Monthly Archives: March 2018

The Reluctant Daughter

Rafters enjoying a river floatStopping by a small grocery/convenience store/gas station/bar and restaurant on my way to deer camp, I had to yield to a young woman carrying 12-packs of beer to the cooler. She didn’t look happy about her assignment. I guessed her to be the owner’s reluctant daughter. Her age had to be 15 or 16; old enough to want to enjoy the summer although not old enough to borrow the car and get away.

Not that getting away is easy in a small village near a popular rafting river when your parents’ business involves supplying snacks and beverages for the rafting enthusiasts. Not easy when the nearest larger community, defined as having a fast food restaurant, is more than 30 miles away. And certainly not easy when there are few young men around to serve as boyfriends, or girlfriends to hang out with, either.

She seemed reluctant.

Dressed in shorts and a nice top, she had the look of a worker who wished she was doing something—anything—else. Mom was behind the counter, selling licenses to customers, ringing up  purchases, and explaining about the bathroom and when the van left for the tubing run. The daughter (I assumed the two were related because of their similar appearances), acted as if she had no choice in the matter.

It was Saturday. The weather was ideal for tubing down the river. The store was busy. The bar and restaurant were busy, too, so it was “all hands on deck”. Every available person was needed to help take care of customers and bring in the cash. After all, it is the family business!

I’m sure she got paid for sacrificing her Saturday, but that had little bearing on her reluctance to do any more than she had to…much less interact with the customers with a friendly smile and cheerful disposition.

Life in the Clouds

Mutter's Farm

Clouds roll over the barn on the farm of John J. Mutter Jr.

It is fascinating to watch white, fluffy clouds that look like people or animals as they float across blue skies. It’s fun to lie in the grass or a field somewhere and observe those spectacles of nature. You can try to determine whether one looks like a walrus lying on its back, a medieval battering ram, or a cartoon character.. If you have a vivid imagination, you can unlock the secret of life in the clouds. Identify whatever image it is that comes to mind. The one over the barn looks like a dolphin.

I don’t know the scientific name for this type of cloud formation, but it is a phenomenon that is remarkable to observe. Some look like people doing tasks, such as wielding a shovel or throwing a ball. Others resemble animal shapes like teddy bears and fish.

Pennsylvania Clouds

Clouds roll over the skyline of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as traffic enters the city.

The point of this blog is that you should take time to enjoy the simple things in life. No matter how busy your schedule or hectic your life, stopping to lie in the grass and watch the clouds float by can be therapeutic and relaxing. Slow down and take the time to smell the proverbial roses. One of those clouds may look like a bouquet of them. Clear azure skies bathed in sunlight with fluffy white clouds are a gift of nature. Nature is given to us by the Supreme Being I refer to as God. Even dark clouds can leave an impression that stirs a feeling of God’s presence in our lives.

If you choose to skip these simple opportunities in your life, you miss a chance to reflect on your own life and where it’s going. Are you heading in the right direction, or is it time for a change? Too often, we are hell-bent on crashing through the world like a tornado, leaving a path of destruction behind. We should think and be more like those passing clouds that leave a joyous, pleasant impression on those who observe our passing. Life’s too short not to enjoy it!