Celebrity Loss List

Alarm Clock

Celebrity Loss List

It is the time of year when the media outlets start showcasing the celebrities we lost this year. The actors whose performances riveted us in our seats. The musicians whose music we grew up singing to in the car. The authors whose books made us think in different ways.

But this year was a year many of us experienced personal losses; family, friends, coworkers, and our fur babies. Lives which ended before we rang in 2022.

I would love to take a moment to talk about a few of my losses. Losses I haven’t yet processed. Which don’t seem real yet, because I haven’t yet experienced the events they should be at, but won’t.

I am not doing this for sympathy, I would just love to fill our social media with the real people we lost this year. The meaningful relationships we all had, which ended in 2021. Please add yours and share. Let’s celebrate their lives today and always.

My Aunt Carol just passed away this week.

I’m not sure I can put into words the place she held in my heart. She was my Mom’s sister, so she was like a mom, but without all “mom baggage,” If that makes sense?

I received a tremendous amount of support and love from her. She was always the first to grab me in a huge hug when we saw each other. She also made sure to give me a hug when she left.

When I almost lost my daughter, she called and texted almost daily. Just to let me know she was praying, to send love, or for someone to vent to. It was a terrible time, and her love helped me to survive it.

When I was in elementary school, I got the privilege of spending a few days with her and her family. This was a big deal in a family of six to get sometime away. My Aunt may have secretly got my ears pierced while I was there.

My Mom had said no. So this was a big deal. Maybe, don’t share this, my Mom. It may trigger me to get grounded again. 😳

She was also one of the most creative and gifted artists I know. I have copies of the watercolors she painted many years ago. She was incredibly talented and shared her gift with others. Sometimes teaching classes, but recently, spending time with her granddaughter sharing her love of art with her.

I could go on and on, but I won’t. Her life and love gave me more than I could share and her death, well, I can’t give words to it yet.

Robert Troutman was a former coworker of mine.

He was doing God’s work in Detroit working on workforce development and education. Just his work changed the lives of thousands of children in Detroit. But to him, it wasn’t just working, it was a mission.

His smile lit up the room! But I also remember the days he was frustrated and came up to the lunchroom while I was there. Those were the days we would watch Jerry Springer because it put things into perspective for him. Otherwise, we were watching Days of Our Lives. Robert would have to fill me in on the many years of backstories of the characters. I have to say, I haven’t watched either without him. They just aren’t the same without his take on them.

He was also a fellow traveler who loved exploring cities. Our love of Detroit, Chicago, and NYC. The places I visited because he suggested it. We spend many hours talking about his trips and our love of travel. I have a long bucket list of places to visit from our talks.

I like to think he is off exploring and will be there with a list of things to see when we meet up again.

Robert Hughes was my husband’s uncle.

He retired and moved to Florida not long after I married my husband. But I remember him as someone who always had a smile and a joke. I will admit, not all the jokes were clean, but he always made me laugh. He was a kind-hearted man who left behind his wife, children, and grandchildren.

Just three of the many people I know who didn’t live to see 2022. The world is a little less bright without you, but you all made the world a better place while you were here. Thank you, and I will miss each of you.

Dream Home

What is your dream home. I believe we have all seen those posts on Facebook with a series of pictures of houses. A seaside home, mountain cabin, lake…

Dream Home

Mid-Year Review

Computer, notebook, flowers, coffee mug

When I worked for a company, we did a mid-year review and a final review each year. The mid-year was done with your boss to make sure you were on track to meet standards for the year. In essence, so there would be no surprises as your final review.

It was the final review where what you accomplished was compared to the goals set by myself and my boss at the beginning of the year. Was everything accomplished? Did you go above and beyond what was expected? Did you not meet standards in an area? If so, there were systems put in place to help you meet standards the following year. 

Because a review at mid-year was completed, the one at year-end wasn’t supposed to have surprises.  It often did. When I stopped working for a company, I was grateful to never have to go through this process again. And I am certain my boss was just as glad to never have to give me another review.

The thing with the review process is it keeps you on track.

Continue reading “Mid-Year Review”

What a difference a year makes

What a difference a year makes!

This weekend I was the last person up to the cottage for the July 4th weekend. Pulling up to the driveway I discovered, there were already six cars parked there, along the road, and at the neighbor’s house.

Walking into the cottage, I could see the boat and sea doo were gone. The family was already at the sand bar enjoying a beautiful Saturday.

The cottage floors were strewn with shoes and towels. The kitchen was filled with dishes. I had no idea where the three cats were. There were suitcases and duffles all over the place.

Generally, things which would make me mad, but made me smile! What a difference a year makes!

I took a walk down the street and noticed mine was not the only house overflowing with cars and campers. It was the rare driveway that was empty. People were ready to enjoy the long weekend.

And the homeowners were entertaining again!

Yesterday, back to the sandbar! The best way to enjoy a sunny 90-degree day. I have to say, in our 20 years of living here, I have never seen so many people there.

What’s more, the people were smiling. And I could see their smiling faces! There were volleyball games, tons of people floating on rafts, and I may have spotted a beer pong game or too.

This morning I went back out for a walk. The driveways are slowly emptying out. My driveway is down to four cars.

Friends have headed back home, and two of my kids have headed back to their lives.

There is a bit of me that is sad. Which is a normal feeling when the house empties out.

