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Thursday, August 30, 2012

"Hindsight"

     
The difference between genius and stupidity
is that genius has its limits.

~Albert Einstein

     I came across an article about a sixty-year olde woman who went up on a mountain that any novice skier should  have avoided. No one would have blamed her had she stayed behind. At twelve below zero, even Frosty the Snowman would have opted for the warm fire. Hardly a day for snow skiing, but her husband insisted. So she went.
     While waiting in the lift line, she realized she was in need of a restroom, dire need of a restroom.  Assured there would be one at the top of the lift, she and her bladder endured the bouncy ride, only to find there was no facility. She began to panic. Her husband had an idea: why not go into the woods? Since she was wearing an all-white outfit, she'd blend in with the snow. And what better powder room than a piney grove?
     What choice did she have?  She skied past the tree line and arranged her ski suit at half-mast.  Fortunately, no one could see her.  Unfortunately, her husband hadn't told her to remove her skis.  Before you could say, "Shine on harvest moon," she was streaking backwards across the slope, revealing more of herself than she ever intended. ( After all, hindsight is 20/20.)  With arms flailing, and skis sailing, she sped under the lift she'd just ridden and collided with in a pylon.
     As she scrambled to cover the essentials, she discovered her arm was broken.  Fortunately, her husband raced to her rescue.  He summoned the the sky patrol, who transported her to the hospital.
     While being treated in the emergency room, a man with a broken leg was carried in and placed next to her.  By now, she had regained her composure enough to make small talk.  "So, how did you break your leg?" she asked.
     It was the darnedest thing you ever saw, " he explained.  " I was riding up the ski lift and suddenly there was this crazy woman skiing backwards, at top speed, with her ski suit down around her knees.  I couldn't believe my eyes, so I leaned over to get a better look.  I guess I didn't realize how far I'd moved. I fell out of the lift."
     Then he turned to her and asked, "So, how did you break your arm?"
                                                                             
~Unknown
~Beannaichte'
30 August, 2012

Sunday, August 26, 2012

" Prayer"


This
 is the beginning
 of a new day.
God
has given me this day
to use as I will.
I
  can waste it,
or use it for good.
What
I do today is important,
because I am Exchanging a day 
of my Life , for it.
When
tomorrow comes,
this day will be gone, Forever-
leaving in its place 
something that I have traded for it.
I want it to be Gain and not Loss,
Success and not Failure,
Good and not Evil:
In order that I shall not 
Regret 
the Price 
that I have
Paid  for
 it. 

~Unknown

Beannaichte'
26 August, 2012


On my Front Porch:
Today, I would like to invite Gillian Mawson, for a visit.
Gillian is an intelligent, hard-working, and caring woman.
~Hands down, she is one of the finest women,
I have been blessed to meet, on Twiiter.
Gillian resides in Derbyshire, England.
 On Twitter, she can be found @Guernseyevacuee 
She authors a blog, and has wriitten a book, which is due out in November, of this year. Put this one
on your"must read" list.
You can obtain the necessary information, regarding her book, blog, and other related information,
@http://guernseyevacuees.wordpress.com/evacuation/ 
Mile Buiochas!
~Beannaichte'
@beannaichte


Thursday, August 23, 2012

"Second Expulsion"


I
 love with a love 
that's set over you
like
 an airless tent.
My love confines you,
 as a net,
and binds you, as a Sacrament.
If  you would tower to be a man,
and be what I would have you be,
fear me and flee me,
 when you can-
be curt, be cruel, but be Free.
I am the strength to be withstood,
I am the kindness not to trust.
I may not keep you,
 though I would,
I would not lose you,
 and I must.
This let me learn,
 so hear me warn:
Woman's son must twice be born.

~Dilys Laing;
 (1906-1960)

North Wales


~Beannaichte'
23 August, 2012 


~To Brett: I wish you every Happiness on this, your "Special Day", and always. ~ May Our Lord continue to hold you in the palm of His mighty Hand!  ~Happy Birthday!  
~Beannaichte'
24 August, 2012

Saturday, August 18, 2012

"To Forget"


If we really want to love,
we must learn to forgive.
 
