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When the only “No”, comes from your Mind

A couple of weeks ago, I received a notice that my site hosting plan was soon to expire. Last time I renewed it was three years ago. The three year option was the overall lowest monthly cost once broken down. I am, after all, frugal nearly to the core. It also keeps the “Should I stay or should I go now” song out of my head.

So, when the notice came up once more to renew, the accountant in my head, wanted to know if it was worth the money. This is where the debate begins between the heart and the head.

Ever notice how your head talks in the negative and your heart in the positive? Not always I guess, but on average it seems to go that way.

For example, my head interprets numbers and stats with questions like: “well Sal, you didn’t exactly write a lot in the last three years. How much did each of those posts cost you? If you broke it down per reader, would you be better off just sending a letter? Why would you even think that people would want to continue to read the stories if you do continue to write? Are you willing to pay and write even if no one reads?’

And why is it that the questioning voice is always the loud one? The heart responds with answers that are quiet and can’t quite be quantified.

I’m trying to think just now, who that negative voice is that I’m fighting with. I mean, if this naysayer in my head calls me by Sal or Sally or Sally Jean or Minnie Lou or any other personal name, how come it has power to call me out by name, yet I don’t reply to this negative Nelly by any name? Another post to figure that one out I suppose.

So, the meeker, softer voice chimes up that it’s not about money, it’s about sharing. Sharing my thoughts and stories and thus, getting shared responses in return. The payoff is in the connection to whomever decides to read, yes it isn’t many, but the few who do are more dear to me than anything I’d buy with said funds. And yes, to stay connected to them is worth any amount of money.

For days, the naysayer continues to rant in a loud voice that it doesn’t make sense or add up. Just let it expire, you can still write or text people, you can use the money to actually go see them. The justifications are there from the naysayer and when the negative voices are loud enough, it’s not hard to jump on board.

As the internal war rages on periodically throughout my days, my heart isn’t ready to give in, so I think that maybe I need a mediator. I’ll text someone or put it up for debate on the blog. The naysayer scoffs and reminds me that those are the ones who encourage me, of coarse they aren’t going to tell me to pack it up. So, I think about reaching out to people who don’t read my blog, but the naysayer rejects them as well on the grounds that everyone will be supportive to something creative if they aren’t paying for it. The naysayer accuses me of only fishing for compliments or false accolades. Alright I begin to think, if I cannot find anyone to give me good reasons not to continue, then why is my mind saying no. This is where the light turns on into that dark space without a name.

My heart starts to feel the responses, the encouragement already voiced directly to my face, through mail, text and replies to posts. Shoot, my Aunts alone are enough support to keep me going. “Hello, my brother even chimes in for support these days”, I say in thought to the naysayer.

Then, in the quiet hours of one morning – the time when it feels like all truths are spoken – I remember something about learning that you don’t break through out of your comfort zone and into new amazing spaces by listening to the negative voice in your psyche. In fact, the louder that voice is, the more likely it is that you should take the step or leap of where your heart is directing.

Before the simple basic facts could get clouded by partial truths. I got out the credit card and paid for another three years. It’s still the cheapest option if broken down by month. and I won’t have to have this mental argument again for another three years.

I jumped in the shower and since the naysayer had been silenced on this topic, a new justification came to mind. Suddenly, I was saying to myself that if I had something to share, and it was a small semi-private space where people could pop in and look around and we could chat, then that was worth way more money than I was spending. Essentially, that was exactly what the hosting site was. A spot along the dusty road where mostly my relatives and a few friends swing by as they have a cup of coffee or tea and give a nod of acknowledgement or a few words. Every so often a stranger even stops in. Sure, it could be that they didn’t recognize the sign out front, but still it is interesting when they pop in. “Where was this argument when I needed you against the naysayer”, I think to myself. I suddenly feel like George Costanza from Seinfeld who could never think of the proper come back response until it was too late.

Partial truths can create a bucket of doubt, but when that bucket gets kicked over, those doubts drain away pretty quickly.

Besides, for now, I’ve said I would put up a story every now and then for distraction/amusement/thought or just to pass some time, so may as well put it where it can be shared.

Thanks for the support to get the through those mental arguments.

