The Simple Things

It is way to easy to take the little things in life for granted. Some of my most memorable moments of peace and comfort have come when simply washing the dishes. I seldom use the dishwasher because doing them by hand is rewarding for me. I like how the dishes feel to my hands when they are sparkling clean, and i enjoy the challenge of arranging them in the drainer so there is room for all.

Another simple pleasure that i truly enjoy is resting for a few moments with my kitty curled up on my lap. She seems to always know where to rest her loving weight, and her desire to comfort any pain is evident. Just a tiny little brain can give and receive so much love! Everyone should love a cat. I have a sign in my Ohio home that simply reads, “Life is better with a cat.” For me, this is true; especially since my life’s mate left four years ago. My kitty has understood my grief and stayed close.

The simple pleasure and pure joy of it has never diminished: That joy is the satisfaction and love I get and give while folding clothes for my family. In the busy days with five people in the home, we would often toss huge piles of clean clothes on the sofa. I loved making five piles and carefully adding to each as the items were caressed and tenderly folded. I often prayed for each family member as one of their socks or shirts worked its way to the surface.

They are all gone now, and the only clothes i get to fold are my own. I still make laundry time a sort of meditation, however; but the reward and love once present has diminished considerably. Most missed is folding work clothes for Steven. His long underwear in the winter and chalk-stained t-shirts in the summer brought such happiness to my fingers. He worked so hard for our livelihood and never complained about the long hours or harsh elements. Hugging him each and every day at his random-hour homecoming remains one of my fondest memories. I could always tell the change in the seasons by the smell of the sawdust on his strong shoulders. “Dad is coming soon…” was the simple announcement each evening as the children and I prepared by tidying the house and ourselves.

The simple pleasure of timing dinner to be hot and ready as he finished cleaning out his truck and then entered the kitchen after a his shower was a challenge and a delight for me for all the years we sojourned together. How I miss those simple pleasures now. I would love to struggle with his heavy work clothes and create a lovely dish just for him again.

Whatever food I prepared (and it was never the same meal twice) had to be colorful and appealing to his eye. The simple pleasure of arranging it on his plate, serving him first (always) and watching his delight brought pure joy into my daily routine; and into the lives of our children, too. We had our meals as a family and he was honored as the King and Priest of our home; for it was by the sweat of HIS brow our food was provided.

Sometimes i did resent the long hours; and we fussed about it in the early years when caring for the children was harder. As the years unfolded, however, the simple pleasure of serving my hard-working, Christian lover far outweighed my own petty selfish wants.

Living with a man of his character and dedication changed me from the selfish brat of my teens into a committed, loving and supportive help meet.

Now all his heavy work clothes are in boxes in the garage. The dinner plates are boring and often the fare is too. I hope my selfish ways are gone forever, though sometimes I see the ugly wanting to resurface. Then I snuggle with kitty, spend time in the Bible and prayer; and remember how truly grand life was when the simple pleasures of housework and laundry filled my days.

To any lady reading this I exhort you to treasure each load of laundry. Make meal preparation your art form, and hold on tightly to your man at his home-coming hug. Smile and be content so he feels like the dragon slayer. Treat him like a King, and he will make you His Queen. I promise. After all, with as much time as he must spend away from you, remember that you can do ANYTHING for the few hours you have with him…even be happy. Love and respect him while you can so the regret load is light should you one day find the only clothes you fold are your own.

Let’s Chat ~ Let’s Laugh

Hi there.
Such amazing times…and what a privilege to be alive to see all that God will do in these Great and Final Days.

It truly is my heart to post more often because there is hope and faith to share and positive ‘vibrations’ to generate. I once knew a person; his real name i think was Mike, but everyone just called him ‘Vibes.” No matter when or where you encountered this young man, he was positive, smiling and ready to lift the spirits of everyone. I want to live like that. I wanna be that guy (gal) so that others find strength and hope.

Laughter is so important, and the more spontaneous it is, the better. It is especially wonderful to laugh with children. They are so free and their laughter is infectious. Always watch for opportunities to get hysterical with a kid or two. Your soul will be blessed, I promise.

The Joy of the Lord, so says the B I B L E, is our STRENGTH. And since Jesus loves the little ones so much, laughter with them is indeed the Joy of the Lord. Besides, the little ones are so worried about their future and the craziness of the current climate in America. They have many unanswered questions, and don’t have the skills adults possess to make sense of it all.
So I reiterate: Laugh with them. Make it fun. Ease their stress and your own with moments of mirth.

I saw a funny thing yesterday. There was a dog whose favorite ball was removed and tossed outside. The expression on that dog’s face and his body language as he stared through the glass was so laughable! I could have stifled the hysteria were it not for the little one sitting beside me. As I quietly laughed at the dog, she saw the same thing and burst forth with genuine giggles. The mirth grew until i could not contain the laughter, and we shared several minutes of fun. I still can laugh at the memory of those shared moments.

Do it! Find some children you can encourage with your own good “Vibes.” Foster a merry heart and revel in the sound of happy kids. Life is heavy enough for all of us; so be that guy (gal) that carries a bucket of mercy and fun into every room.

