Today is my sweetheart’s birthday. He’s a special man in so many ways! If you know him, you are among those who are blessed. He is caring and giving - he has a sense of humor and he loves to do things for others. He is God’s gift to me, for sure!
I shipped him off early this morning – sent him packing down the road with his boat traveling along behind his truck. Fishing rods and bait were packed securely alongside the tackle box. He and my cousin’s hubby went to a favorite lake on Mount Hood. There has been no word from them but we know they will be back – there’s a party at our house this evening.
I had the meanest mother in the whole world. While other kids ate candy for breakfast, I had to have cereal, eggs or toast. When others had cokes and candy for lunch, I had to eat a sandwich. As you can guess, my supper was different than the other kids' also.
My mother insisted upon knowing where I was at all times. You'd think I was on a chain gang. She had to know who my friends were and where we were going. She insisted if we said we'd be gone an hour, that we be gone one hour or less--not one hour and one minute.
I had to wear clean clothes and take a bath. The other kids always wore their clothes for days. Why, oh why, did I have to have a mother who made me feel different from my friends?
The worst is yet to come. I had to be in bed by eight each night and up at eight the next morning. I couldn't sleep till noon like my friends. So while they slept - my mother actually had the nerve to break the child-labor law. She made me work. I had to wash dishes, make beds, learn to cook and all sorts of cruel things. I believe she laid awake at night thinking up mean things to do to me.
She always insisted that I tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, even if it killed me - and it nearly did.
By the time I was a teen-ager, she was much wiser, and my life became even more unbearable. None of this tooting the horn of a car for me to come running. She embarrassed me to no end by making my dates and friends come to the door to get me. If I spent the night with a girlfriend, can you imagine she checked on me to see if I were really there. I never had the chance to elope to Mexico. That is if I'd had a boyfriend to elope with. I forgot to mention, while my friends were dating at the mature age of 12 and 13, my old fashioned mother refused to let me date until the age of 15 and 16. Fifteen, that is, if you dated only to go to a school function. And that was maybe twice a year.
Through the years, things didn't improve a bit. I could not lie in bed, "sick" like my friends did, and miss school. If my friends had a toe ache, a hang nail or serious ailment, they could stay home from school. My marks in school had to be up to par. My friends' report cards had beautiful colors on them, black for passing, red for failing. My mother being as different as she was, would settle for nothing less than ugly black marks.
As the years rolled by, I was put to shame. I graduated from high school. With my mother behind me, talking and demanding respect, I was not allowed the pleasure of being a drop-out.
My mother was a complete failure as a mother. I attained some higher education. I have ever been arrested, divorced or beaten my mate. And who do I have to blame for the terrible way I turned out? You're right, my mean mother. Look at the things I missed. I never got to march in a protest parade, nor to take part in a riot, burn draft cards, and a million and one other things that my friends did.
She forced me to grow up into a God-fearing, educated, honest adult. Using this as a background, I am tried to raise my two children. I stand a little taller and I am filled with pride when my children call me mean.
Because, you see, I thank God, He gave me the meanest mother in the whole world.
Happy Mother's Day!
(Adapted from ‘I Had A Mean Mother’ written by Bobbie Pingaro)
A strange thing happened while we were out of town for a few days. An Iris bloomed in our yard. Now you might not think that’s strange but if you knew where it’s blooming - the circumstances around this single flower that stands tall in a place that’s not tended or given any care – you might find it strange, too. A couple of years ago we had a big Spruce tree removed from our front yard. My hubby needs to take the stump out of the ground and level the mound that was under the big tree. For some reason – perhaps from previous owners in years past when the big tree was small – there were yellow Iris that bloomed under the tree each year. When the tree was removed we thought all the tubers had been dug up. Imagine our surprise when we returned home to find that a single stalk had ‘shot’ up from a few green leaves below. There she stands – all alone – in the middle of a messy, bleak, untended area of our front yard. She stands straight and tall and beautiful!
When I saw her there I realized I didn’t even notice the dirt and stump and old twigs all around her. All I saw was her beauty!
I learned a lesson as I stood in my front yard and looked at that beautiful flower. She just stood there, radiating beauty. She didn’t beg or plead or stomp her foot or scream at me. She didn't demand to be moved to a better place. She just stood tall – and beautiful. As if she couldn’t see the condition of her surroundings. No matter where I am ‘planted’ I can bring beauty in the middle of chaos! Where there is ruin I can stand tall and make a difference. I can bloom where I’m planted. It may not be the place I would choose – it may not be the way it was when I was planted there but I am right where God planted me. He may transplant me someday – move me to another place. Or, He may have a reason to leave me right where I am for a long time. No matter where I am I know He wants me to stand tall and show the beauty He has created in me. So I breathed a prayer:
‘Lord, help me be content to stand in the place You choose for me. Let me bring Your beauty to everything around me. Help me be content to stay where I am as long as this is where You want me to be. And if someday You should choose another place for me, I’ll know it is the perfect place – because it will be the place You choose for me.’
(P.S. - We have plans to move this beauty when the time is right. She will be moved to a place where she will be tended and cared for. The stump will be removed, the ground leveled, lawn reseeded in that spot and a small flower bed will be left near the fence. She may grace that flower bed. Perhaps with other flowers that will share her beauty.)
‘Every person is like a single tulip. While they may blend when together, each one is special in its own light.’
Spring has arrived in our part of Oregon. The skies are blue. The days are warm – and flowers are blooming all around our valley. This is one of my favorite times of the year. (I think I say that about every season!) We’ve been out and about enjoying special places – with special people. We spent a day with senior citizens from our church at a local tulip festival – we took my cousin and her hubby to a lilac garden not too far away – I spent time with a dear blog friend back at that same lilac garden (more about that soon) – and we just returned from several days with dear long-time friends on the southern end of our state. Like the quote above – we all blend together as we spend time together but it’s always amazing how each of us ‘stands out’ in a special way. A speaker at a recent conference we attended said it best: ‘You’re the best original God ever created!’
Today I hope you stop for a moment or two to hold your head high and realize how special you are. You ARE the best original God created – there’s no one like you. Cherish the special things about you – the things you give to others. The things that make you YOU! Happy Spring, my friend!
“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
Spring has arrived in the Pacific Northwest and I love it. We’ve been out and about over the past few days. Here’s a sneak peek at what we’ve seen. The past week has been absolutely gorgeous here in our part of the world – and we’ve enjoyed every minute of it! On our agenda - a visit to a local tulip festival. . .
And a wonderful historic lilac garden and Victorian farmhouse not too far from our home. Work continues on my little vintage trailer, Miss Daffodil.
In other news, my foot is out of the walking cast boot and I am wearing two shoes again! The problems with my foot and ankle have not been resolved so I've decided to get a second opinion from a specialist my sweetheart and I both saw several years ago. I hope there will be some answers but – for the moment – I’m walking and doing things in a ‘normal’ way again! I’ve been able to put on my walking shoes and walk all over two absolutely gorgeous gardens lately. I'll share more of that soon (after I finish editing photos of the inside of the wonderful, historic lodge on Mount Hood). Thank you for your comments and emails and kind thoughts while I was hobbling around in that big boot! For now – I’m off to the races!