Thursday, August 21, 2008

Super lucky elephant

by John D Ramsey

The little girls are at their grandparents’ home this week. While public school has started, Lisa has decided that Claire and Gabby will begin their home-school schedule earnestly after Labor Day. In past years, she has tried to start earlier, but personal schedules do not really slow down until September. Claire has already begun studying math at www.aleks.com. The goals-oriented approach and its graphical reporting motivate Claire. She prefers ALEKS to “mean math” with Dad. Maybe I should have drawn her a progress chart. Gabby is always learning something. Lately she has been concentrating on her reading skills. While Lisa has postponed their formal school schedule, both girls are already putting in hours toward their education.

With the girls away, Lisa picked me up from work yesterday and we went to T.G.I. Friday's for dinner (I had a buy-one-get-one coupon). BOGO notwithstanding, I was impressed with the prime rib stroganoff. Lisa’s petite sirloin was tender and grilled to perfection. I am not a big Friday's fan, but I was pleasantly surprised.

After dinner, Lisa and I drove to Mardel and picked up a birthday present for a little girl (hint, hint) and a handful of Gospel of John booklets. Lisa and I surveyed home-school resources, too, but we deferred purchases. From Mardel, we drove to Costco where we debated the advantages of “Super Lucky Elephant” rice over a plain long grain. We bought neither. Lisa could not decide, and I did not really care. For me the joy is in the analysis and deliberation. We stopped at Target on the way home and picked up a few more things necessary to keep the household operating.

While we were in Target, I noticed that I had missed Daniel’s call. I called him back and visited with him until we reached our driveway at home. I told him about the tobacco growers association we have at work. We have just seven plants in various office windows – one of them is over four feet tall (1.3 m). I also talked to him about mini-cows and other potential hobbies. He chuckled. I am not certain whether he was embarrassed to know me, or whether he finds me genuinely amusing. Nevertheless, my heart was gladdened hearing him laugh.

Lisa had talked to Cara earlier in the day. A stranger who observed Cara acting generously had scolded her. Some people are so cruel that they cannot fathom why someone else would be kind – such attitudes help no one and make no one happy. Keep doing what is right, Cara. Earlier in the day, an auto mechanic commended Lisa on Claire and Gabby’s behavior. Lisa’s eyes began to water as she conveyed to me how blessed she feels when she thinks about our kids.

I stayed up too late last night, and this morning I arrived at work a little later than I would normally. My morning began with some laughter with friends before I settled into troubleshooting a problem. My workday ended with progress toward a resolution and more laughter with friends. There is a lot of laughter in our office. Come to think of it, there is a lot of laughter in our home.

Tonight, the little girls are still at their grandparents’ home. Lisa and I are both working. As I reflect upon my week, I remember what a wonderful wife and children I have. Yesterday, I got yet another email from a recruiter promising to rescue me from the daily grind. It forced me once again to admit that I like my job; I like the company for which I work, and I like the people with whom I spend Monday through Friday.

I do not think that I am lucky. Rather, I know that I am tremendously blessed. I thank God for his many blessings upon me and upon my family.

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