Sunday, November 27, 2016

Warning: this may not be 
   politically correct 

but we're friends!

The Book of Revelation brings laughter?

Who would think you’d hear so much laughter when studying the book of Revelation in the New Testament?  It’s full of such gruesome details. 

Approximately 15 women and men, from different Christian denominations, gather at Wangen Prairie Church every week.  There is no hesitancy about sharing their opinions!  Or their laughter!

And each scripture verse gets a “going over”.

The book of Revelation is filled with symbolism and horrible descriptions of pestilences that will be released on the earth at the “end of days”.

As the group progressed in their study, they came to an interesting point in Revelation 8:1. It stated: “When he opened the seventh seal there was silence in heaven…”

They all became very quiet when pondering this serious thought: “silence... in heaven”? 

But then one gal spontaneously quipped: “Guess that means none of us will be there!” 

The laughter bounced off the walls!  I think it’s even possible it could have broken up any “silence in heaven”!

Can you handle not being “politically correct”?

The volunteer board of directors at the local public library was discussing the plan for the staffs’ vacation days for the Christmas holidays.  

It wasn’t until I had heard that religious reference several times that I realized we were not all Christians here. 
I began wondering if maybe we should rather be using the term of winter holidays or something.

At that point I looked at the board chairman and said: Oh, I just remembered... you’re Jewish!

He retorted: “But I put up my stocking!  I accept presents!”
And he had me laughing!

How delightful that we can share moments of humor and comradeship even though we have differing concepts in our beliefs.

(Now I’ve got to figure out what kind of celebration Hanukkah brings that I can enjoy too!)



Saturday, November 19, 2016

The "Ripple Effect"...

“Pass it on!”

The idea of “acts of kindness” has been popularized in recent years. Before that - folks just did it naturally I guess!
Last Sunday was even titled: “World Kindness Day”! (I don’t know how well that came across in some areas on this planet!)
Anyway... I got this suggestion from my son, Scott:  Can acts of kindness be like a pebble dropping in the water and causing a good ripple effect?  He explained: “For all the people pissed off about the election - this is a perfect time to use their ‘pebble’ (meaning themselves) to cause a positive ripple in the ocean in which we all live and positively affect someone near to them.  
“Do what you can... do the right thing for someone of a different color, or religion, or economic status, or just out of spite if that helps motivate you, and begin by creating that ripple.  This is the perfect time, with our problems out in the open, to begin with our own little ripples.”

So here goes my "Pebble - Ripple"...
So I’m starting a new column in the Beacon with some of the good things I’ve seen and I hope you’ll share your stories with us in the future.   

Oh oh!  Warning light in car...    
The warning light in my car came on and showed that I needed to get the oil changed.  My husband had recently died and I couldn’t find any records on when he had last done this.  So I brought it to Soulfisher and they explained their charges.  Go for it, I said.
A short time later, owner Mark Norton came out to the reception area and explained that they didn’t need to do anything.  Everything looked good and all the fluids were at the correct level.  
They had checked on the internet and found the oil had been changed but it didn’t say where.  They think the previous time the mechanic just didn’t reset the button.
It could last another 5000 miles.
I looked at the rust on my old car and wondered if it would even last that long!
But I was good to go - at no charge. 
Keep in mind that I would never have known it was OK -  if they hadn’t taken good care of me!

 Whoops! I hadn’t remembered the price!
Then there’s the time I was getting apples to slice up and dehydrate for the grandkids.  I’m not a grandma who makes cookies... but the kids seem to like these apple slices!  
So I headed out to one of our local orchards and brought a tiny bag of my dehydrated apple slices from last year as a treat for John Zimmer, the owner of the Sogn Valley Orchard.
 I was planning to select some of the softer apples that are easier for me to core.  But the price was a higher than I expected and I must have looked a little disappointed because John asked me: is that OK?  What were you thinking?  
I had been thinking about $10 less. 
He said, OK.  
And I replied, No... you do a lot of work to produce these apples.  Just give me what the normal charge would be.
He smiled and headed to the back room for the apples.
When he came back I questioned him... is this what you normally sell for that price?  He just smiled again.  
I said, “OK, I’ll pay more.”
He refused.
He said my gift of dehydrated apple slices was worth the difference!
(Sometimes it’s really hard to do business with the local folks!) 

Now it’s your turn!
So Pass It On!  Start new “Ripples”!  Share your good stories by emailing them to Rosie at or call the Beacon, 263-3991 or drop them off at the Beacon front desk.

And by starting a "ripple effect" by the good things we see or do... we might help make the world a little kinder - every day!

Friday, November 11, 2016

You change... not me!

The plane was loading and I found my seat.
It was in the middle of three.
I settled in to make the best of the flight home.
I tend to be a bit tense when flying. (Like really!)

You want what?

A woman next to me in the aisle seat (the place I would have preferred) started a conversation.  She asked me if I would move over to the window seat because her friend was coming and had that one and they wanted to sit next to each other.
I considered this although I didn’t want that seat because I don’t like heights and the temptation to look out and see clouds below me is not comforting!  (Yes, I know I could lower the shade on the window.)
But then I had another idea.
If she wanted to sit next to her friend, would she trade her aisle seat for my middle seat?
Then they would be together.
She shook her head strongly and stated: “No.” She wanted the aisle seat.
Oh, I thought... so you want others to change but not you.


I could consider that she might have had a medical condition that she didn't want to share.
But this episode made me smile.  I should probably wonder how many times I also want others to change... but not me.
Anyway, I took the window seat and was really more comfortable than I would have been between the two of them!
But I texted my family that I was not in the seat that had been assigned me.  This was to let them know in case we crashed and all the bodies were burned beyond recognition, etc.  
Yep, I’m that kind of flyer!
But also - once I recognize a negative thought, I can also think on the positive side of flying and how safe it is compared to just driving to the airport!
And somehow just writing this stuff down makes it better.  Guess it helps to laugh at yourself too.

He’s a “what”?

This brings to mind another time I was sitting in the middle seat.  My husband Paul and I were taking an early morning flight to the west coast.  Paul had the aisle seat and the fellow next to me in the window seat was wearing a hoodie and had consumed two or three Bloody Mary’s or something - and it wasn’t 7 a.m. yet!
It crossed my mind that he might be living out the old saying... “eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die!”... or was a terrorist.  (I don't know why I had that last thought but I figure they can come in all forms and sizes.)
Because we were so tightly seated next to each other I didn’t dare whisper this thought to my husband. Then the fellow settled down and fell asleep.
When we were almost to our destination he jerked upright and slung his arm across me pinning me in my seat.
My initial reaction was: “Oh SH#%T!  He really is a terrorist!”
But then he looked at me startled and slid back down in his seat.  It was just a muscle spasm.  
We landed without incident and as we walked away from the plane my husband whispered to me... “Doesn’t he look like a terrorist?”  

I just smiled.