Late Saturday Morning

I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating.  I don’t mind if you want to disagree with me. Just keep it civil. No name-calling, no swearing, no obscenity, and watch the sarcasm.  I have the privilege of refusing to publish your response, so if you want to get all snarky and mean, go write your own blog. Don’t try to highjack mine.

It’s nearly 11 a.am.  I’ve been up since 8 a.m. but haven’t gotten much accomplished.

My computer printer has taken a break from active duty.  I’ve been tinkering with it, trying to figure out what’s wrong, but so far have come up with nothing I can fix.  Isn’t it amazing how the time flies when you’re involved in that type of situation?  Most of the time, my electronics work very well.  Maybe my printer needs to be retired to the Big Printer Place for eternity.  I’ve had it for over 15 years.  That’s a long time for a printer, and one of these days I’m concerned I won’t be able to find ink cartridges for it.

Image result for computer frustrations cartoon

Anyway.  I didn’t post yesterday because I had some prep to do for the class I teach every other Friday on the Constitution and Current Events.  Yesterday, I explained the Electoral College to my kids.  They had a ton of questions.  It’s really a good compromise between the heavily populated states and the not-so populated ones, similar to the compromise that created our bicameral legislature:  The House of Representatives and the Senate.  The House is decided by the population of each state.  In the Senate, each state gets two seats, no matter its population.

The purpose of all that was to keep the populous states from ALWAYS winning, leaving the less populous states with nowhere to turn when they were disregarded.

If you look at a map of the 2016 electoral vote, you will see that most East Coast and West Coast states went Democratic. (Correction:  about half the East Coast states went Blue.  It was unexpected for NC, SC, GA, and FL to go Red) That’s because their population is mostly urban, and the politicians tend to regard center America, which is less populated, as “fly-over country” that you have to endure to get to the other coast.Image result for 2016 electoral map

One notable exception in 2016 was my state, Pennsylvania.  What a shock when they went Red instead of their usual Blue!   Typically, the eastern edge goes Democrat as well as the western edge; often, though, the center of the state goes Red.  I still don’t know what happened, because in order to get Republican electoral votes, the state needs to vote for the Red candidate. Maybe we little fly-over folks are just tired of the politicians dictating what we’re supposed to think.  I hope so.

Anyway, it’s an interesting topic.  If you don’t understand the Electoral system, you can google it for a lot of good information as well as criticism.  Not surprisingly, the Blue side wants to  eliminate the Electoral system.  That way, they would almost certainly win every election  on the popular vote alone. You should educate yourselves on the topic before you decide to vote pro or con on eliminating it.  It has worked quite well for over 200 years.

One of my students asked, yesterday, why the population centers, i.e. cities, tend to go Democratic.  To get the answer for that, you only need to look at the demographics of major cities according to, for instance, income. There is more unemployment in large cities; therefore more need for things like food stamps and other government -supported programs.  Democratic legislators believe we need to do MORE than we presently are doing for the poor.  They want us to be dependent on government not just for protection from foreign invasion, but for food, housing, and healthcare. Why?  More government =more control by the government, less power to the governed. More government programs means more taxes because of more government spending.  The more they tax us, the more they own us.

The Democrats expected their longed – for Blue Wave, but they didn’t get it.  It was more like a Blue Trickle.  Yes, they took the House back.  That was expected.   Depending on how the states go who are STILL counting two weeks after the election, they might re-take the Senate as well.  But, to quote our previous President,  Trump still has a pen and he still has a phone. The gains they made in the House were not as large as they expected.  And, believe it or not, there are a few Democrats who want to put Miss Pelosi out to pasture.  We’ll see.  She has a lot of power.

Well, my word. I didn’t intend on a rant this morning. And now I really have to get a couple of things done.

P.S.  I just walked into the dining room and found Terry has my printer all taken apart on the dining room table.  Well, if the problem is mechanical, he can probably fix it 🙂

 

PSS:  It is now 1:45 p.m.  Terry cleaned up the insides of my printer, found a hardened glob of ink and took care of that.  In the meantime, I looked in my Control Panel, and found that he tried six more times  to print a document.  So seven documents were in the queue, and none of them, of course, were printing. So I checked with him, deleted all those documents, rebooted my computer, and everything is working just fine.  What a relief.

