Finding My Way Home

I Need Someone To Set This To Music

Finding My Way Home

Every day, it’s something.

Life just pushes you along.

Moments pass so quickly,

like the words of your favorite song.

All along I wonder:

Is this where I’m supposed to be?

Every day brought me closer

to this person I call “me”.

(Chorus)                                                                                                                                                All our life’s a journey;

paths you choose alone.

Step by step move forward

until you find your home.

 

Each path is so different.

You’re hoping it’s the one.

Yet each time there’s something

that says “No, you’re still not done.

Keep moving forward.

I know it’s hard on you

But hold on, you’ll get there.

Then, you’ll know just what to do.”

(Chorus)                                                                                                                                                All our life’s a journey;

paths you choose alone.

Step by step keep moving

until you find your home.

 

Well all at once it happens.

There’s a vision I can see.

Everything I cherish

is right in front of me.

I can see flowers blooming.

Birds are singing their sweet song.

Someone out there listened

and put me right where I belong.

And when this moment happens,

all the doors seem to open wide.

“This is your home,” it’s calling.

Go ahead. Step inside.”

“Oh the journey’s not quite over.

There’s still lots for you to do

But trust me, this is the moment

that’s been waiting here for you.

(Chorus)                                                                                                                                                  All our life’s a journey;

you’ve never been alone.

Every step you’ve taken

put you right where you belong.

All our life’s a journey;

you’ve never been alone.

Every step you’ve taken

put you right where you belong.

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Fate? Is That What This Is?

Opening Doors

It’s happening again!  I was presented with a door.  That’s how I like to think of big life decisions.  My opportunity.  My choice.

Do I open the door?  Do I step through? Or do I stay on this side of the door?  Safe. Safe from fear of the unknown. What do I do? I think of how many times I may have been presented with a door and I didn’t open it.  Fear is a powerful thing.

I think of the times when I did attempt to open the door and something would happen that stopped me from stepping through.  I had thought the time was right  but something told me “No, not this one.  Not this time.” So, I backed away.

Then there are those times when I felt pulled through the door…let’s say ‘guided’ through.  That seems less harsh.

So Here It Is Again

I’m going along with my life, feeling relatively content yet not quite.  I keep poking at the edges of home ownership.  Twice, I have come close.  Twice, I backed away committing to myself to just let it go.  I’m not young anymore.  I’ve owned homes.  There are advantages to renting.  I haven’t mowed a lawn or shoveled snow for the last five years. Owning a home comes with commitment and obligations, so I was resting back into contentment with my comfortable rental space.

And then it happened.

My daughter and her family moved to a larger home to make room for their growing family.  I help pack them up, unpack them, clean out cabinets.  All of that.  I would say almost immediately I was drawn to the view from their kitchen window.  It was the most beautiful back yard.  It reminded me of a small English garden.  It wouldn’t be long and I would meet the neighbor.  She was somewhat embarrassed with how the yard looked.  She hadn’t spent as much time on it as she’d liked.  Her husband had been ill. As much as I could, I praised her for how it didn’t matter.  It was such a peaceful, beautiful space.

How did it happen that I found out that she was actually moving out?  Her husband had passed away and her children worried about her living there on her own.  How did I hear about that?  It turns out that there is another neighbor who cares for little kids the same age as one of my grandchildren.  This person reached out, almost daily, saying “Bring your grand daughter.  Bring her to play.”  And so I did.  As it would happen, she was very close to her neighbor.  She was saddened by the knowledge that her friend was moving.  I was as compassionate as I could be but also felt bad for my own daughter.  This neighbor was going to be fun to know – a lovely grandma type for my grandchildren to grow up next to.

