Freddy the Pink Flamingo was hanging out with his friends. They played games, cooked out, and laughed, all day long.
As Freddy was retrieving the hoola hoop from ring the neck of a Flamingo, he saw a gigantic moving truck pull in.
He ran back to his friends with great excitement screeching, “A new Flamingo is moving in! Hey! Hey! I just saw a moving truck and a new Flamingo is moving in!”
Frank, Fillip, Frances, and some of the other Flamingos gathered around Freddy to hear what he was so excited about! “Aren’t you all excited? I wonder if they like to cook out, play games…” Freddy questioned.
“Of course they will like everything we like, they are Pink Flamingos!” Frank commented, acting as if Freddy was silly for being so excited. “Come on let’s finish this game I am winning!” he continued.
But Freddy was too excited to meet his new neighbors!
He peeked through the small hole of the joining privacy fence, which was created by his best friend Flipper, before he moved out of town.
His right eye ball made a complete circle as he scanned the backyard. But not one sign of a new Flamingo, yet.
Until…as he began to turn around and sadly report I can’t see anyth…he was abruptly interupted by a gigantic gasp from his friends. He looked puzzled as to why they were all starring at him with a horrible look plastered on their beaks!
Freddy froze and felt like he was turning white.
Before he could sputter any words from his beak…he felt a shadow towering over him. He quickly rolled his eyes up, up, up and over his head.
“Aaaaaaaaaaa,” he began to scream and scream.
The different colored, too tall, odd shaped thingy, simply pulled her head back and slowly walked into the back door of her new home.
“What was that?” He asked.
Freddy’s friends surrounded him and everyone began to talk at once. In a chaotic Flamingo chatter.
Until…they heard a light tap, tap, tap on the gate of Freddy’s back yard.
All of the Pink Flamingos held their breath and became silent. As if the tap, tap, tap on the other side of the gate would ‘think’ no one was home.
Tap, tap, tap once again.
Finally, Freddy slowly unlocked the gate, peeked through the tiny crack and…
What did he find?
A neon green, beautiful, bright Flamingo just his size.
“Hello, I am Franky. May I come over to play, while my mommies unpack.”
Freddy was so excited that she was not the tall blue looking bird, he encountered on the other side of the fence that he replied with, “Of course come in and meet all my friends!”
Franky timidly walked through the gate, looked around, smiled and quietly introduced herself, “Hello, I am Freddy’s new neighbor, Franky.”
As Freddy danced back and forth, he grabbed a hot dog off the table and created a delicious plate of food for his new friend, he saw something happen, that was not too pleasing. 😔😢😢😔
Many of his friends were now in a group snickering and being quite rude to Franky.
Frank looked at Franky in a disgusting manner and asked,”Why is your skin Green? Yuk! And why is your name Franky if you are a GIRL?”😬😬😲😲
Several others chimed in as if they were in agreement with Frank. They all starred at poor little Franky anticipating her answer, as if she could come up with a decent answer, as to why she looks different.👽
But before Franky could answer the big, blue, thingy…peeking over the fence from earlier, yelled out, “Franky, Franky where are you?”
Franky with a sigh dropped her head and vanished behind the gate as fast as she had entered.
Freddy was mad! He ruffled his feathers and stomped his flimsy legs over to his other Pink Flamingo friends. “Why? Why were you mean to our new friend?”😠
Everyone acted like he was silly. Fillip stepped up and explained to Freddy. “We don’t like Franky.”
“Because, she is green!!!! And a girl.”
All of Freddy’s friends agreed this new neighbor, was not their friend.
Their squawks, filled with complaints, were quickly drowned out by music echoing from Franky’s yard.
All the boys rushed over to the peep hole in the privacy fence. Pink feathers were flying as they pushed and shoved to attempt to see where the music was coming from.
The big, blue, Flamingo who towered over the six foot privacy fence, hung her head over to calmly ask,”Would you like to come over?”
With their beaks pointing up really high, towards the sky, they shook their heads in perfect unison, Yes!
With their feathers ruffled as if they were taking flight, the boys took off running towards Franky’s back yard.
Freddy decided not to go because he was so mad at how rude his friends were. 😠😳
When the boys entered the gate their eyes almost popped out of their heads! Toys, a sand box, outside games, a swing set and at least ten other Flamingos. All GIRLS! And All different colors!💖💚💙💜💛
At first Ralph, Freddy’s best friend felt sad that Freddy didn’t come and began to turn around to beg him to join them.
Until, he spotted Franky slipping out the gate to go ask Freddy. Before she disappeared she paused, turned around and winked at Ralph. He smiled real big and went off to play in the sand box with Mabel the purple Flamingo.😉
To be continued…
What do you think Freddy said to Franky? Do you think he joined them or did he tell Franky all about how terrible his friends were?
