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The Road Less Traveled

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

~ Robert Frost

Friendship ~ Love

Friendship is a quiet walk in the park with the one you trust

Love is when you feel like you are the only two around.

Friendship is when they gaze into your eyes and you know they care.

Love is when they gaze into your eyes and it warms your heart.

Friendship is being close even when you are far apart.

Love is when you can still feel their hand on your heart when they are not near.

Friendship is hoping that they experience the very best.

Love is when you bring them the very best.

Friendship occupies your mind.

Love occupies your soul.

Friendship is knowing that you will always try to be there when in need.

Love is when you will give up everything to be at their side.

Friendship is a warm smile in the winter.

Love is a warming touch that sends a pulse through your heart.

Love is a beautiful smile to which nothing compares:

A tender laugh, which opens your heart,

A single touch that melts away your fears,

A smell that reminds you of the tenderness of heaven,

A voice that reminds you of the innocence of youth.

Friendship can survive without love.

Love cannot live without friendship.

~ Author Unknown .

Copyright (©) 2010 - 2017

A Good Man ~

DSC02901 150x150  A Good Man ~  DSC02895 150x150  A Good Man ~     DSC02903 150x150  A Good Man ~

I’ve been told that each lifetime is full of lost opportunities; Lost opportunities to show love and lost opportunities to give love.

I have been reminded that we can never go back and retrace our steps, that we can never redo or make up for lost opportunities. We can only go forward, hopefully learn from the past and live for the future in a way that brings joy to our soul.

One way we can make a difference is by living a life that will make people smile when they remember. We can live each day thinking of the good instead of dwelling on the imperfect. We can strive to make others feel loved and important, happy and secure.

This is for you, my love, the one that always makes me remember and always charms me with your smile.

A Good Man ~

“You’ll grow up to be a good man”

You heard your Mother say.

“Be courageous and take life easy

As you travel on your way.”

So you live your life with direction

Loving people as you go.

And you never meet a stranger

As you draw them like a magnet

Into your way of seeing the world.

  “Yes, You are a good man”

I whisper,

As you hold me in your arms.

You give my life direction

And lift me when I fall.

You walk along beside me

As we venture on our way.

I know I’ll always love you

Forever and Always.

I see your eyes light up with laughter

I feel your heart exclaim

I see the love you give to others

As we ramble on our way.

As our story unfolds

And the years flow quickly past

I’ll  remember all these moments

Of love and happiness.

“Yes, You are a good man”,

I’ve heard so many say

As we live and love and laugh and smile

 Loving the excitement

Enjoying the ride.

We rely upon your honor,

Your chivalry and your care

And I know without a doubt

Your love is always here.

Yes, you are a good man,

I’ll believe it ‘til I die.

That, my love, is the reason

I am committed to our life.

 Forever and Always ~ I will love you.

 Tammy

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Those Red Dirt Roads ~

ga road 150x127 Those Red Dirt Roads ~

Those Red Dirt Roads take me back in time,

They fill my senses with wonder and engulf my mind.

Back to a moment, a time in the past,

A season full of laughter that flew by too fast.

I know in an instant,

Things will never be the same.

Replays of the moments,

Memories of the mistakes.

On those Red Dirt Roads of my past,

First times and lost times,

The molds were all cast.

Friendships like beacons,

Shine a light on my dreams,

Uplift my heart with remembrance of wonderful things.

One moment the footprints are visibly clear,

The next they’re but shadows and have all disappeared.

The hurts and the triumphs are but one and the same,

While the moments and the memories are all that remain.

                                                                                      ~ Tammy

 The language of friendship is not words but meaning.                                                   ~ Henry David Thoreau

share save 171 16 Those Red Dirt Roads ~

Goodbye My Friend ~ April 4, 2016

Scan 201604202 300x193 Goodbye My Friend ~ April 4, 2016

Lifetimes are made up of memories,

Memories become our life.

