Ripples

Yesterday, a friend of mine and I were having a conversation. And the way the conversations usually go usually is you start on one thing and it just morphs into something else. This is how this conversation was, and it was a good thing. We started talking about something rather lighthearted and ended up talking about a pretty deep subject. We were talking about the ripple effect.

The ripple effect is just my name for it. Basically, it’s my theory that your actions and my actions affect an untold number of people, they spread out from us like ripples on a pond. Just think about it. If you’re having a bad day and a stranger in a store gives you a complement for no reason, your day is a little brighter. So since your day is a little bit brighter you treat the next person with a little bit more kindness. And perhaps, they do the same. On the flipside of that if you are having a bad day, maybe you snap at people. And may be the person that you snap at, then in turn goes home and snaps at their significant other. Maybe their significant other is the boss of a big crew and they snap at their workers and the workers then quit and then they don’t have any money for Christmas and then Little kids are unhappy because Santa didn’t come…, you get the drift. Basically, what I’m saying is that our actions affect other people. In ways that we may never see.

The point of all this, is that (I think) we can actually choose how we act. A lot of people say “oh well, I had this happened so I got mad and I snapped.” and they think that makes their actions ok. That is really not acceptable. You have a choice. One of my coworkers said to me one day, “you are always so happy.” The thing is that I choose to be happy. Now, it doesn’t always work, don’t get me wrong. I have days when I am a horribly moody, feel blah or am sad, just like everyone else. Overall though, I choose to look at at the bright side of things. I choose to try and find the good in people, I choose to not let my day be so bad that I walk around frowning. I choose to see the beauty of life. I choose to see the goodness in other people. And I choose to be happy. Some days it’s hard. Some days I am surrounded by ugliness, and hateful people, and bad feelings. Some days I look at the world and everything that we do to one another and I get so sad. And frustrated. And disgusted. And disheartened. But, then I remember the capacity that people have to do good things. The capacity that our hearts hold for loving. And I remember all of the miracles that are set before us on a daily basis. I remember all the good things in life. And there we go with the ripples again. If you think about the good things in your life and you think about the goodness and kindness that has been shown to you then most often good things happen to you and goodness and kindness does come your way. And of course, if you treat others the way you wish that you were treated, that causes a ripple effect as well.

Some days, I know that everyone get so wrapped up in the things that are going wrong in their lives it’s hard to see the good. But I promise you, it’s there. And maybe, just maybe that smile or complement that you get from a complete stranger is the thing that allows you to see it. I hope each and every one of you make your ripples large and meaningful. I hope each and every one of you touch someone’s lives in a positive way and see firsthand the good that dwells in people’s hearts. Have a great day everyone, until I talk to you to you again. And by the way, here are a few pictures that I don’t think you’ve seen before.

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Road trip

I know I haven’t written in a while, I I also know that some may care, while others may not. However, my life, just like everyone else’s life has been extremely busy. The thing that may or may not differentiate my life from someone else’s is that my husband works off. What I mean, is that he works away from home. He has for such a long time now that it’s second nature to me. However, there might be two or possibly three weeks sometimes a month when I don’t see my husband. So the time that I have with him is very very precious.

I know a lot of people, actually, whose husbands work away from home. It’s a rough job. It’s a rough job being the one to go, and it’s just as rough being the one who stays. You are lonely, you miss the person that you married because you wanted to spend time with them, and you have to learn to do a lot of things on your own. Also The little things that irritate you about one another can turn into a huge fight over the phone. Because let’s face it, you can’t read their body language or see if they’re kidding through a phone call. FaceTime helps eliminate some of that, but misunderstandings can and do happen. Also, there can be resentment that builds up. Perhaps the one on the Road resents the one that stays home, or the one who stays home resents the one on the road. They may never really vocalize to one another that that’s how they feel, even if they recognize it themselves. And so it builds. The one at the house has to take care of everything, including things for the person on the road, and the person on the road doesn’t get to stay in a house that they’re paying for or helping pay for, they don’t get to see their family, and they have to deal with all of the things that happen on the road by themselves. It can be rough.

