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Pen pals

Or text pals, oh what joy. For the past five years, my SIL Donna and I have been sharing letters, laughs, encouragement, flowers pix and so much more. She loved butterflies, flowers and her cat named, Fraidy (which was a feral cat who claimed her) This past March, I started sending flower pix from my yard, of which, the Lenten rose was all I had. Living in sunny Florida, Donna had started a butterfly garden- I lived to see those flowers from her front door. So the weather started getting warmer, and I would send a couple of pics a day of the White House gardens, which is really a scrapbook of my life. I have iris from Grandma White, peonies from my friend’s Aunt Frances, and many more. She thought that was cool. Basically the more I share the more flowers I get. Donna and I especially enjoyed the blooming yucca, starting out like an alien pod and bursting forth with hundreds of sweet smelling, bell shaped blooms. We watched that yucca daily across the miles spring forth. I loved the stories Donna shared about her brothers and sisters growing up, and I’m not surprised she was a ping pong champ and my brother’s wife. What we really didn’t speak of much was the damn cancer. It didn’t win, she did-living her life as fully as she could, making me laugh, helping me pick out my mother- of- the- bride dress, and so many warm stories I will hold close to my heart. Some may think of heaven and pearly gates, but I think Donna is just around up on that next plateau, gardening, laughing and sprinkling love and blessings down on those she left behind. I’ll be seeing you someday sweet Donna ❤️

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For the love of family

In times of sadness and unrest, from my experience, it will draw you together or rip you apart, but you are still family, you forgive and accept and move on as best you can in love. Recently a podcast by Kate Bowler, “Everything Happens” has given me much to think about, changes in perspective. I think you would appreciate it too. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/everything-happens-with-kate-bowler/id1341076079?i=1000470042078

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Curio-cabinet, dust and memories

Rather I should say lots of dust, from a curio-cabinet I used to be so proud of, which over the years, I have shoved further and further into a corner, where little light falls, and I don’t look there often, whereas it held so many treasures and “firsts” for our family. But not on this day, I worked up my courage and tears to dust and make two piles of family things: daughter one and daughter two. I did dust and cry over each piece- I tried to find some joy… mostly dust, memories, sorting through each item, where they can choose to keep, share or toss. I’ve held onto these things long enough.

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Hospice-palliative care is not a bad word-

It’s that next phase, that next level, that transition to our next landing pad, not to be feared. Look up definition of “palliative”, my boss did. Why didn’t I think of that? Palliative Care-medical and related care provided to a patient with a serious, life-threatening, or terminal illness that is not intended to provide curative treatment but rather to manage symptoms, relieve pain and discomfort, improve quality of life, and meet the emotional, social, and spiritual needs of the patient. I stress needs of the patient first and foremost. Since my journey in 2000, and my sister’s lengthy battle with terminal lung cancer. I didn’t understand, that big miracle was gonna happen to her for us, and the plans we made of growing old, taking cruises, wearing gold tennis shoes, until it didn’t. If you gain anything from this, please seek out learning for your friend or family. Don’t wait like we did. Get help on this journey, you are not alone. Locally I highly recommend my friends at AUTHORACARE Collective https://www.authoracare.org/. Reach out to me personally, I will be glad to speak with you from my experience, a way that I honor my sister, Carollyne, gone to that new place, but never far from my heart.

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Butterflies

So this just happened- thinking, prayerfully, of our world, our nation, dear friends struggling, our family struggles- what’s next, keep the faith, push forward- positive, gratitude. Hang on- then hope comes on the wings of a butterfly. My sister-in-law LOVES butterflies, has special flowers for a butterfly garden- tah dah, a reminder of love, peace and hope across the miles. Keep moving, share love and don’t give up. #laricecan #random #miracles #bekind

