About patticates247

I love to read, write, take photos, and wonder about everything. This blog allows me to share my thoughts on a variety of subjects. I wonder as I wander. Please share your thoughts and ideas with me. I'd love to hear from you!

Remembering 9/11 — NYC, DC, and PA

“Where were you when the world stopped turning?” asks a line in Alan Jackson’s song that he recorded after the horrific events of 9/11.  I don’t know about you but I can still remember exactly where I was on that morning that is now 17 years ago today.

I was at work in a public relations office at the time.  We turned on the news just after the first plane hit the first Twin Tower in New York City.  At the time, people were not sure if it was an accident or deliberate. We watched as the second plane hit the second tower.  We then knew that life would not be the same since someone flew into that building on purpose.  It was a shock.

Throughout the morning, the Pentagon was then hit by another plane. And, then Flight 93 was crashed by brave passengers in Shanksville, Pennsylvania before another building could be hit. Our innocence disappeared that day.  Life has not been the same since.

This was such a sad day after my family had celebrated such a happy weekend when my niece was born.  We celebrated a new life not knowing that in just a few days, many lives would be ending.  I remember having a nightmare over that weekend.  So very strange.  My niece is now a lovely young woman. It is odd to think she has only known a life of post-9/11.

I took this photo during a high school chorus trip to New York City and to New Jersey.  We were in a park, I looked up and there were the Twin Towers.  It is a treasure to have a photo of them.  I remember the heartbreak and shock of seeing both of them fall.  I remember the smoke and people running.

After all of this happened, we were allowed to leave work and go home.  I went home to my house where my dad was waiting for a repair of something.  I don’t remember what it was.  We sat together for a while and watched the news unfolding since this was the only thing on.  I wept for all of the lives lost, I wept that our country seemed to be under attack.  After a while, I started to feel numb.  It was a terrible feeling.

There are older movies and television shows where the Twin Towers are prominently featured and you always can get a sense of the timing that happened.  Many things from the 1970s and 1980s panned across the skyline and there they were.  It is a sad and a constant reminder of what happened 17 years ago.

In addition to the towers, I remember the hole in the side of the Pentagon and how bizarre it looked.  A military building had been badly damaged and that seemed unfathomable before it happened.  And, I remember the crash site in Shanksville, PA and the debris from Flight 93 that was all over the place.

Each year, I remember the people whose lives changed forever. Those who lost loved ones, who never got to see their friend or family again, those who had no idea when they left for work that morning that they would never come home, and those heroes in all locations who helped either before or after the tragedies occurred.

I remember the words of comfort that President George W. Bush gave to the country as well as the call to action and to make sure this never happens again.  Sadly, we have seen entirely too much carnage, hate, death, and destruction since then.

The good thing is that we have also seen love, compassion, neighbors helping neighbors, fundraising, and support for each other, both those we know and those we don’t. My hope and prayer is that we can continue that and learn something from this.

May we never forget.  May we continue to honor those lost that day.  May we cherish each day and time with our loved ones.  May we never take a moment for granted.  And, may we please dear God never repeat this behavior.

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Random End of the Month Thoughts

Hi and happy last day of August.  Can you believe it will be September tomorrow?  I sure can’t. This month has been a busy one and flew by.  Ian has been in school for a  month now and is doing well.  For that we are truly thankful.

It is hard to believe that this is only my second posting this month.  The one I did two weeks ago doesn’t seem to have been read by many people. Oh well.  I really need to get back to regularly writing and posting.  Here are some thoughts over the last week.

I enjoyed my first PTO meeting this week as an interested parent, not an officer having to do something.  It was different and good.  The PTO at this school is different than last year.  Not as much to do and support but what there is to do is quite important.  Nice to be a part of that.

This weekend is football time in Tennessee.  For those who don’t know, the University of Tennessee is a popular team and many people plan their Saturdays in order to watch the games. Orange and white are the colors of choice for many fans as they are yelling at the stadium or cheering in front of the television.  It is almost a religion here.

In 1998, UT won the national championship game.  It was a big year for UT.  One of the local television stations is airing information about that year’s team, information on each week’s game and the fans.  It has been a great look back.  We hope for a winning season this year for UT.  Last year was rough for them and I hope they are on the rebound.

