LUGGAGE Lady

The Baggage That Binds Us…

Together We Flourish — Divided We Flounder

Dolphin Always! (5)

Sensationalized reporting

Sweeping generalizations

Inflated sentiments

Morph into disconnect

Isolation

Bitterness

Fear…

Channel after channel

Each attempting to eclipse the other

Competing soundbites trying to sway

Yet, in the real world

I observe a much different story

I see

Folks joining hands

Working tirelessly

Building cohesive families

Earning honest livings

Looking out for their neighbors

Volunteering

Mentoring our youth

Goodwill extended every step of the way

And my admiration skyrockets

The camaraderie of upstanding citizens

Impassioned spirits merging with loving intent

Have always been the glue binding our communities

We don’t need anyone to decipher this for us

It’s ingrained in the very fiber of our shared humanity

Together We FlourishDivided We Flounder

Life is a Painting, Enjoy the Brushstrokes

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Dear Readers — After achieving my one-year blogging goal, I planned on powering down the old baggage carousel — but two lovingly persuasive people gave me pause.

So, while I contemplate the future of my little blog…

Please welcome luggage lady’s first-ever Guest Blogger:Β  Airline captain, home remodeler, chef, adventure planner, & seeker of meaningful existence — my husband.

🌻🌻🌻

Why do we walk life’s slippery steps?

We will surely skid into the abyss

Life continues its incessant attempt at overwhelming us

Unfriendliness

Hopelessness

Sorrow

24-hour news

Day in, day out repetitiveness

Surely we must concede

Cower

Surrender

***

A bright spot in your day

A friendly gesture

A wife’s smile

A purr or lick from your family pet

A fantastic sunrise

Sunset

Your favorite song on the radio

A heartfelt laugh

A please

A thank you

Sincerity

Lifelong friends

A family that has your back

A joke you’ve heard a hundred times and still enjoy

A hero’s story

A good book

A day at the movies

Love

***

When you look at a painting

Do you study the miniscule imperfections

Or just relish the artist’s expression?

As with art, so is life

There are many more positives in this world than negatives

The question is this:

Which would you rather focus on?

Life is a Painting, Enjoy the Brushstrokes

🌻🌻🌻

Dedicated to my Dear Friend at sirenatales.wordpress.com

Elevating Tomorrow by Eclipsing Yesterday

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The only person you need to be better than is the one you were yesterday.”

🌟

Gracefully intent

You tango

Enviable posture

Unflinching

On life’s populous dance floor

Melody and motion seamlessly unite

Snappy maneuvers building momentum

Heightening experience

Crescendo nearing

Until…

Scheming arms stealthily encircle

Partnering you with self-defeat

Incessant comparisons truncating potential

A plethora of privileged souls sashay along the promenade

Born inanely gifted

Bearing silver-spooned advantage

Society’s favorites

Slated for success

Gobbling all the prizes

Why bother?

Apathetic legs lock

Rhythm

Lost

🌟

But the stars wait…

Yearning for the brush of your fingertips

As you reach skyward

Remembering

To foster your own dreams

Rather than covet another’s

Chance after gutsy chance

Digging deep

Summoning your song

Mastering its unique beat

Toppling your best

And still

Ascending…

🌟

Elevating Tomorrow by Eclipsing Yesterday

How Lucky Am I to Call You Dad?!

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To Male Role Models Everywhere: What YOU Do Makes a Lifelong Difference

***

Exemplifying strength, security, and wisdom

Your jovial ambition buoyed all who gazed into those steel-blue eyes

A man with boundless know-how

You were educator, innovator, mentor, entrepreneur, comedian, athlete, handyman, storyteller — and moral beacon

I believed in you

And you instilled tenacious courage in me

Exhibiting integrity in every facet of your life

You demonstrated the importance of preparation, sacrifice, faith, and hard work

Cushioned by your tireless guidance

I stumbled

I blossomed

I made choices that surely left you wincing

Still, my gallant cornerstone remained in the wings

At-the-ready

Yet intervening only if solicited

A consistent male presence enhances the well-being of every child

But paternal dependability fortifies a little girl’s heart beyond measure

Shielding her from pathetic sorts who prey upon the vulnerable

A flourishing confidence that protects her long after she grows up and moves away…

β™₯β™‘β™₯

Thank YOU for

Bestowing a love I never doubted

Safeguarding my reputation by imparting self-worth

Anchoring our family in your committed embrace

Being the first to volunteer and the last to quit — bettering every community you touch

My heart swelling with pride at the mere mention of your name

For loving my mommy over fifty years and counting

Towering valiantly as the grandest role model I’ve ever known

How lucky Am I to Call You Dad?!

