Blessed Christmas to All

“The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.”
―Burton Hillis
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TGIF ~ Remember the Military/Veterans

Regardless of your feelings about the military and/or war, the people in uniform deserve a prayer, positive thought, moment of silence and/or respect. They are in constant situations that can put them in harms way-even at home. Remember government civilians are in the same boat. There was a civilian killed at Ft. Hood along with those soldiers, just like at the Pentagon on 9/11.

Understand there are hateful people in America, and I’m not talking

about the shooter! I cannot repeat the garbage people wrote on Facebook and Twitter….BUT this is America and the people in uniform are fighting to preserve your right to be free and write garbage if you like!

Remember the families-children who don’t have a mother or  father during this coming holiday season. Remember their mental health. Don’t ignore problems. Be thankful it’s not you!

The Nobel Peace Prize Goes to President Barack Obama

http://hubpages.com/_1jlqz2sadegzu/hub/The-Nobel-Peace-Prize-Goes-to-President-Barack-Obama?done

 Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize Thursday, October 9, 2009. President Barack Obama’s been in office nine months. He ran on a platform of “Change”- “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”Barack Obama. Change the World, that’s why President Obama won the Peace Prize.

President Barack Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize

It was announced this morning October9, 2009, that the first Black (biracial) President of the United States won the Nobel Peace Prize. Why? Obama’s election and foreign policy moves caused a dramatic improvement in the image of the U.S. around the world. We need all the help we can get! 

The Nobel committee praised Obama’s creation of “a new climate in international politics” and said he had returned multilateral diplomacy and institutions like the U.N. to the center of the world stage.

“You have to remember that the world has been in a pretty dangerous phase,” Jagland said. “And anybody who can contribute to getting the world out of this situation deserves a Nobel Peace Prize.” http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/eu_nobel_peace

9-11 The Days After

http://hubpages.com/_1jlqz2sadegzu/hub/9-11-The-Days-After

This article focuses on civilian federal workers who showed up for work, and kept the government going the days after 9-11.  There were many civilian and military personnel killed that day as well. There were thousands of people age 3 to 71 killed in the attack in Washington, DC, New York City and Somerset, Pennsylvania. Our story begins September 12, 2001, and ends with the report of those killed at the Pentagon – civilians and military.

Army to report record number of suicides

http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/01/28/army.suicides/index.html?eref=rss_topstories

The U.S. Army will report Thursday the highest level of suicides among its soldiers since it began tracking the rate 28 years ago. Time for the troops to come home.  Don’t believe me, visit the 18-19 years amputees at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC.

Secretary of the Army Pete Geren congratulates Sgt. Kelly Keck after presenting him a Purple Heart at Walter Reed Medical Center.

Big Weekend-January 16-20, 2009

Lots happened this week.  Motown turned 50 years old.  January 15th was Dr. Martin Luther King”s Birthday.  US Airlines landed in the Hudson River!  We still much more big events to come and it’s only Friday!

History will be made on January 20th.  Barack Obama will be the first Black President of the United  States.  The man is actually biracial, but few people acknowledge that.  He is a true Afican American with a father from Africa and an American mother.  

From Wikipedia,  the one-drop rule is a historical colloquial term in the United States that holds that a person with any trace of African ancestry is considered black unless having an alternative non-white ancestry which he or she can claim, such as Native American, Asian, Arab, or Australian aboriginal.  It developed most strongly out of the binary culture of long years of institutionalized slavery.

This notion of invisible/intangible membership in a racial group has seldom been applied to people other than those chiefly of black African ancestry.  As Langston Hughes wrote, “You see, unfortunately, I am not black. There are lots of different kinds of blood in our family. But here in the United States, the word ‘Negro’ is used to mean anyone who has any Negro blood at all in his veins. In Africa, the word is more pure. It means all Negro, therefore black. I am brown.”

