Author: JoAnn

What’s In A Number?

Lately, I have been noticing the recurrence of sequences of numbers in my life. For example, I will look at my phone, and the time will be 3:33 or 11:11. Today I looked at my phone, and it was 5:05, 05/05. When all of this first began, I looked at my phone, and it was 2:22 on 02/22/2022. These are only a few of the many, many examples that I have experienced in the past months.

At first, I thought it was a cute little coincidence, but it has continued to happen every day for weeks. I am beginning to question if there is a meaning behind this number thing.

About two weeks into this happening, I had a friend message me that this was also happening to her. I had not told her anything about my experiences. She just casually mentioned that she keeps seeing multiple numbers. This got my interest up even more. She seems to believe that there is a Biblical reason for it all. Being a Christian myself, I am intrigued.

I want to do more research into this number thing but haven’t had the time. If you read this and can shed some light on the subject, or if you want to just share your own experiences with it, I would be very grateful.

I have never asked for my reader’s advice or to join a conversation, but I think this would be an interesting topic.

We have numbers surrounding us daily in almost every area of our lives. Perhaps what I am experiencing is only a coincidence. Something else to ponder!

I thank you in advance for any knowledge you may be able to pass along!

Sounds Of My Town

It’s early morning, the sun is just starting to rise, and I am listening to the birds outside my window. They are very loud, but I adore their music. Happy birds, all singing a different song, waking up together, are my favorite sound in nature.

When I hear the birds, I know that my little rural town is also waking up. I know that soon I will hear cars being warmed up in their driveways as people are preparing to rush off to work. Next, I will hear the very distinct sound of the school bus coming down our street to pick up my neighbor’s children. Throughout the day, farmers will drive their trucks, or oversized equipment, up and down my road, making a big thump as they go over the bump directly in front of my driveway. That can get pretty noisy at times, but I have grown used to it now.

The sounds I will hear on Saturdays are children playing in their yards, lawnmowers working hard, and maybe a chainsaw in the distance. A dog will bark, and now and then, a cow will moo. Traffic in the neighborhood is heaviest on Saturday as people are out taking care of things left for their weekend.

Sunday is the quietest of all days. There is usually a rush of cars through town after church. We have many churches in my small town. It has always seemed strange to me as to just how many churches we have, with it being a population of around 2100. When we first moved here 30 years ago, I joked that there was a church on every corner. But there actually was more truth to that statement. Right off hand, I can count 15 churches in my town that are open for business every Sunday.

I left my home at 8:30 p.m. last night to do a quick errand to the store before they closed at 9:00. As with most small towns, I would imagine that all the sounds change drastically after the sun goes down. I have been here many years, and to this day, it still takes me by surprise when I drive down the road after dark, and it is so eerily quiet. It was like driving in a ghost town. Not one sound came from any direction, and of course, I was the only car on the road.

I spent a good chunk of my life in a big city. That is where I learned to drive. I was pretty used to the city being awake and active around the clock. It was nothing unusual to go grocery shopping at 10 or 11 at night while my kids were home sleeping. Their daddy was with them, of course. I loved going at that time because I knew they were home safe & sound in their beds. I could take my time and have a nice drive alone. It was awesome. I have not been able to do that again since we moved away 30 years ago. I miss it. I miss being able to run to a store late at night if I needed something like medicine for a sick child. I had to learn to keep both my medicine cabinet and pantry stocked.

I’m thankful for the quiet of the early morning with just me and the neighborhood birds. It’s a peaceful, pleasant way to start my day. It’s probably the number 1 thing that I love about living in a small rural town.
I would certainly miss it if I ever moved back to a big city. And I am also thankful for the quietness of the night and the safety that I feel here. But I do miss the sounds of the city now and then.

Wherever your hometown is now, l hope you too find peaceful and pleasant sounds to start and end your days.

Covered In Yellow

Today, I looked out my front window, admiring the massive pine tree in my neighbor’s yard. It is directly across from my short driveway. I often look at this tree and wonder how old it is because it is so tall. For years I have loved this tree. I have seen many large pine cones among its needled branches and covering the ground below. Sometimes they are so plentiful that some will roll over to my driveway.

Today I noticed bright yellow clusters adorning the tips of its branches. I turned to the trusty Google to learn these are the male flowers of the pine tree, and only the male flowers produce pollen. But I did not need that last bit of information after what I witnessed for myself.

I caught a glimpse of a cute squirrel playing in the big tree. He was having quite a good time jumping from limb to limb, playing on this beautiful Spring day. Then he jumped on top of one of the many male flower clusters. Much to my surprise, a tremendous amount of neon yellow dust went POOF when he did so! Yep, pollen.

Instead of laughing at the squirrel’s clown-like antics, I cringed. Yes cringed, when I realized what I was witnessing was a pollen bomb of sorts. I am highly allergic to pollen, and to think that the beautiful tree I admired daily was full of these pollen bombs made me panic. All I could think was that it was too close to my front door. How can I ever avoid that much pollen? After all, the tree is huge! And its branches are full of this torture dust.

So what did I do? Simple. I took my first allergy pill of the season. I will continue to take a pill daily until the pollen has done its duty and the heat of summer has me safely tucked away indoors with the air conditioning running.

I didn’t see what happened to the squirrel. I wonder if he had an allergic reaction to all that pollen or if he continued to jump and play, setting off bomb after bomb of neon yellow—something else to ponder.

Here’s hoping that wherever you are in this big round world, you are safe from the pollen bombs and enjoying your Spring.

