Tag Archives: church

Days Of Yore

I love this time of year, I hate this time of year. What do I love about this time of year, you ask? I love the festiveness, love of the birth of Christ, the giving, the hibernation of plant life that is awaiting rebirth in three or four months. This is the time that others are seen giving when, actually, it should be done all year ‘round. I love looking at the outdoor decorations, the extreme people have gone to outdo others and wonder how much is spent to do it. I love to watch the joy on the faces of small children as they see the toys, Santa and colorful lights. I love it all and remember my times at that age.

I hate this time of year because it reminds me of my age, of time gone by and of all the well-intentioned money spent on unnecessary things. Bah-humbug? No, just being my practical self. Although this blog comes out at Christmas, I am reminded that at the birth of Christ He did not have much. I hate all the scammers and robbers out there. I hate all the organizations with their hands out, getting plenty of cash so their company officers can get richer. This time of year is a love/hate thing for me.

I long for what is in my memory. A simple life, a simpler time. Smelling the wood fires. These were not just fireplaces, I never knew any family that had one, but wood and coal fires were used for heating and cooking. It was a necessity during my upbringing. I long for looking at the snow-covered houses with smoke curling out the chimney, looking like a picture transformed from a Christmas card. I long for walking into the house, smelling the fire and food slowly cooking on the stovetop. I remember those days, I long for those days and will forever cherish them.

Everyone went to church and it was always more festive during winter. The congregation not only worked together to make Christmas more festive, but they all focused on the upcoming New Year Watch Night and Easter. All festive events were planned many months in advance and everyone pitched in. Church was the starting point as well as the ending for everyone (your baptismal and your funeral).             The entire family went to church and, along with the other families, the entire church was family which made everyone a relative.

Today, young people may have heard about this, but they cannot completely grasp the idea of an era like this. Each succeeding era have a time like this with each era getting more modernized than the previous. Today, young people do not have the time to see the lights, go places that they may smell the chimney smoke, go to church or, if they go to church, work together for months for some far away event in the church. There are many young people that can not cook, have parents that do cook and have never seen a wood burning stove or food cooked on one.

The young people have their phones and tablets, but they cannot smell those by-gone things from long ago through them. They can Google the past but will never experience it. They will never stand in the snow or cold wind and hear nothing but the sound of that wind or see the lights twinkling. The lights were not made that way, but the natural atmosphere make them twinkle, everything is serene. I guess I am old, longing for things that will never be again, but I will never forget them and will forever cherish them.

 

Just Small Talk

I’ve said it before , I’ll say it again: It is great being retired and living in a senior community. Here there is plenty of time to do or accomplish whatever you want to do. All is done at your leisure which make retiring that much better. Traveling, reading, television watching, eating out, casino hopping, etc. is all part of enjoying the senior years. Many do not or have not the monetary or physical where with all to do it. Then there is Imperial Plaza.

Imperial Plaza took it’s usual Wednesday trip to Jamestown, Va. The first permanent colony in America. It was sad to see a great trip, that was cheap, not being taken advantage of by the great majority of people living here. Brookdale Imperial Plaza does not make a profit from these excursions yet seldom is there a full bus. Then, as you walk around the area, there are people saying there isn’t anything to do.

At Jamestown we viewed replicas of the Indian village, the English settlement and the museum. There was a bow and arrow demonstration, musket loading/firing demonstration and the showing of the interiors of the church and Indian huts replica. What was also for good exploration were the two ships. The size of the ships were small, by today’s standards, for having carried so many people to the new world. However, thinking of the size of the people in that era, mean there was plenty of room.

After getting back, I had just enough time to get myself clean, change clothes and get to a Mighty Pen Project class at the Virginia War Memorial (it was a humid day). I enjoyed my time with them, can hardly wait for our next time together. I always learn something new because I consider my writing as atrocious. I’ll keep trying to improve hoping I’ll get there one day. I have the two blogs to keep me in practice plus two stories I am still working on but constantly tearing apart for redoing. Each time I get fresh information at the Mighty Pen Project, I have to rewrite but I consider it worth the effort.

