Thirty-Nine, and Counting

4

September 10, 2021- When I called Mom this afternoon, as it is her birthday, she asked me if I knew how old she was. Having seen a photo of the cake, on which the number 39 was placed, I answered appropriately. Her voice brightened further, and she said “Good boy! I can’t lie, though, I’m 93.”

She said her health is good, and I assured her mine is the same. She has made friends at her new residence, which I am sure accounts for her renewed good spirits, and good health. Having raised us to share, she will do the same with the yogurt-covered strawberries I sent with her flowers.

The best of parents convey life lessons, and she did plenty of that, over the years. Sharing was one of the first-and even my severely autistic youngest brother offered of his food and playthings to us siblings. Meanness was swiftly discouraged, and loving kindness instilled, in each of us. Loyalty and protection of one another has extended, over the years, to the next generations and to those around us. Responsibility has also been a binding expectation, and if one of us got self into difficulty, any money sent was to be paid back-either directly or to the next person who was in a bind.

Mom looks forward to the years ahead, and I applaud her for maintaining the same outlook on life that has gotten us where we need to be. I wish her many more.

Stability

2

May 29, 2021- There have been many times in my life, when I felt the ground was caving in beneath my feet. Somehow, I have always managed to recover. Sometimes, it has been because of help from family or friends. Other times, it has been because of my own stubbornness and refusal to accept the status quo, or settle for just any set of circumstances.

Now is a time when I have achieved stability, with no clouds on the horizon. The caveats are that I must be willing to share, to a reasonable and markedly-limited degree, and to do so in a way that will not make me a ward of someone else.

I credit both my upbringing and the Baha’i Faith for this basic sense of stability, having absorbed some lessons right away, and others over a period of time. My yardstick for the strength of stability is mainly the avoidance of capricious and ill-considered decisions. I am much better, in that regard, than even seven years ago. It took bouncing back from losing Penny and recognizing that I have far more worth than any naysayers have led me to believe, at certain periods of this life.

This same message is what I impart to anyone who approaches with a tale of woe. In the long run, stability only comes from doing what one’s inner essence advises- and never kowtowing to someone else’s dictates, no matter how loud and forceful their voice.

The Visitor

2

March 25, 2020-

(This is a short story which came to me, this evening, as I was in a meditation group.)

Katrin was playing in her room, with Bradley Bear and Kimmy Koala. She had just sat her animals in the little chairs, and was preparing to play teacher, when she heard a bump in the family room next to hers.  She told the “children” to stay quiet, and went to check out what had happened.  Mommy was getting stressed, with new baby coming in three more months, and Kat did not want her mother to fall down and have an accident.

She saw the breeze rustling the curtain-an odd sight, given it was early April, and Mommy never opened the window much before the first of May.  Kat went towards the window and was startled to see a pair of shoes behind the curtain.  Although she was only four years old, Katrin Leigh Osterman was the epitome of boldness, as her grandmother put it.  She went slowly, but confidently, towards the curtain and pulled it back.

There, looking unusually fearful, was a big man.  He reminded Katrin of the main character in a show that she watched with Mommy, called “Reading Rainbow”.  She asked, “Mister, what are you doing, standing behind our curtain?  Are you okay?”  The man stared, still fearful, at the little girl.  Then, he spoke:  “I am very hungry.  I have not eaten as much as a crust of bread , in almost five days.  I have been hiding, since I got off a small plane.  I watched your family and saw they seem friendly-but I could not be certain.  So, I had to sneak into the house first.”

“What’s your name, Mister?”, Katrin whispered, feeling sad at his story.

“I am Adibe Junius.”, replied the man.  ” My family name comes first, then my given name, so please call me Junius.”

“I am glad to meet you, Junius. My name is Katrin”, said the girl, still whispering.  Kat knew that Mother would be a bit scared of this stranger in her house, but Junius seemed tired, weak and more than a bit scared, himself.  She asked him to sit in a chair and said she would get him something to drink.  Then, she went to the kitchen, where her mother was resting in a comfy chair.

“Mommy, I have something to show you, in the family room.”, Kat said, in her Big Girl voice.  She then stepped on a footstool and got a glass of water from the refrigerator spigot.  ” Pleas come with me.”

Brittany got up, in a world-weary manner, wondering what her bright and adventurous offspring was up to now, carrying a glass of water to the back of the house.  Was she going to “teach” the stuffed animals how to drink without spilling?

Junius looked up at the five-foot, five inch cinnamon-coloured woman, who gasped at seeing a nearly six-foot tall man, sitting in her rocking chair.  “KATRIN LEIGH !  What on Earth are you doing, letting a stranger into this house??”, the horrified woman scolded her daughter.

“Please, Madame”, the chastened man spoke up, “She did not let me in.  I came in, through the window, as I am desperate.”

“DESPERATE?  I’ll  show you desperate!  Since when do you just walk into someone’s home, without so much as a ‘By your leave? And who are you, anyway?”, Brittany snapped.

At this point, all of Junius’ hunger and thirst pangs left him, and he burst into tears.   “I knew this would be a mistake.  I left Congo in a flight of panic and have not eaten since I got off the plane, five days ago.  All the smugglers gave any of us was a bowl of rice, with peanut sauce.”

“Congo?  Smugglers? Peanut sauce?”, the flinty-eyed mother said, her eyes getting narrower by the second.  “If this story gets any weirder, I’m about set to call Santa Claus.”

