LIFE IS GOOD ~ belated pre-review book

Apologies for the belated review – missed out posting it yesterday.  Oops!  And it’s not a review, but a look forward to what will be.

There are dozens of books I could have reviewed, ones that have turned my life around, set expectations on their ear, spun fresh perspectives.  But not today.  Am looking into the future, to finishing Bert & John Jacobs’, Life Is Good – how to live with purpose & enjoy the ride.

Without a doubt, the Universe sent Bert Jacobs my way to give a different spin to my view of eldering.  To fully infuse it with OPTIMISM.  My natural bent.  But one bent out of shape by the false message playing in my head that optimism isn’t valued.

Mega duh!  My successes in education, business, eldercare have been gilded with optimism.  Now,  deepen that connection.  Make it intentional, be aware of & embrace it, draw it into an unlimited partnership!

After I read Life Is Good, it will make even more gloriously optimistic sense than it does right now.  I will be Bertified & Johnish, a Jacobs-ite.  A very good thing, indeed!

See you on the other side of “Life isn’t easy.  Life isn’t perfect.  Life is good.”

What A Wednesday It Was – Mindwalker1910

For some reason, I posted this 07/27/00 e-mail from Mom on 10/12/10 – no idea why.  But I like it, so sharing it as my belated Sunday Mindwalker post…
Subj: What a Wednesday
Date: Thu Jul 27 23:33:08 EDT 2000
It has taken me 24 hours to write about what a wonderful day I had yesterday. Two major visits on the same day and I still felt up for going to the hairdresser today. That is progress.Jeremy Simons stopped by yesterday afternoon to talk with me about the role of New Church women in the ministry. It was so stimulating. He brought several pamphlets by for me to look over and we shared how we see the current discussion going on around this issue. I remember a couple years ago when Gay Pendleton had dropped by and the two of us were discussing women seeking a recognized role within the General Church ministry. Gay asked Elsa what she thought and Elsa replied, “Nature hates a vacuum.” I did not understand what she meant at first, but Gay got it right off the bat.

I think there is nothing so beautiful as men taking a strong masculine role and women taking a strong feminine role, the two beautifully fulfilling each other in different ways but on the same plane. I think of Pete and how much delight he took in building a secure foundation for his family.

We did not have a lot – for many years we were comparatively poor (and poor within a wealthy town) – but we never went hungry and always had a roof over our heads. I took the greatest delight in being a wife and mother. It was heaven on earth.

Unfortunately, these are not ideal days when it comes to the concept of conjugial – or true marriage – love. Men and women TOGETHER are to safeguard that priceless pearl, conjugial love. Women cannot be held responsible for the confusion about gender roles or the breakdown of marriage. That is a 2-way street.

My goodness, this has nothing to do with what Jeremy and I discussed; just shows to go you that his visit got my little grey cells sitting up and taking notice. What we said was private to us, although I am delighted to say how uplifted I was by the clearness of his thought and opinions. Jeremy, please drop by again!

Jeremy stopped by in the afternoon. In the evening, Elsa getting together with a young friend to discuss the young lady’s upcoming wedding. The original plan was for the two of them to head off to Barnes & Noble to discuss wedding plans. Then, a couple days ago, Elsa got the great idea of having Jessica come to our house for supper, so I could get in a visit. That snowballed into Darryl coming too, when his baseball game was rained out and he was left high and dry with nothing to do. It still amazes me that I was not too bushed from the stimulating afternoon to do justice to their visit.

Jessica and Darryl are getting married next June and Jessica asked Elsa to help out, since her Mom is far away, in (western?) Canada. There are few things that Elsa loves more than helping out with a wedding. She becomes a sort of “Adopt-an-Aunt.” I remember the fun she had helping Stella Rose with her wedding and helping Rebekah Darkwah with hers and Aline Cooper with hers and the incredible time she had last year helping out with Shada Rabone’s wedding.

There were so many things that I loved about Darryl and Jessica’s visit. They have such an ease with each other, like good friends. It was lovely to see how they batted ideas about the wedding back and forth ideas.

I liked hearing them talk about their circle of friends, which includes some young people who dear to my heart – Mike and Stella, Aline and Jeff, Doug and Carla, among others. It makes me smile thinking that if Scott and Kimberly were here, they might be part of that same circle of friends. Scott was Mike’s best man, Mike would have been Scott’s if he could have gotten down to Australia, and Mike is Darryl’s. A lovely connection of sorts to a couple who are too far away.

We talked about so many things – Jessica’s teaching position in Toronto, Darryl working on his degree in architecture, their families, discussions taking place within the church, friends and friendship, and glimmerings of what they might be considering considering for their wedding, and lots of other things that I am too tired to recall. I enjoyed their visit very much. I would like to keep track of them. I hope I am up to going to their wedding. If I am not there in presence, I surely will be in spirit.

It was a wonderful Wednesday. I am so pleased that I had the get up and go to fully enjoy both visits. I feel like I am getting stronger every day. Who’d a thunk it?

Love to you all, a tired – but well-coiffed – Grammie

Baby, take a bow

Yesterday was an unimaginable red-letter day.   Who knew when Saturday dawned that Sunday would be utterly WOW?   Then Opportunity stepped in.

