Grandma’s Apron

 

Photo Credit: klynslis via Flickr

Photo Credit: klynslis via Flickr

When I was growing up, my grandmother lived with us. Her husband, my mom and her built the house that we lived in. Sadly, her husband, my grandpa, died when I was only four years old…so I don’t remember much about him.

 

My grandma (we called her Grammy) was my second mom. She would always be there when my brother and I got home from school. She would ask us how our day was she always had a tasty snack ready for us.

We learned a lot of things from Grammy during those years and many if these lessons I still use today.

 

The other day I found this neat little story called “Grandma’s Apron” on dobhran.com and it really brought back a lot of memories of my days as a kid with my grandma. I hope this story touches your heart the same way it did mine. It has a nice little message too!

 

The principle use of Grandma’s apron was to protect the dress underneath, but along with that, it served as a holder for removing hot pans from the oven. It was wonderful for drying children’s tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.

 

From the chicken-coop the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.

 

When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids. And when the weather was cold, grandma wrapped it around her arms. Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.

 

Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron. From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled it carried out the hulls. In the fall the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.

 

When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.

 

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

 

It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that “old-time apron” that served so many purposes.

Ice Cream: It’s Good for the Soul!

TheCulinaryGeek from Chicago, USA via Wikimedia Commons

Photo Credit: By TheCulinaryGeek from Chicago, USA via Wikimedia Commons

A little while ago, a mom took her children to a restaurant. Her six-year-old son asked if he could say grace. As they bowed their heads he said, “God is good. God is great. Thank you for the food, and I would even thank you more if mom gets us ice cream for dessert. And Liberty and justice for all! Amen.”

Along with the laughter from the other customers nearby, a woman remarked, “That’s what’s wrong with this country. Kids today don’t even know how to pray. Asking God for ice-cream! Why, I never! “Hearing this, the boy burst into tears and asked, “Did I do it wrong? Is God mad at me?” As his mom held him and assured him that he had done a terrific job and God was certainly not mad at him, an elderly gentleman approached the table. He winked at the little boy and said, “I happen to know that God thought that was a great prayer.” “Really?” the boy asked. “Cross my heart.”

Then in a theatrical whisper he added (indicating the woman whose remark had started this whole thing), “Too bad she never asks God for ice cream. A little ice cream is good for the soul sometimes.”

Naturally, the mother bought her kids ice cream at the end of the meal. Her little boy stared at his for a moment and then did something will forever be remembered…he picked up his sundae and without a word walked over and placed it in front of the woman. With a big smile he told her, “Here, this is for you. Ice cream is good for the soul sometimes, and my soul is good already.

Twenty Fascinating Facts About Martin Luther King

Photo Credit: newsroom.unl.edu

Photo Credit: newsroom.unl.edu

Today, August28, 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the famous” I have a dream” speech that Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King gave in Washington DC. I simply admire the things that this great man of courage did in his lifetime…his commitment to righteousness, racial equality, and personal freedom.

 As usual, I tried to find something interesting about this American icon and found an article on the web site todayifoundout.com. It lists twenty facts about Dr. King that most people don’t know and I found them very, very interesting. I hope you enjoy them as well.

1) His name was originally Michael, not Martin.  His father was also Michael King, hence why Martin Luther King Jr. was originally named Michael King Jr.  However, after a trip to Germany in 1931, Michael King Sr. changed his own name in homage to historic German theologian Martin Luther.  Michael King Jr. was two years old at the time and King Sr. made the decision to change his son’s name to Martin Luther as well.

2) At the age of 12, he seems to have tried to commit suicide.  It was May of 1941 when his grandmother passed away after a heart attack.  At the time of this event, King Jr. was off disobeying his parents by going to watch a parade when they told him not too.  When he came home and learned his grandmother had died, he went upstairs and jumped from the second story window of his house.

