Gratitude on Memorial Day

“Patriotism is merely a religion – love of country, worship of country, devotion to the country’s flag, honor and welfare.”
Samuel Clemens (Mark Twin)

Message

A grateful thank you to all men and women who have served our country in times of war and peace is due every single day, not just on Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day. We must also extend gratitude to those who waited at home for their loved ones to return, hopefully the same strong young men and women who left to defend their country or protect another country’s right to exist. Honor all those who have answered their nation’s call, in whatever way that they could: Victory Gardens, assisting their neighbors, prayers for safety.

At the same time I yearn for the day we no longer hear those calls. Are we humans capable of living in peace? I think of songs we sing in church and contemplate their confusing messages: “Onward Christian Soldiers” and “I Ain’t Going to Study War No More.”

All religions teach peace. Often we greet each other by bowing and saying “Namaste,” or “The sacred in me greets the sacred in you.” Even shaking hands indicates that our hands hold no weapons. These behaviors are ingrained into our daily lives, yet we forget or disregard the meaning behind them. Is this dichotomy the reason so many of our returning veterans are committing suicide? We send them to war. The next day they are at home and expected to act like the horror never happened. We can’t forget violence in 24 hours.

Meditation

Spirit,
Mixed messages about peace and war assault us on all sides. On one hand we talk about war to impose peace. On the other we see the damage war has caused to the minds and hearts of all involved. Our holy books teach us peace. We ask that you implant a stronger desire for peace than we have for dissention.
And, so it is.

If you know someone who would appreciate reading “Thoughts to Ponder,” please suggest that he or she contact me at: energywriter@cox.net

Sharon D. Dillon, energywriter@cox.net, http://energywriter.me
Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists
Author of one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by booksyoucantrust.com. Available in print and e-format at Amazon.com

Contents may be forwarded, but please give credit where credit is due and erase all email addresses on original message.

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Sagging IQ and other drooping body parts

Only a few weeks remain until the “mandatory” 50th high school class reunion. Mandatory does not refer just to attendance, no matter where you live, but you must also compete for the most successful, most beautiful, most hunky, most prestigious degree, and who can still Twist and Rock Around the Clock.

Grandchildren and great-grandchildren are discussed in whispers. Even though we’re all 68, we are not “old enough” to have such people in our lives. Some of us play tennis, golf and pickle ball, or say we do. The guys talk about their football heroics, not mentioning this is on the Fantasy League.

I can’t speak for everyone, but my mental acuity has slipped just a bit. From being above average, I now have to stop, think and hope I find the word I’m looking for so I can sound as intelligent as my much younger supervisors. Like many others my age, I’m retired but still working.

A few days of ago several of us had a farewell party for a coworker. When the bill came it had basic charges at the top, several paragraphs of text that no one read, then way at the bottom was the suggested tip and signature line.

Because of the huge gap between meal details and the tip/total section I became confused. Luckily, my twenty-something supervisor was sitting next to me and helped me decipher the receipt. I told her, “Don’t tell my boss I can’t read. She might fire me.” She assured me that as long as I can count change, I’ll still have a job. I signed the receipt, stuffed the credit card into my wallet and handed the folder back to the wait staff.

Soon another bill was presented to me, for the same items. I began to wonder what was going on. My supervisor looked at the bill, compared it to my credit card and assured me it was mine. Looking in my wallet I realized I had an extra credit card. I passed it down the table and went through the payment procedure again. This time I remembered how the system worked. Whew!!

Now that I’ve covered my still superior IQ, I want to talk about the “still beautiful” part. Not to brag, but I need full head-to-toe Spanx with old-fashioned rubber girdle reinforcement. By the time I get all the body parts to stop jiggling and drooping, I’ll have enough body armor to compete in the local police terrorism training. Actually, I’m willing to bet I could compete at any of the military installations in this area.

