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Monthly Archives: October 2012

A Lovely Touch of Reality Awards

 

Life has been hectic since fall began and school has started.  There are many nights when I just do not have the time or the energy to write a blog post. I think many of us “postaday” bloggers are finding it difficult to meet the goal.  Therefore, it is heartwarming to me to find that even when I am not on target, I still have people who will read my musings and even take the time to nominate me for an award.

Cher over at Authentic Photography has graciously nominated Grandmother Musings for the REALITY BLOG AWARD and the LOVELY BLOG AWARD.  Cher is originally from Maine, but has recently moved to Lakeland, Florida with her husband.  Her photos are real and reflect her keen insight into everyday life.  Please go and visit Authentic Photography. You will enjoy her unique photo expressions.


These are five questions that Cindy passed on for the Reality Blog Award and that I have decided to answer for both awards:

1) If you could change something, what would you change?

I would change all the hatred in the world for other cultures and races.

 

2) If you could repeat an age, what age would it be?

I would repeat at 30.  I would tell my scared self that I am powerful and worthy of great things.

 

3) What one thing really scares you?

Losing someone, I love.

 

4) What one dream have you not completed yet and do you think you will be able to complete it.

One dream I have always had is to own a house on a lake.  I think it will eventually happen.

 

5) If you could be someone else for the day, who would you be? 

I think it would be interesting to be the President or someone else in a high seat of power.  I have a feeling it is a lot more difficult to be in that position than I imagine.

 

I am nominating 10 wonderful blogs that have inspired me in some way. Please take the time to visit these sites and see what makes them so great.

There are no specific rules to these awards.  Each nominee is free to accept and do what he or she will with his or her award. It is my sincere hope that with this nomination each blog will know how much I appreciate and respect their work.  This nomination is for both the Reality Award and the One Lovely Blog award.

NOMINATIONS

My Life In Color

Francine in Retirement

The World is a Book…

The Blazing Trail

Home Designs Master

Campfire Shadows

Pillows-A-La-Mode

Share Chair

Beyond the Green Door

Diane Gray Author

 

Thank you once more to Cher at Authentic Photography for the nomination.  I am blessed and honored to know such talented people and be a part of a supportive, blogging world. Enjoy! J

 

 

 

©Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
 

 

Signs, Signs, Everywhere a Sign

It is hard to find a place where there are not signs. I am always fascinated by the signs that are posted in our world. Could we survive without a sign?

 

Related Articles

Woodn’t You Know

In My Neighborhood

The Exclamation Point: Trucks and Trees

Image of the Week 9/23/12 – 9/29/12

 

 

©Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Happy

These  are a few things that make me HAPPY!  In response to the Weekly Photo Challenge:Happy–I chose a gallery to put my favorite pictures in and posted them.  You can try this challenge, too!  Want more information?  Check out The Daily Post @Wordpress.com for the scoop on how you can enter the Challenge!!  Enjoy. 😉

 

©Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

U.S. Army Veteran Harassed by Collection Agency

Have you heard this story?  At http://rt.com/usa/news/us-debt-collector-disabled-veteran-372/ they tell the horror of Michael Collier and his wife who have been harassed by a Minnesota Collection Agency as they try to collect on a $6000.00 student loan that is in default.   According to the couple, the collection agency and its lawyers continued to bombard them with repeated threats and verbal curses after they were given an exemption from a court.

  “If you would have served our country better you would not be a disabled veteran living off Social Security while the rest of us honest Americans work our a–es off,” one of the agency’s debt collectors allegedly told the vet. “Too bad, you should have died.”

According to the article, “The couple is now seeking compensation for actual damages, statutory damages, and punitive damages for violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), privacy invasion, malicious infliction of emotional distress and conversion.”

What really makes me angry is that this veteran, Michael Collier, received disability after having permanent spine and head injuries while in the Army.  His service to our country should afford him respectful treatment from all Americans including debt collectors.  I question the reason Mr. Collier even has a student loan debt.  Shouldn’t he receive schooling as part of his service? Moreover, if collection agencies are allowed to treat a disabled veteran and his wife this way, how can any other citizen in this country expect to be treated any better?

