The Old, Rusty Bucket

THE OLD DENTED, RUSTY BUCKET
FAITH IS NOT ABOUT EVERYTHING TURNING OUT OK; IT’S ABOUT BEING OK NO MATTER HOW THINGS TURN OUT.

OUR HOUSE WAS DIRECTLY ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE CLINIC ENTRANCE OF JOHNS HOPKINS HOSPITAL IN BALTIMORE. WE LIVED DOWNSTAIRS AND RENTED THE UPSTAIRS ROOMS TO OUT-PATIENTS AT THE CLINIC.
ONE SUMMER EVENING AS I WAS FIXING SUPPER, THERE WAS A KNOCK AT THE DOOR. I OPENED IT TO SEE A TRULY AWFUL LOOKING MAN. “WHY, HE’S HARDLY TALLER THAN MY 8-YEAR-OLD,” I THOUGHT AS I STARED AT THE STOOPED, SHRIVELED BODY. BUT THE APPALLING THING WAS HIS FACE, LOPSIDED FROM SWELLING, RED AND RAW.
YET HIS VOICE WAS PLEASANT AS HE SAID, “GOOD EVENING. I’VE COME TO SEE IF YOU’VE A ROOM FOR JUST ONE NIGHT. I CAME FOR A TREATMENT THIS MORNING FROM THE EASTERN SHORE, AND THERE’S NO BUS ‘TIL MORNING.”
HE TOLD ME HE’D BEEN HUNTING FOR A ROOM SINCE NOON BUT WITH NO SUCCESS, NO ONE SEEMED TO HAVE A ROOM. “I GUESS IT’S MY FACE …. I KNOW IT LOOKS TERRIBLE, BUT MY DOCTOR SAYS WITH A FEW MORE TREATMENTS…”
FOR A MOMENT I HESITATED, BUT HIS NEXT WORDS CONVINCED ME: “I COULD SLEEP IN THIS ROCKING CHAIR ON THE PORCH. MY BUS LEAVES EARLY IN THE MORNING.”
I TOLD HIM WE WOULD FIND HIM A BED, BUT TO REST ON THE PORCH.. I WENT INSIDE AND FINISHED GETTING SUPPER. WHEN WE WERE READY, I ASKED THE OLD MAN IF HE WOULD JOIN US. “NO, THANK YOU. I HAVE PLENTY.” AND HE HELD UP A BROWN PAPER BAG.
WHEN I HAD FINISHED THE DISHES, I WENT OUT ON THE PORCH TO TALK WITH HIM A FEW MINUTES. IT DIDN’T TAKE A LONG TIME TO SEE THAT THIS OLD MAN HAD AN OVERSIZED HEART CROWDED INTO THAT TINY BODY. HE TOLD ME HE FISHED FOR A LIVING TO SUPPORT HIS DAUGHTER, HER 5 CHILDREN, AND HER HUSBAND, WHO WAS HOPELESSLY CRIPPLED FROM A BACK INJURY.
HE DIDN’T TELL IT BY WAY OF COMPLAINT; IN FACT, EVERY OTHER SENTENCE WAS PREFACE WITH A THANKS TO GOD FOR A BLESSING. HE WAS GRATEFUL THAT NO PAIN ACCOMPANIED HIS DISEASE, WHICH WAS APPARENTLY A FORM OF SKIN CANCER. HE THANKED GOD FOR GIVING HIM THE STRENGTH TO KEEP GOING…
AT BEDTIME, WE PUT A CAMP COT IN THE CHILDREN’S ROOM FOR HIM. WHEN I GOT UP IN THE MORNING, THE BED LINENS WERE NEATLY FOLDED AND THE LITTLE MAN WAS OUT ON THE PORCH.
HE REFUSED BREAKFAST, BUT JUST BEFORE HE LEFT FOR HIS BUS, HALTINGLY, AS IF ASKING A GREAT FAVOR, HE SAID, “COULD I PLEASE COME BACK AND STAY THE NEXT TIME I HAVE A TREATMENT? I WON’T PUT YOU OUT A BIT. I CAN SLEEP FINE IN A CHAIR.” HE PAUSED A MOMENT AND THEN ADDED, “YOUR CHILDREN MADE ME FEEL AT HOME. GROWNUPS ARE BOTHERED BY MY FACE, BUT CHILDREN DON’T SEEM TO MIND.”
I TOLD HIM HE WAS WELCOME TO COME AGAIN.
AND, ON HIS NEXT TRIP, HE ARRIVED A LITTLE AFTER 7 IN THE MORNING. AS A GIFT, HE BROUGHT A BIG FISH AND A QUART OF THE LARGEST OYSTERS I HAD EVER SEEN! HE SAID HE HAD SHUCKED THEM THAT MORNING BEFORE HE LEFT SO THAT THEY’D BE NICE AND FRESH. I KNEW HIS BUS LEFT AT 4:00 A.M. AND I WONDERED WHAT TIME HE HAD TO GET UP IN ORDER TO DO THIS FOR US.
 