“It’s true”, Junius said, collecting himself , just a bit.  “I fled the war back home, and a white man came up to me, in Kinshasa, and said he could get me to Cape Town, so long as I carried a crate of animals to a certain spot.  I delivered the animals to a wet market, in the Chinese neighbourhood, then I was chased out of there by a gang of teenaged boys.  They called me ‘dirtbag foreigner.’  Imagine that, I am an African, and they said I didn’t belong.  So, I wandered around, until I came to this neighbourhood.”

Brittany was drawn in by this story, and he certainly wasn’t dressed like anyone from around Cape Town.  “Give Mr. Junius the glass of water, Katrin”, she relented.
Junius sipped the water surprisingly carefully, and threw his head back, letting out a heavy sigh.  “Do you know where I might get a clean bed, Madame, and a plate of food?”

Tears started to well up in Brittany’s eyes.  “I can get you to our church.  The pastor will let you clean up, help you get some fresh attire and see that you are fed.  He can do this a lot easier than we can, and he will put you to dignified work.”

Ten minutes later, Brittany Osterman had spoken to Reverend Stenbeek, who readily agreed to take Junius in, provided he followed the church house rules.  Junius walked with the two ladies to the rector’s house, and was warmly greeted by the Dutch Reformed Church pastor and his wife.  “Junius, you stumbled upon the nicest people in this parish,”  Leonidas Stenbeek proclaimed, “and you couldn’t have been greeted by anyone kinder than our Lady Katrin!”

“Please put your bag in the first bedroom, then go and shower yourself. ” Leo said, and then to his smiling wife, ” Margrit, I shall grill some prawns, in our guest’s honour! Please prepare him some porridge, for when he gets showered and dressed.  Then, we shall all dine together.”  “Yes, that we must.  It’s a great day to welcome one of our brothers,” the sturdy pastor’s wife announced, “Brittany, do sit and rest. Katrin, please help me peel some carrots.”

The proud little girl carefully peeled and sliced seven carrots, one for her and two for each of the Big People, just as Grandmother had taught her. It was a great day to welcome an uncle.

Sunshine Blogger Award

16

November 25, 2018, Prescott-

sunshine-blogger-award

The rules of this Awesome Sunshine Blogger Award are:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blogging sites.
  • Answer the questions.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
  • Notify the nominees about it by commenting on one of their blog posts.
  • List the rules and display the sunshine blogger award logo on your site or on your post.

The questions:

 

  1. Are you the  jolly type or serious type personality,  and why ?

I am easy-going, most of the time, with a sense of humour about most situations. I am serious, when the situation calls for careful, sober behaviour.

2. When you are irritated, how crazed you can become ?

I am rarely driven to intense anger. Rape, child abuse and unlawful imprisonment are what make me angry, when I encounter them.  I would not allow myself to beat someone senseless, but would certainly pursue justice for a victim of such crimes.

3. What is your opinion on live in relationship ?

I believe in marriage.  Sex outside of marriage is wrong, except in cases of extreme chaos and massive casualties in a population, when people need to live together, for the sake of security.

4.   Your thoughts,when you realised that next minute you are going to die …

I have lived a wonderful life. My beloved is waiting, on the other side of the veil.

5. Can you tell me,what is the necessity for so many religions to come into the existence ?

There is a misconception, among most people, that each of the Divine Messengers is separate from all Others.  Each person thinks “his” or “her’ Messenger is the sole Voice of God.  Then, there are those who follow a variation of a revealed Faith- (Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox Christians, Sunni, Shiite, Sufi, Theravada, Hinayana, etc.)  There is, in fact, one Spiritual Truth, which is revealed to the extent the people of the time can understand.

6.  What is the one fulfillment ,you demand from God ?

I demand nothing from God.  He is the Creator and I am one of His creatures.

 

7.  Do you Love & marry the person or Marry and then Love the person ?

I sense that, by “love”, you are referring to romance and sex.  I believe that sex should only happen after marriage.  I love several women, as friends.  I could be romantic with a single woman, but not involve myself sexually unless I married her.

8.  At what limit of your income,you feel satisfied ?

I am content with an income of U.S. $ 30-40K.  I would accept, and invest, more, of course.

 

9.  Which part of your childhood you cherish most ?

I enjoyed my middle childhood, ages 8-11, the most.

10.  What is/was most embarrassing moment in your life ?

Being set up by a small group of adults and teens, whilst taking over a supervisory role with two of the teens.  They were given money by unknown adults, to finance a get-away from residential school, on my watch.

11.   What is your favorite quote ?

“The Earth is but one country and mankind, its citizens.”-Baha’u’llah

Thank you, Philosophy through Photography

My nominees are:

stellabailey.wordpress.com

Somewhat Damaged

Sunshiny SA Site

Happiness Between Tails by da-AL

SHEILA RENEE PARKER

Book ‘Em, Jan O

psychologistmimi.wordpress.com

priscawriter.wordpress.com

Stories I’ve Never Told…

Victoria Ray

www.madekesiworld.com

 

Here are my questions.

  1.  What gets you up in the morning?
  2.  Where do you work, or go to school?  Is it far from your home?
  3.  What makes you continue, even in the face of trial?
  4.  What brings you the most joy?
  5.  What is your honest opinion of social media?
  6.  Do you have a role model?  If so, what about that person draws you in?
  7.  What have you learned from a setback?
  8.  What do you think your community needs most?  Your country?
  9.  Would you like to travel? To where?
  10.  Which is more urgent, fixing potholes in your city’s roads, or travel to Mars?
  11.  Which human quality do you find most appealing?  Why?

 

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