I remember a very long time ago, a time when my mom was helping me each step along the way as she taught wrong and right. At a very young age, I found that I should fess up with the things I had done. At the age of 4 ( almost 5)  is when I remember a lie I told. We were at a new house in a new state. The house sat atop a hill, and the driveway up to the house ( at least in my 4 yr old impression) was like a mountain road.

The driveway had 2 openings, as there was a hill on the property, so if you were coming from one direction, there was an entrance as you crested the hill, and coming from the other direction you could enter the loop driveway before the top of the hill.

I was a child who was blessed with having a stay at home mom. Which also meant I was a child who did not know life being away from mom. It was my first day of getting the bus for kindergarten. Mom had a toddler in the house. So I had the responsibility to walk down the driveway and wait for a bus. We had had a dry run before that day, and I remember mom taking me down the driveway pretending it was my first day. Now it was me and the bus, and my mom watching from a window.

I remember being frightened and scared, but not letting mom know that.

back bus education school

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I was going to get on this bus, and not be with my mom, I remember fighting back tears. AS the bus was seen from afar- way down Rte 20, I remember seeing a tree, a pine type tree. And in a moments notice, my body took off and hid in the welcoming arms ( branches) of the tree.

Mom saw the bus stop and assumed I had gotten on it. I did not. When the bus left, I remember crying, cuz I knew I should have gotten on it, yet I was too scared to. So I unwrapped myself from the protecting branches of the tree, and trudged up the driveway and went in the house.

Mom was not pleased, and I was crying. I told her the bus would not wait for me.

This was lesson one on lying… she kept grilling me in her oh so gentle fashion until I finally went into a sobbing mode and confessed what I did. It was then, once I could absorb her wisdom and lesson in life #5000, ‘ the lesson was that we should not lie. If we are caught in a lie, we end up with people never believing us, or having a less then pure trust of us. ( I have to admit, I did have to be taught that lesson a few times more in my very young years) but I learned that I should always face every situation truthfully and right on.

For this incident, well I delayed my first day of kindergarten by a day. Mom called the bus garage and spoke to someone and explained what I had done,  and mom walked me to the bus stop the next day, a toddler in one hand and a 4 yr old child in the other hand, and she spoke to the bus driver, and from then on. I was a kindergartener bussed to school. The bus driver was so nice to me, let me sit close to the front, as I knew no one and even was new to our house and the town.

Mom was wise, she did trial runs with me, and she felt confident I would be okay, I realize that. I think she herself was surprised to see that all she thought would go smoothly, well I had a plan of my own.

Lesson eventually learned, be honest, be trustworthy, and know that every action has a reaction, every word, every motion, there is a cause and effect. That choices we make are just that, choices WE make. We own our emotion, we own how things make us feel.

So as I am about to enter a new day, a new weekend, I say… Until later, Mrs Justa alias Cindy



I am not quite sure what it is about the waves, but they are cleansing to me. They are so powerful, they make me realize our problems can be looked at in many ways. They make me remember that my existence is such a tiny part of the whole picture we call life.

We went up to the lake the other day, as the winds were fairly strong and the waves were having a fun time splashing anything that came in their path. The rolling of the waves is neat, no 2 waves are the same, the roar of them, the evolving of them from a thought, to existence, to gone.

As I stood in that very cold wind, with Mark img_3729and the seagulls around me , as we were watching the majestic side of life. We watched and heard the water as it brought sounds to normally a much quieter place.

It made me think about me, I am so much like a calm lake, I very rarely make a peep, it is like my brain is swarming with thoughts but they stay there.

I am mostly pretty passive, but also very loyal to my life, my husband, our true friends and family. I am a helper and lend calming hands when needed. Like the calmness of the lake.

There are img_20190403_184817those people in life though that are more like the crashing waves. Loud, seemingly angry, in a rush, and never stop to absorb the world around them. They preach doom and gloom and basically do not seem to realize the blessings life has provided. They come and go so fast it is like a blur. Those people I feel anxious around, unnerved, and far from peaceful.

That is probably why I enjoy the quiet of my life. I may have bumps along the road, but we work them out. Life is not full of problems, it is how we handle the challenges of life that count. We can be loud and bold, or we can analyze the situation quickly and do the best we can. For in life there is good and bad… the bad and the good of life interchange, the way we handle it is more what is important. This seagull reminded me of that…

There was a img_3728pretty big wave coming into shore and it was headed to get me and the seagull in front of me rather wet.  I stepped back. To my amazement, the seagull jumped straight up so it did not get splashed and then went right back down. Like it was on a trampoline.

AS I walked back to the car, I thought about life, and that seagull represented how I believe I need to continue to look at life. A problem comes, it is just that a problem. Take a proverbial leap, and handle the problem and move on to the next minute of life.

Yep… do not drown in troubles, look for the good. until later, Mrs Justa alias Cindy

I remember when my mom passed away, it was not expected at all in our day to day lives. It is not that we thought she would live on forever, but it was more that she was there for our whole lives. So it became a part of life.