~Mother Teresa

     Once labeled "timid as a mouse, but brave as a lion," Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross at age fifty-one. A woman of commitment, she continued to fulfill her mission throughout her golden years. She did not allow her age to get in the way. Clara went wherever there was suffering to relieve- after battle, fire, flood, earthquake, or yellow fever.  At the age of seventy-seven, she was on the battlefields of Cuba for the Spanish-American War.  She continued her relief work until she died at the age of ninety-one.
     One day, someone reminded her about an offense that another person had committed against her, years before.  But she acted as if she had never heard of the cruel act.
  "Don't you remember it?"her friend asked.
  "No,"came Clara's reply. "I clearly remember forgetting it."

~Unknown

  ~Beannaichte'
   18 August, 2012

~As aforementioned, I have been blessed with a wealth of intelligent, creative, and caring friends, on Twitter.
My previous blog entry, entitled "Front Porches", spawned an idea. I truly love "front porches", and have done so, my entire life. It is a lovely place to visit with a friend and just "sit a spell." I thought about my Twitter friends, and how much I would love visiting with them in such a welcoming place. This is also my way of introducing you to this great group of people. As follows: I begin with the first people that helped me feel welcome, on Twitter. I hope you will pop in and visit them, too.

I begin with@IrishUSAMom. She authors a lovely blog@http://www.irishamericanmom.com, as well.
Her blog is a definite "must see."

Next is Martine Brennan@mfamilycoach. She can also be found@http://www.martinebrennan.com. Martine can be found on various other sites, too. Any of her sites are well worth a visit.

Finally, for today, I would like to invite Liam. He can be found at Liam@GotIreland. He authors a blog, that is informative and creative, regarding Ireland. @http://GotIreland.com.

I invite you to make time in your busy day to" sit a spell", with these lovely people.  I assure you, they do not disappoint.
~From my "Front Porch,"

 Mile Buiochas!
 ~Beannaichte'

@beannaichte 
     
     

Thursday, August 16, 2012

"Front Porches"

Life isn't a matter of milestones,
but of moments.

 ~Rose Kennedy

     "Come on out here and sit a spell with me,"my grandfather said to me, rising from the table where we had gobbled down my grandmother's fried chicken, mashed potatoes, cream gravy and green beans- her standard Sunday spread.  Taking a wedge of her pecan pie with us, Papa and I headed for the front porch.
     As I snuggled up to him on the swing, carefully balancing my pie, I could smell the sunshine in his faded blue-denim overalls that he had changed into after church. They were so worn, they were as light and soft as his chambray work shirt.
     Side by side, we sat on the porch that spanned the front of our farmhouse, scraped up every last crumb of Grandma's pie, leaned back, sighed contentedly, and "sat a spell." To me, it was the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
     To this day, front porches hold a special place in my heart.  My grandfather's porch was wide and deep enough to handle tricycle races with my cousins, games of jacks, picnics and the dreams of a little girl gazing up into a summer sky.
     The porch also had many practical uses.  My grandmother, mom, sister and I would gather there in its cool protection with old washtubs filled with peas, string beans or strawberries, just gathered from the garden. As we shelled or snapped or husked, we talked about everything from summer projects to boys or what was for supper.
     On really hot summer nights, my grandfather would drag a cot out onto the front porch, hoping to catch a nighttime breeze and a little sleep.  He would fall asleep to a chorus of locusts and crickets in the glow of a million stars.
     The porch served as a haven for all, human and animal, alike.  After a few rounds of pushing a lawn mower around our big front yard, my brother would take a break on the porch.  Coming in from a freshly cultivated field, before moving on to the next one, Papa would stop a moment for a cold drink on the porch. Hot and flushed from canning vegetables, my grandmother would step out on the porch to catch a bit of breeze.  Even the dogs knew the next best place to flop, besides under a bush, was on the cool boards of the front porch.
     And there was no better place than the porch to be when a summer rain swept in.  You could sit out there and smell it coming from miles away, feel that first hint of a breeze, first hot, then surprisingly cool; see the first drops of rain plop into the dust that layered everything.  Then the full force of the storm would hit, sometimes driving you reluctantly inside, as winds lashed the rain farther and farther up under the porch's roof.
     I received my first kiss on that porch, painted its swing one adolescent-bored summer, helped my father repair its steps and spent many lazy Sunday afternoons on it.
     Front porches serve a real purpose in our life. They are an open invitation to sit a spell, to talk, to dream or do nothing at all-rare luxuries in today's fast-paced life.  Front porches sooth the soul as surely as they shade the stoop.
     I'm still sitting on front porches.  My own home has one that spans the length of our house. It is not quite as deep as my childhood front porch , but still wide enough to hold the dreams of a grown woman gazing up into a summer sky.
     And the invitation is still there.  Now, for new generations of children. " Come on out and sit a spell with me."