IN THE YEARS HE CAME TO STAY OVERNIGHT WITH US, THERE WAS NEVER A TIME THAT HE DID NOT BRING US FISH OR OYSTERS OR VEGETABLES FROM HIS GARDEN. OTHER TIMES WE RECEIVED PACKAGES IN THE MAIL, ALWAYS BY SPECIAL DELIVERY; FISH AND OYSTERS PACKED IN A BOX OF FRESH YOUNG SPINACH OR KALE, EVERY LEAF CAREFULLY WASHED. KNOWING THAT HE MUST WALK 3 MILES TO MAIL THESE, AND KNOWING HOW LITTLE MONEY HE HAD MADE THE GIFTS DOUBLY PRECIOUS.
WHEN I RECEIVED THESE LITTLE REMEMBRANCES, I OFTEN THOUGHT OF A COMMENT OUR NEXT-DOOR NEIGHBOR MADE AFTER HE LEFT THAT FIRST MORNING. “DID YOU KEEP THAT AWFUL LOOKING MAN LAST NIGHT? I TURNED HIM AWAY! YOU CAN LOSE ROOMERS BY PUTTING UP SUCH PEOPLE!”
MAYBE WE DID LOSE ROOMERS ONCE OR TWICE. BUT, OH!, IF ONLY THEY COULD HAVE KNOWN HIM, PERHAPS THEIR ILLNESSES WOULD HAVE BEEN EASIER TO BEAR. I KNOW OUR FAMILY ALWAYS WILL BE GRATEFUL TO HAVE KNOWN HIM; FROM HIM WE LEARNED WHAT IT WAS TO ACCEPT THE BAD WITHOUT COMPLAINT AND THE GOOD WITH GRATITUDE TO GOD.
RECENTLY WHILE VISITING A FRIEND, WHO HAS A GREENHOUSE, AS SHE SHOWED ME HER FLOWERS, WE CAME TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL ONE OF ALL, A GOLDEN CHRYSANTHEMUM, BURSTING WITH BLOOMS. BUT TO MY GREAT SURPRISE, IT WAS GROWING IN AN OLD DENTED, RUSTY BUCKET. I THOUGHT TO MYSELF, “IF THIS WERE MY PLANT, I’D PUT IT IN THE LOVELIEST CONTAINER I HAD!”
MY FRIEND CHANGED MY MIND. “I RAN SHORT OF FLOWER POTS,” SHE EXPLAINED, “AND KNOWING HOW BEAUTIFUL THIS ONE WOULD BE, I THOUGHT IT WOULDN’T MIND STARTING OUT IN THIS OLD PAIL. IT’S JUST FOR A LITTLE WHILE, TILL I CAN PUT IT OUT IN THE GARDEN.”
SHE MUST HAVE WONDERED WHY I LAUGHED SO DELIGHTEDLY, BUT I WAS IMAGINING JUST SUCH A SCENE IN HEAVEN.
“HERE’S AN ESPECIALLY BEAUTIFUL ONE,” GOD MIGHT HAVE SAID WHEN HE CAME TO THE SOUL OF THE SWEET OLD FISHERMAN. “HE WON’T MIND STARTING IN THIS SMALL BODY.”
ALL THIS HAPPENED LONG AGO – AND NOW, IN GOD’S GARDEN, HOW TALL THIS LOVELY SOUL MUST STAND. THE LORD DOES NOT LOOK AT THE THINGS MAN LOOKS AT. MAN LOOKS AT THE OUTWARD APPEARANCE, BUT THE LORD LOOKS AT THE HEART.” (1 SAMUEL 16:7B)
FRIENDS ARE VERY SPECIAL. THEY MAKE YOU SMILE AND ENCOURAGE YOU TO SUCCEED. THEY LEND AN EAR AND THEY SHARE A WORD OF PRAISE.
 
