Wednesday, December 4, 2019

December 4, 2019

December began with our first ice storm in a while, our first real blast of winter. I’d been planning to head to the next city to our northwest, to spend some time with my son and daughter-in-law. We were going to go to Bingo, which I haven’t done in a long time. But I canceled the night before, because I’d checked the weather and it didn’t look good.

When I arose, the freezing rain hadn’t started. But it did a half hour later, and it sure didn’t take long to cover everything. After the thick coating of ice, of course, came snow. Not a lot, but enough. I was disappointed to have missed the opportunity to visit, but there’s always next Sunday – good Lord willing and the river don’t rise.

So now that December is officially here, Mr. Ashbury has decided to begin working on our living room. As of today, he’s finished the mudding of cracks and has finally fixed one good-sized hole. It was situated about three inches from the ceiling on our south facing living room wall. We’ve had that hole since we had the siding put on the house back in 2006. Yes, that was many years ago. 

What happened was that as the siding installers were strapping and then siding this very old frame house, they tapped some nails just right, and bang! We discovered there had been a stove pipe hole we never knew about that had been covered over, but not covered very well. I say not well, because the plaster fell out and there was the hole, piece of stove pipe still there and all.

Mr. Ashbury believes in out of sight, out of mind. He hung a picture over the damage (which was visible above our bookcases) and called it good, as he has sometimes been known to do. Yes, he is a bit of a redneck and he’s proud of it. His red neck shines most when he “jerry-rigs” repairs. Like the time, shortly after we moved into this house when the shower rod that had been held in place by one screw on the one side lost that screw. There were two in the other, it was just the one side that needed a screw. My oldest son caught the rod and held it in place. Until his dad came, with a plastic ball point pen in hand—which he then proceeded to jam into that hole where a screw was meant to go. It was a mighty “jam” because that pen stayed there until he replaced that shower curtain rod, oh, about five years ago.

But I digress.

We had tried buying one of those stove pipe covers, but the one we got, and thought would fit over that hole, didn’t. David ended up enlarging the hole slightly to make it square, then inserting two pieces of 1x 2 into the hole and screwing it through the lathing. He was then able to cut a piece of drywall to fit, and of course, then used the “mudding” compound. Fingers crossed it all turns out—but however it looks it will be better than having to be stared at constantly by a gaping maw.

The three walls he’s going to be working on are all plaster and in fairly decent shape. So there was no need to buy full sheets of drywall to cover them over. He’ll be painting this week, and that will give us a half of the room done.

Why a half, you ask? Well, he moved the television out about four feet from the wall he’s working on, and has it covered in plastic while he’s working. The bookshelf units (all 3) are also out of place, giving him access to half of the adjacent wall. Once the painting is done, he and our daughter will work together to install laminate flooring for that four to five feet of floor that is free of furniture—and then he’ll move things back into place, over the new flooring, and do the rest of the adjacent wall, and corresponding flooring. Then, one more move of furniture toward the television…well, you get the picture.

I did not remind him that is it three weeks before Christmas.

Fortunately, we don’t as a rule do much entertaining. Our Christmas tree is a small one—barely up to my height—so we don’t need a lot of room to show our Christmas spirit. I haven’t complained one bit, either, about his decision to begin this process now.

Why? Well, there was a point in October when he seriously discussed putting off getting our new bed until the spring so that he could do the living room and then get to work on the bedroom which among other things, needs a new ceiling (it lost a part of itself back when that rain hit during the time the roof was off). But he finally saw the sweet light of reason, and we have our new, wonderfully comfortable bed.

And as I’ve often said: if I can just get a good night’s sleep, I can handle damn near anything.

Love,
Morgan
http://www.morganashbury.com
http://www.bookstrand.com/morgan-ashbury

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

November 27, 2019

From everything I’ve seen posted by and heard in conversations with my American friends over the last few years, I’ve come to the conclusion that today—the day before Thanksgiving—is one of the busiest days of the year for y’all.

