Musings From A Musical Mind

Archive for the ‘childlike’ Category

Can You Smell The Fall?

Soarin' Over California

Years ago we took our children to Universal Studios and California Adventure in California.  We decided to hit these theme parks and Knotts berry Farm because a few years before this we had done Disney Land and only Disney Land.

On this special trip (the last where we would share a room with our two children in a hotel)  we found the ride “Soarin’ over California“.  If you have been on this – you will immediately know of what I am referring.  Those of you that have not – this is similar to an IMAX experience – only you are strapped into seats that move up and down – high in the air, giving the feeling of actually being a part of the action on the HUGE screen in front.

What’s so special about this ride is this:  To enhance the enjoyment of all the senses they spray things into the air to make you feel like you are there smelling them in person.  On this particular trip they sprayed pine into the air during the part where we were soaring over pine trees.  It was an AMAZING sensory experience and like a wide-eyed little kid – I excitedly said to my kids, husband – and yes everyone around me, “Do you smell the PINE?”

I loved that ride so much – we did it again that afternoon.  It wasn’t until later in the day, on our way back to our hotel room that my own dear SWEET children decided to have a good time (at my expense) and tease me UNMERCIFULLY about my, “Do you smell the PINE?”  – imitating my voice in a much higher pitch than their own, all the while collapsing into fits of giggles.

Needless to say, they have NEVER let me forget about that trip – even though it’s been at LEAST 10 years since we took it.  And I’m so glad to be able to offer amusement to my now GROWN-UP children, every time they remember that trip to California.

I must admit though, I’m pretty much like a kid again when the leaves turn in the fall and when the first snow of the season happens.  If I have students here – I will be the one to stop what we’re doing and look outside, saying, “Look at the weather!  It’s SNOWING!!!”  And even though it has not happened yet – the fall weather reminds me that the seasons change and it will come around again – just like last year.

And like that trip where I smelled the pine – I can tell by the smell of the air that it’s going to rain, breathe in the cold, crisp air of fall and feel something else is coming – and LOVE the smell of snow in the air.

What do you love about this time of year?

Can YOU smell the Fall?

God Bless

A Funny Guest Post From KC Procter

I read something today that was just hilarious.  It is from my new online friend and blogging buddy,  KC Procter.  KC manages a couple of blog sites – is a happy husband and father of two – is busy finishing up some schooling to become an MBA and is active in social networking.  I have enjoyed his humorous take on life and in his many ‘tweets’ and comments.  I would encourage you to check out this blog called “Some Wise Guy” – and in particular the article he wrote today –3 Kid Words Dads Accidentally Say At The Office .  It is about using ‘kid’ words after we’re grown-up – come on – we ALL do it!  If you need a good laugh today – read the article that he wrote and the comments too – it will make your day!

And be sure and add KC to your blog roll – you will enjoy his articles!

God Bless!

Charlie Brown In A Lucy World

Charlie Brown

Image via Wikipedia

Sometimes I lay awake at night and ask, ‘Where have I gone wrong?’ then a voice says to me,  ‘This is going to take more than one night.'”

Charlie Brown

Ever feel like Charlie Brown?  I know I have.  I used to love watching the ‘bumbling through life’ character – who never hid what he was feeling – good or bad.  But now I have to admit – it’s painful to watch him try to ‘slug it out’.  Because I feel like I’m looking in a mirror.  Ouch.

I used to like to identify with the other characters instead – Schroder who says nothing – but just sits and plays the piano – YEARS above where he should be playing.  *Sigh* – but I am NOT Schroder.

Sally is shy and sweet – naive and innocent – but still with an attitude. And much as I want to think that’s who I am – (I have been accused of this) sadly I am not.

And what about Linus?  Linus who doesn’t have great personal hygiene – but who knows how to be a friend and how to give great advice.  Someone dependable and true.  I’d like to think that this is who I am – not the personal hygiene part – but you get the picture.  But I’m not always like this either.

I have WAY too much to say – like Lucy. And NO ONE wants to be like Lucy.  Lucy is loud and opinionated – quick to judge – first to abandon – slow to forgive.  VERY narcissistic.  But that is not me either – or is it?  I hope not.

In the end – I am mostly like Charlie Brown.  At least inside.  Bumbling through life – trying to get people to understand me – trying to fit it – saying all the wrong things – trusting too much – expecting things will always be good – or always be bad – down on myself – totally pessimistic and then totally optimistic.  That’s me.  And it’s probably you too.  Living in a Lucy world.  Trying to impress – do something great – leave my mark – only to have all the “Lucy’s” of the world say, “You’re a blockhead, Charlie Brown”.  Yeah – that’s how it feels some days.

