A friend of mine sent me this writing and I thought I’d pass it along to my readers with a few modifications. (not certain of the author).
These words are simple…no frills…just plain truthful advice. So here goes…the wisdom for a world torn to shreds, full of anxiety, looking for some word of wisdom…other than the greatest words of wisdom ( Proverbs in the Holy Bible, which are my favorite).
Now, I can’t end this blog here for I had a great deal of tension and stress today as I tried to make bread. It wasn’t a peaceful day. Perhaps a picture or two will be better than a thousand words and I certainly didn’t have time for Yoga.
Since I was trying a new recipe, the container where I usually allow my yeast bread to rise was not large enough. You can see the results as it overflowed…and overflowed. Thankfully my oven was not turned on, but the clean-up was huge! Nevertheless, life must go on. Rescuing what I could, I continued the task at hand…making my bread. As you can see, all was not lost!!
And doggie says, “May your stress and worries be few.”
POWER…POWER…POWER to the people worldwide! Yes, this power is what blogging your thoughts is all about when you decide to be a blog writer. You will be able to reach people around the world. Since becoming a blogger and following others on their blogs, I have actually made friends with people around the world. Through the internet and blogging programs like WordPress, we are able to speak our minds, concerns and joys as well as thinks we have learned from research and reading before writing. Not all will agree with what we have to say. No problem…for we have the freedom to read or not read. We can choose to write or not write. Yes, I’m using that glorious word…FREEDOM!
Below is a map that I photographed from my WordPress site. (Thank you, WordPress, for keeping such great statistics to share with us….even the names of the countries that view our posts.) Over a period of my nine years of blogging, the world has practically been covered. Amazing!
When I first began writing my books, I knew I had more to say and wanted a book that I could hold in my hand. That was accomplished in the last several years. I also knew I wanted to sit down and write to friends and the world something on my mind that I did not have time to put in book form. I’m not putting down anyone who loves…loves…LOVES….their Facebook, because it serves a purpose for some. I, however, moved away from that venue to be able to write more in-depth on any particular subject. What I was having on my plate to eat…as some wrote me about… just didn’t seem interesting enough to me or anyone else for that matter….but history, music, and inspirational messages do find a place worth spending my time and effort. To each his or her own.
Many senior citizens are on the computers daily, writing to children or grandchildren. They have a life story that they can share with people around the world. Their stories and wisdom in living life can prove to be inspirational in so many ways. How about giving it a try? The youth of today will find you online and may need all the help they can get.
I would encourage anyone thinking of not only reading a blog, but actually starting a blog for themselves, to do so in 2018. It isn’t hard and you can learn step by step. With practice on what you can do…write…add pictures…add videos etc…you’ll soon be a pro! ( Here is WordPress Link. Tell them Boyer Writes sent you.)
Again, HAPPY NEW YEAR to all from Boyer Writes… make it a NEW YEAR of WRITING.
This week the world has been remembering 70 years since the liberation of Auschwitz. It is hard to believe even this many years later the atrocities done there to so many people. Yet, it was a reality that must never be forgotten.
A few years ago, I took Student Ambassadors to Eastern Europe. We saw first hand the museum of Auschwitz with the thousands of eyeglasses, shoes, luggage, and the gas chambers. I saw the tiny areas where prisoners had to stand for hours as punishment, with no way to sit or lay down. Near these spots were messages scratched on the walls. I saw a cross that is now covered with plastic to protect it. One of my students brought an arm-full of flowers to lay at the wall where so many had been executed.
Even as late as 2011, the news reported that the President of Iran still refuses to believe that the millions of Jews, Christians, homosexuals, political enemies of the Nazi regime, and others went to their death in the consecration camps of Europe.
The Prime Minister of Israel had to stand once again to tell the United Nations and the world that “Yes, Israel is a Jewish state” and has the right to exist. Even this week, our own President is refusing to see Israel’s Prime Minister when he comes to address our Congress and the peoples of the world. He will most likely emphasize what could lay in store once again unless we bind together to not allow these horrors… whether through nuclear annihilation or through the old method of gas chambers.
Question: When will this persecution end…or will it?
Now, in 2015, my husband is taking a group of people to a Holy Land pilgrimage of Jerusalem. Some ask, “Why would you go there when there is so much unrest in the Middle East?” It’s simple….to walk the footsteps of our Savior, Jesus Christ…the Jew who gave himself for our salvation and to be the Messiah of all people including the Jews.
