About Pat

Here is a place where you can come to get a lift for the day, perhaps, a little insight to carry you through onto the next adventure of your life.

A place where I’ll share a story, perhaps a thought and some reflections and we’ll meet somewhere in the middle. I like to think of it as a gathering around the kitchen table late at night when everything is still and the world has quieted down to rest.

Occupation: Writer, blogger, wife, mother, grandmother, sister, daughter and one learning and sharing stories in my life.
Location: Bailey, CO
Introduction: 2007 Plain Talk and Ordinary Wisdom came out of Wisdom for the Ages, which was born in the corporate world where I gave workshops and facilitated talking-stick discussion groups.

When my employer closed their site in 2002 and relocated back East, I took it outside corporate giving presentations as a speaker at Kiwanis, Mile High Sales Professionals, CWEE (Center for Work, Education and Employment) and Business Honoring Spirituality meetings. I also led weekly discussion groups at Morningstar Assisted Living Center.

I am passionate about creating a safe environment where people can put aside their differences, share their experiences and wisdom without being right or wrong and benefit from truly listening to one another.

It all started with inspiration from a quote from Ram Dass in his book, “Still Here”: ….”when there is true surrender and service between people, the roles of helper and helped and the boundaries between those in power and those who are powerless begin to dissolve.”

Magic

Feather

Feather Photo by Jim Ruppel 2017

It’s incredible to see this beautiful delicate feather just lying on the ground, especially when I learn it’s only slightly larger than my pinky nail. Hubby noticed it, though, when walking in our backyard, and captured it in this photo. It’s magic — just the fact, something so tiny and delicate could have been overlooked. But, what isn’t in life?

Who’s to say how long it has been there, unnoticed, or how long it will remain. We may have walked past it a hundred times, could have crushed it under our shoes or the wind may blow it away.

That’s the thing. I wonder what else I haven’t noticed. What have I missed mainly because I haven’t taken the time to look and listen?

~~~~~

Little Summer Poem Touching The Subject Of Faith
by Mary Oliver
 
Every summer
I listen and look
under the sun’s brass and even
into the moonlight, but I can’t hear
 
anything, I can’t see anything —
not the pale roots digging down, nor the green
stalks muscling up,
nor the leaves
deepening their damp pleats,
 
nor the tassels making,
nor the shucks, nor the cobs.
And still,
every day,
 
the leafy fields
grow taller and thicker —
green gowns lofting up in the night,
showered with silk.
 
And so, every summer,
I fail as a witness, seeing nothing —
I am deaf too
to the tick of the leaves,
 
the tapping of downwardness from the banyan feet —
all of it
happening
beyond any seeable proof, or hearable hum.
 
And, therefore, let the immeasurable come.
Let the unknowable touch the buckle of my spine.
Let the wind turn in the trees,
and the mystery hidden in the dirt
 
swing through the air.
How could I look at anything in this world
and tremble, and grip my hands over my heart?
What should I fear?
 
One morning
in the leafy green ocean
the honeycomb of the corn’s beautiful body
is sure to be there.
(Courtesy of Famous Poets and Poems)

~~~~~

It makes me think of how my life is unfolding. So far, it’s been a slow year, in our home, while enjoying my meanderings up here in my mountains. Though it’s been awhile since I last posted, there’s nothing much to report. But, I wanted to catch up and let you all know I’m still here . . . alive and kicking.

I’ve been watching events around me and in the world, somehow through different eyes. My heart has been heavy, at times, and yet full learning to see the magic in all of it. I’ve taken time to observe the process in the good and not so good times, realizing nothing really ever stays the same. Life is always changing in us and all around — ever shifting and moving.

And, ah yes, I did enjoy one of those mini-milestones in a senior moment this summer for my  birthday. I’ve been looking for the magic this year, since I first noted it was going to be a year full of 7’s for me — this year being 2017, my birth day is 27, birth year 47 and turned 70. My grandson is even 17 most of this year until October.

Yet, the magic is not where I thought. It turns out some of it was in a little magic dust with hubby preparing one of my favorite restaurant-dinner dishes on my birthday. He even baked my favorite cake that I always loved back in my childhood days at my grandmother’s, making it special.

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Life takes us on twists and turns and I get caught up in it on occasion or simply never notice the little miracles that appear at my feet. I’m taken back at times, as I pause and find myself in awe at the wonder of it all.

