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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

AS THIS YEAR DRAWS TO A CLOSE…



Looking back…

We have been in this house a year and 3 weeks. Wow. How is that possible? 
Our Michigan home


We left Michigan in January 2015 and headed to Ormond Beach and our new home and life. So much was left behind so that we could begin to build the life we had talked about nearly 30 years. A home in a warm climate with no real winter. A place where we could walk outside all year long in relative comfort. Where flowers bloom and grass is greenish all year. The ocean being 3 miles away was a bonus. A wonderful and amazing bonus.






The perfect Florida house

The house we loved was a cozy and beautiful home. We loved everything about that house. It was a typical Florida home with stucco and painted white with a lime green trim all around. The inside was three bedrooms and two baths, a Florida room, living, kitchen and dinette and a fabulous 14 x 39 foot screen porch all across the back with a lovely wooded view. It had fan windows in three rooms, which I loved. It was exactly what we dreamed of.

Within a few months we realized although the house was perfect and we did love it, it was not the neighborhood we needed. We needed friends. We had neighbors who spoke and waved,, but weren't interested in being more. No socialization with one exception. A single gal with two adorable pups who became and remain our Florida family. So glad we met and even gladder that we are still friends and within walking distance yet.

We put our perfect house on the market in August and started looking for our new community. The decision was quickly made that we would go to a 55 and older manufactured home community. Now, which one. There are many here in this general area.  

Located directly north and adjacent to our subdivision was the one we chose. We were going to move a few blocks by foot and a mile or so by car since no road connects the two communities.
The exact house would be determined by what was available when our home sold, which I believed would be soon because, well, it’s perfect.



It sold in October and we closed on Dec. 4 and moved into our new manufactured home on Dec. 4, 2015.

Our forever home (?)

Let me say here that I do not recommend moving twice in one year. It’s not fun. It’s not exciting. It’s not a new adventure. It is, however, exhausting and downsizing a THIRD time in a year is emotionally more than one should attempt.  

Leaving Michigan, we sold and gave away nearly half of our furniture. We moved the three bedrooms we would need and all of Momma’s furniture, our dining table and chairs and our recliners and a couch. We moved all of our end tables to sort here if they weren't all needed.

We got rid of nearly everything from the kitchen and baths that wasn’t going to be needed. Sorted towels by matching ability to new house and tossed or gave away the rest. Tossed, sold  or donated about four comforters with matching sheets etc because I didn’t want to use the limited storage for such things which could be replaced, if needed later. Kitchen utensils…from Momma’s house and ours were divided and cut to what I thought was bare essentials. Knick  Knacks were only moved if they held sentimental value to me. Momma was gone just two months and some things could not be left or given. Some things were needed even if they were not to leave a box once the move was completed. 

Downsizing again 8 months later…really tough. Lots of tears. The couches both had to go. Wouldn't work here. The recliners, wouldn’t work here. One, Momma’s recliner was coming and her wooden rockers, two, were coming. We bought a new couch and chair for this living room.
Tables…we had Momma’s on the porch and ours in the dining room.  Momma’s wouldn't fit here, we needed round. Ours came. Two beds came, Momma’s stayed in the house for new owners daughter. This kind of made me happy and sad all at once. 

Tossing, donating until we had everything here that we needed and what we couldn’t easily store, eventually, got donated, sold or tossed. It simply had to be done. It was draining. 

Other than the couch and chair, we bought virtually no furniture for this house until I figured out a way to fit in some shelves for photo albums. I cannot let go of those.

So here we are a year later…in this year we have made new friends and joined many social activities here at the park. We have some truly lovely people around us and we love this house. We put in a brand new kitchen and guest bath and new flooring in the guest room, bath and kitchen. We would still like to put new flooring in the living and bedroom, but nothing urgent.
We added on to our very small back porch and it is now a beautiful 12 x 20 and we practically live out here. We added vinyl windows so the cooler temps don’t send us inside anymore. It’s the best thing we could possibly have done here. This is our forever home, we hope.

We have made two trips back to Michigan this year. We will be spending July there each year as long as we are able to do so. We have a small travel trailer that we store and then park at Holiday Shores. We have time to visit with everyone who wants to make time for us and all the family did so this year; we hope they will again next year. It’s the perfect set up for us and Miggy.

