As snow pours down here in Nashville, I'm reminded of the wonderful days in the hood of sledding with huge groups of other kids. We tried to get out there early enough to "claim our lanes" and since most of the other kids were somewhat afraid of us, we usually got our way. Waxing the rails of our wooden sleds so we could go faster, we spent every snowy moment sledding and freezing and then going home to home-made hot chocolate filled with marshmellows. Mustard seeds. Once planted, growing wildly, out of control. The tiniest of seeds producing the "largest plants" with the "largest branches". In the craziest sort of way, the mustard seed parable reminds me of growing up in the hood with the O'Rourkes. Maureen was my age and we sort of got the reputation as being tough. We don't really know how it happened, it just did. We were, at the time, the youngest in our families, the tiniest of the seeds and yet we tended to produce large attention. Working in our neighbors' yards, visiting old people, welcoming new families to the hood - all parts of our jobs. We grew wildly and pretty much out of control. We were grounded a lot and by no means do I think we grew to be the largest or the greatest or anything that anyone would want to hang in our branches for. But, these tiny seeds were planted by our parents and they did manage to make a difference to some of the people in our hood. If nothing else, we entertained. With the snow pouring in and old memories coming forth, I remember all the good things taught by not only our parents but all those we came in contact with in our days. Maureen and I may have been some of the smallest seeds, but I know we made the largest impressions. And, dad, they weren't all bad.