Jumping into a pile of leaves is a time-honored autumn tradition. This past weekend, my children attempted to step up their leaf-jumping game. They devised the brilliant idea to collect wagonloads of fallen leaves and pile them onto the trampoline. (In my previous post, I said I admire resourcefulness, but this particularly ambitious attempt had me a little nervous.)
For me, the beauty of their plan was not in the adventure and adrenaline it would guarantee but in the teamwork it spawned. Watching the three of them scamper to gather as many leaves as they could and load the wagon as speedily as possible was a thing of glory. They wanted to jump into extreme fall fun and they were doing it without sibling rivalry or fussing. They were working together. (Insert tear drop of joy here.)
Today I served as lector for the Palm Sunday mass at our church. This wasn’t unusual, as I have been the lector for this particular mass many times in the past. The unusual part came as I was reading to an almost completely empty church. (Only Father T., another lector, and four members in the choir loft were there with me.)
While this was unusual as masses go, it is the new “normal” for those seeking to take part in celebrations of faith as we seek to stay afloat in the Coronavirus pandemic.
The news of our church broadcasting via Facebook Live may not be headline news, but I believe the impacts of social media-shared services across the globe provides a groundbreaking new definition for “Where 2 or 3 are gathered…”
Matthew 18:20New International Version (NIV)
“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
I know there have been times when church attendance was low and often there are only a handful of parishioners at any one service. The unique element of the social media-shared services is that the two or three in church are joined in spirit and faith by hundreds, maybe thousands, in their homes. The words, actions, prayers, and petitions are all being shared simultaneously via the world wide web. Continue reading “Where 2 or 3 are Gathered … The New Meaning”→
While radio never stops and has played a pivotal role in entertainment for centuries, it does not seem to command the attention of every waking hour as it did in the past. When I was growing up, my waking hours started around 4:00 a.m. helping milk cows. Each of those mornings we were joined in the milk barn by the sounds and stories of Paul Harvey. Even after we left the farm in 1994, my listening continued as I began waitressing breakfast at a local restaurant. It didn’t matter where I was, Paul Harvey’s voice drew me in and transported my mind to the stories and people of whom he spoke.
Monday through Friday Mr. Harvey shared his commentary on the affairs of the world in his News and Comment. At the end of each weekday broadcast he would sign off with a chipper, “Good day.” On Saturdays he shared The Rest of the Story. After telling an always impactful version of one adventure, discovery, or invention, The Rest of the Story was always smartly summarized with, “And that’s the rest of the story.” The reliability of his demeanor made him more than a voice on the radio. He became someone I felt I knew. He became someone who was an active part of my life. He was like family. Continue reading “I Miss Paul Harvey”→
Whenever people tell me it is their birthday, I always tell them, “I am so glad you were born.” Most look at me like I am crazy or just laugh at me. I am genuine in this statement.
Had that person not been born, never would I have had the opportunity to meet and know them or celebrate the anniversary of their birth.
My mom doesn’t like celebrating her birthday. She prefers to call them “pass-overs.” She wants them to “pass right on over.” There isn’t anyone I am more grateful for being born than her so I always try to make her day special (even though she doesn’t like it).
Here’s the thing. Too often we wait for birthdays or anniversaries to show our excitement for someone’s existence. Today be sure to share with someone you know how glad you are that they were born. Find a way for your genuineness to shine through and your gratitude for their role in your life to be clear. Appreciation is one of the best gifts we can give.
As a surprise, hubby and I headed out for a short two-day camp out with the kids as soon as they were dismissed from the last day of school. Their excitement was contagious and the chance to get away was too tempting to resist.
One of our favorite parts of camping is always the campfire. The kids and I seek out the best sticks and logs and enjoy hours of flame watching and food roasting. Campfires always seem to pull us into the warmth and light of their flames and inspire memorable moments and sharing.
The dancing flames provide one of nature’s greatest entertainments. The fantastic show they perform can never be duplicated and never ceases to amaze us. The first campfire of the year holds a special power. Continue reading “First Fire of the Year”→
When I sat down to write, I knew I only had 15 minutes and about a thousand ideas for today’s post. What I didn’t know what would come of those limited minutes and limitless thoughts.
Here it is.
Spring stresses me out.
Each quiet moment I find tears hiding behind my eye lids. My mind is anything but silent. The days constantly hum with demands, to-do lists, and the tings and pings of technology. My muscles are exhausted. My feet do not want to move. My brain seems to be on whatever fertilizer the farmers are spreading on their fields.
