Saturday, April 14, 2018

Never Ending Winter in South Dakota

It is the middle of April, typically we would be enjoying semi warm spring days. We would
have enjoyed some outdoor bike rides, walks/runs by now. Instead we are getting yet another
blizzard. This is the winter that won’t go away. This morning I read a post my niece
Katie shared. I cried. Katie was asking for prayers for farmers and ranchers in
South Dakota as they continue the spring calving/lambing season. One farmer
posted they were giving up, it was simply too dangerous to continue looking for new
born calves in the blizzard conditions. Most of these farmers care deeply about the
animals they raise, yes, it is their source of revenue, but there is a real connection
with nature when you are a cattleman/woman.

I was reminded of a particularly difficult winter when I was a young girl. I remember
my dad bundling up to walk to our “Other Place”, another acreage my parents owned
that was 5 miles away by road. As Mom wrapped a scarf around his face to protect
from the stinging wind we all watched, wondering what he would find. I remembered
being worried, but really unsure of the danger of what he was about encounter. Likely
we played a board game to keep our minds off of our dad being out there. I don’t recall
if we had electricity, but probably did not. When we received a phone call from the
Anderson’s we knew he made it there. He and Joe would go to help other neighbors
with their cattle. Several farmers lost countless stock cows and calves when the storm
was finally over.

Several things come to mind with this event. One the selfless act of helping each other
in a time of difficulty, even when it was personally life threatening. The sense of neighbor
helping neighbor was stronger than personal comfort and safety. And of course the love
and of stewardship for the animals. The entire community was saddened by the loss these
farmers felt for their herds. It was never easy.
As we wrap up the never ending winter of 2018, say a prayer for these families. The
work they do is hard, they feed us and help keep us clothed. They should be appreciated.
They are looking forward to the sunshine and joy will warmer temperatures bring them,
this year more than ever.

Wishing you safety and sunshine!

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Q1 Done

Today marks the end of the first quarter of 2018. Remember on January 1st and
through the first week of January how you planned your strategy to navigate through
2018. You had goals and dreams. Today as we close out the first quarter of the year
let’s reflect on how you have done.

Did you stick to the goals you set? Did are you disappointed in the results? Does
it really matter? The time is gone, we can’t go back to change it, to achieve our
goals of days past. But you know what you can do, you can move forward. You
can set new goals if that is what you makes you happy. Or maybe today you reflect
on the changes you did make, the days that delighted you, the memories you made,
the lives you touched and those that touched you.
Let’s wrap up the first quarter embracing life as it is. Let’s look back with fondness,
but no regrets. As I often say, “It is what it is” Time to move on. What does quarter 2
look like for you. Take a minute to think about what it will take to have a good quarter
this quarter. How will you feel on June 30th. Sit for a minute and quietly think about
your future. What do you want to change, what CAN you change, what can you
spend 15 minutes a day on that will get you to that goal?

Today, on this last day of the first quarter and on this Easter weekend,
I wish you peace!

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Where the weather is warm....

You wake up in another state, another season, realizing all of the things that happen
in your world happen in this world too. The young girls dancing their way down the
hotel hallway, enough makeup on to ensure each feature of their beautiful little faces
can be seen from 100 feet away, ready for their day of competition in cheer-leading.
Side note: This is a sport that did not even exist when you were that age. The workout
room at the hotel with a sparse few that will get their workout in early before the busy day.
The coffee smells wonderful, the sky is blue and the sun will shine brightly today. The
golfers head out early for a day on the links, hoping for that elusive hole in one.
The weary Moms and Dads in Orlando to spend thousands on the theme parks,
hoping the memories will stick for a lifetime.
My room overlooks the pool where the cleaning crew is out early prepping the area
for the day, they have the job of making sure everything balances perfectly.
Conference attendees scramble to their meeting rooms, coffee in hand.
Other than the weather change, this is pretty much the same as Minnesota, the
hustle and bustle of the week continues into the weekend, focus shifts on a
Saturday morning. It’s a different pace.

It’s Saturday and no matter where you laid your head last night, I wish you a
peaceful day!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Spring...Is Springing

The crack of a bat at training camp, the Final Four, the white shoes of Easter Sunday,
all signs that the winter is almost over.

Suddenly it is the middle of March, soon the trees will bud and we will have forgotten
about the days that the wind stung our face as we walked outside.

What do you look forward to this spring? I can’t wait to hear the birds chirps, I am excited
to get my bike out to pedal for an afternoon, the morning runs and eating at the sidewalk
restaurants. Of course I look forward to the summer months that follow, but there is a special renewal
every spring, just like when January 1st rolls around, in the north you look forward to spring
with the same excitement, a chance to start anew.

This week the calendar will say it is spring, the temperature might not reflect it but we are
just a little bit closer to that time of renewal. During this time I wish you Peace!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Welcome to the World Baby Girl

Last night our family welcomed a new baby girl to the world. Our niece Sara and her
husband Travis had their first child. She is a beautiful little girl.
In 2018 one has to wonder what this child might see in her lifetime. As she grows into
a young lady will see she the possibilities of the lifetime ahead, will she be a dreamer,
setting goals and striving for peace and love like her sweet mother? Will she have a
love of the outdoors like her daddy? Will she be a list maker? Riding a Harley?
It is exciting to think about what lies ahead for this young lady, one would hope that
all things are equal for women, love is the way of the world and peace rules everywhere.
These are the things I wish for this baby and every baby born in these days. When they
are 50 years old in 2068, I hope they can look back at the trying times, grateful for the
changes that the current generation has changed.

Sara and Travis’s baby girl, I wish you peace.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Our Day of Infamy

March 11th is our day of infamy, the day my Dad took his last breath. On that Sunday
morning our family watched CBS Sunday morning together, after the final scene we
put on some music in the hospital room and within an hour Dad passed away. It was as all
deaths are, bittersweet. He was no longer in pain but we had lost our rock. The one who
was always there was not.

It’s a safe bet that we won’t stop remembering that Sunday morning as the day we let go.
Now we feel him and share the stories with our grand-kids. The love for him never fades.

On this Sunday morning, I did what I usually do, watched CBS Sunday morning, enjoyed
my coffee and remember my Dad. This Sunday morning, 11 years later, I shed a tear for
him as the last trumpet sounded on the show. I miss him. Everyday.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

The Drinking Fountain

Yesterday I found myself at the gym in the morning, part of my goal to get to the
gym everyday this month, I am trying to establish a habit. As I finished my first
set of exercises I walked over to the water fountain to grab a drink. A beautiful
African American woman had just taken a drink. My first thought was, she is
stunning, second I wished for her muscular arms. Then my mind went to a time
when her and I could not drink out of the same fountain. It is difficult to fathom
that until just over 50 years ago segregation was ended, before that this woman
would have had to drink from a fountain labeled Colored.

How is this even possible that someone who is made up of the same basic structure
was forced to be thought of as a second class citizen? The very thought that a race
would think they are better, and often hide behind Christianity to protect themselves.
If you are of the belief that we are all children of God, shouldn’t we be loving,
respectful and kind to ALL others.

Today, choose kindness. Today, choose love. Today, I wish you peace.