A Kiss for the Road

This time of year involves traveling for many. Some of us travel by plane, car or bus; we travel near and far. Traveling can make me a we bit anxious. I know the facts about traveling but it doesn’t always help. Fact: we are safer in planes then on the road. Fact: people die in crashes closer to home then faraway. Fact: seat belts save lives. I could go on and on. Highway safety was kinda my thing before retiring. I was in law enforcement for over 30 years so this was what my agency focused on.

I think about these facts whenever we leave the house. My husband and I get additional insurance when we travel out of state. Before we leave our driveway we kiss and say “safe trip”. I really don’t remember when this started, but we’ve been doing it for years. Once we reach our destination we kiss and say “thank you God”. We always do this.

I’ve seen the aftermath of enough vehicle crashes that no matter how good of a driver you are you can’t control the other drivers who share the road with you. You can’t control the deer that may run out in front of you. You can’t always know when your vehicle will have a major equipment failure. So many variables that are outside of your control.

So when we travel I like that we kiss. That we take a tiny moment to say out loud what is in our hearts. We hope this trip is uneventful. We hope everyone gets to where they want to go safely. We don’t want any excitement along the way.

So this holiday season have a safe trip. Do what you need to do to arrive safely. I would be interested to hear if you have a ritual you would like to share. In the meantime be safe. 💋

A New Title

I have had many different titles in life. Being a daughter, sister or friend were titles I didn’t give a lot of thought too. They didn’t feel like special titles, but more about the roles in life that I found myself in.

As I entered the adult world and began my work life there were more titles that came with different responsibilities. Titles that would define my position in the agency I worked for. Titles taken away when I retired. But in 1988 I got a new title. One that I still have today. It is one of my most cherished of titles. I’m called grandma.

So when I learned that two dear friends of mine were becoming grandma and grandpa for the very first time, I wanted to do something special. They have sent us pictures of their granddaughter when she was born, her first day in child care and her first tooth. Yep, I remember well the excitement of those moments.

So here’s to you Grandma and Grandpa. Enjoy your new titles. Enjoy making memories. Enjoy the laughs and hugs. Especially enjoy the kisses and the cuddles. That is the very very best thing about this new title.

I love to hear “Grandma I miss you”, which makes me so glad I lived to enjoy this moment. ❤️

Lily

I saw a picture of a young beautiful girl with the biggest smile. At first I don’t notice the missing button, the smudges of dirt or even her surroundings. Then I looked a little closer.

The man’s belt no longer fits, the pants have a big hole and a big patch. This family is poor. He’s not wearing pants with holes in them because it’s stylish. He didn’t buy those pants that way! He worked in those pants for a long, long time. Maybe the girl is his granddaughter and maybe they’re not related at all.

I see poverty and I see joy in this picture. Her smile is pure; not fake. The original photo was taken back in the 40’s. I don’t know the girl’s name so I’ve decided to call her Lily.

I like to think Lily went on to do great things. That she was surrounded by people who cared. Her parents gave her a solid foundation. Her teachers cultivated and encouraged her mind to love learning. I hope she met a man who respected her mind and her body. Whose love for her was real.

I will never know if any of this is true. Her reality may have been on where her next meal was going to be or how she could earn more money to help her family.

There are still a lot of ‘Lily’s” out there in the world. They need adults who care, who model behaviors that are healthy. In this rich country children should never go to bed hungry nor should they not receive the very best education we have to give.

We should not forget our children. They sit quietly at every table, in every chair listening and watching us. What are we teaching them?

“lily” – Acrylic on canvas 14”x18”