30 06 2012

Everyone seems to be so surprised when we talk of how things really were back then.  And I don’t mean a long time ago.  Did you know that in the early 1950’s most people had never used a shampoo?  Or a hair brush?  We washed our hair with soap and rinsed with vinegar or sometimes coal oil and used a comb.  I was so glad to have a hair brush because I had terribly tangled hair and that comb just about did me in.  When the tv came along, people could see those commercials and began to buy those things they saw.  The radio had been an opener for a lot of things, but the television made it even more so.

Also, in this awful hot weather, be thankful for that air conditioner, no matter how well it works.  We grew up in the 40’s and 50’s with a fan if we were lucky.  Most people just spent a lot of time on the porch fanning with a funeral home fan or wiping their face with a handkerchief.  And this, again, is not that long ago.  Oscillating fans had been on the market only a short time and a family usually only had one or perhaps two.  They moved the fans from one room to another, depending upon the need.  For instance if my mother was cooking, she had the fan to blow  in the kitchen.  Same way with washing dishes.  Then when the children were put to bed at night, they had the fan until they dropped off to sleep and then the parents would have it the rest of the night.  And by the way, due to the hot weather, all children had what was called heat rash and cried a lot over that.  I don’t ever want to see that one again. 

After that, the window fan and the attic fan came along and that was a real change for the better.  I remember the men putting the attic fan in our house and the breeze blowing in the window all night long.  That was truly wonderful.  Why, you could plan on being able to sleep the whole night through.  And the window fan was great for the kitchen area or the room where mother ironed.  It helped a great deal in the hot, humid weather. Of course the windows were always open to allow for that cool breeze.  How wonderful it was! 

I don’t want to live like that again.  I really like the way I live now.  I like the air conditioning and the being able to sleep and the sitting in my chair reading the paper without sweating like a hog.  I really like all this.   Do you?  If you don’t want to go back to living like that again, be sure and DO NOT vote for Mr. Obama because he will put us right back there.   With his monetary policies, we are moving backwards every day. 

If you enjoy the things you have in this country, vote for the Republican, whoever it might be.  And be sure you VOTE!!!  It is very important. Remember that every time you turn on that air conditioner.  Make that vote count this time.  

During the 1960…

23 06 2012

During the 1960’s the whole world seemed to change.  We had been having such a nice life in the 1950’s that no one really noticed the changes at first.   And then everything was always for the best or at least that was what the media told us over and over again. 

For instance, families were literally torn apart.  I had one friend with a large family who had to leave their oldest son behind when they had to transfer to another Marine post.  Thus, that family was fractured, never to be the same again.

And then there were many others.  It was a well known fact that if you were moving up in the corporate world, you were moving, period.  Some families moved and moved and moved again.  Their grown children would decide to stay where they were and then the family had to go on.   This happened over and over again.   Or in some cases, the child moved on as soon as he was grown.  His company sent him elsewhere.   So he put down new roots and grew his life in the new locale.

This has resulted in broken families everywhere.  And this has hurt them all.  Grandparents are hardly known by their grandchildren.  Those family traits are forgotten or brushed aside with no knowledge at all.  There is no bonding, no real social structure.  Not only is this true of grandparents but actual parents themselves.  

Advice and help was handed down through the family structure over the centuries.  Mothers were taught by their mothers and grandmothers.  Young men followed in the footsteps of their fathers and grandfathers. 

But now all this was gone – and would be gone forever.  Thanks to the so-called progress of the 1960’s, we have become a country without much in the way of families anymore.  And that is a real loss.  No one can realize that until they have begun their own families and realize how important that time in the family unit  atmosphere was and always is.   

Dear God:  Help our families.  Thank You

I am not a gard…

22 06 2012

I am not a gardener by any means.  I cannot grow anything in the way of flowers or vegetables.  Just simply do not have it.  Period.  But I kept trying for years to learn how.  I bought all the easy to grow plants  and I tried to learn how to grow them without killing them.  But never worked for me.  Every time I planted a flower or a vegetable, the poor thing just leaned right over and died.

And I had such a time with bugs.  Bugs always ate me up every time I went outside.  They just love me.  I have spent whole summers going to the doctor’s office because of the whelps and blisters on my poor legs and feet.  And sometimes on my arms and hands.  Finally, one of the doctors told me to just stay on the concrete.  So I have done that ever since.  

