Memory Monday – Can Openers

When I cook something enough sometimes my body will go on autopilot making it allowing my mind to wander.  That’s exactly what happened the other morning while making chili.

My chili recipe requires quite a few different canned ingredients. Roughly 10 cans… give or take depending on the sizes I use.  About three cans into opening them all and I started wishing I had an electric can opener like we had when I was a kid.

I’m not sure who got it first… but one of my grandma’s had the same can opener.  It was an under-the-cabinet model with a bottle opener on the front and a bag opener on the side.

My other grandma had a countertop electric can opener.  It had a permanent home on her counter.

I was a big fan of our can opener… and the bag opener on the side once I discovered it was there.  We probably had it a year or two before I figured out what it was and how to use it.Nowadays we just have a manual can opener.  It stores nicely in the utensil drawer freeing up counter space in our small kitchen.  Plus, we don’t have to open many cans because most of them now come with pull off tops.

What kind of can opener did you have growing up?


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Weekly Verse – Talents

It’s been a busy weekend… but a good one.  It started with my oldest at district speech contest first thing Saturday morning.  It was fun to see her competing in the Storytelling category… the same category I competed in when I was a junior or senior.

There were a lot of talented teens performing in all sorts of categories. It was good to see the fruits of their hard work pay off.

From the speech contest, we headed an hour south to join my wife and youngest who were already at the dance competition our studio was a part of this weekend.

Anyone that knows me knows I love being a Dance Dad and watching my daughters and their friends dance… but I’ve also learned to appreciate a good dance by someone I don’t even know. I saw plenty of great dances and dancers at this competition.

I was so struck by all the young talent that I witnessed this weekend I thought I’d find a Bible verse to go with it.  What I found was 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 (MSG).

“God’s various gifts are handed out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit. God’s various ministries are carried out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit. God’s various expressions of power are in action everywhere; but God himself is behind it all.”

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Inspiration From A Cow & A Fence

I never know when inspiration will strike for a blog post.  Sometimes it’s in the most unlikely of places and from the most ordinary things.

Like earlier this week.  I had a day off and was getting a few things done around the house.  One of those things was to get our dead Christmas tree off the front lawn and to take it a couple miles out of town to what I call the “stick dump”.

It’s the designated place for people in our town to drop off their yard waste and sticks.   Dead Christmas trees are also acceptable so I tossed ours in the back of my truck and headed out of town.

After turning off of the pavement and onto the gravel road I soon noticed some cows in a pasture near the road.  They were just hanging out all kept in the area by an electric fence.

If you’re not familiar with the concept, an electric fence has an electric current running through it.  Touch it and you’ll get a shock.  It won’t kill anything but it it does hurt.  I know because I’ve accidentally touched one or two over the years.

You can see the electric fence in the picture above.  It’s the thin, white line.

As I continued on to the “stick dump” I thought about those cows and that simple electric fence.

What struck me the most was the size of the cows compared to the fence.  The cows all probably weighed more than 1,000 pounds.  The fence was a ribbon-like, white mesh strip of fabric and wire.

If one of those cows wanted… it could easily charge the fence, break it, and be free in a matter of moments.  Sure, there would be a quick, uncomfortable shock in the process but that would be over quickly.

The fear of a little discomfort keeps the cows from getting free.

It got me thinking.  What are the metaphorical electric fences in my life?  What are the things that could be a little uncomfortable dealing with at first that are keeping me from something great?

I’m not going to list them all here but I did come up with a few. Now that I know what they are I just need to fight the fear, muster the courage, and “charge the fence”.   It won’t necessarily be easy but it will be worth it.

What are the metaphorical electric fences in your life and what are they keeping you from?

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