11/19/16
thank

Gratitude and Thanksgiving

By: T F Stern | T F Stern’s Rantings

thankThis morning London, my granddaughter, came over to greet me as I reviewed the latest headlines in the news on the Internet. She pointed to an umbrella which is stored in the corner behind my work-station; a serious look took over her face as she reminded me not to ever open the umbrella in the house. A couple of days ago, London got in trouble playing in the house with the umbrella and she wanted me to know she understood how important it was to follow the rules.

I nodded in agreement as we reviewed how silly it would be to have an open umbrella in the house since its purpose was to keep rain from falling on us. I looked up at the ceiling and explained how blessed we were to have a roof over our heads to protect us from the rain. London looked thoughtfully at the ceiling and smiled.

It’s also nice to have a house for when it gets cold outside; again she smiled and pretended to hug herself as if being warmed by an imaginary heater. And in the summer we have air conditioning to keep us comfortable too.

London may have taken these conveniences for granted up until this moment; but as she considered the light rain falling outside, that she was enjoying the comforts provided by the house which she lived in, gratitude for all these blessings was evident by the look on her face.

May we all have a similar moment of appreciation for whatever blessings have been provided in our lives.

If you watch much television, the advertisements tend to make a mockery of Thanksgiving; a not so subtle way of redirecting our thoughts. Instead of getting down on our knees and thanking the Lord, we’re being desensitized and programmed into accepting this time of year as a spending orgy, a chance to prove we have more money than brains as we go about going into debt for items we really can’t afford.

Black Friday with its door buster sales has, for far too many folks, become more important than sitting around the dinner table with family in quiet thanks for what has been provided and prepared.

This nation was founded under the direction of wise individuals who understood our relationship with God, Creator of all we have, to include Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Our blessings come from above and we are showered with them in great abundance; consider what we have been given, not what you don’t have.

London is correct, you shouldn’t open your umbrella in the house, let God’s blessings fall all around you and be grateful, truly grateful; that’s why we celebrate Thanksgiving.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

11/8/16
thanks

Thanks for the Memories

By: T F Stern | T F Stern’s Rantings
thanks

I went to the Spring Creek Village assisted living center where my dad spent his last days to make sure our account was settled up, no loose ends.  We’d been double charged for a ‘one time only’ fee on the second month’s billing which we were told would be subtracted on the following month’s rent; but dad never made it to the next month.

My father died October 25, 2016 and we made it a point to remove all items we’d provided for his comfort the very same day, leaving the room as it was when he first arrived.

Today I looked over at their ‘occupancy availability board’; they had a large white board in the manager’s office showing new move ins and those who’d moved out.  There was dad’s name showing he died October 25th along with his move out date of….Nov 7th…?

I pointed out the discrepancy to the manager and reminded her that we’d made sure to remove dad’s personal items on the same day he died.  Her response was, “That’s in the contract”.

There is a clause in the residency contract which states the assisted living center can charge up to 10 days rent after the death of a renter.  Apparently we could have left dad’s body in the room for another week; not that the health department would have approved.

I reminded the manager that we’d been over charged by $1500.00, expecting a refund for that amount and perhaps a refund for the last five days of October since dad didn’t occupy the room that last week of the month.

Again the manager explained, “That’s in the contract”, as she handed me a due bill for  $186.50, the difference between the $1500.00 we’d been over charged and the ten days which the assisted living center considered an opportunity to extract additional money from the deceased’s bank account.

Spring Creek Village provided exceptional care while my father was in their facility and I would recommend them to anyone looking for an assisted living facility.  That said, they have an unusual way of interpreting their lease contracts.

I pointed out that this was morally wrong and as a business practice was no different than gouging the dead.  I know, “That’s in the contract”.  But the contract indicated that the assisted living center ‘can’ charge up to 10 days following the ‘move out’ of a resident; it doesn’t say that it ‘must’ charge the full ten days.

I suppose they were only honoring the memory of my dearly departed father as they hit the Enter Key on the cash register, or as Bob Hope used to say, Thanks for the memories.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

10/19/16
ashes

Scattering of Ashes

By: T F Stern | T F Stern’s Rantings

ashes

While visiting with my dad today I brought up an awkward topic, having to write everything down on a tablet since his hearing is all but non existent.  I wrote down, “Where do you want your ashes scattered”, not a normal question to ask except dad’s in hospice now and heaven only knows how long we’ll get to visit.

