Source: A Weed or a Wish?
Walking along the river with my dog the other day, I was noticing the various plants and flowers along the edge. I am no gardener so I admit I don’t know the names of them. I just know that they all have qualities about them that are beautiful is some way. Some are prickly, others delicate and bright. I’m guessing, most I see are actually weeds, their beauty in the eye of the beholder.
One such weed I came across- possibly a variation of the dandelion- made me think of years gone by when, as a child, we would blow on them and make a wish. I don’t know if any of those wishes came true, maybe we were just spreading weeds about the yard. Seeing the flower now, reminds me that life can take turns as quick as the breeze, and that it sometimes takes more than a wish to fix it.
It would be nice if it were as easy as blowing the seeds off a dandelion to make wishes come true. To provide wishes to those struggling, the firefighters battling to save land and home, or those in need of a medical miracle. I was recently reminded how precious life can be and that even the power of wishes and prayers may not be enough. I would gladly sit in a field of flowers and scatter the seeds to the wind, if I knew it would grant a
Weeds, like some people, are hardy, surviving in some of the more hostile environments, yet they do survive, and many thrive. I admire those people who thrive in adversity, their strength and determination, the ability to be a bright spot even when seen as something less. Don’t get me wrong, there are still weeds- like people – who are just prickly mean stickers. I avoid them, because they don’t add anything I find positive.
I would rather be a dandelion. A bright spot in a child’s day as they blow the seeds for a wish, an herbal tea to provide that possible miracle cure, even a landing spot for a bee. Maybe some see the weed, I choose to see the wish.
As I travel around the country, through small towns and large, I notice the presence of many churches. The stained glass windows of many catch my eye, as the sun glints through them. I don’t often have the time to stop and take a picture, but when I am able, I cherish the moment. There are times, as I travel through town, there seems to be a church on every corner. Churches of different denomination yet, just in it’s presence, the message is universal.
Today, as we made our way through town, I began again to notice the churches. I noticed the architecture of the different buildings, the windows, and most important- the open door of most. As I was taking a quick snapshot of one such church, a kind gentleman asked if I had seen inside yet. I replied I had not, and he smiled and said ” come inside I will show you”. I walked to the car where my son was waiting, telling him to come along and see inside.
As we walked inside Don, the gentleman leading the way, explained that this particular church, with its stone exterior, bell tower, rich wood interior and traditional stained glass windows, was designed after English country churches common in the 1800s. Built in 1892, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The worship space seats about one hundred twenty people and houses both a pipe organ and a grand piano. The sanctuary underwent a comprehensive historical restoration in 1993. Standing in the church with the sunlight shining through the stained glass windows, the beautiful woods of the pews and ceiling were so warm and inviting, a very welcoming building. I suppose if I lived in this town, I might make this “my church”, but since I do not, I will be content with my visit today.
We thanked Don for the visit and went on our way. Even though I don’t live here, or worship here, I felt peace and comfort in his church, and, in turn, this town. I know I will miss this area when we finally move along, but will take with me the blessings we have discovered.
How do we define milestones in life? What makes one event more noteworthy than another? I was recently looking on that famous greeting card website for an anniversary year designation, and noticed that there comes a time, after about 15 years, that the designation is rather ho hum. As if those years don’t really deserve much mention. Seriously- it said for year 23, the “theme” is air. Air? Am I to assume, then, that I can put a lid on a mason jar and hand it over, for a gift of air?
I have been pondering this because today is my 24th anniversary. A rather ho hum year according to that famous card company web site. This years theme is stone. I wonder, how did we go from a Diamond at year 10 to stone at year 24? Have these past 14 years not amounted to more than a rock?
Let me tell you – 24 years is nothing to sneeze at. Marriage is so much more than the ceremony and reception. It is all those small things, those ho hum days and events that never get the recognition they deserve.
The day he clips a rose from the garden and puts it on the table because it’s pretty.
When she brings him Vernors because he’s been sick, and she knows it will make him feel better.
It’s laughing at your silly jokes, a hug just because, dancing in the kitchen to annoy the children. Being able to disagree, but know, no matter what, you love them. It’s laundry and shopping and cooking and cleaning. Dealing with being sick, aging family and bills.
Marriage is hard, it’s fraught with pitfalls that devour many and leave many more with bruises unseen. It’s messy, and stressful and there are three sides to it-his, hers and the truth.
So when I look at that greeting card website that says year 24 is stone- and the big milestone of year 25 is silver, I can’t help but shake my head and disagree. Each of these 24 years has been a milestone to celebrate, to shout to all that those ho hum events and days have had as much meaning as that year 25.
So today, on this day of stone for my husband I , I want to publicly shout out to all, that we have persevered through all those ho hum moments. We have fought and made up, laughed and cried, supported and cheered, and most of all loved each other as we promised we would. You see, we made a choice, those many years ago, and though it’s been hard at times, I can’t imagine another I would have loved the way I love him.
