Sunday, January 31, 2016

Hard to Believe

I cannot believe it! I cannot believe that this year of 2016 will be 60 years that I graduated from high school!  Today I received a letter from the reunion committee letting me know they are planning a reunion in September. Attending reunions is something I have never done, but this year I find a tiny tickle of curiosity. This year we are all in our seventies and I would imagine no longer trying to impress anyone.

The letter made me try to recall my high school years. What do I remember?  Walking to school. Trying to get the tip of my hair to flip. Not being able to afford Jantzen outfits. Learning to type and and working hard to have my name on the board for being one of the fastest typist in class. Belonging to Pep Purrs; black skirt, bobby socks, saddle shoes and a white wool sweater with a wildcat on the front.  Marching in a synchronized way along with band members and getting up at five in the morning to practice. I was in a play but I can't remember its name, yet I remember my dress was purple. I was in Glee Club where I seemed to end up singing in groups but never a solo!  Going to football and basketball games. Rushing home after games because my parents did not want me out after ten. We took State in basketball the year I graduated and Coach Jim Baggot went on to win five state titles. Writing articles for the Greeley Highlight newspaper, playing intramural basketball and volleyball, taking Spanish lessons and struggling because even though I could understand and speak the language, grammar threw me for a loop.  Home economics where I learned to make peanut butter cookies and tried to learn to sew. I remember hearing a dirty joke and not understanding it.  "Why does a honeymoon only last seven days? Because it makes a whole week!"

After graduation ceremonies were over many students went to Mario's where I ate my first pizza and did not like it.  Strange that after three years of high school, there isn't too much I remember. I looked through my year book and out of the 220 students who graduated I remember about twenty-five students. Many of the names sound familiar but the faces I do not recall or if I remember faces the names escaped me. I enjoyed reading what some of the students wrote in my year book, especially those that wished me luck with my writing. The editor of the school newspaper wrote, "to my favorite reporter."

Mr Irons
Mr. Kotesky
Of all the teachers I must have had two that impressed me because they are the only ones I remember. Amazing how so many teachers have slipped from my memory.

I think it might be fun to attend my 60th high school graduation and see what more comes to my mind!  

Thursday, January 28, 2016

A Walk Around A Lake

The day was perfect.  In February, 61 degrees F. is unusual. My thought was to walk around Berkeley Lake but after driving a few blocks I changed my mind. I drove to Lake Arbor instead. This was my first time at Lake Arbor and was in for a big and beautiful surprise. The geese population seemed to have settled at Lake Arbor and it appeared as if someone had placed them on the ice in an orderly manner. Rows and rows of geese with their white chests was a sight to see. Never had I
seen so many geese in one spot!

I enjoyed walking around the lake but ended up watching the geese, ducks and white gulls. A woman sprinkled what looked like bread crumbs, and the gulls swooped in. I read somewhere that gulls are scavengers and steal food at picnics or games. The geese did not move and they seemed to be stuck on the ice. The ducks enjoyed swimming in parts of the lake that wasn't frozen. The shadow of a metal bench was interesting. When I saw two persons at a picnic table I thought that when two people are in love they think they are the only ones on this earth!

There were runners, dog walkers, women with babies in strollers, people sitting on benches and people walking. There was an older person in a pink sweat shirt that I thought was poking along. She walked slowly. Yet, I never caught up with her, making me think I must have been poking along also! People were friendly and I stopped and chatted with some. I was told that to see the geese take off into the sky, is a sight to see. I asked what time they all fly away but no one could tell me exactly. One lady said she has seen them early in the morning. Another said at sunset. I may have to pack a lunch and go sit and wait for the phenomenon to take place! What a wonderful day for a walk around Lake Arbor.

"Me thinks that the
moment my legs begin to move,
my thoughts begin to flow."

