Tugs of Heart Strings

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tugof war Do you remember playing tug-of- war on the play ground?

The physical education teacher marked the the pavement with chalk, threw down a hefty rope and teams were chosen at the discretion of the teacher or the team captains. Then began the battle to see which team had the greatest strength and persistence and could pull the other team over the line.

A few weeks ago when I talked with Kiwanis, I read aloud a chapter from my memoir called Having Faith in Oneself. Essentially it is about Fanny’s advice to me about the feelings I had when I was left out of the crowd on the playground due to my childhood illness. Fanny is the stellar character in my memoir who was a very sage woman.

Now that I am an adult, I understand what she was hinting at in one of our heart-to- heart conversations. One day she said “Sue, there ain’t no one who don’t play tug of war in life. Sometimes we is among the lighthearted and sometimes we are wid da heavy hitters. Dem knots in da rope is what helps us to learn to hang on and to roll wid da punches.” There is a lot of truth in that! But it is more fun to play nice. Tug of War Shel Silverstein This blog brought to you by author Sue Batton Leonard. Click here for information about Sue’s memoir, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.  

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Conspiring Through Smell A Vision

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A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked.” ~ Bernard Meltzer 

I have found myself caught up in the middle of a conspiracy, and it is me who is being conspired against. I know just who the little schemer is and how she is plotting to draw me in. The little manipulator is Darien Gee, and she is using word tactics of smell a vision to get me involved! 

You see, I never have been one who really likes to cook but, I did have many fulfilling moments of baking back in my days of raising a child. In fact, my son’s friends knew where to get the booty when their sweet tooth cried out for a fix. I was the rare Mom who made home baked goods. When I knew I’d have a houseful of kids, I’d jump into action and make something tasty. When the teen years rolled around, it was a good way to keep tabs on the adolescents, they’d frequently check in to see what was to eat. 

Ever since I became an empty nester and moved to a high altitude environment, where baking is more challenging, my cache of homemade creations has suffered. Author Darien Gee, the little conniver, is trying to lay a guilt trip on me through her book Friendship Bread. Have you read it? 

The magical powers of Amish Friendship Bread is the basis of the book. The wicked descriptions of warm yeast, cinnamon and sweet has made me want to try my hand at a batch. There are real consequences to jumping in because there is no way you can make just one loaf. The bread grows prolifically until before you know it, you are: 

  • Talking to your neighbors
  • Building community through food
  • Giving strangers more than just a passing glance
  • Strategically positioning yourself with groups
  • Building friendships based on commonalities and love 

I’ve peeked ahead in the book, and the recipe is there for the moment when Darien Gee is finished with brainwashing me into baking a pan. http://bit.ly/n50wn.  She is half-way done and I’m already beginning to execute my plan…. For starters there’s the Yampa Valley University Women, my fellow Kiwanians, the guys and gals at SHe Writes Steamboat, the Steamboat Writers Group and Lift Up Routt County (they can always use donations of food). 

I could put Strings in the Mountains on my list. Perhaps they would welcome a starter of something other than Steamboat fare for their own cookbooks. Then, lest I forget, there are always the kind and welcoming women of the United Methodist Church, although they can already abundantly cook! Then there is that other new meet-up group in town. What is it called? Ignite Steamboat? 

We will see, Darien Gee….with the way the recipe works, just getting people started might be the key. Perhaps then I can get out of the kitchen and just spend time creating other fulfilling things. 

Come on back tomorrow…. I promise the blog will not be so long!

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Holiday Fulfillment

“Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present.”                    ~Albert Camus

I bet you have noticed, that when it comes to all volunteer efforts, few carry the load for many. Pick your cause, it is always the same thing. Whether it is lending a hand for a service organization, a bake sale or volunteering for a Parent-Teacher Association it seems that those that have the least amount of time, give the most.

Over the past few weekends, I have volunteered a little of my time to sell Christmas ornaments for Kiwanis. Kiwanians raise funds for worthy projects around the world. Since 1915, this international service organization has been supporting projects that help grow strong communities and assist children.

There are so many ways to give, that mean so much, to those on the receiving end. If you can not give financially, give the gift of your time by volunteering for a worthy cause. Give a donation  of canned goods for a food shelter, hats,coats, mittens to those needing warm clothing for winter, put your spare change in a collection bucket, there are so many ways to share and care about those who really need assistance.

Not just during holidays, but all year long, we need to remember those that are in dire need of our help. The giving spirit will feel good and right,  give it a try!

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