Archive for November, 2020

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

Friday, 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?

Tuesday, 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?

Friday, 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.

Out or In?

Thursday, November 19th, 2020

We brought a bench from Miami that has a broken strap. Rather than throw it out, I placed it near the door of Chuck’s shed and now I use it almost every day! When I am changing my shoes from walking shoes to working shoes or when I’m taking off the dirty working shoes, I sit on that bench and look out down the canal towards the East. For some reason the breeze always seems to be in my face on that bench. I look at our trees and at the water always moving by. I feel the breeze and look up at the sky. It is a place where I am alone. The bench is hidden by the shed door. It’s not a pretty place near the open shed! but it’s in a quiet place. I receive an email from a religious group with saint of the day and other messages. Today there is a picture of a woman sitting on the floor at the foot of her bed. The room is dark. She weeps. The article suggests we go ahead and cry and weep, and then, the article suggests praying the Psalm De profundis: ” Out of the depths I cry to you, O God.” We are in difficult times. Covid is real and it is killing people. The election is over, but we are still fighting about it. Well, I’m trying not to fight…. Go ahead and recognize the ordeal! Lift your head and Plan to live through the day, looking around until you can see the light. I think the hardest thing is to get up from the floor and move toward the door that leads outside. At my age, it’s hard to get up off the floor. I look really awkward in my “get off the floor process”, moving from my sprawling position in the yard pulling weeds to standing up… My old body is cranky. My hamstrings are tight!!! It’s not an option to sit in the dirt out in the weeds, but it is an option to sit on the floor at the foot of my bed. I groan. Finally I’m up and I move! When people offer help, I say “No, I have to get myself up in case I’m ever alone.” … It’s a struggle. It’s hard! But, get up! Take a few steps towards the window…. Look out. This morning dawned cloudy and misty. “OH! No!!!!!” I said, “I can’t walk in misty rain”…. But get out!!!! It will clear. Of course, I live in Florida, the place of sunshine. Sometimes it doesn’t clear up in the north does it? So make a sunny place inside. Paint it light blue, light yellow!!! Put bright lights there and candles! Go to that bright place every day. Make your own light if you only have darkness. It’s time for me to go out walking and then…. to sit on my bench in the quiet of my yard. Look out and look up. God bless you. Angels with you.

Is it over? Where is the fat lady?

Monday, November 16th, 2020

My friend tells me it’s not over. The election isn’t over. A new couple we met for whom I painted a fish, 2 lizards, and a frog on their dock tell me “the Rapture is coming. Haven’t you read Revelation?” he asked. I have, but need some refreshment on the reading and the end times …. So guess what? The church is beginning to read Revelation in Mass. Today was chapters one and two. So! Great; I get my review with current events in mind. Father Matthew is a new Franciscan priest. It’s been nice watching him progress from Seminarian to Deacon, to priest and now he is saying Mass and he’s a good preacher. He explained first that Orthodoxy is common in the church (faith in truth), but without Love, Orthodoxy fails. What did Jesus say? What would Jesus do? The definition of Revelation/Apocalypse in Greek has been called the final destruction, but Fr Matthew said that isn’t necessarily so: In the Greek it is revealing of Jesus Christ… The Rapture is not in Catholic teaching, so let’s search for it in Revelation. I intend to do just that… Is this the end times? As an aside, I watched some of the Million MAGA March and I wasn’t happy. It seems that hundreds (thousands) of big muscled, bearded, pony tailed white men are marching for Trump saying he hasn’t lost yet. I am sorry for my friends who believe this and tell me it’s the end times. I tell anybody who will listen that we have 200 years of Constitutional Law and Amendments keeping us in order. We hold an election, we count votes, electoral college gets involved which is ancient and needs to be changed, and then on January 20 the (and I hate to use this word as some have made it dirty), the “loser” moves out and the winner moves in. For four years. And then we get to do it again. Suppose we don’t trust in the process? Suppose we think it is rigged and fraudulant? Doesn’t that mean it’s all over? Doesn’t that mean…. The Rapture. When we don’t have faith and hope… might as well give up… it’s over.

Orthodoxy is fighting error. But it must be mixed with Love (charity). St Paul said to the Ephesians, “Let only Love come out of your mouths. No malice. Be kind.” Do I think the Lord will let me go if I spew Love? The Revelation of Jesus Christ is to show us what must happen soon. So, let’s begin reading! Chapters One and Two today…. We’ll have to scurry to keep up. Tomorrow is chapter three!!!! God bless us.

