Monday, August 30, 2010

New Blog on the Horizon

I want to learn how blogging is really supposed to work. So far, my blogging efforts have been a rambling diary, really pointless and non-instructive. I would like to do something a little more intentional, and maybe even get some followers. I will have to read up on the subject since I just jumped in before. I want to really know what I am talking about and have a goal now. I’m not sure I know enough about anything to write for very long, but maybe this will be instructive for me too.

My mother wanted me to be intelligent, and I don’t think she ever got her wish. I would like to at least have something to say. Maybe that will be a good enough substitute for intelligence. Now I need to pick a subject. I think I’ll use the Bible as my jumping off point. Of course, I will have to read it, examine a passage, relate it to my life, and comment or otherwise explore the text. That should take me the rest of my life. OK, that it then. My new blog will take the Bible as my focal point.

It looks like this could get dicey.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wrong Season?

It's not Easter, but sometimes I misread the seasons.  It seems like something is nagging me that I should post this. 


           John 18 and 21
          by Gayle Haynes

Charcoal on the embers made a warming fire;

Bitter smoke swirled up and burned my nose.

"You were with Him," a servant said three times

"He had friends and you were one of those."

What threat could my love of Him now pose?

"Not I," I said, and stepped back in the dark.

I could not speak or witness of his power.

Danger was everywhere; when the soldiers came,

I took a sword to defend him in that hour.

What recompense to pay if now I cower?

Suddenly the cock crowed twice and my heart froze.

His words came back with bitter taste and tears.

"You will deny me, I who washed your feet."

He knew my weakness; the knowledge burns and sears.

What judgment waits for me in future years?


Again, beside a charcoal fire, agony was ripe.

“Do you love me more than these?” he said.

Now my fear was of a different type

For He asked me to follow where he led.

How could His amazing love swallow all my dread?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Help! I'm in the wrong universe!

I read a blog tonight.  I'm really trying to get people to read mine, but I thought reading someone else's might help me understand why I don't get readers.  I did!  I don't live in the same world with the people around me.  I meet them on the street and at church, but they live in another universe than I do.  I'm amazed that I could understand most of the language, and the pictures were good, but this lovely girl lives in another universe.  Her language and references and goals are foreign to me.  Maybe I shouldn't try the computer thing at all.  Maybe I should read my books and watch "The Closer" and go to church.  Blogging may be beyond my reach.

I'm old, no doubt about that.  I am located somewhere in the 1950s or 60s; I like this new world, but I sure don't understand it.  Blogging may be the dividing line that separates the winners from the losers.

Time Gone

Time Gone

By Gayle Haynes

I always thought that in ten years I'd have it all together.

Ten years have come and gone a half-dozen times,

And all I have that's left to show are memories and rhymes.

The meanings have become all cloudy now;

I thought they were just beginning to clear.

I've entered a fearsome stage where the end is drawing near.

The time to change or start again has fled.

It's now too late to fix what once was new.

Future joys are far between and few.

Has there been a theft of golden days?

Have bouquets of hours wilted for neglect?

Time does not wait while I pause to reflect.

I no longer stand and fear the onward press.

Time has taken on a different hue.

Heaven has time enough for all I have to do.

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Thought about Auditing a Class at UT Tyler

After my husband died, I went back to school and enrolled in an interdisciplinary master's degree program.  I attended class for four semesters and enjoyed it very much.  One day I had a brilliant revelation:  I don't need another master's degree.  I can audit classes and get the same information and enjoy the same company and enrich my mind without paying out this much money.  Great! 

I did have to rethink one thing--vanity.  I am uncommonly proud of going to college.  I enjoy it.  Getting grades may be tough to give up.  On the other hand, I can do with out the stress of tests, and sometimes the grades weren't anything I could brag about. 

