ROSES EACH DAY, AND EVERY DAY!  By Lori A Alicea

There’s a local florist near home who absolutely has the corner market on love.

Accompanied with every bouquet of roses is his smile and a few words to add to the card; words you recognize from the pages of a heart who knows true love himself and wants to share this love with others.

White roses for innocence and everlasting love;
Yellow roses for friendship and joy;
Pink roses for elegance and sweetness;
Red roses for true love and romance;

A garden of roses colored in every beautiful shade and hue paints the portrait of this local florist nearby, whose life as my husband expresses himself in friendship, joy, sweetness and true love as a bouquet of flowers, as a special delivery of
roses each day, and every day
to me and others.

david and lori 1

For some, it might take a special pair of glasses to see long stem roses wrapped in the ribbon of everyday tasks my husband blesses me with. For others, the fog might never clear.

But a heart of deep contentment and gratitude can smell the roses my husband gives while cleaning the dishes or braving the winter cold so I don’t have too.

serve doing dishes

serve de-icing car

A morning delivery of roses await an opportunity to appreciate the loving hands that serve me; to smile at the efforts of an amazing man regardless if his laundry folds ever pass a Martha Stewart inspection.

serve doing laundryI’m not the only one receiving roses each day, and every day.

A papa of ten grandchildren makes sure they each get their special deliveries too.

Papa hands out roses reaching for their hand, allowing the innocence of children to take him wherever they wish.

walk 1walkIt’s coming up roses during story time and car time with just the two of you.

play readingplaying with cars

Long stem roses are car rides with papa to wherever your heart desires.

play train ride

play snow plough

Roses from papa take adventures in the deep; adventures down the hill or adventures around the track.

playing swimingplaying sledingplaying riding go-cartA personal tour of papa’s rose garden is enjoyed during birthday celebrations and family hour around the dinner table with him.

table 1

jake david's birthdaytable 2Papa’s girls are vases of pretty pink buds that bloom in their special time together.

time 4

time 5play riding bike 2Sometimes you don’t see or smell the roses rolling out play-dough, waging a war of Nerf-guns, swatting the bat in baseball or working together with papa. But looking back at the pictures you realize papa’s rose petals where scattered everywhere.

play with play doughplay with gunsplaying baseballdeck david and jakeTo his prettiest girls, papa gives the dearest wedding bouquets in song and dance.
singing at Nate and Kristy's weddingCumbee-806Papa even commissions Elvis to personally deliver the finest and most exquisite roses in song to his anniversary girl.
singing at our anniversaryPapa hands out roses when he BBQ’s.
Papa hands out roses when he laughs.
Papa especially delivers red roses when he never says “no” to crafts.
bbqlaughcraftingMy Valentine and me with twenty-seven years together has been a lifetime delivery of
Roses each day, and every day.

Accompanied with every bouquet of roses is his smile and a few words to add to the card; words you recognize from the pages of a heart who knows true love in Christ himself and wants to share this love with others.

Papa’s roses of the ordinary and mundane might be mistaken for another flower.

But in the eye of the beholder,

david and lori

I’ll always see

Roses each day, and every day.
flowers

WHAT WE CELEBRATE! WHAT WE APPRECIATE! By Lori A. Alicea

What you appreciate, appreciates…
Author and speaker John Maxwell

What you value, increases in value.

We all are blessed beyond true riches.

Riches are seen through the eye of the beholder.
Riches are what we celebrate!
Riches are what we appreciate!

I’ve always considered myself a very rich woman.

I enjoy health, love, family, grandchildren, a great church, and don’t forget crafts and tons of glitter.

In this moment while I write, a choir of birds have gathered in the winter trees practicing a cantata of songs for their summer concerts as I am privileged to listen in.

Three sweet boys and seven beautiful girls call me Gaga.

Homemade chocolate chip and decorated sugar cookies hide in the freezer for those little people in my life; saving a few of them for myself I admit.

Best of all, my handsome husband just called for no other reason than to say that he loved me.

Yes, I am a rich woman.

Regardless that the vehicles we drive are junks.
Regardless that our closets remain half empty.
Regardless if our bank account balances reflects a different opinion on Wall Street.

Riches are seen through the eye of the beholder.
Riches are what we celebrate!
Riches are what we appreciate!

 There’s always something good to see, something good to say.

It’s all about perspective.

Every now and then an old fashioned treasure hunt of a situation or someone might unearth an unexpected gold mind of riches.

Years ago I wrote about such a treasure hunt.

THERE’S ALWAYS SOMETHING GOOD TO SAY
By Lori A Alicea

 Ever known a person who just rubbed you the wrong way?  Knowing that same person, if you had to say something good about them, could you?

 Those were questions from a family broadcast, encouraging listeners to begin to believe the best in someone, even if it required a treasure hunt of their character to find it.

I was standing in my husband’s garage one morning when I remembered the broadcast about treasure hunting.  While my husband doesn’t even come close to falling into the category of “rubbing me the wrong way”, yet loving him greatly as I do, I decided to take the treasure hunt challenge and wondered if anything in this garage would bring him honor.

Flipping the light it’s obvious no fancy cars or fishing boats are parked in this garage.  Though thrilled he’d be for either one, neither would mean anything worthwhile.

While stepping through this “hard hat” area I felt consumed by so much “stuff”.  Seemingly lost in a man’s world, I started to doubt my quest, yet minutes before stopping my search was victorious, when one blue zipper bag was found.

At first glance, one might question the honor in a blue zipper bag.  One might cringe at its worn, greasy appearance.  But honor goes beyond the grease, as the real treasure hidden inside this blue bag was an assortment of old rusty, tools.

For Father’s Day one year I bought these tools so my husband could change the oil and rotate the tires.  That day these tools were shiny and organized.  Now they’re stuffed in a tattered bag, giving the impression they haven’t been cared for, but just the opposite is true.

Over the years I’ve watched my husband become a servant among servants, helping others with these tools.  Changing oil became fixing breaks and whatever he’s learned to do since then, mostly requiring a hot meal as payment.

Occasionally I watch my husband working under the hood, curious how parts on the garage floor ever get put back correctly.  Yet hours later when I hear the engine running, I stand amazed that though I have the college degree, he truly is the smarter of us both.

Looking at these tools, I recall harsh weather my husband has labored in.  I see the mismatch set, remembering frigid slush he searched through after his tools had accidentally dumped.  I see their rust, feeling soaked myself as he’s worked beneath cars in a downpour.  Then I see that great smile he wears regardless of it all.

Maybe a hot meal doesn’t justify the effort of “being a blessing”.  Maybe it does if you see blessings as released boomerangs; so faithful they return.

“Finding the best” in a situation or someone is always worth the hunt, as treasures are buried everywhere, even hiding in some blue zipper bag.

So many years have passed since this old column of mine was published.

Yet time hasn’t diminished my admiration for a hard-working man who keeps us out of car payments by keeping our old cars running.

My husband’s heart is still that of a servant, helping others whenever he can, still for the sticker price of a hot meal.

Living in this old country town during the summer you’d find my husband and I sitting outside on lawn chairs sipping coffee and waving at passerby’s, seen as the town’s billboard for two people in love.

Yes, I am a rich woman and nothing or nobody can ever tell me different.

Because
What you appreciate, appreciates…
Author and speaker John Maxwell

 And I appreciate all that God has given me.

I celebrate!  I appreciate!

2019 england cova with ice cream cone

I am a rich woman.