Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Dang It

While the rest of the country is going through or finishing with Autumn, South Florida is still stuck in tropical mode. I've never seen such a rainy October, with little to no dry weather. I'm not complaining, though, since the bureaucrats are still saying that Lake Okeechobee isn't full enough and there may be another drought come spring. If those same bureaucrats hadn't panicked last hurricane season and emptied half the lake into the Atlantic Ocean in anticipation of deathly flooding - supposedly to be caused by the weak 1930's dike that surrounds Lake Okeechobee - we wouldn't be in this mess. Perhaps if they had waited until there was a REAL threat before emptying the lake.....but the media set up a frenzy last year, and the bureaucrats complied.

Anyway - here is the picture of what might be heading this way:

If Noel does head this way, it should be a tropical storm, which will do minimal damage. I'm hoping for at LEAST one day off from work because of this.....

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

What a Beautiful Prayer!!

I found this prayer posted on the this blog:

In prayer I launch far out into the eternal world,
and on that broad ocean my soul triumphs
over all evils on the shores of mortality.
Time, with its gay amusements and cruel disappointments
never appears so inconsiderate as then,
In prayer I see myself as nothing;
I find my heart going after thee with intensity,
and long with vehement thirst to live to thee.
Blessed be the strong gales of the Spirit
that speed me on my way to the New Jerusalem.
In prayer all things here below vanish,
and nothing seems important
but holiness of heart and the salvation of others.
In prayer all my worldly cares, fears, anxieties disappear,
and are of little significance as a puff of wind.
In prayer my soul inwardly exults with lively thoughts
at what thou art doing for thy church,
and I long that thou shouldest get thyself a great name
from sinners returning to Zion.
In prayer I am lifted above the frowns and flatteries of life,
and taste heavenly joys;
entering into the eternal world
I can give myself to thee with all my heart,
to be thine for ever.
In prayer I can place all my concerns in thy hands,
to be entirely at thy disposal,
having no will or interest of my own.
In prayer I can intercede for my friends, ministers,
sinners, the church, thy kingdom to come,
with greatest freedom, ardent hopes,
as a son to his father,
as a lover to the beloved.
Help me to be all prayer and never to cease praying."

It was posted with photographs (that I left out because they are not mine) on October 21, 2007. (By the way, visit that blog if you love crafts and beautiful photographs, all from a Christian perspective).

I thought the prayer so beautiful that when I saw that the blog owner had listed the name of the book it came from - "The Valley of Vision- A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions" - I ordered it from Amazon.com, since, of course, I don't have enough books (if you know me, you'll know I'm buried under books - but a nicer burial I can't think of).

I can't wait to go through these prayers. Now that I think of it, if someone from the past has trod the same path as myself - life - and they have committed some breathtaking prayers to paper - then why re-invent the wheel? I can still pray in my own words AND use these wonderful prayers when my own words fail.

What sublime poetry, what lofty goals, rising above the mundaneness of life. Prayer - it's a journey I'm (ashamed to admit, but happy to go forward) just beginning.


I have had difficulty with the teaching about prayer for many years. I try to pray, but I think to myself, "Why bother since what will be will be, and I often don't get an answer to my prayer - either negative or positive, that I can discern?"

I was reading my Bible this morning and had a little light shine that I thought I'd share. I was reading 1 Kings, chapter 3, where Solomon has a dream and God asks him what he would ask for. This, to me, is similar wording to Luke 11:9-13 where Jesus tells the disciples that whatever they ask for, they will receive because, after all, God is the best father and would he give a scorpion when asked for bread?

I've always read this - in Luke - and thought I must be doing something wrong because I understand at a gut level that God isn't a gumball machine - put in the quarter and out pops your wish. He isn't a genie, although I have often daydreamed about rubbing a lamp and having a genie pop out, who asks me what I desire - three wishes perhaps? I always thought that my first wish would be that I could have all my subsequent wishes forever granted - thus saving me from the problem that characters in genie stories often have of screwing up their wishes and then running out.

Anyway - I digress.

I noticed when I was reading the verses in 1 Kings 3:5-11, that God was very pleased because Solomon asked for wisdom - not for himself, or for the sake of wisdom itself, but for his "job" as king and judge for all the people of Israel. Here's the kicker that opened my eyes - because Solomon prayed for something that would benefit others, something eternally of value (not food for everyone in his land, or other perishable things), he was granted that wisdom. Prayer answered. And, oh by the way, God added riches and wealth merely because Solomon hadn't asked for anything for himself.