Dreams are heartfelt wishes

And places in the past become embedded in our soul.

As I  listen to the waves crash on the shore.

I am grateful,

Grateful to have had you in my life.

The calming sound of the waves

Brings a kind of peace to my soul

And I know…

I know memories are our lifeline,

They sustain us and protect our heart.

I know I will remember

I’ll always remember.

And though my heart is hurting

I won’t dwell on the sorrow your passing has caused.

I won’t let my heart harden,

Or allow it to become shallow and empty.

I will reflect on the memories

What a wondrous collection of memories!

All good – I can’t think of one bad.

Only fun-filled times and adventures and happiness and joy.

When I think of you…

I will smile,

I will remember,

I will  cry no more.

~ Tammy

 

Lost on a back road, somewhere between Panama City and Plains, I found myself thinking how much my friend would have loved this. He would have loved the fact that we were cruising along without a clue where we would end up. He would have loved all of the memories that this day was bringing to the forefront. He would have loved the fact that, in only a few hours, friends and family would gather to honor him and celebrate his life.

My friend had quite a life to celebrate. He had quite a life to look back on with happiness and should be proud of how his life has touched so many people in so many different walks of life. My friend was many things to many different people. He was a son, a brother, a husband, a father, a police officer, a community leader, a biker, a photographer, and mainly a friend to all who were a part of his world. My friend Keith, who I always called Red,  loved the simple things in life and always made time to enjoy them.

Red spent his lifetime gathering friends to his side and put much more emphasis on these friends than other worldly, material treasures. He welcomed us all into his world with his hearty, bellowing laugh that rang out with pure joy and happiness. He greeted each day with a childlike enthusiasm and closed each down by watching and often time recording the beauty of the sunsets.

Red loved photographing lighthouses and  I correlated this to his outlook on life. Red was steadfast and constant and dependable. He was an ever fixed mark. Our friendship, like a lighthouse, was perpetual and ever burning, helping me through turbulent times and shining bright with encouragement.  I am blessed – I have had friendships that are a constant in my life. They are magnificent. They give off warmth and a glow that leads myself and others into their safety net and leads us away from the turbulent waters and rocks.

To live is the rarest thing in life… Most people exist, that is all.                                                                         ~ Oscar Wilde

The language of friendship is not words but meanings.                                                                    ~ Henry David Thoreau

No love, no friendship, can cross the path of our destiny without leaving some mark on it forever.                                                                 ~ Francois Muriac

Does thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of. ~ Ben Franklin

I found myself trying to recall the exact moment our paths had crossed.I wanted so bad to remember the exact moment we met.  I couldn’t – it seems he was always there. In reflecting back, it must have been the summer of my 8th grade school year around 1975 when I was only 13 years old. That summer was momentous in my life. It was then that I met my friend, my brother, the one person who never judged me, was always routing for me and who later became my link to the carefree days of my youth.

My friend, Red, was a constant during my formative years. He was at my house as much as he was at his own. We were closer than brother and sister and helped each other through our heartbreaks, problems with parents and all of the other trivialities that formed our lives.

Whenever I could not come out and play, Red was always there to load Jack Daniels and cigarettes into my makeshift pulley that I pulled up to my upstairs balcony.

He was always there to give me a ride to the bridge or the poker house or wherever we all decided to meet up.

He was always there right before any date I had just in time to take his hand and mess up my hair (he had to make sure I didn’t take myself too seriously!).

With Red, I learned the correct way to chug Miller Ponies from the tailgate of his pickup truck. With Red, I learned about getting stuck on lonely red dirt roads. Mainly I learned valuable life lessons about laughter and honesty and enjoying the ride.

