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Sleep and Dreams

I often find myself in nature in my dreams. — Painting of Shone Falls by Thomas Moran, which was discovered at the Twin Falls, Idaho, Library when I lived there in the mid-1980s This would be a nice place to dream about. –

          “I put a piece of paper under my pillow, and when I could not sleep I wrote in the dark.” – Henry David Thoreau

Morning Chat

          I went ice skating last night. That’s amazing because in reality I never could do it. I played tennis, I hiked, I even roller skated. But I could never stand up on a slim blade of steel on ice.

But when I awoke this morning, the image of myself skimming around a frozen pond on skates was still vividly in my mind. I don’t remember anything else about the dream except the feeling of competently gliding across the ice.

It was wonderful, and I didn’t want to let it go. But go it went as soon as I opened my eyes to see my canine companion Scamp staring into them as his way of demanding his morning walk.

Scamp sitting on my bed watching me as I write this blog. He seems to be asking if I’m writing about him. — Photo by Pat Bean

I don’t sleep well these days, often waking frequently to shift into a more comfortable position or go to the bathroom, or to try and scoot Scamp over to his side of the bed. I think at least the first two awakenings are simply a side effect of being 80 years old, as I hear similar complaints from other oldsters among my acquaintances.

When I was younger, I fell asleep almost as soon as my head hit the pillow, and I awoke rarely remembering my dreams. These days, some mornings arrive with me feeling I never truly slept. I don’t worry about it, however.

I once read that if you close your eyes and lay still it’s as good as sleep. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but since I usually wake refreshed, I suspect it might be. Or else I sleep more than I think.

I do know I dream more, or at least remember more, and seldom are my dreams anything but pleasant. When I do have a nightmare it usually involves me back once again as a reporter chasing a story and in danger of missing a deadline.

I usually wake myself up before that happens. Then I lay still so as not to wake Scamp, who is ready to go for a walk the second his eyes open – even if it’s 4:30 a.m., as it was this morning.

I took him for his walk, then crawled back in bed for a rare, solid three hours of sleep before waking to find myself skimming across the ice on those thin steel blades.

  Bean Pat: 1WriteWay https://1writeway.com/picking-up-after-others-makeamericabeautifulagain-leaveonlyfootprints/ This is a writer’s blog I follow, but she has a non-writing goal that tunes into my soul. Let’s all do it.

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

Smiles

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. – Leo Buscaglia

My canine companion Scamp — who is quite aptly named — makes me smile every day. I took this photo of him last night as he claimed the pillows I tossed off my bed before I crawled into it. He followed me onto the bed. Did I mention he is a bed hog? — Photo by Pat Bean

Morning Chat

As I was driving out of the library parking lot the other morning, a woman passed by with such a big smile on her face that I stopped the car, rolled down the window and told her she had a beautiful smile.

I often make art that makes me smile. What makes you smile?

She thanked me and indicated the load of books in her arms, and said it was because of the wonderful library we had.

Now I love this library, but it’s a small branch and not really grand at all. I suspected that this woman was one of those people who was always smiling. If so, she was a kindred spirit.

Back in the 1990s when I was a reporter covering Utah’s Hill Air Force Base, my newspaper’s publisher wanted a photo of me for a promo ad. One of the paper’s photographers took a dozen or more and gave them to the publisher to choose which to use.

The publisher rejected everyone, then called me into his office, and told me he wanted a picture of me looking serious and not smiling. So back I went for another photo session, in which I found it almost impossible not to smile.

I thought about this after reading a memoir in which the author said: Perhaps one day, I’ll be able to swagger into a room with a bad-ass attitude instead of a wide-mouthed smile.

An interesting idea, I thought, contemplating just such an action. And then I thought of how the smiling face of the woman at the library had cheered me. I could do with more smiling faces these days — and less bad-ass attitudes.

          Bean Pat: I just finished reading The Salt Path by Raynor Winn. I loved this book and highly recommend it. It’s a book about overcoming loss, facing reality and simply surviving and carrying on.

