THE BIRTHDAY QUEEN AND NUMBERS

GOOD MORNING WORLD

Today is my birthday!  I just checked my facebook page to find a number of birthday greetings (our #1 daughter being the first) and it warmed my heart to see so many people cared to take the time to write a birthday greeting.  I am humbled.

Yesterday the mail contained multiple cards.  Saturdays mail even had two cards from the same person one of which is responsible for the title of this post.  The card simply said “Birthday Queen” with a crown on the front.  Inside it said, “Happy Birthday, Your Royal Wonderfulness.”  Now this sweet person (daughter #2) knows me well!!!  In fact I am wearing my “Queen of Absolutely Everything” shirt today as it is my birthday and I am the Queen of this day in this house today!!!

My boyfriend greeted me first thing with a “Happy Birthday”.  As he left he asked about dinner.  It is only two of us this year and he has scouts tonight so thinking take out Chinese will be on tap – hooray!!!  Otherwise no big deal.  The gift I wanted has arrived and is waiting for unpacking.  A new sewing machine may be nothing to some – for me I am very excited and have projects already lined up to run through the stitches it promises.

Are any of you wondering why the word “Numbers” is in the title?  If you are not that is okay.  The number issue is something I do not know what to do about.  It is just a tantalizing thought that I am about to share.  Perhaps it means real luck.  Perhaps it is simply 2 numbers that worked out this way.  It has been fascinating me since I discovered it.

I googled “what do numbers mean” and the definition popped up of course.  This was followed by “Numbers in the Bible”, “Spiritual meaning of numbers”,  “Repeating and Recurring Numbers” “Angel Numbers” and “Numbers and their Meaning”.  I looked further into the last one and was greeted with the Fibonacci Number and more. This article then started going through every single number to 13 and then did some double digits to 99.  The two numbers I am concerned with were not mentioned.

So here is the most interesting thing about this day and year.  Can someone tell me what it means?

Today I turn 68.  To me that is a great number as psychologically for most of my life I could not envision life after 35 as that is the age my mother died.  Despite having aunts who lived longer this is a real issue in girls who lose their mothers at a young age.  Needless to say I worked through it and moved on.  I was born in 1947.  That is the other number,  47.  So I am dealing with two numbers 68 and 47.

Now here is the punch line.

I was married in 1968 and this year we will celebrate 47 years.  See it?  68 and 47 again.  What are the chances of this happening I wonder?  I am taking it as lucky and a blessing and I WILL buy a lottery ticket today!!!

Off to make my birthday a fun day and may just take the day off and read or watch a movie.  It’s my party and I can do what I want to right???

Thank you to all who sent a card or message via email or facebook.  You are my blessings.

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…

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HAPPY FATHER’S DAY HONEST LES

GOOD MORNING WORLD

This is the first Father’s Day without my father on this earth. He graduated to heaven last November.  While I was rarely with him on Father’s Day, thankfully I was last year.  Other years there was always the call and gift though I have to admit the gift might have arrived late.  My timeliness is a joke in my family.

I have ever been a ‘Daddy’s Girl’.  I was proud of my father.  I wanted him to be proud of me.  I wanted to please him.  For much of my life I used his values as being the measurement for all of my choices.  He was a faith filled man who believed in loving his fellow man.  For years he helped out his best friend who had MS.  There was a team of 4 men who would get Don up out of bed and put him back in bed every day and Daddy was part of this.  He was a camp counselor for teens at our church camp and beloved by the letters I have found since he left us.  As I said in the eulogy, Daddy, like Jimmy Stewart in “It’s a Wonderful Life”,  was the richest man in town if you count the love of his family and friends of which he had many.

In the eulogy I gave, I said that Daddy’s legacy would be written by those who knew him.  It would be different for each and every one of them as well.  A friend of mine remembers him as a neighbor and patriot and took the time when he could to stop and visit.  One of the last times Johnny visited he gave Daddy a coin, they are called “Challenge Coins” I believe.  My father was thrilled with this small gift from one serviceman to another.  Another friend will remember him from the golf course and ever being on it.  And another from having him as a boss.  Another from being in a Bible Study with him.  His pastor remembered him for his being well dressed and chiding Pastor Brown about preaching without wearing a tie.

