Tuesday, August 31, 2010

dust...to dust

I used to go to weddings
(by R.P.Edwards)

I used to go to weddings
Beginnings….every one
A milestone for children
The daydream …of the young
But now I go to funerals
And weddings?
Far and few
And dreams are filled
With dreaming
Of forever’s

Her name was (is) Melanie.  She was (is) a relative by Christ, and she went to be with Him years too early (in my opinion).  In her early forties when making the jump, she had been sorely afflicted with diabetes for quite some time which resulted in blindness, kidney failure, leading to coma…then death.  She left on this side a husband, David, and a teenage daughter, Jessica.

I’ve been on the midnight shift.  A bit out of it (more than usual) and, although there are topics of interest floating around, I think I’ll just pause a moment before the urn (she was cremated) and reflect.

As I look at the simple display (the grieving husband to my right) I must acknowledge the truthfulness of the scripture that reminds us; life (in this flesh) is but a vapor.  We‘re here…then we’re gone.  We’re singing…then silent.  Dancing…then done.  And, left to mourn us…many (for a very brief span). And a few (for a lifetime).  And, as we gaze at the “pictures” of the deceased, the ills of the country recede.  Power, politics, pollution, platforms, enemies, economics, …they all fall before the reaper. 

And so, with an embrace, and a few words of comfort, there is a needful reminder that our common Christian anchor  is fastened to firmer stuff than is found…here.  Our “home,” our “real” home, has an address not found on any GPS.  And our family dwelling, with Jesus holding the door, knows no tears "or" separation.

Goodbye Melanie.  It will be only a moment…and we‘ll see you again.


Friday, August 27, 2010

Katie and Newt

Elite Speak
(by R.P.Edwards)

Clever quips
And chardonnay
Pampered lips
that coo...and bray
Speaking “values”
Dear and core
But lifted veil
Reveals…the whore

Two quotes.  First, Ms Katie Couric, from her “notebook” segment, spoken August 23, 2010.  “For the record, he’s (President Obama) Christian.  It might be islamaphobia, Obamaphobia, or both; but when loud speakers are blaring, “Born in the USA” and signs say, “No clubhouse for terrorists,” it’s clear we’re not just talking about a mosque anymore. There is a debate to be had about the sensitivity of building the center so close to ground zero, but we cannot let fear and rage tear down the towers of our core American values.”

And now a word from Mr. Newt Gingrich, “The World Trace Center site should be a battlefield memorial because it’s a battlefield.  This was an act of war.  This was an effort to cripple America. I believe we should rebuild the World Trade Center exactly as it was the minute before it was attacked.  And in World War II; in World War II there would have been zero confusion about this.  We would have rebuilt it in eighteen months.  Because back then we knew how to do things.”

Now, before I add my two cents, let me clarify, “The Whore” in my opening poem does not refer to Ms Couric, nor any particular individual.  It is a reference to (as the title implies) the Elite mindset that has somehow oozed out of the universities and now lectures us from the judiciary, the halls of government, the media, and the stages of entertainers.  And (okay, I’m in “two-cent” territory) I cringe when these anti-life, anti-traditional marriage, anti-Israel, anti-Christian, spokesmen dare to tell us exactly what our “core American values” are.  

And as far as the mosque goes; it all comes down to money.  Again, an eye-opening quote from the former Speaker of the House: “Over half the mosques in the United States have mortgages held by Saudi Arabia.”
And how is this pertinent?  Because there is not one; NOT ONE Christian church or Jewish synagogue in the whole Kingdom of Saud.  Amazing. 

So, as Mr. Newt and others have suggested, if this Ground Zero Mosque is really an outreach, an olive branch, a conciliatory center, then, let it begin where the money originates.  Let’s see some churches and synagogues open up in Saudi Arabia.

Now, since I’m in a non-politically correct mood, let me clarify.  I think you can be a Muslim, and a good American.  I think you can be a Muslim, and be patriotic.  I think in this pluralistic society there is room for all manner of beliefs and practices.  However, it must be understood, Christianity and Islam are not born of the same Father.  If Islam is true, then Jesus is a liar.  And that, my friend, I do not believe.  Therefore, as a follower of Christ,  I contend that Islam is blatantly…damningly...false.  And, I suppose, if you’re a Muslim, you think the same about Christianity.  And now that we understand each other...let's go on about our business.

