Tuesday, November 24, 2020
Trigger alert--If you are reading this post and voted for President Trump, you may want to stop reading right now! I don't want to offend anyone but I also want to record the events and my reactions in the last few weeks.
----------September--During the months when Jim was receiving radiation, I spent some time each day using "breath prayers." I breathed in "healing" and breathed out "fears." I think this calmed my spirit. We are in a good place right now for Jim's healing although he will have regular blood tests.
I thought that I should continue to use these breath prayers to calm my spirit about the political process and the upcoming election. I prayed these breath prayers at the grotto along the tow path yesterday. It was a beautiful spot and very peaceful. I could see reflections in the canal and hear the rustling of the leaves making a canopy over me. But when I prayed for healing, my anger takes over.
Yesterday President Trump refused to say that he would accept the results of the election should he lose. He says it will be rigged and would have to go to the Supreme Court. It is unimaginable that we should have a president who refuses to leave office if he loses. It makes me sick in my stomach to hear about this threat to our country and to read that the Russian media is expecting civil war in the United States. There have been vocal Trump supporters telling folks to buy ammunition and we know Trump has called out federal troops to clear out protestors in Lafayette Square when he wanted his photo op holding a Bible at a nearby church.
Jim says there will be others who will uphold the law. I don't trust the Republican senate to do so. I hope I trust the Supreme Court--even if the 9th appointee is appointed by Trump in the next few days and approved by the Republican senate. If it is Amy Barrett from Notre Dame, I think she would vote her own mind and not be beholden to the one who appointed her.
But I am scared and angry. So when I tried to pray for healing for our country yesterday, I just felt angry at the disastrous situation we are in. There is an ignorance of science and a lack of civility at the top of our government. How can Trump hold rallies with people close together and not wearing masks? How can we trust a vaccine if it is rushed through by election day? How can we respect a leader who uses name calling to mock his opponents? Who just yesterday made fun of Joe Biden saying he has spent all that money on plastic surgery just to hide behind a mask! What a juvenile way to treat an opponent and to make the crowd cheer in approval!
This will be the third post I have written and not actually put on my blog. I hesitate to offend anyone--although with very few exceptions my small number of readers would agree with my point of view. But my blogs are written for me--as a record of our lives and for my Blog2Print book at the end of the year. And this is what we are living through right now. Jim tells me not to read what folks post on Facebook. But I can't avoid the news. I turn on the TV news while doing my exercises or see it come up every day on my online news sources. It is not easy to ignore.
So I will try to pray for healing for our country. My anger does not do me any good. I want to be proud to be an American and feel patriotic again.--------------October 23 I still haven't posted this blog. We have voted and put our ballots in a box at the township offices. 47 million have already voted. There was another debate last night. I can't imagine that many have yet to decide how they will vote. Earlier this week I woke up at 2 am and found myself praying for a peaceful transition after the election. I have voted in presidential elections since 1968 and have never felt the need to pray for a peaceful result. But this time I do hope for a change but also if there is one, that it is done without the instigation of violence and charges of fraud which Trump has threatened.
Tuesday, November 17, 2020
Saturday, October 24, 2020
Thursday, October 8, 2020
This was our fourth fall river road trip in the last several years. We have done the upper Mississippi, the lower Mississipi and the Ohio River. This year it was the Hudson River road trip with the bonus of being able to visit family and friends along the way.
Covid also affects hotel stays. There was no place to get a breakfast in the hotel so we walked to a nearby Starbucks. As it turned out, it was a difficult uphill walk crossing very busy streets sometimes without signals. We ordered at the Starbucks but we were not allowed to eat inside. We brought our coffees and sweets outside and I immediately got stung by a bee. I sat down on the curb and a kind young man came up to check on me. He went inside and got me a plastic glove full of ice. We found a nearby bench across the mall area and I recovered enough to walk downhill back to the hotel.
|Trinity Episcopal Church|
It was really peak leaf peeping time in the Catskills with the hills a panorama of color. We left Engel Road shortly before three and drove to the Hampton Inn off I87 in New Paltz. Our plan was to eat in the garden patio at Garvan's, an old Dutch farmhouse but the weather was so windy and cold that we asked if they could place us inside. Fortunately they had room even with the need for social distancing. We had a lovely leisurely meal with Dan and Alex.
We were home before 3 pm feeling that we had seen beautiful scenery and had more sociability than we usually have in this time of social distancing.
