Thursday, January 23, 2014

I'm on a humorous roll

     Okay, for some reason I've been thinking about funny stories that really happened. I know this is supposed to be inspirational stories from the heart and all, but doesn't humor apply to inspiring us as well? Don't you find that a good belly laugh is sometimes more of a cure for what ails you than medicine?

     Years ago, our post office was having its local food drive. Always one to be of help, plus my father and husband were postal workers, I wanted to oblige. Into a brown paper bag, I placed many well-planned items. Cans of soups, bags of rice and pasta, boxes of cereal. I smiled, thinking warmly of the families I'd be helping. Lord, bless those who will receive these items. . .

     I was running a bit late that morning, so I rushed around my house, finished dressing, fed the cats and hastily scooped cat litter into a plastic grocery bag as was my usual habit. I threw the bag onto my front porch, but forgot to place it into the garbage container near my garage and flew off to work as quickly as possible.

     Several hours later my husband called me at work. I panicked for a moment, as the sounds he emitted sounded strangely like hysterics. Did something bad happen? Was he okay? It turned out, he was laughing. Catching his breath, he explained. Our postman, when delivering our mail that day, had picked up the bag of "groceries" on our front porch. He'd driven around that afternoon with items for the food drive from many of the wonderful people in our area wondering what that awful smell was emitting from the back of his postal truck. I almost fell off my chair, realizing I'd never placed my own food drive items out that day. It seemed the postman picked up the quite heavy bag of cat litter, thinking it was our contribution.

     I'd like to think my two cats stood snickering at the front window as they watched him drive away. Right after they dug into the bag of groceries on the kitchen floor.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sometimes you just gotta laugh

     Not too long ago, Mom told our family her partial denture was lost. She swore she put it in the same place as always as she went off to bed. Yet the next day, my father and brother searched high and low without the pink of acrylic gums or white of acrylic tooth to be seen. Dad emptied trash cans, spilling contents out and sifting through to see if perhaps Mom might have accidentally thrown it out.
     They searched under couches, pillows and rugs. They sat back exhausted, their efforts in vain as I made another dental appointment for Mom to take impressions for a new partial.
     Mom jokingly said, "I think it was Kitty or Mya, the dog. I think they took it and were playing with it." We all shook our heads snickering a bit, wondering just what would a dog or cat do with teeth? Wear them perhaps?
     Time passed, Mom got her new teeth and all was well with the world, Until about a week ago when she announced they were missing once again. This time I was visiting as well. The search was on. We overturned every item in the house. We retraced steps like Jack Bauer in "24." Nothing. Not until Dad picked up a favorite sweater of Mom's and announced, "Here they are." Ahhh, the pocket. The source of many a shriveled kleenex and other assorted brick- a- brack.. This time it housed the partial, still intact. I think Dad felt a bit smug that day, as he heralded himself as champion.
     Hold on. You may be thinking, oh, it's just one of those things. Parents getting forgetful, etc, etc. Until today when I visited them once again. Dad met me at the door, putting a finger to his lips. "Shhhh," he said. "I have a story to tell you, but don't tell anyone else."
     I wondered what on earth he did.What secret would I have to uphold now? Dad proceeded to tell me he laid his denture in its usual spot last evening. At least that's what he thought he did. When he awoke this morning, no denture was to be found. Hmmm, maybe he left them in another convenient spot. He retraced his steps, a bit embarrassed at doing the same thing he'd teased my mother about not so long ago. Checking this place and that, he came up empty when at last, he spotted them on the living room floor.
     We chuckled together, he and I, as he realized Mya, the dog, indeed must have snatched them from an unusual spot. They were no worse for wear, no pun intended, and after cleaning them as thoroughly as possible, he proceeded to smile a huge smile at me, showing me his full compliment of teeth once again.
     I've worked in the dental field for over thirty years. We warn partial and denture patients all the time not to leave their prosthetics anywhere a dog can get to them. For a plastic item with the scent of food is a most awesome doggy toy.
     As I left my parents house today, I pictured Mya with a set of dentures in her mouth. I could swear she winked at me when I said goodbye.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Our beloved mentors

   We all have them. Teachers who've touched our lives, siblings, parents, aunts, uncles, perhaps a grandparent, or coach. One thing is certain, we wouldn't be who we are without them and their guidance.
     One of the first inspirational mentors in my life was a teacher in fourth grade. Her name was Kathy Clark. She was a quiet, simple young woman, soft-spoken and kind. She took me under her wing when she knew I had some difficult issues going on at home. Her compassion in that crucial year of life stuck with me all my life.
     I've had others who touched me in important ways. A tough English teacher in high school. She pushed us hard, and it was difficult to get an 'A' from her. But her drive and determination made us all better students, better writers.
     My own dear Nonna was another who taught me so many things in life. Resilient, kind, full of laughter, always a song in her heart. A woman who had lived through the depression and came out on the other side. I would learn virtues from her which still are a big part of who I am.
     A counselor I spoke with several years ago would be another who'd guide me in good ways. It was his belief in me and the advice he gave, coupled with his faith in God which moved me to better myself.
     And my own beloved parents. Through my father, I'd learn patience, strength, a sense of humor, goodness and kindness. Through Mom, I'd learn compassion, deep-thinking, laughter, a love of people and morals. I owe so much to these two people who gave my brother and I so many good qualities, who helped mold us into the people we are today.
    Where would I be without them?  And yet I have so many others to learn from as well. A pastor friend whose spirit soars. Who's taught me to remember to pray before everything and anything. A co-worker who continues to help me better myself. And my amazing children, each one with special talents and so much to offer. It is through their eyes at times, where I learn the most. For it's in their lives where we've once been the mentors, the ones who've guided them that I can now see new things opening to me and my life. Things which would never have been possible without taking a step back to learn something new.