Food for Thought · Life in General

The Old, Rusty Bucket

THE OLD DENTED, RUSTY BUCKET
FAITH IS NOT ABOUT EVERYTHING TURNING OUT OK; IT’S ABOUT BEING OK NO MATTER HOW THINGS TURN OUT.

OUR HOUSE WAS DIRECTLY ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE CLINIC ENTRANCE OF JOHNS HOPKINS HOSPITAL IN BALTIMORE. WE LIVED DOWNSTAIRS AND RENTED THE UPSTAIRS ROOMS TO OUT-PATIENTS AT THE CLINIC.
ONE SUMMER EVENING AS I WAS FIXING SUPPER, THERE WAS A KNOCK AT THE DOOR. I OPENED IT TO SEE A TRULY AWFUL LOOKING MAN. “WHY, HE’S HARDLY TALLER THAN MY 8-YEAR-OLD,” I THOUGHT AS I STARED AT THE STOOPED, SHRIVELED BODY. BUT THE APPALLING THING WAS HIS FACE, LOPSIDED FROM SWELLING, RED AND RAW.
YET HIS VOICE WAS PLEASANT AS HE SAID, “GOOD EVENING. I’VE COME TO SEE IF YOU’VE A ROOM FOR JUST ONE NIGHT. I CAME FOR A TREATMENT THIS MORNING FROM THE EASTERN SHORE, AND THERE’S NO BUS ‘TIL MORNING.”
HE TOLD ME HE’D BEEN HUNTING FOR A ROOM SINCE NOON BUT WITH NO SUCCESS, NO ONE SEEMED TO HAVE A ROOM. “I GUESS IT’S MY FACE …. I KNOW IT LOOKS TERRIBLE, BUT MY DOCTOR SAYS WITH A FEW MORE TREATMENTS…”
FOR A MOMENT I HESITATED, BUT HIS NEXT WORDS CONVINCED ME: “I COULD SLEEP IN THIS ROCKING CHAIR ON THE PORCH. MY BUS LEAVES EARLY IN THE MORNING.”
I TOLD HIM WE WOULD FIND HIM A BED, BUT TO REST ON THE PORCH.. I WENT INSIDE AND FINISHED GETTING SUPPER. WHEN WE WERE READY, I ASKED THE OLD MAN IF HE WOULD JOIN US. “NO, THANK YOU. I HAVE PLENTY.” AND HE HELD UP A BROWN PAPER BAG.
WHEN I HAD FINISHED THE DISHES, I WENT OUT ON THE PORCH TO TALK WITH HIM A FEW MINUTES. IT DIDN’T TAKE A LONG TIME TO SEE THAT THIS OLD MAN HAD AN OVERSIZED HEART CROWDED INTO THAT TINY BODY. HE TOLD ME HE FISHED FOR A LIVING TO SUPPORT HIS DAUGHTER, HER 5 CHILDREN, AND HER HUSBAND, WHO WAS HOPELESSLY CRIPPLED FROM A BACK INJURY.
HE DIDN’T TELL IT BY WAY OF COMPLAINT; IN FACT, EVERY OTHER SENTENCE WAS PREFACE WITH A THANKS TO GOD FOR A BLESSING. HE WAS GRATEFUL THAT NO PAIN ACCOMPANIED HIS DISEASE, WHICH WAS APPARENTLY A FORM OF SKIN CANCER. HE THANKED GOD FOR GIVING HIM THE STRENGTH TO KEEP GOING…
AT BEDTIME, WE PUT A CAMP COT IN THE CHILDREN’S ROOM FOR HIM. WHEN I GOT UP IN THE MORNING, THE BED LINENS WERE NEATLY FOLDED AND THE LITTLE MAN WAS OUT ON THE PORCH.
HE REFUSED BREAKFAST, BUT JUST BEFORE HE LEFT FOR HIS BUS, HALTINGLY, AS IF ASKING A GREAT FAVOR, HE SAID, “COULD I PLEASE COME BACK AND STAY THE NEXT TIME I HAVE A TREATMENT? I WON’T PUT YOU OUT A BIT. I CAN SLEEP FINE IN A CHAIR.” HE PAUSED A MOMENT AND THEN ADDED, “YOUR CHILDREN MADE ME FEEL AT HOME. GROWNUPS ARE BOTHERED BY MY FACE, BUT CHILDREN DON’T SEEM TO MIND.”
I TOLD HIM HE WAS WELCOME TO COME AGAIN.
AND, ON HIS NEXT TRIP, HE ARRIVED A LITTLE AFTER 7 IN THE MORNING. AS A GIFT, HE BROUGHT A BIG FISH AND A QUART OF THE LARGEST OYSTERS I HAD EVER SEEN! HE SAID HE HAD SHUCKED THEM THAT MORNING BEFORE HE LEFT SO THAT THEY’D BE NICE AND FRESH. I KNEW HIS BUS LEFT AT 4:00 A.M. AND I WONDERED WHAT TIME HE HAD TO GET UP IN ORDER TO DO THIS FOR US.
 
