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my gratitude – to so many

My thoughts  –  as the Year 2010 comes to an end and we enter 2011 – a Blank Sheet – a New Year – a New Beginning –  I’m thinking of the many blessings in my life.  Most especially I’m thinking of the people I love and who have shown love to me – as I continue on This Journey.

There are countless folks who have influenced my life and have inspired me to want to be a better person: my husband, parents, children, grandparents, neighbors, friends  – and sometimes people I met – perhaps only one time and can’t even name – who gave me inspiration and made a difference in my life.

The marvelous folks in our adult Sunday School Class (the Sharers) immediately come to mind as people who truly Live Life and who enrich mine.

My dear dear friends from childhood and school years and young married life – and now – OLD married life . . .  God has truly blessed me with Good People throughout the years.

I am very grateful for all.

Whoever I am, whatever I have become (and am becoming) – in any good way – is mostly because of the influence of  people who exhibited love and warmth and caring and who live lives of worth.  These folks certainly make me want to be better – in every way.  Thanks – to the human angels who have crossed my path and those who continue to bless my life.

God bless you.

You are ever in my prayers.

Looking forward to a New Beginning!

The Year of our Lord

Two Thousand Eleven


 



My friends and family – The Lord Bless You and Keep You

remembering the Special Together Times

a true story

Strange as it may seem, my life is based on a true story. – Ashley Brilliant

The Beauty of the Prayer-Gift

In my prayers, I remember my friends . . . my family . . .  my church . . . and often someone I don’t personally know . . . or a concern that has come to my attention.  I don’t always know what is going on in the lives of those I know casually and sometimes not even those with whom I am intimate; however, I lift them up in prayer.  God knows.  And I am assured that He desires our prayers.

When a friend tells me that I am in his/her prayers, I am heartened and uplifted and feel a closeness – to God and to my friend.

John O’Donohue writes that

It is a lovely gift when a person prays for you.  One of the greatest shelters in your life is the circle of invisible prayer that is gathered around you by your friends here and in the unseen world.  It is a beautiful gift to draw someone into the shelter of your circle of prayer.  When you are going through difficult times or marooned on some lonesome edge in your life, it is often the prayer of your friends that brings you through.  When your soul turns into a wilderness, it is the prayer of others that brings you back to the hearth of warmth.  I know people who have been very ill, forsaken, and damaged; the holy travellers that we call prayers have reached out to them and returned them to healing.  The prayer of healing has wisdom, discernment, and power.  It is unknown what prayer can actually achieve.

When you meet someone at the level of prayer, you meet them on the ground of eternity.  This is the heart of all kinship and affinity.  When you journey in there to meet someone, a great intimacy can awaken between you.  I imagine that the dead who live in the unseen world never forget us; they are always praying for us.  Perhaps this is one of the ways that they remain close to our hearts: they extend the light and warmth of prayer towards us.  Prayer is the activity of the invisible world, yet its effect is actual and powerful.  It is said that if you pray beside a flower it grows faster.  When you bring the presence of prayer to the things you do, you do them more beautifully.

it’s that time . . .

It’s never too early to start planning for overseas holiday mailings, according to Postmaster Dennis J. Mahoney.With thousands of American troops and civilians stationed around the world, the coming weeks will be a busy time for mailing international and military parcels and packages, he said.

He listed below the major dates recommended for mail to be delivered by Dec. 25.

  • Nov. 13 —Parcel Post to military APO/FPO addresses.
  • Dec. 4 —First-Class cards and letters or Priority Mail to military APO AE ZIP 093 addresses.
  • Dec. 11 —First-Class cards and letters or Priority Mail to all other military APO/FPO addresses.
  • Dec. 18—Express Mail Military Service to all military APO/FPO addresses except APO ZIP 093.
  • Dec. 4 —Priority Mail and First-Class Mail to Africa and Central or South America International Mail locations.
  • Dec. 11 —Priority Mail and First-Class Mail to all other International Mail locations.
  • Dec. 12—Express Mail International to Africa and Central and South America.
  • Dec. 17 —Express Mail International to all other countries (except Canada, Dec. 18).
  • Dec. 19—Global Express Guaranteed to all countries (except Canada, Dec. 20).

“We hope the publication of these dates will prove beneficial to persons mailing cards and gifts to foreign countries so they will arrive in a timely manner,” he said.

He said the Postal Service’s website www.usps.com can prove to be a helpful resource during this holiday mailing season, offering a wide variety of links to mailing and shipping tools.

USPS Shipping Calendar

treading lightly

Jimmy and Barbara - 1968

 

On The Death Of Friends In Childhood
by Donald Justice
We shall not ever meet them bearded in heaven
Nor sunning themselves among the bald of hell;
If anywhere, in the deserted schoolyard at twilight,
forming a ring, perhaps, or joining hands
In games whose very names we have forgotten.
Come memory, let us seek them there in the shadows.

Lizzie (and Borden ancestry)

If I had not had another commitment last night, I would have been at the Mosheim Mansion to see the performance about Lizzie Borden.  I am sure it was great fun!  The Asylum Ensemble of Texas presented “Lizzie Borden Took an Axe: The Lighter Side of Axe Murder.”

There will be another performance in November and if possible, I hope to see this show.  We are so fortunate to have businesses such as the Mosheim Mansion who give to the community in so many ways.

