We are having an heat wave:  I checked the thermostat on the car and it registered forty degrees.  Once it hit December it got cold and stayed that way.  In July, that would be a cold day.  It is all a sense of perspective.  Now I consider that warm.  Let us see what the rest of winter will bring.  We just missed a snow storm which created havoc at the airports in NYC.  So far nothing worse than a few flakes.  Our luck can’t hold out the rest of winter.  In any case, I will enjoy the weather today.

Just fix it, a command from my wife!  My wife bought two expensive, brass door knobs she wanted put in the two doors in the dining room.  I looked at them carefully and then took apart one door knob.

There was a problem.  These brass door knobs had three holes for screws.  I thought I could simply attach the new door knob on the other half of the old ones but the old ones only had two holes for screws.

I went to Lowe’s (a large home appliance store) and spent ten minutes going up and down the aisle and looked at every set of door knobs:  they all had two holes except for the brass knobs (which were not cheap).

If I remember correctly, the brass knobs she bought were at least $40 each.  Theoretically I could drill two holes in the old door knobs.

There were some problems to that.  I am not Mr. fix-it and even if I was, I have not located any drills in this house.  There is probably at least two buried somewhere downstairs.

My wife did not care about any of this and did not want to hear any of my explanations.  She just wanted her two beautiful brass knobs put up no matter what.

She did not want to hear my excuses.  She just wanted what she wanted.  Whether or not it could be done.  Meanwhile I am tearing out my hair.

If I am upset I want you to react to that.  Don’t be defensive or gloss over my mood.  And it goes your way too:  If I am not acting right, you need to gently tell me I am not behaving properly toward you.

I do not want to get out of control.  I do not want to reach the point of no return.  Please tell me before that happens.  You can tell me quietly.  I don’t want the silent treatment from you.

I always want you to be real.  No phony niceness.  You can cut me off before I go out of control.  It says in Proverbs an apt answer can defray anger.  That is a paraphrase.  Nevertheless, always be real with me.

It can prevent me from going out of control.  I really do not like being out of control.  Always be real with me.  Gentle but real.

Thank God for small favors.  I was operated on my arm and that healed up nicely.  It was my hand of the operated arm that was causing me problems:  the top of my left hand (right side) and its corresponding thumb–(the top of it and side) was numb and tingling and sensitive causing me pain. I thanked God the other side of my thumb was not numb.  It was the side I gripped my fingers together.  I thanked God for that.  Everything is by grace.

I don’t know how to extricate myself from my things.  I feel trapped by them.  I have too many LPs, books in particular.  That is only a short list.

Being married makes it a little harder.  Some of the things are hers or ours.  There are still many books and cassettes in boxes as well.  I just want order and don’t know how to get there.

My house is budging (??bulging??) at its seams.  I tell my wife someone is going to have the mammoth job of going through our stuff when we are gone but that does not make any difference to her.

We had made three trips to Austin to finish the job of going through her Mom’s stuff.  Too much of it is still in boxes in the basement.  It costs us a small fortune to ship that stuff.

I just don’t know how to downsize.  We have a junk room upstairs.  It could be a guest room if it was ever cleared.  All this is driving me crazy.

I just want to throw away, give away stuff.  I want more order in this house.  Pray for me.  I don’t know what else to do.

My world is interconnected.  There are so many people I owe thanks to.  And I am sure I will leave somebody out.  A thanks to my primary doctor who takes goood care of me.

A thank you to our retired electrician who did some work in our house this year.  My wife still loves that lamp you installed over the sink.  And we have three new electric radiators and two new thermostats.  There is nothing like heat in the winter.

Thanks, to Bob, who willingly answers my questions about “ailing” cars.  Thank God I have not needed you too much this year and our 2006 SUV is behaving well.

Thank God to all my listeners at the Open Mikes.  Their comments encouraged me and kept me writing.

A thanks to Mike whose comments in his letter to me I have picked up occasionally when my spirit dropped.  I am sorry your best friend died unexpectedly.

There is Sonya, our postmaster, who always asks how I am doing, everytime I drop by our post office.

A thanks to the team of doctors that takes care of me–my nephrologist, etc.  There are so many people I appreciate.

A thanks to the small church I go to–its pastor Pete and the many people I have become friendly with from there.