(Oh, Miggy…our beloved Jake, the rat terrier of our hearts for 15.5 years, passed away in September and we adopted a Chihuahua/rat terrier from the humane society. He chose us right away and has held our hearts every since. Miguel Jose Heroux turned three, we think, on Sept 30 this year and we are so very blessed with this crazy puppy love.)

baby Miggy


And while all of this seems overwhelming…okay, it kind of was…it was all worth it. We had our typical Florida house, now we have our forever house, maybe. One never knows what He has in mind for one’s future so I’m keeping my options open.

New porch, tree, Miggy, Brie and Bella with us


Happy New Year all. Peace and love to all and my dear Lord, please keep a hand on our new President’s mouth and a whisper in his ear from time to time. Guide him to a most successful term, for all of our sakes.

Jo


Friday, November 11, 2016

Veteran's Day 2016

PAYING TRIBUTE TO MY HEROES.

Annually I write something about the brave, selfless women and men who enlisted, or were drafted into, the military and then served their time for us. For us to be who we want to be, here in this country of diversity. For us who have done nothing to protect our shores from invasion or attack.

I write these articles because it is what I am able to do to show, not only how much I appreciate their time, service, their dedication and sacrifice, but also to remind others to show respect. Reminding my fellow Americans to do something that makes a Vet's life a little better or easier. Remind us all to say the thank you that might stay inside our head when seeing a Veteran going about their everyday life. Maybe go ahead and buy that cup of coffee or lunch or dinner, if you have the means to do so. Maybe just walk a few steps out of your way and extend your hand. A smile and mouthing the words "thank you" from a distance, yeah, that works, too.

I think about how much these Vets have given us and how honored they all say they were to be part of their military arm and how much better their branch is than the other branches and I am humbled. Always humbled. 

Do you understand that they have given themselves, body and soul, to our government for the service years? Do you know that once a soldier, sailor, marine, coast guard or air force, ALWAYS being that? It is a life long membership. They deserve to never be in need again. They deserve medical care, the best available, for life. They deserve to never go hungry or homeless. We, American citizenry, have to do better. 

Maybe President-Elect Trump will be able to make strides in this area. Maybe he will do what we've mostly wanted and mostly failed to provide. I pray for that.

So my friends, my enemies and you strangers out there...please take some time today and beyond to  do what you personally can do to show respect, gratitude and honor to the women and men who have served you so proudly and so honorably. We cannot hope to actually equal what they've given us.

May this day find all Veterans a show of support and gratitude for all you have given and continue to contribute to America, our country owes you so much more than we are giving. I hope this continues to get better as we focus on your needs.

Submitted with my highest respect and most humble gratitude,
Jo

Thursday, November 10, 2016

It's Over~Day 2 of President-elect Trump

The election is over. The decision of America is in. Well, the decision of the populous was Hillary, by 300,000 votes, but the electoral, the legal decision is Donald J. Trump by a large margin. Looking at the map, it's very, very red with blue tiny accents. Done deal. It does again open the door to how we make the electoral college really reflect the voters choice. Or possibly amending the constitution to dissolve this antiquated method of vote counting. It won't be the first time in recent history that much talk persists and likely little action will follow. We are a slow country to change anything constitutionally connected. That's a good thing, I believe.

As a pantsuit supporter I was dismayed and maybe more shocked to see all the Red. I was not happy. I was, and remain, concerned about our national security and our image around the world. The future is never obvious, even when we think it is, but in this case, it's just a blur. 

Will President Trump be the man who spoke so perfectly giving his acceptance speech? Will he be the focused and dedicated man the office requires? Will he see that working with Congress is not always easy, but necessary? Will he understand being President isn't a Dictatorship? Will he use those great negotiating skills he's bragged about to get things done or will he try to bully his way through? Will the almost humble man who met with President Obama today, be our new President?

So many more questions. No answers. Only time will tell.

I want him to do well. I want him to govern with dignity, which I now have seen he can show. I want him to lead this country forward not backward. I want better healthcare for all. I want college that's affordable to all who work hard and want it. I want a strong military and I want great support from our generals from whom Trump can learn. I want our country to be safe for immigrants, for LGBT, for blacks, for hispanics and for everyone! I pray this man will embrace these things and do all he is capable of to achieve these goals. I also want financial balance. I believe he can achieve this, if he applies himself. I hope he does.

So I am convinced today, as I am supporting with all my power of prayer, our new President, that his need to succeed and his need to be the best, he will be a good and maybe even a great, the greatest President we've ever had. In his own mind, if not the world. I'm hoping it's the world, though.

