Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving, America!

No.. I'm not crazy.  I mean that.  Happy Thanksgiving, America.

You see, 234 years ago today, some very brave men approved a document which resulted in the United States of America.  The Declaration of Independence, signed by treasonous British subjects, stating opposition to the tyranny foisted on the American Colonials by England's King George III stated the case for freedom.  It left nothing to the imagination.  It was very clear in its meaning.

When in the course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.
So they all signed the document - 56 of them.  As they signed, they were committing treason against England, but they didn't care.  In their opinion, their freedom was more important than the crime they were committing.  Because of their determination to be free, we in America today enjoy their legacy - Freedom.

Freedom is not free - it has been bought and paid for by the blood, sweat and tears of patriots through the years who have worn the uniform of military organizations of the United States.  These patriots have fought and many died on American soil and foreign soil to protect the freedoms that our Founding Fathers guaranteed for us.

That makes me incredibly happy and incredibly sad at the same time.  The signers of the Declaration of Independence must have felt much the same way.  They were sad at having to do it and happy that it was done.

So today is Thanksgiving Day.  Let us give thanks to those brave men, long since gone to their reward, who wrote and signed the Declaration of Independence.  Let us give thanks for the freedoms we enjoy, but at the same time we must remember the price that was paid for our freedoms.  That cost is what makes our freedoms so special - so important - so remarkable.

Happy birthday, America!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hate is a Terrible Way to Live

Let's talk about hate.  Unfortunately, there's too much to say about it.

When I was a little girl, I hated the girl who stole my new Nifty notebook.  Nifty was a brand name - not just a neat notebook.  It had the holes for the paper at the top in a plastic snap-on cover that also had room to store your freshly-sharpened pencil so the point wouldn't get broken on the long ride home on the school bus.

I also hated certain foods - just like any kid.

But I never REALLY hated anything or anybody - it was only a figure of speech to me then.  Today, things have changed.  People hate for many reasons.  Who do you hate?  Why do you hate them?  Do you really hate them or do you just dislike them?

I can honestly say that I don't hate anyone I know now or have ever known, although my step-mother comes awfully close.  Truth be told, I hated the way she treated my father, and I hated the way she treated me, but I still do not hate her.  Thank you, Sweet Jesus!

There are some old friends who hate me, and I have no idea why.  The only thing I have been told is that I lied and used them.  I was told I need to see a psychiatrist, and in fact, a link for one near me was left on a blog once.  I have been blocked from following on Twitter.  Can you believe anyone could hate that much?  I am not allowed to comment on their writing, which I would only have done if it was an exceptional piece in the first place.  I have been blocked from sending emails and threatened with harassment.

It has been eight months now, and I know no more than I did the day I got the email.  I have cried many many tears, missed many hours of sleep (which comes to me at a premium anyway), and I have done anything and everything I can think of to find out why.  They hate me so much they won't even tell me why. That's really sad.

I am thankful that I don't hate them in return.  I thank God that His grace provides a solace from the lonely times I have when I miss them so much.  Could we ever be friends again?  No, even if they were willing, I would not put myself back into the same position again.  What is the old saying?  Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

I would like to have the opportunity to apologize to them for whatever it was that I did, or for what they think I did.  I don't think I would even try to explain whatever I did that caused them to feel that way.  I think I would just ask their forgiveness for wronging them.  Then I think I would be able to go on with my life - such as it is.  I am happy with my life.  Even my inferiority complex does not get in my way as much as it did a few years ago. 

I try so hard to not let it bother me, but I cannot lie to myself.  It does bother me - it bothers me tremendously.  I know there is nothing I can do that will make it better, but I can't help wondering what I did. 

I suppose I always will.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Angel Award

I have a wonderful neighbor!  Thank you, God.  She's terrific.

For years, while she was raising her family, she owned a beauty shop in a small town in North East Texas.  Then for whatever reasons she started selling Tupperware.  That's how I met her.  I sold Tupperware too, and she and I were in the same unit - The Dixie Babes.

Those were the days when being a "Tupperware Lady" was fun and could be profitable if you wanted it to be.  We both acquired our own units and that meant we got a "company car" to drive.  Naturally, it was a station wagon.  We had to have room to carry our unit members as well as several orders of Tupperware that had to be delivered.

