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On The Bricks Archives

February 17, 2019

When you are trying to bring ideas together, to build something new, to improve your processes, it is important to have a creative environment where people are free to perform and share ideas without fear of judgment or failure. If people fear failure or judgment, they will refuse to participate.

Failure is a necessary part of most successful ideas, because success rarely comes at the first attempt. Billionaire Sir James Dyson, the inventor of the Dyson bagless vacuum cleaner, spent 15 years and had 5,126 failed attempt before he got his invention right.

Creativity is not just for artists. Everyone is creative. We all have valuable ideas every single day. A person who has original, valuable ideas at work becomes important to their employer. Because creative ideas lead to valuable change, it affects leadership. Leader’s don’t just have an official title or position; they often contribute the most and have the most influence.

Creative ideas are key to businesses, organizations, and countries thriving.

Studies have shown that judging, telling someone exactly how to do things, exerting too much pressure, constantly watching, creating a win / lose situation (competitions especially between co – workers) will hinder creativity.

Be wary of cultures that hinder creativity. Don’t tell others how to behave down to the tiniest detail or create an environment where employees are rewarded for being unquestioning “yes men” to their bosses.

An example of incorporating creativity into the culture is Google’s famous “20 percent time” where employees were free to spend one day a week working on their own projects. Major successes came out of this, including Gmail.

Often careers involve initial training that requires an employee to experience working in multiple departments. But typically, they then specialize and subsequently remain in one department, missing out on the diversity of the whole company. A person with a more rounded understanding and experience of a whole organization will understand that organization better and be in a better position to contribute creatively.

Creativity thrives on different perspectives, so diverse teams will have richer experiences to draw from, especially if partnerships and collaborations are encouraged.

Those are some interesting thoughts taken from the article “Where Leaders are Made” in the July 2018 issue of Toastmaster magazine.

Some very good ideas on how to parent, to be a supervisor, and to be a more enjoyable person came out of that article. It is especially relevant in working with volunteers.

Another article that was shared with me, says people quit their jobs and it really boils down to one reason, one word – disrespect. “It’s clear what causes employees to walk out the door – disrespect on the part of management.

“When employees are not respected or valued as workers and human beings, when they are not served well and developed as people and professionals, when obstacles aren’t cleared from their paths so they can perform well, when their voices aren’t heard or are ignored, they experience disengagement. When that begins to happen and doesn’t change over time, you’ve lost them from the neck up. Once employees are not longer emotionally committed to their work and have checked out, you can bet your bottom line that they’ll be updating their resumes.”

I thought this information interesting. I hope to always improve as a person, a supervisor, and as an employee. These kinds of articles make me think about ways that I can improve.

It’s always good to learn more. Here are some happenings in the community that give you a chance to learn more and improve yourself.

Feb. 24 is a Sunday and that afternoon at the Guymon Library, 1718 N. Oklahoma Street, is an afternoon to learn more about the South Sudanese people who have moved to Guymon. It is a free afternoon sponsored by Seaboard Foods, a Main Street Guymon that begins at 2 and ends at 4:30 and includes watching the “Lost Boys of Sudan” documentary, hearing a panel of South Sudanese, and a chance to ask questions.

Then on Feb. 25 is a Support Group for Diabetics at 5:30 pm. This meeting takes place at the Heritage Community Assisted Living, 501 NE 15th Street. To learn more about this free program, call Amanda Crawford at 580-338-3186.

It’s a good day to be
On the bricks!

February 6, 2019

There are far too many people throwing stones at one another, especially on facebook and other places where they can do it without looking someone in the eye. Too much thinking our opinion is the only opinion going around. Doesn’t matter where you are, it seems to be the norm now. My way is the only way.

That’s a bunch of bull.

There are lots of things that we don’t have to agree on to be able to be good neighbors, to work together, to move forward, to be positive, and to be kind. I recently read an article about author Jacqueline Bussie that had some very good points.

“… love is about understanding and not about agreement. Understanding and agreement: they’re not the same thing, they’ve never been the same thing. Love demands only the first thing, not the second.

