Friday, August 5, 2016

BLOOMIN'

I'll tell you, there is nothing better
 in life than being a late bloomer.
I believe that success can happen
at any time and at any age.
Salma Hayek
 

Art Linkletter (many years ago) had a long running program about kids... "Kids Say the Darnedest Things" ...it was really a hoot.  And isn't it true that children do say hilarious things, unexpectedly?

Our youngest 'kid' was in college, lived at home some of the time, and he stepped right in it one day when he asked me if it was true that love was blind.  I told him I thought it was true most of the time and asked him why he wanted to know.  He replied, "Mom, Dad must have really loved you a lot."  I sputtered around and he (always the diplomat) said "Well Mom, you're a late bloomer."  Ha, ha!  But it's true; I was a late bloomer. 

I was very shy, very self-conscious and had a big inferiority complex...in many ways I felt like 'the ugly duckling'.  It took years for me to overcome those obstacles...but...I did it. 

Ben Fountain said, 'Late bloomer' is another way of saying 'slow learner.'  I was

When you are waiting for something to bloom...it seems to take forever and ever...like when you plant seeds and wait and watch...and wait and watch...whenever will they pop open? 

Several years ago a Chinese neighbor gave Michael some 'Jack in the Beanstalk' beans; she told him how to properly treat them and like a good boy, he followed her directions to a tee.  We had beautiful green vines with blossoms galore and then beans!  Yay for  us.  We planted some the next summer and they didn't do well at all...nonetheless Michael stashed some of the beans in a safe place for whatever. 

Fast forward several years to our new home in Fort Worth...Brookdale...and our lovely villa.  One daughter-in-law had the foresight to bring our old, needing paint, iron arbor from our cottage in Weatherford.  It was propped up here in our back yard for several months...finally Michael took it upon himself to place/set it and produced his small stash of beans that he had saved. 
 
 

He faithfully tended them...as in notching and soaking them...and planted them at the base of the arbor.  He 'barricaded' them/put in little red flags so the lawn people wouldn't damage the baby plants as they sprouted.  Out of all those seed he got three little plants...but hey, three's better than none!  They've had very special treatment and they grew; finally they began climbing on the trellis...woohoo!  We’ve gone out first thing each morning to inspect them...no promises of blooms though...oh, boo!

Several weeks have passed w/no signs and M decided perhaps the seeds were too old and would never bloom.  Since we live in a Senior Living place maybe the beans feel they are aging too.  You suppose?
 
Two days ago, I was looking out the patio windows and communicating with the beanstalk...aloud...okay, I know!  M was at the gym exercising...just me and Jack the beanstalk.  I watched it a long time and finally said, "You know, I am not in any way demanding this...it's just something that I would love for you to do and it would make me the happiest girl if you would simply show me a few blooms...not a lot but just a few...you don't have to if you don't want but it would be awesome if you did.  Could you please, please put out a few blooms for us?"
 
I was not in a good mood all day yesterday (sharp/snippy); seems at times nothing goes right inside me...my thoughts are jumbled, in a mess and it affects everything.  My bad, I know, but stuff happens.
 
Michael came in that evening; twinkling eyes, smiling from ear to ear; said "What would you think if something happened that you wanted so badly and had just asked for?  A surprise."  I turned into one giant happy face because I knew it had to be Jack, our Beanstalk.  He took me out and there it was...rather, there they were because there were lots of blooms popping out...it wasn't too old after all.  Jack had his sprouts up...listening; wow!
 
 
A gentle word, a kind look,
a good-natured smile can work wonders
and accomplish miracles.
William Hazlitt
 
That's exactly what I had given our Jack...a few gentle words, a lovingly kind look and a good-natured smile...and you know, it worked.
 
Every day is fresh and new...so, I am trying to set a positive tone for each new day...to be kind, more patient, smile more...speaking gently rather than harshly. It's up to me whether I bloom and make life pleasant (not only for myself but others) or wilt and fade away.  I believe the beautiful bloom is the better choice!  You think?
 
"Success can happen at any time and at any age."  Even for me and our handsome beanstalk! Way to go Jack...love you...and bloom on!
 
From my heart...to yours,
Vasca  

Thursday, June 16, 2016

ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE


 
The Gratitude Diaries...

Well, hello there...after a break I'm back...six long months!  So much has taken place, so many changes in our lives...ever so much of everything.  Perhaps you've missed me...and then again, perhaps you haven't.  Either way, I'm hoping to be back in the groove...so to speak...whatever 'the groove' is!  We'll see.
 
I've prayed and pondered about what to write...so many things to write about but what first?  I keep coming back to 'gratitude'...so gratitude is it for this first post of 2016.
 
I discovered this poem...it's lengthy but I'm thinking it's worth reading.
 
Be Thankful
Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire,
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don’t know something
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you’re tired and weary
Because it means you’ve made a difference.
It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are
also thankful for the setbacks.
GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings.
Author Unknown
 
 
I'm thankful that I don't have everything I desire.
      Gives me something to dream up...for M.
      Well, M sometimes wishes we had a car,
      but wow, he's discovered how fun his golf cart is!

I'm thankful for the difficult times.
     God has provided opportunities for growth...
     I don't want to be 'little person'...I want?  A big heart.

