Monday, June 19, 2017

#DailyPrompt ~ RELIEVED ~ #MondayBlogs

I found a terrific writing site (thanks to my friend Sugana) — The Daily Post: Daily Prompts provides a NEW daily prompt every day to give every writer a way to put a spark in her/his creativity. I decided to join this group every so often...

Today's Prompt is RELIEVED

 The definition of RELIEVED: [adjective] no longer feeling distressed or anxious; reassured.

As we get to that “certain age” and the doctor writes out a bunch of scrips for scans, lab tests, diagnostics, and more, we just can’t seem to avoid a growing dread in the pit of our stomachs. Absolutely NOTHING was wrong before! Why am I being subjected to all of this poking and prodding? And what about my dignity when each part of my body is being examined by a different group of people… okay, okay, I know they are professionals, and my common sense does tell me that playing it safe is a heck of a lot better than dealing with some catastrophic illness. But still —

So we act rationally and make our appointments and scheduling isn’t always the easiest, after shifting schedules and arranging for someone to pick us up afterwards (when required) and throwing someone else’s day into disarray we bravely march right up to the reception desk and fill out a myriad of forms with the most minute details… details that would normally fall into the category of TMI. Then you are given a gown that is guaranteed to let in too much of a breeze “somewhere”.

Finally we are in the exam room, hooked up to all kinds of monitors and feeling a bit like a character in some futuristic sci-fi show. The doctor, technician or PA does what they have to do and you are done. Get dressed again and go wait in the next room for someone to come in and discuss preliminary findings, if you are lucky; with some test you’ll have to wait three, ten or fourteen days until you get a phone call from a nurse reading the results to you and telling you the doctor’s next recommendation.

Whew! You get a clean bill of health and this tremendous feeling of relief settles over you. You’re told what they’ll send you a reminder when you have to do it all over again. Until then though, you are celebrating. I’m fine, I’m alive, and things are good. As you wipe your brow feeling so relieved you know that this was the smart thing to do for YOU and for the folks who love and depend on you. And IF, G-d forbid, your results aren’t the most pristine, you’ve probably found out while there is still time to make adjustments. Yeah, definitely smart.

My wish for all of you is Always Great Results and lots of reasons to feel relieved.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

What a Sad, Sad World…

 Flag Day June 14, 2017

When I walked into the living room today my husband was watching the news on TV and told me that there had been a shooting in the Capitol,

Me: Oh God, anyone hurt
Him: Yeah, a few, there’s a congressman and a couple of cops
Me: I just hope they will be okay
Him: Yeah

As the time passed there was more and more information about the incident, the victims’ names and eventually the name of the shooter — a short time later there was an announcement that the shooter had died from his injuries.

Today is Flag Day. On June 14, 1777 there was a congressional resolution calling for an OFFICIAL American flag with stars and stripes representing the colonies. In 1916 President Woodrow Wilson suggested that June 14 be observed as Flag Day and celebrated with Patriotism. In 1949 President Harry Truman signed that proclamation into law. The American Flag stands today with 50 stars and 13 stripes as a symbol of freedom, liberty and human rights.

“…One Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

I typed the deceased shooter’s name into Google and came up with his Facebook page. Curious about what would make a man fire upon others in such an apparent random act of senseless violence I did click on his page to see if he had posted any prior notice. The man was politically charged and not a fan of the current administration and extremely verbal about his feelings. In this country we do have the right of free speech and he did exercise it — but from what I could read he didn’t advocate violence or killing. Whatever reason this man may have justified his deed by, whether mental illness or some “plot”, I cannot condone his actions.

However what did strike me, frighteningly so, were the multitudes of comments filled with vitriol; I wasn’t the only one to have referenced his page. And this was what I find even more abhorrent, the commentary on his page was, almost without exception, celebrating his death as a “lesson” to any others who disagreed with the current administration. The hate didn’t stop there, regardless of the insulting and vile names that many of these people used to label non-Trump supporters, there were actually jokes and comparisons to the ovens of Nazi Germany and the fate of the residents of Hiroshima… these are events that (should) have NO relevance to today’s incident.

The hatred that was spewed on his page included threats, physical threats, to his family and friends. There were also several postings insulting and threatening anyone who had “friended” the man on Facebook. Allegedly several screenshots were made of the friends list and sent to the FBI and other “interested groups”. A plea that had been posted on this man’s page to allow his “shocked family” to mourn was answered with more hate, name-calling, and threats.

Is this what our country has become? I am heartbroken. It doesn’t matter what our political persuasions are, WE ARE AMERICANS. This hatred and divisiveness is not what our country should stand for. We should all be celebrating the principles which our country was founded upon and living up to the ideals that the many who have come before us tried to instill:
Individual Liberty: The principle that each person is born with freedom from arbitrary or unjustified restraint.
Federalism: A system of dual sovereignty. ...
Limited Government: ...
Representative Government: ...
Private Property: ...
“All Men Are Created Equal”: ...
Separation of Powers/Checks and Balances:

Monday, June 12, 2017

Daily Prompt ~ Triumph ~ #MondayBlogs

I found a terrific writing site (thanks to my friend Sugana) — The Daily Post: Daily Prompts provides a NEW daily prompt every day to give every writer a way to put a spark in her/his creativity. I decided to join this group every so often...