Praying for the USA...join me?

Jo


MY FAVORITE VETERAN 2016

Hi Baby Boy,

Yep still. Never gonna change. I gave you life and you are always going to be my baby boy. I couldn't be prouder to say so. You are a man most mothers would never stop talking about, lucky for you I am just such a mom. I'm sure my friends all think you probably have a halo, you don't, but it's okay if they think you do.

This day is always so very special for me for so many reasons and this year as the past two years, I am a bit weepy remembering how much Grama talked about you and worried about you while you were serving. Remembering the trip she and I made to watch you graduate on this very day in 1970. Orlando felt so far away until we arrived and saw that taller, older, so mature young man walk toward us, unrecognized by us, I will add here. When you smiled and we knew you, it was awe inspiring. Unbelievable. Our mutual pride had to be visible. That kid we had sent off two months earlier was indeed a man. I can still see you sitting with us over lunch and pressing the crease in your uniform pants as you spoke. 

A man well on his way to becoming a motivated and capable man of honor.

Today, I am so thankful your time in service wasn't more traumatic than it was. And it was traumatic enough. Your time was filled also with some exciting travel and experiences that you would likely never have had, otherwise. Who gets to hang out in Japan for a year? Who gets to visit Hawaii on the government's dime? I'm grateful you had some good experiences and even more grateful that your "Gulf" time wasn't worse. 

I am so proud of you today and I am still so thankful that you served your country with such honor. I love you.

The Navy part of your history is such a huge part of your today and I can't thank them or you enough.

Walk tall and walk proudly, my handsome son, with all the gratitude I possess.  I am truly a proud Navy Mom.

😍

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Momma's 2nd Angelversary

Two years ago, I said goodnight to Momma as she headed down the hall to bed. I told her I loved her and I'd see her in the morning. She replied in kind. Our final goodnight, love you, see you in the morning.

I, nor she, had any idea.

For two years I've wondered how do I do this? Who am I now? It's all about me.

It used to be all about her.
And then...
My life changed beyond my wildest imagination since that night.  We've lost our teen-aged furbabies. Sadie at 13 passed three months after Momma. Jake at 15 passed 8 months later.

  • JAKE

SADIE

We moved from Michigan to Florida and then moved again 11 months later.


We adopted an adorable little guy from the Humane Society, Miggy a few days after Jake died.
 MIGGY
Miggy & Me

So many changes and so much adjustment. Roomy and I are strong. We are happily settled now and this retirement community is our home. Likely, our last home. The friends we have here are snowbirds, for the most part, but we have one friend from the sub and a couple from our street that stay year round with us. Good friends are a treasure.

Going to bed tonight will be sad. No question. I will stay up past 2, which is when she passed in my arms and next to my heart. I seldom go to bed before 1:30, which is when I retired that night, but not tonight and not very often since.

One thing I now know to be true. All the firsts of the first year of grief are unbelievably difficult.  The second year those days are even more difficult because life did go on without her. Life changed and the good days outnumbered the weeping days, but "those" days are reminders of the finality of it all. Realism sets in. It really is like this now. It will always be like this now. She lives in my heart now. She lives in the choices I make. The life I choose. The love I share. She lives in all those things, all those things she taught me or showed me. I am my mother's daughter is so many ways.
Momma & I

As long as I am walking this earth, I will miss her every day. I hope soon to miss her with more giggles and fewer tears.

The greatest of love breeds the greatest of grief.

Jo

Friday, September 2, 2016

It's All About Respect

The football player, not standing or the Olympic athlete not putting her hand to her heart during the playing of the National Anthem is a topic of discussion for several reasons.

1) People judge other people by their own standards.

2) People are raised in different environments with different moral codes and different standards of conduct.

3) The Flag is a symbol. The Anthem is a symbol. Not everyone views either as sacred. Not every American feels patriotism is measurable and certainly not by your conduct around these two symbols. Some feel your conduct is paramount. Most feel it strongly on either side.

Thinking it all comes down to respect. More than freedom, more than propriety, even more than tradition, respect.

Don't you notice in our country that respect is evaporating? Once respect was given to all until or unless they caused it to be withdrawn. 

