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Look carefully...at the seemingly small moments...in the constant shaping of souls.- Neal A.Maxwell

doors
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     Going through paper work preparing for taxes and readying files for 2017 I found the following from a dear friend:

When one door of happiness closes,
another opens;
but often we look so long at the
closed door
that we do not see
the one which has been opened for us.
- Helen Keller

"I thought this was a timely message for both of us as we have both had a summer with closing and opening doors.  I wanted to share it with you.  My wish for both of us is to be able to identify and move toward our open doors now and always."

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     From another friend:

     "It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.  The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who either know victory nor defeat."
- Theodore Roosevelt

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    I read recently that some researches discovered that they could predict pretty accurately whether a couple would stay together or part on the basis of whether or not the couple had a high rate of positive response to "bids for attention."  An example of a bid for attention could be a spouse saying, "There is a beautiful rainbow outside."  The other spouse stopping what he/she is doing and looking at the rainbow would be a positive response to that bid.  In reading article I realized I could be better at positive responses and set the goal to improve.  While writing this blog 19 year old commented that the snow in our yard and lack of snow in our neighbor's yard ran exactly on our property lines.  My initial response was to comment on his remark while remaining in my seat.  Remembering the article, and my goal, I went to the window to see, and then comment.  I must say it is interesting how the snow ends exactly at our property line.

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a piece of dad
     As of this past month 23-year old J is engaged, 19-year old C is gainfully employed and attending college and 15-year old B has his driver's learner's permit.  A lot has changed in the 9 years since I first wrote here.  Some things, however, will never change.  One of which is my love for family - immediate and extended, blood and non-blood.
     Tonight my brother and I were reminiscing about the past.  I mentioned a letter our dad had written to me 29 years ago that had a lasting affect on me.  After hanging up with my brother I pulled the letter out to read again.  Full of humor, trivia and advice here, in part, is a piece of my dad:

Thanksgiving Day 1988

Dear Chris,

     My mother still has an account on which I get statements showing one cent interest per quarter.  I wrote them and told them I thought we had finally closed it out after much hassle.  I closed…”I can tell the account is still alive and well and living in your files.  Surely someone there has a handbook of instructions which tells how to close an account.  Please ask around, thank you and good luck.”

  You cannot joke an enemy into a friend, but you may joke a friend into an enemy.

     I wonder if I would have had my sarcastic dream that very night had I not written that letter.  I dreamed your mom was in church and shaking hands with the bishop as she entered the chapel.  She said to him, “While sitting in church last Sunday we could see how families certainly can be together FOREVER.” – referring to our meeting of the previous Sunday which we thought would never end.  Humor in dreams interests me, how did I come up with that and then give the lines to her?

  Good jests bite like lambs, not like dogs.

 Saturday morning

      I just finished reading a story about General Dean.  He was captured during the Korean war.  Being a general he was kept separate and away from other American prisoners.  For three years he was kept with and watched over by Korean soldiers.  After his release, one of his observations was: things which used to make him angry ceased to do so.  One being they would kick him with bare feet to get him to wake up, move or get his attention.  Living closely with them he saw they kicked one another to get each others attention.  He realized he was not being treated differently than they treated each other in this regard.  It was their culture, their way of doing things.

     Chris...Individuals and families have different personalities just like nations...Don’t interpret others response to you by your own way of dealing with people...

  Do not break your shin on a stool that is not in your way.

      Not all people have the gift of perceiving how others may feel.  You are one, Eric is another.  He asked grandma if she minded living all alone and if she were afraid at night – and he is only eight.  I think I care, but sometimes too slowly to react...

He that pities another, remembers himself.

     We spent most of Thanksgiving Day watching my sister's grandbaby play and talk, she never cried.  She liked your brother N, grabbed his face and pounded on it with great excitement.  She has dimples and laughs a lot.  I felt guilty knowing how my sister would have loved to have been with us.  Our Thanksgiving snow storm dropped 20” in the mountains and was preceded by a strong south wind which swept our streets clean.  I guess the leaves ended up at the elementary school.

     Last night we went to the symphony.  Beethoven’s Symphony #5 was the last piece of the evening and the reason I selected the series I did.  The second piece – Concerto for Violin and Orchestra – was composed in 1980 and really had some good sounds, we liked it.  The person next to your mother was the kind whose personal space laps over into that of those around them.  I could sense it right off even with your mom acting as a buffer.  Right off she put hand cream on along with all her thrashing around.  It had a strong odor.  I thought of leaning over and asking her if she was planning to floss soon.  We traded seats at the half so your mom could have a break.

  She that would please all and herself too, undertakes what she cannot do.

      Your brother G must have gotten food poisoning Thanksgiving, we don’t think it is the flu.  Your mom and I were up cleaning carpet, floor and walls and unplugging toilets after him...

It is not enough to aim, you must hit.

And in closing out this anthology of news, observations and pioneer proverbs…

…My son is my son ‘til he hath got him a wife;But my daughter is my daughter all the days of her life.

 We all love you very much, Dad

 

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