Are you also a Charlie Brown living in a Lucy world?  Cheer up!  Charlie had a lot of problems – but he was the most authentic and real person – never down for long – always ready to pick himself up and try again – no matter how many times he got it wrong.  No matter how many times Lucy told him he couldn’t do something – or how stupid he was.  Charlie is not the brightest – or the best looking.  But he’s real – and he knows who he is.  He’s just Charlie Brown – nothing more.  We can learn a lot about him – and be encouraged.

It doesn’t make all the “Lucy’s” in our life go away – but in a way – it’s a nice reminder.  Be yourself – when you stumble – get up.

Here’s to you Lucy –  GOOD GRIEF – You will NOT win.

God Bless

The Baby Magnet

A young girl kisses a baby on the cheek.

Image via Wikipedia

I have always LOVED babies.  I remember being about 10 and begging to help take care of them in the nursery at the little church our family was attending.  It was a little young – but if there was an adult there, usually they would let me help from time to time.  I have always loved how babies smell – like powder and sweetness.  And how I could rock them and stop their crying.  There was a precious baby boy named Nathan that I was in love with.  Big brown eyes and curly dark hair.  He would look for me on Sunday morning and I couldn’t wait to hold him.  It’s amazing to me to think that this ‘baby’ that I cuddled and rocked is now about 40 years old!  Ugh.

The ‘baby’ phase disappeared over time and as I grew up I developed new interests and became busy.  I married young and wasn’t ready to even to consider having babies of my own – until we had been married about 5 years.  We had been married 6 years when baby Ashlee was born – and then 4 years later – our baby Shawn was born.  They were quite enough baby for me – there’s nothing quite like your own child in your arms.

But children and babies have always liked me.  I smile and pay attention to them – and children LOVE that.  I think that’s why I have always had success teaching young children – because I genuinely like them – and they can tell!

The other day I was waiting for my appointment at the Chiropractor’s office.  There was a nice young couple there with a baby, one year old – complete with a cute little dress, shoes and braids in her hair.  She was sitting on the lap of her father, and she spotted me and I smiled at her.  She was one of those really pretty babies with the big eyes.  She squirmed and tried to get away from her father.  He held her fast, even when she struggled and tried to go.  After a while he handed her to her mother and she tried in vain to distract the child and stop her from whining and wanting to get away.  Finally they could not detain her anymore and let her carefully walk around the coffee table, all the time staring right at me – in an attempt to come over to me.  She would not be dissuaded – but kept coming until she had finally reached me and then, would you believe it, she actually crawled up into my lap?! I’ve never witnessed anything like it before!  She was not shy at all – but kept looking at me and wanting to be held.  She even put her little head on my chest and did NOT want to be parted from me.  It was really something.  Her parents did not appear to speak much English – but clearly they were amazed too.  I managed to find out the baby’s name and how old she was – before they called me for my appointment.  Getting up I  handed her to her mother and this was not received well at all – she fussed and cried!  I was really amazed by this display of affection.  I guess you’ll just have to call me a ‘baby magnet’.  🙂

But although I really like babies and children I can safely say, no more babies for me, thank you very much – but I will really enjoy being a Grandma someday – especially because I know that it will be okay – they seem to like me.  And no I don’t think I like the word ‘Grandma’ – it sounds old – and I AM NOT!  I think I prefer ‘MiMi’ instead 🙂

 

So bring on the babies – they can sit in my lap and I will coo and fuss over them.  Just make sure you DON’T call me Grandma.

 

God Bless

Christmas Memories

Stef's Present with Handmade Wrapping

Image by ex.libris via Flickr

I was inspired by a few of my students this week.  I love talking to children about Christmas – to see their eyes light up and the excitement on their faces as they tell me what they are asking for – hoping Santa will bring for them.

This last week has brought joy, excitement and laughter as each student has come for their lesson – with a brightly wrapped present for me.  They love to watch me open their gift (I’m pretty much a kid at heart) because I get so excited to open it!  It makes them giggle.  And it proves that Christmas is WAY more about giving than getting.

I try to make Christmas special for each one of them.  We sing and play only Christmas music in the month of December after the recital is over – and it is REALLY fun!  Last week my grown-up married daughter, Ashlee was here during some of my afternoon lessons – and I invited her in to sing harmony with us as we sang Christmas carols for most of the afternoon.  Special memories.

