If Jesus Loves Me Then What Does He Do To People He Hates?

Nora Palmer Fox

Nora Palmer Fox was born, raised and attended nursing school in Washington, D.C.  Her playground haunts were the U.S. Capitol, Washington Monument, Smithsonian and the Library of Congress.  She is grateful to have known D.C. “in the good old days.”

In 1960, Nora ventured west to Denver, Colorado where, in a singles’ church group, she met her husband, Denver C. Fox.  Nora had never been any further west and Denver had never been any further east.

They became the proud parents of Timothy and Andrew and have been blessed with a remarkable daughter-in-law, Amy Robertson.

Nora loves being around positive people and she enjoys singing and productive work.  Her life’s journey has been defined and enlightened by her family.  Nora states that she struggles to find hope, retain optimism, overcome fear and come to terms with life’s tragedies, striving to live each moment triumphantly.   It is her hope that her experiences will somehow have a meaningful effect on others.

I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall.  I well remember them and my soul is downcast within me.  Lamentations 3:19-20

It was the 1950’s and I was a nursing student and a Christian in search of a mission.  Oh, surely God was calling me to minister to hoards of suffering humanity!  I imagined myself as Audrey Hepburn in “The Nun’s Story,” beautifully touching, bandaging and wiping the brows of natives in far away countries.  Yes, just like Audrey, I would be ever so exhausted, but onward I would trod  and maybe even a handsome young doctor would appear next to me (and at that point, I would rid myself of the nun’s garb).

Then it happened.  Many young nursing students and I were invited to attend a mission night to hear about the travails of starving and dying folks who badly needed food, shelter and clothing and to hear “the Word.”  Nurses were desperately needed.  The talk was reinforced by images flashed on a giant screen and I knew — I mean I really, really knew — I was being called to serve.  Tears poured forth as I listened to the young preacher explaining the need for us to come forward and devote our life, our Christianity and our nursing skills to folks far across the seas.  He warned us that our lives would be fraught with danger and some of us would face torture and death.  Even so, without hesitation I went forward, knelt at the rail and promised my life and any gifts I might possess to our Lord, serving Him and doing His will in a far away land.

Time passed.  I graduated.  The promise faded into a dim, almost imperceptible memory.  Looking back, I do believe the experience was a major turning point in my life; I realized our Lord was calling me to serve Him, without hesitation, by walking into unknown fires.  It just was not the fire I imagined when I was Audrey Hepburn.

Because of the challenges brought about by the birth and life journey of our children, I often reflect on that mission night.  Tim, our firstborn, arrived in 1965,  followed by our second son, Andy, in 1967.  Andy sustained a brain injury at birth and the years that followed were full of loneliness, exhaustion, illnesses, visits to clinics and “professionals” and a ton of hopelessness. 

Often, while sitting in a rocking chair with Andy tightly encased in a blanket, or trying to help him breathe, sleep or recover from the most recent rush to the hospital and dreading the next hapless clinic appointment, I contemplated my “calling.”  Did our Lord actually give me two choices and by rejecting the mission field, did I now face this one:  an extremely sick child, endless hospitalizations, labels that documented him and our family as hopeless and unrealistic, financial challenges beyond belief, little or no help and certainly almost no affirmation that Andy’s life or our life had meaning?  And to top it all off, we were criticized for putting our older son through an “abnormal” life when we should certainly know that we could place Andy in an institution like good parents did.

I knew at those moments, if God had shown me the choices, without hesitation I would gladly jump on a freighter and head toward the far off jungles.  I could face the horrors of martyrdom but I could not bear being one of the very few people who saw any worth in Andy or the four of us as a real family.  What I did not know during those despairing times was that my reflections would eventually lead me to a crisis of faith:  perhaps there was not really a living, loving God — a God I thought I had known since I was a babe.

Anyone growing up with my mother as a role model would find it difficult not to believe in a Lord in whom we could trust.  Memories abound of visits to her Kentucky home, sitting on the whitewashed big porches, rocking and singing in the hot humid air.  Cardboard fans were passed around as each of us tried to whip away the heat and mosquitoes. 

