If we could fly

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Leaving this earth

My friend, Linda, sent me the link to the video I have above this post. It is best on full screen. Tonight it speaks to me for I would like to fly above the world, touching down only where I wanted. I am in awe of this young man and his ability to soar in the mountains, over the oceans, along the beach and on top of cities. I don't want to know how he does it. I am just amazed that he can and happy he takes me along with him. 

Friday, October 5, 2018

You want to know about this!

We are featured on the NCWN Book Buzz page: Thanks to Charles Fiore.

We have a new website/blog. That is, Estelle Rice and I have a site for our books. Check it out here.  Be sure to look for the Pages where you can see where we will be reading or signing books and for Your Comments.We would love to hear from those who have read any of our books. Send comments to gcbmountaingirl@gmail.com. I will publish them on Your Comments.Or you can leave your comments on the page.

Our new book is Paws, Claws, Hooves, Feathers and Fins: Family Pets and God's Other Creatures. We published a collection of stories about our own pets and also added some fiction about animals. We included poems. One of mine is about our first mixed-breed dog, Rocky, and how he came to be with us. A touching story is about Barry, my husband, and how a special horse helped cure his depression after open heart surgery.
Rocky came to us when we most needed him, but I didn't want him.

Estelle wrote a funny story about what happened when she tried to tell her youngest child where babies came from using the pregnant family dog. All of her stories are entertaining, include humor and keep you reading until the end.

We have been pleased by the number of books ordered, and we hope more orders will come in as Christmas nears. The books, filled with color pictures, are great gifts for animal lovers. 

We each published a poetry chapbook some years ago. That is a small book of around 28 pages of poems. Estelle's book, Quiet Times, is a lovely collection of inspirational poems that is loved by everyone who reads it. 

My poetry book, Now Might As Well Be Then, was published by Finishing Line Press and sold on Amazon.com. But recently I learned Amazon is not selling books with the binding used on my book. Sadly, someone has stolen the link to my book and now when you click on it, you go to a website that sells devices. The book is still available at Finishing Line Press and from me.

In 1998, I combined my genealogy research with creative nonfiction and published a hard back, beautiful book: Profiles and Pedigrees, Descendants of Thomas Charles Council (1858 -1911)  Although I was not as good a writer back then, I am proud of this book because I spent ten years researching the lives of my grandfather, Tom Council and his ten children. 

All of our books can be found at Blue Heaven Press.

A Poem from Quiet Times by Estelle Rice:


Silence

When I am silent,
thoughts surge onto the shore
of my consciousness.
There is no place to hide
or deny my fears.

Silence endures my frailties,
nudges me toward the paths
where I will meet myself.

Silence encourages me
to listen to the universe,
that I may hear
the songs of angels.
             ---Estelle Rice


Sunday, September 30, 2018

When Mourning Comes

This past week has been a sad one for me because I have heard bad news from several sources.



One of my dearest friends has been diagnosed with metastasized breast cancer, stage IV. She is elderly and has had two mastectomies. It breaks my heart. She was my "Guardian Angel" when Barry died. She was never too busy to talk with me, to counsel me about losing your mate, she had gone through it, and going on with your life. She has a delightful personality and finds humor even when things are tough. We used to go out for pizza often, and we always laughed. She is a good person, a great cook who shares her wonderful dishes with anyone who needs them. She has certainly fed me many times. If I took her food I cooked, it would be like taking coals to New Castle. 

The husband of another friend died quite suddenly after a diagnoses of lung cancer. He was not elderly. In fact he was running for sheriff in our county. He was a good man and well respected. I saw his wife, a former student of mine, just a couple of weeks ago, and she said his back had been hurting. She was getting him an appointment to see the doctor. I need to take his campaign sign from in front of my house. 

And the third loss was another friend and member of our writers' network. He went in the hospital for a valve replacement in his heart and was recovering from the surgery. But suddenly he suffered bleeding in his brain. A stroke. His daughter said it was due to his being given too much blood thinner. Mistakes happen, I know. But so many mistakes in hospitals take the lives of people we love. I try to avoid hospitals if I possibly can. I lost too many loved ones, including my dear husband, from mistakes by the medical world.

So, I am sorry if I can't write a cheery bright post today. You deserve better, but I have been too depressed to even get dressed to go out. 

