I Still Love Lucy!

I love many of today’s sit-coms—even in re-runs; but when I tune in a modern comedy and  realize I’ve seen an episode enough times to instantly remember the details,  I turn to another channel rather than watch it again.  Not so when it comes to that golden comedy of yesteryear, “I Love Lucy”.  There is not one episode of this show that I wouldn’t want to watch again today even though I’ve seen all of them time and time again.

Even if you were watching Lucy, Ricky, Fred and Ethel for the first time, I’m sure you would not find any episode unpredictable.   In this show, you know what to expect—and yet you laugh.  Perhaps this group hit upon the perfect formula for entertaining because of their background extending back into the years of vaudeville and because of their acting talent.  Lucy did not simply play a screwball redhead; she became the role.  Fred and Ethel were the kind of friends we always wanted and never had.  Ricky was the foreign exotic element who nevertheless was the all-American (long-suffering) husband.

In the “I Love Lucy” show, the characters created by the actors were particular to the show.  You did not get the idea that all women are screwballs.  You did not believe that Ricky was a dunce who was manipulated by his wife.  Those are things for today’s comedies.  In this greatest comedy of all time, Lucy and Ricky were seemingly ordinary people, but they were individuals with their own quirks and their own charm.   Even though we certainly would not get involved in Lucy’s hare-brained schemes, we believed she was like us but caught up in her antics because of exceptional courage to try what we would not.

Because I recently retired unexpectedly due to illness, I could be a little unhappy every morning when I wake up unemployed and still feeling a little under the weather.  All that is dispelled when I tune into a couple of episodes of “I Love Lucy”.  It’s “laugh out loud” comedy and we don’t see much of that anymore.  What’s more, as a Christian, I feel no guilt in watching Lucy, while watching more recent comedies often turns my cheeks as red as Lucy’s hair.

Of course I still love Lucy!  Don’t you?

Betty L. Killebrew

 

 

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Brain surgery in the offing

Dear Web Site Readers,

I haven’t been around much lately because of some very important things I needed to have done before February 21, 2013.  On that day, I am scheduled to undergo brain surgery to correct an aneurysm that cannot be repaired in any other way.  I will then be hospitalized for four to seven days and will need someone with me at all times for a couple of weeks after that. I have no idea how long it will take for me to be up and at my computer again or whether I will return to complete health or suffer some of the hazards of such surgery.

Knowing that I faced this surgery, I have recently been devoting my time to a project dear to my heart.  I have completed my second book, a work of fiction called The Life and Adventures of Jonathan Cat. The book is now available on Create Space books and also on Amazon books.  After going on either of  the sites, you can find it easily by typing in the title.  It is for sale for $8.99 + shipping/handling.  I hope some of you who enjoy stories on this web site will be kind enough to purchase it.

With the prayers of all of you who care, I fully expect to return to health and devote more time to this web site. In the meantime, thank you for being my audience.

Betty L. Killebrew

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Tragedy in a Cruel World…

This is a cruel world we live in.  We are all at the capricious mercy of the twisted thoughts of our neighbors.

The young man who did the shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school suffered from aspergers, a form of autism.  Remember the movie “Rainman”. In that movie Dustin Hoffman suffered from a similar disorder. He was more comfortable in the controlled environment of an institution than in the disorder and chaos of a normal life.  Of course we no longer believe that all autistic persons should always be placed in institutions, but perhaps there is a little too much attention spent on trying to “normalize” them. This may be more stressful for the person with the disorder than the acceptance of their limitations.

The whole story of this particular young man is yet to be told but most of us know someone with a similar disorder.  I can only imagine what pain and anguish his mother suffered as she dealt with his disorder for twenty years.  Perhaps from time to time she believed she had succeeded in integrating him into the world as we know it.  We now know that she did not.

What a tragedy—a tragedy for that dead mother who most likely fought for her son throughout his life and a much, much larger tragedy for the community.

