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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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

“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.

 

 

“Survivors”

“Survivors”

The definition of a survivor is “someone regarded as capable of surviving changing conditions, misfortune, etc.  A misfortune means a mishap, illness or calamity.

On May 30, 1966 Randy Krulish had a misfortune.  On October 1, 1948 I had an illness.  Randy was injured in a diving accident and fractured his neck leaving him paralyzed. I became very ill with poliomyelitis (Polio). Both were changing conditions. Both of us endured our changing conditions the same way. We became survivors.

Randy knew what it was like to be normal. He had twelve years to enjoy all the running and playing a boy should be able to endure. I became ill at six and a half months old. I was probably just learning how to crawl and perhaps walk around furniture holding on. I would never know what it was like to run, jump, skip or be normal.

Over the years, we both had families that were there supporting us in all we pursued.  We both grew up on farms in the Midwest, We both had careers that enabled us to make a living for ourselves.  We both have a very strong Faith to keep us going. Today we have both survived our changing condition.

Now many years later we have meet and made a friendship.  Recently we both spoke for our church Guest Day and shared our stories of inspiration. Challenges come our way every day. This day was no exception for Randy.  On the way to the church Randy had a flat tire on his van.  God placed him in the path, for repair, just in front of a young man that he knew from his home town who repaired his tire and sent him on his way. He arrived at church on time for his presentation. When it was time to leave to go back home the elevator did not work properly in the church. After much trying to repair it,  we decided that our best option was to call the Blooming Prairie Fire Department for a rescue.  Upon their arrival many men were working with Randy to find the safest way to carry his heavy wheel chair down the flight of steps.  Other firemen were working in the elevator to get it working. The elevator was working in no time and they did not have to carry that heavy chair down the steps. We were so grateful to the fire department for their assistance.

Randy and I with the Blooming Prairie Fire Department

Randy and I with the Blooming Prairie Fire Department

October 9 was anti bullying day in our school. Every one was encouraged to wear orange. School is back in session and we are looking forward to sharing our stories with the children. It is very important for them to see that because we are physically different, there is no need to treat us differently.  The #1 person bullied is a physically handicapped person. We share how we adjust to our challenges and make them positive.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. There are many survivors from breast cancer, thanks to early detection.  A good friend is doing all she can to fight cancer by joining forces with many in our community to raise money for the cause. As a survivor she will make a difference.

October 26 will be Polio Awareness Day. Rotary International has been working to eradicate the disease of polio by making sure that all children worldwide have their vaccinations. Please make sure that your children have their vaccinations.  Wee must all work together to “End Polio Now”.

Spinal cord injuries are making progress with research every day. There is always Hope.

 

 

“I Love A Parade”

“I Love a Parade”

Parades have always been one of my favorite summertime activities.  During the summer you can find a Hay Days, Rushford Days, Buffalos Bill Days, Jesse James Days. Any kind of days anywhere within a 50 miles radius.  There is usually a Parade to go to along with lots of other festivities. Going to a parade is not a shared interest by many in my immediate family so I don’t enjoy as many as are available or as many as I would like to. I will get to as many as I can in the summer season.  Then wait for next year to start all over again. There is nothing better than the Color Guard leading the parade with the American Red, White and Blue so we can honor our Veterans and thank them for all they have given for our country.  Bands bring excitement to the parade and of course you must have clowns and horses.

Lonna and Linda at Albert Lea, Minnesot parade

Lonna and Linda at Albert Lea, Minnesot parade

Enjoying a pushup, with my sister Lonna, was taken at a parade in Albert Lea, Minnesota back in the early ’50.  The beautiful dresses that we are wearing were made by our mother. She made all our dresses and they usally matched. I really don’t know why were so dressed up with the darling hats to finish off the outfit, but we sure were cute sitting on the curb enjoying the pushups watching a parade. I am so grateful to my mother for teaching me the skill of sewing as it is something that I thoroughly enjoy each day. It is something that I can do sitting down. Something that I can do for my family and others and not make myself tired. There are some things that are difficult for me to do because of physical limitations so what I can do, I try to do it the best that I can.

If you look close beneath that adorable dress, you will notice two metal and leather braces attached to my legs.  They were a necessary part of my growing up with Polio to make my mobility a possibility. As a young infant I was stricken with Polio in 1948 at age six and a half months old. Thousands of children and adults were stricken before a vaccine became available in 1953. I wore braces until I was sixteen years old, a sophomore in high school. The next two decades I completed as normal as I could. My goal as a child was to keep up with everyone else and be as normal as possible. A limp and some deformities were visible but life was always great.  I completed an education, married, had three children and continued in a successful career.  Then the need to return to a brace on my left leg became a reality at age 36. My husband and three children were so helpful in helping me make the necessary adjustments. We all have adjustments to make and those adjust have to control our attitude. I try to end each day with a positive thought. No matter how hard today was and how things were, tomorrow is a fresh opportunity to make it better. I see my limitations as a motivational tool. I use those limitations as a strength –not a liability.

Today, Saturday August 3, I will be attending a Minnesota TWINS game at the Target Field. It will be a Polio-Plus Day at Target Field.  Watching a TWINS game is also a favorite summertime activity for me. After a 13 inning game last night and a win I am very excited to attend the game today against the Houston Astros. Many Rotarians will be attending this important event to help bring awareness to the “End Polio Now” campaign. There is still lots of work to be done to eradicate the disease completely and the task will keep moving forward until all countries will be free of Polio. Please make sure that your children have completed the necessary vaccinations. We do not want this dreaded disease to cripple anymore children or adults.

“The missing Piece”

“The Missing Piece”

Piece: A part broken or separated from the whole. It is any single thing, a specimen, a piece of music.   Piecing: To add pieces to as in repairing, to join together pieces.

