Archive for the ‘lifelessons’ Category

THE THANKFUL COAT

April 4, 2008

dsc00824.jpgOnce upon a time there was a little boy named David. David had a very nice family, and he lived in a very nice house. David had a fun little sister, named Sally and a wonderful dog named Rusty. He had nice toys to play with and he went to the very best school. There was just one thing that David did not have, he did know how to be happy. Nothing seemed to make David smile, no matter what his mother, father, sister and even Rusty did, David was always unhappy.

One day David was sitting on his swing in the backyard feeling sad. A little girl walked right into his yard and walked up to him and said, “Hi, my name is Sandy, have you seen the Thankful Coat around here?” David thought for a moment and said, “A Thankful Coat, I never heard of anything called a Thankful Coat.  No, I haven’t seen one around here. What exactly does one look like anyway?”

“Well”, said the little girl. “It is the most wonderful coat in the whole world. It makes you feel happy when you wear it.” David asked, “What color is it?” “Oh, it is the color of the rainbow”, said Sandy. “Come on, let’s look together to see if we can find it and then you’ll know what one looks like!”

So Sandy and David looked everywhere.
They looked behind the house.
They looked behind the bushes.
They looked all over the backyard.
They looked and looked and looked.

Suddenly, they heard such a commotion. All the birds, bees, bunnies, squirrels, butterflies, chipmunks, and even David’s dog Rusty were gathered around a large oak tree. There it was hung on one single branch of the oak tree…a beautiful coat. It was the color of a rainbow, just like Sandy had told him. The animals made beautiful sounds that sounded just like lovely music.

“See David, here it is the Thankful Coat”, said Sandy. “Come on, let me put it on you and you’ll see it will make you feel happy.” So, David held out his arms while Sandy slid the coat over his shoulders and then he put one arm in one sleeve and then the other. David said, “Gee this coat feels nice, and I feel better, Sandy.” David felt very thankful all of a sudden.

David was thankful for the beautiful blue sky.
David was thankful for his new friend Sandy.
David was thankful for his fun dog Rusty.
David was thankful for his family.
David just felt very thankful.

The more thankful David became, the happier he felt. The happier he became the bigger his smile grew. David’s smile grew bigger, and bigger and bigger. Happy Thoughts popped up everywhere in David’s mind. David had found the secret to happiness, to wear the Thankful Coat.

David was especially thankful to Sandy. “Sandy, thank you so much for this coat, I feel happy for the very first time in a very long time.” Sandy looked at David and said “I must leave now David, so that I can bring this coat to other unhappy children.” “What?” David said in disbelief. “How can you take this coat away, Sandy, I don’t want to go back to being unhappy.”

Sandy started to smile and said, “Why David now that you know the secret to happiness is being thankful, you can make your own Thankful Coat to wear every day. Your Thankful Coat can be an imaginary one and you can make it any color you would like it to be. Every day when you get up you put on your imaginary coat and start to think of all the things that you are thankful for and you will be happy.

David thought for a minute and he said, “I think my thankful coat would be blue with gold buttons.” Sandy said, “Now isn’t that fun?” Tomorrow morning you will get up out of bed and put on your imaginary Thankful Coat and think about all the things that you have to be thankful for, and you will be as happy as you are this very minute.” Sandy hugged David and said, “Goodbye, David I am so glad that you have the secret to being happy now.” David said, “Sandy I am so glad that you found the Thankful Coat and that you taught me how to make one of my own.” After Sandy left, David got out some paper, pencils and crayons. He drew a picture of a coat and colored it blue and made the buttons gold. He hung the picture in his room.

The next morning David got out of bed, he looked over at his drawing hung on the wall, and he put on his imaginary Thankful Coat. To his happy surprise he started to feel happy. The more thankful he became the happier he felt. David’s smile got bigger, and bigger and bigger. David’s life became full of happiness and he remained happy for the rest of his thankful days.

What color would you make your Thankful Coat?” What color would you make the buttons?” Go get your crayons and some paper, draw your own Thankful Coat and color it with your special colors. Every morning when you wake up, put on your imaginary Thankful Coat and begin to think about all the things that you have to be thankful for, and just like David you will have the secret of happiness.