“If we think about our lives, we all have a powerful experience of loving someone, and maybe even understanding them, even though we don’t agree with them. I heard someone say the other day, ‘We’ve been tricked into hating each other.’ I feel that that’s what’s happening.

“We have to build transgressive friendships, friendships that cross boundaries we’re told not to cross. This is crucial to changing the world. All the social science out there shows that what truly changes people is a friendship with a person who is different from them … this how people’s hearts are changed and stereotypes stop.”

I believe this. She speaks truth. And it is why the Main Street Guymon Aggie Family program that matches OPSU Aggie athletes who are a long distance from home is so important. It changes people and it supports our youth.

This is also why the Know Your Neighbor Series is good for the community. In October Main Street Guymon brought in an anthropologist who spoke about Ethiopia and Eretria. This month we have a documentary film about the Lost Boys of Sudan followed by a panel of South Sudanese Lost Boys from Guymon to speak and answer questions.

It is always a good idea to get to know your neighbors better.

You’re welcome to come to the afternoon about South Sudan on Sun., Feb. 24, from 2 to 4:30 pm at the Guymon Public Library Safe Room, 1718 N. Oklahoma Street. It is a free event and open to children who can be quiet during an hour long film.

We can always get smarter.

We can always be nicer.

We can always act kinder.

See you on the bricks!

February 4, 2019

The definition of a nurse is the first person you see after saying, “Watch this!!”

It’s important to build your vocabulary.

It’s also good to have your high school diploma or an equivalent like the GED. If you’re interested in getting your GED, there are classes offered now, free to many, at the Academy North Building, 712 N. Academy Street in Guymon. To find out when the classes are, if you qualify for free classes, and other questions you might have, call 580-349-1552 to speak in English and 580-349-1538 to speak in Spanish. Be brave. If this is something you want, you can do it. You need to try!

The Super Bowl was a bit of a snoozer. Watching the game with me was a former OPSU football team captain, current OPSU player, a high school assistant football coach who played in college, and my daughter. Sitting there, I knew this was a time to be quiet. Pretty sure my football knowledge and opinions were subpar in the room that evening. Yep, time to be still and keep my opinions to myself. I’ll just get another piece of pizza and watch the game.

Reminds me of the saying, “I’m not arguing. I’m explaining why I’m right.”

Shop and Dine takes place on Thur., Feb. 7 from 4 to 7 pm. Go by Golden Crown, Merle Norman, Top Hand Western Store, SPC, and others and enjoy the snacks and drinks. You’ll have fun and you will probably find something awesome that you will want to take home! Shop small on Thursday. Support those who support our community activities … including the school groups and programs. We need to be aware of those who are giving back.

Speaking of giving back, those who came to the City Council meeting for the conversation and presentation on Main Street Guymon funding, you are very appreciated. That there were so many who would take time out from their busy lives to attend the meeting really humbled my board and me. Giving of our time is something that is really special. And those who spoke, I could tell that wasn’t something they really wanted to do, but they stood tall and did it anyway. I love our partners and I love working with people who are so unselfish and giving. It was a good conversation and I’m feeling that the Main Street Guymon Board and the City Council will continue working together. We’ll see … don’t stop saying prayers for both groups and that we will listen to one another and have our eyes and ears open during the talks.

At church last Sunday the readings spoke of love. After the Council meeting, it was a subject that fit. When you are doubting whether you’re in the right place, doing the right thing, it is good to have affirmation and let go of the doubt. Then you can get back to work. But the Pastor talked about giving and helping others. You shouldn’t walk past your neighbor who is in need to go to church. This really tugged at my heart. We need to take care of our neighbors, whether it is spending time with them, taking them groceries, or helping them plant flowers. And then our church took an offering for the Oaks of Mamre. It was so appropriate after the sermon.

Have you ever considered that Moses was the first person with a tablet downloading data from the cloud? Just wondering …

It is a constant struggle to not get so wrapped up in our busy days, our list of things to do and things we want, that we don’t see our neighbor who needs a hand. But we can remind one another and we’ll get better at it! The City Council meeting reminded me, church reminded me, and now I need to keep my eyes and heart open.

