Dogwood Ramblings

Three excellent “R’s” by which to live are: Respect for self; Respect for others; Responsibility for all your actions.  I read a book recently that reminded me there is only one person who can control your actions, your  temper.  That person is you.  One can blame, blame, blame parents, society, school and government for their behaviors, but when it comes right down to it blame belongs to the individual, regardless of how one is raised, no matter their circumstances.  So, before you curse someone, before you clench your fist to strike, before you throw your trash out the window of your vehicle, and before you run someone off the road (road rage), do remember that you and only you can control your actions.  Your children learn more from your actions than from your words.

Referring to the recent and disgusting act of our government to force religious entities to pay for abortions, contraceptives, etc. which is against their belief, I received a comment from a friend:  “The one thing nobody has yet mentioned, which I find disappointing, however, is that this is not just about church freedom.  It’s about freedom period!  It does not matter a tittle who is forced to pay for it, whether the govt., or the buck passed to the insurance companies, the drug companies, or the doctors and hospitals – [it is always the taxpayer in the long run, italics mine]. It’s not even about the cost of any or all of those things rising due to being forced to provide it.  It’s about a government of law and not of men. If freedom of religion goes, so goes all other rights.  It’s not about anyone’s opinion, preference, bias on religion or anything else.  It’s about whether anyone or everyone in government can suspend our bill of rights.”

“One of the penalties of not participating in politics is that you will be governed by your inferiors.”….Plato

Another friend sent me the following uplifting predictions for 2012:

1. The Bible will still have all the answers.
2. Prayer will still be the most powerful thing on Earth..
3. The Holy Spirit will still move.
4. God will still honor the praises of His people.
5. There will still be God-anointed preaching.
6. There will still be singing of praise to God.
7. God will still pour out blessings upon His people.
8. There will still be room at the Cross.
9. Jesus will still love you.
10. Jesus will still save the lost when they come to Him.

Wonderful phone visit with son Ryan from Southern California after a few phone tag episodes.  He said they finally got some much needed rain.  I’m waiting to hear from my sister who is undergoing some medical tests.  My friend John called from near Sacramento, California and said they had some much needed rain.  I told them of our few days of single digits, then the 3” or so of snow, then the thaw.  On Wednesday a friend pulled into my driveway.  She was on her way to Ava in the heavy fog and just before reaching my driveway four deer jumped across the road in front of her.  I encouraged her to continue into Ava, just drive slow.  Later she told me as soon as she got below the Dogwood area the fog was gone.  Granddaughter Regina also called from California and says this summer her family will be moving to the State of Washington.  She had hoped to visit here first but that cannot be.

Patsy Williams called with some exciting news, she is great grandma again.  Scott’s daughter Cherise gave birth to a baby boy, Matthew Scott Schaaf on Friday.  Matthew arrived weighing 4 lbs. 1 oz. so will be in the Neonatal ICU at St. John’s for a few weeks.  Patsy also said little Matthew arrived on what would have been the 58th anniversary of Patsy & Jerry’s wedding.  The Williams family is elated and will appreciate your prayers that little Matthew gains weight quickly so he can go home.

Upon waking Sunday morning my thoughts went to some former neighbors, the first we met after moving here in 1975.  The woman had walked up to the front porch, in spite of my Lab and Rottweiler, but didn’t come on the porch.  She said, “I’m Ada Elizabeth Lakey and that there in the car is my husband, Floyd.”  Well, my first thought was that Willie had moved me to Dogpatch going by her appearance and the way she spoke.  Lizzie and Floyd turned out to be some of the best neighbors we ever had.  They brought us fresh food from their garden, picked berries on our land and always gave us one-fourth of what they picked.  They cut firewood here also and not only stacked the tops nicely, they brought us one-fourth of what they cut and split.  Lizzie taught our sons how to properly split firewood and how to haul and stack hay.  This just goes to show you one cannot tell a book by the cover.

If you recall their house near the corner of AK and Hwy 14 (now gone), Lizzie built it herself, two stories high.  Lizzie invited us to a Brush Arbor at their place at which event she was saved and it changed many of her ways.  We miss them.  As I’ve said before, too bad no one ever wrote their life stories and what a movie that would have made.  Lizzie’s brother Robert was our neighbor also and a fine one at that, as are many of the Lee Families.

Sunday afternoon we had a game day for our senior members after Mass.  It has been some while since I last played Pinochle but did OK.  Some played checkers, and there were several other games available.  I popped in to son Randy’s on the way home from church and saw a car with a California license plate.  Randy Nash was visiting there.  I hadn’t seen Randy in some years and recognized his face but could not come up with his name (I’m terrible with names!)  Randy’s parents, Ronnie & Mary Nash, were among some of the first people we met after moving here, wonderful people.  Ronnie Nash hired Willie to drive the farm milk truck for a couple of years.  Sometimes after the morning milking of our cows I would ride along with Willie and there are many interesting and funny tales to tell about those days.

In closing I give you this quote from George Washington, sent by a friend: “Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence, (I conjure you to believe me fellow citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake; since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of Republican Government.” – George Washington