Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Little Snow Begs for a Lot of Patience

We had our first "official" snow fall yesterday.  I say official because even though we had a dusting prior to Thanksgiving, yesterday's actually stuck, and stuck, and stuck, and...  The day started off with a little rain. OK, who am I kidding?  It was like a monsoon in the middle of fall.  I think Mother Nature fell asleep and pushed the wrong precipitation button, then when she woke up she realized the mistake and promptly turned it off and pressed the snow button.  I kid you not.  It wasn't a gradual change, no, it was about as subtle as a freight train.  The thing that gets me, living in the Midwest, is how many people have to re-learn how to drive in the winter.  It is almost like the seasons we have surrounding any that contain snow fall erase all winter driving memory and common sense.  Which brings me to my random thoughts, below are a few I had from this season's christening.

1.  Snow plows are optional until 6 inches or more have fallen.
2.  There is always that "one guy" in the red car who has to blow by the rest of us...yes, the one in the ditch a mile up the road.
3.  Why do the morons always drive red cars?
4.  A 4x4 does not make you invincible.
5.  Do not hold a schedule during the season's first snow fall, you will inevitably be disappointed.
6.  A snow plow can, and will, throw snow across 4 lanes of a city street.
7.  Vehicles were designed with 3 heat settings: 1) cold - the windows are going to fog up, 2) warm - the windows are still going to fog up, and 3) hot - you need to roll the windows down in order to breath, but hey, there is no fog.
8.  Don't have the windows down when a snow plow is going by, a couple lanes over, in the opposite direction.
9.  When re-routed due to road obstructions, look for all applicable road signs.
10.  When there is a chance you will go through an immense amount of standing water remember the lesson on line 8.
11.  Fill your gas tank up prior to beginning your journey - sage advice regardless of the season.
12.  November 1st is the official "Put Your Ice Scrapper In Your Vehicle Day."  OK, it isn't but it should be that way you have it when you need it.
13.  Christmas songs do not lighten the mood when surrounded by idiocy.
14.  Keep a spare novel, puzzle book, pad of paper, pencil, box of crayons, some snacks, etc in your vehicle during the winter...you will thank yourself later.
15. Pay attention to the "Bridge May Be Icy" sign; it actually does mean something 4-5 months out of the year.
16.  Call or text your loved ones when you have reached your destination; it prevents them from calling in the National Guard looking for you.

I'd be interested in hearing your random thoughts in regards to the season's first snow fall, so leave a comment or two. 


Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Season of Thanksgiving

This past Thursday we celebrated Thanksgiving with my family at my mom's house.  There is just something altogether magical about the day. OK, I admit, magical is not the word to use; perhaps special is a much better choice.  I love Thanksgiving.  Lets start there.

Thanksgiving is so many things to so many people.  To me, it is a day that holds no pretense.  What does this mean, you ask.  Simply, it means that the day is filled with no expectations.  No expectations of what did the gift cost, does my hair look the best, is my outfit going to meet approval, will I say the right thing, will I do the right thing, am I loved?  No, Thanksgiving is that day when you shed all those expectations and reflect on the fact that; you had the money to buy the gift in the first place, you haven't had to fight a cancer that robbed you of your hair, you have the opportunity to be clothed completely, you get to spend time in conversation with others who won't judge you unwarranted, but rather give you corrective criticism and steer you in a clearer direction, and when you do do the wrong thing, pick you up, dust you off and love you anyhow.  That is why I love Thanksgiving.  It is the one day when the silver lining, in all things, is the focus.  A day when, above all else, time spent together gets to come first.

I don't have a perfect family, but they are perfect for me.  I think God gives us the families we have for several reasons, but mostly because He designed our paths and placed us where we will be of the most use.  Despite all the humanness in us all, it is God who uses us to touch other's lives. I know I may fail repeatedly and wish for a more divinely inspired narrative, but trust that despite it all, I will remain true to myself and yielded enough to His molding and teaching to be the beacon of light my family needs.  I know also that there are going to be bumps in the road, forks approached and the wrong path taken, but through it all, I have God and the love of my family to see me through.

The "adults" table...missing 3...I think the camera scares people off...and then there is the timing aspect - other houses some have to go to first.

The "kids" table...missing my brother's kids...again, timing... NOTE:  these are actually the perfect picture of my kids...it tells their personalities to a T!  Audrey - "Mom, get that thing out of my face I just want to eat.  Kelly - really, another picture, really?! and Lillian - "I'm a ham bone, but I come by it honestly."