As a society, what can we do to prevent such tragedies?  The ramifications of almost any course of action are mind boggling. Should we place armed guards in the schools? What a picture that conjures. What about metal detectors?  There would be long lines at those instruments every morning as innocent students filed through; and yet, even as I type, I can think of at least one weapon that could make it through a metal detector.

My point is that as a society what we need to do is change society.

I deplore the demise of the American family.  Yesterday I happened to read the birth notices for one hospital in one small city.  There were at least twenty such entries.  There were three or four births listed to people who shared the same last name; perhaps five were born to couples who were listed as parents but did not have the same last name, obviously unmarried.  The rest of the babies were listed as being born to one female name—with no one stepping forward to sign the birth certificate as the father.

While the people who commit heinous acts may not be from broken homes, the general disintegration of the family unit affects all of society. There are just not enough responsible, caring parents around to teach children that they are loved and safe and to teach them to be NICE.  Bitterness and rage in society is contagious for us all.

One of my sons protects his children by home-schooling them.  There may be more of that in our future even though it is difficult when both parents have jobs.  Perhaps that means that our economy needs improvement and our desires need to be revamped so that parents can be satisfied with less and mothers can once again stay home.

One thing that keeps coming up in all the discussion on television is the violence of today’s video games.

Every time I think of that I remember a little girl of 5—me back in 1950–shooting bad cowboys behind every bush in our yard with my little pistol.  It didn’t even have caps in it.  From my brother I had learned to make a very convincing “pow” through my lips.  I played at this game often—even in the house where my trusty steed was the arm of the sofa saddled with a sofa pillow. The thing is; I was not actually engaging in violence; I was fighting for justice.  I would never have pointed that little gun at any good guy.  (And by the way, everyone I targeted was imaginary. My mother and dad NEVER allowed me to point my pistol—even though it was “just pretend”—at any other living creature.  Even though we had no firearms in our home, what I was told over and over was that every gun should be treated as loaded and never pointed at anyone.  Mom and Dad used to sing this song to me, “I didn’t know the gun was loaded and I’ll never, ever do it again.)

Our culture being what it is, I doubt we can rid it of violent video games that may not only teach violence but teach the players how to be deadly shots, but perhaps it is time that we demand that every game have some redeeming feature.  Perhaps there should be good guys and bad guys in the video games as in the movies.  Perhaps it should be “GAME OVER” if you shoot one of the good guys.

But more to the point, morality should be a real thing in every aspect of our lives and for that we need parents and moral ones at that!  Parents are needed to incorporate into the lives of our children the love of life and of justice.  They are needed to teach children to realize when they make errors and to “face the music” that results from doing wrong even when it involves punishment.  It is from learning to face the consequences of one’s actions that conscience is born.

And though it is sad to contemplate, if one of our offspring is incapable of achieving a conscience because of  some malady, perhaps it is the duty of the parent to accept that and take the appropriate steps for the benefit of society.

Satan is alive and well and evil will always exist.  The only weapon to keep it at bay is the love of God and His truth and righteousness.  The only weapon we have is embodied in the song I heard on the very day of this recent tragedy, a song I heard sung in an elementary school Christmas program,–a song that goes, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”

Betty Killebrew

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Stop the World

There have been times when I have gone around singing the song that goes, “Stop the world; I want to get off of it.”  On October 26 of this year (2012) it actually happened to me.

On October 25, I finally received approval for the last of some advertising articles I had contracted to do. I had been working for weeks on the project, a series of 30 unique articles to be posted on the internet for someone who lives a state away and whom I have never met. He proved to be an exacting taskmaster with strict rules regarding the titles, information in the first couple of lines of each article and general formatting.  My source material for quotes and for accuracy was a 10,000 word booklet written by the client, far too little information for thirty articles. The project ended up taking more than a hundred hours worked in over several weeks time during evenings and weekends as I continued my full time job and other responsibilities.

During that time, I also formatted and edited a book for another client and continued to keep up daily entries to my website, www.trovemagazine.com and to the website where I began my internet career, www.inspirationalarchive.com The website entries included my daily columns in “Through the Bible with Betty” and an article and/or a poem daily.