It was taught to us as children that respect was given to elders, people in authority and all uniformed personnel. It included police, teachers, ministers of all faiths, neighbors, parents, family, veterans, active service personnel and pretty much to everyone who had not dishonored that respect. Do you remember those days? Those talks from your parents or grandparents? Do you remember being told to address people as Mr., Mrs, Miss or ma'am or sir?

Do you remember, "Do unto others...?"
Were you taught, "Please, thank you and may I?"
How about, "Excuse me?"
Did you ever hear, "Do not interrupt, wait until ___ is done talking, please?"

Simple manners. Simple respect.

Now all I hear is that respect is earned! It's not a gift given freely. It's what you receive when you give it. 

Really?  Because if I can only give it to those from whom I have received it, how does it start?

The Flag has a code. If you haven't read it, I suggest you do.
You can find it here:

It states among it's list that one's hand should cover one's heart during the raising or lowering of the flag. This is what was happening at the Olympics as the Anthem was being played and the hand over the heart is appropriate. Many people don't know this. They should.

Second on my subject list is the standing for the National Anthem.
No question in my mind here. It is to be done, if physically possible. Not only standing, but standing straight and tall and respectfully, with your hand over your heart. 

That one is my opinion. 

Here is the code:

Okay so those are the codes. These codes are meant to unify our actions and create respectful conduct towards our country and all the freedoms we enjoy. The freedoms, which are not and never have been free. They are freedoms that many have fought to preserve and many have died to protect. Our codes simply give us a way to share respect for that.

Now...why all the outrage when someone doesn't follow a code in a public forum? Because they are, in some way, representing the very country they are disrespecting. 

Yes, failure to know and follow the codes is disrespectful. It shows a lack of understanding about the country in which we thrive, or struggle. We get it very wrong sometimes and we get it very right sometimes. We are a work in progress and we will progress, these United States.

You want to protest? That's great, but find another way. Sitting through the anthem or not placing your hand over your heart is only making you look disrespectful. It's not helping your cause. Better yet, get off your ass and DO something to affect change.

And to those who think these symbols are just symbols and not deserving of a salute or any special treatment, I say research the National Anthem. Find out where the words Francis Scott Key wrote came from. 

You can find this here:


The symbol is the flag and the anthem is the flag's symbol. That flag IS much more than a hunk of cloth clipped to a pole. It is American pride and American respect.

I pray that one day soon we will all wake up and realize that respect is only to be given without conditions. It is to be withdrawn when one presents themselves are undeserving by actions and words of hate and evil.

It'a a hallmark of humanity to respect each other and our countries. It does make a difference. Hearing people say that they don't pledge allegiance to anything is disheartening to an old woman like me. This country has been kind to me. I have no other country to run to if this one throws me out, yet, I have no desire to find one. I am home. I am a proud American and that flag will always command my respect and my allegiance.

and this...
https://www.facebook.com/AmericanStrong/?pnref=story

Ready to hear your take on this very hot topic...ready?

Go....

Jo






Friday, July 15, 2016

A Month in Michigan

We've been in Michigan a month visiting family and friends.  It's been a great vacation, weather-wise and in almost every aspect. The campground is awesome. Friends have been made with each new camper who has moved in near us and the privacy is nice. We're both really happy with this purchase and this campground. Holiday Shores personnel have been most helpful in absolutely every way possible. Five stars for them!!

We've had at least one day each week with no "dates" to allow for laundry and other errands as well as just enjoying the campground and campers. That has worked out well.

We have spent time with all of our family members except my beloved sister, who is expected this evening. They were out of state for a while, but are home and ready to socialize again!  It'll be a good evening with them, no doubt.

We've seen many of our old friends and had some quality time with them with a couple more planned before we leave. Each one a treasure for their own reasons and a reason to return each year.

Being here this long has reminded us how much we love Florida. How not living IN drama of family relationships is just easier. Our life is drama free in Florida. It's really just us and friends. We still communicate with family and we still love each and every one of them, it's just that we aren't in the mix of any spats or squabbles. It's good to be loved without drama.

Retirement for us has been a real mixed bag. We have lost Momma, Sadie and Jake, the pampered furbabies, we sold our beautiful home and bought another beautiful home which we sold eight months later and have now settled in our manufactured home in a senior development, (read trailer in a trailer park) where our neighbors are mostly just like us. They are mostly in Florida with children in some other state or the west coast side of Florida. We have Friends there. Good people. Like we had here, just newer friends we are still learning about. We are happy, relatively carefree and Miggy, the new furbaby, keeps us grounded. Sometimes literally because he has separation anxiety and can only be left alone in his own house, it appears, without spazzing out. Good neighbor babysitters make an occasional day trip, possible. They come over and take him for walks and then return him to his safe place, which is our bedroom.

