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Archive for the ‘Childhood’ Category

Off to the park

We’ve recently moved across town and happen to live closer to nieces and nephews. You know what that means. We’ve been added to the speed-dial sitter list.

Last weekend was our maiden voyage.  A full day with the 3-year old twins. As you might imagine, we had no trouble sleeping that night. We had a lot of fun and enjoyed the girls, but they certainly kept us going all day.  To any of you who have children or nieces/nephews, this will come as no surprise, but we came away from the day having been reminded of some important things. These are lessons I gained from a day with three-year olds:

1: SLOW DOWN. Normally, it takes Brent and I about four minutes to get to the park on our bikes. Not so with three-year-olds. No, it was a 45-minute walk each way. The trip to the park wasn’t my brightest idea on a 95-degree day. But they were troopers and never complained. Yet it was a slow, deliberate pace the entire way. There was no rush, no sense of needing to get to our destination quickly. No wonder it’s only adults who deal with things like high blood pressure. We’d all do well to slow down our pace a notch or two!

Stop & Smell the Flowers

2: STOP & SMELL THE FLOWERS: One of the highlights on the trail was to stop and smell the flowers. If we’d been in a hurry, the beauty of the landscape and wildflowers would have been missed. It was sweet to see one sister want to share her flower experience with the other. What a great lesson. Stop, take a look around. Be present in the moment, enjoy what God puts in your path and share it with those around you.

Quack Quack!

3. INJECT FUN INTO ORDINARY THINGS. The girls knew we’d be having a cold treat when we got home, but we kept the fact that it was smoothies a surprise. Unwilling to allow an unnamed treat, the twins decided to refer to the surprise as “Quack Quack.” Silly as it was, it brought us all lots of laughter for the rest of the night.

4: KINDLE THE JOY OF READING (no pun intended!). I’ve always loved books. Most of my life I’ve been a voracious reader. But, for some reason, recent years have drew my attention elsewhere. Watching the girls bring me book after book after book to read was contagious. I think we put away about 20 books before the night was over.

5. REMEMBER THE SNEETCHES. One of the many stories we read was Dr. Seuss’ “Sneetches.” It’s a book I’ve had since I was a child and it shows by its well-worn corners. It made an impact on me as a child and I often recall its lessons even as an adult. The basic message is not to get caught up in the latest trends or judge others just because they’re not caught up in them. I think about how our society is so influenced by the latest

Sneetches

hot gadget, fashion or topic. Too often we’re judged by what toys we have or what we wear or how informed we are about the current trending Twitter feed. Yet, being on top of those things has nothing to do with strong character, kindness and living a godly life.

Isn’t it amazing what God shows us through children? What lessons have you learned lately?

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I’ve taken quite a few weeks off from writing as Lisa and I celebrated Advent and Christmas. Both Lisa and I also took this week off from our jobs to relax and do a  few house projects and catch up on sleep. Especially important as I fend off a nasty cold, but I digress. As the New Year holiday looms on the horizon of the last weekend in 2011, I find myself sitting at the breakfast table enjoying a hot cup of Earl Grey and skimming through news articles that have nothing to do with politics, finances, or business – those stories are there, but they raise my blood pressure, so I’m ignoring them. I found myself reading the entertainment section as I’m also ignoring the local sports scene. I’m on “stay-cation”, so I opted for an innocuous journey into the land of “what’s happening now” in Hollywood.

One story leaped from the screen because it awakened old memories of my childhood. As a child, on Saturday mornings my sister and I would often sit together on the couch and watch Saturday morning cartoons and often we’d watch an old black and white movie. The movies were usually the 3 Stooges, Our Gang, Laurel and Hardy and Tarzan.

I recall my mom and dad telling us about the actors including Johnny Weismuller who appeared as Tarzan a dozen times. I wonder if there’s a biography on him? Check out the link to his Wiki page, he led a fascinating life. And Maureen O’Sullivan who played Jane – she’s the mother of Mia Farrow if that helps you – the only reason I know that is because Mia was married to Frank Sinatra at one point. Anyway, it was a reference to Tarzan that caused me to click on this People article on the death of Cheetah, Tarzan’s chimpanzee sidekick.

You can donate to the Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in Cheetah's memory for the benefit of other primates

Of course there were several chimpanzees that were used to make the films, but Cheeta-Mike was one that lived on Johnny Weismuller’s estate in the early-sixties before finding a home at Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in Florida. They’ve set up a FaceBook photo album for him as they collect donations for the sanctuary. I assume they won’t mind if I use their photo of him as long as I provide proper acknowledgement and a link to their page. If they contact me to take it down, I will.

I can still recall the scenes where Tarzan is in trouble and somehow Cheetah is able to rally dozens of animals to come charging through the brush to rescue Tarzan so that Tarzan could rescue Jane. When he wasn’t doing that, he was providing some comic relief.

I’m still entertained by those old black and white movies with simple story lines, do you have a favorite that takes you back to your childhood? Comment and tell us which old movies are your fav’s as we’d love to hear!

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