Wednesday, April 30, 2008
2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.
(Keep this in mind if you are one of those grouches.)
3. Keep learning:
Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening,
whatever. Never let the brain get idle.
"An idle mind is the devil's workshop."
And the devil's name is Alzheimer's!
4. Enjoy the simple things.
5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.
And if you have a friend who makes you laugh, spend lots and Lots of time with HIM/HER.
6. The tears happen: Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person who is with us our entire life, is ourselves.
LIVE while you are alive.
7. Surround yourself with what you love:
Whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever.
Your home is your refuge.
8. Cherish your health:
If it is good, preserve it.
If it is unstable, improve it.
If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.
9. Don't take guilt trips.
Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county,
to a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is.
10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
There were many class inequities and much class consciousness in the 1920's and 30's. Mill workers were generally considered inferior. Many things that working class people (both black and white) had to endure were not right.
Celestine Sibley liked to point out that people in the South were proud to be poor and "working class." This meant they were honest and at least not "carpet baggers."
Aubrey Simms, a cousin and I talked briefly about this when he told me how his father did not want him to get a job in one of the cotton mills only a few miles from thir farm, even after it became increasingly difficult to make a living on the farm and unions were making changes such as better wages and decreased working hours in textile mills.
The advent of World War II and the need for textiles for the army made it more "respectable."
No doubt the mill owners and officials were paternalistic toward mill workers. Mill hands! People were called "hands"! It is difficult to be intelligent (or so we thought) and perceptive and have to work 12 hours a day for barely enough income to survive. But in those days people were thankful for any job and no one seemed to have thought it was "the Government's " responsibility.
This was the situation "down South" after the South lost in the War Between the States and before the wage and labor laws. This seemed to be the lot of most people who worked in textile factories in the South in the twenties and thirties.
My mother (whether correct or not) felt that the mill officials tried to "run the church" as well as the mill and the town. So employees looking with disdain toward the employer is nothing new. I think Mama was right in that the Bibb officials probably did try to exert as much influence as possible on the churches. After all they had a responsibility as they had built three impressive "up to date" brick church buildings, a Methodist, a Baptist and a Presbyterian church.
The companies who brought their cotton factories south for cheaper labor after "the war" ("The War Between the States") built the whole town including schools, churches, business, police, fire and community buildings.
Probably mill owners and officials did the best they could for their times and understanding. When we look in the past to criticize or to re-write history we need to keep this in mind.
The mill owners and officials felt that they must look after their workers (some of whom were illiterate and superstitious.) As uneducated and lacking in social graces as we were, I remember Mama being disconcerted at the superstitious talk and grammar of a few co-workers and people in our town.
Mama told me that when they first moved to Porterdale she felt that she had moved to the "jumping off place" in her strange surroundings. She seems to have thought of it as a wild and pagan town. Many of the rough, non-Christian crowd seems to have been our neighbors back of the large brick Osprey mill building.
Mama (with some condescention) was especially horrified to see that when the children would get into fights as they played together, the mothers would often dash outof their houses and take their child's side of the argument. Sometimes the mothers would get into loud shouting matches and even physical fighting. Some of the women actually got so mad they "cussed."
Mama pbserved and commented on the fact that the children would often be back happily playing together while their mothers were still angry and hostile toward one another.
Sis (my sister Louise ) told me this story: When we first moved to Porterdale, my young brothers,Charlie, Tom, and Jack, were out playing with the neighborhood boys and got into a fight.
One of the mothers came storming to our door, saying, "Miz Baird, I've come to'whoop' you!" Mama opened the door and calmly said, "Well, come right in, Mrs. Smith,and tell me what I've done to need a whipping ." Sis was happy to report that Mama made friends with the woman and did not get “whooped.”
Speaking of cursing or "bad words" as we called it, I never heard even slang inour house -- and rarely in the neighborhood. One day when the little boys were playing out in front of our house at 32 Hazel Street (the larger house we lived in before my father died), I heard my brother Jack say, "Oh, Heck!"
I was shocked . I was concerned for his immortal soul. Of course, I did not say anything. Since I remember this so vividly as being in front of the house where we were living when my father died, I was 7 or younger at the time, and Jack was about 12.
Before I started to school, my parents were able to move to a house in a "quieter part of town." I have no memory of women fighting in the streets.
Our neighbors on Hazel Street were hard-working church folks and, like my parents, although unschooled by today's standards, were intelligent with old-fashioned common sense and a strong Protestant work ethic.
They did not seem to consider themselves "victims", nor did they seem to be lacking in self-esteem. After all, we were made in the image of God and so important and loved that Jesus died for us.
For me, is was a good neighborhood in which to grow up, even though I was well-aware that many Covington residents put mill workers in a box labeled "inferior."
Covington (our "town") was the Newton county seat. Porterdale was a village with three large textile factories owned and operated by Bibb Manufacturing Company. Covington also had a "Covington mill village" as a part of the town.
