Friday, October 9, 2015

What you learn about a person AFTER they depart...

  "Grumum" is the name that I have allways called my beloved Grandmother. Often I have pondered where that exact pronunciation came from. I'm now 44 and I still say Grumum. I was most likely introduced to her as "This is your Grand Mom" and as a youngling, that was probably my best attempt at saying that. No one ever corrected me for saying it that way, so it stuck.

  Her middle name is Viella. Her mother chose that as her middle name for a family friend that my Late Grand-Mom never liked. Viella would always promise to take the kids for ice cream, but never came through on that promise.  Grumum was Pennsylvania Dutch, or more correctly called Pennsylvania Deutsch. As in German. Not Danish.  Having the 'Typical" accent of a farmer kid from Lancaster County. Her V's, Y's and W's sounded more like, Wee's, Why's and Wubulu's. 

   So what I heard her say was Weola. I have allways known that her middle initial was "V". So from my interpolation of dialect and and the facts at hand, I forever assumed her middle name to be Viola. It wasn't until my mother, my aunt Linda and I were reviewing the spelling and grammar of the funeral handout that I realized that it was MY spelling that was in error.

   ...and for those readers that actually know me.  That's where the "V" in Veronica comes from.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

"First Light" ceremony for New Years Eve.

This can be a fun tradition to start by yourself if ure single, or with your family. You can curtail this ceremony to fit your spiritual practices. Candles are involved so be mindful of children and pets. This idea was shared to me from my long time friend and neighbour Bob. This will be my 2nd year of doing this.
   The intention you put into this ceremony is more important than following these steps exactly. Change what you need and create your own tradition.

-Place an unlit Candle in each room of the house.
    Tapers or glass jar candles are your option. Ollies sells glass jar candles for $3.99. Short Tapers are available at most new age shops. Celtic Myth & Moon if you are in the Reading, Pa area.

-Turn off/Unplug everything that you can. You want your house as dark and quiet as possible. (things like ure fridge are optional, it makes noise, it's your decision)

-Go to the end of your sidewalk/driveway/property.

-At this point your ceremony starts:

--State your intention for the coming year via prayer or meditation. Take as much time as you want for this. There is no rush to do this 'exactly' at the stroke of midnight... others will be outside banging pots and pans and whatever else neighbours do, allow these distractions to pass... enjoy the celebrations of others.

--With your intentions in mind, light a single taper candle. (If others are involved you can start with one and have others light theirs from it, 'sharing' the flame)

--At this point, start towards your now dark house with your intentions in mind.

--Enter your house and light each candle in each room from the candle you are carrying as you walk through.
        (For me, I prefer to walk through my house and start in the room farthest from my front door and ending in my kitchen....where there are snacks :)

--As a solitary practitioner, I end this with coffee and cake over meditation. I use mini taper candles and allow them to burn themselves out as you would in any magical ceremony. Yes, I put them in bowls of water for safety.

  Store the taper candles you used for your walk through in a decorative box and use them next years "First Light"

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Body is a Temple

  This encounter happened over a week ago, but I'm just getting to blog about it now.

  It was time to fill the gas can for mowing my 97 year old grandmothers yard aptly named "Gum Tree Manor" for the huge tree in the front lawn that drops thousands of little Sputnik looking seed pods.

  Top image: Sputnik
Bottom Image: SweetGum Tree Seed Pod
aka: The Sputnik Tree

  I was pulling to the pumps at the Exxon/Sunoco type place. As I got out of my car, I noticed a man standing outside by his car, parked in front of the store. I most likely smiled or said hello as I normally greet all the living creatures on this plane of existance. ...But I knew right away that something was going to happen. Not "Bad" happen, but an "important junction" was about to occur  It must be my smile, but allot of people ask me for money. I don't judge peoples reasons for asking ie. gas/food and I always give them something.

  It was just a polite conversation about "How damn hot!" it was. Then he mentioned something to the effect how "We're living in the 'End Times.... the things that are going on in the world. Jesus gona be coming back soon!

  He wasn't being pushy or preachy. He was Just stating the fact. I replied with "That's what they said in the 80's".
"But it's different now." "The things that go in in the government..." He asserted.
I wasn't going to argue his opinion, but he mentioned something about 'Jesus coming back' and how he 'still hadn't quit smoking' and how Jesus wasn't going to forgive him cause he started again...

