Category Archives: Writing

Love Your Life To The Fullest…


This is a variation of a piece I first penned in 2009.
I find renewed meaning in it, and a good reminder for today.

Love your Life to the Fullest.

Love Your Life To The Fullest

For to truly Live,
you must Love.

For Love is in every Act
and in every Breath
and in every Thought
and Word.

Love is both Passive
and Active.
Love is in the state
of ‘Simply Be.’

Love is in
the Abundance
and Clarification
of your Cause
for this Lifetime.

You must both
Love Yourself
as well as
Love your Life.

Without condition.

For the Two are Eternally Twined.

Originally written 01-28-2009.
Copyright © 2009 by Julia Meek Chambers, all rights reserved.

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Disagreement Is Not A Weakness…


disagreementWhen we project the challenges we feel with our families – onto the world around us – we skew our perception of reality.

We lose our grounding and unfairly accuse others of actions they have not taken and beliefs they do not have.

Two people can disagree and still both be “right.”

Recognizing this is one of the levels of spiritual maturity we must all master.

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Be Your Own Fairy Godmother…


Be Your Own Fairy Godmother - image by Aberrant CrochetOne of my favorite fairy tales when I was a kid was a story called, “The Pixy and the Lazy Housewife,” by Mary Calhoun (1969).

In the story, it is told that pixies, while tricksy in nature, sometimes will help a housewife with her chores when she is sick.  Because while pixies may be tricksy, they are good-hearted folk after all.

So in the story, a lazy housewife hatches a tricksy plan of her own to get the pixies to take pity on her and clean her dirty house for her, because she doesn’t want to do it herself. Which of course backfires, as does anything when trying to trick the wee folk!

It wasn’t that I was a fan of the lazy housewife’s rotten house, or even the plight of housekeepers everywhere (where there’s always someone’s dirt to clean).

I fell in love with the idea that there might be unseen friends out there somewhere, with some kind of honor code and the power to do something, who might show compassion and help someone in pain or need.

Another favorite fairy tale of mine was Cinderella.  (The Perrault version from 1697 I might add.)  I loved that someone could find nurturing and love AND rise above their circumstances, no matter how painful a story their past.  And while fairies and wee folk in general seem to have their own interests at heart to serve, the idea of a fairy godmother was different.  Because fairy godmothers didn’t just serve their own interests. They took their charges seriously.

I don’t know about you, but I love the idea of a fairy godmother in particular.  She’s not quite as juvenile as other wee folk.  She’s usually kind, all-knowing and willing to help.  And I just knew there had to be a fairy godmother out there for me.   Someone always there, who loved me like a mother (or grandmother), wise as the Universe, who understood my woes, would heal my wounds, treat me to enriching experiences and make magic happen.

There were other influences on my love of the idea of unseen help.  The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis mentions a grandmother who might have had fairy blood.  A wonderful notion!  And of course, there’s the character Aslan from Lewis’ books, who is practically (literally) a fairy God-Lion.

And so my love for the story of private friends and help, unseen to others, grew with each passing tale.

In adulthood, I’d even play the role of an unseen friend, cleaning house, paying bills, restocking pantries, leaving treats for friends and families. All the while, thinking of what I’d love to come home to sometime, and then doing that for someone else. After all, it’s one of the nicest gifts you could give someone. To wave a wand and grant a small wish or need.

But here’s the thing. We don’t have to wish for or wait around for our own fairy godmother. She’s already here. In fact, she’s right here inside our heart and soul.

We all hurt sometimes. We’re all tired sometimes. We all need a friend to lean on sometimes. We all need and DESERVE nurturing. We all need moments of magic sometimes.

But we should not wait for Prince Charming or our Fairy Godmother to appear and see to these needs.

Start now. Start listening to the small voice inside, who says I haven’t had fun in soooo long. And do something about it! Listen to the little kid inside who says – Ooooo! Sprinkles!  Give yourself a healthy, but tasty snack. Think of the one thing you wish most you had help with, and grant yourself a wish.

Buy yourself flowers, make time and room for a reading corner with something you love to read, treat yourself like a date and try out that recipe you’ve been eying and when you’re tired, draw a bubble bath and tuck yourself into bed. Treat yourself lovingly and bestow daily wisdom on your soul. Improve your working conditions.

