CONVERSATION WITH…Swiss Cheese…A Spiritual Leader in Older Age

Traveling Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, I arrived at a place where all residents gathered for an uplifting, spiritual experience. The building didn’t resemble a church, synagogue, mosque or any other house of prayer. It was just a giant hunk of Swiss cheese. A slender, aging, slightly moldy slice of Swiss cheese approached. I said:

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I might be wrong, but, are you the spiritual leader here?

SWISS CHEESE: I am. How can I be of assistance?

Well, I’m here, Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, trying to figure out where I belong in the world as I grow older. I’m searching for my spark.

SWISS CHEESE: Welcome, my friend. I hope you will find it here.

Thank you, but how might that be possible? You’re a piece of Swiss cheese.

SWISS CHEESE: My dear, as I age, it is not my physical form or what I look like that matters. It is what I stand for that counts. That is all.

I’m not sure I’m understanding you.

SWISS CHEESE:  Let me explain. As a spiritual leader in this land, I encompass all religions, races, ages, ethnic backgrounds, cultures and traditions. My holes remind us all of the holes we’ve had in our lives that we have yet to fill.

Ah. Okay. I think I’m beginning to see where you’re coming from. You mean, your holes represent regrets from our pasts. Relationships we’d like to change. Adventures we’d still like to have. Parts of our emotional selves we’d like to nurture so we can continue to grow.

SWISS CHEESE: That is right. Sometimes in our busy lives, we don’t take the time to think of these things. My Swiss Cheese House of Spirituality gives us a moment to stop, breathe, look back on where we’ve been, determine what’s missing, and look forward to what might be ahead.

I appreciate what you’re saying. My only problem is I don’t live Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road permanently. There isn’t a Swiss Cheese House of Spirituality in my neighborhood. How can I translate what you’re saying to my everyday life?

SWISS CHEESE: Others have asked the same question. Here is my answer. Each time you order a sandwich in a Deli, you’ll be reminded of me. Remember what I stand for.

You know, for a slice of Swiss cheese, you’re exceptionally wise.

SWISS CHEESE: Many have told me that. You know, I would love to spend more time exchanging thoughts, but it is time for our weekly service. I hope you will join us.

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With that, the slice of Swiss cheese entered the Swiss Cheese House of Spirituality. Many others I’d met Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road followed. Entering the giant hunk of Swiss cheese, I noticed an older tree, a shower cap, a sponge, the Wicked Witch of the West Coast, a dandelion, a vampire, a bird, the Old Woman Who Lives in a Shoe, a wrinkled water bottle…and so many others. It didn’t matter where they all came from. It only mattered where they hoped to go.

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Is there a hole you’d still like to fill in your life?

 

CONVERSATION WITH…A Sunshine Blogging Award

Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, a blogging award started following me. I wondered what it wanted.

blogger_award

Excuse me, Sunshine Blogging Award, can I help you?

BLOG AWARD: Actually, I can help YOU. RudyMariee from the blog: http://www.visionsandgiggles.com/  has nominated you for the Sunshine Blogger Award.

Omg! That’s so flattering and such an honor!  Especially coming from RudyMariee. She’s an amazing writer. Every one of her posts is so genuine. She writes from her heart, is funny, and I always relate to the way she looks at life and her family. So, I’ll take the award.

BLOG AWARD: Hold your horses. You haven’t won yet. First you have to do a few things.

Like what?

BLOG AWARD: Start by linking your blog back to http://www.visionsandgiggles.com Actually, I just did that for you.

Thanks. Now I’ll take my award.

BLOG AWARD: Nope. Now you need to answer eleven questions about yourself that RudyMariee created below.

Okay, here I go.  Here are the answers to RudyMariee’s questions:

  1. Where do you see yourself in five years?

In five years, I hope to reside permanently Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road.

  1. If you could change one thing about the current world, what would it be?

Revise gun control laws in the United States.

  1. Why did you start blogging?

Throughout my career, I’ve been a writer. I’ve always compromised with those who have hired me in order to “get the job done.” My blog is just my own writing voice. No revisions. No rewrites. For better or for worse.  🙂

  1. What advice would you give to new bloggers?

Follow your heart. You’ll reach those who will “get you” and they will follow you.

