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”

Aging Gracefully

Where’s the moron who coined this expression???  There’s no such thing. Aging gracefully is an oxymoron. Like jumbo shrimp. Like clearly confused, pretty ugly, original copy!  There’s nothing graceful about crow’s-feet, age spots, three chins or sagging skin.  Nothing, I tell you!  Our Creator allows us X amount of time on earth (I don’t have enough information to solve for X) and, should that exceed 50 years, (X is greater than or equal to 50) the curse that is aging will overtake you.  He tells us our lives are but a vapor!  James 4:14 is quite poetic in the observation ‘life is like the morning fog – it’s here a little while, then it’s gone’.

I was amazed when I found (in the course of my obsession over this topic) 10 tips for aging gracefully.  And even more amazed with the discovery that there were 7 things I MUST avoid in my quest.  Further research informs me that aging gracefully is an art!!  Well, I’ve never claimed to be DaVinci…perhaps Picasso! But in Revelation 4:11, I”m reminded ‘You are worthy, oh Lord, to receive glory and honor and power:  for You have created all things’.  God is the Artist of our creation.

For the forward thinkers among us there is a modern guide to aging gracefully and, should that prove to be a bit too advanced, please consider the simple method to obtain your goal.  The modern method might be preferable if the simple method is a product of the late 1800s.  What did anyone know about aging gracefully then?  Wood cook stoves, no A/C, no birth control, no Botox, being treated as chattel…no way!.  Not difficult to understand why women would want to vote, have some control over their lives and bodies.   I feel compelled to point out that neither method takes God’s plan into consideration.  And He has one.

Possibly in an attempt to offer a hint of continental flair,  the New York Times will even help you to age gracefully in the french way!  That’s insulting!  French women have been aging longer, perhaps?  Ergo, they know more about the art of aging?  We’re back to art.  I don’t think an excess of experience will slow the process or alter the end result.  But we overcome when we remember ‘God has given us eternal life’ (1John 5:11).  This is His will for those who follow His teachings.

I understand the dread that comes with aging.  I understand the frustration that comes with getting older.  Our bodies betray us with aches and pains, limitations we aren’t mentally ready to accept.  Fighting back with creams, lotions, injections, laser procedures and surgeries may slow the process, provide a sense of stalling what is unavoidable, but it’s an illusion.  Far better to trust in ‘God’s mysterious plan’ – Collossians 2:2.

So, after much thought, I’ve decided I’m going to age with attitude!  I had my hairdresser color my hair platinum last week…my way of living in fast forward.  I won’t wait for it to get white!  I’ll embrace each change as it comes, adding my own unique twist and creating my personal style for middle age, secure in the knowledge that God is in charge.  His will be done.

It’s a dangerous world, my friend.  God’s peace to you.

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”

Reality

Yes, sometimes it’s a real drag, reality, I mean.  I started this blog with a few goals in mind.  First I’m going to be me – you know how you read some blogs and the authors are so perky and happy about everything you just want to puke!  Well, I have good days and bad days, highs and lows, and the blog is a form of therapy.  I write about politicians, my family, my hobbies, things I’d like to do or places I’d like to go…but no matter what, I won’t lie to you, I won’t try to convince you that I’m laughing and smiling, cheery and fun, 24/7.  That’s just not real, at least it’s certainly not me.

Next, I want to be helpful or at least entertaining, enlightening, educational…when you close my blog, I want you to take away something that enriches your life in some way, no matter how small.  That may seem presumptuous and you can laugh at me, disagree with me, revile me – I don’t care.  If I can just make a few of you think about how we’re all connected, how the ripples you make impact your neighbors, how we can work together to make life better for others – my life will certainly have been enriched.

Imagine waking one morning in a fabulous mood, feeling like sunshine on the inside.  You get dressed, grab a piece of toast, dash out the front door and you’re anticipating a splendid day.  You get to the curb, stand there, wait for the light to change, hum a little off-key tune.  It’s a beautiful morning, and a car goes by, hits the only puddle in sight, splashes you head to toe with oily, muddy slime.  You glance up just in time to see the driver’s face and she doesn’t appear remorseful or even surprised.  No, her face looks like a storm cloud, and the look she gives you is one of fury, daring you to suggest she’s at fault.  What do you think would happen to your sunny disposition?  Don’t tell me you wouldn’t be the least bit disgruntled.  You have a dress that’s ruined and you’re now delayed because you’ll have to go home and start the day over.  There’s no way to reclaim what she’s taken from you.

Ripples, my friend.  Her ripples just tossed your happy mood overboard.  And you didn’t even know her, didn’t even speak to her.  Think of the impact we can (and do) make on those who know us, those who are a part of our daily lives.  Think how many times we’re not even aware of the filth we’re splashing on them.  It’s a dangerous world.

As I get older I’m working so hard to have a more positive approach.  I want to create ripples that make people smile.  Imagine it.