Do something to increase your quality of life, love and happiness.  Grant yourself the gift of good memories.

The world would be happier if we would just listen to and take care of ourselves. Deep inside, we’re all still the same little kids, just trying to get through life.

So I challenge you thus:

1. Go surprise someone by playing the role of a Fairy Godmother and do something unexpectedly kind!

2. Find a mirror. Look yourself straight in the eyes, and say this to the beautiful young soul you see….

“I love you.  And today… I’m going to do something to prove it to you.”

And go for it!

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Young Mama…


ReflectionYoung Mama,

Your role in Motherhood,

It should be sacred, it should be good.

But you’ve twisted it right nice,

Doling misery and malice.

Young Mama,

Instead of Loving

As you should.

Written 11-07-2016, 10:58am
Copyright © 2016 by Julia Meek Chambers, all rights reserved.

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Every Moment…


Every moment is a deep breath and a step forward.

Everything stripped to its simplicity.

A rebirth with each raw heartbeat.

And still…

There is only Love.

Written 08-03-2016, 2:57pm
Copyright © 2016 by Julia Meek Chambers, all rights reserved.

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I don’t know yet how to begin to explain…


It’s like all the worst possible challenges you can imagine.

Mixed up with experiencing (mostly) the best possible of people.

And we’re just along for the ride.

I have no idea where we’re going.

I just hang on to John.

Take the next step and breathe.

1:44am
April 10, 2016

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It’s always someone else. Until it’s not.


The surgeon from the ER is straight and practical about telling us what we face.

John wasn’t having a stroke.

I learn new words. Glioblastoma multiform, grade 4.

His brain cancer surgery is scheduled for this Friday morning.

It hurts so bad right now.

I tried to sleep some. But can’t sleep long.

I’ve had about 5.5 hours of sleep in 3 days.

One of our retired law-enforcement friends says it’s the adrenaline. And that it will run out.

And I know this.

I’m not trying to stay awake.  I’m just stuck there.

I’m still in shock.

I still want to wake up.

Now. Please.

John’s my rock.  And he’s in grave danger.

With everything I believe about energy and faith. I don’t know how to be right now.

I have to balance between being positive and being ready.

And there’s no peace in any of it.

There’s so much work to do.  So many legal and financial things.

Things I have no idea how to begin.

Why do we do this? Why do we make the system so painful?

It’s been almost 10 years since John came home from his last overseas deployment.

It was just in time, because I was falling apart.

I was afraid to be alone, because of my emotional state.

The gaping hole that simply his absence created in me.

I was not afraid for his life. He’s the most capable man I know.

It was the whole feeling of him being disconnected from me.

Not being able to pick up the phone.  Not knowing where he was.

Always waiting for a call in the middle of the night.  Maybe.

And I carried a gaping, oozing wound with me everywhere.

No matter how ok I was, I wasn’t. Because my life was constantly seeping from me.

My other half was gone, and the hole in my side would not close.

People were sometimes bewildered as to why I was so deeply affected in that way.

So was I.  It was so horrible. Long deployments are not kind.

And until that time, I had no idea how tied together John and I are.

Tough, down to earth people. We’ve faced so much hardship together.

Things most people never face. And never will.

All my greatest fears of losing this wonderful family of mine were faced back then.

I thought.

And then John went through it with me 2.5 years ago when I developed a blood clot from my ankle surgery.

And he fell apart having to face his fear of me dying.  Because his adopted sister died of a blood clot.

And now, I wonder if it was all to help prepare me/us instead. Like did God plan this all along.

And I don’t want that to take hold in me, because I don’t want to somehow manifest something I don’t wish.

I have poured out my soul in this.

I put a general announcement out to the worlds we’ve been a part of.  College, the Texas Guard, my spiritual groups, my crochet friends.

John’s name has been added to many prayer lists at churches around the world, thanks to connections we’ve gathered over time.

And I hope for many more.

Hundreds of people are praying and sending Reiki and doing energy work on him right now.  On us.

I know I’m alive because of prayer and positive will from communities and friends.

I know I’ve experienced many miracles.