As we make preparations for heading to Nashville on our way back home, we are patting ourselves on the back for having the nerve to pack it all up, sell it or junk it and simply start over at ages 66 and 77. It wasn't easy, but it has been the absolute right thing for these two old hippies. Life is good in Ormond Beach and visiting the old hometown for a month in summer is has been perfection, almost.

Reservations for July 1 through July 31, 2017 have already been made!  Well be back, Good Lord willing and the creek don't rise.

Jo

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day 2016

Year two without Momma on a special day that was all about her. Her birthday in October and this day will always be difficult, but get through them, I will.

I remember all the years of cleaning up my little ones and heading to Grandma's for a few hours. Never considered not going. It was HER day. I would declare the day before or even the day after, as MY day. It worked because I was a daughter first. I remember with great warmth and so much love, the last several Mother's Days with her at our house for the week-end. My brother and sister-in-law drove from Indiana or Illinois for a few hours with her and my sister came for a while to celebrate our mom. She would sit and enjoy the day, outside, if possible, while we waited on her and visited with each other and her. Sometimes the kids would drop by, sometimes not. It was always Saturday Mother's Day because of brother's having to travel. Then Sunday, it would be Momma, me and Mike unless one of the boys came by, which they sometimes did. Mike pampered us both so we shared the Sunday Mother's Day.

Being a daughter was mostly just pleasure. Mostly just enjoying being there for her as she always was for me. Sometimes it was difficult to know what to do and when to step back because I wanted to help her stay independent and healthy and sometimes she just wanted to sit. I realize now, that wasn't a bad thing. We should all get to choose and if sitting is the choice, so be it. Long life isn't always such a good thing.

Moving to Florida means Mother's Day is a day of Roomy and I finding something to do that brings me peace. The ocean. This year we are in Michigan getting our little trailer set up for a monthly visit next month and once a year after. One son is at the KY Derby! One worked late nights a couple times this past week so he's likely busy making up for two evenings he wasn't home. So it's Roomy, Miggy, Cody (sons dog who is at the Derby) and me. No ocean.

So I'm sitting here with Miggy curled onto my leg, Roomy and Cody on the patio,sipping my coffee after delivered breakfast from Nick's has been shared. I'm thinking of my 47 years of motherhood and my 64 years of daughterhood. I have such a wonderful "book" of memories from both. I have these responsible adult children that I love beyond measure and you know what? My life is good. This day is tough but also very uplifting.

The quiet, the peace that now fills my days is something I used to dream of. It's a reality now and to my core, my soul, I am such a happy human that I hardly believe it myself some days.

The losses are so real today. The heartache so strong. The tears have already found release a couple of times, but at the heart of it, the blessings win. The smile returns. My heart knows peace.

Thinking of Momma, the kids, the grand babies...all with smiles and too much love. Blessings each and every one.  Happy Mother's Day to us all.

Jo


Monday, March 7, 2016

CLEARING MY MIND...

A few things that have been clogging my mind.
A clogged mind needs to be purged.
Purging now…

Abortion

Pro-choice means to me that we don’t legislate against the procedure which terminates a pregnancy. It means that women who become pregnant are free to legally seek advice and medical help with any complications or concerns and are free to make their own decisions in the first trimester. After month three, I’m not so firm on it still being a choice, so I draw the line there. That is my own line, my own level of acceptance for freedom to choose to carry or abort. I do not see why anyone else should have a say, except the man who impregnated said woman and only then if it is not the result of rape, whether incest or not. In those cases, no rights to the man at all. I do believe the sperm donor, if by consensual sex, has rights. Those rights being to take the child at birth and have full custody. Of course, he must also support the woman financially throughout her pregnancy and follow up care.