I remember sneaking out of the Americus movie theater and going to Monroe’s to watch the boys shoot pool and sample the best hotdogs in the world. I remember how much fun concerts could be when you are young and with friends who seem to be the most important things in your life. I remember how much fun we had and all of our escapades when Jimmy Carter ran for president. I remember skipping school and drinking Billy Beer and how fearless and cool we all seemed to be. I remember the pool parties we had and the visits to the graveyard. I remember bear hunting in North Georgia, the famous “lost car” trip to Daytona Beach and watching Marshall Tucker @ Six Flags or Wild Adventures. Not for sure where, but it sure was fun!

I remember all the trips we took to Atlanta to visit Mary Evelyn, Red’s one true love, and all of our crazy adventures there and back home. I remember all the trips back to Plains to visit Red and Mary Evelyn and how Mary always allowed me and Red to remain friends without a bit of jealously or distrust. I remember how she welcomed me into their home and world after the two of them  were married. More recently I remember us all dancing @ Harry A’s and Fathoms in Florida and our trips to the farmhouse.

I remember how our group of friends all promised to not let life turn us old and bitter and full of regret. I remember how we vowed to never lose touch. I am thankful to say that Red and I kept that promise. I am thankful that throughout the twists and turns of our lives we both knew that we were loved and that we were truly lifelong friends.

Red was my oldest and dearest friend. To this day, whenever I hear “Drift Away”  I think of Red and drift back to Plains and  remember the wonderful, carefree days gone by. Thank you Red for all of the crazy, fun filled memories that always make me smile.

share save 171 16 Goodbye My Friend ~ April 4, 2016

Courage to Believe ~

images 150x150 Courage to Believe ~  images 1 150x150 Courage to Believe ~  images 2 150x150 Courage to Believe ~

It takes faith to believe, it also takes courage. Courage to turn away from the way it has always been and courage to venture forth in a new direction.

It takes unwaivering belief to take off into the unknown, to dance in the rain, to walk the tightrop without a net.

It takes faith and courage to know that life can truly be whatever we choose it to be, that life can be lived without following the bluprint of what others say can and can’t be done, that life can be lived by being true to oneself and by following one’s own direction and path.

Life can be lived and should be lived through faith and by believing.

I’ve decided to expect a revelation … projecting my vision onto my world – think and it becomes.

I’m testing my resolve, I’m testing my resistance, I’m testing my vision of the world.

I’ve decided, from this day forth, to live life to the fullest, to take chances, even if I am afraid, to trust completely and without restraint. I have decided to expect the best of people and never settle for less than that, to expect dreams to come true, to quit second guessing and to follow the direction and path my life is leading me in.

images 3 150x150 Courage to Believe ~  images 4 150x150 Courage to Believe ~  images 5 150x150 Courage to Believe ~

One of my favorite movies is  Under the Tuscan Sun. In this movie, there is a reference made to the Semmering Railway.

The Semmering Railway was the genius of engineer Carl Ritter von Ghega. Von Ghega began planning  the building of the railway in 1842 before any train of the time could possibly traverse such a steep grade. The railway began in Gloggnitz going over the Semmering Pass to Murzzuschlag.

It was constructed betwen 1848 and 1854,  contained 14 tunnels, 16 viaducts and involved the labor of 20,000 workers. The Semmering Railway is still a functional part of the Austrian Federal Railway.

Between Austria and Italy, there is a section of the Alps called the Semmering. It is an impossibly steep, very high part of the mountains. They built a train track over these Alps to connect Vienna and Venice. They built these tracks even before there was a train in existence that could make the trip. They built it because they knew some day, the train would come.

~ Under The Tuscan Sun ~

“Life offers you a thousand chances… all you have to do is take one.”
~ Frances Meyer- Under the Tuscan Sun

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Come Monday ~

imagesCA9X7H7F 150x150 Come Monday ~  images 150x150 Come Monday ~  imagesCAD3GQLE 150x150 Come Monday ~

I’ve spent the last month of summer reveling in the Florida sunshine, visiting family and friends and welcoming my newest grandchild into our world. Now as Labor Day approaches and summer begins to wind down, I look around at all of the things I have to be thankful for and once again I count my blessings and am grateful… grateful for love and grateful for life, especially grateful for the opportunity to truly live and savor it all.

