The little things

9d22674070c5fd67d7f4229743c0d5d8Over the weekend my daughter and I went to a few garage sales to see if we could find any hidden treasures. While we were out I found a wooden cuckoo clock from Germany. I would probably have passed it by, but I have such fond childhood memories of a cuckoo clock my mother had. I remember as a little girl waiting for the little bird to come out of the door and cuckoo. Oh, the delight!! So, when I saw this clock in a shoe box I had to ask how much & when she told me she would take $7, I knew it was worth that just in the memories it will create for my daughter.

Now, truth be told, I have no idea how a cuckoo clock works, so I began to look on youtube and see what I could learn. It was so fun to learn about something so foreign to me. I learned a few things, moved some chains, hung some weights and waited for anything to happen. It was a joy for my daughter and I to sit and wait for the little bird to come out and tweet. We lit up with excitement when it did & we waited twice every hour for it to happen again. It’s the little things…

Though, it cuckooed at the wrong time, SO we knew something had to be tweaked. I knew I had to find a professional to give it a look over & make sure the time would work correctly. I looked online to see if I could find anyone who fixes clocks. Believe me when I say that it was not easy to find someone. I believe it must be an ancient art of some kind. I finally found a guy & on his web site he proudly announced he has three generations of clock wizards. I could not wait to see & meet this man who still worked and made a living working with clocks.

My daughter and I visited his home yesterday. Oh, the fun!! We drove to his home & knew it was the house because there was a large clock in the front yard. Then on both cars in the drive way, each license plate said, “Tick-Tock” and the other “Cuckoo.” We delighted in their fun sentiments of what they do. We walked through the front yard and enjoyed the cottage feel of someone who you could tell enjoys gardening. We rang the bell and this very jolly man came to the door. We walked inside & marveled at all the clocks that were everywhere. And then, we had arrived just in time as the hour hands all hit the hour!! So many delightful songs, chimes, dongs…it was amazing. We all smiled at each other & I said, “Wow! How wonderful!” It truly was magical.

He then looked at our little clock & knew right away the little tweaking it needed. As he was looking over our clock I asked him a few questions about his work & he opened a hidden door to another room & there stood a very old clock from the 1850’s. I marveled at the thought of working on something so old & imagined the gears, saw the wood, the hanging weights, it was something to see. I asked him what the oldest clock he had ever worked on was & he explained that someone had brought him a clock from the 1600’s and he beamed as he shared how that was a fun one to figure out. You could tell he truly enjoyed his work and had a passion for fixing clocks.

He then told us a few ‘musts’ about our little clock & ended with, “but the most important thing you must do, you must give it a name.” I smiled in delight. I teased him right back and said, “So (I gestured and pointed around the room at his clocks) all of these clocks have names?” He laughed, “No, but I do love what I do. Can’t you tell?” I smiled and agreed. It was such a fun, unexpected visit.

I think life needs more moments of the “little things” that bring us joys. I think our day to days can become standard and mundane, but our hearts yearn for growth, to learn something new, to see new places, to meet new people, to try new things.

It was truly a joy to meet someone I would have probably never met if it weren’t for our little, seven dollar cuckoo!! Oh, the Joys!

 

IMG_0522Talking about little things, My Mom & Dad popped in yesterday to say hi. My Dad has seemed a little caught in the mundane & lately has been talking about doing a variety of things outside of his “usual.” My Dad has never been much of a dog lover, but he has seemed to try and enjoy my last couple dogs whenever he is around them. I came up with a great idea, I looked at my Dad and said, “Why don’t you take Teag (my dog) on a walk through the forest”(near my home).  I smiled inside knowing what a true adventure it would be if my Dad agreed. Teag gets a little CRAZY on walks. If he sees people, dogs, bikers, runners…he can’t help himself but to start screaming and wants to get them. It is embarrassing, loud & my husband has always hated taking him because of the drama Teag creates for everyone around him.

I waited for my Dad’s response & he looked at my little dog and said, “Do you want to go on a walk?” Teag always gets excited to go on a walk, so my Dad could not refuse. We grabbed the leash and off we went. The whole first part of the walk was quiet and enjoyable & then a bunch of people came out of nowhere. A family of five bikers, two people with dogs, a skate boarder and another biker. My Mom, Myself and my daughter all laughed as we watched my Dad get pulled, spun, tangled up with my daughter, doing all he could to control Teag. At one point he looked at me, “I don’t think I have ever walked a dog in my life. (sarcastically) I wonder why!” He smiled, “I can check this one off my bucket list!” My Dad was worn out & laughing. We were all laughing as my Dad began to strut up the trail, holding Teag’s leash and telling us “I’ve got this!!”

It was a great reminder that no matter what age we all desire challenge, change, the little things that step us out of our comfort zones and help us grow a little.

Cheers to the little JOYS! The little things that make our hearts swell with smiles!!

Enjoy your day!!  -H

 

 

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What do we take for granted…

This is a big question & one that only YOU can answer. I know for me, I definitely take for granted that I was blessed to be given a daughter to hold, raise and love. I take for granted the little things that I daily am able to do like walk, see, hear, taste yummy foods, hold my husband’s hand. I take for granted that my parents are still alive and that they are still together after 40+ years of marriage. I take for granted the freedoms of where I live. I take for granted that I can read. I take for granted that I can freely learn anything I want. I take for granted that I can speak clearly & share my thoughts and ideas. I take for granted creativity, time, talents…There are many things that I take for granted at different times. I think we all do, but I have had a couple of experiences recently that have made me see a little more clearly.

