Friday, December 28, 2012

Happy New Year

I’m cold, said the mouse
To the clock on the shelf.
This winter time weather
Is hard on myself.

I’m old said the year as
It wearily looked
At the torn calendar
Which Laid out in the book

Then bouncing with joy
The new year toddled in
The smile of discovery
Above his wee chin.

Let us go! was his shout
As he tossed the old year.
What adventure we’ll have
Now the new one is here

Friday, December 21, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, everyone, where ever you are and what ever you believe. I love you and appreciate you. I'm glad the world didn't end today. There are too many things left undone. Show someone you love them today.
Plan a fun activity for your bucket list in the coming year.
Support your favorite charity and a new one too.
Be true to yourself.
Believe in yourself .
Listen to what your parents taught you.
Get a cat.
Remember that you are a child of God and he loves you even if you don't believe in him. But it's sad to be a parent to a child who ignores you.
2013! I wonder what is in store for the family of mankind. It will certainly be an adventure!

Monday, December 3, 2012

You Can't Be a Beacon If Your Light Don't Shine

 

When we were in Rhode Island during Hurricane Sandy, I had my breakfast in the Hotel restaurant. As I was leaving I asked my waitress if I could ask her a question. She said yes and she had a question for me too. I wanted to know if they had oatmeal on the menu. She wanted to know if she should have knee surgery at the end of the week. She was nervous about it and assumed from the way I walked that I had just had it done. What an opportunity to spread a little faith! But I chickened out.
I asked her if she was religious. She said well she was spiritual. I said it would be good if she had a prayer circle to help her through the surgery. She said she once shook the hand of the Dali Lama, isn’t that just as good?  “Well,” I said “It wouldn’t hurt.’

I’ve been listening to some records that were favorites of mine in the early 70’s.
One of the songs is “You Can’t be a Beacon If Your Light Don’t Shine” by Donna Fargo

“You can’t be a beacon if your light don’t shine
There’s a little light in all of us by God’s design,
But you can’t be a beacon if your light don’t shine.
How can you ask for the truth
When you do not truthful live
How can you ask forgiveness
When you do not forgive
I don’t mean to bring you down or speak to you unkind
But you can’t be a beacon if your light don’t shine”

Have there been times when you have reacted to someone’s actions in a less than pleasant manner? Do you honk angrily at the slow driver, or when someone cuts you off? Do you look away and ignore someone who may need your help? Do you walk away from those in shabby dirty clothes?

I am reminded of Matt: 25, 34-40
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;
35.For I was an hungered and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me,
 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee: or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 
 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? Or naked, and clothed thee?
 39 Or when saw we thee sick or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 and the King shall answer and say unto them, verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

This December take the opportunity of the season to let your light so shine. Be a beacon to your fellow men.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Crisp Cold Chill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If I knew how to ski

Or wanted to skate

I’d probably love the cold snowy weather.

But I don’t.

I prefer the crackling fire

The hot chocolate and

A good book,

Chatting with friends,

Sitting by the window watching

Glittering snowflakes fall onto the bare branches.

I love the smell of evergreens

The sharp shiny holly with it’s red berries,

Cookies and goodies shared with neighbors,

Holiday music,

Smiles on faces anticipating the season

The old year bedding down

Rembering the fun we had.

Looking forward.

What’s next!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Orphan Quilt

 
I think this house has ghosts. I don’t live here yet. But as I wander the many hallways, climb the stairs to the attic, and walk through the orchard, they come and talk to me. The first was Isabella. She is a sweet lady, sly and mischievous. Angus, the Scotsman wanders through the orchard. He has put in a few appearances but is strangely silent. I may learn his story on a later trip. Jess didn’t appear till I hung her portrait. It must have been her portal into my home.

