All posts by simplady

The Backstory

…through the gateway…

To those asking questions about my last post, I’ll share some answers. First, I need to provide some history to show you the story of our journey of saying “YES.”

I’m unable to provide human response that makes logical sense for this move. This relocation is the result of saying “yes” to what we feel God is asking us to do.

In 2012, we moved to Colorado. After looking for a retirement location, I fell in love with the Roaring Fork Valley. We settled in, and the beauty and grandeur of this location continued to captivate me. My faith relationship continued to develop. I’ve gained friends who’ve become like family. This valley has been my home—and that feels secure.

During this faith journey, I’ve come to gain a greater understanding of just how much God loves each of us; meaning, even me. As my understanding of that love has grown, so has my desire to be where God wants me. One of my lessons has been the power of saying “yes” when God asks you to do something. Those “yeses” have stretched and changed me. (For insight on those experiences, you might want to look at my posts about Haiti and Ireland.)

Back to the current questions.

We visited family in California in July and returned home, refreshed. Both of us were feeling urgings of God saying, “I want you in Southern California.” This birthed conversation between us, causing us to ask questions about what such a move would look like; why; what happens; etc.?

I love living here—yet heard God saying, “Do you love me? Do you trust me?”

Again, we talked and my husband was experiencing similar thoughts. We’ve learned the best response to God is “YES” when he asks you to do something. So, we are taking one step at a time, following God’s leading. We don’t know exactly where we’ll land, but trust God has something for us. He provided our Colorado house, and all others in our past.

For anyone reading this, I encourage you to evaluate your faith relationship. Do you know you are loved beyond measure? Does your faith relationship influence your daily life? Do you feel challenged to stepping out of your comfort zone? (Stepping out looks different for each of us, so I encourage you not to judge your responses to someone else’s, and especially not to our journey.)

For our friends living in the valley, know that the relationships we have here are meaningful to us. We will miss you. Geography doesn’t have to change friendships, they just look different.

There is power in YES; there’s adventure, and there’s the unknown. Faith journeys always include perceived unknowns.

The Skies

Window to the Heavens

One thing I love about this house…

The high ceilings and the wall of glass draw my gaze outward and upward. I marvel as I watch the moving canvas of the skies. Some days the clouds roll in layer upon layer, each with a little different shade. Some days the clouds race across the sky, in a hurry to get somewhere else. Other days fluffy white clouds dance by, or frilly thin like lace covers the skies. Then there are the sunny days when the sky is bright cerulean with nary a cloud in sight, taking me back to my childhood and early art projects when my sky was always that color.

These same windows draw me into the heavens after dark when the sun is long gone, and the stars too numerous to count tease me into thinking I can reach out and touch one. They lure me out on the deck where I stand gazing into these skies, often allowed the gift of witnessing a shooting star with its blazing tail. It’s peaceful there and quiets my soul, setting the stage for a good night’s rest.

Azure blue skies and bright sun meet the cold winter morning. Looking out the windows or standing on the deck, I see the sparkling shimmer of tiny frozen crystals falling to the earth. I expect someone in the heavens is sprinkling glitter down on this winter morning. I love the magic of this experience.

Long after this house belongs to another, I’ll remember how the windows called me into the heavens; how the skies are the bluest I’ve ever seen. The emotions stirred within, seared into my soul, will forever be a part of me.

I wish similar experiences to the new owners. If you want to be that owner, contact Kimberly McKinley at McKinley Sales Real Estate, Inc. and ask for information on the Flynn House.  Kimberly’s Phone: 970-925-7477

Roots and Wings

Dedicated to my mother…

Words on paper
absorbed in mind
create images

Brings to life
other places and times

Roots and wings intermingle

Twisting and growing together

Each trying to be dominant

The one who planted words and dreams
had deep roots and has left the earth

Yet she birthed the one with wings

Did she know what she planted

Do any of us

She marveled as she watched
the wings grow and develop

Did know she was thanked

Wings captured by my grand-daughter, Felicia Marie

Highlight of the Week

This week I received notice that Gabriel and the Bear received the following award:

Award-Winning Finalist in the Juvenile Fiction category of the 2020 American Fiction Awards.

I’m excited and honored to share this information with you. Special thanks go out to my illustrator, Carol Gault whose great art contributed to the success of this book.

Story of a young boy’s first encounter with a bear

The book is available on Amazon.

If you haven’t done so already, check out this story.

Creativity…

…what sparks yours?

I’ve written earlier how Covid-19 has helped me establish some better writing habits, and it has. Yet the last two weeks provided some interesting self-learning opportunities for me. We traveled to California (via car), to spend time with family. This hasn’t been a trip for sight-seeing, but has allowed us to connect with some family members while staying in one location. A location different from our house. Everyone here has their normal activities, as do we.

Yet the environment differs vastly from home. The sights, the temperatures, the plants—I’ve found all these differences sparked additional creativity for me.

In the past, I’ve found traveling ignites creativity, or time appreciating natural beauty, or enjoying another’s art creations. Just spending quiet, uninterrupted time in a different environment from home provided an unexpected burst.

This gift of creative energy was a surprise, a very pleasant surprise.

A daughter commented that she’s heard other writers say that’s the reason they enjoy going to a retreat. I’d always thought one went on a writing retreat to remove one’s self from their routine and have more time. So like me to consider “time” as the limiting commodity. …and so, incorrect! I’ve enjoyed this “writing retreat” to work on multiple projects.

What fuels your creativity?

