Friday, June 29, 2012

"A WORLD OF SUDS," by Gloria Hannigan

Sometimes we need a simple solution to solving the world’s problems. We often refer to Gloria as our “resident Erma Bombeck.” This piece is a gentle reflection on the value of a routine task. Enjoy. ~ Bonnie

This morning I stood with my hands in hot soapy water, washing dishes, gazing out the window, solving the problems of the world. I tried to sum up the number of times I've washed dishes in my lifetime. I started with the years my sister and I argued over whose turn it was to wash or dry.

This was not a very peaceful time, but we did interact with each other. Then I had to subtract the dishes my children did while growing up in our home. This probably puts me in the hole, as they were doing dishes for a family of eight at a time when I was cooking full meals every day. This is probably why they all have shiny chrome dishwashers in their kitchens today.

I add in my solitary years when all the children have moved on and I once again had custody of the Palmolive. I soon decide all these calculations are getting me nowhere so I return to solving the problems of the world.

My plan for world peace is to have the leaders of every country take a twenty minute break in the middle of the day and immerse their hands in hot soapy water and let their problems rest.

I worry that my granddaughter is missing all this. I watch her load and unload the dishwasher and wish I could put her hands in warm soapy water so she could feel the power of solving the world's problems. I am afraid that putting her hands in water might short out the headset that is permanently attached to her head. The fear of sparks flying from her braces and damaging her teeth forever, keeps me from even suggesting she try it.

Dishwashers are prevalent now. Those colorful dishwashing soaps are being crowded off the shelves at the super market by dishwasher detergents and rinses, cleaning sprays and kitchen wipes. We are gaining more sanitary kitchens but losing those precious moments of peace. Soon the day will "Dawn" without "Joy".

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Healing Spirit, by Kay Halsey

Please take time to read this piece by Kay. You will be glad you did. In a little slip of the fingers, I accidentally typed “peace” instead of “piece” in that first sentence. After you read this, you might be able to figure out why!

April 2012

            An excellent TV advertisement is pictures of different people of all ages saying, “It’s in here!”  Indeed it is.  We are spiritual beings, sensitive to the sounds, smells, sights, feelings (touch) of our existence.  The bird songs in early morning awaken our awareness that we are not alone.  The light and heat of the sun trigger our feeling of warmth.  The smell of bread cooking or roses blooming trigger memories of beauty through their smells.  The touch of a greeting of another alerts our joy in human friendship.  We have an inner spirit which communicates with our whole body if given time.  It is called meditation.

            I have not always understood the beauty of the inner spirit.  I saw American Indians beating a drum and chanting the same notes as they danced in a circle.  It was just strange to me!  I smelled exquisite perfume on some people and thought, “They’re just attracting others.”  I’ve sat by campfires, enjoying every minute, but not realizing the relaxation benefit of pine smell of crackling fire.  My husband and I loved to sit on Seal Beach pier and listen to the waves roll in or whisper as they drew back.  The ocean sounds were basic to our early being, but I just thought, “This is what we do on Saturday morning,” not realizing I was connecting my soul to the Earth’s forces or meditating with my inner self. 

            Our body has all the medication we need to live well and be healthy if we open up ourselves to our inner spirit.  Our national parks were created so that people could go and embrace their essences.  In order to save the most beautiful spots in our country, our government, beginning with Teddy Roosevelt, set aside Yellowstone National Park because of its uniqueness.

             John Muir had come from Scotland and written books about the joy of Yosemite.  He often had just a blanket and pieces of bread but climbed the mountains and drank from the rivers and distanced himself from civilization for days, enjoying the restorative effects of nature on the human soul.

            Time Magazine recently carried an article about how life past 2012 is going to change because the parks are not being restored due to the economic situation and the threefold increase in population.  More people crowd out space for each.  Family vacations of camping in national parks have been possible for years.  To get a reservation today takes sending a request at least six months in advance.  Can we develop a new way to restore our souls?  Considering the pressure of modern life, we need to protect our beautiful natural places.

