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Learning About Autism

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Personal News: A Good Visit with Family

My trip to the mountains was one of the best ever. I got to see all of my grandchildren!  It’s no coincidence that good news stories about autism jumped out at me last night after I got back. My grandson, L, has autism, and I want to learn more. On Sunday, we all had lunch at Daily Bread, a wonderful, cozy restaurant in Boone, NC. We got there just in time since the place filled up quickly. As we waited for our delicious food, the noise level increased steadily and my grandson covered his ears – a good coping strategy for him to signal the noise was starting to overwhelm him. His 14 year old sister left the restaurant to look for ear muffs since his were at home. Big sister came back about ten minutes later with a handsome and comforting cap with soft ear flaps that wrap under his chin.   I was so proud of them all and loved spending time with my family in the mountains.

Liam looking

L really likes his new cap.

Now for Good News in the world…..

Clonakilty, Ireland Goes Autism Friendly

To learn more, check out this article from the Good News Network:

https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/this-entire-town-became-autism-friendly-after-every-business-agreed-to-apply-four-specific-measures/

Todd Gets a Big Nod of Appreciation from his City

Todd Kirnan, is more than just a delivery man, he also has autism and is well-loved by his city of Gresham, Oregon. He’s a clear example of helping others simply and directly by doing what he can. Watch what the city of Gresham did to show their appreciation for Todd.

Going back to personal news, on Sunday night at the mountain hotel, I watched one of my favorite TV shows which happened to be about an autistic boy.  God Friended Me reminds me of Quantum Leap, but with God directing from social media. Sunday night’s episode was about a non-verbal, autistic boy who discovers piano music. It ends with the boy playing John Lennon’s “Beautiful Boy.”

 

After lunch at Daily Bread, we went to Blowing Rock. The air was chilly and the sky cloudy, but I loved the feeling of autumn and the misty mountains.

misty mountains behind rocks at blowing rock

mountains view from blowing rock with lichen

flowers growing in rock pocket

At Blowing Rock, we discovered these tiny flowers growing in a pocket of rain water. 

Good News is all around us!

Please feel free to share yours in the comments.

 

 


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Find the Precious Moments

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“These are precious times.”

“What? Are you crazy? We got hurricanes, wars, divided nations from extreme attention getting radials dividing us. We got all kinds of sh*t going on. Have you watched the news?”

“I try not to.”

“Well you can’t just stick your head in the sand.”

“I watch the news some, or read some things, but if I watch too much news, I just feel too much despair. The news is lopsided you know. There are good things going on they don’t tell you.”

“Right.”

“All that bad stuff is true. Well, maybe not all of it. But there are precious moments intermingled. We just have to look for them, or to see them when they are right there in front of our eyes. Have you noticed how blue the sky is since the last hurricane?

“Yes. And it’s finally cooled off some. That’s nice, but, well, I’ll think about it.”

“I’m going to go look at the sky and feel the cool air. I’m going for a walk. Wanna come?”

“Yeah, I guess so.”

“And we’re not going to talk about politics.”

“Okay. I’ll try. What about religion and aliens?”

“Maybe. But lets just look for the flowers, or fall leaves, and notice that the mosquitoes are not attacking as fiercely.”

….

I didn’t know this was going to be a dialog. I think that last part was because I’m planning to go to the mountains to see my son this weekend. He put something on Facebook about having a lot of family come visit and not talking about politics. I’m all for that. But sometimes we like to talk about religion and aliens. Mostly I want to go hiking and see my son and grand kids.

I was bummed out yesterday because I wasn’t feeling well – sinus infection or allergies, maybe a mild cold – lots of things blooming since the hurricane. Plus my daughter was having a crisis, but that seems to be stabilizing a little. Her whole apartment complex, like many in Wilmington, is closing down due to mold and water damage, etc. She has options and a temporary plan, but apartments and hotels are extremely scarce. This will make her stronger, I keep telling myself. God’s got this. Every crisis eventually stabilizes.