A "friendly" game of electronic Monopoly.  Whoever thought letting my brother be the banker, well, that's another story for another time, but regardless, here is the the whole crew, minus me and the hubby of course!

Ah yes, my hubby looking over the Black Friday ads and the kids all playing Just Dance 2 on the Wii.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Today's Random Thoughts

I had a thought process I wanted to take today, but I couldn't seem to get all the letters and words to come together in a coherent manner.  Therefore, what I will do instead is share today's random thoughts.  They are after all, another form of eloquent prose!

1. Sometimes the search for answers takes you outside of Google's boundaries.

2. Relationships require more than words.

3. Blood family makes for a strong bond; don't underestimate the power it holds.

4. You can still love a person despite the choices they have made.

5. If you want unconditional love this side of eternity; get a dog.

6. Children are one of God's way of saying; "I think you can!"

7. There are times when you have to put your own wants aside for the other person's needs.

8. When things don't seem to be going exactly like you think they should, make sure the motives aren't purely selfish.

9. Wishin' and hopin', thinkin' and dreamin' are great for a song, but when it comes down to brass tacks, prayer works best.

10. No matter how big the problem is; God is still bigger.

11. Sometimes it is ok to just let it go.

12. Asking for advice does not signify ineptness.

13.  If you don't ask; you may never know.

14. Mind reading only happens in comic books.

15. You are never alone; you just have to seek, knock, and ask.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What You Don't See

Have you ever just looked at other people; something akin to noticing what they don't realize others actually see?  Now, I'm not talking about unhealthy observations here - that is just creepy, but observation in general, due to the utter fascination with the other bipedal inhabitants of this crazy sod?  Alright, if you won't come out and admit it then by all means, I will.  There I was today, in the middle of my non-routine, routine.  Ah, yes, I must preface this all with the fact I had a vacation day which afforded me the opportunity to, well, observe my fellow man. 

I went to the corner gas station this morning, which is something I do every day to get my daily dose of diet Pepsi from the fountain, and thus my day begun.  As I approached the light there was a kid, no more than 18 skating away on his skateboard.  He was really into it too, doing tricks and jumps and skating back and forth on the side street in some semblance of an organized frenzy, but in all of that activity not really obtaining any real end result.  I wonder if this kid has goals and dreams, if he finished high school, if he has a job, or if he, like so many others was looked over by his parents as they strove to live their lives for themselves instead of enriching his.  Then there was the pony-tail guy at the check out counter who I could smell from the soda fountain.  It wasn't one of those, I live outside smells, it was one of those, I'm too lazy to focus on hygiene smells.  Now, don't get me wrong there could be a reason for which I have no clue, but that is what comes from watching, you get the perception view of it all, not the fact behind it.  Now pony-tail, bought himself three packs of Pall-Mall, which he argued with the cashier over the cost all the while using his state unemployment card to pay for them then sauntered out the door spouting off about needing to quit soon.  Made me wonder, if that unemployment money, that the fine citizens of this great state are helping to provide, could have been used in a different way.  Then I remembered that there are those who fight their internal wars with external weapons, it appears his weapon of choice was a cigarette.   Next was the young couple who were holding hands and taking a leisurely stroll down the isles at Walmart as I was grocery shopping.  She in what could only be described as pajamas, flannel cartoon character bottoms and skin tight spaghetti strap tank which kindly shared every bit of her voluptuous self to all who gathered to take a look, and he in his jeans and winter coat.  Seems to me if he were any sort of a gentleman he would have offered her his coat to ward off the stares and the cold she was exposing herself to by being out and about in only that get-up.  However, this young couple was a good reminder to me that not everyone knows what good self esteem is.  For instance, this young girl probably believes that dressing in such a way is how her beau will recognize her, but she was so blind to what she wants from him, the attention, to notice that in all of it he wasn't giving her any at all.  I wanted to reach out to her and let her know that she is worth so much more.  We are all worth so much more.

I made many additional observations today, but in all of my looking I realized I am the one who learned today.  The lesson?  We live in a broken world.  A world that drives us to focus on ourselves and forget the lives of others, a world that says it is OK to fight your internal battles with external weapons, and a world that devalues a girl/woman to the point she has to bare all to find something/someone that isn't even looking for her.  I wonder about those who look this way, are they really seeing it like it is?