Archive for December, 2014

Happy New Year’s Eve!

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

My husband and I are staying home tonight. It is too cold to be eating out, especially when I made enough lasagna for at least two days. And as far as a movie, this is, in my opinion, not the night to see one at the movies. I’m sure we’ll find a good movie on television or play a DVD.

Right now, I am enjoying writing this blog and reflecting upon the past year and looking ahead to 2015, which will officially be here as soon as the Waterford crystal ball comes tumbling down at midnight. What was the best and the worst of 2014 for me?

The worst of the year was discovering that I have structural damage in my upper back and neck, which at the beginning of 2014 interfered with just about everything I wanted or needed to do until I was recommended by my step-son and his wife to an excellent chiropractic office near my home, where I began a program of therapy, which included both chiropractic care and physical therapy. For just about a year now, I have gone twice a week to see the chiropractor and the therapist. The results have been amazing. Now that I am much improved, I am going just once a week.

Although I will never have one hundred per cent mobility, I have enough so that I can walk erectly with my head held high most of the time without even wearing my cervical collar. I have seen at least a 75% improvement, and I know with continued therapy and chiropractic, it can get even better. So a negative became a positive, plus the fact that I have two wonderful friends in both medical practitioners. We have great conversations during the therapy sessions, and I think of them both as the brothers I was never fortunate enough to have. So the worst of the year turned out to lead to a great deal of good things.

The best of the year for me was preparing my latest novel, “Just A Kiss,” for publication. The contemporary novel is based upon an experience that I had when working during the summer for a temp agency many years ago as a secretary in order to earn money to help with college expenses. The incident, (which I won’t divulge here), remained in my memory for years, and eventually led to the writing of this book. The novel is a light romance, which explores family relationships, especially between parents and their adult children, and also shows through humor and a little pathos how challenging romantic relationships are, especially when there are a variety of conflicts that interfere with their development and final destination: marriage. Who first said that love and marriage are complicated? Whoever that was would understand the conflicts in my novel really well!

And so, an exciting part of my New Year will be working with the publishers to transition “Just A Kiss” from a manuscript to a saleable book, ready for marketing. For me, it is a dream come true. Yes, I have written and published fifteen other books in a variety of genres, but this is a new book and it is very special…like the birth of a new baby. It isn’t “old hat” because it is not the first one! It is still exciting and spectacular in itself because it is unique!

With you, too, this year was probably a combination of good and bad things. But look! With God’s help most of you conquered the negative and rejoiced in the positive. For this, we should all be glad, for as long as we live, there will be problems, and life will be complicated. It is up to us to have the faith to endure until the Paradisaic times will ultimately come, as promised in the Bible. It is up to us, too, to be strong and confident that God’s promises will come to fruition soon…maybe even in this New Year!

But what if there are still much negativity and unsettled conflicts? If you have time tonight, reflect upon both the good and the bad times that you have experienced in 2014. Be encouraged by the positive events in your own life, (and yes, there are definitely some positive ones!), and if you still do not feel inspired and joyful, pray to God for His Holy Spirit, and remember that His love is always there for you, now and any time that you need it, as long as you ask for it and try to live your life the best you can, according to His Plan for us, as shown very clearly in the Bible.

Again, I wish you happiness tonight and good health. May it extend throughout 2015 and beyond. Goodnight until next year, (which is coming very soon)!

My very best wishes,

Cheryl

Wishing All of You a Happy and Healthy New Year

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

I am really proud of myself! After all, I didn’t take so long to write another blog that I forgot my password.(LOL) How nice! I myself cannot understand how I can’t find time every day to blog. I can’t be that busy, can I?

Anyway, today’s post will be brief. I really want to wish you the happiest and healthiest of New Years. I hope you will make needed changes in your life (as I wish to do) and match up more and more to the kind of person you ultimately want to be (same for me, of course).

I know that this time of the year can be challenging. We have all suffered losses, and our memories are strongest at this time of the year. But the main thing to remember is that, as the old saying goes, “where there is life, there is hope.” We may not have any control over the loss of those we love, but we do have control over the way we live our lives. Why not live it with faith in God, hope for the future that He promises us ( a Paradise wherein our loved ones will be resurrected) and a life here and now that can be constructive and of help to others?

I find it helps to pray every day, to read a part of the Bible sometime during the day and to try to do something helpful to others every day. I have also tried several weeks to write down at least three things that I am thankful for each day. Try it. You cannot imagine how it can bring you peace, happiness and the proper focus.

Enjoy tomorrow evening with those you love, even if it is a phone call to them or an e-mail. Most of all, commune with God through prayer and tell Him how thankful you are to be alive and anticipating the fruition of all His wonderful promises for the future. God bless you all and good night! Happy New Year!

Cheryl

REFLECTIONS ON A COLD AUTUMN EVENING…

Saturday, December 20th, 2014

Don’t ask me why because I probably do not have a sufficient reason for opening Pandora’s Box again…but a few minutes ago I looked up my late uncle’s obituary notice in the New York Times by googling a cousin of mine. You see, I know that the obituary notice is listed under her name, and that would be the easiest and fastest way of finding it.

Why, you must be asking, would I want to see a copy of his obituary notice, especially since he died more than sixteen years ago? When I tell you something about the content of the notice, you will probably think that I am being masochistic to even be thinking about it, (and probably I am), and especially for googling it again, but sometimes it is compelling for me to see it because what is NOT in there is so cruel!

You see, MY NAME is not in there. It is not listed along with the other nieces and nephews (including, of course, my sister, cousins, etc. and so forth.) My name was omitted on purpose. It brings forth an eerie chill to my mind and heart when I even think about it, even though my uncle died so many years ago, and the obituary notice is probably forgotten by everyone except me. But you have to remember that, when your name is left out of a family group like that, you feel as though the angel, Clarence, (in “It’s A Wonderful Life,”) did something magical and obliterated your very existence!

