Posted tagged ‘Family’

TODAY – I’M NOT A WOMAN

March 8, 2018

.

Because of the latest ad campaign from Madison Avenue on  this beautiful island  —

HATTAN

—  I am reminded that I choose today to NOT be a “woman”!

At least not this kind!

wwww

I’m not celebrating the Leftist, Global Socialist, Agenda-Driven Exclusive International Women’s Day.

And neither are these women:

WW

 

And neither are the 22 MILLION women who were chopped to pieces,  swirled around by a vacuum extractor until they died,   or painfully burned to death by a strong saline solution  — before they got a chance to get out of the womb.  (Let’s deal in facts.) —

baby

 

But I do respectfully remind the international women to remember these,  their sisters.

They, and I, are not like you.

 

Some of us have a higher calling –  our homes!

hgher calling

 

Wife.  Mother.   Homemaker.   Helper.  Counselor.    Wise and Intelligent family manager.    Maker of refinement and beauty in the home.  

And religious anchor of the family:

relig anchor

Without family,  society cannot hold together.

.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

IRMA – PERSONAL FOLLOW-UP

September 11, 2017

Many of us know someone who lives in Florida,  or we’ve visited Florida ourselves and know some of the places that we’ve been seeing on television.

Here’s a street I’ve driven on many times before:

Alligator on Strawbridge 370

A battered and tired alligator making his way . . .  home, I guess.    This is Strawbridge Rd.,  a residential and small business street in Melbourne FL.

My sister,  who lives there,  came through just fine.

Irma Nancy 4 370

This is her front yard.  Note only small branches down.   No big trees this time.   Her truck is parked  crosswise to protect the garage doors.   I wouldn’t have thought of that.  But then,  I don’t have to,  up here in the Far North.

Here’s her back yard:

Irma Nancy 1 370

Just small branches down.  One year, during Charlie in 2004,  my sister stuck her cell phone out the window so I could hear the hurricane overhead.  It was pretty impressive.  And then there was a huge crash.    The next day they discovered part of their neighbor’s roof in this back yard.

I don’t mean to diminish the destruction that some people are suffering.  Irma’s winds were strong and long –  it was overhead for a long time with Tropical Storm force winds and Hurricane force gusts, so some areas sustained much more serious damage.   I’ve heard more than 60% of  people in Florida are without power, and will be so for weeks.

My sister’s horses?   Apparently the barn held in the winds and the horses, according to my sister, seemed more concerned about their late breakfast this morning than anything they had heard during the night before.

My neighbor’s condo and  his son’s family is in Pinellas county,  Tampa-St. Pete.     All is well there too.     However,   his son says next time he’d evacuate –  he never wants to go through another night like that!

And one more:  my in-laws, or uh,  whatever you call my son-in-law’s parents who  live just north of Ft. Myers.    —  no word yet.   Perhaps they were out of state.    Perhaps they haven’t returned to see . . .  anything.

I know of many prayers that were being said.   I know that referring all things,  all destruction,  all danger,  all feelings to God, can make things go better.

Deo gratias.

_________________________________________

I don’t usually like written-out prayers, or sugary sentimental thoughts,   but I picked this up from a bulletin of a church I had to go to this weekend,   and although they don’t mention Harvey or Irma specifically,   there was flooding, and I think this is a nice thought,  a thoughtful prayer — and so I’ll post it here:

Flood Prayer 390

 

 

CATASTROPHIC IS A TERRIBLE WORD

October 6, 2016

Local Florida Weatherman:  “Catastrophic is a terrible word.  I can’t even believe it’s coming out of my mouth.”

local-weatherman

 

“The biggest storm on the planet right now.”   (Weather Channel)

“Escaping”  along I-4 westbound at  14  m.p.h.     Tonight and tomorrow I-95  will be “undrivable.”

Winds will be 145 m.p.h.  when they hit my sister (and her city of Melbourne)  and then sustained winds of 90 –  120 m.p.h.  with a storm surge of 9 feet more or less.    I don’t think my sister lives that far above the ocean.

Here’s her house in better weather:

sisters-house

 

Last time,  when my sister held her cell phone out the window during the last (smaller)  hurricane so I could hear the winds passing by,   what I heard instead was their neighbor’s roof crashing by!    Weird –  but seriously dangerous and chaotic.

I’ve been to Vero Beach,  I’ve swam at Sebastian Inlet, at  Melbourne Beach,   Cocoa Beach,  Ponce Inlet,  I love the Ferris wheel at Daytona Beach —  I tell this to myself because these are real places, real people down there,   and I can hardly match the size and severity of this storm with real “ordinary”  places.

Governor Scott states:  “This storm can kill you.”

Heard from my sister tonight – sort of a good-bye for a while.  She doesn’t know when she’ll get her power back or her cell phone recharged enough to signal an A-OK.

It will be a long night of watching this storm on TV and on the Internet — but an even longer night for her, huddled down in the room she designated as her safe room.

Hope it is.

THE PARTY

September 29, 2016

I don’t know if my friends and family realize how much I love birthday cards!   Maybe I’m sentimental,  but I take them all seriously and enjoy each and every one.

cards-400

I gathered up as many as I could find…. there are some missing.   Yes, you can see the ZERO at the edge of a couple of those.   I told you this was a “new decade” for me,   but that’s the only number you’re going to see.  (I probably well deserve the funny baby card.)

The music notes are from my music partner in the gazebo.    Of course!    As the card says,   music has the power to inspire,  to make us smile, to bring back old times — and to bind friends together.

I didn’t chronicle everything.   I didn’t do a good job of documenting my party,  but here are a few pictures. 

Cooper played a big part in the decorating.

glitter-decorating-390

He took very seriously his job to sprinkle the glitter on the table.     I think he placed each glittery piece one by one.   As careful as he was that day,  the glitter has now spread itself out over the entire house, and even outdoors on the deck and down the stairs to the back patio.

Sometime mid-party I remembered to take a picture of the cake;  (cakes)  and the cookies.

cakes-table-370Yeah.   Four.   Four cakes.  (One behind the flowers.)     Lemon,  two chocolates,  and one butter cake with raspberry filling!     (I liked each and every one of those too!)

This was an opportunity for my friends to meet Cooper so we also had a Cookie Reception.  People brought cookies and it was Cooper’s job to greet the people,   show them where to put the cookies “so they would feel comfortable coming to Grandma’s house.”   That was an excellent way to give Cooper an important job to do,  which he took seriously:

cooper-talking-to-guests-380

This is the young man who will tell you what to do and where to go.   He shook hands with many people,  but some of the adults weren’t used to shaking hands with a five-year-old.   He watched their hands and if they weren’t ready to shake he just talked to them.