Also this weekend is Labor Day and a three-day weekend, which is so nice.  We can sleep in for three days instead of our usual two. YEAH!  Ian asked this morning what that day is for.  I told him it is to celebrate workers and also the end of the summer.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

I don’t know about you but I grew up learning that everyone at an office has an important and vital job in the success of the company.  The janitor keeps the building looking nice, the boss leads everyone and all of the worker bees also do their part.  My hope is that we can all appreciate our co-workers and those who provide services to us and for us.

Speaking of hard work and doing their part, you know who has amazed me this week?  President Jimmy Carter.  He is 93 years old and is building a house with Habitat for Humanity.  He and his wife are working together with other volunteers.  He has been busy giving back ever since he left office as president.  He is someone for Ian to learn from.

Another person is the late Senator John McCain who died this week of brain cancer.  This is the same cancer that led to the death of Senator Ted Kennedy, and to Beau Biden.  These men were all mentioned and praised during the remarks yesterday by Vice President Joe Biden.

Biden and McCain had an unusual friendship, especially in today’s atmosphere of hating those we don’t agree with, or ridiculing them.  They were totally different and called each other on it. They had major disagreements but were still there for each other and were friends.  They knew how to laugh and respect each other.

At the funeral in Arizona, Biden said, “I’m sure there’s people who said to you: ‘Explain this guy to me.’ Because, as they looked at him, in one sense they admired him. In one sense, the way things changed so much in America, they looked at him as if John came from another age, lived by a different code — an ancient, antiquated code where honor, courage, integrity, duty, were alive…. truth is, John’s code was ageless…. He’d part company with you if you lacked the basic values of decency and respect.”

If only we could go back to that treatment of each other again. I am so very tired of the idea that the other side is the enemy.  They aren’t.  They are just different in what they think.  They could, however, be considered an enemy if they are out to do you harm.  Egging others on to violence and hate is so very wrong and needs to stop.

I didn’t always agree with Senator McCain on issues but I did respect his service to our country, his time as a prisoner of war, the fact that when offered to be sent home he declined since he wasn’t the first one there, and his love of his family.  He was decent, had integrity, and amazing courage.  And, he never thought of himself as a hero.

These are the traits that I want Ian to have as he grows into manhood.  These are the traits that my husband and I are trying to teach him, trying to model to him, and trying to discuss with him.  We want him to be a man of integrity, honor, courage, love, respect for others, compassion, and so much more.

(All pictures are from Power Point Clip Art). What random thoughts did you have this week?  Please share them.

Things That Make You Go Hmmm…

There once was a song that had that line in it by C&C Music Factory. In fact, it was the name of the song if memory serves — “Things That Make You Go Hmmm.”  I just found it on You Tube to jog my memory.  It will now be stuck in my head for a while and I will be singing along.

After watching this video, I also listened to C&C Music Factory’s “Gonna Make You Sweat” and “Here We Go Let’s Rock and Roll.” And “Everybody, Everybody” by Technotronic, “Strike It Up” by Black Box, Shannon’s “Let The Music Play” and Soul II Soul’s “|Back to Life.” These songs take me back to the early 1990s when I was in my 20s and loved dancing every weekend at a club.

My friend and I had so much fun and would dance for hours. There was so much great dance music back then. Each song has memories and so much fun attached.  I only wish that now I could dance for hours as I did then. Talk about great exercise!  I am working now on losing weight and getting healthy again and hope to be in dancing form again soon.

Anyway, this song came to mind over several things that have happened over the last few weeks, including this new journey of losing weight.  A lot on the national stage as well as in my own little corner of the world has made me stop and say Hmmm, or what the beep, or what in the world is going on.

Regarding my most recent change of habits of eating and exercise, I went hmmmm since after a summer vacation of great food and lots of walking, I had lost 5 pounds.  I was thrilled at that and realized that yes, I can do this.  I just have to put in the time and effort.

So, now after dropping off Ian at school in the morning, I am taking some me time and walking a few times around my neighborhood.  I am trying to work up to longer walks and more time on that and possibly some breathing exercises and core work.  It feels good since it is still cool in the morning and a nice time to also think.

