Lessons Relearned

The plum that fell from the tree looked ripe…smaller than purple plums one would find at the grocery, but every bit as purple.

It was the largest plum by far that I’d ever seen on this tree.  All I had seen were small and hard – similar to the fruit of a Bradford Pear tree. We all assumed the tree to be ornamental (richly purple leaves) since all the fruit we saw on it was inedible. (This was also true of the tree from which it originated.)

As I held the plum in my hand, I wondered if our assumptions about the tree were wrong.  I gazed up into the tree in search of other fruits of similar size. There, scattered about, were a few of similar size.

A surprise!

Apparently, birds and squirrels had robbed us of every edible plum well before they reached maturity.

I looked again at the plum in my hand. It looked perfect, albeit small.

Curiosity got the best of me and I sunk my teeth into its flesh.

The acrid taste was not what I expected and it lingered far longer than the allure of the fruit.

I tossed the plum to the ground and regretted my decision to taste it.

Lessons relearned:

  • Things aren’t always what they appear, or as they appear.
  • My judgment is not always accurate or wise.
  • Looks are often deceiving.
  • There is no “undo” in real life.
  • Wrong actions reap unpleasant consequences.
  • Desire leads us in directions wisdom would never take us.
  • Sometimes it’s just better NOT to have knowledge about some things.
  • Wrong choices can leave a bitter taste in one’s mouth.
  • Consequences last far longer than the initial attraction.


Keep Your Work Area Clean

I knew better.  I just didn’t do better.

When Daughter purchased a new bed – smaller and more in step with the size of her room – she discarded her old.

I saved the foundation and tore it apart for various uses.

The tearing apart / breaking down process can be messy if one doesn’t follow certain rules consistently.

Rules like:

4. remove protruding nails / staples, or hammer them flat, OR turn the board so nail tips point DOWN and not UP

8. don’t step on boards / wood

10. don’t step on nails / staples, or on boards containing them

22. wear shoes

(Read more rules here.)

You see…I stepped on a piece of wood with small nails protruding from it. Yes, I was wearing shoes. But they were my old work shoes…yes, the ones with holes in the soles.

I didn’t realize I had a problem until I took another step forward and discovered the board was stuck to the bottom of my shoe.

When I sat to pull the board from my shoe, I discovered the nails had gone through the sole.

That explained why one of my toes stung.

I removed my shoe, then my sock. Yep, I had two little holes in the underside of my fourth toe.  Tiny dots of red marked them.

It’s not such a difficult thing to ignore rules.  In fact, it seems tremendously human to do so.  But, when we choose to ignore rules, we position ourselves squarely in harm’s way.

I ignored safety guidelines and blatantly broke rules.

And, in the process of doing my own thing, my own way, I suffered the consequences.

I’m just glad my dad wasn’t around to see.  He would have said, “Babe, why did you do that?  You knew better!”

Yep, I did.  I knew better because he taught me better.

Problem is, I didn’t do better.