Looking for answers to life's questions

A Beginning


I missed Halloween. It was my 6-year blogging anniversary and I just couldn’t get caught up enough to do anything about it. So goes the story of my life.

Today is my younger sister’s birthday. She likes low-key celebrations and this year is no exception. We had breakfast yesterday at Bob’s Red Mill after I picked her up from dropping her truck off at the mechanic. Everywhere we went, we saw geese. So many geese taking a rest from their flight to warmer climates.

Too far and too many for a good shot.

They wander on the road here. Everyone stops.

Her birthday would not be something I would ordinarily write about but right now she is mostly all I write about in my personal writing. I have started to recall all the hair-raising episodes of her life and want to quickly compile them into a booklet form. This photo should tell you that as soon as she could walk she was railing at the world and grasping life with both hands loudly and with abandon.

Don’t mess with me.

This year she was diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis. It apparently tends to run in families. Our mother had it so we know what it does. I have cut back on many of my other activities to spend more time with her and to get her stories written and pictures collected and scanned. My sister is what is referred to as a character. I’d like to share some of them with you over time.

Mom, me and sis

 

Everything is changing and everything that ends brings with it a new beginning. The leaves on the trees are changing though many haven’t quite made up their minds. Our weather has the trees so confused. The time is changing this weekend and we fall back an hour. It’s so hard to adjust. My perspective on life has changed as well. I’m examining each moment for hidden treasures.

In full splendor

Undecided about changing

On Halloween afternoon as I was trying to write this, my internet died. When I called my cable company after doing the things I should to check and see if it was something I could fix, I finally got a sweet young woman on the phone. Brianna said she would try to work her magic and see if it could be repaired from there. After several moments she came back on the line and said my modem had sent an “end of life signal”! I laughed at the irony of it. She did get it working again for the time being.

Today, a giant of a man, made his way to the den with plastic booties over his shoes and laid the modem to rest, replacing it with a newer model He was shocked I still had the old model as they had all been brought back last year. How had mine survived? I told Brianna that the gremlins finally got it. There was a lot of treasure in these moments.

Life is a little uncertain right now.

Are you seeing the treasures in the moments? Do you have “characters” in your life you like to tell stories about?

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself

 

Comments on: "A Beginning" (78)

  1. There is so much emotion in your words Marlene. You are of course doing exactly what you are supposed to do right now: engaging in each moment and especially thinking of your sister. It’s so lovely that I have met her and can imagine her as you write. The news is hard. What wonderful photos and thank you for sharing them with us.

    Your photos from around the area also add to your words and set the scene. Love the fog shot especially, and I’m a sucker for the Autumn colours.

    Six years is a long time to keep at it. Just think of how our lives have changed through blogging. I am so glad I have you. Be sure and take care of yourself so you can be there for her. I’ll send love every time I think of it. Hugs. ❤ ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  2. You know whats going on in my life now, so yes, I can understand looking for those special moments. They might be ever so tiny but they are there. Sorry to hear about your sister and looking forward to reading more about her. Even at a young age she looks fearless. Big hugs my friend. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hi Marlene – you’ve got some great pictures with this post! Love the trees, even the “undecided” ones. I’m undecided myself, pretty often, so I can relate. The fog picture is my favorite – I guess it should look melancholy, but it just looks “deep” to me. I agree that you have to see the treasures in the moments of your life. If we don’t choose to see the beauty in things..it’s like seeing the world through fog. Can’t wait to hear more about your sister. There’s a few characters in my life, too – some don’t like being named, but they are good inspiration, nonetheless.

    Peace,
    Stacey

    Liked by 2 people

    • If we are honest, most of us have a character in our lives or we are one. 🙂 I’ve checked with my sister to make sure it’s ok to write about her. She doesn’t mind one bit. Yes, the fog does feel deep. Thanks so much for stopping by. Have a wonderfilled weekend ahead.

