“The recent rash of mass shootings has left the nation stunned but, sadly, not speechless. The usual media and political suspects are saying the usual things, using the bodies of the innocent as a sickening ideological soapbox.
We’re not going to do that here. These gruesome murders are not about, nor caused by, politics. Rather, they are the unavoidable and perhaps unstoppable product of a deeply diseased culture. A culture which has become the perfect growth medium for psychopathy.
“Loners” are no longer alone when in their online worlds. They can communicate without actual human contact. They can find reinforcement for their darkest and most twisted thoughts and fantasies. They can give the worst demons of their psyches an artificial, external life in cyberspace… free to express hatred and anger anonymously and without consequence. And on the Internet, madness can hide in plain sight.
After all, who’s going to notice or care about garden variety insanity in a world which routinely describes everyone as murderous: baby killers on one side, Earth-destroying Nazis on the other. The stakes are absolute, the “other” is the enemy, and words are just words…until they become actions.
The social mechanisms which formerly prevented these massacres have crumbled the bonds of family, friendship, and faith…a shared sense of community, optimism about the future, moral certainty and personal responsibility.
Instead, we now live in a crowded world of communal loners, all staring at their phones instead of the world and people around them. Politicians and media figures preach an unsubtle and dangerously divisive message of absolutes: you are either on this side or that, either all good or all evil. There is no middle ground – only calls for action. Calls that the wrong people are hearing.
We live in a culture in which too many feel they have no meaning or importance, but believe that one spectacular act of madness can give them the instant celebrity which defines success in a sick society. And so they kill to feel alive…to experience an illusion of power at the expense of the powerless. And even knowing the likelihood that they will be killed during their heinous act, they believe they will live eternally in the electronic ether, washed in the blood of the sacrificed.
Gun control can not and will not change any of this. The phenomena of mass shootings is, in fact, unstoppable absent a wholesale change in our culture, our way of life, and our society’s unhealthy obsession with an inhuman and inhumane electronic world.
The good news is that the vast majority of people still retain values strong enough to keep them morally centered in our crumbling culture. The bad news is that unless those values can regain cultural dominance, and unless we can replace combativeness and angry confrontation with honest conversation, mass murder will continue to be our inescapable new normal.”
- You shall have no other Gods but Me.
- You shall not make for yourself any idol, nor bow down to it or worship it.
- You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
- You shall remember and keep the Sabbath day holy.
- Respect your father and mother.
- You must not commit murder.
- You must not commit adultery.
- You must not steal.
- You must not give false evidence against your neighbor.
- You must not be envious of your neighbor’s goods. You shall not be envious of his house nor his wife, nor anything that belongs to your neighbor.
We have to begin somewhere to heal our society. It’s bigger than any law or any revision of laws…for it has to start in the heart. It will take all Americans working together for a peaceful life for us and our children.
For all those who have suffered great loss, we, at Boyer Writes, dedicate this video. Turn up your sound and quietly listen to the words.
Recently a friend of mine lost her Mother and I remember when my own Mother died. There have been other parts of my life that have held pain…as with most people. All sadness in this life moves along with us, but I believe there are things that help us “live through” those times.
As an author, artist and photographer, I decided to set up my own art room where I could lose myself in a world of quiet and creativity. I also saw a person who visited Japan and experienced the Asian way of “Nature therapy”. The person was encouraged to actually reach down to a bed of moss…touch it and sniff the smell of it. They continued a walk through the woods, noticing all the different plants, leaves and trees. I live in Florida and we have amazing skies here. The sun rises over the lakes; clouds gather in the deep blue summer afternoon bringing the streaks of lightning and in the evening the setting sun streams through the hanging moss. Nature is truly beautiful here.
Wherever we live, we see life around us…but do we see it…really? I think our souls need that interaction with God’s world if we are truly to have peace and joy with what is around us. It takes only the time we are willing to give to it.
Below is a picture of my art and writing room. I’m fortunate to have a space dedicated to these activities.
My husband has turned the garage into his wood-working space. Often he will call me out there to see the beautiful grain on a piece of wood that he is making. Nature…even after the tree is long gone…lives on in his beautiful wooden trays.
My Uncle Archie loved nature and carved the beautiful bird that you see below. Our dear friend, Tom, passed away recently, but he was gifted beyond measure in the turning of bowls shown below on my husband’s tray. These are treasures to be kept always and reminders of those who have gone through hard times, but through their faith in Jesus Christ have “passed through” with great courage and honor.
The young woman featured below is Zaria Forman. She is a true artist and shares her feelings about nature and loss. It is worth listening to and a reminder that there is much beauty in the world. We must seize the day that has been given to us.
VIDEO Turn up sound and click link given (credit National Geographic)
Every year the U.S. celebrates Father’s Day. It is a time to recognize all those fathers who have spent time with their children…passing along the values and traditions of the family.
BLESSINGS TO ALL from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia Have a relaxing day!