Pro-life…To me, this term is bandied around without the full understanding of the connotations of being pro-life. I’ve heard people choose to say “pro-birth” and that is more appropriate if one is anti-abortion, but not pro-food stamps, medical care and housing programs for the mother. The child, once born must also be provided with a home, food and medical care and we cannot expect this mother that we forced to give birth will be able to do all of that on her own. If we are pro-life we must also be pro-child welfare. The welfare of these unplanned and many unwanted children is our responsibility if we remove abortion from the mother’s choice list. Seems only logical. Then again, I believe we are our brother’s (and sister’s) keepers. We are morally responsible for helping who we are able to help when we are able to do so. It’s simply the right thing to do. Where the government fits into all of that is that the government is us. We provide the provider. We pay taxes to provide for those who cannot provide for themselves. Ultimately, those collectors must become the providers. If the welfare system is working correctly, the recipients are able to gain a skill and earn full time livable expenses in time. Michigan is a good example of how that can work. I believe the welfare system there is pretty near right. You collect and you go to school or work part time and you make a better life for yourself and your children. You work to break the welfare cycle. Pro-life means we have to try. Pro-birth means we make woman carry full term and either give up or raise the child on her own. A recipe for disaster.

And I have a problem with the standard biblical backing and the abortion is murder argument. I have been pregnant. I didn’t “know” my child at a minute from conception nor at the two month mark, but I wanted my babies and by three months, no movement nor heartbeat detectible, I “knew” my babies. I wanted them and I loved them. That is how it is when babies are wanted, but when they aren’t planned nor wanted, I’m sure it’s quite different. I’m sure there is sorrow and sadness and doubt. I’m certain that woman who was accidentally impregnated is not loving and planning, but rather crying and fretting about her future and how and what she could possibly do for an unloved child. How her life will be changed for the next 9 months AND even if she gives the baby up, for the rest of her life. A woman never forgets an abortion. It changes everything much like having an unwanted child except without the extra person suffering for her mistakes. I don’t pretend to know how one lives with that decision, to end a healthy pregnancy, but I do know that some woman have no other reasonable choice and will have one whether legal or not. Whether her life is at risk or not, she will end the pregnancy before to her mind, it is a child. I am not judging. I am not deciding for anyone except myself. For me, it would not have been a choice. But I won’t make that choice for anyone else.

Planned Parenthood

None of the Federal or State funds in the planned parenthood budget are spent on abortions. None. And less than 3% of their patients are seeking or getting abortions.

The centers are the only free medical care for many women in poor and under poverty level worker homes. Homeless women can get care from them, nowhere else. Women’s unique medical needs are met there without lectures. 

They will be sorely missed in small communities where they are the only free clinic. The only birth control providers at small or no fees. They are important. Shutting them down or defunded them is atrocious. It is inhumane. We must take care to protect our women who have no place else to go.

Also feels wrong to me that the same people who are anti-abortion are also anti-planned parenthood. No birth control might lead to a much bigger abortion tally, no?

Gay Marriage

It has been sanctioned by the Supreme Court. It is legal in all 50 states. No churches are being forced to provide weddings that are not welcomed in their church. It has not, nor will it ever affect the sanctity of traditional marriage. It is two of God’s creatures who fell in love being given the legal rights they deserve. 

The Bible teaches man and woman. Not man and man nor woman and woman. Really? It also teaches multiple wives. We don’t recognize that as legal. We don’t stone nor otherwise kill adulterers, yet the Bible teaches that. The New Testament, the books written after Jesus has come, those books are filled with lessons of love and acceptance. Full of Jesus teaching us to love our enemies as our neighbors and if we ignore the least of mankind, we ignore God. He is in each of his children, not just the Christian-church-goers. 
God makes all kinds of humans. Lots of colors, lots of builds, lots of people from many countries where values and religion are much different than here in the U.S. But somehow, the right wingers think only the Christians are the saved and valued ones. How can that be? Why would that be any more credible than, say, the Jewish faith? Jesus was a Jew, no? He was likely not a white Jew. He was dark skinned. Many of our good Christian brothers today would shut the door in His face in a heartbeat, were he to come begging at their door. He would leave bewildered and saddened. He loved all of God’s children and He begged and commanded us to do the same. The people He made gay, He made gay. Period. Did He make a mistake? I don’t think so, just another of the many differences He created. Since I never chose to be straight, I have to assume my gay friends and family never chose to be gay, they may, however have chosen to try to act straight because it was easier. Since gay people seem to know from childhood that they are attracted to their own sex, I cannot believe it is anything other than God given. The lesson here is that God made us all and we all must love each other if we are going to call ourselves Christians. We can’t pull out a few things we want to believe from the Book and hang our hats on that. We have to take it all or leave it all. I think it’s fair to say that Evangelicals have for the most part, created a very judgmental arena. One where they teach their children to be careful with whom they mix. Be careful who’s fight they take on because you will be judged by the company you keep. The Lord doesn’t want you to take up with a thief, after all.

