Senior Center Takes a Chance

August 25, 2016

sharing-life-logo On Wednesday, August 24th the Costa Mesa Senior Center took a chance on love and guess what happened? Love won over our hearts! Perhaps the Costa Mesa Senior Center staff gambled when they decided to host a screening of the 2014 film “The Age of Love.” However, I would say this successful event was a turning point for the Center.

More than 100 men and women of all ages were on hand not only to be entertained but to participate in a live discussion with the acclaimed filmmaker and screenwriter, Steven Loring. For Mr. Loring the making of this film was personal. Before the documentary aired (live via broadcast), he shared with the audience that the sudden death of his father at 70 which left his mother alone and lonely launched his quest to find answers about love for older adults.

“The Age of Love” took us on a journey with 30 seniors from 70 to 90 who signed up for speed dating. Sharing the onscreen experiences and the touching moments of fear and happiness, the audience laughed and sighed aloud. We heard what we already knew to be true in our hearts that aging isn’t kind but there is life after loss. Personally, I was touched as I watched from a back row as heads nodded when one participant said, “aren’t we all in search of companionship, friendship and someone to share experiences with?” (And, by the way this is just what the senior center succeeded in providing)!

After the film, Mr. Loring returned for Q & A. The comment by a 25 year old women in the audience summed up this great event, ” this documentary was real, moving with a message of love for all ages. I am glad I came to the senior center.”

…And so am I. Great job Costa Mesa Senior Center for raising bar!

Does secularism trump church?

August 21, 2016

 

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While on vacation, a podcast of Pastor Molly Baskette’s sermon,  Why I Need Church More than It Needs Me, really grabbed my attention. Here I was having a wonderful time in a spot where everyone is polite and more than that… kind. I was feeling at peace.  Not a church for miles, I figured I didn’t need one. Maybe my heart was full because of the ever-present beauty of mountains, rivers, and forests. I was surrounded by God’s presence. Could it be that nature is where secularism trumps church?  

I found it a whole lot easier to live a clean life, a good life without stress and distractions of the media and commitments in God’s creative space.  How much easier it is to awaken with a calmness without distractions. Unstructured time turned out to be a true blessing. I wasn’t rushing out the door for commitments, facing the morning traffic or having to respond to dozens of messages.

Home, less than 24 hours — and as Sunday approached, I felt a longing in my heart for my church family. What a difference it makes when I have “the full weight and positive inertia of other Christians trying to be better people around me. Church is the scaffolding around the weak structure of my character, ” Pastor Molly’s words resonated.

Former Pastor and peace activist, William Sloane Coffin, Jr., reminds us that the church is a crutch. How can that be?  Because don’t all of us walk with a limp?

I will take that crutch. As a Christian,  I will stretch out my hand to another and say:  “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that God may teach us God’s ways and that we may walk in God’s paths.” – Micah 4:2

When Only Pooh Will Do

June 24, 2016

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No matter your age, you must admit that there is something magical about Winnie the Pooh stories. “One Special Tree” is no exception. Published in 2010 by Disney, this is a sweet story for one of those lazy summer afternoons. Underneath the shade of your favorite tree, Pooh is certain to take you on another one of his special adventures with his friends. AND, there will be gentle teachable moments every step along the way.

Whether it is the gentle reminder that we must look carefully to notice changes in a special friend,  or that we can always count on our friends to lend a hand,”One Special Tree” offers an opportunity for you and a little one to share the importance of our environment… just one tree at a time.

“I think, therefore I am.”

May 12, 2016
As I was closing up our Little Free Library (“LFL”) for the night,  I noticed that several paperbacks had been recently added to the top shelf. Now, because this is a “take one leave on” library, that is not unusual. However, one particular book, yellowed from age,  caught my attention. The inscription read: Ms. C,  Storey House, Stanford California. The Storey house is an undergraduate resident theme house for Human Biology at Stanford University. That certainly piqued my husband’s interest. For me, it was a typed two-page  letter dated June 1st, 1949  signed Devotedly, Daddy, that prompted me to continue to find out just who is Ms. C.
 
It took very little time to track down an obituary of the former owner of the book. Ms. C  died in August of last year. From Los Angeles, she spent the last of her years in Newport Beach in a home just around the corner where my husband works. 
 