                                    *******
As I lay there in the dark in my mother’s bed I could feel her eyes on me. They were dark, piercing, unsmiling. I wonder what she was thinking silently staring out of the painting I had hung on the wall in the red room.
I always liked the headshot. It was a copy from a full-length portrait of my great grandmother Janet. Her story is a mystery. My mother and her sisters would never speak about her. And yet I have her portrait. Her sisters sent it to my mother and later I asked for it. But- who are you Grandmother Janet?
                                                ******

“Children, They break your hearts.  I never wanted to be a mom. But there I sat on the boat, slowly rocking back and forth in the surf’, my stomach extended more than I ever thought was possible. What was I going to do now? Soon I would be ashore, my husband would be meeting me. He would know this child wasn’t his. He left home three years ago. There was no way he would accept this child as his own. How was I going to survive the mess I had gotten myself into?

I married young in Glasgow Scotland. I was running away from an abusive home and ended up in the arms of a cold stern Presbyterian minister.  He left one morning to sail to America to make his fortune in the coalfields of the Great West, and to save the souls of the savages. “Jesse”, he said, “I’ll write and send for ye. Be a good gal na.”

Tenderly I ran my fingers across my stretched belly. Hush, hush, we’ll be there soon. Hang on. I had been having contractions since late last night. I was anxious to give birth to my burden, but I’d rather not drop it into the ocean while wading to solid ground. The trip had been horrid. I had passage in the hull of the great ship. Having little money, I wasn’t able to get a cabin of my own or even one with ten other people crowded into it. I was in steerage with the seething masses trying to get out of England. We had left six weeks ago and tossed through the waves, the ship sometimes nearly lying on its side, ravaged by the winds and the rains.
The other women on the ship took pity on my little one. Each had contributed a piece of precious fabric or a quilt block from her own store. Together we spent the long trip stitching in the weak light till we had enough for a baby’s blanket. We called it the orphan quilt. I don’t know if it was because a different hand made each of the blocks or because they weren’t sure I’d make it. The wee bairn may be an orphan yet if my husband turns us away.

I folded the precious blanket, a memorial of my shipboard friends to pack away for the trip ashore.
The largest block is called The Battle of Thor. It is an ancient symbol from Germany. It is believed to represent the sun and be a sign of peace. I need that assurance. Lottie gave me that one. “ She had been a good friend, caring for me during my bouts of upheaval on the ship. I don’t suppose I’ll ever get on a boat again. I need the firm ground beneath me.
Marne gave me a similar block in black and white. She’s from India, and sang soothing chants to help me sleep through the storms. The same symbol in Hindu means Life is good. There is value. I’ll need to remember that through the next few weeks, I know.
I must finish packing to go ashore. I can’t wait to be on dry ground.

                                    ***********

Monday, November 5, 2012

Trial of Your Faith

 

The end of October brought some interesting experiences into our lives, those of us who live on the East Coast of the United States. My husband and I were planning on taking the train from Virginia to Rhode Island for a conference and to visit some of his relatives in Connecticut. Knowing that a hurricane was brewing off shore I was concerned. What if it hits and destroys the train tracks? How would we get home? But my husband, full of faith, and wanting to see his family, some maybe for the last time, assured me that we would be fine. The trip to Connecticut was lovely. The trees were brilliant. We rode the route, which followed the coast; with water views most of the way. Being with family was a joy, catching up, talking about our genealogy, and having a great meal. Sunday the conference began, and Monday, the hurricane hit New Jersey. While my husband went to conference sessions I hunkered down in my warm, dry, quiet hotel room and watched the news. It was devastating. One such report follows…
“Four days after Sandy lashed the East Coast with high winds and a huge storm surge, frustration mounted across New York City and well beyond as millions of people remained without power and motorists lined up for hours at gas stations in New Jersey and New York.
In the city's Queens borough, a man was accused of pulling a gun Thursday on a motorist who complained when he cut in line at a gas station; no one was injured. And as the Friday morning commute began, long lines at gas stations in suburban Westchester County snaked along expressway breakdown lanes and exit ramps.”
There was no way we would be able to take our train home to Virginia. Bus travel, too, had to go through New York City’s flooded streets.
While waiting to see how we were going to be able to find our way home, I read:

