Breaking Bread

January 19th, 2021

Good morning! It’s a chilly winter morning… in the 20s “up north” as we Miamians used to call it! Now I’m a Lake Placid girl and it’s 50ish and I’m chilly! Keep warm and safe my dear readers!!! This weekend we watched a great football match. Chuck and I have been watching football since the late 60s. He was very interested in the scrambling techniques of Fran Tarkenton whose running skills to protect his own life led to 3 Super Bowls for the Purple People Eaters in the 1970s. At the same time we were watching the likes of Jim Kelly, Bernie Kosar, and the great years of the Miami Hurricanes and Dolphins. Football is often related as a gladiator sport. There is one leader who hopes his team performs to his calls! One leader who can become a legend bouyed up by his team. He can’t perform alone. This weekend we saw Drew Brees and Tom Brady compete. Some people don’t like Brady because he has done some questionable things to win, but he’s still playing and he and Brees share between them some awesome records. Put a ball in the air and, if the right man is at the other end, Score! The game this weekend was tough as I was cheering for both men who could be my sons…! My mother used to do that! “Oh that was a great play!” she would say excitedly! “Mom! that’s the wrong team! They are the enemy!” we would shout!!! “But it was a good play!” Mom taught us a lesson…. it’s the great play we should be cheering!!! Great men are playing here! There will be great plays! Enjoy it! There were great plays this weekend. I loved best when Brees walked off the field and Jameis Winston came to stand off to the side on the line. The trick play resulted in 7 points and made Drew Brees laugh. He needed a good laugh as I think he was hurting. He was playing injured; hit too many times in the ribs.

Today’s reading at Mass was from the Gospel of Mark 2:23: When they were hungry, David left the battlefield to find food for his companions, and he shared the the Bread of Offering in the Tent of Meeting with his companions. Our priest explained that our word companion comes from Cum Panis: “To share or break bread with.” Jesus walked through a wheat field with his companions, and in their hunger, they broke off stalks of wheat to eat. Pharisees complained that they were breaking the Sabbath Law. Jesus advised them to think back to David feeding his men the most sacred bread. “The Sabbath was made for men,” Jesus replied. Give them bread. It doesn’t matter what day it is; they are hungry. Jesus might have had these words in his heart: “Come share the Bread with me,” but the Pharisees couldn’t hear that. When great people meet in conflict, they can’t see each other or the needs of their companions. The Pharisees couldn’t “see” Jesus. Only one man can win. He either eliminates his enemy, or he and his team execute better and win the way. Only one man wins. (So the gladiator Drew Brees walked off the field having lost the combat.) Only one man wins and the other leaves the field of combat.

UNLESS we agree to work together to pool our resources and talents! I’ll bet you know where I’m going with this rather convoluted story! Why can’t we pool our talents and resources? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the group that has been fighting Covid for almost a year could sit at the table and share the bread with the new team? “Here’s what we learned. Here’s what we did wrong. Here’s what we think could be changed, but we just couldn’t get to it.” Don’t slink off! Stay and help. Make one great team for America. But breaking bread, Cum Panis, just can’t be for everybody. Our work often ends in competition and bitterness. One seeks to defeat the other. Watch two children shouting at each other and one slinks off. The other stands there and looks confused or arrogant! The questions are written on faces: “Why did he walk off? What made him so mad? Ha! I got him!” I’m not asking the President to stay. Often the old President meets with the new President and gives him a letter and shares secrets with the new President. That won’t happen this time. He’s too angry. I’m not asking Drew Brees to stay as I think he’s injured. He needs to heal and move on. Same with the current President. He needs to heal. But I am asking for those of us who aren’t out of control angry or injured to work together, to seek solutions for Covid vaccine distribution, for hunger in America and for jobs in America. God bless us. Angels with us.

A quiet space

January 17th, 2021

My friend and I were walking with her beautiful dog Dixie who kept glancing back at us both to make sure we are still with her and to assure us she is with us. Is she listening to our voices? I think dogs do listen to us and are very aware of our moods. As we walked, I watched the dog ambling along in front of us, tail waving in the light breeze. She looks happy. Then my friend said, “I’m so sad about what has happened in our country. We are ripped apart.” I agree with her, we have come to a crisis with the storming of the Capital and the disrespect for places and people of elected position. We talked about the violence and the angry faces we saw on television last Wednesday; so angrily separated. “There is one person who can pull all this together,” she said. …

“Who?” I asked, looking for that one person; the solution to our division, our anger, the damage we are doing to our national beliefs. “Who can save us?”

“Jesus.” She said. “Oh.” You see, I couldn’t see it. Mark (9:24) describes a father of a child with a demon (convulsions) asking Jesus for healing. “if you can…. heal my child.” “IF I can?” Jesus asked…. The man answered, “Lord I believe; help my unbelief.” It’s so hard for us to believe our troubles can be fixed. We are out there trying to make things right. Our lack of faith is a lack of handing things over to God. Let Go, let God. Here I am praying every morning with the priest during Mass, praying every moment I hear or see news about a sick friend. Everytime someone says something awful. Praying. But I didn’t believe it. I can’t SEE it. Instead I think “(the angry ones) “They” can’t see it. “They” won’t listen. There is no help.” Two loving Catholic women dealing with such a tumultuous issue. One of us has such strong faith! I must grab the hand Jesus stretches out and beg him: “increase my faith.” I will watch, and pray, and uplift the Inauguration ceremony this week. I will pray the new administration gets the shots into arms this first 100 days. I pray Biden is not blocked from healing the nation with vaccine. God grant us peace to cure ourselves. If we are dragged down by Covid, how can we expect to move forward with economics, producing food and production of our own materials? Lord help us help ourselves. Angels with us.

Winter is in!

January 13th, 2021

I love listening to the weather channel. The city name for today is Minnetonka. They are going to have a storm of rain and light snow. We watch from central Florida where the sky has been cloudy and threatening, but, quiet and for me, chilly! It’s winter-time and mother nature is having a headache and dumping on the United States. Stay warm dear friends and family, bundle and observe social distancing.

I hope we don’t do the wrong thing with the vaccines. For those of you who know what it would mean to give out more first doses, and therefore stretch out the timing and delay the second dose, pleace speak to government leaders and Fauci. If we need to get the second dose within 3 to 4 weeks, then let’s don’t screw that up! I certainly want us to get the vaccine out, but for heaven’s sake, people, get it right!!!!