It’s busy because so many people plan to go home for this celebration. There are more people flying and driving the Interstate system in the United States in preparation for this holiday this week than for any other.

And it’s busy because, with so many people heading home for the Thanksgiving Day feast, there are more turkeys being purchased and cooked, more yams, more green bean casseroles, more stuffing, and more pumpkin pie than at any other time during the year. That food doesn’t cook itself. Moms and Dads across America will be cooking up a storm today and tomorrow.

And lately, it’s been busy because of “Black Friday” - the big every-where-you-look retail sales events that draw in those wishing to find the perfect bargain, and those who are wanting to get a jump on their Christmas shopping.

I have a friend who does all of her Christmas shopping on Black Friday. Most of the time she avoids big cities and shopping like the plague. She loves the quiet of her rural Indiana life and the absence of crowds from her daily experience. She prefers to stay at home, really not enjoying traveling at all. But her own personal family tradition sees her and her two daughters heading off to the malls for a huge shopping blitz the day after Turkey Day.

Yes, we here in Canada celebrate Thanksgiving (a month earlier than you) and have even begun to have our own Black Friday sales. But despite that, I consider Thanksgiving to be a uniquely American holiday. Our sharing a continent as well as a language and a popular culture, and a history up until the Revolution—all of which has been entwined like a giant licorice Twizzler—means that we naturally assume some of your customs. I hope you don’t mind, since they do say that imitation is the highest form of flattery.

From where I’m sitting, here north of the 49th, it appears that Thanksgiving Day in the United States is also the unofficial start of the Christmas season. I wonder if that has anything to do with the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade in New York City? Santa is always at the end of that event, which suggests a natural segue from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

I know that I’ve observed in the past that our two countries do uphold similar traditions when it comes to Thanksgiving. The ones I’ve cited have mostly been related to food. But there is another tradition that I’ve seen evidence of this past year, especially, and on both sides of our border.

I do a fair bit of lurking on social media, and there are many people who take the opportunity to write, at this time of year, about the things for which they’re most grateful. Some people take to blogs, and some just to Face Book to post one thing every day that they’re thankful for. That is one Thanksgiving tradition I hope lasts far into the future, for the people of both our countries.

It’s fitting, from time to time, to take a few moments, and to meditate on the things we have in our lives for which we should give thanks. Like most of you, I put my family and friends at the top of that list. I’m grateful for the house I live in, and the heat that keeps me warm as the winter winds howl outside.

I’m grateful for the life I live. We’re not wealthy, my husband and I, but we have enough. We have some independence, and can pretty much do most of what we choose. I’m grateful for the ability to write, and for the joy I receive when I hear from those who read my books, or my essays. I’m grateful for the opportunities I’m given to reach out and touch others, to give a hand, or a hug, or a heartfelt word of encouragement.

I’m grateful for each new dawn, for each new sunset, and for every breath I draw. Tomorrow is not guaranteed, not for any of us. So while I am here, and I can do so, I will continue to be grateful.

Love,
Morgan
http://www.morganashbury.com
http://www.bookstrand.com/morgan-ashbury

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

November 20, 2019

I promised y’all a report on our new bed. I didn’t forget, but I did want to give it more than a week before I reported in. We’ve had our new bed now for 13 nights. It arrived on the Thursday, just three days after we traveled to the really big city (population over 5 million) and tested the Casper mattresses out.

We knew it was coming that morning. So my husband had already pulled the old mattress and box spring out of the bedroom and taken down the old bed frame—a frame meant for a boxed spring. Our new frame doesn’t need a boxed spring, which made it perfect for our new mattress. We did discover in this dismantling process that our headboard, consisting of gold colored metal made to resemble a brass-style headboard, could not, as I’d hoped, be used with the new frame. It was, in fact, and like the rest of the old bed set, done. Some of the vertical bars were broken, and so it, too, went the way of the mattress and boxed spring, to the town dump.

