Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Gift

A smile, a hug, a "thank you", a hand shake, these are some of the gifts that we can give to others and may get back in return. Giving doesn't mean that we have to give an object or money to someone. Giving of oneself, such as a hug to comfort a person who is distraught,Hugging someone who needs to be reminded that they are special and warm thoughts are sent their way. Thanking a person who took his time in helping a stranger to obtain directions to a specific location. It's easy for us to say, "I have nothing to give". We sometimes forget to take time and give the gift of ourselves. Weekly, our Community Kitchen provides free lunches to any person who walks through the door. Volunteers start at 8 a.m. to chop, wash produce or any other task to have lunch prepared to serve at 11a.m. as people come to the Community Kitchen. Those who walk through those doors are adults, young and old, as well as children. All of these people have one thing in common, they are hungry and have limited income or no income . There is no income requirement to receive a meal. Some of these individuals come to the Kitchen every day a meal is served. The gift a volunteer gives besides a meal, maybe a warm "Hello,how are you?", giving comfort and advice, sharing a laugh,a smile, or a hug. Reaching out to show acceptance with dignity. The volunteers in turn may receive a "Thank you", a hand shake, the warmth that you feel in your heart that makes you beam and smile and know this is a right thing to do and not a wrong thing to do. If only, we would just slow down and remember that the gift of ourselves is the most important gift we can offer to anyone, whether poor or not.
to say thank you

It takes so little.
Yet it means so much.
Make the effort.
No matter the effort.
Mean it.
Say it generously.
It lifts spirits
It maintains friendships.
And seals love.

"who gives not thanks to men, gives not thanks to God".
Arab proverb

to be compassionate

No matter how successful.
No matter how well you're traveling.
Be open to those who are struggling.
It's amazing what even a small gesture can do
for their confidence
and your soul.

"When kindness has left people, even for a few moments, we
become afraid of them as if their reason had left them".

Willa Cather

Monday, September 27, 2010

Back Again

It's Sunday. I had originally planned to write a different post, but a chain of events changed my plans. Do you love HORSES? I do, but... Let me recap a brief summery of an older post. My husband and I live in an older home which is over 80 years old. With this home, we also have over 4 acres of land. Most the area was farm land and fenced. We do not farm. Many months ago, after denying a neighbor the right to let his 4 HORSES ( we originally thought it was 2), graze on our pasture area we agreed to this request. This benefited us, no more tractor clearing the pasture area and the horses could graze as the neighbor had very little land. well, if you can recall we had to make adjustments with the fence. The 4 HORSES got out and twice, had to be rounded up out of our yard back to the pasture. I, didn't know much about horses. They can be very smart. We once again had company, the Horses thank goodness only 2 vs 4 showed up in our backyard on Friday. I think 2 of the 4 horses must no longer be around or we would have had more than the 2. I came home in the afternoon after doing an errand and there the 2 "cutie pies" were making themselves at home once again in our backyard. They apparently had eaten the majority of the "good grass" in the pasture and eyed the grass in our yard. Lesson one, horses have good eye sight. After allowing "our company" to wine and dine they were escorted back to the pasture. We couldn't determine how they got out. On Saturday, "our company, the 2 Horses", were back, before my husband and I had even eaten breakfast. They could have at least waited until we finished breakfast. At this point, my husband and I put up some boards and wire to stop these critters from visiting. It seems that they as well as loving our grass in the yard they enjoyed eating the pears from our 2 pear trees. My husband wanted to leave the gate open to the pasture so after they dinned on grass and pears they would go back where they belonged. Lesson two, horses don't necessarily do what you think. While the husband was watching TV in bed that evening, YES, I said Evening, I heard a sound. The sound of horse hoofs . , opened the door located by our side porch and guess what. The 2 critters were standing at the porch just looking at this crazy lady. Now our porch is near the front side of our home. Thank goodness it's fenced otherwise the neighbors might have had company. Went and got the hubby out of bed . Getting 2 flashlights, we escorted our friends back again to the pasture. Husband once again,tried to secure the fence. Back to bed. Lesson 3. Horses are smart and greedy. Woke up on Sunday,asked my husband"are the horses in the pasture"? " Don't know". I , went outside and YES, you guessed it, they were back. It decided to rain, but the critters continued to "wine and dine". Back to the fence , again we relooked at the fence and now saw that these critters used their heads to break some wood attached to the gate and then came to visit. Now, we had alot of rain on Sunday, but back to the fence, reworked on the gate. After allowing our company to graze, my husband escorted these critters back to the pasture. It's Sunday evening, and so far I haven't heard any visitors, but there's always the morning. Last lesson, horses poop alot, so watch where you walk. I'll let you know if the critters escape the pasture to visit us. In this post are photos of the pasture that looks like a desert with no greenery. There are several photos of the horses enjoying the yard, as well as photos the fence/gate. Finally photos of the horses behind the gate area, looking like they are in jail. Although, we have been frustrated about this event, I have a soft heart and feel sorry for these animals. Hubby, indicated we might allow these critters off and on rights back to the yard for mealtime. Uncertain, if that is wise. If you don't hear from me, all is well on the homefront. The final lesson of this story, maybe it's not always good to graze horses as they may become your permanent guests.

