by Winnie Kay
A daily walk with... ME
|The Social Security Administration announced the following in December of 2015:
Since there was no cost of living increase in 2015, your benefits will stay the same in 2016.
In October of 2016, they announced that there would be a 0.3 increase in 2017!!
WOW!! That means I get $4.95 more per month. Let's see... Should I use it to pay the $20.00 increase per month in my medical insurance premium or the $50.00 increase per year on my Homeowners Association dues or the $20.00 increase per month in my water bill? Maybe I could buy two extra loaves of bread or two gallons of gasoline!! I'm just so excited!! I don't know what to spend all that extra money on!!!
Oh wait... Medicare premiums increased and took that whopping $4.95 anyway, so... I'm right back where I started two years ago. But that's okay because there has been no cost of living increase, right?
|I recently received an email from a friend here at WDC who is at his mother's side during her last moments. It brought back memories of my own mother's passing on March 19, 2010. I and all my siblings surrounded Mom in her last hours. We three oldest went to my house to get some rest, and the three youngest were there at the nursing home when she died. I have always regretted leaving her side and missing her passing. Perhaps it was meant to happen this way. I don't know. My advice to anyone in this situation is to stay close. Whether your mom is conscious or not, talk to her. She can hear you. Let her know she is loved and that you appreciate all she has done for you. If she is very close to death, she will begin to actually see those close to her who have passed on. Never take for granted this event you are a part of. It is a privilege to witness one's crossing over from the hands of you, her child, to the hands of her Father, our Father. She is about to see the face of God!! You will remember this moment for as long as you live. Hold the details in your heart. And when you are ready, write about it. It will be hard, but healing.
|Someone in my Comma Sense Class asked me recently if I thought humor was important. I didn't have to think long about my answer. An attitude of humor is everything...if you plan on surviving in this life. When I reflect upon the many losses I've suffered over the years—which I'm sure everyone my age has experienced—I have to admit that humor is what got me through those hard times. My mom and dad were fun people who taught us how to laugh at ourselves and not take things too seriously. I believe in a cheerful heart and a joyful life.
As I approach 70, my body doesn't work like it used to, but I can at least crawl out of bed in the mornings and fetch my own coffee and bring up WDC on my PC. My financial situation is pretty grim, but I can pay my bills and sometimes have extra for a new shirt or a steak dinner with friends. So I guess I have it better than some folk.
I think we humans are all born with a sense of humor. Some lose it along the way, and I feel sorry for those unhappy people. Life is a serious business. It's...well..it's a matter of life and death. Humor and laughter ease the terror of life's unexpected and cruel twists and turns.
Is humor important?
Hell, yeah, it's important!
We're all gonna die someday, anyway, so why not enjoy the ride for as long as we can?
|Dad died at 6:06 pm, on February 2, 1995.
I'm having a Jack Daniels in honor of Jack Davis.
Here's to you, Dad...
Dad was gentle, yet fierce at the same time. He was a poor man’s philosopher. He always held honesty as the highest virtue and instilled that into all us 6 kids. He stood by his convictions and his beliefs, and if you didn't agree...well, you were just wrong. But even if you were "wrong" you were always welcome in his house and always offered a beer at his table. He fought for his country, worked hard for his family, and "tried to be good so he could go to Heaven." And he loved my mother deeply and truly--in his own words, he loved Mom "like a hog loves slop." Yep, that was Jack C. Davis.
A great man in our WDC Family has joined the distinguished ranks of The White Case Memorial. Oldwarrior was one of the first members to reach out to me when I was a newbie years ago. His kindness and encouraging advice gave me the confidence I have now as a writer and a reviewer.
It is apparent from reading his impressive profile and biography that he wasted no time living a full life dedicated to the service of others. Gene's stories, published novels, and poetry richly reveal his talent as a writer.
By some strange coincidence, I was just finishing a rather lengthy review of this item in his portfolio
when I saw the message from his son that he had passed away.
There are only three chapters posted in Oldwarrior's portfolio of this Old West Story. It's sad to know Gene's work will never be finished. I think it would have been a successful novel.
Here is a link to his biography through Amazon:
An exerpt from that biography:
His early life taught him that possessions are not as important as ideas, that dreams can come true, and that home is truly where the heart is.
|Found an old friend on Facebook the other day. I haven't heard from Dagmar in about 25 years. Talking to her about the past brought up old memories. We worked at a small bank together in the 80's and early 90's. She was Teller Manager and I was Controller, Head of Human Resources, Security Officer, and Facilities Manager. Back then, one person wore many hats. We had a lot of fun at work. In those days, the neighborhood bank was a place for people to gather socially. Community leaders would come in for coffee, and many times, a simple hand-shake sealed a personal loan between a banker and a loyal, trustworthy customer. We didn't shove unwanted and unneeded bank products down our customers' throats every time they came in. Instead, as we waited on them and served their financial needs, we'd talk to them about their families and community activities and banter back and forth about life's experiences. We treated our customers like friends. We went to their kids' weddings and we attended many customers' funerals. In the late 80's when the FDIC declared many banks insolvent and the big banks acquired the little, privately owned banks, everything changed—forever. The customer became an anonymous account number with fees and service charges imposed upon him, even the long-time, third-generation, loyal customer who'd never been charged before. To acquire a loan required volumes of paperwork and many were declined. Eighty-year-old Mr. Jones and hard-working mother of four Mrs. Smith—who never missed a loan payment—no longer qualified under the big bank's standard of lending practices. No, being a banker today is no fun. It's a cut-throat, profit-hungry conglomerate built of stone and mortar with little regard for their neighbor standing silently in line, unheard and unacknowledged.
