Archive for July, 2020

Neighbors

Friday, July 17th, 2020

Neighbors are SO important. Here in Lake Placid our neighbors to the west are away all the year and they rent the house to strangers in winter. To the east, they live in Chicago and come here occasionally. Oh dear…. Across the canal lives a couple we talk a lot to across the canal. Since we are isolating we don’t dock sit and talk; we talk across an expanse of a 20 foot canal. Today I saw people drive up to the house across the street where a sale pending sign resides (across street was a family that lives in Naples… we rarely saw them either.) NOW the new buyers are a very nice lady Laura Lee and her husband Joseph who want to move here full time and her 2 cousins live on these canals too!!! I’m excited because she says she likes to walk, and she is very sweet! I recommended our cement guy and our dock guy as both did great jobs for us. We miss our across the fence and lake neighbors Kathie, George, and Mike, and our lake friends. We used to pontoon to Glen’s and drink on his dock.

This has been another tough week for the nation… Florida’s “Covid numbers” are suspect and called fake and lies. Do we have a surge of Covid here? Should we give it all up and go back outside??? Of course Chuck and Sue are still isolated. I don’t go to church yet…. I wear a mask to Publix. But if you listen to our governor and our president, we have no problem. Miami has a problem though… there was an act of violence that shocked me in Miami very close to my friend Bonnie’s house at 137 Avenue and Sunset Drive. Bonnie lives about 8 blocks away. Someone (they) tore down a statue of Jesus at Good Shepherd Catholic church and decapitated Him. Can you imagine? I was struck to my belly. I guess I understand ripping down Confederate statues (not Cristopher Columbus or Abraham Lincoln for heaven’s sake), but Jesus? The church prayed for the people who did it, and I will send a donation. In the Book of Wisdom, we are called to fidelity to God’s Law. A wise man is called to love God in a fallen world. A wise man must follow the Ten Commandments which are all about love not hate. Not violence. If we are shaken today by violence, sickness, lack of work, ugliness, we must be “salt” and we must cast light. (Matt 5:13)

Pray for the day when children will ask “What is Hate?” Pray, “Lord, the one you love is sick. Come to our aid.” God bless you.

What I believe

Sunday, July 12th, 2020

When I walk with my Lake Placid friends (there are two friends I walk with in the church parking lot where there are a lot of wonderful shade trees or on Placid Lakes Boulevard - lots of trees and we walk to Lake June park and we look out at the lake) … anyhow when we walk the talk is generally Covid, politics, the labels people apply to us (Conservative, Liberal, Dem or Repub etc), the future (election, socialism, riots, recession)… We generally talk about family and if someone listened in they would wonder how we ever have enough oxygen to walk we talk so much. I have iterated several time that I don’t believe in lables… I don’t want to have some say “you are this, this, and this, therefore you believe in this this and this.” Suddenly I said, outloud as if I were with my friends, “I believe… in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ the only Son of God…” I laughed as I heard my voice out there on Placid Lakes Boulevard… and I continued…”Who was conceived of the Virgin Mary, was baptized, suffered, died and was buried. ” Continue through the Resurrection, Ascension and Descent of the Holy Spirit. I recited the whole Nicean Creed there on the sidewalk. So I just continued with the Rosary. It is a 45 minute walk and prayer. Occasionally I would stop to breathe. If you walk and pray out loud, you run out of oxygen. Think about this next time you use a label. What is most important is to remember that we believe and that can’t be labled. And I think most Christian faiths say the Creed.

It’s Sunday and daily Mass readings (on TV; I’m not back to Church yet.) filled me with thoughtfulness. Scripture speaks of suffering….. In Romans 8:18, St Paul wrote, “The suffering of this present time are as nothing compared with the Glory to be revealed… wait for adoption and redemption.” I wrote, “What is the Key Word? WAIT” In Matthew 13: 1-23, Jesus patiently explained the Parable of the sower: I’ll paraphrase. You dig a hole in the earth and plant a seed in the ground (the man in the parable scattered the seed). You water and watch the sun warm the earth. You know a good thing is coming! Remember early Biology classes. Didn’t we plant beans? and we rejoiced when two green sprouts came up! Soon (think here of Jack and the Bean Stalk), soon we had a vine full of beans! This always happens! Beans sprout. It’s a pretty good lesson for kids. It’s a good exercise for our times, for those of us who think our bean will never sprout. We are stuck here in the dark, on the couch. For those of us who accuse God of being hidden. Where are you God? Isaiah 55:10, Isaiah says God is at work. His end will be achieved. He perseveres and he rescues the Jews from Babylon. He rescues us.

My friend tells me our world is in chaos. Uproar. Burning. Police, symbol of protectors, are (some of them) being ugly (some) and they are attacked and ambushed. Chuck always said that police wear a target on their backs. People are violent, tearing down anything they can get their hands on (that they don’t believe in). There’s that word believe. So what about the bean? If it is cultured, taught, loved, watered, it grows deep roots and withstands storm. The roots grow deep and seek moisture that we can’t see. Drought comes, but we have faith in the success of that little bean. Let us pray that the bean’s roots hold; that his foundation is deep enough to withstand fire, flood, and drought. Compassion and love planted that seed, gentle values. Yes we had to fight for freedom of the states, and now we have to express the values we cherish. Save the bean!!!! How about intentional, random acts of kindness. Go meet the people on your street (keep a safe distance.) God bless us. Angels with us.

