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Archive for the ‘women’ Category

Well-Armed Woman Update | by Linda Brendle    

Published in the Rains County Leader on March 10, 2022:

In the early fall of last year, I wrote a column titled “To Shoot or Not to Shoot.” A friend had invited me to a meeting of an organization that “creates opportunities for women to be introduced to issues important to women shooters, learn safe gun handling skills and train together.” Circumstances intervened, and we didn’t get to go, but I wrote about it anyway. I reviewed my previous gun experience, which was almost none, and I told about my Aunt Fay’s decision not to use the pistol her son gave her for protection. I concluded the article with this decisive statement:

After our plans to go to The Well-Armed Woman [DBA Armed Women of America or AWA] meeting fell apart, my friend suggested we try again next month. “I think you’d like it,” she said. I’m sure I’d enjoy the trip to Mineola and back, and it would be fun to experience a real indoor shooting range. But like Aunt Fay, I don’t ever want to shoot anyone. So for now, I think I’ll probably remained unarmed and depend on God – and David – to be my protectors.

My outlook on the subject has changed a bit since then. Shortly after her initial invitation, my friend had some health issues that prevented her attending the next two meetings. By December, though, she was recovered enough to attend the group’s Christmas party as long as someone else drove. I was glad to help since the event was just dinner at a restaurant with no firearms involved – and she was buying! I’m not sure what I expected, but the women I met were not pistol-packing mamas but were simply people who had chosen to learn to handle firearms safely and to have some fun with friends in the process. Since then, I’ve attended two regular meetings, and as of last week, I am a dues-paying member of AWA. Following are some of the things I’ve learned so far.

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Kindness | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on December 16, 2021:

Warning! This is not a typical light-hearted, feel-good column that will leave you with a smile. It is a full on rant against cruel and insensitive people whose words leave wounds that may never heal.

Kindness has become a sort of buzzword in recent years, although it is definitely not a new concept. The Apostle Paul told us in the “love chapter” of 1 Corinthians that Love is kind, and one of the first verses I learned in Sunday School was Be ye kind one to another. It had a certain rhythm that made it easy for little minds to remember, even if they didn’t understand exactly what it meant.

The Oxford Language online dictionary defines kindness as the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate or as a kind act. Wikipedia explained it this way:

Kindness is a type of behavior marked by acts of generosity, consideration, or concern for others, without expecting praise or reward. Kindness is a topic of interest in philosophy and religion. Kindness was one of the main topics in the Bible. 

According to a 2006 blog post on a site called Random Acts of Kindness, in 1982 a woman named Anne Herbert wrote “practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty” on a place mat and set off a chain reaction that turned into the Random Acts of Kindness movement that has swept across the world. A random act of kindness is described by Wikipedia as a nonpremeditated, inconsistent action designed to offer kindness towards the outside world. However, since Herbert first penned her memorable quote, these acts have become not only premeditated but also institutionalized and commercialized.

In 1993 Herbert published a children’s book titled Random Acts of Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty. Later that year, a college professor in California gave his students an assignment of performing a random act of kindness. This assignment sparked a flood of stories, and the concept spread quickly and widely. Since then people have paid tolls for those behind them, paid for the dinner of a stranger on the other side of the restaurant, and performed other acts of generosity without plan or forethought.

Before long, though, the randomness began to fade as websites were established that suggest ideas and calendars that offer ideas for daily acts of kindness. Non-profit organizations and for-profit vendors offer t-shirts, posters, coffee mugs, tote bags, stickers, posters, and more. In 1995 officials in Denver created the first Random Acts of Kindness Day, and Random Acts of Kindness Week began in 2018. In spite of efforts to organize or profit from the concept, it continues to spread and hopefully will carry on until the beauty of simple kindness changes all it touches.

Still, there is hard-hearted unkindness in the world, and Tennille, a dear friend, fell victim to it today. While shopping in Quitman, a man told her that “her kind” were not welcome there and that she needed to be what she was born as. I wish I had been there with her. I would have told him that what she is – a wonderful wife and mother. She is a loyal friend with a hilarious sense of humor and a joy for life like few I have ever known. She is brave beyond belief and in the last couple of years she has experienced a cancer diagnosis, a double mastectomy, radiation, and chemo. She survived all this with amazing courage and opted to forego the pain and expense of reconstructive surgery so she could get back to her life and the thriving cookie business she runs from her home – but it has not been easy. In her own words:

I’ve gotten used to occasionally being called “sir”. I knew my decision to not have reconstruction after surgery would come with some confusion. I try to dress girlie and wear clothing to make it obvious that I am, in fact, a girl.

Yes I look a little different. Trust me, I know. I see myself in the mirror every.single.day. And I’m trying very hard to come to terms and acceptance of my new “me”.

I say all this to say, be kind. You have no right judge someone based on appearance alone. We are ALL fighting battles you may never know about. Because trust me, a smile hides a lot.

