Monday, August 18, 2014

A Million People!!

As of August 18th, Wake County (the area in which I reside and the location of the capital city, Raleigh, NC) is predicted to reach one million residents. We are taking in approximately 62 people per day and have been for quite some time. 

We moved here in August of 1969; there were estimated to be 228,000 people by 1970. After 45 years of living here, we have seen unprecedented growth in population and city limits have expanded beyond our imagination. So has traffic, as you might expect. 

A local TV station asked a question via Facebook this morning; is this growth a point of pride or a cause for concern. My answer is that it is both. We can be proud if we also make certain that city and county services are kept up to standards and that we do all we can to help traffic flow smoothly. Over the last 4-5 years, my opinion is that we have not done that as well as we might. Traffic is terrible here. Long lines of cars idling in the summer heat are a drain on our budgets as well as a contributing factor to poor air quality. I try very hard not to be out driving during rush hour, morning or evening. Yes, I am proud that we live here, happy that we made that choice 45 years ago and happy that we decided to stay here, no matter what. But I still hate the traffic.....LOL

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Seven Years Ago Today...

Jim had a stroke, and our lives changed forever.

The first lesson I want you to take away from here? 

That you should be under the care of a doctor so that if you have high-blood pressure and or other factors that could lead to a stroke, they can be somewhat controlled. 

Believe me, if there is anything you can do to keep from having a stroke, you should do it.

The second lesson:  if you DO have a stroke, get to the hospital as soon as possible. There are drugs they can give you to halt the damage, but you have to get them within three hours, if possible. Don't wait......GO.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Groups on Facebook

Many of us on Facebook belong to private groups; groups that are dedicated to hobbies, collecting, schools or home towns. I belong to quite a few, and one in particular, which is dedicated to my home state of West Virginia. I love West Virginia and its people (most of them) but some of the ones on that site are getting tiresome. 

Recently, the question was asked " Does anyone know what a davenport is? My aunt always used this word.... Or a calvenator?"  

Several people answered couch to the first part. Then I commented that a davenport is a couch and a Kelvinator was a refrigerator, and I posted a link to the Wikipedia site about Kelvinator and where it came from. After my comment, quite a few people commented and said almost completely the same thing I had said. Now I don't want to set myself up as the authority on things - but I was right and it could be shown easily that I was. Why did so many others feel it necessary to add their two cents, since their two cents were the same as mine?  

So then, I asked the question:  "When a question is asked on a Facebook site, why do people keep reiterating the same answers? When someone answers it correctly - that should be it. We certainly don't need 50 or more comments saying virtually the same thing, do we?"

And one woman answered  "I do."

I gave up. 

But the comments kept coming, and coming, and coming. And then a woman said they ALL needed to join the conversation. HUH??  Another woman just posted that it is just a form of group participation, and that is "what West Virginians are about."   If she means mindless repetition - maybe so - but I doubt that's what we are about. 

Last week, this (or similar) question was asked:  "What foods make you think of home?" Many of the answers to this one were repetitive, but that's okay with me, since the answers were all subjective. It is possible for 2,000+ people to all think of the same type of food when they think of home. But a davenport and a Kelvinator?  That's not a matter of opinion, it is a fact. I just don't understand this need to repeat what has been said over and over, unless they want to see their name in print  (or want the others to see it.)  

There are over 12,000 people on that particular site. God help us if they ALL think they have to join the conversation. 

As of this morning, there are 130+ comments.......some people even suggested that if I didn't like seeing multiple comments, I could leave the site. LOL  

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Twenty Five Years Ago Today....

we had reason to celebrate. We donned our finest and drove to our west, to witness a wedding. It was a lovely event and a great party; filled with family and friends who were all happy and pleased to be there.

Too many people who were there are no longer with us, having passed on through old age or illness. Perhaps it is better that they don't know what happened recently.

Unfortunately, the reasons for that ceremony and celebration no longer exist, except in name only. Separation and divorce affect so many people in a family, and friends as well. One should think carefully before initiating it, about how many people will be devastated by the action. 

It is a sad time for us all. 

Thursday, August 07, 2014

The Choice of a Gift.....

is difficult for me. Previous experience in gift-giving have made me leery of being able to choose well.