While each season has its ebb and flow, I always feel like spring is the craziest. The sunshine and breezes entice me outside, but the labor of pulling weeds and putting away delinquent Christmas decorations remind me that caring for our home is a never-ending task.
As the baseball schedules are made, vacation plans penned, and wardrobes are rotated from sweatshirts to shorts, I can’t help but feel completely wiped out.
What is it about spring that is so exhausting?
Spring is a time for planting, growing, new beginnings, and some seriously serious stress. The school year’s end is looming and, while summer is so nice, the tests, papers, and traditions that simply MUST be upheld make the last months more demanding than most. Spring stresses me out. Continue reading “Spring Stresses Me Out”→
Less than three sips into my first glass of New Years Eve wine, I knocked over the entire cup in a fit of excitement to show my “good” coat to a friend. The wine flowed right on over to the corner of a jacket laying on the table. It was NOT my coat. AAAHHHH!
I quickly wiped the coat off and dried up the table.
Then the worry set in.
I HAD to find the owner of the coat.
What if it was their “good” coat?
What if they yelled at me?
What if they told everyone I was a raving drunk, who destroyed their coat and any hopes of a happy new year? (I may be exaggerating, but I really was worried.)
I asked everyone I saw if the coat was thiers, but had no luck locating its owner.
I was just about to trudge the walk of shame to the front of the dance and kindly ask the amazing band singer if I could borrow his microphone. I needed to find the owner of that coat. As I went back to grab the coat, the cutest, little brunette was getting something from the purse next to THE COAT.
Elf Spotting and the Trouble that Follows (Reblogged from 2016)
Three years ago Chippy the elf showed up on our front porch. He made his magical appearance after my sweet daughter wrote a letter to Santa asking for one of his handy helpers to visit our home.
My husband and I were leery about this new holiday watchman but went with it. I mean how much trouble could one elf be???
After three years the magic of Chippy is alive and well, if you consider daily wrestling matches and crying fits over who found him first to be magical.
Seriously! Everyday there is a tremendous tumult over who finds Chippy first. It is so magical I need stronger coffee in the morning and extra melatonin at night to get past all the Christmas spirit his presence brings.
That silly elf has brought more trouble than I could have imagined, but he has also brought some humor to some pretty angry situations.
For example: In the middle of one of their daily brawls, my daughter yelled out, “Get off my hair. Chippy sees you and he is going to tell Santa.” My son replied, “Good! Maybe Santa will bring you a new brush for your messy hair,” and continued torturing my little girl’s curls. The elf just kept smiling. Continue reading “Elf Spotting …continued”→
Blue pancakes are the usual in our household (when we have pancakes). I usually like to keep my breakfast dates with friends (when I can schedule breakfast dates). This past week my friend Erin and I had a breakfast date planned, but my sitter situation became bleak. I offered to make breakfast at my home (if Erin didn’t mind the three-ring circus running around while we visited). She was cool with hanging out at my house so we kept our date.
As I was whipping up the pancakes, my youngest son asked if the pancakes would be blue. My daughter soon chimed in that she really wanted blue pancakes too (after all our pancakes are usually blue). I wasn’t sure how Erin would react to blue pancakes, so I left half the batch plain and the other half was blue. When Erin arrived, the kids stampeded to let her in and were in full three-ring circus mode. It seemed only right that there were blue pancakes.
In true awesome Erin fashion, she said, “I’m down with blue pancakes,” and happily ate blue and plain colored flapjacks with my family.
What color are your pancakes? Do you have a special breakfast tradition in your household?
As we begin the season of holiday feasting, think about the traditions that been upheld by your loved ones. My mom’s side of the family has had chicken and dumplings at every family function since time began (that maybe a bit of an exaggeration); it just isn’t a Frank family holiday without chicken and dumplings.
Is there something special your family will eat that is a unique tradition this Thanksgiving?
Traditions, such as blue pancakes and chicken and dumplings, make special days “special.” My hope for you is that you are able to remember and (if you can) enjoy the food feasts that make family “family” this holiday season. Be sure to share your traditions with friends and tell the stories of your childhood to your kiddos. Savor the meals and memories that have made you who you are and be grateful for the events that enriched those memories.
Remember not everyone has “picture perfect” holiday plans. Be considerate and kind (and inviting, if you can) to those who have less to be thankful for. Make your newest tasty tradition be one that dishes out meaningful memories for yourself and all those for whom you love. Who knows, maybe blue pancakes will be your new Thanksgiving brunch or chicken and dumplings your new tradition of choice. Whatever it is you serve, whether it be food or memories, make them positive and full of energy that inspires grateful intent.
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. If you are making blue pancakes. you will need to pick up some blue food coloring.