Today's Prompt is TRIUMPH

The definition of Triumph: [noun] a great victory or achievement; [verb] achieve a victory; be successful

It’s a hard thing for many of us to acknowledge our successes, our triumphs. So many of us lack the ability to see ourselves as successful and worthy. One of the professions that is often known for wearing our self-doubts is that of a writer. …yours truly is a writer, a novelist and journalist.

When I find myself in a funk and I need encouragement I can nudge people close to me and wrangle compliments from their lips to feed my fragile ego, but then I feel bad that I’ve gone “fishing”. Something else I do, especially late at night when it just wouldn’t be right to telephone someone just for a little ego soothing, is make a list of any and all things I’ve done that I am proud about. Maybe I am just being kind to myself but I often come up with a lengthy list (and no I am not posting it, bragging is not something I am comfortable with).

Now I don’t know if others would agree with the things I feel some success about — I know for a fact that not everyone holds the same values that I do. Surely I would fall flat if someone only looks at a stunning figure or the grand dame of the manor; I really don’t care though because those values don’t impress me. I guess there is a bit of conceit in that I do not do the things I do to impress others, I do something because I feel it is the right thing to do and hopefully benefits those around me.

I see value in family relationships and the respect that a parent gets from his/her children. I see value in a long term marriage. I see value when someone gets up and keeps on going even after being struck down by some misfortune. And most of all I see value when someone has touched other lives to make them, even a little bit, better.

On my list I do have references to my marriage, my children and my writing. While I rarely get satisfaction from extolling my own virtues, I do very much enjoy a bit of bragging about my husband and my children, people that I truly admire and respect. 

My husband has always been determined, never takes the easy way if it isn’t the right way, he has always worked hard whether it’s a job or a personal quest, and he has always put his family first. My offspring have grown into remarkable human beings, both give of themselves to others, they are intelligent and capable.

Collectively as first responders and educators my husband and children have saved lives, comforted those in need, put out fires, and given others the means to do the same. And it always seems whatever these people decide to tackle, they have a can do attitude that always comes through. More than anything each one of them CARES. I can only hope that they take at least a little pride in me, it would truly be only a portion of what I feel for them.

Not every accomplishment is earth shattering, few will be considered newsworthy. But each accomplishment is our own whether we wish to brag or stay quiet

What are you proud of today?


Monday, June 5, 2017

Daily Prompt ~ Distance ~ #MondayBlogs

I found a terrific writing site (thanks to my friend Sugana) — The Daily Post: Daily Prompts provides a NEW daily prompt every day to give every writer a way to put a spark in her/his creativity. I decided to join this group every so often...

Today's Prompt is DISTANT

Definition of Distant: [adjective] far away in space or time, "distant parts of the world". synonyms: faraway, far off, far, far-flung, remote, out of the way, outlying, extrasolar, "distant parts of the world"; long ago, bygone, olden; ancient, prehistoric; literary of yore, olden, "the distant past"; away, off, apart, "half a mile distant".

What does the word DISTANT make me think of? Distant memories come to mind.

There’s the distant memory of a mother’s comforting kisses whenever a boo-boo made my child-self cry, or her comforting embrace when teenage angst seemed like the most tragic thing in the world. There’s also the distant memory of my father being able to fix anything in the world no matter how shattered the toy might be. As I reached my teenage years and entered adulthood my dad always managed to say exactly the things I needed to hear. I was just a newlywed when my parents passed away and I do miss those memories.

Now as an adult reaching my golden years with my own grown offspring I think back to every time I tried to sooth their aches, whether physical or in the heart, and wondered if my hugs and kisses were as magical as my parents’ were. And though they are now adults and more-or-less have no need of mom and dad to fix their problems, they are still my kids and always will be. Every time they make a turn that I want to give some advice about I go back to those distant memories and wonder what my dad would have said. Luckily most times I think at least twice and try to keep my mouth shut. I wonder if my children will one day have distant memories of those times that I didn’t meddle?

Life is made up of distant memories that influence all of our actions today and tomorrow. Distant memories can seem so sweet, some tug at the heart, and others that once felt so monumental now seem so insignificant. Our memories can sustain us and guide us and maybe sometimes embarrass us… but I wouldn’t trade those distant memories, those are my keepsakes forever.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Daily Prompt ~ Radiate ~ #MondayBlogs

I found a terrific writing site (thanks to my friend Sugana) — The Daily Post: Daily Prompts provides a NEW daily prompt every day to give every writer a way to put a spark in her/his creativity. I decided to join this group every so often...