The opening prayer at morning Mass today was: “Attend to the pleas of your people with heavenly care that they may see what must be done and gain strength to do what they have seen.” This is a prayer of faith because there are many people who are acting the wrong way as part of the population proclaims. How do we “see” what must be done? How do we know what is the right thing to do? Every one of us must be discerning right now. We are most in need of “seeing what must be done,” and acting with strength, faith, and wisdom. In a sense these are the words the Trump people used at the big rally on Wednesday… Acting with strength meant to some “attacking with strength”. Men and women are acting on different sides, against each other, brother against brother. Families are begging family members to “settle down; tone down the rhetoric.” Worried family members are separated by ideas and feelings. We can’t speak to each other. It is as if we, the United States, is at war. So we pray, “Lord remember your covenant with us; protect us.”

In the Scripture today, (Mark 1: 29), we read that Jesus moved from town to town teaching and explaining the Scripture to a hungry people. Think about the activities he spawned. He sent out his disciples to towns to teach. He told them, if they were rejected, to shake the dust off their feet and move on. Don’t bring the unfriendliness with you. Just move on and carry the news. When the United States expanded west, the press went along and wrote what was happening. First the “news” was carried by the pony express and then it began to be carried over wire so people on each coast could know what was happening. For the most part we were educated about our world that way, by the “Press.” I’m a little slow on the uptake and I don’t remember when Trump began to say “fake news” about most of what was reported. His 75 million followers believed every word he said, and the rest of the country tried to listen to the Press as we always have. He said the Press lies; listen only to him.” Now he is banned from his social medias among them twitter and U Tube. He can’t make his private news for his “pack” of 75 million. When did that begin? When did he start taking care of and speaking only to his “MAGA pack”? When will we be able to restore the Press who tries to speak to 300 million, to all of us? I often switch channels when it is a news day like last week, today, and the next week will be. I go from the ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox channels (7 Press networks) and I also want to see what Newsmax is saying. … I listen to each and try to find some reason,; try to be discerning. Try to find the truth, just as we have to be discerning with “what we see, and what we are supposed to do…” I suggest we let no single voice be our dictator; dictating to us what to believe and do. God be with us and take care of us. God help us vaccinate! Angels with us!

Disagreements among friends

January 12th, 2021

Will you explain why we can’t talk to each other? Will you explain what you are thinking when you say, “I am a Conservative, but you, Susie, you are…” She can’t even say the word! I say, “a Liberal?” My dear, I have fought this name calling for months, maybe years. The name calling corners us, puts walls between us, and gives us definitions that draw lines between us. A line from Saturday Night Live is “I am what I am, Blanche.” or maybe it is “You are what you are, Blanche.” Whatever you are, or what I am, we were friends. What gets our backs up and causes us to yell at one another?

What was Jesus? a Radical? Isaiah 42: 1 describes “my servant.” He speaks quietly, without violence, “a smoldering wick he shall not quench until he establishes justice.” I have watched video of those who “stormed” the Capital last Wednesday… mostly white, painted, wearing fur and camoflage, screaming, shoving, hitting, jeering, laughing. Taking power symbols to use in rituals against those “in power”? Hey, I’m not happy with the Congress who argued for years… and left the hungry and out of work un helped. I’m not happy with the rhetoric that spews from jeering mouths, but I’m not about to yell and scream myself. I am unwilling to steal and hit, to be unreasonable with anyone who doesn’t agree with me.

Instead, we are called to pray for peace, and pray for people who can’t hear the still small voice of angels. Who can’t hear the quiet voices who wish for healing for our country, and healing from Covid. As we entered January, people talked about resolutions. Did we set a mission? Have we asked, “For whom should we pray?” Pray for miracles, peace, relief from Covid. Pray for a plan for Covid vaccination. Pray we get to what must be done and that we get to it. What are we to do? It is not to be violent, rather it is to be gentle, not trampling on flowers, not putting out smoldering wicks. Rather, let us clothe and feed children.

I consulted with my heart surgeon yesterday. We talked seriously about my aneurysm and what might happen, and how it will feel if it happens. I’m doing everything right to live long and prosper, but I can’t make this monster inside me behave. But it’s not probably going to burst in the near future and we will monitor it with another echocardiogram in 7 months. The doctor said, “Yes, get the vaccine.” So I too am entering the line that needs vaccine 1 and vaccine 2. We all are in that line together. According to medical sources, we need both shots, so pray we can get this threatening violent mess straightened out and concentrate on the vaccine. God bless us. Read Hebrew 2:5: Nothing is higher than the Lord; All are subject to him. See that! On this earth, He is peace. God bless us.

Protest through action

January 9th, 2021

I hope and pray the violence stops. Our forefathers had to fight to get rid of “taxation without representation.” But we have representation now. We all vote. What we have to do if things aren’t going our way is protest with our voices and vote to elect people we want. Now the President and probably the Republicans in Georgia say the election was rigged. So what now? What’s now is Action: Rioters need to find the folks who say they have evidence and get hold of them and investigate. We have 4 years to start investigating right now!! Get some computer experts to examine the voting systems. Make some changes that people responsible for the systems agree on. Clean up the voter rolls. Pull the death rolls and compare to voter registration rolls. Get on the teams that work in the voter polls. Get to work! We have 4 years to make changes.

In the next week, Congress will be arguing Impeachment. If the President is successfully impeached, and judged guilty by the Senate, then he will never be able to run for Federal office. We must decide whom we choose to lead us. Everyone of us must decide. Pray for our country. Pray we get enough vaccines to go free! Pray we get some Common Sense to enjoy freedom.

