Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Yeah Right

Joop took me to a brewery the first night I was in Amsterdam. It was in the base of a windmill. He said he promised me he would show me a windmill and if we saw no others, we saw one.

There was indoor standing and outdoor seating. Everyone in Amsterdam is friendly and personal space as we know it, doesn't really exist. A man named Orpheus sat with us and chatted. He asked me where I was from, we asked for dinner ideas from him.

When I asked him about himself, he told me he was a drummer and told me about his band. He pulled out his iPod and let me listen to some music his group was about to release. Anyone can do a CD right?

It was a blustery cold evening and we were hungry and ready for some Indonesian food. He gave me his email address so we could stay in touch.

Click on the link of his name above. He isn't just a wannabe. His vinyl gets some serious bucks. I checked out his MySpace page. David Bowie is a fan. Yeah right - Teri met a rockstar in Amsterdam.

The Shoe Shine Man

This is a story a co-worker shared with me. It actually happened to him. I thought it was beautiful, not only ofthe gentleman doing the shoes, but for my co-worker for being thoughtful enough to share it with all of us.

True story...not just one of those forwarded along emails...

I had the most refreshing experience today (Sept 2, 2009) at the DFW airport. I decided to have my shoes shined while I waited for my flight to Atlanta. The graying black man with the gentle smile asked me how I was doing.

I said I was pretty good.

He asked, not great?

Who's really great these days?, I asked.

You’re alive? Yes. That's great. You have a family that loves you? Yes. That's great. You have a job? Yes, and very thankful too. That's great. You're batting three for three. Sounds like you are great to me. I get so many people in this chair that say "good, so far" like they are ready for something bad to happen. I ask them those three questions and they change their minds.

I get up every morning, look in the mirror and thank the Lord that I get to experience another great day. I am great and can't wait to see how it will get better today. You were fortunate to be born in a country where your worst day is better than many people's best day of their entire lives. And on it went....

We proceeded to have a conversation that brightened my day. He was a religious man and shared with me a couple of anecdotes that he has told his church, and one that he couldn't. :-) They made me chuckle, but his message was clear. He shines shoes in an airport, in an economy that has many of us struggling and worried for ourselves and our children, yet his faith, his family, and just getting out of bed in the morning makes him GREAT!

It made me take stock in my family, my friends, and myself. I shared with him that I would be celebrating my 27th anniversary with Gina on Friday. That's great, he said...I just celebrated my 31st.

"SO what's the point?" you may think...the shoe-shine man made my day and I just want to pay it forward with his story. I am not good at keeping resolutions, and it’s not the New Year, but my ‘Sept. 2nd” resolution is to remember I am doing GREAT every day and to try to make each day better. I am thankful to have the opportunity to be GREAT and I hope this story makes you feel GREAT. It sure did for me.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Lovely Retreat!

I had such a lovely weekend down in Spanish Fork at the Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple. I attended a yoga/hiking/cooking retreat. It was as though this retreat was custom made for me.

I love yoga.

I love to hike.

I love cooking lessons.

We had four yoga practices over the course of the weekend. The weather was perfect and we were able to have them outside on the terrace. It wasn't too warm nor too cool. This is the veiw of the sky from my mat:

We hiked with the llamas. Casper, on the right, facing left, was my hiking buddy. He gave Mark, forefront a tussle. Alan, center back was our yoga instructor for the weekend. Starting in late October, Alan will be on a 150 mile trek to Nepal.

We had Ayurvedic and Indian cooking lessons. Click on the type to see the recipes we learned. Our cooking on Sunday contributed to the Feast that was being held that evening.
I got to hold one of the parrots and the resident cockatiel. There are many llamas and peacocks on the property. And they have one very friendly kitty too.
I learned a lot about the Hindu faith/Krishna following. There was music and chanting every night.
It was a great weekend!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Freeze Frame

If someone had taken a satellite picture of me preparing to leave for work or did a freeze frame on one particular hour this morning, my entire essence would have been captured. Everything.

I forgot to set the alarm, but woke up at exactly the right time anyway.
I rolled over and grabbed my phone and exchanged some quick, "almost live" emails with Joop.
I checked my email and found a dozen responses to a request I'd made.
I took time to thank God for all I have, all I get to do, and only asked for him to care for my friends and family and to keep me vigilant about being grateful.
Did the "get ready for work routine"
I'm wearning my Tevas, a Camino t-shirt I made from my collage art, and a smile.
I said goodbye and "I love you" to my daughter and grandson.
In my car was my yoga mat, my hiking boots, my regular backpack, my day hiking pack, my aluminum bottle, my yoga clothes and a peach pie for my office-mates. The top is down.
I headed to my much-loved job for the day and am packed for a retreat tonight where I'll yoga, hike and have some cooking lessons.
I found a much desired surprise on my desk.
Every one of my children have told me they loved me this week.

While today's inventory is rich - there's so much more - in Europe two weeks ago, a retreat this weekend, next weekend my sister-in-law is visiting and over the next couple of months I have kids and friends who will be in my circle too.

I love my my life.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


I had a great week at work. It was short. It went fast.

I'm STILL getting up at the crack of dawn. No wait, I'm still cracking dawn open. About 8:00 pm I'm ready for bed. I manage to make it to 10:00 - most nights.

My head isn't leaving Europe though. That's not a good thing.

There's a lot to the why's and nothing at the same time.

I'm embracing fall with my teeth clenched.

It's been a magnificent summer and I just don't want it to close...yet.

Monday, September 07, 2009

France and Holland

My original plan was to go to Sonoma with a bunch of people from a local wine club this weekend. Then I added a participant. And then that changed. And then, dinking around, I discovered I could go to Europe for the week for less cost than the weekend. And then the wine club didn't go to Sonoma.

I LOVE Paris and I'd promised myself a trip there again - alone. And the proximity to Amsterdam was reasonable so I could see Joop again. And I knew Harald was able to get to Amsterdam fairily easily. Add one distant relative that lives in Pairs and voila' - a trip that can only be described as perfect.

Sunday: Claude (the relative) and his oldest son picked me up at the airport. His wife was home fixing a most incredible four course French dinner for me (repleat with fromage). They served some fabulous wine too. They went with me, by train, to the hotel.

Monday: Montemarte.

Tuesday: Isle St. Louis and Cite' via the Tuileries.

Wednesday: The 5th Arr. for shopping and just wandering around.

Thursday: Train to Amsterdam. Joop, with roses, picked me up at the train station. Indonesian dinner.

Friday: Amsterdam on my own for the day. Spanish dinner with Harald and Joop.

Saturday: Amsterdam tour by the Dutchman in the morning. The Holland countryside (with a double dose of churches), a quick visit to the North Sea, rescuing a 91 year old lady abandoned by a taxi driver in the afternoon and an evening picnic on a park bench.

Sunday: A tearful parting for home.