Henry David Thoreau

Three Free Lunches

An ad directing me to apply for two free meals at Cafe Rio in Boulder popped up on Facebook. Usually I ignore such ads but yesterday I thought, what the heck! I filled in the blanks and instantly I was congratulated for winning the two lunches which included drinks. It happened to be my granddaughter's fifteenth birthday and this would be a place where we could celebrate her birthday for free! When my grandson decided to join us, I brought the ad up one more time and got another two free meals.

The day was perfect as we drove to Boulder. The flatirons looked so big and bold against the blue sky. There wasn't a lot of traffic and I had two of my favorite teen-agers in the car with me. We found the Cafe Rio and had our choice of many Mexican style meals. To me it isn't quite Mexican food but close enough. A lady behind the glass counter can be seen making fresh 12" tortillas and the huge burrito I ordered was filled with rice, beans, cheese and smothered with a green salsa. They had thee types of hot sauces: green, red and hot. The plump burrito about the size of a mini loaf of bread is run through a micro wave, more cheese sprinkled on top and lettuce and tomato is placed on the side. My grandson had a steak burrito and my granddaughter had a vegetarian one. We got our drinks that were included with our free meals and sat down on the cafeteria style seats.

A woman sat down next to me and I asked if she also had a free meal. "No, I paid for my meal." She
showed me her receipt and it was marked $7.87. She asked, "Did you get a free meal?"  I explained how I had gotten our free meals and showed her my receipt with $000 on it and she said, "I may get on the Internet and try for the coupon, then my husband and I can come back tomorrow!"

After eating we drove to Trader Joe's and as part of my granddaughter's birthday present, I let her pick out a few of her favorite items; chips, salsa, chocolate bar, peanut butter, and a banana cluster cereal.

It gave me great pleasure to spend the day with my grand kids as we celebrated my granddaughter's fifteenth birthday!

"May you always be as sweet as you are now,
may you have all that you desire,
may you be happy and enjoy life
may you be healthy
 may you have a happy birthday today
may God watch over you
is what I pray
for you today and always!"
Grandma E

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Better Late Than Never

Through the years, I have heard of praying for the dead and have noticed that every mass is in honor of one deceased person or another. I never paid much attention and thought it was a nice custom. Growing up this was not something my family did. Today I became aware of the importance of praying for those who might be waiting to get into heaven. When we die, we may be in need of purification to obtain the perfection of love and holiness needed to enter into heaven and until we are clean of all sin, we go to purgatory. (Purgatory: any condition or place of temporary punishment, suffering, expiation or the like.)

Yesterday at  Bible study class I learned that praying for the dead is something that all Catholics should be doing. Praying for someone who is gone is one of the spiritual works of mercy. It seems that we need purification after we die to become holy enough to enter heaven.

We pray for all who have died because we do not know who is in purgatory and those souls rely on us to help them get into heaven. Once a person dies, a soul can longer pray for itself. I have a mental image of my mother, father, brother, grandparents, friends, fellow workers and acquaintances that I have known as being huddled in some corner in purgatory waiting for a prayer from me. My hope is that when prayers for the souls in purgatory are offered that my loved ones are included and they have already entered heaven.

When I visit my Mother's grave and pray, my prayers are more about how much I miss her, what the family is doing, and to say hello to those who remember me. I do not pray for her soul to be freed from any imperfections she might have had causing her to be in purgatory. It is hard to believe that after forty-two years of her being gone I now know the importance of praying for the dead.

Beginning today, I will try to remember to say a daily prayer for those people I loved on earth and are gone. My hope is that by now they are in heaven but just in case they are still in purgatory I will pray for them.

In the Old Testament Maccabees prayed for soldiers who died in battle."Turned to prayer, beseeching that the sin which had been committed by their dead brothers might be wholly blotted out." 2Mc12:42.
Makes me realize that praying for the dead has been around for a long time!

"May the souls of all
the faithful departed 
through the mercy 
of God, rest in Peace."

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Born When Warren Harding Was President

Today I found out the President Warren Harding was president from 1921 to 1923.  He died of a heart attack and Calvin Coolidge took his place as president of the United States. Now you are probably wondering why I am even writing about the 29th President of the United States.

The reason is that today at mass, the priest asked for anyone celebrating a birthday to come to the altar to receive a coupon for a candy. He mentioned that one of the persons celebrating a birthday had been around when Harding was president. Not knowing the past presidents I wondered if he was kidding and was teasing the lady who came down to get her coupon.  She was celebrating her 94th birthday and by looking at her, no one would ever guess her age. She is spry, active, full of fun, can dance up a storm, has a great sense of humor, attends daily mass and has more energy than younger women I know.

 This special lady has lived through fifteen presidents and I am impressed by her wit and actions. She went with me on a recent trip to the Stations of the Cross in San Luis, Colorado. I knew there were many persons who could not walk up the hill where the stations had been erected, and I told the persons on the trip that we would ride to the top. When I was told that the then ninety-three year old lady had walked down the hill, I was truly amazed!

She looked beautiful tonight in a deep lavender dress, a silver cross hung from her neck and her hair was neatly combed. When I commented on how nice she looked she said, "I am going out to celebrate my birthday!"

I wished her a happy birthday, gave her a hug and my secret thought was that if I made it to ninety-four that I could be just like her!

"May the good Lord 
shower you with
many blessings on
your special day."
Happy Birthday
sweet lady.

Bronco Fans

Even though I am not a fanatic about the Broncos, as many of my friends are, I do enjoy watching the team win. I feel bad when they lose and wonder how they can take such beatings and never seem to be in pain. I realize they are well padded but when players are hit or knocked down, I know it has got to hurt! The game coming up on January 24, tomorrow, is a big one because it will determine who goes to the Super Bowl. Yesterday, Larimer Square with many fans in orange and blue milled around cheering and showing off their Bronco costumes. It seemed as if all of the city had come out to let the Broncos know they were rooting for them. On the evening news there were also fans from out of state cheering for the Broncos.

Yesterday a few of the fans went to Blackhawk to gamble at the Mardi Gras Casino. They wore their orange and blue outfits and one man was a hit with his crochet hat with some of the "old" Bronco players. He could have sold the hat to interested parties if he had so desired.

Whatever happens tomorrow, I hope the Broncos defeat the Patriots but if they don't it is no big deal for me. It will have been just another game!

''Pressure is something
you feel when you don't 
know what the hell 
you're doing."
Peyton Manning

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Things Are Different Now

I don't know what made me think about these facts but as I was washing dishes in the sink I wondered why glasses don't break as often as they used to in the past. I remember buying drinking glasses quite often because they either broke or chipped. Maybe it was because there were more people in my household and they weren't as careful as I am now. I probably should be knocking on wood because for the past twenty some years, not a glass has been purchased.

And then, I recalled shoelaces that seemed to always be breaking. I have not purchased a shoe lace for a long time and I wonder if it's because I don't keep my shoes as long as I used to or if the quality of the shoe lace is better. Those days of trying to tie two sections together to get me through the day are gone! I don't
know why I used to think that tying the two sections of the broken lace would help because most of the time the knot would not allow the lace to go through the eyelet and I ended up with a teeny-tiny bow.

From my shoe laces I thought about bra straps and how they used to break, leaving me a bit lopsided. My bra straps no longer break and it makes me wonder if maybe I am not as active and therefore, without much movement the straps stay put until it's time to buy another bra. I remember carrying a safety pin with me in case a strap would break while playing tennis, horseback riding, dancing, or playing sports like volleyball, basketball, softball or soccer. Of course I do none of the above any more and that might be why the straps seem to be sewn in better!

A few days ago I was following an older model car and when it was slowing down, an arm came out of the driver side window and pointed down to the ground. Wow!  That arm dangling out the window made me remember when there were no turning lights for cars and our arms were how we let other drivers know what we intended to do. Straight out the window meant a left turn, an arm pointing up meant a right turn, and down if I wanted to stop or slow down. I could almost bet that kids now-a-days do not have a clue about those arm signals!