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The power of words…

“Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” I’m not sure about that little ditty, even those words that are left unsaid, still pack a punch, more so when it’s that negative, “Blank” said this about you…”. “OUCH”, it’s human nature to be sucked into negativity, mostly early in your career, your skin gets thicker, you ignore the words considering the source. Some folks don’t grow out of it…But day after day, with negative vibes, the refusal of others to acknowledge their part in the debacle, really a negative that spreads throughout the workplace, from the top down, like a cancer. You need your job, you suck it up. It’s just words after all, right? So each day is a new day, I smile- I sincerely say the inner prayer “I wish you well.” I hope the good I do to help others, will outweigh the seesaw negative feeling I experience throughout the day, only time will tell. A magic eight ball would be most appreciated at this time. Stay tuned friends…

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FEAR

A four letter word that really packs a punch, more than ever before in this life we are living. The thoughts, the reasons, the assumptions, the inaccuracies around those four letters. Zig Ziglar said it best, “FEAR equals FALSE EVIDENCE APPEARING REAL”. Numerous times, I have found this truth in my life, I was swirling, whirling, bobbing, weaving too fast to EVEN consider my present state of affairs, to slow down, and consider Zig’s words. “False evidence appearing real”. Pandemics, riots in the streets, tuning out negative, inaccurate news…seeking out my own truth. The powerful tool of social media where so many great happenings are shared, but can quickly can be flipped right over, with negative posts, downright lies. Verify your news, stay with positive folks, help someone if you can- EDUCATE yourself on COVID, I suggest the NDC as a great first start. https://www.cdc.gov/ FIND your own facts, take a beat to be mindful, breath. Let TRUTH be your new word, not fear. Pass it on, lift up a friend, SMILE behind that mask, and you and this wacky world will be a better place for it. In peace and safety, Larice

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The smile beneath the mask-

You can tell when people are smiling with their eyes beneath the bandit look, I’m used to it, happy to comply and do my part to keep folks around me safe. So I’m not the one to chime in on a negative post of a lady having bad day, all over social media, I’m not promoting it or laughing either. We all have our battles. I’m reminded of this seeing people in the community act in ways I know they wouldn’t otherwise behave like this, some even yelling at others, onlookers afraid to “see”. People are stressed, frightened, worried. But we have to “see”, we can’t ignore this opportunity to be strong for our fellow man. Put that mask on. Social distance, wash them hands. Ultimately the life you could be saving, could be that person staring at you in the mirror, or that person you passed at the gas station. Stay strong, be safe and kind. You are loved. (I’m reminded of this even more with a cardinal hopping at my elbow, as I sit on the steps. IF that is not a sign- well I don’t know what it is!) We can do this together! Oh yes we can! #bekind #gsostrong #laricecan

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“Goodbye Camper my old friend…“

“I won’t be seeing you again…“ I thought as the brake lights flashed as it pulled onto the road. Our ending, a beginning for a family in Charlotte, end of an era for us. Lots of fun family trips and one skirmish of the sisters at Lake Jordan, and a bucket of sand in the camper are part of the memories of the White House camper. It’s not a big deal, it’s just a thing- not a time to go camping amid COVID, low funds, be glad for the memories. I feel like I’ve lost a family member… onward we go.

Super Dad and Camper Captain❤️

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Big brother and little sis…

To have been raised apart from one another- blood runs deep. Those strands of DNA, genes and the like, from our mother- wind us together so very tightly. It always brings a smile to my face, when he mentions something he loves, and I echo, “Me, too!” Writing, postcards, antiques, pottery, books, birds, history, nature, old photos, bookmarks, and memories of simpler times… “Me too!” Of course, there are things we disagree on, of which I freely express my thoughts… he’s my only family- I gotta be honest, we can “agree to disagree”. However we are SO MUCH more alike than we are different, and I am thankful for someone to remind me and share memories of the past, with plenty of time to make new ones. Let’s get to it big Brother! Times a’ wasting! #lovemybrother #brotherwritesbooks #laricecan

Brother shared his favorite bookmarks with me! And it’s not even my birthday! What a treasure ❤️