Christmas Spirit

Today, I finally feel like Christmas. We’re going to hold onto this change of spirit. And it has nothing to do with gifts, cookies, food, decorations, etc. It has to do with how we feel inside. Duh!

Once we learn to accept our lives exactly as they are at each moment, we can be truly happy. Gone is the self-judgment, the feelings you’re not quite enough, the feelings that you should do more. If we’re not able to do more, we need to stop judging ourselves. I’ll admit it, being disabled for the past 22 years can have a negative effect even on me all these years later. Yes, as positive as I try to e, some days, it gets me. Often, while adjusting to colder weather, new things hurt that didn’t a year ago. It’s how chronic pain works.

As your condition gets worse, you beat yourself up, you feel worthless, you can be angry for not being able to do what you could not so long ago. For instance, even when there were only two of us on Thanksgiving, I learned the hard way, I need much more help cooking a big meal than I think I do.

The Babe is great; he has always been willing and able to jump in and do what needs to be done. My ego still denies I need help. No more. I’ve reached an age and degree of wisdom (?) where I have to accept the reality of my life. Since I’ve been independent (sometimes too much for my own good), I have to learn to back off, for my own good. Humans just don’t want to give up. Some of us are tougher students than others.

No matter how much we want things (and our bodies, health, and spirits) to be as they always, sometimes, that is not possible. How can I not know that and integrate it into my life? Logically, I know. It makes sense. But when those emotions get involved, logic can go out the window. I can do logic, emotions are another issue. No matter how smart we are, no matter how smart we think we are, we all have more to learn. Me included.

I have felt a dramatic shift in how I feel about all aspects of our life. The weekend we just had was one of the best in memory. It had to do with good friends, good family, good new opportunities, and releasing the bonds of the past. When we need to step back from situations, people, and things which no longer serve our lives, there is definitely a loss. There is grieving involved. There are feelings that need to be dealt with, like it or not.

Wow. I had a great finish to this, but due to the fact technology isn’t infallible, WordPress didn’t save the big finish. Oh boy. Nothing for the last one and a half hours. Another lesson in humility. Anyhow, we will persist thinking in a positive, grateful matter. Christmas will be good. Stay focused in being present for Christmas, not focused on presents.

The Babe had a head start volunteering this morning, delivering and picking up to help other’s Christmas merry. It’s good for the soul. I’m decorating the tree, finishing laundry for the week, and making merry where I can. Have a wonderful day, and learn to be grateful, accepting, and kind. ‘Tis the season. See you tomorrow.

Goodreads 2022-2023

I should be on target to finish the 24 books I thought I would this year. Two books a month isn’t bad, next year, I’ll try 36 books and see if I can keep up. Time will tell. How about you? Have you joined or have another way to keep track of what you’ve read?

I am so ready to be finished with RSV. The wheezing I can hear while I’m trying to go to sleep is keeping me awake. No kidding. I need quiet. I’m having a hard time. The Babe can hear me clear across the room, for Pete’s sake! Can you imagine? I still don’t feel that good, and was still woozy today. Hope it’s over because I’m “over it.” I probably sound like Darth Vader.

This week we have to get the Christmas tree out. I have two 9 foot trees, one with lights, one without. We’ll use the prelit one to save some time. Next year, hope to do my own lights, much, much sooner. Like Black Friday. No more late decorating, getting started, and being in a hurry. Yes, next year.

How many times do we all say this? This year will be different. Our business, our diet, our continuing education, it should all be better next year. But will we? I hope so. As soon as Darth Vader leaves our home. It will all be better.

Christmas is hard, it’s hard for many of us. Two parent families and single parents, aging parents and young parents. We all have things to deal with. And we will deal with them the best we can. It’s all we can do. We’ll be stronger next time. Have a beautiful evening as you ponder your first move of the week. We’ll see each other tomorrow.

Sunless Weekend/Holiday Season?

Mom has a terrible time on days the sun isn’t out. Maybe it’s a good thing she has a multitude of Christmas trees lit in various rooms of her house. It is difficult if it’s dark and foreboding day after day when you’re nearly blind and housebound. Usually on weekends she has lots of company so those two days go pretty well for her. I have no idea how long I’ll have RSV and be contagious, and I guess I’ll stay away from her for another week to be sure. I have a couple appointments during the week coming up, but I’ll wear a mask.

