Looking for answers to life's questions

I’ve had a wonderful Labor Day weekend. Mine started on Sunday and went through Tuesday. My daughter made reservations for two nights at the beach in Newport, Oregon to celebrate my birthday. I love it there and was looking forward to the cool. It thrilled her to be able to pay for our room and buy our meals for the three days we were there or on the road. The drive takes a whole three hours and we took the scenic route.

A nice spot for reflection and grounding.

A nice spot for reflection and grounding.

For her it was the first time she has been employed well enough to have extra money for such a luxurious gift. Her gifts are always thoughtful, just usually required some thrift. I never minded, always just happy enough to hear from her or spend some time together now that we live close.

Doing some grounding of her own with gratitude.

Doing some grounding of her own with gratitude.


While she is settled in wonderful employment, my son has been laid off from a high paying, highly skilled job. He has always been able to quickly find new work. This time, the work has been outsourced. There are many like him, highly trained and skilled and willing to work long tedious hours that can find nothing left here that can use any of their skills. It’s happened to many industries so he’s in good company. There is a lot of swift activity going on to get his house sold as well as a relatively newer car before the hand of doom sweeps in. Realtors have been by in droves and we are hoping for the best. Keeping a good attitude has been the most helpful tool.


There are 100 steps. We did them up and down...twice. Life is like that. The good stuff is always at the other end.

There are 100 steps. We did them up and down…twice. Life is like that. The good stuff is always at the other end.

My younger sister is also looking for a fresh start with my new home as her base camp. She is hunting for short-term work at an age she would normally be thinking about permanent retirement. It could be easier if computers were her friend but that’s not the case. She will then try to find a place of her own that is affordable and not so far from where all her activities are.

 These are scenes that have played out over and over throughout history. When it’s happening to you, it seems like the sand on the beach was just washed out from under your feet.


Beach was littered with jelly fish that just couldn't get back to where they needed.

Beach was littered with jelly fish that just couldn’t get back to where they needed.

While my daughter and I played tourist, others around us and the world are losing their footing. My son is seeing it as an opportunity for a major life shift. This could well be his base camp in the near future. We’d be delighted to have him closer. Hopefully he can find a way to carve out a new career for himself here. Only time will tell.


Heavy machinery required to rescue a capsized boat. Sometimes we have to be the heavy equipment for each other.

Heavy machinery required to rescue a capsized boat. Sometimes we have to be the heavy equipment for each other.

Life is always a mixed bag. I’m a pragmatic Virgo. You just keep putting one foot in front of the other till you step on solid ground again. The climb may be steep but with tenacity, relentlessness, fortitude, or whatever driving force moves you in that forward direction, you persevere. I can bet 90 percent of you have gone through something like this at one time or another and come out the other side thinking that it turned out to be a gift in disguise. We are counting on it again. That was my birthday wish this year. All who are struggling with major change, let your light shine at the other end of that tunnel.


There is always a sweet ending.

There is always a sweet ending.



From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself

Comments on: "In Search of a Mixed Bag" (15)

  1. Hi Marlene. We were at the beach last week as well. It’s such a cathartic place for me. It certainly gives you perspective – being very small in relation to how immense the sea is.


  2. Oh, Marlene, what upheaval. I’m glad through all this you were able to enjoy your beach gift from your daughter. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to find employment now at your sister’s age along with knowing retirement must be put off indefinitely. Your son has a great outlook,So many try to hold on to the home and other material belongings when circumstances change, for him to be so eager to let go speaks volumes to how he will fair during the changes coming for him. I hope he lands on his feet in a place and situation that makes him happy.


    • Thanks Lois, His car sold yesterday so he will save on insurance etc. He is driving an extremely old pick up he bought just to haul things from the lumber yards. It will do till the next change. Selling the house will be harder but we will stay optimistic. It’s just life in session. My sister is looking for something to hold her over till she can collect S. S. but even with her degree, lack of computer skills makes gentle work hard to come by. I know it will for both of them though. Updates to follow.


  3. Happy Birthday Marlene! We Virgos rock! My birthday is the 12th. It is a time for reflection on my part. I understand the shifting of the sand underfoot all too well. But we move on, most times as you say for the better. I love the ocean too, well any big body of water. It nourishes the soul. Glad your daughter could do this for you both. Have a great weekend! ❤


    • Thanks Jackie. I’ll be thinking of you on your birthday. Have you planned anything special? This was my first trip to the beach in more than 5 years. It’s hard since I can’t drive it anymore. Darn it all.


  4. How wonderful that your lovely daughter looked after you so well for your birthday celebrations! The sea air is so healing isn’t it? Both your children have the correct attitudes to the vicissitudes of life – well done to you and them!! I have always found that all my moaning, whining, worrying, distress etc over the movements of my life have done absolutely nothing to change anything – they only make me feel really bad. I decided long ago to breathe through it all and to trust that in the end something would emerge that would be better than anything I thought I wanted. This has always held true. Soon enough you realise that the universe is waiting for you to step into line with your destiny, learn your lessons and spread enough positivity about to move you into the proper place. Works a charm 🙂

    I too was challenged by the economic downturn back in 2010 – it was quite a challenge! Some amazing things happened after I stopped fretting about my situation. I got through it and am a wiser person because of those experiences.

