Posted in Family Friends and such, Thoughts & Musings

A Gift

A dear friend sent me this in an email today. Now, I’m sure this was part of an email “chain letter,” so I have no idea where it originated. Of course, if you do, please feel free to share in the”Comments” section.

Since it seems to be public property, share it with some of your friends! Let’s use social media for positive thoughts.

My Gift to You –

“One day I had lunch with some old friends. Jim, a short, balding golfer type, about 85-years old, came along with them; all in all, it was a pleasant bunch.  When the menus were presented, my friends and I ordered salads, sandwiches, and soups, except for Jim who said, “A large piece of homemade apple pie, heated please. I wasn’t sure my ears heard him right, and the others were aghast, when Jim continued, completely unabashed….”along with two large scoops of vanilla ice cream.”

We tried to act quite nonchalant, as if people did this all the time, but when our orders were brought out, I didn’t enjoy eating mine. I couldn’t take my eyes off of Jim as I watched him savoring each bite of his pie a la mode. The other guys just grinned in disbelief as they silently ate their lunches.

The next time I went out to eat, I called Jim and invited him to join me. I lunched on a white meat tuna sandwich, while he ordered a chocolate parfait. Since I was chuckling, he wanted to know if he amused me. I answered, “Yes, you certainly do, but you also confuse me. How come you always order such rich desserts, while I feel like I must be sensible in my food choices?”

He laughed and said “I’m tasting all that is possible for me to taste. I try to eat the food I need and do the things I should in order to stay healthy, but life’s too short, my friend. I hate missing out on something good. This year I realized how old I was. He grinned. I’ve never been this old before, so, while I’m still here, I’ve decided it’s time to try all those things that, for years, I’ve been ignoring.”

He continued, “I haven’t smelled all the flowers yet. There are too many trout streams I haven’t fished. There’s more fudge sundaes to wolf down and kites to be flown overhead. There are too many golf courses I haven’t played. I’ve not laughed at all the jokes. I’ve missed a lot of sporting events and potato chips and cokes.

“I want to wade again in water and feel ocean spray on my face. I want to sit in a country church once more and thank God for His grace. I want peanut butter every day spread on my morning toast. I want untimed long distance calls to the one I love the most.

“I haven’t cried at all the movies yet, or walked in the morning rain. I need to feel wind on my face. So, if I choose to have dessert, instead of having dinner, then should I die before night fall, I’d say I died a winner, because I missed out on nothing. I filled my heart’s desire. I had that final piece of pie before my life expired.”

With that, I called the waitress over. “I’ve changed my mind, ” I said. “I want what he’s having, only add some more whipped cream!”

This is my gift to you – We need an annual Friends Day! If you get this twice, then you have more than one friend. Live well, love much, & laugh often – Be happy and enjoy doing whatever your heart desires. You only go around once on this crazy planet.

SHARE THIS WITH YOUR FRIENDS including me, if I’m lucky enough to be counted among them.*

Be mindful that happiness isn’t based on possessions, power, or prestige, but on relationships with people we like, respect, and enjoy spending time with.
Remember that while money talks, ICE CREAM SINGS! “

Posted in Family Friends and such, The Way

On That Note

Music has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Dad and Mom had a ton of vinyl albums. Any family gathering of Dad’s family usually involved music and dancing. And I inherited their old cabinet stereo when Dad built the Heath Kit system for the living room, and began collecting my own albums. Music nearly always evokes an emotional response in me: I feel the joy of a happy song, sympathize with the blues singer, cry over the sad songs. And whenever things happened, even bad things, I would put on my music and feel better. It always worked. Until my friend Vitie died.

I met Vitie in the women’s Bible study I started attending. Our initial connection was over a shared love for Jesus and for a certain musical group. (More on that in a minute!) Over the next 10 years or so, Vitie and I would go to lunch or talk on the phone, enjoying each other’s company. Vitie often shared her joy and pride in the achievements and milestones in the lives of her children, Joe, Susan, and Richard, and in her grandchildren. I learned about a positive attitude from her example, because she was a very positive person, and never had a bad word for anyone. Well, maybe once. She was speaking about someone’s ex-wife, and all she said was “All she wanted was his MONEY!” You could practically hear the capital letters! And it was clear that this fact was the ultimate insult in Vitie’s eyes – the lady wanted the money and not the man!

