Thursday, December 13, 2012

My Remarkable Day

Wednesday morning, December 12, 2012, I posted on Facebook that I felt the need to do something remarkable being as the date was 12/12/12. Getting married wasn’t an option since I took care of that in 1975. And having a baby was, thankfully, impossible. Think, think, think. What could I possible do to make this day remarkable?

Within seconds after posting my comment on Facebook I found a very important piece for my camera tripod that had been missing for months. I was sure I’d looked in every possible location but it suddenly hit me that there may have been one spot I’d forgotten to check. Sure enough, there it was. Now some people may not consider this remarkable but to me it was a bit of a miracle; particularly because I was planning to go to the camera store that afternoon and order a new piece!

Well, right after my “little miracle” of finding the tripod piece I thought to myself, “Maybe instead of trying to DO something remarkable I should just take note of all the remarkable things that happen.  And thus, I present to you here, a few of the remarkable things I noticed.

Remarkable Kids and Teachers: Our little granddaughter, Lady A, goes to a Mom’s Day Out once a week. They had a little Christmas program on Wednesday and it was AWESOME! There is really nothing much more entertaining than a bunch of pre-pre-school kids singing, dancing, standing there with their hands in their mouths, smiling, and crying all at once! The kids (especially Lady A) AND the teachers were definitely remarkable!

The Roads: We had a huge snowstorm on Sunday that has left our Minnesota roads in a bit of a mess. When you start with sloppy wet snow and then the temperature drop precipitously it creates what we call “scattered slippery spots” although to be honest, in some areas they weren’t so terribly scattered. On Wednesday, with temperatures in the low 40’s there was plenty of melting going on and the Minnesota Department of Transportation was diligently working for the fourth day in a row trying to get the roads clear. Too often, we here in Minnesota, take those plow drivers for granted when in fact, they are really quite remarkable.

Parking Spots: After Lady A’s little program I had some errands to run, one of which was to the Mall of America. I had a lot to accomplish in a short period of time so I was very excited to find a parking spot right across from the entrance. This also meant I could leave my coat in the car which is always, well, remarkable.

Shopping with my iPhone: One of the things I wanted to accomplish was getting some Christmas gifts. Now, I can’t tell you where I was, or who I was shopping for, but let’s just say I got some input from someone by sending pictures of certain items to my helper via my iPhone. If you’re under the age of 40 this may not seem so unusual to you, but if you, like me, grew up before the internet was even invented then you know, this was indeed remarkable.

Unexpected Discounts: Some women are geniuses at knowing when stores are going to have a sale and getting there on that day. I am not one of those women. So, when I arrived at a certain, yet unnamed store, and found out that everything in the store was 30% off I was ecstatic. A chance to buy more! Um, I mean a chance to save money. And, on top of that, I even managed to bring along my 20% off coupon which they took off of the total after the 30% discount. Basically the fact that I happened upon a great sale was, again, remarkable!

As you can see, it was a very ordinary day made different by the choice I made to look for the remarkable. And I would be willing to bet that each of us, if we took the time, would be able to find plenty of remarkable things in every one of our days.

Try it! I think you’ll be amazed at what really is remarkable when you are looking for it. Let me know what you find.

Monday, December 10, 2012

It's NOT Bob's Tail!

It seems people have a limited tolerance for Christmas music. I would say, based on absolutely no study whatsoever, that most people don’t want to hear any Christmas carols before Thanksgiving and are pretty much done listening to them by December 26. I get this. There aren’t really more than a few hundred Christmas songs that we hear on a regular basis and by the end of the season we’re pretty much done for another year. But maybe the real reason we don’t want to hear those songs all year long are because of the memories they evoke.

For instance, every time I hear I’ll be Home for Christmas it takes me back to the first year I was away from my family for Christmas and celebrating in the foreign land of Minnesota. There were plenty of tears that year, and if I remember correctly, the following year also. Eventually, I adjusted and appreciated the joy of celebrating new traditions with our growing family.

Then there is Silent Night which can simultaneously make me laugh and cry. I’m not entirely sure when this started but for the past several years it seems that a good portion of the members in our family struggle to get through the singing of this song at the Christmas Eve service. We don’t want them to eliminate it from the service, mind you, it’s just we seem to be unable to get the words out without a flood of inexplicable  tears. So now, we all watch each other to see who will crack first; either that, or we avoid looking at each other completely in hopes that perhaps THIS will be the year we don’t fall apart.

Just the other night, however, I noticed that there is one Christmas song that brings back a memory that still annoys me – Jingle Bells. Yes, Jingle Bells. Remember in the 80’s when the game Trivial Pursuit was so popular. (If you weren’t born yet consider yourself lucky you missed this game.) You could hardly go to a party without playing that game and occasionally it was the reason for the party. In general, I love games but I never really enjoyed Trivial Pursuit; probably because I’m pretty competitive and stink at remembering what other people deem important. So, what does Jingle Bells have to do with Trivial Pursuit, you ask?

Well, one of the questions in Trivial Pursuit posed to my team during a highly competitive round (they are all highly competitive in my mind) was “What is the name of the horse in the Christmas song, Jingle Bells? Now I could sing Jingle Bells in my sleep and I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that there is not one mention of any horse’s name in that song. In case you are unaware of the lyrics I present them here: 

Dashing through the snow
In a one horse open sleigh
O'er the fields we go
Laughing all the way
Bells on bob tails ring
Making spirits bright
What fun it is to laugh and sing
A sleighing song tonight

Oh, jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh

Do you see a horse’s name? Do you want to know what the makers of Trivial Pursuit said it was? Bob. And that was the night I quit playing Trivial Pursuit. It’s not “Bob’s tail,” people, it’s “bob tails!” It’s what you do to the tail of the horse, which if I’m not mistaken means “cutting it short” although I believe it can sometimes mean tying the horses tail up to make it appear shorter. Either way, THE HORSE IS NOT NAMED BOB!

I suppose I really need to let this go, huh? I mean, it’s been 30 years. I don’t even remember if my team won or lost that night. And to be totally fair to the Trivial Pursuit team I have been known to misunderstand the words in a song or two in my life. But that’s a story for another day.