From what I hear,  Cooper entertained the adults very well.    Makes sense.    He has a YouTube channel of his own in which he demonstrates  his toys and explains what to do with them.

In the background we had music playing from the year — well, yeah, the year  I was born and a couple posters of “my life.”    The actual me.     The big circle on the television is the   Decca label or sometimes Columbia, as the music was playing on YouTube.   

family-room-long-shot-280

So here’s some close-ups of those poster pictures:

poster-big-400

Oh, a close-up on that,   if you like “baby pictures.”   –

poster-closeup-380

Famous people in my family  and other party pictures –

poster-other-380

It’s been a long, long life.    Sigh-h-h-h-h

dining-rm-280

The party lasted a long, long time, and we had several “waves” of people coming and going.

kitchen-group-300

Two having a tête-a-tête.   Some serious discussion going on.  

Party games?      Yes.      Remember that glitter?

party-game-380

Duck your head and see how much glitter you can pick up with your forehead!  After a while we found out we didn’t even have to try –   parts of us were picking up glitter anyway.

I missed taking the photo of so many more people.    I don’t know how that happened, except there was so much going on,   so many people to talk to,  and I was just so happy to be with my friends and family — as I said, I just wasn’t being a chronicler.

I haven’t had a birthday party like this since I was 12 years old, so I was a little excited.

One friend brought her dog so we could “walk the dog”   around the block.     We needed the fresh air by then;  it was a cool, fresh eight-tenths of a mile.   

Mother Nature gave me a gift too – and finally!    I have been on a quest to get a photograph of our  neighborhood albino squirrel – even posting a picture one day of some bushes “where he just was” –  he is so elusive!!    But right there in front of us during our walk,   without even hunting him,   he ran right in front of us!

white-squirrel-running-350

When almost everyone left, all but one guest,  we had to have a birthday dinner.  

firepit-streaks-325

On the menu?      Blackened hot dogs in the fire pit!

Cooper, the chief hot dog cooker.   He did all the work but I managed to pinch, cut, and burn my finger between the grill and the fire pit somehow.    (Taking it easy on the clean-up for a couple days.   Heh.)

firepit-jn-and-kris-150

Those are sparks from the pine wood, caught in motion by the camera lens.

There you are.   We had a comfortable, friendly, happy time, and I love all my friends and family.     I hated to say good-bye.    Each and every good-bye was like a “loss”  – even though I know, God willing,   we shall always be a part of each other’s life.

Sometimes it takes a birthday to figure that out!

 

 

 

 

WELCOME FAMILY

September 25, 2016

eyes

Welcome, family,   Daughter, Son-In-Law,  and . . .  Cooper!

I’ve been baking and cooking and cleaning for you all,   and now we’re all here together and the days will be so rich and full with you and Son and me.

You asked me what I wanted for my birthday?    

You.

Family:    the Basic Unit of Society.

MOM — THOUGHTS ON A LADY

June 21, 2016

It’s been a tough family month, emotionally.     Father’s Day without a father and  without a Hubbie,  my children’s father.

These things happen.      We’ll all face loss.

Today is another one of those tough days.    Yes,  Strawberry Full Moon –

Moon

No,  “strawberry”  doesn’t mean the Full Moon this month is pink – unless the atmospheric conditions are just right,  smoke in the air perhaps, lots of dusty haze.  But it’s the  Full Moon closest to the time when strawberries are known to begin to ripen enough to eat. Big deal in the days before grocery stores and international food sources.   Wild berries are an excellent and necessary source of vital human nutrition . . . .

No,  this day’s  “toughness”  is because it’s also my Mom birthday.   June 21.    Summer Solstice.    Big deal to us Scandinavians, because this is the most light we get in a day all year.   From now on every day has a little less sunlight.   Not so we notice anymore….  But it will always make me think of my Mom.

One of my favorite photos of her.

Parents Mom cr

She was in her seventies when this photo was taken, I think, or just about.    Golden hair.  It never got gray.    She called her hair “feathers”  because it was thin and silky and resistant to hairdressers’  manipulations.    I loved to touch it.

She was not a pilot,  but she was a musician’s wife, and the musician,  my Dad,  was invited to play for some kind of airplane show one nice Florida afternoon.  And the musicians’  wives  “tag along.”

And that reminds me a lot about my Mom.   How often did she   “tag along” with her husband’s activities;  her daughters’  activities maybe;  to  family get-togethers.     In the 18 years that I lived with her,  I never knew her to complain about “having to go someplace”  but she could always be counted on to “be there”  where the family went.

And she was always cordial,   refined,   ladylike,  feminine,  gentle,  rock-solid anchor in our thoughts because she never got emotional about things.    She  never said an unkind, critical word;  I could trust in her steadiness,  check with her;  get some perspective on the swirling social things that sometimes build up and make us tense.

Oh, she wasn’t a  cypher,  she wasn’t a “nothing.”     She was mother, wife,  homemaker,  assistant to a vice president of a large insurance company in Chicago  (Yes,  I was a latch-key child;  my mother worked in days when that was rare.)     and she was half owner of a music store in a shopping mall and ran the business end of the store as well as waited on customers and gave music lessons.   Then another favorite job:  working in a used bookstore.  For someone who loved to read, this was a perfect “retirement”  job, and her customers loved her.  She was a remarkable quilter.   (How did she learn that?)

I’m trying to figure her out here.    She did so many things without question and without complaining.    I don’t know if she felt “strong,”  but in the end,  she was strong.  She kept going.     I don’t think anyone in her family was “easy” on her and not often “good” to her,  but it didn’t seem to matter.

I think she loved us and she loved us back, no matter what happened.

Maybe that was her strength.

Happy Birthday, Mom.     I still want to be like you.  You are still my example to be strong and to be gentle and ladylike and to love and you always, always knew that God exists.

My goodness,  how you loved!

You would be 90 years old today.

 

 

 

A BIRTHDAY & A SAINT ALMOST MURDERED

May 22, 2016

The birthday celebration table:

BDay  Tab;e sr

Steaks.  Salads.   Presents.  Card.   Cake.   (  . . . and a big arm waiting.)      It’s fun putting on a birthday spread, especially for someone very important!

It was Son’s birthday this weekend.    (Oh, yes – the whole weekend;  three-day weekend, as a matter of fact.   Since his profession requires him to work some weekends, and since  so many people wanted a piece of him on his birthday the celebrations will take  three days. )

Which brings me to my point:  so many hours worked!   So many people to see!    Oh,  Son is not complaining,   but I do observe  people who have busy-busy lives.  I once had an impossibly busy life too.

Has time speeded up or are we trying to cram more into our days?

Or are we trying to avoid facing the deeper issues of Life by activity?

Or all of the above?

But this question is nothing new . . .

