The Reading Room
Pg 5 - The Sunshine Express
Another time another Summer
We have adopted... a cat. The woman at ¡®claws¡¯ asked
if I was going to change his name. Decidedly not. The
name given him upon his arrival at the shelter as a kit-
ten a year and a half ago will remain - Potato.
Potato¡¯s adjustment to home living appeared at first to
be confusing to him. Evening number one was spent
exploring the house. Not to be of the pussy footed kind
of feline knick knacks were knocked over, off, and in
some cases broken. Thank goodness for glue guns!
Finding a dark corner in the bathroom at the end if the
towel shelves he retreated sleeping all day up all night.
Leaving his hideaway the morning of the third day
Potato batted a bright pink cat toy around the house
stopping occasionally to come by me to be petted and
to sharpen his claws on the catnip sprinkled scratching
post. After a week he has completely settled in. Deter-
mined to take his place in the family Potato has estab-
lished himself as a first class mouser (yea!!), talking
loudly to myself and husband he makes his irritation
known at our return after leaving Potato home alone
for a few hours. He cuddles, stalkes, and prances about
behaving as though he rules. We have adopted a cat.
With a recent phone call came the news, my last and
favorite Uncle had moved on to heaven.
I had a powerful heart¡¯s desire to throw clothes into a
suitcase, gas up the jeep, and drive back to Illinois. I
needed to say good bye, one last return to another time
I find myself eagerly thinking, remembering a long
time ago. My Grandparents home was a large white
farm house situated in a great grove of Maples at the
end of a white gravel road two miles north of a small
town in South Eastern Illinois. Closing my eyes and
concentrating, I can hear Grandmother calling to
Grandfather, ¡°Dad they¡¯re here! They¡¯re here!¡± as my
parents car came to a stop, and we three girls leapt out
and into her open waiting arms.
Time spent there was a flurry of activity. Days were
spent visiting, attending family reunions, exploring
the woods, wading in the creek with cousins and on
and on. Evenings at Grandparents home were special.
Gathered around the large round oak claw legged table
in the kitchen we feasted on fried chicken, mountains
of fluffy mashed potatoes and gravy, fresh vegetables
from Grandmothers garden, homemade bread with
home churned butter and jam. After dinner my Grand-
father would tell stories of our ancestors how they
traveled from Kentucky, their lives, their hardships. As
evening faded Grandmother would light the kerosene
lamps around the room. Occasionally a call would
come in through the oak crank wall telephone. Their
ring was 3 longs and a short.
Later tucked in bed with pillows of goose down under
our heads and coverlets of hand quilted faded blocks
of feed sacking folded back we drifted off to dream
land listening to the murmur of adult voices from the
parlor, insects singing from the other side of screened
four panes. Bull frogs screaming from the pond by the
barn at the edge of the cornfield. And summer rain
gurgling down the drain pipe and into the great green
moss sided rain barrel.
However there is no going back, no returning to that
time or another summer of long ago. Grand-
parents, aunts and uncles have all passed on.
Cousins leaving the small farming community
now reside throughout the U.S. It is only the
bitter sweet memories that live on. I will take
them out on occasion to enjoy, then put them
away for another time, another summer. It is
time to get up off the couch, continue on mak-
ing my own way, making my own memories.
Long long ago
My grandmother lighting lamps
I think of it eagerly. --K
(Karen Schafer lives in & writes about life
from Gateway, Colorado)
Do not let the negative hold on to you, release
it and move forward to the positive power that
is out there. Many things happen throughout
your life. Some are done accidentally and some
on purpose, and those you will sort out, and
do what you need to do to move forward. This
is all part of loving yourself, loving yourself
enough to move forward, releasing the negative
and receiving the positive. Forgiving yourself
and others is a cleansing of sorts, like detoxify-
ing your soul. Again, Love yourself enough to
move forward. Forgiveness is not a weakness.
It is one of the most courageous things a person
can do for themselves.
(Mark Looper of The Pony Expresso shares
inspirational thoughts and lessons learned in
life from Dolores, Colorado.
by Mark Looper
The Art of Forgiveness
In our lives, we come across many circum-
stances in which we have wronged someone or
someone has wronged us. As we grow, there
comes a time in our lives when the opportunity
arises, giving us the chance to forgive them. I
am sure you have heard the saying to ¡®Forgive
and Forget¡¯. Well, human nature does not al-
low for the mind to forget easily, so really, it is
¡®Forgive and Accept¡¯.
When we decide to forgive someone, this is a
selfless act of kindness to that person and to
yourself. You are forgiving the person and not
necessarally the act that was committed, this
is self healing for you. When you are releas-
ing negative energy and breathing in positive
energy, then you are looking away from the
past and toward the future. In forgiving, you
are accepting what happened and moving
forward, and really, moving forward is what it
is all about.
The same energy comes when someone for-
gives you, even if you have to approach that
person and ask for forgiveness, it is ok, you are
moving forward. If they forgive you, you also
must forgive yourself and recognize that you
have grown and moved forward on your path.
There is so much emotion tied to this, it is deep
and stirring at times, and you may feel that
something is unforgivable, and that is ok too.
That is your choice, and once again if it is truly
unforgivable you can accept it and move on.
¡°To forgive is the highest, most beautiful
form of love. In return, you will receive
untold peace and happiness.¡± - Robert Muller