VIDEO (Turn up sound)
We have all heard the song, “I’ll be home for Christmas”, but what if some of the people you love will not be there? What if you were not invited to be with your family members in some other location? You may have a family member in the military that is far away and the thing he or she would like most is to be with family, but it is impossible. The song mentioned above is a heartbreak song for many.
There also may be family members who don’t want to share Christmas with you and have made that choice. It is never easy to come to the realization that someone does not want to be with you on one of the most special times of the year…especially for Christians. The question is…How does One deal with a reality at this time of year…or anytime, for that matter?
We really have one of two choices. It can be to let our emotions and disappointment weigh us down OR turn our directions toward a time of thankfulness for all the other blessings that we have.
First, look around you. Do you have other family members who are excited to be with you? Lavish them with your love…for they have not turned away. Do you have a roof over your head and food on the table? Rest in your most comfortable chair and eat with gratefulness. When the old, dark thoughts begin to come back and cloud your day, refuse them and look at the stars or the beautiful trees outside and realize that this life is too short to spend it in mourning…especially things that you can’t change.
Take someone by the hand and give them this message:
For us here in Florida, it may be down by the lake or through a green park, looking at the winter flowers.
Decorate a tree or a bush outside. Turn on some cheerful Christmas music…sacred or otherwise. I never knew how anyone could come up with lyrics like “Grandmother got run over by a reindeer”…but maybe it is good to chuckle and then shake your head because we would never say something like that about our Grandmother.
Give your pet an extra pat on the head and a bone in his stocking. What, no stocking for your dog!? Find one. Our beautiful 14-year-old Golden Retriever passed away this year, but I still strung lights around her memorial garden and whispered to her beautiful spirit, “These lights are just for you, Gracie”. Surprisingly, a beautiful rose appeared on the bush above her little tombstone in the middle of winter.
If none of these spark your imagination or lift your spirits about missing family or friends, turn toward someone outside the family. The scriptures tell us something that we should be doing, not only at Christmas but always.
James 1:27 says, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”
My husband and I have been surprised on returning to Florida from Virginia, how many people around us are either recent widows or in the last few years have become widowers. We decided to visit them for a while to listen to their thoughts and feelings. One lady has just recently lost her husband and will be having Christmas lunch with us. I mention this to say that when we are feeling “blue” about family situations, it changes things when we reach out.
Don’t forget the different organizations that make it possible to help children who are in need. Recently a child had written to her teacher that he only wanted Santa to bring a ball, some food and added…”I need a blanket.” If that does not pull you out of doldrums, you may need to examine charities like Samaritan’s Purse that brings smiles to children around the world. ( See Operation Christmas Child..Samaritan’s Purse)
Christmas is not all about giving or getting. I recently told someone that if I would receive a letter from my children saying anything of appreciation for me as their Mother, THAT would be “the best Christmas present of all.” So often Christmas is hard on those who have had expenses throughout the year and the funds are just not there for presents of any kind. Kind words and thoughtfulness is only the cost of a 50 cent stamp.
I close with this thought, with the help of a little friend, on the real reason for the need to choose a better outlook on the season:
VIDEO Winchester Cathedral Choir (Turn up sound)
Boyer Writes wishes everyone a blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving….whether it is in your culture to celebrate this day or not…we pass along love and thankful hearts to you our readers.
Music Video Turn up sound
We often hear about this group or that group that “matters”. Have we forgotten the people that should matter the most to us?….the Family. Yes, we encourage our children grow up and go out into the world, to find their way, and become good citizens. That is all well and good, but we should also be telling them, by our actions, that they are never forgotten and that Family Matters. If they want to “forget” us, then that is another story and there is not much one can do about those decisions that harm and hurt the family we care about. What we say in front of our children gives them knowledge of what values should be. Often, but not always, they follow those examples in their adult life.
It is heart breaking to see a family with young children come into a restaurant and most of them, including the adults, pull out a phone to either text someone, read messages or play a game. One has to ask, is this what we are teaching our children about family time?
What about Grandparents? Does divorce or growing older keep children away from the grandparents who are related to them? We, as parents, make these decisions also. Remember that children cannot help where there are problems between adults. They can learn a great deal from getting to see their Grandparents. How about telling our children to make a phone call or write a thank you note to let them know that they too, as Grandparents, are not forgotten and are an important part of the family.
Take a look at this video that our son sent us from Australia. It speaks volumes.
Once a year, we as a nation stop to say we are “Thankful”. It may be a time of family sharing a carefully prepared meal or watching the parades or games on T.V., but we also stop to thank God for the many blessings given to us…especially our personal freedom to worship God.
To our readers around the world, Boyer Writes wishes you a blessed Thanksgiving and our thanks to you for being a Boyer Writes reader.
