Because life is Good, and Sweet, and Short — and People Are Kind…
And the Ordinary really is Extraordinary!
Made my day! My Week! Made the hot sultry days of July so worth it! I’m smiling!
With sincerest gratitude to The PaperCup Kitchen, I will first share the blogs and Facebook pages which are my favorites. I was instructed to choose seven.
My second appointed task from this award is to then share seven things about myself. You can read the brief blog post I did on that subject during the past year here.
First — The awards to my favorite bloggers/Facebook pages, purposely listed in a random order:
The Happy Housewife – who writes from Wales to share her recipes, photos of her scrumptious dishes, and every day talk about her life as one “Happy Housewife.”
The Blue Collar Philosopher – who shares on his Facebook page spectacular quotes from his readings that will inspire, motivate, touch your soul, and make you say “Oh! Yes! I feel that way as well!”
The Minnesota Farmwoman – who writes, obviously, from her farm in Minnesota, to share her stories of chickens, and more, and my favorite: dogs with mistaken identities, which prompted my own small town dog story.
Practical Redhead – a thirty-something mom who writes of mothering, parenting, family life, and being simply practical,
Hands Free Mama – who tells us in no uncertain terms just what we are missing while we’re busy “catching up on everything” with technology,
The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking (and if you’re a blogger interested in some great basic advice, this links to her post on ways to make money with your blog, as well as links to previous good advice on the basics of blogging.)
Syrup & Biscuits – because her recipes are fun to read, and her thoughts are gentle.
Now, 7 Things About Me:
1. My best bowling score ever was an 11 Yes. Eleven. I was twenty-two years old. The only times I’ve bowled since have been at children’s Bumper Bowling Birthday parties. I don’t want to make others feel bad. (Or is it golf where you want a low score?)
2. In one grading period in high school, I had all A’s except for that pesky F in Algebra, & because a point system was used, I made both the Honor Roll and the “F” list. Someone once told me that it took great courage for the high school to decide, based on my accomplishment, to change their point system. I disagree. I believe it would have taken great courage for the administration to do some investigating into why a straight-A student would receive a failing grade in one class… (Besides, at The Ohio State University, I was in the Honors Program, so I believe I made up for that unfortunate freshman-year-of-high-school-slip.)
3. I have broken my right foot twice, in the same spot, and both times an encounter with a friendly dog was involved. I won’t mind if a sweet dog causes me another broken bone, because I think dogs are just about the greatest creatures on earth. They possess unconditional love, caring, loyalty, and they know a lot more about human nature than some humans.
4. Two famous people I’ve met in person:
Mr. John Galbreath, at 9 a.m. on the Monday morning after his horse, Little Current, had won the 1974 Preakness. He had gained his wealth through savvy commercial real estate work, and was well-known as long-time owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates. I was a college senior, working on my thesis, “Successful Men of Columbus, Ohio.” Why this man’s secretary granted me a thirty-minute appointment is beyond me. Perhaps I was quite persuasive. I remember vividly how, when I told him my topic, he tossed his head back and laughed heartily, saying “Well, I’m in favor of success!”
George W. Bush, while chaperoning my son’s end-of-year kindergarten field trip to Texas Rangers stadium in Arlington, Texas. We all watched Mr. Bush, son of then-President George H.W. Bush and owner of the Rangers, finish his jog. When all the other adults declared they were too shy to ask him for a photo-op with the class, I approached him, introduced myself as a mom-chaperone, shook his hand, asked if he would say hello to the kiddies & have a photo taken with them. He did, and when my son graduated from high school twelve years later, that Mr. Bush was then President Bush. I think likely my handshake that day that had something to do with his presidential win later in life, but I’m not sure if I voted for him.
I don’t know why I met two baseball team owners in my lifetime, but they were both nice guys.
6. I love books. Real books, hold-in-your-hand, feel-the-texture-of-the-pages books.
My favorite fiction author is Rosamunde Pilcher (The Shell Seekers, Coming Home, September, Winter Solstice, Snow in April, the short story A Day At Home, and so many more…) Mrs. Pilcher’s style of writing of daily ordinary life in the United Kingdom fills my soul with peace and happiness… I find myself wanting to walk with my dog on her leash to the village for my paper and day’s provisions, explore the rocky beaches and think calming thoughts, and be forever-friends with all her characters on a first-name basis.
(I’ve often thought I’d love to have Rosamunde Pilcher’s talent for fiction, but alas, just don’t think that’s my forte.)
I like, too, that Mrs. Pilcher’s writing grew better and better with every passing year. Her major break-through best-seller, The Shell Seekers, was published when she was 63, and she retired from writing at 74. She will be 88 this September, and lives in Dundee, Scotland. Growing older can be a good thing.
My favorite non-fiction reads? Those of Gladys Taber, may she rest in peace. Her books (sadly out of print now) of Stillmeadow, her Vermont home, are full of simplicity, charm, down-home wisdom. I aspire to live that same lifestyle, complete with the family I love, good friends, a simple life, good food fresh from the garden, plenty of dogs, a roaring fireplace in the winter, and yes, writing and hopefully publishing my non-fiction.
7. See #4 up there? Sure, those two men were famous, and they were both absolutely cordial and even friendly with this peasant. The people I truly admire, though, in addition to my children and my husband, and special members of my extended family, are my friends who I hold deep in my heart. The friend who devoted twenty-two years of her life to caring for her handicapped son, and whose heartache at losing him will never go away, and yet she goes on each day, doing what needs to be done in life, never complaining, always smiling, laughing, and keeping me sane. The friends who know what “temporary” truly means — those who packed their bags, their boxes, and their homes & carted their children off to new cities – sometimes over and over – in support of their spouse’s — yes, both male and female — career goals. The friends who have devoted their lives to their families – whether they have been career men or women or full-time dads or moms.
These are my heroes: the ones who realize that it truly is the every day, the sometimes mundane, & the ordinary that makes life extraordinary, and worth giving back, paying it forward, going on, and best of all, savoring each and every moment.