Thursday, February 18, 2010

When Bad Things don't happen to Ordinary People

The afternoon ended on a frustrating note. Irritating enough that, despite the calm sunny weather and other steady workaday progress, I left at a quarter til six feeling grumpy and disquieted. When that feeling takes over, its all downhill on the attitude front. Good intentions for writing, reading dissolve into keypad punching and reloading as the internet, or the computer, or the Scrabble game, just won't load. No personal notes, nothing in the mailbox but a newspaper, a load of wash already in the dryer that one forgot about, the trash can in the middle of the street, the sidewalk lights that are get the picture. Nothing big which means one doesn't even have the luxury of being annoyed with good reason.

At times like this the human reaction is to sigh,' How I wish something good would happen.' Something cosmic, unexpected, out of the ordinary. A letter, card, or package from the UPS man might suffice, but in general we humans set our sights pretty high when it comes to something good. Our ordinary life is often deemed insufficiently positive or exciting. Some outside influence or force; we need a Sign.

Well, I stopped to buy a cheap greenhouse radio and decided to pick up a few new pens to replenish the coffee cup pencil holders in the office. New office supplies make me happy at a small price and music for the big greenhouse only set me back twenty bucks as well.

The Sign I thought I needed was on the refrigerator as I came in the back door. Its an article I've torn from a magazine with a cartoon piano falling from a third story window, narrowly missing the man walking beneath. The title is 'The Banality of Good', but I don't think that expresses the real meaning of the piece. What the author really wants to impress upon us is the improbability of good occurring at any time or place in this world when the balance is so tilted the other way. Instead of constantly wishing and whining for good to attend us, we should actually thank our Lord each and every time disaster does not befall.

I turned on the news in time to see the burning remains of a building in Texas brought about by some suicidal pilot. A commercial flight was grounded in Utah because of a bomb threat. And I thought about Blake flying to a meeting in Louisiana and Kenzie flying to see her sister in St. Louis and realized something bad did not happen. In my mathematics, that means something good did. No Pollyanna here, just a willingness, no, an imperative, to count my blessings. To attend to the details and enumerate them 'one by one'. To not only 'not sweat the small stuff', but to be thankful for its very existence.

So, I'll have a glass of chocolate milk before bedtime. That's a good thing, right? Tomorrow comes another snow (yuck) but I can make hanging baskets in the big house with music (yay). Its Kenzie's birthday, and we're lucky to have her loving jolly spirit in our family (yay). We've got a family outing to watch the Tigers Saturday (yay, if they win!). With a good day tomorrow, we'll have everything planted this week and keep to our schedule (yay). Nothing big here but the realization that home is good, work is good, grandkids are really, really good. Grandkids who had to be hospitalized early this week and are now helping me plant hanging baskets are a reminder, because we always need reminding, that sometimes the piano misses.

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