And the Beat Goes On…With Your Password

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Dear Reader:

As I was lazily fixing a bowl of grits yesterday morning…I turned the television on to the CBS Sunday Morning Show and I found myself putting my bowl down to concentrate harder on the first story of the morning.

It was about passwords on our computers. I definitely, like most Americans, have a love/hate relationship with mine. If I just had one…I think I could handle it…but every thing under the sun, these days, requires a password and my feeble brain simply can’t remember them…the only success I have is with programs that have encoded my password so I don’t have to type it in each time to get to whatever I need from that website.

As I watched the segment on the Sunday Morning Show on passwords and new ideas for the future…I was amazed again at man’s ability to create such innovations. It just makes me sad that we seem to be able to come up with solutions that make sense in technology but still can’t find a way to love and accept each other as equal connections to our Creator. Something is wrong with this picture.

Apparently, according to the show’s sources, Bill Gates predicted that personal passwords would be obsolete in less than twenty years and computer wizards today already are seeing his prediction coming true.

(There was one thing about using our old password system that made me smile. It was the fact that most people have a personal story behind their selection of letters/words and numbers. Many are sentimental…and LOVE is used more than any other word within a password…leaving HATE far behind in the dust. Let’s hear it for love!) Mine are very sentimental too…gratefulness for life with all kinds of upbeat nouns and special marks.

After the program I took my cold bowl of grits and munched absent-mindedly while researching the topic I had just watched. It was even more amazing! The President of Bionym (Andrews D’Souza) presides over a technology company that has designed the Nymi…a wearable bracelet-like device that is able to make our prior millions of passwords floating around obsolete. Here is how it works.

Your Heart May Soon Be Your Only Password 

The Nymi is a wearable device that measures your heartbeat and uses it as a unique biometric to identify you. You put it on once a day, touch it with your opposite hand for a few seconds, it measures your heartbeats, it confirms that you – the rightful owner are wearing it, and then it’s able to communicate that identity to whatever system or service you use.

So, what we’re hoping is that it means the end of things like passwords and pin numbers. But it could even replace things like car keys, house keys, credit cards, and boarding passes. These are all different proxies for identity. We think that a wearable device that’s paired with your biometric can be a much easier, more secure form of user identification.

Some companies have gone to finger print images as an ID prerogative but since we have a tendency to leave our finger prints on everything we touch, it would not be too hard to track down our finger prints by someone wanting to crack our code.

But heart-beats are different as we see explained  in this excerpt.

Everybody’s got a unique heartbeat. It’s based on the size and shape of your heart and the orientation of your valves, your physiology. It doesn’t change unless you have a major cardiac event like a heart attack. Your heart can beat faster but electrically your beats look the same. So, whether it beats faster or slower, it doesn’t really matter. It’s really about the shape of the waves, and what that signal looks like when it comes off your heart.

So until tomorrow…Don’t you see the irony in man’s on-going search for security in an insecure world? It always goes back to the heart. If we let the heart lead us through life, then we are secure that we are leading the type of life God wants.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

*This weekend the heart ruled with Rutledge and Lachlan…as Aunt Kaitlyn and Uncle Tommy entertained them all day Saturday (in the great outdoors which is every little boy’s playground of choice) while Walsh and Mollie set up for an oyster roast they threw. Then yesterday afternoon/evening I kept the boys for awhile while Walsh and Mollie got out on their delayed Valentines date…lots of hearts in charge! Thanks Tommy and Kaitlyn for all the loving help!

 

Walsh had put up a “Swurfer” swing which is fabulous…had to try it out…not brave enough to stand in it yet…but soon. The  new fire pit for the oyster roast was in the perfect setting.

 

 

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Aging Gratefully…After Gracefully Passes You By

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Dear Reader:

Looking in the mirror these days takes an act of courage….especially first thing in the morning with no make-up, runny eyes and nose. I wipe, honk, and blink a few times to confirm this is still me staring back.

The mental image of me (that stopped somewhere in the forties, I suspect) still wants to come out to play. To the tune of “Buffalo Girls” I hear the little sing-song each morning…“Becky girl…won’t you come out to play, come out to play, come out to play….Becky girl…won’t you come out to play and dance by the light of the moon.”

