Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Downhome values in the new millenium

It seems like everything in the world is moving faster. Technology is increasing at a dizzying pace. I cannot operate half of the electronic gadgets in my home. Most of the time I have to get my 10 year old son to work the features on my television set. I am starting to learn how to do some basic things on the computer, however,I still type with two fingers and cannot set the time on my VCR. I am fascinated with the many new ways of communicating. I talk to friends around the world through my computer with an audio system called Skype. Cities are growing larger and the problems seem to increase with the growth. I am constantly hearing about problems with crime and drugs. Methamphetamine has created a wave of crime all by itself. Gang problems are on the rise and coporate scandals are commonplace. The world has enough bad to keep us worrying all the time. However, I see a lot of good too.

I have the opportunity to meet many people and do a lot of traveling. There are still plenty of people that are honest, hard working folk. There are more people willing to help you than hurt you. There are still places where people do not have to lock up everything they own. There are still bosses in the world that care about their employees. There are people ready to give back and lend a hand, just like our Grandparents used to do. There are plenty of people that know that you get back what you put in. There are as many people that are eager to teach as there is people that are eager to learn. There are a lot of people that live by the golden rule and do alright for themselves.

There are a lot of times it is hard to keep up and there are times when its not. There is a lot of beauty in the world if we take time to notice it. The sun rise and sunset is still just as beautiful as it was 100 years ago. The grass is still green and the sky is still blue. Love feels the same today as it did 100 years ago. The ground still grows plants and flowers and food. There are sometimes that we just forget to take notice. The best things in life really are free. It doesn't cost anything to hug your child or to thank someone for being your friend.Mom and dad do not charge for telling them you love them. If you can't say it, show it. Enjoy the good of life. Give back to the good of life. You will get far more in return.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Swimming with Sharks

Back in November I went on a trip to the Carribean with two of my sisters and my dad. As a part of the trip we went on a snorkling excursion. We went snorkling through areas that had a great deal of corral. We saw some amazing sites and a great variety of fish. The colors of the fish and the corral was spectacular. The water was crystal clear. Just a wonderful time. At the end of the snorkling trip there was time allotted to get in the water with some sharks. The title of this article is swimming with sharks. This is not exactly accurate. Anyone who has experienced a trip like this knows that swimming with sharks is far more involved than snorkling with sharks. So, we were actually scheduled to "Snorkel" with the sharks. I promised everybody I would NOT! be doing this part of the trip. After all, you would have to be crazy to get in the water with sharks! (On purpose at that)

Well, when we got there I did not hesitate. For some unknown reason I got right in. This was after looking over the side of the boat and seeing the water TEAMING with sharks! I mean there must have been 50+. They were all sizes and looked every bit as menacing as you would expect. I don't know what came over me, I just got in without any hesitation. My sisters and my dad were looking all over the boat trying to find me. They thought I ran and hid. To their surprise, I was already in the water and about 30 yards away from the boat.

The sharks were initially very safely below us at a bait box. We lay in the water watching them swim below us. After a few minutes the bait box emptied and the sharks began to swim up near us. They kept getting closer and closer. Eventually close enough to touch. It was very thrilling! The biggest problem is that when you are the first in the water, you are the last out. This is because you are required to hold onto a rope in the water. You are teathered in a sense. I never really felt any fear. I actually had a shark swim right under my belly and graze against me. That didn't even scare me.

The one thing that did scare me was when I got back to the boat I had to let go of the rope and go a few feet without the rope to get to the ladder. I am only talking maybe 5 or 6 feet. That terrified me! The 1/2 inch thick piece of nylon had become my security blanket in shark infested waters. To me that is fascinating. There are so many lessons I learned in that 15 minutes of being in the water with sharks, but the one thing that stands out most, is how we can settle into a false sense of security. A shark touching me did not scare me, but letting go of my security terrified me. I realize now I have done that alot in life. I hold onto security. I do not take the risk to "swim a few feet" for something better.

I would have been very happy to stay in the water until someone else came to my rescue. I did not sense the danger of sharks beginning to graze me. I just knew I did not want to let go of the rope and swim a few feet for a better situation. I now realize I have done that in just about every aspect of my life. My family, my career, my possessions. Have you ever done that? I do it more than I care to admit.

Do you have lessons on letting go of security to search for something better? If so, would you please share them?

Sunday, February 26, 2006


I never really understood Mom. I couldn't figure out why she always never seemed hungry when there was only one piece of pie left. I couldn't understand why she always forgave me when I did something wrong. I couldn't understand why she always believed in my crazy dreams. Why she supported me in everything I did from opening a lemonade stand to moving off to college. Why she comforted when me when I was hurting or scolded me when I was mischievious. Why she showed everybody the pictures of me that I was embarrassed of. Why she stuck by me, her other children, and her husband, no matter what. She followed us to graduation and met us in the Principals office. She stood by her man in prosperity and struggled with him through poverty.

She was a country girl that never had much. She wanted a lot of things she never had, but She never complained. She never had a big fine house or a closet full of expensive clothes. She didn't get to travel much, didn't see hardly any of the world. She never owned a new car or knew what it meant to be financially free. She worked hard every day, 12, 14, and sometimes 16 hour days. From a worldly standpoint, she did not have much to show for it. Unless you consider 5 strong, happy kids, and an enduring love for husband that transcended even death.

The only thing she ever wanted to hear was 4 little words. Mom, I love you. That was more precious than gold to her. It was more valuable than time. God, How I know That Now! Those words fall so cold now. She is not here to hear them. You will face many difficult times in life. You will be down trodden and your heart will be broken. People and events will come and go in your life. You'll get over it soon enough. When Mom is gone, she is gone. There is no replacing her. Get you a daily dose of lifes medicine while you can. If I could prescribe any medicine that will cure your heart, it is this,Take time to hold your Mom. Hold her like you will melt into her. Tell her, Mom, I love you. That is all she wants. That is all you will ever really need from this world. Being able to that is more precious than gold and more valuable than time. For her. For you.