Thursday, August 17, 2017

In Response...

In response to the events of the past few days having to do with the rally in Charlotesville, NC...a few quotes to think on.

“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.”
― Audre Lorde, Our Dead Behind Us: Poems

“Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn't matter which color does the hating. It's just plain wrong.”
― Muhammad Ali

“No human race is superior; no religious faith is inferior. All collective judgments are wrong. Only racists make them”
― Elie Wiesel

“We can move in that direction as a country, in greater polarization - black people amongst blacks, and white amongst whites, filled with hatred toward one another. Or we can make an effort, as Martin Luther King did, to understand and to comprehend, and replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand, compassion and love.... What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black.”
― Robert F. Kennedy

“Pit race against race, religion against religion, prejudice against prejudice. Divide and conquer! We must not let that happen here.”
― Eleanor Roosevelt

"No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite."
 --Nelson Mandela

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

A Joyous Gift

My oldest son came home for a visit last night.  He lives in Nevada and because of cost, it is difficult for the family to get together on a regular basis.  He tries to come out to see us once a year and it is always a special occasion when he does.  My youngest son lives here so he comes by the house 3 or 4 times a week.  Last night he came just as his brother came in.  It was wonderful to have all of us together (even though we missed our daughter in law--school started in Nevada this week). 

So there we are at midnight, sitting around the dining room table, laughing about the fact that their dad refuses to wear glasses and therefore can't read the aspirin bottle, their mom goes to webmd on the computer rather than her regular doctor, the oldest son doesn't like beards but grows a goatee and the youngest has a goatee but wants a beard that will make him look like one of the Duck Dynasty brothers.  We talked about so many things both serious and nonsensical.  I miss that table time so much.  But then I realized that even with all the ups and downs we have gone thru, the family is still together, still depending on each other, still loving each other and that to me is the most wonderful joyous gift I could ever have.

Friday, July 28, 2017

A look Back 25 years

25 years ago today, my dad passed away.  It doesn't seem like its been that long.  There are so many memories I have of my dad but I thought today I would share just a few.

1. Golf. My dad loved to play golf.  Every chance he had, he would play and when he didn't play, he watched golf on tv. His favorite thing to say was that since he was too old to win the "green jacket", he was counting on his grandson to win it.  Dad also said that he had a deal with God that when it was his time to go, he would do it on the golf course.

2. Louis L'Amour.  My dad loved to read westerns and his favorites were written by Louis L'Amour.  He was very excited one year to travel to Minnesota and visit L'Amour's home town and purchase an autographed copy of one of his books.

3. Crossword puzzles.  He loved doing these and he got me hooked on them too.  I would find one from the newspaper that he had been working on and then try to finish it.  I never did but it was a neat game we played.

4. Fix-it Man?  He thought he was but I am sad to say he was not.  Dad gave it a good try but it just didn't seem to work out the way it was supposed to.  The big joke was that dad always kept a large roll of neon green duct tape in the car.  Whatever needed fixing, dad would duct tape it.  He would be delighted to see all the different kinds of duct tape they sell today.

5. Singing.  Dad loved to sing.  He couldn't sing but he loved to do it anyway.  When we would be in the car, dad would be singing as he drove.  We would put our hands over our ears and ask him to stop.  Dad would laugh and say we had no appreciation of talent.

6. The Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  My dad loved the UP.  The green forests, trees, hills, winter snow...all of it.  It reminded him so much of his home state of Vermont. 

25 years ago today, my dad passed away.  And you know that deal he said he had with God about death and the golf course?  Well, he was right!  My dad had a heart attack and passed away after playing the ninth hole.  Dad and God had a deal all along!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

God's Hand In My Life

I’ve noticed that even though I may not immediately recognize it, God has a hand in my life on a daily basis.  Yes, I know that God is in my life all the time but I don't always see it.  Sometimes things happen that seem so ordinary, so small that it seems they are not important enough to be the result of the hand of God.  However, during one of my morning "sit-downs" (as I like to call them) with God, I focused on recent events that I could see had God's hand in them.

My husband's sister died about 3 weeks ago.  His brother went to Chicago to handle arrangements and clean her townhouse to be ready for sale.  When he returned he told horror stories of what he found in the house.  He said that it was a mess.  It was dirty, stinky and had cat feces all over one level.  This was a surprise to me as I always thought of my sister-in-law as a very organized neat person.  My husband was also upset about this because he felt that just wasn't the kind of person his sister was.  My husband and his brother went to Chicago about 2 weeks ago to do final paperwork as well as look over the property.  When he returned, he told me that although there was a lower level of the house that reeked of cat, the rest of the house was extremely organized and neat.  The clothes in all her drawers were clean and folded, her closets were organized.  Everything looked like the sister he knew.  He was quite relieved.  Losing a loved one is very difficult but finding out they are different than the person you remember only adds to the grief.  I am glad that God had a hand in easing some of my husband's pain.

