Life takes it’s toll in one way or another.
When the opportunity arises for you to stop and smile, do it!
Ever take the same route over and over again so many times you could do it in your sleep? Not that it would be advisable that you do it in your sleep of course but you feel fairly confident you could, if you had to?
For me, it’s the morning school route with one carpool stop.
A few weeks ago, as I set out on this everyday journey and slowed at the first traffic light, something that’s normally not in my peripheral vision at this point caught the corner of my eye.
Once a year a neighboring town hosts a Hot-Air Balloon Festival but that’s not until July.
This was a little out-of-the-ordinary.
As I rounded the corner at yet another traffic light along this established route of travel, I came upon an extra-large cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee — on two legs — waving to me.
This does not happen every day.
And when I got to our morning carpool, this fella was waiting in the driveway to greet us. ‘Nope, it’s not Turkey Season’, I thought. Heck, it’s not even November. Like the balloon, the walking cup of coffee and the rain-shower that came out of nowhere just before we got there, this occurrence was random.
But, not as random as seeing this scene or rather, this scenery, being pulled along the main street of our fare city as I continued on my way to work, after dropping the kids off at school.
When was the last time you saw something like this on your regular route?
All of this randomness in such a short period of time, didn’t feel so random all of sudden and it made me stop and smile.
(This smile was not random. It’s not even mine but it was spontaneous, taken on that same day and it seems to fit here nicely.)
Maybe the universe was trying to send me a message. At times it seems as though life is taking it’s toll, daily.
Maybe these silly sightings in a single swoop on a morning that began with clear skies that quickly turned cloudy and even rainy before returning to sunshine within the span of 4o-minutes, were meant to be the gentle reminder of that which I already know but often forget:
The only certain thing about life, is that nothing is certain.
You never know what may present itself to you at any given moment, in any given day. You never know who will enter your life or who will leave it. It is however, worth appreciating here and now, as it is, before it changes because for certain, it will.
“….He doesn’t know what lies ahead
But he’s always willing to try,
And he hopes he’s always alert to hear
The sounds of a little child’s cry…”
~ Walter J. Hall
This weekend a local firehouse had a party and invited a few close friends.
Many came on foot but most rolled into town, all donning their Sunday Best. They were sparkling and shiny and ready to party!
Pride and dignity accompanied them.
They came to help our Hughsonville Fire Company celebrate 100-years of service. One-hundred-years. It was a sight to behold, one that stirred emotion and awe; something you may only have the opportunity to see once-in-a-life-time, at a centennial celebration.
Among the rolling revelers were The Beast, The Beast from the East, Big Mother II, Foam Boy and Always Ready…
On hand and in honor of this celebration were a few “old-timers” as well…
The trucks were impressive. The men and woman were inspirational. Are admirable. Often the first to respond to an emergency scene, Firefighters arrive ready to react. These men and women endure rigorous training and are expected to maintain a calm demeanor in the face of crisis, instantly assess a situation and make sound decisions on how to proceed. Many of them do this on a volunteer basis and do not get paid.
Who chooses such a physically demanding career that requires rock-solid resolve and the ability to summon a courage that surmounts all traces of fear in a moment’s notice?
They are the moms and dads at any given PTA meeting, the neighbor who keeps odd hours, a friend whose always working on the weekends. She might be your sister or a cousin. He could be your son or …
Whoever they are in your life, be grateful they are in your life.
One day, they may save your life.
Just remember in the Winter
Far beneath the bitter snow
Lies the seed that with the sun’s love
In the Spring becomes the rose.
~ “The Rose”/Lyrics Amanda McBroom
The season has changed and Spring has finally found us. The promise of renewal, rebirth and hopeful thoughts surround us. The sun is shining warm again. Seedlings that were planted falls-ago have taken root over the winter’s long days and new life is emerging. Vibrant bursts of color are popping up daily. The unexpected is happening. Everywhere. Be alert with eyes wide open or be jarred, as I was the other day; halted by beauty; startled in an unanticipated moment, forced to pause and see the sweet rose that shot up before me.
How did this happen right before my eyes without me seeing it?
Parenting is busy, worrisome work. It’s constant, at times, all-consuming. It’s a life-long learning adventure. Like most things I become immersed in, the deeper I’m in it, often times, the harder it is for me to step out and back and linger in the minutes of the milestones and accomplishments of our ever-changing, day-to-day lives. Hours become days. Days extend into weeks which turn into months that become years. Even though I’ve been there all the while, the details are clouded and what seems like, in the blink of an eye, the bud becames a blossom and I’ve been caught completely off guard.
