Showing posts from March, 2019

Make Do

When Grandma needed something that she didn't have, she'd often say, “We can make do.”  The most affectionate time she said we could make do was when I arrived at her remote cabin in the woods with my infant daughter. I didn’t own a portable crib, so Grandma emptied a dresser drawer for her to sleep in—it worked great. 
Grandma was resourceful. She’d make toy dolls from yarn and buttons. She fashioned doll clothes from flour sacks. In the kitchen, she’d make do with what she had. She repaired what broke; she didn’t replace. 

I don’t think I ever fully developed my ability to “make do”. Growing up with plenty of cheap solutions, my idea of making do usually meant going out and buying it.

I wonder if I have missed an opportunity to think creatively with what I have on hand—like Grandma did. Her generation seemed to find solutions from what was available. 

As I look at what I have—it’s way more than Grandma had—maybe I can learn how to improvise more, need less, and in the end, be sa…

A Season to Remember

A ragtag group of 14 and 15-year-old boys played together on a perpetually losing baseball team. 
It wasn’t like they didn’t have talent. The first baseman was tall for his age and had an arm reach that could snag a line drive before it ever had a chance to make it to the outfield. 
Then there was the outfielder who never complained about his position and could run faster than the opponent’s hit—robbing many of an RBI score.
The stud second baseman was a poor kid from the city’s low income housing. He looked like every other player in his new uniform. But one of the team moms always had a concession stand burger for him after the game.
But the new head coach had big ideas for playing small ball. He’d vex the opponents with an unexpected bunt, scoring a run from third base. And then he'd call for a fake bunt when they were anticipating one—having his batter swing hard at the last second.

The coach also brought in an ancient pitching coach—he was over 80 years old; the boys must have won…

That Look

I’ve seen that look on your face before—I’ve been with you long enough to know when I might see it, so I watch for it. 

I guess it’s just what a grandma does—I’m on high alert for your hurting heart. I saw your downcast eyes, you didn’t want to talk, sadness was hidden—but barely, because your lower lip quivered just a bit.

After five years of teamwork, your basketball team played its final game. Theteam had stuck together through the toughest of all losses—a teammate killed by a drunk driver over a year ago. 
Then you all committed to play even harder. Now, it’s over. I imagine you’re wondering if you’ll make the high school team. I know you wish your friend would have lived to be part of it.

I wanted to hug you and let you know that I saw the look, but it wasn’t hug time. 
Instead I prayed that God would do what I never really can do—be with you in all of those kind of moments—because I know there will be many more I never will see, but God always will.

"Watch this: God’s eye is on t…

Fortnight and the Generation of Doom

If you’re a parent or grandparent of a middle schooler, I don’t need to define Fortnight—the video game sensation. For the rest of you, it’s the latest in an onslaught of worries facing parents, educators, and medical professionals. 
One recent article lamented that some 5th graders had signs of carpel tunnel from hand overuse. Not to mention the worries about gaming addiction. 
Sigh. Today’s kids do not have it any easier with all the advancements in technology. They are responsible for higher academic expectations—many requiring computers while at the same time their use of computers and video games has to be carefully monitored. 
A world of porn and potential harm lurks menacingly behind those screens.
So, are today’s kids doomed to a life of online addictions? No. But a few will, just like every generation copes with addiction—alcohol seemed to hit my parent’s generation. Mine has dealt with drugs.
But my generation wasn’t doomed any more than Generation Next is. Choice is still an opt…

Penalty Pen

It happened once, but in Annie’s canine perspective it could happen every time. As the truck idled in the driveway, a squirrel ran underneath. Annie saw it, and frantically circled the truck. The squirrel had every advantage—speed and nearby trees making a fast get-away.
So now, whenever the truck is getting ready to depart, Annie runs around it incessantly. Waiting for a squirrel to emerge.
Annie is not thinking about the danger of getting run over—she’s not even listening to the command to sit and stay while the truck leaves. Hence, she now sits in her penalty pen—so she can learn her lesson.
Do I not do the same sometimes? Something happens once, twice, maybe more, and then I no longer listen to reason. It’s all about what I imagine it to be. 

I have well-rehearsed lines that I repeat. It’s as if there will always be squirrels running around and I need to chase them. 
But what if I slow down, even sit and stay like Annie should be doing, and consider the situation more calmly? I might …