Back from an Un-Planned Blogging Break

I didn’t plan a social media and blogging break. At first I just lost track of time.  Since early October I’ve experienced so many twists and turns including untypical obligations, permanent good-byes to friends, responsibility adjustments, all summed up with one word, CHANGE.

Many years ago I learned three little words to pull out of my back pocket when stress threatens inner quiet.

Halt! Stop! Breathe!

Words have always come easily to me. But in the last month or so that hasn’t been true. It seems I couldn’t keep a steady pace with words while also cultivating a quiet mind.

When I last posted I was grieving the impact of the California fires.

Learning that places we have loved and enjoyed are now gone has been very sobering. There have been some surprises, too.

Like this favorite “hang out.”

I was thrilled to learn that it was saved.  To see a photo of just how close the flames came to taking it, click HERE.

I’d also been concerned about the American Tortoise Rescue in Malibu. If you’ve been  with me on breathelighter  for any length of time you know that I love our African Sulcata Tortoise, Darwin.

Prior to the fire I’d been aware of this particular tortoise rescue and was sure they’d been affected by the Woolsey Fire. Sure enough, but the outcome was mixed. The property is destroyed, but these incredible people saved the majority of the tortoises. If you’d like to read more about them and see some photos, click HERE. 

And probably one of the best stories of animal rescue came this weekend and made the national news. In case you missed this delightful pet reunion, I will share it with you.

Focusing on some of the happier outcomes provides a nice balance.

Those of us who weren’t directly affected by the fire have many opportunities to contribute to fire relief efforts, too.

And we can all benefit from celebrating the Christmas season.

Last week we joined others in our city for the annual “tree lighting ceremony” in front of the Mission. 

Typically I’m not very eager to attend. It’s cold. Palm trees predominate. There isn’t a giant evergreen. Again…it’s cold.

But this year we bundled up and joined the crowd. It felt good to be part of the larger community and in remembrance of other communities and neighborhoods that have suffered devastating loss, we could make the effort to support the event.

Sophia and Karina did cartwheels on the big grassy area keeping themselves warm. I enjoyed the school children playing instruments and singing on a little makeshift stage. We all enjoyed the taco truck.

I think words are beginning to return. Blog break is officially over. I have a lot of catching up to do.



45 thoughts on “Back from an Un-Planned Blogging Break

  1. Andrew Reynolds December 10, 2018 / 9:21 pm

    looking forward to hearing more. The fires were horrible and now it’s on to recovery.

    • Debra December 11, 2018 / 11:47 am

      I hope your friends who lost their home in Paradise have been “cared for” in this season of recovery, Andrew. I’m sure we will continue to hear many hopeful and inspiring stories to balance against the others that are very hard to hear. Thank you for stopping by.

  2. restlessjo December 10, 2018 / 11:55 pm

    Nothing like a good old get together for shifting the blues. It’s been a horrible time for many, Debbie. I’m so glad you can start to move on from it. Enjoy the festive season. Sending hugs 🙂 🙂

    • Debra December 11, 2018 / 11:42 am

      Thank you, Jo. It has taken a little time to rebalance, but all is well at this point. I hope your holiday season is joyful and “bright” in your new home, my friend.

  3. Ray V. December 11, 2018 / 3:13 am

    Welcome back!

    • Debra December 11, 2018 / 11:41 am

      Thank you, Ray.

  4. aFrankAngle December 11, 2018 / 3:54 am

    Wow – you had quite the variety on your plate. You seem to be yourself now, so welcome back!

    • Debra December 11, 2018 / 11:40 am

      Thank you, Frank. I have definitely found there was a benefit in diverting my attention to other things for a bit of time. It’s nice to finish out the year sharing with my blogging friends. 🙂

  5. Eva Marie December 11, 2018 / 5:31 am

    Mindful quiet is good for the soul, as is connecting with your community after such traumatic events. Wishing you as happy holiday season. 💕

    • Debra December 11, 2018 / 11:35 am

      Thank you so much, Eva Marie. This is a lovely time of year to reflect on what is important, and I’ve been able to do that some. I hope you and your dear family also experience many joys this holiday season.

  6. Gail December 11, 2018 / 5:53 am

    Welcome back, Debra. Looking forward to reading your posts, as always. Stay warm!

