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Monday, April 20, 2015

Something About Spring

There’s something special about spring. It’s not my favorite season, but I do enjoy it.  The days get longer little by little, trees begin to come back to life after the long winter, the sun is stronger and even on chilly days it feels good; snow and ice become memories of the trials of the winter, and hints of life beginning anew are seen everywhere. It’s a good time to try something new, rearrange things a bit and cast off old unused things to create some room in your closets, your house, yard and most importantly your life.  Those spaces will surely be filled up in no time with new and different things.  There’s something exciting about changing things a bit.  As I go through my clothes I think about when I wore things last, and decide what I still like and what I want to give away. Unused items from the kitchen cabinets will surely be bought by someone shopping at Goodwill or the Salvation Army store. Those old books will be opened with delight by someone this summer looking to pass a hot day in the shade reading while sipping an ice cold drink.  As we trim bushes and cut down saplings in the yard and rake leaves off the flower beds we plan what plants or seeds we will try there this year and vow to use our outdoor space more this year than last, changing where we put the picnic tables, benches and chairs as we sip the season’s first iced tea when the yard work is done for the day.  Spring is time to light the grill and taste the season’s first hot dogs and barbequed chicken and macaroni salad.  This year I decided to try a new hairstyle for spring and so far I can’t decide if I like it or not, but my friends and co-workers approve so I’ll keep it at least for now. There’s just something about spring that begs for things to be changed and spruced up, like we are celebrating the end of winter and dormancy and coming back to life.  I think it’s better than New Years for inducing change.  I hope you have a happy spring!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

New Gadgets

Recently we upgraded to new iPhones.  Not the latest model, but still a newer model than we had.  We also purchased a wireless printer for the first time.  Imagine typing in the comfort of the living room and sending something to the printer without getting up!  Sounds good to me!

         I am notoriously bad at adapting to new technology so all things considered I am handling this fairly well.  The phone has been a breeze as the young people in the phone store were good at explaining things in language I understand, even if they were talking so fast it was difficult to keep up at times.  I was able to transfer almost everything from the old to the new by myself with just a couple of questions for my twenty-something daughter and my husband once we were home.  It’s kind of fun perusing the different ringtones and alert sounds then assigning them to different contacts and applications.  I was even able to print a picture from the phone as I nested in my couch corner.  It was with bold confidence that I set up my laptop on the dining room table and attempted to send a document to the magical wireless printer after so successfully sending something from my phone.  Alas! My technological wizardry ended abruptly!  Try as I might, I just couldn’t get the document to print.  I called my daughter into the room to see what I might be doing wrong but nothing we tried worked.  It was after eight p.m. and we were both tired so I decided to just forget it for the time being, shut things down and figure it out the next day.  Finally, mid-day, I had a chance to power up both printer and computer.  I was determined to print that document!  As I was waiting for the laptop to boot up after turning the printer on, it began to print the document from the night before, spitting papers out at rapid pace.  As I bent to pick the first page up off the floor more papers fluttered around me and slid under the table and chairs.  Subsequently I sent another document to be printed and first thought it wasn’t going to work when suddenly with a few whirs and clicks papers began shooting out in rapid succession.  This time I was able to catch them as they flew out before they hit the floor.

         I’m proud of myself for having such a smooth transition to my new electronic equipment.  Now I just have to figure out the older gadgets and computer programs I need to use.  That ought to be a piece of cake.  Gosh!  I love technology!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Smallest Vessels

         Sitting on the balcony of our hotel overlooking the St. Lawrence River just after dawn on vacation last summer I saw first a large freighter glide through the water, motor giving off a low rumble and some gently lapping waves in its wake.  Shortly after that a small motor boat zipped by, the loudness of its motor and the violence of the waves in its wake in sharp contrast to both the quiet of the early hour and what was left by the tanker.  In my notes that day I wrote the following sentence: “The smallest vessels leave the biggest wake.” I find this is often true when I think about life events.

         Those gentle wakes left by the big events of life are long lasting and change the course we are taking on the journey.  Something such as getting married is like a big freighter with low rumbling motor staying steady in its trip down river toward the ocean, surviving the rains and winds of life, and occasionally being rocked by the wake of the smaller, faster boats. Still, it’s steady and true in its movements.  The smaller craft, with their noisy motors and erratic movements in comparison demand immediate attention. Things such as illnesses, children, job losses, and even holidays are like those smaller vessels.  They demand attention; they make the waters choppy and harder to navigate.  Too many of them at one time can threaten to sink a larger ship if the captain and crew aren’t attentive.

         By far the smallest vessels in my life are my children.  They both produced the largest wakes and have changed the course of our voyage; we have nearly been knocked off course by their wakes many times.  One speeds ahead, cutting in and out of our path, while the other simply runs alongside, keeping us constantly aware of her presence.  They have both escorted us to places we would never have thought to go, but which turned out to be the most interesting and growth inducing.

         Inspiration comes from many places, and notes written on a summer vacation, forgotten then found on a cold spring Saturday morning can inspire some deep thought.  Like a pebble in a puddle, or a small vessel early in the day on a quiet river.