Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Winter 's Passage

I am listening as I type to my favorite CD. It is Susan Boyle’s singing like an angel. I love her voice and her choice of songs is varied and done well. When I first heard her on U Tube, I cried for her success and for the beauty of her rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream”. And the reaction of the judges and the audience thrilled me. I’ll bet I played that spot from U Tube over 100 times.

Not only do I love the story of her success, but the fact that here was this gal staying at home taking care of her mother all of her life and the emerging like a butterfly from its chrysalis to becoming the most beautiful songstress of all. You go, gal. And she has went!!!! I know my grammar!

I recently read several books. I have read Julie and Julia by Julie Powell and seen the movie. Any resemblance of one to the other is purely coincidental. The movie was all about Julia Childs and the book had very little about her and was about the life of the writer. I do not recommend it.

I have also read again for the umpteenth time The Day before Winter which is about the Bennett families who live on this island near Nova Scotia and are lobster fishermen. I love these books for Elizabeth Ogilvie has written about the same families in a trilogy and then about other citizens of the island in other books but I feel as if I have lived there and that I know all of them personally. And I am a fisherman and I love the water.

Home Safe by Elizabeth Berg is a great novel. She brings her life as a teacher of creative writing to people who never have even thought of writing a word (even in a blog) and finds that each have unique strengths and insight.

For Christmas from my Republican son, I got a copy of Going Rogue by Sarah Palin and I read it. “But Mom, she’s a Babe!” That she is, but her book did surprise me somewhat. I did enjoy the look into Alaska and the things I learned about that state. I also thought it was interesting to see the backside of a political campaign and what life on the campaign trail was like. She has done and been a lot more things than just a mayor and governor of a little populated state. According to her account, she has traveled to Iraq and Afghanistan and Europe as a private citizen, of course, and served on a lot of committees and boards in the United States. Other than that I realize a lot of the book is self serving and perhaps not too accurate as to the differences she has had with various reports of her life. I find it difficult to believe her explanations. It is written in a defensive style throwing in digs now and then at her detractors. Let’s just say that she and Katy Couric will never be close, nor do I think she and John McCain will either. She is a master mud-slinger

I also received a copy of Dave Barry’s “The Shepherd, the Angel, and Walter the Christmas Miracle Dog” . (I don’t know where my underlining icon went) This was written in his usual hilarious fashion and one could not put it down. I read it in one sitting. Lots of LOL’s in this one.

And last, I received “The story of The Other Wise Man” by Henry Van Dyke. This is about a man who was to join the other three Magi to view Christ’s birth in Bethlehem. He sold everything he had to buy three jewels to present to the new-born King. However on the way he had to use these to help others and so had nothing left to give Him when he arrived. All based on the Scripture which goes “Inasmuch as you have done it to the least of these, thou hast done it to me.” A very moving book.

Winter is soon over. Tho last night we had a snow squall that laid 7 inches down in about an hour. I am hating winter this year, but last night was so beautiful with all the branches and everything clothed in sparkling white that I could not help but be stirred by its beauty.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Seat Belts

I have always hated seat belts and if it were not mandatory to have to put one on now, I would never wear one. Oh, I can hear the outcries of my children and all the rest of you now. It has been proven that they keep you safe, that they save lives, that they are so crucial to your well-being that it is against the law not to wear one.

What they don’t tell you is that if they don’t choke you to death they surely do a good job of trying. Like all us older Americans, I drive a big ole Buick Le Sabre. Have you ever noticed that a young person wouldn’t be caught dead driving one? Buicks are noted for having safety belts that go around a person’s body so that they practically strangle one. My neighbor told me that the other day when I was discussing this with him. Other brands do not go around like that so do not pose such a problem...

Have you ever tried to reach for a Kleenex in your pocket because you felt a sneeze coming on? If you have you can just forgidaboudit. You can’t get into your pocket because of the strap. Have you ever tried to get your mail out of the mailbox from your car in inclement weather? Forgidaboudit! You can’t move enough to reach it. Do you have an itch somewhere that is driving you nuts. You can’t move enough to reach it so forgidaboudit. And God forbid that you should drop your sunglasses on the floor or that they should slide far forward on the shelf under the windshield---you can’t do anything about it.