She was an extremely private, giving, compassionate and not the most organized person. 3-18-2012 feels like springtime 004She put her family first to the point that to avoid us worrying about her, when at all possible, she quietly dealt with her pains, her ailments, and her finances. In many ways her life was open to us, however the framework of it, she kept to herself.

Her death was while traveling in Germany, and her death was a surprise to the people she was visiting and a shock to all involved. So when the storm cloud cleared a tad that early morning we received the news that she had died in her sleep, the searching for information began. We had to represent her birth certificate, her marriage certificate, our dad’s death certificate. We had to present documentation explaining why her name on her birth certificate did not match the name on her marriage license and did not match her passport. And the clincher was we had to get all the information translated in German and sent ASAP to the funeral home in Germany.

Now that in itself was beyond overwhelming because she never shared where important papers were. We also had to find her financial paperwork, what bills she had, did she have any life insurance, the deed on the house, information on all her belongings, and we did not really have time to soak in the pain and loss because we were on a rush timeline to get everything in order.

We did, fortunately, know a friend of hers was a lawyer, and he had some idea of some things,  however, there was a limit to what he had available. Fortunately, she had a will, and that did help alot.

So this leads to our Sunday. I went through our papers, our financials, our personal papers, and I believe I have at least IMG_20190120_162553started to get all the information labeled and the information put into an excel sheet- a ledger. It was easier to start this ever-evolving log of our life now than it would be for someone else. I will update it as life changes. But at least, when Mark or I pass on, our information will not need to be the goal of a scavenger hunt. It was one of those good intention tasks that I have thought about for YEARS. and now I feel a little better should I get hit by the proverbial bus.

I may be here for another 30 years– but life— well it has no guarantees.

With that , I am closing, getting really for my day at work.

Love to all, Mrs Justa alias Cindy

The good and the bad, one goes with the other, problems 20190303_103833we all face, tragic losses, lives are filled with weighted down problems and hurts, with sickness and death, with times we find almost unbearable.

AS the news shares so many terrible things that happen, abuse, neglect, weather, accidents, it is so easy to become bitter. The loss of a child, of a loved one, violence, the loss of our possessions, life-changing moments. Somehow we get through them, the weight of the hurts and the pain feel unbearable at times, and yet, like this little tree holding the weight of the snow, we make it through. Not saying we are the same as we were when the problems arise, life is never the same.

I can not find concrete evidence of why things happen, only  I know that they do.  I prefer to look for the balance of the good that came also, and sometimes the answer for the “good” is not visible for years.  IMG_0403In my own life, people sometimes have said to me when tragedy happens – “Well what is the good from that?” I can not answer those questions, I can only personally believe with all my being, that life never was promised to me to be easy, there is not one place or store or person or being that has a magic wand that protects me from bad things. Life can feel like violent storms rolling in, and with the turbulence, there will be calmness again.

img_0792To survive the moments of hurts, of losses, of pain, — those moments when it is much easier to run from faith in God,  personally I have found turning my problems over to God – that has helped me take the next step.

When towns are destroyed, when lives are lost, tangible things demolished, the people often come together, pray together, and even though the scars of the tragedy will be there, the road to a less terrible situation is long, and being held up in those times is a faith, a strength, a proverbial light in the darkness.

Personally, if I really look beyond the pain, beyond the losses, beyond the things at some point I thought were important in life, the “Why me?” times, or the “What is the good from this?” moments — I find comfort in knowing not one time, was I alone.

I am reminded of something I read a while back from Billy Grahambilly grahams verse on challenges. No one has all the answers, no one will ever have all the answers. I found this interesting and honest.

As I close, I say a prayer for those who recently lost so much in the tornados that hit the south. Lives of children lives of others, personal belongings, lives turned upside down.  Prayers can not bring back what is lost,  the strength needed to get through this is not bought in a store or found in a pill, it is inner strength and the need for “hands”  to hold us up, hands we often can not see, and don’t realize are even there… but I truly believe they are there always. Until later, Mrs. Justa. alias Cindy



We are all different, some quiet, some are known when they are in the presence of others, and some are darn right annoying because their behavior is that they are the only one that matters.

I wonder what makes us be the way we are. bouyI was thinking about me, if I had to look for something I am like, I find a buoy is probably that best description. Buoys are just there, they can provide safety to alert of danger, they do not cause harm, they are pretty simple and bob along as the world goes by calmly, or thrashes around me.

As I bob through every minute of my life- going forward and for the minutes that have  gone by, I watch, I observe, I say few words, and if the waters are calm, I am still… if the waters are rough I tip back and forth, look like I might lose my purpose, but in the end, I am still there.

Birds can perch on me, a boat can be warned of danger by me, I guide to safety and I can be held onto in a bind. A buoy is always there as life goes by. Winter makes me more of a buoy, but this spring, as the weather warms,  I think my weighed down buoy is going to be more like a leaf in a breeze, and we may take time to explore places not visible in my buoy existence. God gave us life, and such breathtaking things to do, every once in a while, Mark and I – well we are going to start seeing them again.