Video (Turn up sound)
If one looks up the word, TRUST, used as a noun, it has to do with confidence, belief, faith, certainty, assurance, conviction, credence, or reliance. I’d like to start with the word, “assurance”. Can we really be assured that we can trust someone or something to be all those words? Confidence is a very strong word. It gives the feeling that we do not need to doubt because there is total confidence.If the truth be known, there is probably a little doubt in any of these words that we equate with trust.
- Think about this for a moment. We get in our car and drive somewhere in the world. Here, in front of us in a bridge…perhaps like this one below if we happen to be driving in China, which is not recommended. While we are on the subject of bridges…made by human beings; constructed by human beings; maintained by human beings…we might also be driving across the Millau-Viaduct Bridge in France. This is not for the faint of heart or those who have a fear of heights, because this is considered the world’s highest bridge.
We get to the airport and once again we are asked to trust: Trust that the security has been checked correctly and thoroughly; trust the pilot has not had a rough night; trust that the mechanics have performed their duties for our safe flight.
I remember getting on a Russian airlines, flying out of Ukraine at a small airport. The attendant at the gate checked my ticket and passport and we boarded. The flight crew decided that the runway would be safe enough to take off with holes in the runway and weeds growing out of big ruts. Having a second thought, he moved the plane over on the grassy area, gunned it and took off… while from inside I watched a very large screw dangle over my head. Immediately I wondered who serviced this plane? Looking at the man next to me, from Amsterdam, I asked, “Do you think we’ll make it?” He answered, “I trust we will.” Oh my, his trust was better than mine. This is only an example of how trusting we are with our lives. If we were not, we would surely miss the adventure that goes with seeing the world and exploring new places. Even staying at home in our bed has its risks. A man in Florida went to bed; a sink hole opened up and swallowed the whole house. (This is true.) As far as I know they never found him because the sink hole was so deep and this is his grave to this day.
Another one of the words about trust, is “reliance”. Almost everything in our lives has a reliance on others to do the right thing. We eat at a restaurant and we rely on the fact that the kitchen is clean and not filled with cockroaches or that the food has been properly refrigerated so that we don’t have an evening of agony from food poisoning. I usually check out a new restaurant’s bathroom…for a dirty bathroom usually means a dirty kitchen. This is not for certain, but possible a good connection. It has not worked a few times and tainted food does mean “I think I’m going to die!” We also rely on those who grow our food to not have a sewer ditch right next to where our vegetables are growing soaking up the water nearest them. Hopefully as you read this, you are not going soon to your next meal. Trust me…wait a while.
Saying the words, “Trust me” is something we often hear someone say. I think they mean that we can have confidence in what they are saying or doing. It is a glib statement that carries little weight…yet we do often “trust”…regardless.
All in all, to trust is a very scary thing. Even in relationships, we marry the person who promises to love us always. Many know that those trusts can be broken. For those who have found the person who also makes their way of life a trust-worthy one, we are most fortunate indeed.
Some of the people we trust the most are those in the medical field. We want to be certain that the nurse or the lab technician is careful to give the exact test asked for by the doctor as well as the correct results. When it comes to diagnosis, this is critical. Our physicians must have up-to-date training and knowledge as the average person must trust their opinions and proper treatment.
The family of the elderly must be certain that their loved ones are going to be cared for properly when they can not care for themselves. More than once I observed, when my Mother was in an assisted living facility, that she had to trust herself to be given the proper medicines. I had to step in, as her advocate, to assure that mistakes were not being made with her. Either the nursing attendants were overwhelmed with work or were simply careless when passing out the little cup with several medications. Once my Mother said, “No, no I don’t get that one.” It is sad to think of those who are in wheelchairs and mentally unable to challenge those whom they should be able to trust.
Even in faith, we are asked to trust. One of my favorite verses from the Holy Scriptures is Proverbs 3:5, 6. “TRUST in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not to your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.”
Back to the people we trust everyday: the restaurant owner, the engineer, the pilot, those responsible for our safety around the world and in our homes…those who care about us enough to protect us, I have one thing to say. Do your jobs diligently and even in the smallest details! Your job may not be important in your own eyes, but you may be a life saver to others. There are people out there trusting you. Never forget it.
“Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.” —Albert Einstein
For the Queen’s 90th birthday, she poses with her Great Grandchildren: Charlotte, George; Zara and Mike Tindall; James, Viscount Severn and Lady Louise, Savannah and Isla Phillips (photo by Annie Leibowitz)
Boyer Writes would like to wish Elizabeth, Queen of Great Britain, a very happy 90th birthday. She has much to be proud of for she has outlived other monarchs whose portraits are hanging upon the majestic, great walls of her castles. I’v often wondered how one would feel looking at the faces…of the famous and infamous gone before. One bet she has talked to a few in the dark hours of the night when things were not going well. As in any family, there are heartaches.The Queen has seen her share with her own children and the death of a daughter in law, who will always be the favored memory of those who followed her every move.