But the only thing so dark as this that I’ve ever experienced before was nearly losing my son in the womb.

Those 8-9 weeks we didn’t know if our son would live or die.

The night I hemorrhaged, and prepared myself to lose my baby, I suddenly heard a voice that guided me then.

“Mommy, don’t give up on me.” 

It was clear as day, out of nowhere.

One of the most profoundly spiritual things I’ve ever experienced.

From that point on, no matter how much doctors told me that I wasn’t facing reality and needed to prepare….

I knew my unborn son was alive.

It carried me through the face of so much medical disbelief.

I so desperately want to hear a voice right now.

 

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Mom Thoughts…


As my kids grow older

and transition into adulthood,

I am ever grateful for 5 little words.

“Mom, I need a hug.”

02/10/2016
9:23 am

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Heart Carvings…


The message that daily consumes my very be-ing.

In every deed and every thing,
let not my life be a waste.
Let not my actions be careless.
Let me live as love and shine as light.
Kindness ever guiding me.

It is how I honor my family and elders.
It is how I heal my wounds.
It is how I speak when my words are stuck.
And when no one understands.

Yet there is an abyss, that once drawn, even a star cannot escape.

Written 01-21-2016, 12:56am
Copyright © 2016 by Julia Meek Chambers, all rights reserved.

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Ordinary People…


Today a friend shared her experience with reuniting a lost dog with his family.

She noticed him on the side of the road on the way to the store and again on the way back.

So she stopped.

He was exhausted and dehydrated.  He’d run his pads off.

She called the local shelter, who contacted an owner looking for the very same dog.

And she stayed with him until they were reunited.

An ordinary person. Making a difference to an ordinary dog and his family.

It’s easy to think that we don’t have time.

Or to think that we have no real impact in the world.

If I were to disappear tomorrow, the world would continue without me.
So why be bothered? Why worry?

But small random acts of kindness by ordinary people can make a difference to other ordinary people.

It is such as these that make for heroes.

Because now someone’s life and reality is different.

Now that future has shifted for the better.

And they’ll never forget the experience of kindness.

This is how we teach and mold a better society.

And this is why ordinary people matter.

I know I shan’t forget my teachers.

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Memories: Double Haiku…


I would bake a cake
We’d rent a cheap video
One hundred plus came

Pickup truck hot tub
“But bunny rabbits don’t bite!”
Best times forgotten

Written 11-15-2015, 10:50pm
Copyright © 2015 by Julia Meek Chambers, all rights reserved.

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Flight…


“I am a leaf on the wind; watch how I soar.” – Wash, Firefly

This is me.

But not in the way you probably think.

I am the chronic overachiever.

The one who commits to too much.

Who steps out and says – sure! I can help you with that!

I can take that on! I’ll be happy to sit down and help you figure this out.

I barely realize my actions, because I’m so into the heart of it.

I catch the current and hitch a ride.

And then I’m Super Man for a while.

Soaring over Capital “T” in a single bound.

Awing even myself with what I’m capable of handling.

Of the difference I can make.

Until I can’t.

Until I’m burnt up like an offering to the gods.

What a sweet savor my smoke and ashes make.

Scattering in the wind like snow.

“You know nothing, John Snow.”

Diffused, I lie dormant for while, unable to breathe, unable to move.

Finally everyone backs off because, well… what can you ask of ashes?

Until one day I gather strength and arise reborn.

Only to repeat the cycle.

Each time I am wiser, but to what end?

The pattern reboots.

Congratulations!

I level up, with now more zombies to overcome.

The problem is pretty simple actually.

I don’t know how to say no.

I always think I do.

But if that were true, I’d be a race car instead.

Written 11-08-2015, 11:55pm
Copyright © 2015 by Julia Meek Chambers, all rights reserved.

You know nothing John Snow...

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Social Media Is Sharing…


Life is rich.  Life is risks.

And sharing it with others, even for a brief moment on Facebook or Twitter or elsewhere online, helps remind me of that every single day.

It helps me stop and “smell the roses” as it were.

To slow the moment down and savor it just a little and celebrate it with the kindred spirits I’m blessed to know.

Some say that the virtual social world is a fake one.

I don’t think so.

