Monthly Archives: December 2012

The Gifts…

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I heard this song on the radio last week, and immediately thought of the precious children…

And others in the tragedy in Newtown…

And those grieving for them…

“The Gift” by Brenda White

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Here are the lyrics…

Please insert your loved one’s name in “Grandpa’s” place!

“Grandma spilled some water…

When she fed the Christmas tree…

She said her eyes were blurry…

But she’d been crying seemed to me…

‘Cause of all the gifts God gave us…

One’s no longer here…

You see, Grandpa is the gift…

They got in Heaven this year!

So you might hear an angel singing now..

A little bit off-key..

But Grandma says his shirts stay white…

And his skin is wrinkle free…

And when Jesus opens this one…

She says Heaven’s gonna cheer!

Because Grandpa is the gift…

They got in Heaven this year!

Grandpa loved the snow…

Because he loved the snowball fight…

And Grandma says that Jesus knows…

What He got Himself alright…

Grandma said the reason…

We didn’t get much snow down here…

Is that Grandpa is the gift…

They got in Heaven this year!

Now someone else is gonna wear…

The cotton-ball beard…

I remember he used shaving cream…

Instead of it one year!

And Grandma says that Jesus gives…

Everything we pray…

So us kids got together…

And asked if Grandpa had to stay!

So you might hear an angel singing now…

A little bit off-key…

But Grandma says his shirts stay white…

And his skin is wrinkle free…

And when Jesus opens this one…

She says Heaven’s gonna cheer…

Because Grandpa is the gift…

They got in Heaven this year!”

Also, a dear friend of mine forwarded this e-mail to me...written by her friend's daughter who lives in Newtown, Connecticut.  I have her permission to share it with you!  It's very powerful!

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 “I thought I’d share some experiences here in town…

In case you were curious…

 It’s been a hard (almost) week here…

 Initially, filled with utter shock, fear…

 Then sadness and grief… 

 I spend most of my days either working from home…

 Or tootling about getting to other destinations either in town…

 Or in neighboring towns…

 Thereby going through town…

 Not necessarily Sandy Hook proper…

 Just town…

 I ventured out a few times earlier in the week…

 And was met in the grocery store with utter silence…

 Except for some light Christmas music on their intercom system…

 Which is normally fun 60s and 70s music…

 There weren’t many people there…

 And those who were…

 Were visibly numb…

 Looks of shock…

 Just staring…

 Moving in slow motion…

  Then there was the ride back from walking the pups in Field Hills…

 Which is a staging area for therapy…

 And overflow of police officers from the state and neighboring areas…

 I didn’t realize that ’til I walked past a field with literally lines of cars…

 All the same make and model…

 And realized they weren’t starting a used car lot…

 They were housing all the undercover cop cars there…

 And, of course, all the yellow crime scene tape…

  Then there’s the sirens…

 Or helicopters…

 Take your pick…

 But essentially if it’s not one…

 It’s the other…

 We don’t know if they are further “events”

 Or some sort of escort… 

 Recently, on the ride back from Field Hills…

 I was greeted with stopped traffic on RT. 25…

 And decided to take a short cut that runs parallel (by a cemetery….) 

 I turned and started up the side road…

 And ran into a blockade ahead…

 Which was allowing a funeral procession to enter the cemetery…

  It hit me like a wall…

 That everywhere I went in town…

 There was evidence of the massacre!

  Not just TV evidence…

 But palpable, touchable, hearable, physical, experiencable evidence!

  And this realization that some parent’s…

 Some “neighbor’s” child was being buried just then…

 Was overwhelming!!

 I found myself shrouded in such overwhelming sadness…

 I questioned if we really could continue to live here!

 Then it changed…

 We realized that unlike 9/11, or Columbine, or any of the other widely known events that have changed our history…

 We can’t turn this off!

 We can’t choose to just watch a different channel…

 Avoid the news, ignore the newspapers, etc.!

 We are living in it! 

 I have a new empathy for the people who have experienced these other disasters…

 And what it is like to not be able to just turn away…

 So I decided, if we can’t avoid it, and I really didn’t want to…

 Then let’s immerse ourselves in it!!

 So, last night after a light late dinner at a local place in town…

 We drove into Sandy Hook center, at about 9:30 at night…

 We drove past the memorial site where the large Christmas Tree is…

 We went right, came back, drove past the display of Angels on the hillside, turned around, went back to the left,

 Turned around again, and decided, “We can do this!” 

 We parked, got out, and went and experienced it!

  As I sit here sobbing…

 And trying to put into words something that cannot be put into words…

 I will tell you this…

 It was probably the most moving human moment of my life!

 The beauty that is there…

 The LOVE…

 The overwhelming love, the poetry, the symbolism, the words of peace, all the candles, toys…

 All the things any 6 or 7-year-old child would adore…

 It’s just unimaginable!