"Sometimes you've got to
accept the fact that
certain things will never 
go back to how they used to be."
Author Unknown

Maybe I don't want them to go back to how they were, yet I found it strange how different things are now, compared to how I remember them. Oh well, these thoughts did give me something for my blog today.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Orange and Blue World

Every where I look I see orange and blue for the Denver Broncos. At the grocery store the bakery department had cakes and cupcakes in orange and blue frosting. The clerks were wearing jerseys in orange and blue. Customers were in orange and blue. Cars had orange and blue flags from their antennae.  Some shoes were orange with the Bronco logo. As I drove down Wadsworth I saw people waiting for a bus in orange and blue. At mass, there was a lot of orange and blue but of all the tee-shirts, jerseys, caps, scarves, and jewelry I saw, my favorite was a dress worn by a fan. I approached her and asked if I could take her picture and at first she was hesitant, but soon relented.
"There is no 
blue without 
yellow and 
without orange."
Vincent Van Gogh

From 1960 until the present time, the Denver Broncos have had loyal and devoted fans. Every time the Broncos play everyone wishes for a win and today is no different. Come on Broncos beat those Pittsburgh Steelers today! 

"Football incorporates 
the two worst elements 
of society: Violence 
punctuated with
committee meetings.
George F. Will

Note: The score was Broncos 23 to Steelers 16 and now Denver will play the Patriots.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

The Empty Jar

What does an empty jar represent? Some jars are empty because the contents have been used to prepare something to eat and they don't mean a thing. Yet, I have a jar that is now almost empty, but it represents kindness, friendship, generosity and love. You are probably asking how could an almost empty jar mean so much and why does it mean so much?

On New Year's Eve day, as I drove into the parking lot of my church, there were four women sitting in a car. It was freezing cold but one lady got out and said, "I have something for you." I told her, "Don't get out, it is very cold out here, give me whatever you want to give me later." She responded with, "No I want to give it to you now so you can put it in your car." She went to her car and brought me a Christmas gift bag and all I could see was green tissue poking out. I thanked her and took the bag to my car. I left it in my car and continued on my way. It is always such a pleasant surprise to receive a gift.

Later, when I got home I looked in the gift bag. It was a Ball jar with jam inside. On the lid was written "Berry Jam." In the morning I opened the jar and put some of the deep reddish-purple jam on my toast. It
tasted wonderful. It was not sweet like jams I have purchased and it had a pleasant berry taste. I prepared another slice of toast just so I could have some more of the great tasting jam.

Even though I have some Smucker's in my refrigerator I pushed that jar to the back and continued eating the home made jam. Every time I ate it I thought about the woman who had given it to me. I thanked God for having such a thoughtful friend and then extended my prayer to include all my friends. I thought how kind this woman was to think of me and how generous to include me in sharing her jam.

I have put it on toast, tortillas, pancakes, waffles, English muffins and sometimes I just spoon it out for a spoon-full of sweetness. Peanut butter sandwiches have never tasted so good. I recalled a saying that my Mother used to say, "When something is given from the heart you will get a lot of pleasure from it." I agree, because she must have really given me the jar of jam with her whole heart because I enjoyed every bit of it. There is one more serving in the jar and once that is scraped and eaten, I will wash the jar and give thanks that I was able to enjoy the jam for sixteen days!

When I saw the lady who had given me the jam, I told her how much I had enjoyed it and how much better it tasted than store bought jams and she said, "Maybe it is the rhubarb I mix into it." Whatever it is, I know I enjoyed the jam and am saddened that it is all gone, yet the memory of a kind gesture will last forever.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Amazing Dave

On January 14, 2016, the Young At Heart group attended the Saddle Up dinner at Spirit of Christ Catholic Community. The hall was decorated with horses, ropes hanging from the ceiling and posters from the Western Stock Show. After a delicious meal the audience was introduced to Amazing Dave.

