Sunday Post: Follow Your Dreams

Jakesprinter has really challenged me with this contest.   I struggled even to define dreams.  I have achieved many personal dreams in life, meaning ambitions, and am working on others.  I wanted to ignore the deeper meaning, the subconscious, the murky sludge in the pit of the mind that comes to haunt our sleep.  I reread Jake’s introductory post, and decided I must include both definitions to meet the challenge he presented.

Follow Your Dreams 

So I started to research my dreams, those illusive, frightening flashes of unedited video that our brains play against our wills.  Most of the dreams I remember are so frightening that I wake up.  Generally the setting is a cliff, and I am driving or at least inside of a car.  Often There is a windy road, and even stairs or steps.  The plots vary.

Don't look down!
Don’t look down!

My mother drives her red Volkswagen around the horsehair turns up the mountain highway.   We edge  precariously toward the side of the road.  Unlike this picture, my dreams had no railings to protect us from dropping off the edge of the world.   The highway ends, and there is no sign.  Our car needs to fly, but it can’t.  I awaken, but I try to rewrite my dream so that we don’t die.

I found an online dream dictionary that explained the meaning of symbols in dreams.

“To dream that you are driving a car denotes your ambition, your drive and your ability to navigate from one stage of your life to another.  If you are driving the car, then you are taking an active role in the way your life is going.  However, if you are the passenger, then you are taking a passive role.  Overall, this dream symbol is an indication of your dependence and degree of control you have on your life.”

“To dream that you or someone falls off a cliff suggests that you are going through a difficult time and are afraid of what is ahead for you. You fear that you may not be up for the challenge or that you cannot meet the expectations of others.”

Online Dream Dictionary at

When I was 15 my mother, brother and I moved away from family and friends in Indiana to begin a new chapter of our lives  in Oregon.  Mom had no job, no leads.  We moved in July, and I began my junior year of high school a month later.  Outwardly I thought it was a great adventure.  I loved Oregon. I got out of doing my journalism assignment in Indiana.  The weather was much nicer in Oregon.  My critical dad still lived in Indiana.  I was happy.  My subconscious, must have thought differently.  I took that dream off the “To Follow” list.

My dreams usually involve a cliff, water, and sometimes stairs or steps.
My dreams usually involve a cliff, water, a car, and sometimes stairs

Laughter fills the brightly lit home at the top of the cliff.  The party ends, and my friends and I get into the red car and try to drive, but the river (or ocean – it varies) rises, flooding the dark, windy street.  We drive through rushing water until we can’t go farther, and the water still rises.  I awaken terrified.  I don’t want to follow this dream!

“To dream that you drive your car into a body of water or that it rolls into water implies that you are in for an emotional journey.  To dream that you are in a flood represents your need to release some sexual desires. If the flood is raging, then it represents emotional issues and tensions. Your repressed emotions are overwhelming you.”

“To see a road in your dream refers to your sense of direction and how you are pursuing your goals. If the road is winding, curvy, or  bumpy in your dream, then it suggests that  you will encounter many obstacles and setbacks toward achieving your goals. You may be met with unexpected difficulties. If the road is dark, then it reflects the controversial or more frightening choices which you have made or are making.”

Online Dream Dictionary at

The dictionary accurately explained my often repeated nightmare during my 30s and 40s.  Although I realized my personal goal to become a teacher during this time, and I had happy times, there were many difficulties.  I worked, finished college, got a teaching credential, found employment, was laid off several times and reemployed, started a masters’ degree, did what I could as a pastor’s wife to support the emotional needs of our church family as well as help keep our personal financial heads above water.  However, we found that my husband’s genetic condition left him with emphysema, and chronic heart failure.  Within six years of starting his pastorate, at age 43 he retired, and passed away shortly before his 48th birthday.  We had no children.

Red cars dominate my dreams.
Red cars dominate my dreams.

I’m in my red car.  We drive up the cement steps into the house, which has no walls, but only a fireplace.  I awaken confused.

“To dream that you are walking up a flight of stairs indicate that you are achieving a higher level of understanding. You are making progress into your spiritual, emotional or material journey. The dream is also analogous to material and thoughts that are coming to the surface.”

“To dream that a house has no walls represents a lack of privacy. You feel that everyone is looking over your shoulder or up in your business.”

