Dave and I attended a funeral this morning. The dad of one of Dave's employees passed away from cancer. Not only did I not know the co-worker (except by name), I certainly didn't know the father. No matter. By the time we left the service, I felt as though I had known him. Two grandsons spoke of the legacy their Granddad left them through fishing --- stick with a task, never give up and love like there's no tomorrow.
At another point in the service, family members brought forward gifts for this man----gifts that exemplified his passions and interests in life. They brought a painting he had done, beautifully depicting a landscape he had wanted to recreate. They brought a cross, saying his love for Christ was unfailing, even when he realized the cancer was going to take his body. The Gospel was brought up, as this man walked his talk about God. Last, but not least, they brought his wife the American flag, thanking her for his service for so many years.
I wondered, as we left the service, what gifts people would say represented me....
A book, for sure, as I always have my nose (literally) in one. I love the feeling of being swept away with a storyline that won't let you go. The book would also signify my passion for continued learning and helping those around me continue to learn, as well.
A diet coke, as I'm never too far from my next "fix", and oh-so-grateful that is the only addiction to which I succumb these days.
A cross that depicts my reliance on a God I can't always see but always know is present.
A dog collar that would show my devotion to all the dogs I have ever loved.
And cowboy boots, because even though we don't dance every day or every week (okay, sometimes I just go to weddings so we can)
dancing is what brought Dave and I together in the first place and he is the biggest gift in my life.
Just for today, think about what gifts would be brought in honor of your own passing. What would people say about you at your own funeral?
And, maybe, just for today, we should live the kind of life of which we can be proud.
My husband, Dave, and I spent last weekend in San Francisco. I had a training I needed to attend on Thursday and Friday, which meant Dave got to play golf during the day (a sacrifice no man should ever have to endure). When I finished my training, which just happened to be down near Fisherman's Wharf, we hopped on a Hop on/Hop Off bus tour and saw the sights of the city. We had visited the Golden Gate City about 18 years ago, so we had a lot of reconnecting to do with the city.
On Friday evening, we jumped on the bus and decided to take the full 2 1/2 tour around the city. The tour was great, chock full of narrated tidbits about the city's sights and history. We just so happened to cross over the Golden Gate Bridge just as the sun had set and a light fog settled over the top of the orange bridge. Stunning, we both thought.
As we made our way back into the city, we sat up top of the open air bus, staring as the city's lights lit up all the sights.
We made our way through several neighborhoods with varying types of housing architecture, all of which we found fascinating.
The best part, I thought, was being able to peek in the windows of the homes that were now lit with candles, lamps, or even some overhead lights. As we slowed to a stop by a red light, I looked in a window at a dining room filled with a family of four settling down to a dinner. I found myself strangely attracted to what they might be eating or doing. The next block was the same thing with a different scene inside the Victorian style house. One light was on, the t.v. was on and there was lone gentleman sitting in an armchair watching the t.v. In the next house, a couple sat together at the dining table, talking animatedly with their hands.
Dave turned to me and asked, "What are you thinking about?"
I explained to him that I am strangely fascinated by driving by people's homes, seeing what they are doing.
"That's why you went into counseling", he remarked, "because you are so nosy about the lives of other people", Dave teased.
I laughed outloud but I do wonder if there is a part of that statement that is true.
I love looking on the inside to find out what is really going on. I'm strangely addicted to watching people interact, which is a blessing when flights are delayed and I have "extra" people-watching time,
Just for today, perhaps you can look at the things you like to do and determine a reason for the interest.
My sister and her husband have been visiting in Tucson the last few days. Great times eating, seeing the sights, catching up and hiking with the dogs. Fun stuff.
This morning, we got up super early, put the dogs in the back of the SUV and headed three minutes up the road to the Ritz to hike. Lest you jeer at our choice of venues, one only parks at the ritzy Ritz before hitting the rugged trails where desert and mountain meet.
But, since it is the Ritz, we have to go through the gate.
