Peggy Wheatcroft decided when she turned 80 years – old she was going to give presents rather than expect to receive them.
She bought 80 blue envelopes and place four $20 bills in each along with a self – addressed stamped postcard and a note asking people, in honor of her birthday to give the money to anyone they chose.
“Find someone who least expects it,” she wrote. “Then write … and tell me about your experience. Let’s spread a small bit of joy!!”
The weekend of her 80th birthday, she started handing out the envelopes to family members and friends who were in town for the wedding of one of her grandsons. She continued to deliver envelopes over the next year until all 80 had been handed out.
“As postcards arrived,” Wheatcroft wrote, “two things stood out. The first was the joy people experienced when giving in person. Many sent me heartfelt letters, some with photos of the receiver. The second was the rapport created when givers explained the source of the money to recipients. It was as if they were teaming up to help an 80 – year – old celebrate her birthday.
“People who gave the $80 as a lump sum often gave it to a person struggling with expenses. One woman heard a teller at her bank say that she would be out for six weeks for reconstructive surgery after a double mastectomy. The woman reached into her purse and gave the teller the $80 and my note. On her postcard she told how the woman cried and cried.
“Other people left a big tip for a service worker – a waiter or a gas station attendant. A mother of two young children wrote about seeing a boy of 11 or 12 walking her street on a summer day asking for work. After he’d labored an hour in the heat, she walked over and told him how much she admired his work ethic and determination. She gave him a $20 bill, and a huge smile crossed his face.”
One couple bought 52 pairs of socks and took them to a shelter right before Thanksgiving.
“My gifts had unexpected ripple effects,” said Wheatcroft. “One man whom I gave an envelope continues to give, three years later. He says he’s now more aware of the people around him and is more comfortable with giving to strangers.”
Giving, not receiving, turned into one of the best presents for this lady.
The end of 2019 is fast approaching. We have Thanksgiving soon to be here, a time to be reflective of the many things that we are grateful for, one of those is, hopefully, family. The other, I pray for you, is community. And we need to be happy with ourself, the person that God made us, and find the purpose for our being here.
Albert Schweitzer said, “The only ones among you who will be truly happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.” It is important to serve and it’s time we slow down on all the excuses for not doing so
Here’s another thing I read, and I don’t know if all are correct, but I think it gets the point across.
“The next time you think you have an excuse why God can’t use you consider the following:
- Noah was a drunkard,
- Abraham was too old,
- Isaac was a daydreamer,
- Jacob was a liar,
- Leah was ugly,
- Joseph was abused,
- Moses was a murderer,
- Gideon was afraid,
- Samson had long hair,
- Rahab was a prostitute,
- Timothy was too young,
- David had an illicit affair,
- Elijah was suicidal,
- Isaiah preached naked,
- Job was bankrupt,
- John the Baptist ran around in a loincloth and ate locusts,
- Peter was hot – tempered,
- John was self – righteous.
- The disciples fell asleep while praying,
- Martha fretted about everything,
- Mary Magdalene was demon-possessed,
- The boy with the fish and five rolls of bread was too obscure,
- The Samaritan woman was divorced more than once,
- Zacchaeus was too small,
- Paul was too religious,
- And Lazarus was dead.
Now, no more excuses!”
Remember, if you’re waiting until the perfect time or until you’re perfect, that never happens! Take a step the way you want to go and let’s get started! I choose to be the family and community member that does something positive and helpful for others. That’s my promise for this year. Even though I know I am imperfect and make many errors, that is my challenge for 2020. Might as well get working on it now!
Another good thought to remember along those lines is a quote from Ninon de L’Enclos, “That which is … beautiful is not always good, but that which is good is always beautiful.” I am choosing to be more beautiful this upcoming year.
“Start by doing what’s necessary, then what’s possible, and suddenly, you are doing the impossible,” said St. Francis of Assisi.
Let’s get started on this positive journey!
See you on the bricks.
One of my kids gave me a book to fill out that asks all sorts of questions that our kids might one day wonder about. Often times, they don’t wonder about our lives prior to the kids until we’re gone. So, this book asks the questions now and you fill out the book for the kids. Some of the questions are odd, some are really hard to answer, and some bring back great memories that we should make a point to tell the kids.
You don’t have to have a book. You can just answer the questions and figure out how and when you want to give them to your kids. Maybe with their Christmas present? Maybe as a Christmas present?
What would you like to make sure your kids know?
I’ll share my answers.
“The twins come from Granny Grantham. And there are many of them in the family. She also gave us our height, but the strong chin comes from Grandpa Grantham. The cleft in the chin is also Grantham, but the really deep one is a Johnson deal.
“The lawyer … has my will. Get along during it. Don’t allow any problems to happen during the settling of it. If anyone causes any trouble, I swear I will come back with a 2 x 4 and use it on them. Our parents don’t owe us what they’ve earned. It is theirs to give as they wish. Our children we need to teach how to work and how to be responsible and of good character. Girls and boys. That is a parent’s job, not giving their kids everything they want and catering to them.
“Know with a certainty deep within your heart that your dad and I loved one another when we brought you into this world and that when we met each of you, we found ourselves loving you guys even more. We weren’t perfect, aren’t perfect, but we early love our children. It does not matter that you’re different than we imagined. It does not matter that life happens and we all countless times show our fickle humanness. We love you and I will always love your dad for giving me you guys and for being partners in raising you to the best we could. You four are our opus and we know this.
“Start each day with something that makes you happy. I love my coffee and when I take that first drink, it is full – on a drink of happiness. Nobody should have to start their day with a grouch. If that is you, have someone knock you upside the head. There are probably several who are wanting to.