Our neighbors have a lot of different accents here in the Panhandle. Some of those neighbors are from Africa and have been living here in Guymon for about ten years. We’re going to have a Know Your Neighbor afternoon at the Guymon Public Library on Feb. 24. That’s a Sunday from 2 to 4:30 pm. We’ll watch a documentary on the Lost Boys of Sudan, then hear the story from three Lost Boys who live here in Guymon. The end of the meeting will be time for questions and answers. It’s a good time to learn more about our neighbor.

“I’m just here to establish an alibi.” Wow. Read that on a shirt and it made me laugh so hard. But I honestly don’t think that I would buy the shirt for anyone.

There are two other events taking place on Feb. 7 besides the Shop and Dine. The Chamber’s Excellence in Ag banquet is at Pickle Creek starting at 6 pm and is a wonderful evening focused on agriculture in the Panhandle. Also, that evening is the Perfect Pairing fund raiser for the OPSU Business Club and Computer Club. A great group of students and teachers who represent the Panhandle so well. So, you have your choice … go shop a bit and then had to one of the evening events, you can go the way of the land or the way of technology. Both are going to be excellent.

One last thing to put on your calendar is a conversation on Recycling, led by the Rose Garden Club members. This is Sat., Feb. 9 from 10 to noon at the Main Street Guymon office, 116 NE 5th Street. Come and hear the ways that we have in Guymon to recycle. We need to take care of our land and not trash it.

Oh, let me close with this last saying that is a hoot, “Synonym rolls, just like Grammar used to make.” Now, admit it, that’s funny right there.

See you on the bricks!

January 29, 2019

This is a wonderful place to live, in my opinion. People who live here for any length of time and are respected by the community are the type of folks that know how to work, have loyalty to their employer and their family and their community, aren’t impressed by folks who cheat on their taxes or cheat on their spouses but don’t judge them for it if they slip up and do, we have many people who commit to community service whether it is at church, at the school, downtown, or at the homeless shelter.

We have a wonderful Lions Club and a Rotary Club and they get along just fine, thank you, and will admit the other club does a great job, too. We admire the ones who are in the Guymon Community Theater for their artistic skills even though we know we weren’t blessed with them. In the same vein, we love the Pioneer Day Rodeo committee for the very same reasons.

Here in Guymon, Main Street Guymon and the Chamber of Commerce are good partners. We know what the other does for the community and we love them for it. We work together because it’s smarter to work together and get more done.

When someone is sick, there are places to go in the community for help like Catholic Charities and Panhandle Partners. When someone needs food, there is Loaves and Fishes, handled by an amazing group of volunteers.
This is a wonderful community to live in. Be part of the wonderful. Choose a place for you, for you and your family, for you and your friends, to help make a difference. We are wonderful, certainly not because we have beautiful lakes and beaches, but because the people who live here choose to make it that way.

Call me if you’re wondering how to get involved. Having that conversation would be great. The number here at Main

Street Guymon is 580-338-6246.
I would love to have everyone who calls become an individual member of Main Street Guymon ($50 a year) or a business member ($200) a year. But, alas, I promise not to be totaling self-serving and to help you find the best match for you.

There is one thing that always needs cleared up, though. Main Street Guymon has as one of its priorities in the mission to work on the revitalization of Main Street’s historical district. But this doesn’t mean that we are limited to this, our board knows that Main Street means all those who are on Main Street, shopping, working, going to City Hall … so Main Street is for everyone. That means you can go ahead and call.

Go forth and be wonderful!

See you on the bricks.

January 22, 2019

Did you know that sending flowers used to be a way of sending messages? That specific flowers meant specific things? And according to geography, this can change a bit, but basically, they’re pretty spot on. It is called the Language of Flowers.

Ambrosia means your love is reciprocated.

Begonia is to beware.

If you want to tell someone that you reject their love, send them a bouquet of withered flowers.

