Speak Up!

Volume

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This word has a whole new meaning for me these days.  I’ve had exceptionally good hearing for years, with the only downside being that I have always had a little trouble sorting out conversation when there is a lot of background noise.

These days, however, it’s more than just background noise that makes it hard for me to hear.  I had my hearing tested a couple of years ago, and I’m well within the normal range.  That surprised me, because I KNOW I’m not hearing things I used to be able to hear.

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It’s especially troublesome at work when I have a very soft-spoken client and the window air conditioner is running.

At home, I’ve just given up. Terry has become quite hard of hearing, and often people who are hard of hearing tend to raise their voices.  Not Terry. He mutters and mumbles and  sometimes even when I’m looking directly at him I can’t hear what he’s saying.  Also, if I’ve said it once. . . . .”If you can’t see me, then I can’t hear you!”

I wish we could turn up the volume. I wish we didn’t tend to lose our hearing as we age. I wish a lot of things.  Life is what it is, though, and you just have to learn to accommodate the changes.

I’m glad there’s a volume control on the TV 🙂

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/volume/

Music

Tender

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It’s not unusual for the daily prompt to immediately trigger music in my head. Today, there are so many songs flooding my mind that I can hardly separate them.
First?  Love Me Tender,  sung by Elvis. I didn’t much care for the guy, but he really did have an amazing voice. This song is a perfect vehicle for his talent.
Another is Tenderly.  An older song, maybe back to the 1940’s, but just as lovely.
And that’s probably enough 🙂

The Shed

PHOTO PROMPT © Sarah Potter

 Old Jeb knew how to  build, but time had caused decay, and now the old shed was a haunt for any animal–or plant–that cared to work its way through the crevices.

Jeb watched in dismay as the woods surrounded and conquered his little haven. Once, it had been his hidey-hole; his shelter from the storms within his household as well as Nature’s  tantrums.  No one else had a key. No one else dared violate his sanctuary.

But now? Years had passed. He was alone. He was at peace. Maybe he would choose this place to die.

 

A Ramble

Crisp

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In England, maybe Canada too, a crisp is what in America we call a chip, as in potato chip.

Which has very little to do with anything.  It’s just the first thing that came to mind.

In fact, I’m probably not going to use the word crisp again.  I’m in a rambling mood this morning.

Yesterday was our 48th anniversary. Terry offered to take me out for dinner, but I was so tired by the time I got home that I really didn’t want to go back out. So we ordered a Philadelphia cheesesteak from the pizza shop down the street, and I was perfectly content to stay in.  If you’ve never had a real cheesesteak, you’re missing out on a rare treat.

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Whoever created this food of the gods was a genius, and ought to have a statue somewhere in the city.

Why was I so tired yesterday? I had only three clients, but two of them had the saddest stories I’ve heard in some time. It was emotionally draining.  I know, I’m supposed to be all calm, cool and collected and not enter into the emotion with the client.  Phooey. I don’t know how anyone could listen to some of the things I hear and not shed tears with the people they’re trying to help. I think you’d have to have a heart of stone to be unmoved, or unable to weep with those who weep.

So on my short drive home, I was talking to the Lord. I was asking Him, as I rarely do, “WHY?”  Often, there is no answer to that question and it only leads to discouragement. I tell my clients that a better question is “What?  What am I to learn from this?  How am I to find my way out of this morass? What can I do to help prevent others from experiencing this pain?”

I always find comfort in God’s promise that His strength is made perfect in my weakness.  He always will make a way.

2 Corinthians 12:8-10

Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/crisp/

A Dollop of History

Polish

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So, is it polish, as in “polish the silver,”  or is Polish, as in “I am from Poland”?  Gotta love the English language.  I’m not a linguist, so I don’t know if other languages have so many words that can have multiple meanings and pronunciations.  Which has very little to do with my thoughts about this prompt 🙂

I have an aunt who is now in her 80’s. Some years ago, she did a genealogical study of  her side of the family, and she created a detailed and careful family tree going back into, if memory serves, the 1400’s.  This picture is my mom and her sister Ginny, who created the family tree. My mom is on Ginny’s left.

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Mom was 87 when she went to heaven, five years ago next month.  Ginny is the last remaining of four sisters.

Anyway, in her research and toward the end of her discoveries, Aunt Ginny discovered that we have some Polish Jew in our gene pool.

While I find that interesting, it was really no surprise.  I think most of us would turn out to have a little bit of Jewish ancestry.  And of course the company that is advertising on TV that they will tell you your ancestry from your DNA is raking in the big bucks right now, because we all have some degree of a hankering to know who or what has created us.

Several years ago I met a delightful young woman from Poland who wanted me to tutor her in English.  She had married an American, and needed to be able to communicate with him and her neighbors more accurately.