The Beginning…

THE RAINBOW DRAGON

December 29, 2007

wobniar2.jpgOnce upon a time there lived a ferocious dragon named Renaem.  He could cause so much trouble in the land with his fiery dragon flames that the people would run for their lives when they saw him.  They never dared to go into the forest, where he lived.  He would prowl the land, angry all the time.  When he got especially angry out of his mouth would spout huge fiery dragon flames. Renaem had a son named Wobniar.  Wobniar was learning how to be a dragon.  Every day Renaem would take his son deep in the forest so that he could teach him the ways of being a dragon.  Renaem would stand and think about hatred, resentment and get angrier and angrier.  When he was full of ugly thoughts he would take a deep breath and he would spout huge fiery dragon flames .   

 

Wobniar was amazed.  Then it was his turn.  Wobniar would try to think of hatred, resentment and anger, but an extraordinary thing would happen.  He couldn’t seem to hold onto these thoughts in his head.  His mind would always wander.  Soon Wobniar would be thinking about the birds and soft animals and how thankful he was for the blue sky and the green grass under his feet. Then his dad would shout “Wobniar, where is your dragon flame?”  “Oh, here I go Father”, said Wobniar.  He would take a deep breath and out would come the most beautiful RAINBOW. Wobniar would stare in disbelief.  “What kind of dragon spouts RAINBOWS?” he thought.  This must be a mistake thought Renaem.  “Try again son, said Renaem.”  So Wobniar would think of hatred and anger and resentment…but suddenly he would look over at a bunny or a bird and…Out would pour the most lovely RAINBOW that anyone had ever seen. Higher and higher the RAINBOW would fly into the sky.  All the birds and sweet animals would smile. 

 

Day after day, week after week, there were no fiery dragon flames, just magnificent RAINBOWS. Renaem would shrug his shoulders not being able to explain what was wrong.  Soon people in the land saw the RAINBOWS in the sky and learned about Renaem’s secret.  His son was not a flame spewing dragon like his father.  People started calling Wobniar the “RAINBOW DRAGON.” 

 

Children would go into the forest and hide behind the bushes to get a look at the “RAINBOW DRAGON.”  “Wow, Ooh, Aaah!” would be heard as the children would squeal watching RAINBOW after RAINBOW fly above the tree tops.  Wobniar would spout RAINBOWS in all sizes and shapes.  He would write words in the sky using RAINBOW letters.  As he spelled out his name, the children lying on their back and staring at the sky could see the letters backwards.  All of a sudden one of the boys said “Look, look… Wobniar spells RAINBOW backwards.”  “He really is a “RAINBOW DRAGON” one of the girls squealed.” 

 

One evening Renaem and Wobniar had a talk.  His father asked “Wobniar, what kind of dragon spouts RAINBOWS?”  Wobniar thought for a moment and then said, “What is a dragon anyway, Dad?”  “Is it someone who has to walk around angry all the time, thinking about bad thoughts, just so he can spout fiery dragon flames and make everybody scared?”  Wobniar said “If you ask me, Dad it feels a whole lot nicer to think about good things and make RAINBOWS!”   Renaem was shocked, he had never really thought about it before.  His father had taught him how to be a dragon and his grandfather had taught his father how to be a fire flame sprewing dragon.  “Dad, why don’t you just try to do it for a week, and then after that week if you think that I should try to stop making RAINBOWS, I will”, said Wobniar.  Renaem said, “Okay son, I’ll try it for a week and see if what you are saying is true.” 

 

A week went by and the people in the land saw the blue sky filled with the biggest RAINBOW that they had ever seen.  It went from one end of the land to the other and it was in the shape of a huge arch.  The people ran as fast as they could to the end of the RAINBOW, which was on the other side of the forest.  To their surprise, when they got to the end, they found both Renaem and Wobniar together in the forest making RAINBOWS. They were each writing words in the sky.  Wobniar shouted, “Look Dad, Renaem spells Meaner Backwards!”  They roared with laughter so hard that they rolled around in the grass. 

