Tag Archives: Shoes

Joy to the World? At Easter?

Who needed baskets? Our kids thought “Easter shoes” were normal.

Does your family celebrate Easter in traditional ways?

My siblings and I hid Easter eggs so well, truants were located weeks later by their potent odor. We awoke to yummy treats … in our polished shoes. Years before, Mom had possessed only pennies to spend on Easter. Having poured out frustrations in prayer — Mom talked to Jesus about everything — she recalled reading about Dutch children receiving Christmas candy in their shoes and nested jelly beans in ours.

My father, a pastor, celebrated Easter wholeheartedly, his bass voice leading “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today,” “He Arose” and … “Joy to the World.”

Image by AvocetGEO from Pixabay.

I thought everyone sang that hymn at Easter. As a teen, though, I realized other churchgoers sang it only at Christmas. I kept our odd custom a deep, dark secret, hoping no Easter visitors knew me.

Fast-forward 20 years. My children and I dyed eggs, their clothes and mine. One helpful toddler knew egg-zackly what to do with eggs.

Crack them.

Image by Couleur from Pixabay.

Our family could afford Easter baskets. Repeating the story of their grandma’s faith, though, I filled my kids’ shoes with grass, chocolate bunnies and jelly beans.

My grandchildren still receive Easter treats in their shoes and hear of their great-grandmother’s prayer. They will dye Easter eggs — and their clothes. Our congregation will sing “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today” and “He Arose.”

Joy to the World”? Probably not.

I’ll save that hymn for a visit to our parents’ graves. I didn’t want them to die. They weren’t crazy about the idea, either. But because Jesus came alive again, they will too. Someday, we’ll all be together with Him.

Joy to the world! To all who believe in Jesus’ Resurrection.

Image by Arnie Bragg from Pixabay.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: How do you celebrate Easter?

His and Her To-Do Lists

Should I bother with a spring to-do list?

Image by Michéle from Pixabay.

This past winter, I could have scraped old wallpaper in three rooms. Instead, I read books. Enriching my mind inspires me so much more. Hubby’s enriched his mind too, finishing a thousand-page book on American history.

We’ve enriched our minds so much we’ve lost them — when recalling winter to-do lists. But a little repression never hurt anyone.

Besides, it’s spring. Why waste time indoors when we can stay outdoors?

Between snowstorms and tornadoes, I mean.

The only problem: our enriched minds cannot agree on priorities.

Items on his spring to-do list:

Clean the camper versus clean the garage? On Hubby’s list, the camper wins every time.
  • Conducting intense research on camping gear.
  • Buying lots of it.
  • Arguing with umpires and Cubs podcasts while cleaning our camper.
  • Arguing with mice that established winter quarters in the camper.
  • Tilling and planting the garden he knows deer will eat.
Image by Teodor Buhl from Pixabay.
  • Negotiating with dandelion and violet armies determined to conquer our yard.
  • Coaxing the mower into eating grass, despite its lack of appetite.
Image by forstephany from Pixabay.

My list:

  • Conducting intense research on spring shoes.
  • Buying lots of them.
  • Arguing with The Weather Channel.
  • Arguing with ants demanding the deed to our house.
  • Buying enough plants to create a second Eden.
  • Planting maybe four I know the deer will eat.
  • Applying fertilizers only weeds like.
We should move spring walks on Taylor University’s campus to the top of our lists.

Do Hubby and I share any common items on our to-do lists? A few:

  • Taking hand-in-hand walks, spotting new blossoms on Taylor University’s campus.
  • Pretending we’re students again.
  • Glorying in growing old like two aging maples sporting rings of experience, yet plenty of new buds.

Maybe we should put these — and, of course, enriching our minds — at the top of our spring to-do lists.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What’s on your list?

Been There, Done That, Don’t Want to Do It Again

Have you created a bucket list? I’ve considered it.

Image by Tatyana Kazakova from Pixabay.

Instead, I recorded what I’ve done and would rather not repeat:

  • Buy stupid shoes. At 20, I wore platforms with heels so high they gave me altitude sickness. Repentant, I then purchased “healthy” earth shoes — hideous footwear with nonexistent heels and built-up soles that tilted me backward. Either way, I risked possible surgery.
  • Attend the Indianapolis 500. Amazing, but the cars’ incredible speed and incessant roar made me crave 30 quiet seconds inside a refrigerator, away from sizzling heat.
Image by Pexels from Pixabay.
Image by No-longer-here from Pixabay.
  • Tour France without knowing the language. My French, limited to “bonjour” and “french fries,” invoked eye rolls, especially on Petite Street, where shops sold clothes that fit only Tinkerbell.

