Monday, May 30, 2011

"I didn't know you wore a hearing aid."

This is what I remaked to a casual friend the other day.  Her response was, "What are you talking about? I don't wear a hearing aid!"
"Well," I said, "Then what is that thing in your ear?"
It turned out she was on the phone!

How terribly early 20th Century of me!  But, I have ask, "When did it become so commonplace that a person has to be on the phone constantly?"  I can't believe how many one-handed drivers I see going by my shop! That probably accounts for the low numbers of visitors I've had lately - they're so busy trying to drive and talk on their cell phone that they miss my big sign out front!

I can remember when I was growing up that it was very seldom that a child would get a phone call at home. (Maybe I should dress that picture a little further by mentioning that phones were only in your home - not something you carried around with you!) But these days almost every child I see walking by is either talking on the phone or texting!  The first time I encountered a person with a heaadset on was while I was sitting in a mall. I thought the person who came and sat next to me had started speaking to me!

It's hard to believe that all this craze can come to any good; although it probably isn't just a passing fad.  I've heard of people who can't go anywhere without some sort of electronic brain to help them through their day.  Boy, no wonder the person at the checkout can't count out change!

I have a sign on my shop door that asks all who enter, "Please turn off your cell phone!"  Maybe I need another sign asking them to turn off all electronic gadgets!  There's nothing more distracting when trying to ring up a sale and someone's "Ring Tone" goes off!  And all this time I thought a blackberry was something to eat!

If my 130 year old house could speak I'm sure it would agree with me - "Give me the good old days!"  To my thinking - doing business face to face and talking on the phone at the same time is disrespectful to all parties.  Am I wrong?

I'm considering making some sort of souvenir badges or bracelets.  On them would be "W.W.L.T.?" (What Would Laura Think?)

I thought I felt a slight earthquake the other day, but it was probably just Laura turning over in her grave!  And no, I don't own a cell phone!  I don't think anyone does - the cell phones own them!

How did people ever get by without these wonderful inventions?  But, let's not blame the inventions - it's the way they are used that makes the situation bad.  If only people would use the brain that God gave them!  Do I hear an Amen?

"Sometimes I wonder if telephones and motor cars are altogether blessings... when my neighbor gets into her car, it is almost sure to run for twelve to fifteen miles before she can stop it, and that takes it way down the road past me."
Laura Ingalls Wilder

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Memorial Day - A Day of Remembrance

Memorial Day is the official name of the day which was once called, "Decoration Day".  It was originally a day set aside to decorate the graves of those who died in service to their country.  Since it has been recognized as a national holiday much of the meaning of the day has been lost.  It has become, "Just another holiday" and a day to "Celebrate".  If our celebrations revolve around thoughts of those who gave their lives in the cause of keeping our liberties, then it is good.  But if the meaning has been completely lost and it has become a day of "Self-indulgence" and a day to "Party", then we should be ashamed.

While I am not aware of anyone in my family dying in defense of our country, I am aware of some family members who faithfully served, laying their lives on the line.  I respect them for their efforts.  And I know of other families who did lose family members in military service.  And I am grateful to them for that service.

We, as a nation, must never forget those who served their country or those who have given their ultimate.  Laura's "Sweet Memories" includes a space on the wall to remember them.  When you come to visit the shop you'll see the honor given them.

God bless America - our ideals, our constitution, our citizens, our veterans and our fallen!

"A nation can be no greater than the sum of the greatness of its people."
Laura Ingalls Wilder

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Springing into Summer!

"It takes judgement to plant seeds at the right time, in the right place, and hard digging to make them grow, whether in the vegetable garden or in the garden of our lives."
Laura Ingalls Wilder

Just when we thought the spring rains would never stop, the sun has come out and we see why the Lord sent the rain.  If it had not been for the rain our flowers and trees would not be in full bloom right now.  In my front yard I've had some 300 Daffodils, another 300 Iris, and now Lillis are popping up as well.  In my back yard Homeysuckle is in bloom, wafting its beautiful fragrance throughout the property.


I got really ambitious this year and have planted a vegetable garden.  After having a farm for a few years and giving it up to move to Mansfield, I feel like I'm farming again (on a very smalll scale!). My raised garden bed is only 4 ft. by 8 ft., but I have put in spinach, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, broccoli, and eggplant.  I also placed a few bunching onions in containers on the rear deck.  It didn't take me long to get the bed together, once the rains abated.  Of course the harvest isn't here yet and there's lots of weeding that will have to take place before that comes.  I trust that the Lord will bless my efforts and provide all that the plants need to grow and bear their fruit.  But, in the end, the whole effort should be worth it.

So it is with the approach of the Memorial Holiday; which moves us right into our tourist season.  We now have the promise of lower gasoline prices to help out our tourist season.  What most people don't know about Mansfield is that we always have some of the lowest gas prices in the nation!  That makes for a nice surprise when people come to visit the Wilder Home & Museum.

If we look for blessings we will find them.  I have designed Laura's "Sweet Memories" to be a blessing to visitors.  I try to give people what they want and at a price that they can afford.  It's always surprising to me to find that so many of my brochures have been taken from the display at the Wilder Museum, but the people don't show up at my shop.  When I'm out as a tourist I always look for unique shops.  I think that is a big part of being a tourist.  And I like to pick up things to bring back for my friends and family.  So getting the word out about my shop to those who would visit the Wilder Museum is of utmost importance.  This is something that I feel I'm doing the best that I can.  But, I need people like you to spread the word too.  To me, it would be a shame for anyone to visit the Wilder Museum and not complete their visit by coming by my shop.  My shop could be a blessing, if it isn't overlooked.

There is order to the universe and we realize that, when we see planting season, harvest season will come as well.  Tough times may come, but there is always hope for better times.  Rain comes before sunshine.  Without rain we wouldn't have the abundant blessings that follow.  And, as someone has pointed out - if we didn't have bad times, we wouldn't appreciate the good times.  Being a pessimist is a waste of time!  Let me encourage you to see, with optimistic eyes, the beauty that is all around us.  Plant seeds of love, cultivate kindness and reap a harvest of friendship.  Come for a visit!

"Oh, for a little time to enjoy the beauties around me! Just a little while to be free of the tyranny of things that must be done!" 
Laura Ingalls Wilder

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mother's Day 2011

As Mother's Day approaches I return to memories of my own mother. She was the one who introduced me to the Little House books and Laura. Unfortunately, she did not live to see me move to Laura's hometown or open my shop.

Weather permitting, on Mother's Day, I will add a couple plants to my flower garden in her memory.

"The world seems a lonesome place when Mother has passed away and only memories of her are left"
Laura Ingalls Wilder