Beloved, let us love one another

January 8th, 2021

When things turn bad, or as some people say, when things turn south, we can only cling to faith, and that feels awfully loose sometimes. Our dear Apostle John wrote in his first letter… “Beloved let us love one another.” He might have added, “no matter what happens.” I couldn’t help but cringe as I looked at the angry faces speaking against the vote result of Arizona on January 6 to the joint assembly of Congress and the Senate. Angry faces speaking words to the joint houses of Congress that there is voter fraud. They have had 2 months to prove their accusations, and finally on the day of a Constitutionally directed “tally” they continue to argue against the American vote. Because I didn’t know they were about to be invaded, I thought the worst thing that could happen was the arguments meant to delay the tally. I said to the television, “You had two months to pull out the papers and stand in front of the nation and ’show the proof,’ yet you only talk and delay.” Then the shouting and shooting started. Angry voices shouting and faces grinning at the destruction they are causing as they smash into the Capital. I’m so sorry people died, but I thank God it ended quickly. I felt the President should have spoken quickly that he didn’t really mean it when he spoke to the 2pm rally. “I didn’t really mean march down to the Capital and …. riot? tear things up? smash windows and invade and try to stop a very solemn Constitutionally directed session. I really didn’t mean it.” Someone might have seen him speaking from the Oval office, and the deaths might not have happened. He just sat there watching the fur and camoflaged covered men and women tearing at the Capital. I looked at the flags, Trump, Confederate and American flags all waved by the crowd. I love our flag. The others, not so much. Quickly it ended. I earnestly hope the responsible parties are arrested, have a federal trial, and be jailed if we can do it. The reason I say “if we can jail them,” is so many people believe they were right and OK. Their own leaders, the President, the President’s attorney, and the President’s son told them it was OK. They have a lot of power behind them. Oh I hope the photos of those jearing, grinning faces inside the Capital count as proof. Enough! Let us transition and have 4 years of taking care of people. Let us… “Love One Another!”

My brother by marriage, my beloved Lee’s brother Bill Baker died yesterday of Covid. He died gasping for breath, intubated, 8 days after he entered the hospital not breathing well due to Covid-caused pneumonia. He died alone and my sister and brother in law can’t go to properly bury him and take care of his estate. Covid. That’s what we need to concentrate on. Get over the ugly invasion of our American dream at the Capital and in Washington DC. Just get over it, and focus and pray for the fight against Covid. It might be helpful to read Mark 6:34 where Jesus is moved with pity for the people looking up to him for answers… He was moved with pity. He fed them with God’s wisdom, with bread, and with fish. 5000 of them he fed. Let us be moved with pity to feed and clothe what in scripture is called the anawim. The small. Beware of planting discord. What will the seeds of evil produce? I have beautiful flowers out in my yard where I planted flower seeds. Plant beauty and watch it grow! God bless us. Let us get to work in prayer.

Who?

January 2nd, 2021

Are you my new neighbor? Are you my new friend? Are you my enemy? Are you the Lord? Who am I? All these questions are to be pondered this second day of the “New Year.” The winter sky keeps many of us sequestered. Covid keeps the rest of us inside, and we have nothing “fun to do.” So how about some soul searching? The first reading today is by St John. John writes that John the Baptist clearly told people, “I am not the Christ… I am the voice of one crying in the desert, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord.’” St. John calls the “other” the antichrist. We have to identify him in our lives. He is a man of lawlessness, he is a liar, he is not “of the church.” (St Paul’s descriptions of him.) The antichrist shakes us and frightens us. We have been frightened this year. Several of my friends have been very ill and I have known those who have died. I have to make unpopular decisions like quaranteening and saying NO to friends who ask me to come out.

Maybe this is what New Years resolutions is all about: to answer these questions: Identify! Who are you? Who do you want to help, to be with? Who is your God? How do you honor him? I have a friend who told me she is angry at the church and she does not believe Jesus is God; just a prophet. I was shocked! I couldn’t argue with her. Just hand her a Holy Bible and say “read St Luke.” It’s a little like trying to argue with angry people today. I need an expert talker at my side. I know it is the Holy Spirit, but for some reason, sometimes I’m shocked and can’t talk. I can only “Just pray!” Pray my dears for us to get through the next 19 days without really messing ourselves up. God bless America!

May the Lord bless you

January 1st, 2021

Good New Year dear friends. Today’s daily Mass is a celebration of the blessings God has given to us. The reading from Numbers is especially lovely and powerful: ” The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord look upon you with his shining face … kindly, and give you peace.” Find this blessing in your Scriptures (Numbers 6:22) and read it out loud for your family! Bless one another this beautiful day of the “New Year.” Another beautiful blessing is Psalm 67: “May God shed his light upon us; may God bless us in his mercy.” And finally Galatians 4:4-7: ” You are adopted as son and heir. Cry out Abba, Father.” He blesses us because we are his children!

In the old days of the big Peabody parties which ended about 10 years ago, no matter how hung over and sleep deprived I was, I went to Mass on January 1. New Years Day morning we celebrate Mary the Mother of God. On this day we celebrate Mary’s Yes and the fruitfulness that God gave her. Mary is not the creator of God; she is the Theotokus, the God-bearer. Mary is a human mother. She cared for a human child who walked on the earth for 33 years. She stood at the foot of the Cross and she said goodbye to him when he “went to the Father.” Mary is the woman in Revelation 12 who stands up against the dragon who wants to destroy her child. Ask Mary to go to battle against the dragon. Ask, “who or what is my dragon?” For many it is anger. For me I think it is impatience. It is impatience with people who won’t “listen.” People not doing what I think is right!!! I tend to push my way. I was so disappointed with school children who wouldn’t give a little of their minds to what I thought was so important. In a way, I’m giving what I love, and I’m paying my success forward. I’m sorry for the pain I have caused if I made you feel small. I’m just trying to give from my blessings. My impatience. That’s my dragon. What is your dragon? Place this load of yours in the manger. We still have some time. God bless us! Angels with us.

Peace in the world

December 31st, 2020

How do I achieve peace in the world? I can’t. I’m just a small being, but I can achieve peace in my heart. So I proceed. Sometimes we think all is lost, but it isn’t. If we believe in God, and believe in the Light, we will never be in darkness. My mother, who believed in God mightily, said, “the Blessed Mother will meet me, give me a big hug, and take me to Jesus.” Don’t doubt that for a second.

