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Showing posts from 2010

Awake

I remember my first exposure to what is now loosely defined as liberalism. I was maybe about eleven or twelve and we had gone to a relatives' home for dinner. Their son, a young man just finishing his first year of college had come home a few weeks before. The story the man told, was related by my father on our way home. Apparently, their son came home from college and, now being totally 'enlightened' threw out all of the meat in the freezer and the liquor in the cabinet. My Dad was incredulous. Obviously, I take after him.

In my young mind, this was puzzling. While their household was fairly affluent, our experience was that of need more than not. My Dad had been injured on the job years before and was laid up with two crushed knees for more than a year. At the time, my Mom was expecting my sister - a fourth child, so their options were limited. There was little waste in our home out of necessity and it boggled my mind to think that anyone would do this based on a college …

While You Were Out

My, how time flies when your recuperating. It has been entirely too long since my last blog and there has been oh so very much fodder. I have discovered that a rotator cuff repair and a keyboard do not necessarily go hand in hand.

Now, well on the road to healing and moving my arm, I look forward to sharing some observations since my last post.

-We had an election....boy, did we have an election.

-A personal 'battle' with the health care system as it presently exists and why I
believe this new bill will only make matters worse

-And, a new Bishop at the head of the USCCB, a pleasant surprise.

Stay tuned and thanks for checking in!

What A Shame

I witnessed something the other day that I almost missed. It is hard to identify something that has all but ceased to exist. But there it was, in the form of a woman who needed assistance from our office.

After years of working in a non-profit organization, first as a volunteer, now as Director, most of the people we deal with live in poverty. I am always on guard when I feel that I am becoming hardened by those in 'need', taking steps to make certain that my capacity for compassion is not impaired. There are days I have to step back and regroup and remember why I am here and what I believe God asks of me in this position. Some days are easier than others.

Our volunteers who work with these clients are a constant source of balance for me. They are wonderfully loving and giving and are always going to bat for these women, even with their Director who, by necessity, tends to be a bit more judicious in determining need vs. reality. They keep me centered.

So, imagine my surprise when…

Put Asunder

Written in Stone

These summer months with their long daylight hours are perfect for a favorite pastime of my husband and I. We love to explore here in our own State of Missouri, places we haven't seen or been. It is amazing that a place you have lived for all of your adult life still has so many as yet unseen treasures.

In one of these trips a few weeks ago, we came across an area that is known for its geological granite composition. Along the way, there were more than a few places advertising special deal on granite counter tops and other items.

Now, here is where my life gets complicated. The age-old question we deal with in the how-much-is-too-much category. It is a constant battle for me. For whatever reason, I seem to have an eye for style. While I could care less about the latest designer dress or shoes...I cannot seem to pass up a new home design magazine.

Through those glossy pages, I find a fresh outlook. Not only on interior design--but on life in general. There is no doubt that …

Equipment Failure

I just got finished with one of my favorite rites of summer.....out on the deck early in the morning watering my plants which are finally looking robust. No better way to start the day! Finally, it is just as it used to be....before we had an 'equipment failure'.

For the past two or three years....I have been fighting with a hose that leaked, and a sprayer that absolutely had a mind of its own. But, you know the drill: hate to spend the money, these do work--you just have to figure out how to work with them in their peculiarities--maybe when they go on sale at the end of the season--and on and on. Finally, I took the matter into my own hands....marched down to the local store and purchased a new hose and a new nozzle. I felt so accomplished!

Then I remember, we have been down this road before--enter--the MOWER!

We live in a mostly rural area and are blessed with about six acres. Of those, we mow about two acres...around trees, gardens, a basketball court and the 'natural prai…

Waiting

We were just about to begin a marriage preparation class. Only four of the fifteen couples expected where present. With not enough time for my husband to do his 'walk-about', he opened the class with prayer. As we finished introductions and started the video session, he went out looking for the other eleven couples.

The parish in which these classes take place is right in the middle of a small town. The parish buildings are divided by streets. Granted, it is not an easy place to find where our classes are taking place. There are, however, bright signs that we post on the outside door and on our vehicle, hoping to give some direction for those who are coming who are not familiar with this town.