I have many memories from my childhood as this season approaches.  I remember  taking my very first airplane ride the Christmas that I was 10.  It is forever etched in my memory – and nothing else will likely compare to that Christmas for me.  We were flying from Seattle to Calgary, Alberta – where I was born and lived for the first 8 years of my young life.  My Grandparents lived there – and we were flying up to spend that Christmas with them.  Calgary is very cold in the winter – and we were greeted with a ‘winter wonderland’ of snow!  Our taxi driver was very nice – he could see our excitement and stopped by a Christmas light display at a neighborhood park – turned off his meter and let us get out and enjoy it.  I will never forget that Christmas.

However – we make new and unique Christmas memories every year – without knowing it.  As I look back over my life – I’m sure what I’m doing right now in this season with my students will rank right up there with the most special memories.  And I do have many wonderful memories when our own children were small.

Sometimes we are not even aware that we are ‘making memories’ while they are happening.  It is only as we look back on them – some years later that we truly recognize it – smile and remember.

I’m not sure if we should try to recapture the past – as great as some of those memories are.  Life is ever-changing – and we are all on a journey, good and bad.  The present and future are still there to write upon – and I for one can’t wait!

What are your favorite memories?  Do you think the best is yet to come?  Do you try to recapture the time when your children were small – or still with you?  Or do you see the future as an opportunity to meet new friends and share yourself with others that need your encouragement and warmth?

I am praying for each one of you this holiday season – that you will surround yourself with those you love, who love you and those that cross your journey this season.  That you will have your heart open to embrace and love – and be in anticipation of the wonderful things ahead.  That you will have the opportunity to share the love of Jesus with those you come in contact and share your life with.  That they will be drawn to the love of God just by knowing you.  This is my prayer.

May God truly Bless you!

I Belong

It’s so nice to know.

God Bless

First Snow Fall

Snow fall in Bass Lake, California.

Image via Wikipedia

I live in the Pacific Northwest where snow during the holiday season used to be a rare thing.  But in recent years it seems we get snow every year at this time.  As a child growing up in Canada – snow was expected and NOT a treat.  It was really cold from October until well past my birthday in March.  In pictures from my childhood – I can see snow on the ground out the window while celebrating another birthday.

Here in the Northwest we don’t get tired of it – at least at first.  It’s a novel thing and can make you feel just like a kid again.  Especially the first snowfall.

As I am writing this – the snow is falling in a beautiful cascade of different sized crystal flakes – making the street and yard all white and ‘Narnia-like’.  And I can’t stop myself from taking pictures of it – and just staring out the window.  It is truly one of nature’s most AWESOME treats for us to feast our eyes on.

And so with ‘holiday’ music playing on my Pandora radio – I am a very happy girl today – and may not get a whole lot accomplished – but it is VERY understandable – as anyone who lives in the Northwest knows:  It just may not last long – or even be here tomorrow, so we will relish the moment and dream of being a child again – where things like Santa, mistletoe, Christmas trees, surprises, warm crackling fires and hot cocoa were always something fun to look forward to.

And for your listening and viewing pleasure I have added a video of one of my favorite’s from Michael W. Smith‘s first Christmas album entitled, ‘First Snow Fall’.

Enjoy and God Bless!

 

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Mary, Mary, quite contrary

Image by justmakeit via Flickr

Greg and I have been eating better these days – whole foods – exercising and getting healthy.  It takes effort and planning to change your eating habits and lifestyle – but well worth it in the long run.  The pounds don’t just drop off at our age – but we have to trust that in time these choices to eat better will help our overall health and help us to live longer – free from complications that could develop later in life.

I know why many do not eat this way.  It’s expensive.  Go to the produce department of any grocery store and you’ll understand what I mean.  Good grief – it seems a crime to charge so much for a tomato, avocado or bell peppers!  Not to mention apples, oranges and bananas!

And it’s not just produce – it’s buying sprouted wheat bread – and any organic foods – SO EXPENSIVE!

But we are prevailing.  It takes an effort to plan meals that don’t have any preservatives – vegetable oils or processed fats.  There are no short cuts to whole foods.  They have to be prepared the old-fashioned way – which takes longer – nothing in a hurry.

So I was thinking about that today – our ever-increasing grocery bill – and wishing that I had a garden – like my Grandmother used to when I was a little girl.  She had everything in that garden, potatoes, beans, peas, carrots, lettuce, beets, cucumbers – etc.  She spent a lot of time in the garden – weeding and watering, tending it.  And I remember helping her gather from it so she could cook it for our evening meals.  I’m sure it was hard work – but things were fresh and FREE!!