“To see an abandoned house in your dream implies that you have left behind your past. You are ready to move forward toward the future.”

Online Dream Dictionary at

My most recent dream didn’t seem too positive to me when I dreamed it, but I wasn’t frightened.  By this time I had remarried and become an instructional consultant – my top goal in life.  We had bought and remodeled a modest home on an acre of beautiful foothill country.  We lived comfortably, I loved my work, and we both worked hard at our chosen careers.   Again, the dream moods folks seem to have nailed my emotional state at the time.   Of the three paths, this one was the most pleasant – even though the house came without walls.

Stairway to achievement
Stairway to achievement

I don’t know why I have been so ambitious in life. It shocked all my immediate family, but seemed essential to me.  If dreams equate to ambitions.  I truly followed them.  I reached the end of my dreams, and now I dream again.

As far as sleeping “dreams” relating to real life, I would characterize those dreams as the followers. My life was what it was with its ups and downs, obstacles and successes.  I’m glad I didn’t dwell on the “dreams” and the barriers and setbacks they represented.  It was difficult enough just to deal with the problems without getting mired in them.  I chose not to follow my “dreams”, but to follow my ambitions instead.

As a pastor’s wife, a teacher, a consultant and coach, and now a blogger, I have heard many, many life stories.  Not one of them has been without difficulty.  People have handicaps, financial losses, deaths, accidents, poor health, and they struggle to journey along.  Much like my dreams did, their dreams probably also reflect the hindrances that they encountered along the way.   Let’s rebel against THOSE dreams.  They lead us backwards.  They reflect what was.

Let’s march together into unchartered territory where, to the best of our abilities, we love each other, and create a sustainable life together, and we face the obstacles with bravery and laughter.  Let’s create a place – even in cyberspace – where we liberally support each other with hugs and affection, listening ears and encouraging words.  And let’s travel the rest of the way as a community of friends.

My personal belief is that God created us, not perfect, but able.  I KNOW that we I need his help, and without God we I can do nothing.  I choose not to judge others’ convictions, but I choose Jesus Christ as my Savior, and I realize how totally inadequate I am without him to cover for me.

This has been a difficult post to write, and my husband V will say in the morning when he reads it, “You should not write that much about yourself.”  He’s probably right.  I am WAY too open with people.  Many of you have been very open with me as well.  Even knowing that the world can read EVERYTHING we write, you have shared some deep stories in the content of your comments as well as your posts.  What we write, for all we know, NEVER goes completely away.  Yet, the need to be known and accepted by others is SO great that we share anyway.

I avoided writing to this post all week.  Now I know why.  It didn’t start out to be this deep, but here it is.  I’ve been having a lot of fun these past weeks, teasing and joking.  I love to try to make people laugh.  Hopefully I haven’t wounded anyone along the way, as is the case with humor sometimes.  Now you see the overly serious side to Marsha Lee.  The truth’s out now – for you to accept, reject, ignore, criticize, love, share, or respond to in some way.  I am yours.  🙂


This is a short post  (Quit saying YEAH!!!) because I spent my night surfing and reading blogs, old and new.   But I’ve been pondering this recently.

When does friendship start?

You click on my blog and press like?

Is that what it takes?


I read and follow, and you come back.

We exchange a comment.

Are we friends yet?


We share an  X or O

Or maybe a 🙂 or two.

Has that sparked the cord?


I pour out my heart in a post,

And you stop by to say you understand.

Is that the start?


Is it random?

Is it planned?

Is it ever the same from one person to the next?


Why do some love me, and others…

never come back?

Why do I feel connected?


Is it the pictures?

Are words alive?

Is it the words you share with others?


I don’t have the answers.

I just know.

That some of you just touch the realest part of me.


It’s not that others are bad.

It’s not that they don’t try.

It’s not that you try harder, or longer.


It just happens over and over again.

One minute I’ve never heard of you.

And the next one – you’re my friend.







