Category Archives: karma

Sunday World Topics of Interest

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When people question faiths, I am sometimes aghast. Families and traditions

are part of heritage from generations back. When someone asked me, of a

different faith, “Who ‘made up’ the idea of Palm Sunday?” I had to think back

upon all of my Bible readings and my childhood lessons.

 

Aha!  In, John 12:12-13

(New Testament, Bible):

“They took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him (Jesus),

shouting, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the

Lord – – the King of Israel!'”

 

No, this does not discuss or dictate a certain day to take palm

branches and walk through town, or in my family’s church’s case,

through church. It does mention this is a celebration and honoring

someone who we may have strong beliefs in.

 

I was especially proud then, to read that the church I attended with

my three children and my ex-husband, First Presbyterian, Delaware,

Ohio, is going to use “Eco-Palms.”

 

This is part of the Presbyterian Earth Care program joining with

the Presbyterian Hunger Project. These are branches which you

may feel are worth celebrating about. Usually palms are harvested

in rainforests where they make needed habitats for migrating birds.

 

Birds are one of my favorite part of the animal kingdom. The more

fronds or palm leaves taken and cut by the harvesters in the

rainforest, the more desperate a situation it becomes.

 

Eco-Palm harvesters, gather only quality palm fronds in a way that

allows the plants to keep growing. This program is considered a

community process and the way they are trained to promote saving

the plants and the homes of the rainforest birds, touched my heart.

 

The marketing program is what helps the Hunger Project, since it is

one where an agent is handling the sales and providing monies to

capture more of the profits to benefit the native population:  for shoes,

school uniforms, food and basic health care.

 

In addition, a portion of the profits is set aside for providing

scholarships, paying teachers and helping elderly members.

This truly is, ‘Cause for Jubilation’ in the highest form.

 

 

Timothy Merrill gives us his perspective on

always having to Wait in,

 

“The Waiting Game

Life involves lots of waiting. We wait in groups, in lines, in cars.

We wait for packages, for the bus, for the sun to rise.

We wait in doctor’s offices, at the post office, at the DMV

(waiting for license or plates renewals.)

Waiting implies we’re at someone else’s mercy.

 

It is also usually linked to Hope.

 

Perhaps that is why Paul Tillich called ‘waiting’ a “metaphor for

faith.”

 

Why would a person wait if there weren’t the firm belief that the

object of one’s wait will eventually materialize?

 

Waiting can be enervating, which is why in the Bible,

Isaiah 40:31 these words are so promising:

“They who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.”

 

Yet, waiting is tough if you have nothing to do while waiting.

 

That is why Jesus, when talking about waiting, also talked about

working – – “Work for the night is coming.”

 

Sometimes it is less tiring to work than it is to wait.

 

There’s a lot of waiting during Lent.

You’re waiting for a payoff.

You’re waiting for the Resurrection.

You’re waiting for spiritual growth.

And then you realize this isn’t waiting at all.

It’s Life.

It’s Joy.

It’s Opportunity.

It’s Blessing.”

 

Like John Mayer said but may have expressed more

deeply, “That’s why we’re waiting on the World to change.”

 

 

This one focuses on the enjoyable custom shared at work,

in communities or family gatherings. . .

 

“A Potluck of People”

(Taken from March’s “Spire” church bulletin)

 

“At many gatherings for potluck dinners which are meals largely

unplanned, when people bring food to share, usually the main

dishes, salads and desserts somehow balance out.  The fun is in

the variety and mixing together on a plate and the surprise factor

of what is brought to share and contribute to the Potluck.

 

Groups of peoples, churches, communities, families and workplaces

are all “potlucks” of a sort, too. When groups assemble, each person

contributes something unique and sometimes unexpected. When all

is mixed together, the whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts.

 

A beautiful balance often results:

One is a good singer; the other writes well.

Some are strong leaders; others dependable team members.

Some are traditional; others innovative.

Combined together, it’s ‘delicious.’

 

Potlucks are sometimes called covered-dish dinners or meals.

But don’t keep your gifts ‘covered.’

Share them because you are a valued part of the whole.”

(Author Unknown)

 

We used to call our country a “melting pot,” which describes how we

were going to blend together.