IN THE YEARS HE CAME TO STAY OVERNIGHT WITH US, THERE WAS NEVER A TIME THAT HE DID NOT BRING US FISH OR OYSTERS OR VEGETABLES FROM HIS GARDEN. OTHER TIMES WE RECEIVED PACKAGES IN THE MAIL, ALWAYS BY SPECIAL DELIVERY; FISH AND OYSTERS PACKED IN A BOX OF FRESH YOUNG SPINACH OR KALE, EVERY LEAF CAREFULLY WASHED. KNOWING THAT HE MUST WALK 3 MILES TO MAIL THESE, AND KNOWING HOW LITTLE MONEY HE HAD MADE THE GIFTS DOUBLY PRECIOUS.
WHEN I RECEIVED THESE LITTLE REMEMBRANCES, I OFTEN THOUGHT OF A COMMENT OUR NEXT-DOOR NEIGHBOR MADE AFTER HE LEFT THAT FIRST MORNING. “DID YOU KEEP THAT AWFUL LOOKING MAN LAST NIGHT? I TURNED HIM AWAY! YOU CAN LOSE ROOMERS BY PUTTING UP SUCH PEOPLE!”
MAYBE WE DID LOSE ROOMERS ONCE OR TWICE. BUT, OH!, IF ONLY THEY COULD HAVE KNOWN HIM, PERHAPS THEIR ILLNESSES WOULD HAVE BEEN EASIER TO BEAR. I KNOW OUR FAMILY ALWAYS WILL BE GRATEFUL TO HAVE KNOWN HIM; FROM HIM WE LEARNED WHAT IT WAS TO ACCEPT THE BAD WITHOUT COMPLAINT AND THE GOOD WITH GRATITUDE TO GOD.
RECENTLY WHILE VISITING A FRIEND, WHO HAS A GREENHOUSE, AS SHE SHOWED ME HER FLOWERS, WE CAME TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL ONE OF ALL, A GOLDEN CHRYSANTHEMUM, BURSTING WITH BLOOMS. BUT TO MY GREAT SURPRISE, IT WAS GROWING IN AN OLD DENTED, RUSTY BUCKET. I THOUGHT TO MYSELF, “IF THIS WERE MY PLANT, I’D PUT IT IN THE LOVELIEST CONTAINER I HAD!”
MY FRIEND CHANGED MY MIND. “I RAN SHORT OF FLOWER POTS,” SHE EXPLAINED, “AND KNOWING HOW BEAUTIFUL THIS ONE WOULD BE, I THOUGHT IT WOULDN’T MIND STARTING OUT IN THIS OLD PAIL. IT’S JUST FOR A LITTLE WHILE, TILL I CAN PUT IT OUT IN THE GARDEN.”
SHE MUST HAVE WONDERED WHY I LAUGHED SO DELIGHTEDLY, BUT I WAS IMAGINING JUST SUCH A SCENE IN HEAVEN.
“HERE’S AN ESPECIALLY BEAUTIFUL ONE,” GOD MIGHT HAVE SAID WHEN HE CAME TO THE SOUL OF THE SWEET OLD FISHERMAN. “HE WON’T MIND STARTING IN THIS SMALL BODY.”
ALL THIS HAPPENED LONG AGO – AND NOW, IN GOD’S GARDEN, HOW TALL THIS LOVELY SOUL MUST STAND. THE LORD DOES NOT LOOK AT THE THINGS MAN LOOKS AT. MAN LOOKS AT THE OUTWARD APPEARANCE, BUT THE LORD LOOKS AT THE HEART.” (1 SAMUEL 16:7B)
FRIENDS ARE VERY SPECIAL. THEY MAKE YOU SMILE AND ENCOURAGE YOU TO SUCCEED. THEY LEND AN EAR AND THEY SHARE A WORD OF PRAISE.
 
SHOW YOUR FRIENDS HOW MUCH YOU CARE. PASS THIS ON, AND BRIGHTEN SOMEONE’S DAY. NOTHING WILL HAPPEN IF YOU DO NOT DECIDE TO PASS IT ALONG. THE ONLY THING THAT WILL HAPPEN IF YOU DO PASS IT ON IS THAT SOMEONE MIGHT SMILE (BECAUSE OF YOU).
FROM AN OLD RUSTY BUCKET – HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY!!!!
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Blogging · Food for Thought · Life in General · Personal · Random Thoughts · Tales from the Dark Side · Updates

Obsession

I have recently discovered a love for Filofax binders, and planners in general.  Printing my own inserts for them, decorating, writing in many colors, stickers, and more.  It’s really FUN, but wow……I’ve come to realize that I move from one obsession to the next….seeking something….but never finding it.  Or, finding it briefly and then moving on again.

