Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Random musical awards

Things are crazy here and I'm needing some amusement. So, I present some random musical thoughts.

Here are my top 3 awards for distinguished song lyrics:

#3 - Deep Thought Award:

"I Believe the Children Are Our Future..." - (Whitney Houston - The Greatest Love of All)

Hmmmmmmm. You know, she's right! If you think about it, I guess the children really ARE our future. As opposed to the grandparents. Or the parents. Wait. I need to write that down...

#2 - Creative Lyric Award:

"Na-na-na na-na-na. Na-na-na-na-na. Na-na-na-na-na-na, na-na-na-na-na!" - (Journey - Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin')

You know the part I'm talking about, right? I count 22 successive "na's" in that phrase. That is impressive. More impressive is that they repeat that same sequence 22 times to end the song. That means we hear the sound "na" 484 blessed times in a row before it finally fades out. There is nothing sweeter than a 3 minute song that lasts 10 minutes. It makes "Chopping Broccoli" sound like a masterpiece.

The only thing missing is...more cow bell.

#1 - Grammaritarianism Award:

"Songs that she sang to me. Songs that she "brang" to me..." - (Neil Diamond - Play Me)

Come on Neil. This is a good song but please. Did you just run out of words that rhyme with "sang"? Let me help. There's bang, rang, hang, slang, Tang, twang, Michael Chang, fang, dang. Any of these would work. Am I right?

In the event that "brang" IS ever added to the dictionary here's how it would be used in a more appropriate sentence: "Sensuous up I just axed and, bam! you brang me a beer." (Foxworthy Redneck Joke)

Thank you. I'll be here all week.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Loving Because Of - Not In Spite Of

Have you ever been in a restaurant or at a bookstore, or on a park bench and seen a happy senior couple sitting quietly together? One of the greatest things to see, in my opinion. I am always struck by the wisdom, humility and calm in their eyes.

So, when I see a couple like that I smile and wish I could look through their lives and soak up the lessons they've learned. What could they teach me about being happy? How many times did they worry about money or health or kids? What did they give up to be happy? How many times have they chosen to forgive? To think that they have been there at each other's best and worst for so many years brings me hope. Hopeful because they chose to allow life's trials and triumphs to bring them together and not to drive them apart.

And if they can do it, so can Trish and I.

So, in the spirit of becoming more like these couples, I was wondering the other day about just how to get closer to my wife.

Hard to imagine that is possible. But just in case it is, how would I do it? My sister had a great blog that started me thinking about this. And I was impressed by her answer. And I'm sure Alfer is too.

One of the commenters on her blog said something I thought very wise and worth exploring further. She said, in essence, that when she learned to love her husband not in spite of but because of who he is, she became happier and more secure herself. Music to a man's ears.

You see, for a guy, we aren't interested in being changed. We are interested in being loved just the way we are. So to be accepted and understood for our interests, traits, and shortcomings is good. But to be loved more because of those things - that is the ultimate sign of affection. And the coolest thing a wife could do...

Upon further reflection, it occurs to me that perhaps my wife would appreciate the same treatment.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Choosing to be Happy

I grew up with a great Dad. He taught me about what is important. He works hard. He is honest. He loves my Mom. He loves his kids. He loves the Lord.

He is one of my heroes.

One of the things I have really come to appreciate about my Dad and others like him is his optimism. Seeing the world as a glass half full is a gift - and a secret to happiness. I love to be around optimistic people.

In order to take care of the needs of a family of 8 my Dad started a landscaping company years ago. He taught seminary during the day then worked after school and weekends on his business. And I worked right alongside him with my brothers. This was a great blessing in so many ways. I learned to work hard. I got to spend time talking and learning from my dad and my brothers. I learned to take pride in a job well done. I learned that you finish a job before you quit. I learned that you go to work anyway - even if you don't want to.

And I learned the gift of optimism from him. Many times, while working late to finish a job we were tired and grumpy and ready to go home. He would look up and say, "gosh that's a beautiful sunset". He did this hundreds of times. If it was hot we would be complaining about the heat but he would just say, "boy, that cold water sure tastes good on a day like this". One day while we were weeding a field of mint (a very tedious job) he stopped, and put a handful of it into his shirt pocket. Then as the day progressed he would occasionally stop and smell the mint and say how it reminded him of his own dad. I really love those memories.

So, in troubled times like we are in now where there is so much belittling, despair, and hatred I am always so grateful to come across someone who chooses to be optimistic. I love the gift of optimistic people in my life. I hope to be more that way myself.

Thanks Dad for teaching me that there is always a beautiful way to see the world. Like a sunset, or a glass of cold water, or the smell of mint.