Friday, September 27, 2013

Learning Patience in an IPhone World

How do you learn patience? Make a call using a rotary phone. It could take fifteen seconds or more to complete a call on that ancient technology, which still took too long.  Zeros took the longest to dial, and our old phone number had two of them. Imagine dialing seven numbers and hearing a rapid click-click-click-click after each one. I don’t know how we stayed sane.

Typewriters can teach lessons in patience, too. Every student old enough to submit a typed school report should experience the typewriter, along with its correction tape and messy white-out. For extra fun, remove the paper from the typewriter, then make the correction. Best wishes in getting the paper and sentences to line up straight again. Oh, the memories! Oh, the drudgery! Take a look at other contraptions that made our lives better:      

The mom had the cassette ready, and she probably has a huge stash of tapes stored in a closet. Remember how cassette tapes squeaked when they aged and unraveled if you mishandled them? Even today’s technology can be frustrating once the Internet connection shuts down. Sometime we learn the best lessons through our most exasperating moments. What has helped you learn patience?               

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Hot Topics

Can you feel the winds of change? They’re chilly, especially in the morning. If you haven’t checked the calendar yet, fall is just around the corner. It’s officially sweater/light jacket weather. Get ready for bonfires, marshmallows, hot chocolate and layers of blankets on the bed. I doubt our summer ended the way anyone expected. Did the temperature ever reach ninety degrees in August? Are you disappointed? Take a look at one experience we missed:

 Their feet stuck to the street in the heat. That’s hot. Too hot! After seeing that, I’ll be the first to promise to stop complaining about the weather. Although I prefer the less extreme seasons like fall and spring, I can appreciate mild summer thunderstorms and a snowflake’s intricate design.
Which seasonal elements in nature do you most appreciate?    

Saturday, September 14, 2013

It’s Not All Grimm

Do you remember the story called “The Elves and the Shoemaker” by the Brothers Grimm? Overnight elves appeared in the shop of a poor shoemaker who could barely keep his business afloat. The elves would disappear before dawn, leaving behind beautiful, well-crafted shoes for the surprised shoemaker to sell.  This week I lived out part of that tale.
We had minor work done at our house. Each morning a small group of people showed up, surveyed the job and, got to work. I monitored their progress, pleased with their speed and tidiness. Then at a certain time during the day, as if by magic, the workers disappeared. No sign of them anywhere. They did a good job and skedaddled, just like the elves.  

Here’s where similarities between my experience and the shoemaker’s story end. Although the elves worked night after night without payment, the grateful shoemaker found a way to return the elves’ kindness. The elves received new outfits, but I’m guessing our workers will want cash. Sometimes a simple smile is fair compensation for a good deed. Listen to this heartwarming, pay-it-forward story:

Oops, I forgot to warn you that the story’s a tear jerker. Isn’t it amazing how one act can generate a global response? No doubt you’ve received a bit of help at crucial time. How might you pay it forward?  

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Mega-Plan

Is this the season of the mega-web? Spiders are mighty ambitious these days. I awoke to see a spider, no bigger than a quarter, sitting in a web outside our kitchen window. The web measured about two to three feet in diameter and stretched from the roof to the bushes down below. Yes, it was the stuff of nightmares.

This reminds me of the movie where a family wakes up, looks outside and discovers a white winter wonderland. When the camera pulls back, the audience realizes that a spider encased the entire house inside a massive web. If our spider gathers together a few friends, we could be in trouble. I don’t think I’ll sleep tonight. I’m not a fan of spiders, but there is something cheer-worthy about living out big plans. You go, spider! Take a look at the fulfillment of another mega-plan.


Who knows how big the structure would have become if its occupants had stayed? If insects can carry out big plans, you must have something brewing. What’s your big dream?