Share Four Somethings – June

Something Loved

Meditations in Motion

Last Friday night my son was working so my daughter-in-law and two grandsons came to our house for dinner.

We got Chinese take-out and gorged ourselves on Lo Mein, General Tso’s Chicken, curry, egg rolls, and dumplings.

After we finished eating, we needed movement so we headed outside to watch the boys ride their scooters and bikes in our driveway and lightly-traveled street. My hubby has been asking my oldest grandson Brycen to allow him to remove the training wheels from his bike for a year, but he always responded he was not yet ready.

On Friday, he must have been feeling brave, because when Hubs asked, Brycen’s reply was “Go for it!

My hubby ran alongside the bike for 10 yards then Brycen told him to let go, so he did. Brycen rode his bike like a pro, without a hitch. We all clapped and cheered like he had just won the Tour de France.

I was so proud of both of them – Brycen for riding his bike and Hubby for being patient and not pressuring him to ride without training wheels before he was ready.

Something Said

Meditations in Motion

Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.– Proverbs 4:23

This bit of wisdom, given by King Solomon to his son, called to me this month. Our heart (or our thoughts) often determines our actions.

My thoughts determine the type of life I will lead, how I will react to certain situations, my attitudes, and my character.

King Solomon knew right actions begin with right thoughts. Positive thinking includes positive self-talk. Being as compassionate with myself as I am with others is a good place to begin “keeping my heart with all vigilance.

Something Learned

Meditations in Motion

Several months ago, I was inspired by a TED talk to try a new “something” for 30 days each month. After learning how to juggle last month, I needed something much more low-key this month.

Juggling was fun but addicting. Once I began practicing I didn’t want to stop. If I had a good juggling sequence, I was excited and wanted to try more; if I had a bad juggling sequence I wanted to keep going until I got it right. There never was a good stopping point.

I will keep practicing juggling even after my 30-day learning period expires. I can now juggle three balls, but not for very long. My goal is to be able to juggle continuously.

My new “something” for this month is to learn how to whistle with my fingers. I can do this sitting down, which is good. Sometimes after a long run, retrieving dropped juggling balls from under furniture used more energy than I wanted to expend.

Whistling with my fingers is a skill I wanted when I taught school. I thought it would have been so cool to get my class’s attention with a loud “Twee-eeet!” Unfortunately, teaching full time left me with little time to practice whistling.

Now I have the time, so I researched online whistling instructions and began practicing. So far, I can just make a breathy sort-of-whistly noise, but the instructions assure me that is a good starting point. A bad starting point, apparently, would be to spit all over myself, which, happily, hasn’t happened so far.

As always, my motivation for learning how to whistle with my fingers is to impress my grandkids. I will keep you appraised of my progress.

Something Read

 

Last month I was unenthused about my reading selections; this month I read not one, but three books I really enjoyed. I stayed up way too late many nights in June finishing “just one more page“.

The Alice Network“, suggested by my sister, is a historical novel about a network of female British spies operating in occupied France during World War I. This book, told from alternating points of view by a former member of the Alice Network and a pregnant, single, college girl on her way to have an “Appointment” to get her “Little Problem” taken care of shortly after World War II, was gripping, suspenseful, and satisfying.

Jumping back and forth in time from 1915 to 1947 was handled well by the author. I never felt disoriented or confused by the changes in dates, which occurred in alternating chapters. When the two women’s stories collided, I absolutely could not put the book down until I finished it.

Charming Billy” was the second book by Alice McDermott I read in two months and my favorite one so far. The action begins at Billy’s wake, with his long-suffering widow, his friends, and his family reminiscing about his dissolute life.

This book, about family, love, and the ties that bind us together, examined how even well-intentioned lies can become woven into the fabric of our existence, changing forever the courses of the lives they touch.

Before I read “The Color of Love” I was skeptical about reading another white woman’s views on racial justice. “Really?” I thought “Wouldn’t this book be more meaningful if it was written by an African American woman?

My question missed the point of the book, however. This is about Cara Meredith’s journey towards her understanding of racial justice. Cara, a white woman in an interracial marriage, writes with unflinching honesty about mistakes she has made as she learned to appreciate the “unique cultural identity” of each person. This book is a wonderful addition to the conversation about race in this country.

I enthusiastically recommend each of these three very different books.

I am linking up with Heather Gerwing for her “Four Somethings”. Thanks, Heather, for giving the opportunity to think and write about four such compelling topics.

