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  1. Yesterday
  2. It's Just One Day

    As I sit down to write this, I’ve just completed another yearly tradition. That being, watching Peppermint Patty’s ungrateful ass give Charlie Brown a hard time about the meager offerings served up for an impromptu Thanksgiving dinner. And while watching, it kinda helped a few things on my mind gel together, a message I feel compelled to share with the world. Or the twelve or so of you that read this. This year our celebration of Thanksgiving is looking a little different, thanks to the pesky little virus known as Covid-19 floating around. Health officials are urging Americans to reconsider large gatherings this year in an effort to stem the continued rise of infection across the country. And of course people, weary of having to put their lives on hold, are pushing back. I’m not here to tell you how to live your life or make a case for or against these warnings. However I’d like to point out to my fellow Americans that despite what they may think, no one is “canceling” anything this year. We’re merely being asked to do things a little differently than we normally would, or than we would like, for Thanksgiving. By it’s very name, “Thanksgiving” tells us what the day is all about. Notice it’s not called, “Macy’s Parade Day”, or “Huge Family Feast Day”? It’s called “Thanksgiving”, a day to give thanks for what we have. Simple enough. Like Peppermint Patty, I think too many Americans have forgotten the reason for the day. And despite all the hardship this pandemic has brought us as a country, we still have so much to be thankful for. But folks, it’s just one day. Hell, it’s not even a whole day, it’s a few hours of one day. And yeah I understand the argument that we should still celebrate this year, because we don’t know that we’ll be here next year. But let’s be honest, there’s no guarantee we’ll even be here tomorrow let alone in a year. But if you knew there was a chance that you could increase the odds of one or more of your loved ones becoming gravely ill or dying, would you still do it? Of course not, right? Then what’s the problem? As for me and my family, we’ll be staying home this year and having Thanksgiving dinner here instead of going to my parent’s or in-law’s house like usual. Yeah, it’ll suck. A lot of things have really sucked this year, just like I told our sons it would way back in March. And like we’ve done these past several months, we’ll adjust, do what needs to be done, and know that if we’re smart, maybe things will be better next year. Making that change for one day, this one time, could make all the difference, and ensure that we’ll all still be here and healthy for Christmas and beyond. So maybe instead of thinking negatively about how different things will be this Thanksgiving, maybe this year celebrate the day in its purest form. This Thursday stay home and have a small turkey, or even a bowl of Kraft macaroni and cheese. Observe the holiday for what it is: A day to be grateful for all that we have here, now. ( I’d have suggested Chinese takeout, but the irony of that would be too deliciously funny, even for me. ) Happy Thanksgiving.
  3. Last week
  4. Hunting And A Tradition Of Giving

    That's really a great program.
  5. Hunting And A Tradition Of Giving

    The opening of this year’s regular deer hunting season means it’s time for this annual reminder on the Southern Tier-based Venison Donation Coalition. And with the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) already having reported record-breaking sales of hunting licenses for 2020, it’s an especially meaningful reminder during this time of great need throughout so many communities continuing to be hard hit by COVID-19. Over the past 20 years, the Coalition has helped put a good meal on many tables across the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions, and throughout New York State. Millions of tables, in fact. Since 1999 the coalition has coordinated the processing of an average of 38 tons of venison annually and, through its partnership with The Food Bank of the Southern Tier and other regional food banks, provided more than 4 million highly nutritious, low-fat, high-protein servings to individuals, children and families in need. Talk about making a difference, and talk about timely. Good meals are needed now like never before. The opening of the regular deer season represents one of the most important economic cycles of the year. Hunting is a mainstay of the regional and statewide recreational economy, by some estimates accounting for $2 billion of economic activity and nearly 30,000 jobs statewide. Steuben County, for example, remains one of the Northeast’s premiere deer hunting destinations. The Venison Donation Coalition is supported by sportsmen’s organizations, of course, but also by local farm bureaus, food banks, civic and religious groups, and so many individual citizens. I am always grateful to call attention to its work and its contributions to the overall quality and strength of our communities. It was over 25 years ago when a local "Hunters for the Hungry" program was prepared to donate 400 pounds of venison for distribution to the needy and discovered that state law prevented it. As a result, “Hunters for the Hungry" programs operating throughout New York at that time, 1993, were being told they couldn’t donate over 10,000 pounds of venison to food banks and other organizations providing meals to the unemployed, shut-ins, senior citizens and other needy citizens. It made no sense. As a result, the Legislature quickly acted to establish a program to authorize the donations. The resulting Venison Donation Coalition got started in 1999 when sportsmen’s federations in Chemung and Steuben counties got behind the effort with funding to pay two processors. Two decades later, the coalition is a broad-based partnership including many area supporters. It is, simply put, an admirable effort. Never underestimate the spirit of commitment and giving it has encouraged. According to the Coalition, “We would not even have this program if it weren’t for our amazing processors. They work diligently on getting the deer to the food banks in record time at a reduced rate. Our many thanks to our meat processors for making Venison Donation a success! Meat processors, like farm families, like hunting families, like Food Bank families, have strong family values, strong work ethics and a true desire to help folks. Many meat processing businesses have been family run for generations. It’s the same kind of family values and grassroots efforts that make the Venison Donation Coalition a success.” As I have often said, we will continue to develop infrastructure, promote tourism, improve schools, protect citizens, and do anything and everything possible to enhance our economic position. Nevertheless, along with these fundamental responsibilities, the ongoing work of groups and organizations like the Venison Donation Coalition is important, inspiring, and meaningful. As the Coalition notes, “One dollar goes a long way to help curb hunger throughout New York State.” The donation of just $1 provides four meals. For every dollar donated, the Coalition puts 90 cents towards processing donated venison. For more information, visit the Venison Donation Coalition online at www.venisondonation.com or call 1-866-862-3337 (DEER). My very best wishes to you and your families for a safe and meaningful Thanksgiving.
  6. Thanks Giving Day