The Asylum Ensemble of  Texas is a group of local actors.  Its founders include Carol Hirshi (owner of the Mosheim Mansion), Griffin Darklighter and Brandi Atchley of Seguin along with Steve Zingraf of San Marcos.

Lizzie Borden and I share the same Borden ancestor: Richard Borden, born February 22, 1595 in Headcorn, England (died May 25, 1671 in Portsmouth, New Jersey) and Joane Fowle.  One of the earliest Borden ancestors I’ve researched is one Henry Borden who died 1370 in Headcorn, England.

The Bordens or Bourdens originally came to England from Normandy.

Lisbeth Borden Dies After Short Illness, Age 68 [67]

Lisbeth [sic: Lizbeth] A. Borden died this morning [in 1927]  at 306 French Street, where she had made her home for about 30 years.  She had been ill with pneumonia for about a week, although for some time she had been in failing health.

A member of one of the old Fall River families, having been the daughter of Andrew J. and Sarah Anthony [sic: Morse] Borden, she had lived here all of her life.  With her two maids, she lived a quiet retired life, paying occasional visits to out-of-town friends and receiving a few callers whose staunch friendship she valued highly.

Taking an intense pride in the surroundings in which she lived, she did much to improve the locality, purchasing adjoining property, that the same refined atmosphere might be maintained.  Greatly interested in nature, she was daily seen providing for the hundreds of birds that frequented the trees in her yard, taking care that the shallow box where they gathered with filled with crumbs, seeds and other foods that they favored.  She had miniature houses erected in her trees and, in these, frivolous squirrels made their homes.  Her figure as she visited with her wild callers, many of whom became so friendly that they never seemed to mind her approach, was a familiar one in that section.

Another pastime in which she greatly delighted was riding through the country roads and lanes.  She made frequent trips about town in her motor car, but was never so pleased as when winding through the shady country by-ways.

The death of Miss Borden recalls to many one of the most famous murder trials in the history of the state.  On the fourth of August, 1892, Andrew J. Borden and his wife, Abby D. Borden, were found murdered in their Second Street home.  After a preliminary investigation, Lisbeth Borden was arrested and formally charged with the murder of her father.  After a hearing in Fall River she was indicted by the grand jury and in November 1892 [June 1983], was tried and acquitted in new Bedford.

The trial attracted statewide interest.  No further arrests were ever made and the murder has remained an unsolved mystery since.  Following her acquittal, Miss Borden lived a rather retired life and devoted much of her time to private charities of which the public knew but little.

Gail Borden (inventor, architect, surveyor) is also in this Borden family.  If memory serves (although that isn’t a given these days!), Gail Borden also laid out the plans for Galveston, Texas.  Of course, what one most readily remembers about Gail Borden is his patent for condensed milk.

Stories.

Plain folks.

Infamous folks.

Interesting folks.

We ALL  have these family stories and I find the research fascinating.

snippets from books

The Good Children by Kate Wilhelm

Two years earlier a counselor had told Amy that we were not unlike army children, who had to make friends quickly and adjust to new surroundings all the time.  We knew the difference even then.  Army brats were with other army brats.  A best friend on Friday might be half a world away by Monday, but they might meet again later, and they were all in the same situation.  We were always going into a community of children who had known one another for years, who had slumber parties, whose parents knew the other parents and shared car pools, were room mothers, went running together.  If the schools we had come from had not yet touched on subjects, we were the new dummies.  Amy and Kevin had taught me fractions.  Dad had taught Amy how to diagram sentences.  If our previous schools had been more advanced, we were stuck-up, snobs.  We always knew more about geography than anyone, often more than our teachers.  We all learned not to volunteer answers.  Our accents were always wrong — too southern, too northern, too midwestern. . . . We never knew the new recess rules, the pecking order.  If we carried lunches in boxes, the other kids used brown paper bags.  If we took drinks in thermoses, they bought milk at school.  We were used to being out of step for weeks or even months.

photo memories

capturing the moments . . .

“That’s my boy!”

proud dad - with disinterested daughter

 

go! go! go!

 

a poem for today’s thoughts

Musee des Beaux Arts

by W. H. Auden

About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters: how well they understood
It’s human position; how it takes place
When someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking
dully along;
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not especially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood:
They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom just run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer’s horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.

In Brueghel’s Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water; and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
Had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.

Quote of the day

 

Between grief and nothing, I will take grief. – William Faulkner

We (heart) Meaghan!

in 2010 - she traded straw hat for an Army hat

Miss Sweet Meaghan

This girl is going places!

She’s in the Army now!

early morning leavetaking

You don’t raise heroes, you raise sons.
And if you treat them like sons, they’ll turn out to be heroes,
even if it’s just in your own eyes.  ~Walter M. Schirra, Sr.

Doc’s cane

My husband gave this walking cane to his father when his dad visited us in Denver, several years before his death.  Although my husband has photographs and memories of  his father, this is the only ‘physical’ item of my father-in-law that my husband has.

He recently waxed and stained it, bringing it back to its original ‘glory’ and installed it in the library

– as a visible memory of his dad.

pieces of the past

Pieces of the past stay on as pieces of us, do they?

– Ivan Doig (Heart Earth)

vigil

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Berlin Caldwell, Jr.

linked by blood

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We are linked by blood, and blood is memory without language. – Joyce Carol Oates

family photo memories

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You don’t choose your family.  They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.  ~Desmond Tutu