Archive | December 2013

Mother’s Birthday

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My mother is having a birthday this week.  It’s not just any birthday but her 94th.  I definitely realize how lucky I am to still have her in my life.

The role of a mother begins long before you give birth…it is formed in your heart first when you know you want to be a part of the ongoing process of life.  Then, at that momentous second you give birth, few are prepared for how huge the job becomes!  The little things of nurturing that child, teaching that child, loving that child, then letting that child go when the time comes for freedom.

That, to me, is the test of any mother’s love…can you let them go?

My mother did all those things for me:  loved me, cared for me, taught me, and then…she let me go.

I am well into retirement age now, but my mother still seems young to me.  She has two beautiful and smart daughters, 3 fantastic grandchildren, and 4 loving great-grandchildren.

Some of her greatest exhibits of strength have come in these later years.  She was married over thirty years ago to her friend and lover.  Nearly two years ago she lost him tragically.  The way she has handled that great loss is exemplary not just to me as her daughter…but to the grandchildren and adult great-grandchildren.  We all pulled together to help her, and it seems, in the long run she helped us through the tragedy.

About twenty years ago, she began her technology training when her husband said, “let’s get you a computer.”  She didn’t know if she could learn that but today she is a prolific e-mailer, a web surfer and finds more things on the internet than anyone else can!

What can I say to my mother I haven’t said in my 60+ years?  Perhaps I’ll give her the greatest compliment possible.  I’ve learned to be a mother by watching her.  She is my greatest strength and role model.

Mother, God is giving our family a present this year—to share another birthday with you!   Happy Birthday!

The future is the past through another gate.

Arnold H. Glasgow

Wintertime

Wintertime

I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show. ~Andrew Wyeth

Wintertime http://wp.me/p466rU-4g

A man travels t…

A man travels the world over in search of what he needs, and returns home to find it.

George Moore

Searching For Your Dream

roadTraveling down a two-lane Texas highway a few weeks ago, I had one of my favorite CDs playing. For more than 40 years I’ve listened to the Oak Ridge Boys and loved every kind of song they’ve recorded. I even named my new car “Elvira” and love to blast that 1981 hit when I’m marking those miles. Oh, and here I guess I should mention I’m a senior citizen?

A little over a year ago, I retired after 48 years of working. The day I turned 65, I said my goodbyes and wanted to get out my map and compass to find my new path.

But I had to face surgery and rehab first, so I delayed even acknowledging my dream let alone acting upon it. Actually I didn’t even have a vision of the plan–I couldn’t see anything there but a vague shape like the imagined face you see in a cloud. All I knew was it would include writing (based on the encouragement of a high-school teacher who told me to NEVER STOP WRITING).

I was singing along to the lyrics of the Oak’s song “Before I Die.” There’s a part that says:

While I can still breathe…

while this old heart still has another beat,

it’s time I put some livin’ in these dreams

…and those words–along with the Oaks’ unmatched harmony–collided into an almost religious experience reaching clear down in my soul and pulling out all my hesitation and fear shouting clearly to me:

if not now—when?

I’ve had that feeling that the earth moved a bit on its axis only a few other times in my life; i.e.,

  • when my children were born,
  • when I achieved a long-time academic dream,
  • and one other time when I made a huge turn in the road (a relationship) which landed me on the correct path.

It took me only a few days to see the outline of the dream as clearly as if the blueprint had just been delivered to me marked “complete and ready for construction.” The idea came to me so vividly and I knew exactly how I would capitalize on the broader audience available through technology. So now, believing it’s MY time, I sat down to create a blog.

Now about that new-world creation called a blog…as soon as I found out what it meant I decided I’m actually thrilled with the idea a blogger’s words can live for “infinity and beyond” – how cool is that? So off I went into the blogosphere.