One sees our children grow up and wish that they will always be successful in love and career, happy in all they do, appreciate us as parents and much more. When they first came into this world as innocent, lovely babies they have no idea the world they will be facing as they grow. Few families, the greatly honored and the unknown, live life without some major disappointments. That is why one must look at all the blessings that comes with the unexpected. We may be certain that Queen Elizabeth looks with pleasure on this picture of her and her newest Great Grand Daughter and George, who may be England’s king one day long after Elizabeth is no longer alive. Even as she did not expect to be the Queen, who knows if there will be a Queen Charlotte. Life is strange in its twists and turns.
Speaking of strange twists and turns, if you are a history buff and want to spend some time (or maybe a shorter skip-through), seeing the video of the life of Elizabeth II below, it will be worth it. So much of the world history is featured in this review of her early life and her reign as Queen. She will be remembered as a young person for standing with her royal family and her country through World War II when there was so much sadness. From the bombings of England, millions of homes were damaged or destroyed. The courage of her parents and their influence on her during this terrible time had made her who she is today.
For someone who has known few private moments in her life, compared to her duties with the public which she has taken as her life work, I would like to say that I am thankful that I am only the “queen” of my household. No trumpets have sounded for me nor will they at my funeral. There is no mass fortune in my heritage, nor are there servants to cater to my every need. I have no drivers to take me here and there, unless my husband drives. I would not change a thing. I like climbing into my truck, going wherever I please, without interruption. I would like to live as long as Elizabeth has and be able to walk about the way she does without help.
God bless the Queen and may she see only more birthdays as long as her life has meaning.
It was a beautiful day in Florida and three friends were out for a ride in a BMW. What did the medics and police find in the mangled metal? A cell phone in the car with a Snapchat video of the three that was taken just moments before the crash. In this case, they hit a tree and not an innocent family with little children, who would like to live long enough to have a phone.
Florida, in the USA, is my home state. At present we have no laws against using one’s phone while driving, just warnings of the dangers.
More people are calling for stronger measures for distractions by using a phone, whether talking, texting or photographing. Nevertheless, even if we had them, it is most likely that such a law would be ignored by many. One has to ask why people are so afraid of guns or drunk drivers, but those same people who would never harm anyone with a gun or get behind the wheel when drinking, will text and use their phones as instruments of death. It is absurd that one will take such chances with their lives and the lives of others. Many naive young people think they are in control, even while flirting with death. It never occurs to them, even after official warnings, that it could actually happen to them.
Another Floridian made the news after killing four people while driving drunk. He was given a slap on the wrist because he was “too wealthy to know right from wrong”. (This type of punishment may encourage most teens that there are not many consequences to laws.) With the help of his mother, he fled the country only to get another slap on the wrist when charged as an adult. Death that he caused by his behavior had little meaning to this young man.
The phone is convenient and all of us use and love them. However, the seriousness of death has not gotten through to many young people…and adults, unfortunately.
It is permanent!
Some things are just too much fun to pass up. Our Golden Retriever named Gracie looks just like the dog in this video below. She probably will never have the opportunity to frolic with a “Bambi”…even though many deer have come through our yard in Virginia. She is just as calm as this Golden and patient. Her mouth may not be strong enough to find a rock and carry it to shore since in “people years” she is about 92. If her eyes were not getting dim and her hips not so painful, she’d probably like to do a little dancing.
Nevertheless, Gracie and almost all Goldens that I have known are the most gentle and loving pets one could ever have. If you are a family looking for a dog for your children, consider the Golden Retriever. You’ll not be disappointed. Just for fun…enjoy this video and make your day brighter. You might even consider kicking up your heels abit. If not, most likely it will bring a smile to your face.
As we listen to the pleas of people in various Town Hall Meetings throughout the country, it is difficult to hear the lives that have been lost by addiction. Families have been devastated. An example is the heroine epidemic in the state of New Hampshire and it is not the only state. The areas of the Appalachians and California are also greatly effected. Most likely those families will be horrified to know that hundreds are now being released early back into society with letter in hand from our President, which reads :
“I am granting your application because you have demonstrated the potential to turn your life around,” the president wrote. “Now it is up to you to make the most of this opportunity. It will not be easy, and you will confront many who doubt people with criminal records can change. Perhaps even you are unsure of how you will adjust to your new circumstances. But remember that you have the capacity to make good choices. I believe in your ability to prove the doubters wrong, and change your life for the better.”
According to Lederman of the Associated Press, “The latest tranche of commutations brings to 248 the total number of inmates whose sentences Obama has commuted — more than the past six presidents combined, the White House said. The pace of commutations and the rarer use of pardons are expected to increase as the end of Obama’s presidency nears.”
Everyone hopes that those who are given a second chance will make good on the a new life. Over crowding of jails or a need for prison reform may not be good reasons to put our communities in harms way. A court and judge gave the sentences which were expected to be carried out. This map may tell us how active the pushers’ business is and how many deaths have occurred up until 2014. Take a look at your state and county. Can we afford any more?
