Sunshine Dreams

Here’s to You….

This post is a salute to everyone who has ever touched my life. I appreciate and applaud your friendship, love, comfort, guidance, wisdom and support. After all, where would I be without you? As “they” say, “it takes a village.” Surely, it’s taken an entire nation to get me here. I am blessed.

I was not the easiest child, I can positively say. Since my mom’s passing in July this year, many things have come to an acute point of conversion. I sometimes wish I could be little again, knowing what I know now, and appreciate my mom more than I did. Impossible. Yes. But “they” say, “hind sight is 20/20.” So very true.  The question, ‘If you could do it all over again, would you do it differently?’ First of all, most of us wouldn’t go back for anything, but if I could appreciate my parents more back then, I would do that. I would also appreciate and spend more time with my grandparents, my aunts and uncles and cousins to be sure. I have an amazing family.

I remember growing up, looking everywhere for acceptance, from the time I was young but especially in Jr. high and high school. I have never confided that to anyone. There were cliques and crowds, most of which I didn’t seem to fit into. The struggle and desire to be simply ‘liked,’ was real. If I could go back, I’d pay more attention to school and worry less about what everyone else thought of me. In 100 years, no one will remember. Mom said that all the time. I appreciate now, her words of wisdom then. Salutations to all those who befriended me back then. You truly meant the world to me and still do today. My true friends, you know who you are, thank you.

Thank you to my children, without whom I wouldn’t have excelled in patience and compassion. You are all the reason I was born, I’m positive. It was hard; there were times I wasn’t so sure we would make it, but we’ve all come out on the other side. Adults now, I pray your dreams and aspirations come true. I wish you kindness, wonder, and humility.  And, for Heaven’s sake, live like there’s no tomorrow because we don’t know if there will be.

My sisters deserve my utmost respect. They become your best buddies somehow even when you used to think they were just a pain in the butt. When you’re the eldest, they are more like shadows that never go away. Then, when you are mature enough to appreciate ‘sisters’, you’re grateful you have them. They now are “qualified” to know my secrets and dreams like I never trusted them before, seriously, not on your life. I never had a big brother (secretly wished for one every night), but my cousin filled the bill for me. I appreciate and love him like a brother as much today as I did when we were little. I wanted to be like him, blow up tiny anthills with firecrackers like him, ride a motorcycle like him and make a ‘machine-gun sound’ with my voice like him. Sadly, I’ve only ridden a motorcycle (my own Sportster), but not like him. He rides with the wind, on a mission I don’t fully understand. Here’s to the war-hero Veteran I knew he’d always be.

And finally a toast to my husband for always putting up with me and giving me the most beautiful life a person could want. I don’t know where I’d be if he hadn’t come along. “They”say, ‘everything happens for a reason.’ For me to be sitting here writing this, I have him to thank. Living on a little lake, understanding my need to be in the Virgin Islands and sending me twice a year sometimes, doing the best he could with the kids I already had, giving more than he asks for in return and even buying me a little crown (haha), loving me through my multiple sclerosis and never complaining; I couldn’t ask for more. I’m 54 and finally got my crown!

In this month, the first Thanksgiving without my mom, my children scattered across the globe, and me here in the Northwest in the freezing cold, I’m thankful for so many things and am blessed in ways I never dreamed possible. I wish all of you a bountiful Holiday with all the love and happiness you can handle.

Always, All My Love….

goals and gifts

I’ve heard it said that the secret to happiness and success in your life is that ‘your goals must match your gifts.’  Actually, my cousin, a retired Green Beret, said this to me. His goals definitely match his gifts.

When you think about it, it makes perfect sense. If your goal is to be a prima ballerina, you’re a little overweight, think you’re a great dancer, and you can even point your toe shoes with the best of ’em; your chances of fitting into that tutu and living that ethereal moment on stage with The Pacific NW Ballet is most likely not going to happen. It doesn’t matter if the tights make you look great! It just isn’t very likely, right? If this is you, look for something you love that matches your gifts.