My eating habits have also changed somewhat for the better I think.  I am making a point to have salad every day — usually at lunch. Also, I am eating more seafood and plenty of veggies at night. I still like my ice cream and other treats, but do try to have more balance.

So that part of life is improving and that is great.  As much as I enjoyed the PTO work that I did, I wasn’t left with much time after also doing family business work.  So, this year at least, I will help some with PTO but will balance that with other things.  And, that is what was needed since I was nearly burned out at the end of last school year.

One of the things that has burned me out is the concern with so much hate, division, and meanness in our country and especially on a national level.  Our leaders no longer want to seem to find ways to work together or make compromises.  Instead they call one another childish names, are mean and hateful to each other, and dismiss those who don’t agree with them.

As a parent of a child, that truly troubles and worries me. How can I teach our son to admire and follow the example of so many adults who don’t know how to act or treat each other?  Instead we often tell him, see that adult, that is how not to act.  Please be better than that adult and treat others with kindness, respect, and love.

Many times the way adults are acting is what you might hear on a school playground where kids goad and tease each other.  “I know you are but what am I.”  “You are a poopy head.”  “You are a butthead.”  And the list goes on.

In fact, this week one of the congressman called a man a butthead.  Never did I think I’d hear that from an elected official about another person who he clearly didn’t agree with.  He was talking about John Brennan whose security clearance was revoked by President Trump.  I think the congressman’s point could have been made differently, but that is what he said.

Brennan apparently didn’t release any classified material as you would think would have happened.  Instead, he has been very outspoken and negative about Mr. Trump.  Maybe he has gone a bit too far but he is entitled to speak his mind and what he thinks.  Perhaps there is more to the story that I am not aware of.  If so, I’d like to know what it is.

I know a lot of people probably disagree with me, but I had to say what the beep about this since it doesn’t seem like something that should have happened in a democracy with our freedom to say and believe what we want.  Do we want to live in a country where the president tells us what to think, who to listen to, what to say, and how to say it?  And to never question him and perhaps eventually her?

I don’t.  I can’t help but wonder if other people do want that. So many people seem to be going along with this or just don’t see it.  The First Amendment is as important to me as the Second Amendment is to some of my friends and family.  Let’s think about what we say, have some facts to back up our arguments and present them without slamming others.  Am I naïve to think we should be able to do that?

I went to journalism school and studied hard.  I learned the difference between fact and opinion for my articles. I worked as a reporter for several years and loved it.  I know the importance of the free press, the importance of asking the tough questions, and reporting on things that matter.  I covered the things that people need to know about — county commission meetings, the work being done by the fire department and police department, the school board meetings where decisions are made that are hard, and so much more.

I will work to defend it.  I just hope I am not alone in that defense.  Along with this, the notion that the media are enemies of the people just makes me so mad and sad since it is not true. Journalists by and large work their jobs and report things for the general public to know about. They also ask tough questions that many subjects don’t like to answer.

This week, approximately 350 newspapers across the country spoke out against that notion of being enemies of the people. They instead are standing up for freedom of speech and freedom of the press. My hometown newspaper was a part of this and I was so happy to hear that.

On a completely different topic, another thing that made me go hmmm this week was our son’s request to start calling me Mum.  He has called me Mommy, Mom, and now after reading the Harry Potter books decided he likes Mum.  “That is fine with me,” I told him.  “Just please don’t call me Mother.  I don’t like that” and he said okay.

What things make you go hmmm?  I have many more and will address them in other blogs.  This is it for now.  Back to the music that always seems to help.  How about a few by Janet Jackson from the 1980s/1990s — “Rhythm Nation,” “Control,” “When I Think of You,” and “Escapade.”

It’s a flashback weekend for me with all of this great music.  With all of the crazy things in the world, it is nice to hear some music that I grew up with.  Blessings to you and yours on the rest of your weekend! (clip art is from PowerPoint.)

And Just Like That…

Summer is over and it is time for school again.  Can you believe it?  My the summer sure flew by.  It was great and busy and so much fun.  We had time with friends and family, time to visit the beach, and the mountains as well.

How was your summer?  Is it over for you?  Not quite yet for many people.  Already finished for others. I hope your summer was as good as mine was. I hope you had fun, many blessings, and time to relax.