“Nobody is responsible for your happiness except you. Nor are they who you can blame your unhappiness on. You have decided to be unhappy. It is all on you, if you are.
“Save some money every month unless you want to work until the day you die. Most of the things we buy we don’t care about in a month. Remember that. Get a grip on the difference between a want and a need.
“Lie in bed at the end of each day and thank God for each of the blessings he brought to you that day. Don’t treat God like a sugar daddy, always asking for favors – end each day thanking him.
“Remember, if you talk about other people – they have a right to talk about you. So, let’s try our best to just say positive things about people – or stay away from them.
“Always, when something bothers you about someone – take an honest look at yourself because you likely do / say the same things. Judge ourselves by the same standards as we judge others. If you do this honestly, and look at yourself with truth, you should find yourself being more kind to others.
“Pay attention to other people. Don’t assume you know them, what they have, what they want. Buying a gift for someone because it is something you want for yourself is shallow. Not buying something someone wants because you don’t agree may be egotistical and judgemental – but, then, we shouldn’t gift things that are bad for someone, so just be reasonable. Gifts should not be a game changer in a relationship, things are not as important as people.
“Never miss a chance to tell someone thank you. There is never too much appreciation shown.
“Learn something new every day so your conversation is never boring. Your opinions aren’t good conversation. People are drawn to those who tell entertaining and SHORT stories or who talk positive about other people.
“One time, Missy (my daughter) had a birthday dinner for Nate Leota (an OPSU football player). She invited Nate’s friends Nick, Jessica, and Neptune. She invited me – maybe because I would give Nate a ride? The meal was crazy good and very time consuming to make. And talk about consuming – those boys can consume! Missy and I posted pictures of the evening on Facebook. Lisa (my other daughter) saw them and promptly told her sister that she would have liked to have been there, that it hurt her feelings she hadn’t been invited.
“There are several reasons I tell this story. First, the fact that Missy and Cody gave that evening to Nate says so much of what I love about life. Share. Give. Be a blessing to others.
“The second part is Lisa’s reaction. She wanted to be a part and she had her feelings hurt. Rather than have her feelings fester (which makes for unhappy and bitter people who are no fun to be around), she promptly told Missy. She didn’t whine and complain to other people, she talked to Missy.
“Missy listened. Missy told Lisa why she kept the invites low and life went on. Neither took it personal. Neither held a grudge. Neither put anyone else in the middle. It didn’t affect the family. It didn’t make Sunday lunch uncomfortable. In fact, some jokes were made about it.
“This is healthy. This is family. This is who we are. If you’re an adult, this is how an adult should act. Mature. Not spiteful. Not hateful. Not making division.
“We will be disappointed by each other all the time, over and over. Don’t let these disappointments poison your soul and, ultimately, the family. Accept and forgive and the same acceptance and forgiveness will be granted to you when it is needed. You were not born to agree upon everything. You were born to love one another. Period.
“We are wonderful and unique … just like everyone else!”
If you’re inclined, write what you want your family to know about you and want’s important to you. Don’t worry about spelling or grammar. Just put your ideas down and share with them. If you want to ….
See you on the bricks!
It is a known fact that starting your day with a positive attitude can make the entire day better, often for you and those around them. So, I shall choose to find something to be positive about in my mind.
The earth’s rotation makes my day.
You can also think of it as, living on earth is expensive. But it does include a free trip around the sun.
Think about it, I might look stationary, but, actually, I’m traveling at 733 miles per hour!
There are other things that we all know can make the day better. It is time to come to grips with some of those things. For me, chocolate can be one.
Hand over the chocolate and no one will get hurt.
We need to also learn that we are not the most important person in the room. Other people count. Other people are important. This self – absorbed vanity can be very hurtful and irritating. We need to remember this.
And know, some day when scientists discover the center of the universe, many people are going to be disappointed to learn it isn’t them.
Quit relying on others when you can do something yourself. Be productive. Make decisions and get something done.
“I’m trying to be independent, but no one will help me,” really isn’t going to cut it.
Be careful. And be safe. Choose your friends wisely. We are who our friends are.
And never trust an atom. They make up everything.
Computer technology is not easy for me. It moves at a rate of change much faster than my rate of adaption. I am a computer dinosaur and the problem doesn’t seem to get any better.
My computer geek told me, “I found your problem, you need a user upgrade.” He wasn’t joking.
He also told me, “Anyone who thinks the customer is always right never worked in Tech Support.” He wasn’t joking then either. Really, he doesn’t have much of a sense of humor.
So, I told him, “Autocorrect can go straight to he’ll.” He didn’t laugh.
Maybe I need to quit thinking about the problems and start working on the solutions. According to chemistry, alcohol is a solution.
Biology is interesting too. Bacteria. It’s the only culture some people have.
Physics has its points. I may look lazy, but on a molecular level I’m quite busy.
But, for me, math is confusing. “Dear Algebra, Please, stop asking us to find your X. She’s never coming back and don’t ask Y.”
English is much more my style (considering the fact that most people think I have no style at all). I hate it when people don’t know the difference between your and you’re. There so stupid.
English is important. Punctuation saves lives. Let’s eat, Mom. Let’s eat Mom. See it?
Marine biology is something we don’t consider much here on the Panhandle, but there are things it can tell us, too. The fact that jellyfish have survived for over 650 million years despite not having brains, gives hope to many people.
Here’s to a brighter day to you all!
Don’t miss these opportunities happening soon: Nov. 7 is Shop and Dine downtown, 4-7 pm; Nov. 9 is the evening for Panhandle Services for Children Blue Jean Ball at Pickle Creek; and this weekend is “The Producers’ at Guymon Community Theatre, call 338-0019 for times and to make your reservations, cost is $10 per person.
See you on the bricks.