The World Is My Oyster

Today I’m looking for pearls.  Not the fresh water, cultured or Mabe variety.  I’m not that crazy about shellfish but if that’s the only way to obtain the pearls, then let’s get to it!

Pearls of wisdom…wouldn’t it be fabulous if you could find them in an oyster.  Some days I’d be willing to dig through some pretty bad trash if I knew I’d find a few pearls.  Ah, well, it’s just not that easy.  Or is it?  When was the last time you spoke to your grandparents, if you’re lucky enough to still have the darlings around?  They’ve forgotten more than we know.

Grandmother (my spouse’s Grandmother) used to tell me about her family coming to this country  (She meant southern Arkansas) from Kentucky in a covered wagon.  They logged, planted, laid railroad ties, raised livestock, made quilts – these were people who knew the meaning of hard work.  They were too tired for mischief at the end of the day.  Grandmother married at 14 and by the time she was 32 she was a widow with 8 children.  In 1950 the opportunities for women were scarce.  Grandmother became a migrant farm worker.  She and her children traveled via pick up truck from Florida to Michigan following crops and harvesting along the way.   She put all 8 kids through school this way!  When her children were grown she remarried and enjoyed several years with Grandpa Mac.  She bequeathed many pearls of wisdom – work like there’s no tomorrow because there isn’t; handle your responsibilities with determination; life has a way of teaching humility – learn it quickly with grace and humor.  Continue reading “The World Is My Oyster”

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When the Unthinkable Happens

Have you heard that expression before?  The unthinkable…what would you do if the unthinkable happened…I’ve heard the expression and I’ve always considered it absurd.  If something is ‘unthinkable’ would we even be able to identify it, should it happen?  And wouldn’t we react differently with each ‘unthinkable’ happening?  Makes me kind of dizzy…consider the unthinkable – how can I possibly consider the unthinkable?  It’s 2015.  What could happen that we cannot think of or that we haven’t thought of?

After the dust settled from this peculiar conversation I’d tortured myself with, it occurred to me that, in retrospect, I am able to identify the unthinkable.

You see, in 1927, in Bath Township, Michigan, on the afternoon of May 18, 45 people left their homes that Bath Elementary School, 1927morning not knowing they wouldn’t return.  It would have been unthinkable to them.  Of the 45, 38 were children at the Bath Elementary School, where their janitor, Andrew Kehoe, had planted hundreds of pounds of dynamite.  Mr. Kehoe was on the school board, served as the town clerk and was a local farmer.  He was angry over property taxes being used to fund the school.  He was facing the possibility of losing his farm.  So, of course, he used dynamite and blew the school up.  With people inside.  He killed his wife and burned down his farm.  And blew up his truck.  He was inside.  Five other people either in or near his truck were killed also.  One of them, Kehoe’s target, was the school superintendent.  So, you see, if one of these children had been yours, a tragedy of this magnitude would have been unthinkable.  Especially in 1927. Continue reading “When the Unthinkable Happens”

Hunger in a Sea of Plenty

Do you have any idea how much food is wasted in your household weekly?  The answer will probably surprise you.  My husband and I moved into a smaller home and I hadn’t considered how downsizing would impact my kitchen, my pantry, my closet space.  Darling Daughter suggested I create a menu every Thursday, then make a list of items required on my grocery list.  This was something she had wanted me to try for years, but I can be stubborn at times, and on this occasion I was both stubborn and wrong.

I had my reasons for refusal.  I like being prepared to cook and bake when the mood hits me so I kept a well stocked pantry.  With only my spouse and me at home, this resulted in goods expiring or spoiling before I used them.  I bought fruits and vegetables without considering my husband’s work schedule only to have them spoil in the refrigerator because there was no one home. The bottom line was I threw out a lot of food.

Well, I decided creating a menu weekly might help with my space issues so I sat down each Thursday, created a menu, then a grocery list.  Each Friday I wrote the menu in grease pencil on my board.  It hangs in the kitchen and I enjoy knowing in advance what I’ll prepare each night.  I know the ingredients are there, the produce is fresh, and the cupboards remain neat and orderly! Turn the page!

The Make-Believe Revolution

My generation ate breakfast with Captain Kangaroo and afternoon snack with Mister Rogers but Fred Rogers ruled in our household.  (Sorry, Captain)  He was soft-spoken, gentle and polite.  He treated all people with respect and I don’t think he had a rude bone in his body.

Fred’s goals as a young man didn’t include life in Make-Believe.   His degree was in music composition and he had plans to attend seminary when he saw his first television in his parents’ home.  He immediately realized its potential to nurture and enlighten children.   An idea formed, a plan, a plot, a strategy to inform and educate via TV.  An activist was born!  He would fight the fight ” for the broadcasting of grace through the land”. Turn the page!