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

Just Do It

Art projects of one kind or another are always on my to-do list. Fortunately, I rarely use my dining room table for its designated purpose. So I’ve started keeping my watercolor materials easily available for when the just-do-it moment hits me. — Photo by Pat Bean

 

“If you feel like there’s something out there that you’re supposed to be doing, if you have a passion for it, then stop wishing and just do it.” — Wanda Sykes

Morning Chat

It is January 15, halfway through the resolution-breaking month of the year. I’m not sure I ever made it this far without breaking my New Year’s resolutions -– even if they were as simple as to blog every other day and to mark three things off my lengthy to-do list every day.

Swan — By Pat Bean

These were the only New Year’s resolutions I made this year, but I also adopted a theme to go along with them: Just do it!

The reason my to-do list has become so long. Yes, it is actually several pages. The reason is that whenever I think of something I want to do — like write a letter to a 10-year-old grandchild discussing the upcoming movie Dr. Doolittle Movie, telling him that the Doolittle books were some of my very favorites growing up — I add it to my to-do list. And then promptly forget it.

No more. When I think of such things from now on, time and circumstances permitting, I am going to simply do it. This Just-do-it theme even prompted me to make my bed this morning before I even left the bedroom. Some days I surprise even myself.

Now if you will excuse me, I have a letter to write.

Bean Pat: Colline’s blog https://collinesblog.com/2020/01/15/reading-goal-2020/ Check out her New Year’s goal.

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

Befuddled by a Cell Phone

It saddens me to think what all the wonders of Mother Nature some of my grandchildren are missing because when they are out in the car with me they have eyes for only their cell phones. — Photo by Pat Bean

          “True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing.” — Socrates

Morning Chat

          “You’re a grown woman Mom. You should know how to work your phone.”

No. One of my children didn’t say that to me. I read it somewhere and laughed – out loud.

I’ve never really liked talking on phones. I want to look a person in the eye and see the expressions on their face during a conversation. I only ever got my first cell phone when the bosses I worked for demanded I get one and they paid for it. I always thought of it as a leash, and often would forget to carry it with me when I left home on errands, a habit that is still with me.

There are man-made wonders out there, too. — Photo by Pat Bean

I continued to use an outdated flip phone long after the shiny new cell phones, with all their apps and capabilities, came out. My oldest son bought me my first smartphone after I had retired and was living on the road in an RV. He was worried about me being out there in the world all alone, well except for my canine companion, and the phone had a tracker on it so he always knew where I was.

I felt blessed for the concern, but a bit annoyed that such concern might mean he thought I was getting old and not able to take care of myself.

Although the phone my son bought me was top of the line, when I gave up the RVing life, I went back to a simple flip phone, partly because the dang phone had capabilities that I didn’t need, but mostly because the monthly bill for a simpler phone was less expensive.

When it died, my friend Jean, who had just bought a new phone, gave me her old phone, which I used until recently, when it died. It was time, I finally decided for “Mom” to get one of those dang smartphones and come into the 21st century. And so, I bought a Maven 3 on Amazon for $60.

It wasn’t the cheapest so I thought I had chosen well until I mentioned the cost to my son, who laughed and said he had spent $800 on his newest phone.

Yikes! I thought. Then I pointed out that everything he could do on his phone I could do on my computer. And it had a bigger screen that was easier on 80-year-old eyes.

I’ve had my new phone for five days now. It took me three of those days simply to learn how to answer the dang thing. When I finally figured it out, thanks to a Utube video, I concluded the phone might be smart but it certainly wasn’t logical.

When I mentioned my conclusion to a daughter-in-law, she laughed and pointed out that logical or not, it was smarter than me.

I concede the point.

Bean Pat: Story Circle Network blog https://onewomansday.wordpress.com/2020/01/13/january-13-you-can-teach-an-old-dog-new-tricks/ True words from real women.

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

As I trudge down the path of a new year, I will try to be respectful to everyone — OK, excluding nincompoops. — Photo by Pat Bean

          If we lose love and respect for each other, that is how we finally die.” – Maya Angelou

Morning Rant

          It was a Norman Rockwell painting depicting family that sent my blood pressure soaring yesterday. It wasn’t the painting itself, but the words posted beneath it by some nincompoop. “This is what the other side wants to destroy.”

I also hope to take the time to smell the flowers in the new year. — photo by Pat Bean

How rude, how ignorant, how disrespectful, how self-serving, I thought, I have friends and family on both sides. And no one whom I know wants to destroy families. To use an iconic dead artist whose work depicted the best of Americans in such a way disgusted me. And the idea that some people will buy into the nincompoop’s post frightens me.