While in Jerusalem, the group will go to the memorial garden at Yad Vashem, This is the remembrance of all non-Jews (Righteous Gentiles) who risked everything to hide Jewish neighbors and friends from deportation. Oskar Schindler (see movie trailer below on Schindler’s List) and others are named there. These non-Jews are among the more than 21,000 who by 2006 have been recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations. One of these was Father Pierre-Marie Benoit of France. His monastary was busy all the time with people trying to flee certain death. His printing presses ran full steam putting out new Baptism Certificates and false Christian names for Jews to be able to survive. In 1966, he was honored on the Walk of the Righteous. (To read more….Tribute to Father Benoit) Christians and some Muslim people helped hide the Jews. This is not widely known. The Christian group going on this pilgrimage will see the memorial stone for Oscar Schindler, a German businessman, who saved so many. Today there are more than 7,000 descendants of the Schindler-Jews living in US and Europe, many in Israel. Before the Second World War, the Jewish population of Poland was 3.5 million. Today there are fewer than 3,000 and 4,000 left.
This is the picture of Lilly Jacob Zelmanovic Meier, who died in 1999 in Miami, Florida. When the troops arrived to rescue the survivors, she found pictures that are now known as the Auschwitz Album. It is now in Yad Vashem in Israel.
This is Lilly’s story. (Taken from the introduction of the “Auschwitz Album” shown below.
“18-year-old Lilly Jacob was deported with her family, and most of the Jews of Hungary, in the spring of 1944. On the ramp at Auschwitz she was brutally separated from her parents and younger brothers; she never saw any of them again. She was lucky and survived; yet, she was not always convinced of the blessing of having survived totally alone, bereft of family, friends and her world.
Unlike all the other survivors, she was granted a small miracle. On the day of her liberation, in the Dora concentration camp hundreds of miles from Auschwitz, she found in the deserted SS barracks a photo album. It contained, among others, pictures of her family and friends as they arrived on the ramp and unknowingly awaited their death. It was a unique tie to what once had been, could never return, and could never be rebuilt.
It was also, as we now know, the only photographic evidence of Jews arriving in Auschwitz or any other death camp.
After the war Lilly found and married Max Zelmanovic, a prewar acquaintance. Selling glass-plate prints of the album to the Jewish Museum in Prague enabled the couple and their first-born daughter, Esther, to immigrate to the United States. They settled in Miami and raised a family, yet the album continued to be central to their lives. Survivors spread the word of a unique album in the possession of a waitress in Miami, and they made their way across the country to seek her out, and to hope against hope that their lost family, like hers, might be engraved on its prints. Not a week would go by but Lilly would bring home strangers who were not strangers, and they would pour over the pictures and weep.
Rarely, someone would identify a family member, and Lilly would give them the snapshot. Since most of the Jews had been murdered, leaving no living trace, most of the photos remained unclaimed.
In 1980 Serge Klarsfeld convinced Lilly that the album should be safeguarded at Yad Vashem. She came to Jerusalem, showed it to Prime Minister Menachem Begin, and donated it to Yad Vashem, where it resides to this day and is treasured for the future.”
If we turn our eyes away to things that are unjust, we definitely will repeat history.
The music written for Schindler’s List always brings tears to my eyes as I sit down to play it on the piano. It certainly must have been inspired through the talents of John Williams. Please listen for this music as you view the trailer on the movie, Schindler’s List below. Turn up sound.
A few years back, I wrote some words about a funny and intelligent man named Ben Stein, who is a Jew. I am a Christian and I thought I would resurrect some of what he, as a Jew, feels about Christmas.
First, I will do a little comparison. Mr. Stein is famous and a writer. (He is the one in the Santa hat.) I am not famous but also a writer, retired educator,wife, mother, Grandmother called Nanny, and a photographer, who believes God gives me a thought here and an inspiration there.
We are both celebrating. Mr. Stein celebrates Hanukkah and I celebrate Christmas, the birth of the Savior and the Messiah. Ben may be still investigating that point. I hope so.
Yes, it is only a few days until Christmas Eve. The door is open and all is beautiful inside our church, St. James Episcopal Church in Florida. The bright red poinsettias flank the altar and the tall candles will be lit. A statue of Mother Mary, holding Jesus, is off to the side.
Mr. Stein may be worshiping at his synagogue. I’m certain it will be also inspiring.
At this Advent time , I celebrate the birth of my Savior and look for His return as He promised. One thing for certain that Mr. Stein and I have in common at this holiday season is what is important and has value. He has written about his appreciation for the sacrifices made by the military, the police, the firemen, medics, and others who serve. We both hold them in great esteem.
One of the beauties of this season is the Star of Bethlehem that shown over the manger long ago. My kitchen and porch have a beautiful Moravian star to remind us and the neighbors of the real meaning of Christmas.
It is also good to remind ourselves of those men and women who do not want to destroy all that Christmas represents even if it is not their own faith.
In 2005, Mr.Ben Stein had this to say about Christmas to CBS News:
“I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees “Christmas trees”. I don’t feel threatened. I don’t feel discriminated against. That’s what they are: Christmas trees.
It doesn’t bother me a bit when people say, “Merry Christmas” to me. I don’t think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn’t bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu. If people want a crèche, it’s just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away. “
As I put up my manger scene, Mr. Stein, I dedicate this video to you. Here’s hoping that you have had a very Happy Hanukkah!
