Saturday, March 31, 2007

Annual Cherry Blossom Festival in DC

Today was the first day of the annual Cherry Blossom Festival here in DC. Everybody and literally their dog came downtown to see the beautiful trees!

It was also "Kite Day" sponsored by the Smithsonian. There were kites of all imaginable shapes and sizes in the air - a beautiful March day!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Quick Judgements

One of my many flaws includes making snap judgements about people based on too little information. Two cases in point.

There is an older man in our church. His name is Roger and I've never actually met him. Everyone speaks very highly of him and all that he does for Royal Rangers. For those of you not familiar with Royal Rangers, its a "club" for boys in the Assembly of God church. They work on badges, go out campouts etc. and its kind of like boy scouts, except that its all God centered. A very neat organization for boys and its quite active in our church. Roger is the head of Royal Rangers and has been for quite some time.

Now here's where the snap judgement comes in. I have seen him around several times. When he comes to church, he always wears his royal blue Royal Rangers baseball cap and his royal blue Royal Rangers zip up nylon jacket. The cap is pulled down pretty far and his ears kind of stick out. He just looks......slow. There. I've said it. That was my assessment of him. By the way he looked.

Last Sunday, we started going to a different Sunday School (which is another story). People in the class take turns teaching if they wish to and this Sunday it was Rogers turn. My goodness it was a good class. He was an excellent facilitator and had some great scripture insight. Dr. Zollman ( Yes... he's one in the same as "slow Roger") did a really good job. I couldn't believe that I had been so quick to judge him and felt so bad for doing so.

Example #2. Adm Barry Black was the speaker for our annual fundraising banquet last night. A couple of weeks ago, I was on the phone talking to his administrative assistant trying to iron out a few details. I asked if the admiral would be bringing some of his books along for signing afterwards. The assistant said he wasn't sure. He said "Here, let me have you talk to the Admiral and he can tell you for sure". !!!!!!!!! I was sweating. The ADMIRAL ?? ME??? I was checking my lipstick in the reflection of the picture of Braylon on my desk. I ran my fingers through my hair.... I was...
"Oh, yes. Good morning Admiral. My name is Sheryl and I'm with Christian Stewardship Ministries."
"Well... yes. I was wondering if you'd be bringing your books along to the banquet for signing purposes?"
"Yes...I can do that."
"Great... that sounds wonderful. We are looking forward to seeing you on the 29th."

He hung up on me. I was speechless. So....I immediately drew the conclusion that he was some sort of aloof jerk who was only "in it" for the money. We had also heard that he would show up just in the nick of time, stay for his talk and exit about 5 minutes later. We heard he was a good speaker, but that was about it.

Let me tell you - he showed up an hour and a half ahead of schedule. He shook my hand and was quite warm (not the temperature of his hand). He mingled and talked with people. His talk was absolutely terrific! He is just a spirit filled Christian and we couldn't get enough of. He stayed about an hour afterwards signing books and talking.

Once again - those snap decision-making skills that I have so finely honed are just not accurate. I need to slow down, and wait until I gather all my information before making a decision.

And by the way.... who says I'm the person at the head of the line to make judgements anyway?

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The guy upstairs

We live in on the second story of a three story apartment building. For many months, the apartment upstairs has been vacant. That is until Larry moved in several weeks ago. I was coming home from work one day and there was a pickup with lots of stuff in it and several people help carry things up the stairs. This guy came up to me and shook my hand as he introduced himself. His name was Larry.

He seemed like a nice guy. How bad could it be having somebody living above us?

I'm sure Larry is a nice guy but OMG is he loud. He stomps around from one end of the apartment to the other. He must have heavy feet. Sometimes he "runs". He is awake all the time. Literally. Sometimes he wakes me up at 2:30 in the morning with his walking around. I always hear him up there. I have no idea when he works as he comes and goes all hours.