 It is sad…

 But sad in a different way…

  Sad that they are no longer here with us…

 And that they were taken away far too early…

  But what is even more prevalent, is the LOVE! 

 I cannot even express it…

 That and the sense of peace…

 There’s not a stitch of anger there…

 No one writing of anger or resentment or hostility…

 None…

 Just a huge garden of peace, harmony, tranquility, joy, and spirituality.

  It’s not something I think everyone can do…

 But if you’ve ever wanted to be a part of something so much bigger…

 And feel beyond your own needs/wants/feelings…

 It’s an experience I won’t ever forget!

 We both said we felt so at peace walking through the display…

 It was cold and windy out…

 And neither of us ever felt cold, hot, nothing…

 We just felt in the moment…Peace! 

 Sadness for the loss, but more peace than sadness…

 Today is another day full of funeral processions…

 I see so many people dressed in their funeral black best…

 And the police presence is huge…

 Cops from everywhere! 

 Yesterday there were about 5 cops on bikes from Yonkers! 

 We’ve seen them from North and South, all over… 

 I just got word that every Newtown Police Officer will spend Christmas Day at home with his/her family…

 As neighboring departments have tons of volunteers to stand in for their shifts…

 So they can be with their families…

 But these funerals will be over soon. 

 I think people can truly begin the healing process thereafter… 

 So, I no longer feel like we can’t call Newtown home…

 Now I feel proud! 

 I don’t want to leave….

 In fact, I’d like very much to get to know more of my neighbors…

 And be a part of this community!

 I hope more and more people feel touched…

 I personally have decided to take an oath with myself to try to do more random acts of kindness… 

 To have more patience with people…

 To realize everyone is going through something…

 Everyone has a story…

 So when someone is in such a hurry they cut me off…

 Or if someone is grumpy to me in a check-out line…

 Maybe it’s for good reason…

  Maybe they just need a warm, understanding smile…

 Or maybe that person is rushing to pick up their sick child…

 If I can be more understanding…

 Maybe someone else can too…

 If we all were a little more caring and understanding…

 Can you imagine how much nicer our world could be?”

 

 

Yes, I can!!

 

Amen!

 

Dead Lizard!! Dead Lizard!!

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I had the most amazing conversation with a little boy on a bicycle, while I was taking a walk around my neighborhood last week!

I was just past the new construction site I told you about in a precious post…

Haven’t Seen One Of These Around Here In A While!!”

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I was listening to my inspirational Gospel tunes on my iPod, and thinking…

“Things are progressing nicely at the construction site!”

My Dad was a carpenter, so every step in the building process interests me!

I remember as kids, my Dad would ride us by every house he had built, and proudly say, “I built that house!”

I perhaps didn’t appreciate it then, but after having built all our houses over the years…

I appreciate it now…

Great job, Dad!!

Anyway…

Suddenly,  this little boy, perhaps 6 or 7 years old, came barreling at me on his bicycle…

While I was thinking, reminiscing, and listening to my music…

Shouting, “Dead Lizard!!  Dead Lizard!!”

I pulled out one ear bud…

And said, “What!?!”

He repeated it again!

“Dead Lizard!!  Dead Lizard!!”

“Where?”  I said…

He pointed up ahead…

“Want to see it?” he asked…

“Of course!” I said…

I just love kids!!  Don’t you???

I see people on my walks all the time…

Mostly those walking their dogs…

I don’t walk mine, my husband does that…

Because my crazy Siberian pulls my arm out of its socket!

It’s not a calm walk!!  Ha!!

Anyway, I talk to a lot of people on my walks, pet their dogs, say “Have a nice day,” etc.

And not once has anyone said anything as amazing as,

“Dead Lizard!!  Dead Lizard!!”

That’s why I love kids!!

So the kid on the bicycle turned his bike in the direction I was walking…

And raced to show me the way to the dead lizard you see in the photo!!

Soon, he turned back to me as I was apparently following too slowly!

“Come on!” he said…

“Can’t you run???”

Apparently he doesn’t understand age!  Ha!

So I walked a little faster to please him!

When we got to the dead lizard…

He proudly pointed to it, and said, “There it is!”

“Ahh,” I said.

“You’re right, it’s definitely dead, alright!

How do you think it died?” I asked…

“Did you run over it with your bike???”

In FL, little lizards run back and forth, and in front and around you all the time…

I remember when we came to FL for vacation, before we moved here, when my son was young…

That he went to grab one, and it let go of its tail to get away…

My son started crying, thinking he had killed it…

But we explained to him that it’s their defense mechanism…

And they can grow their tail back again!

Quite amazing little creatures, these “Lizzies!!”

So the little boy on the bicycle says…

“No, I didn’t run it over…

I found it this way!!”

