Friday, July 24, 2020

OFF THE CUFF? YOU BETCHA...

Hey lady, I'm just an ordinary guy and you're askin'  me to opine?   
I don't talk much about stuff like politics and what's goin' round ,,, 
these days it could cost me my job, 'ya know?  Just keep it to yourself, okay?  
You probably gonna' be surprised but I like poetry, a little bit of the classics and I read a lot...especially like history!  It takes me places I never dreamed about.
I didn't go to college 'cause I had to work a couple of jobs to get by.  'Ya know livin' in the big city is not the easiest thing in the world...lots of problems, expenses...kids kept comin' along and just no time for more education.  I like drivin' a hack...meet lots of interestin' people.  Like yourself.  And what d'ya' know...you wanna' know what I think?  Ha, that's a new one on me! 

The wife and I talk with our kids a lot about what's goin' on; we saw this today and it made us take a second look 'cause it makes good sense about history...you know since all this stuff is goin' on all over the country...protestin' about our history and bustin' up all those statues and stuff. I like what this black lady, Maya Angelou has to say about history itself:

"Won't it be wonderful when 
black history and native American history
and Jewish history and all of U.S. history
 is taught from one book.
Just U.S. history."

Lady, can you imagine what that would be like...if our history was all together in just one book?  My kids would be lucky kids...'ya think it'll every happen?  

Well, I'm not the crispiest cookie in the box and honestly?  I have no clue.  I pray a lot about it and I've been taught all my life prayer is powerful; I 100% believe it.  I was blest with Christian parents and grandparents so I knew about God all my life.  I married a wonderful man who was raised as I was...we were married a very long time but now he's free of pain and problems...I'm thankful he isn't witnessing all this hullabaloo.  Sure wouldn't set well with him.  Fact is prayer is powerful and it works...so who knows?  

I'm a lover of quotes and that bright Southern star Dolly Parton said this about living a sane life:

"When I wake up I expect things to be good.
If they're not, then I try to set about trying to make them
as good as I can 'cause I know I'm gonna' have to live that day anyway.
So why not try to make the most of it if you can?
Some days, they pan out a little better than others,
but you still gotta always just try."

I do the best I can to do my part...you know, to make a difference.  We all need to pull together if things are gonna' get better.  I think most agree that we need to band together...like a Band of Brothers & Sisters...all of us.  We can't make it if we're all divided about...well, about everything or so it seems to me.

I don't know if you're a religious guy or not but I know my God is in charge of this world...always has been and always will be.  Some folks don't like that and won't stand for it.  That makes no difference to God because He rules and He's always going to be in charge.  That's a fact.  

He tells us we've gotta' love our brothers and sisters...our neighbors and who are they?  The way He says it?  That's everybody...good, bad and the ugly.  The besties and the worsties.  We can't go round hating people.   We've got to love...LOVE That's the way it's gotta' be...absolutely.  Not everybody can or will handle that.  None of this my way or the highway...we must get along with each other. 

I appreciate you sharing your opinion with me; my prayers are with you and your family.  I really pray your children will one day study our history out of one book U.S. History.

You might make fun of Richard Simmons but I like the little guy - 
here's something  from him you can take home with you.
 
"When I go to bed at night, I ask God to give me another day,
I ask him to keep me strong and make me a good teacher
and to keep spreading this right word."

Here we are at your place and Lady, I gotta' tell 'ya...you're a classy chick and I like your talk...makes sense and I can tell there's somethin' special about 'ya.  I think that God thing is like, well like your flashlight...showin' the way...if that's it the fare's on me and thanks for the tip.

Well, thank you so much.  You're a most interesting guy and I appreciate what you shared.   
I'll remember you and your family in my prayers.  Maybe you might want to pray for our country that we will all pull together and help mend the damages.  Wouldn't hurt, would it?

From my trusting heart...to yours, Vasca

Picture by Dennis Cox
Right to use purchased from artist 







 

Friday, July 17, 2020

WORDY...WORDY...


You ever get up on the wrong side of the bed and have one of the worst days ever?  Seemed like everything that could go wrong did while the pile somehow got higher and higher 'til you thought you couldn't handle another crisis until sure enough, another one happened.  What next?  

Snapped!  Snapped, then crackled...finally popped!  Hopefully you wouldn't encounter someone but by chance you did...you exploded.  Ever happen to you?

It's happened to me, several times and the explosion was no way pleasant...downright horrid.  
When angry?  I should keep my lips ziplocked...why is that so difficult?  Why?

Later on I wised up and put a rein on my tongue...bit it lots of times, too.  I tried teaching myself to refrain from using 'never' and 'always'.  Eating my words always tasted worse coming up!  

"Don't mix your words with your mood.
You can change your mood but
you can't take back your words."
                                                                     Anonymous 

Aah.  Words, words and more words.  All of us know how important they are...they can build bridges; they can also blow those bridges skyhigh!

Here in America we are in the midst of pandemonium (as is much of the world)...we think it can't get worse, we'll have a break in the clouds.  Next thing you know the gloom envelopes us once more.  Can't get ahead for getting behind.

Along with Covid-19 there are demonstrations (peaceful and otherwise)...riots, defunding the police, rampant crimes. quarantines/lockdowns, openings/closures...you name it, we're having it.

Certainly last but in no way least is the upcoming presidential election.  Ha, this year it takes place on my 90th birthday no less.  

The 'War of Words' in our society has been waging for who can say how long.  It began a long time ago and has gone from mild to excruciating...could it possibly worsen?  God must shudder. 

So people are edgy these days...confused and at times, angry - it's rather easy to say something in response to your fuse being lit...regret immediately - guess what?  Couldn't take it back...maybe you wished you could eat those words.  On the other had maybe you wished you would've said even more...stick it to 'em?

