The closeness of Strangers

strangersI am always amazed by the kindness of strangers. I have met people all over the world. Everywhere I go they go above and beyond the call for kindness. I went to a store the other day to see about getting a picture framed. Upon walking out of the store a little old lady stopped me and advised me to get a quote before I shipped anything out. She had brought some small prints in and they ended up costing her over $500!!!! My landlord held my house 3 months before moving to the area and without meeting prior to moving there. I meet a gentleman in China who was most delighted that I spoke English and spent the next three days traveling with my friends and me. Sometimes kindness is in a smile or an action. Regardless we all affect the people around us. You have affected me by reading my silly ideas; commenting on what you agree with, disagree with, or what I can do better. It is amazing. We are strangers and you help me. I only hope that I can return the favor.

 I endeavor to be the kindness I want to see in the world. I know time and time again I fall short. I am impatient and rough around the edges but I do try. I hope that one day I can meet every one of you and say thank you face to face. If not, then thank you here and now. If we could all just take the time to understand one another. Not necessarily agree with each other but understand the other’s point of view. I think it would come a long way to bringing peace to the world.

 Thank you again for all your encouragement.


The space between the stars.


On my way to work tonight there was a very bright and insistent star in my windshield. It is probably really a planet to give off so much light but it got me thinking. I started thinking about the people who saw the stars and did not know what they really were. I can see how one could look to the stars for guiding advice. They are very steady and predictable. That kind of stability is comforting in a world where so many things are unknown. It still rings true for us today as well.

I have always been partial to Orion. Of course, it is the easiest constellation to see in our sky. The myth behind Orion, like any Greek story, is scandalous. What is life without a little excitement?! While I do not pray to Orion like our ancestors did, I do gain some comfort and strength every time I see it. In today’s world anything that gives hope is a good thing.

I have spent some time studying the stars. I can pick out Ursa Major and Minor, Scorpio (which I think is suppose to be chasing Orion depending on which myth you believe), Draco, Cassiopeia, and every now and again I can find Pegasus.  I really enjoy star gazing. I don’t know why but the sky in Southern Georgia is the best. Maybe cause you can lay on the beach and look at the stars. Texas is pretty good too.

What is your favorite constellation? Do you feel any connection to the stars?

Bedtime Stories

wp_ss_20160103_0001It has been a long day. Really a long week. Long month. But today I may have taken a day to be home and visit with my mom. She leaves tomorrow and I am happy and sad at the same time. She goes home to sadness and heartache. I get to go to work tomorrow. I wish I could take all her pains away. I would love to be a little kid again and have her read me bedtime stories.

I have found the difference between a child and an adult is that adults can not hide from the monsters. They never go away. As experience adds to our imagination we become experts at creating our own bogymen. Worry and fear consume us.

However on a brighter note. I watched the Avengers today. Yes, I’m only a few years behind. I liked it. The side jokes made the movie for me. I need to get back into watching Agents of SHIELD. I really liked that show. Anyone have any shows they can’t live without??

Remember to take time for your mental health every now and again.

Safe Travels!

Stone statue of a Buddha in Ayutthaya, Thailand.

So after a long and frustrating day today I thought I would talk about something happy. So in a few weeks I will be going to Thailand. So super excited! I have never been to Thailand but went to China last year. I try to go somewhere new once or twice a year. I think it is very important to see different cultures and try different foods. If you spend time seeing how other people live you will get new prospective on life. So far I have been to China, Australia, Fiji, Mexico, and Canada (if you consider that a foreign country!) I have come to appreciate my home and way of life. However, I must say there are things I wish we had over here. In China, the food is fresh and purchased every day. In Australia, everyone is laid back and friendly. Fiji is a very poor country and still has a class system. Mexico holds family in very high regard. Canada love their outdoors and outdoor sports. Taking a little piece away with you helps you understand that the world doesn’t revolve around you.

Every place has a history, a story, a hope for a better future. The people are good and bad. Just like anywhere else. I feel that America is so out of touch with our roots and upbringing. China really opened my eyes to the Zen around you. They spend time walking the parks and spending time in self-reflection. In Mexico you are always family. I have been invited to the homes of people I just met. “You are new here? Come, we will have dinner!” Such good food too. Everyone surfs in Australia. EVERYONE. I noticed school children in wet suits for their PE class. Not fair! It is things like this that make me realize that the world is so much bigger that my little town, state, or country.