Mind Over Mountain

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The mountain looms. Ignoring the “I can’ts” lobbing across my mind. Altitude accentuating the agony. Hammering heartbeat. Inferior lungs. Exhaling in a humiliating whoosh. The peak well above my comfort zone. Weighted legs. Stalling. A gulp of metallic water from my canteen. Sun and wind chaffing. A flicker of reverence launching untapped stamina — I’m traversing a portion of the intricate 25,000-mile Inca road system!Β 

Santos, our Inca Shaman darts by. He’s hiking in sandals (!), playing a wooden flute-like instrument. I wonder what he thinks of this out-of-shape gringo gasping for air? He pauses in the distance. Incapable of speaking his native tongue, I ask for a picture in Spanish. He smiles, waving me over.

Later, he leads our group of twelve in a ceremony at the edge of a luminous glacier lake. He distributes symbolic coca leaves and we cling to their divinity as he begins chanting in hushed Quechua. Our Peruvian guide translates:

Release your negativity. Leave it here in the wide embrace of the Andes. Be free of debilitating thoughts. Let them go. They drag you under. Forgive yourself. Forgive others. Disappointment, grudges, and bitterness destroy. Know in this moment, you have all you need: the sustaining sun, soothing air, purifying water, guiding stars, protective mountains, and exalting skies. The moon’s pull to keep you centered, the soil to nourish. Mother Earth always provides, ready with healing hand. Use this restorative energy. Envision family, friends, those suffering you’ve never met. Lift them up with your compassion. We have nothing more valuable to give the world — or each other.

We clutch hands, stitching our circle tighter. Snow loses its grip on a nearby cliff, triggering a small avalanche amidst our tranquility. A Condor swoops gracefully.Β Both men intensely engaged in their sacred ritual. Who am I to be standing in such a surreal natural sanctuary? I close moist eyes and picture the Southern Cross dancing in last night’s sky, wondering how I’ll ever translate such marvel to another. I tuck the memory into a deep pocket of my brain, hoping I’ll find a way.

Back home, I study our photographs, trying to recapture the rush of accomplishment, to harness the spirited Inca drive. I mean — who possesses such moxy as to erect cities and trails upon alarmingly precarious territory? I observe people all around me facing everyday mountains, trouncing obstacles with unparalleled grit, and I ask:

What’s the magic ingredient that propels an individual to exceed mediocrity — striving for excellence in every pursuit?
Β 



Soulfully Awake…Standing in Awe

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Just a blip on life’s stage

Passing through history’s dense corridor

Lost civilizations mocking

Whistling my insignificance across snapping winds

Footprints gobbled by swirling dust

Was I ever even there?

The sun bores into my heart

Exposing my humanness

Yesterday’s drama devoured by thunderous waterfalls

I scrounge uncomfortably

Clamoring for excuses

Why do I succumb

To living so small

When I’m nothing but a speck in time?

My tongue thickens

Leaves me to swallow words unformed

But in subsequent muteness

Tears of determination cleanse my scope

And slowly I rise

I may be but a flickering flame against a ravenous night sky

Yet

Wherever the trail leads from this step forward

I have gleaned the dauntless spirit

Of all who have pummeled this path before

Teetering on possibility’s edge

Soulfully Awake…Standing in Awe

***

I return with brimming heart, Dear Readers, from a journey that afforded mesmerizing glimpses of Peru and Alaska. Blessed to experience the magnificent natural wonders of our planet, but also to lay a hand across the pulse of hardiness, innovation, and unyielding gusto coursing throughout our human lineage — I can’t wait to catch up with everyone and appreciate your patience so…

Not Goodbye — Just So Long for Now

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I remember lugging my backpack around Europe in the summer of ’88, enviously eyeballing the tour operators in their air-conditioned buses and thinking, must be nice. Soon though, it became clear that those peering from behind the fancy tinted windows were limited to staged visits at predetermined sites — extemporaneous exploration excluded. At twenty-one, immortality remained a reality but a wisp of doubt lingered: Perhaps bucket list pursuits came with a use-by date?