Rita stayed with it much longer than I did.  She was very good as I remember.  Even when she stopped being a Unit Manager herself, she helped our distributorship by training new Unit Managers.

She's 85 years young now and lives next door to me, much to our mutual surprise when I moved into this community.  You'd probably guess she was 85 if you did nothing but glance at her; she has very pretty white hair and doesn't get around as easily as she used to.  That doesn't stop her, however.  Her car is out of our parking spaces much of every day of every week.

She plays Bunco, 42, Bingo - you know... all those really fun games that children today have never heard of. She does more than play games.  This woman has contributed something to society since the day she was born, and she has no intention of stopping now!

She volunteers at our local museum.  She loves it when the kids come by to see part of the history of our city and our heritage as Texans.  She is also a tutor for the Literacy Council helping adults learn to read.  I would respect her for that alone.

She received notice today that she has been named Tutor of the month.  She is so excited, and I am excited for her.  She accomplishes a great deal with her student, and it is a very satisfying endeavor for Rita.

But I'm not finished with her accomplishments, and this is the part I like the very best.  She's an excellent cook!  She makes homemade yeast rolls so regularly that it sometimes takes me all month to eat a whole loaf of bread!  With some of that dough, she makes cinnamon rolls or sticky buns.  She's also good with banana pudding and pies of all descriptions.  Except lemon ice-box pie.  She doesn't care for that and wouldn't you know that's my very favorite?

She doesn't make only sweet stuff.  She makes a mean pot of cabbage!  She's good with chicken spaghetti and many other dishes as well.  I contribute what I can, but I am a long way from being as good a cook as she is.  I do a lot of veggies so we both eat fairly well between her main dishes and my vegetables.  And we're not shy about sharing with each other either.

A pot of homemade soup will feed us both all week.  Cornbread and  rice are shared freely.  I love holidays.  She always cooks a great big ham, and I benefit from that as well.

Am I finished with her accomplishments?  Not even close.  We share rides to places, and I see her taking other people with her somewhere.  Let's face it - Rita is a loving, caring and giving person, and I feel very blessed to live next door to her.

Rita gets my first "Angel Award."

Thursday, May 6, 2010

This is National Nurses Week - Let's Celebrate

Florence Nightingale was born on May 12, 1820.  Everyone knows that she is considered the Mother of Nursing.  So we can thank her for that as well as the time we now use to recognize and honor those among us who are caring, loving and dedicated enough to spend their lives in the nursing profession.

Nurses take an oath much like the Hippocratic Oath of the doctors.

Florence Nightingale Pledge
I solemnly pledge myself before God and in the presence of this assembly, to pass my life in purity and to practice my profession faithfully. I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous, and will not take or knowingly administer any harmful drug. I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession, and will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping and all family affairs coming to my knowledge in the practice of my calling. With loyalty will I endeavor to aid the physician in his work, and devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care.

Nurses don't always look the same.  But they all care deeply for the patients in their charge.
Today, I honor the memory of my daughter, Sara, who was a registered nurse.  I know that at some point during this week, her co-workers will pause and remember her as we all will.

I also write to honor the career of a special person who was a neo-natal intensive care nurse.  Such love and concern it must have taken you to perform your duties as long and as well as you did I can only imagine.  I salute you.

On Wednesday of this week, the school nurses receive a much needed thank you.
Theirs is a tough job with the political climate such as it is.  They have much to consider and much balance to achieve in their jobs.

So to all nurses who happen upon this spot in cyberspace, thank you for all that you do to make our world continually go around even when we are sick and need you to care for us.

Youre Special Comments and Graphics for MySpace, Tagged, Facebook
Comments and Graphics - Layouts - Photobucket

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Loving My Trees

Loving them - not hugging them!

I love the community where I live. It is nice and quiet. Peaceful. Very comfortable, and it is filled with people just like me. 50+ active or disabled, retired or not. It is beautifully landscaped and very well cared for. The one and only thing that I do not like about the location of my home - directly across from the mail center with the only drive in and out visible from my front window - is that we do not have covered parking for all of the apartments. I figure that is an easy compromise to make.