But honestly, I am so blessed I have a place they want to spend their time off. I am grateful they chose to spend their time with me. I have great kids, and they have great friends. This weekend has reminded me of just how blessed I am.

Of course, this does not mean I won’t shed a tear or two while I track my kids back to their new homes. It just means I know just how lucky I am to have spent some part of their long weekend with them.

And that is the difference between this year and last year. Last year I was heartbroken to see my son head off to boot camp. Like ugly cry sad. This year I know how blessed I am when I get to see him. (I may still shed a tear though.)

May you also see the blessings in your lives, even when they make you sad.

Shut Down

Silhouette of Palm Tree at Sunrise

My life has been shut down and not in a good way.

The last thing I wrote was about being overwhelmed. I wrote the post on January 4th. It is now the end of June.

I had plans in place on how to deal with feeling overwhelmed, and I closed out by saying I would let you know how it went. I guess since I haven’t written since January, you can see it didn’t go well.

This doesn’t mean the way I was going to move forward was faulty, it just didn’t work because I was not in the mental space to move forward.

I am not feeling creative. The creative well, so to speak, was dry.

I feel most like myself after running, photographing life, and spending time with family and friends.

I haven’t been running.

My camera battery has been dead for a while. I pulled my camera out to get a close-up of my daughter in April and it was dead. I haven’t taken the battery out to charge since.

And time with friends, well, I don’t remember the last time I did that.

So, yup. I pretty much shut down all the ways to refill my creative well.

Refilling the well is simple. I know how to refill it. I just haven’t.

My running shoes are dusty. I bought my shoes at the start of the pandemic. Typically, shoes need to be replaced every 500 miles. I am not even close to this mileage more than a year later.

Taking photos, is a passion of mine. How I really love to see the world.  I  haven’t picked up the camera. And what’s more my phone is with me almost at all times. I just don’t take photos. I wish I could say it was because I was trying to be present in my life, but that would be a lie. The thought to take photos just doesn’t even happen any more. 

And time with friends was essentially removed by the pandemic. But that really was no excuse. There are other ways to do this, and now that my state is essentially open and I am vaccinated, there is no excuse.

I have just shut down.

So, after I am done writing, I am taking my shoes out for a run. Maybe dust them off first. 😳It will be slow. I promise not to judge the rate I am running and celebrate the fact I went out for the run!

And I promise to charge my camera today and to take five photos of life. Just five, not a whole series, unless I feel so inclined. I need to experience life again through a camera lens.

As for my friends, I will reconnect. I know sending a text doesn’t seem hard, but when you are shut down, it is. It gets more difficult as each day goes by to send the text. Make the phone call. But I will send the text today.

And then maybe, just maybe, I will start to feel more like myself and start living again.


Morning Coffee and planning my words

I think the underlying feeling I have had over the past year has been overwhelmed. I have been overwhelmed with guilt, exhaustion, grief, tiredness, sadness. As a result, I have all but shut down. 

As I started to dig my way out from all the negative and refocus, something new would bring me back down.

Moving onto my blank slate of 2021, I have a few tools I will use to get past this. Because, to be honest, most of what happened in the past year is still happening now.

So here is my plan to get back to feeling more like me: Continue reading “Overwhelmed”

The Daily Edit

Pencils in Orange Mug - Editing Tools

Journalists who wrote for newspapers knew everything about the daily edit. They submitted their articles, went to an editor, and made changes, deletions, and corrections. It was a daily edit of their work. 

In school, our teachers had us write drafts of papers. We turned them in; she/he used a red pen and marked them up. Spelling errors, grammatical errors, ideas that needed to be expanded upon or removed entirely were all marked in red. Sometimes, it was a complete restart from one draft to the next. (Just me??) Continue reading “The Daily Edit”

Creating Space

Old Swim Coat Filled with patches

There is something invigorating about creating space. The calendar’s flip to a new year creates all sorts of space or the illusion of it. Pulling down the Christmas decorations creates new space in our homes.

This new space fills our soul with a sense of optimism. Or maybe a need to refill the space with something new.

I find I am more creative when the slate is clean. My desk is cleared off—the areas within my eye-sight with nothing out of order.

Maybe this is why I hadn’t been creating recently. My outer and inner spaces were filled with stuff. Continue reading “Creating Space”

Closing the Doors on 2020

Closed Barn Doors on 2020

With the closing of the doors on 2020, we have opened new ones. As we walk through these doors, we have the choice to learn from 2020 or continue down the same path we were on last year.

To set a new course, we first need to know what went wrong and what went right. If we don’t look back on the year to understand what we did, which caused poor results, how will we correct them?

I will say it was not fun doing it. It brought up all sorts of yuck from the year. But it was also therapeutic. And on the other side of the tears shed for 2020, there is now hope for 2021. Continue reading “Closing the Doors on 2020”

Looking Back on 2020

Fall colors - a look back at 2020

Looking back on 2020- I have to say, I really didn’t want to look back on 2020. Even on the last day of the year, knowing I didn’t do all I could, I just didn’t want to do it.

But, to make 2021 better, a look back, I did.

The year 2020 was one of a few steps forward, stolen moments, milestones, loss, and deep gratitude.

Looking back at the steps forward in 2020-


Continue reading “Looking Back on 2020”