Wow! That fast and now it's Spring and today is St. Patrick's Day! Now we're almost a quarter way through 2016. When I was a kid, the thought of the year 2016 conjured up ideas of space men, metallic clothing, electric cars, and robots. Well, here it is, and we're well into 2016 now. Most people have smartphones, a few have electric cars, and maybe somebody has a robot. I don't wear metallic clothing, but I like jewelry; does that count?
I am missing these grandparents of mine today, the ones on my father's side. My grandfather was of Irish descent. I remember him as a kind a loving man, with huge hands from hard and honest work both on a farm and as a blacksmith. He could make anything with those hands when he was a younger man. He played the fiddle and loved music. He especially loved The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and when I would visit on the weekends, we always went to church and watched The Spoken Word with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. He was old even when I was young, but I knew he loved me and I knew he loved Jesus Christ. Church books and scriptures were always by his chair; that's how he spent his days---studying. His face would light up whenever I came to stay and he never wanted me to go home. He always asked me to play the piano and thought I was brilliant. My grandmother was a princess to me. She never said an unkind word to me. She always told me I was smart and had a beautiful smile and that I should share it with those who didn't have a smile at all. She was a schoolteacher and instilled in me a love of reading by always giving me books as gifts. Suppers were simple there, consisting of bread and milk, fruit preserves, cheese, and onions. On Sundays it was always a roasted chicken and sometimes pineapple pie. What I wouldn't give to go back there for just one weekend by myself, to stay and be loved by them, basking in their elderly wisdom. I love them and always will.
Maybe it's because of Grandma and Grandpa that I still like to read real books. I like to turn the pages and make notes in the margins. I like how they smell when they are new and when they are old. They can be expensive and take up shelf space. Just ask my husband. My biggest fantasy is bookcases covering entire walls in every room of the house, filled to the rafters with books. As it is, we have bookcases in every room and they pretty close to filled. There are books on tables and desks and everywhere you look. We do read them, too. We don't just look at them. And I love the library. I ran into the former head librarian of our local library a few months ago. She has long since retired, but she remembered me and asked about my children. I know they hated seeing us coming every week, each with our own bag filled with 15 books, there to get another 15, so 45 total. Every week, for years. Yes, I'm sure that's why she still knows our names.
I turned 51 last year so now I'm officially in my 50s. That means I'm more than halfway done with my life. I'm sure I won't make it to 100, so that means I'm on the downward slope to the end, but then again, these grandparents pictured above lived well into their 90s, so maybe I have a shot. Sounds depressing, right? It can be if I think about it in that way, but I'm choosing not to. I'm choosing to look at this next phase as a right of passage, a reward for all that I have lived through and dealt with. I think I've earned the right to speak my mind. Not that I ever haven't, but maybe I hadn't earned it yet. I think I have the right to expect certain things from certain people and situations. I think I've learned how to listen to my heart and gut and know when something is true and when it's not. I think I've learned a few things. I know I have a lot more to learn and am always anxious to try new things.
2. Karma is real. What goes around really does come around, so be careful what you send around.
3. People just want to be understood.
4. If you keep getting burned, stop touching the stove.
5. Forgiveness is between me and Christ; it doesn't mean I'm okay with what someone did to me.
6. Difficult things happen to good people.
7. We all will die, it's just a matter of when, and we will meet Christ face to face.
8. People are inherently good. We were all created in God's image.
9. Getting married and having a family is the best decision I ever made.
10. Jesus Christ is real and loves you and me.
It's March now and I love how spring is almost here. Shortly it will be Easter. A time for a fresh start, a new beginning, with thoughts turned toward Jesus Christ, I'm feeling happy and grateful. Instead of stressing out about making a hundred thousand goals for this year, I chose to just have one. It's kind of all encompassing, but it's easy for me to think about: LEARN MORE ABOUT JESUS CHRIST AND THINK OF HIM, ALWAYS. If I am more centered on Christ maybe I can be more patient, kind, loving, charitable, forgiving, meek, with more faith. Maybe I can be happier and more trusting in my afflictions. Maybe I will be able to focus more on things of an eternal nature and not on a worldly one. Maybe the meatballs will taste better and the sleep will be sounder. Maybe I can think more about what I can do for Him. Maybe I can work harder at building the kingdom of God. Maybe my eyes will be brighter and I can bear my burdens more easily.
If you're not familiar with The Corrs, you need to be! One of my very, very favorite bands---an Irish family band. Enjoy!