SongLyricSunday 11/19/17 Growing Older

Oh Helen, what a sensitive subject for me these days, as I am really feeling my age.

I asked James what song he thought of when I said “getting old”. Immediately he said  “When I’m 64” by the Beatles. A few years back that would have been my choice also but since that number is behind me, I think I’ll take the opposite approach now.

Personal history of the song I chose. Along with many other therapists, for many years we did a 5-day long immersion-type therapeutic retreat called Experiencing Enough. Originally designed based on the belief that almost every single issue in people’s lives, as well as in the world, can be traced back to the mistaken belief that there just isn’t enough to go around for everyone. Siblings fight over scarcity. Marriages end. Companies fold. Religions compete. And wars are fought over this erroneous idea. (This was back in the 1980’s and 90’s when there still might have been enough. Now I’m not so sure…)

Anyway, one of the main songs we played and sang was Forever Young…to address the idea that there was not enough “time”.

So that is my song choice for this week’s theme. “Forever Young”, written by Bob Dylan.

Now comes the hard choice, whose version of this song?? So many amazing musicians have covered this classic. You can read about it on Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forever_Young_(Bob_Dylan_song)

But I have to say, my favorite is still by Joan Baez. Here is an older version (with lyrics)

 

I encourage you to also check out the 2016 YouTube video of a Joan Baez concert called

All Star 75th Birthday Celebration

Joan and many other famous musicians who join her, put on a show that can change the way you look at aging. I found it so inspirational. The video is set up so you can click at the beginnings of each song (and each new performer that joins her), and skip ahead if you wish. Forever Young is the final song. Not the best quality but so worth watching. (Some night when there is nothing on TV if you must.) She is amazing and many of her guests are similar ages, so they are all models for aging with passion and beauty.

Enjoy!

 

IMG_1345

 

Song Lyric Sunday Theme for 11/19/17

Veteran’s Day 11/11/17

I guess every generation has its war. For mine, it was Vietnam.

I was so angry about that war and I could not have told you why………other than my well-intentioned, but naive Flower Child commitment to nonviolence.

Even though I could not have justified it with any political understanding, I marched and protested and wrote passionate letters and participated in every way I could think of…believing with my whole being that we could actually stop the war.

Though I lost my innocence back then, as well as many friends, I never lost my belief in pacifism.

It took going to the Vietnam Memorial Wall in DC some time in the early 1980’s for me to finally be able to make room in my black and white thinking about the Vietnam war. I had never even considered how many of those names on the Wall represented men and women who chose, out of honor and deep-held passions of their own, to fight for our country.

I was still biased, and so angry on that trip. I made pencil etchings of 17 names, “brothers” from my childhood, that had served in Vietnam…but did not make it back home. Each one of them had been drafted.

Now, this print of Lee Teter’s Vietnam Reflections War Memorial Poster sits in the most prominent position in my office/Group Room. Everyone who comes to me for therapy is greeted by this powerful image. Such a small homage to all those we lost, in that war, as well as because of that war.

Vietnam Wall Painting

We didn’t know back then what we know now. So many of us would do it all differently…

especially the welcoming home part….

This is one of my favorite videos ever.

 

I ask for forgiveness for not knowing this back then.

And I dedicate this post, with deep gratitude for their service, to the following people I am blessed to have had in my life. Most, but not all, served during the Vietnam War.

Colonel Louis Ford (Tad)-United States Air Force

Thomas Alvin Bessey-National Guard Mounted Cavalry

Jean McMaster Bessey- US Navy WAVES

Captain Brian Lee Ford-US Air Force

James Fletcher-US Army

Jimmy Schack

Mary Paananen

David Taylor

Joe LaFayette

Eddie Leachman

Ari Cowan

Bret Burkholder

Vince Horan

Saralee Blum

Jim Sorensen

Ron Holst

Michael Adams

Dale Beuning

Colonel James Kowalski

Kirk Boettcher

Mriana Williams

Richard Hartman

James Malone

Shawn Dennis

Colonel James Sampson

Steve Dryden

Don Ulmer

Lou Chirillo

Dave Bartholomew

Jason Bogar

Colonel Bill Head

Captain Roy Gurd

Jerry and Jennifer Niehaus

(I know I am leaving out some names…so sorry)

PS Sorry I could not get WordPress to work yesterday so this post is a day late…

 

 

 

SongLyricSunday 11-5-17 Theme “FIRE”

Song Lyric Sunday Theme for 11/5/17

Each week Helen asks us to find a song for the theme she has chosen. It has been so much fun to hear new music and share some older tunes! The theme this week is FIRE!

