Thursday, November 26, 2015

Warmest Regards

Saturday, January 10, 2015

One new year's resolution we should all make and keep is to make an estate plan that will save money, time and tears for our heirs when we are gone.

It's not easy to do, as I've been finding out.

For the past few months I've been attending estate-planning seminars. I learned some worthwhile nuggets at each one. I always walk away with more questions that need answers, but I have vowed to avoid as many mistakes as I can.

As promised, I'm sharing some of what I learned with you.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

I just started getting serious about making plans for my funeral.

I have to admit it feels a bit weird to do it, to say the least.

What's even stranger is the good feeling I had when I hung up from talking with the funeral director in my Pennsylvania hometown of Shamokin.

I'm still a long way from completing plans for my final exit because living in one state and planning to be buried in another presents its own set of complications.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Like Martin Luther King, I, too, have a dream.

My dream is about "church." Not just my church. Every church.

I have a dream that church simply won't be a building with a collection of people sitting next to each other for a service.

In my dream, church is a place where there are no strangers. People will want to know each other.

I have a dream that in every church, people will greet each other with more than smiles. Genuine caring will be there along with that smile.

Saturday, December 20, 2014


The question of the month surely must be: What do you want for Christmas?

I know it's the big question with my family each year.

When my daughters were younger I thrived on surprises. Seeing the look on their faces when I managed to hit a home run in gift selection was priceless.

But through the years I noticed some of those looks of appreciation were fake. I watched the girls open clothing I knew they would never wear, rewarding the gift giver with their ahhhhs!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

I have an acquaintance with a husband named Grouchy.

No one knows his real name because she never calls him anything except Grouchy and she doesn't mean that as a term of endearment.

While she is outgoing and friendly, she always has to go places alone because Grouchy dislikes people and won't go anywhere, she claims.

When a couple from their church was having a party, the host issued a personal invitation to Grouchy.

"I really want you to come," he said.

"Why?" asked a doubtful Grouchy.

"Because I would like to get to know you better," he said.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

I've always believed there is no such thing as "too old."

Life is an attitude, and my attitude is every age is a good one. Plus, I'm a bit surprised to find that the older I get, the happier I am with life.

I was always sure I wasn't going to ever let the phrase "too old" apply to me.

I cringe when I hear people say they want to try something new but they are "too old."

"Too old" is a state of mind, one best avoided.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

The other day when I was browsing in our library I found what looked like a fascinating book.

"The Sacredness of the Present Moment" has a beautifully written introduction and I thought the book might have some sage advice about keeping our thoughts on the present moment.

It's not as easy as you think it is.

For at least the past year or two, I have been making a conscious effort to "stay in the moment" rather than letting my mind drift.

Saturday, November 22, 2014


During the Thanksgiving season, the emphasis is on saying thank you for all our immense blessings.

I've always tried to make the prayer before our Thanksgiving meal more meaningful. And I've always failed.

We tried the go-around the table bit and have each person name one thing for which they are grateful. It got repetitive because most of us said we were most grateful for our family.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

My neighbor Tom, who is 91, became a lot younger this week.

Tom mostly stays in his yard feeding the squirrels. In all my years here, I don't believe I ever saw him walking on our street.

But this week I saw a younger man with a skip to his steps walking a dog down the street. When I looked closer, I was surprised to see that it was Tom.

His smile was ear to ear as he practically danced across the street to show me his new charge. It was his granddaughter's dog, he said, and he was in charge of baby-sitting the dog while she went away for the day.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Remember that old ballad about always looking for a silver lining?

It sounds corny and most people don't look for a silver lining in every situation. They just look for a way to survive it and go on from there.

But what I've noticed the past few weeks is how many bad situations also bring a glimmer of good.

It was a grapefruit tree, of all things, that brought this message home to me. I went through so many conflicting emotions because of that tree. I started with gratitude, slipped into anger then graduated to regret.