As I have written before, I am a member of the Howard Baugh Chapter of the Tuskegee Airman Incorporated who had a ceremony in Petersburg, Virginia. I could not be with them because I was out of town; they had a ceremony at a high school, I was out of town again. I hope to be in town for the next ceremony although I have been lucky enough to be available for the meetings.

It was a fine day for an outing. My wife and I went to the Wine & Hops Festival in Petersburg, Virginia on Saturday. It was okay, however, the lines for the wine and beer were long, there were a lot of vendors in a confined space, the place was very crowded in a small area. Lots of young people attended, being it was a confined area (Old Towne), standing around, made moving from vendor to vendor very complicated. But it was nice to get out, seeing things outside our usual areas of travel.

While in the area, we toured my old stomping grounds (I am originally from Petersburg), Hopewell and Colonial Heights, Virginia. We went to the new Puerto Rican Bakery/Cafe. It opened three months ago and we learned about it on television’s evening news. They are taking items of donation to the storm ravaged Puerto Rico. It’s the only Puerto Rican cafe I know in the area. There was one in Chesterfield but it closed a year ago.

I advise people, especially seniors, to get out and explore, revisit places of yore or new ones. Make time to go, enjoy before there is not enough time left to do it. I know my wife and I will go as much as we can because time is quickly catching up. Have fun and party as if there is not a tomorrow.

Grumpy People And Other Things

There is a saying, “you can please some of the people some of the time but not all the people all the time”. That is a very true statement, especially around Imperial Plaza. Almost daily I talk to people that complain about a vast array of things but most just want to hear themselves speak, I imagine. I try to avoid those I know will complain about everything under the sun and I name them “grumpy”. These people also do not participate in anything but have something to say about everything. A good example is of one woman that always complain about the lousy food served in the restaurant and when asked if she have eaten there lately and the answer is “I’ve been here three years and have eaten there once. I don’t want that garbage.” There are many like her and she and others should keep there mouths shut unless they are involved with whatever they are complaining about.

There is a change that I spoke abut once before. This man ran all of our activities and is back from being repositioned elsewhere. He should never have been situated elsewhere and all I have heard is that it is great he is back. In my opinion, that was a bad move to start with. Why move the best you have and the one that really love the job? I guess the administration had to learn from a bad mistake. I just hope it does not happen again. We did not suffer while he was gone because he still did the job plus his new job. I asked him once if he got double pay since he was doing two jobs. He just smiled and said “no”.

The church is coming along slowly but surely. We still need membership but we have a lady (Evangelist) that comes and is looking for a new home. She sings and have made a CD of which she sang a couple of songs at last Sunday and this Sunday’s services. Her voice reminds me of Mahalia Jackson which put me in awe. I hope she stays. I was praying for a musician and she was sent and I am eternally grateful. The Lord said that if you wanted or needed something, all that was required was to ask. I asked and the result was last Sunday’s service. I am grateful and I am a witness of God’s word and promise. Last Tuesday night’s Prayer Meeting yielded more of what the Pastor and myself have asked for. We must now do what we have to do to finish what God have started.

The weather have finally turned to the better (warm) and, guess what, I came down with a head cold. This is the first one in two or three years. I normally don’t get colds and it normally does not last long but I feel terrible until it’s gone. I’m trying for it to not slow me down because I must keep plowing on and just keep blowing my nose as I do. Keep God in your heart and mind and I’ll holler at you the next time.

Not Much To Be Said

Where should I start? I don’t know because not much have happened this week. My wife spent a week, with one of her daughters and two grand-daughters, in Puerto Rico. I stayed home although we talked each day. I enjoyed a nice easy, relaxing week although I missed her dearly. She bugs the hell out of me all the time but when she’s gone I really miss her.

Last Sunday, Easter, was a long and full day. It really started on Saturday when my Pastor, the other Minister at the church and I went to the Bishop’s church for a service that lasted longer than I anticipated. Although it was long, I really didn’t know that time was flying by and the food was excellent. I don’t know what it is about church food but it is always good. Maybe it’s because it’s in the house of God or the cooks are saints. I don’t know except that it’s good food that fills a deep hole in my stomach. Then on Sunday, after my church, we all went to another church. Good food again as well as the service. I finally got home during the late afternoon.

