Saturday, March 17, 2012

Charles Parker: A Respite From the Din


There is a lot wrong with our world.  I have been reading about it a lot and writing about it some.  It can be overwhelming.  But this weekend, I found a few moments of respite.  I had encounters that led me to believe that we can get through all of this mess – together.

On Friday night I attended a high school track meet with 17 schools competing.  I was tired and it was very busy.  I am not really a fan and have never competed in track and field (except one hurdle contest in college intramurals – which will not be spoken of again).  However, I had several students who were competing and I wanted to see them perform outside of the classroom. 

While I was impressed with these teenagers’ skills in running and jumping and hurdling and vaulting, I was much more taken by the overall tenor of the event.  Of course, there were winners and losers – there should be.  But this event showed that winning and losing can be accomplished without taunting and swagger and whining. 

Make no mistake – the competition was fierce.  But in between events, there was social mingling and cross-team encouraging.  Fans were courteous.  The night was pleasant – and we all need some pleasant nights.

Then Saturday morning came and I knew I had to work on my lawn mower.  The problem – I know little about fixing lawn mowers.  I got down on the ground and looked under it.  I felt the belts (they felt loose, but I didn’t know whether they were supposed to be loose).  I walked around it a couple of times.  I actually kicked the tires.  I was lost – until my neighbor wandered over.

He knows about lawn mowers.  He got down on the ground.  He helped me de-cotter pin the blade deck and pull it away from the tractor.  He fixed a belt that had come loose.  He helped me hook up jumper cables.  He helped me put the deck back.  He said if it wouldn’t hold the charge that I could borrow his mower.  The morning was pleasant – and we all need some pleasant mornings.

Saturday afternoon arrived and I went to visit my mom.  She was hospitalized with some lung issues and is now in a local rehab to build up strength and weight.  Nursing home/rehab facilities are not easy to visit – especially when one is visiting a family member.

While there, I met several staff members who were taking care of my mom (and some others who just happened by).  They all smiled, they all wished me well, and they were all attentive to her needs.  The afternoon was pleasant – and we all need some pleasant afternoons.

Add to all of this, I got to spend some quiet time with my wife, I got to feed my grand-daughter breakfast, and today (Sunday) I will hit Spring Training with two of my sons and then have some more family over for dinner.  The whole weekend was pleasant – and we all need some pleasant weekends.  Hope you can have one soon…

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