    Thanks Giving Day… a time of reflection, appreciation, gratitude… recalling blessings even among the difficulties of this most unusual year… and memories shared from years past as we recall what touched our hearts deeply… remembering our loved ones who are no longer here among us… for extended family gatherings with delicious food and lots of it… for endless football games (sorry, not my favorite)… for hunting (let’s go!), especially if there’s fresh snow for tracking… all felt with grateful hearts! We really do have so much to be thankful for… like starting each new day with a heart that simply appreciates the little things of life… because it’s so easy to fuss and fret about those little things that annoy me/us… yet it’s the grateful heart that brings out the best in each of us! And simply thinking about being thankful got me pondering deeper. How grateful I am for the love of family and friends, smiles, cards, and encouraging words! With love, we lift each other up, strengthen, bring comfort in difficult times, and see the good in each other… reminders of hope and renewal to cheer us on. As I began to write this reflection a year ago, it was another cool and dreary, cloudy, drippy, fall day… much like it is now while reviewing this blog to repost. It was the kind of day that tends to depress me just a bit… warm summer days have passed and the cold snowy winter is coming. But then I realized that we were blessed with a good summer and sufficient rains during a warmer-than-usual fall, overcoming the droughts of recent years. Though they might seem an irritant to enjoying sunny days, the rain and snow are so needed to renew and replenish the earth and our water supply, and so I am thankful. A grateful heart shares love and joy. From our own thankfulness, we reach out to others. I have often admired those who give their time to serve holiday dinners at local missions. Yet, I have not volunteered as I also feel it’s important to spend holiday time with my husband who cannot go out and about… a way to make his day special. Family time and making precious memories are also blessings from God to treasure with a heart of appreciation. I also like the idea of a thankfulness jar, but never implemented one in my home. Throughout the year, family members can write notes about what they’re especially thankful for and put the slips in the jar. On Thanksgiving Day, or perhaps several days in a row, slips are removed and read aloud, reminding everyone in the family of all the ways we appreciated and blessed each other. A thankful heart is at the root of the joy and happiness we so often search for. With a thankful heart, we praise the Lord for His many blessings each and every day, even for every breath we take. With a grateful heart, we express love for each other in a myriad of ways, and are open to seeing the hidden beauty among us and around us. With a thankful heart, we are more apt to focus on the good that can come from trials we face. And with a grateful heart, we see that which we tend to overlook, or take for granted, as the genuine blessing it truly is. For with a thankful heart, we will readily say, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His love endures forever…” (Psalm 107:1) Happy Thanks Giving Day! Thanks Giving Linda A. Roorda ~ For the dawning of each new day For the sun which shines its brilliant rays For the birds who share their sweetest songs… We thank you, Lord, for blessings rich. ~ For desperate pleas You hear with love For all the ways you meet our needs For answers to our many prayers… ~ For all the friends who grace our lives For the ones who left our arms too soon For tears and peace that fill our hearts… ~ For those who fight for freedom’s sake For those who protect our streets from crime For those who gave all that we might live free… ~ For each new season in the cycle of time For spring’s rebirth and summer’s bright sun For autumn’s harvest and winter’s rest… ~ For the joy of life in a newborn’s cry For hope-filled days as our youth pursue dreams For resilient smiles that greet a harsh world… ~ For our great bounty midst a world in need For each new breath in a day not promised For all the ways we love each other… We thank you, Lord, for blessings rich. ~ 10/22/18
  7. that was a very touching and informative article! One of the most wonderful people i met thru the pharmacy was an old timer named Milton Sydney! He was a wonderful person and a great supporter/friend/public servant to the town of Ashland! This story reminded me of him! :-)
  8. by Erin Doane On July 5, 1914, Dr. Sherman Voorhees, his wife Lilian, and their son Sherman, who was known as “Laddie,” were motoring along what is now Comfort Hill Road in the town of Ashland. Somehow, the doctor lost control of his 1913 Chalmers, and it went careening over an embankment. The vehicle rolled over and over, expelling the three passengers along the way, and came to rest in a field of daisies. Sherman was gravely injured; Laddie suffered from multiple cuts and bruises; and Lilian was killed almost instantly when her neck was broken. This is thought to have been the first fatal automobile accident in the county. Sherman was a medical doctor who came to Elmira in 1897 to open a practice. Lilian was a socialite and philanthropist who was well known throughout the city. Laddie was a care-free 13 years old. It was a lovely, dry summer day when the family decided to take a drive over South Mountain. They could never have imagined how the day would take a tragic turn. Laddie was the first thrown from the tumbling car. He suffered comparatively light injuries, and was able to rush to his mother’s side and then to his father. Unable to help either, he climbed back up the embankment and hurried to the home of William M. Kimball for help. Floyd Kimball and Morris Butman and his mother, who were spending the day at the farm, rushed back to the scene of the accident with him. Someone went to the home of Arthur Millard and more people came to help. Soon, dozens had arrived to offer assistance including several doctors and the motor patrol from the city. Despite all efforts, there was no saving Lilian. Many worried that Sherman’s injuries were so severe that he would soon follow his wife, but he slowly and steadily improved over the course of many weeks. By early August he was finally able to move around his home on crutches, and in late August he was taken to the Glen Mary Sanitarium in Owego to speed his recovery. One month into the stay, he was walking about the sanitarium yard and was recovering his physical vigor. On October 9, it was announced that he would finally be returning home. While Sherman was undergoing his convalescence, Laddie was also recovering physically and emotionally. He joined the newly-formed boy scout troop in Elmira and was chosen as No. 3 patrol leader. On October 10, the day his father returned from his stay at the sanitarium, Laddie and Scoutmaster John G. Addey led a boy scout hike to Daggett’s beyond Bulkhead. While Sherman’s return home was celebrated, he never did recover from the injuries he suffered in the crash. Shortly after leaving Owego, he went to Atlantic City for three weeks then spent some time in New York City before moving in with his sister Dr. Belle V. Aldridge in Brooklyn. On May 1, 1915, ten months after the accident, Dr. Sherman Voorhees passed away from complications which developed from a fracture at the base of his skull. His body was brought back to Elmira on Erie train No. 7, and he was interred next to Lilian in Woodlawn Cemetery. After Sherman’s death, John N. Willys of Elmira was formally appointed the guardian of Laddie. The young man went on to be a successful business man and was instrumental in bringing the first soaring and gliding contests to Elmira in the early 1930s. He passed away unexpectedly at his home in Hartford, Connecticut on February 7, 1964 at the age of 63. Sometime after the accident, a cross was erected on the spot where Lilian died. No one is sure who created the memorial, but it may have been her husband or, more likely, her son. The inscription on the cross reads: This spot is made sacred by the death of Mrs. Sherman Voorhees by accident July 5, 1914. In 1959, a sign was placed at the edge of the road to bring attention to and provide an explanation for the cross down below. The sign lasted about 14 years before it disappeared. In 1989, John F. McDonald, who lived next door to the monument, decided to recreate the original sign. He and his son Chad built the sign and holder, and he had Arden May of Millport paint it. Over time, the sign weathered and became unreadable, so the town of Ashland stepped in. In 2001, a new metal sign was unveiled. You can still visit the site today on Comfort Hill Road, about halfway between Rogers and Walsh Roads, and see both the sign and the memorial cross. Erin Doane is the curator at the Chemung County Historical Society. To read more of the museum's blog, go to http://chemungcountyhistoricalsociety.blogspot.com
  9. Heroes Of Yesterday