So there I was almost at the end of a hard couple of months, during which I ignored a number of signs that I was not well, when I awoke on October 26.  I washed my hair, and then went down the hall for breakfast.  I had eaten half an English muffin, interspersing bites with my many daily pills swallowed with ice water and sips of hot coffee, before my head exploded with pain, seeming to spread from my neck to my forehead and then throughout my skull.  I communicated the pain to my husband by a gasp and by the hands I held to my head as if to hold it together. Almost immediately I said, “I’m in trouble.”

My husband led me to the living room and told me to lie down.  I couldn’t stand it.  I sat back up.  He suggested I go to the hospital. I wanted to do something about my wet hair first.  I walked alone down the hall; but once in the bedroom, I could not stand up.  I sat down on the bed.  A pain ripped through me like pulsating lightning from the base of my neck all the way to my tail bone.  I asked my husband to call 911. He said, “Don’t you think you can ride in the car.”  I had him hand me my bathrobe and help me into it and he led me to the car. He may well have saved my life by getting me to the hospital more quickly than it would have taken had we waited for an ambulance. 

During the five minute drive I held my head firmly, pressing it against the head rest to prevent movement.

At the hospital they took me right in. After a few questions a doctor came in and ordered a CAT scan.   I had a burst aneurysm and two other aneurysms as well.  The area between the tissue surrounding my brain and my skull was suffused with blood.  They told me I would be transferred to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis by helicopter. The next hour was a blur, but I was a little closer to consciousness when the helicopter arrived.  By then, all my family who lived locally—two brothers, a sister, two sons, a daughter-in-law, beloved ex-daughter-in-law and three grandchildren had gathered to see me off.  I spoke to the children because I could see them turning away from me, obviously disturbed. With my hair a mess and all the tubes, etc. I must have been a scary sight.

I was awake during the helicopter ride over the familiar country between my home town and our capital city—approximately 95 to a hundred miles, accomplished in about twenty minutes by helicopter.

The helicopter landed on the roof of the hospital and I was taken to the Neurological unit.  By 1:00 that day I was in surgery. Much like the heart catheterization procedure, they went through my groin and threaded the way to my brain to the site of the aneurysm and placed a coil in it to cause the blood to clot.  Unfortunately, the other two aneurysms could not be dealt with at the time.  They remain to be faced after I recover from the one that burst.

I spent 13 days in Neurological Critical Care and two more in the stroke ward before coming home at last.  More than two weeks have passed since then.  Today it is one month since the big event. I was forced to resign my job because of the uncertainty of when I would recover.  I will probably not be able to face the stress of free-lance work for a while. I have gone from a person with a full life and income to one who is barely able to putter around.

I cannot believe the weakness and fatigue I feel.  However, I have been on the computer a few times and I have now written this article.  I want you to know that I will be back.  Someday there will be daily additions to www.trovemagazine.com once more.  I hope you will show up to read what I write. I also hope you will be kind enough to join me in thanking God for my life.

Betty Killebrew

P.S.  I just happened to look at a mirror and I realize I did not mention my extreme light sensitivity.  I have written this article while wearing wraparound sunglasses, even though I adjusted the settings on my computer to dim the display.  You would certainly smile—or laugh—if you could see me.

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Not Fit for the Job

There is probably no job so difficult as caring for other people’s children. I know it was the most difficult job I ever had and I wasn’t very good at it. Actually, I wasn’t very good to other people’s children. I was good with my own, to the best of my memory, I just didn’t have much patience with other children, who sometimes sassed me, thought their mother knew better than I and messed up my house.

I was young then and had lots of energy but little wisdom. Now that I’m old, I am easily able to fall in love with children, whether they are my own grandchildren or the children of a total stranger. Of course, now I don’t have the energy to ever take on a babysitting job although I continue to work daily at my office job. That’s because babysitting is hard work physically and can be emotionally draining. But even if you’re young, strong and basically nice, if you don’t have patience, you aren’t fit for the job. I wasn’t patient back when I was a babysitter for other people. I was a young mother at home with my own child and needed to make some money. Therein lies the problem. When a mother goes out to work, the people she has care for her children are too often those who are least equipped to do so.

Needing money and being willing to take children into your home to care for them is no guarantee that you will give those children the love and acceptance they need. You may be a nice person when you’re on public display, but you may scold like a fishwife if some little person puts jam covered hands all over your new curtains. I know I did. And I’m ashamed that I did.

Once I had the nicest little boy stay with me. My son was about a year and a half old. My little paying guest was a couple of years older and he was very bright. He talked my arm off, and every day he wore me down with trying to keep up with his inquisitiveness. Inevitably he would do something that would make me snap. I would scold him nastily and later be ashamed.

I am still ashamed of that behavior.

I think his mother finally figured out that I was not as good to her son as I should have been, because eventually she made other arrangements. I’m glad she did. I hope I didn’t seriously damage the psyche of that wonderful little guy whom I now recall with amazement. He was truly a bright, wonderful child. I was truly a flawed babysitter.

I think I’m a better person now, but I can’t undo my early life when I was given responsibility for which I was unfit. All I can do now is ask God to forgive me for my harshness and ask Him to bless that brilliant little boy, now a middle-aged man, wherever he may now be and for as long as he may live.

Name Withheld

Read similar articles and stories at: www.trovemagazine.com

 

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The Issues in this Election

Somebody told me today that she has made up her mind about the upcoming election for president and that she is “voting on the issues that are important to me.”  My response: “I’m voting on the issues that are important to my grandchildren.”

It occurred to me then that when we vote in an election, many people vote on the personalities or upon a stereotypical notion of what they think each candidate represents. The most thoughtful voters vote on “issues”. My friend’s view of what issues to vote on is a transparent message that our candidates should understand. To win your vote, they must understand and target what is important to you.

Perhaps this time the choice of whom to vote for is a little more complicated than the simple, “Vote your pocketbook.” But that remains a large part of the equation. So this is a call to arms for our candidates—make your message important to the individual.

To the voter, however, I say: this is not the time for a selfish, “What’s in it for me?” approach to voting. The issues are so important this time that it seems to me they are reminiscent of the election of Abraham Lincoln when the matter of states’ rights was almost at the boiling point. Conservatism is now at battle with Liberalism. If Liberalism wins, many people think we will become a full blown socialist country with the plight of Greece the end of the line most of us fear.

Individual rights and the governmental system of checks and balances are also issues in this election. Many people believe the executive branch of our government has too much power.

So, my fellow Americans, I ask you to do this for your country. Weight the “issues’ carefully before you vote. The legacy of this election is bound to be a change one way or another. I ask you, like me. to think of the good of your grandchildren, even if yet unborn, when you cast that ballot.

Betty Killebrew

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Why you Should Vote: 10 Perfectly Good Reasons.

1. You are as smart as anyone else you know. Why let them choose who is going to run us trillions of dollars in debt.
2. Washington is regulation crazy.  Maybe if you vote you can help get someone elected with a little common sense.
3. It’s your right, your privilege and your duty.
4. Because it’s a secret ballot. Just tell both the candidates  you will vote for them and then choose the one you want.  The other one will never know.
5. Somebody has to do it.
6. We’re all in this together. Please don’t refuse to vote and then blame all of us that do.
7. Because this time a good man is running. Isn’t that wonderful!  It will be even more wonderful if we can get everyone off their hands and down to the polling place to vote for him.
8. Because I’m begging you to.
9. Why not?
10.  After you go to the polls, you can listen to the projections and find out who you voted for.

 Seriously folks–this year we all must vote.  It’s so important.  VOTE.   Do it for the future of our nation. Do it for our kids and grandkids.

Betty Killebrew

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Problems the world must face

This article was originally published in August 2005 in my print publication, Trove Mini-Magazine.  I am re-printing it here because it seems even more relevant now than when I first published it.
About the  world population figure: I have left it  as I stated it at that time although I am certain there are quite a few more of  us on this planet now than there was seven years ago.  

