Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Rewriting History.....

Currently, there is a heated controversy raging over which of the two statues honoring Missourians, should remain in the U.S. Capitol Building. Each state can only have two, and because wise pundits want to replace one of the statues with a likeness of the only Missouri president, Harry S (no period) Truman, one of the existing ones has to go. Seems like a good enough idea. Then, with Harry in place, we would retain the one statue, honoring the best and most noteworthy man, of the original two.  But, which of the two should be removed?
One of the current honorees, a Mr. Blair, was an avowed racist, but he is credited with founding the Republican Party in Missouri. The other, Thomas Hart Benton (not the artist, but the Senator), owned slaves, and held a seat in the U.S. Senate for 30 years. Uh oh.
In order to meet current purist thought, let's just eliminate all traces of slave holders in U.S. History. That would mean every city, State, building, street, school and park named for George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Then, remember to take down both monuments honoring them on the Capital Mall.
Then, while we are at it, let's destroy all records of any of our own ancestors that were slave holders. That would erase traces of folks all the way back in history, to pre-historic times. Slavery was not invented in the U.S. of A. Many cultures had slavery.
This is all a bit drastic, of course. History, it seems, cannot be re-written. And, furthermore, it should never be erased from our memories! If we don't remember our errors, we are apt to repeat our mistakes.

Dear Lord. We are who we are. We are products of our ancestors and of our own history. Allow us to see our own sins and show us how we can become better children of God.


Friday, April 6, 2018

Read

Rarely, all teachers will tell you, do students read directions. A math teacher can give out a sheet of problems and the students will all start to work them....even if the directions, written right at the top of the page, say "do not work these problems." Teachers try and try, but most students consider directions a waste of time. Children are impatient.
A lifetime passes and you would think that folks would get wiser. Somewhere along the line, people should learn to read directions. But, they don't. I see it every day.
There is a nice big sign, right by my desk. It is hung in front of the mailbox room. It's a sliding sign that either reads "The mail is in" or "the mail is not in." I make sure the sign is changed, every day after the mail is delivered. Yet, without fail, at least five folks, every blessed day, will ask me, "Is the mail here?"
I put signs on everything, mistakenly thinking someone might read them.
My signs often request, "Read this", "Please take one", or more importantly, "this event has been moved" or even "cancelled". No matter. No one reads them! It's just easier to ask the concierge.
I'm used to it. Some things never change.

Dear God. We need you help. Show us how to love and listen. Remind us to care about others.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

The Daily News, or at least what is left of it!

My husband and I are part of a dying breed. We read the daily newspaper. Anyone can tell you that most people, nowadays, get the news from the Internet, TV and phones. Newspapers these days belong to "the old folks". News, in print form, is going away, rapidly. And, what's more, no one cares!
We grew up in a small town with a population of around 20,000.  Years ago, that town's daily newspaper published two additions, The Morning Sun and the Headlight. There was enough news and print advertisement to make both papers viable and profitable. Now, major cities of millions can't support one edition daily!
The Kansas City Star has shrunk! Of course, we have gone from two daily publications to one. The circulation has dwindled to the point, that the publishers have resorted to begging people to stop their print subscription and read the "paper" on line. But, that is only one way it has gotten smaller. The size of the paper has diminished to sometimes no more than six or eight pages and, on top of that, the overall dimensions, of the copy paper, are much smaller than they once were. We no longer have a daily newspaper, we have a mini-sized newsletter!
We could stop our subscription. People always say that money talks. However, it isn't as if the cancellation of our outrageously over priced delivery would hurt the Star, in any way, shape or form. Major newspapers are supported by advertising dollars, not subscription dollars.
But, older folks are creatures of habit. We will keep taking the sub-standard Kansas City Star, until we die or it dies....whichever comes first. I will keep trying to solve the New York Times Crossword (even if the Star, insists on running the puzzle weeks after the NYT published it!) and my husband will continue to read the daily sports news. At least, the Star continues to publish the names of the teams, along with the scores of the games. When, due to limited space, he starts to read....6 to 8, 10 to 14, or 76 to 84, that will be the final straw.

Great and all knowing Lord, you are aware of our meager lives. You know what pleases us and disturbs us. Remind us that we should, above all, be concerned with what pleases you. Help us to lead better lives. We praise your Holy Name.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Where for art thou, Juliet?

