eyes to see

Long ago my students read a story each year called “The Day Nothing Happened.” It was a tale of two children in the Arctic, walking across the frozen tundra, bemoaning the fact that they lived in such a ho-hum place where nothing ever happened. The subplot, however, was  a recounting of several animals and their adventures that the children passed on their walk, some in struggles for survival. Yet the boy and girl saw none of that. It was a good lesson for us to keep our eyes open for things around us that could be easily overlooked.

arctic tracks

Our son and daughter-in-law  lived with us for several months while their house was being built. She liked watching for the albino squirrels that live in our neighborhood (we have two). Last Sunday on our way home from church she asked about them and I told her I hadn’t seen them in quite some time. I had heard that people had seen some in the park down the street and I told her they might have taken up residence there. Just as we were about to pull in our driveway, she said, “There is one of them!” Sure enough it was in the yard across the street. They have probably been present often, but like the Arctic children in the story, I have failed to notice them.

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The best thing about the March writing challenge is that it causes me to keep my eyes open and my mind aware of things in my life worth noting. This year I have written 31 entries, but didn’t get them all  posted on time each day. Still I feel like I have succeeded because once again this month of writing has opened my mind to possibilities. Many thanks to Two(+)Writing Teachers for sponsoring the March Writing Challenge again this year.

orange-SOL Challenge

May we all continue to have eyes to see…

 

where do they go?

bringing life into longed-for view

turning bare branches into clouds

then… making snowfalls on windy days

petals from the blooming trees

where do they go?

———

soft and small and delicate

deep dimples and precious pats

then… stretching, slimming, learning skills

baby feet and hands

where do they go?

———

understanding someone else completely

thinking each other’s thoughts

then… spending long days in hospital stays

years of married life together

where do they go?

 

 

step one

I am a procrastinator of the highest order and I am NOT proud of it. I hope that admitting my problem the first step towards a remedy and cure.

  • Sometimes I put off things simply because they are things I don’t want to do.
  • Sometimes it is because I don’t feel capable of doing them well – yes, I am a perfectionist too.
  • And sometimes I don’t do things in a timely manner because I run out of time – I plan too much and aim to high.

Yet I continue to be a list maker and I derive much satisfaction from crossing things off that list.

Yes! What a good feeling to get things done!

But I often do certain things and “hold on to” other things on my list that I am procrastinating finishing. These tasks appear day after day on the daily list. So even though I am completing some items and feeling good about that, this masks the fact that I am still putting off other undesirable jobs. Ugh.

So that’s my admission. Now… I need to get to work on some things that MUST be done!

Easter blessings

Every year on Good Friday I am reminded of what my mother used to say: “It’s Friday… but Sunday’s coming!”

My 95 year old uncle has been in the hospital for the past two weeks. He went in having difficulty breathing due to fluid build up on his very damaged heart. After that was addressed and my aunt was preparing to take him home via a stay in the local Life Care nursing facility, it was determined that he had a kink in his intestine and needed surgery. At age 95 with a very bad heart!  But there was really no other way. In the moments before they took him, the family said all the things you say when you are not sure that you will see someone again. But he came through the surgery splendidly and has healed from that remarkably well.

Last week the fluid built up around his heart again, and he was transferred in the middle of the night to ICU. Once again, the fluid was reduced, yet he continues to have trouble sleeping and refuses to eat. But somehow he is getting stronger every day, going for (short) walks and using his iPad to check on current events.

This morning as we sat down in church I received my morning phone call from my aunt. Standing out in the vestibule I rejoiced to hear that the night had been a good one, he was having pancakes for breakfast, and he was moving to a “regular” room today from ICU. Hallelujah!

My uncle has a long way to go and a new lifestyle to adjust to. My aunt knows each moment is precious because the next ones are not (not ever) guaranteed. But today was a small Easter miracle for our family, and we are thankful.

 

 

young again

Today we were invited to join our daughter and son-in-law at their church for the annual Easter egg hunt. It would be our granddaughter’s first year to participate in this exciting activity. We have been practicing at home on Nan Day:

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So the big day came and the weather was perfect. And I have NEVER seen such a turn-out for an Easter egg hunt!  There were pony rides and a duck pond and face painting and loud music and donuts!

It was a happy experience for all – except for maybe the overwhelming atmosphere for the quiet child, or the lining up at the ropes and then having to wait before stepping out and getting the eggs.

But she ended up with a few eggs in her basket and the eagerness to see what other fun things were waiting.

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And my husband and I felt young again amidst all that spring growth and new life and blessings from God.

grumpy

As a member of a book club (actually two book clubs) I do try to read the book(s) each month. It is not a drain on my time – I consider it moments well spent as it keeps me thinking about things outside my small little world.

Sometimes the books we choose do not “speak to me.” Even so, I try my best to finish them, so I can join in the discussion with the bigger picture in mind. And sometimes if I keep reading, things do get better. As long as a book has a good ending, I feel better about the commitment I have made to read it.

Just yesterday I finished our current read. It was partly historical fiction, my favorite genre, and I did learn some things about people and places that I had no clue about, so I will give it that. But in the long run,  these disturbing events and characters were not ones I wanted to know more about. I had to make myself finish. And it was a long book, so that took quite a while. And all along the way I kept thinking of the better ways I could be spending that time.

As I get older I may be becoming even more of a Pollyanna and wishing for only good in the world. But there are enough frightening  and disturbing events covered in the news. Is it too much to ask for the books I read – and the time that I invest- to be more uplifting?

Hopefully I can get my grumpies out and we can have a positive discussion about this at our book club meeting next week!