Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Blessings To You

Wow, what a year it has been. I don't want to repeat it, thank you very much. I do want to send all of you blessings for the coming year. I pray for you to know peace and to see all your hopes fulfilled. I pray for you to know good health, happiness, and prosperity. I pray for you to know truth and for you to be filled with the light of grace. 

Thus saith the LORD, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty 
waters; Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.
Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know
it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:16, 18-19

To all of you who are my contacts, my friends, and my family, thank you. Happy New Year to you all.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Late Gift

Thirty-one years ago today I entered Baptist Memorial Hospital to have my youngest son. He was 10 days late and they decided I should get the tax-break by having him before the end of the year. They induced me at 9 a.m. and by 12:30 a late Christmas gift lay in my arms. And he was beautiful.

The years I spent raising my boys were the greatest years of my life. There was never a moment we did not enjoy being with them and sharing our lives with them. They went everywhere with us.

Michael, the oldest, was a sunny child but too busy to sit on my lap for more than a morning hug. He was everyone's baby. His exuberance and zest for life were nearly overwhelming and at times exhausting. He bounced out of bed every morning and bounced in at night. but I did have such fun with Mike. He was always smiling and full of questions.

David was a quiet and contented baby. I'd hear him giggling in his crib in the morning and when I'd peek over the rail, he greeted me with a smile and his arms reaching for me. There is no way to express what that is like. David was my baby. He was content to sit on a blanket and play with toys while Mike darted here and there.

I was so blessed to have these two beautiful boys and I could not have asked for a greater gift. They each have their own place in my heart, each gave me a different perspective on life. They have gifted me with laughter and memories that today make me wish I could do it all, every minute of it, over again.

Happy Birthday, David. You are such a bright light in my life.

Monday, December 29, 2014

A Post Christmas Post

After a hectic week of running to and fro, cooking for two days for an army (with the help of my oldest granddaughter), doing dishes resulting from said cooking (with the help of my daughter-in-law --DIL), washing towels for the army, and cleaning house after the troop evacuated, I now sit here to catch you up.

David and his family came in on the 19th and the house quickly felt as if it would explode. There were six of us in here. I marvel that I raised two boys and a dog in this house and sometimes had a sister in residence. A couple of times I had a son with a spouse and then a son, spouse and child. both times it was for more than a year. In less than 1200 square feet. But we did it and I don't recall ever feeling crowded. And yet, when holidays roll around and everyone is here the house feels as if it will explode and I with it. 

But it didn't and neither did I. We had a great time I think. The kids got along well, with only minor nitpicking here and there. The names are withheld to protect the innocent. Wait. There were no innocent children. Still, disputes were few and that's an amazing feat in so small a space. 

I'm a neat freak but with this many folks in a space, it is all but impossible. I know that the DIL washed dishes for two days and that was only what we used to cook. We used paper plates and plastic cups and utensils for eating. Had we not, well I shudder to think of the amount of dishes we'd have had to deal with. Someone needs a dishwasher... {sigh} and the money to buy it with. 

We decided to open gifts and do our dinner on Christmas Eve. My sister had to work Christmas Day. As it turned out, we were so exhausted on Christmas Day that had we been still cooking and gifting, we'd probably been overwhelmed. This way the kids got to play with the gifts, we could eat leftovers, and everyone could sit down and do nothing but relax. We went out in the afternoon so the DIL could take photos. 

On my way back home I stopped by the cemetery and stayed about 20 minutes. It was a beautiful day and the graves were lovely. The office building on the hill began to play Christmas carols at noon. This was a surprise and I just sat and listened to them for a long time. 

Perhaps this seems silly to a lot of people. I don't know if you can understand if you've never lost someone close to you. I know the person is no longer "there" just as they are no longer "here". But I was taught a sense of respect that is virtually non-existent now. My Mama used to say, "You will put me down there (a very rural cemetery) and forget about me." And she was right. We did. I am so far away I can't visit her grave. Yes, I have those memories but there is something about standing beside that grave that brings her closer. I'm never so close to Jerry as when I'm at the graveside. 

I supposed for some it is easy to walk away and forget those who die. Out of sight and out of mind is true. Eventually, you can't even recall the location of their grave. I've been away from Mama's so long I don't know if I can find my way back to that rural location. 

If you think it is foolish, good for you. When it is your turn to leave someone you love more than your life in a six foot hole in the ground among strangers, I hope it is that easy for you. Your time will come before you know it. I hope someone wants to stand beside your resting place and remember you. 