Friday, September 24, 2010

walking in his footsteps

Night approaches, the clock ticks, the hours move on and it's time to lay down and go to sleep. Turning and tossing, restlessness is evident, but finally sleep is conquered. The room is quiet, the bed is nice and toasty warm. It's natural to drift into having a dream. A man is walking down an isolated dirt road. Unfortunately, he misread his gasoline gage and it's near empty. Leaving his car,he starts to walk until he comes upon an old frame home. It looks rough,paint peeling gutters falling. This man is uncertain if anyone is living in this tired looking home. Knocking at the door several times, footsteps are finally heard indicating that someone is in this house. The door opens and there stands a man. He is tall, his hair silver grey, he is wearing a tattered blue shirt along with faded jeans. The driver of the car introduces himself adding that he is almost out of gasoline and a road sign indicates it's 8 miles to the nearest town. The homeowner confirms the the distance to the nearest town with a service station. He tells the man, he will be glad to drive him to and from town to get a can of gasoline for his car. Inviting the man, into his house, he introduces his wife. She looks so frail, with grey short hair wearing glasses sitting as she works on what is believed to be a quilt. The interior of the home is gloomy, limited furniture in the living room, curtains that are a tinge of white that may need to be replaced. The couple offers the stranger something to eat. he declines, saying that he has an appointment and will be late if he doesn't solve his gasoline problem.The men get into an old red truck, that you would wonder if it could even move. The men exchange some information about themselves. It appears that this couple receives Social Security with a small pension check. It's apparent that times have been tough for this couple and at times they are struggling to just manage to pay bills and just get by. There doesn't seem to be any bitterness or resentment as this elderly gentleman talks. With so little, he and his wife showed warmth and compassion for a stranger. As they were entering town and the gasoline station, the younger man offers some money to the elderly man for his time and help. As much as this elderly man could use the money he declined. His words,"I, may not have much, but what I have is time and driving to town and back, is my gift to you as Jesus would want me to help a stranger in need". It was apparent by the younger man that this man and his wife had alot,they had each other, care, compassion, a willingness to help someone without any expectations, except a handshake and "Thank You". Isn't this dream comforting? We don't have to have things, money to help someone. The riches we have are the inner spirit that gives us happiness that we are reaching out and to help someone in need with no ulterior motives. Jesus teaches us to help one another.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Visiting Berry College

In the city,of Rome Ga.there are three colleges. They all offer basically the same degrees, but of these three, there is one that is so unique. This is Berry College. Recently, a friend and myself drove through the Berry campus and took photos. Some of the photos are of a lake called Swan Lake. The lake is very inviting but beware of the bunches,and bunches and bunches of geese. The geese will greet you with a possible peck and indicate that if you have food, "HAND IT OVER". There maybe only one or two swans. Maybe the lake should be called Geese Lake. The lake is just a small part of the beautiful places to see on the Berry campus. According to Berry College's web site, the campus is 26,000-acres. Some of the buildings are made of modern brick, others are built from stone as well as some are log cabin structures. To get more information the web site is When you enter the campus you might see deer as well as cattle grazing on the land. How often would you experience being greeted by animals upon entering a college campus? If you are a student, the college makes available the opportunity for students to get student work for experience as well as to help towards college tuition. It is not uncommon to see students dealing with the animal life on campus. On campus there is a horse stable. Students can board their horses.In years past, visitors could go into the stable to visit the horses, but this is no longer permitted.I, remember having to watch very carefully where you walked ,as you might step in some horse.....I, always enjoyed feeding hay to the horses.While at the stables, usually you would see a few resident cats on the prowl for a delectable mouse or two. Thank goodness, I never was invited to dinner. It makes me sick even thinking about this. I,still can't get this memory out of my mind. Enough of this. There are three churches on the campus which are used for services and weddings. The most popular church used for weddings is Frost Memorial Chapel which sits atop a hill and is made out of stone. The smallest church is Barnwell chapel that was made using logs. The interior is very simple and has dark wood beams,and wooden pews. You will see the picture we took of Barnwell in this post. The 3rd. church is Berry College Chapel. To view these go to the Berry website. Have you ever seen a large water wheel on a college campus? well, Berry has this. It is one of the main attractions for visitors to view. Usually once a year, the water wheel is in operation. There are alot of other beautiful places and things on this campus that gives any visitor pleasure to see. Years ago, I had spent my first date with my husband, Gerry exploring this campus. Whenever, I am on the campus my mind can't resist going back in time remembering walking and talking with my husband while enjoying the inviting scenery of this college campus.After sharing this post, I can't imagine that anyone could not recognize this college campus as being so unique and a place to slow down,view man and God's works,and to meditate.

