Additional Information

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Give to Charity to get from Charity

I've always enjoyed having a unique name.  I have personally only met two other Charitys in my almost thirty years.  One of them went to my school but was several years younger; I had already graduated by the time she was in junior high.  The other one is a woman who sent me a friend request on Facebook for the simple fact that there are only three Charity Pences on the site.  I know there are a whole lot more than three people in the world named Charity so perhaps my name isn't as unique as I like to think.  But that's not really the point of this post.  The point is the jokes.

While I was growing up, I was constantly bombarded by people asking me for money.  People would put their hands out and say, "Give to Charity.  Give me money."  I guess they didn't understand that they had to give money to Charity in order for Charity to disperse money to them.  The joke got old very fast.  I'm amazed by how people think they are being original when they make such comments to me.  Like I haven't heard that joke hundreds of times already! Even some adults can't keep their mouths shut.

But today I heard a new one.  When I answer the phone at work, I have to tell the caller my name.  This is how a call went this morning:

"...This is Charity."
Quick pause.  "Is this Charity Case?"
Huh? An awkward moment passes while I figure it out.  Oh, he's asking if I'm a charity case.  "Oh," I said without laughing since I wasn't amused.
He thought he was funny.

I don't really say all this to complain.  I have had several people take a different approach by asking me where Faith and Hope are.  And I always kindly respond that I have two great-aunts, one named Faith and one named Hope, which is how I got my name. 

I guess the point of this post is to let you know you can say the joke if you want, but don't expect me to laugh.  I've heard it before.  Oh, and by the way, I'll be more than willing to hand money to you on one condition-- you give me money first. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I Hate Not Writing

September is not going to be a productive month for my writing.  I hate that fact.  Always on my mind is the story I'm working on and what changes I have/want to make, but my September is full of.....just life.  The month began with my family's annual three day reunion during Labor Day weekend.  Tomorrow I am going to St. Louis for three days (Joyce Meyer Women's Conference ~ going with my stepmom for the fifth year in a row).  Then at the end of the month I will be going to Chicago to celebrate with my husband ~ 10th year wedding anniversary! And of course in between those events I have household chores that never end, and I've been helping my husband with the mowing business.  And yes we've kept busy with that despite the dry weather.  Even though I had/will have tons of fun at these special events, I am so ready for some much needed time in front of my computer.  I can appreciate the fact that as writers we sometimes need to step back from our work so we can see it with fresh eyes, but I am not a fan of the pattern I am currently in.  Work on it one day, take a few days off.  Work on it another day, take a few days off.  You get the idea.  The way I see it, I should be either taking a break or not.  This on again, off again routine sucks.

Oh well.  At least I'm still having fun! And it is September ~ hello Autumn! (My favorite season)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Attack on America

I realize I am a couple days early, but the upcoming anniversary of 9/11 has been on my heart all week.  It's hard to believe a decade has passed since that awful day.  The events are still clear in my mind.  My husband and I (we weren't actually married yet but would be in a couple weeks) were woken up my husband's mother right after the first plane hit.  We went to the living room and watched the second plane hit.  For the rest of the morning we were glued to the TV.  Watching the two towers burn was bad, but watching them collapse was worse.  I still can't imagine the fear that people in the towers must have felt.  More tragic news came with the crash at the Pentagon and the passengers who showed tremendous courage by overtaking Flight 93 over Pennsylvania in order to prevent further death and destruction.

Over the next few days I recorded hours worth of news coverage.  I wrote a poem that filled an entire page of the local newspaper.  I cried and prayed for the people who died and for those who were left behind.  And like many others, I wondered what would happen next.  A war was beginning; that much was obvious.  Two lines in that poem of mine read: "You may have won this battle, but we will win this war."  Of course when I wrote it, I had no idea it would take a decade to catch the man responsible for that horrible attack on our country.

Every year I have recognized the anniversary of 9/11.  If I wasn't working, I stayed at home and listened to the names of the lost being read.  I participated in the moments of silence, overwhelmed by the consequences of that day regardless of how much time had passed.  When I was working, I did my best to partake in the events of that day, though I was irritated by the people who dared to go on with their business as if it was any other day.  Perhaps I shouldn't have been angry, though.  Time didn't stop that Tuesday.  Life must go on.

In the time that followed several country music artists used music to share their thoughts.  The CMA's opened with "Only in America" performed by Brooks & Dunn.  The song was popular before 9/11, but it was appropriate for the time.  I still have the VHS tape I used to record that show.  I don't need to watch it, though, to remember how Alan Jackson took the stage to sing a song he had written during the night; it was a song nobody had heard yet.  The words of "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)" made me cry.  "Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue" and "Have You Forgotten" were later released by Toby Keith and Darryl Worley respectively.

There was a surge of patriotism that began that September day.  American flags were flown everywhere; bumper stickers and car magnets were displayed.  I wondered why it took such a tragic event for people to be proud of their American heritage.  And I also wondered how many people were sincere and how many were just joining the crowd.

I have not forgotten.  In fact, I see myself several decades down the road still recognizing the anniversary of September 11, 2001.  But I won't be stopped by the pain of it all.  To borrow a few lines from another poem I wrote on the two year anniversary:

"For all those lost and alone
In remembrance we survive."

Friday, September 2, 2011

Arose Blessings

Today's post is about a ministry that was started by a friend of mine.  God has called her to share His love in a very unique way.  My friend puts together wooden rose arrangements and sells them.  With each sale she donates an arrangement to a hospital patient or nursing home resident.  Isn't that awesome? When my friend first told me of her idea, I thought it was very creative.  If you've ever been to a nursing home, you know how dreary they can be.  And though some residents have family who come to see them often, many do not.  Hospitals aren't much better.  Being confined to a hospital bed is depressing.  The residents/patients who are on the receiving end of this ministry get a beautiful reminder that they are never alone and are always loved.  And the cool thing is the flowers won't die which makes them a permanent reminder.  You can find more information at Arose Blessings.  And for anyone nearby, she is having a yard sale tomorrow morning and will be selling arrangements at her house.  Check out the link I gave!

I think sometimes we're too intimidated to reach out and help someone.  We think it will takes tons of effort on our part, or money, or whatever.  Or we think there are too many people, and we just can't help them all.  But the truth is it doesn't take much.  Everyone can help someone ~ by sending a card, taking a meal, offering a listening ear, or simply asking what can be done.

Helen Keller said it best: "I am only one, but still I am one.  I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do."  How wise of her!