But if I walk to the mailbox or to get the newspaper, a bug will find me and manage somehow to bite me before I can get back into the house.   And I know it is not in my mind because I can see the whelp or the blister or whatever it might be this time.

Anyway, I finally understand what is going on.  The bugs and flowers hate me.  That is the whole thing right there.  What happens is that I go outside to work in the flowers and all the plants get excited and pass the word that  ‘here she comes again. She is going to kill us all!’.  Then the bugs unite and come after me.  Thus the whelps and blisters.  

But guess what – I don’t bother those flowers anymore.  And I do not ever intend to.  So guess they won in their war against me and my killing thumb.  Oh well, I’ll find something else to work on.  May take up playing solitaire.   Or surfing the internet.  That sounds good.  Think I’ll do that next.



21 06 2012

The privilege I speak of is that of God allowing me to be a mother.  He has so blessed me every day of my life, but the greatest blessing I have had is that of being a mother.  He could never have given me anything  I would have appreciated more.  I have had a wonderful life just being a mother to all these great kids.

It is such a great privilege to be able to teach them every day.  And to see them grow and learn the niceties of life.  Manners are so important.  It is easy to see which people have been taught this.  And then, respect for others is all important also.  That is another thing very easy to spot in this day.  Children dumped on someone else to teach them these things have obviously not been taught.

No one teaches as well as that mother who cares for her child.  

So, if you have an opportunity to stay home and take care of your children, by all means do just that.  I know it is not an exciting life.  Everyone knows it is far more important in today’s world to bring home a paycheck.  But the paycheck is not nearly as important as seeing your young man hold a door for an elderly person or hearing your young daughter answer with a ‘Yes Ma’am’ when asked a question.   These are gifts that no one else can give your children.  

Childhood doesn’t really last very long.  Take the opportunity to be with your children every day in their young lives.  Then you can spread your wings and become that all important person you might have been had it not been that God had other plans for you.

He sure did for me and I am very grateful that He was so much smarter than me.  Thank You Dear God for this great privilege of being a mother to my children.  Thank You again and again.



19 06 2012

I was making my usual run around town today trying to get all those errands done and happened to notice how pretty the yards looked.  Most were very green with lots and lots of flowers.  That got me to thinking as usual.

Not too long ago, no one had a pretty yard.  You cut the grass if it needed it.  No one ever trimmed.  Bushes were cut when absolutely necessary.  But most people had to borrow tools to do this.  Flowers were planted, but usually just the same old things such as bulbs that would outlast everything else.  There was not much choice.  Few greenhouses to buy from anyway.  Most of the flowers were either given to you or were already in the yard.  

And the grass was usually almost brown as soon as hot weather set in.  No one and I do mean no one ever watered their grass.  That was mostly unheard of.  You had to be rich to even think of such a thing.  What a waste.  Besides, there were no sprinklers and a lot of people did not even have a water hose. If they did, they would have just used it to wash their car.  Or wash off the porch once or twice a year.   You just had to wait until it rained and if the grass and flowers were not already dead, they might come back out after a good rain.  

No one fertilized their yard either.  That didn’t come along until even much later.  These were just expenses simply not heard of before.  It was not something necessary anyway.  So no one thought much about it.  

Now we all take those things for granted.  We expect to have a nice thick green yard.  And lots of flowers if we want them. And fertilize at least a couple of times a year.  

I still think raking the leaves in the Fall was the most fun thing of all.  It was such fun to rake all day so that all the leaves were in one big pile.  Then all the kids in the neighborhood came over to jump in the pile of leaves.  That in itself was a real luxury.   Those were really fun times.  Then, if you were old enough, you could help burn those leaves. We had so many leaves that they had to be burned in stages over the next few days.  If we were lucky, our mother would let us cook potatoes down in the bottom of the pile of burning leaves.  These were absolutely terrible to eat, but we all smiled a lot and thoroughly enjoyed them.  All the kids wanted a potato.  

Life really wasn’t too bad when we didn’t have as much.  It was pretty nice – sometimes. But I wouldn’t want to go backward to another time.  Think I’ll keep my green grass.  


19 06 2012

After the miracle of the sun at the Cova, the children were hounded constantly by others.  People came from everywhere to ask them questions and to pry into their thoughts.  Many came to learn the secret, but the children would always remain silent.  The three children had originally pledged themselves to silence and secrecy regarding Our Lady and the apparitions, not because they had been instructed to do so, but simply because they were sure this was what God expected of them. 