Complicated

Human life has long been busy and complicated with great challenges and no easy answers.     Many times everyday life prevents us from sorting out Good and Bad;  Right and Wrong;    Duty;   Virtue;  our relationship to God and each other.    We are distracted, willingly or not willingly,  from the serious issues of Life.

Son is an intelligent person, and sometimes he perceives this dilemma too.

Appropriately,   the saint we remember on the day of Son’s birthday is a man named St.  Hospitius.   (“hoss – pish – us”)      He left the high (and complex, busy) culture of Egypt, sometime after the fall of the Roman Empire, in order to find a quiet  place to understand the meaning of life and to work out his relationship with God.

He traveled to the less populated regions of Gaul,  what we’d call France,  today.    He needed time to think and to figure things out.   He chose to live in the ruins of an old tower where he hoped to see not very many people.      Peace and quiet and freedom.

st h and tower ruins

He had quiet time alone, away from people;  time to think, to learn, and to pray.      He knew this much:  that he was certainly a sinner before God, and he wished to atone for his sins,  to do penance,  and to develop a deep friendship with  his Savior.

And as often happens:  we seek,  heaven rewards.     St.  Hospitius was eventually rewarded with wisdom and understanding,  and the power to prophesy and to work miracles.  Once he warned the villagers around him that they had better flee,  because the fierce tribe of Lombards were on their way to attack, pillage, and destroy.

They left,  but he didn’t.   A small group of barbarian Lombard soldiers found him and saw the chains that he usually wore around his waist, to remind him of what a great sinner he was.   The soldiers thought he was some kind of criminal.

He agreed with them!     Yes!  In the eyes of God I am a criminal.    A great sinner.”   So since he was a self-admitted “bad guy” and an obvious outcast,  they were free to kill him.

Stospitius in chains

A soldier raised his sword to strike,   but the soldier’s arm became paralyzed.   St.  Hospitius made the sign of the cross over him —  the soldier’s arm became “un-paralyzed”   — and the soldier realized this is a holy man of God, and soon converted to Christianity, along with his (military)  friends.

His life is over now.   He died in 581 A.D.      But the relentless demands of busy, everyday life is still with us, as well as the serious need to sort out  Life and Death issues and make our peace with our Creator before we die.

St.  Hospitius is in Eternity right now.    Our Eternity is still before us.  It’s coming.

 

DECEMBER 7TH – AND ANOTHER MOVIE RECOMMENDATION

December 8, 2015

(An impassioned rant today)

This is what men fight for:    “Mom, hot dogs, apple pie, and baseball.”

And granddaughters.

SAMSUNG

That’s my Grandpa and me, a long, long time ago.     Grandpa fought in WWI.         Navy:

SAMSUNG

One of those men is Grandpa –  I think in the middle, back row.    He served on the USS Utah in 1918.  Transport ship.

On the deck of the Utah in the Atlantic.

SAMSUNG

Swedish descendant of the Vikings.   I think he enjoyed his time in the Navy.

Then the ship was decommissioned   and brought to Pear Harbor.

USS Utah

There she is.  No longer seaworthy,  but doing her part in keeping the Navy strong and keeping American defenses strong.   Protecting grandchildren — as well as moms and sisters and wives and daughters.

She was used as target practice at the Pearl Harbor naval base.

Until December 7th,  1941.

shps blow

I hope children in school are taught the details of our military strength,  of the attack on us that day,  of the many men who lost their lives that day, and of the many thousands of men who rushed to sign up to defend our country in the Navy, the Marines,  and the Army (and Army-Air Force).

But I fear children have not been taught why we fought in those days.    There is no other reason why a generation or two of people, under age 45,   have not raised a mighty protest at the news last week that young women are going to be placed in Combat  situations.

Combat.   A fine waste of womanhood — because they can’t do it!   They can’t do what men do in battle.  Women have aptitudes and skills and courage and determination and certain abilities that are needed by any society,  and even in some places in the military — but they can’t do combat.

Unless you think that being a soldier just  means “pulling a trigger.”

The strongest and biggest, most well-trained women still have 40% less upper body strength than men.

The strongest, biggest, most well-trained women still have the lung capacity of a 50-year-old man.   Nothing wrong with 50-year-old men;  it’s just that we don’t expect them to do the same work as a strong, young 22-year old warrior.

Women don’t produce much of the hormone needed to be aggressive enough in battle (combat) situations.    There is a level of aggressiveness that is needed in battle — that would horrify most  peace-time Americans.

Our  Marines just spent many millions of dollars  (36 million)  to  determine whether women can perform as well as men in combat situations.      They can’t.     36, 000, 000  — spent on what our grandparents and parents already knew.    The Marine Corps also spent a lot of money to produce female infantry  officers.     No woman passed the course.

Shame on political philosophies which ignore human reality.  Shame on the nation that puts its women in “combat”  situations.   Shame on the society that dishonors its own women.    Shame on the political agenda that weakens our military readiness.    Shame on the generations who allow themselves to be indoctrinated into “gender neutrality.”

Men are important for certain things in a society.  Women are important for certain things in a society.   Men are not women.  Women are not men.

Mankind has known that instinctively —   but as we know,  instincts can be (almost) bred out of an oppressed society.    Political Correctness and Distorted Role Models are hammered into people.

December 7th – and a movie?    I would highly recommend The 13th Warrior.     Don’t fret that it is a classic tale written down in the early Middle Ages and handed down orally from centuries before that.   I suspect it’s based on actual history and it’s very relevant for today.  Perhaps even an antidote for the effeminacy that has been inserted into our society.

Watch it for the comparison of a civilized culture  (the Moors),  a half-civilized culture  (the Vikings).  and a primitive, rather uncivilized culture.    Observe the differences.

Sure, there is blood, gore,  battles, fear, death,  and  mysteries,  but there is also the defense of what is important to human beings:  courage, intelligence,  determination,   comradeship,  earned respect,   men of good character who communicate across cultures.

A brutal, savage attack brings out the best in the men and the attack is repulsed. . . . and civilization can continue to develop in that area of the world.

Best lines of the movie:   The refined and cultured Moor asks, “I don’t suppose we have a plan . . . ”      The rough Northmen:  “We ride until we catch up to the enemy and then we kill them all.”

That’s a virile, courageous answer.   That’s what’s needed when men are called upon to be defenders.     That’s what protects “Mom, apple pie, hot dogs, and baseball. ”   Or whatever is your way of life.

Women,   children,  families,  your tribe, your clan, your ethnic group,  your nation, your empire — whatever it is,  you protect it in order to continue on with the best your society offers.

December 7th, 1941 – Pearl Harbor Day,  when America also was attacked — and men rose to the occasion in combat.