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”
~  Mae West

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”
~  John Lennon

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”

~ Oscar Wilde

This Labor Day marks the third anniversary of the Bohemian Review. As I once again dream of heading to San Francisco along the Pacific Coast Highway, I hear Jimmy Buffet in my mind because I always, always know that… Come Monday, You’ll Be Holding Me Tight.

 The roadtrip through Big Sur to San Francisco is one I’ve dreamed of and imagined for as long as I can remember. I’ve waited so long that now nothing will do but to make the trip on the back of a motorcycle; riding along withith the feel of the wind and the smell of the ocean and the sights that have been written about, drawn, painted  and filmed by many an artist, I can’t imagine a more splendid trip. Ahhh… the beauty and the majesty.

It’s on the Bucket List and hopefully by next Labor Day I really will be heading to San Francisco for the Labor Day weekend show!

100 3257 150x150 Come Monday ~

I love you Kurt and know that because we are together in this world I have learned a new way to live life.

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Lighthouses & Friendships ~

Cape St. George Light 6 08 150x150 Lighthouses & Friendships ~      carrabelle lighthouse 150x150 Lighthouses & Friendships ~

I am fascinated with lighthouses both figuratively and literally. I am drawn to their history and also their romantic analogy. I look at them and reflect on the mariners who have relied upon them, placed their trust in them and have been saved because of them. I also look to them as a symbol, a symbol of hope and a symbol of endurance and a symbol of dependability.

I am blessed – I have friendships that are a constant in my life. They are like a beacon shining bright, leading me away from destruction and away from the rocky shores. Friendships, like lighthouses, can be perpetual and ever burning, helping us through turbulent times and shining bright with encouragement. Those who shine their light outward are rare and magnificent. They give off warmth and a glow that leads myself and others into their safety net and leads us away from the turbulent waters and rocks. They can be “an ever fixed mark” that we look to when our way is lost or has become unclear.

Recently, while visiting  the Gulf Coast of Florida, I, along with a few old friends, had the opportunity to visit a couple of Florida’s treasured lighthouses. Florida’s coastline is still dotted with many of these lighthouse remnants of the past and they hold a special place in the hearts of many Floridians and lighthouse enthusiasts who look to them with a source of pride.

Most of the state’s 30 existing lighthouses offer photographers beautiful scenic backdrops to these lone-standing symbols of direction and hope. It seems that visiting and photographing lighthouses has become a popular hobby for many and I myself enjoy touring them whenever I get a chance.

Throughout the history of the lighthouses in the United States, they have been seen by most as a necessary obligation of both civic and personal pride. Even Southern history enthusiasts state that one of the reasons the Confederacy succeeded from the United States was the Confederacy’s opposition to most of the taxpayer-funded internal improvements; yet even the Confederacy explicitly allowed and encouraged public funds to be spent on lighthouses.

I am thankful for my friends and their love. I am thankful that our friendships have endured the years of separation and have become bouyant once again.  I am thankful for the memories of the wonderful days of youth that we are able to share together and reminisce about.

There are two ways of spreading light. To be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.
- Edith Wharton

Like a lighthouse shining in the distance, our friendships have grown and flourished and brightened the landscape around us. They have brought us together into the future with a promise of more good days and good times ahead.

As we go into the future, shining brightly, bringing pieces of our past with us and promises of the future,  I am thankful and blessed to have these wonderful people and our friendships in my life.

The language of friendship is not words but meanings.                    ~ Henry David Thoreau

For all of my childhood “Plains Gang” friends. This song, more than any other,  helps me to remember “us”.

For Now and Always ~ I Love You,

Tammy

 

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Opals and Rainbows ~

  2327329232 1098159607 Opals and Rainbows ~

When I look at a rainbow I am reminded of promises. I am reminded of childhood dreams and fantasies about how life could be and should be. I am reminded of searches, some for material gains but more importantly spiritual growths. I am reminded that life is a gift to be treasured. It can’t be undone or redone, we get one chance to live it to the fullest and all of the decisions and choices we make along the way dictate our end result.

I am a firm believer in living each moment as if it is your last, I believe in never going to bed angry, always kissing your kids good night and in telling the ones you love how much they mean to you. I am one who wants it all, I want the love and trust that comes from honesty and respect and I want my life to be lived on my terms. As I gaze at a rainbow I know that no matter how far down and confused I may be there is always up.

I am always searching for rainbows and am drawn to the things that remind me of them. I wear opals because of their brilliance and as a reminder, a reminder that life can be all that you choose it to be. Besides being my birthstone, to me opals are the most gorgeous of the stones, they can express every color in the visible spectrum and like rainbows, no two opals are alike. As I gaze at the one on my finger, I see a rainbow and all that that implies. For me it is a promise for the future and it serves as a reminder to me that promises really can come true. As we spend our lives searching, the rainbow gives us assurance that there is always hope and always another day to set things right.

Opals and Rainbows ~ promises of all that is in store.

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My Face Book Experience ~

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My Face Book Experience Is Coming To An End.

My mornings of waking up, excitedly checking on my friends’ newest posts and admiring all of their latest pictures and adventures, is drawing to a close.

My life and my time and my quirks will once again be shared only with me and those I have the privilege of knowing on a personal level. Though I will miss my three year “addiction” ~ For me, personal freedom, free from government spying and collecting of data is much more important.

For me, it is time to “go off the grid.”

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I’ve decided that the reasoning of “If you have nothing to hide why should you mind” is just a way of trying to convince oneself that whatever is being done, that does not  involve us directly, should be viewed as “something that can happen to others and not to ourselves”.

It Can Happen To Us and It Is Happening To Us…

In actuality, we are throwing our freedoms away right and left. We are giving up our liberties and our privacy without even realizing it or caring.

Why and how have we become so gullible?

The only sure bulwark of continuing liberty is a government strong enough to protect the interests of the people and a people strong enough and well enough informed to maintain its sovereign control over the government. ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

Why should we care that innocent people are being raked over the coals, their reputations shattered, their liberties violated, all in the name of national security? Why should we care that our way of life may be coming to an end if we do not wake up and take a stand for what we believe in? Why should we care that our country is being turned into a pre-war Germany with rights being violated on every front and most people turning a blind eye?

It is sad but we are becoming a nation of self absorbed, careless followers. We are being led with the allure of social reform and equality when in fact our binds are being tightened and our freedoms, not taken away with force, are being handed passively to those in control.

 In being led to the slaughter, we are smiling and joking and not even caring that life, as we have known it in the past, has not been the same since 9-11. All of the security measures enacted to protect us have only made us more monitored and controlled.

We have given up freedom for security and as Ben Franklin would say… in doing so deserve neither.

 Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.                    ~ Ben Franklin

If you want total security, go to prison. There you are fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking is freedom. ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

Under the guise of, flushing out the terrorists, we are becoming a police state with fewer and fewer rights. Our rights are being compromised because we foolishly believe that we need the government to protect us from those that would harm us by protecting us from ourselves. We are being brainwashed into believing that totalitarianism is the answer.

The funniest part is that we don’t even know it.

Or

Maybe the saddest part is that we do and could care less.

Knowing might interfere with our day to day existence and our quest for pleasure and our self absorbed need to be the most important.

Knowing might make us want to make a difference in the world and cause us to stand up for what we believe in.

Or maybe, just maybe, knowing might make us look deep into our hearts and our souls and see if there is anything we truly do believe in.

Hummmm… Imagine that!!

Story by Kitty Werthmann: Nazi Germany Survivor

What I am about to tell you is something you’ve probably never heard or will ever read in history books.