Blessings,

Linda

Kitty’s Story

Fallen Angel Salvage

Tatia’s Tattoo

Mom’s Long Goodbye

A Long and Winding Road

Baby or mass of cells | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on May 11, 2021:

Mother’s Day weekend was extra special to me this year. Saturday was the 50th anniversary of the day I first felt my baby move. I was four months pregnant and had been waiting for that faint butterfly feeling I had heard other expectant mothers describe. But my son has always been different, even in utero. The first movement I felt was a definite rhythmic tapping, and that tapping continued off and on throughout the next five months. My doctor smiled when I described the feeling and said, “It’s probably hiccups.” He was right – Christian continued to have hiccups regularly for his first several months.

At that time, ultrasounds were not performed unless there was a problem, so I didn’t “see” my son until he made his public appearance, but I saw his shape many times. I had always enjoyed a warm, relaxing soak in the tub, and as the pregnancy progressed, the bath became an important source of relief for my aching back. He seemed to enjoy it, too, because as I lay back in the water, he would stretch like a cat getting up from a nap. During delivery I learned that he was “sunny side up,” or facing front instead of back, so as he stretched I often saw the shape of a little foot or fist move across the surface of my swollen belly.

Christian’s birth was difficult and required a last-minute C-section, so I didn’t see him until the nurse brought him to my room a few hours later. She held up that little bundle that had startling blue eyes and blond hair that stuck up as if he’d stuck his finger in an electric outlet, and I said, “Well, hello there.” When I spoke, his eyes lit up with recognition. For the next several weeks, before he learned to differentiate faces, his unfocused eyes would search for me if I wasn’t holding him, following the sound of the voice he had listened to for nine months.

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Grabbing the Brass Ring | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on September 18, 2018:

Grabbing the brass ringThere was a time when a hot date consisted of a stroll on the promenade and a ride on the carousel. To add some excitement to the ride, some carousels featured a dispenser that offered a brass ring. The dispenser was placed so that riders had to stretch, taking a risk of losing their grip and tumbling off their mount, in order to grab it. The reward for grabbing the ring was a free ride, though, so many a dashing young man faced the danger for the chance of winning the admiration of a fair maiden. Brass rings are only available on a few vintage carousels now, but “taking a shot at the brass ring” has come to mean striving for the highest prize, or living life to the fullest. Last week, I shared a booth at the 2018 Rains County Fair with Tennille Case, a very special woman who grabbed her brass ring with both hands and walked away with much more than free ride. (more…)

Book Review: A Year of Second Chances by Buffy Andrews

Cover

About the book:

When Scarlett comes across a box containing her most precious items from her teenage years, she’s forced to confront the adult she has become. As a divorced mother of two twentysomethings, Scarlett has to admit her life has ground to a halt! Whatever happened to that girl whose hopes and dreams were so naively displayed in a wish list for her life?

So, armed with the list, Scarlett sets about checking off each and every item possible, determined to fulfill her promises to her younger self. Some are easy. Dancing in the rain? Bring on the next thunderstorm! Marrying her high-school sweetheart? Not so easy when married Jake lives clear across the country!

But what started out as a challenge to herself quickly takes on a life of its own, catapulting Scarlett out of her slump and into a life even her younger self could never have dreamed of!

My review:

A Year of Second Chances, the latest women’s fiction offering by Buffy Andrews, is a beautiful tale of living out youthful dreams regardless of age and circumstances. As always, Andrews draws her readers into the world of her imagination where she paints vivid word pictures and introduces memorable characters who will remind you of people in your own life. In this entertaining story of challenges and fulfillment, she explores many of the issues that arise when a person faces mid-life. I have read a number of novels by Buffy Andrews, and I am always a little bit sad when I come to the last page. A Year of Second Chances was no exception.

About the author:

BuffyBuffy Andrews is an author, blogger, journalist and social media maven. By day, she works for USA Today Network. By night, she writes middle-grade, young adult and women’s fiction. She lives in south central Pennsylvania with her husband, Tom, and wheaten cairn terrier Kakita.

 

Buy Link: Amazon

Connect:

Author website: http://www.authorbuffyandrews.com

Twitter: @Buffyandrews

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Authorbuffyandrews

Blessings,

Linda

Book Review: Letting Go: A Novel by Maria Thompson Corley

letting-go-cover

Blurb: Even though she lives hundreds of miles away, when Langston, who dreams of being a chef, meets Cecile, a Juilliard-trained pianist, he is sure that his history of being a sidekick, instead of a love interest, is finally over. Their connection is real and full of potential for a deeper bond, but the obstacles between them turn out to be greater than distance. Can these busy, complicated people be ready for each other at the same time? Does it even matter? Before they can answer these questions, each must do battle with the ultimate demon–fear.  (more…)

Strong Women | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on August 2, 2016:

Rosie the Riveter

For you youngsters, this is Rosie the Riveter who represented the women who worked in the factories during WWII while the men went to war.

This past week, we have seen and heard a lot about strong women. Mothers have posted about how thrilled they are that, with Hillary Clinton having been nominated for the office of President of the United States by the Democratic Party, they now have a role model of a strong woman to hold up before their daughters. While we now have the opportunity to tell our girls as well as our boys that, if you are willing to work for it, the possibilities of what you can do with your life are virtually unlimited, we should make sure that our efforts to expand their horizons are not actually having the opposite effect. (more…)

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