(Please don’t play the marxist conversation-stopper game:  “But what about the . . . .”       “But what about women, don’t leave them out; they can do things for the war effort too…”    Of course they can.   That wasn’t the point. )

Let us keep Pearl Harbor Day as a “Day of Infamy,”     yes,  but also a day to be proud of our fighting men who answered their country’s call.   Our enemies meant to defeat us,  but our soldiers pushed back and fought back.

I wish we would stand up and push back and fight back and take our country back.    If not, if we don’t blush with shame at out Rulers’ agenda for us,  to confuse us and weaken us  with their agenda of “gender neutrality,”  we’ll lose it all.

In the real world,  men are not women and women are not men.

 

 

LEAVING NOVEMBER

December 1, 2015

Yes, good.    We’re leaving some dark thoughts:

SAMSUNG

I must have been in a Deep Blue Funk in November,  more affected by the memory of Hubbie’s death than I realized.  I wanted to write about our last weeks together, I really did,  for they are not only sad, they are sweet — and, well,  very precious.

I wanted to write about the surprise miraculous premature birth of Hubbie’s first grandson —  whom we all acknowledge came early so he could meet his grandfather . . .  and so his grandfather could pass on to this tiny baby all the things that a man passes on to his sons and grandsons, just by being near, living and  breathing in the same air, holding on to each other, which most surely happened during Cooper’s time of nearness with his grandfather, in his grandfather’s hospital bed.

You can read about these remarkable times in the archives, over on the side.  You can even see them “holding on to each other.”  Just go to November, 2010.

I didn’t review all this though in this blog.   Not this year.  Son and I are still going through “adjustments” that I know are perfectly normal, but it just turns out they are darkly internal and personal.

Hence,  the Deep Blue Funk.   I can funk really well.  I can be good at funking.

And then it becomes . . .  over.   It lifts.    I took that deep blue photo from my front yard yesterday, as November was ending.   Son and I were outside in the dark,  doing “yard”  things.    Darkness comes early up here in the Far North in November,  and sometimes there’s still outdoor work to do.

I was doing this:

SAMSUNG

Putting up our Christmas lights.  A little less elaborate than in years past,  but they’re pretty.  (Especially when seen in focus.)   I was surprised how the camera brought out the beautiful blue left in the very late twilight.

My eyes saw only a dark, black sky.   The camera pointed out the beautiful dark blue.

SAMSUNG

So what do I “learn” from this dark November night?   That there is beauty from darkness.   Beauty out of darkness.  Beauty after darkness.

Beauty waiting for us, after this life.    Because Beauty is eternal and good and holy.   God the Creator is not “beautiful,’  He is Beauty itself.   As St. Augustine cried out, “O Beauty, so ancient and so new!!  Late have I (come to) love thee!!”

What else comes out of these dark November nights?    Advent!   This year as November passes,  Advent begins.

The first candle, of course.

advent one urple

Hear the admonition of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, of a few centuries ago when men’s minds were strong and vigorous.  He tells us to think about what we’re doing during this season of Advent:

 “Consider who He is that comes,  whence He comes, to whom He comes,  for what end He comes,  when He comes, and in what manner He comes.   This is undoubtedly a most useful and praiseworthy curiosity, for the Church  would not so devoutly celebrate the season of Advent if there were not some great mystery hidden therein.”

 

(Taken from “Sermons of St. Bernard on Advent and Christmas.” Easily accessible on the Internet.)

{Advent}

SATURDAY RANT: WE WERE BLACKED OUT!

January 24, 2015

A little pictorial RANT today : ( but first some words ) –

The largest gathering of Americans united for an ideal occurred this week – the largest, that is,  since last year this time!

Hurray!  We know how to come together to protect good things… like Life itself!

Only you may not know about it:   The LARGEST GATHERING OF AMERICANS FOR ANY ONE CAUSE!!!!

Even most of the people in my classes this week didn’t see it coming –  and more tragically for the continued existence of our Republic  which depends upon a “Free Press”   —  they  didn’t even see it.

Are you among the willingly ignorant?    If your news source is American radio or television or newspapers,  (the entertainment-news media in which pretty young actors and actresses sit behind an empty modern-looking desk and read scripts handed to them from the teleprompter near the camera),  if THIS is your news source,  the answer is yes.   (Because they have a tool –  it’s called Blackout.)

(Yes, willingly ignorant victims, I guess.)

What do they tell us about instead(Forget “inflategate” – that’s just another manifestation of Gotcha!  journalism mixed in with the marxist promotion of covetousness:  don’t you envy the successful?  don’t you envy the rich?  they must have cheated and stole from YOU!)

No, what kinds of gatherings are we told about?   Why, the gatherings paid for  and promoted by the One-World Billionaire (G.S.  —  an est.  30 – 40 million dollars of his own money)) which brought out people by the dozens!    by the hundreds in some places!   And one time, “over a thousand” people – “unofficially”  counted.    Tens of millions of dollars to bring about “emotional,  race-baiting protests”  in Missouri and New York, protests meant to divide us Americans.

Compare that to 300,000 this week.   More in past years by official Washington D.C. police count.

You missed 300,000 Americans this week  and were given a steady diet of hundreds of Americans over the past months.

There are so many sources of news out there.   No wonder they want to take the Internet down.

Oh, yes,  the pictures.   300,000 Americans ( mostly young people, I noticed)  also carried signs:

(“Can’t we all just get along?”)    —

Coexist

Future sister.  Future doctor.  Future teacher.   Future . . .  everything.

Future Sister

 

Got mean parents?

 

Mom's going to

I don’t like “crowd”   pictures because cameras can be made to lie,  but this really was a very large lively crowd of mixed ages  —   which was happy, peaceful, and left behind barely no trash or damage — they respect ALL life.

CrowdA seemingly endless stream of people on the streets.

From my Ghost Pictures folder:    “The Weeping Lady.”

 

weeping lady

She can see.   She sees.

 

BLACKOUT!  is just a tool used against the Citizens of this World.

MAKING AMERICA GREAT – 4, PURSUING YOUR HAPPINESS

December 17, 2014

(I’m cheerleading here today.  Encouraging.   Showing good things we may have forgotten or despair of ever finding.  I hope to magnify your thinking.)    America fostered building  personal happiness.

The Pursuit of Happiness

log cabin build

Along with a recognition that all people have certain God-given rights is the firm belief, set in motion by our Founding Fathers, that all citizens are treated equally by the laws of this land;  and that all individual citizens are free to pursue their own personal goals.    Therefore,  the Constitution guarantees to American citizens Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

philosophers

In America,  these rights common to all are  called “God-given”  because we are created human beings, and the rights are based upon our human nature and natural law.  Note that this statement has been treated long ago by the classical pagan Greek philosophers,  independent of the religion of the early Jewish people and of Christianity which developed therefrom.

