Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘Love

True Love

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First, let me report that Delilah is no longer emitting as many outbursts of shrill vocalizations of pain as a couple of days ago. Maybe the meds are taking the edge off. However, things are still definitely amiss. We are seeing behaviors that are obvious indications that she is incredibly uncomfortable.

Between moments of normalcy, she is suddenly out of control in reaction to something that even she doesn’t seem to understand. Her behaviors give me the impression she wants to crawl out of her skin. I think, …allergic reaction.  To her meds? Then, she focuses on licking at her groin, which isn’t easy because she still looks like it is hard to move, …like her back is still a problem.

We wondered about maybe a kidney stone?

Of course, it was Sunday, so we have waited until today for our next consultation with the vet. Delilah is managing incredibly well for extended periods of time between her bouts of discomfort, so we decided it wasn’t an emergency situation. We also recorded a video of her weird behavior to show the veterinarian.

Life around the house is relatively normal, with just an odd fraction of the impression that things are not alright. I think Pequenita is aware, but unsure how to respond.

She gave us a good laugh last night while we were laying on our bed. Cyndie always talks about how ‘Nita is totally in love with me, but doesn’t think that much of her. As she often does, Pequenita was laying across my extended legs when Cyndie slid over to lay next to me with her leg across mine.

Pequenita didn’t move a muscle, other than to make sure Cyndie wasn’t touching her.

We started laughing about it after Cyndie pointed out the scene to me, and suddenly our cat turned and gave me a look.

At first, I wondered aloud why she was looking at me. It was Cyndie who was horning in on her love.

Then, in an instant, Cyndie and I came to the same conclusion.

That look seemed to be saying, “Are you going to do something about this intrusion on our space?”

‘Nita didn’t look happy with our outburst of laughing to tears.

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Written by johnwhays

October 2, 2017 at 6:00 am

Embattled Planet

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I do my best to send love out into our world, but lately it feels a little short, in terms of effectiveness.

We had a lovely time out to dinner with family in downtown Minneapolis last night to honor Julian’s birthday. I’ll give a happy shout out to Randle’s restaurant on the Nicollet Mall. Nothing pretentious about a straightforward menu and lots of sports on tv screens covering the perimeter walls.

This is the view I had coming home, and this is about as clear as it looked to my weary eyes:

During the long drive home, I was basking in the afterglow of the wonderful time we had, while also contemplating the attention grabbing headlines of catastrophic weather and geographic cataclysms. With hurricane Maria wreaking havoc in the Caribbean and the severe earthquake that occurred in Mexico, previous travails get overshadowed, yet are no less deserving of continued support.

From the challenges of renters forced to continue paying rent for unlivable properties in Houston and Florida in the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, to the cholera outbreak in Yemen during their civil war, and the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya muslims in Myanmar, as well as everyday ongoing poverty and homelessness, there seems to be no end to the struggles around our globe.

I get to sleep in a comfortable bed, with a safe roof over my head, blessed with spectacular late-summer weather seeping in through an open window.

I don’t deserve to have it so good, and it makes it hard to fully immerse my mind in the blissfulness when others suffer so.

Sending love to all the aforementioned, as well as to all others with needs, known and unknown.

Would that it be that each loving intent we project out into the world would have influence enough to make some measure of difference, no matter what challenges others are facing.

Put more simply, I hope it helps.

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Written by johnwhays

September 21, 2017 at 6:00 am

Let’s See

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Let’s see that again. One of the conveniences of keeping a daily journal in the form of a blog is the ability to easily review what has come before. Last night I reviewed my posts for September 19th going back 8 years. I tend to pull out the same few pictures for the occasion every year.

Happy Anniversary, Cyndie!

As well, today we celebrate the birth of our son, Julian! HAPPY BIRTHDAY my son! You are truly a pride and joy for us to behold. May you have a special day and fabulous year ahead.

Remember these?

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September 19th is a very special occasion for us. Huzzah!

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Written by johnwhays

September 19, 2017 at 6:00 am

Can’t Help

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Despite a near-lifetime of harassing Cyndie for her penchant to state the obvious, I can’t help myself from occasionally doing the same thing. Isn’t that the way it goes? All too often, it is the very reason we nag about behaviors of others. We’re unconsciously revealing issues of our own.

But that’s beside the point.

For some reason, I can’t hold back today from gushing over how gloriously gorgeous the weather was for us yesterday. Obviously, all things being relative, it came across as more over-the-top than ever by comparison to the previous few days of: higher than normal dew point temperatures, unseasonably warm air temperatures, and at the end of Saturday, some heavy rain showers.

Yesterday was beautifully sunny, the air was freshly scrubbed, and the temperature was comfort, perfected. The icing on that cake was the continuing colorization of the turning leaves that amps up the brilliance of a September day.

A day like yesterday is exactly why Cyndie and I picked this month to be married. In fact, it will be 36 years ago tomorrow.

I recall from back then, not being able to help myself from wanting to spend the rest of my life with her –despite all the things about myself that she would reflect over the years, for my ultimate edification.

