Panama City

 

 

I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.

 Rosalia de Castro

panama 4

 

It was her first trip to Panama by herself since she’s lived here.  She made it through customs without a hitch.  After a $20 taxi, she finally made it to her prepaid hostel at 3 AM- A welcome feeling indeed.

The next day, she got dressed and went out to explore her new surroundings with camera in hand, prepared to take pictures in a light that only she can see.

panama 6

I get a phone call from a frantic girl, an uneasy feeling swept over her.  She didn’t feel like exploring any more.  She got swindled her last $40 that she was using to get back home and to eat with.

She had some friends that lived by the border; she was going to take a bus there.  I let her know, I would wire her some cash.  That was the last time I heard from her. For 18 hours.  Silence.   No social media posts.  Nothing.

panama 5

At first, I was just concerned.  Maybe she was just in an area with no signal.  As the hours passed, my mama sense started really kicking in. Later that evening, I sent her a text ‘Please let me know you are safe’

As I paced the floor, I did prayers and mantras all through the night, praying for her protection- the visions that filled my head.

panama 3

What if this person that swindled her cash was a human trafficker and she took the bait.  What if this was the last time, I was ever going to hear or see her ever again?  What if she was going to be just another statistic of the people that go missing each and every day?

At one point, during the night, I message her stepmom to see if her father heard from her.

panama 2

As soon as it was light again, I made myself a cup of coffee and was getting ready to make a game plan to try to locate her.  Do I call the local police? Do I call the Embassy?  Does she have to be missing for a certain amount of time before they do anything?

panama 7

Am I completely overreacting?  Maybe she is safe with her friends and is just in a remote area with no signal.

But, I couldn’t shake the feeling something was wrong.

At 7:30 AM, I receive a text.   ‘Mom I am okay, I know you were worried.’  ‘I met a nice lady and she took me in and fed me.’

‘I feel like this is a Liam Neeson movie, what happened?  I was so scared.’  ‘I know you were worried mom’

panama 1

I soon saw beautiful pics of her and breathtaking landscapes once again.  The next day, she was safely  home in Ciudad Cortés, Puntarenas.

I could finally rest.

I still don’t know what happened during those 18 hours of silence……

panama 9

I had a dream, she was a little girl going on her first plane ride.  Her, wanting to be a big girl, did it all by herself.  Somewhere between the gate and the tarmac, she got on the wrong plane.  After days of her being missing, I see this girl climbing down from a mountain. Tear streaks running down the dirt on her cheeks.  She runs to me, and we just hold each other and cry. 

With Hugs and Hope

Diane

 

 

 

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Crossing Borders and Boundaries

The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.

Ernest Hemingway

find comfort sunrise

It’s been quite a year.  It’s only April.  My furbabies are curled up on either side of me as I sip my coffee and write these words.

It’s been quite a week.  I am ready for a new one.  Blame it on the planets or the ocean waves or the storm that just blew through.

riptide

My daughter lives in Costa Rica.  The adventure she is living is enough to write a book all on its own.  She keeps this mama on her toes-She went to Panama by herself for the first time.  Nothing stops this girl

costa rica 1

I spent the entire week hunkered in from the storms brewing outside.  Just like the days gone past living in the mountains of California.  Sometimes even going days without electricity.

 

At times like these, the best place to play, is in the attic, pulling out relics from the boxes of memories that are stored there. Good memories.  The best memories.   Since I also have a penchant for good wine, this was the perfect opportunity.

single6

Sometimes people show up in our lives to show us how strong our boundaries are.  Mine were not set in place like they should be, and the Universe was screaming at me, telling me.

You give someone an inch, they take a mile. 

The storms outside were whipping and hollering…calling out to me….begging me to get caught up in the eye of the hurricane.

adventure

No.  I am safe in the attic, with my memories.  They fill my mind, my heart, my soul of the promises of the sun and warmth that comes when the storm finally passes.

I could faintly hear the scratching of the fingers of treacherous winds that were retching and seething outside my door.  But, my door was securely locked and bolted from such storms that cross this path.

The hours became days, the days became a week.  Finally, it gave way.

find comfort blankie

I survived the storm with the comfort of my fondest memories wrapping their arms around me like my favorite blanket.  The clouds have cleared. The sun is shining.

For today anyway…

Until the storm shows itself once again.

 

With Hugs and Hope

Diane

 

Down the Rabbit Hole

A rebirth out of spiritual adversity causes us to become new creatures.

James E. Faust

spring blossom

A beautiful Spring morning.   I woke up feeling that familiar feeling  of fresh air that awakens all of your senses from a long winter’s nap.

I remembered who I am.  Why I am here, right now, in the here and now.

I decided it was the perfect day to spend in the Gardens.  It has certainly been a while.  Too long actually;   My path got distracted.

rainbow

I took my furbabies for their special walk, letting them breathe it in as well, strolled back to the apts for their scooby snack.  Threw on a hoodie and some jeans with flip flops.  Hair in an unwashed messy bun first woke up.  No teeth brushing or breakfast.  It was time to go out.

this way

Time to go see my trees and feel the dirt in between my toes.

Springtime, time to shake off the past and feel the warm comfort of the now and the future.

time

While on the Spur to one of my favorite destinations; the water gardens.  Second nature to home.  This man named Jeff, was in the Navy for 8 years, retired from Social Work and knew Spirit.  We talked the whole way to downtown.  He went on to the Botanic Gardens as I stayed in town for the water gardens.

tea party

As I walked, I kept seeing the number 17.  If that means anything to anyone, I do not know, I am not an expert in this realm…

Being Good Friday; kids are out, the usual spots filled with children and spring love.

Me under an old shady tree, with my shoes off

tree 2

 

Life takes you on journeys, you sometimes don’t quite understand until the journey has ended.

Down the rabbit hole.  My favorite place.  This is where I explore thoughts and meanings.

alice

Memories flood my head as I put together past thoughts, and watch the children on Easter Break, enjoy the flowers, the grass, the waters that flow fast or stand still.

 

Holding on to things that keep me anchored from moving forward.  It was time to let go….time to let go so I can push beyond the fears that kept anchored in a particular place and time.

memory

Time to plant new seeds.  Harvest new fruit and explore new adventures.

spring-tree-flowers-meadow-60006

Easter has many meanings in many cultures.  But deep down, no matter our upbringing or influence; it all interprets the same.   Hope, renewal and new life.

 

With Hugs and Hope

Diane

In Memory of Theodore ‘Mr. Pickles’ Hawkes

We miss you Theo

Diane's Thrifty Cupboard

He protected her

as valiantly as a Prince of Honor;

Following along every journey she travelled

alongside without a care, shielding her from the darkest of nights

Keeping her comforted and warm

as his playful spirit kept a subtle smile in her heart.

Now the Prince must travel onward

Though his memories will always stay

And She must always remember; Her noble Theo

Is faithfully watching over her from the heavens above

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February 14, 2018

War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.

George Orwell

social media

I’ve been watching social media all day today.  I have seen this story before; 8 times before, to be exact.  But, for some reason, today, this story grabbed me.  Hard.  I went through every headline newsstory regarding these families and their nightmare.  Being a mom, my heart sank.

archery

I have a very strong conviction of my beliefs in the war on gun control.  I even vented on a post today,that probably wasn’t the proper place to vent.  I should keep my mouth shut, until it is time to speak.

we the people

The 2nd Amendment of the Constitution gives us the Right to Bear Arms.   It is my belief that right comes with very high responsibility.

 

Gun safety.

 

Trigger locks and gun safes.

 

Teaching respect of the weapon with family and home.

 

 

I was blessed with knowing  a dear person  for over 20 years.  He was part of the family.  He never married, but had a heart of gold and would do anything for us, and we him.  I remember a time when my babes were actually babes; my husband at the time, talked him down off the mountain.

newspaper

In 2014, I lost that friend.  It was also news worthy.  A rifle was involved.

 

This kid that is responsible for this tragedy lost both of his adopted parents within a year.  He moved in with some family friends.

 

Stopped his therapy.

cactus

I remember when there were health hospitals for the emotionally struggled.  Probably the worst idea the medical science foundation ever had (top ten, anyway);  so the government decides to just trash can the whole idea, and let people that really need care, give them lots of prescriptions and throw them out on the street.

 

Instead of taking that foundation and making it work.

 

I don’t think the issue is gun laws.

 

I think we need to stop pointing fingers and work together to find a solution.

 

With Hugs and Hope

Diane

Finding Comfort

The eternal quest of the individual human being is to shatter his loneliness.

Norman Cousins

 

It was a beautiful sunrise; she could feel the warmth creeping over her makeshift bed from the comforter with red and gray flower designs of a trend gone past.  Her backpack that was filled with her most prized necessities, made a perfect pillow.

find comfort sunrise

Wondering what day it was, got up-put her shoes on, rolled up her bedding and wandered to the nearest gas station, so she could rinse off the days gone past.; feeling the urgent, familiar gnaw in her belly.

homeless

 

She walked to the area of divergence as the bite of the morning chill overcame her.  She pulled her jacket around her with more intent to ward off the frosty morning.  She found her usual perch, saw the familiar faces of those that come looking for a fix, or the schizophrenic carrying on, or the walking man, that just walks, all day long.

woman 5

 

She waits patiently for night to come.  Maybe she will get lucky today, and enough passersby’s will give her enough change, so she can get 4 tacos from the nearby taco stand.  Those damn panhandlers that stand on street corners and gas stations- they ruin it for us folk that just want a bite to eat.

She doesn’t dare go to the mission or outreach-they just take without permission.

Finally, the sun is setting.  She walks over to the usual lamp post on the corner and waits for just the right one.

find comfort lamp

Here he comes, in the light blue Beamer, head to the usual motel, where this is common.  She devours her fish and chips and asks, as he stares at her in awe, “Are you gonna eat that?”  She finishes both plates, proceeds to the shower.  As the water runs over her malnourished body, she washes away the hunger, cold, sadness, even if only for a few moments.

find comfort bath

Hangs her freshly washed garments on the towel rack to dry; takes a long whiff of the clean bathrobe while memories briefly flood in.

find comfort blankie

She shakes it off, walking reluctantly and climbs into bed as the robe falls to the floor.

For a night, she will find comfort.

Earls Nilo-Making a Statement

 

We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

Can one man’s dream make a difference?

 

I choose not to watch the news-especially what is posted on Social Media.  Folks just have such a strong opinion one way or the other; and just because it is written-doesn’t make it true.

single 3

On my way to work today, I overheard a conversation with a young kid, in his twenties, I would assume – and an older gentleman.  Earls Nilo wanted to know the best  place to promote his sign, which said “Single”.  No, he wasn’t looking for a date.  He was making a statement.

As I listened, I started to understand what he was trying to do.

 

single 6

 

I Have a Dream

 

Martin Luther King Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American Baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement from 1954 through 1968. He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using the tactics of nonviolence and civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs and inspired by the nonviolent activism of Mahatma Gandhi.

 

King became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957, serving as its first president. With the SCLC, he led an unsuccessful 1962 struggle against segregation in Albany, Georgia, and helped organize the nonviolent 1963 protests in Birmingham, Alabama. He also helped to organize the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

 

On October 14, 1964, King received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolent resistance. In 1965, he helped to organize the Selma to Montgomery marches, and the following year he and the SCLC took the movement north to Chicago to work on segregated housing. In the final years of his life, he expanded his focus to include opposition towards poverty and the Vietnam War, alienating many of his liberal allies with a 1967 speech titled “Beyond Vietnam”.

In 1968, King was planning a national occupation of Washington, D.C., to be called the Poor People’s Campaign, when he was assassinated by James Earl Ray on April 4 in Memphis, Tennessee.

 

single 4

Socialism in the US?

 

The history of socialism has its origins in the French Revolution of 1789 and the changes which it wrought, although it has precedents in earlier movements and ideas. The Communist Manifesto was written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in 1848 just before the Revolutions of 1848 swept Europe, expressing what they termed “scientific socialism”. In the last third of the 19th century, Social Democratic parties arose in Europe, drawing mainly from Marxism. The Australian Labor Party was the world’s first elected socialist party when the party won the 1899 Queensland state election.

 

In the first half of the twentieth century, the Soviet Union and the Communist parties of the Third International around the world mainly came to represent socialism in terms of the Soviet model of economic development, the creation of centrally planned economies directed by a state that owns all the means of production, although other trends condemned what they saw as the lack of democracy. In the United Kingdom, Herbert Morrison said that “socialism is what the Labour government does” whereas Aneurin Bevan argued that socialism requires that the “main streams of economic activity are brought under public direction”, with an economic plan and workers’ democracy.  Some argued that capitalism had been abolished.  Socialist governments established the mixed economy with partial nationalisations and social welfare.

 

By 1968, the prolonged Vietnam War (1959–1975) gave rise to the New Left, socialists who tended to be critical of the Soviet Union and social democracy. Anarcho-syndicalists and some elements of the New Left and others favored decentralized collective ownership in the form of cooperatives or workers’ councils. At the turn of the 21st century in Latin America, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez championed what he termed socialism of the 21st century, which included a policy of nationalisation of national assets such as oil, anti-imperialism and termed himself a Trotskyist supporting permanent revolution.

 

single6

A Slave to the Corporate Machine

Have we lost focus on what is important?

 

Television Programming- on any given day, I would bet that the average person knows more about the Kardashians than how many homeless people there are in America.

BTW, in 2017 it was 554,000.

single 5

 

People chasing the status quo-fancy cars, name brand purses, shoes, jewelry, make-up for ridiculous prices.  Credit card debt grows higher and higher.  American consumers are over 1 trillion dollars in debt.  The ever growing need to ‘have it all’; and now each and every one of us is stuck on the great hamster wheel of life, the vicious cycle of working for the machine, so we can pay off the machine.

When does it end?

It takes a village to make it work-what happened to love for humanity?

 

Maybe Earls is on to something here…..

With Hugs and Hope

Diane

This story is written from the eyes of Earls Nilo.

 

Information on Martin Luther King, Jr and the History of Socialism were acquired from Wikipedia.

Stats on homeless-motherjones.com

Consumer debt in America-nypost.com