  1. What is the most interesting or most unusual thing about you?

I wrote for Sesame Street for twenty years, so I spent a lot of time with the Cookie Monster and the Snuffleupagus.

  1. What would be your idea of a perfect day?

Being left alone. I’m really a cat disguised as human.

  1. What are you most passionate about?

My family, writing, eating.

  1. What are you planning to do differently in 2018 in regards to your blog?

In April, I have a book coming out which is based on my blog. It’s called, “Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road.” It has a story that I might incorporate into my posts.

  1. Have you found anything particularly difficult about your blogging journey?

Making enough time to read all the amazing blogs I follow.

  1. What kind of books do you enjoy reading?

Biographies and autobiographies about artists.

  1. If you could be anyone for 24 hours, who would it be?

        Albert Brooks. He makes me laugh the hardest.

BLOG AWARD: Nice job.

Fine. I’ll take my award now.

BLOG AWARD:  Nope. Now you have to nominate eleven new bloggers.

Are you kidding me? That’s almost impossible. I read so many different kinds of blogs written by so many different, talented people. I cherish the exchanges I have with each and every one of them. How can I possibly choose eleven?

BLOG AWARD:  Just do it, or you won’t get your award.

Okay, how about this? I read blogs written by people who express themselves through words, art, photographs, humor, food, poetry, fashion, spirituality, health and pets. I’ll nominate one or two bloggers from each category, and they’ll represent all the awesome blogs I read on all those topics.

BLOG AWARD:  Works for me.

So, to represent all the blogs I follow, I nominate these eleven talented bloggers for the Sunshine Blogging Award. They help look at the world differently every day:

https://www.shallowreflections.com/

https://3cstyle.com/2018/01/21/the-nature-of-change-and-the-nature-of-fashion/

https://deepasthoughts.wordpress.com/

https://grapegravy.com/2018/02/01/spicy-green-salsa/

https://sevencatsandcounting.wordpress.com/author/sevencatsandcounting/

https://claudiamcgillart.wordpress.com/2018/02/15/scrutinized-people/

https://roseelaineblog.com/2018/02/15/five-little-angels-10/

https://rabbitpatchdiary.com/

https://muddlingthroughmymiddleage.com/

https://mainepaperpusher.wordpress.com/2018/02/02/guest-in-jest-30-over-the-hill-on-the-yellow-brick-road/

https://soulgifts.com.au/author/soulgifts2012/

Now can I have my award?

BLOG AWARD:   Nope.  One more thing.  Write eleven new questions your blogger nominees must answer.  HERE ARE THE RULES: To be winners, your nominees will:

Thank you and link back to your blog.

Answer eleven new questions you will ask them below.

Nominate eleven new bloggers and write them eleven new questions.

List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Logo.

Okay. Here are the eleven new questions for my blogger nominees:

  1. From where do you draw inspiration for your blog?
  2. What’s the title of your favorite post and why do you like it best?
  3. If you could have a second home anywhere in the world or universe, where would it be?
  4. What’s your favorite childhood memory?
  5. Who is your favorite fairy tale character?
  6. What’s your favorite food?
  7. If you could be a flower or a tree, what kind would you be?
  8. Where do you go if you want to have a quiet, spiritual moment?
  9. If you could live one part of your life over again, what part would it be?
  10. Who is your favorite artist?
  11. What’s an adventure in your life you’d still like to have?

NOW? Now can I please have my award?

BLOG AWARD:  It’s yours.

Yaaay! Finally!  And, thanks again to RudyMariee  at:  http://www.visionsandgiggles.com/

I’m exhausted!  🙂

 

 

 

 

CONVERSATION WITH…The Old Woman in the Shoe…Holding Onto Her Sensuality

Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, around Valentine’s Day, I started thinking about ways I might continue to rekindle my sensual feelings as I grow older. I decided to discuss it with The Old Woman Who Lives in a Shoe, from the Nursery Rhyme. She had so many kids she didn’t know what to do. I figured she might have a lot to say on the subject. I’d met her once before, and at that time she mentioned she was an empty nester. So when I stopped by her shoe to chat a second time, we got right into our conversation…

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So, Woman in the Shoe, I’ll be frank. After giving birth to 3,103 children with your various husbands and partners, I imagine you’ve had an incredible variety of intimate and romantic experiences.

