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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Happy Father's Day!


To all the good dads out there!

If you've tried your best for your kids, been there through the good times and bad...
you know you are a good dad.
If you've taught them loving kindness and respect for all living creatures and other people, you know you are a good dad.
If you know that you are by their side the minute you hang up the phone in a plea for help, you can know...you're a good dad.
If you've been there and never deserted or abandoned them, you are a good dad.
If you have worked hard but still found time for what's important to them...you can know that you are a good dad.
If they have occupied the larger part of your thoughts on the days you've lived on planet earth, you are a good dad.
If you've never substituted "things" in their life to fill in the void, but have instead etched your love in their hearts, you know you are a good dad.
And if you've ever wondered if you've been a good dad in life to your kids...then you'll know...you are a good dad.

So, once again...
to all the good dads out there, I wish you all a very Happy Blessed Father's Day!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Darned Computer!!!!!!!

Well, it's running for the moment anyway! Aughh!

Speaking of the Walton's...I saw the episode where Elizabeth had her heart broken from her first crust on an "older man"... the parson...who, of course, had to let her down gently.
It was so touching.
John went up to her room and just gently talked her through it and offered his own "broken heart" story as a young teenager of fourteen.
He then gave her a hug and offered to take her out to dinner and dancing so she could wear the "new dress" she had painstakingly made "just for her crush!!"...so he would notice how grown up she was.

She refused, but later came down in that dress with her first time ever nylon stockings on ready for that date w/dad. Jason was at the piano and they danced around the room before they left.

I cried.

I remember vaguely dancing on my dad's shoes at the Saturday Night Shindigs that my mom and her band played locally. Well, locally for us...actually, a lot of them were in the next town over in their City Hall building.
I only remember two other things about my dad really...at least good things that I can cling to. He always saved his chocolate oval shaped cake with the creme filling and pecans at each end from his lunch to give to me when he got home from work.
I looked forward to them almost every other day. And, I think he attended one father daughter function when I was in Bluebirds (or maybe by then, Campfire Girls??)... and I remember little about it actually.

I longed for that Walton type of Father my whole life. And although it was merely a show on tv...I envisioned that it was about as close to what everyone would ever want in a dad or family you could get.

And while I didn't have that experience in life, I am looking forward to getting to heaven some day (at least I hope so), and when I get there, one of the first things I'd like to do is ask my heavenly father if He'd dance with me.

And if He says yes...it's then I'll really know His love for me is real.

How about it? Are you looking to dance in heaven one day?

Have a good day and, a good week end up coming everyone...in case I can't get this monstrous machine up and running again for awhile. I'm sure sorry you have to wait in between posts so long. Sometime, it's going to be fixed or replaced...honest.

Thanks for hanging in there. :-)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Walton's



...we are not. Nor are many of the families I know. Lately, my tiny three (which constitutes our immediate family at the moment), have begun watching the reruns of this television series from the 70's.
It's been so long now that they all seem like new episodes to us. Oh, we remember some of them or bits of others, but on the whole, it's like watching them for the first time, and we love it!
Even my husband has commented that he "tears up" when watching them on occasion.

Now, here we are, well into the 21st century "tearing up" and pining over a make believe tv show family from long ago. What is it about them that pulls our heart-strings? Why, after 35 plus years later, are we so drawn to the drama that was made up of a family of actors playing the parts of a well-rounded family of the depression and WWII era's?

I think back then, even as we do now...we long to BE that family. We long for the days of simplicity where family cared for one another unconditionally and deeply. Where nothing came between them and if you insulted one, it was an insult to all.
That pretend family up on the mountain found the little girl 'me', yearning to be a part of them back then, and still today.
It's not something akin to anything I had ever experienced in my lifetime, nor ever would.

Where problems weren't always kept at bay, but when they arrived, were sent packing by the strength and determination of a united front known as "family"... The Walton Family.
One dared not cross Olivia, as JD Pickett found out when he gave her no place to care for the children of the women working in his war factory, but instead decided to put up a tavern! She quietly gathered those children who had been left to fend for themselves in the local parking lot, marched them into that newly established bar and stated that she & the children would be there every day until there was a place for them! He acquiesced and gave her the hours she needed for a day care...right there, her contribution to the war effort.

