Thursday, April 3, 2008

Ode to the Flip Flop

Oh, the glorious flip flop. It is my shoe of choice for the summer, if you can call it a shoe. I like them in all colors, white, black, pink, you name it. I have a pair that I wear when I wash my car, work outside, shopping and even my “evening” flip flops. Shoe snobs might call them sandals when they pass the nine o’clock hour.

Some of the best times of my life have been in flip flops – usually because that means there is a high probability that I am on the beach with sand in my toes. My digits like to come out and play in the summer and have come out bare, and with polish, thank you very much.

You are strappy or not, chic or simple, one-size-fits-all
I wear you all the time, to the beach, to the mall
So, no wonder that of all my footwear
I love my flip flops ..... best of all

If all else fails, go barefoot.

Do Kids Have the Market on Fun?

My girlies

Is happiness elusive? A Wake Forest professor has just published a book that praises the state of melancholy and thinks that happiness is overrated. Let’s be honest, we know that not every day is a bed of roses, but you sure hope for it. Along the way, there are usually some thorns, and resulting scratches but that is reality.

It seems to me that kids have a corner market on happiness. For the most part kids are upbeat and content with the occasional tantrum thrown in when they don’t get to have their favorite ice cream before dinner, or to stay up late and watch Nemo for the third time. Kids are creative in how they have fun and approach life. They are just generally happy and don’t require much – playing in the park, eating lollipops with friends, jumping on the trampoline – all of these will do.

Why can’t we be more like them? Is it because we are obsessed with our career path, finding Mr. or Mrs. Right and all the other multitude of adult concerns that block out fun? Probably. The ability to let our hair down diminishes as we age – at least for most (Jimmy Buffett types don't apply). This doesn’t mean we never have fun, but we have it more sporadically and with effort.

So, what’s the answer? For starters, when is the last time you went to the park without being plugged into your iPod or cell phone? You can’t remember – that’s what I thought. Try just being in the moment (this takes time, so don’t feel bad if it doesn’t happen overnight) and enjoy nature, the beauty of flowers and the great outdoors. Gradually, you will feel the cares of life lifting, if only for a few hours. It is cheaper and better than therapy and will give you a new perspective to face your challenge of the day in this thing called life.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Long and Winding Road

The long and winding road - a metaphor for life. We never know what is around the bend, do we? I have walked this road many times over the years, in wintery snow and with spring around the corner.

This road leads to family in both directions. Family long-gone lies at one end and my parents (alive and well, thankfully) at the other. The memories are strong and heavy as I walk down this road when I visit. Memories of playing with cousins outside, the black walnut tree under the big white clapboard house, little kittens scurrying under the porch and country food cooking in the kitchen assault my senses.

My aunts lived in the house at the end of the lane, now called McGee Road in tribute to the generations that have held court on this land. Ida was famous for her cooking and jolly humor. I still remember her molasses tea cookies and out-of-this-world carrot cake. Willie Lou or "Bill" as everyone called her, was her sister who kept up the yard and taught math at the local high school. She ruled with an iron fist but a good heart and all who sat in her class learned to "apply themselves" or to get out. These two McGee sisters are part of my past and who I am today. I loved them as a child, and revere them today as an adult.

Who knew where this winding road would lead as an adult? For me, I am hopeful for more roads to walk, but none will ever hold my heart the way this one does. Do you have a road well-traveled in your past?