Thursday, May 25, 2006

Welcome Home

What a wonderful thing it is to see two people take that first step into their new home, especially when it is your child and her "soon to be husband". The respective parents were invited to share that moment this week and we all enjoyed it to the max. We inspected every nook and cranny from the front door to the garage, opened cabinets and closets, checked out the fireplace and furnace, and just about every inch from the floor to the ceiling. The best part of the whole darn thing was the smile on their faces and the love in their hearts. This was one of those times when you say to yourself "It just doesn't get any better than this!"

God bless your home with love and laughter. Welcome!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Seeing the Big Picture

Realizing that my frustration level is at an all time high, I am reminded how important it is to look for the BIG PICTURE.

My husband, who has this wonderful way of seeing this in me before I do, called me out of the house this evening so that I could see the Iris that has finally popped open today.

And you know what? It worked. I am reminded that there is something bigger than church, work, showers, weddings and any of the other number of things that fill our lives so full we cannot see the BIG PICTURE.

For me to see the BIG PICTURE, sometimes I need to look at the little things in life, wonder in their glory, and remember that ...

God is good all the time.

So here, through the lense of my Mother's Day camera, are the blooming reminders I found outside this evening.

One more for road, the week ahead... God is good all the time!

I can't explain a blessed thing
Not a falling star, or a feathered wing
Or how a man in chains has the strength to sing I'll fly away
Just one thing is clear to me
there's always more than what appears to be
And when the light's just right
I swear I see poetry

....The clouds make rain, the ocean makes sand
The earth breathes fire, and lava makes land
Now that took a mighty hand
And a wild imagination

-Walt Wilkins and Davis Raines

Friday, May 19, 2006

Oh, to be dispensable

Back in the day when I would get all fluffed up about something I thought I had done particularly well, my mom would pull out this poem. She called it the "Ode to the Indispensable Man".

There Is No Indispensable Man
by Saxon N. White Kessinger, Copyright 1959

Sometime when you're feeling important;
Sometime when your ego's in bloom
Sometime when you take it for granted
You're the best qualified in the room,

Sometime when you feel that your going
Would leave an unfillable hole,
Just follow these simple instructions
And see how they humble your soul;

Take a bucket and fill it with water,
Put your hand in it up to the wrist,
Pull it out and the hole that's remaining
Is a measure of how you will be missed.

You can splash all you wish when you enter,
You may stir up the water galore,
But stop and you'll find that in no time
It looks quite the same as before.

The moral of this quaint example
Is do just the best that you can,
Be proud of yourself but remember,
There's no indispensable man.

Google tells me it has a slightly different title and the author is no longer "unknown", but it still has the same effect now as it did when my mom used it to bring me back down to earth years ago. Only now I would really like to be dispensable. Managing one job as they look for my replacement, while trying to learn the other before my predecessor leaves, puts me in mind of the old Twister game we used to play. Only now there is some diabolical person holding the spinner. One foot is in the new job while the other foot and both hands are still in the old job. My brain is somewhere in between wondering what the spinner will have me do next. I long to be dispensed with. My bucket overfloweth. I feel as though I might be going down for the count. Maybe we could just dump the water out of the bucket all together and move on.

But alas, would I like some cheese with that whine? Of course. Would I like some cake and be able to eat it, too? Yes. Would I give up this wonderful opportunity? No way. Will it be ok? I sure hope so. Do I really want to be dispensable? Well, nah.

Uh, it comes! Left foot on blue...

Monday, May 15, 2006

There's a stranger in my house...

Well it's moving day and the pet hotel is open once more. My son is relocating yet again and the resident dog and cat have taken to higher ground, grumbling all the way.

The intruders arrived via cardboard box, not much happier to be here then their greeters were to have them. After all, this house just aint big enough for the two of them, let alone two more.

The mother and son pair suffered the pangs of surgical domestication prior to their last visit which was indeed a prerequisite at my insistence. Although they did not seem to fare too badly, what do I know about such things?

One hiss from Ghost and Cali headed upstairs under the safety of Mister's legs. The otherwise overly friendly spaniel bid fond farewell, never to be seen for the rest of the evening.

Piddies retreated to her queendom to mount defense of her domain. Her territory is under more dire threat of being overthrown. I mean a throne is at stake here.

