Category Archives: Life

Celebrating a Life

photo (2)This week is National Suicide Prevention Week, though, really the goal is to prevent suicide every week, every day. Yesterday, was World Suicide Prevention Day, and around the world, people held candlelight vigils, honoring their loved ones who died by suicide. I attended the vigil in Atlanta last night, and read the following tribute, celebrating his life.

While the story of my dad’s suicide in 1991, at the age of 54, was dramatic and tragic, it is not the most important story of his lifetime.

His greatest passion was aviation. He flew planes, photographed planes, and wrote about planes.

It was said that my father had one of the largest collections of airplane photographs in the country, and, as far as I know, they were all taken by him. He shared this love of all things airborne with the family he loved. Growing up, we regularly had weekend lunches at the Addison Airport restaurant in North Dallas, where he would spend the afternoon taking pictures. This, of course, was a time when you could stand by a runway fence, snapping photos and not get arrested.

We traveled across Texas to various air shows and rural airports, spending our summer days hanging out on hot tarmacs. We would also hang out at small airports with his friends who had planes, occasionally getting to take a joy ride.

Of course, his love of flying also meant that he flew planes as well as taking pictures of them. In the late 60s, Dad became a corporate pilot for a Texas oil company, and in the 80s, he was a pilot for the Virgin Islands Seaplane Shuttle.

The grand heroic gesture was something that he was also fascinated with, and it was during his time flying seaplanes that he was able to help save the day with his own grand gesture.

On June 5, 1987, Virgin Islands Seaplane Shuttle Flight 329 was en route from St. Croix to San Juan, Puerto Rico when the aircraft was hijacked as it neared San Juan. The hijacker came to the cockpit, tapped Dad, the co-pilot, on the shoulder and demanded to be flown to Cuba, threatening to blow up the aircraft if that did not happen. Dad and the pilot convinced the man that they did not have enough fuel for the flight to Cuba. The hijacker allowed them to land in San Juan, permitting the 16 passengers and the 2 pilots to exit the plane, apparently believing that the pilots would return with maps and fuel for the flight to Cuba. The hijacker stayed on board and ultimately surrendered to police after a 7 hour standoff. They found he was armed with a homemade bomb in a briefcase, which he had brought onboard in St. Croix, and a flare pistol he obtained on the aircraft. Tragedy was averted by the quick thinking of both Dad and the pilot.

Though Dad’s life was cut short by mental illness, he lives on in the books he wrote, the photographs he took, and through his drawings and paintings. He would be thrilled to know that you can still find some of his airplane guidebooks on Amazon and Ebay.

Mitch Mayborn, my Dad, was a creative soul who longed to soar through the skies. He is missed by all who knew him and loved him.

The Journey

IMG_1667-001

“Little by little, one travels far.” says JRR Tolkien. That was one of the inspirations for this new painting. This was Roland’s other birthday painting, and one I’m really proud of.

Since April, I’ve been joining him on his weekly hikes which are mostly taken in the Chattahoochee River National Park. Being in a beautiful setting like this area, the hikes have a very calming and healing effect on my anxiety, and are, of course, great exercise. We bring our 3 dogs, so it’s both an upper and lower body workout!

The painting is of one of the paths. At the bottom of those steps is a deck area where you can stop and look over the river. Admittedly, we’ve had so much rain this spring and summer, that the foliage is very lush, and blocks much of the view right now.

Everyone should have somewhere that restores their soul.

Sunday Signs

Living here in the southeastern U.S., there is no shortage of churches. “Marketing” signs are often seen, and these 2 are from churches, one liberal, the other conservative, that are a half mile from each other in a residential neighborhood.

I’ve cropped out the identifiers, and based on the sermons for this Sunday, July 6, if you had to pick one, which church would you be more likely to attend?

Can you tell which one is conservative and which one is liberal?

 

Or would you rather come to the church that I attend, where you would be hearing the sermon entitled “Whose Yoke are You Wearing?”?

IMG_1656 IMG_1657

Or none at all. Let’s talk.

Happy Sunday! Have a great week!

Blog for Mental Health 2014 – The Time Has Come

I have been meaning to write this post since, well, since the beginning of this year when I first discovered the A Canvas of the Minds. It’s not hard to be a part of the Blog for Mental Health, but I was “what if I don’t do it right” kind of person which has stopped me all of my life from trying things that I was not 100% sure I could do. More on that later (as in, a different post, not yet written).

Without further adieu, here is my pledge:

“I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.”  

That wasn’t so hard now, was it?

Why am I doing this? While I do not have a diagnosable mental illness, perfectionist tendencies aside (see above), I have spent my life around those that do. Of course, through childhood and young adulthood, I was not fully cognizant of the mental illness that was swirling around me. I am certain by adolescence, I was at least marginally aware that there were some irregularities going on with my family. But we didn’t talk about it. We were taught at a very early age that if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

And talking about something being mentally wrong with anyone in the family definitely fell into that “not nice” category. Shame. Stigma. How it thrived.

And how we’ve all suffered for the silence.

The time has come to speak up.

If you want to join me, and learn more about the Blog for Mental Health 2014 project and A Canvas of the Minds, please click here or on the picture above.