Cactus is for endurance.

A pink Camellia is to say your longing for them. A red one is that they’re a flame in your heart. And a white one is saying that you think they’re adorable.

Pink carnations say that I’ll never forget you; red carnations are for admiration; a solid color carnation is for yes; a striped is for no; and a yellow carnation means you’re disappointed in them.

A red mum say you love them; a white one is for truth; and a yellow is for slighted love. Wish I had known that before I picked my wedding flowers.

Daisies are for innocence.

Ferns mean fascination.

A gardenia signifies that you think someone is lovely.

A geranium is for stupidity.

Purple hyacinth is an apology; white hyacinth says you’ll pray for them; and a yellow one is for jealousy.

An iris signifies a cherished friendship.

A pink larkspur is for fickleness.

Calla lily is beauty; day lily is coquetry; orange lily is hate; and the tiger lily is pride and wealth.

A marigold is cruelty.

Monkshood stands for beware.

Oleander is caution.

Mock orange is deceit.

Peony is shame.

Petunia is anger.

The dark crimson rose is mourning; the dark pink rose is thankfulness; lavender rose is enchantment; orange rose for fascination; pale peach rose for modesty; pale pine one for joy; red rose for love and respect; a single rose in full bloom says I love you; a tea rose means I’ll remember you always, a yellow rose is friendship.

Snapdragons are for deception.

A red tulip says to believe me.

A violet is for modesty.

This is interesting, but the fact is that few speak this language anymore. So you would probably have to have something to interpret … like a little card with the flowers. Yep, that explains a lot now. And now that I think about what messages I was sending out at my wedding, it’s all starting to make sense.

Just a lot of geraniums going around is all I can say.

Happenings you might want to put on your calendar:

  • Pioneer Day Draw Down is Jan. 26 and the cost is $50 per person. You have a chance to win $3,500 and this is a fund raiser for Pioneer Days.
  • Diabetic Support Group meets Jan. 28 at the Heritage Assisted Living, 501 NE 15th Street.
  • Family Game Night at the Library is Jan. 29 from 5 to 7 pm.
  • Eggs and Issues happens on Feb. 1 at 7 am in the Ambassador meeting room.
  • There are some great things happening. Go on out and join in!

See you on the bricks!

January 8, 2019

So many people want to be important, to have power, and they manipulate and aggressively seek this elusive concept. True power is influence. Having influence comes from listening, working to understand, and help others. Those will small egos usually much more influence and power than those with large egos.

Recently this meme came up on facebook and it makes a lot of sense. “Be good to people. You will be remembered more for your kindness than any level of success you could possibly attain.”

Who is someone you will never forget? Mine is my Granny Grantham.

My Granny Grantham, or maybe my memory of her (which may or may not be very accurate since I was nine years old when she died) is the person I will always try to live up to. I loved her so much. She was the person I always felt loved by, although would chastise me in a kind way when needed.

When she died there was a true empty place in our lives. She held the Grantham clan together. They pulled together after she died, but it was never the same again without her.

True influence is what my Granny had. She instilled love and loyalty. She held to her beliefs and was true to herself. Her strength gave us strength. Her character and search for adventure (she homesteaded to Two Buttes, Colorado, as a single woman, leaving Indiana on her quest with one of her brothers) were always amazing, almost mythical.

She loved us and we knew it. Not by words or by dramatic physical demonstrations, but by her consistency, her stability and her eyes. I felt like I was her favorite grandchild (of 37 – eventually 38 grandchildren she had), as did my cousin Larry. What a great gift to give us!

It wasn’t unconditional. She had expectations. She expected me to do my school work, to learn, to be a good person. She read to me. She kept a puzzle at her house and I did it over and over again. One puzzle. It was enough. Every time I finished it she told me how I did it better than anyone else. She made me feel special by completing a project I enjoyed. She was teaching me a true part of being successful.