Today I briefly mourn the lack of a father.  I say briefly as my joy of being his child is so much more prevalent in my heart.

Being who I am and loving my father, as the only constant parent (my mother and step-mother both died) I had, I imagined that when he died I would be bereft. I imagined myself keening like women do in other countries as they wail in that high pitch tone.  I imagined that I would go through a dark depression and barely be able to function let alone live a normal life.  Little or none of that has happened.  My mourning the loss of my father’s being has transcended into the joy of being blessed to have been his daughter.  I am amazed at what is going on with me. I am thankful to God.

Do not get me wrong, Daddy was no saint.  I long since have managed many of my own values and measurements. He was still the best father in the world for me and I think my siblings.  If any negative emotion is stirring in my soul it is the jealousy I have for my siblings having had so much more of his time as they were living in town and I have been away since I was 21.  This emotion rarely comes as I chose my life from the foundation that my father helped create.  He led me to believe I could do anything and go anywhere.  I have and I did.

So on this day I honor the man who gave me the best gift I could ever want – him as my father.  He gave me the gift of learning, the gift of gab, the gift of loving our neighbors, the gift of faith, the gift of loving marriage, the gift of family and ultimately the gift of hope.

The last time I spoke with my father was the Wednesday before he left on Sunday to attend the Big Church.  He had called to ask about a scripture. I told him I thought he was not right and then said let me go to the internet.  While we were chatting I checked the web and in fact his thoughts were spot on.  I was not really surprised. I learned something new again.  Our last words were “I Love you Daddy” followed by an “I love you too”.  Does it get any better than that?

Happy Father’s Day Honest Les!

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…

 

…..AND SHE POURED…AND SHE TRAVELS…

GOOD MORNING WORLD

As we were preparing to sit down for dinner two nights ago our guest started to fill our glasses and I said. “And ‘she’ poured” using her name.  All three in attendance shared the smile and laughter and memories of lost traditions.

Growing up in a small town we were lucky to have a weekly newspaper.  It was filled with all the news of our town and the other three towns on our island.  We had the sports news, the editorials, obituaries and of course each town had their own local columnist that weekly would report on the happenings of our community.

One would find news of relatives who were visiting.  There would be information about local elections.  We would read of our townsfolk going to visit their families elsewhere.  Social events were reported as well as school activities.  I had a short paragraph the year I earned my bicycle.  My mother thought it a great way to let the town people who bought my greeting cards know that I had indeed completed the task and had a new Royal English bicycle.

There, every now and then, would be the news of a social occasion with a note that “Mrs. Jones poured.”  As a kid I thought this very odd to be interested in who pour the liquid refreshments, normally tea or lemonade.  As I grew and began to be schooled in manners and etiquette I learned that it was a grand honor to pour.  We had a great many wealthy people from the cities that would come to our community in the summer and our news then would have more than its share of who poured what. To me it simply sounded like additional work!

Let me enlighten you that it is or was a great honor.  From the article I have referenced (1) you will read below and understand why it is or was important to note them as “pourers” as they are held in high esteem.

It is an honor to be asked to pour tea. The pourer is considered the guardian of the teapot, ‘which implies sterling social graces and profound trust.

I believe much has been lost by the loss of these small practices.  It might not have really been important who pour your cup of tea.  What may have been important was that people cared enough to live with manners and exhibited them regularly.  Perhaps some of this should be passed on in school cafeterias?  It might bleed over into our world and make it a nicer place?

I have to come to and accept that times have changed.  In many ways I have too.  While change is difficult for me and not necessarily good, times changing can be a positive thing and I must accentuate that – ever a goal of mine to live in a positive manner.

