Monthly Archives: October 2016

World Series Tidbits!

As I watch the Cubs play the World Series, so many things come to mind.  First, I honor those Cub fans in the family who have to be smiling down from heaven.  That would be my father and his sister, my Aunt Louise. They were both devoted fans.

When I visited her, she would often have on the Cubs game when in season.  They were on the television, which she had muted while she listened to the plays on a radio.  This was her way, but the Cubs she loved.  We knew not to bother or interrupt either of them when the game was on.

This is the Chicago Cubs first trip to the World Series since 1945, the birth year of my oldest sister.  Here we are seventy-one years later with high hopes once again. Chicago is rocking and reeling right now and so many personal stories have been spawned out of this event.

One granddaughter brought the media’s attention to her grandfather who is 97 years old.  He was returning from WWII in 1945 and attended the last Cubs World Series game.  She wanted him to have this opportunity again, so she set up a Go-Fund Me page.  Someone kindly gave him front row seats and his family decided to donate the monies raised to a veteran charity!

Another poignant story surrounds the opposing team’s pitcher, Josh Tomlin.  His father was finally able to attend the World Series.  He is paralyzed and at one point they did not think that he would be able to go to the game.  However, he was interviewed from the sidelines last night and spoke of how proud he was to see his son pitch an amazing game.

Cubs’ fans have come from all over the globe.  Two men admitted to the media that they had paid $5000 for each ticket. Wow!  Thank goodness, it is being aired on television and we can see it for free!

This is an exciting time in Chicago!  It has the adrenaline flowing and regardless of the outcome, history has still been made for the Cubs!!  Go Cubs!

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Lynn M.                                                                                                                       October 30, 2016

Little Reprieves!

I sit here writing in my car as I watch families enjoying their simple liberties on this sunny, brisk October Saturday.  It is sweater and scarf weather and the sunglasses could also come in handy today. There are so many families in the park.  What a beauty!

One coach  is teaching some young boys about 7 to 10 years old how to play soccer.  I know that he is the coach because his jersey has it labeled on the back. In my rear view mirror,  I see family members lined up in their outdoor chairs as they prepare to watch a real soccer match.  I see colorful balls stretched out along the sidelines.

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When I look up again from my writing, I see that the match has begun. The teams of boys have on blue uniforms versus the orange ones and they are off to the races to see who will win the game.

This is a nice reprieve from the daily activities.  It is a welcome break from the storms and concerns that life dallies up regularly.  One of my aunts used to say that things go along smoothly for a while and then another storm comes rolling along.  We have to hunker down until it passes and hopefully come through it with as much intact as possible.

Little reprieves like this wondrous Saturday can offer us a chance to breathe and have our faith stabilized.  Whether we believe it or not when we have been shaken, Mother Nature knows what she is doing.  When we are tested, we have to hold on tight and bear down.  Between those battering trials, we must exhale and look for those sunrises and sunsets to remember that life goes on.

Oliver Cromwell wrote that, “Nature can do more than physicians.”  So like the strong swimmer, we come up for air and then we can carry on.  We can pause as we stand on the rock of hope and affirm that, this too shall pass. 

Fresh air helps us  breathe as we adjust our attitudes and regain our equilibrium.  There is an equation and a natural order though it may seem illusive.  When I look up again, I see a parent strolling along with his two young girls dressed in soccer gear.  This is proof  that there is a balance!  Those little reprieves hold us steadily as we continue on our journeys.

Lynn M.                                                                                                  October 23, 2016

 

Golden Pebbles

“Do not follow where the path may lead,
Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

I think back to those loved ones who silently left golden pebbles on a trail for me to follow. I was always aware of geography and the many places in the world. My father took us on several road trips and he used to take us to the airport to watch the planes take off and land. He gave us vision and we have all been blessed with extensive travel.

I began to collect the golden pebbles that were dropped by others. Some family members lived in places that I had not seen but I would listen to their stories and add that locale to my “places to see list.”

Atlanta, Paris, and Boston were some of the places where some of them took up temporary residence. I  marked these locations on a wall map and became intrigued as they talked about the scenery, the food, the culture, the people or the weather.

As we travel through life, we never know which sets of young eyes are watching our choices in life. We make our decisions and we may unknowingly be creating a wish list for those coming behind us. We could be blazing a trail as they make their little tick marks on a wall calendar or in a diary entry.

I remember the scene from The Color Purple when the older sister, Celie was on the train heading for Memphis after leaving Mister. She sees a little girl who is playing along the tracks who reminds her of her younger sister, Nettie.

She takes the golden chips, which may have been candy, from the waiter’s tray as she stands on the back of the train’s caboose. She throws these golden pebbles to the girl who actually turns into Nettie in her mind.