SHOW YOUR FRIENDS HOW MUCH YOU CARE. PASS THIS ON, AND BRIGHTEN SOMEONE’S DAY. NOTHING WILL HAPPEN IF YOU DO NOT DECIDE TO PASS IT ALONG. THE ONLY THING THAT WILL HAPPEN IF YOU DO PASS IT ON IS THAT SOMEONE MIGHT SMILE (BECAUSE OF YOU).
FROM AN OLD RUSTY BUCKET – HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY!!!!

How to Attend MIT…..for FREE!

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Photo credit: See-ming Lee, Creative Commons

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is unarguably one of the world’s premier establishments of higher learning.  Leaders from all over the world have graduated from MIT, including Benjamin Netanyahu, Ford Motor Company’s Executive Chairman William Clay Ford, Jr., and the founder of E*Trade, William (Bill) Porter.  It’s also home to some of the world’s brightest young stars in the areas of energy management, poverty relief, and cognizant studies.

Being one of the world’s best universities bestows on MIT an obligation to make the world a better place, not only by providing the kind of education that shapes leaders and molds think tanks, but by making that education accessible to everyone who has access to the internet.  Sure, you’re not going to get any credit or earn a degree from MIT, but you CAN “attend” the university and have access to its course materials, syllabi, videos of lectures, exams and more.  Why?  Stated simply by Dick K. P. Yue, a professor in MIT’s School of Engineering, “The idea is simple: to publish all of our course materials online and make them widely available to everyone.”  How beautiful is that?!

I have always wanted to major in Political Science, but the years that I was able to attend college have passed me by.  I don’t have the time, nor the funds, nor the energy to do so now.  I DO have a burning desire for learning, an internet connection, and access to MIT’s course materials in Political Science.  Nirvana!!  Other disciplines offered include biological engineering, physics, and music and theater arts, something for almost everyone!

Try it, there’s always something new to learn!

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brigitte

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Himalayan pink salt

miffed67:

I have about a pound of this stuff at home, I use it when I make bath salts. It’s FANTASTIC. GET some!

Originally posted on BURNBLOG:

Himalayan pink salt is a natural rock salt which is unprocessed and unrefined and  is extracted at the foot of the Himalayas. And is considered the most valuable one of all salts . Its unique pink color is derived by the high concentration of minerals and trace elements such as iron and copper.  Properties and benefits of this salt rosaProprio have a particular origin , the pink salt has acquired some beneficial properties that differentiate it from the common salt . The normal table salt, in fact , reflects the current pollution of the seas. The Himalayan salt , however, is the purest salt because it is simply removed and washed without being subjected to any refining treatment . It is the only one that contains the right proportions of the minerals and the trace elements we need . Thanks to these features , the pink salt has some special…

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Obsession

I have recently discovered a love for Filofax binders, and planners in general.  Printing my own inserts for them, decorating, writing in many colors, stickers, and more.  It’s really FUN, but wow……I’ve come to realize that I move from one obsession to the next….seeking something….but never finding it.  Or, finding it briefly and then moving on again.

Previous loves include photography, shoes, making candles and soaps, handbags and……shoes.  I don’t love the past obsessions any less, but once I’ve moved on, I don’t usually return.  Except for the shoes, of course, ’cause c’mon…..SHOES.  I’m also a long-time lover of pens and paper….the nicer, the better.  Smooth Levenger and Rhodia paper are my favorites, and I’m currently in love with my Lamy fountain pen.  Especially since I just put a purple cartridge in it!

What is it that I’m looking for, though?  I can’t help wondering what kind of fulfillment I’m missing that I have to fill it with a string of, “currently obsessing over…” items.  It seems some deep soul-searching might be in my near future.

Meanwhile…..I’ll be at my desk….doodling in my planners.  :)

brigitte

Time Flies…

It gets away quickly when you’re not paying attention, doesn’t it?

It’s been a dismal start to the year so far, but I have HIGH hopes for the rest of it…beginning tomorrow.  Why?  Because it’s Chinese New Year, signifying the beginning of the Year of the Horse.  Guess what I am?  Yep…..a Horse.  :)

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Not everything I’ve read has agreed that Horses tend to have a good year in the Year of the Horse, but more often than not they fare better than in many non-Horse years.  Hopeful, right?

So far, I’ve managed to NOT keep ANY of my New Year’s resolutions.  My excuse is that tomorrow actually signals MY “new year,” and so I will become accountable beginning then.  Hey – that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

How about you?  New Year’s resolutions trashed or on track?  How has the first month of 2014 treated you?  What hopes do you have for the rest of the year?