Background:  It was my pleasure to plan & prep & prep for yesterday’s Bryn Athyn Community (B-Act) late afternoon cast party, but a delightful spanner was thrown into the works when a special friend extended an invitation for Sunday lunch.

On 10/15/17, my reality was that things were organized enough that by I could drop by all the paper goods & stock the Green Room fridge at the Mitchell Performing Arts Center (the play AND party site) with sodas, barbequed meat balls, baby potatoes dolloped with sour cream/bacon/chives, dozens of deviled eggs, chili, guacamole, salsa, veggie dip, cheese balls (blue -and- cheddar), sliced veggies with ranch dip for dunking, cream cheese with cocktail sauce & mini shrimp, pumpkin dip with apple slices, apple pie spread, grapes dipped in melted butterscotch bits & rolled in crushed pecans, cookies & cream puffs.  All DONE by 10:30 a.m., leaving John & I free to get to Tom Rose’s 11:00 a.m. investiture service, stop at York Diner for a nibble, arrive at Trish’s out in the far western reaches of Montgomery County for what both of us agree was the MOST fun lunch & extended gab & gaggle of new friends EVER.

I am as proud of yesterday as any accomplishment in my life.  Things were well organized & work was advanced enough that, when opportunity knocked we could answer YES without leaving anyone in the lurch. The party foods were packaged in service-ready containers, labeled with the contents, if it contained nuts, & a recommended cracker or dipper.  If there hadn’t been room in the fridge – which, praise be, there was – the foods that required refrigeration until the 4:00 p.m. party would have been fine, packed in our big ice chest, chilled with the well-sealed bags of ice atop the stacked containers.

That would have been unthinkable four years ago.  It was the culmination of a grand plan – getting to yesterday took years of  intention, determination, focus & follow through.

For three years, I volunteered to put on every B-Act cast party.  Doing a long line of parties let me figure out what worked best, plan & execute menus that provide maximum satisfaction for minimum effort & minimal expenses, are easy to set up & clean up.

Everything completed & stored by 10:30 a.m. for the late afternoon party,  without a  suggestion of stress.  Even the pick up of left-overs et al was as easy peasy as it gets – picked up around 9:00 p.m. (we were at Trish’s until 8:00!) at the B-Act president’s home, all chilled in our trusty Igloo ice chest.

That might not seem like a major accomplishment, but it is epic.  Its planning involved years of preparation, of learning & applying the lessons, REMEMBERING what worked & doing more of that -and- eliminated the sub par & gosh awful, doing things at the best time & in the most effective manner, at the most effective time (instead of finally) & in effective ways.

All of which went against an upbringing that drummed into me the opposite of everything that went into yesterday’s triumph, lifelong messages extolling creativity as springing from spontaneity (“stodgy planning is so bourgeois”), celebrating winging it as the mark of true genius, putting personal gratification above others’,  painting last-minute dramatics as conducive to great final results, & presenting stress strain unhappiness as conducive to the creative process.

Yesterday, being ABLE to accept a last minute invitation because I’d already overridden really dumb ancient messaging, turned out to be a personal performance worth several curtain calls.

Baby, take a bow!



Even Hitler

Marianne Williamson introduced me to the reality that when we take down our masks, we discover how alike we are.  That seems to tally with my believe that the grand end of life is 5, or 5th – when we fulfill the 5th Commandment, when we see our parents as what they truly are, as fallible humans with stories we don’t really know because they don’t, then we embrace the flawed humanity within which is the Divine.  Getting to see, to accept in our heart & express in our lives that core-est of core truths is what our time in this place, at this moment is all about.  Coming back to where we began – reflecting resonating reverberating Divine Love.

This is true for EVERYONE – we don’t get to pick & choose.  It’s either true for all or for none.  On that point, many of our nation’s evangelicals sound to me far more like pharisees than disciples of Christ.  The Divine doesn’t run an exclusive, excluding club.

My mother used to tell us that we could not judge anyone, no matter what they did.  We could – and should – have judgement around what they do, never around their intent.

“Even HITLER?” we asked, thinking we got her with that one.

“Even Hitler,” she answered, to our shock.

When I set aside my mask, it’s easier to see my spirit kinship with EVERYONE.  Everyone’s heart touching, in this time & place, around the world, transcending place & time.  Even Hitler’s.



If 2017 is a homecoming year for you – hope your celebrations are wonderful, with all the good memories front & center, all the irksome behaviors left in the past.

The homecoming for my high school is at the same time as for my college – the two are sort of joined at the hip…  make that at the HEART.

This year is the 50th anniversary of the class that were seniors when I entered as a freshman.  It was a year that changed my life – Glenn Hall became my home away from home, the office a spot where I always felt welcomed by homesick dorm students who missed their younger sibs.

Just hit me – this is the 50th year of my finally feeling like I had a place somewhere.  Thanks, Miss Betty, for always making me feel welcome, always making me feel like one of your “girls.”  Thanks, Gail, for always making a mere freshman feel part of DEKA’s circle of friendship.

Next weekend will feature a special procession, a special church service, great football, the final farm market, LOTS of parties (Classes of —7) & dinners & what passes these days as a dance.  It will be filled with fun & joy & old friends reuniting, seeing only the memories & moments & nary a wrinkle.

If you’re anywhere near a homecoming game of any sort – GO!  If you are blessed to be part of this year’s reunion classes – CONGRATULATIONS & HAVE A BLAST!