In Porterdale, we also had two large brick school buildings with grades one through nine and a "teacher's cottage" across the river but in walking distance to the school. It was a two story house to board school teachers, a well built attractive ante-bellum house.
A friend of mine recently was visiting with me. When I told her I lived in Porterdale as a child. She told me her mother had taught school in Porterdale when she was barely out of her teens and before her marriage. Her mother apparently had had a store of stories show-casing the quaint ignorance of mill folks in Porterdale. I would like to have heard the stories but she changed the subject when she learned I had lived there.
Friday, April 18, 2008
GOOD SAMARITAN A Sunday school teacher was telling her class the story of the Good Samaritan. She asked the class, 'If you saw a person lying on the roadside, wounded and bleeding, what would you do?' A thoughtful little girl broke the hushed silence, 'I think I'd throw up.'
DID NOAH FISH? A Sunday school teacher asked, 'Johnny, do you think Noah did a lot of fishing when he was on the Ark ?' 'No,' replied Johnny. 'How could he, with just two worms?'
HIGHER POWER A Sunday school teacher said to her children, 'We have been learning how powerful kings and queens were in Bible times, but there is a Higher Power.. Can anybody tell me what it is?' One child blurted out, 'Aces!'
THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD A Sunday School teacher decided to have her young class memorize one of the most quoted passages in the Bible - Psalm 23. She gave the youngsters a month to learn the chapter. Little Rick was excited about the task - but he just couldn't remember the Psalm. After much practice, he could barely get past the first line.On the day that the kids were scheduled to recite Psalm 23 in front of the congregation, Ricky was so nervous. When it was his turn, he stepped up to the microphone and said proudly, 'The Lord is my Shepherd, and that's all I need to know.'
BEING THANKFUL, A Rabbi said to a precocious six-year-old boy, 'Your mother says your prayers for you each night? That's very commendable. What does she say?' The little boy replied, 'Thank God he's in bed!'
UNANSWERED PRAYER. The preacher's 5 year-old daughter noticed that her father always paused and bowed his head for a moment before starting his sermon. One day, she asked him why. 'Well, Honey,' he began, proud that his daughter was so observant of his messages, 'I'm asking the Lord to help me preach a good sermon.' 'So, how come He doesn't?' she asked.
UNTIMELY ANSWERED PRAYER. During the minister's prayer one Sunday, there was a loud whistle from one of the back pews.. Tommy's mother was horrified. She pinched him into silence and, after church, asked, 'Tommy, whatever made you do such a thing?' Tommy answered soberly, 'I asked God to teach me to whistle, and He did!'
TIME TO PRAY. A pastor asked a little boy if he said his prayers every night. 'Yes, sir.' the boy replied. 'And, do you always say them in the morning, too?' the pastor asked. 'No sir,' the boy replied. 'I ain't scared in the daytime.'
EQUAL REPRESENTATION. When my daughter, Kelli, said her bedtime prayers, she would bless every family member, every friend, and every pet, current and past. For several weeks, after we had finished the nightly prayer, Kelli would say, 'All girls.' This soon became part of her nightly routine, to include this closing. My curiosity got the best of me and I asked her, 'Kelli, why do you always add the part about all girls?' Her response, 'Because everybody always finishes their prayers by saying 'All Men'!'
SAY A PRAYER. Little Johnny and his family were having Sunday dinner at his grandmother's house. Everyone was seated around the table as the food was being served. When Little Johnny received his plate, he started eating right away. 'Johnny! Please wait until we say our prayer.' said his mother. 'I don't need to,' the boy replied. 'Of course, you do.' his mother insisted. 'We always say a prayer before eating at our house.' 'That's at our house.' Johnny explained. 'But this is Grandma's house and she knows how to cook!'
Monday, April 14, 2008
Two of the teen aged girls at Open Door Home in our city needed to interview an older person for a school assignment a few years ago.
Open Door is a home for children whose parents can not or will not care for them. I meet the criteria for “older person”so the Director at Open Door, my daughter, Beth called and asked if I would mind stopping by so the girls could interview me.
I went by and Beth introduced me to the girls. One of the girls was a 14 year old named Sarah. Beth told me, in Sarah’s hearing, how proud she is of Sarah for making good marks in school.
I congratulated her and expressed interest so Sarah immediately got her report card to show me. We had a nice visit.
When we started the interview, the first question she asked was, “To what do you attribute living to such a long old age?” Later when Beth was showing me out, she said she hoped the girls did not hurt my feelings by making such an issue of my “old age.”
Of course, Beth knew as well as I that it did not bother me. When I lived in the Atlanta area, I was not as ancient as I am now but I often spoke to Senior Citizens groups on subjects related to aging as my undergraduate degree included a certificate in Gerontology from Georgia State University.
One of the persons I love to quote when I speak to a civic or church group about “aging” is Madeline L’Engle. L'Engle said,“One of the nice things about growing old is you do not lose any of the other ages you have been.”