My life has been filled with loss since 1975, losses I had to learn to deal with and had to accept and go on. That year my mother suffered a ruptured aneurysm on a carotid artery, lost her short term memory and was never the same. My sisters' husband, a man I truly loved, died from a doctor's mistake.

Since that time I lost a brother to cancer, two brothers to heart attacks, my mother and my father have died. My oldest sister, June, died from heart problems, and my own beloved died from cancer. 

Each of these seven deaths slammed me to my knees, and I had to pull myself back up and go on. The recent deaths and illness I write about above seem harder because I don't have Barry to talk to, to share with him my feelings and to be comforted by him. 

The men who recently passed away were not that close to me so why do I feel such despair? I feel for their wives, their families because I know that pain of grief that seems to never end. I am more empathetic than most, I'm told, and I feel deeply others' pain. But my feelings for my friend with breast cancer is not only for her and her family, but for me. 

I am sharing a poem I wrote a few years ago. I went to the funeral of a man whose wife I knew. 


For Whom Do I Mourn?

I never met this man who owns
the casket covered in white flowers.
They say he was a craftsman,
hand-built chairs, rivaled scholars
with his logic, his understanding,
though he never finished high school.
.
He entertained his grandchildren,
made funny faces, loved a joke,
was a VIP at church and in his home.
Beside his grave, gray-haired soldiers
fold the flag. That haunting bugle tune
lays him to rest.

Why do my eyes moisten?
Why does my throat constrict?
I cry not for the old soldier,
but for my own, who lie beneath
their stones, under still and leafy oaks
above the pond.


Posts you might want to read:

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Ten Favorite Books Blogger Challenge is complete

I was invited by blogger, Abbie Taylor, to participate in My Ten Favorite Books Blog Challenge. i will now invite three bloggers to participate. I don't usually participate in such things, but Abbie is my friend, and it was kind of fun to look back.
My 10 Favorite Books are:

  1. The Black Stallion by Walter Farley
  2. The Black Stallion Returns by Walter Farley
  3. My Friend Flicka by Mary O'Hara
  4. Little Women by Louisa Mae Alcott
  5. The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
  6. Hotel by Arthur Haley
  7. To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee
  8. Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann 
  9. Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
  10. A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel
I chose books from different eras of my life. The books about horses were from my childhood. Little Women and The Yearling were favorite books from my early teens. Hotel and To Kill a Mocking Bird were from young adult years and the Valley of the Dolls I read as a young married woman. The last two are books I can't forget from recent years.

If I had room for one more it would be Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. 

I invite Brenda Kay Ledford, Joy Griffin Dent  and Joan Gage to take this challenge.

Here are the rules for this CHALLENGE:

1._ Think about those books you enjoyed over a lifetime of reading. It is not easy to do because you have to whittle your list down to only TEN books! Write them down – make a list of 10.

2._ When you complete your list, post it on your blog.

3._ Send a link to your blog post to 3 friends and Invite your 3 friends who love books to take the challenge. List the 3 friends you are inviting at the end of your blog post.

4._ Ask your 3 friends to send you a link to their blog post so you can enjoy seeing their 10 favorite books, too.

6._ Your 3 friends will invite 3 of their friends to continue on with the challenge.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Thanks to Joan and to Paula - helping get the word out

Thanks to Joan Gage who wrote this post for Netwest Writers. https://netwestwriters.blogspot.com/2018/09/jccfss-literary-hour-to-feature-poets.html


And a big thank you to Paula Canup for this article in our local newspapers.
https://www.cherokeescout.com/news-subscribers/local-author-glenda-beall-collaborates-new-book

If you love your pets like I love mine, you will relate to the stories, poems, essays and photos in this book. You can order by sending a check for 14.00 plus $3.00 S&H to Glenda Beall or Estelle Rice, Blue Heaven Press, PO Box 843, Hayesville, NC 28904

After September 20, price goes to regular retail, $16.00 plus three dollars shipping and handling.

Nerve Pain - the worst kind of pain - can it be inherited?

I used to think that when I get really old and can't do much anymore, I will still be able to write and to read. But when you don't feel well or you are in pain, it is hard to do either. My mother's family has a curse that I seem to have inherited. The curse is a strange illness that is often described as the "suicide disease."

The reason for that title is because the pain is so horrible, so debilitating, that people have killed themselves when they can't get rid of it. It is a sharp, electrical type, stabbing agony in the face or one side of the head.

