December 2014 Newsletter
When I came back from watching an
old movie last evening at Basecamp (a favorite hang-out
place) I discovered a scintillating village. When I came
in the streets were dark, and the village was ordinary.
When we came out I had to catch my breath: there was
magic. All lit up, the village center was enchanting,
whimsical. I was filled with wonder.
"Well you could have come in the long way and gone past the lights..." said Peter. What a kill joy! I prefer to think that Santa sent down his little elves and he did it just for me to get me in the Christmas spirit!
Well okay, so the village did put their lights up right
after Thanksgiving. That is what they do in America. So
different from South Africa where I grew up; for there
Christmas comes in the summer-time and the day lingers on.
Here is a picture of Umhlanga Rocks (close to my step
father’s cottage) where we celebrated many a Christmas. At
that time I would see the kids playing in the sand and
teenagers out surfing right up to nine or ten o’clock at
night. Long, long wonderful summer evenings. The sea there
is around seventy one to seventy five degrees warm. This
is caused by a hot current coming down from the hot
Our American season by contrast comes close to the shortest day, and much of the celebration is after dark. The season begins with Thanksgiving and it goes on through to the New Year. In South Africa the season begins on 16th December. In Holland where Peter grew up, Christmas began on the 5th December with Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet.
Definition of WONDER: a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable. It is that magical feeling that makes your heart flutter and your eyes sparkle. That is how I felt on that evening coming home from the movie.
I was pondering the different end-year celebrations of different countries around the world when I realized that gratitude and wonder are sister emotions, right? How appropriate that the American season begins with thanks and ends with wonder. Usually at this time of year I make a list of all the things for which I am grateful. This year it seems more appropriate that I talk about wonder.
1. I have wonder that It was in America that I learned about natural healing, prompting a lifelong study of herbs and natural remedies. This knowledge is helping me to grow older gracefully and to conquer childhood polio. I am filled with wonder at the amazing power of natural healing, when it is done right.
2. I am filled with wonder at the joy of family. I began this life in South Africa, which is possibly the furthest civilized country from America. But I am filled with wonder that here I am blessed to have my sister with me here in America. She lives in Pasadena. Peter has a sister who grew up with him in the Netherlands and who is now living in San Diego. We have our children and grandchildren in Ladera Ranch. To some of my customers who enjoy their children closer at hand, my wonder that we have all ended in the same country and can get together during the holidays, may seem odd. You have to think of the distances we have conquered to stay close to each other, then you too will be filled with wonder.
I want to share with you a miracle. Great grand niece little Noelle was born on the 28th November (my birthday)
3. My home mountain village of Pine Mountain Club (Kern
County) fills me with wonder almost each and every day.
Its beauty sustains me. The upbeat sense of fun of friends
in this community is truly wonderful.
4. America has always filled me with wonder. In 1974 I was in the Dallas airport, enroute to Los Angeles. I looked up at a security guard checking the travelers through customs. It was a woman officer, looked a bit like Marilyn Monroe, blond hair, small waist, crisp uniform with a piece on either hip! No gun control in Texas! I looked at Peter and said “This place has style and we should stay!” We came back four years later after handling our immigration legally. .
America always fills me with wonder.
But I have to be honest, I have watched the onslaught on America’s freedoms and its traditions. Perhaps I see this and feel it more keenly than most because I have seen conditions in other countries. I am observing a world in decline.
In gratitude for all America has given us I have written a book. I want to give back to this wonderful nation. We are all better here than in Holland or South Africa. .
The book (Politics IOU) is a work of fiction. Yes it has
some love and suspense, and yes even a sprinkling of sex
and it is at times a tad violent, like all big bad best
But like this picture what it does is let the reader look at the political process and the principles of freedom in a whole new way. The reader examines the political parties, with their sanity and their silliness by identifying with the rich characters.
Note: In researching the book I may have found the exact point where America began to go wrong. Go figure, it was way back shortly after the assassination of Lincoln. What happened then? Well, why don’t you just go read the book. And for a minute or two join with me and take the bigger view. When America goes down the tubes, there goes the world.
You can find the book for free download at http://www.grandmawriting.com/. You can even get it section by section, or read it right there on your screen. The book is also available at Kindle.
I do sincerely believe that this is a time when it behooves all men of good will to pull together.
Let’s keep the world a place of wonder.
Quote for the Month
Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time - Laura Ingalls Wilder
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
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