My upbringing was to respect and remember those who have gone and we do that by visiting and taking flowers or just standing beside them for a few moments and remember them. This doesn't take much. I used to go every day. Now, I go when I walk there. I visit on holidays -- his birthday, our anniversary, and on the days we had our children. There are memories we shared, half of which are buried in the ground and forgotten. I spend a few moments giving honor to the man who made those memories possible.  I don't intend to let him lie there forgotten. I do as I would have others do. When it is my turn, there will be no one to do the same for me. It is a dying ethic.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Where's the Revolution

Today's post resulted from these articles regarding Hillary Clinton.

I'm always a little shocked by how gullible the electorate is and has always been. We take everyone at face value. It is an old tradition, or was between gentlemen, that a hand shake was a man's bond. Women always knew that this was a patent lie but we were rarely asked. But it did work to a degree. 

However, there is still this belief in the population that a person in public office should not be questioned, particularly if they belong to one's own party. It is unfortunate that no one investigated the Clintons long before they were elected. I simply mark it up to greasy palms. You grease enough of them and you can cover Mt. Everest. The truth is, that we've grown lazy and complacent with these kind of people. We figure "everyone's doing it" (some of us are too) and so what's the big deal. 

I'm sure there were people in Cuba at one point that really believed that Castro was a wonderful man. There still are. There were people who believe Chavez was a wonderful man. There were those who believed the Russian revolution was a great thing. All of those proved extremely false and devastating assumptions. 

I suspect that true or not, there will be those who will elect such people here. Why? Because ethics, integrity, and honesty are old fashioned ideas and accountability is considered abuse. No one is to be held accountable for their sins in the modern world. It is simply not acceptable to be ethical.

Revolution is just an election away at any time. If we viewed every election as a sort of revolution, we'd have no vested politicians and no chance of one. There would be a reshuffling of the deck every 4 years. 

It is important to keep in mind that real revolution means "change". Beware of those using the word change. What they really mean is revolution and not all revolutions are good, as Cuba, Venezuela, and Russia, to name a few, discovered.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Ultimate Outcome of Inevitable Change

Dallas, SD. 1936
Source: US Dept Agriculture - Public Domain
Mineral Wells is  a small town in Texas. They have an impending disaster. Their man-made lake is drying up at an astonishing rate. Faced with imminent disaster, they're talking about piping water from a bigger lake or shipping it in some way.  Mineral Wells Facing Water Shortage

Part of me thinks that's terrible but another part of me thinks this is simply nature doing what it has always done: changing the face of the planet and demographics. 

Historically, the face of the country changed every time there was a drought or other natural disaster. In fact, the face of the world changes in natural disasters. But in the United States, this is more current in our memories and history. Two hundred years ago, if the well, lake, creek, or river dried up, people packed up and moved, usually farther west. 

The Dust Bowl event created a huge relocation of people because everything dried up and was buried beneath blowing sand. The causes of the dust bowl even are pretty much the same ones causing this lake to dry up. Too little rain, over use of resources, and poor planning that upset the ecology of the region. 

In Hawaii right now, lava is devouring roads, yards, homes, and businesses incrementally. People have been forced to leave their homes and watch from a distance as they disappear. Other lakes in the US have also been in the news. California is constantly short of water. Texas has had several years of drought. 

The interesting thing about most natural disasters is that in most scenarios, once you remove people from the location, the environment recovers over time, usually in less than a lifetime. In fact, even the lava covered areas in Hawaii will eventually repopulate with flora and fauna and the nature of the soil will be such that it will be a thriving environment. Until the next time.

Laws of nature don't change. Droughts occur, lakes dry up, wildfires happen. Often our very presence actually increases the effects of the natural events. And now people can't move because they've set down roots. We've chained ourselves to a location in a way that doesn't allow recovery of the resources.

So, we see an even bigger drain on resources farther away because we pipe water from some other lake. Or we ship it from another region in tanks to where we need it. Or we use backhoes and bulldozers to move sand. Or we build towering buildings on former forested tracts. All further attaching us to an area that needs to recover. Modern technology provides us with a means to ease some of the effects without actually solving the problem. 

We've sunk money into land, houses, and businesses. We can't lock up, load the SUV and drive into the sunset. Not only because of the financial loss but because the number of places where disasters happen seem to have increased with the population. We're draining our resources. Excessive and unrestrained usage was never factored in by the Creator. 

In my honest and non-scientist opinion, I don't believe there is a solution to the shortage of natural resources. Natural disasters will continue to change the landscape because they are supposed to do that. Lakes dry up by drought and forest die by drought or fire. They are the means of rebirth. Ultimately, if these events are large enough in scope, nature will force a change in demographics. 

Change is inevitable and we either follow the course of change or we will be buried by it.