We did salvage our latest memory-foam bed topper which was under a year old. I washed the bamboo cover, and then asked our second daughter if she would like it. She not only was happy to take it, she loves it.

No sooner had the bedroom been cleared, and the new frame assembled than the UPS driver arrived. The mattress came, as advertised, in a box. Our daughter was on hand to help David unpack that box. They’d never done this before, but they had a plan going in. Now folks, just because I am not physically able to do the things I used to do, that doesn’t mean I wasn’t involved in the process.

I, dear friends, was the peanut gallery. And it was the most fun I’d had in a while.

They opened the box, and I reminded them not to use the box cutter on the plastic binding the rolled up tighter-than-a-spring mattress - in case they damaged the mattress. Oh, did I forget to mention to them that it was likely rolled up tighter than a spring? I didn’t forget, that was a test. We received the last bed topper via UPS, it came tightly rolled, and that was kind of fun to open. David opened it, so therefore, I just assumed he knew what to expect. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. He should have known what was coming. Queen sized mattress in a box that is much, much smaller looking than a queen-sized mattress—well, you do the math.

After considerable grunting and a little cussing, the wrapped mattress was out of the box, looking like an over-sized, cylindrical marshmallow. I helped by taking the box out of our bedroom (where this exercise was taking place).

They decided—my husband and my daughter—that they would begin to take the plastic off the mattress on top of the bed frame. They began to carefully cut the white plastic, and then realized it could be unrolled. With each tug, the mattress rolled away from them. And so, they tugged, then re positioned the mattress, and they tugged and re positioned. Several times. I, being clever, stood back. As far back as I could without leaving the room.

Husband: “There sure is a lot of plastic on this.”

Daughter: “Don’t they know about the global plastic pollution crisis?”

Me: I didn’t say a word, I just waited.

It didn’t take long. There always has to be a point of no return. They reached it. Yes, before the plastic was completely removed, it had been reduced enough that what remained of it could not hold that mattress from trying to free itself from its earthly bonds.

Drama was called for, so I said, “Oh my! Look out! There it goes!”

The tugging became decidedly more energetic, and slightly frantic, but of course it’s hard for people to work with alacrity when they’re laughing hard. The last of the plastic had to be tugged from around the completely unbound, almost at full thirteen-inch height mattress. At that point David remembered there were adhesive strips on the bed frame. That was worth a chuckle, too, because they had to lift the mattress and tug the protective plastic off those strips one-by-one. With the mattress still on the bed.

It took only minutes for the mattress to be ready for linens. There had been a lot of plastic, and it did go out into the trash. The box has made a wonderful dog-den for one of my daughter’s chihuahuas who loves boxes. And I have a comedic encore to look forward to. I look forward to that time, six months in the future when it is time to rotate the mattress—they recommend every six months re-positioning it, so that where your head was is where your feet will be. We’ll see how good those adhesive strips are then, won’t we?

As for our new bed? What a joy it was for me to wake up the next morning without a sore and aching back. David also loves it. He, too, is sleeping better, and waking up much less sore. With the level of arthritis that I have, no bed is going to let me wake up completely pain free. When one joint flares up, well, that’s that for however long it lasts. At the moment my left hip isn’t playing nice, but that will ease off. In the meantime, this bed is proving to be all that we’d hoped it would be.

It’s low enough that I don’t have to “climb in” and high enough that I can transition from sitting to standing with no effort at all. And when I do get into it, I can move, up or down, side to side, without feeling as if I need a handle to hang on to, for support.

So far, each night has been a bit better than the last as we grow accustomed to what soon will be our new normal. Sleeping is better, deeper, and far and away more comfortable than it’s been in years.

And that, my friends, is a wonderful thing.