Other remembrances make me shiver. I never again want to:

  • Camp next to someone a sheriff greeted by name.
  • Read Ku Klux Klan recruitment posters.
  • Lodge in a Honduran hotel room with broken locks.
Our baby liked the red and orange shag carpet, but it wasn’t my first choice.
  • Accept rides with strangers.

Nor will I:

  • Endure red and orange shag carpet.
  • Allow a closet-sized kitchen whose fridge froze lettuce and melted ice cream.
  • Sample saki. It tasted like turpentine.

Finally, I won’t challenge anyone to a doughnut-eating contest. Ronnie, a street kid who attended my Bible club, claimed he could outeat anyone. I devoured twice as many. Humbled, Ronnie went home, sick. Humbled, I realized the Bible didn’t recommend this form of evangelism. I called Ronnie’s mother to apologize.

Silence. Then laughter. “Glad you called his bluff.”

Still, I couldn’t look a doughnut or bathroom scales in the face. God, either, but soon I realized He’d forgiven me and had taught Ronnie and me to engage brains before mouths.

God isn’t limited by clueless mistakes. Amazingly, the kid still attended Bible Club. Decades later, I pray doughnut disaster memories have faded. That Ronnie clearly recalls Jesus loves him.

In reviewing my once-but-never-again list, I realize God’s protected me big-time. I never fell off my shoes. I haven’t been abducted, joined the Ku Klux Klan, or worn French Tinkerbell clothes.

I now can look doughnuts in the face.

Scales? Still working on that.

And God’s bucket list for me.

Image by Edward Lich from Pixabay.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What’s on your once-but-never-again list?

Company’s Coming

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay.

I brush the toilet, close shower curtains to hide the bathtub ring, and shine faucets. A clean hand towel completes the deception.

I stuff dishes into the dishwasher. Gross pots and pans go under the sink. Front edges of the refrigerator shelves are washed, and I swab random spots on the kitchen floor.

Attempting the ancient balancing process known as fling shoey, I toss more shoes into the closet than block the front entrance.

The doors of all bedrooms, offices and extra bathrooms are bolted shut.

Thus, the whited-sepulchre process of cleaning for company is complete.

Why do I stress so?

When children, my siblings and I welcomed visiting kids as reinforcements in the ongoing War Against Grown-ups. Together, we reversed Mom’s earlier cleanup process with relentless efficiency. Once, my brother, our friends and I threw a superior batch of mud pies at our church’s windows.

We didn’t have company for a while.

As Dad was a pastor, our family hosted evangelists and missionaries, often with little advance warning. Watching Mom perfect the God-help-us-they’re-here drill, I learned her technique.

We children celebrated when Brother Alleman visited. Though my sister and I slept on the floor, Brother Alleman’s big smile, his faith-filled stories, and candy bars he brought won our hearts.

As a teenager, though, I wished my parents weren’t quite so hospitable.

One morning, returning after an overnight campout, I encountered a teen boy I’d never seen before, asleep on our sofa. After recovering, I helped Mom fix breakfast for him and 20 other out-of-town church members, strewn throughout our house. They’d mistakenly thought our church held services Friday evenings.

At least, that situation lasted only one night.

One female ex-gang member shared my room for months — but we became good friends. She demonstrated how to throw a knife in less than a second.

When I left home, I declared I’d live a normal life.

Normal? I married a country doctor with a solo medical practice. With my cohost often failing to show and only my children to help(?), I invited few guests. Eventually, I gave up.

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay.

Recently, though, with Hubby’s slower-paced job, I dusted off my having-company drill. We’ve rediscovered hospitality.

Mudballs and gang members aside, having company has become a treat again.

Almost as good as Brother Alleman’s candy bars.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Does the prospect of company stress or bless you?

Vive la Différence!

Throughout human history, we have observed one inevitable truth: men and women are different.

Even our newborn who mistook Daddy’s shirt-pocketed beeper for breakfast recognized that fact.

