Sometimes we get stuck seeing things our way. Would you like to see some things through another set of eyes? Maybe it will make you think and stretch or maybe just chuckle or shed a tear. Here is my world through my eyes...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Good Day--two bunnies or five deer

Early each weekday morning around 5:30 I take my youngest daughter to a class that she has at a friend's house.  In our ever encompassing search to find ways to elevate our morning at that time of the day when we generally would prefer to be asleep in bed we have come up with the one and two bunny day.  There are two groups of rabbits that live in our path from our house to that early morning class.  They are not often out and about but when they are we find it fun to see them hopping around in serpentine fashion.  We slow down to be sure that we don't come into contact with them as we want them to be there for another day.  So if we see one rabbit that of course is a one bunny day.  That is a good day right from the start.  A two bunny day, however; is even better!  Last week we had a two bunny day.  We like to imagine that having seen two bunnies that day will mean that the rest of the day will be a great day as well.

On my way back from dropping her off one day this week I saw something even more unusual. I saw a group of five deer going through the yards of one of the neighborhoods.  I slowed down to watch for a couple minutes which of course had them looking at me like, "what are you looking at buddy?"  Five deer going from house to house checking out people's Christmas schlock.  I guess that is the safest time of day for deer to make their rounds to check out Christmas lights or maybe they were going around doing Christmas caroling?  Alas no one was up to invite them in for hot chocolate and goodies.

So naturally my mind turned to the question how does a five deer day compare to a two bunny day.  Both were quite good thank you.  I hope that you have as nice a week as I managed last week.  Bunnies and deer can both bring smiles, that is when the deer are not in the road, like the one that crossed my way last night and caused some quick braking practice. 

To be honest I'm all for finding reasons to be happy when we are doing something good, so I'd rather focus on bunnies and deer rather than the time of the morning or the cold weather and the car heater taking it's time to get going.  I encourage you to find your bunnies and deer to improve your days. 

As it happened good news came about Dad on the five deer day and the two bunny day!  Dad is progressing in his awareness of what is around him and has even given the thumbs up sign a number of times to family and staff at appropriate time to indicate he is aware of what is going on.  Keep it up Dad we are praying for you! 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Waking up

This morning as we do most mornings we knelt together as a family to start our day with a prayer.  We had a good friend visiting this morning so he joined us and we ask him to be voice for our family.  He said a phrase that I have heard him use before in prayer, but today it struck me different.  He said, "Thank Thee for waking us up this morning".  In the past I would inwardly smile at that and didn't give it much credence.  Today however it struck me a little different.  I thought of Dad and how he hasn't woken up for 2 weeks as he lies in a coma. 

Maybe I should be more appreciative of waking up in the morning and recognizing that as a blessing and a privilege and not take it for granted.  It is sobering to contemplate not waking up.  Usually I would think of death but what of being unresponsive for a period of time? 

Maybe I am the recipient of more blessings than I had realized.  I am indeed thankful for waking up even if that might entail some aches and pains, or doing some of the same things over and over, or might have some responsibilities that I don't like, or possibly be earlier than I would like.  Maybe in overcoming my ingratitude I can open my eyes to other blessings that I had formerly taken for granted and show and express more appreciation and gratitude to God as well as others around me.  Thanks DeJuan and Dad for that lesson.  Maybe I'm waking up to see what has always been there before me. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Eyebrows raise and hopes rise

Here’s the latest update about Dad who continues to lie in the hospital, still he hasn’t regained consciousness.  Lesli was visiting last night and was talking to him telling him stuff.  He had a couple of movements and such then as she was talking his eyebrows raise like they would if he were surprised at what he was hearing.  Or perhaps, like a person would do to say ‘hi’ or acknowledge you were there if they couldn’t talk or something.  His movements appeared to be in response to what was going on around him. 
It was fun for me to hear the response of Lisa as she was being told.  She was making one of those women noises kind of like someone was doing something tremendous and unexpected.  Maybe one of the few good things of being in a coma is to have all expectations brought down to ground level so the next thing you do is like the greatest thing ever.  That’s pretty much how it is for Dad right at the moment.  No expectations and a lot of hope as everyone waits and prays for his healing.    
He is being missed mightily by Mom and all of us.  Unfortunately maybe many of us didn't realize what we had until it (or rather he) was gone for a time.  Come back Dad whenever you are ready, we’ll be very excitedly appreciative whenever that occurs. 
Maybe what we should be asking is what was Lesli telling him that got such a positive response?  Next time you find yourself in a rut and need something to raise your eyebrows give my sister-in-law a call!

