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Sometimes when I pray, I wonder who or what is listening to my words whether said silently or aloud.  Where do they go?  These words.  My words.  Do the words arrive to the intended recipient or are they sometimes returned to sender in an empty envelope?

Garth Brooks sings that some of ‘life’s greatest gifts’ are Unanswered Prayers.  Meaning, I suppose, that another entity, in Garth’s case, God, knows better than humans.  I don’t know.

I do know that I pray regularly.  Having turned my back on organized religion moons ago, I continue to pledge allegiance to a spirituality which runs deep in my core or soul some might say.  I turn to this faith or trust in something bigger than myself frequently & consistently.  The fact that there’s a chance my prayers go no where, are undelivered to the correct address or denied out of hand, does not seem to stop my returning to this well of faith that someone    something is listening, receiving, hearing, considering my words    my meaning.

Prayer is a cornerstone of my life.  An anchor.  A comfort.  A strength.  A connection.  A touchstone.  A conduit to the all-things-are-possible, if I believe.

So whether my words are, indeed, unanswered   unheard  denied out-of-hand or temporarily lost in translation   sometimes makes no difference.  At least in the overall scheme of life.  Mine.

The benefits I receive daily   the solace & needed anchor that keeps me from being continually adrift in a too large an ocean of too-much, is worth any angst or temporary lapses in faith.

Peace be in my heart on this most sunny morning, I pray.

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Somewhere and sometime along the way on this journey of mine on this particular circuitous path that I tread called my life, I let go of the hope of finding my first mother, my omma.  In the beginning as a child, I barely dared even think of her even when I was sleeping ~ dreaming about this most precious woman in the whole wide world.  And then in adulthood, I defied all that I had been taught and brainwashed to believe by my adoptive mother, and took the lid off the hole in my heart where this yearning for my birth mother lived.  This hope was faint but thrumming with the rhythm of my heartbeat and sprang fully alive with urgings from my thoughts, dreams and fantasies of this mystery woman’s face, touch and fragrance. 

So today the realization that the hope is reduced, once again, to barely a flutter now and again, is startling. 

Hope and hunger, however, are two separate states of being.  For I still long for this woman, my creator.  Longing that aches to my very soul.  Even with my dim hope that I will ever find her on this planet, in the form of my first omma, the yearning is still present.  She is somewhere.  Perhaps over the proverbial rainbow.  Maybe existing on another plane in a different form.  But, somewhere there exists is at least a remnant of this one whom I have gone without for ever so long. 

Happy Mother’s Day Omma from your daughter aka Korean adoptee, junemoon.

We are well on our way to 15 hours of daylight per day.  Make that, a glorious 15 hours of daylight every single day.  And the minutes keep growing, approximately 5 minutes per 24-hour cycle. 

There is not one single

solitary

complaint.

Not from me.

Nada. 

I got nothin’ here folks.  Nothin’ but praise awe and a welcome wagon, that is. 

Bring it on Miss Spring Time in the Previously Dark Region of the Planet. 

Bring it on now, baby cakes.

Life in the moment is good.  Very good.  Too good.  At least too good to wait until November to formally give our honor and thanks~giving for this abundant life. 

So my family and I are gathering this evening for a spring Thanksgiving Feast.  There will be the American dinner icons ~ turkey, mashed taters, gravy all served up with loads of yummy side dishes.  My daughter sparked the idea last week and the rest of her clan quickly climbed onboard. 

Life is good.  And when it is this good, one must eat.  Eat delicious homecooked food and sip a bubbly beverage, or two.  And you know me, who am I to swim against the tide ~ at least when it comes to celebrations.

Take two ibuprofens.  Drink them down with big gulps of water.  Do it quickly lest you be oxygen deprived due to inabilty to breathe through your nose and only your mouth.  Keep a goodly supply of Puffs with lotion tissues nearby.  Apply Neosporin to painfully irritated raw nose. 

Do all of the above throughout your day and night.  Allow the common cold to run its natural course.

Oh I almost forgot to mention, give in to food cravings and allow yourself to be comforted by a steaming hot cup of tomato soup.  Sodium milligrams be damned.  One’s spirits must be buoyed and nurtured during times of physical illness in order to quickly return to health.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 

As you may have guessed by now, I am being visited by a headcold.  I realized that this is the first cold I have succumbed to in over a year.  My memory timeline includes such mileposts as my daugher’s birth year and her age at any given point in my adulthood.  An example being, when did I date the woman with the long flowing blond hair with those deep blue eyes?  Well let’s see, my daughter was about 7 years old so I would have been 26.  Another memory milepost is when was the last time I was able to sleep lying down?  Well let’s see that would have been toward then end of January 2011 so about 13 months ago.  And I haven’t had a head cold since then.  Oh the meandering places my mind does travel when my head is all stuffed up… 

Life is good even with the raw nose and achy muscles.  One cold in over a year just isn’t that bad.  Right?  Nothing that taking two ibuprofens won’t help.

Napping is good.  Whether the nap is taken sitting upright or lying down, either way, it’s all good.  I opted for such goodness yesterday afternoon and was rewarded with rich and varied dreams.  The extra interesting dreams may have been somewhat influenced by my lunch.  The lunch that was slightly, meaning well off, my current low sodium plan.  Can you say a foodie’s salty heaven?  Not to worry, I do not intend to continue veering off the diet forever.  Sometimes though, a triple decker turkey club sammie on lightly toasted whole wheat bread is worth this high risk behavior. 