Love,
Morgan
http://www.morganashbury.com
http://www.bookstrand.com/morgan-ashbury

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

November 13, 2019

It’s altogether too easy, sometimes, to forget the hard-learned lessons humanity has faced throughout history. In our own lifetimes, we’ve witnessed the repetition of some of those lessons because they weren’t, obviously, learned the first or even second go-round.

We read that there will be wars, and rumors of wars, and indeed, that is one lesson that we seem fated to repeat over and over again. From the most ancient of times until today, we’ve not yet learned the art of living in society while curbing our greedy or aggressive tendencies. War is aggression, and whether we’re the one’s being belligerent or the ones fighting against the hostility, aggression and/or the thirst for power, another form of greed right up there with the craving for ideological supremacy, tends to be what’s at the heart of nearly every war in recorded history.

On Monday just passed we paused to celebrate our veterans and to commemorate the lives lost in the wars of the last two centuries—this one, and the one in which I was born. For until we as humans stop producing other humans who are aggressive and/or greedy—for power, for money or for ideological supremacy—wars will inevitably be waged. Those who had attempted to subvert our democracy in the 1930s and 1940s needed to be defeated in order to preserve the freedom they challenged. As to the first Great War—World War 1, the war for which the date of armistice was the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, that began as a European conflict that, as the name implies, went global. A family feud, some historians have said, that simply got out of hand.

There might be some who believe that the transgression of the First World War wherein 15 to 19 million people died was punished by the appearance the Spanish Influenza pandemic that occurred in 1918—the last year of that war. Of the estimated 500 million people who were infected by that disease, an estimated 20 to 50 million people died. More than likely, since it was the first time there had been a great movement of humans globally, the disease was spread further and wider than it might otherwise have been.

At the time, those infected represented fully one third of the population of this planet. That’s jaw-dropping, as is the statistic that potentially 69 million people died in the four year span from 1914-1918.

It is necessary for us to remember that men and women have died, fighting those who would impose their will upon us. That’s the big picture, looking at it from thirty-thousand feet. But let’s not forget, ever, to look at history up close and personal. Let’s open our eyes, and our hearts, and see the families affected—the armchair that Father always sat in after supper as he read the paper. A chair forever after vacant and wanting. A family grieving for sons or daughters, mothers or fathers, families ripped apart, forever bleeding, forever grieving, never completely whole again, because of the fatalities of war.

Sacrifice, in all it’s horrific and holy forms, leaves an indelible mark, demanding remembrance.

We must never forget; but more, we must always remember. Not just on Veterans or Remembrance Day, and on Memorial Day. No, we must remember every day. 

When we listen to the debates of our parliaments and legislatures, we must remember. When our leaders tell us that we need to send our blood and treasure into harms way, we must remember. Let’s take the words of the British poet, Laurence Binyon, in his most famous work, “For the Fallen” to heart:

                   At the going down of the sun and in the morning
                                   We will remember them.

 As long as we never forget, as long as we strive to always remember the awful toll of war, we at least stand a chance of maybe, finally, someday, learning this lesson that history serves us on a continuous, solemn and never-ending loop. 

Love,
Morgan
http://www.morganashbury.com
http://www.bookstrand.com/morgan-ashbury

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

November 6, 2019

Time, that heartless being, marches on without a single “by your leave” or “thank you very much.” It’s beyond frustrating, sometimes. In fact, it can be downright scary.

My beloved and I continue to punish ourselves each evening by watching way too much news and talking-head type shows. We never knew we had these masochistic tendencies until just a few years back when all hell broke loose. Only a few years, you ask. I know. It feels like for-ev-er!

Meanwhile, our walnut tree has finished dropping its leaves and its walnuts. We can now park and walk beneath it without fear of being hit by a fat green falling missile. There are a lot of leaves to be dealt with, of course. Now if it would only dry out some, just for a few days, David would get his handy blower going and we would bag those suckers for the town to carry away.

