Has It Been Five Years?!?

A little over five years ago I wrote my blog about moving into my new home, Oxmoor Lodge, a retirement home.

It was not a decision I made without serious reservations. I am sure the concerns I had are the same questions some of you are wrestling with as the years began to take their toll. I want to share my honest assessment about those concerns.

Giving up my independence, taking directions from those in charge, boredom, and losing contact with my friends were a few of my concerns before making the move. I am sure there were other downers that I imagined but they were so unimportant I can’t remember what they were. Besides, not one of those fears materialized.

I still own my independence, those in charge have more to do than to give me directions – other than those that insure my peace, safety and contentment. Our activities director, Marissa Morrison, provides us with a zillion things to do or enjoy every day, most all day. She is the eighth wonder of the world. Our housekeepers, Linda Churchill, Eska Tapp and Sarah Fuller, are so much more then their title reads; they are caring angels. Our kitchen crew are magicians. When you can please one-hundred wonderful, would-be Betty Crockers and Emeril Lagasses most of the time, you must be a magician.

If you are thinking about a retirement home, please give Oxmoor Lodge consideration. You will not be sorry. At this time our managers are the best we have ever had. Our home office should definitely clone them. They are the most loving two people you will ever meet. Just ask for Tim and Sharon Hensley, stay and chat a moment, and you won’t want to leave.

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Speak For Those Who Cannot Speak For Themselves

This is the second time I feel compelled to write my blog about the children who are coming to us for help and understanding from Central America.

Thank God we still have good people whose heart has not turned to stone. I know my list is incomplete but my information is only as good as the daily paper chooses to print. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said, “We are an empathetic people in this country and we don’t like seeing people suffer,” despite bashing our President in the process. Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner said her city “has a long history of welcoming immigrants” – from her grandparents to recent waves of refugees from Bhutan, Iraq and South Sudan. She suggested six buildings on the old campus of the former Maria Regina College be used to house and care for them.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, said, “You have to take a step back and say, ‘We’re talking about kids as young as five’ – “What’s our role as human beings?” Barrett, Davenport, Iowa Mayor Bill Gluba, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, and Governor Martin O’Malley of Maryland have said they would put together teams to look for suitable locations to help.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, each and every one. Great leaders rise to the top by not always looking for votes but for something like this – thinking outside the box to look out for these children; children not unlike your son or daughter.

In an article in the same paper there was a story about a very young boy in San Pedro, Sula, Honduras, who had two of his friends, eleven years old, snatched from their home. Their bodies were found chopped to pieces. That is how he lives each day – in fear of the same.

If each of our states would take 1000 of these children we would save 50,000 children. An example is my state of Kentucky; we have 122 counties. If each county took nine children, that would be 1098 children saved. Please use your creative ability and please do something to help these children. If we had not had some visionaries in our government in the sixties, it is possible we would still have our African-American brothers and sisters in the shackles of racism and a second class existence.

Please America – open your hearts. Ministers of all faiths, find in yourselves the voice of humanity. Let’s help these children of God. They need to be supported with the voices of caring people. Let the choir start by adding each of our voices.

They’re In the Money

My morning paper is my morning friend. I read my paper, front to back. I try to, if not always successful, understand both the good and the not-so-good news equally. But there are exceptions. This morning a story on the front page left me so angry I could not even enjoy my first cup of coffee.

This article concerned the annual financial disclosure list filed for 2012.

The medium net worth of senators and representatives in the Senate and House is $1,008,767: up 4.4 percent. And Kentucky has at least six legislators that are on the millionaires list. Mitch McConnell and John Yarmuth are near the top of the list.

True, some, including John Yarmuth, had amassed great wealth before being elected to serve our Government. But some have amassed their wealth from their service in the Senate or House of Representatives. We, the tax payers, have made millionaires out of some very cold-hearted members of Congress who evidently never read the good book – or at least the part where, over and over, our Father in Heaven tells us to care and share with our brothers and sisters who are less fortunate then we.

It is an embarrassment that my State of Kentucky is where one of those sniveling idiots had the audacity to state publicly that people on any kind of assistance did not want to work, and, by helping them, we encourage them to be lazy and to wait for a handout. I want that little, and I mean “little” ass to know my mother worked herself to death to provide a home AND accepted food for us from the Government to feed us AND passed away at 49 after a hard life doing so.

For you and many in your “party of no ‘s” who have never missed a meal, who have always been warm, or who are living the good life – think of the families who had their unemployment stopped. Think of the families who no longer can get food stamps. Think of what you have taken AWAY from those you are supposed to care about. Most important, think about how you would feel if you had to watch your children cry from hunger. That is a parent’s hell.

