Tag Archives: Baby Boomers

Impakter Ezine Features My Mutinous Boomer Dog Tales & More!

1 Mar

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For several months I’ve been writing a column for Impakter Magazine called “Diary of a Positive Soul.” Not a title I would have come up with, but when they approached me about it, I found the concept irresistible! The point of the articles has been to explore not just how to be happy, but how to stay happy. Here is the latest in this series:

DESTINY AND A DOG

Remember the scene in “Young Frankenstein” when Gene Wilder is twisting fitfully in bed screaming, “Destiny! Destiny! No escaping destiny!”

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Ha! I love that! But even though it makes for a great Mel Brooks joke, is it for real? Do you believe in destiny?

This is the second of a three part series on a favorite theme of mine: dogs! The first one was about our indomitable dachshund, Zack, which you can find here:  http://impakter.com/diary-positive-soul-3/

When the next dog came into our lives, the question of destiny entered into the picture, as you’ll see.

It all started when our son Matt was sixteen. We packed up and moved 650 miles away from the home he had lived in from the time he was born and he wasn’t happy about it, to say the least! So, like all responsible parents, we bribed him into cooperating. He agreed to move without too much of a fuss if we’d get him a Golden Retriever puppy. Fair enough. However, when we actually moved, we found it was better to rent a home while we got used to the area, which meant we couldn’t get a puppy. We were legitimately off the hook!

Fast forward two years and we bought the house we were renting. Matt didn’t miss a beat. No sooner had the ink dried on the loan than he reminded us of our promise. OK, OK, we’ll do it, and promptly began looking for a Golden Retriever puppy, only to find that the price tag was no less than $1,800! But a deal was a deal and we put our names in the pot for the next litter of puppies. Shortly after that we traveled back to our original home for a big family Thanksgiving celebration. One set of cousins brought a terrific dog they had adopted from an animal shelter. Matt fell in love with him and to our delight, on the long 650 mile drive back, he said that he hated for us to have to spend $1,800 on a Golden Retriever puppy (yeah, so did we…) when we could rescue one from a shelter and have just as good of a dog. We told him it was a brilliant idea and I was calling local shelters the next week.

It wasn’t long before we found a new batch of puppies that had literally been left on the doorstep of an animal shelter. One of these was a funny looking, floppy-eared, short-legged German-Shepherd-something with an enthusiastic long tail. It was love at first sight.

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Matt named him Smokey McDoggerson!

When we brought the little fellow home it was not love at all for Zack. To him the young whippersnapper had way too much energy and was ridiculously friendly! And to make matters worse, he was already larger than Zack at only ten weeks old. Zack tried his best to ignore him. He was determined to have nothing to do with Smokey. Period.

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A few weeks later we could see Smokey was having significant problems with his legs. He was hobbling and noticeably in pain. One of Smokey’s parents had clearly been a full-size German Shepherd, but the other part of his heritage was evidently a short-legged dog because one of the bones in Smokey’s front legs was growing faster than the other. He was going to need surgery immediately on both legs, no question about it. The cost? Yep. $1,800 on the nose! Exactly what we would have paid for a Golden Retriever puppy.

Was this a coincidence? It sure didn’t feel like it at the time. It felt inevitable. It felt like destiny. When the surgeon told us the price, we were nodding our heads, yes, we know, eighteen hundred dollars…

After surgery both of Smokey’s front legs were in casts, which was too much for Zack. His big heart got the best of him. He simply couldn’t hold a grudge any longer. He licked Smokey in the face and snuggled up next to him as if he’d been there all along.

The surgery worked, but he was still short-legged and always would be, even when he filled out to his full eighty pound adult weight, which makes him very odd looking indeed (in an incredibly handsome way!).

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Now we’re back to the question of destiny. Obviously it was inescapable: we were going to spend $1800 on a dog for Matt no matter what! Ha!