 

Also linking with Amy at Live Life Well, Raisie Bay for Word of the Week, Susan B Mead for Dancing With Jesus, Embracing the Unexpected for Grace and Truth, Shank You Very Much for Global Blogging, Esme Salon for Senior Salon, Random-osity for The Good, The Random, The Fun, My Random Musings for Anything Goes, InstaEncouragements, Abounding Grace for Gracefull Tuesday, Purposeful Faith for RaRa link up, Mary Geisen Tell His Story, Bethere2day for Wordless Wednesday, Random-osity for Communal Global, and Counting My Blessings for Faith ‘n Friends.

 

 

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95 comments

  1. I hope you well in learning to whistle. Since I was such a tomboy, I learned when I was a teenager but I laugh at myself now because my reasoning to learn to whistle through my teeth without my fingers was in case I were to be hanging off a cliff I could whistle for help. I lived in south Georgia…there are no cliffs.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I always like this feature Laurie. Yay for Brycen agreeing to take off the training wheels and Bill’s patience. My father tried to teach me how to ride a two-wheeler and would not allow training wheels and it was a tall bike. I was not allowed to ride in the backyard on the grass (precious grass) and we lived in a fairly new sub and it was gravel driveways and street. We were out “learning to ride” one night and I said “don’t let go” and he did and I freaked a little and fell over and refused to go on the bike again with him by my side. A few days later I wheeled my bike down the street to my girlfriend’s house where her father let me ride on the grass in the backyard and I learned in no time. I never knew how to whistle like that either – wait til you have it down pat and watch Benji’s reaction!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was older than many of my friends when I learned to ride a bike. My grandfather had bought me a bike that I think was too big for me. One day, I jumped on my friend’s smaller bike and rode off down the street.

      Haha! Benji watches me pretty closely as I practice whistling. Bill is finding it quite humorous! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Same here – I was tall so my parents bought me a full-sized bike, so no in-between bike from my tricycle to a bicycle.

        I can imagine Benji’s ears going straight up when you practice whistling. I am sure all your grandchildren think they have the coolest grandmother!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve never done that so I admire you can even get any kind of whistle going. I was whistling back to the birds in the yard yesterday. I had one juvenile robin who kept it up and he was mostly just peeping in the end. I told him “my whistler can’t whistle anymore” and he flew away … did he understand or just get bored?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Keep trying Laurie and the month is almost over, so you’ll be trying something else to wow us with!. This morning I saw a cardinal on a utility pole. Last year I saw a cardinal in the same place and did a whole post on it. But it was singing so loud, it made me look up. Then I tried to keep up with it!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Well done to Brycen for learning how to ride his bike without the training wheels. I love that you are trying out new things. I still can’f juggle despite several attempts at learning to. My friend teaches circus skills and I’m currently the only person he couldn’t successfully teach juggling too although I still live in hope that I’ll manage it one day! I can whistle with my fingers though! Good luck to you in learning how to. Love the sound of The Alice Network – will have to look out for that book. #WotW

    Liked by 1 person

    • My juggling is nothing to brag about for sure. I am hoping to get some pointers from my juggling son when we go to the beach with them next week! I’m not making good progress on the whistling either. I’ll have to try something easy next month to get my confidence up! 🙂

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  4. How special that you were there for the training wheels coming off (I’m sure there’s something really profound there, but not really coming to mind right now).

    Whistling with your mouth seems an interesting choice. It’s not really anything I gave great thought to one way or another — but it’s an indication of your willingness to experiment & try new things.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Laurie-
    I’ve juggled since I was 15
    Could do( and probably still can do)
    3 balls, 4 balls, clubs, knives, fire and everyone’s favorite “eating the apple while juggling ”
    Your cousin Dave Miller

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dave!!! I cannot believe that you found and read my blog.

      Why am I not surprised that you can juggle ball, clubs knives and fire?!?!

      So good to hear from you!