The actual name of this condition is Trigeminal Neuralgia. I spent some time looking at videos on You Tube and learned more of what the medical world thinks this is. They say it is caused by a blood vessel pressing on the trigeminal nerve right behind the ear. It can be relieved by cutting out a piece of the skull the size of a quarter and placing a Teflon pad between the blood vessel and the nerve. Looks pretty bad to me, but if there was no other way of stopping the pain, I guess I would do it. Another method they have found is to use radiation on the blood vessel or the nerve, I forgot which, to kill it. That sometimes numbs the face so you feel all the time like you have been injected with Novocain.

Mother told me her mother had it so bad that she could not sleep, and often would walk in the yard at night when she was hurting so she would not keep the family awake. One of Mother's sisters had it and so did her brother. Like me, they had to go to the ER at times when the pain was unbearable and they could not live with it.

I have my own ideas on what causes my attacks. When I am exposed to chemicals like perfume or pesticide, my face becomes extremely sensitive above my eye, on my cheek and on my jaw line. It begins like a sinus problem, but quickly progresses to neuralgia (nerve pain). That sends me to bed with heating pad, strong pain medicine and still the pain doesn't completely go away.

My grandmother would not take morphine which was the only pain medicine available in the late 19th and early 20th century that could knock her out and help her cope. But heat helps nerve pain, and she would sit in the kitchen sometimes with her head in or near the open oven of her woodstove. With no electric heating pad, she let the warmth from the oven calm the nerves.

When I think I have it bad, I remember my grandmother and the pain she had to endure. At least I have medical help, heating pads and You Tube to inform me about this horrible thing. And I know if it gets totally unbearable, I can resort to surgery. The videos show people of all ages who deal with this pain. One was a seventeen-year-old girl. She had to drop out of college and could not get relief until she found someone in South Carolina who helped her. She never said in her video who that was.

I believe my recent episode was brought on by sitting in a waiting room on Friday afternoon where a woman was opening different essential oils and smelling them. I eventually realized what was happening and moved down the hall, but it was too late. Often the results of inhaling these products doesn't hit me full-blown until hours later. Then it comes on like a tornado and flattens me for a couple of days. When people joke and kid me about my chemical sensitivity, they have no idea how badly I suffer from it. It is a crippling issue that doctors don't even put on my records because they don't recognize it yet.

They recognize trigeminal neuralgia, but not MCS which in my case, triggers the TN. With all that our medical doctors learn in school, there are many things they still don't know, don't try to learn about and certainly don't listen to their patients who can give them knowledge they won't find in their medical books.

We have to do all we can to learn about our own bodies, to know what hurts us and what helps us, and then speak up to our doctors. We must make them hear us and that is hard when you are over 65 years old.
That is why many people just don't take a prescribed drug or don't tell their doctors that they take supplements.

Sadly, older people's explanations and wisdom about their bodies are often dismissed by the highly educated medical person. And if you live in a rural place where there are few specialists, it is hard to find a neurosurgeon or someone in that field who might know about trigeminal neuralgia treatments. Other than putting the patient on a daily drug for seizures, they don't have much to offer. I don't want to take a drug every single day with all its side effects for an illness I have a few times a year.

I have been seen by neurologists in the past and was told I have atypical neuralgia, not the ordinary kind, and I have been prescribed medicine for migraines which didn't help the TN. Having done some recent research, I wonder if I don't have occipital neuralgia. This affects the back of the head, behind the ear and the side of the face. Research is being done to formulate a nasal spray that will deaden the nerve somehow.

So, I will just plan on having a few of these days each year where I spend the day in bed with something on TV to help me get my mind off my pain. I will go to the ER if I need something stronger than I have at home. 

I wonder if any of my readers have nerve pain. There is neuropathy and neuralgia, both are kinds of nerve pain. If so, how do you handle it?


It seems that Neflix has a documentary on chronic illness including MCS and those who were interviewed for this show are very much upset as to how they are portrayed. I haven't seen it, but will watch it tonight.
https://popculture.com/streaming/2018/09/16/afflicted-netflix-users-demand-remove-chronic-illness-series/




Friday, August 24, 2018

Diving into Genealogy again to write more family stories

As you know, if you are a regular reader of this blog, I have been researching my ancestors for about forty years. Lately, I have been frustrated because my computer program with all my data is obsolete, and I had to move it to a new program, Legacy. I have not had time to study this new program and transfer my files, so I am taking a class with Larry Van Horn, genealogist, who will teach beginners how to use Legacy, the state of the art computer program for genealogists.