Being “destined” to spend that money on a puppy was certainly not a life changing experience. It was one of those humorous moments in life when you think you’ve outsmarted fate ~ as if we could! But our personal destiny? That’s a big one for all of us. So, do I believe in destiny? Yes. And no…

In my experience it seems there can be a force at work in our lives if we let it. Call it Fate, Destiny, The Universe ~ I prefer God. I think of this force rather like a spiritual jet stream, invisible but very powerful and going in a specific direction. When I’m “riding the jet stream” as I call it, I feel completely connected to all that’s right and good for my life. When I’m not, I’m stumbling all over the place to find my way. When I lift up my spiritual “legs” and let this prevailing wind take me where I’m suppose to be, then yes, I’m in tune with destiny and it feels great!

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Am I able to live like that all the time? Of course not. Invariably I choose to put my feet down, stubbornly stand my ground, refuse to feel the flow and BAM! What was that thing called “destiny”? It’s gone because I’ve obstinately chosen to do it all myself. The flow is still there somewhere, but I’m not part of it.

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Today was one of those magnificent days that I was riding the jet stream. It feels wonderful and it’s my intention to ride it again tomorrow. It makes me extraordinarily happy when I’m carried along by my destiny, I feel connected to The Universe ~ to God. And that’s the point of it all, isn’t it? Figuring out how to be happy and stay happy. But that’s just me.

This isn’t the end of our destiny discussion, just the end for today. Next time you get to meet the funniest dog I’ve ever known: Shadow. AKA Stinker Bell! Until then, be as happy as you can possibly be ~ I insist!

Marsha

Marsha Roberts, Author of “Confessions of an Instinctively Mutinous Baby Boomer and her Parable of the Tomato Plant” which can be found on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007H0RS60

More information about Marsha and her book can be found on her website: http://www.mutinousbabyboomer.com/

 

Memories are for Christmas

23 Dec

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I was rummaging through the garage the other day looking for some Christmas decorations when I stumbled upon a long forgotten box of story notes, scripts and sketch books, primarily belonging to my husband, who is also a writer, Bob Rector. You might have read some of his WordPress blogs ~ he’s RectorWriter. Anyway, I picked up a sketch book and a priceless piece of paper fell out. It was written by Bob in 1993 and stars the indomitable Zack, our dachshund from years ago, who I’ve often written about.

Reading Bob’s brief account of our household twenty-one years ago was like time-traveling for me. He gave a crystal-clear description of each person caught in an instant of time and I was moved to happy tears by the memory. I would like to share it with you here, just as I read it, in Bob’s handwriting, in Bob’s words and complete with an hysterical sketch of Zack’s face.

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The thing that caught me off guard was the date, June 5, 1993, because as I read it I could have sworn this took place at Christmas. There was no mention of Christmas, but it just felt like it: warm, joyful, loving and deeply personal. I could almost hear wood crackling in the fireplace and see the reflections of lights and decorations in the window. And I wondered why this brief chronicle of our lives would automatically make me think of Christmas. And I decided it’s because every good, beautiful memory is like a gift, a Christmas gift that can be opened over and over again.

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Now there are many writers, philosophers and psychologists who say that we should leave our past behind us. Some great thinkers tell us that if we hold on to our past, we are doomed to have old baggage drag us down, and negative triggers continue to plague us with repeating unhealthy habits. According to them, we should practice present moment awareness.

I beg to differ. I believe that who I am is a conglomeration of a bunch of present moment awareness events: memories, good and bad. Yes, we all have things we’d like to forget, painful recollections that make us wince when we’re reminded of them. Wince or worse. But for me, those are a part of who I am too, I just don’t want to dwell on those. I want to focus on what went right in my life, those moments that stay with me forever because they are so vibrant that they have imprinted me in every way that’s lovely. SnowMatt-IMP

I can still see, smell, taste and feel those precious bits of time as if they were literally yesterday. I’m sure you have those too.

