Friday, November 21, 2014

Thirty Days of Mr. Rogers ... Day Twenty-One

Mr. Rogers said, "It's no secret that I like to get to know people -- not just the outside stuff of their lives.  I like to try to understand the meaning of who people are and what they're saying to me."


Yesterday morning, Winnie had made herself comfortable in the corner of a chair in a sunbeam on my fleece robe.  She and I had been sitting there together.  When I got up, I squirmed out of the robe and left it behind for her.


"In the external scheme of things, shining moments are as brief as the twinkling of an eye, yet such twinklings are what eternity is made of -- moments when we human beings can say 'I love you,' 'I'm proud of you,' 'I'm grateful for you.'  That's what eternity is made of:  invisible, imperishable good stuff."


Maggie hopped onto the chair to share the sunbeam with Winnie, but Maggie changed her mind and hopped back down.


Winnie left her corner and stretched out, leaving no room in case Maggie came back.


"Listening is a very active awareness of the coming together of at least two lives.  Listening, as far as I'm concerned, is certainly a prerequisite of love.  One of the most essential ways of saying 'I love you' is being a receptive listener,"


A few minutes later, Winnie jumped from the chair to the sofa (a distance of about 8 inches).  Maggie seized the opportunity to claim the sunbeam and take a bath.


And Winnie snuggled down to take a nap in her fleece bed wrapped in her blue blanket.


Me:  True listening seems to be a dying art.  I find that many people I talk with are processing the conversation and formulating a response, instead of really listening to what is said.  I blame myself for this, too, and I think this is why there are times when I tend to forget things ... people's names especially.  (I used to be good at remembering names, but now I really suck at it.)  It's difficult to remember stuff if we are preoccupied with something else and we never really HEARD it in the first place.  I'm working on this, and I am trying to be better about giving people my undivided attention.

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During the month of November, I plan to share wisdom from Mr. Rogers with you each day (from the book "The World According to Mr. Rogers") ... Mr. Rogers's words accompanied by everyday images from life here at Hartwood Manor ... this place that I am blessed to call HOME.



Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thirty Days of Mr. Rogers ... Day Nineteen (and Twenty)

Mr. Rogers said, "Each generation, in its turn, is a link between all that has gone before and all that comes after.  That is true genetically, and it is equally true in the transmission of identity.  Our parents gave us what they were able to give, and we took what we could of it and made it part of ourselves.  If we knew our grandparents, and even great-grandparents, we will have taken from them what they could offer us, too.  All that helped to make us who we are.  We, in our turn, will offer what we can of ourselves to our children and their offspring."


Yesterday morning, this was the reading on my thermometer on the kitchen windowsill.  The outdoor sensor is in a protected spot in the back yard.  Twelve degrees is WAY colder than normal for any winter day in Hartwood, and off the charts for November, but I count my blessings that we didn't have it as bad as many other parts of the US.


Grandparents are both our past and our future.  In some ways they are what has gone before, in others they are what we will become.


Temperature at about the same time today ... twenty degrees warmer than yesterday.


Me:  I never really knew my grandparents in person.  They lived in southern California. As an Army Brat (a label that I wear with great pride), we only lived in California for two very short times when I was very young, while my father was deployed overseas.  Other than that, I only remember seeing my grandparents when they would come to visit us or we would visit them.  Most of what I know about them has been shaped by old photographs and stories told by my parents.

My daughters, on the other hand, have always lived close enough to their grandparents so they know each other very, very well.  Each daughter has real memories of spending time doing everyday things with grandparents ... things like cooking, or bike riding, or sleepovers.  Thanksgiving and Christmas were, and still are, filled with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.  This is the way that my husband grew up, and it is perfectly normal for him that our children have such a close relationship with so much extended family.

Our grandchildren live a short 18 miles away in the next county ... close enough for my husband and me to be a true part of their lives ... and, for this, I am infinitely thankful!

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During the month of November, I plan to share wisdom from Mr. Rogers with you each day (from the book "The World According to Mr. Rogers") ... Mr. Rogers's words accompanied by everyday images from life here at Hartwood Manor ... this place that I am blessed to call HOME.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Thirty Days of Mr. Rogers ... Day Eighteen

Mr. Rogers said, "Learning and loving go hand in hand.  My grandfather was one of those people who loved to live and loved to teach.  Every time I was with him, he'd show me something about the world or something about myself that I hadn't even thought of yet.  He'd help me find something wonderful in the smallest of things, and ever so carefully, he helped me understand the enormous worth of every human being.  My grandfather was not a professional teacher, but the way he treated me (the way he 'loved' me) and the things he did with me, served me as well as any teacher I've ever known."

Remember the cuttings I took at Tufton Farm last month?  (I showed them to you in THIS post.)
They have spent the last month in my basement workshop, safely tucked on shelves with fluorescent lights.


About half of the containers are starting to show roots!
Click the link below to go to my tutorial, if you want to learn how to root roses like this.



Me:  Today's Mr. Rogers quote reminds me so much of how I think of myself.  When I was in school, I wanted to be a teacher.  After high school, I spent two years in college working toward that goal.  It was then that I realized that I didn't really want to be a traditional teacher in a classroom (dealing with difficult students, administration, and parents).  I really wanted to be a stay at home mom, raising my children.

Along the way, I did get to be a teacher ... it's what moms truly ARE, you know.  We teach our children every day, from the moment they are born.  We help them learn lessons about life, love, people, play, relationships, and so on.  I got to teach other people's children, too, as a Girl Scout Leader and a volunteer reading tutor.  More recently, I give programs to groups and lead tours of my garden, teaching everyone who will listen about the history and culture of roses.  From time to time, I act as a guide for Christmas or Garden Week tours, telling stories and teaching visitors about a particular house/garden.  This blog is another example ... it's filled with all sorts of lessons!