I think part of the goal is to find your TRUE gift. I’m convinced we all have at least one gift, if not a few. Some people find their gift early in life like Olympic gymnasts or swimmers. They know right away, hey, this is easy!  If your goals are not realistic and don’t accentuate your given talents, it just isn’t going to happen for you; no matter how much you think it should.

We need to be realistic in our lives. For instance, “I KNOW” I can’t sing for the life of me.  I am never going to cut an album with P!NK or even sing in a crowded bar because it would be disastrous.  First of all, no one wants that kind of noise grating on their eardrums. Second of all, I am completely aware that I a not a good singer. Singing is not one of my gifts.  I may be artistic, love to draw and paint, even love writing. Are they my best gifts? I’m not so sure yet.


So how do you decide?  How do you figure out what your gift is, which in turn could indicate your goal? How do you find peace with happiness? As my retired Green Beret cousin said, “Some people just don’t know how to recognize their gifts.” I think when it comes to gifts, you need to pay attention to compliments. If someone told P!NK she was an amazing seamstress (and she may well be for Heaven’s sake), but the blanket she made looked more like a coaster, her seamstress days may be numbered, right? God gave her a voice that is a perfect instrument, a gift!  Goal matches gift? Check!

I’ve not quite identified my own gift. Therefore I’m not sure what my goal in life is. I know I have lots of empathy for my patient’s I see every day. I know I spend quality time talking with some of the older people and really enjoy what they have to say and the stories they weave. I also know I can make them laugh when they may not have been so happy in the first place. It happens every day. I’m a medical assistant today and before that a medical transcriptionist, but I’m not sure I have the correct goal and the best gifts in place. I am going to need to consider this. I do know I NEED to find my goals and gifts to be happy and have peace.

If someone would pay me to paint watercolors on a beach in the Virgin Islands, I would be in Heaven. I haven’t picked up a paintbrush in years though. I’d love to write the great American novel. I have lots of ideas saved on Pinterest but I haven’t acted on anything yet. And I’ve often said if someone would pay me to throw tiny rocks or shells into the sea from my chaise lounge on the beach (with sunscreen on of course), I’d gladly sign a contract! That last was for my dermatologist who knows me well.


Sailing. Now there is something that excites me. I can see myself sailing in the waters of the Caribbean, seeing hundreds of islands, stopping to help a stranded boater who needs a tow, exploring the streets of some distant shore – listening to the story of a local character, sharing a smile and laugh. I’ve fantasized about owning a sailboat, living aboard, sharing sunsets with my husband and our kids who would come visit, rocking in a bay while counting stars from the cockpit, falling asleep to the gentle lapping of the waves on the hull. Those are the romantic notions.

I know of course that B-O-A-T stands for Bust Out Another Thousand.

How do I get to the goal of a sailboat? I definitely can’t afford one now. We could sell the house, Harleys, furniture and stuff that we’ve accumulated of course. We would still need to work until we are least 60 though, 8 more years for me. I’m not trying to wish away the years yet! I need to stay young, (which is relative because my kids already categorize me as old).


My goal is to help others, just as I have been doing but in a different venue. On the sea. I would love to sail to Grenada or Haiti and help people continue to simply live after natural disasters. I’d like to take a child who wouldn’t have the opportunity otherwise, for a sail and give them that feeling you only get from the wind in your hair. Freedom. Its what we all search for in the end.

I’d like to help people who don’t know they need help, listen to people who have stories to tell, get in touch with the feeling of exemption. I don’t want to have to be somewhere at a certain time, I want to write the stories that I hear and sail to places I’ve only heard of. I want to put my arms around someone who could use a hug, and wipe away the tears of years of frustration.

If I could simply save our Oceans I would do that too. I’d tell other sailors to take care, not to litter, and to think of the sea as part of the family, as trite as that sounds. I think I’ve just shown you a ‘piece’ of my soul, again.  Goals and Gifts. Lets all search for our own.

From my heart to yours, may you find your gifts that get you to your goals!