In some ways, it’s a lifeline for me, in a daily schedule that even a chiropractor would not keep.

We get out of the social experience what we want, what we put in, and how we choose to see that world.

I would argue that you get an authentic experience when you invest one yourself.

But if you’re the kind of person who prefers to put on airs, to alter the tune before you let anyone hear, then that is all you’ll see in the people “around” you too.

Today, thanks to social media…

My day was made because…

  • a 19 year old kid doesn’t have cancer
  • a toddler I used to babysit got married
  • a mom is getting a well deserved vacation
  • a fellow artist met her goal with selling a clever t-shirt campaign
  • and a family reports that their local water park really is the bomb

And so I’m smiling….

     Life enriched…

            And getting back to work, late as it is…

…with gratitude in my heart.

 

Social Media Is Sharing - article and graphic by Aberrant Crochet

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A Mother’s Surreal Moment #5847…


“Oh!  Mom! Mom!” my sophomore son says to me.

“I forgot to tell you! Today in PE, Coach was frustrated with the little kids, so we got to rip the squeakers out of their rubber chickens.”

I blink at him.  My kids attend a K-12 school and often help out with the lower grades.

But the phrase “rip the squeakers out” presents a picture of some rather strange carnage.  Maybe even some mayhem.

“PE? Rubber chickens? Why do the little kids have rubber chickens in PE class?”

“I don’t know, to wave around or something,” he says to me, clapping his hands and grinning mischievously from ear to ear.

“And look!  I got to keep some!”

He whips something from his pocket and holds up a fist full of white tubes.

“And guess what?!”

He declares more than asks.

“I figured out that they all make different notes. So I labeled them and…”

And while I’m still blinking at him, he holds the tubes together in his hand like some sort of modified pan flute and…

…begins to play Smoke On The Water.

With squeakers stripped from the necks of rubber chickens.

That, my friends, is metamorphosis.

And my musically talented son.

#ThisIsMySurrealLife

#AndILoveEveryMomentOfIt

Rubber chicken squeaker pan flute - graphic by Aberrant Crochet

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To Hold…


The birth of a child does funny things to a parent.

The instant they are part of your life, you can’t image life without them.

It’s like it always was

and was always going

to be.

Those first years are the time you get to know your child in a special way.

One that they will never remember and will never see the way you do.

As they grow up, gain confidence, mature, and remember this or that about their lives, those are the years and triumphs you will always secretly know better than anyone.

You will always hold their beginning.

– Julia M. Chambers
04/26/2015

Mothering, from the beginning.

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Hold Coffee Dear To Your Heart And It Will Prop You Up


Aberrant Crochet Coffee - Sunshine In A Cup

Once upon a time, I used to do the right and proper thing by coffee.

Putting it in a travel mug when I needed to drive the kids to school.

But not anymore.

Coffee has tamed me enough over the years, that we can now travel together in peace.

Clutched to my heart, I ride today with my favorite morning beverage in a mere mug.

I think it tastes better that way.

What a visage I must be, pulling up to the school.

Hunched over the steering wheel.  In my plaid pajamas and winter coat.

Mug clutched to breast bone.  Crochet hook pinned back in my hair.

Thankfully neither my kids nor their friends seem to mind.

Piling out of the car I call to them.  “Have a good day!”

“I will endeavor to try,” my daughter smiles and wryly returns.

“There is no try.  There is only do!” I say.

“Ugh! Go away Mom,” she giggles.  “I love you.”

And off she goes, books in hand, chopsticks in hair.

I love you too dear.

Coffee pressed to breast, I pull away smiling.

A little more alert and with a full heart.

I’m such a geek.

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On Writing For Emergence…


Back on November 5th, I mentioned how I’d committed to a group writing project, based on the theme of Emergence.

And for some reason, I’ve really struggled with this subject.  I have actively mulled it over for weeks.  And have had trouble coming up with what I felt I could write about.

To get my head around the concept, I’ve been studying the definition and history of the meaning of the word Emergence.

Initially my only concept of the meaning was essentially that of birth.  Something coming into being when once it wasn’t there.