Friday, September 17, 2010


I love antiques. Antiques, whether they are jewelry, furniture, cars, or houses, have a past,and I often want to know about the item's history. Slightly , over 5 years ago my husband and I bought an old house. Initially, we didn't know much about the history of our home, but as time moved on some circumstances would occur to help give us more knowledge of it's history and inhabitants.We bought our home from the bank. We were told that because of delinquent payments the house was under the ownership of a bank vs. a person. Our house is very large. It is 2400sq. ft. The house has 4 bedrooms, large kitchen, 2 bathrooms, dining room, an extremely large living room with 12 ft. ceiling, and a sun room. We have slightly over 4 acres of land which apparently was part of an original 125 acre farm. On the property is an old barn as well as an old dilapidated red frame house located in a back area behind our home. It appeared that someone may have lived in this tiny house which had been wired for electricity, having a kitchen, living room, bathroom, and kitchen. Unfortunately, this house needs to be torn down as it would cost too much money to get it into being livable for any person. Bits and pieces of information came to our attention. We hired an elderly gentleman to put up additional fence alongside the property. Well, it turned out that this man told us that when he was a boy, he came to our home as it once was a medical clinic. On another occasion, we obtained information from Mrs.B .Mrs.B owned an antique shop a few minutes from our home. As she and I would visit her shop, she shared that when she was 19 and a new bride, she and her husband rented our home for 2 years. Mrs.B is in her middle 80's. After learning this, she came to our home and gave a tour to determine how the house had changed through the years. During her time, there was one bedroom, a bathroom, living room and a kitchen. Somewhere, additional rooms were added. Mrs.B told me that the barn was on the property when she was 19. She went to the barn to cry when she had a fight with her husband. A large old oak tree has grown and overshadows the house. It, too, was in existence in Mrs.B's time. Wow! age!Continuing on, one day, a driver in a SUV came up our driveway. We approached this woman. She had tears in her eyes. She told us that this house was their family home through her childhood. when the parents died, a sister bought the house. She shared that family was unaware that her brother-in-law failed to make payments on the house although his wife gave him the money . This woman, very tearful said that they were not aware of the financial issue until it was too late otherwise they would have intervened to keep the house in the family.We assured her we would take good care and love this home. I felt some sadness for this family although we benefited from this situation.As to the old red house, we were told that a nanny who took care of the main house and the children had occupied the tiny house. Getting more settled in our home, we obtained more historical information on our home. We had ordered pizza. As the delivery man was talking with us he said, "I know this house". Apparently, he came to this house to visit with the children and to practice hitting golf balls. One of the things that my husband found was golf balls.Gerry would get on his tractor to do some bush hogging. We were amazed with the no. of golf balls embedded in the ground or found under bushes and trees. Our golf ball mystery was solved. Ideally, I would like to put an orderly breakdown of the house from start to our current time. Maybe I'll eventually obtain more information about the house pre-Mrs.B's time and discover who built the house and about it's earlier inhabitants. Oh! I went out to watch my husband give a jeep ride to our babies(4) dogs. Guess what I found? A golf ball under my shoe.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Hi! Final Trip to Europe to the Czech Republic