Since I don’t have to look at myself continuously throughout the day (Thank God! …literally) I can live in my fantasy world where I still appear “Upper Middle Age Mediocre” in my personal (imagined) visual time-line. This illusion keeps me going along quite merrily until a store mirror or a comment from the grocery bag boy shatters this carefully constructed facade. The illusion is quite fragile.

Perhaps I could take the easy way out and blame it on the new chemo regiment that does tend to dry one out faster-than  the mummification of ancient Egyptian pharaohs. But truthfully it is just one factor in the big picture…”Girl…you ‘gittin’ old…er fast!”

No matter how hard I try to convince myself that I can still do just about everything I have always been able to do…something comes along to dash that fantasy. Case-in-point.

John and Mandy just bought a new car….I never know the names of cars but I know it is a beautiful silver Honda with three rows of seats… which is wonderful for long drives and more people, especially since one row is always taken up with little car seats.

Last Thursday evening, when I spent the night, we decided to grab some food out…East Bay Deli... I was excited…I was going to get to ride in the new car with the new car smell! I was, also, eager to try out the third row of seats behind my precious grandchildren. So before they got in…John pushed their seats up and over to make room for me. I was on the other side of the car.

I placed one foot up on the dashboard…and then suddenly realized that I didn’t have the “umpth” to pull the rest of me up and in. My mind said “Yes!” but my body yelled “No!” I tried grabbing the back of the second row seat but I just didn’t have the power to pull myself into the back… for one second I dangled between in and back out before gravity did its thing. Thank goodness I managed to get both feet planted back on the driveway in the nick of time and didn’t go sailing backwards on my back.

It scared John and he immediately told me to sit up front with him and Mandy was relegated to the back row. I was as shocked as everyone else that I couldn’t get in….I kept thinking if I just had a little foot stool I could do it with no problem….but the step up distance was just higher than my arms could lift and pull me in.

I, suddenly, felt decrepit! All my prior “misconceptions” that I could hang with the ‘best of em’ came crashing down… like my backside. I think I am going to buy a car foot stool, like Cinderella and her carriage, to carry with me to John and Mandy’s so I will be ready next time we all go out.

5275*Actually I found one….for ten dollars on amazon.com (portable)….now I am ready for my next attempt!

Of course if I lived in another time period in Charleston, I would be able to hop in a carriage (from an historic foot step permanently added to the sidewalk in front of historic district homes) that helped ladies, of that time period, enter the carriages with ease. Today these original carriage foot step-ups are a part of Charleston’s history and preserved as authentic artifacts.

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…Which brings us full circle back to the effects of aging on the psyche. Getting old(er) is very humbling…I am sure there is a lesson in all of it that God is sending. Some lessons are easier to swallow than others.

My ophthalmologist casually mentioned when I went back for my last cataract lens check-up or check-off (don’t have another appointment for a year) that she could fix my drooping eyelids that would add even better peripheral vision to my new “eyes” since finishing the cataract surgeries. Just call and make the appointment if I decided to do it…insurance would cover it.

So now every time I look in the mirror…all I can see is my drooping eyelids…but with “little c” re-activating I think that decision can be put on the back burner until (hopefully) “little c” starts behaving again and goes back into hibernation.

I agree with Christine Carter who wrote an article for Huffington Post on grateful aging. Here is an excerpt.

I don’t see my crow’s feet. I see the miracle of my vision.

I don’t see those laugh lines and wrinkles. I hear the laughter.

I don’t see these flabby arms. I feel the warm embraces lingering.

I don’t see the cellulite. I remember where these legs have taken me.

I don’t begrudge the belly pouch. I cherish the vessel that gave me my babies…who have now grown and brought me more joy with grand babies. 

I just want to celebrate the “undeniable blessing of being alive for all the years I have (to date) been given.

So until tomorrow…Recognizing the miraculous gift of life we have been given forces us to understand that we can choose “living deeply and deeply living” our life. No regrets….just gratitude for the gift!

