Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Hope and Other Four-Letter Words by C.H. Admirand

Without work, how could you appreciate what you have in life? I’m a fan of reaping what you sow, we’ve taught our three children (all grown and in various stages of flying the coop) that you have to work hard to get what you want in life. BUT the most important thing we’ve tried to instill is that you can achieve ANYTHING, if you want it bad enough and work for it hard enough. 

I took the first picture this morning as I was getting ready to write this blog.

If it’s worth having, then it’s worth giving all you’ve got to earn whatever your heart’s desire is. When our kids were younger, they used to tell us how weird their Dad and I were—and not just because of the usual generational differences (as only the young see them)—it was because we were still married and seemed to actually “like” one-another! Keeping a marriage healthy, happy, and functioning is hard work—but worth every bit of blood, sweat, and tears that goes into it. This August, we’ll celebrate our 32nd Anniversary…and Lord, just one look and that man still makes my heart stop! 

He's still my Prince Charming after all these years.

I love the healing power of rain. It makes our gardens grow, the birds that flock to our yard sing (and the little peeper frogs, too), and sometimes I just have to go outside and raise my face toward the sky to drink in the life-giving power of the rain. When it’s a real thunder-bumper I stand inside and watch the show, but if there no thunder—just a downpour, I love to let it just pound on my head—OK maybe that’s where I’m not quite like everybody else, but it’s rejuvenating all the same! 

I took the following picture on the way up to my Mom's house...it's off of Barrett Road, an 18th Carriage Road that is still used today. After a good soaking rain, the waterfalls are sooo happy.

A gift to all of us, if we but open our hearts to receive it. There are so many different kinds of love, love for a parent or grandparents, love for a child, love for your spouse or significant other, love of nature…the list goes on. On a lovely day like today, all I have to do is step outside our back door and be enveloped by the gardens we’ve created over the years, planting seeds, plants, laying bluestone for our patio, putting up the fence to keep our dogs from digging up all those seeds, plants, etc. that we’ve planted—and I can reap the rewards that all of the hard work and love 29 years of living here have sown. 

This picture is from our yard later in the season, too early to snap it this year!

Just now my daughter and I were sitting on the front steps (no sun in the backyard just yet) soaking up the sun, communing with the Pansies, and I realized that life doesn’t get better than connecting with your children—no matter how old they are. I went shopping with our oldest son, compromising because I needed to pick up mother-to-be gifts for our daughter, and we needed beer to keep the men in my life happy while they dig up the old French drain around our house and pull out the old pipe and silted-up stones. He helped me pick out books for his niece or nephew-to-be. Our darling youngest came by with his girlfriend for Mother’s Day dinner, we don’t get to see them as often with their work schedule, so our kitchen table was full, with our daughter’s fiancé the only one missing from the group—he was working—and definitely missed.

We planted these pansies together a couple of weeks ago. They're really loving the pot on our front steps.

If I could sum all of my disjointed thoughts about Hope and other four-letter words up, it would be with a six-letter word—family: My reason for living, laughing, and loving life.

What other four-letter words can you think of that have made a difference in your life?


  1. What a lovely, meaningful post. If I had to chose a couple four letter words to emblazon on my life I might chose kind and true, because for me the essence of an honorable existence is to be kind and tell the truth (and yes, they sometimes conflict). To be kind and tell the truth tells me how to behave in a loving fashion, and what to do when the road is taking complicated forks.

  2. Beautiful words, beautiful attitude, beautiful pictures. My four letter word would be live. I mean really live until you use up every bit of the life (another one) that's been granted, and then slide into eternity all used up, with no regrets and not a single wasted minute on the books. I want to live not merely exist away the time until the end.

  3. What an absolutely beautiful post! I couldn't agree with you more. Beautiful. Thanks for posting this.

  4. Hey Grace ~ thanks. I was torn between posting what I felt and worrying that it would come across as too corny...but hey that's the real me so I went with what I feel.

    Wonderful word choices. I do have to admit I've gotten in trouble more than a time or two over the years by being honest and telling someone the truth. I've learned to temper the truth with kindness. Life isn't always black and white, is it?

    Don't you just love those forks in the road? One of my favorite poems from Jr. High is Robert Frost's The Road Not Taken-I still have the copy I bought for 75 cents-it's a 2nd printing of the Pocket Anthology of his poetry.