But, oh, such stories and glorious singing!  My relatives recalled each family member’s name, either living or long past.  Kinfolk became real to my young heart.  Most amazing were the recollections of courage and unwavering faith in face of maladies, war and numerous epidemics notorious for wiping out most of the homesteads.  I accepted all as fact, never understanding that they, too, had to face the same despair and searching I would face as a young mom.

By the time Andy was born, the kinfolk memories were fading and I was beginning my own personal journey in my own rocking chair with my sick little baby.  I had questions, but very few answers.

Is the Church Really a Mirror of Jesus?

My first temptation to chuck my faith in Jesus came only five months after Andy’s birth.  We returned to our church and placed Andy in what we thought would be the loving and knowledgeable arms of the hired R.N at church.  When we returned, holding Tim’s hand, she thrust Andy at me saying accusingly, “Don’t you know there’s something wrong with this baby?  Don’t ever bring him back here again!”  As long as I live, I will never forget her words or her angry face.  Still to follow were other callous and insensitive statements: “If you had more faith, your son would be healed,” and “You must have sinned to have your son so handicapped.”  And so began the hapless process of finding a church willing to accept all four of us as a family and that would even encourage our strengths.

Despair mounted as churches rejected us even when we volunteered to start a Sunday school for Andy.  Picture, if you will, someone reaching up to a familiar, warm light.  Suddenly, footing begins to give way and body begins to slip into an abyss.  The gap grows larger until only clenched fingers remain clinging to any solid ground, the light disappearing rapidly.  This frightening, lonely hopelessness was swallowing our spirits.

Time and again I grabbed my Bible to see what we were doing wrong.  With very little searching, I found that “church” does not necessarily mean “Christ.”  To always judge what Christ would do based on his followers was a fallacy I quickly recognized.  My new motto could have been, “The church is not Christ and Christ is not the church.”  This revelation only helped me to understand the faults of the church; it did little to lift my spirits or confirm my faith.  I just could not climb out of the abyss to the sun.

If we could not be a part of a church family then, I reckoned, our family could be a church.  We had our own Sunday devotions and sometimes listened to tapes of a favorite preacher.  We made ourselves read scripture and even gave ourselves communion.  We continued to lack the fellowship of others but I think, more importantly, the church missed the opportunity of watching God’s plan unfold in our lives which would only have increased the faith of the parishioners.

In the midst of our search for Christian fellowship, we began to use volunteers to help with Andy’s intensive home program.  For six years, 70 volunteers a week came into our home to help with Andy’s intensive therapy program, and they brought far more than a willingness to help Andy climb his developmental ladder.  They seemed to pour out of neighborhood churches and flood our home with laughter, love, singing and total acceptance.  They loved us, and in doing so, they brought “church” to us, in our home.  And by knowing us, many began to force their churches to admit the overwhelming evidence that by accepting people and families with disabilities, the church and the faith would grow.  In both Colorado and Illinois, volunteers found a place for us in their home church.  We felt almost “normal” and secure that both our sons were encouraged to be part and parcel of the church community. 

It is a sad truth that the church is not always a mirror of Christ.  On earth, we never give up the search for that unique combination of faith, fellowship and acceptance.  I now believe we were destined to never stop searching, for by searching we change attitudes — even our own.  My husband, Denver, and I currently have a church home.  There are some signs of change: here I see a worshiper in a wheelchair, there an altar girl who has Down syndrome and even once in awhile I see a church “marketing” to families and individuals with disabilities.  Could it be they are now beginning to realize that they are not just ministering to us but that our lives are extraordinary examples of the living Christ?  It seems to me that history proves that the church is not always a mirror of Christ.  We — the tired, worn down, tenacious believers — strive onward, pushing the church ever closer to its mission of following Christ.  The gap begins to close, we regain our footing, the abyss is beginning to disappear and once again, the light warms us.

Is There A God?