    Thank you about the poem and if not you, I thank all who served!
  10. Heroes Of Yesterday

    i did not serve. love the poem! :-)
  11. We’ve had a lot of gray days this month --- quite typical for our region. But we’ve also had some delightfully sunny, mild days; it would be great if we could preserve some of those. Gladys Taber** had the same idea: “I wish we could put this late summer sunlight in jars. If we could only pack it, clamp the bail down on the glass, set the pressure cooker for, say, ten pounds and process jars and jars of bright, fresh, mellow sun! I can see how it would look with the jars arranged in the fruit cellar beside the chicken and piccalilli and tomato catsup. And on a dark November day, we would bring up a quart or so of sunshine, open it and smell again the warm, dreamy air of a late-summer day.” Fun thought! We recently had a back yard full of downed trees. It looked rather as though a tornado had gone through. There were five trees either quite dead or in their last stages of life that threatened to fall on buildings if they were blown down. So woodcutters came and felled them ----- leaving a ton of logs, branches and twigs to clean up. I will miss the big white pine especially. It was a tree full of birds and lovely to sit beneath on a summer day. The now wide-open back yard is startling, and some of our plants that demand shade will, I think, have to be moved. The downed and tangled trees created a playground for cats. They sharpened claws, pounced from one branch to another and sat at the top like kings of the mountain. I imagine they were sorry to see it cleaned up. This is fruitcake-baking week after which I’ll stash them away to “ripen” on our cold, inside porch I’m hearing no cheers from immediate family; they are not enthusiastic about my venture into the land of fruit cakes; they don’t like candied fruit, but too bad! It is a time-honored tradition. In Scotland and England (anyone who reads Anne of Green Gables knows about this) wedding cakes were usually fruit cakes, made as soon as the engagement was announced and packed away to mellow. Mine don’t get to “mellow” very long. If my family doesn’t appreciate my fruity wonders, I have friends who do. A cup of tea with a slice of spicy cake bursting with Brazil nuts, pecans, candied cherries, raisins and citron makes a dreary day shine. Thanksgiving is only a week away. In fifty-six years, we’ve had celebrations of this holiday in a myriad of different ways ---- with family, with friends and by ourselves. One of our sons was born a few days after Thanksgiving, and that year, we had to stay in Pennsylvania rather than going home to be with family. I remember that the day was cloudy, mild and we took a walk to enjoy the central Pennsylvania scenery. We’ve had many enjoyable years celebrating with extended family in Howard (Steuben County) and in Victor (Ontario County). One year, snow came, and on Sunday afternoon, we crawled south on Rt. 15 at about 35mph the whole way. There was one lane plowed and I’m sure the traffic stretched from Buffalo to Washington DC. I miss those big family gatherings ---- the laughter, the futile attempts to keep grapes in the fruit centerpieces until after dinner, wonderful dishes-to-pass, loud games of Euchre and shared stories and laughter. There were often as many as twenty-five or thirty of us. But even with our family of eight, we do quite well. With two dogs, two teenagers, six adults --- and sometimes a stray guest or two ---- we still have plenty of laughter and lots of stories. The main point of the celebration is to enjoy each other and to bring to mind all that for which we are so very grateful. This year may be different as we avoid infection, and yet, we still have reasons for thanks. We are healthy as are those in our family. We have plenty to do and many ways to communicate. We may not be sharing dinner as usual, but we are still connected. Traditions should not be freeze-framed. Necessary change often brings its own gifts. Thanksgiving is surely a good time to share kindness and consideration with others. While I was working at the Office for the Aging, the staff there decided to do a dinner on Thanksgiving Day for those who had no family. People had confided that their loneliness was far more intense at Thanksgiving than Christmas. The dinner was a purely volunteer project, although the county was generous enough to allow use of the kitchen and dining room at work. Those of us who were traveling to family on that day brought goodies to leave off. I still remember with pleasure, the warm, happy atmosphere in that dining room as people once more found joy in the holiday. One of the churches in the S-VE area was doing something similar, but of course, not this year. Currently getting ready for snow and cold is a priority. I’ve had to make two spots for feeding the cats, out of sight of each other. We’ve acquired a truly feral cat; I believe it was injured when it decided to camp in our former feeding area. It has an unpleasant yowl, and our long-time outside cats are afraid of it; we’ve dubbed it “Nasty Cat”. Thus, we have two feline dining spots. There are also lined baskets tucked beneath a table by the back door, sheltered from the winds and snows for fairly comfortable sleeping. The woodpeckers are glad that the feeders are once more stocked with suet now that our intrusive bears seem to have gone to wherever they go for the winter. The scarves and mittens have been retrieved from their storage tubs and the boots located. The snow shovel is at hand. Inside the wood stove is ready to add comforting warmth when the winds blow cold. November is always a month of nostalgia for me. It is not only because of Thanksgiving but also, I think, the effect a waning year has. I find myself actually wanting to polish the furniture, wash the cut glass and bring out the linens I happily put away last spring. We “nesters” like change of seasons. We can make things fresh and new four or five times a year and the possibilities make up for the same old-same old that annoys most of us about keeping house. One of the things I try to do is to make the house fragrant. Of course baking bread or cookies is the best way to do that. But in lieu of baking, I try to have candles, reed diffusers and fresh herbal scents instead of industrial cleaning smells. I’ve put together an herbal/vinegar solution for wiping off of counters that includes basil, sage, rosemary and (if I recall correctly) tansy. Helen Keller*** said: “Smell is a potent wizard that transports us across a thousand miles and all the years we have lived.” So the lavender furniture polish, the cinnamon candles and linseed oil all take me right back home to where my mother was baking molasses cookies and painting country tin. And when we put a turkey in the oven and make stuffing, I’ll be able to imagine being at one of those wonderful family gatherings that were such a great part of our lives. As we consider and express our gratitude this Thanksgiving, it might also be a good time to dispense with uncharitable and/or arrogant thoughts about others. I will share an old poem……. “Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase), awoke one night from a deep dream of peace, and saw, within the moonlight of the room, making it rich and like a lily in bloom, an angel writing in a book of gold ----Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold, and to the presence in the room he said: ‘What writest thou?’ The vision rais’d his head, and with a look of all sweet accord, answer’d: ’The names of those who love the Lord.’ ‘And is mine one?’ said Abou. ‘Nay, not so,’ replied the angel. About spoke more low but clearly still and said: ‘I pray thee then, write me as one that loves his fellow men.’ The angel wrote and vanish’d. The next night it came again with a great wakening light, and show’d the names whom love of God had bless’d, and lo! Ben Adhem’s name led all the rest.”**** Happy Thanksgiving! Carol may be reached at: carol42wilde@htva.net. *”Give Thanks With A Grateful Heart” praise song with lyrics by Don Moen. **Gladys Tabor --- American writer who wrote for “Family Circle” magazine and authored 59 books; is most recognized for her “Stillmeadow” books. 1899 - ***Helen Keller--- American author, lecturer and political activist. Is the first blind and deaf person to achieve a BA. 1880-1968. ****”Abou Ben Adam” by Leigh Hunt ---- British critic, essayist, poet and writer. Actual name is James Henry Leigh Hunt. 1784-1859. (And I thought for years that Leigh Hunt was a woman!!)
  12. Heroes Of Yesterday

    Thank you so much Mahatma! I apologize as I only just now saw your comment. If you were in the military, Thank You for your service!
  13. Earlier
  14. Heroes Of Yesterday

    this might be my favorite poem so far Linda! beautiful!
  15. Sounding The Alarm For Volunteer Recruitment

    Part of the problem is people don't actually "live" in their communities any more. They commute to other towns for work, and then when they get home after grocery shopping, taking the kids to whatever activity, etc. there's so little time to meet the more stringent demands a volunteer faces. It's not like the old days when the siren went off and the farmers came and did whatever they could to help. There's mandatory state training, regular department drills, etc. It's a lot of time and dedication.
  16. Mary or Martha...

