Reminiscing About Places I’ve Been

My son-in-law (a funny story, he is older than I am lol) and father of my only grandchild (also funny because she is 3 years younger than my daughter) is Polish, with dual citizenship. Long before I knew him, I had visited Poland, specifically Bielsk Padlowski, for two weeks and Belarus for one week. And I was thinking about the land and buildings but mostly the amazingly wonderful people. We sang our songs (I played the piano and keyboard there) and they sang and played songs they knew and it was wonderful! We were invited to a Polish wedding that lasted all day and into the night and I sang again by request and we ate great food, drank compote and partied with them. It was memorable, saying something with this poor memory I have lol. In Russia, I remember the older women and their wise but loving eyes, hardened by wear but bright and gleaming nonetheless. They had a love of life. I remember the sturdy children, making the most of every stick and mud puddle they could get into, smiling, strong and healthy. I remember the year before spending two weeks in London. Howe couldn’t visit Buckingham Palace because Queen Elizabeth was home there at the time. I remember the beautiful gardens and pride the people took in their tiny gardens in front of their flats (apartments) or tall, narrow townhouses. I remember paying to use the toilet and the worst toilet paper of my life. Funny the things you remember. But the garden in front of the palace, oh how beautiful! And then my mind goes to California and recording my songs in Mike’s studio. I remember the fantastic park in Glendale and hiking the trails. I remember my regular getaway in Yosemite and hiking the falls and staying at the bed and breakfast there. I remember Solvang. Wow. The mountains were beautiful and Burbank was lovely and Sunset Boulevard was trashy but the tiny studio and musicians there are top notch! I remember going to the Grand Canyon three times and how it took my breath away and looked different each time. I remember my exhaustion hiking to the bottom of the canyon and back up the same day on two of those visits. I do not recommend that lol. I remember skydiving in PA. No roller coaster has ever held the same thrill since. And to my eternal shame, I will always have on the DVD my screaming “This is better than sex!” Oy! I remember every other place I have traveled for a day, a weekend, or have lived, and it is very clear that I am who I am largely because of where I have been. Another obvious thing, God has always kept me safe and provided for me just what I needed just when I needed it. And my thoughts most often take me home to the little farm in Buchanan, MI where I grew up. It was the best place! It still is. My family is there and a huge chunk of my heart. The farm is gone but I remember every detail. I remember Grandma living up the hill to the right and Great Aunt Irene living on the hill to the left. I remember our dogs. I remember riding my bike to the ball field. I remember the smell of the lilac bushes outside the kitchen window. I remember fresh vegetables from the garden an dad’s grilling and homemade ice cream. Yummy! I temember.

The Story of Her Heart

A mature woman of God once told me her story. She was a patient of mine, a regular, a real sweetheart. She told me of her heart’s song, the story of her love life. It goes something like this (but without her charming demonstrative flare- you’ll have to imagine it). She was married to a man who was horrible to her for years and was miserable and wanting desperately to be loved and held and treasured by a man. She happened to meet a man she had been friends with a long time but they realized they loved each other. The bad thing was that he was also in a miserable marriage also to a horrible woman. They, for 9 months of bliss together, justified their love because their marriages and spouses were so horrible and they felt so good and whole in each other’s arms and company, it seemed like destiny, they were soul mates in every sense of the word, perfect for each other. It was a perfect fit. Well, the man was being kicked out of his living arrangement and decided to go back to his wife to survive (she would not leave her kids so stayed in the house married technically- divorce being a bad thing back then), leaving her high and dry, not looking back, throwing her away like garbage. She ended up heart broken and almost died of her broken heart, so great was the loss and the betrayal. She yearned for him and mourned him for 9 full months, the amount of time they were together. And I was moved to tears as she still teared up speaking of it, such a sad story, such a broken women before me even telling the story to me so passionately, so empathetic was I to her pain, I felt it equisitely. Then she changed her demeanor entirely and began again. This beautiful old woman told me that the story didn’t end there. She said that she felt alone and friendless after that and decided she would not waste the rest of her life depressed until she died, so she started praying and reading her Bible. A new friend helped her to rebuild her heart a little at a time and she became a strong woman of faith and character and she said Jesus restored and forgave her entirely and He can do the same for anyone. I thanked this beautiful woman for sharing her heart story with me and hugged her. It is not every day you meet someone so willing to share their intimate struggles and testimony. (She gave me permission to share this, by the way.) I think if we all showed people how Jesus changed us and humble ourselves enough to be vulnerable to the listeners and tell it like it is, warts and all, we would help win souls to Jesus for salvation and eternal life with Him in heaven. Jesus has saved us all who are saved and someone may need to hear your heart story to be saved. Never be too proud to tell it. Or rather, be more proud of Jesus and how incredibly He saved you from it that what it might look like that you were imperfect enough to need salvation in the first place. ❤