How did it happen that my interest in this house became known to the owner?  Apparently, my son-in-law mentioned something.  All of a sudden, the owner is asking me if I was the lady who was interested in buying the house.  This took me by surprise.  I loved the garden like backyard.  By looking at the house, though, I assumed that 1) it would be too big for one person, 2) it would surely cost more than I could ever afford.  I was clearly surprised by her question and minimized its validity. Still, I would look across from my daughter’s kitchen window and dream of what it would be like if I were the grandma person next door.  I could see it.  I could see them playing on the patio.  I could see myself teaching them how to plant flowers and water the gardens.  I longed for  a dream like that to actually be possible.  It made me sad because I assumed that I would never see that dream become reality.

When I finally did dip a toe in the water to actually say that I might be interested, I was told that, as I had assumed, the house was going to be priced out of my reach.  I resigned myself to simply being happy that I still lived close enough to care for my grandchildren three days a week and there are so many advantages to renting.

But then I get a phone call.  It’s the daughter of this lovely lady.  She said, “I heard about your interest in buying my mom’s house.  We like your story.  We’d be willing to drop the price.”  Would I be interested in the house if it came at this reduced price?

The Door Had Been Opened A Crack

My first reaction was, of course, excitement…followed quickly by fear!  Slam the door shut! Quick!

I didn’t though.  I took a deep breath and figured that there were many opportunities to close this door.  I didn’t need to rush it.  I mean, after all, I would probably not qualify for a loan or an inspection would probably find that there were costly repairs that would need to be done.  I assumed that, given time, I would learn that this was still out of reach, but then…

This Scrolled Up On Facebook

Sunday Blessing:

May you lean into the change and cycle you are currently going through or being called towards.  May you find the courage to trust yourself and shout YES to the burn of transformation.  May you let go of all the no longer essential parts of yourself, and ignore the fading, fear-filled voices.  Because this is where you cross the river.  This is where you stop being the scared person you once were.  This is where you shoot out of the cracks you’ve fallen into. This is where the waiting ends and a new voice is birthed.  A voice you recognize as your own, the new you.  And there’s no going back, because no one’s gonna save you, except you.  May you lean in.  May you lean in.

________

Tanya Markul, Thug Unicorn

And this may have been the sign that I needed.  So I decided it was ok to ‘lean in’. And I picked up the phone and started making phone calls:  a mortgage company – “Would I qualify? What would an inspection cost?  How much would it cost to hire a lawyer to write up an offer to purchase?”

And so it began.

Potential Roadblock #1 – Maybe I won’t qualify for a loan

I sent all the necessary documents to prove my income and assets.  I had no downpayment. Still, they said I would qualify for a loan.  Pre-approval letter attached to the email response.

Potential Roadblock #2 – Inspection may turn up additional problems

I learned that  writing a offer to purchase typically is done first and then the inspection but the lawyer was a cost that I didn’t want to incur if there were expensive problems with the house.  I wanted to know before I wrote the offer.  The inspection was expensive but not as expensive as paying a lawyer so let’s do that first.

The inspection took over four hours.  I was next door taking care of my grand daughter.  He came, luckily, during her nap so we could really talk.  My first question, “Are there any red flags?”  He, of course, didn’t want to go there first but insisted on going step by step through everything he looked at and what he thought and then, in the end, he said, “basically there are no red flags.”

So now, I know that I qualify for the loan.  There are no issues with the house. So what next?

Potential Roadblock #3 – Will an offer be accepted?

So what offer would I make?  Would I offer them the price they want?  How do I know if that’s reasonable?  My daughter suggested that I ask the realtor that helped them buy their house.  My concern was that I didn’t want to go through a realtor.  My daughter insisted that she would simply give me advise, no obligation.  And that is just what she did.  In the end, she actually indicated that she would list it for the amount that the owners suggested they wanted so that was a good sign but wait a minute…if the house was listed for that amount with a realtor, then there would be fees paid for that assistance so then I had a bargaining chip.

In the end, after talking it through with a mortgage person, I was able to understand the overall costs of a home purchase: closing costs, prepays, and downpayment.  Oh my goodness, this is where I needed to take a deep breath.  Remember, I don’t have a downpayment.