Christmas Sweater

When my first husband, Mark, went to Bible College, and worked, and worked some more, I worked at the college as a secretary, and had such fun with the other four secretaries that worked in the office with me.  They were the ones that refused to  bake me a birthday cake, but gave me the best birthday party ever.  During the long, cold Colorado nights while Mark worked, my neighbor, Lois, labored to teach me how to knit.  And finally I became pretty good.  One of my first successes was this sweater, which now is all stretched out of shape and pilled with age.  I keep it as a reminder of those days.

sweater 1

I think I wore this sweater on my birthday.  The other four ladies in the office said, “Make us a sweater for Christmas, Marsha.”  Since my birthday is November 7th, I knew THAT was an impossibility for newbie knitter me.  BUT they kept after me, “Have you started our sweaters yet, Marsha.”  “I want a pink one.”  “I want a yellow one.”   And on and on it went until Christmas.

So I came with a solution.  I DID knit a sweater – ONE sweater for all of them.  I got it done, too.  Well, all but sewing it together.  I gave one of them a beautifully packed arm, another one got the second arm, one got the front, and the last one got the back!  Were they every surprised when they opened their Christmas presents!   And I laughed out loud!!!

The anti-climax of that story was that I had to knit three more sweaters before my husband graduated in May.  I’ll tell you, I was so busy!!!  But all four women got their sweaters.  Then Harriette in the business office said, “I’d just like a vest, Marsha”  So I made her a vest.  Then Dorothy in the library said, “I’d like a sweater like your pink one.”  So I made her a pink sweater which was a much more complicated pattern.   I finished those after we had moved to California to take our pastorate, along with a cardigan sweater made from the beautiful Australian yarn that my friend Janet brought me back from her trip.  Finally my patient husband, Mark, said, “You’ve never made me a sweater.”  He wanted an Irish knit sweater which would have been beautiful.  I got the front, back, and one sleeve done, and put the button holes on the wrong side.  After that I never knitted again until two years ago.  And I’ve never made another sweater.

Would you have?

Featured Blog

Today’s featured blog,  Cycling Grandma, writes about her talented 3-year-old grandson’s first hair cut, and the hair is donated to charity.  Lisa Winkler is an amazing, active woman with a heart of gold.  In just a few clicks of a mouse you can see that this blog isn’t just about her, and selling her books, although she is an author. Besides writing books and a blog, raising kids, grandkids and cycling, Lisa worked as a reporter, taught middle school, and was a literacy consultant.  Yes, another teacher!  She also has a professional website advertising you books  Black Cowboys Ride Across America looks like a must read for me.  There has to be some history in that book!!!!

Lisa Winkler's grandson
Lisa Winkler’s grandson

So check our Lisa’s  out, and tell me if I didn’t make a good choice for today’s featured blog.  So is Simon Isaiah really playing the violin at age 3????

Christmas Crafting

Before I begin I must express my extreme sorrow over what has happened in the school in Connecticut and publicly share my sympathies to all the families.  Words cannot express how much distress is in my heart about this horrific event.

Those of you who are creative, crafty types, as opposed to villainous, crafty types might enjoy seeing one of my Christmas bloopers.  And since Ana just gave me an Inspiring Blogger Award, (thanks Ana) just seeing the word “inspiring” might inspire someone to do a video tutorial on how to fix what you are about to see.  I did fix it, but I’ve decided that maybe hats aren’t my thing.  The number of times you will see me in a hat…oh yeah, I forget that most of you never see me in real life.  So you’ll never know if I’m truthful or falseful.  But, not only do I not wear them often, I’m not too great at making them.  This was one I made last Christmas season to try it out before I made my friend a hat for real.  Her hat is still sitting in a ball on the top shelf of my new bookcase. At least it’s out as a constant reminder to me.  If I’ve already told you this woeful knitting story, just press “LIKE”and move on.  🙂

Notice anything out of the ordinary here?
Notice anything out of the ordinary here?

First of all, I should have known this hat would be trouble.  I even had trouble getting the yarn out of its skein form and into a ball.  There was a HUGE knot in the middle of it!  AND I can’t tell you how often the crazy ball, with a mind of its own, rolled off my lap onto the carpet in the airport.  So after I struggled through making the ball, then knitting the hat using circular needles for the first time, I ended up with a twisted hot mess – oh yeah, I was the hot mess!  Anyway, the whole thing gave me fits.  It was a week-end quick, one-skeined wonder.  Hahahaha  Who writes those “this is going to be easy” books anyway?