When I first moved here over three years ago, I remember telling my sister that I would enjoy watching the little tree I could see from my bedroom window as it grew. I moved here in December so naturally there were no leaves on the tree. I have watched it grow over these three years, and it is truly becoming a beautiful tree.  It is already too tall for me to see from bottom to top from the same bedroom window.

I decided today that every year on May 1 - May Day - I am going to take a new picture of my tree so I can see how it has grown from year to year.  Here is the one I took this afternoon;

I will try to remember to take another picture in the late summer before the leaves start falling to show you how pretty it is when it is wearing its complete coat of beautiful leaves.

I am not a botanist but I believe it is an oak tree.  I'll let you know for sure when and if it makes acorns.

A while back, management planted a new tree out in front.  It is a pine tree and has been responsible for much of the attacks of pollen my sinuses have had to deal with this spring.

It will be fun to watch it grow too.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Death Makes One Think

I wrote about the sudden unexpected death of my step-daughter. That was a tragedy of enormous proportions in my life. She was so young; two children who adored her; a husband who practically worshiped her; grandchildren who relied on Grandma for her hugs and kisses and things like chocolate chip cookies. Then, of course, there was the extended family of which I am honored to have been a part.

When a death like this occurs, it makes one think - that old demon is out there lurking around just waiting for any one of us. To top that off, I have undergone some medical tests recently which thankfully ended well, but could just have easily predicted my demise.

All together, those events have made me look around for all the unfinished business I would leave behind if it had been my turn to go. I am not afraid of death at all; I am a Christian and I strongly believe God's Word promises me eternity with Him.

For years, I have been trying to save money to pre-pay my funeral so that my few relatives will not be forced to deal with the difficult task of selections and decisions that nobody enjoys making. When I had the money, there was always something I would rather do, so on it goes.

Here is a short list of things I would like to accomplish before my doorbell rings for the last time.

1. I would like to go back to England and visit with my friends. I'd like to see Canterbury Cathedral, Marlowe's Restaurant, and Ersham Lodge once more. I would enjoy another of those cab rides which Jim would provide if I had some time to kill and nothing more important on my to-do list for the day.

2. I would like to visit places I have never been and do things I have never done; see people, places and things that I have never seen.

3. I have some terrific internet friends that I would like to meet in person.

4. I would like to watch a Hallmark commercial without crying.

5. And the most important on this list is that I would like to make amends with people whom I have offended. It has been my experience that in life, an argument requires two sides and a divorce usually is the result of both parties having differences that seemingly can't be overcome.

I sincerely do not know what I did to everyone I have offended, but I would apologize for it anyway because if Sara's death taught me anything at all it is that life is entirely too short to live with unfinished business.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Main Gear Touchdown

I love the manned spaceflight program of the United States. I remember very well the Mercury 7 astronauts. There was a time when I could tell you all of their names and the names of the spacecraft they flew. Eventually, I couldn't keep up any longer. NASA added more and more astronauts and spacecraft.

Then along came the glider that we know as the space shuttle. Challenger and Columbia have narrowed the number of usable shuttles and someone somewhere thinks the shuttle program has outlived its usefulness and is to be retired.

Something else will come along to take its place; however, I don't know what or when. Obama is cutting funds to NASA and still talking out the side of his mouth saying that we need to go farther into space and visit other planets. Surely he knows you can't do that without money.

There is a very valid argument that the entire space program should be cut off from the funding machine. I certainly see that side of the argument. Spending is out of control in Washington and because of that our world and the world of our great-grandchildren may never be the same.

On the other hand if there is a chance to further medical science to help save lives, or to gain knowledge in other areas, should we not at least attempt to learn what can be learned?

If the choice were mine, I would rather see funding for science over bailing out a failing badly managed business. The federal government isn't supposed to own businesses anyway. Individuals through the system of free-enterprise are supposed to do that.

Shuttle Discovery landed early this morning in Florida after just over two weeks in space. And I was watching. There are only a few shuttle flights remaining in the program, and I hope to watch all of them. I also hope to watch whatever comes next. I still have a healthy respect for America's NASA astronauts. They are some of the best and brightest military pilots, engineers and scientists our nation produces.

Maybe instead of trimming the space program, we could just trim the bureaucracy that surrounds them. Wonder why nobody has thought of trying that?