If only I can touch his cloak…

Friday, July 10th, 2020

My neighbor’s dock is all messy, falling down, broken and weedy. There are actually several messy docks like this in our remarkable beautiful series of canals, and neighbors are complaining on our neighborhood message board. Why don’t I go over there and ask if I can help repair it? It just needs the broken logs pulled up onto the lawn and carried to the street. The water is cool so I can stand in the water and pull the weeds. Why don’t I do that? Rather than yelling about the mess? Just move!

Do you remember (maybe from your long ago past) a story in the Bible about a woman suffering for years from hemorrarages(icky very icky)… She was an outcast and shunned because of the blood. Jesus walked by, and she, cast out as unclean because she was bleeding, sneaked forward and reached her hand out between the legs and feet of people… and she touched the tassel on his cloak. “If only I can touch the tassel on his cloak, I will be healed.” He felt that (faith?). He knows each heart and knows what’s in each heart (”I need help,” our heart whispers). (Matthew 9:18). What if we return to earlier days when mama taught us to pray. I remember one time I was standing in the doorway to Mom’s kitchen (doorway between dining room and kitchen in the Euclid apartment). I remember this vividly. I was complaining mightily about a relative who I felt wronged me… Mom listened, waited for me to catch my breath, and said, “Today is Saturday, you need to get to church and go to Confession.” Oh darn. That was the last thing I wanted to hear. I wanted SUPPORT. “You are right Susie, that woman is mean to you.” Nope. “Get to church.” I plodded up the road. The church was walkable, about 4 blocks. I sat down with the priest. Surely he will take my case. “‘Pray for her,’ he said.” Another “O darn.” What is this, a conspiracy? Yes it is. By the great One, Jesus. He is the One who said, “Be still, and know that I am God.” “Rest in me.” … He conspires to get us close to his heart. So then what?

Pain, anguish, suffering all are valid emotions that we feel, and maybe feel worse now that the television is once again filled with images of ICUs filled with Covid patients in Florida and Texas as opposed to New York and New Jersey who were filled, but now cases are declining. Doctors and Mayors are begging for help… and it seems none is coming except pushes to “open up.” Where do we get our strength? Where do we find peace? We can’t see the healing like it happened when Jesus healed and people jumped up and danced around praising God. Maybe our population is too large and the distance between us means we can’t see the miracles, but the miracles are happening. A priest on EWTN said God is like a magnet and we are like a piece of iron…. He draws us in. If we allow ourselves to get close enough, “Clump!” we are up against him. But we have to be still and listen. Now what? Hosea 11 says, ” ‘My heart is overwhelmed with pity,’ says the Lord.” He says we the people are like lost sheep who don’t have a shepherd. (Matthew 9:32). Can we accept that we have no shepherd? We are milling about, bleating for help… But we don’t get help. In Ezekiel 34, the Lord said, “I will shepherd my sheep.” Maybe that’s it. Settle down, go speak with Jesus, be still. Watch and learn. Help that neighbor… Embrace peace. God bless us. Angels with us.

Nu Normal

Wednesday, July 8th, 2020

Does every generation say: “I think at this time that our country is changing a lot.” Words change meanings. The younger ones don’t respect what the older ones respect. Spellings are fooled with, and new words are invented that quickly become “normal.” Commas have disappeared and now we just use dashes and …

No kidding. Life is in flux right now! We see in Europe and Russia statues of dictators being torn down. We have done it ourselves for people we have liberated. We are now doing it ourselves. To ourselves. I think a whole generation of “people who know” (old people) are being whittled out (the nursing home people that are so vulnerable and dying). I am on the cusp of vulnerable. I don’t work. I use my social security, that I earned and gave to the government for safe keeping, But they spent it, and now that they have to give it back to me, they resent that… The poor and the vulnerable who don’t work, or who have few skills, and the old and sick will be “sacrificed” to Corona virus to bring our economy back. Fortunately, Chuck and I can take care of ourselves. We can afford to live isolated and not go out. Thank God. There isn’t anything I can do except pray and stay healthy. I think about my sweet Mom, who prayed several Rosaries a day a lot! I ask her and our Blessed Mother for advice all the time! Thank heaven for EWTN as I haven’t been to church since mid-March… I try to stay safe, When I think of something that might help or might be funny, I still blog but don’t have the heart for it lately as what I am thinking…. isn’t fun any more! Life is very good in Lake Placid. Dock sitting is lovely except it’s too HOT!!! So we try to go pontooning at 7pm.

