Loving One Another

Archive for the ‘Aging Gracefully’ Category

Music, Birds & Joy


Yesterday I promised I would send you a video of Liam and me playing at my sister’s Masonic Home. My niece, Jodie, recorded videos and took these pictures. Thanks, Jodie!

We had a “full house” of residents from the Masonic Home listening to our “concert.”
I have videos so you can hear the residents singing along to “Home on the Range” and “Battle Hymn of the Republic” – but I can’t get the videos to load here. Sorry! You just gotta trust me, it was fun – and the residents really seemed to enjoy it. I know I did!
And today I said “Good-bye” for now to my sis, Sally. I’m glad I got a chance to see her in her new environment.

Now, as Thanksgiving approaches, we plan to celebrate with dinner out – and then our first opportunity to see a performance of Les Miserables! Thanks to Jodie & Bill… what a wonderful gift!

Have YOU had a chance to see that production?

This afternoon I am sitting and watching the birds find food here in Pennsylvania. I pray with God’s grace, tomorrow we will be looking for birds in our Montana snow. They won’t be these colorful ones… but we’ll be happy with whatever feathered friends we find.

Photo by Frank Cone on Pexels.com

What kinds of birds do you have in your area this time of year?

Are any of yours this colorful?
Photo by Andrew Mckie on Pexels.com
Please keep an eye out – and listen for their song.
Happy Thanksgiving to you, my USA friends –
and Happy end of November to you all.
See ya tomorrow.

Pray for our safe flight back to Montana, okay?

Gift of Love


Dreams are coming true
For those of us who believe
Just live with patience

It’s the gift of time
That will allow us to wait
For God’s best timing

Meantime we bestow
The gift of love on others
Living in “The Dash”

Living in the Dash

This morning I read a post by

Sehr Jalil, Sehr Jalil | is there anything that is not art? | blog
who stated clearly and succinctly on her “About” page
what she STANDS FOR.

It made me think long and hard about what I would write if someone asked me what I stand for. Living in the dash, 1939 – ????, I need to realize that I am on the latter 1/4 of the dash line (if each quarter represents 1/4 of a century – because of course, I intend to live to be 100).

And I’ll still be playing my accordion in 2039… you bet!!

Photo by Immortal shots on Pexels.com

[Go ahead – smile!]

What Do I Stand For?

Give the question some thought and see what you come up with.
Here is what I wrote back to Sehr Jalil. (You should click on that link and see what SHE wrote in her blog about that! Quite interesting!!)

My response:

  • peace
  • love
  • honesty
  • kindness
  • shared joy
  • integrity

I believe these are the teachings of Christ, who said the greatest of these is LOVE. So I send you the gift of love today, my dear WP friends.

What do YOU stand for?

Have a love-filled day.
See ya tomorrow!

As I Get Older


As I get older, I realize:

  • things aren’t so urgent
  • laughter is a great anecdote for stress
  • it’s okay to be a bit off color
  • forgiveness is imperative
  • friends are priceless treasures
  • love dissolves distances
  • I may not always be right
  • But then again…
Photo by Gratisography on Pexels.com

Groucho Marx was one of my favorite comedians. He and Red Skelton always made my dad laugh. I can still remember him sitting in front of our black and white picture on the TV back in the late 40s, laughing til his eyes were teary at Groucho’s jokes. As I recall a few I am reminded that humor really is a way to share kindness because when we laugh, the “endorfins” brighten our spirit and feed the corners of our brains.

As I grow older, I remember it’s important to
Lighten up and laugh more often! Groucho said,

“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend,
inside a dog, it’s too dark to read.”

“Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them…
well, I have others.”

“Politics is the art of looking for trouble,
finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly,
and applying the wrong remedies.”

“Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.”

“I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening.
But this wasn’t it.”

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Don’t you love that Santa picture? Reminds me that everyday is a gift…
And we shouldn’t wait for once a year to open it.
Keep the sparkle alive as you grow older –
And make every day a day of
… kindness
… gratitude
… and remembering why you walked into that room!

See ya later!

Be Ready!