Love,

Sally

Digesting the Book

I’ve still been listening to that same book that had me pause and write last weeks blog. I’ve listened to two thirds or maybe three quarters of it, but currently have it paused for a few days. I’m at a lovely point in the book that I’m not ready to let go of. I know change is about to happen in the story but it’s like having the perfect bite in a meal, you know you’ll keep eating, but it seems unlikely that you’ll get another perfect bite, and you just want to savor it for a few moments.

The book is about the ordinary man – the one who it was told – “he had a story, but didn’t know what it was”. So, he does have quite a story, but it takes him walking across country to remember what it has been, see who he is now, and where he wants to go with it.

He has recently retired from a job that paid the bills, but never excited him. His wife has been mad at him for nearly twenty years and there is no real communication there, so his days are mundane.

Then one day, he gets a letter from a gal that worked in accounting at his place of employment long ago, saying she is in hospice with cancer and she just wanted to say thanks for being a friend. So, he tries penning a response and starts walking to a nearby post office box to drop it in and can’t get himself perform the action of actually mailing it. He walks past many until he needs to stop for nourishment and the clerk at his stop, relays a story of her relative who had cancer and survived. He then has an idea land upon him that he will walk the nearly 600 miles to where she is, and in doing so, this will keep her alive. He phones the facility of where she is, and tells the gal who answers the phone (his old friend is unable to take the call), that he is walking to see her and she must wait for him. He does not pause to go home and get his phone, proper walking shoes, more clothes or anything. He just begins before something or someone in life convinces him he cannot do this unimaginable thing.

This is where I think that the book captures the imagination of many people. The concept, where life presents itself, and while you are totally unprepared, you start to do the thing that you feel most compelled to do – struggling, but figuring it out as you go. Then in your change or direction, comes the change also of those connected and encountered by you.

Listening to this story has been for me, a bit like hanging a crystal in a window. It looks fairly benign on its own, but as the sun hits it, you find yourself looking at parts of your space (my mind/heart/emotions in this case) that you don’t normally focus on as the colors refract out and draw your eye to spots normally overlooked or not focused upon.

I feel the connection of having someone dear, but not so near, dealing with cancer and what to do and how to support them. I feel the connection of the big and small moments you get with strangers when you go off your normal path and allow those interactions to happen.

So, I’ve taken a few days to enjoy where the characters are right now in the book and to also enjoy where I am and recount the struggles, joys, old and new friends and travel I’ve had too.

I’ll likely listen to the remainder soon. And who knows, maybe this wasn’t the spot where I took the perfect bite, but it will still have been worth savoring either way.

Hope your week was filled with moments to savor too.

Love,

Sally

Update on the interviews and book selections: Neither interview had read in a while – I guess I need to change the question to include podcasts, movies or other materials to widen the scope. #1 said if she had to choose, she liked romance and there was one called -Ride The Wind – that she would recommend. Oh, that reminds me of a story with my Grandmother that I’ll have to share one day.

#2 recalled that he liked suspense and recommended – Into the Light

Three more interviews this week, so we shall see what these prospects come up with.

Looking at People’s Stories

I was listening to a book in the car on the way home from work this week, and there was a line in the prose where someone described the main character as, “he has a story, he just doesn’t know what it is”. I paused the book to contemplate that line and have been chewing on it ever since.

The character in the book wasn’t young, although I do believe that quote was from a coworker in his earlier days in life. Young or old, the truth of the statement was still holding true. He was moving through life, but he wasn’t living his story.

It got me to thinking about the people I have been meeting or know and about their stories.

There would be a few, I feel, that are living a good life, but waiting for their story to unfold. Like they are only in the prelude to their own storybook and waiting for the actual story to begin.

There are some I know of, that maintain an old story and can’t seem to move on from there. Think of the high school quarterback who felt those were the best days ever and still lives to replay those moments as much as possible. Or those with trauma that can’t move on from the constant reliving of their horrible moments. It always saddens me when we live through millions of hours and minutes, but let a few moments define oneself.

There are those that are limited by the stories they tell themselves – this is likely a truth in varying degrees for many of us. I know that I have that “unworthy” voice who sneaks in at random times for me.