Through the years that I’ve been married to Rod, I think we’ve gone through all phases. There have been times when I have resented him, I know there have been times he resented me. (now, to be clear, it was never the kind of resentment that was long lasting, maybe I should say irritation) of course there’s the missing you, because I miss that man like crazy when he’s gone, there’s the irritation, everything that happens in a normal marriage is amplified by 100. So, that brings me to the point of today’s post. Make the time that you get to spend with your significant other account. Whether it’s a day, a few hours, or a couple weeks or months, make it count.

Rod decided that he needed a new truck. This is something that does not come as a surprise to me, because the man drives all over the place. He will pull it over 60,000 miles on a truck in a year, so I don’t really have a problem with it. He needs the warranty, and pages likes the new truck. He works hard, so it’s December, and I knew it was about time to start thinking about a new truck. Unfortunately, every new truck he seems define that has the best deal seems to be in North Carolina! For those of you that don’t know, I live in Mississippi. That is A 12 Hour Dr. one way. So, my crazy husband comes home from Houston, and says I’m going to go get my new truck the deals done. I say OK and then he says, “I’d really like it if you’d come with me “. Well darn! So, I text my boss and asked if I could switch my days off and got committed to go on a road trip with my crazy husband. Now, a 12 Hour Dr., I thought I would have at least one opportunity for a picture of some sort. We left at 8 o’clock at night and drove pretty much straight through so it was dark. And when we came home, it was also mostly dark. So, no photo opportunities, but I had lots of fun taking a road trip with my husband. I have always enjoyed spending time with Rod, Road trips like that just make me remember why. Maybe it wasn’t how some people would like to spend time with their significant other, but it was what I was given. So, as I drive to work trying to keep my eyeballs open, I am thankful that I got to spend pretty much 24 hours driving across the country with my husband.

I may not have gotten any pictures, but I did make a whole new bunch of memories that I can take out and look at when he’s not with me. at the end of the day, that’s a good thing.

On a sidenote, the new year is fast approaching, and most of you know that I will probably be in Michigan for Christmas. After that, when I get back to Mississippi, I’m looking at the idea of making some changes to the blog. We’ll just have to see how things go. Until then, or until next time rather, here are a few pictures that I don’t think that you’ve seen before. I hope each and everyone of you take the time to make each moment with your loved one special. Whether it’s a road trip, or a trip across town. Enjoy them! I’ll talk to you soon

20 years

It’s amazing how fast time passes. Today, is kind of like a day 20 years ago today. It’s kind of rainy, a little cool, and I am a very very happy girl today. 20 years ago today, I married Rod Koelker. 20 years ago today, I became Gena Koelker. 20 years ago today I started a journey with a man that has been the most amazing journey that I’ve ever had the pleasure to be a part of. Today, is my 20 year anniversary.

20 years sure sounds like a long time when you say it that way. I’m telling you one thing, it was a blink of an eye. I went from a scared young girl who had no idea what tomorrow held to a woman who still doesn’t know what tomorrow will hold but is confident that it will be amazing. Yesterday I was picking out my wedding dress, and the day before that I met my husband for the first time. 20 years goes by so very quickly. I chose to make a life with Rod. It was the best decision I’ve ever made.

20 years ago I thought that I had to do it all myself. I thought that I had to be an independent woman or I was weak, I was so wrong. Sometimes strength comes from allowing others in. One day I realized, with the help of my very direct husband, that to be truly independent it was OK to be dependent sometimes. It was OK to lean on someone. It was OK to let someone else lead the way. I didn’t need to have all the answers all the time. And, I still don’t. He and I work together as a team and figure things out. Life has thrown us some curveballs, and we’ve just adjusted our swing and hit every one. If you had seen us then, we probably would have looked like the long shot, if you look at us now we might look like a pretty decent bet.