“Drugs deaths have skyrocketed in New Hampshire. In 2014, 326 people died from an overdose of an opioid, a class of drugs that includes heroin and fentanyl, a painkiller 100 times as powerful as morphine.
Nationally, opioids were involved in more than 61 percent of deaths from overdoses in 2014. Deaths from heroin overdoses have more than tripled since 2010 and are double the rate of deaths from cocaine.
In New Hampshire, which holds this year’s first presidential primary, residents have repeatedly raised the issue of heroin addiction with visiting candidates.” (Article written by Haeyoun Park and Mattew Bloch, Jan.2016)
Most drug pushes have already become addicted themselves to the life style of easy money with no regard to the lives they are harming. How likely is it that any one of those given a second chance will not continue their former ways into all areas of society. Don’t forget the unborn who also often come into this world with an addiction that they will have to combat all of their lives. Who will tell them that giving a second chance to the pusher, that sold the drug to their mother, was in their best interest?
Our brightest young people are at great risk. They usually started out with a bright future ahead and after experimentation, they descended into a life of hell. Watch this video below and ask yourself two questions: Why are parents with money and affluence supporting the habit? (See video 2) The last is when we have young people with total, everyday dependency, is it worth an early release, a commutation of convicted drug pushers? ….I think not.
Video 1 Beautiful Marin and her parents Video:
Video 2 Click on the video and you will be able to watch on You Tube.
Click to get a good look at drug overdose and deaths. (Progression nationwide by years)
See full report on drug addiction in U.S.A (New York Times) Video credit ABC News
Cleaning out old files can be most enlightening. Perhaps ages ago, I copied a letter from a father to his child. He felt it was the best advice he could ever give because it had taken him practically a life time to learn.
I thought that since gift giving was over for the season that maybe there would be a reader who would like a “belated gift”. Below is a portion of the letter written by Harry, whose wisdom may be a new slant on our thinking. It could even save the lives of one in despair. I would suggest that every parent read this with a child who is old enough to understand…or send it off to those who are trying to find their place in this confusing world. (Thanks, Harry)
“…If I could give you just one thing. I’d want it to be a simple truth that took me many years to learn. If you learn it now, it may enrich your life in hundreds of ways. And it may prevent you from facing many problems that have hurt people who have never learned it. The truth is simply this:
No one owes you anything.
…It means that no one else is living for you, my child. Because no one is you. Each person is living for himself; his own happiness is all he can ever personally feel. When you realize that no one owes you happiness or anything else, you’ll be freed from expecting what isn’t likely to be.
It means that no has to love you. If someone loves you, it’s because there’s something special about you that gives him (or her) happiness. Find out what that something special is and try to make it stronger in you so that you’ll be loved even more.
When people do things for you, it’s because they want to__because you, in some way give them something meaningful that makes them want to please you, not because anyone owes you anything.
No one has to like you. If your friends want to be with you, it’s not out of duty. Find out what makes other happy so they want to be near you.
No one has to respect you. Some people may even be unkind to you. But once you realize that people don’t have to be good to you, and may not be good to you, you’ll learn to avoid those who would harm you. For you don’t owe them anything either.
…You owe it to yourself to be the best person possible. Because if you are, others will want to be with you, want to provide you with the things you want in exchange for what you’re giving to them.
Some people will choose not to be with you for reasons that have nothing to do with you. When that happens, look elsewhere for the relationships you want. Don’t make someone else’s problems your problems.
Once you learn that you must earn the love and respect of others, you’ll never expect the impossible and you won’t be disappointed. Others don’t have to share their property with you, nor their feelings or thoughts.
If they do, it’s because you’ve earned these things. And you have every reason to be proud of the love you receive, your friend’s respect, the property you’ve earned. But don’t ever take them for granted. If you do, you could lose them. They’re not yours by right; you must always earn them.
A great burden was lifted from my shoulders the day I realized that no one owes me anything. For so long as I’d thought there were things I was entitled to, I’d been wearing myself out…physically and emotionally trying to collect them.
No one owes me moral conduct, respect, friendship, love, courtesy or intelligence. And once I recognized that, all my relationships became far more satisfying. I’ve focused on being with people who want to do the things I want them to do. That understanding has served me well with friends, business associates, lovers, sales prospects and strangers. It constantly reminds me that I can get what I want only if I can enter the other person’s world. I must try to understand how he thinks, what he believes to be important, what he wants. Only then can I appeal to someone in ways that will bring what I want. And only then can I tell whether I really want to be involved with someone. I can save the important relationships for those with whom I have the most in common.
It is not easy to sum up in a few words what has taken me years to learn. Maybe if you re-read this gift each Christmas, the meaning will become a little clearer every year. I hope so for I want more than anything else for you to understand the simple truth that can set you free: No one owes you anything.”
