Thoughts to Ponder

“The future our hearts have already have mapped for us
gains the energy and momentum to
break through the shell of fear and into our material lives.”
Martha Beck


Some of us are fortunate and know from the time we are small children what our goals are and spend our time and energy working toward those goals. Many of us, though, tend to wander through life not knowing what we want to be when we grow up, even into our 60s or even later. Some of us are told that our dreams are unreasonable and we should stick to what is before us; working hard at a job that we hate but pays the bills and raising another generation without dreams and ending our lives bitter and tired.

Most of us know that there is a seed of a dream within us. No matter what that dream is, we nurture it, sometimes in secret, sometimes sighing to our friends, “I wish I could . . . .” Obligations or naysayers may delay our dreams. Even so, the tiny seed remains, perhaps not growing, but still alive.

Then a day comes when we are free to let the seed grow. We take a class, try doing something new, or take a short trip. That was fun! We do it again and again and again, each time bigger and better. Each time we repeat the activity our seed grows a little more. One day it comes to full flower and our friends can see it in our eyes and our energy. They know we are changed. We aren’t the “old” us. We are “new and improved.” Our energy is higher. Our enthusiasm is contagious.

We have finally become who we really are.


Creator Spirit,
Thank you for planting a seed inside us that guides us to our real selves. Thank you for nurturing it while we face challenges and must keep the seed hidden. We are grateful when the day comes that we can let the seed grow and we finally become who we really are.
And so it is.

© by Sharon Dillon, October 25, 2014

Sharon D. Dillon, and Laugh your way to peace, love and joy at
Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists
Author of one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by Available in print and e-format at

Contents may be forwarded, but please give credit where credit is due and erase all email addresses on original message.


I must be a squirrel

Before those of you who know me fall down laughing – I admit it. I am also squirrelly. I say odd things at odd times and forget if I’m going forward or backward. I’m out of underwear. That’s okay, the laundry will wait until tomorrow. Having proved my credentials, on to proving my assertion.

I’ve decided I must be a squirrel because it is October and I’m acting like a squirrel. I’m throwing out old nesting materials and bringing in new. Each month local charities collect clothes and other items to sell in their resale stores. Many months go by with nary a donation. But in September, October and November their donation bags are overflowing, sometimes with extra bags and boxes alongside.

The past two winters I was not well and did not do my annual file exchange. Usually, I remove the ending year’s files into my “keep just in case I get audited” box. Then I shred documents more than three years old and recycle them. Since I had a work break recently that project is finished. The shreds filled six paper grocery bags.

Other evidence of my squirrel genes lies in my freezer and cupboard. Outdated food is out and new is in. This often involves something I avoid in warmer months – cooking.

A few weeks ago my daughter gave me a bag of yams, I think. I never could tell yams from sweet potatoes. These had reddish skin with yellowish-greenish insides. During the first week I baked three. Even though the color was yucky, they were yummy with butter and salt and pepper.

Realizing I’d never eat them all before they turned to mush with a rash of white spots, I decided to bake them all at once. I piled them all on a baking sheet and stuck them in the oven. After they baked and cooled I peeled and mashed them without toppings. They filled four 2.5 cup freezer containers.

A couple weeks ago the same daughter suggested we stop at the grocery after my doctor had just given me caffeine, alcohol and driving restrictions for my vertigo. I walked into the grocery store holding on to my daughter’s arm looking like she had just rescued me from the local watering hole. Spying the fall veggies I had a brilliant idea. I’d make my first winter pot of root soup.

My daughter agreed. Why? If I could barely walk alone, why would she trust me with sharp objects? Thinking somewhat sanely I bought the smallest rutabaga and turnips I could find. I staggered my way out of the store feeling proud of purchasing good, healthy food. I’ll not mention the frozen fruit bars that were also in the bags.

Once home, sanity prevailed and I let the veggies sit in the refrigerator until I could walk without holding on to the walls and even walk the ¼ mile round trip to my mailbox.

