Monthly Archives: September 2016

Jurors Wanted: Deaf or Barely Alive

Okay. Today my son brought me a letter saying I was being called for jury duty. I should have gotten it a month ago, but they sent it to our old address. I glanced through it and called the number and told them that I am seventy-nine, can’t hear very well, and can’t remember anything for over two minutes, if that long. They said they would give me a hearing device and a pad and pencil. If I had medical issues, I’d need an excuse from my doctor.
I decided that I would think a while about which medical issue I might use: Trips to the ER for sudden excruciating pain from needing a knee replacement, suddenly not being able to stand up because of pain from a herniated disc with a bone spur, an over active bladder and a spastic colon causing panic attacks when further than five feet away from a bathroom, dizziness and nausea if I turn or bend too quickly, a tendency to suddenly fall asleep mid-afternoon no matter what I’m doing, a need to stand and stomp my right foot repeatedly when it gets horrible cramps. Or perhaps the most effective excuse would be frequent attacks of gastritis.
I thought I didn’t have to report until next Monday. Friday about lunch time, something prompted me to reread the letter and I discovered I had misread it. I had to report before 4 pm today or be fined $500. Well, my doctor leaves at noon on Friday and my penmanship isn’t quite bad enough to pass off as a Doctor’s.
I had been house cleaning in my pj’s, so I had to get dressed. On the way to the Courthouse Annex in Charlotte, I cheered myself up with the possibility that I might avoid the whole house cleaning issue for weeks, if I got put on a jury. After swearing to various things at the courthouse, I was sent home with an information booklet on how to be a good juror. However, the mental picture of a jury of peers, now that they don’t excuse anyone before their expiration date, had me laughing all the way home.
Picture every few minutes one of the jurors turning to the next and asking in a loud voice, “What, what did he say?” And another one stage whispering, “What is he on trial for? I can’t remember.” And then one squinting and shouting, “Is that there the criminal in the red tie?” Then every thirty minutes there would be a whole line of jurors taking Tim Conway baby steps all the way to the bathroom. Testimonies would be punctuated by phone alarms signaling times for medicines. Off and on someone would start snoring during a long testimony, waking with snorts and mutters when another juror jumped up and started stamping a cramping foot. Of course with this age group, there would always be a good chance that someone would grab their chest and fall over.
And, at a certain length of time after eating lunch, a mass attack of gastritis might actually clear the court.

The Gold in the Golden Years

One of the blogs I follow touched on this theme this week and brought this post to mind. I needed to remember this right now, so thought someone else might also.

Laughter: Carbonated Grace

From the poem Time on the blog: poetry, photos, and musings, oh my –  by lea

Whatever time is left

Use it up

Wear it down

Regardless how thin

The fabric becomes

It is rich with the sounds

Of laughter

Salty with tears and


This excerpt from Lea’s poem describes my life at seventy-six perfectly.

On Wednesday, my ninety-one year old friend Barbara, who is on a walker from a painful hip surgery, admitted her despair from feeling useless. But as we shared lattes with a younger friend, who lives with a slow growing cancer, we laughingly imagined walkers like baby walkers and crinoline skirts to hide them, perhaps even small secret porta potties built in. Then, in the parking lot as we attempted to help Barbara into the van, somehow she got stuck bent over half way in. We tried to gently boost her backside without hurting her…

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What Can Albania Teach Us About Trust

I don’t know my history well enough to judge the degree of authenticity of this, but I found it interesting.


Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για albania turismoAt a time when refugees are being turned away at borders all over the world, it seems that there is a lot to learn from Albania’s penchant for hospitality.

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So, Which Is It?

Reblogged on

Source: So, Which Is It?

“Warning! It’s Monday. Pity Party Ahead

And then comes the morning, yesterday’s sorrows behind? Maybe, maybe not.
I thought my faith would grow stronger and it would be easier in old age with less needs, children grown, more wisdom. Well, it ain’t necessarily so. Many days it’s a struggle to just stay physically functional. Wisdom seems to have only come about seeing how I screwed up in the past. Too soon old, too late smart sums it up. Grown children have troubles I can’t fix and that I worry that I caused somehow. I have more dead friends than alive ones and the ones I still have are also struggling. I find myself facing the probability of living alone for the first time in my seventy-nine years of life. I love my grandchildren more than life itself, but have no say about what happens to them. And physically can’t do things for and with them like I used to enjoy so much. And people, that I have grown to love, leave and don’t look back. And while I know these are necessary losses and part of my journey with God, on the days when I can’t see His footprints, it’s a struggle to stay emotionally functional. I quit crying some seventeen or eighteen years ago, when dealing with heartbreak over grandchildren born facing incredibly hard problems, because I thought if I ever let myself cry, I’d never stop. I was right. I’ve cried so much lately, I should be dehydrated.
I never was very good at persevering through things. I usually was good at finding a way around or out of them. About thirty years ago, I felt that God was challenging me by giving me a new name, “Perseverance.” I did realize even then, that this wasn’t necessarily good news about my future years. But, I have learned with grace, to persevere. I have even learned to laugh while gritting my teeth. (Not easy on any level 🙂 ) But sometimes, I just don’t want to. Today is one of those times
But, I will. I will grit my teeth, hang on with my fingernails, and be thankful for all the beauty, love, and joy God has given me in my life. And with Her grace, I will dig for that damn pony in all this manure. 🙂

 Addendum added four hours later:

OKay, in an attempt to look on the brighter side of things today: Getting into pain from vacuuming means I can only manage one room’s floor before sitting down a while to get out of pain. This is good not only because a rest does get me out of pain, it also gives me a time out to go on-line.