And John kept a firm but always loving hand upon his children and truly loved his wife...the ultimate example of how it should be done to his then tv children...and to us. The wisdom of Grandpa Zeb who also loved his Esther beyond comprehension...the wiliness of the two of them, the twinkle in their eyes when you just knew they were "up to no good"... and the way they sparkled and came to life when their loved ones were around.

Yes, we all have a deep longing for that kind of relationship within our own families. And some of you may have been or maybe are, blessed to have it.

In today's world especially, we long for those simpler times and the types of things portrayed on our tv screens then, that seem so lacking now.
I guess the closest thing I can see that can even begin to come near it is the series, 'Parenhood'... a Waltonesque' setting in modern times.

Maybe that's the reason we find ourselves somewhat unfulfilled. Why so many of us take to the keyboard rather than the game boards we used to gather around the table to play with our families. The Walton's could seem to do all things right. They were a wonderful example that seemed too good to be true to most of us.
But they gave us a goal to aim for.
Sometimes it was a hit, at others a miss. But through all of our REAL LIFE growings and growing pains, we tried.

And sometimes trying can be enough.

God bless you and your family today. We may not be the Walton's, but most of us can rest in the assurance that we sure gave it our best efforts. And as imperfect as the world is, we have to believe that our best is enough.

~Now~

A quick "Thank You" to my dear friend, Mary Ellen, for posting about my computer ills.
It's not fixed, but presently working. I'll be back as often as the confounded thing keeps breathing!

Have a good rest of the week end! G'night all!
Linda

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Good Morning World!

I hope when your feet hit the ground this morning you were able to take in a long deep breath and say that! Like in: "ready or not, here I come!"

I never really know what I'm going to write when I sit down here. AND...my computer is dead! ... or in the process of dying. I will be right smack in the middle of something and it will just go down! Sometimes it will come back, like this morning, but I never know for how long it's going to stay, or even if it will allow me to finish a short post. Most days it's hit and miss, but I keep turning it on and trying. I have to.
It's just what I do.

Now, back to the kind of day you're having.
We all can get in a "rut". And we can all seem to live the days by Rote. Automatically going through the motions just because it's our routine, our MO. But in speaking with my dear friend Shirley yesterday, it made me stop to consider those mundane and regular days of mine.
You see, she is in Hospice care.
We met years ago, online. I have never met her face to face. But Shirley has become as close as a sister to me through these years. And I've seen this vibrant, living life to the fullest, effervescent woman slide slowly into the end stages of life which threaten daily.
And through it all, she has maintained her sense of humor, and retained her joy for the moment, each moment of life she's given. Regardless of the acute pain and discomforts she suffers daily. She's struggling to live...and yet she finds small things to be positive about each moment.

She has her moments. And every one of us would, who faces our eternity...one that we're certain and just uncertain enough about to be a teeny bit aprehensive. Clinging to her strong beliefs has gotten her this far, but I'm sure there are days that just overwhelm. I can hardly imagine it. She is only sixty years old. She just turned the zero on her birth date this last month.

One of the most striking things she said yesterday, that may seem so small to anyone else, was that she missed being able to cook the foods she liked to eat. She missed her cooking and wished she could be up doing that! That stuck with me. Such a small routine thing that so many of us do, that so many of us take for granted, that would make her so happy if only she could just be able to get up to do it!

My prayer is that God has an industrial sized oven waiting for Shirley when she arrives in heaven. Where she will be cooking up her infamous dishes for all who will sit down at the Lord's banquet table.

My heart hurts for Shirley... for me. For the thought of losing this wonderful woman who knows the importance of the simple things, who was made joyful in the mundane tasks before her, who spread that joy to everyone around her an hundred fold.

It made me get out of bed this morning thankful. That I'll have meals to cook, dishes to do, a house to clean up...you know, those unimportant things that make us really want to get up each day. Only now, I really am ready to be grateful as I face the chores before me.

I am ready to greet not just today, but every day confidently and thankful and ready to shout out "Good Morning World"...whatever comes!

