Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Bee Chairs

These little chairs are my mom's.  She tells me that for her 4th birthday that they were hanging over the mailbox with a tag having been sent to her from her uncle in southern Indiana.  She was an Illinois girl. 

Mom used to put Christmas decorations, little pillows on them and have them by her television when she still had her house.  All my life I have known these chairs.  They are the bee chairs.  I never thought about them being the bee chairs.  It is just what they were called.  If I had been forced to give an explanation I might have thought that the kind of chair they are is a "bee chair."  Maybe they looked like bees or were bigger or smaller than the "A" chairs.

My brother had the chairs for his daughter.  She is nine and no longer wants them.  The family is crowded into a condo and can no longer house them.  My brother passed them on to me, like good antiques are.

My mom was there at the passing of the chairs and she remembered the 89 years ago when the chairs had been hanging over the mailbox.  She went on to say that in college she had needed a project for an art class.  She had recanted those chairs.  She only got a "B" on them.  They are the "B" chairs.

(Now I get it. The "B" chairs!)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Called to Be Heroes

Most of us, at least when we are younger envision our lives as heroic and good.  We picture ourselves making the world a better place.  We long to do something important and meaningful with our lives.  I think this a universal thread.  As evidence, I site the superhero movies and comics and ancient sagas of heroes.

Then life happens and our dreams are measured against reality.  The world tells us we are not heroes, we can't make a difference, our lives are not important or even good.  We do the best we can and try to find a little happiness and once in a while we might do some small thing we are proud of.  If the big heroic moment happens to us, we look around all surprise and denial--who me?

But, I have come to believe that the vision of heroic goodness and the longing for important meaning in our lives comes from our creator.  God made us that way.  We long to tap into His power and help bring the world into His Kingdom.  We long for the ultimate good.

Most of us settle too quickly for the small and the ordinary.  Most of us fail to see the ordinary miracles and small graces and therefore lack the courage to work large and heroic good in Christ's name.  Our lives may seem small and ordinary and mundane, but we are called to be heroes.  Our lives are a mission, set on a path by our Savior.  We need to pray and listen and follow the call in our lives to be the persons we were created to me.  We are called to be heroes and to live our lives like the last great adventure.  We are called.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunday Prayers

Lord, I thank You and I praise You.  I see Your Hand in all things.  I feel Your presence in my life.  I do not pretend this.  I know this.  I have come to know You.  Help me to draw closer and closer each day.  I dream of eternity praising Your Glory. Amen

Friday, September 12, 2014

7 Quick Takes,

Jennifer Fulwiler, mother, author, blogger, speaker and radio host is the source of this meme.  There are many fine blogs that link up with her.  And some like mine.....

1. Last Saturday, I am happy to report, we got a stove delivered that we actually kept.  I do believe that the intercession of St. Lawrence had a hand in that.  We were laughing together when it was finally here.  It is so great to turn on every burner and to see them actually heat up.  Yay!
2. I spoke with my son briefly on Saturday.  He didn't mention the job he had applied for in Washington, DC, so either he didn't get it, or he didn't know yet.

3. Sunday, I crocked some beef and used up the last of my Trader Joe's Everyday Seasoning.  I must get down there for some more of that.  It is my favorite all round seasoning.  When I grind a little over the beef, I feel like quite the gourmet without measuring or sweating the load--a little salt and pepper, a little savory and done.

4.  A funny thing happened last week when I had the special needs children at my library.  It really didn't have to do with the children, although they are a challenging group this year.  I once taught three year olds in a class of 26 of them, so I have mastered the ability to just keep on with story time and work in the odd scream or strange remark of the various students.  It works for me.  One of the aides took me aside at the end and told me that in my next life I should come back as a nun, because I was so patient.  I told her that I wasn't coming back, I was aiming for saint the first time. LOL Nun indeed.

5.  My sister is working on our book.  I suppose I need to get busy and do some additional research.  Back to 1876 Kansas. 

6.  My mom is having carpal tunnel surgery on Monday.  It is elective surgery and she is 93.  It seems crazy to have surgery at that age unless it was absolutely necessary.  But, Mom may live to 100.  Her hand hurt and went numb.  So, we are going to let a doctor slice open her left wrist and hope for the best.  It is what she wants.

7. I showed up early for spiritual direction on Tuesday.  Fortunately they have a library.  I started reading the documents of Vatican II.  I really need to spend some time with those.  Even the introduction was interesting.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Thank You, Lord

Dear Lord,

Thank You for my Mom.  We haven't always seen eye to eye.  I wasn't a very good daughter at times.  I won't comment on her mothering.  But as grown people we became friends of a sort.  We grew close.  I took her on as mine.  She became a responsibility as she aged.  That role of mine widens each day.  I am more and more the caretaker, the decision maker, as she says--I am becoming her mother.

It is not a role I ever wanted, caretaker of my mom.  Since she was older (32 when I was born) I never thought it would come to this.  But, here she is 93 and needing help and still wanting to do it her way.  There are things I can learn about relationships and things I can learn about You, Father God, from this stuff with Mom

Thank You for my mother and the joy and challenges that she brings.  Take care of her next week in her surgery.  But, I rejoice in and I thank You for this gift of Mom.

Your beloved daughter,

Mary

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I Trust In You

I didn't really think trusting God was a problem with me.  I let go and let God every day.  But, God has taught me some lessons that point out that all of us, well at least me, need to grow in trust all the time.

A few weeks ago, a Tuesday I believe because it was garbage day.  Hubby had left before me in the morning and had asked that I take care of some of the trash bags around the house before I left.  Having extra time is never something I have to worry about in the morning.  I am always skating the edge, but I am hardly ever late, usually right on time.