October 2012 General Conference
  Trial of Our  Faith By Elder Neil L. Andersen

“Like the intense fire that transforms iron into steel, as we remain faithful during the fiery trial of our faith, we are spiritually refined and strengthened.
Our faith is centered in God, our Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer.
The Apostle Peter identified something he called a “trial of your faith.” He had experienced it. Remember Jesus’s words:
“Simon, … Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:
“But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not.”
Peter later encouraged others: “Think it not strange,” he said, “concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.”
These fiery trials are designed to make you stronger, but they have the potential to diminish or even destroy your trust in the Son of God and to weaken your resolve to keep your promises to Him. These trials are often camouflaged, making them difficult to identify. They take root in our weaknesses, our vulnerabilities, our sensitivities, or in those things that matter most to us. A real but manageable test for one can be a fiery trial for another.
How do you remain “steadfast and immovable” during a trial of faith? You immerse yourself in the very things that helped build your core of faith: you exercise faith in Christ, you pray, you ponder the scriptures, you repent, you keep the commandments, and you serve others.
When faced with a trial of faith—whatever you do, you don’t step away from the Church! Distancing yourself from the kingdom of God during a trial of faith is like leaving the safety of a secure storm cellar just as the tornado comes into view.

President Ezra Taft Benson said, “Every [person] eventually is backed up to the wall of faith, and there … must make his stand.” Don’t be surprised when it happens to you!”

Our trials were small this time compared to those of many others. But it gave us an opportunity to remember the blessings we have been given, and an opportunity to serve those around us. Many are hurting, and homeless. What can we do to share our wealth of good fortune?
It means a lot to me that my Savior said,
“But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not.”

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Dislocated I,II


DISLOCATED


She put her bags down and left the room. Her life would never be the same. How could she go back to country life after the bustling busyness, the sheer energy of the city. Cars honking madly if you drove too slowly, or carelessly stepped off the curb even when you knew you had the light. Garbage cans banged loudly as they were thrown down the street by angry city workers who hadn’t gotten a raise in three years. The economy sucked. The neighbor down the hall had Fiona Apple singing Better Than Fine”. The base notes drummed into her skull in a rhythm that make her headache worse. The dog in 325 yapped, and yapped, and yapped till she wanted to take her skillet and pound its door down. Candidates whined day after day about the deficiencies of their opponents on TV. She hated election season. It seemed to get longer every year. Well, maybe the quiet life would be better after all.



Her plane would take off in 45 minutes. She wondered if he’d meet her at the airport or whether she’d have to take a taxi again. Do they even have taxis? She wished she’d thought to call and make sure he’d be there. Leaving a message wasn’t always best.
She wasn’t sure he ever checked voice mail any more. Her head ached as her stomach churned, tied in knots. What am I doing!  WHAT am I doing? She pulled out her sweater, placing her bag in the overhead compartment and snuggled against the window to read her book, “A Wanted Man” by Lee Child.


The cat said,” what took you so long.””
She sat there on the stool, like a princess on her lofty throne, a touch of arrogance in her green eyes, as she looked down her long nose. “I’ve been waiting for my dinner, and none of that icky shrimp and chicken liver. I want the salmon.” Oh and a nice bit of that cheese Anda brought over. No, no cracker today, I’m watching my waist you know. She raised her svelte little body, stretched her legs and settled in again on the stool.

It had been a long and boring day at work. He wasn’t sure he was ready to kowtow to Magnolia tonight, but he knew she would never leave him alone till she had her way.
Something was happening tonight. What was it? A memory skirted the edge of his mind—something important ……oh well, they say if it‘s important it would come to him.
He took a dish from the cupboard, the one with roosters on it, and opened a tin of tuna. Umm that smells good. I think I’ll have one too, he thought. He put the dish on the floor in the accustomed place and got a can of Chicken Of the Sea out for his own dinner. He chopped celery, onions and sweet pickle. Tossing in a few craisins and pecans, the way Gwyneth always used to do, he stirred in the Miracle Whip, no mayonnaise for him and spread a thick layer of it onto the fresh whole wheat hazelnut bread he’d picked up an Hanna and Nate’s on his way to work this morning. Tucking the Journal  under his arm, he walked out onto the screened porch for dinner and  to watch the evening sun go down.

The cat jumped down from her throne to check out the dish. “Tuna! I said I wanted salmon you lunkhead! See If I’ll ever snag another mouse for you! Oh well, might as well eat, I’m going to be ignored till tomorrow.” Maybe I can sneak out later and go hunting.”

Gwyneth arrived in Dallas late, missing her flight connection. She had hated the thought of having to sit next to the lady with the toddler. The little girl with springy yellow curls was a handful. Mothers shouldn’t be allowed to travel with children who were too young to just be told, “shut up!” “Get off me!” “Go find your own window, this one is mine!”  Well that conversation was a winner! Ignoring the nasty looks of the child’s mother, she closed her eyes feigning sleep. Maybe that would stop the snide remarks.
“Well if you’re just going to sleep anyway, why don’t you trade places so Rosie can look out the window?
“No Mommy! I want to see outside! “No Mommee!, I don’t want to sit!”
“ No! Noo! No aieeeeee aiiiieahhh!”
After thirty minutes of this constant screaming the cabin attendant warned the mother that she would be asked to deplane is she didn’t shut the kid up. A cheer and applause ran back through the plane as other passengers agreed to this sentiment.
But Rosie, undaunted by the threat, continued to scream and bounce on the center seat. Finely, exhausted, Rosie leaned her head on Gwyneth’s shoulder and threw up.
The plane made an emergency stop in Chattanooga Tennessee and Rosie, her mother and a soggy, smelly Gwyneth were rudely escorted off the plane, while maintenance workers cleaned the seats.  Standing on the tarmac, waiting for air port personnel to take them back to the loading dock they watched the plane turn, and take off… without them.
“Well! I hope that window seat was worth it to you!” glowered Rosie’s mother, as she stomped off dragging her suitcase in one hand, Rosie in the other.
“Not really,” murmured Gwyneth looking down at the ruined Armani skirt and lavender silk blouse.

Gwyneth grabbed her own carryon, sighed and looked for the personnel cart. Climbing aboard, she settled down for the short ride back to the terminal. Since most of her baggage had been sent on to Albuquerque, she would have to buy something less fragrant to wear before finding the next available flight.

Gwyneth looked around the small airport shop in despair.
We are Big Orange. We are unstoppable.
University of Tennessee Knoxville Volunteers

Jansport Hooded Vandy Sweatshirt- Gold
$59.98 Vanderbuilt University

Too bad they didn’t have a red hoodie with the Nashville Sounds printed on it. She would have liked that one  best. Settling for a pair of black yoga pants and a cerise Tee , with Chattanooga Choo Choo in slick silver letters under the silhouette of an old wood burning train, she headed to the restroom, dressed, tossed the damp clothes in the trash, and headed for Gate B11
“Guess I’d better call Bert and tell him about the change in plans.’ She remembered as her flight was finally called.

Finishing her dinner, the cat strolled into the large back room. It was supposed to be “Mom’s studio. Ha! This is my lair. The large overstuffed blue couch had been hers since childhood when she’d had to share it with Ashburn that hairy hare. What a mistake he’d been. If she even went near him, he kicked her with a satisfying thump, Then he’d race through the room to hide out.-- Not even a chance for retaliation. Oh well, he’d gotten his hadn’t he! Magnolia leapt lightly into the corner with her fuzzy pink pillow ready for a short nap.
Eeww! Looks like one of the visiting cats had left a gift that no one had remembered to clean up. Pests! All of them were pests!


Bert picked up the yellow legal pad and started writing, “
Creative Innovation-still a vital force for America

At this time of great challenge for our nation it’s only natural to ask: “where will we find the spark or driving force that will put us back on the path to growth and prosperity”? Clearly, technological innovation has been a key element of past success from the dawn of the industrial revolution to the Internet and the first serious hints of artificial intelligence (AI).  Recently, however, thoughtful analyses have been presented that question if we have reached the limits of innovation as a central force in society (Edsall- New Your Times, Oct. 15 & Christian Science Monitor Oct. 9 Editorial). Prof. Robert Gordon  (of Northwestern Univ.) uses the phrase “Faltering Innovation” in his study (National Bureau of Economic Research), which displays the growth in GDP (in America) as it lines up with key technological developments such as the full use of electricity or the more recent Internet “revolution”. In this kind of comparison, our recent “computer-internet” age seems to have far less “punch” when it comes to influencing economic output….”