Here’s a link to Ms Couric’s remarks:  From Katie's Notebook

Here’s a link to Newt’s:  The Mosque


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Safe...for now

Little Me
(by R.P.Edwards)

Little me
Little me
We all begin as…little me
Tiny fingers
Tiny toes
Tiny thoughts
That no one…knows
Tiny blueprints
Step by step
I’m put together
Not done yet!
And given time
A life…to fill!
But first…survive

Dickey-Wicker.  A furniture line? Law firm? Fashion boutique?  Nay, it is an amendment; a “rider” that tags along each year with the budget for the Department of Health and Human Services.  “Born” in 1995, it prevents federal funds from being used to create human embryos for research, or research being done on existing embryos.  Our “Christian” President, Mr. Obama--apparently trying to sidestep the ban--expanded funds available for “stem cell research.“  District Court Judge, Royce Lambert said ‘nix,’ writing, “The guidelines violate that prohibition by allowing federal funding of ESC research because ESC research depends upon the destruction of a human embryo.” In other words, in order to get the new stem cells…an embryo…dies.  So…you can’t do it.

Now, aside from the whole “I’m a Christian” thing, and the somewhat gratifying snub to the Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius (former pro-abortion governor of Kansas), I would like to point out this simple fact:  Every person who reads this; Every man, woman, child; Every accomplished soul or fresh from the gutter retread; every wealthy warbler, or penniless peeper; we all, without exception, went through an embryonic stage.  Indeed, just as we all went (or are going through) infancy, terrible-twos, pre and post adolescence, adulthood, aging, and “one foot in the groundness,” we all, without exception…were an embryo at one time.  To kill an embryo…is to kill…a person.  And, although some shortsighted soulless scientists bemoan the loss of the potential human harvest, perhaps these should join with the other medical minds that “know” that the creator of all things…will bless and make provision…through another path.

Thanks to Fox news for the judge quote.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Britt would have gotten it

What’s your sign, baby?
(by R.P.Edwards)

“What’s your sign?”
The pickup line
As substantive…as air
A nothing to
The real of you
A shallow fact…to share
But there are some
Quite smart!
Not dumb
Who use it as a proof
Yet they betray
Their knowledge…gray
These high, and wise…aloof

“I Rudolph, take you Veronica, to be my wedded wife. To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish 'till death do us part. And hereto I pledge you my faithfulness.”*  The divorce court judge, Ms Integrity, put down the parchment and addressed the defendant.  “Mr. Duplicity, do you remember saying these vows five years ago?”

“Yes, your honor.”

“And you do not deny having physical relationships with at least ten others besides your wife during that time?”

“Yes, your honor.”

“And” the jurist placed left elbow down and cradled her chin in the palm, “you maintain you have remained ‘faithful’ to your wife Veronica. (slight pause, with snickering heard from the gallery)?  Tell me, sir, how do you reconcile your actions with your words.”

“Because, your honor, my marriage is spiritual.  I have always honored my wife; put her first.  These others were merely activities of the flesh.  I have…remained faithful.”

“Well, Mr. Duplicity, this is my ruling: I hereby grant this divorce and, since things of the ‘flesh’ are of little importance to you, I grant your wife “not only” the substance and support she requested, but an additional ten percent besides.”

Following is a quote I gleaned from an AP piece: White House Spokesman, Bill Burton said, “The president is obviously a Christian.  He prays every day.”

And what was the reason for Mr. Burton's declaration? Well, apparently there are many who do not believe Mr. Obama is a follower of Jesus Christ.  In fact, quite a few consider him a Muslim. 

Concerning the subject, I was watching a panel of experts on Fox and, although I like these folks, they proved themselves--at least in this area--a bit clueless.  You see, they had no problem making the “Christian connection” for, after all, the president had a gaggle of spiritual advisers and, yes, he prays every day.  Then they softened the “poll” by bringing up all kinds of crazy things people believe (UFOs etc.)  But, what they really showed…is that their knowledge of real Christianity…is lacking.  You see, if Mr. Obama were a true follower of Christ…he would know that murdering the unborn…is evil.  He would understand that God knows what He's talking about when it comes to human relations, and, he would wholeheartedly embrace Israel.  In other words:  the chief executive's actions betray exactly who he is…and who he isn’t. And yes, I have no doubt that his brand of "Christianity" is acceptable in some circles, but for those who take a more literal view of scripture, well, let's just say "the fruit" just isn't there.

