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Most of my friends today were not alive 50 yrs ago. Most of you will probably hear something this week about the 50th anniversary of the assignation of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy.  Few of you will have a good idea of who John F. Kennedy was to his family, the people of this country and to the world. In my humble opinion he was our last real democratic President. Some will say he was the worst president of the 20th Century. I am not interested in debate, just memories for now.

I am old enough to remember the day he was killed. I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I heard the shocking news our president was dead. The young, much loved leader of our country and father of Caroline and John John was gone.

The first family was special for many Americans. Kennedy was the youngest president ever elected, was married to beautiful young woman and they had two very young children. Caroline was just three years younger than me. She and John John living in the White House gave me something to identify with. They gave me a feeling of ownership in a way that is hard to describe.whnpa009-5831730aafdfd94b292914ce76ac73cf51d219aa-s6-c30

The 1960 election campaign had electrified the country. There was much about this besides Kennedy’s age that sparked a fire in us. An economic recession had hurt the republicans and Kennedy promised to get us moving forward again.  For the first time n history, television would play a big part in an election. Kennedy’s campaign was well organized and well funded and he used all these things to his advantage. When Kennedy won the election on November 8,1960, and 17 days later when the world got the news John Jr. was born, Washington D.C. suddenly seemed less daunting and far away from the average man, woman and child. Not only did the Kennedy family welcome a new child to the family, the whole country did. There was a feeling of hope among the people that seems to come with children.

Three short years later, one week before Thanksgiving, at 12:30 pm CT on Friday, November 22,1963 all that would change in a flash; the flash of a gunshot. About an hour and half later Eastern Time I was standing outside my elementary school waiting for the bus that would take me home. I was standing in a line with my school mates talking and laughing. We were all excited it was Friday.

Suddenly we heard our school Principal’s voice over the loud speaker. I remember being quite surprised hearing an announcement that late in the day. He gave us the news our President had been shot. My heart sank and my eyes welled with tears and I thought of Caroline and John John.

My bus arrived a few minutes later. I think I rode it in near silence home to where my mother and younger siblings were waiting on me. I think the TV was on when I got home. I remember hearing Walter Cronkite and saw him cry a bit as he announced what I already knew in my heart, the President was “officially” dead.

That weekend the television played constantly. We watched film footage over and over and saw the arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald who was charged with the assignation. Walter Cronkite’s voice rang all weekend too. I didn’t seem like he ever slept.jfk-jr

There was no school on Monday. That day the whole country mourned. Many places closed that day besides schools and governmental offices. I think anyone who could get close to a TV was watching one.

Today those memories are strong. I remember thinking then, at nine years old, we were not getting the whole story. There are still unanswered questions about what took place in Dealey Plaza the day JFK was killed. I remember hearing many months or maybe even years later that all the information was not going to be released for 75 years. This was so all parties involved would be dead and unable to be prosecuted or harmed.  Most of them are dead now. Perhaps we will learn more soon?

 

 For anyone  interested: 

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CBS Will Stream JFK Assassination Coverage Online in ‘Real Time’

Procrastination

I am a procrastinator of the highest magnitude. And a lazy one to boot. I can put off until Christmas whatever it is that needs doing.

Of course by then its too late or too cold or too something to do it then so it gets put off even longer. of course my aging and out of shape body doesn’t help matters. Even that is partly the result of procrastination.

I’m a bit of a pack rat too. This is particularly trouble some since I have so many crafts and creative projects that I participate in. My entire back bedroom is full of painting supplies, fabric, beads, paper, leather, sewing machines, pends, markers, sketch pads,wax dyes and more.

Projects do seem to go in stages too and I can get stuck in a stage for a long time. I love to paint small signs with maybe just one word on it like ‘ or ‘Peace’ or ‘Dream’ or maybe a phrase. I begin by priming lots of pieces of wood all at the same time. That is stage one. Then I paint the back ground color on; stage two. That takes several coats and I can easily get stuck there.