But simply that take alone wasn’t sitting well with me on a personal level.  My entire concept of reality is rarely that there are night and day changes.  There are all these tiny steps along the way, little micro changes that always lead us in one direction or another.  And it’s the sum of those tiny steps that come together into a culmination that suddenly look – to someone outside – as something completely different.  But from my own life, I know the tiny steps I’ve made all along.  Some chosen with precision, others simply allowed.  But conscious stepping none the less.

But then I got further into the philosophy of Emergence, as a concept that’s been around since Aristotle.  I can across this definition:

“In philosophy, systems theory, science, and art, emergence is conceived as a process whereby larger entities, patterns, and regularities arise through interactions among smaller or simpler entities that themselves do not exhibit such properties. “

On Writing For Emergence - Article By Aberrant CrochetAnd I realized – this is what I already see.  It’s my concept of Life.  This is about fragments that turn into collections, that turn into systems and then communities.

It’s about the catalyst inside each individual part.

Whether it’s information. Whether it’s the development of where I go in life and roles that I play.  Whether it’s the individual cells that form in the womb and some day become born.

Whether it’s the massive patterns you see in human history and natural evolution, where on the micro scale things seem sudden, but when you pull back and look at the whole, you realize – this was always coming.

Little individual pieces that once operated on their own, grouping together in tiny bits, then connecting again to more tiny bits, and before you know it, there’s a whole new energy.  A whole new life.  A whole new concept and wave-length and even a birthing of ideas and possibilities that weren’t there before the joining.

I’m not sure I can quite flesh out what I’m going to say for my part of that book project, themed “Emergence,” just yet.  But I see community this way. I see the connections I’ve purposely made or facilitated between people this way.  I’ve networked people and information nearly all my life.  I have created entities that did not exist before I came to be.  And even more importantly to me, I’ve facilitated memories.

And in that regard, I am a creator.  Working in my lab, allowing the Hand of the Muse to press upon me, connecting the patterns I see possible, putting pieces of an unknown puzzle together and then standing back to watch it take on its own life.

There’s something here in this project for me.  That I know.

I haven’t quite given voice to just what.  But I think this is where I’ll start.

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As If Part Of A Pink Floyd Song…


A little something I penned nearly 20 years ago….

I lie in bed… feeling as if part of a Pink Floyd song.

Ghostly sounds of the freeway pulsate, filling my ears with wails and cries from wheels and sirens.

The announcement of a rooster acutes the upper register, while groans from a slumbering grandmother warble through at mid-range.

A creak here and there from a tired old house and an exhausted water heater add to the wild rhythm of song.

At least there are no voices, only images.

Written 2-20-1995, 5:33am
Copyright © 1995 – 2014 by Julia Meek Chambers, all rights reserved.

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Emergence…


Please don’t you wake the monster. This home
is happy when she sleeps. Her only motivation is staying strong to keep me weak. She’ll hold my head down to the fire, to watch me burn awhile. 

– Playing Dead, Bobaflex

So… as if I don’t already have enough to be behind on… I agreed to co-author a book anthology with a group of friends.  By mid-December.  This year.

The theme is Emergence.

Aberrant Crochet - Typewriters Are CoolI haven’t even finished one of my own books yet.  So part of me wants to know why I’d put someone else’s project ahead of my own, again.

But the other part of me wants to kick my ass and hard.  Because my books are long overdue, my writing suffers, and my reasons grow more plentiful by the day.  Like losing a piece of my very identity, sacrificed on the altar of necessity and time.

So committing to a smaller project like this, albeit not my own original, is seed energy to rectify my own need to write.

I also wanted to help support the project (spear-headed by a friend) to see to it that it gets off the ground.  Because I’m good for helping to get ideas off the ground.  Thank God in this case I’m not in charge too.  I just have to write, a personal story, by the end of the month.  The same month I’m doing NaBloPoMo. And then later I’ll help promote the book.

What the hell am I doing.

And what value can I possibly add to the subject of Emergence?

I’ve been sent an example idea from someone else’s article, but I’ve not looked at it yet.  Not sure I will.

It dawns on me that I’m probably the youngest in the group, at 43.  And that the theme everyone else is mulling over has a lot to do with revealing a suppression or an evolution in some way.

