“Just love him”….well Said Albert… Well Said.
Today is a bit of a tough day at the Lyon’s Den…. We got to spend Valentine’s Day in the Great state of Idaho. And since the big V DAY represents L.O.V.E… I can’t think of of a more fitting place to be.. with your family.. the people your love to the moon and back. So in honor of the Day of LOVE (although it was last week… better late than never) it’s pretty fitting that today’s little post is about the Big L word itself… one of the most valuable LIFE lessons that I LEARNED was about “said” topic… ahhh…. now let’s get down to business so we can all get back to LOVING our peeps and start enjoying our day.
First things first…. it is very important that you understand my previous neighbor Albert. Albert was 93 years and got around great! He didn’t skip a beat and his inspector gadget skills were superb! And he had unlimited time to devote to his “causes.” I quickly learned that it was in my best interest to limit my interaction with him so I I professionally learned how to avoid my new friend. Now clearly I did not ALWAYS avoid him… just 79.425% of the time. And in my defense it was very kind of me to ever answer the door EVER because I was always in trouble with him and he was constantly mad, irritated, complaining or commanding us to do things to our home. So to save time I have carefully compiled the top 9 most troubling things my lovely neighbor did on a weekly basis: (Please note that “said” events were not a one time occurrence but on a biweekly basis”ish”).
We will now start referring to Albert as Big A because it sounds so much friendlier and I feel bad typing his name.
- Big A would compile a list of flowers and shrubs he wanted us to plant… yes… in our yard with our money. He was even kind to tell us where to purchase them so they would be the same size and color as his….. he liked the yards to “flow.”
- Big A put a cement curb (barrier) aka: THE WALL between the FRONT YARDS. Please note this was installed before we moved into the home. He hated the last neighbors and wanted them to have a blockade so they knew when he was trespassing. Our subdivision was very nice so it stuck out like a sore thumb.
- Big A commanded us to not let our Ninja Cat Charlie outside because she upset his dog… we never did listen to that command. After all she was an OUTSIDE CAT!
- Big A supplied us with a water schedule for our grass. And instructed us to never water over 20 min at a time. (We watered at night so he wouldn’t know).
- Big A didn’t talk to me… he would knock on the door during the day (knowing Ty was at work) and summons him to come and talk to him when he arrived home in the evening. I would probe for the latest “violation” to save Ty but he offered no clue.
- Big A granted us access to his property to rake our leaves (the funny thing was we were going to rake his also but STUCK TO ORDERS AND RAKED THE RED LEAVES BUT LEFT THE YELLOW ONES).
- Big A would knock on our front door and ask OUR guest’s to move their cars off the VERY PUBLIC road and park in our driveway…. not kidding.
- Big A would instruct Carter to use his kickstand and not leave his bike lying on the grass in OUR yard.
- He would collect OUR mail if we didn’t retrieve it out of OUR mailbox soon enough. This also included but was not limited to moving our garbage can back to our house. (Please note that we were not on vacation when he did this).
side bar: I know what your thinking… really? But yes… REALLY! We always attract THE ONE neighbor who really cares what his neighbors are up to. But whatever… we just play the keep your yard green, flower bed weeded and heads down game. I believe in peace, karma and avoiding those who call the HOA to complain. These people are not your friends! They have too much time on their hands and you do not want to get to know them on a first name basis. But we are very neighborly and wave on a daily basis.
Now I am not going to pretend that good old Arnold didn’t drive us a whole lot of crazy but the fellow grew on us. He taught me one of the most valuable lessons I have ever learned in my life.
I remember it like it was yesterday. The day was any old weekday… Ty was at work and it was me and my little man at home. I wanted to mow the yard and surprise Ty so he didn’t have to do it when he got home from a long day of work. I tried to talk my little C into coming outside with me. But he was not cooperative and insisted on staying in nice air conditioned house. I VERY clearly instructed him (he was four years old at the time and very capable to take my commands) that I would be mowing the FRONT AND BACK yard. I told him if he didn’t see me in the back to mosey on around to the front and he would find me. I assured him I would never leave the yard. I was certain my instructions didn’t matter because I couldn’t prey the little fellow away from SCOOBY DOO for ANYTHING!
I mowed… checked on on him and repeated this routine every time I had to dump the grass. Everything was going as planned until the little fellow did your standard escape from the compound and run to BIG A’s house and tell him that I left him home alone. I was in route to go back to my planned “check on your kid and go back to mowing bit” when I heard a furious howl from Big A’s house. What… what could this be… not my….certainly not my son howling child … and howling to Big A? This couldn’t be. I had to immediately investigate as I couldn’t believe what my ears were telling me. Little C had got right down to business and had already to Big A that I had left him home alone. What a commotion this had caused! Big A, his lovely wife B and their trusty Dog Mogley were all perched in his porch and were on high alert.