There’s ones that are in a tough chapter of what is happening to them or their family, but it’s a chapter, and not their true story.

If coarse, everyone also sees a different story in people based upon their relationship and interactions with them. I can remember sitting with a friend in the hospital and having her family walk in and immediately seeing my friend change into the person that her family had categorized and logged her as the person they knew in their lives. It was like a box was immediately constructed that she was put into – and she morphed to fit into it. I remember leaving and wishing that her family could see the version that I saw – but then, I didn’t have the same years, events and family dynamics in my version that they did. I guess, she has the same story, but like any really complex book, people read and relate to it differently.

I’ve thought about how I see people living in a state of fear, and know that it is limiting their story – or quite possibly keeping it hidden from them. I haven’t listened to enough of the book to know if that is the case for the character in this novel.

It got me thinking of the people that I have struggled to connect to in life and why. If I thumb through that file, I think that almost universally, I can’t or don’t connect to them because they only ever show one story of themselves or a constant versions of the same story over and over. Or, they don’t share their stories at all.

That is the crux of it right there, I believe. You have to share the story for it to spark the thought, emotion, connection, for someone else to pick it up and hold.

Everyone’s story, is if coarse up for interpretation and is filtered through your experiences, knowledge and connection to the others narrative.

For me? I feel like everyday is a story. Shoot, I hear one line in a book, and I have to stop the book because in my head, that one statement is a story. Is it my story? No, it’s a line, on a page, in a book(which is me) filled with many stories of which many are ongoing and still evolving.

And so, this weeks distraction story would be a prime example of how my senses (ears this time), pick up in one little thing and it pulls at me to stop and mull it over and feel it out and figure out why it caused me pause. Pretty soon, I jot down the ideas and hit send before that other voice in my head says I shouldn’t.

Thanks for being a part of my story.

Love, Sally

Side note: books recommended to read from my three interviews this week, 1. Nothing, she hasn’t read in thirty years – Really? Really? I’m afraid to know what my face reaction was (thank goodness I was wearing my mask. 2. “A Yellow Raft in Blue Water” – about three generations of Native American women and their journey through life. 3. “The Secret” – according to number 3, it provides positive ways to look at everything in life.

Until the next post, I hope you hear, see, experience a good story.

Recent Interviews

I’ve conducted more interviews in this last year than ever before. It always reminds me a bit like being on a first date – they are being at their best and I’m also portraying the best aspects of the job and the team on my side.

Do you know what I dislike the most about interviewing during covid? Not seeing people’s full face as we speak. I’ve come to wonder if I was a horse trader in a prior life and I need to see the teeth before I buy the pony.

I just find it so interesting when the mask comes off later and it feels like a totally different person in front of me. I think that maybe one of my “tells” on reading people is if their expressions match their eyes. Like when a person gives you a smile, but has no smile in their eyes. And some keep their eyes so neutral, that I feel like I need the visibility of the mouth to see when there is the natural curl in one direction or another.

Besides peoples demeanors, there are always those questions and answers that are revealing.

This past week I interviewed this lovely young gal who was as sweet as can be. She touted her problem solving skills albeit with little backup description. So I asked if she enjoyed puzzles and what kind she liked. I find it interesting to ask people if they like to do puzzles – because most real puzzle people don’t just think jigsaw, they also think word, soduku, jumbles and crosswords as well. She conveyed that she did love puzzles and she has been doing many with her boyfriends daughter. I knew from her hand movement of moving imaginary pieces around that she was referring to jigsaw puzzles. I immediately pictured some of the elaborate puzzles I have done with some of my family members over the years and asked how old his daughter was. “Oh, she is three and we’ve been doing all of these Princess puzzles that she has”. The elaborate 1000 piece or 3D puzzles that had been in my thoughts were immediately replaced with 20-30. big piece, Disney puzzles. Good for her, for engaging and playing with the budding child, but I would have hoped for her to relay something on her level of puzzle solving and not of a three year old in an interview.

