Sunday, January 17, 2016

Political Math

Jerry Falwell Jr, president of Liberty University makes a speech saying 
students may carry guns on campus


Donald Trump is invited to speak at LU in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr Day


Some students start protesting the invitation to Trump believing him to be 
an inappropriate person to speak on this occasion


A tragedy ready to happen. 

I have been in touch with a friend who teaches on that campus and she says it is precarious this weekend and was grateful for my prayers for peace and respect. Please, join me in those prayers. There may be times when political opinions are worth death. This weekend is not one of them. 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Snow Scenes

For almost five years, I have been unable to offer you pictures like these. Finally, the weather gods are smiling on Tahoe. We have snow! 
These are just out the back door this morning. I wanted to catch the pines after 14 hours of snow before the sun began to shake the snow loose. 

The path was dug for the dog over a week ago. We both keep it shoveled.
Yesterday the snow around it became higher than Oso's back. 

Precipitation in a dry land is as precious as gold. And sometimes it is gold
as sunrise on the snow testifies. 
Gorgeous day for skiing, snowshoeing and being grateful. Snow returns again next week. 

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Just a Little Peeve

I have a new peeve. Not a big one. Hasn't been around long enough to be a pet. Just one of those things that popped up yesterday and I realized when it had come around the first time, I do not like it.

Rebates are now coming in the form of a credit card. Size of the rebate is immaterial. $50 or $12, the size of rebate number two that was in the mail yesterday. Now I have to take the card and ask some clerk or server to use that card and then put the rest of the bill on my regular card. Maybe this is spread wide enough that they just do it with no question. I still feel strange having the transaction where I am not known. I much prefer to put a check in the bank and be done with it.

Like I said, a little tiny irritant. Silly. And there it is. ~ and if I am going to follow through with all my Christmas gratitudes, I'm always grateful for a little extra money no matter in what form it comes.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Christmas Fun

Those of you who read this blog regularly know how much I enjoy the whole Christmas season. No Grinch for me. I love the hustle and bustle, the candles and the Silence. I love the Advent anticipation and the arrival of the Child of Light and of Santa Claus. And it all stays around until Epiphany with the celebration in my life of not only the gifts of the Magi but also the gifts of Life. And given that I have this, a gift from a couple of years ago, and given that I used it Before Christmas, I delighted in the fun of using it afterwards as well. This is what was tucked away with the decorations yesterday. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

On the Twelfth Day ~

On the twelfth day of Christmas I am grateful for the gift of Silence. This gift comes in many forms, all of them blessed. There is the gift of meditative silence, sitting in peace with yourself and the Divine. There is the gift of earthly silence when the snow falls, blocking out or preventing the sounds of the world breaking through. There is the unexpected gift of silence when the party has been raucous, the children noisy, the music loud, and suddenly it stops.      Silence.     Ahhhh. 

These moments, whether planned or a surprise, are restful to the soul. They allow us to regroup, to adjust, to center and be ourselves again. May you find your moments of silence and be grateful for them in this new year. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

On the Eleventh Day ~

On the eleventh day of Christmas I am grateful for the gift of laziness. No matter how hard we work, we all have those moments of pure laziness when we can put our feet up and relax if only for a moment. I thought of this this morning when I slept in, an unusual occurrence. I woke to snow falling. For some moments I just lay there, enjoying the feel of the sheets, watching the snow, realizing I wasn’t going to make it to gym and probably not snowshoeing either. And I thought of this blog. How grateful I was to be able for a few moments to be lazy. 

Some of my favorite FB posts are from those friends who work really hard and then post about their joy on a day off or vacation or how good it felt to sit back and breathe. These times are often short. They are still precious. This morning the laundry looks like a mountain and the first load is in. I used some pots and dishes for dinner last night that cannot go in the dish- washer. They are piled in the sink waiting. And for a few minutes this morning, I was able to be restful and lazy and grateful for the gift. 

Monday, January 4, 2016

On the Tenth Day ~

On the tenth day of Christmas, I am grateful for the gifts of the mundane: clean sheets, fresh water, anesthetics, indoor plumbing. Oh, I’m normal. I don’t think of these things all the time. When I do, I am very aware of how grateful I am to live now when all these are possible and available to me if I want or need them. They may be mundane and ordinary to me, but not to a lot of the folks in this world, not even in this country. I am very grateful for my ordinary life. 

Sunday, January 3, 2016

On the Ninth Day ~

On the ninth day of Christmas, I celebrate the gift of my country. I have never been so aware of this gift then one day last June when I watched 881 people pledge their allegiance to the United States of America and be sworn in as new citizens. One of them was son-in-law David. They represented the world. They were dressed in their finest representing their country of origin. They were dressed in jeans and T-shirts ready to return to the work they had been doing for years. They were all ages including so many children dressed in red, white and blue because ages 18 and under became citizens when their parents did. 

There was one young military airman whose name sounded Arabic who led us in the Pledge of Allegiance and then received his citizenship papers because of this three years of service to his chosen country. There was the Asian grandmother (I was not close enough to tell by sight or to ask her country of origin). Her white hair was bent over her cane and an orchid corsage graced her wrist. I would love to have known her story.

And then there were the smiles. As we left the building, we were all wishing congratulations to anyone carrying the certificate of citizenship. David smiled all day ~ and again on the day he voted for the first time. And for all our cynicism and criticism, everyone we told of David’s becoming a citizen stuck out their hand, shook his and offered words of congratulations and pride. Once in a while, it is good to step away from the rhetoric, away from the news, remember who we are and what we stand for and be glad. 

Saturday, January 2, 2016

On the Eighth Day ~

On the eighth day of Christmas I am going to move beyond my own space and go further afield. Today I am grateful for the men and women over the years and today who have committed themselves to military service and stepping into harm’s way. It has nothing to do with politics or whether one believes in the reason for sending them into harm’s way. The fact is, these young people are willing to go, to work, to commit themselves to defending their country when asked. For that I am grateful. 

I am also grateful for their families who (I hope) are part of the decision and who support them in all the ways military families do. Support our Troops needs to be more than a slogan. We need to give them our best because that is what they have given us. 

Friday, January 1, 2016

On the Seventh Day ~

On seventh day of Christmas I am grateful for the gift of new beginnings. Today is the big one of course: an entire new year in which to start over. I don’t believe in resolutions because they always seem to fail and I do like to have some intentions to be different, to change some things, to view the clean calendar slate with new eyes.

Our lives are filled with much smaller beginnings than the new year: births of babies, start of the school year, new business deals. Sometimes new beginnings come out of tragedy or sad events: the death of a parent, a spouse or a dearly loved friend. The Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said, “New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.” Although we can not acknowledge it in the moment, as time passes, we realize changes and newness in our lives. 

And then there are those amazing folks who simply stop in a moment and change. Think of the smoker who suddenly says, “that was my last one” and quits cold turkey. Or those moments when we stop and say, “I will be grateful rather than resentful or angry” and everything starts over anew. 

On the whole, we think of new beginnings as a good time, a joyful time, a time to become better than we have been. May your new year be blessed with delightful and exciting change and may you find gratitude in and for it all.