Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Old Men in the Park


I love Mexico. There is something about the simplicity of life here. Sure, people work hard, and they have bills to pay, and their teenage kids are teenagers, and the neighbor's dog barks at the wrong time of day. It's no utopia, but it's simple and that's why I love it so much.

On Sunday nights, we often go to the town square. There is a large gazebo, vendors selling ice-cream or roasted corn, people hanging out, and lots and lots of old men.

Why are old men so fun to watch? You've done this too, I'm sure. You drive through a small town and see some old guys on a park bench talking about what old men talk about, and you just love them.

My sister Charissa would call them 'cute'. I prefer to think of them as charming.

And some day, I'm going to get to graduate to the ranks of old men and sit under a tree in the park somewhere with other old men. And finally, finally I will know what old guys talk about that keeps them entertained hours on end.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Millionaire Troubles


I have a problem. I live like a millionaire.

But I'm not.

I know I have this problem when I'm walking down the street and a young girl looks up as she is walking by. I see my problem on her face when her countenance lights up because she sees an opportunity. She is well dressed, very well fed, and yet she still asks me for money.

I saw my problem last week at the taco stand while I was taking my family out to eat. Two boys with blue lips from suckers still in their mouth came asking me to buy them a taco. After reasoning with them on why they bought candy instead of a taco, I gave in and contributed to the system because of the glares of the onlookers.

My problem made me boil yesterday when I dropped off a 4 wheeler part at a mechanic to have it welded. A job that would cost my darker-skinned friends $4 cost me $50.

Granted, they don't know that I live rent free in a home on the golf course. I'm sure they don't know that if we didn't live rent free, we wouldn't be affording it, but still, I don't get it.

This has me thinking. Compared to some people living on the streets in Mexico, yes, I am a millionaire. But compared to a few oil families in the middle east, I'm a pauper. But I can't imagine approaching someone in Dubai and asking them to buy me lunch because I'm hungry and they have a whole lot more than me.

Is this what they call entitlement thinking? Buying tacos for a plump kid at the taco stand looks like a nice thing to do, but it doesn't help him. It enables him to continue in a broken way of thinking.

Have you encountered this? What areas of our lives to we have entitlement thinking that are more subtle than begging on the streets?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Lemonade


"When life gives you lemons, make lemmonade!"

My grandma used to quote this all the time. She is really creative in putting bits and pieces of things together. So maybe that quote is a nice compilation of a few nifty ones. But no matter, I like it!

This week we discovered a lemon tree in our yard. It's gorgeous and I can't wait to make some lemonade.

The best part is I can quote my Grandma now and feel like I'm really doing life right!

A 39-Year-Old man


I turned 39 this week and discovered something. I'm not as good at growing hair as I used to be.

But on the flip side, life is getting sweeter the more years I accumulate.

Take my kids, for instance! They made me this cake on their own initiative and without any adult help or supervision.

And the they came up with the idea of 39 toothpicks because you can't find small candles here in Mexico.

Von looks like he was quality control on the frosting mix.

Who needs a full head of hair when you have such a spectacular family?

Life is good!