WHY was my name left out, (you are probably wondering), as though I was not part of the family or perhaps, I had never existed. Possibly, the person who wrote the notice thought that, since my uncle and I were not on good terms for many years, that was enough reason to omit my name. Was it in all fairness up to her or any other member of my family to have made that decision? I think not. In fact, there were others in the family who had difficulty getting along with him, too. He was a difficult person in many ways, and it was a challenge to get along with him without caving in to his every demand, desire and opinion. He was a very controlling individual. Yet, only I was the one left out in that obituary!

So I don’t think it was because we were not on the best of terms. Could it be that I had changed my religion a number of years before my uncle died, and these relatives took it upon themselves to assume that my name should be expunged for that reason? That reason sounds cogent since many of these same relatives still do not speak to me, invite me to family functions or include me in anything related to my father’s side of the family, of which they are a part.

My religion is based upon the Bible and teaches me to forgive. I forgive them for God’s sake and the sake of His son, who gave up his life for us and was resurrected on the third day, but I cannot remove the pain in my heart. I am hoping that it will not always be there because FOREVER is a very long time, but I realize that emotional pain like this might be as hard or possibly even harder to bear than certain types of physical pain (not all, I am certain of, of course).

It is comforting to write this down, not in a journal, but in this blog because I know that I am sharing this experience with real people who have suffered emotionally, too, from the insensitivity and even cruelty of others. Perhaps, by reading this, you will realize that you are not alone…that all of us have our challenges, physical, mental and emotional.

Family problems can be very difficult. You are indeed very fortunate if you have a warm and loving family, especially if they are all happy and healthy. Thank God for your blessings and try to spend your time giving to others and not worrying, as I am now, about what others have done to hurt you.

I rarely go back in my mind to that obituary and the hurtfulness of the omission of my name among the list of relatives because life in this system of things is very short, and it is far better to fill the time with constructive, kindly, encouraging and compassionate moments. And yes, happy moments than with sadness.

Blessings abound in my life, too. I have a good husband, two wonderful step-children and three loving and very special grandchildren. In addition, I am part of a wonderful congregation, many of whom are my true friends. Outside of the congregation, I have friends, too, and acquaintances, and, of course, extended family members, whom I have grown to love. I think about all of them, of course, much more than the cruel omission of that obituary so many years ago, but I guess, being human, I digress and go back to it from time to time.

If there is any moral to this story, it may be to think before you put in writing something that will hurt another person, especially a friend or family member, for many years to come. An act of kindness can last a lifetime, but unfortunately, so can an insensitive, harsh and undeserved emotional assault in the form of an omission!

It’s Good to be Blogging again, Loyal Friends!

Monday, December 15th, 2014

I can’t believe that I haven’t blogged in months! I almost forgot my password to my own blogging website because it has been so long. Now that is really a disgrace, and I am truly sorry. I’m not even going to make a promise that it will never happen again because I’ve already done that numerous times, and yes, it did happen again. Why does a person like me who loves to write so much go for months without doing so? Let me explore the possible answers to this interesting but not quite world-shattering question.

Well, I have started a new book, but that’s not an excuse for not writing at least one or two or three blogs since October. No, there are much more valid reasons.

One is that I experience back and neck pain when I am on the computer too long, and I definitely get carried away when I start writing. I could write for hours, forgetting my protective cervical collar and my reading glasses. Result: I get a headache and a backache with spasms, and I need more chiropractic treatments and physical therapy. I have been told my back problems come from poor posture, stress, and arthritis setting in. My doctors just don’t believe that I’m MUCH TOO YOUNG to have arthritis or any of these problems. Although I wouldn’t divulge my age, I will say that in my opinion it’s the new forty, but, of course, some might not agree with my assessment. I tend to joke a lot with those who know me best, and that might lessen my credibility just a little, but when I’m serious, I’m serious, and with you, dear folks, I am speaking from the heart (or typing from the heart as I am on the keyboard).

Another reason is that I keep busy, even though I am retired. The things I do might not be very exciting, but they require time, and they are important to me and to others. Sometimes, they are even exciting because I preach and teach the Bible, which I learn more about every day and love. The exciting things I learn make my life and its challenges so much easier to bear and even allow a great deal of joy into my life. If you go to the website, www.jw.org, you will understand what I mean. There are books, brochures, tracts, videos and all kinds of amazing spiritual
material to read and to download on your computer.

I guess a third reason for my absence on my blog is family responsibilities, which I love, but which take time. I try to cook my husband’s favorite foods, bake, do chores, visit my step-children and grandchildren, along with my husband, as much as we can and whenever we are needed.

A fourth reason is television. I love Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and the Hallmark channel.

And a fifth. I am proofreading for the fourth time the last novel that I finished a year ago (“Just A Kiss”) and getting it ready for publication. That takes so much time I can’t even explain it to you except if you have gone through the process yourself.

That’s a great deal to do, and yes, it does keep me from blogging, but it’s still not an adequate excuse. Even though I can’t promise anything (my credibility is low in that area,) I will try very hard to keep writing because all of you are very important, too, and I want you to have a steady website to visit whenever you want to.

I have one little request from all of you. Go to “About My Books” at the beginning of this website and look up some of my books on Amazon. You can “Look Inside the Book” free of charge and see if you would like to read any of them. You can actually read several chapters for free. They are all highlighted and summarized, too. I am sure that one of my fifteen published books will capture your interest, especially if you are enjoying any of my blogs.

Until I blog again, and I hope it will be very soon, I send you my very best wishes for a happy holiday season and a joyous New Year.

Cheryl