Being Brave

Have you a clue of how it feels to say so much of what I think?  Well, sometimes it is scary.

Since I have taken the challenge I asked all to take in the next twenty-six days, today we are on the letter B and the word chosen is “brave”.  I am referring to the blog written a few days ago, Come, Become Alphabetically Savvy.  It is a call to discover the ways we can communicate and may I add?  Bravely so… as I am doing…

The only cabinet without a quote, top center, with the Scottsbluff Monument in Gerring , Nebraska, across the North Platte River.

In 1994 my dear husband Dan accepted to serve his skills at the Regional West Medical Center, in Scottsbluff, Nebraska.  Sometime after I joined a team of ladies to help redo an older home purchased by  the city for the purpose of housing young ladies in need of a shelter.  It was a  unique opportunity to provide a service needed in the area.

I mentioned the project to an angel friend, Edna Lofing, and she agreed to clean and paint the kitchen, cabinets, and all.  She was by far more experienced in the nitty gritty and elbow grease venture.  I felt drawn to draw upon my leanings and convinced myself I could simply paint each cabinet door to my liking with a quote.  Call it madness, call it zany, and I’m sure there were others who said more!
However, I do remember a young man who worked at the young man’s shelter in Gerring, Nebraska, complimenting me galore, and I think he wanted me to consider doing the same there.  That didn’t happen.  By the time this kitchen was finished, the food for thought remained aplenty.  With no art education, the scribbles were nibbles of goodness I yearned to give to one and all of the girls.
Here is a quote I wish I had chosen:
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.  The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” _ Nelson Mandela

A photograph to remember the love we put into it…

Edna arranged for help with the hinges as it the required special tools; in fact, I think they were replaced.  She meticulously painted the surfaces to look brand new; she had plenty of practice as she wall papered and arranged her castle home to be the warmest nest tucked in the prairie surrounded by evergreens.  Friendships are sealed in doing good together.

Our precious hike up the Scottsbluff Monument with her daughter and my friend Michele was a memorable, brave accomplishment for me.  I had no idea there was that much energy in me.  They were agile and limber.  They laughed and we did it, and to me it felt like we made it to the peek of Mount Everest.  We got to the top and looked on to the forever fields kissing the horizon.  What a site to behold!  The Oregon Trail Conestoga Wagon sits next to ruts still carved in the land with rocks around it.  The crisp, dry air cleaner than the fresh blue sky.  In the quiet you expect to hear the thundering buffalos run across to climb over to the other side…  Just the softest breeze appears to shy for the constant shining sun.

” Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘ I will try again tomorrow.'”_Mary Ann Radmacher in All I Can Be

To the left is the photograph of the panels of the cabinet set to the right of the bluff monument painted cabinet panels seen on the last page.

The panels have two separate quotes.  The one on courage is in the caption below it, and the second quote is from Corinthians 13:  ” There are three things that will last forever: faith, hope, and love, and the greatest of these is love.”

Above the Courage panel Deepak Chopra’s quote from The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success was an inspiration to consider: ” Each time I meet someone, I will silently wish them happiness, joy, and laughter.”

I got to take the panels home and brought them back as soon as I could for them to be hung properly.

We spoke of the quotes and were akin with Jill Tweedie’s quote:

” Friends are the family we choose for ourselves.”

We hoped the thoughts imparted would be an inspiration to the girls.  Some of them would be homeless while others were unwanted due to difficult family circumstances.  We imagined the girls would have their favorite, and even hoped

a quote would make a difference in their lives.

I met many grown ladies in my life who were raised in Foster Homes.  Dr. Wayne Dyer too had been one.  This particular home was to be a temporary needed shelter.  We must count our blessings carefully, and share them with others.

When we finished the project, we said, now what ?

Edna is the encourager and bravery is her middle name; no task is too big or too small, she does not shirk any request to be of help. She is present. She is the present.
The windmill her son Doug gave her surprised and pleased her at Christmas.

Edna has talents we could list on page after page after page.

We met at Lake Minatare Country School where one of her sons coached basketball.  Her grandsons played as two of my sons did.  That’s where they learned to be brave on the court.  The coach was frustrated by their “demeanor” because he wanted them to be more rough and aggressive.  He said he “worked them good” but then they went home and got “polite pills”.  Our dear David stole the ball and apologized to the player.  We just laughed but one fine year the Mustangs won the Championship, and David made that last determining shot to untie the score into victory.

Edna is the mother of two sons and two daughters, and the grandmother of seven plus three or maybe four great grandkids by now.  Her precision and thoroughness in cooking, baking, embroidering, stenciling, writing a letter, keeping her family close by raises the bar for us humans.  That’s why I always said, in meeting her and the Family, I witnessed a colony of angels doing their best work here on earth.  They pitch in.  They gladly show up to cheer others on.  They have fun together.

One time I was invited to see how she and all the girls in the family got together to roll butter balls for the winter.  They were carefully placed on cookie sheets to go in the freezer to harden and later bagged for each to take home and have ready to prepare soup in the cold months ahead.  They sat around a table all six of them chatting.  The bond looked like a golden bracelet with scarab stones.  The daughters and daughter-in-laws , herself, and one granddaughter giggled with arms outstretched rolling the balls over the kitchen table.  There may have been one more granddaughter, I’m not sure anymore…  I am certain the love I witnessed was out of this world. A beautiful Family surrounded by a halo of joy.

There she be in the Garden of Eden where no rattle snakes dare to come bother…

The land her husband Bob farmed with sugar beets and corn crowned her prized stories.  Their love story is the girley story we ladies adore…  She said a farmer is known to be skilled by how straight the lines of the crops appear, and her Bob’s rows were perfect.  She took me to pick Great Northern Beans in her Cadillac, and I got a handful of white pearls.  The subtle beauty of the prairie is more giant than a tall one.

The windmill her son Doug gave her surprised and pleased her at Christmas.
An elf in the garden to tell the tale of the stones and things found in an attic a long time ago. I can hear her telling me things.

There is nothing to fear in that vast land.

The people mind their own business and

respect one another’s differences.  They

trust and allow no hurt to disturb their

peace of mind.  They have each other and they bravely embrace challenges while they support each other’s dreams.  They work and like it, or they just fake it and smile.

That is another story for another blog to show what is possible to overcome any adversity.




I hope to hear from anyone who is on to the challenge of writing a tad or a bit from the twenty six letters of the alphabet…  I have done A and B…  and by Tuesday I’ll be off to C…  To be Aware and to be Brave have been long blogs, and I hope to have more time to make the next one shorter.  I think Mark Twain said something like that.  Enjoy your Monday…

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