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Who Needs S’mores?

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I often talk smack about my mom on here. But sometimes, she does have a rare moment of happiness or fun. I was toasting marshmallows on my gas stove the other day and it was one of those things that made me think of her.

Toasting a marshmallow over the gas stove.  Not that that is my dirty stove.

Toasting a marshmallow over the gas stove. Not that that is my dirty stove.

We were not campers. I thought S’mores were only something that Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts made to get a merit badge. We didn’t have a BBQ grill or eat tacos until I was in middle school (She was fried steak and potatoes, all the way. Still is.).

But we would use a long meat fork and toast big marshmallows over the gas stove flame. It takes technique to not set it on fire. But it tastes so good when it is done (meaning half or completely burned).

Excuse the blurriness.  Hard to put out a fire while taking a picture.  Not that that is my dirty stove.

Excuse the blurriness. Hard to put out a fire while taking a picture. Not that that is my dirty stove.

Just note that you have to remove the marshmallow from the fork before consuming. Or you might burn your nose on the hot metal of the fork. Not that that has ever happened to me.

My mom did other fun stuff. Occasionally. We would go to the zoo. One time we chased the Goodyear blimp in the car because we saw it flying over a nearby field. She would race up to train tracks (not over them) so that I could watch a passing train. She could make up catchy rhymes about children who died 100 years ago. We would have strawberry shortcake for dinner. She let me skip 5th grade Field Day and took me to the lake instead. She took me to the lake and the pool, although she would never wanted to get in the water herself.

Today is her birthday and I salute her.
Without her, there would be no me.

I already have been known to turn around so my son could watch a passing train. I will teach him how to toast marshmallows on the stove. Just as soon as he gets past the “I don’t want to to be sticky” phase. (Wait…that is only MY little boy?!)

Just don’t tell my mom I have a blog, alright?

The Church of Common Decency

The Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

What if there was a church where you didn’t have to believe in God? What if all you had to believe in was the goodness of each other? Believe in being nice to each other?

I want to promote people being good for the sake of being good. Not because they need to get into Heaven or stay out of Hell or stay on a deity’s good side. Everyone would just be nice to each other because it feels good, and for the potential universal karmic payback. If you are nice to someone today when they need it, maybe someone else will help you when you need it.

That is my new dream.

I must admit that this idea came out of experiencing the driving habits of inconsiderate drivers over and over again. My main example is when I was in the Meijer parking lot and had my back door open on my car. I was buckling my infant son into his carseat. A woman came out of the store, got into the van next to me, and proceeded to back out. She did this as I still stood there with my car door open and my easily squishable body behind it. I got so angry. How could someone take the chance of injuring two people and going to jail, rather than sit in her van for two minutes? Asked like that, doesn’t it seem obvious what the correct choice would be?

I had a very similar situation a few months earlier. My senior citizen mother was getting out of my car at the bank. She was getting her purse and her cane, the front door open behind her. A woman came out of the bank, got into her car directly beside us, and proceeded to back out. When she had parked, her front tires were turned. This caused her car to head right for my car door and my mom. It being summer, the woman had her window open and heard my exclamation, something like “Hey” (short for “Hey, what the hell are you doing?). Of course, she had been only looking behind her, with no regard for who she was about to squish. I think she gave a half-hearted apology, straightened her wheel, and back out the rest of the way.

More than just vehicle etiquette, there are tons of other situations in our daily life where we could help a stranger and it would create a big pay off. I guess maybe it could also be the Church of Common Courtesy. The mission statement could be something like:

Church of Common Courtesy
Our mission is to promote the good that is in everyone, encourage helping one another as much as your means and abilities will allow, and discourage evil and rude behavior.

I guess the problem is, people don’t like to be nice and polite. It is not a human’s natural state. That is why we have laws and religion already–to force people to follow the rules and get along when they don’t want to.

Ah, but a girl can dream…

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