Never stop writing. For the rest of us, a little education on this Jewish celebration is a good thing.
If one looks around in nature or even in the molecules of a water drop, the geometric shapes that can be translated into math are there. Beauty is also there. The changing colors; swirling shapes and much more than the ordinary person will see or grasp in a lifetime. There is an order to things. In this order, the number system is dominate. Add a number…subtract a number…multiply a number…and consistently the numbers start to change, but do so in perfect order.
To be a mathematician or a scientist who peers into the microscope or an astronomer who studies the skies must see the God of perfection. Even such small things as a spider web, a water drop, or a snowflake show the geometric shapes of the universe.
Numbers are fascinating! You do not have to be a math genius or be able to understand quantum physics to enjoy this amazing stacking of numbers! View the video at the bottom of the page and see what you think! (Turn off your sound if you are not into rock music.)
For your listening and viewing pleasure….below the seas.
“Largo” from Dvorak’s New World Symphony
If you are an English speaker, you may right away click off this blog. However, if you are a person whose first language is another language other than English….but you know that so much of the world uses English as the common language…you may be trying to learn English. (I think you get the point.) Nevertheless, you will probably have a surprise coming your way as you try to read on.
People everywhere want to learn English. Take this little school bus in India…now that is really wanting your child to learn English!! Even though I hate to say it, the accent for some who learn the language is so strong that it is hard to communicate. I find this true when my “help” line is out-sourced to some foreign place.
The first time I went to Mongolia, my job was to teach English to middle school teachers. This was a graduate course because they already knew some English that they taught to their students along with Russian and Mongolian. Speaking of accents, I also found that the students that had teachers from England picked up the British accent…or American… from the person teaching them. Pronunciation is important.
I also went to a Mongolian museum. There was a Mongolian guide who was giving a tour to a Japanese man. I found out they neither one spoke the other’s language, so they were speaking in English. That was great for me…for I just listened in to all the explanation about the museum.
It is not easy for foreign students to learn all the odd things that are said in English. We Americans have so much slang. There is a great effort to accommodate English readers and speakers, these pictures are some examples of totally misunderstanding the words:
Now, here is the point. English is often a very confusing language. A friend of mine proved it once again when she sent me this illustration below. (Thanks, Jo) I am amazed that someone found the time to think of all these words.
Even English speakers may get a real chuckle out of these…as difficult as it is to understand why in the world we have so many homographs and heteronyms.
(Homographs are words of like spelling but with more than one meaning. A homograph that is also pronounced differently is a heteronym.) Some examples:
- The bandage was wound around the wound.
- The farm was used to produce produce.
- The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
- The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
- When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
- They were too close to the door to close it.
Other English words that don’t seem logical:
- There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple.
- English muffins weren’t invented in England or French fries in France
- Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet, are meat.
Some paradoxes in English:
- Quicksand can work slowly
- Boxing rings are square
- A guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.
No reason at all:
How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language where your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?
Perhaps the most over-used word in the English language..UP:
It’s easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP?
Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report?
We call UP our friends.
And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver; we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen.
In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4th of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions.
If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used.
It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don’t give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more.
The word “Brain drain” usually means the loss of skilled intellectual and technical labor through the movement of such labor to more favorable geographic location… Another way of saying it is the emigration of highly trained or intelligent people from a country or other place.
This is NOT the type of brain drain I am referring to but instead the WEARINESS that comes from the over stimulation and saturation of the brain that makes one tired, “couch potatoes” and unproductive. Let’s take a part of that definition…the “highly intelligent” people part….and ask a question:
Why do highly intelligent people allow onslaught of mass media…talk shows …discussions…so-called comments on issues to permeate their thinking day in and day out with no relief? I am guilty and think it is time to put a stop to it!
The mind is a wonderful, creative part of us and it is being invaded. What do I mean? We are being saturated which means “Act or process of soaking, filling, or loading to the utmost.” Yes, we are being overloaded and our hearts and brains have had it!
Take a look at the word “drain” only. A gradual depletion of energy or resource. I think this hits what is happening to all of us square on the head…for it is a gradual depletion. That is the insidious part because we may not really be aware that it is happening. Our brain drain proceeds harmfully without being noticed!
All of this has been said because a change must happen if we are to stop this process. Here are some suggestions that may take a few days to adapt:
- Decide that you will turn off the TV with all the comments, discussions, latest opinions
- Turn on some beautiful music, whether it is classical, contemporary or jazz
- Do something creative like painting or woodworking
- Go outside and look at the newest flower in your garden or the freshness of green grass ; listen to the birds; look for something new that you have not seen before in God’s creation.
- Call a friend for lunch…and determine to not talk about the latest issues that are causing brain drain.
- Read a good book. My husband loves mysteries.
- Get out that musical instrument you used to play or brush up on your piano talents.