I pray all the time that somehow the sadness of this world will soon be enlightened. We are all His children and we all need the same things. We need acceptance. We need love. We need to be able to live our lives in freedom as long as that freedom doesn’t infringe on someone else’s rights. Gay marriage is an excellent example of that. Saying it is sinful and wrong and that they don't deserve nor should they be given rights of opposite sex marriages, infringes on their rights. Their marriage infringes on no one. It is their right and their legal marriages give them the same rights the man-woman marriages have had for many years. It’s the right thing to do.

Accepting all people for who and what they are should be our goal. No need to judge. Understanding and compassion and respect are grossly missing in this world where we live today. I am so disheartened by all the Christianity I hear and see that causes pain to innocent people who also are loved by and love God. 

If you remember that calling homosexuality a sin and that they are condemned to Hell for being who they were born to be, does hurt them. Saying that you love them, but don't want them to be married, that hurts them. It makes them less important than you. It causes pain to people who mean no pain or heartache to you. It does nothing good, it only hurts.
You cannot love someone, but believe they are not quite as good or pure as you are, that isn't love.

Racists and Prejudice

Sick to my stomach over both. The color of your skin or your heritage is just that. Nothing more. It isn’t who you are. I am sick of hearing blacks tell us that we don’t know because we’re white and have white privilege. Okay, not arguing, but ya know what? Most of those out screaming that we don’t know, don’t know either. They have lived only in their black communities and been fed black speak about whities and crackers and how all of us hate them and want to keep them down. How about we all just take a step back and consider what is really true.

Some white people are horribly racist. Dislike all blacks for no other reason than that they are black. Hate all Asians because they are not white. Hate all Jews because, Jews. Muslims, add them to the list now, too. Yes, indeed these people exist. Sadly they also have children and teach them the same. This will continue until it becomes unacceptable by everyone. Once these people cannot function in our world and cannot gain new members, they will cease. So let’s stop giving them power. Let’s stop being afraid of them or pushing them aside. Let’s just ignore their hate and if we find they are among our circles, let’s not allow them to foster their beliefs any where near us and instead insist they respect all of God’s children or leave our group and then pray for their souls because they are doomed, they need prayer.

But having said all of that, most of us crackers are not concerned with your skin color but do find your unintelligible speech difficult to understand. We do find the underwear showing scuffling around with attitude off putting. Why? Because it you think you are showing us how cool you are, in fact, you are just showing lack of class and lack of education. Stop that. Walk like a man. Talk like you have been educated. Act like a man. A man of color with pride. Be respectful to your friends and co-workers and show respect for elders and if you’re a man, show respect to women. Your skin color is not the issue, your behavior is. Don’t believe that? Talk to some of your own friends or family who have not fallen into the ghetto style and who have probably many less incidents with white people treating them “like scum”. 

This world is full of so many people who are not white. Being white is a minority if you look world-wide so if there has become a society of entitled white people, how did that happen? It’s been 50 years since the riots. In that 50 years have you taken advantage of all the rights your grandparents fought for? Have you studied hard to get scholarships for which you had preferential treatment? Did you better yourself or wallow in pity? I am not accusing, just asking. I know just as many white people, Asian people and Indian people who are not living to their potential, but they aren’t whining that they can’t. They just won’t. I’m a believer in working hard and earning your way and if you do that and are still beaten down, then you have a bitch. Then you can cry “racial card being played here” and it would be legit. And if that happens. take action because that is illegal.

Police

The thin blue line. Like any profession, there are are some badass police that should never have passed the academy nor should they ever have a gun. True, no question. However, for each of them there are hundreds of good dedicated officers trying to serve and protect. Trying to take care of you. Keeping your neighborhoods safe. This requires you be honest with them when questioned. This requires you tell what you saw or know. If you don’t you are the problem. If your neighborhood is frightening and you won’t tell what you saw or what you know about the problems, don’t expect any help from officers who are putting their lives on the line just to answer your call for help when you don’t answer their call for help. You want safe neighborhoods? Keep your eyes and ears open and when there is trouble HELP the police get to the root of the issues. Help them get criminals out of your neighborhood. Yes, it really is up to you to keep your babies alive..