She then said she was starting college and wanted to be a realtor and then further herself beyond that into real estate law later on. So, I asked her what her best subject was. She shrugged and said, well, she just started classes, so she didn’t really know. “Ok”, I said, “what classes did you excel at in high school?”. She paused and giggled and said that the truth was, she liked gym class the best. At this point, I was hoping that I could have had sunglasses on to mask my likely visible eye roll. Still not ready to give up on getting a good answer, I prodded further by saying, of her academic curriculum, what did she feel she did better in? Well, she wasn’t good at math (math people are problem solvers of one kind, so I’m always looking for that), although she was quick to add that she did pass. (oh good, maybe you can still balance your checkbook then). She thought for a bit and relayed that History was probably the best choice then. Now, I’ve nothing against history being the subject where anyone excels, but this sounded like it was just the choice of where she was just marginally better that other subjects that she clearly had no vested interest in. I almost wanted to ask if she was a good cheerleader – as her enthusiasm was at least putting her at the top of that possibility.

She was sweet, she likely would have been fun to have around and on the team, but in the end, I need people who can think and problem solve and not just be a bubbly voice on the phone and around the office.

I did hire and start another gal this past week who I have nicknamed Tinkerbell in my head (and probably have said it aloud to a few too many other people in the office for that nickname to not surface at some point). Unlike the interview described above, she was smart, witty, answered questions well and her views of customer support aligned with everything I wanted to hear. She has a shaved haircut much in the style that Sinead Oconnor has mostly worn, she is tiny in stature and pencil thin. She has an internal light that shines brightly and so with all the features together, I felt she was the embodiment of Tinkerbell – less the hair of coarse.

I caught myself questioning if I should hire her as our job is tough some days and I in no way wanted to consider dimming her internal light at the expense of just getting another person for the team. I then caught myself and reminded myself to not make decisions based on fear as those are the ones that limit you. I reminded myself that it was more of her type of energy that we needed, so make the leap of faith that she will make it and she will be more of the positive attitude that is always needed.

One of my favorite questions that I preface to them as I ask it, and that the answer has no bearing onto my hiring decision (although, really, anything said and done in an interview does factor in on how perceptions are logged), is, “If you were to recommend just one book to read, what would it be and why?”

I love this question for a few reasons. One, it’s not the answer that I’m interested in as much as the support of the answer. It reveals who they are thinking of or had thought of when the book stirred emotions in them. I also enjoy noticing the emotions that reflect onto their expression and body language as they talk about it. It is always a bit of a thrill to glimpse into what people are passionate about. Two, it provides a new list of books to potentially read and enjoy that I may not have heard of before. Three, it is a question that none of them have mentally prepared themselves to answer, so I get to see a glimpse of how they think on their feet.

Example: Bubbly girl with PE as her favorite class couldn’t recall the name of the book, but it was in her car and it was something to do with making goals. It’s always a bit sad to me when they cannot think of one book that has influenced them in life and the one they do try to pass off, is just the one that they clearly last touched, but didn’t have any passion about.

Tinkerbell’s favorite book was quick off of her lips as it is her ‘go to’ an any given day. It is “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. She was excited to tell about it and I later felt a tad bad about telling her that I had also read it, thus denying her of her eager synopsis she was ready to relay.

I’ll have to go back through my resume’s to see the ones that I wrote down, but I do remember one gal (I hired her, she was great, but she then left to go back to her previous job that she had been furloughed and then offered back). Her book that she had stumbled into and then purchased for her mother, her aunts and well, really most of the women in her life was “Women Rowing North”. I have it on my list to get at some point and check it out for myself.

On the chance that the person can’t even come up with one example (so sad). I generally ask about a movie or podcast then, but to be honest, if they have never read, then I find they also have no thought provoking movies that they have watched as well. The answer is just some block buster movie that is candy for the senses when I’m hoping for food for the soul.

I’ve a few more people to hire, so I’ll let you know if any possible great books come out on the list.

I’d love to hear what book has made an impact on you. (Everyone can likely say the Bible as belief or not, it has influenced all aspects of society in one way or another, so I’m removing it from submission). And a favorite doesn’t need be earth shattering either. It can just be one that stirs something in you. One of my favorites is “The Secret life of Bees”.

