A Shoebox House, by Rhonda Phelps

Coming in September:

It’s rare to find a date the organic way. Cyber-dating is the fad of the century, but it wasn’t what I expected when I signed up on Match.com. I had heard raving reviews about people on dating sites nurturing relationships, meeting their match, and pledging marriage. In spite of the online trolls that tried to sabotage the fun, unexpected friendships and romance manifested within a few months.

When sparks started to flow, the world was poised for pleasure and I was entwined in adventure with my internet boyfriend. Picnics, splashing in the rain, and gentle massages accompanied fine wine, succulent grapes and brie cheese. Summer glistened on waterfalls while hiking in the spacious national forests, and the night life hosted fun and friends. The cultural intake from museums, car show’s and live music linked our interests and we formed an indescribable bond. We were embracing life.

One weekend when he came to town, I became flustered and disoriented and everything was going wrong. I was beginning to doubt my rational existence. Two days later I was tossed into a lifeless and foreign world, and my friendships were in jeopardy. I felt like a fool, my spirit was hollow, and I craved answers. Obsessed with redemption, I discovered the truth as it was revealed through a series of real life emails, social media, Messenger logs and hand-written letters.

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You can change the world… one week at a time

(Photo by William Earl Thornton)

This morning I was reflecting on the past week and decided to share  my thoughts.

I have a friend who is a veteran, a Desert Storm survivor. We talk on the phone about once a week and I am always amazed at what he has to say. I usually listen to him, intently, about his experiences and his life today. He talks for a few hours… trying to sort it all out. I fully understand why we should pay more attention to the services provided by our veterans; we should take care of them.

A co-worker was expecting divorce papers after being separated for 6 months, and to his surprize, she told him she wants to work on their marriage instead. He is nervous, and excited about it. It’s a difficult journey, but worth it.

I notice people at the grocery store. Are they happy, sad, angry or numb? Do they smile? Are they unaware of others around them? I wonder what is going on in their lives. The people with frowny faces that smile when they see you in the next isle. The tourists loading up their carts and double-checking to make sure they have everything for their vacation in Big Sky. The people you make a point of avoiding, fearing their negativity will jump into your cart. The focused merchandisers that are frantically restocking the shelves. And I try to pick a lane where the checker seems pleasant, regardless of the length of the line. It’s a joy-killer to get a nasty checker. (Although, I am sure they have a reason for being grouchy.)

My daughter has cystic fibrosis and tried the new miracle drug, Orkambi, a few years ago but the side-effects were too drastic. Last week at her clinic appointment, the doctor prescribed another new drug, similar to the one she tried before, anticipating better results and fewer side-effects. CF is a terminal illness, so you can imagine the joy we experience with the advancing medical technology.

I talk to my my Mom on the phone about once per week, and we text almost every day. My parents are both still alive, and reside in Arizona. They are genuine and I am blessed with their guidance every day.

My son finally dealt with a haunting court situation that has been dragging on for 5 years and has caused him thousands of dollars in bail money, and several months in jail. He is getting a new start, I hope he embraces it.

I talked to a couple of friends who seemed stuck in certain areas of their life; relationships, financial, careers and personal acceptance. I mostly listen and ask questions. I take a turn sharing my quandries, and we usually we both walk away with a new perspective on life, and a rejuvenated sense of acceptance and love.

I dated a man for 4 months last summer, and he disappeared on July 27th. I tracked him down to a jail in Colorado. I wrote him a letter when I found him three weeks later… our letters crossed in the mail. His letter started “I’ve written this letter a thousand times…” Over the  past 7 months we have been corresponding via letters and a few phone calls. My friends ask me how I can be so compassionate towards him. It may be hard to understand, but there is a connection that I can not explain. During these 7 months, I experienced every range of emotion possible from manic highs to clinical depression. With my realistic approach and encouragement, he is on the road to recovery and rehabilitation as he opens up and is able to write about and accept his past. He is up for parole in May.

I am writing a memoir about my experience with this mysterious man, online dating, relationships, acceptance and self-realization. (Blah, blah, blah… I am trying to come up with a unique book description.) My goal is to publish it in June 2018 – “A Shoebox House”.

I attended a workshop sponsored by “9energies” that is dedicated to helping people understand themselves and others. Amazing organization. Bozeman is growing at a rapid rate and since I am a native, I am not always fond of the increase in population. A lady at the workshop shared her feelings about about how wonderful Bozeman was and how much she loves it here. She said she found peace here. It changed my viewpoint and I am thriving in a new perspective.

My 3 dogs are my buddies and my daily saviors. They love me unconditionally and greet me with enthusiasm.

These events are all miracles to me. Many other miracles happened… I am keeping those treasures also.

What happened in your week? Were you paying attention? What were your miracles?

Thank you for reading my post,

Rhonda

 

 

 

It’s the little things…

I texted some of my friends a photo of a page stamped with my new “Copy” stamp for work this morning.

It said, “I am so excited about my new ‘copy’ stamp! It’s the little things…”

One of my friends commented “Cool! It is the little things. That’s why I love you.”

Awwww… my heart warmed.

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I know, it’s silly. Put some fun in your day! Use your imagination and create your “it’s the little things” kind of life.

Short & sweet,

Rhonda

(The featured image is from a hiking adventure last summer in Sourdough Canyon, Bozeman, MT.)

The Bird Nest – Waiting for Spring

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This family of birds picked special twigs and streams of bark to construct this nest in the tree behind my house, and its only about 4 feet from the ground. I’ve peeked at new cats walking on the fence-tops in the neighborhood this winter, so I’m hoping that this treasured home will survive.

Enjoy your day…

Rhonda

The Honey Bird and Frog Story – To me with love from my children..

My children and their baby-sitter wrote this story for me in 2002 when they were 6 & 8 years old. A treasure worth saving… I love it…

 

Once upon a time there was a honey bird named Rose and a frog named Ribbit. They lived in a forest . They could only talk to each other.

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Now, Rose and Ribbit were best friends, they did everything together. They played games in the day, and at night they read books to each other.

HB Frog #3.jpg

One day Ribbit went to the pond to swim but a storm came and lightening struck the tree next to the pond, setting it on fire. Luckily Ribbit got out of the pond before the tree fell.

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Ribbit went to warn Rose, but Rose had flown away. It was lonely without Rose, but one day people started moving into the forest.

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But they had a different kind of bird that looked like Rose, so Ribbit went and talked to the bird, and it was Rose. They never split up again.

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THE END

Thank you for joining me today…

Have a lovely day!

Peace,
Rhonda