Tribute Bands, Family Time and Sun-Days 25 and 26 of My Year of Living Abundantly

He just couldn’t understand why I’d be leaving just hours after I’d arrived. What about the new squeaky ball?  Who would crack the ice in his water dish then add hot water to prevent brain freeze?  I was so very sad and could only imagine what my granddog was thinking.

I was leaving his great-grandparents to assist in his care. My parents have expressed great pride in their contributions to the development of this dog.  My dad and Dice play ball every day for hours.  My mom tells me that she’s teaching Dice how to be spoiled.

The world’s smartest and most personable dog has been raised with great discipline.  My son works from home so spends most of his day with my granddog at his feet.  They “work” throughout the day and practice over and over and over again.  When my son asks Dice if he wants to “work” Dice wags his tail and jumps about energetically unless my son commands “sit ” or “stay” then he does just that.

If all dogs were loved so lavishly, I wonder how the world would be different.  Because my boy  is such a smart and well loved dog, he in turn loves his people.  I’m sure that this mutual exchange of  love and respect would change everything if It were extended to all dogs and their people.

As I told my sweet boy that I would soon be leaving, he listened with care. Being a grandparent is hard work and parting is so difficult.  The purpose of our trip to Bend was to celebrate Christmas with my family then my husband’s family. We were leaving my mom’s to go to my in-laws.

My husband’s mom does brunch better than anyone in the world.  Quiche, bacon, potatoes, biscuits, sausage gravy, and fruit are favorites.  The drive from Bend to Redmond offered stunning views of the mountain.  , A sunrise in the high desert can set the tone for the day.  Early Saturday in Bend, Oregon was a delight for the senses. When my cousins would visit from Missouri, they would have a a contest to see who could see the mountains first as they drove west.  With mountains all around, I couldn’t fathom what it would be like to live anywhere other than Oregon.

The highlight of our time at my in-laws was watching my daughter and great nephew.  I enjoyed playing with him as well but crawling around on the floor meant getting up from the floor and my aching joints protested.IMG_6891.JPG

Hefting my bulk from the floor to standing position  reminded me yet again about the importance of taking charge of my health.   My Year of Living Abundantly started with a visit to a new primary care doctor in December 2019. After a conversation with my doctor,  I realized that  I’M the one who needs to make the decision to eat well and move more AND I’m the one who’ll live with the choices I make.  My joints ache, I’m unable to play as hard as I’d like and my brain feels foggy because of my choices.  I had hoped that a focus on living well would bring abundance to my life and indeed it has.  During this first month, full of holiday parties, I’ve been more mindful of things that are going well but I’ve had a hard time moving more and eating less.

With a new year just a few days away, I’m hopeful that I’m going to get serious about healthy choices.

After the party in Redmond, we returned to Portland for a free concert thanks to the McMenamin’s Passport Reward program.  At the Crystal Ballroom Saturday night, I had fun dancing the night away.  I was fascinated by the ASL interpreter (on far right in video) and wondered how long it would take for me to develop the skills needed to tour with my favorite bands while providing this service. I wish I had a job that involved movement and music.  My granddog makes “work” look like play.  I can learn so many lessons from that sweet dog!


The best part of the night was laughing with my husband and sister-in-law.  Laughter is certainly one of the success indicators of a life lived abundantly.


Though BMI and Blood Pressure may reflect my health and well being, there are other success indicators I’ve decided to track.  I’m tracking a few things here so I’ll be able to review and share the highlights when I see my doctor again in December 2020. I’d love to honestly report positive things

Success Indicator Updates:

Body Mass Index: No Change

Blood Pressure: No Change

Gratitude: I am grateful for stars so close you can count them, sunrises over sagebrush, giggling nephews, smart loving dogs, dancing husbands, tribute bands and affordable tickets, inclusive families, and bacon.


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