It hasn’t been easy. But it hasn’t been all hard either. When you get two people that decide to live together, and make a life together, and make a promise to one another that they will be there for the other person for the rest of that person’s life, you’re going to have conflicts. If people were too alike, then life sure would be boring. Sometimes we fight, and I get so angry with him sometimes, just like I know that there are times that he just wishes that I would just do what he wants me to do and shut up. I know that there are times that he thinks that I am off my rocker or I am the most unreasonable person in the world. But in the end, we figure it out. We make it work because we love each other. We are so much better together than we are apart. We both have chosen to put in the work, and the effort, to make a life together. I don’t want to say that we have a life that other people envy, I just want to say that we hope to set a good example for our children. I hope one day that all of my kids will be able to look up and say “hey, I’ve been married to this person for 20 years and I’m still happy that I made that choice.”

So now, I hope you will forgive me if I get a little sappy. I know he won’t ever read this, but there are a couple of things that I would like to say to my husband:

Rodney, I am so very thankful to have found you. I can’t imagine someone who is better suited to me than you are. When I need pushing, you’re there to shove me in the right direction. You’re also there when I need you to be exactly as I need you to be. You listen to me, and most of the time you actually make me feel like my opinion matters. I know I can be hard to live with, but I’ve been proud to be your wife for 20 years. If something ever happens to me, and you are left in this world without me, I hope that you know the love that I have for you will continue until you’re not here anymore either. Because that’s the thing, the love that I have for you, is eternal. It will never go away. No matter if I am here, or just echoes of me remain, my love is a constant thing. You are constantly in my heart, in my soul, on my mind, and I will love you for all eternity. The day that we walked down the aisle, the day that I held your hand and said I do was one of the best days of my life. It was the first step on this grand adventure that we’ve had. It hasn’t always been good, but it’s never been so horrible that there was no returning to the good path that we’ve had. The bad has never been so overwhelming that our love couldn’t conquer whatever was wrong. We have made so many memories together, in 20 years. we have squeezed a lifetime in two short decades. I can’t wait to see what the next 30 will bring. That’s right, I still want 50 years with you and more. I want a 50 year anniversary from you sir, and I’d like to dance at our party. So, since I don’t plan on going anywhere that means that you’re stuck with me for at least 30 more years. Well, I know it will be much longer than that! I love you Rodney, thank you for making me your wife. Thank you for loving me for over 20 years now. And thank you for planning a future that includes me in it. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.

Now, for everyone else, I hope that you have someone that fills your heart with every emotion that it can possibly hold. I hope your joy’s outweigh your sadnesses and I hope that you have someone that loves you like there’s no one else in the world. I hope that you have someone that you can look forward with and plan a future with. Hold onto them. Love isn’t given freely, not true love anyway. Not the kind of love that lasts forever, that kind of love takes time and work and it’s a constant work in progress. It evolves and changed but only grows stronger with each passing day. I hope each and every one Of you take the time and put in the work, because in the end the love that you get, the life that you live, the years that pass are all so much better if you take the time to do the work and share your life with someone that truly matters. I hope everyone has an amazing day today, and I’ll talk to you all again soon

More driving thoughts

This morning, I’m driving to work with Oscar and thinking about my weekend. Monday morning is usually the time that I process everything that happened over the weekend and it was a pretty good one, it was filled with uncertainty of coarse and laughter and work and all the other things that make up a life. But there were a couple of things that stood out.

I have a friend who for whatever reason was treated poorly somewhere this weekend and they will probably not go back to the place the treated them poorly. I can’t say as I blame them. Then I hear stories of people in Meridian Mississippi reaching out to hurricane victims and helping them. giving them whatever they can and helping them find a place to stay. That shows the good in people. And then I hear a story that one of my children’s friends stood by and watched a young man hold a gun to a six-year-old child’s head and rob him of his iPhone and a dollar, and this happened in a town not too far from me.