As for me, I’ll go with a pretty solid thinker by the name of Dostoevsky. You see, next to the page with Bob’s story of our household was another piece of paper with this quote printed on it:

“You are told a lot about your education, but some beautiful, sacred memory, preserved since childhood, is perhaps the best education of all. If a man carries many such memories into life with him, he is saved for the rest of his days. And even if only one good memory is left in our hearts, it may also be the instrument of our salvation one day.”

“The instrument of our salvation.” A powerful statement.

What a wonderful gift I received when I opened that box from the past. When Bob wrote it so long ago, he had no idea it would mean so much to me to find it decades later. It made me wonder what I am doing today that will set up good memories for those I love in the days and years to come. For me, that’s where the importance of living in the moment comes in, the significance of every single day. We never know when we might do some kind gesture for someone that might be their “instrument of salvation” at a dark moment.

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So Merry Christmas to you. May you find the gift of cherished memories tucked under your own little Christmas tree inside yourself. It is my hope that the coming days bring you opportunities for more exceptional memories to be created. But if for some reason this Christmas isn’t full of all that’s positive and encouraging for you, don’t forget the treasures that are with you still, inside your heart and mind. After all, Christmas is for memories.

Until next time.

Marsha

Marsha Roberts, Author:  Confessions of an Instinctively Mutinous Baby Boomer and her Parable of the Tomato Plant

http://www.mutinousbabyboomer.com/

Mother’s Day Perfect Gift $.99 Kindle Sale!

9 May

A Bestseller in Amazon’s “Happiness” Category, Confessions of an Instinctively Mutinous Baby Boomer and her Parable of the Tomato Plant was written by a woman (me!) and for women. The perfect Mother’s Day gift or to just treat yourself! Although I’ve been thrilled by the response I’ve received from my readers who are men,  my Mutinous Boomer book has a decidedly female outlook and voice. To celebrate Mother’s Day, you can find out for yourself why it’s been called “5* Soul Candy!” ~ “Funny, touching and inspirational” ~ “A Charming and Uplifting Read!”

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Have a wonderful weekend and remember Mutinous Boomer Rule #1: Be Happy!

Marsha

Visit me on my website:  http://www.mutinousbabyboomer.com/

Get the Deal on Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007H0RS60

The Long and Winding Road – For REAL! Part 1

18 Apr

I’m starting a new series today and you might wonder what it has to do with “Angels, Miracles & Dogs!” However, let me assure you, the story I will begin telling you today is nothing less than a miracle – a Rock ‘n Roll miracle!

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I was seventeen in 1970 and what I was watching on TV that Saturday afternoon was pure magic. It was also history in the making, but I didn’t know or care about that at the time. All I knew was that it was the coolest thing I had ever seen. My favorite music, Top 40 hits, with neat psychedelic effects, everybody dancing. I just couldn’t sit still and watch – I had to dance too! 

It was The Now Explosion. Perfect title. It exploded into our lives, changed the landscape of television programming forever and was gone as fast as a stick of dynamite, altering everything and everyone it touched. I know, I was one of them.

Fast forward forty-three years and there I was, sitting in the room with four of the original innovators:

ImageBob Whitney – whose brain had imagined The Now Explosion and whose charm had sold it.

ImageGenii Macaulay-Leary – the woman who had played Den Mother and Drill Sergeant to a talented bunch of renegades (AKA the Producer!).

ImageBob Rector – the filmmaker whose distinctive vision brought a new form of story-telling to music “videos.”

ImageBob Todd – one of the two original DJ’s whose enthusiasm was so contagious that he kept us glued to the TV set for hours on end.

It was a little surreal to see these four together after so long. Each had their own memories to share, experiences that had been separate and quite different, but a part of the same whole. I listened, mesmerized, as they started assembling the puzzle pieces of this brief, shining moment that had left such a distinct mark on so many. Yes, it had been a brief, shining moment – our own Rock ‘n Roll Camelot. 

I realized I had been placed in that room with these people for a reason: I was supposed to write about it. Not only had I been a huge fan in 1970, but I had gone on to be a Producer myself and knew very well what it took to get an extraordinary program like this off the ground.