- Just have fun!
All of this seems simple, but it takes determination. Frankly, I am extremely tired of hearing people giving opinions or even shouting their opinions at one another. My brain is truly drained. How about you?
JUST TO GET US STARTED on eliminating the drain. Enjoy the video below….something with a little flair.
When life leaves a body, it is but a shell of what was originally there. It is quite mysterious, but the truth is that life that was breathing, talking…even eating has left that body. I am hopeful that when my time comes that I will have a moment before seeing my Maker to hover over the place I am leaving and say a fond farewell to this body that has served me well. It has given me pleasure…taken me places that I wanted to go…whether it was just across the room or across the sea. The body is an amazing creation of God. When we need it no more, we know that God with His Almighty power can raise every hair and molecule from where it has been laid to rest…whether in a beautiful casket or in a cremation urn. He put the earth and universe together, so I have no problem with what He will do at the Resurrection.
All of this leads me to ask a simple question….”Why are we so afraid of death… or a dead body?” Is it that many people fear this great mystery because they are not ready to face death? Do some think that the Grim Reaper will somehow come to their door next and they would not greet it so kindly as in this picture.
Regardless of the reasons, we know our upbringing ,or our culture, may see things differently.
I remember when I was a child, living in the country of North Carolina, my grandfather died. I had known him as “Papa’. It was the custom in those days to bring the body to the home and let him lay there for people to come in and see him one last time and pay respects to the family. A bedroom was cleared out and Papa was placed there. Sometime in the evening, I went to see him. I was a curious child and I had never seen a person who was dead. I carefully lifted the thin, see-through veil that was placed over his face and touched his cheek. I was surprised that the cheek was hard and cold. I knew instantly that this was not the Grand-papa who had told stories to us in the kitchen. He was not the man who had grown strawberries in the fields and talked with me about the family history while we chucked corn. Neither was he the man who had taken me by the hand and walked to the country church. He was not the man who Grandmother had threaten to call if I went one step further down the dirt road to the main highway. (I said I was going to run away at about age 7.) There was nothing in seeing him dead that made me fearful for he was just not the same. Yes, death is a mystery, but I believe someday I will see Papa who has gone on before me.
One thing is certain…most people try to make a funeral a special event. I just went to a friend’s funeral where they called it a “celebration” because her life had been a celebration and this is what she wanted. They released balloons at the graveside in honor of her and the love she gave while alive.
The vehicles where the body is carried to a final resting place have evolved over the centuries.
One may ask, why are you writing about such a subject? Don’t you respect those who may have just lost a family member? Absolutely, I do…but when I received an email from my good friend, Margie, with the following video, I asked myself the question, “Why are we afraid of a dead body?” That question brought the thoughts that I have just shared with you.
Can one joke around with people’s fears…when it is such a serious matter? Maybe so… for they did so in South Africa. Remember the old TV program called “Candied Camera”? The men shown here decided to see how people would respond to a completely staged request to take a so-called “dead body “to a funeral. The most that we can say is they had a great sense of humor. Luckily, no one actually died of a heart attack! I think the reactions speak for themselves.
If you have genuine fears about your own death, Give your life to Christ for the Holy Scriptures tell us:
“I am Resurrection and I am Life, says the Lord. Whoever has faith in Me shall have life even though he die...and everyone who has life and has committed himself to me in faith shall not die forever.
As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives and that at the last He will stand upon the earth. After my awaking, He will raise me up; and in my body I shall see God. I shall see, and my eyes behold Him Who is my Friend and not a stranger.
For none of us has life in himself, and none becomes his own master when he dies. For if we have life, we are alive in the Lord and if we die, we die in the Lord. So then, whether we live or die we are the Lord’s possession.”
It has occurred to me that more and more people are not conversing, as we once have done. It may be a minimal decline to the Art of Conversation, but I am wondering if the future generations will be able to talk. If one believes in evolution (and I am a creationist), then there will be no need for the voice. Kidding, of course! Yet, something to think of when we see parents in a restaurant on their phones and children playing their games with very few words or smiles exchanged. I have even heard of teens texting each other when sitting across the table. I’m not certain how often this actually happens.
Then, of course, for those without an electronic device, there may be as many as three TV’s on all corners of the restaurant…just in case we should not want to miss our favorite team or soap opera. Going out….ordering a lovely meal…paying a big price….and feeling that the person or people we are with are highly distracted is not an idea of a wonderful evening.
The other day I was trying to enjoy a delicious Italian meal and the TV was playing some type of reality show. I kept noticing that the parents were screaming at a teenage boy to “get out of bed ” with no results. I finally asked the waitress if we could change it to a “travel” channel…or something with beautiful scenery. (She did.) I guess I could have asked her to turn it off, but was trying to be courteous to the owner who had spent good money to install the TV…. thinking that all customers require it! Really? Is this what we have come to? Albert Einstein said something ….perhaps ahead of his time….
