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“Once upon a time, there were four little girls, who had enough to eat and drink and wear, a good many comforts and pleasures, kind friends and parents…. and yet they were not contented…. these girls…. made many excellent resolutions; but they… were constantly saying, “If we only had this,” or “If we could only do that”….So they asked an old woman what spell they could use to make them happy, and she said,, “When you feel discontented, think over your blessings, and be grateful.”
“They decided to try her advice, and soon were surprised to see how well off they were. One discovered that money couldn’t keep shame and sorrow out of rich people’s houses, another that she was a great deal happier with her youth. health, and good spirits than a certain fretful, feeble old lady, who couldn’t enjoy her comforts; a third that, disagreeable as it was to help get dinner, it was harder still to have to go begging for it; and the fourth, that even carnelian rings were not so valuable as good behavior. So they agreed to stop complaining to enjoy the blessings already possessed.”
Written in the Book – Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
True happiness is indeed something that comes from within and does not relate to what we have or don’t have. It relates to what we make of the day and the time we are given. I have found in my own life that I am happier when I choose to make the lives of others happier. Everything we have on this earth is a gift from GOD. The very breath we breathe is a gift.
This past weekend I was able to see my little grand baby on an ultra sound monitor at only 16 weeks old. The little baby is 4 1/2 inches long now and weighs in at a whopping 5 ounces. Yet, as small as our baby is – I saw tiny legs, arms, fingers, and toes moving around and legs kicking like a wild one already. Yes GOD breathes the very breath of life into each of us and what a precious gift a new life is. I am thankful, and happy I have lived long enough after my widow maker heart attack to be able to see my little grand baby before even coming out of the womb.
When I was youngster growing up on the south side of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma we didn’t have much in the way of material things. My brother and I got school clothes once a year which consisted of 2 pairs of jeans, 2 shirts and 4 or 5 pairs of socks. That was supposed to last us the whole year. If we got holes in our jeans, Dad ironed on a patch or two to get us through until the next year. There were many days we went without lunch and breakfast simply because we didn’t have enough money to make it to the end of the week. I can remember being so hungry sometimes that I even thought about eating the crab grass in our front yard. Dad had an old Chevy that he paid $50 for that hardly ever ran. Not having much though didn’t seem to bother us. We were content with playing baseball, hide and seek, freeze tag, and enjoying time with our friends. Even if our stomachs were growling at us begging for food as we sat our desks in school, we were still happy for what we did have.
Sometimes when we start feeling down about ourselves, about what we don’t have, or how our life is going, it is best to start thinking about what we do have and in how many ways we have been blessed. It might be time to look for ways we can be a blessing to others who cross our path. That’s the path where true happiness can be found. It won’t be found covered up with things, but is waiting for you to find it where it’s been all along.
My wife Denise and I just found out we are going to be grandparents this summer. This has been the best Thanksgiving gift we could have ever received. GOD is great and we can’t wait to see the new little blessing that is on the way.
This is our first one on both sides of the family so I am sure the little one will get an avalanche of spoiling. I am not quite sure I can wait until summertime though! There are so many things running through my mind about what I want to tell, teach, and do with our new grand baby.
Whether it’s a girl, or whether it’s a boy it makes no difference to me. We are supposed to have some sort of a reveal party where that information, I guess is revealed? Something about blue or pink balloons popping out of a box. I know GOD has great things planned for this little one!
Someone asked me what I want to be called? I don’t know, but I have a few months to think about that one. I suppose I’ll be called whatever the grand baby ends up calling me. They say the grand babies end up calling the grand parents whatever the first one starts calling them. That’s what happened with our daughter too. Whatever happens, is fine with me.
We are looking forward to this new adventure in our lives. I am sure it will be a great ride!
Have you ever had anything that you are annoyed with or that just plain bothers you sometimes? Some things bother me more than others, but then again there are some things that really bother me to an extreme. I started thinking about it the other day and decided that I had a pretty long list of bothersome things.
Why is it that parents can’t seem to put socks on little babies when they sit around with coats and hats on? Maybe they just don’t think about it. I bet they would though if they walked around without any footwear on in the middle of winter!
People walking around while looking down on their cell phones and almost run in to you. There should be a law banning texting and walking just like there are now laws in some states for texting and driving. I am serious!
People who use texting on their cell phones to an extreme instead of talking on the phone when it is more appropriate. I guess it’s easier to hide behind a few buttons.
Those who sneeze or cough without covering their mouth. Really, do we all want a shower of all those germs propelled upon us?
Those who don’t use turn signals when they drive and then look at you like you did something wrong when you almost slam into them.
People who cut in front of you with only inches to spare when they drive to get out of the way of someone wanting to pass them. The only thing worse is someone who tailgates! Really!
People who lie to you and smile like a big whisker-faced cat when doing it.
Those who let their children run wild in public places like restaurants and stores without saying a word to them pretending perhaps that they are not their little hoodlums who just ripped the wallpaper off the walls.
Loud talkers and those who blast their music with their windows rolled down sitting next to you at stop lights and stop signs with reckless abandon. Please!! You may not want any ear drums. But I prefer to keep mine!
Bug juice and bird droppings all over my car after I just washed it. Guess I shouldn’t park so close to the trees and I’m praying for rain!
Those who talk loud during a movie in a theater, in a library, or in church during the sermon. There are just those times that should be reserved for quiet and for listening don’t you think? I suppose they should offer some duct tape with the price of ticket along with a no munch section for popcorn.
