Tuesday, August 27, 2013

47 Things I know...

Ok.  I'm not actually going to type 47 things that I know.  The reason that I used the number 47 is because that's my new age.  I like the sound of that...my new age.  It's mine and I'm going to own it and tell you a few things that I do know.

I like to spend time, not money.  Any day of the week.  I have money.  I need money.  But the things that mean the most to me don't cost a thing and are yet priceless.  Spending time with a friend over a two hour cup of coffee.  Visiting family and laughing at the jokes that only your family understands.  This is the stuff that life's made of.

A good meal made by someone you love, or for someone you love, nourishes the stomach and soul.  On my birthday Scott made steaks.  With sautéed mushrooms and onions.  It was a meal that pleased my palette.  More than that the company, my man and daughter, made me feel full and loved.

Surround yourself with young ones.  It makes you remember that you're not always right.  It keeps you fresh.  In ideas, humor and language.  It will challenge your brain.  And they will drain your energy and help you sleep well.

If your clothes don't fit, quit wearing them.  I did another major purge this summer of drawers and closets.  Seriously.  It's amazing what I really don't wear.  In my world a good fitting pair of jeans is worth a million bucks.  Ok, not a million, but they are worth a lot.

Moisturize.  On the inside and on the outside.  I recently read a statistic about how Americans are often not hydrated well.  This makes a difference in organs functioning properly and how your skin appears.  Of course there is the need for topical moisture, too. Especially as one ages.  Find one that works.  Your outer shell depends on it.

I don't feel 47.  And I don't feel 21 either.  I feel content.  I feel loved.  I love and laugh.  Like all of the time.  Perhaps this is what keeps me feeling younger than my actual new age.   Or maybe it's all of the lotion and the young people I surround myself with.  Whatever it is, I'm going to keep doing it.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

For Benny And Schoep

It's no secret that I am in love with dogs.  I didn't grow up with them, but I adopted one the minute I married.  This is where my love began.  Belvedere was an English Bulldog.  Not the lovey on your lap kind of dog.  He was the kind that pulled me around the block and ate furniture when brought into the house.  But I loved him.  He opened the door for me to love other dogs.

Soon after came Chester and Winston.  Both of them changed me forever.  They made me a better person.  I will always have them in my heart.  And that brings me to Benny and Schoep.  These dogs were not mine.  But their humans shared them with many.  I did have the opportunity to meet Benny.  He was the fun loving fella that lived next door to my parents.  Benny and my dad had a connection.  They visited often.  Dad said he genuinely felt an affectionate bond between them.  A little over a week ago, dad and Benny shared their last visit.  Benny saw something interesting and died shortly after darting out into the street.

And a few weeks ago Schoep died.  I never met him.  Or his human, John.  Schoep was this wonderful boy who had the love of a man that helped him reach the age of 20.  He was hard of hearing and had poor eyesight.  His hips were bad and he had arthritis.  But somehow John found a way to comfort him and restore some pep to this beautiful boy. John would carry Schoep into the lake and let the water work its healing wonders on him. Schoep touched thousands of lives because of a picture that was in a newspaper of John and Schoep on one of their trips to the lake.  The world was honored to be with John and Schoep in their journey together.

I am writing about these two boys because they are universal ambassadors of love.  We as humans provide them with love, food, water and a home.  We make sure that they have proper medical care and licenses.  But what they give back to us is priceless.  They teach us to love at a level deeper than we ever knew we could.  They teach us to be thoughtful. To be happy to see each other.  Every time we come home.  They teach us to be patient and kind.  To exercise.  They teach us to play and be silly. They show us that even though they don't speak to us, they understand.  They are incredibly forgiving.  They never see us humans as flawed.

I know these families are grieving the loss of Benny and Schoep.  Many others are mourning with them.  And this is where we can take a lesson from our furry loved ones.  Be gentle in this time.  With yourself.  Allow yourself the time to feel.   Remember some of the valuable lessons these wonderful creatures have taught us.  Be thoughtful and happy to see each other.  Every time we come home.  Be patient and kind.  Be silly and play.  Exercise. Understand and forgive.  And keep your heart open to love again.  This is the best way I know of to honor our four-legged family members.