I enjoy re-doing and re-making things. I always have. Using leftovers, taking what is on hand and making something useful again:
- Whatever I might have in the pantry or frig becomes a one-time kind of meal.
- Scraps of cloth become a comforter, pillow or something for the wall.
- Scraps of wood become art, wooden trays or even furniture.
- Dad, an auto salvage operator took old cars apart. They were scrapped out for usable parts and metal. Some parts were refurbished and resold, others just reused as is on another vehicle.
- Clothes were re-done and handed down. If they were too worn out, the cloth was remade into quilts, comforters or some other useful item (remember cloth dust rags?).
- Mom composted in the garden and turned grass clippings and leaves into flower beds (no pesticides were used!).
New Is Good Too!
A man is like a cat; chase him and he will run – sit still and ignore him and he’ll come purring at your feet. – Helen Rowland
We are cat people. This was not always the case with me. Oh, I had pets growing up but they were always outside pets, mostly dogs. The attachment fell far short of what I know today. This had to do with the fact that:
- We were a farming community and my mother was raised on a farm;
- Animals served a practical role and were somewhat transitory so we were not encouraged to get too attached;
If I had any real attachment to animals growing up it was to horses on my grand parents farm and to the iconic TV animals like Flicka, Lassie and Trigger. I out-grew all that when boys became more than someone to just climb trees with, but that is another subject.
Married To A Cat Person
I became a cat person when I married. My husband is a true cat whisperer and could give Jackson Galaxy some serious competition. He has an amazing way of bringing out the unique personality of any cat, of restoring cats who are damaged and to actually get them to mind! Well, mind in that “I’m a cat” sort of way. We have a lot of fun with our kitty tribe. No, we are not crazy cat people, but I have learned to truly love, appreciate and even train these furry soul-mates.
The oldest of our tribe right now is Flaps. Yes, Flaps, like the control surface on an airplane. He is the fifth in a series of aviation named cats. The first three were Pitch, Roll, and Yaw. There were also Stick and Rudder. They are gone now, but Flaps, now six-teen years old, remains.
We started the series when we acquired an airplane hangar with an apartment. The cat’s job, besides keeping us company and entertained, were to keep rodents under control in the hangar. Rodents can be very damaging to aircraft and this was our way of dealing with them. Our version of barn cats.
This weekend I will be joining my mother, her brother and members of three of the seven branches of my maternal grandfather’s siblings for a family picnic near Boise Idaho. Sometime in the 40s or 50s three of my grandfather’s six siblings moved from Kansas to this area so I only knew them by name. A large reunion of the Rightmeier clan in Kansas in 2005 and the advent of Facebook reinstated relationships geography had eroded.
When my husband and I had an opportunity to visit Varenholtz in 1998, we found a landmark never mentioned in any of the family stories: Schloss (Castle) Varenholz. The castle location was the seat of a family of Knights , under Heinrich the Lion. Built to its current size in 1596 by Simon VI, the son of a staunch Catholic Count, who ruled the region and fiercely resisted the Protestant movements in the area.
When the elder Count died, the care of Simon VI, his son, was left to Phillip of Hessen. Although the Count gave strict orders that his son be educated in the Catholic faith, Phillip did not adhere to this request and Simon was educated as a Lutheran, and later studied “at a reformed school in Strasbourg” where he became a follower of John Calvin (1503 – 1564). It was in this way that Lippe became a mix of Lutheran and Calvinistic influence.
Regetmeir to Rightmeier
My maternal great great grand-father, Frederic Regetmeier, immigrated to the United States in 1864 at the age of 14. During this period, a long-term drought, along with political and religious unrest made living conditions in Lippe quite desperate. In other words the feudal system was breaking down.
The life they knew was disappearing. Word of the opportunities in America sparked by desperation, drove young Frederic and his brother August to make the voyage. In reality the brothers were stowaways on a ship to New York. It is said they jumped ship in New York harbor and swam ashore.
This will re-publish as I make a return trip to Mission Aviation Fellowship -MAF. This time I am staying for a few days to volunteer in the fabrication shop. I am excited. Following is the background for this trip from a previous post.
To Succeed – “I can think. I can sleep. I can move. I can ride my bike. I can dream.” Bill Walton
When I was accepted into the the Federal Aviation’s Administration’s Air Traffic Academy in 1976, I knew I was on the right path. At the same time, I had no idea what I had signed up for. It was daunting in every way.
I remember, after having passed the first phase of academics, challenging in itself, my class of 16 was now headed to the dreaded non-radar labs. “Phase III” of a thirteen phase program known to be a phase in which “50% will not make it”. I don’t mind saying it, I was nervous, partially because I was not aware of the process.
On the first day of labs, the Air Traffic Academy Superintendent passed by our class, first to congratulate us for passing Phase II and then to encourage us as we entered Phase III. However, the superintendent said something that gave me courage. It was something like: “You have been tested and accepted into this program, so we know you have the aptitude to do this job. All you have to do is apply yourself”. I thought, “I can do that”. Ahhh hope. I trusted what the superintendent said and in the process behind all the uncertainty.