Happy 24th anniversary my dear love.
It’s no secret that I LOVE coffee. When I was younger I tried it and thought it tasted awful, bitter and just not something I would ever have again. One night, in my early 20’s , friends and I had spent the evening having dinner and visiting, when the host asked ” who would like some coffee”? I guess my eye roll was evident that I was a non coffee drinker and the outcast of the evening. Being the good host, my friend assured me that he made the best coffee and I should have some. Reluctantly I agreed; he was right, and I was hooked.
After that night I found that a really good cup of coffee is an art. I proceeded to try new blends, grind my own beans, and experiment with different types of brewing styles. I enjoyed my time learning all things coffee, and then life got busy. Getting married and having kids, the fancy coffee gave way to name brand, regular old run of the mill stuff. No longer having the luxury of time or money to fritter on lavish fanciness.
Over the years, I have consumed mass amounts of coffee. The large cup as I headed out at 2 a.m. for a work related trouble. The first cup in the morning as I began the long day getting kids to school and me to work. My favorite – the large gas station cup, too hot to drink at first, then after 5 miles down the road you take a sip and realize it’s the WORST coffee ever, but you have 300 miles to go and you drink it anyway.
Last summer, while on vacation, I was surprised by an old high school friend. We were spending time on the Oregon coast and he lives nearby. Not only did he take the time to come say hello, he brought coffee mugs that he made! The most thoughtful gesture and so unexpected.
I use one of these mugs now every day. I love it. Funny thing is, it’s big! The first time I poured coffee into it and returned the carafe to the coffee maker I thought I spilled it- it was about 1/3 empty. I can read my paper, or a good book, and not worry about being interrupted because my cup is empty.
So, thank you Randy for one of the little things that bring a smile to me. The gift of your mug and the time to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee.
Funny thing about kids, they grow up. We have 2 sons that are growing into such fine young men, we are so proud of both of them. For Mother’s day a few years ago,our oldest gave me a pillowcase with his picture on it. Seems kind of funny, but I love it. I bring it with us when we travel.
We have been an RV family for about 6 years, and in that time we have traveled thousands of miles around the country. We have been from the Pacific to the Atlantic, summer and winter. Some of our favorite memories happened because of a chance to buy an old RV..As a parent, it has been rewarding to know that we have been able to give the gift of travel and love for our country to our boys.
Our oldest son is now 22 and, as a young man starting out, no longer has the time to take off for weeks or months at a time. When we travel now, I feel a sadness that he isn’t able to continue to share in our adventures. Our remedy? We call it Flat Anthony- the pillow with his picture on it.
Flat Anthony comes along with us whenever we travel, and this last trip, well, let’s just say he had some adventures. How could we not take him along?
We didn’t want him to miss beach combing, or climbing on the rocks, the dune buggy ride, whale watching, 4th of July or the evening campfire watching the ships on the river.
It clearly isn’t the same as having him along with us, and I sometimes feel guilty having fun without him. We are so proud of all his accomplishments, and maybe some day, when he is older with a family of his own, he will remember his youthful trips and want to do the same with his family.
As we travel in our Rv, our trips always include some sort of train activity. It is a given, a necessity for survival when your autistic son lives for all things train. As we plan our trips we include train rides or visits to train museums to ensure harmony along the way. These plans give us locations to see, and something for our son to look forward to, as he puts up with activities he might not otherwise enjoy.
In the small Northern California town of Dunsmuir, there is a small Amtrak stop, and the Union Pacific yard. We happened to be camping in the area and decided to go to Dunsmuir for lunch and to watch for whatever train might arrive. Andrew brought his small video camera so he could film the trains.
We parked nearby and headed toward the Amtrak stop. Looking at the schedule, we found that we would not be seeing Amtrak – it makes its pass through town very early morning. Andrew knew, however, that other trains travel this route all during the day so it was only a matter of time. As he set up his video camera we noticed some workers on the other side of the track. We didn’t have long to wait before the horn of a train could be heard, and the shout from Andrew “here it comes!”
Pulling in to the station was a Union Pacific train. The train pulled in slowly and stopped at the small station. As we watched, the 2 workers we had seen on the other side of the track picked up their bags and headed to the cab. At the same time, the 2 workers that had just arrived on the train, grabbed their bags and climbed out. This was a simple crew change, exchange in a normal workday of some train employees. We didn’t speak to the workers but what came next was so kind- an act of generosity that reminds me there are great people out there.
The new crew climbed in the cab and suddenly one of them leaned out of the cab and called to Andrew to come closer. Andrew walked closer, and the employee opened the side cab door and leaned out, handed him a lantern! As he handed it to Andrew, he claimed he didn’t need it anymore. Just like that, this man gave a boy something he always wanted. As quickly as he came out of the cab he went back in, told Andrew to cover his ears, blew the train horn and they were off. Andrew calling for them to drive safely.
We watched as the train disappeared down the track, another day in the life of a train lover..