See my post on Writers Circle - https://www.glendacouncilbeall.com/2018/08/the-genealogy-behind-our-family-stories.html#.W348P2e0WM8

Monteen Council Hayman and her daughter Beverly
Just recently the oldest member of my father's family died. She was over 100 years old. A lovely woman right up to the end and her brother, who is in his nineties, told me today that she had a peaceful passing. Her name was Monteen Council Hayman.

Like me, she was the historian in her family. She was the only girl with four brothers. In my book Profiles and Pedigrees, the Descendants of Thomas Charles Council (1858 - 1911), Monteen contributed the history of her family who settled in Palmetto, Florida in the 1920s. She explained in detail how her father raised the vegetables he sold. He was my father's oldest brother and Daddy loved him. Uncle Charley gave my father work during the depression when jobs were impossible to find. He rescued his sisters, Oleo and Annie, when they were widowed or left by unfaithful husbands. His home was open to those who needed him. His story is one of my favorites in the book.

It pleases me that I was able to collect the stories of my grandfather's family for future generations to see how they lived, survived actually, when times were very hard in this country. I look forward to going further back and learning more about my ancestors who lived in North Carolina in the 18th and 19th centuries and connecting to the first Council who came to this young country, to Jamestown VA, so long ago.

Stay with me, friends, and learn along with me.



Thursday, August 16, 2018

We finished the book. Now what comes next?

Now that our manuscript is ready to be published, Estelle Rice and I are in the next stage of getting our book out. Marketing.

Although writers must start their marketing long before a book is published by getting their work known to the pubic and making a name for themselves as a writer, now we must get word out about our new book, Paws, Claws, Hooves, Feathers and Fins; Family Pets and God's Other Creatures.

While marketing a new book, writers must continue to write -- either another book or work on another project. My next project is to publish a poetry collection. My poetry chapbook, Night Might as Well be Then was published by Finishing Line Press in 2009. Amazon says that book is no longer available, but it is available from the publisher and from me. The price is only $12, but I sell it to my friends for $10. 

Today I created a postcard to send out to a long list of people I know who might be interested in the new book. There is a cost to marketing if you want it done well. The postcard will have the gorgeous picture of the front cover on one side, a message about the book and how to order, on the other side.
I am glad we have an eye catching cover. Covers have a large influence on book buyers.

But no matter how pretty the cover and how well it is written, if no one knows the book is available, on Amazon or in Barnes and Noble stores, how can they purchase it? So the job of the writer is to make herself known and then make her book known. 

I am delighted that Paws, Claws, Hooves... will come out in September just in time for Christmas. It will make a perfect gift for anyone who likes or ever owned a pet. You will meet Mary who saved Gracie at church. You will be impressed with Chanook who saves someone's life. The story of the Horse with a Halo always brings a tear, not from sadness, though. What about a pterodactyl cat?

We have orders coming in already and we are so, so excited. 
I plan to do an interview with my co-author, Estelle Rice, who was a young girl during WWII. In fact, her fiance' was lost in the war. She has so much to offer the public, and I can't wait to do that interview. As you get to know her, you will fall in love with her.

ESTELLE RICE co-author of Paws, Claws, Hooves, Feathers and Fins

Please share this blog post on your favorite social media network.





Thursday, August 9, 2018

A Child's Escape to the Barn

My readers, my friends, know that I grew up on a farm in southwest Georgia. I loved the barn on the farm. As you can tell in this poem, I found lots to be interested in. The smells, the light and darkness, the animals and just the atmosphere was comforting.


A Child’s Escape to the Barn
By Glenda Council Beall

I enter the barn through the corn crib.
Flour dusts the floor around the hand mill.
Gray mice feed on cracked kernels;
either very brave or too greedy

to notice my intrusion.
The fragrance of cottonseed meal,
heady in my nostrils, tempts me
to see if it really tastes like toasted nuts.

Light shoots into darkness through narrow
crevices between wide rough boards.
Rays seek out the spiders' lacy traps
lining corners, the angle made by roof and wall.

Chickens, fat and full, sit placid,
in straw-filled boxes hung high above
the ground, protected from predators
except one that coils, swallows their eggs.

Musty smells arise from the lot
where hard-worked mules munch on grain
in troughs held fast to cured pine walls
by hammered twenty-penny nails.