Memorial Day Quotes

“On thy grave the rain shall fall from the eyes of a mighty nation!” ~Thomas William Parsons

“In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved.” ~President Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” ~President John F. Kennedy

“And they who for their country die shall fill an honored grave, for glory lights the soldier’s tomb, and the beauty weeps the brave.” ~Joseph Rodman Drake

“We come, not to mourn our dead soldiers, but to praise them.”~Francis A. Walker

“They hover as a cloud of witnesses above this Nation.”~Henry Ward Beecher

“Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices.”~President Harry S. Truman

“For love of country, they accepted death.”~President James A. Garfield

“Greater love hath no one than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”~Jesus Christ

To all who gave all for us all, we remember. We love you for you showed us the greatest love. We know what you did and give ou respect and honor. God bless your families and God bless America!!!! We surely need it.

A Find to Remember

I understand that I may get a lot of flack for this, but I believe the Bible does not forbid drinking but commands against drunkenness and gluttony (personally, I think being judgmental is far more heinous a crime). So I drink now and then but to this day have never been drunk or high once. (I confess I have enjoyed chocolate way too much on occasion.) Needless to say, a glass of red wine now and then keeps my tummy calm. And recently, I have found the drink from a good memory with my best friend in the past when we stayed at a bed and breakfast in Niles, Ohio. They had served a nightcap of a wonderful drink before bed and we sipped slowly on that, talking and nd laughing late into the night on such a beautiful night, a very beautiful memory. And I was directed by a lady to Taylor Cream Sherry. The first sip took me back to that beautiful summer day and recollections of a very happy weekend of my life. We had toured Youngstown’s  Art Museum and eaten out and just had a wonderful visit, no kids, no spouses, just best friends hanging out. Needless to say, that has not happened in a while, but it amazed me how beautifully one sip of awn unusual and sweet drink we shared brought all of that happy memory right back to the present, like it just happened and I am thankful! Oh how I love my best friend and how I love God for reminding me of such a great time of my life! Thank you, God!

New Year’s Eve

Our band is gigging for NYE this year, like every year, our biggest pay night of the year. It is a blast and I love bringing in the year with happy, dancing, rejoicing people because of familiar music from our band family. This year is different than last because one band family member was list to controlling manipulative wife. Whereas we were very sad to lose him, we were glad to lose her for she was a pain in the butt since day one. She is the reason we interview wives when adding new band family members now. Lol So, we miss him because we love him but not having her will definitely make this New Year’s Eve so much funner (is that a word? Lol). So I am looking forward to a more enjoyable bringing in of the year, this mixed bag that it is. But here is the point. Life and New Year’s Eves are what you make of them to a point. The company you choose is vitally important though because one evil cold hearted grump in the bunch can cause much distress. Better to be without such a person if you are wanting to live a happy life or have a happy evening. Also, spouses should be supportive at all costs and not cold and selfish, thinking only of themselves. Keeping your spouse from doing something they love that benefits others and brings in money is selfish and dead wrong. Spouses should support each other and encourage them. It is ahndndnd reminder to me seeing a wife being so extremely bad at it that I need to be more supportive of mine. It is also a great reminder to be a source of joy where you go and not drag people down. Put on a happy face and go and enjoy! Should be an amazing New Year’s Eve gig!! Looking forward to it a lot! Have a happy and safe New Year!!! God bless you!!!! 🙂

Keeping Keepsakes

Simple lesson I taught myself the hard way. Keep some keepsakes of your life journey. There are so many places I have been that I thought would last forever or I thought would always be vividly clear to me that I am now struggling to remember. Other keepsakes I treasure and remember the e vents perfectly. It doesn’t have to be huge, maybe pictures, maybe a gorgeous piano figurine, maybe a little Teddy bear, maybe jewelry, maybe a small Rose or pressed flower. There are things we need to hang onto because life changes like the tide and throws you about this way and that and throughout it, little reminders help to cushion the blows and help to remember days of appreciation and love and laughter and travel. Even popping into a store in Sebring and grabbing a city postcard reminds you of better days, happy, complete days. Then you can draw from them when loneliness peaks, which happens in life. Don’t neglect your right to remember the good times. These have been God’s blessings to you and He would want you to remember the good. Sometimes it is all you get for a very very long time.