 

Eso Si Que Es

I learned that way back when, in 7th grade Spanish, and I think it may just be my aha moment for knitting. But I’ll come back to this thought in a minute. For now, a sock, in progress:

IMG_1410

 

I’m belatedly participating in a Knit Along (KAL) that was hosted by Kristin who beautifully writes about knitting, as well as sewing, yoga, and life in general on her blog K-Line.

I’m using sock yarn from knitpicks which feels nice and soft. There are mistakes galore, and while Kristin says you can knit a pair of socks in one week. I’m laughing hysterically at that!!! Really. It is taking me for-effing-ever! Or at least it feels that way.

But what I’m thinking will be priceless about knitting socks is that I wear socks year round (at least in the house), and handknit socks seem cozy. Plus, these could be much appreciated gifts, I’m thinking, that need minimal fit. And, having multiple pairs of socks isn’t a burden like, say, too many handknit scarves in a warm climate.

This could be the ultimate anxiety controlling project!

Like the title says (roughly translated)… this is it!

S-O-C-K-S!!

The Jar Of Positive

IMG_1353Do you ever think of yourself as being one way, and then someone points out that, more often than not, you are acting the completely opposite way? I mean, if you asked me, I would say I am a positive, optimistic person. But last year, Roland would tell me that more times than not, when I came home from work, I would only relate all the bad things that happened that day.

He said that’s a real drag. Not very attractive, and didn’t really make him want to even ask how my day was.

Ouch. But, yeah, I have to admit, there was more than a little truth to that.

The fact is, I don’t really like my job. OK, I actually hate it. But that doesn’t mean I can’t find positive things about it.

January 1 is, of course, the chance to start over, wipe the slate clean and for me, an opportunity to change my attitude. I can’t take credit for the way I am choosing to accomplish it, however, because I’m certain that I saw something at least a little similar on pinterest.

But there it is. My jar of positive. The idea is that every day, I take one of the little slips of paper, and write about something positive that happened that day.

Not gonna lie, I haven’t done it every day. Sometimes I don’t, simply out of laziness (yes, I know it only takes a minute or so). Sometimes I don’t because I’m too caught up in the negative-ness of my day, and I’m just having a little pity party.

But there it is. On the kitchen counter. To remind me that I have so much to be grateful for. To remind me to just get over myself, and be thankful, positive and optimistic. To let go of the bad, and embrace the good.

I need to go write something about yesterday.

WINTER IS COMING!!

paxupdate21102_320x180
Graphic courtesy of weather.com.

This is no Game of Thrones, people! This is life in the south. Two weeks ago, the powers that be were apparently caught with their pants down, but that will NOT HAPPEN AGAIN.

Don’t get me wrong. This current storm does look like it’s going to be significant, and this time complete with power outages. At least we’re all at home. Tons of stuff was closed and cancelled today, and we’ve* only had rain so far.

*I know it has snowed in north Georgia and other areas, but I’m talking about the exact location where I am.

The store where I work actually closed 4 hours early! Nobody was shopping anyway. We’re always closed on Wednesdays, so whew! We might even have to open late on Thursday.

What does that mean for this little blog? Well, for one, I won’t be too busy to blog. Hopefully, this will be the last winter post, and I can return to the regular programming. And I’m a little behind in my Zero to Hero assignments. Well, who am I kidding… I’ll just give y’all a little update on how it worked for me.

I need to do some painting, and crafting, and knitting. And of course, make something chocolate. I think when you are icebound, cookies have no calories. It’s a fact. I might just watch movies. Or the Olympics. You never know. The only thing that will really bugger up these awesome stay-at-home plans will be that little thing called “power outage” and “no internet”. Luckily, we have gas heat and a gas stove, so we can still be warm, and have hot food. And dogs.

If you snuggle up with dogs, you’ll stay warm. But you might end up smelling like fritos®.

Apparently, It Doesn’t Really Take That Much Snow To Get Atlanta International Headlines

IMG_0126

Wow! Sometimes life really does get in the way, and it’s not just an excuse. Between the full-time job and #snowjam2014 (just one of the many names they’ve given to the debacle that just recently happened in Atlanta), I’ve had things to do. You know, I had good intentions for blogging on my days off.

Yep, I had Tuesday and yesterday off, and was going to blog, make some art, chill out and relax. And Mother Nature had other ideas. After running a couple of errands on Tuesday and finding myself warm and toasty at home around 1, doing a little painting, and then checking in with my boss. I was shocked to learn how close she was to my house. The store where we work is only 3 miles from my house, and it had taken her (ultimately) 5-1/2 HOURS to get just past my house.

Finally, she was convinced to abandon her car on the icy hill where she was stuck and walk back to my house. Her sister (who was also stuck on the same road) made her way to my house, and then we rescued another co-worker who posted on facebook that she was stuck in a hotel lobby, just a mile from us. I took that picture the next day… cars that didn’t fare so well on the icy hill.

My 3 friends were reunited with their vehicles, and, finally, their homes and clean clothes today. I’m so grateful that I was able to help them out, and also feel like Atlantans are some of the friendliest, helpful people in the country!

Here’s to everyone who helped out! And to the politicians passing around the blame… well, it is an election year.