Thursday, December 31, 2015

Random thoughts

The trip to Annapolis for fireworks begins today.

There has been feasting and walking and games and "potty chair" and baby laughter for the last eight days. The house will seem quite dull pretty soon.

Last year was pretty darn good, as far as years go.
New grandbaby
New house
Our relationship feels like a good pair of slippers
general contentment.

2016 looks very interesting
since we both LOVE politics.
Who will the voters actually choose
(not the television polls of 150 people)?
We enjoy watching and debating ourselves.
What ever happened to civil debate?
A debate for another day.
Which candidate will break out of the pack?
and then the election.
We will probably attend the


 of whoever wins. Of course that is two Januarys from now.

In the middle of political season
comes a huge blessing
A new grand will be born in April
or maybe March.
Their baptism will be
coupled with First Communion of the baby's sib.
Those events will be much more exciting.

We will do a bit of travel to see the West Coast family.
It is the year of fifth and tenth anniversaries of our children's marriages.
Yes, another great year on tap.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

It is time to be open.

Yesterday I spent an amazing day with the family.
Everyone was here with us to enjoy the toddlers.
And now it is time to really reflect the call of the Nativity.

A new season has begun.
Can we open our hearts and homes to strangers?
The refugee crisis- both Middle Eastern and southern border
seems to loom large in my heart.

I mentioned to a friend that if each Catholic parish took in one family
there would be more then 8,000 families cared for.
Let's extend that challenge to each church.
Look around
If each church took in one family-
even a single person-
and cared only for them for a year,
then what change would happen.

Let's extend that further.
If each community took in one family.....

You can only eat an elephant one bit at a time.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

No Snow!

Global Warming?
El Nino?
My friend praying for a warm winter?

Can you believe that we moved East and have no snow for Christmas?

We, 39.1619° N, are almost on the same latitude as Kansas, 39.1917°N,
and they have plenty of snow.
OK they are a bit more north.

Flagstaff is at 35.1992° N , but they are also at 7,000 ft. They, also, have snow. 
Dover is sea level (actually, 30Ft above sea level---whooopie)
Christmas will come, with or without snow. 
It will be the first one in three years that our small family will be under the same roof on Christmas night. 
All is well!

Friday, December 04, 2015

Self defense

Lots of self defense classes were taught to
my group of ten national Saxon consultants.
We traveled the entire country
in servicing in every type of neighborhood possible.

Some of the best lessons were:
Always be aware of where you are.
Look around you for exits
no matter where you are.

Listen- don't put earphones on out in public.

See something- say something.
Make those calls to 911 if it looks out of place
better to be safe then sorry.

Carry a great fashion magazine!
Although they cannot stop a bullet- they can slow it down.
If you roll it- it can be used as a baton to push away someone
Or hit them  across the face.
You can also throw it at someone
very distracting.

Get low and get out.
If you choose to make a stand-
get everyone else low and behind as much as possible.

If you encounter someone with a knife
and then are close enough to touch you
run TOWARD them.
It will throw them off.
Put your arm across your body to your shoulder and run.
Better for them to slash your arm
then your heart.

Don't ever show a gun unless you are willing to use it.
Guns are easy to grab away from a person who is
unwilling to use it.
If they get too close you take the 50/50 chance
that you will shoot someone (including your self) by accident.

Have a flashlight on your key ring.

Don't stop at rest stops at night.
Buy that $2.00 cup of coffee and stop at a restaurant!

Remember that the instep of a foot is very tender....

This will do nothing for you in a terrorist activity
but most of us will never be a victim of that.
Keeping yourself safe every day is important.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

We haven't spoken in a while

My sister and I have not spoken in four years.
We do, occasionally, "chat" on facebook.
No actual voice contact.

That came after four years of almost nightly calls from her
She worked through loads of things
using me as her listener.
My husband reminds me that he never got to see me in the evenings
since she called and I always picked up. Sometimes I even went
across country to buy groceries. He often shook his head at that one.

Needed to be needed.

I am the one that broke the chain.
After having my mother go after me
again and again
to make sure my sister
had a will
on the side of the road in New Mexico on my way back to Kansas,
after staying at  my nephew's bedside at night in the hospital
and moving my mother
into a new place,
I screamed at her to
just get a damn will.

I was ugly.

I have only been that exhausted and angry twice
and that was one of the times.
Not an excuse, just is what it is.

That was it.
The phone went silent.
Weird at first.
Withdrawal was tough.
After a time, the family grew and time spent was forgotten.

Still strange.

Remembered the time when a test for vulnerability was given in college?
The professor remarked to me that I put too much faith in people
and it would come to haunt me someday.

Just visiting

I never met my father's grandparents
on either side.
 Had they passed away before my birth,
I do not know.

We only went to "visit" my father's side of the family once,
that I remember.
I was six.
There were LOADS of them.
With twenty or so second cousins
Dad was in the mist of family.
We never saw them again.

All visiting at Holyday time
was with my mother's family.
That actually stopped when Nana passed away in 1975
and most of us went to college.
Twenty two children in 12 years!
Here we are at Thanksgiving in 1966

Moving to my generation.
We spent three Christmas tides
but not one Thanksgiving
with my husband's parents.
We did visit about once a year,
but only when travel was good
and we could drive.

We saw my family several times a year.
Sometimes I even left my husband at home
and went to Thanksgiving with the kids and not him.
How did he tolerate that?
Not very "fair", was it?

My mother, two brothers and a sister still gather every
Christmas and Thanksgiving.
The youngers are beginning to drop off
having those celebrations with other sides of their new families.

My children are now grown and married.
We decided that we would attempt one HolyDay
together each year.
This year it will be Christmas.
Next year it is looking like Thanksgiving or Easter.
We try to pay for transportation.
It is tough when you have littles to pay for
and time in a car is not fun!

Otherwise, my husband and I spend the HolyDay together or
with our daughter's family.
My daughter's family doesn't see her husband's family much.
A two day drive or four plane tickets
They are driving out this summer,
much like we used to do with my husband's family.
Bite the bullet and just do it!

Does this mean we love each other less?
The time spent together, any time of the year,
is so valued.
Christmas does not mean less because we have to
share with each other on the phone
(Face time is fantastic).

Families evolve.
I cannot imagine being the first to move to the States
without anyone