 

I like to think of the World full of diverse cultures, faiths, histories

of countries as part of a “Human Masterpiece.”

(reocochran, 3/15)

 

When I speak of Lent, Jesus, God, the Bible and verses from it, it

is meant to describe and share the belief system I emerged from.

But any time you see a parallel of your faith with mine, I hope you

will feel free to explain how the theme or subject can be applied in

your family, your church or your culture.

 

Bridging gaps is my goal and focus, when I post something about

faith. I hope you never feel excluded or isolated, since this is not

what expressing my belief system wishes me to do.

 

Gratitude Wisdom

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“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is

like wrapping a present and not giving it.”

(William Arthur Ward, American writer, 1921-1994)

There is something called a ‘Gratitude Challenge’ going on around

the world. There is an organization called “Kindspring,” which

brought together 11,000 people from 118 countries. This site is

at:

http://kindspring.org

This is great since it includes a ‘start up kit’ which is designed to

help community organizations sponsor their own challenges.

Apparently, each location has their own philosophy and ways to

promote gratitude. Whenever this happens to find its way to my

own reading material, I like to spread the happiness around to

others like you.

Gratitude has helped unlikely businesses like banks.  In Canada,

there have been four of the bank called TD, where they turned

their ATM’s into “Automatic Thank You” machines by providing

high value personalized gifts to the longest lasting customers.

This is to thank them for their loyalty to the bank. Any business

can be creative in showing appreciation in meaningful ways to

their customers.

I liked this quotation from the ‘grateful kickstarts’ in November,

2014 “Natural Awakenings” magazine:

“As with any new skill or habit, gratitude needs to be exercised

until it becomes second nature. Simply writing a page a day in a

gratitude journal or saying a morning ‘thank you’ prayer can help

maintain the momentum.”

 

Showing appreciation to strangers always makes my heart feel

warmer. Those unexpected ‘gifts’ or smiles are so welcome in

this busy life. Our family members also deserve some of this

shared gratefulness for their special ways that make us feel

loved. Sometimes, (I am guilty of this) we are kinder to those

we don’t know than those who are close in our daily lives. We

often take them for granted.

 

I get motivated by other’s thoughts and words so hope you will

find something meaningful in one of these three participants’

in the “Gratitude Challenge:”

 

>Lisa Henderson Middlesworth shared,

“I have started a gratitude journal that I write in every day. When

you run out of the ‘obvious’ blessings, it makes you dig deep and

see all the small things. I commit to do my very best to never take

anything or anybody, good or bad, for granted.”

 

>Colleen Epple Pine shared,

“A town can be such a blessing. Neighbors always pull together when

there’s a tragedy or natural disaster. The boundaries diminish and

yards become one. . . we eat in each other’s kitchens, supervise each

other’s children, share a vehicle and generally watch out for each

other. I believe it is God’s way of reminding us that we’re one family

and each of us provides the strength and foundation for the other.”

 

>Joanie Weber Badyna shared,

“My losses have given me an inner compass by with I live my life.

While I would not wish the tragedies I have experienced on anyone,

I am eternally grateful for the blessings. I do not waste time, and I

know how to love without fear.”

 

I like how each shows their own way of handling this challenge.

No one is ‘right’ or ‘better’ but all are powerful parts of a movement

for change.

I feel this is personal and hard to open up to share my inner gratitude

and what changes I will make. I related to the first woman, Lisa.

 

Robin’s challenge:

I need to be better at finding the ‘good’ in every one I meet.

I would like to be more open to showing my appreciation to

those who may not always be nice.

I am sure it will improve their outlook, as well as my own.

This is due to recently my youngest daughter pointed out,

I tend to be overall positive, but sometimes will say things

like, “I wish that server would bring me another cup of

coffee” or “I would have liked more tissue paper in the gift

bag from that specialty shop.” In both cases, I did not say

anything or let the person serving me know my complaint

or wishes. I didn’t even notice this within my own character,

which is odd. I know this sounds ‘self-serving’ to ask for

these things, but really you are showing more gratitude to

the one helping you, which makes them feel ‘valuable’ my

daughter said.

 

Then, it all made sense. I think being grateful is also letting

others join in, making them feel part of this good feeling. By

being able to let others know when you are uncomfortable you

can potentially prevent having to rant later about not having

things turn out like you expected. Putting your expectations

out there prevents passive aggression. Also, being nice and

friendly is a part of the whole kismet or karma/kharma circle.

This is also known as ‘paying forward.’ I want to tie this whole

gratitude challenge in with the happiness project, which I have

already written a post about.

 

Do you feel this is difficult to tell your own personal gratitude

challenges?  Are you willing to ‘put it all out there?’

Some Humor among the Sarcasm

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I laughed at a real life news story, where a mother of four children

came out from shopping with her kids, of one of those ‘box stores,’

having a cart load of groceries and necessities. She walked over to

where her car was supposed to be, and it was gone!

Stolen!

She managed to catch a person who allowed her to use their phone.

She called “9-1-1” and then turned to the sympathetic man, who had

been asking, “What else he could do?”

 

The single mother, smiled, as she asked him,

“One more favor, may I use your cell  phone just one more time?

It’s local!”

 

She then asked her kids and the man to move away.

Go back on the sidewalk and get far away.”

Again, she promised to make it quick!

 

This true story was told on the news on Monday, so there may even be a

video of the next part of the story. . . You know how Youtube catches the

news!

 

The woman called her own cell phone, knowing she had left it in the cup

holder. Like idiots, the thieves opened her phone and asked, “Hello?”

She blurted out a blazing trail of swear words, saying that she was a

single mother with four kids and “Why in the world would you choose

my  ‘piece of junk’ car to steal, anyway?”

 

She then added to the unfortunate robbers of her van, “You morons,

I know that my phone has some kind of a chip in it for locating where

you are at. Get back here NOW!”

 

Supposedly, the van was returned, before the police had arrived, and

they even handed her the keys before they took off, through the busy

shopping plaza, on foot.

I was smiling all the way to work on Monday, due to this genius move

by a desperate single Mom!

 

Another funny part of the news was that supposedly “Mr.T” had to show up

at his local courthouse, since he got an official letter telling him the date to

go and serve  on Jury Duty! He actually  was dismissed. He was very

disappointed that he was not asked to serve on a case. There was a group

of people in the waiting room, having coffee and talking to him. They had

some selfies taken with “Mr. T,” too. The funny thing that someone asked

him, was would he ‘pretend hit him,’ posing for a picture. Now, the radio

announcer for this ‘news flash,’ used a comical voice, imitating “Mr. T.”

in his response,

(Using the unique and amusing way that “Mr. T.” use himself  in the third

person, too.)

“Mr. T.”  cannot look like he is hitting you, because “Mr. T.” don’t want any

trouble with the ‘po-lice.'”

Of course, he did not actually say this but the gist of the situation is true,

that a young man wanted him to pretend fight with him, for his cell phone

but “Mr. T.” politely declined and instead gave him a hug.

 

Now  this one is from my friend, Melvin, who was on a ‘rant’ so excuse the

angry sarcasm. Our mutual young friend, Cody, who we have both given rides

home, in the heated afternoons and early evenings, after what we consider

‘grueling’ days, got too many ‘points’ and lost his job.

Here is the way the excited tone and words were exchanged in the parking

lot today:

Melvin uses a Martin Lawrence/Chris Tucker shrieking voice that is very

indignant in this rampage:

“So, Robin, we have three situations here. All three are given the exact SAME

Number of Points, am I clear on this?

First, Tina, who is a ‘white girl,’ gets 9 points but has no other points so she

gets to keep her job, after hitting a security guard and leaving.

(And honest to Pete, he did add this ‘racial’ clarification. Sorry, don’t be too

offended because under the rant, there is an element of truth. I am upset, too.)

Second, our good friend, Peggy, turned 60 and we had a grand party for her,

but she gets assigned to using one of those awful heavy bulk riding machines.

(He is really stretching the high pitched tone, which makes me laugh, despite

myself.)

Poor Peggy, unwittingly trips over her feet getting off the machine, falls and

hits her head on the concrete, and gets the SAME number of points, ‘white

girl’ gets no breaks. 9 points! She had to go to the hospital, get X-rays and

set up for an MRI tomorrow, and she will get Workman’s Comp, which means

she will not have to pay for this accident, EXCEPT Peggy will have to be careful

for the rest of the next 12 months, or she will lose her job for hitting her head.