Today’s sermon by Rev. Steve Hundley
at Madison Valley Presbyterian Church in Ennis, MT
was based on the story of Zacchaeus.
Do you know the story?

If not (or even if you do),
here it is in a nutshell:
https://youtu.be/Fe7dTNID6h8

(When you click on that link
and hear the story creatively told
in delightful, child-like cartoon format,
be sure to click the back arrow and return here!)

Find Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1-10

Pretend you are short (I don’t have to pretend).
Pretend your name is Zacchaeus and you are hated.
You are hated because you are a lying, cheating tax collector.
You are lonely.

Then you learn that Jesus is coming to your town.
You’ve heard about Him – and you want to see Him.
But, to do so, to see above the crowd, you have to climb a tree.
Pretend you are up in that tree … looking down at Jesus.

Get in the mood for today’s message!

Be Ready!

There is a growing epidemic
Of loneliness in society today.
Surprisingly, the loneliest are young adults.
Next are empty-nesters, they say.

A third group are the elderly
Who are often seen sitting alone.
Checking an empty mailbox,
They nurse their ailments and groan.

People out there in our world are lonely.
Often it’s for a reason they can’t control.
Other times, it seems to be choices they make –
Like Zacchaeus, who chose his greedy, tax-collecting role.

Loneliness affects all kinds of folks, good and bad.
We cannot overcome loneliness by ourselves.
It takes the love and compassion of someone else
Who notices our empty emotional shelves.

If you are struggling with loneliness,
And you have come to church to heal it,
Look around and know the love of Christ
Is in the hearts of those around you. Can you feel it?

Zacchaeus climbed a tree so he could see Jesus.
This lonely, short, little man wanted a view
Of the man he had heard so much about.
Would you climb a tree to see Christ? In faith, will you?

Be ready – if you are lonely and you look
For God and love by goin’ somewhere strange.
Be ready – because God will find you there.
He’ll find you where you are; and you will change!

Be ready!

I’m lookin’ up to find you!
Reach out to the lonely.
Reach out in prayer, in hugs,
in compassion.

Have a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

Look up!!
See ya tomorrow.

Be Kind


Yesterday’s Blog

When I posted my blog yesterday (Speak Kindly), I mentioned that November is a month devoted to Thanksgiving (at least here in the USA that’s our focus). In addition to this attitude of Gratitude, I sent out an invitation to make it a month of KINDNESS. “Let’s make Kindness a HABIT,” I suggested.

In the Comments Section

My daughter who lives in Switzerland (and who reads my blog daily – thank you, DeDe), wrote a comment saying, “It should be that way every month of the year!”

Cultivating Kindness

She’s right, of course. It should be! If you search under the tag of Kindness on WordPress, you will discover it is a topic well covered. It’s not written about because it is an automatic human response, unfortunately. Kindness is something we really need to cultivate.

In Samantha’s blog,

The Art of Being Fabulous

Random acts of kindness is back!

By: Samantha Wharton In: Self

Samantha wrote,

“Lately, in the news, all I hear about are all the negative things happening.  I would like to focus on positivity.

It doesn’t take much to do something kind for someone.”

Then she listed some suggestions. Check out her blog.

Is Kindness that Hard?

In her blog, Sunday Sayings – Kindness, Forestwood wrote,

“Throughout our lives, we constantly hear sageful advice such as:

‘Treat one another as you would like to be treated yourself ‘– That wise old Confucian saying of ‘Do Unto Others as You would have Done Unto You.

“We hear this, we know this, well most of us implicitly know this, yet often despite this, ego takes over. People might become selfish, or narcissistic, or begin to look-out, only for themselves.”

Kindness Affects Our Mental Health

When our “Reptilian Brain” has its needs met (food, shelter and clothing), then we don’t have to focus on our survival. We don’t have to respond to life with the “Me First” attitude. We can reach out with our thoughts and our prayers, our words and our actions, to exhibit genuine kindness to others. In so doing, our own mental health is uplifted – and we find the world to be a better place. Better, because we are the kindness we want to see – and what we send into the lives of others, comes back into our own.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Reach out to someone with kindness today.
Make it intentional!

See ya later.

