Why Do We Fall?

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It’s easy to forget (during rush hour traffic, after waiting in line for what feels like hours, when you’re sick, when you’re tired, when you’re just sick and tired…you get the idea) how good we really have it. No one wants to admit it, but we’re really pretty spoiled. We are often like a child who is given a cookie and then asks for two instead. When we don’t get that extra cookie (or, God forbid, don’t get a cookie at all), we tend to throw the adult version of a temper tantrum. We pout. We complain. We make excuses. We have forgotten how to be thankful for what we have.

Even when we are facing true difficulty, chances are there are others who face worse.  Consider Lila, who is 3 and has already been through 30 surgeries for an irreversible condition, or Diego, a 12-year-old who was struck by a stray bullet and has defied all odds of recovery.  We should be thanking our lucky stars that we (most likely) don’t have to face those extremes of difficulty.  I would be willing to bet, though, that both families have found hidden blessings in their difficulty – strengthening of family ties, the unexpected support of community, or a new-found appreciation for the things that are truly important in life.

Besides, that old saying about lemons and lemonade is true – most of life’s challenges can make you miserable or make you better.  The choice is really up to you.  When you fall, what do you do?  Our first instinct is often to complain.  I would like to challenge you (and myself – I’m not off the hook either) to find some good in your  bad situations.  Often there are some sneaky silver linings you don’t see at first.  Give it a try.  Once you do, things seldom seem as bleak as they did at first.  What seems to be a dreary fog of bad luck may simply be the wrappings of a “gift”.

The next time you fall, consider the words of Thomas Wayne to young Bruce Wayne…

“Why do we fall?  So we can learn to pick ourselves up.”

Burdock Stir Fry

This was a fun (and tasty) dinner I made this week.  The best part was that my parents were visiting and had to eat it!  My dad is a farmer, and he thinks I’m crazy for intentionally growing “weeds” that he sprays to keep out of his fields.  Well, my dad the farmer ate burdock and LIKED it.  HA!  (Weeds =1, Dad = 0)

This is a burdock root.  It is really long – this is actually one root cut into four pieces for easier handling.  You can either gather your burdock wild or purchase it at an Asian market.  It has many uses as a medicinal herb, from supporting the kidneys and liver to aiding digestion.  It is full of antioxidants and minerals.

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What winter?

Winter in Florida is a strange thing.  After a lifetime of Missouri winters, complete with mud, ice, snow, freezing rain, bone-chilling cold, and winds that near pick you up off the ground, Florida winters just don’t seem…wintery.  Florida winter is a token attempt at a seasonal weather change in a land of perpetual summer.  It is a pale, tepid excuse for winter.  Not that I’m complaining…that much… Continue reading

Red Bird

I was looking through my photos today and found this picture of an old friend.  He lived on the porch of our 100-year-old house every winter until we moved to Florida.  My kids affectionately named him Red Bird.  We always looked forward to his visits, and we’ve missed him each winter since.  We don’t see cardinals here as much, but every time we do the kids get excited that Red Bird came to see us…