Religious or not, a person can still understand that there is Something bigger than mankind and there are principles that apply to each individual person, based upon human nature.    Our Founding Fathers were educated in classical philosophy  and then said,  ” . . . AND . .  .   and therefore . . . all citizens are to be treated equally before the Law.”  No castes.  No elites.   No royalty.

Our rights as individuals do not come from our central government.  All are safe and protected by limiting the central government.

This has been imperfectly manifested in American history.

Imperfectly manifested.

But equal opportunity to pursue one’s own “happiness”  has never been so misunderstood as now — and because it’s misunderstood, it has been greatly diminished.

Family 275

The basic unit of any society is the family unit that its people live in.   Everyone has come from a family.   It’s how we are defined and trained.  “Such as they are,”  your mother, father, sisters, brothers, cousins make up your family.

We have a  right to  strike out on our own,  marry, and create a new family, if we so choose, working hard to maintain a healthy and stable material and immaterial home, training the next generation.   We pursue our own happiness in the context of our family identity.

The picture above is “idealized,”  of course.     But it existed.     It doesn’t represent my experience – at all! –  but it served me as a child to illustrate a goal, a hope, something to work for,  something to strive for:   A working, intact, mutually loving human family.   It can happen today, though in somewhat different “costumes.”

However —

From out of the family comes (can come) a  sense of identity based on your own individual uniqueness,  male or female  — and your God-given dignity and self-worth as such,  such as He made you.   Dignity and worth are a happiness.

From out of your family experience comes  (can come)  a knowledge of what you like in this wide world.    Freedom of choice is a happiness.

From out of your family experience comes (can come) a knowledge of how to do things and how the world works.   Competence is a happiness.

From out of your family  comes  (can come) a knowledge of human society, how people get along and cooperate and learn from each other and find companionship in each other, each individual with a value of his own.   Society with others of your choosing is a happiness.

From out of your family comes the knowledge of the wide array of occupations you can choose from – pursue your own dream!     Work is a happiness.

A unit of one or of many:   Your “pursuit of happiness”  may mean living as a single individual, a “family unit” of one, we could call it.   (It becomes increasingly hard today to find a spouse who understands the meaning of family.)    But you may choose to  begin a new family within your own generation.   A unit of one or of many — these units make up a good society.
Your own dreams, your own place in this society,  free to live all your good choices or choices you hope will turn out well!

Yes, again, the picture I used for “family”  is idealized.   It’s meant to be,  because “happiness” does not depend upon numbers or on economic circumstances.   These are  superficial, accidental qualities — much of the rest is up to each good citizen.

bar green xmas type line

Want a personal To-Do list to choose from?

It serves an alien agenda to produce discontent and divisions among us,  to produce envy and helpless victimhood,   to break down our family units, to diminish and confuse the meaning of family,  to  misdirect our education,   to hide our origins, to look to government for our happiness,  to give to government our Privacy and our Freedom.  It is in their interest for us to treat them as “experts,”   and to obtain all our knowledge from  their media elite.

Actively opposing these unhappy trends should give you some ideas for your patriotic To-Do list!

Pursue your genuine happiness;  you’ll build a great nation!!

 

COMING BACK TO MYSELF

November 28, 2014

Well.    As I said in my last posting,  it was time to go home.

So I did.

And there was little opportunity to continue brooding:

driving rain

I left the constant spray of the ocean surf and spent the next 22 hours of driving through the constant spray of an apparently nationwide rainstorm.         Heavy downpours alternating with foggy drizzle;  poor visibility;  strong, cold winds;  wet, slippery roads;  fast traffic.   Strong thunderstorms and an F1 tornado escorted me through Georgia.    I  saw two pretty bad accidents in the Smokies,   arriving perhaps just minutes after they had happened.

And then,  about  three hours from home, late at night, I experienced a ten-minute episode of  a dangerous road game — I was the chosen target, two young men were the perpetrators  ( although if I had done what they were trying to get me to do,  I would have received the traffic  ticket — if I  survived.)

I was relieved to finally arrive in my own home state where it was somehow easier to drive in the bad weather.

It was good to see that some in my neighborhood had begun decorating their homes with Christmas lights.       And then, there was my own house – it was not dark, it had been decorated too!!

SAMSUNG

A BIG THANKS  to Son who wanted to surprise me in such a bright and cheerful way!!!!    He  couldn’t have known just how much that meant to me.   Something wonderful and cheery to get ready for….  some reason to get engaged again in the world around me.   The long drive home was over;  maybe the long period of dull brooding was over too.

I didn’t unpack the car that night,  but I began the next morning.

SAMSUNG

Now I know why I like the color yellow so much.    Right there is  the most color I’d seen for a long time!     Florida the Sunshine State?   I brought some home with me in my trunk –

SAMSUNG

Look  —   There are some lessons for us from my week or two of dull,  brooding introspection.      If your friend needs to do that for a while,  let him.  Let him!   Without advice or anxiety.  And if it happens to you, let it happen.    I learned something during this time.   Or I think I did.   I changed a little.   Or I think I did.    The death of someone near and dear to you will do that.   Or I think it should.

Second lesson is this:   Look again!    All the way home during that dark, rainy, dangerous road,  I had had those wonderful sunshiny bags of citrus with me, after all.   And I arrived at an unexpectedly cheerful home with the lights pointing me to Christmas!      Goodness,  cheer, hope, and God are never far  away.

One more lesson:  when I first came back to my emails,   I saw that many had wished me well after the death of my Mom, and many had been praying for my safe return.    That’s significant.    I had been supported.     Receive from others;  give to others.      We’re not in this life alone.      No one around us should be alone.

Deo gratias!

 

(And thanks for the time to brood.   I think I’m done.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ALONE AND UNSEEN

November 28, 2014

That’s not really a sad title.   Nor a happy one, of course.     Just no emotion (yet);   just . . . matter of fact:

SAMSUNG

Thanksgiving week;  part of it in Florida.   That’s looking out my living room window in my ocean “home away from home.”   It’s off-season and so there was no one on the beach.  Florida was having its version of “winter,”  overcast skies, cool and strong winds flowing down the beach.

It was good for me to be alone.    When Hubbie died four years ago this week, the shock and grief was pretty devastating,  but we are carrying on for him in the manner in which he intended us to live, even though he is now unseen.      He would want us to eventually be “okay,”   not feel too alone.       When my father died two years ago, that was devastating in another way.   So many things I need to tell him and show him,  but he is unseen now too.    And now two more years have passed, and I’ve just lost my mother.   She is unseen now too,  but as I wrote here before,  everything she is I carry within me.    In a way,  I’m not alone.

