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You Don't Know What You've Got Til It's Gone PDF Print E-mail
Written by Gayle Nobel   
Saturday, 22 November 2008 15:27

I’m sitting on the deck of our cabin up in Bonita Creek, Arizona. The sky is crystal clear. The sun is warm, yet the air is cool and fresh. The trees haven’t fully recovered from the fire eighteen years ago, so I have an unobstructed view of the surrounding landscape. It’s gorgeous.

Funny thing, it’s been a very long time since I noticed, really noticed, and fully appreciated the beauty of this place. What I realized today, from the moment I woke up, is just how much I love being at our cabin. Why now? Recently we decided to put the cabin up for sale. For a variety of reasons, we are ready for a change.  As much as this feels like the right decision, I am suddenly seeing everything here with different eyes. It reminds me of the sense of appreciation I felt when we first built this place fifteen years ago.  However, now my feelings are magnified because there are so many memories of great times with our kids packed into this place.

Taking things for granted. It’s something most of us do. Until we are facing loss or change, we may live on auto pilot, becoming complacent with what we have. I know I certainly do. I’ve seen it happen in all the big areas including health, money, and the people or things I love. Then life gives me a little pinch. Or sometimes it’s a big shove. It might be something I can control, such as deciding to sell our cabin. Or it might be a larger curveball that I can’t control.

Today I’m seeing things with new eyes. It’s kind of fun actually. It feels like I’ve been given an opportunity. Because we are off the beaten path, the cabins in our area generally do not sell very quickly. I will probably have more time to fully enjoy and appreciate our weekend getaway. There will be at least one more Thanksgiving celebrated here with our dear friends who love and appreciate our cabin too.

The gift of awareness. The gift of time.  Our little green cabin. For these, I’m grateful.

Any thoughts?

Gayle

PS  There’s a beautiful cabin for sale near Payson, Arizona. Anyone? After Thanksgiving, that is. ;-)

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Sunset from our deck
 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 November 2008 19:44
 
Feeling Grateful PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kathy Almeida   
Monday, 10 November 2008 15:43
This morning I sat on the love seat in our living room across from the opened French doors.  I sat there sipping the hot java brew from freshly ground beans, enjoying the warmth and taste as it cascaded down my throat.  As I looked outside I saw this great view in front of me.  Our farm land which had recently been hayed now rolled smooth in green pasture like a freshly mowed lawn in summer time.   A bright blue cloudless sky lay on top.  I looked at the Sycamore tree, given to me by my husband a couple of years ago.  Its leaves rustled in the breeze, still moist and glittery from the morning dew.  Several of my cows grazed near the brown wooden fence that lines our back yard.  They were close enough that I could hear their chomping as they moved through the thicket.  The sun streamed in the house through the open doors warming me from the chilly autumn air.  I had lit a cinnamon candle nearby.  Coffee done, I picked up my marker, opened my journal and began writing.  This was the first time in quite awhile that I had totally to myself and I enjoyed it.  I am grateful for this moment.

I am also grateful for all the progress Mark is making.  Since the beginning of this year, he has had a rough ride.  First he was hospitalized for his seizures running out of control.  Then it took quite awhile for us to find the right meds that work to control  his seizures without causing him major side effects.  And finally he's learning how to live for the first time ever without seizures every day.  It has been a challenging time to say the least for all of us, but most importantly for Mark.  To see him picking up where his life left off, doing the things that bring him joy, fills my heart with tremendous gratitude.  Even though he's not totally there yet, each step he takes is a moment of celebration.

November is Thanksgiving; a time to reflect on the gifts we've been given, the things we love, the people we have in our lives.  This year I have so much to be grateful for.  I'm grateful for moments like this morning- when I get to enjoy the simple pleasures of life.  I am grateful too for all the steps that we've taken together as a family and the ones we've taken separately to bring us to the place that we are today.   Although this year has been one filled with many obstacles to overcome, there have been as many gifts along the way.  Sometimes it just takes noticing to see them, like looking out my french doors at the beauty of a brand new day.

How about you?  What are you feeling grateful for?

Kathy
Last Updated on Thursday, 20 November 2008 16:07
 
It's All About Gratitude PDF Print E-mail
Written by Gayle Nobel   
Thursday, 06 November 2008 14:00
It's November and fall is finally in the air here in sunny Phoenix. November brings one of my favorite holidays- Thanksgiving. Besides the food, I love the idea of a holiday devoted to giving thanks-gratitude. Though gratitude is the foundation of a healthy, happy attitude, it doesn't always seem to be the default attitude. At least, not for me. So, as I begin my first month of blogging, the month of Thanksgiving, I would like to shine a spotlight on gratitude.

November is also the month Rachel was born. She is my older daughter and turns 22 this year. I couldn't possibly be old enough to have a daughter that age, but it seems I am. Time passes way too quickly.

From day one, Rachel provided a healthy balance to my life. She was born during the middle of Kyle's most intense period of out of control seizures. In fact, he had been hospitalized just a few weeks before she arrived. It was a very challenging time. We tried lots of medication combinations and nothing seemed to work. Kyle spent many months seizing and sleeping his life away.

But life goes on. It really does. So Rachel joined our family in the middle of what might be defined as a crisis. Our fiery, red headed bundle suddenly infused tremendous joy into life during a time of worry and uncertainty. I have bittersweet memories of nursing Rachel with Kyle on the couch next to me sleeping off a seizure. It was wonderful to have another child to love and care for at that point in time. Easy? No. I was exhausted. But what a blessing. Rachel came into our lives at exactly the right time. Just her presence helped soften some of the emotions I was experiencing.

Our little redhead was a gift. I had a heightened sense of appreciation for all the milestones that she reached so easily. We were working very hard to help Kyle. In the early years, we often got little response in return. With Rachel we seemed to glide along, providing the nourishment of love and attention. Like a garden, she grew on her own.

In my writing and speaking, I often tell parents that their child with autism is a gift. It is true because that child teaches us to look outside our boxes and see everything differently. We become grateful for all the tiny things. Siblings, because they may not be as needy, are one of the pieces of the puzzle that are at risk of getting left in the box. Though unintentional, it can happen.

As I explore gratitude, I am keenly aware that siblings are just as much a gift. Rachel, too, has been a gift just by being who she is. She gave me another experience of motherhood. She provided some balance at a time when I was very much out of balance. In fact, she still (perhaps unknowingly) helps me with balance in my life.

It has been a great joy to watch Rachel grow into a young adult. I admire her strength, independence, and perseverance. She is a talented writer, photographer, and dancer. Most importantly, Rachel is a wonderful person who has wisdom and common sense.

Is it time to quit gushing yet? I guess it is.

Any thoughts?

 Gayle



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Rachel in Croatia
Last Updated on Friday, 21 November 2008 17:41
 
Welcome! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Gayle Nobel   
Sunday, 02 November 2008 00:00
Here's where "It's All About Attitude" continues to live on. We will be sharing inspiration about a little bit of autism and a whole lot of attitude. Join us as we notice and share how our attitude continues to make a difference in loving and living with our sons, Kyle and Mark, as well as everyone and everything else in our lives. It's a work in progress. We will be sharing our triumphs and also our challenges. We invite you to comment and share yours too. Join us in our new blogging adventure.

Gayle & Kathy


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Last Updated on Thursday, 20 November 2008 16:10
 
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