I climb the ladder to the loft.
Wide eyes of feral kittens peep
from behind bales of hay. They skitter
away, tails aloft, straight as flag poles.

Tiny English sparrows twitter and flit.
Some nest on rafters under the eaves. 
I’m a natural born citizen of this place
but they have made a home here.

Without warning a summer shower pounds
the tin roof, runs off and wets the black mix
of dung and dirt, serves me up an odor rich
with life. I'm overcome with contentment.

This poem and others similar to it will be included in the book, Paws, Claws, Hooves, Feathers and Fins, by Estelle Darrow Rice and Glenda Council Beall. Use the contact box at the top of the Sidebar to order the book at the discount price of $14.00 plus $3.00 S&H
This lovely creature has a story in the book.


Sunday, August 5, 2018

Charlayne Hunter-Gault and UGA history

Today I watched Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates on Public TV and Charlayne Hunter- Gault was one of the guests. As she traced her family history back to slavery time and beyond, I remembered when I was a junior at the University of Georgia and my sister was a freshman. Charlayne entered that year and she was the first black woman admitted to the college.She and a young man who had attended her high school in Atlanta, Hamilton Holmes, wanted to go to the best school for journalism so they applied to the University of Georgia. They were turned down. Still they would not give up. When they were backed by civil rights organizations they had clout behind them. A judge ruled that they were qualified and had the right to attend this school.

Looking at her tonight on this show and thinking about taunts, the horrible words said to her and all she endured to break the racial barriers of discrimination back in the sixties, I am glad I experienced the turmoil, was there to see first hand how people reacted.

The first night she stayed on campus, people from the town of Athens and elsewhere came and rioted around the freshman dorm where my sister also lived. I was so scared for all the girls in that dorm. I don't think Charlayne was still there as the windows were pelted with rocks and bottles. I imagine she had been whisked away and taken back to her home in Atlanta. What an ugly part of history that was!

"Hunter and Holmes arrived on the UGA campus on January 9, 1961, to register for classes. The new students were met with taunts and racial epithets. Two days later, after a basketball game, a crowd gathered outside Hunter's dormitory, smashing windows with bottles and bricks. The mob was finally dispersed by Athens police armed with tear gas. That night the Georgia State Patrol escorted the students back to their homes in Atlanta, and the University of Georgia suspended both Hunter and Holmes, supposedly for their own safety.
Hunter and Holmes at UGA
Days later, after a new court order was issued, the students returned to campus and resumed their classes. As the writer Calvin Trillin noted in his account of their experience, Hunter "attracted much more attention than Hamilton," who lived off campus and went home on weekends. Hunter was sometimes met with animosity from students who jeered at her while she crossed campus, but she formed several friendships, including one with Walter Stovall, a fellow journalism student. They married in 1961, had a daughter, and divorced a few years later."

I have a good friend who knew Walter Stovall and his family. She told me that his family disowned him when he married Charlayne Hunter. He was from a small town in South Georgia, like me, and his family must have been shocked and dismayed that he married a black girl. If they had not disowned him, they would have been ostracized by the community or maybe worse. Racism was huge in the area back then, and I am sorry to say, it still raises its ugly head today. My sister and I heard from the narrow minded people in our town simply because of an innocent comment made by my sister to a newspaper man who twisted her words when he printed what she said in answer to his question about Hunter going to school there.

I was young and never thought about what the future held for this brave young pioneer of the civil rights movement, but Charlayne was intelligent and proved herself even in high school. She evidently knew what she wanted for her career and went after it. I am happy that she has been successful as a journalist in this country and abroad. It was wrong to try to bar her from an education at the university. I think most people in the south realize that today. 

In spite of her difficulties at UGA, in 1988, she was the first black person to give a commencement address at the school.

You can read more about Charlayne Hunter-Gault and her accomplishments in life here. 

Other similar topics: The Movie 42, I Finally Saw It






Saturday, July 28, 2018

This country idolizes youth and demeans the "old people" with jokes and insults, but this post by Bernard Otis shows what the older generation brings that younger people should learn. The civility, good manners, kindness, patriotism and many other things we were taught when we were growing up seems to be missing with some of our youth. He also mentions the value of having grandparents living near and how he enjoyed his grandmother living with him and his parents.    

I teach senior adults to write about their lives. In a world where families are scattered here and yonder, grandparents are aware their grand-kids might never know about the old days when kids could play and run free. I think telling their life stories on paper validates the men and women who hope their stories will matter to future generations of their families.