What do you think?

Sources Cited

‘You should’ve served US better and died!’ Debt collector berates disabled veteran. (2012, October 14). Retrieved from RT: http://rt.com/usa/news/us-debt-collector-disabled-veteran-372/

ROSS, J. (2012, October 12). The Worst Debt Collector in the World? Retrieved from Courthouse News Service: http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/10/12/51225.htm

 

©Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
 

Have You a Courteous Heart?

          

Last Halloween I sent Lynn a book.  Within a week, she had sent a note to say Thank you, and by Thanksgiving, she mailed a long letter telling me how much she enjoyed the book.  Now, this may not seem earth shattering in and of itself, but it does prove that even in these hectic times, some souls still possess a gracious courteous heart.

          What is a courteous heart, you ask?  Manners, breeding, decorum, savoir-faire all define courteous.  A quality that is so often missing in our society, but one that Lynn possesses.  Her courteous heart often refers to the gift I gave her five years ago.  I do not remember what it is I gave her, but she does.  It is her repeated gratitude over my kindness that illustrates her genteel manner.

          The courteous heart can do everything beautifully from allowing shoppers with fewer items ahead in line, to passing the salt before being asked at dinner.  For the courteous hearts, a simple “Good Morning” is pleasing.  It is too bad that most people growl the sentiment as they rush past us making a sound something akin to having a tooth pulled.  Then, there are those who just simply refuse to acknowledge others at all unlike the courteous of heart. The courteous speak distinctly and with kindness so one never has to ask, “What did you say?”

          Think about the usual birthday gift or Christmas present.  It is the one wrapped in pretty paper and adorned with ribbon.  A symbol of what all friendly acts should be–kindness performed with imagination.  Then what is giving?  Ah, the courteous heart makes it their business to know what a friend really wants.  One friend I have believes it is her job to give the most thoughtful of gifts.  Once, I mentioned that I crave cucumbers in sour cream, and I wistfully dreamed of eating this fare at every meal.  I will tell you, I have never had a meal at her house since, without finding a delicious bowl of cucumbers in sour cream.

          It is not easy, this business of giving; it is an art.  An art requires time and imagination to pull off.  For instance, for my thirty-fifth birthday, my husband contrived a treasure hunt that I had to follow under the direction of tiny sticky notes.  The clues–some being very vague–lead me to a hotel room. My arms were loaded with packages I had found along the hunt.  When I arrived at the hotel and opened the door to room 132, I found, to my delight the best surprise party I have ever experienced!  There will never be a gift more spectacular as that.  It was not wrapped in pretty paper or ribbons, but packaged with thought, imagination, and hard work.

          The courteous of heart often out perform ordinary folk in manners and decorum, even in everyday tasks.  A co-worker named Joe, understood kindness to an impressive dimension.  He never let a morning pass without a personal greeting and a smile, he held elevators for others, sent out cards in sympathy and in congratulations, avoided gossip, and expressed a positive thought about all he met. He accomplished all this with the humblest of attitudes.  His courteous heart was automatic. Joe had lived it for so long that his kindness and courtesy functioned without deliberate thought.

          Must we all be like my co-worker?   It would be nice, but I would not go that far.  Joe is a perfect mentor, and we can all strive for his ideal.  Maybe it is enough to ask- that when you are shuffling through your daily existence-stop every so often, say “Good Morning,” and mean it.  Listen to those you love and hear what they are truly yearning for, and then do your best to give it to them.  It could be something as simple as a good book or a bowl of cucumbers in sour cream.

          A courteous heart is so rare.  Often, there is not enough time to do all the things we must do, and it seems, no time to consider others.  However, if you are interested in enlarging your mystic organ where true human kindness flows, learn to put yourself in another’s place, and anticipate their thoughts.  The courteous, remember, does kindness with heart.

 

©Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grandmother’s Ghost Stories: Goodbye Love

It is that time of year again, when the wind howls and the darkness invades the deep recesses of our imaginations.  A time of ghouls, ghosts, and goblins that float into a flap of reality to scare all those whose senses are heightened. This is the beginning of the series: Grandmother’s Ghost Stories. The stories will be running on Grandmother Musings during the month of October.  Some of the stories are new, some are familiar, and some have been told and re-told for generations.  Read and enjoy.  If you have a ghost story of your own that, you would like to share, please contact me at bigsmileu1@comcast.net.  

