"Several times my daughter had telephoned to say, "Mother, you must come to see the daffodils before they are over.'' I wanted to go, but it was a two-hour drive from Laguna to Lake Arrowhead. "I will come next Tuesday", I promised a little reluctantly on her third call. Next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy. Still, I had promised, and reluctantly I drove there. When I finally walked into Carolyn's house, I was welcomed by the joyful sounds of happy children. I delightedly hugged and greeted my grandchildren. "Forget the daffodils, Carolyn! The road is invisible in these clouds and fog, and there is nothing in the world except you and these children that I want to see badly enough to drive another inch!" My daughter smiled calmly and said, " We drive in this all the time, Mother." Well, you won't get me back on the road until it clears, and then I'm heading for home!" I assured her. "But first we're going to see the daffodils. It's just a few blocks," Carolyn said. "I'll drive. I'm used to this." "Carolyn," I said sternly, "Please turn around." "It's all right, Mother, I promise. You will never forgive yourself if you miss this experience." After about twenty minutes, we turned onto a small gravel road and I saw a small church. On the far side of the church, I saw a hand lettered sign with an arrow that read, "Daffodil Garden." We got out of the car, each took a child's hand, and I followed Carolyn down the path. Then, as we turned a corner, I looked up and gasped. Before me lay the most glorious sight. It looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured it over the mountain peak and its surrounding slopes. The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns, great ribbons and swaths of deep orange, creamy white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, saffron and butter yellow Each different-colored variety was planted in large groups so that it swirled and flowed like its own river with its own unique hue. There were five acres of flowers. "Who did this?" I asked Carolyn "Just one woman," Carolyn answered. "She lives on the property. That's her home." Carolyn pointed to a well-kept A-frame house, small and modestly sitting in the midst of all that glory. We walked up to the house. On the patio, we saw a poster. "Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking", was the headline. The first answer was a simple one. "50,000 bulbs," it read. The second answer was, "One at a time, by one woman. Two hands, two feet, and one brain." The third answer was, "Began in 1958." For me, that moment was a life-changing experience. I thought of this woman whom I had never met, who, more than forty years before, had begun, one bulb at a time, to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountaintop. Planting one bulb at a time, year after year, this unknown woman had forever changed the world in which she lived. One day at a time, she had created something of extraordinary magnificence, beauty, and inspiration. The principle her daffodil garden taught is one of the greatest principles of celebration. That is, learning to move toward our goals and desires one step at a time, often just one baby-step at a time and learning to love the doing, learning to use the accumulation of time. When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we too will find we can accomplish magnificent things We can change the world . "It makes me sad in a way," I admitted to Carolyn. " What might I have accomplished if I had thought of a wonderful goal thirty five or forty years ago and had worked away at it 'one bulb at a time' through all those years? "Just think what I might have been able to achieve!" My daughter summed up the message of the day in her usual direct way. "Start today," she said."
I love this story, I first heard it in a talk years ago.
Family 16. "We believe that a two-parent family, where a husband and wife live in harmony in one home, provides the ideal environment for raising children and is the best model for family life."
This is taken from the County Republican Party draft version of the platform. I was a delegate today at the convention. I was shocked at the grief this little paragraph caused in the platform. It really bothered people about the "two-parent family". More than bothered... they were ranting and raving about single parents and what wonderful parents they are. They could not grasp that the two-parent family is the "ideal environment". I am sad to report that they changed the paragraph...it totally lost its context when they changed around the wording and added one-parent families along with two-parent families. The sad reality of the world is hard to take some times. I was happy to drive home and come to my little corner of the world where I feel that a "two-parent family is the ideal environment"!
Saturday night we went out for a nice dinner with some friends. We were driving home and this red pick up truck almost turned into us as he was leaving a bar. He proceeded to drive without his lights on and seemed to be all over the road. Then he went up on the median for a while...weird. We decided to do our civic duty and call 911 to report him. We followed him and watched him try to enter the 215 on the off ramp. He noticed his error and did a U turn and then another U turn and he made it onto the correct "on" ramp. We decided to follow him, this was more excitment than we had seen in a long time. Mike was still talking to 911 at this point. Then this guy realizes we are following him and tries to lose us. Luckily the family van can keep up. 80 is a speed we have seen before... This guy is weaving all over, sometimes down the middle, his truck even scraped the concrete barrier on the left side of the road. He will wonder where those scratches came from later. Our friends were totally involved and getting into the thrill of watching and tracking the truck. 911 relayed Mike to The Highway Patrol and they told us to turn on our flashers and stay with him. Several entrances down the road, we saw the Higway patrol car waiting on the on ramp for us to go by. They pulled over the car and told us to pull over behind and wait. Two other highway patrol vehicles then pulled over. We were sandwiched between them. The patrolmen from the car behind sprinted up. Another truck pulled over, they had also called 911. The drunk guy got out of the car and couldn't even stand up. We watched the action as they tested him, checked his breath, searched his car and handcuffed him. This was better than TV. But then I would not know about TV, we are Amish in the TV department. (I refuse to get cable and we have no reception) In the meantime we needed one witness from our car, Mike was designated, he filled out the report. The officers thanked us several times for doing the right thing to get guys like this off the road. Two hours later we headed home again, still laughing about all that had transpired.
"You gain strenth, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face...Do the thing you think you cannot do." -Eleanor Roosevelt
"We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open."
— Jawaharlal Nehru
"A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book."
— Irish Proverb
"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter."
-E. E. Cummings
"Happiness is a direction, not a place."
— Sydney J. Harris
"What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul."
— Yiddish Proverb
"Every survival kit should include a sense of humor."
— Author Unknown
"In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured."
-Gordon B. Hinckley
"The only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it."
-Marjorie Pay Hinckley
"Life is good if we live in such a way to make it so. Believing, desiring, deciding, and choosing correctly are the simple actions that define an increase in happiness and an increase in the inner assurance that transcends this life."
-Benjamín De Hoyos
"A laugh is a smile that bursts."
— Mary H. Waldrip