Progress, I Think

We humans have a lot to learn. We pay up to $800 a day to rent a room in a hotel called Baptist East, Peace or Mercy General, agree to wear the same thing as everyone else and, fine, yours opens down the back and is at least 5-7 inches too small to close. There are no elevators by the door you came in; however, they provide you with a gurney and driver.

You get into a testy discussion with your roommate not about how the food tastes, but over who can best identify what it is. Then, off to sleep, only to be awakened on the hour to donate to the blood bank and then on the half hour – to see if I need anything.

I was beginning to wonder if this was a 4-star hotel – a 5 star would have been out of sight – and then I went to check out and they said, “We will bill you after the Government pays their part.” I “walked” out thinking, “Hot damn, what a deal. And my ole daddy said I was too dumb to go to the big city.”

Now, on the other hand, the squirrel comes to town, finds a beautiful big oak tree with nice nesting leaves to keep him warm at night. He hops and runs on his little feet and finds lots of good walnuts and other kinds of nuts to store away. His friend stops by and loves his tree and food. He and his treemate relax, remembering their days at Squirrel University and they nap peacefully. When they decide to move on, they clean up their tree. Before they leave their squirrel pad, their neighbors fill two squirrel men’s purses with nutty food and off they go.

The lesson to learn: Squirrels and most animals are smarter than humans. They have been on this earth for millions of years. Their biggest problem: The Humans. But I must admit this past week I was glad to be human and have other smarter humans manage to keep me here a bit longer.


What’s the Difference?

President Obama’s executive order concerning immigration is being threatened with every ridiculous threat that the party of NO can conjure up. Check your history: Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and every Republican and Democrat for the past half century has used their power of executive order to right the wrongs of this country’s immigration laws.

President George H. W. Bush, through the Family Fairness Program, covered about 1.5 million spouses and children. This represented forty percent of the undocumented immigrants in our country at that time. Why was it so wonderful when President Bush did it and so wrong when President Obama does it?

Well, let’s see…oh yes, he wasn’t born in one of the forty-eight and he is not white. You see how shallow you NO people are.

The bottom line is, if you are not a full-bloodied American Indian, you have no right to say who can or cannot make their home in the United States. Our bloodlines all started someplace else.

We were all foreigners whose families wanted a better life for their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They packed a few belongings and, with faith in their God, and faith in a new country, they boarded a ship in Germany, France, Austria or some other country and made the arduous trip to America. Some who came after 1886, on first seeing the lovely Lady Liberty, so regal and welcoming, dropped to their knees and wept.

Let us open our hearts to those who want to be a part of our great and benevolent country. Let us welcome our new brothers and sisters, as our antecedents wished to be, to the melting pot of our shared homeland.

Trick or Treat Meet and Greet

Two events are close at hand: Halloween and Election Day. It is hard to decide which is the scariest.

One of the two is over quickly. Someone jumps out with a crazy made up face, devil horns and a long tail and shouts, “Boooooo!” Then you wait for the next reveler to knock on the door and yell, “Trick or Treat!”

Depending on who the winners are in the many elections across our great country, the outcome will delight us or scare us more than the Halloween guest at our front door. It is no secret our country and our President have been held hostage by negativism, disrespect, bigotry and all the NO, NO, NO of recent years.

If that behavior continues, it will be worse than devils with horns and long tails or ghosts with spiders crawling over them. Our country and our citizens deserve better.

I, for one, am sick and tired of millionaires buying the government they want while they fatten themselves at the trough, boosting themselves upward on the backs of the less fortunate.

May good government return.

What In the World?

Just when we think the news cannot get worse we are witnessing the beheading of at least three men whose only crime was doing their job, which was to keep us informed that, once again, “War is Hell.” In recent months we have learned that fanatical idiots have invaded homes, dragged children out and executed them while their families were made to watch. We have been told of countless women and girls as young as eight years old that have been given to the invading ISIS terrorists to do with what they wanted.

Some will say that would never happen in America, England or France or a civilized county; well, wake up my friends, the terrorists have been joined in their brutality by young, allegedly educated, stupid idealists from our country, England and France. Their venom has invaded many areas and we are naive to think otherwise. We need to be diligent, not only in New York or California where rumors of impending dangers have surfaced, but also in every state, and we need to report suspicious activity to the local authorities regardless how insignificant something may appear to be.

When did man’s inhumanity to man disintegrate to such disrespect? Why do we hardly blink when parents kill their children when they can’t get along? Why do we load up guns to just fire them without rhyme or reason regardless of who the victim might be? Why would some laugh when a so-called respected elected official calls our President a liar at a public meeting?

This is not the respectful world I have lived 90 years in. What kind of world will the young children of today grow up in? It should be a matter of concern to each and every one of us.

Shortly after I finished this blog I learned about the beheading of the woman in Oklahoma. Please heed my warning. We cannot be too careful.

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.

Back To School

Today I am going to forget about all the violence happening around the world and write about a happy subject. It is August and a very exciting time of the year; the new school year is starting. All over America the school bells will be ringing. School supplies are flying out the merchant’s doors, teachers are making their rooms “kid friendly” and the yellow school buses are tuned up and ready to go.

Each year there is another group of “first” events, beginning with, in my opinion, the most exciting day; the first day of Kindergarten. My grandmother walked me to school that morning, 84 years ago, and upon reaching the school door, she lifted me up to reach the door knob and said, “As you open this door you will begin your lifetime of learning. Cherish each opportunity you are given and learn something new each day.” With this attitude, she gave me a gift – she let me know early on about the importance of school. We were able to share this love of education for as long as she lived, and I carried her valuable gift with me after she was gone. I encourage parents to always be positive when talking to their children about school. If you value school, I guarantee you they will value school.

Next, take every opportunity to get to know the parents of your children’s classmates – the kids that they spend most of their day with. Also take time to understand the rules of the school. Schools should be welcoming places and most are; but the priority in running a school is to maintain a calm and orderly atmosphere – one that is conducive to learning.

Last, but certainly not the least: join your school’s Parent Teacher Association (PTA). Most membership drives start just prior to the beginning of school. The PTA of your school is the backbone of parent involvement in your school. The devoted members of your PTA make a huge contribution toward a school’s success in fulfilling its goals. The Parent Teacher Association was established in 1897 with a mission statement that remains their mission statement today: working to provide health, safety and the best possible education for each and every child. They are there behind the scenes and on the front lines, working with parents, teachers, school administrators and community leaders to make sure each and every child has the opportunity to excel to their fullest capacity. Please be a member and join your school PTA.

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.