How much of what I remember is true and how much is my mind making it up, I don’t know. But there has been no tie in my life that I have not missed Granny Grantham. Few years go by that I don’t cry because I miss her at some moment. I cry because I think she might be disappointed in me for something I’ve done, or I cry because I wish she was there to share a moment. Whatever, I know she would have still loved me through all of it.

It has always been my hope to someday have that same positive influence. Maybe Granny is more impactful on my life because she did die when I was so young. Maybe not. I just know my Granny Grantham is my hero, always has been, and who she is to me has helped shape the person that I am.

If you have a goal of leaving a legacy, work to be the legacy. Strive to have influence and use it in ways that help your family, your friends, your neighbors, your community, and the world.

An old lady in Oslo once said, “I just always tried to do the right thing.” There is so much wisdom in that statement.

Last month Brown and Associates staff and The Willows folks got together and worked to carry on some Christmas traditions that they enjoy. They got together with some others, had soup and went caroling in that bitter cold. Singing Christmas carols at the Heritage Community, the nursing home, and the hospital they not only brought joy to people’s lives, they brought joy to their own. They made a memory. I’m sure it could have been done better, I am sure they could have done all sorts of things differently … but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that they did it.

Let’s all work to do something good.

See you on the bricks!

January 4, 2019

How you holding up with the aftermath of this storm? Personally, I found it fabulous and wonderful. An excuse to hole up in my house for seven days. The world was happy to get a break from me, too.

Couldn’t open my back door and the front sidewalk had knee – deep snow. Good reason to stay in the house. My water was off for a bit, but electricity stayed on. So, it seemed more of a cold vacation than anything.

My son came and shoveled for over two hours so that my sidewalks were clear, and he went and bought me a lot of groceries. I really took advantage of him and he didn’t seem to mind. I love that boy (he’s 38 years old) for helping me so much!

Sitting in my chair, reading, on New Years Eve at 4:45 I heard a funny sound in the kitchen. I got up and saw water dripping from the door in front of the water heater. I called my son – in – law, Cody. He came over and was the hero of my day. Got it fixed and, thank goodness, the Texhoma store owner opened back up so that Cody could get the part (I love small towns). Little vacation hiccup but think about it, it was great that I was home when it happened or it could have been a real mess.

On January 2 it was time to face the snow and ice and get to work. My back door still won’t open (ice keeping it from opening), so I head out the front door and hike around the house and back to my detached garage that opens into the alley. Garage door goes up fine … I was sort of hoping it would be frozen shut, but, alas, it was working fine. I back out the garage (where Lucas had also shoveled) and look at the drift I need to go through to get to the alley and the street. I give it a good run and … STOP. Stuck. Try to rock the car and that’s not working at all.

I find the shovel and start to shovel. Here is the point I admit socks would have been a good choice, but that wasn’t me and we have to live with our choices. Shoveled some more and then was able to back the vehicle up. Why did I think I could still get through that drift?

Wrong. Stuck again, only this time stuck and I can’t even open my car door because it is so deep. Bad idea. I should have tried to back all the way out, but I am really not very good driving going forward, so in reverse isn’t usually a good option.

Super Cody to the rescue once again. I finally opened the office door at 10:30 in the morning. Took awhile! Vacation over.

And I know that while I was taking my wonderful little cold vacation and putting puzzles together, reading books (oh, it was heaven), quilting while watching movies, getting my taxes itemized, cleaning out files and a closet, there were people out there stuck in the snow, stopped on the highway, others pulling people out of the snow and helping stranded folks. There were those who did make it in to their business and kept it open through all this. I commend each and every one of them. Those whose jobs are thankless and fixing all the storm – caused problems (electric guys, street and highway people, all of them) and those who were doing it because they’re just nice folks (like Cody) … to each of you, THANK YOU. I pray blessings on each of every one of you and your families for the good work that you did.

And those who complained and griped about people during this time … shame on you. The post office can’t get the mail when the highways are closed … get real. Why are you frantic about your mail when most of our world has halted, anyway? For those of you who are complaining about the streets, grab a flipping shovel and get to work. Shut up from the complaining because you’re just using oxygen that nice people could need.

