Pings and Tangents

Post (c) Doris McCraw

Doris
Have you ever had those moments where something you hear hits you in the proverbial solar plexus? Sometimes it comes out of nowhere and other times, it’s like you are looking for it. Once you hear those words, I call them pings, you can’t forget how they made you feel. Then, you take off on tangents of thought that may or may not have anything to do with the initial words you heard or read.

 
Lately there have been many such pings and subsequent tangents, fugues on a theme.

 
“We don’t get to chose our time. Death is what gives live meaning, to know your days are numbered, your time is short” “Dr. Strange”- the movie

 
“Everybody dies. The only difference is what you do til then.” The Young Riders- “The Blood of Others”

 
“Like a wind crying endlessly through the universe, time carries away the names and deed of conquerors and commoners alike. And all that we were, all that remains is in the memories of those who cared we came this way for a brief moment.” Twilight Zone- “Paladin of the Lost Hour” by Harlan Ellison.

EVENTIDE

 
As I pondered these coincidences, the synchronicity, my mind traveled back to my years working with juvenile delinquents. So many lives that moved through mine. Some died, sometimes violently. Others are spending their adult lives behind bars. But there are those who have made it, making a life for themselves that have nothing to do with the mistakes of their youth.

 
So what is our reason for being here? What do we offer? How can we make a difference in the lives of ourselves and others?

 
All three pings are about choices. The episode of “The Young Riders” is about a condemned man being taken for his hanging. Throughout the episode the man shows compassion and teaches his young escorts what life is about. At the end, they want to let him go, but he refuses. Each person can offer advice and show the reality of choices. episode clip click here

 
The story by Harlan Ellison from his book “Strange Words”, was adapted for television by Ellison and starred Danny Kay. To this day, the above words from the end of the show, have a profound effect on me. I never tire of seeing the episode or reading the short story. We never know when we will offer something to someone that they never realized they needed. Harlan Ellison reading and excerpt, click here You tube video- https://youtu.be/hB0oXtUDxes

 
So when you get those ‘pings’, follow them and see where they lead you. They may offer some answers to questions you didn’t even know you had.

 
A song to touch your heart Click Here

 

Doris McCraw writing as Angela Raines,

Speaker, Author, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women’s History

For a list of Angela Raines Books: Here

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Every step you take should be a prayer.
And if every step you take is a prayer then you will always be walking in a sacred manner.
Oglala Lakota Holyman.

A New Me

Abbie J. Taylor 010

Recently while my homemaker from the local senior center was cleaning, she found plaster falling from the ceiling near my kitchen door. Apparently, it had gotten wet. This could only mean one thing. My roof was leaking again.

Why didn’t I see this? Well, with my limited vision, I don’t see things unless they’re close to me. Although I walk by my kitchen door every day, it never occurred to me to look up.

When my homemaker pointed out the offending area, I saw it, and it looked awful. I could just reach it by standing on tiptoe, and when my finger touched the spot, more flecks of plaster went flying. Yuck!

My roof was replaced in 2008 when I bought the house, and I was assured it would last at least thirty years. It wasn’t even ten years old. I called the same roofer, and after taking a look, he reported that the material he used was only supposed to last ten years, and it was aging. Like me, I thought.

As long as I’m getting part of my roof replaced, why not have my me replaced? Maybe I could get a younger me who can see, a me who doesn’t recoil at the prospect of dealing with contractors and insurance bureaucrats, a me who doesn’t hate being around any kind of construction, a me who can drive and not rely on others to get me everywhere, especially in winter, a me with more confidence when walking in treacherous conditions and less fear of falling on ice, braking bones, and ending up in a nursing home.

When I suggested as much to a friend though, she pointed out that with better eyesight, I might not like the way the world looks. It also occurred to me that with no disability, I wouldn’t earn income from social security. To make car payments and support my writing habit, I’d have to go back to my forty-hour-a-week job conducting activities with nursing home residents who fell on ice and broke bones.

Although the other features of a new me would be nice, this investment will have to wait until I get the roof fixed. Apparently, although my homeowner’s insurance will cover fixing the plaster on my ceiling, it won’t cover the replacement of part of my roof unless the damage was a result of a storm. Hmm, maybe with a better me, I could get up on the roof and make it look like storm damage.

***

Note: After I wrote the above, the insurance adjuster came and said that a piece has fallen off the roof, so it’s definitely storm damage. Whether it’s the type of storm damage my policy covers remains to be seen.

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Abbie Johnson Taylor is the author of a romance novel, two poetry collections, and a memoir. Her work has appeared in Labyrinth, Magnets and Ladders, and other publications. She lives in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, she cared for her late husband, totally blind and partially paralyzed by two strokes.

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Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

Click to hear an audio trailer.

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July Fourth Quotes and Thoughts

Post by Doris McCraw

edit hhj spc

Today is a National Holiday in the United States. I thought this time around I would let you read and hear what others have to say about our Holiday and Freedom.

Let’s begin with Home Free and their latest video.

 

This quote may be obvious, but how many of us think of July 4th this way?

The United States is the only country with a known birthday. ~James G. Blaine

Of course we all salute those who created this democracy and have kept it going. That means we can also salute ourselves. Every time we take part in the choices and governing of the country, we keep the idea of democracy alive. That means voting, engaging in discourse, but leaving anger and hate outside.

We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it. ~William Faulkner

Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it. ~Thomas Paine

Where liberty dwells, there is my country. ~Benjamin Franklin

sunday twain quote

Mark Twain supplied an interesting piece. Written near the end of his life, it puts another face to what we call our country’s birthday. I’m sure not all will like it, but the wonderful thing about living here: we may not agree, but we cannot control another person’s thoughts, nor should we. We can only see where we need to improve by allowing all discourse. Was Twain being serious of just very cynical? I leave it to you to decide.

To-morrow is Hell-fire Day, that English holiday which we have celebrated, every Fourth of July, for a century and a quarter in fire, blood, tears, mutilation and death, repeating and repeating and forever repeating these absurdities because neither our historians nor our politicians nor our schoolmasters have wit enough to remind the public that the Fourth of July is not an American holiday. However, I doubt if there is a historian, a politician, or a schoolmaster in the country that has ever stopped to consider what the nationality of that day really is. I detest that English holiday with all my heart; not because it is English, and not because it is not American, but merely because this nation goes insane on that day, and by the help of noise and fire turns it into an odious pandemonium. The nation calls it by all sorts of affectionate pet names, but if I had the naming of it I would throw poetry aside and call it Hell’s Delight. ~Mark Twain, 1908

SURVIVAL

I will leave you with some additional words to challenge your thoughts.

Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better. ~Albert Camus

For what avail the plough or sail, or land or life, if freedom fail? ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Those who won our independence believed liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty. ~Louis D. Brandeis

Wishing everyone a wonderful July 4, filled with joy, peace and love wherever you live.

Of course I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you about my newly released story in the anthology “One Hot Knight” a collection of five Medieval Stories.

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Angela Raines is the pen name for Doris McCraw. Doris also writes haiku posted five days a week at – http://fivesevenfivepage.blogspot.com and has now passed one thousand haiku and photos posted on this blog. Check out her other work or like her Amazon author page:  http://amzn.to/1I0YoeL