I know I have left out people.  My sisters who had an hand in making my trip to San Francisco by train a reality and who both support me and care about me.

Philhaven, a thanks to for helping get me past a rough patch.  You all know who you are.

And all my pets, particular my dogs:  Pax who always comes to me when he wants something.  And Tilla whose tail never refuses to wag when he see me.  And Coco is a real sweetheart.  And don’t let me forget Sweetie, who is just that a sweetie.

And that is just the dogs.  Thanks Cool Hand Luke, the last pet still alive from my Duncannon days, a black cat, who often keeps me company on the bed.

And most of all my wife who is always there and gives me a reason to get up each morning.

It is okay to say, “No!” to someone.  You do not want to go there too quickly.  You have to try but everyone has limitations.  “No”, states you have reached your limit and you can’t go further.  Everyone has limitations.  Nevertheless, make sure you have given it your best or simply can’t.  You always have to try and never forget that.  You can’t go to “no” too quickly or automatically.  “No” has to mean “no.”

It is easy to love someone at a distance, someone you do not know.  It is far harder to love someone closest to you, “your blood and guts.”

It is so easy to delude yourself you are reaching out to someone who is in the distance who you know needs an hand.

First start with people in your own backyard, your mate, your sibling or a friend–others who you know intimately.

And after you have taken care of the needs of those closest to you, branch out and make sure your neighbors do not need you.

Often what is most needed is kindness and free use of your time, which is the most precious commodity you possess.

Yes, after all is said and done reach out to others far away but never neglect those closest to you.  Charity always begins at home.

The Fights Couples Have

Author: siggy

The fights couples have amaze me.  We had a fight because I discovered my second car’s battery was dead again.  Yesterday, I idled it at least fifteen minutes and then drove 16 miles away never turning the motor off.  And it was “dead” the next morning.

I really could not believe it.  I was sure it would turn over immediately.  It just so happens that we needed two cars today.  My wife and I had a heated discussion about it.  And I was told I needed to drive it alot more.

We bought a 2006 Honda SUV two Julys ago.  I knew back then I would not be inclined to drive our 1993 Honda Accord too often unless we fixed the sound system.  All the speakers are blown and the stereo/cassette does not sound good.

I told my wife fix the sound system and I will drive the old Honda more frequently.  She reacted derisively to that comment.  I also asked her since when does the new car belong to you.

In a year and a half she has driven the Honda Accord, maybe twice.  I really would not care that much if the old car had a decent sound system in it.  At the moment she is giving me the silent treatment.  Oh, well?!

The Juniata River has ice floes flowing throughout it. It has been two weeks since it turned cold. There would have to be an Arctic freeze (under twenty degrees everyday) for two or three weeks in a row for the surface of the river to become solid. We are not there yet. We will see: there is still January and February to go. Meanwhile our heating bills will remain high, nevertheless.

It is not even winter (less than a week to go officially) and I want to join the black bears and hibernate. I checked the ten day forecast: at most the temperature will only creep slightly above freezing. Praise the Lord I have heat. All I want to do is stay in. I will make a dash for the car when I have to go out and be happy when the car heater kicks in. I will put out the feed for the birds quickly. To think, winter has more than three months to go. Presently they are not calling for snow. It could get worse.

Some people have more, some people less.  It has been that way from the beginning of time.  Poverty has always existed.  You can’t even measure wealth in dollars signs.

Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, once the richest man in the world, wants a legacy other than his material wealth so he and his wife started a foundation to see how they could impact the world.

Another misconception of wealth is it refers just to material wealth. Each of us has gifts and a personal sphere we can influence by utilizing and giving away our time.

Russia found out their large socialistic farms were unprofitable.  We kept selling our surplus of wheat to them.  Others need to have a personal stake in their success (or failure).

The world has always been that way.  Some people have always had more and some less.  The poor have always been with us.  Maybe, that is why God has commanded us to give to the less unfortunate (???).

He also says when it is in your power to give something to someone and you don’t, it is a sin.  Giving does not always refer to material wealth.  It is also giving of your time and gifts freely.

Maybe God created the world so each person would be dependent on the other.  We are commanded to help each other.  We need to reach out to the people in need within our circle.

Unfortunately money insulates us giving us the idea we don’t need God and others.  And that is the furthest from the truth.  We are interdependent:  we need each other.