I'm thankful for my limitations.
     God is providing opportunities for improvement.
     Patience is becoming my middle name.

I'm thankful for each new challenge.
     God is providing me with ways to improve my strength
     as well as my character...one challenge is met,
     another is waiting in the wings!

I'm thankful for my mistakes.
     God is providing me with wisdom to realize I must move carefully...
      to bite my tongue & be gracious, speaking kindly.

I'm thankful when I'm tired and weary.
     God is teaching me more about compassion and tenderness...
     giving me the opportunity to share.

I'm thankful for the good things in life.
      God is showing me how to be thankful for the setbacks...
     showing me that we are definitely not alone!
    
Skipping a proper definition of the word 'gratitude'...here's what an 88 year old lady said, when asked the secret to her good health.  "Always be happy and to be happy remember these words...Attitude and Gratitude".

So...Michael and I are changing (aren't we all); we aren't 'growing old'...oh boy, we're just old.  However...we're not finished just yet...that's what we keep saying.  We think God surely has something else in mind for us to do. 
Attitude is important and we have it...anyway,
my attitude for life has definitely become one of great gratitude...
that's what I'm about. 

"Father,
I need nothing for myself...nothing, for you have so richly blest me...all my life.
You've helped me through the many ups and downs...and helped me smile through it all.  How wonderful that is.  Michael and I have some problems but they aren't bad problems because you've held our hands through the dark times and turned on the lights.  How wonderful that is.  I am most grateful, most thankful to you for everything.
In your son's name, Amen."

From my grateful heart...to yours,
Vasca   

Saturday, December 12, 2015

LITTLE SOMETHING EXTRA...FOR SOMEONE...



      
Sigh...looks like you're it, little tree. 
         Only tree left on the lot so...guess what?
                                I choose you!
 

 
Hey, I didn't mean you were ugly...you just looked
awful lonely out there by yourself. 
Here, take my blankie...
you'll like it. 
Now there, is that better?
 
 

 
 
                             
I knew it, I knew it...you just needed some love!
       You're the prettiest tree in the world!  Wow!

                                       
* These three pictures of Linus and the little tree are taken from Peanuts by Charles Schulz.  Some of the words are mine combined with some of Schulz's thoughts/words. 
Thanks to him for his genius!

This time of the year is wonderful, in ever so many ways.  I feel like Christmas is every day ~ for many reasons but mainly because of the great improvement in Michael's health.

Add to that the birth of our very first great grandchild, and a girl at that.  This part of the Beall clan has been loaded with males...now we've girls.  M said it would be amazing if our great-grands would all be girls...sure would.  Ellie is a week old and of course she is beautifully gorgeous.  Why not?

Another blessing is a healthy and contented family...on the whole! 

Looking around...reading, listening brings to mind others who, at this particular time, are not so fortunate.  Sickness pops up at very inopportune times...as it did with us last Christmas.  We had great plans to spend a few days with our family a couple of hours from here.

Didn't happen...Christmas Eve Michael was very ill and just couldn't make it out of bed.  So, we spent Christmas at home, medicating and meditating.  By Sunday he was hospitalized until New Year's Eve.  Hey, we had a wonderful series of late celebrations and everything ended well.

Stuff happens!  Right?  A few years ago one of our sons was given the unpleasant task of terminating an employee just before Christmas.  He shared with us his feelings that day...said he drove around the block several times before he could go in to break the news of someone's termination.  How sad is that?  And yet, it happens quite often.  Bleak news to cast a pall on a beautiful holiday!

For some, it's a Christmas...
their first Christmas...without a loved one that passed on.  
For some, it's a Christmas...
one of many...w/out their loved one who is serving our country.
For some, it's a Christmas...
of being homeless.
For some, it's a Christmas...
of being in Rehab.
For some, it's a Christmas...
of being a Scrooge.
For some, it's a Christmas...
of sharing and caring.
For you, it's a Christmas...of...?

I have everything I can think of...I want nothing.  Others may have nothing and I'd never know it.  I try to keep my eyes wide open, searching the faces and actions of others ~ who knows what's going on inside...behind those eyes?

It doesn't need to be some big deal...it doesn't.  Think of people you know who might be going through some difficult times...think of those who might want or need a little happy thought, a touch, smile, card...opportunities are endless, right? 

I'm often the recipient of little things.  Like what?  I encounter the nicest people while grocery shopping...I actually enjoy the grocery experience.  This week there was a elderly gentleman behind me in the check-out line and before I could begin he totally unloaded my cart...very meticulously! 

Same day, a tiny little lady couldn't find gingerbread mix...no wonder; she was so short she just couldn't see that high up!  We had a fun time selecting it; she was charming and appreciative.  Also met another one of those big, policemen and was able to tell him how proud/happy I was of how the police protect us...he was so nice.

Sometimes people simply want to share very personal feelings; it does us good to share and express how those things affect us...you never know! 

I am reminded that Christmas isn't a date, it's a state of mind...24/7. 
Something I am trying to practice...God, please help me do this.

In closing, since these pictures are from Peanuts and Charles Schulz, here's a quote from the talented gentleman:
Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone." 

Merry Christmas...A little something from my heart, to yours! 
 

Vasca