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One Bright Star

star

I sit here tonight and watch the star that I have "found" in the heavens. Memories collide and I am reminded of a sweaty little palm that held tightly onto my hand, a palm that, too quickly, slipped from my grasp.



The Certainty of Uncertainty

between the devil and the deep blue sea
Photo Credit: Lubo Minar on Unsplash

One of life's ongoing torments is the certainty of uncertainty. Every decision we make comes with at least two, if not multiple choices, often leaving us between the devil and the deep blue sea.

Dad's Slippers

elderly man by what's next sign

We all have momentary lapses in memory. We laugh and call them “Senior Moments” and sometimes, that’s all they are. But, for some of us, they are the beginning of Alzheimer’s and there is no way to determine which is which or what's next.

When Baby Cries

Mother with crying baby

Babies cry for all sorts of reasons. Hunger. Thirst. Discomfort. Sometimes just to exercise their lungs. When we brought my first-born home, he cried almost constantly.



Barn Burners

match flame

When my children were young, I learned that sometimes you literally have to have a fire lit under you to appreciate how dear those close to you are. We moved to the country looking for a safer, less stressful life for ourselves and our two young children. Our rural Minnesota house sat well back from the road. There was ample room for Nicki, our three-year old, and Lance, our six year old, to play safely on the five acre plot of land that surrounded our house.

Too Many Strays —Too Soft a Heart

abondoned dog

Country life was the cat's meow—. Really! It was everything we expected and a lot we didn't expect. Day to day, we never knew who we would find at the end of our driveway, on our doorstep, or even tied to a tree. During the years we lived in the country, there was a steady stream of tail chasers and tail waggers that were dependent on the softness of our hearts.


Help Children Learn to Earn

shoes

We all want to provide for our children, to give them a better life than we had, no matter how rich or poor a background we come from. Yet, I think the best way to provide for our children is to prepare them to lead a rewarding life.



Punishment vs. Discipline:
Are You a Parent Bully?

fighters
Do you remember being told or telling a rival to “pick on someone your own size?” As parents, it’s easy to forget our children are not our size, and confuse punishment with discipline. Punishment, either mental or physical, beats up a person or brings them down. Discipline teaches self-control. We need to teach our children to learn social norms and control themselves within those norms. At the market, a father and his small daughter stood ahead of me in a checkout line. The child wanted candy and her dad said, “No.” When wheedling and pleading didn’t work, the girl fell into a full-blown, on the floor, kicking and screaming tantrum. Without a word, her father scooped her up and wrapped his arms around her, holding her to his chest. For a few moments, she continued kicking and screaming. Then the kicking stopped and the screams dwindled into quiet tears. Within a few minutes, the child became calm. It was one of the best examples of parenting I have ever seen. The father’s clear message told his daughter: “I won’t allow this behavior, but I still love you.” Her father’s firm, but loving, embrace quelled her anger and her tears. I was and am envious of his wisdom. I wish I had dealt with my children in the same way. I used to think a swat on the bottom was okay to keep them from danger, for instance, if one runs into the street. Children have different perceptions than adults. If you spank your children to teach them not to run into the street, they don’t understand you did it to keep them safe. Even if you tell them the reason, they feel the hurt, not the love behind it. Instead of keeping them from hurting, you hurt them. Everything you do for a child should be recognizable as love-based. Children need to learn how to be effective in solving their problems. Resorting to violence is never a solution for anyone. Show your children that you know everybody messes up sometimes, and we do, we face consequences for our errors in judgment. Just as important, though, we must show our children they are worthy of our love.

Take Time to Hang Your Hat

hanging hat

I can be a pretty assertive person, often bordering on aggressive. Once I worked for a boss who used to regularly tell me, “Give me a few minutes to hang up my hat and coat, okay?”
He would say it even when he was wearing neither coat nor hat.

Why Get Married?

wedding cake

As sexuality become less inhibited, popping the question often becomes the question. Satirically put, "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free? "