Tag Archive | children

I Couldn’t Have Said It Better Myself

From:
http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2017/05/24/529831472/trump-wants-families-on-food-stamps-to-get-jobs-the-majority-already-work
When President Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, unveiled the administration’s budget blueprint earlier this week, which calls for significant cuts
to food stamps, he noted that the aim of the budget was to get people working.

“If you’re on food stamps and you’re able-bodied, we need you to go to work. If you’re on disability insurance and you’re not supposed to be — if you’re
not truly disabled, we need you to go back to work,” Mulvaney said Tuesday.

But the reality is, many people (44 percent) who rely on SNAP — the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, as food stamps is now known — have at least
one person in the family working, according to
the latest figures
from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

And when it comes to families on SNAP with kids, a majority — 55 percent — are bringing home wages, according to USDA. The problem is, those wages aren’t
enough to actually live on. …

In fact, SNAP already requires able-bodied adults without children to find a job within three months and to work at least 20 hours a week within three
months or lose their benefits. All told, about 42 million people receive SNAP benefits.

 

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A Painful Dilemma

Regardless of whether you are pro choice or pro life, I have a question for you:
What would happen if Roe vs Wade were repealed?
As one who belongs to Jesus, I have wrestled with this a lot.

 

I know that the hope is, abortion would end.  That is not borne out in history, however.

Before abortion was legalized, women with sufficient funds went abroad to “have surgery on an ovarian cyst” or something like that.  Women without the means went to underground “clinics” and quacks:  Dangerous for the woman.  Many died; others had irreparable injuries.  If a physician did perform an abortion, it would be called something else…and no one had better figure out the truth.

 

The problem is, the heart of the nation is not in agreement with repealing Roe vs Wade.  That means, people will simply go underground once more.  If we really want to change that, we must deal with the complexity of the matter.  That will take time, conflict, struggles, serious problem solving  and a lot of conversation.

 

Why even have this discussion?  As long as it continues to be a political football, the matter cannot be solved.  Instead, it gets kicked around as one platform or another with plenty of talk and finger pointing; yet nothing ever gets done.  If we really want to repeal Roe vs Wade (and I’m not especially of that persuasion) we will have to take plenty of steps first, like education, economic development, increased support for women’s and children’s services…

 

I’m thinking we keep Roe vs Wade for the sake of safety; then, let’s unload the issue so it can be discussed constructively.  Next, we can build on common ground.

 

Let’s get it off the political football field, where rhetoric and empty promises keep it in play.

RECITAL

Something wonderful happens when people get together to share music.  There’s a synergy about it that makes the warmth and delight so much greater than the songs themselves.

 

I think that is my favorite thing about recitals.  They are gatherings of people ranging in age from 6 to 60-ish, all performing the ppieces they have spent time learning.  Not everyone plays well.  Today, for example, two children really got lost in their piano pieces.  It doesn’t matter:  The audience still applauds and encourages them to keep trying.  Others play quite well and get to enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that.  All of this builds camaraderie.

 

I especially love the young ones.  They are so proper about introducing their offering and play with such diligence.  Not only that, they’re just plain cute!

 

Music is a language that crosses all sorts of barriers:  Age, ability, gender,  culture, belief and orientation.  I have often been intrigued when I encounter this:  People who normally would not be in the same proximity, let alone talk to each other, seem to let their guard down and become quite approachable.  They will visit with and smile at the same ones that they had ignored or avoided earlier:  Fascinating!  This is most true when people sing a familiar song.  Perhaps it is that there is a certain vulnerability about joining hearts, minds and voices that way.

 

I wonder:  Would this be a way to greater peace in the world?

SNOWMEN…PEOPLE(?)

snowman-and-sparrow-wallpaper

Even after the snow on the ground has melted, there are brave testimonies of its recent presence; proud sculptures that reflect the creativity of children:  Snowmen…or is the PC term “snowpeople”?  They stand in yards all around town, wearing hats and scarves, some made of leaves.  (Hmmm, I wonder if that’s to keep the cold in as far as they’re concerned.)

Snowpeople are perhaps one of the oldest and most universal expressions of art and play.  They come in all shapes and sizes; some are very elaborate, while others are simple, just like the variations among humans.

They are hearty folk, often the last vestiges of winter to disappear.

When I was in the sixth grade, a neighbor, my sister and I built a snowperson we named Mrs. Watson, after the street on which we lived.  She was so tall, we had to get a ladder to put her head on. She probably grew to about eight feet in height by the time we were done.  I wouldn’t call her lovely; she was a bit lumpy and not all that well proportioned.  Okay, what can you expect from three children on a cold winter day?

Mrs. Watson stood proudly in the corner of a neighbor’s field for the entire winter; in fact, it was mid May by the time she finally finished melting away.  By then, she was only a shadow of her magnificent self.

Children aren’t the only ones who have fun with snow people.

A few years ago, my cousin told me about a niece who worked at a restaurant in a well known resort.  There had been an unusually early snowstorm, so business at the restaurant was nonexistent.

My cousin’s niece (I’ll call her Lucy) clearly had too much time on her hands:  She made three snow people and put them in one of the cars for the nearby tram.  Then she called the operators’ station and said,
“The people in Car #8 will need a little help getting out.”
“Are they injured?”
“No, just a little cold!”

snowman6_1554874i

SNOWFLAKES

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Soft, white fairies dance and spin;
Never hesitating
On their way to the ground
Where a blanket spreads far and wide;
Fresh and cold,
Laid out so evenly
And bright with crystal jewels;
Known for its beauty and delight;
Enveloping happy children as they play in it;
Snowmen and angels left behind as evidence.