There is magic around me in the little things and subtle shifts, when I join in the dance and notice. I can plow along and never perceive what’s happening around me, playing invisible or even insignificant. But, just like a tiny feather laying on the ground everything has value and a purpose.

Thank you for continuing to be out there and support me. I enjoy your visits and I’m humbled when you stop by to read and share your thoughts at my kitchen table. You’re my treasure.

Pat at the ‘ol kitchen table

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Acknowledgements: Little Summer Poem Touching The Subje more...

If I Was Little Again

Here is a little poem I wrote inspired by a short dream I had this morning where I was a child crying and being comforted. Hope you enjoy it.

**********

If I Was Little Again

Patsy (me as a child) © Pat Ruppel

Patsy (me as a child) © Pat Ruppel

If I was little again and crying . . .

I’d want to be picked up
and held  . . .  

Tears to be gently wiped
away and told it would
be okay . . .

If I was little again
and crying . . .

I’d want them to say to listen
to what my heart is feeling and to what
it has to say

I’d listen real hard and hear it tell me I’d
feel good and
soon would be out to play . . .

If I was little again
and crying . . .

I’d hear my heart say, “I’m here
and will never leave you ―
it’s what you can count on everyday”

If I was little again
and crying . . .

I’d hear my heart say, “I
love you” and I’d say, “I
love you, too. Will you come
out and play?”

by Pat Ruppel © 2017

**********

(Also see a related post I wrote called, “It’s a Love Story . . . Discovered”)

Pat from the ‘ol kitchen table

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10 Years of Blogging and My Next Chapter

Writing, Arts, Communications by MSN Clipart

Writing, Arts, Communications by MSN Clipart

It’s hard to believe that 10 years have passed since I published my first post, on my old blogger’s site in 2007. I had very little experience in writing and less knowledge on the internet. Back then, I had only been out of the corporate world several years, exploring waned attempts to launch my business with talking-stick workshops, before moving on to try my hand in learning the mortgage industry. What in the world was I doing?

But, crazy as it seems, I still felt the need to talk and get my stories out, if only it was to put them down in words in a blog rather than share them face-to-face. I’ve always believed in a need to connect with one another in some way. I think it would make a difference and go a long way in learning how to work through things in our lives, if we understood each other and felt validated.

So, I began, as I’ve done in many other situations, when I’m not sure what I’m doing. I pick at it, a little at a time, learning as I go. In the end, I’m more dangerous, with the little I know, than knowing nothing at all, especially when it comes to technology. It’s crazy how a laptop and keyboard, with electric current charging through it, can throw me into a panic when systems freeze and don’t talk to each other. I get claustrophobic, almost to a point of hyperventilating. Hubby can tell you ― it’s not pretty. But, when I calm down, I’m able to pick it up again and don’t seem so bad.

Somehow, I’ve managed over these 10 years to create a blog(s) and publish 275 posts, make videos, produce an e-book, and connect with loving, fellow bloggers all over the world. I also started a small internet business selling pine cones with my followers and social media. It’s more involvement in technology than my brain can handle sometimes.

I haven’t written much lately feeling stuck, like I’ve run out of things to say. After all, 10 years of rambling on with my stories, I began wondering if maybe it’s all been said. But, what I’m discovering is that I’m on a plateau, taking deep breaths and getting ready for what’s next . . . a new chapter.

I’m sensing what I’ve been doing, all along, has only been preparing me for this change in my life ― adopting all the things I’ve learned and experienced. Given how things are shaping up in the world these days. It’s getting real and, I feel, we no longer have the luxury to just simply go about our business. I’m sensing an urgent need to connect in personal, authentic ways, where we feel comfortable and trust. It’s about change and there has to be a way to do that from all over the world, touching each other’s lives and hearts privately, where we feel safe to tell our story and interact in our own space.

I’m only one voice but together I see possibilities for a movement where love and harmony can come through bringing us together. Underlying all the pain and suffering, humanity has been hungry for relief and the cry for help has been silently simmering for a long time.

I was reminded of this, when I saw a PBS interview by Tavis Smiley last week with Arlo Guthrie and remembered the same familiar stirrings in my heart. Arlo is well-known for his popular song 50 years ago, “Alice’s Restaurant”, and is the son of famed Woody Guthrie. He talked about music back in the ’60’s, a change in consciousness and how it still exists today. Something happens and something shifts ― a change in the critical mass. It doesn’t come from the top down but from the bottom up. And he continued by saying:

“There’s not a majority, there is not most, there’s enough and, if everybody who feels that enoughness, is willing to get out there and say, “Me too. I’m in this”, it will change faster than anybody can imagine.”

