August 30, 2007
You see, I will remain the "nice customer" without getting excited or upset, because my revenge is much more effective. I'm also the customer who never comes back. A "nice customer" like me, multiplied by others of my kind, could just about ruin a business...and there are many people like me around. When we have been pushed far enough, we go down the street to the competition.
He laughs best who laughs last! I laugh when I see you spending your money frantically on advertising to get me back...when you could have won me, and kept me as a customer with a few kind words, and a smile.
Okay, okay...I guess I can wake up now...all of that is just a dream, espcially in this day and age. Maybe, a few years ago, in another time, it may have been like that. The cold hard fact now, though, is that common courtesy has gone by the wayside for the most part, and good luck to you if you think going down the street to the competition makes any difference at all. I'm speaking, of course, of the merchandising business.
Hopefully, it is different when it comes to other services, such as your medical provider. I think that they will think twice if you take a stand there...they've got an awful lot to lose for sloppy services rendered--like maybe a license to practice, and a whole bunch of money!
Everybody's got it all wrong. Angels don't wear halos
anymore. I forget why, but scientists are working
on it. Olive, 9
It's not easy to become an angel! First, you die.
Then you go to heaven, and then there's still the
Flight training to go through. And then you got to
agree to wear those angel clothes. Matthew, 9
Angels work for God and watch over kids when
God has to go do something else. Mitchell, 7
My guardian angel helps me with math,
But he's not much good for science. Henry, 8
Angels don't eat, but they drink milk from Holy Cows!!! Jack, 6
you up to heaven. The main subject is where
you went wrong before you got dead. Daniel, 9
When an angel gets mad, he takes a deep breath
and counts to ten. And when he lets out his breath, somewhere there's a tornado. Reagan, 10
Angels have a lot to do and they keep very busy.
If you lose a tooth, an angel comes in through your window and leaves money under your pillow.
Then when it gets cold, angels go north for the winter. Sara, 6
Angels live in cloud houses made by God and
his son, who's a very good carpenter. Jared, 8
All angels are girls because they gotta wear
Dresses and boys didn't go for it. Antonio, 9
My angel is my grandma who died last year.
She got a big head start on helping me while
She was still down here on earth. Katelynn, 9
heal sick animals and pets. And if they don't
make the animals get better, they help the
child get over it. Vicki, 8
What I don't get about angels is why, when
someone is in love, they shoot arrows at them.Sarah, 7
August 29, 2007
I read something recently about the UK removing The Holocaust from their school curriculum. It proved to be a rumor...a hoax. It was said that it was being done so as not to offend their Muslim population. Even so, there are still those who deny that the holocaust ever happened--Iran being one of the most vocal about it. Radical Muslims are not our friends--they've made that quite clear. Their one passionate goal is to see that all infidels--that being anyone who is not of their faith--are wiped from the face of the earth.
During that horrible time in German history, over six million Jews, and several millions of others, including Russians, those of Polish descent, Christians, and others who were considered inferior, perished. They were massacred, burned, starved, and stripped of all human dignity, all while many were pretending that it wasn't happening.
It did happen, and more and more, in order to be politically correct, we are bending our own convictions, and giving up some of our own rights, so that those of the Muslims, and others are not offended-- and we, as a country, are just going along with it-- in much the same way that Germany went along with what was happening in that country.
Several years ago, I met an elderly man who had survived the holocaust. The tattoo of numbers was still visible on his forearm. Each time I saw that, I felt a little sick...at that, and at the still troubled, fearful expression in his eyes.
Edmund Burke, (1729-1797) an Irish orator, philosopher, and politician said, "All that is required for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing."
I don't want to forget that it ever happened in my friend's country, and I never want what caused that look in his eyes, to happen in mine.
August 28, 2007
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others,you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
August 27, 2007
All this stuff about school starting back, and all the writing and talking about it, has stirred up one of my memories about it...well, about school, anyway.
This was one of my first grade experiences, a few years past Eugene the Traitor, and I was in love again. His name was Micky, and he had a head-full of platinum curls, and he is the type, I'm sure who grew up to be some kinda goregeous hunk! But I digress.