The Process – “I Can Do that”
At that moment, I knew I would not be distracted, party instead of study, or otherwise drop the ball. I had been told I had it within me to succeed and I determined to give this opportunity my full attention. Still, it was not easy and there were obstecles. For instance, we were not allowed to miss any days or be late for any reason. Not even illness. It was winter in Oklahoma, I was not eating right, nor sleeping well and there was just a bit of stress (sarcasm). Yes, I managed to get the flu.
Succeed By Showing Up and Staying the Course
I have an audio recording of a graded pass/fail lab problem while hosting a fever of 102 degrees. I did not pass, managing to score a whopping thirteen “conflictions* (you were not allowed any to pass a graded problem). But I was there and I finished. Fortunately you were allowed one failed graded problem and still pass the course. It was also a Friday, so I had the weekend to get over the creeping crud. Ultimately, I graduated. I trusted the process.
There were many more challenges and not a few moments in which I really wanted to walk away. Even after becoming a journeyman controller, there were moments, even days when I wanted to disappear. Invariably, t\someone or something would remind me to trust the process and keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Most of the time it was that still small voice inside that said “I will never leave you..” that I have come to recognize as the voice my Father God. Now that I have retired from the life of telling pilots where to go, I have been employing the same “trusting the process” in developing my second wind for this season of life.
“I Can Do That”
Micheal Hyatt was made known to me as a virtual mentor through hearing him interviewed by Dave Ramsey. Micheal’s book, Platform – Get Noticed in a Noisy World, had just come out and they were discussing the book in the context of the whole entrepreneurial thing. I bought the book and just like those many years ago, I thought, “I can do that”, and so it started. I am still figuring it out as I go, putting one foot in front of the other, learning, studying and trusting the process. This BLOG is one aspect of this new life.
Another aspect is an intentional personal development or a personal growth plan (PGP). One element of my PGP is reading books. Yes, good old fashioned reading. I was inspired to be intentional about this through Mr. Hyatt as well. In both his BLOG and through podcasts he talked about the benefits of consuming a balanced diet of books:
1. Reading makes us better thinkers
2. Reading improves people skills
3. Reading improves our communication skills, including speaking and writing
4. Reading helps us relax
5. Reading keep us young (I am all for that!)
Process – A Personal Growth Plan
I thought, “I can do that”. So in my annual PGP I set a goal to read or listen to 3 books per month. I endeavored to divide these between fiction and non-fiction with some in an audio format. You can see the list of books completed on my Pinterest 2017 Book reading list. I set aside a minimum of 20 minutes each morning as a part of my quiet time and 20 minutes before bedtime for this activity. Fiction reading is reserved for my evening routine.
Instead of going out and spending money on books I did not know if I wanted to keep on my shelf, I have been giving my local library a serious workout. It has been wonderful. There are a few I ended up purchasing as I wanted to mark them up and keep for future reference, but for the most part the public library has been a great partner in this goal. I have been surprised at how much I have enjoyed this activity and its benefits.
So once again, by trusting the process, in other words, taking someone’s advice even if you can’t see or understand the rationale, I have found myself in a better place.
*a confliction meant that two aircraft got closer than the required margins allowed. Opps!
Is there some process you have simply taken someone’s word on? How did it work out? Please share it in the comments below!
When your values are clear to you, making choices becomes easier. – Roy E. Disney
From the moment we became aware of more than our need for food, water and a warm cuddle from our parents, we have been faced with the awesome and sometimes bothersome privilege we have as humans: making choices.
At first we had a lot of help from our parents and others who influenced our formation in making those choices. Ideally, we were introduced to solid values from which to make choices:
- Values that go deeper than our mood on any given day
- A plumb line that provides objectivity for decisions in situations that arrive in subjective, feeling based moments.
This privilege of making choices by stepping outside of ourselves is one of the many things that sets us apart from the rest of creation. We have free will. It is the part of our soul on which our life and its activities pivot.
Remembering A Hard Decision
- in my 5th year and final stage of radar training to become a journeyman air traffic control specialist.
- a non-active and reluctant member of PATCO, the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization.
Choices by Others
- I had taken an oath.
- I had given my word.
- therefore, could not participate in any action to bring the USA “to its knees”.
Choices In Hindsight
You have a free will
“If it could only be like this always – always summer, always alone, the fruit always ripe and Aloysius in a good temper…” ―Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited
When one is retired from working as an employee, you would think that the seasons, including summer, would all blend together. I have found that while my time is more flexible, it is not entirely disconnected from the rhythm of the of the seasons
We are not big vacation takers, but prefer to do mini-trips. Some of this has to do with the amount of travel I did with my work before retiring. It was great. But even then, we road warriors reluctantly tolerated the non-frequent flyers at the airports headed off for their summer adventure.
In addition, since I flew, literally, around the world for my vocation, a hop in the car for a couple of nights at a quiet Kansas B &B is so much less complicated. I have been blessed to see a lot of places, and although there are places I would still like to visit, a good book, my journal and quiet are my version of vacation for the moment.
I have one trip planned for August. To return to Mission Aviation Fellowship in Idaho. I get to volunteer at MAF headquarters for a few days. This is a desire I have had in my heart for many years. It happens to coincide with an extended family picnic on my mother’s side of the family. This trip touches several of the stones in my bridge.
Other than that, we are hitting the house renovation hard, another stone: foundations. Several projects are gaining traction with some summer help. Hallelujah!
What are your plans for the summer? Please share how you enjoy this season of the year in the comments below.