I believe that I am an eyewitness to history. I cannot tell you that Hitler took Austria by tanks and guns; it would distort history. We elected him by a landslide – 98% of the vote. I’ve never read that in any American publications. Everyone thinks that Hitler just rolled in with his tanks and took Austria by force.  In 1938, Austria was in deep Depression. Nearly one-third of our workforce was unemployed. We had 25% inflation and 25% bank loan interest rates.

Farmers and business people were declaring bankruptcy daily. Young people were going from house to house begging for food. Not that they didn’t want to work; there simply weren’t any jobs. My mother was a Christian woman and believed in helping people in need. Every day we cooked a big kettle of soup and baked bread to feed those poor, hungry people – about 30 daily.

The Communist Party and the National Socialist Party were fighting each other. Blocks and blocks of cities like Vienna, Linz, and Graz were destroyed. The people became desperate and petitioned the government to let them decide what kind of government they wanted.

We looked to our neighbor on the north, Germany, where Hitler had been in power since 1933. We had been told that they didn’t have unemployment or crime, and they had a high standard of living. Nothing was ever said about persecution of any group — Jewish or otherwise. We were led to believe that everyone was happy. We wanted the same way of life in Austria. We were promised that a vote for Hitler would mean the end of unemployment and help for the family. Hitler also said that businesses would be assisted, and farmers would get their farms back. Ninety-eight percent of the population voted to annex Austria to Germany and have Hitler for our ruler.

We were overjoyed, and for three days we danced in the streets and had candlelight parades. The new government opened up big field kitchens and everyone was fed.

After the election, German officials were appointed, and like a miracle, we suddenly had law and order. Three or four weeks later, everyone was employed. The government made sure that a lot of work was created through the Public Work Service.

Hitler decided we should have equal rights for women. Before this, it was a custom that married Austrian women did not work outside the home. An able-bodied husband would be looked down on if he couldn’t support his family. Many women in the teaching profession were elated that they could retain the jobs they previously had been required to give up for marriage.

Hitler Targets Education – Eliminates Religious Instruction for Children: 

Our education was nationalized. I attended a very good public school. The population was predominantly Catholic, so we had religion in our schools. The day we elected Hitler (March 13, 1938), I walked into my schoolroom to find the crucifix replaced by Hitler’s picture hanging next to a Nazi flag. Our teacher, a very devout woman, stood up and told the class we wouldn’t pray or have religion anymore. Instead, we sang “Deutschland, Deutschland, Uber Alles,” and had physical education.

Sunday became National Youth Day with compulsory attendance. Parents were not pleased about the sudden change in curriculum. They were told that if they did not send us, they would receive a stiff letter of warning the first time. The second time they would be fined the equivalent of $300, and the third time they would be subject to jail. The first two hours consisted of political indoctrination. The rest of the day we had sports. As time went along, we loved it. Oh, we had so much fun and got our sports equipment free. We would go home and gleefully tell our parents about the wonderful time we had.

My mother was very unhappy. When the next term started, she took me out of public school and put me in a convent. I told her she couldn’t do that and she told me that someday when I grew up, I would be grateful. There was a very good curriculum, but hardly any fun – no sports, and no political indoctrination. I hated it at first but felt I could tolerate it. Every once in a while, on holidays, I went home. I would go back to my old friends and ask what was going on and what they were doing. Their loose lifestyle was very alarming to me. They lived without religion. By that time unwed mothers were glorified for having a baby for Hitler. It seemed strange to me that our society changed so suddenly. As time went along, I realized what a great deed my mother did so that I wasn’t exposed to that kind of humanistic philosophy.

Equal Rights Hits Home: 

In 1939, the war started and a food bank was established. All food was rationed and could only be purchased using food stamps. At the same time, a full-employment law was passed which meant if you didn’t work, you didn’t get a ration card, and if you didn’t have a card, you starved to death. Women who stayed home to raise their families didn’t have any marketable skills and often had to take jobs more suited for men.