It seems to me that we’re judged by the same standard that we judge others. That makes me be nicer than I really am. Because I know how many times I make mistakes and I don’t want people calling the dogs out on me when I know that I really didn’t mean to do something wrong. So, you gripers and complainers, be ready. You’re going to mess up sometime and you better expect all those who you’ve bad mouthed to be grinning. And they won’t grab a shovel for those who wouldn’t hold one for them.

Whoops, those last two paragraphs sounded a lot like complaining, didn’t they? I better hush on that topic.

Did you know the reason you should put the snow in the middle of the street rather than to the side? If you pile the snow where the water as the snow melts needs to drain, then you’re just causing a lake. Just thought some of you needed to understand that little tidbit. But, hey, we’ll take a lake. We needed the moisture, for sure!

Hope you all fared well and are looking at 2019 as a wonderful opportunity to make some great changes in your life. Be a nice neighbor is a good thing to put on our lists.

This little bit was posted on facebook and it’s worth repeating: “If you want 2019 to be your year, don’t sit on the couch and wait for it. Go out. Make a change. Smile more. Be excited. Do new things. Throw away what you’ve been cluttering. Unfollow negative people on social media. Go to bed early. Wake up early. Be fierce. Don’t gossip. Show more gratitude. Do things that challenge you. Be brave.”

We can all be better people this year. Let’s work on it.

See you on the bricks!

December 18, 2018

Here’s another little snippet in the memory book that I recently finished for my kids.

“My teenage memories are filled with sports and my friends. That whole rebellion thing didn’t have space in our house. Pap would be disappointed in me, which would hurt like the dickens. Mama had a temper, which would hurt like the dickens.

“Both were strong people who were not afraid of their children. They were not afraid of us not liking them and they were not afraid we would turn on them. We weren’t stupid. Fred and I were certainly adventurous, but we didn’t often step over the line the parents drew. And the parents trusted us, so the line wasn’t unreasonable.”

Trust is important in relationships. Don’t be underhanded and then don’t trust those who don’t trust you. It’s good words to follow.

There are some other good words that I recently read. I have been looking forward to sharing them!

For my friends who know their geography: “I thought I saw an eye doctor in Alaska, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.”

For my spacey friends: “I went to the Air and Space Museum, but I couldn’t’ see anything.”

For my grammarian friends: “English is weird. It can be understood through tough, thorough thought though.”

That last one took awhile to read, didn’t it?

Another one for English fans: “The past, the present, and the future walking into a bar. It was tense.”

For Davin Winger: “Irony. The opposite of wrinkly.”

For my dad: “Sawdust is man glitter.”

Good words to follow, right?

I have something else you might want to follow. Check out these houses that were listed on the Friends of the Library Tour of Lights 2018. Drive by and check out the decorations at 806 NW 22nd Street, 1613 N Main Street, 1418 N Beaver Street, 223 S Canyon Street, and 2111 N Canyon Street. You can oooh and aahh to your hearts content. And I personally love the lights at Guymon Furniture on 5th and Roosevelt. They’re beautiful.

The Friends of the Library Tour of Lights was made possible by TCEC, PTCI, Main Street Guymon, and Wirtz Lumber. Fine group of folks there, for sure.

See you on the bricks!

December 17, 2018

Got my Christmas card from my eldest son and it had several beautiful photos of three of my grandchildren, my son and his wife. Great card. Loved the message on it. “The biggest blessings are in the smallest moments.” So true.

Blessing #1 from last week: All four of my children attended the two eldest grandson’s football semi – final playoff game. That the boys were playing in such an important game was great and wonderful. But the photo of all four of my children being there to support them, faces smiling and so happy was the best blessing. To have your kids be adults and treat one another well is a huge blessing that makes me so thankful.

Blessing #2 from last week: Not in the photo that I mentioned above, but in other’s taken that day were the spouses of the three married kids who were all there doing the same … and being such an important part of our family. Also, in the photos were the three grandchildren who didn’t sport a Gruver Greyhound football uniform … all of them beaming with pride for Will and Nick.