Grandmother’s Ghost Stories: Goodbye Love

Driving home on a raw, windy October evening, Jake decided to take a short cut through the forest.  The road was slick with a cold drizzle and the trees hung like skeleton arms over the narrow strip of highway.  It was a spooky autumn night.

Annie, Jake’s long time girlfriend shivered in the passenger seat.  Seeing this, Jake turned up the heat in the car a notch.

“Thanks,” Annie said as she rubbed her arms.

Jake winked at her and reached over to rub her thigh. He felt comfortable with Annie. She had been a part of his life since they started at Deacon High.  She was his girl, his friend, and he hoped his wife someday.

The car warmed up quickly and just as Annie felt the chill of the cold leave her, she suddenly experienced a new kind of chill.  A deer appeared on the road ahead of the car.  Jake responded quickly and slammed his foot on the brakes to avoid hitting the deer.  The wet pavement aided in spinning the car out of control, and by the time Jake was able to stop the car; they were facing the opposite direction.

“Oh…oh, my God!” Annie whispered her face white with blood loss.

Jake hit his palms against the steering wheel.

“It’s okay, it is okay.” He said trying to calm Annie as well as himself.

 Jake turned the key in the ignition attempting to restart the car.  He was not sure why it had died during the spin, but he was sure it would start again.  He tried it a couple of times with no luck and then hit the steering wheel so hard his palms stung.

“Damn! Why won’t it start?”

Jake looked in his rearview mirror hoping to see headlights or some sign of life.  All he viewed were the red reflection of his rear lights on the pavement.  He pumped his foot on the gas pedal twice and tried the ignition once more.  Nothing.

He could feel the anxiety radiating from Annie.  She was scared and he saw in his peripheral vision the chill return to her trim frame.  He had to get this car started!

He left the car to look under the hood letting out some of the warmth the car had accumulated before the deer ran out in front of them.  Annie watched as Jake jiggled a few things she knew nothing about under the hood and jumped when he angrily slammed the hood shut. He shouted an infuriated curse into the darkness.

A blast of cold, wet air blew into the interior of the car as Jake slid behind the steering wheel and twisted the ignition in a useless effort. Finally, when the key made only a clicking sound, he stopped struggling and let out a frustrated groan.

“I’m sorry, Annie.”

She placed her hand on his shoulder in support.

“What should we do, Jake?”

He laid his head on the back of the headrest and stared up silently.  His mind listed their options and finally he sat up. When he turned to her, he had a plan.

Wrapped in a wool blanket Jake kept in the trunk, Annie followed Jake’s darkened figure with her eyes as he walked down the road.  His plan was that he walk to the nearest place of business and call for help.  Annie was to wait with the car until assistance came.  She had argued when he presented her with his ideas. She had yelled, cried, and begged that he stay with her to wait for a car to come by. When the hysterics did not work, she pleaded that he let her walk with him for help, however, none her logic would change his mind.  Ultimately, she decided to let him go, if only to save time fighting and hopefully get help soon.

Jake made her lock the doors and check that the windows were rolled up tight before he left.  He had taken the spare blanket he kept in the trunk for her to keep her warm and then kissed her goodbye.  He promised he would come back as fast as he could.

With nothing to do but listen to the howling wind, Annie put the bucket seat all the way back and curled in a fetal position to keep warm.  Before she knew it, she was awakened by a sound of tapping on the roof.  She lay there and listened for a few moments before she sat up and looked out the foggy windows.  The wind was still whipping the tree branches and she decided that the insistent tapping must be a tree hitting the roof of the car.

When she awoke once more, it seemed as if she had been in the car for hours.  She looked around and thought she saw the sky lighten at the horizon.  Could she have been there waiting for Jake that long?  She shook off that crazy idea and swallowed the dreadful feeling she had in her stomach. She went back to sleep to the tapping tune that continued on the roof of the car.

