Grumpy the Gator

In Grumpy the Gator, a group of children playing encounter a grumpy alligator. The story teaches children to always keep a safe distance from animals in the wild, and to find an adult if they see an alligator.

Grumpy the Gator

Its Always A Story With The Hendersons

Canopy Lessons

A glorious sunny Saturday in the Lowcountry called for a local fall festival to be enjoyed by young and old. Crafts, jugglers, homemade food, a scarecrow on stilts, and more brought a fall atmosphere. I signed up to participate and sell copies of Licky the Lizard and Grumpy the Gator. Preparing for the event took time and effort to make sure everything was ready to go. A plastic tub with supplies for the event was filled with books, stickers, bookmarks, and a few candy treats. I also needed a table and two chairs.

Each of these vendor events call for readiness before the actual activity. This time, tables would be positioned on a certain area of lawn. Folks would be ready to sell their items and make new contacts and possible friendships.

One new important part of my “list” of items to take to the festival was a canopy. Since I would be outside, a canopy would shelter me from the bright sunshine and provide a comfortable place for people to look at my books. A few autumn decorations completed the atmosphere of my “booth”.

A few days before the event, my husband Alan and I decided to open the box with the brand new canopy to make sure we knew how to set it up. Wait…notice that we chose a few days before the event to check on the canopy. I would have preferred to open the box as soon as we purchased the item. Yet, Alan felt he could put that canopy together without any trouble. He didn’t need directions. According to him, the photos on the box made assembly look easy.

Picture this. Alan and I are standing in the backyard. Canopy box opened, canopy, spikes, rope, and yes, directions, pulled out of the box.
The video online had shown one person assembling the canopy and lifting the cover with one hand. No problem. Well…

Alan decided not to read directions. He asked if I would stand on one side of the canopy and help to lift the 8 x 8ft metal in the air. No worries until we got the canopy base halfway up and realized we forgot to put the actual cover on the top. What good is a canopy without a cover?

Imagining the neighbors watching the situation, we looked around. A nice man across the street had been sitting on his back porch. “Do you need some help?” He asked. Chuckling, we said, “Thank you, we’ll figure it out.”

By the time Alan and I finally got the cover on and the canopy raised and secured, we were laughing at ourselves.
We should have read the directions first.

The canopy worked great at the event. The sunshine and the strong South Carolina coastal breeze didn’t cause any worries. I was safe and secure under the brand new canopy.

God provides directions for us. The Bible is the Word of God and we can find answers to many questions by reading His Word. Perhaps if we read His directions first, we can deal with troublesome situations more easily.
That canopy reminded me to read directions first, instead of trying to fix things on my own. God will guide us if we ask Him.

Yes, folks, “It’s Always A Story With The Hendersons”.

Blessings and giggles,
Mimi aka Melissa Henderson

  • Nancy E. Head
    Posted at 11:08h, 09 November Reply

    Such are the adventures of not reading the directions. I’ve been there myself. Good metaphor for how we fail to interact with God when we should.

    • Melissa G. Henderson
      Posted at 13:28h, 09 November Reply

      Thank you Nancy. I learn something new every day. 🙂 Have a blessed week!

  • Jill Weatherholt
    Posted at 11:26h, 09 November Reply

    As someone who never reads instructions first, I enjoyed this, Melissa. A lovely reminder.

    • Melissa G. Henderson
      Posted at 13:29h, 09 November Reply

      Thank you Jill. I’m glad we have instructions from God. Going to Him first is always best. Have a blessed week! 🙂

  • karenruhl
    Posted at 14:51h, 09 November Reply

    This is such a funny story and one that played out with the Ruhl’s as well. Did you get any pinched fingers? We sure did! So glad you got the canopy up and didn’t wait until the event. I love that there are always nice people like your neighbor willing to lend a hand. I be the too had a personal experience! Love the Henderson stories.