Today is also September 11. That’s a day that means a great deal to people in my country. It’s a day that we were attacked by people that hate us for whatever reason. I can’t help but wonder on this day, if perhaps that Day finished stripping away the decency and honor and integrity most of us used have as second nature. Many still have those core qualities, but sadly many do not. I know we lost a lot of our innocence that day. I know we came face-to-face with the fact that most people don’t like us. Whether it is Because of our religious beliefs , because they think we are arrogant, or just because we have more than they do. The reason never really matters, only the outcomes do. We’ve gone on so long in our lives just thinking about ourselves, how to get ahead and how we think we need to buy the next big thing, I think that we have forgotten that at the end of the day were all people. We all have hopes and dreams no matter what they are, and instead of helping one another often times we try and squash another person’s hopes or dreams. You see, if others don’t fulfill their hopes and dreams maybe it makes us feel like there’s more room and more possibility for us to fulfill ours. Such a shame.

September 11 was a horrible day, and a lot of people died for absolutely no reason whatsoever. Every day since then it seems like I have watched our Nation slide deeper and deeper into depravity. I’m not exactly sure what country I’m living in anymore some days. So, I guess the only thing I can do, and the only thing each of us can do is get up each day, try and remember to treat everyone the way that we wish we could be treated, and live. Maybe if just a few of us try and do our very best to treat our fellow man in a good way, it will start a chain reaction. Maybe I’m na├»ve, and I most certainly am, but I have hope. If you have hope then there’s nothing that you can’t do. Hope is like fuel for the human spirit. It’ll keep you going on long time after people say that you should’ve laid down and given up. There is goodness in all people, we just have to find it. There is greatness in each and everyone of us, and it is so easily achievable, we just have to want to put in the work and go for it. Is it easy to be nice to someone that’s being ugly to you, of course not! Is it easy to try and reason with someone who’s being unreasonable, of course not. Is it easy to see something from someone else’s point of view when you are absolutely certain that you are right? Of course not. But it’s the right thing to do. Sometimes I have to remind myself that maybe an unreasonable person may just be having a bad day. I know we can all do it, I know that if we try we can make this world A place where we’re really proud to live. We can start small, we could start just by being the best person that we can be. Not the best money maker, not the best at finishing first, but the best person. Be someone that everyone wants to be like. Be a genuinely good person.

But, LOL, sometimes I actually forget that people just really don’t want to be that way anymore. So there we go again, with my worn out and outdated morals and beliefs. LOL oh well, it was worth thinking about! I hope each and everyone of you have an amazing day. I hope that you are the very best that you can be today. I hope that you each find something wonderful to remember on this day to replace any bad memories that you have. I know that I haven’t written a lot lately, Oscar has taken a lot of work. But, he is now nine weeks old, and car rides to work are a little bit easier. So, I’ll leave you with a few photos that you may or may not have seen before. I hope you all have an amazing day!

Morals

I am guilty of a couple of things, I don’t think they’re actually really bad things, but I am guilty of them nonetheless. (there’s probably a lot more of my guilty list that I am aware, for the purposes of this article will say a couple things). I have a very very hard and fast idea of what is right and what is wrong. Now, I am the first one to admit that there is gray area, but there’s just certain things you don’t do. You don’t steal, and you don’t steal from your employer, you don’t murder someone obviously, you don’t intentionally hurt someone, you don’t cheat on someone, you try to treat everyone the way that you want to be treated as much as you can, and you don’t lie, The hard thing, can be to reconcile your self with working with people that don’t follow the same moral code that you do.

Morals are a funny thing, and it’s crazy but they vary from person to person. Some people interpret things in a way that allows them to sleep at night while they steal from countless people. Some people would never steal anything. Some people, have the ability to justify their wrong actions with the fact that maybe someone did something bad to them. Whether the slight to them is real or imagined, they use that to justify doing something wrong. according to my moral code if something is wrong it’s wrong. If it’s wrong today, it’s going to be wrong tomorrow. If it’s wrong before someone cheated you, It’s still wrong after someone cheated you.

