In Our Community
Several programs from the golden days of radio had their start on television. My Little Margie was one of them.
My Little Margie is best remembered as a TV show, but an almost identical audio version ran on CBS Sunday nights under the sponsorship of Phillip Morris from December 7, 1952, through 1955. Margie was Margie Albright, who lived with her father Vern, a busy executive with Honeywell Industries, in an apartment “high above Fifth Avenue.” The comedy usually revolved around father Vern or boyfriend Freddy. They were natural enemies, though Freddy did his best in his bumbling way to gain Vern’s confidence.
Margie, a natural female schemer in the best radio tradition, was aided and abetted by her friend and neighbor, an older woman named Mrs. Odetts. As in the TV version, Margie and Vern were played by Gale Storm and Charles Farrell. Verna Felton was Mrs. Odetts, Gil Stratton, Jr. was Freddy, and Will Wright played Vern’s often grouchy boss, Mr. Honeywell. The show was based on characters created by Frank Fox, produced, directed, and transcribed by Gordon Hughes with Hal Roach, Jr. and Roland Reed, and written by Lee Carson. I remember an episode where during the Christmas season, Margie helped a little boy’s Christmas to be happier.
If you listen to AM 1370 KDTH’s Big Broadcast from 6 to midnight on Sunday nights, you might hear Margie and Mrs. Odetts up to their high jinks.
VA Suspends Changes
A Little Kindness in a Garbage Can
Sometimes you find expressions of kindness in the strangest places, even in a garbage can, as I did! I was taking my morning walk near our home in Brandon, Florida. It was garbage day so I passed many a garbage can. Some were yard waste containers and were to be picked up by a separate city truck crew. One such yard waste container caught my eye as I walked past. It had a cardboard sign propped on top of the branches with the scrawled words, “Caution...Thorns.”
I stopped and gazed at the can in amazement, then took a picture with my cell phone to capture the act of kindness. The homeowner had taken the time to tear off a flap from a cardboard box, find a marker, and write the warning for the garbage collectors. I wonder how the garbage collectors reacted? I hope they appreciated the gesture, that someone cared enough that they not get stuck by a thorn.
This little kindness expressed in the garbage can got me to thinking about how little kindnesses can, and should, pop up all over the place, and how they’re such an important part of relationships at home, at work, at church, or at play. It seems to me that it’s often easy to do the right thing when it’s a big thing, a huge deal, a real crisis, or a great opportunity. People are watching, or they’ll find out through someone who is. The seriousness of the situation puts us on alert. We’d have to be really clueless to miss the opportunity to do the right thing. On the other hand, it’s the small thing, the seemingly inconsequential situation, the mini opportunity that’s gone in a flash, or that ordinary moment when no one’s paying much attention that tests the kind of person we really are.
Life is made up of just a few watershed moments that are epic in nature but is crammed full of ordinary moments. Many of these ordinary moments are shared with other people – a mate, family members, friends, coworkers, and a host of people we briefly meet in passing. Each such “ordinary” moment is an opportunity to extend a little kindness.
Life is a thorny endeavor. Everyone needs to be shown a little kindness. That’s the reminder I was given by the sign in the garbage can.
“Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness and honor.” Proverbs 21:21
Commemorating 30 Years of Shalom
In the year ahead, Shalom will celebrate a milestone: January 4th, 2019 marks the 30th Anniversary of
In this world where stress and violence exist, Shalom is a space where people can come for reflection and peace. Our programs and retreats allow people to focus and reorientate their lives, so that they can live and work more productively.
Throughout our thirty years, we have sought to provide wholistic programming which enhances the spiritual, social, emotional, and physical well- being of the communities we are blessed to serve. By wholistic we mean our programs, retreats, seminars, and workshops integrate the mind, body, soul, & spirit.
While Catholic in our sponsorship by the Sisters of St. Francis of Dubuque, we are interfaith in our ministry. We strive to be open to everyone regardless of religious affiliation, belief system, or faith background. Our ministry has three tiers: the first tier is the programs and retreats we plan and facilitate for the public internally. Another tier is the gatherings and conferences hosted at the center by external groups including civic, religious, educational, professional, nonprofit, and business organizations. Opening our doors and providing warm, welcoming hospitality to area groups and organizations constitutes a significant portion of our ministry each year. The final tier is guided spiritual direction and spaces for private, self-led retreats. Apart from over fifty-five bedrooms in the Center, we also offer our Peace Haven apartment and Oasis Hermitage to individuals seeking a more reclusive, private space for their spiritual getaway.