This morning in the last daily Mass of the New Year, EWTN opened the Communion prayer with, ” Lord, we pray, order our days in your peace.” So how does God order our days? Have you ever noticed nature? You plant a seed and, 10 days later, 2 green sprouts emerge. In another 10 days, more green. Then we have to wait for buds. I check my flowers daily. “Yes! buds!” I danced around the bushes a week ago. Now we wait for the buds to make flowers and bloom. So God has ordered. It’s been that way for all time, unless someone upsets the sequence. If we dig them up and move them mid process we might kill them. God has ordered. Let him work. Many think of God like we might treat a Teddy Bear we sleep with. (Yes, Chuck and I have 3 Teddies on the bed!). We steal them from each other during the night. Often Teddy lands on the floor. This morning, Chuck said, “I had Teddy and then he was gone…” Tossed out in the middle of the night? No just buried deep in the covers where I shoved him in my sleep! I think sometimes we treat God like our sleeping toy. He’s grabbed and then he’s hidden often by us. He’s tossed out if we don’t agree with him. In the morning, we seek him, but often only to decorate our pillow. Grab God this New Year and hold on!!!!

Today, the end of an old year, let us pray for those who died this past year. We can deny Covid and say it’s not so bad. We can say, “The numbers are wrong,” and we put ourselves at risk as some of my friends have done. I have a friend who had a big Christmas party and went to 3 others. “I’m not going to miss my family,” she said. Another friend won’t wear masks no matter what. “I just don’t like a mask.” Pray for those who have died and those who will die due to Covid. Don’t have a heart attack because there isn’t room in some ICUs. Let God order your life, but be obedient! Be thoughtful, kind. Make amends and do better. Take care of the earth, and praise God while you walk the earth! You are like that flower! God built you to be his instrument of shining peace. Thank God. Know God. Sing a new song! (read Psalm 96). God bless us. Angels with us. Happy New year!!!!!

Sing the Praises of the Father, Joseph

December 27th, 2020

Good Sunday morning! Today we celebrate the Holy Family! Imagine what it must have been like for Joseph with a wife and tiny baby born outside after traveling from Nazareth to get counted in the census. “Now,” he must have been thinking, “I have to get this family home safely.” But King Herod had other thoughts, and he sent his men to kill all the babies born in Bethlehem… He meant to kill future kings who might steal his reign. We also honor those Holy Innocents. What meanness can be done in the name of power and neglect of the innocent and poor. In a dream, Joseph heard, “take the baby to Egypt.” So, he packed up the baby and Mama and head south into Egypt. This is all Scriptual, thank God for the evangelist Luke. But how many of us are on the road, homeless or close to it? How many today are so poor they will be homeless this week? Today is a time for us to dig deep and give, providing for the poor and homeless and finding work for the Fathers. Remember the WPA.

The Scriptural readings today (see for example Sirach 3:2-14) celebrate the Family and use words “reverence, honor, obedience, comfort, and kindness.” There’s no easy way to get around it: being disobedient, dishonorable, mean, unkind, and ignoring others is NOT in God’s plan. Today is a good day to heal and forgive. To give comfort. I had to heal and forgive when I was handed the Bible in a small chapel in the Holy Land in 1991. As I read the words, “A reading from the Book of Daniel,” I realized I could not continue until I let go of anger against my father. It is not easy to let go of anger. It’s much easier to hug anger to our chest. It took years to admit, “Im OK; I give up.” It all started that day when God touched me.

Time to get up and move! Today, two days after Christmas, let us make a plan. As soon as you can, get to a small store like Walgreens or CVS. I bought 2 pairs of slippers for Chuck and me from Santa (Buy one get one 1/2 off) at Walgreens and now I’m going to go back and buy some more. Buy them out! Give them to a charity that donates to the poor. For us here in Lake Placid the giving places are Manna and Bridging Hope. There is also a food distributer called Foodfinder. Go! Give! Enjoy! God bless us.

Celebrate the Octave.

December 26th, 2020

We celebrate Christmas for 8 days!!!! So if I seem joyful it’s because O Come O Come Emanuel Happened!!!! He’s here. Joyfully we praise God for light and love. Then… Why do we celebrate the first day after Christmas, December 26 a death? St Stephen was stoned with the approval of a man named Saul. He was martyred for being a Christian. The story opens in Acts, “Stephen, filled with grace and power…. debated with wisdom. He looked up to heaven and saw Jesus.” When he was stoned, he looked up and said, “Lord Jesus receive my spirit.” What great faith! Jesus died like that too. So Christmas is a gift time of gold and myrrh. Life and death. In Matthew 10, Jesus told us to “beware of men… they will scourge you and hand you over… you will be hated. Endure and be saved.” Today the Catholic Mass really digs deep and asks us to keep our eyes, not on men and men’s empty promises, but on heaven. I wonder if this year has been a time when all the love shown by hospitals has been overshadowed by the hate we have seen in the accusations and criticisms we have heard on the streets and from our televisions and from the mouths of friends we have lost. Let the spirit of Joy and love not be killed. Look out and up. I am ashamed that I have not followed up on some ideas I had to help the poor. I’m using Covid separation as an excuse. I have a friend who actively teaches young teenagers. She loves those kids and by her love and support, she is teaching them to love along with the Catechism she reads to them. My friend Charlie teaches and gives to African churches as well as to his own in Atlanta. There is a lot of poverty and hunger. Let us not be ashamed at New Years that we didn’t help. God bless us abundantly! Merry Christmas.

O Come all Ye Faithful!

December 25th, 2020

Yesterday we sang “O Come O come Emanuel” and today it’s our turn to “Come!”. Normally churches would be bursting and singing would be loud but today… Churches are asked to stay way below 40% with no singing. We are still deep in Covid and hospitals are full. It’s amazing how looking thoughtfully and closely at a Christmas tree full of ornaments or, as I’m currently doing, looking at Hallmark’s Happy and the Yule Log… can make one forget Covid. I wrote to my friend to remind her to see if she can get her bank information into the computer this time to get the Covid assistance check sooner than the government can get around to writing a check. Those of us who file and either pay or get refund via bank access get Covid checks first. She didn’t want to talk about $$$ on Christmas, and maybe there’s a little lack of faith that our Congress can get that bill out. She might be right. That is awful when you think of the people out of work who need help… And she’s as right as anyone else. I have faith that a stimulous will come and God help us… Pray for the poor. In fact this is a time for those of us who can afford it to dig deep and give to the poor and hungry so that all will be fed this Christmas week. Watching Happy and the Yule log with 5 puppies sliding around on a shiny waxed floor, tugging at Christmas packages and ribbons really takes one’s mind off troubles. I suggest it. I used the voice thingy on my Xfinity clicker and asked for Happy Yule Log and it’s like being a kid again!!!