    I got to thinking one evening while doing dishes after dinner… am I a Mary or a Martha? Or perhaps a little of both? I’ve always been intrigued by the biblical story of Mary and Martha, two sisters, friends of Jesus along with their brother, Lazarus. Luke 10:38-42 describes Jesus’ visit to their home where Mary joined others and sat at His feet, listening to His teaching. But Martha remained in the other room preparing a meal for their guests. While busying herself with all that went into food preparation, her frustration simmered to a boiling point. Life gets so busy and hectic sometimes, doesn’t it? Ever feel like you’re trapped in the kitchen while everyone else is having a great time visiting, talking and laughing? I’ll admit I have! Cooking is not my forte`. I’d much rather be visiting with my guests than in the kitchen. So, I empathize with Martha. There’s so much to do for your guests, and you fret and worry as time presses in. You want everything to be right for them to feel special, loved and appreciated… to give attention to the fine details as you prepare to serve them a delicious meal. Being the oldest of six, having helped care for four younger brothers during my teen years, taking the family laundry in a wagon to the laundromat every week for some time at age 11-12 with my sister in Clifton when our Mom was laid up, plus an every-other-day babysitting job of four children all through high school from 4 p.m. through 1:20 a.m., (alternating evenings with my sister), plus other weekend babysitting jobs, plus caring for my horse and flock of several dozen chickens and ducks, plus working for a lawyer in the afternoons during my senior year of high school and full-time after graduation, contributing a portion of my income to my parents for room and board while also buying my own clothes, fabric to make clothes, paying for my own school supplies and for a car with its upkeep, I’ve always felt responsible for myself, and everyone and everything else. Even my husband and kids will tell you that! To be honest, with Martha being the oldest sibling, perhaps she also carried the weight of responsibility and obligation that Mary may not have felt as strongly. So, as Martha prepared the meal, in frustration and perhaps with a quick temper, she petulantly asked Jesus, “Don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself?” and then even demanded, “Tell her to help me!” On one hand, you’d think that was a valid request – after all, they needed to eat, and Martha did need help. But, on the other hand, I’ve also been appalled at Martha’s nerve for speaking in such a demanding tone to their beloved teacher. And isn’t that how I sometimes think when I’m overwhelmed by life’s demands? Yet, instead of answering sharply, Jesus gently rebuked her for being concerned with these lesser matters, saying, “Martha, Martha. You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” His response to Martha can seem a bit confusing. As I contemplate His words though, I believe Jesus intended that the meal could wait. They didn’t need anything fancy – no abundant buffet or big fuss was necessary. Martha only needed to serve something simple, quick and easy. I believe He wanted Martha to understand the value of the personal time and teaching He was giving to the guests, and to the sisters in their home. In essence, He was reminding them of something He’d taught the crowds in His Sermon on the Mount, “Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink… But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow… (Matthew 6:25, 33, 34a NIV) Priorities mattered then just as much as they do now… in my life… in all our lives. I need to set aside quiet time to think and reflect, to meditate, to pray and listen to what God is trying to say within my heart… and to give Him the weight of responsibility I feel for everything. I need not fret and worry. The Apostle Peter understood how we feel and said it well, “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” (I Peter 5:7 NIV) When I do, it sure seems to help me handle whatever comes my way. It also seems to put life into a clearer perspective so that I can better serve others with a heart of joy instead of stress in the little nuisances of life. Mary or Martha Linda A. Roorda ~ If I were Mary, Or were I but Martha, What would I choose Should a friend come to call? Would I be too busy To welcome my guest, Or would I gaze attentive And at His side be still. ~ But a meal must be served! The depth of discussion I’m too busy to hear There’s so much to be done! Lord, can’t you tell Mary I need her help now! The preparations are great A burden for me alone. ~ Martha, my dear child, Can you not understand? Mary’s gentle spirit Seeks my Word for her soul. There’s a time and a place For the busyness of life With much to be done For those in need of care. ~ And yet there’s a time To come away from it all As you quietly listen And ponder My Word. A word of wisdom I seek, To restore my soul. Lord, show me the path, My steps to trace Yours. ~ Attentive and still To quiet the chaos In the depths of my soul I need You, dear Lord. Your soft voice I hear As I sit at your feet Resting in Your Word The Way for my life. ~~ 09/05/13
  17. Sounding The Alarm For Volunteer Recruitment

    Firemen’s Association of the State of New York President John Farrell said last week, “There has been an alarming decrease in the number of volunteer firefighters in New York State in recent years.” He noted this challenge following the enactment of a new law creating a state-level Volunteer Fire Fighter Recruitment and Retention Task Force. Under the law, which the Senate unanimously approved in July, the state Office of Fire Prevention and Control will guide the task force’s examination of the recruitment and retention challenge. The task force will issue policy recommendations for future action by the Legislature, which should include, in my view, addressing the overbearing training requirements for even the most basic level to be a volunteer firefighter. I look forward to closely monitoring this task force. It will be among the most important work getting underway in state government in 2021. It’s a challenge -- and a potential crisis -- that I’ve long highlighted and joined together with other Upstate legislators to sponsor legislation to address. I wholeheartedly agree on the fundamental importance of our volunteer firefighters, who play a central role in so many communities across the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions. As I’ve said many times before, the challenge of recruiting volunteer firefighters and EMTs, especially in our rural, upstate communities, deserves all of the attention it gets. Keeping our corps of emergency services volunteers strong has to be a statewide priority. Our volunteer fire departments have long been the foundation of public safety and security, and the center of community service and civic pride. It’s a challenge that we need to keep working on and raising awareness about because in addition to public safety, the economic impact of volunteer emergency services to communities is enormous. Nearly 90 percent of New York’s municipalities are protected by volunteer firefighters. According to FASNY, “Volunteer firefighters are most prevalent in smaller, suburban and rural communities that have a lesser tax base than larger towns and cities.” FASNY released an important economic impact study several years ago that remains relevant to this discussion going forward. Among numerous findings, this one was particularly alarming (and not new): it would cost local communities and local property taxpayers statewide more than $3 billion to replace volunteer fire departments with all-paid fire services. In other words, the continued diminishment of volunteer firefighter ranks and volunteer ambulance personnel would be devastating to already overburdened local property taxpayers. I’ll zero in on just one of the findings from the FASNY study, “Tax Savings and Economic Value of Volunteer Firefighters in New York.” Replacing volunteer departments with all-paid squads would result in county property tax increases averaging 26.5% statewide. For regional counties, the increases would be much higher than the statewide average: Chemung (33.8% ), Schuyler (36.1%), Steuben (40.3%), Tioga (48%), Tompkins (45.4%) and Yates (33.8%). New York government faces daunting economic and fiscal obstacles as a result of COVID-19, as well as challenges in our schools, in maintaining local roads and bridges, water infrastructure, and many more. Nevertheless, our long-term focus must include the recruitment and retention of volunteer emergency services personnel. While it’s true that there are factors outside of government’s influence that contribute to declining ranks, there are also actions that government can and should take to help reverse it. Hopefully the new Recruitment and Retention Task Force will jumpstart the Legislature’s movement on necessary actions. Volunteer firefighters make great sacrifices to protect the health, safety, and well-being of lives and property. These fire departments are cornerstones of so many communities. We cannot risk their decline.
  18. My Father's Centennial