So Barack Obama has a strong blood line from both mother and father, but only his father’s blood is identified.  We Black people don’t mind identifying with the new President racially.  This is not to say President-elect Obama does not have white supporters.  So that is why history will be made January 20, 2009, because the Obama has at least one drop of Black blood!

Salt and Pepper A Special Friendship

My “sister” and I met when we were freshmen at an all girls Catholic school in Brooklyn, NY in Sept 1960.  She was 14, I was 13.  We sat next to each other in every class for 4 years.  As we watch Barack Obama prepare to assume the presidency of the United States it’s hard to think back 48 years ago to the day I first sat next to Cheryl.  It was a different time in our country…in our lives.  It was before the Civil Rights movement….there was still segregation.  I bring this up because I’m Salt and Cheryl is Pepper.

This isn’t a story about an instant friendship that has lasted 48 years.  It’s about a gradual friendship that spent “40 years in the desert.”   It’s a story about overcoming bigotry and taking a spiritual high road. 

Cheryl and I talked to each other and were friendly with each other during our 4 years in high school.  Cheryl was the only African- American in a school of 1,000 girls.  Being young and self centered it never crossed my mind that it must’ve been less than comfortable for Cheryl being the only African- American, this was  because she never seemed uncomfortable.   To me, she always seemed very self -assured.  All the girls were kind to Cheryl and some included her in their lives outside of school.  I could not.  I knew that if my father, a bigot who made Archie Bunker seem benign, knew that he was paying tuition to have me sit next to a….well, you know the word he’d use… he would pull me out of that school in a heartbeat.    I kept quiet about Cheryl.  Cheryl had a similar issue w/her mother.  So the four years went by w/only some pleasantries and very few shared memories.

Fast forward to adulthood.  Ten years after graduation and I was married and the mother of a toddler.  I was very involved w/planning our 10th high school reunion.  Cheryl’s name came up on a list of those responding to the invitation issued by the school, but she didn’t attend the reunion.   However, I kept the list w/her name on it.  I kept it for 30 years.  In April 2004 I attended the 40th reunion organized by the high school.  I was 57 years old.  I had not seen or heard from Cheryl in 40 years.  I had so much fun at the reunion that I gathered email addresses from several of the “girls” from my class and started an email chain, writing newsletters to keep everyone connected.  Marita was so happy to be a part of this email chain and offered to help me find other classmates who were not yet included.  She asked if there was anyone in particular I wanted to find.  I said “yes, Cheryl.”  I gave her the address I’d kept for 30 years.  To this day I have no idea HOW Marita found Cheryl on the internet but she did.  Cheryl was living in Silver Spring, MD at the time.  It was Oct….6 months after the reunion.  I emailed to Cheryl immediately and received a very quick reply.  There was true joy in finding each other.  Emails went back and forth almost every day.  I suggested we meet and we agreed on meeting at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore.  I told her I was coming w/three other classmates….Kathy, who sat in front of me, Regina, who sat behind me and another Kathy who sat on the other side of the room.  We call ourselves the Jersey Girls.  So on a Sat in Nov 2004 the Jersey Girls met at my house and I drove us all to the Cheesecake Factory at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore.  None of us had seen Cheryl in 40 years. 

Once seated at a booth I left the “girls” to wait for Cheryl in the lobby.  She walked in and right past me….I wasn’t too sure it was her, but called out “Cheryl” and she turned right around.  We HUGGED!!!  I led her to our booth and it was amazing to see her so embraced by the other girls.  We had a great time and dominated that table for hours.  We knew we were going to be linked together for the rest of our lives.

The last four years have been so full of LIVING and the best part is I get to share it w/Cheryl.   Together we counted down her final year of working and she retired and moved to Florida.  Two of my sons have gotten married, and I now have two granddaughters.    Sharing every part of our lives is a gift we both treasure.  We’ve discovered how many things we have in common…..values, hobbies and spirituality to name just a few. 

If you have enjoyed Salt and Pepper so far please come back.  I plan on writing much more.