Alexandria Living – Life is Like a Loaf of Bread


Stuart’s story is magnificently told. Do click on the link and go to the magazine to read it! It will rise up like yeast in you and cause you to want to share it, too!

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

Storyshucker

Just a little announcement:

I’m excited to let you know I have another essay appearing in the current issue of Alexandria Living magazine!

It’s always a thrill to work with the kind folks at the magazine and as an Alexandria, Virginia resident it was especially fun to contribute.

Below is the link to my piece in the online version of Alexandria Living.  Check it out, and if you like, please comment on the magazine website in the space just below the essay. We would love to hear your feedback!

https://alexandrialivingmagazine.com/lifestyle/life-is-like-a-loaf-of-bread/

Thanks to all those who’ve asked what I’ve been up to lately. Blogging continues to be great fun and has proven to be an exciting pathway to opportunities like this. Exciting!

Stuart M. Perkins

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Reaching Out to Others


Reaching Out To Others

 

man and woman holding hands on brown wooden table

Happy Friday morning to you, my friends.
What’s on your calendar for today?

Many of you know that I am a retired educator
who enjoys spending my time volunteering.
I enjoy the spirit of “Paying it Forward.”
It’s not difficult to find people and places
where a helping hand is needed.

One of my favorite places to volunteer my time
is at our local nursing home.
I am a member of the auxiliary there.
At the beginning of each monthly meeting
we all recite this prayer together:

z- Prayer for Auxiliaries.JPG

When I read “all who are in distress of mind and body,”
I personalize it and think of the specific friends
who now live in the nursing home,
and remember them as the
independent, capable,
helpful folks they were…
that person is still in them!!

img_8998.jpg

Here is my friend, Elaine,
Always reaching out to others,
Always ready with a smile,
The life of every party!

Living now in half a room
in a nursing home,
dependent on others for meals,
transportation, shelter…
It must be hard!

Loneliness could set in
if caring people did not reach out
with generosity, discretion,
and gentleness.

My friend, Elaine, is one of the fortunate ones.
She has a son and daughters nearby.
They come regularly to visit
and to take her to church and to their homes.

Others are not so blessed.
They sit alone in their rooms,
waiting for the next meal, or
the next CNA to come in to check on them,
unless someone volunteers
to come and lead the Bingo game,
visit with them in their room
or on the patio on a good day,
or sit with them in the dining hall.

What can you do to reach out to others
who are in need of comfort, hope,
and companionship?

21369c58-2d9e-492c-a7fe-9f8c7e7a2a5e.jpeg

This wonderful lady lived for nearly 25 years
in our local nursing home.
Her mom visited her daily,
but could not care for her in the apartment
where she lived alone.
As Karen’s MS progressed, she became
less and less able to manage her own affairs.
But she was always a lion at heart.
A strong soul who inspired those around her.
This face painting and costume
was done for her one Halloween a few years ago
by my granddaughter.
What a joy to see my friend’s true spirit emerge!!

Here is another person who was a lion at heart!

IMG_4284

One Thanksgiving, we had my friend Gloria,
come to celebrate the holiday with us.
She lived in the nursing home the last 5 to 10 years
of her long and illustrious life
(she used to sing with the NY Opera!).
Getting to know her and spending time
talking to her about her life
was such a privilege!!

Another one of my friends
was one who lived alone in a log house
at the edge of the Madison Range
where the deer and the antelope roam.
One early December day we went together to the nail salon
and had matching polish jobs.
See the snowmen on our pinky fingers?

Hands On Christmas

If nursing homes
or visiting the elderly in their homes
are not your bag,
think of other places where you can
reach out to help others.

Today I am volunteering at the
Madison Valley Medical Center.
We “Purple Ladies” do a lot to raise money
for hospital  equiment and other needs,
and to save money by being the
receptionists at the front desk
daily from 8: to 5:
The last two Fridays each month are my turn.

ladiesaux-johnbishop.jpg

I’m the “shrimp” with the silver hair in the middle back.

Today is my day to serve.
Better get going.

Who will you reach out to today
with wisdom and humility
to help make their life better?

Jan @ MVMC
See ya later!

 

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