This morning’s Christmas celebration on EWTN was wonderful. Thank God for the Gospel of Luke! Today we read about the shepherds out in the fields. “And there was a great light. And singing!!!” “Go see what has taken place in a cave in Bethlehem!” Shepherds tell one another, “Angels told us! Glorify and Praise God and Go see!” Remember what we thought about yesterday? Mary jumping up with haste. John Leaping in his mother’s womb.” Today shepherds are running to see! It’s all so simple, but we can’t hear, feel, or see it without having it in our hearts. We have to be taught. And I say, how easy it is to read the Gospel of Luke. All filled with peace, angels, lambs, cows, and a baby. What’s not to like? Go today and share what you know! Surely you can get your hands on a Bible and find the greatest story attributed to a man named Luke. Read and sing! Believe. God bless you.

Joyfully, Suddenly Leap!

December 23rd, 2020

What makes us leap, not with fear, as if leaping away from the frog that jumped at me when I opened the back door the other day, “Yipes! I screamed as I leaped! What was that?” A little frog sleeping in our door frame. For heavens sake! The poor guy was more afraid than I was as I leaped away from him leaping at me! And not the leaping we do when crossing the street and someone going too fast and not paying attention, bears down on us, “Yipes! Save my life from being squooshed!” No, not that leaping either! But let it be the joyful, “OK!” kind of leaping. The “Yes!” kind of leaping! The “give it all we have” kind of leaping. It’s what Mary did when an angel told her she would bear a child by the Holy Spirit. I am sure there was some measure of “Riiiggght…. the Holy Spirit…. OK tell me more.” But when the angel explained the child will be called the Son of the Most High, she must have recalled the words of Samuel and Isaiah… Hannah gave birth at an awfully old age and gave the child to God. Mary might have thought as she proclaimed, “God’s will,” to the angel, “So I will too.” She was accepting the greatness of God as she had heard from the Old Testament. When the angel told her that her old cousin was pregnant (there’s that … “oh no she’s too old” in our minds,) but instead, Mary leaped up! She arose and started out to help her cousin. She had no doubt, rather Mary cooperated with God’s will. Giving it all she had, marching off on foot up to Jerusalem. Unafraid. Joyful. God’s grace helps us to move and to overcome fear. Grace gives us incredible strength. God gave Mary incredible strength to bear and then to give up her child. From rest, Mary leaped into action. Elizabeth and Mary sang a song of Joy that you can read in the first chapter of Luke! Let us all sing with Mary: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord.” From the womb, John leaped in his mother’s womb! Imagine he was singing: “It’s Jesus!!! Hi cousin! You will be the Lamb of God! I will die for you.”

God wants our response to the angel’s greeting. He wants us to leap with joy. But many of us aren’t joyful are we? We are sick and tired of being sick and tired. Covid is over-filling our hospitals and our friends are dying. We are tired of being out of work caused by shutdowns and a worrisome economy. Tired of borrowing too much money. Political angers are wearing us down. We feel like we are pushing a big rock uphill. We try to talk, but we can’t. We disagree so badly. One Congressman said on TV, “People believe things, and they can’t be convinced otherwise. They can’t even talk about possible facts.”

Our tempers are at hair trigger tension. A man walked out of a garage in Columbus, Ohio with a cell phone in his hand. Two Police officers, called for a noise complaint, arrived with no lights and sirens, their dash cam not on, their chest cameras not on, shot the man to death. This is hair trigger on the really dangerous side. What can we do right now? How can we leap up? Would that we all could turn and go, on our separate sides if need be, and find a sacred space, and kneel there. Kneel to the Christ who makes every space a sacred place. Kneel and look at the woman who quietly sacrificed herself by saying “Yes” to God. She humbly arose and went to serve her cousin. She went to the altar, and when he was 33 years old, she gave her child to God. Make a quiet place and sit there and relax. Pray for peace. One friend said that one thing on our list should be “world peace,” and I answered that i want to achieve peace with my neighbor! (I’m thinking we could reach peace, but we must try to both give up our hard stances and accept God’s will rather than advocate tearing our nation apart). Pray for healing in our country to get through the next 4 years peacefully, in brotherhood. No guns. Empty hands on both sides. Healing peace. Let us sit quietly, on separate sides if need be, let us look quietly at the Christ. Let us pray for peace in our own hearts.

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. Some people have decorated. Some people were too late getting out and all the trees were gone. Oh there are still straggly trees out there, but this is an odd year that has made us prickly and sluggish. But at least, I’ll bet there are angels singing at a manger. O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.

A gift of myrrh

December 22nd, 2020

Remember the three wise men! The star is out tonight. All this is happening NOW! We are in a time of great grief from Covid illness and death. We are in a time of serious trouble as half the nation faces the other half with angry looks and, maybe, pitchforks. I’ve suggested separation both to save us from being infected and also to keep us from hurting each other. And still the wise men come. In myth and mystery, the wise men bear gifts befit a king (Gold and Frankincense) but also gifts used for burial (myrrh). That is why the days before Christmas are so full of hope: “The King is coming! Praise God! Emmanuel! He is the God Who Saves!” But his gift is myrrh. That spice is used to anoint the dead. God bless us. Pray and hope we can rise and stand and receive the king, and maybe we can stop being angry, but we can praise!!!! Myrrh is in our life, but so is Joy. Choose Joy! Choose Life! Choose Love. God bless us!

They think I lost

December 20th, 2020

In 1969, Maya Angelou watched children playing Hop Scotch. Remember what was most important? Staying inside the line. If you stepped out of the box, you were out. Angelou saw life in that hopscotch game as she wrote:

Harlem Hopscotch
One foot down, then hop! It’s hot.
Good things for the ones that’s got.
Another jump, now to the left.
Everybody for hisself.

In the air, now both feet down.
Since you black, don’t stick around.
Food is gone, the rent is due.
Curse and cry and then jump two.

All the people out of work,
Hold for three, then twist and jerk.
Cross the line, they count you out.
That’s what hopping’s all about.

