Saturday, being my day off lends itself to being a day to clean, meal plan, and shop.  Some weeks it feels like a chore and others, I remember to count my blessings and enjoy the journey this life is.


It is always surprising when inspiration comes unexpected sources.  I learned this week of the passing of a first cousin with whom I had lost touch years ago.  Tommy was twelve years older than me, lived 1,200 miles away, and his father, Tom, and my mother, Grace, who were siblings, had a falling out fifty years ago.  I do recall, however, being at my Uncle Tom’s bedside while he was in the VA hospital during his last days, so I am hopeful that my mom and her brother made some sort of peace.  I also have a vivid and emotional memory of the night my cousin flew out of Greater Pittsburgh Airport to go fight in Vietnam.  Chronology is not my strong suit, but I was probably about 8 or 9 years old.  Seeing his mother Jane, his father, and sisters, Sally and Kathi, cry on that rooftop observation deck, the feelings surrounding it all, still brings a lump to my throat.

AirportPgh. Post Gazette archives photo

I have been friends with Kathi on Facebook for a while, and she let me know of his passing.  Since then, I have friended his son, Thomas, who also lost his mother about a year ago.  It made me realize that we all race through life and miss opportunities for connection daily.   At dinner last night with some incredible ladies I am fortunate to call friends, one of them counseled the other to walk slower.  I realized she could be talking to each and every one of us.  Rita even went so far as to say “God gave you a friend with a cane” and I had an aha moment.  It shouldn’t take a death or an injury to slow us down and remind us to live in the moment, but it does.


As I sat outside and looked over a beautiful garden on a breezy, perfect weather day, I was seeing things as if for the first time.  Although I’m not much of a photographer (yet) I snapped some shots of the garden my surrogate son, Daniel, grows, and the yard that my son, Austin, keeps beautiful.  I hope they can inspire some of you out there to slow down and see the wonder of the world around you.


There is whimsy.


There is life.

There is love.


There is the beauty of this world that is just waiting to be appreciated.


Somehow the rest of my day just got a whole lot more opportunity and a lot less chore.