Wednesday, February 01, 2012
The carpenter I hired to help me restore an old farmhouse had just finished a rough first day on the job. A flat tire made him lose an hour of work, his electric saw quit, and now his ancient pickup truck refused to start. While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence.
On arriving, he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands. When opening the door he underwent an amazing transformation. His tanned face was wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss.
Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier.
"Oh, that's my trouble tree," he replied." I know I can't help having troubles on the job, but one thing's for sure, troubles don't belong in the house with my wife and the children. So I just hang them on the tree every night when I come home. Then in the morning I pick them up again."
He paused. "Funny thing is," he smiled, "when I come out in the morning to pick 'em up, there ain't nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before."
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
by Shawnee Kellie
One word can spark a moment,
One flower can wake the dream;
One tree can start a forest,
One bird can herald Spring.
One smile can bring a friendship,
One handclasp can lift a soul;
One star can guide a ship at sea,
One cheer can obtain a goal.
One vote can change a Nation,
One sunbeam can lift a room;
One candle wipes out darkness,
One laugh will conquer gloom.
One look can change two lives;
One kiss can make love bloom.
One step must start each journey,
One word must start each prayer;
One hope can raise our spirits,
One touch can show you care.
One voice can speak with wisdom,
One heart can know what's true;
One life can make a difference,
One life is me and you....
Monday, January 30, 2012
by Jessie B. Rittenhouse
I bargained with Life for a penny,
And Life would pay no more,
However I begged at evening
When I counted my scanty store;
For Life is a just employer,
He gives you what you ask,
But once you have set the wages,
Why, you must bear the task.
I worked for a menial's hire,
Only to learn, dismayed,
That any wage I had asked of Life,
Life would have paid.
(This poem is alerting us to the belief of "ask, and ye shall receive". If we were to ask for a low wage because we believed that we don't deserve more, life will very surely pay us a low wage. However, if we dare to ask for bigger things and are willing to shoulder the responsibilites, then just as likely we'll get what we've asked for.)
Sunday, January 29, 2012
They don't walk in your shoes...
Click, Click, Click!
by Pauline Fraser
We ducked into the dimly lit thrift shop to get out of the rain. Like so many things since our daughter's birth, I hadn't planned on a trip to this place. But I figured we'd see what they had since we were there.
"Hi, today is stuff a bag day. Would you like one?" The clerk asked.
"What is stuff a bag day?"
"You take a bag and stuff it with what ever you want and it's only $3. Best deal in town."
"Okay, sounds great," I said, despite the fact I hadn't planned on buying anything.
I took my six-year-old daughter's hand and we started to wander around. Suddenly there was a tug on my hand and my attention was being directed to the shoe section. She shares my weakness for shoes, so we stopped for a minute to look. I let go of her hand and she reached out to touch a pair of shiny black shoes with a strap and silver buckle.
"Buy me?" She inquires.
"Oh, Sweetie, they are tap shoes. You aren't taking tap."
"Buy me?" She repeats.
"Well, let's try them on."
She sits on the floor and removes her bright pink rain boots, with Barbie on the sides, and easily slides the new shoes on. A perfect fit. When she stands up she hears 'click.' She takes a step. Click, Click. Slowly recognition dawns, as she makes the connection between the shoes and her moving feet. Click, Click, Click.
"Buy me?" With a hopeful look in her eyes. Again, "Buy me, peas?"
"Okay Sweetie, take them off and put them in the bag."
We look around some more and get a few t-shirts, pants, books and games and a naked baby doll.
Well, it's stuff a bag day - might as well get my money's worth, I think to myself.
The sun has come back out as we emerge from our little side trip and we continue on our way. As we near the car, Amara reaches for the bag. As she climbs into the back seat, I give her the bag wondering what treasure she is looking for. The shoes, of course. She is my daughter after all.
It's not a question, so I took the tag off and helped her with the buckle. Our next stop was the grocery store and these shoes were made to make noise, especially on my little girl's feet. This could be interesting...
Click, Click, Click - people turn to look as we enter the store.
Click, Click, Click. I can feel the disapproving stares of the proper people. People who would never allow their daughter to wear tap shoes to the grocery store. I hold my head up with pride. The click, click, click is music to my ears.
"Excuse me dear. Is your daughter in tap this year?"
"No." I replied.
"Well why on earth would you allow her to wear tap shoes, here, of all places? They make such a noise."
"Yes, isn't it wonderful?"
"Wonderful? My dear, this is not the place to wear those shoes."
"Oh, I think this is the perfect place to wear them. You see she asked for them."
"Just because she asked for them, doesn't mean you have to get them for her."
"You don't understand," I said.
"When she was a baby, we were told she would never walk or talk. It has taken a lot of hard work and patience but she asked for the shoes and the click, click, click says that she can walk."
My daughter, who is always on the move, is 18 now and will graduate from grade 12 in June. It has not always been easy, but it has all been worthwhile. She has taught me that it doesn't matter what others think. They don't walk in your shoes.
And just like the ladies in the purple hats*, sometimes you simply have to wear tap shoes to the grocery store - if for nothing else, just the sheer joy of hearing the click, click, click.
* Ladies in purple hats are groups of women who have reached a certain age and now can allow themselves to enjoy life without fear of what others think.
Reprinted with permission from the author
About the Author
Pauline was born and raised in Nova Scotia and now calls British Columbia home. She is married and has three children, including a daughter with autism. Raising a special needs child was not how she had planned to spend her life, but now that she has, she wouldn't change a thing. Her daughter has taught her so much about life and living that she can't imagine how empty life would be without her.
Saturday, January 28, 2012
by Edgar A. Guest
I might have been rich if I'd wanted the gold
instead of the friendships I've made.
I might have had fame if I'd sought for renown
in the hours when I purposely played.
Now I'm standing to-day on the far edge of life,
and I'm just looking backward to see
What I've done with the years and the days that were mine,
and all that has happened to me.
I haven't built much of a fortune to leave
to those who shall carry my name,
And nothing I've done shall entitle me now
to a place on the tablets of fame.
But I've loved the great sky and its spaces of blue;
I've lived with the birds and the trees;
I've turned from the splendor of silver and gold
to share in such pleasures as these.
I've given my time to the children who came;
together we've romped and we've played,
And I wouldn't exchange the glad hours spent
with them for the money that I might have made.
I chose to be known and be loved by the few,
and was deaf to the plaudits of men;
And I'd make the same choice should the chance
come to me to live my life over again.
I've lived with my friends and I've shared in their joys,
known sorrow with all of its tears;
I have harvested much from my acres of life,
though some say I've squandered my years.
For much that is fine has been mine to enjoy,
and I think I have lived to my best,
And I have no regret, as I'm nearing the end,
for the gold that I might have possessed.
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