After two months of staying home, the kids and I snuck away to my aunt and uncle‘s lake house. We had two days to take in some fresh scenery and do a whole lot of fishing. Between casting lines, reading books, baking cookies, and watching the boats on the lake, I made sure to take a few hikes and nature breaks.
I’m always amazed at how the simplest elements make themselves powerfully noticeable when I allow myself to be still. I believe my favorite instances of appreciation occur when I discover wild flowers.
The moments of beauty created as wild flowers reveal themselves to us are truly miracles because they occur so surprisingly and often in very brief windows of time. One day there will be a hillside of blooms, and the next no blossoms can be seen.
Today I encourage you to seek out some wild flower moments.
Allow yourself some quiet time to stumble across surprise lillies; stare into the eyes of black-eyed susans; delight in the darting centers of cone flowers; and collect the wealth of the golden rod’s glow. If wild flowers are not your thing, search for the simple pleasures that do peak your interest. Put energy into appreciating tiny treasures or magic made my Mother Nature in other ways. If your intents are positive and full of gratitude, you will reap the rewards of experiencing moments just as bright and much less brief than those found in wild flower moments.
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. Picking wildflowers is legal in Missouri, so long as you do not pick them with the intent to sell. Be sure to check with your state laws before plucking those pretty posies from roadsides and state parks. Enjoy!
In this weekend’s snowstorm, the power flickered, the internet and satellite tv went down, and the roads were too treacherous to go anywhere (most places were closed anyway). Based on many Facebook posts, Tweets, and my children’s behavior, one would believe the snowpolocypse had indeed arrived. Losing these luxuries was simple proof that we are blessed to have such silly first world problems.
I said a small prayer of thanks that these were our biggest problems. I added a prayer of petition for the safety of the farmers, road crews, and first responders still out working in the hazardous conditions. We are so lucky to have these people serving our communities.
I also reflected on a recent phone conversation with my friend Kary.
She has taken over the Random Acts of Kindness Club at Fatima High School and we were discussing some opportunities for community service projects. Kary was excited about the contacts I shared with her and the ideas we came up with, but she shared that there has been a bit of a problem with getting a great turnout from her group members. “They are all just so busy with sports, jobs, friends, and other things,” she said, “All these kids are good kids; they just have too much going on.” I agreed that it was a problem, but at least we could be grateful that it was our biggest problem for the club.
Frequently we hear warnings about karma, but rarely to we heed those foreshadowings. Well, this week karma came right around the corner and whacked me.
Our dishwasher sits under the peninsula of our kitchen counter. When the dishwasher door is open, I always tell the kids to quit running through the kitchen; somebody is gonna get hurt.
Wednesday evening was a particularly persnickety evening in the Peters’ household. No one seemed to have their positive pants on. The kids could not and would not stop fighting. I begged, screamed, and threatened torture, if the laundry did not get folded and put away. Constant was the need to say, “Stop fighting! Stop hitting! Stay out of other people’s space!”(It was a rough night.)
All that crabbiness came to an abrupt halt as I stomped my way back into the kitchen (for like the hundredth time) to try and get the dishes done. That darn Karma was waiting to waylay my shin. And, boy, oh boy, did she get me. I ran smack dab into the dishwasher door.
As the blood immediately gushed from my leg, so did a four letter word from my mouth. I grabbed a towel and shouted for a band-aid. Eager to get away from folding laundry, my oldest son ran to the hall closet and brought two band-aids, just in case. Continue reading “Karma’s Corner”→
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”→
After another speedy summer break, I revisited this post from 2016 and the sentiments still ring so true. I hope you can relate to this message of summer and its downhill slide. Enjoy your summer and I wish you a happy autumn.
My daughter recently discovered how much fun it is to ride her bike down the hill of our drive way. She hasn’t mastered riding her bike up it, but, boy, can she ride down it!
As I watched her ride down for the second time the other day, I realized I was witnessing moments of fleeting fun. How long will she shout out, “Watch me, mama!”? How long will it be before she isn’t excited about that hill or her bike anymore? How long before the muggy, summer days start to shorten and the chill of fall sends us in early?
