HELLO GOD


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Hello God,

I don’t know if your remember me, it’s been awhile since we spoke. I know how busy you are, but I wanted to tell you about my friend Joan, who just moved in up there. She was one of the best people I have known down here, so I assume she has already settled in. I hope you saved a really nice place for her.

Some acquaintances through the years actually thought we were sisters since we were together so much. If that was so, she was the pretty one. I remember the first time we met. Her boyfriend brought her over to meet Dr. Advice and me. Of course he wasn’t Dr. Advice yet, and she ended up marrying her boyfriend. She was from Texas, with an infectious Texas accent, and we realized we would be best friends forever, which was a good thing because the boys had been best friends since the age of five, and it would have been awkward if we didn’t like each other.

Her mother Rosie from Texas, named her for her favorite movie star, Joan Crawford, which she pronounced “Joanne”, but like a lot of us, she was called by several names: Joan, Joanne, Josie, but she was always “Joanie” to me.

As you know, she had a lot of problems the past few years, so I hope that has all been solved by now. She was a mean competitor on the tennis court, and we hiked over a lot of terrain together. We went on many trips along with our dear husbands. She lost hers some time ago as you know, so if there is a way to connect them again it would be really nice. I know she missed all that. Speaking of being a competitor, I hope there are some bridge groups up there, because she spent a lot of time winning card games. She also kept me up all night once playing Monopoly, long after the boys lost and went to bed, and she finally won that game too at 6 a.m.

She didn’t win the health game though, but she surely tried. I never saw anyone so brave, and determined. As such, she was a great inspiration to those of us who need inspiration. When she lost her hearing, I asked her if we needed to learn sign language, and she said no, they wanted her to learn to read lips. She became a pro at that too. She took up boxing to try to help her balance. I keep a picture of her with her pink boxing gloves.

I suppose by now you have looked into her case and can see what a great mother she was to her children and grandchildren. She kept track of them all so well it made me feel like a real slacker. People who didn’t know her well said she was sweet. I need to tell you she was a lot more than that. She was smart, funny, and a good business woman as well as sweet. She loved meeting people, and really made an effort to meet new people wherever she lived.

It’s been hard to communicate with her the past couple of years, but sometimes just sitting and holding hands was enough. I will miss that.

Anyway, God, I just wanted to make sure you met Joanie, and took good care of her. A lot of people down here miss her.

McDONALD U.


McDonald's_Golden_Arches_svg For many years, Dr. Advice and I were avid competitors across a tennis net. He had a vicious lob, but a lousy backhand.

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A fellow member of our tennis club and a frequent partner of my husband, owned all the McDonald’s restaurants in town, and when we first met, while the men were comparing old “school ties”, he said he had gone to “McDonald U.”

My puzzled sports-minded husband said he had never heard of it, and did they have a football team. Our friend laughed and said “No, dummy, that’s for McDonald’s hamburger restaurants!”

Later when he told us that he was the creator of the Quarter-Pounder hamburger, we laughed in disbelief. figuring that since it was such a well-known icon of the restaurant chain it had been there from the beginning. Our small-town provincial minds had trouble believing that someone we actually knew was responsible for this, and it was too much to accept.

However, hanging in the restaurant was a large framed picture of him holding one of these “culinary delights”, with an appropriate credit printed at the bottom, and later we watched a television special about the restaurant chain, and there—right on the screen in front of us, was proof that Al Bernardin was indeed the inventor of the famous “Quarter-Pounder hamburger”. They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

Now, I don’t know if you have ever sunk a tooth into one of these hamburgers, and I am not one to ever praise or discredit another’s product, and it is better to let you decide for yourself anyway.

My experience with hamburgers started when I was a small child, who went with my grandmother to visit the “Pike” in Long Beach, California. The “Pike” was an entertainment boardwalk in the 1930’s, though I never understood why it was called a “Boardwalk”, since the walkways were cement sidewalks.

The shop we went to was named “Wimpy’s”, which was a salute to a character in the Popeye comic strip. The hamburger was called a “Wimpy burger” obviously. The word “wimp” had not yet attained the definition it received later as a derogative term among the young people for a weak, ineffectual person.

In my recollection, the hamburger cost a nickel, but it could have been a dime. A fair price in those days for a meat patty between two bun halves. I’m sure the ice cream cone which always went with it did cost a nickel!

Dr. Advice and I do love a good hamburger, though today we have been known to frequently spend $8.95 for one. But today’s burger comes with fries, and sports a leaf or two of lettuce, a slice of tomato, a pickle slice, and cheese. Mayonnaise of course, and catsup on the side. The sloppier the better, and a glass of cold beer to wash it all down.

A FRESH LOOK AT TALENT


We are all talented at something, We can agree on that can’t we?

Unfortunately, we are often not talented in the way we would have chosen to be talented.

You may have dreamed of becoming a brilliant neurosurgeon, but you can’t handle the math or the knives. A major league catcher may be your greatest desire, but you can’t catch a beachball, and your allergies go haywire in the spring.

There are so many “perhaps”; we all have different dreams and sometimes miraculously, our dreams come true. So don’t get all distraught and angsty about it. Believe me, your particular talent is hidden in there somewhere.

Maybe it’s cooking, gardening, decorating, or just being a friend. You don’t get to pick and choose what talent you have. Embrace your talent, but don’t expect anyone else to embrace you. This is your own particular thing.

I will, of course, talk about myself, because that’s what you get to do when you write a personal blog.

I always felt I could have been a fabulous concert pianist, but we couldn’t afford a piano when I was a child, and besides, we moved too often to cart one around with us.

Some time ago .I was getting burned out with sculpture and had decided to stick to tennis, at which I was pretty lousy. About this time I took a visiting young man to his church, and listened to an inspiring sermon on the surety of everybody possessing a personal talent, and the absolute necessity to share it. I felt the message was aimed at me personally, so I went home and made a sculpture of St. Francis to gift the priest with. The most prolific period of my artistic life followed that simple sermon.

You can never be an artist if your work comes without effort.