Friday, December 7, 2018

What is a Gift from the Heart?

toilet tissue
Standing in line at the post office with over a dozen parcels in my hands, someone tapped my shoulder gently.  When I turned, she said in a quiet tone, "You have a long line of toilet paper behind you."  Mmmmm.... I wonder how many people had a smile when they saw that; yet one woman was kind enough to let me know.
pantie hose falling down

My birthday party last month was at a swanky Italian restaurant and I was surrounded by family and friends.  I dressed up for the affair and found the perfect pair of (brand new, of course) pantie hose to match my black and white polka dot top.  When it was time to hug everyone goodbye at the door, I stood up and my pantie hose fell down.   I immediately sat down, motioned for a close friend to loan me her wrap and continued to hug everyone from that position.  Husbands of friends have had a field day with this and love teasing me mercilessly.

These are memories we won't soon forget but they always bring a smile even though they were embarrassing at the time.

In this month's blogging challenge I was asked "What is your very best Christmas memory?"  I don't have to dig very deep to respond quickly.  

It was Christmas Eve 1987.  There was little money for gifts or a turkey dinner, which was a harsh reminder of how difficult the year had been. My husband and I were going through a rough patch of difficult times.  It seemed that no matter what we did to get ahead, we were thrown two steps back. We had taken a huge financial loss that year and did not have any income at the time. Jobs were more than scarce and every day seemed to bring a new dilemma.

I had taught my children that there are things a lot more important than exchanging gifts, but every parent loves to watch their kiddie’s eyes light up when they open that one special present.  The lesson I was about to learn and one that my children will always remember is that the best gifts are from the heart and cannot be bought.

Christmas giving

My favorite spoon that I used for cooking was a long-handled metal one with a rubber end to protect your hand.  While preparing our Christmas Eve dinner, the rubber end broke off of it. Without warning, the floodgates opened and I began to weep.  All the pent-up emotion of our circumstances poured out.  I sat down on the kitchen floor and cried. When my husband heard me, he came into the kitchen and saw the broken spoon in my hand.

Gently, he removed the spoon from my grip and laid it on the counter. He took me in his arms and held me.  No words were exchanged.  There was no need.

The next day was Christmas and we woke up to a snowfall.  Perfect. We lived in a remote area surrounded by acres of woods. The beauty of the forest was breathtaking. What fun we would have playing in the snow with our children.  The freshness of the pure white snow seemed to send the message that this new year would be a new beginning. I found solace in that.
first snowfall

I knew the children would understand why there were only some small gifts for them under the Christmas tree, but I certainly wished there could have been more – at least the bigger items they had put on Santa's list.  I was thrilled knowing they had used their imagination to make a small token of love for each of us.

We finished opening the presents, and I went into the kitchen to prepare Christmas dinner.  Then I saw it. On the kitchen counter was my spoon – my favorite spoon.  I couldn't believe my eyes. It had a new wooden handle. I had no idea where my husband got it or how he did it, but he had found a perfect piece of wood to fit the spoon.  My spoon.  It could still be used.  I got so excited that I believe the children were concerned Mom had lost her faculties.

The lesson the children learned that day was priceless. They witnessed the joy that comes when giving a gift from the heart.  All of us have had experiences like this that make us realize what is important. What love means.


That was almost 30 years ago and I am still using that spoon.  Every.  Single.  Day. Every day I am reminded that I need to find a way to make a gesture, no matter how small, to show appreciation to those I love. We may never know the impact we might have on someone's life from a small act of kindness on our part. I know I will never forget what my husband’s loving act meant to me because I am reminded of it every time I use that spoon. 

The challenge for this post was submitted by Rena from Blogging 911 

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado
The Lieber Family Blog
The Bergham Chronicles
The Blogging 911
Cognitive Script
Part-Time Working Hockey Mom


Friday, November 23, 2018

When You Think Romance is Dead - It May Surprise You

Forty-six years ago today hubby and I tied the knot -- and they said it wouldn't last!  For $100 we bought the wedding package from the Elvis Chapel in Las Vegas.  It included a chauffeur-driven limo to the courthouse to get our license, the cost of the license, the trip back to the Chapel, the chaplain, flowers, music, a witness, a cassette tape of the ceremony and pictures.  I'd say it was a good investment, wouldn't you?

46 year anniversary

Another Milestone

As a joke over the past year, I invited people to my surprise birthday party.  I knew it would never happen so I felt safe making a joke about it.  As this new decade approached, people asked me what I was doing for my birthday.  Neither my husband nor I have ever made a big deal about birthdays and I often forget them until I looked at the calendar.   When my hubby asked me what I would like to do this year as it was a 'big' one, I asked him to cook dinner for me.  He makes the best halibut cheeks and my mouth watered just thinking about them.  

When my daughter said that she and the kids were coming for a visit on my birthday weekend I was ecstatic.  That was the best present.  They were here for four glorious days.  

Friday, November 9, 2018

Do You Live Life With Regrets?

Life is too short

Nothing makes you more aware of fleeting time than your birthday.  I believe each of us has our own timeline embedded in our mind as to how long we will live.  Many of us feel like we have crossed a milestone when we live beyond the number of years that our parents lived.

We are also constantly reminded how short life is; that we need to live it to the fullest and not have regrets.  We need to make sure we forgive those who hurt us, no matter how difficult that might be.  Science has proven that bitterness takes its toll on our psyche and can cause health issues resulting in a shorter life.  

Life is too short

Yet, as we approach our 'golden years' I am convinced this term means different things to

Friday, October 19, 2018

Ever Have One Stress on Top of Another?

Ever feel like you are hitting your head against the wall -- especially when dealing with government agencies?  My life, my memoir, and my talk show all echo the same message -- I never quit.  "No" is a word rarely in my vocabulary especially when I experience an injustice.   

I sold an amplifier on eBay last May that the post office damaged extensively.  The man who purchased it mailed it back to me for a refund, RATHER than submit a damage report at his local PO.  Consequently, I was denied my claim of over $1,000.  I submitted three appeals and they were each turned down for the same reason.  The parcel was securely packed so that was not an issue.  It was denied strictly because the buyer jumped the gun and sent it back to me demanding a refund.  

I researched on how to take the PO to small claims court.  You can't.  I thought I had exhausted my resources after spending numerous hours on the phone with various branches of the claim department -- all to no avail.  Three strikes and you are out.  You can't submit another appeal.

Then I contacted the Attorney General of the US in D.C. and registered my complaint about three weeks ago.  Yesterday I received a phone call from the head office of the USPS and they said they were reopening the case; and after I submit the pictures, they will resolve this for me.

Friday, October 5, 2018

What is Your Biggest Regret You Would Like to Undo?

Are you one of those people who would rather have folks come visit you or you travel to visit them?  I certainly am!  I know part of my 'problem' is that I am a work addict and if people are visiting me, I can get up earlier than them and stay up later to complete tasks.  

For the same reason, going away on vacation has little appeal because I think of how far behind I will be when I return home.  Do I like being this way?  Nope!  How about you?  Would you rather go away and relax and not stress about getting behind in your work?  Or do you secretly work behind the 'scenes' while you have friends visiting?

When I was asked the question "If you took a dream vacation in reverse, who is the one person you would want to come to you and why?"  I would have to say very loud and clear:  "My family."  I have spent most of my adult life living far away from family and it is a major regret of mine.  How I would love to live near them and enjoy holidays and summer fun with them.  It is time lost and can never be regained.