WOMAN IN SHOE:  To say the least.

But now that all your kids are adults and you’re growing older, what’s happened to your sensuality?

WOMAN IN SHOE:  It’s still there.

But is it harder to find that part of yourself?

WOMAN IN SHOE:  No, because I’m bringing it out in a different way. I’m drawing on my repressed teenage years.

What do you mean?

WOMAN IN SHOE:  Well, back when I was a teenager, my parents were ridiculously strict when it came to boys and dating.

How?

WOMAN IN SHOE: When I was fifteen, I was over-the-top excited because a boy asked me on a date.

I remember how that felt! 

WOMAN IN SHOE: But my batshit crazy parents wouldn’t let me go. They said I couldn’t date until I was less “boy crazy.”

Are you serious?

WOMAN IN SHOE:  It gets worse. When I was seventeen and finally had a boyfriend, my parents made it clear if I went to the park with a boy, I’d get pregnant. Pregnancy was also very likely if I went to the mall with a boy,  a restaurant, hiking, the library, a football game, or bowling.  In fact, if I looked at a boy, there was a good chance I’d conceive.

I’m speechless.

WOMAN IN SHOE: So then! When I turned eighteen and escaped from my parent’s loony bin, I went to town! I went anywhere and everywhere with boys from all over the world. Any kind of romantic or intimate moment you can imagine, I had. For years and years and years.

So that’s how you ended up with all those kids.

WOMAN IN SHOE: Exactly.

Okay, but how about NOW? Your kids are adults and you’re getting older. How do you rekindle those sensual moments at this point in your life?

WOMAN IN SHOE: I’m still filling  in the gaps after living in my parent’s prison. When I was a teenager, my parents didn’t allow me to go steady. So, my current husband just gave me his ID bracelet.  For the first time in my life, I’m going steady.

Aaaah.

WOMAN IN SHOE:  I highly recommend it in older age. I mean, my wedding ring represents a warm and familiar stability. But my ID bracelet is kinda hot.

When I was a teenager, my parents wouldn’t allow me to pierce my ears. Maybe after all these years, I’ll do it and buy myself a pair of elegant, dangling earrings.

WOMAN IN SHOE: I’ll take a pair too.

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How do you hold onto your sensuality?

CONVERSATION WITH…A Sandcastle Fearing Death At All Times

Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, I took a walk on a beach and noticed a sandcastle.  I plopped down beside it and started a conversation.

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Hey Sandcastle—

SANDCASTLE:  Stop right there.  Don’t talk to me.

Why not?

SANDCASTLE:  You won’t want to hear what I have to say.

Because?

SANDCASTLE:  I’m obsessed with death. Every time I hear a wave coming toward me, I panic. I’m always worried about when I won’t exist anymore.

Me too.

SANDCASTLE: Really?

Yes. Especially as I grow older.  I try not to let my fear rise to the surface at all times, but underneath I’m always afraid.

SANDCASTLE:  I have two levels of anxiety.  If I hear a smaller wave rolling in, I don’t worry as much because it’s not as likely to reach me.  But if the wave sounds large and roars in my direction, I have a full blown panic attack.  Know what I mean?

Definitely. I worry I’ll come down with a sudden illness and my body won’t be able to fight it off.  Like, right now there’s a flu epidemic in my area, so I stay at home, hide under the covers and watch the Food Network.  It relaxes me. I isolate myself because I’m afraid I’ll get sick and won’t be able to get through it.

SANDCASTLE:  I isolate myself, too.  I won’t take on any tenants. Like snails.  I turn them away.  I’m not sure how long I’ll be here.  At any moment, I might be gone.

Actually, you wouldn’t exactly be “gone.”

SANDCASTLE:  What? Why not?