I would love to have a vegetable garden – and someday, Greg tells me – I will.  I will probably just start with tomatoes next spring and build from there – we have no room in our tiny back yard for a working garden – and not enough sunlight either.  But someday we will live  in the country and either have an outdoor garden or a green house.

I found myself repeating this little nursery rhyme today while thinking about a wonderful vegetable garden:

Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells, and cockle shells,
And pretty maids all in a row.

Sounds cute and sweet, right?  Isn’t that wonderful – a garden!  Yes!  How does your garden grow?   And like many things from that time period – the seemingly innocent children’s stories and rhymes were actually fraught with political meaning.  I looked up the meaning for this rhyme and this is what I found:

The origins (of this rhyme) are steeped in history… Bloody Mary!
The Mary alluded to in this traditional English nursery rhyme is reputed to be Mary Tudor, or Bloody Mary, who was the daughter of King Henry VIII. Queen Mary was a staunch Catholic and the garden referred to is an allusion to graveyards which were increasing in size with those who dared to continue to adhere to the Protestant faith – Protestant martyrs.

Instruments of Torture!
The silver bells and cockle shells referred to in the Nursery Rhyme were colloquialisms for instruments of torture. The ‘silver bells’ were thumbscrews which crushed the thumb between two hard surfaces by the tightening of a screw. The ‘cockle shells’ were believed to be instruments of torture which were attached to the genitals!

Can I just say, OUCH!  Wow.  The things you find out when you look something up from history.  I’m sorry I looked it up.  I bet you are too.  Can I just say that back then it would not have been wonderful to be a man? Amazing.

Hopefully my garden will be different – no torture devices in mine – only  sweet things for my family to eat – to help save on our grocery bill.  I promise.

Do you have a garden?  How does it grow?

Here’s wishing you sweet things in yours today ♥

 

God Bless

 

 

Walking Inside Of You

Scared child

Image via Wikipedia

“First of all,” he [Atticus] said, “if you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view-until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

To Kill A Mockingbird

 

This is one of my favorite quotes from the movie – and the book.  And sums up how much better we would get along with people if we would first take the time to see things from their point of view – instead of just looking at them through our very limited lens of understanding.

I watched the original version of ‘Freaky Friday’ last night with Jodi Foster – and although it is a silly movie – the point is made quite clearly:  If we walked around in another person’s body and could see things from their point of view – how differently we would see them!

In this film a mother and daughter change places only to find a unique perspective on what is going on in their world everyday – and what seems to be easy to the other person – turns out to be difficult.  How many times do we wish we could change places with someone so that they could see how hard – or how complicated our life is!  Or for them to understand us better.  I have often wished I could understand them better too and  have wished to be a ‘fly on the wall’ in certain homes – so I could watch the ‘drama’ unfold – as I know it does.  Many have wanted to do this in my home as well, I’m sure.  It’s human nature.  It’s difficult to identify with what we cannot understand.

Think about it – if we all were granted this wish – to walk around and be somebody else for a day – who would it be?  And who would you want to walk around in your skin for a day and be you?

If we could apply this simple principle into our lives everyday – to stop and consider – the next time someone says something unkind or uncalled for – or the next time someone acts irrationally – or hurts you, remember this:  consider what it is like to be them. Walk around inside their skin and look through their eyes.  You may just see things you didn’t see before.  And you may gain some perspective and understanding for things you didn’t have before.  You see if we really did this – If I really did this – there would be no room in my heart for blame and bitterness.  I would no longer have to hold you at an arm’s length because of fear of the unknown.  I would know.  And I would love and embrace the scared lonely child in you.  And if you did the same in my skin – so would you.

 

I am praying this prayer today for you.  That you would see people how God sees them.  Understanding them on a heart level – with no agenda and no angle.  Just pure love.  Take a little walk inside of them today.

 

God Bless

 

Roots and Wings

Several years ago – after living in our present home for 2 years – we had a major problem with our sewage pipes.  And naturally, like most any disaster – if it’s going to happen – it will be when you have company.  Our daughter’s boyfriend was here from California where he was stationed as a United States Marine.  We were happy to meet Jack and were excited that he came up here to see her for a weekend.  As soon as we picked him up from the airport and dropped by quickly at our home – they were off to a mutual friend’s church party – and left Greg and me at home to do some last-minute chores.  It was a Saturday night and I was trying to finish up some laundry and was working in my office when all of a sudden I heard a peculiar gurgling sound coming from the guest bathroom just down the hall from my office.  I got up to investigate and the gurgling noise became louder until water bubbled up from the toilet and started spilling out ALL OVER THE FLOOR at a rapid pace.  I screamed for Greg who was upstairs and he sprang into action trying to ‘plunge’ whatever had backed up in the toilet.  We could both see that it was a far worse problem then just a simple clog – the water just kept coming – spilling over onto the floor – spilling out into the hallway and making a HUGE mess EVERYWHERE!!  I had every towel I owned in the hallway to mop up the water.  We called someone to help us and thankfully we knew someone in the plumbing business.  Because this was late at night (of course) the problem did indeed have to wait until the next day – so we mopped up the mess as best we could after the water slowed down to a stop and told everyone NOT to flush ANY toilet in the house.  This was not a good weekend to have a guest!  Luckily Jack had family in the area and was not staying at our house over night.