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I wish this was not true.
No offense to those fine people shown in these pictures. We are certain that they are highly intelligent, interested in their future and love their families. The problem is what will the future be?
The real art of conversation is looking into the eyes of those who we care about enough to enjoy a few minutes of common interests. They say the eyes are the “mirror to the soul”. Maybe those eyes are saying something the lips have not said….like I think you would make a great business partner….or I really like you or maybe even love you…etc. One thing is certain, one can not know through a text message those unspoken things that the warmth of a real conversation reveals.
On the eve of 9-11, 2011, I reached back in the archives of Boyer Writes and found a video that I had used to honor our beautiful Bald Eagle. The song that went with this seemed so appropriate to remember those who would die within the year after this video was made.
Little did those on the ball field and in the bleachers know what was coming to our nation as they marveled over this wonderful bird. The eagle’s handlers did not know that this magnificent creature would also become a symbol, in an even more heart-felt way, to the America that we love and cherish.
“Freedom is not free”. It was paid for by all those who willingly took up arms and fought for her. It was paid for by those who simply went to work; to do their everyday job the best they could, never to return home. They too represent FREEDOM at its best. What the men who flew the planes into the towers, the pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania did not understand is that the American people always put their independence and freedom first, regardless of the enemy or the cost. It is the foundation this nation was built upon. Freedom will not be taken from us because we, the American people, will not allow that to happen. We truly can say with the song writer that we are a land …”that God has blessed.” We are also humbled by this thought.
It occurred to me recently how important it is for our mental health to watch and to listen to things that are uplifting, delightful or inspiring. We can become bogged down in the media overload that gives our minds and hearts a feeling of depression, hopelessness, and regret… amidst world calamity. Not that this is unimportant, for it is…especially to those who are living through oppression and difficulties. None the less, life needs a balance.
While driving in my car, I turned to a station that was going over the world events. Facts quickly turned to opinion with predicting and arguing about what could be…might be…or should be. I quickly decided to turn to my favorite classical music channel.
The mind needs a rest. The soul needs uplifting. We need to make choices. After all, it is our life…our outlook and our minds. It is also our one more day, given by God, to spend it as we think right and appropriate. We do have a choice.
I remember on our trip to Switzerland that we visited a distinguished gentleman, with impressive ancestral background and financial means, who is in his seventies. Retired now, he grows his roses and hikes through the mountains daily with his friends. He told us that he never reads papers or listens to TV. In this day of the internet and a TV in many parts of the house, this seems like an impossibility. However, this was a choice that he made for himself. I was definitely not certain that it was the way for me, but I certainly admired him. He had taken control of his life by deciding how he was going to live it. In fact, his statement was so thought-provoking that I remember it after all these years.
Therefore, for all my readers, I have made a choice. When you see Boyer Writes has a new post, you can be assured that it will be something to enjoy. It may have a surprise here and there, but in all you can expect a stimulating story, an inspirational moment, or some wonderful music to begin or end your day. This is my new resolution for 2011.
Now, I give you what I heard on the radio when I switched from all the commotion : The 9th Symphony, 2nd movement Largo, by Dvorak …with pictures from Hubble of our wonderful universe After viewing this video, I wondered if God must not weep as He looks on our world amidst His creation. He has promised that one day the heavens will open and He will come to redeem this lost and weary world. This is our HOPE, PROMISE, and INSPIRATION.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy.
If during Advent series, you became a little bored with church services and sacred music, this Boyer Writes is just for you!!!
I am going to give Kevin, the video narrator, credit for saying what I have wanted to say for a long time. There is great confusion in the world about what Christmas is all about! There is a mixture of what is supposed to be sacred and what is trying to be commercial.
As Christians, we are to be in the world, but not part of the world. There is much to enjoy about holiday traditions. Much of it is light-hearted and we cater to the fun we have with family and especially children. No matter how Christmas is celebrated around the world, it is mostly not religious unless we make a conscious effort to keep Christ in Christmas.
Kevin , the young man you will meet, was in Japan at Christmas. He missed Christmas ( or Hanukkah) at home in New York with his family. Through his video camera, we are given an excellent worldly view of what Christmas is like in Japan (and I am sure other places). I think you will agree that in this case Christmas has run amok!!
(Wait until you have time to view this video. Get a cup of egg nog, a Christmas cookie, or a pot of coffee for it is a long one…but worth watching. When you are finished, I think you will run for Handel’s Messiah. Thanks, Kevin. Hope this year’s Christmas was better. )
Click to view and then click again on U-tube
We are a land of PLENTY. Even when buying food for the table is difficult for some, there are others who reach into the pantry…taking donations to the food banks and to the churches who give enough food for many to enjoy this American Holiday of THANKSGIVING. Many homeless and out of work people will be fed this holiday. They will not be forgotten.