And in my time spent today preparing for my women’s scripture class tomorrow, I read the funny little story about Jesus needing two tries to heal the blind man, because after Jesus tried once by putting saliva on his eyes, the man still couldn’t see other people as being like himself. It helps to know that people who don’t have natural empathy for others, may eventually be healed and acquire it. But, I haven’t figured out the significance  of using saliva yet!  Unless it means that spitting in someone’s eye doesn’t do much good. 🙂

So, this Monday has had goodies to balance the baddies. Thanks be to God!!!

The Commandments: Humanity’s Keys for Survival/The Beatitudes: Our Handbook for Freedom to Love

I’m pretty sure that law and the concept of sin and consequences were created to try to help us live in the groups we need to survive and prosper. Society is a two edged sword. It keeps us from having to do everything for ourselves from fighting off wildlife, planting, harvesting, to creating clothes and shelter, thus giving us time to think, create, explore, and ask questions about the why, not just the how. But, since humanity is a work in progress…..the old adage, that there’s both a goody and a baddy to everything, holds true for society. Society helps us survive physically, but it also challenges us to learn to love.
The commandments were first of all, simply practical. The laws were aimed at keeping us alive, both as individuals and humanity, long enough to become loving. Whatever the Intelligence called God is, that created and nourishes life, it lives within each of us. It is a source of grace to become more loving, than competitive and combative. And we are like cells in a body. Each of us not only affects those closest to us, we affect the whole for better or worse, even the generations following us.
Self-honesty and understanding, rather than guilt, are the beginning of learning to love. And those take courage and grace. The divorce rate makes it obvious we haven’t become enough like Jesus to even love those closest to us, never-the-less those different from us or even “against” us. The commandments are the basic tools of survival for society. But, Jesus showed us the next level through teaching and living the spirituality of the Beatitudes. They call us beyond the fundamentals of the Commandments and just survival. They call us to freedom, the freedom to love others.
Caring is prayer. Prayer is in the intention, whether expressed in words, thoughts, feelings, candles, symbols, acts of kindness, or forgiveness. There is power in prayer. But both wisdom and love are needed to use the power for others, to understand that all creation, without exception, is one.
Jesus is a turning point in humanity’s journey. He fleshed out a love that sacrifices for not only the weakest physically, but the weakest spiritually. This is not survival of the fittest.
His resurrection also illustrated that this life span isn’t all there is. Jesus is the living example of the potential of God’s grace even within our own humanity.
His resurrection shows us death is simply a door to eternity. When we believe this, it gives us a very different value system than death as the finish line. And His openness and love for all show us the way to overcome the finality of death.

The Spirituality of the Beatitudes (Paraphrased)

The Beatitudes: The Handbook for Becoming Free to Love as Jesus Loved

Laughter: Carbonated Grace

The Beatitudes Describe Spirituality rather than Religion or Law. The word ‘blessed’ is translated here as receiving grace.
The Beatitudes
Graced are the poor in spirit for they are not filled with self, so they are able to be open to God.
Graced are those that accept the pain of loss for they will find the Comforter within instead of seeking an escape.
Graced are those who do not need to own or control anything, for they are free to enjoy the beauty of everything.
Graced are those who know and regret that they are imperfect, for they are free to accept Jesus as their righteousness.
Graced are those who recognize the log in their own eye, for they will seek the love of God and become able to love the unlovable.
Graced are those who are focused on God, for they will find God everywhere.
Graced are the peacemakers…

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The artichoke heart

Beautiful analogy. You never know where you will find golden nuggets of truth. This is one.

The Silent Eye


When I was growing up in Yorkshire, all those years ago, there were many things one read about in cookbooks but did not find in the local greengrocer’s shop. I was 25, living in France and pregnant when I met my first globe artichoke. I had seen the tinned ones, artificially preserved and nothing like these fresh ones. My husband brought them home from market, and I recall wondering at the time how on earth one cooked them and, looking at the huge and scaly thistle buds, why anyone would choose to do so.

My husband, an excellent cook himself, took pity on my ignorance, explaining that young buds could be eaten whole, but the bigger, older ones took a bit more work. He prepared them in his favourite fashion… boiled till tender and served with a whipped vinaigrette. He demonstrated how to eat them, pulling off the individual leaves…

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Hiding Places and Safe Places

Grown ups have hiding places,
ones where we hide
from ourselves.
The bottom of a bottle
is a traditional favorite.
Toxic relationships are another.
In those, we can just focus
on the “other.”
Conformity is a camouflage
of many different colors:
a club, a church, a cause.
But most popular are
roles or titles:
mother, teacher, CEO,
postman, criminal,
priest or “ho,”
even being gay.
You see, sometime long ago,
we hid our patchwork
selves away.
But a hiding place and a safe place
are not the same.
Safety only comes when we have
nothing left to lose,
are not clinging to any idols,
or hiding behind an image.
Only then, when all else fails,
do we finally explore
the darkness
And coming face to face
with our real selves,
we find God
and peace.