Thoughts on life from Pat Oaks
Last night, we were playing Tommy's game he invented called, The Story Salad. One of the topics was "A Lesson Learned." All of us shared a life lesson we had learned somewhere along the way. I reached back into my memory bank, and told a story that even John boy and Tommy had never heard! I thought I had pretty much revealed my whole life to them! I am betting that Jason has never heard it either.
Here is my "lesson learned."
I went to college in 1958. It was my first time to be on my own. I was 17 years old. I would turn 18 in a month. I went to Milligan college, about a hundred miles away from home. I came home after one semester, feeling as if I had become a grown up and had learned pretty much, in that one semester, all I would ever need to know. I certainly had surpassed my parents in wisdom and knowledge!
As I have written many times, as a parent and as a person, I have always said that my Mother was unsurpassed. She was as near perfect a person that I have ever known. However, Miss "Big Girl on Campus", Pat, was even superior to this "perfect" person, my Mother!
After being home a few days, my Mother looked at me one day and said, "Patricia...you were always the easiest of my children. I never worried about you and you were always a fun child to be around. The room lit up when you came into it! However, since you have been away at college, this is no longer true. You don't even seem like the same child! You are arrogant and hateful. You are not even fun to be around. You need to go off by yourself and think about how you are acting and where you are headed.
I did. I changed that day. I wanted to be the person my Mother had always thought I was. I am not saying I am a wonderful person, but I do try to not be that snob who came home from my first year in college thinking I knew more than anyone else. I will never be the person my Mother was...but I want to be.
My Mother, Lila Forester, in her freshman year at Radford State Teacher's college, Radford, Virginia
My cousin, Judy sent me this and I wanted to share it with all of you. I have no idea who wrote it, so hopefully, won't be breaking any copyright laws! When Tommy and I first married, I always wore an apron! Somewhere along the way I stopped. I may just start doing it again! Enjoy!
The History of 'APRONS'
I don't think our kids know what an apron is. The principle use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath because she only had a few. It was also because it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and aprons used less material. But along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.
It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.
From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.
When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.
And when the weather was cold, Grandma wrapped it around her arms.
Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.
Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.
From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.
In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.
When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.
When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men folk knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.
It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that 'old-time apron' that served so many purposes.
Send this to those who would know (and love) the story about Grandma's aprons.
Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool. Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw.
They would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron.
I don't think I ever caught anything from an apron - but love...
I have a friend in West Virginia, Jami, who not only "Mothers" her own children, but any child who happens to be near by who needs "Mothering." On more than one occasion, I have heard Jami discipline a child who needed it. It was not always HER child! One of her nieces, Brynley, told us that the one phrase she hears from her Aunt Jami over and over is "make good choices."
So many things in life come down to making good choices. Even if you are in a horrible situation, you can CHOOSE whether or not to be miserable. People who have survived concentration camp, can testify to this.
We are living in a time...more than any other time in my lifetime, when it is becoming harder and harder to decide for good rather than evil. We were watching Harry Potter last night (I know I know...not everyone thinks Harry Potter is suitable watching material) and one phrase jumped out at me. It was said by Albus Dumbledore. He said "Dark times lie ahead of us and there will be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right."
I love that. Most people would say we must choose between what is right and what is wrong. That choice might be a little clearer. Choosing between what is easy and what is right, might not be.
Do you ever wish you could do something over? Dumb question, right? I am constantly having something pop into my head and wishing, "Oh, how I would love to go back and do that over! I would do it so differently!"
I wonder, too, why it is now - when I am in my 80's - that some things become clearer to me. I am constantly saying to myself, "Why didn't I realize that when I was in my 20's or 30's or even 70's?!" Still, every day, even in my 80's, I go, "Wow! That thing I said or did...last week, or yesterday, or even within the last hour, should have been done or said differently. Wish I could go back and do it over!"
I was thinking about that this morning and I immediately thought, "Thank God for Jesus, Who is the same yesterday, today and forever!" He doesn't wish for do overs because He never makes a mistake. That must surely mean that He didn't make a mistake when He made you and me.
I think the problem arises when we think we have to be perfect. That doesn't mean we don't stop striving for perfection, but the One who IS perfect stands in the gap for us. He will make ALL things work together for our good, if we keep loving him and keep His purpose and His kingdom always in front of us. It's when we start to think it is all up to us.
Many times, as I drift off to sleep at night, I will say my old childhood prayer: "Now I lay me, down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep....."
It is up to us to pray. It is up to Him to keep.