Lately, I’ve been rereading Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar series. I’m listening to the books on audible at night in bed. I love her world of spirit Companion horses and their chosen Heralds, and the philosophy of Valdemar in that there is no one right way.

I think my brain needs this kind of world to escape to so I can sleep at night because while I love my country, I am horrified at how it is being torn apart by too many people thinking only they are right.

`        Meanwhile, I have been pondering a word to focus on in the New Year. Last year it was Kindness. Lackey’s books, and the nincompoop’s post, finally decided me. My word for the new year is Respect. And I will hold on to Kindness, too.

While these two words won’t solve problems, perhaps they will help people come together, so together they can find solutions. You know me. I’m still looking for that silver lining.

Bean Pat: I can’t resist a best books list. https://bluchickenninja.com/2020/01/11/favourite-books-2010s/

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, and is always searching for life’s silver lining

 

Standing up for Myself

The beauty of mother nature in all her forms can sometimes bring tears to my eyes. —  American bitter art by Pat Bean

          A strong person is not the one who doesn’t cry. A strong person is the one who cries and sheds tears for a moment, then gets up and fights again.”

An Aha Moment

          It was the late 1960s, and I was juggling a dysfunctional marriage, five children ranging in age from four to 13, and working as a green-behind-the-ears, naïve reporter. I cried a lot at home, always being the one blamed when things weren’t to someone’s liking. I simply cried and apologized.

I cried a lot at work, too, although I hid these tears in the paper’s darkroom, where I had begun my 37-year journalism career processing camera film. City editor Roberta Dansby — whom I eventually came to credit with teaching me almost everything I needed to know about being an ethical journalist — yelled at me daily for two years for anything she considered I had done wrong.

Not wanting to be yelled at, I seldom committed the same error twice and learned a lot. But I clearly remember the day Roberta yelled at me for something I knew for sure wasn’t my fault. Without blinking an eye, I shocked myself by standing up and yelling right back at her across the newsroom.

That was the last time Roberta yelled at me, although I was under her tutelage for another two years.

It took me longer and a lot more tears before I finally stood up for myself at home, but eventually, I did. And life became much sweeter, even my tears. I continue to shed them, but most, these days, are tears of joy: A new great-grandchild, a magnificent sunset, the flash of sun on a red-tailed hawk’s feathers and a glimmer of hope that someday the world will be kinder.

*This post was prompted by my writing circle prompt to write about an aha moment.

Bean Pat: A rambling blog about Christmas cookies https://kjottinger.com/2019/12/28/wherein-pooh-is-quoted/ that made me laugh. I love laughing.

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, and is always searching for life’s silver lining

Was the sky tinged with yellow when I painted this scene or did I only remember it this way? — Art by Pat Bean

 

          The function of memory is not only to preserve but also to throw away. If you remembered everything from your entire life, you would be sick.” – Umberto Eco

Morning Chat about Memory

          Discussions of past events with family members and long-time friends were once awkward for me because I often didn’t remember things happening the same way the story-tellers did.

As time passed, I began noticing I wasn’t alone in this respect. I often heard people, especially husbands and wives and siblings, interrupt conversations by saying: “That’s not the way things happened.”

It was especially true in my own family so full of strong personalities.

I eventually came to realize that each individual experiences life differently, and even though the stories differ, each person is telling the truth as they remember it.

A compliment given by one person to two people might be received as just that by one of them, and as a snide remark by the other. I use that as an example because I’ve long been a person who ends up with her foot in her mouth rarely knowing why.

Meanwhile, as a long-time journal keeper who has recently begun rereading her words from the past, I got a good comeuppance this morning when I was doing just that. My own memory of an incident I thought I remembered clearly didn’t jibe with what I had written of the event the day it happened. My memory had several specifics quite wrong.

The only thing I could do about it was to laugh at myself. And laughter always makes life a bit easier to digest.

Bean Pat: Avoiding traffic jams https://johawkthewriter.com/2020/01/07/avoiding-traffic-jams-and-connecting-with-the-fast-lane-daily-quote/#like-5959 Making use one’s time is a smart idea.

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, and is always searching for life’s silver lining.