SAMSUNG

So here I am, in my   “front yard” — a.k.a. the beach —  sitting by the water,  in my orange “water shoes”  and my orange skirt,  wrapped around my legs by the wind.     I was  thinking about these three people in my life,  trying to feel how it feels to be alone in the world without Hubbie, Dad, or Mom.

But I didn’t know.   All I “knew” that day was  the sand and the cold wind and the noise of the pounding surf.    And a little visitor.   One of those fast-running little sandpiper-type birds that feed at the edge of the surf.  One of them became very curious about  my shoes.   He ran up to me,  I picked up my camera . . . slowly . . .  but he retreated as I snapped the picture.

Then he ran completely around me and my chair, about 18 inches away from my foot –  and I took another picture!    And a second time, running completely around me — and another picture!   And then he circled me a third time, a little closer — and another picture!

But all those pictures show only my shoe;  there is a lag time between the time my finger clicks the camera (on my cell phone)  and when the camera actually snaps the picture.    So the little sandpiper remains unseen by my camera;  he’s unseen,  but I wasn’t alone there.

SAMSUNG

I stayed yet another day at that place,  needing to hear the commotion of the surf  that seemed to drown out unnecessary thoughts.       It was another mostly overcast, cold, windy day, alone at the beach.

I moved back up to my “back patio”  to  read and pray and think, still looking out at the ocean.   And then something moved near me.   Not a bird at my feet this time,  but something whizzing  above my head, sometimes twenty, sometimes thirty, sometimes ten feet away — up there.   It was a little airplane.  Someone’s remote-controlled airplane.     So of course I took a picture:

SAMSUNG

Like the little sandpiper,  it was mostly too fast for my camera.   I have about fifteen more  of these photos, all different angles.   For a while I thought maybe this is a “drone.”  a drone with a camera!    So I waved.   And smiled and waved again.   But  I think I was unseen there on that patio.

SAMSUNG

The clouds broke a little,  and this time I was lucky with the shutter — I caught that little airplane.      Some young guys having fun with their airplane. . . . and so I wasn’t really alone.

A little more staring out at the beach —

SAMSUNG

I’m not sure if I’ve seen enough of it,  but I was feeling like it was time to go.    I’d been alone, and it had felt good.   I’d been free and unseen for a while, with the little bird’s attention,  next to the young men  with their airplane fun.

I’m going “nowhere” with my feelings, but there are people waiting for me “somewhere” at home.

It’s . . . just . . . time to go home.

“RIP CURL WATCHES GREAT WET SUITS TOMMY BAHAMA”

November 21, 2014

 

That’s what the sign said.

Indi pretty storeIt was on a building here, next to this pretty store that I like to go into.     I wanted to take a picture of the sign,  but it was lit up too brightly in the dark night, and my camera didn’t know how to compensate.   It couldn’t understand the lighting, just as I couldn’t understand the words.

“RIP CURL WATCHES GREAT WET SUITS TOMMY BAHAMA”    –   I don’t know what that sign is saying.   I don’t even know if it’s saying something legal.   Or decent!

I sat looking at it, staring out the window of the little seafood restaurant, not making much sense of the sign or of anything else.   I know things.  I know what happened to our family this week,  but I don’t understand that either. . . .   but what do I really know?

I came “home” –

SAMSUNGMy “home away from home”  this week.  Sat on that sofa and moped for a while.      The doorway to the left of the table looks out into the black night and the sound of the surf pounds into the room;   too loud to hear the radio,  to loud to think.

I went outside there, stood right by the big waves, in the dark night.  All I could see was the tops of the waves as they broke and the white foam rushed towards me,  landing on the wet sand and  then gets blown all over by the strong, warm  winds.   18 to 24 knots, they said.   But what do I know?  I think in m.p.h.

I took a little flashlight with me because my sister says little creeping things come out of the sand at night, like crabs and sand fleas.    I’d  shown the flashlight at my bare feet once in a while, but didn’t see any.     But what do I know?     Everything looks creepy by flashlight on the beach.

I went out to think about things:  about death;  about my Mom being dead now;  about family life and being an individual.  But I didn’t come up with any thoughts.  Just stared at the huge dark ocean.

What do I know?

 

I think TOMMY BAHAMA is up to no good.

 

AT LIFE’S ENDINGS

November 19, 2014

 

I came down here to Florida to visit with my Mom.

cross and man

I wish I could show you many photos of my Mom, but even the pictures wouldn’t say it all, so I won’t post any right now.  Maybe later.  

Just picture a blonde, curly-haired little toddler with a happy, perky face.   She was described as a happy, loving, very kind child,  giving help or giving things to people to try to make them happy.  She’s frequently shown with puppies or kittens or her beloved big sister nearby.

I haven’t seen photos of her as a young girl or in high school, because she was the victim of a broken home.  Very broken up.  Not because of immorality,  but because of diseases and disabilites that were not understood in those days.   My Mom has been described by the people of her hometown as “neglected”  and “abandoned,”  and “malnourished.”   She used to tell me about the mornings in the Far Far North when she and her sister would wake up with their toes dark blue from the cold, and they would hurry to light a fire in the coal stove to warm up.    I’ve never heard any words of malice come out of my Mom’s mouth about these terrible years.

But that life  came to an end.

Now she becomes a young woman.   Picture my Mom as one of those glamorous Hollywood types, only with a softer, kinder gentler face.  Happy and good, like Deanna Durbin,  but without the singing ability.  Or perhaps a young and lovely Donna Reed.  My Mom understood acting, and she had a short modeling career in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Then she moved on to Chicago to study art at the Chicago Art Institute.

Then that life, too,  came to an end.
My father came into the picture then.   He was a young Marine at the end of World War II and he was from her hometown.    I had forgotten, until my sister reminded me,  that he had been compared to a young and very handsome Frank Sinatra. 

Picture a cold, dark winter night in Downer’s Grove, Illinois.  My Dad in a tuxedo and a fashionable white wool scarf, changing a flat tire, in a snowstorm,  while my Mom and the two mothers and the minister wondered how much longer they should wait for “the groom” to arrive.  And then the minister went home.   Two hours later they had to get him up again to administer the wedding vows — only to find out that the marriage license had been signed in Cook County, not in DuPage County where they were.   A quick drive over to a very sleepy judge in Cook County — and I guess my Mom and Dad were legally married.

But that’s over now, and World War II ended,  and a couple years later I came into the world with a blast –   literally.    My 20 year old parents had a wild ride to the hospital where I was born.    The horn  on their old car got stuck and blared the entire 45 miles to the hospital.  I can’t imagine what was going through my Mom’s mind during that car ride.
I remember my Mom as a pretty, young professional “career woman,”  and arriving home at night, dressed in her beautiful city clothes, usually a pretty feminine blouse and soft swishy skirt,  or a lovely dress, high heels, and standing at the kitchen stove,  hurrying to make dinner for her family, and  then later – the best time of the day  — standing by me as I ate my “midnight snack” before going to bed.