Anyway, I rushed out some trash and then finished my primping and noticed that the cross and Miraculous Medal I wear were missing.  I walked all the way upstairs to see if they were in their place on the dresser.  They weren't.  I flew my eyes around the house to no avail.  The only thing I could think of was that I might have put them in the trash while collecting the bags.  That sat in the heat at the curb, full of smelly garbage.

I had a dilemma--go though the trash and be late to work,  take the trash away from the curb and sort through it that evening and make hubby angry, or let it go.  My inclination was one or two.  But, I heard Jesus ask, "Do you trust me?  Are you willing to let it go for Me?" 

After a moment's hesitation, I answered, "Yes, Lord, I trust in You.  If the necklace is gone, it is Your Will, and if it turns up later, we will have a laugh together.  But, yes, Lord, I trust in You."

I went to school and came home late that evening.  When I found my little cross and medal sitting beside my computer I had a laugh with Jesus.  Yes, Lord, I trust in You.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys

"Not my circus, not my monkeys" is reputed on the internet to be a Polish proverb and I know of nothing that would refute that.  The context in which I heard it has to do with being pulled into other people's drama.  I am not a drama queen.  I have not so much drama (if you don't count the day I thought I had a bird in my library).  But, sometimes I can get pulled into other people's drama.

When there is an injustice or aching problem I feel for the person who is suffering.  I can get sucked into trying to solve the problem or at least praying fervent prayers for the solution.  There is nothing wrong with helping others or praying for them, but losing sleep and worrying about someone else is probably not healthy.

So, without becoming callous or mean, I hope that I can remember--Not my circus, not my monkeys.  It seems like a very healthy attitude to carrying forth. (Although now I start to wonder--where is my circus and my monkeys? Maybe I should look for them?)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Purgatory

When I was in college I took a class that allowed me to visit The Computer owned by my university.  In this class I also learned to make data punch cards and I was able to "play" Blackjack with The Computer.  I "played" in a room in the building where The Computer was housed, but the marvelous thing was that The Computer could actually be accessed from other places in the university, think of the possibilities!

I expected to live in a computer age someday.  Often and fondly were discussed the possibilities of things that could be done by computer, thus saving us all of the drudgery of daily life.  It seemed as though computers would make life easier and solve many of the problems encountered in life.

I remember the first personal computer we owned.  It was a Commodore 64.  I didn't really see the point of it.  Gradually as processes became more useful and easier I appreciated the word processing capabilities of computers, the games, and eventually the internet and social networking.  I have lived through several upgrades of processors and laptops.  In my job at school there seems to be nothing I can do that doesn't involve the computer.

The students too need to use computers for testing, for researching, for processing.  My district has provided laptops for these purposes.  The ones in my building are going on 8 years old.  These trusty old machines get turned off in May, to be revived in September for use.  The problem is--the computers are old and slow, the wireless connectivity is shaky at best, and there are updates that have accumulated over the summer that need to be run before these computers can be used at all.

So, in a fit of what can only be described as complete and utter insanity, I attempted to accomplish the updates.  I enlisted the help of my colleagues.  Even our wired internet connection was not working well over the weeks we were trying to accomplish this. This was a whole separate issue that slowed everything down. I personally updated too many computers to count.  I have concluded that working with old computers that have been used by middle school-ers for upwards of 7 years is an exercise that teaches patience and prayer.  It is an exercise in humility and service.  Running updates on over 300 laptops could be an activity reserved for purgatory.

I am sure that once the computers get going and remove themselves from my library and take wings and fly with the lessons and tests they were intended for, I will forget the torture they brought.  Still, I reflect on whether things were really so bad back in the day with one computer for an entire university.  It would certainly save time on the updates.  m

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sunday Prayers

Sometimes my life is like a piled dishpan, overloaded.  Sometimes I don't rejoice in the small beauty and enjoyment of a favorite mug or juice glass.  Sometimes it is all too much and about to fall over.  Help me Lord to see You in the mercies and the grace.  Help me to find You and not work endlessly on pile after pile of stuff.  Help me to breathe.  I will rejoice in You.  I will use my life to praise You.  I will put aside the busy-ness and be.  Help me to be with You. Amen.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Birds

I am not much for the horror genre of literature or films.  I tend to have nightmares from such things.  Some people seem to really enjoy being scared.  Not me.  I shy away from the horror. I don't think I ever saw more than parts of the movie called "The Birds."

The Tuesday after Labor Day brought that film to mind for me in my library.  After a three day weekend with some rough rainy weather, there are bound to be issues around the school.  Air conditioning was out in most of the building except my library.  However, with the cold came an extremely loud rattle and a chirp.  A loud chirp.  At first I thought I imagined it.  Then I toured the room to look for evidence, but every so often I heard a loud bird chirping sound.  It never happened when I was down there in the back of the room.  It sounded to everyone who came in like the bird was in the vents.

I turned it in to maintenance and everyone laughed at me.  No one wanted to do anything about it.  I pictured listening to the death of the poor poor bird and then smelling its rotting carcass for months.  I lay awake on Tuesday night worrying about that bird and trying to figure out a way to save it.  I decided to get a tall ladder and use a screw driver and take apart everything I could.  Wednesday some English teachers helped me.  We got as far as lifting some of the drop ceiling tile when it seemed that the chirp might be coming from the door.

I have an alarmed back door.  The alarm makes a chirping.  I knew that when the battery was getting low it chirped, like a smoke alarm.  I had tried that door and the alarm first when I heard that chirp.  It just didn't sound like the bird was there.  But, as I had time to stand back there, I heard it.  The door alarm was chirping.  It was never any bird.

So, now I need to make amends to the English teachers and the custodial staff and the maintenance staff and all the kids I told to listen for the birds. I am relieved and thankful that no bird is dying in my vents.  I really am.