Now I'm not saying that the formula is to ask for others while slyly waiting for God to add the addendum of "stuff" for oneself. I'm saying that I have not understood prayer for a long time.

I'm still trying to figure it out. But, when I pray for financial assistance, perhaps what I should be praying for is the wisdom and capacity to handle the finances I presently have - and the wisdom and ability to find my way out of any financial difficulties I might have.....rather than praying for a Lotto win, for example. Perhaps God would answer that prayer.

Perhaps when I am praying for God to move us to another locality, I should be praying for the wisdom and ability to deal with where God has me now, and to see with Godly discernment the path for my future.

I have to say, I'm just scratching the surface here - it's as if I just dipped my toe in a very deep stream. I need to dive in to find out the depths of the true answer about prayer - at least for myself.

So stay tuned.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Back From New York State

I always rush to be specific - it's either UPSTATE New York, or New York State, as opposed to New York City - perish the thought. I would not want anyone to mistakenly think I'm from there - I'm a country girl, born and bred.

Anyway, the Mr. and I finally made the pilgrimage to my home area. He is a native Floridian and, although he has traveled all over the country, he had not seen my neck of the woods, especially with the thought that it was my growing up place. I was shocked to see that not much has changed - so it was a pleasant shock. My home since
I was 1 year old looks wonderful:

Here is a place where I worked when I was 17 years old - for a few months anyway - it literally has not changed one iota:

Here is the fire station. It was old when I was a child. I remember taking a baby-sitting class on the second floor the summer I was 13 so that I could make some spending money:

My home town is only minutes from some lovely mountains where I used to go for rides as a teenager. This particular place has lovely memories for me, as well as making me sad that I live so far away from it now:

This is on top of a mountain in the Shawangunks and there is a stone arch through which you walk and - this is what you see:

Every road was beautiful - we passed so many old houses and farms from Revolutionary times. We found an old bookstore in a VERY small town - I could have spent days in there, but I managed to leave with only about 15 books, which, for me, is few!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Blues

I haven't posted much the last few days. I'm fighting the existential blues with the Word of God. Sometimes the Word wins, but the blues win all too much. This Sunday, my husband and I are flying to my hometown of Middletown, NY for a few days. He has never been there, and it is important to me in some way I'm not sure I understand that he see where I grew up. The house my father built and that I lived in for 23 years, was sold about 10 years ago and I'm sure is very different. It will feel strange not to be able to go inside, to belong there. My elementary school, the Catholic school I attended until 7th grade, the huge old stone library where I first realized I could take out any book I wanted, the roads I walked every day to school, and later to work. I don't plan to go back again, so this is kind of a goodbye, I guess. Besides, the place exists forever in my memory exactly as I remember it - fragrance of memory - and that's what is important.

I've always had a bent toward melancholy. They say that is something characteristic of Slavic people, of which I am at least half. I've also always had a fascination for time, and for the photos and moving pictures that captured moments forever. I love to look at old photographs and try to see details in them, look into a person's eyes in the photo and imagine the moment when the flash had gone off, and the person walked away into time.

It reminds me of a very melancholy poem that I read in "A Children's Garden of Verse" by Robert Louis Stevenson. This volume is very sentimental and the poems there remind me of the way I thought when I was very small and felt very secure. Some of the poems by virtue of their very beauty are sad. Here is the one that breaks my heart the most:

To Any Reader

As from the house your mother sees
You playing round the garden trees,
So you may see, if you will look
Through the windows of this book,
Another child, far, far away,
And in another garden, play.
But do not think you can at all,
By knocking on the window, call
That child to hear you. He intent
Is all on his play-business bent.
He does not hear, he will not look,
Nor yet be lured out of this book.
For, long ago, the truth to say,
He has grown up and gone away,
And it is but a child of air
That lingers in the garden there.

