Tag Archives: delight

Flower Power

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They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.  I don’t know if that’s true, but there are certain things that seem to appeal to women.  Chocolate is one!  Jewelry is another.  Flowers are almost always welcome, even when in the case of this five-year-old, they are dandelions.

Why is it that even a dandelion can so capture a young heart?  Is it that they don’t yet know enough to realize that a dandelion is typically considered more weed than flower?  All they see is that there is a flower on the end of a stem – they’re not into classifying things and grouping them and labeling them.  They just accept things as they are and find delight in them.

What a lesson for us grown-ups!  We seem to apply labels to everything and everyone.  Why do we do that?  Is it because we’ve been taught that we have to have everything in its proper place?  And who is it that decides what that “proper place” is?

I totally love the innocence of childhood.  I hope I never do anything to take an of it away from my grandchildren!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: With so much of the United States having just endured several major weather systems, I thought this was appropriate for today: a hail storm devastated the farming town of Moradabad, India, killing 230 people and many more farm animals on this day in 1888. Sixteen others died in nearby Bareilly.

In the Central Plains region of Uttar Pradesh, March and April are the prime seasons for hail. However, the hail storm that struck on April 30, 1888, was far more intense than usual and is now the stuff of legend in India. The hail was accompanied by strong winds that toppled many structures and homes in the area.

Although it occurred at midday, the storm brought clouds that were so dark and thick that people reported that it seemed like night. There was no warning system in place at the time, so the area’s many farmers were out working their fields when the storm began. Most of the victims died instantly when hail the size of oranges rained down from the sky, striking them. There were reports that the hail accumulated up to 2 feet high in some spots. Thousands of farm animals were also killed by the sudden hail storm.

More advanced meteorology and advance-warning systems now help to prevent such storms from taking so many lives.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Greece organized the first municipal dump in the Western world around 500 B.C.

Soaring

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I love it when a child discovers some new joy or ability and their face lights up like a lantern on a moonless night!  Oh, the joy when moments of delight steal onto their faces whether the child wishes them to do so or not!

Sometimes some great discovery has been made that causes the expression to explode over their faces.  But who is to determine if a discovery is great or small?  Shouldn’t it be enough that it brings with it a smile and perhaps a squeal of delight to a child (or an adult)?!

Let it be something simple, as in today’s photo of my next-to-youngest grand-daughter as she discovers her ability to fly a kite “way up there!”

Smiles are priceless.  Let’s share more of them with one another.  Let’s be the cause of more smiles than frowns.  The world would sure be a better place because of it!

What lights up my face like this?  Seeing my grandchildren.  Honestly, I just can’t help but smile!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY:  in 1762 in New York City, the first parade honoring the Catholic feast day of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, was held by Irish soldiers serving in the British army.

Saint Patrick, who was born in the late 4th century, was one of the most successful Christian missionaries in history. Born in Britain to a Christian family of Roman citizenship, he was taken prisoner at the age of 16 by a group of Irish raiders who attacked his family’s estate. They transported him to Ireland, and he spent six years in captivity before escaping back to Britain. Believing he had been called by God to Christianize Ireland, he joined the Catholic Church and studied for 15 years before being consecrated as the church’s second missionary to Ireland. Patrick began his mission to Ireland in 432, and by his death in 461, the island was almost entirely Christian.

Early Irish settlers to the American colonies, many of whom were indentured servants, brought the Irish tradition of celebrating St. Patrick’s feast day to America. The first recorded St. Patrick’s Day parade was held not in Ireland but in New York City in 1762, and with the dramatic increase of Irish immigrants to the United States in the mid-19th century, the March 17th celebration became widespread. Today, across the United States, millions of Americans of Irish ancestry celebrate their cultural identity and history by enjoying St. Patrick’s Day parades and engaging in general revelry.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY:  A study of nearly 1 million students in New York showed that those who ate lunches without preservatives, dyes, and other additives performed 14% better on IQ tests.

Delight!