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  4. Your sense of humour and your compassionate perspective on life will get you through, Marlene. You seem to have those gifts in abundance and I am reminded of the value of those every time I read one of your posts. I’m so glad I found your blog. xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I read this, got interrupted and came back and read it again and enjoyed reading also all the lovely comments from your community. I’m glad you have started writing again and having your beloved sister’s stories to tell is such a worthwhile and heartwarming impetus. You will do her great honour in telling her stories. (I’m a big believer in the healing power of the sharing of stories, because when you hear someones story, you open your heart to them and they are no longer a stranger or different to you.) I’m looking forward to our chat tomorrow. xo

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you so much, Pauline. I’m hoping so much that all goes well technically. 🙂 She has been quite the character her whole life so there are some interesting tales to tell. 🙂 I’ve got quite a few ready to review and edit a bit then post. Till later. Hugs.

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  6. How wonderful that you are documenting your sister’s family history for her. A precious and timeless gift for the whole family. Blogs are a perfect way to do this, whilst building community. Like another commenter, I like the fog shot. I am a bit of a fogophile… is that even a word? Nice to see so many geese wandering about too. Is it a rural area?

    Liked by 2 people

  7. You have a gift for recognising things the rest of us blunder past, and for appreciating them and writing about them. It’s a particularly wonderful gift when it makes you appreciate your family. Too often, we only realise how valuable they are to us when we no longer have them around. Bravo; for your appreciation, and for your impressive blogging anniversary.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you so much, Kate. Your kind words mean a great deal. You have been on my mind a great deal lately and I’m trying so hard to get caught up on my reading and will be round shortly. It’s been quite the ride lately. I have been the one to try and keep family close but some members just don’t care for connection. I’m so very close to my sister even though we are very different people. I’ll start posting her stories soon. Need to get them in some kind of order first. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. A lovely post. So nice to spend time telling thoses storieswith your sister. My brother seems to have forgotten great chunks of our childhood, so I share photos with him and remind him of what happened, and a vague glimmer of recollection appears on his face. We were greatly upset by or parents divorce and whilst I treasured memories he blocked them all out.

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    • Memory is a funny thing. It’s good you are sharing those memories with your brother. It’s a good way to bring you closer. Thank you for stopping by.

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  9. The heartfelt emotion in this post is exactly the reason you should be writing Marlene and I’m so happy you are. I’m sorry to hear about your sister’s diagnosis, but happy to hear you’re able to spend time with her. Thank you for sharing your lovely photos and beautiful thoughts with us. xo

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much, Jill. I want my posts to have a positive feel and not maudlin. I hope I accomplished that. Your kind words mean a great deal. I have at least a dozen stories about her written and need to get some order to them and photos scanned as I find them. Some people are just born to be fodder for a writer. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Marlene, you’re an amazing writer and the worlds best sister, too. I’m glad you’ve been able to free your calendar to spend even more time with your sister. How wonderful, too, to be documenting her story. I love the photos you’ve shared here, and hope to see more as you continue to share her stories. I imagine many of them are intertwined with yours. Her daughter will especially appreciate your efforts, if not now as a young student, later when she fully recognizes the value of what you’re doing and what you’ve meant to her mom.

    You’ve shared some of the health details in a private note, but I will add here that I’m sorry for what you are both going through. Arms around you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We are a very pragmatic lot in my family. 🙂 I have a dozen stories written that need a bit of fine tuning and photos found and scanned. I’ve given up my quilt group as I’ve found I’m no longer up to the task and my priorities have shifted. Her daughter will seriously appreciate them as she is an amazing young woman. I’m thinking maybe Shutterfly would be a way to bind them for her. And yes, her stories will tell you a lot about me as well. 🙂 No reason not to put it all out there now. 🙂 I think a health challenge can make you more focused on what’s really important. Looking forward to giving you a real hug.

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      • Marlene, Shutterfly is a great way to go. I’m amazed at the depth and breadth of products on offer. I’m starting an album for my youngest son this weekend of his high school years. You have an amazing niece! It must be a challenging year for her, being away at college as her mom struggles with these health issues. My heart goes out to her, and to you. Oh boy, a real hug in real time! I. Can’t. Wait.

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      • 🙂 ((( ))))

        Liked by 1 person

  11. You are honoring your sister by sharing her life and character with others Marlene. That alone says much about your compassion and character as well.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much, Deb. I hope you all will enjoy the stories as I get them in some kind of order. Your kind words mean a lot. Thank you for the visit.

