Valuable You

While visiting a garden in Hilton Head I noticed a dead tree among several majestic oaks. Perhaps it was struck by lightning or maybe it was diseased.  I wondered why the gardeners didn’t cut the dead tree down. It was an eyesore. All the other trees had lacy ferns and velvety moss growing along their thick branches. Spanish moss hung from every branch like a shawl.

And then my gaze fell on this sign in front of the dead tree.


Wow. Who knew? This sign changed the way I viewed the dead tree among the beautiful ones. It was no longer an eyesore, but a refuge and valuable. The filter of my understanding was altered.  In just a few seconds my estimation for that tree rose to new heights.

In human society we admire pretty people. People who did nothing to earn their beauty. They just inherited great genes. And yet they are held in highest esteem, envied, and emulated. Those who are considered passable or homely are often ignored, even mocked. There are also those whose lives have been struck by a firebolt or altered by disease.  Are they any less valuable?


True beauty is hidden deep in the soul. We see it in the way people conduct themselves, how they treat others, and what they contribute to their communities and the world.  And in my humble opinion, those who have soul beauty grow more physically attractive with each passing year. As a society, we need our filters altered. We need to seek the good in others. How wonderful it would be to appreciate their strengths and talents over their physical appearance.

Do you feel unimportant and over looked? Please, look in the mirror today and say to the reflection, “You are valuable.”


Because you are!


The Bike Ride ~ A Study on the Differences Between Me and My Husband


Recently, my husband, Neal, and I decided we wanted to ride our bikes around Fayetteville Lake. Sounded nice. A pleasant afternoon together, peddling along, enjoying nature. Or at least that is what I had in mind.

We loaded our bikes, helmets, water bottles, and got in the car. Then Neal turned to me with this huge, aggressive smile. He waggled his eyebrows and down and he said, “Ready to put on some miles?”


Then I got it. Mr. Testosterone had a goal. To eat up as many miles as he could and put the proverbial notch of achievement on his scorecard. Meantime, me, Mrs. Estrogen, wanted to see nature, smell the perfumed air, feel the breeze on her face, smile at passersby – hey, maybe even stop and strike up a conversation. Pat a few puppies on the head.

When we arrived at the park and geared up. I told Mr. T to go on and try to beat his record. After a quick peck on the cheek, he sped off in a flash.

I peddled at my leisure, savored the honeysuckle and wild rose fragranced breeze, admired splashes of purple, white, pink, and yellow on green fields. Lizards raced across the path, turtles retreated in their shells. I smiled at the people jogging past me and felt sorry for them because they all had ear-buds in their ears and missed the music lustfully given by the choirs of birds above us.

Neal streaked past me and I had to smile. He’d just gone six miles and was working on his next six. To each his or her own. Neal had a blast conquering the road. I had a blast letting the path take me where it wanted and showing off all the sights that surrounded it.

All in all, we had a very good time even though we approached our outing very differently. After years of marriage Neal and I understand and appreciate our differences instead of expecting the other to conform to the our preferences. And that makes for good days indeed!