Fandango’s Story Starter #14

Fandango has a fun story starter this week as I immediately went into Halloween mode, after all, it is October. Come join in with your imagination on this fun Story Starter and let your creative juices flow.

I heard the music as I entered the room, but all that was there…

The storm had been relentless last night and this muddy mess did not help in getting up the driveway to the house.

“Why am I being drawn back to Grandma’s house? She has been gone for over three years.”

Her mom had told her that everything in the house had been sold but her old broken piano. They would dispose of it when the house sold. She thought back to the summers she spent there. The laughter…the music. This was why she studied music. She so wanted to be the pianist her grandmother had been but the talent seemed to have eluded her so she taught instead. But many people loved her playing and her teaching was highly sought after. So she stayed in the background away from the dreams of being onstage. As she pulled up in front of the house, the sun began breaking through the clouds. The ‘For Sale’ sign loomed ominously sideways from the storm. The thought of someone else living here made her sad. Taking her keys, she open the door to the empty mustiness that was far from the memories of the bright sunny days she remember so well. The sun was streaming with split rays through the dusty living room windows. The light caught an object leaning against the wall and made Jessica smile. Her walking stick was still leaning in the corner. She could not believe it was still around. She walked over and picked it up, studying her name that her grandfather had carved. She remember fondly the great adventures from the back yard. He had a small apple orchard in the back but to a small child it was huge. She walked over to the sunroom and stood in the doorway remembering the beautiful music her grandmother would play as she and Grandpa would explore the vast outdoors. The piano leaned crookedly against the wall as one leg was completely broken off. Then she remembered the music again…no waitshe is hearing it.

“I heard the music as I entered the room, but all that was there was the broken piano against the wall,” she explained later to her mom when she told her about her visit. She told her of the whispers she heard about not giving up on her dream, that her talent was there and of other things only her grandmother knew. She was shaken but renewed and peaceful as well.

“It may have been a dream or some sort of hallucination of remembered love but it was more real than I have know in some years,” Jessica explained.

“So, what are you going to do about it?” her mom asked hoping that whatever this was, it would be enough to help her get over her stage fright and weak self-esteem. She knew the local symphony was searching for a new pianist and that in her mind she thought her daughter would be perfect for it. Of course she was prejudiced as this was her only daughter of 3 other children.

“I don’t know,” said Jessica, “but I think I owe it to Grandma to not give up just because of some bad experience from college. Oh, and I found my walking stick that Granpa made for me.”

“Maybe that will help you walk a different path. Not to pressure you, but the Symphony still has not found a pianist.”

“I dunno, mom. That’s an awful big step. That’s like trying to win the Olympics without training.”

“You train every day, Jessica. What have you got to lose?”

“I will think about it.”

In all of life we face challenges that can either enhance or thwart our dreams. If our dreams are not fully attainable, we must never lose the love those dreams gave us. Use that love to make another dream. That dream may be better than your original dream. And with all paths in all our dreams, remember to be kind. Kindness can make dreams for others come true.

Always Be Kind

Fun and Wet Walk

Today, our community came together to walk for the awareness of hunger across the globe. I have not seen the total amount we raised in our area but it was fun getting together with others and sharing a common cause. We in USA have a tendency to take for granted the ability of opening our fridge and grabbing a snack or being able to plan a wonderful meal. There was a message I read recently from the missionaries that we help support through International Missionaries. They stated that the mind set of the people they serve in the Dominican Republic was thankfulness if they got to eat that day. They feel it is a gift from God for each meal on any given day. That is a hard concept to get our privileged minds around. So I challenge all of us to pray for the people across the world – even in our own privileged countries, there are those who go without food. And lift a special pray for those impoverished countries who think it is a gift from God to be able to eat. If you get the opportunity to join in on one of these special fund raisers, do so. It really does go to a great cause.

Below are pictures of our group along with others who joined in for a great day – even though we got rained on.

Remember, there are those who are struggling in life just as we all do. Let us remember to always be kind. Kindness shows a beauty that some never get to see.

Bazar Things That Make Us Laugh

I don’t know if it is because of my quirky personality or just a loose screw but the newer fad of putting googly eye on inanimate objects makes me laugh. Recently a friend of mine, who has the same loose screw, sent me a photo and told me where to go to look up more photos of the same and I did. After a good chuckle, I decided a story needed to be written, to remind us to laugh even when it hard, and for us here to not forget the recent derecho that pushed through Iowa leaving millions of dollars of damage. Some are still dealing with its aftermaths. A derecho is like a short termed hurricane running across the ground. So here you go…as told by the local trees.