Well, before you were a sandcastle you were zillions of grains of sand on the beach.  That’s how you started.

SANDCASTLE:  How do you know?

Trust me on this one.  Anyway, eventually somebody came along and molded you into a different form—a sandcastle.

SANDCASTLE:  Your point being?

When a wave eventually washes over you—

SANDCASTLE: Don’t say that!!!!

Hear me out.  When a wave eventually washes over you, you’ll go back to the form you were before—grains of sand on the beach. You’ll be back where you started, but you won’t be “gone.”

SANDCASTLE: This is blowing my mind.

Maybe the wave will even wash you into the ocean, so you’ll be part of the amazing community under the sea.

SANDCASTLE:  You know… I didn’t think it was possible…but you just made me feel better. No more Prozac for me.

Good to know. It just seems there are so many answers to questions about life and our existence in nature.  The answers are all around us. We just have to look for them.

SANDCASTLE:  I wish I had something useful to add.

No worries.

SANDCASTLE: Wait!  I just thought of something.  If what you say about nature is true, maybe what goes for me can go for you.  I mean, if I started in one form, morphed into another, and will go back to my original form one day…maybe the same will happen to you.

Maybe….

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CONVERSATION WITH…An Elderly Shark…Reflecting on the shark inside her

On a hot day Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, I decided to go for a swim in the ocean.  Suddenly, a shark swam over!   Aaaah!!!!!

shark

Shark! Don’t eat me!  I’m older!  But I’m too young to die!

SHARK:  Calm down. I have no intention of eating you.

I thought sharks ate people.

SHARK: If you confuse us, we’ll take a nibble.  Otherwise, we prefer other delicacies.  Just don’t confuse me.

 I won’t confuse you.

SHARK: But I should tell you, I do have one other eating related issue. Many years ago, I ate another shark.  I mean, some sharks do eat other sharks, but that doesn’t make it right.  I feel bad knowing I have a shark inside me.  I still have nightmares about it.

If it makes you feel better, I have a shark inside me, too.

SHARK:  Should I be swimming away from you?

No. Not that kind of shark.  It’s a metaphor for a really aggressive side of myself. But it’s strange.  I’ve noticed as I grow older, I don’t feel the shark inside me as much as I used to.  I don’t know what’s happening to me.  Am I settling for less?  Am I depressed?

SHARK:  I’m not sure I understand what you mean.

Well, when I was younger, if there was a job opportunity I was passionate about, or I had a creative goal that meant the world to me, I felt a “shark” inside me that drove me toward what I wanted with incredible force. 

SHARK: Ooooh.

And when that “shark” inside me took over, I didn’t hurt anyone physically, but I might have hurt others emotionally along the way without realizing it.  I was so focused on what I was going for, I’m not sure I was completely aware of my behavior.

SHARK: Ugh. What about now?

Now I feel more like a tuna fish. When I’m passionate about something I want to do, I meander steadily toward it, but I look from side to side and take in what’s around me.  If something doesn’t feel quite right or off balance, I stop, think about it, and make changes till I’m in sync with the universe.

SHARK:  If you don’t mind that I’m adding my two cents, it sounds like what you’re doing now might make you feel more grounded. And when you get where you’re going, you’ll arrive with perspective and wisdom.

Is it possible this is actually a good thing about growing older?

SHARK: Who knew?

Oh wow!  Thank you so much for your help!

SHARK: Hold it! What about me?  I still feel bad about eating that shark years ago. Any words of wisdom to help me through it?

Well…on one hand, I guess you shouldn’t have done that. On the other hand, lots of sharks have eaten other sharks, so it probably felt like a natural thing to do.  On the other hand, at that time, there were probably other things to eat in the ocean, so choosing that shark was a bad idea. On the other hand, sometimes we have to learn from our mistakes.  On the other hand–

SHARK:  Aaaah!  You’re confusing me!  I told you not to confuse me!

 I’m outa here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Do you have a shark?  How’s it doing?

CONVERSATION WITH…A NOSE…FEARING LIFE WITHOUT BEING BLESSED

Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, I noticed an elderly nose limping along with a suitcase.  I caught up with her and started a conversation.

