Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Loved Life/ Reading About People's Lives! (Obituaries)




"Even though Tom will be greatly missed, he didn't want to be mourned, just remembered as a person who loved life."

The above was something that I read in a small town Georgia newspaper when I was visiting my Dad...I liked it so much that I jotted it down.    I always read the obituaries, don't you?  You are really reading about the LIFE of that person, how they lived, what they loved and enjoyed.  

Most of the obituaries now in the newspapers are written by someone who is in the deceased's family but I remember the obits in the Atlanta newspaper that were beautifully written by one person, Kay Powell.  I found the most wonderful article about her and you may read about her just here.


If you don't know one thing about me, you should know this: I dearly love a well written piece by a journalist.  You might not think that an obituary would come under this heading but then, you haven't read any of Kay's obituaries!

Recently, I wrote a post about seeing Venus early in the morning... the planet shone with a steady light in the sky but then, the sun came up over the trees and very quickly, Venus faded from my view.  It was still there, I just could not see it!  It reminded me of a poem and I wanted to share it with you...


I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts
for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck
of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

 
Then, someone at my side says, "There, she is gone."
 
Gone where?
 
Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast,
hull and spar as she was when she left my side.
And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.

Her diminished size is in me -- not in her.

And, just at the moment when someone says, "There, she is gone,"
there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout, "Here she comes!"





Note:  1st Photo of graveyard in Monroe, Georgia, grave of the "Poppy Lady", Moina Mitchell.

Next two photos, from church in Burwash, England.

Poem by Henry Van Dyke.












Thursday, September 14, 2017

Funny Story-We All Need A Laugh!



Hey! Want to hear something funny?  I read this on the BBC website today... and I am giggling just thinking about it...
A family in Coventry called the RSPCA (which is the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals") because they had found a lizard under the bed.  The RSPCA officer came to their home and moved cautiously to the side of the bed... and it turned out to be a ....dirty sock!  You may see the filthy sock masquerading as a lizard just  here.

I couldn't help but think of the wonderful Jim Henson and his muppets.  Kermit the Frog was really just a sock on his hand, you know!  If you ever have a sock or an oven glove, you can always make a puppet out of it and make people laugh with a funny voice.  What?! You have never done that before? Well, try it!  Ahem...I MIGHT have done that a few times in my life!  

If you know anything about Jim Henson, you should know that he did the voices for Kermit and one of his other first creations, Rowlf the Dog.  So...I have a song for you where they are both singing.  I have given this to you before on a post years ago, but it is always worth listening to again!




If you want to see a real lizard, I have one for you! This one lives near our front porch and he is quite happy there! It is really a skink and apparently, if it loses its tail, it will grow back. That is a handy trick, don't you think?  That bright blue tail, it is really something to see...much better than a dirty sock!







Monday, September 11, 2017

Batten Down The Hatches!



We have no power and the wind is blowing very hard.
The expression "batten down the hatches" is an English expression from sea faring days.  On a ship, the doors were usually left open but when storms were threatening, the doors were closed and then, a rod placed across them to hold in high winds.  I may not be explaining this correctly, but you will forgive me, the winds are whipping against my window with such force, it is hard to concentrate. Since my front door is trying to fly off its hinges at the moment, I can see the common sense of using that metal rod across the door of the ship.  Now, I am in Georgia and this is the first time I have ever experienced a tropical storm, which is what they tell us Hurricane Irma has become now.  Since the wind speed is only 5 miles or so less than a category 1 hurricane, you will forgive me for not appreciating the semantics of the wording...it is just all high winds and rain to me.  I am thinking of what it must have been like for those in Key West, Cuba and Barbuda...some of the places the hardest hit.  


We were in England this time last year...I think the photo above is the same church where they filmed the funeral scene from "Chariots of Fire".  I love that movie so much. If you have never seen it, watch it! You will be glad you did. 

Nave, central and principal part of a Christian church, extending from the entrance (the narthex) to the transepts (transverse aisle crossing the nave in front of the sanctuary in a cruciform church) or, in the absence of transepts, to the chancel (area around the altar). In a basilican church (see basilica), which has side aisles, nave refers only to the central aisle. The nave is that part of a church set apart for the laity, as distinguished from the chancel, choir, and presbytery, which are reserved for the choir and clergy. The separation of the two areas may be effected by screens or parapets, called cancelli. The term nave derives from the Latin navis, meaning “ship,” and it has been suggested that it may have been chosen to designate the main body of the building because the ship had been adopted as a symbol of the church.

Now, I will leave you with a song. (You knew I would!)  It is a most comforting song to me and one that I sing in the car when there is bad weather or bad traffic and I feel afraid.  You are welcome to learn it and sing it also!










Friday, September 8, 2017

Sad Day For Country Music/Under The Weather



On top of the dire news of Hurricane Irma on the news, it is also a sad day for country music.  Don Williams and Troy Gentry both died today.  (Troy Gentry of the country duo, Montgomery/Gentry.)  Don Williams is a favorite of my Dad's.  Such a wonderful voice, deep and comforting to hear...
Don Williams was 78 years old.


