How I Met Mr. Electricity

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Attitude, Parenting, Personal Growth, Quotes | Posted on 23-09-2016

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It was one of those mornings. But isn’t every rushed-breakfast-making lunches-ooops overslept-where are my shoes-morning like that?

How it began was my daughter woke up late. She got in the shower late, forcing my husband to shower late. She uses our shower because the kids’ shower is, well, it’s gross. Ours is less gross.

I drove my daughter and son to school since it was 7:46 a.m. and my husband wasn’t downstairs yet. He usually drops them off en route to work.

We took my teenager’s car because late start for high school and plus, my husband’s car was blocking mine. I noticed a full tank of gas in my son’s car and thought, wow, he is so responsible.

Pulling up to the drop-off, my youngest son noticed he left his clarinet at home. Band today. When he practices, it sounds like a goose in the kitchen. Better a goose than a rat in the kitchen. UB40 reference.

I offered (begrudgingly) to drive back home to drop the clarinet off in the office.

Begrudgingly, because. There goes my morning run.

Back at the middle school office, I filled out paperwork for my daughter to sign up for basketball. I looked up and saw this quote on the wall:

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

Just then, my son walked into the office gave me a huge hug Thank you so much for dropping off my clarinet! Good timing! The trip was worth it.

On my way home, I stopped at the bank to deposit some checks. Except. No debit card. I searched throughout my wallet and purse. That’s when I met Mr. Electricity. In the bank.

Who goes in the bank these days when there’s an ATM machine?

Mr. Electricity called out to me, from the teller next to mine: “Hello there! You can chew gum and bank at the same time! How is your day going?!” (I must have been chomping my gum extra big. Maybe it was the stress of losing my card?) His enthusiasm and good spirit were electric.

Even his mustache smiled.

Did I know him? I wasn’t sure but I played along. It’s great to see you! How are you?!

The teller asked him what his plans were. I’m washing my car today! Ha! Good one. It’s raining. We are all getting our cars washed today.

In the parking lot: Enjoy your day! Today is my day off. I worked four 10s. I’m a traveling electrician.

Ah. That explains his electric personality. 🙂

This stranger made me smile. All the way home. And hours later.

I retraced yesterday in my head…where did I leave my debit card? I called Pier 1. I had bought a glass acorn. No card, but the lovely acorn is on the kitchen windowsill looking oh-so-acorny-and-fallish.

Maybe Burger King? My youngest and I had stopped for a chocolate shake and Cheetos Chicken Fries. Don’t ask. But buy your kids some. They love them. No card. Then I had a hunch. I texted my oldest son. Sure enough, he had borrowed my debit card. No wonder his gas tank was full. 🙂

What had started as a morning gone astray, this chain of events–much like If You Give A Mouse A Cookie–that led to a chain of wonderful. If my daughter didn’t wake up late… If the clarinet hadn’t been forgotten… If I hadn’t read that quote on the wall… If my son didn’t borrow my debit card, forcing me to go into the bank… I would not have met Mr. Electricity, who was the change.

Sometimes we need a reminder. A nudge. A force. A change. To keep that electricity traveling.

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A Single Candle

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Art | Posted on 19-01-2016

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I volunteer at the elementary school. Not a lot, just a little. Enough to make a little impact.

At first I was like: OK, I can help (sigh, eye roll, something else to add to my schedule). Then, I was like: I love this! I help teach or co-teach a monthly art project to 2nd graders, 4th graders, and 5th graders.

Making mosaics out of tiles. Painting masks. Creating a Van Gogh masterpiece out of individual pieces. It’s about teaching the children a thing or two about art history and art techniques. It’s about encouraging the children that everyone is an artist. It’s about creating something that you can be proud of. These interactions have become one of my monthly highlights (instead of being something on my to do list).

The recent project was to create a rendition of a Van Gogh masterpiece in pastels. Each child was to create one little piece of the whole. One child had part of the vase. One child had part of a flower. Separately, the pieces lacked meaning.