Here is another, much longer that speaks of growing old and nevermore to be children, except in eternity:

To Minnie

The red room with the giant bed
Where none but elders laid their head;
The little room where you and I
Did for awhile together lie
And, simple, suitor, I your hand
In decent marriage did demand;
The great day nursery, best of all,
With pictures pasted on the wall
And leaves upon the blind –
A pleasant room wherein to wake
And hear the leafy garden shake
And rustle in the wind –
And pleasant there to lie in bed
And see the pictures overhead –
The wars about Sebastopol,
The grinning guns along the wall,
The daring escalade,
The plunging ships, the bleating sheep,
The happy children ankle-deep
And laughing as they wade:
All these are vanished clean away,
And the old manse is changed to-day;
It wears an altered face
And shields a stranger race.
The river, on from mill to mill,
Flows past our childhood's garden still;
But ah! we children never more
Shall watch it from the water-door!
Below the yew – it still is there –
Our phantom voices haunt the air
As we were still at play,
And I can hear them call and say:
"How far is it to Babylon?"

Ah, far enough, my dear,
Far, far enough from here –
Smiling and kind, you grace a shelf
Too high for me to reach myself.
Reach down a hand, my dear, and take
These rhymes for old acquaintance' sake!
Yet you have farther gone!
"Can I get there by candlelight?"
So goes the old refrain.
I do not know – perchance you might –
But only, children, hear it right,
Ah, never to return again!
The eternal dawn, beyond a doubt,
Shall break on hill and plain,
And put all stars and candles out
Ere we be young again.

To you in distant India, these
I send across the seas,
Nor count it far across.
For which of us forget
The Indian cabinets,
The bones of antelope, the wings of albatross,
The pied and painted birds and beans,
The junks and bangles, beads and screens,
The gods and sacred bells,
And the load-humming, twisted shells!
The level of the parlour floor
Was honest, homely, Scottish shore;
But when we climbed upon a chair,
Behold the gorgeous East was there!
Be this a fable; and behold
Me in the parlour as of old,
And Minnie just above me set
In the quaint Indian cabinet!

Obviously, RL Stevenson was a child in Victorian England - and he has painted the loveliness of a privileged childhood of those times.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

How NOT To Use the Word of God

I am reading the books of 1 and 2 Kings, and there are a few moments in the books that strike me as humorous.

The first comes at 2 Kings, chapter 1. A brief synopsis - yet another worthless king of Israel (Ahaziah of the Northern Kingdom) is coming to his end (he had fallen and couldn't get up, evidently), and he decides to send out some men to enquire of the god Baal-Zebub if he is going to recover. God sends Elijah to meet the men and tell them what the REAL God has to say, and it ain't good. Paraphrase -"Why are you worshipping false gods when you can worship the real God? In any case, you know how sick you are? Well, you're going to die without leaving the bed you're in." How's THAT to cheer up the worthless king, eh? So the men go back and tell him what Elijah said - and the king gets suspicious. "Who told you that - what did he look like?" After they describe the John the Baptist type attire - hair clothes and a leather belt - he says, probably with dread and irritation, "That's Elijah the Tishbite". But, deep down inside he knows Elijah is on the real wavelength, so he sends 50 men and a captain after Elijah to ask him more. When the captain and the men get there, Elijah is sitting on a hill. The captain yells up to Elijah, "Hey! If you're the man of God, come down here - the king wants you."

And now for the fun part - the part I fantasize about (well, kinda, but not really - I'd not want to REALLY hurt anyone, just make them realize they shouldn't mess with me).....

Elijah is sitting on the hill, just gazing off into the distance. Maybe he's praying, maybe he's just vegging. Whatever. He looks over at the captain and the 50 men and he says, ""If I am a man of God, may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men!" Which it promptly does. I imagine Elijah calmly going back to serenely sitting in peace on the hill.

The king, meanwhile, back in bed, gets the report - and sends off another 50 men and a captain, who act just as arrogant and also get consumed by fire.

Finally, the king sends out a third captain and 50 men. This captain is smart - he's heard what happened to the other two, so he shows respect for Elijah, and hence, for God - and asks to be protected, but could Elijah come with them to the king. Elijah goes - and pretty much repeats the same thing he said the first time - "you're toast, buddy. Adios." And this time, the king dies. He had to travel all that way just to repeat what he said the first time. Oh well - the king was probably hoping for something, but I'm not sure what.

I'd LOVE to look at someone who has persecuted me unfairly and, without actually hurting them, put the "fear of God" in them. You know - when I walk by, they shake in their shoes and fall all over themselves trying NOT to insult me because they know my Daddy will get them if they do. I KNOW it doesn't work that way, but I can fantasize, can't I?

