Saturday, November 27, 2010

Much Obliged

Don't you just love it, when something unexpectedly "drops in your lap"  ... and you've an opportunity to share that glad news?   When I awoke this morning, my mind began scrolling through (then rejecting) possibilities what to share on Spiritual Sundays.  Then I discovered the following story in my email.   I hope you enjoy!

I believe that thankful people are happy people.

The late Dr. Fulton Oursler used to tell of an old woman who took care of him when he was a child -- a woman who not only expressed her thanks, but felt it. Anna was a former American slave who, after emancipation, was hired by the family for many years.

He remembered her sitting at the kitchen table, her hands folded and her eyes gazing upward as she prayed, "Much obliged, Lord, for my vittles." He asked her what vittles were and she replied that they were food and drink.

He told her that she would get food and drink whether or not she gave thanks, and Anna said, "Yes, we'll get our vittles, but it makes 'em taste better when we're thankful."

She told him that an old preacher taught her, as a little girl, to always look for things to be grateful for. So, as soon as she awoke each morning, she asked herself, "What is the first thing I can be grateful for today?" Sometimes the smell of early-morning coffee perking in the kitchen found its way to her room. On those mornings, the aroma prompted her to say, "Much obliged, Lord, for the coffee. And much obliged, too, for the smell of it!"

Young Fulton grew up and left home. One day he received a message that Anna was dying. He returned home and found her in bed with her hands folded over her white sheets, just as he had seen them folded in prayer over her white apron at the kitchen table so many times before.

He wondered what she could give thanks for at a time like this. As if reading his mind, she opened her eyes and gazed at the loving faces around her bed. Then, shutting her eyes again, she said quietly, "Much obliged, Lord, for such fine friends."

Oursler was deeply influenced by Anna's uncanny ability to always find some reason to be "much obliged."

This wise woman taught him a secret that many people have never learned: she taught him how to be happy.

-- Steve Goodier

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


OK, there's probably not a soul alive who's not heard (or witnessed) recent horror stories of the TSA v. John Doe.

So, prior to our mini-vacation, I was overly curious.  Imagine my let-down when, at Sky Harbor's Terminal 4, there were no scanners, no itchy fingers.  Same old, same old.

Not so fast!  Returning home a week later, I was asked to step aside.
Was it my beady little eyes ... my attempts to appear nonchalant choice of clothing? 
Yes, that's it!:  Baggy pants and even baggier hoodie ... bearing an oversize logo from a certain University.    As I detoured after the warden inspector, another called loudly, "Roll Tide!"   (Trying to "get my goat?  I swear, he even winked!)

Have to admit, "my" inspect-ress was wonderful.    Obviously, I didn't know what to expect .... certainly not her courtesy and professionalism.    Initially, she asked, was I bruised or tender anywhere?   She then explained the procedure in detail before ever laying a hand on me.   Did I want a private room?   ("Honey, I lost most of my modesty 10 years ago.")   The whole process took maybe 60 seconds.

The funny part?  .....Her expression when I remarked, "thank you; I appreciate your guys trying to keep us safe."

Suspicious .... Say whaaaaat? 

Actually, its a lesson learned from my son shortly after 9/11.   As crazy as it seems, I honestly appreciate TSA's efforts.

Clearly, there's no excusing some recent behaviors ... unfortunately, there are jerks in all parts of society.
Still, I think the vast majority of these are decent men and women, tasked with a near-impossible job description.    I wouldn't want to "do" it!  Would you?

Meanwhile, let's just pray someone arrives at a better idea!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ordinary Blessings

So, Tony Bennett may have left his heart in San Francisco.  As for me, I think a goodly portion of my brain cells remain in Alabama!

Remember that old rhyme, "Can't think.  Mind's numb.  Inspiration won't come!"
Do you ever get to feeling that way?

Yuppers, last week DH and I descended on the tiny community of Pike Road for a long-anticipated visit with my son and his family.   You know, don't you -- it's never easy to adapt to another's household and not disturb their necessary rituals -- but I needn't have worried. I've the greatest DIL in the world!

Fall!!!  I'd quite forgotten what Fall looks like, but Mother Nature was on her best behavior.   Go ahead and laugh, but I was over the top at the opportunity to boot scoot 'round in my thick woolly socks.    And DH was so cute ... sitting for hours at a time on the back deck ... his book (and the clock) quite forgotten.  

Now, he'd probably deny having said so, but I actually heard him ask, "What would you think of living here?"  
(Yes, I had to put on my "Voice of Reason hat" and remind the dear what humidity feels like in the Deep South!) 

So yes, Thanksgivings still a few days away, but I sense my personal Thanksgiving's already been observed.

Whatever fills your heart, no matter the date  ... may it leave you feeling a little lost!

P.S. - I've a few more "snapshots" to share in the next few days ... maybe even a surprise thank-you.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


As our hearts are full to overflowing ... these lyrics seem (to me), a perfect expression of the season!

May all of your your "right nows" find you blessed and eager to discover all that He has is wonderfully given.

(... 'n pardon my asking you to "mute" the soundbox below:  I've not quite discovered how to do it myself!)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Simple Pleasures

Aren't we all inclined to chuckle at the term, "Control Freak"?

There's so little we humanly can control!  (Aside from our attitudes, of course ... but that's a whole 'nother story!)

So, I take a measure of comfort, of Simple Pleasure in the little things.....
Like a crisply fitted, neatly-made bed. 

Yes, I shudder to think what Dr. Freud would make of it..... but I get a real sense of unease when the bedcovers are left askew -- almost a tangle reminder of all that's left UNdone in my life.

I once read that Jackie Kennedy Onassis insisted her bed linens be changed for a clean, freshly ironed set of sheets every morning. Now that's luxury!

Possible? Yes. But probable?
I don't know about you, but I don't have that kind of time on my hands!

... I'm satisfied to keep the little "control freak" that lives in my head happy with the covers tucked up nice and neat.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Have yourselves a wonderful evening!  And don't forget to stop by Dayle's "Simple Pleasures" for a dose of "feel good." 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The soldier stood and faced his God
Which must always come to pass...

He hoped his shoes were shining Just as brightly as his brass.
"Step forward now, you soldier, How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My Church have you been true?"

The soldier squared his shoulders and Said,"No, Lord, I guess I ain't...
Because those of us who carry guns Can't always be a saint.
I've had to work most Sundays And at times my talk was tough,
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the streets are awfully tough.

But, I never took a penny That wasn't mine to keep...
Though I worked a lot of overtime When the bills got just too steep,
And I never passed a cry for help, Though at times I shook with fear,
And sometimes, God forgive me, I've wept unmanly tears.
I know I don't deserve a place Among the people here...
They never wanted me around Except to calm their fears.
If you've a place for me here, Lord, It needn't be so grand,
I never expected or had too much, But if you don't, I'll understand."

There was a silence all around the throne
Where the saints had often trod...
As the soldier waited quietly, For the judgment of his God,
"Step forward now you soldier,
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell."

Dedicated to who all who serve -- 
May we Remember and Observe, not only this Thursday .... 
but every day.

(These words are not mine; unfortunately, I don't have the author's name to credit.)