Monday, June 18, 2012

PINK, by Charlene Farnsworth

Are you in a good mood? You will be after you read this creative color poem from Charlene!

Pink’s my very favorite hue

And I’ll share why with all of you

A combination—red and white

A dainty color, a delight

Garden flowers are sensations—

Roses, tulips and carnations

Cherry blossoms on a tree

A pinkish sky, so nice to see

Feeling “in the pink” is grand

Without a “pink slip” in one’s hand

On holidays, pink’s all around—

An Easter egg a kid has found

A Valentine, a pinkish shade

Perhaps one that a child has made

Pink is known for little girls

With pink barrettes to hold their curls

Frilly little baby clothes

And a baby’s tiny nose

Ribbon on a loved one’s gift

Always gives a special lift

And, of course, we must remember

The pinky ring upon one’s finger

Pink’s the color of some foods

To put us all in happy moods:

Ambrosia apples with their blush

Grapefruit before the morning rush

Animal crackers with sprinkled tops

Bubblegum that’s full of “pops”

Gumdrops and some jellybeans

(a real favorite with the teens)

Pink lemonade is such a treat

Pink-boxed donuts; that is neat!

Frosted cupcakes, cotton candy

Always make us feel quite dandy

Pink animals are but a few:

Flamingos, pigs, a cockatoo

Some silly ones come into mind:

The panther and the elephant kind

 Pink can be symbolic, too

Familiar ones for all of you:

Cancer Awareness, #1

Mary Kay’s “cads” give us some fun

Pepto-Bismol soothes our tummy

But it doesn’t taste so yummy

Shears that cut serrated lines

Making patterns oh so fine

Cuts that zigzag here and there

Add some charm to what we wear

Pink is personal to me—

Some lasting images I see:

The color of my dress was grand

Upon a camel on the sand

Though this was back in ’65

The memory is still alive

The covers to my recent book—

Pink gives it quite a classy look

Pretty pink is all around

And, with this writing, I have found

My favorite color sure is PINK

Now even more than I did think!

Monday, June 11, 2012

These Feet by annette skarin

Have you heard of the term, “synecdoche”? I challenge you to look it up and enjoy Annette’s inventive use of this literary device to create a dynamic picture of the stages of her life.

Through the undulating canal

They followed the lead of my head

These feet kicked

These feet squirmed

Toddling unsure forward

They followed the lead of my head

These feet rocked

These feet rolled

Running fast with pure joy

Tripping over my glee

These feet flew

These feet danced

Tramping down prairie grass rooms

Wriggling like worms in warm sand

These feet giggled

These feet tickled

Pushing into bike pedals

With splendiferous abandon

These feet turned

These feet spun

Protesting against cold stirrups

Agonizing thrusts against pain

These feet delivered

These feet carried

Some day these feet will again toddle

Instead of pushing they’ll slide

These feet are glorious inventions

Thank you God for these feet

Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!

Your workmanship is marvelous – and how well I know it.

Psalms 139:14 (NLT)


Thursday, June 7, 2012

People Who Have Gone Before Me, by Kay Halsey

We all know that we are headed for “old age,” yet it is so easy to miss the lessons of those who have led the way. Here is a poem from Kay, now in her very active and youthful 90’s. Maybe, just maybe, we can learn something from her. ~ Bonnie

I’m so lucky that

Those older folks that I now see

And thought I’d never be

Remind me I never saw what really was

I visited “old folks’ homes” to sing as a campfire girl

But I don’t remember the limping, walking residents,

The slower pace and deliberate moves,

The urge to sit and rest a bit.

Of halted speaking, searching for a word

To tell of a joy or event from their memory

They’d like to share.

It makes me sad that I didn’t know

What the older people in their earlier lives

Did to make them happy.

Their special days and happier days

Were never recalled because I didn’t

Share and imagine what they thought fine.

I don’t regret the things I have done

But now I know I missed what I should have done

To see, to feel, to listen, to hear the music

Of their souls who have gone before me in former times.