Next time I enroll, I may branch out into areas I have never experienced before--physics, or art history, or music appreciation.  Being old isn't so bad when I can find things to entertain myself.  It is a real shot in the arm, or attitude, to visit with and talk to students who are just beginning the journey into the vastness of accumulated knowledge.  I like it.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Deeper meaning--Higher level

Every now and I learn something that gives me a deeper understanding of things I thought I knew.  These advances do not make life any easier, but they often raise me to a higher level where I see a wider responsibility.  It's funny that I thought life would get easier when I got older.

One new or increasing pressure I have expereinced lately is need to witness to my faith in Christ.  I have witnessed through my writing, but I have begun to feel an urgency lately to write more about Christ and my relationship with him.  I like to explore scripture, to read it and wrestle with the meanings I find in it.  I don't have much readership, but I don't know if that will change or not.  I don't have many readers anyway, so if I write for myself anyway nothing much will change.

I have learned that I am not responsibile for success, just obedience.  If I write honestly about Christ and me, about what he teaches me, and put it out there for people to read, then I have done my part. 

I went to church this morning and the sermon centered on Acts 1:8 "And you will receive power after the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you will  be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and all the world."  On the internet and in my writing on any site I am involved in, I am able to witness to the love of God through Christ and his sacrifice, and the Holy Spirit will use my words to reveal truth (if I am obedient).  That is an old lesson that I have been practicing for a long time.  It takes on a new meaning when I see it from a higher or deeper perspective.

Praise God! 

Friday, August 20, 2010

It's all in your viewpoint!

I reflect on my life sometimes, and I like most of it. I live alone and I'm not lonely.  I like doing what I want to.  I like to write and read and study.  I wonder if anyone even understands that.  It would be nice to discuss things I wrtie and study with my kids, but I can't make them like my stuff anymore than they can convince me not to.  

Last week when I went to Temple with Nicki, I was telling her about one of the articles I wrote after we lay down to watch TV.  I rattled on for a while, and finally, I looked over and noticed she was asleep.  I tell Carol sometimes when I have some wonderful idea, and she nods and says, "Uh huh."   Becky didn't care about what I wrote when she was in this part of the state.  Now she is still an acquaintance.  I whine a lot, but I really want someone to talk to about ideas and writing and God.  That's why I write.  I get to say the stuff.  It is so great when somebody reads it.   

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Help! I am living in the wrong universe

I read a nice girl's blog tonight, but she doesn't live in my universe.  I really wanted to find out how to get someone to read mine, but this is never going to work.  It's like trying to get different species to mate.  We just don't match up.  No, I don't want to have sex with her, but how can I interact with people in a world where I have no way to communication.  She could write in English, and her pictures were clear, but I just wasn't in heer world.  I was sorry, too.  I think she was nice.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Family Reunion--Arghhhh!

I am going to the FAMILY REUNION.  I don't want to go, but I promised Carol and I should  go.  I need to see these people because Frank would like it.  He loved seeing the family and talking to everybody and telling the old stories and being part of the family.  I never felt all that much a part of the family.  I was just Frank's wife.

Some of the family, like Square, were really fun and engaging to talk to.  Square is an inlaw like me.  He said we should get a private room so we could talk about the "family" and keep it between us.  So I'll go get ready and go to the big event.  We may leave early.  If I take Carol, we can leave when she gets tired.  It won't be too bad.  And I'll get to see a few people I really like.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Writing Short Stories

Writing short stories is hard. I have to know these people and understand what their life is like. I have to decide what part of their story you will want to hear. I have to figure out how much of what they did matters to the story or to you.

And then, I hate the part where things get bad for them. I know there is going to be a problem. Life is just full of them, and the people in my stories are no different from you and me: They have problems too, and the story is better when the problems are bad. I really hate to put them in that dangerous or disgusting situation.

But that is what story-telling is all about. Even the Bible stories I loved as a child had the problem, the risk, the danger, the sacrifice. Even my life and also the lives of my story characters have the problems. The part I don't like about writing stories is that I have to focus on the problem. I have to make the problem bad. I like my characters and I don't like to see them do dumb things or get hit by a car. But that is the nature of telling a story.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


I feel a whine coming on.
I feel the irritating tickle in the back of my mind.
It could last for days.
I feel a whine coming on.