When I met my husband, he sported a fused ankle bone with a few steel screws drilled in for good measure (a youthful act of…let’s just say a lapse in judgment he’ll never forget). Besides triggering airport security (ever spy that airline captain standing spread-eagle?😜 ), the impeded mobility continues to challenge. Therefore, we never squander opportunities that may prove impossible tomorrow.

Blessed to work in an industry that allows generous vacation time and travel deals, we’re off to hike Machu Picchu — an itinerary that has us traipsing some forty miles through the Andes at altitudes exceeding 15,000 feet. We’ve been training, but I’m more harvest hen than spring chicken and hope I haven’t overestimated my prissy-girl parameters to my own detriment. Just praying I’m not the one they strap atop the poor rescue mule.

As this Bag Lady vanishes from the grid for a while, I wish you renewed celebration of life’s true fortunes: Smile ’til your cheeks ache, laugh readily with wild abandon, love yourself and all you touch whilst delighting in your every aspiration! I’ll be hyperventilating beneath celestial Peruvian skies…

Not Goodbye — Just So Long for Now! β™₯β™₯β™₯

For Salvaging My Dream…

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Pecking computer keys in the wee hours

Few aware she even writes

Hunkered in the shadows

Defining herself by “other things”

An artist?

Unworthy!

Just a floundering girl

Filling her document folder

Material swiftly abandoned

Homeless amidst

Shock and awe journalism media

Wavering attention spans

Preoccupation

Isolation gradually devouring

Until a one-dimensional figure

Staring idly

At pulsing cursor

Was the uninspired hull that remained…

***

Then I found YOU!

Generous souls

Benevolently lifting

Hailing

From every corner of the globe

Rejuvenating with spirited support

In this frenzy-paced world

YOU selflessly carve out a moment of your day

To read, offer feedback, and gracefully pass through with a loving nod

YOU hoist my bar higher each time

Whether near or far

Our Connection

Propels my heart

Fingers fluttering across keyboard

In creative rebirth

Delivered by your welcoming chorus

Yet I stand before you

Struggling to articulate…

How do I sufficiently thank

YOU

β™₯ CHERISHED READERS β™₯

For Salvaging My Dream?

Hometown Tourist

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Melting into your trance

We scamper aboard

Eager passengers

In pursuit of surprise

Sweep us from the ordinary

Rivet our senses

Broaden our character

Unearth perspective anew

Many dream of traveling “someday…”

But life’s obligations intervene

Time and money earmarked for other things

Yet

Adventure beguiles daily

No pricey ticket or suitcase required!

Come hither

Sidle up

To that well-grooved chair in the corner cafe

Throw your heart’s eyes open

Hone your gaze

Feast upon the flurry of everyday charm

Donning the inquisitive mindset of a

Hometown Tourist…

He Who Galvanizes

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To ALL who inspire — perhaps without even realizing…

One thousand five hundred sixty-three days

I awaited

The arrival of your pioneering imagination

Possessing power

To transport me places

I’d never have sought alone

With clever inventiveness

You illustrated my world

You were Luke

And I Leia

How freely we roamed

Growing up in a time

When amusement resided

In a child’s enterprising mind

Endless stories we scripted

Performing to an audience of squirrels and birds

You heightened my fascination with language

Memorizing our favorite Pink Floyd lyrics

To croon along the moon-splashed river

Gurgling through our backyard

Never just a song

Rather a fervent interpretation of the essence

Behind every line

As we lamented

How quickly adults swapped youthful dreams

For the mundane

And what impact our teensy existence might render

Upon inconceivable universal vastness

No matter the backdrop

The intangible imprint

Forged by your loyal companionship

Is a guarded privilege

I shall never take for granted

Held in highest esteem:

He Who Galvanizes

***

This is dedicated to my humble baby brother, who not only coined the “LUGGAGE Lady” handle and encouraged this blog, but who has served as the mystical force behind my artistic/dramatic expression — always!Β  β™₯

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