Friday, December 14, 2007


I am very grateful this morning. On Wednesday morning my daughter in law was driving to work when her car was clipped by a semi truck. It caused her to go into a spin and end up in a ditch. Some of the car's air bags went off. Stacy is fine but we are not sure the car is going to survive. Fortunately, Chloe was not with her. The trucker didn't realize that he hit Stacy's car. He did stop, however, because he thought that one of his tires had blown out. The unexpected can happen anytime. Your life can change in an instant. Cars can be replaced but people cannot. I am very grateful that Stacy is fine, my son still has a wife, and Chloe still has a mother. I believe that I already live with a grateful heart and that I don't need events like this to remind me of how good and precious life is. It does, however, remind me and I hope this story also reminds all of you.

My son, Nick, is home for the holidays and a school break. It seems like we were just going through the process of him applying for the seminary and now the first semester is already over. He will be home for a few weeks. During this time he will also make a retreat at a Benedictine monastery. While he is home I will have to share my private bathroom and listen to the sound of video games in the middle of the night. I may wake up in the middle of the night and think the house is on fire but in reality it will be a pepperoni pizza baking at 3:00 AM. It will also increase my laundry workload. In spite of all of this, I will be happy to have him around for a few weeks as long as he stays out of my chair.

My home will be like Santa's workshop this weekend. Thanks to my wife, I believe that 99% of everything that needs to be done for Christmas has been completed except for the mammoth task of wrapping all the gifts. The wrapping paper, bows, tape, and scissors will be working overtime this weekend. The safest thing for me is to do is stay out of the way and do what I am told.

Earlier in the week I mentioned that I considered my daily thoughts "seeds that are thrown to the wind". Last night at home I received a note that said, "Michael, I thought you might like to know that some of your seeds have been carried across the ocean and they have landed in Cambridge, England". The Internet can be a wonderful tool that allows people all over the world to communicate easily. The world is a much smaller place in these times.

Someone once said "I love mankind, it's people I can't stand". I understand this sentiment. I guess on some level I have always had a goal to love everyone but, quite frankly, I haven't achieved this goal. Some people are just annoying. In my defense, I like most people and most people seem to like me. I like variety and diversity in people. If I don't like someone it has nothing to do with their gender, race, sexual preference, religious affiliation, political agenda, or musical taste. They're probably just a jerk. I saw a cartoon once of God making the world. He was dressed like a chef and was "cooking up the world". In the cartoon he has what appears to be a salt shaker that he is sprinkling into the "world" that he is cooking up. The shaker is labeled "jerks" and God is saying "Just to make it interesting....." This cartoon has made it easier for me to accept that some people's purpose in the world seems to be to irritate the rest of us. Of course, we all have our bad days. I have been called a jerk before....and worse. If our personalities are seasoning for the world around us, what kind of flavor are we adding to the mix? Are we sweet or sour? Do we bring out the best flavor of what's around us or do we completely ruin the taste?

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