I sense a gripe blooming out.
It is the kind of hacking that disturbs my sleep
accompanied by a feverish delirium.
I sense a gripe blooming out.

There is the itch of a snit in my head.
The disturbing blockage prevents clear thinking.
There is the hesitation of a sneeze.
Oh, yes, the itch of a snit.

There is the choke of a moan rising up.
It starts in my heart and ascends to my attitude.
It is nourished by self pity.
Oh, no, the choke of a moan!

I hear the sound of humor erupting.
A snicker breaks loose, a guffaw pours out.
The fever is vanquished,
alas, by a potion of laughter.
By Gayle Haynes

If you read this first, it might make sense.

I Think I Am Going to Write about Depression

Depression is a really big deal.  Everybody either has it now or is planning for it soon.  The commercials for it on TV are truly astounding.  They tell you how to get it and what to do to make it worse.  If you can arrange for a recession or a car wreck it helps, but you can manage if your team lost the World Series or the Superbowl. 

Hating your mother has always been a good one, but now it has shifted to messing up your children.  In any case you can name, depression is just waiting till you open the door.

Now notice that the doctors and drug companies are waiting too.  They can give you medication that will not only give you side effects and permanent debility, but lead you to suicide.

Am I vilifying a cherished symbol?  Are there those of you who read this that think I am overstating a point?  Of course, I am.  I really love to overstate.  Depression has been described and addressed by doctors at least since the second century.  It is recognized and researched--and REAL.

My complaint is that as a society we take everything as crushing and defeating.  For most of us, depression is a problem we face and deal with throughout our lives.  Its victory yell is that self-pitying whine that resounds in every family argument and every friendly conversation.  In comes in lots of ways--"I just can't do this right," "He (she) doesn't love me anymore,"  "Nothing ever goes right!" 

So you practice until you get it right, find someone who does love you, and recognize that things mess up on everybody--you are no different.

Yes, I am going to write about depression now that I have gotten over the testiness of the moment.  The poem included here helps.

I do understand depression.  I have even had it, and the medicine didn't do much good. 

If you really want to get depressed this is the road map.

An Overview of Developmental Stages of the Life Cycle

An Overview of Developmental Stages of the Life Cycle

Friday, August 6, 2010

My mother said to do things well

I am trying to do like my mother said--do things well!  Sooo---I am investigationg the net more, looking into the infromation sites like Twitter, and writing a lot.  I am amazed at the amount of information that is available.  It is fun.  But I can't take it all in.  I can't organize it in a useful way.  There is so much I want to know and use.  Am I not bright enough to grasp it?  Or do I not organize well enough to use it?  Maybe I don't have enough time left to say the things I want to say or experience the things I want to do. 

I guess the truth is there would never be enough information, intelligence, organization, time, or truth to satisfy this yearning I have to know and do and be.  But there is one hope--heaven will take care of all of it.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Social Security--I think that is an oxymoron

I am researching and writing about Social Security.  Nobody ever warned me about this oxymoron.  There is no such thing as security in social situations.  There is no guarantee that anything is secure.  There is no assurance that I will wake up in the morning.  Boy, I really know how to mess up a day! 

I am writing this article to submit on about Social Security.  The main thing I am finding is that the Law of Unintended Consequences is hard at work.  FDR never meant for Social Security to be the mainstay of old age, but a lot of people think that if they have Social Security, they are set for their golden years.  It was meant of the aged caught in the extreme poverty of the Great Depression.

I doubt if he knew when he signed the law in 1935 that there would be a war and the resulting baby boom when it was over.  Even if he could have forseen that, could he also anticipate that in 65 or 70 after the war was over this great volume of people would make claims on his Social Security in excess of the amount that was being paid in by the working public. 

Is there a meltdown coming?  Everybody uses that word to describe the collapse of systems and economies and mental faculties.  Meltdown is the result of the Law of Unanticipated Consequences.  The lesson seems to be that we need to anticipate better.  Pay attention to the things we don't want to recognize.