My Fave Gadget

When cell phones first hit the market, I had no intention of purchasing one. I was pleased with my “home phone.” But being a mother of three growing daughters, it made sense that having one could be pretty convenient.

My husband had bought me a “bag phone” first. I’ll try to do it justice for any of you who have no idea what that is. It looked exactly like a house phone; only it came in what looked like a handbag, complete with a shoulder strap. This was in the early 1990s when I was traveling long distances with my three children to visit family. My husband worried about a mother and three little girls traveling and felt it was excellent protection. He was right. It gave me a lot of confidence when traveling. Not to mention that goofy-looking bag phone could pick up reception even in the mountains of Northeast Tennessee with crystal clarity. I have never had a cellphone with such good reception since.

Fast forward to when my oldest daughter turned 16 and became a licensed driver. Not only was she stuck driving her Mama’s big old Ford Grand Marquise, but she was also stuck with the goofy bag phone as well. She can share stories of the embarrassment she endured when she and her friends would be hanging out in the parking lot where it was cool to congregate, and out of nowhere, a very loud telephone would begin to ring. I can see her face now! I am sure it could be heard from all over that parking lot. Everyone would ask where in the world that loud phone ringing was coming from. And of course, she had to be the one to answer said phone. And nine times out of ten, the person on the other end was me! I know she hated that at the time, but I will always appreciate how safe I knew she was with a phone that she could get clear reception no matter where she may be. That was priceless given the fact we live in a very rural area.

Fast forward to everyone having a cute little flip phone that fits neatly in their pocket. I resisted again, at first. Then I realized my teenage daughters needed one for their safety and my ability to track them and know they were safe. And since they had one, I needed one since I was the mom. Pretty soon, everyone in the family had the latest and best phone.

The cell phone is, without a doubt, the most convenient gadget I have ever owned. It has gotten better and better over the years as well as more and more expensive. But it’s funny to think back at how it all started. From desktop computers to laptops, tiny flip cell phones, large “smart” phones that now do everything your big clunky computer once did! It truly is impressive.

I realized just how addicted I was to the convenience a smartphone gave when mine began to act up after almost five years of use. It began to cut off on me and no longer hold a charge. It had gotten to the point that it could no longer keep up.

I panicked! What would I do without my smartphone? I had no way to communicate with anyone! What if I needed my daughters? What if they needed me? I can’t even use my laptop now without driving to McDonald’s. Ha, ha, ha! I was pretty bent out of shape for several days.

I had to calm myself down and remind myself that it was not the end of the world as it felt. I was simply being inconvenienced, not attacked. I could get some kind of phone that I would at least be able to make calls or texts from, and I would save up my money for a new phone. I was not above visiting a place such as McDonald’s to use free WiFi so I could do my writing on my laptop. I had done that very thing for several years, and I could do it again.

Just as I had my plan in order, a special angel in my life gifted me a brand new smartphone. Maybe I should call him my smartphone angel because he also gifted me my very first smartphone. The one that just died. Ha, ha.

So I sit here happy as a fat cat who just finished a plate of tuna. Glad I have a new smartphone and no worries about being inconvenienced. Oh, that sounds just horrible. We are spoiled, folks! Something else to ponder.

First Impressions

I had always believed that my first impression of someone would tell me all I needed to know about them. I could always tell whether or not I could trust them, and if they were someone I would like to pursue a friendship or professional relationship with. I always trust my instincts, and I have always taken pride in noticing the little things in people and being able to read them. To see deeper than someone may be sharing with the world. After my many years on this sweet earth, I now think I was wrong.

Oh, I still believe we can catch most of a person’s true self by using our instincts and observations. And our past experiences with others make us wiser. But I must admit, quite a few people I thought I had pegged and they boldly proved me wrong. Leaving me to question myself.

I’ll admit my ego is a little bruised when I realize I misjudged someone off a first impression. And I don’t quite know how to feel about it. I guess I should be happy if the person ended up being a much better individual than I had first thought. That’s a good mistake to make. But, of course, it is unfortunate to realize the opposite. When someone you thought was good turned out to be a bad person. No one likes that.

So I’m left asking myself, should I still put as much merit into a first impression? Probably not. It seems only logical that we should at least give someone a second chance before we decide to let them into our life, whether personally or professionally. I like to think I can read someone with 100% accuracy upon a first impression, but that is purely my ego talking. I have no magical powers. Ouch.

So I humbly concede that I may have misjudged others on a first impression. Have you ever noticed that there’s a chance for upheaval anytime the word judge is in the mix? Yet another thing to prove that we are not to judge others.

Today, I passed a property where one family has a house, two mobile homes, and a vast assortment of junk. The property is an eyesore. Every time I drive by, I am annoyed. Today I stopped myself. I was judging that family. Who am I to do so? I don’t even know their names! And why do I even care? I don’t have to live there. So what if their property needs a good clean up. They are trying every day just as hard as I am in my own life for all I know. I don’t know their story. Maybe there is a legit reason their property ended up in such bad shape.

I drove on toward my home, full of repentance, feeling ashamed of myself for all the times over the years that I had judged a family I didn’t even know. I am thankful that I finally recognized what I was doing today and can now change my bad attitude.

My hope is the next time I drive past that property, I will have a prayer in my heart for that family. If they are overwhelmed, like I have been myself many times, they will receive a helping hand, just like I have, many, many times over. Just more proof of how impressions can be gravely misunderstood.

Now I ask myself, what kind of impression do I give? Now that is something to ponder.

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