|Okay, so yesterday I said I was going to write more. I was about to shut my computer down for the night and realized I hadn't done that. Seems like I was busy all day, but for the life of me, I can't figure out where the day went. I did a little housework, some editing, went to the store, watched some TV, chatted with friends here at WDC and with family on Facebook, and let's see... Oh yeah, I played some video games. Life's tough for a retiree, ain't it?. Anyway, I always keep my promises and commitments, so here I am...writing. I did check out the Writer's Cramp prompt for today, but it didn't inspire me. Perhaps tomorrow I'll write that award-winning story. For now, I'm gonna go to bed and read my Rizzoli and Isles detective series by Tess Gerritsen.
|Hello, is anybody in there?
What do you want? I'm busy.
Yeah, you always say that, but I'm not going away this time. What are you doing that's so important?
I've got to regain my top position in this new Facebook game. Now, if I can just bank this purple bubble off the side and—
A game? You're wasting hours playing a stupid game?
It's not stupid and it's not a waste of time. I'm exercising my brain cells, developing strategy and precision, sharpening my—
Did you vacuum and mop the living room like you said you were going to do today? That cat hair isn’t going away on its own, you know.
I did that this morning. I even brushed the tangles out of Lucy Furr’s fur and dusted the furniture. And I worked on the edits for two of my customers. So I’ve earned a little down time.
Okay, you’re entitled to some free time to do what you enjoy, but these games aren’t really accomplishing anything, are they?
So what happened to your joy of writing? When was the last time you created a short story or a poem just for the sheer pleasure of it?
Uh...let me take a look at my portfolio...
Take your time. I’m not going anywhere... You remember the feeling—that excitement that coursed through your veins when you shaped and designed something from nothing but your own thoughts. I know you remember that high. I know everything about you. I’m in your head 24/7, and, I must say, it’s getting a bit dusty in here.
Shut up! I can’t think. Okay, here’s all my short stories... Oh, wow! It’s been almost two years since I wrote anything new.
See, I told you. You haven't even written an entry in your Blog in seven months. Seven months!!
But I have been writing. I’ve done tons of reviews. And I’ve been teaching and grading papers for my Comma Sense Class and—
That’s not the same as creative writing, and you know it. How did you define the type of writer you are in your portfolio?
You’ve already forgotten, haven't you? You said, and I quote, “I write Poetry and Short Stories aimed at stirring emotions and encouraging the reader to stop and think.”
Well, what are you going to do about it? Holy Stephen King, girl, you can’t be a writer if you don’t write.
Yeah, okay, I know. I know. You’re right. Okay. I’ve got to start writing again... Maybe I’ll take a look at The Writer’s Cramp tomorrow. They’ve always got good prompts to inspire a story. What do ya think?
Where did you go?
|Where do the dead go? Can they hear us? See us? Do they even care? These are questions I used to ponder...but no more. When my dear father died in 1995, I was devastated. It was the first death of many to come in my immediate family. As I lay in my bed crying the night he died, a clear voice broke through the darkness. It was Daddy's voice strongly uttering one word: my name, "Winnie". The voice was forced, as if it took all the powers of Heaven and Earth to break through from one realm to the other. But I had no doubt it was Daddy. I knew then, without a doubt, there is life after death. And those who have crossed over are aware of us left down here. As the years went by, I experienced other losses: my soul-mate, a niece, my precious mother, my best friend... But I didn't experience the complete devastation of their deaths as I did my dad's because I knew they weren't really dead. They were alive and whole and just on the other side of the veil of darkness. I thank Daddy everyday for having such great love for me that he forced his voice through that veil to my ears. It has made all the difference in how I view death.
[My Dad 2 months before his death:]
|I've been cleaning my room. I took the drapes down to wash them. They've been up since we moved here in 2006, so they were kind of dusty!! I may just leave them down and get some blinds. Moved computer desk and all the wires. Cleaned computer. Did y'all know there's a little vent on the side of the computer? If you have cats, I suggest you check your vent. Geez... no wonder the poor thing whined every time I turned it on. Cleaned keyboard and found a whole bologna sandwich between the delete key and the enter key. Really!! Cleaned windows (inside only). Been at it for hours. Still not through. I used to be able to clean the whole house in one day. It's hell to get old...
Here's before and after pictures: