Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Quotes for the Week

Reading is not an operation performed on something inert
but a relationship entered into with another human being.
                 Clifton Fadiman

To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for youself
a refuge from almost all of the miseries of life.
                 W. Somerset Maughan

It is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily,
often helplessly, into another's skin, another's voice, another's soul.
                Joyce Carol Oates

This little poem was in the library of my elementary school, and it always inspired me:
Books are keys to wisdom's treasure,
Books are gates to lands of pleasure,
Books are paths that upward lead,
Books are friends.
Come, let us read.

I hope you're reading a book this week.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Never Too Late; Never Too Old

I am a lousy tennis player but a devoted tennis fan, so devoted that I got up in the middle of the night, two nights in a row to watch the women's and men's finals in the Australian Open.
Caroline Wozniacki, the women's final winner, has been trying and failing for years to win a Grand Slam tournament.  This was her 43rd try!  She lost in two U.S. Open finals and hasn't made a final since.  But she's kept trying, never giving up her dream until it's finally come true.  (By the way, in the midst of her tennis career she trained for and ran a marathon.)  She's an example of perseverance and she's earned a well-deserved reward.

Ho hum, Federer again?  He won his 20th Grand Slam in Australia.  But he's 36 years old, Methuselah-like in tennis years) and last year sportscasters were saying maybe he had one more slam still to come.  Instead, in the past year he's won 3 slams.  Most 36-year-old tennis players are sitting in lawn chairs, nursing their sore muscles and watching tennis matches on TV, but Federer still loves the game and he's still the best ever...and he trains in Dubai in the heat.  He's an inspiration for elderly folks like me, telling us in no uncertain terms that life is still to be enjoyed and there are still goals to set and to meet as long as you're still around.  

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Quotes for the Week: Heroes

Everyone is necessarily the hero of his own life story.
                                               John Barth
Or her own life story.
                         Thelma Zirkelbach

No man is a hero to his valet.
          Anne-Marie Bigot  

Life, misfortune, isolation, abandonment, poverty  
      are battlefields which have their heroes,
obscure heroes, sometimes greater than the illustrious heroes.
                  Victor Hugo

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Woman Power

Yesterday was a national Women's March.  Crowds of women marched for various causes, but what inspires me is that they marched at all, making their voices heard, demonstrating our power as women.

Today two friends and I saw "The Post."  Meryl Streep as Katherine Graham realizes her power as she is brave enough to order her newspaper to "go ahead" with publishing the Pentagon Papers.  At one point she quotes Samuel Johnson, who said after hearing a woman preach at a Quaker meeting, "A woman preaching is like a dog walking on his hind legs.  It is not done well, but you are surprised to find it done at all."
Disgusting, isn't it?  Johnson would have been flabbergasted to meet Katherine Graham, a woman of today.

When I was a youngster, women stayed home, kept the house spotless and raised the children with little help from their husbands.  Some women of my mother's generation "helped out in the store" but rarely did women have jobs of their own.  Women didn't aspire to professions or higher education.  My mother at one point thought of going to college  at the University of Texas in Austin, but my father nipped that idea in the bud.

Although I finished college with a major in speech pathology and worked for a year, as soon as I got married, I quit my job and got pregnant immediately thereafter.  None of my friends worked or even thought about it.  In our organization directory we were listed as "Mrs. XXX," with our first names in parentheses.  When I was asked to donate to various causes, I always answered, "I'll have to ask my husband."  After I was divorced, I announced to my family, "I'll have to start thinking like a man."  It never occurred to me that women might think about a lifetime career.  I believed I was thrust into a man's way of thinking; however, being female, I was unable to get a charge account and my automobile insurance dropped me because divorced women were "more likely to have accidents."

Not surprisingly, I embraced the women's movement.  I attended the first national women's conference in Houston.  One of my favorite souvenirs was a button that said, "A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle."  Yes,  I married again, but I didn't give up my career, and my husband and I shared equally in responsibilities around the house.  I'm proud to say I've never cooked a Thanksgiving turkey; that was his job.

I have watched times change, have seen women become public officials, CEO's, doctors and lawyers.  I have seen women stand up for what they believe in, and this year I've seen women speak up about sexual harassment and march to end sexual abuse.  I'm proud of what we've done and what we're doing.  I'm glad to be a woman of today.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Quote for the Week

The journey between what you once were and what you are becoming is where the dance of life really takes place.
                           Dr. Barbara De Angel

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Books of December

An amusing book about families so rich you couldn't imagine their lifestyle.  A young Chinese American woman visits her boyfriend's family and is overwhelmed.  First of a series.

Who can figure out why a group of people are murdered and the scene has an uncanny resemblance to an unsolved murder years before?

This book was recommended on a list so I bought it.  Thankfully, it was short because I could never figure out who was speaking, where the characters were or much about the plot.  Not recommended.

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