This is not a story that can or should be told in a linear fashion. It is as free-flowing as the songs of the time. Our time. After the three incredible days I spent with these bigger-than-life personalities I was left with one overriding question: Why had it stayed with us after all these years? It only lasted a few months, but we never forgot it? Just like Camelot, it lived on in our hearts and minds. Why?

I’ll attempt to unravel that mystery in the coming weeks and months as I write about the phenomenon of The Now Explosion. If you experienced it for yourself you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. If not, then take a moment and think back to 1970, the year after Woodstock. America was in the middle of a sea change and we, the Boomers, just big kids at the time, were riding the crest of our own wave…

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On most Saturday mornings my dad would have to practically drag me out of bed to get my chores done. Sometimes he even tossed a cup of water in my face – seriously! (Full disclosure here, he was laughing when he did it!) But the spring of 1970 was different. I bounded out of bed and tore into my chores with a vengeance. I had to get them done as quickly as possible so I could be sitting in front of the TV set at precisely 12:00, tuned to Channel 36.

MRWonOpel-SMIt was May 9th and I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a glass of milk to keep me company as I waited impatiently for the-best-show-in-the-world (as far as I was concerned!) to start. Later that evening some of my friends would join me, but until then, I was happy to be by myself, so that nothing would disturb me as I soaked it all in.

I had no idea how lucky I was to be living in Atlanta, Georgia. Because of that quirk of fate, I was able to experience the magic from the very beginning, which had been March 14th, and I didn’t want it to ever stop.

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Across town, a young man who worked in the stock room at Lord & Taylor’s was also waiting for it to start. Bob Rector wanted to shoot film more than anything else in the world. Always had. He had heard about The Now Explosion and was interested because it was being produced in Atlanta, but he had never seen it. He had recently finished making a short 16mm film of his own called “Farewell Performance.” He had convinced family and friends to chip in ten to twenty bucks a piece so he could buy the film, get it developed and finished. His entire budget was about $250.00 to make his 15 minute epic. It had been shown on the local PBS station a few times, part of a support-your-local-filmmaker sort of thing. That was good enough for him. As far as he was concerned, he was ready for the big time now.

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They had been on the air for eight weeks, but nothing was routine. It was always flying by the seat of their pants, hoping that it would all come off once again, using equipment that was never designed for this type of non-stop, live, request-driven video programming.

Behind the stately columns of a dignified looking building on Briarcliff Road, a handful of people were running at a frenetic pace, getting ready to put twenty-six hours of music on the air. But not just any music, the best, the most popular, the Top 40 records. The songs we listened to over and over again like it was our job. But now, we didn’t just listen to it, we could watch the music. The music came to life!

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Making this “life” happen on the Saturday marathon were two technicians, one at the board and one ready to switch the 2″ video tapes of each song as they were requested; several kids manning the phones, ready for the requests to come in; and of course, you have to have DJs! To introduce the songs and keep us captivated while the tapes were being changed out were Atlanta’s two most popular disc jockeys from the #1 radio station: WQXI – “Quixie in Dixie!” Skinny Bobby Harper and Bob Todd were preparing to be tele-jockeys for the weekend. They were our VeeJays. The resident grown-ups, Bob Whitney and Genii Macaulay, were somehow holding all of the pieces together when the clock struck 12:00.

What made this weekend different? They didn’t know it, but lightning was getting ready to strike once again.

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As Bob Rector watched what was happening on his television set, something clicked. He wasn’t up dancing like us teenagers, he was studying it, thinking, visualizing. What he saw that weekend was fresh, modern, even ground-breaking, but it was also the catalyst for his fertile imagination. His twenty-two year old brain was percolating and by Sunday night he knew this was what he was going to do: The Now Explosion. But he was going to do it differently.

He promptly quit his job at Lord & Taylor’s. After all, he had better things to do with his time – he was going to make movies. He announced this fact to family and friends, who looked at him a little mystified, but he hardly noticed. There were things he had to get ready for the next step.