It is my privilege to announce the 8th book in my Nanny Series. It is called Anna and the Attic. The entire book is based on the fears of a little girl and her visit to her Grandparents in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. ( appropriate for ages 8-12) In our uncertain world, young people have many fears, real and imagined. We know the importance of good mental health and with each book I give parents, grandparents, teachers and other adults the opportunity to go over some thought-provoking questions.
Anna and the Attic is now available on amazon.com under the author’s name, Nancy W. Boyer. All the books in the series are listed here. It is my hope that it will meet the needs of young people everywhere.
I remember the time that I looked out a window and the world seemed “ugly”. This was when I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was going to have to pick up my three small children and leave an abusive situation. It was not an easy decision, but it had to be made….for my sake and for theirs.
When one loses someone through death, divorce, or even a strong relationship within a family or without…there is a time of mourning. Sometimes it includes depression and time to find a new beginning. Fortunately for me, I found a new purpose in life. After 33 years of a second marriage, I am grateful each day that I was blessed in such a wonderful way. Each day can bring a sadness that we least expect. Dealing with it is like climbing a high mountain…or swimming against rough waves. With faith and love, it can be done.
Creativity has also been one of my outlets…whether art, photography, music, decorating or writing. When I saw this video below, I felt it was something I needed to share it with my readers. Perhaps what Kirsty Mitchell, from England, found after the death of someone she loved will speak to you also. My advice is to stick with this…even if the first few scenes seem a bit strange…stretch your understanding. It is a beautiful story.
It is my pleasure to share with you my first book in a new Nanny Adventure series. The book title is Willy the Worm.
Willy the green worm decides he is going to climb out of his hole and see the world. He is tired of living in a damp, unhappy place. Willy demonstrates what life can be like when one just needs courage and a strong will-power. This book helps young people from about age 8-12 think about different cultures…the likeness and differences…as they journey with Willy on a very challenging adventure.
Being an educator, I have had the privilege to understand the parts of life that gives students the most difficulty.I know parents and grandparents are concerned that the young people they love develop the best attributes in decision-making and in moral character.
This is why I have written and illustrated another of my Nanny Book Series. I am happy to announce a new book…the 5th book to add to the others listed below. It is my hope that you will pass this blog on to the family members and friends who may find them beneficial and would like to order for gifts to young people.
TERRI TENNIS SHOES
This is to help young people (ages 7-14) to think seriously about their decision-making and moral values. The end of the book has questions that parents or educators can read and discuss with their young people. (Available as a hard copy and on Kindle)
Other books in the series are:
- LINDA LONG LEGS which helps in identifying one’s best talent even though it may take some heart-ache and disappointment. Self-esteem building is an important part of this book.
- BETTY BIG EARS Another self-esteem book for the child who must learn to be happy with her/himself. The book shows how friends can help with problems in school and at home.
BOBBY BIG BRAIN It can be a problem when other students think that if you are extremely smart that you are different. See how Bobby turns his problem into a time to show leadership. This is a spin-off from Betty Big Ears.
- MORGAN MONSTER (best for children 4-9) All children have some fears…fear of the dark…fear of being alone etc. This book helps younger children with coping with a problem that many have to face as they grow up.
- All books are available in paperback or on Kindle at this link:
It was an early morning and I was waiting for my husband to have his therapy since having surgery for a knee replacement. A car pulled up next to me and a gentleman moved from the driver’s side to that of the passenger.
“Lift your leg, Honey” I heard him say.
She tried to respond, but it was obvious that she was having a great difficulty getting anything to move.
Finally, he was able to pull her out of the car, but did so as gently as he could. As they proceeded into the medical building, he talked quietly to her as she shuffled her way inside.
With my laptop computer in front of me, I continued writing Chapter 20 of my new historical fiction book. Looking up from where I was parked, the door in front of me was opening. It was easy to see the same couple come out the door to return to the car. It took him a few minutes to get her seated once again.
Something inside me responded, as it usually does, when I am supposed to reach out to someone, even if they are complete strangers. I have learned over the years that this little something that I feel inside…almost a nervous feeling, is …I believe…the Holy Spirit of God. “You are the voice of compassion that I want to use today…so say something.” I know that either I respond to this urging, or the moment will pass me by. That has happened in the past and I’ve always regretted it.
Rolling the window down on my passenger side, I said loudly, so he could hear me, “Sir!” He stopped and looked in the window at me.
“You are a good husband.” I said.
He smiled and said, “I have been doing this for 8 years.”
“What disability does she have?” I asked.
“Dementia” he replied.
(The word “dementia” means “a chronic or persistent disorder of the brain that makes for memory disorders, personality changes and impaired reasoning.”) This was of course is why she was having trouble moving. Her mind had forgotten how to do things that are automatic and normal to most of us.
The gentleman had such a pleasant look on his face…a tired look, but a calm look.