Soon after this, the draft was implemented. It was compulsory for young people, male and female, to give one year to the labor corps. During the day, the girls worked on the farms, and at night they returned to their barracks for military training just like the boys. They were trained to be anti-aircraft gunners and participated in the signal corps. After the labor corps, they were not discharged but were used in the front lines. When I go back to Austria to visit my family and friends, most of these women are emotional cripples because they just were not equipped to handle the horrors of combat. Three months before I turned 18, I was severely injured in an air raid attack. I nearly had a leg amputated, so I was spared having to go into the labor corps and into military service.

Hitler Restructured the Family Through Daycare: 

When the mothers had to go out into the work force, the government immediately established child care centers. You could take your children ages 4 weeks to school age and leave them there around-the-clock, 7 days a week, under the total care of the government. The state raised a whole generation of children. There were no motherly women to take care of the children, just people highly trained in child psychology. By this time, no one talked about equal rights. We knew we had been had.
Health Care and Small Business Suffer Under Government Controls:

Before Hitler, we had very good medical care. Many American doctors trained at the University of Vienna. After Hitler, health care was socialized, free for everyone. Doctors were salaried by the government. The problem was, since it was free, the people were going to the doctors for everything. When the good doctor arrived at his office at 8 a.m., 40 people were already waiting and, at the same time, the hospitals were full. If you needed elective surgery, you had to wait a year or two for your turn. There was no money for research as it was poured into socialized medicine. Research at the medical schools literally stopped, so the best doctors left Austria and emigrated to other countries.

As for healthcare, our tax rates went up to 80% of our income. Newlyweds immediately received a $1,000 loan from the government to establish a household. We had big programs for families. All day care and education were free. High schools were taken over by the government and college tuition was subsidized. Everyone was entitled to free handouts, such as food stamps, clothing, and housing.
We had another agency designed to monitor business. My brother-in-law owned a restaurant that had square tables. Government officials told him he had to replace them with round tables because people might bump themselves on the corners. Then they said he had to have additional bathroom facilities. It was just a small dairy business with a snack bar. He couldn’t meet all the demands. Soon, he went out of business. If the government owned the large businesses and not many small ones existed, it could be in control.

We had consumer protection. We were told how to shop and what to buy. Free enterprise was essentially abolished. We had a planning agency specially designed for farmers. The agents would go to the farms, count the live-stock, then tell the farmers what to produce, and how to produce it.

“Mercy Killing” Redefined: 

In 1944, I was a student teacher in a small village in the Alps . The villagers were surrounded by mountain passes which, in the winter, were closed off with snow, causing people to be isolated. So people intermarried and offspring were sometimes retarded. When I arrived, I was told there were 15 mentally retarded adults, but they were all useful and did good manual work. I knew one, named Vincent, very well. He was a janitor of the school. One day I looked out the window and saw Vincent and others getting into a van. I asked my superior where they were going. She said to an institution where the State Health Department would teach them a trade, and to read and write. The families were required to sign papers with a little clause that they could not visit for 6 months. They were told visits would interfere with the program and might cause homesickness.

As time passed, letters started to dribble back saying these people died a natural, merciful death. The villagers were not fooled. We suspected what was happening. Those people left in excellent physical health and all died within 6 months. We called this euthanasia.

The Final Steps – Gun Laws: 

Next came gun registration. People were getting injured by guns. Hitler said that the real way to catch criminals (we still had a few) was by matching serial numbers on guns. Most citizens were law abiding and dutifully marched to the police station to register their firearms. Not long after-wards, the police said that it was best for everyone to turn in their guns. The authorities already knew who had them, so it was futile not to comply voluntarily.

No more freedom of speech. Anyone who said something against the government was taken away. We knew many people who were arrested, not only Jews, but also priests and ministers who spoke up.

