Friday, April 12, 2013

Odds And Ends

Good morning, dear ones,

Spring has arrived. Trees are displaying their
brand new pastel colored dresses, flowers are in full bloom -their fragrances permeating the air, like the worlds most expensive perfume, and the ads we receive in the mail are filled with things that will get us back on our feet, outside, and in the sun. 
     I realize that
not all of us are experiencing this wonder yet, that some of you are having to cope with frigid weather and uncomfortable and dangerous situations. If you're one of those people, know you're in my prayers.

    I didn't have any particular subject in mind when I got up but did want to post something so decided just to post on odds and ends.

The first thing is
Some of you may be old enough to remember what an apron is. I did so just had to share this. Reading it brought back so many wonderful memories of my mother, who died when I was pregnant with Johnny's and my son, gave me many "Shiny" moments. Perhaps it will do the same for you.

The principle
use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath, but along with that, it served as a holder for removing hot pans from the oven; it was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.    From the chicken-coop the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched to be finished in the warming oven. When company came those old aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids, and when warm weather was cold, grandma wrapped it around her arms.
Those big aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over a
hot, wood stove. Chips and kindling-wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron. From the garden it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled it carried the hulls.
    In the fall it was used to carry apples that had fallen from the trees. When unexpected company
drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out on the porch and waved her apron, and the men knew it was time to come in from the fields for dinner.

 It will be a long time before anyone invents something that will replace that old-time apron that served so many purposes.

                                                                                                       -Author unknown
Remember this?

"Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool. Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw."

A Day= 24 hours and there is no guarantee that we'll be here at the end of that 24 hour period, which is why it's so important to remember that happiness is a state of mind.There are many things we have no control over but being happy isn't one of them. One of the things that fends off depression, that helps us get off the pity-pot bench is to do something for somebody else. Trust me, it doesn't have to cost us a thing, except maybe setting our pride aside, and/or our fear of leaving our comfort zone.
   To illustrate what a difference taking control can do for us I'm sharing something that helped me learn this.

Before Johnny and I moved here we lived in Eugene, Oregon, in one of those beautiful apartment buildings for people over fifty-five. While there I'd take a walk around the grounds every day, mostly with Johnny, but often by myself. There was a lot going on in my life, some really hard, painful stuff and I was getting very discouraged, sad, fearful and was too often, sitting on the pity pot, thinking about just throwing in the towel and giving up.
    For about three weeks, while walking alone, I'd see this elderly woman, probably about eighty or so. She was in a wheelchair and always looked very sad. I'd always say hello to her. She seldom answered, but once in awhile would nod her head, acknowledging that she heard me.
    One day, while walking by I saw that she was crying, so didn't hesitate to go over to her. "What's the matter, dear?" I asked, while seating myself on a bench next to her."
    "I'm okay." she said, wiping her tears with her fingers. "Really." she added, as she looked up at me." I could see that she wasn't okay, that she was hurting really bad. I didn't want to pry but did want to help, so silently asked God to show me what to do.
    "You don't have to sit with me." she said, suddenly, while twisting her handkerchief in her hands. "There's nothing you can do anyway."
   "I'd like to try."I replied, "but can't help if I don't know the problem." She looked down, began wiping her tears as they began to rain down her cheeks.
"I'm old." she said, the pain in her voice so deep it was all I could do to keep from crying myself. " I"m old and wrinkled and of no use to anybody."
   "Oh, but you are."I told her.
  "No! I'm not! That's why you always see me sitting here by myself. My family lives right here in this town but never come to see me. They just dumped me here and left."
    God gave me the words to say to her. "I'll be your family." I said, and hugged her before she could have a chance to protest. "Would you like that?" Her frail arms returned my hug and she broke down, cried so hard I began to cry with her. "Will you?" she asked in a quivery voice? "Will you really be my family?
   "I will." I said, and was.
 That was the beginning of a new chapter in her life- and mine. I walked with her every day, sometimes Johnny went with us. I'd read her stories, and Johnny and I took her for long rides and to dinner with us.
    One day, knowing she was missing her family more than usual, I wanted to cheer her up, wanted to make her laugh. I went to the store and bought two huge bottles of Bubbles and two bubble pipes. I wish you could have seen the joy on her face when she opened the bag and saw that pipe and jar of bubbles. "I remember these." she said, while opening the bottle. "I used to spend hours blowing bubbles for my kids."
   "Well now we can blow them for each other, can't we?" I said.

I grew to love that sweet lady. It broke my heart when she died a few months later. That experience with her taught me a  big lesson; that all of us can make a difference ...can put some SHINY moments in  another persons life if we are willing to try.
   I have, since doing that with that lady, bought many bottles of bubbles, always have some with me in case I run across someone who is sad, lonely, lost, or in need of a friend. I encourage you to do this for somebody, especially somebody like this precious lady. Bubbles, most people think, are for children. But that isn't true. Bubbles are also for adults  willing to view, and experience once again, the world through a child's eyes. The best part about trying this is that afterwards, you  feel so good; feel good because you made a difference.Well, I'm  behind on chores so better get started. I hope every one of you has an awesome day; that you're surrounded by people who love you, believe in you, and take time to have some fun with you.

Take care,

Love you much,


Sybil said...

No wnder we all love you XXX

Anonymous said...

I'm going out and buying me some bubbles ... oh yes I am, count on it. Honestly, I can't think of a simpler dose of pure fun to share with any stranger I meet; with any person I choose. The thought of what this will do for my own heart and soul is simply ecstatic. Thanks, Barb. Rita

Crown of Beauty said...

what a heartwarming and sweet post this is. I only have a faint idea of how beautiful spring must be - in my country we do not have autumn and winter, not even spring... it is a perpetual summer, flowers bloom all year round. We only have a few months of rain, and a few months of cold nights and chilly mornings. The story about that old woman touched my heart. I love reading your posts... praying all is well with you dear Barb.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

It's always uplifting to read your posts. The apron story brought back memories of my grandmother and everything you wrote could have fit her to a tee. She always had that apron on unless it was Saturday when she'd go shopping or Sunday when she went to church. They were big with huge pockets. Hope you are well and enjoying Spring!

LaVern said...

Barb, each post that I read of yours, makes me love you even more--what a "beautiful" woman you are. What a blessing you were to that old woman, and made the last months of her life so happy. If only there were thousands more Barbs in the world, the world would be a better place. Thanks for sharing this personal story in your own life, and may we all try to imitate you in similar situations in our lives. Thank you for being the loving, caring, sharing person that you are!

Kath said...

Well Barb what can I say but another wonderful post.I have read the Apron many times and it is all so true.I even tried to buy an ols style apron for someone,for Christmas and I couldn't get one anywhere.Some of the old traditional items have just gone out now.Shame!!The story about the old lady touched me.I often sit now that I am pretty housebound and wish I had someone who would just pop in to say hello now and again.Lota of things arn't what they used to be Barb.Know you are well loved and I think of you often.I hope today and each one that passes, gets easier for you Barb.Love you mills.Take Care God Bless Kath xx

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

You made me want to go out and by some bubbles. What a blessing you were to your elderly friend. You brought so much love and joy to the end of her life.


Carol Z said...

Sweet, sweet post. I'm so happy you visited today and look forward to lots of blog visits. Yes. I skipped the $180.00 lotion. :)

Lisa :-] said...

Just the thing for me to read when I'm feeling most useless and sorry for myself. Thank you.