With a name like Amazing Dave, I wondered who he was and what he would be doing. He was introduced as the Million Dollar Man from the Lodge Casino in Blackhawk and he was also one of the characters at the Lumber Baron Mystery Theater. Now, he was at our dinner to entertain us as a magician.

He is a tall, robust man and he and his wife set up their gear in the middle of the room. The show began with lots of bantering between them and some of the quips were directed at the audience which caused lots of laughter. A fire in his billfold, silver rings, two rabbits, a straight jacket, a balloon, a bird, and a rope were some of the props. It is a puzzle as to how the tricks are done, but that is why he is called a magician!

He incorporated audience members to help him with lots of joking and teasing while he kept the audience laughing and amazed. How he could make a thin white rope go from one whole piece to three pieces of the same size remains a mystery. Before our eyes, he changed a the same sized pieces of rope to short, medium and long lengths. We had seen him cut the rope in three equal sizes and were fascinated as he made the ropes appear in the different sizes. His wife, who helped and did some of the tricks like pulling rabbits out
of small boxes made me feel sorry for the rabbits. The rabbits seemed tired with no energy as they sat on a the small table and did not move.
Maybe the the rabbits were drugged or old but to me they did not act like normal rabbits!  Or maybe they are bored with the being a magic tricks!  She also stuck a long needle into a balloon without popping the balloon.

The finale was putting Amazing Dave into a straight jacket and with a
few maneuvers, and some twists and turns, he was able to get out of it in just over a minute.

The entertainment was fun and interesting and once again I was flabbergasted, as well as the rest of the YAH group, as to how some of those tricks can be done.

How much longer do I have to sit on this perch?

"The magician and the politician have much in common. 
They both have to draw our attention away from what
they are really doing."
Ben Okri

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Parent Antics With Children

The title says it all. No need for me to write captions other than "See what our parents did to us when we were little!"

Pretty Close to Flying

Trying to cull some of my pictures and clean out my computer, I came across these pictures of my grandchildren at Estes Park, Colorado. The year was 2004 and we were celebrating the 4th of July at our favorite resort. When I saw the pictures I remembered lots of laughter and how fearful I was that lightning would strike because it was beginning to rain. I thought my granddaughter was too young to get into the flying contraption but she wanted to do it, so up she went!

I wrote two short verses about their flying experience and maybe sometime when my grandchildren are grown up they also will recall the fun time we had that 4th of July in Estes.

The Boy
The boy thought he had been strapped
to a fire cracker
as he shot up into the sky.
He felt as if he was going to fly
as he flew up so high.
Every time he returned to earth
he would shoot up again.
Two, four, six and maybe ten,
one more time and he would
touch a cloud.
Down below, crowds were wowed.
Each time he went on his upward flight
it gave the spectator's much delight.

The Girl
The girl was so small
she wasn't very tall
as she shot up 
she was not scared at all.
Strapped in with many belts
so she could not fly away
she seemed to be okay.
The crowd began to cheer
as they saw she had no fear.
A dare devil she was
soaring on high without a pause.
She looked down with a grin,
never worried about what could have been.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Oval Table

My kitchen table has become the center of my world. I don't know when it happened but one day I looked at my kitchen table and it was covered with papers and books! One end holds paperwork for a trip I am planning to visit New Mexico. The opposite end holds a Bible, notebook, and catechism where I do my homework for a Bible Timeline Class I am taking. On the east middle section I have the gambling list of people wishing to travel to Blackhawk, Colorado to gamble. On the west side is information for my Small Church Community group that meets once a month. A tiny corner of the table I reserve for eating but I find myself standing by the sink for some of my meals.

When I retired I had no idea that my life would become so busy. Some say it is good to be busy. Sometimes I just want to throw up my hands and yell, "Enough!" My television is seldom on and the programs I enjoy  are Downton Abbey and Dr. Phil. It seems that a lot of my reading for the book club or for pleasure is done in the bathroom and sometimes,when I stand up, I can barely walk because my legs have fallen asleep.

