Posts Tagged ‘Speaking Out on Issues’

Here is “Yours Truly” ↑ anticipating a favorite meal at our nearby Lumber Inn, located in the City of Delafield:  roast pork, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy washed down with iced tea.  There was a time I’d have added caramel apple pie with a streusel crust and ice cream to the above feast, but I can no longer handle that much food in one sitting.  The pie and ice cream would be a meal in itself.

My husband and I were raised on REAL FOOD.  Our mothers fed us the way I fed our children, with the nutritional food groups represented in most of our meals—followed by dessert for extra “quality of life”.  Now, although I love an occasional foray into ethnic cuisines, I still love old-fashioned American farm style food most of all.

I have total sympathy and understanding for those whose health issues require dietary restrictions.  Joe is diabetic, so we carefully balance our carbohydrates.  But that doesn’t mean Joe has to cease enjoying treats.  He’s had more flack over the years from low blood sugar than from high, so his nightly dish of ice cream is a good safeguard against hypoglycemia. 

Excessive roughage in the form of grainy, chewy breads and an overdose of raw vegies will make me ill for several days.  In contrast to current food fads, I must eat a good share of cooked, even refined foods.  Raw fruits agree with me in any quantity, while raw veggies must be consumed with extreme caution.  Fortunately, the above plate of roast pork (a senior portion!) comforts both my body and soul!

Every individual is different!  That is why I get a little “testy” when I hear the frequent diatribes about food.  I do not go around preaching that everyone should eat roast lamb, beef, and pork—even though these meats are the kindest and most palatable of foods to me.  Therefore I have great difficulty listening to all the trendy propoganda about the glories of white chicken.  My chicken soup may be the world’s best—but when it come to solid meat on my plate I prefer to stare down a lamb chop, beef tenderloin, or a bit of the piggy. 

The issue is not so much what we eat, but rather how much!  Reasonable eating helped to keep my parents on planet earth for a long time—93 years for my mom, and 102 for my dad.  Of course genes played a major role as well.  Most of us can ignore the ever-fluctuating food fads, and thrive on down-to-earth REAL FOOD in moderation!  As the old saying goes, “Call me anything, but please don’t call me ‘late for dinner’ “!

Margaret L. Been, ©2011

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“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”  3rd John 4

As a mother of six adult children, I rejoice without ceasing.  All six of our children are walking in the truth, saved by the shed blood of Jesus Christ, and trusting His Resurrection Life.  What blessing!  What Grace!

The spiritual blessing of children walking in the truth works out in tangible, earth terms.  Today one of our daughters said something to me that has made me weep for joy.  She said, “I realize that my roots are in you and Dad.”

Such a simple statement, yet so profound.  To know our roots is to understand who we are.  Knowing ourselves frees us to be the individuals God created us to be.  No wonder families are so vital to God’s economy.  Where we came from is significant.  Genealogies matter.  When people know and find comfort in their common roots, nothing can separate them in essence—although geographically they may live continents and oceans apart.

When we know our roots we can say “This is our land; this is our place,” even when our feet may of necessity trod on foreign parts far from the land we love.  Because I have roots, Wisconsin is my place and always will be—even during those times when I must travel.

Because of my family history, other places are also “my land, my place”:  locales such as the Pennsylvania Hills, the American West, and the Scottish Highlands.  Each of us is a separate self; yet each of us is a composite of those who have gone before—the soil thy worked and the seas they sailed. 

Whether pleasant or otherwise, history matters.  The past sheds light on the present, and only a fool will try to escape or block out that light.  Like God’s Word, the past is a lamp for our feet—illuminating the present and lending a glow of perspective to the future.  I have children who walk in the truth and acknowledge their roots!  Truly there is no greater joy on earth! 

Tonight I will drift to sleep with our daughter’s melodious voice singing in my ears, “I know that my roots are in you and Dad.”

Margaret L. Been—All Rights Reserved

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Every idiosyncrasy and flaw of man has been around since the fall of Adam and Eve.  Perhaps it’s only in recent history, that we’ve tagged these flaws.  Now we have a variety of “isms”. 

