My little red tether is my anchor in running with my friends. A beautiful guide dog has been my tether/anchor in mobility and independence for 17 years: 1. Pantera 2. Cricket, and now my beautiful 3. Georgina (Georgie). A life of family and friends is my joy and anchor in life.

The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it. CC Scott

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Missing you

I returned home from a wonderful few days with my fellow Guide Dogs for the Blind Alumni Board in San Rafael. Love this wonderful group of friends! We worked hard planning some great activities for the coming year and also had a lot of fun! In between it all - we laughed and shared tips on managing blindness.  We meet in person just once a year.  I miss them!
Leanne and Aya and Becky and Georgie at the GDB Graduation
One evening Kendall was saying he was missing Cricket.  He took a little gift up to her and walked her back for a visit.  It was so fun to see her.  She ran outside through the doggie door and sat down for a treat!  Love you Cricker Girl.  She is so happy and love that she can come for a visit!

We have created our new blog at:   Blind Resilience .  Come join us and see our Ice Bucket Challenge!

Monday, July 28, 2014

blindresilience.com/blog

One of my favorite quotes:  

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” 
― Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross


I hope you will follow our next chapter at:  Blind Resilience.  Join us on the journey!  

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Final Cruisin with Cricket Blog Post & Next Chapter for Becky & Georgie

Reflecting on my final blog post of Cruisin with Cricket.  Who thought when I sat down that first time at the computer and tried to figure out how to blog that I would close this chapter with 1, 694 posts!  To me that represents life ... one blog post at a time and before long we have 1,694.  Cricket is in a new chapter in her life.  A friend actually saw her on main street walking with her new family hearing a sweet 'Come on Cricket.'  This past week has been a very busy one for me and Georgie.  Perhaps a good thing as we are making the adjustment to Cricket being gone.  I am reminding myself she is in a wonderful setting with a family that adores her.  She gets five walks a day with some fabulous dog walkers :)! 

 Just as there is a special space in my heart always for my determined Pantera - guide one; there will always be a special space for my connecting Cricket - guide two.  Love her and so grateful we can be in touch with her in her next chapter.  Super grateful and excited to be in this next chapter with my Georgie Girl.  

You can follow Cricket , and we will also share updates .  Forever love this beautiful dog and all I learned from her.
Today Steve and I celebrated our 30-year anniversary!  His love, friendship, always believing in me, and support  in all my crazy ideas ...means the world to me!  Love and thank you so much, Steve.  
I am thrilled with my next chapter with my beautiful guide, Georgina.  Georgie Girl and I have had a week of such amazing bonding and hard work.   Each of my guides I can reflect back on when it 'clicked' in on that deeper level.  For Georgie and I it will be today.   I am so proud of this girl and love her so much.  I am learning so much from her!   We hiked up to Ensign Peak today.  I explained to her this is a nice place to view the city :).   I have hiked up there with each one of my guides! Oh how times flies!  As we walked up there, I reflected on walking with Pantera, my first guide, as a youth leader in our church and again with her puppy raiser.  I reflected on walking with Cricket and friends and family on several occasions.  I loved walking up there today with Steve hand in hand celebrating our 30-year anniversary and introducing Georgie to the area.  
Georgie and I are thrilled to announce our next adventures as we create our Loving Life List.  We are approaching 2 and 50, you know!  Georgie will be there as I cross the finish line of the NYC Marathon in November.   Georgie will take many flights to Washington, DC and other places.  (Love her petite size that snuggles in underneath the seat.)   Resilient Solutions, Inc is celebrating its ninth year in business and growing!  I love working with this amazing group of people! Our next 5K Run for our nonprofit Oasis Center is coming up!  I am in the process of writing a book! I have an amazing writing consultant, Emily Swensen that is helping us through this journey.  I am working on plans for a retreat ... and mostly enjoying the simple moments in life with family and friends and a beautiful guide, Georgie.

Live like someone left the gate open -- Unknown.  