The phone rang shrilly making him lose his train of thought.
“Damn!”
Gwyneth! He’d totally forgotten. He’d been so wrapped up in this assignment. At least she was calling from Dallas. He still had an hour before she came. Work to be done, he hustled into the other room.

The ride home was quiet, silent, stressed. Parking in front of the house Bert got out and grabbed her luggage from the back. As they walked into the house, Gwyneth sat tiredly on the old blue sofa. A spring from the broken seat dug into her hip, but she was too tired to protest, or move. Bert was making some fumbling noises from the brick kitchen. Soon he brought her a cup of hot homemade apple cider and a slice of warm pumpkin bread slathered thickly with pineapple cream cheese. Sitting down beside her, he took her into his arms. Magnolia jumped into their combined lap, purring loudly, yawned, smiled and thought. Home at last.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

November Sounds


November Sounds
What do you hear?
Snoring dogs?
Political ads?
The rain pounding on the roof?
Lips smacking in contentment
After the feast is done?
The sound of the rake 
Over the stones
As falling leaves are bagged?
The thump of the acorns hitting the ground,
The coyote’s lonely call?
Wherever you are
November’s noisy quiet
As the year nears end
Is filled with joy and laughter 
Spent 
With loving friends.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Family History

 
Clouds are hovering, darkening, thickening,
Closing in.
Frustration lingers, oppresses, limits.
What shall I do next? now? first?  Ever?
Technology thwarts me.
Give me a pencil and a wad of paper forms.
Things I did, names I had, have disappeared.
What was my username, password, e-mail address?
Which computer was I on, Apple, Mac, HP, Compost?
No not compost, 
I can’t even remember computer type though I can visualize everything but the name. 
Compact? No, and it wasn’t.
Wait!! I found a list of names! They’ll go somewhere.
Printer on—paper loaded, Smiles, Sun shining!
Print.
You are out of ink.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Left Behind Again!



When you think of being left behind what do you think about? The “Rapture?”, The school bus driving off without you? A loved one’s sudden death? Your best friend moving to another country? Winter coming, leaving your plants withering in the  garden? How does that make you feel?

Autumn is here. Officially the calendar says it is. Some of my garden is fighting and
trying to stay one more day, one more week. Although I love the changing of the seasons, I miss the colorful flowers on my terrace. And since we won’t have this terrace garden for the next growing season, I’m giving away most of my seventy containers of plants. I feel like my “children” are going off to live somewhere with out me. I’m being left behind.
I looked up some quotes about being left behind and found quite a variety.

“The sun was like a great visiting presence that stimulated and took it’s due from all animal energy. When it flung wide it’s cloak and stepped down over the edge of the fields at evening, it left behind it a spent and exhausted world.”
-Willa Cather._

Goodbyes are hard. It may be hard for the person leaving, but it’s always harder for the one left behind.”
-Unknown-
“It always is harder to be left behind than to be the one to go…
-Brock Thoene 

“All the colors in my life are colors that you left behind. All the songs that I sing are from thoughts that you left behind.”

If I passed away tomorrow and would be happy with the music I left behind, I would consider that success”
-Justin Nozuka-

“Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten”
-David Ogden Stiers”

And it shall come to pass that except they repent I will utterly destroy them from off the face of the earth; yet they shall leave a record behind them, and I will preserve them for other nations which shall possess the land; yea, even this will I do that I may discover the abominations of this people to other nations. And many things did Abinadi prophesy against this people.” Mosiah 12:8

“If we think  we have ours and don’t owe any time or money or effort to help those left behind, then we are a part of the problem rather that the solution to the fraying social fabric that threatens all Americans.”
-Marian Wright Edelman_
So the question is-
What are we leaving behind for the world to remember us by?
Who are we leaving behind and are they better for knowing us?
What can we do to help those who are left behind?