Every year this time, we have a race between us and Mother Nature. Will those leaves get bagged and tagged before the snow flies? Or will we wake up to a deep, white blanket covering nature’s refuse? It’s such a tough question and such a close call that Vegas doesn’t even post odds on it! My husband declares he really doesn’t care, one way or the other.

Whether he blows ‘em and bags ‘em or good old M.N. dumps snow on ‘em, the immediate result is the same: they are out of sight. And that, for him, is the bottom line.

Back in 2003, my beloved and I went shopping for a new mattress. We’d always just bought what was on sale and once, in a move I am still proud of, lucked into a feather mattress that someone had put out for spring collection. It must have been a gift, and something the person tossing it hadn’t liked as it was still in plastic. Feather mattresses are different, but for us? We could not believe our luck.

That feather mattress was amazing, and it lasted well, but it was time for us to buy something substantial, something that would guarantee good sleep. Since I was no longer working outside the home, I told David we would get whatever worked for him.

He chose the mattress, and it was the most expensive one we’d ever purchased—over one thousand dollars! But the money had been part of a wonderful and unexpected thank-you gift from his employer who’d sold his family business to a big company, and so we got the mattress without a second thought.

After about five months, David decided it was too hard. Then began a series of different bed toppers and then, finally, memory foam pads. We fared well, replacing the memory foam a couple of times. We love that foam.

Now the thing about memory foam is that it works really well as long as the mattress beneath it is in good shape.

Finally, the day came that we realized we just weren’t that comfortable anymore. The bed let us know it was near to being done. The box spring had become broken, and when we discovered that in July, our daughter gave us her queen sized one, because she couldn’t get it up the stairs. We thought we’d solved the problem, but alas, no. The mattress was also, as the saying goes, “pooched”. And so followed the discussion—what will we do? Now that discussion began at about the same time we began to really notice those commercials for the mattresses that come in a box. The adds swore that it would be the most comfortable bed you’ve ever owned. We were intrigued and wanted to know if it could be true. They’re guaranteed for ten years which is, by the way, about how long a mattress is supposed to last.

The mattresses could be ordered online, but while I might buy some things that way, a mattress is not one of them. How do I know if it’s as good as advertised? And they’re not cheap, by the way! In fact, they’re more than the one expensive one we bought sixteen years ago.

So this past Monday we traveled an hour and a half away to the very big city of Toronto and visited a store that sells these mattresses. They had four different models set up to try, and we did. We found the one we wanted on the second try, and seriously, it was the one we’d thought we would get. How did it feel?

Here is my considered, word-smith honed response to that question: Oh. My. Goodness.

We bought the bed and they promised it would be delivered within the week. I received the shipping notice yesterday: it arrives today! I’m certain that in next week’s essay, I’ll let you know how it is.

I believe there is nothing more important, at any age but especially at mine, as a really good night’s sleep. I am so looking forward to that!

Love,
Morgan
http://www.morganashbury.com
http://www.bookstrand.com/morgan-ashbury

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

October 30, 2019

There are several reasons why I write.

I began writing when I was ten or so, and even then, I understood that it wasn’t something that I had chosen to do. It, had, more or less, chosen me. I didn’t fully appreciate how that could be so, until I learned my father had been a writer, though he never was published.

Another reason I wrote, was to make my up own world, after the death of my dad. The world I was in wasn’t all that great, and writing became my escape. 

Before I achieved publication, I had been given a second chance at life, through open heart surgery. With that realization came the sure and certain knowledge that I had to make that second chance count. I needed to make writing the focus of my life. I learned, through application and prayer, that I had actually been given another reason to write. I was to become transparent. To share with others what I had experienced, to touch others, to let them know they were not the only ones going through what they endured in life—that they were not alone.

None of us is alone, and while knowing that is good, feeling that is easier to accomplish when we can read the words of someone who, either through essays, or through created characters in fictional stories, shows us that they’ve been there too.

That was a big build up to this week’s essay because this one is very hard for me to write.