Micky was in love with me, too, because he told me so. We declared our love, in a note, passed from one desk to the other, until it reached its intended destination. It was printed by Micky, on a scrap of notebook paper, and said, I love you. Do you love me. Put yes or no. It had two lines drawn, one for "yes", and one for "no." With trembling hand, I printed "yes" in the designated spot, and sent it back from whence it came.
In school, in those days, in all classrooms, , the first order of business was to say The Pledge of Allegiance, and The Lord's Prayer. It didn't take long at all to learn it by heart. It was especially easy for me to learn, because I just loved words--hippotamus being the very first one I learned to spell, long before being old enough to go to school. But, again, I digress.
One morning we were saying the Pledge of Allegiance, and The Lord's Prayer. I always closed my eyes when we said The Lord's Prayer, but this one morning, I opened my eyes, for only a second, to get a glimpse of Micky, and there he was staring right back at me. I blushed with pleasure knowing he was looking at me.
When the prayer was over, I heard Micky, "Miz Whiteside! Miz Whiteside!" he was yelling,and waving his hand to get her attention. "What is it, Mickey?" she asked.
"Miz Whiteside, when we were saying the Lord's Prayer, Janice didn't have her eyes closed!"
My heart was pounding, and I couldn't believe my ears! Micky, The Boy of My Dreams, was telling on me! I could feel the heat in my face, as I dropped my head in shame, thinking that I sure never wanted to look at him again!
"Micky," came Miz Whiteside's voice of sheer wisdom, "if you hadn't had your eyes open looking at Janice, you wouldn't have seen that her eyes weren't closed." I just had to look up so I wouldn't miss his moment of humiliation, too. Needless to say, that was the end of our romance.
Thinking back over some of my experieces in love at such a young age, I realize now, why I had to kiss so many frogs before finally finding my prince.
If they would just stop to think about it, they would realize that considering all of the extenuating circumstances, that it's a good thing.
August 26, 2007
Jesus has a very special love for you. As for me, the silence and the emptiness is so great that I look and do not see, listen and do not hear.- Mother Teresa to the Rev. Michael Van Der Peet, September 1979
The past few days, I have been reading about Mother Teresa's crisis of faith.
Well, it does come, somewhat, as a surprise, but I have my own view of this.
I think she exemplifies the true meaning of faith. In spite of her feeling of the lack of it, and not feeling the Lord's presence, apparently for several years, she continued on in the work that she felt that she had been called to do. I think that is a true test of faith...never feeling His presence, but staying faithful anyway.
Who knows but what she would have become puffed up and proud, considering all of the accolades which she received during her lifetime? She, according to what I have read about her, was one of the most humble people in the world. But maybe, if she had not begun to have doubts about certain aspects of her faith, if she always felt nothing but joy in the presence of the Lord, perhaps she would have lost this humility.
If we are honest, we all will admit to times of doubt, even though we may deny it to ourselves, and others. That usually happens during some awful time in our lives, or in the lives of our loved ones, but then when things get better, our faith returns (it never really left) and we bask in the realization of the goodness of God, and we are okay again.
I think that she may have been suffering from depression, undiagnosed, and not aware of it. She was surrounded by poverty, pain, and suffering on a daily basis. It was something that she could never get away from. She was bombarded with the needs of hurting, and suffering humanity, and I'm sure that she felt overwhelmed with the vastness, and intensity of it, and she must have felt hopeless...but that is not something that she could allow others to see in herself.
I think that the fact that she wrote letters to Jesus, mentioning her lack of faith, spoke volumes about this woman. The fact that she questioned herself, to me, shows just how humble she really was.
Did her faith really leave her? No, I don't think so.
I know that there are times of confusion about the people and events in our lives. We will always have our times of sorrow, and anguish, and we feel as if life might as well be over, because there is no hope. There are times when happiness seems to elude us like a flitting butterfly, but try to look at it all in perspective. Just keep reaching for tomorrow. It's still there.
August 25, 2007
August 24, 2007
When Mama remarried, she was working in another state, and I was living with my grandmother in Georgia.