He said, ” I do this because I love her.” He had faced a difficult truth about his love..his companion for life. Things would not get better and he knew it.
He went on to say that she would do the same for him and they had been married over 50 years.
“But if the roles were reversed, she would have a very hard time because she (or you) would not be able to lift a man’s weight. I have to lift her a great deal.”
He went on to say, “I take her out to eat and to our church on Sunday. People say to me that I should put her in a nursing home, but I don’t want to do this because I know they cannot take care of her… like feed her…as I would.”
I told him that my prayers would be with him and they will be. This man has a woman he loves and a very hard decision to make as her health deteriorates.
I have one thing to say as I end this blog.
If you are young, you may think that nothing like this will happen at the end of your life. You work out; eat right and have lots of friends…maybe even family members who love you. You may even be saying, “I’ll cross that bridge when I get there.”
What one does not realize is that when youth is gone and muscles and bones begin to deteriorate, as well as the processes of the mind, we can only depend on those closest to us.
My advice would be this.
Don’t take family…mother…father…sister or brother for granted. Most of the time they will be the only ones to make the calls to the assisted living or rehab center to make sure that you are ending your life with caring people..and not being abused just because you are now old and cannot fend for yourself. You must have an advocate in your behalf. If you ignore those who love you now…or only see them once in a while, it may be that you will not have them to depend upon when you most need someone to care.
The gentleman of whom I have been writing smiled and thanked me for my words. He opened his car door to drive home and start the same pattern all over again.
“Lift your leg, Sweetheart. We’re home.”
War is hell…anyway one looks at it. For every soldier that has fought, there has been the thought in the back of the mind…”Will I ever get out of this situation? Will I die here…and will my life have counted for something?” They listen to their commanders; do their duty; feel fear and sadness…and hope and pray for the best.
Yes in all the wars, some have turned their backs on country and comrades.. running away from a situation…with only their tortured thoughts to live with for the rest of their lives. Others can be proud that they faced each obstacle whenever and from wherever it came. They marched into the unknown to rescue their own. They faced the enemy not knowing if it would be their last day. Many gave their all and we must not forget them.
As the 4th of July is approaching, we think of liberty and what it means.
Every now and then I find an old movie that is worth watching. This was the case when I turned to Born on the 4th of July starring a young Tom Cruise. It is a violent movie with nudity and the worst of language, but a gripping reality of the Vietnam War and all that the young men went through, especially after they came home. Cruise stretches his acting ability to the limit in this dramatization of a patriotic young man who loses it all in the horrors of battle. It is a realistic look at what the families go through in coping with the aftermath of the veteran’s home-coming.
A line in the film that stood out to me was when this young Marine cried to his father about his condition, asking ” Who will love me?”
Not unlike the young men coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan, he felt he was half a man because he was now paralyzed from the waist down with no hope of walking or having a family. War is raw…crude…and real.
It is hopeful that our military, who stayed the course and did their duty, will have the proper home-coming. Vividly portrayed, the Vietnam vet continued to deteriorate emotionally with flash backs. To add to the insults, the crowds spit on them and jeered at them, even during the 4th of July parades. Politics had changed in the U.S. about the war even while the men were away fighting.
Many of these men signed up to fight communism before it took over the world. They bled for what they thought was the enemy to our country’s future. Torn apart, physically and emotionally, there seemed to be no future. The Vietnam vet often turned to drugs and alcohol for relief. Broken in spirit, the question remains, “Who is going to love me?”
For anyone facing a devastating situation, there is only One who gives that unconditional love.
” For God so loved the World that He gave His only Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”
This film reminds me that if I see an older man with long hair, somewhat shabby … in a wheelchair…or walking the streets with the homeless, it may be a Marine who once served proudly. They came back to an embittered country and never got over it. Other Vietnam vets returned to live productive lives, but never received the thanks due to them until more recently.
Living with a tortured mind is a difficult thing. One evening, when my children were young, my front door flew open and a man yelled in the door, ” Is Charlie here?!” He slammed the door and disappeared into the night. He did not seem to see that we were sitting there. I am sure that this man, who was living out a previous war… thousands of miles away at another time. (“Charlie” originates from the abbreviation VC for “Vietcong.” In the NATO phonetic alphabet, used in radio transmissions, the words for V and C are “Victor” and “Charlie”. Victor Charlie for the Vietcong was soon shortened to Charlie.)
Our sons and daughters have given much in all the wars that America has fought. Who will love them and care for them in their time of healing and need for excellent care? It is a simple question that needs answering. Another question is “Who in military command and the U.S. government will be honest and as well as loving and comforting to the families of those who were flown home for their funerals?” Often the family simply wants to know how their son or daughter died and was everything done possible to save them? It is the least that can be given to them in their grief.
The postman comes as he says “in rain, snow, sleet, …and of course when the sun shines”. In some places he also braves the family dog protecting the property.
