Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Best of Holidays

How do I say this?

Life is GOOD.

LIFE is good.

For me, this year has been full of blessings So many, I can't count them. But you know what? We get them all the time, and so often, we don't count them or notice them. When we do--well.

I't's overwhelming.

I would say the same without the past two weeks. There's a Russian saying, "Pray to God, but keep rowing." You don't have to believe in God, though it is easier, but you do have to believe in the future, and you do have to keep rowing. I don't know which is the harder part.

I do know that optimism and hope has allowed me to do things in my life I thought logically were impossible, but with hope and faith, I did them. And I thought, "wow!" A little startled, a lot happy.
And on to the next challenge.

I have had a very ordinary life. Nothing spectacular. But, of course, very special to me, because it is mine.

About two weeks ago, I went in for my first mammogram in 25 years. My doctor explained that as I age, I am more vulnerable. So I went. And they found two spots in my right breast. I came in for a followup diagnostic. Without a database, they still couldn't tell, so I went in for a biopsy.

Results due in two to three working days. So at the end of two, I had no report. 80 percent chance benign. But by noon the next day, I was basically non-functional. Parrt of me looked at me, and thought that if it was malignant, I was still blessed. It had been caught early and would probably not be life-threatening. Exactly the purpose of mammograms. Still a blessing. Later I got the report. Benign, come in next year for the annual. NOW they have a database.

So, get your mammogram. But that's not really the purpose of this, although it is a part.

Keep rowing. I didn't on the mammograms, so a little extra.

I am having my family of five over for Thanksgiving dinner. Something I haven't done in a dozen years. So little. And so huge.

I've been exercising regularly. I've been eating right. I am not back to where I have been, butI am so thankful. My cup is so full. Even if the food stinks. But hey, there's optimsm here. So it probably won't.

Thanksgiving isn't about perfection. It is about gratefulness, for life, for those around us. Reach out as far as you can, the phone, or neighbor. Thankfulness is one of the best parts of being human,and of being an American. Being thankful is the best part of being alive.

Hey! better than sex! and I say that with true belief. To greet the day, being thankful for it--there really is nothing better.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I cried. It surprised me. I actually cried when Barak Obama was declared president. It was momentous. In was history that I never expected to see in my lifetime, and no, his color wasn't why I voted for him.

I didn't cry out of sadness. Not at all. It was more than joy or happiness. It was overwhelm-ness, if that is a word. And never mind that it isn't.

He isn't a wise gamble, perhaps. But.

I believe in what he says. At least more than McCain. And he is young enough to have the strength, stamina and energy to do some of it. I gamble that he can't do it all. I voted betting that.

I held off deciding until 10 days before the election. I tried so hard to be objective. But I didn't agree with Bush, though I prayed for him. McCain really did seem a lot more of the same. And I did agree with quite a bit of Obama. I hated to vote just because I believed. But eventually, I succumbed. I voted my heart. And when he won, I cried. I've never done that in an election before.

Thank God I know a few folks who voted Blue. The rest of the population here walks around grimly like their favorite dog just died. So I try to bank my cheerfulness. Don't want to rub it in. I know all too well how they feel. Been in their shoes in so many, many other elections.

This country must be united, as usual, with the loyal opposition, which I have been for many years. (sigh) As a resident of Texas, so far as my community is concerned, I still am.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Today we are all part of history

Today is an historic day. And we are all a part of it.

As always on the day for national elections, I woke with that sort of Christmas morning feeling. What will the day bring? How many of us will vote? Today is We, the People. One nation. Indivisible. Speaking our voices freely. It is no little thing.

I was 21 the first time I voted in Dallas, Texas. I was able to vote there because Texas passed a law the spring before that college students from out of state could vote in Texas if they had residence of more than six months. This is my 11th time to vote in a presidential election, always somewhere in Texas. The first time, I was in line and talked with a white-haired woman in her 80s who was as excited as I was. I don't remember how many times she told me she had voted but I was impressed--and it didn't even occur to me at the time that she was of an age to remember when women could not vote. Her vote was precious to her. As mine is to me.

She personally remembered the struggles, and yes, the violence involved in the fight for women's right to vote. I do not. But in my lifetime I have witnessed the violence, and even the deaths in the fight to give black Americans the reality of the freedom to vote, not just the written law.

I am not convinced that the nation will change direction so much, no matter who is elected. I do believe that no matter who we elect, for President, senators, representatives, state officials, county officials et al, that we will survive as a nation. Last week an old man told me if Obama is elected, "this country is going right down the drain." A young man of 23 told me yesterday that he believed "this is the most important election in 100 years."

My own feelings are not so passionate except--today my voice is heard. It counts. and that is intensely satisfying.