Our wonderful Mr. Tuffy has left us. He’d been sick for only a couple of weeks, and we’d been to the vet twice, and he while he seemed to improve, he relapsed. We went a third, and final time, and had x-rays taken. The result was the discovery of a tumor. He’d lost weight, he didn’t want to eat any more, and he was—well, if not in pain, he was in great unhappiness.

Euthanasia was the second to last thing we wanted to do. The last thing was to have him suffer any more than he already was. He passed this past Friday morning, in the arms of his daddy.

This hit us both hard, but it especially devastated David. They had been practically inseparable since Tuffy came to us in February of 2013. He was this adorable, little ball of fluff that fit in the palm of our hands. Tuffy truly became our third baby. In fact, in place of a crate, we used a playpen during those first months. He was his daddy’s best friend, and earlier this year when we got our scooters, Augie doggie and doggie daddy, as I called them, made daily excursions together to the park. They had such fun, and both of them always came home with smiles.

We have, my husband and I, suffered real tragedy in our lives, with the passing of a granddaughter and then, a few years later, her daddy, our son, Anthony, in 2006. There is no equivalency here, and of course we know that. But human emotions are tricky things. And I am here to tell you, it’s okay to grieve, and grieve hard for a fur baby. The toughest part for David was knowing that the expected lifespan for a Morkie is 10 to 13 years; David had been very pleased to find that out when we first got Tuffy, and he looked forward to all that time with the little guy. Sadly, Mr. Tuffy only lived to 6 and a half of those 13 years. And, of course, his passing was sudden. From that first visit to the vet to the last, was just ten days.

The vet didn’t expect this, either, because there are several conditions that a Morkie can develop, and the professionals believed he had been suffering from one of them. When the blood tests that first day showed he had an infection and low protein, we all—the vet included—thought the antibiotics would do their work, and at first, they seemed to. But by the end of the week, we knew they hadn’t, so another process was tried, but then he began to fail. Over Thursday night he developed respiratory problems, and we returned to the vet the next morning for what we soon knew would be the final time.

We’re both seniors now, David and I, and we have our own health issues. Tuffy had grown into middle age with us and was happy with the activity level we could provide him. We won’t, of course, acquire any more pets of our own. As it is, there’s a veritable herd waiting for us now at the rainbow bridge, beginning with the very first pet we ever had as a couple. Over the years? A conservative estimate would be that we’ve loved 12 dogs and likely just as many cats.

Soon, we’ll leave our deep mourning behind and focus on the endless joy Mr. Tuffy gave us. And he did give us endless, boundless joy. Helping us through this time are my daughter’s chihuahuas. Of course, they knew from the beginning that something was wrong. Pets usually do. And they’re a comfort, a soft warm body or four to remind us, gently, of the one who’s no longer with us.

Their attention to us is almost as if Tuffy, on his final day, told his best buddies to look after us for him.

Love,
Morgan
http://wednesdayswordsbymorgan.blogspot.com/
http://www.morganashbury.com
http://www.bookstrand.com/morgan-ashbury

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

October 23, 2019

This is a rare essay, because today I am actually writing—for a paragraph or four—about politics.

This past Monday, October 21, the 43rd Canadian general election was held. In Canada, we have a parliamentary system which means we don’t vote directly for the Prime Minister. The leader of the political party that elects the greatest number of members to the legislature (currently 338 seats total) becomes the Prime Minister.

Mr. Trudeau has been re-elected as Prime Minister, but this time with what we call a minority government. That means while his party has the most seats of any of the parties, it doesn’t have a majority of the seats of the legislature (his party now holds 155 seats). The turnout was 66% of eligible voters.

Some people believe that the best governing occurs during a minority government, because in order for legislation to be passed, and to avoid a vote of “non-confidence”, compromises must be made. A “Non-confidence” vote would effectively end the term of the government and another election would have to be called. This can be tricky because we Canadians don’t like to have our choice called into question too soon after we’ve made it. The party that forces another election often doesn’t do well as a result.