I haven’t taken time to write a blog for some time.  The pieces just don’t fit together with summer here and all the activities to enjoy. Winter stayed too long with our last snow storm May 2, 2013. Spring and summer arriving very late. In a farm community that is not the right combination. Concerns turn to prayers now that the crops are in that could get in.

Puzzles are joined pieces together.  While my father was in our care we put puzzles together. My brother had completed many in the past and it became something that we all worked on while we spent our time with dad during his final days on earth.  He shared with us the decision he made to no longer have any doctor appointments, diagnosis or treatment in October, 2012 and entered into Hospice care soon thereafter.  He was very fortunate that his four children and a grandson and granddaughter could help care for him, lovingly in his home, until his death January 18, 2013. I enjoyed the time spent with my siblings. As our lives stay busy we don’t get together as often and I loved the time we had together caring for dad.  I miss the connections.

Those puzzles completed allowed us to sit at the table and visit. Dad wasn’t much into the puzzle work. He would rather have a card game of huckley buck or 500 and that we did lots of.  The puzzles would become a conversation piece and when we couldn’t find a piece we were sure it was missing.  Then the next day it would appear. Friends and family would stop by to visit with dad and usually try to find a piece.  Two wild life pictures were completed and mounted.  The final puzzle we hesitated to start because we knew that it would probably not get completed in dad’s time.  However, we started it anyway.  “Nothing like a Jonathan” by Robert Duncan was given to us by a cousin. The picture of two little boys picking apples and their dog reminded her of the family dog, Patsy, that we grew up with and my two little brothers. Dad, the missing piece, shows up often in thought.  My daughter misses him awful and my son is caring for his land with a difficult spring.

The day of dad’s funeral service I rolled up the pieces completed in felt and moved them to my home.  I enjoyed working on it in the parlor by a nice sunny south window in the middle of winter.  As I completed sections I realized that I had a “missing piece”.  The color I needed just wasn’t among the remaining pieces. It really was missing.  Somewhat how it felt this past Sunday, Father’s Day, with dad no longer with us. He is now a missing piece of our family.

When I completed the puzzle I decided I wanted to mount it.  I made a piece from the cover of the box, with just the right color, and carefully shaped it to the missing piece.  It is visible but if you didn’t know the piece was missing you may not catch it. My husband got the board ready while I worked on getting the piece cut out just so with the correct color and shape. We bought the right puzzle glue and the project finished.  A few days later, while vacuuming, my husband said “guess what I found?” I knew what room he was in and I knew what he had found. I said “the puzzle piece.” It was the puzzle piece. Now I keep the missing piece in my desk drawer and every time I open the drawer I see the piece and I think of dad. A belated Happy Father’s Day to you dad. You are missed by your children, grandchildren and friends. God Bless you.

The missing puzzle piece

The missing puzzle piece

“Playing the Game of Life”

I love playing games. It can be a board game of “Life” or Monopoly, card game such as 500, Kings in the corner or going to or watching a Minnesota “TWINS” baseball game. I’ll play any game with anyone except Scrabble.  I don’t do Scrabble.

We all have adjustment and situations that we must deal with as we play our game of life. How many of you feel that you were dealt the “Lucky” hand for your game of life? How many of you are still looking for the “Full House” to play your game of Life? My life is no different than anyone else as I was dealt a hand for my game of life. However, with all sorts of adjustments, lots of medical attention and expense early in my life, it has been a successful life and I feel I was dealt a lucky hand. With bushels baskets full of love, much support, many caring hands and a very strong will to be “Normal” when I play my game of “Life” I have found many positive ways to make me the person I am today.

Since I was a child, I have worked extremely hard to be “Normal”. Being normal is being like everyone else.  I wear glasses like lots of other people so I can see better.  I have a stylish hair cut to enhance my appearance and I wear a smile on my face.  These things are the same as many people. You will also notice things that are different from everyone else. I use a cane to help with my mobility, I wear a long leg brace, under my pants, on my left leg to support my leg while walking and I have a distinctive limp to the left, my weaker side. These things make me different. How does one adjust to all these situations?

“Courage” and “Faith” are my strongest assets. When my life changed at the age of 6 1/2 months old, I was not able to understand what was happening to me. Through all the love, support and caring hands and my very strong will to be “Normal” I was able to adjust. The definition of Courage is “it is not the absence of fear”. “It is doing what it will take despite ones fear.” I have spent the last several months speaking to fourth through sixth grade children telling them the importance of treating some else that may be different, NOT differently. The #1 individual that is bullied has a physical limitation.  I am very differently abled and have learned to make my way in this world by doing everything that anyone else can do and do it the best that I can with lots of time and patience. Poliomyelitis, a highly contagious virus, has changed the way I play my “game of Life”. My Grand daughter, Emma (age 13), asks me almost ever time she is around me “Grandma, are you a perfectionist?”  No, but I have learned that doing something right is the right way to do anything.  With lots of Faith, Hope and Trust I make it through every day doing the best I can in whatever I am doing.

Linda at St. Mary's 18 months old

Linda at St. Mary’s 18 months old

Polio is three generations back from today.  You may have a parent who is living with the effects of polio. You may have a grand parent that lived with polio. Some of you reading this may not know what polio is.  Please read past Blogs to find out how a polio survivor can make their way with lots of Courage, and how I have over come a “Challenging dealt hand”.  My book “All the Steps I have Taken” was a dream I had my entire life.  It went live with Inspiring Voices in August 2012. When I retired from a successful career, as a Registered Dental Assistant, I took the time to write my memoir. This little book has lead me to find many polio survivors and we all have handled our dealt hand the same way with persistence and courage. Only with a strong faith could we have done this.  “Truly he is my rock and salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. (Psalm 62: 6-8)  Gods blessing to you all.