Saturday Leaps of Faith

The Neighborhood at the Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska is teeming with activity! Homes have loads of fresh mulch or good black dirt dumped in their driveways. Yes, it is a beautiful, calm, sunny day for the first Saturday in April. The day before Easter. As kids we learned this was the day all of the followers of Jesus were on the low-down. They were gathered in groups in rooms with the lights off, windows and doors locked, wondering what they do now. They did not want to meet the same demise Jesus did. Their faith was shaken. They all had doubts, not just Thomas. It had to be the longest 24 hour period in all of their lives.

The nuns sort of told us we should be engaged in prayerful, quiet activity all day. Our mom’s all loved that. Then of course, we had to go to the Saturday evening service at 8 p.m. It lasted a very long time, and often we walked home at 10 p.m. It was safe back then! Of course, we were required to go to the Children’s Mass at 9 a.m. These were the days before Saturday services “fulfilled Sunday’s obligations.” I have to laugh, my Protestant friends say Catholics are the only ones who are concerned about things “counting,” and the world famous 15 minute Mass at St. Mary Magdalene’s Catholic Church in downtown Omaha. Ask us, we’ll tell you.

I’m glad the different religions finally realize God loves us all. Equally. Yes, equally. He doesn’t favor one over the other. Some religions are founded on mistaken ideas, and call for things far outside what God expects from each of us. Find yours and concentrate on how to have spirituality in your life. Be with people who reflect your beliefs. Be accepting, kind, tolerant, inclusive, and stand by your beliefs. It’s about integrity. One of the best things a person can have.

Two years! Wow! This is pretty cool, folks.

In other news, I didn’t realize this was my second anniversary with WordPress! How fun to have this milestone today. It took a leap of faith on my part. I didn’t blog much until that July 5, 2019, when we lost our Roxie. I had to get the distress and grief our of me. It was devastating. Someone entered our yard and left a gate open. There were still fireworks going off, she was scared, and ran into traffic on the highway, two blocks away. Her last minutes had to be full of terror. My book for kids is about her and our grandson, Gavin.

Speaking of a leap of faith; my featured header photo today is a collage of the CD’s I’m listening to today while I work. I’ve not met two of them (or you’d all know about it!), Kevin Costner & Modern West and Bruce Springsteen. I will say I do not agree with Bruce’s politics. He has done a lot of good for people through his career, he had food drives at his concert sites before we heard of them; he chronicled the demise of his hometown, closing factories, etc. He has a song on his “Magic” album called “Leap of Faith.” Give it a listen. I like it.

At any rate, the others are some local singer/songwriters who took their own leaps of faith and put themselves and their original songs out there. Billy McGuigan and Jimmy Weber are two local musicians who we enjoy a lot. They have special chemistry when they perform together, and they are both very dynamic solo or with their bands. Fine, fine musicians we’ve had the pleasure to get to know. They both never cease to amaze me with what they do. Billy has a new solo album, “Together,” it’s doing well. The Babe and I get to see him and his brothers in the band perform this great album in person next Saturday at Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Looking forward to it!

And Jimmy Weber has a friend/road manager/sidekick, “Handsome” Jake Mayer. They are in Nashville, TN this week recording another new album of their original music. The just released one, “Black and Blue Heart,” hits so close to home if you’ve ever been alone. I have. I cannot wait to hear what those two have been up to. Jake is an amazing lyricist. One day, I hope to talk to him about his words as they relate to Jimmy’s amazing music. What those guys do with a guitar and a bunch of words (both carefully chosen), is pure magic. There they are, taking their leap of faith.

Ray Scott is someone I’ve never met, but I did just about see his show one night at Buck’s in Venice, Nebraska. Jimmy Weber opened for him, we saw Jimmy that night, but the Babe wasn’t feeling well. He had a wound vac attached to him and he just couldn’t sit up straight anymore for the evening, so we had to leave. Hopefully next time he’s up this way, we’ll be able to see him live. I’ve purchased a bunch of his CD’s and like his style. His voice is unique, and he just tells it like it is. Check the usual music outlets to listen and purchase. His leap of faith was to do things his way. And he’s a big man, I don’t think anyone questions him much.

Rick Tiger is a singer/songwriter from Louisiana. The Babe and I met him the first time we saw Jimmy Weber perform alone. Jimmy sang first, and Rick followed. We loved him. He has written many songs you’ll recognize, and any more you can relate to. That night, he sang about Coffee & Conversations, which reminded the Babe of waking up at his grandparents farm in South Dakota. Once he walked me through the property and identified where everything used to be. The barn was gone, but the memories of it weren’t. You will be reminded of something in your life if you listen to Rick long enough. And he’s the nicest man you can meet. His wife Joyce is such a kind woman. They are perfect with each other. Blessings abound in their life, and they will tell each other about it. Nice, nice people.