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Hey nose, where are you going?

NOSE: I’m outa here. I’m leaving Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road. I need to move on. I don’t know what else is out there for me, but I need to find it. If not now, when?  But…I’m scared.

Scared about what?

NOSE:  About not being blessed.

Huh?

NOSE: Here’s the thing. I’ve always been around others who know me. They bless me every time I sneeze.  I’ve had so much emotional support in my life Every time I sneeze, someone says “Bless you!” And when I’m stuffed, I hear, “Bless you! Bless you! Bless you! Bless you!” Constantly! I’ve become dependent on it.

I can see how that could happen.

NOSE: But! You know when NO ONE blesses me?  When I’m in a place where I don’t know anybody!  Like, let’s say I’m on a random bus or train, or in an elevator. If I sneeze, no one blesses me because they don’t know me! Or…if I sneeze and people do say “bless you,” they mumble it awkwardly, like they’re not sure if they should have said it in the first place.  I know that’s gonna happen again and again and again if I’m not with others I know!  I won’t be blessed!

Maybe you should trust the silence. And trust your instincts even if you’re not feeling supported or blessed. 

NOSE: What makes you so sure about all this stuff?

Because I’m going through the same thing, but I’m one step ahead of you.  As I’m growing older, when I want to try something new, I’m finding I don’t care as much if other people don’t “bless” what I’m doing or approve of it. Maybe it’s just something that happens with age.

NOSE: You think so?

Maybe. I mean, these days, if someone doesn’t like something I’ve written, or painted, or what I’m wearing, I listen to what that person has to say. But then, I think to myself, “Maybe there’s no right or wrong answer here. Maybe we’re just two different people in two different ‘places’ in the universe at the moment. Our perspectives are different, but there’s room for both in the world.”

NOSE:  I see your point.

If I feel centered in what I’m doing, I’m not as afraid.

NOSE: You must be in therapy.

You know? Maybe you and I are blessed in a different way.

NOSE: How?

Maybe we’re blessed that we have the freedom, time and health to go out in the world and experience it differently.  It’s a privilege.  It’s a different kind of blessing.

NOSE: I can get into that.  Thanks for the suggestion.

You’re very welcome.

NOSE: Haaa-chooooo!

Should I say it?

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How are you blessed?

CONVERSATION WITH…A Gallery of Art by Bloggers

Today I arrived at the “Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road Art Gallery.”  It gave me an idea…

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Hey Gallery, is there a manager I can speak to?

ART GALLERY:  I’m the manager.  As long as my walls don’t crumble and my plumbing works, I’ll keep running this place no matter how old I get.

Yeah—you must be really proud of all that you hold on your walls.

ART GALLERY:  It means the world to me.  I carry thoughts, dreams, visions, statements.  I carry the hearts of so many gifted people.

Totally. In that case, would you mind if I set up an exhibit here?  There are five bloggers who have invited me to guest post or have shared my blog on theirs.  Their art, photos and writing is so beautiful.  As a way to say a heartfelt thank you and let the world know about their work, can I set up an exhibit of links to some of their best creations?

ART GALLERY:  Absolutely.   I’ll keep it here forever.

Okay bloggers reading this post!  Click on each link, and you’ll definitely smile:

1.Linda has invited me to post as a “Guest in Jest” on her site on February 2. Her blog is about “crazy stuff that happens and things that amuse me.” I’m in love with Linda’s skunk photos. Click and scroll up to them here:

https://mainepaperpusher.wordpress.com/2017/12/02/black-white-vs-color-challenge/#comment-5668

2. Da Al invited me to share my post about a kitten I found Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road.  She posts on arts/cooking/dancing/joy/writing/tales and tails.  I have a special place in my heart for a piece she calls “silk hand and eye.” Click and scroll down to it here:

https://happinessbetweentails.com/2016/09/05/art-love/

3.Raili was inspired by one of my posts and shared it on her blog. She’s always “creating magic with words” through poetry, stories, and thoughts about health and well-being. I can’t stop staring at her purple tree photos:

https://soulgifts.com.au/2017/11/24/echoes-of-purple/

4.Elaine did a very kind shout-out to my blog. Elaine paints and writes while “living and following the light.” I especially love her fantasy work. Here’s her display of amazing paintings.

https://elainespaintings.com/

5.Barbara shares every single one of my posts on Facebook. She does incredible paintings and photographs.  The expression in the eyes of every animal she paints blows me away:

https://www.facebook.com/RosenbergMuseumOfArt/

That’s all for now!  Hope you enjoyed the art show!