So it goes and the saga begins. Remove all breakables from the shelves. Take the plants down from the window sills. Double order the kibbles and litter. And move over Rover because the kitties have moved back in.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Things Change

Things change, they change a lot
Things change, they grow cold they grow hot
And if lookin’ back - that’s all you got…it don’t matter anyway

--Sam Baker

Well tomorrow, today will have become “back in the day” and if there is one thing I know for sure, it is that nothing is ever for sure. So at this ripe old age I am venturing into the vast unknown of a new job. My friend says there is no sense in looking at life through a rearview mirror. My mom always told me not to wish my life away, particularly when I couldn’t wait for tomorrow to come, or this day to be over. What works best for me is usually somewhere in between. I would never trade even one of the days I have had; for better or worse, they are the sum of my existence. But there is change in the air and this time I am going with it. Savor the past and keep moving forward. As long as the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t an oncoming freight train – it will be ok.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Go On Outside and Play

The next warm day we have I am going to go outside, take off my shoes and socks and spread my toes in a tall patch of green grass right alongside of the big oak tree that has been there in the front yard since I was a kid. Back in the day this yard was a gathering place for those of us whose parents had said “Go on outside and play”. And we did. Most of the time we didn’t even need to be told. Outside was much more fun than inside. Sometimes I would even have to sit at the breakfast table until my mom said it was an “appropriate time” for me to go out.

And we played. We played Red Rover. We played Kick the Can. We played Tag, Red Light Green Light, and Hide and Seek. When it was hot we ran through the sprinkler. We rode bikes. We played circle ball and jumped rope. When it got dark we played flashlight tag at least until the batteries ran out. Then we played some kind of game where we hid from the headlights of cars that would come down the street. I can’t remember what that was called. We caught lightning bugs and put them in Ball jars, knowing full well that they would probably be dead in the morning and not smell very good. But we played.

There was usually a big gackle of us. The more the better. Some things you could do alone but it was always much more fun when everyone played. There were little sisters and big brothers, and sometimes even a cousin or two. Come to think of it, all of us had a mom and a dad...that lived with us. How weird is that? Anyway, everyone got a chance and if one of us wasn’t there, we knew why.

Our parents didn’t worry about us much. At least I don’t think they did. We checked in every once in awhile, but for the most part we just played until we were dirty and tired and got called in for the night.

We learned some too. I did anyway. I learned to wait my turn. Big kids usually got to go first and if I wanted to keep playing, that was ok. Two’s company, three’s a crowd and the third one could go home or learn to play nice. We didn't tattle unless it was a matter of life and death, which it usually wasn’t. Sometimes you were going to get your feelings hurt and you could tough it out - or go home, because in the long run everyone wanted to keep playing and no one liked a cry baby. Only certain people could get away with being bossy and not everything was fair. Looking out for the little guy was a little more important to you if you had been the little guy. I also learned to duck, that the tree was a safe zone, never ever hide too good, and it hurt to be picked last. These were life lessons that shaped every fiber of my adult being.

I’ve been watching lately for kids outside playing. Not organized sports. Not walking along the street with cell phones or Ipods, but kids outside playing. They are few and far between. Will they have the chance to learn to play together? Maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe they will have an equally formative life experience. But when I close my eyes and breathe in the fresh air, and feel the joy of bare feet in cool grass, I can almost hear someone hollering “Allee, allee, all come free”, and I wish that for them. I hope someone says to them, “Go on outside and play.”

Friday, May 05, 2006

Affirmation of Faith

Spring is making the rounds of blooming flora at our house. The forsythia has moved on to beautiful greenery, a few of the tulips remain but most have dropped their petals. The dogwood is in mid-bloom, so is the trillium, and the spiderwort is just coming on. The corn lilies are near a foot tall, but I know they will not flower until July. I love to watch as they waken from their winter slumber and come to life again. This is my affirmation of faith. All is right with the earth, or as right as it can be, and another year is underway; the mighty Amen and So be it.

With the warm sunshine also comes my friend, the walking man. I don’t know his name, but we are friends. Right as rain he walks each morning. Sometimes we exchange greetings and sometimes we just wave. When I first moved back into this old house I tried to walk with him, but I couldn’t keep up with his pace. The walking man has more years than me but he sure can move. His frame curves slightly forward. Sometimes he looks as though he might topple over, but he doesn’t. I noticed that he has taken to walking with a cane this year, most likely to fend off any critters that might get tangled up in his legs. It was good to see his face. The walking man is one of the rites of spring, another affirmation of faith. He walks the mighty Amen and So be it.