I have no regrets about not continuing with college to become a traditional teacher.  I did it my way and I ended up as my own kind of teacher.

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During the month of November, I plan to share wisdom from Mr. Rogers with you each day (from the book "The World According to Mr. Rogers") ... Mr. Rogers's words accompanied by everyday images from life here at Hartwood Manor ... this place that I am blessed to call HOME.






Monday, November 17, 2014

Thirty Days of Mr. Rogers ... Day Seventeen

Mr. Rogers said, "Love and trust, in the space between what's said and what's heard in our life, can make all the difference in this world."

I was taking my Mustang to the mechanic's shop for some minor work the other evening, and it quit on me while I was at the gas station.


Fortunately, there is a trustworthy repair shop not too far from there, and they dispatched their roll-back right away.


"It always helps to have people we love beside us when we have to do difficult things in life."


There she goes, all strapped down and heading to the repair shop ... just not exactly the way I intended, and with another problem to repair besides the original one.


It was a great sense of relief to see her being safely unloaded at the shop.  My mechanic will take good care of her.


Me:  The incident with my Mustang is a good example of how wonderful it is to have people that you trust to help you.  When the car's starter shorted and the engine wouldn't shut off, I called my husband and he came with tools to disconnect the battery cable and shut off the engine.  The tow truck driver was quick and polite and I knew that he would take great care of my car while it was on its way to Fredericksburg to the shop.  My mechanic is one of my favorite people, and I absolutely trust him to do whatever is necessary to get my car back onto the road again.

The downside of the lesson of that evening is this:  In the ten minutes or so between when my car malfunctioned and when my husband arrived with the tools to get the engine turned off, no one at the crowded convenience store offered any sort of assistance.  I had the situation in hand, so it wasn't necessary to have outside help ... but there I was, classic Mustang with its engine racing and its hood raised, and no one came over to see if I was okay.  If I had truly needed help, I would have gone looking for it ... but it would have been nice if someone offered.

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During the month of November, I plan to share wisdom from Mr. Rogers with you each day (from the book "The World According to Mr. Rogers") ... Mr. Rogers's words accompanied by everyday images from life here at Hartwood Manor ... this place that I am blessed to call HOME.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Thirty Days of Mr. Rogers ... Day Sixteen

Mr. Rogers said, "Understanding love is one of the hardest things in the world."


Ruby and Winnie both seek out snuggly places as much as the humans do when the weather is chilly.


"Deep with us -- no matter who we are -- there lives a feeling of wanting to be lovable, of wanting to be the kind of person that others like to be with.  And the greatest thing we can do is to let people know that they are loved and capable of loving."


Cuddling on the sofa in the sunshine ... I am very thankful that they like each other.


"Love isn't a state perfect caring.  it is an active noun like 'struggle'.  To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now."

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Me:  We did anger yesterday ... today, let's think about what it truly is to LOVE someone.  Whatever love means to you, it is a wonderful thing to have that connection to express love with another human or animal.  I feel love for my children, my husband, and my furry critters beyond words to express it ... but you already knew that.

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During the month of November, I plan to share wisdom from Mr. Rogers with you each day (from the book "The World According to Mr. Rogers") ... Mr. Rogers's words accompanied by everyday images from life here at Hartwood Manor ... this place that I am blessed to call HOME.


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Thirty Days of Mr. Rogers ... Day Fifteen

Mr. Rogers said, "The values we care about the deepest, and the movements within society that support those values, command our love.  When those things that we care about so deeply become endangered, we become enraged.  And what a healthy thing that is!  Without it, we would never stand up and speak out for what we believe."


Cats and clothes baskets ... they go together like peanut butter and jelly.


The thing I remember best about successful people I've met all through the years is their obvious delight in what they're doing ... and it seems to have very little to do with worldly success.  They just love what they're doing, and they love it in front of others.


Maggie decided that this basket of clean clothes would be a good place to nap.


Me:  I don't get angry very often.  I find that frequent anger is counterproductive, and it's healthier for me to calmly work out situations that frustrate me.  When I feel anger, I tend to speak quietly and distinctly, making sure that what I say is assertive and is not misunderstood.  There have been times, though, when I completely blow my top.  When this happens, people are caught off guard and they tend to pay attention because they're not used to seeing me express anger like that ... it's effective, in a way, because I don't do it all the time.

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During the month of November, I plan to share wisdom from Mr. Rogers with you each day (from the book "The World According to Mr. Rogers") ... Mr. Rogers's words accompanied by everyday images from life here at Hartwood Manor ... this place that I am blessed to call HOME.


Friday, November 14, 2014

Thirty Days of Mr. Rogers ... Day Fourteen

Mr. Rogers said, "It's not the honors and the prizes and the fancy outsides of life that ultimately nourish our souls.  It's the knowing that we can be trusted, that we never have to fear the truth, that the bedrock of our very being is firm."

This is the extent of my fall decorating ... a pumpkin on a silver plate ... with Alice to add the exact right amount of sparkle.


Me:  I feel sorry for people who always seem to be seeking the approval of others.  It's great to be acknowledged and to know that what we do is appreciated, and it's not healthy to base our feeling of self worth on how others perceive us.  We must be proud of ourselves and our accomplishments, no matter now large or small ... any approval outside ourselves is an extra added bonus.

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During the month of November, I plan to share wisdom from Mr. Rogers with you each day (from the book "The World According to Mr. Rogers") ... Mr. Rogers's words accompanied by everyday images from life here at Hartwood Manor ... this place that I am blessed to call HOME.


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