Monday, January 28, 2013

Make it Dance

Emma Belle Lafferty Slack, My Mom's paternal Grandma, with me

For Christmas this year, I got the gift of an enormous frame for a collection of family pictures.  I was given it because I am loved, by people who notice that my walls are covered by family pictures stuck on with funtac and that my hand is rarely without a camera in it.

They probably didn't think of the other gift that came with the frame.  The gift of time spent pouring albums out onto tabletops and remembering and defining and deciding who is the family that has to be included in this tribute to those who I love and who love me.

Austin, my oldest son, and Ford his puppy

Greg and I, Do I need to say '80's

Paul & Priscilla, my parents

Mimi & Harvey, my In-laws

Lawrence Slack & Paul Miller
Grandpa & Dad

Harvey & my Boys in the oil patch

1987 right after I went to School in China

My in-law's 50th anniversary 

around 1996

Greg & I as students in China

Being Dad

and being Mom


Finally a girl in the family

and more girls

Suddenly the fact that I have Family is amazing to me.  It isn't the family I was born into, and yet it is.  It has gained and lost people, by birth and death but also by choice.  It is filled with love, and always has been.  And I am grateful.

I know when I was born into my family, I soon came to accept that all families were like mine, and mine would always be made up of the people it contained at that time.  In other words, me and my parents and my Grandma Grace and Grandpa Lawrence.

It would have terrified me to consider how many times that "family" would add or lose people, and to think of it as not stable but flexible and dynamic would have felt like dangling over a bottomless dark pit.

 But the more I have watched and lived in this world, the more I see, that my family is connected to your family, and nothing is dark or lonely except our own isolationist sense that we are alone. 
We are not, 
everyone is here together, a family of humanity sharing just one home. 

 The more people I get to know, the more I see to love. Sure, we are not good, or evil, but a blending of my strengths and my weaknesses with the rest of the people here gives us more than enough strength to overcome out problems and solve our issues and celebrate our differences which after-all, are our strengths.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Easing into 2013

 Where I live, it feels like all the seasons are available today. It is raining here but there are pink flowers and yellow and red Maple leaves and Green Grass, just up the hill and inland in a 45 minute drive I am in the snow and the trees are bare or lightly frosted.
 My January has been like that too, one day the house is filled with family and food and laughter, the next it is just me and a good book and my computer.  One day I am healthy then without warning I am screaming from an ear infection then coughing from a cold or doubled up with abdominal pain and the flu.
 So will it be a good year or not? 9 days into it, I have experienced such a wide range of emotions and experiences and I have no idea what else the year has to surprise me with.

 But I do know I can choose how I greet the surprises as they come my way, wide awake, or sleeping through them, fearfully or trusting that there is good wrapped in there somewhere.  I know I have been shown time after time that the most important element in deciding how my day goes is the attitude in my mind when my feet hit the floor.

When I wake up moaning, "I hate being me" I have a day I hate. Simple as that.

 When I determine to find the magic and blessings in the day. I do. Strange how that works.

 "If You Don't Believe in Miracles, Perhaps You've Forgotten You Are One."

from Karen Salmansohn

 And there are little miracles everywhere I look today.

So I do not know what will happen to me in 2013, but I have decided who I will be when they happen.

I will be the one who greets the changes with the knowledge that things will be great, because so fat, in my nearly 50 years, every year has held a lot of greatness and more amazing people and events that bad ones, by so far the scales will never balance.