What do you think of the police shooting in South Carolina? What about the police assaulting a suspect in California Friday? This has been going on for more years than I can count. I’m a Black man that grew up knowing to be careful around the police. It was instilled in me when I was very young and I have, over the years, heard many, many tales about what happens if you are stopped by the police for any reason. I became a policeman and I have heard the derogatory comments made by my so-called brothers in uniform. I’ve seen the unnecessary rough treatment meted out by my so-called brothers in blue. I was written up once because I used caution and kindness instead of man-handling a suspect. It was said I was a danger to whomever was my partner. The way I saw it the suspect was compliant and was not creating any problems.

I agree that some people deserve rough treatment but not the overall majority. On the other hand, kids and older people today are rather arrogant and show no respect to the police officer or anyone else that have authority. I’m talking about when they are sober and it gets worst when they are intoxicated in any way. Look at that woman that left her car in the middle of the busy highway and started walking down the middle of the busy road. Sure she was drunk but, after she sobers, I bet she will get a lawyer and try to sue for some outlandish reason. There are lawyers that would sue their own mother if they could make a dollar or two. Don’t get me wrong, there are many more good lawyers than bad ones but the bad always float to the top and be seen by everyone, just like the bad cops. Keep watching the news. It’s not over yet and won’t be for a very long while.

Rambling Again

It is great to see some of the people here at Imperial Plaza taking advantage of having a small dog. Just like when the people bring the Companion Dogs around, these do the same thing. Bringing comfort and companionship to the lonely with an added sense of feeling needed. Having a small dog can do wonders for the people but it can also be a nuisance. I know you are wondering what I am talking about and why.

There is no barking or whining, that I have heard. However, what I have observed is even worst. People are walking their animals on the property grounds and letting them do the business that we all must do. Urinate and defecate. I have observed the dogs defecating and then the owner and dog walk away leaving the remains behind. I have even seen an aide with the owner and dog with the same results happening. Myself and quite a few others walk the area (across the grass) and now I guess I can expect, on occasion, walking into a surprise. I hope not but it’s like playing Russian Roulette, eventually the inevitable will happen.

Next week I will oil and tighten up my bike and start taking short rides until I build up my endurance for longer rides. The season, for me, is here and I am chomping at the bit to get out there (weather permitting, of course). Like I have said in previous articles, I am a fair weather rider. If it’s cold, rainy or dark, I do not ride and not being a racer can be added to the list also. I have only seen one other person, here at Imperial Plaza, riding but that was last year. I hope to have a riding companion, especially riding through the Bellevue community, as part of the neighborhood watch program.

Becoming a Deacon and spending a lot of time at the church leaves little time for riding although I will get it in some way. I enjoy being a Deacon even though it is a tremendous amount of work getting a new church off the ground. In order to grow involves a lot of work, at church and at home. There is always something to do and little time to do it or get it done. As written in the Bible, the Seven went out among the people converting others and they, in turn, did the same. Here it is more than two thousand years later and it is still going on. There is always work to do for the Lord. Never be angry about the work because there are those that want to do the work but can not physically do the needed work. Be thankful that you are able and not among the infirm because things could be worst.

I wish to thank those of you that are keeping up with my ramblings and haphazard writings. I had promised to do better but that was before I got really busy. I have received and started following a really religious, interesting blog. This person writes two to three times a day. I’m not anywhere close to having that amount of time to do that much writing but I do read it and it is very inspiring. There are others and I do look at them when time permits. I say to all to keep up the good work and thanks. Any questions or suggestions, drop me a line or two and it will be received with appreciation. God bless and keep all of you.

I’m A Deacon

It’s been a short time coming and I am both excited and humbled by it. The new Non-Denominational church that my son-in-law started in January has Ordained me as the Deacon. We only have eleven steady members, at this time, which mean the Pastor and I have some hard work to do but I am happy to be chosen for the job and will put everything I have into it. I don’t want to stifle my home life but incorporate it into the big picture. Unlike a well established church, that have been around for a while, that have it’s business well in hand and in an easy flowing mode, this is building from the ground up which means nothing is smoothly flowing or it is not flowing yet. With time and patience, things will come together as long as the Pastor and I keep everything in it’s proper order. With a membership increase, qualified people can be picked to handle duties that is taking the Pastor’s and my time in which we need to concentrate on some other important duties.