And you?
Can you look at the day in a new light? Can you be ready for whatever comes in your routine that maybe has stalled you in the past? Well, it's a lot easier to hit the ground running with attitude than slowly roll out with a "thud" struggling for incentives and motivation to get going. So, try greeting the day with spunk! See if it won't help keep your motor going for the day. Chances are, your drudgery will go faster and you'll finish quicker than you've ever thought possible! There might even be time left over in the day for you to tuck the sun in for the night.

Take a deep breath and open your eyes and "go for it!"

Life is a gift that most of us seem unwrap to say, "oh that's nice"... and then, not quite knowing what to do with it, or how to use it, set aside while stuff just happens to us as we go along.
Pick up your new day and take on a new attitude of gratitude and appreciation for what you hold in your hands as minutes to spend. Either carelessly, routinely, going through the motions, or thoughtfully, purposefully, appreciatively living each second as if you meant it...as if it meant something, because it does.

Good Morning Friend! Welcome to your new day...

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Well...today is the first day

"officially" of the rest of my summer! Thus far, the wind has blown up to and including today, several limbs/leaves off the trees, cushions off the yard swing, blankets/pillows and accompanying paraphernalia asunder and across the newly mowed lawn. Methinks it is going to be a summer of chasing down equipment all over the place...should help keep me in shape, or do me in...one or the other!

And the gnats have eyed me on more than one occasion (actually the minute I sit down outside I am swarmed)...as their personal picnic area! And a mighty big one at that.

Beside the fact that I am being eaten alive by these nasty creatures, and the wind trying to blow me to smithereens, I am so happy to have the sun shining and green stuff all around! And flowers are starting to bloom and there's lovely little things to be witnessed. Like the Orioles stopping in every day...the Cardinals and Blue Jays jabbering as they vie for the seed in the feeders and on the ground.
And it's a real task to keep our pups at bay when the squirrels decide to venture over to the bird bath when they're thirsty. They do pretty good for dogs.

I love seeing and hearing the sights and sounds of summer!
It fills the heart with wonder.

I have a message board support group and have for years now. One of my really close friends from there is struggling to hang on to life awhile longer. She loved sitting out and enjoying the beauty of summer too. So, although my heart is filled with the beauty of the day, it also feels heavy knowing that such a beautiful spirit may soon be leaving us. Another board that I am a member of has an announcement there that a friend on that board has been given only four months to live with the discovery of pancreatic cancer.

So, while I may snort and complain about the excessive wind and gnats and petty little stuff of life, there are far more monumental things in life that need consideration. There are things to be thankful for each and every day as we chase around the lawn furniture and flail away at the mosquitos and gnats of life.

There is waking up to appreciate the sunshine that is needed to grow our beautiful flowers, the rain that helps drive nourishment into the soil of our souls so that we can see the rainbows that come.

I will pray for my friends today. That they will have a chance before they leave to actually see the loveliness that God has provided while they are still here to see it. And if you're out and about and see a short, bald, older lady, arms going every which way running around like a crazy woman being chased by gnats today...you'll know it's me, just trying to squeeze every ounce of life out of the moments I can spend on this, my first day of the rest of my summer!

Hope you can enjoy your first day as well.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day




Here we are at a three day weekend... the beginning of summer....and... Memorial Day.
I try to keep in mind that our soldiers get no three day week end...or even one day off whilst we sit around with our families, burgers grilling and laughing at the shenanigans of the kids and dogs running around having fun.

We do all those things at the expense of those who today, are hot, sweating, walking around uncomfortable in full gear, having to be ever aware that every step taken could be a last one. Knowing that tonight when they go to sleep, they will be missing their family so much that the heart hurts clear to the soul. Knowing that they may not awake to the birds singing and green grasses and meadows of home, but explosions, loud voices barking out commands and hot, stick to ya' sand clouds that sting the skin and blind the eyes...they might not wake up at all.

When we "celebrate" this day with friends and family, mow our yards, trim the trees, plant flowers, or do one of the hundreds of other mundane day to day, and the not so mundane truly enjoyable things we all enjoy doing so much, I hope that at some point during our regular days activities, we stop to remember those who actually did not wake up. Those who lay in fields marked with stark white, simple crosses and tombstones by the thousands who wanted nothing more than a "regular day" to enjoy doing what we normally do.

War is hell. War in any form...is purely hell on earth. And there were those who willingly stepped into the fire, for everyone.