I believe that if the church had immediately and fully accepted us, the question of God’s existence would not have been so paramount in my mind.  Very quickly I learned that faith was, and always would be, an integral part of my life.  To give up faith and my belief in Christ as my Savior would be like giving up breathing.  But reconciling Andy’s and others’ suffering with a loving, personal God, proved to me a mammoth task.  I had no plan of action formulated in precise steps to find answers.  Perhaps it was memories of those Kentucky kinfolk that forced a fire in me to learn what they seemed to know as truth. 

I tried praying – even on my knees.  At those rare times when Andy was actually sleeping, my prayer vigil turned into a sound sleep with my head flopped on the sofa and the remainder of my body flailing in every direction.  I would be awakened by Andy’s scream or by Tim’s, “Are you okay, mommy?”  My, what memories Tim must have of his toddler years.

Out of desperation, I began reading.  If a book had no meaning to me, I just put it aside.  Catherine Marshall was a favorite author.  I underlined her books and read each many times.  Over and over I attempted to follow C.S. Lewis’ narratives but his sentences, written like paragraphs, just left me befuddled; but I kept trying.  Voila!  One day C.S. jumped out at me, spoke to me through his books and I immediately loved him and his insights.  Recently, I’ve rediscovered Oswald Chambers and I often use his writings in my devotions. 

Reading my Bible proved to be difficult.  My emotions ran the gamut of feeling nothing to feeling everything with a horrible passion.  Exhaustion, I believe, makes every feeling more intense.  At any rate, I began again with new eyes, reading what I thought I knew from years of youthful church attendance.  While some passages seemed to have no meaning to me, others seemed to be speaking just to me, as if the writer knew who I was.  I red-marked the margins with dates and with my comments and questions.  Never in my life have I spent so much time in the Old Testament. 

Now I saw how the Jews suffered terribly for their undying faith.  I read David’s psalms and he often seemed to be crying out to the Lord in anguish.  I was not the first one!  When I came to the New Testament, I found I never really knew Christ and I began to fall in love with him.  I loved his willingness to be among people, to touch, to heal, to teach.  I gained strength from his anger and despair at the cross.  Even he had felt forsaken.

At the worst times of spiritual void, I continued to cling to what was my faith’s very essence — a living, loving God.  I accepted that I would never have answers to the “why’s” of suffering.  But I knew beyond a doubt that God is a personal Lord who knows us each by name. 

Eventually, I ran across and devoured Victor Frankel’s, “Man’s Search for Meaning.”  His search for meaning occurred while in a Nazi concentration camp, knowing his wife had been exterminated.  He poignantly reaches his conclusion:  a resounding “yes” to God.

And then, Tim, our oldest son, suffered a severe spinal cord injury on his twenty-first birthday.  Our family faced all the despair, loneliness, fatigue and spiritual void we had experienced years before.  It seems the search never ends. 

In view of all of this, can we say, “There is a God”?  Victor Frankel’s resounding “Yes!” pretty much replicates my own conclusion.  Without a doubt, I believe there is a loving God who calls each star by name even as He calls each of us by name.  Suffering has been and will continue to reside with us while we are in this human body.  I no longer try to understand it or explain it.  In the depths of despair and sorrow, I have yet to have any epiphanies or lightning bolts but I have felt the presence of the Almighty and that Presence is more powerful than anything we endure now.  Yes, yes, yes!

What Have I learned?

It’s okay if you fall asleep while praying.  God is giving you a gift.

 It’s okay if you get angry with God.  He knows what you are feeling and loves you anyway.

It’s okay if you have not yet had that “resounding yes” in your search as long as you keep searching.

It’s okay to change beliefs as your journey with God matures.

It’s okay to express righteous indignation, especially when it concerns the future of your child.  God is giving you the strength and the words and He is helping you make the world the way He planned.

It’s okay if you feel discouraged more than you feel “spiritual.”  You are human.

It’s okay to believe in hope and to resist phrases like “false hope.”

