Posted in Books, Family and Friends, Great Books, Hope, Humor, Love

A Timely Story of Love and Devotion

Grace Me With Your Presents by Pippa Franks
Grace Me With Your Presents

Grace Me With Your Presents is a heartwarming story full of humor and yet intensely emotional at times.

The impetus for the turbulence in Grace’s life is her daughter leaving home to attend university. Not long after Grace learns her beloved Aunt Jemima has been hospitalized due to a broken hip. Adding insult to injury her aunt is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

Eventually it’s decided that Grace is best able to drop everything to provide support while her aunt recovers. However, this means leaving her husband in London to attend to her aunt’s needs.

The citizens of Eskton amaze Grace when they eagerly sign on to fix up her aunt’s home which has begun to tumble down around her aunt. That’s the positive side of life in a small town. The less than helpful and more often than not annoying aspect is having everyone in town up in her business.

The people she encounters have some challenges of their own. It seems amusing at first to consider a vicar with an obvious alcohol problem. Upon learning why, it becomes understandable and yet unfortunate that he believes secrecy is the answer.

A farmer, George, is a closet cross dresser. His closet conceals the trappings and secret of who he is in total.

The secret that Grace has held close to her heart for many years eventually is revealed and what a secret it is! How can she be open and honest with family and friends all the while keeping this secret closeted from others?

I laughed with Grace. I cried with Grace. I yearned with Grace to have her greatest wish come true.

To learn more about the author you can find her on Facebook, her blog at http://pippafranks.blogspot.co.uk or her Amazon author page.

 

Posted in Family, Friends, Great Quotes

Happy Thanksgiving!

Autumn 2015
Beauty of A Michigan Fall

Dear Lord,
Give me a few friends
who will love me for what I am,
and keep ever burning
before my vagrant steps
the kindly light of hope…

And though I come not within sight
of the castle of my dreams,
teach me to be thankful for life,
and for time’s olden memories
that are good and sweet.
And may the evening’s twilight
find me gentle still.

~ Irish Prayer

Posted in Family, General, Grief, Hope, Life, Pain

The Day I’ll Finally Stop Grieving

From the article:
“Grief doesn’t just visit you for a horrible, yet temporary holiday. It moves in, puts down roots—and it never leaves. Yes as time passes, eventually the tidal waves subside for longer periods, but they inevitably come crashing in again without notice, when you are least prepared. With no warning they devastate the landscape of your heart all over again, leaving you bruised and breathless and needing to rebuild once more.”

john pavlovitz

tears

“How long has it been? When is he going to get over that grief and move on already?”

I get it.

I know you might be thinking that about me or about someone else these days.

I know you may look at someone you know in mourning and wonder when they’ll snap out of it.

I understand because I use to think that way too.

Okay, maybe at the time I was self-aware enough or guilty enough not to think it quite that explicitly, even in my own head. It might have come in the form of a growing impatience toward someone in mourning or a gradual dismissing of their sadness over time or maybe in my intentionally avoiding them as the days passed. It was subtle to be sure, but I can distinctly remember reaching the place where my compassion for grieving friends had reached its capacity—and it was long before they stopped hurting.

Back then like most people, my mind was operating under…

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Posted in Friends, Joy, Life, Love

Losing A Friend

A very special Facebook friend has left this world and gone Home. Melody Baker was one of my “Castle Sisters”. She was the glue that initially bound us together. She seemingly knew more about Castle than even the cast and crew of the show. 

A group of 8 women we banded together on Facebook for the purpose of discussing the ABC TV network’s show, Castle. We are all a little over-the-top about the ABC TV show’s ruggedly handsome mystery writer. Oddly enough a TV show brought us together and yet we share so many other things in common as well.  Our group is composed of women from far flung places like Brazil and Pakistan and not-so-far-flung states including Wisconsin, Michigan, California, Pennsylvania and Oregon. An unlikely group of women which at first glance should have little in common. 

 Remembered Joy

 

Melody was a sweet lady who was truly a go-getter. She was involved in her daughters schooling, music, sports and had her own consulting business. 

Friends and family are what is important in life. All the material things our society covets are not enduring. But the lives of those who will always remain in our memory who have shared the good and bad and laughter and sadness are ultimately what life is all about.

 

Posted in Family, Joy, Justice, Life, Love

#LoveWins! LGBTQ Bloggers Make Their Voices Heard

This ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court is a big deal in my family. My oldest son is gay and was legally married in Massachusetts a few years ago. We had a Commitment Ceremony in 2007 which at the time was a way to celebrate their commitment to each other. My son and his husband very much wanted same sex marriages to be legal in every state. Amazingly it took a U.S. Supreme Court ruling to finally afford gay couples the same rights as heterosexuals.

