Monday, May 13, 2013
Just as our forefather's debated over and over again on what should be included in The Constitution, (and in some cases what should not be included), the gentlemen (and women) in Washington today are debating on what should be removed.
There were differences in opinion then and there are differences in opinion now. But, as stated by James Madison in 1788 in his Federalist Papers, "...(these papers) are intended for those who possess a sincere passion for the happiness of their country, as well as for those capable of discerning the best way to promote this happiness." And this "pursuit of happiness" was (and should still be today) the base from which The Constitution was finally formed, voted on and ratified. The happiness of the people was and still is what drives freedom.
As I see it, the third party involved in forming The Constitution was the Lord, and those men present at its formation were men of faith. That element is missing in today's discussions. Our leaders (?) in Washington have chosen not to invite the Lord to their discussion. Hence, there is chaos at the top and it is trickling down to the citizens of this blessed country. And the happiness of her citizens is at stake.
In my eyes, and it should be in the eyes of every God-fearing American, it is up to us--the American citizens--to begin to repair the chasm that divides us, from the bottom up; then, we must replace the darkness that enshrouds Washington, our once great Capitol, with light and let God back into our discussions. How are we to accomplish this? Only God knows.
I'm not a young woman anymore--I wish I was, but I will not stand by and watch my beloved Country and The Constitution that blesses it, be burned to ashes before my eyes. As long as I am able, I will fight to the end to defend these God given freedoms. Our forefathers shall not have died in vein. God's army will rise up and defend every liberty that our forefathers so valiently fought to preserve.
Friday, May 10, 2013
I know, I know, I know...Cinco de Mayo fell on a Sunday, and we shouldn't have had any fun...but...we did go to church and after church enjoyed some of the most amazing activities I have ever seen. (And that includes all of my growing up years in Southern California, where Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in big ways.)
We saw a Mariachi Band that entertained at the local Mexican Restaurant. They were outstanding and, as always, so friendly with the audience. I love their joyous spirit.
Performing at our local Cultural Center, was the Charro Horsemanship show. I wasn't prepared for what I saw these amazing and beautiful horses do. They paraded with heads and tails high, they danced and they all looked as though they absolutely loved it..
Mr. Jose Solano brought this wonderful entertainment to us. And we learned about the Cinco de Mayo history. It is a celebration (mostly in the west) "to honor Mexican heritage and the contributions of the Mexican-American community." " Historically it celebrates the Battle of Puebla of May 5, 1862, in which the Mexicans defeated a larger French army." (From an article in the Today publication in Lincoln City.)
The horses ridden by the Mexican cowboys were "Andalusian, Friesian and Azteca horses that perform intricate dances and movements." "The Andalusian horses are of the same stock as the famed Lippizzaner stallions of Vienna, and all are descendants of horses from the renowned Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain." (Same article.)
We found the horses astounding and the movements sometimes unbelievable. I have never seen a horse "tap dance" before. But these did, on a wooden stage! Mark and Terrie, you would have loved these horses. They were truly amazing!
After the horse show, we ventured inside for a delightful display of color as the Papalotl Mexican folk dance company of Kenya Marquez performed for us. We were treated with a variety of dances...some of them familiar to me as the dances I learned when I was a young girl. It was thoroughly enjoyable.
All in all, it was a festival to remember. And to top off the entertainment, we ate authentic Mexican Street Tacos from the booth provided for the crowds. Yum. They are my favorites! Piled high with beans and pork and tomatoes and lettuce and cheese and lots of homemade salsa.
It was a good day. Next year, it won't be on Sunday, so I won't have to feel guilty for attending.
Hola! Viva la Mexico! Viva la America!
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Let me tell you about a very touching experience my husband and I had yesterday on our way home from visiting with Dean's parents in Tacoma, Washington. Mom has been placed on Hospice Care since last week and so every minute spent with her is treasured. Both of us care a great deal for this dear lady who has spent the last 88 years of her life always thinking of others. Now, she is totally dependent on others to care for her.
Needless to say, our emotions have been very close to the tear ducts that seem to be connected to our hearts. We stopped along the way to enjoy a dinner at Red Lobster. We haven't eaten out in a really nice place for quite some time, and we just felt like treating ourselves to something really, really good.
We enjoyed our meal and were finishing up, when an amazing thing happened across the aisle from us. The couple (about my age) at that table had asked for their check, and the waiter came up to them, kneeled down to their level, looked them in the eyes and told them that a very appreciative elderly man and his wife had paid for their dinner. I saw shock in the couples' faces, and disbelief.
I looked at the gentleman sitting there, and it was then that I noticed the cap he was wearing and the hand carved cane that he was holding on to. His cap had the emblem of the Purple Heart emblazoned in the middle. His wife had tears in her eyes, as she said, "No one has ever done anything like this for us before. I don't know what to say." It was then that tears began to flow freely down my own cheeks and I offered the gentleman a salute of my own. He smiled at me and nodded his thanks.