 I knew this was the moment.  "You really believe Jesus won't forgive you because you 'smoke'?
  "The bible says the 'Body is a Temple' and smoking is bad for you" he replied. This seemed rather important to him. He had tried and succeeded, but backslid and started again.
  I got close and said to him and said "If Jesus came back today he would say." and I pointed in the guys face "I know that you know better... and I know you have at least 'tried' to quit and will continue to trying to quit. And when it's time you will."

  He seemed to take the comment well and said something more positive about trying. "When you decide it's time... You will" I told him. His wife came out from the mini mart and our encounter came to an end.

  I had to chuckle to myself as I pumped my gas....

  .....A Buddhist telling a Christian about Jesus.

  I felt it was what he needed to hear at that moment.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Why can't Christians get along?

  I visited my mom on mother's day. (like any good son should do) and as usual we discussed (complained) about our jobs. We are both long term employees of the same company, just different locations, so we tend to know who we are talking about. The only other topic my mother ever brings up is her other occupation. CHURCH. Mom has been a church organist/choir director since she was 18 or so. I have long forsaken my churchy beliefs for numerous reasons. This blog will be about one of those reasons.

 Being a choir director for so long and being a long standing member of the A.G.O. (American Guild of Organists), she is privileged to attend many types of churchy functions. She told of one such event that included Catholics, Methodists, and some other that I can not recall. It was one of the Holy Holidays, so communion was served. However they had to have 3 different communions during the service to accommodate all 3 different congregations.

  Now as a former Christian who simultaneously confirmed in 2 churches. (Methodist & Baptist, my parents went to different churches and I didn't have a choice in the matter) I fully understand the multitude of minuscule differences between different faiths, and I can respect everyone's choice to choose what they want to follow. BUT REALLY??? 3 different communions for the SAME JESUS?? What is the issue?? Why do Christians have to stroke their separate ego's in front of the SAME GOD? One of my mothers deacon friends intentionally took communion with a different congregation. His fellow constituents actually had scoffed him for taking communion with "THEM" Apparently he was told that God would not "recognize his communion" because he took it with "Christians of a slightly different persuasion."

  Allow me to repeat that last statement.

  The Deacon was told that: "God will not recognize your communion, if you take it with them."

  REALLY???? I looked at my mother and told her that, THAT was the stupidest thing I've ever heard. Why would "GOD ALMIGHTY" look down on his followers for sharing the Holy Sacraments with other followers that had a slightly different outlook on Jesus??? Wouldn't God be happy to see his followers joining together in celebration?? Or is he sitting on his Heavenly Throne shaking his head in disgust over the "petty trivialities" that his followers are squabbling over?

  WWJD? For Real? What would he have done or said if he walked in the door to see the charade in progress?

  How can Christians hope to bring non believers to the faith, when they are still so petty with each other?



Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Humans are all idiots.....

Humans are all idiots.....

An idiot, dolt, or dullard is a mentally deficient person, or someone who acts in a self-defeating or significantly counterproductive way. Archaically the word mome has also been used. The similar terms moron, imbecile, and cretin have all gained specialized meanings in modern times. An idiot is said to be idiotic, and to suffer from idiocy. A dunce is an idiot who is specifically incapable of learning. An idiot differs from a fool (who is unwise) and an ignoramus (who is uneducated/an ignorant), neither of which refers to someone with low intelligence.

Ok then......




Sunday, August 5, 2012

Tears for some I never met.

    I made a cute kitty pic my cell background. A seemingly smiling kitty... As the evening progressed.... texting people and looking repeatedly at my feline picture, I caught a glimmer of a memory in this photo. An old forgotten memory.

   I was probably in Jr High. Reading a random article in the local newspaper. This was long before the internet, so news required reading. It was probably only a 2X2 black & white image. It was of a baby probably around 1 year old. Crying.... Not just sobbing, but full on crying. The expression so vivid still in my mind today. The article told the story of a new mother that had killed her baby. My first thought was of the child in the photograph. I looked at it... The expression on this child's face. . I do not remember if the picture was of the actual child or a stock baby photo. The article was on Post-partum  Depression, and a stock photo of any crying child would have done. 

