~ Photo credit - Papa Bear~
Her friends didn't call her "Grace Tenderfoot" for nothing, she could trip over her own shoes while wearing them.  Walking up the steps to their rental cabin when they arrived in the mountains, Grace gave her finest performance yet. 

Toting her laptop and shoulder bag, she made it up the single cement step just fine, then the toe of her sandal caught the edge of the wooden porch, and she lost her balance.  She had the presence of mind to slide her precious laptop onto the porch Frisbee style, right before she tumbled backward down the step, landing in a heap on the hard ground.  Reaching for her arm to gently help her up, her husband was melt with a yowl as she gingerly reached for her left wrist, and experienced sharp pain as she felt the dogleg protrusion on the side.

Thus, the first afternoon of their vacation in the mountains was spent at the local ER, where much to the staff's surprise, Grace learned from x-rays that her wrist was thankfully not broken, just severely sprained, and would result in her wearing a wrap and a sling, and learning the fine arts of being a right-handed, one-armed girl.
I'm linking up with  Six Sentence Stories
where the cue this week is "STEP"

Stepping Out

"Wait at least five years before you remarry" they advised, well aware of the three disastrous choices I'd made in the past.  But I'd been waiting all my life for someone like this to come along. 

I'd only known him for five months, but that was long enough to know that I had to go for it.... give up my job of nineteen years, move from the city I'd lived in for over twenty.  Move to another state, find another job, and marry the man who just might prove to be the man of my dreams.

 I had everything to loose in such an impulsive decision, and I would have discouraged anyone I knew from doing something like that.  Yet there I was, packing up the past twenty years of my life in boxes, abandoning the year and a half of freedom that was so hard won, and heading to a new life in Texas.  It was a crazy thing to do, and WAY out of my comfort zone.

Seven years have passed since then, and I have never regretted my decision for one single moment. Papa Bear truly is everything I ever wanted and so much more than I ever believed anyone could be. My advice to people now... use your brain, but follow your heart!

I'm linking up with Patricia's blog hop In Other Words
 where the creative writing prompt this week is the following quotation:
"Everything you ever wanted is one step out of your comfort zone."
- Anonymous


Thankful Thoughts - July 26, 2015

I sit here in the blissful silence of Sunday morning, surrounded by my furkids, and being so thankful for this weekend shared with my beloved Papa Bear.  He works three Saturday's a month and has one off, so when those come we treasure our time together. 
Weekday mornings here are a hurried affair, his starting time rotates from 8 AM one week to 9 AM the next.  On the 8 AM mornings we are tripping over each other in the bathroom, scurrying to get ready in the least amount of time required to get out the door, often having pushed our snooze buttons to their limit.  On his 9 AM mornings I am up and gone before he awakens, so it is the rare treat when we can spend a Saturday morning waking up slowly together, completely ignoring the time.
I've been working most Saturdays too, at least for a few hours.  We continue to have two staff (me and a newbie) to do the work of four, though they are in the process of interviewing (slowly) so there is hope.  I could have worked this weekend and probably should have, but I really needed the break too, and I'm glad I took it.  We really didn't do much of anything yesterday but relax, run a couple errands, and eat a nice dinner out.  Sometimes it's nice to just ignore the "things to do" list .
We are in the throws of hot, hot summer here in West Texas, with triple digit temperatures more afternoons than not.  I am thankful that this year they didn't start until July, since we had an inordinate amount of rain earlier which kept things cooler.  The heat/sun make me pretty sick so I live indoors for the most part in summer, and I'll be glad when Fall comes.  I dream about someday living where the summers are a bit less intense, and there is more green shady stuff to be found, but in the mean time I am thankful beyond measure for AC in our homes and cars and at work. 
In recent months I've been struggling to find my happy.  An assortment of family struggles, physical issues, the work situation, and life in general have left me pretty down. I am thankful that I'm slowly starting to weave my way back out of that to a more peaceful, less stressed attitude that allows me to deal with life day by day and take it as it comes. I credit prayer power and friend support for that... and the distraction of Words With Friends and Yahtzee. :-)
I am thankful that someone I care about deeply has found the courage to end the very damaging relationship she's been in.  It's not an easy thing to do when you love someone (and they love to take advantage of your caring).  It is only now that she fully sees what he is truly like as he continues to harass her, and I am thankful for the prayers of family and friends that surround her with protection.  God didn't bring her this far to abandon her now!
I've been clomping around in a heavy foot brace (boot) for three weeks now, trying to alleviate plantar fasciitis and heal spurs on my right foot that have made walking so painful.  The boot is not much fun in 100 degree heat and walking back and forth all day at work, but I did get a handicapped parking permit which enables me to park much closer to our office building and under a shady tree at that, and this weekend, for the first time I am beginning to notice some improvement taking place. The doctor says two more weeks in the boot and then we'll see how it's doing.  The point is to avoid surgery, an option I don't even want to consider. A cast on my right foot would mean no driving. Once again, I know that God hears my prayers and knows my frustrations when it all becomes too much.
At work I am now the employee at our branch that has been there longest,  That's funny, since I've only been there three and a half years. Our attorney just passed his bar exam last November, and our records clerk has been with us less than two months.  Near the beginning of June our long term employee and "go to person" for the things we didn't know, resigned, leaving us scrambling. But the plus side to that is being able to implement some new things that have been needed for some time, and getting us back on track in some areas that have been sliding.  We are all on the same page now and anyone new that is hired will be taught to do the same. 
Training new hires is exhausting.  They are typically given a crash course introduction to Social Security and our law firm for a few days at our branch in El Paso,  then sent back to us learn the gazillion details of the job.  I really love my space when dealing with the constant phones, appointments, walk-ins, and endless paperwork each day, so it's quite a stretch for me to have to "talk, talk, talk" as new people learn the routines.  I am thankful for a new coworker who learns quickly, fits in with us well, and takes her job seriously, it makes the job easier. 
One of the best ways to get through trying times is to have something to look forward to, and I do!  We have made arrangements to vacation on Galveston Island the first week of October.  We went there last year and I can't wait to go again.  I love the place, the peacefulness, and of course the long miles of beaches and waves washing over my feet.  We usually try to take the week of our September Wedding Anniversary off for a vacation, but my coworker already had a vacation planned for that week when she came to us, so we postponed ours a bit, and that's just fine, it might be past the rainy season there if we are lucky!
The Papa Bear is out of bed now, drinking his morning coffee, and I can hear his stomach rumbling. Time to get going on the waffles, eggs and bacon he loves for Sunday breakfast/brunch.  Then on to the laundry, housework, and grocery shopping I ignored yesterday.  Oh well, that's life! :-). I wish you all blessings in the week ahead, sunshine in your days, and happiness in your hearts! 
I'm linking up with Ten Things of Thankful ... 
Drop by, check out the awesome posts, and add a list of your own!

The Perfect Resting Place

~Photo by Papa Bear~
Seth and Ariel had been best friends since childhood. They married young and raised three children who had grown up to be kind and caring like their parents.  Last year Seth and Ariel celebrated their 25th Wedding Anniversary.  
Over the years Seth had given Ariel many beautiful gifts, but the ones she treasured most were the hearts he found for her.  Among them were heart-shaped rocks, heart-shaped leaves, heart-shaped seashells, and even heart-shaped scraps of paper on which he had scribbled love notes. 
It was only fitting then, when a sudden illness took her from him, that he buried her ashes next to the heart-shaped tree stump they'd recently discovered when walking in the woods behind their home.
I'm linking up with  Six Sentence Stories
where the cue this week is "TRUNK"