I have many more places I want to visit. Katmandu and Casablanca are high on my list. Yes, it is because of the song and movie. But hey!? Why not? Why not say I went to all of the gin joints in Casablanca but couldn’t find Rick. Where would you go if you could go anywhere? Why? Have you been to Thailand? What is one thing I have to do?

I will be using this Travel Group for my Thailand trip. I hope it will be a great experience. I am open to other travel companies if you know of any. I realize that traveling alone in today’s world isn’t safe. However, it won’t stop me from traveling. I just travel smarter now.

Grief. Is there a right way?


Is there a right way or wrong way to grieve? Is there a way to make the pain less?

My mother is visiting. She has a hard time through the holidays because my father passed away suddenly 3 years ago on Christmas Eve. My mom has really struggled with his passing and how can you blame her? They were together 33 years and been all over the world together. They have three wonderful children. I watch her waste away and slowly being consumed by a dark hole of her own making. If my father was to step into their bed room right now. He would find that nothing has changed. His bedside items are still laying on the night stand. His clothes are still in the closet. I can’t see how this is healthy. I can’t see how this helps her heal. She just wallows in her pain and sorrow. I feel ashamed sometimes because I know that is not how he would want us to live.

This is not the best example of her and me but three years ago, right after my dad died I got a puppy. Perhaps to help me cope. Regardless, I put a lot of love and care into the dog. I found out a few days ago that he has terminal cancer and has a life expectancy of 4-6 weeks! Great news here so close to the holidays and my dad’s passing anniversary. I have started planning for after my dog’s passing. I want to donate his body to the college to be used in science. I want to donate his toys and bed to someone who might not be able to spend all the money I have on spoiling their pet. I want to send my sister some of my dog’s things so she can use them with her dog. I have made all these plans and have prepared myself for life after my youngest furbaby is gone. My mom lays on the couch holding him. She feeds him iron pills and beets because it will make him better. She wants me to stop my life until he has gone.

This is just not who I am. I can’t stop my life because another life has stopped. If I quit moving forward I will sink into the darkness just like she has. I can’t wallow in my misery because I have responsibilities and dreams I need to fulfil. Perhaps I have taken this extreme view after seeing my mother stop living. I over compensate to make up for her. I don’t know. It’s just how I function. I realize there is no one way. And that her loss is a million times worse then mine. All I can say is I rather someone pass unexpectedly then to know it is coming soon.






A beginning…in the middle

If you think about it, every beginning is in the middle of something. My life is in the middle of my parent’s life. And theirs were in the middle of their parents. My actions influence the middle of someone else’s life. But we must all start somewhere. And so, this will be my start.

Oscar Wilde said, “Be yourself; everyone else is taken.” I endeavor to be.

You may call me Ryver (like River). This is the best way to describe myself. Ever flowing; ever moving; ever seeking. A river while guided by the Earth, cuts its own path to destiny. A river flows and absorbs the things around it carrying the flotsam and silt with it to the end. This is how I see myself. Taking bits and pieces of my surrounding and carrying their significance with me. Some things are pollution, poison, death. While others are pleasant, cleansing, and healing.

I am not always so poetic. Finding the words to express myself isn’t simple. Analogies and similes help me paint the picture best. I believe anyone would do the same. To describe something you must make the other person feel your pain, happiness, sorrow.

I am a denial depression-ist. Or rather, I am in denial of my depression. By believing it doesn’t exist I am able to embrace my happiness. If you pretend long enough it becomes true right? For me this only works until it doesn’t. Then the whole world comes crashing down and I have to rebuild my shelter.

I am the oldest of three. Headstrong, stubborn, and perpetually afraid of everything. My father passed three years this Christmas Eve. Leaving behind a shell of a widow. My mother has never been strong minded and now she is just existing. Waiting for…I do not know what. My sister (middle child) working on a DR in animal biology. My brother (youngest) is a stupid, smart math major. We all work and live in different worlds. But we will always be family.

With the start of 2016 I hope to learn more about myself and how I fit into the world around me.