On the first day of winter, I am choosing to be thankful for all of the pictures on my Ipad and computer screensaver.
Over the years one of the mainstays of my life has been doing a lot of traveling. Some of it was going from one place to another in order to change my place of residence. Some of it was just pure pleasure, on a cruise ship or in our car. Even buses and airplanes had their day in the sun and one thing that tied them together was all of the pictures that I took along the way.
At first it was a pretty simple Kodak camera, and it took 20 pictures and plenty of them were not really worth saving. But we graduated to a better instrument as the years went by and I saved them for a while. Because I was living in so many different places all around the country I sent the majority of them to relatives to brag about all of the places in our American West. I am sure that lots of my children still have those old black and white pictures in their albums somewhere.
But now everything has changed. I take pictures with the Iphone or my Ipad, copy my friends pictures on Facebook, and put them into a screensaver on anything electronic. At any time I can sit and watch the pictures from all over the United States that I have actually visited, or smile at the children’s faces from long ago.
And when I look at an Alaskan landscape like a glacier, I can still bring forth the memories of standing on the deck of a cruise ship, can still feel the majesty and the awe that I experienced on that memorable day.
I can look at the picture of a great grandson only two hours old, and it is just like I was still there. Here in Florida I can look at our fruit trees in Michigan, loaded with blossoms, and remember how lucky I am to have lived on a farm. I can and do bring all of the faces of our children right in front of me, feeling the love and respect that we have for each other.
A screensaver is a wonderful thing, and I am so thankful for it. It is the reminder of all of the wonderful events in my life, always to be savored no matter where I am. Every picture is a reminder of how good life has been to me and so this is what I am most thankful for this Christmas.
Looking at this picture of my bird feeder in Michigan about five years ago, I am reminded of why we are now living in Florida for a few months each year. The feeder is on a railing just outside of our kitchen sliding door, and many a summer morning is spent enjoying the many birds that come to see us each day. The feeder has an apple crate over the top of it each night because the raccoons in our area think that this is their personal feeding trough. They are very messy and they dig more than they eat. As darkness comes upon us each evening my husband heads for the deck to cover it up because the raccoons are night time feeders. But if I sleep in even a few minutes over my normal time in the morning the birds fly in and start tapping on the top of the crate.
So I go outside and remove the crate. Just to let them know that I am here I also tap on the crate, and as I watch I can see our feathered friends perching on the branches of the big maple trees in the yard.
I really love the birds. I just don’t love them enough to stay home in Michigan all winter in order to feed them. Guilt arises in me as I make this statement. I know that other neighbors feed them, I tell myself. I’ve thought that maybe I could arrange to have someone come in and fill the feeder for me. But the yard usually has three feet of snow and so does the driveway.
What to do? I have decided. Maybe the birds are smart enough that they too have flown to a warmer climate.
They must do that, because each spring as I come back so do they. They too must be “snowbirds”. I sure hope so.
Take a good look at these words. Read them aloud. Leave a second in between each of them. What do you feel when you hear them?
Angrily, Blindly, Badly, Boastfully, Boldly, Foolishly, Fortunately, Happily, Gleefully.
Emotions, that is what you hear, because that is what you feel. As you speak each word again, your emotions do an abrupt about face, switching from negative to positive and back again. Your thoughts and your feelings are inner twined in the same way that we are all connected. Every time that we are beset with an unhappy or negative thought it is possible, yes even probable that we can change just one little word and by doing so change our current outlook on life.
Our thoughts and our words are the engine that runs us. The next time that you are having a less than positive thought, stop and look at the word you used that described it. There are tons of great words that should be floating around in our mind. Let us capture them and share them with someone we love. Share them in our writing and share them in our speech.
Someone famous once said we are our own worst enemy. We use our own words against ourselves. Listening to our own positive words will bring a lift to our spirits and a smile to our faces. It sure beats hunting for the Bufferin bottle when my own thoughts give me a headache.
Looking out my window this early winter morning,
In the western sky the moon is perfectly golden.
Reflected on the white surface of a snow-covered lake
It hangs there, round and beautiful,
Mysterious and fascinating,
And I wonder, where is the man in the moon?
Can I go back to the innocence of childhood,
Believing in that man,
Believing that all is well in the world,
Believing that the moon will go down,
The sun will come up,
And neighbor will help neighbor?
Or do I face the world as a disillusioned adult,
Watching the television news,
Reading an evening newspaper,
Fearing my enemies have put me in harms way?
God, I am praying for my misplaced innocence,
I know that You can bring it back to me.
I know that deep within every one of us, You reside,
And I thank You for the reminder of the “man in the moon”,
Watching over all of us, just for You!