Tumultuous Times allow for Reflection

Afternoon breeze

Reflecting on the first half of 2020 brings many thoughts to mind. It’s a year that has affected everyone. 

Civilizations around the world all touched by Covid-19 have dealt differently with it, each in their own way. Even in other cultures, individuals have responded diversely to the impact. Recognize that I will only address the affects to me, and in no way mean that to minimize or marginalize anyone else’s experience. Personally, Covid-19 allowed me to slow down; no really, forced me to slow down. I considered myself to be a grateful person, yet this slower pace allowed me to recognize even more things to be grateful for. Regular Zoom meetings allowed me to stay connected with writing friends from Ireland, and the local writing group, now on-line connects more frequently. I’ve been able to establish some new patterns or routines in my life, resulting in more consistency in writing. A new children’s story awaits art work; a compilation of short stories (some new and some former writings) is coming together; there’s noticeable progress on the sequel to “Dream Glasses.” With this slower pace, I find after an initial writing, it’s easier to go back and review it with a more critical eye and make corrections. I recognize I’m more calm. Life feels less hectic, and more relaxing.

The question that plagues me is, what of these new patterns will I bring to my future when life returns to some semblance of normalcy?

Have you found aspects of these last few months you want to carry forward? Are you willing to share them?

Pandemic Outing…

Yesterday was a beautiful morning, so we drove to town, stopped at our favorite coffee shop for take-n-go drinks and took off.

Took off for a drive up a nearby mountain pass. The spring melt has the rivers flowing at near peak capacity.

Fresh Mountain River

The morning air, fresh and cool, offers the fragrance of spring. One could smell the earth, the heat generating from the rocks and the moisture in the shade under the trees. The sound of the water racing downhill, roaring over rock walls, splash landing at the base before flowing into the river filled the air. In one location, the cool spray carried gently by the breeze, brushed against my face.

The roar of water, rushing and gushing downhill

In another location, we sat nearby and absorbed the sensations of being by water, out in nature.

Honestly, at one site, I got dizzy sitting there. We were in the truck, parked close to the river’s edge. The sights and sounds were relaxing, refreshing yet simultaneously invigorating. As I sat and watched the water, I got the sense the vehicle was moving. It wasn’t. Yet the water was so intense, so fast and so mesmerizing, I lost track of everything else.

Are we moving?

Perhaps these photos will take you to these places also…

Life Changes…

I’ve been part of a “Writing Through the Pandemic” group. It’s been an interesting process which sometimes surprises me at what surfaces. You can find some these writing on my blog under the following menu options: “Writing Categories” and then select “Pandemic”. Feel free to leave your comments or write your own thoughts.

Together, we’ll get through this!

New Buds Growing

Everything is a process

Processes have invisible strands that tie the pieces together

For me the process started in late spring of 2019

Spending 10 weeks in the southwest of Ireland and England left me shaken

The recognition of my own materialism hit hard

The crazy pace of my life was revealed as just that—crazy

I tried to share those revelations upon returning home

My friends looked at me with that dazed look you give one when you think they’ve lost it

I still made little sense of this

I was trying to process it

Or figure out what it meant for me

Another trip to Ireland in early 2020 reinforced these thoughts and cemented relationships there

I arrived back to my home in Colorado just as Covid-19 was being openly talked about, but before any lockdowns

The lockdown has given me the time, and space to process those thoughts birthed in 2019

Given me the opportunity to be at peace with experiencing a relaxed schedule

Provided opportunities to have communications with friends and family scattered around the globe and revealed the shared trauma of this pandemic

No one wonders “why” someone is concerned—at least not in my circle

It’s my hope we will come through this fear, into love and thus come alive

Come alive to the purposes created for each of us

Ah, but first we have to recognize and acknowledge those purposes

I suspect that revelation process will be different for each of us

Some may even fight these truths, preferring instead to return to what was

My pragmatic side knows this and thus expects the “coming through” will not necessarily allow us to land in a “happy place”

There will be “happy places” but also some rough patches

There may be some friends cemented for life, but also some lost

I hope I can cling to the values learned through this process

I hope to make them an integral part of me

I hope more of us find the “happy place” and can affect and influence those still searching

I hope we will release the aspects of life that were—let them drift into a space of “what was”

And thus be able to allow those conditions to remain in that space.

Remaking…

Pause.

Projects.

We are at home. Like many of you, really at home.

Perhaps for the first time in ages.

At our house that has meant projects.

House projects for my hubby.

Mostly writing for me.

This last week, I took on a project to remake an old family dresser.

The chest is sturdy, but made from an era when all wood furniture was dark.

Dark has become so foreboding.

It was time for a change.

I had a plan, however when I started sanding the finish from the old piece of furniture, the wood spoke something different to me.

Plan abandoned.

I kept on working.

As I was doing the finish coat, I found my mind wandering to memories of my father.

He was the one who introduced me to wood and with great supervision, would allow me to work with him in the basement.

Those thoughts bought a smile to mind.

For those of you who know me, there aren’t many times I speak of my dad.

My memories aren’t very pleasant.

In the last few years, I’ve been learning about how we can remake our memories.

Instead of replaying in your mind the same sad stories, stop those thoughts and replace them with more pleasant memories.

I’ve been working on that memory project for a few years.

It doesn’t change any realities, but it changes what my first thoughts are when thinking about my father.

This weekend wrapped up a remaking project and contributed to an ongoing remaking project.

It’s never too late to work on remaking…