Category Archives: Exhale

Each Day Is New-Should We Be Excited?


I know we are not supposed to look at the past, but I am finding it hard to forget 2012.  Maybe I need to reflect back on this sluggish New Year’s day and see if I could have changed anything. I can begin with all the morning newspapers and all the non-positive things I have read each morning.  I pick up a cup of coffee, add the cream and sit down with my sweetie.  Just looking  at the headline sometimes gives me the chills.  I see murders, child abuse, businesses closing, delinquent taxes, divorces, shootings in schools and malls, drugs, and on and on and on.  So far, reading this newspaper has not made me feel too positive.  Why do I read it anyway?


I go downstairs and sit down in my home office, take a deep breath and shake off the residue left from reading the newspaper.  Our company, Hudson-Gillmor Associates, manages the yellow page and online advertising for some major medical and hospital accounts.  Many of these accounts are deeply concerned with the changes in healthcare and need to cut some advertising.  Politely and with much professional care, I lead them through their budgets and devise a plan they will approve for less revenue.  I get off the phone and want to cry……sad but true.

Thinking “out of the box” as been the norm in 2012.  Finding new ways to cut household and business expense has been necessary for most people.  It is the wise things to do.  Closing down office space and moving into home offices was necessary and a positive move.  Gee, I am glad we thought of doing this.  I love working from home….any hour….anytime. No more water cooler talk space, office kitchen closed, but we are still in business and we have jobs.  We are thinking “out of the box”.

The death of many loved ones happened to our family.  Losing our 13-year-old, Lauren Swann has been the most painful experience yet.  Unexpected.  We are trying to understand.  Did this really happen?

Okay, so I am looking back and remember some devastating events, but I don’t think I could have prevented any of them.  Most of the “things” causing heartache were temporal.  The older I get the more I realize “things” or “ways” are not forever.  There is an ever-changing turnover in business, families, lives and the world.  Just about when you think all is well…….look out….it will change.

How do we learn to deal with all this uncertainty?  Even we Christians must ask ourselves this question all the time.  I have experienced major crisis in my life and the only “thing” that brought me through was fully trusting that this crisis would end and God was with me all the way.  If you are troubled, don’t try to figure out how “you” can make it go away.  Stop.  Pray and ask God to give you support and direction.  Then you may need to do some things for yourself.  Talk to a friend you can trust and become a prayer partner with them.  Get out of the house and look at all the people in need and in worse condition than you.

We are never too young or too old to have a new beginning!



Each Day Is New- Memorial Day


There will be many different events going on in towns across the United States this week-end.  Small towns will fill the streets with an American spirit and the bands will march in the parades.  The BBQ grills will be heated and hundreds of hotdogs will be consumed.  The red, white and blue American flag will be displayed and families will place flowers on the graves of their loved ones.

How do you celebrate Memorial Day and what does it mean to you?  Please post your comments.

Each Day Is New-“I Can’t Find My Sunglasses”


I sometimes spend a lot of time looking for “things”.  Recently it has been my prescription sunglasses that are on “The Most Wanted”  list.  I have plain old sunglasses, but I need…my…prescription….glasses. 

I began searching in the most obvious places.  I went to the closet and went through at least twenty handbags and I found stale lifesavers, pens that won’t write, loose change, out of date coupons, but no sunglasses.  Okay, they must be in the beach bag.  Beach bag searched and no luck.  I savaged through dresser drawers, kitchen drawers and sunroom and I just can’t find them.

By now, I don’t think I am the person that lost my…prescription….sunglasses.  It must be Basil, my wonderful husband.  He is always cleaning out things while I am at the office and he probably trashed them.  I am getting more convinced I can’t find what is precious to me because of someone else being irresponsible.

Weeks have now gone by and we are getting more sunshine and beach weather is near.  I know by now, I will just have to make an appointment for an eye exam and purchase NEW….prescription…..sunglasses. 

That sweet man of mine has been busy all morning cleaning out my car.  He is always doing something nice, but I have to double-check the garbage because he will just toss good things.  He just pecked on the family room door and he was holding in his hand MY….PRESCRIPTION….SUNGLASSES.  I swallowed sort of hard and said, “Where did you find them”?  He said they were in your car console down under some junk and Christmas CD’s. 

He  handed them to me and just smiled. 

Loosing what is precious because of all the things that are not precious.  What is precious in our lives sometimes gets covered up by all the “stuff” in our lives and we miss golden moments that will never return.  Are all the hours spent working robbing you of the precious time you have with your family?  Do you have so much “stuff” that you don’t have time for just a few hours of worship time with God?  Don’t be like me and blame someone else for your precious things becoming missing items.  Most usually the most precious things in your life are right where you left them.

Simple events can be life lessons.

Each Day Is New-Count Your Blessings


Yesterday ….on a scale from one to ten was a good 9.  I have been thinking about how I can make today equal with yesterday.  I am not traveling and looking at beautiful scenery, but let’s see where we can go with this.