I remember when Big Mama told me that Mama had gotten married, and they would be there in a few days. Mama got married! That meant I would have a daddy. At last, a daddy! I could hardly contain my excitement...it was all I could think about, and I must have asked Big Mama a thousand questions about him, but she knew no more than I did.
At last the day came, and Big Mama and I were standing out in the yard, looking up the dirt driveway that led up to our house. Finally, we saw them coming, walking up the road, having walked from the bus station in town. My heart felt as if it might burst! There was Mama. My little short mama with the shining blond hair. And next to her, a tall, handsome man with curly dark hair.
They were walking with their arms around each others' waist, and I just started running toward them as fast as I could run! When I got about halfway there, he knelt down and held out his arms to me, and I ran into them, and he swung me up in the air, putting me on his shoulders, a leg hanging over each one, and he carried me, laughing that laugh that only Daddy could laugh, the rest of the way back to the house. From that second on, he became my Daddy until the very second he died--while I was holding him.
There was an Indian Chief who had four sons. He wanted his sons to learn not to judge things too quickly. So he sent them each on a quest, in turn, to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away.
August 23, 2007
August 22, 2007
At this point, you give up. You're soaked by the spewing water and the wet toilet seat. You're exhausted. You try to wipe with a gum wrapper you found in your pocket and then slink out inconspicuously to the sinks. You can't figure out how to operate the faucets with the automatic sensors, so you wipe your hands with spit and a dry paper towel and walk past the line of women still waiting. You are no longer able to smile politely to them. A kind soul at the very end of the line points out a piece of toilet paper trailing from your shoe. (Where was that when you NEEDED it??) You yank the paper from your shoe, plunk it in the woman's hand and tell her warmly, 'Here, you just might need this.' As you exit, you spot your hubby, who has long since entered, used, and left the men's restroom. Annoyed, he asks, 'What took you so long, and why is your purse hanging around your neck?' This is dedicated to women everywhere who deal with public restrooms (rest??? you've GOT to be kidding!!). It finally explains to the men what really does take us so long. It also answers their other commonly asked questions about why women go to the restroom in pairs It's so the other gal can hold the door, hang onto your purse and hand you Kleenex under the door!
Around the corner from the house, which would probably have been Main Street, there was a little grocery store. Hedgepeth's Grocery, or something like that. The people who owned it seemed old to me then--a lot older than Mama, anyway.
I loved that store. Besides shelves of canned goods, and such, they also had display cases filled with lots of pretty things, like little appliqued handkerchiefs, and trays of home-made candy. I went in there, everyday, either because Mama or Big Mama sent me to get something, or just to visit.
One day, while passing by, they had set stuff out in the front of the store, like fresh vegetables, and fruit. I spotted big bunches of bananas, which I just loved, and stood there, picking out the one I wanted. When I had done that, I took off running with my banana. Not running away, but running toward home, all excited at the thought that they were giving away free bananas.
On the way, I met Eugene. Eugene was the love of my life. He lived next door to us. We were going to get married. My mama, and his mama said we could. In fact, Big Mama had a long under-slip that I was going to use for my bridal train. When I tied the straps around my head, in front, the rest of the slip trailed over the back of my head, and down in back, reaching the floor. I was already learning how to make my princess tiara by tying the stems of clovers together, making a circle big enough to fit around my head. They said that we should get married in front of Big Mama's fireplace, but since it was summertime, we would have to wait until it got cold, so we could have a fire in the fireplace, and it would be much prettier that way.
I was so happy to see Eugene, until he said, "Ohhhh, you stole a banana." "No, I didn't," I said. He said, "Yes, you did, and I'm gonna tell your mama, " and ran off in the direction of his house, where my mama was visiting his mama.
Now, I was really scared! I didn't think that I had done anything wrong, but Eugene sure did, and now he was gone to tell Mama. I knew I had to do something, and fast. I went looking for a place to hide, and found it, under Big Mama's bed.
"Janice!" Mama called. I could hear her walking through the house. "Janice Louise, where are you?" I swallowed the last of the banana, and squeezed the empty peel as close to my chest as I could get it.