She was a loving, kind, and gentle Mom to me.   Never an unkind word about anyone.    I never heard a judgment or a criticism.   She hit me once, though,  on the shoulder,  and I soooooo much deserved it.  I had talked back to her and you just never, ever talk back to your mother.     (Not even if your immature brain thinks it’s justified.)    Even that “hit”  was a firm and loving instruction from her.  She really, really did love me.

Now that phase of her life came to an end.   We moved from Chicago to the wilderness in the Far Far North.

She became a mother of two more daughters,  but just two short years later I left home,  and she became the person who answered my letters or   who talked on the phone with me. 

She (and my Dad)  raised their second family, lived in a few states, and ended up in Florida.  Mom is working for a small university,  but she is still wife and mother.    Working.   Knitting.  Quilting.  Reading.   Getting used to Florida.  Making friends.   Going to church.    And then my two “baby sisters”  had grown up and left home. 

That phase of her life came to an end.     And even my beautiful young parents eventually began growing old.

As it was happening,  their declining years seemed to be lasting a long time… a couple decades?   But the illnesses started, and the treatments —  the treatments that convinced me never to go to doctors.    Almost never.    I watched their health being managed downward into an irreversible spiral.  

The years of independent adulthood were over for my Mom.  Eventually, due to one treatment commonly given to women,  her brain was impaired, her thinking disrupted.

Her husband died and her life as a wife came to an end.

All these phases of my Mom’s life,  all those parts of her life were actually and really over and done with,  locked into an almost dormant memory.
The doctors called me recently and told me my Mom was sick, and it was “urgent”  that I come to Florida to see her. 

I didn’t know what to expect.   One nurse called and kindly “warned” me to expect a tiny, frail woman lying in bed.  Another called and said she was doing so much better on the new medicine.  Another phone call told me there is nothing more medical science can do.

I found her sitting up in a wheelchair, IV tubes,  oxygen tubes.   That’s all right;  I’d become used to seeing people like that in the years I worked in a hospital, in the years I saw Hubbie “attached” to things like that.  They are still the same person they are.   Mom was still Mom.

What I treasure the most, is that when Mom finally recognized me, her face lit up with a mother’s joy.  She was not only alert,  she was interested,  engaged in our conversation.  We talked about old times, and she laughed – she even giggled at one point.  She asked questions – or tried to, and then seemed to gather patience, resigning herself to just hearing me chatter on.   But she still made “comments”!

For two and a half hours we conversed. 

Then this last conversation, too, came to an end.   She became “sore” from sitting in one place so long.  Her throat hurt from the dry, cold oxygen running into her nose.    We laughed together and decided it was way past her bedtime.  

We looked forward to talking more the next morning, and seeing the old photographs I had brought with me.    The nurse came in . . . .

The next morning my sister and I met and made our plans to see Mom . . .  and while we were talking the phone rang.

Mom had passed away a few minutes ago.

No.    No.     No.     No. . . . .

No.

This last, elderly, physically debilitated phase of her life came to an end.

My sister and I talked — non-stop — for the next 15 1/2 hours.   Keeping Mom here, I guess.  Keeping her anchored in our lives.   Finding all the places in us where she had formed us    We know she lives on because of her faith in Jesus, and she is in the hands of the King.   But my sister and I live on here, hoping to find all the things Mom gave us;   hoping to stay true to all the things Mom made us to be.
 
What she was and the lives she had lived have all come to an end, and all we have in this present time are precious memories of it, in this present time.  The present is all any of us really have.

You know?   Until this present time comes to an end.

 

 

 

NOVEMBER 11 – ORDINARY MEN?

November 11, 2014

Honor and  thanksgiving to all those who served our country in the military.

Dad in Dress Blues

Here is my Dad,  in his Dress Blues.  Marine Corps.   1945

Looks like an ordinary 19 year old, like so many others.    Ordinary people make up our Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.   My Dad.  Many dads.  Many sons and  brothers,  cousins and uncles.   To us they are our family and our friends, from our ordinary lives.

All our soldiers  look like ordinary people, I suppose, but given an extraordinary task to do.    And that’s why they get to wear the uniform.

At the beginning of the 20th century we signed the armistice, ending the Great War To End All Wars.     This Great War was so shockingly  horrendous that it shook up the whole world, and so this armistice  was the world’s “last chance”  to end all warfare.  It was our “Eleventh Hour.”   The armistice was signed on the 11th day of the 11th month, at the 11th hour.

That war began in 1914, one hundred years ago.      We’ve called on a lot more ordinary men since then.      It is apparent that we need to learn our history and learn the lessons from history. . .  and then live the lessons our fathers and grandfathers would teach us.

It seems we would best honor our men in  uniform by asking them to guard our freedom,  but not making it necessary for them to fight for our freedom.

ELECTION NOTES – 2

November 3, 2014

fam cartoon

Guard your family!      Mother-Father-Daughters-Sons  –

The basis of any strong, coherent nation is the Family Unit.      Families, then related families,  then related families and friends,  then neighborhoods and villages,  then building on up to larger units with limited and well-defined roles to play over the local areas.     Family groupings in rural areas and villages  willingly and wisely give a bit of their money to a larger unit for the sake of protection,  police,   fire departments,  building roads and bridges, delivering mail. . . .   Perhaps a few more roles for these larger units to play.  But local families know best how to govern themselves.

vote blackboard

We vote soon.

We vote, yes or no,   for the people who would like to “transform”  our families into . . .   whatever.

We vote, yes or no, for the people who would like to re-define our families into . . .  whoever chooses to live at the same address.

We vote, yes or no,  for the people who would like to take apart the family so that the individual family members don’t have their individual roles to play.

fam teaching own fam

We vote, yes or no, to give   money government schools where they are trained and indoctrinated with values that do not match our own.

fam mom teacher

We vote, yes or no,  for a big government to take more and more of the money that we earn and distribute it to wherever it will do them the most good.     They don’t tell us where our money is going,  why so much is missing,  why so many failed corporations began receiving our money,  why so many foreign banks and foreign interests are receiving money that Americans are earning, why so much of our money pays for issues local families don’t believe in.

fam bye bye mom

In most families now,  all the adults and all the teenagers have to go to work.   “Bye-bye, Mommy.”