She is envisioning that she is leaving a trail for Nettie to follow. Ultimately, her long-suffering association with  Mister plays a role in freeing Nettie. He breaks down and pays for Nettie and her family’s re-entrance into the country after returning from Africa.

That’s what our mentors do. They leave us a trail to follow which guides and leads us at least for a while. Those golden pebbles give us hope and help us to create new vistas in our minds and hearts. Then, at some juncture, we may come to a fork in the road and set out onto a new untraveled route and become trailblazers ourselves.

We never know who we might be impacting so we must mindfully drop those golden pebbles through journals, photos or conversations. It makes it easier for those who are coming behind us.

Lynn M.                                                   October 16, 2016

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How Well Do I Know Thee?

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The other night, I watched A River Runs Through It, in its entirety.  I had the time.  At the end of the movie, the father commissioned the oldest son, Norm, to write about the family one day.  He was after all, a Professor of English and had a special way with words.

So, he did.  After looking at the movie, I looked the book up on Amazon to see what others had to say about it.  There were 386 reviews and the majority of the readers were highly impressed and forever changed by this novella of 102 pages.  Some equated it to one of the masterpieces of American literature.

I asked myself, “Could I write a novel about my family? I slowly admitted to myself that, I could not.  At least not authentically.  I suppose I could give a superficial rendition of the events that took place and the years of major occasions.  But it would be circumstantial.

Could I delve deep into the psyche and souls of my family members and see what shaped them?  Maybe I could piece together the things that my parents shared about their lives and come to a few conclusions. But my siblings?  No. I think not.

It made me realize how little we really know about each other.  Perhaps, it is because we share the things that we are proud of but not the hidden things which we do not tell others. I guess that means that we should either listen more or share more. Then, we would not be so quick to judge.  We can only speculate about others’ decisions.

Norman Maclean has obviously written a very powerful piece.  Robert Redford took on the task of bringing this story to the big screen.  The author tries to understand all of the things that made his brother live his life so close to the edge which resulted in his early and tragic death.  Norm lived away from the family for years and tried to piece parts of the mystery together.

He said, “For it is true we can seldom help those closest to us.  Either we don’t know what part of ourselves to give, or more often than not, the part we have to give is not wanted.  And so, it is those we live with and should know who elude us.  But we can still love them- we can love completely without complete understanding.”

I anxiously await the arrival of A River Runs through It in the mail.  I know that I will gain new insights into familial love!

Lynn M.                                                                               October 9, 2016

Small Comforts!

Be extra kind to yourself when waiting, making it as pleasurable as possible.  Simple Abundance

It is imperative that we be kind to ourselves especially when we feel that others have not been duly kind.  We can only wait for the tides to change and for things to get better and more tolerable.

There are so many small things that we can do for ourselves during such times.  For starters, we can keep some of our favorite snacks close by to give us immediate relief. It could be something like having a delicious Snickers candy bar before turning out the lights for the night.

Or, it could be enjoying a bowl of popcorn to chew away the memories of a challenging day at work.  It helps to crunch down and drown out those tests of the day.

Comfort can come by putting on a dab of low-key fragrance to add that blessed assurance before heading out of the door for a busy day.  Or, we can make a journal entry that helps us refocus on our intentions, goals and our subsequent mission.

Sarah Ban Breathnach constantly reminds us of the simple pleasures that ease some of the impatience and friction in our daily lives.  We must be gentle with ourselves and find ways to make the in-between times as easy as possible.

The television sitcom, The Golden Girls, always ended with them sitting down to some cheesecake. They would unwind, chat and put the events of the day behind them.

Here are a few things that can help bring levels of comfort:

  • Wrap up in a favorite throw or comforter.
  • Listen to soft music of the ocean waves lapping against the shore.
  • Or, listen to some flute or piano music to relax.
  • Read to some classical music to enhance peace.
  • Browse through those backed-up magazines.
  • Relax in a bubble bath.
  • Put on that new pair of pajamas.
  • Enjoy a tray of mixed nuts.
  • Slowing cherish a bottle of Perrier mineral water.
  • Be strengthened by some good gospel and inspirational music.
  • Wear that new special hat for that extra pizzazz.

We must find ways to comfort ourselves when the rest of the world is simply busy doing its own thing!

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Lynn M.                                                                              October 2, 2016

Oh October!

Golden leaves fall to the ground,

 Again autumn has come around!

  Jackets and sweaters appear,

  Fall days, early dark are here.

Collect those huge harvest piles,

 Reap the rewards of those miles,

  That you worked during the year,                

  Cash it in!  October is here!

orange-sweaters

Lynn M.                                                                                                           October 1, 2016