Democracy .. Black History Month

Democracy

by Langston Hughes

Democracy will not come Today, this year

Nor ever

Through compromise and fear.

I have as much right As the other fellow has To stand

On my two feet

And own the land.

I tire so of hearing people say,

Let things take their course.

Tomorrow is another day.

I do not need my freedom when I’m dead. I cannot live on tomorrow’s bread.

Freedom

Is a strong seed Planted

In a great need.

I live here, too. I want freedom Just as you.

affectionately yours, Laura

Hello, February!

You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,

Love like you’ll never be hurt,

Sing like there’s nobody listening,

And live like it’s heaven on earth.

~William W Purkey~

Today I am thankful

  • Sun is shining in my window.
  • My coffee is extra good.
  • I had a fantastic time with friends last night.
  • I found peace of mind to a situation that has had me in distress.

Be careful on the whole dancing like there’s nobody watching situation .. my court date is pending .. or at least wear clothes!

affectionately yours, Laura

Climbing to Higher Ground

BullI recently read a story that has become my current mantra.

It went like this — a farmer’s prize bull fell into a deep hole. Unable to get him out, he gathered his neighbors to brainstorm on how to get his bull out. They failed to come up with a workable solution.

They came to an agreement that the humane thing to do was to put his bull out of his misery since he could not be saved.

They began to shovel dirt into the hole. With each shovelful, the bull shook off the earth and began to stomp the dirt underneath him.

After a time, the farmers had shoveled enough dirt into the hole that the bull was able to just climb out. They didn’t bury him at all!

The prize bull just kept shaking it off and slowly climbed to higher ground.

Today I am thankful

  • I had a delightful conversation with an old friend last night. It left me with a warm heart.
  • I am meeting with a new member of my medical team today. I call it “blind date therapy” because you just never know if you will connect or not. Nevertheless, with insurance changes, I am thankful for options.
  • My grandson gave me a candle for Christmas, and I have gotten so much joy from it. Its smell is soothing, and it is calming.
  • I got a new, used Wii console. Can’t wait to hook it up!

The bull story resonated with how I feel about my life right about now.

I feel like I am figuratively stuck in a hole. I have the support people around me trying to help. I just can’t seem to get myself moving and involved. The desire is there, my ability to get into motion is coming slowly.

When I do get going, and the “dirt” rains down on me, I am not using it positively like that bull in the story did. I have been letting it bury me. I made it paralyze my progress.

My lesson is rather than being buried, I have to stomp it under me to climb to the higher ground. I added Stevie Wonder’s HIgher Ground to my playlist for motivation.

So, I have to remind myself to “shake it off” just like that bull did. Little by little time will pass, my situation will change, and every day I stay focused on positive choices.

Like that bull, the day will come that I climb out of this figurative hole I feel like I am in. Each day comes and goes, and with it, my life flourishes and I continue to grow further into the woman I strive to be.

affectionately yours, Laura

revised from blog 21January14

Taking a Stand

maxfield parrish

Maxfield Parrish

The hardest times of my life have been those that I have had to take a stand for myself. The times I had to chose — me.

What makes it so very hard is it means I had to make choices that for my well-being, I had to change something in my world.

We make choices every day. Those decisions become habits. Those habits become the pattern of your life. I can almost guarantee you got up on the same side of the bed, brushed your teeth in the same pattern, put your pants on with the same leg first.

It’s human nature. We are creatures of habit. It’s when we get ourselves into patterns of bad habits that life becomes complicated.

It’s the lack of exercise that leads to health issues. Self-medicating to compensate for unhappiness. It’s staying in that job because it’s a bitch, but, a hassle to look for a new one, It’s staying in that relationship because you don’t want to be alone.

Taking a stand is changing a habit. It starts one day at a time. It begins with being tired of being unhappy. May it is looking in the mirror and not liking what you see. Maybe it is getting brave and deciding to be alone is better than compromising who you are for love.

Today I am thankful

  • My holiday tree lights are lovely and twinkling.
  • My house is becoming a home and finally looking and smelling like me.
  • I am delighted to be at home. I feel blessed to have a home, the security, to be content, and never take that for granted.
  • Frankie and Grace are back on Netflix’s!

I have to take a stand on some things in my life. My life recently has been a jumble of moving houses and the holidays.  It became easy to slide into some unhealthy patterns.

I am learning in all areas of my life, it is best to stand for yourself.

It takes 20+ days to create a habit. A choice of how we are treated, a choice of what we eat or drink, a choice to do something different. A choice to change a habit is a change in your world. Chose you.

“She who is brave is free.”

affectionately yours, Laura

Words Have Power

“I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon! And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say ‘Me too’ again.” ~ Oprah Winfrey ~

Today I am thankful

  • I am gifted in ways that are not tangible. Those gifts can never be taken from me or destroyed by malicious intent. I never take that for granted.
  • I spent a delightful weekend with my tribe|family. Unconditional love is healing beyond any medication that can be prescribed.
  • Some views of nature are priceless.

There are powerful words spoken that you hear and you get goose bumps on your arms. The message engages your brain in all manners. It touches you mentally, spiritually, and it triggers that physical response.

You think “Those will be remembered and make a difference in history.”

When I heard Winfrey speak last night at the Golden Globes, I had that feeling. I had the sense that it was more than an acceptance speech of her Cecil B DeMille lifetime achievement award.

It was a call to a nation in turmoil and confusion. It spoke of respect of the media, respect of women and men who respect women.

Winfrey gave us a history lesson about a woman unknown to many till last evening — Recy Taylor. Her name is on many lips today, years too late.

Her words floated across a packed audience with women dressed in black attire showing united symbolic shoulder-to-shoulder support for the #metoo movement.