Jim had a three month follow up doctor's visit and blood test just before we left on Tuesday. The results were supposed to be in yesterday but when we got home he had a frustrating experience of trying to access his portal to get results. And when he finally got the password and access code all working, the results were not in. So we will have to wait a bit more for what we hope will be low numbers again after his spring radiation treatments. I have been very anxious about these results but it was good to be distracted for a few days and not think as much about doctors' appointments and lab tests.
There is so much more we could see and do in the Hudson River Valley area but we hope to have other opportunities to travel that way again especially if Dan and Alex make that their home instead of returning to New York City.
Sunday, September 27, 2020
Laura was off on an adventure with the three older children. Alex (age 5) was supposed to have a sleepover with us so that he could have an adventure too but he was not feeling very brave. So Michael wondered if we could come to spend time in Gladwyne with them. We left Saturday morning hoping to be in time for Alex's teeball game but that was cancelled due to rain. So we spent the afternoon hanging out with Michael and Alex and Henry (almost 9 months). Michael took advantage of our being there to get in a long run. Later in the afternoon, Jim and I took Henry for a walk in his new stroller. Henry chattered most of the way making happy baby noises.
After supper Michael with some difficulty was happy to find the Aggies playing a conference game with Vanderbilt on the SEC2 network. The Aggies were supposed to be a 35 point favorite; the final score was a 17 to 12 win. Michael paused the game a few times in order to get Henry to bed; I convinced Alex to surprise his dad by secretly getting ready for bed and pretending he was asleep. It was a good surprise for his dad! The game was not pleasing to Michael but it was a W!
Henry does not sleep soundly so Michael was up a few times during the night with him. At 7:30 am we sent the patient Daddy back to bed for a while and helped with the boys.
Henry is the happiest little fellow and responds with big smiles to us. When I would sing a song like Row, Row, Row your Boat, he would make motions to do it again and again. He is just beginning to crawl and we were amused to see how motivating the Minecraft sword was to get him moving in that direction.
Alex and Minecraft--that is his world but it is one big puzzle for Jim and me. Fortunately, Michael seems to understand it and is willing to patiently play the video game with him even if he says it can make him nauseous!
At 11 today we headed to Alex's rescheduled teeball game in Aardmore. En route Michael showed us the estate he and Laura are buying. The setting was magnificent on a private road with a large expanse of lawn. We will be eager to see the historic house and gardens later this year or next. They probably won't be moving until work is done which may be next spring.
Teeball was a trip down memory lane with a lopsided score and kids unable to find the bases easily when running and fighting with their own teammates to field a ball. Henry was happy enough sitting on the blanket outside or being held by his dad or grandpa watching the game. It will be his life for many years as the young one with four older siblings.
We left for home after the game. Our house seems strangely silent but at our age that may be best. Having livesteam church meant that it was available to us at 5 pm.
Living here on the east coast makes these short visits possible. In a few weeks Michael may .be going to an Aggies game with a few of the older children. I think we should offer to help Laura out on her single parenting weekend.
Wednesday, September 16, 2020
Over the years I have lit a candle at the Notre Dame Grotto and prayed. I remember a time when Dan was very unhappy in second grade and I chatted with Our Lady herself telling her she was a mother too and should know how concerned I was for Dan. That situation resolved itself with another school and a happy boy. There were many such times over the years not always with such clear answers.
Last week when Jim went golfing, I went there and used the Sacred Space app on my phone. In the morning, Chris Rea, our pastor in South Bend, had prayed for me at my request at the Women's Bible Study. I asked to find ways to use my skills here in Princeton. While sitting on a bench there, my phone dinged with a text from Lauren McFeaters, one of our pastors here. She made an appointment to chat with me about opportunities. It was progress toward answering my prayer!
Today again when Jim went golfing, I walked down the path and sat on the bench praying particularly for a good friend in Michigan who had a stroke and had begun hospice care. We are so sad and feel very far away from him and his family. Again, my phone dinged with a text from our dear granddaughter Katie. I had been planning to text her about getting together for a takeout supper. She must have got that word from her parents so she was suggesting a time and place. I was aware that life is so full of sorrow, but also full of joy. And her text brought me great joy.
It makes me wonder what good thing will happen the next time I go to our own little grotto to pray. I don't usually think in these terms, but I feel as if God may have another surprise for me. In any case, I am grateful for these two visits and the texts that arrived while sitting in that quiet place.