26 February 2009

One good thing

“We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.” Buddha

I came of age in the late seventies ---learning to drive and getting gas on odd days. Coming from a working class family, I knew if I crashed the car, one of my parents would be unable to get to work and consequently, there would be some very unhappy days not moments in my life. College was a given based upon my academic performance and ability but not a guarantee. Thankfully, student loans were available. Interest rates for home buyers were at unprecedented levels, inflation and CPI really meant something, there were no jobs and an overwhelming sense of negativity. Yet, with luck and hard work, I was able to achieve and live a life that was far beyond my initial dreams.

So as I review this current economic condition, listening to the reviews of President Obama’s first 100 days, I wonder how we can rise above it all. This is an economic event that is being compared to the great depression and has touched everyone in some way. Distrust and negativity is the current dialogue but not a solution to what ails us.

I can’t help but wonder what would happen if we all just started to voice one good thing?

22 February 2009

Here comes the sun...

There is a wood thrush in my backyard singing a song despite the thirty something degree drizzly gray day we have going on. It is February, after all, which means one day may be glorious like yesterday –sunny, clear blue skies, with the next reminding us that it is winter. For those of you who love winter, I apologize for what I am about to write.

Enough already!

How many more below thirty bone chilling dark windy days have you got left, mama nature? I am tired of the cold air fogging up my glasses, getting my coat caught in the car door, slip sliding down the driveway on black ice and the endless cloudy gray days.

Yes, I know there is nothing like the quiet majesty of freshly fallen snow or the bare branches of trees, but it is time. So I am on the look out for signs that mama might be ready to move on. My singing buddy is certainly one sign and the buds on branches are another.

Until then, let’s think of water lilies, sunflowers, morning glories, coreopsis and lavender. Close your eyes, lift your face to the sun and feel the warmth as scents of freshly mowed grass, pinon and warm soil dance your way.

21 February 2009

“Old Age ain’t for no Sissies” –Bette Davis

Max and I came to be when I received a call from a friend telling me that a black lab pup with too many white markings would be put up for adoption rather than sold. When I saw him, he was in a pen, running back and forth the dirt flying as he raced to and fro. He was tiny but determined to get someone’s attention. When the gate was opened, he raced into my arms, barking “let’s get going!” It was love at first sight, happiness and gratitude, you're mine and I’m yours. Ten years passed like a flash.

Last year Max’s battery started to wear down. In March, his thyroid acted up causing a skin condition which required that he receive a bath not once but twice a week. Have I mentioned that I live in a small home with just one bath with an equally small tub? Have I mentioned that Max weighed at that time 85 some odd pounds because he was not only well fed but had convinced my husband that freshly baked bread from a nearby Italian bakery, was a necessary daily supplement?

Each bath required that a medicated shampoo stay on his coat for what seemed an impossible amount of time. Have I mentioned that Max hates to get a bath on a quarterly basis let alone twice a week? It wasn’t pretty but my bathroom was never cleaner and Max’s skin condition went away.

Memorial Day weekend comes and we enjoy a barbecue with the family. Max is the life of the party looking to swindle food from every family member. He succeeds but when all have gone home I notice he paces, just can’t get enough water and is unable to settle down for the night. By the time Monday night comes, I know that my dog isn’t himself and call my vet at midnight.

The result of the examination? Max is a diabetic. Even though he isn’t pure lab (hence the white markings and the funny paws), he has enough of the lineage to assure the disease prevalent in aging labs. He gets injections—we have worked up to 20 half units twice a day. Max lost twenty pounds despite eating everything put in front of him. His new diet isn’t exactly what he would like but he has gotten used to it and yes, he still gets a bit of Italian or French bread as a treat with the vet’s blessing. In last three months, Max’s eyes have developed cataracts as a result of the diabetes so he can‘t see very well.

The oldest puppy in the world has taught me a thing or two about ageing. I watch him as he negotiates around the house without sight. I marvel at his almost immediate submission to injections as a fact of life. I watch him as he cons my husband into giving him treats. I am thrilled as he walks our neighborhood , head high, feeling the wind in his face. There is joy in every movement and moment in spite of it all.

16 February 2009


The sun is shining and the birds are singing. Spring cannot be far away! I find myself feeling hopeful and energized with my eyes set on the next stage of the journey. Where will it take me?

14 February 2009

Mr. Jackson-Will you be my valentine?

Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward in the same direction.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
On August 17th 2007, Mr Jackson and I exchanged vows surrounded by family and friends. Sweethearts from the start, we are very grateful to have one another.
Jacksonville, after all, is a state of mine and ours.

Copyright 2007 Maggie McGill Photography


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