I’m reminded of Ray Stevens who sang: “Don’t look Ethel!” Remember the song “the Streaker!” Well life and our government deserve to be ignored while we tightly shut our eyes…. My friend who is staunchly what she calls Conservative (I don’t use titles or put people in boxes or put names to what a person is…), her son yells at her because he is “liberal.” Whatever those two titles mean. Atlanta, Portland and other cities are under fire and Mayors fight with governors. Our governor in FLA says we are OK as we lead the nation in virus cases! All we can do is “Hunker down. Exercise and get in shape.” Try to stay alive. Pray a lot. What’s the future? Look up to the beautiful sky that changes constantly. Maybe that’s what it is! Flux. God bless us! Angels with us. I’m headed out walking. Love you.

As careful as I can… Is it enough?

Saturday, July 4th, 2020

Good day gentle reader! Yesterday I went to my favorite park where I walk in the mornings. This time, we went by pontoon boat and sat and talked to friends whom we have known since we were 16 years old… Across the table, more than 6 feet apart, outside. Good right? Today Chuck said, “When you went to get our barbeque, you were elbow to elbow getting the food plates.” Oh darn. It’s actually the closest I’ve been to people since March. Now what? Wait 14 days? I just read a Washington Post article wherein Fauci was interviewed. He is 79 years old and considers himself very high risk. If they get take out and have an outside picnic, all the delivery food is in separate containers so no one has to stand near anyone to scoop their beans. OOPS. He says he wears a mask in public and he will not fly. I hope hope we can live through this pandemic without killing off many more Americans. I’ve read that even when one heals, there is damage to heart, lungs and possibly brain. So, my dears, don’t cluster around the food. Take your own food to picnics. I’m staying inside again and being more careful.

Today is 4th of July when our Founding Fathers pronounced the Declaration of Independence in 1776. And kept slaves until 1865. It wasn’t until 1965 that America wrote what we thought was “final” legislation giving rights to people of color. I am sure many of my older friends remember how Black people were treated, and still are treated. The Declaration of Independence did not address individual freedoms… It was to separate the States from England and her despotic king. It wasn’t for 90 years that slaves were finally freed. So our Founding Fathers owned slaves, but that wasn’t illegal. I think it’s time to let that go. People made terrible mistakes. Let us move forward today in peace and prayer. Let us ask God to help us to humbly make changes that truly make people equal and safe. Go please to your google sites and read the Declaration of Independence, and start today being kinder. God bless America. Angels with us.

Is Bigger and Better Best?

Thursday, July 2nd, 2020

This morning as the Market opened, President Trump held a news conference to announce jobs growth. While he spoke, the market opened and climbed 400 points over yesterday’s number. The President promised a bigger and better, even best 3rd quarter economy, just in time for the election. But meanwhile, men like Anthony Fauci and hospital center directors across the nation are warning us we could have between 50,000 and 100,000 Americans stricken with Corona virus every day. I do not watch a lot of TV news, but I have seen 2 walk throughs of hospitals, and in both cases, doctors try to show what Corona virus does. It turns the lungs into a disaster area. If respirator is required, it means the lungs can’t work and airways are turning bloody and fragile. Who is going on respirators and dying? The old, the fragile, the vulnerable, the poor who live crowded together. Those of us who can afford to stay home are doing all right. We can afford to stay home and we should. Those who have to go to work to feed families are succumbing to virus and carrying it home. The ones who are partying and getting sick should be seriously chastised and sent to their rooms. A report indicated that Florida should get a stay at home order, and our governor won’t even say we should wear masks. Life right now is crazy, and the only hope we have is to isolate. And it’s coming on 4th of July weekend!!!! So is Bigger and Better Best? The President thinks so. What do YOU think? God bless us. Angels with us.

In this storm

Wednesday, July 1st, 2020

My friend Pat and I walked and talked in the church parking lot on Monday, talking of the “awful” things happening in this world, about those in our families who claim to have no faith, who might get sick through careless behavior, … other items of discussion were man’s inhumanity to man, careless treatment of children, pandemic, our fears… As we talked I became increasingly aware that we could let fear overwhelm us if we don’t stop and look up. I felt stalled, but I could only say, as others have said to me, “The Lord is in control.” We can’t see him and his controlling, compassionate hand, but we can read and see him in Scripture. See Matthew 8:23. A huge storm threatens the small boat carrying 12 men and Jesus “to the other shore.” Jesus sleeps. Finally, the frightened men wake him up, crying, “Save us O lord!” “O you of little faith,” he answers peacefully.

In 64AD, Nero initiated mass persecutions of Christians, ripping them up, feeding them to his animals, burning them alive, in his Circus which is now the site of St Peter’s in Rome. The first martyrs died, “covered in the blood of Christ,” singing, “Lord save us!” We are challenged today, and he continues to answer, “O you of little faith. You still doubt me!” Today, Matthew continues (8: 28), Jesus sent demons into swine and sent them all tumbling into the lake to drown. The townspeople, not liking that solution, begged Jesus to leave the area! Not liking what is happening… Not believing the Lord is aware and in control? So my Mom might ask, “So what are you gonna do?” Continue forward, head facing forward, looking up. Beautiful sky today, by the way, looking like balls of cotton!!! God bless us! Angels with us.