Author Archives: blainecindy

Where Your Treasure Lies

 

Where your treasure lies 100

 

What lies in Heaven? you may ask.

The answer’s not an easy task.

But ponder this before you part:

“Your treasure lies where there’s your heart.”

 

The heart is in the midst of all,

And we must beckon to its call.

Do you choose riches from the start?

“Your treasure lies where there’s your heart.”

 

A life of wealth has such appeal,

But you must choose to love with zeal.

This wisdom to you I impart:

“Your treasure lies where there’s your heart.”

 

The most important thing is love.

We learned this from our God above.

From ev’ryone you’re set apart.

“Your treasure lies where there’s your heart.”

 

Perform good deeds just as God said,

Do acts of love – you’ll be ahead,

For loving hearts are works of art.

“Your treasure lies where there’s your heart.”

 

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” [Mt. 6:19-21]

 

Mid-Flight Friendship

Ah, my friend . . .

We met upon the ride that night,

Our friendship new was born mid-flight.

The moon was high and we were young,

The night sang out with songs we’d sung.

 

Ah, my friend . . .

You made me smile and laugh out loud.

You even charmed the passing crowd.

You listened with an open heart.

You were a friend right from the start.

 

Ah, my friend . . .

And when the night came to an end,

‘Twas hard to say good-bye, my friend.

We vowed we’d meet again some day,

And swore we’d somehow find a way.

 

Ah, my friend . . .

But now the years have flown so fast;

I sadly heard that you had passed.

But I will not forget the night

I made a friend in moon’s mid-flight.

 

Word Prompt:

Friend (noun): A person with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically one exclusive of sexual or family relations.

Visual Prompt:

space needle

You Don’t Know What You’ve Got ‘Til It’s Gone

Why do we work? If we think about this question carefully and answer truthfully, most of us will answer that we work to earn a living in order to pay for things like a roof over our head, clothes on our backs, and food to eat. But how many of us don't knowappreciate the fact that we can work?

For twenty-five years I worked full-time as a registered nurse at a local hospital in a busy operating room where we performed many different surgeries – from simple tonsillectomies to complicated brain surgeries. There were many emergency surgeries and I couldn’t even tell you the number of times when I was part of a surgical team that saved a patient’s life. My work could be very awesome and rewarding; it could also be very stressful.

During this time I led a very busy life. Every day, after working an eight-hour shift at the hospital, I would rush home to my “other” job as wife and mother. Our three children kept my husband and me very busy. We had to chauffeur them to all their activities, wherever they might be. Our children were involved in many activities from sports to dancing and music lessons. We spent countless hours in hockey arenas, on baseball and football fields, in dance and karate studios, and in gymnasiums for gymnastic classes. I cannot even count the number of times we attended boy scout and girl scout meetings, school plays, orchestra concerts, and cello recitals. Our children loved these extracurricular activities and we felt they helped to make our children well-rounded. In addition, my husband and I were active members in our church and we volunteered for many ministries. We were so busy; and now, many years later, it’s all just a blur to me.

While our children were growing up, I fervently wished I didn’t have to work. I really wanted to be a stay-at-home mom instead. After telling my husband how I felt about this, we sat down and took stock of our financial situation. But even after much juggling here and there, we still could not find a way to make this a reality. Our finances simply could not support my wish of being a stay-at-home mom. I couldn’t even cut back to part-time! So I reluctantly resigned myself to this fact and went about the business of being a full-time working wife and mother.

Then a few years later, when our youngest was in high school, our world came crashing down. I was diagnosed with a serious illness which soon took its toll. After several attempts at working even though I was ill, I just couldn’t do it any more. It was simply too painful for me to continue and so I became medically disabled. My wish had finally come true – I could not work any more, not even part-time.

It didn’t take long for me to discover that staying home from work was not all it was cracked up to be, especially if you were sick and in bed most of the time like I was.

Not only that, but I missed my work; I missed my friends; I missed the busy schedule; and my husband and I really missed the salary I had been making. And even more than those things, I missed the person that I once was – a healthy, vital, happy woman who had something to offer to the world.

And now, instead of waking up every morning, jumping out of bed, and getting ready for work, here I am – sick at home with the days stretching out before me with really nothing to do. Sometimes I’m so lonely that I go into an internet chat room just to have someone to socialize with. And talk about being bored to tears! After all, there is only so much television that a person can watch in a day. And then the depression sets in. I’ve cried more than my share and have often wondered why I’ve been given this lot in life. Being a person of faith, I know it’s just part of our heavenly Father’s plan, but sometimes this fact is not so consoling.