When I was in high school, I gave my mom a silver creamer and sugar set from a local jewelry store. It cost about $25 (on sale), which was a lot of money in 1958, and I was very proud of the idea and choice I had made. She didn't agree, saying that I had only bought it because "I wanted it" and I knew it would go to me after her death (since I am an only child.)  I had never even though of that, and nothing I could do or say would convince her. She also brought up the fact that she already owned 3 different sugar and creamer sets. My answer was that she may have some, but they aren't silver. After she died, I gave away that set.....I could never have kept it.

Another time, while working in the summer at a local department store, I bought her an Etienne Aigner purse. That brand had just arrived in our store and they were flying off the shelves. Even with my discount, it was a hefty price to pay for the burlap and leather satchel, with wonderful latching hardware. I did love it (and covet it) and that made me think it was the perfect gift - since we are told to choose as a gift something we'd love to have. She liked the way it looked, but she thought it was too heavy to carry once she got all her stuff in it. So, once again, she accused me of only buying it so I could have it. I was deflated, but I did end up carrying that purse and loving it. I kept it for more than 15 years, so maybe she was right.

Now that many years have passed since those things happened, one would think that the act of choosing a gift for someone would have gotten simpler for me - but it hasn't. They are always fraught with anguish on my part; certain that my gift will be rejected and spend the rest of its days in the back of a closet somewhere.

Do you find it easy to choose gifts?

If you have difficulty, is it for just one person?

Or is your trouble with it universal? 

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

A Servant's Heart

Have you ever known anyone who is a natural care-giver? A person who, despite his or her own ailments and troubles, is always willing to help another, at the drop of a hat?  

I know two of them in particular, and others who are very much that way, if not 100% of the time. I really admire those who have a genetic predisposition toward care-giving. I was "behind the door" when that was given out, apparently. I am helpful - to a point - and I  will do most anything for my family and friends,  but I don't have the heart for serving, like some do. I wish I did.

You realize I am speaking of those who serve without expectation of anything in return, don't you? Some people help others with the (perhaps unspoken) demand for loyalty or repayment or laudation. The book our book club just read (And the Mountains Echoed" by Khaled Hossieni) speaks to that point on Page 313:  "This is what rankles, what pollutes Mama's kindness, her rescues and her acts of courage. The indebtedness that shadows them. The demands, the obligations she saddles you with. The way she uses these acts as currency, with which she barters for loyalty and allegiance......The rope that pulls you from the flood can become a noose around your neck."

I have known two people who acted in that manner; one with financial gifts destined to link the giver to the giftee for life  (and guarantee obedience), and the other who gave or withheld her love based on what the person receiving it did and said. I would hope that when I do practice acts of servanthood, I am doing so with no strings attached, otherwise they are tainted.

What brought this on? I was recently in the company (for a week) of a woman who seems to be one of the true care-givers of the world;  one who does not act to receive approval, but unselfishly helps everyone around her, despite her aches and pains.  I would like to thank her publicly, but I fear she would not want that - so I am doing it this way -  Linda, you have a servant's heart......we are fortunate to have met you. Thanks for all your help and concern.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Beach Week

Last week we went to Ocean Isle Beach, NC.  Daughter two and her husband rented a house and we were all joined by various family members, including my son-in-law's parents. Not everyone was able to stay the entire time, but it was nice to get together for at least a while. 

I think I have gained 5 lbs. We have had pizza, spaghetti and home-made meatballs, hamburgers, seafood (in a restaurant) and tonight, my specialty pork tenderloin, mac and cheese, corn on the cob, salad and rolls, topped off with German chocolate cake. 

I've learned to make omelets in plastic bags, too, which is a definite boon if you have a crowd to feed. Thanks to Linda (SIL's mom) I now know how to make them, and they are fool-proof!  The best taste-tester was my older grandson, who gave a thumbs up! 

We met grandson's pretty friend from college....heretofore known only in photographs. She is lovely, thoughtful and well-mannered;  traits which are guaranteed to please even the touchiest of grandparents. 

All in all we had a really nice time. The weather was gorgeous, the house clean and on the beach, the deck partially covered and stocked with nice rocking chairs, and the beds were astonishingly comfortable for a rental house. very own bed and bath will be heavenly tonight and before that, my recliner will get a workout. I have really missed it!