    • Debra December 11, 2018 / 11:32 am

      Thank you, Gail. You are probably laughing with me (at me!) with my reference to cold. I know…I’m a wimp! 🙂

  7. nrhatch December 11, 2018 / 7:02 am

    All these “natural” disasters challenge my inner peace as well. Sometimes, like you, I have to rely on my secret mantra: “Keep on breathing.”

    I’m glad that Neptune’s Net didn’t succumb to the flames . . . and that so many pets and their owners have been reunited.

    • Debra December 11, 2018 / 11:31 am

      I don’t hit the proverbial wall too often, Nancy, and for that, I’m grateful. Sometimes just getting quiet for a bit can be very helpful! As you can imagine, there are hundreds of stories making the rounds, many very hard to hear, but also, the remarkable stories of surprise, like the dogs waiting for the return of their human friends! I hope there will be some more uplifting accounts I might share in the future!

  8. Otto von Münchow December 11, 2018 / 7:31 am

    Welcome back. Good to read that some things and were spared in the big fires. Not the least that so many animals were saved.

    • Debra December 11, 2018 / 11:25 am

      Thank you, Otto. I have needed and benefitted from a little break, but I’m glad to have found my voice again. The destruction of the fires continues to shock me, but I have really marveled at the stories of survival and recovery, and hopefulness is a wonderful human quality. I may from time to time find some stories of interest to share in the rebuilding!

  9. Jim Stewart December 11, 2018 / 7:44 am

    Life lurches along: sometimes a slog, sometimes a climb, sometimes a highway, sometimes a crawl. How we handle any given period is one of the places literature comes from.

    • Debra December 11, 2018 / 11:03 am

      Very good point, Jim. I needed to just cultivate a little quiet space for a bit. That I don’t need to do it that often is a blessing.

  10. Kate Crimmins December 11, 2018 / 7:50 am

    We missed you and are glad you are back. The fires were so devastating and I hear they will continue to dominate in years to come. I’m always a sucker for a feel good animal story!

    • Debra December 11, 2018 / 11:02 am

      I knew you’d like the animal stories, Kate. I have missed the blogging connections, and wondered if I’d make it back. It just took a little time. 🙂

      • Kate Crimmins December 11, 2018 / 11:23 am

        We are always here whenever you are ready!

        • Debra December 12, 2018 / 2:33 pm

          Thank you, Kate.

  11. Amy December 11, 2018 / 2:55 pm

    So glad you’re back, Debra!
    Beautiful Christmas lights.

    • Debra December 12, 2018 / 12:53 pm

      Thank you, Amy. My unplanned break wasn’t very long, but it felt longer to me. I missed visiting my blogging friends. 🙂

  12. 2e0mca December 11, 2018 / 3:27 pm

    It’s great to hear some of the good news in the aftermath of the terrible events. The story of Madison’s loyalty made it over here courtesy of the web 🙂 I’m glad you’re ok and it’s great to find you posting again. Looking forward to more great posts in the future!

    • Debra December 12, 2018 / 12:56 pm

      Thank you very much, Martin. Very kind words. I was quite sure Madison’s story must have traveled a long distance, as who doesn’t love a heartwarming story about animal loyalty! I can’t even think about it without grinning! I’m sure there will be other remarkable stories to emerge that will be uplifting and hopeful, and I hope to find them. 🙂

  13. Chatter Master December 11, 2018 / 3:45 pm

    Debra I am so happy to ‘see’ you back. I have seen the headlines about Madison but didn’t look into it until this post. I hope for all of the horror that came with those fires, blessings can multiply and grow from the wreckage.

    • Debra December 12, 2018 / 1:00 pm

      What a lovely perspective, Colleen, and thank you! There have been several animal stories to emerge and for all of the sadness, a pet that survives does add salve to wounds. As always, I’m profoundly moved by human resilience, too. I’ve read some powerful stories of what others are doing to help each other. I hope those blessings multiply and grow as well.

      • Chatter Master December 12, 2018 / 3:40 pm

        Here’s to all of the kind acts that make a difference to someone else (furry/feathered/shelled/human). 🙂

  14. Ray Laskowitz December 11, 2018 / 5:23 pm

    Take your time. And, be gentle with yourself.

    • Debra December 12, 2018 / 1:01 pm

      Thank you, Ray. I appreciate your comment. I’ve definitely “slowed myself down” the last month or so, and I’m not eager to gear up too quickly! Slow and easy is a nice pace.

      • Ray Laskowitz December 13, 2018 / 7:28 am

        I say that to people who have taken on too much. A break helps. But, what really helps is to take care of yourself afterward.