Sadly, I don’t remember her name.  Our relationship was very brief because of her marital difficulties, and she ended up going back to Poland.  How she missed it!  She brought me a big book early on in our studies, full of pictures of her beautiful country. I asked her many questions about her home, growing up in Poland, Communism, and so on. She was a fount of information, and she loved to talk about her homeland. I think I learned a lot more from our sessions together than she did.

A quick search for some statistics about the Jewish population in Poland before and after WWII revealed that “At the start of World War II, Poland was partitioned between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union (see Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact). One-fifth of the Polish population perished during World War II, half of them were 3,000,000 Polish Jews murdered in The Holocaust, constituting 90% of Polish Jewry.”(Wikipedia)

Think of that. First, Russia and Germany decided to divvy up Poland.  I’m pretty sure they didn’t ask the Poles if that was okay with them. Then, 20% of all Poles died during WWII.  Half of that 20%, 3,000,000 Jews, died in The Holocaust that revisionist historians want to declare a myth.  That’s 90% of the Jewish population of Poland during the War.

Ninety per cent.  And along with their murders, hundreds, thousands of documents were destroyed by bombs and fires, thus eliminating the records of  whole generations of people.

There have been other tragedies visited upon the Polish people down through the centuries. It is situated between other nations who play tug-of-war with Poland, each wanting the strategic advantage of owning that little piece of the earth.

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The Tatras, a mountain range, create a border between Slovakia and western Poland.  Both are beautiful countries, full of astonishing scenery.  I’ve had the privilege of visiting Slovakia, and I loved it.  These countries still have visible signs to remind them of the horrors of war, the results of the greed of mankind.

So there’s just a tiny little bit of history for you today, the day after D-Day, June 6, 1944, a day that is still very much alive in the memories of those who survived the German and then the Russian sweep across Europe.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/polish/

Lookin’ Good!

Natty

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Well, here’s another old-fashioned word that I don’t hear much any more. To be told you look natty is to be told you look sharp, debonair, well-dressed.

There is some speculation that it’s a variant of neat, but I couldn’t find any absolute confirmation of that.

So go  fix your hair and put on your nattiest outfit and go out there and wow the world 🙂

Image result for a natty outfit

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/natty/

More to Say than I Thought!

Uniform

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Uniformity can be a good thing.  Most of the time, though, in my own experience, I’ve found in myself a resistance to uniformity. Now, before you classify me as a rebel, just hang on a moment.

There are some things in which I believe we must have uniformity. My faith is based on what I believe the Bible teaches about sin, salvation, and redemption through Jesus Christ.  So naturally, if I’m looking for a church, I’m going to look for one that sees the Bible the same way I do on what I consider to be the fundamentals of the faith. Not that there’s any such thing as a perfect church; and if I find one, the moment I join it that church is no longer perfect 🙂

I believe there should be uniform compliance with the law of the land. This is just a simple matter of preventing total anarchy, which is the next step downward from pure democracy.  America is not a pure democracy, although our young people are so untaught these days that they think it is.  We are a democracy in a republic, and that’s a huge difference. We do not vote as a nation on every single issue.  We’d never get a single thing done if that were the case. Our votes are done through representation, which is why it is so important that we vote in all elections, not just the Presidential one.

Where I resist uniformity is in other matters, such as appearance, music,  diet, and dress. These are personal choices. It goes without saying that we can do ourselves harm if we ignore, for instance, certain dietary guidelines. However, I completely resist a Michelle Obama telling me, forcing me, to conform to her ideas of proper nutrition.  It is not the job of government  to supervise my diet.

Nor is it the job of government to supervise my clothing, the music I listen to, or the books I read.  It is MY job to use some common sense in those areas.  I do not need nor want some other entity to tell me what I may or may not wear, eat, read, watch, listen to. Uniformity in those areas brings nothing good, everything bad. We’d become a bunch of sheep, keeping our eyes on the ground and eating whatever is in the path, never questioning why.  We would enter in reality into Animal Farm or 1984.  Don’t know what I’m talking about?  They’re books.  You would do well to read them.

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I tend to march to my own drumbeat in matters of dress, which most people would consider conservative and maybe boring. But I’m happy with what I choose, and I don’t plan to make any changes based on current fads or ideas about what a woman my age should or should not wear. That’s my business, and my right to choose.

It has always been a source of interest and amusement to me that when any particular segment of society chooses to rebel, they adopt a form of dressing that is the extreme opposite of the older generation. It is, however, all the same for those who are doing the rebelling. If you want to be a Goth, for instance, then you adopt an all-black wardrobe; you feature skulls and such in your jewelry, and your makeup is black. All the same Uniform.  No individuality, just conformity to a different set of behaviors than your parents adhered to. They’re all different the same way.

Of course there are times and situations in which it makes sense to demand uniforms, and uniformity. The military has always worked on the basis of teamwork, and part of that is the uniform No problem with that. And people who join the military do so with the knowledge that they’re going to all look alike. That’s a choice they make before they sign on the dotted line.