The Storm of 2020, In Memory of Slim

Did you hear what happened to Slim
You mean about the storm that tore through here?
I hear he is down for the count.
I saw a lot of good friends go down, some broke in half.
No! Say it ain’t so. Slim was a mighty oak!
I hear tell he just lays there weeping like a willow.
Oh, woe is me. My top notch is gone, limbs are broken, I am doomed I tell you, doomed.
Don’t give up Slim. Look what I was able to do when I go blown down. My limbs are growing strong still. Still try to reach for the sun.
Or you can be like us Slim. When our original tree fell, we became four trees. So don’t ever give up. God always had a plan for each of us.

This silly story does have a heart to heart true message. Life can be hard and can knock you down from time to time. But don’t give up. That life storm may be just the thing to help you be what God needs you to be. Hang on, reach out to His hand and left Him guide you through all of life’s storms.

Let His goodness, love, patience, peace and kindness wrap around you snuggly so that you can show others that God never leaves you alone. He is always by your side. So have faith as best as you can, smile as much as you can and always be kind, even when it is hard.

Enormous Thank You

We all feel this is a year that we would like a reboot or rewind on. Even as careful as we tried to be at our church, Covid still got in. It is the world we now live in and we all need to make adjustments and sacrifices to not only protect ourselves but all those around us. We need to be better than careful.

As many of you who read my blog know that I have been smothered since October with crafts for Christmas and I can now say…I AM FINISHED!!! YEA! Dreams were way too big this year but it all got done and it is all up…on trees(there are 4), on walls, on shelves and yes, on my fence. Tonight I will start showing what I did as some of you have seen preliminaries. But since this is Thanksgiving week, being thankful is first and foremost.

I made a sign for my fence that is 4 feet long and about 2 feet high honoring all of you who have been so important to everyone for the last 8 months. It has 3 Christmas trees that I painted ornaments on it to represent those people and professions that have kept us going and safe. It is not a great work of art but it is a great work of heart and I sincerely thank all of you for being the willing essential workers to keep this world going during these horrific times. I sincerely hope all of you know how much you are appreciated. Enjoy my fun, feel the heart of my thanks and have a blessed Thanksgiving.

And always remember, being kind is a gift to be shared even when it may be small. No gift id kindness is ever wasted.

Insurance verses Assurance

I missed church yesterday. Bummer. I walked out to the car, got in, drove to the corner and noticed it didn’t feel right. THEN I noticed the light was on telling me I had tire pressure issues. We get so intent on our task sometimes, we totally miss the warning signs given us. Sure enough, when I got out and looked I saw the driver side front tire was flat. So I drove around to the alley and parked in the driveway to change the tire(which in itself was a nightmare). I usually park out front because that keeps me on one level with no stairs. Stairs and I are not good friends anymore, due to that thing we call aging. So today I took the tire to Blain’s for review because I have road hazard insurance with them since that is where I bought those tires. A great thing to have by the way as I got a new $139 tire for $15. While there I found out that the hole was in the sidewall. How in the world did that happen so I asked to see it. This is what it looked like. The angle of the cut was …well…

My daughter says I was having a conspiracy theorist moment thinking why someone would do that on one tire. But after the spray paint issue of last year, yeah I believe it. Then when I get home, my neighbor has the auto club changing their drivers side front tire. Coincidence?? Maybe…but here is what I do know. It really doesn’t matter because God is in full control and He is good all the time. I was safe in my home and not on the road when this hole suddenly appeared. 


We have life exploding all around us and a lot of it we don’t even see in our visual realm.

But John  reminds us we have someone who is ever watchful in all we do; protecting, loving and nurturing.

The bible is filled with encouragement to help us when we get scared and unsure of what is happening. He is always reminding us that He is close by.

To think that He sings over me. How awesome is that. So we can be ASSURED of His love and it strengthens us with faith and hope.

I think that sometimes we get so consumed with what is going on around us, we forget WHO lives in us. Even when things are going good, we forget that. So let us close our eyes in grateful praise to Him above who is mindful of everything that comes our way.

And remember to allow the goodness we feel to shine outward to those who need a taste of it and be kind. Kindness has a beauty all its own.

