Sunday, September 30, 2012

Old Friends

     Ron and I went to an Oktoberfest cookout last weekend, and we had a wonderful time.  I got to see some people that I had not seen in more than twenty years!  The guys have been getting together for lunch for about a year.  The wives are included occasionally, and it was great to see everyone.  These are my husband's grade school friends, and some couples double-dated when we were in college.  Where has the time gone?   It seems like only yesterday that we were going to each other's weddings, and now we are all getting ready to retire!  In a blink of an eye, there have been children, divorces, health issues, and careers.
      I am always amazed at how people's outlook seems to stay the same.  The way we viewed the world in the 1970's is still the way we are today.  The upbeat ones are still smiling, and the miserable ones are still complaining.  The jokers are still making everyone laugh, and the ones that loved to aggravate are poking fun at their friends.  Some are still having the same arguments about who got the group in trouble.  One of the dad's was the chief of detectives in town, and of course, these guys were hellions.  Today, they realize that they weren't fooling anyone.  It's hysterical to hear them rewrite the stories with better endings!
     The biggest adjustments though, have to do with maturity.  At some point they decided to drink less and try to eat healthy.  They do not take risks with safety, but think and act responsibly.  We grew up!   We all make mistakes in our youth, but hopefully we avoid  making bad decisions  that have dire consequences.
       In girl scouts we learned a song with a verse  "Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other is gold."   A few of the couples are planning to meet for dinner soon.  I'm sure it will be like old times... ...have a good week everyone....and the beat goes on....the beat goes on.........

Monday, September 24, 2012

All Patriotic Americans need to Vote in November

  I voted in the New Hampshire Primaries on September 11, 2012.  The woman who handed me my ballot and I have been neighbors for more than twenty years.  After chatting about our families, she asked me for my identification.  Although I am not happy about the new voting laws, I was prepared to follow the rules and show my license.  I questioned the fairness and timing of this, but decided that I would not take it out on the volunteers who work the polls.  We are a nation of laws, and I believe that this one provides a solution to a non- existent problem.   I also believe that we need to include voters, and encourage more participation in this important civil right.  Pleases check your state's voting laws, and take steps to register in time to vote,
  New Hampshire does not have good public transportation, which means that  residents  must drive in order to get to work.  I am calling on all registered voters with proper ID, to vote this November.  Vote for the senior citizens who stopped driving a few years ago, and now have an expired license.  They will be allowed to vote November 6, but will have just two weeks to provide a correct ID before their vote will count.
Vote for the college kids who cannot vote in New Hampshire with a college ID, if they live in another state.  They may have to choose between flying home to vote, or getting home for the Holidays.  This may seem like too much of a hassle for older and younger voters.  After all, it's only one vote.
    Many argue that so many Americans vote in the Presidential elections, that their one vote won't matter.  Both the 2000 and 2004 elections were won by less than 1000 votes when it came down counting the votes for the last district.  Our votes do matter, and any attempts to give people an excuse to stay home is not patriotic.  We should make voting easier, not more complicated.  Adding steps to the voting process and cutting the weekend voting days makes me very concerned.  
     In 2008, only 63% of registered voters cast a ballot.  That sounded pretty good to me, until I learned that more than 80% voted in the election for Abraham Lincoln more than one hundred years ago.  I think we can do better in 2012.  I'm calling on all registered voters  to grab their ID and head to the polls.  I think we can send the message that we can follow the laws and still make our voices heard. I do not care who you vote for, I just want to see more citizens stand and be counted.   It's the one day when all Americans are equal.  Rich or poor, we each get one vote.  I plan to use my wisely, and it's the patriotic thing to do.  Until we have the rules we want, let's work with the rules we have....and the beat goes on.....the beat goes on.......

