|As I Was Saying
By Opal Toney
This week’s column was pulled from the As I was Saying archives
I was havin’ a visit with a longtime friend the other day and as it often
happens when I get together with someone my age, we usually spend some time
talkin’ about how “it used to be.”
It just so happened that it was the day we both got out Social Security
check in the mail.
We agreed we would always remember when Franklin D. Roosevelt was president
and he thought it was a good idea for everybody who was working should start
saving part of their earnings every pay day – and soon Social Security
Some folks gripped, but it has worked out fine since we’ve come to the age
we don’t feel like getting up every morning to go to work or try to all
night and sleep all day.
In our talking, I told her about the time I went to the P.O. on the usual
“pay day” but my check wasn’t there. The next day it was, and lo and behold,
the next morning I opened my mail box again and there was another check!
Word got around what had happened and I started gettin’ all kinds of advice
One or two warned me by saying, “Don’t you dare cash that other check and
spend it, or you’ll end up in jail.” Others promised they would come visit
me if I went to jail.
Then another said, “Oh, go ahead and spend it the way the government does
things, they’ll never miss it.”
And one said, “As slow as the government is, you’ll be long gone before they
get it right.”
And then there were folks who just shook their heads and said, “Beats all I
ever heard of.”
I felt like the fella who said he wanted to at least hold his check for a
few minutes, at least feel it, ‘cause it lasted such a short time.
Well, it took a while but it all got worked out, and I’ve not had any
I’m always glad when “pay day” comes, and I thank the Lord for Franklin D’s
As I was saying, when we old friends get together we often talk about how
things used to be.
View From Here
By Katherine Veno
If you have ever seen the movie “Groundhog Day,” then you realize that it is
possible to wake up in a new world every single day with everything just as
it was yesterday.
Imagine if you can, how it would be if you repeated the same behaviors, saw
the same people, did the exact same things, every single day.
This is how we fall into a rut of boredom and discontent. It seems that it
would be predictable and comforting to know what lies ahead every single day
and our future would never vary, but it would drive us crazy if it were
The things we need to repeat every single day are kindness, gentleness and
thoughtfulness. We need to share, care and make a difference. Lots of things
we do can be left behind if we concentrate on being better human beings.
When we open our eyes on a new day and breathe deeply, fill our lungs with
life-giving oxygen, we have a choice to make. We can choose to make it a
good day or mope about and feel sorry for ourselves. Enjoy the rain, enjoy
the sun, feel the wind, don’t complain about the weather. You are alive and
able to feel, and this is the greatest blessing of all.
Since we have opportunities to take care of ourselves and love others as
well, it is better to look in the mirror and tell yourself today is going to
be a great day, then go about making it come true.
If our lives fall into too much of a routine, it becomes so comfortable we
miss most of the new things that pass us by. Mix it up a little. If you
always have coffee, try hot tea. If you skip breakfast, grab a sandwich or
at least a glass of juice before you leave the house. Honor your body with
Since as humans we like routines we are able to control, do something out of
the ordinary. Take a walk in the park at lunch instead of going to a
restaurant for fast food. Feed the ducks.
There is no fast and set rule that tells us how we have to operate, except
that we show respect and get through the day without causing harm to
another. All the other things that are left to enjoy are just a bonus if we
cash them in.
I bought a big bag of sunflower seeds and now I have beautiful cardinals and
other birds to enjoy all day if I stop to look. That it is the key to a good
There is great benefit for the spirit in being still. Listen to your own
heart and hear yourself breathing. Close your eyes and see something
beautiful. Open your eyes and smile at a stranger today.
Happiness is there to find among all the duties, jobs, work, clutter and
sadness. Look for it in expected and unexpected places.
Choose to be a ray of sun, not a cloud of darkness, and see how your own day
unfolds. Don’t see your own shadow like the groundhog and go back into your
den. Go out into the sun.
|Escapades of Emily
By Emily Gail Lundy
Computers and their world are here to stay. They’re helpful, dangerous, and
even the human touch is involved in initial input.
For over 20 years I assumed I was computer literate. I’m not. Tested and
given a score of 100 for knowing about computers, I might be a 25 if one is
generous. Computers can do too much I can’t begin to understand. The
computer is my nemesis.
And I am in password purgatory. Same passwords for all our secret
information won’t work because of length or content. Whereas one password
will work today for a certain program, it won’t work tomorrow. I don’t know
if I used a different finger to push a letter, a different padded part of my
finger, or what. I can’t take this much longer.
One night my older son and a friend were laughing at material on Facebook. I
walked into my laptop territory. My son said, “Let’s put Mama on Facebook.”
Before I could stutter dismay, there I was, picture, profile and all. I even
typed a generic greeting.
Immediately an ex-student of mine and family friend sent, “Man, have you
lost your mind? Showing your mama Facepage. She’ll be grading our work.”
He recanted later, said maybe I would know secrets about my students.
Anyway, I was cool.
If I had any questions from my guests, their remarks were “It’s easy.” Or,
I’d get that look “I can’t believe you don’t know that.”
In a few minutes, I was alone, and on my e-mail page, work was popping.
Ex-students of 34 years, long-lost relatives, friends from places we might
have once lived. I panicked. What did I do? I couldn’t write everyone who
sent an e-mail.
Since that night I’ve asked friends, grandchildren, strangers even, what do
I have to push on FacePhoto to get to say something. “It’s easy,” again. I
experimented, used codes, wrote pitiful messages in any box that would let
me and heard from the Facelift people themselves. They gave me enough
information to let me type another generic-type memo to anyone out there.
Twice I connected to two faces and could say something brief. I hit all
acceptance buttons I saw and went back to my home page. At least I could do
I’m still getting e-mails about FaceList, and I’m still dilemma dogged.
One day a neighbor came over to set me up on eBay. I did not want to be
there. She talked about all the advanges, of course the money I could save,
and soon there I was, name, password, signing something elecronically.
I found tiny shoes for my barefoot collection of Madame Alexander miniature
dolls. The shoes were priced low. I made a bid, won, and in days had my
package of socks AND shoes. Then connections fell apart.
The owner of the shoes didn’t get her pay. Then she wrote from San Antonio,
wanting more than the original price. I still couldn’t talk to her or eBay
about the problem. I’ve made an enemy out of a stranger in San Antonio. I’ll
have to make a trip there soon, try to find her and hire someone to take me
off eBay. I’m not tech-ready.
I can open almost all e-mails, even short film clips, type letters,
messages, use Microsoft, research or cheat on crossword puzzles some, write
family histories, look at other sections of information, mostly empty, and
When I first became big in e-mailing, I didn’t know what “tags” were for, a
few other symbols too. I sent a cute animal e-mail to a cousin near Canada.
There was an attachment. She knew to hit it, and a vulgar picture came up.
Now that part of the family e-mails me no more, even though I apologized.
Ignorance is no excuse.
I have a printer now. I know what to do in limited ways. My ability to
handwrite is leaving. Yesterday came word that schools may quit teaching
cursive writing. No, don’t do this. We need backup. As long as we have
fingers and toes, writing will be needed somewhere, even if for emotion or
By the way, this is the fourth time to write all this as the other three
columns left my page and are somewhere in cyberspace or worse. I’m getting
afraid of my own computer. Of course, I’ll never master “twitter,” but that
can be done on this invention, too.