Knitted pink hat2

This is how I solved my problem.  It worked and I redid it, and hated it.  So I took it to work.  I don’t have it anymore, so it’s in someone else’s closet.  Whew!!!

Did I ever tell you my sweater story?  Do you want to hear it?  So if no one pops over to visit me in Bloggerland, I can always knit.  Anyone want me to make them a hat?

Travel Theme: Circles

Definition: A circle is the locus of all points equidistant from a central point.

Ailsa of Where’s My Backpack, dreamed up a theme that made my mind go in circles trying to think of when I have ever photographed circles.  But sure enough, when I looked through my pictures, I found circles had snuck into my collection unwittingly.


Members of the California Council for Social Studies checked out the hotel in Burlingame where we will hold our annual conference in March, 2013.  Circles abounded in this travel site.  Most obviously the tables are round, the best kind for facilitating conversation between a group of five or six people.  You probably noticed the floor before I did.  The carpet designer loved circles.

Circles 2In this picture we are not distracted by the roundness of the tables, so our eyes can focus on the circles in the carpet.  In this case we might almost overlook the round lights in the ceiling.  As a teacher I notice that the large circles, and some of the small circles form Venn Diagrams.  I loved using Venn Diagrams to compare concepts.  Venns are used in many occupational circles, but briefly this is how teachers use them in reading a text, for example.  Characteristics of item A are listed in Circle A on the left, and characteristics of Item B are listed in Circle B on the right.  The characteristics that the items have in common are listed in the intersection.   This makes it very easy to then write a comparison paragraph or essay.  (I veered off the straight path.  Sorry I had to include an instructional strategy.)

Circles3This shot gives a different perspective of the pattern in the second picture.  Ailsa must have been along when the designer chose the carpet for this hotel.  The carpet theme was definitely circles throughout the hotel, but there were slight variations in the patterns from room to room.  I wonder what the psychological effect circles have on conference goers, and vacationers.


The carpet in the final conference room we examined has a different circular pattern.  This room is dominated by rectangular tables, podium, walls and lights.  The carpet mirrors that business-like rectangular flavor with definite  horizontal lines crossing the length of the room which were softened with some bolder, thicker circles than we found in the larger, more social foyer.

As this circular subject develops, I gravitated to the social aspect of circles:

  • circles of friends
  • round table discussions
  • circular conversations (which are VERY frustrating to me!)
  • circles for concept mapping capturing the ideas in our brains.

I wondered if there were specific psychological effects of circles that designers know about and employ to try and motivate us subconsciously.

Oh I do love the internet.  In the process of my search I came across a WordPress site devoted just to circles, Psychology of Circles.  Unfortunately the author only posted 9 articles during two months in 2009, and the one I wanted to read was only promised.  “Power Circles in Advertising” was never written.  Maybe his or her mind was just going in circles like mine, and couldn’t focus.  There are definitely disadvantages to circles!

Not satisfied, I entered the word circles, and found a company called Circles with this description, “Circles is the leading global provider of concierge, events and customized rewards.  … Our mission is to make life better and that pays dividends all around.”  There must be something to the use of circles in the hotel business!!!  I found another article describing how agitated certain animals became when they encountered crop circles.  No wonder most hotels with circular themed carpets don’t allow animals!

FAQs from Wikipedia

  • The circle is the shape with the largest area for a given length of perimeter.
  • The circle is a highly symmetric shape: every line through the centre forms a line of reflection symmetry and it has rotational symmetry around the centre for every angle.
  • A circle’s circumference and radius are proportional.

The human eye is drawn to a circle, which is perfectly proportional.  People are drawn to other people whose faces are proportional and symmetrical.   Cartoonists draw rounder, bigger eyes to make their characters mor appealing.  Are we more trusting of the circular shape?

It seems that very little has been written about the psychological effect of circles on humans.  I thought I’d hit the jackpot when CSU Stanislaus, but this list was the extent of their article:

  • Connection, community, wholeness, endurance, movement, safety, perfection
  • Refers to the feminine: warmth, comfort, sensuality, and love.

I was disappointed, but the truth is if someone is looking for a new topic for their doctoral thesis, here it is!!!

Have I come full circle?  Or is my circle yet unclosed?  I think the latter.  How does the circle affect you?