As we sit down to a lovely spread…before the football…and the friendly conversation of family members and friends, let us give real, heart-felt thanks for the traditions of this country; freedom of religion and of prayer…and a great, beautiful world, set in our solar system. We must not forget the big picture of who we are and how fragile our existence may be…giving thanks for each day.
We thank our God, who has given a fertile land to grow food and hard-working people to produce it. We give thanks for those who bring it to our grocery stores, clean and neatly presented. We thank the cooks who work for days to bring to the table a special meal.
Yes, in ALL THINGS, GIVE THANKS. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
It wasn’t until my aunt in North Carolina developed Alzheimer’s that I realized how devastating this disease of the mind can be. The last time I sat with her, she seemed to want to talk with me, but words would no longer come. Only a few sounds could be heard. She laid her head against my shoulder, and I said to her, “It’s hard when you want to say something and you just can’t make us understand, isn’t it?” She looked at me; half smiled and made another sound. Since that time, my uncle has had to care for her every need. He dresses her, feeds her,and takes her to the bathroom. He is definitely a saint. His only reply is ” She would have done the same for me…if things were reversed.”
Since my mother, who thankfully has very sharp mental abilities, had to have full-time care because of her congestive heart failure, I have been introduced to a whole new world. Her assisted living is a caring place with all degrees of health needs. As we visit, we see those who are not only bound to a wheel-chair, but are having conversations with someone somewhere. They are definitely in another time…another place…at least for the moment. Many of these people had active, full lives. They were owners of businesses. One gentleman talks about his farm.
It is a real wake up call to me..a real eye-opener. Many of these fragile people do not have caring daughters or sons to see them daily. They reply on the mercy of staff members who are good-hearted and want to see them through these last years. I am impressed with the nurses who take them by the hand or give them a loving hug. It is a little thing, but some make the effort for extra caring. Others do not. Don’t think that the resident doesn’t know….or notice the attitudes….they do. My mother speaks of her “favorite” nurse. I have observed that this is the one with the warm, friendly smile.
I read recently that 1 in 5 people have a mental disorder of some description. This can be any of us. Age is a big reason, but more and more are suffering at a younger age. There is autism or problems connected with drug abuse in our young.
More recently, I learned that there are therapies that are bringing out something that is hidden deep within these people. It is a wish to communicate….to feel a sense of worth… to know that they can still create something beautiful. This is called Art Therapy or Mneme Therapy. There are some distinctions in the approaches. (see below)
From the time we are toddlers and can hold a crayon in our hand, we show what we feel and what we’d like to say….even if language is not developed…or in later years, when language has gone away. I heard of a man who had a stroke and his vision was so effected that he was seeing everything upside down. After therapy using art, his vision corrected and he no longer has the reversal problem.
Below is a video that demonstrates the need for this type of activity for those whose minds are slowly leaving. Nancy Reagan called it “The Long Goodbye”.
You will notice the smile of the artist. You will also notice the emotion of the relative who could not believe that this could have such an effect. The director of the facility is over-joyed. Across our nation, there are groups working with the old and the young to bring the mind to a better place. We owe them a great debt.
Your world may seem completely normal. For others, the world has changed from what they knew. Art Without Boundaries (that uses the Mneme approach with art) explains the term, Mneme Therapy:
“MnemeTherapy™ uses everyday pleasures such as singing, movement, painting and story telling in a unique combination to stimulate dramatic changes in the brain. Although our goal is to provide a rewarding experience, documented testimonies show significant improvement in some clients in verbal skills, mobility, combativeness, spatial acuity and understanding instructions.”
Take a few more minutes….it may help you understand this whole new world.
There is no getting around it. Go to any department store before Halloween and one will see the Christmas decorations going up! My reaction is one of disgust…down right regurgitation. We begin to hear murmurs about the commercialism of Christmas…and they are right. However, sometimes if you can’t beat them, join them.
What does this have to do with the composer, George Frederic Handel? He would have never believed what took place in 2010, hundreds of years after his death!
Come with me to Macy’s Department store the night before Halloween. The Opera Company of Philadelphia brought together over 650 choristers from 28 participating organizations to perform one of the Knight Foundation’s “Random Acts of Culture” performances.
In the video below, you will see the Wanamaker Grand Court Organ.
This organ is the largest working organ in the world: 6 keyboards, and over 28,000 pipes! Turn up your sound and enjoy The Hallelujah Chorus, in a setting that you would probably not expect.
Jesus went out into the crowds with His message. Those who wrote music to His honor , as Handel, performed it to the people. Perhaps honoring Him in a department store, near Halloween is not so far-fetched after all. CLICK BELOW
As a photographer, I pattern much of my visual images after the painter, Georgia O’Keeffe. She was a woman who was truly herself. Life was not without trials, as she suffered a nervous breakdown and family did not understand her. She loved New Mexico and nature. Buying a Ford Model A , that she could hardly drive, she set out to see the beauty all around her. Of New Mexico, she said, “Such a beautiful, untouched, lonely feeling place…such a fine part of what I call the ‘Faraway’. It is a place I have painted before . . . even now I must do it again.”[ ”
I was impressed and honored, when a young man looked at my photography and said, “Georgia O’Keeffe?’ We talked art and about my inspiration in her work, finding out that this young man was a tatoo artist. He also was an admirer of Georgia O’Keeffe. Never under-estimate our youth! There are still some who know her.