But what part did music play in our connection, and in my journey? Well, Vitie was Victoria Sterban, and her son Richard is the bass singer in the Oak Ridge Boys. Vitie loved her Boys, all of them, and some of our time together was spent on road trips to see the Boys perform and to visit with Richard after the show. It was so much fun to see Vitie enjoy the show and,boy, was she hard to keep up with! But in 2014, Vitie went home to her LORD and Savior. My sweet friend was gone and I missed her gentle spirit so much. And her feistiness! So I turned to music as usual. And naturally, I turned to the music we had shared a love for, the Oak Ridge Boys. But something was wrong – I found I couldn’t listen to the the Boys! Every time I heard their voices, especially Richard’s, the loss and grief poured over me anew. It took almost a year until I could listen to the Boys again. But worse was to come.

Two years and a few weeks later, my husband Steve died very suddenly and unexpectedly. I sought refuge in music again. But this time it was even worse than when Vitie died. I could not listen to any music with WORDS! Didn’t matter if it was a happy song or not – Couldn’t bear it! So I switched my radios to the classical music station, and my albums and CD’s sat around collecting dust for nearly a year and a half. I gradually started listening to my music, including the Boys, but still could not listen to most praise or gospel music, except in church. Until —

The Oak Ridge Boys released a new album late in 2018, 17th Avenue Revival. I bought it in December and popped it in the player, started to listen and turned it off. The very first track, “Brand New Star,” went “There’s a brand new star up in heaven tonight…” Oh boy, here we go, I thought, here comes the grief and loss again. But, a day or so later, I decided I was being really silly so decided to try again. And when the song was over, I felt different somehow. Yes, I miss Steve and Vitie, and everyone else I have lost, but I did not feel overwhelmed with the grief anymore. I was okay.

That song, that album, was the the final piece in the puzzle, the last step on the road to recovery. And it seems incredibly sweet to me that my trouble with grief and music began with the Oak Ridge Boys and ended with the Boys!

Recovery from a devastating loss is a process. No everyone experiences it in the same way, or for the same duration. But for everyone, there are markers and milestones. I am very blessed to look back and see that my markers are my dear friend Vitie’s Boys!

So, I would like to thank Richard, Joe Bonsall, Duane Allen, and William Lee Golden, The Oak Ridge Boys, for this album. Thank you for recording it, and thank you for releasing it in God’s perfect time, at a time when I was ready to listen and to hear!

Posted in Blogger's World, Family Friends and such, The Way

To everything…

It’s frigid again today in New Jersey. I’m in sweats and heavy socks, the dog is wearing his new (too-big) sweater I knit him (back to the drawing board!), and nothing would be nicer than curling up on the sofa with a cup of tea, in front of the electric fire, and binge watch something on DVD. Instead, I just went into the garage and backed the car out, and hauled the Christmas storage boxes into the house.  Time to take down the tree, pack up the Hallmark houses and Coca-Cola train, wrap up the nativity set.  Then I get to move the furniture back into place. 

But even though the trappings of Christmas get boxed up and put away for another year, the message and significance of Christmas never should!  What message, you ask?  A simple one. It’s the message of an Almighty God that so loves each person and individual that he does not want even one of them to live hopeless, sinful, without him. So he chose to give up heaven and everything he was to be born as a human child, to live a perfect life in order to show us how to live in a right relationship with God the Father, and then willingly chose to pay the blood price for all the sin committed by each human being who ever lived or who ever will.  

PAID the price. Slate wiped clean. Nothing further owed. But he not only paid the debt, Jesus CONQUERED the problem – sin and death – by rising, living and whole, to live forever.  And astoundingly, unbelievably, he offers us the same eternal life – if we believe with our hearts that Jesus did all that, and accept that gift of life that Jesus offers!

A message that doesn’t get packed up in a box from January till December. A message that is for all people in all times. A message of hope, love, joy.  Will you hear? Will you answer? Will you accept the gift?

Posted in Blogging 101, Family Friends and such, Thoughts & Musings


I find it hard to focus.  Still.  It’s been 6 months since my world fell apart, and I still struggle to focus.  On anything.  Reading.  Knitting.  Blogging.  Eating the right foods. Anything.

I spend too much time mindlessly playing computer games, scrolling through Facebook.  Mindless.

It’s easier to not think, not cry, not miss my Pooh when being mindless.  But it’s not healthy.  I need to honor God with everything I do, not just existing but living well.  I need to honor Steve by carrying on and doing it well.

I don’t know what’s next, how it will all turn out, but I know that I do not walk alone.  I may need to keep reminding myself, but I know Jesus walks with me every minute of every day, carrying me when I can’t go on, lifting me up when weighed down by it all.  Thank you, LORD, for you constant care and presence.