From the Editor

Lisa, for the Win!

 

 

“If you want to change the world . . . start off by making your bed.”
~ Admiral William H. McRaven ~

I walked down the driveway to greet the UPS man, who is always quite nice. We exchanged pleasantries, as he handed me a Priority, Flat Rate box, from the United States Postal Service.

The actual box raised my curiosity, before I even went to look for the sender’s name. One is not normally permitted to use a USPO box to ship from UPS, unless the box has been previously used; which this had, and by me! I could not believe when I saw my return address on the box.

The box was addressed to both Kate and me; but Kate was away on business, so I opened the box! It was not just a box that I had previously used but its contents were one of my “boxes”.

You see, my Mother loved receiving mail; mail connected my Mother to the outside world and reminded her that someone loved her, wondered how she was, and what she had to say. As my Mother grew older, and her world grew smaller, mail became even more important to her; thus I tried to surprise my Mother, as often as possible, with a little something in the mail.

I became accustomed to looking for things I could put in boxes for her; which honestly was not hard to do, because my Mother received everything with such a happy grateful heart. After my Mother passed away, I noticed I still kept adding things to her mail drawer, even though I had no one to mail them to. But one day, as I looked through the drawer, I thought: If Mother enjoyed her boxes so much, why wouldn’t someone else? Thus I began mailing boxes to other people.

I know I have mentioned how terrible last Christmas was because one of our Christmas “boxes” which was actually a 30 gallon (new) trash bag filled with wrapped presents was rejected. We were told to come back and pick up the gifts or the recipient offered to dispose of them.

One gives to share joy and hopefully meet a need or desire; and giving is quite Biblical. This rejection of our gifts was one of the most painful things that have ever happened to either Kate or me. We of course went back and picked the bag of gifts up; verified with the other recipients that the person who had sent us that text was speaking for them, which they were, and came home, putting the bag in our guest room. We were in shock.

There were a wide variety of gifts in that bag, including, all those kinds of things you think will be a blessing to people. It took about a month before I went looking for the food stuffs in the bag, and then I pulled out a few things for other reasons; but the majority of the bag just sat on the guest room closet floor. I could not bear dealing with the heartache.

But finally, last month, I went into the room, put everything on the guest bed and began to literally rip open the packages, throwing away the wrapping paper and stacking the gifts into piles to put in the gift drawers. There were a few tears shed during the process and a few surprises; like candy I had forgotten to reclaim in January.

I decided this episode was over and it was time to move on, which I did until I went looking for something for someone else, and opened a white box.

The box contained vintage Christmas china pieces, which were meant for one of the recipients, of the garbage bag gifts. What made me begin to cry uncontrollably in the basement was not the china, but rather the little coffee pods, courtesy of a hotel, which I had tucked into the box.

We stay at a lot of hotels, and usually go looking for expresso in the morning; but I so love free things and therefore I always bring home the coffee packets. My sister is usually the recipient of coffee in packets, but she does not use the pods, thus they went to that other house.

I left the box of china and coffee downstairs, and fell back into this dark, deep sorrow; but then Lisa sent me a box – again!

It was Lisa’s box that had given me hope at Christmas time, though Lisa had not put her name on or in the box. I had gotten an anonymous box filled with the kinds of things I put in my boxes; I had never mailed Lisa a box. As I opened her box, and began taking things out, I kept telling Kate, this is one of my boxes; it was shocking. Finally, not finding any information from the sender, I told Kate: God sent me a box!

I truly felt like God had looked down at our heartache, obviously only some of which is expressed in the rejection of the gifts, and said keep going; I have got your back.

Between the postmark and the book in the box, I decided that Lisa Lynx had sent me the box. The book, “Make Your Bed, Little things That Can Change Your Life . . . And Maybe the World”, by Admiral William H. McRaven, was one Lisa and I had both made comments about on Facebook. She had dedicated it to me, with a heart, and a wish for a Happy New Year, but had not signed it.

The box had so deeply and at the absolute right moment blessed me; I had to write her, even if the gift was meant to be anonymous. So I sent Lisa a thank you note, saying I believe this gift came from you, and if so, thank you!

I did not hear from Lisa after the note, and I truly hoped I had not offended her by figuring out who had sent the box, or that I was wrong about the sender.

At Easter time, I decided to send Lisa one of my boxes, which I did. Though when Kate took it to the post office, Andy, who is one of the nicest people in the entire postal world, told Kate that there was a problem with the address, and changed the zip code for us; we both worried about whether or not the box had arrived. Of course, I now know it arrived, because Lisa sent it back to me, again at the absolute right moment!

This time Lisa included a beautiful card as well as note, which accompanied one of two items in the box, which had been her mothers. I could not believe her timing, or the fact that she sent me her phone number. (I have to tell you I really want to add an exclamation point there, which I normally do not overuse; I feel like they lose their power when over used and I have used them a lot in this article.)