Yesterday, I stayed in pajamas after showering. What’s the use, you know? I suppose I’m lucky we don’t make a huge deal about Christmas. The Babe doesn’t like it at all. His earliest memories aren’t good ones and they just seemed to get worse through the years. He tells me he was always aware his folks struggled financially (so many did during those years), and he knew they didn’t have the money for extras that Christmas brings.

Later, as a veteran and young father, times were always tough. It didn’t help with his growing need of alcohol to kill the PTSD thoughts and memories. Most young veterans from Vietnam didn’t know what was going on in their heads much less know how to deal with it. The generation before drowned their troubled thoughts. It was the thing that was done.

After divorce, being alone at Christmas was the norm, and he couldn’t wait for it to be over. I felt that way a lot, too. I had the kids, but no one for me in my life. I’m grateful we found each other, because Christmas is more special. It’s still hard, because Dad died before Christmas, Mom’s father died on Christmas Eve, and that’s not a good memory. There are many people who have a different story of how hard the season can be.

Losing a spouse makes a holiday hard, being unable to provide for your family’s basic needs makes a holiday extra hard; and PTSD can make life hard, much less holidays. When you’d rather be left alone, when the memories are too hard and the shadows plague your thoughts, holidays are hard. If you’re having troubles with depression right now, reach out to your local pastor, a trusted friend, or give the folks at the Centering Corporation in Omaha a call. They have a bunch of resources for grief and especially holiday grief. I highly recommend them.

As we enter days of gatherings, parties, celebrations and fun of all kinds, look around the rooms you’re in; notice who keeps to themselves, who seems sad, and especially who isn’t there. Call them. Let them know they’re important. Find out how they’re feeling. Be prepared to listen. They need to tell their story. They need to share their grief. Let them share with you. You’ll feel better by including them, they’ll feel better not only with inclusion, but knowing someone cares. We all need that. It’s a gift that keeps giving.

Look around today. Observe. Include. Have a good weekend and know we’ll see each other tomorrow.

Merry Christmas!

(Written Christmas Eve)

It’s been a beautiful day. We baked cookies and Croatian Nut Bread, went out for lunch, and attended a church service this afternoon. It was a new church for us and it was beautiful. The music was wonderful, the crowd, the people. I had some pretty emotional moments to some of the music. Silent Night has always been a favorite, and the words were so moving today.

I’ve been on a personal journey this year to overcome something in life that isn’t of my doing, but I suffer for it. I suffer terribly. I chose to put that pain into volunteering to work with groups who help Veterans. I’ve suggested things that fit with the VFW philosophy of working to help Veterans. It’s been very rewarding work, and it’s helped re-shape my outlook. I’ve given my pain to God; He’s the only one who can help change the situation. I’m powerless.

I sat next to a young boy. He gradually relaxed and seemed to be quite moved by the service. In the end, he and his cousins went to the stage area and dedicated his life to Jesus. He wanted more information. He was moved to tears over and over again. He’s been on my mind ever since we sat by each other. The Babe and I joined the group who expressed interest in learning more and being more active in life with a church. The boy, and his cousins embraced us as well. I probably will never know about this young man or his life or his pain; what I can do is pray for him. I feel that’s the best thing to do for him and my concern for him.

Faith is the center of my life. I can encounter people and pray for their well being. It takes being aware of our surroundings. It takes recognizing a feeling when you see someone and how they are behaving. God is heightening my senses and awareness at this time in my life. I can feel it. It’s led me to writing, it’s led me to volunteering, and it’s led me to find Church again. The one we attended today may or may not be the one we choose to stay with, but it’s a start. I’ve missed Church terribly. I believe we’ve been working towards this for awhile. The fact that the Babe led the way to the altar is a Christmas gift like one I’ve not received before.

There has been a similar one. The Christmas Eve of 1997, the Babe came to my house, walked in with some groceries and a vase of flowers. My hand touched something metal. He whispered something to me. I didn’t hear, and followed him to the kitchen. I looked at the vase. There was an engagement ring! He asked me, “Will you be my wife?” I told him, “I’d be proud to be your wife.” I still am.