Look for the precious moments and patches of blue sky. I’m feeling better today. Rest, vitamins, echinacea, and lots of fluids have helped. It’s going to be okay.

Sending prayers to the people in Florida who’s homes have been destroyed and who have lost family and friends. To people all over the world who face challenges they do not think they can ever recover from. I’m asking angels to comfort you and bring precious moments of peace.

Today’s prompt for the Saturday Stream of Consciousness was: “precious.”

For more precious posts, visit our precious host, Linda, at:

https://lindaghill.com/2018/10/12/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-oct-13-18/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing (typos can be fixed), and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. I will post the prompt here on my blog every Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The,’” or will simply be a single word to get you started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours. Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read all of them! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later or go to the previous week by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


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Good News Tuesday: Peace Prize, New Power, and A Push

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Nobel Peace Prize Winners

The 2018 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to two courageous people who help survivors of sexual assault and work to end its use as a weapon. Watch the video below about “the man who mends women” and the woman who survived sexual slavery.

Tree in Winter Sunset

Solar Phoenix Rising at Chernobyl

Earlier this month a new solar farm was launched “on the  site of the worst nuclear disaster in history.”  Click the link below for the story.

https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/three-decades-after-nuclear-disaster-historic-new-solar-farm-is-launched/

Transportation Dilemma Solved

The wheel chair battery was dead. The woman was stranded. She didn’t want to leave her only means of transportation, and they couldn’t get the chair in the car. But this deputy solved the problem using a direct approach.

 

Got good news? Share it in the comments!


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Saint Francis Tames a Ferocious Wolf

Re-posting one of my favorite stories about my favorite saint.

Anything is Possible!

St Francis and the Wolf of Gubbio

(An imaginary letter  from 13th Century Gubbio, Italy)

My Dear Sister,

As you may remember from my previous letters, there has a been a dangerous wolf terrorizing Gubbio. The large wolf has been seen stealing sheep and goats, and has even taken away small children as well as grown men, or so I have been told. Yesterday, Friar Francis of Assisi, who has been a guest in Gubbio for some time, amazed us all by taming the vicious beast.

The wolf was outside the city walls chasing some sheep, as men gathered with pitchforks, rocks and slings to try to chase the wolf away. Our beloved Francis intervened and asked them to wait. The brave friar walked toward the wolf who snarled viciously and then charged at him with his mouth open. We could see the white of the wolf’s teeth from the city walls.

Then Francis made the sign…

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The Postcard from Malaga

The Card from Malaga Spain

He knew she would love it the moment he saw it. Running his rough fingers along the embroidered lace, he remembered her soft hair. The woman on the card had dark hair, not like his wife’s soft red hair, but there was a look of love and that something else she had that drove him crazy. His wife was gentle, never loud. But her love was powerfuand full of compassion. And passion.

She would love to get it in the mail, but he decided not to trust the overseas postal service. Too much could happen between Spain and the States. He didn’t want to risk the post card getting damaged in any way. So he carried it with him in his Bible for the next two months. He’d take it out and look at it sometimes at night. And he looked at the photo of his loving wife, longing for her gentleness so different from the military life he lived. He wished he could bring her to Spain some time. Maybe it would remind her of her homeland, or her mother’s homeland, of Italy. Maybe they would travel some day, after he retired.

When finally he arrived back home, he was overjoyed to hold his wife in his arms and kiss her. He picked her up in his arms easily as she barely weighed 100 pounds. “Good things come in little packages,” she reminded him. She was right.

“That reminds me,” he said.” I have something for you.

He went to his Bible and pulled out the card he’d carefully wrapped in paper. He handed it to her. She opened the package and stared at the post card. She ran her fingers along the embroidered lace as a tear rolled down her cheek.

“It’s beautiful,” she whispered.

Post card from Malaga Spain back (3)

This is one of the treasures I found among my parents’ possessions. I sort of made up the story behind it, but the card is real. Maybe the story’s real too.

….

stream-of-consciousness-saturday-2018-19

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt was the word, “card.”

