Tag Archives: children

It is all messy

17 Aug

Today I saw an Instagram meme from Share and Inspire that just made my day!!! It spoke of one of those UNspoken truths that everyone resists in spite of the TRUTH of it.


Life is messy. And it is wonderful, so we need to get over the desire to make everything neat and tidy. It just frustrates us. Something I learned about myself years ago surprised me. I am a closet perfectionist. It is so nice to walk into a neat room, see a tidy closet, or well-organized drawers. However, I have five children. We lived in the country and had five dogs, sometimes more, sometimes less. The same could be said for the children because they always seemed to have friends over. It was entirely normal to have 8-10 for dinner night after night. It was necessary to give up trying for perfection in any way. To save my sanity, it was best to let that idea go.

Was my house neat, tidy, clean or even slightly picked up? No. I made sure that everything on those floors, rugs, carpets, and even painted canvas had to have at least some shades of Virginia clay color in the design. Because clay was part of my life. Children played in it. Dogs rolled in it, horses ditto. It got tracked in on shoes, boots, paws and blown in by the wind.

And that is not all.

Horses, dogs and children…

Marriage is messy; lovemaking is messy; having a baby is messy; cooking is messy; being a child is messy; raising a family is one big mess. Would I have traded any of it for a neat life? No. I loved every minute that I was not cleaning up, and even then, I was pretty happy most of the time.
Relationships are messy, but that does not mean we shouldn’t have them. Divorce is messy, but it does not have to be mean. And when the dust settles you may find you are still friends with each other.

Sibling relationships are often messy. Sometimes they are close and comfortable, and then sometimes they devolve into enmity. Friendships are messy and yet who would give them up?

We should never regret anything in life. If it is good, it is lovely, if it is terrible it is ‘experience’. How do we become better people? Through bad experiences, that is how.

Copyright©. 2019 Bonnie B. Matheson

About the lilies

2 Aug

My room faces East. When the sun rises over the water it does so exactly centered on my view from bed. By simply raising my head, I can look through the floor to ceiling windows. This mornings view was absolutely lovely, here in Newport Rhode Island. The sky was clear, and the sun on water made a trail of sparkles across the deep blue. That path glittered even more as it widened. It led right up to the edge of this property. The white filigree wall shone brightly in the early light. The flowers at its base flagrantly abundant and brilliant pink contrasted with the blue sea and sky that were nearly the same shade of sapphire at 6:30 am.
It was time to let the dogs out for some morning relief, and I wanted coffee.
The moment I opened the door of my room the scent of lilies assaulted my nostrils in the most alluring way. Almost overpowering, but not quite.

Sunlit Great Hall

The vast center hall which opens up to the 3rd floor acted as a funnel for the scent of lilies. As I walked down the stairs, it was even more striking. By the time I had started the coffee and let the dogs out and in again, the light had brightened. Still low in the sky it streamed through the house like a spotlight. It lit up several of the pots full of lily blossoms. The fragrance was tremendous! Excessive and opulent the number of urns and pots as well as vases of cut lilies amazed me. I did not realize just how many there were when I arrived yesterday exhausted by the drive up from Washington DC.
It is an extraordinary show of floral one-upmanship. Last year we had no lilies due to an ant infestation in the greenhouse. (or something like that) This had never happened before. Everyone missed the scent of lilies. So I tried to preempt a recurrence of such a tragedy by suggesting that Mother’s gardener plant more bulbs than usual. He did.
I have not counted them yet. There are more lilies than have ever been blooming here. White ones, yellow ones, several different types of pink ones fill their containers. And all of them are exuding a fragrance. In all the time I have been coming to this house, they have had no equal. Maybe the amount doubles as many as the best of summers before this one!

The sitting room with sunlit lilies
sitting room with lilies

Mother is 101, each summer I believe it might be our last. But each summer we come here once more. Being here makes her happy. She rallies and smiles and clearly loves the attention. So here I am enjoying the lilies and trying to be a good daughter to my Mother. Things could certainly be a lot worse. I amgrateful for my life here and the fact that I still have a remnant of my Mother. For the rest of my life, the scent of lilies will be a reminder of her for me, all my children, and grandchildren.

Copyright©. 2019 Bonnie B. Matheson

11 Rules for Children from Bill Gates… Sort of

8 Sep

I wish that Bill Gates had said these 11 rules children should know about life, because it sort of “fits” what many of us feel about him. ¬†However it was actually originally written in a longer article by Charles J. Sykes author of Dumbing Down Our Kids, why American children feel good about themselves but can’t read, write or add.

It is here for your edification and enjoyment. It seems to me that it should be passed around until someone starts to take it seriously. Will you help?

Rule 1: Life is not fair — get used to it!

Rule 2: The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping — they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you are. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent’s generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.

It seems that most people are complaisant about what is happening to our children. I am not. And anything I can do to make people wake up and take some action, is a good thing.

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