It’s okay to love your child and family with all your heart, soul, mind and strength even when you know the life span may be brief.  You have been given a gift to cherish. 

If Given the Choice, Which Mission Would I Choose?

Nora: “So Lord, you say it’s my choice.  I am 17 years old and I can choose to face the horrors of the jungles while spreading your word.  Doesn’t sound too bad.  I can come home on furlough and speak to churches about my adventures.  You know how I love to be in front of a group holding a microphone.”

God: “Well Nora, you are forgetting the other choice.  You know, the one where you get married to a poor teacher.  There’s not much money.  You have two sons and one of them is severely brain-injured.  The other one has a spinal cord injury on his twenty-first birthday.  Would you rather have that and not go to the jungle?”

Nora: “You’ve got to be kidding.  I’ll take the first one.  Show me where the boat is and I’ll hop aboard with my nursing gear and my Bible.  I’m on my way.”

God: “Hold on just a minute, young lady.  I didn’t tell you enough about that second choice.  The teacher guy may be poor but he can stretch a dollar further than anyone I’ve ever created.  And he’s pretty cute, to boot.  He loves home and family and he loves me; and he really loves you.  Oh, and let me tell you about Tim.  He is a blonde, blue-eyed kid who loves friends.  He has hundreds of thousands of questions and twice as many ideas.  Yes, and then there’s Andy.  He has dark hair and brown eyes and he never stops trying.  He is kind but he can put up a fight.  Let me tell you — when someone wants him to just sit in a chair all day, he just gets up and makes those lazy bums find something worthwhile for him.  Did I tell you that Tim and Andy adore each other?  Oh, my goodness, time flies and here comes Amy.  She’s the young woman Tim meets.  She is a knock out in looks; but what I, your God, love about her is that she will not give up on good causes — she is so close to my heart.  Oh, she adores Tim and Tim can’t imagine life without her.  Well, I guess I should also tell you that even though you get very tired, your family and others like you are responsible for some pretty big changes in the world.  You know what I mean?  By simply helping each other, you end up helping a bunch of others.  Well, anyway, it’s your choice.  Are you ready to get on the freighter, my child?”

Nora: “Hold everything!  I beg you on bended knee, dear God.  Please, please give me that wonderful family and promise you will never ever leave me.”

God: “I promise.  Now run along and run your race.”

“Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:  Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion therefore I will wait for him.’”  Lamentations 3:21-24 (NIV)

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“‘Round ‘em up.  They don’t belong here.”

And so today, there was a mass arrest of undocumented workers at a plant in Mississippi.  It left their children without parents or guardians, crying for their dads.  My understanding is this was the children’s first day of school.  It is unimaginable to think of the short and long term effects this will have on the children and their families. Well, folks, there are job openings in Mississippi if you want to pull apart dead chickens.

This, to me, is not Republican vs Democrat.  It is humanitarian or lack thereof.

What are we coming to?  Writing this is the only way I know to express my outrage.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”  Edmund Burke

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HEROES June 30, 2017


“There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty, that makes human nature rise above itself, in acts of bravery and heroism.”

Alexander Hamilton 

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy”  Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Below is a Facebook posting from Carrie Lucas about the experience of a sit in at Senator Cory Gardner’s office.  Carrie and many other heroes are trying to save life giving Medicaid from the present administration.  PLEASE READ CARRIE’S SPELL BINDING ACCOUNT OF ONE DAY DURING THIS PROTEST.  Please, do not just stand by when your country needs you and these brave warriors are battling for you and everyone in our country….battling for Medicaid and for saving our nation’s soul.

Carrie Lucas


Hi all. Nine of the ten folk arrested yesterday remain in custody. I am working to find out when they will be arraigned.

While I would not resist arrest, I was not willing to help the police officers learn to operate my wheelchair. Due to my disability, I have adaptive controls for my chair, and I do not use a traditional joystick. The adapted control is either velcroed to my tray, or held in my hand. It is easily broken, and impossible for someone else to use. My control was sitting in my lap the entire time, but because it just looks like a button on a wire, they couldn’t figure out that was how I control my chair. Rather than simply disengaging the motors to push the chair, the police and paramedics spent a great deal of time trying to find a joystick on my chair.