As the words I began this blog with were spoken, something changed. You could see it on faces, in postures, in the words used to describe the moment immediately on the internet.

And it continues. In that room. Across the nation. In the press today. Across the world as foreign newspapers that are writing there may be new hope for America.

Words have power. These, thank you, Oprah Winfrey, will be remembered in our lifetime and beyond.

affectionately yours, Laura

The Longest Night of the Year

Solstice-Camus-analemmaToday is the Winter Solstice. It marks the shortest period of light during the day and the longest night of the year. Where I live in Minnesota, the sun will be in the sky for just under nine hours.

The word “solstice” is a Latin word that comes from the words sol sistere, which means sun standing still. During the periods of a solstice, it does appear as if the sun’s movement pauses before it moves along with the Earth’s rotation around it.

Giving us a moment to appreciate its magnificence. If not for the solstices, there would be no seasons and what makes our earth the unique planet it is. I recently flew from the warmth of Atlanta to the cold of Minneapolis in two and a half hours. We take it for granted, but, it really is quite amazing.

The solstice is caused by the axial tilt of the Earth and the shadow cast upon the hemispheres as it rotates around the sun. Those in the Northern Hemisphere are experiencing the winter months. Today is the day that the North Pole is the farthest away from the sun all year. Santa is one cold man today.

Some believe and celebrate the Winter Solstice as the rebirth of the sun. Prehistorically, they saw this day, as the day that brought forth more sun and warmth, bringing spring and renewal of crops and produce.

Today I am thankful

  • I am totally alright with a long winter evening being snuggled in at home.
  • My “To Do” list didn’t quite get completed today. But, enough to be content.
  • Thankful and Grateful for the cards and letters I have been receiving.

The good news for those of us in the winter states is from here on, every day the sun will be out a tad longer. Despite the fact that most of the winter is still ahead of us, we will have daylight.

affectionately yours, Laura

“We’re Two People Who Are Really Happy.” Meghan Markle

 

prince harry 1

Chris Jackson via Getty Images

 

I have been a royal watcher since forever. It started with Diana. A commoner who became Diana, Princess of Wales and Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales.

I followed their courtship, wedding, the births and maturing of their two Princes — William and Harry, the unfortunate divorce, and the devastating loss of Princess Diana.

Then watched as their sons began their life journeys.

William, being the first born son destined to be King one day has always been on the logical, plan in place, predictable side. And then there is Prince Harry.

prince harry 2I will never forget the picture of him, very young, sticking his tongue out at the press from a car window. I thought, “He is going to do this his way.” So much for the heir and the spare. The spare role was his to mold.

 

When rumors began in the summer of 2016 that Prince Harry was enamored with an American actress, Meghan Markle, I did a bit of research and thought there must not be much to it.

While looking into Markle’s background, I was impressed with her accomplishments.

prince harry 3She wrote an essay I re-called for Elle magazine about being a mixed raced woman that garnered much attention. She is also a women’s advocate of the United Nation’s and has spoken at International Women’s Day. In addition, she is involved in a project in Rwanda for clean water.

Markle, a bi-racial woman, who was divorced, and had a successful career as an actress didn’t seem like she would fit the “princess” mold. But, silly me, I was thinking of Wills and Kate. This was Harry who leads with his heart.

In November of 2016, a severely worded and unprecedented edict was issued from Prince Harry’s Communication’s Secretary at Kensington Palace. It not only confirmed the relationship but, it put the press and social trolls on notice that the lines of abuse of “racism and sexism” were being crossed.

Prince Harry’s statement included the mention that many may feel this is what he signed up for as a royal. That this is the price “she” will have to pay. This was part of the “game” meaning the publicity and the never-ending paparazzi chasing. He firmly stated he disagrees, “This is not a game – it is her life and his.

We can all agree — Prince William and Prince Harry no longer have a mother — who may contribute to this strong feeling of the need to protect those they love from those that push the boundaries of respectability.

From that moment on, Markle was provided additional security and the attempts to keep their relationship secret was no more. At that point, it became crystal clear this was someone very important in Prince Harry’s life. I placed my bet that if Harry had found his true love, he wouldn’t be waiting for eight-years like his big brother.

Today I am thankful

  • It has been a long hiatus of no writing for me. The keys feel good under my fingers.
  • My daughter and grand puppy make me so happy. Just knowing they are near is comforting.
  • I am enjoying the last day of sunshine and warm weather.

Today, it was announced that “The Prince of Wales has announced the engagement of Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle. The wedding will take place in Spring 2018, Further details about the wedding day will be announced in due course.”  

This announcement is significant on many levels and will change the course of generations to come. Meghan Markle is an American woman of color who was raised Catholic and has been divorced. She has an active career as a well-known actress of a long-running television series. Whew.

She is the first American woman to ever be engaged to a British Royal in a direct line to the throne. (Edward was abdicated when he was engaged and married) Prince Harry is fifth-in-line. Markle could also be the first American to receive the title of Her Royal Highness (HRH).

As required by those in line to the throne, Queen Elizabeth has given them her blessing. We are watching history in the making. I, for one, am looking forward to it.

Princess Di must be smiling down on her boys today. Her joy must be radiating from her being. They have each done well, choosing strong women much like her, to have at their sides. She is a grandmother twice over and one on the way. With a few red-haired babies hopefully in the near future.

prince harry 4In a delightful article “Meghan Markle, Wild About Harry!” Vanity Fair magazine in October 2017 is the quote,

“At the end of the day it’s really simple,” Markle says. “We’re two people who are really happy.”

How wonderful to have a day of good news.

affectionately yours, Laura