Angel in Pink Curlers

As I went down the canned goods aisle at an old-style A&P grocery story in Amarillo, Texas, looking for chili, suddenly an elderly woman’s voice from behind me says, “If I weren’t any bigger than you, hon, I’d be ashamed to be seen in public!”  As I turned around to find the source of the voice, I saw the woman who made this pronouncement, and realized she was talking to me.  Although the words could be taken as rather malicious, the smile on the woman’s face quickly made me realize she was teasing me.  She was smaller than me, hunched over, with an outfit on that my mother would have worn were she still alive:  light spring green polyester pants and a striped short-sleeved cotton shirt to match.  Her hair was in pink foam curlers and I wondered how long she had worn those curlers.  Did she ever take them out?

“Ma’am, I’m not that skinny, but I thank you for the compliment anyway!  You’re not very big yourself!”  We both laughed as I went over to this complete stranger to talk with her a moment.  It was easy to see, by the laughing, but longing look in her eyes, that she was dying to talk to someone, anyone, who would listen for a few minutes.  When I reached her, she easily and naturally put her arm around my waist like we had known each other for years.  “You know,” she said, “I used to be young and full of energy like you. Oh how I would fly around, taking care of my three children, cleaning the house, cooking three square meals a day, and then going out to help my husband with the cattle from time to time too!  Then one day I woke up and realized my sweet husband beat me to heaven, my kids scattered like a yard full of baby chicks all over the country, and I didn’t have anyone to take care of any more.  It gets tedious sometimes, just taking care of myself.”  I laughed and gently hugged her back saying, “Well, I still have my husband, but my mother is gone and my sons are grown so I understand you to a certain extent!  I don’t know how to cook for just two people so I find myself making enough food for an army of teenage boys.  Do you live around here, close to the store?”  I asked because the antiquated grocery store that bore the smell of too many years refrigerating items  and then the surrounding rough-hewn, dilapidated homes in the area said told me that my husband and I had inadvertently stopped at a store in the middle of a very rough area of town.  As a group of three thugs that looked like gang bangers swaggered past us, I found myself pulling back to give them room to pass and feeling intimidated by their mere presence.  “What’s up Mrs. G?  You ok,” one of the rough, tattooed young men asked the woman I was with as he passed by.   “Anthony, I’m perfectly fine today!  Thanks for asking!  How’s your mama doin’, bless her heart?”  I realized that she knew these young men.  They were her friends. “Doin’ alright Mrs. G.  She doin’ alright.  I’ll tell her you asked about her.  See ya later!”

She leans into me as the young men leave, “I know those boys, all of them. They live on my street and nicer young men you could never find!  They take care of my lawn, take out my trash for me, and last month when I had pneumonia and was in the hospital, they even took care of my little Freddy.  Freddy is my little mutt dog that means more to me than life!  Yeah, they’re good boys.  Now, what about you?  Tell me about yourself.  I don’t believe I’ve met you before!”  We talked for about 10 minutes, laughing, and generally making each other happy just by taking a few minutes to connect, to get to know one another, if even just for a few moments.  Finally, seeing my husband waiting for me at the end of the aisle, I realized I needed to get what we came in for, and go back to the small, old Route 66 motor court (motel) we were staying in for the night.  “Well, ma’am, I guess I better be goin’!  We just came in to get some food for lunch.  Is there anything I can do for you before I leave?”  “Oh child!  Not a thing, not a thing!  You already helped me by stopping and talking to an me, laughing with me, and giving me a hug.  You’ve been a light of sunshine in my day that I really needed.”  I gave her a real hug then, feeling her pink rollers under my chin as I hugged her gently.  She was so tiny, she looked like she would shatter if I hugged her very hard.  “Well, you take care now, ok?  You made my day too!  I love you!”  She got teary eyed and replied, “I love you too, you little bit of nothing!”  I hugged her again, a lump in my throat as I grabbed the can of chili I came after, and hurried down the aisle to join my husband.

