Brrr It is cold outside

Blog #2                                  Brrrrrrr, It is cold outside.

 

In the Midwest we have been experiencing extremely cold temperatures. We are in a 72 hour weather warning which started on Saturday, January 16, 2016. It will continue into Monday. Forecasters warned of being in the temperatures for extended periods of time. Our rural church was cancelled last evening in anticipation for today’s Sunday worship. With many elderly folks we do not want them to be out in minus -40 degree weather. With social media I hope all got the message to stay home and be safe. Our church prayer chain was also activated last evening to get the message to as many as possible.

Winter is a time to slow down and stay inside. For me, a time to get things accomplished that get overlooked during the rest of the year. The only occupation that does not feel this slower pace would be a dairy, cattle farmer or rancher. With the extra work that comes their way with caring for their cattle it can require a lot more time and energy.

My father’s occupation was a dairy farmer. He loved those cows. Hard work, yes, but he did it his whole life until retirement. Tomorrow will mark the third anniversary of his death. After years of his battle with cancer his journey ended on January 18, 2013. The weather was much as it now. We looked at the upcoming weather and decided that we should have his funeral service on January 22, 2013 because the weather should have been not so cold. That plan did not work out so well because when we arrived at the church and started getting things ready for the service we discovered that the water was frozen. We could not begin to start making coffee and then realized that we also could not flush the stools. With 150-200 people going to be arriving soon that was not a good thing. The local well digger came, thawed out the pump and things would be just fine.

My father-in-law had his wake on the eve of the Midwest Hall-o-ween storm of 1991. Another Midwest winter snow storm. His service was postponed for five days and moved to a church in town from the same rural church because of no electricity.

Tomorrow schools, in our area, will be starting 2 hours late as the –temperatures continue into Monday. A break will follow the next day. Our 72 hours will be over.

A time in my past was shared with a very good friend as we enjoyed some time in the snow on the farm. Lots of fun things do take place in the winter with snowmobiling, skating, sledding and hockey. When our children were small a horse pulling a sleigh through the woods made a wonderful Sunday afternoon activity. With 63 days until spring we will need to find beauty in the snow covered trees, hoarfrost, sundogs and enjoy the beauty of winter. It will soon be over.

Spring is just 63 days (March 20, 2016) away. Camping season is just around the corner. Really—Camping is just around the corner. Stay warm.

 

Brrrrrrr,It is cold outside.

Blog #2                                  Brrrrrrr, It is cold outside.

 

In the Midwest we have been experiencing extremely cold temperatures. We are in a 72 hour weather warning which started on Saturday, January 16, 2016. It will continue into Monday. Forecasters warned of being in the temperatures for extended periods of time. Our rural church was cancelled last evening in anticipation for today’s Sunday worship. With many elderly folks we do not want them to be out in minus -40 degree weather. With social media I hope all got the message to stay home and be safe. Our church prayer chain was also activated last evening to get the message to as many as possible.

Winter is a time to slow down and stay inside. For me, a time to get things accomplished that get overlooked during the rest of the year. The only occupation that does not feel this slower pace would be a dairy, cattle farmer or rancher. With the extra work that comes their way with caring for their cattle it can require a lot more time and energy.

My father’s occupation was a dairy farmer. He loved those cows. Hard work, yes, but he did it his whole life until retirement. Tomorrow will mark the third anniversary of his death. After years of his battle with cancer his journey ended on January 18, 2013. The weather was much as it now. We looked at the upcoming weather and decided that we should have his funeral service on January 22, 2013 because the weather should have been not so cold. That plan did not work out so well because when we arrived at the church and started getting things ready for the service we discovered that the water was frozen. We could not begin to start making coffee and then realized that we also could not flush the stools. With 150-200 people going to be arriving soon that was not a good thing. The local well digger came, thawed out the pump and things would be just fine.

My father-in-law had his wake on the eve of the Midwest Hall-o-ween storm of 1991. Another Midwest winter snow storm. His service was postponed for five days and moved to a church in town from the same rural church because of no electricity.

Tomorrow schools, in our area, will be starting 2 hours late as the –temperatures continue into Monday. A break will follow the next day. Our 72 hours will be over.

A time in my past was shared with a very good friend as we enjoyed some time in the snow on the farm. Lots of fun things do take place in the winter with snowmobiling, skating, sledding and hockey. When our children were small a horse pulling a sleigh through the woods made a wonderful Sunday afternoon activity. With 63 days until spring we will need to find beauty in the snow covered trees, hoarfrost, sundogs and enjoy the beauty of winter. It will soon be over.