I know. I know. Summer is just getting started.
I thought this would be a great time to remind everyone to slow down and enjoy it because, like those rapid rides down the driveway, another summer will be in the history books…
A lot of fellow educators and even more students will disagree with this, but let me explain why I never count down the days at the end of the school year.
The days zip by too fast.
I need my students to know that they are my priority. It needs to be clear that the lesson at hand is the focus. Yes, our objective is to have another year under our belts, but we don’t have to wish our year away.
I need to keep my focus on the tasks at hand. As an educator grading and instruction need to remain in the forefront of my mind… not what I am going to do with my summer vacation, or how much hay we will bale, or what my kids’ ball schedules are, or how soon my BFF and I can plan our girls’ trip. I must stay focused on the task at hand. The deadlines zip by too fast.
For my students and children, the time of life that they are in is so important to their development and growth. It zips by way too fast. Childhood and adolescence need to be savored and remembered. Make the lessons we teach count and the activities we do make a positive impact. The time zips by too fast.
While it is important to set goals and make plans, be sure to enjoy the moments that are present. Don’t let opportunities zip past you because you are too eager to get to a certain date. Slow down! Take advantage of what is here and now.
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. I really wish we could set a speed limit on time. It really needs to slow down.
Pinterest is often my go-to for seeking inspirational quotes. Recently I pinned an image that said, “Flawsome (adj.): an individual who embraces their “flaws” and knows they’re awesome regardless.” (Source: TheMindsJournal.com)
The term “flawsome” totally caught my attention so off to Google I ran. When I typed in “flawsome,” there were 212,000 results. That is A LOT of flawsome!
The Urban Dictionary was one of the first links to appear. A few entries down was Tyra Banks’ use of the word. Both the Urban Dictionary and Tyra Banks are much cooler than me, so my shared interest in this word was … well… flawsome.
According the Urban Dictionary, “flawsome” is defined as, “something that is totally awesome, but not without its flaws.” I am pretty sure this definition can be applied to most things in my life and I bet it is appropriate in your life as well.
I think we should get excited about our flawesomeness.
I believe we should celebrate just how trully flawsome we are.
This sign hangs in the Visitors’ Center at Onondaga Cave State Park near the entrance of the Onondaga Cave.
The message is simple. It asks those that visit the cave to make memories there and not destroy future opportunities for others.
I love this message!
It is a terrific reminder that when we slow down, capture moments in our hearts, and appreciate what is in front of us, we leave opportunity for the future.
When we treat opportunities, like the ones provided by the caves with respect and appreciation, we present ourselves with greater understanding of what miracles are available to us. By dedicating time to experience what is beautiful in our world, we make our lives more beautiful.
The memories we made visiting that cave are so special to me. My children and husband love talking about what we saw and did.It was a fantastic experience. I am excited to visit more caves so that we can compare and reminisce on what we have seen and done. I like to think that these explorations will leave happy and memorable footprints on the hearts of my family.
Today take time to reminisce on fond memories of your own or make new ones with someone you love. Leave a positive footprint where you tread and make sure the time you kill is well spent.
My son checking out the newest formations in the Lilly Pad Room at Onondaga Cave
I am shocked at what labels have to tell consumers to do.
Have we forgotten how to think for ourselves? Is problem-solving a skill that has gone by the wayside? Are candy wrappers really that difficult to open?
I guess the answer to all of these questions is, “Yes.”
I don’t think it is “Yes” because we can’t problem solve but because we are so over-stimulated that we can’t slow down long enough to open the darn candy bar.
Earlier this summer I wrote about my son’s inability to see a simple solution to spilling his milk because he was too concerned about getting in trouble. (Just Get a Towel) We all suffer from those moments when we know we should have the answer but it just won’t come to us.
Everyday tasks, like opening candy bars, become wrestling matches between our brains and our hands. It takes a whole lot of energy to get our brain to pin our hands down onto what needs to be done. It is exhausting, because the entire time you just want that yummy, chocolatey snack, your brain is being tag-teamed by all the other decisions and problems of your day. Continue reading “Labels That Tell Us What To Do”→