“Who was that?  Was she one of your elderly cousins?  I didn’t know you knew anyone in Amarillo,” Alan said when I reached him.  “Oh, I’ve never met her before in my life!  She just needed a hug and some attention, so I gave her some love and she gave me more back.  She’s really a very sweet lady.”  Alan shook his head in bewilderment.  “I never understand how you meet so many strangers and can talk to them for ten minutes like you’ve known them forever!”

“Oh, God just brings them on my path anywhere I go!  She was very sweet and reminded me a bit of Mother so we just talked for a little while.  Did you get the bowls and plastic ware we need for the chili?”  So we went on with our day and the little lady I had met, who put sunshine in my day, went on with hers.  “You know, sometimes God puts angels in our path to cheer us up!  I think I met that woman just for that purpose, to cheer me up!”  My whole day was better for having met the cute and feisty lady with pink hair curlers and I thanked God for her as we left the store.

This is a true story that popped into my head this morning as I awoke early in the morning.  I’ve never forgotten this woman nor her laughter and sunny, generous nature.  I thought I was brightening her day, when all along, she was brightening mine.  

“Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!”  Hebrews 13:2

                               

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Gratitude for My Readers and Followers…

See this ridiculous grin on my face?  That’s how happy it makes me to know there are people who read my blog and even follow my blog!  I can’t tell you how excited I get every time I get a new follower.  When I get new followers, I must admit it makes me teary eyed, but also very curious as to why they would follow ME.  As I’ve heard somewhere on TV, “I’m not worthy!!”  😀   Truly you honor me with your interest in my writing and I am so appreciative.  I’m glad I’ve met so many interesting people here and I love reading your blogs too!    

I’m a bit eccentric and write about a lot of different things, but my main goal in writing is to share love, hope and encouragement with others.  (The world needs a lot more of those things in my mind!)  Poetry seems to be my strong suit, which is good because I absolutely love writing poetry.  Poetry is one of those things that transforms my day from routine to mystically beautiful.   Anyway, thanks for stopping by and reading my meanderings!  I truly do appreciate it!

Peace and Love,

Elaine

Counting Blessings….

Counting Blessings….

Still in pjs and housecoat,
Sipping coffee,
Listening to iTunes shuffle,
opera to the Cranberries,
Looking at the family budget,
Dog dreaming on my lap,
Minor fibromyalgia pain so far,
Husband in the home office,
Son sleeping downstairs,
Healthy grandson, papa and mama
In Illinois.

Count your many blessings,
Name them one by one.
Life is good and
God is on His throne.

©Elaine Wood-Lane

We really are so blessed and fortunate. Even though life isn’t always easy and we all go through some very hard times, we have to remember the good times that were and that will be once again. Life isn’t static. It doesn’t stay in the valleys forever, but it doesn’t stay on the mountain tops forever either. Without the valleys, we wouldn’t appreciate the mountain tops, and without the mountain tops, we couldn’t bear the time in the valleys. Right now, I think I’m living on a mesa somewhere in the middle and I am very, very grateful for where I am right this moment. Hugs and love, Elaine

Happier Day Ever After

Happier Day Ever After

I awoke all
vim and vigor,
the day would
be full of fun!

I’d run
away to the mountains,
and devil may care I’d be;
heck the way I was feeling,
I could drive from
sea to sea!

Alas, a few hours in,
before I even started,
my vim
began to dim,
and my vigor was
long departed.

I then succumbed
to the sofa, with
my dog, and
waning vim;
Before long
all was silent,
but for
our symphony
of snoring hmmms.

Awake again,
I found it too late,
to run away
to the mountains,
much less from
sea to sea!

Instead I found,
a day of quiet:
sunshine on a
a simple walk,
a book of hope
and laughter,
I wrote a poem,
and gave thanks
in prayer,
for my happier
day ever after.