Thursday morning he tucked a 16mm copy of his 15 minute epic under his arm and walked confidently into the Channel 36 reception area and asked where the office of The Now Explosion producer was. The secretary, presuming by his manner that he had an appointment, told him the office was upstairs. Without hesitation he leapt up the stairs, barged into Genii Macaulay’s office and announced, “I want to shoot for The Now Explosion.”

Unfazed, Genii looked up from a desk stacked with papers, records, index cards and an ashtray. Her big, intense eyes glared at Rector and, as was typical, a cigarette dangled from her lips. “We don’t need anybody.”

“But I’ve got some great ideas.” She repeated, “We don’t need anybody.”  

“But I can do it better than those guys and I’ll work cheaper.” She sighed impatiently, “We don’t need anybody.”

“I’ll do it for free.”

“You’re hired.”

And with that, she pushed around the stack of 45 records and pulled one out, “This is the new Beatles song, see what you can do with it.” It was The Long and Winding Road. She went to a large closet where the film stock was kept and tossed him three rolls of film. Then her phone rang and she waved him out of the office. And he was off!

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Everybody always thought Bob was on drugs. He wasn’t. He was on film. Who needed drugs when you had film? The bug had bitten him very young and he had been infected with it ever since. After school he would study the craft of making movies in the FSU library not far from his home in Tallahassee. He would save his lawn-mowing money to buy precious rolls of 8mm film and make his kid brother Randy jump through hoops (figuratively and literally!) for the camera. He graduated to Super 8 a few years later when everybody thought his “hobby” should have been long gone. He had done whatever was necessary to learn how to make films and it never once occurred to him he wouldn’t eventually be successful at it.

All of that had been in preparation for this moment. He was incredibly excited, but to see him you wouldn’t have known it – because he was focused like a laser beam. There was no way he was going to blow this opportunity.

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That’s it for today! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it!

Part 2 of The Long Winding Road – For Real! will be posted next week, so stay tuned! That’s when you’ll hear how Bob Rector actually made the film, meet Alva Sanders of 1970 and more! I would love to hear from any and all of you, your thoughts, your feelings…

Marsha

 

Marsha Roberts

Author of Confessions of an Instinctively Mutinous Baby Boomer

http://www.mutinousbabyboomer.com/

Stepping Stones in the Fog

15 Mar

Once again, I’m very happy to be a part of Boomer Lit Friday! I hope you enjoy my next excerpt from

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From Chapter 32:

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I’m sitting in the fog.  Literally.  I’m on top of a mountain, completely socked-in with fog, writing at a picnic table.  And it’s raining.  Fortunately it’s a covered picnic table.

I don’t know when the rain will stop.  But I know it will.

I don’t know when the fog will lift.  But I know it will.

I don’t know when the sun will come out and the skies will be blue again.  But I know it will happen.

I can’t do a thing about any of these things.  The rain, the fog, the sunshine and the blue skies are all in God’s hands.  And so am I.

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Have you ever felt like that? I would love to hear your thoughts. My book is available as an ebook or in print from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords and others. Direct links are on the Mutinous Baby Boomer website:

http://www.mutinousbabyboomer.com/

Take a few minutes and hop on over to another Boomer Lit Author at:

http://boomerlitfriday.blogspot.com/

 CHEERS!

The Tiny Wizard Miracle – or is it? You decide!

31 Jan

Have you ever thought something so random that it occurred to you an angel might be whispering in your ear? Ever felt the hair stand up on the back of your neck and thought something special was about to happen? Did you wonder what it meant and try to listen or did you just brush it away?

Well, for me, I’ve been trying to figure out how to listen better. Whether it’s angels or what, I know we are given clues about the right path to take. When I’ve ignored those clues, I’ve always regretted it. But whenever I listen to them, better yet, acted on them, it’s always worked out for the best. And sometimes it’s worked out astonishingly well! In little ways and in big ones.

Case in point. This is a little one, mind you, but it reminded me in no uncertain terms to PAY ATTENTION!

