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The Rich Tapestry of Life Page
Odds and ends that don’t fit anywhere else, information, general knowledge, light-hearted quips and quotes from all over the place that make up the ‘rich tapestry of life’ for reading in those odd moments when you have nothing else to do! Read on and enjoy.
This is PAGE TWENTY TWO - Another “Life and Human  Encounter” Page
To return to “Tapestry CONTENTS”, CLICK HERE
Love is
Feeling miserable if he doesn’t call
Letting her wear the clothes she’s comfortable in
Not letting on you’ve heard his story before
Not mentioning the wrinkles under her eyes
Letting her keep the big hairy dog
Believing that when he kisses the hurt the pain will go away
Not expecting too much of each other
Taking a stroll together in the evening
Tolerating each other’s weaknesses
Having each other when bad news is received
Being there whenever he needs you
Not betraying her trust
Helping her dry those tears when she’s upset
Still holding hands after many years of marriage
(from ‘Love is’ - cartoons from the Daily Mail)

Q. What were the main pleasures and problems you experienced in looking after your baby and yourselves in your first few weeks of your baby’s life?
A1. Enchantment of holding a little miracle in one’s arms - the soft warm baby smell and the closeness of breastfeeding - and sharing all this with my partner. Problems with living in a very isolated place and realising that this (child) WAS FOR LIFE. Also she suffered from screaming  colic every evening for six months.
A2. Cradling a small baby in your arms; giving security  and love and total care and responsibility. The main problem was with two-hourly breastfeeding which meant that my husband had to cook, clean etc., when he came in from work. I Nacted very strangely towarfds him, though no one commented on it at the time. I definitely gave my  husband a hard time.
A3. Great sense of completeness and love. Realising we could cope as parents and with only a little money  and a poorly equipped home. Lack of sleep.
(from ‘Inside Marriage - a Unique Portrait of Marriage in the 90’s - answers on questionnaires)

Mr. Ayrton had very definite ideas as to what he wanted; he had thought about his house and dreamt about this house since he was a boy.
The property was situated in a fold of the hills and sloped gently down to the sea. It consisted of meadows and a little wood and some moorland; here was a well, built of glowing yellow stone, which was fed by a spring and was always full of ice-cold water. The water itself was as clear as crystal but the reflection of the stone gave it the appearance of amber . . . it was this well which gave the property its name, Amberwell.
To William Ayrton one of the chief attractions of his new home was the water, for having spent nearly thirty years in India he valued water—and especially crystal-clear water—very highly indeed. Another attraction was the sheltered position and the mild climate which would enable him to grow sub­tropical plants. Mrs. Ayrton approved of Amberwell too, but for other reasons. It was delightfully secluded but not too isolated; just over the hill lay the little town of Westkirk—a pleasant little town with good shops and an efficient doctor. There were several charming properties in the vicinity, so they would not lack neighbours. Mrs. Ayrton could find no fault with her husband's choice. - This being so the matter was settled, he bought the land and built his house.
There was nothing pretentious about Amberwell House, it was comfortable and commodious and fitted in with its sur­roundings; the gardens were laid out with good judgment; there was stabling for four horses, a coachhouse and several cottages. Amberwell was by no means a palace but it was definitely "a place" and its owner was well satisfied with it. Mr. Ayrton's family was equally satisfactory; six children grew up at Amberwell.
(from ‘Amberwell’ by D.E.Stevenson - another way of life from the early/mid 20th century.)

I was on my way over Mount Hood to spend some time in the high desert with a few friends. I was driving alone and decided to stop in at Safeway to pick up some provisions for the week­end. While standing in line at the checkout counter, the lady in front of me pulled out food stamps to pay for her groceries. I had never seen food stamps before. They were more colourful than I imagined and looked more like money than -stamps. It was obvi­ous as she unfolded the currency that she, I, and the checkout girl were quite uncomfortable with the interaction. I wished there was something I could do. I wished I could pay for her groceries myself, but to do so would have been to cause a greater scene. The checkout girl quickly performed her job, signing and verifying a few documents, then filed the lady through the line. The woman never lifted her head as she organized her bags of groceries and set them into her cart. She walked away from the checkout stand in the sort of stiff movements a person uses when they know they are being watched.
On the drive over the mountain that afternoon, I realized that it was not the woman who should be pitied, it was me. Somehow I had come to believe that because a person is in need, they are candidates for sympathy, not just charity. It was not that I wanted to buy her groceries, the government was already doing that. I wanted to buy her dignity. And yet, by judging her, I was the one taking her dignity away.
(from ‘Blue like Jazz’ by Donald Miller)

Hang on in there
A week after our daughter Lauren was born, my wife Bonnie and I were completely exhausted. Each night Lauren kept waking us. Bonnie had been torn in the delivery and was taking painkillers. She could barely walk. After five days of staving home to help, I went back to work. She seemed to be getting better.  While I was away she ran out of pain pills. Instead of calling me at the office, she asked one of my brothers, who was visiting, to pur­chase more. My brother, however, did not return with the pills. Conse­quently, she spent the whole day in pain, taking care of a newborn.
I had no idea that her day had been so awful. When I returned home she was very upset. I misinterpreted the cause of her distress and thought she was blaming me.
She said, "I've been in pain all day.... I ran out of pills. I've been stranded in bed and nobody cares!"
I said defensively, "Why didn't you call me?"
She said, "I asked your brother, but he forgot! I've been waiting for him to return all day. What am I supposed to do? I can barely walk. I feel so deserted!"
At this point I exploded. My fuse was also very short that day. I was angry that she hadn't called me. I was furious that she was blaming me when I didn't even know she was in pain. After exchanging a few harsh words, I headed for the door. I was tired,  irritable, and had heard enough. We had both reached our limits.
Then something started to happen that would change my life.
Bonnie said, "Stop, please don't leave. This is when I need you the most. I'm in pain. I haven't slept in days. Please listen to me."
I stopped for a moment to listen.
She said, "John Gray, you're a fair-weather friend! As long as I'm sweet, loving Bonnie you are here for me, but as soon as I'm not, you walk right out that door."
Then she paused, and her eyes filled up with tears. As her tone shifted she said, "Right now I'm in pain. I have nothing to give, this is when I need you the most. Please, come over here and hold me. You don't have to say anything. I just need to feel your arms around me. Please don't go."  I walked over and silently held her. She wept in my arms. After a few minutes, she thanked me for not leaving. She told me that she just needed to feel me holding her.
At that moment I started to realize the real meaning of love—unconditional love. I had always thought of myself as a loving per­son. But she was right. I had been a fair-weather friend. As long as she was happy and nice, I loved back. But if she was unhappy or upset, I would feel blamed and then argue or distance myself.
That day, for the first time, I didn't leave her. I stayed, and it felt great. I succeeded in giving to her when she really needed me. 'MIS felt like real love. Caring for another person. Trusting in our love. Being there at her hour of need. I marveled at how easy it was for me to support her when I was shown the way.
(from the Introduction to “Men are from Mars...” by John Gray)

Happiness is..
Finding someone you like at the front door
Sleeping in your own bed
Getting together with your friends
Finally getting the splinter out
The hiccups after they have gone away
Walking in the grass in bare feet
Finding out you’re not so dim after all
(from ‘Happiness is a Warm Puppy” by Charles M.Schullz)

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