Well, the mortgage company came up with an option that required only 3% down.  I could afford that. Then, after working the numbers over and over again, I figured out what what kind of offer I could make that I could afford.

And they accepted it!

No More Roadblocks!

And so this door is wide open and, step by step, I stepped through that door. I am buying a house!  This house with the beautiful English garden, this house that looked too big for one person, this house that would probably be too expensive, this house that I could see myself in before I ever stepped in the door.

And all I can think is…this must be fate!

 

 

 

 

Those Dreams That Haunt You

Many times I dream, but more often than not I forget them the minute I wake up.  Once in awhile there is a dream that lingers in my brain and simply cries out to be brought into the light of day.  I just had one of those dreams.

It Takes Place In a Storage Facility

I was walking by these storage units. Each was open and people seemed to be selling their wares.  I was a visitor walking past so many vendors.  I ran into an old friend.  She and I had been great friends years ago.  She was displaying her baskets.  I remember how much she loved making her baskets.  We hugged and she simply said, “I decided it was time to share these.”  We didn’t talk about the years that had passed without even a word between us.  We just simply enjoyed the moment.  Then we saw another man wonder by; another visitor like me.  He looked depressed, walking slowly and reflectively, and he looked especially old at that moment.  He smiled when he saw both of us. It turns out that we knew him. We shared the moment and then separated.  I continued walking past vendor after vendor, lingering on thoughts of these past friends.

And Then I Realize That No One Is Selling Their Wares

I happen onto a heated discussion between a vendor and a passerby. The passerby wanted to try a piece of the vendor’s prized carrot cake.  It seemed to make the vendor angry. Why wasn’t he pleased? It was then, I think, that I actually realized that no one was selling anything.  These were displays!  People were displaying the things they loved the most!

They Were Sharing Their Dreams

Then it dawned on me:  that’s why my friend was sad.  He seemed to have nothing of significance to share. I remember him as a very smart man, full of passion for his job, working long past normal work hours and long past his formal retirement date. But, when he finally stopped going to work, his dream ended.  This job that had consumed his life left him with a huge hole. Now, here he was walking past person after person who seemed to have realized other dreams; dreams that didn’t earn money, that weren’t  “jobs”.  They were passions outside of work.

The Storage Unit

This location; this storage facility, today, was bursting with excitement.  Dreams had been brought out of storage.  Dreams were being celebrated by their owners.  Those dreams weren’t big deals to anyone, maybe, other than the dreamers. “I make baskets.”  “I make  really good carrot cake.” Dreams, so many dreams, brought out of storage to celebrate and share on this day.  So many dreams are left in storage while we work on the things that we think will make us important.  For my friend, his job was his dreams.  Now it left him sad and empty. My other friend seemed content.  She’d had a good job too but she had moved on. She was content with her projects.  They were her projects, after all.  Like them or don’t like them:  she didn’t care.  Yet, she was thrilled to share them on this day.

So Why Am I In This Dream?

While I was dreaming, my thought was that this might be a great place to try to sell my nature photos; the objects of my current pastime.  But when I realized that no one was really selling,  I woke up.

I was puzzled and needed to continue to ponder this dream.   I felt bad for my sad friend.  It was his sadness that had me thinking…My work had been my passion too.  When I left, I felt that same hole.  Did he represent me?  Or did the other friend represent me?  Was I walking past the vendors because I have yet to accomplish my dream? Will I someday regret letting life pass me by and not finding my life dream? The thing was, I didn’t feel sad. Other people’s sites left me inspired. What is it that I’m doing that fills me with joy; that thing that I do for no pay and it would be something I would never sell?  I wanted to figure this out.

And Then I Did!