For example, I have a friend that works for a car place in another state. This friend is a mechanic, and they had a wreck come in. The car is totaled, but the service manager told my friend to start taking certain things off of this car. Now, maybe I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure that at this point this car does not belong to the mechanic shop. It belongs to the insurance company. I’m sure, and I’m not sure how this works, but I’m sure an insurance adjuster has been out and given a value based on what he or she saw there. So, if they begin to take things off of this car, In my mind that constitutes theft. But more importantly, it’s just wrong. You just don’t do that. I don’t care if it’s to your neighbor, or to a company. In the end, those actions will affect someone. I have another friend who works for a company that is a small business and the employees there, Really don’t care what happens in the business anymore. Now, some of it may be the owners fault, but at the end of the day the employees are hurting their own paycheck, as well as my friends family. Because at the end of the day the business, especially since it’s a small business is owned by a family. A family is who is affected. It doesn’t matter, if people think the family is rich, whether they are or not it’s kind of a moot point. The point is a family still affected. It comes down to another person. And in this case the actions of others are hurting multiple people including, themselves.

Maybe my morals are old-fashioned. Maybe people like me really don’t have a place in this new world that we live in. You know the one, the world where as long as you get yours it’s OK to hurt someone else. The one where if I worked really hard for what I have then I should just give it to you even if you don’t work. The world where if you actually go out and do work it’s frowned upon. The world where I have to accept you for who you are, but you don’t have to take into account any of my feelings, thoughts, or traditions if they don’t fit into your world view. The world where we’re teaching our children to hate one another while we’re saying that we’re trying to teach them to except diversity. The world where we judge others without really knowing who they are. The world where it has become OK to physically hurt others in the name of some cause that you’re trying to forward Maybe, there is no place for old-fashioned morals today. I hope that I’m wrong. I fear that I’m not. Working in sales shows me the very best of people and the very worst. I still believe that every person has good inside of them. I still believe, even if a person is acting horribly, maybe there’s a reason. In fact, the other day I ran into a man that I had just done my best to not have many interactions with because every time I talked to him, he was condescending and treated me as an inferior. I had Oscar outside going potty at the dealership, and the man walked up. Oscar untoward whatever ice block there was between us and the man actually talked to me as a person. So, I will maintain that there is good in everyone. It’s just up to us to see it. If we don’t take the time to give someone another chance to show us who they really are, and we really might miss out on someone great. If we are too busy trying to get ahead we may forget about the people that we may be stepping on, then at the end of the day we may be the first one to cross the finish line but if there’s no one there to really care about anything that we won or achieved then what good is it?

And any rate, I didn’t mean to turn this into a long bench on our house. I was just pondering this as I was driving and listening Oscar complain about having to go to work. I hope everyone has a great day and I’ll leave you with a couple photos that you may or may not have seen before. talk to you soon!

Driving thoughts

I was having a conversation with my friend yesterday about church. He has found a new church and absolutely loves it, and I’m very happy for him. I, on the other hand choose not to go to church, although I have a very strong belief system and very strong relationship with God. But, during the course of our conversation I got to thinking about the things that people go through in their lives that shape who they become. I think, if you do it right you learn and grow your entire life. Some people stagnate at one point or another for whatever reason, but most people keep growing. Now, they grow in a bad way or Good way and is kind of up to them, But the things that have happened to you in your life shape who you become.

Unfortunately, in this day and age people don’t take those lessons and use them, or rather they seem to use them as excuses. They don’t grow from them, and they don’t learn the lesson that they were meant to learn. For me, when something happens I learn from it or, I try to. If I don’t learn something from whatever has happened, the same thing, something worse or something very similar will happen again. I think it’s kind of designed this way. you keep repeating the same mistake until you learn not to do whatever caused you to make the mistake in the first place. I mean If you constantly Speed you will keep getting tickets until you either learn to go the speed limit or you buy a really really expensive radar detector! It amazes me that people use The things that happened in to them in their lives as excuses not to do the right thing or try to excel or for the reason that perhaps they except hand out so readily. I’m just not 100% sure when people gave up on life.

