Monday, October 22, 2018

Did You See This?

This was yesterday's story that caught my eye. You wouldn't expect to see sheep running through the main thoroughfares of Madrid.  But it's true.

The story goes that for 600 years, the sheep farmers have had an agreement with the city council that for an established fee they could bring their sheep through central Madrid on their way to the winter grazing pastures in southern Spain. This ancient sheep migration route used to be undeveloped countryside. But not anymore! However, since 1994, on this one day of the year, shepherds herd 100s of their sheep along this path through downtown Madrid in a symbolic gesture.

Got anymore good sheep stories?

Monday, January 8, 2018

VE Day in France / Memorial Day in the U.S.

I cried when I first saw this...

You see the organization Thanks GIs is dedicated to keeping the memory of those who fought to liberate Metz in NE France alive.  My Dad was just one of those men. At 19 years of age in his first major battle, he was wounded and captured and dragged through Poland and Germany as a POW in late 1944 through the war's end in1945. 

Though he never wished to return and revisit those daunting times and places, he was convince (by me) to return to France and participate in a VE Day celebration (May 8th) in Corny in 2005.  Corny actually had a special place in my Dad's history.  It was the scene of his first reconnaissance mission, one which was mostly a disaster including loss of life. 

Now 13 years later, I still have ties to France. I have made life-long French friends who have enriched my life immensely and have brought me joy and blessings beyond measure.

Take a moment to give thanks for those who have and today are putting their lives on the line to protect the rights and freedoms that we as Americans enjoy.

An Old Prayer for a New Year

At the beginning of a New Year, our thoughts often go to New Year's resolutions, working out AGAIN, eating better, giving up our unhealthy habits and ways, and maybe even becoming a better person.

But let us take pause and dig a bit deeper. This is Thomas Aquinas and I think that his 13th century prayer is totally relevant for today...

Painting by Sandro Botticelli 1481-2
Give us, O Lord, a steadfast heart,
which no selfish desires may drag downwards;
Give us an unconquered heart,
which no troubles can wear out;
Give us an upright heart,
which no unworthy ambitions may tempt aside.

Give us also, O Lord our God,
understanding to know you,
perseverance to seek you,
wisdom to find you,
and a faithfulness that may finally embrace you;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.


When I first found this, I immediately felt its importance and felt its impact.  But it took me awhile to sit with it and ponder and allow the full weight of it to sink in. 

Here is my paraphrase...
Give me, O Lord, a heart that is loyal and does not waiver,
Help me not to think only of myself lest I become selfish and self-serving;
Give me a heart that's strong and resilient,
Help me to not be weighed down by the difficulties that come my way;
Give me a decent and honest heart,
Help me to not be led astray down inconsequential and meaningless paths.

Give me also, O Lord my God,
Understanding to know the real You,
Persistence to look for you at all times and in all situations,
Wisdom to know when I've found You,
And a faith that holds on to You through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Years to Me

I look forward to January 1 almost as much as Christmas morning.  Every New Years morning I sit down with a cup of hot cocoa and open my BLUE BOX. Every time I am treated to all of the stories of the year that have blessed me.  They come in all shapes and forms, gifts, cards, emails, letters and handwritten notes that I've tossed in my box.  Some are vivid memories and others are pleasant surprises that had been forgotten amidst the clamor and busyness of the year.

Today I cried as I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and blessing. Now I must reach out and return the blessing  HAPPY NEW YEAR!