Much to my good fortune.

I am such a lucky guy. …Oh, there I go, stating the obvious, again.

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Written by johnwhays

September 18, 2017 at 6:00 am

The Celebration

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It is tricky to keep a surprise from someone who is the center of planning family events, but to my utter amazement, Cyndie’s family pulled off a gala celebration last night without Marie knowing about it. I gotta say, that is a load off a lot of people’s minds. Especially to those of us not prone to telling lies. For months.

Cyndie’s parents were supposedly going out to dinner with three other couples, but were going to stop by the McNamara Alumni Center at the University of Minnesota to see a new display honoring one of the friends. Cyndie and her brothers, and brother-in-law Carlos had decorated the place for a world-class event.

Spread across three rooms, there was space to stand and chat, sit and eat, or dance to live music. Even if Marie had an inkling of something afoot, she had no clue how many friends she was going to be honored by this night.

That’s the kind of thing that brings sweet emotional tears of joy.

After that –and a lot of greetings and brief program to recognize 80 years– comes the dancing.

Till the night is no longer young.

If I can be so bold as to speak for Marie, I’ll say, it was a very happy birthday.

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Written by johnwhays

September 16, 2017 at 8:21 am

Looking, Listening

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The morning light coming over the eastern horizon bathes our property with such picturesque hues. Yesterday, Cyndie captured how the smooth, freshly mowed hay-field looked as she and Delilah made their way around to open the chicken coop and tend to the horses.

Was it a coincidence that while I was processing this image, John Hartford’s “Gentle On My Mind” was playing and took over my brain with its lyrics?

“…in back roads by the rivers of my memory
Keeps you ever gentle on my mind.”

Maybe. Maybe not.

That’s the kind of song I wish I had written.

I’m probably in this mindset after reading Rickie Lee Jones’ tribute to Walter Becker on RollingStone.com. Just put me deeper in songwriting envy, revisiting the Steely Dan catalog and some of Rickie Lee’s best.

“done up in blue print blue. It sure looks good on you…”

She writes, in answer to her query about the “blue” meaning, that Walter told her he didn’t know; just felt like writing it.

I understand exactly.

Rickie Lee’s big breakout self-titled debut album was released when I was working full-time in a record store. Her phrasing and lyrical story telling captured me immediately.

“you never know when you’re makin’ a memory…”

My memories are flowing over the rolling hill of the hay-field toward the rising sun that is sculpting the popcorn clouds hanging low under the high blue sky. I am thinking of lives and loves who have come and gone with whispers and kisses, dipping toes in unknown oceans of improbable possibilities that did or didn’t actually play out, but undoubtedly shaped everything that has happened since.

Luckily, love grows, unbounded by physical limitations, and it continues to pave the rivers of my memories.

Ever gentle on my mind, indeed.

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Emotional Health

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It should come as no surprise that I am a person who sees love as the magic ingredient of our lives. Love is the simplest solution to every problem. Then why isn’t everything rainbows and unicorns? Well, just because we know something works, doesn’t automatically guarantee we will put it into healthy practice.

Why do people smoke when they know the physical consequences? Why do we make poor food choices or over-indulge in mind altering substances? Why do we stay up too late? Why do we sabotage our own intentions to become our best selves?

Nobody said it was easy. I do say it is simple, but that’s not the same thing.

There is one critical ingredient to the art of loving ourselves to the fullest, which enables us to then successfully wield love as the key method of reaching a healthy solution… with other people, with situations, business transactions, relationships, governments, and ultimately between nations of our world.

It is emotional health.

I have recently come upon a couple of articles I’d like to share that nicely frame key aspects of emotional well-being. They express opinions in common with my perspectives about emotional health and love.

The first, by John White, describes emotional intelligence as a skill that can be learned and developed.

“Some of the most admired people in the world have gotten to where they are due to their emotional intelligence.”

The second, is a three-question interview in September’s National Geographic magazine with U.S. former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, where he advocates for emotional well-being.

“I think of emotional well-being as a resource within each of us that allows us to do more and to perform better. That doesn’t mean just the absence of mental illness. It’s the presence of positive emotions that allows us to be resilient in the face of adversity.”

White describes emotional intelligence as having five components: Self Awareness, Self-Regulation, Motivation, Empathy, and Social Skills, and then suggests skills a person can practice to enhance them.

Murthy says we can cultivate emotional well-being with simple tools like, sleep, physical activity, contemplative practices, and social interaction. In his third answer, his words fully resonated for me with his belief that there are two emotions that drive our decisions: love and fear.

I agree.

I hope you will follow the links of the images to read the full (brief) contents of their messages for yourself.

At Wintervale Ranch, we are all about the love, and Cyndie and Dunia offer several workshops that provide wonderful information and guidance about emotional intelligence.

Bolster emotional intelligence and unleash the power of love. The world will be a better place, and the people a happier human race.

That’s my sermon for today. Get out there and share the love!

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