What would you do? Have you ever judged someone by their outside appearance? I am sure we all have.
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As the meeting began at promptly seven in the morning, we quickly scurried to our seats and the ‘Toastmaster’ began our weekly meeting. I can’t tell you how elated I am, each time I attend a meeting. I know our Earlybird Toastmaster group thinks I am lying, at times, when I boldly announce how happy I am to have this wonderful experience with such a wonderful group of people and for a good cause. (Yes, I become all mushy and sentimental sometimes, because I am so darn grateful for this experience). However, they always find a way to uplift, educate and inspire me to keep on keeping on.
This week was no different. I was so ecstatic to be there I had goosebumps. Then they announced the topic or subject of the week! Omg, each and every cell was bouncing up and down when he said, “Olympics.”
I don’t remember anything else, but that word! I don’t know if it is about specific athletes, awards, or #trends on #twitter. I simply heard OLYMPICS! I thought oh yes! This is my topic! I can remember when the torch was to be running through our small town of Bedford Kentucky over twenty-two years ago!
It was a cold, dreary day and Darion was at least two years old, which she is now 25. I had all the details. When the athlete would be passing our driveway, approximate time of arrival at the Courthouse and the time of the torch lighting. I talked about it for weeks and weeks before the actual day! LOL I remember friends of mine laughing at me for my obsession surrounding this event. It was finally here!
I wrapped Darion up and we quickly walked to the end of our mile long driveway. The rain poured, it felt like God was pouring buckets of water on top of us! It didn’t matter, we stood firm and cheered as the drenched and cold athlete ran by. Tears streamed down my face as Darion looked up and asked, “What’s wrong mommy? Why are you sad?”
I chuckled, swooped her up to rush and catch the lighting of the torch. The inspiring event continues to hold a special place in my heart. However, after reading this heartfelt series of events you would probably create an image of a sports crazed person. Watching sports event after event, having great celebrations around the sports world to be able to cheer on my team. Truth is I could care less. I can take it or leave it, but the Olympics inspires me, creates emotions of exhilaration, I can, achievement and unity.
While multitasking by reflecting and enjoying my emotions, I am quickly brought back to reality, when the acquainting session had begun and I was off in la la land. “I am sorry, can you restate the question?”
“If you could participate in the Olympics what would you want your role to be?”
(I am not even sure if that was the question, but that is what I heard).
I stated my name and what I ‘do’ then said, “If I could be anything I would be a coach! And now that I think about it, that’s what I love to do anyways.”
What? What kind of answer was that? My Stinking Thinking (Zig Ziglar) was creeping in! Michael one of my fellow toastmasters, reminded me to stop Stinkin Thinkin and I immediately brought myself back to the meeting! He is correct. I am fine, I continued to ‘coach’ myself through each portion and stayed focused on the speeches.
Then it happened. One of those AHA moments, hit me! Sam (another fellow Toastmaster) said, “Teena, When you said that about being a coach, I laughed and told Michael, if Teena Drake told me I could do it, I would believe it and do it.”
I laughed it off, yet allowed his kind and motivational words to sink in.
Sam hit the bullseye! I always knew I was labeled a cheerleader. However, after a certain age the title cheerleader, isn’t how I would describe myself. Because it is isolated to one team or age group. However, over the years some of my greatest emotional accomplishments were during my times of coaching. And yes, I mean original types of sports coaching- Tee ball, flag football, middleschool volleyball, cheerleading, track…as well as talent, beauty, pageants and academics!
In the sports world, I struggled with insecurities. I never felt ‘good’ enough to uphold the title Coach. I don’t know if it was my lack of ability in those skill sets or my lack of knowledge. But I rarely placed my ‘coaching’ experience on a resume or LinkedIn, until now.
However, my teams were always successful. I have a great deal to celebrate over the multitude of wins and improvements in my athletes. But I didn’t have faith in my own ability.
Although my style of coaching is much different than the past, the main purpose/goal, is invariably the same. I love it! As coach… you are their cheerleader, small tiny voice in their heads that says, “Yes, you can!” Mentor, guide and most of all motivator.
Along with so many people who assist, motivate, hold me accountable and uplift my gifts, I must express my deepest gratitude to all of them and to my fellow Toastmaster friends.
You see, you do not know when your words could change someone’s life forever! If you see something terrific in someone tell them. They may need a little boost to fullfill their own dreams and ambitions. We are all in this together.
I am grateful to know I am on the right path.
Do you love this feeling as well? Haven’t found it yet? Still looking for a title that resignates with you? Look into our services we are building an empire of self development tools, wide variety of coaches, and keynote speakers.
What do you want to say when asked, “What do you do? Why?”
Thank you for reading and feeling this experience with me! If this blog helped you, please follow me and share with someone, who might need an extra boost.
I am grateful for you!
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