At the end of class, we assembled the Sunflowers pieces–much like a puzzle–into a connected masterpiece.

The children stood back in awe. I made that? No. WE made that. Each child contributed. They smiled.

I smiled.

“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”

— Buddha

Check out what the fifth graders did! Each student created a block to add to the class masterpiece.#vangogh #art

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Running on Empty

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Attitude, Relationships | Posted on 12-09-2014

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I’m a believer of glass-half-full thinking. You know, trying to stay positive and framing things in the best light. Because life is full of awesomeness!

I am exhausted. Instead: Wow, I got so much done today!

Ugh, I gained two pounds this weekend. Instead: Dang, those nachos and pie were tasty!

But sometimes, my life gets a little too full for me to handle and I get overwhelmed and overextended. Back-to-school, work deadlines, activities. As I was driving to pick up my son from football practice, I noticed the gas tank was on empty. Yikes! Literally and figuratively, I was running on empty.

You should have filled up earlier. Yeah, duh.

When my husband came home, he didn’t judge. He offered to take my car to fill it up for me. Because he’s nice like that and he knew that I needed help.

Sometimes my life is so full that it runneth over my glass. And sometimes my glass and gas tank get empty. That’s when I know that I need to reach out for help to fill things back up.

Watermelon-peach smoothies? Yes please!

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Running Late Has Perks

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Happiness, Kindness | Posted on 15-05-2014

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I was running late the other morning. So of course the gas tank was nearly empty. Because gas tanks around here seem to know when I am running late and barely have time to stop to fill them up.

But I did. (Because once I didn’t stop. And I ran out of gas on my way to pick my Grandmother up at the airport. And that sucked because she had to wait for hours while I hoofed it to the nearest gas station and….OK, that’s a story for later.)

So, I stopped at the gas station to fill up and realized I had no water bottles. Well, heading to play soccer that morning, I kinda had to have water. Because otherwise: dehydration. Funny, because in our refrigerator at home there are like nine bottles all freshly filled and cooling. For the kids. No one called after me on my way out the door, “Did you remember your water bottle?!” Because. Otis. And he doesn’t talk much.

So, while the tank was filling, I ran into the convenience store to buy water. Good thing there are no water bottle shortages. Or I’d be parched.

The guy who worked there called out, “Hi Sunshine!”

I did one of those–scanning-the-store-who-me-looks. Because, I like had no make-up on, my hair was in two buns, and I was dressed in my soccer clothes. So, yeah, totally hot.

Oh! He meant ME!

When I went to pay, he asked “How’s your morning going, Sunshine?!” There he goes with the Sunshine again.

So of course I answered, “My morning is going a lot better now, thanks to you!”

Golly, it’s the little things. And it’s kindness. Even between strangers. I am reminded of this every day. And you know what? I felt glowy all over and had the most amazing, sunshiny day, as a result.

A stranger called me "Sunshine" today. Totally made my day!

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It’s All Good

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Advice, Attitude | Posted on 10-09-2012

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I have a friend who is always saying “it’s all good.”

But is IT all good?

She has a positive view of life. She seems to shrug off the bad. Or deals with it without dwelling on it.

Her attitude is contagious and inspiring.

Her husband was a soldier in Iraq. He came home, fortunately. Yet, an errant mortar had exploded when he was on duty, damaging his eye and breaking his jaw. He now has a glass eye that he can’t see out of. Yet despite all that has happened to him, he once said, “All things considered, I’d say I’m pretty lucky to be here.”

Instead of dwelling on the eye he can’t see out of, he focuses on the other eye. And the fact that he is ALIVE.

I am inspired.

He is a hero. She is too. Both, for their incredibly positive attitudes.

Tomorrow is National Day of Service and Remembrance, marking the anniversary of September 11. I encourage you to do something positive. Do something good.