Get stopped and mistreated? How much is your fault? Did you show respect? Were you forthcoming with info the officer needs to protect himself? Did you have an attitude because you were innocent? Was it really racial profiling or did you break a law and didn’t see the cop? Not to say it is always the driver’s fault, but I’ve seen a good number of videoed stops where I see nothing but disrespect toward the officer and then screaming when someone dies in a situation that did not need to happen. Sometimes it is the victim’s fault. Sometimes it’s the officer’s over-reaction. Sometimes it isn’t a black person, but you won’t likely see those videos. They don’t seem to be of interest.

Donald J. Trump

Never did I think I would have such a strong opinion about a man I once admired. I admired his ability to create skyscrapers and fancy casinos and apartment buildings for the wealthy in New York and around the world. I admired his blunt speech and his obvious wealth. His foreign and beautiful model women, (three of whom he married!) intrigued me. The Celebrity Apprentice show was my first look into who he really is and I didn’t like that person. I was not impressed with his narcissism and his mean spirit. I stopped watching about half way through the first season. Never looked in on it again.

I will admit to laughing and being excited when he said he was running for President. Not because I thought he would be good, but because I looked forward to seeing him humbled by the rejection I was certain he would face once voting began. I was looking forward to seeing how he blamed stupid American’s for his loses. I never, ever thought he’d win one primary let alone now 15, I think. I am no longer entertained, I am frightened beyond description. I have listened to hours of his speeches. I have read everything I can find on how he is succeeding. I am baffled that my country is filled with such voters who will actually try to give him the power over our foreign relationships, the nuclear weapons, the healthcare, the tax department. This man disrespects women regularly,  even at his campaign stops! He disrespects latinos and muslims…not some, not a lot, all of them. Fascist? Racist? Probably both, but add to that list war monger because he is all about “bombing them all; bombing the shit out of all of ‘em”. He insists you bomb the oil and the homes and you win. He’s all about winning. He is winning. He has such a following that I’m not sure anyone can stop him at this point from becoming the Republican candidate, but even worse, if he isn’t the Republican candidate, I believe he will run anyway. He is going to be President, in his mind, regardless and doesn’t really need the parties support. I’m not sure he’s wrong.

I do believe with his ego, his mouth and his complete lack of class, which money cannot buy, he would bring the war to our shores in no time at all. He will piss off enough foreign leaders to bring bombs to us. I am petrified to think about how many of our allies will jump ship. Putin will be his friend and I don’t know what that might lead to. 

All in all, he has offended everyone except white straight men. Yet his crowds are growing daily.

I don't know how I feel about any of this. Honestly. I am afraid of him. I am unsure of him. I am sometimes even in agreement  with him. That scares me, too.

That's a little bit better...I mean writing things out does help. But I am so unsure about so many things right now, which does not make me mellow. I like mellow. I need to settle a few things, one way or the other.



Anyone else? Anyone else looking for answers? Clarification?




Sunday, February 21, 2016

It's Your Turn

Hello...

I have not been here since the Holidays! I have no idea why I am not blogging more. I do have things I share on my page, some pretty boring, but still, that kind of is my life. I'm okay with that, by the way. 

I'm here now and I want to share something that really isn't about me. It's about you. Yep, YOU; my reader(s). There might be more than one, not sure because the comments here and on my page have dwindled considerably from what they used to be, but I'm good with that. See, I do get a count of how many "readers" or "clickers" I have, so the comments are more about knowing someone liked it or didn't like it enough to tell me. Bonus!

As I sit and type my thoughts or my happiness or my pain or confusion, I often think that maybe someone else will share that moment. That someone else might need to know they aren't alone. You might be the one I touched or supported or you might be the one to lift me up or smile with me. That's my goal.

So today I am fresh off a reunion with some people I really enjoy seeing once a year! I will add that I'd love to see some of them more often, but logistics limit us to the once a year visit. It's a long drive for us, about 2.5 to 3 hours, traffic deciding, but once we are there, it sure feels worth it. Re-connecting and laughing and remembering and catching up...reunions are just plain fun to me. And this one was no different. I always leave wondering how it is that we still have some connection with zero, in some cases, communication between these things?

The question for those of you who wish to play along, is simply this...

Do you enjoy or would you enjoy monthly, weekly or annually re-connecting with people you knew in your teens? Most of whom you haven't seen in say 20-40 years? Would that stress you out or would you embrace that get together?

Your turn...tell me your story...