December 29, 2006
(Later) Well, it helped to restart the computer, but I'm still not comfortable with this new version and sorry I switched.
Take Care on the Journey,
My question is…Why is our own birthday so important to us and why do we have such a difficult time remembering the birthday of others.
Not that my birthday was remembered or forgotten in the most recent past, but anyone who has a birthday within the coming month has woeful stories to tell of being forgotten in the rush of the holidays; birthday gifts wrapped with Christmas paper – or lack thereof - because most presents were placed under a certain highly decorated tree!
Jim’s birthday happens every year three days after Christmas. As usual, I worried that ALL the kids would remember and how I could give his special day the recognition it deserved.
Every year about this time I make up a birthday list for the coming year and send it to family and friends who are ON that list, in hopes that all will be honored on their specific golden day. But, we still miss a few, and regret the delinquent call or card. Or perhaps, we don’t do anything and hope no one will notice!
We end this year with fresh memories of mom almost forgotten or dad completely missed by a few days! Not to mention all those close friends we were going to surprise with cards and phone calls! Sound familiar?
So, how do we handle the memory of a long birthday DAY when that favorite someone did NOT call to say Happy Birthday? And, how do we acknowledge our failing memory of those we really did forget?
Another pressing question is…What determines how much or how little we put into other people’s birthdays? When my husband’s birthday comes around, I tend to believe that the number of gifts indicates HOW MUCH I love him…then I realized the world could not hold all the presents I’d give him. I still overwhelmed him with about 18 gifts on December 28. He says I made up for all the times he didn’t get any or maybe got one birthday present in years past with his birthday so close to Christmas.
When at least two important and close family members did not place that awaited call this year, we had a discussion on how to react, but we realized that a gentle reminder would correct the untimely delay.
Today, I’ll be updating the Birthday/Anniversary List, and I might send it out to close relatives who do try to remember all those special events that occur with regularly throughout our lifetime. In 2007, I hope to send out even more cards than last year, knowing that most human's do enjoy that recognition even if in a small way.
Sometimes we go so far as to honor those who have passed on. Grandma’s was August 26 and Grandpa’s was May 8. Something else happened on March 8 – or was it the 9th. Ha Ha. See what time does?
Maybe I’ll post a BIRTHDAY LIST on this blogsite. In a few days, you can go to Google and type in a name (in quotes) and get a birthday instantly. More magic from a person who loves creating magic for those I love!
Take Care On The Journey,
December 16, 2006
After a lifetime of leadership positions in the SDA church, I knew what to look for and what the ‘rules’ were, so I headed straight for the guest book just inside the door and looked around for the “greeter” person to welcome me in.
Sure enough, sweet old Mary rushed over to greet me and watched as I wrote my name, address and phone number in the guest book. That was about the longest minute of my entire life.
After that I was on my own.
“Please turn off all cell phones” was the first message that flashed before me on a big screen over the pulpit as I entered the sanctuary. “Modern-day church” and its big screen advertising took me by surprise! I glanced around for unobtrusive seating. I had already turned off my cell phone!
“Fruit delivery will be here at 5 p.m. Please come help unload the truck” was a message I heard repeated several times before and after the comic-turned-serious-sermon.
I’m sure a small frown crossed my brow because I was certain that sunset – the end of the Holy Sabbath Day – fell somewhere pretty close to 5 p.m. Sure enough, a quick check showed sunset at 5:07 p.m.
If I was concerned about sabbath-keepers breaking the edges of the Sabbath – that was only the beginning of the “New Rules” that I discovered exist for the usually very strict SDA religion I observed for my entire life!
See, I had to take care of a little technicality related to my book, “Dusty Angels and Old Diaries.’ I needed to get my church membership transferred from Berrien Springs, Michigan to somewhere in the Columbia Union SDA Conference (like Worthington, Ohio) so the Visitor Magazine could proceed with publishing an article about the book in the January 2007 issue. I don’t know if this will be a 1x1 inch ad or an entire story, but I did promise the good folks there that I do attend an SDA church in the Columbia Union and, better yet, get my membership transferred once and for all.
I hope the Visitor Magazine nor the church members of the Worthington SDA Church will take offence at my public concern for what I perceived as pretty poor angelic representation at the SDA Church in my city.
Where were all the children? Only two? Oh, they have there own church service now. I counted about 150 people there, but saw no young people except those who played special music, and they filed right out the back door as soon as they were done.
What is that? Can it be? The minister is wearing a flashy gold wedding band? In Michigan, a couple can't get married in the SDA church if they plan to include rings in the service. I couldn’t take my eyes off his hand as he gestured while almost begging for help to unload that fruit truck at 5 p.m.
I was also interested in the organist and the pianist because I’ve played both instruments for church services over the years. I missed the Doxology as the prayerful ministers entered to start the serious church service. In fact, there was no formal entrance of the minister at all. They were seated somewhere on the front row. The program started with some announcements that included (again) help to unload the fruit truck at 5 p.m. and a very long prayer for the offering. There was a missed cue for the special music during the offering collection, and the musician sat back down.