I promise you, you will answer for your lack of compassion. You may feel all-powerful and able to abuse the less fortunate now, but you are just a little P- ant compared to the one you will answer to.

My Book Signing

I have had a few days to reflect on one of the most memorable days of my life.

I had a book signing for Blue Streak, a memoir of my 89 years. It took a little over a year; from writing the first words on my IPad, then sending my essays to my wonderful editors, then on to Amazon to be published, to, finally, my book release event at my home, Oxmoor Retirement Lodge. What an amazing journey it was. From 4 years old to 89 and just like that song,  “I’m still flowing, I’m still glowing, I’m still going strong, Dolly.”

Many friends and my family, over 75 people strong, shared the afternoon with me. It was truly a love-in; I was so grateful to each of those who attended, and it was a wonderful day, even though the beautiful snow keep many others of my friends at home, out of harms way.

To each of you, never accept that age makes it that you no longer can achieve the impossible – you can! Just put your faith in whatever you want to accomplish and make it happen.

The real challenge

Several days ago our local newspaper ran an article about a group of local ministers asking for more scrutiny and openness on the contract talks concerning the contract between the Board of Education and the teacher’s negotiators.  They wanted to make sure the final contract was aimed at better education opportunities for children.

I was involved in our school system as a volunteer and employer for some 58 years. It has been the duty of the Board of Education’s elected members to serve as the fiscal managers of all financial matters, and it has accomplished this very well.

May I suggest that a much better use of the energy of all religious leaders in our fair city would be to devote a sermon from their pulpit every so often to parents so as to stress the following principles between them and their children:

(1)  Encourage a desire to embrace the love of learning.

(2)  Parents – make sure your children complete their homework each night.

(3)   Stress education as the pathway for a more prosperous life.

(4)  Make sure you and your children have a positive attitude about school.

(5)  And above all, respect your teachers. Our teachers today spend too much time teaching their students how to behave, how to take direction and dealing with other behavior problems that should be the parent’s responsibility. Teaching the lesson of respect would be a great contribution to the children who don’t know how to show respect now, to the teachers and to the other children in the classroom who have come to school to learn. Teachers want to teach – not be arbitrators, referees or  replacements for absentee parents.

Derby!

If you woke up today and every bone ached, but you felt great,

You’re a Kentuckian.

 

If on the way to your destination you scraped your car against a brick wall, and you just laughed,

You’re a Kentuckian.

 

If you’re a little kid or a big kid and you got caught sneaking under the fence on the back side, and you just thanked the policeman for catching you,

You’re a Kentuckian.

 

If you waited for a crowd and a photographer to take your picture entering the Churchill Downs $20,000 Mansion Room,

You’re a visitor.

 

If you loved all the beautiful blooming flowers, even though they assaulted your sinuses,

You’re a Kentuckian.

 

If you could tell the difference between a real Mint Julep and a watered down one,

You’re a Kentuckian.

 

If you spend more time looking for the media then watching the horses,

You’re a celebrity.

 

If you know the most beautiful thing about the day is not the women, the flowers, the weather or the ambience, that it is the beautiful horses,

You are a true Kentuckian.

 

If you feel warm, and the temperature is in the mid 50’s and you are perfectly dry even though it is pouring down rain,

You’re a Kentuckian.

 

If the bugle’s sound calls the next race and you feel a chill down your spine,

You’re a Kentuckian.

 

And when the band strikes up,  “The sun shines bright on my old Kentucky Home…” and you can’t stop the tears, you know for dang sure,

You are a Kentuckian.

 

It’s the first Saturday in May, it’s Kentucky Derby Day!

Remarkable Young Men

From the lodge at Oxmoor……I want to thank the media for responsible coverage of the very sad injury to our University of Louisville basketball player, Kevin Ware, a remarkable young man, and all the team members whose love and respect in that instant flowed with love and concern.

With all the tragic events that we read about almost daily – of young men and women whose lives are ended far to soon by violence, this whole episode of strength, brotherly love and concern can only be attributed to good first teachers, their parents and a group of young men who understand the meaning of caring for each other.

I would be remiss if I did not give a lot of credit to the coach of these special young men, Coach Rick Pitino. He took a group of strangers, brought them together and molded them into super athletes, champions, and remarkable young men.

I wish each of you a wonderful life, with basketball or not. You have much to give. May your friendships endure well into the future, for it is priceless.