God’s Got This, after all! We Win; so rejoice now for that Victory.

A little blurb

My sweet daughter-in-love gave me a gift. Every monday a question is sent to my inbox stimulating a response about my life. She is such a lover of history; and family stories mean the world to her, so each week i plow through the memories highlighting the ones that i hope will edify, bless and enlighten the readers as the years unfold.

The selection below is a little blurb from a question about the ‘fads’ i remembered. Sharing it here because it matters. :-)…we now join the story in progress:

Upon returning to the USA, the hippy movement was in its finest day! The onset of the movement was centered in the Haight Ashbury district in San Francisco as well as on college campuses across the country. The movement was founded on Peace and Love. It really was a pure thing. We were against the War in Viet Nam and protested very peacefully. We loved everybody. I even put a flower in the pocket of a policeman making him smile. We wore bell bottoms and tie-dyed shirts. We listened and sang along with the Greats in protest folk music and early classic rock and roll.

We really did spread love and peace to all we met. Then the bad people brought the drugs into our midst and the whole movement lost it purity and became a disgrace. Most of us grieved about that, and some began to partake of the devil weed and other mind-altering substances. Our pure intentions were dismissed and the evil ones (the bankers, CIA and mafia that killed President Kennedy) took over. The Nation would never be the same, until now. 🙂

We were a determined bunch though! We would not take any nonsense that threatened our God-given Freedom as Americans. My generation would have called the entire plandemic a hoax from the start, and most of us 60 and above probably did. We have seen this before. The takeover attempt of a generation was perpetrated on the bell bottomed hippies; and we know what it looks like. I guess we neglected to instill that passion for freedom in our offspring, and now, like dumb sheep, we see compliance ushering in bondage.

Back to fads…mostly my generation produced the very best in music. Other than the classic Beethoven, Mozart and Chopin era, the late 50’s and all the 60’s brought the absolute BEST in musical skill and content. We sang our way through the troubles and proclaimed our freedom in songs. Each musician was skilled beyond their natural abilities it seemed; and we wallowed in the giant collection of talented performers.

Woodstock was wonderful, so they say, and our own Northwest had a similar gathering in those years. The Sky River Rock Festival and Lighter Than Air Fair hosted Greats like the Doors, Jimmy Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Starship and many others. It lasted three days, and was an event that will always have a place in my memory!

My generation was given a bad reputation over the years; but I lived it, and can testify of the amazing goodness, love and decency that undergirded the baby boomers as they embraced Fads, stuck together and found adulthood. Now, the times they are a changin, and we still ask, how many deaths will it take till we know that too many people have died?…the answer my friend, is still blowing in the wind, the answer is blowing in the wind. (Acts chapter 2)

Today I Nailed It

All the three long years of this thing called widowhood, the definition of loss and its effects has remained hazy until today. Today I got it. Today I nailed it, as my contractor husband would say. Yes, today one sentence sums up all those vacant moments; all those random tears and the ache that always grips some aspect of my waking hours. One revelatory sentence gathers all those emotions together, secures them in an invisible bag, cinches them up and ties a neat bow on top. It is:
I am no longer the most important person in anyone’s life.
As a tiny baby, to the parents, I was the most important thing they had. As years moved on, and the responsibility of child rearing increased, I remained the most important; for I was the ‘project’ that needed work. The twenties chased away that ‘most important’ identity as I searched for my own, on my own.
That identity found me when God brought my life’s mate and made me a mommy. To those tiny babies, I was, once again, the most important person to somebody. Then It was my turn to focus on the ‘project.’ As those years flew by, my human value to my dear husband increased and once again I was the most important person in someone’s life, and he became the most important person to me.
Then, after 40 years, he left. The children all grown, became the most important people in someone else’s life, and their children looked to them for direction and significance.
I begin to list those important people above me in the line; my mommy, dad, grandma, grandpa, uncles, aunts, cousins…all gone now. Then I look to those in the line behind me, and the stunning revelation of singularity, aloneness and insignificance sweeps into now with the grip of reality. I am, no longer the most important person to another human being at all.
Oh, I am loved, tolerated and hopefully respected to a certain level, but that special feeling of value that comes when one knows they are the most important person in the world to another is gone.
The saying is, that we really don’t know what we have until it’s gone. I can tell you this feeling of unique importance is easy to take for granted during the years we walk therein. Oh yes, but when it is gone…the vacancy can be debilitating if we wallow therein. So, what to do now that I have nailed it?
How do I re-identify as a valuable human without the confirmation of that significant other? When it really sinks in that my importance to other human beings is cursory at best and certainly not unique or paramount to them, how do I behave, how do I spend the time left? The answer is as obvious as the question is rhetorical.
I now choose to make other people feel important to me. I choose to focus on the needs, hurts and victories of others in my life so that a small sense of significance might soften their individual transitions as the years unfold. Afterall, life hurts and we need each other to find value and personal worth to carry on. Giving of our love, time, understanding, eye contact and genuine interest builds people, and in the building up of others, we nail it for ourselves.