Later, the special music WAS majestic as a woman played the harp and her partner played the violin in a duet. I was mesmerized by the music but intrigued as the woman's fingers sparkled with several rings and diamonds glittered in her ears. Well, I guess no one will complain about my wedding rings. But applause after the duo finished their piece was confusing for me. Were they entertaining us? Then the couple stood and took a bow. This is supposed to be worship to God! Not intertainment for us! I I realize that applause in church is accepted now, but I’ll never get used to it.
I must confess that I got up and moved toward the front of the church so the preacher would not miss me - a visitor. I sat near the isle on a nearly empty pew (3 of us on the pew) about 6 rows back and tried to look him straight in the eye during the entire sermon. I even shook my head in dismay at his funny prelude to the sermon with a comic story of Jesus's birth surrounded by twelve geese alayin, golden rings and dancing women! But, he never noticed me. I know because he didn't recognize me when I shook his hand after the sermon.
One thing that has not changed in the SDA church is the potluck dinner right after church. I noticed the announcement in the program.
(During the announcements, visitors were not welcomed and the potluck was not mentioned. Guess that money-making fruit truck really distracted them.)
But during the sermon, my mouth watered for good old SDA vegetarian food. I figured I could meet some church people and maybe even take a plate of food home to Jim. But I wasn’t invited to the potluck! I hung around the entry area. I looked for the room. I sniffed the air for the aroma of a warm meal, but I got cold feet and left the church before I got the nerve to ask or invite myself.
Going back to the angelic welcome that should be the greatest asset of any church. The only person who welcomed me was sweet old Mary. I got more friendly welcomes at the LeTip meetings in town than at church.
After the sermon that did NOT end in a formal prayer, Mary pulled me toward the pastor for an introduction. He was greeting his parishioners as they left the sanctuary. Well more than greeting. It was a social event that was causing a backup down the sanctuary isle. Three times Mary almost had my hand in his, but three times left his place in line to run after another church member to discuss this or that. (And, where was the pastor's wife? She used to stand next to her husband greeting the members and guests after the sermon, but I guess that went out a loooooong time ago...)
Finally, Mary almost forced her way between the pastor and me.
“I want to introduce… (she couldn’t pronounce my last name)
“Hi. My name is Linda Meikle and I’ve requested a membership transfer to this church.”
“Oh did you fill out the paperwork.”
“Yes, I’ve already spoken to your secretary and I left you a voice message on your answering machine.”
“Well, with almost 800 members, I can’t remember everybody.”
At that Mary pulled me away and said she really hoped I’d come back soon.
I gave her a hug and thanked her for welcoming me to her church.
Getting into my car, I pulled to the edge of the parking lot to observe the standard church attire. Pioneer Memorial Church in Berrien Springs is very strict about dress, makeup and jewerly. My family and I always dressed very nice for church. The boys wore suits even when it almost killed them to do so. We bought nice suits for BC when we couldn’t afford it! They were all pressed and laid out every Friday before sundown. It is respect for God that we did that. Or so I always thought.
Today, I had noticed one of the deacons who took up the offering didn’t wear a tie. Only the older men wore suits. Most of the women had nice outfits albeit some wore pantsuits - and that used to be a no-no. Most every woman wore wedding rings and some bracelets, but no necklaces. Only a few wore light lipstick and I didn’t see any real makeup except a few younger women. Short skirts, high heels, jeans, tennis shoes and back packs…
“Maybe”, I mused to Jim on my cell phone as I drove home…”Maybe I could join several churches and be a member of all the churches in town and no one would ever know the difference.” No matter the church, I would always make sure the visitors got a warm welcome and lots of angel hugs.
December 12, 2006
While my book, “Dusty Angels and Old Diaries” has not made me rich, I been told that it has enriched several lives! In fact, my mother seems to have made more money with the book than I have! She loans it out for $5 and has made $40 while my first six months publishing checks total $12 – the cost of 1 book!
I rejoyce that I've been able to give away over 100 books and several have purchased autographed books directly from me. So every other day or so, I hear from women who've read the book who tell me they have identified with many of the challenges Sandra and I faced in our life! We wish we could sit down and share more of our experiences and reflect on how our journey has merged in so many ways!
Dusty Angels and Old Diaries seems to open a window of our life that we have tried to keep closed. Suddenly we find that we share something we thought was ours alone. That part where we need a little extra courage to get up each day, and we push a little harder to show the world we are strong when in fact, we wonder how strong we are!
We also share the same restlessness of spirit and constant struggle to quell a strange feeling of aloneness. The only name doctors can come up with is 'depression' but I don't think that is what it should be called. I doubt we are depressed, but it takes a little more strength to rise above the feelings of guilt that are a result of old hurts, and a higher expectation of ourselves than we can always achieve!
Dusty Angels serves to fulfill my desire to give back to others in an effort to feel better about myself. My family will recall that my favorite words are, “I got you something” (after, I Love You).
It's a real good feeling to know that when someone indicates a need for a warm fuzzy – I can give them the book with a hug and word of encouragement!
From my own personal experience, women who appreciate Dusty Angels the most, are the type who rarely do something extra nice for themselves. If you look carefully, it shows in their tender emotions and their need to take care of others above themselves!
