On caregivers, faith, family, and writing…

Archive for January, 2013

The Fairy Tale of Gun Control | by Linda Brendle

sleeping-beautyAt the risk of giving my readers whiplash, I’m following up my romantic short story from last week  with a brief commentary on the Newtown tragedy. Let me begin by saying there are no words to describe the horror and grief that go along with a massacre of this magnitude, and my prayers are with all those who suffered such great losses and all of us who are affected by the repercussions. It will take many lifetimes to study all the aspects of this event, and even then there is no way to understand or explain it. For today, I want to focus on what I call the fairy tale of gun control. (more…)

Is My Face Red! | by Linda Brendle

I have all sorts of excuses for not posting a blog on Monday and for not posting one earlier today. Some are interesting and some are not, but the real reason is a little embarrassing. One of my fellow AKA Literary authors mentioned a writing contest, and I decided to give it a shot. It was fiction only, so I took a deep breath and wrote my first work of fiction since I was a sophomore in high school. After tweaking it to my satisfaction, I went to the contest site to check out the submission procedures. The first thing I saw was “OPEN ONLY TO LEGAL RESIDENTS OF PENNSYLVANIA WHO ARE AT LEAST 18 YEARS OLD AS OF THE DATE OF ENTRY.” Well, duh! The name of the contest is “The 2013 Central PA Magazine Writing Contest.” So, I have a story that’s all dressed up with no place to go.  I know it’s not my usual genre, but give it a read and let me know what you think.

New Beginnings | by Linda Brendle

I was sitting in the waiting room of the dentist’s office the day it began – a typical waiting room with nondescript furniture, bland wall prints, the faint smell of lemon-scented cleaning products and antiseptic, the distant sound of a drill. I was looking at a magazine article titled “New Year, New Beginnings” – looking but not reading. I was in the season of endings. My marriage ended after twenty years, and a couple of ill-advised relationships ended much more quickly. My career ended in a corporate downsizing, and my stint as a caregiver ended with the death of my mother, taking half my retirement savings with it. The rest of my plans for a semi-luxurious retirement ended when the stock market and the housing market crashed at about the same time. All my new beginnings had faded, and I’d resolved to make do with what was left. (more…)

The Ladies’ Conference in Pictures | by Linda Brendle


RedeemBannerRGB2On Tuesday I posted the written account of the Ladies’ Conference our church hosted on January 12. Here’s the pictorial version. (more…)

The Party’s Not Over | by Linda Brendle

Potty FlowersThe table decorations had disappeared, the signs that had been suspended over the buffet table with fishing line were gone and the Fellowship Hall was set up for Bible study class. The multitude of signs pointing toward restrooms, registration and coffee were gone, and the masculinity of the men’s rooms had been restored, the artificial flower arrangements having been removed from the urinals. A vacuum was running somewhere, and several of the youth were wiping finger prints off the glass doors. Extra chairs were gone from the sanctuary, and the Communion table was set and ready for Sunday morning worship. David and I boarded the shuttle bus that would take us and a few other tired volunteers to the remote parking at the Methodist church. It looked like the Redeeming the Time Ladies Conference our church had hosted was over, but it wasn’t. (more…)

My Work and God’s | by Linda Brendle

FlowersI wrote on Monday about the ladies’ conference my church is hosting tomorrow. We’ve spent the last two days mopping floors, swabbing toilets and dusting blinds. We’ve set up tables and chairs, arranged decorations and put up signs. We’ve baked muffins and bagged cookies, put gift bags together and answered phone calls. We’ve panicked and we’ve prayed, and we’re all tired.

This afternoon when I was revising the schedule one more time, I heard the front door open and a voice say “Is Linda here?”

I looked up and saw a lady holding these beautiful flowers. She handed me the vase and said, “I hope they’re what you had in mind.”

“I didn’t order any flowers,” I said. (more…)

Potpourri | by Linda Brendle


Potpourri (Photo credit: Niina C)

Potpourri is defined as “a mixture of flowers, herbs, and spices that is usually kept in a jar and used for scent.” That’s not the kind of potpourri this blog is about. It’s about the alternate kind of potpourri: “a miscellaneous collection” or “a combination of incongruous things.” My sister-in-law Jo Lynn recently posted an article on Facebook, and she said it was especially for me to add to my future-blog-material file. It was attributed to a woman named Regina Brett on the occasion of her 90th birthday. After years of internet experience, I’m a little skeptical of the origins, but the humor and wisdom of some of the thoughts are inescapable. I’ve chosen a few of my favorites for further comment.

Get rid of anything that isn’t useful. Clutter weighs you down in many ways.

I think my former employers followed this line of thinking, and unfortunately, they decided that usefulness diminished with age. On or about my 60th birthday, I was informed that my services were no longer required. I can only pray that my husband doesn’t subscribe to the same school of thought. (more…)

One Body – Many Parts – How Hard Could It Be? | by Linda Brendle

From: Zeology The Art + Science of Sleep

From: Zeology The Art + Science of Sleep

I missed my Friday post, partly for the same reasons I’m writing instead of sleeping at 12:30 in the morning and partly for other reasons. First, we were out of data on our WiFi card and our new month didn’t start until Saturday, and even though I have unlimited data on my new iPhone, I wasn’t sure I was up to blogging on a three-inch keyboard. Second, we spent the morning winding up our New Year’s visit with David’s mom and the afternoon driving home. I intended to write on Saturday, but then the real reason kicked in – I was preoccupied. Several months ago our pastor asked if I would consider coordinating a one-day ladies’ conference our church was planning to host. If I had said no right then, I might have posted a blog on Friday, and I might be asleep right now. Instead I said I would think about it and pray about it and let him know. (more…)

Top Ten Things That Make You Feel Old (and what to do about them) | by Linda Brendle


The December 29 issue of the AgingCare.com newsletter featured an article called “10 Things That Make You Feel Old – and What To Do About Them.” It contained some good information about exercise, diet, mental stimulation and other areas of concern, but I thought they omitted some other quite obvious things. So here’s my top ten list of things that can make you feel old and what to do about them. (more…)

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