Now, I realize that this is not where these young people necessarily want to be; but they are obligated to participate, as they have chosen to be married in the Church. We always remind them that we, too, have other things to do...the only difference being that we have seen wha…

Slipping Away

Yesterday, we had a farewell get-together for our pastor of nine years who has been transferred to another parish. Nine years? How did that happen...and where were we? We began to hear stories of the things that have happened since June, 2001. It was a wonderful celebration of both progress and everyday matters of survival of a small, rural parish school. We were reminded that it is the little things that often have a big impact on others' lives. We would do well to remember that every day.

The celebration drew about 225 people in a parish of only about 450 families. It is, I believe, the best of our parish. People taking time out to come and say 'thanks' for selfless service so often exemplified by our priests. It was a wonderful day and a wonderful send off.

Perhaps the whole thing made us a bit sentimental. When my husband and I got home, we talked about the fact that the entire time Father had been here, we (and I do mean 'we') were preparing for the D…

The New Manna

We are almost at the one year mark since our contracting business took a nose dive...right into that pool with the rest of the contractors that have also been unable to avoid the sweep caused by this financial meltdown we are experiencing. Tough times.

Our particular business began the year we married--1977--not necessarily by choice. My husband was working for someone and could no longer handle the personality differences and left that job. So there we were. Married all of one month and we were off to the yet unknown world of the self-employed. Mind you, his new bride had known nothing but 'white collar', 'salaried' work in her life experience to that point. None-the-less, we were undaunted.

I have probably learned more from being a hands-on business owner in construction than all other life experiences combined. I've learned you do not do vacation during the 'season'--which is vaguely identified as somewhere between the ground-is-too-frozen-to-dig …

Backing Up

Beep, beep, beep.....I really need to have one of those back-up beeper things on my car and I expect that some day, my husband, purely out of a deep concern for my well-being will get me that for a birthday or Mother's Day or Christmas. He's practical like that.

In the immortal words of Raymond in 'Rainman'---'I'm an excellent driver...' --except when I am backing up. Now I don't get in trouble every time I back up, but the few fender benders I have had always involve the little 'R' on my gear shift. So much so it has gotten to be a little family joke---very little.

Backing up can be dangerous. In my most recent episode, I was backing into a parking place, precisely because I was again in what I consider the funkiest parking lot ever and I always worry about backing into a rather large, poorly placed stone wall. So, by backing into a parking space, I can just pull out and go. Sounds reasonable. Too bad the woman coming into said parking lot at tha…

Under the Radar

Everyone who knows me knows I am passionate of all things political. It, to me, is a most interesting study of the human condition. As I write this, I am channel surfing to all the news that is news about the primaries happening today in Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Arkansas. The Tea Party has had a big victory in Kentucky with Rand Paul and the others are still not able to be called.

I find it humorous that this Administration blows off the defeat after defeat after defeat for his party as something they are 'not paying any attention to'. Right. What is interesting is the White House and those minions surrounding this President and pressing toward their very socialist agenda have something far more catastrophic to worry about, and they are clueless. It happened this weekend.

For years I have listened to Evangelical Christian radio. Though I consider myself a devout Catholic, I owe much to my brothers and sisters in Christ that provided a medium that put the meat on the …

Sending Forth

Be serious. Graduations rank right up there near root canals for me....and probably for most of you.

We attended our son's graduation in Chicago this weekend from Columbia College--an 'arts' school in the heart of that city, in case you are not familiar. What a surprise! We arrived for the 10 o'clock ceremony at 9:00. That was the best hour we spent in a long, long time! There was a stage for the jazz band on the floor; stages 'suspended' on either side of the main stage. One sterling performance after another....timing, flawless. Talent, incredible! The lighting, sound, and talent all performed and choreographed by students and faculty of the school.

An energy flowed through that place. We had our 11 month old grand-daughter who was absolutely mesmerized. Unfortunately for them--the graduates don't get to enjoy this--they were back in the staging area in the parking garage preparing for their entrance. And enter they did! How many graduates …

Road Trip....

We head for Chicago this weekend for our son's graduation from grad school! When did that happen? Wasn't he a kid just yesterday? Indeed. Time moves so quickly we seldom stop and live the 'moment'. For me, the road trip is the only way to do that.

For one thing, you can't really rush it. The drive between St. Louis and Chicago is, shall we say...less than inspiring....and it cannot be rushed. We will leave early so we have plenty of time to stop at a couple of favorite small towns along the way; a couple of antique shops just to see what's 'new'-- savoring the moments that allow us to be lifted up out of our circumstance of daily living one mile at a time.