God's Hand was evident when my husband had gone to Chicago with his brother and left me home alone.  I have not been by myself in a long time but I was not overly concerned.  In fact, I made a point of telling my husband and son that I would be quite all right and looking forward to the quiet time.  The first night my husband was gone, I was surprised when my youngest son showed up.  He said he had just gotten off work and thought he would come home and spend the night.  He knew that I didn't sleep well when I was alone (he remembered when his father worked midnight shifts and I had a difficult time sleeping) and felt his presence would be calming.  It was and I did sleep quite well.  I did tell him in the morning he didn't need to come again because I would be ok.  However, the second night, we had a very intense although brief storm.  The power went out and I was left in the dark.  I have been in the house without power before but never without my husband.  Needless to say, I was a nervous wreck.  I had a lot of conversations with God that night.  Then about 11:30pm, my son showed up again.  He said that he felt he had to come home after work because I needed him.  The relief in my heart when He came in was overwhelming and at that point, I knew that God had made sure I was not alone to face the dark that night.

I believe that God communicates with us in any way He can. He speaks through His word, He sings through His songs, He whispers in His wind and He works through His messengers in the common events of our days. If we look and really see, we will see His clues that let us know He is there.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Inspiration for Monday, July 17

My children are adults now and they still do this.  Often my son shows up at the house after work.  He makes himself a snack, takes a shower and stays the night.  His comment to me is "I just wanted to be home tonight."  I like that alot.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

I Love America because of...

1.  The beauty.  I am sure that many people think their country is the most beautiful.  I think America is beautiful.  The mountains, hills, valleys, deserts, plains, forests, lakes, rivers, everything about it just yells, "Look at me!!  I am beautiful!"  Yet, the most beautiful parts of America is not its landscape but its people.  People who came to this "new world" from so many other places and created a country so unique that it cannot be duplicated.  That is the true beauty of this country.

2.  The people.  Yes, I love the American people.  We are a people who argue, fight, and debate but we are also a people of fun, laughter, kindness, support, hopes and dreams.  Yes, we divide ourselves thru politics, religion, color, gender and beliefs but we also come together as one country when we need to.  Just look at 9/11 if you don't agree with me.  We are a people who volunteer to serve in the armed forces to protect not only our country but other countries as well.  We are a people who take care of those who need help with food and shelter, protect those who are too young, too old or unable to care for themselves.

3.  The freedoms.  We are a nation who have rights to speak, live, pray and believe without persecution.  Yes, we do...even when there are some or many who don't agree with any of it. We are a country who believes in the words of the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and our National Anthem.  We believe in the American flag which just the sight of can bring tears to the eyes of many people whether they are American or not.

4.  The imperfections.  No, we are not a perfect country made up of perfect people.  Humans are imperfect and because of that, mistakes great and small are made.  We do not do everything right all the time but we are also a country where we have the opportunities and abilities to change what is wrong.  These changes can come in the forms of the right to protest, the right to vote and the right to voice our opinions.

Today many say that America is going downhill and that it no longer is the beacon it used to be.  Yes, it seems that this country is in a deep, deep hole but she has been there in the past and has always risen up from it.  I believe she will do that again.  You can say I am wrong or looking thru rose-colored glasses and that is your right in this country. 

However, on this 4th of July, I am proud to stand up and voice my love for this country and to proudly call myself an American.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

44 Years of Mountains and Valleys

Marriage is a series of mountains and valleys. There are ups and downs, highs and lows, events that we could not have foreseen when we first started. In the beginning, you have an idea of what marriage will be like and then reality hits you in the head and you find that it isn't even close to what you thought it would be.  There are those times when everything is going the way it's supposed to go.  Life is filled with romance, laughter and good times.  Then suddenly you hit a rough patch...inlaws, money, jobs, responsibilities or just those tiny habits that annoy you.  And with every rough patch, you are faced with a you ride it out until the high comes back or do you give up and walk away?  Now days, it seems many find it easier to throw in the towel and hit the road.  Now I am not saying that every rough patch requires staying power.  Sometimes the rough patch is more than that and leaving is the best choice.  No, I am saying that just because life has led you into a valley, it might not be bad enough to throw the marriage away.

In 44 years, my husband and I have encountered our fair share of mountains and valleys.  We have seen friends and family end their marriages for one reason or another.  We have, in the heat of the moment, threatened to leave the other and go it alone.  But in the end, we always start climbing the mountain again...together.

I remember something my mom told me the morning of my wedding day when, in my nervous state, I asked her how she and dad had stayed together so long.  She said, "When those times come and you are not sure you are on the right path with the right one, think about tomorrow or next week or next month or next year.  How do you see it...alone or with him?  That will be your answer."

In 44 years of mountains and valleys, I have never been able to picture my life without him.

Happy 44th Anniversary, Butch....Love, Ellen.