Archive for October, 2020

Slipping; Big time!

Monday, October 26th, 2020

I spoke last evening with a friend from Miami who can’t come visit as she has a full time job and is trying both to protect us and to protect herself. Isn’t that awful? We used to sip wine and laugh …. We used to have great meals in lovely Coral Gables restaurants and walk long distances together. Now we are separated and only have the phone or text. She said she feels anxious and unsettled. This calls for sliding closer on the sofa and drinking champagne as we share our feelings, but again, miles and Covid separate us. I told her there is no good result in feeling anxious, unsettled, angry, frightened… now (especially now), or any time. We both know “God is in charge”, but even I, who know so well that God is in charge, I slip; big time.

Take today…. I walked without my normal friends today so i prayed the Rosary. I use my fingers, I say all the prayers, I try to get the mysteries of the day in order. I usually end up and realize I forgot the Baptism of Jesus… Same today! I prayed. I looked up at the beautiful sky. I thanked God for the gorgeous breeze and the lake view from the park. Then I even sang a few Marian hymns. As soon as I was finished and I turned the corner onto Cumquat I started thinking awful things about our political nemises. Did you ever imagine what you would do to someone including grilling them, calling down wrath, or infecting them? Well if you haven’t, then you are a much better person than I am! “Stop that!” my guardian angel said! I replied! “Yikes! I know! I know. I did all I can. I pray and I voted. That’s it. No bad thoughts. No bad words. ”

In the Gospel this morning (Luke 13:10…) Jesus called out to a humped over lady; he laid his hands on her, and he straightened her up. He healed her. The church leaders criticized him for breaking the law. Jesus! They criticized Jesus! Jesus just turned to them from the Cross and asked his Father to forgive them. They are the worst of the worst for not taking care of their people and for criticizing the good man Jesus, and Jesus says not a word but he prays for them. St Paul says in Ephesians 4, “Be kind, forgive, have compassion.” Do I believe this? As I walked home today, I asked for forgiveness… It seems I do this every day! “Forgive my sharp tongue and my judgmental imagination!” It’s not for me to judge; it’s for me to pray and vote. Done…. but I look up, and my guardian angel transmits the message, “Keep praying!”. Keep admitting we have dirty feet and dirty hands (humility). Admit we can’t act alone (be merciful to me O God). Let God’s heart come in contact with our heart. Open up and show God (He’s seen it all). I have to ask God to get out his special Windex and wash me every time I let my mind go awry and every time my lips speak “not love.” God bless us.

Planting seeds

Sunday, October 25th, 2020

Our friend Renee has a beautiful back yard and front yard flower garden. Renee works hard, pulling weeds and replanting, and the result is beautiful. She has butterflies galore! Last time we visited her, she cut a ginger flower and brought it inside. I could barely restrain myself from hovering over the flower vase while Chuck and Renee watched movies on TV. “Susie, what are you doing in the kitchen, again?” Renee would ask…. “Smelling the ginger.” I would reply with a silly grin. Finally, after moving into our new house with a big back yard, winter breezes, and a pandemic, I have finally dug a garden spot and planted flowers! Come on butterflies! Well, first, the seeds have to sprout and flower… but it will be this year. A Covid garden is something positive that isn’t torn up and reboxed when a puzzle is finished, or returned to the library when Chuck and I have finished a book. This morning I watched Sunday Mass, walked with neighbors and …. after planting seeds, I finished a puzzle and we are watching football! Busy busy! I hope we can continue with safe football! I hope we can find joy in small creations that keep our hearts happy. God bless us!

“What’s that smell?”