I bet if Britt Hume were on the panel…he would have gotten it right.

Thanks to bible.org for the sample wedding vows.  Here’s a link:  bible.org


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Me! Me! Pick Me!

Nancy’s Funding Folly
(by R.P.Edwards)

Funding for me!
Funding for me!
Nancy says
There’s funding for me!
How do I get it?
Where do I sign
Cash for opinion
I’d like that
Just fine

I call it “The Thinking Man’s Car” for, when I drive it I have to think about the temperature gauge, the muffler’s wire job, and the quick erosion of the front left tire, even though major dough has been handed to the “experts” to fix the problem.

Anyway, I was tooling across the ol’ Mississip because (as previously stated somewhere) the people of Missouri don’t allow excessive gouging at the gas pump.  I didn’t know how much cash I’d save, but I knew it would be cheaper than the tax-payer slave state of Illinois [catch the irony? Land of Lincoln? Slave state? Ah…forget it!]

And then I saw it!  Gasp! Could it be true?  The price of the petrol was actually thirty-three cents cheaper!  Understand, twenty cents I was hopeful for.  Even ten would be nice.  But THIRTY-THREE! Oh nelly!  So, I parked the buick, filled the lady up, conveyed the savings to my wife--who wisely suggested I bring the old van over too--and then went happily on and, as I suspected deep down--felt in my gut--this anomaly was short lived.  Sure enough, by the time the Safari was fetched the QT I had gone to had already raised it’s price 19 cents!  However, I still found a Show-Me State place with the cheaper price (tee hee.)

And, speaking of money, I hear in the news that the Speaker of the House, Ms Pelosi, is all for “looking” into who’s behind the funding of those opposed to the Mosque on the Ground Zero site.  Huh? Funding? There’s FUNDING behind the opposition?  Oh, I get it!  She thinks there has to be a paycheck involved, otherwise there wouldn’t be any real opposition.

Oh, this is hilarious.  Well, ma’am, since “I” is one who is vocally opposed, I “too” would like to find these funders.  Frankly I could stand a little extra “coin.” To pay for gas, if nothing else.

Okay, below is my word for word rendition of what the good lady said to the San Francisco Chronicle reporter (windy day, I did my best).  Below the quote is a link to the article (and video).

The speaker said, “But there is no question ah, that ah, ah there is a concerted effort to make this a political issue by some.  And I join, ah, the these who have called for looking into how is this opposition to the mosque being funded…”

 San Francisco Chronicle article

By-the-way, there’s a new video in the bar.  Titled, “Vote them Out!” You might find it mildly amusing.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Farmer and the Seed

The Farmer Knows
(by R.P.Edwards)

The farmer knows the value
As he holds the lowly seed
For he sees the harvest waving
The multitudes…to feed
And he understands the process
The sweat, the time…the pain
Yet still he does the planting
For he sees
The greater…gain

Ella don’t want no kids.  Ella gets rid of them…early.  I’m speaking of course, of the recently approved “week after” pill that prevents “pregnancy” even when taken up to five days after intercourse.

Now, I read quite a few articles on the controversial import--which comes from France, naturally--and there seems to be shades of the ol’  “It depends on what the definition of “is”…is.” In other words, when does “pregnancy” actually begin?  Some (many) say…at conception (the joining of the sperm and egg).  Others…after implantation (when the “zygote” actually attaches to momma’s uterus).  Apparently the wonder drug prevents ovulation (the discharge of the egg. Non-abortive) but also may prevent implantation (abortive).  Thus, the controversy.

So, where do I stand on the subject?  If it only, ONLY prevents ovulation; I’m okay with that.  If it indeed (as some suggest) kicks the tiny one to the curb…I call it…abhorrent.