Several months ago we moved to a house with lots more room, so I was able to get many things out of storage and in the process had the extremely fun experience of discovering treasures I hadn’t seen in years. For once I had the luxury of a little time in the move and I could sort through all the boxes to see which of my prized possessions would be a part of my life again, what would be thrown or given away and what would go back into a box for another time.

When that job was done I realized I was missing one cherished piece: a tiny 2″ tall pewter figurine of a wizard holding a small crystal in his left hand and a staff in his right. He had not been in storage over the years; for more than 25 years he had been on my mantle wherever we lived. He had been a gift and was symbolic of many things – I loved that little wizard. But now, after sorting through every single box, I had no idea where he was.

One morning about two months after the move, I was reading an inspirational book to get my mind focused on the day’s tasks. It was an early one by Wayne Dyer. I was at the end of the book and he was talking about how important a spirit of generosity is in finding your own spiritual path to manifesting your dreams and desires in life. It suddenly (randomly!) occurred to me I needed to write down the address of a woman I had recently been put in touch with. She is very active in helping the military, and I had a huge batch of letters I needed to send to her that I had collected for American troops stationed overseas. She had the contacts to get the letters in the hands of our soldiers.

OK, now pay attention (which is what I was being told to do!). This was something good I was supposed to do. I wasn’t thinking about it at all, but it was put on my mind while I was reading about “a spirit of generosity” and I didn’t think a thing about it at the time, except to find her email before it got buried in the mass of contacts I had recently made. I didn’t think about it having to do anything with what I had just read. I just acted when I felt the urge. I found the email and as I was printing out her address I thought I should go ahead and weigh the letters to see how much it was going to cost to ship them, so I could plan for the expense.

I had put the boxes on the shelf in my office closet. They were so heavy that I didn’t want to haul them into another room to weigh them on a table like I normally would. I just wanted to do the quickest, easiest thing and plop them in front of the closet. So I placed the scale on the floor and pulled a couple of big boxes down on top of the scale. The thing is, the boxes were so large that I couldn’t see the reading on the scale. I had to get down on the floor, with my face laying on the ground to see what the weight was. I turned my head to the side to get around the bulk of the boxes and what did I see on the floor behind the closet door? My beloved Wizard!

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He was in such an odd, hidden spot, I don’t think I would have ever have seen him if I hadn’t done this specific action, with my head on the ground, turned sideways – the action that some sort of instinct had lead me to.

I happily greeted him back into the fold, checked to see how much it was going to be to send 50 pounds of letters and went back to my reading, with my little Wizard now on my desk. I had finished that first book, but wanted to continue reading that morning, so I started a more recent book by Dyer, “The Power of Intention.” Right up front in Chapter 1 it says, quoting Carlos Castaneda, “Intent is a force that exists in the universe. When sorcerers (those who live of the Source) beckon intent, it comes to them and sets up the path for attainment, which means that sorcerers almost always accomplish what they set out to do.”

I was taken aback by the reference to the sorcerer when I had just found my Wizard! Clearly some sort of communication or connection was happening! Several pages later… “Activating intention means rejoining your Source and becoming a modern-day sorcerer. Being a sorcerer means attaining the level of awareness where previously inconceivable things are available.”

First off, thank you, once again, Wayne Dyer for sharing your incredible insight and wisdom with us. And secondly, OK, I’m really paying attention now! This was no coincidence. Call it angels whispering in my ear, call it the continuing but often unrecognized miracles that are happening all the time, all around us, but when I listened, acted on what I “heard” it was then confirmed to me that the whole process of PAYING ATTENTION is not only valid, but can change our lives if we let it!

To remind you, this blog is based on three premises:

– Angels are real.

– You can live as if everything is a miracle.

– And there is a good reason that “dog” is God spelled backwards.