But, back to my oval table.  I use all four chairs, depending on what activity I am working on. It's like playing musical chairs! Heaven forbid if ever I had company and had to prepare a meal. What would I do with all the paperwork?

I do manage to have lunch with family or friends, for Board meetings, Bible classes or book club meetings plus do some photography, but I always return to my oval table! As I see the work accumulating, I wonder if I will need to put in another leaf to make the table bigger. When I visit other people, who are as busy as I am, I do not see stacks of paper on their tables so where do they "hide" their work?  In the meantime, I am like the President of the United States because I also have an oval office, only mine is in my kitchen.

"Paperwork wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for all the paper. And the work."
Daryanda Jones

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Filling a Hole in My Soul

I don't remember much about a retreat I attended in 1955 at El Pomar Retreat Center in Colorado Springs. Junior High girls (now called Middle School) and a few high schoolers car pooled to the retreat center. To me it was a long trip away from home, but in reality it was about 75 miles. I remember polished black and white squares on the floor and walking around outside in a peaceful garden. Other than those two things I can't recall any thing else, other than one sentence that stuck with me. The retreat leader let us know that no one can be completely satisfied in life; we all feel as if something is missing. That empty spot would be filled when we joined God in heaven.

Through the years, when I would feel as if something was missing from my life, I would bring to mind that on earth I would always feel as if something was missing.  This morning I was listening to Understanding The Bible by Nicholas Lebish and when he said, "There is a deep hole in our soul that only God can fill," I remembered what I had heard at the retreat so long ago.

In order to try and get closer to God and my religion, I am taking the Timeline Bible Class and even though I find what I am reading in the Bible difficult to understand, I know I understand much more than I have ever understood about the Bible. Slowly, but surely, I will continue to move toward filling the empty hole in my soul!

Friday, January 8, 2016

A Restaurant That Looks Like a Museum

My granddaughter and I went to Buca di Beppo in Broomfield for lunch  We found out that the name means Joe's basement. When we arrived we were asked if we wanted to take a tour of the restaurant and we did! The walls are covered with photos, knick-knacks, quotes, and each room has its very own name. The Bottle Room was beautiful with Christmas lights mixed in with the bottles on the ceiling. The Pope room has religious artifacts and Pope Francis is
encased in a glass container in the middle of a large round table. Joe's room has many pictures of the heavy set man eating spaghetti. It was like being in a museum looking at all the "stuff" on the walls and on the ceiling. The waitress said, "I have worked here over a year and I still find something I have not seen!"


The food is served family style in large bowls so that meals can be shared. I ordered the Eggplant Parmigiana and a crisp mixed salad and my granddaughter ordered baked Ziti with ricotta and toasted bread crumbs on top. We got a basket of Italian bread to dip into the oil and balsamic vinegar. I read an article that mentioned that in Italy they do not serve bread with oil and vinegar. I wonder why, because it seems very popular in the Italian restaurants in the United States.

What a pleasant afternoon eating and looking around at the many photos. The two priests sharing a cigarette in the middle of many photographs made us laugh! I had never had a naked man with a Santa hat at my table but we certainly had one at this restaurant!

My granddaughter played soccer when she was younger and she liked the picture of a bride in her gown kicking a soccer ball. On the ceiling of our dining room there were many posters that sort of reminded me of the Sistine Chapel. Not the artwork, but the covered ceiling with different pictures.

I found the picture of the five young women all dressed up in strapless gowns slurping up spaghetti to be an interesting photo.

Spending time with my granddaughter is fun and Buca di Beppo was an interesting place to visit, enjoy each other's company and have lunch!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Rapping on Christmas Eve

On my recent visit to California, my granddaughters picked me up from the airport. The car radio had hip-hop music and because I like to make them laugh, I began making up my own lyrics. Something about a grandmother coming to visit and how surprised I was to have them pick me up. They encouraged me and said, "Do it again, grandma!" So I did.