As we witness the continuing diversification of our communities during the 21st Century, we seek to serve persons of all ages, abilities, genders, sexualities, races, ethnicities, classes, and cultures — meeting them wherever they currently are on their journey. Despite their differences, people can find common ground in their hunger for God. We provide programs that reflect a variety of spiritual practices and religious traditions. Our relaxing, restful, restorative environment is ideal for prayer, retreat, reflection, introspection, mindfulness, meditation, concentration, contemplation, direction, and discernment. We seek to better communicate our mission of openness and accommodation to others who may not yet know Shalom’s blessings, and to attract new people to our Center.
While cleaning out some of my old files, I ran across this manuscript I wrote 51 years ago. I believe I was going to submit it to a parenting magazine. But I didn’t. So, I’m typing this manuscript on my computer, just as it was written so long ago. “Oh, my! A half century just fluttered by!”
Slam! Crash! Shatter! Oh no! Please don’t let it be the glass in the storm door. I had been enjoying a few moments of solitude and silence away from my “busy” children. I arose reluctantly from my lounge chair. I already knew what had happened.
Sure enough, there were glass partials all over the floor of the back foyer. But there were no children in sight. That door glass had been replaced many times before because it was a less expensive door and the kids just kept slamming it whenever they went out or came into the house. We had plans to replace it with a less vulnerable door but hadn’t gotten around to it yet.
Our children are two boys, age six and eight, and a girl 12. I’m not going to embarrass them by name because all three are “busy” children. This is a proven fact. About a week ago we repaired a window and frame that had fallen out of the neighbor’s garage. Actually, there were six children involved in this “accident” and no one would confess to how it had happened.
We later found out that the garage was very old and was about to fall down so the kids thought it was to be torn down so they often played around the building. Of course, if we had known about this play area we would have intervened. We also found out that the owner of the garage was going to repair the small garage and use it for storage.
I also must mention that our three “busy” children liked to climb roofs. We didn’t encourage this activity but during the summer vacation from school they climbed a lean-to roof and slid down into a pile of grass clippings. One day I saw them and yelled out the window. “Hey, get off that roof!” But when I went out to retrieve my mischievous children they had disappeared. Ah, ha! I spotted a blue-eye boy with brown hair peeking out at me from behind a tree. It was neither my boys nor my adventurous daughter. They had just found better hiding places. We resolved that embarrassing incident with grounding.
Once, during a time of creative play (that’s what the experts call it) the kids were interested in acorns. Yes, I mean acorns. Those little brown nuts that drop helplessly from the oak trees in autumn and become winter food for the squirrels. Well, they have other uses too. They can be used as bombs, marbles, trading items, or they can be painted and used in crafts.
If you have never slipped upon an acorn consider yourself lucky. Once on wash day I slipped on one and fell into an ice chest in the basement. The acorn must have fallen out of someone’s pocket. Fortunately, only my pride was injured.
Yes. It’s more than 50 years since my children were children. Now they have children. And their children have children. How times flies!
The Equalizer 2
The Equalizer (2014) was such a great movie that I was looking forward to a sequel and finally got it in 2018 with the release of The Equalizer 2. Granted, both films are geared more toward male viewers because of violence and bloodshed, but both have a special feature that appeals to everyone: Denzel Washington.
Washington reprises his role as Robert McCall, ex-Military Intelligence who was probably involved in special-ops and maybe even black-ops. Because of a promise to his late wife, Robert has put his past behind him and entered a new, quieter and safer lifestyle. In the original we find Robert working in a Home Depot-like store, and in the sequel he is using his car for cab-like lifts. But when he sees examples of the helpless being overpowered he can’t turn his back and walk away. That is not who he is. Instead, he steps into action and uses his unique skills and training to help. And in most instances Robert doesn’t need a weapon; he is the weapon. When a dear friend is killed, Robert makes it his mission in life to find all those who are responsible and terminate them.
Both films work so well because Denzel is a perfect fit for the part. I can’t imagine anyone else in the role of Robert McCall and I am hoping for a 3rd installment.
This film is rated R and is located at most Redbox locations.