Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores
Photographer Patricia Gulick

Friday, December 31, 2021

12/31/21 RMB A Mother’s Light


12/31/21 RMB  A Mother’s Light


Dear Rita Mae Brown,

New Year’s Eve thoughts…The last two months have felt like two years. Recent turmoil regarding health, home repairs, jobs, family, oh yeah and the ongoing pandemic, have snowballed. Sometimes if feels like we are grasping at straws just to hold on to some semblance of sanity, some normality.

The author Mike Dooley surmises not all thoughts are equal, that the positive outweighs the negative by ten thousand-fold. I believe it. Those straws we are grasping at, they are golden, strong, everlasting straws of hope and light.


The summer I turned nine, my father introduced us to a pretty lady with short reddish-brown hair that drove a cool green Nova. She was bright and lively. She was a kid at heart and loved to play games, a rare adult who still relished having fun. She became our stepmother and brought with her a new brother and sister into our family. Ensuing evenings were spent drinking Alabama sweet tea and playing raucous games of Parcheesi, Yahtzee, and so on.

Patricia “Pat” Gulick taught elementary school much of her life, often tutoring some kids after hours, collecting clothes for those in need and helping the less fortunate any way she could.

Some months shy of fifty years later, she remains young at heart. She still loves games and watching her Alabama Roll Tide College Football games with her brother.

The challenges she faces now are big. And when she said come visit me now, we did. From California we flew to spend a few days with the lady who helped raise us, played games with us and shared her life with us.

Her love of music and art live on in our memories and belongings as we enjoy all that she created and gave to us.  

On one of those few precious mornings with her, I emerged from the spare room to her sing song voice “Good mooooorning”.

She visited with us every day to tell stories and share her history. Those words, those moments, and the time we still have with her, they are loaded with those golden straws of light, laughter and love.

Seizing the light,


Sunday, October 31, 2021

10/31/21 RMB Two Accidents


10/31/21 RMB  Two Accidents

Dear Rita Mae Brown,

While driving home last night I found myself in a lane blocked by police cars surrounding sideways vehicles. The accident so recently happened that the police had not yet started directing traffic. Drivers edged passed the incident, finding clear paths wherever we could, allowing for a bubble around the wreckage for those involved to reset their lives; for the police to help as best they could.

On another street, eight miles away, I found myself approaching more flashing lights, another accident. This one had flares surrounding the cops and the broken cars. One officer waived us into a side street.

Neither had an ambulance. Hopefully there were no serious injuries. Needless to say, I drove even more carefully than normal the rest of the way home.

Life takes us down paths. Sometimes there are hard stops and resets, as with those in the accidents. Sometimes there are detours. Often there are bumps that leave bruises.

We have choices and every choice comes with some sort of obstacle. The paths we take may be difficult, but here’s the rub. The chirping bird, the dazzling sunset, that special song, every path has them and so much more.

The joy we carry within has a matching vibration in something right before us. Let it connect and suddenly a touch, a sound, a thought, a site, becomes delightful, eternally linked to our souls.

Face each day as a quest for the uplifting magical essence in life and it will be found. Face each obstacle knowing that what is in you is grander than whatever it is.

These are the lessons I’m reminded of as I follow my path, detours, obstacles and all.

Onward we go,


Tuesday, August 31, 2021

8/31/21 RMB August Farewell


8/31/21 RMB August Farewell


Dear Rita Mae Brown,

As we say farewell to August, the birds chirp to one another, the sky is white with clouds, dogs bark in the distance and leaves rustle in the trees.

August 2021 takes with it my eldest sister Deb Hills who goes on to join my eldest brother Rocky Gulick. Both faced physical challenges, and both were the first to stand up for the less fortunate. They stepped in when others needed a hand. And gave with full hearts.

Life goes on. Grief can be a tremendous hurdle. But life goes on. And we do the best we can, for ourselves; the best we can for others.

When the dogs bark in the distance, and the birds chirp, and the leaves rustle, join in with a hello of your own.

Enjoy moments, catch the magical seconds, smile just because now and then.

Every voice is precious. Every breath counts, however invisible until they are gone, they count. Remember that.

Rest in peace my Sister.


With all my heart,


Monday, May 31, 2021

5/31/21 RMB Memorial Day Fact

 5/31/21 RMB Memorial Day Fact


Dear Rita Mae Brown,

Exactly two months have disappeared by since my last letter. Forgive me if I ramble in catching up.

April’s adventure was moving, box by box, three friends, all on the slower side of 55 spurred one another on, joked, laughed, shed a few tears for the beloved desert home that will be missed, then shared meals to celebrate each day’s work. Finally, sore and satisfied, within our allotted week, the mission was complete. Now Teddy works daily at unboxing, rediscovering treasures and recreating “home” in her new Bear’s Den.

In May I got my first pair of reading glasses ever. Hence, reading is more fun. I got new regular glasses for the first time in 10 years. Hence, driving is more fun. I look from street signs to store signs, finding some readable that were not before.

I finished the enlightening Animal Magnetism and now Cakewalk is next up, along with a few other books on tarot, healthy recipes, and Pimsleur’s Spanish II.

For Cinco de Mayo I received my first covid vaccine and on June 4th the second awaits me. Too many lives have been lost to this virus and it brings to light the many that have been lost for other reasons, diseases, wars, crimes, etc. I can’t help but feeling that we are the cure, our minds, our motivations, our efforts, we can make this world, all our lives, better.

