Deja Vu

If you read this and think you have read it here before it is because you have. This is one of my favorite pieces of wisdom to impart to my readers. If you receive an email with this post and it describes Regina as a ninety or ninety-three year old, I wish you look as good as Regina does at this age.

This is something we should all read at least once a week!!!!! Make sure you read to the end!!!!!!

> Written by Regina Brett

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> “To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I’ve ever written.

> 1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

> 2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

> 3. Life is too short – enjoy it.

> 4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will.

> 5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

> 6. You don’t have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.

> 7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.

> 8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

> 9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

> 10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

> 11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.

> 12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.

> 13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

> 14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.

> 15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye, but don’t worry, God never blinks.

> 16.. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

> 17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful. Clutter weighs you down in many ways.

> 18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.

> 19.. It’s never too late to be happy. But it’s all up to you and no one else.

> 20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.

> 21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

> 22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

> 23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.

> 24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

> 25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

> 26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ‘In five years, will this matter?’

> 27. Always choose life.

> 28. Forgive

> 29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

> 30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

> 31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

> 32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

> 33. Believe in miracles.

> 34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.

> 35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

> 36. Growing old beats the alternative of dying young.

> 37. Your children get only one childhood.

> 38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

> 39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

> 40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.

> 41. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have, not what you need

> 42. The best is yet to come…

> 43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

> 44. Yield.

> 45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.”

In Memorium

The first day of spring came and went with a whimper. The weather was cool and somewhat grey. It was a good day for me, I finally wrote another chapter of my book British American Colonies. I washed some clothes, and did a few house chores. I am still reeling from the dry wall dust stirred up when Miguel fixed my disaster in the living room. At eleven pm it was time to check out and go to bed. As I always do, I plugged my phone into the charger. The screen lit up and I noticed a message from my son in Texas. I couldn’t go to bed without reading what he had to say. I read it and cried. I’ll share his message with you here:

Today was the first day of Spring as well as Rooke’s last day with us. We took him to the vet about 5pm and put him down. HIs condition, degenerative myelopathy really kicked in this week. He was on daily watch this week, and (we, sic) made the decision to take him today while everyone was home. We were all there except for Abbey, she opted out. He went peacefully with his family right next to him. He’s in a much better place now. Rooke (a.k.a “Rookis”, “Blue”) was the best dog I’ve ever had. His character, mannerisms, temperament and loyalty were truly amazing.

Rooke

Rooke, May 2005-March 20, 2015

 

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When I first met Rook ten years ago he was the cutest little pup one could imagine with floppy ears, a cocked head and a dynamo of energy. Rook grew quickly and became the meanest looking German Shepard I have ever seen. His black color and wide powerful chest gave him an air of intimidation. People stepped aside when Rook walked his Master. Trust me, no one would ever even think about harming a family member when this jet black patrol dog was on duty, and that was 24/7. The only white color he had on his body was the white of his eyes. As you can tell by the photo the white of his eyes were not visible very often. There is no way in hell I would have tested him by entering my son’s house in the dark.

What no one except us knew about Rook was his gentle side. He was a pussy cat with all of us. He loved to walk, and took his master’s for a three to five-mile walk nearly every day. When he wasn’t pulling them along with his chain link leash, he loved to chase a ball and play fetch. His favorite game with me was to bring a rubber toy, and drop it by my feet. Then he stared at that toy until I quickly kicked it from under his nose. Every time I kicked the ball he picked it off  within inches of my toe. It wasn’t until last June that I beat him a couple of times, and made him turn and run, but still he had the damn thing within six feet. He prided himself in not losing the ball, ever. He never tired of the game, and could play non-stop for a day, but I couldn’t.

Rook is the first dog I ever fell in love with. My family has owned and cared for many dogs of many different breeds, but Rook is my all time favorite.

 

Thanks Dad, For Teaching Me the Shoemaker Job

Phil-2

Every Father’s Day my dad comes to haunt me. It is no different today. Memories of the many times he counseled me and taught me the meaning of work run through my mind. His teaching method was simple. He never asked for help, he just did what dad’s do to labor. He got up early, ate his simple breakfast, and walked two miles to his job. He did this for forty-five years without complaint.

