Thursday, February 24, 2011

Lessons from a Two-Year Old

Sometimes you can get to the top on your own.

And sometimes you need a helping hand.

Sometimes you have to size each other up...

Before you have them eating out of your hand.

 Sometimes it's nice to have lots of friends...

And sometimes one good friend is more than enough.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Strawberry Fields

In my last post I wrote about living in South Florida many years ago when I was newly married. There were so many wonderful memories...such as

Sunsets over the beach....soft, balmy breezes on a summer evening....the Coconut Grove....Strawberry milkshakes straight from the strawberry fields....real Florida oranges......Shrimp fresh off the boat.....a drive along the coast, anytime....a dip into the pool after a hot, humid day....Latino music...the diverse culture....the relaxed atmosphere...driving along the Florida, hot, hot Miami!....the children of the migrant workers that used to come into my store....picture postcard memories.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Songs to Remember

Isn't it funny how certain songs can remind you exactly where you were in your life when you heard it the first time? Music is the soundtrack of our lives.

My late husband, Don, and I lived in South Florida when we were first married. We lived in Homestead in a small, furnished apartment that looked out towards the pool. We were newlyweds, and broke most of the time, due to the fact that we had bought a "lemon" on our way to Florida. We had plunked down cold cash when we bought the Impala in Kentucky and I'm sure the salesman was laughing all the way to the bank after we left. But what could we do but deal with it. And that's what we did. I took a job at a convenience store across from our apartment complex. My husband drove the car (when it wasn't in the shop) to his Army post in the Everglades. When I worked late on Fridays and Saturdays Don would help us keep the beer stocked, because we were so busy. After I got off from work, we'd order a pizza from Pizza Hut next door and stay up until the wee hours of the morning watching old black and white movies on TV. It was a simple time and we explored South Florida and visited the tourist sites in Miami. It was in Miami that I was sworn in as an American citizen, along with 800 other newly-minted Americans.

One song that always reminds me of those sunny, carefree days in Florida was "Key Largo." It made the charts briefly, but I liked it. "We had it all, just like Bogey and Bacall starring in our own late, late show, sailing away to Key Largo." We drove to the Keys a couple of times; Key Largo was only 30 miles away.

 Another popular song at the time was "Escape," better known as the "Pina Colada" song. It's a catchy tune and every time I hear this song, and "Key Largo", on the radio, it takes me back to those early married days in South Florida.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Letter From God

(I wrote this a few years ago for my 5th Grade Sunday School class at the time.)

Dear Beloved,

Do you know how much I love you? I have loved you since before you were born. I loved you when I formed you in the womb of your mother.

I love you so much that I will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid, my child, for I am always with you. My love for you endures forever.

Do not lose heart if I rebuke you, because I love you as my child and what father does not discipline the son he loves?

Remember, I am love. And if you live in love you will live in me and I in you. You do not need to be fearful, because perfect love will take away your fear.

So love one another, my child, just as I love you. Love your neighbor as yourself. And if you love me, also love your brother.

And because I love you so much I sent my one and only Son, that if you believe in me, you will not perish, but have eternal life.

Love, God

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

When I Grow Old....

I recently watched a sweet movie with Betty White entitled "The Lost Valentine." The actress plays a young  bride whose husband is sent off to war. His plane is shot down and he is MIA. The young woman is expecting her first child. She never remarries, but goes on with her life, always returning to the train station each Valentine's Day where she last saw the man she loved.

I know it's a cliche, but I'm a hopeless romantic. I love movies like this, even though real life is seldom as syrupy-sweet as the plot in a Hallmark movie.

When I grow old... I want to be like Betty White.
I want to live life to the fullest.
I want to smile and show my (make-believe) dimples.
I want to laugh heartily and always know what to say.

When I grow old.... I want to be the center of attention
When I blow out the candles on my birthday cake.
I want to wear the color red
And never leave home without my lipstick.

When I grow old ....I want to have lunch with friends
Where we can talk about anything
Except our aches and pains
And the medications the doctor prescribed

When I grow old ....I want to spend time
With my grandchildren as much as I can;
Entertain them with stories and jokes
And love them unconditionally

When I grow old ....I want to keep on learning
And work the daily crossword puzzle in the newspaper;
Keep up with current affairs
And vote on Election Day.

When I grow old... I want to be on good terms with God
And hope that he remembers me,
So when it's time for me to go
He'll be there to welcome me home
When I grow old.

(c) Anita M. Ashworth 2011

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Amazing Grace

"Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me....
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.

My prayer list for January was long. I mentioned it in an earlier blog post. But today I am writing about  answered prayers.

My sister B. had her corneal transplant surgery yesterday. When the doctor removed the bandage from her eye, she was shocked. She could actually see the eye chart and make out the letters for the first time in years. My other sister, C. and I were both teary-eyed to see results this soon. My sister, who is several years younger than me, has had numerous eye surgeries through the years, starting when she was an infant. She was the kid in school with the thick glasses that everyone made fun of. She was the child bumping into things and falling down because of her poor eyesignt. She could never pass the eye exam to get her driver's license and was considered legally blind. B. worked as a Nursing assistant for years and had to quit work because of her eyesignt. So to have some of her vision restored is a miracle indeed.

My sister has the information about the donor. We read it, but she doesn't know the contents of the letter, only that it was a young woman who donated her cornea.  I feel like that young woman gave a gift of sight to my sister and I hope that God blesses her family with peace.

Amazing grace indeed!