Snapshot

Thank you, Lord, for my wonderful boys.  They are both smart, capable, balanced and RESPECTFUL young men.  After the young woman I met today, I'm doubly grateful for those two.

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Snapshot

My sweet hubs would like to teach me how to cut the hide off of an elk's head.

There really just isn't much more to say than that.

Welcome to my world.
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A Very Wise Woman

I was talking to a cherished client a few days ago, and let me tell you, folks:  she is one WISE woman (I'll call her WWW:  Wonderfully Wise Woman).  Her words made me really stop and think about what it means to be a loving human being.

Mr. WWW had surgery recently, and WWW was telling me how he was recovering.  It was only a passing comment, but WWW mentioned that she made sure to take out the trash and that sort of thing when Mr. WWW was busy.  She didn't want him to feel unneeded, an invalid and weak. 

On the surface, maybe that seems small and insignificant.  Look closer, because that is one of the most thoughtful things I've ever heard of.  WWW knows that Mr. WWW would feel bad to see his lovely wife doing "his job".  Mr. WWW isn't stupid, and he knows that the trash isn't magically disappearing.  By taking the trash out when Mr. WWW is busy elsewhere, WWW is giving him the opportunity to not think about it.  That is a great kindness.   You don't need a lecture on the fragility of masculine pride, I'm sure, so I won't go there.

Maybe something as apparantly tiny as taking out the trash is the truest demonstration of love that I could show.  Not that a sack of garbage is that important, but the thoughtful consideration of the needs and feelings of my spouse is.  WWW made me think about what I'm doing.....and not doing..... to show the sweet hubs how much I care and how pleased I am to have him in my life.  Here's one thing I could be doing differently.  I don't like to ask for help.  I will usually fight with something past the point of reason, rather than ask someone to help me.  I love TO help, but I hate to ask for it.  The sweet hubs also loves to help his fellow man and does so happily every day in ways small and large.

We manage our lives together very well, I think, and very seamlessly.  We don't struggle about who is going to do what.  But I hardly ever ask him to help me with something.  Even if it's only something as small as opening a jar of pickles for me, maybe it's nice for him to be reminded frequently that my life is better, happier and easier because he is mine. 

All through the years of our lives, the people who care about us have opportunities to demonstrate how much they value us and love us.  I remember how much it meant to me when my Daddy would stop what he was doing and listen to me yammer, and talk with me.  I was a very talkative child and got ignored a lot.  (I think the sound of my little voice was like the sound of the refrigerator running:  so constant that you eventually stop noticing it?)  When was the last time you sat down with a child and really listened to them?   It was always such a joy when one of my older siblings would play with me.  How long has it been now, since I showed my sister that I still look up to her?

When was the last time you asked your parent for some kind of advice?  I hate to admit how long it's been since I showed my Mom that I still need her and love her.  Maybe I'll call her tonight and ask her how she made that Crabmeat Spaghetti that I used to ask for on my birthday.

Am I telling my friends how deeply I cherish them?  Do my kids know that, even grown and gone, they are the light of my life and will always be my babies?  I could be doing more.  We all want to be cared about, loved, liked and admired.  I can do more to show my loved ones all of those things.

What WWW didn't say, didn't have to say, is that Mr. WWW is her hero, her champion.  In sickness and in health...happily this was a temporary setback.  Men want to be our heroes, ladies.  If your knight should happen to fall off his horse, the loving thing to do is help him back on without ever quite admitting that you saw him stumble.

Snapshot

I can't explain why, exactly, but I know all the words to this song. 





Snapshot

I was so gratified to visit our college boy's apartment tonight and find REAL FOOD in the fridge, that I was able to overlook the condition of the bathroom.

Must be a MOM THING.

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Snapshot

Literally!  I was here just a week ago:

Yaak Falls in Montana

Childhood

My earlier post reminded me of some of the fondest memories of my childhood.  I thought I'd share some of those childhood moments with you, because I bet you had some of these same experiences:

  • My big brother sat next to me at the dinner table.  Once in a while, we'd "get the giggles", for no good reason, and I loved it when he'd get to giggling bad enough to make milk come out his nose. 
  • In the summer we didn't really have a bed time, so we kids would play Monopoly until way late, eating popcorn and sometimes even getting to have soda from the Pop Shoppe.  Do you remember Pop Shoppe soda?  They had flavors like pineapple, strawberry, grape and the best cream soda ever.
  • Do you remember how it felt when you came home with your brand-new back-to-school supplies?  New pencils and new notebooks?  I liked those better than new clothes!
  • My Dad hung a swing between two trees in our front yard.  He'd made the swing out of regular rope and a short board.  When it had rained, the damp rope would stretch and the seat hung only a foot or so off the ground.  During a dry spell, the rope would shrink up and I'd have to jump to get in the seat.  Do you remember playing on the swings so long that when you laid in your bed at night, you still felt like you were swinging?
  • We lived way out in the country.  Mom would turn us loose after our daily chores and we had to be in by dark (unless we had special permission to stay out and play).  It was a safer world, back then.
  • Once a female dog showed up at our house and had a litter of puppies right on our front stoop.  I had never seen a newborn puppy before.  We didn't get to keep any of them :-(
  • My sister, seven years older than me, taught me to read.  I don't know if that was her intention:  we played "school" a lot and next thing I knew, I could read.  Our play "school" apparently had no math classes.
  • Remember the smell of a new tub of  Play-Doh?
  • Laying on the living room floor on a Sunday morning, reading the comics while Mom clipped coupons and Dad read the rest of the paper.
  • Holidays were so much fun:  all our relatives would come to our house because Mom is the best cook and was not daunted by all those guests.  There would be Dutch words flying all over the place and a lot of laughing.  After the feast, all the adults would go in the living room and talk and nap, and we kids would go outside to play.  If the weather was bad, the kids played in our giant kitchen, but I bet that prevented napping in the living room.
  • I loved it when Dad would break out the projector and the screen and we'd watch home movies.  I am the youngest child, so I didn't appear in very many of the home movies or the family pictures.  They were tired of taking pictures by the time I came along.  I loved the movies, anyway.
  • Remember the first time you were old enough to be allowed to stay up until Midnight on New Year's Eve?
  • Mom didn't cook dinner on Sunday;  it was her day off.  We ate whatever we could grub up for ourselves.  The kids would get together and make sandwiches or homemade potato chips or something, but we'd all be in the living room and settled in for "The Wonderful World of Disney".  Remember the opening score?  I think nearly everyone in America was parked in front of their TVs for Disney.
  • Picking wildflowers.
  • Catching fireflies.
  • In the early 70s we had one of the worst snowstorms ever.  I was not allowed outside because the snow was so far over my head.  Three weeks indoors, no school, no power, and melting snow water to wash dishes with.  It was an adventure for me and a trial for my parents.
  • I got a play telephone for Christmas one year.  Dad ran the wire from my room to my brother's room, and we could talk to eachother on the orange-red plastic phones.  We didn't really have anything to say, though.
  • Looking through the big Montgomery Ward, Penneys and Sears wish books at Christmas time.  Penneys had an Oster Automatic Pulp Ejector Juice Extractor and we went around for weeks trying to see who could say that the fastest, three times.
  • My Holland Grandma's chair was always placed near a window.  I loved to see her knitting, with her mouth tightened into a straight line as she counted the stitches, and the sun streaming through the window onto her gray hair.  She was a rock of love, patience and wisdom in my childhood.
  • The kitchen floor was so cold in winter that we kids would eat our breakfast perched up on our chairs like so many chickens, with our feet tucked up under us to keep warm.  My Dad thought that was darn funny.
The list could go on all day.  I hope my own children will look back on their childhoods with as many fond memories as I have of mine.

Snapshot

On my way home tonight, a Plymouth Barred Rock hen and her brood of 5 chicks were scratching around in the weeds beside the road.  As I approached, she and her chicks walked to the other side.

Why? 

(Oh, come on, think about it!)

Simple

We had 12 days of simple.  No television, no phones, no newspapers.  We ate simple meals and enjoyed the simple quiet.

I love simple.  I want more of it in my everyday life!

We are truly on our way to achieving that.  We got rid of our land line, and discontinued our satellite TV service.  I'm not getting rid of the internet service, though, because then I couldn't visit my favorite blogs!  Oh, yeah, I couldn't blog either without it.  That was an afterthought.

So I cut down to only sugar in my coffee.  Trying to cook more one-pan meals with fewer ingredients because I often work late.  I'm paring down my makeup routine and I picked a simpler hairstyle.  The hardest thing of all?  I'm trying to cut back on multi-tasking!  I might be addicted to multi-tasking.  I don't know if I can quit cold-turkey.

I usually have so many windows open on my computer that there seems to be a breeze coming out of the monitor screen.  My job does require an ability to multi-task, but maybe not an addiction to it?  At home, I read, watch a movie and polish my nails all at the same time.  This is all very good and well until I notice myself not finishing anything, or not giving any one thing my full attention.  That's how you wind up eating the entire bag of potato chips or the whole carton of cookie dough ice cream....by not paying attention.

Tonight is going to be simple.  I'm going to roast some fresh garden green chilies while I barbecue chicken for dinner and sip a little sweet wine.  Then a green salad and chicken for a quiet dinner on the patio.  A little music and some good conversation.  They are the simplest of pleasures, and therefore the most pleasing of all.

How often do you hear someone speak with a wistful sigh of cramming for their college exams?  No, when we look back, we remember eating watermelon on the front step in the summertime, or playing tag in the dark when it was the most fun of all.  We remember sitting in Grandma's lap, or the family gathered around the dinner table.  The simplest of pleasures.

When we look back at our own children as babies, we don't think about the paperwork for insurance, or getting them vaccinated.  We remember how it felt to hold them in our arms and how much it meant to be the only ones who could comfort them when they cried.  The simplest of pleasures.

And then the day comes (hopefully) when all we want to do is sit in the warm sun, with a little yappy dog in our laps, and watch our great-grandchildren sitting on the front step, eating watermelon.