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Hmmm… Moment of Clarity

Despite the ugliness of Alzheimer’s with its thievery, the soul of the person remains. Thankfully, God does not forget and knows we need those brief reminders, those moments of clarity that give us a snippet of respite from an otherwise devastating thief. (Isaiah 42:16, Isaiah 43:1-3)

And, the Trump-et Blows

We all know how sharing our political views in this forum, and similar, can produce explosive conversation, which is why I do not make it a habit of sharing mine. However, I do want to thank one of My Monkeys for sharing this article through email.

As I read this very interesting piece, I was reminded of my own comments during a recent conversation with family. I cannot understand the Trump-et’s want to be a presidential candidate. He is arrogant, bombastic, and does not possess the typical decorum we are accustomed. He is not afraid to speak his mind, does not care if people disagree with his opinions, and makes no apologies for them.

Do I think he will receive the nomination for his party? Time will answer that question. Yet, I believe his purpose is to bring forward the truth of each candidate, no matter his or her party affiliation.

My Monkey, I too, will keep listening as long as he continues to sound off along this line.

Hmmm… Devil Dog, Lovely and Me: A Recap

Seventy-two years have gone by since I first met Devil Dog. He was a fresh-faced kid on that hot July day in 1942, and kind of a smart-aleck, too. So, when the drill instructor gave me orders to be this new US Marine recruit’s protection from Mother Nature’s sting, I knew I was in for a wild ride. The excitement began shortly after leaving Parris Island, SC for our assignment in Jacksonville, FL at Aviation Machinist Mate School. Yep, an olive drab scratchy wool blanket in Florida, but I had my orders. Devil Dog must have learned his way around F4U Corsairs quite well. You see, sometime later while stationed on Emirau Island in the south Pacific, he had the privilege of being Colonel Charles Lindbergh’s line mechanic. Oorah!

Now, a lot of globetrotting was done by land, air, and sea before arriving at that tropical land mass along the equator. Yes, I know, a wool blanket in the tropics, but I had my orders. Semper Fi!

We saw some interesting sights along the way, giving us pleasant and even humorous memories, and some haunting ones that continue to hang around to this day. But, it is the memory of coming home to Vestal Center, NY and meeting Lovely that is the most precious, and the beginning of the best ride of my life.

It was Christmas 1947 and Devil Dog decided to join the local church in Christmas Caroling through the neighborhood. After spending the last few years in warmer climates, he was more than happy I tagged along. You see, the temperature that evening was five degrees below zero and we were huddled in the back of a stake body truck with only loose hay to keep us warm. Wahoo! Finally, my chance to carry out my duties after six years had arrived and was kind of exciting. However, I didn’t know how exciting until I saw Lovely sitting across the way. Devil Dog was watching her; in fact, he had been keeping an eye on her throughout the entire frigid night. Realizing she must have been as cold as he was, Devil Dog worked up the nerve to ask Lovely, “Would you like to share my blanket?” Wow, what a line! I held my breath waiting for her answer. What if she refuses? Will he turn me over to her? I have my orders. But wait, she is kinda cute.

Well, Lovely’s answer led to a sixty-six year adventure involving six children, 12 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren. You see, Devil Dog and Lovely were married on December 24, 1948.

Over the years, I have heard Devil Dog say, “To me a woman is someone special. This may sound corny, but after all my travels and having observed the beauty that is of God, nothing He has made is more beautiful than a woman. A woman can buy and use many things to make herself look beautiful, but to me that doesn’t make her look lovely. Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary describes lovely as beautiful, morally and spiritually attractive, and enjoyable.”

Yes, Devil Dog, you are right; Mrs. Devil Dog is Lovely.

Hmmm… Catching Up: Red Ferns

More thoughts written February 19th as our family sat at our Mother’s side while in hospital.

These days my thoughts often gravitate to the book, Where the Red Fern Grows, written by Wilson Rawls in 1961. This coming of age story first adapted to film in 1974 follows the adventures of a young boy and his two-coonhound pups who are inseparable and learn lessons of true friendship, loyalty, heroics, and integrity. In the book, we learn of an old Cherokee legend that tells of a sacred red fern that grows between their two graves that only an angel can plant. I can’t help but compare Mom and Dad to the two pups. After 66 years together, they follow the same journey to heaven in quick succession. Dad completed his journey last week, while Mom continues with hers today. Will a red fern grow between their two graves? Not sure if I believe the legend but the symbolism it holds is very powerful. We humans need something tangible when dealing with life’s tragedies. For the young boy grieving the loss of his beloved dogs, the red fern tells him he is not alone. We too are not alone as we face losing another pillar of our family. But, are we losing them or sending them forward to help prepare a better place for the rest of us? (John 14:1-3)

Hmmm… Catching Up; A Roller Coaster Ride

My thoughts written February 8th after saying goodbye to our Dad. We know he is in heaven sitting with his Lord and family who went before. His journey of life has only just begun.

There was a point in my younger years when I loved roller coasters. Anticipation swiftly changed to exhilaration after climbing the highest peak followed by a lightening speed journey through the disorienting twists and turns, ending with a shout, let’s do that again. Yet, this roller coaster our family is riding is not so amusing but exhausting, and will not end with the same exclamation. One minute we ride the high of laughter and giddiness, the next we circle the lows of approaching uncertainty. It is during those sharp low curves our petite mother shares her wisdom with quiet grace; our job is not to understand the whys of this ride but to sit back trusting God with the controls to know what is best for us all. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Hmmm… Growth without Disruptive Moments?

I heard it said, the times when plants grow the most is not necessarily during the warm gentle rains or beautiful summer days; in fact, when the fierce winds blow and the raging storms come is when plants grow the most. While pondering this statement, the patch of Black-eyed Susans in my front yard catches my eye. Just a few weeks ago, these perennial beauties of the Rudbeckia family suffered a deluge of six inches in two hours. Yet, they stand tall with their vibrant sunny faces and leafy green arms raised to the sky displaying their strength and perseverance. Hmmm… can we have growth in our lives without the disruptive moments? (Hebrews 12:10-13)

Hmmm… A Good Question

Do not feel guilty about taking time to be still in My Presence.

Jesus Calling, Sarah Young

But, that is exactly what I do; feel guilty when I sense the need to slow down and spend time with my Best Friend. What makes me think taking the time to meet others’ needs, desires, and timelines proves I am productively successful? Could it be the misconception I must be everyone’s Jill-of-all-trades? Maybe it is the many daily commands to go and do. Yet, in the stillness of my Best Friend’s love, encouragement, and sometimes humbling scolding, there are several invitations to wait and be still. In the lingering quiet come strength, peace and renewed energy to begin again. Where is the guilt in that? Hmmm… a good question.

Psalm 46:10, Isaiah 40:31