    "Two roads diverged in a wood,and I-- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference."

  5. Thanks, Carolyn. Another great word choice! Although I'd like to think I am aging gracefully, some mornings there are parts of me that groan, complain and creak when I get out of bed...but I get out of bed, so I know the day's going to be a good one.

    Wise words. I love the idea of using up every bit of life. Who knows how long we have?

    I just had this visual--sliding past St. Peter waving on the way through the Pearly Gates...oh, btw, St. Peter's smiling!

  6. Sara - thanks. Although not everybody understands me, my family and our home center me. Without them, I'd be lost.

    That doesn't mean that they don't by turns drive me crazy, LOL, but Spring is the season when I start to wake up and smile...I really don't like Winter.

    When we moved in, all we had was the Lilac and Crab Apple trees out back and the tall shade trees in the yard...and a bunch of grass.

    I have no idea where the time went. LOL!

  7. This was an awesome post Colleen. Loved the part about connecting with our children. It doesn't get any better than that. My husband has been gently reminding me that I need to get off the computer and spend more time with the kids. I'm in the middle of my blog tour and it's been crazy. But he's right, so are you. Nothing is more important. Loved the pictures.

  8. Anita! Thanks, your husband is right, but you are too...it's important to do the blog tour...and it's important for your kids to understand.

    I wish I could tell you it was easy, but it's not. When I first started writing seriously (aka hoping publish my first book) 16 years ago, our kids were 11, 9 and 7.

    Such a delicate balance between careers: Mom/Day Job/Writing, etc.

    If you're lucky enough not to have a day job (other than your Mom job and Writing Career ) then you will find/make the time to hug them, ready with a snack when they get home off the bus, passing out one cookie for each hand to tide them over until dinner's ready, and read them stories before you tuck them into bed.

    I really miss those times, but am looking forward to having that time with our new grandbaby come October.

  9. Hmmm.... another four letter word that have changed my life .... child (I have 4 children. :) I also like that word because I hope we never become so jaded we forget to see things with a child-like wonder ever now and again!

    Lovely blog!!!

  10. Catherine...perfect choice!! And they definitely have, haven't they?

    It is hard sometimes to remember to be open and filled with wonderment as our children did when they were little, and we must have, too. ;)

  11. I think my 4 letter word would be time. I want more of it--every day. I love my life, my family, my work, my community, and I just want more time to enjoy all of it.
    My favorite passage from the Bible starts "To everything there is a season and a "time" for every purpose under Heaven.

  12. Amelia I wholeheartedly agree! There just never seems to be enough time anymore.

    When our kids were little, our daughter told me she knew just what to give me for my birthday- more time;)

    I do love that particular passage from the Bible and have the LP of the Byrds singing their adaptation of the passage in Turn, Turn, Turn.

  13. My four-letter word for the day - and pretty much every day - is DOGS. Mine are my constant companions, always by my side when I'm writing or reading or cooking (that's their favorite). I don't know what I'd do without them.
    And they have their own four-letter word: WALK. Which we need to do right now!
    Lovely post, Colleen, heartfelt and true. Thanks!

  14. Great post, and I love the pictures. An important word for me is MOM. My mom has been a huge support to me in the 19months since my daughter was born, and I'm now a mom. Nothing like hearing your little one say, "Mama!"

  15. Great post, words couldn't be better said.

  16. Oh Joanne! I love it! Thanks for the chuckle. I just walked in from work and read your post and had to laugh. It's sooo true! Our darling dog loves to go for her morning walk with us.

    All we have to do is jiggle her collar and she's ready to roll. We call it wild weasel weekend when she doesn't have to wear her collar--it's her time off from guarding the house.;)

  17. Oh, Shana! I definitely agree. I remember calling my mom...a lot after our oldest son was born. There's just so much that you need reassurance with while you're building your confidence as a mother.

    I just told my daughter today that because she's so worried about being a good mom...that she will be because she so aware of the impact she will have on her baby's life.

    There's nothing like hearing your little one call you mamma...but in our house they all said dada first! LOL.

  18. Hi Virginia - thanks so much. I'm glad you stopped by and enjoyed the post. ;)