      Like

  6. I LOVE this post. I may just use the idea over at my blog. I got so excited for Brycen as if I was there watching him ride his bike without training wheels. Good for him. I love the way you pointed out your husband’s patience with Brycen. Way to go at cheering on your man too. That book about race sounds like something I’d enjoy. I just might check it out as I’ve been tasked with reading this summer before classes start up again in the Fall. I can’t whistle with two fingers. Just tried again and nope, not my thing but you carry on and get great at it 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Yvonne. I do it at the end of each month. I love the format too. If you read The Color of Life, I would be interested to know what you think about it. I can’t whistle with my fingers yet, but I sure am giving my hubby something to laugh about! 🙂

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  7. I could never do that type of whistle, and as a kid wanted to, but couldn’t. Good luck with it. Well done hubby on the bike front. It’s funny the different experiences with our two kids learning to cycle. She was eager and learned quickly with me holding until she was ready to go. We didn’t agree with stabilizers and she cracked it soon, aged maybe four. Our boy, in total contrast, didn’t want to be taught. Consequently, he never learned, until his last year in primary school, when he went along to a bike safety thing, and used that to actually learn. He was 11! He learned quickly and biked a lot that summer. Sadly, both are now too cool to cycle, as very few teens around here seem to do so! #WotW

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I just LOVED The Alice Network and finished reading her other book The Huntress this month (also very good! and told with two overlapping time periods). Yay for riding without training wheels! I love that he was so confident now.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. So, one can learn to whistle, huh? I always thought you either could do it or you couldn’t LOL I can make a bit of a “sound” sucking the air IN, but cannot make anything happen blowing it OUT 😉 Definitely not my strong suit.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Congratulations to your grandson, riding a bike like that for the first time is a wonderful achievement. I can neither juggle or whistle, maybe I need to learn something new, there is so much I can’t do. I like your reading choices, very interesting. Thanks for linking up to word of the week, I think I’d choose New for your word as there is so much new stuff in your post 🙂 #wotw

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can juggle a little bit, but whistling so far has eluded me. I wish I would have thought of the word New as a title. That would have been a good one! Thanks for the opportunity to share!

      Like

  11. Never been able to whistle, with or without fingers. Most things are addictive to some extent, always wanting one better, one more, bit faster etc, us humans push ourselves to hard sometimes.
    Well done to Brycen, great feeling when they manage the bike, my middle one was 6 and only persevered because the 3 yr old boy next door could ride a 2 wheeler and ridiculed her and she was determined to prove him wrong. #WoTW

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can whistle without fingers, but I want to achieve the loud whistle with my fingers. So far, not yet! 🙂

      I think Brycen’s 5-year-old brother will be right behind him.

      Like

  12. Laurie, that’s something I could not do even as a child! Whistling alludes me! I can breathe in a Whistling sound but actually true Whistling sadly no…& tryst me I have tried many times over the years!

    I love how your grandson had the confidence to decline his grandfather’s offer until he was ready! 😉
    Bless you,
    Jennifer

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Laurie, this post took me right back to my childhood. I loved to read, envied my sister her whistling-with-fingers ability but could never get the hang of it, and I clearly remember the day I first rode my bike without the training wheels. The books, all new to me, sound good. And I think writers, not all, can write meaningfully about cultures other than their own. (That’s an issue even with cookbooks now!) #seniSal

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  14. This is a great round-up, Laurie! I love that Brycen was able to wait until he was ready to have the training wheels taken off and that he did so well without them. And the books you share about all sound interesting, especially The Color Of Life.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I must admit, while I can whistle, I can whistle in the manner you demonstrate with your fingers. But I, too, always wanted to in school 🙂 Such a fun post!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Laurie, this is great! Taking off those training wheels IS a brave thing. I still remember today the first time I rode a bike without training wheels, pre-helmet era. I ran right into the side of a garage! LOL

    I’m going to need to listen to this TED talk. I love the idea of trying something new every 30 days. What a challenge you have set before me!

    Thanks for linking up at InstaEncouragements!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Patsy. So funny that you can still remember the first time you rode a bike! I am a big fan of TED talks. I find I learn so much when I listen. Thanks for the opportunity to link up!

      Like

  17. That “something said” is wisdom for all of us! Such a good verse! And hooray for Brycen – and his Tour de France triumph!! What fun – a perfect summer memory!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I did a little catching up and decided to leave my comment here … thank you for the inspiration (not necessarily for learning to whistle ;))… but in genera) and for the excellent book recommendations .

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I wish I could whistle, I have never been able to do it well. I have even had people teach me, I still spit all over myself, or make such a small sound, there’s no point. It’s a great idea to learn something new every 30 days. I admire you for taking on that challenge. The books you mention look so interesting. I love to read and I read a lot, late into the night, which makes me tired, but what I learn keeps me going. 🙂 Thank you for the suggestions!

    Liked by 1 person

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