Again, the basis of a strong nation is your strong, viable, stress-free, intact family.    Perhaps 10,000 years or more, since the ice age glaciers melted and modern history began,  family is man, woman, children, more blood relatives where necessary.    And the family is the first teacher of the children of a nation.     Skills and abilities and values and faith is passed down from parents to their children.

fam first teacher

A strong, healthy nation cannot be “transformed”  unless it is first BROKEN DOWN.    “They” cannot transform your family until they first break it down, whether they do it by redefining the idea of family and  rewarding those who demonstrate their new definitions,  or whether they do it directly,  by creating rules, regulations,  and taxation that makes it hard and stressful to live as a family.

Election Note #2 takes a lot of work and a lot of homework to find out which policies promoted by which candidates seem to be the most traditional family friendly.    Vote for a healthy local government.  Vote against a  Big Government  that is in the process of taking control over every issue of our family lives.

Big government  wants to transform — YOU!

 

ELECTION NOTES – 1

November 3, 2014

We’ve just passed the remembrance of All Saints Day and All Souls Day —  Nov. 3rd already???  —   and now we remember we have a temporary earthly home to take care of.

vote blackboard

While on this earth this means:   Taking care of ourselves, providing for our families,  preparing our children for adulthood, caring for each other in our communities, keeping our own homes orderly and clean  — and voting.

I see I’ve been writing down some notes for myself:

My first Election Note:     “The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.”  That is, the more powerful a government is, the weaker each person subject to that government will be.   (The more government does for you, the less you are allowed to do for yourself.)
The words and expressions are partly my own,  partly from speakers I’ve heard,  partly from American history books  (not the kind they publish today), and from here and there, all supporters of the United States of America, who appreciate the freedom given to the Common Man.

(Do I need to state that I’m using English grammar here?   “When the sex of a person is unknown or the word can be applied to either sex,   use the masculine GENDER. ”   That would be “he” and “him.”     “Mankind.” )   
So again….  First Election Note:   “The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.”     Are you really going to vote for the one who promises to give you the most?   To do the most for you?

Sugar Daddies get mean real fast.

WHAT LIES WITHIN

August 28, 2014

The title of this post could have a question mark.    In preparation for our carpet installation I’ve been going through everything in my house,  every shelf,  every cabinet,  bookcase. . . .  and that’s my constant question:  What’s in here?     Oh!  What’s in here!!

SAMSUNGInside of this old cabinet I found three black rectangular boxes.   The one on the left contained my slide rule!!!   I found it, at last!!   Many happy memories with that slide rule.    I remember when Hubbie bought his first “calculator.”     It was very expensive, but he thought it was justified because he taught Accounting at the time.   I never liked a calculator.  I was much faster with pencil and paper  (or slide rule)  and Hubbie and I had some interesting “races”  with columns of figures.

I don’t know.  Maybe he never got the hang of using a calculator.   Ha!    When you do math with your hands  (pencil or slide rule)  you’re really, really doing the math, and the mind is far faster than trying to get electrons to jump into the proper place,  doing the math for you.

The black box in the middle is my piccolo.   That was kind of fun too.   Both of those boxes have been “lost” for a long, long time.

But the box on the right….   I don’t recognize it.    I don’t know what’s in it.   It has a little thing on the seam that I think is where you’d open it — if your fingers were strong enough.   I can’t get it to move.    Whatever is inside is well-protected.

Son will  do it next time he visits.

They say it’s a good idea to move to another home every  so many  years;  the interval varies.      The happy result of such moving is that you have the opportunity to become reacquainted with everything you own, and you are forced to select what to keep and what to throw out.     Sounds like the goal is to pare down your life to the bare minimum.

I think “thinning things out” is just a minor goal.

Much more significant is that when you have to move all your things,  whether to a new place or to the same place, as in my case,  what you will be doing is retrieving your past.  As Son told me recently,  “if you don’t remember some things,  they don’t exist for you anymore.”

When parts of you are disappearing from memory,  it’s not your belongings that are thinning out,  it’s you.

SAMSUNG

I came across one old box that contained all kinds of greeting cards, used and unused.   I’m normally not a,  uh,   “methodical”person, so I poured everything on the floor and began sorting them out, new cards to be sent,  old cards received.  I read every one of those cards.  I enjoyed every one of them – again.    I appreciated all my friends and the time they took to write something inside their card.   I’m glad I’ve saved these, because it’s like visiting again with good people.   My life is fuller.  I haven’t “lost” their kind words.

But there are other kinds of cards:

SAMSUNGThese are some of the sympathy cards that we received when Hubbie died.

Please know that the extra effort you take to write in someone’s card, in your own hand,  is felt by the bereaved, deep down in their hearts. And the cards are sometimes saved and read again, and your kind words give strength and support once again.

And it brings back hard memories —  of course.

Memories that you don’t want to lose.

“What lies within”  is sometimes a very, very important part of you.

It’s a big chore to move your stuff around,  but don’t try to remove too much of the “stuff.”

 

MY LIGHT IS GREEN

July 11, 2014

I  cannot urge you enough to drive in our beautiful northern mountains sometime.   It just builds and expands and enlivens someplace inside of you that you didn’t know you had.   Just don’t spend two weeks up there if your lungs are shredding.   (High altitude strikes unexpectedly, regardless of fitness or age or experience.)

Tunnel 650
I’ve spent a few days now, driving down from our high-altitude Western states, my destination being a very comfortable 800 feet.    I didn’t feel like taking many photos this time, but I couldn’t resist this tunnel.      They’re fun!    And a panoramic view of  reds and golds and ochres and umbers awaits once you get through.

And, of course, I thought, if I could just keep driving east and downward,  I’ll finally see the Light At The End Of The Tunnel.   I should feel better and start breathing again.

Son texted me some encouragement, saying,  “It’s all downhill from here.”   I was able to catch the humorous double meaning.   Oh, yes, I want that “downhill.”

Sometimes people in the Western states looked at me oddly when I said I live at 800 feet, almost like they couldn’t comprehend a “valley” so low,  but they were pretty understanding of the choking flatlander talking to them.   Some of them had gone through it themselves.   It’s pretty discouraging for a healthy person to experience, this altitude problem.

Then, I got another text from Son.    A photo this time:

TOMATO

There it is.  He’s showing me a little tomato growing on my back deck.   The tomato plants made it!   There’s MY  Light At The End Of The Tunnel!!    Not some half-remembered concept of home –  but an actual little green tomato waiting for me.

I won’t draw lessons for you about using a little humor to encourage your friends when they’re having some difficulty.   I won’t explain how using an incentive from their real lives has a stronger motivating power than platitudes, however true.   I’m sure you look for opportunities to build up your friends and family when they’re kind of drooping.   There are more ways to “expand and enliven that important someplace inside of you than to travel around the High Sierras and the High Rocky Mountain plateaus.

I’m still traveling eastward today, nearing the end of my journey.      I’ll just write that there is green at the end of my tunnel;   that little green tomato is growing.