Michele M. Bender
For The Tribune-Democrat
People expect certain routines at specific holidays.
They count on fireworks and sparklers on July 4.
Easter demands a basket of colorful eggs and candy.
Festive ornaments, angels, drummer boys and tinsel should adorn Christmas trees.
I enjoy messing with tradition. I’m an unconventional gal.
On Halloween, I passed treats out from old Easter baskets. (I’m sure kids thought, “That can’t be left from April, can it?”)
During one particularly snowy winter, I stockpiled two cartons of snowballs in my basement freezer. On July 4, friends and I pelted each other with my “Siberian M-80s,” chilling on a sweltering afternoon.
My Christmas tree features a Marilyn Monroe theme. Santa, snowmen and garlands get a rest while trendy Marilyn ornaments and figurines add elegance, glamour and sparkle to my season.
The Wise Men on my mantle approve.
I defy convention because, without realizing, our lives can become flat.
We just concluded Lent, a time to re-evaluate ourselves.
I learned a lot over the past three years. I repeatedly planned self-improvement efforts (start diets, exercise). But the start times were generally “tomorrow,” which never came.
There’s never a good time to begin things that are hard to do.
God put up with a lot from me: Apathy, procrastination, laziness. But then He gave me the solid kick in the dupa that I needed, and my life turned around.
Thanks to hard work and “after-market” body parts, I’m healthy, and it’s magical. Doctors scrutinized my organs with scopes, blood tests, X-rays and MRIs. Everything has either been repaired, removed, or replaced. God has a purpose for me or He wouldn’t have showered me with those blessings.
So, instead of New Year’s Resolutions, I decided to make Easter Resolutions.
Resolution 1: I’m more “portable” now, so I resolve to get out and meet folks, do some volunteering, help however I can. Since 2010, I learned that if you “believe” in yourself, you can do “unbelievable” stuff.
Resolution 2: I resolve to master walking a quarter mile (or more) outdoors, here in my ’hood or wherever I can.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or we can rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”
I bought a gizmo called a “rollator,” essentially a walker with wheels, brakes, a basket, a seat and a backrest.
It enables me to walk till I wear out.
Then I lock the brakes, sit down, catch a second wind and continue.
And it’s red!
I’m not where I was. I haven’t reached my destination. I’m not even sure where I’m going, but I’m on my way.
If you spot me out cruisin’ with my “candy apple red” 4-wheeler, honk, wave, or say “Hi.” Wanna join me? Pull over and stop. We’ll explore the ’hood and chat.
Maybe I’ll show you a new wrinkle.
Michele Mikesic Bender is a Johnstown resident and a member of The Tribune-Democrat’s Readership Advisory Committee.
Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.
Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.