On caregivers, faith, family, and writing…

Archive for November, 2012

Success Is a Two-Inch Tomato! | by Linda Brendle

My garden today.I’ve written several posts about my little garden in the past few months. (here, here and here) Gardens are not very exciting to those who’ve grown them all their lives, but they’re nothing short of miraculous to a city girl whose previous horticultural experiences consists of a window sill herb garden and a few pots of patio tomatoes. Every time I take a bag of frozen squash or okra from the freezer or open a jar of salsa or pickled okra, I think this isn’t the product of a giant faceless corporation. This is the result of hard work by Aunt Fay, Jerry, Dirk and even me. (more…)

I Miss Mom When I Pray | by Linda Brendle

Unless you’re a brand new visitor to my blog (and if you are, welcome!), you know that I cared for my parents for many years and that they both went home to be with the Lord in the last couple of years. Dad passed away on May 13, 2011, and Mom followed him on May 20 of this year. I was close to both of them, but especially to Mom, and on May 30 I wrote a post about how much I miss her. It’s become my most popular post, getting almost 1,800 views to date, almost three times as many as my previous favorite about why old people smell bad.  (more…)

Top Ten Definitions of Futility | by Linda Brendle

Earlier this month I posted a status on Facebook that said “I swept the porch less than an hour ago, and it’s already covered with leaves again!” The first comment I received said “It’s futile! Go have a cup of coffee and read instead!!” I took my friend’s advice, but her comment got the writer wheels turning. What other things do we do that are the very definition of futility.  Here’s my top ten list: (more…)

Celebrating Caregivers | by Linda Brendle

Image representing CaringBridge as depicted in...

Image via CrunchBase

I recently read an article on the CaringBridge website titled We’re Celebrating National Caregiver Month – and You. The article talked about what was special about caregivers and invited caregivers to leave comments about why they do what they do, what makes a good caregiver and advice to other caregivers. Always hoping that my experience can be of some help to others, I left a short comment, but I continued to think about National Caregiver Month. Special times devoted to special people are often celebrated by giving gifts or doing something special for the honoree, and I thought about some of the special things people did for me while I was a caregiver. There were lots, but one day in particular stood out in my mind. (more…)

Ten Thousand Reasons to Be Thankful | by Linda Brendle

This past Sunday was one of tradition, the annual Thanksgiving sermon at our church and the community-wide Thanksgiving service. Sunday morning wasn’t completely traditional. The service started with a little excitement when a red wasp buzzed the congregation. Dr. Barry Justice got a round of applause when he threw his jacket over the intruder and stomped it. After the confusion subsided, Pastor Jason asked the expected question: What are you thankful for? Then he gave some of the normal answers for what he called the big things: family, health, a comfortable home, a good job. Then he smiled and gave a list of the little things: bar soap, hot water, apples, toothpaste, pencils, paper. Then he delivered a less traditional Thanksgiving sermon about why we should be thankful for the things that God has not done (more…)

Top Ten Ways to Know You’re Getting Old | by Linda Brendle

Last month, I wrote a post called When Does One Become “Elderly. It was a rather scholarly work, or as scholarly as I get, with references from both the regular and medical sections of Free Dictionary, Geriatrics Gerontology International, and the World Health Organization. But, a few things have happened lately that have made me realize there are much easier ways to tell when you’re getting old. Here are a few of them: (more…)

The Part of the Story the Veterans Don’t Tell | by Linda Brendle

LTJG Brendle: David went into his second tour of active duty as an officer.

David spent ten years in the Navy, two tours of active duty and the rest in the Reserves. His experiences give him an instant kinship with other service men and women. It’s amazing how many hours can be spent sharing stories and memories. They complain about the rigors of basic training while congratulating themselves on having survived it. They talk about who was where during which campaign and how close they were to each other, and they brag about who got in the most trouble while on leave. Sometimes they even talk about their combat experiences. But there are some parts of the stories they don’t share.

David’s first tour was spent as a corpsman on the USS Enterprise (CVN-65), and he loved it. He loved being at sea and seeing exotic ports. He loved presiding over sick bay, learning to discern between the slackers and those who were really sick. He especially loved the time when he was allowed to drive the huge carrier for a little while. And then came January 14, 1969. Wikipedia describes it this way(more…)

Does Government Assistance Discourage Private Charity? | by Linda Brendle

Jim Robinson

A couple of months ago my brother, the Reverend Doctor Jim Robinson, posted a blog titled “Hard Work vs. Government Assistance.” It was well-written and thought-provoking, but I thought it was incomplete.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have to tell you that my brother and I love each other, but we fall on opposite sides of the political fence. He is as liberal as I am conservative; however, we’re both reasonable adults, and we’ve learned to discuss our differences in a civilized manner. In fact, he has a passion for civility, and his blog is “dedicated to hearing ‘both side’ of any issue.” But in this particular post, I think he failed to take into consideration that some issues have more than two sides. I think this is particularly relevant in issues involving caring for those I call “the least of these.” (more…)

Senior Humor – Edition 11 | by Linda Brendle

It’s just a few days until the election, and I thought we all needed a little break.

An older woman went into a store to buy curtains.

She approached the salesman and said, “I want those pink curtains in the display, but I need them customized to fit my computer screen.”

“Ma’am,” said the salesman, “I’ve worked here for 20 years, and I’ve never had a request like that. Why do you need curtains for your computer?” (more…)

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