When you’ve spent a little time with people who are so talented, it’s inspiring. They are taking their leaps of faith. And I’m about to take mine, by publishing my first book. I’m excited beyond description. Thanks for being on this journey with me. Thanks for the examples and encouragement, guys! I appreciate it a lot.

Thanks for reading today. Tomorrow is what it’s all about. The renewal of Easter Sunday. I vow to renew habit I need to renew. I vow to exhibit behaviors to make me a better person. More patience. More understanding. More listening. And I’ll continue to love words and stories, whether they’re on the page or in a song. Good music makes me write better. What a motivator music is! What great music to be motivated by. Have a beautiful rest of the day. I’m going to the deck, where we’ll probably stay for the rest of the day. God’s been so good to us. See you tomorrow! #Grateful #Blessed

Booyah Saturday!

Today, I’m naming this Booyah Saturday. Booyah is used to express joy, especially over a well played or victorious moment. Although it pertains to sports, I’m exclaiming it because I just electronically filed our taxes. Woo hoo! Now I can cram all the papers into the appropriate folder and forget about it for another ten months or so. It’s always good to get a refund, too. Yes, it’s a job gathering everything up. In the realm of being grateful, I’m so grateful we have assets and income in retirement. When I think of my grandmothers, they had little to nothing to live on. It had to be terribly hard. Social security isn’t meant to support people, but I’m glad I paid in all those years. We can live decently with that and my pension. Our riches are in our hearts, not in the bank.

Today I’m listening to Bruce Springsteen’s Western Sky. It’s full of good tunes, that has me thinking of the westerns we watched growing up. Of course, Mom was a huge Western fan. But not of John Wayne. Clint Walker, Chuck Connors, Lorne Greene, Richard Boone, and a host of others. I was always fascinated by the dance hall girls, having no clue what their role was in the western towns. Wow. Naive. But it was ok, you know? I just liked their dresses.

This morning I read an internet article about Chuck Connors. It spoke of his cigarette habit of at least 60 cigarettes a day. How many are in a pack? I’ve never smoked, so I really don’t know. Maybe 20? The Babe quit smoking before I met him. Good thing. He also was a very heavy smoker, three packs a day. He could smoke while he was working, as a mechanic. I’m glad he quit right after his father died. We might have had a different outcome had he been such a chain smoker.

It’s fun looking out my studio window to see the houses with kids shooting hoops. They’re getting outside and getting some exercise, good for them. Some houses in my view have changed hands over the past six months. Do you have nicknames for your neighbors if you don’t know their names? We have lived by: “Camper Dude,” “Car Guy,” “Plumber Dude,” “Nails Lady,” “Party House,” and “Fireman.” At our old house, we would sit on the tiny front porch and watch all the families go for a walk at night. They called us, “Porch People.” I loved it.

It is supposed to start raining overnight and possibly snow 1 – 3 inches in Nebraska tomorrow! I hope the Easter Bunny finds your kids and grandkids. I just learned yesterday where the Bunny became involved as a symbol for Easter. Check this out:

At last, this is where the bunny entered into the Easter equation!

I know this social distancing may put a damper on things for big families who congregate. At the same time, it wouldn’t be good to spread anything to the rest of the family. We are not at our peak yet here in Nebraska. We cannot let frustration or boredom undo all of our good efforts thus far. We can do this, people. Keep on. We’ll get there.

The longer we stay in, the more I don’t feel like going out anywhere. I can completely understand how elderly people just end up at home, and get lonely. Although, some personalities need more stimulation and attention than others. The Babe needs to visit with people, or he gets antsy. I would bet some folks who perform are getting antsy not only about their incomes but about performing. That is their life and livelihood. I hope this ends soon for folks like you.

The nurses and doctors are the heroes. The nurses spend much more time with patients than a doctor ever does, and she or he may have a better understanding of a patient’s mental state, social needs, and everyday life than the doctor ever is. Don’t forget the male nurses. My nephew Don, who was married last fall, is a nurse in the Emergency Department in Arizona. I’m sure he could write a book about the cases he’s seen. All within HIPAA regs, of course! Prayers for you, Don, you are doing an excellent job.

I did not make any masks yesterday. I need to have one to venture out on Monday. It’s a wellness check required by Medicare. Woo Hoo. More fun than I should be having, I know, but they will start calling me if I don’t keep up. Thank you for visiting and reading today. Stay safe, Happy Easter, and see you here tomorrow!