For more information, visit our host, Linda Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2018/10/05/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-oct-6-18/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing (typos can be fixed), and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. I will post the prompt here on my blog every Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The,’” or will simply be a single word to get you started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours. Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read all of them! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later or go to the previous week by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!

 


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Sorting Through Memories

 

folder-for-dads-retirement-certificate1.jpg

I’m very close to finishing up with my dad’s room. Today, I finished the closet, except for some shirts. I already donated about 30 pairs of pants, or as my dad would say, trousers. After wrapping several years of receipts and tax records in paper bags and duct tape  and lugging them to the trash, I finally went to reach up to the top closet shelf. There were more tax records to wrap,  a picture of some general or colonel he must have served under, and finally a large padded envelope. What could it be? Something important, I imagined.

Inside the envelope was a thin red book with the Marine Corps emblem. Opening the book, I discovered it was a folder with my dad’s certificate of retirement after 20 years in the Corps and a photos of him with 17 other retirees in khaki uniforms. My dad was clearly the handsomest. But they made a mistake on the date! The certificate says he retired in 1979. But he retired in June of 1969 right after I finished 6th grade. Oh, well.

I carried the red folder in the chair I keep in my dad’s room, my grief chair, where I go to feeling my feelings, and cried. I’m not sure if it was the significance of the retirement certificate or that I hadn’t cried in a while and have been working intensely on this room for a few days. Then Doodle came in, tail wagging and a concerned look in her big brown eyes. She can be a sweet dog sometimes.

I took a breath and decided to talk to my parents:

“I’m sorry I didn’t appreciate you more when you were alive. All the challenges and struggles you went through. Your strength. Your courage. Your faith. Thank you for passing that on to me. If you can, guide me, help me to pass that on to my children, even though they are grown.”

My parents responded:

You’ve done a good job. We are proud of you. Just keep setting a good example. Love them. Don’t be afraid to tell them, “Jesus loves you.” He does love them, and he loves you, too.

Talking to my parents helped. Their message helped. Crying helped.

My father’s retirement must have been a big deal. Definitely a relief, but maybe a little scary. Like my retirement. If I’d gotten a retirement certificate, I would’ve hung it on the wall. Or at least the refrigerator.

My father is the person who told me when I was 12 years old, “Nothing is impossible.” His words made an impression. But now, I realize that his life made even more of an impression. Even after his 20 years of military service, my parents faced and overcame big challenges. They want me to clarify that they couldn’t have done it without Jesus.

I still have a little more of Dad’s desk to clean out. No telling what I’ll find there. He saved everything. There’s a cigar box full of shoe laces. And I will never have to buy paper clips again. Here are some things I’ve found in and around my dad’s desk. You never know when you might need some carbon paper.

stuff from dads desk

Later I spent a couple of hours making a collage from one of Mom’s old angel calendars. It was an intensely fun diversion. I think the hands are interesting.

Angel Calenar Collage

Tomorrow, I switch gears and get some yellow paint samples for the kitchen!

 


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Good News Tuesday: Compassion, Change, and Singing

rabbit

 

California Votes for Cruelty Free Cosmetics

California just passed a law that will make it illegal to sell cosmetics or ingredients that have been tested on animals. The California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act will go into effect in January of 2020. Read more below from The Good News Network:

https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/california-has-just-approved-law-requiring-all-cosmetics-to-be-cruelty-free/#.W7JziKaNjSc.facebook

Rising Out of Hatred through Kindness

Derek Black, the son of a KKK Grand Wizard and godson of David Duke, broke free from the white nationalist movement. It was a gradual process that started when he went to college and his friend Matthew invited him to a Friday night Shabbat dinner. You can read more in this article or watch the video below. The discussion about change starts about four and a half minutes into the video.

 

Singing is Good for You!

It’s not hot off the presses, but here are some surprising ways singing can improve your mental and physical health:

http://vkool.com/benefits-of-singing/

Got good news? Share it!

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