I called Lisa, forgetting the time difference; in a few minutes Lisa called back and I asked her if I could speak freely. I so love when I do not need to be guarded with my words and by that I mean when I do not have to pretend that I do not believe God is real and working in our lives!

She said yes, speak away and I told her what an amazing blessing her two boxes had been; such a pure act of love for absolutely no reason. As we talked Lisa said she had not realized that she had not included her name in the first box; but she was happy it had meant so much to me and seemed fine that I had decided the box had come from God.

We spoke for a while, a conversation I shall cherish forever. I am so grateful Lisa; I thank you for allowing the Lord to use you to restore me from my sorrows. May God truly bless you a thousand fold.

Some things are easier to find a new home for, like cash, gift cards, coffee, and chocolate, others, like personalized ornaments and books, are much more difficult to give to someone else. But there is a new baby coming into the world whose parents find themselves in need of help; it was while looking for something for their baby that I went to the gift section and opened the box that held the Christmas china and coffee pods. Eventually I found the right unwanted box; I brought it upstairs and weighed the possibilities of its new home. I feel a little guilty and sad that the baby for whom it was intended will not receive it, but I just keep thinking about the Parable of the Great Banquet, Luke 14: 15-24, where none of the invited guest wanted to come to the feast and so the host told his servants to invite those in the streets.

All we can do is offer; if our friendship, love, hospitality, and gifts, whatever they may be, are rejected, we really just need to dry those tears, and say hey the food is still hot and there are others who are hungry! I hope you are not feeling rejected and unloved, but if you are remember you are not alone in your grief and just because the person you love does not see your value, does not mean there is not someone else out there who thinks you are worth sending a box to! That is all for now!

Poet’s Corner

Change

 

 

Change pounds on the door
Welcomed or not
She will not be ignored
The only true constant
In life
Is change
She will rush over you
With overpowering force and determination
Knocking you to the ground
Leaving you broken and baffled
Unless you decide to surrender
To the unrelenting truth
That change is inevitable
And even if embraced cautiously
With apprehension
One must step forward
Into this reality
That nothing remains the same
There are those of us that grieve change
Thinking of the loss it can represent
But we must also embrace
The gift of a new person or perspective
The road change insists on
Is rarely smooth
But if we can find a way
To enjoy her journey
As we head toward her
Designated destination
For our life
We may find we are able
To answer the door
When she knocks
With anticipation
Instead of fear

~ Cristina Jill Mosqueda ~

Film’s Recommended by Marcial


 
 
This is a trading world and men, women and children, who cannot live on gravity alone, need something to satisfy their gayer, lighter moods and hours, and he who ministers to this want is in a business established by the Author of our nature.  If he worthily fulfills his mission and amuses without corrupting, he need not feel that he has lived in vain.
 
~ Phineas T. Barnum ~
 
 
The Debt, US, 2010, 114 minutes, espionage thriller
 
Larry Crowne, US, 2011, 99 minutes, romantic comedy
 
Ed Wood, US, 1994, 127 minutes, comedy
 
Keeping Mum, UK, 2005, 136 minutes, black comedy

The Mouse That Roared, UK, 1959, 83 minutes, comedy

The Party, UK, 1968, 99 minutes, classic comedy

Fair Game, US, 2010, 108 minutes, political thriller

The Right Stuff, US, 192 minutes, Drama

The Black Balloon US, 97 minutes, Drama

The Tree of Life, US, 2011, 139 minutes, Drama

Shopgirl, US, 2005, 106 minutes, Romantic Comedy

12 Strong, US, 2018, 130 minutes, Military Drama

In Therapy, Brazil, 2009, 93 minutes, Comedy

Soul Kitchen, Germany, 2009, 99 minutes, Comedy

Breakfast at Tiffany’s, US, 1961, 114 minutes, Comedy

Queen to Play, France, 2009, 101 minutes, Drama

Castaway on the Moon, Korea, 2009, 116 minutes, Comedy

Eat Drink Man Woman, Taipei, 1994, 124 minutes, Comedy

Bride Flight, Netherlands, 2011, 130 minutes, Drama

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Sweden, 2009, 152 minutes, Thriller

Bonjour Monsieur Shlomi, Israel, 2003, 94 minutes, Comedy

Ladies in Lavender, UK, 2004, 103 minutes, Drama

Paper Moon, US, 1973, 102 minutes, Classic

Outsourced, US, 2006, 103 minutes, Comedy

Stranger than Fiction, US, 2006, 113 minutes, Comedy

Run Lola Run, Germany, 1998, 80 minutes, Thriller

Frida, US, 2002, 122 minutes, Drama

The Hours, US, 2002, 114 minutes, Drama

Garden State, US, 2004, 103 minutes, Comedy

American Beauty, US, 1999, 122 minutes, Drama

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, US, 2004, 108 minutes, Comedy

