Archive for May, 2011

Mother of the Bride, Chapter 13
May 26, 2011

 

Love one another and you will be happy.  It’s as simple and as difficult as that.  ~Michael Leunig

Oh gosh, the time has been flying by as the calendar pages march on; only 4 weeks now until the big day! We have lately been hard at work getting the invitations out; until recently, there were stacks of envelopes, invitations, inserts, tissue and stamps piled on the dining room table as we went through the task of assembling all the elements of each invitation. Oops, watch out for the overseas ones! They require special postage…  

We actually had to have some stuffing lessons to make sure we inserted the tissues correctly. Tissues? What an anachronism from the olden days of yore! Back then, they were useful to blot up the ink, because the invitations were hand written. Sometimes I wonder why we took  the time to learn how to insert them properly in this day and age… but we did. All I can say is that I’m channeling Tevya as I sing, “Tradition!” 

We were SO lucky to win the services of an awesome calligrapher at a fundraiser for my youth choir; Carrie is the mom of one of my current and former singers, and I am grateful for her generous gift. She did a beautiful job. The envelopes are absolutely gorgeous! 

And then, finally, the invitations were mailed! There is no going back now. 

Shannon and Kat have been honored with several showers this month, and literally, they have been SHOWERED with presents! Thank you notes have been and continue to be written daily. Shannon has been diligent about this, and I am grateful for her appreciation for the generosity of our dear friends and family members. We are so blessed. 

One thing that had been nagging at me was the question about where we were going to put all this stuff. My knee jerk answer was UPSTAIRS!! You know, that’s the place where stuff goes. But then all the stuff up there will have to get stuffed elsewhere, like maybe in the garage? 

Then I had an IDEA!! Sometimes when you think about something long enough, the solution finally comes. We reversed course and have finally decided on a display tactic. 

Long story short, I removed all the comfy seating from the corner of my downstairs bedroom (yes, it all went upstairs), and set up long tables (that had been in the garage), covered them with lovely tablecloths… and then set the gifts upon them. 

What fun it is to see all the brand new gifts, all clean and sparkling! Looking at some of our wedding gifts from 32 years ago, things may not be so shiny anymore, but there are  some that have stood the test of time, and are very, very valued. I have no doubt that many of the gifts that Shannon and Kat have received will be likewise treasured. 

What’s nagging at us now is the DETAILS. Hotel blockings, who will stay where and how will they get from here to there, who will be included in what function, lists and lists and lists. And more lists. 

I took time off last weekend to go to Amelia Island, FL for a long weekend with Joel as he attended an ABA conference. There I did NOTHING…  except read, nap, walk on the beach, enjoy great meals that I didn’t have to cook, soak in bubble baths, sleep late and so on and so on. 

I returned home with new resolve to plow through this final month… we are well on our way. It is going to be such a happy day! 

Now I just have to practice walking around in my fancy shoes so I don’t wobble down the aisle. Seriously, Bruno told me to practice every day. It’s quite an amusing sight to see me in my shorts and high heels!

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A Missed Opportunity
May 14, 2011

He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.Proverbs 14:31 

Our church’s Lenten study series came complete with an experiential calendar that suggested things to do each day to focus on a standard of behavior that exemplifies a Christian way of life. One day, the calendar suggested we treat a stranger to lunch. 

Problem is, I work at home in my little corner of suburbia and seldom ever encounter others, except those who live right around me. It seemed somewhat awkward to go out and find someone to treat. But then maybe I wasn’t trying hard enough. 

Later that week, I was standing in the check-out line at the grocery store, fiddling with my Blackberry and reading the scandalous headlines on the magazine covers. I wasn’t paying much attention, until I realized that the person in front of me was having problem with her credit card; I think the transaction was denied. 

The poor woman started digging in her purse to see how much money she could scrounge up, and after doing so, discovered she would have to put some of her purchases back. So back went the meat and a few other items. I imagine she was mortified, and I felt bad for her.

But I just stood there, “minding my own business.” It wasn’t until after she walked out the door that a light bulb exploded in my head, “you idiot, here was your chance to treat a stranger to lunch!” What I should have done was signal the cashier to put those items on my ticket, and have the sacker run out and give them to her. 

But it was too late. She was gone. I blew the opportunity, and it has nagged at me ever since. 

In Matthew 25:40, Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” I hope that you will join me in looking for ways to reach out to someone who needs a helping hand. Next time I’ll be ready! 

Pewperson will return on May 27.

Ode to Mom
May 6, 2011

The moment a child is born, the mother is also born.  She never existed before.  The woman existed, but the mother, never.  A mother is something absolutely new~Rajneesh

Dear Mom, 

Now the tables are turned, and we are helping you through your 9th decade, just as you helped us through our first few ones. It’s a lot easier for many people to take care of one grown person as opposed to one person taking care of six small children. I often find myself saying, “I don’t know how you did it!”   

(yes, I know Dad helped take care of us, too, but we both know he was often gone because of work related obligations, leaving you to do most of it.)

Reading your letters from the 1950’s through the late 1960’s boggles my mind. The logistics of taking care of that many kids must have been daunting- not only seeing to our basic needs, like food, shelter and clothing, but also keeping a watchful eye on our education, cultural opportunities, sports events, music making, church going, scouting activities plus overseeing the menagerie of creatures that lived with us… on top of all the volunteering, gardening and home renovating you managed to squeeze in. Oh, and did I mention you also earned a M.Ed in your spare time? How DID you do it all?

Resourceful, energetic, creative, smart, fun loving, generous, capable, pretty, organized, strong, fearless, disciplined, effervescent, reverent, faithful, determined… these are just some of the words that come to mind when I think of you from the vantage point of my childhood years. You were a superwoman to me! Your legacy of service to causes important to you has been taken to my heart. The sacrifices you made for us all were huge; we were blessed to have you as our mom. I’m so glad that God sent me to you and Dad! 

I am grateful for your fine example of what being a mother meant, and I have tried to emulate you as I raised up my Shannon. She has been a wonderful daughter, and I hope that she will someday appreciate your influence via mine, as well. 

It is a testament to our upbringing that all of us siblings really love being with one another, and that all of our kids love being with their cousins, as well. There is no envy or squabbling. All of your grandkids are fine, young, hardworking people, and we siblings are so proud of them. As are you! 

In this, your 9th decade, one of my favorite things about you is your positive nature. Even when you recently totaled your car and broke your arm, you kept looking on the positive side: no one else was hurt, it was only a broken arm that will heal and it was God’s way of letting you know it was time to stop driving, etc. You often say, “I’m the luckiest person in the world!”, and I am thankful that you are so content, serene, blessed and confident that God has watched over you. It is a pleasure to be with you, because you are such a happy person. 

It is with much gratitude and pride that I claim you as my mom! 

Love, churchlady