CONVERSATION WITH… AN OLDER SPONGE…Wondering If Gratitude Includes Feeling Everyone Else’s Pain

Walking Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, I noticed an older sponge crawling in front of me.  He was having a lot of trouble moving, so I offered to lend a hand.

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Sponge?  Need some help?

SPONGE: Yes, thank you. I’m older and I’m on overload.

What do you mean?

SPONGE: Well, I’m on my way back from a high school reunion. Everyone I knew from way back was there.  The dish detergent…the Brillo…the bar of soap… We’re all aging. But some of us are feeling better than others.

It works that way with people, too.  It’s very hard to be part of whatever this phase of life is supposed to be.

SPONGE: It IS very hard!  And my problem is, as a sponge, I absorb it all. I take in everybody’s pain, plus my own, and now it’s weighing me down.  In my older age, I can’t hold in all these feelings without having symptoms.  I can hardly move.  Sometimes it paralyzes me.

I know what you mean.  I’m most grateful to be here.  But when I meet up with someone who has very serious health issues, I take in their feelings. I experience their feelings as mine, too.

SPONGE: Today I saw the plastic bottle of dish soap I grew up with.  She’s almost out of liquid soap. She’s scared.  What will her life be like without the soap? They’ve been together forever. My heart hurts for her.

I know someone who’s so sick he has no fight left in him. He doesn’t want to be here anymore.  I feel his pain even though I can’t quite understand it.

SPONGE: I know a bar of soap like that, too. She’s so thin she’s wasting away. She says being like that isn’t living anymore.  When she speaks that way, I absorb her pain.

But…are we supposed to be experiencing gratitude this way?  Or are we supposed to separate our lives from theirs and live the best way we can at this moment?

SPONGE: Maybe both.

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CONVERSATION WITH…LITTLE BO PEEP…A BITTER EMPTY NESTER

Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, I noticed a woman with a sheep. Was it possible she was the famous Bo Peep who lost her sheep (from the Nursery Rhyme)?   Had one of her sheep come back? If she was Bo Peep, we had a lot in common! I’m an empty nester, too. I had to check it out…

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Hey there, by any chance, are you Bo Peep? You know, from the rhyme that goes, “Little Bo Peep, lost her sheep, and didn’t know where to find them.  Leave them alone and they’ll come home, wagging their tails behind them?”

BO PEEP: That’s me.  One sheep came back for a quick visit.  I’m smiling on the outside but crying on the inside.

Why?

BO PEEP: Here’s the part they never tell you about when you‘re an empty nester. When your kids come back to visit, you notice they’ve changed. And it hurts.

I get that. My daughter moved far away and when she comes back to visit, I see she’s adapted to her new environment.  She’s not exactly the same person she was when she left. It hurts to see that.  Selfishly, I miss who she used to be.

BO PEEP: Right!  And why do they have to go so far in the first place?  I mean, I raised my two sheep in a beautiful meadow with a sturdy fence so they’d always be safe.  I made sure they had organic grass to eat.  We settled in an area where the weather was perfect—not too hot and not too cold.  There were lots of nice sheep to hang out with. What more could sheep want?

Don’t ask me.

BO PEEP: Obviously it wasn’t good enough for my son sheep.  He whined it was too confining and homogeneous growing up in our meadow. He never wants to live here again.

So where did he move to?

BO PEEP: The African plains. He’s exceptionally fuzzy, so I worry he’ll pass out if he gets too hot. He’s not fenced in, so he wanders around wherever he wants to go—which makes me crazy.  And he’s seriously dating an elephant.