Spring is just 63 days (March 20, 2016) away. Camping season is just around the corner. Really—Camping is just around the corner. Stay warm.

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Camp Courage

Camp Courage – Here I come.

you're invited

How special do you feel when you get invited to a birthday party, wedding, dinner guest, or a reunion?

We all love to be invited.  I am looking forward to a 60th reunion on Sunday, October 11, 2015. It will be at a memorable place from my long ago past. It will be the 60th Anniversary of Camp Courage, Maple Lake, Minnesota. From 1955 to the present Camp Courage has been changing the lives of children and adults who have had opportunities available to them only by attending a camp stay at Camp Courage. Lives have been changes in dramatic ways. Mine was one of them.

My first time attending Camp Courage was probably in about 1958. I am not sure exactly and my parents are no longer here to ask. The age of 10 seems accurate. I do remember how excited I was and nervous at the same time. Being gone from home for two weeks is a long time for a 10 year old. I absolutely do not remember being home sick.  From that first summer, and for many following, I would look forward to renewing old friendships and enjoying myself doing all the things that everyone else was doing. My camping stay would be woven into my summer schedule around a surgery to help me walk better. I have revisited Camp Courage several times. Most recently when I was working on my memoir. It has changed with new cabins and updated facilities but what they do is exactly the same as when I was there.

On October 1, 1948 I was diagnosed with poliomyelitis at the young age of seven months old. There was no vaccine to protect me or thousands of other children and adults. The vaccine was not available until 1953. By then my siblings would be protected and thousands of other children and adults.

As we approach Friday, October 23, 2015, World Polio Day it is important to know that there are two countries that still have cases of Polio. When I wrote my book, All the Steps I Have Taken, there were four countries with cases of polio. India was declared polio free in 2012 with no new cases of polio. They celebrated in 2013. Now Nigeria has had no cases in 2015 and they will be able to celebrate Polio Free in 2016. In 2014 there were fewer than 360 cases of Polio in the world. Afghanistan and Pakistan are the two countries that Rotary International and Bill and Melinda Gates are still work to End Polio Now. Rotary has been working since 1985 in the Polio plus Campaign and I will be so happy to see that Polio will be eradicated in my life time.

The picture second from the left shows two small boys will braces and crutches. I learned to walk with crutches and braces just like those at the age of two. I have my crutches and show them when I speak to local schools and church.

Pictures of campers

Pictures of campers

So reunion here I come. In Minnesota fall leaves are changing to golden yellow, fire red, and tangerine orange. The prettiest time of the year to take a drive. I will enjoy watching the harvest along the way and I will definitely enjoy seeing people that I may have spent time years ago.

Goals and their importance

Goals and their importance

 

Happy New Year to you all.  It is New Year’s Eve day and I find it hard to believe that yet another year has so quickly gone by.  It absolutely is true, the older we get the faster time goes. As a child birthdays never came fast enough. Christmas always seems so far away. And now all we want to do is slow our time down.  We want to spend more time doing all the things we love to do.

It is also a time when we reflect on our last year.  Did we get to visit all the people we wanted? Did we do all the good we could for as many as we could?  When time slips away so quickly you should all take a very close look at how your life went for the year.  Was it all you really wanted it to be? Did you travel where you wanted to? Did you lose the weight you thought you should? The list could go on forever.

I always set goals.  Each day has the same number of hours in it and I will try to make every one of them count.  As I am taking more time each day to do things I really want to make sure that what I am doing is exactly what I intent to do for that day. A very important “Goal” is set in place at this time.  By 2018, I pray that Rotary will achieve its goal of eradicating Polio from the face of the earth.  I am a 1948 polio survivor and for the past 2 and a half years I have been sharing my story with churches, local Rotary Clubs thanking them for all they are doing and visiting schools to share my story about not treating someone who is different – differently.

polio, crutches, all the steps,

I am not alone is this effort.  Since 1985, Rotary has been working with our global polio eradication partners WHO (World Health Organization) Unicef and CDC (Center of Disease Control). All are strengthening their efforts and are placing the greatest demands on Nigeria to finish the job. Rotary Clubs from around the world are all working together.  There have been four free health camps organized in Pakistan this year.  Rotary Club District 3271 of Karachi Sea View have been training mothers to welcome the Polio teams to give the vaccine to their children.

Ann Lee Hussey is a member of the Rotary Club in Sunrise, Maine. She is also a polio survivor and has been through surgeries, braces and therapy to help with her ability to get around.  She contracted polio at 17 months, 3 months after the Jonas Salk vaccine was released to the public.  She has led 6 teams to Nigeria to help vaccinate the children there against polio. I contracted polio long before there was a vaccine to protect me.