We’ve done a lot in these past 24 plus years. Grown a lot. Changed a lot. Become closer. Become stronger, both as individuals and as a couple. I am so grateful. God really knew who would be best for me in so many ways. A far cry from that devastated little girl whose grandfather died on Christmas Eve all those years ago. A far cry from that 34 year old mom of a 15 year old who told her she shouldn’t have to be alone on Christmas Eve, when we ate at McDonalds.

I commit to praying for that young man I met at Church today. I’ll pray he gets answers to his prayers. I’ll pray his pain is resolved. I’ll pray he heals and has a blessed life. It’s part of living on this earth. And I hope his life is wonderful. Mine certainly is.

Enjoy this day that celebrates Jesus coming to save us. Enjoy this day that celebrates family, hope, faith, and love. I hope your day is beautiful. And we will see each other tomorrow.

Christmas Eve 2021

Today is another opportunity to have a beautiful Christmas Eve. It is a chance to share beautiful memories, release bad memories, and recognize how we get to choose how the next two days are. There are good and bad memories in everyone’s past. The love that got away. The love that stayed. While I was divorced, this time of year was always hard. I thought the only joy there was at Christmas was in a relationship. Wrong! I went through the motions, and did a lot for the kids, and they were happy, so I was happy about them. My thinking was clouded; I was always glad when it was January 2.

I’m here to tell you a lot has changed. My family looks totally different. There is a wonderful partner for me. There are grandchildren. There are close friends. The change had to take place in my heart. I had to put the bad past Christmases away. Yes, they happened. They are now left in the past.

As a child, Mom really made great Christmases for us. She was a decorating nut (still is), and she put a lot into the gift giving. I’ll always remember when I got my Barbie doll. I was 11, I think. Mom sewed a huge wardrobe for Barbie. Grandma Bobell got involved by knitting some very beautiful outfits. One was purple and green (the dress was awesome!); it had a hobo-styled purse that was purple. My brother turned the purse upside down, plopped in on Barbie’s head, and said, “This thing looks like a football helmet!” So much for fashion sense. It is a great memory.

The next year was not a good Christmas. It haunted us for years. We didn’t go to Grandma’s that year, but got a phone call between 5:30 and 6:00 p.m. Grandpa is gone. Died. Massive heart attack. It was never the same. Not for a lot of years. Grandma had no idea Grandpa was being treated for angina. That day, in a hurry to get home after work, he left his Nitro pills in his locker at work. End of story.

Christmas Eve with my first in-laws was fun. The kids ripped through wrapping paper, were loud, happy, and Josephine put her heart into a beautiful experience for her family. It was finally happy again. The year I filed for divorce, I waited until after Christmas to file. Didn’t want to ruin it for the kids. A few years later, I had the best Christmas Eve ever. My sixteen year old son didn’t want to go with his dad. He said he wanted to stay with me instead. We had dinner at McDonald’s; we had one of the deepest conversations we’ve ever had. It is one of the best in memory.

In 2014, it wasn’t a great Christmas season. The Babe wasn’t feeling well after being ill all summer and fall with Chikengunya. He contracted it while we were in Puerto Rico. Danged Mosquito! At any rate, he felt lousy for months. It appeared he also was having heart issues. He ended up needing a quadruple bypass. A few days before Christmas, we were at Bergan Mercy Hospital, him in Cardiac ICU, grumpier than hell. Tracy and TJ, along with the kids, came on Christmas Day, bearing trays of food from the Cafeteria, and we had a turkey dinner together. I love that girl. She makes the best of every situation. She’s like a daughter to me.

As the nurses commented how sad it was we were in the hospital, I said, “I’m just glad we’re on this side of the street.” They stopped a minute. Across the street was the cemetery. I could see the area my Grandpa is buried in. Grandma is there, and my dad is too. I prayed to them, as angels of hope, love, and peace. It was meant to be that we were on that side of the street. I was grateful. So grateful. Still am.

Again this Christmas, we’re spending Christmas Day with a lifelong friend of the Babe, and one daughter, son-in-law, and grandkids. It will be a day filled with love, great food, and stories. A good time will be had by all.