The quote below that I best love is so true of life:
“Sill in a way….nobody sees a flower….it is so small. We haven’t time….and to see …takes time…like to have a friend takes time.” G.O’Keeffe
Georgia O’Keeffe was given the highest medal of honor for art by President Ford. She lived to be 98 years old.
Today, I plan to look for the smallest flower. Take time, it will be worth it.
So often we are nervous when it comes to acting.
We anticipate what the outcome will be; unable to take the leap; frightened by the smallest situation. It is hard to trust.
It is easy to say that we have placed this action in the hand of God, but there is still the hesitation. I bet you have been there and may be sitting in this situation now.
We are also told not to put our “eggs in one basket”. This may be true, but what if there is just one egg…and it has to be decided if we crack it or not?
I love the video that I am going to show you. It will bring back many memories of late night TV.
Take the drama at hand. Analyze it and see if you can count how many hesitations there are. The tension in the air is palatable.
When we sit on the fence, we not only increase our own doubts and blood pressure but also increase the dread in those around us. Is it not true? I even found myself wanting to say out loud to the video…”Just get on with it!”
God knows the outcome. Maybe the action will not be perfect. We may have to clean up the mess and get another egg to act upon.
Try not stringing out the call to action. Sitting on the fence has always been painful. Go for it….and laugh a little.
CLICK HERE for a great video that proves the point.
(For best viewing …turn on sound and enlarge screen.)
However you want to look at it…a white butterfly saved the lives of two miners in Chile. Some call
it superstition. Some call it a miracle. Others know that it is the unknown hand of God that brings together circumstances that can’t be explained. I would call it…God’s mercy. Yes, the white butterfly was often seen above ground on flowers…but a half mile below the surface? Those circumstances are meant to bring meaning in life…and faith to those who hear the story told below. You decide…if you dare.
WORLD’S GREATEST RESCUE EFFORT. THANK GOD FOR ANSWERED PRAYERS AND MUCH HARD WORK
While we move around…riding…walking…even climbing….there are those who are confined. They don’t know if this buried hell will end…whether they will find the way to the top… to breathe the fresh air; to see the sun once again; to hold loved ones in their arms. Prayer is needed for all these men pictured here.
They range from teenager to men in their 60’s. Their families wait on top of the earth; in prayer, in agony, but with hope.
The danger has not passed until all have reached the surface. Some are not in good health. This has, for all, been a frightening experience…one that they will hopefully be able tell their grandchildren for years to come.
It is a real story of real people whose lives will never be the same. What changes will they make? Have they learned to pray? Has their faith sustained them through this terrible ordeal? Life will certainly have more meaning!
Hope is a beautiful word. Life is has so much value, but never more so than when one thinks he may lose it! How casually we spend our days…hours…minutes without a thought that it could be our last. For most of us, the true enjoyment of every minute is only when we truly dwell on it.
Some on the surface understood the spiritual and physical conflicts that were happening in each of these men. As shown here, small Bibles were prepared for lowering into the long shaft. There has been time to reflect, to read, and to think of what means the most in life.
Now, as of today, the last drilling has broken through to the area where the men are buried.
Night and day, the workers have continued to use every technical and mechanical help available to reach these men.
Now, we…in the comfort of our homes…need to pray that all will go well with the rescue. God be with them.
There is so much discussion today about whether the United States of America is a Christian nation.
When our Founding Fathers established this country through the Declaration of Independence and a bloody war with England, they were mostly deeply religious, Christian men. Few know the details of these men. I am giving you this brief tour in hopes that someday you may visit the beautiful Capitol building and see the paintings, statues and artifacts that present a different story from what we hear today about our nation and the Christian faith.
One of the things that makes the United States of America a great nation has to do with our tolerance for all religious faith. It is not a state religion, but a freedom to choose one’s own religion.
All across this country we have welcomed immigrants from every religious background who have brought with them their faith, built their churches, synagogues, temples, and mosques. I think one can see that the intent of our Founding Fathers was not to run from all religion and to make our country into a secular nation….as some would want today. Faith was an important part of what they brought with them.
This video is a short tour given to citizens, like you and me, with some responses to what they learned about the art on the Capitol walls, the first Bible printed in the USA, and the men who founded our country.
For a listing of all art work in the Capitol, go to this website: http://www.aoc.gov/cc/art/index.cfm
All of our lives we take for granted that we will still have our youth…even in our young adulthood…and into our middle years. We have the feeling that life will go on and on. When we finally reach the latter time of life, it is with some shock that we wonder where all the years have gone.