We enjoyed many sunsets while at the beach.  This photo is of one of them.  Isn’t it lovely!?  A little off-center but still nice.

Here are some things I am thankful for this summer:

  • Long walks
  • Seeing Ian learn to ride a bike
  • Ian reading an entire series of books, which I have just started
  • Vacation with my guys
  • A quick stop on the way home in New Orleans where I enjoyed beignets
  • Meals on my favorite porch with my favorite people (well many of them anyway)
  • Card games with a childhood friend
  • New games with family
  • Visits with dear friends
  • Laughs with friends and family
  • Hugs and prayer circles with loved ones
  • Fish tacos from a favorite restaurant
  • Treats from the ice cream truck
  • Trip to a theme park with my guys, including Dad
  • Jewelry store makings and chatting with Mom
  • Outdoor showers
  • Flexibility of a family business
  • Sleeping in and early morning cuddles
  • Hugs and kisses before bed
  • Birthday celebrations
  • Used bookstores and clothing stores
  • Movies and special shows
  • Family sing-alongs
  • Sunsets at the beach
  • Toes in the sand
  • Chats with cousins and siblings at the beach
  • Our family beach house
  • Generations of family enjoying time together
  • Special meals out with Kirk
  • Extra time to visit and be together
  • Art projects and henna tattoos
  • Enjoying every single day of the summer — no matter what we were doing or the weather — we did our best to savor it all

Now we are working to get back to our routine. It may be a tough week but we can do it. Routine is good and so we will be back to it very soon.

I was so busy and having such fun that I hardly wrote at all this summer. Sheesh. I meant to write more this month but just didn’t get to it. I will try to do more in August as my schedule is getting back to normal. Please let me know of ideas that you’d like to read about.

Blessings to you and yours. Hope your school year is a great one!  And if you are not in school, hope that work is going well.

Miracle in Thailand

Did you see the news this morning?  All 12 boys and their coach are now out of that cave in Thailand.  YEAH!!!!!!!  An amazing miracle.  They  survived against all odds and it is time to celebrate.

When I last watched the news this morning, the divers were still coming out and other adults who had been helping the boys.  I hope and pray that all of them will safely come out as well.

The teamwork and support that these boys have received has been amazing. The Navy Seals, the divers, paramedics, doctors, nurses, and other first responders have gone above and beyond. They are real and true heroes.

The fact that one person died while trying to help them is also amazing since it could have been so much worse.  I am very saddened about that loss and feel for his family and friends.  He was brave and strong and died doing something to help others.  Wow.

I only hope that we can learn from this bravery, this willingness to work together for the good of others, and the round the clock effort to get them out.  So amazing and so inspiring.  I want us to pull together as well in hard times and on issues that may divide us.

Although I don’t know the names of everyone involved, I will continue to keep them in my prayers.  I will think of the boys and hope they can return to their normal lives without too much pain and suffering.  I will think of their families and how relieved they are that they were returned back to them.  I will think of all of the brave men and women who made it possible for them to be brought out of that cave.

In the world of so much negative news, so much hate, and so much rhetoric, it has been refreshing and important to have a good news story.  The fact that a miracle occurred is the icing on the cake.

I wanted to add a few other things that I am thankful for:

  • The excitement of Ian reading all of the books in the Harry Potter series
  • Upcoming beach trip with family
  • Work where the three of us can be together
  • Running water, air conditioning, and a refrigerator
  • Iced tea or iced water on a hot day
  • Fans that help keep the air moving
  • Extra time with my guys
  • The laughter from silly Mad Libs answers
  • Lego builds that are amazing
  • Time with our loved ones
  • Laughs and fun memories
  • Extra long hugs
  • Messy, wind-blown hair
  • Visits with old friends
  • Sharing a meal with loved ones
  • The beach house front porch and table
  • That 12 boys and their coach will be okay despite the odds

I wonder what adventures we will have on our upcoming vacation?  I don’t know but am looking forward to them.  Blessings to you and yours.

(This map is from Power Point clip art.)

Happy Birthday to the Land That I Love

Tomorrow, July 4, is the birthday of the United States. In 1776, our founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence that created this land that I love. This land of freedoms, of opportunities, and of care and compassion. Happy 242nd to you America!