I've felt the need much to often to get the 'last word' in...much of the time I wasn't even 'hearing' the speaker's words - too occupied planning my comeback...get my point in, don't 'ya know?  

Politics seem to bring out the worst of the words...wow!  It's them or us.  I could never discuss politics with my dad...we angrily didn't see eye to eye.  So there!!!  You ever argue politics? 

Facebook is a different vehicle for everyone who uses it.  I share my life on Facebook...well, not everything but what I deem worthy.  The joy I receive from 'friends' is immeasurable.  I've become friends w/kids who went to college with mine, relatives I hadn't been in contact with suddenly entered my life - precious friendships.

Now political views are prominently displayed...sometimes aired in anger...others simply to share ideas/views!  Often feeling are hurt...even among families...people are 'unfriended'...more feeling hurt.  Words are written...some are understood while others are misunderstood.  
What to do?

I admit to getting my hackles up easily and when I step back, taking a hard look at myself...my thoughts, words, my actions?  I definitely do not like what I see.  

Words fall out of my mouth much too quickly, without thought.  How foolish am I...too foolish, too demeaning...extremely hurtful.  

A standout memory for you - one sentence from Michael...short, thoughtful.  M never liked arguing...while I argued away.  I also had a short fuse and took revenge on him with sharp tongue.  During one of my tirades he looked at me and quietly said, "Vasca, do you have any idea how hurtful your words are to me"...his gentle spirit moved me. 

Okay, so I have my opinion, you have yours, they have theirs.  I plan to behave respectfully...while keeping tight rein on my tongue...no simple task as it already has ridges galore.

A closing thought...
"We don't have to agree on anything to be kind to one another."



From my penitent heart...to you, my friends, Vasca 

Friday, July 10, 2020

THRILLED & LIFTED


When you love someone you don't give up.  Ever.


My theme song for this particular week has to be "Cry Me a River".  Why?

To begin with M and I would've made it our 68th wedding anniversary but he left prior to it by nine months.  I just sort of, okay I totally came unglued - suddenly something else moved in on me, most unexpectedly.

I listen to Pandora for my music pleasure and background for the days.  Wednesday evening I was responding to comments on my post about our 67 years together.  I had Pandora playing a medley of 100 Instrumental Hymns...shuffling.  

"You Raise Me Up" began playing and I became wracked in sobs...no, I wasn't thinking of me, Michael or our family.  I was instantly thinking of God...I couldn't stop telling Him how thankful I am being His child.  The image appeared in my mind of the evening I was born again in the summer of 1949.  

My home congregation in Odessa...Parkview C of C was having a special meeting.  I was 19 years old and for a very long time I had wrestled with becoming His child but I was a timid person - took lots of nerve for me to do anything publicly.  I threatened my sister if she didn't become a Christian w/me and she succumbed.  Two sometimes are more brave than one alone!  I'll never forget that experience as long as I live.  I even remember what clothes I was wearing....a white peasant blouse w/a purple, tiered skirt and white ballerina shoes.  

Afterwards I was so excited I could hardly stand it.  Michael and I were dating...he picked me up after church that night...it was prior to his stint in Korea and he was still working as a butcher...couldn't get off until after services.  The two of us were excited...that was such a thrill...like I said, I'll never forget it.  

Events in life sometimes change everything...for me, talk about life changing...that was it.  

Here's something that caught my eye around 4th of July, I can identify with it.

                                                Arnold Schwarzenegger : 
"As long as I live, I will never forget that day 21 years ago 
when I raised my hand and took the oath of citizenship.  
Do you know how proud I was?  
I was so proud that I walked around 
\with an American flag
 around my shoulders all day long."

We had lived in Greece...lived in Germany...lived in China...and they were wonderful experiences but when we walked through those gates and the individual checking you through said "Welcome Home" that was goosebumps time for me...such a thrill to be back home...in America.  America with all our freedoms.  One is to worship. 

Listening to "You Raise Me Up"  did that to me, thinking about God, His great love and all the wonders He has done in my life...me, one person in this great big world that is His.  
I was absolutely overcome with love and thankfulness to Him and Wednesday evening  I poured my heart out to Him and I know, I know He heard every word.  He overwhelmed me.
   
When I am down, and, oh my soul, so weary
When troubles come and my heart burdened be
Then, I am still and wait here in the silence
Until you come and sit awhile with me.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains.
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas
I am strong when Is am on your shoulders
You raise me up...To more than I can be.

There is no life' no life without its hunger
Each restless heart beats so imperfectly
But when you come and I am filled with wonder
Sometimes, I think I glimpse eternity.
Music by: Rolf Lovland  Lyrics by: Brendan Graham

These days are troublesome; there's no denying or escaping it.  It seems on every hand there's something to change or shake our lives.  There's every emotion imaginable taking over a person's mind.  So what can we do?  I don't know about you but after all the emotions I've felt this week I know what I intend doing.

I am proud, yet humble to be God's child.  His Son Jesus paid the price...saved me.  There is nothing more important in my life than that.  So, I plan to be wrapped, covered in Him 24/7 no matter what.  The Devil is working overtime to see what he can do but I know he is not going to win...that's certain.  It may be difficult.   God never said life would be easy, but He raises me up...holds me up...and I'm hanging on.
  
So, here it is...whatever takes place I will have a peace that passes understanding because, 
and I pray God will give me the strength to do these things:
I WILL NOT BE SHAKEN (FOR HE IS BESIDE ME) 
I WILL NOT DENY HIM...(HE WILL NEVER LEAVE ME) 
I WILL DO MY BEST TO LOVE (AS HE LOVES),  
It's like..."When you love someone, you don't give up.  Ever."   

From my humble, loving heart...to yours, Vasca