’t sure what you were going to say or who would agree with you.

Your insecurities don’t matter.  What does matter is what you did in spite of them and I thank you.

Thank you for the sense of community you fostered and gave me as an internal foundation to return to time and time again.  You have been a great teacher to me, even if you don’t remember me and we pass unknowingly on the street today.

We have connected, you and I.  And I am so very grateful!

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Oklahoma Earthquake & Asteroid Nears The Moon


Listening to the blessed soft patter of rain this morning (something of a rarity this year due to the crippling Texas drought), I’m struck by the surrealism of recent events.  An earthquake of 5.6 magnitude shook my hometown of Lawton, OK last night. Right about the time I was Tweeting that, why yes, I was going to take advantage of that extra hour of sleep afforded by going off Daylight Savings Time.  (I didn’t.) Reports of the earthquake flooded in from Kansas City, MO to Dallas, TX.  And I found myself logging into Facebook to see if my family was reporting it too.  They were.

Luckily, it has not seemed to have caused a lot of damage, but it is scary for Okies none the less.  Speaking from experience growing up there, I can tell ya – we’re used to tornadoes in the Great Plains.  Not earthquakes.  Houses aren’t built for that there.  And as a friend on Facebook pointed out last night, thank goodness there weren’t a bunch of broken gas lines from it.  That would definitely make for a very difficult winter.

Why on earth was an earthquake like that felt across so many states?  Well, in reading  the tectonic information available about this region, it seems that earthquakes east of the Rockies are not as deep as on the West Coast and they spread out more.  Not to mention they are way less frequent.  So even though the epicenter seemed to be near Oklahoma City, OK, the effect as far away as Wichita Falls, TX  and Kansas City, MO was still enough to knock walls.

By the way, if you felt the quake, be sure to report it.

It’s hard to fathom that actual earthquakes of significance took place in my home state this weekend.

You gotta understand, it’s like a joke that turns out to be real.  It’s not like I am not already seasoned (or the whole Comanche County residential area for that matter) to loud noises and the rumbles of the earth.  Lawton resides next to Ft. Sill, where the artillery practice was so common place when I was growing up there, that no one native to the area ever thought twice about it when the ground thunder rolled.  To this day, if I hear a rumble from nearby quarry, which is nothing like artillery fire, I have to think twice before it really even registers.

In Lawton, you could hear the artillery rumble approach your position, rattle store windows, etc. and then leave.  I remember once as a kid when apparently one of the shells went off a little closer to town than usual and some store windows broke.  Not to mention the loud chinook helicopters which seemed to make both the air and the ground rumble at the same time.  We always ran outside to watch those powerful buggers fly in.  All that thunder, rock and roll – not a big deal.

I spent a year of college out in LA and remember experiencing my first earthquake (5.7) Feb 1990.  I didn’t notice it at first and then it felt like a long artillery rumble, lasting about 10 seconds instead of 2-3 seconds at most.  There were girls around me screaming.  People dashing under school desks. I stood there blinking stupidly and said “That’s it? What’s the big deal?”     I was a little disappointed in the experience.  My edgy classmates griped at me, asking me what would it take to impress me.

I suppose I should have had more appreciation.  After all, I grew up up near the Wichita Mountains where a minor fault line does reside, complete with a seismograph somewhere out at Meers, OK, just outside of Lawton.  I remember watching it for awhile at the restaurant when I was a kid.  (By the way, Meers Burgers are the best!)  In spite of knowing about the fault line and seeing little bumps on the monitor, there was never anything of note.  The Wichita Mountains are amongst the oldest on the planet. Mt. Scott, a glorified hill to most folks, is even an ancient dormant volcano.  It was like a joke.

So of course, with all this perspective, it feels strange for the “joke” to become real.  They say this makes it the largest earthquake ever in Oklahoma history.

But if there’s anything that life has taught me, it’s that anything is possible, no matter how unlikely it might seem.  Even a giant asteroid approaching to skim past our moon.

That’s just the way the thunder rolls.

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