3) King wasn’t the only one to die at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis on April 4, 1968.  After he was killed, one of the hotel workers, Lorraine Bailey (who was also the wife of the motel owner and who it was named after), upon seeing King get shot, had a heart attack and later died from this.  This was partially why there was such a delay in getting an ambulance as Lorraine was also the switchboard operator and so when Reverend Samuel Kyles attempted to call an ambulance using the phone in the motel room, nobody was at the switchboard to make that happen.  In Rev. Kyle’s own words,

“I ran into the room and picked up the phone to call an operator or to call an ambulance. But, the operator had left the switchboard. There was nobody on the switchboard. I was saying, “Answer the phone, answer the phone, answer the phone.” And there was nobody on the switchboard. So the phone was not answered. (I learned later that the operator had gone out into the courtyard to watch Dr. King. When she saw what happened, she had a heart attack. She was the motel owner’s wife, and she died subsequently.) The police were coming with their guns drawn, and I hollered to the police, “Call an ambulance on your police radio. Dr. King has been shot.” They said, “Where did the shot come from?” … While waiting for the ambulance to come, I took a spread from one of the beds and covered him from his neck down. … I cannot tell you the feelings I had seeing my friend there on that balcony bleeding to death. Finally the ambulance came and took him away.”

4) Also on the day King was killed, he was out on the balcony for a smoke.  While you’ll be hard pressed to find a picture of him smoking, he smoked regularly, though had a habit of hiding this partially due to the stigma, particularly within the church at the time, but also because he didn’t want his kids to take up smoking, and so didn’t like pictures of himself doing it, nor did he like to smoke when they were around.  According to Rev. Kyles, after King was shot but before he was taken away by the ambulance, Kyles removed the package of cigarettes from King’s pocket and got rid of the cigarette butt, partially to attempt to hide the fact that King was smoking at the time he was shot.

5) Martin Luther King Jr. was nearly assassinated a decade earlier than his ultimate death.  While on a book tour, signing copies of his book Stride Toward Freedom, on September 20, 1958, King was approached by Izola Ware Curry who asked him if he was Martin Luther King Jr., which he of course replied affirmatively.  When he said he was, she said “I’ve been looking for you for five years.”  She then pulled out a letter opener and stabbed him in the chest.

It took three full hours to remove the blade.  The reason?  The sharp point end of the blade was pressing against his aorta and the doctors had to be extremely careful while removing it because of this.  The doctor, Dr. Maynard, told him after, “If you had sneezed during all those hours of waiting, your aorta would have been punctured and you would have drowned in your own blood.”

6) King Jr. skipped two grades in high school, 9th and 11th, and entered college (Moorehouse College) at the tender age of 15 in 1944.  By 19, he received a bachelor’s degree in sociology.

7) He almost didn’t become a minister.  After graduating from college, he still had serious doubts about Christianity and the Bible and told his father (who was a Baptist minister, as his grandfather had also been) that he didn’t want to be a minister and instead was considering becoming a doctor or a lawyer.  He later decided that the Bible had “many profound truths which one cannot escape” and chose to become a minister, entering seminary at Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania.  He graduated with his PhD at the age of 25.

8) Although King today is often remembered as being an amazing public speaker, he got a C in public speaking during his first year at seminary.  This likely isn’t because he was actually bad at public speaking at this point.  His father noted that even before going to seminary King Jr. was one of the best public speakers he’d seen.  Whatever caused his professor to give him a C, by his final year King had straight A’s, was the valedictorian of his class, and the student body president.

9)  His honeymoon was spent at a funeral parlor… not because someone died, simply because a friend owned the parlor and offered to let him use it for his honeymoon.

10) King convinced “Uhura” on Star Trek, Nichelle Nichols (who incidentally later went on to work for NASA), to continue on with the role after the first season. Nichols stated he told her not to leave the show because she was not only playing a black person as a main character on TV, but she was also playing a character that didn’t conform to the stereotypical black person of the day, usually portrayed.  Rather, Uhura was portrayed as an intelligent member of the crew and an equal to those around her.

This seems to have had the intended effect.  Whoopi Goldberg once stated when she first saw the character of Uhura on TV, she said “Momma! There’s a black lady on TV, and she ain’t no maid!”  It was partially because of this that Goldberg became a huge Star Trek fan and later pushed so hard to get a character on Star Trek the Next Generation, despite the disbelief of the producers that she’d actually want to be on the show.