The Old Oak Tree

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The Cycle of Life

I sit and I wonder at the beauty I see

The flicker of the light through the old oak tree

Shimmering green against the pale blue sky

Watching the birds zoom through as they fly

The grass beneath is beginning to turn brown

Still you hold every leaf so it doesn’t fall down

As the air turns cooler for this time of year

I look for the colors changes we hold so dear

For many the oak is a symbol of great life

With its strength and resilience bypassing its strife 

She holds on to her leaves and sheds them last

A reminder to us all, this life goes too fast

We forget the truths of the stories we are told

That life is a cycle much purer than gold.

Anita Neal

With the understanding of life as we live through it paces, lets us never forget the stories of old that teach us the values that come from life, nature and God’s wonderful story of you. We are each His greatest creation because we reflect His love and His being. Like the old oak tree understanding the value of each leaf, God understand the value of each of us. Remember how precious you are to God and reflect His kindness wherever you go.

 

Kindness 18

Is It a Full Moon?? Evening Humor

Do you have those days when you think…why did I get out of bed?? Linda G Hill has a post she shares periodically called “What Day is it Anyway?” so I have one to share with you that I am still not sure was real except for the spot still on my sidewalk when I got home…

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Let’s start the day over..(Oh, good grief no) but only with words.

Got to sleep until 7 before the dogs wanted up, which was great as it is usually 6 when they start stiring. Don’t know why I complain as before retiring I was up at 5…but I am retired now…well semi, didn’t like full retirement.

The morning routine was normal – took my shower, had a bagel with cream cheese and was ready in plenty of time to leave for my part time job. I had plenty of time for a quick email to my boys to let them know I love them…it’s a mom thing. I get that done, put the puppy up, gather my lunch bag, my keys, my phone and set the alarm and I am good to go. I open the door and all hell breaks lose…

Scooting right between my legs into the house is a chipmunk aka ground squirrel. My bird feeder attracts them but usually they run from you. Don’t know what spooked him to run towards me…and Mimi, a coonhound/black lab mix, 65 pounds.

Chip

And the chase was on. I could  not help but think of my friend Carl and his squirrel story as it ran through his house with his two small dogs chasing. Good grief.

Mimi is barking that high pitched coon hound holler/bark thing they do, tables are being knocked about, I chasing both trying to catch the squirrel with a dish towel that was being used as a dust cloth and then…the alarm goes off because I didn’t close the front door. Crap! I got it turned off before it went full bore and called the police, meanwhile squirrel and dog are going nuts but fortunately staying in one room. The squirrel made a dash for the hall  but Mimi hit the broom going after him and knocked it down spooking the squirrel who did a quick u-turn right inside the bookcase since the bottom of it was empty. I grabbed the (new) round dog bed and covered him to keep him in there so I could grab him. I am crawling on the floor trying to catch this varmint, and I am sure this was an interesting chuckle for my guarding angel and who ever may have been watching from heaven. You know they do.

Thinking I have him, I get to my feet only for him to wiggle free and fall out of my hands…right into Mimi’s mouth. NO! I screamed and sweet Mimi dropped him but I think the damage was done. He lay there limp but I was able to get him back outside to hopefully regain consciousnesses and run/limp away. I lay him gently in the shady part of my front stoop and went back inside…to start the routine over. Got Mimi settled with a Milk Bone, reset the alarm and out I go. I check on the squirrel and he is still unconscious but seems to be breathing. I look toward my car…wait, where is my car…oh, crap again!! We had a bad storm last night and I moved my car to the garage in case we had hail. The garage is out back with the walkout basement. I park out from so I don’t have to deal with stairs. I lower my head shaking…I am not going back in that house, I will just walk around.

I get to the gate and can’t get it open. Because of the rain, the wood had swollen locking the gate in place. The people who put up my fence really did not understand what all was involved in putting up a fence…I am sure you have read my earlier post of that nightmare and me having to rebuild the front portion of my fence.

Now what? No way can I climb the fence. The triangle hoe thingy was laying there where I dug up some weeds the other day so I used it to slip in the crack between the gate and the fence and pry to gate open…eating up precious time in trying to get to work on time.

 

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Finally got the gate open and I head between my house and my neighbors house to get to the back yard. Got to the garage, no issue, got to the car no issue. So I opened the passenger side door to put in my lunch bag and my breakfast juice and realize…I don’t have my purse. This time its D___!