With all this time on my hands, I do a lot of thinking. I think about those busy days when the kids were growing up, and I remembered that we really did have a lot of fun together. I think about the nursing job I had and all the worthwhile work I was doing, like saving people’s lives and making people’s lives better with the surgeries that we performed, and that maybe those surgeries went so well because I was there to help. I think about the conversations I had with my friends at work during coffee breaks or lunch, and how much I miss their company. I think about the days when I could buy something new and not have to worry about the expense.

As I think about the past twenty-five years, it is then that I realize something. I realize that all I’ve really done was wish my life away – instead of appreciating the life I was living at the time.

So my advice to you is this:  Enjoy your life. Live in the moment. Learn how to take the bad with the good. And make wonderful memories.

And remember that it’s true what they say:  “You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it is gone!”

 

 

Pandora’s Box

yeah write top three #217

 

pandoras-box1-300x240

 

Pandora was the young girl’s name,

For mankind’s ills she’s been to blame.

Unleashing evil is the claim.

It’s such a shame, it’s such a shame.

 

The box she had to see inside,

And when unlocked, it opened wide.

Then all the evil flew outside.

And then she cried, and then she cried.

 

Her fellow man she had betrayed,

With all the evils now displayed.

She knew an error grave she’d made.

She was afraid, she was afraid.

 

Pandora was in such despair.

Her grief was quite a lot to bear.

She looked once more and breathed a prayer,

For Hope was there, for Hope was there.

 

 

 

 

 

My 68-Year-Old Brain

yeah write editor pick #217

 

As a writer, one of your most valuable possessions is the wealth of knowledge that you have accumulated through the years and locked away inside your brain. It is there at your fingertips, ready to be accessed at a moment’s notice, whenever you decide to open those memory files and put them into use.

While I was growing up, I was always an A student, excelling in English grammar with a knack for writing. I enjoyed writing and it wasn’t long before I was writing on a daily basis. As a matter of fact, writing was so important to me that nothing stopped me from doing what I loved most – not even being bedridden for several years, the many hospitalizations and surgeries I had to undergo, nor the fact that I was pretty much literally on handfuls of pills every day.

But then five years ago I began to notice that I was having a difficult time writing. I was forgetting words. I’d be ready to write a word, have it right at the tip of my tongue, but then I’d forget it. I couldn’t remember what I wanted to write.

This scenario began to occur more.

I wondered what was happening to me. Was it just because of all the medication I was on? Was I going crazy? Was I going senile? Or even worse – did I have Alzheimer’s? I was only 58! On the other hand, I knew of people getting early onset Alzheimer’s. But I didn’t dare mention any of this to my husband because the prospect was just too frightening. So I kept my worries to myself.

Then one weekend my husband went on a camping trip with his buddies. As for myself, I was all set for a weekend of writing and watching movies. The last thing I remember is talking on the phone to my sister Friday evening. I woke up on the living room floor 24 hours later.

Two days later I was standing with my husband in our spare bedroom having a chat. I remember that I fell forward to my knees, and as my husband helped me up, he said: Are you okay?” When I asked him what happened, he told me that I had passed out.

This is when he brought me to the clinic. Although my doctor believed I’d lost consciousness due to dehydration from kidney problems, he wanted me to see a neurologist.

At first the neurologist thought my lost weekend was caused by a seizure. I know – scary, right? So they did an EEG, which was normal, although it was quite a pleasant experience – I even fell asleep during that test, much to my surprise.

Then the neurologist determined that an MRI of my brain was in order. I’ve had plenty of MRI’s done before – mostly of my spine, but also of my brain. I thought: They’re not going to find anything wrong with my brain – the EEG was normal – surely the MRI is going to be just fine, too, because it’s always been fine before.

But then the results came back. First the neurologist said that my loss of consciousness was in all probability due to dehydration, just as my family practitioner had diagnosed. And then there was something else.

I was told that I have spots on my brain. While everyone acquires these spots as they grow older, I have many more than I should.

“As a matter of fact,” said the neurologist, “even though you’re only a 58-year-old woman, you have the brain of a 68-year-old woman.”

Then the light bulb went on in my 68-year-old brain. I asked: “Is this the reason that I have difficulty remembering words?”

He told me that it was. And that it was probably a result of my chronic illnesses. Not my fault. But that didn’t make it any easier. He also said that I might start to have problems remembering events or dates.

My 68-year-old brain knows these things: I cannot reverse this process. I cannot remove the spots on my brain. As much as I want a lifeline, the neurologist cannot offer one. All I have is one more pill for my list, an aspirin every day. This may slow the spots down, but it won’t stop them.