I’m glad I came along for him to share his “find” with!!  Ha!

After we looked at it for awhile, I said…

“Merry Christmas, and thanks for showing me the dead lizard!”

And he turned to ride back the way he was going, and I continued on my walk…

Quickly though, he had another thought and said…

“When you go around the corner and see a black truck…

That’s my Dad’s truck…

Say to him, ‘Bryson said, Hi!'”

“Oh, you live around the corner?” I asked…

“We’re renting!” he said…

“Okay, I’ll tell him!”  I said as I continued walking…

He turned his bike around, and sped off ahead of me, to make sure I gave his Dad the correct message…

And beat me there!

Sure enough, there was his Dad washing his black truck!

So I said, “I’m supposed to tell you that Bryson said Hi!”

He laughed, that laugh that’s says, “Yup, I know my kid and that’s exactly what he’d say!!”

Bryson called to his Dad, “We saw a dead lizard!!”

His Dad said, “Great!

And Bryson, remember, stay where I can see you!”

While doing the “I’m-watching-you” motions…

“I know  that, Dad,” he replied…

And then he pedaled away, but on his own block this time!

So I said, “Merry Christmas, Bryson”

And he said, “You already said that!”

Yes, he’s right…I did!

Dear Jesus…how can anyone hurt a child???

This is why I need to live in new houses, because 10 years goes by before I realize I’m not keeping up with the cleaning!!

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Yes…

I convinced my husband…

To let me get the floor tiles in my house…

Professionally cleaned…

As I begged Santa in an earlier post called…

Dear Santa…I want!!

We’ve been in FL…

In this house…

That we had built…

For 10 years!

And I just realized I’m not keeping up!!

Ten years of dog hair…

Dirt…

Grime…

Cooking grease…

Powder…

And just plain GUNK and YUK!

So, my husband found Bob, the handyman in our neighborhood…

Who has been doing odd jobs around our house for several years!

He came yesterday…

Put down some bleach, used a broom-like thing…

And within an hour…

Our Master bathroom floor was sparkling clean!

Like it was 10 years ago!!

The fumes were bad for my allergies…

But I sat outside on my lanai with my puppy…

Then wore a mask all day while inside…

We turned on all the ceiling fans…

And my husband set up extra fans…

We’ll get the rest of the house done on Tuesday!!

Yipee!!

What a great Christmas gift!!

But, woe is me!!

How will I keep it like that??

Tell everyone not to walk on it???

Ever again???

Shave off all my Crazy Siberian’s hair???

Never cook again???

Don’t use powder in the shower???

My problem???

While I am a neat freak…

Since I can’t think in clutter…

And I do love to keep the house organized…

And decorated nicely…

And I’m good at keeping up with the paperwork…

That my husband refuses to look at…

Because it drives him crazy…

As far as the…

Deep…

“Get myself dirty-bend down-mop-move things-go behind-reach up, get a step stool to clean top shelves, wipe ceiling fans, and dust all my trinkets…”

Kind of cleaning…

I’d rather WRITE than do that kind of cleaning!!

Hey…I’d rather RELAX than do that kind of cleaning!

Hey…I rather do ANYTHING ELSE than  do that kind of cleaning!

Too much to do…

Too little time…

Too much effort…

Too much back-breaking work!!!

Where does the time go???

Let’s see…God & family & dog, teaching, drama team stuff, reading, writing, Dr.’s apts., hair and nails apts.,etc., etc.!

DUh!

Deep cleaning doesn’t seem to be on this list…

Or…

Even on my radar…

Unless you’re coming to visit!

Ha!

Then I’m frantic!

Oh…

If I’d only keep up!!

Lord, please help me!

Or else…

It just might be time to move to another brand new house!!

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P.S.   Yes, along with my new squeaky clean floors…

I got a new Nikon Coolpix L610 camera for Christmas!!

  And tickets to see my friend’s daughter in “Sister Act” in Tampa on Saturday!!

Okay, Santa, I’m going to hold off on the losing weight request…

And just pray to maintain during Christmas!

Ha!  Let’s be realistic!

Thank you, Santa!!

Get prepared…

I’m going to ask for a cleaning lady next Christmas!

Lord, I need you to…

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”

Psalm 51:10 (E S V)

And help me keep it that way!

Amen!

“Christmas On The Beachside”

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I just heard this song on the radio last week…

I love it!

And if you’re from a beautiful tropical area…

You’re going to love it too!!

It’s by Austin Adamec, and featuring Lindsey Ciresi…

It’s called “Christmas On The Beachside”

I couldn’t find the lyrics…

So I listened to it a thousand times!

  Ha!

  I hope I got them right!!

