I feel like we have come to the last lap of winter. It is nice to feel that way, as these past few months have been bitterly cold. 20190225_075858It is so much easier to stay inside than to go out. It is hard to find time to see sunsets when it sets before the work day ends. It is too cold to be on the deck. Spring is knocking on the virtual door of the future, and I am super excited to know that is about to happen.

I am far from an extravagant person, and often I am so much like a nonperson, as I am quiet, a tad shy, and accepting of most things as they cross my pathway. I realize as I look at my many years of life, that I am a doer, and observer and unfortunately at times a person who wondered why I could not be as _______ as someone else.

Life is way too short to worry about what

photography of one us dollar banknotes

Photo by Burst on

we don’t have and focus on what we do. I say that because we can strive for things, but we need to always be aware that things happen for a reason. In school I wished I was one of the popular crowd, now I look through various encounters with those who I thought had everything, and they didn’t. They were just like me, there was nothing special about them. Oh they had nice clothes, or they were from wealth, or they were always with groups of people, the sports stars talked to them, people invited each other to parties. Their social life left little time to sleep. I guess I put them in a pedestal because they seemed in my brief encounters to “have it all”.

Now though, I realize that each day is a day that IMG_3496is for each of us, gift-wrapped for us to embrace each minute.  It never comes back, and it is where we are at right now. I am so thankful for being blessed with a husband that truly loves me for who I am. I am thankful for God, and the comfort of faith. I am thankful for the opportunity to be a mom, a wife, a grandmother a sister, and a friend.   Thankful for each time I get out of bed, the ability to ambulate on my own, the incredible family I have, Riley, the ability to absorb the world around me,  to be able to feel, to smile and to cry, to find humor in life and to laugh, and that I have a job that keeps my mind going and helps us build for the days that lie ahead.

I was reading some posts on a forum, and people are boasting about how they have a few million dollars, how they have no worries about finances, one person wrote something about getting advice on how to spend all the money he has. On the surface, they sound like they “have it all”, but do they? I am not going to waste one precious minute of my life envisioning their wealth, their lives. Instead, I am going to treasure each moment of mine. I will never have millions of dollars, I do not know what one would have to do to obtain that. I would say that not having money abound, that keeps my focus more on the gifts we have in front of us.

My “millions” are made up of seconds, minutes, hugs, smiles, silence, being loved, music, singing, writing, reading, creating. With those things- why life is just fine,

Until later, 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



As I got out of bed the other day, 100_0326_thumb.jpgslid my feet to the floor, felt the carpet underneath them, went into the bathroom and brushed my teeth with water that comes on by a turn of a faucet, sat on the warm seat of the porcelain toilet and cleaned myself with soft toilet paper, washed my hands in warm water and using a fresh scented soap, proceeded to the shower stall and washed in the heated bathroom, I stopped and thanked God for everything we have.

This got my old brain thinking about times when houses were the outdoors, or if you were lucky you might have a  hut or a cave; when a bed was made by cushioning leaves and brush on the ground, and a bathroom was a place in the wilderness,  toilet paper a leaf, a blanket might be made from branches. Do you know how thankful I am that I am here now !!!

There were no rules, no electricity, no running water, no closets and dressers with clothes bought already made,  no phones, no Walmarts, no Amazons, no Home Depots or Lowes. To see how someone is, you hot-footed to where they were, barefoot unless you created a foot covering. There must have been winters, oh my goodness, how the heck could I have ever felt warm? My husband affectionately refers to me as an ice cube when I climb into bed. ( IN SUMMER and winter) .

I just finished cleaning the 100_0313_thumb.jpgkitchen and bathrooms. As I carefully looked at every single thing, soap bars, shampoo that comes out with a simple push of the spout on the top, a refrigerator, cupboards with spices, microwave, oven, washer and dryer, and canned goods, a freezer with food ready to thaw, plates silverware, music playing with a touch of a button, I could go on and on… I am overwhelmed with gratitude and disbelief.

Bottom line is there are so many things I think we take for granted, things that never would be here had someone not had created a vision, an idea. Look at the things around us. Every single thing probably had years of trying ideas until it was perfected. From water flowing to septic needs met. From the clothes on our backs to the pillows we lay our heads on. The environments we live in, the transportation we take advantage of.

It only accentuates to me ever so loudly, IMG_0771that we need to feed and encourage ideas, teach our children, encourage thinking, not to become dormant, we need to stop and be thankful for everything and every breath we take. For many trails and thoughts, many failures and retrying surround us.

AND TO NEVER GIVE UP.  If everyone gave up if everyone did not even attempt to invent, create— well we would live in a world, life would be full of totally different scenarios.

UNtil later, Mrs Justa alias Cindy

I am thinking today about how sometimes children will see something, or say something, and you have no idea how they had that insight. 20190205_183848How they knew. This is Jeff at the age of this example.