His example is all I needed to spur me to learn what he was doing, and to learn how he did it. We were not Hillary Clinton poor, we were dirt poor. As a result, Dad made many repairs on a shoestring. One job that comes to mind today was repairing rotted window sills. There wasn’t enough money in the till to buy new windows, and his mind-set was why buy a whole window for the sake of one board? His fix was to first dig out the rotted wood. Then he cut a scrap piece of good wood to fit loosely into the space. Next, he then generously smoothed a layer of heavy black tar to the frame, and then placed the new board into the goo. A couple of reclaimed wood screws held it firmly into place. The last step was to fill the seams at the ends to keep water out. He called it a “shoemaker job.” That wasn’t a derogatory slam at a shoemaker, but rather a compliment to the ingenuity of the shoe repairing trade.

Dad taught me to appreciate a “shoemaker” job. In my youth, I was never satisfied with less than perfection on my home repairs, but as I aged, visions of watching Dad do his “shoemaker” jobs finally changed my mind to become more satisfied with completion and less with perfection. Completion resulted in more time with my family where perfection denied me those minutes.

Happy Father’s Day to my Sons, Son-in-Law, Brother, Brother-in-Law, Nephews, Nephews-in-Law, and all my friends who are fathers.

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Decoration Day Remembered

Mom and Dad called it Decoration Day. As a kid I never missed a single Decoration Day at the cemetery. It was really Memorial Day, but Julie and Joe called it Decoration Day.  We never went there to honor a veteran or someone who died in the war, we went to decorate the grave of my oldest brother, Joe. Joe succumbed to scarlet fever back when that was a terrible disease. Today, people don’t even know what scarlet fever is. The fever took my brother at age seven and changed my mother’s life forever.

We always had trouble getting into the cemetery on Memorial Day. What, with a public outdoor Mass, the VFW, and American Legion honoring  veterans with gun salutes there were crowds of families remembering their fallen.

My sister, brother, and I were kids then, but the tributes left a lasting impression which has not left my memory since. Today, my cousin Sharon sent me this beautiful video tribute honoring our warrior veterans. This is no doubt the best and most honorable video I have ever watched.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lq2BbVZ2LEc

Time Gets Better With Age

A good friend surprised me today with this wonderful insight into the development of insight as we age.

Thanks Chuck, I really enjoyed this.

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Grumpa Joe, Grampa Jim, and Sis

Time Gets Better with Age

Read it through to the end, it gets better as you go!

I’ve learned that I like my teacher because she cries when we sing “Silent Night”.
Age 5

I’ve learned that our dog doesn’t want to eat my broccoli either.
Age 7

I’ve learned that when I wave to people in the country, they stop what they are doing and wave back.
Age 9

I’ve learned that just when I get my room the way I like it, Mom makes me clean it up again.
Age 12

I’ve learned that if you want to cheer yourself up, you should try cheering someone else up.
Age 14

I’ve learned that although it’s hard to admit it, I’m secretly glad my parents are strict with me.
Age 15

I’ve learned that silent company is often more healing than words of advice.
Age 24

I’ve learned that brushing my child’s hair is one of life’s great pleasures.
Age 26

I’ve learned that wherever I go, the world’s worst drivers have followed me there.
Age 29

I’ve learned that if someone says something unkind about me, I must live so that no one will believe it.
Age 30

I’ve learned that there are people who love you dearly but just don’t know how to show it.
Age 42

I’ve learned that you can make someone’s day by simply sending them a little note.
Age 44

I’ve learned that the greater a person’s sense of guilt, the greater his or her need to cast blame on others.
Age 46

I’ve learned that children and grandparents are natural allies.
Age 47

I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on and it will be better tomorrow.
Age 48

I’ve learned that singing “Amazing Grace” can lift my spirits for hours.
Age 49

I’ve learned that motel mattresses are better on the side away from the phone.
Age 50