That sweet seedling that was just laughing-it-up in the park yesterday...
…has grown into a flower, more beautiful than I could ever have imagined…
… and is laughing-it-up on her way into the Spring Dance today, in concert with these other lovelies who are flourishing in their own beautiful gardens.
In the new storefront a man stood in front of the huge glass window watching people, including us, walk by his establishment. My eyes met his as we passed and then I couldn’t help but notice the two, large, empty chairs that sat in front of mirrors behind him. There was a quiet look of discontent on his face. I felt bad for him. This poor man I thought, wondering how he could have chosen this location.
Doesn’t he know?
We had an appointment two doors down from the empty store where there was a bustle of activity. It was busy here and even though we had called in advance, there were three people ahead of us, waiting patiently, for his time. He glanced up stopping what he was doing, only for a moment as we entered and offered a substitute, as he usually does.
As usual, we thanked him and respectfully declined.
It will be a while, he said.
It’s Okay. We’ll wait.
You can’t be in a rush when you come to see this man. You don’t want to be in a rush.
Finally, he beckoned us over. I took my place, off to the side. Shortly after, the discussions began. I listened intently, chiming in occasionally as they spoke of worldly things like the flu epidemic and how dangerous it can be for sick people to be in the hospital. Margaret Thatcher’s passing was brought up and he talked about her great personal achievements and the contributions she made to the advancement of women and our political world.
Then his thoughts turned to North Korea.
What do you think of this guy, Kim Jong Un? Do you think he’s being influenced by the men that used to rule with his father? How do you think the US will respond if he fires a nuclear missile?
He was genuinely interested in my son’s response and in the 30-minutes that the job took, there was a lively exchange of meaningful topics. Solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems were flirted. It’s always interesting to hear his views but fascinating to watch this man’s skill, as all the while, he continues laboring, never missing a beat, meticulously working his craft like the artist that he is, coming back several times to the same spot until it looks or feels just right. He’s consistent and a constant. He’s reliable; a friend and the only person we’ve ever trusted with this task. And despite the seriousness of his work and the broadness of the topics he covers, it always begins with the same question, prompting the same response.
What number will it be today, Noah?…
…is the question.
…is the answer.
At least it has been, for the last 14 years.
Photo Credit #1 Google Images
Photo Credit #2 -#3 Karen Szczuka Teich & Takingtheworldonwithasmile.com
“Is the spring coming?” he said.
“What is it like?”…
“It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…”
Frances Hodgson Burnett,
The Secret Garden
This weekend was opening day for town soccer in the Hudson Valley.The first day of soccer is always a clear indication that spring is truly here! Indeed, starting at 9am, the fields were flooded with kids ages 5 to 16, each one of whom came out ready to play ball!
There was just one problem.
It was 32 DEGREES!
Ehem!….that would be the temperature at which all things freeze! Including humans standing on a field.
But, Spring is here! Phil Said So! Remember? Two months ago in front of millions of people! Live! On television.Well Phil, it’s not and there’s a bit of an uproar here on the East Coast about it.In fact, there’s been talk of a lawsuit by a prosecutor in Ohio who wants to indict Phil for incorrectly predicting the weather, some back tracking gibberish about Phil’s “handler”mistranslating the prediction and even the calling of the poor fellow’s head by a radical few.
People who live on the East Coast take their weather very seriously and talk about it all-the-time! They really enjoy their four seasons: the (temporary) heat of summer, the cool of fall, the (temporary) cold of winter and the warmth of spring.Yes, the warmth of spring. Even though it made it to 50 degrees later in the day, well after the soccer games had ended, it was too little, too late. Thirty-two degrees at the start of any day is not spring. We were promised spring, an early spring! We’re waiting and we’re over due.
But heck people! We really can’t blame Phil. Even though Punxsutawney Phil has been predicting the start or stall of spring for the last 123-years amidst great fanfare, pomp and circumstance, and even though he predicted an early spring for us this year (back in FEBRUARY) let’s face it; no matter how you slice it, the truth is, Phil, is a groundhog! A GROUNDHOG! And groundhogs really don’t have special communicative or weather related powers.There is no such thing as “groundhogese“. I don’t think they even make good house pets.
You never hear anyone talking about their pet groundhog — ever.
It’s Mother Nature who’s the real culprit here.
She’s the one to blame.
I dare you!
Photo Credits: #1 & #3 – Google Images
Photo Credit #2 – Karen Szczuka Teich & Takingtheworldonwithasmile.com