The last page…

Friday, November 13th, 2020

In daily Mass (On EWTN on TV) we are reading Luke chapter 17 wherein Jesus talks about the servant doing what he is obliged to do… Even if the servant is tired and full of a days work, he must serve the Master. The servant is rarely praised. At the Last Supper, Jesus said he is the servant. Rarely praised, He receives a lack of gratitude to the point of death in a very, the most, painful manner. The most beautiful and pure man we could ever see, killed by men who reject Grace. Some people we know are like those who reject Grace and some are like the one man out of 10 lepers who returns to thank the Lord for healing. Running to the Lord, singing and jumping! Grateful and thankful. Do I express that? Every time I open my mouth I express what I am and I reveal what I am. St James talked about our tongue, and I must be constantly aware of my tongue as I used some angry words in my youth! Expressing hate was often me expressing what was inside of my aching human heart. Now I’m grown and educated and the “old days” expressing my angst doesn’t work any more! Life’s too short. I remember vividly right after our boys came home from Viet Nam and a friend said something pretty awful, I won’t repeat it, and I remember how shocked I was, and will never forget it. Let us clean up our tongues even when we call our aquaintences names for their selfish behavior… let alone calling politicians names! Tired, full of the work of protecting myself and husband from Covid, and tired of politics, I must protect my tongue and serve the Master. Even more as we age. Serve the Master.

As I watch daily Mass on EWTN, Chuck jokes about Catholic feast days and he asks, “what’s the feast today?” Yesterday we celebrated the courage of St Josaphat, a Bishop who tried to reunite the Eastern, Russian Orthodox, church with the Roman, Latin, church. An obstinate faction of Eastern church people killed him for his efforts. They refused to unify East and West. Lately I’ve read and talked with my friend I walk with about the creation of Missouri and Kansas. When these 2 states entered the union, one had to be slave and one had to be free to keep the numbers even. Lincold battled Stephen Douglas in debates and Lincoln actually lost the Senate race, but won the Presidency only to be assassinated. People couldn’t find solid ground to stand on together so people resorted to ugliness and violence. Oh! let us find solid ground on which to agree. Let our solid ground be based on compassionate love for the poor and disadvantaged. Let it be based on love. Look ahead and look up! Ask, “Who can I help? How can I help?” With isolation from Covid… the answer might not be easy but it’s there.

Cindi McCain just said she hopes the demeanor of President elect Biden will be uplifting for America. I woner if uplifting is what we need…. On our walks, I keep pointing “up” “Look at the birds in the tree” I say pointing to 20 Ibis in the top of a tree. “Look at that! Is it an eagle? Look at that!!!!!” We miss the voices of reason. The voices of working together for the country, the voices saying, “Look up!”… For the American people.

I’m moving to new journal tomorrow! Let’s fill our new journals with great stuff!!! God bless America! God bless us!

Rain! Rain! Go away!

Sunday, November 8th, 2020

Excuse me… Its almost Thanksgiving and my Connecticut cousins are cavorting in the garden in 70 degree weather and Florida and the Keys are ducking and weaving to survive a hurricane!!! Well, it’s not a hurricane thank God, but it’s close. The Keys are hunkering down and not evacuating and our friends have shuttered up on Big Pine Key. We too in central Florida have removed all the chairs and toys from the dock. The pontoon boat is tightly tied and … singing “rain rain go away” is occasionally necessary. Lake Placid is under a Tropical Storm warning as announced across the TV screen during a Sunday afternoon Football game… So unreal!!!

The election is over. The votes are counted and many of my friends are …. very quiet, but when they speak… One said, “I cannot support …. him.” And she rattled off a few rumors that haven’t been proven. Another ugly thing that I’ve heard is that the Senate will block everything. Oh dear. “My dears.” I answer: Let’s give America a chance to …. be America. Opponents are just that; not enemies. We compete. Fighting is against the rules in football and it should be against the rules here too. Opponents are not enemies; they are Americans. WE are Americans. We need to stop demonizing, and decide to cooperate. Lead the little ones to join together to heal and build. Most of my friends are wearing masks to avoid getting Covid and maybe getting seriously ill. So let’s decide to heal our sick hearts too. Joe Biden ended his President Elect speech by quoting from a hymn inspired by Psalm 91….. Let us be raised UP on eagles’ wings! Look up! God bless us!