It's been awhile since my last post. Had company and just getting back into the swing of things. Bare with me, regarding reading your comments and blogs. Now, As you can recall, I did two posts re my trip to Europe with my husband. All of these places occurred from a two week period. The purpose of this trip was to help me heal from my mother's death, as well as meet mother's family for the first time. Mother was borne in Czechoslovakia, which is now referred as the Czech republic. Prior to going to Prague also referred as Praha, my French relative connected me with Philip. Philip was a distant cousin, age 24, who spoke and could read and write in English. I began an e mail correspondence with Philip and we decided to meet when we were in the Czech Republic. Gerry, my husband and I planned to stay in Prague and then eventually meet Philip and go to his hometown, Ceska Lipa.The hotel we stayed at had a kitchenette and offered the greatest continental breakfast. We ate alot of cheese, salami, fruits, bread, and regular coffee unlike the thick and strong coffee in France. Prague is a very old city. There are alot of structures built in the 1700's. We put on our walking shoes and saw wonderful sites. At first, we were worried that people wouldn't understand us but that was rarely a problem. Prague has a no. of long,stone bridges, some for car s and others for tourists to take a slow paced walk. My favorite building was a Catholic church. Within this church there were 22 individual small altars. The church throughout it's history had add ons. This was a famous tourist attraction. Prague gad a no. of buildings with beautiful carved figures. There is a square that people build food from the different vendors in the square. At the end of the square is a museum and a large statue. One day, we came across a bridge where people were selling items from purses,jewelry, pictures. The prices were very reasonable. We were told that the Czech Rep. was less expensive to visit than most countries and we would have to agree. The Czech Rep. is noted for it's handmade glassware. I went nuts looking at the shops and bought some glassware for gifts. My mother always told me that her father had been a glassblower. We walked alot, by choice, but Prague has an old established trolley system that travels within the city. Although, We ate we lost weight because of the exercise. We traveled by a subway system to a stop where we would meet Philip. We meet Philip and his father(he spoke no English). Philip was our interpreter, we traveled for almost 2 hours to the city of Ceska Lipa. It's a small town. Upon arrival we meet Philip's mother and younger sister, Vandula. (she spoke some English). As we were moving into the living room, an elderly woman, Vera, approached. This woman is my mother's youngest sister. Aunt Vera and began to cry, hug and kiss one another. Aunt Vera couldn't speak English, but patted my butt indicating that both she , myself, and other family members had a large body frame. we just laughed. We sat, ate a meal and drank wine. Later that day, little did we know that a no. of family members were invited to Philip's house to meet us. Philip, for 4 hours did interpretation while food and wine was shared. All of my life, I have always felt some emptiness not having my Czech family, but now that was not so. My husband and I left the Czech rep., went back to France to return on a flight to America. This trip was great. I gave my French and Czech families a photo album of my family in America. They in turn, gave us a total of 4 bottles of wine, vodka which we had to smuggle through customs. We did it!I still have contact with mu European family. This trip was the key to help me to heal with my grief. When I think of Mom and get sad, I go back in my mind to what I have gained. Life is too short and I've learned that sadness , anger will take away what"s good in life and people.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Lately, I have been preoccupied with getting my house in order and having company for Labor Day weekend. I've missed being able to read blogs and to post. I plan to post later next week when things settle down. At that time, I'll do my final post re our trip to Prague. (maybe near the end of next week, I don't want anyone think, I've gone to ..., but I"ll be back. Before I finish this "post", I sit here and can't help to think we , including myself are so blessed. As, I say this, I am appreciative of being alive and for the abilities I have. Just think, what if you couldn't think. A few weeks ago, I saw a retired co-worker at Walmart. She and I were foster care workers together for 8 years. She had humour, guts, and compassion. When I saw her I immediately said hello. She came over to me, hugged me, and then went off with I assume her son. I went home and told my husband that i saw this person, but that something wasn't right. She didn't say anything to me and her hair was all wild looking. Not the same person who I knew took care in herself. Well, I saw 2 also retired co workers. They shared with me that in the past 2 years that Alzheimer's was diagnosed and that this smart woman couldn't manage her affairs as well as talk. I cried, she had gotten her Masters in the past 4 years and was a goal driven person. She is also younger than my 61 years. Can't help to cry and grieve. We never know what path we might have to take. This could be ourselves. My point, appreciate the NOW, as well as THE PAST as we may not have the ability to hold onto this as life circumstances happen. I pray, cry and ask God to watch over my friend and her family. Take care, have a safe Labor Day weekend. Until next week. God Bless.