Monday, February 29, 2016

Should Young Adults Vote?

After reading the morning paper today and saw a picture of a young girl sporting a sign in support of Bernie Sanders, I had to ask myself, 'Should Young Adults Vote?' Now I assure you I have nothing against young people nor do I necessarily view Sanders as unfit to run our country.

I guess I question how much this generation of voters knows about the process itself, and more importantly, how much they know about the candidates seeking nomination and the tactics they use to win. When I became eligible to voice my opinion for the first time, I did so mostly to boast that I'd voted. Secondly, since my family had always identified themselves as 'Democrats', although I don't remember, I'm sure I voted Democrat. Thirdly, depending on who my friends believed to be the best man for the job, had to have greatly influenced my own decision.

College kids now are certainly more informed. Politicians make it a point to visit campuses across the country. The internet provides these newbies with debates, current poll ratings, and who others their age view as worthy of their impeding vote. Economics, law, and political science classes have given them historical knowledge as well as up-to-date facts. No doubt all of this is beneficial when the time comes to act.

But what is missing, and in my humble opinion more critical than all the debates, polls and camaraderie put together, is life experience. Only when you've lived through countless elections and been terribly disappointed with what the candidates promised and what they actually achieved, do you scrutinize their speeches with rightful concern. Only when they are on top of the polls because they've assured you that your taxes will not be raised, yet knowing full well that they will be, do you question their veracity. And only when these casually-groomed politicians gather with families and friends in coffee shops and school gymnasiums making for great photo ops, do you see through their shallow attempts to make you believe they actually care about you and yours.

Perhaps instead of attending rallies, listening to planned debates, and talking to folks of similar age, young adults might learn more from their parents, grandparents, and veterans who have risked their lives to make sure our right to vote stays intact. After giving their elders a chance to help them understand the ins and outs of the political process and what effect it has on everyday living for the American people, would they be better armed to make their decision on primary and election days.

Yes, young adults should have the opportunity to vote, but only after they've exercised their duty to become well-informed by folks who have their best interests at heart, WE THE PEOPLE!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Ah, Sweet Spring!

Ever notice how Spring seems to creep up on you? A few days ago we were trudging through slush and snow, and now the sun is shining and I see buds on the forsythias. It's like Spring seeps into the earth without a sound, and then explodes into life taking us completely by surprise!

I love this season for so many reasons. It's the time for new life, for fresh starts, and for keeping the promises we've made to ourselves and others. Although I haven't heard the birds chirping yet,I know they're building their nests. In a matter of weeks I'll look up to the inside of our patio covering and see a mama robin warming her eggs. I'll smile and be amazed at how these creatures manage to build their homes and deposit their future offspring without my noticing. Every year I say I'm going to keep a watchful eye out for them, but every year they manage to elude my detection.

Fresh starts are what keeps hope alive. During the winter months, we've lost some of our drive to keep up with our exercise programs, continue with our New Year's resolutions, and be of service to those in need. Spring ignites our fires to get outside and walk a mile or two, prepare healthy meals, and give a helping hand to our friends and neighbors. Our souls are made light with the emergence of sunny skies.

This December I decided to start a new children's book series which is tentatively entitled, Together in Peace and Harmony. 'Preschool Friends Around the World, A- Z' Book 1 is now in the illustrative process. I promised myself that writing a story aimed at introducing diversity of race and culture to young children was what I could do to have them recognize difference, and embrace rather than fear it. I have always believed that personal experience with diversity was the only way we will ever come to see everybody as our brothers and sisters.It is the only way to bring about peace and harmony to our troubled world. If children are exposed early to others who are different than themselves, they naturally become comfortable with these diversions and gravitate to more experiences rather than run from them. I am planning publication for mid-March, a Spring promise I definitely will bring to fruition.

I've also promised to be there for folks who seem to be lost or in need. My nephew, Christopher is in a state prison in northern PA. For reasons I won't explain now, I've had little contact with him. Last week I decided to write him a letter that would hopefully lift his spirits knowing that someone is still there praying for him to turn his life around. Since my brother and his wife have passed, I'm his only remaining relative. I intend to continue our correspondence so as to make his life on the inside more bearable.

Our neighborhood is aging. There are many widows who live by themselves and have little contact with others.Traditionally Spring is the time to clean up our homes and yards.What a perfect opportunity to offer ourselves in assisting with window washing, sweeping the porch and setting out the wicker furniture, and just visiting a while shooting the breeze. This is another promise I intend to keep.

Ah, Sweet Spring! It makes my blood flow, my spirits rise, and my heart dance! I sincerely hope it does the same for you.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Presidential Candidates A Total Embarrassment!

Whether you're a Democrat or a Republican, you can't possibly be proud of the people running for nomination in this presidential race. Every single one of them from Clinton to Trump spend their time maligning the others instead of outlining their plans for a better tomorrow.

While visiting my hubby who is currently in the hospital, my ten-year-old granddaughter, Brenna, whispered to me that she hated politics.  When I asked her what she knew about politics, she said she didn't understand what the word actually meant, but every time she saw one of the candidates they had on fake smiles while they talked mean about everybody else, and the people in the crowd yelled and clapped to show their approval.

Immediately the scene with Jesus, bloodied, beaten, and crowned with thorns,standing before a mob of angry people popped into my mind. Pilate, a famous political figure during Roman times, was flanked on either side by Jesus and a notorious criminal, Barabbas. So as not to be held responsible for the death of Christ, Pilate asked the crowd to make a choice. We all know the results of their vote, "Crucify him, crucify him," they yelled, choosing Jesus as the victim. To further show his lack of responsibility for their decision, Pilate dipped his hands into a water bowl to wash himself clean of any wrongdoing.

