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Today’s blogging and writing exercise prompts didn’t ring a bell for me.  I ended up fixing myself a cup of coffee and sat in my corner of the couch to mull things over and see if I could come up with a room or a view to describe (today’s exercise).  I put the tablet aside and reached for the coffee cup that sat on the magazine table to my right.   Wrapping both hands around the chunky cup, my hands were warmed by the aromatic liquid and, instantly, I felt the soothing feeling flow through the cup to my hands and from my hands through my body.  That’s when the ritual took hold of me.  Slowly, one sip after another, my mind began to work as I relaxed and let it wander where it willed.

This is the important part of the day for me.  With luck, it happens in the morning but it could happen later in the day.  In fact, if it hasn’t happened by the evening, even thought I know I’ll have trouble sleeping, I go ahead and have that cup of coffee anyway.  It’s my “alone cup of coffee”.  It It’s thinking time.  It’s feeling time.  It’s my time.  When that first cup is gone, I can read or talk or get going.  I can begin the day and any of busy activity.  Or I can just sit and have more coffee but it’s that first cup that’s the ritual; the cup I allow myself to share with only myself.  And if it doesn’t happen, the grounding doesn’t happen and things just don’t flow on that day.

I guess you could say that it’s the grounds that ground me…at least the ones in that first cup, the ritual cup.

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I’ve been at a loss for blogging topics lately.  Actually, I have so much to write about that I can’t quite narrow down what I want to write about so I end up not writing anything.

One thing I do have is a lot of email.  A lot.  Like almost 2000 on any given day.  When I was going through it the other day, I noticed that I was in the 1900’s and the numbers reminded me of years.  Since then I’ve been toying with the idea of blog posts inspired by the years suggested by the number of emails I have in my inbox.  Boy!  That’s quite a mouthful!

This is the first of such posts.

1997

That seems like such a long time ago.  I guess it was.  Let’s see, in 1997 I was still living in Los Angeles and I was working as a substitute teacher most of the year.  In September, I began working as a full time teacher in a sixth grade classroom.

I remember one Saturday evening in August when my daughter and I went grocery shopping.  I took the youngest one with me and the two older ones stayed home.  It was a big shopping trip and must have taken almost a couple of hours.  I remember driving in the driveway with a smile on my face because I had gotten everything on my list along with some extra goodies because the kids and I were having a movie night so I had picked up some chips, and theater boxes of candy and some sodas, all in individual packages, just like at the movies.

As I drove into the driveway, Tina ran out of the house and by the time I shut the engine off, she was at my door waiting for me to get out.  I could tell something was wrong.  With tears in her eyes, she said, “Princess Diana was in a car crash and she’s in the hospital.  She’s going to die.”  Our eyes locked.  Just two days before she had told me that she had a feeling someone very famous was going to die.  I had asked her if it was the Pope (John Paul II) who had been very ill during that time and she had answered that it was someone young and that it was going to be a shock to the whole world.  She often came up with things like this or would wake from dreams to tell me that some tragedy was going to happen and it would.  In 1997, she was 12.

We went inside and, within minutes, the news was saying that Princess Diana was indeed dead.  I wanted to watch the coverage but I was afraid to because of Tina’s reaction but the kids all wanted to watch, including Tina.  So we watched.  During the whole thing and in the following days, I kept an eye on her and could tell that she had really been spooked by her “prediction” this time around.  I tried to tell her that she shouldn’t be scared; that it was a gift.  But she wasn’t completely convinced.

Then, a few days later, she again said, with great sadness, that someone else was going to die.  This time she said it would be someone old who had been sick.  People would be sad but it wouldn’t be a great surprise to people, she told me.  And she was right.  Mother Teresa died on September 5th.

Note: Wow.  I didn’t know I would end up writing this.  This was a total surprise.  I just started with the year and this is what happened.  I think this will be an interesting way to come up with posts!

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This year, through a number of circumstances, I will be alone over the Thanksgiving Day holiday weekend.  I have been trying to convince myself that it’s okay but the more I worked on psyching myself up to be okay with it, the more I realized that I was not going to like being alone.  I thought that I might volunteer at a homeless shelter or something but in the end, my daughter is going to borrow my car to go out of state so I will also be without transportation.  And although the Portland Metro area has an extensive public transportation system, I’m in a rural area and the bus just doesn’t go near me.  I would have to drive to the transportation center and leave my car and take a bus in to town.  In the end, my bus trip would be shorter than my drive to the transportation center.  I won’t have a car to drive there so that’s out.

Just as I was starting to feel a panic about being alone, I read a Facebook post that came across my Wall.  It seems that there is a reading event in which I can participate this weekend!  I’ve done similar events in the past and have really enjoyed them.  So I signed up to participate in Thankfully Reading, the 2010 edition.  This will be great!   This type of event offers participants the opportunity to participate in a group event independently.  Through blog comments and FB posts and Twitter tweets, we all get to know a little about one another and about what we are reading.  It’s a wonderful way to make friends and get some leads for books to read in the future.

Now I am looking forward to the weekend and looking through my Kindle books to see what I want to read this weekend.  I’m excited!

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Okay, I have procrastinated long enough. Over the past couple of weeks, I have been tagged for this meme FOUR times. So Deadpan, Tigereye, Elissa, and Someone-Else-That-I-Can’t-Remember, here you go!

Here are the rules (I do memes my way so don’t be surprised if I fudge on the rules). I have to post five links to previous entries.

The first one must be about family. Let’s revisit my Accidental Traditions post which is kind of Christmasy but really mostly about my kids and I.

The second must be about friends. I would like to re-share Everyday Hero about my friend Dean Christy, who was not ever found. In fact, as of a week ago when I last checked, his body has not been recovered.

The third is supposed to be about me. Let’s laugh at me. Confessions Of A One Time Santa will do that.

The fourth link has to be about something I love. This is tough. I love my kids. I have three. Meet Tony, Tina, and Susie.

The fifth can be anything I want. This is tough. I think this one is kind of one of those posts that we can all relate to. It’s about life getting in the way of our plans.

Now, according to the second set of rules, I have to tag five other people, two of whom are new acquaintances so that we may get to know each other better. I want to know you ALL better and I don’t like tagging so if you are reading this, consider filling this out and posting it on your blog and then link back here.

Here are five bloggers I would like to introduce you to:

Elissa

Quill Gordon

Steve Peer (go make friends with him, he’s far from home)

Ron — beautiful photography, and usually wonderful music to match!

The Little Fluffy Cat — for a view of life from a cat’s point of view

Okay, I’ve done my job! Whew!

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