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  12. I do have treasures in my life. And, don’t you find that they appear in the most unexpected places? You, my friend, are one of my treasures! Have a fabulous weekend.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. They say there is a double of everyone somewhere in the world…I was totally surprised to see that your mom reminds me of my mom in looks!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I love the photo of you and your Mom and sister. While I have many photos, I don’t remember one of me and my Mom as a child or my Mom and us kids. I may have to look through some photo’s. Sorry to hear about your sister. Where in Germany was your mother from? Mine was from Eberbach (outside Heidelberg)?

    Liked by 2 people

    • My mother was from Doberitz which is west of Berlin and NE of Brandenburg. I’m from a tiny town east of Cologne outside Dillenburg. We lived all over Germany though. I’ve been scanning in photos to the computer and have many on USB drives. I’ll be going through more which is going to take a lot of time. 😦 I think that may have been a passport photo.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Misty Hopkins said:

    Love you Marleen. Marvelous pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Beautiful, Marlene. And you made every word tell. Really. “Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.” -E.B. White- ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Belated Congrats on your blogging anniversary, Marlene!!
    I’m sure your sister will enjoy you telling her stories and the priceless gift those stories and photos are to your niece. That is the kind of gift no money could buy.
    Love the fog photo, nothing like the special quiet when there’s fog.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. I could relate to your post a lot, Marlene–you did a great job of expressing how our priorities and perspective can change dramatically when our loved ones are stricken with illness. And you’re smart to see that going through tough times can make us stronger and more appreciative of blessings, small and large. BTW, there are websites where you can turn your blog posts into a book form. I just did a quick search on “how to make blog posts into a book” and you can find one example at http://www.blurb.com/blog-book.

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    • Wow! Thank you so much for the information, Kerry! I’ll check it out. I thought my only option was something like Shutterfly. Have a wonderfilled week ahead.

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  19. You are a treasure to all who know you, and I’d love to know you in person someday! Your philosophies, stories, and love for your family inspire me.
    Loved hearing about your sister AND the large man in booties that laid your modem to rest.
    Take care of you, my friend, as you care for your sister

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Laurie. Your kind words mean a lot to me. Have a wonderfilled week ahead. It’s pouring buckets here. Going to head out to the mall for my morning walk today. I hope they never close it. What would we do? 🙂

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  20. I think you’re very wise to recognize the preciousness that is your sister, to document, and to spend time with her. Lovely photos and commemoration to her. 🙂
    When you spoke of the “end of life” signal on your modem, I had to chuckle: this time of year, we often naturally reflect on our lives, their end and well…perhaps the modem was sensing this, too.
    I agree about the trees: ours have changing leaves and they’re just falling. I recall in years past that by November, the leaves are usually gone. The times they are a-changin’ in so many ways.
    As for all the geese, I couldn’t help but think if there was some symbolism there: the freedom, the nearly carefree living, and camaraderie they find in each other…
    In any case, I hope you have a great week! Glad to see your beautiful words. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for stopping by, Cynthia. I’m still trying to catch up on my reading here. Things are changing. The warming of the planet will have profound effects. As for the modem, I laughed too. 😉 Have a great week ahead.

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  21. I don’t have a sister, but one of my brothers moved away after our parents were both gone and I have not heard from him since, and my other brother committed suicide in May this year. You are doing a beautiful thing for your sister Marlene. She will love it. I hear you about internet problems and replacing things. Glad you can still blog! Happy belated blogging anniversary! 🐢🐢

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Marlene — this post is impactful. I read a few bits twice. That childhood photo of your sister is wonderful! And I’m sorry she’s dealing with this health challenge – it’s never easy. How fortunate you both are to have each other. Wishing you a good week, both of you.

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  23. Marlene, your sister has what I’d call moxie! It’s wonderful that you two have each other, and that you live so close to each other. I read somewhere that the longest relationships in life we have with our siblings. And I love the photo of the three of you! I feel lucky to have you as a friend! You are one of those treasures in my life and I appreciate it every day! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Moxie is a good word, Sabine. I like it. I wish I had the same relationship with my brothers. I’m going through a lot of old photos these days and digging for the gold. Thanks for being here. Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve been doing the same thing! I have my little sister even though she is so far away. I found that looking through all the stuff (my childhood and my kids) at my own pace was really helpful. I found some gold, and you will too! Hugs back at you! My bouquet is beautiful! 💖

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  24. Once more you have touched my heart, Marlene. So many parallels here in the Virtual Village; your courage and loving example have motivated me to see things differently since I first came upon your blog. I’m slow to change, generally, but step by step , , , I, too, love the foggy photo. Many good memories for me there. And the Canada geese! I haven’t really heard them going south this year, and I’ve missed them.