Both feet flat, the game is done.
They think I lost. I think I won.

The poem was written in 1969! It hit me that … It is the end of 2020 and nothing has changed. Women go to graduate school and get higher paying jobs, but do black women? Who cleans most of the houses and offices? Who is out of work and homeless with hungry children right now? Who is getting more Covid possibly because they are all crammed in tenements; no fresh air to breathe. If we would consider offering work to young black men, would that change things? Would working men begin to think they can win? We might have to take care of the women and the children. Are there any projects that need to be done in your community that you could find someone to finance? Do you have any more ideas? “Food is gone, the rent is due.” What are we going to do? God bless us.

Saying goodbye to anger

December 18th, 2020

What if we all stopped shouting and made a list of 3 things we need done in the next 4 years? Here’s my list and I’ll bet you will find it close to yours as it is something we can control. Please email or text me with your items. We can do this.

1. Voter registration and voting: We hate the process; so change it: Access to the polls and manual counts with paper ballots. No machines. No algorithms (whatever they are anyway….). Keep all the ballots after counting them manually (so we will have proof).
2. Make a plan to get the entire US (350 million people 700 million shots); So we don’t end civilization.
3. Feeding starving children and mothers in the US. (Put the men to work - remember the WPA? Chuck’s Uncle JB was starving. He worked for WPA and got fed at the age of 14 to 16. Then he joined the military). If we figure a way to feed mothers and children we might just make headway against abortion.

If you have a better idea, please add to this list, but keep it at something we can do. If we make a plan… If we work the plan and pray, God will be with us. Mother Teresa did it. We don’t have to go very far to work this plan. Oh God bless us. Angels with us.

What a tangled web we weave

December 15th, 2020

Sir Walter Scott, in a tale called “Marmion”, contemplated the mess we can make when we don’t lay things straight out, but rather, we create convoluted messes that eventually lead to a “tangled web”. We’ve done it with the Electoral College. In 1787, the men who wrote the Constitution put lots of checks and balances into the design for the new government so we wouldn’t get a dictatorship. The nation was big already (13 colonies stretching from Georgia to Massachusetts. I looked at an old map, and, while New Hampshire stood north of Massachusetts, Massachusetts claimed an area we know today as Maine. So the colonies stretched from the “Florida line” to Maine…). … It was quite a long trek on horseback to carry electors to New York where central government resided. …. Votes were carefully counted as the states (who all had their separate powers,) were “under” the federal protection of the President. And the electors were sent to the central government to name the president. He had a limited term and he was carefully selected by the electors. All was carefully controlled because the people did not want another king or absolute ruler, like they had in England. So today, for probably the first time, sequestered as I am, I watched the electoral voting! It was as we knew it would be as the tally has already been determined by counting on computers. (can you imagine hand counting 150 million votes? So anyhow. With yesterday’s very carefully orchestrated following of the Constitution, we still have the electors’ results to go to Congress on January 6 where Mike Pence has to name the new President. Wow! Now the count can’t change because the computers got the vote already. So many people (150 million people) are probably asking, and should ask, “Why all the hoopla? I voted. One. My husband voted. Two. etc etc… to 150 million.” That seems so reasonable. We got the vote out. We counted it. The person with the most popular votes won. Period. (not always the way it was folks…) There are great cries of “cheat” and “fraud” on the Dominion machine software. So change it!!! We have 4 years now to make some changes. So my dear friends, let’s go for it. How do we change the Constitution? We will probably need 4 years and 150 Constitutional lawyers to do that! Oh to change the great old Constitution isn’t easy, but doesn’t it sound right? I don’t want what is called Gerrymandering to ruin things. Look it up! It’s interesting and it’s costly to “poor folks and individuals with no influence”…. like most of us). Give each of the 150 million citizen who can vote one vote. Oh let us all get along to make the US right and peaceful. Don’t say if you didn’t win a state, there was fraud. But I could say the same about states you won. Let us be at peace my friends. Angels with us. Pray!!! God bless us.

The vaccine is coming!

December 12th, 2020

In a previous blog I did the math on the numbers of vaccines needed (times two as each person has to get 2). The number is astronomical, but lately people are beginning to talk about other vaccines being developed and coming, “soon.” It still might be a year before we are released from restrictions, and the restrictions must be self imposed until then! I read about traveling to Hawaii and getting into a room where the key card, used once to let you in, then locks you in for quaranteen…. Youch! Prisoners in waiting for a 10 day quaranteen! Sounds illegal. But we are being asked not to travel for a serious reason. Chuck and I were quaranteened on a cruise ship for 3 days when we got the flu two years ago. As it turns out I sneaked out to the ship library and got books. Thank heaven they didn’t “lock us in”. I got pneumonia after that from that experience and it really didn’t heal up for at least 3 months… So my dears, I am very obedient to quaranteen! Please be careful when near people! Wear a mask. Please don’t get on a plane or a train and travel to visit family. Our neighborhood just sustained 5 cases of Covid, 3 are recovering and two are dead. The 2 who died traveled to visit family and “got it.” I’m not advocating being afraid and running away screaming; I’m advocating those measures that Dr Fauci and those others who love and care for us recommend: mask up, don’t travel, bear with this isolation until the curve flattens! OK enough preaching! It’s time for University of Miami’s last football game. Next game is cancelled due to Covid. Make the most of this!!! Do something creative! Clean up piles. Make a quilt. Paint a painting. Decorate lots more than usual!!! God bless us! Angels with us.