That is why I haven’t been writing in the past two weeks but I will try to write more. In that time I had a meeting with the head of Imperial Plaza. A lunch, to be precise, and I think it went well between us. I had nothing to report to her and, as I have said, I am in a wait and see mode. Most of the things I talked about earlier have either been cleared or cloaked in secrecy. I was just informed that there still are employees leaving. One or two, every now and then, but they are leaving. I am surprised, every time I go into the dining room, and only recognize one or two people out of the many that are there. There was a time I knew everyone there. I even see new faces as I walk along the hallways and grounds. The assistant activities director have been moved to another position but he is still doing the job because, I think, no one can do it and get it right like he does. To me, that was the dumbest move of all and the young man that took the job doesn’t know the job from a hole in the ground. I am still in a holding pattern, waiting to see what will happen, to see and hear the other shoe drop.

Warmer weather is almost here and I can then get back to my bike riding. I am too old and it’s too cool for me to get out there when I can just wait three or four more weeks for better weather. I know that most people was thinking I had given up bike riding but I am a fair weather biker, I am not like I used to be in my younger days and I am not a professional. However, I must first get myself tuned up and also, the first few rides, take it easy on short routes. If I don’t, I’ll be seeing a doctor and my wife and church don’t want that (should I say I don’t want to hear what they have to say?).

There are other things that have happened but I will get to that in another article. So much have happened and there is much, much more to do which mean I will change all of my on-line profiles from ‘retired’ back to ‘working’. Until the next time….’be kind to your neighbors because you’ll never know when you’ll need them’….also ‘ensure your words are soft and sweet because you’ll never know when you’ll have to eat them’. For years I used to say those words at the end of all of my radio programs and, if you think about it, the words are true. Bye-bye

Update

Two weeks have gone by and it is warming up again.  It’s been a challenge to get through the snow and cold because it has been a while since I have endured this type of cold.  In fact I was still in the air force, in North Dakota, and that was what made me retire.  I can take the cold when I am prepared for it, however, moving to Imperial Plaza I didn’t think I needed my cold gear since I wasn’t shoveling snow or staying outside working anymore.  I didn’t think about the walking to and fro from my car or being outside cleaning the two cars.  My wife says I should get some boots, long johns, etc.  I say no because I will only use it two or three times a year.  It’s a waste and storage problems are also involved.

Here at Imperial Plaza, we are in a wait and see mode.  I am of the mind to zip it and let the explosion of angry people happen.  Granted, I could be wrong but, as of yet, I don’t see it.  I see, hear and know the underlying anger that is all around.  There are situations that have gone underground and are still there but it will see the light of day, eventually.  In other words, the situations are not so blatant as before.  I am afraid that the ones that are to be hurt the most are the most favorite employees.  That is a shame.

Another thing that is fast approaching is my installation as a Deacon.  In two weeks I will become a Deacon at the new ministry and I hope there will be a large crowd present.  The church, at this time, has only a few people that attend and I will be the only Deacon.  With the growth of the church, I am assuming we will add more of everything.  But, at this time, everything is at a minimum.

I was driving to work, the other morning, at the height of the snow storm, because the dayshift person could not make it in to work, and noticed the road condition.  I thought of this many times before but this is the first time I am writing about it.  I had to drive in a part of Richmond and a part of Henrico and the road had been plowed in Richmond but was still hard to travel.  However, in Henrico the road was plowed also but it was almost clear.  What a difference.  I could always tell the difference when I worked for an armored car company.  Those trucks are pretty bumpy and I could tell the difference in the road surface between Henrico, Chesterfield and Richmond.  The roads were rated from best to worst in the order I gave.  People have been complaining about the roads in Richmond but, with the exception of the main roads, the roads seem to be getting worst.  All I can say is, if you are driving in Richmond, stay on the main streets and stay away from the narrow side streets.

Until the next time, take care and be good.  Like I used to say on my radio programs…Be kind to your neighbors because you’ll never know when you’ll need them….also, ensure your words are soft and sweet because you’ll never know when you’ll have to eat them.  SEE YA!!!!