    by Kathleen Reed While my own birthday won’t come with any festivities this year, my thoughts are on someone else’s birthday. One very dear to my heart. April 26, 1920. This year would have been my father’s Centennial. Happy Birthday, Daddy! You know how we see toddlers’ eyes widen in awe at the sight of an airplane….as wonder and amazement registers with the realization that there are people flying through the air? I found it fascinating that as a child, my Dad watched adults share in that childlike wonder. And he held onto some of the wonder and amazement through his lifetime. At the age of nine, he witnessed the stock market crash that would plunge the nation into the Great Depression. But he witnessed so much progress in his lifetime (1920-2006) that it makes my head spin. His boyhood home on Hudson Street was lit with gas lamps. His family didn’t get electricity or radio until he was a teenager. As a youth, it was still a big deal when a “talking movie” hit the local theater. The concept of home movies and camcorders were inconceivable back then. Television didn’t come along until he was a grown man, and he saw that evolve into the technology to change channels with a remote control, then record on VHS – and later DVD. Live streaming from your phone to social media across the world would happen a few short years after his passing. He witnessed telephones that didn’t have dials (requiring an operator) evolve into technology that allowed rotary dialing….and later direct dial even for long-distance calls in the late 1950s. By the 1980s, he saw phones without cords…and then they left the house entirely. And a few short years later, cell phones shrunk from shoebox to pocket size. And my adult children scarcely recall a time before smart phones. As he grew into an adult saw many societal change changes – some that caused concern. When he was young, the Bolshevik Revolution that spawned the USSR (after a massacre of Russian royalty and culture) was still practically “current events”. With that in mind, he instilled values of Liberty in us and warned that we “would” see a similar fate in our lifetimes. Having experienced the Great Depression, he’d seen ‘poverty’ in its original definition and was concerned as the word began to include lack of things that he considered comfort and conveniences – rather than necessities. As social programs and government “safety nets” steadily expanded, he worried that growing dependency would inevitably result in widespread loss of independence. Many of the tremendous strides in ‘human evolution’ brought on by the Industrial Revolution were very ‘recent history’ that his parents and had witnessed firsthand. Historical rises in literacy and life expectancy….while destitution and infant mortality declined at record rates. He was perplexed as he watched the “heroes” he’d learned about as a child become regarded as evil capitalists and “robber barons”. Carnegie, Ford, Rockefeller, the “Great Entrepreneurs” of the Industrial Revolution. Railroads and automobiles that created mobility, freedom and opportunity – the likes of which hadn’t been seen since the invention of ocean travel. And using their fortunes to build hospitals, libraries and schools that elevated disadvantaged populations as never before. He was dedicated to finding old books and magazines….and often pointed out when contemporary publications contradicted them. It saddens me that many were lost over the years. Even with some trends that he found unsettling, he remained in wonder at the leaps mankind took in his lifetime. When he taught us to drive in the 1980’s…Dad still considered automatic transmissions to be a “new-fangled” thing that just wasn’t as ‘tried and true’ as standard. But he still marveled that the technology existed. Although he’d always favor his trusty slide rule for calculations, his amazement at our first pocket calculator was clear. I was about eight. As he went on and on about the liquid crystal display and how many things we could soon be doing with a printed circuit board so small, I sort of felt a little guilty that I didn’t understand enough to share in his delight. But there were so many other things that he showed me, that I did share the enthusiasm. The way he showed excitement over everything made him a powerful storyteller and teacher. Whenever he’d have me ‘help’ with a simple household chore it turned into a colorful presentation that may take hours……but usually left me certain that science was magic and my Dad was a wizard. He never wanted or expected me to memorize facts, figures or formulas. He showed me. We wanted me to see it, question it, understand it. And he usually made it seem fun. To this day, I couldn’t tell you which one of Newton’s Laws was applied….but after spending the better part of an afternoon trying to meet Dad’s challenge to make it up a down escalator, I had a better understanding of how motion in opposite directions will counteract one another. And we had ice cream afterward even though the escalator won. He truly appreciated that learning by watching, understanding by doing and teaching by demonstration was how humans evolved. When he was a boy, learning how the world around us works wasn’t necessarily giggles and ice cream. Carrying water in a leaky bucket was learning the ‘hard way’. Understanding the how and the why was the best way to improve things. Lately, I’ve been thinking about how many medical breakthroughs he witnessed, in addition to the technology that fascinated him so much. The Polio outbreak began a few years before he was born. Through the 1940’s when it was paralyzing 35,000 Americans each year, it was for his generation, a tragic fact of life that seemed to have ‘always been. Then it slowed to hundreds, then dozens a year. And for the last few decades of his life, it was gone. He watched a few pandemics make it to the USA, including the “Hong Kong Flu” that took a million lives worldwide, and 100,000 here. And after nearly 30 years of watching the world suffer from HIV, he barely missed seeing a cure developed. I think if he were still here, he’d tell me to be sensible and make good choices….but that this will pass. And he’d probably consider staying home a fantastic opportunity for everyone to spend time learning how everything we take for granted works….and building a greater appreciation for the modern marvels that we rely on every day. And instilling the same in the younger generation. "The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity." –Ellen Parr Kathleen Reed is a resident of Catlin.
  19. Let The Talking Heads Roll

    I don’t believe the talking heads have any idea of what unity truly means. For them unity = power and control.
  20. Let The Talking Heads Roll

    This was the very topic that came to my mind when all the calls for "unity" were being repeated by (some of the same talking heads) in the past week. I have seen/heard pundits on both sides equate the opposing politician as an "existential threat" to the lives and livelihoods of the other side's supporters. Then they use that as a premise to argue that anyone who opposes their side is, by definition, actively and deliberately working to destroy them.
  21. Let The Talking Heads Roll