To begin with, I am looking at a wall behind my computer that has multiple pictures of all four grandchildren.  Matthew was the first and formost amoung all these kiddo’s.  Followed by Emily, Lauren and Zoe.  They are truly a priceless gift.

I can hear my washer tugging, tugging, tugging away.  The poor washer always gets all the dirty clothes, but it is so faithful.  Thankful!

I see a stack of paid receipts (that need to be filed) on my desk.  I can remember a time long ago where there wasn’t enough money to have a stack of paid receipts.  Oh, how God so richly blesses us.  We have more than we deserve and I am THANKFUL!

I just picked up at least five pair shoes in my family room.  I have a habit of just stepping out of them.  Some people don’t even have shoes.  I am blessed!

I complain about the cost of medicine and health care, but both are available.  I can’t imagine going through life without enough money for the medicine that makes you function.  I am blessed….even if the price is too high!

I could meditate and count blessings all day.  It was good to STOP and take time to reflect on all the beauty and blessing in my life?

Do you have any blessings you would like to share?

Each Day Is New- A New Look at Labor Day


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It is Labor Day week-end and a time for picnic’s, family gatherings and getting in the last vacation day’s before the end of summer. 

Are we really thankful for our job’s or do we just complain each day?  It is time for me to take a new look  at myself this Labor Day and count my blessings.

Our worship service was really fun this morning and we learned a lot about each other.  Each person was asked to wear their work clothes or something that was symbolic of their job.  My job revolves around the yellow pages print, online advertising and direct mail.  Idearc gave us some promotional material and I wore my SuperGuarantee yellow cape.  The people in the medical field wore their scrubs and told a little about their job.  We have mechanics, students, teachers, lab techs, farmers, and too many more to mention.  It was fun learning more about the people we worship with each week.

Basil Hudson, the pastor (and my husband) reminded us we need to be as prepared for our spiritual work as we are to our daily jobs.  There are many ministries within the church and workers are welcome.  We need to be more than “sponge Christians” that just soak up and never give back with our talents.  Many churches are full , but the workers are few.

Finding balance between job, family and God is essential in my life.  I want to evaluate my life and set new goals.  Labor Day has helped bring this need to my attention.

Canaan Loop Rd (2)

I want to walk my talk.

Each Day Is New-A Kodak Moment


We just had a wonderful vacation in Myrtle Beach, SC.  Yes, I know there are other beaches, but we went to Myrtle.  After all, it is sort of a WV thing.  Right?  This was a time to not hurry, make many pit stops on the way down and have our mind, soul and body refreshed.

Water FunWater just touches my spirit and one look at the vast ocean and I am open to being mentally refreshed.  For some reason, the word limitations entered my mind and I didn’t know why.  What made me think of the word limitations?

The water in the pool felt as refreshing as it looked.  The pool was very accessible, easy to get into the water and relaxed very muscle in my stressed body.  Oh, no I am thinking of the word limitations.  I know I have more limitations than I did 20 or 30 years ago.  Am I supposed to learn something about limitations?

During the week we headed out to Broadway at the Beach.  The left side of my back in the kidney area was really hurting when I walked.  I was wondering if “Uncle Arthur” had struck my back?  Am I getting old too quick?  Do I have limitations?  (I didn’t know it then, but I was getting a serious kidney infection )  Actually I was feeling like a “party pooper” with my back hurting and my legs hurting.  I was feeling sorry for myself and thought I had too many limitations.

Water Pool UmbrellaSomething is going to happen under this Water Umbrella and it will be the highlight of my vacation.  My sister and I were sitting in the sun near this water umbrella.  I see a black woman pushing a wheelchair down the side of the pool.  Her husband is a very large man in swimming trunks and his legs are off below the knees.  The man in the wheelchair looked so hot and he desperately wanted in the water.  This end of the pool has a slight ramp, but his wife didn’t have the muscle to wheel him in.

A total stranger sitting beside me told the man he would help him get into the water.  Slowly, he backed the wheelchair into the water and directly under the water umbrella.  The smile and joy expressed by the handicapped man was felt by everyone.  He sat under the umbrella with water streaming down his body and he began to laugh.  He said I could just stay in here all day.

This man certainly had LIMITATIONS, but he didn’t let them stop him.  He wasn’t afraid to ask someone for help.

I had been complaining with a back aches and leg aches, but I saw someone with no legs and I didn’t feel quite so bad. My limitations are small.

Each Day Is New- All Things Connected


Out of the abundance of the heart my mouth speaks.  I feel a deep need to express myself in words that will relieve the grinding within me and loose the threads that binds so tight.  All things within me seem to be connected.

All the things we see, hear, feel and even smell translate into a physical emotion that brings sorrow or joy to us.  The smell of a new born babies neck and the touch of his tiny toes always brings a deep breath and a big smile to my face.  This sight and touch puts my memory in reverse and immediately I think of cuddling my own children and the joy they brought.

A beautiful morning can be crushed before it has time to continue by erratic words that enter your ears.  The sounds seem to quickly go past the ear and into your gut and them explode out to your nervous system.  How it is possible?  How can three and four letter words effect our emotions?