They did have one friend who helped them immensely. The pastor in a nearby village had met them earlier and the children were immediately drawn to him.  They were free to visit with him often and to ask him any questions they wanted.  His counsel gave them much peace regarding all their difficulties and for this, they were most grateful.  However, the priest realized it was not his words that consoled them, but the acts of the Mother of God who was always in their hearts.

On May 13, 1917 at the time of the first apparition of Our Lady, the children had been told that Jacinta and Francisco would  both go to Heaven soon, but that Lucia was to stay in the world.

At that time, Francisco did not see Our Lady, but was told that if he said many Rosaries, he could see her.  By now, Francisco had seen the beautiful Lady and talked about it many times.  He spent much of his time saying the Rosary. He prayed constantly to console Our Lady and Our Lord. Later on, he said, ‘I liked to see the Angel so much, but I liked Our Lady much more.  What I liked best about the apparitions was seeing Our Lord in that light that the  Blessed Virgin put into our hearts.  I love God very much.  He is so sad because of so many sins. We must not commit even the smallest sin.’

The children lost all interest in play, preferring to spend their time in prayer.  Neither Jacinta nor Francisco were interested in school because it seemed a waste of time.  They preferred to spend their time in the presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist.

Both children had made their first Confession in the year of the apparitions, but their First Communion was put off for another year. Francisco failed the catechism test and had to wait longer to receive the Eucharist.  When Jacinta received Jesus in the Eucharist, Francisco was so upset that he stayed outside the church sobbing.

According to the children, Our Lady appeared to them several more times during the coming years. And their prayers had great power for intercession. One story is that of a man who was lost and Jacinta suddenly appeared to him and led him to the right road for home.  When the man told his story later, Jacinta had no recollection of it.  Lucia’s mother became gravely ill and was miraculously cured through Lucia’s faith.

In 1918, the whole Marto family was sick with the dreaded flu.  The father was the only one able to take care of the rest of the family.  In Lucia’s family, everyone became sick except for Lucia and she took care of the rest of her family.

Francisco became ever sicker over time with high fevers and loss of strength.  Our Lady appeared to both Francisco and Jacinta, telling them she would come for Francisco soon and then for Jacinta not long after.  Jacinta was told that she would go to two different hospitals and would suffer a great deal to save more souls.

Francisco improved and would walk to the Cova,  kneeling at the stump to pray.  Then he suffered a great deal more for the love of Our Lord and Our Lady.  Francisco begged to receive Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist before he died. This was arranged.  He made his final Confession and received Our Lord.  The next morning,  April 4, 1919,  he died peacefully at the age of 10 years. 


18 06 2012

A bit of advice – always stay close to all your relatives.  This does not mean you have to see them often or even think of them often.  But do make a point of contacting them once in awhile.  An email or a simple phone call or even a card in the mail would suffice.  Just enough to say, ‘Hey, remember me.  I am your sister or your brother or your cousin or your aunt.  I am still alive and I just wanted to say Hi.  Hope you are doing o.k.  I am.

That is all you have to do in order to remain a real family.  Sometimes words have been said or situations have been stretched too far.  But write that off and make amends that you need to make if you need to at all.  If all that happened is someone else’s fault, then just write that off, too and act like nothing has happened to your relationship.  I know that is hard to do sometimes, but it will work if you want it to.  Just remember that nothing is worth the problems.  So smile nicely and make amends even if you are not at fault.

If you don’t keep up with family and them keep up with you, sometimes there is no one left who remembers you way back when.  I want someone to remember me as a skinny, long legged kid who was always messing things up.  I want to be remembered for what I was way back when.

My mother was one of nine children and I watched as they died, one by one until the only other sibling she had was her youngest brother.  She hardly even knew him as she was gone from home while he was still a child.  But she was so happy to hear from him and to talk with him and to visit with him as they both got older.  There was no one else who remembered all those family members and all those situations.  And the only other person who remembered their parents and how much life meant to them as they grew up.  Eventually my mother was the only one left and she was always so sorry that everyone else in her early life was gone.  She missed them all a lot.

So keep in touch no matter what it costs you.  Even if you get no response to your tries, keep in touch anyway.  As you get older, you will be glad you did.  For you may find that you and one other person from the family are all that is left.  Who else knew you when. Who else remembers all those things in your life.

And remember to always Thank God For All Your Family, no matter what or where they may be.  Keep in touch!