Spoiling Dinner

“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” ~~Abraham Lincoln

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” ~~Marcus Aurelius

Over the years God has blessed me by placing key people in my life.   These special individuals have touched me a mighty way. I sometimes did not realize the full extent of how they influenced me or what a gift their friendship was until I became much older.

I left for college when I was barely eighteen. I moved three hundred and fifty miles from home with a couple of suitcases, little money, and no car.  It was there that I met Jana Greer, a dear friend that I am still very close to. Jana was a Brownwood resident and did not waste any time welcoming me to Howard Payne, Brownwood, Texas and inviting me to her home. She had two younger sisters, one younger brother and the most amazing parents ever.

This home was full of love and bustling with activity. Grade school to college students, their children and friends of children covered a wide age range. There was never a dull moment. We were up and down the stairs, in the front door and out the back. No doubt there was lots of liveliness, laughter, and bonding within this family. They called me their number four daughter and I assure you that the wonderful memories and the acceptance and affection shown to me have forever touched my life.

One evening Mama Greer was diligently trying to prepare dinner. We just knew we were starving and as we would pass the kitchen we would sneak some food Mrs. Greer had prepared or grab a chip or cookie out of the pantry. She would remind us that dinner was almost ready and if we continued to snack we would spoil our dinner.  With that reminder we retreated to the den and settled in to watching a little TV until supper time.

About 10 minutes later we noticed Mr. Greer standing at the entrance to the den with a stack of bowls, spoons, a scoop, a gallon bucket of ice cream, and a big grin. He asked us, “Hey, anybody want to spoil their dinner?”  With laughter and enthusiasm the response was a unanimous “I do, I do”. He broke open the ice cream bucket and we lined up to be served.

I still remember that evening and his mischievous grin, but over the years the incident has had a much deeper meaning. Papa Greer always had a unique way of letting us know that fretting and worrying were not necessary.  He knew the importance of living life to the fullest, and opening your heart to ease the load of your neighbors. He managed to accomplish this with the utmost humbleness and a remarkable sense of humor.

I talked to Jana over the Christmas holidays and we laughed about this story. It caused me to consider my outlook as we enter 2012.

So as the New Year begins and we say good-bye to the 2011, instead of my same old redundant resolutions I have decided to look ahead with a new, healthier attitude.

Note: The following list is not all inclusive and may be added to as the creator of said list sees fit.

This year I will (in no particular order)
Take more walks
Sleep under the stars
Encourage a tired, young mama
Support those that are hurting both emotionally and physically
Let my family and friends know how precious they are to me
Listen more and talk less
Laugh at myself more often
Give more hugs
Enjoy more sunrises and sunsets
Stand in awe of an amazing harvest moon.
Joy in watching children laugh and play
Jump in a puddle of water
Hold hands with my hubby
Make some snow ice cream
Make a snow angel
Pray and meditate more often
Take comfort in the word of God
Read uplifting and spiritual literature
Soak my feet
Sniff more candles
Shop for funny greeting cards
Praise my Lord with extreme gratitude for all He has bestowed upon me
Enjoy spontaneous road trips with my sweetie
Show mercy and grace to those I meet
Look for the best in others
And you can bet that on occasion I intend to spoil my dinner

This article is dedicated in loving memory of
Robert L. “Bob” Greer
Thank you for sharing your heart. It was the most precious gift of all.

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