  15. Eric Tonningsen December 11, 2018 / 11:57 pm

    “Focusing on some of the happier outcomes…” A wise choice/practice, Debra. I opted to take a breather too and headed to Kenya with a friend and six family members, where we communed with nature’s wildlife. It was a rewarding diversion from all that has been swirling around in our collective lives. You sound happy to be returning to blogging. 😊 I wish I could create the time to resume posting. Wishing you a warm welcome back!

    • Debra December 12, 2018 / 2:12 pm

      Thank you for the welcome, Eric! And let me say that your trip to Kenya must have been amazing! I can only imagine what sights and experiences you’ve gathered with friends and family. I have certainly cut back in my posting and even in my ability to “make the rounds,” but I do seem to enjoy blogging, and as long as I don’t hold myself to any particular “rules” and a commitment that I can’t always maintain, I can typically find the time. 🙂

  16. philipstrange December 12, 2018 / 8:33 am

    Glad to hear from you Debra. “Stuff happens” and it feels like there is rather a lot of stuff happening at present.

  17. Debra December 12, 2018 / 2:19 pm

    I loved your comment Philip! Thank you for the smile. “Stuff” surely does happen, but the best observation has to do with recognizing the frequency of “stuff happening.” LOL! The first nine months of 2018 wasn’t too much for me, but it was all saved until the last quarter. I think we’re ending the year with healthy perspective, and now, onward and forward. I hope you, too, are well, and I thank you!

  18. auntyuta December 12, 2018 / 9:19 pm

    These devastating fires in California must have been a horrible shock to a lot of people. These fires that happened during supposedly colder months, that is not during summer, must have been doubly shocking. Here in Australia we seem to be getting extreme dry conditions and the danger of bush fires not only in some extreme summer heat but also long before the summer season starts.
    Dear Debra, it was lovely to hear from you again.
    Wishing you a very relaxed and joyful Christmas Season!

  19. Ann Koplow December 13, 2018 / 3:19 am

    Welcome back, Debra. Thank you for the beautiful, illuminating balance of this post. ❤

  20. rivergirl1211 December 13, 2018 / 1:46 pm

    So many tragedies caused by that fire, I openly wept at that beautiful loyal dog waiting at his burned out home.

  21. thefolia December 17, 2018 / 12:19 pm

    It’s touching to hear of the dog and that even though the fires have been destructive, disruptive, devastating and deadly that some sweetness came out of it. I too Debra try to halt and breathe before taking action or blurting out, but sometimes impulse takes over so now I found other words to help when this happens. Rewind and reset. Happy rewinding to us all!

  22. dee ready December 18, 2018 / 11:28 am

    Dear Debra, your posting reminded me of the biblical words, “for everything there is a season.” There is a season for rush and bustle; for fire and for rain; for laughter and for tears. For all that seem opposites. And yes, there is a season for words and for no words. For going to that deep center of yourself where Holy Oneness dwells–the Oneness of all beings caught up in eternity. And in that Oneness, I think you silence became blessed and your words today carry that blessing. Thank you. Peace.

  23. Donald Wilden December 18, 2018 / 2:23 pm

    So Glad you Back ! I am Thankful you allowed yourself time and reflextions. we all need it at times , especially with loss and sadness. My heart as been heavy as well but learning to let go of grief, to let go of holding on to what I have no control of. to smile at the Morning sun – Son, and Have faith in each new day! Merry Christmas to you dear friend I miss you! love Deb

  24. roughwighting December 21, 2018 / 11:29 am

    Glad your break is over, but I understand. Sometimes we do need to sit and breathe and stop. The fires in northern and southern CA were horrific. My friends and some of my family live in the Bay Area and they lived with the sickening smoke for almost two weeks. So many helped out in so many ways. Your dog video made me cry (happy tears, but still).
    Merry Christmas!

  25. nonsmokingladybug December 28, 2018 / 7:15 am

    I am so glad you are back, I was wondering how you were. Sometimes we need to step back a bit and breath. Thank you for the sharing the dog video, someone near by was cutting onions I suppose.

  26. Karen December 31, 2018 / 2:36 pm

    I hope your Christmas was everything you wished it to be. (A little reminder, Jesus was born in dessert country with lots of palms so it doesn’t really matter about the tree you gather around not being a typical Christmas tree. 🙂 ) Wishing you all the best in the New Year.

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