Food For Families

Central Florida volunteers gather at a local High School every Thanksgiving Day morning to pick up and deliver boxes of food to needy Families.

Tomorrow will be our tenth year of this Thanksgiving Day family tradition.

A decade ago, and even before Cheryl was pregnant, I suggested to her that we find a way to show our children that we are here to serve and not to be served.

This is a simple, and seemingly insignificant act of kindness influences our thinking, and our actions, all year long.

A Publix Grocery Store Produce manager started Food For Families many years ago.  With help from Central Florida Churches, Schools, and community members, needy Families are identified.

The Central Florida Community also delivers Food for Families on Christmas morning and Easter morning, providing us opportunities to put others first on three special days where we traditionally didn’t.

Midlife Traditions

Midlife traditions, Father-Son Traditions. Traditions are simply one more way to be mindful of all we have to be thankful for.  Here’s the second of seven Father Son traditions, from November 18.

“One, two, three.”

Through the years, I’ve met people who do things that capture my attention. Little things usually.  Seemingly insignificant actually.  Some are not good and others are brilliant.

This one is from Leslie (her real name).  She and her daughter had a tradition that was easy to do and could be creativity extended beyond their particular use.

Leslie would gently, and randomly, squeeze her daughter’s hand – first one time, pause, then twice, pause, then finally three times.  This meant, “I – Love – You.”

After initiating this when our son was about two years old, I started to experiment with other ways:

  • Blink once, pause, blink twice, pause, blink three times
  • With a hand resting on his knee, squeezing it the same as his hand
  • Hugging, the same process
  • Using fingers – hold up one finger, then two, then three
  • Writing a note, “1 – 2 – 3”

The beauty of these is in their simplicity and repeatability. That’s the secret to a lasting midlife tradition.

Father Son Traditions

Yesterday, you heard a promise.  Here it is, the traditions a mid life Father put in place, using a lion’s share of midlife creativity.  It would be easy to discount their value, because they are so simple.

  1. Bear Hug
  2. One, two, three
  3. Twistee Treat Day
  4. Food For Families
  5. Dinner Prayer
  6. You’ll never get in trouble for being honest
  7. If you lined up all the boys in the world….

What simple, repeatable traditions do is ingrain key messages.  Simple messages.  Life altering messages.

While we are insanely busy, we all have one life to live. We ought to be insanely thankful for that, and then set out to make the most of it.

PS.  If you regularly follow Mid Life Celebration, you already know there’s a really strong chance each tradition will be explained in future posts, maybe as soon as tomorrow.  And if f you’re new here, welcome.