This is a perfect example of the meaning of politics as far as I'm concerned. The candidates take as many punches as they can to defile the others whether what they say has any founded credibility. The more mud they can sling, the happier they are. And if by chance, a potential nominee drops out of the race because he or she is bloodied and beaten beyond recognition, the others look for that water bowl to cleanse themselves of having anything to do with the premature departure of one more politician who might have been the person who could have done the most good.

It's been said that money is the root of all evil. The election process in our country today has more to do about who has the most money, rather than who is most qualified to be president. Consequently we have people running for the highest office in the land who have little to no experience in governing,
know next to nothing about the Constitution, and don't really care about the problems of every day people. Most of them are in it for the privilege of being called, Mr. President or Ms. President, and will say anything to achieve their objective. However once in office, all  promises made take a back seat to personal political gain.

If a ten-year-old can see through the ugliness of current politics, why can't we who have the power to vote? Instead of choosing a candidate who happens to represent our party, why not make it our business to study all those in the race and base our vote on gathered facts and careful assessment.

When Brenna asked me for whom I would be voting, I was sad to say that for the first time in my life I wasn't sure I'd be exercising my right to vote because the few I most-likely would have considered had already dropped out of the race. The rest of the candidates still vying for nomination, in my humble opinion, are a total embarrassment to our political system, to our beloved country, and above all, to themselves.

Monday, February 8, 2016


I've seen all 50 Super Bowls, but never have I witnessed a defense like the Denver Broncos put on the field yesterday! Hats off to Wade Phillips and his group of dedicated, determined players! I truly believe they were playing for Peyton Manning so he could leave the game of football in a blaze of glory. When your purpose is selfless, your efforts are for the elevation of someone other than yourself, your energies run high, and your chances for success are great.

Miller, Ware, Ward, and all of the other defensive players refused to let this opportunity pass by without a win. You could tell they were on a mission, and were not going to leave the stadium without MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

Peyton didn't play well, but he did play smart. He knew his days of throwing the long bomb and hitting his targets were over. He could have insisted on trying, and perhaps lost the game because of interceptions. Instead this humble amazing quarterback handed off to his running backs, willing to accept short gains that would eventually lead to victory. That's the sign of a true leader, have faith in your men and  rely on them to do what they've trained for.

I hope Cam Newton learned something about leadership and professionalism during those 60 minutes so that he may someday emulate Peyton Manning. I'm certainly not saying Newton isn't a gifted athlete, because he is that. But as far as leadership and professionalism, this young man has miles to go in that department. His all-about-me attitude, his immature behavior on and off the field, and his yet-to-be-tested greatness over time most likely cost the Panthers the game.

Yes, they won 15 regular games and the postseason, but Cam always had ample time and protection, to choose his targets when passing the ball. Certainly his running ability contributed to their awesome success. But when his time and protection were eliminated by the likes of the Denver defense, Cam Newton caved. You could see it on his face from the get-go. And again, when he couldn't find anybody open down the field because the Broncos covered like flies on shit, the Panther's quarterback became confused and ineffective.

Two examples in the game were very telling about how much growing up Newton needs to do to measure up to the likes of Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlesberger, and Tom Brady. In the fourth quarter, when Newton was stripped of the ball, instead of jumping into to retrieve it, he simply stepped back and let his men take the pain. Shortly afterwards, when Cam received a legal hit, he pleaded with the ref for a roughing-the-passer flag, and when he didn't get it, he rolled on the ground like a toddler having a two-year-old tantrum.

The DENVER DEFENSE DOMINATED the game. Their play made Cam Newton look like an ordinary quarterback who didn't have enough time or talent to make the decisions he needed to in order to overcome the onslaught of men on a mission.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE DENVER BRONCOS, COACHES, PLAYERS, STAFF, AND OWNERS who made 50 years worth waiting for!  True Super Bowl Champs!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Git, Get, Forgot, Forget!

My nine-year-old grandson, Liam, called me last night, talking so fast at first I couldn't understand a word he was saying. After a minute or two he settled down and told me he, his brother, Beckham and his dad were writing a story called, 'Git, Get, Forgot, Forget!' He was anxious to read it to me to see what I thought. As Liam read this unusually titled tale, I couldn't help but swell with pride. Being an author myself, I would be ecstatic if one of my seven grandchildren followed in my footsteps.

Then he asked me if their story was good. Honestly let's just say it needed a whole lot of work, but telling him that was not an option. I had to come up with some positive comments. I asked him if it was a picture book with illustrations or just text. He told me he was doing the illustrations on Etch-A-Sketch. Oh, boy, I had to think fast.

I explained that maybe they should work just on the text until it was exactly as they wanted it, and then try drawing illustrations that give life to their words. After explaining what I meant by that, he told me he had to hang up because Beckham and Dad needed him.

Don't you just love the exhuberance of youth! Liam is so excited about their project, and totally believes in it. He figures that once they've finished, their book will be published and purchased by everybody in the universe. I guess he's like all author, since we believe our works are second to none, and definitely worthy of the world's praise.

I don't know about you, but I intend to be the first person to purchase 'Git, Get, Forgot, Forget!' I plan to read it from cover to cover at least 1000 times! I probably will buy as many copies and distribute them to everyone I know! After all, Liam and Beckham are my grandsons and I will do anything in my power to help them become best-selling authors!

Am I dreaming? If I am, I hope this dream really does come true!