I have the opportunity to spend beautiful time with four little people.  I gladly do it for no pay. My grandchildren make my heart sing.  Fighting fires with my four year old grandson or racing Hot Wheel cars up and around his Super Ultimate Garage, listening to my two year old granddaughter burst into full out sentences, singing songs to the one year old granddaughter and watching her make connections with pictures in books, and now snuggling with my one week old granddaughter.  This is the gift that has been given to me.  This is the passion that I have found since retiring that fills me with joy.  And, I share this joy as often as their parents allow. And there is something that comes from sharing joy.  Joy spreads!

What a wonderful dream.  What a wonderful time pondering its meaning.

And, wouldn’t it be fun if everyone pondered what their passion is?  But it has to be something that you don’t do for money.  It has to be something that simply brings you joy.

This Is A Story About A Robin…But You Have To Wait For It!

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Personal Photo

No, I’m not going to mention this robin right now.  Wait for it.

First, I need to share this:

Yesterday was one of those days; an incredible day that ended with me feeling as though I had real purpose.

It started simply enough with me taking my brother to a doctor’s appointment.  It wasn’t any simple appointment though.  He was to be scheduled for quadruple bypass surgery.  The doctor’s office is in an area unfamiliar to my brother so I offered to meet him halfway and drive him in.  The first road was blocked with a bridge out.  He instantly panicked but luckily I knew a different route.  He was thankful, at that moment, for me. The appointment had a twist.  We thought we were to schedule surgery, instead he needs to return to meet, first, with another cardiologist.  They have to make his heart strong enough for surgery.  My brother has a bit of a short fuse, so luckily I was there to keep everything calm.  Then, as we tried to set up a schedule for this additional doctor, I felt that the directions had been listed wrong.  I was right!  He needed a “heart failure” cardiologist not just a regular cardiologist.  It was because I had taken notes during our meeting with the surgeon that I was able to catch this and get it checked out and corrected before we made an unnecessary trip in to the wrong doctor.  My brother was safely delivered back to our halfway meeting point and he was calm.  My duty was done and he was very thankful.  I was pleased.

Second Story:

Then, my sister called.  She’s been living through several tough years.  She hates her job, also has heart issues, and just recently went through breast cancer surgery.  Through all of this, she has had a dream of running her own business; a shop of up-cycled treasures.  Last summer, we worked together to try it out by setting up displays at flea markets.  That worked well enough but made her tired and disappointed.  Still, the spring warmth and sunshine has her longing to try again.  With her energy level low, I’d offered to drive to her home every Saturday (75 minutes away) to help get things ready.  Then she hears that someone has a booth at an antique mall and would like to split the cost with her.  I jumped at the chance to encourage this.  “I’ll split the cost with you”, I say. Still it took two weeks before she contacted her friend and followed through with signing a 6 month lease for her half.  I was there again this Saturday to price some items and take them over this last Saturday.  She begins placement of her treasures and I could see that she was in her happy place.  She has an eye for design.  She started immediately rearranging the items already there, placing them in ways that compliment their value and then started placing hers.  In a little over an hour, we were done and she was pleased.  But it was yesterday when she called that there was actual joy in her voice.  She had returned to her booth to place a few more items.   The owner made a special point of telling her how nice the booth looked.  She told her more than once.  My sister mentioned it to me five times during our conversation.  She then shared a story about this job that she hates.  She’s been moved back to the deli area; the area that she had said was way too hard on her.  Today she was super busy. Why?  Because people are glad she’s back!  She was overjoyed!  Her hate for the job replaced with a new sense of value. I ended this conversation feeling as though I maybe had a bit of role in moving her towards her dream.  She was happier than I have heard her in years.  And I smiled.

Third Story And This Is Where The Robin Comes In:

I was sitting down, ready to eat and the phone rings yet again.  I see who’s calling and my instinct was to ignore it and go on  with my dinner.  Instead, I answered.  “Jane, you’re my bird lady.  You have to help me.  There is this robin that has been flying into my window all day long.  What is wrong with this bird?”  I tell her what I know about this kind of bird behavior but truthfully she really just wants to tell me how frustrating it all was and how she’s tried everything to make it just stop.  Then she changes topic a bit and tells me how upset she’s been lately with her life and how she even prayed to God to send someone to help her.  At that point, I said that maybe the robin was trying to get a message to her and while she continued to share her despair, I looked up the spirit message of the robin and then stopped her and said, “This is the message from the robin.”