 

When Renaem and Wobniar noticed the people from the town watching them, the people got frightened.  They were so afraid of Renaem.  Renaem shouted “Come and join us, don’t be afraid.”  The people were shocked, and slowly they came out from behind the trees and the bushes to join them.   They all sat around and enjoyed the beautiful sky and the warmth of good thoughts that radiated from the two dragons. 

 

From that day on, no one feared Renaem.  Wobniar taught everyone that it is so much more enjoyable to think about wonderful things than to be angry about ugly thoughts.  Renaem promised never to spout fiery dragon flames and cause trouble again.  “Making RAINBOWS is ever so much more fun than being angry”, he shouted.  All the town’s people cheered in delight. 

 

They crowned their beloved Wobniar The RAINBOW DRAGON.  Wobniar would sit on his thrown that the carpenters had made especially for him.  All the children that lived in the town would line up to whisper their name in Wobniar’s ear.  Once he knew how to spell their name, he would write it in the sky in his huge RAINBOW letters.  Each child would watch in wonder as their name floated high about the tree tops. 

INGRID BERNADETTE WANNABE

June 4, 2007

bernadette.jpgIngrid Bernadette Wannabe had brown hair and big brown eyes.  She went to a very nice school and had lots of great friends.  Everybody loved Ingrid Bernadette Wannabe, except she had this one problem.  She had a personality that seemed to never be satisfied.  Ingrid Bernadette Wannabe said “I want to have blonde hair and big blue eyes like my friend Jill B. Jones.”  So Ingrid Bernadette Wannabe changed her name and let her bangs grow so long so it would cover her beautiful brown eyes.  “Call me Ingrid B. Wannabe from now on Mom and Dad”, said Ingrid.  Ingrid B. Wannabe lived in a nice town called Oakville.  The town had a wonderful school and a great big recreation center.  Ingrid B. Wannabe said “I want to live in the town called Littleton like my friend Nancy Liverpool.” Ingrid B. Wannabe’s street address was 25 Crossing Lane and she lived in the prettiest blue house with white shutters and window boxes in every window.  Ingrid B. Wannabe said “I want to live on Spring Street and have a white house with black shutters like my friend Harriett Jones who lives around the corner.” Ingrid B. Wannabe’s mother bought Ingrid the nicest clothing to fit Ingrid perfectly.  Her mother picked out just the right shade of colors that she thought Ingrid would like.  Ingrid B. Wannabe said “I want to wear baggy orange pants and a big purple shirt with red suspenders just like my friend Billy Matthews wears.”  Ingrid B. Wannabe had the cutest little dog, named Twinkles.  Everyone loved Twinkles and she was so much fun.  She would cuddle on the couch with Ingrid and she could catch a ball and bring it back.  Ingrid B. Wannabe said “I want a Golden Retriever like Rusty my friend Sam Herrington’s dog and I want to name him Rusty.”  Ingrid B. Wannabe had the greatest toys.  She would proudly show all of them to her friends.  That is, until she would see something new and different that a friend would have.  Then Ingrid B. Wannabe would come home and say “I want a toy just like my friend’s.”   Ingrid B. Wannabe had quite a big selection of baseball caps.  She had them in her room and the stack got taller and taller and taller.  Because every time Ingrid B. Wannabe would see someone’s new hat she would say “I want a hat just like my friend.”  One day her mother decided to have a talk with Ingrid B. Wannabe.  “Ingrid, do you know that our last name was not always Wannabe?”  Ingrid’s Mother said.  “Why Mom, how could that be?”  Ingrid asked with her eyes so wide they were as big as saucers.  “Well when Daddy was growing up and moved to a new city he met lots of new friends.  He thought that they all had better names than his so, Daddy changed his name.  So, Daddy changed his name to I. B. Wannabe”, continued her mom.  Ingrid B. Wannabe thought for a long time and then she said “What did it used to be”?  Ingrid was looking at her mother out of the corner of her eye.  Her mother answered “Oh, his name was originally I. B. Satisfied!”  Her mother smiled and waited for Ingrid to respond.  Ingrid B. Wannabe looked at her mother for a while and then she started to laugh.  They both laughed and laughed.  “Oh, Mommy you are so silly”, said Ingrid.  But Ingrid B. Wannabe understood what her mother was trying to show her, she wanted her to be content with what she had.  Her father had never changed his name but she thought about the word satisfied and what it meant.  A funny thing happened after that day.  Every time Ingrid B. Wannabe would find herself wanting what someone else had, she would remember her mother’s silly story and she would think.  She would stop, and smile and suddenly she would become Ingrid B. Satisfied. 

