Friday, June 24, 2016

Now Where Did I Put That

By Brenda Black

My final task for the day was simple. Carry a few items to the truck for the kids, offer kisses and hugs and bid them adieu. The wrap up to a pleasant evening picnic to celebrate June birthdays and Father's Day ended sweetly and serenely. I was weary by day's end, but warmed in heart from the love of family.

That was Saturday. The next morning began as usual readying ourselves for worship and ministry. By late Sunday afternoon, the mission shifted. My husband and I were on the hunt for a gift bag that contained all of the well wishes we received approximately 18 hours earlier. Neither of us could determine the last place the small blue bag had been seen. I was certain Alan moved it from yard to house. After he exhausted all the probable places he could have set the sack, I began a more unorthodox approach.

He transferred the kitchen trash bag to the garage canister, I though to myself. Perhaps he carried out our cache with the trash. To the blue barrel I went, expecting to harvest our happy birthday cards and goodies sitting on top of the glad bag and then be able to poke a little fun at the trash man. Not there.

In clean-up mode, my hubby had also reclaimed unused ice from the cooler, bagged it and placed it in the freezer. I giggled to myself in anticipation of finding the gift bag among the roasts, ground beef and ice cream. Not there.

He helped our elder son tote a saddle to the basement just after dark. That must have been where he misplaced the little blue bag. Down the steps I scurried, certain to solve the mystery. Not there.

I looked in every room, perused the front porch, and finally gave up the search. “Easy come, easy go,” crossed my mind. But I'm not one to let things go that easily.

If my husband didn't lose the bag, then the kids must be the culprits. I phoned to query just what all ended up being hauled to Nevada, Missouri, by the newly marrieds. Of course, they had a great time evading my questions by asking their own: Where did you last see it? That classic momma question posed to every young whipper snapper who ever misplaced a shoe or sock or toy, came back to bite me. After ample good-humored razzing, my son and daughter-in-law informed me that I had absent-mindedly toted to our son's truck the very gifts we'd only just received, placing the little blue bag with its precious contents right on top of their heap. They were wagering with one another how long it would take us to realize the blunder. Feel the love!

All I could do was laugh with them at myself and warn them, one day you'll hit the 50's and life is never the same. If it is, you won't remember it. Happy Birthday to me and good bye memory.
©2016 The Word's Out-Brenda Black

Friday, June 10, 2016

Where Clouds are Far Behind

By Brenda Black

Somewhere over the rainbow, on June 10, 1922, Frances Ethel Gumm entered this world. By the ripe old age of two, the baby girl delivered her first stage performance and a star was born. Sadly, no fairy tale, award-winning movies or melodic stories sung by the dark haired lass would keep reality at bay. Gumm, better known as Judy Garland, died at 47, having performed for 45 of her fleeting years.

One writer remembered the iconic starlet this way, “Between the struggles of the Great Depression and the mayhem of World War II, Garland invited us to experience a transformed world in The Wizard of Oz where we could 'wake up where clouds are far behind.'”

While Garland sang of such a place, another woman went there. Amelia Earhart went where no woman had gone before when she flew solo across the Atlantic Ocean in 1928, and reached an altitude of 18,415 feet in 1931.

Vicariously, women soared with her, applauding her gumption and envying her freedom. She invited onlookers to experience a transformed world through her courage and moxy. But her last adventure, an attempt to circumnavigate the globe in the Lockheed Electra, ended in 1936, when she disappeared over the South Pacific. A nation grieved the petite daredevil who only made it to 40.

Two talented women with two troubling destinies that sound sadly similar. The great divide in their end results is that one self destructed while the other pushed the limits. They each took risks, but one lived in fantasy while the other made dreams come true.

Many become stars for their fine performances. Few become heroes for setting lofty goals and working to achieve them. When you seek inspiration, it's fine to look far behind the clouds for prospects, but use some caution. Some are in it only for themselves. They'll sing the songs and play the parts, while behind their masks lurk dark secrets and troubling storms in lives headed for disaster rather than the end of a rainbow. True inspiration can be found in the ones who bare their souls and live with integrity and purpose.

Earhart once said, “By the time I had got two or three hundred feet off the ground, I knew I had to fly.”

Make sure you can spot the difference between those shooting for stardom and those aiming for the stars. Be certain you navigate toward great possibilities not just yellow-bricked fantasies. Most importantly, fly in such a way so that others will want to soar after you.

**Tell me -- who inspires you to do the impossible?

©2016 The Word's Out-Brenda Black