_____

The world as we know it cannot long endure. Does that sound like a startling pronouncement?  I have to fight panic when I think about it.

The main thing of interest to us about the world we live in is the other people that live in it with us.  Think of all the people on earth—the teeming masses.

Nobody wants to see children die of epidemic illnesses as happened in previous times. No one wants pandemics to kill huge numbers of people; but the fact is, even while those things were taking place in past centuries, the world’s population never ceased to grow and has now reached–give or take one or two million—6,500,000,000 people. That’s a crowd!

My husband and I live in a house all by ourselves, but we can’t always manage to agree or to stay out of each other’s way. Whenever people live to-gether, there are bound to be conflicts. As the world shrinks during our great information age, we are thrown into more and more contact with people of varying cultures, beliefs, hopes and expectations.


Were you ever jealous because your brother or sister or a friend received a bigger dish of ice cream than you did?   Of course you were. That’s the nature—the human nature—with which we are born.  And all over the world there are people who believe they are not getting their full dish of ice cream. And it’s not like there is enough of it to go around. Even the most generous of sharing policies will not fix the problem.

The blessings of this earth are finite.  Sure, there’s a lot of oil, coal, diamonds and gold in the world.  There is the capacity to grow food enough to feed the many people on earth—NOW!  But the capacity of the population to increase is infinite.  It is entirely possible that unless we are able to somehow escape the limi-tations of our tiny home planet, we will someday outgrow our resources, use up our fossil fuel, find ourselves scrambling for the basic necessities of food, water and even clean, breathable air.

It took all of human history for the world to reach its current population, but it is projected to double in the next fifty years—in the lifetime of your children. The world population increase every three years is currently almost equal to the entire present population of theUnited States!

What is the certain result of over-population of the earth? The answer—one we have already seen beginning to increase throughout the planet–is strife. It is human nature to want your share of the available supply of ice cream. All the various societal entities in the world will be trying to control the ice cream scoop.  I do not fear the end of the world, but I do fear that chaos may over-take us first.

By Betty L. Killebrew

 

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Comment on World News

If recent events in the Egypt and Syria mean nothing else to you, I hope they will convince you that there is a whole lot of importance to being President of the United States. I often hear people say that “it doesn’t matter who gets elected” but I think it does matter. It may matter even more than usual this time. There has likely never been an election in which there was a bigger difference in basic ideologies between the two main stream candidates for president.

Even with a massive turnout for an election, each individual vote can make a difference. This is not the year to sit out the election. Think about the candidates, think about the almost overwhelming issues our country faces and on Election Day go to the polls and VOTE for whomever you decide can really make a difference.

B. Killebrew

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Out of Business

Out of Business

 

This morning I drove past a large store building on the main street of our small town. The building is empty. It has been vacant for 7 years. The location used to be the home of a medium to high-end clothing store that had been in business since the 1920’s.  The last owner ran the store for about thirty years. Even at the end, with the store competing with Walmart right here in town and many other retailers in new shopping areas less than 20 miles away, the store supported the owner’s family and provided employment for a couple of full-time clerks. It was forced to close because the owner of the building was demanding a substantial increase in rent.

Now the building sits there empty year after year.  The clerks both retired; the shopkeeper got a job in a department store in a nearby city and the building’s owner now receives no rent at all and has been unsuccessful at selling the building as well.  I cannot think of any way that an empty building would be better for the owner’s personal economy than the continuation of the rent at a level that would have allowed that business to remain open.

Empty buildings in a small town are sad. Profiteering at the expense of small town lease holders who can’t afford big city rental rates is also sad, and in this case was distinctly counter-productive.

I wonder if that building owner ever regrets that he did not work harder to help his renter of 30 years remain in the building.

If he had stuck with him and helped him out, perhaps the money in his pocketbook would not have been greatly increased, but I think he would have been a better person—and for the last seven years, he would have had a renter.

Perhaps you don’t see the relevance of this story to you personally, but if you are one of the many people that have a house or building for rent, it may remind you not to price yourself out of the market.

Betty Killebrew

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