The last thing I will say about our election is this. The length of the campaigning period is limited by law. It must be at least 36 days long, but can be no more than 50. This is a good law. It means that we don’t have to endure the bombast and mudslinging of political ads upsetting our supper digestion for too long.

Also on this past Monday, the Ashbury family feasted on our traditional Thanksgiving turkey. Our Sonja hosted us at her house and as usual, cooked a wonderful dinner. I contributed a few things. She doesn’t like stuffing, so I made that for her. I also made the sweet potatoes, and three pies—two pumpkin and an apple.

Though I was quite busy in the kitchen Sunday and Monday morning, once we arrived at her place, I was able to relax and let others do the work. Three of our great-grandchildren were there—our two oldest who are my daughter’s grandbabies—and our youngest one, who is Emma’s daughter and Sonja’s granddaughter. Sonja also invited three of her co-workers, people we’ve met and dined with before. They’re nurses, as she is, and they’re bright with good senses of humor. Altogether there were thirteen of us. Fortunately, Sonja had purchased a twenty-two-pound turkey for the occasion.

A new family tradition, one that we owe to Sonja, is a game we play after supper. It’s a dice game called “left, right, center”, and it’s a lot of fun. We use dollar coins—each player begins with three. Everyone except our eight-month old granddaughter played. And as usual, it was a blast!

At one point during the evening, my husband leaned over and nodded toward our granddaughter, Emma, and her fiancĂ©. “When you’re their age,” he said, “you always end up leaving early because of the children. When you’re our age? Again, you end up leaving early because of the children.” He had a point, as it was a very noisy gathering. Joyful, but noisy.

Our two older great-grandchildren, aged 6 and 5, were full of energy, very rambunctious and very loud. We really enjoyed being with family that night, but still definitely appreciated “listening to the clock on the wall” when we arrived home.

There’s another family tradition I feel I need to mention, one that I consider unfortunate, and this one goes back a couple of generations. When we were kids, my siblings and I, we were aware that our Mom had three brothers, but we only ever saw one of them. He was the brother closest to her in age (Mom was the youngest in her family). We were all quite close with Uncle Howard and Aunt Nora, and saw them regularly.

As my brother, sister and I grew from children into adulthood, my brother and sister also grew to really dislike each other. Despite being the youngest, I was in the midst of that. I got along with my sister—though I did have to work at it and seek Grace in order to do so—and of course, I was and still am fairly close to my brother. My sister died without them ever coming to terms, and I think that he hadn’t spoken to her for a good 10 years at the time of her death.

Raising our own children, our middle son didn’t get along with either his older brother or younger sister. After he passed, I thought that would be the end of enmity between my children, but alas, it’s not so. My son and daughter don’t get along. I very rarely have my oldest son and his family and the girls with theirs together in one place.

Yes, that makes me sad, but I know that I have no authority to change this reality. I’ve learned that you can’t make people get along with each other any more than you can make the sun rise or set. So far, I don’t see a sign of this unfortunate history repeating itself with the children of my son, or with my brother’s sons, for that matter, and that is definitely a blessing.

I don’t know about you, but I’ll take all the blessings I can get.

P.S. As I mentioned last week, for those of you who are used to reading these words via the Yahoo groups, this message was posted at the top of the group page: “Attention: Starting December 14, 2019 Yahoo Groups will no longer host user created content on its sites. New content can no longer be uploaded after October 28, 2019. Sending/Receiving email functionality is not going away, you can continue to communicate via any email client with your group members.” I’m pretty certain that the way I post these words in the Yahoo groups will not be doable after this week’s essay. You can view Wednesday’s Words directly on its blog spot site. A link appears below.

Love,
Morgan
https://wednesdayswordsbymorgan.blogspot.com/
http://www.morganashbury.com
http://www.bookstrand.com/morgan-ashbury