Blessing #3 from last week: I sent the On the Bricks column from last week about my friends to Pam, Nancy, and Deets (the topic of the column). I figured they might as well know what I’m saying about them. And I received an email from Nancy, who, funny enough, is the one that usually takes years to answer emails, in response. She wrote, “WOW. I’m very humbled by your words. You have such a powerful gift of the written language. I guess it’s from copying my English papers. Seriously you made my day … no, my life. I love you.” Signed “Nancy Evans, On the streets.” She is so funny. She is the one who copied MY English papers. I copied her math assignments. Good friends.

Blessing #4 from last week: In a conversation with a friend of mine that I worked with when I was with the Oklahoma Department of Tourism, we talked about the difference between wants and needs. And then it went to some wants we had, and I told him about always wanting Christmas dishes. But it didn’t make sense because we had beautiful fancy dishes from the husband’s great aunt and we always used them for Christmas dinner and other family gatherings, so it would be silly to buy another set of fancy dishes. He talked about some Transformer he wanted as a kid (he’s a lot younger than I am). Last week I got a package in the mail. Christmas dishes. Yep. Go figure. I couldn’t believe it. All I can say is, he’s not getting that Transformer.

The purpose of this rambling is not to brag about my blessings, but to help you think about what blessings you have received and not given sufficient thought to. Remember, it’s the simple things, the smallest moments, that are the blessings you need to make sure you don’t miss. Justin and Sammy’s Christmas card reminded me. I’m sharing and reminding you.

And after you consider your blessings, then think about how you’re going to be someone else’s blessing today. Remember, simple things. Say a prayer. If you don’t know who to pray for, just say one for every person that you see today. That should do it. Or for those people that asked me for directions. No telling where they ended up.

Catch you on the bricks!

December 10, 2018

Some people seem to not know how to be a good friend. We need to teach our children how to be a good friend so that they will have friends.

Hopefully I have enough friends, strong ones, to serve as my pall bearers. People laugh when that is said, but there is some serious thought to it if you give it a moment to sink in.

“My life has been blessed with the best friends a person could ever have.” I wrote that sentence in the little book of memories I wrote for my kids. The prompt on the page was “Do you remember your childhood friends?”

My response: “First are my cousins, but they are expected to stand by me because we’re family. And we grew up together.

“In first grade, right at my sixth birthday, I was introduced to Nance, Pammy, and Deets. Through elementary the other friends started to slide back. In Junior High and High School it was obvious we were ‘the girls,’ as people called us. We had other friends, others we did things with, but we always came back to the four of us. We fit. We understood one another. We were four who knew what it took to be a good friend. We were in sports and competed together. We laughed together. I suppose we cried together.

“I know with a certainty deep in my heart that when and if I ever need them, they will be there. There with no judgement, just being there to provide whatever I need.

“My strength comes from always knowing I have the Granthams and the girls. That no matter what I do, they will continue to love and accept me.

“Knowing this has made life easy. They don’t correct, but they listen. They don’t expect me to tell them everything, but they understand. They only expect me to love them as much as they love me. I can be totally vulnerable with them because they are part of me.

“We were always there for one another. Absence doesn’t even take that away.

“My children, don’t try to fix your friends. Don’t try to get your friends to be like you. Be who you are meant to be and help your friends be who they are meant to be. Be honest or be quiet. Trust them or they will never trust you. A friend is a companion for whom you have few responsibilities. And don’t try to make them responsible for you. They are to share adventures with, to tell stories to, to relax with, a place you are always safe because they protect you, just as you protect them – not because they’re right, but because they’re your friend.

“Be brave – be a forever friend.”

Start thinking about what other people need, rather than what you want. That is the first step to being a good friend.

Jan Karon wrote in the first Mitford Series book, first page, He arrived at the office, uttering the prayer he had offered at its door every morning for twelve years: “Father, make me a blessing to someone today …. “

What a perfect way to start a day.

Merry Christmas and I’ll see you on the bricks!