Wow! Think of that! Like Sarah, I know what it was like to be 14 and think 30 is old. I know what it is like to be 30 and still feel like 14! I know what it is like to be 30 and think 50 is old. And i know what it is like to be 50 and feel like 14 and 30. Now I am learning know what it is like to be 80 is know that 80 is just another number.
As Christians, we know that at the end of the counting, a new day will dawn and the counting will start over. We gather in church every Sunday to celebrate the Easter faith that what we call “time” does not have the last word over what God calls eternity. What we call death does not have the last word over what God calls life.
And then I lost my breath. It wasn't because I was running my treadmill, either!!!
It was because he started talking about laminin. I knew about laminin...
Here is how wikipedia describes: 'Laminins are a family of proteins that are an integral part of the structural scaffolding of basement membranes in almost every animal tissue.'
But now I do.
Here is what the structure of laminin looks like....AND THIS IS NOT a 'Christian portrayal' of it....if you look up laminin in any scientific/medical piece of literature, this is what you will see....
Now tell me that our God is not the coolest!!! Amazing.
The glue that holds us together...ALL of us....is in the shape of the cross.
Immediately Colossians 1:15-17 comes to mind.
'He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
For by him all things were created; things in heaven and on earth , visible and invisible,
whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.
He is before all things, and in him all things HOLD TOGETHER. ' (Colossians 1:15-17. )
Thousands of years before the world knew anything about laminin, Paul penned those words. And now we see that from a very LITERAL standpoint, we are held together...one cell to another....by the cross.
You would never in a quadrillion years convince me that is anything other than the mark of a Creator who knew EXACTLY what laminin 'glue' would look like long before Adam even breathed his first breath!!
" Faith is not knowing what the future holds. Faith is knowing who holds the future."
I wanted you to know and to undertstand that YOU are being held together by the cross of Jesus Christ! His love! His forgiveness and His marvelous power!
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Walk softly and carry a big carrot.
A cute little tail attracts a lot of attention.
Everyone is entitled to a bad hare day.
Let happy thoughts multiply like rabbits.
Some body parts should be floppy.
Keep your paws off other people's jellybeans.
Good things come in small sugarcoated packages.
The grass is always greener in someone else's basket.
An Easter bonnet can tame even the wildest hare.
To show your true colors you have to come out of your shell.
The best things in life are still sweet and gooey.
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
This is posted during Passover, which refers to the death angel "passing over" the Hebrew's when the Egypt firstborn were struck. Passover celebrates the Hebrews being delivered from slavery in Egypt. This is a link in the memorial chain in my deep appreciation of Jewish history as a vital part of our Christian heritage.
Thursday, April 03, 2008
Alaska 1956, Preamble We, the people of Alaska , grateful to God and to those who founded our nation and pioneered this great land. >
Arkansas 1874, Preamble We, the people of the State of Arkansas , grateful to Almighty God for the privilege of choosing our own form of government...
California 1879, Preamble We, the People of the State of California , grateful to Almighty God for our freedom...
Colorado 1876, Preamble We, the people of Colorado , with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of Universe...
Connecticut 1818, Preamble. The People of Connecticut , acknowledging with gratitude the good Providence of God in permitting them to enjoy.
New Hampshire 1792, Part I. Art. I. Sec. V Every individual has a natural and unalienable right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience.
New Jersey 1844, Preamble We, the people of the State of New Jersey, grateful to Almighty God for civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing on our endeavors.
New Mexico 1911, Preamble We, the People of New Mexico, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of liberty..
New York , grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure its blessings.
North Dakota 1889, Preamble We , the people of North Dakota , grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, do ordain...
Ohio 1852, Preamble We the people of the state of Ohio , grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings and to promote our common.
South Carolina , 1778, Preamble We, the people of he State of South Carolina grateful to God for our liberties, do ordain and establish this Constitution.
Texas 1845, Preamble We the People of the Republic of Texas , acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
But the Snowfall predicted for this week-end bypassed our Northwest Georgia town, much to the sorrow of my great-grandchildren and all the schoolchildren here in Rome.
They were looking forward to snow-ball play yesterday after church and all day today rather than a typical school day.
However, I am enjoying the snow vicariously, My friend , Ann sent me wonderful snow pictures she made yesterday in Coweta county Georgia ...about 30 miles southwest from Atlanta. The little boy in the picture is Ann's grandson, Raiford.
One great memory of my three short years living in Grantville (1990-1993) includes a sudden snowstorm.
My friend Ann and her neighbor Bebe , in typical Southern hospitality, shoveled their way through that rare five foot snow in 1993 to my door to "see about me."
Phone lines were down. What could friends do but bundle up in several layers of clothes (not having the typical warm clothing of Chicago and New York folks) and get out and trudge, slipping and sliding in that exciting snow to check on other neighbors who lived alone.
So I went with Ann and Bebe to make other important house calls...first to “see about Miss Kathleen." Kathleen Ray who was a retired Missionary then living in Grantville.
Yes! Snow is a "Big Deal" in Georgia.