The other incident I love is in 2 Kings 2. Elijah has just been translated by chariot into Heaven, witnessed by Elisha. The men who are there (a company of prophets from Jericho) evidently haven't seen what happened - only Elisha, because that was his deal with Elijah. ("Can I have a double portion of your Spirit?" Elijah says if Elisha sees him when he goes up into heaven, then his request has been granted. So Elisha sees something that, evidently, others don't so that he'll know he has been granted a double portion of Elijah's Spirit.)

So after the dust settles, Elisha picks up the cloak that Elijah left behind and uses it to part the Jordan so he can cross over dry. As he approaches the prophet group, they suggest that perhaps they should go and look for Elijah - maybe God picked him up and set him down somewhere in the vicinity. Elisha says no.

Here's the part I like - they keep bugging him and insisting that they should look for Elijah. Elisha gets annoyed and tells them to go ahead. When they report back that they can't find him, Elisha says, "Didn't I tell you not to go?" Sheesh. That made me laugh out loud.

And here's the best one. The one that reflects what life is like today. Elisha is walking along (in 2 Kings 2:23) toward Bethel when a bunch of "youths" - read teenage hooligans - are walking along toward him, making fun of him. They call him , "baldhead". They say, "go on up, baldhead". You can translate that into any number of jeers that you would hear today instead. What does Elisha do? Does he cower in fear? Does he whip out his cell phone to call police? Does he wish he had a gun with him? Does he wish he had a large pit bull? Nope. Here's the quote from the Bible - "He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths. And he went on to Mount Carmel and from there returned to Samaria."

That'll teach THEM - 42 of the youths got mauled by bears. If there is one thing I have learned here - Elijah and Elisha didn't mess around. Too cool.

That's my fun Bible stuff for today.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

I Tunes

I removed the I Tunes favorites widget to the left because I couldn't get it to work right. All it showed as my favorites were the 18 songs I purchased the last time I purchased anything. I have a LOT more favorites than that - and I've purchased a LOT more than that over the years, but it didnt' show on the widget. So, you say, why didn't you try to fix it? I did.

First, I clicked on the widget which took me to a page that required I sign into I Tunes. No problem. When I Tunes opened, it promptly told me there was an update. I hate those things - time wasters. Companies should arrange that updates are done at 2AM and automatically, so they don't waste your time. Of course I want the update! So I went through that - 10 minutes of download followed by the inexorable, "you must reboot your computer". After another 5 minutes of shut down and restart (the new Vista is slower than molasses), I begin again.

Click on widget, go to page that requests I open I Tunes. I open I Tunes. Now the widget page tells me to "sign in" and click on "Enable My Tunes". This is only the first step of three, but I can go no further.

I try to sign into I Tunes and I keep getting a message that the connection is broken - to check my network settings, etc. However, I can go everywhere else on the internet - just not I Tunes. Since I can't sign in, I guess I'll never know where "Enable My Tunes" is.

I wonder if I'll ever be able to buy music again. Maybe I'll have to buy somewhere else, but that will screw up what I own in I Tunes - they can't be mixed. Sigh.

I need to go out and buy an old fashioned turn table (which, incidentally, Target is selling as a novelty item) and some records - and forget about this whole on-line thing. You buy the music, but you can only make 4 copies of it and you can't mix it with songs bought from somewhere else.

I bet that latest update messed everything up. Perhaps the next update will fix it. In any case, I'm over the widget thing - I just deleted it from my page and life goes on.

It's Wednesday!

Good morning I spoke to my sister that lives in the NE last night. She had spoken to my mother that day and the news was both sad and funny. My father refuses to eat. He didn't have much taste left before all this happened because of - the Dr.'s believe - type II diabetes induced neuropathy. So now that he is unable to get around and in a place he doesn't like where the food is REALLY not palatable - he doesn't want to eat. This is also a common occurrence among those elderly who are preparing to die, either consciously or unconsciously. He is fairly lucid in that he can understand what is being said and react to it, although he can't put a whole sentence together. When I was there on a pretty good day last Saturday, he would be listening to you for a moment and then his eyes would "turn off" - they would fix on nothing and you could see it was as if he had fallen asleep with his eyes open. This whole dying experience is very strange - and I'm watching it all very carefully, applying the precepts I've learned from my Bible study over the years - and wondering what is really happening in there - by which I mean inside my father's soul. Of course, I'm doing this because someday, if the Rapture doesn't occur, I will be in similar circumstances. We all die - none of us makes it off this planet alive.