Yes, I have just read the Michigan State Police Report on the effectiveness of seatbelts and how they have cut down on the death rate from accidents. They don’t tell you about the one that didn’t wear a seatbelt and was the only one to survive because he was thrown free from the car while the others died hanging upside down with their seatbelts still secure and the rescue squads unable to cut them free.

I know that by now you all think I am nuts and senile. I am neither. I just don’t like seatbelts and I have a right to dislike them all I want, but I will wear them simply because I have to and statistics don’t lie. I think they are a simply a pain in the butt .

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Just Stuff and Nonsense and a Smile

My mom always said that doing dishes together made for a great time of good conversation and general fellowship and sociability.
This was when she was trying to get one of us to volunteer to do the dishes after a big meal, preferably a Holiday Meal. Most all of our Sunday dinners were essentially a holiday meal. We always had parishioners of some sort invited over, with tons of dishes and our “good china” always—the sort with which you had to be extra careful .

Let me hasten to say that I am a strong proponent of dishwashers, the electric kind, but even they entail “doing the dishes “ and especially the pots and pans. I hate putting away the food and as my children will tell you, I save quantities of containers for this purpose. When Julie was last home she threw out maybe 50 butter containers ready for my leftovers. "When are you going to ever need 50 at one time" she asked.

I came across this picture of Jacob, my grandson when he was but a wee child doing the dishes at the cottage at Green Lake. Just think, he is getting married in April! Now doesn’t that give you a jolt as to how fast time flies in this life.

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And then we have a picture of my husband Bill doing the dishes. I must have been dying because he never did them that I can recall.

This next picture is an early morning-after a Saturday night dinner dance. Mismatched pj’s and Julie loves this shot.

And this is one of Julie herself washing wine glasses I think with Jon looking on.

Isn’t this a fascinating post tho? Sorry. It was all I could think of this week.

Monday, February 1, 2010



Today I had a great time of joy in my life. My two-year old granddaughter and her daddy came to visit and Matilda (Miranda) spent most of the time with her ever present smile on her face, exploring my house, the piano, all the doors and where they led , throwing every pillow on the floor, etc.

She finally came to sit on my lap and watch a little TV. What a joy to play with my fingers through her golden hair and to write on her back. She sat so still. She loved it. My son smiled as he remembered I always used to do that to him when he was little. What utter joy as I felt her weight on my lap and her straight little back in front of me.

Pure joy. What is it and where do we find it? How often do we truly experience joy? If one thinks about it, one can find certain occasions when we have felt really joyous. I can think of a few offhand. When the family is on the way to the lake in the summer and you can hardly wait for that first glimpse of the water as you round the curve and then you are there and you run down to the dock and say hello to the lake and feel pure joy at being there.

When Julie had to wear her scoliosis brace all through jr. hi and high school, it was so painful at first and she had to wear it 23 out of 24 hours. And I talked to her and told her to keep going and doing things as much as she could. That I had had a student that just let the kids carry her books for her and all she did was sit and get whiter and whiter. We went to a Christmas program at the junior high one night and she was in a skit. There was a pause for the longest time when it was over. She came running into the gym from the hall, noticed the awkward silence, smiled widely and to everyone’s delight yelled “Merry Christmas” all the way to her seat in the band. They had to wait for her trombone! I knew then she would make it and she had made up her mind and did it all herself. That was joy..

When I was young and madly in love with my college sweetheart who had gone back to New York for the summer and returned in September—that night when he came to my house I was living in where I was teaching—that was joy.

When Bill finally got a position here in Green Bay after a two year separation, he in Iowa and the two youngest boys and me in Michigan—that was joy. You should hear my son tell about his reaction!

There is a difference in being happy generally speaking and having certain events stand out as being joyous. The first year we were married, Bill taught 100 miles away from me and came home every week-end. That was happiness. Honeymoon prolonged into a whole school year.

So what is your joy? Do you think of joyous moments when you are down? Do you find that you can think of a lot of them –small and big moments that you had forgotten?

Hold them close to your heart.


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