Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Forty-seven years

Forty-seven years!

We have celebrated our 47th anniversary! The time has passed quickly, but sometimes it seems like we've been married forever. We're still in love, still get mad at each other, but always forgive, kiss and make up! We laugh together, weep together, work together, and play together. We are there for each other, taking care and giving support as needed. We are blessed beyond measure, and hope that in some way, we can be a blessing to other people.

(Photo taken by our server at Charles Anthony's at the Pub, a special restaurant that we like for special occasions. I had a pork chop, sweet potato and salad; he had fried shrimp, asparagus, and sweet potato. We both took home portions of our dinners. They gave us ice cream for dessert, for our anniversary!)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Confederate flag controversy

The battle flag of the gone-but-not-forgotten Confederate States of America is to many a symbol of pride, and to many others a symbol of hate. Pride in our southern heritage, in ancestors who fought for the "Lost Cause" in America's Civil War ("There was nothing civil about that war!"). Tears come to many eyes, and goose pimples rise on many arms as the Stars and Bars is flown and "Dixie" is sung. Thoughts come to mind of dirt country roads, pick-up trucks with open backs, fishin' holes and swimmin' holes, cotton and watermelons and fried chicken.

The flag and the song bring to some a feeling of fear, of images of burning crosses, white-robed strangers, and unspeakable violence done to friends and loved ones. Of years, decades, of injustice, of Jim Crow, of dogs, firehoses, and four little girls in a church, and nine adults in another church.

The Bible tells us, "29 Jesus answered, “The greatest is, ‘Hear, Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one: 30 you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’✡ This is the first commandment. 31 The second is like this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’✡ There is no other commandment greater than these.” " (World English Bible, public domain)

If we love our neighbors, we want to do good to them, and not evil. We want to show them we love them, not hate them. In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus taught that everyone is our neighbor. We should not give them feelings of fear and distrust because of our own "Southern pride." (Pride is a sin, after all.)
Therefore, the Confederate flag does not belong in public places, on official state or city property, on T-shirts or belt buckles, on auto tags, decals, or bumper stickers. This is my opinion; many will and do disagree. That is their right. I am not personally offended by anyone's display, but I am sad that they have no consideration for the feelings of others.

Where, if anywhere, does the Confederate flag belong?
I see nothing wrong with including it in a city seal, representing one of many governmental entities that have ruled over that city, such as Mobile, Alabama. The City Council just voted to change the seal, removing all the flags but one, the American flag.

Here is the "old" seal: />
Image courtesy of wikimedia commons

I also think it is appropriate to place small Confederate flags at the graves of fallen Confederate soldiers in Civil War cemeteries. After all, it was the flag that those soldiers fought under. This is being legislated against in various places, including the U. S. Park Service.

Image courtesy of Religion News Service. This image is available for web and print publication.

What do you think? Do you think the Stars and Bars should be flown everywhere, nowhere, or some times and some places? Why?

(Edited to remove large image of Confederate battle flag at top of post. I disliked seeing it there, especially on Facebook.)

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Praying for Charleston

Just a few days ago, I enjoyed reading a "Love Letter" from a friend to her beloved adopted home town, Charleston, South Carolina.
Low Country Love Letters

And last night I was shocked and dismayed by the terrible news from that city; a young man attended a prayer meeting, and shot and killed nine church members as they were gathered in prayer at the church. It appears to have been a racist hate crime. The suspect is now under arrest.
CNN article

Words cannot describe the horror. My thoughts and prayers are with Charleston, as well as with Mother Emanuel AME Church, and the families of the victims. I have visited Charleston, a lovely city, historic and diverse, a friendly city with a rich heritage.

Please read my friend's blog post in response to this tragedy:
Darkness Comes to Charleston

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Walking

I used to walk. I've had a long history of walking, but I still haven't made it a constant part of my life. I have to make the decision every day: walk, or be lazy?
Sunny morning

In my 20s, when I worked downtown, I often walked during lunch hour, with a friend or by myself, having eaten a sandwich at my desk, thus having more time to walk.

When my children were babies and I was a stay-at-home mom, I took them for long walks in the neighborhood in their stroller, or walking with me, or riding a bike. When we got a dog, I walked the dog almost every day, with or without children along. (We had a large fenced backyard, so the dog could go outside without being walked.) The dog, Scrappy, loved her walks, and could hardly contain her excitement when she saw me putting on my socks and sneakers! As she aged, she developed arthritis, and could no longer enjoy her walks. I continued walking for my own exercise, but closed the door before changing shoes. I felt bad about leaving her behind.

When we moved to south Alabama, I continued walking on the semi-country roads alongside our house, getting up to three miles! There was a riding stable down the road, and cow pastures along the back road. I could hear a rooster crowing, too. It was very nice!

Then we had our accident with our RV trailer, and a vertebra in my neck was cracked.
blog post about accident here
I was wearing a brace for 3 months. I was afraid of injuring it more if I walked, so I didn't. The arthritis in my knees also slowly but relentlessly grew worse. My weight also climbed, putting even more stress on my knees. I did not return to walking for exercise for several years.

Last year, I had both knees totally replaced, one 8 months after the other one.
Blog post about knee surgery here
After surgery and rehabilitation, I was doing very well. No more pain! So, last fall I started walking again, in my neighborhood. We've moved again since those country roads, and now we live in another semi-rural subdivision. The lots are large, with some grand homes on them, along with barns, stables, and a few horses. No cows, no chickens. Lots of birds singing as I silently sing praises to God. Many of the lots also have ponds which attract ducks and geese. As the weather has gotten warmer, I've had to walk earlier to avoid the heat of the day. (Temperatures in the high 80s-90s Fahrenheit, and humidity 80% and higher).

I used to sleep until 7:30 or 8:00, and it's already hot by then. Now most days, without even setting my alarm, I wake up between 5:30-6:00, and am wide awake! So, I dress, leave the house after locking the door, and take my phone with a fitness app. It records the number of steps and miles as I walk. I return a half hour later, start the coffee, and sit down to my morning devotions, with a Bible Gateway app and a Facebook friend who posts the daily reading from Jesus Calls every day. At 8:00 I wake my husband, and we have breakfast together.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

New blog

My "Book Reviews" tabbed section of this blog was getting unmanageable, so I started a new blog for book reviews. You can link to it from the right sidebar of this blog, "Fancy Horse's Thoughts about Books". (Sort of an awkward sounding title; maybe I'll come up with a better one)
*Edited to add: I did think of another title: "A Reading Horse"*

I'm beginning by copying and pasting the reviews from the "Book Reviews" section here to there, one at a time, so they will be pretty much in order as I read them. (I hope.)
*Edited to add: I am also copying and pasting my reviews from Bookcrossing.com, slowly but surely.*

Anyway, if you're a reader, I hope you'll follow me there, and add your own comments, especially to those books that you've also read.