Monthly Archives: January 2019

Fruitful Food!

Image result for Female Silhouette Clip Art ReadingDuring these trying times, one of the best ways to stay above the fray is to read a good book!  Reading is a way to escape the brittle predicaments that gloom our horizons and keep us feeling off-base.  It’s a way to pack away our own concerns and see what is going on in someone else’s life without engaging in petty gossip.  It’s a safe get-a-way.

Art forms have been known to give hope and creative outlets to many people during wars and times of political struggles and uncertainty.  The movie reels of the 20’s and 40’s sustained the American public when their stomachs were beginning to growl and their outlooks were dimmed by the dire circumstances of the day.

So, if we find ourselves trying to hold on and tighten our grip, we can choose to crawl into the rabbit hole like Alice in Wonderland. We can create our own adventure by picking up a book and see what is happening with the characters inside of the covers. Every book shows us something new and opens the doors to greater insight into some aspect of life itself.

I recently read the British writer Joss Sheldon’s Individutopia.  It shows us what the world of the selfie will look like 50 years from now and makes us think about where we might be headed as a society.  Then, I took an excursion into the life of The Dubliners and walked through 15 stories of everyday Irish life with James Joyce.

Last night, as I too waited for the storm to pass over, I cracked open Gloria Swanson’s Swanson on Swanson.  I stayed up late and thought, “Oh my!”  She tells her own story and as I digested the first serving, I was reminded that we all have our crosses to bear.

So, when picking up the groceries for that next meal, swing by the library or bookstore and get the dessert by getting a book.  Then, after clearing away the dishes, feast on some fruitful food for thought!

Lynn M.                                                                                        January 26, 2019

You Get What You Need!

 

The Blue Bottle Club: Newly Repackaged Edition

The Blue Bottle Club by Penelope J. Stokes is a well-crafted piece.  I also read another work by Stokes called Circle of Grace where she used creative techniques to tell the tale.  Her writings seem to mirror life as she shows how the puzzle pieces fall together after her characters are confounded by life’s mysteries.

In this book, Brendan Delaney is a news reporter who is doing a story on a historic landmark that is about to be demolished in Ashville, North Carolina.  It is a huge house that once belonged to the Cameron family and was later used for other city events.  As she is about to leave the property, a guy on her crew gives her a blue-bottle that he had found in the attic.

She tucks it away and later discovers that it has four notes inside written by four teen girls.  They each write what they would like to achieve in life and vow to remain friends on that Christmas Day in 1929, the year of the stock market crash.

It is now some 65 years later, and Brendan immediately wonders what became of the women who would now be in their 80’s if still alive.  This story seems to pull on her and is just the impetus she needs because she has begun to lose her drive for her job and her faith had been waning for quite some time.

With her station manager’s approval, she takes on the momentous task of searching for Leticia Cameron, Adora Archer, Eleanor James and Mary Love.  Did Leticia marry her beloved wealthy boyfriend and have lots of babies as she had vowed?  Had Adora become a successful actress in Hollywood?  Had Eleanor become a social worker like  Jane Addams? And, had Mary Love become a great artist and painter as she dreamed?

Brendan, who rarely prayed had uttered the prayer,” Please God.  Please let them still be alive.” After that, she followed a lead and went to a nearby church that the Archer family had once attended.   She met the current pastor and sure enough, he referred her to Dorothy Parker, a senior in her 90’s who lived at the local home for the aged.  From there, the door to discovery swung open as Brendan was pointed to the whereabouts of Leticia Cameron who was a short distance away.

Brendan’s journey begins as she hopes to interview each woman and see how their lives turned out.  In her search for the truth, Brendan finds a new-found faith, friendships and a sense of belonging.  But what happened in these women’s lives?  Did she find them all still alive as she had prayed?

Read this remarkable story which is filled with life lessons, faith and perseverance. See how these four women’s lives turned out in the long run.  The Blue Bottle Club is filled with many strong prayers and Brendan comes out much richer in the end.

The Rollin’ Stones song You Can’t Always Get What You Want best exemplifies the message of this book.  Push play and enjoy this 1969 version of their song!

Lynn M.                                                                                   January 19, 2019

 

Exit, Stage Left!

Image result for exit door clip art free

It’s still January and we are continually setting down the new frameworks that we intend to follow for the new year.  We have promised ourselves to release the old things and people who no longer benefit us.  Parting with material things is difficult enough but parting ways with people we have known is even harder.

Just like a worn-out pair of shoes, those relationships are no longer comfortable and in fact they may simply hurt.  If we keep wearing them, we will find ourselves winching from the pain; so, we eventually must let them go before we do more damage to our feet.

Last Sunday, Carol Burnett, the comedienne, received a special Golden Globe for the many years that she brought so much laughter to her viewers.  She closed her weekly show with a song that said, “I’m So Glad We Had This Time Together.” Then she would pull on one of her earlobes as if to seal the deal.  We can use her lyrics as we give thanks for those that we have once known.

As we clean out our lives, we can remember the hours of deep conversations and moments of hearty laughter that we have shared. Surely, we have been enriched from the encounters and for that we should be grateful.  Our fellowshipping may have stretched out over several years or it may have been short and sweet. Yet, we know when it is time to move on.

Children are weaned from their mothers so that they can advance to the next stage of growth and we adults must do the same thing.  If we try to hold on to that which we’ve outgrown, pain is guaranteed.  So, we unfurl our grasp and grip on people, open up our hands  and simply let go as we watch the parting shadows exit stage left.

There may a tear in the corner of our eyes but if we are honestly in touch with our real feelings, we will slowly smile.  In time, precious memories will flow to the top like marshmallows on a cup of hot chocolate and all the bitterness will remain at the bottom!

Lynn M.                                                                                               January 12, 2019

Yeah!

thg9giwc1iWhen newly laundered clothes come out of the dryer, they normally have a fresh and crisp smell.  They make us feel like going on as we graciously crease and fold them.  We can compare this New Year of 2019 to a clean wash because we have the chance to take a deep breath and start over.

New resolutions have either been written or spoken as we vow to do better in a variety of areas.  We can only hope that we can live up to these self-imposed challenges as we strive to grow and go forth.

Just like the dried clothes, we have folded the situations of the past year into neat, little piles and tucked them away.  We have greater insights as we see that some things blessed us; some confounded us and some even spooked us.  Yet, we continue and keep on keeping on.

We may have had to hum Gladys Knight & The Pips’ song, I’ve Got to Use My Imagination for encouragement.   They sang:

“I’ve really got to use my imagination,

To think of good reasons

To keep on keeping on

Got to make the best of a bad situation….”

We realize that we have pulled on a lot of resources to get us to New Year’s Eve night when we witnessed the ball drop as the world rung in the New Year.

Those sources may have included things like the reading of spiritual literature and good books, writing our innermost thoughts on a regular basis or listening to calming music.  Or maybe it was our relaxing during yoga classes and poses, dancing during Zumba classes, taking long walks by the waterfront or communicating with loved ones either in person or on social media.

Our silent helpers may have been seen and several may not have been visible to us.  But, their well-wishes were heartily felt as we triumphed and closed out the old year.

So, in 2019, we start by counting our abundant blessings for there have been many.  If any obstacles or hurdles present themselves on our path, we can view them as a bunch of bowling pins.  They are there waiting for us in formation.

We simply pick up the right bowling ball, position our thumb at the perfect angle, take a careful aim and heave the ball towards them.  And, we just might hear our cheering section scream, “Yeah for you!”

Lynn M.                                                      January 5, 2019