Big sigh

Friday, November 6th, 2020

As I roll into “position” in the night, and I make sure I can breathe with my face down in my favorite prone position on my belly…. I wonder what makes us breathe. Just now, I paid property taxes online. All you do is click a few keys on the computer, asure “them” I am not a robot”, and “woooosh,” money is gone from checkbook and my bank… to “their” bank. I then pulled up this blog and let out a long sigh…. “whooosh”. Was I holding my breath? I wasn’t aware of that! In the old days, what I just paid in property taxes would buy a farm. No wonder my spirit was clenching her breath.

Life is anxious now. I don’t just count pennies. I count in thousands, which, thank God, with careful investment in real estate…. thousands are in the bank for paying taxes. We count votes too….. I turn on the TV for 60 seconds and I look at “the numbers” and I realize, “we have to wait, for the actual count. No guessing. No algorythms. No fancy math. Just one, two, three, 99,465, 108967, etc etc.” Real numbers one by one. Chuck and I both remember counting pennies and dimes as we prepared on a Saturday morning for our monthly trip to, believe it or not, the same savings bank on the Trail and… 62 Avenue? There was actually a TV show for kids when (and this might not be his name) Ranger Bob used to talk to kids about saving money… He taught us to count, save, and deposit into a savings account. From our little piggy banks to the bank, recorded in a little book with our names on it! It wasn’t so hard then as we had no real responsibilities… Just monthly or maybe it was weekly deposit in the savings account. My dears! Let us now dig down and find the things we learned back then…. Hope, along with the careful savings, we learned patience and loving kindness! God bless us!!!!!

Banging on the glass

Thursday, November 5th, 2020

Yesterday (day after election), I turned on the TV twice. One time news showed a mob of people banging on the glass at a polling place where mail-in ballots were being counted (not quickly enough?). (If the post mark was before November 3, then the ballot has to be counted!) I am SO Glad that glass disn’t break! Oh what a mess we humans make with our ill behavior. Are we undisciplined? Are we sick? What exactly makes me think I can’t trust the counting process? If I can’t trust people to follow the “rule of order” then…. I feel like giving up. Sometimes, following written rules is difficult because we “see another way”. But we can’t just do it our way when a process has been in place for a hundred years. OK maybe the old process is flawed and we don’t NEED the electoral college any more. Why can’t we have a vote “of the people”? I can’t answer that, but… “its the rule” and we have 4 years to change it!

The other thing I saw on TV is the Governor of Florida dissing the people of other states because their mail in ballot counting is taking too long. Give it up people! Quit criticizing!!! What is this teaching our children? “You don’t do it fast enough; You don’t do it the way I do it…. you idiot.” Oh dear. My dears: I am praying for 4 years of peace and getting along. We voted. The nation voted more than it ever has before!!!! Now let us grab our God’s hand and walk together. God bless us!

Today’s the day, and tomorrow, and the next day!!!!!

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020

Today began chilly here in mid Florida! My friends and I walked in near 70 degree breeze!!!! I did not come home all wet with sweat for the first time! YES! Autumn. Today the temperature will get to a high of 75! I promise not to tune in TV to any news channel until at least 11pm. At that time if announcers are pulling their hair out…. Turn Off the TV and say extra prayer! We all figure a few days until everything is counted, and I think we all agree we hope it isn’t so close it goes to lawyers and courts. And… Then we pray for peace and quiet. I heard sirens today and we never hear sirens in Lake Placid. Well maybe once a week. Sirens mean trouble and we don’t have a lot of that here. Hearing a distant train at the crossing of Main Street and Interlake Blvd is our “world coming through” here in our tiny town. Country music plays on the TV, and I’m going to the bank and the grocery store. All is well here on election day. Let’s all pray and look up! God bless us!

What if it takes 7 days to count?

Monday, November 2nd, 2020

Today is the day before election day! Finally… I’m listening for just a moment to the news which is in heavy speculation mode …. It might take 7 days to count mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania. Florida maybe take a while too. Houston is fighting to keep 120,000 ballots thrown out. All valid ballots must to be counted. We might not know for 7 days! The White House is building a wall due to expected anger and misbehavior. They built the wall before when there was rioting in DC. So…. Hold on folks. Most of us are good at hunkering down: People in Florida are good at sitting and waiting for hurricanes. My northern friends are good at sitting around fire places roasting marshmallows while blizzards wail… waiting. We have all waited and we can do it again. Keep the judges away. Keep the rhetoric to a dull whisper and wait. Praying for peace will help. My dears! Go out and enjoy nature! God is in the world and He loves us even if we are grumpy and mean… Love and Peace from your friend Susie.