It’s a changing world.

BO PEEP: But it really hurts my feelings. I tried so hard to make a nice home for him.

All this hurts my feelings, too.  On the other hand, I remember when I was in my twenties and moved out of my parents’ house, I was sooo happy!  It was so freeing! I went out and did whatever I wanted whenever I felt like it! And I told my parents I hated where I grew up!  I said it was boring and superficial and I’d never come back.  I must have hurt THEIR feelings.

BO PEEP: Yeah.  Same here.  Before I was Bo Peep with Sheep, I was “Bo Peep with a Jeep.”  I drove that thing all over the world any time of day or night.  My parents never knew where I was. I was a wild woman.

I guess back in those days, we weren’t ready to be the women we are today.  We were…different. 

BO PEEP: And… now that my sheep are living away, I’ve become less active.  I’m quieter and take life a little slower.

Me too.  Maybe when our kids come home to visit, they also notice…we’ve changed.

BO PEEP: And it hurts them.

copyright:overthehillontheyellowbrickroad2017

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­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Hey there dear blogger friends, I’m still struggling with this.  If you’re an empty nester, how do you feel when your kids come back and you notice they’ve changed?  Or if you’re a younger person and have left the home where you grew up, how do you experience your parents when you return for a visit?

 

 

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CONVERSATION WITH…A Claustrophobic Caterpillar…Trying To Cope With Inevitable Changes

As I climbed Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, suddenly I heard a small voice screaming from below! I looked down and realized I’d almost stepped on a panic stricken caterpillar.  I had to apologize!

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Caterpillar!  I’m so sorry!

CATERPILLAR: You almost gave me a heart attack!

I didn’t see you there!

CATERPILLAR: That’s what they all say.

Seriously!  Are you okay?

CATERPILLAR: As okay as I’m gonna get right now.  I’ve got bigger problems.

Like what?

CATERPILLAR: Like, I’ve been putting off going in a cocoon until the last possible minute. I’m claustrophobic.  But now the time has come.

I feel your pain. I’m claustrophobic, too.

CATERPILLAR: Really?

Yeah. I don’t do elevators, tunnels, airplanes, MRIs…whenever I can avoid them.

CATERPILLAR: Well I can’t avoid going in my cocoon anymore.  I’m exhausted all the time.  I’m always starving and stuffing my face with leaves.  I’m not the caterpillar I used to be. Every part of my body is telling me this part of my life is over.

 So, before you go in your cocoon, why don’t you take a Xanax?  Or have a glass of wine?  I have a glass when I take short plane flights. It takes the edge off for a few hours. 

CATERPILLAR: We’re not talking hours here, we’re talking weeks.

Well, at least you only have to go in your cocoon one time.  Then it’s over! And you’ll be able to fly!  Don’t you want to fly?

CATERPILLAR: No.  I love crawling.  I don’t want to give up my feet.

I hear ya. 

CATERIPLLAR: And I don’t want this part of my life to be over.

I know!!!!  I have two kids and I loved bringing them up.  But they’ve grown up and just left home.  I don’t want this part of my life to be over either.

CATERPILLAR: We’re soulmates.

Yes. But it seems the universe is pushing us to move on. We have no choice.

CATERPILLAR: Yup. I have to fly.

I have to fly, too.   I mean, my daughter lives far away now. If I’m able to get myself to sit in a plane for five hours, I can visit her a lot.  And if I’m able to fly even longer, I can see so many parts of the world. I’d like that.

CATERPILLAR: Maybe flying will open new doors for me too. Maybe I’m part of something bigger that I can’t see. So, I guess I’ll take you up on that bottle of wine.

I said a GLASS…

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THE FOLLOW UP:

Weeks later, the caterpillar came out of her cocoon! Though she had a major hangover…

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…after a few hours she was able to fly in a straight line.  And me?  Well, since I’m still Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, when I click my heels together I can visit my daughter in a flash. It works for now.  But…if you’re a bad flyer too, I’d love to hear from you.  What do you do on a plane to avoid jumping out of your skin?

Copyrightoverthehillontheyellowbrickroad2017