You know, I’m sure I’ve written about this somewhere in the archives, but it all comes down to the value of the person (a price, I might add, determined by the Creator).  I truly believe each individual is unique and precious and has an intrinsic right to receive care, protection, nurturing…and, of first importance, recognition.  And I wonder, since we are so shortsighted; I wonder just how many of God’s gifts to humanity we have callously thrown away; all because we could only see the adversity…of now.

To conclude: Here’s a bit of wisdom from--of all places--Frank, the pug; spoken during a scene from the movie, “Men in Black.”

“You humans; when are you gonna learn that size doesn’t matter.  Just ‘cause something’s important doesn’t mean it’s not very, very small.” 

Amen, Frank. Amen.


Friday, August 13, 2010


(by R.P.Edwards)

If some could speak
Without the bleep
Would we listen…so?
With salty “say”
And nasty bray
We blush…
But want to know
And so to these
Of verbal sleaze
An answer
Clean…I hope
Were you an orphan
Raised by pigs
Or had your mom
…no soap?

What do master chef, Gordon Ramsay, and ex-governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich have in common?  The f-word, among other seasoned spewings.

Curious how profanity gets our attention.  I suppose it titillates and teases, especially when the offensive noun/verb is covered with a “Bleep!”  But, I’ve noticed, when the raunch launcher is an expert at something; someone at the top of his game; a man (or woman [heaven forbid!]) with few peers; well…we give them a pass.  “Wow, that chef Ramsay has a foul mouth.  But he sure can cook!”

Now, consider my former governor, Rod Blagojevich.  In public the polished politico is smooth and sweet; disarming and debonair but, once his phone conversations became public (I looked a few up) well, let’s just say…they’re a bit saucy.

So, what’s one difference between the two (aside from the legal aspect)?  Transparency.  Yes, it appears the rough and gruff Scotsman lives in the place many politicians only aspire to.  In other words: no fa├žade.

Suggestion:  After Mr. B does his penance, perhaps he can have a reality show (you know it’s coming) where he doesn’t have to pretend anymore.  And, on said “show,” perhaps the salty chef could make a foul-mouthed cameo.  It might be mildly amusing watching them lambaste each other and, I might even watch it….as long as the censor liberally applies the “bleep!”


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Sarah, don't despair

Sarah, don’t despair
(by R.P.Edwards)

Sarah, Sarah,
Don’t despair
They think we do
But we don’t care
They set you up
A hatchet job
A veiled elite
A liberal snob
Just trying to
Evoke a slip
And then exploit
To sink your ship
But we know them
They’re light as air
So Sarah, Sarah
Don’t despair

Sarah Palin talks gainfully with a disgruntled lady and (allegedly) rolls her eyes when the antagonist states her occupation as…teacher.  Around the world the keyboardists press and pass the story of the former governor’s apparent impropriety. But, for those of us who’ve been around the block (and there’s more all the time) it’s just another see-through attempt by the light weight media.

Oh, to be sure, a couple years back many were swayed by the silky words of the candidates and the glowing endorsements of the fourth estate.  But now, with reality staring us square in the face, we need more than airy promises and a free pass by the like-minded press.  Indeed, we’ve discovered that it’s results, not rants; substance, not slurs; bottom lines, not bottom feeders.  Yes, we need solid--know where they stand and what they’ve done--candidates…like Sarah Palin.

Reminder:  Once again; ours is an inherited greatness.  Without question this uniquely blessed America was effortlessly handed down to us from past generations whose values and beliefs were often very far removed from the many who currently dominate the classroom and television studio.  And, although today's "wise ones" speak authoritatively; it is not an earned honor.  And, frankly, we, whom they would influence--when it comes right down to it--we owe them…nothing.  They didn’t bring us here, and they (if the near past is any indication) can’t be trusted to bring us forward.

So, Sarah…relax.  We know who, and what they are.  And we certainly know who…you are.


Monday, August 9, 2010

Another god

Taliban thugs
(by R.P.Edwards)

Tough guys
Murdering the meek
Covering their cowardice
With religious speak
But like other monsters
Quick to have “you” die
Let’s see how well they stand up
‘gainst those of Semper Fi

Jesus said, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.” (Luke 7:21-23) New King James Version

Now, imagine having a religion that caters to the evil that naturally arises from the unregenerated human heart. Wow, what a deal! I’m talking, of course, about the Taliban thugs who recently gunned down some defenseless medical workers; all in the name of their god.