And so I continue to write. Every day it is a struggle to hunt down my words, gather them up, and pin them down on paper. Sometimes it takes hours to write just one paragraph, sometimes days to write just one blog post, perhaps a week or more to write just one story, because the words are so elusive. But the struggle is worth it.

We all have our challenges. This is mine. But I will never give up. Never.

Because I am a writer. And I will find a way.

 

The Chimera Whine

 

“Daddy, I want that one!” whined Bobby as he pointed at the monster in the cage 100 yards away.

“But you can’t have the Chimera, dear. How about a nice tiger cub instead?” coaxed Mrs. Montague.

“No! That one!”

“I told you we should have gone to a pet shop,” said Mr. Montague.

 

 

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This prompt is brought to you by: Shapeshifting 13 #4 Kickoff

Chimera

noun, plural chimeras.

1. (often initial capital letter) a mythological, fire-breathing monster, commonly represented with a lion’s head, a goat’s body, and serpent’s tail.

2. any similarly grotesque monster having disparate parts, especially as depicted indecorative art.

3. a horrible or unreal creature of the imagination; a vain or idle fancy: 

He is far different from the chimera your fears have made of him.

 

4. Genetics. an organism composed of two or more genetically distinct tissues, as an organism that is partly male and partly female, or an artificially produced individual having tissues of several species.

 

 

 

Share Your World – Week #22

Finish these four sentences. You can talk about yourself or be creative and write a piece of fiction. It’s up to you. Have some fun.

Complete this sentence: Never in my life have I…. Ever been unfaithful to my husband. As a matter of fact, the thought of infidelity has never even crossed my mind. Have I ever looked at another man and thought he was handsome? Sure. I’m only human, after all! But even when we were just dating, I never cheated on him by going out with another guy. I never had to because he is everything that I need and want, and I love him more with each day that passes. I know that I’m the luckiest woman in the world.

Complete this sentence:  My neighbor wants me to help her….. Rob a bank. She has it all planned out – right down to the minute. She says that all I have to do is sit in the get-away car and keep the motor running. And she and her husband will do the rest. I never did like her husband. He’s kind of a jerk, if you ask me. He claims he can’t work because of a bad back, but I’ve seen him do plenty of heavy lifting in his back yard. After they rob the bank they’re going to hop on a plane bound for South America and start a new life, leaving their three kids behind. Of course they’re all grown up now and living in different parts of the country, but I just can’t imagine leaving my family behind forever, can you? They claim that they’re going to give me 25% of the take, but I’m not going to do it. I don’t think I’m prison material.

Complete this sentence:  When I was little I wanted… To be a ballerina. I got the idea of becoming a ballerina after watching The Swan Lake Ballet on television. I thought the ballerinas were so beautiful and the way they danced so graceful. I loved how they leaped through the air and especially how they turned round and round. I also admired the costumes they wore. My parents couldn’t afford to send me to dance class, so instead, I went to the library and borrowed a book on ballet. I thought it showed everything I needed to know to dance ballet: first through fifth position of the feet and arms, plie, releve, saute, arabesque, and pirouette. And so I practiced day and night, thinking that I would become the greatest ballerina ever. I even wore my fanciest slip, pretending it was my tutu. And eventually, as all little girls’ dreams eventually do, my ballerina dream was replaced by a new dream. It wasn’t long before I wanted to become a circus performer . . . 

Complete this sentence:  Will you come here to… Clean out my sewing room? I have been meaning to clean out my sewing room for the past three years, but somehow I keep putting it off. I know – terrible, right? I keep thinking of the old adage: Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today. My sewing room used to be a beautiful room, in perfect condition, and everything was in the exact place that it should be. Then one summer our future son-in-law (who is now married to our oldest daughter) needed a place to stay and my sewing room was the perfect place for him to sleep. Everything had to be moved over towards the window in order to make room for the mattress for him to sleep on. After the summer, somehow things just kept getting “thrown” into that room and now it has been turned into a junk room. I’d really like to get it back into order again so that I can start sewing quilts again, a hobby which I really enjoy. I guess I just have to buckle down and get to it. Unless, of course, YOU’D like to come over and help me clean it out? I’ll make you a wonderful cup of tea and we can spend some time getting to know each other. I think it would be a lovely day, don’t you? And you know what they say: “Many hands make light work.” 