I get in the car, drive back around to the front of the house to go get my purse. I almost have to body slam the gate to get it open – the hoe is on the ground inside the fence. I go inside, unset the alarm, grab my purse, reset the alarm and finally I am off to work! I did not shut the gate…just in case I needed to come back for some reason.

So, that was my day start…how was yours…

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Life is filled with things that can drive us nuts if we let it. It is hard to keep our calm at those times but rewarding when we can. Sometimes we can even chuckle at life as it throws its curve balls. Remember to watch for those curve balls but swing hard for the good pitches. God will reward us when we do. And as always remember to be kind, even when you don’t feel kind…

kind storm

Life Happens, Sometimes Too Much

I have not posted in nearly a week or so as Life does seem to happen in a big way at times and changes our direction. On Friday we got yet another weekend snow event as they call them here. Anything over 3 inches is an even, otherwise its just snow. The event came on the heals of some excessively cold single digits with wind chills in the -20. And as temp warmed, the snow turned to ice. Its been fun. I question myself when these events happen… Why did I move from the south…then when summer hits and temps are in upper 80’s or low 90’s, then I remember no triple digit temps for months at a time. But this even was especially not fun as it froze the pipes in the kitchen, causing them to burst on Monday(while at work). So AGAIN, the basement is flooded.

The snow also covered up the dish so no TV and no internet…Well Linda, I got lots of coloring done for the 1st of February’s Adult coloring prompt. But it began to warm up a bit, enough to start melting this 6″ mess, which actually brings up the theme for the prompt. Pictures below show last years flood that lasted 5 months.

ballpark flood

We had record snowfall, combined with record spring rains, combined with record breaking heights to Mississippi River flood records for the area. Some people still have not gotten back into their homes fully or are just now getting back in. The water level really never went down like they do in the fall and so far the last two week we have had over a foot of snow – which is melting and will probably finish melting next week, swelling the river. Lower Mississippi River states are already seeing flood stages begin and its just January. Water is nothing to mess with, whether in your home or a massive river like the Mississippi.

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So if you come across raised waters this spring or even before, please be cautious. It can get dangerous quick. Keep in mind the families and businesses near this river as this may be another bad flood year. Mother earth is kind of ticked off right now.

I leave you with the beauty it this earth can display so that we leave it with happier thoughts.

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Remember the beauty but also keep in mind those who are struggling with the issues life brings us and be kind and supportive of them.

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Fandango’s Question as a 1 Liner

Today’s Provocative Question from Fandango ties right in with a possible 1 liner from Linda Hill.

Would you be willing to give up everything you have if you could go back and start your life all over again? Why or why not?

The answer is No. It is our past that makes our present.  Scripture tells us that through our trials we gain strength and preserver onward. While trials, problem or difficulties we may come across can be hard we have a choice – we own it or it owns us. I chose to be the owner and through the grace of God, preserver.

If you live in the US, may you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. If you do not then have a wonderful week and may you remember to always be kind.

kindness warmth

 

Does Your Fridge Know You?

Who besides me loves refrigerator magnets?  I have many but love my smiley face ones. Recently I had to replace my refrigerator and the stuff that was all over my fridge fill a Walmart plastic bag. Sad. My fridge was suffocated by my stuff. Not all was junk, some was grandkid pictures, neat magnets of places I had been, thought provoking pictures and cartoons and etc.

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And of course reminders and appointments

We go in and out of our fridges multiple times a day so its a place that sometimes collects our happy thoughts. I know my does. Although I did clean up the new fridge a bit, after all, the grandbabies are now in school and no longer babies. It is now in a purposeful order, heart on the front, smiles on one side and important business card and data on the other side.

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Picture of me that was in the paper when I face painted for the kids park, precious pictures of dogs that show their heart, magnets my daughter cross stitched for me, and important reminders.

One side shows my two favorite B.C. cartoons, the all important recipe for instant mash potatoes because the box itself was destroyed and the potato flakes ended up in a plastic container and an reminder from a meeting at church on showing kindness. The other side show business cards for repairmen.

My refrigerator has become my visual communication board helping me to remember some appointment stuff while reminding me the important heart reminders of caring, kindness and ways to smile.

Does your fridge talk to you? Share of you like, its part of who we are.

As my fridge reminds me to smile and be kind, I also remind you to smile and be kind. You never know how that kind gesture may just change someone world.

kind ripples