Fibro fog, pain, writing sandwiched in between. Quotes. Sermon notes. Encouragement.
|I never read Hillary's book, but for some reason as I sat on the porch the other day, the title came to mind. Behind that quick thought were a myriad of others...about how different things were when I was a kid.
Back then, our neighbors did help raise us. And mold us. Our friends' parents and our neighbors told us if we were out of bounds in our behaviors. They took advantage of teachable moments. They yelled at us if we needed that. And some, depending on the neighborhoods and the agreements among adults, even physically disciplined us. That's just the way life was back when I was a kid in the 50's and 60's.
Today, most of us don't even know our neighbors. Even if we know them well enough to have a few discussions, or our kids play together, we don't have the closeness of those old neighborhoods.
I do talk with the neighborhood kids about what's right and wrong, at least as it applies to my own yard. For instance, hubby and I are not comfortable having kids playing in the backyard when we're not back there or when Tiff is not with them. We had to get rid of the partially erected swing set (long story about why it was never fully completed) because the neighbor kids insisted on playing on it. We threw out the old tire swing (that was in a rather dangerous place) because the kids kept trying to swing. Even though we asked them to wait until someone could watch them or until Tiff was visiting and playing in the yard with them.
When I was growing up, I learned many lessons from the adults around me, even when they didn't realize they were teaching. (That's something we all need to remember!)
My mom offered hospitality to everyone. (That got the town gossips talking!) She offered iced water to the mail man, bread man. ice cream man, even the construction crew that was putting in the sewers in our neighborhood. No, there wasn't more to it than that, although the neighborhood busy bodies liked to think so. Mom had three kids running around (plus all of our friends), her mother, and her youngest brother-in-law (18 and building a stock car in our back yard) all around her to play chaperon.
Our home was also the one where our out of town relatives stayed. (And my uncle's church youth group, missionaries, and church officials when the Methodist church was changing from Methodist to United Methodist, and a bunch of churches were joining together.) Staying in motels was just not an option.
Yup, Mom taught me all about hospitality.
The lady next door had her mother-in-law living with her. The old grandma had a stroke and wasn't able to talk much. (Besides, she still spoke "the old language" - whatever that was.) My neighbor taught me the importance of taking care of family. She also taught me about flowers and veggies, although I have never been able to grow things like she and her hubby did. And, most importantly, she taught me about praying throughout the day - while cleaning the bathroom, mopping floors, folding clothes and stirring soup.
My own grandmother taught me that we make being a Christian such a complex thing, when it's really quite simple. She told me Bible stories from heart, helped me learn the old hymns, and explained things to me in ways that I could understand. One lesson that I remember was about tithing. She explained that each of us should sing in church if we could, should teach if that was our talent, etc. She told me that we were supposed to tithe our time, talent and treasure. The treasure part I got. She explained about time this way. If one is awake 16 hours a day, then 1.6 hours (at least) belonged to God. If we only prayed or read the Bible 15 minutes a day during the week, then we had to make up the difference on Sunday, by serving and attending services all day if we must. Or by doing God's work in the afternoon - perhaps visiting shut-ins after church.
The mother of two of my friends (girls - one was a year older than me, one was a year younger) taught me something about my behavior. If things weren't going my way, I would take my doll (or whatever other toy I brought with me) and pretend to leave. Actually, I hid on the cellar stairs, then emerged a few minutes later. Patty and Janet were glad I had returned and were more willing to see things my way. Once, though, Mrs. Rice caught me on the stairs and spent a good 30 minutes talking to me about what being a friend is really all about. I still remember that talk.
The mother of another friend taught me things without every having much interaction with me at all. Because of her, I never wanted to spank my son, at least not much. Mrs. K used to paddle her kids over the most stupid things. They (and I!) were scared of her. I never wanted to have a kid (or kids) who was afraid of me. Today, I understand her a bit more than I did back then. Her husband had died and left her a single mother of 5 kids. She was pregnant with the last one when he died. That was before she moved to our neighborhood, so, of course, the busy bodies did lots of talking about her and her situation. I don't think they ever believe Mrs. K had been married. Some speculated that if she had been married, the last one was not his and finding this out caused him to have a heart attack. People could be mean. (Still are!) Today I realize how difficult life must have been for Mrs. K. In our neighborhood, most moms didn't work. But Mr. K didn't leave any insurance money, and in order to feed 5 kids, Mrs. K had to work after he died. You know...I have no idea what Mrs. K. did for a living.
I'm not sure if I shared these links or not. I found them tucked away in a partially completed blog entry that was marked "keep private." I guess I had not finished my thoughts and forgot to finish them.
This non-profit provides free movies to disabled persons. (Proof of disability required.)
Here's a great South Carolina resort. Prices for seniors, especially wanting to stay 6 months (and not minding a one bedroom) are great. Hubby and I have talked about going to North or South Carolina when we retire, so this was of interest to us. Of course, retirement is a way off.
I'm not sure why I had this link tucked away. This is the URL where you can request all kinds of government (federal) brochures. http://www.pueblo.gsa.gov/