They kept moving my ventilator tubing around, as if plastic tubing would drive my chair. Because I am trached, moving the tubing moves my trach and causes pain (and causes me to cough), They stopped doing that after I complained. In their search for a nonexistant joystick, they disconnected the display (where I can see what mode the chair is in), which renders the chair inoperable. They also disconnected the switches for my head array, which also prevents anyone from operating any part of my chair. They kept threatening to take me from my chair and take me out of the building by ambulance,and bring my chair at some later date. I resisted all efforts to do that. First, separation from one’s chair can be deadly to people with severe disabilities. Chairs get damaged, and sometimes “lost” for long periods of time. They way the officers and paramedics were wanting to transfer me would cause injury, and risk broken bones. Eventually they released the motor locks, and pushed me out of the room, and into the basement. While in the basement,garage, paramedics and a police officer worked to reconnect the disconnected wires so my chair could be operated. 

They were still discussing putting me in an ambulance to the hospital, but I convinced them to just take me in the sheriff van, or a bus. An RTD bus arrived, and I drove out of the garage into the bus.

While I was arrested, I was separated from the others and taken to the hospital, because the Denver Sheriff Department would not take custody of me without medical clearance because of my ventilator, The paramedics told the police i was cleared medically, but the police insisted on taking me to Denver Health. When I got to the hospital, they started to do a screening in a hallway, and the nurse stopped, and said “no we are going to a room.” Once in a room, the doctor came in, and asked if I was injured or needed any medical assistance, He then said I was medically cleared, and told the sheriff deputies that. The deputies pushed for the doctor to admit me, and the doctor told them there was no medical reason for me to be in the hospital. He and the nurses (and a respiratory therapist and a tech) talked about how proud they were of what we were doing and encouraged us to keep up the fight, I was then moved to a hallway to await transport to the jail. One of the other arrestees, Caryn, was brought to the hospital due to high blood pressure and high blood sugar. She said all the women were in one holding cell together. They seemed to be bringing Caryn in to the hospital in an abundance of caution. After an hour and a half or so, a deputy came up to me and said that because the jail would not accept me due to my ventilator, they were issuing a citation and releasing me.

I was charged with trespassing and interference with a police officer. I was charged with interference because I wouldn’t tell them how to operate my wheelchair. 

Find this on Facebook under Carrie Lucas and read the many posts of all of these soldiers.


Below is what Nora found in the Bible


19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.


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Just Another Day in the Life of a Saint


Below posted by Tim Fox on Facebook on June 16, 2017

“So this happened.

Amy and I have a very busy month coming up, so we decided to spend this weekend at a nice hotel in the mountains.

We got here this afternoon and went to an outdoor café. Just after we got our drinks (thankfully), a woman came up and asked Amy whether she could put her hands on me and pray for me.

So in case it’s not obvious, here are three takeaways:

1) If you have a question about me, ask me, not the person I am with.
2) Don’t seek to put your hands on someone you’ve never met.
3) And holy fuck, don’t assume because someone has a disability, they need to be prayed over. If you have that assumption, you need to put your own hands on your own Goddamn self and pray for your own cure.”

Top of Form



And This is What I say…The mom of the Saint

After reading the post, I was outraged and hurt. I asked myself who does this and why.   As Tim’s and Andy’s mom, I have heard this and similar venomous proclamations for over 50 years.  Explanations about these fools abound….. “Oh they mean well.”  “You know, if you had more faith your children would be healed.” “What’s wrong with them?”  And on and on.

These are mean, hateful, insecure, small minded “people” who use us and their “religion” to try to puff themselves up.  So the thinking goes like this:

  ‘By golly, there’s someone I can heal.

  If he/she isn’t healed, I will know God is punishing them.

  I can talk about this encounter at revivals and all sorts of gatherings.