THE TOMATO LADY

June 1, 2007

tomato-lady-and-daughter-with-flowers.jpgOne day while Susan and Lynne were playing in the backyard their mother called them inside. “Would you please go on an errand for me? I need you to go to my friend Tilley’s farm and pick up some tomatoes. She has grown the most glorious tomatoes in her garden”, their mom said.

So, Susan and Lynne set off to find where their mother’s friend lived. They got on their bicycles and rode down several blocks nearby. They had a map that their mother had drawn for them, with Tilley’s address printed on top. When they found the street, they were very confused. The street was very narrow, and at the end of the street was a very old building, an apartment house surrounded by a parking lot. This was the address, but none of the apartments seem to have balconies, or backyards. Lynne asked Susan “So, where is Tilley’s farm, Susan?” “I can’t imagine where this lady would grow tomatoes, Mom must have given us the wrong map, said Susan.”

They entered the buiding and climbed the creaky old stairs to the third floor. They knocked on the door marked 222, and a woman answered the door. She was a smiley lady wearing bright colored clothing and wearing a white apron with a bunch of tomatoes in the pocket. “Come in, come in girls, I have lots of tomatoes for you to take to your mother.” Their mother had called Tilley to let her know that they were coming.

The girls walked inside the tiny apartment. They looked around and Susan and Lynne were in shock. Right in the middle of this very large room was the most magnificent garden that they had ever seen. The old woman chuckled, “See my garden, it is very unusual, yes?” Susan spoke first, “Oh yes, I have never seen such large tomatoes. But how can you have a garden in your apartment?” Lynne was still amazed and she said, “How did you grow them here?”

The woman took a deep sigh and said “Well, a long time ago when I was a very young girl like you two, I dreamed of having a garden of my own. I decided that when I would have a big house with a large backyard I would have a garden. I waited and waited and I never did get that big house, nor did I have a backyard. I grew older and older and I was afraid that my health might fail before I ever got my garden. So, one day I got out of bed and decided to begin to garden right where I lived. I put burlap bags all over the floor and I covered it with many bags of dirt. I found lights that could transform my room into a greenhouse. I experimented and experimented and one day my garden began to bloom. Vegetables and some flowers, but these glorious tomatoes are my favorites. I took my tomatoes to the farmer’s market. Everyone was amazed. Little by little people began to know Tilley’s tomatoes and they started to call me the Tomato Lady.”

The girls smiled and fell in love with her as she told her story. The girls took the basket of tomatoes from the tomato lady. She bid them farewell and smiled as they walked towards the staircase. “Wait dear children, I have something else for you,” she said. She reached into her pocket and took out two little bags of tomato seeds. Then she said, “Dreams are just like these packets of seeds. They are not meant to stay inside but to be planted in order to bloom into glorious fruit.” Don’t wait until you are so old like me to plant your dreams…plant them today and you will enjoy the fruit soon. Begin today.”

When the girls came home they gave the basket of tomatoes to their mother. She thanked them for going on the errand for her and asked the girls about their adventure. Susan and Lynne went home that day with more than just a basket of glorious tomatoes and a packet of seeds. They went home with the inspiration to plant their dreams while they were young. Susan took the packets of tomato seeds and went in the backyard to get ready to plant them. Lynne went into the shed and got some gardening gloves and shovels for them to use. While they gardened they both dreamed of huge red tomatoes and thought about their dreams. They could hear the tomato lady’s voice say “Dreams are just like these packets of seeds. They are not meant to stay inside but to be planted in order to bloom into glorious fruit.”