Friday, November 19, 2010

I'm thankful for...

As a kid, I remember singing these songs, not just in church, but in school as well. Most schools don't allow this type of music anymore, unless they're parochial schools. That truly saddens me. More and more it seems we're pushing God out, doesn't it? We're forgetting where we came from and turning our backs on our Heavenly Father, the One who created us, and loved us so much that He sent His one and only Son to save us all. While I can't begin fathom that kind of love, I do know that I'm thankful for it.

Thanksgiving is upon us, which seems hardly believable, as I think it was July and then I blinked and it became mid-November. Time is flying, which it certainly tends to do the older I get. But let's not talk about my age, okay? I'd rather talk about the blessings, both big and small, for which I'm thankful.

You know a person could go on and on about the blessings in his/her life, which would make for quite a lengthy blog post. What I'm gonna do, in the interest of time, yours and mine, is to think of things I'm thankful for that begin with each letter in the word "thankgiving." Deal?

Let's see... I might have to put my thinking cap on for this. Here is my "thanks" list, in no particular order...


"T" = TELEPHONES (I'm still amazed that I can talk with friends & family who aren't sitting right next to me), TATERS, TURKEY (Wouldn't be Thanksgiving without one... sorry to all you non-turkey eatin' people), TWO-YEAR-OLDS (now that I no longer have any), TRUMPETS (3 people play 'em in my house), TRUST, TENTS (Camping would be so much less enjoyable without them), TURTLES, TOES (It would be kinda hard to stand/walk without 'em), TANGERINES, TELEVISION (sometimes), TRASH TRUCKS (that haul away my trash), TRAVEL, TARGET (the store), TOASTERS, TOAST, TYPEWRITERS (Yeah, I know... how archaic of me!), THOUGHTFULNESS, TEAMWORK, TALENT, TINTO DE VERANO

"H" = HAPPINESS, HORSES (I don't ride, but I am from Kentucky, HANKIES (especially when I really need 'em), HELLOS ('cause that usually means I'm running into a friend), HARMONICAS (Like the way they sound), HOME (It's where I hang my hat & love on my family & they love on me right back), HELPFULNESS, HOLIDAYS, HARRY (CONNICK, JR.), HONESTY, HUMOR, HILARITY, HUMILITY, HEARTS, HAMPERS (the kind you put dirty clothes in), HERSHEY'S, HAIR (Even if it doesn't look great every day, I have some, it keeps my head warm and I'd miss it if I didn't have it), HANGERS (on which to hang my clothes), HAMMOCKS (I don't have one, but aren't they cool?) HGTV, HEROES

"A" = APPLES, ANGELS, AMERICA, AWESOMENESS, AUNTS (I have some good ones!), AORTAS (Can't live without one... literally), AIRPLANES (particulary ones that are in working order and take off & land on time), ALABAMA (I've lived there), ACTIVITY, ARTISTS, AIR

"N" = NIECES (Mine are pretty special), NEPHEWS (I only have one), NICE (people mostly), NINCOMPOOP (Not really... I just think the word is funny), NARNIA (♥ those movies!), NESTLE (as in chocolate), NICKNAMES

"K" = KIDS (particularly my own), KITES, KNEES (that still work), KRISPY KREMES (Hello!), KISSES, KINDNESS, KITCHENS, KIDDING (all in fun)

"S" = SENSES (The five we have are pretty dadgum awesome & I'd sure miss 'em if they ever went away), SISTER SCHUBERT'S (These are yeast rolls that are heavenly... really!), SNACKS, SUNSHINE, SILLINESS, SLEEP, STAMPING (like cards and such), SELFLESSNESS, SNOW, SANFORD & SON, STILLNESS, SUNRISES & SUNSETS, SURPRISES, SINGINGS SONGS, SOAP, SHAMPOO, SANDWICHES, STUFFING (the kind you eat), STARS (the kind in the sky mostly), SPECIAL SKILLS, STARBUCKS, SPAIN (I used to live there), SOLDIERS (for their bravery & sacrifice), SPORTS, SPORTSMANSHIP (the good kind), SACRIFICES (made for my benefit), SWEET TEA (Nectar of the gods), STOVES, SANGRIA

"G" = GOD (He's my Rock and He rocks!), GRAVY ('nuf said), GIRLFRIENDS (I shudder to think what my life would be like without 'em), GRANDPARENTS (They love us like crazy, even when we're brats, & they help make up our DNA, which could possibly get them thrown off my list, so let's just stop there.), GOOFY (You know, Disney's Goofy... ♥ him!), GIRAFFES (I just think they're cool), GIBRALTAR (Think "Rock of Prudential" here. I still can't believe I've actually been there!), GERBER (as in baby food... our boys ate lots of it), GRACE (Need some of it every day), GOODNESS (Strive for it every day), GIFTS (giving & receiving)

"I" = IRISES (the flowers that bloom in the spring, as well as those in my eyes), INDIANA ('cause I have family living there), INVENTIONS, INTUITION, INCOME, ICE (You really appreciate it when you can't get it!), INK, IKEA, INTERNET, IN-LAWS (They made my husband & they're pretty nice to me too.)