So why does our culture try to convince us otherwise?

Take, for example, the five senses: sight, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching.

Everyone possesses a pair of eyes. Yet women can spot cute shoes on sale from the interstate. Men see such shoes only if their spouses add this 207th pair to their closets.

Women mostly see dirt and germs in a negative light. Perhaps because God made Adam from mud pies, guys see dirt in a positive light, whether in a slide into home plate or a monster truck’s foray into mud bogs. They acknowledge germs only if their work requires they eradicate them in patients or grow them in petri dishes.

Gender differences also pervade our hearing. A husband may wonder, “Why bother with baby monitors?”

When Mommy and Daddy are on a second honeymoon, two hundred miles away, she still hears their infant. Monitor or no monitor, he only hears their baby at night when accompanied by his wife’s elbow, kick, and/or water pistol.

This female hyper-hearing also applies to nighttime burglars and moments when children are too quiet. In either case, men experience a strictly limited audible range. How can she have expected him to do something, when he never heard it?

However, males hear “funny noises” in vehicles. My husband can detect an imperfect cup holder — even if it rattles in the third car behind him.

Women and men even smell smoke in contrasting ways. Women call 911 or, if company’s coming, clean ovens. Men smell bonfires, barbecues and fireworks. The smell of smoke equals a party!

The sense of taste also highlights gender differences. For men, taste generally involves sufficient quantity — unless you’re talking broccoli. Women are all about haute cuisine, artistic presentation and half servings — unless you’re talking chocolate. Then, bring it on by the semi load.

Finally, the sexes experience touch in unique ways. Women hug to celebrate engagements, new babies, expanded closet space. We hug to console each other when evil extra pounds refuse to be evicted.

Men, on the other hand, hug at key life events: weddings, funerals, or ball games. If their team wins.

Why did the Creator design us so differently? We may not understand that mystery until Heaven. Still, acknowledging He knew what He was doing seems reasonable.

Actually, it’s the only scenario that makes sense.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: How do you sense your world differently from men/women?

Summer: the Season of Flip-flops

June — and flip-flops — have invaded America for the season, appearing in offices, fancy restaurants and even at weddings. But the change in footwear reflects only a tiny fraction of our monumental summer lifestyle shift.

Flip-flopped Schedules

School is out, graduates have flipped tassels, and parents/teachers/students have flip-flopped their schedules. School buses hibernate, and millions of children remain at home to spend quality time with beloved siblings.

College kids also have abandoned books, eight-o’clock classes and the joys of dormitory living to converge on home. All to spend quality time with their parents’ Internet, refrigerators and car keys.

Flip-flopped Fun Time

We empty nesters change our stodgy ways, as relatives and friends — freed from winter’s icy grasp — target travel in all fifty states, particularly those where mooching a free month’s lodging is legal. Especially if we nesters live near the ocean, the mountains or Disney World.

In view of the above, Congress should enact a law that establishes a ceiling on laundry levels, especially beach towels and sheet changes. No wife, mother or hostess should awaken on a sunny morning to find herself a victim of a hostile laundry takeover.

Flip-flopped Food

Also, before Congress adjourns for a well-deserved (?) vacation, why not demand laws requiring automatic shut-offs on kitchen ranges from June through August? After all, salad actually tastes yummy during summer. Although in a dietary flip-flop, ice cream does, too.

I vote for ice cream.

And for s’mores. I dislike marshmallows, yet when summer arrives, I admit an urge to bury myself in bear-infested woods, building campfires whereby I roast them (marshmallows, not the bears) and me. I sacrifice delicious chocolate bars and perfectly good graham crackers by slathering them with marshmallows, even feeding s’mores to my grandchildren.

Dastardly grandma crimes of this magnitude committed in February might evoke stern frowns from nutritionally correct parents. But what can they say, when possessed by similar summer madness, they probably buy them deep-fried Oreos at county fairs?

Flipped

Occasionally, the carefree, “whatever” lifestyle of summer does us in. Maybe we’ve listened to “Good Vibrations” too many times with the car windows down. Sniffed one too many citronella candles. Carried too many pounds of sand in the seats of our bathing suits.

Perhaps months of wearing flip-flops not only have affected our arches, but also our brains.

But isn’t summer worth it?

Flip-flopPostcard

How will June, July and August flip-flop your life this year?