Monday, February 28, 2011

In Like A Lamb ~ Out Like A Lion

Hey Guys. Our “new year” is getting older by the minute. In just a little less than an hour, we will enter the third month of the year.  

What can I say about March? It’s mostly known for its gusty winds, but there are other memorable things as well. It’s a month when, in my part of the country, we start seeing all kinds of new growth shooting up out of the earth. If you planted bulbs in November, you’ll probably start to see the fruits of your labor this month. You will no doubt soon see spectacular fields of daffodils and you may or may not see tulips. They can bloom any time from late March until June, depending on the variety. Crocus have probably already come and gone along with early iris. Many trees are budding. At any rate, we’re seeing enough growth to give us hope that the long winter is behind us and spring is almost here. But don’t be fooled! March is very deceptive. One day, it will be spring-like and the next day will slip back into winter.

Weather-wise, one must be prepared for most anything in March in these parts. If we’re lucky, we’ll get typical early spring weather, with highs in the 50s and lows in the 30s. There's even a chance of seeing temps in the 60s; anything above that is pretty unusual. It sometimes rains a lot in March, too. 

In contrast, some of the coldest, snowiest weather I can remember has come in March. We’ve had blizzards with 6-12" of snow. It’s not likely, but it has happened and could happen again!

That’s what I like about living in West Virginia. Almost every month is different; one never gets bored with the weather until mid-summer when the temps sometimes remain in the high 90s for days and nights on end. When this happens, there are some, like me, who start to long for the cooler days of October and November. Others love the heat! In other words, there is something for everyone.

If you don’t like the weather today, just be patient for about twenty-four hours. It's almost certain to change!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Golden Rule

I wonder why it’s so easy for some people to hurt others. Why can’t we just be good to each other? It takes a lot less effort. Furthermore, it makes you feel good to put a smile on someone else’s face. Don’t you agree? Yet, if you listen closely, most people will tell you about someone who has wronged them, or, at the very least, said or done something that hurt their feelings.

People sometimes ask me, “Do you think I should forgive her/him?” Now, I don’t claim to know everything, but I’ve been around long enough to know that we have no choice; we have to forgive! That is, we must if we want to be forgiven ourselves when we make a mistake. And all of us will make a mistake sooner or later. Not one of us is perfect. Everyone knows the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”So if you don’t forgive, what’s going to happen when you ask for forgiveness and someone says, “No?”

There are some who carry grudges for a lifetime—even to their graves. I wouldn’t want to be one of them!

I’ll never forget when my first-born son was in the second grade: we lived close enough to the school for him to come home for lunch. He came in one day with tears running down his face and looking very upset. I ran to him, of course, asking what was wrong. He flung his little arms around me and said, “Stevie was being mean to me." I saw red. Through clenched teeth, I asked, “What did he do?” Pulling back and wiping tears from his face, he said, “He kept hitting me and calling me names.” I said, “Did you hit him back?” He said, “No.” I yelled, “Well, why not?” I wasn’t ready for this little boy’s answer. He said, “I don’t want to hurt anyone.” And he meant it!

This child, who was only seven years old at the time, has grown up with that attitude. He’s never wanted to hurt anyone. Oh, he learned the hard way not to let people walk all over him or push him around, but unless they tried, he remained agreeable. He never threw the first stone. Throughout his life, I often wondered if he was “for real.” He seemed too good to live in such an evil world.

At times he even has to get his mother back in line. My temper is quick to flare and I’m always threatening to do “thus and so” until I have a talk with number one son. In just a few minutes and, with very few words, he changes my thinking from attack mode to amiable. I don’t know how he does it exactly. It usually goes something like this: “Now, Mother, you know it’s best if you do ‘the right thing’ and then you won’t have anything to be sorry for later.” I end up agreeing and doing as he says. It’s amazing! I’ll never know when the roles reversed. Sometimes, it seems as if he's the parent and I'm the child.

I wonder...  If I could bottle the effect he has on me and distribute it widely, would people then be nicer to each other?