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Distance of Anger

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Dear Reader:

Have you ever gotten in a shouting match with a spouse, friend, parent, child, or someone else who you felt “Did you wrong?” I rarely find myself in shouting matches since I have such an abhorrence to them…but even as an arrogant teenager, on occasion, I spewed my tirade of the injustices inflicted on the young by (my youthful perception) overbearing adult (s) who just didn’t get it? (I don’t think I even knew what “it” was but I felt like I wasn’t getting “it” anyway!)

Somehow I believe, I intuitively, knew that this heated argument was a “lose, lose” experiment in crossing boundaries. Feelings were going to get hurt, guilt was going to enter through the cracks, and words, once spoken, were going to remain in another’s memory for a long time. Still the worse outcome would be the strange ‘distance’ between you and the friend who argued. A ‘distance’ not easily erased, no matter the physical proximity of both participants.

This anecdote ‘fit the bill’ for showing me again how listening to another’s view-point, before blindly lashing out in anger, can save relationships of importance.

“Why We Shout When In Anger”

A young minister, who was picnicking with his family, along a local river bank, discovered a group of family members on the banks, shouting in anger at each other. His eight-year-old son turned to his daddy and asked?

‘Why do people shout at each other when they get mad?’

The pastor thought for a minute and then replied: ‘Because we lose our calm, we shout.’

“But daddy, the little boy, still looking puzzled, continued, “Mad people don’t have to shout to be heard…those people, over there, are standing real close to each other…can’t they just talk?”

The pastor stared at his young son and knew his response was important and would probably remain with him for a long time. He took several minutes to ponder the question before finally replying.

“When two people are angry at each other, their hearts distance a lot. To cover that distance they must shout to be able to hear each other. The angrier they are, the stronger they will have to shout to hear each other to cover that great distance that has grown up between them.” 

As the little boy thought about what his daddy had just said, the pastor grabbed his wife around the waist pulling her closer to him and giving her a sweet kiss. As his young son giggled…he concluded:

“What happens when two people fall in love? They don’t shout at each other but talk softly, because their hearts are very close. The distance between them is either nonexistent or very small… When they love each other even more, what happens? They do not speak, they now only whisper, and they get even closer to each other in their love.”

Finally they even need not whisper, they only look at each other and that’s all. That is how close two people are when they love each other.’ And with one accord…the pastor and his wife went over and swooped up their little boy in their arms….swinging him back and forth. The pastor finished the response with one last warning:

“So when you argue, my little one, do not let your heart get distant, Do not say words that distance each other more, or else there will come a day when the distance is too great and you can no longer find the path to return.”

………………………………………

So until tomorrow…Let’s remember to raise words, not voices, while angry. There are no brownie points given for the one who shouts the loudest…in fact, in the end, the only dessert given to the loudest is probably called “Just Desserts.”

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

*After having a marvelous time “hanging” with the students at Primrose Pre-School Thursday, I spent the night at John and Mandy’s house so I would be there bright and early for a leadership program Eva Cate was participating in…She got to introduce the first grade skit about the famous artist Jonathan Greene.

 

***I think I am going to have to break down and call Izzy, my former student and computer wizard, to come see what is wrong with my desk computer. If you haven’t heard from me as regularly as usual, or in earnest asked to “befriend me” on Facebook or have noticed the giant pictures in the posts… if you subscribe (Facebook readers have pictures more in proportion)… now you know why.

I woke up one day last week, checked the post, and then turned on Outlook…my email…and there was an ugly looking red mark across the page saying it had been tampered with but Google Chrome had recognized the problem and closed it without any damage….it would re-open again. But to date it hasn’t.

I can still check my email on my IPhone but it is tedious at best and now the only way I can insert personal photos is through this rather complicated procedure (using my IPhone) which doesn’t control the size of the picture on my desk top computer…thus the really big pictures in the daily blog of subscribers.

computer-virus-bugs-clip-art-3167674I thought I could wait it out…but with each day’s passing this problem looks like it isn’t going to correct itself without some other help. In the meantime I hope that you are, at least, still getting the post….(subscribers and Facebook readers alike) and hopefully this computer glitch will pass. One can only pray and hope!