    No, not them. Let me ask you a question, America. Say you and your friend are discussing sports. You’re a Bills fan, and your friend is a Dolphins fan. You’ve long disagreed over who was the best team. Time and again you’ve discussed this, and are equally entrenched in your position that your team is the best team. You insist that your team’s quarterback is the best, while your friend insists that no, it’s their teams. Neither of you will bend, and these discussions even get heated from time to time. Would you sever ties with your friend over such a disagreement? Of course not, right? Because at the end of the day, it’s really not that influential on your life. And if is, I’d argue your friend isn’t the problem. I ask this because recently a television news talking head, let’s call him “Ron Lime,” announced that he had done exactly that with friends of his that were supporters of Donald Trump. Now, I’m not here to argue politics, so we won’t go down that road. What I will say is it matters little who his friends supported or “Mr. Citrus” does, what matters is that a person would care so little for the people in their life that they would do something like that. “I had to get rid of them, they’re too far gone,” “Citrus” said. “And they have to want to get help, they have to want to know the truth, they have to want to live in reality, they have to want to be responsible not only for other people’s lives but for their lives.” I guess Ron’s proud of himself for doing this, but me, I think it’s not only pathetic, it speaks to his character. Or lack thereof. But that's how the talking heads roll I guess. Perhaps they weren’t really friends to begin with, at least that’s what I think. Because I know I have friends who I disagree with on a wide variety of issues and I can’t imagine being so fragile in my own beliefs, so thin skinned, as to say to them, “Begone from my life, ye peasants who believe not in that which I do.” You’ve got to be kidding me! That doesn’t mean I have to like their beliefs. Hell, I don’t even have to respect their beliefs. Comedian Patton Oswalt said it best when he said, “You’ve gotta respect everyone’s beliefs." No, you don’t. That’s what gets us in trouble. Look, you have to acknowledge everyone’s beliefs, and then you have to reserve the right to go: ‘That is fucking stupid. Are you kidding me?’ I acknowledge that you believe that, that’s great, but I’m not going to respect it.” But, I can also acknowledge that despite whatever my friend thinks, I can still maintain a healthy relationship with that person, for the most part. There’s exceptions of course. If someone wants to act like a raging asshole over what was supposed to be a nice dinner, then I might consider putting them on ice a while. But generally speaking, I can be an adult and respond on a scale of "bovine stare" to, “Have you fallen and hit your head recently?” That people would sever ties with someone over a difference of opinions or who someone voted for is idiotic. To announce it to the world like it’s something to be proud of is taking it to a level i can’t begin to understand. Look, we only get so many days on this side of the dirt. Ask yourself, does much of what goes on inside The Beltway really have a drastic impact your life on a day to day basis? I can't say it does on mine. For the most part I get up, go to work ( well, in a normal year ) come home, and otherwise live my life the same today as I did six years ago. And you know what? It'll probably be the same six years from now. Stop letting the talking heads fill you with fear, anger and more to the point, affecting how you perceive the people in your life. They're not worth it. Hell, none of it is.
  22. Holding The Light

    Our continental travelers have returned home, tired of traveling and full of stories. And Joey has joined them. I’ll miss his warning bark when someone drives in ---- or when a bear comes by, and his focused, soulful gaze when he wants to once more check on what’s outside. More and more leaves are off the trees as November ushers in the last real month of Fall. The larch trees are turning a bronzy-gold before the needles drop. It is time to construct burlap cages around the azaleas. The strange shapes always look rather odd on our front lawn; I’ve thought of putting faces on the burlap. The cages keep the deer from munching the shrubs down to little nubs. As the days turn gray and leaves continue to fall and drift away, I find myself warming toward the idea of semi-hibernation. I did not appreciate the time change this past weekend. I need lots of light. As the day darkens, my energy tends to seep out. And now that my eyesight has become difficult, I need light even more just to see. So if it were up to me, I’d have Daylight Savings time year ‘round. To help cope, I use a “Happy Light” for a couple of hours in the morning. It supposedly fools the brain into believing the Finger Lakes region has sunlight after all. Quite a few people suffer from the SAD* malady. Our brains apparently feel that without sunlight, we should be tucked away for the winter. Energy fails, depression may set in and a person’s mood becomes one with the gloom. So those of us who know we have a problem learn to take mitigating steps. We keep our house lights on even during the day, we use that special light in the morning to simulate the sunshine, we play music that cheers us and we read books that lift our spirits instead of tomes that might drag us down. No matter if your book club thinks a discussion of Greek tragedies would be culturally useful; in November, read something happy. And we try to keep moving ---- activity and new interests help us hold onto inner light for our spirits. November is also a month for gratitude. It has become a custom for some to post a “what I’m grateful for” each day on social media. I find those posts good reminders of the many wonderful things for which I’m grateful. The delights can be as small as a cardinal lighting on the 5-foot tall kale outside my window or as large as family members coming to visit. It can be the setting sun lighting up the maples or one of the cats popping up unexpectedly outside the bathroom window with a “whatcha doin’?” look on his furry face. There are studies that clearly show a correlation between one’s regular acknowledgment of gratitude and a healthier immune system. In this time of flu and Covid our immune systems need all the help they can get. Gratitude is so worth it. The whole western culture emphasizes getting things done; we all have the inevitable TO DO list. What have I accomplished today? How many things can I check off my list? Meditation --- being quiet and sitting ---is often regarded by doers with a skeptical eye. Its good effects can’t be quite as easily translated into statistics, so if it doesn’t compute, we don’t bother with it. But meditation**, in whatever form one uses ---- and there are many ----lowers blood pressure, calms anxiety, helps the immune system, keeps the brain alert, and generally makes life move in better directions. Of course, even if we get past the drive to do-do-do, we may still resist because it is a bit scary to meet quietly with ourselves. But truly, it is a practice that yields immense benefit. Joseph Campbell*** said: “Sacred space and sacred time and something joyous to do is all we need. Almost anything then becomes a continuous and increasing joy.” Kerm and I have changed our homes several times in our years together, and one of the things I’m really grateful for are the friends we’ve made along the way. There are several levels of friendship from the casual let’s work together for a common goal kind, to those who “have your back” and who will be honest with you and can be confidantes and a shoulder to cry on if needed. Friends who know, trust and understand are a gift. Misunderstandings with friends, as with family, can be very painful. And today, in this contentious atmosphere, it is easy to offend people often without knowing. Mending the torn fabric of relationships is not easy. Confronting isn’t a very popular solution, but it is only through thoughtful conversations, that don’t bypass the uncomfortable, that we can achieve understanding. We appreciate the friends we’ve found in our life journey; they are wonderful, caring people and are to be cherished. November is the month when we celebrate Veteran’s Day --- what used to be called Armistice Day at the end of WWI, but those who remember that day of church bells ringing across the continent, are mostly gone from us. War is seldom a good thing, but we’d be who knows where if it were not for those who are willing to defend us when war happens. We have seldom treated our veterans with the care and gratitude that they deserve. I found these verses by Stephen Spender**** to be a reminder: “Born of the sun, they traveled a short while toward the sun, leaving the vivid air signed with their honor.” If we ask young men and women to fight for their country, we should, at the very least, show our gratitude in more helpful ways than our complicated and sometimes ineffective VA hospitals and medical system. I know there are pockets of excellent care in these hospitals, but there are so many stories of red tape so tangled that a vet could die before getting the treatment he/she needs. They deserve to be restored in as whole a way as is possible after they have been sent where their minds and bodies can be painfully torn asunder. PTSD is no joke or imagined malady. Whether from war, abuse, trauma or shock --- it is a condition that needs treatment. And for veterans, at least, we bear a responsibility to see that they get it. Actually the very best thing we can do to show our appreciation is to find some less deadly way than war to solve international differences. I think ---- do I dare say it? ---- our bear family is gone. We haven’t seen them now in three weeks. They really needed to be out of our woods by the onset of deer-hunting season. No one wants to find a bear sitting in his tree stand even though such a scene is quite humorous when shown in a video on Face Book. In reality, it wouldn’t be so funny! And I can just see one of those chubby cubs climbing up to see what he can see. Wooded areas, at this time of year, are good places to be and super places for meditation. The structure of the trees has emerged as the leaves have fallen, becoming a forest art form! Usually there is the sound of woodpeckers de-bugging the trees and squirrels just being squirrels. Almost always, there is a bit of wind making music; the instruments being the twigs and branches --- both bare and evergreen --- through which it blows. There is a decaying leaf fragrance that one only finds at this time of the year. I think many hunters use deer as an excuse to spend some time in the quiet of November woods, away from the daily hustle and bustle. But --- I hope too, that there will opportunities to put venison in the freezer for those who eat this healthy meat. And meanwhile, November is before us, to be experienced and enjoyed. From Dixie Willson*****……. “I like the fall, the mist and all. I like the night-owl’s lonely call --- and wailing sound of wind around. I like the gray November day, and bare, dead boughs that coldly sway against my pane; I like the rain. I like to sit and laugh at it --- and tend my cozy fire a bit. I like the fall --- the mist and all. Carol may be reached at: carol42wilde@htva.net. *SAD---Seasonal Affective Disorder **Meditation ---There are many ways to meditate: Transcendental Meditation, Walking meditation, focus on a Scripture meditation, just sitting in silence meditation, prayer and meditation……………….. ***Joseph Campbell--- American professor at Sarah Lawrence College specializing in comparative mythology and comparative religions. He is best known for his book, “The Hero With A Thousand Faces.” 1904-1987 ****Stephen Spender--- British poet, novelist and essayist whose work concentrated on themes of social injustice and the class struggle. 1909-1995 *****Dixie Willson--- American screen-writer who also wrote children’s books, short stories and poetry. 1890-1974.
  23. Heroes Of Yesterday

