The Window Washer

Along the back of our home, we have several large windows;

I love it when they are clean.

And, usually if I know someone is coming, I go clean them.

(It's rather ludicrous to do so, because within ten minutes of anyone arriving, the windows are covered with fingerprints; outside and in.)

Right now, it's not just fingerprints,

It's bird prints smashed into the window.

About ten days ago, a bird died flying into the window.

On the dining room window at this moment, there is a huge outline of where the bird smacked into the window..

Of course, I do feel sad for the birds...it's hard on them.

But I also feel sad for MOI because I

AM the window washer.....

and have to keep cleaning the windows.

Okay, birdies, now try to just stay away.

You and I will both be much happier!


Money Matters

We are staying at a KOA in a teeny little town with about 900 people (when we are here 902!)

There are two gas stations right across from each other.  STRAIGHT across from each other.

That's important to this writing.

One is a Sinclair with a great little touristy shop with kitzy jewelry, snacks, drinks, etc.

The one directly across the street has no building....it has 4 gas pumps and a tiny shelter-type building with a soda machine.

Here's the thing that's so interesting to me ----

The Sinclair station is always busy; cars, motorcycles, boaters filling up HUGE boats, pick-ups, etc.

The station across the street rarely has anyone pumping gas there.  And, I do mean, rarely.

But, here's what's truly ludicrous.

The gas at Sinclair is TWENTY CENTS MORE A GALLON than across the street!

That doesn't really seem like a lot, but when you are filling a huge boat, a big pick-up, that really ADDS UP!

Frankly, I just don't get it.


Stories from the Hood

The picture over the fireplace mantel was quite stunning.

It was of a large family; each different family dressed in matching colors with the parents/grandparents in black and white.

I admired the picture and said it was amazing that the photographer was able to get that large group to settle down for just a minute.

Yes, she smiled, it was a challenge indeed.

These must be your daughters, I said pointing to two beautiful mothers sitting at opposite ends of the photo....they look so much like you.

Yes, she said.  They are both wonderful mothers, but they haven't spoken to each other in three years. I don't even know if they remember why they aren't speaking, but they aren't.  It's always awkward around them.

My what a tall, handsome young man...your oldest grandson?

Yes, isn't he handsome?  He was the star of his high school basketball team, had a scholarship to play at the local college, but he announced he was gay, so they didn't want him anymore.  Actually, he told us he was transgender...my husband and I didn't even know what that meant!  But, he's a good young man, trying hard to find his place.

That's his father right there.  He just lost his job.  They'll be moving in with us till he can get a job and get on their feet again.  His wife, our daughter, has lupus....it's a challenge.   In fact, they believe the company let him go because of her health issues, but what can you do?

Twins?  That's fun.

Yes, aren't they adorable...they are six now.  Our son works all over the world.  His wife didn't like that lifestyle, so she left him.  But he manages to take such good care of those little girls.  He told us he'll never marry again....not worth it.

This is our oldest granddaughter; she is going to go to West Point next year...she is so excited.  We are so proud of her and all that she has accomplished.  She has started neighborhood food drives, gone on humanitarian missions with various groups; she's just a good, good person.  She's also diabetic, but you would never know it.  She just lives life to the fullest.

Wonderful family, I concluded.

Yes, she said...we are a picture of the modern American family....with all its foibles, challenges, health issues, gender issues, but united in our bond of love.


The Sunday Visits

Sunday Night....

Visiting Time....

Three Sets of Friends.....

Three amazingly different stories to tell......

The cancer survivor and the horrors of her treatment and her endurance and recovery.....

The couple who love to gamble and think nothing of losing $600 - more or less.

And, the neighbors who held a celebration of life for their aunt instead of a funeral.

All unique stories.

All with something interesting to tell.

Oh, I do enjoy the Sunday evening visits.


Stories From the Hood

As Laura stood in the new car display room, waiting for the salesman to do some paper work....

she thought about how expensive the new car was going to be.

She recalled saying that she and her husband would NEVER buy a NEW CAR.

But, then she thought, "We've worked hard, saved all our lives, we're paying cash...we DESERVE this new car!"

Immediately after she THOUGHT that she deserved a new car, she was ashamed....overwhelmingly ashamed.

Because in that quick instant, she thought about others who also DESERVED it, but would never get it:

The check-out man in the dollar store; missing many teeth, always cheerful and helpful...he'd never be able to get a new car, but who is to say he doesn't DESERVE one?

The bank teller, who was so efficient and happy?  She was a single mom trying to just get by.  She had often told Laura about her car troubles and trying to buy a decent used car.  Surely with her hard work, she, too, would DESERVE a new car.

Or, the homeless woman living in her car with her two kids.  She had left an abusive marriage where her husband controlled her every move.  Didn't she DESERVE a new car for all she had suffered?

Laura was humbled.

And, she changed her thinking - not to one of DESERVING - so much as one of CHOOSING to spend her money that way.

It was an eye-opening moment for Laura.....

As she realized she was no more DESERVING than anyone else.

And, ultimately, her challenge was to be more GRATEFUL for her blessings rather than feeling ENTITLED or DESERVING.


The Sunday Visits

His name is Tom; he's so very generous and thoughtful.

And, I had heard about the big fish hanging in his front room.

So, after church, we stopped by to say hello.

Oh, yes, the two fish were big, but I was distracted by something entirely different.

Now, I don't mean to sound critical of 78 year old Tom in any way.

But as I looked around, all I could think of was his family having to go through all his STUFF upon his demise.  I know that's not something to think about and he's healthy and in good shape, but somehow, I seem to think of that kind of thing at this point in my life.

Whenever I go to an older person's home, I am amazed at WHAT we cling to, and WHY we cling to it.

Our families do NOT want all our "STUFF!"

Tom's table was knee deep in bills, ads, circulars, papers, etc.  No one would be able to eat at the table.  There were knickknacks all around covered in layers of dust.   And, that's okay because he's comfortable with that.

Somehow, I always think of the people who have to go in and clean out out the papers, junk, memorabilia, that WE - the deceased - leave behind.

BUT, it's always a good reminder to me, don't worry about the little mote in another person's place, but get rid of the beams in your own home.

Ah, now there's the challenge.  I'm working on it and will continue to do so.

STUFF begone!

Cousins Coincidence

Dixie texted; she wanted to meet us for lunch. Dixie is Allen's 2 or 3 COUSIN; who knows, but anyway, they are related.  She is won...