"V" = VICTORIES (like when my basketball team wins, or when I overcome a personal struggle... one extreme to another), VACATIONS, VACCINATIONS (What a blessing! Well, after they're over), VASECTOMIES (Just sayin'), VANILLA (ice cream, scented candles...), "V" GIRLS (Sorry, it's a private kinda club, and I really can't elaborate, 'cause not everyone is in the club), VALENTINES (especially mine), VINO, VISITING (family, friends & places)

"I" = "I" again? Geez, this one was hard the first time... let's see... ILLINOIS (where I currently live), INCLUSION (Iso much nicer than "exclusion"), INTELLIGENCE (my own, although sometimes lacking, and that of others), ICE CREAM, IDEAS (especially good ones), INSPIRATION
"N" = NAPS (one of the all-time best things invented), NAPOLEON DYNAMITE (the movie, which is hilarious & often quoted in our home), NATURE (Isn't it wonderfully amazing & beautiful?), NUTELLA (Getcha some!), NEIGHBORS (when they're nice), NOSTALGIA, NEWLYWEDS, NATIVITY

"G" = GRAPES, GUITAR HERO (I like to watch others play... I stink.), GEORGIA (I met my husband there), GARAGES (especially in the winter), GAMES, GIGGLING, GOOGLE (Love looking up info), GRAVITY (It keeps me from floating off Earth's surace), GENTLENESS

Whew! I've had fun making this list, but I'm telling you, I finally just had to make myself stop adding things because it was simply taking over my entire day. Isn't it great to have so many things for which to give thanks? Who knew? I challenge you to come up with your own list. You'll be amazed at the endless number of blessings you have in your life. Happy Thanksgiving and thank YOU for reading my blog!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sticking Out Like a Sore Thumb

I'm gonna share a few photos with you, and I want to look at each one carefully to see if you notice a particular pattern. Go ahead. Look! I'll wait here...

You're not done yet. Keep looking. I'm still waiting.

Yes, there's a point to this.

Relax. You're almost finished.

Okay, no more pictures. I promise. What did you see?

In each photo there was one person or thing that stood out among all the others. When this occurs in my neck of the woods, you might just hear someone describe that one unique person or thing as "sticking out like a sore thumb." Familiar phrase?

Now let me ask you this... Have you ever felt like you stuck out like a sore thumb? Have you ever found yourself in a place or a situation where you felt like you stood out among all others? How did it make you feel? I was recently put in such a position and at the time it struck me as being the most embarrassing, hilarious event.

Oh, did you want me to share my experience? Sure... why not? Get ready to be entertained.

It was a Saturday afternoon and our boys needed haircuts in the worst way. No kidding. They were shaggy dogs and we'd put off the deed long enough. As luck would have it, my hubby had to go into work for a few hours, so I had to take the boys myself. That wasn't an issue, but the place we'd previously gone for haircuts is closed on Saturdays (I know... can you believe it?), therefore we had to seek out another barber/salon.

My husband told me about a place located relatively close to our house, so the boys and I decided to try it out. We found the salon, noticing the sign outside read "Kingdom Cuts." I'd never heard that name before, but it had a religious ring to it, which was cool with me.

I opened the door to the salon and the place was quite literally jam-packed with people, and all of them were African American men. (I'm getting tickled all over again as I tell the story. ☺) Every head turned and all eyes were on me and my two boys, all of us as white as can be, and clearly sticking out like sore thumbs. My immediate thought was, "I am in the wrong place. They can't cut my kids' hair here." And what was my husband thinking, telling me to come here in the first place? Only these things happen to me! I'm sure of it!

Now I realize that haircutters are trained to cut all different types of hair, but realistically, how often would you say that a haircutter in this particular establishment cuts the hair of shaggy, blond-headed boys? I figured not real often, so I turned around and started to leave, however, this man followed us out to the parking lot and asked us to return. I commented that they looked very crowded inside (And they were!), but he assured me they could fit us in.

Well... what was I to do? I mean, seriously? I didn't want to offend the man and appear to be snooty or racist. I will admit to you that I didn't really want to go inside, but it had everything to do with feeling out of place and in unfamiliar circumstances, nothing more. Well... and the fact that I didn't want anybody to jack up my kids' hair. I have to live with them, you know.

So... we went inside, sat down and waited. And waited. And waited. That's how crowded the place was. I made small talk with a couple of the patrons, who told me they were regulars. One guy said, "I saw you open the door and then turn around to leave." I said, "They looked really busy." He then said, "I figured it was because you thought you were in the wrong place." I said, "Well, that too." He and I had a good laugh over that.

Turns out those boys got the best haircuts they've had in a very long time. I couldn't believe it! When we left, I told the gentleman who cut their hair that he'd done a fabulous job, and he said, "We'll see you next time." Next time? Hmmm... Will I take them back there? I don't know.

I had to return to the salon later the same day, all because my oldest son had left his cell phone sitting in one of the chairs. When I walked in, all eyes were on me once again, and I said, "I was here earlier - " and they looked at me as if to say, "Yes, we remember you." I'm telling you, it was like an SNL skit. They had found my son's phone and returned it to me.

While I was definitely outside my comfort zone, and stuck out like a big ol' sore thumb in Kingdom Cuts, I actually enjoyed the experience and have laughed and laughed about it ever since. I'm considering taking the boys back there for future haircuts.