Tuesday, June 30, 2015

GET ALONG...


 
"One thing you really have to watch as a writer
is getting on a soapbox or pulpit about anything. 
You don't want to alienate readers."
John Grisham
 
Honestly?  I try my best to prevent my blog from being a soapbox.  The definition of a 'soapbox'...an improvised platform used by a self-appointed, spontaneous, or informal orator; broadly :  something that provides an outlet for delivering opinions.
 

What d'ya think ~ is this a soapbox or is it a vehicle for encouragement?

Whatever you, my readers, think it is...I hope you don't/won't ever think I'm 'preachy'...if so, it is unintended...trust me!  Don't want to alienate anyone.
 
I've a question...'is it so difficult to 'love the unlovable'?  We seem to make it so; okay, I wrote 'we' when actually it is 'me'.  I (me, myself and I)sometimes make it difficult to 'love the unlovable'...and that presents the question, 'who are the unlovable'?  Um-hm, I'm choking on that, why?  Because too often I find that I am guilty of not liking and judging those I define as 'unlovable'.  My bad, yes!
 
Two weeks ago, I parked and left my car just as a woman parked next to me and was leaving her car.  Seemed we were both headed for the same place...yep, sure were.  I smiled and said 'hello'...in return I received a hard stare minus a smile.  I thought, 'Okay, lady...I've encountered you before and you've not smiled at me yet...you're on my list'
 
Fast forward...as I was leaving, she remarked that I looked pretty and guess what?  She smiled as she said it.  Don't ask me how but we began talking; I finally sat down beside her and she 'opened up'.  This woman was full of hurt, hate and bitterness.  I understand why she didn't smile much.  By the time I left, thirty minutes later, I felt like a 'dirty dog' and very humble...I had a lesson in humanity that I'll not forget.  It did her good to unload and it did me good to understand.
 
In these divisive times I needed a lesson in understanding those I've considered 'the unlovable'. In a personal category that could possibly include those who disagree politically, religiously, etc.  Seems, at times, we disagree on any and everything...yikes!
 
"Do you think it's possible to discuss politics without preaching?"...Steven Brust
 
 
I suppose I'm na├»ve...okay, I know I am but I've been voting for a long, long time; I can't remember times when the diatribe was so vicious and bitter.  I call it 'hatemongering'; top it off with the fact that 'the facts' are not always 'the truth'.  That's a sad commentary on today's society.
 
My dad and I disagreed politically and that isn't too uncommon...lots of kids do that (disagree w/their parents)...we didn't play cards with each other either.
 
We, as Americans, are a people of diversity...as is the world...diversified.  Oh brother, wouldn't like thinking everyone thought just as I did!  We'd be in an even bigger mess!
 
M and I have friends in many far-flung places; different colored skin, different values, different speech, old and young.  Governments, living conditions, etc...total opposites from us.
 
No matter...we've great respect for each one...and I believe they have great respect for us. 
 
To me, it comes to this...love, it's about love!  A mutual respect...and love above all. 
 
Besides, doesn't love conquer all? 
 
Suppose we could dress alike in 'get-along shirts'...what d'ya think?
 
From my loving heart...to yours, Vasca
 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

ROLLIN' ALONG...

 
"Unforeseen surprises are the rule in science,
not the exception.  Remember: Stuff Happens."
Leonard Susskind
 
Here we are, June is bustin' out all over ~ school's out, rain stopped, days are sunny,  a/c's are in full swing and life goes on.  Nice to have the water levels up w/green grass, lots of flowers...beautiful sights, right?  Right.  So much rain really was a surprise!
 
Surprises are around so many corners; some are awesome and some are...well, a bit unsettling.  Familiar saying is "life is full of surprises"...sure is!
 
Ha, ha!  For sure Michael and I have had a life full of surprises.  Never thought we'd be a military family...live all over the world...have four boys in less than five years (now those really were surprises)...do the things we've done!  Wow!
 
M's health has become a series of surprises...very different...quite interesting!
 
He has very competent physicians; in good hands.  He had been healthy all his life until Amyloidosis moved in but it is actually behaving...a relief!  Still, he has many symptoms that are not related to Amy and have proven hard to diagnose...until last week.
 
He has a Neurologist that has really enlightened us.  I'm smiling because I never thought I would be relieved and happy to hear that my husband has Parkinson's disease.  He surely does!  And believe it or not, we are thankful.
 
It gives us answers, explains so many strange symptoms...and we have  understanding.  This doctor 'sparkles' as Michael says; he has a way that reaches M...you know, a connection, and that's extremely important. 
 
He also has a new medication that holds promise of better days ahead.  One might be concerned about more medication but he's been taken off of one...that's good! 
 