    I’m sorry to hear of the health challenges and I love that you are documenting your sister’s life. Have you thought of documenting your own? I’ve been making short notes during my nightly phone calls with my last Auntie in the hope that they will jog my memory later on. We cover an amazing amount of territory every day and all of it different!

    I’m afraid that ‘I’ am the character in my own family. I wonder if that comes with wanting to live life to the fullest.

    I’m thankful to you today for the idea to write about your sister. I have three and the one I’m closest to has just had tests for the same thing her husband had. We love each other dearly but couldn’t be more different. Sometimes, I find, there is nothing to do but one’s best to stay positive and to be resolute in just “keeping on keeping on” . . . what I call my cup of KOKO.

    I’m also grateful for the link shared above to the site that shows how to turn blog posts into a book. I have a couple of unshared blogs and have been thinking about using one to document some of our own family stories. Love, Light and many hugs to you. ~ Linne

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Linne! I’m glad you are finding ways to look at life in an easier light. I do think that the character is the one who fully embraces life and fears it less. I’ve always been a bit envious of my sister’s lack of responsibility and freedom to move through the world unencumbered. The blogging community always seems to step up with answers to all questions at some point. I have bookmarked the website to turn the stories into a book. Some days I am just overwhelmed with all that needs to get done and I run out of energy to do it all. I like the cup of KOKO! I’ll borrow that one for a bit if you don’t mind. I hope you do write about your life and all you have gone through. It will be a very interesting read. 😉 Hugs, M

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      • Well, Marlene, I’ve definitely had my share of fears but have tended to do stuff anyway. I’ll be sharing about the next big, crazy adventure beginning in the spring sometime. I’m sure my family think I’m round the bend, but I’m lucky to have my health and am more than ever determined to get what I can out of the next decade or two. My Dad died at 75 but my Mum and several of her sisters lived into their 90s and others came very close. I’m hoping I got the right set of genes . . .I have bookmarked that site, too. No time yet to go there and do anything.

        Have as much KOKO as you like; I love to share! 🙂

        I’m afraid some of my life will sound pretty unbelievable, really. I’ve been so, so lucky in many ways. There were tough times too, of course, but I don’t focus on those. At least I’ve learnt a few things along the way.

        I forgot to mention before that I loved your photos; my Mum was from that era too, and I love that hairstyle still. Your sister looks so cute and feisty in the first pic of her.

        Hope you are doing ok; I think of you so often. Lots of love, ~ Linne

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks so much, Linne. I would believe anything you told me about your life. I could write a soap opera from mine. And it’s the tough times that make the good times all that much better. Everyone gets both. You are correct in focusing on the good times. That brings more of the same. Looking forward to hearing more from you. Hugs.

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  25. That is a wonderful thing you are doing for your sister! How wonderfully giving and unselfish you are – I know you already have lots to do and a life history is a big undertaking. My sister died last Thursday and even though it wasn’t totally unexpected it is still incredibly sad. Family ties are so important and you are making the most of them and embracing life – as you always do!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much, Clare. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your sister. I’m keeping a brave face here about it but do really understand what that means. Our stories are so tied together. it’s been quite the year with so much change that I am still reeling as you probably are as well. Do give yourself plenty of time to feel your grief fully. I’ll keep good thoughts for you.

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  26. Marlene you sneaked this one in while I wasn’t looking LOL.. Firstly so sorry to hear about your sisters illness, I need to look up more of this complaint to understand it..
    Your humour always lifts us and I had to smile too when your modem had sent the end of life signal lol
    Autumn here too has been up and down, One moment sunny the next misty and drizzle.. The trees not so bright this year around as in other years.. But its been a wet summer here on and off..
    Yet in certain parts of the country I have seen some spectacular colours on trees..

    I am looking forward to hearing more about your sister.. Sounds like you have a lovely family bond.. And although the circumstances of your spending more time together are not so good. Its wonderful that you are able to spend more quality time together..