    • Melissa G. Henderson
      Posted at 17:03h, 09 November Reply

      Thank you Karen. We only had a few pinches. All worked out great. I’m going to be using the canopy again this Saturday. Have a blessed week! 🙂

  • JD Wininger
    Posted at 16:52h, 09 November Reply

    Way to persevere Mr. Alan. Show ’em how it’s done sir. I’m guessing over 80 percent of men are tactile learners, which means we learn by doing and not reading about doing. HOOAH sir! Looks great and the event went off without a hitch it seems. I bet the user manual never shows you how to tie a half-hitch or an end-of-the-rope Prusik, or a super munter. Looks like a fantastic job, and you added some humor into the mix to make the day complete. Sorry Ms. Mimi, but have to adhere to the “guy code” here. 🙂 Great lesson though sweet friend; and I’ll owe you a doughnut if Mr. Alan hasn’t laughed at least twice at this.

    • Melissa G. Henderson
      Posted at 17:06h, 09 November Reply

      J.D. I am laughing out loud. I can’t wait to show your message to Alan when he arrives home from work. We kept the directions but they will probably end up in a pile with other directions out in the garage. Love the “guy code”. Have a blessed week dear friend! 🙂

  • June Foster
    Posted at 18:31h, 09 November Reply

    Melissa, I think Alan is like my husband. Joe doesn’t generally believe in reading directions 🤣 and doesn’t ask any one else for help. (except me!) I think that’s a man for you.

    • Melissa G. Henderson
      Posted at 20:52h, 09 November Reply

      Haha! Our fellas are extra special. I’m glad we have the Word of God for directions in life. Have a blessed week! 🙂

  • Gail Johnson
    Posted at 19:53h, 09 November Reply

    Most of our projects are done without the directions. LOL. You use directions after you run into problems. Yes, we run into problems. Yes, I’m usually the one reading the directions to hubby. Love this, Melissa. <3

    • Melissa G. Henderson
      Posted at 20:53h, 09 November Reply

      Gail, I agree. We usually use directions after running into problems. 🙂 Have a blessed week!

  • Janet from FL
    Posted at 21:18h, 09 November Reply

    We have seen a few people struggle putting up umbrellas on the beach near us. I have to say it can be funny, but we also feel sorry for them too. Some people put their umbrella too close to the shore. They get all settled in, then a wave washes up and takes all their stuff with it! Yes, it shows what a bit of preparation could help avoid. Good thing you started a few days ahead. Glad your sale went well.

    • Melissa G. Henderson
      Posted at 00:05h, 10 November Reply

      Yes, a bit of preparation helps avoid mistakes. Have a blessed week! 🙂

  • dscales24
    Posted at 23:24h, 09 November Reply

    Melissa, I admire your ability to draw a Biblical truth from a simple, everyday task. Seeking God’s guidance through praying and reading His Word is always the wise course. Thanks for writing!

    • Melissa G. Henderson
      Posted at 00:06h, 10 November Reply

      Thank you so much. I love how God teaches us lessons every day. Have a blessed week! 🙂

  • Karen Jurgens Harrison
    Posted at 06:22h, 11 November Reply

    Good lesson for me, dear Mimi. I usually skip the directions until I’m stuck. However, I find that when I follow them, it all works out great. Why didn’t I just read them in the first place? LOL. Do you think the Lord feels the same way about us, too? I can hear Him saying, “Read my Word first and follow my directions so you don’t get lost in life.”

    • Melissa G. Henderson
      Posted at 14:00h, 11 November Reply

      Thank you Karen. I agree with you. God wants us to read His Word first and follow His directions. He has great plans for all. Have a blessed weekend! 🙂

  • Lynn J Simpson
    Posted at 14:41h, 16 November Reply

    I’ll often try to assemble from a picture too, Melissa, thinking I know better. But….never do! Just like God knows best! 🙂

  • debwilson2
    Posted at 21:17h, 24 November Reply

    Read the directions first! Always a good idea, but especially when it’s God’s directions. Thanks, Melissa.

    • Melissa G. Henderson
      Posted at 12:57h, 26 November Reply

      Amen. God’s directions are the best. Have a blessed day! Happy Thanksgiving! 🙂

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