Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Another Year Passes By and it don't look good.

Well, it is the day before new years and I have to stop and wonder about what this year has brought. It certainly has brought on a case of the uncertainties.

I don't feel as good about the world as I did to start off 2008. With so much war going on and the instability of our nation, I can't help but wonder if 2009 will not bring more of the same. I believe that we are looking at some dark times to come for America. Joblessness on the rise, declining wealth, crime on the rise; all signs that things are not good.

I believe that there may be a resurgence in religion, common sense spending and a modest lifestyle that we haven't seen in this country in over 40 years.
Perhaps the fear and uncertainties we are feeling will reshape the American way of life.

I believe that with these troubled times will come a sense of community and neighbors helping neighbors.

Oh, do not get me wrong, I believe there are those that will lose much in these times. But it is important to remember that by losing these things around us like homes and cars and jobs, we will learn to hang on to and cherish the things that really matter to us; like our health, family, and friends.

Our grandparents made it through a similar time years ago, and it made them tough, smart and resilient. We sometimes speak of them as "they didn't have much but they got by", or "he worked hard to bring home those few dollars to support the family", or "the family only had enough money to get us A pair of shoes once a year". And we hold these statements up and say," They survived, they've seen it all, they were tough". An we are somehow proud of their accomplishments, being there and living through it.

And now we are there, on the brink of reliving those days again, but we are soft. We are used to having all of our things, and to be without any of them we feel we just can't function. Perhaps we are on the verge of a "New" America. One that realizes that we can get by with less. We can become a more frugal America. Perhaps even a more environmental America. I hope that after we have reached the other side of these bad times; and we will get there, its a matter of when; we will be a "Better" America, a more "Sensible" America, an America our grandparents could be proud of.
God Bless You and Good Bye 2008.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Spirit

Tonight, a few thoughts about the Christmas Spirit.

What is the Christmas Spirit? Is it lights and tinsel? A tree and carols? Or presents?
No, I thing it is something deeper than that, although these are the things we associate with Christmas and the Spirit of Christmas.
Many times, we feel drained by the hustle and bustle of the holidays. We lose sight of what the Spirit of the season really means. We get caught up in the superficials of the holidays; what presents to buy, who's hosting the party this year, what are we going to bring to the gathering, what time are the kids' school plays, who's picking up the in laws from the airport. The list goes on and on. All these little things pick, pick, pick away at our brains until we are just worn down by the whole season.
When we stop; really stop to think about what's important what really matters when we take it all away; only then can we see the Christmas Spirit.
I believe two stories really exemplify the Christmas Spirit. The first is "It's a Wonderful Life" and the second is "A Christmas Carol". If you have not seen either of these movies, I would highly recommend them if you are running low on the Christmas Spirit or lose sight of what it really is.

Let me tell you what I believe the Christmas Spirit is:

I believe that the Spirit of Christmas is a rebirth of the good within all of us. A new chance for us to do good things for one another. A chance to connect to new lives and reconnect with old friends and family. I believe that it is the rebirth of hope. The hope that there is a better tomorrow. I believe that it is all about sharing. Sharing times with family and friends and also sharing with those we don't even know to make their lives better; a little brighter. I do not believe that this Spirit is limited to the Holiday Season, but can be observed year round if we so desired.
It is so easy to wrap our Spirit up and place it in the closet with the lights and decorations once the holidays have passed and we get on with our daily lives. But my hope; my hope is to keep that little flame of Holiday Spirit alive and carry it with me all through the year and make this world a better place for all I meet. And I hope that all who read this story will think about what I've written here and entertain the idea of keeping the flame of the Spirit in your heart and help me to make this a better place for all.
You may not agree with all that I have written here, but at least, now I have you thing about what your definition of the true meaning of the Holiday Spirit is.
Too all, a Happy Holidays...

Monday, December 8, 2008

See, this is a Christmas Cactus

This was my mom's christmas cactus as seen at thanksgiving. It really is a beautiful plant. Although this guy may be several years old. You know they hide their age very well.

This is my brother on the phone talking to my sister in Montana. You don't see him on the phone evry much, only when family calls.

This is a picture of my brother's new girlfriend, and her sweetest day's present. It's not flowers and it's not candy, but baby, those clay pigeons better watch out.