After a while I want to work on something else but there is such a mess in that room that I can’t work and I don’t want to clean up the mess so I procrastinate.

I also love books. I love the information they contain but I am ADD and have attention span of a gnat when it comes to reading. Instead of pushing through this and actually finishing a book I tend to read a few pages for a few days and then put it down. The book shelves are full of books I have not read yet.
I guess its a good things most of them are for reference anyway.

Even when I write it takes me a while to get going. I sit d own at the computer and realize I want a cup of coffee or I’m hungry and want to eat breakfast or something. Procrastination seems to be my alter ego in a way. It takes over and I let it. Question is, can I slay this dragon and get things done with more efficiency? I know I will not regret it even a little bit.

The suns is going down now and I think I will wait till tomorrow. But do I really want to do anything but relax and enjoy Easter Sunday?

Change is Constant: Part One

Change is constant. It is the only thing in this life besides death that we can be sure of. There are other things we think of as constant. The sun rising each day is one of those things but Bible history tells us the earth stood still one day so maybe the sun rising is not a sure thing after all? (You can read all about this in the book of Joshua 10:12-14.)

The problem with change is that we are never sure how it will affect us or how it will feel when we experience it. Change is most often noticed when it is disagreeable to us. And change is most welcome when it makes us feel good and suits our needs or strokes our ego in some way. But even then, we are seldom ready and able to accept the goodness that change has to offer us.

Sure! We all have those times that we orchestrate a acne of some sort. WE cut or color our hair, buy a different style of clothes, choose to take a take a different job but even then we often have a thread or two of resistance in us. Seldom is 100 percent of our being willing to allow things to unfold as they will without any manipulation or interference on our part.

I am well known for resisting change. Just ask any of my close friends. Not so many years ago I was so paralyzed by my resistance aka the dead end rut that was my life, that I was practically cemented in place. I knew I was stuck but didn’t know how to get unstuck. My wonderful friends spent lots of time telling me things I already knew or had heard over and over from the world’s best self help gurus. I believed both my friends and the gurus but could not see how I could put it to use. The trees were in my way of seeing the forest.

During a job interview in late 1990′s , I was asked where I saw myself in 5 years. What? I’m supposed to know that? No one had ever asked me to project my life out one year before let alone five; at least not that I could remember. None of my previous employment interviewers cared about such things. I’m also not a corporate type but at least now I know this is a typical interview question. Back then I had no clue how I was supposed to guess or even imagine what my life would be like in five years. I thought you took life as it came, one experience at a time.

All this not knowing hit home for me just a few years ago. I can’t remember what we were talking about but while visiting some friends in the fall of 2010, I distinctly remember saying, “ I always thought life just happened. I never knew you could make it happen”. Clearly all the study I had done on the Law of Attraction had not sunk in. I’ve since decided that none of that really works anyway, at least not the way they talk about in the movie “The Secret”.

Few people out there seem to address our resistance to change and how to deal with it. They hint at things but never quite seem to give you a recipe or plan of action. This is exactly what I want to explore. I am not sure where this path will lead exactly but I hope I can make some sense of it all and help some folks out in the meantime. I appreciate your reading this so far and invite you to stick around, sign up to get notices and leave comments if you like.

February 1, 2013…….. flash back into history

Today is February 1, 2013. For the city I live in this a day of remembering. History was made here on February 1, 1960 when four young African American men took seats at the lunch counter at the local F.W.Woolworth Co. store downtown asking to be served. This was not the first sit-in however. This idea can be traced back to a library in Alexandria, Virginia in 1938. Then another took place in Chicago in 1942. Several more took place over the next 18 years until finally, in 1960, four young freshmen from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (then know as a college) decided it was time for them to take a stand for equal rights.