Before they left, they stopped at our table and he told us the story of his service in Vietnam. He had earned "6" Purple Hearts! He said, "My whole body looks like a road map." He also shared the story of the gifts he and his wife give every Christmas to unsuspecting recipients. They go grocery shopping and when they get to the check stand, they tell the cashier to also put the person's groceries that are next in line on their bill and they will pay for both of them. I said, "What goes around, comes around!"
What an honor to know that in this world of craziness, where our country is falling apart, there are still folks out there who honor our men and women who have served our country, who still serve our country, and who will serve our country in the future.
God bless America, and God bless the citizens who still believe in Her greatness.
Friday, March 22, 2013
My brother, Darell and I about 1943 or 1945.
Somehow I thought at this age, I would be "an old woman!" But, it is not quite so. While the years I've been here keep mounting, the soul within me remains ageless.
I am only just now beginning to realize the same frustrations I scoffed at in my dear, sweet mother. I remember it drove her crazy that she just couldn't seem to do the simple tasks she had been able to do for so many years.
I remember when I was in my thirties, I could whisk through my house in a morning, have two loads of laundry done, the whole house dusted and vacuumed, toys picked up, floors mopped, bathrooms cleaned and preparations already underway for a wonderful home cooked meal.
Now, it takes me three days to do the laundry for two people, a week to vacuum the whole house, three days to dust, two days to clean two bathrooms, a month to mop floors, another month to pick up after a hubby and myself, and a year to plan one meal.
I can no longer jump out of bed first thing in the morning, shower, shine and get ready for the day. It takes me an hour to work out the kinks and another hour to open my eyes. By noon I might be pleasant enough to carry on a conversation without biting some one's head off.
Ah, this is an exaggeration, but I truly don't move as quickly as I used to and my compulsive cleanliness has gone by the way side.
Enjoying a beautiful garden, Lakewood, WA.
But, I enjoy a good book more than I used to. I treasure quiet moments and good, uplifting music. I pay more attention to my five senses more and don't take them for granted. I love the beauty of a sunset or perfectly formed flowers; I love to hear the waves crashing against the shore at high tide; I love the smell of fresh baked cookies or night-blooming jasmine blowing in the breeze; I love the feel of a baby's soft skin against my weathering and aging cheek; and I love the taste of chocolate, still! I savor every precious moment and my only regret is that I didn't do just that in my younger years.
I'm only now beginning to realize the meaning behind the phrase, "Love, like youth is wasted on the young."
This is me, today, at age 73.
Back to my first statement about my seven decades ~ yes, the old chassi is aging, but my soul is ageless!
Saturday, March 16, 2013
I think I have always known that I have had a problem holding on to money. It started when I was 7 or 8 years old when my dad started paying me an allowance of $1.00 every week if I would do my chores around the house without complaining and practice my piano lessons for an hour every day. It was supposed to be the beginning of teaching me a work ethic--you work joyfully and at the end of a period of time, you receive your pay.
Well, the work ethic part worked out just fine, and I have been able to carry that with me throughout my life. BUT, for some reason, my parents neglected to teach me about the one-tenth for the Lord and one-tenth for my savings account part (10-10-80). As a rusult, every week when I got my $1.00, I quickly either walked the 6 blocks to the liquor store (where they sold my favorite candy bars), or the five and dime store (where they had an array of very inexpensive trinkets to choose from), or I would stop the ice cream man and treat all my friends to an ice cream.
My dad's favorite saying in those days was, "You can't hold onto your money, can you? It just burns a hole in your pocket!" I laughed then, because my 8-year-old mind pictured the money burning a hole in my pocket. But, as I would figure out later, he was right.
Unfortunately, the pattern was set and continued through high school, into college, and even into marriage. Try as I may, I could not budget my money. It took me years before I realized the "10-10-80 rule"; and even then, that 80% had too many temptations calling me to spend because "I want" and not because "I need."
I'm 73 years old now, and because I am deeply in debt, I am finding that I really need to tighten my budget belt and ride this out to the bitter end. And as a result of all of this soul searching, at long last, I am facing my addiction. It wasn't easy, and it will still be a difficult up hill battle for me to stop the urges to spend on every little frivolous thing that jumps out and grabs me.
I made a list the other day of all of the unnecessary items that I spend far too much money on. A partial sample includes, books, ebooks, CD's, mp3's, movies, unnecessary souveniers, and gifts. I have found myself being far too generous to family members in need (a trait I learned from my mom and dad) with no regard to whether or not I could afford it. Eating out and going to a movie are up there, too, but my husband usually pays the bill for those.
Add to the above list, all of the temptations from TV, magazine, or internet ads. Those are the hardest ones for me to resist. One thing in my favor, however, is that I gave up quite some time ago, longing for those beautiful clothes that come in catalogs, because after a couple of purchases that made me laugh at this 73-year-old lady trying to look 25, I gave up and decided that what I have in my closet is just fine.