I think I covered angels and miracles here, but what about dogs? Well, my ever curious shaggy-haired sort of a little black lab named Shadow, was on the floor with me, his nose on the ground, looking to see what in the world was Mom doing? Keeping me grounded to reality and that life is ever so much fun are always my dogs. Shadow is one of The Dogs I’ve Loved – the subject of my next blog.

May all those who read this be blessed with joy and the awareness of all the miraculous things happening around you every moment of every day!

Marsha

Marsha Roberts

Author of “Confessions of an Instinctively Mutinous Baby Boomer”

http://www.mutinousbabyboomer.com/

Angels, Miracles and Dogs: The Thanksgiving Dog

4 Dec

Now that the big Thanksgiving push is over and before everyone is totally focused on Christmas, I wanted to share a true story that’s full of improbabilities (that I call miracles!), coincidences (that I believe are staged by angels!) and, of course – dogs!

Matt&Amber7-27-07My son Matt and his incredible wife Amber are unquestionably “Dog People.” They have two rambunctiously adorable canines named Precious and Depaula and would love to have a third one if they could find the right fit with their eccentric crew. Well, Depaula isn’t terribly eccentric, but Precious defines the word!

I’ll never forget the first time I met Precious. Matt and Amber had just bought her a few days before and they were bringing their new Boxer puppy over to meet us and our two dogs, Smokey and Shadow. I have to say that had not been a huge fan of Boxers. I tend to like dog faces that are hound-shaped, not squished! (sorry to all of you Boxer and Bulldog fans, but that’s what it looks like to me…) But Precious is something else all together and changed my view of Boxers forever. The thing is, she is just so female! In spite of her muscular build and her tongue that’s so long she can hardly fit the whole thing in her mouth, PreciousTounge-ashe exudes femininity! She even bats her eyelashes and, as Amber imitates her, like she’s saying, “But, I’m PRECIOUS! I’m beautiful! You just have to love me!”

However, that first meeting with Smokey was a no-go, nothing doing, you are not winning me over encounter. Maybe it was because Smokey had originally been Matt’s dog who eventually became “The Family Dog” Smokey8-09-aand so he stayed put when Matt moved out – so perhaps there was a little jealousy there. Regardless, he was not impressed with Precious and she was devastated.

Smokey is a short-legged, floppy-eared German Shepherd-and-something-else mix and all male. Precious did everything except stand on her head to get Smokey to like her. She flirted and when that didn’t work, she humbled herself and batted those big eyes at Smokey. His answer was to plop down on the floor with a disgusted Harrumph! Finally, when it was completely clear she was not going to get an ounce of affection from Smokey, she sat up proudly with her back to him and stuck her bottom lip out and pouted like a five-year-old princess, glancing at Smokey occasionally as if to say, “How can you do this to me? I’m Precious!” It was hysterical to see this puppy with her bottom lip out, pouting!

And that just begins to describe how eccentric Precious is. You’d swear she sees ghosts, she’ll go after a flash of light on a wall as if it were a critter that must be destroyed and no matter who is in the room, she is the most dominating personality and always the most energetic! Depaula is her partner-in-crime. Being a Pit mix, he’s a little larger than Precious, but he’s a gentle soul who seems to have been born to keep her company and calm her excited spirit down a bit. They are big buds.Precious&Depaula-a

Understanding the nature of Precious and Depaula is important if you’re going to be able to visualize the events surrounding The Thanksgiving Dog.

It all started at about 4:00 am the Tuesday morning before Thanksgiving. Matt is a musician and a writer, so he’s always kept odd hours. He had just gotten up and was going to let the dogs out. They live in a quaint townhouse with a front stoop and small fenced-in yard. The gate is always closed.

When he opened the front door there was a surprise waiting for him on the stoop: a large, unfamiliar dog laying there, shivering from the cold. He had the body shape of a Pit Bull and the coloring of a Dalmatian – one of his black spots went around his left eye, giving him a distinctive look. No way Matt was going to leave a dog out in the cold, so he brought him into the warmth and got him food and water. The Dynamic Duo of Precious and Depaula seemed to recognize the plight of a fellow pooch and didn’t argue the point.