Something that stands out from my years of therapy with Dr. Berecz (Chapter 41) was a session where he almost insisted that I empty his little office trash can. I didn’t understand why he was being so unusually stern with me. I almost got up to empty the trash until he pointed out that these same actions were an indication of my entire life. I was always taking care of others, giving no thought for myself while doing so. "Even inwardly resenting it", he said.
“If you say “yes” to others, you are saying “no” to yourself,” he would often remind me.
Today I'm still lax about taking time for myself. I realize all too well that now it is absolutely vital that I take care of my health. I need to take time to walk and exercise. To prepare healthy food. To drink lots of water and get proper rest. To meditate and relax. To develop a reasonable work schedule. To set goals and be firm about meeting them. I plan to set these goals for 2007!
I feel so much better about myself when I keep my nails pretty and my hair shining with my favorite color, but find that if I'm not careful, I'll keep putting it off. Regular doctor's appointment would never be kept if I didn't need a refill on my meds every three moths. Personal time are those few moments when I waken in the morning and, if I don't have to jump up for work, lie still and reflect on why I am here.
Or, while driving, I talk to the angels and ask for a sign that I'm not forgotten in the universe. Yesterday I asked for a white feather as a sign - and suddenly noticed a whole field of those white dandelion seeds that blow in the wind....in the middle of WINTER! So much for A FEATHER! At first I thought it was left-over snow from yesterday!
I never spend money on the 'nice' blouse, but choose the second favorite. If something needs to be taken from the basket, it's that little something I selected for myself. Does that sound familiar? I go the extra mile in shoes that hurt my feet. Even after all those years with Dr. Berecz and even after finally writing my book, I find myself getting bogged down with "other people's stuff".
To all my women friends. Some who might read this website, but most will never see this, I urge you to remember you are the special one. You are loved! You can take time for yourself and feel good about it because it is GOOD for you.
To my friends: Tania, Juanita, Allison, Marian, Sue, Katy, Fran, Betty B., Anne, Charlene, Cyndi, Cindy, Sandy, Johnnie, Kathryn, Allison, Elaine, Denise, Alison, Gracie, Loretta, Rose Marie, Marilyn, Susan, Tammy, Mary, Amy, Carrole, Traci, Pat, Pricilla, Mary #2, Mrs. Stone, Oprah, Dena, Barbara, Cheryl, Melanie, Tina, Betty, Bea, Judy, Sherrie at C.B, Sherrie at F.W., Wendy, Sharon, Michelle from RC, Michelle in BS, Terri in S.C, Renee, Nicole, Wanda at N.A., Wanda, Nola, Diana, Diana's sister, Jodi, Judy, Dorothy, Dorothyann, Mrs. K., Edna, Kathy from the J.E and Kathy in B.S, AnnaMarie, Linda T., Lorna, Betty B., Lydie, Shelley, Joyce and Debi.
To those women who have read my book and those who will read it in the future….Please Take Care of Yourself ~ You are Special!
I know, because I'm special too!
Take Care on the Journey,
December 6, 2006
Sorry your're having trouble opening the DVD. These are not first quality, but hopefully you can enjoy them until we get a CD of all the pictures remade for you. PS.. Click the picture to get a larger view, then click the little square at the bottom right to get an even closer view. (Then click back to return to the original page.) ~Linda
December 2, 2006
Miss Samantha...1991 - 2006
Flowers from Aunt Sandy, Craig and furry friends in Tampa
There’s a tiny spirit missing from our home.
Now that our kitty has the universe to roam.
A quiet presence always felt but now unseen.
Except for the tiny dish of nightly cream!
Catnip toys and lots of kitty things!
Her soft meow an echo still.
No litter box we have to fill.
A soft sweet body lies in the hill
With springtime tulips and the
song of Whip-Poor-Wills.
A little light no longer lit.
Her black shadow no longer flits
In the sunlight spot on bedroom floor.
Nor is she curled up tightly on the bed
Next to her bowl where she was fed.
She was a matchmaker – did you know?
When Jim and Linda met by waters blue
Their friendship was shy and new.
Samantha purred in Linda’s ear
“He’s a keeper. Keep him near!”
She didn’t bat an eye in places new
From Michigan, Ohio and Florida too
Samantha never missed a beat.
In Florida she loved the sun and heat.
With just one look she’d stop the dogs
They would lie down like great big logs!
Meow. Meow. “It’s time for my treat”
She’d often purr at Daddy Jim’s feet
And run ahead toward her dish
A spoiled but loving little Princess!
When old and sick and feeble too
We made a low bed soft and new
Pampered, loved and catered to.
But the angel chorus called soft and low
Before the first cold winter’s snow.
We stroked her chin and called her name.
She stirred and purred though she was lame
Then turned her head toward the door
She heard the angel chorus roar!
But before she left on her new ride
She gave one last breath at 1:55.
Magical numbers for Linda and Jim
Numbers special between only them!
A tiny spirit is missing from our home
Has now the entire universe to roam!
Blinking black sparkles in the night
Samantha, we'd love to hold you tight
But we set you free toward the light!
Take Care on Your Journey,