Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fine Dining at a Diner

Every morning, I bring Mom her breakfast, make sure she takes her medicines, and just check on her in general. This morning, she had this face that told me things weren't quite right, like she didn't feel good. I prodded a little bit to see what I could get out of her. Finally, she said. "I just need to get out of the house for a bit."

This evening we are off to a local spot that used to be a Waffle House. Nothing fancy, just getting out.

This afternoon, on Facebook, I saw this video from Youtube on a letter from aging parents to their children. Some of you will skip over it. If you have aging parents, please watch it. It reminds us of who we are and whose we are on many levels.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Almost, but not

I came home this afternoon and called Mom (even though we live on the same property), and see how her day went and talked about supper. She kept on and on, like something was on her mind and she was beating around the bush.

She finally got around to it. She was feeling sorry for herself because no one wished her a happy birthday.

Her birthday is in two weeks. She was certain it was September 1.

It will be here soon, Mom.

I love you.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Our School is Filled with Loss of a Teacher - Death Comes Too Soon

Today, our school system lost a teacher in a car accident. It happened on the way to work. I did not know her, but know the people who work with her and know her.  Today, hearts are aching in ways that affect the core of our very being.

We were notified by our superintendent of the loss through email. He is new to our system so we are learning about him as he is us. However, his sincerity and caring came through that letter in a way which offered me comfort in knowing he is our leader.

I had the opportunity to talk to a friend this evening who saw the care and love that was shared that day while the family, students and faculty were in shock. I cannot imagine the numbness and tears that flowed that day. But in all of the tragedy, there were people, suffering through their own grief, offering others solace. Holding each other up to make it through the day, making sure the children's needs were attended to, that the school day could continue, offering comfort and security to children and adults.

We don't know why tragedies occur like this. A mother, teacher, and friend to others was taken away too soon and so suddenly. But God's grace was present today in the love that was offered comfort to the distraught. In school. Acts of kindness, prayers of silence, prayers that were spoken, and prayers which have no words, but are prayers of action. We can try all we want to to set boundaries as to where prayer can and can't occur, but God's presence knows no boundaries and the love flowed today for the school and those who loved Nancy so very much.

Praying for the repose of the soul of Nancy. Praying for her family, her students, both present and past, and for her coworkers and friends who have lost someone who made a difference in the world. She will be dearly missed She has entered into the Church Triumphant and light will perpetually shine upon her.

I offer this music that offers me peace and comfort. May those who are mourning the loss of Nancy feel comfort in these beautiful words to beautiful music.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Episcopal Church Welcomes You

A few weeks back, our family packed and headed to the mountains. We were in a place close to an Episcopal church, and the rector was a friend from college (actually met at an All State High School Choral Festival as we were in the Sight Reading Chorus - yeah, nerdom and geekdom, but oh so cool at the same time).

We had the same piano professor, majored in music therapy, and headed on and even shared working at a state hospital together for 6 months together. Anyway, throughout the years and paths have crossed and meandered, but no matter what, when we get together, we pick up where we left off like we have never been apart.

The little historic church in which my friend is rector, is in the heart of a small North Georgia foothills town. So on Sunday of our vacation we visited the church. A little older than the church we are members, it's architecture has a similar feel but it is Greek in style, and is the oldest structure in its diocese. The pews are straightback and were built when we humans were smaller in stature. Interestingly, it remains open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I haven't seen that too much lately, but then again, I don't get around that much checking to see if church doors are open.

It's not often we have an opportunity to attend another church in our tradition, and it's interesting to see what happens - how do folks treat the newcomer? how is worship the same and different?

It's always nice to hear a good sermon given without notes - not sure how one can do it, but she did and did it well.

During the exchange of the peace, the folks sitting behind us made sure they recognized we were newcomers, asking us if we were visiting or new to the area. A quick hello and welcome to the church - just enough that we knew we were welcomed there.

The Eucharist was chanted and with the priest's clear pure voice, with her excellent pitch and certainty, made it worshipful in its beauty. Your musical training has served you well in your ministry as a priest.

As we left, the friendliness of the congregation was heart warming. It was just enough to think, yes, I would attend here, but not overwhelming. Interestingly, I met a complete stranger who actually knew some folks at our home congregation and also had studied music under the same professor as me, during different years (Twilight Zone music please).