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Planting Time

It will soon be planting time so here's something you should know: what you plant now will determine what you reap later. 

* If you plant honesty, you will reap trust

* If you plant goodness, you will reap friends

* If you plant humility, you will reap greatness

* If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment

* If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective

* If you plant hard work, you will reap success

* If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation


Friday, February 25, 2011

Does Time Really Pass This Fast?

My friend and I were talking yesterday when she said, “Can you believe February is almost gone already?” Admitting that it’s hard to believe, I joked, “Before we know it, we’ll be Christmas shopping again!” 

We both laughed heartily and then agreed that time does seems to be measured by the holidays. It wasn’t like that when we were kids. From one Christmas to the next seemed like an eternity then. We enjoyed every season thoroughly – with no hurried feeling. But now, the way one holiday is rushed upon us before the present one is completely over makes it seem like we’re on a merry-go-round that’s going so fast, we can’t get off – or even catch our breath.

Just a day after Christmas, Valentine candy appears on shelves in stores; hearts and flowers dominate for a few days and then before midnight on this day for lovers – Pouff!  All of the red, pink and white is transformed into springtime pastels. Easter bunnies, chocolate eggs, and jelly beans are stacked on shelves only to disappear as quickly as they came. One could get trampled at Wal-Mart just trying to find exactly the right fuzzy little chick or bunny for a grandchild! People get serious about their Easter bunnies and chickens! They do!

All of a sudden, it’s Memorial Day and kids are growing more excited by the day knowing it’ll soon be time for school to be out for the summer. Soon after that, it’s vacations, sunburn, picnics, and Fourth of July celebrations. It all passes so fast and soon, the sun sinks lower in the sky, kids go back to school, we celebrate Labor Day and shop for mums, pumpkins and gourds. The leaves gradually change into a myriad of colors, frosty mornings make their debut, and the most magnificent season of all – autumn – entertains us for a short while. Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas follow and, all too soon, another year has passed. I wish there were some way to slow it down.

I wonder... Does it really pass this fast, or does it only "seem" to when you get older?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Station

       TUCKED AWAY in our subconscious minds is an idyllic vision. We see ourselves on a long, long trip that almost spans the continent. We're traveling by passenger train, and out the windows we drink in the passing scene of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at a crossing, of cattle grazing on a distant hillside, of smoke pouring from a power plant, of row upon row of corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of mountains and rolling hillsides, of city skylines and village halls, of biting winter and blazing summer and cavorting spring and docile fall.

But uppermost in our minds is the final destination. On a certain day at a certain hour we will pull into the station. There will be bands playing and flags waving. And once we get there so many wonderful dreams will come true.  So many wishes will be fulfilled and so many pieces of our lives finally will be neatly fitted together like a completed jigsaw puzzle. How restlessly we pace the aisles, damming the minutes for loitering, waiting, waiting, waiting for the station.

However, sooner or later we must realize there is no one station, no one place to arrive at once and for all.  The true joy of life is the trip.  The station is only a dream. It constantly outdistances us.

When we get to the station that will be it!" we cry. Translated it means, "When I'm 18 that will be it!  When I buy a new 450 SL Mercedes Benz, that will be it!  When I put the last kid through college that will be it!  When I have paid off the mortgage that will be it!  When I win a promotion that will be it!  When I reach the age of retirement that will be it!  I shall live happily ever after!"

Unfortunately, once we get "it," then "it" disappears. The station somehow hides itself at the end of an endless track.

"Relish the moment" is a good motto, especially when coupled with Psalm 118:24: "This is the day which the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it."  It isn't the burdens of today that drive men mad.  Rather, it is regret over yesterday or fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who would rob us of today.

So, stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, climb more mountains, eat more ice cream, go barefoot more often, swim more rivers, watch more sunsets, laugh more and cry less. Life must be lived as we go along. The station will come soon enough.
                                                                  ~Robert J. Hastings
(This version of "The Station" made its debut in Ann Landers' Column on May 17, 1981.) "Dear Ann Landers:  I wrote a little essay that appeared in the Illinois Baptist and I am sending it to you with permission to share it with your readers if you wish."  Robert J. Hastings, Editor.
"Dear Robert Hastings:  It's a beauty.  Thank you for sending it on."  Ann Landers.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

You Must Keep Going

Sometimes you must keep going.

Life punches you in the stomach.
It knocks your breath out and leaves you bowed and gasping.

You lose a job. . . you must keep going.

You find out you have a serious illness. . .you must keep going.

You have a headache. . you must keep going.

Sometimes the things in life are not serious but they affect you
nevertheless . . . you must keep going.

You have a big argument with your spouse.
Neither of you feels like talking and maybe not even looking at
each other. . . you must keep going.

Your son rebels and you have a blowout with him. . .
you must keep going.

The bills seem to never end and the money seems to never start.
You must keep going.

There are times that make us just want to curl up, stick our
heads in a hole, and make the world go away.

We can't, because we must keep going.

Life is full of those circumstances.

Many of you when you woke up this morning, for a variety of
reasons, didn't feel like getting out of bed, but you had to.

You must keep going.

In times like those, and we all have them,
remember the blessing.

The blessing is not in that we must keep going.

The blessing is that we can.


Sunday, February 20, 2011


Class never runs scared. It is sure-footed and confident, and it can handle whatever comes along. 

Class has a sense of humor. It knows that a good laugh is the best lubricant for oiling the machinery of human relations. 

Class never makes excuses. It takes its lumps and learns from past mistakes. 

Class knows that good manners are nothing more than a series of small sacrifices and minor inconveniences. 

Class bespeaks an aristocracy unrelated to ancestors or money. Some extremely wealthy people have no class at all, while others who are struggling to make ends meet are loaded with it. 

Class is real. You can’t fake it. 

Class is comfortable in its own skin. It never puts on airs.

Class never tries to build itself up by tearing others down. Class is already up and need not attempt to look better by making others look worse.

Class can “walk with kings and keep its virtue and talk with crowds and keep the common touch.” Everyone is comfortable with the person who has class because he is comfortable with himself.

If you have class, you’ve got it made. If you don’t have class, no matter what else you have, it won’t make up for it. 


You Can't Fix It!

Occasionally, I do crazy, embarrassing things. One night I wrote an e-mail to my daughter bemoaning the fact that her brother had visited much too long and I was really worn out! Just as I pushed "Send" on the mail program, I caught a glimpse of the address on the e-mail. It was not my daughter's, but my son's... the one I had been writing about.  I prayed for a magic trick to get that e-mail back, but as you know, there is none.

What did you do? you ask.  I picked up the phone, called my son and fessed-up. I told him I was sorry, and I hoped he would forgive me. He was a good sport. He said, “I won’t even read it.”  However, I learned later that he had. But, fortunately for me, he  laughed it off.

I don't know why we do these things. In my case, sometimes my mind seems to go totally blank for a few seconds. Some people call it a “senior moment,” but I’ve been fouling up like this for a long time... even when I was young. 

Back when shag carpet was so popular, we covered our bedroom floor with it. When I realized that it bothered me because it flattened out after a little walking on it, I made an appointment for a vacuum cleaner salesman to come and demonstrate a new attachment they had recently put on the market. It attached to your vacuum’s hose and when you ran it over your carpet, it fluffed it up to look like new. I was excited about it!

On the morning of the appointment, my husband woke up sick. He apparently had a virus and had to stay in bed. When the salesman rang the doorbell, right on time, I opened the door with my apology ready. I said, “I’m so sorry. We’ll have to do this later; I can’t take you to the bedroom because my husband’s home today.”

The man looked stunned for a minute and I could tell he was struggling to keep from laughing. Feeling my face turning red, I tried to fix it but, the more I said, the worse it sounded. So I quickly muttered that I’d make another appointment, pushed him out the door, closed it, and fell on the floor laughing uncontrollably! I never made another appointment.