I believe those children who have no interest in the lives of their grandparents today will, someday, be happy to have those memories written for them to read.

I have no children to whom I can pass on my stories, but I write about all of my family. I hope my nieces and nephews will enjoy reading about their ancestors.

Council and Robison families with lots of my nieces and nephews



Sunday, July 22, 2018

Civility – are we losing it in our country?

If we go by what we see on television and on social media, most people in the United States have become downright nasty in their speech and behavior to others.

I seldom, if ever, encounter rude people in my everyday life. In fact, I am the recipient of acts of kindness and civility everywhere I go. Just this week at the grocery story, a man, who was checking out ahead of me, turned and unloaded my cart for me. We struck up a conversation, and I found he was a native of my county, born and raised here in Clay County, NC. I had been told when I moved here over twenty years ago that the natives did not like outsiders and did not welcome us warmly. I found that not to be true for Barry and me.

My friends and I talk about the random acts of kindness we receive from strangers. Michelle said two women at Home Depot, not part of their staff, helped her load stone pavers into her car trunk. They were walking by and saw her tackling the chore all alone and jumped right in to help. At first I thought this is because we live in a small town and those who live here are less afraid to get involved. But my sister, who lives in Atlanta, had two meals in restaurants paid for by strangers. Another friend said she drove through a fast food restaurant and found that her bill had been paid by someone in the car ahead of her.

Another incident recently at a local restaurant was an example of people caring about others and showing it. I came in alone to a small restaurant in our town about 7:00 PM. I waited for the waitress and when she did not appear, I began looking around to see if I could find anyone to take my order. Three men who wore shirts labeled with the name of a landscaping company sat in a nearby booth. One of them noticed I was waiting for help.

“Can we help you?” he asked.

“I was looking for the waitress so I can order,” I said.

“She just walked out a few minutes ago. She quit.”

“Oh. How do I get service?” I asked.

He stood up and came over to me. “What can I get you? We’re trying to help and can get you something to drink.”

Eventually the owner came out of the kitchen and took my order. But to my surprise, several people who had been eating, got up and cleaned tables, their own and others. No one made a big deal of it. They just did it. The owner accepted the help with no great fanfare.

These kinds of things are proof to me that we are not the angry, mean, foul-mouthed population we see on television and on Facebook and Twitter.

I don’t know what is happening, but I think that because of the mean spirited rhetoric we hear on TV and the ugly name calling by our current president, most of us who were brought up to be civil and to be polite to others feel that the only way we can show we don’t fit into the mold of incivility is to show kindness to others.

I am leery though of what our future holds. I hear younger people speak about how mean people are. I see that “me, me, me” attitude in some. Many are caught up in their issues and never think about what is difficult for others--relatives, neighbors and friends. I have been fortunate to have dear neighbors who helped me so often, especially after Barry died. I don’t have some of those neighbors now and others who were there for me have their own health problems.

I hear adult children complain about older parents. They never stop to think what those elders face each day just trying to do the things that were once simple and easy.

A smile can bring out the best in those we meet.
My mother,
 Lois Robison Council
My mother was a perfect example of how to treat others. No matter what position a person held, my mother smiled and spoke nicely. Because of her attitude, service people went out of their way to help her. I find that works no matter where you are or what you need. A friendly smile and caring words always go further than giving orders.

I read this week about a man who, before hiring an employee, took him out to eat and watched how he behaved with the waiter or waitress. I think that is an excellent idea. I had a friend who talked to waitresses like they were robots with no feelings. She never looked at them, made eye contact with them or smiled at them. She gave her order in a commanding voice and complained if things were not to her liking in the same demanding way.

I hope the people of this country never lose the sense of civility. I hope the anger that has become so prevalent in our country will dissipate, and Americans will show love and caring for their fellowman. We have that in us, and it makes us feel good when we share it. Instead of screaming at people to go back to where they came from, what if we said, "Welcome to the United States."

Wouldn’t it be great if everyone said thank you, please and I’m sorry when it was appropriate? Do you thank people who hold open a door for you? Do you say thank you to the bag boy or girl at the grocery store? What about the voice that takes your order at McDonald’s? All day long they help people, but how many stop to thank them? Let’s try to see how many times we can find an opportunity to say thank you in a meaningful way this week. See how many random acts of kindness we can show toward others.