LAWNS & GOD
GOD: Francis, you know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is going on down there in the USA? What happened to the dandelions, violets, thistle and stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect, no maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honey bees and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of colors by now. But all I see are these green rectangles.
ST. FRANCIS: It's the tribes that settled there, Lord. The Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers "weeds" and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass.
GOD: Grass? But it's so boring. It's not colorful. It doesn't attract butterflies, birds and bees, only grubs and sod worms. It's temperamental with temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want all that grass growing there?
ST. FRANCIS: Apparently so, Lord. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.
GOD: The spring rains and warm weather probably make grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites happy.
ST. FRANCIS: Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it, sometimes twice a week.
GOD: They cut it? Do they then bale it like hay?
ST. FRANCIS: Not exactly Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.
GOD: They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?
ST. FRANCIS: No, sir-just the opposite. They pay to throw it away.
GOD: Now, let me get this straight. They fertilize grass so it will grow. And when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?
ST. FRANCIS: Yes, sir.
GOD: These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work.
ST. FRANCIS: You aren't going to believe this, Lord. When the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it.
GOD: What nonsense. At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer stoke of genius, if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the summer. In the autumn they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. Plus, as they rot, the leaves form compost to enhance the soil. It's a natural circle of life.
ST. FRANCIS: You'd better sit down, Lord. The Suburbanites have drawn a new circle. As soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away.
GOD: No. What do they do to protect the shrub and tree roots in the winter and to keep the soil moist and loose?
ST. FRANCIS: After throwing away the leaves, they go out and buy something which they call mulch. They haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves.
GOD: And where do they get this mulch?
ST. FRANCIS: They cut down trees and grind them up to make the mulch.
GOD: Enough! I don't want to think about this anymore. St. Catherine, you're in charge of the arts. What movie have you scheduled for us tonight?
ST. CATHERINE: "Dumb and Dumber," Lord. It's a real stupid movie about ---
GOD: Never mind, I think I just heard the whole story from St. Francis.
Remember this story the next time you are mowing the grass.......
Seize the moment
I have a friend who lives by a three-word philosophy: "Seize the moment."
Just possibly, she may be the wisest woman on this planet.Too many people put off something that brings them joy just because they haven't thought about it, don't have it on their schedule, didn't know it was coming or are too rigid to depart from their routine.
I got to thinking one day about all those women on the Titanic who passed up dessert at dinner that fateful night in an effort to cut back. From then on, I've tried to be a little more flexible.
How many women out there will eat at home because their husband didn't suggest going out to dinner until after something had been thawed? Does the word "refrigeration" mean nothing to you?
How often have your kids dropped in to talk and sat in silence while you watched Jeopardy! on television?
I cannot count the times I called my sister and said, "How about going to lunch in a half hour?" She would gasp and stammer, "I can't. I have clothes on the line. My hair is dirty. I wish I had known yesterday, I had a late breakfast, It looks like rain. And my personal favorite: -"It's Monday". She died a few years ago. We never did have lunch together.
Because Americans cram so much into their lives, we tend to schedule our headaches. We live on a sparse diet of promises we make to ourselves when all the conditions are perfect:
We'll go back and visit the grandparents when we get Stevie toilet-trained.
We'll entertain-when we replace the living room carpet.
We'll go on a second honeymoon when we get two more kids out of college.
Life has a way of accelerating as we get older. The days get shorter, and the list of promises to ourselves gets longer. One morning, we awaken, and all we have to show for our lives is a litany of "I'm going to," "I plan on" and "Someday, when things are settled down a bit."
When anyone calls my 'seize the moment' friend, she is open to adventure and available for trips. She keeps an open mind on new ideas. Her enthusiasm for life is contagious. You talk with her for five minutes, and you're ready to trade your bad feet for a pair of Rollerblades and skip an elevator for a bungee cord.
My lips have not touched ice cream in 10 years. I love ice cream. It's just that I might as well apply it directly to my hips with a spatula and eliminate the digestive process. The other day, I stopped the car and bought a triple decker. If my car had hit an iceberg on the way home, I would have died happy.
Now...go on and have a nice day. Do something you WANT to not Something on your SHOULD DO list. If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting? Make sure you read this to the end; you will understand.
Have you ever watched kids playing on a merry go round?
Or listened to the rain lapping on the ground?
Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight.
Or gazed at the sun into the fading night? You better slow down Don't dance so fast Time is short The music won't last.
Do you run through each day on the fly?
When you ask "How are you?" Do you hear the reply?
When the day is done, Do you lie in your bed With the next hundred chores Running through your head?
You'd better slow down Don't dance so fast Time is short The music won't last.
Ever told your child, We'll do it tomorrow And in your haste, not see his sorrow?
Ever lost touch, Let a good friendship die To call and say Hi"?
You'd better slow down Don't dance so fast Time is short The music won't last.
When you run so fast to get somewhere You miss half the fun of getting there.
When you worry and hurry through your day, It is like an unopened gift....Thrown away... Life is not a race. Do take it slower. Hear the music.
The story goes that some time ago a man punished his 5-year-old daughter for wasting a roll of expensive gold wrapping paper. Money was tight and he became even more upset when the child pasted the gold paper so as to decorate a box to put under the Christmas tree.
Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift box to her father the next morning and said, "This is for you, Daddy." The father was embarrassed by his earlier overreaction, but his anger flared again when he found the box was empty. He spoke to her in a harsh manner, "Don't you know, young lady, when you give someone a present there's supposed to be something inside the package?" The little girl looked up at him with tears in her eyes and said, "Oh, Daddy, it's not empty. I blew kisses into it until it was full." The father was crushed. He fell on his knees and put his arms around his little girl, and he begged her to forgive him for his unnecessary anger.
An accident took the life of the child only a short time later and it is told that the father kept that gold box by his bed for all the years of his life. And whenever he was discouraged or faced difficult problems he would open the box and take out an imaginary kiss and remember the love of the child who had put it there.
In a very real sense, each of us as human beings have been given a golden box filled with unconditional love and kisses from our children, family, friends and God. There is no more precious possession anyone could hold. And the possessions that do not cost money are worth far more than all the "things" money can only buy.