Astronaut Ronald McNair, the second black person in space (who also died in the Challenger explosion), was inspired to become an astronaut because of the character of Uhura.    McNair’s brother stated,

“Now, Star Trek showed the future where there were black folk and white folk working together. I just looked at it as science fiction, ’cause that wasn’t going to happen, really.’ But Ronald saw it as science possibility. He came up during a time when there was Neil Armstrong and all of those guys; so how was a colored boy from South Carolina – wearing glasses, never flew a plane – how was he gonna become an astronaut? But Ron was one who didn’t accept societal norms as being his norm, you know? That was for other people. And he got to be aboard his own Starship Enterprise.”

11) King is to date the youngest male to win a Nobel Peace Prize winning it in 1964 at the age of 35 (at the time he was the youngest overall for the Peace Prize).  The youngest ever to win the Peace prize today is Tawakkol Karman of Yemen who was just 32 when she won the prize in 2011.

12) King donated all of the $54,123 (about $400,000 today) he received for his Nobel Peace Prize to the Civil Rights movement.  During his acceptance speech, he stated “I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant.”

13) King won a Grammy and was awarded a Congressional Gold Medal and a Medal of Freedom.  The Medal of Freedom and the Gold Medal make sense, but how on Earth did he win a Grammy, you say?  He won it in 1971 for Best Spoken Word Album for “Why I Oppose the War in Vietnam”.

14) His house was once bombed.  This was during the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which lasted a total of 385 days (more interesting facts on this boycott here)

15) His mother, Alberta Williams King, was also murdered.  She was killed while attending church in Atlanta in 1974 by a 23 year old man, Marcus Wayne Chenault, who believed “all Christians are my enemies”.  He shot and killed her while she was playing organ at the church.

16) King Jr.’s autopsy revealed that stress had taken a major toll on his body.  Despite being just 39 at the time of his death, one of the doctors noted that he had “the heart of a 60 year old”.

17) It wasn’t until the year 2000 that all 50 states officially observed Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  The last states to join up where Arizona in 1992, New Hampshire in 1999, and Utah in 2000.  The holiday itself was originally signed into federal law by President Ronald Reagan in 1983, with the first MLK holiday on January 20, 1986.

18) His “I Have a Dream” speech painted an even bigger target before on his back, not just with certain people in the general public, but with the FBI.  This was a memo circulated throughout the FBI offices after the speech:

In the light of King’s powerful demagogic speech yesterday he stands heads and shoulders over all other Negro leaders put together when it comes to influencing great masses of Negros. We must mark him now, if we have not done so before, as the most dangerous Negro of the future in this nation from the standpoint of communism, the Negro, and national security.

The FBI later discovered King was supposedly having numerous affairs and sent him various anonymous letters stating such things as “You are a colossal fraud and an evil, vicious one at that” and threatening to blackmail him.  In another anonymous letter supposedly from the FBI, they stated,

The American public, the church organizations that have been helping—Protestants, Catholics and Jews will know you for what you are—an evil beast. So will others who have backed you. You are done. King, there is only one thing left for you to do. You know what it is. You have just 34 days in which to do (this exact number has been selected for a specific reason, it has definite practical significant). You are done. There is but one way out for you. You better take it before your filthy fraudulent self is bared to the nation.

Many of the FBI’s surveillance records, written and audio records, concerning King are currently held in the National Archives, but are sealed from public access until 2027.

19) There are only two other people in American history that have a national holiday in their honor, George Washington and Christopher Columbus.  As such, Martin Luther King Jr. is the only native born United States citizen to have a national holiday in his honor. (*note:  While Washington was born in Virginia, obviously the United States did not yet exist. For reference, the first President to be born in the country of the United States was Martin Van Buren.  He was also the first President not of Irish or British ancestry- his ancestors were Dutch.)

20) Today over 700 streets in the Unites States are named after Martin Luther King Jr., with one such street in almost every major city.  This is not even counting the amazing number of buildings, schools, and the like named after him.