I am thankful that they created our government with three equal but separate branches, instead of a monarchy which they came from. Those branches, as I learned in 9th grade Civics, are the legislative, executive, and judicial. My wish is that today our leaders in these branches would work together instead of constantly fighting and being mean to each other.

I hope and pray that we will continue to be a land of care and compassion, a land where anything is possible, a land where we help one another, and a land where we learn from each other’s differences. Sadly I am seeing more hate, division, mistrust, and no willingness to listen to each other.

That has to stop. We have to find a way to listen to one another, to learn from each other, and to be caring and help take care of each other. We have to do better for ourselves and for our children who look to us for guidance on how to treat others and navigate their world.

When President Reagan was in office, he had many heated discussions with senators and congressman, such as House Speaker Tip O’Neill. They went at it and spoke emphatically and strongly on their side, but they didn’t throw mud or call each other stupid or unwilling to work. They instead found compromises and worked for the betterment of the entire country.

Can we do that now? I believe we can. We just have to stop the rhetoric, the incitement of violence, and the hate. On both sides of every issue, we must do better. We must learn to love again and treat one another with kindness. We also must listen to each other, whether we agree or not. How else will we figure out our problems?

Our land is amazing and full of so many gifts and freedoms that many people in the world do not know. We can speak freely, we can worship as we choose, we can protect ourselves and our families, we can have a fair and speedy trial, and we can vote.

These are just some of the rights that we have as Americans. May we remember how precious they are, may we not take them for granted, may we protect them without hate and malice towards others, and may we remember we are all in this together.

A few quotes about the Declaration of Independence and Independence Day:

  • “It is very inspiring, my friends, to come to this that may be called the original fountain of independence and liberty in America and here drink draughts of patriotic feeling which seem to renew the very blood in one’s veins.” ~ President Woodrow Wilson
  • “Liberty is the breath of life to nations.” ~ George Bernard Shaw
  • “The Declaration of Independence! The interest which in that paper has survived the occasion upon which it was issued; the interest which is of every age and every clime; the interest which quickens with the lapse of years, spreads as it grows old, and brightens as it recedes, is in the principles which it proclaims.” ~ John Quincy Adams
  • “From every mountain side,  Let Freedom ring.” ~ Samuel F. Smith
  • “Where liberty dwells, there is my country.” ~ Benjamin Franklin
  • God Bless America
    Land that I love
    Stand beside her
    And guide her
    Through the night with the light from above
    From the mountains
    To the prairies
    To the oceans
    White with foam
    God bless America
    My home sweet home

Beach Body — Not This Year

Hi and Happy Thursday. I read something on Facebook recently that spoke to me since I do not have a body ready for the beach this summer. In fact, it isn’t even close.  It said, “How to Have a Beach Body: 1. Have a Body; and 2. Go The Beach.”

I added with this that despite me being overweight, I am looking forward to our trip to the beach. I will enjoy myself but may be embarrassed at some of the photos that we take. I will do my best to focus on the wonderful family time that I will have and the fun time with friends. Memories will be made and that is something to look forward to.

Speaking of photos, I have always enjoyed hamming it up for the camera and taking photos with my loved ones. My siblings and I like to be silly, as do Kirk, Ian, and I. But, I was just looking at some from earlier this week, and oh brother, I have some work to do. I don’t like how I look and saw many flaws. So it is time to make changes.

I currently am heavier than I was when Ian was born. That had been my heaviest but now I am beyond it. I have struggled with weight loss and have a constant battle with it. I sit most of the day with family business stuff, things for Ian’s school, and many other things, and don’t get much exercise.  I also love to eat and love my food. So what else is to happen as I have gotten older?

But over the summer, I am trying to walk more, be more active, and eat more healthy food. The past few years have been stressful with lots of changes, family members and friends with major health issues, deaths of dear ones, and a lot going on.  So, food has been a source of comfort. I have eaten while being stressed.  I am working on that as well.

I really and truly want to be around to see Ian grow up.  I also want to grow old with my husband. So, it is time to take care of myself and get back to the size I was before Ian was born.  Although that is still a double-digit, I will be happy to see that again since I felt so good when I was that size.

When I had success before, I did cardio of up to 45 minutes each day, watched my food intake and the sodium.  So, I will work my way up to this again.  I will plan to start with 30 minutes a day of activity and go from there.