This realization came to me in the past few weeks when I was shopping for a bathrobe for my 92-year-old Mother, who was in the hospital with congestive heart failure and pneumonia. For the first time, it was certain that she was going to need full-time care, not just someone to help on occasion. I had seen other families with this situation, but had never experienced it myself. It was quite unsettling.
My Mother is a proud woman, who was a beauty in her younger years; a woman who helped out the war effort in WWII, and owned her own business. Even at the age of 92, soon to be 93, she takes care of her own banking and investments; writes her own letters, and reads 4-5 books in just two weeks. Her mind is clear, but her body is weak.
The realization that life does have an ending has set in. We will each be in this place one day, should we live so long…barring all accidents.
The emotions have run from high to low. There have been sad moments. Mother had to make definite adjustments to her life as she entered an assisted-living facility, but she is doing well. She wants what is best for her and she wants my husband and me to have time ,without worry, as we are beginning our years of retirement.
The biggest disappointment in coping with this situation has been the process. It is my opinion that no elderly person should be put through the wringer when making the decision to get extra care. This is a time of big decisions and should be made as simple and correct as possible. What are a few things of which I speak?
- Moving from hospital to rehab.to Assisted-Living (Getting the records correct.)
- No facility should tolerate a nurse or assistant with an attitude. A registered nurse made the statement about my mother, “I’m not walking way down that hall to take her blood pressure” This was either because she was too lazy or too tired…but certainly not professional. Hire someone who takes the patient and their profession seriously.
- Insurance companies should use what they can from hospital records… and not put a weak, sick patients through a page after page interview. Also look at the fact that she never missed a payment for years. This is what she paid for and what medical doctors now says that she needs.
- Take into account that the elderly often cannot hear well. Don’t send someone who cannot speak English clearly.
- When a doctor’s signature is needed for a critical oxygen supply, sign it….and don’t ask “Is she going to continue to be my patient?” Perhaps, that is her decision.
Both my husband and I wondered, ” What do people do who do not have a family member there to intercede on their behalf?” It must be very difficult.
The statement that I repeated and repeated to every care-giver was that my Mother had a very good mind; thankfully no dementia. Just because she cannot hear you, does not mean she does not understand. “Speak up…and slow down…and we will be just fine!” So often, even in the best of places…and we looked at many…people were sleeping all day in wheel-chairs in front of nursing stations.
I had to practically fight for people to listen to me that all the medicines being given better mean something necessary for my Mother….and not to give her something that just makes her sleep. She likes being alert , playing Scrabble, and reading her books too much to ever have that kind of life. As for this writing, I will not go on and on. I think my readers get the point.
I am reminded of one of my favorite movies, Chocolat directed by Lasse Hallstrom. One of the most interesting characters is Armandi Voi, who is an older woman played by Judi Dench. She is living her life the way she wants to despite the protests of her daughter, who is concerned about her mother’s health issues such as diabetes. One of her lines ,when asked to play a game in which she is to say what she sees in the game, she replies :
” I see a cranky old woman too tired to play games.”
She wanted to eat what she wanted; dance if she felt like it and not be told by anyone how she should spend her last days. She is a dignified, strong-willed woman living in the French country-side in a town where the people believed in tranquillite’ (tranquility). There was not much tranquility in this town, but this is exactly what this woman wanted. Should a diabetic ignore all medical expertise, as Armandi Voi did? Of course not and she died early because of it. However, there is something to be said for doing things as one wants to. After all, this life was lived long and well. There are some privileges.
I think this is true of those who have a short life left to live…is just a little tranquility and dignity to live those last days. This is all my mother wants. It is what you will want when you are her age. Whether you are 32 or 92…the day is coming. Live each day. Give it your all. Take a look at the Mother or Father that you may still have. Give them that extra measure of love and thank God for each sun-rise. Visit them and let them know you care. For anyone that may be old and feel a little tired, the angels will smile if you turn over one night and enter your eternal rest in peace. We should all be so blessed.
August 31, 2010, the President of the United States will speak on the official ending of the Iraq war.
No matter what he has to say or what he will predict about Iraq’s future …or the continuing war in Afghanistan, he can not capture in a speech the suffering that has taken place.
Starting with the tears shed by those who lost loved ones on the USS Cole and in the towers on 9-11, the tears continue. Each day families in Iraq lose loved ones . Every week our finest young men and women are brought home to a waiting honor guard. Thousands are still in harm’s way.
I have decided to share some of the pictures that we have seen throughout the war. It may help us remember that this war, as are all others, is definitely a hell.
There is no way to speak to the grief that has been and will continue to be suffered. We are free Americans because of the bravery of soldiers throughout the world who fought in the World Wars. That freedom is in jeopardy by those who would try to take it away; setting up their own brand of enslavement.
God’s blessings to a world that is trying to find its way.