I’ll end this post with the following quote from the great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on non-violent resistance:

“Non-violent resistance is not for cowards. It is not a quiet, passive acceptance of evil. One is passive and non-violent physically, but very active spiritually, always seeking ways to persuade the opponent of advantages to the way of love, cooperation, and peace.”

123 Year Old Herder May Be Oldest Man Alive

Photo Credit: nbcnews.com

Photo Credit: nbcnews.com

I came across an article the other day written by Caroline Lee on UPI.com that told the story of a herder from Bolivia who has been revealed as the oldest living person ever recorded.

The article stated that Bolivian herder Carmelo Flores Laura turned 123 last month, according to the country’s civil registry.

The man was born in 1890, and, if the record is accurate, is now the oldest living person ever recorded.

Flores lives in Frasquicia, a mountain village 50 miles outside La Paz. He does not wear glasses and walks without a cane.

Flores has three children, 16 grandchildren and 39 great-grandchildren. Flores’ wife died 10 years ago.

He was 24 when World War I broke out, and 62 when Queen Elizabeth took the throne. He was 16 when Butch Cassidy fled to Bolivia, and 79 when “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” was released.

He has lived through six of 17 Bolivian constitutions and 53 presidents, plus several juntas in between.

Flores credits his long life to taking long walks and never eating pasta or sugar. Instead, he eats cananhua, a wild species of quinoa.

“I’ve never been lazy. I always shared the cooking with my wife. We would only eat what we could find growing wild. We ate mostly skunk meat,” Flores said.

Flores beats out the current oldest living person, Japanese 115-year-old Misao Okawa. He takes the record from Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment, who died in 1997 at age 122. To get the official title, Flores’ documents must be confirmed by the Guinness Book of World Records.

It made me think…what would you do if you lived to 123 years old? What would your thoughts be? What advice would you give other people? Makes you think doesn’t it?

“UBUNTU”

kidsThere are times throughout our lives that we can learn a valuable life lesson from people from another land. The short story that you are about to read, demonstrates a wonderful lesson in a beautiful way!

An anthropologist proposed a game to the kids in an African tribe. He put a basket full of fruit near a tree and told the kids that whoever got there first won the sweet fruits. When he told them to run they all took each other’s hands and ran together, then sat together enjoying their treats.

When he asked them why they had run like that as one could have had all the fruits for himself they said: ”UBUNTU, how can one of us be happy if all the other ones are sad?”

‘UBUNTU’ in the Xhosa culture means: “I am because we are”

Could you imagine if everyone had a philosophy of other people like these dear children? Imagine just how much better this world would be if we all thought of others like this! Wouldn’t that be awesome? Good food for thought!

The Bird Cage

 

Photo Credit: ajari via Flickr

Photo Credit: ajari via Flickr

There once was a man named George Thomas, a pastor in a small New England town. One Easter morning he came to the church carrying a rusty, bent, old birdcage, and set it by the pulpit. Several eyebrows were raised and, as if in response, Pastor Thomas began to speak.

“I was walking through town yesterday when I saw a young boy coming towards me swinging this bird cage. On the bottom of the cage were three little wild birds, shivering with cold and fright.

I stopped the lad and asked, “What you got there, son?”

“Just some old birds,” came the reply.

“What are you gonna do with them?” I asked.

“Take ’em home and have fun with ’em,” he answered. “I’m gonna tease ’em and pull out their feathers to make ’em fight. I’m gonna have a real good time.”

“But you’ll get tired of those birds sooner or later. What will you do then?”

“Oh, I got some cats,” said the little boy. “They like birds. I’ll take ’em to them.”

The pastor was silent for a moment.

“How much do you want for those birds, son?”

“Huh??!!! Why, you don’t want them birds, mister. They’re just plain old field birds. They don’t sing — they ain’t even pretty!”

“How much?” the pastor asked again.

The boy sized up the pastor as if he were crazy and said, “10 dollars?”

The pastor reached in his pocket and took out a ten dollar bill. He placed it in the boy’s hand. In a flash, the boy was gone.

The pastor picked up the cage and gently carried it to the end of the alley where there was a tree and a grassy spot. Setting the cage down, he opened the door and, by softly tapping the bars, persuaded the birds out, setting them free.