Easy to do as I watched our friend, the “pourer” drive off this morning to complete her trek up the East Coast from Florida to Maine.  Alone.  Our aging beautiful friend is 70 and driving herself to visit her family.  A good change for the better I would think.  Unheard of years ago.  Women rarely went anywhere alone let alone drive alone.

I too drive alone all the time and think nothing of it.  I know women in their 70s when I was young would rarely have even contemplated taking off on their own, let alone drive on their own.  Interesting change in thought, society and probably more to the point health.  Change is our only constant I have come to believe.  We either rail against it or go along on our own paths taking the good and leaving the bad.

As I am writing this I am thinking that perhaps we owe some of this to the Feminist Movement though I believe the women of my age would have come to this on their own.  I think we were already dropping some of the norms of our parents group by more of us going off to college rather than stay in our home towns.  It is hard to make a judgment as the 60s spawned much change.

I begrudgingly accept the fact that while I am a feminist, only in that I believe I have a choice in all I do, I was not a marching bra-burner as my Dear Friend who just left to complete her drive today was. She worked outside the home I stayed in it.  She is a great housekeeper and I am a drop it as I want to kind of housekeeper.  I cook and mess up she cooks and cleans as she goes!

I laugh as we are so very different in actions and beliefs.  Yet we rarely stop talking when we are together!  We disagree on lots of things and still find each other’s company enjoyable.  Isn’t that the great stuff of which life is made?

I smile and will go about this day having enjoyed this visit.  We both return to our lives after a brief memory that friendships are what really is important.  Our friendship was born when our boys began kindergarten and a group of mother’s decided we needed to have a ‘coffee group’ which we did every Wednesday for many years.  The fact that our particular friendship has lasted this long I am certain surprises most of the other moms as the two of us would sometimes be at opposite sides of an issue and screaming at each other.  The further fact is that it has and I am glad!

Despite marital changes, logistical changes, philosophical changes we are still friends and I think this small nicety makes my world happier and it will bleed over into my day and month and year.

Friendships make the world a better place to be.  Peg poured!

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…

 

(1)http://www.etiquettescholar.com/dining_etiquette/tea_etiquette.html

THERE IS GOOD NEWS…..MEDIA WHERE ARE YOU?

GOOD MORNING WORLD

Good News?…..we just have to find it.  For some it may take a long time if you read and listen to the negativity and scare news in media of our country.  I decided this morning to address the media so you may stop right here if you choose.

Dear MEDIA or A MEMO to whom it may concern in the world of news:

I believe, I have to believe, the world as a whole is NOT in the dire straits that is portrayed regularly on our news and in our papers.  There are more than one human interests stories in or communities, states and nation.  I can attest to this and will willingly share 48 of my recent hours with you in which to show an example.  Goodness abounds whether you choose to see it or not.

Hour 1.  I awoke.  That in itself is a good thing for me at my age!  It counts as really good news!  I hopped into the waiting car to drive for 4 hours with my boyfriend to a family event.  When we received the invite to this event we were uncertain as to whether we could attend.  After some scheduling and research as to how far it was, we determined we could go.  We kept that date held close so that nothing would interfere with it as we really wanted to celebrate our grand nephew’s accomplishment.  He was to be awarded his Eagle Scout Badge.

For many this may not be a huge deal.  For our family Scouting is a major part of the male activities.  My boyfriend is an Eagle Scout.  As a teen he even went further earning five more merit badges which gave him a bronze palm to attach to his Eagle ribbon.   As a scoutmaster he helped 11 boys, including our son,  reach this pinnacle.  As an adult Scouter, serving on District Boards, he worked to received his Wood Badge beads.  To recognize registered Scouters of exceptional character who have provided distinguished service within a council men are given a Silver Beaver Award and my boyfriend has this as well.  You’ve got to love a man in uniform with all the ribbons!