Today is Memorial Day. Wikipedia says:

On May 1, 1865 in Charleston, SC, formerly enslaved African Americans honored hundreds of Black soldiers who were killed in the Civil War and buried in a mass grave. They unearthed the bodies and gave each a proper burial and held a parade in the soldiers’ honor. This memorial honoring of Black fallen soldiers is believed to have been the first Memorial Day before it later became a recognized holiday.

Kind of adds to the echo of black lives matter, not necessarily the movement, but the fact.


June is calling, may it ring in joyfully,


Wednesday, March 31, 2021

3/31/21 RMB Words Emotionally Absorbed


3/31/21 RMB Words Emotionally Absorbed

Dear Rita Mae Brown,

While still enjoying your Animal Magnetism, I am also reading A Little Bit of Tarot and just finished Badass Habits by Jen Sincero.

I recently listened to the audio book Barefoot Executive on cd in my car. The author Carrie Wilkerson is like an Energizer bunny in business. Her drive is inspiring and she shares tons of how-to information about getting your business started. Her motto seems to be “if I can do it, you can do it”. However, it dawned on me that each of us is so individual and so unique none of us can accomplish something JUST because someone else accomplished it.

We each have our own hurdles, our own issues, our own skills, motivations, etc. Until we re-package all that we learn and mesh it into our own magical force, one that takes our uniqueness into account, what we accomplish from the knowledge gained is stunted by an invisible force.

Whatever we learn, whether from the Barefoot Executive or Jen Sincero or Mike Dooley or history or anywhere, needs to be digested for it to be of its ultimate value. It needs to be consumed on an emotional, physical and mental level. That information, inspiration, knowledge and education must be mixed into the elements of oneself, as one would mix dough for bread. You can’t take the base of flour and toss all of the other ingredients on top, slide it in the oven and expect a loaf of bread to rise from that heap.

Yet that is what we do, what I do, when I read tons of books. I acquire bits of info, tack them on my mental corkboard and hope all of the pieces will one day fall into place, that I will lose weight, have my own business, get my house in order, etc.

It feels as though there is a door or perhaps the proverbial window to the soul, that needs open to allow the message to seep in deep. Words read and noted on the mental corkboard are helpful, but words embraced and absorbed are transformative.

As we grow, we are trained by nature and nurture to be strong, independent, and complete. In that process of completion, the exits and entrances are sealed up tight. It is why falling in love can sometimes feel painful, the heart literally aches for the object of affection because those barriers must be breached to allow the relationship to flourish.

It is why our mystic skills and our 6th sense is often muted, they need that window open to breathe. I will be more conscious of this in the future. While reading, I will make an effort to absorb concepts.

I can relate to Jen Sincero’s writing, which feels down to earth and allows for individuality in her suggestions and guidance. Wisdom resides in her words, with a little spice mixed in to boot.

Letting words in,


Sunday, February 28, 2021

2/28/21 RMB February’s Full Moon

2/28/21  RMB February’s Full Moon  


Dear Rita Mae Brown,

I’ve arrived at Animal Magnetism in my mission to read all of your books. This one tugs at the heartstrings and enlightens the mind. Your observations of animals and our interactions with them are told in delightful and tender stories. It is a work woven by the love of animals and I thank you for it.

As February nears an end, last night’s full moon sends it off in a wave of glory. Bold and bright she lit the night sky on my drive home from an evening shopping trip. Native Americans call her Grandmother and last night she beckoned to be remembered, to have her beauty recorded.  

My letters have slowed while I find myself wondering more and more about which words would or could contribute the most. Our world is swirling in a mix of emotions stirred by politics and a deadly pandemic. Anger straining to be heard is causing a thunder that drowns out our neighbors, sisters and brothers. People splinter away from one another, dividing into paths that each group thinks will lead them to a more perfect world. Or maybe they are not thinking, they are feeling and taking impulsive action.  

That sounds sad. My goal is to uplift spirits. Yet I feel the need to recognize the angst. It reveals the need for positivity.

And on the subject of positivity, I came upon the work of two young actors that play characters in the series Wynona Earp, Katherine “Kat” Barrell and Dominique “Dom” Provost-Chalkley.

The love story of their characters is celebrated, and I find that refreshing. It’s a celebration that work like yours made possible. The two ladies playing the role’s of Nicole Haught and Waverly Earp are “out” and the onscreen duo are affectionately called WayHaught.

Dom has created the Start the Wave Organization which “focuses on building an inclusive online community that empowers individuals to find their unique path to create positive change."

How’s that for positivity,



Friday, January 1, 2021

1/1/21 RMB New Year Treasure Hunt


1/1/21  RMB New Year Treasure Hunt


Happy New Year Rita Mae Brown,

Whatever the days may bring in 2021, we can bet there will be some magic tucked in unexpected places.

Consider this a treasure hunt for over the next 12 months. Watch for these things, or make up your own magical finds.

Seeing a kitten pounce.

A full moon glowing in the night.

Toddlers laughing.

A neatly stacked pile of clean clothes. (so I’m easily moved)

Sounds of the wind, the sea, a lake, or leaves rustling.

Gentle falling rain.

Reading the last page of a good book.

Time spent walking with a friend.


Endless possibilities await, opening doors to the light that shines from within. And from that light, your path is made clearer, joyful and invites you to celebrate life.


Happy 2021,