Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Jewels in My Life

It is Sunday night. As the week begins, my floor is covered with jewels of many colors. There are piles of pearls, mounds of rubies, stacks of sapphires. From my throne (a blue recliner) I see a small heap of emerald, and there is a new copper color this year that my grandson argues is red. I think it may be a shade of topaz.

My dear cousin and beloved friend, Suzette, lives in New Orleans. Every year Suzette sends my grandchildren a big box of Mardi Gras goodies -- beads, coins, cups, stuffed animals. The children have no idea what Mardi Gras is. The girls see fine jewelry. The older boy sees a coveted pirate's booty. Undoubtedly, the 2 year old boy will soon join the older one as a team of pillaging pirates. Look out Captain Jack!

My grandson has been visiting for a few days, so the plastic jewels have been pirate booty this weekend. We have sorted and examined each piece carefully. I have worn most of these beads at various times over the weekend and have been scolded for making the mistake of calling a strand of pearls beads. How silly of me!


When I started writing this post, I had been looking for a different type of jewel for nearly two months. Sometime over the Memorial Day weekend I misplaced my mother's sapphire college ring, my grandmother's Eastern Star ring, and a watch that my daughter gave me one Christmas. I had a "throwing out" that weekend, and I had just about decided that my jewels had accidentally been tossed. I have searched every nook and cranny, under furniture, in the vacuum cleaner bag. I even put on the heavy armor and cleaned out my truck. My precious treasures were no where to be found.

I shed many a tear trying to think of places that I might have stuck my jewels. I felt like a part of my soul had been lost forever. The cherished treasures turned up in a most unusual place as I contemplated the importance of the jewels that painted my carpet with color.

The tears I shed were wasted ones. The missing rings and watch are not a part of my soul at all. They are a part of my memories. For the time being, those memories are still intact. When I lose the memories, the rings and watch will be meaningless to me, and it is not likely that my soul will be lost with the memories. At the end of the day, my precious jewels are worth about as much as the ones that turned my living room floor into a Jackson Pollack.

The true jewels in my life are in the eyes and smiles of my family. Of course, Daddy is a diamond, & his brilliance lights the way for the rest of the clan. Without him, the rest of us would lack luster. Amanda is a garnet. Shell is an emerald. While Roger is a tangerine topaz, his wife, Jessie, is an aquamarine beryl. Asia is a pearl, and her sister is a pink topaz. Christian is a peridot, a paler image of his mother. Katelyn is an amethyst, and her brother, Madden, is malachite. My brothers Mal, Craig, Greg, & Lance are various shades of agate. My best friend, Cathey, is a star sapphire. Suzette, the family jeweler is a ruby. Me . . . I am like the Mardi Gras beads, with lots of flash but simple plastic underneath all the flash.

My life has been blessed with the most precious jewels and gems God put on this earth.

"You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it."
– Robin Williams

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Obese Turtle

When my son was 6 or 7 years old, he had the delightful experience of turtle-sitting. The 2 little boys had gone to visit their Daddy for several weeks, and they asked Roger to keep the turtle while they were gone. You have seen this tiny cute turtle. Maybe you even had one as a child. They crawl out of the ditches in the Spring. This one was just about the size of a quarter.

I had a 4th of July "feast" in the back yard for my children, my neighbor & her son, and anyone else who might happen along. The boys kept feeding the turtle the rolls. After repeatedly telling them to stop, I told them that little turtles like that explode when they eat too much. They did not believe me.

After lunch, the boys took a nap. My daughters, Amanda & Michelle, agreed to baby-sit (a task that also involved turtle-sitting) while the boys tood a nap. While they were sleeping, my friend and I headed for the country in search of a large turtle. We found a very nice speciman that would just barely fit into the baby turtle's bowl. The well fed baby turtle was hidden safely out of site. When the boys got up, they ran in the kitchen to wake Turtle from is nap. Roger's bright and happy smile vanished, and his face turned to cold fear. The boys were certain that Turtle had overdosed on bread and was about to explode all over the kitchen.

The 4th of July might not be the first day of summer, but it signals the onset of Summer for me. As an adult, most of my 4th of July celebrations have been right in my own back yard. I still cook a big meal for anyone who might happen along. After lunch we feel like the obese turtle. I don't quite understand how we can associate "comfort" with something that makes us feel so miserable. I ate too much fried chicken today, and once again I feel like the obese turtle.

This year I spent the day with my daughter, Michelle, and grandson, Christian. We had a jolly happy time. We had a picnic, went swimming, and enjoyed the fireworks of Freedom Fest. I did most of the cooking for today's celebration last night. The simple menu included fried chicken, mashed taters, bean salad, and baked beans. I am not quite sure why I still call them baked beans because I cook them in a crockpot these days. It is ironic that we can associate "comfort" with something that makes us feel so miserable. I ate too much chicken today. It was delightful, yet I feel like the obese turtle tonight. A comforted obese turtle.

God blessed Americans with good food, loving families, and innocent children.

Your only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it.
-- Robin Williams

Friday, July 3, 2009

A Little Spark of Madness

Writing a blog should be easy for me. After all, I always have something to say. Nonetheless, it has taken me a long time to commit to blog. I like my freedom, and I never wanted to be tied to a blogging obligation.

Most people who know me will describe me as crazy . . . nuts . . . unpredictable . . . happy . . . and perhaps tetched with a little spark of madness. I talk to leprechauns. Well, actually, it is just the one leprechaun -- my sometimes friend, Lester (aka Little Green Dude). Come mid-September my yard will look something like this because I love Halloween.

Halloween gives adults an excuse to play dress up again, and I dress up and terrorize the neighborhood. I have a "crystal" ball and tell fortunes. My alter ego is named Esmeralda. Life can be entertaining at my house for certain.
As odd as it may seem, the madness keeps me sane. I rarely get stressed out because I refuse to be unhappy. I might have to do something outlandishly crazy to lighten the mood, but I am good at breaking stress with laughter. A person has to be at least a bit mad to pull some of the stuff I do for stress busters. When I mess up, I blame it on the Little Green Dude. Hey, if he didn't do it, he was most certainly thinking about it. :)

I am never lonely because I have imaginary friends.

It is only a little spark of madness, though.
Not enough to get me into trouble.
At least not very often.

Just enough to keep me sane.


"You're only given a little spark of madness. You musn't lose it."

--Robin Williams