CONFUCIUS

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lake-mcdonald-glacier-national-park-montana-752x501.jpgTo put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order;  to put the family in order we must cultivate our personal life; and to cultivate our personal life we must first set our hearts right.

Confucius

On a day like today I think it would be helpful if we can look at our hearts and minds  and decide what we as individuals can do to accomplish our goals for our families, our nation and our world. I am reminded of the Three Dog Song, “One is the loneliest  number that you will ever do.” But together great things can be accomplished for everyone everywhere.

THOSE LITTLE BLUE LIGHTS. NUMBER TWO 

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Walking thru a darkened house in the middle of the night when you are in need of a drink of water or some other such matter that is urging you to rise up from your warm bed has always been a matter of being careful just where you walk. If you have children in your house, heaven only knows what may lie in your path, just waiting for you to stumble over something that would leave you on your knees. 

If there are four-footed animals sprawled around in odd places it can be even worse. They may be sleeping so soundly that you are on top of them before they even decide to open their eyes and figure out what is going on. If there is a stairway or even just a couple of steps from one level to another, you are taking your life in your hands unless you turn on the lights. And that brings forth moans and grumbles from your significant other who really doesn’t appreciate the brightness you have brought into the room. 

A couple of nights ago while on my way to the kitchen at about 3 AM I looked out the window and there was the moon, shining brightly down on the tile at my feet. I thought, hey, it really is bright in here tonight. I can see where I am going so clearly. Then I glanced into the kitchen, and it was pretty light too. A beautiful little shiny blue light shone on the wall oven. Over in the corner the digital numbers of the microwave gave light. Glancing into the living room, all of a sudden my IPad came on with a message “alert”, and I could see all of the furniture clearly. The WiFi charger that stood on a table had another very vivid blue light. 

Intrigued, I went to my office where the WiFi coming into the house stood, and another blue light!  All of these appliances were doing double duty for us all night long. When I got back to our bedroom, the digital clock was also casting forth a warm glow.

There have been times, I must admit, when I have complained about the cost of our electric bill just to be complaining about something, I guess, but I am looking at that bill with a new “light”. It is helping me out all night long. It is keeping me from having an accident because I can’t see well enough in the dark, and it is also keeping our house warm or cool, depending upon the weather. 

Little blue lights, or white digital ones, just some of our modern devices that help us to enjoy our lives a great deal more. I am really happy that I have lived in this time and been able to take advantage of all the good things being invented. I am looking forward to the next new invention and I know it will probably have another “blue light” to help me see thru the night. Just like Kris Kristopherson sang, “Help me make it thru the night!” 

THOSE LITTLE BLUE LIGHTS

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Well, I knew it would happen someday.  While trying to post the picture of the pansies for my blog, somehow my clumsy fingers hit this picture of Judy and Lee Rider in our driveway a couple of years ago. And the darned thing published. Great picture, but my goof.  So this is Number one and I am going to post again, number two.  

Mothers, Mother in Laws, Step Mothers

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It’s Mothers Day! The day that we share all of the love and affection that we feel for the women in our lives.

“Mothering” is the term that we bestow upon anyone, mostly female, but sometimes male, when we want to show empathy or caring for another person.

There are lots of kinds of mothers, who come in different sizes or shapes or colors. The term “mother” is applied to many different types of women in our life.  There are many women who will never legally wear the title, but that doesn’t mean they don’t do the mothering. We all know women who are the mothers to their brothers and sisters, or their patients as a nurse, or students as a teacher, or just about anyone they care about.

Being a mother can be difficult, but it has its own built in rewards. Many poems and odes have been written to glorify mothers, to show how much we care about them. Thinking of our mothers can bring beautiful smiles on our faces just thinking about them or remembering them from long gone days.

But I would like to add two more names to this select group. Mother in laws and step mothers. When I started thinking about this I was amazed at how many of the women in my life are at least two of them, and some of them are all three, as I am. When you become a mother there are all kinds of classes to help you learn how to do the job. You have the experience of your own mother as a backup.

But when you become a stepmother or a mother in law you are in uncharted waters. You want to succeed with all of your heart and soul. But there is a sense of competition when you add the phrases, “step” or “in law” to the mixture.  Someone else has already held the position that you now hold, and you are determined to do your best. Always there is a period of adjustment for every one involved, and it usually doesn’t happen as fast as giving birth.

But mothers, no matter what kind, have a way of bringing forth the nurturing ways that are inherit in most humans, and these are the ones we are honoring today.

So today while you are remembering your mothers with love and honor, I know you are also giving a “shout out” for those “other” mothers, the ones who have your best interests at heart, but came into your life at a later date.

Women, the odds are pretty great that someday you will be a mother in law also, and maybe even lucky enough to be a stepmother. We are all in this world to learn from each other, and these are pretty rewarding positions. Love and compassion and understanding are among the qualities we revere in our mothers, no matter in what form they show up.

Happy Mothers Day, everyone. Have a wonderful day, no matter where you are.

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SPRINGTIME WORRIES

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When you can look out your bedroom window, and see a view that is so magnificent in all its glory, all the white and pink blossoms bursting forth to show the world that another spring has arrived, it seems impossible to believe that this beautiful scene could be the cause of untold worries for the farmers that have brought it forth. Ever since the end of fruit season last fall you have been looking forward to a new year, to beautiful  blossoms, and a wonderful crop of cherries, or apples, or peaches.  Being a fruit farmer, or a member of his or her family means that you always have these expectations of the next years crop sitting somewhere in the back of your mind.

Most years you are lucky, the trees bloom, somehow the dreaded freezes just manage to avoid you and you end up with the wonderful fruit that Michigan is so famous for. Pleasing all of your customers is one of the main goals in your life. There is nothing like handing an apple to someone and seeing their smile in return.

But right now we are under a freeze warning for our area tonight. We don’t actively farm ourselves anymore, but all of our neighbors do.  The laborers in our area are all dependent upon good crops.  Our customers and that includes us, all want this great Michigan fruit. So we do the best we can, we watch the thermometers hourly , and we send our prayers soaring upward in hopes that all will be well this time.

But one thing I do know, no matter how cold it gets tonight, no matter if the pistils turn black, the farmers will be determined to try again next season because this is just what farmers do, they plant, they grow, and they pray. And somehow it works, and we are all thankful for that. .    IMG_0136

GRATITUDE 

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Today is a day for me to give some special thanks and gratitude to two very special women in my life. Yesterday I had my annual physical here in Michigan and it really pleased both my doctor and me. Better blood pressure, chlorestrol, and a good feeling that I am feeling much better and stronger. For several years Tammy Jager had been encouraging me to get a walker or some such thing because I was having trouble taking long walks. I resisted her mightily for a long time due to my pride and foolishness. But this winter another voice joined the chorus, Debra Rider, and I began to realize that they only had my best interests at heart. So I broke down, bought a red Rollerator, started walking each day, and now I walk 25 minutes at a time.  I met new friends while I was in Florida, and found that there are lots of us who can use a little help.  And I love it because it has brought me freedom. I don’t need it at home, thank goodness.  I heap praise upon my husband, Bob Rider, who always tags along with me.

But it gives me great pleasure to give kudos to Debra and Tammy whom I love, especially because they didn’t give up on me.  I owe them for many special things in my life, but this one deserves a special thank you.