That wasn’t the last time. I’ve done things like that many times. I once asked a woman when her baby was due only to be told, rather harshly, that it had been born three weeks ago. And more than once, I inquired about someone I hadn’t seen for a while and was told they’d passed away six months ago.

There were other blunders too embarrassing to mention here. I’ve heard others talk about doing things like this, too. The bottom line is, we’re all human and we make mistakes.
But honestly, it does seem that I make more than my share.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

It All Started In A One-Room Schoolhouse

On the way to meet family members for dinner this evening, my husband and I were talking about our childhoods as we’ve done many times before, but this time, he asked a question. He wanted to know why I graduated from high school younger than most people do. So I told him the whole story:

When I was only five years old, I lived in a small coal mining community with my parents. I had several friends to play with and we had a lot of fun in the summertime. My yard was the largest one in the neighborhood, so all the kids liked to play there. My daddy made a swing by tying rope to a sturdy limb of a large apple tree. My friends and I loved pushing each other on the swing. We played other games, too. At dusk, we’d play hide‘n seek and catch lightening bugs until our mothers called us to come in and get our baths. The sounds of happy children at play echoed throughout the community every day from mid-morning until dark.

But one September morning, my summer fun came to a screeching halt!  School started.  Since I was younger than all my playmates, I was left with no one to play with until after three o’clock in the afternoon. That made for a long day.  I was bored and lonely. I whined a lot and my mother didn’t have enough imagination to keep me occupied. I missed my friends!

One cool fall morning, I sat on my back porch munching on a bunch of grapes and looking longingly toward the one-room schoolhouse that sat on a large tract of land just behind our house. I felt very drawn to it. Without saying a word to my mother, I got up, ran to the corner of my yard, climbed the fence and kept running until I was at the schoolhouse. Lucky for me, the old-fashioned building had long windows. If I stood on my tiptoes and stretched really tall, I could barely see inside the classroom. Holding onto the window ledge, I peered in, watched the teacher pacing back and forth while talking to the class, then watched as she turned and wrote on the blackboard. Finally, a girl named Alice saw me. When she pointed toward me and said something, the other kids looked, too, and the whole class laughed.  I turned around and ran all the way home.

But the next morning, I waited until my mother was busy, ran out to the corner, climbed the fence, ran to the school, stood on my tiptoes, stretched really tall and looked in the schoolhouse window again.  This time, the teacher, Miss Elkins, saw me. Watching her walk toward the window scared me, but I didn’t move. She said, “Hi Peggy. Would you like to come inside?” When I shook my head up and down, she said, “Go ask your mother if it’s okay. If she says it is, come back and I’ll let you in the front door.”

Running as fast as I could run until I reached the back porch, I opened the screen door and yelled, “Mother, can I go to school?” She said, “Now, we’ve already talked about this. You know you’re not old enough to go to school.” Breathless, I said, “But Miss Elkins asked me to come.” Mother looked at me disbelieving and said, “Why would she do that?”
“She saw me looking in the window; can I go, please?” I said.

Without another word, Mother took me to the wash basin, washed my hands and face, combed my hair, and led me to the bedroom where she put a clean dress on me, clean socks and my best shoes. Then she ran her hands through her hair, removed her apron and took me by the hand. We walked through the back gate and around the path over to the schoolhouse. She knocked on the door.
When Miss Elkins opened the door, Mother told her that she was there to see if she really had invited me to sit in on her class. Miss Elkins said, “Yes. She’s welcome. If she’s going to look in the windows anyway, it would be better if we let her sit here with the other children. Perhaps she’ll get tired or bored after a few days and not want to come anymore.”