Consider: the group of ten aid workers (one of which had been ‘helping’ Afghans for over three decades) are come upon by some zealous Taliban types and, after these hoodlums ransacked the compassionate crew, they then cut the ‘infidels’ down saying, “They were American spies, and they preached Christianity.”

It needs to be understood that the group that sponsored the victims--the International Assistance Mission--is not a fly by night organization.  No, they’ve extended the hand of Christ for decades; offering a kind of help to a destitute people that is simply not available in that part of the world.  And…all this without preaching.  Following is a quote by the current director:

The second question is whether the team was proselytizing and distributing Dari Bibles. IAM is a Christian organization – we have never hidden this.  Indeed, we are registered as such with the Afghan government. Our faith motivates and inspires us - but we do not proselytize.   --Dirk R. Frans, Executive Director, International Assistance Mission (IAM)

So, being reminded of just who the Taliban are, and what they’re capable of, I may have to revisit my desire for a quick exit from Afghanistan. Truly, I can’t see letting these monsters have their way.  However, our nation can ill afford a long term involvement;  but I have to believe that there is a solution.  Perhaps a little prayer is in order.  Prayer to the one who loves…even those who did the horrible deed.

Here’s a link to Mr. Frans full statement.     Director's statement


Friday, August 6, 2010

Ignorance in high places

Ignorance in high places
(by R.P.Edwards)

The ancient scourge
Oft aligned with way…and urge
A darkness for the devil’s deeds
Though often clothed in rules…and creeds
But think it not
The pauper’s tool
The sword of cads, and scoundrels…fools
For these but prick
With letting saw
But those that kill
They craft …the law

Eugenics. Big in the early part of the last century.  A helping hand to the Darwinian idea of “survival of the fittest.” It involved selective human breeding.  Breed in certain traits.  Breed out…others.  Allow some to reproduce; sterilize the undesirable.  And oh, Adolph H. ran with it but, truthfully, there were many in this country that added their “amen.”

Anyway, along the same vein there were, in many states, laws against the “mixing” of the races.  Miscegenation.  Some believed that the “white” folk should not marry non-whites and, by golly, it was a crime to do so.

Enter Mildred Jeter (black) and Richard Loving (white).  These two--like the surname--were in love, but there was a problem; they lived in Virginia and the law was agin’em. So, the lovebirds crossed over to DC, got married, and then went back.  Not much later, when, in the dark of night the police violently broke into their bedroom, the youngsters began to understand that the out of state marriage license (as far as the locals were concerned)…meant nothing.

Well, time and trouble later, the Supreme Court set everything right by invoking the fourteenth amendment (Equal Protection Claus.)  Here’s some quotes from the case:

The clear and central purpose of the Fourteenth Amendment was to eliminate all official state sources of invidious racial discrimination in the States.

Over the years, this Court has consistently repudiated "[d]istinctions between citizens solely because of their ancestry" as being "odious to a free people whose institutions are founded upon the doctrine of equality."

The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.

Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival.

Now, fast forward to today and the uproar and upheaval concerning “gay marriage.”  After Judge Walker’s recent overturning of the people’s will in California by saying that restricting marriage to “one man and one woman” was unconstitutional, some commentators I respect suggested the coming (years away) Supreme Court battle will involve a rehash of the Loving vs. Virginia case leading, ultimately, to gay marriage.  Then, in passing, there was a brief comparison of the past error of “no-mix” to the present belief by some, “male and female, only.” Huh?

Well, unless I heard them wrong (I hope I did) this sentiment shows their profound…ignorance.  For, although it is popular in elite circles to equate sexual desire with race, the facts don’t back it up.  Indeed, I’ve heard, first hand, the testimony of an ex-homosexual (and read many more), but I’ve never heard the witness of an ex-white, or ex-black.  It’s plain to see: race and sexual orientation…are not the same.  However, when all is said and done I wouldn’t be surprised if the learned elite…have their way.  And, concerning their “I can’t believe such a law existed” words they ascribe to future generations looking back at the banning of gay marriage; I dare say the phrase “will” be spoken; but I’ll wager it will be aimed at the well groomed know-it-alls of today who, ultimately, know…little.