I love this quote! As I told a client the other day, it is an active daily intention to create joy in our lives.  It can be much easier to find what is going wrong - what is hard - what is negative.  We can turn this around.  The gate is wide open for each of us as we have the intention to see life with gratitude and joy.  It is there each day - even on those hardest days.  Sometimes it takes us to paths we didn't know existed. It often takes us to paths that didn't seem like the path we wanted to go on.  The path can be steep and rocky at times and we wonder if we can do it.  Sometimes the hardest part is believing we can open that gate and take that next step.  Go for it.  I can still recall that first scary step with my first guide Pantera - 17 years ago.  I timidly said, forward, to begin to trust this beautiful, happy dog.  An instructor was behind me ready to help us out as we ventured out.  The love of life was my inspiration to take that step and the next and the next ... 

Thank you for following our journeys.  Sometimes difficult moments have turned into: this will be fun to blog about and then to get a comment from someone that felt lifted from my words makes my day!  

I am so grateful for Guide Dogs for the Blind  for the gift of three amazing guides that have blessed my life in so many ways. It is literally a gift with no cost to the students - including your guide, transportation, instruction and more.  It is through the generosity of others that make this possible.  If you would like to support in this whole process you can donate and help someone have this beautiful gift of independence ... and so much more :).

We hope you will come join us in our next journeys at: Blind Resilience  I am excited to share in our adventures and the lessons I learn along the way.  It is still "under construction" -- just like life, right!  As I am creating this next space, I would love to hear your input!  

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Next Chapter for Cricket

Wishing many, many more smiles for this beautiful Girl!  

 For seven years, I literally was Cruisin with Cricket.  We travelled all over with confidence and joy.  She sat in my office with empathy and love as people share their deepest pains.  She recognized the pain and would gently get up off her bed and walk over and sit beside them.  I recall one session a woman was telling me she wanted to die.  We were literally creating a safety plan.  Cricket got up off her bed with urgency and came to this woman and tried to crawl in her lap!  Cricket taught me alot about being present for someone else.  My colleagues referred to her as the office mascot.  (Most of them have spent their whole career at RSI with her as the dog.) She loved everyone - whether it was the sweet child in the office or meeting Kathie Lee Gifford.  She had a kiss for everyone. My family loves and adores her.  We have so many wonderful memories with her.  Because of Cricket my family knew I was in good hands and safe for seven years.  (Before that it was Pantera keeping me safe and now it is Georgie keeping me safe).  When I reflect back on Cricket I will remember incredible opportunities to advocate in Cricket style .. with love, passion and confidence.  

When she told me she was ready to retire, I knew she had so much love left to give and share with others.  Although she did not want to guide, she really still wanted to go and connect with others.  For the past three months while bonding to my sweet Georgie Girl, I have prayed for the right door to open up for Cricket to share her love.  I didn't know if that would be with us where we adore her but are gone a lot.  Steve and I are very busy in our careers. There are days when we both leave the house in the morning and don't return until late in the evening.   She has a doggie door and someone to stop in and feed her.  We make sure she has a walk each day.  However, I knew there was more for her.  The thought of her sitting home and not sharing her love has been on my mind a lot.  I also knew it needed to be just the right fit for us to be willing to make this transition.  I ADORE this dog.  I have such deep LOVE and GRATITUDE for her.  How do you even put into words the gifts this beautiful dog has given me for the past seven plus years?  