Later, I began thinking of some kind of rap to sing to them on Christmas Eve before we opened presents. How hard could rhyming speech in a chanting tone be? Here is what I composed.

In my hand I have a pen
because it's Christmas time again.
At this lovely holiday time
I need words that really rhyme.
Christmas comes but once a year
and I want to wish you all some cheer.
But, I live so far, far away
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Your interests I do not know
what could I give you to make your face glow?
What would fill your heart with glee
has become a great big mystery to me. 
The one thing I can give
will last as long as you will live.
I give you all my love
my love, my love, my love.

Plus a little extra to enjoy
enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.
Your present does not fly, jump, sing or stun
because hugs are coming for everyone.
Enjoy your gift, I dare to say
On this beautiful Christmas day.

I asked  my granddaughter to come to my bedroom and asked her to bring her guitar.
I explained what I wanted to do on Christmas Eve and she got excited and played different chords until she found one that would match my rap. We kept it a secret and did not tell anyone what we were going to do that evening.

After mass we gathered around to open gifts. I announced that my granddaughter and I had something for all
to enjoy before presents were opened. The rap began as a rap but before long it became more like a sort of sing-song poem. My granddaughter and I had fun as she strummed and I sort of chanted.

One thing I learned is to have respect for rappers. It looks easy but keeping the beat, throwing words out, rhyming and making sense of what is being said is not an easy thing to do. My baseball cap goes off to those who are real rappers!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Bible Study Notes

Every Monday I meet with about twelve persons to try and understand what is written in the Bible. At this point, I feel like baby trying to crawl. I am told that eventually, I may begin to take baby steps. At this point it is still confusing with many surprises. Yesterday, some one mentioned how nations have fallen after surviving around two-hundred years. The United States is a bit over two-hundred years so I am curious if our nation will follow the path of so many other great nations. Zechariah 1, 15,  "I am exceedingly angry with complacent nations."

One of the students in class read us the ten steps in the growth and fall of a nation from her smart phone.

Bondage to spiritual faith; 
Spiritual faith to great courage; 
great courage to liberty; 
liberty to abundance; 
abundance to selfishness; 
selfishness to complacency; 
complacency to apathy; 
apathy to moral decay; 
moral decay to dependence;
 and dependence back to bondage.

As I listened to the steps I thought that we are probably in the apathy to moral decay segment. It seems to me that there is no respect for anyone in this day and age. Words that were taboo when I was growing up seem to be common place today. Sometimes I get the feeling that selfishness has taken over and as long as people are selfish the thought is only of self and no thought is given to anyone else.

I do know many persons (older) who still believe in honesty, helping the needy and feeding the poor but I also know persons who could care less about anyone other than themselves.(younger) The one thing that seems to bring people together is a national tragedy. Yet, I see selfishness in reporters of the news, politics, sports, and in movie stars. In Zechariah 1, 3-15,  "Return to me says the Lord of Hosts and I will return to you."

Another person in class brought up the fact that children of one generation are not being taught how to have responsibility for their actions. When that generation grows up they cannot teach what they have not learned to their children and the downward cycle continues. I notice in our court system where it seems that the more money an accused has, the better the chances of getting off. When I was younger I believed that when one swore on the Bible, anything coming out of the person mouth would be true. Now it seems like such a farce.

In  Zechariah 4,6 the passage seems quite relevant at this time. "Not by an army nor by might but by my spirit, says the Lord of Hosts." My understanding is that there will be no peace, worldwide or at home, until everyone returns to God. The way things are going, I don't believe it will happen in my life time! It seems like such an impossibility but maybe one person at a time, learning and trying, something great can be accomplished.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Picture Highlights Of My California Visit

My Pal
Doggie Sitter

A surprise when my granddaughters picked me up!

Christmas corner!

Neighborhood Santas

Christmas Eve
Luna - Is she happy to see me?

A book to read!
Queen Elizabeth at the mall!
Opening gifts.
Christmas Day
My California Family