So, like an Honor Society speech cliché, I looked to the dictionary for a bead on the subject. Some sliver of insight that would make sense for me.

Emergence:
1) the process of coming into view or becoming exposed after being concealed.
2) the process of coming into being, or of becoming important or prominent.

Yeah, not quite that helpful to me yet.  Then I came to the Great “Not-A-Source” king of all, Wikipedia.  Where I found this:

“In philosophy, systems theory, science, and art, emergence is conceived as a process whereby larger entities, patterns, and regularities arise through interactions among smaller or simpler entities that themselves do not exhibit such properties.”

Perhaps that strikes upon something. I’ll sleep on it and see what comes up.

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Aberrant Crochet’s Gratitude Challenge – Day 3… more or less…


My day yesterday was such that it was impossible for me to write on my blog here.  So today will be my day 3. The challenge said nothing about consecutive days, so I’ll take it.

I did think about what I’m grateful for though.  It was on my mind yesterday.  So I haven’t really skated on the job.

And  this isn’t NaBloPoMo after all (few things are).  Though this week has me pondering on how easy NaBloPoMo will be (or not) this year.  It’s less than 2 months away.  And I always, always compete. Even last year in a medical haze of medicine and recovery from a broken ankle, I competed.  And won my challenge.  But I wasn’t seeking and taking all the contract work then that I am today.  Hmmm….

Today, I’m grateful for people.

Aberrant Crochet - friendship quote - Muhammad Ali

1. I’m blessed to have good friends who don’t let the time and space between us dictate the quality of our friendship.  Friends who are just as real today was they were 5, 10, 20 years ago.  Friends who have no trouble picking up where we left off, no matter how long it’s been and don’t somehow expect our friendship to evaporate if it’s not constantly stroked and entertained and plied with drinks.

In general I believe that when I make a real friend, it’s for life.  It’s not a whim, a fad or a mood.  But I am a physical being with limitations and there are only so many hours in a day.  (Btw, this does not mean I support staying in a damaging relationship of any kind with anyone, because I don’t.)

Our modern world has made our circles of reality both bigger and smaller.  Smaller in reach and bigger on the inside.  Kind of like a TARDIS.  I’m grateful for friends who get that and believe in the same quality of friendship I do.  For the most part, I really have no fear when it comes to seeing old friends.  Our souls are the same.

2.  I’m grateful for the plethora of positive people who continually cross my path in the social and blogosphere.  Not to mention the amazing collection of just cool personalities, interests and information shared.  The support, encouragement and kindness of people never ceases to astound me.  People who don’t know me have helped me when I really needed it.  I’ve seen moods lifted, attitudes shifted and suicide thwarted… ON THE INTERNET.

Some say our fascination with digital life and technology is a sign of cultural degradation and bad for our psyche.  I’m not sure that I can ever really see it that way.  I realize I roam in a small niche of creative personalities in a sea of possible experiences, but gratefully, my experiences have taught me things and added to my life.  And I can’t say any have taken from it.

Again and again I see the inherent goodness of people and appreciate it.  It makes my day, reminds me to lift others too and keeps me going.

3.  I wouldn’t be the person I am today, nor have the skills I do if it weren’t for many mentors who provided love, guidance and foundation in my life.  One in particular was Mrs. Kay Johnson, my school principal and classroom teacher for 4 years.

Mrs. Johnson wielded one of the largest influences in my writing and research skills and an attitude of pursuing excellence in everything.  I would even say she gave me some personality traits I might not have otherwise picked up.  And she taught me that even tiny people can command respect and move the world.  As a kind of runt, and an almost painfully shy child, I needed that living example. She was one of the smallest and most powerful women I’ve had the blessing to know in my life and sharp as a tack. I’d love to tell her in person some day.  I’m sure she doesn’t realize she impacted me that way.

To you Mrs. Johnson.  You weren’t easy on us and you always expected the best.  And I know I sometimes frustrated you.  But you were one of the best things that happened to my childhood and I thank you.

Well… so there it is.
Time for me to get back to work now.

Y’all have a great one!


If you enjoyed this article, you might also like:

Aberrant Crochet’s Gratitude Challenge – Day 2

Aberrant Crochet’s Gratitude Challenge

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