He vacuums daily - good for him. Its an annoying sound. He also plays his stereo on volume 10 when he vacuums. Good for him again.

Its been warm outside so we keep our sliding door onto our deck open to let in the breeze. Larry likes it out on his deck. He smokes out there. He talks on his cell phone out there. A lot. His deck is right above ours.

When I see Larry in the parking lot, I can hardly look at him for fear I'll yell.

Last Sunday, our sermon was about making sure that we invite someone to Easter services who might not otherwise hear about God. We are to invite that someone in our lives who we come in contact with that might now know God.

I'm afraid that might be Larry.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Oh to fly.....

I found this picture.... and I just love it. I think of it being me.... and I know when my girls read this, they will just die laughing! But I like it....and I'll tell you why. Ever since I was a little girl, I've had dreams of flying. I am just walking along and I reach down and pick my feet up off of the ground... and just coast along. I don't get very high in the air and I don't flap my wings or anything. I don't put my arms out in front of me like Superman does. I just hold on to my feet and cruise. I still have that dream as an adult and when I saw this picture of the girl with a cape....standing there wanting to fly.... I liked it. I want to be her. I want to fly!

A guy and his shirt......

What is it about a guy and his shirt? I mean.... what makes them decide not to wear one outside? I'm sitting here at my computer, which faces a window. Its nice outside... upper 60's... and a guy just walked by outside with shorts and shoes on. No shirt. I don't get it. What prompted that? What was the conversation that went on in his head?
"I wish I owned a shirt....."
"I've got abs of steel and I want to show the world...."
"I'm so hot I'm dying here....."
"All my shirts are dirty and I'm only going to my car and back...."

Women NEVER have this conversation. I mean, NEVER. True, there are other issues. But I'm guessing if there weren't other issues, we still wouldn't have that conversation.

Friday, March 16, 2007

My Father's Siblings

There is just something about my father's family that makes me feel warm. They love me.... and I know it. Its just like that..... no question. I know that they think about me, even when I don't see them for a couple of years. I communicate with my cousins - and that has spilled down from the brothers and sisters being so close.
I am always so excited for our Estes Park Reunion - and so are my kids! Its not just because its in the mountains - though that in and of itself would be enough! Its because I just love those people! Its like we had never been apart! There are hugs all around. Not just hugs... but genuine, warm "I'm so glad to see you" hugs. We just sit around and drink coffee, look at pictures, share laughter and catch up on memories.
This last reunion was so much fun. All four of my children came with me... as did Braylon John (who, I might add, did very well on that long drive). It was so good to have them along and I know everyone was glad to see them "all grown up". This was the first time for Jason to see everyone... quite daunting I"m sure... but it was just great for everyone to meet him. We took pictures and the thing is.... who knows what next time will bring. My uncle Bill was not able to be there this time as he was not doing well... and he has just passed away a couple of weeks ago. We've lost my dad, Aunt Doris, Aunt Evie, Aunt Fran and now Uncle Bill.
We've also lost my brother Gary, my cousin Don's son Donnie, my cousin Laurie and my cousin Jim's daughter Christi.
Each reunion is precious. We don't know from year to year who we'll see. That family is very special to me.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

......I look at my kids and I believe

Things change.....over time lots of things change. My hair isn't the same color. Even if I didn't dye it, it would be a different color. My knees... well, they just aren't the same anymore. They don't bend like they used to and they sure don't feel like they used to. Another thing has changed - the love I have for my children. I loved them so when they were babies.... I loved them so when they were toddlers. Middle school was difficult for the girls... but I loved them dearly them as well.... and there were times that were so hard for Josh... but I loved him then as well. Now, my children are young adults and my love for them has not only increased, but has changed as well. I can hardly describe it. I love them for being my children. I love them for the people that they are. I love them for my friends. They are my heart. They are my passion. And now, little Braylon John has been added into the mix... and he is a whole different kind of love. Wow... I am so blessed! I am blessed beyond my capacity to receive!