Facets Of My Prism

Never met a half full glass that didn’t belong to me.  Those half empty ones are not on my table…well, most of time anyway.

If you visit with me often, you know that perception is a major player here.  Each of us can twist the kaleidoscope by emotion.  The facets of the prism change.  One persons ho-hum turns to another’s oh-no.

Bordering on half empty is the flashing blue light in the rear view mirror of my ’99 Buick granny-mobile.  The important back story is that I am the single most annoying slow driver in this state, never giving myself the 5 mile over leeway.  The speedometer needle is right on the mark.

Bob and I complain about the 55 to 65 mph drivers that stir the dust on our 30 mph country road.  Recently added intersection double roundabouts have added to the number of cars breaking the law on my turf.

And now?  Now I am among that number thanks to a very efficient and friendly Platte County Sheriff Officer who forgot the first rule of efficient and friendly treatment of old women in granny-mobiles…the warning ticket.  This citation is the real deal. I can never say never again.

Carpe Diem still possible?  It is.

A Man I Know, unemployed for over a year, phoned to say that the first day on the new job was great.  Why?  Because every worker seemed to have a work ethic that got the job done with care and efficiency…no slackers, no one hiding from work.  Rather, this was a group of blue-collar men doing this job without complaint.  That glass is brim full.

Not a total vegetarian, I tend to avoid meat if possible.  Yesterday, seizing the day required eating a hamburger simply because a gentle old man handed me this gift of his generosity, saying “No mustard.  No catsup.  Didn’t know what you like.”  Thank you, Jake.

Finally, my prism includes Missy, an email correspondent.  We connected through a mutual friend and I shared information requested.  The generosity of her response reminded me of important issues.

We, women, need/treasure one another.  We slip in those moments of grace in the 1,000 ways we seize each day, Carpe Diem.  When we take the time, develop the trust, share illumination through our stories we validate the ordinary to an extraordinary level.  Thank you, Missy.

The facets of my prism are pretty amazing.

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God’s Voice? (ccr)

My friend devotes her life to her large family and to her  church.   She regularly gives more to volunteer activities than most people give to sleep.  Her door is always open to drop-ins who need to talk  or simply enjoy a cup of tea. In the fall her youngest child will be leaving the family home.  Empty-nest-thinking has never been a consideration.  There is always more to do, more needs to fill, more people to accommodate.

With overwhelming sadness and a posture of dejection, my friend talked about a recent request.   Using the phrase, ‘prayerfully consider’, an acquaintance asked for a year of  my friend’s life–a year that was to have been a time of renewal.

A high school student needs a home for the coming academic year.  My friend has a nice home and her family would no longer need the bedrooms so it seemed a simple solution in the acquaintance’s thinking.    “Prayerfully consider and I know you will hear the voice of God in your decision.”

Sorry.  That is blackmail.   Spiritual blackmail.   My friend has been an amazing steward of her time, talent and treasure.  My friend has listened to her voice of God as she responded to a degree that most people would find overwhelming.

During the past months, my friend has thought of the coming year in terms of personal growth and renewal.   Her talents are many and she has opportunities to discover a new chapter in her life.   She has given to many, not sparing herself in the process.

In my perspective, this wonderful woman, my friend,  has the voice of her God working full-time in her heart and mind.  My friend has been listening and she has been prayerfully considering.

Sorry.  “Prayerfully consider” is spiritual blackmail taking advantage of a lifetime of giving to others.   Maybe my friend will find the way to move on without the baggage that allows such pressure.

Snapshots

by Pat Antonopoulos

Steve and Lisa walk across the field separating our places. They come bearing gifts.
Lisa has read our book, Four Ordinary Women, and she talks about her reactions to our words, to our stories, to our connections with her life. They are a wonderful couple with earth solid values and hearts stretched by years of sharing their values. To me, they look like a young couple in love with one another, not old enough to have a married daughter and a college son.
Lisa brings the gift of validation. Through our book, we have touched her deeply. She wants copies to share our stories with her family.
And eggs…fresh eggs from their hens.
Body and spirit are fed.

Mary Ann phones and asks that I meet her where she is working on St. Anthony’s fundraiser dinner. She is a friend from high school…fifty three years since that graduation. “For my boyfriend”, she says as she hands me a bag of candy—mostly chocolate. She always refers to Bob as her boyfriend. “The second sack is for your Sammy”. Sammy loves flashlights and Mary Ann has given us a jack-o-lantern light complete with batteries. Mary Ann has never met Sammy, but she loves him because I do.

A 75 year old man, Bob, is using a come-a-long to ratchet a four hundred pound tractor tire off the lug nuts and closer to the trailer. By himself.
By himself—he gets is handled. I do the step-and-fetch-it kind of things, helping where I can. But he does it….by himself. Finally, we have the huge tire loaded on the trailer and are heading towards Platte City where a repair shop can fix the damage.

Once we find the place, a young man named ‘Bud’ (honestly) and his helper roll the tire off the trailer, smiling as they ask how we managed to get it off the tractor, onto the trailer and delivered. He said, “You guys are still smiling??” He was so like by Uncle Bud—tall, strong and the definition of good natured. This young man honored what my husband had handled. I like that a lot.

My friend just phoned with a story of her weekend trip to Texas. She shared the touching moments, the poignant sense of this beautiful story. She gave me a part of her daughters…handed their beauty to me. A gift.

Snapshots.
My album is rich with amazing people.