 

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Missing the Point…

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Dear Readers:

I love whimsical metaphors with a kick and this saying does just that. We are so used to seeing gloomy-looking signs saying “The End is Coming” that seeing a sign that says  “The Beginning is Near” turns our perspective, on life, upside down and all around.

Every day we wake up we get a chance to have a new beginning…in relationships and opportunities for amazing adventures that exist past our comfortable perimeters of daily life. We just need to make sure that we bring those we love in on our new adventures so they can be shared with all.

Grandmother liked all the pastors that preached at the local church where she attended…except one. She never really said anything bad about him but it was like she could see through him and was slightly disappointed in what she saw.

One afternoon he came for a visit after Grand-daddy died….She politely nodded while he gave his condolences and then she offered him iced tea and cookies. (which he took) She, also, prayed with him at the end of the visit… still… she remained very reserved…not adding many comments to the conversation.

After he left she told Mrs. Armstrong (a woman the family hired to live with grandmother for a few years) that the problem with that pastor was that he was running around trying to be everything to everybody, all the time. At this rate he was going to end up being “good for nuttin.” His poor family always came last and they saw him the least.

I would much rather have known he was at home with his wife and children doing something fun with them on this Spring Sunday afternoon than spending it with me”  was Grandmother’s final comment on the subject.

We have “all the missed the point,’ haven’t we, on occasion, in our zeal to “do good” …for the outside world while leaving our inner circle crying out for our attention too. “Life is a balancing act.”

This Christmas message fell out of a book I was thumbing through the other day. I read it and then re-read it…I think the message is an important reminder on how to live our lives every day…not just during the Christmas holidays.

Missing the Point

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another home decorator. 

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at meal time, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another cook.

“If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home, and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir’s cantata, but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child, love sets aside the decorating to kiss the spouse, love is kind even when harried and tired. Love doesn’t envy another’s home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.

Love doesn’t yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way. Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give back in return, but rejoices in giving to those who can’t.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust.

But giving the gift of love will endure forever.

…………………………

untitled-1xSo until tomorrow….Love begins at home.  

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

Fun yesterday at Primerose-lots of good hugs!!!!

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Turning Ordinary Acts of Kindness into Extraordinary Ones

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Dear Reader:

When I awoke yesterday I automatically began opening my shutters in the den (my happy room) and noticed that the skies were overcast and the rain appeared imminent. A pretty gloomy-looking day. I thought to myself that I sure was glad it was Wednesday weather and not Thursday when I am traveling to Primrose Pre-School to tell stories and read books for Lachlan and Rutledge’s classes.

It is a pretty long jaunt this morning with lots of potential, unexpected delays on I-26 or 526 or Highway 17. Luckily the forecast for today looks sunny and promising! Now I just need to pray for no bumper-fender accidents or closed lane delays. Traveling between Mt. Pleasant and Summerville gets to be more of a challenge every year…with a growing population with lots of new industries and opportunities… the good with the not-so-good side effects.

Good Morning America came on while I was finishing turning on lights and getting the day started. And that is when I heard two wonderful stories about two different teenagers who wanted to make a difference for their peers on Valentines Day. Both of their unselfish endeavors left me stunned by their kindness and sacrifice towards their fellow students.

The first one involved an anonymous student who made a  Valentine for every single locker in the high school- taking hours the night before to accomplish (with permission of the principal.) Here is an excerpt for the news article.

15085485_1105608239556602_5876003176836508349_nTroy High School: Troy, Ohio

A student who wanted to remain anonymous took it upon herself to make sure everyone had something on this day dedicated to love. So she started working back in September, carefully folding hundreds of colorful origami hearts — one for each student. Her hard work became public this morning as each student walked in today to find a heart hanging from their lockers. 

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Troy High School principal, Katherine Weaver, said not only did every student get a heart, but the person behind it all wrote a message on each “you are loved.” Weaver said the student who created the hearts had help hanging them all up on the lockers after school on Monday. The school posted about the act of kindness on its Facebook page, getting hundreds of shares, likes and comments. Weaver said many students don’t use their lockers daily, but today many couldn’t wait to get to theirs and find their Valentine.