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Remembering September 11

    I know exactly where I was at 8:45am on September 11, 2001.  I was studying for the state board exam that was  scheduled over the next two days.   It was cold on the porch, and so I decided to pour a cup of coffee, and snap on the news.  Eleven years later, I can still vividly recall my horror as I watched the events unfold real time.  My heart  breaks when I hear the names of the victims, and see family members still trying to deal with their sorrow.  Life has been so unfair to all of them.
    This year, four Americans were killed in Libya and my condolences go out to their families.  I believe it was a planned attack, which was timed as part of a protest toward a hate filled movie made in the states, and shown on yahoo. A Libyan cleric told his church members that the movie was going to be a blockbuster in the U.S., even bigger than Batman, and the people needed to protest.  A Florida minister has been linked to the men  involved in the making of the movie.  Extremely vicious language was dubbed over the original words according to the actors. I wonder how people can blindly follow their religious leaders.  I think about the Americans who believe things heard in Church, even more than what they see on news. We probably have more access to all viewpoints than those in other countries, yet many don't dare to question.
     Religious leaders have a responsibility to promote more love than hate, and forgiveness over retaliation.  I was taught by Catholic nuns, and learned songs about the love of Christians.  We were taught that we should take care of each other, and there are seven corporal works of mercy that urge us to get involved.  Feed the hungry, clothe the naked and visit the sick are three that are easy to do.  Two of the Ten Commandments deal directly with lying and killing.  The Golden Rule tells us how to treat each other.  Whether we practice a religion or not, most of us learned the difference between right and wrong before we got to the first grade.
     I saw the videos from Benghazi with the citizens holding up signs apologizing to the United States for the death of our Ambassador.  We cannot think that all Muslims want violence, just as we do not want the world to view Americans from the actions of a college student who shot seventy innocent people at a movie.
    I was taught that evil exists when good people do nothing to stop it.  I think it's time for all good people to stand up for tolerance, and respect for others,  even when we do not think alike.  I am only one person, but I do get one vote, and I plan to use it to stand up for what I believe.  Actions have consequences.  Those in power must act responsibly, and provide a good example.  Religious Leaders and elected officials must know that Americans are watching, and  our voices will be heard.  Our words can match our actions, if we vote our conscience and values.
By the way,  we all passed those exams, and I cannot believe that I am about to begin my twelfth year in my profession.........and the beat goes on.....the beat goes on.......

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Spider Man Party

   My nephew's son turned five years old a few weeks ago, and we attended his Spider Man birthday party.  This was the first time that friends of the birthday boy were invited without their parents.  After all, Kindergarten kids are beginning to feel independent.  It's a big deal to be dropped off, then picked up after the party.
   There was a bouncy house in the backyard, and games set up as well.  The boys were having a ball, and getting along very well together.  I forgot how loud little kids can get!
   Opening presents was organized chaos, and the biggest packages were opened first.   We all had a great time playing with the silly string, and the other toys.  The birthday boy made out like a bandit, and his friends hooted and howled over every gift.  I love seeing a kid's eyes pop out of their heads, when they realize they have gotten that special gift. It's like seeing pure joy!  Of course, new clothes can be a real buzz kill, but a new backpack filled with books and school supplies was a big hit. Some cool stuff that brought cheers were trucks, comic books, and a remote controlled motor cycle. A Spider man skate board and a fishing pole were among the crowd favorites.  The adults had fun because the kids were having a blast!
    Lunch was pizza and salad, and watermelon.  Cake and ice cream and juice boxes came later after singing Happy Birthday and blowing out candles.  It was the best day ever!!!  As one of the aunties, I could sit back,  take it all in and just enjoy it!  All the adults were pooped at the end of they day, and the kids went home with a sugar buzz.  That makes it a success!   I know that parties are a lot of work, but it sure is fun to attend them, and not have to do a lot.   I'm looking forward to the Holidays this year, because excited kids make it a lot more fun.....and the beat goes on.....the beat goes on........

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day

    Labor Day means a three day weekend at the end of summer for many Americans.   I'd like to  give a shout out to all  workers across our country.  Here are some that quickly come to mind,  just by thinking about my family and friends.
If you can read this, then thank the teachers you had in school.
If you eat it, wear it or sit on it, you need to acknowledge the farmers, and manufacturing workers, as well as the truckers who deliver the products to us.
My neighborhood is filled with teachers, cops, high tech workers, and city workers, including our Mayor who proudly serve with dedication.
Our family has folks from the financial, aerospace and medical sectors,  who work long hours and make a difference.
Thanks to our military,  firefighters and EMT's who do everything they can to keep us safe.
This week, remember to thank the sales clerks, and wait staff who help us get through each day.
This month, our pool company will close our pool for the season. and we will need our mail carrier to deliver our passports. 
Later this year, we'll rely on pilots and cruise staff to provide the transportation for my Dad's 85th birthday celebration.
Our auto mechanic keeps our cars dependable.  Electricians, plumbers, and contractors helped with the recent renovations to our home.
If I've forgotten anyone, please know that you have my gratitude.  We cannot do it alone, but "we all get by with a little help from our friends".
I hope that more and more people get back to work, and that our economy continues to improve....and the beat goes on.....the beat goes on.........