I’m off to finish baking cookies, and making the wonderful nut bread. I have to go boxes to prepare for our neighbors. This is going to be a day of sharing and caring. It will be a wonderful Christmas. I will make it that way. Be positive. After all; it’s my blood type! Take care. Happy Christmas Eve. See you tomorrow!

Just a Few More Wake Ups!

Who among us doesn’t remember the excitement we would have before Christmas? Those last few nights of knowing it was only so many more days until we could wake up and see what Santa left for us? We didn’t get a ton of things, but it was thrilling to wait at the top of the stairs, waiting for everyone to go to the bathroom and wash their hands. It was unnerving! Hurry up! Let’s go! We’d run downstairs, and all sit in a spot.

Dad always had on a nice pair of dress pants, and a white shirt and tie. He worked all night the evening before; he went to Mass on the way home. He helped Mom finish up the display Santa left, and he’d sit patiently while we were opening gifts, one at a time, in order of the circle. The littlest kid went first, then the oldest, then Mom and Dad. Then youngest kid again. Once that was all finished, Dad would go upstairs to go to sleep for a few hours. Mom would be cooking, we’d play, walk to Mass at St. Bridget’s, and be quiet so Dad could sleep. Dad would get up by about 2 or 3, we’d eat dinner (always another turkey), have dessert, and Dad got his thermos of coffee ready for work again that night. Then he’d leave for work again.

Although our Christmas didn’t resemble anyone’s we knew, it was normal to us. We’re all very different today, Mom still decorates like crazy, I do a little more sanely, and cookies for neighbors and friends are always in order. This year, I’m baking tomorrow and the next day, I believe. It doesn’t have to rival Mom’s record of 165 dozen (Yes, I said DOZEN!) cookies, because it means love, no matter the quantity. Our nice neighbors will get some delivered by the Babe!


My conundrum of the last couple days is solved. I told you about receiving an envelope in the mail Friday. Well, read the backstory here and here, too. (Three days blogs here; Friday, Saturday, and Sunday). Now you’re up to date. Until later last evening.

Enter my only girl cousin on the Jewell side of the family: Jilla Jewell Arthur. Jilla and her husband David retired to Minnesota to be nearer their kids and grandkids. These two were teachers in the Omaha Public School System, and are encouraging my writing. Thanks, guys! Anyway, Jilla sent a note telling me it was her who sent the calendar. She recalled a blog where I talked about Dad’s business, and I was so tickled! I knew it had to be from a family member; she was one of the remaining suspects, and bless her heart. She fessed up, and here we are! I knew my most excellent investigative questions and observations would force a confession from someone. HA!

It was such a sweet thing to do during this season of love. My adult cousins on both sides of the family are such good people. I’m so lucky to have them all, they’re all different and all talented, loving people. My brothers and I come from good stock! Thanks, Jilla!

What did I do today? Decorated some more. It takes me a lot longer, but here we are. A bunch of shots to give you a feel for Raabe Ranch, decking the halls, 2021.

I’ve shared this Christmas struggle I’ve dealt with this year to heal myself. I know I’m not the only person who has them. But I also have remembered the joys I’ve had on Christmases past, and shared with you many of those memories by picturing the ornaments and my feelings as I’ve decorated the tree this year. It’s helped me heal. Maybe it’s helped you or at least encouraged you to enjoy your decorations this year; or baking a certain cookie. It can even be purchased baked goods. It doesn’t matter, home made or not. It’s still a Christmas memory. Please, salvage your good memories this year. They help you get through the special days. You may feel better after you remember the memories and vow to make new ones this year. And next year.

The new door wreath is from the Pioneer Woman Collection at Walmart. This is a perfect wreath for us; I have a collection of her dishes, glassware, and I’ve named our large lot “Raabe Ranch.” It speaks loudly of my present life; the life with the Babe; our wonderful present and future. That’s where we all need to look. Our present. Our future. It will be as good as we make it. Have a sparkly evening. And I’ll see you tomorrow. Be careful out there!

Saturday and Sunday! WOW!

What a great day Saturday! I shared a table at the Holiday Market at the VFW Post 2503 with info for Guitars for Vets. I purchased a supply of Nebraska Writers Guilds 5th Anthologies to sell. I made just a couple dollars on each sale, but I got a real kick out of doing it. We were warned the price would increase by December 11. When I purchased my 24 books, they were $12.99 each. I just checked Amazon, and the price increased to $18.99. I’ve sold eleven books already, and am so excited. Here’s a link to Amazon, in case you’d like to order directly from them.