~Vicki Marsh Kabat


~Beannaichte'
   16 August, 2012  


       
       

Friday, August 10, 2012

"Sustained"


In spite of everything, I still believe people
are really good at Heart.

~Ann Frank

     I had just turned sixteen when my mother, sister and I were taken into the infamous Auschwitz concentration camp.  I watched with despair as my mother was escorted to the gas chambers.  At that point, I felt my world turn upside down.
     What sustained me during this time warp of horrors were my mother's words.  As she was led away, she appealed to my sister and me to live a full life.  Her last words to us were, "Remember, they can take everything  from you except what you put in your mind." 
     I went from feeling victimized by our keepers to the realization that I quite possibly had the inner resources to outlast them.  Somehow, with my determination to live, I would overcome their collective decision to eliminate us.
     So even as I put on a striped uniform and submitted my hair to the razor, I mentally committed to a return to normalcy, home and my training classes in gymnastics.
      A Nazi officer came to "welcome" the newcomers, and he asked what "talents" we had brought to the camp.  My inmates pushed me forward because of my training in ballet. I was forced to dance.  With my eyes closed, I envisioned this grotesque prison of horrors as the Budapest Opera House, and I gave the performance of my life.  That evening, I discovered the power of "doing within when you are without."
     Our barracks received some extra rations the next day from the Nazi officer I had danced for- who was none other than Dr. Mengele, Hitler's "Angel of Death."  He was known to send people to the "showers" to die if their shoelace was untied.
     Is it any wonder when life and death become as casual as flipping a coin, a personality would undergo radical changes?  The "tenets" of good behavior" learned in my sheltered childhood were replaced by a kind of animal instinct, which instantly smelled out danger and acted to deflect it.  During a work detail, my sister was assigned to a work brigade that was to leave for another camp. I could not allow us to be separated, and I quickly cartwheeled over to her side.  I thought I noticed a hint of amusement on the guard's face as he turned the other way, ignoring our clutched hands.
     Confronting  fear and taking action helped me fight off the numbness that a persistent contact with arbitrary authority can create.  Learning to "face the fear and do it anyway" became my way to recapture my self-esteem.
     The inhumanity continued and months later, unconscious from starvation, I was thrown on a heap of corpses and presumed dead.  Later that day, the American troops  entered the death camp.  I was to weak to realize what was happening.  A GI  looked my way as my hand moved.  At the infirmary, he watched over me until I was declared out of danger.
     After several months in the hospital, I returned to my hometown of  Kassa, on the Hungarian-Czech border. Out of fifteen thousand  deportees, seventy of us returned.  A neighbour greeted me on the street, saying, "Surprised to see you made it. You were already such a skinny kid when you left."
     Several years ago, I traveled back to Auschwitz on the same railroad tracks that took countless thousands to their death.  I came to mourn the dead and celebrate the living. I needed to touch the walls , see the bunk beds where we lay those endless nights while the stench of the latrines wafted over us.  I needed to relive the dreadful events in as much detail as memory allowed, while feeling the emotional and physical response.
     The next step in recovery for me was to go public with my story.  Recently, when I asked an audience of three hundred, at the University of Texas, how many knew what happened at Auschwitz, four hands went up!
     I hope that someday my grandchildren will ask me questions about  the time when the World was Upside Down so that If it starts Tilting again, they and millions of others can pour their Collective Love and Spin the World Right Side Up.

~Dr. Edith Eva Eger, Ph.D.


~Beannaichte'
10 August, 2012  

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

"Beautiful Freckles"


Wrinkles should merely indicate
where smiles have been.