No one gives a thought that the one placing letters in those little boxes may also be a great person who really cares. People like to complain when he/she is late with the mail. They like to peak around the corner to see if he has come…and there is a sense of excitement. Just maybe there is a letter from someone special waiting at my door or in that little box. One girl found such a letter because she wrote one. When she grows up, she will know that God was not silent. He just used the heart that cared and had a piece of paper and a pen on which to write.
TWO SPECIAL LETTERS: (Author unknown)
crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey.She asked if we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to
heaven, God would recognize her.I told her that I thought that we could, so she dictated these words:Dear God,
Will you please take care of my dog?
Abbey died yesterday and is with you in heaven.
I miss her very much.I ‘m happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick.
She likes to swim and play with balls.I am sending a picture of her so when you see her you will know that she is my dog.I really miss her.
Love, MeredithWe put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey & Meredith,
addressed it to God/Heaven.We put our return address on it.Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because she
said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to heaven.
That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the post office.A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter yet.
I told her that I thought He had.Yesterday, there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch
addressed, ‘To Meredith’ in an unfamiliar hand.
Meredith opened it.
Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers called, ‘When a Pet Dies.’Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God
in its opened envelope.
On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey & Meredith and this note:
Abbey arrived safely in heaven. Having the picture was a big help and I
recognized her right away.
Abbey isn’t sick anymore.
Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart.Abbey loved being your dog.
Since we don’t need our bodies in heaven, I don’t have any pockets to
keep your picture in so I’m sending it back to you in this little book for
you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by.
Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you
write it and sending it to me.
What a wonderful mother you have. I picked her especially for you.
I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much.
By the way, I’m easy to find.
I am wherever there is love.Love,
Sometimes people and animals just need someone to love them. This is the case with a boy in England and his three legged dog. Enough said.
I live in Florida, USA. Most people who travel here are looking to visit the theme parks like Disney or Universal Studios. These are not the real Florida. The real Florida has a wonderful history. There are thousands of acres that are being preserved by the ranchers who still own the land.
The video below is worth seeing if you want to understand something about the history the present day men, women, and children of the real Florida.
It is a land of horses, brought here by the Spanish in the 1500’s. The horses drive the cows…some of special breeds from India. Dogs help with the round-up…and 4th and 5th generation children ride the range with the grandparents.
The environment is vast, wild, peaceful and filled with wild-life of all kinds: turkey, hogs, eagles, alligators and more. This is the real Florida. History has shown that the men who worked the miles of Florida from coast to coast were sturdy, rugged individuals. We must not forget the women who shared this land with them. They had their babies here with nothing more than a mid-wife and prayer that they would survive. These people were often referred to as Florida Crackers . They were also the Florida cowboys. Yes, before the wild-west cowboys, the Florida cowboys were here!
What were the Florida Crackers? (see video below)
- Crackers were self-reliant, simple and tough (mostly Scots Irish) immigrants who settled the backwoods of Florida.
- Came to Florida by the promise of independent living and cheap land e for raising cattle
- Crackers battled everyone from the Seminole Indians and the British army
- They also battled malaria from mosquitoes and wild animals.
- Living among the palmetto and scrub, they survived on turtles, possum, frogs, grits, cornbread and greens and whatever else they could catch.
- Historians will tell you that “cracker” originally meant “a braggart.” Some use the term today to describe country folk or someone who was born in Florida.
- The word “cracker” actually came from the sound of a whip made when rounding cattle.
What was the Florida Cracker House?
- wood-frame construction, an elevated first floor,
- a large attached front porch, a revealed fireplace, horizontal wood siding in both the exterior and interior,
- A wrap around porch with an overhang was key to beating the sun outdoors. The windows usually had netting or shutters to keep out bugs and other creatures
- Rocks or bricks made of oyster shell and lime served as pilings to keep the shelters off the ground.
- Crackers often built their homes of cypress wood, which has inherent anti-rot and anti-insect properties.
VIDEO OF THE REAL FLORIDA (Longer version video)
It’s Christmas Eve here in the West. Little children go to bed thinking of the gift they may receive in their excitement in the morning. People stop by their church before tucking them in…to remember the perfect Gift that God sent this night. Gifts were brought by the Wisemen so long ago. It made me stop to think of another gift that I recently heard about.
This is the story about a gift to an unknown person. Parents decided to give their daughter’s heart… after she had been killed in an accident. In making this decision, neither parent had any idea what a perfect gift this would be. Someone needed this heart so desperately. Receiving a gift of such magnitude…and with such gratitude…a life was restored. A part of their 13-year-old daughter would live on. The receiver of this gift would once again be able to care and love a family who may have lost her…except that she would receive a wonderful gift from unselfish people.
Tender…loving…caring…outside of the gift that God gave of His Only Son…this one represents the best in giving. Merry Christmas.
Do not miss this touching story…and make your prayers for both families this Christmas Eve.