Go bloom a little longer and make a difference in someone’s life!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Dislocated 1.

 
She put her bags down and left the room. Her life would never be the same. How could she go back to country life after the bustling busyness, the sheer energy of the city. Cars honking madly if you drove too slowly, or carelessly stepped off the curb even when you knew you had the light. Garbage cans banging loudly as they were thrown down the street by angry city workers who hadn’t gotten a raise in three years. The economy sucked. The neighbor down the hall had Fiona Apple singing Better Than Fine”. The base notes drummed into her skull in a rhythm that make her headache worse. The dog in 325 yapped, and yapped, and yapped till she wanted to take her skillet and pound its door down. Candidates whined day after day about the deficiencies of their opponents on TV. She hated election season. It seemed to get longer every year. Well, maybe the quiet life would be better after all.



Her plane takes off in 45 minutes. She wondered if he’d meet her at the airport or whether she’d have to take a taxi again. Do they even have taxis? She wished she’d thought to call and make sure he’d be there. Leaving a message wasn’t always best.
She wasn’t sure he ever checked voice mail any more. Her head ached as her stomach churned, tied in knots. What am I doing!  WHAT am I doing? She pulled out her sweater, placing her bag in the overhead compartment and snuggled against the window to read her book, “A Wanted Man” by Lee Child.


The cat said,” what took you so long.””
She sat there on the stool, like a princess on her lofty throne, a touch of arrogance in her green eyes, as she looked down her long nose. “I’ve been waiting for my dinner, and none of that icky shrimp and chicken liver. I want the salmon.” Oh and a nice bit of that cheese Anda brought over. No, no cracker today, I’m watching my waist you know. She raised her svelte little body, stretched her legs and settled in again on the stool.

It had been a long and boring day at work. He wasn’t sure he was ready to kowtow to Magnolia tonight, but he knew she would never leave him alone till she had her way.
Something was happening tonight. What was it? A memory skirted the edge of his mind—something important ……oh well, if it‘s important it would come to him.
He took a dish from the cupboard, the one with roosters on it, and opened a tin of tuna. Umm that smells good. I think I’ll have one too, he thought. He put the dish on the floor in the accustomed place and got a can of Chicken Of the Sea out for his dinner. He chopped celery, onions and sweet pickle. Tossing in a few craisins and pecans, the way Gwyneth always used to do, he stirred in the Miracle Whip, no mayonnaise for him and spread a thick layer of it onto the fresh whole wheat hazelnut bread he’d picked up an Hanna and Nate’s on his way to work this morning. Tucking  the Journal  under his arm, he walked out onto the screened porch for dinner and  to watch the evening sun go down.

The cat jumped down from her throne to check out the dish. “Tuna! I said I wanted salmon you lunkhead ! See If I’ll ever snag another mouse for you! Oh well, might as well eat, I’m going to be ignored till tomorrow.” Maybe I can sneak out later and go hunting.”

Life is Golden

-->
 Orange leaves,
Twisting
Turning
Flying in the breeze
Touching here , lighting there
Singing, whispering, sushing sounds.

Leaves dancing with  purpose--
Being called home--
Resting for a season
Before the glorious spring.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Thoughts on Leadership

-->
 
I had an epiphany on Sunday. We were sitting in church and it was time for the service to begin. The organ started playing and the congregation began to sing. We didn’t sound too bad but I at least didn’t feel comfortable. The chorister wasn’t there. I have sung in other churches that don’t use choristers and I have the same feeling. I need guidance.
Then from out of the congregation, a volunteer walked to the front and by the second verse we had a chorister. I felt a quiet change in the congregation’s singing. We sounded more assured, more of a unit. We had a leader.

I think many of us human beings like to think someone is in charge. It gives us a feeling of direction.
What should you do if you’re a leader and one of your subordinates place you in a moral dilemma? Should you stay true to your values, or go along with the crowd?
What is your responsibility to your group as a leader?
As we look at the upcoming elections, what are we looking for in the offered leadership? Vote your conscience, but VOTE!