Until later, Mrs Justa alias Cindy


I often find my mind taking me back in time, and remember that through most of the years of my life, it was the times spent with the special men in my life, not the times away from that I remember most. me and my dadAs a very young girl, it was my dad. He was the comfort, the strength, a gift. His job had him away during the week and home on Thurs nights and back out on a short sales run, returning usually Friday nights.

Our time together meant everything to me. I remember his hand holding mine securely, his voice was deep, his love for all of us was unending. I remember his hugs, his laughter.

He used to say I was his princess. I remember how he tried to take time for each of us. and my time I saved in a vault in my mind, in my heart. It brings me comfort in so many ways.

I remember how he was one who would remind me through the years he was alive, that life never promised to be all good, me and my dad at beardsley park ctbad things happen, and that somehow the bad turns into good again.

Karen was 10 years older than me, and it is funny in the couple of pictures I have of her with me and dad, she is always looking back at me. I can only imagine I was a chatty little one.

We all remember dad in different ways I am sure. Karen was 10 when I was born, so she already had 10 years of memories before my dad times started.

Pam my next older sister was 1 1/2 yrs older than me. She and I had a lot of fun and not so fun times, just due to age, and I always felt a tad bit of jealousy from her. She too had memories of dad, and dads death took a really bad toll on her. To the point that as an adult woman, every anniversary of his death she would end up in a severe depression. Sometimes to the point of needing an inpatient admission to help her get to the other side. pam, karen me and our dad

As I got older, there have been men in my life who also had employment that required they be gone a good percentage of the weeks. I never ever regretted that, I accepted it without any second thought, because the time they were home, was valuable, treasured and never taken for granted. It is not the amount of time spent, it is how we use the time when we have it to spend. To be constantly together, 24/7; I think it becomes an expectation, I think there are moments that would be more special if they were not routine.

During the first 10 years of my life, I remember my mom, however times I remember more vividly are those in which my mom and dad were there. I wonder often how life would have been had he not died when I was 10. Time with dad, it was quality time, the pieces fit together.

As I look back on my own adult life, seneca lake 5-1990Mark was away often for his job, just like my dad was. It was how life was. When our own kids were growing up- we tried to spend quality time with them when Mark was home. We would go to some places – often places that did not cost a penny, yet their value priceless. Walks in parks, sitting on docks, camping in our pup tents, later advancing to pop-ups. Playing ball, frisbee, Yahtzee, the list goes on.

And now the times with our grandchildren, the moments are treasured, they are not routine, and we do things with them. It is the special times, times giving of oneself and really focusing on the other person, those are quality times.

AS I am off for a new week, I am going to work on quality and not quantity…

Until later, Mrs Justa alias Cindy

We live life sometimes feeling like we know exactly the next step. Our alarm clock will go off, we will get up, we brush our teeth, do whatever routine in the morning we do, and move to the next part of our day. However when the alarm clock does not go off, or there is no water pressure, or maybe we fall out of bed instead of getting up the usual way, well it kinda puts our synched life out of order.

We trust everything will go as planned, and yet there are the things that don’t.

It gets even trickier when we take the next step, drive the car, reach for something, heck even getting something from a cupboard. Everything we do we trust will end the same way.

Now we can try to protect ourselves from areas where things can’t go wrong, but we become people in bubbles. Less can go wrong, but things happen.

I was thinking about trust and faith to extend beyond flyingthe simpler bullet points of a day. I was reminded in my thoughts of this day, this fall day when this never could have been, had life been kept inside the bubble. I took this at an angle to show the freedom, the joy of the moment. Jeff trusted he would get caught, and he loved the feeling of freedom. The look on his face, the total relaxation of his body, he trusted thigs will be okay, and without that trust, the picture would have been totally different- it might have been a terrified face and fingers clutching so tight to the neck of his dad- like please don’t make me do this. But no– he totally trusted and because of that experienced something way out of the ordinary.

As we get older and heavier, that opportunity – that specific scenario – could not be, or would probably not end in a laugh. However, as we age, gliderinventors have created ways to get that feeling and beyond. I takes a lot more effort from the person achieving the liftoff, however, it needs to be accompanied by trust. Trust that the winds are right, trust your legs are ready for a rather fast run, trust the equipment was not faulty. If however, you have the trust, that sense of freedom can be yours. This person was on an elevated area, beyond the takeoff fallarea was an incredible valley, miles of land colored with the brilliance of fall.

Life has been full of trusting, we trust in relationships, we trust in our day to day activities, our jobs, our everything……and yes we also trust we will be cleaning the bruises- whether inside or outside, and some scars that show the roadmap of my life. I want to always feel that feeling that life is going to be okay, that feeling I get every time I remember that fall day with Jeff. I never ever want to stop trusting that even when things don’t go quite as planned, the trust and faith are so important.

Until later,  Mrs Justa alias Cindy


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