In my very anthropomorphic view, I swear I could hear the wisteria crying as we trimmed away two decades of sinewed vines that had clung to the porch we had to rebuild this April. Offering shelter to man and animal alike, its towering verdancy would bloom every year on my birthday.

Not this year. It lay dormant, still, speechless as the workmen slammed nails into wood and called it a terrace.

I’m not the begrudging type, but I am often shell-shocked when Husband runs through the garden with his clipping shears, trimming away what he deems to be stray natural material that “shouldn’t be there”. In his quiet way he secretly drew pleasure recently out of hacking away one-fourth of the hedge that borders our neighbor’s place, the folks who only ever talk to us when it is time to revisit said hedge.

So you see I have a history of garden remorse. When it came to my beloved wisteria, I wept with it, thinking it would never grow again. I knew the wisteria had to be trimmed back dramatically. It just made me sad to think it would die because of us.

How wrong I was!

If you want to make Nature laugh, try taming it. While we human beings want things yesterday, now or at the very least, really, really soon, Nature sits patiently, growing day by day without comment. It simply is. It does not try to control the future, but lives only in the now. And it rewards those of us who are patient enough to notice its resilience.

Okay, I’m feeling a little more humble now in the face of such magnificence. How about you?

Waiting sucks. Or at least we think it to be a minor annoyance. While waiting can offer us the opportunity to savor, you task-minded folks may appreciate these tips for those places when hanging around feels more like a time drain than a dance!

Doctor’s office

Bring along thank-you and birthday cards. Write them while you are waiting.


Download a few job-related podcasts. Listen to them onto your iPod while you’re waiting in line. Take notes until your number is called.

Movie theater allows you to purchase tickets for participating theaters in advance.

While you wait, bring along that magazine you never seem to find time to read. Flip through it before the lights go down. If you’re with children, play a word association game. Bring your own candy. It saves time and money!

Grocery store

Make a list. Even if you forget it, try to recreate it before entering the store. Be strategic. Most fattening foods are in the middle aisles so steer clear of them. Circle the store once, going down only those aisles that warehouse the goods you need.

Bank & post office

Practice deep breathing. As you wait in line, take in a long, five-count breath. Breathe out for six. Repeat several times.

Outlet stores

Go on an off-day (middle of the week is often good). Avoid long holiday weekend visits. Grab as much as you can without exceeding the allowed limit of items to make the dressing room wait worth it. Tag team with a girlfriend so she can bring you the appropriate garment size and color. Besides, what’s better than girl time at the mall?

Theme parks

Google it before you go. Make a list of the must-do rides and be flexible on all the rest. Bring a few snacks in your bag so you’re not spending half your day at the concession stand line. Be mindful of holidays and peak times. Avoid them if at all possible.


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