This photo was taken in 1990 of me with my brother at the beach. This is my favorite beach to visit and am so looking forward to being there again this summer.  I was in the best shape of my life back then and felt really good.

One problem with where I live is the humidity and the discomfort of being outside at certain times of the day. The beach we always visit doesn’t have that so it is easier to walk.  I plan to do a lot of that during that trip.  I also plan to before and after the trip. And I will be doing exercise inside as well.

I have had successful weight loss in the past and have had heavy times as well. It seems to go back and forth. I just hope and pray that I can get a handle on it. I am going to try. I will add activity, still enjoy my food but try to make better choices, and try not to stress eat.

I have heard a quote that nothing you eat feels as good as being skinny or something like that. I am not to that point yet since I still very much enjoy my food and desserts. I do however, realize that it is time to get a handle on things and do better for myself.

I would appreciate ideas and suggestions, but please don’t judge as I am trying. Thanks and God Bless.

All Children Need Their Parents

Whether you are appalled at the recent policy of separating illegal immigrant children from their parents like I am or you think they are getting what they deserve, it is something that is wrong and shouldn’t be done.

Breaking up families in any way or separating kids from parents they need is wrong no matter who the family is or if they are legal citizens or not.  At least it is to me.  I cannot speak for anyone else but I am heartbroken that this is happening. I am heartbroken for the parents separated from their kids and more so for the kids who are apart from their parents.

When I woke up this morning, I had the following thought, “Is a refugee or illegal immigrant child of less value or importance than my son?” I say a resounding and loud NOooooooo!  So why are they being treated like they are?

It is something that I am surprised that we aren’t more livid and outraged about.  It is something that is breaking up families and doing harm to young minds and souls.  It is something that needs to stop.

I have heard some people say that this is supposed to a deterrent and that these families know this is the policy.  But what if they don’t?  What if they are just being told the kids are being taken to the bathroom and then not being returned to them?  Does that change how we feel about the situation?

No matter who the family is, it is hard when kids are ripped from their parents’ arms.  And, condoning it and saying it is our new policy is just mind-boggling to me.  I honestly am trying to understand the thinking, but as a mother, I can’t.  My mind and heart first go to the child.  And in this case, that is thousands of kids who are now in a foreign land without the very people who they need the most.

There are a lot of people who are speaking out against this policy — all five first ladies, the Rev. Franklin Graham, a Catholic cardinal, Senator John McCain, Senator Ted Cruz, the Methodist Church, attorneys, pediatricians, the United Nations, Senator Mazie Hirono, and many others.

My hope and prayer is that something will be done very soon so these kids don’t have to suffer for too long.  Immigration laws may need to be improved, but does it have to be at the expense of families?  Of children?

Let’s contact our senators, congressmen and women and other elected officials to have our voices be heard.  Let’s also vote in the upcoming elections.  Let’s be part of the change that we seem to need.

Let’s remember the precious lives who are being harmed and don’t have to be.  Let’s be the compassionate and safe refuge that our country has been known for.  Let’s please do better and make America kind, compassion, and loving again.

Children are some of the best teachers that we have.  In closing, I want to leave you with this thought from Mary Hollingsworth’s “On Raising Children”:

“…Children teach the world to love. They teach us to look past a person’s skin color right to his or her heart. They teach us how to be honest, open, and innocent.  And they teach us how to hug and laugh and be enthusiastic. 

“Children make us keep our promises because they never forget one that we make.  They even make us into scientists and professors by asking ‘why?’ about everything that moves and many things that don’t. 

“Isn’t it interesting that while we are teaching our children to be adults, they are teaching us to be children?  That’s especially important when we remember what Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.'” 

Don’t find fault, find a remedy

“Don’t find fault.  Find a remedy.” — Henry Ford 

Isn’t that a great quote?  I came across it and knew that I had to write about it.  Since it is often easier to criticize or find fault then find solutions or remedies, I knew it was worth considering and discussing.

I don’t know about you but I am sick and tired of hearing our county’s leadership gripe about the other side, complain that the enemy is making it so nothing is happening, and digging their heals in that their way is the only way.

