What If — Virtual Kitchen Table Talks?

My Kitchen Table

Around My Kitchen Table — Photo © 2012 by Jim Ruppel

It’s interesting how things show up at the perfect time.

I awoke this morning with some thoughts on connecting with my internet friends around the world. I thought wouldn’t it be nice to sit down, have a cup of coffee and chat with them around my virtual kitchen table?

It would be fun to hang out and see what’s going on in their world. I wondered if it was even possible with so many different time zones. How could this work — Skype?  Continue reading

Crafting My Story

Pat Ruppel Photo

Personal Photo – Pat Copyright 2012

Who I Am

It’s autumn and an icy rain has just fallen.

You can see the breath of a 7-year-old girl huddled in the dark, cold streets of an East coast suburban neighborhood with an ice pick in her hands about to flatten some tires.

Her mother crazed with jealousy sent her on this mission in an attempt to falter an imaginary affair between her dad and a neighbor.

Fast forward to a warm, balmy day in a small, southern beach town where this girl and her grandmother reunite with grandfather, sister and cousins for their annual vacation.

Summer excursions with Grandmom, ghost stories and simple love and truths accepting her for who she is are the saving grace and essence of who she wants to become. This is where I find myself – this is where I am loved.

What I Do

There are many tales to tell that got me from that suburban street to where I now live in Colorado and it started with writing these stories and what I’ve learned to become. It gets more interesting, as daily life ebbs and flows. Days, months, years pass and intriguing family characters emerge as stories of my life unfold.

I write about the magic of love, forgiveness, despair, faith and the supernatural. I write to find understanding and wholeness in my life from what I see as a mixed-up world yearning to connect with one another and find meaning.

The more I tell these stories the more I realize how unique they are in the telling yet not unlike a similar story someone else would tell in trying to make sense of it all.

Why I Do What I Do

I want to connect with others, touch a place in their heart and help them feel loved. I want to help them find who they are by telling stories and give them hope as my grandmother did for me many years ago.  Some of the stories may make you laugh when I tell of my “fruitcake moments”. Or they may be similar to yours in the telling of an imaginary friend, mother’s jealousy, 3 rabbits, rooster named Goldie or grandmother’s backyard connection to a funeral home to name several.

In the crafting of my story, I hope it gives a little insight on who I am and together in some small way maybe we can make the world a better place for having just lived to pass along our life’s tales.


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It’s the Little Things that Matter

Giving – Microsoft Clipart

The other day, my husband did something for me without saying a word and I didn’t notice it until it was almost time for bed.  A small gesture, nevertheless everyday love, expressed this little way struck me and sparked the writing of this post.

I’ve been bringing in plants every day acclimating them to inside temperatures for winter because the temperatures at mountain elevations cool down real fast after the sun goes down.

Almost time to turn in, he looked at the thermometer and commented on the temperature 48° and I jumped up thinking, “I forgot to bring in my plants”.

I then noticed they were already inside.  I had appointments and errands to run earlier and, as it got late in the day, my husband brought them in.  It’s what he does – a lot more than I.

It’s the little things that say: “I care”, “I’m here”, and “I love you!”  Whatever type of relationship you have, the little things count – they matter.  Whether you’re a couple, living at home or single with your dog, you notice the little things and respond.  They are important.

You have a pet, your favorite companion, there to greet you when you come home every night like you’re the greatest person alive!  No time is measured, expectations or explanations – just love, love, love – right now.

We live for the connections with one another, friends, family and the world.  We can’t wait for the next text, tweet and reach for a written letter first in the mail.  How we show our thoughts and communicate in the little things all gives us purpose.  When we express consideration through a phone call, send a “Thinking About You” note or pick up a treat at the store you know he loves gives life meaning.

Do you remember the last time someone did a little something for you that touched your heart or how good it felt to send some fresh, garden vegetables over to the neighbor?  Maybe, it’s been a long time since you’ve seen those little things.

Then, it’s time to pick up the phone and call a brother or sister you haven’t talked to in a while or whatever little thing seems right to you.  It doesn’t take much but it’s so worth it and feels so good!

Pat – from the ol’ kitchen table ~~ Put a smile on my face and leave a comment or question!

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Scared of Letting Go

Do you remember the movie “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” where he needs to cross a great precipice as the last of 3 challenges given him?  He takes a leap of faith stepping over a cliff in space onto what seems to appear an invisible bridge.  I’ve often wondered what it takes to let go like that.  Where does the courage come from?  How can you know?

Photo by Jim Ruppel – Copyright 2012

When I first saw that movie years ago, I remembered thinking, “No, I don’t think I could ever do that!” I still don’t think I could and yet there are times in our lives when not taking the leap is more life threatening than we realize.  That is explained better is this wonderful little story called “The Rope” where letting go was just too hard to do.

Aren’t we faced with similar risky decisions every day – of course, not as dramatic or life threatening – but decisions nonetheless that could very well reshape the course of our lives?  But, it seems the majority of time we choose a path most familiar, comfortable with the least resistance.  Never realizing how much more fulfilling and exciting our lives could be.

I think this is where I’m at in this stage of my life – reaching inside to find the courage to just let go of the rope.  I’ve tried it in the past but was not as committed as I would like.

This time, circumstances have permitted and blessed me with the opportunity to take stock again of the priorities in my life.  So I’ve started writing on this blog again and putting more personal stories out there.  This is my latest leap.

I remember years ago at a major employer’s I was given the opportunity to create and pilot a workshop series for co-workers.  I felt then too like I was taking a huge leap especially in the corporate world.  I was scared to death.

The pilot was called “Wisdom for the Ages” and its purpose was to connect to one another on a more personal level by sharing via a talking stick on specific topics (i.e. trust, leadership, attitude, harmony).  All were invited no matter the position to 4 one-hour workshops. I would ask questions, play tapes and read poems expanding on the topic.

I know it sounds corny and that is what was scary – just presenting this in a corporate environment.  I really didn’t know what I was doing and always squirmed at getting up in front of groups to give a talk.

But here I was taking the leap with the gut feeling that there must be a way to get to know co-workers more with the length of time we spend at work every day.  Maybe if we knew each other better there would be more understanding, collaboration and sensitivity to each other’s feelings.  We would have a better feel for where our co-workers are coming from.

I remember coming out of a supervisors’ meeting after giving an overview of the workshop and thinking, “What! Was I crazy?” “What do I think I’m doing – poems for crying out loud and a talking stick?”  I ducked in a small conference room to gather myself before going back to my desk and cried.  I was really out of my element. I called my husband and he calmed me down saying, “It doesn’t matter what is thought – it doesn’t change what it is.”

I regrouped and went back to my desk and noticed that the supervisors’ meeting let out with everyone going back to their desk.  One of the supervisors passed my desk and stopped to thank me for the overview.  She said it took everything within her power to hold back the tears when I read the poem as she had been dealing with the emotional strain of her mother dying.  It reminded her how important life is even when working.

She hugged me with tears still in her eyes and all the fear I felt and frustration melted with the feeling in my heart I had connected in a way I had wanted in starting this pilot.  It was worth it.

I’m scared now wondering if I can connect in that same way again but with writing and e-books or should I do as I had done before – give into the fear, not commit and get back in the corporate world again before too much time has lapsed.

We all feel it when we’re faced with challenges of the unknown – some more serious than others. But if you’re scared to make a life change – moving out, going back to school, or even quitting your job and traveling the world – listen closely to see if you hear a voice telling you, “let go of the rope” and take a chance.  It may be the best thing in your life you’ve ever done.

Pat – from the ol’ kitchen table