Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ten Things

There's a silly teenager movie called 10 things I Hate about You. (Yes, I have seen it - I happen to enjoy silly romantic comedies of all kinds) Of course, the hero and heroine fall in love. Theirs is a love/hate relationship. They have chemistry. They have spice. They explore the best and worst of each other and come out with the expected happily ever after that I enjoy every time.

I have a love/hate relationship with spring. The season so often personified as a blossoming, blooming young thing full of promise is not my favorite. It is cold and wet and just for fun (it is currently 39 degrees and raining - can you tell?) I have made a list like the movie's title;

10 things I hate about spring

1 Mud - the snow is melted and beneath those mammoth piles lie inches of winter sludge, just waiting for an energetic two year-old to step in (my energetic two year old)

2 Rain - this is no refreshing summer rain I am talking about, but the kind that soaks into my jeans and sweatshirt at an early soccer game and gives me bad hair for the rest of the day

3 Brown - There is no green in my spring yet. We have bare trees and piles and piles of wet, ice-crusted oak leaves that fell after the snow flew

4 Busy - the calendar is ramping up with end of year programs and projects, conferences and concerts, and indoor soccer isn't over and outdoor has begun!

5 Cold - it may be sunny, but yesterday it was 28 degrees.

6 Middle - mine is thick from warm winter comfort food and cup after cup of hot cocoa

7 Floods - people all over the country are contending with swollen rivers, pregnant with rain water and melted snow and ice - in my little corner of the world, the floods are on the pants of my kids, who have no suitable clothes to wear because they have grown six inches over winter

8 Yard Work - see #3

9 Coats - the kids have holes in elbows, gloves, boots, and yet it is too cold for no coat, no matter what they would like to think when they see the sun finally shining

10 Squirrels - they have eaten a hole in the top of my blue roll-to-the-curb garbage can (not sure what this has to do with spring, but...)

Okay - If you know me at all, you know I am not really much of a complainer. I am actually quite content! It was actually hard for me to come up with ten things up there. I could have summed it up with cold and wet, and I know this, too, shall pass! Where I live, the spring comes late, stays briefly and makes way for an awesome summer, so why am I whining? :0)

10 things I love about spring
1 Walking/running - outside instead of on the treadmill - hallelujah!
2 Kids - riding bikes and playing with sidewalk chalk
3 Dates - this has nothing to do with spring, but I just had a date with my husband and I loved it ;0)
4 Flowers - I bought my first pansies last week!
5 Cleaning - I love the smell of fresh lavender in my house after I have mopped and scoured and wiped with Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day
6 Purging - Hooray for sorting and sifting and getting ready for a spring yard sale!
7 Birds - they are everywhere! We had two bald eagles in one tree in our yard the other day!
8 Soccer - in spite of the busy practice and game schedule, our kids love it and it is so good for them!
9 Green - there are actually buds on some bushes and trees already!
10 Easter - Resurrection Sunday - I serve a risen Savior - no other religion on earth can say that! My faith is in the One who makes all things NEW!

Monday, March 16, 2009


Louisa May Alcott once said, "'Stay' is such a charming word in a friend's vocabulary." So true! As I ponder those words, which I currently have written on my chalkboard, I wonder how many opportunities we miss to invite a friend, new or old, to "stay." Here are three ways I intend to invite my friends to do just that in the weeks ahead:

Invite them to literally stay . Have dear friends come spend a weekend. Make sure to have fresh flowers in their room, a stack of fun magazines near a cozy chair, favorite snacks and pop on hand, treats for the kids (like fresh new sticks of sidewalk chalk and a tasty array of Popsicles!) and a planned outing to one favorite destination for the girls and a favorite "boy" movie for the guys. Make cinnamon rolls. Build a bonfire (hey - it's spring!) Eat S'mores. Stay up late. Take naps!

Invite them to temporarily stay. Have new friends, or ones we don't know well, over for dinner. Make easy, comfort food (maybe grill outside?). Set out a snack for nibbling while last minute details are pulled together. Set the table prettily, but not too much so. The object is to make them feel welcome and special, not intimidated or uncomfortable. Have a special dessert for the kids (ice cream sandwiches or frosted cookies to decorate?) Ask about their lives. Be interested. Invite them back again, and mean it.

Invite them to figuratively stay. Geography often keeps us from sitting at the counter sipping tea, or strolling through a quaint town with our dearest friends. I have friends all over the country and the ones nearest to my heart are hours away. So, how do I invite them to stay? This invitation is one that says, please stay a part of my life, no matter where you are! I send emails and post pictures on this blog. When it comes to snail mail, there are funny cards that make me laugh out loud, packages full or little things that make me happy or make me think of the fun friend, and there are magazines, read with a Sharpie in hand, so I can comment and poke fun or point out great ideas - it's like reading it together! With far-away friends, we talk on the phone - sometimes it's an hour of catching up, sometimes it is five minutes to share the delightful/silly/ghastly/obnoxious/wonderful thing we just saw/heard/ate. We plan visits and we share news. We stay a part of each other's lives because our hearts are bound together, but our days are not unless we make it so.

If you are reading this, then you are a friend. I am not sure in which of the above categories you fit (maybe all three!) but I want you to know I treasure you! If you have never eaten at our table. Come and sit a spell! If you have never napped on our porch swing, sit and stay awhile! If you have never laughed at a card I sent...well, just shame on me! ;0)

I invite you to stay, friend!