    In honor of Veterans' Day this Wednesday, sharing my blog from 2016: Heroes of Yesterday - I’ve read books or stories from virtually every war in which men and women of our nation, including my family and ancestors, have been involved. Their sacrifices have deeply touched my heart as I live a life of freedom, a blessing either limited or unknown to so many elsewhere in this world. Yet, our families have not known a loss in war during this past century. Recently, friends of ours shared some treasured family papers with me. Before the reign of Covid-19, Gene Dougherty would visit my husband, Ed, while I attended an afternoon Bible study with his wife, Lena. The spring of 2016, several boxes of treasures were given to Lena by a relative, mementoes she never knew her mother had kept. They included old photographs and newspaper clippings. What especially touched Lena’s heart were family photos and letters, including from her brother, Glen, who had died in World War II. Lena’s mother, Edna, had saved numerous clippings of the war from a local Binghamton newspaper. Here were reports of a war’s ups and downs, of the efforts of battle-worn troops, of men who paid the ultimate sacrifice, and of soldiers who returned home safely. Also included were touching reports by Ernie Pyle, a reporter embedded with troops in the European theater and later in the South Pacific. Pyle was a beloved reporter in the U.S. and abroad. He had a way with words, evoking an empathy from his readers for the servicemen he wrote about. A reporter who opened his readers’ eyes, he put a personal touch to the effects of war, and to the emotions of hard-won battles for freedom’s sake. I remember him well… no, I did not grow up during the war, but had purchased and read his book, “Brave Men,” as a teen. Perusing through Lena’s papers, I knew I had to take that book off my bookshelf and refresh my memory. Then, as I continued to read through Lena’s papers, thoughts and emotions swirled around and the following poem began taking shape. I have always been grateful to those men and women who have joined the military to protect our freedoms and to gain the same for the oppressed around the world. But to think about each one who has ever gone off to war, to remember them as their family knew and loved them so well… is to contemplate the little child who ran into the loving arms of parents with boundless energy, full of love and joy… the playing and learning he or she did under their wise and watchful eyes… the teen coming to terms with adolescent struggles… the young adult who emerged from military basic training with a new sense of purpose… the seasoned soldier whose loyalty to his or her unit proved a perseverance and bravery they never thought they had… and the final tribute paid to one who gave his or her all that others might live… is to contemplate the heart and soul of each one who left behind a sweetheart or spouse, beloved parents and siblings, and even children… the one forever remembered for a life interrupted, of the great sacrifice made, and of the legacy now carried in the heart and soul of those who have grieved their loss. As we celebrate Veterans’ Day this week, may this simple poem evoke in you a heart of thanks for all who have served, or paid the ultimate sacrifice in any war. Without a willingness to put their lives on the line for the sake of freedom, we would not be enjoying our “…land of the brave and home of the free.” Thank you to each of you who has served in the military, and to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. Heroes of Yesterday Linda A. Roorda Where tyranny reigns evil’s at the helm As the young and free who know only peace With faces brave must enter the fray In the fight for rights we take for granted. ~ Responsibility trains boys into men With troop cohesion, a unit’s tight bond To honor and hold each life in their care For freedom’s defense and the rights of all. ~ Orders to battle and the hell of war The call to arms which tests the mettle For within each heart lies the chance to prove The value of truth to fail or succeed. ~ From red alert to general quarters Emotions run deep in calm before strife Of imminent fight and future yearnings Always thinking, “If I get through…alive…”* ~ The sounds of war above stealth and fear The zing of bullets and bombs that explode Challenges met, overcome with courage Proving capable the common valor. ~ Back home they reflect, living fear and dread Loved ones waiting for word from afar A card or letter received with relief Until the knock comes when time stands still. ~ The letters home that ceased too soon As horrors of war burn deep in the soul Who’ll be the judge at the end of combat What the heart ponders to serve and protect… ~ To gain advantage with success for peace To hold these truths that all may live free To lift the spirit and rebuild from loss As we remember peace has a cost. ~~ 05/04/16 All rights reserved. May not be reproduced without permission of author. ~~ *”Brave Men,” Ernie Pyle, Henry Holt and Company, Inc., 1944, p.5
  24. Who's Walked This Road Beside Us?