"Here she is!" The edge of the bedspread lifted. And there was the face of The Traitor, formerly my Future Bridegroom, looking right at me! "Come out from under there...right now!" That was the voice of my mama. I didn't move, or say a word. "Get out from under there, you little heifer!" That was a term of endearment, but not in that tone of voice. I started crying, and then sobbing, as I slid from under the bed.
"Did you steal that banana?" I shook my head. Then what are you doing with that banana peeling?" I couldn't speak, I couldn't stop crying. "Well, then, c'mon, you're going with me!"
She grasped my hand firmly in hers, and said, "You're going to go tell Miz Hedgepeth what you did, and you're going to pay her for that banana!" We stopped on the way out, to grab the little hankie, in which was tied my entire life's savings...about five or six pennies.
We went marching up the street, and around the corner to the little store. I was crying so hard, and my face was hot with humiliation. When we got inside, Mama said, "Janice, tell Miz Hedgepeth what you've done." I couldn't speak. Since I couldn't, Mama was glad to. Placing the empty banana peel on the counter, she said, "She stole this banana."
"Why, is that what this is all about? She didn't steal that banana, Sarah. We saw her when she stood there and picked it out. We wanted her to have it." Oh, the love that emanated from my little heart to hers! She knew that I didn't steal it!
Mama still tried to pay for it, but Miz Hedgepeth wouldn't allow it. With that, I took Mama's hand, and we went marching out of the store, right past Eugene the Traitor.
The next time that I went by the store, Miz Hedgepeth called me inside. "Come in here, Janice...I have something for you." And with that, she opened the glass display case, and took out the tray of her home-made potato candy. She took a piece, and placed it my hand. My cup of happiness was running over! Now, I knew for sure that I had been exonerated! That candy must have sold, at least, for two or three pennies! I thanked her, and ran out, popping that whole piece into my mouth, at once, and savoring every moment it took to melt away.
I was just going to say, "Who says crime doesn't pay?" but if I said that. you might think I really did steal that banana!
Oh, and Eugene The Traitor, formerly known as my Future Bridegroom? I don't know whatever happened to him.
August 21, 2007
The Garden of Eden was in Iraq.
The cradle of civilizatiion was in Mesopotamia, which is now Iraq.
Noah built the ark in Iraq.
The Tower of Babel was in Iraq.
Abraham was from Ur, which is in Southern Iraq.
Isaac's wife, Rebekah, was from Nahor, which is in Iraq.
Assyria, which captured the ten tribes of Israel, is in Iraq.
Babylon, which destroyed Israel, is in Iraq.
Daniel was in the lion's den in Iraq.
The three Hebrew children were in the fiery furnace in Iraq.
Belshazzar, the King of Babylon, saw the "writing on the wall" in Iraq.
Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, carried the Jews captive into Iraq.
Ezekiel preached in Iraq.
Peter preached in Iraq.
The "Empire of Man," described in Revelation, in the bible, is called Babylon, which is a city in Iraq.
Israel is the most mentioned nation in the bible, the second most often mentioned is Iraq, however, Iraq is not the name that is used in the bible.
The names used in the Bible for Iraq are Babylon, the Land of Shinar, and Mesopotamia.
Mesopotamia means "between the two rivers," more precisely, between the Tigris and the Euphrates Rivers.
The name Iraq means, "country with deep roots" and is a very significant country in the Bible.
No other country, except Israel, has more history and prophecy associated with it than Iraq.
The symbol representing America is an eagle, which makes this verse from the Koran, the Islamic Bible, rather interesting:
Koran (9:11) For it is written that a son of Arabia would awaken a fearsome Eagle. The wrath of the Eagle would be felt throughout the lands of Allah, and lo, while some of the people trembled in despair, still more rejoiced, for the wrath of the Eagle cleansed the lands of Allah.
And there was peace.
Another irony? The particular verse in the Koran, 9:11
Just something to ponder.
A reader brought to my attention that the informatiion, while implying that the verse quoted from the Koran refers to the military action in Iraq, that it is actually a hoax.
Here's the link: Koran 9:11 refers to the war in iraq?-Fiction!
August 19, 2007
My aunt, her mother, is still grieving over the death of her daughter, even though it has been nearly eight years, now. That's because she feels in her heart that it was not due to natural illness, but that it was something that was done to her, and now she has no way of ever finding out the truth. No closure.