It is on those trips that my faithful companion and husband of almost 33 years and I find the time and space to dream. Dreams of the future...plans 'full of hope' that our Lord has promised us in the scriptures. Somehow that is difficult to do when we are at home. For us, home is both the place …

Something wicked, this.....

I had a conversation with a friend last week that got me thinking. She mentioned that she had been to the pro-life march in D. C. in January. This was not her first trip, but this one seemed different. She felt that the group she traveled with was edgy and one mishap after another was happening. When they arrived, she felt a palpable heaviness there. "It was 'evil'", I suggested in a even tone--not necessarily because of where she was, but because I have, on many occasions, experienced that same feeling. She looked at me as though I had read her mind. That was exactly how it felt to her...and she just did not want to call it out. Not a surprise.

Why are we afraid of that--calling evil for what it is.

For those of us who are believers, it is certainly not because we don't, at some level, understand the basis of it. I believe the real reason is that we are afraid of being dismissed as being a little over zealous in our beliefs. Sadly, people feel that way with good…

Tea for Me

The streets will be teeming with protesters in 80 cities throughout the country on behalf of the poor, beleaguered illegal aliens. Yawn. What else is new. Good thing they are a peaceful crowd--unlike those 'violent' tea party protesters. The Obama White house called out the swat team to handle all those hooligans sitting in lawn chairs across where the President was speaking this week in Quincy, IL. Overkill? No. The White House is painting a picture for America....and there are far too many of us that ask no questions, just believe.

Check out some of the 'dangerous' folks on Michell Malkin's site: http://michellemalkin.com/2010/04/28/riot-polic-called-in-to-protect-obama/

If I didn't pay attention to blogs....I would never have heard about this. Apparently FOX had something on it. Guess I missed it.

I will continue to follow my grandmother's advice to treat all people with respect. In return, I expect them to play by the rules--no matter how difficult. We wil…

The Prize; The Loss

Okay. So, not having prizes in happy meals will prevent obesity; pink ribbons will cure cancer; and it is racist to ask anyone for their ID/papers in Arizona. I learn so much with each and every news cycle....it's frightening.

Arizona has taken this on because the Federal government is too busy making our every decision for us (eg healthcare, the cars we can buy, the homes we can build, the LIGHTBULBS we use....) to take care of what is constitutionally one of their few obligations--protecting our borders & defense. The arguments against this new 'bad law' have been astounding. Several had the very same one. "The crime experienced is only a small percentage of illegals in the state." Seriously. You can say that with a straight face to the family of Robert Krentz who was killed on his own property--shot along with his dog. Heartbreaking. Was Mr. Krentz an 'acceptable loss'? That 'small percentage' the people in Arizona shouldn't fu…

Undaunted

As this recession (or depression, depending on which side you are on in the joblessness of it all...) drags on, all around me I see signs of people getting back to basics. The basics of love, that is.

In the past two months, three upcoming weddings have been announced; two nieces and one son. All are on tight budgets. All are planning to wedd within a year. All are every bit as enthusiastic as my husband of 32 years and I were when we were planning our own. What a timely and refreshing reminder of what really matters.

Through this last year plus, gloom and doom seem to prevail all around us. At least that is what the news and commentators would have us believe. But the reality of life is....it goes on. With or without money; with or without jobs; with an eye toward a future as bright as any of us have ever dared to dream. Aside from the vagaries of wedding planning, there is a palpable calm to all of these couples...and a sense of wonder at how this love can so color their wo…

It was night.

John 13:30 (the betrayal....)

Has anyone yet caught on that our President likes to do things in the dead of night?

With the majority of the country against him, the house of representatives rammed through a healthcare bill that will cost us dearly. We continue to be blinded by our prosperity, however. And, until such time as we see this affect our 'bottom line'....we will remain largely silent. Pity.

As with my children who where all teenagers at the same time--why must we always learn things the hard way? Human nature I suppose.

Judging by the 'hits' this morning of people looking for who voted which way---this is not over by a long shot.

Let the games begin.

We The Needy

In the beginning...wait, I think that's been used before!

When you are passionate about both politics and faith, conversations can be hard to come by. Thus, a blog. In the days to come, I hope to articulate my frustration with all that is swirling around us in these days of 'hope and change'. More importantly, how all of this deadness in our culture relates back to the weakness in matters of faith.

How did we get here? I hope to point out how our 'neediness' has brought us to this precipice.


This should be interesting.