In the podcast interview with Tavis (around time stop 17:47), Arlo talks about going down the street in New York City, after a show late one night with Pete Seeger, and they saw a group of kids gathered. They were singing songs but didn’t know them very well. Pete (then in his early ‘90’s) wanted to go over and join them and was able to ignite the energy by adding more words and music to their singing.

I remembered the feeling, as Arlo talked about what happened, in the collective spontaneous energy and spirit that unfolded. It struck a chord with me and helped me realize that the magic is still there and is something I’ve experienced. You can’t prepare for it or plan it. It takes on a life of its own and is something you’ll remember for the rest of your life. It’s moments that are beautiful and magnetic and, if any of you have had the opportunity to experience it, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

For me, one of the experiences I remembered this happening was many years ago at a 4-H weekend gathering. It was similar and electric, like Arlo talks about, that also involved music. I was a chaperone and it was one of my daughter’s first 4-H retreats for kids ages 11-13.

Everyone gathered on Friday night, dropped off by their parents to be picked up late Sunday morning. We went through the introductions and schedule for the weekend and settled in for the night looking forward to kicking off the next day’s events.

I got to know the kids, as the weekend progressed, and I observed how they interacted with each other, having never met before, working through challenges and experiencing new emotions with their peers. One particular boy stood out, named Porter, and I noticed him when his parents came with him to drop him off for the retreat. It would be his first time without them and they were a bit apprehensive leaving him. You could tell ― for he was blind.

But, there was fervor in Porter and you could tell it was something he was definitely ready and eager to do. He just wanted to be like other kids his age doing what they do. After his folks left and we completed registrations, I noticed how the kids mingled with each other while some gathered around him, asking questions and getting comfortable with him. He just acted like he was one of them and soon you wouldn’t have known he was blind the way they laughed and joked interacting with one another.

As the weekend advanced, I continued to watch to see how it would play out and sensed something was happening. The kids had workshops to attend and different events they signed up for depending on what their interests were. There was one big event of the weekend on Saturday they all had to prepare for and participate in, where they broke up into teams ― a play doing a series of skits.

That’s when I noticed Porter’s talent for music and how his team performed together with him in their skit. They were a hit along with all the other teams and energies were flying high for the rest of the day. I could tell something magical was stirring. I was caught up in it and humbled to be a part of such love and harmony expressed in these kids. They were teaching me something, first hand, and it came so natural to them.

Sunday rolled around and it was the last day of the retreat and we had one final gathering before the kids left with their folks. We all met in what was similar to a band room and packed ourselves in, filling the seats and lining the walls: kids, instructors, chaperones and parents alike. They each had a chance to talk and share what their experience was for the weekend and, then, it came time for Porter to talk.

But, instead of talking, his parents said he had composed a song he wanted to sing and play on the piano, as his expression of what the weekend meant to him. As he began, I felt an immediate hush and, as he sang and played, the magic stirred and the energy was electric. It was some invisible force bringing us together in such heightened love and harmony, such as some have never seen before. After that, no one wanted to leave and some cried when it came time to go home. Hearts were touched that day and real connections were made.

The moment was the same, as what Arlo talked about, and in what was captured in a small clip in the interview with Pete Seeger singing with those kids in the street of New York City. I remember it well and stays with me along with other moments such as these.

 It may have taken 10 years of blogging and almost 70 years of living to finally understand what I want to do: bring people together and allow space for special moments like these. Something happens inside when you have an experience like this and it changes you. Maybe, I still had a little tweaking to do within me before I could arrive at this place. But, if I do my part, then the invitation alone and spirit of love will take care of the rest. That’s when magic happens and change will begin. I believe the world is in dire need and more than poised and ready.

(You can read more about Porter and the kids in a post I wrote called, “Today’s Kids — I Love Them”)

Pat from the ‘ol kitchen table

Test Post — Can You Help?

If you’re a follower on my site, I just recently became aware of the possibility that you may not have been receiving notices of new posts over here. I would really appreciate your help with this test post and I’m asking if you would let me know if you’ve received notification of it or not.  Continue reading