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January 29, 2012

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As I Was Saying
By Opal Toney

OpalToney7-24.jpg (37075 bytes)Memories of long ago...
This morning as I woke up and looked out the window, I thought, “What a beautiful day!”
Then, I went to the back door and stepped outside, and I lost no time getting back inside thinking winter has not quite gone.
February is on its way bringing memories of days past.
Mama would order us a bow Valentine from Sears Roebuck, and Miss Jennie Hamilton taught us to make our own!
Thinking of those days brings back good memories, and also sad ones. I’ve found that prayer is good for both.
The Last Word: The squirrels are busy in the tall trees, and the birds have not made it here yet, and I’m looking forward for the leaves to come, too. – O.T.


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

Those who have battled illness...
People who have gone through intense moments, days, weeks, months and even years of illness are like soldiers in battle. Myriads of intrusive needles, tests, nakedness, embarrassment, bad tasting medicines, and hospital stays are the tasks of these brave fighters.
Soldiers returning from war missing arms, legs, eyes, and abilities have the rest of their lives involved in another type of war called rehabilitation. They are always going to be fighting in a battle called living. People with cancer, leukemia, diabetes, and other diseases go to the frontlines every single day against their enemy.
Standing tall, they fight on for the most precious of all gifts, life itself. My own mother endured eight strokes and blindness in her late 80s and still fought on. She still managed to laugh through the pain and the tears and enjoy a good meal or a joke. She loved to pet her cat and he would return the love. He died just nine days after she did, and I believe a broken heart can also kill us.
I know a very strong woman who lives with cancer everyday and chemotherapy. She bakes banana bread, cakes, and sews old-fashioned Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls. She makes sock monkeys and other things including baby receiving blankets with matching caps. I know she gets exhausted, but she always makes time for others and smiles through the battle. She is the type of warrior I am talking about.
There is a man who loves my horses who cannot see, and even though disease took his eyesight late in his life, he still laughs, enjoys the warmth of the sun, and the way the rain feels, and whatever shadows he can see. This brave man fights on for the best life he can have, and he would not quit the fight voluntarily. Never ceasing to amaze me, he brings a certain type of light to any situation, and his happy attitude is contagious.
A friend of mine battles on against liver disease, and another chronic back pain that is almost crippling. They both are troopers and don’t let anything stop them or get in the way, and go into battle each day armed with their faith and a smile. One of my best girlfriends has endured her body’s betrayal with breast cancer, and has triumphed through the ugly scars, reconstructive procedures, which were painful, and still finds something good about everyone and every situation. I marvel at the courageous spirits of my friends, and thank heaven I am surrounded by such a strong support group.
Every time I go to a doctor’s office or to a hospital I see them. Sure, there are the ones who have experienced an accident, or sudden illness, but there they are, the soldiers of experience fighting on. They do not give up easily, and they fight an enemy which oftentimes will take their life, but they give it the best they have.
I wonder why I am always so terrified of doctors, tests, hospitals, confinement, and illness. Just mention that I have to endure some procedure or test and I am nervous, despondent, anxious and try to flee the fight and retreat.
But I am turning over a new leaf. I am going to be inspired by those around me who endure so much more every single day to just get out of bed. I have had my share of hospitals, doctors, nurses, and bad news, but for my age I am in surprisingly good health, and for that I am going to celebrate. Then I am going to arm myself for the battles ahead that just come with getting older.
After all, nobody escapes the final exam, but it is how we play the game, fight the war, claim our spirit, and treat our friends and loved ones that really matters. When I wake up on the right side of the dirt in the morning I have won a victory.
So, let the sun shine, or the storm rage, I am thankful for all my blessings like walking, talking, seeing, hearing, speaking, and most of all listening.
As I lead my big mare out to some green rye grass in an unusually sunshine filled January day this afternoon, I will reflect on all the good things around me, and all the things I can still do and enjoy that many cannot. I want to become a good soldier and fight if I have.
Love, laugh, dance, and enjoy a wonderful dessert first, if I want. That is the beauty of my age now. I can order coconut pie before my sandwich if I want to do so. Nobody will think a second thought about it. My life is just that. It is my life to live and I treasure each moment, so I will always fight for it. I will do it for myself first, and for all those who are braver, stronger, and who are winning, struggling, or have lost the battle against an illness or disability. After all, I think Texas women make great leaders, and therefore are natural soldiers.


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

A hang-up artist...
It is not my purpose to spread bad news, or forecast what lies on the horizon. But as a senior, one of the senility group or on the way, and for those approaching, you must turn some situations around, make adaptations, or you will be among the confused and lost. This news is worse than trying to find a phone number even with bifocals.
First, telemarketers are getting hostile, and more desperate. These are employees of companies needing customers, and more money. They are calling the wrong people. My husband made the mistake of answering such a call yesterday. During the conversation, the line broke. My husband hung up. Then the caller dialed our number again.
“Please let me speak to the Mr. again,” he said. I answered, “He’s not here.”
“How is that possible?,” the caller asked. “He was talking to me 12 seconds ago.”
“Well,” I replied, “he was standing on the porch, lost your contact, hung up, and he’s gone.” I then hung up again.
One day a special envelope arrived, causing me to open it as it had “second contact” on the left corner, loaded words used in getting a payment if I ever saw one. Then in small print was the threat of criminal treatment if the envelope was misused in any way, even a hefty fine. I opened it to find a warranty pitch for a pickup a grandchild wrecked years ago. It was totaled, sold for its good parts, paid off, etc. On what list would our name for this truck still be living? What a waste of funds for such a fancy appeal.
The tone in the voices, the tricks used like the horn of a liner for a cruise - all turn me into a hang-up.
Reporters or announcers are also speaking faster. If I’m where I can’t see the speaker, only hear, it sounds as though five minutes of information is being spoken in 60 seconds.
Sometime the phone message is a number I should call. The number rushes out by automation with no pattern to it. We know phone numbers have a system, a rhythm to repeating them. First, we say the area code, pause and give the three-number prefix, and then pronounce the four-numbers, carefully saying “zero” for “0.” If the number were given any faster, I’d hear a blur. So I hang up clueless (or numberless). Of course, in sitcoms and other plot-related shows, it would help if characters did not have the same color of hair, same height, few distinguishable differences, but I stray.


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