Good Friday

In the Christian world, this is a day like no other. It commemorates the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross. The belief is Jesus died for our sins so we could enter the Kingdom of heaven. I’m blown away even all these years later. Whatever beliefs you have, it’s hard not to believe there is something greater than this earth. Heaven, in my opinion, is a place where we’ll all be restored to health physically and spiritually, and we’ll have an even better existence for eternity. We may disagree about a lot of things. And that’s ok.

As kids, we were taught by the nuns pre-Vatican II that we are not worthy of what Jesus has done for mankind. Many, many prayers began, “Lord, I am not worthy.” And we’re not. By enduring a death by Crucifixion, Jesus wiped away a centuries old curse put on our souls when Adam and Eve sinned against God. The pageantry accompanying the services of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday really drove the point home. The dark church building, the dimming of the lights, the music, the litany spoken, the fire and brimstone voice of Monsignor Aughney, all made for a memorable experience.

I can’t imagine they still use that approach now. I haven’t attended those services in years. In the Methodist Church, I see a focus on how much God loves us. How special we are. They focus on after Christ’s death, not the crucifixion. The cross in the Protestant churches I’ve been in focus on the empty cross. What Jesus did for us after that horrible act. It’s a much more positive message. My God has never been an authoritarian God. He is not a punishing God. He guides me towards right over wrong. He gives us so much beauty in the world, in nature, and in our humanness. It’s our choice to use it for good or not.

Through my life, when I’ve forgotten God and strayed off my path, I’m reaping what I’m sowing. And I’m sorry when that happens. I know better. But I’m human. We all are. Let’s just stay the course, and do what we’re supposed to do. It really isn’t all that hard. We make it a lot harder than it is. Humans want what they want. They want it NOW.

Let’s just think about that aspect of our very human nature as we go from today towards Easter. You don’t have to be a religious person to be thoughtful and spiritual about being a better person. I try every day, and boy, can I fail quickly! We all do. Let’s collectively be better. How? Be Kind. Be Thoughtful. Be Courteous. Hold a door open. Pick up your litter if you drop something. Donate anything you don’t love or need. Reduce our excess.

Thank you for reading today. I will be here again tomorrow, and hope to see you, too. Have a beautiful weekend. Be Safe.

Spring-y Saturday

Today is the first day of Spring. Ah, yes, I believe we will make it now. Grandson Gavin is attending his first outdoor baseball practice today. I hope and pray we are able to attend his games this year. COVID has taken a lot from us. But, grass is greening up, allergies beginning, we know it’s Spring in Nebraska. During those spring days we can experience lots of weather changes. You can go from 60 degrees and calm to a real snow-dumping blizzard in 24 hours. Some of the bigger ones happen in April, and even in May. It never lasts very long, though. You won’t hear me complain, though. It’ll pass.

Gavin and his Dad, TJ. Two of my favorite guys! Outdoor Baseball Practice Begins TODAY!

One thing I’ve learned in my years on the planet, is things will always get better; and things could always be worse. Is it a glass half empty philosophy? No, I prefer to think it’s realistic. Just as spring always follows winter in nature, in our human lives take us from bad situations, to healing, even to gaining precious insights of all we’ve endured. New life replaces death. Growth expands a life, a soul, a mind. Gratitude and Attitude are everything.

My header photo today is a quilt I made, and the beautiful flower statue was a gift from my kids, Frankie, Nick, and Becky. It was from the times they were all still at home, the boys were working after school, and they pooled their resources and bought a series of these sculptures for me. I will treasure them forever. They pointed out to me they had human fingerprints on the petals; the Italian artist who created these was very precise. He made molds to hold the porcelain, and they bear his fingerprints. What a neat thing!

The Carpodimonte method goes back to the 1700 in Naples, Italy. They’re beautiful. I smile when I think of those kids spending their hard-earned money on me like that. They bought them from QVC, and were so proud. Good Times!

Life has so many passages for us to navigate. We are not meant to stay in one spot. Early death happens when people are too afraid to embrace the next stage of life. You cannot remain rooted in your past, it’s not a place to remain living. Memories are great, but your spirit is a living organism, it introduces every new spring to your soul. Your soul is where you discover new things and grow! Choose Springtime. Choose Creativity. Choose Life!