Love,

Sally

A Distraction of Stories

This is a strange and hard time for many. Some are secluded, some are going through tough times, some are bored and some are being overworked. Put me in the overworked column. I can tell you that from interacting with our customer base from all corners of the US and Europe, that people’s emotions are all over the place.

Anyway, I’ve a friend that is going through a particularly hard time and so I’ve said to this pal that I would send a story every now and then as needed for a distraction. Sometimes we need something unexpected that isn’t from the news, or part of your current surroundings to take your mind off of the bubble of your own space. So a story or few thoughts strung together it will be as much as I can manage.

It may be a tad like the times I was writing of my days of training and planning for my Australia trip and all over the spectrum – as one just never knows what will inspire on any given day or week and come off of the page.

I imagine that there will be some stories that I will send to her personally in text or mail, but while I have this platform, I thought I would share a few here as well.

I also may not link everything to Facebook, so if you want to know when a post goes up, you can subscribe and receive an email. (it does not put you on any mailing list except for post notifications)

And if you don’t want to be notified, that is ok, maybe just check back in once in a while to see if there has been a post update.

Here’s to more posts soon.

Love, Sally

Everything is tied to Someone

I awoke this morning thinking of oh so many people that I am thankful for.  People who have shaped me by being directly and indirectly in my life. Some so close that I can’t ever imaging life without them, some on the periphery but like a spice to a great recipe, still would be missed if not included.

One day recently as I began my morning of brushing my teeth, I acknowledged to myself that I almost always think of a friend – even if it is ever so briefly – when I brush my teeth.  This stems from a story and laughs from when we shared a room at a retreat once.  I decided in that moment to go about my day and try to recognize when people would pop into my head.

Picking out clothes to put on brought on a slew of people. As I went through drawers and closet, I had visions of the people who gave a piece of clothing to me, shopped with me, was part of a trip where I purchased,  or the style, slogan or color just reminded me of someone.

Walking outside it the moonless near black sky and looking at the stars brought on more people of times shared under similar skies. (been leaving for work at O’dark thirty in the morning lately)

Tunes or discussions on the radio as I drove to work reminded me of people.

Deciding to have tea, coffee or just hot water when getting to work reminded me of all different people as I contemplated choices.

Calls from customers all day could bring up someone based upon their location, speech pattern, or their vocabulary and tone.

The walk in the park at lunch brought up so many people as the trees seemed to remind me of shared times both there and in similar surroundings.

A laugh in the grocery from someone several isles over had me smiling huge as laughing friends and family filled my psyche.

I looked out the window at work and saw the last leaf fall from the tree that resides in my view and thought of the book “The Fall of Freddie the Leaf” and the friend who had gifted the book to me over 40 years ago.

I passed an upright piano in the window of a store and thought of one of my great aunts.  I don’t know that I have but maybe one real memory of me being in the same space with her, but her memory is passed along in the stories from my Mother and other family members.

I saw someone along the road walking and it reminded me of a gentleman in our community that works at the local grocery and has turrets and how much I have learned of acceptance, perseverance and living your good life from just observing him over the years.  Someone whom I know so little of, but still has an impression upon me.

Every smell, taste, site and movement of my day brought up someone or a host of people.

Just thinking of food is enough to fill books of memories with people and the association, so you can be sure every meal that day was a thanksgiving meal filled with friends and family gathered in my heart instead of around my table.

People coming to mind happens to us all and is something we all do every day, but pausing to acknowledge the thoughts as they arose was not something I always do.  So if you are reading this, it means that you have been in my thoughts because you are in my life and it is good because of you.  Thank you for what you have added to my life.

If you are reading this and do not know me, you are also amazing because you are in the memories of someone else’s life and you allow them to pause when the moment strikes as they think of you.

Happy Thanksgiving. Love and Hugs

Sally

 

 

A Bouquet of Words


I love when I get responses from folks from a post. I love when it stirs a memory which gets shared, I love it when it’s just a comment and I love it when it prompts something more than was there.

This week I received a response from the post:  http://www.thelaughyouknow.com/when-you-say-yes  that made me glow and had the feeling of showing someone a garden to which they take care to cut the variety of flowers and create an amazing bouquet.