She received her undergraduate degree from Stanford in the 1950’s. She was one of three women who graduated in 1959 from law school at Stanford.  After university, Ms. C joined the Foreign Service and served in Germany. Secretary to the Ambassador of Korea, she shared planes and helicopters with quite a few dignitaries. Her obituary reads like a piece out of women’s history, a lady breaking the glass ceiling.  After passing the bar, Ms. C returned to Irvine looking for work in a prestigious law firm. Ultimately she was hired by California Attorney General and then moved to Washing to work as an attorney for the Peace Corps, the Department of Labor and the Smithsonian.
 
She later married, (C became B) moved to Newport Beach and raised her children. 
 
The letter from Daddy revealed a funny, sweet side to a man who loved his wife, children and family. The letter most definitely held a special place to  H & J, to whom it was addressed. Was it Ms. B or one of the children who placed the letter in the paperback?

Oh,  the paperback… written by the father of Modern Philosophy, seventeenth-century French philosopher, mathematician, and  a proponent of rationalism, believing strongly in fact and deductive reasoning: Meditations and Selections from the Principles of Philosophy.Ireyne

Tears of Mary May

March 13, 2016

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The screensaver image of these beauties greeted me this morning as I walked past my  computer. They are a bittersweet memory of my youth.

Lilies of the valley surrounded my childhood home. The pure white flowers and the unblemished green leaves marked the arrival of spring with a message that all things beautiful; all things new; all things fragrant are not innocent. The berry of the lily is poisonous, as I was warned time and again.

Grandmother would tell the same story every year during Holy Week. She referred to the flower as Our Lady’s tears; the tears that Mother Mary shed during the crucifixion of our Lord.  Busha (Polish for grandmother) said that  Mary’s tears caused these lilies to bloom. And so it was, year after year we would sit on the porch amidst the sweet smells from the little bells as she would weave a story of a mother’s love. Mary was my sweet grandmother’s name.

The tears of Mary linger in my memory today as I await the month of May.

 

A World for the Written Word

January 26, 2016

Image       In my imagination, this room is my refuge. Filled with light, shapes and colors, the space integrates functionality with nature and offers a place where comfort and creativity collide.

Poetry’s in Motion this Month

January 26, 2016

Don’t hesitate                                                                                                                                                                                                              Let’s celebrate!
Just you and me
with poetry.
April is that special time
to share a poem or read a rhyme.
~cmash 4/10

Established in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets, National Poetry Month is celebrated each April to increase awareness and encourage appreciation of poetry.

This is a time for publishers, booksellers and educators to take advantage of this special opportunity to highlight the diversity of poetry across the country and over the generations.

Looking for ways to join the fun and participate?

Why don’t you sit down and write some poetry that you have longed to do?

You say you’re not that bold; then head over to the library and check out a book or two on poetry.

While you are at your local library, ask the librarian how they are celebrating.

Are they hosting a poetrywriting contest for teenagers?

Will they be having a lecture or poetry reading this month?

If you are up for a little travel, you may wish to visit one of the many American Poetry Landmarks: whether it’s Emily Dickinson’s home in Amherst, Massachusetts or the American Poets Corner at the Cathedral Church of St. John Divine in New York City, New York, you can explore homes, gravesites and cultural centers that offer poetic inspiration in April or anytime.

You might consider the always popular “Adopt-a-Poet” program established to support the care and maintenance of Academy of American Poets. And just who is the AAP? The Academy of American Poets was founded in 1934 to support American poets at all stages of their careers and to foster the appreciation of contemporary poetry. To Academy administers a wide variety of programs, including National Poetry Month. offers online educational resources and free poetry lesson plans for high school teachers.

Check out the  Academy of American Poets website, http://www.poets.org/ for a list of events and activities around the country.

January 26, 2016

January 26, 2016

Andy Warhol: “Being board is like being kidnapped

Tree, Mill, Book

January 26, 2016

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I love traveling by internet, meeting new people and being exposed to uses for objects that make my heart skip a beat. Recently a midwestern modern-day bohemian woman who happens to be a writer  introduced me to an artistic approach to displaying books. This delightful tree-shaped bookshelf by designer Shawn Soh named “The Tree Bookshelf”, sets up several loving tree branches for kids and adults to stack up their most treasured literature. A wonderful design that recalls nature and cultivates a love for reading! Further investigation into this functional and funky product  suggests that it forgoes the use of wood for a more eco-friendly option, steel, which boasts durability and can be recycled! Imagine yourself plucking a book from the shelf and resting beneath the branch. Quite clever.


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