It wasn’t long before Amber was up and they decided to take him over to the vet so the Stoop Dog could get scanned for a microchip to try and find his family. He didn’t have on a collar, but was clean and groomed and appeared to be so very well cared for that they thought he would probably be chipped. He wasn’t. So they took him in.

The three dogs dominated the living room as they worked at getting to know each other that day, but Matt got a kick out of it and thought they might be able to keep the Stoop Dog if they couldn’t find his family. Later, when he let the three-some out into the front yard to do their business, the new dog suddenly got excited about something and jumped the fence. This isn’t an easy thing to do because of the height, but he was strong and made it appear effortless. Matt figured he just wanted to try and find his home, so he let him go.

Ten minutes later, the big guy was back on their stoop again! At that point it was clear they had been “chosen” by this dog for some reason and decided it was the right thing to put up fliers and try and find his family.

During the day, Matt wrote us about what was going on, telling us what a “sweet guy” the Stoop Dog was and that the three of them got along pretty well, considering his sudden arrival! But, after awhile, Matt said the new dog seemed to get sad, laying his head down on Matt’s leg, looking up at him like he was waiting for something. I’ll let Matt (from his email) tell the story from here:

So Amber came home a bit early from work and we decided to take him to the local shelter, even though we really didn’t want to leave him there. We just figured he’d have the best chance of finding his family at the local shelter. I mean, that’s where I would first go if we lost one of ours. Anyway, we get in the shelter (a really nice one, in our county) and tell them we found this dog, and the woman goes “Well look who it is. You two just made someone’s day. His owner was in here this morning crying her eyes out because she’d been looking for him all night.” Sure enough, she pulled out the pictures that the woman had left and it was the very same dog. They put us in contact with her, and when Amber called and told her we found her dog and kept him safe all day, she about lost her mind crying and thanking us. She left work right then and came to our house to get him. They were so happy to see each other. The dog (his name turned out to be Rico) just started wiggling and dog-dancing as soon as he saw her. She thanked us profusely…

Now Matt and Amber would no doubt tell the story differently, they experienced it themselves. But, witnessing this wonderful story unfold from a distance, it seemed very magical to me. As Matt told me, Rico specifically came to their house three different times, once when he found him on the stoop and twice when he saw something and jumped the fence. But he came back each time, as Matt said, “like he knew he had to be here for a reason or something.”

Matt isn’t one who believes in miracles and angels like his mom, but since I’ve decided to “live as if everything is a miracle,” this is my interpretation of the events. Rico’s instinct obviously told him to go to that house, sit on that stoop and that’s where he would find help. What is instinct? In my world it is either an angel whispering in your ear or miraculous forces making your next step abundantly clear. Either way, a miracle.

You could say that Matt and Amber taking Rico to that particular shelter was logical. Which is true. And you could say that Rico’s owner was doing the logical thing by bringing photos of the dog to that particular shelter to see if anyone had found him. And, that would also be true. But, when you add up the number of “coincidences” and place them side-by-side with all of the coinciding instincts to do the “logical” thing and mix them with the deep desire that everyone involved had to do the right thing, the loving thing – I think all of that energy is very powerful. I believe that kind of positive, full-of-love energy (from the people and the dogs!) brings into play an even more powerful force. I call it God, you may call it The Universe, but for me, it all results in a miracle.

Because that’s what a miracle is to me – love in action – in big ways and in small, everyday things. It’s all around us, all the time.

That’s it for The Thanksgiving Dog. Everyone was reunited just in time for Thanksgiving. And Precious and Depaula didn’t have to share their mom and dad for Thanksgiving, which I’m sure made The Boxer Princess happy as a clam.

And here’s to my son and his wife – Matt and Amber Matt&Amber8-10 fantastic, loving people doing the right thing at the right time. Miraculous!

Marsha

Marsha Roberts
Author of “Confessions of an Instinctively Mutinous Baby Boomer”
website: http://www.mutinousbabyboomer.com/

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