Month: March 2016

Blessings I Shall Be Counting



I have all of God’s blessings with me

4, 5, 6…

The blessings make for a very long list

7, 8, 9…

It’s time I take them all and count them as mine

Don’t worry I won’t quit my day job to write poetry…oh wait, I don’t have a day job.  LOL.  Anyway, I have been struggling to find anything of interest to say.  Words have not been coming and my idea well is somewhat dry.  I want to keep this blog entertaining, but sometimes I lack any interest in myself at all.  Such is the case lately.

Then I met a woman, a mother of a friend. Meeting her has changed my view of myself.  My life has always allowed me to indulge myself in self-absorption.  My world view tends to revolve around me although I see other things and people in life.  I do have empathy but I spend quite a bit of time worrying about me and my situations.

It is hard to look outside that, especially when your life is turned all around and you are searching for some meaning and direction; which is where I am at right now.  Meeting this woman* has opened my eyes to what other people are going through. You may know a person but knowing what they are going through are two different things.  She is a vibrant and intelligent woman with many passions who has had to switch those passions off in order to care for a family member who is very ill.  A woman whose best friend is no longer able to be that person due to illness that is ravaging his body.

Is this courageous person bitter?  No.  Is she struggling to try to do fill the roles of two people?  Yes, but her attitude is surprisingly calm and in control.  I am sure that underneath it all, she has self-doubt, but she knows what needs done and does the tasks at hand.  I watched her the last few days deal with this overwhelming turn her life has taken and she lives with absolute grace.  I can barely show grace on good day, let alone with the things she must deal with.

I am so tired of myself.  I cannot imagine having to let go of all I held dear and become a person who unselfishly gives and gives to another who cannot give much back at this time.  That is true and unconditional love.   I am crying as I write this at the reality of my own faults; which are many (see it is always about me).  I can barely get through a day without, at least, one pity party for myself.  I do not believe there is time or room for pity parties in her life.  What good would they do anyway?  There are happy couple pictures all over her home; pictures that reflect better days. Oh, how I long for those days for her but, alas, they are probably gone for good.  My heart is so sad.

Depression grips me some days and I cannot see anything but sorrow and sadness.  I shake myself trying to get those thoughts out of my head but the veil of darkness does not leave.  How does my new friend find the spark to get up every morning and face the day?  To say I am impressed is an understatement.

Seeing outside of myself really has allowed me to see the many blessings I have in my life.  Perfect my life is not, nor will it ever be.  Perfect is not the goal in reality. Living with grace no matter what the circumstances is a pretty good goal.  To meet someone so full of grace has inspired me to be a better me.   As I have stated many, many times in this blog, I always assumed it would be the “Epic Journey” that opened my eyes and yet again, it is not the traveling but the people I have met along the way who have changed me.  I have met so many wild and wonderful people, people with lives on hold, people unsure of their destiny and future, people who are hurting and people who love in ways I could not have imagined this time last year.

I need to count my blessings and not just say the words but actually do it.  I need to see my life in a different light and I need to remove myself from the center of my universe and be more like my friend.  Grace no matter what, grace to the end.  I have a feeling the journey will be a long one.

  • I did not mention my friend’s name out of respect for her privacy.  I hope you all understand.  Thank you!






A Day Spent with the Lady on the Hill


These are photographs I took for my blog, they have no commercial value and are not being used commercially.

Last Monday was an extra calendar day this leap year, so I wanted to take advantage of the time and do something different.  I decided to visit the Biltmore Estate in Asheville.  The Biltmore Estate was opened on Christmas Eve 1895 for the Vanderbilt family.  I believe it is the largest private residence in the United States.

Here are a few interesting stats:

  • It has four acres of floor space.
  • 250 rooms:  33 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, 65 fireplaces, 3 kitchens, an indoor swimming pool, a bowling alley and a gym
  • 125,000 acres of forest and farms
  • 250 acre park
  • Garden and conservatory with orchids and other plants
  • Elevators, indoor plumbing and refrigeration were just some of the extras (remember it was built in the 1890s)


I expected some garish home that was only lived in a couple weeks a year.  I was incorrect. Do not get me wrong, the house is over the top, even by today’s standards but the house was actually lived in and their children were raised there.  It was much more than just some rich family’s fancy weekend home. There were many parties and extended family was always invited to stay for a while.


The house is amazing, way different from the tiny house models I love (obviously).  But I could appreciate the added touches that were everywhere, especially given when it was built.  Although the house is not what you would call cozy, it was not cold and unlivable either.  According to reports, the staff were treated well and the family was very philanthropic. You read about these people who have homes all over the world and hardly even go to them. That was not the case with the Biltmore.

After touring the home, I toured the gardens and walked on one of the many trails.  The day was beautiful.  The leaves had not budded yet nor were the flowers in bloom but it was still breathtaking.  I cannot even imagine how stunning it is when everything comes back to life after a winter’s nap.  There are streams, ponds and a waterfall.  So much beauty all in one place.


All in all, it was a great way to spend the extra time given from Leap Year!!