Opinions

Sat
13
Jan

Try to determine what the cardinal is telling you

The other day, I was sitting in my dining room talking on my cell phone with a friend, Judy Judd. We were visiting about a mutual friend who recently passed away. As we were talking, a beautiful red cardinal appeared and landed in full view in my apple tree.

The belief that cardinals are messengers from someone who has passed exists across many cultures and beliefs.

There is a difference between symbolic signs and superstitions. Although they both relate to supernatural powers, a superstition is absolute and does not leave room for personal interpretation or circumstances. An example of a superstition: if a blackbird flies into your house, it is a sign of an impending death.

However, a symbolic sign is unique to each person and gives us the opportunity to interpret its meaning. A symbolic sign is a message for the individual receiving it. A symbolic sign can be considered a phenomenon, or a “cardinal experience.”

Sat
13
Jan

No blizzards, but whirlwhind of activity in January

What is happening to the month of January? Where are the blizzards? Where are the “weather is too bad, I’m staying home” days? How come I am gone every day and not taking care of my normal winter projects?

First of all, my family Christmas gathering did not take place until Jan. 7, but now that is the past, and I still have Christmas things up and not put away. In fact, my outside Christmas lights are still coming on every day at dusk. I will have to forge my way through the slushy snow and unplug those light strings one of these days.

Second of all is appointments. A senior citizen has lived long enough to see a few specialist once a year, and for some reason, most of them are seen in January. Then there is physical therapy, for my neck and shoulders that needed attention way back in December. If things go as planned, I should be finishing up very soon.

Sat
06
Jan

Resolve to be kind to others this year

I read this recently and thought you might enjoy it as much as I did: A young couple moves into a new neighborhood. The next morning while they are eating breakfast, the young woman sees her neighbor hanging out the wash. “That laundry is not very clean; she doesn’t know how to wash correctly. Perhaps she needs better laundry soap.” Her husband looks on, remaining silent.

Every time her neighbor hangs her wash to dry, the young woman makes the same comment. A month later, the woman is surprised to see a nice clean wash on the line and says to her husband, “Look, she’s finally learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her this?” The husband replies, “I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows.”

So it is with life. What we see when watching others depends on the clarity of the window through which we look.

Sometimes we are quick to criticize and slow to praise. Finding what is wrong is sometimes easier than looking for what is right.

Sat
06
Jan

Condos should be geared toward seniors

To the editor:

I am excited to read about more condos going into Shawano. While I do understand the feelings of homeowners near the old Shawano hospital property, condos won’t devalue your property. Condos are the future.

The only thing I wasn’t clear on, was, are these condos going to be 55-and-up only? The one thing smaller towns are lacking, are nice condos for seniors who no longer want to maintain a home and large yard. They also want to travel more, and owning a condo makes that a lot more feasible. I’m hoping they will not be two story condos like the ones on main street and also not two story condos like the ones behind the old Pick ‘N Save area. You need ranch style condos with no one living above you.

Sat
30
Dec

Make your resolutions, but make them realistic

It seems the older I become, the more quickly time goes by. I can still remember how excited I was to become a teenager. Then I waited for my sweet 16th birthday. Of course, becoming 18 was exciting. In my day, we could go to bars at that age. I remember Club 45 in Clintonville and the Sha Bon here in Shawano. Age 21 was another milestone.

None of my other birthdays seemed too significant until I turned 50. I was working at Citizen’s Bank and my co-workers made sure I would long remember that day. They gifted me with a walker, prune juice, thick glasses, a heating pad, a shawl and over-the-hill birthday cards. Since that time, birthdays come and go. Sometimes I actually have to stop and figure out how old I am. Age is only a number now, and I am happy to celebrate every new year.

Sat
23
Dec

A coat warms a young boy for Christmas

A teacher contacted me requesting a copy of an article that previously appeared in my column. She said she would like to read it again to her class, but she misplaced it. The teacher commented she felt in today’s troubled world, we need to hear more about acts of kindness. I agree, so here is a re-print:

I remember my first Christmas adventure with my grandma. I was just a kid. I recall riding across town on my bike to visit her on the day my big brother dropped the bomb: “There is no Santa Claus,” he proclaimed. “Everyone knows that!”

My grandma was not the gushy kind, had never been. I went to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always spoke the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a lot easier when swallowed with one of her “world-famous” cinnamon buns. I knew that they were famous because Grandma said so. It had to be true.

Sat
23
Dec

Time away for the holidays

It’s a season of holidays when our communities set aside time for family reunions, travel, giving and worship. Since the beginning of time, holidays are time away from the daily routine to honor the tenets of a given society. I am always inspired by the nuggets of wisdom and perspective I gather in relaxed conversation with people I know well or just met.

During the bustle of the holiday season, I revisit two lessons I learned as a member of the Center for Creative Leadership that still resonate with me today: Slow down to speed up, and go broad before you go narrow.

Sat
23
Dec

Big or small, Christmas tree a sign of the season

To put up the big tree, or opt for a smaller one? That was the question I pondered a few weeks back. To tell the truth, my tree has gotten smaller over the years, and I no longer put up a real one. Plus my artificial tree is already pre-lit, so no need to fuss; however, it seems like a big job to bring the thing upstairs, plus all the boxes of decorations, only to take it down again in a couple weeks.

I mentioned my quandary, and a granddaughter overheard me. So she will come and drag the stuff upstairs. My question has been answered, for this year at least.

I never thought I would live long enough to ask that question. I always loved the Christmas trees I have had over the years. As a child, it was something my parents put up, and I helped decorate. The lights were bigger then, and more of the decorations were homemade. Cut-out cookies, nut shells and candy canes, to name a few.

Sat
23
Dec

Magnificent things in life

A number of years ago we took an RV trip to Branson, Missouri with members of my extended family. While it wasn’t all roses it got us away from the cows. It was a most memorable experience and for sure, something I’d like to try again one day.

While it was fun, there were definitely points of major discomfort, such as driving through St. Louis. In the rain. In the dead of night. During the World Series! We took turns driving and never before in my life had I manned a recreational vehicle. When it was my turn, I made sure my guide sat right beside me because, truth be told, I’d get lost finding my way out of a paper bag.

Sat
16
Dec

Have fun decorating the tree, but don’t forget the pickle

Christmas trees have a long history. It is said the evergreen fir tree had been used by pagans and Christians for thousands of years. Pagans first used the branches to decorate their homes during winter solstice to keep evil away and as a reminder spring would still come. The Romans used fir trees to decorate their temples. Christians believe they symbolize everlasting life with God.

A picture from Germany in 1521 shows a tree being pulled through the streets by a man dressed as a bishop. He was riding behind on a horse, possibly representing St. Nicholas. There is also a picture dated 1570. It is of a small tree in Bremen Germany. It is decorated with apples, nuts, dates, pretzels and paper flowers.

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