Great fun

“Childhood is a short season.”    ~Helen Hayes

“When we protect children from every possible source of danger, we also prevent them from having the kinds of experiences that develop their sense of self-reliance, their ability to assess and mitigate risk, and their sense of accomplishment.”    ~Gever Tulley

My sisters and I shared wonderful experiences in the 1970’s. This was a decade where children could be free. When the sounds, tastes and smells were wonderful with a heightened sense of joy. We did not have parents or grand parents running after us, urging caution. We were not fearful or worried. We skipped and jumped for the pure delight of it.

Maybe I was lucky to have an unusual family. Perhaps bordering on being hippies? Maybe my parents were too young to know better. But somehow, by luck or by sheer cleverness, we managed through without any serious injuries. In fact, we thrived.

I can remember, so often, being told to “go play”. Which, (I now know from being a Mother), was also code for “leave me alone for 5 minutes”.  But, we didn’t know that then. We took the directive to heart. Go play, have fun, be children. Do what kids do best, live in the moment.

Child_Duck

Imagine the joy of riding on a plastic duck?

Children_fire_marshmallowsChildren_camp chairs

Standing free and clear on those old school camp chairs? Cooking your own marshmallows over a fire?

Child_axe

Have you ever cracked open peanuts with the back of a hatchet?

Children_merry go round

Planting your feet to keep from sliding off the merry-go-round?

Children_trampoline

Trampolines with no cages around them?

Children_Slide

A slide that was 4 times as big as you?

I guess we weren’t the only family who experienced the 1970’s in this way:

Learning from The 100 Year Old Man

I’ve carried this book with me on so many trips over the past year, yet never started it. Both my husband and son read it, enjoyed it and assured me I would as well. Of course I did not fail to recognize it is a best selling title, so many other people around the world have also enjoyed this book. Finally, on the flight down to the Baja, I started.

Needless to say, many hours of sitting in the sun, a good book as your steady companion, is a must. My choice did not disappoint, I only wish to have stretched it out a little longer, (not going home for a couple more days!)

Even though this is pure fiction, I really think I learned a few things from Allan the Swede. The ideas or lessons which the book kept circling back on are central themes of human existence. Nothing new. But I very much enjoyed the way they were told. The entitlement, impatience and expectation, which seems to pervade society today were completely removed. The characters suffered far greater hardships than most of us have or ever will. Allan in particular kept a positive attitude the whole time.

For me, the whole story was believable because these things do happen to people. Of course, not all these events have happened to the same person over a single lifetime. But in our own way, we could all reach inside ourselves and behave a little better in the tough spots.

Enjoy this selection of quotes. I am adding some of these, maybe all of them, to my list of “mantras”. And when I remember the context of these words from the book, I’ll smile.

“But as long as we think positively, I’m sure a solution will appear.”

“…you’ll see that things will turn out like they do, because that is what usually happens – almost always, in fact”

“People could behave how they liked, but Allan considered that in general it was quite unnecessary to be grumpy if you had the chance not to.”

“Things are what they are, and whatever will be, will be.”

“How can I help?”

― Jonas Jonasson, The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared

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Flight no. 2015

My Dad sent an email version of this to me and I had to share it. I’ve taken so many flights over the past 20 years and never once had this message. But, I’ll think about this from now on.

The Boarding of Flight no. 2015 has been announced.

Your luggage should be safely stowed and only contain the best souvenirs from 2014. All unwanted items, including the bad and sad moments should be left in the trash.

The duration of the flight will be 12 months. So, tighten your seatbelt. The stop-overs will be:
*Health
*Love
*Joy
*Harmony
*Well-being
*Peace

The captain offers you the following menu which will be served during the flight:
*A Cocktail of Friendship
*A Supreme of Health
*A Gratin of Prosperity
*A Bowl of Excellent News
*A salad of Success
*A Cake of Happiness
*All accompanied by bursts of laughter

Wishing you an enjoyable trip on board of flight no. 2015.

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Filling my cup

Years ago I was sitting with a dear friend on vacation and she was talking about her work. She mentioned an annual conference with great anticipation. She described it as a time when she “filled her cup”. It was important to learn in such a way that her personal reserves of energy, creativity and enthusiasm could be filled up. Otherwise, what would she have to give to others?

I thought about that for a long time. I wished that my work provided me with that kind of opportunity. Well, wishing was not going to fill my cup, so I found a conference on my own. That was WDS2014 and WOW is all I can say about that. As the conference ended, a discount for the next year was extended and I immediately signed up. I finally found a place where everyone, (and I mean everyone), was nice. They were interesting to talk to and freely expressed their deepest desires, for themselves and a keen interest to serve others. The main stage presentations gave me insights into a whole range of topics, some of which I didn’t know I was interested in. (I could rave on about WDS, but that is not the point here).

Recently my same friend and I were chatting about “filling cups” and she mentioned a further portion of that idea. That was the saucer. Always put a saucer under your cup so that when it overflows, (I was only trying to put something in my cup, I had no idea it might overflow), you have reserves with which to help others!

A quick internet search later, I found the poem below. Enjoy and may your cup overflow!

“My Cup Has Overflowed”

I’ve never made a fortune, and it’s probably too late now.
But I don’t worry about that much, I’m happy anyhow
And as I go along life’s way,
I’m reaping better than I sowed.
I’m drinking from my saucer,
Cause my cup has overflowed. 

Haven’t got a lot of riches,
and sometimes the going’s tough
But I’ve got loving ones all around me,
and that makes me rich enough. 
I thank God for his blessings,
and the mercies He’s bestowed.
I’m drinking from my saucer,
Cause my cup has overflowed.

I remember times when things went wrong,
My faith wore somewhat thin.
But all at once the dark clouds broke,
and the sun peeped through again.
So Lord, help me not to gripe,
about the tough rows I have hoed.
I’m drinking from my saucer,
Cause my cup has overflowed.

If God gives me strength and courage,
When the way grows steep and rough.
I’ll not ask for other blessings,
I’m already blessed enough.

And may I never be too busy,
to help others bear their loads.
Then I’ll keep drinking from my saucer,
Cause my cup has overflowed.

Author: unknown

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Mom-to-be

“Sometimes when you pick up your child you can feel the map of your own bones beneath your hands, or smell the scent of your skin in the nape of his neck. This is the most extraordinary thing about motherhood – finding a piece of yourself separate and apart that all the same you could not live without.”   ~Jodi PicoultPerfect Match

I had the privilege of helping a very soon, Mom-to-be out to her car today. Laden with her gifts, lightened of her work responsibilities, awaiting the unknown next phase. My heart was full of happiness for her. For all those firsts she is going to experience in the coming weeks. Gifts of the heart that are better than anything which could be bought at a store.

Those are the memories which I treasure most. The tiny hands stroking your skin. A first smile that lights up a tiny face. The sweet smell.

Fantastic smile 2003

Fantastic smile 2003

These sentiments are why a Mother thinks having another baby is a good idea. If she could so easily call up any number of other memories, there would be no second or third children.

My husband remembers those days very differently. He doesn’t, for a moment, wish for babies. He likes the constant push forward. He is encouraged by the eventual day when these little ones will take flight and leave the nest. And I feel the same, most of the time.

But the thought of holding a tiny newborn again is a wonderful feeling. The upshot now is the other Mom standing nearby who gets to soothe him when he starts to cry. That is a job I don’t miss so much.