Life Is A Highway…

I thought I was driving down life’s highway in a vintage convertible with the sun shining down on me, a breeze blowing through my hair, smiling and waving at other travelers. I was feeling rather carefree, actually. I had no idea what lay, up ahead….

Sometimes my GPS reroutes me.  I find myself on an unfamiliar road. I’m in a bad section of town. I wonder if I misunderstood the directions and then I begin to panic. I am utterly and completely lost. This is not how this was supposed to work out.

Then the car of my dreams breaks down, and I’m abandoned on the side of a dark road, what do I do?

That is how I’ve felt about life over the past several months. I thought things were going well. I thought the future looked bright. I was satisfied with the ways things were going for me…for my family. I was lulled into a false sense of security.   Then my car broke down and I was left on a very dark road, in the middle of a starless night.  Even my cell phone was unable to get a signal.  I tried and tried to talk…nothing but silence answered me. Silence.  Sometimes silence is much more unsettling then all the commotion and noise in life. I was scared.

Do I wait for help to arrive? Am I  missed? Do I kick my car and throw my GPS across the field? Do I try to walk alone in the dark? Or do I wait for my Father to come for me? Does my Father even care? Will He be able to find me, since I went off road? I feel very small and very insignificant. I long for my sunny, bright, convertible days as I wait in the dark. Lonely and crying.

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Government Isn’t Following Through

Cash for Clunkers has turned into a real rip off. The car dealers that went along with this program are sadly now finding out that the payments that were supposed to be coming from the government are not coming. Time is ticking for these car dealerships that were already cash strapped to begin with. They keep getting told that they’ll get there money, but when will that be? And will it be too late by the time it does come around? Many dealers are opting out of participating in this program because it is turning into a farce. Yet, another way the the government steps in and completely messes things up!

I was listening to the news yesterday. There was a story on about Native Americans and their health care. Evidently, many of the tribes all over the country are given poor health care from our government. One native man said, “if you are going to get seriously sick, or need major medical treatment you better do it before June because after that the money runs out.” If the government health care for Native Americans is in such poor shape and way under funded, what makes anyone think that they will be able to take on, and do a good job of, health care for the entire country?

Is this change we can believe in? Is this the hope that was promised? I think not.

Not Being Politically Correct

I read an article the other day about school textbooks. (Being a former public school teacher, anything about education catches my eye)

Did you know that the powers -that -be, that are writing the new (an improved!) textbooks are cracking down on any words that could possibly be offensive to ANYONE? This is another one of those things that would be hysterically funny, if they weren’t so deadly serious about it.

Citizens of this country should not call themselves “Americans”. Heaven forbid! Don’t you silly people know how politically incorrect it is to utter that word? You should only refer to yourselves as “citizens of the United States of America”.  I suppose calling yourself an American is definitely UN-American. We need to get with the program.

Oh, and if you have teenagers in your life, don’t call them that. That word is offensive. Even though these individuals  ARE in their teen years…this is far too limiting for them. They are “adolescent individuals”.  Please remember this, lest your children become offended and rise up against you.

Oh, and may I remind you that if a person truly is poor, you should not refer to them as such.  You say, but they are poor? What should we say? Please…we call them “economically disadvantaged”. You can also say “economically challenged”. (Well duh. Aren’t we all???)

Homeless are no longer home less. They are individuals without residence or without a home.  I suppose home LESS denotes that they are less. That is not true….as that suffix means without….and correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t a person WITHOUT a home, then truly homeless?

These are but a few of the important changes coming to you via your children’s school textbooks. So does anyone else see the utter insanity of all this? As for my husband and me,  genuine, bleeding red, white and blue AMERICANS and our TEENAGE children… we’ll stick with what is RIGHT even if it isn’t very PC.

Town Hall

I’m really fed up. I watch these town hall meetings and then afterwards I hear the media spin on them.  When did things change? Since when are we, as Americans, not allowed to voice our opinion? When did things change? When did the government officials decide that the people’s opinion no longer mattered? When “Mr. Hope and Change” decided that it was HIS change that was acceptable, HIS hope that was the answer……He recently said, when asked about the town hall meetings, that we need to shut up and get out of the way. Isn’t that what you get out of this statement?
“But I don’t want the folks who created the mess to do a lot of talking. I want them to get out of the way so we can clean up the mess. I don’t mind cleaning up after them, but don’t do a lot of talking.”

His buddy, Mrs. Pelosi, called us Nazis. Yet in her not so long ago past said in a speech that she loves dissenters. People that have an opinion and voice it. I guess she meant when people have the SAME opinion as she does.