Totalitarianism didn’t come quickly; it took 5 years from 1938 until 1943, to realize full dictatorship in Austria. Had it happened overnight, my countrymen would have fought to the last breath. Instead, we had creeping gradualism. Now, our only weapons were broom handles. The whole idea sounds almost unbelievable that the state, little by little eroded our freedom.

After World War II, Russian troops occupied Austria. Women were raped, preteen to elderly. The press never wrote about this either. When the Soviets left in 1955, they took everything that they could, dismantling whole factories in the process. They sawed down whole orchards of fruit, and what they couldn’t destroy, they burned. We called it The Burned Earth. Most of the population barricaded themselves in their houses. Women hid in their cellars for 6 weeks as the troops mobilized. Those who couldn’t paid the price. There is a monument in Vienna today, dedicated to those women who were massacred by the Russians. This is an eye witness account.

It’s true….those of us who sailed past the Statue of Liberty came to a country of unbelievable freedom and opportunity.  America Truly is the Greatest Country in the World.  Don’t Let Freedom Slip Away.

After America, There is No Place to Run.

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Time, Time Ticking ~

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“ Time, time ticking. It’s ticking away.”

In the scheme of things, time is relative. It is relative to where we are and what we are doing and how we feel and what we dream and what we hope and if this happens and if this doesn’t and what if and whenever and whatever and however.

time Time, Time Ticking ~    Lost, yesterday, somewhere between sunrise and sunset, two golden hours.   Each set with 60 diamond minutes. No reward is offered… for they are gone forever.          ~ Horace Mann

Time seems to pass differently for each of us. It varies, depending on our age, our enjoyment of the moment and how we process “this time verses that” in our mind. Time has a way of rewriting the stories, of easing the pains and magnifying the celebrations. It has a way of healing our hearts and comforting our souls.

Scientifically, Einstein proved that time is relative to motion, not relative to individual perceptions. It has been proven in experiments that stopwatches in supersonic jets run slower that ones on the ground. Thus, it is proven that time is relative to speed.

Einstein believed that if we could build a machine that would reach the speed of light, time would theoretically stand still for the people aboard it.

Taking it one step farther, it seems possible to rewind time. Hummm…

I ask myself… What would I do differently if I could go back and do it all again?

What would be my most important goal in life? Would I treat the ones I love with admiration and respect? Would I tell the ones I love how much they mean to me on a daily basis? Would I take the time to enjoy the wonderful gifts that God has given us here on this beautiful earth?

Would I greet each day with a smile and a thank you? Would I enjoy the moments? Would I know that I am truly blessed?

Would I live my life in a way that I would not change a thing if I could go back and do it all again?

That is my hope…

Life is our most precious gift…. Live Life.

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Summertime Frolics ~

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 Summertime arrives and speeds by so fast that it’s like riding in a whirlwind without holding on. The days are spent  chasing from one adventure to another and having to decide between play and responsibilies.

For me it is the warm air that causes a stirring deep in my soul. I feel the need to travel and explore and to spend time outdoors  making things beautiful and magical.

I love the look and feel of a star lit sky, candles hanging in the trees, lanterns glowing softly in my whimsical,  magical,  fairytell world.

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 It is a time for dreaming and imagining, a time for exploring and breathing in the wonder of the moment.

It is a time for remembering the thoughts and ideas I had when I was young.

It is a special time for walking beside the ocean, enjoying bonfires at night, dancing barefoot in the sand and believing that anything I can imagine is possible.

Life is before me and the smell of jasmine and honeysuckle is aromatic and ambrosial drifting through the air.

It is a time for music and laughter, cookouts and concerts.

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With the warm air comes the memories of summers past, lying in the sun by the lake, frolicking with friends and loving life.

With the warm air comes the promises of what is before us, what is in store and the knowledge that whatever we can dream we can accomplish.

With the summertime comes the belief that each day is full of promise and friendships renewing and growing.

With the longer days comes the assurance that life is truly wonderful and we are blessed to be a part of such a magnificent existance.

Summertime is in the air and happiness is in my heart.

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