Best Moments {A Less Digital Life…Day 31}

roomservicewbs

I started October thinking about hypotheticals, the ingredients of my everyday dream life and how technology fit or didn’t fit the vision. I’m ending the month thinking back on actuality, all the dreamy and dull and demanding experiences that made up my days. I took on the challenge of this series right before bailing the blog, bidding farewell to the big kids and hitting the road for a reprise on the honeymoon.

There was the throwing of laundry and pushing of buttons, a quick swish-swash and a token toss in the dryer before the heathered tee and other stray pieces of clothing, ready or not, had to join the bags in the car. Sometimes you need a view from above, to see a stretch of time as a tale from history Continue reading

A Week of Lost Things (and How You’ve Got to Keep Filling the Vase)

Welcome to those visiting from Kelli Trujillo’s blog today. I’d love to get to know you, so go ahead and take a minute to introduce yourself in the comments. To keep up with future posts, you can enter your email address on the homepage sidebar or put http://messageinamasonjar.com/feed/ in your reader.

I’m blessed to know Kelli as a real life friend in two very special circles: our writers’ group and our church community. I’m always ready to talk about cherishing family, but it’s interesting to have this particular conversation with Kelli this particular month as some stressful events have brought me to the most tender places.

stitching

It was a week of lost things: lost data, lost consciousness, lost wallet. When the computer guy called to tell me my hard drive was blank and that there was no sign of any of the family photos and videos I’d captured for the past six years, the ones I hadn’t finished backing up, I lost my breath and my voice for a bit. Continue reading

Linger Like Bright Light

I’m not much for multi-tasking. I’m no good at tweeting (or doing much of anything) in the middle of spoken conversation. When there are preparations to be made and sick little ones to care for and people to catch up with and celebrations to attend, I find myself spending all my words in person with not much left for the page or screen. Our Christmas ended just yesterday as my brother and his family flew back to the southwest and my husband started back to work. I’m just now thinking back on it…all these little memories that linger like the outline of bright light when you look away.

It’s been a season full of…marveling at the sparkle ~ snuggling ~ watching trains go by ~ sipping hot chocolate ~ strolling through town ~ finding lost sheep ~ anticipating Jesus ~ reading beneath the light of the tree ~ gathering the members of the Nativity scene and waiting along with them ~ growing a baby ~ singing “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem” ~ bowing low and looking up ~ spreading joy with beginner spelling: “grama, it is oomost Crismis.” ~ shopping for the perfect gifts ~ celebrating with a classroom full of kindergarteners ~ naughty ~ rare moments of quiet ~ togetherness ~ filling stockings (and emptying puke buckets) ~ fattening up with biscuits and homemade apple butter after two different rounds of the tummy bug ~ roughhousing ~ sweet times with faraway family come near ~ cuddling with the newest cousin ~ building a snowman his own way ~ hosting a houseful of family for a New Year’s sleepover…and even getting a few hours of sleep.

What are some of the highlights from your holiday season?

Words Between Generations {Preserve Your Story ~ Day 4}

Today I’d like to share a piece from another storyteller, my mother. She overflows with meaningful memories from her childhood and young adulthood, and whether talking or writing, she gives those memories beginning, middle and end and I see them so clearly that I almost feel I lived them myself.

I laugh staccato over some of the words below because I knew the man in his old age and he was just the same, tossing out butterscotches to all the grandkids and telling his tall tales of pranking fellow soldiers in WWII Italy. He was a recycled teenager and he wore a T-shirt that said so.

But I read slow in parts that tell me of how he chose to use his people skills. He went out of his way to bless the overlooked, the unheard. He spoke without saying a word, teaching in a second language so the deaf could hear the Word and believe.

I’m glad my mom writes. Her words connect me with my history and give color, shape and definition to my family tree. And her stories always build my faith in people and the One who made them. Enjoy a little sample below….

The Tallest Man in the World, by Barbara Cross

I think I was in the fifth or sixth grade when Dad picked me up from school one day. He was on his way to the Indiana School for the Deaf where he taught a weekly Religious Education class. Dad had been working in the deaf ministry at our church since I was 8 years old. I didn’t usually go with him to the Deaf School, but today was a special occasion. Crammed into the passenger seat of Dad’s car was Max Palmer, the tallest man in the world. Max was a Christian who liked to use his physical appearance to get others to listen to his testimony about Christ. Our church loved to have unusual people like Max come and help us attract a crowd. Sometimes it seemed like a circus – 3,000 people coming to see Jesus Freaks. My dad was not above taking the sideshow to the deaf kids.

So here I was, walking out to the curb to get in the car with Dad and Max. I had to get in the seat behind Dad because the seat behind Max was maxed out. We drove the few blocks from School 66 on 38th Street to the Deaf School on 42nd Street. We entered the building and everyone we passed gawked at Max who was about 8 feet tall. Dad smiled and began signing an explanation, “I told the kids I had a BIG surprise for them today…” We went to the room where they had their weekly meeting. It was fun to hear the shrieks of glee from the deaf kids who were about my age or younger. They were so excited to have Max there and to be able to ask him questions. I know it was as memorable for them as it is for me. In the longrun, they realized that Dad cared very much about them. He wanted them to learn about God and have fun in the process. So many of them lived away from family in order to receive an education. I was happy to share my very special dad with them. To me, he was the tallest man in the world.

{What have others from past generations recorded that blesses you now? How important do you think the written word is in documenting life’s stories (i.e. are visual arts and other forms of communication just as effective)? What place does documenting for future generations have in your writing life?}

This is Day 4 of my series 31 Days ~ Preserve Your Story, linking up with The Nester’s annual 31 Days of Change.

Don’t want to miss a thing? Sign up on the sidebar to get posts in your email box!