Do I have this right, Robin?”

I looked at him, expressing disgust with the unfairness of these two very different

situations. Peggy should not have had to be on equipment, without any kind of

re-training. She should not get any points, in my opinion! (And Melvin’s, too.)

Then Melvin concludes his story, with his agitated distorted voice, since you

would think normally he were an “upper crust” New Englander, being raised

by his island parents, going to school in Boston and having served in the Army

in Europe:

“Robin, my man Cody, arrives late to work and has accumulated the one point

for poor attendance, Right? Then, my good boy who is very good in his position

in Heavy Bulk, is parking his equipment, runs the metal fork into a metal rack.

He is done with his work, just parking it. There rings out a metal ‘Clash!” and

someone runs to the Bin Order Filler office, someone who for some Ungodly,

Unholy reason ‘has it out for my black young friend, my ‘brother’ Cody gets

9 points today and is ‘walked out,’ like a common criminal!”

Tammy and I have listened to Melvin’s tirade. We have had sympathy for

Tina (awhile back her hit and run was a subject of a post) and Peggy, just is

devastated, having never received more than 2 points in the 15 years of working

here.

Tammy was the one who stopped laughing over Melvin’s hysterical rendering

of the unfairness of it all, first. I was just shaking my head. I have a feeling that

Peggy’s sister or brother, both having been to college and have attorneys, will

be looking for a settlement. This will all ‘back fire’ on the administration. I just

hope that Peggy will come back since she has not reached 62 nor retirement age.

Melvin’s summary is (again NOT politically correct), “So, if you are a ‘white lady,’

you can hit a security guard, leave the scene of the crime, keep your job and not

serve time. You get 9 points.

You be a ‘white lady,’ you have been getting a little on the ‘old’ side of things,

you trip and fall, hurt your own self, and get 9 points.

Then, you show up late once for work, as a black boy needs his sleep, you get

1 point. You hit a rack, no injuries whatsoever, no one even close by, you make

some noise, someone notices, and you get reported on. You get 9 points, make

it to that darn 10 you lose your job!! Gimme justice!”

 

Melvin wanted to come up with a better ‘punchline,’ but this was it:

“The inequitable number of ‘9’ must have been pulled out of someone high up in

the organization, to be used three times in three different situations. They must

have pulled it out of their high falutin’ behinds!”

If you had heard his vocal impression of the irritated actors then you may be

laughing. (I think he does a great job of Chris Tucker, from those movies with

Jackie Chan.)

But you know this one is not a laughing matter!

As Melvin got into his car, he raised his arm in the old “Black Power” fist

and said, “I want Justice for my man, Cody!!”

 

The continuing saga of  work, just glad I have received no points this year!

If you are a minute late from lunch you earn a ‘point’ and are considered,

‘tardy.’ If you miss work on a day that you are supposed to have a doctor’s

excuse, (Mondays and Fridays) you will earn that random number of 9 points.

 

 

Found Wonders

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Two weekends ago,

during our exciting

Arts Festival weekend,

I visited the library’s

Annual Book Sale

and Fundraiser.

Searching carefully,

sifting through dusty piles

and carts of tossed books,

I found ones tucked nicely,

waiting for just the

‘right’ owner.

Limited spaces

requires diligence

to limit additions.

In a unique and lovely book,

I discovered the perfect

June poem to share with you.

Serendipity,

kismet and karma

wrapped up into

the sweetest

bundle!

Always fantastic

to find treasures

in amongst forlorn

discards’ bin!

“Fancy’s Hour,”

Hardly-aged cobalt blue,

gold engraved witch

adorning the cover.

Scarcely read book?

While an engraved

gold fairy perches

on its binding.

The author, Norman C. Schlichter,

had written two other books.

One was called,

“Children’s Voices”

and the other one was,

“Voices of Joy.”

Oh, how ecstatic

I would have been

to have found those

other two books,

among those

tossed aside.

Publication date of 1922,

proceeds “Fancy’s Hour.”