Most importantly, we enjoyed the service and felt the warmth and love of a congregation.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Everything Possible

I found this post over at Tiding of Comfort and Joy. It's a lullaby for children of all ages. Thank you for sharing this RevSharon.

This is Roy Bailey singing "Everything Possible"
Words and music by Fred Small, who pastors a Unitarian Universalist church

 Everything Possible

We've cleared off the table, leftovers saved
Washed the dishes and put them away
I've told you a story and tucked you in tight
At the end of your knockabout day

As the moon sets her sails to carry you to sleep
Over the midnight sea
I will sing you a song no one sang to me
May it keep you good company 

Well, you can be anybody you want to be
You can love whomever you will
You can travel any country where your heart leads
And know that I will love you still 
You can live by yourself
You can gather friends around
You can choose one special one
And the only measure of your words and your deeds 
Will be the love you leave behind when you're done

There are girls who grow up strong and bold
There are boys quiet and kind
Some race on ahead, some follow behind
Some go in their own way and time

Some women love women
Some men love men
Some raise children, some never do
You can dream all the days never reaching the end of everything  possible for you.

Don't be rattled by names, by taunts, by games
But seek out spirits true
If you give your friends the best part of yourself
They'll give the same back to you 
(chorus, repeating last two lines for the finish)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I can see just a teeny bit of residual color here. I can't believe my hair is all white on top. Perhaps I should call myself a towhead. Of course you can see the comparison picture.
I feel liberated. I know my white hair makes me look older. I don't feel older because of it.  So there.

Until/If I change my mind, white on top it is.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Summer Project Complete - Salt with some pepper

For the entire summer, I have been working on a project I have been wanting to do for quite some time. But it involved NOT doing something - and everytime I got the gumption to give it a try, it didn't seem to be the right timing. Well, it worked out and I began the journey.

I stopped coloring my hair. The haircut today got it all. I know what my hair looks like now - my hairdresser journeyed along with me and worked to make sure it wasn't too stark a contrast by layering and performing her magic on my hair. She knows I am not one to fuss with my hair so it had to be low maintenance.

It was venturing into unknown territory for a while. I didn't really know what it was going to look like.
So now it is what it is. And I think I like it. White on top - salt and pepper on the sides. I would take a picture tonight, but I think I will wait until daylight.

Eucharist as Revolution

Hat tip to the sidebar at leave it lay where Jesus flang it (what a blog title!)

Any act that provides the Bread of Heaven and the Cup of Salvation for all - and anyone who comes to the table - will always cause at least a stir.When one who has been excluded is the one who presides at that Eucharist, or when the one who has been excluded invites absolutely everyone to the Table to be fed, well, it becomes, in and of itself, the revolutionary act which Jesus intended it to be.

Elizabeth Kaeton, "Telling Secrets" Blog

Monday, August 2, 2010


Today was the first day of teacher planning for the school year. Always filled with anticipation and hope and excitement. I'm 54 years old and I'm still in school - and still learning.

 I walk to sign in....

I see the person in uniform...

My name gets called....

I was afraid of that.

Two pieces of paper served to me.

Sigh... what a way to start the school year.

I'm still learning, right?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Returning Home

Yesterday was our return to home from the mountains.  Six hours in the car is a bit long  - and for my Mom, it was especially long. It was not an easy trip home, with several hitches along the way.  It took its toll on both of us. It was something beyond the control of either of us. Words in the prayer below that speak to me are distress, dignity, peace, willingness to accept help.
For the Aged
Look with mercy, O God our Father,
on all whose increasing years bring them weakness, distress, or isolation.
Provide for them homes of dignity and peace;
give them understanding helpers,
and the willingness to accept help;
and, as their strength diminishes,
increase their faith and their assurance of your love.
This we ask in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Book of Common Prayer
It took me today to recollect myself, so I can only imagine how Mom feels.  Then, as I was going to sleep, Mom fell, and called me to help her to get up. Last night I couldn't do it by myself. I woke up my husband to help me. Then it took me until after 2 to get to sleep. Sometimes this is really hard, but I wouldn't have it any other way. The part that is really hard is that it goes day in and day out and sometimes I don't think I am doing a very good job. The wonderful part is that I feel as I am returning to her all the love she has given me and continues to give me
Some days are really tough.