No longer had I recovered from that inspiring story of caring for others on Valentines Day than I “got hit” with this second story that left me shaking my head in renewed hope and wonder.

12741873_1126284277382175_2774369346662340335_nHigh School senior student Hayden Godfrey saved for years from his after school and weekend job at McDonalds, along with other side jobs, to get enough money to give every single girl at his high school a carnation for Valentines Day.

It’s never fun to be the only one without a Valentine. So this high school student took it upon himself to make sure every girl at his Utah high school felt special for Valentine’s Day.

High school senior Hayden Godfrey, 17, saved for a year and a half to buy flowers for every single one of the 834 girls at Sky View High School, The Herald Journal reported.

That’s $450 for 900 carnations.

“So I did a little something today,” Godfrey wrote on Facebook. “Today I passed out 900 carnations, one to every girl at SVHS and it was totally worth it. I don’t think anything can compare to seeing every girl at your school holding a flower as they walk through the halls.”

Seeing these random acts of kindness on television, instead of worrisome national and international news, is so uplifting. I just wanted to share these stories with you today, in case you missed them, so you would be uplifted too.

980xAnd as if these two newscasts weren’t wonderful enough…here comes Louboutina, the hugging dog.

She has become a favorite of New York City residents by coming over…sitting on her back legs and simply hugging whoever she picks out from the crowd. The owner thinks she senses who needs a hug, perhaps a little more than others, at that moment.

Here is an excerpt from one article: People Magazine: Pets

Louboutina, or Loubie, is doing some crucial volunteer work.

According to Time Out New York, the five-year-old golden retriever loves spending her free time giving hugs on the sidewalks of New York City.

Loubie has a special knack for spotting the humans who could really use a hug, and the pup isn’t shy about saddling up to offer her affection. She can usually be found on 5th Ave. and 14th St., hanging out with her owner, Cesar.

Cesar says the compassionate canine started holding hands over three years ago, which eventually evolved into giving hugs. Obviously, he doesn’t have any complaints about the adorable behavior and is happy to share the love.

For those of you not living in N.Y.C., you can enjoy a vicarious squeeze by following Louboutina’s Instagram (@louboutinanyc), which already has over 13,000 fans.

Cesar hopes one day that Ellen Degeneres will call and want a hug from Loubie too. *Let’s hear it for Loubie going on the Ellen Degeneres Show…I can’t imagine Ellen not wanting a hug from this remarkable dog.

Here is a link for more photos of Loubie and her hugs.

Louboutina is the New York dog that loves to hug everyone

So until tomorrow… I hope these true stories of kindness and caring have uplifted you as much as they did me. I think we need to pass along these stories as often and fast as we can. There’s a lot of good in the world if we just keep our eyes open to it…and then share it!

“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh

One of our new local favorite huggers is Nala, Anne’s new puppy. She is playing with her newest Valentine…monkey with a squeak. This is hopefully keeping her occupied while Anne recovers from a pulled back…not fun! Hope you recover quickly Anne! Even Nala looks sad for Anne’s condition…can’t get out and play as much.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Secret Ritual For Each President…You’ll Be Surprised

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Dear Reader:

I know  it must look like I am ‘jumping the gun’ doing a story on the Presidents on Valentines Day for the next day….a week ahead of time…but when one finds an interesting fact…the story must be told.

I ended up finding this intriguing story from a Huffington Post article quite by accident. I was researching Presidents who liked magic tricks or performed the tricks, themselves. The only President whose name popped up was President James Garfield. It wasn’t exactly a magic act…but still pretty entertaining.

d247e65faf8199e22d52cac604426a0aGarfield was our first left-handed President and the last one to be born in a log cabin. He weighed 10 pounds at birth…his poor mama! He was also ambidextrous…he could write simultaneously with his left and right hand at the same time. But that wasn’t all…he wrote (whatever message he chose) in Greek with one hand and Latin  the other. Now that is pretty impressive!