Well, that explained the empty birdcage on the pulpit. And then the pastor began to tell this story.

One day Satan and Jesus were having a conversation. Satan had just come from the Garden of Eden, and he was gloating and boasting.

“Yes, sir, I just caught the world full of people down there. Set me a trap, used bait I knew they couldn’t resist. Got ’em all!”

“What are you going to do with them?” Jesus asked.

Satan replied, “Oh, I’m gonna have fun! I’m gonna teach them how to marry and divorce each other; how to hate and abuse each other; how to drink and smoke and curse. I’m gonna teach them how to invent guns and bombs and kill each other. I’m really gonna have fun!”

“And what will you do when you get done with them?”Jesus asked.

“Oh, I’ll kill ’em,” Satan glared proudly.

“How much do you want for them?” Jesus asked.

“Oh, you don’t want those people. They ain’t no good. Why, you’ll take them and they’ll just hate you. They’ll spit on you, curse you and kill you!! You don’t want those people!!”

“How much?” He asked again.

Satan looked at Jesus and sneered, “All your tears, and all your blood.”

Jesus said, “DONE!” Then He paid the price.

The pastor picked up the cage, he opened the door and he walked from the pulpit.

A Bride and Her Boquet

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A Bride and Her Boquet

A Last year my niece asked me to be the photographer at her wedding. I was never a photographer at anything (even though my dad was a professional photographer) so I was a little nervous but everything came out good.
This was a picture that I took of my niece and some of her wedding party.
I am planning on sharing some more of my pictures soon.

A Beautiful True Story

Photo Credit: mconnors via morguefile.com

Photo Credit: mconnors via morguefile.com

There is an old saying that says “beauty is only skin deep.” many times people “fall in love” with a person because of their looks and in many situations, what’s inside a person really isn’t important. The problem here is that quite often when a “beautiful” person gets older, their good looks may diminish but their “inner self” is still there. People should really love other people for what they “are” and not because of their “looks.” Today’s story shows this wonderful love that a solder had for his special lady….

 

A Beautiful True Love Story

One day, a young guy and a young girl fell in love.

But the guy came from a poor family. The girl’s parents weren’t too happy.

So the young man decided not only to court the girl but to court her parents as well. In time, the parents saw that he was a good man and was worthy of their daughter’s hand.

But there was another problem: The man was a soldier. Soon, war broke out and he was being sent overseas for a year. The week before he left, the man knelt on his knee and asked his lady love, “Will you marry me?” She wiped a tear, said yes, and they were engaged. They agreed that when he got back in one year, they would get married.

But tragedy struck. A few days after he left, the girl had a major vehicular accident. It was a head-on collision.

When she woke up in the hospital, she saw her father and mother crying. Immediately, she knew there was something wrong.

She later found out that she suffered brain injury. The part of her brain that controlled her face muscles was damaged. Her once lovely face was now disfigured. She cried as she saw herself in the mirror. “Yesterday, I was beautiful. Today, I’m a monster.” Her body was also covered with so many ugly wounds.

Right there and then, she decided to release her fiancé from their promise. She knew he wouldn’t want her anymore. She would forget about him and never see him again.

For one year, the soldier wrote many letters—but she wouldn’t answer. He phoned her many times but she wouldn’t return her calls.

But after one year, the mother walked into her room and announced, “He’s back from the war.”

The girl shouted, “No! Please don’t tell him about me. Don’t tell him I’m here!”

The mother said, “He’s getting married,” and handed her a wedding invitation.

The girl’s heart sank. She knew she still loved him—but she had to forget him now.

With great sadness, she opened the wedding invitation.

And then she saw her name on it!

Confused, she asked, “What is this?”

That was when the young man entered her room with a bouquet of flowers. He knelt beside her and asked, “Will you marry me?”

The girl covered her face with her hands and said, “I’m ugly!”

The man said, “Without your permission, your mother sent me your photos. When I saw your photos, I realized that nothing has changed. You’re still the person I fell in love. You’re still as beautiful as ever. Because…I love you!”

——————

Life is good!!!