What antiquities!

My brilliant blue book’s

copyright date is 1924.

The Publisher,

C. Winston Company,

Philadelphia.

Thumbing through book,

playful and exquisite,

this poem caught my eye

and enchanted my heart.

Instead of saving it,

for all the men out there

for Father’s Day,

Here is my own

Personal Dedication:

“This is for all those inquisitive boys

who grew up to play important roles in

the lives of curious children.”

By Robin Cochran, 6/1/14.

“When I Was Little”

by Norman C. Schlichter, (1924)

“When I was little, I wanted to know

The how and the why of the beautiful snow.

Why this was this, and that was that,

And all there was inside of my cat.

I wanted to find the giant purse,

That held the pennies of the Universe.

I wanted to know who lighted the stars,

And the destination of railroad cars.

I wanted to know what elephants knew,

And to see a mountain through and through.

I wanted to know why birds had wings,

And more than a thousand similar things.

And, now that I’m older, and grow to be

A man of ripe maturity.

There are things and things that I want to know,

And, like a child in the long ago,

No one can tell me them here below.”

This seems like a kind of Sunday message that fits our 84 degree

weather day. I walked in the brilliant sunshine, observing flowers

and green everywhere. Cars bustling and people sitting out on porches.

My oldest daughter had just stopped by to pick up the boys, heading

off to Mingo pool. The library’s coolness upon my warm arms, gave me

shivers. I sat for a moment, reflecting about the weekend and children’s

wonder of things. In their curiosity, over the Saturday hours we

spent together, Skyler and Micah had been interested in playing at

Mingo Park. They had wondered why people would run in half and quarter

marathons when you are ‘allowed to walk?’ For the cause of the American

Lung Association, Delaware had sponsored “The New Moon Half Marathon

and Quarter Marathon,” on May 31, 2014. During our normally short trip from

their home across town, we had been circumvented and rerouted, to get to the

park. The boys had been fascinated by an intricate spider’s web with its white

‘nest’ of babies found nestled in the low branches of a pine tree. They had

been picking up pine cones, seeking the coolness in the shade of the trees,

away from the Big Toy, where they had made friends and chased them, in

endless games of “Tag, you’re ‘It.'” Too many other questions and thoughts

to cover, the spider’s web led us to the subject of books. Skyler asked,

“Did you ever read the book, “Charlotte’s Web,” Nana?”

I smiled, nodded and responded back,

“Third grade was a perfect time to

read that book! I am so glad you

know about that, Skyler!

Please tell me about it.

Tell me all the things

I may have forgotten.”

“Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall”

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I have had what seems like “lifelong friends,” that have

known me at my ‘worst,’ and cheered me on at my ‘best!’

I would love to hear about your friendships that have

endured time, travel, moving away from each other and

other trials and tribulations.

Thirty years ago, plus some ‘change,’ (1980), I went to

my first Welcome Wagon meeting. I had moved to Lancaster,

Ohio and had to turn down a continuing teaching position.

My ex-husband ‘couldn’t find a good job in Toledo area’

and had been working as a bartender through my subbing

and then, getting a wonderful and ‘perfect’ position.

His lateness, although irritating, never had bothered

me too much, until the birth of our daughter in March,

1980. I had ‘complained’ to my grandfather, who set

my ex up with a trip to Texas to interview for Armco

Steel Co. My grandfather had been an engineer and

written a worker’s manual for the company many years

prior to this time. He was concerned, as was I, of

the impact of drinking in my first husband’s life

upon a family. Anyway, Dave got the job for National

Supply, located in Logan, Ohio and it was apparent

to him, as he drove through Lancaster on his way

there and back, that we would be most happy in a

larger town than Logan. I ended up subbing there

and Rockmill, too. Little towns were fun to visit

and substitute in, but no, we were ‘city people.’

(He was from Cincinnati, I was from Cleveland, as

you know, met at college on the first day of school.)

Once we relocated to Lancaster, I read the Lancaster

Eagle Gazette’s headlines, “60 Teachers Laid Off.”

Oh no! I ended up choosing to advertise to babysit

other people’s children, also finding someone in

our townhouse area who would sporadically have me

watch her daughter, too.

