Tag Archives: morning

I cried making blueberry muffins

I woke up with the song “Desperado” by the Eagles in my head this morning.

As I started my coffee, got the oven preheating, I brought up the song on my phone. Tears started falling as I placed the cupcake paper liners into the baking pans for the muffins. Some of you will understand right away my reaction; “Desperado” was a favorite song of the late Gary Monter. It was a song he sang to his boys as they were growing up.

Mr. Monter was my principal at Centura. He was great at his job, but he was also an amazing friend and person. He was 53 when he died, on a Sunday, in May of 2013.

I’m sure you have seen this video clip of Keanu Reeves.

Who loves you? 

Who in your life needs to know you love them?

How can you tell them today?

Because today is the only day you really have to express your love for those that matter the most in your life.

Today.

Right now.

I cried this morning making muffins, and it was good for my soul. The pain reminded me that tomorrow is not guaranteed… but love is… even after we are gone.

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Little Treasures

My morning routine is different this year. My wife heads to school with our two middle daughters. My oldest son usually heads to school soon after. I wait another 40 minutes to take my youngest daughter to preschool.

This week my daughter and I have been playing a game she created, “Treasure.”

We start at the front door.

Our river.

Which is really a river. We cross the river by rope, or bridge, or however she decides we can cross. Next, we find a treasure hiding in the jungle (living room).

Our treasure chest.

On the drive to preschool she retells of our adventure with joy in her voice.

But what I have discovered this week is that little treasures are everywhere. Most of them are right in front of us.

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Snow Steps

I arrived at work just before 7 o’clock. The maintenance crew is sweeping the snow from the parking lot, but the section I usually park in is untouched. It is an unblemished field of white. I feel guilty pulling into, what I hope is, my parking spot. I have no idea if I am between the yellow lines. I know I am close because I recognize the shape of the bush that I park by.

I collect my computer, coffee cup, and my Vikings Tervis cup. The air is cold. It quickly hurts my nostrils. My breath a heavy cloud in front of me. I watch as maintenance zooms around the parking lot in their little tractors, sweeping away the snow. I head to my office, snow lightly crunching under my feet as I traverse across the white stillness. My mind heavy with life and work. On an impulse I turn to take a picture of my steps for my 365 project.

Foot prints in snow.

As I put my phone back into my pocket I think about how I am the first person to walk on this snow this morning. Then how in a few minutes the maintenance guys will clear away my steps. How more cars will settler in their spots for the day, and when I walk back to my car my steps will be gone. If it warms up enough, there will only be slush left on the concrete.

But isn’t that life? Isn’t this a metaphor for every morning of our lives? Each day we are given the opportunity to make our mark on the day. Yes, life, and other people, will impact our day. Our lives are all connected, we can not or should not shy away from that fact. And yes, some days it feels like we have to find our way back to the car by jumping puddles or stomping off slush from our shoes before we go home.

But that is the point. Our lives are worth making those steps each day. Even knowing that the prints may be gone by the end of the day because we know we took them. My hands (or feet) will never be saved in concrete. I know my life is meant to walk in snow, that my prints are only seen by me. And that is OK because I made them, crooked left step and all.

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Turning 40 “Life”

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This morning was a reminder of one of the aspects of life I’ve learned.  It started as one of those mornings. Trash and recycling need to be put out on the curb. Lunches needed to be made.  Diapers to daycare.  Movies to return. My oldest son overslept.  My youngest daughter didn’t want to be put down. It was time for me to start my commute and I was nowhere close to pouring my coffee into my travel mug.

I multi-task, carrying the last of the recycling, diapers under on arm, movies clutched in a few fingers to put in my wife’s car.  Both garage doors opening is an appropriate sound track to the morning, arrrrgrarrrarrr, clunk-clunk.

It is about 6:20 in the morning, dark, and my breath can be seen as the cold tickles my forearms.  It takes three trips to get the trash and recycling to the curb. The constellation Orion is above the southern horizon.  Mars is shining bright toward the east.  Beautiful. I take a few minutes to star gaze (I don’t know why, but stargazing is special for me).

In those few minutes the stars reminded me that life is beautiful.  No matter what is going on in life, “nothing dims these stars.”  I know that life can be hard. I know even in good times there can be a grimy feeling to life. Diamonds can collect filth on them.  But the shine is still there; the diamond will sparkle (like a star) with a little cleaning.

Minutes later as I was getting into my car, my sons came out to get into the minivan.  “Did you guys see the stars?” I asked.  We go out to the drive way and we stargaze together for a minute.  For a moment life hits me, in a single moment I feel the beauty of life so true that it almost crushes my heart.  There I stood with my two sons, in front of our new home, on the driveway that we play basketball.  Life can be hard. I know this. There is pain and disappointment, tragedy that can also crush a heart.

It takes work, it takes time, but no matter how filthy a diamond becomes, it still has its shine. “Nothing dims these stars.”

“Dad, there is a new Clone Wars on tonight!” Both boys head to the minivan chatting excitedly about the show tonight. I smile. Everyone has their own set of stars.  What allows you to know that life is beautiful?

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