Right after I thought of Fire and Rain by James Taylor, this song peeked through a psychedelic memory haze….

Just watch the beginning of this video (or the whole thing if you want to see the lyrics) to see how long ago rock musicians started dramatically expressing “darkness” in their music…not unlike so many groups today, but with way less developed sound, sight, stage and special effects!! Back in the 1960’s, this guy was something else!! He could take you on “A Trip” without needing any mind altering substances!

Now watch THIS one. Bless his heart, Arthur Brown is pretty spry for a 75 year old Rocker!!

I found this quote on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Brown_(musician)

“Though Brown has had limited commercial success, he has been a significant influence on a wide range of musicians and artists and due to his operatic vocal style, wild stage persona and concepts, he is considered a pioneer of shock rock and progressive rock and influential on heavy metal music.”

Great theme!

Peek for WPC 11-1-17

PeekPeek

We had rented a beautiful house on the river, just the four of us. Me, my son, his wife and their son.

My grandson was 19 months old. I noticed him frozen in his tracks, a very unusual moment for this extremely active toddler. He was standing at the bathroom door, peeking through the crack.

He stood there for the longest time…long enough for me to run for my camera.

Psychological, spiritual, or Oedipal, I wasn’t sure, but I knew I was witnessing something profound.

This precious little boy was completely in love, captivated by his mother who was sitting in the bathtub, washing her hair.

Daily Writing Prompt–Egg

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/egg/Triplets

I was so excited when I first spotted these eggs in the Rhododendron out in front of my house. I checked the eggs out every day for a while and couldn’t wait to show my Grandsons, who, at the time were about 5 and 7.

I took them outside, lifted them each up high enough to get a good look, and then we went back in the house to have the inevitable discussion about the problems of keeping the nestlings as pets once they hatched.

The next day, the youngest came running up all excited…”They HATCHED, Gramma!!”

Uh oh. I knew they couldn’t have yet, but when we went outside to check things out, there were the broken egg shells all over the ground.

I lied. Well, I agreed with them when, already heartbroken about the whole “no pet” thing, they concluded the baby Robins had flown away to a happy life in the sky.

I felt awful, for the tragedy (though as an adult, I can almost grasp the whole food chain thing in Nature) but also because I had lied.

A few days later I was reading about the habits of our local Steller Jays, about how smart they are. These cousins of the Crow have figured out how to watch other animals, especially human ones, as they discover and then repeatedly return to, a nest full of eggs….

Not only did I lie to my grandsons. Apparently I was also responsible for the discovery and destruction of those beautiful eggs!

Now I REALLY felt awful!

No Gold Star for this Grandmother today!

Image result for free image of Steller Jay

 

 

I have my own photo of Steller Jays somewhere but can’t find them right now. The above image was listed online as free.

You can find more great bird photos on two of my favorite Blogs…https://throughopenlens.com/  or Daily Musings 

Story Three from Epic Road Trip (in reverse order) An Un-Mormon Wedding

In the small town of Natchez, Mississippi, combining a group of local friends, some Latter Day Saints and a cadre of gorgeous Houstonites, for a wedding at a tiny Mormon church, was no small feat.

Uh oh, let me clarify. They are Houstonians, not Houstonites! I was skillfully corrected. Here’s the article to prove it!

http://www.wideopencountry.com/dont-call-houstonites-rules-labeling-texans/

But clearly they were from Houston and recognizable as such to many Southern folks. They are gorgeous! (Don’t get me wrong, there are some pretty gorgeous people from Natchez and they have their own social hierarchy!)

I have to say the Bishop who performed the ceremony was great and quite a good sport. In the pre-wedding interview with my cousin and his intended, the Officiant did his job well. Knowing these two were not practicing Mormons, he had to tactfully discover the nature of what the bride would be wearing. There are pretty specific standards in the Mormon church about what the bride can wear in her wedding…legs, arms, neck and shoulders are to be tastefully covered. I wish I could have seen his face when my new cousin-in-law described her lovely, Houstonian, strapless, designer gown. Bless his heart, somehow he worked it all out, maybe even in honor of my Aunt, long gone now, but a well-known member of this church…who knows.

tiffs dress
The Dress!
David and Tiff
I kinda wonder if the Bishop thought that veil would cover her risque` bare shoulders!