But I didn’t get tired or bored. I loved going to school! I was up early every morning, ready and out the door just as if I were as old as the other kids. There was just one little hitch. I had been very slow giving up my baby bottle. Since I was the only child my mother could ever have, she had been indulgent by letting me have it “only” when I was very tired... with chocolate milk in it.  So every day, at recess, I’d run as fast as I could to the corner of my back yard where my mother would be waiting with my bottle of chocolate milk. I’d turn that thing up, guzzle the sweet liquid until the bottle was dry, hand it to Mother and run straight back to school. If other kids laughed - and they probably did - I didn’t care. It was “my security” and nobody could take it away from me until I was ready!

I finished that year of school and was promoted to the second grade right along with my seven-year old friends.  I had barely turned six.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Top Fifty Oxymorons

50. Act Naturally

49. Found Missing

48. Resident Alien

47. Advanced Basic

46. Genuine Imitation

45. Airline Food

44. Good Grief

43. Same Difference

42. Almost Exactly

41. Government Organization

40. Sanitary Landfill

39. Alone Together

38. Legally Drunk

37. Silent Scream

36. British Fashion

35. Living Dead

34. Small Crowd

33. Business Ethics

32. Soft Rock

31. Butt Head

30. Military Intelligence

29. Software Documentation

28. New York Culture

27. New Classic

26. Sweet Sorrow

25. Childproof

24. “Now, then”…

23. Synthetic Natural Gas

22. Christians Scientists

21. Passive Aggression

20. Taped live

19. Clearly Misunderstood

18. Peace Force

17. Extinct Life

16. Temporary Tax Increase

15. Computer jock

14. Plastic Glasses

13. Terribly Pleased

12. Computer Security

11. Political Science

10. Tight Slacks

  9. Definite Maybe

  8. Pretty Ugly

  7. Twelve Ounce Pound Cake

  6. Diet Ice Cream

  5. Rap Music

  4. Working Vacation

  3. Exact Estimate

  2. Religious Tolerance


  1. Microsoft Works

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Faux Pas

A friend and I were discussing why we sometimes say things incorrectly even when we know better. It can be funny, but it's usually very embarrassing. I once told a man I was trying to impress that riding the bus to work was “unconvenient.” In two seconds, I realized what I’d said and wished I could take it back, but of course, once it’s out of your mouth, there’s no taking it back! This sweet man immediately made me feel worse, though I'm sure that wasn't his intention; he said, "Yes, it is "uncon... uh, inconvenient." Talk about feeling like a fool!! I think I must have felt a little like Dan Quayle did when he insisted there was an "e" on the end of potato in front of the whole country!

Another time, a friend asked me for the recipe for my homemade cinnamon rolls. She was in a hurry, so I scribbled it down as fast as I could, abbreviating where possible, and handed it to her. Later that day, she phoned me laughing. She said, "I was looking over your recipe and I promise to knead the "doe" for five minutes." We giggled for quite a while and many times after that. I've lost touch with this friend, but I'm sure she still smiles when she remembers that incident or makes the cinnamon rolls.

This friend I was having the conversation with said, after a fairly long engagement, she decided she wasn’t ready for marriage. Not having the courage to tell the young man to his face, she wrote him a letter. He was so hurt and angry when he got it that he came to see her. Waving the letter in her face, he told her what a dirty trick it was for her to string him along like that. He then dropped the letter at her feet and left. Glancing at it as she picked it up, she was aghast to see that she had written, “I’m sorry, I know you’ll hate me, but I can’t ‘merry’ you.” Making this even worse was the fact that she was a school teacher!

Who knows why our thinking goes off-track sometimes? Perhaps it's fate's way of keeping us from getting too sure of ourselves; of letting us know we’re still capable of making mistakes no matter how much education or experience we have.

Or maybe it’s just a way of teaching us to relax and laugh at ourselves once in a while—and not take life too seriously.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Twenty-Four Little Hours

Yesterday was so dark that I turned lights on all over the house and today, I almost need my sunglasses inside. The drastic difference made me think of an old song called, What a Difference a Day Makes. Maybe some of you remember it, too. It goes something like this: 

What a difference a day makes
Twenty-four little hours
Brought the sun and the flowers
Where there used to be rain

My mother used to sing it as she did her housework. It made me happy to hear my mother sing. She could actually carry a tune, too. And so could all of her siblings. I used to like nothing better than being at my grandmother’s house on a Saturday night when my uncles and aunts got together with their guitars and sang for hours. There was always lots of laughter, food and fun! After I was married and had a family of my own, I’d take my children for visits to my grandmother’s, too. That was many years ago, but their eyes still sparkle when they reminisce about those family song fests. Experiences that bring that much happiness live in the memory forever! Thankfully, the miserable ones seem to dim with the passing of time.