I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a man by the way he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage and tangled Christmas tree lights.
Age 51

I’ve learned that keeping a vegetable garden is worth a medicine cabinet full of pills.
Age 52

I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you miss them terribly after they die.
Age 53

I’ve learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life.
Age 58

I’ve learned that if you want to do something positive for your children, work to improve your marriage.
Age 61

I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.
Age 62

I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.
Age 64

I’ve learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you. But if you focus on your family, the needs of others, your work, meeting new people, and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you.
Age 65

I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with kindness, I usually make the right decision.
Age 66

I’ve learned that everyone can use a prayer.
Age 72

I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.
Age 82

I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love that human touch – holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.
Age 90

I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.
Age 92

 

The Gift-Part 8-Birthday Party

The Gift-Part 8-Birthday Party

Morty’s tiny house glowed with the tree and the nativity. The birds sang in anticipation of the party. Morty and Rabbit danced a circle around the room.

“My friends Max, and Gracie are coming to celebrate,” he said. “They will be late. Gracie is with Ben, and Max is with Jenna. They must stay until the kids say their prayers, and are asleep.

When the guardian angels knew their kids were dreaming of sugarplums and fairies, they slipped away to Morty’s house.

Max and Gracie arrived with their halos turned on, and shining brightly. Their angel wings glowed and fluttered when they saw Connie for the first time.

“Wow, what a beautiful tree,” they said. “Jesus will love you Connie.”

“I have a new tradition to share with you,” said Morty.

“What is it?”

“It is called breaking bread.” Morty gave Max and Gracie each a slice of unleavened bread He held his own piece up and stood in front of Gracie.

“Hold your bread up like I am doing.”

“Like this?”

“Yes.” Morty pinched a piece of Gracie’s bread and said, “I wish you peace.” He tore another piece and wished her love.

“Now you do the same and make your own wishes for me.”

Gracie followed his example.

“What a beautiful tradition. Where did you learn this?”

“On my last visit to heaven, Brad, Ben, and Jenna’s Grandma showed me. She asked me to keep the tradition going in her family.”

The three angels shared wishes for each other. Each of them broke bread from the other, and made a wish with each piece.

When the bread was all gone, they made one final wish.

“Merry Christmas.”

Without another word, Morty, Gracie, and Max, knelt quietly before the crèche, the birds, and the rabbit at their sides.

They said prayers for their children, for peace in the world, and for goodwill toward all men!

The End . . . MERRY CHRISTMAS BLOGGING FRIENDS

The Gift-Part 7-Final Touches

The Gift-Part 7-Final Touches

“Be careful with the tinsel, said Morty. “Hang each strand carefully. I don’t want Connie to look like the nest in the top branches.”

Morty placed a shiny gold ornament into the nest. As Red, Chick, and Spare hung the tinsel they chirped Silent Night. When the last strand was in place, they landed on Morty’s curl and admired their creation. Connie was an outstanding gift to the Baby Jesus on His birthday. Morty turned on the lights, and Connie came to life.

“I feel so wonderful,” said Connie, “you made me look beautiful. I hope Baby Jesus likes me.”

Morty handed the rabbit a bright red cloth, “put this around the tree stand to add the final touch.” Rabbit dragged the red cloth under Connie’s boughs where he had spent so many nights out of harms way, and worked the cover around the base.

“We have to put up the nativity next.” Morty pulled a small table to the tree. He wanted the nativity to be next to Connie where all of his friends would see it. Rabbit wiped the table clean, and covered it with Morty’s best tablecloth. The birds waited nearby. Each had a figure, ready to place. Morty set the stable in place.

“Okay, now you can finish by putting the figures down.”

Each bird hovered gently with a figure in its beak, and lowered it to the table. They handled each Mary, Joseph, and Jesus and all of the characters of the scene with special care and gentleness.

Morty put the last tiny white lamb down, “here you are little Shepard.” The nativity was complete.

To be continued . . .

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