    Sisters are precious, and I am very close to one of mine.. You would laugh, then perhaps not, as two of my other sisters do not speak at all to me.. A long story due to my Mother not speaking.. But such is life and that was their choice, I tried, but it has to be two way..

    I found myself wishing I had taken more notice of my elderly aunt and all the stories and history of our family she held. Somethings are important to retain and keep strong in our memories..

    Wishing you well in your New Beginnings Marlene.. I know lots of laughter will be brought back when you delve into those old photos and recall past happy times..

    Love and Hugs dear friend and together we hold onto New Beginnings for the World.. ❤
    Love Sue xx

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Oh and I was so busy I forgot, to say Happy Blog anniversary on your wonderful 6 yrs of blogging my friend.. xxx ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  28. You and your blog are a gift to the world. It is a treasure to know you and delight in you posts and comments. Enjoy each and every moment for the treasure it is and keep producing your wonderful posts! Happy Birthday!!!!
    Namaste
    hugs, Eddie

    Liked by 2 people

  29. hello hello Marlenie-bean. Sounds like life is tripping (-vs- rolling) along. I’m sorry to hear your health news about your sister. I’m glad you have each other. I’m sure she is rellishing your time together too.
    We’ve long gone past our fall moments. Oct 31 was our first snow and it’s been full on winter since then. gah. I’m tired of winter boots already and it’s been a full two weeks, LOL.
    I went back to work when I returned from California but it’s not going well. I’m feeling that I’m just going to pack er’ in. Too bad, it was a great job at one time.
    Bonus, I can really enjoy December for the first time in a while and really plan well for my trip to NZ and AUS
    Keep on Keeping on dearest xo Hugs K

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by, sweetie. I had a reply typed out and my twitchy mouse sent your message and the reply into the spam folder. Had to hunt it down and retrieve it. Life is what it is. We just deal. Winter is shortening everywhere and that is not a good thing but I get not enjoying the snow already. I think you will continue to enjoy retirement as you already have a full time job with all you have going on. It was fun while it lasted. On to the next endeavor. So you are doing NZ and Aus.! Wow! Maybe in my next lifetime. 🙂 Enjoy your holidays with your hubby and fuzzy family. Bet they will be glad to see more of you. 🙂 We just get rain and more rain. I don’t complain. Soup weather. 😉 Giant hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Hi Marlene. I was happy to catch up with your post. Interesting that you should be talking about sisters as this has been a big focal point in my life this fall. When we were once four sisters, we are now down to two and it has been a difficult fall. Memories of course are so important as well as pictures. We we’re reminded that she hated having her picture taken and as a result we have so few of her. I’m glad these last few years I was most insistent so I do have these to treasure. Take care of yourself it is so good to touch base with you. Hugs!

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    • Thanks so much for the visit, Jan. My sister is the opposite and loves to be photographed. I’m going to start posting her stories this week, with luck. Hard to get things done with company. Son is visiting for 3 weeks. I have 2 brothers as well, one I haven’t heard from since 99 and the other every year or two. At least he checks in sometime. Family is funny. Have a great Thanksgiving.

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  31. Hi Marlene! I am so sorry for your sister’s health issues. Gosh, what a sweet photo of the three of you…I can see your little soul beaming out of that photo!!! Beautiful!
    Life just marches on…whether we are ready for it or not…yes? I hope that you are well and that you had a lovely Thanksgiving. It is so hard for me to believe that this year is almost over…yet…it is one I won’t be terribly sad to say goodbye to.
    Thinking good thoughts for you and yours and hope that your winter won’t be too severe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by, Lorrie. I won’t miss this year either. They go faster as you get older and so much faster when you know you are running out of time here. I am looking forward to winter here. Cozy time. 🙂 Thank you for the visit. Have a wonderfilled week ahead. Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  32. Love it! My sister is a character as well – LOL! I love that you are spending time with her and writing your stories! I would love to read them sometime too! Yes, each moment is precious. I love that you know this as well. I think being present is so special. Thanks for sharing – love the photos too! ♥

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for stopping by. I am hoping to get time to get more posted soon. The holiday season really pushes my time crunch. Everyone should have a character in their life. Great fodder for stories. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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