Oh - the funny part? My mother told my father that his daughters love him. His response? "Well, I should hope so." I think that answer illustrates that a big part of what made my father the person he was is gone. It seems an answer he would have given in the past if he were being told about a stranger and their family, not his own family. One day recently a nurse came in to give him some sort of heart test - and when she approached him and told him what she was doing, after being prodded for a moment he said, "I expect I'll have to", with a look that was somewhat resigned. But what struck me is that he spends most of his time "off" somewhere - and when someone forces him back to physical reality, he responds with resignation and some surprise as if he had just woken up.

This whole experience is teaching me something I thought I knew already, but now I REALLY know it - that the things the human race thinks are important are a joke. It absolutely amazes me that people can be so stupid. None of us are going to live a terribly long life - not like in Genesis, where the first people racked up 800 and 900 years! We have at most, about 80 good years if the gene pool crap shoot isn't against us and we survive the rest of the gauntlet that is daily life. So really - what is it all about? God has the answers in the Bible. Abraham and David went to be "with their fathers" as we will, awaiting the eternal future God has for all human beings. Even famous people like Presidents die. Yes, we remember George Washington, but what good does that do for George Washington? I could see if every time someone thought about you, it brought you back to life for that time - people would go nuts trying to make sure they were remember by everyone. There would be agencies whose whole purpose was to recall your name constantly so you could continue existing somehow. But that is not how it works.

When I go to work today, I will be amongst hundreds of people, most jockeying for power and importance, stepping on others where expedient for them. And for what? All of them will be where my father is in not too many years - or a similar experience. Were some of the people in wheelchairs that I saw the other day at the nursing home "important" during their lives? Were some administrators or other types that have power over other human lives? If so, look where they are now - their former power is gone and they have been equalized. It doesn't much matter there whether you are male or female anymore. You are another old person needing care. Period. All the gender based nonsense and work based nonsense, all the sex and dreams of success - is in the past for these people. Only eternity awaits.

As I go about my job today, I'll be shaking my internal head at the antics I see. I've always done that anyway, but with my father's approaching death, it is even more so. The reality of our lives doesn't make me want to shove as much "fun" as possible into the rest of my alloted days - it makes me want to, more than ever, make the days count for eternity - to do God's will to the best of the ability He gives me, until the end. Nothing else has any meaning whatever. Nothing.

Monday, October 1, 2007

God's Timing

I do want to say that the Lord has blessed us in the midst of our difficulties. My father is in a nursing home - and it is pretty much the only one in the area where they live. Yet, the workers there are compassionate and the place is very nice, comforting even. I witnessed one of the nurses being very kind and loving. There was a man in a wheelchair (they're all in wheelchairs - more on that in a minute) and he had a full head of fluffy white hair spiking in all directions - you could see he had been quite good looking at one time. She walked up to him and began smoothing his hair gently and talking to him about combing his hair. She didn't have to do that, but she did - and for a while. He closed his eyes and just enjoyed the touch, the touch that so many old people don't get.

When I first walked into the main hallway of the place, heading to my father's room where he is bedridden at present, I was presented with a gauntlet of old people in wheelchairs scattered all over the hallway from one end to the other, in various positions - facing sideways, forward, backward - and most of them were not moving, or moving very slowly. It looked like a very messy, disarrayed race. Many were bent over or hunched one way or the other and all were dressed in an odd assortment of clothing - red hats, bonnets, sweaters, slippers - hair every which way. As I walked past them, they stared at me - and I stared back. I wanted to make eye contact, say "hello", let them know I knew they existed, if that helped at all. I smiled, but most just continued staring, not smiling. They knew they were on home ground and I was the interloper. They were a tough audience. One woman asked if I could find someone because she had to go to the bathroom - and I hurried off to find a nurse who could assist her. Luckily, one was right down the hall and she went to help. Another man just wanted to be turned in another direction in his wheelchair.

My husband said the most descriptive thing of all - they reminded him of turtles on their backs. Poor, disabled, helpless turtles on their backs, unable to flip.

One woman kept trying to go into the room my father was in. When I mentioned it to a nurse, I was told she likes to "plunder". She opens all the closets and drawers and pulls everything out and puts it in her lap. It was funny and sad at the same time. This was one of the people that did not smile when I smiled at her and said, "hello".