Friday, October 23rd, 2020

I remember when we moved to Lake Placid, my duty was to go to Xfinity to get signed up for service and to get necessary hardware. I started up my little car, rolled down the windows and took off for Sebring! As I rounded the corner onto Catfish drive I thrilled at the sight of Lake June on my left. The lake stays with us as we weave around it through orange groves. Then we make a big right turn at a circle and continue along the lake side to route 27 north and on to Sebring. I continued that day with my windows open! What freedom I felt in that blowing wind. All alone on the road. wind and orange trees and lake. I still feel that way … except I’ve noticed there have been big smelly bumps in that road of pleasure. Have you ever caught “that smell?” You stop and check the bottom of each shoe. “What did I step in? is your murmur. Well I caught it again today and yesterdy as I drove yesterday to vote and today to Sammy’s Pizza. WOW! This is big time bottom of your shoe smell! The orange groves get fertilized this time of year. With cow manure. It is pungent! Ah!!!!! Another time of year the growers spray pesticides (I think they do that as there is another smelly time, but it’s not manure….). So I wonder if moving to the outies, to the sticks, is indeed better for us than the smoggy oily smell of our big city. I don’t know which is better. Well yes i do. There is no noise. A traffic jam is 3 cars waiting for the train to go by when we are headed “into town.” My belly is full of a lunch time Philly cheese steak sandwich, and, I’m so happy. May all of you get Philly cheese steaks or whatever is your comfort food! Look up! The clouds are beautiful today. Enjoy!!!! God bless us!

The pride of voting!

Friday, October 23rd, 2020

Since Chuck and I often bought cruises 3 years in advance and took long car journeys north and west, we always requested ballots for voting by mail. We were often the center of attention at cruise dinner tables, or once at a B&B in England when we lounged around on election day and foreign people asked us lots of questions about our voting process. People don’t understand our electoral college… It’s hard to explain that it kept things even between north and south when slave owners could vote with a heavy impact of being worth more than one vote…. A man was counted based on how many slaves he owned… So a plantation might get 100 votes but have only one man voting. A slave was worth 1/3 or 2/3 of a human being. The census is super important today as it decides how many “votes” a district gets based on how many people live there. I encourage anyone who didn’t vote yet to get your one vote counted… and to study the electoral college and the census. It’s up to “the people” to change things if we want to be counted!

Yesterday at 815am I left the house and got into line at the Lake Placid Community center (the Town hall) to vote with a Rosary and only got in 3 decades. I wore a mask and social distanced… When we entered the hall 5 at a time it was a little crowded but we were moved around and out quickly…. I turned in Chuck’s ballot, turned in my mail in ballot and said I wanted to “punch the ticket.” They handed me a pen and I filled in the little circles on the ballot. I wrote on my ballot, slid it into a computer, and got out!!!! Home one hour after I left the house! I used a double dollop of hand sanitizer at the town hall and washed my hands at home. Back to the routine of walking for one hour and … I am done. I might glance at the last debate (I taped it). or not. I don’t know. I don’t want to get irritated by bad behavior. I want to remain calm and hopeful. I pray for unity and kindness. I hope and pray we will not dissolve into shouting and obstreperousness. Good word isn’t it!!!! Stubbornly resistent to control! What is it I want for us? What did I want to say in my last blog if it wasn’t clear enough? We have a moral standard. It was delivered in the early Old Testament. If one believes God speaks in Scripture then we have our standard. We don’t need a bunch of written rules (laws) with addendums…. We have the basics. No killing. No stealing. This includes no anger that kills the soul. And we have the words of Jesus and his Apostles after him… Love one another. I pray for peace. Let us all ask God to cover us with His Grace! Pour out Grace Lord.