Well, who knew I had so much to say about one word?

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/uniform/

Memories

Imaginary

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Three cheers for imagination!  Isn’t that what all of us wannabe writers are all about? (I know, some of you have made it to actually being published, but I’m still in the wannabe category.)

I loved this picture. Plugging the brain into the imagination socket?  Brilliant.

Scientists tell us that we actually use only 10% or so of our brain at any given time.  I don’t know about you, but I think my brain goes into overdrive when I’m just on the cusp of deep sleep and the climb back up into wakefulness.  Sometimes, my imaginary  events, people, and landscapes are far more colorful and interesting than  what I actually wake up to. Sometimes, my dreams are real enough that Terry tells me I’ll call out, but he knows I’m sound asleep. I’m going to have to take his word for that, since I don’t remember doing any such thing 🙂

I never, at least in my memory, had an imaginary friend. I did, however, make up all sorts of imaginary adventures  for my assortment of dolls and stuffed animals.  I would use different voices for them so they could have conversations. I could spend hours, on a rainy summer day, playing in my own imaginary world.

I didn’t have Play Station or any other e-device back then. In fact, we didn’t even have a TV until I was in the third grade.  Imagine that! No cell phone, no computer, no iPod, no tablets.  Tablets were things you wrote or drew on with pencils, pens, crayons, or whatever else you had handy. They were made of paper.  Remember paper?  I wrote bad poetry and pretty good stories on my paper tablets.

I have three grandchildren who live nearby. They are limited by their mean parents to only 30 minutes each day on their e-tablets. Other than that, they are expected to entertain themselves–and they do!  They make up their own games; they create plays from the books they read, including costumes and sets. They’re outdoors quite a bit, running and playing like healthy children should.  They are very good at imagination.

We used to do that, too, in our neighborhood. As evening came on, we played hide-and-seek; we played Red Rover,  Mother May I, and other games that kept us fairly close to home. When the street lights came on, it was the signal that we’d better head for home.

Wonderful, creative, physical outdoors play.  Jump rope, hula hoops, tag, work-up, 500.  Remember all that?  And if it rained, we’d go to a house that had an enclosed porch and play jacks, paper dolls, or whatever else we could think of.

If it hadn’t been for our ability to enjoy the imaginary, we’d have been a bored bunch of kids whining about not having anything to do.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/imaginary/

For Women Only

Disclaimer:  It has occurred to me that some of my readers who do not recognize blatant sarcasm may be confused, discombobulated, or wonder if I’ve lost my mind. So I’ll tell you ahead of time:  What you are about to read is, indeed, blatant sarcasm.  There. I feel better now.

Brassy

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

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Huh.  I think this word should be banned.  It’s politically incorrect. It’s first definition is sounding like a brass musical instrument:  harsh, loud. 

Now, isn’t that hurtful?  I mean, how would you like to be called harsh or loud just because of what you’re made of, and the sound you emit?  We need to find a kinder, gentler word to describe all these lovely brass instruments, and there are SO many! Really, it’s no wonder they’re –uh–brassy 🙂

Even worse, the next definition is applied mostly to women!  I’m already offended, and I didn’t even finish reading it yet.

Isn’t that sexist?  Where are the Thought Police on this stuff?  How DARE anyone reserve a generic definition just for women?

Image result for Brassy woman

Then I read the rest, and now I am truly horrified.  We need to start a movement or have a protest, organize a parade, contact our Congresspeople!  So what’s the definition?

Distastefully showy or loud in appearance or manner! 

And that applies mostly to women!  How dare they!  But it gets even worse.  Here’s a list of synonyms:

brazen, forward, bold, self-assertive, pushy, cocksure, cocky, cheeky, brash;

I need a comfort dog.  I need a counselor.  I need a box of color crayons  and a coloring book, and I need a safe room where I can cry.  Really, what a horrible list of words that apply mostly to women!

Anyone with me on this?  Want to start a movement?  Someone should subsidize a study or something. The government should change the dictionary.

Good grief.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/brassy/

Silly, then Serious

Portion

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I’m going to be silly for a few moments, and then I’m going to be serious.
Why is it that the foods we love are the foods we have to eat in small portions?  And the food that satisfies no craving, like lettuce, we can eat in unlimited portions? It’s all about portion control, the diet gurus tell us.  Yeah, I know.  So give me a huge portion of chocolate ice cream and skip the lettuce.  Right?  Of course, right. Whoever heard of gorging on lettuce? No one, ever.
Ok.  Big switch now.
The word portion always makes me think of a wonderful old hymn that I love.  I used to sing it as a solo.  Not any more.  My voice is as creaky as my back these days.  I want to share it with  you, though, and hope you will be blessed.  If it’s not your thing, then just enjoy the silliness 🙂
https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/portion/