Friday, April 20, 2012

The Window's Tale

I finished the week with the continued notion of Moms.

Today at my window, where I care for hundreds of customers a day mostly high school students, a senior boy came to sign in.  He was late, very late and as he wrote his name and time of arrival, I asked him if he had a note to explain his delay.

He said "You wont believe this", to which I replied "I'm sure I wont" and smiled.

He said "No listen, I woke up late and when I went to the bathroom and looked at my face in the mirror, I saw this red ring on the side of my face.  I thought, oh my God, that looks like ringworm!  How could I have gotten ringworm?"

I listened as the story unfolded.  He continued and said "So I called my Mom who happens to work at a medical clinic.  I said Mom, I think I have ringworm on my face and I don't understand how this happened."

I began writing out his pass to class as he elaborated on this tale of his morning.

"So I drove to my Mom's office thinking all the while, how could I have gotten ringworm, I don't understand it". He described meeting his Mom there at the clinic and how she was looking at the red mark on his face.  He said "then she began wiping the red mark with alcohol and said, hmm, this red is coming off.  Dillon this is my lipstick from when I kissed you goodbye this morning!!!"

I couldn't help but laugh.  I looked at this tall young man, about six feet tall to be exact and saw his smiling face.  He was as amused as I was at the events of this bizarre morning.  I wrote his pass to class and he asked me if the absence would be excused.  I said "Are you kidding me?  How can I do anything else but excuse it." 

After he left, I once again thought about Moms.  Here was a case in point of a Mom sneaking into her grown son's room to kiss him goodbye before she left for work.  No doubt she had been kissing him all his life and that habit would never break as long as he slept in her home.

The whole story just made me smile.  It just goes to prove that a Mom's love never changes no matter how big their babies grow to be.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Mother's Heart

This week, my coworker lost her Mom.  It was not sudden or unexpected but that really didn't change anything.  After all, we are never ready to lose our Moms.

When we got the word that her Mom had passed, my heart sank for her. I, like most of us that have laid our Moms to rest, naturally thought back to the day we lost our own Mothers and what its like to live in a world without a Mom.

Love them or hate them, you know most Mothers love their children in a most unique way.  For the majority of us it was our Moms that rocked us and cared for us and hugged us and kissed us.  They took care of us when we were sick and made sure we had what we needed and sometimes what we wanted.  Right or wrong, they did their best for us.  No Mom is perfect, they are human.  They make mistakes.  Lots of them.  So do we.

But in our lives, we are given but one Mom at birth. We were paired up by some guiding force and when we were born, the life of our Moms changed.  For a time, she lived a selfless life, putting her child first and her own wants and needs secondary.  She made mistakes and more mistakes.  But she never gave up on her child.  She loved her child with uniqueness that is unmatched.

This week made me think about Moms.  All the Moms, the new ones and the old ones.  I thought about the bond that exists between Moms and their children.  How all their hopes and dreams were bundled up in a noisy, messy and very demanding package.  Yet, when it came to their babies, there was nothing more beautiful, more inspiring or more heaven sent in this entire world.

The journey a Mom travels is long and exhausting.  It is also filled with indescribable love.  There a moments of joy that make all the sleepless nights fade into some distant obscure memory that leaves barely a trace as the years go by.

Love them or hate them for all their faults, they are our Moms.  And when they die, a huge part of us dies with them.  That part is our childhood and the anchor which grounded us to this world.  We are left to pick up the pieces of a life that seems foreign in many respects.  If we are lucky to have aged gracefully before letting go of our Mom's hand for the last time, then the road our Mom's traveled seems clear and understandable. If we are lucky enough, we can forgive them for their mistakes and embrace the best part of what they gave us.

Without a doubt, Moms shape and mold us into who we are today.  We remember what they taught us and their mistakes taught us how to avoid pitfalls in our own lives.

The world has one less Mom this week and that is a sadness we can all share.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Answer Is Blowing In The Wind

The older I get, the more often I rely on what I learned as a child.  The way we lived when I was a child just seems to make more sense now in this fast paced, break neck speed, high technology, modern convenience world.

Over a month ago, my daughter and I stared at yet another ridiculously high electric bill.  We had made great effort to reduce our energy consumption.  We turned off lights when not needed, we only washed clothes in cold water, we ran fans instead of the air conditioner and other little modifications in hopes of bringing down this big monthly expense.  Naturally the increase in gas prices ( now at 3.72 per gallon as of this writing) spurred this need to cut corners where possible.

Despite our efforts, the electric bill was again 340 dollars.  Now I could see if this was the time of year when everyone was home and more energy was being used throughout the day but that was not the case.  The house was empty for 9 hours each day.  We could not figure out what was stealing our energy and thus our money.

Then I remembered what I had always heard, the dryer will use more energy than anything else in the house.  A family of four, that is us, required a minimum of 5 loads of laundry including towels and such. So we tried an experiment.  For one month, we would line dry our clothes.

Rainy days we hung our clothes on hangers in the laundry room or bathroom.  It took a little longer but if you don't procrastinate, you can keep up with the laundry.  When the weather turned sunny and warm, I strung a clothes line between two giving trees.  I chose a location which was not visually disturbing to neighbors and made sure that undergarments were hung up in the laundry room.  I found it odd that I should have to go to my neighbors and ask them if they minded me putting up a clothes line, but I did.  No one minded and when my sheets are out there blowing in the breeze, I know they envied the wonderful smell that filled the linens.

There really is nothing quite like the sight of a clothesline and its bounty dancing in the breeze.

I love hanging clothes.  I suppose when you get the chance to do it again, the way you did it as a child, you find yourself back long ago, hanging clothes in the yard you knew as a kid.  It brings back memories and more importantly the details of those memories.  As with the passage of time, only the best memories have clarity.

Now a month has passed and the new electric bill has arrived.  What a difference.  The prior bill was 340 dollars.  The new bill a mere 199 dollars.

I saved money, enjoyed the wonderful smell of clothing and sheets dried on the line and even get to spend a few minutes moving back in time.

If you get the chance to try turning your back on the modern convenience that is called the electric dryer, I encourage you to do so.  You will enjoy the time as well as the money that stays in your pocketbook.