Another woman asked a nurse, "has my daughter been here today?" and the nurse said, "I have no idea, dear." This particular nurse did not seem kind like the others - she seemed to be resentful - but she was the only one, thank God. I wonder if the woman asking has a short memory, so she can't remember if her daughter visited, or if her daughter truly comes, but doesn't stop to see her mother.....

In any case, I hate to leave my father in that place, as if nobody cares for him. We DO!! We just have no other recourse right now. My poor mother was in tears and told me how horrible she felt leaving him there - in such a "foreign" feeling place. Obviously - it's not home.

At one point during me and my sister's visit with my father, he looked around and said, "I keep trying to figure out where the hell this place is!" and we told him he was in the hospital in the town he knows he lives in. A few minutes later he asked again, unsure because it all seemed so unfamiliar.

If I had a million dollars, I'd have a house where my father could live with a nurse to take care of him 24 hours a day - and where all his daughters could visit him and my mother could live and be with him. It would feel like home, and I could visit him and read to him and play music for him.

Right now, I live 2 1/2 hours aways from my parents, and it is a brutal drive back and forth to visit. There is a train that travels to a point 30 miles north of where they are, but that doesn't help, because if we don't drive, how do we get from the train station to where we need to be? Sigh.

God IS blessing us, however. I can't tell you how awful some nursing homes are, although most people know. This one is not bad. My mother goes to visit every day - it seemed to me many of the people in the home where my father is don't have anyone to look after them - but I don't know that for sure.

This is all part of the "march" of life. We start out as babies, grow into children, grow up, marry, have children of our own - and then stand as our parents age and pass on. In my more depressed moments, I think of it as a conveyer belt. You hop on at birth, and it keeps moving until you reach the end, where you fall off at death. But I don't believe death is the end. It is just the shedding of this human "tent" for the eternal. And the eternal looks better every day, the longer I spend on this planet. Even so, Lord Jesus, come - that's my cry.


My favorite season has always been Autumn. Since I grew up in the Northeast, a visit to the local apple orchard in late September and October was mandatory. The smell of the apples, the pumpkins, the crisp air and startling blue sky are memories that will be with me forever. So far, every year, my husband and I have managed a trip to the Smoky Mountains for the mountain autumn experience reminiscent of my upstate New York childhood. This year, finally, we may fly up for a long weekend to New York itself. I'm not a fan of flying, and I've always loved the drive to North Carolina. We've traditionally driven up the center of Florida and Georgia on I-75 and we've seen cotton fields and pecan trees for the first time. Last year, I stopped and picked cotton to bring home as a memento. The Mister was amazed at how obvious cotton is as a textile. It's not like flax, which took a lot of imagination to turn into cloth. Cotton just bursts right out there and looks like it needs to be spun and woven.

Since we've been married, I've wanted very much to show the Mister my home town. Where I went to school, the house I grew up in (even though it is owned by others now.....a strange thought since my father built it himself - it seems wrong somehow). I want to show him New Paltz - a quaint college town that started out as a Huguenot haven in the 1600's. I want him to drive to the top of Cragsmoor with me - a drive I've taken since I was 16 years old. There is an old Methodist church at the top on the edge of a cliff that overlooks mountains, and it is a beautiful place. We're making plans now to see if we can do this in the midst of what is happening to my father.

He is in a nursing home at this point. He can't walk, but he was much more lucid when I went to visit last weekend. He had an infection, which may have made him foggy, but we just don't know. There are many problems with the whole situation. He doesn't want to eat - and I don't blame him. The food is less than desirable. He isn't clear all the time on where he is. He dearly wants to be at home - always has, as we all would - but my mother can't take care of a helpless 187 pound 6' tall man, and we don't have the money for private care in-home. I know money can't buy happiness, but it sure could make my father's last days a lot better for him and my mother.....but it's no use going down that road. If there is one thing this family doesn't have - and according to family records - never had....it's money. So it's one day at a time with his situation. After 20 days in the nursing home, medicare no longer covers full payment, and we still have to find out if my parents' insurance covers it at all. My sister, who worked in insurance for a few years, says it is rare for health insurance to cover nursing home care. Like so much of life - it figures. You spend thousands of dollars making sure you have insurance - and it doesn't cover what you need. After all, insurance companies are out to make money - that is their first concern...not their customers.

Knowing how this world is makes me long for heaven - and short of that, a quick weekend trip to the past and to the most beautiful season of the year - autumn.