Listen to Your Kids , LL #402

My Christmas Angel

Christmas, long ago

The living room was a huge mess when Kayla and I headed out for our evening together. I figured I’d finish the Christmas decorating on Sunday afternoon. You see, I always took charge of all of holiday decorating myself. I was on a mission. A 3-4 day mission. I was tough. Tougher than I should have been. I admit that now. The older kids knew the “look” when they put a snowman, a bell, or a bow in a place that I did not designate for that particular decoration. I guess I’m just too much of a perfectionist at times. To a fault, maybe. But, ohhhhh, the pure joy on their faces when the decorating was complete. To see those precious faces light up was my reward. To this day, they say I made their Christmases magical. That’s all I wanted.

But right before Kayla and I left, I saw stockings hanging off the rail in the loft above the living room and a little girl, of 10, racing around like she consumed a pot of coffee. Without yelling at her to stop, I simply placed my hand on my forehead from the instant migraine I received at the thought of all the work I was going to have to do tomorrow, and walked out the door.

When we returned later that night, I noticed from the driveway, snowflakes hanging from the living room curtains. It was dark then so with the Christmas tree lights and the dangling snowflakes, the front window made our home look cozy. And inviting. I actually thought it was sweet of her to remember those and my Grinch heart softened….just a little.

When I walked into the living room, all I could do was stand there in awe at the beautiful sight before me. Mattea put the star on the tree and even though it had fallen over, it made the tree complete. She placed snowmen perfectly all around the room. Garland and red bows decorated the rail along the loft overlooking the living room. Decorations here and there. All strategically placed. But the most amazing of all was the fireplace. Garland was strung from one light to the other on the stone of the fireplace. Big red bows were attached to each light. I had never in our eleven years at that home ever thought of adding garland and bows to the fireplace, and it was…perfect! She was beaming with pride and so very happy to see my happiness at what she had accomplished all on her own. I told Mattea how very proud I was of her and how tremendously happy she made me.

As I reflect back to those earlier years, I wonder how much joy I stole from my older kids by not allowing them to help me. That thought kind of made my heart hurt.

Never underestimate your children and the capabilities of those young, beautifully designed, minds and bodies. Enclosed within their tiny heart is the purest desire to please. That’s where they find joy, as well. Let’s not stifle that. I humbly acknowledge that this little one taught me a lesson. Life Lesson # 402.

December 2, 2012
Edited January 29, 2020

I will drink my coffee this morning and reflect on the preciousness of children. Be grateful for every moment with them because they grow up just too fast.

Thank you for visiting me this morning.
The coffee is still hot if you‘d like to sit awhile. There’s always much to talk about. ♥️

Andi

The Bicycle

For many years now I have been intrigued with a particular rusty old bike. This bike is always in the same place. It is never ridden. The snow drifts rise up around it in the winter and the scorching sun beats down on it in the summer. Through the winds and rain, sleet and hail, it remains in that one spot. Never moving. Always quiet. And I wonder.

I wonder what the story is surrounding that old bike. It appears to be white in color. I cannot really see all the details from the road. I can’t even tell if it is a man’s or woman’s bike. I will tell you that it is in a huge parking lot of a factory and chained to a light pole. It’s not located in the front of the lot but more off to the side. My mind races with stories of this mysterious bicycle as I pass by each day.

Sometimes, many times, I have thought of going to the office of that factory to see if they can tell me the history of the bike. I will drive by and check if the gate is open. When I do see the gate is open I end up talking myself out of going in. Do I really want to know what happened to the owner? And why they left it? I’m not sure.

Maybe someone just didn’t want it anymore. But then why is it still there?
Maybe someone didn’t make it out of the factory able to ride again. Ever.
Or maybe the owner left with someone else leaving their past far behind chained to a light pole.

But I believe in my heart that it was left there on purpose as a reminder or a memorial of someone special. Someone who meant something to those people in that factory. The factory has changed some over the last few years. It was renamed and I don’t know if the manufacturing changed as well. But someone rode that bike there. And someone else knows its story.

As I passed by tonight, I started thinking about someone’s memory of that bike and then my thoughts turned to my own memories. I have thousands that I treasure. Many that are painful. And some I don’t share with anyone. In a way, they resemble that old bike. They are chained to my heart like that bike is chained to the light pole. And no one disturbs them.

