Saturday, February 14, 2015

Finding Love

           Today is Valentine's, a day that carries so many expectations. We heap our longings and heart's desire onto this poor little day. If we are in a new love relationship we are giddy about the prospect of showering and receiving expressions of love. If we are alone we rue the day and it's reminder that we find ourselves unattached. As women we may have come to expect grand gestures from our love and are disappointed when our expectations are not met. I imagine many men find themselves stressed at trying to find the right gift to meet the demands of the holiday. We expect so much from this one little day.
          Maybe it's because as I have grown older I have matured or maybe it's because my husband and I are nearing our 24th anniversary this spring that I have come to believe that love can not be relegated to one day a year. The card that was lovingly selected, the beautiful bouquet that is given or the jewelry and candy that have come to symbolize love are sweet gestures but not what love is really about.
          Love happens in the everyday, the small moments, the day in and day out routines. Love is expressed with a good morning kiss, preparing a meal, creating a home that provides a sanctuary at the end of a long day. It is in the seemingly simple gestures, the ones that often go unacknowledged.
          My husband shows me his love by taking care of my car, stocking the woodpile for our fireplace, shoveling the snow so I don't have to. Most recently he picked me up at the airport and had a picnic lunch waiting for me in the car. He knew I was coming in without having eaten and didn't want me to go hungry. Sometimes when I have taken a weekend retreat I will find a card tucked into my suitcase, a simple reminder that he will miss me while we are apart.
          We demonstrate our love for each other in showing love to our children. As a blended family loving all of our children is a gift we give daily, can there be anything more important to a parent than to know their children are loved and appreciated? We work side by side to create a loving home, a place for gathering with those we hold most dear. We cook together and for one another to nourish our bodies and our souls. The simple acts of creating a life together are how love is demonstrated, daily.
         Maybe you don't have a husband, wife or life partner, you have friends, family, children, grand kids. You have an opportunity to express your love to them every day. Embrace those moments for they can bring you great joy if you are willing to see beyond the boundaries of this one little day. Go head and enjoy the love holiday, just remember to celebrate love everyday, in all those small ways!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Paying Homage to My Mom

    Today as I welcomed the New Year I did so paying homage to my dear sweet mother. My mom passed away in 1997 and not a day goes by when she is not in my thoughts. My mother immigrated to this country with my then 3 year old sister from Portugal. She was coming to join my dad who had established his residency years before. They came to the country without speaking the language, without the support of nearby family, with only the dream to begin anew in this land we call home.
     As I do many times when I am cooking some Portuguese recipe my mother taught me I find that I am surrounded by her spirit. Today I was cooking some red beans for my mother's recipe of "feijouda' a dish of red beans and rice from her native country of Brazil. I always reserve some of the broth and beans to make a Portuguese soup called " Soupa de Coves" to make at a later date. My intention was to serve either of these dishes in the coming days as I return to work after the holiday break. Knowing that these dishes require time and pot watching I thought I was getting a head start.
    My youngest son, home from college, walked in the house and immediately said what's for dinner?   I asked him what he wanted and reminded him that the fridge was full of food from a week of home cooking. His response was, 'it smells like grandma's soup'. I smiled and asked if that's what he wanted and of course that's what we had, a little earlier than planned.
    It's funny how theses smells emanating from the kitchen can take us back in time and unite us with loved ones long gone. I channel my mom whenever I cook one of our Portuguese Brazilian dishes, she never used a written recipe but I have managed to remember what she taught me in the kitchen. My children love these dishes as do some new members of our family. I am certain that while I can never make things exactly as my mom did my efforts to try are met with her guidance and smiles from heaven. I love you mom and miss you still.

Enjoying Cabin Time

   My husband and I decided to spend a few days at our cabin in central PA after the holidays. For those of you new to my blog, it is a log cabin situated on a private lane in the middle of Bald Eagle State Park in Snyder County. That puts us just about smack dab in the middle of PA, an hour northwest of Harrisburg and about 35 minutes away from State College PA.
   It's quiet and peaceful, we are surrounded by mountains and wildlife, it's our home away from home. This afternoon we went out to enjoy the warm sun and get a glimpse of the last traces of snow before it all melted away. Just last week there were eight inches here and I am certain that more snow will fall during the coming months. As the sun began to set the chill returned and so we came in to enjoy the fire and have dinner.
    I love all the seasons here, each has it's own special beauty. The cold crisp air this evening has given us a clear view of our mountain and my husband and I will once again delight in seeing the deer return to feed in our back yard. They are daily visitors while we are here, we feed them and provide them a safe haven. Come dawn we will watch as the birds get busy at the feeders and the chipmunks and squirrels make a quick meal of any corn left behind by the deer.
   As we we sit quietly reading or in my case writing we enjoy the peaceful solitude this cabin provides. My wish for each of you is that you find your own peaceful haven to contemplate the beauty of nature that surrounds you, be it a stroll through a park, a walk on the beach or simply looking out your own window with new eyes and wonder.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Belated Christmas Wishes

This sweet little face has brought so much joy and love to our entire family! Jacob celebrated his first Christmas this year at 9 months. After seasons of loss this sweet new life makes my heart happy, my first grandchild has renewed in me the magic of the season. My husband and I were truly blessed this year having all five sons, their wives and girlfriends here for Christmas Eve. Of course this little angel stole the show and everyone's heart. Knowing that all my boys have their own lives and new families and in-laws to share these holidays with I count myself truly blessed that this year they were all home. I know that this won't always be the case, families grow, traditions change and new ones are made and I am ok with that. After all I raised them to do just that, move on, make their own homes and families and I am so happy that they are happy. What more could a mother want for her children! That said I know that this year was a gift I will always cherish. My prayer for each of you is that you experience this same love with your own families and friends. Whether near or far these connections are what matter most, embrace them, tell folks you love them, spread love and joy as you move through your days. Sometimes family is what we are born into but sometimes it is those we surround ourselves with, so no matter who you consider family I wish you all a new year filled with many shared and loving moments!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Where the BLEEP have I Been???

Not sure where the time has gone, or why i decided to check out this blog. It's been some time as you can see, I haven't posted since my sister passed away. It was such a life changing time for me, so huge that I seemed to fall down 'the rabbit hole' as it were. Life continued as it does but I seemed to be viewing it through some distorted lens. Slowly the passage of time and the life changes that occurred over the last two plus years have lifted me out of that darn hole. Don't get me wrong, the pain of my sister's abscence is still with me but not nearly as raw as it was.
I spent some time checking into some blogs I followed and see that some of you are still here and that some of you stopped posting as well. It would seem that the ebb and flow of life affects us all. I hope and pray that any of you still here reading these words are well, that God continues to bless each and every one of you. I am not sure if I should continue on this blog or perhaps start a new one. So many changes have taken place over the last two years. I guess it will depend on if anyone is still reading so perhaps I'll check back and see if there are any responses over the next week or so. In the meantime, love to you all!