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The first day was peaceful, quiet and rather inconsequential but they came back day after day and the numbers increased from the original four to 500 just five days later. The following week students in Charlotte staged sit-ins at eight different stores around that town. The “sit-in movement” was come to life and the world was beginning to take notice. It was time to change the way we did things.
We still have a long way to go before every man, woman and child is thought of as equal to everyone else on the planet. I believe we are getting help with this change from the source of all that is, the master artist, the creator of everything and with assistance of all the benevolent beings of the universe.

I hope to share more insights on the topic of change in future posts but for now I really want to focus on today, the 53rd anniversary of the Greensboro sit-ins. That day in 1960, four young men stood up or sat down for change. Joseph McNeil, Franklin McCain, Ezell Blair, Jr. (later known as Jibreel Khazan), and David Richmond, took a seat at the lunch counter of a five and dime store called F.W.Woolworth Co. They peacefully asked for change. We’ve come a long way .Change is in the air. I hope you embrace its goodness and bend with its awkwardness and the parts that make you feel uncomfortable. By doing so, you will be transformed into a better person I promise. Don’t be afraid. It is all good!

If you are ever in the Greensboro, North Carolina area, I hope you make time to visit the wonderful museum dedicated to the Civil rights movement and the Greensboro sit-in. I friend took me there just over a week ago. My visit was long over due and it was truly a profound experience. You can check out the museums web page here: http://www.sitinmovement.org/

Celebrating Birthing Day

Tomorrow is my birthday. I was born in 1954, you do the math.
The other day I was thinking about my birthday and when I was born. I thought about my mother and wondered what it must feel like to have three children all over fifty. But there is a lot about being 83 like my mom that I can’t imagine.

Birthday-Quotes

I started thinking about the day I was born. I am told it snowed; I know it was a Friday.
But more than that I began thinking my birthday is really for her to celebrate too. It is her birthing day. The first of three she would have in her life. She seemed to like Friday’s for her birthing  too,  because all three of us were born on a Friday.

From there I started thinking about the grace and ease my mother exudes on a daily basis. In the face of challenge she is always as calm and graceful as a person can possibly be. Now I am not talking about The Emily Post etiquette book kind of stuffiness grace, I am talking about how she doesn’t seem to let things ruffle her feathers. She takes whatever comes her way with grace and ease.

This is quite the contrast from me who tends to take things a great deal of emotion and excitement. (I blame my Mars in Scorpio.) I am often an emotional bomb when the plumbing leaks or anything goes wrong. Then I call mom to cry, scream and vent it all out over the phone. I’m sure she must be thinking, “Here we go again.” or “When is this girl going to get it together?” But she just listens quietly and lets me roll on. Then she starts asking the questions that help direct both of us to a solution.

Thinking back on my life, I cannot remember one time my mom getting really ruffled. When I was 16 but didn’t yet have my driver’s license, I wrecked a car. Not only did I wreck it, I rolled it down a hill with my younger brother and sister with me. When mom got home from choir that night, she checked to make sure all her kids were OK, the laughed and said “ Did you know the car was yours?”. Many years later when I told her I was moving across country she didn’t bat an eye. Even when she has reason to be upset she doesn’t curse and scream like most people. She is always calm. I keep expecting the explosion and it never seems to come.

Mom is a great example. I aspire to be like her one day. I am not sure I will ever get there but I can always hope!

A word to the wise……..

Creatively Changing is not only about personal development, it is also about the whole person and good health.

Cold weather is upon us and the heat is on. We will be indoors more and breathing warm dry air. This dry air can contribute to illness and sinus infections. Don’t let it get you and always consult your doctor for further advice.

I experienced my first sinus problems when I was 28 and began taking some over the counter medications to relieve the symptoms. Year after year I my head would fill with congestion and my best friend was a box of tissues. It was many years later when I had the privilege to live in Tucson Arizona for a few months, that I would learn a trick that would turn out to be my saving grace.