Justin & Elon
Justin & Elon

The WordPress.com Blog

You might have noticed the rainbow banner across the top of WordPress.com over the weekend — our way of marking Pride month, celebrated by cities across the globe in June, as well as the US Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing same-sex marriage across all states. (The United States now joins 20 other countries, including my own, Portugal, in fully recognizing same-sex marriage nationwide.)

Here at WordPress.com we strive to democratize publishing and empower freedom of speech. It’s amazing to see the thoughtful analyses of the Supreme Court’s decision already being published, like this excellent piece from Tropics of Meta putting the decision into long-term historical context. We’re also proud to provide a platform for all the incredibly talented LGBTQ writers who are advocating for change…

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Posted in Friends, History, Humor, Learning

Oh, Canada Day!

 

Canada Day occurs every July 1st. Why is this important? Due to the origins of both our countries we have a bit of shared history. Not only that but we also have a very long shared border. In fact, it is the largest international border in the world. It even has a name, the International Border which I would think adds to the specialness of Canada. (Incidentally, Detroit is actually north of Canada. (Just a little trivia for the geographically astute.) Detroit and Windsor, Ontario share the Detroit River over which the Ford Fireworks display wows the crowds on both sides of the border/river each year.

Our shared history involves being subject (and I do mean subject) to what was once the British Empire. As previously mentioned Canada Day occurs on July 1st. Personally, it seems just a little suspect that Canada Day occurs two days prior to America’s Fourth of July or Independence Day during which there are fireworks shows and shooting off firecrackers quite similar to our celebrations two days later.

Well, come to find out there is actually a good reason for choosing July 1st.

Canada Day, July 1st, was set aside to commemorate the joining of three British North American colonies into one nation by British Parliament. These three provinces were Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the Province of Canada (which was divided into Ontario and Quebec) creating four provinces in the country. This occurred July 1, 1867 when the British Parliament passed the North American Act. Today, Canada is a free nation requiring no British Parliamentary acts to amend its constitution. That would definitely be a bummer. It takes governments too long as it is to get things accomplished.

So what does it mean to be a Canadian and how are they different from their neighbors across the International Border?

I believe I’m something of an expert (at least in my own mind which possibly says something about my sanity) having lived most of my life in Southeastern Michigan just over the border with Canada. I’ve encountered a few Canadian idiosyncrasies which at times have been a bit puzzling to me. Also, I actually lived in Winnipeg, Manitoba for 4 months for job training.

Canadians have a dialect all their own often adding “eh” nearly every other word in a sentence. It’s cute! Quebec is a French-speaking province which explains why I’ve never visited. (I passed French in high school but I remember little of the language.) Another difference is they use the metric system which is confusing to us visiting Americans still stuck on using the English measurement system. (Hey! We had to keep something from our early British days.) Speeding tickets explain some of the confusion encountered.

Then there is sports. A definite game changer.

One of Canada’s favorite sports is curling which I always thought was something women did while fixing their hair. Live and learn.

Let me tell you, curling rates right up there as the most boring sport ever. (Obviously, that’s just my opinion. It’s an Olympic sport so someone must love it.) It involves brooms and heavy “stones” being swept down and ice rink. I was not swept off my feet watching the “action”. It’s not much fun to watch on TV (Trust me, I’ve done it.) and in person isn’t much better. Plus it’s extremely cold in the building in which curling occurs.

As many know, the national pastime is Hockey. If you think American college and pro football fans are rowdy and out of control, you haven’t seen anything until you’ve attended a hockey game in Canada. Canadians are fanatically fanatic about their hockey teams. And along with these national pastimes they put away a lot of beer. I suspect beer-drinking might be another national pastime.

So basically a description of Canadians is they may tend to copy certain American holidays including Thanksgiving and Independence Day. They love beer, hockey, curling and possibly more beer.

All kidding aside, when I lived in Canada for 4 months I met the nicest, kindest, most hospitable people who opened their hearts and homes to us visiting Yanks. It was definitely a home away from home.  I have a special place in my heart for the people of Canada. Still a little “sibling” teasing won’t rock the cradle too awfully bad. Right? Maybe?

Posted in Friends, History, Learning

Happy Canada Day Eve?

Canadian Flag
I confess I am an American but living so close to Canada (southeastern Michigan) I’m quite aware of the special folks who call themselves Canadians. I remember when the Canadian Flag looked much different from that of today and want to share a little about how the current flag originated. From the Toronto Public Library:

The Red Maple Leaf: How Canada’s Flag Came to Be

The Inauguration of Canada’s Current Flag: February 15, 1965

Also, 2015 marks 50 years since Canada’s official adoption of the current flag. I guess that says far too much about my age