I am assuming we all have memories that are chained quietly to our hearts like the bike is chained. They remain there throughout the changing weather in our lives…joy, pain, sadness, and love. I know there are some memories that you probably prefer to forget. But hopefully, there are many more that you want close enough to tap into every now and then. Every memory, though, serves a purpose. A lesson or a blessing. Be thankful for that. All of them helped to make you who you are today.

Thanks for listening to me ramble on tonight about a mysterious old bike.

I hope your day was good and that you enjoyed coffee with me tonight.

Thanks for stopping by.

Andi

Update on June 15, 2020
I added these photos which were taken on my way home from work. It is still there and definitely a men’s white bike.

Selfishness

I believe selfishness is the underlying factor to every “sin” in this world. I think if we dissected every act that is contrary to good, we’d find selfishness as the root. Out of selfishness stems greed, lack of self-control, pride, impatience, arrogance, etc.

But it isn’t always the other person who is selfish. I found myself to be selfish as recently as today. My selfishness, in turn, caused another grief and frustration. Someone I definitely never wanted to hurt or cause even the slightest of ill feeling toward me. I can say I’m sorry all I want but I cannot take back how I made that person feel. All I can do is apologize and not allow selfishness to rule my person again. This old dog can still learn new tricks. That’s only because I want to. (And because I was hit in the head again.) I don’t want my fossilized footprints embedded negatively upon anyone’s heart.

Examine your motive behind the act. Is the underlying reason stemming from selfishness? If so, approach from a different angle. Figure out a truer and better way to accomplish whatever it is that needs to be done. Had I sat down and discussed the issue at hand instead of whining and complaining, hurt feelings would have been nonexistent.

Think before speaking. Even when you are tired. Or hungry. There really is no excuse except for…well…selfishness.

Thank you for coming by again today.
The coffee is still on.

Andi

Embrace the Beauty

Cataract Falls (lower)
-high water-
June 24, 2018

I apologize for the glitches to my blog. It is frustrating me but I will get this figured out. Thanks for your patience and for being here. It means so much just knowing that you came here on purpose. I am grateful.

I will not get into politics. Please consider this a safe haven from our nation’s current events. But I will say that our country is a mess. We are so greatly divided and that is quite disturbing because we are the greatest nation of all. Our land is diverse with deserts and mountains, prairie, forests, and beaches. It would take more than a lifetime to travel every backroad to find the magical places not included on scenic tours. Our people are as diverse and as beautiful as the landscape. We come from all over the world. We are a combination of many people from many lands. That makes our country even more wonderful.

I urge you to embrace the beauty of our land. I encourage you to see as much of it as you can. Make a positive impact in our great country by doing good in your corner of it. Be kind. Be understanding as we all have a story, a history, a reality. Realize, too, that each of us is far from perfect. Listen to each other. Think before speaking. Don’t feed hatred and it’s ugliness. Be the kinder person.

Those are my thoughts for this day.

Thanks for being here.
The coffee is always on.

Andi

My Second Post

I promise I won’t number each post. I just didn’t know what to title this as it’s pretty much a continuation of my first post.

Getting this blog to go public was causing me great frustration. I am not sure what I did to correct it. But it finally posted not too long ago. The frustration continued from yesterday into today. That means I didn’t sleep well last night. I needed to work again today so I was frustrated all night about not being able to sleep because of my frustration of not getting this blog online. That…..was a total waste of energy. PATIENCE. Everything has a way of working itself out, one way or another.

So here I am and very happy to be here. I hope you find enjoyment out of this blog. A couple of coworkers asked me today why I started a blog. I told them I just have to write. I don’t have another answer other than it’s easier for me to communicate by writing than by talking. I have this desire to help others as well. Hopefully, my thoughts will interest you. Or at least, give you something to think about. We all have our own perspective on things. It’s not necessarily right or wrong. Just different ways of seeing the same thing. I never really understood that concept until the last few years. Seems like everything I’ve learned has been dumped into the last few years.

Remember to be thankful always. Even on the though days. Today, I am thankful I didn’t throw my computer out the window. My blog posted. 🙂

Andi