Sapsucker's Blog

Tall tales, myths, legends and a few facts about the Thornbury family

Sometimes, it’s best to fix what’s broken 

See the pretty lady in the blue dress, the one who’s smile is lighting up that room. Today would have been her birthday. Here’s something I learned from her (after Dad passed) – If things broke, she made time to fix them. A curtain rod, screen door, the rip in pants. It was a way of life and sometimes, I admit, it drove me crazy. All the fixing and renewing, I wanted just once to be wasteful. Throwing things away meant you knew there’d always be more. But then on that cold night in late December of 2003 Mom died. In the warmth of that hospital room I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn’t any more. Sometimes, what we love the most get all used up and goes away. So what she taught me is … While we have it, it’s best to love it and to care for it and fix it when it’s broken and mend it back to health when it’s sick. This is true for marriages, old cars, children that need your time when there seems to be none to give and parents and grandparents. We keep them all because they are worth it, because we are all worth it. Some things we keep, like the best friend that moved away or a classmate we grew up with. And most of the time the things we keep aren’t even things. I love you, I miss you.

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Let’s make things simple again, right in time for the New Year!

DISCLAIMER: I try to hold myself to ALL of these suggestions ALL of the time. I try to hold myself accountable and be responsible for my actions.

When we were kids life was easier, right?  I know sometimes it seems that way.  But the truth is life still is easy and it always will be.  The difference is we’re older, and the older we get, the more we complicate things.

When we were kids we saw the world through simple eyes.  We knew what we wanted and had no biases or agendas.  We liked people who smiled.  We avoided people who frowned.  We ate when we were hungry, drank when we were thirsty, and slept when we were tired.

As we have grown older our minds have became gradually cluttered by negative influences.  So we have began to hesitate and question our instincts.  When a new obstacle comes up, we stumble and we fall down.  So, we have decided we don’t want to fall again, but rather than solving the problem that caused us to fall, we have avoided it all together. Society reinforces our actions and encouraged us to continue to avoid instead of overcoming and achieving.

As a result, we have eaten comfort food and drank alcohol to numb our minds to avoid these obstacles and problems. We are working late on purpose to avoid unresolved conflicts at home.  We hold grudges, play mind games, and subtly deceive others and ourselves to get ahead.  And when it doesn’t work out, we live above our means, buy things we don’t need, try to get people to think we are something we are not , and drink some more just to make ourselves feel better again. Over the course of time, we have made our lives more and more difficult, and we started losing touch with who we really are and what we really need.

So let’s get back to the basics, shall we?  Let’s make things simple again.  It’s easy. Feel free to make some or all of these your resolutions for the New Year. Here are 15 ways to do just that and just in time for New Years:

1.Don’t assume you know what a person is thinking … Communicate.

2. Pay your bills! They are your bills and YOUR responsibility not your parents, neighbors or Uncles!

3. Get enough sleep every night. A rested mind is a productive mind.

4. Don’t waste your time on jealousy, the only competition you will have is yourself.

5. If you’re not sure, ask someone.

6. Don’t try to please everyone. Do what you know is right.

7. Don’t steal, in no way, form or fashion. If it is not yours then you are NOT entitled to it!

8. Be yourself.

9. Always be honest with yourself and others. If you’re not, people will see right through you!

10. Smile often, even to complete strangers.

11. Live below your means. Don’t buy stuff you don’t need. Always sleep on big purchases. Don’t buy things so that people will think you are something you are not (refer back to #9).

12. Get off your high horse, talk it out, shake hands/hug and move on.

13. Don’t worry too much about what others think of you.

14. Realize the harder you work, the luckier/more blessed you become.

15. Treat everyone with the same level of respect you would give your grandfather and the same level of patience you would give your child.

Merry Christmas and May God bless you with a Happy New Year! You are all blessing to me and so many around you so take care of yourself!

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A Memorable day

Recently, Kayla, Clayton and I were coming down I-75 from Louisville heading home to Pikeville. Clayton let us know he needed to use the bathroom. We took exit 115 (Newtown Pike) in Lexington and pulled into the Embassy Suites.

 I unbuckled him and rushed inside to the restroom. As we went by the front desk there was a United States Army Soldier checking in. Clayton said “Look Dad!” I replied with “Maybe when we come out of the restroom we can find that REAL HERO and say thank you.” So we went on in the restroom, used it, washed our hands and they walked out. As we stepped out of the restroom there stood the Hero we both wanted to thank. I said “Sir, my son has something he would like to tell you.” I leaned over and told Clayton to thank him. At this point the Soldier got down on one knee and leaned in, Clayton said “Thank You Sir.” I added that we appreciate our freedom and therefore appreciate his efforts. I added that we pray for them every night. The soldier then ripped his American flag from his uniform and handed it to my son.

I have met some pretty cool people in my life, I have been some nice places and I have experienced more than my fair share of neat things but this day, this Hero topped them all.

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Take time to care…

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
3. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.

How did you do? The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here’s another quiz. See how you do on this one:

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name some people who have taught you something worthwhile.

The lesson:

The wealthy, the ones with the awards, the multiple degreed are in fact the one’s that usually do not take time to care for others. The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care. Let’s all take time to care, to build a legacy that will be around longer than we will!

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Play Ball!

I was informed yesterday morning that my son is now officially signed up for t-ball. I will have to say yesterday was one of the best days of the year so far! I was floating, ecstatic, I am really excited! Thinking of my son getting to play baseball (sort of) took me back to a few very fond memories I have of my Dad…

When I played little league and Babe Ruth baseball, the most delighted I would be is when Mom and I would go down to the field for my game. Dad would be working as he always did, but sometime during the game he would show up. I can still see him standing against the chain link fence watching my every move and cheering me on and yelling words of encouragement.

I grew up in a neighborhood that had plenty of kids so it was always easy to get a game going on our street.The summer before Dad pasted away, we were one player short and I suggested asking Dad to play. All the kids didn’t seem to mind, but they also didn’t think it was the best idea they had heard of either. So I asked him and he was delighted to help out. All was going as planned until he ended up on the other team, one of the kids on the other team was really upset about this. He was being a real brat about it so I suggested I would take Dad on my team and he could have any player he wanted from my team. He quickly did so and the ball game started. It was a spirited game and in the last inning we had last bat. We were down by one run, we had 2 outs and Dad was coming to bat with me on first. The “brat” (from earlier in the story) was pitching. He was acting cocky and was acting as though since my “old man” was up that we had all but already lost. I don’t recall the balls and strikes while Dad was up to bat, I just remember that last pitch … that Dad hit high and deep into right field. I took off running with Dad not far behind me, I came across home plate then turned to see where Dad was. He was rounding third as the ball was thrown from the outfield. The cut off man threw a rocket to home plate I knew then that the only way we could win would be if Dad slid into home. Of course your thinking the same thing I am, my Dad is not going to slide into home! Well if you think that, then you now know we are both wrong. He did slide into home and we did win that game.

I still think of that nice summer day all the time. It still brings me immense joy just like it did back in the summer of ’86. I have learned something new about that particular game now that I have a little boy of my own. He didn’t win that game for him or us, he won it for me. Thanks Dad.