It was the banging on her window that woke her for the final time. She sat up quickly and caught the officer in his khaki uniform about to bang on the window again.  Relief flooded her when she realized that help had finally come for her.  Jake had done it.

She was about to open the door, but the police officer motioned her to roll her window down instead. Looking at him with confusion, she followed his directive.

“Miss, I would like you to gather your personal things and get out of the car on the driver’s side please.” The police officer spoke with quiet authority.

Still confused, but happy that she would finally be out of the car, Annie scooted to the driver side and opened the door.  The police officer was there to help her out and took her arm to lead her away from the car.  She tried to turn and look back at the car.  The officer anticipated this action and grabbed her shoulder to move her forward.

When they reached the police car, he directed, “It would be best if you just got into the backseat of the squad car, miss.”

“But…Jake’s car…?”

“We will take care of it.” He assured as he helped her climb into the back seat and shut the door.

Her mind was foggy and things seemed so surreal.  She thought she should protest something, but she did not know what.  The officer entered the car and put the car in drive.  As he pulled away, Annie felt a horrific tug in her stomach and had to turn around to look at the place that she had spent the night.

A scream rose deep within her throat when she saw what was going on around Jake’s car.  Horrifying and unbelievable images appeared that would haunt her for the remainder of her life.  It was only later; when she overheard the police officer explaining the night’s happenings to her parents did the realization of what had happened hit her.

When Jake took off down the road to find help, he met up with a crazed man.  The man slit Jake’s throat, and while Annie was sleeping, he hung Jake up side down in the tree branch that hung over the car.  Jake’s lifeblood slowly dripped out of him and on to the roof of the car. All through the dark night, Jake hung, until a driver heading to his early morning shift at the factory happened along.  When he saw the carnage, he immediately phoned the police.

It was not the tree that was tapping on the roof, disturbing Annie as she tried to sleep, but Jake’s blood. Annie never imagined that saying goodbye to her love that night, would truly mean forever.

Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

My Son is my Son until he takes a Wife

My son is my son until he takes a wife,

But my daughter is my daughter all of her life.

The poem is in harmony with the biblical endorsement that a man should “leave his father and mother, and stay close to his wife.”  It seems that it is common throughout history for a man to become more distant from his parents after marriage.  I mistakenly thought that in these modern times, this poem would be too old-fashioned for my son.  However, as I watched him say his wedding vows to his new wife, I felt deep within my heart that it held truth.  He was no longer mine. 

When my son was born, my aunt recited the poem above to me.  I never really knew what it meant until my son went off to college and then met the woman who would be his wife.  This weekend, in a beautiful ceremony, my son and daughter-in-law were married.  The pair will make their lives four hours away from where I live.  The couple lives close to the bride’s parents, and they will be privy to his everyday comings and goings. 

As the priest bestowed blessings upon the two, I cried tears of happiness and sorrow.  Happiness that my son had found the half of his heart that was missing until his bride came along, and of sorrow, that my son was no longer my baby boy.  He belongs to his wife and the life that they must forge together.  He is independent and strong.  He does not need my protection any longer, but must now be the protector of his new family. 

 I gazed up into his strong, mature face as we moved to the Mother/Son dance at the reception.  The little boy was gone and a man had taken his place. This was a man of honor, integrity, and strength.  He was all the things that I hoped he would be as he was growing.  Moreover, as hard as it was, I knew it was time to liberate him from my parental embrace.  It was time to hand him over to his new life and his new love.

I imagine that all mothers with sons mourn the loss.  The shift in the relationships leaves the mother, who was once the most important woman in her son’s life, playing second to the new woman.  However, the mother must free her son so that he can be self-reliant and give his attention to his wife.  It is imperative that the wife take center stage.  It is traditional, granted, however, the purpose is still as viable today, as it was in biblical times.  It is the way it must be. 

Therefore, it is with great joy that I give my son to his new wife and welcome her into our family.  I am confident that our relationship will grow to be strong and lasting.  In addition, the old saying, “I have not lost a son, but gained a daughter” holds much truth and wisdom.  The circle of love and life will continue to eternity. Blessings and Peace.

 

 

Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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