The Church's twelfth article of faith states, “We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.”

A Caring Community: Goodness in Action
By Elder Alexander B. Morrison
Of the Seveny
From an address to the Utah League of Cities and Towns on 21 January 1998.
A Caring Community:
“How our world would be transformed if the vast reservoir of goodness in individuals could somehow be focused and harnessed for the uplift and betterment of society as a whole. As Archbishop Desmond Tutu has said, “Somehow the world is hungry for goodness and recognizes it when it sees it. … There’s something in all of us that hungers after the good and true” (quoted in Parade magazine, 11 Jan. 1998). I agree: goodness is the attribute most needed and longed for not only in our individual lives but also in families, communities, states, and nations.
If we are to effectively foster and utilize the great goodness of the people around us, we must strengthen both our families and our communities. The family is without question the God-given primary vehicle for the development and expression of personal goodness. But we also live in communities. One dictionary defines community as “a body of people having common organizations or interests, or living in the same place under the same laws and regulations.” People are by nature social beings whose lives and feelings are eternally connected and intertwined with those of others. Almost invariably, individuals reach their full potential only in association and in community with others.
These words of John Adams, the second president of the United States, ring with special force: “Our Constitution was designed only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other” (Reply to the Massachusetts Militia, 11 Oct. 1789).


Some other thoughts on leadership.

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.
Peter F. Drucker
Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.
Dwight Eisenhower
A leader is a dealer in hope.
Napoleon Bonaparte
The leadership instinct you are born with is the backbone. You develop the funny bone and the wishbone that go with it.
Elaine Agather
I must follow the people. Am I not their leader? 
Benjamin Disraeli

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

It's beginning





I’m dreaming
Of September morn--
Cool breezes tossing
Daisy Petals across the fields and lawns
--Children running happily towards
The first day of school
--Birds lining up in rows on telephone wires
Getting ready for take off
--The smell of ocean water lingers
Remembering small footprints on its sands.
--Vacation time waning
--The excitement of new things to learn
--Old friends to greet
--My favorite time of year
--And plaid

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A BASKET OF ROSES




I spread the “Basket of Roses” quilt on the little table on the terrace, set the cup of mint tea on top and sat looking out into the orchard. I needed to plant some roses. The terrace was simple and bare with just  an inch deep sheet of pea gravel that was suppose to keep the weeds down. Well it wasn’t working. Some of the weeds were three feet high and would surely become trees if I didn’t do something soon. I love gardens. I think I inherited the love and enjoyment from Mom. She was always out in the garden, even in her later years. I helped Dad plant petunias and impatiens, watered the tomatoes and strawberries. But roses were a favorite.

My first rose was from a boy down the street. I don’t know who’s garden he picked it from, but I loved that deep coral miniature rose, all four inches of it. I would have to find one and plant in my garden.
My dad’s favorite was always the Peace rose. It has large full blossoms of creamy white with touches of yellow and pink. In his later years he also enjoyed the Chicago  Peace which had darker  tones of pink. I always planted one of those wherever I moved.
America, a salmon colored climber had grown outside my bedroom window. I think this was my mom’s favorite rose. No other rose I had flowered for so long or grew to greater heights. I need one of those.

I planted an apricot tea rose under the bathroom window in my last house. It was the color of the roses we got for Mom’s funeral with purple iris…

A black eared squirrel ran along the roof line, eyed the Juniper bush at the corner of the house and dived in. The bush trembled, was silent, and trembled again at the assault. Tipsily the squirrel crawled out and staggered off into the orchard. I wonder if he thought that he could fly?
I took a sip of my mint tea as I returned to contemplating plans for my garden. I wonder if Lara is having a cup of tea this evening. We decided to share a cup every once in awhile even though we are a world apart. I hope she has found a beautiful oriental garden to explore. Humm, I think I’ll plant oriental poppies.