(those are flowers from my gardens last year as I attempted to arrange the real things)

For Sally..Gratitude and Appreciation

*Someone sought to pull a thread…
And Lo! It pulled several others
That wove together string by string,
Spontaneous  deeds of gentleness and giving.

*As open hearts and their ripple effect wove a magic textured tapestry,
The human fabric emerged endearingly strong,
From ‘good,heartfelt expressions of humanity’!

*In the fog of thinking on ones feet,
‘To do or dont’ brings existential confusion!
In a sudden leap of faith , the risk is taken..
Then blessed assurance!Evident comfort and sanctuary for another unknown,
Propelled by impulse, initiative, gut feeling, intuition.

*To clad a stranger,recognise a need
From the largesse of the hearts own treasure,
Extend the benefit of the doubt,
Give unconditionally without count or measure.

*Some people remind us by example
Through trying times and tales that edify:
When in doubt and judgment ,humbly stop to remember,
There,but for the grace of God go I!
************

Thank you Maranna for this beautiful response.

Love Sally

 

Another Visitor

This week I received a call from home while I was at work that yet another unexpected visitor had appeared. This one came up into the yard and passed by the downstairs patio doors and then was seemingly gone. Devin called in hushed yet excited tones as it had been a young bobcat. We had only ever had reports of one other seen in our vicinity and Ted and a neighbor had been the only ones to sight it last fall.

I mentioned to Dev that it would be great if that kitty would go up to the compost pile and take care of the mice that had taken to burrowing through the sawdust and refuse we pile into it.  Wouldn’t you know that as we were speaking, he went upstairs and there the little guy was – standing at the edge of the compost bin.

I returned home from work a bit later anxious to see if the visitor might still be around for me to catch a glimpse of as well and lo and behold it was resting in a limb of the tree just above the compost.

We were able to watch it come down from it’s perch maneuvering down the trunk and other branches with an ease that defied gravity. It hung out at the compost for a while longer before fading back into the local wilderness not to be seen since.

Then later, as a direct response to the last post, I received a message I felt was too lovely not to share.  I think I’ll save it for tomorrow.

Love Sally

 

When you say Yes

To put it mildly, the world has been a bit out of sorts. People are being protective of themselves and their families and for good reason. But people are also often acting out in negative or destructive ways because they are fearful.

When you see a situation, it is easy to bring up past memories of an experience or even a story heard that triggers a fear reaction.  Or, you project what could happen also based upon a fear of possibilities.

This week, a few of my coworkers and I  faced one of these situations.

I showed up to work early along with one of my newer team members.  I unlocked the door, put away my things and sat down to start the day when I noticed a young man walking down the sidewalk in front of our building.  In a flash, I had the premonition that he was coming into the building – we don’t have an OPEN sign, nor do we project an open to the public feel. It was still dark and was raining (it had been snowing at my house when I left, but that is a few thousand feet higher, so it hadn’t started snowing in Denver just yet).  I normally keep the doors locked when I arrive early, but this morning,  I had unlocked it and left it unlocked for the other gal figuring we were fine with two of us in the building.  I saw the gentleman disappear from my view as he went around the corner to the front of the building.  We are on a corner with windows on all sides, so I waited to see if I would see him walk past the other wall of windows as his path took him on his way.  Instead, I could hear the faint movement of the outer door and then there he was as he opened the inner door to our office space.  I looked up and asked if there was something we could do for him.  Thinking about it,  that’s just a polite way of saying “what are you doing here man?”

He stood there in a tshirt and baggy pants dripping wet, eyes down like a beat puppy and asked if he could just sit in one of our chairs for a bit and warm up. As a rule, we have a strict policy of no solicitation and in that spirit, no strays, wanderers or any random bloke who might just be walking by.

Per our policy, I had started to say that we couldn’t really let him just hang out, but he really did have a desperate look about him, so instead of the no that my rational mode was projecting, I said that yes, he could have a seat.

He sat down and bent over. Possibly to keep as much of the dripping off of the seat and as to physically curl into a tighter position to garner some body heat.