I’ve just learned a tag for one more fallen viewpoint–“ageism”:  the lack of respect for, and typecasting of, individuals who are mature in age.  Actually, this deviation may be far more common today–especially in our United States.  Many other cultures have traditionally honored and looked up to their elderly people, and still do.

Although I didn’t know the term, I’ve been aware of ageism for some time.  A couple of years ago Joe and I waited for our flu shots in a County Health Office when a man, apparently in his 80s, sat down near us in the waiting room.  Presently, one of the County Health nurses came out to talk to the man.  Although he was certainly “all together” and “with it”, the nurse talked to him as if he were a 4 year old child. 

She knelt on the floor so that she was his height, and spoke deliberately and patronizingly into his face as if he were imcapable of being addressed as a “normal” person.  There was no indication that the gentleman was hard of hearing or senile–and even if he had been either of those, there was no excuse for the nurse’s demeaning behavior.  Joe and I were shocked at this insulting spectacle. 

Ageism is born of stereotypical thinking–which is really not thinking at all.  It’s abject brainlessness!  No one should be cast into a mold–regardless of color, age, or anything else. 

Years ago in a public meeting, I heard a woman speaker make a dogmatic statement:  “Older women should always wear their hair short.”  Then the speaker went on to say rather sarcastically, “Can you imagine a 60 year old with long hair?”  I was 57 when I heard this clueless talk.  I had long hair at the time, and I liked long hair.  At that very moment I vowed I would never, never, never wear my hair short (although I had “been there, done that” for years as a young girl).  I decided that my hair would always be long–and if I were to lose my hair due to illness or age, I would wear a long wig!  (Actually, long hair is so much easier for me to manage than short–I wouldn’t trade those inches even if I wanted to.)

Sadly, mature women sometimes stereotype themselves in keeping with the world’s view of how an older woman should dress.  The world and most of my peers expect us to wear slacks and sweat shirts or polyester blouses.  I think I’m the only 70 something woman I know who wears dresses and skirts nearly every day, not just for church!  Jeans are great to wear for scrubbing floors, gardening, fishing, and hiking.  But for every other purpose on earth, I will wear skirts or dresses–long and swirly, beaded and fringy–and funky blazers, vests, blouses, shawls, boots, and HATS!

The current popularity of “slacks for women at all times” is not a matter of economics.  A variety of clothing is readily available at a reasonable cost–in catalogues, discount marts, and resale shops.  If artsy attire is not another woman’s choice–if she prefers pants and sweat shirts–that’s fine!  Personal choice in fashion is priceless. 

But my heart aches for the mature woman who would like to break the mold in which society has cast her:  the lady who wants to dress in youthful, funky styles, yet hangs back due to peer pressure!  Shouldn’t the word “mature” imply that we are free and secure enough to be ourselves, while blissfully ignoring the dictates of ageism or any other doctrine of conformity in matters that are purely personal?  

Whatever her age, every woman’s style (and lifestyle) should focus on whatever is right for her, and whatever best expresses her unique personhood within the creative boundaries of human decency and consideration for other people.  Peer pressure is ludicrous for teenagers.  Conformity is unthinkable for adults!

What some consider to be the “twilight years” are really the “dawning years”–a time when a whole new day stretches out before us.  Free from many of the responsibilities we enjoyed for most of our lives, we can now venture forth wherever our imaginations and creative longings lead us.  We can take classes and join clubs.  We can read 800 page books.  We can travel, or we can thrive on staying at home.  We can compose music, paint pictures, throw pots (on a wheel or at the wall), publish books, or whatever else we desire to do. 

Even if we look old, feel old, and are “as old as the hills” we do not have to think old, dress old, or act old!  As for me (and my wardrobe and lifestyle) I’ve declared an all-out war on ageism!

Margaret L. Been–All Rights Reserved

NOTE:  A picture is worth a thousand words, or maybe a word is worth a thousand pictures.  Either way, you readers who are picture and word lovers can be my guest on http://northernview.wordpress.com/  where I have matched paintings with poems.

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. . . it’s CHRISTMAS! 

This morning I read the Airstream Communications weather report:  “Winter storm, snow batters west, heading east.”