Today's Prompt is RADIATE

Definition of RADIATE: emit (energy, especially light or heat) in the form of rays or waves.  "the hot stars radiate energy"  synonyms:   emit, give off, give out, discharge, diffuse.

My husband has taken to watching a show about superheroes lately (based on comic book characters from his childhood) and I’ve gotten drawn into the plot. I don’t think anyone can help but fantasize about how we would use these extraordinary superpowers if we had the chance.

Where would I direct my rays? Who would be served if I could channel waves of energy?

As a wife and mom I would have to say I would certainly radiate everything good I could muster towards my husband and children. Perhaps I could take a superhero name like “The Good Vibes Gal” and cloak my loved ones in layers of protection, happiness and of course my love. There would never be illness, danger, negative attitudes, or heartbreak.

I realize though that I already belong to a family of superheroes with years of volunteer and paid first response, educators in life saving skills, selfless attention towards helping those in need, and spreading caring to all they come in contact with.

My husband, among his many skills, has been a CPR Instructor for years. He once said to me that with every student he teaches his “fingers reach out”; indeed there was an ambulance call shortly after one of his classes where I encountered a recent student (I volunteered with my local ambulance as an EMT) — this student had just successfully revived a young patient whose heart had stopped, she admitted to me how she had “heard” my husband’s voice coaching her as she administered CPR. He definitely radiated his talents!

My husband and our offspring (separately) instructed other health providers and first responders and each student they trained and put out on the street saved many lives radiating each of their efforts and knowledge. Our children (from birth and marriage) have saved lives, put out fires (literally), delivered babies, soothed tears, and so much more. They’ve impacted so many other lives in ways that affect whole families and communities. Once again the touch radiates.

Is it any wonder that I feel I live in a family of superheroes? But I still yearn to be able to have my own power specifically to protect these wonderful people I love so much. I want to send out a wave of protective cloaks and hugs. I want this superpower to radiate energy and good vibes.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Daily Prompts ~ ADRIFT ~ #MondayBlogs

I found a terrific writing site (thanks to my friend Sugana) — The Daily Post: Daily Prompts provides a NEW daily prompt every day to give every writer a way to put a spark in her/his creativity. I decided to join this group every so often...

Today's Prompt is ADRIFT

Definition of ADRIFT:  without motive power and without anchor or mooring [Merriam-Webster]

It’s a wonder how some people seem to go through life without any attachments or roots. There is a movement of minimalism where one has fewer material possessions, less things to tie one down. Minimalism allegedly gives one a greater freedom allowing them to do things and go anywhere with complete independence. There are those who mistakenly stretch the idea of minimalism to include relationships, they don’t want to be encumbered by anything or anyONE who can tie them down and restrict their freedom.

There are those who try to go through life adrift without responsibilities and without thought to anyone else’s needs. They scoff at the idea of marriage or any kind of commitments; they certainly have no desire to surround themselves with family, especially children. Many overzealous minimalists will not commit themselves to long term jobs preferring instead to simply work for as much money as they need or want to get to the next big plan. Cars and home ownership are often problems they choose to do without.

The true purpose of minimalism is to rid oneself of all the extraneous baggage that has no real meaning to a chosen lifestyle. There are minimalists who do settle down with homes (and mortgages), loving marriages, multiple children, one or more pets, automobiles, and jobs they go to regularly. The only difference in their lives is that they don’t waste time on anything that doesn’t hold meaning for them. Minimalists don’t spend time hoarding useless possessions for mere appearances, they don’t latch onto relationships that they cannot emotionally commit to, or toil at meaningless jobs they hate.

True minimalists are not adrift, in the waters of life, but they are not anchored by weights. Minimalists make choices, they stay where they want to, not have to; they appreciate what they have and enjoy looking forward to each day.

Minimalists elect to lead purpose-driven lives… to live them fully and happily.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Think Pink

I found a terrific writing site (thanks to my friend Sugana) — The Daily Post: Daily Prompts provides a NEW daily prompt every day to give every writer a way to put a spark in her/his creativity. I decided to join this group every so often...

Today's Prompt is  PINK

Almost 47 years ago (this June) my sister was married to the love of her life and I had the joy of being her Maid of Honor. 

I wore this beautiful PINK gown, I remember it so clearly even so many years later. I remember thinking that it was a "creamy" pink, empire style with a huge pink and shiny bow right across the bosom. The dress and sleeves had a wonderfully intricate lace overlay. I absolutely loved that gown. I was a teenage girl and I swore it was the prettiest dress I ever wore. I felt so pretty and of course since their wedding was so romantic, pink meant love and romance to me.

Being the terrible bordering-on-hoarder that I am, years later when my own teenage daughter was going to a party where the theme was the 80s (yes, I know, I wore the dress in 1970) I offered it to her. She took a look at the dress and said "Omigosh Mom, I can't believe you ever wore that, it is soooo OLD."


LOL. By the way five-and-a-half years later my sister was the Matron of Honor at my wedding and she wore blue.

Oh... also, both couples are still very much in love.