    I hope the coming year brings you much joy Marlene and that your children and your sister thrive and breathe easy. xoxo


    • Thanks so much Pauline. Your words are a paraphrase of my own.I’ve always believed that if you don’t make the willing decision to make a change when you know it’s needed, the Universe ( or whatever word you want to insert here) will make it for you. As in a layoff or an illness to see something is amiss. Everything must change and going with the flow is so much easier than swimming up stream kicking and screaming. Funny how I always knew that on some level but never understood how it worked till now. Life will never be ‘ALL GOOD”. Contrast is essential to keep us moving forward. Contentment and gratitude with what you have is so different than complacency and wanting nothing to ever change. I’ve always taught my kids that the Universe will always provide good. Are we willing to accept the good is the better question. I think we have very similar philosophies. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Marlene, what a wonderful, restful beach birthday bash. I’m delighted your daughter is in the position to spoil you this year. It’s the ying and yang of life, isn’t it? Best wishes for both your sister and your son. He was wise to quickly sell his car. If he can’t sell his house quickly, can he rent rooms to help cover his costs? Just thinking out loud here.

    That said, it would be wonderful having him so close.

    My sister temped with the VA for three years and applied over and over again for jobs. She was finally hired last December. She’s over fifty and disabled, so it made job searching a challenge. It feels good to have her settled into a job, not to mention the excellent benefits that come with a government job. It’s not all roses (she’s woefully underpaid) but the security is huge.

    Your sister might look at agencies in your area that offer training for marketable skills, or consider volunteering at a place that may lead to other opportunities. Best of luck to everyone. Big hugs to you. xoxox


    • Thanks for the good wishes Alys. I trust that the Universe (fill in the name you want) is setting things in perfect order. My son prepaid on his mortgage for quite awhile and has been slowly trying to get it ready to sell. It was a fixer when he bought it on a short sale and then the bottom really dropped out. He so wants out of it and I’m sure it will happen for him. My sister needed some time to recover and is now heading in the right direction. She needs one more year till she may be able to collect SS. She marches to the beat of a different drummer so I just pray a lot. I’m glad your sister was able to find something secure. Those jobs are hard to come by. Even my daughter knows that each time her companies contract comes up for renewal, she is on this ice but she is learning so much there that it’s worth it. Seeing her happy was the best gift.


      • I will hold good thoughts for your son, then. He sounds level headed with a good plan. Good things will follow.

        I remember you helping out your sister from a past post. I wish her well. Meanwhile, I hope you are enjoying her company.

        and “seeing her happy was the best gift.” I can so relate.



  6. Terrific post, Marlene! It certainly resonated with me. I lost my job in 2011 when our corporate office shut down the location in Charlotte, NC. It was a stressful time, but I grew so much during those eight months of job searching. I’m now in a better place. You’re right, we must keep putting one foot in front of the other and have faith.
    I love the beach photos…it’s my favorite place! 🙂


    • Thanks for stopping by Jill. I have also enjoyed checking out your blog and very much appreciate the follow. Fortunately, my son was ready for this on several levels. He also has no family to support and doesn’t define himself by his work or stuff. They learned early who you are is how you behave under pressure and when no one is looking. I love the beach too. It was my first trip back in several years. I could easily live there. I’ll be reading more of yours soon. If I can just get this house ready before the rains come. ;))


  7. Sounds like everyone has a ‘job lost, right size, down size’ story to share. It’s the nature of the beast. I’m sure your son will land on his feet and no doubt it’ll be stressful at times too. There’s just no way around it but through it. Seems like he’s got the right attitude, so that’ll be attractive to his next employer.
    I really enjoyed your writing here too Marlene. Change definitely can feel like the sand is washing away beneath your feet, I can absolutely relate. Very apropos with photo’s of your weekend. My favourite is yours truly looking out to the ocean in your bare feet 😀 Look at your cute little hat too! I’m sure I’ve seen it before but it especially caught my eye today. Love me a hat! We actually all bought new hats in Victoria. My cousin Sherri, Alys and I tried on every single one I think, LOL.
    It’s just so rejuvenating to breath that air and feet the sand on your toes, what an awesome treat from your daughter. Glad you were able to take a break from your projects and enjoy the time together. xoxoxoxK

    PS, here’s my ‘stylized’ hat shopping photo with Alys and Sherri xoxo


    • Those hats are perfect for each of you.You are all adorable in them. I never wore a hat till I got the Bells. My head hurt so bad that it was always necessary. Still a requirement if there is air con on in a room or a fan so that poor little hat stands up to lots of washing. Keep looking for more but they don’t all fit as well. I’m rarely seen without one these days.

      Yes, I know so many have a similar story. Thank goodness my son was preparing for it and paid his mortgage ahead and the car off. It was easier to sell that way. He’s weeding out any excess and packing everything he wants to keep. It will go into storage until he has solid ground again. But it’s really never solid, is it?

      I was glad to get a day off too. So was my daughter. We both needed the break. Bet you enjoyed your trips and have new found creativity oozing from you now. Hugs big time. M



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