Back in August when my mother died she’d left very specific instructions; she wished her ashes to be scattered among the Mangroves that were found along the river and so that’s what we did.  Dad is rapidly getting closer to the ‘dropping off place’.  He hasn’t given such a request, only that he wants to be cremated.  I’ve no intention of placing him on the mantle place in a Biscotti Jar or putting him in the closet on the top shelf next to an old worn out pair of blue jeans.

He took his time reading the question and shrugged his shoulders with the universal answer, “How should I know”.  I wrote some more…“How about on a golf course?  Maybe we can put you on a fairway; or in your case, the rough or in a sand trap?”  Again he read the tablet and smiled back at me while nodding his head.  He hasn’t lost his sense of humor.

So if you read about some fool getting arrested for trespassing on a golf course please remember I would be carrying out my father’s last wishes.  It’s difficult saying goodbye, very difficult, a lot like dad trying to stay on the fairways.

05/25/16
Big Fish

Thinking of my father

By: T F Stern | T F Stern’s Rantings

Big FishThe movie, Big Fish, caught my attention while flipping channels.  The story had progressed nearly to the end, the part where the son arrived at the hospital, finding out his father was near death, having suffered a serious stroke.  The young man volunteers to sit by his bed all night and gives his mother a chance to go home.

If you’re familiar with the movie; his father wakes up momentarily and sits up wild eyed saying something that sounds like, “the river”,   His son reaches over as if to hit the Call Nurse button but instead waits to find out his father’s request.

“Tell me how it ends”, the young man wasn’t prepared with a response.  The father had never told his son what he’d seen in the old witch’s eye so many years earlier, a prophecy of how he was going to die.

The son being familiar with the many fantastic yarns his father had shared begins to carefully create the vision his father never told him about, pausing as details sprang to mind in such a way as to fit with other stories his father conjured up throughout his life; all having to do with the river.

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05/7/16
Mothers Day

Mother’s Day Thoughts

By: T F Stern | T F Stern’s Rantings

Mothers DaySunday is Mother’s Day, a chance to consider the many blessings we should be grateful for.  Years ago my friend Tim Andersen would be asked to give the Mother’s Day talk at church, something of a tradition that we looked forward to.  He was the youngest son in a large family and his older siblings were much older so his parents had one more child in order to give him a playmate more his age; which is why Dean Andersen came to be.

I saw Dean at the Houston Temple going through the men’s dressing area this past Thursday.  Knowing a little about his family and his brother Tim’s brave fight with Leukemia, a fight that Tim eventually lost; made for a quiet moment as I considered the eternities and how Tim must be carrying out ‘the good fight’ on the other side of the veil.  We quietly acknowledged with a nod and a smile how much we missed Tim without saying a word, interesting how that works.

I used to catch a plane and visit my grandmother, Granny as she was known to everyone, each May, it being her birthday and Mother’s Day, take her out to dinner and let her know what a special lady she was in my life.  As she got towards the end of her life she didn’t want to go out to restaurants, preferring instead a quiet dinner at home.

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05/5/16
Donald Trump

Our Watcher’s Council Nominations – Post-Constitutional Edition

The Watcher’s Council

Donald Trump

Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

This week we were sad indeed to say goodbye to long-time Council member Brent Parrish at The Right Planet.

Brent is taking a hiatus from blogging to concentrate on family and business concerns, and all of us wish him the best. And of course, as a plugged in member of the WoW community, we’ll look forward to hearing from him in the future in our Forum, our inter-Council threads and perhaps, even an article as a non-council submission if he gets the bug to write again, which we certainly hope he will.

This means we currently have a vacancy on the Watcher’s Council, the oldest and most established blogging group in the ‘sphere. Any talented, interested parties should contact me directly by leaving a comment on any story on JoshuaPundit, including your name, site name and e-mail info as well as anything else you wish to include. Needless to say, it won’t be published, but I will respond promptly to your inquiry and tell you what’s involved.

So, let’s see what we have for you this week…

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05/1/16
Washington2

The Council Has Spoken! Our Watcher’s Council Results – 05/01/16

The Watcher’s Council

Study

Crap

Washington

Washington1

Washington2

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.

As an American liberal with impeccable credentials, I would like to say that political correctness is going to kill American liberalism if it is not fought to the death by people like me for the dangers it represents to free speech, to the exchange of ideas, to openheartedness, or to the spirit of art itself. – Best selling author Pat Conroy

Those who make conversations impossible, make escalation inevitable. – Stephen Molyneux

The idea that you have to be protected from any kind of uncomfortable emotion is what I absolutely do not subscribe to. – John Cleese

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04/28/16
Obama

Our Watcher’s Council Nominations: Secrets To Hide Edition

The Watcher’s Council

Obama

Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

So, let’s see what we have for you this week…

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