M's father was diagnosed w/Parkinson's disease early on so we're very familiar with how it affects people...but his dad was much younger than M when he was diagnosed.  We look at it this way...M is 85 and at this point his body is still in fairly good condition; we'll be okay.
 
Here's the thing of it; it does something for a person's frame of mind...attitude...to know (really know) what's wrong with you...okay, suppose it's more like what more is wrong with you!  You feel all discombobulated when you haven't a clue as to what's causing a multitude of physical problems.  Are you losing your mind or is it already lost???  Oh my! That was my sweetheart...not good.
 
The change is monumental...M is happy, smiling, twinkling eyes...so what if Mr. Parkinson has moved in...he can keep Ms. Amyloid company!  
After all, two's company, yes? 
 
Here's something to think on:
F.E.A.R. has two meanings...
Forget Everything And Run...Or...Face Everything And Rise.
The choice is yours...the choice is ours.
 
 The two of us are gonna' roll with it'...after all, it's only stuff and stuff happens!
From my heart...to yours,  
Vasca

Pictures courtesy of Peanuts

Thursday, May 21, 2015

SING...SING

“Music acts like a magic key, to which the most tightly closed heart opens.”  Maria Augusta von Trapp  


I've been singing most of my life; why not?  I love music...most kinds, not all but different strokes for different folks, right? 

My favorite 'classes' all through school were the musical ones...chorus.  I was always rarin' to be there...had some wonderful choral directors, too!  My mother saw to it that I had voice lessons from early on...even my first crush was lyrical...the son of my voice teacher...oh boy!  Cute, of course.  

Michael and I were in close quarters when we sang for a radio program in Odessa...(pre-marriage) that's when he foolishly stated that I would never be allowed to ride in his car.  Fooled him and am co-owner in everything he has!  That'll teach him.

Music, music, music.  Lots of fun, lots of music!  


Due to constant exposure our boys are also melodious; I always took them along when I had choral practice (couldn't afford a sitter)...they sat and learned.  From operettas to pop...they learned and loved it.  So did I. 

I'm not able to sing these days.  An auto accident took care of my voice...my head cracked the steering wheel, damaged my neck and vocal chords.  I croak along and that's okay...better than nothing.  A wonderful friend of ours, who was very old, chided me after I mentioned I sang like a frog.  He said, "Vasca, every time I hear you sing I think it's an angel."  He was too, too sweet.

I sing in my head...and aloud if no one's around.  Sometimes I even entertain M with songs he's never heard before.  He wonders where I came up w/them but I have an awesome memory!  Melodious?  Not, but I guess it really doesn't matter what one sounds like if the heart is in it. 

For instance, one of our long-time friends lived across the street from us when our boys were little...their daughter would get she and the  four boys 'dressed up' and sashayed around...cute...I have pictures but would prove dangerous for me if they were published.   

Now her mom's gone, her dad is 88 and lives in a cloud; dementia.  He and Michael grew up together, sang together...led singing together...close friends!

She wrote last week about taking her dad to the doctor and what took place in the waiting room...'he began singing loudly and repeatedly..."Jesus, Jesus...Jesus, that's the sweetest name I know".... some of the crowd joined in, some said amen...applauded.'  Everyone was smiling. How touching is that?  Wow!

That reminded me of an employee at the grocery store.  He hasn't worked there too long and I don't even know his name (or else I forgot).

While he's carrying out the groceries he sings all the way; sometimes he sings while he's bagging...at times I can't distinguish what he's singing but most of the time I can.  He doesn't carry on any conversation...just sings, like he's in his own private world.  The one time he did converse w/o singing was when a lady was caught shoplifting while I was there...and forget the singing...he was over the top excited.

The point is he brightens people's lives...with hardly any effort on his part.  It's just 'what he does'.  Like our friend...it's simply 'what he does'.  and it puts a smile on faces...that's like a rainbow.
 
A person might be great because they promote the idea of being happy as they are...what do you think about that?  Our friend lost his partner...but he still sings...there's music in his heart.  I don't know about the grocery man...but he sings...there's music in his heart, too.   
 
Since it's raining almost daily, how about this?
I'm singin' anyplace, just singin' anyplace;
Come on w/the rain I've a smile on my face
I walk down the lane with a happy refrain...
I'm singin', just singin' in the rain!

Hopefully I'm forgiven for twisting the lyrics. 

Here's a bit of trivia for you...this song made its debut in one of the first musical sound movies, Hollywood Revue 1929. 

I love the movie "Singin' in the Rain"...went to school with Debbie Reynolds in beautiful, downtown Burbank.  Those were the fun days in the old, very peaceful California.  Oh my! 

Here's my point...
"Music acts like a magic key, to which the most tightly closed heart opens."

So hey, sing and be happy...in any key!

From my open heart...to yours,
Vasca