Sunday, January 27, 2013

Joys of Finding Money

    Have you ever had a terrible day and then unexpectedly find a dollar bill on the ground? What is it about finding money that excites us, or is that just me? I found a dollar on the bike trail and that tickled me to death.  There was a time I really liked a wool coat at a high school garage sale, heck it was a steal but I had given my last five bucks to my son and the coat was $7.50. I tried it on anyway, put my hands in the pocket and pulled out what do you think? Yes, $7.50! Speaking of high school, the grouchy lunch secretary that used to yell at the kids (and some of the parents) accidentally dropped her twenty dollar bill at my daughter's feet as we passed each other on the sidewalk. Had she not yelled one too many times at people I liked, myself included, or if my daughter hadn't been having a bad day, I may have chased her down to return it. Karma, thank you! We spent it on coffee and bagels. I love earning money but I really love finding it!
   My favorite money find and I've had many was the one at the grocery store. Earlier in the day, my husband  had run into a young man who was panic stricken, in fact he was desperate. His truck was old and had finally  pooped out for good. He had to catch the bus home which was two hours away because he was expected to work in the morning and it was obvious this poor kid was afraid to lose his job. He needed fifteen dollars to make the trip but my husband only had a twenty dollar bill and told him it was ok, keep it. He thanked him profusely and said he would see to it that God repaid him in some way because he would ask Him to.
This is where the grocery store comes in, we were getting what we needed for the week, about to get in line to check out when I noticed a folded piece of paper. Not just any paper, green paper, money paper! Of course I looked around first, nobody nearby who may have dropped it. A rolled ten bucks and a five inside. Fifteen dollars, all mine. My husband asked, "what time is it?" I told him, "around five, why?" That was the perfect time that the young man had probably arrived safely to his destination and he wouldn't lose his job. "Well, here's the money, it's yours," I said. The look in my eye must have been like Christmas to a kid so he said I could keep it.
   What is the magic in money? It's only paper and it burns. The energy behind it says people care, they share, they give and the wheel spins over and over. As long as I keep finding lucky pennies, I will always be making wishes.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Mama Bear

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Preschool Days

     This classroom sings because their teacher sings. She knows how to rock and roll this preschool class upstairs from eight a.m. until eleven thirty in the yellow room. I can't remember her name because I'm just grandma and have only been there once on Halloween but I recognize a strong warrior when I see one. They say after while crocodile, later alligator and get to be their unique selves in her care. September,  2012 at 11:12 a.m., somewhere in Kansas, this little picture is going to be quite the treasure when they're  adults and I'd like to think they will remember their preschool teacher. Lively little people!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Spring Seed Catalogs Have Arrived

    Door number one or door number two? Decisions decisions! The seed catalogs always come in the mail the first week of January to give a lady time to figure things out. Flagstone or mosaic walkway, three white birch trees with a water feature or a greenhouse addition to replace that eyesore of an unused golf green?
Well, I have three months to decide. Do it myself or hire it out? Door number one may complain a little but the work will be professional. Door number two will be quick, fun to look at, a bit awkward in small spaces so I may re-think the creeping thyme and tulips.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

My Cousin Charlotte

     The Christmas lights were being untangled and strung on my tree when I was told Charlotte had passed from this world into the one of angels. It was hard to believe because I thought she would be with us forever, and felt great sadness that I had taken our time together for granted. It was dark and I was alone putting ornaments on the tree's branches, unwrapping each one with careful hands. Some were new, some were old, gifts from the past and home made. Memories of Charlotte was my only company that night and I pretended that if she was an ornament, she'd be the shining star on top because that's where you put the cousin who always made fourth of July a party! Fire cracker Charlotte who came to the rescue for us kids when there weren't fireworks shows and how I'd overhear the older relatives say that she probably had spent a fortune. That was her way I think, to give out loud with homemade ice cream, over the top deserts in a summer yellow sleeveless dress with her big earrings and her hair piled high in a hip bun. She was older than me and always had painted nails with tiny flower paintings on them or animal stripes, depending on her mood. We knew she was a nurse but for some reason, she didn't talk about that part of her world to us. Her time with cousins was best spent enjoying  pizza at the Pizza Hut when she let me order a large coke. We loved when she took a liking to jewelry and candy making because she shared! She also shared kisses, raspberries on the babies tummies that followed under arm tickling and hiccup laughter. 
  If my brother was here now, he would tell you how she opened his heart to animals. After the birth of my mom's fifth child, another girl, Charlotte knew the only boy in the family, my brother, would be outnumbered and possibly frustrated that no brother besides himself had been produced. So firecracker Charlotte came to our house with an apple bushel basket and a little puppy inside! We were goofy excited to see that little reddish brown dog and took turns holding him but Charlotte made it clear that Bullet, belonged to my brother. She surely knows how far her kind deed went, hopefully the angels tell her about my brother's love of dogs to this day. So much so that at one time I think he had twelve of them of every size. Dogs that wouldn't have had a home without my brother's love. 
   I believe this life is held together with the kindnesses of others and we may not all have the same stories but we do share the same feelings. My Christmas lights twinkle and I don't mind how long they took me to untangle, they remind me of family. All of us braided into each other, hard to separate and held together by a single cord. Thank you Charlotte for every moment with you and all your fingerprints you've left behind.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Odds and Ends

      Finishing half started projects and cleaning out an over stuffed art room feels invigorating! The day I had the idea to dye egg shells and then glue them on cardboard was genius or so I felt that way at the moment! Concrete leaves were fun making and then gluing on revamped serving trays that I found at thrift stores with leftover seashells
from the ocean in Florida.(The trays make it easy since they already have a frame) We have a new health food store in my neighborhood and they promote the use of card board boxes or vinyl bags we can purchase. Some are square, long and skinny, (my favorite shape), or flat lid shapes. My cashier said she would help me because she's been sacking groceries for 15 years and knows how to pick them for my produce. I didn't tell her I was staring at them daydreaming of white birch twigs glued on them with dried flowers and moss for my fairy chocolate party or that some looked like stacked storage containers once I applied burlap and slathered it with homemade paper clay pulp, a layer of cheesecloth, painted them and glue ribbons, threads and buttons here and there. In the end, they would stack on top of each other and hide my stash of supplies. Creativity is like infinity, always recreating. If you're stumped for ideas, play with a pen, doodle without any desire to impress, you'll be amazed at what starts to come out of your head, but use caution, your house will need a purge every once in a while!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Last Words/Obituary Thought

      Do you read the obituaries in the back section of the newspaper with a curious delight like I do? Several years ago, Jack Frost died in December in the castle looking house near the junior high where my kids went to school, his estate sale followed shortly after. Yes, I giggled at the thought that he passed in December, considering his name. My friend Lynn says we need to write our own obituary instead of leaving the job for our children because they don't know the real us which gave me the idea to keep a journal of favorite quotes, personal poems, pictures that I like and of course, funny obituary notices for them to read. Do you wonder what your loved ones will say about you like Mr. Frank W. whose family proudly took the biggest space for his death notice, along with a not so good picture and titled him as a man who raised nine children in a little house. Or Mrs. S. who loved the library and cooking for neighbors? How about the ones that only have a name and date because as I'd like to believe, the family was speechless.
    In the end of my road, I hope their words speak of my love, my deeds and hugs but I have a hunch they'll write about my bits of papers here and there and how I loved to cut things out.