I’m afraid I didn’t inherit my mother’s vocal chords; certain people actually ask me not to sing! It’s the truth! The only time I can exercise my desire to belt out a song is when I’m by myself. Sometimes, when I’m alone in my car, I put on a favorite CD, make sure all the windows are up, and sing along at the top of my crackly voice to my heart’s content. Now and then, I enjoy myself so much that I take the long way home so I have more time for singing. I once had a dog  that barked at me every time I sang. How insulting that was!

Christmas Caroling?  No way!  I can go along, but only if I just move my mouth or hum. The same goes for church; I can lip-sync all I want, but no singing aloud for me!

But on this beautiful sunny day, it’s difficult to keep from singing. I’m alone, the cat’s asleep – and no one will hear me...  “What a Difference a Day makes... twenty-four little hours...”  

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Same Road ~ Different Season

Today, I had an opportunity to travel the same country road that I wrote about months ago.  It was October when last I marveled at the beautiful scenery as I drove along this country road on a perfect, sunny fall day reminiscing about my past. In one place, lush, green, trees stood tall like soldiers on either side of the road leaning over just enough to touch at the top. This made that area much darker, like a tunnel.

What a difference four months makes! This road less traveled is still beautiful, but in a different way. It was cloudy today. The abundant trees along the road that were clothed in magnificent colors in October are now bare. Totally naked. But somehow, they’re not unattractive. Many of them are white birch trees which have a glow of their very own, though not as dazzling as red, orange and yellow leaves by any means.

When I approached what has become “my tunnel” in my mind, it was interesting to see that the naked trees on each side of the road were interspersed with evergreen trees - unnoticed in the fall - that made the area seem a little less drab. And yet, there was still a slight sense of traveling through a tunnel, especially when I finally emerged from the dim shadows of the tall trees.

The gray skies didn’t show off the old farm homes with their tin roofs to their best advantage, nor the bright red door on the white country church with the tall steeple, and I didn’t see the friendly old farmer bouncing along on his tractor, or the children frolicking with the big black dog, but I did see cattle grazing on the grassy knoll as I had in October. Of course cattle, unlike people, couldn’t care less whether the skies are sunny or gray.

I enjoyed my journey almost as much as before. Traveling on this lovely country road relaxes me like nothing else, no matter what the season. You should see how spectacular it is when it snows! 
If you missed my first story about this country road, you can see it here. You can catch the next one here.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A Dying Art?

When a friend mentioned today that she had just finished crocheting a couple of items, it brought back a lot of memories. As far back as I can remember, I watched my grandmother, great-grandmother and mother crochet. I thought it looked so impossible to take that strange looking object in your hand, poke around with thread attached to it and end up with beautiful objects like doilies, afghans and baby clothes. I was sure it was a talent I didn’t possess and would never even try to master. But sometime in my thirties, I told my mother I’d like to learn. She was pleasantly surprised because she hoped the art wouldn’t die out of the family any time soon. All the women in her family had been talented at all kinds of handiwork. Her mother and grandmother had sewn, tatted, embroidered, and crocheted for as long as she could remember.