At the end of the day, that’s really what it is. People give up on trying. I have had some crappy stuff happened in my life. I’ve been knocked down so many times that I am very very familiar with what the underside of life looks like. Yet here I stand. I keep getting up. My life is not spectacular, it’s not really that special, and is nothing to write home about, but it’s my life and I choose to keep getting up. I choose to show my children that if you keep trying you can accomplish what you set out to do. I choose to try and help other people when I can, to be or, try to be a good person, and treat others the way I hope, , And often wish that they would treat me, because it’s what we were meant to do. It’s the right thing to do. I make no excuses, if I mess up well then, I messed up. If I hurt you unintentionally, I will say I’m sorry in a minute. And if you wrong me, it may take a little while but I will forgive you. I do a lot of thinking when I’m driving, and I just don’t understand. It was such a small thing to forgive, or smile at someone, or except them for who they are. It doesn’t hurt me at all to say I’m sorry. If I can do it, anyone should be able to.

As for my friend, I’m glad he continues to grow into a good man. I’m sure that he will change over time and continue along the path of growth. It makes me happy to see that there are at least some people out there that still know how to be the kind of people that we as a country used to be. The kind. Of people that other countries used to emulate, the kind of people that we were proud to say we were. I hope each and everyone of you have an amazing day, I would like to leave you with a picture that you may or may not of seen before. Talk to you soon

Sadness

Apologize for not writing yesterday, Sunday was just a horrible day.m that carried over into Monday. Early Sunday morning my little Felix dog got hit by a car. It was kind of my fault, I didn’t have them on a leash, and I do live by a busier road. And that is something that I have to come to terms with.. Everything that happened from that point on just went from bad to worse. But anyway, my husband took it pretty hard, because he really liked Felix. So, his way of dealing with things was to go out and get another puppy from the same dad that Felix came from. He brought him to me yesterday, he has named him Oscar

I think, whenever a pet leaves us our hearts break. And everyone deals with sadness in different ways. My husband, gets mad and then tries to fix things. I deal with it slowly, overtime. The sadness stays with me. Until eventually it doesn’t hurt quite so much anymore. time makes things better. you’re heart never heals, but the pain does lesson. So now, I’m driving to work, talking to you, and I have Oscar with me. Oscar just turned six weeks old, so he can’t be left at home for Atlas babysit. Atlas, in case you don’t know, is my 12-year-old more fat than fluffy yellow lab whom I love dearly. However, he would not be a good babysitter to a teeny tiny Yorkie. We will have to let Oscar get a little older before that happens. Eventually they will spend the days doing whatever they do while I work, probably have parties, but not yet.

What my husband has done, has given me something else to think about besides Felix. I’m sure he kind of did it on purpose. And in his way, he was being sweet, and he was also numbing his own pain at the same time. He also didn’t want to think about losing Atlas. You see, Atlas has seizures. Little dogs for whatever reason seem to help Atlas to not have seizures. When there is no little dog in the house, he will have a seizure at least once a week, when there is a little dog in the house he will have a seizure or maybe once every three or four months. And that old guy doesn’t need to be having any seizures.

So, I will be focused on taking care of Oscar instead of focusing so much on what I did wrong with Felix. Having a puppy that small is almost like having a baby, you really don’t have time to think about anything else. My boss, thankfully, gave me the OK to bring him to work until he’s old enough to stay at home with Atlas. So, hopefully potty training will be easier with Oscar than it was with Felix. I miss Felix desperately. In fact, the first night that he was gone I could still feel him snuggled up to me as I slept. I didn’t feel that last night, but I had Oscar to take care of. My heart is broken and it hurts the way it always does. When we lose a pet. But, eventually it won’t hurt so much. Felix brought unmeasurable joy into my life. He was a character, he was definitely his own man. Well, as much as any dog can be. But, it’s not fair to Oscar for me to dwell on Felix. And anyone that knows me knows that I’m all about being fair. So, unfortunately I have to say goodbye to Felix. I can’t dwell on the past, and tomorrow’s a new day. I will miss him so much, but as with any pet we truly love I know that he will be waiting for me on the other side of the rainbow bridge. I don’t want the day to be too soon however it can’t come soon enough. I will definitely never forget him, and I’m glad to of had him for the short time that I did.

I hope each and everyone of you have an amazing day today. I’ll leave you with a couple pictures, I’ll introduce you to Oscar in the first picture, and say goodbye to Felix in the last ones. Talk to you soon