If Robin has flown into your life;
Robin signifies stimulation of new growth and renewal in many areas of life. He teaches that any changes can be made with joy, laughter and a song in your heart. This bird shows you how to ride the winds of passion within your heart and become independent and self reliant through this change. The energy of this bird will teach you how to move forward with grace, tenacity, perseverance and assertion. Are you letting go of personal dramas? Ones that no longer serve your higher purpose? Are you exercising compassion and patience in mental, spiritual and emotional areas? This creature will teach how to incorporate new beginnings with faith and trust in the process. It is time to believe in yourself and use the inspiration that is given. Listen carefully. It is time sing your own song for a new period in your life.

When I finished, I waited for a response and instead heard silence.  I was worried that I had gone too far.  Perhaps she wasn’t interested in the possibility of animals sending messages to her.  But instead, she said, “You have no idea how amazing it is to hear that right now and let me tell you why.” She went on to share how so many things have been out of order in her life for the past months, how she had just told her husband that she needed to do something to change it, to bring back the joy in her life, to find her way back to taking care of herself, how she needed to back away from trying to be everything to everyone else.  And then she spoke of how much she missed our time together at the gym we had belonged to and I agreed.  We had been healthy and strong and we had both been away from that for too long.  We made a plan to meet tomorrow to get some exercise.  And then she said, “Well, I asked God to send someone to help me and I never thought it would be a bird!” And she laughed.  I smiled and then said, “Maybe God sent me.”

I went to bed last night with a happy heart.

 

Happiness Is Homemade

Happiness Is Homemade

“I just want to be happy”,
she says through the tears.
It’s all I’ve every wanted.
I’ve said so for years.

She cries out to God,
“I just want a reason to smile.
I’ve been begging and begging,
It’s been such a long while.

The answer comes back:
“Happiness is Homemade.
I love you, I’m here.
Stop being afraid.”
“Are you really here for me?
I try so hard not to be afraid.
But tell me what this message means.”
she prayed.

“Homemade means:
Something that you make from scratch,
You make it with your own two hands,
Using all your best ingredients, in the whole batch.”

“Happiness isn’t given to you.
You have to make it instead.
It means you need to
go after those dreams in your head.

You speak of them clearly
Day after day.
FEAR is the Devil
Push him away.”

“Happiness is homemade.
It’s all up to me?”

“Yes, but I’m here with you.
Trust me. You’ll see!”

Summer Solstice

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Surrender to the
Ups and downs of life.
Make each day a reflection of your soul.
Mirror the beauty you see in front of your eyes.
Everything God created carries messages of love.
Remember that you were given life to carry lessons too.

Soothe your mind
Of all negative intrusions.
Let fresh air cleanse your thoughts.
Stay focused on the warmth of the sun.
Take in the light of the longest day of the year.
Inch by inch, feel your body fill with renewed strength.
Center your thoughts on your incredibly unique journey.
Enjoy the fact that you have this moment, this day, this life.

Every New Beginning Starts By Saying “Good-bye”

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Every new beginning starts
By walking away.
It’s finding the inner strength
To let go of yesterday.

Memories want you to linger;
Thoughts of what you leave behind.
Anticipation moves you forward;
Wondering what tomorrow has in mind.

Surround yourself with flowers now.
Something about them calms the fear.
Find a place to just be still.
Let God be ever near.

This new beginning
Is part of the path that’s meant to be.
It leads to future memories;
New joy and happiness. You’ll see.

Every new beginning
Somehow makes you cry
Because every new beginning
Starts by saying “Good-bye”.