I desperately needed an ‘excuse’ to make friends

and get out of the house! When I entered Welcome

Wagon, this will come across strangely, but I saw

Nancy from a distance. She was blonde, big blue

eyes and had this open looking face. When I approached

her, she beamed with the prettiest smile. I know, this

sounds like two future ‘lovers’ rather than the best

friends we became. We exchanged phone numbers and

within a week or two, we had our first coffee girls’

night out ‘date.’ We met at Frisch’s, two quite

different people, actually, at the time. I was a new

mother of a six month old, she was a working girl

and a computer ‘whiz.’ We chatted about Akron where

she was from, family and why we both needed to have

friends.

I had chosen to start going to the Presbyterian Church,

was inquiring if she would like to go. Interestingly

enough, she is the frequent church goer in that same

town, while I was great as a wife and mother, then

later, even better as a single mother of three, she

and her husband (now ex) were not interested in

attending. Her present husband is wonderful and they

have a lovely home, his daughter, fully grown and

her husband and their granddaughter, Giada.

What kept us going through all those years? We had

become leaders in the organization, I was President

and Nancy was Treasurer. (Or were you Vice Pres.?)

Anyway, we had card club gatherings and progressive

dinners, but always we had our Wednesday nights out

at Frisch’s. It was so nice to hear about her busy

life, and she welcomed comments about my daughter.

We shared the humdrum of our lives, each fascinated

by the other’s plight in life.

When she and her husband got divorced, I begged her

to stay in the business where she was in the computer

data field.She stayed and not too many months after

her divorce, her second husband, also working in that

field, asked her out and they became a couple, then

husband and wife. She and her second husband came to

my second child’s birth, hours later, at the hospital.

They also, attended my second marriage and saw my third

child, shortly after she was born.

There was a card I once saw, that had a mobster on the

front, it had a caption inside that said something like

this:

“You and me… we have to stay friends forever!

You know too much!”

That is how our Nancy and Robin days have been, there are

too many special occasions, memories shared, with

Nancy and Mike coming to Delaware to see graduations

and my son’s wedding…

What is most unbelievable, to both of us, plus others

who hear of our friendship, is that we have not lived

in the same town since 1986! We travel over an hour,

each way, to meet at the halfway point. You may have

read in a before Christmas post, that we used to meet

at a halfway Bob Evans, then one windy, snowing morning

early December, we drove into the Bob Evans’ driveway, up

to a chain that blocked entering, and I suggested going

back across the bridge over 270 and go to a Frisch’s.

Then, one June (we like to meet halfway through the

year), we drove up to the Frisch’s restaurant and

alas, it was closed! It has been about four years, 8

trips later, that we have been meeting at a Tee Jayes.

It is very nice and we have non-stop, ‘catch up’ talks

that make us seem very hyperactive, bringing bags of

books in the summer and gifts to exchange in our

“First Christmas” of the year time. We both exclaim,

“The Christmas Season cannot begin until we see each

other!”

My friend, Patrice, has been a longtime friend, she

and I were living in Batchelder Quadrangle, at BGSU

when we met. I have mentioned meeting her this past

summer, we had not seen each other more than three

times since she and I were at my first Wedding and

she was my Maid of Honor. We use our cell phones to

keep in touch and we have had two great visits, one

up in Charlevoix, MI and one in Lakewood, Ohio, where

Patrice grew up and I drove to meet her at her male

friend’s apartment. She stays, as a guest, in the

suite, not with her male friend from BGSU.

All of this trio of friends, has something unique

and permanent in their ‘true blue’ natures. I am

sure I must return something that is also rare and

special, for they have put up with me for all these

years! They are tied in First Place for Best Friends

of Robin!

My local “best” friend, I think, has to be considered

the one I get to see weekly. When we go more than a

week without seeing each other, we hug and exclaim,

“It seems like forever since I saw you!” We have that

kind of strong bond, that just happened over time.

When we first became friends, we met at an American

Association of University Women picnic at Mingo Park.

Believe it or not, I was supposed to be greeting

newcomers. (I am being facetious, since this is my

favorite role of all time! I was Miss Congeniality

in high school and never stopped that habit of

chatting and getting to know the ‘new face’ in

the room!