“Christmas on the Beachside…

Gotta love the Beachside…

It’s wintertime…

And it’s so far from snowin’…

The palms are swaying…

And we’re jumpin’ in the ocean…

The sun shines on the waves in December…

The Birthday of the Savior…

We celebrate together!

Christmas on the Beachside…

Underneath the blue sky…

No need for sleigh rides…

The surf is just right…

Christmas on the Beachside…

It’s the Salt Life…

Because Jesus is the reason…

No matter what the season…

On the Beachside…

Fire from chimneys…

Presents near the fire…

It’s getting hotter…

Soakin’ out the weather…

Snuggies and comfy Christmas sweaters…

Can’t compare when you’re…

Breakin’ in the water…

Though the Holiday may fade away…

We will always find a way…

Red & green may dissipate

We will Always Celebrate

Christmas on the Beachside!!”

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Religion. Christianity. Calvary. Jesus.

I was at church two sundays ago discussing prayer with a good friend and he said, “I have a song you have simply got to hear” and proceeded to pull out his iphone and play it for me. I was so moved, impressed and challenged that when I got home, I got on my laptop, pulled up itunes and bought it. It is an incredible song. I recommend you listen to it as well – you’ll be glad you did.

Aren’t these lyrics incredible?

“Clear the stage and set the sound and lights ablaze
If that’s the measure that it takes to crush the idols.
Chuck the pews and all the decorations too
Until the congregations few then have revival.
Tell your friends that this is where the party ends
until you’re broken for your sins you can’t be social.
Then seek the Lord and wait for what he has…

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Haven’t Seen One Of These Around Here In A While!!

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First, ruts in the mud…

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Made by tire tracks digging in…

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And then a Porta-Potty!!

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On a New Construction Site!!

Yipee…

Building…

Is Back!!

The economy is slowly picking up again!!

Never thought I’d be happy…

To see a Porta-Potty…

On my walk around my…

Usually lush, green neighborhood…

But, it just goes to show you…

That everything is relative!

Not a very pretty sight…

But…

The Porta-Potty means building is going on…

In our spiritual lives…

Building’s going on all the time!

Listen to:

“You Build Us Back” by the Newsboys

Here are the lyrics…

“We’ve been crumbled…

We’ve been crushed…

City walls have turned to dust!

Broken hands…

And blistered feet…

We walk for miles to find relief!

When the thief takes…

When our hopes cave…

You Build Us Back!

When the earth shakes…

When the world breaks…

You Build Us Back!

We are scared…

We are poor…

All our safety nets are torn!

We’ve been humbled to our knees…

From these ruins…

We believe!

Redeemer…

Redeem us!

Restorer…

Restore us!

Oh! Build Us Back!

Though the mountains be shaken…

The hills be removed…

Your unfailing love remains!

After all that’s been taken…

Your promise…

Still sacred!

You Build Us Back…

With precious stones!”

Build Us Back, Lord!

And Our Economy, too!  Amen!

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Suzhou, China

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My friend, Olllie…

A world business traveler…

Sent me the e-mail below…

About his last business trip!! 

I love his perspective…

On life outside of the United States!

Here’s what he said:

“If you’re planning a trip to Suzhou, China…

There are some things you should prepare for!   

I traveled with 2 locals…

 Don’t expect to master chop sticks…..

It will never happen!

 Chicken heads are eaten by the locals…..

They will laugh…

If you even attempt to eat one…

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 If the temperature outside is 40 degrees…

The temperature at the customers conference room is also 40 degrees…

Locals wear long johns under their suits… 

Visitors freeze their butts off!

 Don’t be concerned if the locals order a lot of food at a restaurant…

Some of the selections are scary…

And you won’t eat…

And the total cost is $15!

 If a local sneezes…

Don’t bother to say ‘God Bless You!’

They don’t get it!

 Even if you attempt to serve yourself from the common bowl into your dish…

I doesn’t matter…

Every bowl is communal!

 Start each meal by buying napkins… 

They are not offered free…

And ‘White Devils’ will make a mess eating with chop sticks!

 If you don’t like smoke…

Stay home! 

People smoke in restaurants…

Elevators…

And a smoke-free room only means…

There is no smoker in the room with you!

 No one speaks English…

Not even the kids serving at McDonald’s!

 Don’t expect to see ‘Chinese’ food…

Like at your local ‘Golden Wok’

It’s widely different!

 They love their foot massage places…

  15 minutes for $1.50…

1 hour for $15… 

And yes, they are really foot massages…

  And ‘No!’

I didn’t try one!

 Watching locals eat corn on the cob…

With chop sticks…

Is a beautiful thing!

 Breakfast…

Lunch…

And Dinner…

It’s all the same!!”

I love learning about different cultures!!

But…

God Bless America!!  Amen!!

If you’re also a traveler…

Or, live outside the United States…

Let me know about the fun local customs wherever you are!

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