Making do with rose thorns and glue. AKA: A way of living

My fovorite children’s book of all time is “Stand Back,” Said the Elephant, “I’m Going To Sneeze!” Story by Patricia Thomas. Pictures by Wallace Tripp.

It’s a very cute story about an elephant who worries because he is going to sneeze and cause lots of funny things to happen to the other animals in the jungle.  Monkeys fall from tress, the allagator’s snout turns inside out, and the zebra loses his stripes! My favorite verse reads: “Oh, no,” buzzed the bees. “Not a sneeze! Not a sneeze!” The last time he blew off our stings and our wings. And we had to make do with rose thorns and glue.

I read that book over a hundred times when I was younger, and even more times to my kids; not to mention the dozens of preschoolers during my preschool teaching days! The book is just so fun to read, with its comical verses, and the pictures are just beautiful! It is a “must read” for children of all ages.

The “making do with rose thorns and glue” line has always stuck with me. Being raised in a large family, by parents who were raised just after the Great Depression, I knew a lot about “making do”. I spent most of my childhood in hand-me-down clothes, and I’ve never had my own room. My mom still can’t pass by a yard sale, and bargins scream to me from miles away. I used to tell myself that some day I would grow up and make a ton of money so I could buy the newest and best of everything. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve done my share of standing in line for hours to get the latest hand-held technology. But the truth is that my home is filled with hand-me-downs, and every room has a somewhat eclectic vibe because each item was purchased separately, on sale.

As a child I tried to escape my yard sale tendencies. But I’ve come to the realization that I’m very skilled at finding a bargin and even more skilled at using my creative abilities to personalize those bargins into beautiful works of art. I now understand that pride comes from using your God-given talents, not from which stores you frequent. So, please join me as I “make do”. I hope you enjoy the journey!

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