Have you ever looked at your spouse or child or friend and wondered, “What are you feeling right now?”  I know I have.  Us men aren’t too good at talking about feelings, so I figure it’s always better to ask the question of my wife and let her talk than waiting to be asked myself!

It is hard, sometimes, to guess what someone else is feeling and/or thinking.  It can be easier with dogs – just check the tail and you get a pretty good indication rather quickly!

Perhaps one of the most beautiful things about little children is the sheer innocence of how they wear their feelings on their faces.  We’ve learned well how to hide those feelings as we grow up and get bruised and battered emotionally by rejection, loss of love, failure and sometimes, outright abuse.

I hope little children never have to learn to hide their feelings.  Sadly, some do, I fear.  But my next-to-youngest granddaughter hasn’t hit that stage yet.  Her feelings are RIGHT  OUT  THERE!!!!  No doubt about it!!!  Today’s photo was taken during a recent trip to the beach…and there’s nothing restrained about her reaction.  If you can’t guess her feelings from looking at the picture, let me suggest to you that you need to go and visit the optometrist right away!  The poor little girl wasn’t having ANY fun….

DelightON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1984, James Oliver Huberty opens fire in a crowded McDonald’s restaurant in San Ysidro, California, killing 21 people and wounding 19 others with several automatic weapons. Minutes earlier, Huberty had left home, telling his wife, “I’m going hunting… hunting for humans.”  Huberty suffered from mental problems.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair (and I’m not talking about jewelry).  I’ve been told that my hair is even better … it’s silver…or is that gray????

Color and Food

The “Photo a Day” list for April says that today is supposed to be a picture of “colour”.  That, in and of itself, should tell you the list originates in either England or Australia (Australia, as a matter of fact), because they don’t know how to spell “color”.  But we won’t hold that against them…at least I won’t.

So, what to shoot to show color?  I guess you could shoot just about anything as long as it isn’t monochrome or black and white.  I had pretty much given up on the idea of shooting something to make the list owners happen when I went downstairs to put some things in the mailbox outside.  While I was getting the stuff addressed and stamped on the kitchen counter, my bride was feeding our youngest granddaughter.  Feeding her sweet potatoes, I think, out of a jar.  And, wouldn’t you know it, voila! – color!

First, there were the pastels in the bib the baby was wearing.  Then, there was the bright orange of the sweet potatoes that was decorating her face in numerous places.  Grabbing my camera, I fired away, thinking this is how it should be.  We should all enjoy our food so much – after all, we are lucky to have it in such abundance!

So, thanks for the reminder, Sarah, that food is a blessing to enjoy and receive with delight – even if you have to smear it all over your face!!!!

GO FOOD!!!!

Pastels and the pleasure of eating...

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: In the Napoleonic Wars, the Danish fleet was destroyed by the British under Admiral Nelson at the Battle of Copenhagen.  Ordered to withdraw during the battle (orders were communicated by displaying a series of flags), Nelson put a telescope to his blind eye and said he could see no such order.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: from the early 1700’s to 1862, soap in Europe was considered such a luxury that those who were fortunate enough to have it – and use it – had to pay a tax for doing so.  Pity the poor people who neither had soap…and those who had to smell them!

A Child’s Simple Delights

Why is it that kids can be endlessly happy with just a few things and we adults have such insatiable appetites for the newest, fanciest, flashiest, most modern of everything?

When I was a boy on the farm in Iowa, we didn’t have much “stuff.”  I don’t say that to gain sympathy, because my childhood was WONDERFUL in spite of not having much in the way of toys.  My toys were sticks and rocks, a baseball mitt and a ball.  That was about it.  And I had the greatest time with just those things!!!!

