Ken Medema

Years ago, my brother-in-law, who was a wonderful practicing Christian, insisted that I meet Ken Medema, a blind Christian singer/composer. Brian had been to a Medema concert and had gone up afterwards to greet and meet Ken Medema. Within a couple of months after Brian told me about this meeting, I saw that Mr. Medema was performing a concert at a church in Tampa so I made plans to attend. The concert was as exciting as any I had ever attended so I too had to meet Ken Medema afterwards. He received me warmly. At the time, I was a choir director at a local church. I suggested to Medema that I would love for him to come to my church and present a program. He gave me the information I needed to begin setting up just such a concert. After setting a date and getting collaboration from several other churches, I began an advertisement campaign. By the time of the concert, word had gotten out, and the concert was well-attended. Since then, Ken Medema has become a cherished friend. Although years have passed, my admiration for Ken has never dulled. Every time we sing “Lord, Listen to your Children Praying” in church, I think of him as it was he who wrote that wonderful chorus. Our new choir director has asked me to lend my name to help bring Ken Medema to my church, King of Peace MCC. I pray that that concert happens and that once again I hear the music and message of this wonderful Christian musician.

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Spring Pruning

I am not the most avid pruner in the world although I realize that plants need to be pruned before they get new growth in the spring. This morning, when I returned from exercising at the Y, I noted that there were plants on the east side of my house that needed cutting back. I wish I knew the names of the flowering plants in there, but I don’t–except for the bougainvillea and the plumeria. There are also some orchids mixed in with the unknown flowers. That task I could do alone. The other big job was pruning the night blooming cereus which was climbing toward the roof on the south side of the house, the side facing the street. Since I thought it was going to require using the ladder, I asked Dimitris to take on that task. What we learned is that the cereus could be pulled down from the bottom and then clipped. I didn’t want to completely eradicate it as, when it is in its blooming season, it is one of the most awesome bloomers that we have in our yard. Tasks done, bring on the new growth.

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Mexican Cuisine

My partner and I both enjoy Mexican food. We have three favorite Mexican restaurants: Taco Bell for quick but delicious meals, El Mocaljetes (in Palmetto) for very inexpensive Mexican cuisine, and Carmelita’s for more elegant Mexican dining. When we stop at Taco Bell, we each have a traditional order: Dimitris orders two shredded chicken burritos and I order a spicy tostado. We are both given free senior drinks: I drink lemonade; Dimitris usually drinks root beer (with always a refill before we leave). The cost at Taco Bell is $5.54, which we split. When we are more serious about Mexican food, then we head to Carmelita’s where we usually split a Mexican pizza and drink water. If we are celebrating, we might have a Margarita. If not, the bill is $16.00, including a $3.00 tip. When we dine at El Mocaljetes where the tacos, enchiladas, and tostados are $1.00 each on Monday nights, we splurge and leave a “big” tip. How fortunate we are to have three delicious South of the Border restaurants available in our “neck of the woods.”

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What, Me Worry?

I don’t play the lottery. If there were a vote to keep the lottery or stop it, I would vote to get rid of it. I don’t think easy money is good money. I’m fortunate that I have enough money to pay my bills and enjoy life. To have a large sum come to me by luck would interrupt the way I live my life. Yes, it would be nice to be able to buy anything, go anywhere, and do most anything, but I already have the necessities (so far as I’m concerned). I presently have the ability to travel and have a life that is productive and enjoyable. If I suddenly had a lot of money, I would worry about whether the money was safe, whether my investments were good, whether I should give more money to my children or to charity. Yes, I could drive a fancier car, have a larger home with a swimming pool, and enjoy one of these “Cadillac” health insurance plans. Nice, but I think I will just continue to be satisfied and grateful for my adequate income. What I crave more than money is good health.

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The Drama of Lost and Found

It is income tax time, and I have begun working on pulling together my tax information. During the year, I put everything pertaining to taxes in a bag which hangs behind the door to my computer room. Knowing that I needed those items in order to prepare my tax information with the help of Turbo Tax, which I’ve used for the last several years, I emptied the bag on the floor and began pulling out the check stubs first. There were only three–impossible. There should be possibly ten or twelve. I panicked and went to my credit union account where I found that individual checks did not indicate to whom I had written the check so that account was of no help. Frustrated, I warned my partner that I needed some space and quiet, which he gave me. At some point while I was distancing myself from the problem, I realized that I had a backup–my Quicken program where I enter every withdrawal, check written, and deposit. What a relief to know that I had all of the information I needed. That was last night. This morning, for an hour I couldn’t find the charging cord for my tablet. Am I going through my lost and found phase, joining with my lapses of memory regarding the names of people I’ve known for ages? I’ll be all right tomorrow….after all, “tomorrow is another day.”

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My Flosser

I have dealt with dental problems since I was young and learned that I did not have a full set of teeth. The two teeth on either side of my front teeth were baby teeth. Those four permanent teeth never came in to replace the baby teeth. Those baby teeth remained until I was in the Navy when a Navy dentist pulled the baby teeth and put in a permanent bridge up top. At age 78, I’m still dealing with my teeth and just had a new partial installed on the bottom. My dental hygienist says that, if I don’t use the electronic toothbrush carefully and floss diligently, I’m going to have gum problems. Flossing means threading the floss under the teeth, something that I have been unable to do so far as looking at my reflection in the mirror and trying to thread the flosser makes me dizzy. When I asked Dimitris if he would floss my teeth for me, he agreed immediately and is doing so each evening just before bedtime. I promise though to practice until I can do my own flossing. I’m so grateful though that, for the time being, I have a flosser.

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Although I am a news hound, I’m not a person who keeps the TV going all the time. In fact, when I’m on vacation, I’d just as soon stay at a Motel 6 without a TV set. However, when I am home, I spend my TV time primarily watching news, sports, and weather. I am a registered Democrat and support more liberal ideas than conservative. Therefore, I tend to get my news from MSNBC. However, I know that news from that source is going to be biased towards Democrats so I have determined that I must diversify if I am going to consider myself fair-minded. Therefore, on Sundays I tape and watch NBC’s “Meet The Press” with Chuck Todd. I also watch ABC’s “This Week” with Stephen Stephanopoulos. My third news channel is my channel for hearing the other side of the story: “Fox News Sunday” with Chris Wallace. By watching Fox, I feel that I can balance my liberal bent with a “pound” of conservative news. My brother and I agreed for a while to watch these three news programs and then discuss the content afterwards. We have recently ceased that practice but, while we were doing it, we had some very healthy agreements and disagreements. During this past election, he was not so much a Trump supporter as a Clinton doubter. He has admitted to me lately that he has his concerns about President Trump. I have reminded him that, since he voted for the man, he “owns” this administration.

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