I wish I'd had the opportunity to grow up with my Uncle Jim. James Curtis Pharaoh. A WWII Veteran who towered over me. A big gentle giant who was blown out of his foxhole and hospitalized for six months solid before he could even think straight!
He saw atrocities, did what he was told, was injured and yet made it home to still care for my grandma all of the rest of her life. He stepped up!
If I'd been close by, I would envision that I'd have spent many hours over at his house, cleaning, cooking for him (and he would have cooked for me and my family for sure!)... I think I'd have had him teach me how to do proper gardening and canning (something I never attempted for fear of food poisoning my entire family :-\ )...
and, just being able to listen to the wisdom this wonderful man could have shared.

He was one of them. The noble and good soldier who did not allow the circumstances of the hell he lived overtake him and who he was. He was a good man going in...he was a good man coming out.

I want to say thank you to my Uncle Jim, no longer with us...and all the Uncle Jim's across the globe who made the sacrifices when it was important enough to do so.

Our UK relatives who stood side by side along with their American relatives and comrades, they all felt the scorching heat of battle, for us to come to this day. A three day week end where freedom rings. In the form of children free to laugh and play, men who just want to mow their own lawns, ladies who want to just pick up the phone to call their friends and chat...simple life.

The simple life that we all can lead each and every day because of men and women who have been willing to face the flames of tyranny, oppression, fascism, terrorism, and ideologies which would in a split minute, take it all away if allowed the means to do so. But it just won't happen while brave men and women exist in our armed forces!

Thank you to ...EVERY soldier, that for the sake of someone else, is not with us today. Thank you... to the soldiers everywhere both here and abroad, who still think it is far more noble to be the protector/s of all, than have an extra day off.

For those past and present, we honor and sincerely "Thank You" today.

Friday, May 27, 2011

On beginnings...

In my previous post, I'd mentioned a long sought after answer to the mystery of our paternal heritage.

Through several generations, there was a bit of a 'tall tale' scenario handed down by word of mouth. One that left us all wondering, and, pretty much ended with my Father's Father.
No one had any information concerning my grandfather Pharaoh beyond the fact that he married our grandmother and had kids who in turn, had us!

But the mystery had been revealed that someone somewhere had been left on a doorstop in England and that orphaned child was given both his first and last name from the Bible, and then raised in the family of the ones that took him in.

Well, now the mystery is somewhat put to rest. With the revelation from a newly found 4th cousin, once removed, that my (and her) great great great grandfather, was indeed a foundling left on the stoop (by gypsies some suspect), in October of 1747. He was immediately taken to the local Vicor of St. Catherine's Church of Eskdale. It was St. Crispin's Day and the Vicor therefore gave my great great great Grandfather the first name of Crispin. A now, long-standing name in the Pharaoh family lineage.

The last name: Pharaoh, was given him it is thought for the association of gypsies that had encamped where the child was abandoned and their subsequent association with the tribes of Egypt...and, or...the better explanation in my opinion, because little Crispin was orphaned to be raised by strangers, just like little Moses set upon the bull rushes and taken in by Pharaoh's daughter.
Regardless, that's quite a beginning for a family lineage! And it's truly odd that the pages of the book that these facts were recorded in at St. Catherine's, several generations later, 1950, to be exact, was vandalized and ripped from the book!

Why would anyone in the world not want the information on those pages to exist any longer? Ah, another mystery.

And in a day when gypsies were not known to abandon boy children to strangers, it makes it even more odd. But...the facts were recorded. The records show the truth of my Great Great Great Granfather's tenuous beginnings. And my family stands as living proof that Crispin grew up to be a father, grandfather and great great great grandfather to many generations.

It is my understanding that Crispin spent his days working in and around the church where he began life, St. Catherine's. The Vicor must have felt a special kinship to the young orphan that he had such a part in starting on his life journey.

I have so many questions and probably always will. But at least now I have some solid footing on which to build. And, thankfully, answers to questions I and my siblings have had our entire lives through.

Crispin Pharaoh. An honorable man. An orphan...taken in and grown into young manhood to carry on through the ages. A constable, waller (brick worker) and young father to many! My humble beginnings.

I have much to be grateful for today!