For the first couple years of his life Jeff and I had lived in Prattburg, NY.  I had been there for 3 years before Jeff was born. It was a rather small town in the southern tier of NY and neighbors were a ways away from each other.  My husband at the time worked in Rochester, so that was 1 1/2 hrs each way. Needless to say, it was not a place where you would be if you were looking for suburban life.

I had met a couple of women, wives of friends of my husband, Billie Jo and Lindy. Before Jeff was born, the 3 families became an extended family. Once Jeff was born, our kids played together and Lindy’s father in law, well he was “Papa”. 1549409114870-e894c1df-9a70-4475-b5f9-047ba5d6e5c8

Papa took me in and Billie Jo in as pseudo daughters. He was a great man. Cooked incredible Italian meals, and loved every minute of life. His laughter was jolly, his heart real. The kids were his extended grandkids. When I was pregnant, he often took me to the OB appointments because it was 45 minutes from our house. He and Billie Jo were part of the group who were at the hospital when I went in for having Jeff. As Jeff grew, Papa would visit him, daily. Jeff grew to look at Papa as a grandfather, he loved Papa and Papa had a way to have kids melt as he entered the room.

Jeff would always go and find a toy to show him, and Papa would act like it was the first time he saw it each time. About a yr after My husband and I had separated, and I moved with Jeff closer to Rochester, Jeff saw Papa very infrequently. I found out that Papa had been in the hospital. It was in June 1985, I remember  I gathered quickly pictures of Jeff and mailing them to the hospital with a card. Lindy told me later that Papas face lit up when he received them

Not too long after that, as I was driving to daycare, Jeff held firmly in his car seat, I saw Jeff look almost to the horizon and raising his head slowly as raised his head to the sky- as far up as possible.

I asked him “Jeff what are you looking at?”He looked at me, with such innocence, such sincerity, and seriousness and with the words I will never forget he said: ” I just saw Papa go up in the sky”. I thought that so unusual, so amazing that this 3 yr old, this precious child saw something and knew what he saw. I tried to support him, and tell him it was probably clouds in the early morning, maybe Papa was looking at Jeffs picture… jeff gave me a little smile. He knew not what that meant except the facts of what he saw and shared with me.

This weighed heavy on my mind and so after work, I made some calls to see how Papa was doing. I was told that  Papa had died earlier. We went to the calling hours, and after a lot of thinking, we felt that Jeff should go too. We felt he would be able to finalize that Papa was always going to be special to him, and we felt him seeing him in the casket would be better than wondering if Papa was going to visit. We got there, and there was a step in front of the casket, Jeff stepped up and had quite a little discussion with Papa, knowing that he could not respond. I know I was crying, over watching the innocence of Jeff, and also the loss of Papa. We brought Jeff into the meeting room area, and as we got ready to leave, he pulled my hand and said: “Wait, we have to tell Papa goodbye.”  He walked over, climbed up the step, put his hands on papa and told him goodbye and he loved him.”  That pretty much did me in…   The incredible experiences we cannot define, the things that happen, the precious innocence of youth, the unexplained blessings.

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


As we go through life we plan for things. We plan for trips or places to live. We plan for futures, and we plan for retirement.

As I sat in a local diner tonight with my husband, our table was in the center. Around us were other table and booths lined the walls. It seemed to be mostly patrons who were well known, and who seemed to be much older then we are. It felt as if we were in a dinner theater in the round. With the play being skits of people lives. IMG_3115People came in and left, waitresses cleared the tables, kind of like at a play when the light get turned down, the curtain falls, and another scene comes to be.

I felt surrounded by people who probably had made plans for their lives, and probably health reasons and life setbacks, well they changed their plans. As one man had come in with his wife, he was trying to move into the booth, his left side was not coordinated and weak, so as he slid in it was like his right side was pushing the left side in. He said to her, can you believe this is how we ended up, as she tried to help him get situated. Plans can get washed away, or reshaped. We can endure or let them take control of us .

Couples here and there, obviously some with significant health challenges, none who appeared they could be north-south travelers. It made me wonder what does the future look like? 20181014_173258No one knows. The best plans can be dissolved in a moments notice. I think we have to accept that just because we plan it to be a certain way, that does not mean it will be. The sun rises and sets, and we have no idea what is next.

As we went to leave, a man was walking out in front of us. He had been joking with the waitresses, he had a nonstressed face, he needed a cane, his stride was not fast, but gingerly. He told us he was 91, he came there every night for dinner, he said he lives alone. He loves to talk with the gals and seems to look forward to coming there. We complimented his outlook on life, and he said he lives life lightly, doesn’t have his head down, he looks up all the time. He did not talk about heartbreak, but I sure he has had some. He displayed a love for what life offers him a minute at a time. Appreciating each sunrise and sunset.

I think that is how we need to be. We can plan, and realize those plans can change in a heartbeat. It is hard enough to plan for the next few days or weeks, let alone the future of life.

Until later, Mrs Justa alias Cindy

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