You’ve probably heard of the “Nettie Pot”. It’s a small pot shaped a bit like a Genie’s lamp that you fill with mild salt water, insert into your nose and use to wash out the sinuses. They are not the most convenient of items to use but many people swear by them. Others think they are simply gross.

I use saline spray. Bottles of saline are readily available for a few dollars almost anywhere, from the corner drugstore to Target. There is no need to get a name brand either. Saline is saline so I always buy the store brand for less. This time of year you might get lucky and find a two for one deal. All the better! I like to have one in the car, one at my desk and maybe one by my bed. This way I don’t risk losing my lone bottle of saline when I most need it because I have carried it around and forgot where I put it. I always have one handy to use whenever I feel the need. I’m serious! This stuff works wonders for me! Clears out springtime pollen too.

I can’t give you all the medical facts or jargon about this; clearly I am not a medical professional so please consult your doctor but as I understand it, sinuses that are have become dry from lack of humidity have a difficult time eliminating all those micro particle that fly up our noses on a daily basis. This inability to eliminate can actually cause irritations and infections. And should you wish to “wash” your sinuses with a bottle of saline, try what I do. I lie down on my bed or the end of the sofa with my head as up-side down as I can get it. Then I squirt the saline into my nose. I must admit that it feels strange when it runs into the upper sinuses but this act really helps keep me feeling great all winter long.

Welcome Home………………..(37 years later)

I wrote this piece a while back and never posted it. It’s on a rather emotional topic for me. War is never easy though is it?  Perhaps it is something about last night’s debate between the vice presidential candidates, perhaps its something else but I feel the need to post this now. I would love to be alive when we put an end to war!

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My heart is heavy today. Tomorrow my state, North Carolina, is staging the largest ever  “Vietnam Veterans Homecoming Celebration”.  TV coverage begins at 7 am and hopefully the rains will hold off and everyone present can enjoy a lovely, albeit emotional day. As much as I don’t want to watch I think I need to for my own healing.

The Viet Nam war was never declared a real war. It a military conflict that took place during what is known as the “cold war era”. The conflict also took place in Cambodia and Laos, and lasted from November 1, 1955 to April 30, 1975. Twenty years!

I have no idea how WWII veterans were welcomed home other than what I have seen in news reels and in the movies. I do know that no one seemed to pay much attention to the young men I knew coming home from Viet Nam other than their close friends and families.  I know many who are proud of their service and many who saw it as senseless.

To me, all war is senseless. I don’t understand why people yell at their children either. I don’t understand why we see ourselves so differently. We are only different in our looks. Oour DNA can be traced back to one man (scientific Adam) and one woman (scientific  Eve)in Africa. Yes Africa! Like it or not, your DNA is related to and can be traced back to an Asian, an Aborigine, a Muslim, a Jew, an Indian and a Black man. Yet we feel the need to be superior and declare war on each other for we think are differences in religion and politics. When closely examined these supposed differences are not so different at all. Everybody wants freedom.

The very thought of the Viet Nam war, Grenada, Desert Storm or any war brings tears to my eyes nad rips my heart open. There are many, many conflicts and wars around the world that we here in the US don’t know about and seldom hear about or think about. There are conflicts in Mali, Yemen and Libya. There is unrest and ethnic cleansing all around the world including our own country. As we approach the next presidential election I expect mudslinging and back stabbing, to be at an all time high as tempers flare and we endeavor to be exclusive and superior any way we can. If we could only see the truth, know the truth, live the truth that we are all the same. My G*d is your G*d no matter what name we call on or not call on. We all come from one source, the source of all that is.

Tomorrow I will turn on my TV, watch the celebration as long as I can. I will cry a lot. I will feel sadness down to my bones. I will privately honor those that came home and those that did not and those that are still M. I. A. I will do my best to heal the pain from that time that lies nearly silent and deep inside me still. I will dream of a peaceful world free of greed, control, and war. It’s time we put an end to war.