Thursday, June 20, 2013

Kindergarten memories

My sis just posted some pictures from her grandson's graduation from Kindergarten. One photo was of his essay, "What I learned in Kindergarten." It reminded me of what I learned in Kindergarten...
I learned:
  • To Paint! I remember being assigned to my easel, and given a full-body smock to wear (plastic-coated, I think, with several large pockets at the bottom for easy access to my supplies). I remember applying lots of wide swaths of color. I loved all the colors! That transfered also to coloring, where I could be happy for hours with the giant-sized box of 64 crayons....(I wouldn't mind having a box today, come to think of it...) But it wasn't just about the color, as our class was set to work one day "painting" the outside of the building...with brushes dipped in water! Just going through the motion of painting was good enough. 
  • It's ok to take a nap in the middle of the day. Another exercise I wouldn't mind re-instituting into my life today.
  • Achieving goals is rewarding. (I still have my Kindergarten diploma.)
  • I look really good in short hair. 

Paying it forward

Got an email from my mom yesterday. She had read the blog about the panhandler and shared her own version:
Your random act of kindness just paid off for me....I went to Stuart's kindergarten graduation then took him for mini golf and lunch at A&W.  I orderd the foot long hot dog and root beer float, he ordered nuggets and a root beer float. I wasn't too embarrassed to find the bill was $12.00 and I only had $5 left after paying for golf and water balloons. I had to cancel my order and just have Stuie eat.  The waitress brought his order and I said, "I am sorry but I can't leave you a very big tip (.90) as I thought you took credit cards but the sign says 'cash only.'"  I explained to her why I was short of cash.  She left and returned with my original order a few minutes later.  I said, "You must be mistaken--I cancelled the hot dog dinner."  She then told me that the man at the table behind me paid for it.  Seems a father and daughter were celebrating her going from second to third grade, and he overheard me explaining my situation. He told the waitress to bring the order and he would pay. Of course I got all teary and had to tell him about your and Rachel's experiences and promised him I would pass on his kindness in like manner.
And so it goes--paying it forward makes the world a better place, one hot dog (or taco) at a time!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Working in a library, I love the serendipity of finding random books/music/videos from browsing. (Well, I'm not really browsing. I'm helping with the shelving because we are down some staff members due to illness. But one has to look at what one is shelving before putting it on the right spot on the shelf, right?)
Yesterday I found a Ben Folds cd, and granted, it only had one song on it that I liked, but the message in that one song is very thought provoking. It is called From Above, from the Lonely Avenue cd, and the lyrics are:
They even looked at each other once
Across a crowded bar
He was with Martha
She was with Tom
Neither of them really knew what was going on.
A strange feeling of never,
Heartbeats becoming synchronized
And staying that way forever.
Most of the time
It was just near misses,
Air kisses
Once in a bookstore, once at a party
She came in as he was leaving
And years ago, at the movies, she sat behind him
A six-thirty showing of 'While You Were Sleeping'
He never once looked around
It's so easy from above
You can really see it all
People who belong together
Lost and sad and small
But there's nothing to be done for them
It doesn't work that way
Sure we all have soulmates
But we walk past them every day

And it's not like they were ever actually unhappy
In the lives they lived
He married Martha
She married Tom
Just this vague notion that something was wrong
An ache, an absence, a phantom limb
An itch that could never be scratched.
Who knows whether that's how it should be
Maybe our ghosts live in that vacancy
Maybe that's how books get written
Maybe that's why songs get sung
Maybe we owe the unlucky ones

So, have you found your soulmate?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Happy Endings

Last week my daughter called me to "confess" that she messed up. She was upset that she didn't follow through quick enough on a prompting to help someone. A woman in line at Panda Express in front of her had her card denied and had to leave without her food. Said empathetic daughter told the cashier she would pay for the woman's items, but by then, the woman had left and couldn't be seen in the vicinity, so the moment passed. Flash forward to my recent experience. I was at a stop light and saw the unkempt old man with the ubiquitous cardboard sign. The only word I noted, which was darkened, was "HUNGRY." I knew I had no food in the car and rationalize it's no good to give money, and then the light changed and I moved on. But immediately my daughter's recent experience came into my mind and I thought, "I can do SOMETHING right now." I drove the few blocks to Taco Bell, bought the Big Box Meal and turned back to the intersection, hoping the man would still be there. He was. I rolled down the window and extended my offering, calling out, "Dinner?" He ran over, took the food gratefully and said, "Wow! this is great! Thanks!" I drove off, but not without emotion overtaking me and tears pricking the corners of my eyes. I called my daughter to tell her what had occurred and why. Her experience had prompted my actions.
But the story didn't end there. That night I lay in bed and remembered that my scripture study that morning had been cut short, and I wanted to finish the chapter I had started. I turned to where I'd left off 12 hours earlier and read:
11 And again I say unto you as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye have known of his goodness and have atasted of his love, and have received abremission of your sins, which causeth such exceedingly great joy in your souls, even so I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own cnothingness, and his dgoodness and long-suffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of ehumilityfcalling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing gsteadfastly in the faith of that which is to come, which was spoken by the mouth of the angel.
 12 And behold, I say unto you that if ye do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the alove of God, and always bretain a remission of your sins; and ye shall grow in the cknowledge of the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true.  
16 And also, ye yourselves will asuccor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the bbeggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.
 17 Perhaps thou shalt asay: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just—
 18 But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God.
 19 For behold, are we not all abeggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?
 20 And behold, even at this time, ye have been calling on his name, and begging for a aremission of your sins. And has he suffered that ye have begged in vain? Nay; he has poured out hisbSpirit upon you, and has caused that your hearts should be filled with cjoy, and has caused that your mouths should be stopped that ye could not find utterance, so exceedingly great was your joy.
 21 And now, if God, who has created you, on whom you are dependent for your lives and for all that ye have and are, doth grant unto you whatsoever ye ask that is right, in faith, believing that ye shall receive, O then, how ye ought to aimpart of the substance that ye have one to another. (Mosiah 4:11-21)
I was overwhelmed with the Spirit, testifying to me of the love of my Heavenly Father, His mindfulness of me and my family, and how He wants to bless us. I was grateful for this opportunity to be receptive to His promptings, not only to help another fellow human being, but to comfort my daughter and uplift her, and to received this special "God wink" through His scriptures. My heart is filled with joy! 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

National Running Day

Today is (most likely among many other "national days" celebrations) National Running Day. As this fact was unbeknownst to me when I made the decision last night to run this morning for the first time in weeks, I'm going to label this a coincidence. The slow 2-mile run went well and my previously injured knee felt good during and after so that bodes well. Also coincidentally, my daughter called for advice on running shoes, so I guess the spirit of the day has permeated our subconscious.

“It’s very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit.” – George Sheehan

"Every day is a good day when you run."
-Kevin Nelson