I shared with a few close friends that we were exploring options for Cricket and also that we were in no rush.  Just keeping an open mind.  It was about what was best for Cricket.  Then, a couple weeks ago, a call came.  It came from a family that we have known, loved, admired for several years. We have served together in our church.  We have crossed paths at the grocery store.  They live close by.  They invited us over for an amazing meal.  The joy and love was present in their home.  We invited them to get to know Cricket and see if she was a good fit for their family and to see how Cricket felt as well.  They referred to her as a Hero Dog.  That warmed my heart!  Cricket stayed with them for most of the time we were in Washington, DC.    Kendall picked her up and spent a few days with her. We returned home from our trip and spent a couple days with Cricket.  We agreed their home would be a great fit for Cricket.   We returned back to their home Wednesday evening with Cricket and Georgie.  As we got out of the car, Cricket's tail began to wag.  Steve was walking her and she ran to their front door.  She was so happy.  We entered, and they were excited to have Cricket return.  She ran off to play with their kids.   She is surrounded with a family that loves her.  They recognize and celebrate her life of service in such a beautiful way that has touched my heart.  We left and I felt gratitude not sadness.  I was happy for Cricket. I felt like we were giving Cricket a beautiful gift and honoring her next phase of life.  They are close by.   We can stop in and say hi and give her love.  We can take her a birthday present :).  We can tend her when they go on vacation.  We can celebrate Cricket by trying to emulate her  amazing example of love, service, and compassion.  We can check in on her at Lindseyslemonade.  

Sometimes loving someone is knowing when to let go and let them fly in new ways.  Cricket is flying with a family that loves her and is excited to have her involved in all their fun activities.  She has already gone camping, boating, 4th of July festivities, picnics, and many invitations on which bedroom to sleep in with kids that all love her.  

Love you, Cricker Girl.  Thanks for the joyful journey of Cruisin with you!  You no longer need to "Find the Escalator" or glide around that crowded group of people at the airport.  You will have new ways to share your love and serve.  Perhaps you will listen after a tough day at school,  join in a fun play day, listen to a child read, -- oh, your activities are going to be endless.  I know the first time you put your paw up to them it will melt their heart.  You have melted my heart in so many ways.   You are on a new adventure that I can't wait to hear all about!  Okay ... a few tears to be shed while I am typing this.  It's all good, though.  Wear your "Proud to be a Retired Guide Dog" collar with honor my sweet girl.  You are in my heart forever.  With much love and gratitude.   I'll be by to give you a big hug after you get settled in.  



Friday, July 11, 2014

Grateful for Blogging. Friendships formed.

Even in the greatest of odds, there is something in the human spirit -- a magic blend of skills, faith and valor - that can lift men from certain defeat to incredible victory -- Wallace Lord, Author

Such a blessing to go to the beautiful WW II Exhibit and feel deep gratitude and inspiration.  Also wonderful to meet up with friends!  

One of the best blessings about blogging is the connections - friendships that I have formed!  Kathy and I connected through my blog some time ago.  We began to chat and recognized that we had SO much in common!  One of which was Retinitis Pigmentosa -- so much more!!  I was super excited to learn that we would be in DC the same time!  They would be visiting their son!  We planned a lunch,  and I was super excited!  Then, it worked out that we were both at the mall and also able to meet up a couple days prior.  Then, Steve and Natalie connected with them for the fireworks.  So by the time we met for lunch, it felt like we had known each other forever :)!  Love you, Kathy and looking forward to our next time.  

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Moments in DC

Tradition to take a picture with the artist of the painting we buy!  
Running a 10K around the White House and Mall ... a pretty amazing way to start 4th of July/Natalie's birthday celebration!  
Fireworks on the 4th of July in Washington, DC!!  
Salad at Chop-t!  
Martin Luther King exhibit.  Hot pavement so Georgie is in her booties!  
Walking to Eastern Market - enjoying time with Natalie while the dogs happily walk.

Greeting Natalie at the Metro stop!  
Posing at the Capitol
Caught in a downpour walking up to Natalie's house!  

Life is many sweet moments shared with others.  Savoring the many special moments in DC with Steve and Natalie.  


Monday, July 7, 2014

Favorites

Steve, Georgie and I just spent six days in Washington, DC visiting Natalie and Dahlia. It was fantastic. We walked and walked and walked and experienced many wonderful things. I think my favorite was just being together with these two! Awesomeness! Miss you already, Natalie!
Lunch at Chop-it near Natalie's office.  A favorite -- went there twice!