On Friday October 24, 2014 I spoke to the children at Pacelli High School in Austin, Minnesota.  KIMT TV was there and broadcast that evening the importance of knowing that the world is not polio free and what each of us can do to help. Also, make sure that your children and grandchildren have completed their vaccinations for the polio virus.

Courage is born at the point where God’s grace and human effort intersect.” From the book “The discernment of the Spirit” by Father Timothy M Gallagher.  Guidepost magazine.

To follow Rotary and the work that they are doing please go to blog.rotary.org/tag/polio-survivor.

To view my book “All the Steps I have taken” go to Inspiring Voices

Storm: Ending February and Beginning March

winter in full swing

Winter storm Feb 21, 2014

Ending  February 2014 and Beginning March 2014

You can see by the picture the snow is moving to the 3rd pane in the window. Winter has been challenging as life can be challenging. Have you ever wanted something so badly you couldn’t get it off your mind? Here in Minnesota we have wanted winter to be over. We have been reminded about every other day with new, fresh, white, beautiful snow falling that we are not in control.  We no more than get the drive way cleaned out and the street crews get things passable and the highway department gets the highways manageable and we get more new, fresh, white, beautiful snow.  The month of February has ended now and it is time for Mr. Winter to decide that spring is on the way. We in the midwest want winter to end.  We pray for people everywhere that have had to endure a really tough winter.

We have had many beautiful days that it looks like God has sprinkled glitter all over the ground and it makes you wonder how can anything be so beautiful make life so miserable? If you are one who enjoys outdoor play, this has been the winter for you. If you count of snow removal for a living, you have done well. The evergreens heavy with snow are an awesome sight to behold. We are fortunate to be able to enjoy these wonderful frosty days as many parts of the country do not have such a beautiful wintery view.

March, what will you bring? Calendar day, (the last Friday of the month,) predicted that it will be snowy, cold temperatures, more snow and a bit cloudy. Sort of a carbon copy of February. The farmers almanac does agree with that prediction. We do have to realize that we are not in control of any of these factors. We will just have to trust that spring will come with a slow thaw so we will not flood. We pray that the farmers, this year, will be able to plant a crop and that a bountiful harvest will prevail.

This is how we need to plan our lives. We need to trust that our heavenly father will provide for us all the things that we need to sustain ourselves.  We cannot change the weather pattern. We can change how we accept the things that happen to us in daily living.  As we move into our Lenten Season, let us look forward with trust that all will work for good.

“Star of Hope, A Season of Waiting”

Christmas from Stock exchange

Christmas from Stock exchange

Star of Hope, A Season of waiting.

Prepare, Watch, Behold and Rejoice.  These are the words on our banner at our local country church. Each week a new strip has be added and hung each Sunday through the season of Advent.  Tonight is when we celebrate our Saviors birth. Have you been preparing? It seems we have for the entire month with decorating, shopping, baking, gift wrapping and card sending to our loved ones. It’s done. It is now time to watch, behold and rejoice. A time to celebrate the Prince of Peace who has come gently into the “far-from-peaceful” world.  What a gift it is to rest in the joy of his coming to bring Hope to every soul who seeks Him.

”Star of Hope” was a service held for a local Hospice House. A time for families to come together to remember and reminisce about the loved ones they have lost this year. A time to remember when families spent time together with their loved one caring for them. A time to share the life they led and thank them for all they did for each one of us.  A sad time but a time when we could reassure them that we loved them and were grateful for them. The service gave those present the feeling of hope.

Life is a Journey.  It is about everyday struggles of lives and how people can move on stronger than ever after a conflict has happened to them. My father was in this “Star of Hope” Season this year. We siblings cared for him, in his home. With the help of a local Hospice Care unit we managed to keep dad’s wishes and cared for him. What a Blessing it was for me. Tough days mixed with rewarding days. The journey ended January 18, 2012 after many years of battling cancer.

It is time to behold and rejoice. As you celebrate this Christmas Season with your family remember the “Reason for this Season”.  Jesus came that we may have everlasting life.  We need to rest in the assurance that we will rejoice at the end of our earthly life. Today I am wondering what Christmas will be like in Heaven for my dad this year. He will be rejoicing with other loved ones, celebrating the Christmas Season with the heavenly angels for the first time.

Be prepared, keep watching, behold our Savior, and rejoice with your families with Christmas Joy.

“It is in darkness that one finds the Light….”   Keep looking. Merry Christmas and remember Jesus is the Reason for the Season. Merry Christmas Dad and all my loved ones.