Archive for May, 2011

Decoration Day

Monday, May 30th, 2011

In the old days today was called Decoration Day. The women of small towns went to the city cemetaries and honored the Civil War dead. No one had a notion of the United States ever being involved in another war. Yet we were drawn into the “Last Great War” and then, much against our desires, we were drawn into a 2 front war in Europe and the Pacific. This weekend, Chuck and I are watching movies “Patton,” ”MacArthur,” “The Longest Day,” “Midway,” and “12 O’Clock High” among other old war movies. Old generals direct thousands of young soldiers who fight other brave young soldiers who are directed by old generals. With these movies, we are reminded of the great awful battles of WWII. When the old generals retired they talked sadly of the horror of war, yet here we are with troops spread across Europe and the near East. I am sure that every mother today cringes when we talk of not being out of Afganistan soon. Every mother’s son or daughter is fodder for the wars we fight. Does it seem as we sing “God Bless America” that he isn’t blessing us and standing beside us? Our faith tells us he is here and he is spreading out his great wings inviting us to love our neighbor.  Let’s at least try to make a plan: what can each of us do today to avoid war and bitterness?  Go into a quiet place, look into your heart, find your spirit there. Let your spirit commune with our Great God who has seen it all, and who embraces our fallen soldiers and wants to embrace us too. God bless America  

Ruefully looking “back”

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

You just don’t want to be rueful very often for it means to regret, to feel penitent, or to feel remorse. I’m the last person to ever regret things. Remorse just doesn’t pay. Except for yesterday; I was rueful. Remember those “salad” days when we were young and slim, and here’s a neat word… lithe (meaning flexible). You might wonder if Sue is feeling old today, inflexible, and remorseful? Well, a little, yes; as yesterday I was face down on the dermatologist’s couch as he burned, yes I said “burned,” about 17 spots of sun damage off my back. With every “sissssst” I regretted and felt remorse over those old days of cute, little, 2 piece bathing suits worn in the sun in Miami. Covered with oil, reading a big thick book for hours, we baked a golden brown color. Now, spotted and stiff, I ask Chuck to put little gobs of soothing cream on each of my 17 burn marks. Ouch… I have to find a bright side… it isn’t freezer burn from northern winters. You should see Chuck’s face. He too felt the remorse of the dermatologist’s couch; only Chuck’s badges of courage are on his face. It’s cloudy now so I guess I can go outside and sweep my beaches. Come to sunny Miami if you dare and enjoy our back yard beach. We’re fine and hoping you are too. Remember: no regrets! Life is to be lived and loved.

Mother Nature’s nightmares

Friday, May 13th, 2011

My dear friends and family.  It is hard to rejoice in the face of the rising Mississippi, tornados in Alabama, and general spring havoc that Mother Nature is dumping on the United States… … but rejoice we must with the knowledge that we learned from our mothers who sang to us, “Jesus loves me this I know.. for the Bible tells me so.”  Do you remember that song from when you were little?  I was discussing this today with someone… We just have to rejoice for we are blessed to be loved by God, to be Americans, to be protected by Navy Seals… and you fill in what else we have to be thankful for.  Chuck and I are on Big Pine Key for the week. We have to keep “the big house” clean in case a prospective buyer wants to look at it, and we are working on Aunt Trudy’s house to make it our own.  Today, we donated a great deal of Aunt Trudy’s furniture to a wonderful family who needs help in an empty home. They helped Trudy a lot in life, and we are returning the gift. Actually, they came today and carried out a lot of very heavy stuff (we’re on the second floor of a raised home) and they will also take the kitchen cupboards and some other heavy stuff that we were going to have to dispose of as we will be renovating and bringing Trudy’s home into the 21st century.  I am responsible for keeping Loretta’s driveway clear of weeds (this is the big house that is for sale), I’m supposed to be painting the railings a bright clean white and painting some spots inside the big house.   I am also clearing Trudy’s area along the water so we can build a dock. It is a lot of work in very hot weather. We have hired a team of men to fix the crumbling tie beam that holds up Trudy’s house (in the Keys… concrete used to be mixed with salt water which eventually rusted the rebar and swelled the concrete - hense the crumbling).  When the house is strengthened, we will renovate the upstairs.  I enjoy being here in the keys; I go to daily Mass at St Peters and today I was a lector. It was the very important reading in Acts of the Apostles where Saul is headed to Damascus all full of evil to kill some Christians.  Jesus knocks him off his (high) horse and asks him “Why are you persecuting me?” I was reading and here comes Father Tony’s dog with the morning newspaper. The dog (named Scratch) walked up to the visiting priest and looked at him and then took off to find someone in the pews whom he knew. I meanwhile am reading and trying not to be distracted, and not to laugh.  This is a big yellow lab named “Scratch” (as in golf) marching up in the middle of the epistle reading with a newspaper …  So I said later to the visiting priest…  ”Scratch brought the good news.”  Have to laugh.    I know I haven’t mentioned Chuck too much… He’s still tired a lot but his mind is good while mine seems to be going to the farm. He sleeps very well, but gets up at 6:30am disturbing me something fierce as who in heaven’s name gets up at 6:30am??  Life is interesting…  and I invite you to come to Big Pine, go for a walk with Chuck, and enjoy the constant sunshine and the amazing life we have here. God bless you. Sue