I see so many kids today who aren’t content with what they have, who always want more, More, and MORE!!!!  I suppose that isn’t really all that shocking…it is human nature to be rather self-centered and “in it for what’s in it for me.”  But what surprises me is how parents these days give their kids everything, in abundance!  If the kid asks for it and mom and dad say no, the kid starts to whine…and wear down mom and dad until they finally give in.  That’s a horrible precedent.  It is important for kids, and adults, to learn to do without.  We forget how much we already have.  We’ve forgotten how to be content and satisfied…even to consider ourselves blessed to have as much as we do.  That’s one thing I learned in Haiti.  When I went down there, we’d been struggling financially for a while, I was feeling pretty doggone low and unhappy about what we DIDN’T have.  I had my perspective changed…and I came back thankful for what we DO have.  (Don’t get me wrong, I still blow it often and get unhappy and dissatisfied again, but at least now after having been in a third world country I have a different frame of reference that I can use to view the world if I choose to do so.)

Enough of that rant.  On Sunday afternoon, I took this picture of part of a sitting jumper that our 4 month old granddaughter loves.  She wasn’t in it at the time, but she will sit in it and play with these things for hours on end.  She never seems to get bored with it.  I know that she will, of course, and that she’ll grow up and want things, too…but for now, I’m just amazed at how children can delight in the simplest things, and I wish I had more of that nature in me.

Delighting in the simplest things is a great trait to cultivate.

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1907, Charles Curtis of Kansas became the first native American to serve in the Senate.  He resigned in 1929 to become Herbert Hoover’s Vice President.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: it was during the 1966 Macy’s Day parade that Ronald McDonald make his first appearance as a character.  In in 1987, a hot air balloon of his likeness was part of the parade.

Simple Joys and a Grandpa’s Heart

Do you remember when you got all excited to be given an ice cream cone?  Or to make one of those chain links out of colored construction paper so you could count down the days to Christmas?  How it was exciting to be given a candy bar or to go trick-or-treating?

Childhood should be a time of abundant, simple joys.  I had a wonderful childhood…one filled with all sorts of delightful experiences and very few painful ones.  I know that in many ways I was one of the lucky ones.  I’m very thankful for that.  I wish every child could have that kind of childhood, that no child would ever be abused, mistreated or go to bed without a full stomach.  That’s part of why I am moving into a new and different direction as far as what I hope to do for the rest of my life: helping kids regardless of where they live, to get food, water and protection.

We are 8 days away from moving.  We had two of our three kids and their families here for Thanksgiving…and what a wondrous time it was!!!  I’ve got the most wonderful family on earth: three kids who are all married to wonderful spouses, and 5 grandkids that make me the proudest grandfather in the history of the world.  But then, Friday came and our daughter and her family had to return home…so we had a long, tearful goodbye.  Today, our oldest son and his family went home…so we had a long, tearful goodbye.  Both of their families live in the Bay Area, and since we’re moving to Georgia, it’ll be some time before we see them again…and we won’t see them as often.  Sure, we’ll Skype a lot (at least that’s our intention), and while it’s great to be able to do so, it’s not the same as being in the same room and being able to feel their hugs or to give them a hug.  I won’t be able to buy my grand-kids an ice cream whenever I want.  These two families live close enough that on any given day, we could have drive down to see them.  Not after 12/5.  But we will be near our other son and his family.

While these things weigh heavily on our hearts tonight, this post is about simple joys…those known to kids.  Today’s photo was taken Friday afternoon.  Two of my granddaughters are in it, and my oldest on has just crash-landed in a small pile of leaves that she and her two cousins had raked up in the front yard.  I love the look of the simple joy of jumping into the leaves that is on her face.  What a wonderful time they had!  I wish I could be with all my kids and grand-kids every day to share simple joys with them!

The simple joys of childhood...

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: there are 61 towns in the United States that have the word “turkey” in them,

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: in 1703 a two day “Great Storm” ripped through southern England flooding the Thames and Severin rivers, killing over 8000 people.

Laughing at Adversity

It takes something special to laugh in the face of adversity…or when trying to walk on a balance beam and you’re only 3 years old.  This is just a picture I took of my 3-year old granddaughter at her gymnastics class and it just makes me smile whenever I look at her delightful face all crinkled up with smiles and laughter!