Here’s a link to an organization that can help those who struggle with same-sex desires:  Exodus International


Wednesday, August 4, 2010


The New Lawgivers
(by R.P.Edwards)

When judges judge
From tilted chairs
Their words are skewed
Their motives…bared
Their filter…filthy
Their ruler…bent
The peoples will
And oh how much
We all will pay
When twisting judges
Have their way
And write “their” law
Their “god’s” decree
And say to heaven
“To hell…with thee!”

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare…

Just a little reminder from the pen of Thomas Jefferson expressing the intent, and purpose, and passion of the representative radicals who, in the stead of the people of the thirteen united colonies, actually believed that the “rights” of men…came from God and that He was, and is, “the Supreme Judge of the world.” Yes, the Declaration of Independence; a rather “religious” document. 

And so, this very day, yet another earthly judge bypasses the will of the people and, ignoring the early precedent (i.e. rights from) federal judge, Vaughn Walker, overturns California’s Proposition 8 which, after much effort and expense by the voters of that state (due to the actions of “other” judges) had affirmed--via the ballot box--the long-standing sentiment that marriage should continue to be defined as, one man…and one woman.  And now, because of another “redefiner,” the wallets must again be opened and the masses mobilized to, incredibly, defend an institution that, in their wildest dreams, the framers could not have imagined…needing defense.

(sigh).  You know, I’m a simple fella (those acquainted with me say “amen”).  As such my “conservatism” is based on my belief in “the Supreme Judge of the world.”  You see, I truly believe that it has been His favor, blessing, protection, that has caused America to prosper; that has lifted us to prominence and power.  And, conversely, I believe His “disfavor” will cause us--no matter how some may pontificate otherwise--to fall.  So, when judges take upon themselves the glory they do not deserve and decree that babies are expendable and that when it comes to human relations…God is a liar; well, it causes me to fear for my country.  And, although I would like to extend the honor and deference supposedly due I must, like our forefathers before us, refer to some of these kings as their actions frame them…tyrants.

So, what to do?  Vote, spend, pray, talk, reason, hope.  But, in the end it may be consequences that turn us (if it’s not too late for even that) for, just as the warning of the candle's flame may not dissuade the toddler’s hand; the “touching” surely will.  And we, my fellow citizen…are ever so close…to the fire.

Mr. Jefferson…could you please end this offering with the eloquent words you wrote so very long ago?  Thank you, sir.

…And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010


The Holder
(by R.P.Edwards)

A wisp
A vapor
The glory of man
Planning, and plotting, then covered…with sand
Wiser, much wiser
To touch the divine
And hold… to the holder
Whose servant…is time

Chunks of your life.  Segments, portions, percentages, years…and gone. 

Been a bit thoughtful of late.  Due, I suppose, to the transition our little family is going through as far as kids are concerned.  You see, it was just a brief decade ago and all, the six of them…were dependent (one, barely a glint).  But now, with ten calendars on and off the nail, the towropes to “mom and dad” are either severed, or slackening.  It’s the natural order of things, but a bit unsettling, and not necessarily in a bad way.

Today a coworker exited the building after thirty-six years of devotion to an industry that can be as hard as the product it spits out by the ton. From Nixon’s swan song to Obama’s “Yes we can!,” Ms Julia faithfully punched the time clock for decades and--being an on-floor supervisor for most of that time--she was in the unique position of enduring the constant pressures from the “planners” above…and the “doers” below.  And, although my acquaintance with the good lady was a mere fifteen years, I noticed from afar that she, like all of us, endured her own personal hardships, heartaches and injury and, like all of us…kept going.

And so, as we are again reminded of the temporary nature of this mortal stopover, I wish my former co-worker as many years of healthful freedom as she endured chained to the “job.”  Yes, Ms Julia, fill your remaining time with the things of your choosing; the deeds…of your choosing; the plans and purposes…of your choosing.  And, as your final retirement approaches (as it approaches us all), make sure your “right now” preparations make that inevitable graduation…even more joyful than today’s .