Whatever happened to compromise, meeting in the middle, or actually listening to someone else’s argument?  Those seem to be gone and we are much more apt to blame others.  As Mr. Ford said, let’s instead try to find a remedy.

Do you think that is possible?  I only hope and pray that it is.  When I was in Civics in 9th grade, I was assigned to argue in favor of a subject that I didn’t agree with.  It was one of the hardest things I have every done, but I learned so much as a result. I learned what was important to someone I disagreed with. I learned why that other argument had validity. And, I learned to respect others who disagree with me.

My dream is that we can have national education that advocates this.  I think that our children need to learn to argue in favor of what they believe and against it.  This, if nothing else, would help bridge the gap between us.  These kids would understand why someone feels the way they do that is different from their own feelings. And they would know that it is okay to disagree with someone and also to respect them.

What a concept right?  Perhaps that is one remedy to our division, criticism, blame, and hate.  Do you have an idea of a remedy?  Please share if you do.

One of the definitions of remedy from Merriam Webster Dictionary is ” something that corrects or counteracts.”  My hope is that we can work to do that rather than just place blame, find fault, accuse, or belittle.

Let’s be kind to each other, let’s respect each other, let’s listen to each other in order to understand where someone else is coming from.  Is that possible?  I don’t know.  I hope and pray that it is. After all, we need healing from all sides of issues and from all people.

A few quotes about compromise and remedies:

  • “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein
  • “Compromise, contrary to popular opinion, does not mean selling out one’s principles. Compromise means working out differences to forge a solution which fits the diversity of the body politic.” — Madeline M. Kunin
  • “Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.” – James Baldwin
  • “Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate and doubt, to offer a solution everybody can understand.” — Colin  Powell
  • “Problem-solving leaders have one thing in common: a faith that there’s always a better way.” – Gerald M. Weinberg
  • “Our right to disagree is precious but fragile. The best way to protect and preserve it is to let the other side speak without demonizing them or destroying their right to be heard. Such civil exchanges are the heart beat of democracy – essential to keeping it alive.” — Madeline M. Kunin
  • “Instead of thinking out the box, get rid of the box.” – Deepak Chopra
  • “Diplomacy is listening to what the other guy needs. Preserving your own position, but listening to the other guy. You have to develop relationships with other people so when the tough times come, you can work together.” — Colin Powell

Summertime Fun

Nothing says summer like the ocean and the beach!

Hi and Happy Summer.  Are you having a good one so far?  We are and enjoying our different routine. We were super busy between the last time I wrote and the end of school. There was a lot going on and much to finish. So I have not had the time to write and I have missed it very much.

We are enjoying the down time and the family time. On the other hand, we have been busy with our family business, yet still make time for nice meals together, some shopping and some time to chat without somewhere we have to be each night, or without homework.

We are having time to read, enjoying ice cream, Lego movies and builds, and word finds. I have asked Ian to teach me about chess and I am looking forward to that.  He has become a great player and I know almost nothing about the game. I am blessed to have time for that with him.

This summer, Ian has discovered the Harry Potter books.  He really likes them and has been taken in by the world that J.K. Rowling has created.  I have not read the series yet but think I might.  I have heard so many great things about it.

I will have to take more photos of our adventures this summer.  I tend to enjoy being in the moment and forget to do that. I am, after all, from a different generation than that of documenting everything on a cell phone. And, I don’t have the right phone to do that with.  Perhaps one day.

On this summer day, I am thankful for:

  • Later bedtimes and the chance to sleep in
  • Homemade dinners and time to visit
  • Watching a favorite show or movie together
  • Hearing about favorite parts of Ian’s new book
  • Enthusiasm of a new Lego set
  • Enthusiasm of a new book
  • Watching Ian build his new Lego set
  • Treats from a favorite bakery
  • Walks with my guys
  • Times with family
  • Family photos and fun times
  • Funny times together when laughter turns to tears
  • Used books stores where I can find books, bumper stickers, and buttons
  • Our slower pace
  • Our upcoming beach trip
  • Dinners out with friends and family
  • Birthday celebrations and new life

Hope you have a great day. I will try to write more over the summer and have plenty to write about. Just finding the time to do it is often a challenge. Please share ideas that you’d like me to blog about. Blessings to you and yours.