When our heart is breaking there is a longing to just cry.  How is my heart connected to my eyes?  My tears seem to be a great release and maybe it is the place where all the tension can be released back into the air.  I remember a verse of a song…”He washed my eyes with tears that I might see.”  Don’t let anyone convince you that only wimps cry.  All great people find a time and place to cry…so they can go on with life.  All things are connected.

A beautiful rose may wonder …”what is my purpose?”  Then someone walks through the garden and bends down and strokes the roses’ petal.  Then the person comes closer and smells the fragrance of the rose and says “oh, this smells so good.”  This one little roses’ smell may have brought peace to someone very sad or a recalled a memory of roses in the past.  All things are connected.

Within me is the power to pray very privately to God and express all my thanks for His bountiful blessings or I can empty my ugly thoughts and deepest needs.  All things within me are connected to Him.  I don’t have to be afraid to tell Him my needs (actually He already knows my thoughts).  Asking forgiveness and expressing praise opens up new opportunities to see out of different eyes and realize He is in control.  All things are connected.

Lord, the things that have passed through our sight this morning can touch us and make a sad day better.  You have provided beauty through the smell and color of a garden of flowers.  Help us take time to stop to smell the flowers along our path.  Bless those that share their words and encouragement.  In His Name-AMEN

Each Day Is New- WV..My Home Sweet Home


I can’t compare living in WV to another state.  I was born in WV and I have lived here all my life.  My ancestors before me chose rural Lincoln County and my legacy began.

My mother’s maiden name was McClure and our ancestors originated from Ireland.  The first McClure in our line was Richard McClure and he arrived in Culpeper, VA in 1700.  Other McClure’s in the clan soon arrived in Culpeper and headed out to claim their own farms.  These people were wild, brave and adventuresome.

It just blows my mind to realize that the McClure clan traveled by wagon (there were no car’s and few roads) from Culpeper to Yawkey, WV.  This is a long trip, even by car. 

Over a hundred or more years later their legacy lives on in the families that still lives, works and plays in WV.  We have kept our roots in a state of which we are proud.  Yes, we are unique.  We talk different than someone from Illinois, but we shouldn’t apologize.  Our speech is who we are and from where we live.  As West Virginian’s, we have built our homes here, spent our lives in the workforce, established our places of worship and voted for the political figures that lead the state. 

Stand up and be counted as a proud West Virginian.  Pass on your heritage and the great stories of our ancestors to your children and grandchildren.  Pull out those old family pictures and tell the children how their ancestors arrived in West Virginia and how they survived hard times. 

My Home Sweet Home

Each Day Is New-I Have Been Eating The Frogs


As many of you know, I found a long lost playmate that I knew back in the late 40’s and 50’s.  I had written about “Life In The Coal Camp” and we made a connectionafter almost 60 years.  Well, I didn’t realize Karen was still reading my blog until today.  Karen has been disappointed that I haven’t been keeping up a daily post.  Karen, I dedicate my ramblings today to you.

I am happy to say I am improving on some of my procrastinating.  Yes, I am eating the frog again and taking on those things that get put on the back burner.  I scheduled a check-up with the doctor and had a lot of blood test completed.  I got the results and everything looks good.  Now, why did I procrastinate and wait for months to do this? 

I am really proud of myself….I I made an appointment for a haircut….helped at VBS tonight……making plans for a trip…..getting ready for guest to arrive the end of June…….planning a family picnic.  I still need to procrastinate a little on cleaning out the refrigerator. 

I would write more, but I will tomorrow. :))

Each Day Is New-Some Days Are Plain Yucky


I am usually a pretty happy-go-lucky person and enjoy my daily blessings.  However, I have just figured out that God is still working on me and some days are plain yucky.  Don’t give me any of that…”you should be thankful and count your blessings”.  I do count my blessings, but the last few days could have been better.

The simple things in life are usually what lights up my life.  Things like white drifting clouds, a fresh cut flower, a sleeping baby or an unexpected note from a friend.  This is the things money can’t buy and they usually make me happy.

Did you ever feel an invisible force  that seems to be draining you of the joy in your life?  This pull makes me become unmotivated to take care of responsibilities at times.  I have procrastinated in making a doctor’s appointment, in getting my mammogram, scheduling a dental appointment, and making vacation reservations. 

I don’t like to feel unmotivated and unattached.  This is just not me.  I am the only one that can work on this situation and I plan to work on it.

1.  I am taking time to stop and thank God for my family.  We are not perfect, but it is our family. (This sound like a Jon and Kate quote)

2.  I need to look around me at all the people who lost their jobs and be thankful for my job.  I need to find a way to help those less fortunate.

3.  I want to look at myself as a work in progress.  Our emotions can be up and they can be down, but God still loves us.  Tomorrow is a new day.

4.  I would like to do something special for someone and not let them know I did it. 

5.  I will be patient with myself during the days that are yucky. 

6.  Semi-retirement is a new direction.  I will find joy and happiness in yet undiscovered ways. 

You know, I already feel better by just stating my feelings.  I am listening to the rain and smelling the sweetness of the wind in my face.  God is good.