Gifts to give

December 10th, 2020

My friend tells me of the gifts her walking friends have given to her. Good things are happening! Friends are walking every day… Outside, separated, talking with folks who are sitting outside in the sunshine on their porches. I am so amazed at people my age who have bad feet, bad hips, and other ailments including back pain… they can hardly navigate the path from couch to kitchen and here I am walking outside up the middle of the street for an hour a day. Well, except for lazy days when I fall into an easy chair and …. just sit. Don’t do that I say gently to myself. Get moving! Keep moving. Friends are sick, stiff, falling over and dying, but the rest of us must keep going. Get moving and keep going. I wrote this morning to my friend, “Don’t buy gifts!!!! make things.” She and I made stuffed Christmas ornaments back I think before her beautiful son was born! I hardly remember the details of that long ago creative session, but I still have the stuffed toys hanging on my tree: Reminders of a time when two friends sat and stitched and told stories. I reminded another friend and my sister of times we painted together, drinking wine or champagne over paintings spread out over a table in a spot where spatters of paint on the floor… well, they are just decorative! My sister made me sew quilts when I visited her!!! Or was it pulling out threads? No diff, the quilts are beautiful! I’m supposed to be writing my Christmas letter right now and addressing and writing in 100 cards!!! I promised to get cards out this coming weekend. Better get going! No time to be anxious. Whatever is going to happen in our nation will happen without me .. I don’t feel helpless as I used to. I pray for peace. I have positive thoughts and I promise myself I will stay positive to our arts skills. Do what we can. Sit in the sunshine if the winds and chill aren’t too high!!!! If it’s freezing and windy then open curtains and put on lights! Put out electric candles or light real candles and soak in God’s beauty in the sky! The rest of us (living in central or south Florida,) get outside!!!! God bless us with an idea so we can “make something fun to give for a gift!!!!” Donate to a hungry family please. God bless us with charity. Anglels with us. !

In 4 years

December 3rd, 2020

For those who are still fighting the validity of the election, I would like to say…. you can get out the vote and try again in 3 1/2 years. For now, read the Constitution, read the amendments, and keep your Representatives and your Senators noses to those words. 3 1/2 years and then another vote. 4 years and our vote will be inaugurated. What if the leader wants to change things? There’s a lot of steps: and it takes votes. Paper your representatives and senators with requests and your beliefs. Promise someone else will replace them if they don’t do what we want. If I know history…. that is what this country was set up on. Because we don’t agree with 6 television networks, we set up an 7th who says what we want to hear? Problem… Just saying, my friends. Check out my December 2nd post, my “indecent proposal.”

I hope you are staying health-safe this Christmas season. I hate not going to meetings and seeing my church friends, not going to art classes…. but I can’t risk getting sick. In case anyone doesn’t remember, Chuck and I had quite a “sick” event 10 years ago and I had pneumonia 2 years ago. That makes two of us who have to be careful. The news man says…. “blah blah blah, Fauchi” and I listen. God bless us!!!! Angels with us!

Back on my soapbox!

December 2nd, 2020

OK! I’ve been called Pushy Broad! … little Pushy!… Listen! I’m still having the discussions with friends about: Save your Money in case the house you are staying in is sold.” “Save your money in case you get sick and work says you haven’t been there long enough to get sick pay.” “Wait 4 years and then vote again. “Get up and get moving so legs won’t stiffen up and you will get warm!!!!.” Yes! Pushy Broad is still alive! But …. Let’s say (I) we don’t shut up, we don’t move around, we don’t save money (for a rainy day - by the way; it’s pouring) …. Then what? We can, at least, shut up! I suggest we find a way to literally split the nation in half. Don’t try to get “the others” to agree with you. Just draw a line; Not a line in the sand, rather a line in concrete, don’t need a wall, but draw the line like they did at the Alamo. You can go to the side where you all agree. Just go there and live your “like lives.” Stop accusing. Stop grinding your teeth at each other. Go to your own and love them. That’s it! It’s the answer! Go! I’m going to tell you right now, I won’t have to be pushy! We will bundle up, go to bed and sleep if we are tired and don’t feel well. We will drink (or not) (it’s your call just don’t judge) red wine or white wine, Scotch and other beverages, but we won’t overdo it. If you fall on the ground, we will move you into your house and make a lot of noise when you have a headache! We will use our words! No more imogees! (Words!) You disagree with me? Use your words and argue with me, but have rules: No name calling. We must come to a compromise or one of us has to move to “the other side.” Wow!!!! I’m all fired up and hopeful! I probably need a trip to my favorite Sammy’s pizza joint to celebrate our new peace! Of coourse I’ll wear a mask except when I’m drinking a beer while waiting for my extra large Sammy’s beloved pizza!!!!! Take the pizza home, put my feet up on the coffee table, cover myself with a TV watching lap robe, and watch a movie. Then…. I’ll read or work on the puzzle.

Do you not like my indecent “split them apart” proposal? What has life become? People!!!! Pray for peace in our hearts and find a way to stop the “J’Accuse” mentality. In 1898, “Emile Zola addressed President of France FĂ©lix Faure and accused the government of anti-Semitism and the unlawful jailing of Alfred Dreyfus, a French Army General Staff officer who was sentenced to lifelong penal servitude for espionage.” Are we still accusing? Get over it America. Wait!!!! In 4 years we can vote again. God bless us. Angels with us.

Good morning Cold Moon

December 1st, 2020

I was so hoping for a Blue moon month when the second full moon would be called the Christmas Moon, but full moon was last day in November. We could use a little fun and joy here. The news instead of joy states: “The vaccine is coming, but not soon, and we better get used to that”. I heard one voice on TV give the bitter facts: There are 326 million of us in the US… Each needs 2 doses of the same virus each so the virus vaccine must be portioned out to all of us…. and each of us have to be given the same kind of vaccine twice! I hear there are side effects (it hurts, we will feel sick, maybe get a fever) and we won’t want to come back… and we have to come back and get the second dose then repeat: it hurts, we will feel sick, and we might get a fever. Then we have to wait until it fills us and makes us immune. There’s a scientific term for that that I know: “waiting for immunity”….. I’m assuming I’ll stand in line with the 1452 million people…. (thats 726 million times 2). Boy oh boy. I think I’m stuck in isolation for a long time…. I can’t even figure the math…. 1452 doses divided by days of the year…. When will I get my 2 vaccines? I wake to the knowledge that “this isn’t going to be over soon for me.” Time to walk and pray, my friends. Pray for a child to guide us…. Pray for a new peace. As Christ rejoiced: Rejoice in the Holy Spirit of God who fills us with his peace (Luke 10:21). It’s chilly outside for most of us. 50 degrees here in Lake Placid. Stay warm. Stay safe. God bless us!

No, we can’t understand, but Thank Heaven anyway….