Yes.  Either way.  Horizontally or vertically.  Napping is a good thing.  All snuggled up in one’s down duvet with loads of fluffy and firm pillows for added comfort. 

Did I mention yesterday was an overcast cold winter’s day?  It was and I did.  Nap. 

All good.  Way good.

This past weekend, I had the honor of attending a mesmerizing performance at the local art center.  The story line centered on the friendship built between two men who hailed from different cultures and social contexts.  Two men on a stage led the audience on the journey of their friendship through the years against a backdrop of gorgeous and breathtaking photography and video.  One of the men was killed in the pursuit of his passion, wildlife and outdoor photography, and the remaining friend wrote a book which was subsequently adapted for the performance art piece. 

In the play’s program the director wrote about the “shallow and deep simplicity of friendship.”  He likened friendship to a river that we “often cross shallowly.”  He wrote that “[T]oo often we fail to see it [friendship] with the significance it deserves.  Simple friendship has depths that cannot be plumbed.” 

These words and the strong thought and emotion provoking dialogue between these friends have taken up their fair share of my head space this week.  Gotten me reflecting on the unremarkable and the remarkable aspects of my everyday friendships and the sustenance that each relationship brings to my life.  There are the friendship brooks and creeks, burbling and percolating along; the ones that mirror huge crashing waves of both ecstasy and despair; the streams that fill to overflowing in the spring and freeze up tight in the winter; the deep broad still lakes mirroring back who I am and the lay of the land; and ponds, some spilling over that may one day become a lake and other ponds that have shrunk and are in the process of drying up from seasons of drought. 

Some are ripe for plumbing the depths with the hope of revealing new treasure.  Others already plumbed, some with slightly disappointing results and others that inspired a big huge shazaaaam.  Not all friendships are meant to be plumbed but instead are transitory in their very nature ~ their gift made richer by their impermanence. 

I love the meandering creeks and eddies, the written word and the performance art pieces that live on in lively and quiet debates  ~ the internal plumbing of the soul, psyche and heart.

In life, it’s the little things that most often impact our lives the most.  Except for those times when it’s the big things that usurp the moment ~ take the day ~ knock us off our feet ~ sweep us down the river of joy or tears.  Yes.  Most definitely it’s the big things that influence our lives the most.  That is, apart from the little things that instantly wrap our hearts in comfort or bring a fist-sized knot to our gut.  Or like when we awake with our eyes open to the peace surrounding us that sprang from within us. 

Oh yeah. 

Except for those times. 

It’s the bigs and the littles that get us every doggone time.

Last evening mi casa was filled to the brim with folks ready to fill their stomachs with hearty fare on their way to winning big time around the dining room table turned poker stake haven.  None of us sweated the small ‘taters such as only one-be gambler bringing their betting money (aka bag of change) or the rules to Texas Hold ‘Em being temporarily lost inside the Betting Brains of the operation (she quickly recalled and/or made the rules up as we went). 

Brew pub food was the menu of the evening along with this host’s mantra of keeping it simple, keeping it simple.  So grilled burgers and all of their accompanying accoutrements of cheese, thinly sliced yellow onion and bright red tomato, sour and salty dill pickles and assorted condiments ~ crispy tater tots, the food item fit for comfort and crunch ~ and, ice cold chunked up watermelon.  Chocolate dipped shortbread cookies rounded out the pre-betting battle game.

Monopoly money substituted quite nicely for the betting exchange and we were off for raucaus rounds of dealer’s choice poker.  We played 5-card draw, 7-card stud and the aforementioned (perhaps variation of) Texas Hold ‘Em.  Wild bets, excellent bluffs, transparently bad bluffs and begging for “do-overs” went round and round the rectangular stainless steel table.  And in the end folks, this host was the last one seated with a lot of cash in front of her.  And you know what?  Just for an instant it did not matter that the cash was fake.  I felt the flush of victory ~

Of course, I did not brag.  I was not a bad sport.  I did not crow.  Nor did I do the victory lap around this rectangular table, making the losers other players move out of my way.  No.  Of course not, did I act in any such way.  But if this host did, she would most certainly not post it on her public blog the next morning.  A-hem.

Fun.  Fun.  Fun. 

If you had been here, we could have high-fived or knuckle bumped or winked at one another.  But come to think of it, had you been here, I may not have been the evening’s winner.  Oh well.  Sometimes opening one’s heart and hearth to a different outcome is a risk worth taking.  I’ll let you know the next time the Queen of Hearts comes to visit.

Patti LaBelle’s Over the Rainbow Mac and Cheese recipe has been a go to favorita recipe in my family for a few years.  Although I have dubbed it Somewhere Over the Rainbow Mac n Cheese, the ingredients are the same.  My grandkiddos and my daughter love this casserole and request it from time to time.  And what’s not to love?  This dish is all about kinship and comfort and the riches that come from being at home with loved ones. 

The cast of characters include four kinds of cheese, one of which is Velveeta (and yes, Velveeta belongs to the cheese family ~ ask any kid), lots of half and half, and eggs.  Last night’s version contained smoky bits of bacon and was topped with crushed Ritz crackers and more shredded cheese. 

The side dishes were comprised of green beans slow cooked with bacon and cold juicy watermelon chunks.  A southern meal for sure that was topped off with bite size red velvet cupcakes with a cream chese filling and frosting.  Can you spell L-O-V-E? 

So, once again Patti and I pulled off another scrumptious meal.  And with all of that fancy cooking going on up in my small kitchen, we didn’t say one cross word to one another.  I’d say that me and Patti did a right fine job of rustlin’ up the ole grub tonight.

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