Two days ago, I decided I could handle a knife safely and began chopping vegetables. Potatoes, carrots, celery, onions all went smoothly. I peeled the rutabaga and turnips with no more trouble than any other year. Chopping now, that’s another story.

I started with the same knife I had been using for the other vegetables. It went in just far enough to get stuck. After I tried wiggling the knife and cursing, the rutabaga finally released the knife. Solution – get a larger chopping knife. Oops, same results. Trying to release it was more scary knowing what this knife would do to my fingers and other body parts if it slipped. Finally, the rutabaga took pity on me and released that knife too.

What to do? I went to my arsenal, er, cutlery drawer and pulled out the heaviest weapon. “Okay, rutabaga, you are only three inches wide and this blade is eight inches long. It is time for you to surrender.” I gently placed the middle of the blade on the rutabaga, one palm on the back of the blade’s pointed end and the other on the handle. Using my substantial body weight, I pressed down. “Take that, rutabaga!”

Soon it and the turnips joined the other vegetables in the pot. I filled the pot with water and all sorts of seasonings and set it on my largest burner. Soon I had delicious soup that warmed my insides. I ate a good size bowl that day and the next. Then I filled four more freezer containers and added them to the yam stockpile.

If this doesn’t prove that I’m a squirrel, let me add one more fact. I eat nuts every day and peanut butter several times a week.

© by Sharon Dillon, October 17, 2014

Thoughts to Ponder

“I am not what has happened to me. I am what I choose to become.”

Carl Jung


Sometimes life can be rough, or even down-right mean. That doesn’t mean we have to reflect those events in our daily life. Seemingly, that is the easy road to travel. This thing has happened to me, so I can never smile/love/trust again. All, or most, of us start down that road when something horrible happens to us.

Luckily, we realize sooner or later that we don’t have to travel that bumpy, pot-hole filled road. We can decide whether we want to keep blowing out our tires or whether we’d rather drive on a road that is smooth with beautiful scenery on both sides. The change is usually slow because we tend to slip off the highway and back onto the bumpy road. Then we have to decide if we want to stay there or focus on getting back on the highway again.

Let me give you an example. Back in the late 1970s I worked in Unemployment Compensation. One day I was assigned to the in-take desk. An angry young man came to apply for benefits. We went through the usual format: name, address, etc., then we arrived at the big question: What are your job skills?

“I know how to kill people.”

Where did you last work. What was your job specialty?

“Artillery The Army didn’t teach me any job skills. They taught me how to kill people.”

So you learned mechanics and physics to figure out your trajectory.

“No, I learned to kill people.”

And so the conversation went for a few minutes. Finally, I wrote on his form, “U.S. Army Artillery, mechanics and math.”

I never saw him again. But even after all these years I think of him often and hope that he was one of the lucky ones who found their way back to “normal” after a horrendous experience. Normal is probably the wrong word to use here. Often normal means beaten up by life and holding on to sanity by a shoestring.

After years of grasping the shoestring, now I try to be grateful for all that happens to me and my loved ones. Sometimes it takes a little while to get back on the gratitude highway, often straddling the two roads for a time, but eventually I get there. I’ve learned that I can change nothing if I’m stuck in a rut. I have to get back to the highway if I want to make changes in my life or help someone else.

Today Martha Beck wrote in her message that it is time to change from paranoia to pronoia, or thinking that all is fine, no matter what life is throwing our way..


Creator Spirit,

Thank you for the people who bring sage advice that can make our road a smoother ride. Thank you for giving us the ability to think through all the advice we receive and decide which path will lead us the to the gratitude road. Thank you for giving us the options to travel the bumpy or the smooth road. Thank you that we are alive today, no matter what pot-holes we are facing. Thank you for hope.

And so it is.

© by Sharon Dillon, October 13, 2014

Sharon D. Dillon, and Laugh your way to peace, love and joy at

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists

Author of one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by Available in print and e-format at

Contents may be forwarded, but please give credit where credit is due and erase all email addresses on original message.