November 27th, 2020

My dear friend tells me she might not go back to church because of the turmoil over abortion and other changes in the church…. Whether we like the President elect or not…. we got him for 4 years and many don’t like his abortion acceptance. …. While some of us don’t accept abortion, Pope Francis is offering solace to “same sex family” that the church has not approved in the past. I’m not sure we really understand the Pope’s words about “family” or the church’s stance on “same sex union”, although I know plenty of good people who can’t be at a loved one’s bed side because they don’t have a same sex civil union. So, “who am I to judge,” says the Pope. Give him credit. He’s not a judge just a spiritual leader. Maybe his legacy will be “no judgment.” I have stated in the past that I don’t understand meanness, judgement, name calling, and now, I’m in Limbo over what to “do about the changing church.” What will we find when we emerge from isolation? It’s going to be our role to find a way to live and to find peace. God bless us.

About Thanksgiving: On the third of October 1789 (yes, I wrote 1789), George Washing issued a proclamation that the US would celebrate a day of Prayer of Thanksgiving as recommended by the Houses of Congress. We can read this proclamation today!!! Maybe our Houses of Congress should read it!!!! Any way, Washington asked, “Let us unite and render to God thanks for his protection; for our safety and happiness and favor; for tranquility and union. For his pardon.” (I might be paraphrasing a little.) It would be good to pull this proclamation up in Google! It is built into our hearts to be tranquil. Imagine a baby being hugged with a belly full of warm milk and a changed diaper. Ah!!!! That baby has received all it needs. Now we adults need to Thank God for fields, rivers that run through our land, flowers that will grow for us if we plant them, and even weeds grow flowers for us! Go out to your private bench and think: What are the good things that grow for us? The day before Thanksgiving, my sister and I spoke of our mother who was the first of her large family to become a “professional woman.” Mom was a great nurse who went on in my childhood to finish college and study for and receive a Master of Science degree in Nursing. Mom taught at the University of Miami and I benefitted by being a faculty daughter! Thank you Mom. Often quiet and sad due to a bad marriaage and a lost child, our Mom continued … She often said she had to continue; she had 3 remaining children. Mom taught us to sustain and to grow despite criticism and rages from her husband, my father. (I wonder why I cannot take the “mouth” and criticism and rages of our President…. It might be that, as a child, I used to hide from a big man’s anger and shouting)…. Oh well… I am what I am. Mom taught us to respect family. She never let us disrespect our father even though we came to her crying, she would not be ugly. She taught us love for the Blessed Mother of God. She taught us to pray. Mom loved to hug, and with her touch, Mom healed. Mom flew to the bedsides of my two sisters when they had babies, and she was with me in my surgery. I will never forget looking down at my mother’s fingers assisting the doctor remove stitches from my sewed up belly! Let us remember the ones who loved us and taught us to love. It might not be a Mom, but you can remember the one who taught you to be true to your heart. We are separated by Coronavirus-19, but we pray daily for health, joy (doesn’t that seem far off?), and peace. Pray!!!!! Thank you Lord, for your promises that you keep with everlasting love. Thank you and thank you!!!! God bless us!

Must we understand?

November 24th, 2020

There are a few things I don’t understand and it probably is because as a human being, I’m wired to be practical which is unusual because I love sunshine, butterflies, blue skies, sunshine, puppies, and Jesus. Wouldn’t these last few make me a Pollyanna? She’s a little orphan with an “indominatable will to see the good side of even the worst situations and bring it out for the betterment of all.” I’m always trying to see the sunshine and blue sky! I’m out for the good and I’m for what is right, and I’m always surprised when people don’t do “right.” It actually hurts my belly when I encounter what we have been through with the election this term. It hurt that people could sink to yelling things like “Antifa is funded by Biden’s side and Antifa is here…” and don’t forget “Dominion voting software (written in Canada) was written in Venezuela and will turn the vote to Communism.” Yep. I got that and lots more thrown at me along… With, “Watch out Susie, you sound like a Socialist.” I couldn’t understand living under an authoritarian who didn’t seem to love the little people. In Ezekiel 34, the Lord says, “I will tend, gather, give rest… I will shepherd rightly.” I just want us to have a good shepherd for a while….. One flock. United. Not gonna happen is it? I have stopped talking, although that isn’t like me. I’m always trying to “get people to understand!”… Like I don’t understand people not being hopeful…. I don’t understand being in debt, but spending spare money on gifts, and “things”. Nope says the practical one (me): “Get out of debt first.” I am a practical bad girl when it comes to paying interest and fees!!!!!! I yell “don’t do it!!!” Pay no fees or interest on debt!!! So What I don’t understand is, why can’t everybody be just like me? OH NO!!!! Is that what I want? Wouldn’t that be … I can’t think of the right word. You fill it in. It’s not going to happen. When I get the belly ache, I have to shut off the TV and the phone and go sit on my bench. That’s where you will find me and hope it isn’t raining!!!!

God bless us!!! Be one who loves. Be one who thinks of Susie, the “do the right thing girl,” and… grab an angel or two and move forward.

Can there be too much turkey?

November 20th, 2020

Happy autumn!!! It is amazing here in Lake Placid. Today I wore 2 tee shirts to walk as yesterday I could feel the cool breeze through my one tee shirt. It’s sunny and breezy. Wow! Thank God for this little taste of Paradise!!!! We have a turkey in the freezer that was only 39 cents per pound (had to buy it!!!). We just shopped for tenderloin and bacon (a BOGO) on sale. Don’t you love BOGO? Now unfortunately I have 2 containers of catsup. Might just put one in the donate pile….. Now we have too much turkey. Tenderloin. And bacon. Chocolate pie too (Mama Loretta’s recipe). We should emerge from the holidays looking plumper. We are watching too many Hallmark movies! And if you get UpTV… they make movies too….. Yikes. Poor Chuck. Thank heaven for football on weekends!!!! No hurricane football this weekend (not until Dec 5) as Hurricane coach and some (too many) players… have Covid and have to take 2 weeks off! Time for lunch! Avocados are still in season. So it will be Avocado salad. Again. Is there such a thing as too much avocado??? I was talking with friend while walking this morning…. Time for lunch means it’s time for me to make lunch. We used to go out a few times a week…. So now it’s giant salads or some form of grilled sandwich (every day…) She agreed, we can’t stand the sight of food anymore. God bless you!!! Happy happy weekend. STAY SAFE! God bless you.