~Mark Twain

     It  happened one year at the zoo. My daughter and I stood beside a grandmother and a little girl whose face was sprinkled with bright red freckles. The children were waiting in line to get their cheeks painted by a local artist, who was decorating them with tiger paws.
    "You have so many freckles, there's no place to paint," a boy in line cried. Embarrassed, the little girl beside me dropped her head.
     Her grandmother knelt down next to her. "I love your freckles," she said.
    "Not me," the girl replied.
    "Well, when I was a little girl I always wanted freckles," she said, tracing her finger across the child's cheek. "Freckles are beautiful."
     The little girl looked up. "Really?"
    "Of course," said the grandmother." Why just name me one thing that's prettier than freckles."
     The little girl peered into the olde woman's smiling face.  "Wrinkles," she answered softly.
     That moment has whispered something to me ever since.  If I look at others with the eyes of love, I will not see blemishes.  Only Beauty.

~Unknown

~Beannaichte'
8 August, 2012 
     
    



Thursday, August 2, 2012

"For Love"

...love knows not its own depth
until the hour of separation.
~Kahlil Gibran

     Sam, at age seventeen, had the normal dreams and desires of a young man embarking on manhood. He hoped to marry a good and loving woman, to work hard and study, and to create a bountiful existence for raising a family.
     But in turn-of the-century Polish Russia, a young man couldn't always hope to achieve his dreams. The threat of the draft loomed over every male of fighting age and burdened the heart of his parents. If a man was drafted into the Russian Army, he had little hope of ever coming home.  He was drafted for life or died in service.  Sam was destined to be one of those boys.
    Some families accepted this fate as unavoidable and tearfully said good-bye to their sons.  Others took the extreme measure of chopping off the son's right index finger- the trigger finger- making him ineligible for service, viewing mutilation as the lesser evil compared with prolonged suffering or even death.  Sam decided on another course, and one that held larger dangers he could not even imagine- and the promise of a good life if all went well.  He chose escape.
     Sam wasn't just running away from the perils threatening him in Lodz; he was running toward something- or rather someone.  He had fallen in love with Gussie, a young Polish girl, shortly before her family had fled Lodz for America. Sam had received word that she was safe in New York and missed him. Sam was determined to marry Gussie and fulfill his dreams, so he prepared himself for a treacherous and courageous journey.
     His parents packed him food and water for the trip, but his most vital necessity was money. If Sam wanted to cross the German border, he would have to bribe the border guard. Sam's parents gathered all their savings, tied the money into a handkerchief and hid it deep under the many layers of clothing Sam would wear for the countryside trek, When, or if, Sam made it past  the border, he was to find his way to some German friends who could help him reach New York.
     As Sam embraced his family the morning of his departure, he wondered if he would ever see them- or Gussie-again.  To pass the time and bolster his courage during the journey, Sam concentrated his thoughts on his love for Gussie and his plans for their future. This one hope would give him strength to complete his pilgrimage. Finally, Sam approached the German border, reached for his stash of money and froze in his tracks.  He saw two guards at the border patrol; he had only enough money for one bribe. He couldn't possibly get through. Worse, one of the guards had spotted him, so he either had to advance or flee back home.
     Gussie, Sam said to himself, I'm doing this for you, and I know God will not let us down. Sam prayed as he slowly walked toward the crossing. He needed a miracle.
     As Sam drew closer, he recognized one of the guards as his father's friend, who had visited the family many times. Sam caught the guard's eyes. When the guard recognized Sam and saw the look on his face, he immediately understood what was happening.  Suddenly, the guard started yelling wildly and pointing in the opposite direction. The other guard, distracted, turned away. Sam had just enough time to dash across the border and out of danger- and he still had all of hid bribe money.
     Sam made it safely to New York, and he found Gussie. After they married, they used the unspent bribe money to start a successful business.  Despite his new found happiness, Sam never forgot his family back in Polish Russia. Within two years, Sam was able to bring his three brothers to New York, and he and Gussie had a gift for the boys when they arrived; Gussie's single sisters.
     This young boy whose future in Polish Russia had been so uncertain, lived long enough to see his grandchildren.  In fact, I am one of those grandchildren. While Grandpa Sam was still alive, my cousins and I never tired of hearing the story of his courageous journey, or his ingenuity and self-sufficiency. But most of all, we treasured hearing about what brought him to Gussie: not a stoke of luck or a twist of fate-but a miracle of love.


~Eileen Lawrence
U.S.A. 


~Beannaichte'
1 August, 2012