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13 Ways to Prepare for Widowhood

February 11, 2016
until death do us part

Absolutely no one (except possibly fortune hunters who marry older men for their money) wants to consider the prospect of widowhood. We are all in denial. It as if by refusing to acknowledge the possibility, we shake our fists in the face of the gods. But the facts are undeniable: The most recent American Community Survey, published in 2014, estimates that there are almost twenty-five …

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Life Lesson #2: Get Dressed

January 27, 2016
Power perceived

Last month I wrote a blog titled “Life Lesson #1: Make Up Your Bed,” based on Adm. William H. McRaven’s speech, “Life Lessons from Navy SEAL Training.” I said that new widows are challenged just to get out of bed each morning, let alone make up the bed. This week I have realized that it applies to physical as well as psychological struggles. I cannot …

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Celebrating the 12th Day of Christmas

January 5, 2016
Traditional King Cake

Tomorrow is Epiphany…Twelfth Night…the Twelfth Day of Christmas on the liturgical calendar, when the Church celebrates the coming of the Kings to visit the baby Jesus. While scholars tell us that it is more likely that Jesus was a toddler living in a house with Mary and Joseph when the wise men came, my mental picture is still that of the kings with their gifts, …

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Bloom Where You Are Planted

December 20, 2015
Philippians 4:11

Key 10: Be content, whatever your circumstances. A young friend dropped by to invite me to participate in a major fundraiser for the local hospital. When I thanked her for her involvement in the community, she said, “I had some difficulty when we first moved here, but someone advised me to bloom where I am planted.” As a college student I dreamed of going to …

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Taking Care of Me

December 16, 2015
Christmas tea

Today, I will take very good care of myself. I have carefully planned my day. I have six years experience commemorating my wedding anniversary by myself. Anniversaries and birthdays, like holidays, are sinkholes for widows; so I am not leaving anything to chance. After an early morning routine doctor’s appointment (scheduled by the doctor’s office, not by me), I will take a bouquet of Christmas …

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Reminders of Jean: Pumpkin Bread & Forgotten Cookies

November 24, 2015
Jean Storm

Jean Storm was one of the saints of First Baptist Church, Corpus Christi; wife of Lev’s long-time partner and friend-like-a-brother Ralph Storm; mother of Susan and Kathy; grandmother to Morgan, Sarah, Julia, David and Mary. And my friend. I counted myself blessed to be on the receiving end of the Storms’ generosity. Chief among Jean’s many gifts were her hospitality and her ministry to the …

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Cranberries: For Sauce and for Breakfast

November 19, 2015
CRANBERRIES

Cranberries date back to the Pilgrims. One can imagine that the Indians brought them to that first Thanksgiving meal in 1620. Having now visited Nantucket for three consecutive summers, eating chocolate covered cranberries and imagining autumn, when the island turns red from the cranberry bogs, I appreciate cranberries more than ever. I added French toast casserole with cranberries to my holiday menu last year. This …

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Loneliness–A Catalyst for Change

September 17, 2015

Elizabeth Head Black, a gifted writer, blogged again recently about loneliness. Elizabeth’s personal story is a story of loneliness–17 moves in 49 years. She turned to the Psalms for comfort and found God’s answer to her loneliness. A book emerged from her meditations on the Psalms–Hand in Hand: Walking with the Psalms Through Loneliness. Though her life is full as the wife of the priest at the …

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Travel Tip #14. Sign Up for Global Entry

September 8, 2015

Travel Tip #14. Sign up for Global Entry, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. If you are like me, just the possibility of missing a flight because of long lines at the airport is stressful. Some of my older single friends have quit traveling because “travel is just no fun any …

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Tip #10. Travel With Emergency Info

August 4, 2015

Keep emergency contact and medical information in your billfold or purse. In January 2014 a friend and I boarded a small luxury ship for a cruise from Auckland, New Zealand, to Sydney, Australia. The trip started off well; but near Dunedin, close to the bottom of South Island, we awakened to stormy weather. We set out across the dock to a vintage sightseeing train. Crew offered no …

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