Then, I had to have something to put on a newly created blog, and I thought about my life. I figured others think about that, too, so I would write about something I knew better than any subject. Me! I sat my feet firmly on the ground…and there it was…my dream from long ago…my challenge. I’m so glad I recognized it even if it was 50 years older now (maybe it was  because my vision/thoughts were 50 years older now, too). The realization was exciting as I unrolled the blueprints; they magically were complete, visible and clear. Thus was born New Journeys on Old Roads – Traveling with Van Hess

Here’s something I’ve learned. Managing dreams involves a little patience, magic and opportunity. Sometimes we walk away in haste tending to the mundane things of life and forget we must tend our dreams. Sometimes we just push them away and ignore them and they seem to wither away. But sometimes they just won’t let go of you. Here I would warn you that not allowing them to develop can often leave you with regrets. My experience with regrets is that they are not worth having; they drain your joy and bog down your mind.

Obviously, my life, like that of many people, contains hiccups and hindrances—but my fervor and need to share it overrule; and I can truly say even with the pain vs the love, the tears vs the laughs, life has more often than not tipped the scales in favor of the good outweighing the bad. If you’re stuck in the bad, maybe making a list of “Good Things” vs “Bad Things” would be a good exercise; and it may surprise you just how quickly your scales will tip in favor of good things.

Since life required me to have a practical side, I lived that way for those 48 years…but my other self (oh, I should mention here I’m a Gemini–the twins) said it was OK to dream. So I’ve always dreamed of not “having” to do something but “wanting” to do it.

Listening to the lyrics of that song while I traveled an old familiar road I’ve been down a hundred times, it seemed as if I’d been dropped down on a new road I’d never traveled. The words made all the difference to me. I knew I would not be ready to leave this world unless I “put some livin’ in those dreams.”

OK – I’m packed! Got my map, compass, my CD, my computer, my camera, all in my car named Elvira!

See you down the road! If you need a little help in identifying your dreams, find a quiet place, take a back road, and let them find you!

Please leave your comments and let me know if you enjoy this content.  You are Traveling with Van Hess on http://newjourneysonoldroads.com

Listen:  The Oak Ridge Boys and “Before I Die”

Follow me on Twitter @ VanHessTXred

Information regarding reference to “Before I Die” BEFORE I DIE 
(featuring William Lee Golden)-------- 3:53 Woody Mullis & Trey Matthews 
© 2011 Sixteen Stars Music (BMI)/Egan’s Creek Music (BMI) 
Administrator: HoriPro Entertainment Group, Inc. 
IT’S ONLY NATURAL” FROM CRACKER BARREL -RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 19, 2011 
Visit the following site for news, music, history & tour dates of the 
Oak Ridge Boys: http://oakridgeboys.com/  
Listen to their song, “Before I Die” on this 
youtube address: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tN4wdftVgdg

Thanksgiving All Year

Have you recently heard someone say, “At least Thanksgiving is over.” I did and was puzzled at first and then sad to think that a person does not or cannot find any other day of the year to say “thanks” or give “thanks” or count their blessings.

Did you let such an opportunity pass by? So many times I should have said those words.  We often fail to express our gratitude to God or one another.  God provides people on this earth to direct us to certain experiences which by that very experience should emit from our mouth those simple words: THANK YOU or THANK GOD or just THANKS.

Is the giving of thanks over? I know it’s been a week since many of us gathered around the table and ate our fancy turkey or garnished ham and stuffed ourselves with Gramma’s great pumpkin or pecan pie. And who brought that mouth-watering salad and dressing? Was that you, Auntie?

It’s such a simple concept to stay in the mood of thankfulness and gratitude, but we try so hard to get it over and move to the next busy thing—the next advertised holiday—or the next crisis (the kind we often make for ourselves).

If we were to stop here at the time of Thanksgiving and vow to make it a year-long holiday, perhaps we could carry that feeling through the days, months and years. Shouldn’t it be about more than eating that pumpkin pie and watching the football game?

Lord, help me to thank you for all you have done for me and given me and blessed me with BEFORE I ask you for something else—before I start wanting more things. Let me ponder on the miraculous things you have given me to ease my journey along this road of life—the most selfless gift you could give—
Your Son for My Sin.
Amen – (vh)
 

“Thankfulness creates gratitude which
generates contentment that causes peace.”
― Todd Stocker

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