The Green Mile, US, 1999, 189 minutes, Drama

Rain Man, US, 1988, 103 minutes, Drama

Chicago, US, 2002, 113 minutes, Musical

The Upside of Anger, US, 2005, 118 minutes, Comedy

Scarface, US, 1983, 170 minutes, Thriller

The Notebook, US, 2004, 123 minutes, Drama

Million Dollar Baby, US, 2004, 133 minutes, Sports drama

Good Bye, Lenin!, Germany, 2003, 121 minutes, Comedy

Finding Neverland, UK, 2004, 101 minutes, Drama

Spanglish, US, 2004, 131 minutes, Comedy

The Aviator, US, 2004, 170 minutes, Drama

The Bridge on the River Kwai, US, 1957, 167 minutes, Action

Pulp Fiction, US, 1994, 154 minutes, Thriller

The Magnificent Seven, US, 1960, 128 minutes, Western

Zorba the Greek, Greek, 1964, 142 minutes, Classic

O Brother, Where Art Thou?, US, 2000, 106 minutes, Comedy

La Strada, Italy, 1954, 108, Drama

In Bruges, UK, 2008, 107 minutes, Thriller-Comedy

Whatever Works, US, 2009, 92 minutes, Comedy

Good Morning Vietnam, US, 1987, 119 minutes, Comedy

Awakenings, US, 1990, 120 minutes, Drama

Patch Adams, US, 1998, 116 minutes, Comedy

Captain Abu Raed, Jordan, 2008, 102 minutes, Drama

Bandits, US, 2001, 123 minutes, Comedy

Lucky Number Slevin, US, 2006, 110 minutes, Thriller

The Chorus, France, 2004, 97 minutes, Drama

Butterfly, Spain, 1999, 97 minutes, Drama

K-Pax, US, 2001, 121 minutes, Science Fiction

Winter in Wartime, Netherlands, 2008, 103, Drama, Suspenseful

Elling, Norway, 2001, 90 minutes, Comedy

Il Postino, Italy, 1995, 108 minutes, Drama

 

Connected

“You can’t be what you can’t see”

~ Sally Ride ~

 

I wonder when Sally Ride wrote her letter to NASA, if she knew she would be breaking the ultimate glass ceiling?

In 1977, while a PhD student in astrophysics at Stanford, she responded to an article that was in the Stanford Daily stating that NASA contacted Stanford in order to recruit women for the Space Shuttle Program. She would submit a letter of only forty words to NASA, shown in the picture below:

 

Photo Credit: Tam O’Shaughnessy

It says:

“To Whom it May Concern,

I am a PhD candidate in astrophysics at Stanford University, and am interested in the Space Shuttle Program. Please send me the forms necessary to apply as a “mission specialist” candidate.

Thank You,

          Sally Ride”

Tam O’Shaughnessy, her life partner, said that Ride did not think about becoming an astronaut until she saw the article. According to O’Shaughnessy, “She was eating breakfast in the cafeteria at Stanford and thought, Oh my God, I want to do that. I want to try to do that”. https://tinyurl.com/yyvbvj6m

The oral history by NASA Johnson Space Center, says Sally Ride would be selected in January of 1978. The new class of astronauts would total thirty-five, and six of the team would be women. It would be perfect timing for Ride in that she would defend her thesis in late June and then get into her car and drive to Houston, to start a new and exciting opportunity. https://tinyurl.com/yyuz3jnr

Ride first went to space on June 18th., 1983 (36 years ago) as a mission specialist, on the second mission for the Space Shuttle Challenger, and she went again in 1984. She was due to return but those plans were stopped when the Challenger was destroyed in an accident in 1986.

All seven crew members on the shuttle mission were killed when the Challenger broke up just over a minute into its flight, on January 28, 1986.

It is important, especially for the young people, in our life, that we stay Connected to our past, including such heroines as Sally Ride. We need role models in every field, and if we look, we will find that there are amazing people out there who are impacting our world.

If I may paraphrase Ms. Ride, girls and boys need to see so that they can be!

“I can’t remember a single time my parents ever told me

not to do something I wanted to do.”

~ Sally Ride ~

From Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sally_Ride :

“Sally Kristen Ride (May 26, 1951 – July 23, 2012) was an American astronaut, physicist, and engineer. Born in Los Angeles, she joined NASA in 1978 and became the first American woman in space in 1983. Ride was the third woman in space overall, after USSR cosmonauts Valentina Tereshkova (1963) and Svetlana Savitskaya (1982). Ride remains the youngest American astronaut to have traveled to space, having done so at the age of 32. After flying twice on the Orbiter Challenger, she left NASA in 1987. She worked for two years at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Arms Control, then at the University of California, San Diego as a professor of physics, primarily researching nonlinear optics and Thomson scattering. She served on the committees that investigated the Challenger and Columbia space shuttle disasters, the only person to participate in both. Ride died of pancreatic cancer on July 23, 2012.”


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~ Aristophanes~

High thoughts must have high language.

My Mother’s Favorite Verse

“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”~ Jeremiah 33: 3 ~

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