Sunday, I had another occasion to spend with some cousins and their families at a baby shower. My cousins are expecting their first grandchild in February, 2022. What a happy, happy event in their near future. The whole family is Gaga over the little miss already. As it should be. I cannot wait to see photos and to hold her. Until then, what a fun time. And the cookies here reflect the baby woodland nursery theme. Simply adorable!

Cuteness Overload!

As I’m writing this early Monday morning, I’m saddened by the devastation in Illinois, Kentucky, and other places with the deadly tornadoes. Those poor people. Events like this show the absolute power nature has to turn our lives upside down while others are unaffected during the same moments. When we live our lives unscathed, we know there, but by the grace of God, go I. It could be any of us, it could happen at any time.

This is the true test of a positive person. First, it’s important to be grateful for our daily good fortune. Some may question, “How can God allow things like this to happen?” I have no answer for that. I am a mere mortal, and have no right to question God, nor try to understand His way. Perhaps it’s a test for the rest of us, to see how generous we can be in helping rebuild these communities, to see how much we can pray, see how we react and treat each other. This season of love, we need to be more and do more in the true spirit of giving, presence, and attitude.

A meme I saw the other day was perfect: “The First Christmas wasn’t perfect; what makes us think ours should be.” Don’t let Pinterest make you feel less; don’t let Social Media make you feel as if you should do more tablescapes and backyard harvest creations. No, your toddlers don’t care. Your teenagers don’t care. Don’t be pressured into thinking there is success in these excesses. Your spouses would rather have you feeling calm and collected than decorated to the hilt. Makes you reevaluate, doesn’t it?

Blood donations, searching and rescuing for family pets, feeding people where they shelter in place, it all matters. It all helps. I know as we speak, there are Church Quilt groups who are cutting, layering, and sewing or tying quilts to give to people who have lost everything. There are Red Cross groups all over the nation, collecting blood, blankets, money, clothing, and water.

Maybe acquire a few less things for storage through the years and use annually. Do we need all that? Probably not. Sometimes we need to struggle with the sentiment and see if these things make sense anymore. Many of my decorations were acquired over the years. Some make me happy with the memories. I’ll keep them for a bit. Not forever. The Babe is all for getting rid of everything. He’s not a fan of Christmas. I am, but have struggled over the past few years.

For all this man has done for me and taught me about love, he made me understand I overdid with gifts and my kids. And him. Now, we only do gifts for the grandkids. We truly can buy anything we want during the year. It would be nice to have a gift to open, but it’s really about what’s in your heart. It’s about the love of the Christ child and God’s love for us. Don’t lose that focus. It’s easy to, but He’s always there. If it’s hard to find Him in our lives, it’s because we’re not focused on Him.

As you work through the days we have left before Christmas, keep in mind what we are here for. Don’t let the News cycles concentrating on disasters and negativity keep you down and make you stay there. Do something positive to help the folks who are less fortunate and have come upon hard times. It happens for all of us at some times. We need to remain positive. It’s the only way to keep sane.

It’s true people never speak from their deathbeds they wish they could have worked more. A friend of ours is in town to help bury his son, who passed this week, possibly from COVID. So very sad. Young and healthy, life on track, and just had a baby and plans for marriage. Our heart goes out to them all. Life is way too short. See you tomorrow.

Thriving Thursday!

Just about the time we think we have life all figured out, God throws us a curve. Is He just messing with us? Is He offering us a challenge to keep us humble? Or is it a reminder of from whence we came?

I remember from whence I came. It was from a working class, blue collar family. Probably low to mid range income (that doesn’t matter), but I specifically remember many lessons about our effort. It didn’t matter if it was a coloring session with Mom at the dining room table while my brother was at kindergarten, or a lesson from Dad about not accepting a sub-standard science product with an obvious mistake covered by white-out. I struggled with that science project.