Cockroaches the size of mice that prowl at night in the kitchen looking for something or someone to devour. I had some in Texas that I could have made saddles for!
Those who curse in public with no remorse in front of children and others. Gutter talk should be reserved for the gutters. Foul language contributes nothing!
Women – now I still can’t figure this one out.. But why do women have to go to the restroom in pairs and in groups when they are at a restaurant? Does one hold the small mirror while the other adjusts their make-up?
Why is it that some people can’t figure out how to put a roll of toilet paper on when it is time for a new one? Some people go so far as to make sure it comes out a certain way top, bottom, whatever… I don’t care what you do.. Just make sure you put a new roll on please!!
Those who talk in an elevator and don’t face the front wall where the door is. Don’t you know there is no talking and your eyes are supposed to be forward when that door closes?
Flies that never seem to die! I must have some flies that have been around here for years. Why is it they want to put their grimy mitts on everything I have?
Shopping too long! I can’t stand to be in a store for very long periods of time or I start to get the hives. I know what I need when I go in so there is no need to linger like my wife does for hours on end.
People who use Facebook like a bragging book or “look who’s on top of the hill now” book.
Those who are constantly late wherever they go. There is a clock on most cell phones so pay attention when you have your head down…
Slurping loud when eating soup, or chewing with your mouth open, and people who waste food.
People who talk non-stop yet say nothing. Sound like a politician doesn’t it?
I know I have rambled on here today, but what about you? Surely there is something that annoys you or just plain old gets under your skin. I would like to hear about it! You will feel better if you vent it out a little. I know I did! So let it fly here today!!! Oh no, did I just say that!!
I recently visited my cousin in central Oklahoma over the weekend. While I was there she gave me this old photo. This is a photo of my Grandpa Smith who worked for a company in Arkansas City, Kansas. I never met him and this is the only photo I have ever even seen of him. Dad never knew him very well since he died when he was only 5 years old.
I wonder what he would have been like? I wonder what he would have told me about life and the things that are really important? I am sure I would have learned a few things from him about how it was in his day. I know things have certainly changed since his time.
How about you? Do you have any favorite stories of your own grandpa that you might want to share here. I wish I had some to tell about my Grandpa Smith but I never knew him…
He tried to raise cattle. That didn’t pan out that well. He tried his hand at remodeling houses and pretty much lost everything he had back when he was twenty-one years old. Oh well, that’s the past. And now, oh well, now is all he has left. That’s all any of us really have is the now. We can’t live in the past and we certainly can’t live in the future. Although many of us do try our hand at that even if we can never seem to make it all come together.
He sits there all alone in his creakity old chair. It’s no different from any other time at two in the morning now. The only light in the living room is the orange glow at the tip of his cigarette. Usually says he can’t sleep for one reason or another. Is it a lie? Well, you figure it out. He takes a drag – inhales slow, pushes his mouth towards the ceiling and lets the smoke come out in one slow – long – swirl. Flicks his ashes in the bottom of the rolled up cuff of his jeans and sighs. Coughs and tries to clear his throat. Inhales as the glow of his cigarette lights up the dark room once again. That’s been his usual routine for these past five years.
Just a common man without much education. He’s worked hard all his life – not a paper pusher as he says. But a man who worked with his hands and made a living sweating. Not that he has anything against paper pushers. It’s just he never could understand how someone could get paid to push papers and push buttons on a computer all day long. Never made much sense to him.
Tonight I’m spending the night with Dad. Mom passed away just this past October. Dad seems more restless than usual tonight for some reason. As he shifts and turns in his chair I hear every creak and moan of the worn out recliner from a nearby bedroom. I wish just once he would stay in bed for an entire night!
Well now Dad is making it so that I can’t sleep either tonight. I just had to drive 500 miles from Houston to get here and now this! I wipe the crusted sleep from my eyes, roll over and grab my t-shirt and jeans that are laying on the dresser nearby. I slither them on as best as I can without any light and in the process bang a glass of water sitting on the same dresser. Ice cold water drenches my bare feet. “Man – that water is cold”.
I latch on to my cell phone and push a button so that I have some sort of light to make my way to the living room. I look through the arched door opening to the living room and see that glow of his cigarette staring me in the face. “Hey Dad”. “Hi Son.”, he says. “Why don’t you get up and go to bed Dad?” “I would if I could Son.” “I just keep thinking, maybe I should have got a better education in my life so as to take better care of you kids and your mom somehow.”, he says.
“Oh now come on Dad, you worked 35 years down at the steel company every single day. It was hot and hard work! You gave the best you could to your family.” “And besides that Dad. Do you know you gave me more by not giving me everything I wanted in life? You gave us all a roof over our heads and food on the table. We never once went without food or a place to live. And you taught us about the LORD – not by just what you said, but by what you did.” ” If I had it to do all over though son, I would have gone to college.”, he says.
“Why’s that Dad?” “Oh, to make something of myself.” he says. ” Can I just tell you something Dad?” “When I was a little boy, I looked up to you. And even though I’m all grown up now I’m still looking up to you. I am the man I am today because of you, and even though you might not know it, you’ve made something of yourself. I love you Dad.”
“Thanks son, today you’ve given me more education than I could have ever had at any college”
In honor of all hard-working dads and moms!