  I continued to read the description of the mother being unable to deal with a continually crying infant. She described the incident of the baby's death. I can not remember if she was hitting the child with something or hitting the infant against something... My attention reverting to this image of a screaming baby while reading on. She (hit) her child repeatedly as the children's crying grey louder and more intense and her being more and more unable to deal with the crying. The line "I kept hitting him until he stopped crying.............................."

     I looked at the image again, with tears in my eyes. This is what the mother saw in her child's last moments. A confused scared infant. Unable to understand what was happening, or what the outcome would be. A child used to being coddled and fed, suddenly being injured. I could scarcely fathom why this ever happened. Reasons and explanations of depression and post-partum disorders be DAMNED!!! Where were her family? Estranged or maybe passed on. Friends?? Co-Workers??? Anyone and Everyone that knew this girl???? Why was everyone so distracted by their own petty lives and selfishness. That no one saw her trouble, or took the time for her needs.

    Upon reading this article (some 20 years ago now), my dislike for people and our culture in general began. Even when we see things like this happening, were content to blame psychology, or someone else or even, "Why would God allow this to happen?" Why should any "GOD" intervene, when the reason you claim "GOD" created us, was for us to create our own world. We are responsible for the horrors that plague our world... Everybody's talking and nobody's listening. Observe your friends and see. How many people are not listening to the conversation, just waiting for their turn to talk.

    I spent my drive home from work in tears over this child and so many others who are suffering. I'm so very tired. I do whatever I can for those around me, I help some that I know, and I help some that I don't know. Just because It's the right thing to do. I'm so tired because I feel like I'm the only one trying. 

   I Long ago gave up on the idea of "God" or "Salvation". 

    If God is real, then he created our universe then created us and gave the earth to us to create with. And look at what we created....... We suffer because we allow suffering

    If God is NOT real. Then our Earth evolved over million of years, and we trashed our luxury sweet hotel room in the equivalent of a weekend bender... We suffer because we allow suffering.

   I do not give to any Charity Organizations... I know people who are broke starving. I know people who struggle to have $5 for lunch for the week. Do you have a co-worker that is way overdue for new shoes?? Is she counting pocket change because that's all she has??? Uplift the people around you, and help them uplift others. Don't ask for your $5 back.. Have them give it to someone else more in need than you both. 

  I know what I do for my corner of the universe (and aspire to do more) and I do not need to divulge, for that would be bragging. I do what I do for the better good. Not what "I" get out of it. It's not what I do that matters... Its what your NOT doing that matters..

   When asked why you are helping.... just tell them that "The universe is being good to you today."

    Buy someone you work with lunch.
    Tell someone you missed them/are happy to see them.
    Open your home to someone without.
    Smile at children.
    Know someone down???
           -Listen to them instead of talking about you.
    Get off the computer and spend time with family... (They NEED You)

    Ok, I've ranted and you may have listened. I do not want people to make comments (other than "Amen" or "Namaste" please). Just "LIKE" this post so others may see how many others care..



Thursday, August 2, 2012

Random Acts of Good Karma for Others

  I was sitting in the car with my co-worker after work.. Some guy pulls up next to us and smiles. I thought my friend knew the man in the car, but alas neither of us knew him. The man asked if we lived close by or had a gas can on us with a gallon or two, cause he was from Allentown and had no gas to get back home. He never asked directly for money.

   I don't normally carry cash but thought I might have a few. I found I had a $20 bill and freely handed it to this stranger in need. 

   He looked at me surprised and asked, "Are you sure?" "I wasn't asking for money." I told him that Karma was smiling on him today. He thanked me profusely and asked for my address so he could pay me back. I said no and thanked him for offering."All I ask.." I said "Is that at some point in the future, you do the same for someone else who is in need."

    "That was really nice of you." My Co-worker replied. "I know you are struggling with money."

    "I figured that at this moment, that $20 wouldn't make or break me." "But it could make a big difference to him.

     I expect nothing in return for this act. It was just the right thing to do. My hope is that he remembers to return the favour to the next stranger in need. 

    Karma isn't just the universe.... It's everyone of us.