It was a great idea. I traced the skeleton of the human body on newsprint. We always had newsprint around for drawing, since Dad worked at the newspaper in the pressroom. When the rolls of paper ran out, they could take the scraps and use for scrap paper at work or at home. I covered a piece of cardboard and made a bootleg easel for my display. Each different kind of bone was outlined with yarn held down by glue. I was a mastermind of creativity!

I was nearly finished, and the ink I was using to make notations of the type of bones left a horrible blob on the paper. Foiled again! Dangit! My fifth grade mind told me, “Go ahead, use white out. It’ll be fine.” Of course, bright white on newsprint to cover an ink blob looks horrible. All that work! No! All Dad said when I proudly showed him was, “You’d better do it over again.”

“What? No. It took so long, I can’t!” I pouted. I wasn’t about to sit there for three hours again. Guess again. Deep down, I knew he was right. Dad was always right. I knew I could do better. It didn’t sit right in my young mind to turn in less than my best work. After dinner, I sat down at the dining room table, while my brothers watched television in the living room, and I re-constructed my masterpiece.

It truly was magnificent, the second time around. It was something I was immensely proud of. I used different colored yarn around each type of bone. The teachers praised me. Dad never said anything more than, “That’s more like it.” Those few words went a long way in teaching me something that has stuck with me for a lifetime. I kept that project until I was well into my 40s. I finally threw it away after telling my kids the story of what it meant to me. I can picture it in my mind, perfectly.

Competing with others isn’t something I’ve done well. Booker T Washington says:

Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.

Measuring success by how we rank with others is necessary in academic world, the work world, and sports. In terms of individuals who are finding and living their own truth, it’s detrimental. We need to only look inside to determine our worth. We don’t have the same abilities, interests, background and experience. How can we compare ourselves to each other? We can’t.

We should be our own heroes. We all know how much effort it takes us to achieve something. Even more when we do it again to do it better, just to satisfy our own feeling of doing our best. It has taken me far in life. When I think of the painfully shy person with no confidence who I was, compared to the extrovert, who loves meeting new people, who is eager to learn from every encounter, and the value I place on relationships, I don’t recognize her.

With encouragement, love, and kindness, I’ve begun to measure my success by the effort and desire I put into the projects I’m working on; whether it’s a quilt or a book or a fundraiser, my heart is in everything I do. I can only feel the satisfaction in my soul upon putting in the work, and doing my best for that day. Thanks, Dad. You taught me well.

Thank you for reading today. Do your best, whatever you do today. I’ll be assembling the Christmas tree, and putting the new Christmas quilt (I bought it – couldn’t make one in time, so I accepted that fact and purchased a cute one) on the bed.

Do the best job you can in your life today. We can have a deep sense of satisfaction for doing it well. It’s a great feeling to have. Don’t stress over your holiday to-do list. If you do, someone has stolen your joy. Let this day be your best. You’ll know when you feel it in your heart. Have a beautiful day, and I’ll see you tomorrow.

Three Days Before!

This day marks three days out from Christmas. As happens frequently in the Midwest, the State of Nebraska is smack dab in the middle of a Winter Storm Warning. We don’t have an enormous amount of snow coming, but the winds are producing blizzard conditions. A small amount of snow can move into deep drifts because of the winds. What a treat!

I’m not caring too much about all of this – we don’t need to go anywhere later. We were gathering for a friend’s birthday later, but I’m thinking they will cancel it. We live twenty-five miles from the Post, which is where the gathering will be. It may be much worse here than there, too.

The song I’ve chosen for today is a favorite. “Silent Night,” by Jackie Evancho. This little girl has grown up and is still singing; she is amazing. This recording is from when she was younger. Silent Night is another song that takes me back to Midnight Mass. I think especially of our dad when I hear it. For over thirty years now, he’s gone, and while I don’t dwell, I miss him at Christmas and on the New Year, his birthday. Enjoy this angelic voice and remember good things. We may not gather this year, but we can call, Zoom, Skype, and many other wonders of technology. It won’t be that hard. It’s a sacrifice, but it will be worth it a year from now.

Carol Gino’s Book, The Nurse’s Story and My Notes for the Next Two Blogs!