Or what about Mrs.Clinton in her speech from, I believe, last year? She railed against any administration that would deny a person from voicing their opinion, even if it was not the same as that of the current administration. Gee whiz, do you think she still feels that way?

It would almost be comical the flip flopping that goes on with our government officials if it weren’t so deadly serious….and with the way health care is headed, I mean that literally.

Memory Lane

I continue to slog through box after box of stuff. Unpacking is hard work. I guess it doesn’t help me any that I have to stop every so often to look at my boxes of “memories”. I looked back at my high school memory box. What a hoot! I found my Westminster High School, Class of 1986 T-shirt. I held it up and looked at it. It’s in really good condition…but I can hardly believe I was ever that small to fit into that little thing. Aaahhhh…..to have the figure I had in high school. Sigh.
Then there is my college photo album. Smiling faces of my dorm mates. All of us have gone on with our lives. We live all over the world now….and yet, my thoughts travel back to the late 80’s and I laugh out loud remembering the fun times we had. Yes, I also went to class and learned a lot in college—but, my friendships are what made it fun.
Then there are the pictures of me as a young bride. I had to be insane to have a big “fru-fru” wedding dress and veil in the blazing hot summer heat of a southern July. What was I thinking? I’ll tell you what! I was thinking I’m sweating to death–crank up that air conditioning!!!! I did make it down the aisle that day and managed not to melt in the process.
I know, some people think keeping all this kind of stuff is ridiculous. I know it’s just stuff and it’s the memories that I carry with me that are the most important….yada, yada, yada. BUT I’m getting old and it helps to have the actual things to jog my memory.
Regardless, it’s always nice to take a stroll down memory lane.

The Holocaust IS NOT a “myth”!

My mother-in-law sent this to me through email. I cried as I read this story. I’m passing this story on because I believe it is important. I believe we need to NEVER forget what happened. NEVER let the memory fade. Remind ourselves that evil exists in this world and we must not let it overcome us. NEVER again.

The Wedding Gown That Made History Written by: Helen Zegerman Schwimmer  http://www.thejewishpress.com/pageroute.do/37658

Helen Zegerman Schwimmer is the author of the acclaimed anthology, “Like The Stars of The Heavens” available from amazon.com.

Lilly Friedman doesn’t remember the last name of the woman who designed and sewed the wedding gown she wore when she walked down the aisle over 60 years ago.  But the grandmother of seven does recall that when she first told her fiance, Ludwig, that she had always dreamed of being married in a white gown he realized he had his work cut out for him.

For the tall, lanky 21-year-old who had survived hunger, disease and torture this was a different kind of challenge.  How was he ever going to find such a dress in the Bergen Belsen Displaced Person’s camp where they felt grateful for the clothes on their backs?

Fate would intervene in the guise of a former German pilot who walked into the food distribution center where Ludwig worked, eager to make a trade for his worthless parachute.  In exchange for two pounds of coffee beans and a couple of packs of cigarettes Lilly would have her wedding gown.

For two weeks, Miriam, the seamstress, worked under the curious eyes of her fellow DPs, carefully fashioning the six parachute panels into a simple, long sleeved gown with a rolled collar and a fitted waist that tied in the back with a bow. When the dress was completed she sewed the leftover material into a matching shirt for the groom.

A white wedding gown may have seemed like a frivolous request in the surreal environment of the camps, but for Lilly the dress symbolized the innocent, normal life she and her family had once led before the world descended into madness.  Lilly and her siblings were raised in a Torah-observant home in the small town of Zarica, Czechoslovakia where her father was a melamed, respected and well liked by the young yeshiva students he taught in nearby Irsheva.

He and his two sons were marked for extermination immediately upon arriving at Auschwitz .  For Lilly and her sisters it was only their first stop on their long journey of persecution, which included Plashof, Neustadt, Gross Rosen and finally Bergen Belsen.

Lilly Friedman and her parachute dress on display in the Bergen Belsen Museum.

Four hundred people marched 15 miles in the snow to the town of Celle on January 27, 1946 to attend Lilly and Ludwig’s wedding.  The town synagogue, damaged and desecrated, had been lovingly renovated by the DPs with the meager materials available to them.  When a Sefer Torah arrived from England they converted an old kitchen cabinet into a makeshift Aron Kodesh.

“My sisters and I lost everything — our parents, our two brothers, our homes. The most important thing was to build a new home.”  Six months later, Lilly’s sister, Ilona, wore the dress when she married Max Traeger.  After that came Cousin Rosie.  How many brides wore Lilly’s dress? “I stopped counting after 17.” With the camps experiencing the highest marriage rate in the world, Lilly’s gown was in great demand.