I love reading to little kids. I get all into the character’s voices, and sometimes the Grandkid’s look at me while I do the voices. They love it! I do too! I dream of having a book launch and be able to read to children. I’ll have get some people with toddlers and little ones. It would be so fun for me! And for them! I am thinking of having a pen name for my Kid-Lit, “Grandma Kathy.” What do you all think? I can add a page to the website for her, and one for “Jewell Publishing LLC.” Comments, please!

Many thanks to my friend, Billy McGuigan, the King of “Stuff We’ve Never Done Before.” I’m going to build my brand(s) all on one website. Just because no one’s ever done it, doesn’t mean it won’t work! Right, Billy? Your encouragement and Kate Whitecotton’s is so encouraging. I appreciate it so much! Folks, don’t forget about Billy’s new solo album, “Together.” The stories are rich. They’re real. They’re about love, moving on, uniting as a family in tough times, and all the stuff dreams are made of. They’re about living in a pandemic. The creativity soars. It’s a cure for COVID blues. Also, check out McGuigan Arts Academy. There are opportunities galore for your kids during school breaks and vacations. All COVID-safe, Socially Distanced.

Thanks for reading today. Get outside. Get some fresh air. Get moving. Shake up your routine today. Do something new. Listen to some good music along the way. Call an old friend. Call an elder in your family. Be Kind. Be Courteous. Be Thoughtful. The world will smile back at you. See you tomorrow, my friends.

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Shhhhh! The staff here at the Home Office in Gretna is sleeping! I’ve never made it into the office and not awakened them! Maybe we can get something done this morning before the incessant games of “Fetch” begin. So far, so good. The past few days, they’ve been outside a lot and love it. They are more tired than a three-year-old who plays out all day, comes in smelling like spring, and falls asleep on their dinner plate.

What does spring smell like? The kids would wear their hoodies outside. There was a chill in the air. They would smell like fresh air and dirt. Seriously! My favorite smell in the world. Next to smelling a freshly bathed baby in soft sleepers fall asleep on your shoulder. I never wanted to put them down. It’s been a long time since I held a baby.

First thing on my list today is to publish a story about our remodeling at the VFW Post 2503. We have transformed it into a beautiful room that should be more attractive to people looking for a rental room. In the Omaha area. Check it out on http://www.vfwpost2503.org this afternoon. I’m the Webmaster for them and myself. My brother-in-law Brad is the Grand Poobah of the Internet, though. He’s amazing.

I’m halfway finished reading my fellow author and friend’s book. Shannon Schofield now has two published books; one a memoir, and another one, “Busted Flat in Union Springs.” Shannon and her feral dog turned rescue dog turned pet wrote the story. Rescuing this guy, Martin McGhee, was a feat. The link takes you to Amazon, where you could purchase both of her books.

Shannon does a marvellous job of conversation with Martin as he asks questions and fills in the blanks of his memories. They rescued each other. And she respects where he came from. He accepts her love. Isn’t that what we ask for when we rescue an animal? We rescued both our Lexie and Roxie from the start. I’m tearing up while thinking of them when we got them – 3 1/2 and 4 pounds each. Their Mom was sick, so we got them at 4 weeks old. Very little. Shannon got Martin who was hurt and had a back leg amputated. Martin tells her of all his experiences. She listens. It’s an awesome concept. I’m thinking my grandson Gavin may enjoy reading it. I should finish it today. Good job, Shannon!

About an hour has passed since I sat down here to write. The staff is just now stirring. Hope they had a good nap. The wind is terrible this morning. Storms will happen after the Rockies have snow dumped on them to the tune of 32 – 91 INCHES. Yes, it’s true. My daughter Rebecca confirmed it. I hope Kayla’s birthday gift gets delivered Friday. Oh, well. It’ll do what it does, you know? Of course, the 91 inches if for up in the mountains, not the foothills.

As I’m wading through more videos of the Women in Publishing Conference, I want to thank you for reading today. I appreciate it so much. Catch Shannon’s book if you’d like something down to earth to read. Read to you children today, too. Make the time for it. You will see what good it does for them. I’ll see you tomorrow. Be Safe out there today. Be Kind. And be Courteous. The world needs more of it.