Thanks, granddaughter!  I needed that today!!!!!  With all my love, Pop-Pop

If I could only be that joyful all the time...

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1815, Napoleon arrived at St. Helena, where he’d been exiled by the British after his defeat at Waterloo.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: New Hampshire was the first of the colonies to declare their independence from Great Britain – a full 6 months before the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Tree of Life?

If you ever attended Sunday school, you know the story about the garden of Eden and Adam and Eve.  In the garden was a tree – called the Tree of Life.  No one knows what kind of tree it was, other than the fact that it bore fruit that appealed to the human eye.  Many, because apples are pretty and shiny, think it was an apple tree…hence the story about Eve eating the apple!  (Personally, I think if it had been a peach tree, with gorgeous, plump orange and red peaches it would have been more tempting!!!!)  Just out of curiosity, what kind of fruit tree to YOU think it was?

Because the tree in today’s photo doesn’t have fruit, I know it couldn’t have been the tree of life…but it has caught my eye the past few evenings.  It sits directly across the street from our place and I finally found time (I’ve been busy lately!) to get the camera and grab a quick shot or two.  OK, so it’s not the tree of life, but it could be the “tree of delight” because it is so pretty.

Now, I think I’ll got eat an apple or a peach!!!!

Tree of Delight????

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1492, Columbus started to “sail the ocean blue” at the head of a three-ship flotilla (Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria), in search of “Cathay” (China).  They found the Caribbean instead (although those who lived in the Caribbean area never knew it was lost!)  Columbus sailed a total of 4 times to the Americas.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: in Australia, the favorite pizza topping is eggs.  In Chile, it is mussels and clams.  In the United States, it’s pepperoni.  Aren’t  you glad you live in America?????

Fathers and Daughters

I have been blessed to have two sons and one daughter.  For those who have never had children, there is no way to describe the sheer delights of children…and also the challenges that they present!  Still – if you were to ask me if it is worth it to have children, I wouldn’t hesitate for even a second – I’d yell, “YES!”

Our children are now all grown and gone…all married, and all have children of their own.  It’s fun to watch your children discover what it is like to have children!  All those times when, as a parent, you told them: “Just wait until you have kids of your own – then you’ll understand!” – well, you get to see them discover what you were talking about!

Our kids are all wonderful parents.  I could not be  more proud of them in any way.  I suspect that they are all better parents than I ever was.  My hat is off to them.

There are moments, however, that transcend words.  Such a moment took place when we were visiting one of our sons and his family.  It was Christmas day and the house was still filled with decorations and even our little 2-year old granddaughter was caught up in the joy of the day and the exploring of presents!  At one point, I saw our son sitting in a chair with his little girl in his lap.   He was reading her a book, and she was just filled with delight.  As I fired away with my camera, I caught a series of pictures that expressed the joy that exists between my son and his little girl.  The love is clear in his eyes, and the delight is clear in his.  I love these pictures…there is something special at work here.

I hope that you all have someone in whom you delight, someone who loves you and whom you love.  If you don’t, I hope that you will find that person this year and be able to share this kind of delight.

 

Sheer - and Shared - Delight

 

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: In 1937, the first edition of “Look” magazine went on sale.  It sold 700,000 copies, and within a month, it was published twice each month.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Disorders in the brain can distort orders.  Those who suffer from epilepsy frequently report strange smells immediately before enduring a seizure.

 

Blossom Showers

First: I didn’t shoot this picture.  It was sent to me by my son who lives on the East Coast.  It’s a photo of his little girl (my newest granddaughter!)  They shot this picture just before moving away from Boston.  They were in the yard and there were blossoms on the tree and while little Sophia was standing there under the ground, they started shaking one of the branches that causes petals from the blossoms to come falling down.  I love this picture because it is a photo of one of my grandkids, but more because of the sheer joy and delight that is captured on her face.  Remember when the world could still surprise you and take your breath away?  We need to recapture some of that to renew our spirits…

Joy and Delight

May you find such joy in your life today!