The next day our wonderful friend (John Beck) came over and donated his time and equipment – a hose with a camera on it – to dig up and diagnose the problem in our front yard.  It was temporarily ‘fixed’ – but a week later would you believe it – the same thing happened – and back John came only this time it was a water line with the same problem – ‘roots’.  This time the WHOLE YARD had to be dug up to run a new water line – And by ‘dig up’ – yeah – well you get the picture.  It was determined that because of all the trees in our yard (we love our shady trees in the summer) we had a ‘root’ problem.  Roots were growing in not so great places – like our sewage pipes and water line – thus creating a nasty back up for the sewage line anything thicker than water.  And for the water line – the same back up and mess all over the house.  Yuck.    Roots had to be cut and our pipes were FREED!!!  Yay!

Two years ago we had the same problem.  It was an emergency of the same magnitude and our friend no longer had the equipment or was in that line of business any more – so we needed to hire someone to come.   It was REALLY EXPENSIVE and we took every precaution since then to make sure it NEVER happened again – including pouring things into the drain to dissolve the nasty roots and to discourage them from growing back.  But those roots are persistent – and it seemed that no matter what we did – they kept coming back!

So today while getting ready to go to church – Greg heard the familiar ‘gurgling’ and ‘bubbling’ sound coming from the downstairs bathroom again – and he thought, “Oh oh” – I was happily taking a shower upstairs and was oblivious to his rushing around downstairs and out the front door – taking a look at the pipes to access the backup.  As soon as I was out of the shower he informed me that he was going to have to rent something – and soon or we were going to have the same problem.  Long story short – after church we rented a snake with cutters on it to insert in the pipe and ‘cut’ the roots and clear the clog.  It worked like a charm – and was ever so much cheaper than hiring someone – like we did 2 years ago.

Roots.  What to do – what to do??  They are with us – they attach themselves to us – we cut them down – they grow back.  They are persistent.  They follow us.  And if roots are grown in the wrong place – they cause damage and clogs – and need to be cut and re-directed.

Roots in human beings are similar to those in trees.  If they are well nourished and have the right ‘direction’ shown to them – then they grow straight and strong.  Roots are the things that grow beneath the surface – the things you can’t see.  You can tell a healthy tree by its roots.  It is not so easy to see this in a person – or is it?  Is there such a thing a ‘bad roots’?  Can they hinder our growth and development?  Can our past affect us?  Prevent us from getting everything we need in this life?  Sometimes because of the ‘voices’ from the past we do not continue to reach and grow – and explore things for ourselves.  The teachings of childhood are always in our heads – good or bad.  We can actually be ‘stunted’ instead of going our own natural way.  Those ‘voices’ can clog our minds until we are not sure what we believe anymore.  Is it because we are taught that?  Is it our belief?  Can we risk believing something different – or new?

Roots – are good things – If you had loving parents and leaders/mentors in your life that spoke great things into your life and instilled beliefs and teachings to help you grow – then you were blessed. But you may not have that legacy.  You may not have had good parents that spoke great things into your life – and your ‘roots’ may be broken and bent.  Regardless of which category you fall into – it is now your responsibility to nourish your own ‘roots’ and to help them grow in a healthy way – to ‘unclog’ the  voices in your head and to clear a path for your life that does not just include the past – but that opens up a way for you to be all you can be.   Ask God today to show you the special things He has in mind for your life – He will make your path clear – as you step out in His unconditional grace.  He will give you  ‘clear’ thinking – and  help you to ‘unclog’ the tangled mess in your mind and replace it with His own sweet presence and love – flowing freely through you and bursting forth with newness, strength and health.

I believe we need to take all we can from our good parents – things they taught us – things we learned in school and what our church taught us.  But I believe it is not enough.  We need to build on that – good past or bad past – it’s up to us – it is a choice.

Be someone today with healthy roots – choose to pass that on to your children and their children.  Allow them to be who they are supposed to be – give them roots – but also give them wings.

God Bless

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