Seeking Peace in a high charged time

Monday, October 19th, 2020

I have written about vitriol and vicious words, about rumor, about the separation of us caused by words of accusation. All this caused by discussion of the upcoming election November 3, 2020. I have written about gentleness and kindness; about working together. I have talked about coming together in kindness and working for solutions. I tell my friends to stop “calling names,” as I cannot bear accusations against fellow human beings. Maybe the “name calling” helps the accuser to “get it out,” but it is not my way, and think about it? What would Jesus say? Jesus said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” (Matthew 12:25) We are a divided house. If my friends talk politics I often find myself backing away at their accusations. I say they are name calling. We are divided. I won’t argue, nor will I say ugly things, even if I’m thinking them in my heart. When people label me, say I am left or right, red or blue, etc, and they label me, “a democrat…”, I say, “no, I am not that; I don’t really accept that label. I am a child of God.” We are the same family, children of God, yet we stand on sides of a divide and we feel we have to raise our voices in order to be heard across the divide. While fires rage in the West, people are yelling at each other and tossing molatav cocktails and setting fires in cities, in anger. I thank God that I have eyes to see, and ears to hear, but lately, I have turned the “news” off. My church, the Roman Catholic church is divided. I am accosted and talked to, as if I am in error. Ladies with whom I served and worshipped (I have not been to church since March), they tell me to “come on in, you will be OK” and they accuse government of closing churches. Government closed everything to keep us from catching Covid from each other, now churches are open, and I am protecting myself. Without a vaccine, I don’t feel safe. I won’t go back into church until I feel safe. My friends say “Of course, You are voting for….” “You must vote for…” We stumble around each other with me talking about love and kindness as they look at me askance and pray for me… I believe in the sanctity of life, but in a different way. I believe I must uphold the non negotiable value of life, in the womb, and on the death bed. This is the essence of the moral law handed down by God. We all have received this law written on our hearts. God wrote it there when he knitted us together in our mothers’ wombs (see Psalm 139:13). Anyone who has voted or will vote in the next 15 days should consider abortion. Imagine if there were no need for Roe vs Wade or the Hyde Amendment. Imagine a world where delivering a child live and then killing it, had never even been considered. Just writing the words makes me shudder, but that is what late term abortion is. There should be no laws and no court issues. God already wrote: “Thou shalt not kill.” We stare into an abyss as we write law defining, “how much and when we can kill”. OK so…. rather than a law or court issues; what options do we have for women who don’t want their children? We must gather the funding to care for the women who are considering abortion. Convince the women we will care for them, feed them, educate them, train them for jobs if necessary, deliver their live babies and create adoption solutions. Deliver live babies. This is not to be labled “Socialism.” This is answering God with a big “Yes!” God who said, “Take care of the widows and orphans.” “You shall not harm … orphans…. I will hear their cry.” (Exodus 22: 21) There is a film called “The silent scream” about the pain we inflict on badies when we abort them. Can you imagine God hearing those silent baby screams? The unloved child in the unloving mother’s womb is already an orphan. Give the orphan to a loving mother! The law was written by God! “No killing.” We can’t erase the law written by God even if we break the tablets and don’t allow them to be displayed. OH but where will we get the money? I asked the question on Google and I got two answers “Between 560 and 614 billionaires live in the US” — the most of any country — and they control the most wealth. The internet lists 4 American men, Bezos, Gates, Buffett, Zuckerberg with about $412 billion. I can’t even figure out how much money is $412 Billion? How many zeros? a billion is one thousand million. A lot. Wow!

We are driven to killing and it is a Supreme Court Ruling that allows that. We fight vehemently about this law that enables us to kill small children… Yet it is written in our hearts that we do not kill. How can we all stop killing and yelling and get back to what the Founding Fathers wrote, “Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” How can we get back to Life? Back away from the abyss. Grab the hand next to you. Choose life and speak about Life. It is the ultimate kindness and gentleness to choose life. If vitriol is all you can come up with when you talk about the November 3 election, then close your mouth and pray. In Scripture, in 2 Chronicles verse 14, it is written that God says, “If my people will humble themselves and pray… I will heal their land.” We will be healed. The whole of Deuteronomy is Moses’ goodbye to his people whom he led out of Egypt under God’s protection. Moses writes: “For this command is not far from you… it is not up in the sky… it is not across the sea… it is in your mouth and in your hearts… Love God… walk in his ways… Choose life” (Deuteronomy 30: 15-20). Choose to speak life not hatred. Whatever the result is November 3, choose Life; Be at peace; Pray to God. Find a way to believe God directs our life. Find a way to work with God. May the Grace and Peace of our Lord be with us.