I did approach her, with a special smile on my face!

I know this is crazy, especially twice in my life, but

I just knew that Jenny would be a great friend! She

had short, attractive blonde hair and blue eyes. Isn’t

that weird that my Lancaster friend and my Delaware

friend look similar? Well, they also have fantastic

husbands, so I have seated them together at Jamie and

Trista’s wedding, at Felicia’s high school and college

graduation and Carrie’s high school graduation, too!

It is like a miracle that they have ‘stayed with me’

through my more than second time around marriages. They

have stopped and stayed forever and a day with their

second and best choices for husbands. While I just

sojourned on, with the third one and divorced again!

The card that makes me cry when I open it, is the one Jenny

gave me for my 58th birthday last Autumn. It has a notebook

lined-paper look, with a light mint green on the front. I

did not bring it to the library but the essence of this

awesome and unforgettable card says this:

“You were not with me in elementary school to play out on

recess. You were not my best friend when I was in high

school, so we couldn’t pass notes back and forth. You

are my best friend now, you will be my best friend

tomorrow and forever.”

That is a meaningful message for me. I can “count on

her,”

through thick and thin,

and all the Seasons…

“Winter

Spring

Summer

and

Fall…” (James Taylor song)

for the rest of my life!

Good Friday Morning?

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If you got up on Friday morning and drove past the

central Ohio gas stations, you will have seen a huge

jump in gas prices! You would be outraged, as I was

while driving to work. But my anger started way before

that moment of seeing the increased gas prices, that

rose from $2.17 to $2.45 in only one day!

So sad to hear, while eating my cereal, sipping on my

hazelnut coffee, about an 83 year old man’s horrible

experience yesterday morning. This was Friday, January

10th, before most people that work days are even awake.

I get up at 5 a.m. and this poor, elderly gentleman was

delivering newspapers in a big stack to a southern

Columbus Certified gas station.

He walked out of the gas station, having done his daily

routine, around 4 a.m. He unlocked his car and while on

the passenger side of the car, a quickly moving stout

man climbed in behind the wheel. The man shouted loudly,

as he explained to first the police, later the news

reporters,

“Hey, get out of my car, buddy!”

While the driver put the car into reverse, this spunky,

wiry newspaper delivery man, grabbed onto the handle of

the passenger’s door. He held on for ‘dear life!’ Once

the driver swung speedily into forward with a wide arc,

the older gentleman fell into the 2-3″ of snowy wetness.

His coat that was open, his shirt and pants were soaked,

while his indignation and ire were high!

My Grandmother Mattson may have intoned, once again, this

familiar expression,

“What is the world coming to? When you cannot trust your

neighbors to treat an elderly man with respect and courtesy,

somehow this is one of those lows that you wished would not

happen.

Anger at such an outrage, from the man’s verbal and facial

expressions of reliving the experience carried over to me.

Through time and space, traveling through and seeping out

of my television screen, filled me with an equal fervor!

His car, a 2006 Lacrosse was stolen or the new label given,

‘carjacked.’ I had not heard the follow up story being

covered, while watching the 5 o’clock news, later last night.

The guilty party was a white, fat and chubby man, of 5’6”

height approximately, wearing a black vest. His appearance,

thanks to video cameras in such locations showed an average

man, no real apparent scraggly, disheveled look, as you

would expect a thief to have. Stooping so low to take a man

whose retirement income doesn’t stretch enough, so he must

wake in the dead of morning, to deliver papers.

This was some ‘wake up’ for me, filling me with the energy

of a man who can lift a car up off of a caught person.

If you woke up today (or yesterday) and it went uneventfully,

you (and I) are so lucky!!

My Grandfather Mattson would say of such behavior,

“That was a fine howdy do!”

The Truth

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It seems like this word, in itself, could fill journals about

its meaning and consequences. The lack of it, definitely present

in society, individuals and often in companies’ actions. It is a

hard thing to come by, these days, it seems, to find an honest

person. Everywhere you turn, media in all its glory, flashes on

the falseness, the liar, and the unfaithful people. Businesses

have false advertising and people who hold C.E.O. positions are

often taking the brunt of the lies, sometimes knowingly promoting

them. Politicians are not to be trusted, or so the media often

publicizes the ones that are the worst, anyway.