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This past school year I have been volunteering & helping with the schools “service club.” We offer this little club to kids who need a place to go, who want to do little projects for needy children in other countries. It’s been a wonderful experience. The woman who heads up the club was a great example to me of selflessness. At the beginning of the year she was going through her own personal crisis–her husband was in need of a kidney transplant. It was an emotional roller coaster each week watching her deal with her husband put on dialysis, trouble with doctors, having moments of hope that a sister was a good match & then learning she wasn’t emotionally the right match…on and on. She continued to come to our little service club despite everything going on at home. What I have not mentioned is that she also has physical challenges. She walks with a cane and hobbles in pain everywhere she goes. Her hip is displaced leaving one foot higher than the other, so she has to buy $50 shoes that help her walk.

I have watched this woman all year handle all these personal struggles with a positive attitude, a can do personality, a sheer determination to make it all work. Luckily, her husband  in the last couple months did have a family member who was a good match & the transplant was successful. yay!

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For me, a big life lesson. We had been planning an end of the year service club party that we planned to do at a nearby pavilion at the school. The pavilion was probably 50 feet from the parking lot. The week before the party she hobbled in to service club & looked at me. “I think we are going to have to do a different location for the party. It is just too far for me to walk.”

Later that same day I walked the path from my home, passed the pavilion [the one we had talked about] and kept walking. I thought long and hard & looked to the heavens and said, “thank you for the gift of being able to walk.”  I can’t even imagine being bed-ridden, being imprisoned in a body that can’t function how it is meant to. It was a huge lesson in taking something for granted.

This made me think of the following video. This past weekend my daughter had a friend over & this song was one of her favorites. She shared it with us & then we almost all cried when we read one of the comments below the video…When i hear this song.. i remember my whole family who died in a road accident 4 months ago ! RIP Mom,Dad & my bro ! I’m left alone here and i can’t find the way to live ::::””((((

We all sat silent thinking about how hard that would be. Needless to say, it gave us a greater appreciation that we have our families still with us. I think there are moments where we all take that for granted.

Watch this beautiful video. This guy’s fiancé was in a terrible accident that left her with brain damage & he has stayed with her trying to get her to a better place. What a journey of selfless love. Beautiful.

I hope and pray that you will think about the little and big things you may take for granted in your life & hold a space of appreciation and love.  Peace to you.  -H

get GRATEFUL!

ImageYesterday was a great reminder of the little things that pass us by and we forget to get grateful for them. I was a parent on one of my daughter’s field trips to a local storytelling festival. Imagine hundreds of children crammed on five buses on a very hot, sunshine day. We arrived at the festival and were escorted to a large tent. We sat and  listened to story after story, while every two minutes I would have one of my ten kids whisper to me “I am thirsty.”  I was in a sea of kids in every direction, no sign of water & no way to keep order, so all I could do is smile & whisper back, “I know, me too.” 

It was over an hour, but relief finally came when we were able to leave the tent. We seemingly ran from shade tree to shade tree on our way back to the buses when one kid noticed a drinking fountain. There was instantly a line of fifty plus kids. One by one they drank from the needed fountain. There seemed to be a small trickle of water, so the whining began, “There’s not enough water, its just a trickle.”  I stepped to the fountain and looked at the children, “a little trickle is better than nothing.” I smiled at the line of kids, “Some water is better than nothing, right.” They were all in agreement.

It was one of those teaching moments where we were all reminded of the importance of little things.  So, I sat down and thought of other funny moments where my gratitude was abundant at such little, funny things.

Finding a bathroom after a long day hiking.   Finding a bathroom when you need one (period). Smile. Smile. Finding a pen at the bottom of my purse when I had an inspired thought to write down.   Having one egg left when my daughter only wanted an egg on toast for breakfast.   Enjoying the last bit of milk with cereal.   Grabbing a bottle of purel after high-fiving 30 grade schoolers.   Having the ability to enjoy On-Demand when we missed an episode of America’s Got Talent.   Having the right amount of shampoo left in the bottle for one more wash.   Rolling into the gas station on empty.   Getting a warning ticket from a police officer.   One more pair of underwear when everything else is dirty & needs to be washed.  Finding money in a coat pocket in the middle of summer.   Making it in time for the previews of a movie.  Enjoying the last cookie in the package. Finding a piece of gum in your purse when you really need one. Reading the last page of a 500 page book.  Getting free podcasts.  Getting a lightning deal on Amazon & not being put on the waiting list.   Winning a Budweiser Snowboard when you don’t drink or snow board.  Smile. Smile. Having just enough chocolate chips for a batch of cookies…  So many little things to think about. Hope it puts a smile on your face.

So here is something for you to do…Do this…think of moments where you were relieved, satisfied with so little, happy to have a little bit of something to get you grateful.

ImageOne last funny thing…last night we were walking to a concert venue when we noticed this car in the middle of the center lane of the parking lot. We thought “that is a crazy place to park because no one can get through.”  We parked our car and then walked by the parked car sitting inches away from a very expensive convertible corvette.  My husband’s mouth dropped and he said, “Woah, I bet that car rolled down and luckily stopped before hitting this Corvette.” We both stood their in amazement at the possibility. My husband looked in the car window and sure enough the car was in neutral and had rolled, barely missing a very expensive wreck.  I only hope the owners of the rolled car see what almost happened and are very grateful for the amazing miracle of them not tragically hitting the expensive car.  A great moment to get GRATEFUL!! 

-Have an amazing day!!  Heather

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