    There is One who walked this earth long ago, who shared this life, and who felt the same emotions we do… the One who walks this road beside us still. One who understands our fears and anxieties, telling us to come and bring all our cares to Him, to rest in His peace. I suspect we tend to think of our Lord’s journey on this earth as one which was just as perfect as He was. We have the ability to look backward with Scripture in hand and see that Jesus’ three years of ministry were anything but a life of ease. Though we realize He was fully God, He was also fully human… and maybe we tend to forget that just a little from time to time. I know I do. At the beginning of his ministry, he graciously changed simple water into the best wine for a wedding feast at Cana which He attended with his mother. (see John 2:1-11) But, He also had an intense righteous anger at the money changers in the temple. (see Matthew 21:12-17) Jesus got hungry, yet He taught that man should not live by bread alone. With these very words, he resisted Satan’s temptation in the wilderness. Fasting for 40 days, Jesus was tempted by Satan to throw himself down from the highest point of the temple and let the angels catch him. Satan then offered to give him all the kingdoms of the world if he bowed down and worshiped him. Instead, Jesus trusted in His heavenly Father, and commanded Satan to get away from him, “For it is written: ‘worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” Jesus was being prepared for the demands of His ministry ahead by facing His own human temptations. (see Matthew 4:1-11) Jesus ate with people considered sinners and unworthy by the pious wealthy and religious men of society. He taught small intimate groups and large boisterous crowds. He felt sorry for them in their hunger, and fed them with just five little fish and two loaves of bread… recovering 12 big baskets of leftover crumbs! We can hardly fathom the excitement that must have run through the great crowd of thousands. Did you see that? How can that be? That’s beyond amazing! That’s a miracle! Jesus was the embodiment of love and compassion. He had compassion on those who were ill, and healed them when they came to Him in their faith. He forgave their sins, just as He heard their whispers asking who this man was… for no one but God could do that! I marvel at the awe and respect they felt toward Jesus. They didn’t have Scripture in hand to tell these stories like we do. They witnessed it! He had compassion on a group of ten lepers and healed them. Afterward, only one man returned to thank Jesus for healing him. I’ve always thought the other nine were so ungrateful to accept their healing without one word of thanks. It’s as though they took their healing for granted… like we often do with our own blessings. And I have to ask, where is my heart in response for all God’s done for me? Yet, Jesus was so like us in many ways. He got tired after a long day. He needed to get away from the noisy bustling crowds. He would slip off to a quiet place, away from the pressing urgency of people all around Him as they clamored for more teaching, more miracles. Jesus needed to rest and have quiet time alone with His heavenly Father… just like we do. He needed time to pray, time to meditate, and time for simple rest to refresh His soul. That’s why I enjoy time in my sitting gardens… time to think and pray, to give thanks, and to rest in the beauty of God’s awesome creation around me. Jesus also showed compassion and forgiveness to a woman caught in adultery, an offense punishable by stoning to death. When the men brought her to Him with their accusations, he stooped down to write in the sand. Standing up, He told them that whoever was without sin to cast the first stone. One by one, each of her accusers silently walked away. I’ve always wondered what it was He had written in the sand that confronted each of them… Perhaps, Jesus began writing down their sins, for not one of them, or us, is sin free. Jesus knew the adoration of the crowds. He had awed them with many miracles of healing, but told some not to share their good news with anyone. In every fiber of His being was humility. He did not go about looking for the praise of the people. Yet, how often don’t we hope for praise for something we’ve done. On Palm Sunday, He rode into Jerusalem on the colt of a donkey as the crowd spread their cloaks on the road ahead of him, waving palm branches and praising Him for all He had done. This was the one time He allowed such adulation saying the rocks and stones would cry out if the people didn’t! Yet, Jesus also knew rejection and scorn, mocking and ridicule. His own disciples argued about who should be seated next to Him in His future kingdom. They really didn’t understand what His ministry was all about… not yet, anyway. He knew and heard the accusations swirling around Him. Jesus knew His days were numbered. He knew that the powerful rulers within the Jewish community wanted Him silenced. They believed He was a blasphemer to call himself God. And so, He was sold… stabbed in the back, so to speak, by one of His own disciples, Judas, for a paltry 30 pieces of silver, the price of a slave. Even the night before He was killed, just like we might do, Jesus prayed to God that the agony of what was in front of Him would pass Him by. Yet, He was obedient to His heavenly Father. He understood that the shame He would soon face … the ultimate sacrifice for each one of us and our condemning sins… would all be borne on His shoulders on that cross. It was His ultimate gift to each of us, ours to accept in simple faith, as He welcomes us into His kingdom – our eternal heavenly home. What love… what incomprehensible love! Who’s Walked This Road Beside Us? Linda A. Roorda Who’s walked this road each step beside us? Who knows the way? Who’s been there Himself? Who’s felt our love and adoration? Yet knew the pain, rejection and scorn? ~ Who’s been tempted, tried and tested? Just as we are was He among us. Hungry and weary, needing time alone Away from the crowds, away from demands. ~ Who’s walked among the poor and needy? Who’s shown true love for outcasts of life? Who called the broken to draw from His well, And gave His life for the least of these? ~ Who’s walked with those just clinging to faith With nothing left but a seeking heart? Who gave His words, a beacon of hope To carry forth His light in this world? ~ Who’s walked beside those who are mourning? With tears of sadness, who’s shared in our loss? Who’s eased our pain with comforting peace That we in turn may console sad hearts? ~ Who’s walked beneath humility’s grace To freely carry our burdens of guilt? Who willingly faced mocking and shame That we might know redemption’s mercy? ~ Who’s walked alongside that we might yet share Our hopes and fears in honest release? Who’s cared enough to guide every step With wisdom’s voice when to Him we pray? ~ Who’s held our hands when life overwhelms? Who’s taught us to trust by giving our heart? Who’s picked us up each time we stumble, And lovingly drawn us back to His side? ~ Who’s walked each step so we’d learn from Him? Who’s given of self that we might receive Showers of blessings to meet all our needs That in this bounty His praises we’ll sing? ~ Who’s walked with us and covered our soul? The great I Am who calls each His child! That upon life’s path we’ll safely abide When under His wings, sheltered by His love! ~~ Dec 2014 / Jan 2015 You may share this blogsite, but It may not be reproduced without permission of author. ~~
  25. Our Local Whiskeys

    I would love to come across one of those Lowman whiskey bottles someday!
  26. Our Local Whiskeys

    that was a fun read!
  27. My Father's Centennial

    Thanks to all for the kind reviews. I can’t say that (perhaps during particularly stubborn teenaged years) I wasn’t guilty of rolling my eyes at some of Dad’s assertions that my sisters and I had no idea “how fortunate we were”….but I do feel very fortunate to have had his perspective.
  28. Carrot Cupcakes With Cream-Cheese Frosting

    Yeah right? As if I wasn’t already ballooning up.
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