Can you imagine those young service members’ faces as this old woman wrapped in Spanx and rubber girdles walks through a hail of bullets, calling out “I’m rubber. You’re glue. What you shoot at me will bounce back and stick on you.” Meanwhile, they will be in full body armor, ducking and firing from protected positions.

My hair can look young again with the help of my local salon professional. She can wax my brows and upper lip and tint my hair to its former, glorious coppery strands. She can add “fillers” and extensions to make my hair look as thick as it was many years ago. I’m counting on her to weave so tightly that all my sagging facial parts are back in their 18-year-old position.

Guys, you might not get this, but any woman of our generation will know exactly what I’m saying. Our mothers braided our hair so tightly we thought our eye lashes grew from our brow line and our eyelids reached almost to our ears.

See, just a few minor touch-ups and I’ll be 18 again.

© by Sharon D. Dillon, May 25, 2014

Start where you are

May 14, 2014

“The long and the short of it goes something like this . . .
When one stops looking for the quick and easy way,
and just deals the what’s on their plate,
the quick and easy way soon finds them. . . .
Actually, what could be quicker than beginning
with where you are, or easier than starting
with what you’ve got?”
TUT, a note from the Universe

Message

Wow! Those words put us on the spot, don’t they? The author is saying, “No more excuses.” How many of us are saying, at this very moment, “I’ll follow my dream – when I have more time, money, energy, clean socks and have memorized the dictionary. Or, “I’ll go to the beach after I retire.”

This procrastination also applies to ordinary daily tasks, “I’ll do the dishes after I check email.” “I’ll go for a walk after I finish the laundry.” How about walking while the washing machine is doing its work? There are so many ways we use excuses to delay living life to the fullest. Yet, we know that if we just do it, the task is smaller and time goes faster than we thought.

The TUT quote says to begin with where we are, wherever that is. Barbara Brown Taylor carries that thought further, “If you are in the dark, it does not mean that you have failed and that you have taken some terrible misstep. For many years I thought my questions and my doubt and my sense of God’s absence were all signs of my lack of faith, but now I know this is the way the life of the spirit goes.”*

*TIME magazine, April 28, 2014

Meditation

Spirit,
Thank you for these messages that keep popping into our awareness, just when we need them most. Often they come from surprising sources. Please open our hearts and minds to absorb the messages that can lead us to a better life. We can’t always know where or what that better life is. We ask that you give us the courage to follow the prompting, whether it is a big neon sign or a barely audible whisper in our ears. And, so it is.

If you know someone who would appreciate reading “Thoughts to Ponder,” please suggest that he or she contact me at: energywriter@cox.net

Sharon D. Dillon, energywriter@cox.net, http://energywriter.me
Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists
Author of one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by booksyoucantrust.com. Available in print and e-format at Amazon.com

Contents may be forwarded, but please give credit where credit is due and erase all email addresses on original message.

Granny and Technology

Granny’s journey with technology is long, but far from straight, path; specifically the technology used to create this blog.
She is so old that she remembers being excited about a new invention – the electric typewriter. When they added a correction option she was ecstatic.

After a few years Granny was assigned a desktop computer connected to a main frame in another city. All she could do with this machine was to check if a client’s unemployment check had been paid. Paper and telephones comprised all other communications.

Then along came Word Perfect and Harvard Graphics with 3.5 inch disks replacing 5 inch disks. Granny was in typing heaven. Not only could she correct, but she could attach a picture or a graph to her reports then merge them with a list of names and addresses. A friend suggested that Granny could type faster backward than forward. Possibly, but all the retyping gave her an opportunity to do some editing.

Having an IT professional hidden in a tiny basement office gave her the courage to try new things. She knew that if she made any mistake smaller than blowing up the office, the IT guru would rescue her. Then along came Macs, MS Word, burning cds and storing War and Peace on a single thumb drive. Wow! The old lady was floating on air.

