From the Ranch

From the Ranch

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Someone Taught Me Magic, Real Magic

My mother is 86 years old now, still a hard worker, still able to take care of her home with my dad alongside, and still possessed of wisdom. She and my dad are still in love, true love, after more than 65 years. She hasn't been a perfect mother, there aren't any, but she has lived before me, and the rest of the world, a steadfast life devoted to God, my father, her children, grand-children, and now great grandchildren. The older I get, the more wisdom I find in the things she taught me, and they were many. How to work hard, how to get by on little, how to get by in a right way when you have much, to always save some... of everything, how to make a new use for something, and how to love and honor a husband, are just a few of the things she has taught me. Then there is the creativity she taught, she has taught to all of us who have fallen under her tutelage, all the way through the great-grandchildren. She has taught us how to "pretend play."

Being a child of the Great Depression, toys were a luxury that were not hers to enjoy. That was such a blessing for all of us who have followed, because she can teach one how to make a "play house" under a tree, bake lovely "dirt cakes," or be a princess while wearing an old square dancing skirt. No matter how busy she is with her day, she will still take the time to fall into whatever character fits into the play of a child nearby. She can be the person at the drive through window at McDonald's, and take your "pretend" order, a mean witch trying to trick your "Barbie" into marrying the wrong guy, or the MC at your concert, announcing your performance with great flare. All this is accomplished as she cooks supper, sweeps, irons, or washes dishes. Needless to say, she is adored by all children. 

My mother came from a large family, this photo is of her and her sisters.  She also had four brothers.

When I find myself most under the gun, most strained to the breaking point, most discouraged and defeated, without fail, the greatest thing she has taught me comes to my mind. My mother was not especially sympathetic to my woes as I was growing up, which at the time was sometimes very annoying. She has always been an "executor." When there is work to be done, she works until it is done, when a plan of action is needed, she makes suggestions until a choice is made, and when there is a need, of any sort, she finds a resource. She never has had the tendency to entertain the notion that one is helpless or defeated in any situation. If she can't figure it out, she knows daddy can. Then there is her magical cure for the depression that can accompany the hard times in life. It was and still is her standard answer when things seem completely deadlocked, and one is faced with just having to endure. I use to resent so much her answering some complaint about life with the "magic," but slowly over the years, the magic has proved time and again to be magic indeed.

 Easter when my daughters were small, I always wear a hat at every opportunity, two of my daughters and my sister with her hair short.  My mother is in the right hand corner.

Mom and Dad, my daughter Beth, and a passel of their great-grandchildren.

It is such a simple solution for life's darkest hours, works every time, and will see you through the hardest of situations.  According to my mother, the solution to these trying times, is to look around you, find someone with a need, or a problem, and then reach out to them. Her theory is it takes the focus off your own trouble, immediately brings a relief to your soul, and honors God, bringing blessing and solution to your own difficulty, and to the others as well. For a long time, each and every time she suggested this plan, I secretly scoffed, certain there was no validity to such thinking. Time and time again, I would give in and try it... and that is when the "magic" happened. Over and over I have experienced the magic. Each time I reach out to another human being in compassion and care, whatever load I am carrying, lightens. At times I have reached out to others only to experience being taken advantage of, but those times have been few, and still the magic worked. The practice of her theory has brought so much to my life. I have learned to go quickly now to the magic when I realize I am in real trouble in life. Inevitably the trouble passes, the problem is solved, and with the application of the magic, the good is multiplied.  I love my mother for many reasons, one of them is for teaching me magic.

My favorite picture of my mother ever... it speaks volumes of how she has lived her life.