We asked where it was headed and he said he was needing to walk to downtown Denver and he had forgotten his coat and hadn’t realized it was so cold. (It had been beautiful warm and in the 60’s the past few days, so maybe he didn’t realize the weather was changing and it was to snow today)

It’s interesting how your mind processes scenarios so quickly.  Mine went from “you can’t let a strange man stay in here possibly putting myself and my team member at risk”, to “what do I have to help this person in need who is right in front of me?”

I remembered I had a fleece jacket in the car that I had been using out on my lunch walks when it was chilly. I got up and said I had to go to my car for a moment and fetched it. I hurriedly went through the pockets to make sure I didn’t have anything like old Kleenex or something and walked back in and presented it to him. I explained it was for him to have and while it wouldn’t keep him dry, it would provide another layer. He gratefully put it on right away, zipping it up and curling once more to ball up some more heat.

A minute or two later, two of our sales guys walked in, clocked in and gave me the ‘what the heck’ look all the while saying good morning and asking what was going on?  I was a little fretful of their reactions as these two have been hyper vigilant about the social distancing and keeping spaces sanitary with the covid 19 outbreak threat.

From their positions at their desks right behind me, they kinda went through the same question and answer with the dude as we had. Then, one of the guys walked over and handed him his big thick flannel shirt/jacket that he had just worn on his way into work.

Our now defrosting visitor, took his coat and put it next to him seemingly not sure what he was going to do with it. It was at this time that my team member excused herself to go out to her van and after retrieving a few dollars, gave them to him and told him to go take the light rail as Denver was far too far to be attempting to walk in the freezing rain.

I looked at the clock just then and realized that I should make an announcement of sorts. I said that while we were all ok offering shelter for him, the owner would show up in 5-10 minutes, and he would not be ok with the situation and I just didn’t want to see him faced with negativity along with the perils of his morning thus far.

He said he understood and picked up the flannel and put it on over the fleece jacket and said thanks to everyone. He then stopped as he was exiting through our inner doors and asked in a somewhat timid voice: “do you know who I am?”

It was as if we all took a second to scan our memory banks for recognition from experience or media as all of us wondered for a moment if we had someone famous among us and we all said “no” in unison. To which I added, “should we?”

I couldn’t fully see him at this point, but it seemed like he shrugged and left.

The feeling I think that  we all got, was that he thought someone must know him for nearly all of us to give something of ourselves without prompt or asking.  And who knows, maybe he had said a prayer before stepping in that we would allow a few minutes of shelter. and that prayer allowed each of us to identify with that need to just feel secure for a few minutes -remembering when we’ve misjudged what we had stepped into on any given day. In hindsight, I think we could have responded with , “we don’t know you, but we do recognize the needs we all have”

In a time when we are honestly wary about which coworkers to even let into the building for fear of what germs they have picked up upon, it was a good feeling to not let that cloud our helping out a stranger in need.

May we all grasp the thread of humanity and hold onto it pulling the good and heartfelt moments out of the chaos.

And as so many of the emails I get from customer, vendors and friends now say:

Take Care, Be Well and wash your hands.

Love

Sally

Happy Birthday Mr. Aeschliman

My sister in law’s dad just turned 90.

90 years filled with family, fishing, lessons and stories.

Happy Birthday Mr Aeschliman.
You taught us all many thing:  taught us to have some patience. That if you love to do something, do it every day, but then share the results with those you love. To be kind and giving. To think of your environment and your imprint upon it.

I think you converted more people to love a good fish fry than anyone I know. I know for me, I couldn’t get my children to try fish for anything, but one afternoon with you and they, like the fish you coaxed onto your line, were hooked. Caught up in the care you took and eyeing the whole process, they just had to try, and of coarse, they were not disappointed. I think that anyone who got lucky enough to be around you cooking up your fish, couldn’t help but taste in those morsels the morning dew and rising sun or evening sunset over sparkling waters of the fishing spots you frequented.

The taste of patience, the meditative sequence of casting out and reeling in – as natural to you as breathing. In those bites we could taste the putting your hook out in unseen waters and expecting something good to come if it,  and tasting the results of that.  Real affirmation of – if you expect good things, then you get good things.

I’m glad it’s been so many years of you sharing your stories and life with the rest of us. A celebration indeed.

Many more blessings to you and all of us too.

Love Sally