My mother had five brothers, and two sisters. Only one sister survives, and all the rest, except for one older brother, died within two or three years of each other, including my mother, who died six years ago. At the funeral of my cousin, another of my young cousins, Butch, said that it was too bad that everyone got together only at funerals. Eight months later, his dad, my Uncle Seals, died. Six weeks after that, Butch died suddenly. In a span of two years, after the death of my mother, one of my stepsisters, a stepbrother, my favorite sister-in-law, and two very good friends died. They've all been on my mind lately.
Two years ago, a young cousin drove his pickup to his favorite place, high up on a mountain. He climbed into the bed of the truck, and sucked on a hose he had attached to the exhaust. It was in the hot summertime, and they didn't find him for five days. No one knows why. No closure.
This past June, a thirty year old cousin, was found dead of an overdose. Ironically, she had been to the same doctor who was in the news lately concerning the wrestler who killed his wife and son. She picked up her prescriptions that day, and she was dead the next morning. Her death is still under investigation. No closure.
What is that really--closure? Does it mean that it's okay that someone died, they are dead and gone? Does it mean one has come to terms with it, and accepts it for what it is, a final farewell, at least in this life?
I had one real brother. By that I mean that he was not a step-sibling. The thing is, I never really knew him very well. When my parents divorced, my dad kept kidnapping him from my mother who was awarded custody, and in those days there was no such thing as Women's Rights, so there was nothing she could do about it. So, I didn't ever see my brother until I was fourteen years old, and he was a stranger. Many years passed before I saw him again, and he was still a stranger.
When our mother became so ill, and I was taking care of her, he started coming around, pretty often. Soon afterwards, his wife divorced him, and I didn't see much of him, but talked to him, daily, on the phone.
When we moved up here, four years ago, we still talked daily. One day, he mentioned that he had been to the doctor, and had some tests, and they had seen something on an xray, and the doctor thought that he might have cancer. He smoked five packs of cigarettes a day. He joked about it, just the way he joked about everything. He said that he was about to take a trip on that long black train, or something like that, referring to a song .
The thing that I had found out about my brother was that he could either tell the truth about something, or a lie--it didn't much matter. So I didn't even know if what he said was true.
A few days went by, and he didn't call. I called him, and his phone had been disconnected. I didn't know his address. I didn't know his friends. I did everything to try to find out what had happened, and always came to a dead end.
The last time I had talked to him, had been in April that year. In February, my husband got a call from his company's headquarters. They said that they had a phone number for his wife to call.
I called the number. It was someone who had known my brother. He told me that my brother had died the day before. He died of lung cancer. It seems that he never went back to the doctor that April, and then he became so ill that he went to the hospital on that Friday in February. They sent him to some kind of hospice facility the next day, Saturday. He was dead on Sunday.
His friend said that he had gone there to see him, and asked if there was anyone that he needed to call, and he told him no. He asked him if he didn't have a sister, somewhere, and did she know where he was. He asked if he wanted him to call his sister for him? He told him that he had just talked to me that morning. He asked him if he wanted him to call a priest or a rabbi, and he told him no, and became angry and told him that he had better not call one.
I don't know why he told him that...I don't know why he didn't want me to know anything about anything that was happening to him. I don't know anything except that he was almost penniless. I do know that I would have tried to help him. I do know that I gave his friend permission to scatter his ashes on our mother's grave...because that is what he wanted. He wanted no service of any kind...only to be cremated. I complied. That was the only, the final, thing that I could ever do for him. Doing that, for me, was closure.
August 18, 2007
This is a sketch that I did of the Kelly Mansion when I visted there.
August 17, 2007
It'a really sad about the miners in Utah. It's sad about the ones trapped inside, but the tragedy has intensified with the deaths of the rescue workers who were trying to save them.
There is no comfort in words, not for the survivors of those lost in the initial accident in the mine, nor for the families of those whose loved ones lost their lives trying to rescue them. So far, three of the rescuers have died, and six are injured.
It is said that life is but a vapor, and I guess it really is. It is also said that there is no greater love of any man, than to lay down his life for his friends.