In 1948 when President Harry Truman finally permitted the 100,000 Jews, who had been languishing in DP camps since the end of the war, to emigrate, the gown accompanied Lilly across the ocean to America. Unable to part with her dress, it lay at the bottom of her bedroom closet for the next 50 years, “Not even good enough for a garage sale. I was happy when it found such a good home.”

Home was the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington , D.C. When Lily’s niece, a volunteer, told museum officials about her aunt’s dress, they immediately recognized its historical significance and displayed the gown in a specially designed showcase, guaranteed to preserve it for 500 years.

But Lilly Friedman’s dress had one more journey to make. Bergen Belsen , the museum, opened its doors on October 28, 2007.  The German government invited Lilly and her sisters to be their guests for the grand opening. They initially declined, but finally traveled to Hanover the following year with their children, their grandchildren and extended families to view the extraordinary exhibit created for the wedding dress made from a parachute.

Lilly’s family, who were all familiar with the stories about the wedding in Celle , were eager to visit the synagogue.  They found the building had been completely renovated and modernized. But when they pulled aside the handsome curtain they were astounded to find that the Aron Kodesh, made from a kitchen cabinet, had remained untouched as a testament to the profound faith of the survivors. As Lilly stood on the bimah once again she beckoned to her granddaughter, Jackie, to stand beside her where she was once a kallah.  “It was an emotional trip.  We cried a lot.”

Two weeks later, the woman who had once stood trembling before the selective eyes of the infamous Dr. Josef Mengele returned home and witnessed the marriage of her granddaughter.

The three Lax sisters – Lilly, Ilona and Eva, who together survived Auschwitz, a forced labor camp, a death march and Bergen Belsen — have remained close and today live within walking distance of each other in Brooklyn.  As mere teenagers, they managed to outwit and outlive a monstrous killing machine, then went on to marry, have children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and were ultimately honored by the country that had earmarked them for extinction.

As young brides, they had stood underneath the chuppah and recited the blessings that their ancestors had been saying for thousands of years.  In doing so, they chose to honor the legacy of those who had perished by choosing life.

In Memoriam

MEMORIAM – 63 YEARS LATER

It is now more than 60 years after the Second World War in Europe ended. This posting is in memory of the six million Jews, 20 million Russians, 10 million Christians and 1,900 Catholic priests who were murdered, massacred, raped, burned, starved and humiliated with the German and Russian peoples looking the other way!

Now, more than ever, with Iraq, Iran, and others, claiming the Holocaust to be ‘a myth,’ it’s imperative to make sure the world never forgets, because there are others who would like to do it again. “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” George Santayana

United Socialist America?

What is going on with our country?

Our government officials think that we should allow them to be over a health care plan?! This coming from people who have screwed up Social Security (I’ll never see all the money I put into that!), Medicare/Medicade, bail outs and the Stimulus Package (what a joke)  and any other plethora of things that they’ve put their hands on. I mean this Cash for Clunkers lasted for four days, yes just FOUR days, before they were begging for more money to keep the program going. My thing is this: what happens when people buy the new car and then lose their jobs and can’t pay for it???? Oh, the job loss in this country—that is a whole other issue. The Stimulus Plan, when passed at the speed of light, was supposed to provide jobs for people. Oh, really? Is that why we are going to reach unemployment in the double digits by the end of the summer? How’s that working for us?

Now, the White House has a “snitch” line. If someone thinks a certain individual, or a group of individuals are saying anything “fishy” then they can be reported. Of course the White House assures us they are not interested in people’s names—they just want to have a feel for what is going on. Yeah, right.

If they were really interested in what is going on in the real world they should look no farther then the Town Hall meetings. The average Joe’s and Jane’s are informed.  Hey, most of them have actually READ the health care plan. What a novel idea…to actually read the plan. They don’t like what is going on with the government. They want answers. (and not the answers that are spoon fed to them from the ones at the top) Everytime president Obama is asked a question about the Health Care Plan he side steps and “uh’s” his way through his reply, never giving a REAL answer.  In fact he gets noticebly irritated when pressed for a firm answer. What a joke.  If this plan goes through then this country will never be the same again. It can’t. It can not sustain this program.

The (left) government thinks that we conservatives are crazy. This morning on the news I even heard Mrs. Pelosi calling us Nazis.  Funny that she should say that, because that is just exactly how I feel about her!