Ghost Stories From an Old House: #Story

My Grandparents' House - Many Years Later - Photo © 2012 Courtesy of My Cousin

My Grandparents’ House – Many Years Later – Photo © 2012 Courtesy of My Cousin

Hi everyone — sending a quick note to let you know and thank Susan Cooper for the honor of being her guest over at “Finding Our Way Now” with the contribution of the following story.

It’s a story I wrote last year and begins like this.


Ghost Stories From an Old House: #Story

It was the home where my mother grew up in a small beach town in Virginia, situated on main street and only 2 blocks from downtown.

You wouldn’t think the house would be “haunted” just to look at it. And, oh, what would it say, if it could talk? “I remember that family ― the small, frail man and the large, strong endearing woman. She understood me.”


I hope you’ll pay Susan a visit, leave a comment and share the love.

Thank You!

Pat from the ol’ kitchen table

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Underwood No. 5 keys Photo by Pat David Courtesy of PhotoDropper

Underwood No. 5 keys Photo by Pat David Courtesy of PhotoDropper

I was humbled today in a very tender way. So much so, I felt embarrassed and was moved to tears. It led me to write this post to capture what I felt so I would remember.

As is the case, I’m grateful in not having to plan most of my days. Instead, I enjoy watching them unfold. I found myself this morning watching this day unfold by attending to techy, computer work. Hubby had gotten another external hard drive with more space to back up our files as I had run out of room on the other drive. I tend to accumulate stuff and have difficulty purging. That’s a topic I’ll save for a different time.

It seemed simple. Create a new folder on the new drive and copy and paste files over from my laptop. As he was giving me the instructions on the new drive, I found my chest and throat tightening to a point where I was having trouble talking. I was panicking about something new to learn and afraid of messing up something I believed to be important. I know it sounds crazy.

I’ve felt this before when I’ve had difficulty understanding, afraid of losing something or screwing it up beyond repair. I don’t know why I get myself so worked up with computer stuff. Lord knows I’ve worked my way through so much in creating a blog, videos, and e-book, even worked as an administrative assistant for some 25+ years.  So, on it went with the banter back and forth until I just copied the ‘dang’ files over . . . and then it happened.

Hubby called me to watch this short video and in the watching I was stopped in my tracks. It gave me an understanding of how silly all this stuff is and what we put ourselves through. Where does it lead and what does it get us? My head didn’t understand but I know somewhere inside of me did with my whole being. It seemed so simple.

Now, I was being shown how it’s done and how to live in the purest form by this gentle soul, Paul Smith, the Typewriter Artist. I don’t know that I can find words to do justice to what this taught me and also note how quick the universe was to kindly point it out with hints of guidance ― I’m thankful it was kind. May you be tenderly touched, as I was, in watching someone who is real, humbly going about the business of living in the most modest of circumstances, while using the talents he’s been given ― no complaints. God bless him. The video says it all.

After watching this, I was embarrassed with how much energy I used getting worked up about computer stuff, as if it was crucial and my life depended on it. I was embarrassed on how little I have to be fearful of in conquering something new, when compared to what Paul has achieved and continues to overcome. I was taken aback by the amount of effort it takes for him in what I would regard as the simplest of tasks.

Yes, it certainly put things in perspective. In the gentlest of ways, I got the message to get over it and use how much I have been given to do the things I love. When you’re picture comes from the inside, it will find a way to get outside.

I was moved to tears by his attitude in how he diligently goes about his work with no one to impress nor timeframe to satisfy. He’s happy and feels blessed with his life ― fulfilled. How different from what life looks like out here with the structure and demands we put on it. How hard we make it when we should just learn to have a heart full of gratitude with the gifts we’ve been given and use them ― joyfully.

I can continue to bang on life to get something out of it or softly listen and be grateful for what tools I have to simply use, enjoy and share. That seems so uncomplicated and is all that’s really needed.

I hope this stirred something in you, as it did me, and that you’ll share.

Pat from the ol’ kitchen table

photo by:

Nearing The End of Summer ― A Kenosha Pass Walkabout

Kenosha Pass overlooking South Park in Colorado

Kenosha Pass overlooking South Park – Photo © 2014 by Pat Ruppel

Ahh, the long Labor Day weekend has come and gone. It’s the holiday that falls on the first Monday of September when many families in the U.S. celebrate by barbecuing, camping or going to the beach for one last time before the seasons change. For me, it has always signaled the end of summer.

As I look back over the past few months, I can’t help but reflect on what I did and wonder where the time went. It was a beautiful, cool summer with more showers than usual keeping everything green. We didn’t do much this year except take a ride now and then. I thought I’d share one of those rides with you as another walkabout.

It’s not far from home and a familiar route hauling our horses to many county fairs our girls participated in, as well as 4-H retreats. I hope you enjoy this spontaneous jaunt we took one evening in July over Kenosha Pass in the Colorado Rockies.

I can remember many times driving down that highway, late at night, through snow storms. There was one night in particular when the highway finally opened, the kids and I packed up and headed over the pass to a 4-H weekend retreat. It was one of the firsts for me as a chaperone and a first camp for my daughter and her companions. We didn’t get in until the wee hours of the morning having called ahead to let them know we were on our way. When we arrived, a lot of the campers bundled out of the lodge, got our gear and helped us get settled.

Then, there was the time we were coming home from the little town of Jefferson and over Kenosha Pass. My daughter had a 4-H business meeting and it was late – almost 11:00 pm. The mountain highways are not well-lit and before we knew it, there stood a deer in the middle of the highway. It was too late to avoid and I hit it. We had stopped and pulled over to see if there was anything we could do and survey the damage. But it was too late. It had lived long enough to get up and drop on the side of the highway. Needless to say, the rest of the way home we cried and agonized over the “what-if’s”.

Other times were on hikes when the aspens change (see pictures I posted in a story I wrote called, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”) and going over for 4th of July fireworks with the girls when they were young and, now, with our grandkids.

Making memories is what it’s all about and we’ve sure made our fair share of them over the years. Now, as the sky takes on a different look and the air feels crisp, I draw on the warmth and love of the mountain peaks around me knowing that, in their silence, they’ll hold my memories tight, keeping them safe for when I need to revisit and remember what is real and important.

I hope you’ll share what you did this summer and the memories you have made.

Pat from the ol’ kitchen table

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Guest Post — Sweet Days of Summer: #Story

cousin and Pat as children

Cousin and Pat when they were children – Photo © by Pat Ruppel

Hi everyone — I’m honored to be Susan Cooper’s guest over at “Finding Our Way Now” with my contribution of Sweet Days of Summer: #Story. It was taken from my free e-book and begins like this:

Here’s a little story I wrote back in 2012, in reflection, as the sweet days of summer wound down and cooler nights were soon to come.

It had been a rough year having come through the loss of my mother-in-law, not to mention an outsourced job along with catastrophic statewide news. I guess you could say my heart wanted to feel happy and safe. What better way than to recapture some childhood moments.

I hope you’ll drop by Susan’s site, leave a comment and share the love.

Thank You!

Pat at the ol’ kitchen table

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