Miscellany

Yesterday when I got home Terry told me there was a message on the phone–something about my license key for Microsoft expiring.  Doubtful, I listened to the message. An obvious robo-call, and I was pretty sure it was a scam.  Looked it up, and sure enough, it’s baloney.  If you get a call, purportedly from Microsoft, saying that your license key has expired and giving you a phone number to call, don’t do it. This has been going on for over a year, from what I read.  Microsoft will never call you if you did not contact them asking for a call-back.

Honestly, the creativity of evil minds is endlessly amazing.  Wish they’d apply their energy to something legal once in a while.

My first grandchild, Victoria, is graduating from high school today over in Germany.  Mike, her dad, sent us a link so we can watch the goings-on. Hard to believe my granddaughter is that old.

On June 7, Terry and celebrated 48 years together. Again, it seems impossible.  I thought only OLD people were married for that long!  Next month, I’ll be 70. Impossible.  That means my youngest will be 40,  also impossible.  Mike will be 47.  When your kids start bumping 50, you know you’re arriving in Senior Citizen Territory.

I remember my mom commenting on the fact that both my sister and I were in our mid-sixties, shortly before she died. She said she felt she should have done more for us, and I told her I thought she should stop worrying about her babies 🙂

Time is a fickle thing. When you are young, you wait impatiently for time to pass. You’re eager for the next birthday, the next big holiday, the first day of school and the last day of school. College. Marriage. Babies, Career. And then suddenly you’re on the other side of all that, wondering where the years went while you weren’t watching. These days, I have trouble keeping up with the calendar.  And if that doesn’t sound like an old person’s remark, I don’t know what does 🙂

Maybe a dozen or more years ago, Terry installed central air in our house. What a blessing it has been!  Probably the best gift he’s ever given us. I don’t do well in the hot humidity of my corner of PA.  I know many people who look forward to it, but I don’t. It makes my joints ache, saps my energy, and makes me long for a reprieve. Recently, the AC unit died a natural death. Terry did what he could to repair it, but felt he should call in an expert to finish hooking it up. That expert is here this morning, and we should have it up and running before the predicted hot weather sets in over the weekend.  Just in the nick of time, because it’s been beautifully cool for the past few weeks.

Later today we’ll be driving  down to our church for a homeschool Co-op picnic to celebrate the end of the school year. It has been my privilege and great delight to teach a couple of high school classes these past two years. What a great bunch of kids, eager and willing to learn. There wasn’t a bad attitude anywhere to be found. So refreshing to work with young people who want to work with you.

You know, I have a truly wonderful, blest life. As I listened to the heartbreaking stories of some of my clients this week, sharing their tears and sorrow, I was impressed again with how little real trouble Terry and I have had to deal with.  No one gets through life without some difficulty, and we’ve had our share of ups and downs. But over- all, we are thankful and grateful to God for the years we’ve shared together.  Trouble will either defeat you or make you stronger.  You choose.

Just Writing out Loud :)

It’s late.  I came in here to shut down the computer, and got the urge to write.  Everyone besides Terry and me went out to Hershey today, and they’re not back yet.  The house has been incredibly quiet after two days of lots of noise.  Good noise.

Sure is nice to see my kids and grandkids.  The grands are all growing up so fast!  The oldest is 18 now, and the youngest is already six. You know, when you’re young you think you’ll never grow old, and the time seems plenty long enough.  Now, however, it’s as if the sixty-eight years behind me were lived in a nano-second.  Of course, my  children who range from late 30’s to mid-40’s put the lie to that notion 🙂

We got news yesterday of the sudden death of the husband of a young friend who is only in her mid-30’s, with three children to rear.  Another  death of a young man in his early 40’s, leaving wife and at least one child. This kind of news leaves me just  speechless, and heartbroken for these young women who never dreamed they would be widowed so early in life.

We all know that death is a part of life, but we don’t really expect it to be a part of OUR lives!  At least, not until we’re so old that we don’t know a thing about it any more.

Be thankful for your spouse, your children, your grandchildren.  Don’t ever take them for granted.  We are not promised that our lives will be without loss and pain; only that God will be with us through the loss and pain.  We do need to learn to cherish the moment.