The reason for researching secrets and magic with the Presidents is that Mandy called me and asked since I would be coming to Mt. Pleasant Thursday to story tell at Rutledge and Lachlan’s school…if I could stay the night and attend a leadership program with her Friday morning (at James B. Edwards) in which Eva Cate was participating and had a speaking part.  (And then stay on and do some stories on the Presidents that afternoon for her class.)

(I thought I would take the ever handy magic coloring book and work it into the presentation…thus the research on secrets and magic in the White House.)

Suddenly this Huffington Post article popped up which I found fascinating and endearing at the same time…showing our Presidents as human beings with strengths, weaknesses, and kind gestures, especially towards their successors.

The Presidents’ Greatest Secret  

Brad Meltzer

I had a question that only the President of the United States could answer.

And the good news was: he actually gave me an answer.

It started back when I was interviewing a source who used to work with the Department of Homeland Security, and we were talking about the secret presidential spy ring that was started by none other than George Washington.

Back during the Revolutionary War, Washington was so tired of the British intercepting his military officers, he tapped a group of regular citizens and asked them to move his secrets (on the theory that no one would look twice at these “ordinary” men). The members of this small group called the Culper Ring used invisible ink, secret codenames (George Washington’s codename was “711”), and were so good at keeping their secrets, we didn’t even know about their existence until nearly 150 years later.

But what struck me most was when I asked my source if he thought something like the Culper Ring could still be valuable today. Right there, the phone line went silent.

“What makes you think it still doesn’t exist?” he challenged.

My response was thoughtful and concise. “Wha?”

“Think about it: If the Culper Ring was so good, why would George Washington ever disband it? Why not keep it going?”

Yeah, I know: I thought it was a bit whacky too. But there was something to it and in the spirit of finding truth and selling books, I realized I knew someone who would know the actual answer. So I did what anyone else would do.

I emailed the President of the United States.

Okay, it was the former President of the United States. George H.W. Bush. 41. And I did have his email.

(How? Because he wrote me a few years ago to say he liked one of my thrillers. Yeah, I know … that happens to me all the time too.)

And by the time I worked up the nerve to ask him the question, I’d even figured out how the existence of the Culper Ring could be passed from each outgoing President, to each incoming President.

This is true: During his last moments in the White House, President Ronald Reagan scribbled a note that said “Don’t let the turkeys get you down.” He then slipped the note into the Oval Office desk and left it for his successor: President George H.W. Bush. Bush then left a note for Clinton, who left one for W, who left one for Obama. It is, to this day, the greatest private tradition of the US Presidency.

 So there I was, typing up my email to former President Bush, telling him what I’d found about the original Culper Ring and my theory that each President could tell the incoming President about the existence of George Washington’s ingenious invention. Could the greatest secret of the US Presidency still exist and be passed like that?

To my surprise, it didn’t take long for the former President to write me back. But instead of answering my question, something was attached to his response. My eyes went wide as I realized what it was: The never-before-seen secret letter that George H.W. Bush hid in the Oval Office desk and left for Bill Clinton.

It’s a private letter — President to President — that the world had never seen before. A personal moment between two of the most powerful men in the world. And Bush sent it to me.

Okay, this was even better than the crazy insanity I was making up. This was it, right? There had to be a secret message in the letter!

But the more I combed through it, all I kept finding was this:

January 20, 1993

Dear Bill,

When I walked into this

office just now I felt the same sense

of wonder and respect that I

felt four years ago. I know

you will feel that too.

I wish you great happiness

here. I never felt the loneliness

some Presidents have described.

There will be very tough

times, made even more difficult by

criticism you may not think is fair.

I’m not a very good one to give

advice; but just don’t let the

critics discourage you or push

you off course.

You will be our President

when you read this note. I wish

you well. I wish your family

well.

Your success now is our country’s

success. I am rooting hard for you.

Good luck – George

…………………………………………………………………………………

Wait!” I kept saying to myself. “There’s got to be something I’m missing!” I wish you great happiness? You will be our President? I am rooting hard for you!? Are there secret code words I am missing?