I ache for travelers, as I recall countless snow filled Christmas holidays when we were on the road or waiting for loved ones at airports.  My husband and I have driven on treacherous highways and lingered for hours in midnight airports, clogged due to delayed or cancelled flights.  Indeed, it seems like an unwritten law that planes from Denver to Milwaukee will be delayed for hours around Christmas–and invariably at night! 

Yet no matter what the weather, it’s Christmas!

We have experienced some Christmas holidays which were far from “merry”–times shadowed by the death of a family member, or the rebellion of a loved one.  And there were celebrations where I went through all the festive motions with a broken heart due to fractured relationships!

Yet no matter what our circumstances, it’s Christmas!

Recently we attended a preschool Christmas program held at a huge church, once known for upholding the Gospel and God’s Word.  The program featured a manger scene with all the main players entering in their turn.  When it was time for the wise men to join the group, they were announced as “wise people”. 

Evidently it’s no longer “correct” to refer to wise men–even though the Biblical travellers (who didn’t actually arrive on the scene until about 2 years after Jesus’s birth) were historical figures, and men!  

Then the adult narrator of the program talked about “Jesus”, but I’m not sure which Jesus he meant.  He spoke of a Jesus who wants to come into our hearts “so that we’ll know how much we are loved by God”. 

Well, good, and true!  But the life changing message of the Christian faith, the very core of the Gospel, was omitted.  Christmas is the prelude to Calvary and Christ’s resurrection.  However the narrator never mentioned mankind’s innate sin condition and our desperate need for salvation.  The children’s program presented a bloodless gospel, in other words no good news at all! 

Yet no matter what the world says or does in its attempt to obscure or distort God’s truth, it’s Christmas!  Our Lord has come.  He is risen!  He will come again as promised. 

“For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.” Isaiah 9:6-7

Margaret L. Been–All Rights Reserved
Note:  Now it’s 12/27, and I’ve read the ominous news of events on the plane arriving from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day. 
Our daughter, Martina, travels from Nigeria to the U.S. via Amsterdam–sometimes coming through Detroit.  (This Christmas, Martina is on a safari in Kenya.)
Here is the sobering bottom line:  one never knows!  But Christmas is still Christmas!   MLB

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Sundays were fun in my home as I was growing up.  After church, we enjoyed a special dinner–roast chicken or a beef pot roast.  My mother’s apple pie was second to none.  During “indoor weather” our family played games such as Monopoly or Rummy.  We joked and laughed a lot, munched pop corn, and wound up our Sunday afternoon by listening to some of our favorite radio programs.

But on Sunday, December 7th, 1941 there were no games, no jokes, no laughter.  We listened to the radio, but not to our favorite programs.  We listened to news about a far-away place called Pearl Harbor.

I recall my mother explaining to me why the news was so somber.  I know that as a sheltered eight year old I couldn’t begin to comprehend the meaning of WAR.  But I’ll never forget that Sunday, and the silence that descended on our home.  The memory brings tears. 

We are fortunate that the enemy at Pearl Harbor is no longer our enemy.  I’ve been reminded of that fact many times over the years, as I’ve sorrowed over how millions of Japanese people suffered from the resolution of conflict–though resolution was necessary!

I believe we must never forget Pearl Harbor, just as we must never forget the American Revolution and other times when we were faced with tyranny, injustice, and aggression. 

Likewise, we must never forget those tragic times that we, as a nation, have condoned injustice and tyranny toward some of our own people:  blacks, native Americans, and other ethnic minorities.

The memory of December 7th, 1941 reminds me that freedom is worth fighting for, and must be defended!  We cannot combat tyranny with compromise.  We cannot hold hands and talk about “peace” with nations who do not begin to value peace, nations whose ideologies focus on abusive power, vengeance and hatred. 

We cannot disarm when confronted with cultures raised on violence and a mentality that glorifies the slaughter of “infidels”.

I remember Pearl Harbor, and the tragic years of conflict that followed in its wake.  I remember the Americans and our Allies who fought.  Because of them, we are here today–still free, in a country more blessed than any other nation in history.

Margaret L. Been–All Rights Reserved

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