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January 8, 2012

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As I Was Saying
By Opal Toney

OpalToney7-24.jpg (37075 bytes)Spring is coming...
I can hardly believe we just had a visit from Santa Claus, and then he left for a year.
The birds and squirrels seem to be having a good time in and out under the tall trees outside.
All the leaves will soon come back for spring and they will be green and the birds will return too, but they won’t be green.
I see one of the cats washing itself with its tongue. I’m sure glad I don’t use mine for that, even if some folks do say I use it for talking too much.
So, I decided not to talk and do more writing.
I’m looking out the window and the ground is covered with birds eatin’ acorns.
I’m always happy when spring comes and I can sit outside and wave at folks. And, maybe, some will have time to stop and stay a while.
The Last Word: I’m always happy when spring gets here. – O.T.


honeyandflag.jpg (61206 bytes)The View From Here
By Katherine Veno

I have heard...
Each person has something very valuable that can only be discovered if they let it out within their own personality. There is a single spark within each of us that makes us different from every other living creature.
Actually, I have a polite regard for authority and for the opinions of others, but I feel I have never afforded myself the space to be pathetic or let what “they say” govern my life or prevent me from doing what has to be done. Maybe for a moment or an hour I have worried about what I have heard, but then I realize that I am a proven commodity. I can live successfully because I have learned to balance two opposite ideas in a tense line at the same time. Being a woman I am a natural at making long term plans as if I was going to live forever, but living daily as if I were going to die tomorrow.
It is a hopeless way to live to keep listening to what “they say” today because it will not be what “they said” yesterday, nor will it be what “they will say” tomorrow.
I like a man who perseveres. It is a great element of success. This type of man never “finds” time, he makes it. He lives, not to exist, nor to make his days longer on this earth, but to use his time wisely and to cherish the things that really matter. As a young man, he gathered materials to build a staircase to the stars, and as a middle-aged man he toiled still building his dreams or the dreams of others who had needs. As an old man he is wise, and gathers the same materials and builds a woodshed to shield himself from the sun and rain.
The world is as big as we choose to make it. I used to live in a narrow cupboard with my butterfly wings pulled in tight to my side for safety. Life was meant to be lived, and curiosity must be kept alive along with our spirit of wonder. Each day gives us a new opportunity to love and be loved. It is a human tragedy to put off living our life. I have dreamed of some magical garden just out of reach, and now I have learned to enjoy the sunflowers blooming right now outside my door.
I have heard there are certain things we all must do each day to be happy. I have heard we must be of a certain age to enjoy the wine of winter against a snowy bank in a forest. What I have heard is not always true, but I have learned that I can actually get where I am going by just beginning to walk from where I am.
Letting our past shape our future is one way to live, but we cannot blame everything on the past. As for me, I remember, but I am no longer there.


EmilyLundy4-2.jpg (36194 bytes)Escapades of Emily
By Emily Gail Lundy

Resolving to lose...
Last night some television announcer said the average woman’s weight has gone from 140 pounds in 1980 to 160 pounds in 2012. I’ll take either weight gratefully. And if anyone wants to know, I have enrolled in a pay- now program using powerful machinery to whip me into shape one way or another.
In 1991, I “paid my dues” with back surgery for a three-type rupture on the bottom of my spine. I thought I had given enough at the office of the Bones. Then in 2011-12, the old lady’s back finds me with vengeance on the mind and this is one ailment people doubt the most of anyone having, unless structure of the body almost meets the ground or magnetic items stick to the back of one’s garment because the spine has a metal pipe in it to let the back sufferer stand.
I should not tell this secret of the hefty and harmless, but I’m talking and can’t shut up. Most of us at the head of the scale class are professional rationalizers, able to lie (no tall tale) to ourselves about how we can rest on the couch with a sack full of pretzels beside us or two over-sized peanut brittle patties which run a close, close second to pralines and actually convince ourselves we do no harm unless a normal person happens to see or catch us pigging out.
Then the shame and guilt are overwhelming. I usually drink a gallon of water afterward somehow to appease my nutrition madness. Once I ate an entire frozen Mrs. Fields’ pecan pie. I halved it, not placing the entire concoction in front of me at one time. I made the walk to the kitchen to get the second half. In my bloated reasoning, perhaps I thought the little trip to the room of goodies and surprises might help. No, I did not get ill and probably enjoyed the evening meal. Help. Age and internal wearing of digestive power have slowed me. Thankfully.
But as I was putting on pounds, so was my spouse. Both skinny Minnie and Moe in our twenties, we had found stress, fast-food places, owned a microwave, about the healthiest food item going down us was milk. My two sons could chug a lug to clinch thirst. Everyone in the family liked milk which came only in full percent then (that I knew about). And these children around our table were skinny. Therefore, mashed potatoes with butter sat on the table once a day along with a variety of others things to make healthy kids. Why Dad and I could wipe away our excess at any time. Everybody knows a man looks better with weight, anyway.
My husband’s mother enjoyed making preserves and jellies in the summer. There was a favorite, her peach preserves.
My husband would say, “Please don’t give us this jar. Your daughter-in-law will have the entire jar secretly eaten by the time we get home.” The loving woman would give us two jars.
Secretly, so far back in my mind, I remembered a few aunts who lost poundage as they aged. Maybe if I were lucky, this could happen to me. My parents were always the right weight, but Dad still weighed less as he approached his 70th birthday. One day my middle daughter brought up this weight-loss factor to me, her mother. How would I know why it was not happening to me? Possible answers: I never really grew up. Some who do lose older don’t want to. Some are passed up and get bigger. Sickness can take it right off. Did my daughter wish that on me?
I’m not saying it aloud, but I think our three natural borns are going to take after me and have to fight the weight problem. One already leaves no doubt.
In closing (hoping this fits) I read that diet drinks had something in them dangerous to our internal organs.
I called a friend to whine. “I’ve been on diet-drinks for more years than I can count,” I said, “one a day, and they are said to be dangerous for us.”
“Friend,” my advisor said, “You are well into that geezer grouping. You’ve been drinking these colas since you turned against the taste of another one. Shut up already.” (I’ve heard it’s ridiculous when adults try to use slang; is it our fault it’s out of date when we finally realize what it means and how to use it?”)
If you see me walking by the side of a road with my dog club, please don’t tempt me by asking if I need a lift. Besides, the lifts I need have to be done in a medical environment.



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