The Ponderosa, Tree Frogs and Emotional Whiplash–there’s a lot on my mind!

I was hoping I’d find a clever way to illustrate the equivalent of an emotional “double take.” I have vague memories of cartoon characters with rubbery physical features, heads whipping back and forth in exaggerated, bug-eyed fashion in an attempt to follow a bouncing object. We have been following an emotional bouncing ball this weekend, and I may have whiplash!

Saturday was full of fun as we packed into a school auditorium and watched dozens of 3-4 & 5-year old preschoolers perform in  their annual fundraiser and talent show. They were adorable–not just our Sophia, but each child! Some fell prey to stage fright and couldn’t be coaxed to sing their song or move to the beat of the music, while others were naturals and easily took to the stage. Sophia and one of her friends danced to a “freeze” dance for her first performance, followed by the well-executed choreography of the Village People’s “YMCA”. Her t-shirt read “Biker” and she was very comfortable with her moves. How wonderful for these children to look out from the stage and see moms and dads, grandparents, aunts and uncles–an admiring throng!

Sunday our emotions whipped in the opposite direction as we attended a memorial service for a good friend. Sometimes the words “good friend” don’t add up to all there is to say. But then it is also true that sometimes words are rather empty anyway. Art was my husband’s childhood friend. They’d already been friends for over twenty years when I first met him in 1971. First as neighbors, they became more like brothers over the years. Art’s death was very unexpected. He played pro-level senior tennis, was a lifelong athlete in excellent physical condition–as far as we knew. Since we weren’t aware of any medical problems, whatever occurred, it was quick and came as quite a shock to us and others.

The memorial service brought a large gathering of bewildered and somber friends together, and as is typical of these occasions, lots of talk about reconnecting and staying close, celebrating the importance of strong relationships, and about living life with intention and attention not to delay taking that trip or doing the things that you always wanted to do!

I had a brief post-birthday conversation with my stepson. He lives in Hawaii and mentioned that he’d been pondering how much he loves living on the beautiful island of Oahu, yet it prohibits him from being closer to family. I mentioned that “pondering is good” and with his inimitable quick wit he said, “Yes, it seems my head is the Ponderosa!” I appreciated the laugh. I needed it.

I’m not prone to melancholy, but I ponder. And this weekend MY head was the Ponderosa, too! Jay and I took the time to remember Art in our own way and to sit for a bit thinking about how much we value our family and friends, and how each day we have is a gift from God–not to be squandered or taken for granted. Life is usually spent somewhere between the joys and the sorrows.

While I was in this pondering mood  I picked up my weekly produce box from Abundant Harvest and after organizing this week’s fruit and vegetables I sat down to read the accompanying newsletter. Abundant Harvest’s “Uncle Vern” begins by sharing about the  jillions of tree frogs that come to life this time of year in his local creek. Penny at Life on the Cutoff called them “peepers.” I’d never heard of peepers before, but Penny was clever and kind enough to include an audio link so we could hear nature’s sweet spring symphony. Do listen!

And Vern shared:

If tree frogs were people, they’d be sitting around worrying that the rain might stop, or there’s big ol’ herons that wade in the creek and next to the shore…they eat frogs you know, and so do bass, it’s just awful. And if you croak too loud, who knows what might find you appetizing.

We are sobered at the loss of our friend, but mindful of the importance of keeping our minds on enjoying today–maybe being a bit more like the tree frogs and singing instead of getting mired down with pondering a bit too much. I was able to laugh quite a bit today–my babysitting day. Laughter does make the heart lighter.

Since the mention of the Ponderosa I haven’t been able to turn off the Bonanza theme playing in my head! I thought I’d share it with you and maybe you’ll feel a little lighter after re-visiting Ben, Adam, Hoss and Little Joe for just a moment. It’s funny what we can use to help calibrate our feelings. Laughter is a necessity! I can be sad and laugh at the same time. I hope you know how to do that, too!

Breathing lighter, Debra