“White lies” or “fibs” are what you would normally expect among

friends, loved ones and family. It would be great if that was the

“worst” you would have to face on a daily basis: someone telling

you look “nice” when you are recovering from the flu or that

dress “fits you,” when it has different areas pinching you in

all the wrong places!

It would be fantastic if there were no lying going on. I loved

the wit, satire and sarcasm of Ricky Gervais in the “The Invention

of Lying.” Poor, beautiful Jennifer Garner’s character is the “foil”

for a lot of the jokes and being so sincerely sweet and innocent,

believing Ricky’s character’s bold faced lies!

The song, “You Can Count on Me” comes from the adorable animated

children’s film, “The Fox and the Hound.” It is a great song about

how friends can count on each other. It was written in 1982, by

Burt Bacharach and has been performed by Rod Stewart, Dionne Warwick

Stevie Wonder, and many more. This leads to my second favorite

song about friendship, it begins with those infamous words, “Winter,

Spring, Summer or Fall…” (“You’ve Got a Friend” sung by James Taylor.)

Both of these songs are talking about your friends being there for you,

through thick and thin. I would like to say, that most people also

assume their friends and lovers will be honest, too. I mean, why would

someone say they are your best friend, or “You are my best friend” and

then, turn around and lie? Also, who would expect someone to say the

wedding vows, then within months, turn around and cheat on their new

bride or groom?

I have a “belief system” that I have “paid” for my mistakes in not

always being honest, if I have misjudged someone, or when I omitted

the truth. This is when I feel “karma” has come into play. Maybe

some would think God would punish the lies. I am not sure about this,

I prefer to think payback comes in time, “what goes around, comes

around.”

As I get older, though, sincerely to tell you the truth, I find it

easier to keep my ‘facts straight’ and to stay on the ‘straight and

narrow,” by just telling the truth. Isn’t that a mouthful? But, I

think you may understand, when you ‘make up excuses’ for not attending

a dinner, helping a friend move or something even more serious, you

don’t feel like going to a funeral, if you don’t just say, “I don’t

feel like it,” inevitably you will be caught in this “lie.” You will

be running out to get milk and you aren’t really “sick” as you had

given for the excuse out of a dinner with a somewhat irritating

friend or relative. They catch you and then, not only is their mistrust,

but you must pay with a bunch of guilty feelings!

While discoursing, without much factual backing on this subject, I had

to tell you that the famous line, Jack Nicholas’ character belts out

in the great movie, “A Few Good Men” echoes in my mind:

“You can’t handle the truth!!”

This can also happen, in your life, you are hiding your head like a

turtle, sheltering your heart. You don’t want to know that the person

you loved is unfaithful to you. You don’t want to really know your friend

cheated on her income taxes. You don’t want to… fill in the blanks of

when you would rather hear a lie. You would rather be comforted with the

blanket of untruthfulness.

Have you ever met someone who could look you straight in your eyes, without

batting their eyes, and they could tell you a lie? I have had two men in

my life and a girlfriend do this. It is heart breaking and also, strange when

you look back, seeing that there were threads left dangling, there was some

unraveling going on and you chose to ignore it.

While watching a rerun of “Criminal Minds” I found out that a man or woman

can take the lie detector test and still “pass it” by biting the inside of

their mouth. By creating a painful moment, their can be irregularities in

those “spikes” where the reader can see the lies. But, it can be artificially

created in intervals with little tricks like biting the inside of your mouth,

taking big, deep breaths and exhaling to give your pulse and reactions some

time to relax.

When people are put on the witness stand, they place a hand on the Bible,

then they say those famous words, “I swear to tell the truth, the whole

truth, so help me God.” Wish we could just go around in our lives, being

able to trust our friends, neighbors and loved ones. Sometimes this is

not possible. When you have to face a person who lied to you, how easy

is it for you to forgive? Are their different “levels of transgressions”

that would help you to decide how soon to give out forgiveness?

A serious subject and a diversion from Christmas. Far from the happy

posts, recently, and I hope you will forgive my “breaking up the party”

for these few moments…

Lying.”