What it Takes to Make a Favorite



My favorite places include sunny beaches, sparkling blue water, and moonlit palm trees. 

My favorite desserts are glorious-looking, sumptuous pastries of creamy goodness. 

My list of favorite people changes from time to time. 

But sometimes that list can be kind of short. I tend to let the quirks and traits of people become annoyances and irritants. And soon that’s all I can think of. 

Over Memorial Day weekend, as I walked to the beach with my six-year-old niece Devon, she looked around at her grandparents, aunt, brother and parents and said, “I’m s-o-o-o lucky that all of my favorite people are here.”


I would like to aspire (my one word for 2013) to that frame of mind. And I could start with my neighbors. 

Since I live in a townhome, I share walls with my neighbors. Including the wall to my outdoor courtyard. 

Where I like to sit in the morning and drink my coffee. 

Where I like to sit in the evening and read. 

So I wasn’t very happy when my neighbor put up a trampoline on her courtyard. 

It soared over the dividing walls, blocking my view of the sky and made great clanking noises when the wind blew hard. I didn’t like it when the neighbor kids jumped on the trampoline, peering over at me sitting out on my courtyard as they scaled the wall in mid-jump. 

The kids threw a basketball onto my screen that stuck itself firmly in the middle where I was unable to remove it. When I asked my neighbor to retrieve her child’s ball, she was defensive and unfriendly. 

My neighbors two doors down have the messiest garage I’ve ever seen. Since it’s packed full, they are always standing outside of their garage peering at whoever drives or walks by. 

So since I wasn’t crazy about my neighbors, I decided to do something about it. 

I baked.



During the Christmas holidays, I put together little boxes of cookies and tiny gooey butter cakes, signed a card with my name (since I wasn’t even sure I knew their names) and delivered them to my neighbors. 

The neighbor with the trampoline seemed skeptical as I handed her the box and wished her happy holidays. 

The neighbor with the messy garage seemed overwhelmed as she introduced me to her four children. 

Now, she cheerily waves good morning to me and greets me by name as she walks the baby in the morning. My neighbors now make a point to chat with me. 

And they don’t bother me nearly as much as they once did. I discovered doing something for them actually did something for me. 

They didn’t change. But I did. 


One of my favorite movies is the 1940s musical “Meet Me in St. Louis.” In one scene, the youngest daughter in the family, who is about five or six years old, is riding on the ice wagon and turns to the driver and says breathlessly, “St. Louis is my favorite city.” 

She reflects for a moment then says, “Wasn’t I lucky to be born in my favorite city?”

Maybe making a favorite is more about a person, place or thing I prefer. 

Maybe it's about making a connection with empathy, kindness and understanding. 

Waiting to hear the whispers of God to my heart instead of listening to my own inner voice that grumbles and grouches without much thought. 

And I realize it takes more to make a favorite than what I am naturally fond of. It’s more about my outlook and a willingness to reach out, open up, and enlarge the circle. 

With my arms, mind, and heart. 

And I discover that what I’m not too crazy about at first slowly, gradually becomes a favorite.

My neighbor with the trampoline moved out last weekend. And it took me two days to notice that the trampoline was gone. I will have a fresh chance to act on the whispers to my soul when my new neighbors move in. And the sooner I can do it, the sooner they will become a favorite.

Comments

  1. Love this entry! It's a great reminder for me to be more patient and positive with the people who can drive me crazy. :)

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    1. Yes, I need more patience and more positivity please!! :)

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  2. I can completely relate to the "little annoyances." I can only imagine how annoyed I would have been about that trampoline too!! How wonderful that you reached out to your neighbors, despite the irritants. It is so apparent that Jesus is alive in you. :) - Shawna

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    1. Hi Shawna,
      How sweet of you! If only I could find a way to overcome these annoyances, life would be so much simpler! But I have a feeling that's how God works best in our lives . . . Thanks for sharing! :)

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  3. Your photography is again, beautiful. Your posts are so inspired!

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    1. Thanks so much -- many times the words aren't flowing but inspiration comes from above!

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  4. That last photo is spectacular and exactly how it looked-Mother

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    1. Welcome to the blog, Mother! You successfully commented -- finally! :)

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  5. Thank you for reminding me to be grateful for all my favorites -- and to make some new ones through a more open heart and mind.
    Christy

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    1. Christy - Thanks for the kind words on FB, too! Loved them! :)

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  6. What wonderful thoughts. I love the quote!

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    1. I love it too -- if I could only remember to approach so many things in life like that! :)

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  7. Another great article - wonderful pictures!!!

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