They were distraught and my Little C’s not so little howls didn’t help the cause. I stormed over there to confirm that I indeed had certainly not left my 4 year old son alone and that I was indeed a very good, responsible parent and provide clear and concise instruction that I would be mowing and WOULD NEVER LEAVE THE YARD! I was in the zone… I was focused on proclaiming the facts. “Carter, Mommy told you that she was mowing and I would not be going anywhere but in the yard. I told you to look in the front and back yard. You know Mommy would NEVER NEVER leave you not in a million years. I told you exactly where I was going to be and I was there.” It was then that Albert whispered 3 small words that would forever change my life… such insight that only a very wise and loving soul who had lived a long full life could offer. Big A looked at me… not giving any regard or validation to my desperate attempt to prove that I was indeed a “good Mom.” Big A gently looked into my eyes and softly but with conviction and clarity said said “Just love him.”
Just love him…. I have often thought back to that priceless advice. Albert could have said anything in that moment but I will forever be grateful that he pulled those three powerful words from his lifetime of experience and knowledge and forever changed my world.
The most important things in life don’t make the “TO DO LIST.” They are the little nothing things that one day won’t be “things” at all and you will miss them so much it hurts. It feels like yesterday that my little C dragging a book for me to read to him because he couldn’t read. Now the thought of him snuggling me and anxiously turning the pages is obsolete… he loves to read and gets lost in his own colorful imagination. The days of my little man dragging a book across the floor and softly laying it in my lap are gone… forever. But that’s ok… there are a lot other pretty magical things taking place in the den. We regularly host sword fights, wars, battle stations, host board game tournaments and religiously hold our daily “snuggle time.” I just want to make sure to recognize them as moments instead of “in a few minutes I will… or after I get finished with”….
So that’s all I got people. Life is precious, flies by and doesn’t wait for us to catch up. So my advice to you today… in the words of Big A… just love them. Kids, friends, family, spouses screw up…. just love them.
The Take Away: Everyone we know has a little bit of love to show. Every living things has a little bit of joy to bring… it’s just up to us to find it and sometimes it take a lot of looking… digging… perseverance… forgiving… hard work… and a lot of never giving up. But once you find it… it’s like treasure. It’s priceless and it really really shines! Life is a lot more colorful when you use all the crayons in the box. So start coloring people! Seize the day! Love. Love.
FULL DISCLAIMER: There were many more than 9 items of concern… but in a desperate attempt to save your eyes from tiring at my ever so endless ranting I limited it to nine. And nine sounds like I really thought about it… or I would have done 10 or 20… no one ever does nine… right? Here’s the REAL TRUTH… the behind the scenes type of raw honesty if you will. Carter’s bike didn’t even come with a kick stand. I used to mow Big A’s front yard when I knew he wasn’t home so his wife wouldn’t have to. But I was so afraid of him getting mad about it that I would put the mower on the highest setting in hopes he would just think his grass grew slow. He used 10% his garbage can so sometime in the early morning hours I would drop a box or two in his. I would have never moved my car off the road but my sister Kate had such a big heart she always did. Arnold petitioned for 2 years to get a speed bump installed in front of his house…. never happened. Here is the kicker… the day we moved out Arnold told us he was going to surprise us with the cement barrier being removed. He said he had been thinking about it for a long time and finally decided it was time!!!! Well said Arnold… well said. It may have just been an ugly cement (in violation of ALL HOA regulations, barrier that was totally odd and looked so so stupid) but to the Lyon’s Den it was a personal victory… it said we won over a 92 year old man’s heart… and he stole a piece of ours along the way. He even gave Tyler one for his favorite Italian imported work shirts as a parting gift. It’s actually pretty cool and he wears it sometime, When I see it… I just smile. Good onl A… he’s a keeper. We all cried when we said goodbye… well everyone but “the cat.”
Please note that pictures of “said” CAT do not reflect the current size of Charlie as of date. But she still is crazy small. We just don’t ever take pictures of her because she never does anything exciting and once cats aren’t kittens they aren’t as cute. She is somewhat of an attack cat and she prefers to live in the wild and off of the land. I can’t say this hurts my feelings… she does well for herself and I do not do do pet hair or and type of pet residue and or odor so it works out fine. However when we call her name she comes 100% of the time. It’s crazy! It doesn’t matter where she is… near or far… high or low…. she comes! When she does return home she knocks on the door until we open it. I am certain that sometimes she is there 2 or 3 hours because she is a tiny cate and we can’t hear her. We usually get tipped off when the motion light never turns off . Our security system sends a picture to our email every time someone knocks… it is our cat about 89.43% of the time. But don’t feel too bad for her… she is 1/2 ninja and seriously attacks with no warning. It has allowed us to brush up on our ninja skills because we constantly have to know her location (common hiding places are behind the curtains, under the bed and under the covers). She likes the element of surprise. NEVER A DULL MOMENT IN THE DEN. If you don’t believe me… spend 27 seconds here and see it for yourself. XOXOX
I probably have 200 more of these shots! SHE spends 1/4 of her life knocking! 🙂