Previous loves include photography, shoes, making candles and soaps, handbags and……shoes.  I don’t love the past obsessions any less, but once I’ve moved on, I don’t usually return.  Except for the shoes, of course, ’cause c’mon…..SHOES.  I’m also a long-time lover of pens and paper….the nicer, the better.  Smooth Levenger and Rhodia paper are my favorites, and I’m currently in love with my Lamy fountain pen.  Especially since I just put a purple cartridge in it!

What is it that I’m looking for, though?  I can’t help wondering what kind of fulfillment I’m missing that I have to fill it with a string of, “currently obsessing over…” items.  It seems some deep soul-searching might be in my near future.

Meanwhile…..I’ll be at my desk….doodling in my planners.  🙂

brigitte

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Time Flies…

It gets away quickly when you’re not paying attention, doesn’t it?

It’s been a dismal start to the year so far, but I have HIGH hopes for the rest of it…beginning tomorrow.  Why?  Because it’s Chinese New Year, signifying the beginning of the Year of the Horse.  Guess what I am?  Yep…..a Horse.  🙂

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Not everything I’ve read has agreed that Horses tend to have a good year in the Year of the Horse, but more often than not they fare better than in many non-Horse years.  Hopeful, right?

So far, I’ve managed to NOT keep ANY of my New Year’s resolutions.  My excuse is that tomorrow actually signals MY “new year,” and so I will become accountable beginning then.  Hey – that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

How about you?  New Year’s resolutions trashed or on track?  How has the first month of 2014 treated you?  What hopes do you have for the rest of the year?

Humor · Laugh! · Life in General · Personal · Updates

More Convos With My Mom

Thank goodness my mom retains her sense of humor.  Actually, in a lot of ways she’s more childlike than ever.  Not just because her mental capacity is shrinking, but because her world has much less stress, less anxiety, less worry.  Her natural, fun loving, silly self is beginning to show through, a side I’ve rarely seen.  I’m enjoying it quite a bit!

Recently, we were in the car going to eat dinner, and talking about her age.  She has the normal aches and pains that beset all of us later in life.  “After all, you ARE 79, Mom,” I told her.  She says, “79?!?”  “How old are you?” she asks.  I tell her I’m 46.  She exclaims again, “46?!  You don’t look 46!”  “How old do I look?”  “47!”  🙂  Ba dum dum.

A thousand comedians are out of work and you wanna be funny.  😉  LOL!

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I’m Finally FREE!

It’s taken me quite some time to get to this place in life, and I mostly like the person I am.  Sure, I have my moments, things get me down sometimes.  Who doesn’t?  Life is like that, I guess.  Hard work, sweat, tears, blood.  It hasn’t been all bad, of course.  But when things were down….they were REALLY down.

I had an epiphany about a week ago, and then I saw this pic on Facebook.  It was like a flashbulb went off in my head.  OMGosh….really?

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Boy have they got THAT right!

All this time I felt guilty, like I was the one that was wrong, or that something was wrong with me.  I thought if I only lost weight, didn’t express an opinion, agreed with everything, they’d love me, finally.  But nothing I do, or say, or think can make the people who’ve been bullying me my whole life less poisonous.  They are who they are because of their own past, the events and people that shaped them.  It’s NOT my fault, and I’m NOT going to take the blame any longer.

I’m done apologizing for being me.  I’m done letting the judgments hurt me or make me feel unworthy.  I’m done worrying about what people think.  From now on, I’m gonna do what I want to do, and to heck with the rest.  It’s MY life, right?  I wasn’t put here to make anyone but ME happy!

Like my mom always says, “I’m ok, it’s the REST of the world that’s wrong!”  Amen, momma!

brigitte pink with black border

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Colloquialisms……AKA, it’s pe-KAHN! :)

For whatever reason, it's a "boo-wie" knife in Texas and D.C.*

I read this article a few months ago and then forgot about it, but I’m constantly fascinated by the origin of names and words, and pronunciation of common terms in different regions, so I revisited it today.

This study from North Carolina State (I’m a Tar Heel fan….still interesting, LOL) depicts those very differences in the phrases, pronunciation and even the terminology used by different regions.  A “crawdad” for example (which is what I call them, incidentally) is a “crayfish” in the Northeast.  Some southerners say “pe-KAHN” while others say “pee-CAN.”  My husband, a North Carolina native, is illustrative of this……he says “pee-CAN” while I’m constantly trying to correct him, “it’s PE-KAHN!”

Check out this link for 22 Maps That Show How Americans Speak English Totally Differently From Each Other.  I hope you find it as interesting as I have!