Troy Gentry died in a helicopter crash, he was on his way to perform in a concert.  Troy was only 50 years of age.

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"Under the weather"...the news about Hurricane Irma is scary to watch on TV.     The weather models show the storm marching up through Florida and making its way through Georgia.  By the time it reaches this area, it is still supposed to have 50 miles per hour winds.  This might not sound like much but it can also produce tornadoes and the high winds could blow down trees and power lines. We are told to be watchful.  So...we are really "under the weather". Praying for all in Florida and south Georgia, especially.
(The reports of the earthquake in Mexico and the pictures of the hurricane destruction from the Caribbean...so hard to see.  Praying for them all.)


Peace.


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Venus, Shining Brightly / Madeleine L'Engle




Stepping outside my front door recently,I was struck by the brightness of Venus.   When we had the total eclipse of the sun on Aug. 21st, there was talk on TV about it for months.  It made me think...how many of those who raved over the eclipse have taken any time to view the moon, planets or stars?  You don't have to have any special glasses for that!  (Venus is the closest planet to Earth.  Even so, it is about 25 million miles away!) Just now as I am typing this, the full moon is brightly shining!


I am reminded of a quote by Madeleine L'Engle...

When I look at the galaxies on a clear night - when I look at the incredible brilliance of creation, and think that this is what God is like, then instead of feeling intimidated and diminished by it, I am enlarged . . . I rejoice that I am a part of it.

Wonderful news to me...a new biography of Madeleine L'Engle will be released in 2018, which would have been her 100th birthday year.  It was written by her granddaughters, Charlotte Jones Voilkis and Lena Roy.  






Praying for all those in the path of the newest hurricane, Irma and for all those affected from Harvey.  I don't know who did the video above, but I love their accents and the calm waters.






Tuesday, August 29, 2017

New Pound Coin/ Egret Regrets




I'm not a fan of the new pound coin, but then again, I hate all change.


This was voted as the best joke at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival recently. This made me smile so I am sharing it with you here! If the USA ever changes any coins, you will be able to recycle this one!
Now...this begs the question...WHAT new pound coin?  I remember when they did away with the one pound note in the UK and replaced it with the dear little gold coin. (Around about 1985, I think.)  Could I love the new coin as much?  I looked it up.  It is gold colored and silver colored and has 12 sides and...oh look, let me see if I can find it for you...

Image result for new pound coin in the ukImage result for new pound coin in the uk

"The most secure coin in the world" is how the Royal Mint describes it.  It has quite a few security features...here is a video for you!  Richard had already told me that it was like the old "thripenny bit" but we noticed that the announcer pronounced it "three penny".  So, my friends in the UK...tell me, how would you say this word? The way Richard says it, it sounds like "thrip-nee".   


Sometimes when I visit England, I will have some coins in my coin purse from past visits, and when I count out the change at a shop, the cashier will hand one of the coins back to me and tell me that that particular coin is no longer accepted! Well, honey, you should come to America! We hardly ever change our coins! However, my fellow Americans, if we ever do, I have the joke for you above.
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Richard and I have enjoyed seeing the egrets at our walks at Panola Mountain but now, we think they have moved on.  We will miss them.  Hopefully, we will see them there again one day!





Tuesday, August 22, 2017

USS Indianapolis



Did you see on the news this week that the USS Indianapolis was recovered? Led by the co-founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen and his company found the ship by using information that was given to them by a Navy historian who discovered records of the last recorded sighting of the Indianapolis.



  I have written about this ship before...here,   here, and also here!  It is an amazing story.

Like many others, I first heard of it when watching the movie "Jaws".  You know when Shaw is relating the story of the sharks attacking the men who are in the water after their ship has been torpedoed? One young boy watching the movie in 1997 asked his father if that story was true.  His Dad told him that it was. Even though he was only 12 years old, he wrote to the surviving members of the Indianapolis and received startling letters from them with gruesome details of what they had witnessed.  Hunter Scott was the lad's name and he interviewed nearly 150 survivors.  The survivors were most insistent that their Captain had been unfairly treated and blamed for the ship's sinking. (Yes, the ship was sunk by a Japanese torpedo but you will just have to read more details about it...it will astound you. Captain Charles B. McVay III was court martialed.) 
The survivors of the Indianapolis never forgot their Captain, and when Hunter Scott contacted them in 1997, they eagerly shared their memories and opinions with him.  All of this resulted in Captain McVay being exonerated by Congressional Resolution in 2000.   Captain McVay had committed suicide in 1968 but his men never forgot him or gave up fighting for his honor.
In 2001, the Secretary of the Navy ordered that Captain McVay's record be purged of any wrongdoing.

I can't stop thinking of the men from the Indianapolis and what the survivors had to endure.  I urge you to read more about them.  The fact that the Indianapolis has now been found should bring more attention to this true story from World War II.

For anyone who might happen upon this post who could be related to one of the survivors, please pass along my most sincere best wishes.  You are all heroes and have my utmost respect.



   Photo of the Royal Sovereign Lighthouse near Eastbourne, England.  Nothing to do with the USS Indianapolis, just the best photo I have of open water. The Royal Sovereign is 7 miles out to sea, in the English Channel.