It can’t be! No way is anyone that gracious and nice!

But the more times I read the letter, I quickly realized that what Bush had sent me was the greatest secret of the US Presidency. And it was also the greatest aspect of the US Presidency: that no matter how famous they get … no matter how much of a pedestal (or ditch) we put them on or in, we are led by true, real people.

Doesn’t sound fancy.

But it is.

We get to pick them. We get to vote for them. And though they may not live up to our expectations (I’m looking at you, Nixon), we are, for good or bad, led by our own.

To steal from the best, this is how the story goes: We the people. Period.

And right now, with everyone talking about what’s wrong with our political dialogue, it’s nice to have an example of what’s right.

……………………….

So until tomorrow…like Mr. Rogers always said: “Be Kind, Be Kind, Be Kind!”

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

* Trivia fact: Did you know that there are six oval office desks that ‘in-coming’ Presidents can select among for their personal desk during their tenure? (I thought it was always the same desk!)

If you are interested in the designs, names, and Presidents who used which style desk…here is a link.

List of Oval Office desks – Wikipedia

 

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A Door Knocker, a Dog and a Bright Red Umbrella

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Dear Reader:

Happy Valentines to one and all! I love the picture of this intricate door knocker with a heart on top! What a wonderful way to greet friends, family, and strangers, year around at one’s door….with a heart symbolizing the love within.

You might remember I got a sparkly heart-shaped Valentine decoration from one of the drug stores on the first of February and added it to my front wreath. So I have enjoyed coming home to it each day…my own little porch ‘heart’ to welcome me back. It does make me smile as I go and come each day.

And lo and behold “Big Red” has decided to spread out all over the white porch bench….beautiful red against the white…my own Valentines present from my favorite geranium.

11921_593958280614378_1030818461_nWhen I came across this short anecdote about the little girl with the red umbrella it made me smile! The definition of faith personified.

As a drought continued for what seemed an eternity, a small community of farmers was in a quandary as to what to do. Rain was important to keep their crops healthy and sustain the way of life of the townspeople.

As the problem became more acute, a local pastor called a prayer meeting to ask for rain. Many people arrived. The pastor greeted most of them as they filed in. As he walked to the front of the church to officially begin the meeting he noticed most people were chatting across the aisles and socializing with friends. When he reached the front his thoughts were on quieting the attendees and starting the meeting.

His eyes scanned the crowd as he asked for quiet. He noticed an eight year-old girl sitting quietly in the front row. Her face was beaming with excitement. Next to her, poised and ready for use, was a bright red umbrella. The little girl’s beauty and innocence made the pastor smile as he realized how much faith she possessed. No one else in the congregation had brought an umbrella. All came to pray for rain, but the little girl had come expecting God to answer .

And our last little anecdote on this beautiful Valentines Day…titled: Faith like a Dog…On the Other Side.

A sick man turned to his doctor, as he was leaving the room after paying a visit, and said, “Doctor, I am afraid to die. Tell me what lies on the other side.” Very quietly the doctor said, “I don’t know.”

“You don’t know?” the man said. “You, a Christian man, do not know what is on the other side?”

The doctor was holding the handle of the door, on the other side of which came a sound of scratching and whining. As he opened the door, a dog sprang into the room and leaped on him with an eager show of gladness.

Turning to the patient, the doctor said, “Did you notice my dog? He’s never been in this room before. He didn’t know what was inside. He knew nothing except that his master was here, and when the door opened, he sprang in without fear.”

“I know little of what is on the other side of death,” the doctor continued, “but I do know one thing: I know my Master is there, and that is enough. And when the door opens, I shall pass through with no fear, but with gladness.”

I am purposefully keeping this little blog shorter than usual today so everyone can enjoy this day of showing love and caring to the fullest.

Anne got another God Wink with her word “re-boot” or “pause” yesterday and she sent it on to me. I think it is a great way to leave the post today.

So until tomorrow: “Practice the pause. When in doubt, pause. When angry, pause. When tired, pause. When stressed, pause. And when you pause, pray.”

winnie_the_pooh_valentine_by_natt2004-d4ouz60“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh

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