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful that last week I was able to attend the 60th birthday party for a childhood friend, Mike. I’ve known him for 40 years. My husband is best friends with him and spends every Saturday with him at the gym. As a matter of fact, his wife Laurie was my very first friend ever. I met her at the age of 5. If you like, you can read about her in this story: A Friend for Life. Mike and Laurie both grew up in the same neighborhood as I did, and they had the same circle of friends as I did and they also kept in touch with them through the years. Because of this, all the old gang were there at his party. I can’t tell you how great it was to see everybody. Some of them I haven’t seen for years. As a matter of fact, one of my very first boyfriends was in attendance and I haven’t seen him for 40 years. Laurie brought me over to greet him because I didn’t even recognize him when I came in. When she reintroduced me to him, he even hugged me, saying, “Oh my gosh, Cindy! It’s so nice to see you again!” And then he introduced me to his wife, whose name was also Cindy, which I thought was really cool! He said: “Cindy, this is Cindy Devine (my maiden name, which he even remembered after all these years) She was my first (which he also remembered) girlfriend. As a matter of fact, it’s because of us being together a long time ago that Mike and Laurie eventually got married.” I can’t tell you how thrilled I was that he remembered all this. Then I told him how another old friend had recognized me after not seeing me for forty years and he said: “I’m sure it must be because you’re still so beautiful after all these years.” And wow – did that ever make me feel good! I think my husband was even a little jealous at that point! Anyway, I had so much fun reminiscing with all my old friends and the night just flew by. I was rather sad when it was time to leave the party, but so happy that I’d been able to spend time with everyone.

I’m happy to say that I’m finally feeling better. It’s been a tough couple of weeks, but thank goodness, they’re over. So now I can get back to my regular activities, and that includes pickleball! I joined the Shoreview Area Pickleball Club which meets Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings, and I’m really looking forward to getting back into that activity. My husband Mike also joined the club, so now this is something that we can do together. We’ve been looking for an activity that we can enjoy together for a long time and finally we’ve found it. Mike is a tennis player, so he’s had no difficulty transitioning from tennis to pickleball. As a matter of fact, he’s very good and I think he’s enjoying it more than he says that he does. I know this is true because yesterday he even ordered a paddle online. Up to that point, he was just using a standard wooden paddle, which is okay, but the one he ordered yesterday is a much better quality paddle and more expensive, and when my husband breaks down and spends more money on something, then you know he’s getting serious! But it is a great activity and the people in our club are so nice and friendly and I’ve made some wonderful friends already. Now if I could just lose some weight, I’d be really happy! I guess I need to get started on that diet I keep talking about right? All in good time . . .

So now you know a little more about me.

I’m glad we had this time together and I’d like to thank you for spending it with me. I’m so pleased that I was able to share a bit about myself and my world with you and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Best,

Cindy's signature with flower and butterfly

 

 

 

 

share your world

 

This post is presented as part of the Share Your World Challenge. If you’d like to be part of this great activity, please click here:

Cee’s Share Your World Challenge

 

 

 

 

 

Grandma’s Lilacs

Our sense of smell is our most powerful sense and smell and memory are closely linked, probably more so than any of our other senses. Those with full olfactory function may be able to think of smells that evoke particular memories; the scent of an orchard in blossom conjuring up recollections of a childhood picnic, for example. This can often happen spontaneously, with a smell acting as a trigger in recalling a long-forgotten event or experience. This is because the olfactory nerve is located very close to the area of the brain that is connected to the experience of emotion as well as emotional memory. In addition, the olfactory nerve is very close to the hippocampus, which is associated with memory; thus, the experience of the sense of smell evoking a memory. In addition to being the sense most closely linked to memory, smell is also highly emotive. The perfume industry is built around this connection, with perfumers developing fragrances that seek to convey a vast array of emotions and feelings; from desire to power, vitality to relaxation.

lilacs

As for myself, whenever I catch the scent of lilacs blooming in the spring, it reminds me of my Grandma Kramlinger. Grandma kept a beautiful garden, and her lilac bushes were her pride and joy. She not only had lilac-colored bushes, but also white, blue, dark purple, lavender, and pink. The blossoms were fragrant and cheerful, and as soon as you came upon her house, the aroma would drift all around you, assailing your senses with the sweet smell of springtime.

I have such lovely childhood memories of Sundays when she would arrive at our house for Sunday dinner. Her arms would be laden with lilac blossoms, and she’d say to my mother, “Here’s something to grace the table.” Mom would take the lilac flowers and fashion them into a lovely bouquet, put them into a vase filled with water and place them in the center of our dinner table. And there they would stay throughout the week, a reminder of Grandma, until the next Sunday when she came to visit again with fresh lilacs to replace them.

Now whenever I catch the scent of lilacs in the springtime, I wonder if the lilac bushes still bloom in her garden, and if the people who live in her house now are still appreciating their cheerful blossoms and simple beauty and enjoying their sweet fragrance.

 

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