How do I change? I've joined a 12-step program (much like the one AA endorses) and number one on that list is developing a relationship with God and enlisting His help. The relationship part was not difficult, as I already have one, but asking for help was harder.
My first big test came on a recent vacation to Mexico. Every where I turned, there were venders trying to sell their wares, and I was tempted to buy something for this grandchild, child or myself. I realized what was going on, and actually had the courage to walk away and say, "No, gracias." It felt good to come home empty-handed. And I know that Heavenly Father was prompting me all the way.
I keep my mind and heart focused on my goal, and one day I will win this battle with this beast. You know you are headed down the wrong path, when it starts eating into the Lord's 10% share, and I cannot allow that.
Here's to all folks out there who suffer from this same addiction. I feel for you. And I encourage you to grab this dragon by the tail and put it out of your life.
Thursday, February 21, 2013
There is a little park in Lincoln City that rises up from the shores of Devil's Lake like bleachers in a stadium. the name of the park is Regatta, so named because it was from this vantage point that crowds would gather in the '20's and '30's to watch the boat races on the lake.
Children of all ages come to roll down the hill on the grass, play in the play ground, or swim in the lake. But the only guardians they had were their parents. Last year, a new guardian was constructed to watch over the activities in the park. It is a massive conglomeration of metal that has been formed to resemble a giant dragon.
This "Art" piece was created by artist, Heidi Erickson and metal sculptor, Doug Kroger. It took two years to construct and stands 18 feet tall. At the dedication ceremony last August, many people sealed their "wishes" inside the creature's bright red heart.
This year, the Lincoln City Art's Committee opened up a contest to the community children to give the dragon a name. Two Elementary School children won the contest. Third grader, Rachel Sheuing from Taft Elementary School submitted the name of "Sparky." Second grader, Allyson Hall from Oceanlake Elementary School thought "Wish Guardian" would be an appropriate name.
In the end, the committee decided that the guardian dragon should be called "Sparky, the Wish Guardian." How very appropriate! "Sparky" to commorate the many hours of welding that created the creature; and "Wish Guardian" to describe the protection of all of the wishes sealed in its red heart. (Not to mention, its role as it stands at the entrance of the park as a guardian to all who come to play.)
Though There are numerous signs posted to keep children and guests from climbing on the sculpture (both for their own protection and to protect the sculpure from injury), Billy, my rule-breaking, always climbing son, just had to test fate and climb to the dragon's head. (I held my breath the entire time--he's too old to spank, and he stopped listening to my warnings years ago. Maybe that awesome dragon's heart concept protected my son--but, I don't recommend any repeat visits for that purpose.)
I didn't get a close up picture of the "red heart," because on the day we were at the park, we were just curious visitors come to see the latest attraction, and we had no idea what it symbolized. Perhaps on another visit.
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Well, here I am again, facing an empty page and trying to form some thoughts that will describe what I am feeling. I look at the phrase, "Happy" New Year, and wonder how many of us are really happy? And then I think, happiness isn't an accumulation of "things," nor is it achieving some great feat that lifts us up in the eyes of others. No, happiness is an inner joy that comes from knowing that you are right with the Lord and you are doing all that you can do to make this world a better place.
After such an undescribable year that has left me humbled because it could have been my last, it is difficult to look forward without feeling just a little bit apprehensive. But, we were not made to stand still, so move forward I will, and hopefully I will come even closer to achieving the goals that my Heavenly Father set for me when He sent me to this earth.
I spent a few moments looking over the goals that I had set for myself last year, and I feel saddened that I did not accomplish them. Perhaps they were just a bit too lofty to reach, or perhaps they were just too unreal. I shall try and do better in the coming 365 days.
Last year found me disappointed in the government of my country. And I don't think I am alone. It is not the same America that I grew up in; and it is not the same one that comforted me through tumultuous experiences in my growing years. I don't know where that America went. Perhaps it began its demise as we watched in horror when the Twin Towers fell to the earth and our enemies laughed. I thought then, that we were coming together stronger as a country, but that has not been the case.
Oh, I know there are good Christian believers out there who still hold fast to the Founding Father's plan for a Republic, and we have joined hands on many fronts, trying to protect her. But, sometimes one just feels helpless in trying to grasp the thread of decency that used to rule this nation and get those in authority over us to see where they are failing us.
And so, I turn my face heavenward, knowing that the God who really rules this nation is watching us and He knows where we are heading. I know that He is not happy with what is happening to us, but He knows that it is we who have brought about this demise. Knowing what I know, and believing in a better world, I will put my trust in the Lord. He gives me strength to survive, no matter what comes my way.
I may never achieve all of those lofty goals placed on paper through the years, but the better goal for me this coming year is to get closer to my Creator and learn to trust in Him. I will strive to build my Faith in the God who created us; Hope in a future day when He will come and save this troubled world; and Charity (the Pure Love of Christ) for my fellow men and women who are working just as hard as I am to find Peace.
May God bless us, each and every one of us, through the coming days that will combine to make up the New Year, 2013.