Down by the creek I could hear a thrashing sound. I stood and looked through the orchard trying to identify the intruder. Soon I saw Bucky trotting through the field ahead of the neighbor’s old hound.  The burro down the street was always getting out and running down to the water. He’d stare at the fish in confusion. I don’t know what he was thinking. Were they edible? Can I walk across?  Shrugging he’d take a drink , nibble  ditch grass for lunch, and spend a pleasant hour flicking flies in the shade till ol’ hound came to chase him home.
I saw a  flicker of movement out of the corner of my eye. A family of rabbits hopped along the edge of the irrigation ditch. Momma rabbit was sneaking her family towards the garden, looking for something tender to eat. I had a surprise for her this year as I hadn’t planted anything yet. Next year I’d be the surprised one. It’s a good thing rabbits don’t climb trees. I wonder if rabbits eat apples?
A shadow passed overhead. Looking up I saw a red tail hawk hunting for his own dinner. Momma rabbit saw him too and hustled her little family into the deep ditch grass, which hadn’t been mowed yet. I could almost hear her whisper,”don’t move, shhh”. I held my breath till the hawk moved on towards the river and a more visible
meal.

I took a sip of my cooling tea. I have moved forward, left behind tender feelings for the friends I made as I moved around the world. Some have remained in contact. Others have not. I would love to know where Susi is, and Pauline. How are Judy’s kids and Pats? I need Nasturtiums for my California friend’s remembrances. I don’t think the ‘Naked Ladies’ or Bird of Paradise will grow here in the high desert. I can grow geraniums for Carol, Picasso petunias for Debbie. I need an Azalea for Virginia. No I need a chocolate plant for Virginia…. Chocolate lace, chocolate candy geranium,
Maybe I could plant Heuchera ‘Chocolate Ruffles’. Where can I find these? They would grow in our freeze zone and parched conditions but….

The day is cooling as the evening approaches. I’ll need my sweater soon. I sit thinking of Isabella. My ghost hasn’t been here for a while. But then neither have I.
I wonder what Isabella planted in her garden, Sage? Thyme? Rosemary? Sunflowers?
A garden is a wonderful thing to grow to remember old friends. What shall I plant in my memory garden for you, Old Friend?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Gifts




In her book God's Guest List, Author Debbie Macomber tells a story she heard many years ago. A Woman died and went to Heaven. She met with many friends and then was taken on a tour of Heaven. She wanted to see every corner. She came to one building ,which had a gold padlock on the door. “I want to see what is in this building,”  she said.

 “Oh that’s not open to the public. There’s nothing in there you want or need.” Her guide replied.

“But I want to see every inch of Heaven.” She complained. So the doors were unlocked and she went inside. There were piles of beautifully wrapped presents from floor to ceiling. “Are these for somebody? Will they be taken to them?”

“No they aren’t for anyone.” He said.

Spying her name on one pile of gifts, she demanded to know why she wasn’t given them.
“We did take them to you,” said her guide, “but you wouldn’t accept them”.

 How many God given gifts may we have lost because we didn’t look for them or accept them when they were offered?

The Book, God’s Guest List tells the reader that God can send people into our lives for a reason. And if we are looking for them as a gift they can enrich our lives in ways we can’t imagine.

Have you ever met someone with whom you have an instant report? It feels like you have known them forever!
 Have you had a stranger come up to you and give you a message that changes your life? Or stops you from something that would hurt you?
Have you had a feeling of wanting to learn something but didn’t try? Maybe it was an opportunity you shouldn’t have turned down—a gift you haven’t unwrapped.
Have you ever been that gift to someone else?

You who are reading this, I consider to be  on my guest list from God and I thank you.

In Alma 26;3 we read …."And this is the blessing which hath been bestowed upon us, that we have been made instruments in the hands of God" …

Appreciate those who love you, Help those who need you, forgive those who hurt you, Forget those who leave you.
  Unknown quote

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Zinnia

-->
The Zinnia

The zinnia stretched her root
Deep under the cement block
Wedged her leaves between bricks,
And turned to look for God,
Her creator.

With fertile ground inches away
She had landed in the cracks.
Asked to bloom in adversity.
Why? She pleaded, why?
Because I love you so.
I will make you strong.