The wedding task, assigned me by my cousin, as his only relative present for the ceremony, was to choose a short reading.

My self-imposed task was to say something leading up to the reading that might bring these three groups together. YIKES…but, I love a good challenge. I really wanted to do this right! My cousin is much more like a brother to me. I lived with him, his brother, and my aunt and uncle for many years when I was young. They became my immediate family.

I have officiated at several weddings myself and I know that nothing brings a group together faster than shared laughter, but I had to do some research because I did not want to be disrespectful to the LDS wedding guests who came primarily because they loved my cousin’s mother. My Aunt had a big hand in starting the Mormon Church there in Natchez years ago and these people still remember her! I wanted to make sure it was proper to laugh out loud, to applaud, and to rebel yell in a Mormon “Meeting House”…not that I could have stopped my cousin’s longtime Natchez friends from cheering at the end…He is 68 years old and this is his first marriage so this was a Big Deal!

Me at David's wedding

 

I guess my research paid off because apparently the short comments I made before the reading were a hit.  At the reception, at least one member of each of the three distinct groups gave me positive feedback on what I said during the ceremony.

Anyway, the whole thing went off without a hitch…Well, except there was that mix-up about who got to use the limo from Dunleith to the Mormon Meetinghouse, the Houstonians or the Bridal Party. The out of town guests were all staying in one of Natchez most famous Antebellum Mansions, and the Hummer Limo was the transportation to the church.

lighting in the Mansion’s rooms

That was a slightly stressful 15 minute wait for the Bride’s arrival, but she and her beautiful maids showed up and the ceremony was short, sweet, and as predicted, raucous at the end!!

Tiff out of limo

The reception was lovely also. Again, in memory of my Aunt and Uncle, it was held in our childhood home. Beautiful string quartet, fantastic food and the successful blending of those three fairly distinct groups for an evening to remember! My aunt, uncle and other cousin would have been thrilled to see the transformation in their home, especially given the reason for it.

All in all, an amazing ending to the Natchez part of our trip. We piled in the car the next morning, bright and early, heading for home!

 

 

SYW (Share Your World) 10-9-17

Share Your World – October 9, 2017

I’m responding to a Challenge from a blogger I admire. Another great way to get the writing juices flowing. She posts 4 questions that we are to answer, with or without photos. Here are this week’s questions (with my answers). If you already know me, you will be able to guess which of the questions got me thinking the most!

(I’m experimenting with changing text color so hopefully my answers will be in BLUE!)

What do you consider is the most perfect food for you? (It can be your favorite food to something extremely healthy.) The POTATO! I can’t think of a single way a potato can be prepared that I don’t absolutely LOVE. Maybe because my mother was born in IDAHO and most of my ancestors are IRISH! I’ve loved potatoes since I was a kid when my Dad would fry up a bacon-onion-egg-cheese-potato mix. He’d hand us a salted, raw slice for crunching on while we waited for our favorite breakfast!

20170910_134915.jpg

 

Are you focused on today or tomorrow? Lately, neither. I am apparently focused on yesterday for a while. Reminiscing, revisiting, reclaiming, reuniting, remembering…all things I’ve spent this year doing, and enjoying every minute of it!

I’m slowly writing up stories from the Epic Roots Road Trip we took this summer.

 

If you could interview one of your great-great-great grandparents, who would it be (if you know their name) and what would you ask?

I would ask John Ray Young:

“What beliefs did you get from your father Joseph Young, that you passed on to your son, my great great grandfather, Brigham?”

“What did you teach him about religion?” 

“What did you model for him about the treatment of women?”

Image result

 

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

I was inspired this week by my friendship with Karuna.

https://livinglearningandlettinggo.wordpress.com/

If you have not seen her blog, she shares an amazing spiritual journey and is becoming quite adept at photography!

Our history is so long, with its ebbs and flows, and yes, bumps. I love knowing someone for a really long time. Karuna is the reason I started blogging and I am so grateful. I have thoroughly enjoyed the process, even when writing about difficult subjects.

20160731_172435