The book “The Nurse’s Story,” by my friend Carol Gino is the most fascinating account of nursing I’ve read. She tells her own story with experiences with patients she cared for – and lost – over the years. Many girls I went to high school with became nurses; I wish I could have become one, too. Money was a big issue back then, and my timid personality didn’t help. I didn’t want to ask my folks to pay for it, and I didn’t know how I could get the money. Heck, I didn’t drive or anything.

Nursing has changed in the last forty years, and I would bet this lady lobbied for a lot of the changes. A nurse is the true caregiver in a hospital setting, they observe the patients during their best and worst times, and she ought to have some input into their care, and ought to have respect for what they do. My dad always said, “Nurses never get enough respect.” He worked closely with nurses in the MASH unit in Korea and in Europe, boots on the ground.

Doctors (now, a hospitalist, who doesn’t know you) plot your care out and visit. It’s rare for your regular doctor to care for you in a hospital. Yes, surgeons, cardiologists and oncologists are more hands-on doctors, but those are the exceptions.

This book is amazing, and I want to finish it over the next few days. I highly suggest it if you enjoy reading medical-based stories. And it’s real. Those are the best stories. Thank you, Carol Gino, for a beautiful book!

The wind is so harsh today, I can’t help but think of the homeless population who endure this weather. It is such a sad thought, especially at Christmas. I’m glad the VFW Post became a supporter of Moving Veterans Forward this year. We actually can see the difference we can make in the lives of these men and women. There, but by the grace of God, go I. Be Kind. Be Thoughtful. Be the Change. Be a Difference. Be Safe! Thank you for reading. I look forward to seeing you tomorrow.

Another Day, Another Carol

No, not a “Carol” person, but a song. Another song I enjoy during the Christmas Season. I’ve just heard this artist perform this song recently, and I love his voice with it. It’s a voice that commands attention, as does the man himself; he is tall and could intimidate in the wrong situation. (Wrong for you)! But he uses this gift of his to sing one of the most tender songs about Baby Jesus. There is no doubt about his belief this Baby changed everything. Today, I offer Ray Scott, singing O, Holy Night. Enjoy!

The memories of this Christmas Carol go back to my days in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Choir. All the girls were in choir, most of the boys were altar boys. Really strict in those days. No whispering in Church, perfect attention, blah, blah, blah. It amazes me the boys had a choice. Of course, way back in the day, they needed to know the Latin Mass. That is pre-historic, isn’t it? My brother knew it, and I helped him drill on it, so I knew it too. Most of us could read along to it in our Missals (I think that’s what they called it). I don’t know where mine went. It was pretty educational, with Latin on one page and English on the other adjoining page. You could at least try to figure out what the Priest of Monsignor was saying. Midnight Mass in Latin meant we sang the Catholic Carols in Latin.

Oh, Holy Night reminds me of the semi-dark Church. Once the celebrant declared Jesus was born, all the lights turned on immediately and we sang “Joy to the World.” It truly made us feel like the world became a good place again since God sent his Son to save us. Theologians tell us now this is not the feast or event we should celebrate; it actually is Easter. Easter marks Jesus rising from the dead and defeating death itself. Our souls had the chance of eternal life from that moment on. Of course, the nuns told us this too. No little kid on earth could agree with that theory. For believers, however, it is true.

My Faith leads me to believe all things are possible with God. It’s not a Catholic religion but just living on earth all these years. I’ve had many miracles in my life; my 5 and 1/2 year old son survived drowning and is now 49 years old, my younger son, now 45, survived a ruptured appendix at 10 despite a severe abdominal infection, and I can still walk after nearly being paralyzed by an arachnoid cyst in my spinal column twenty-five years ago. God’s love amazes me. So do His miracles.

Just doing some website updates for the VFW Post this afternoon. I’ve been procrastinating on that project a bit, so I just need to finish scanning some documents. New endeavors are a bit intimidating, I hope my hardware is current enough to handle the job. I think it is. Life is all about learning, folks. And I enjoy it all, especially as I get older. Yes, it can frustrate the heck out of a person, but achieving is what it’s all about. Relax. Don’t Stress!

While you contemplate the coming Holiday of Love, spread some of it around yourself, ok? Be Patient. Be Kind. Be Grateful. Be Safe. Wear your mask and let’s get vaccinated as soon as our own personal MD’s think it is a good idea. Thank you for reading, see you tomorrow!