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

 

miracle.

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.

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Blessings Abound

Blessings Abound

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.

Liquid Gold

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. img_3345

A trade off

I love camping, always have. There is something about being outside, sitting next to a fire, the smoke filling the air, seemingly always blowing in the direction you are sitting. Marshmallows roasting, hot dogs cooking, all the traditional activities. When I was younger, camping meant a tent and sleeping bag, small camp stove and a chair. The lure was the outdoors. So many places to see, all with their own appeal. I’m old now.

Sleeping on the hard ground,and invariably a rock, has lost its lure for me. Camping has changed over the course of my life; it is now done with much more comfort. A real bed, bathroom, kitchen and air conditioning and satellite tv! Not really roughing it anymore.

Some may think that this isn’t real camping. As I walk around the campground I notice everyone is doing the same thing. When you pull in you set up your spot.  For some, that’s pitching the tent, others it’s plugging in and hooking up the sewer line.   It’s fun seeing all the different types of rv’s and tents; seeing where everyone is from is interesting. I notice, as people take walks around the campground, they give a sideways glance or point. Being from California and currently in Ontario Canada, we get our fair share of looks. Some will stop and ask if we are lost, or why are we here. Not lost and we are here because we can be.

So we set up our “summer home” and have all the comforts, but we still go out each day and explore something new. The wonders of the outdoors, the history of the area, the local flavor of the city. In the evening we may come back and sit by that fire, talk with the other campers, hear of their travels, share ours. It’s nice to know, if it rains, we wont be soaked and miserable.Yes, we have moved on past the tent on the ground and really roughing it. Our biggest issue seems to be trees.

I love a campground with shade and trees- but they block the satellite signal. Oh the horrors! We have spent time positioning our rv just right in the spot to get the signal, have even gone so far as to move spots. Not always with success. In the end, it comes down to a trade off- beautiful spot under the trees or satellite tv? Because it’s about the camping, the beautiful spot wins. Tv can wait, enjoying a campfire with new friends or family, well that always is my first choice.

Observations

I was filling out some forms the other day, and I had to chuckle at the various boxes one has to check for different things.  Think about it, we are categorized in various boxes, dependant on different criteria.  What’s equally amusing to me is when you have to check the next level box.

There are boxes to check for all kinds of things. Mr., Mrs., MS.   Male, Female.  Those are easy and, of course, obvious.   I usually pause to answer when it comes to the race box.  Is that really necessary information to have?    Don’t get me wrong, I know these questions are asked for a reason, however, In a society where we claim to want understanding and inclusion of all people, this constant labeling and boxing people up sure seems to separate us more than include us.

Filling out a survey, one of the questions was regarding age.  Normally I don’t mind, except when you have to check the next box. You know 20-29 30-39 40-49. Always a reflective pause when you have to move up a box.  That 50-59 box was a tough one to check.

It usually doesn’t take long before certain mail starts to show up after  those boxes have been checked.  Most seems to be junk mail.  After checking that 50-59  age box, it was only a matter of time before my mailbox had some interesting offerings.  First came the AARP information.  I get it- I am old, and I suppose that confirmed it.  Really though, two days later I received a letter from a local funeral home. I went from old to dead in a blink of an eye- or rather, a check of a box!

Honestly, it doesn’t bother me too much; I know it’s really only a marketing issue.  I don’t feel old, and try to make the most of each day.   It would be nice, however, if they didn’t have to remind me.