His oldest brother is also an Eagle Scout as this brother’s son, our nephew, who now is a Scoutmaster.  I had the honor to sit with these three adult men in uniform and their wives to applaud our niece’s oldest son as he received his Eagle with Six – please see that number 6 – of his friends.  That is Seven – 7 -young men – teenagers – who worked diligently over the course of time to move up the ranks, earn 21 merit badges with 10 required, hold leadership roles in their troop, propose and complete a major project for their community.  All of this activity is done while the Scout still attends school, church and participates in other activities along with simply being a teen.  Many of them played sports – soccer and lacrosse.  The Seven were not just scouts they are all Seniors in High School.  Their senior prom had actually been the Friday before this event.  These boys are going to West Point, Cornell, Middlebury College, University of Michigan, UConn and Penn State.  The work it took to become Eagle is over and above the work it took to get into those named schools. It really is a tall order.  SEVEN Boy Scouts from one troop were honored on Sunday.

MEDIA – where were you?

I sat there in awe of the Seven Scouts.  Seven teens who had been friends for a long time.   Each one of them was given a chance to speak over the course of the ceremony to share what this award meant to them.  They also took a time to honor a mentor that had helped them on the way.  The mentors were, in our nephews case and one other Scout, their Grandfathers as well as former Scoutmasters, fathers and men of the community.   Each time one of the Seven rose to speak I waited and in each case I was rewarded with a well spoken young man.  One Scout even spoke clearly with clarity and compassion and no notes! It was astonishing to see in comparison to what the news tells us of teens in our country.  Here were Seven who were excelling not dropping out.  The local papers had been notified of this event.

MEDIA – where were you?

These young men – still teenagers and again I say all seniors – I believe represent what our country is all about.  I believe I saw the real America standing in front of me.  Despite what we see daily in and on the news, all teens are not drug or sex obsessed or as violent as they are portrayed.  I believe that 90% of our country have hometowns filled with young men and women full of honor and pride.  We simply do not hear about it. Later  I asked our grand nephew if they had made a pact to do this all together.  We have all heard of other less positive pacts in the media of late. The answer was it was not official yet they all wanted it to happen together.

MEDIA – where are you? 

We have another Eagle Scout, the son of my boyfriends other brother in our family.  There are three more nephews on the trail and will make Eagle in the coming years.  That will make 10 Eagle Scouts in for our family.  This may not be unheard of and yet I think it is quite a testament to this program.  I note also it is a testament to the men I am related to through my marriage.  I can say that with no bias being an in-law!  Well maybe a little bias.

MEDIA –  where are you with all this good news?

Missing in action is where the MEDIA lives today.  Or surely focused elsewhere not accentuating the positive.

The next 24 hours of this period of time was in pursuit of a long awaited dream to augment retirement. We took the day off to look for recreational vehicles.  I will not go into the litany of this pursuit other than to say it is ongoing.

Hour 1 again was awaking and grateful to be doing so as we said with our morning prayer!  Off we went to the back roads of Pennsylvania.  If you have never, I hope one day you can.  This state is covered in the very out outskirts of Philadelphia with fields of green and hills covered with farms of all shapes and sizes.  Much of it is inhabited by the Amish as I have written before.  Their way of life is simple and leaves me longing to be a part of it until I understand the lack of conveniences and accept that ultimately I am a lazy woman!

We were waited on by people who were pleasant and wanting to help.  One man, we discovered, had common ties with both of us growing up in New England and having parents who retired to upstate NY and my husband’s hometown.  “Small world” is ever the phrase we use at these times.  As we ordered lunch the gal waiting on us shared that she was from Farmington, Maine.  We told her of our most recent trip through there on route 2 to which she said, “You drove right by my parents house.”  “Small world”.  These were nice folks earning a living and being kind to their customers.  Good news? Maybe not earth shattering yet I believe there are more of these than the foul mouth persons in news stories on our screens each night.

As we continued our day and the rain came, the conversation invariably drifted back to the information we are fed on a regular basis that is negative and filled with despair and violence.  It was hard for us to even turn on the TV to see the news when we got home after these delightful 48 hrs without it.  We knew what we would hear and were not disappointed.  Death, destruction, poison politics and more.  I am certain that there are really good stories out in our nation’s countryside.  It would surely be nice to hear more of them.

MEDIA – where are you?

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…