After years of growing and learning and doing more fun things with a computer/laptop, she ran into a roadblock — a big one with those cement blocks used to redirect traffic during construction. She expected a steep learning curve when she bought a laptop loaded with Windows 8. What she didn’t expect was that the learning curve wound its way up Mount Everest and when she reached the top she’d just fall off.

Being a cautious consumer she also purchased a copy of Windows 8 for Dummies. That little yellow book showed her how to do some basic word processing and do some things that were not on her wish list. Feeling frustrated, Granny signed up for two Windows 8 classes. There she learned a few more ways to work with the new program.

Then voodoo struck her laptop. It could run basic programs, but attempting to do anything related to the internet was like choosing by eenie-meenie several times an hour. After a few minutes working with email or the internet the wireless connection would shut down. Granny took her laptop to the repair shop twice to no result. She tried a different shop who suggested she call her internet provider. After working with two different IT professionals she learned a trick to keep working and sending messages, though not to its maximum capability. Each time the wireless connection failed, she could restart the laptop and continue her project. This was a nuisance, but it got the job done.

She still faces a problem that no one seems to know how to correct. How does Granny keep the wireless connection working all the time? Does it take gold, diamonds or just a serious threat?

© by Sharon Dillon, May 12, 2014

Thoughts to Ponder – May 7, 2014

“Here is God’s purpose –
for God to me, it seems,
is a verb not a noun,
proper or improper.”
R. Buckminster Fuller

Message

Why are we here? What is our purpose? What is God’s purpose?

Fuller explains it so succinctly that I could stop right here. But, I won’t, and you know it. I believe, like Fuller, that God is a verb. God, may or may not be an entity. God is the way we act and speak. Are we kind to others – and ourselves? Then we are God. Every kindness done with a glad heart is God.

Oprah Winfrey explains it like this, “. . . The energy you create and release into the world will be reciprocated on all levels. Our main job is to align with the energy that is the Source of all energies, and to keep our frequency tuned to the energy of love. . . ” (O, the Oprah Magazine, November 2013, pg. 172)

In other words, what goes around, comes around. We experience what we put out in the world. Have you noticed that when you smile, other people smile at you? When you frown, others frown at you? What an easy concept to understand and practice.

Many of us will say, “What about all the horrible things that happen in the world?” The same concept applies here. “. . . The energy you create and release into the world will be reciprocated on all levels.” These people are not tuned to the frequency of love, so they do not experience love coming to them.

The decision is ours. We can choose our path; peace, love and joy or not.

Meditation

Spirit,
Thank you for teaching us that God is a verb, rather than a noun. That reminds us to act and speak in a way that we think a Higher Power would. And, so it is.

If you know someone who would appreciate reading “Thoughts to Ponder,” please suggest that he or she contact me at: energywriter@cox.net

Sharon D. Dillon, energywriter@cox.net ; http://energywriter.me
Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists
Author of one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by booksyoucantrust.com. Available in print and e-format at Amazon.com

Contents may be forwarded, but please give credit where credit is due and erase all email addresses on original message.

Updated energywriter site

Hello,
Welcome to Laugh your way to peace, love and joy.

This is a brand-new site using Windows 8 and I’m a bit confused. I hope you’ll have patience with me while I learn how to operate this program.

My focus is on Humor, Thoughts to Ponder and Whimsy, which is whatever else I write. I plan to post Thoughts to Ponder each Wednesday. The others – well, when I get a good idea. I welcome all comments.

I’m Sharon Dillon and am seeking my path and a way to share that knowledge. My thoughts may not be yours, but I hope you’ll read my entries and comment. We could have some great conversations. I live in Virginia’s Historic Triangle and enjoy visiting all the great historic sites in the area. If I have questions there are many here who can answer them.

Sharon D. Dillon,
energywriter@cox.net
Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists
Author of one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by booksyoucantrust.com. Available in print and e-format at Amazon.com

Contents may be forwarded, but please give credit where credit is due and erase all email addresses on original message.