So when I went to her house one evening, picked up a crochet hook and bright orange yarn, my favorite color, and said, “I’m ready,” my mother showed me how to crochet a chain. That accomplished, we proceeded with the first few rounds of a granny square, and before I went home that evening, I had finished one whole granny square with her guidance. At home, I kept at it day after day – making more of the squares until I had enough to make a small afghan. My mother was shocked! With a few instructions over the phone, I was able, in the next few days, to attach the squares to each other and make a border around the whole thing ending up with what I thought was a beautiful afghan.  Looking back, I know that it was a little rough, but the point is, with very little help, I made an afghan. It was almost as if I was born knowing how to crochet. I went on to crochet everything. I made more afghans, baby blankets and booties, sweaters for my young daughters, which they loved, and pillow covers. You name it—I crocheted it!

I, like my mother, hate to see the art die out in our family but fear it will. Although I have three daughters, not one of them is interested. Unless a granddaughter decides to take it up, it will end with me in this family.
My favorite thing is baby afghans. Each grandchild has always received one from me. In recent years, there have been a few that were a little more challenging than granny squares or other easy patterns. It never mattered to me. If someone requested something special, I’d tackle it. I’d like to share a couple.

To the left is one is one of my all-time favorites: The Panda. This one was done for a grandson fifteen years ago.

Below: Made for a premature grandchild four years ago. The bright color scheme - purple and green was her mother's idea. When she requested it, I thought, "Yuck!" But it turned out pretty well.
 Then Izzy's little sister was on the way and her mother chose even brighter colors: Orange and pink!  Put on your sunglasses.

I seem to be at a standstill at this time. Perhaps it's time for another grandchild! Dani?

   (The picture at the top is a matching afghan and pillow that I made for my oldest daughter some years ago.)

Friday, February 4, 2011

From Closet to Closet

I’ve been cleaning and organizing closets. And not a minute too soon! For the past three years, it has been almost dangerous to open a closet door in my house. Every January first, I make the same New Year’s resolution—to reorganize every closet in my house! But there is always something more important to do... or at least I convince myself there is. However, one day last week, I decided to work on some craft projects, but I couldn’t remember where I had stored my box of craft supplies. Thus began a search of the first, and worst, closet. Hoping I could take out only a few containers in the front and find the items, I began. By the time I found them, I had reached the back of the closet and only a few bags of odds and ends remained.

Since everything was out in the middle of the floor, it made sense to go through it, get rid of what I no longer needed and put it back in a neater manner, therefore creating more room and, more importantly, making the closet look much nicer. After working two days and having to go shopping to purchase stackable plastic containers, the job was beginning to feel a little overwhelming. It’s surprising how much time it takes when your cleaning becomes a trip down memory lane each time you uncover an item that you haven’t seen for several years. It went something like this: “How could I possibly get rid of this?  My mother gave it to me on my fortieth birthday! Oh, look! The kids pooled their money to buy this for me one Mother’s Day. Here’s an old picture I’d forgotten about; it was taken on the Fourth of July. Have to keep that! I haven’t worn this old blouse for a long time. I’ll put it in the Goodwill box... no wait; on second thought, I’ve always liked it. Maybe I will wear it again.” And so it went... 

Many memories and difficult decisions later, the closet was finally finished... and I had found my craft supplies. Mission accomplished! 

Seeing that closet so neat made me want to move on to the second. So with a bit of enthusiasm about the possible discovery of more old treasures, I began. That room was a mess for another two days and I had to go out and purchase more storage boxes, but it was finally finished, too. What a good feeling!

Those two closets now look so nice that I find myself opening the doors several times a day just to enjoy their brand new tidiness! I plan to keep at it until I get the other six closets done. No doubt it will take a while, but it'll be worth it. Eventually, I may be spending a good part of my day just going from closet to closet to admire my accomplishments. Or not.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Bits and Pieces

                        A flower, a tree,
A bird
     A dream, a prayer unheard;
A meadow, daisies yellow
Music, very mellow;
Uncertainty, tears,
A smile 
    A loved one with you all the while.
       The beauty of the night,
                    The moon
                   A lovers' fight.
               The making up next day,
The smell of new-mown hay,
The calmness of the sea,
The turmoil inside of me,
Love, hatred,
Jealousy, fear,
  A new beginning every year
Bits and Pieces large and small
    Present God's blessings to us all!