That's what friends are for

So I’m on my way to work and an old utility truck pulls up next to me.  You know the kind that the city or state buy with metal boxes down both sides of the bed so the workers can get to their tools easily and they can remain secure in the truck. It looks to be 20 years old or so.  I glance over and see my good friend who will remain nameless.  He looks a little rough this morning.  He has his leather jacket on and apparently closed tight.  His breath is coming out in great clouds of smoke.  Breathing hard and apparently a good air conditioner with the outside temperature in the 20s.  He doesn’t appear to have shaved but it might have been the condensation on his windows from his breath.  And the piece de resistance is that when I honk and he glances my way he has a tissue hanging out of one nostril. 
This is not his typical presentation.  Usually he has a nice looking professional car with the appropriate matching attire.  His car is comfortable and warm not requiring breath billows as he drives.  Needless to say he doesn’t usually have extra accoutrements of a tissue hanging out of his nostril either.  Who knows maybe it was “dress like a red-neck day at work” or maybe it is the time of year when the boss decides the raises at work and he wanted them to know he really needed it. 
I wave, he waves and we smile at each other and go on our way.  And, yes we are still friends. 
After all isn’t that what friends are for?  We may see each other when things don’t look right or maybe downright wrong, silly or strange!  But I know who he really is and not what he looked like today; so I can smile, he can smile and no explanation needed. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

New version of an old standard Christmas song 1

This year I ran across a very nice Christmas album by Angels of Venice.  Angels of Venice is a group playing classically influenced harp strong music, sometimes with vocals sometimes without.  I have enjoyed their music for a couple years but was excited to find a Christmas album.  So my first award for a "New Version of an Old Standard Christmas Song" is for Carol of the Bells Vocal version on their Sanctus Album.  Here is the Youtube link so you can listen to it:

I really enjoy the album as a whole but this one is my favorite.  Enjoy!

Christmas Tradition part 2: The Christmas Calendar

Okay, I know right from the start that this will be a surprise to some of you.  Not what I write next, but rather that I consider it a Christmas tradition.  So, a little explanation first might be helpful...maybe. 

Over the years we have had a certain spouse who is very structured and planned.  This particular spouse has married a spontaneous fly by the seat of your pants spouse making an interesting marriage at times.  Sometimes boring but mostly interesting.  As the years have passed, compromises made, learning gained, trust accumulated a certain "tradition" has developed.  I will call it the tradition of "the Christmas calendar". 

Nowadays this turns out to be a very important part of celebrating Christmas in our family.  With folks flying in for the holidays and lots of preparation needed for various activities and many activities crammed into a short time frame it has become important that a planning session be held--a family counsel if you will--to decide what activities will occur at all, when they will occur and who will be responsible for what.  For example it is understood after many years that Lisa will be the administrator for the goodies that are made for the holidays.  I will be the administrator for picking up and returning folks to the airport.  Those duties aren't delineated much anymore because it is understood.   

So yesterday was the big day that we had the family counsel/planning session.  Most of our activities occur after students from the university fly into town and so we had several days with a lot going on.  Various family traditions are planned, dated, ideas of who will be invited and so forth, any adjustments to past traditions discussed, decided on and what needs to be done in the next couple days to keep things on track--all done.  That might sound a little bit dry to some but in reality it was tremendously fun because interspersed through all this was a variety of high hilarity.  A couple of pouting sessions by one child that turned into laughing sessions thanks to another and various takes on "I thought you said..." as our hearing apparently continues to deteriorate.  I find frankly that what I hear is usually much funnier than what was actually said, which for us leads to good times...usually. 

So now everything is calendared and we have our initial marching orders and will move forward working together knowing what we are doing or at least trying to do.  This saves us a lot of hassle later on when time is of the essence and it is important that we are all on the same page.  That is unless we have one of the "I thought what we decided was..." Ha! 

Now, a happier family, because we are planned and we know when we can be spontaneous and when we can't because we are already scheduled and don't have time! 

Monday, December 6, 2010

She returned Home!

When one is married happily for many years and one's spouse leaves due to emergency for a week it is a joyous occasion when she returns home!  Since I am that one and my spouse returned home last night I am feeling pretty good knowing that when I go home she will be there today.  That is of course unless she needs to go shopping to refill various food stuffs that I may have emptied, or to take care of bills that need paying or some other things that didn't get done while she was gone. 

Actually things went pretty smooth while she was gone thanks to the two children that are home.  She did inquire regarding 2% milk.  You see we drink skim milk.  I thought I would splurge while she was gone.  It felt like I was drinking cream which was enjoyable.  However I couldn't manage getting both gallons down before she got back and so I was caught.  She focused on the fact that the remaining 2% was dated later than the left over skim.  I admitted I had splurged and unsuccessfully drank the evidence in time.  She smiled and that was that.  That is how I know she loves me! 

I did finish it off this morning so the evidence is gone and maybe if I'm lucky she will think that she dreamed it since she returned home late and was tired.  I doubt it but it was worth a try.  Besides now that she's home, things feel better and I don't need the extra comfort of the creamy 2% milk.  Things are good!
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