I have always appreciated several verses about change. "Change is growth", is one of my favorites. Or, "The only thing that is constant, is change." Normally, I'm all for change.
However, I have just recently come across some changes, that have me puzzled.
Locally, the natural gas company used to be called, Missouri Gas Energy. Pretty straight forward, don't you think? That company was purchased by Laclede Energy, a St. Louis based company. That name has been in existence for over 100 years, Laclede being one of the founders of St. Louis. Now Laclede has changed to Spire. What does that name have to do with gas service? I am imagining a column of fire, set off by a spark and a gas leak!
Then, my mortgage company changed its name. What was once NationStar, is now Mr. Cooper. This change made no sense to me at all. So, I did a little research and read that this particular choice of company name was made to "connect with individuals". What individuals? Gary Cooper? Tyra Banks? Eddie Money?
Then, my cable company went from Time Warner......two longtime communication names.....to Spectrum. What the heck? A spectrum is defined as a fluctuating series of items. I guess that's why customer service with our cable company is always up or down, on or off!
When Shakespeare wrote, " A rose by any other name, would smell as sweet", he was dead wrong.

Holy Lord. Help us to understand what you need for us to do with our lives. Show us how to glorify Your Holy Name.


Friday, March 16, 2018

Say the right thing...please.

People do pay attention to proper English. Right or wrong, every time you open your mouth, someone is judging your knowledge of the English Language. I do not profess to use perfect grammar....written or spoken. But, sometimes when folks speak to me, in a supposedly professional setting, and they use awful English, it hurts.
Take for example, "ain't". It is never acceptable to use the word "ain't". Recently, I was told "if it ain't got our names on it, it "ain't" for us." "Ain't", when it is spoken, (surely no one actually writes the word) is a contraction for the words "is" and "not". Charles Dickens made fun of illiterate people who used the word, in the mid-1800's. "Ain't" has been wrong, for centuries!
"Never say ain't. Say isn't", was one of the first lessons in grammar, that most of us were taught. I do know that folks over the age of 40, have no excuse.
Perhaps, teachers today do not emphasize the use of proper English. Maybe, those same teachers actually use the word "ain't". Maybe their students just aren't listening. Whatever the reason, it is unfortunate that the word continues to be used.
It is such a simple thing, but it is so wrong.

Holy Lord. Help us to do our best for You and others. Our lives are a reflection of your love and care. You do your best for us.



Monday, March 12, 2018

On my honor.......

Can you believe it? I wasn't always as cool as I am now. In high school, long after it was "the thing" to do, Little Nancy remained a Girl Scout.
Today is the anniversary of the founding of the GSA. Juliette Gordon Low, of Savannah, Georgia, is credited with beginning the organization, in 1912. My stint, with scouting, started much later. I became a brownie at age 7, in the early 1950's.
March is the month that Girl Scouts sell their cookies. Salesmanship is not one of my talents. It never has been. I was always a two or three box girl, but one year, the "top salesgirl" in our troop, just happened to be me! John, my step dad-to-be, purchased all of the boxes I could get my hands on. What a great guy, and I don't think he even liked cookies!
My friend Gene, gifted our staff with some cookies, recently. They were much appreciated and were eaten in a flash. Girl Scout Cookies are the best. Memories of long ago Girl Scouting came drifting back. Wonderful times....wonderful guys...wonderful remembrances.

Dear Lord. There are so many great people in this world. Show us how to look for the best in everyone we meet. Give us patience and understanding. Life is a blessing!
We praise your Holy Name.



Sunday, March 11, 2018

HOW?

In 1952, a brand new tourist destination opened in Afton, Oklahoma. Not too long after the grand opening, no more than a year or two, my family made an afternoon drive, down to see this "new" attraction.
Buffalo Ranch Oklahoma was quite a draw. I remember being awe struck. There were several buildings, including a Western Store, a Dairy Ranch for ice cream treats, and of course lots of penned American Bison, or what we all call buffalo. I think we must have had something cool to eat or drink, because it was Summer and that was long before anyone had even heard of air conditioned cars. I think that I looked all over for Indians, but I don't remember seeing any. I was fascinated by Indians, but because I was always looking for the "painted and feathered kind", I never saw them. There may have been a pony ride concession, too.
Just like many such stops along the famous Route 66, Buffalo Ranch has changed. None of the original structures are standing. In 2002, the last remnants of the Ranch, were torn down, to make room for a typical highway convenience store.
However, the buffalo are still there. Penned up,looking fairly bedraggled and bored. They may be descendents of the same herd that I viewed 65 years ago.
Some things never change.

Dear Lord. Our memories are a part of our present lives. What happened years ago, makes us what we are today. Help us to learn from our past and lead us toward brighter futures.
We praise your Holy Name.