We pulled up, the young guy comes out and says, "Good morning, you all look like you're ready to go hiking."
"Yep!" we proclaimed. "It's 7:00 and we are good to go!"
He helpfully warns us, "You'll probably want to be off the trails by 11:00. It is supposed to get pretty hot."
"Good to know", we reply, quietly whispering to each other, "We're lucky if we could hike for 1 hour, much less four."
Just then, the gate guard queries, "Do you need any water? Any male traps?"
Male traps? They give those out at the Ritz? I'm always open for a new adventure in hiking, but this might be a bit much.
"No we have our own"; "We don't need a trap; we just shoot 'em" and "Is this a Ritz exclusive?" were all belated questions we had. Too quickly, though, the gate guard recovered, laughed and said, "I mean 'trail maps'?"
OH! Not nearly as much fun but maybe twice as useful, we thought, as we declined and drove off, laughing hysterically.
We are currently planning our next hike, immediately.
After co- presenting to a too-large-group in a too-small-space with too-little, I mean none-at-all-air-conditioning, my colleague and I read the evaluations. Comments ranged from "presenters did a great job" to "uncomfortable chairs" to "too hot in here to learn", all of which were likely true, in part.
Despite the over 120-person decent feedback we received, one person wrote, "Presenters were rather dry". What? I wanted to scream. We weren't dry. We were sweating with the rest of you!! Oh, I suppose that isn't what they meant. Nevertheless, I kept waking up the entire next night, thinking about that comment. I have been accused a time or two of being overly passionate about my subject. I have been accused of being a tad too optimistic about life, in general. But I can't say anyone has ever accused me of being dry. I took it hard.
Logical, reasonable Dave kept reminding me, "That person didn't want to be there anyway, the day before school started ---in a hot, overcrowded cafeteria with stinky seating".
Right, but they said I was dry.
*Sigh* was Dave's reply.
Why must I focus on the one negative in a sea of good feedback? Hmmmm....I suppose it is because, no matter how hard I pray to not do this, I strive for perfection in much of everything I do.
Just for today, I am going to pray a bit harder for the serenity to know I've done a good job, even when someone may not believe that to be true. And just for today, I pledge to pay attention to the masses, instead of losing sleep over the outliers. Promise.
I propose to make this blog post an interactive one. In other words, tell me how you would have handled this situation, if you were either party.
Yesterday at the dog park (don't worry, neither of the parts I ask you to play involve channeling your inner Mastiff or Chihuahua), Dave and I were throwing the ball for M.E. (this is a never ending job---one that should require a salary), and watching Rudy and L.N. sniff the rear ends of other dogs. There were several other dogs in the park, including a big Chocolate Lab, Jake, and a tiny little pug named Papaya. They love each other.
Everyone was happy and content until a schnauzer and his master appeared at the gate to the dog park.
The man opened the gate, the schnauzer walked in and was confronted (pummeled, taken down, etc.) by all the other dogs in the park. Well, M.E. couldn't care less because Dad was throwing the ball for her and our other two don't want to go near the gate because that might mean we are leaving. The schnauzer did the submissive, roll-on-his-back move when Jake the chocolate Lab decided to take advantage of that stance and get on top of the schnauzer to show his dominance. Both dogs were growing until the Schnauzer yelped from fear. The Schnauzer owner kicks the Lab out of the way, picks up his dog and says to the Lab owner, "That dog needs to be on a leash!" The Lab owner lady said, "He never has any problems with other dogs. Plus this is a dog park for big dogs". The Schnauzer owner was red-faced and furious and said, "This is a dog park and all dogs should have good manners or shouldn't be here. THAT dog needs to be on a leash." "Look", Lab-lady said, "Papaya, the little pug, doesn't have a problem with my dog. Why should I put him on a leash?" To which the Schnauzer owner opened the gate and stormed off with a terrified dog in his arms.
Dave and I analyzed the conflict from every angle and have opinions but I would love to hear some of yours before revealing ours.
What's the right way to handle this? Whata