©D. Elaine Wood-Lane
1/28/15

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MILO

I want the whole world to know I am now a Grandmama!!

Milo was born yesterday afternoon, 1/24/15, at 4:04 in the afternoon in Aurora, IL. He weighed 7 pounds and 13 ounces and was 20 inches long. Mama, Papa, and baby are all doing well, although little Milo did put his mother through a long and arduous labor.

Grandmama Lane, who had anxiously been “nesting” at home and awaiting news of progress of the labor and delivery yesterday, had this to say when she finally received the call that her grandson had been born, “Oh! It’s a boy!! Is he ok? Is Erin ok? I’m SO excited!” and then proceeded to do the happy dance right in the middle of the living room floor and in front of God and everybody. Grandpapa Lane was quoted as saying, “So it’s a boy! Are Erin and the baby both doing well? Oh, good grief, Dee, quit that!! You’re going to hurt yourself!!” Needless to say, Grandmama and Grandpapa Lane are very proud of the new addition to the family!

Of course, being the sentimental poet that I am, had to write a poem after I slept long through the night to recover from my happy dancing.

MILO

Milo,
one new little human.
Another branch on
a large family tree
that has been battered,
riven, grafted, and
survived to put on
new branches and
leaves of love.

Milo,
a four letter word
attached to a precious,
new little boy
who made me a
grandmother.

Milo,
a new sweet,
tender spot of love
that instantly grew
in my heart forever.

Milo,
a little boy who
I hope will call me,
“Grandmama,”
in that sweet little
boy way that
melts hearts.

Milo,
a new son who
gave my son a
completely new
gentle, mature, proud,
tone of voice instantly.

Milo,
I can’t wait to
meet you and
hold your little
body in the same
arms I held your
dad in when he
was brand new too.

Milo,
a name that will
always equal
LOVE to
all of us.

Milo,
we thank God
for the blessing
of you.

©D. Elaine Wood-Lane
1/24/15

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Missing Mother

It has been 14 years today since Mother passed away and I still miss her. Actually, the longer time goes on and the older I get, the more I understand her better and miss her. I wish I could apologize for some of the things I thought and said to her.

She was older than all my friends’ moms and a lot more outspoken than most and that embarrassed me dreadfully as a shy, quiet little girl. Now, I realize she loved her family fiercely and wasn’t afraid to be herself. She did talk a lot and revealed confidences that I wished to keep secret, but now I can see how insignificant most of my secrets were and why she ended up telling them. For that matter, I find myself doing the same thing sometimes with my sons. I have started to recognize, over the last five years or so, a look my sons and daughter-in-law get when they wished I would just hush! ;-). How many times, over the years with Mother, did I have the same expression and thought towards her? And this towards the woman who literally risked her life to have me when she was 45 years old?! I’m ashamed of myself, I am!

Mother was a lively, passionate, possessive, protective, loving wife and mother. She did so many good things for me over the years and I wasn’t grateful enough then. Now I am grateful beyond measure and I can’t tell her face to face. I only hope that she knows somehow anyway or that I get to tell her in heaven someday. I’m grateful for Mother’s spunk and fierce love. Honestly, if I were more like her, that would please me greatly! So…if you still have your mother and you love and appreciate her, please don’t wait too long to let her know. Mother knew I loved her, but I wish I had been more understanding and grateful for her when I had her here.

God Will Never Let Go

Nothing like getting up at 3:00 AM is what I say! I finished crocheting a shawl, did my bible study, and talked to God. There are so many people out there right now who are struggling and hurting. I consider it an honor to pray for them and to thank God for all the blessings He has given all of us. In the dark valleys of our lives, it is so easy to not see the blessings that are there too. Today, look for the blessings and see what good things God is doing for you. You aren’t alone in that dark valley. God is holding tight to your hand and He’ll never let go. I can promise you that because He’s never let go of me, even when my hand was trying to slip from His grasp.

“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”
Psalm 139:7-10

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