So.  I didn’t intend for this to be maudlin or preachy.  Just putting down words as they form in my mind.   I’m missing our son in California, who couldn’t be with us this year.  He’d have so enjoyed picking on his big brothers again.  Also missing his girlfriend, who flew to Slovakia to be with her parents over Christmas.  She’s  a sweet girl, and we’re enjoying her very much.

All right, that’s enough.  It’s almost exactly ten o’clock, and if I’m not in bed before Ken and family get here, I’ll be up until midnight hearing all about their day 🙂  That will wait until tomorrow.

If I don’t stop in again before Friday, I wish you all a wonderful Christmas, and thank you for being loyal readers and friends.

And to all, a good night 🙂

 

Friday Counseling Issues on Saturday

I have no idea what I’m going to write.  That’s why I didn’t post yesterday.  No ideas, no inspiration.

I’m really very tired, and looking forward to Thanksgiving week.  I always take off that week.  It’s really only two days off work, because everyone gets off on Thursday, and I use those days to clean and do prep for the meal on Thursday. So it’s not a true vacation, at least by my definition, but it’s a valued change of pace.

Terry is already up and pounding nails into things 🙂  He’s been working very hard for weeks now on several projects, and finishing up the kitchen is one of them. He’s constructed small cabinets out of bigger ones that were left over from the major cabinets. The smaller ones go above the stove and refrigerator.  The one over the stove is done, and he’s working on the other one right now.

Last night he finished mounting our new flat-screen TV on the wall.  It looks really good. Now we can put the DVD player and the old VCR player on the cabinet where the TV has always stood.  He threaded all the cords and cables behind the wall, so it looks neat and tidy.  He also refinished areas on the wood floor in the living room that were looking pretty seedy.  Now I need to vacuum up all the dust from the spackling and sanding. That will be a major chore for me today. Back to the kitchen, he’s got all the toe boards in place under all the cabinets.  Looks really nice.  I think the  major thing left now is the painting.  He’s done most of the prep for that–filling holes, spackle, sand, and prime–in the kitchen, dining room, and down the hall.  It will all be the same color.

So what does any of this have to do with counseling?

It doesn’t.  It’s just where my mind is this morning, along with planning for Thanksgiving, and beginning to think about Christmas.  I washed all my teapots yesterday, but I’m not going to set them back out.  I think I’m going to start bringing up my Christmas decorations, put the teapots away until January.

So here’s something about counseling.  I need a break. Therapists?:  Someone asked me the other day what I found the most difficult about my work.  My immediate response was, “Seeing the pain that sin creates in the lives of everyone who is touched.  One person walks away from God and godliness, and a whole family suffers. Relationships are hurt, sometimes broken.  Trust is destroyed. Even when there is repentance and restoration, the hurt and distrust take time to heal.  I hate Satan.  Truly hate him.”   I don’t think my questioner was prepared for such an impassioned response.

Let me warn you that this work is not for the faint of heart.  I find myself talking about things I would never, ever have discussed with relative strangers.  I’ve heard so many stories of betrayal, pain, and sorrow.  Young people, old folks, middle-aged–it doesn’t matter.  The pain of betrayal is horrendous.  I’ve had more than one person tell me it would have been better if the one who betrayed their love and trust had just died.  Betrayal creates a whole different kind of grief and sorrow.

I don’t think I could have done what I’m doing now when I was 25.  I didn’t know enough about life, and I certainly didn’t have the confidence  in my relationship with God that I do now.  My knowledge and trust in God’s Word has grown to meet the needs of the people I try to help.  I’m praying more, sometimes as I’m working, listening, trying to seek God’s leading for my next words.

At the end of a day, I’m not at the end of my rope because  I don’t find my own wisdom or strength to be what I fall back on.  But I am weary, and I love knowing that when I get home there won’t be any stress.

Counselors are supposed to stay objective, right?  Not become emotionally involved.  Right.  When you see people for weeks and months as you try to help them walk through their pain, I just don’t know how you can blithely stay above it and remain unaffected.  I’m pretty good at leaving most of it at the office.  I don’t  usually have trouble sleeping, and I don’t think I’ve ever dreamed about the horrors I hear every day that I work. But yes, it affects me.  I am thankful for my God, Who gives me just the scriptures that I need when my thinking begins to go to dark places.

Psalm 119:165. “Great peace have they which love Thy law; and nothing shall offend them.”

And that’s all.