  I will be praised for my courage to help this poor creature.

 My brethren and I will pray for them and their parents and anyone who comes into contact with the “afflicted.” 

Would it make a difference if I told them of Tim’s courage, his intelligence, his accomplishments and awards, his ability to see injustice and use his law career to overcome evil?  Or could I explain that this beautiful girl beside him is, YES, his wife and together they and their staff have experienced many legal and personal victories.

If I could put a big cardboard sign on Tim stating all of this, then would the so called “Christians” bow down and say, “In you I see Jesus Christ.” 

No, they would continue to live consumed in their little world where they share viciousness with blockhead companions.  But, they should know, God knows their evil hearts and how they use His name to spread lies and hurt.

In conclusion, we will continue to speak up and out.  Our hearts will be broken again and again.  But we will not be conquered because, as individuals and as community, we are called to correct injustice and mean spirits.  We journey on with hope, humor, faith and really good facts.

“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”  Isaiah 40:34

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  • She honors her marriage vows and stays with her husband despite his affairs.  He is eventually hailed as a great president.  So she climbed out of that public abuse and even added to Bill’s reputation.


  • She climbs up the ladder to become a U.S. senator from New York.  She rushed to the scene of the 9/11 massacre but is criticized by Guiliani for not being exactly in New York….more Guiliani hits on her character.  So she climbs past that abuse.


  • She wrestles with Obama for the 2008 presidential election and fervently supports him when he obtains the office (the first black president).  No abuse there just stalwart character.


  • She becomes the hard working Secretary of State and sits in on the decision to kill our enemy, Osama bin Laden.  No abuse there. 


  • She is constantly battered as the reason for the destruction/ambush of Benghazi. Please, just google this story and see if you can follow what and how that happened. Yet she takes responsibility for it.  More abuse follows her as she stands tall and straight.


  • Now, she shatters the glass ceiling, becoming the first woman running for U.S. P


  • Her opponent is proven to abuse and assault women over and over again.  Yet he continues to slander Hillary.  That is abuse but she stands firm against his horrible debate behavior.


  • Her opponent has not paid any U.S. federal taxes in decades.  He says to Hillary, “That’s good business.”  Yet she stands firm while he tries, once again to beat her up.


  • Her opponent refuses to release his current taxes stating he is being audited.  So the abuse on Hillary and the rest of us continues unchecked.


  • Her opponent was to face a judge for his misconduct but he refuses because, he states, the judge is prejudiced against him because the judge is of Mexican descent.  Yet, Hillary continues to stand firm and bring out the facts.


  • On the anniversary of 9/11, Hillary stands in the hot air and honors the victims of this horrendous attack.  She almost faints with the heat and later we learn she is powering through pneumonia.  Her opponent states this is proof she is not fit for the presidency.  More abuse.


  • Her opponent constantly questions her physical and mental fitness for President of the U.S.  She releases her medical records while he gets off with a one page, hastily written document from a “doctor” most of us find repulsive.  Yet, he still goes unchecked and we, the US public, are abused.


And now, just like in football games, the TV moderators are pulling away from who they are not sure is a winner (Hillary) as they see the polls tightening.  Oh, come on, MSNBC, you are better than that and that means you CHRIS MATTHEWS!



SECRETARY OF STATE, HILLARY CLINTON, serving in public office for 30 years.  Oh, that’s right; SHE IS A WOMAN, UNFIT FOR THE PRESIDENCY.


 DONALD TRUMP admitted sexual offender, an adulterer, a tax evader, a hater of people with disabilities, no public service.  Oh, did I mention a huge, huge potty mouth.  He says of Hillary, “nasty woman.”  So, I take a page from Elizabeth Warren. Donald, this nasty woman is marching her nasty shoes to the voting booth and casting her ballot for a great public servant, SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON.


Wow! Hillary….a woman who can think and can use her brain for good. 


Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. Eleanor Roosevelt
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/e/eleanor_roosevelt.html

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Yesterday, Fri., 4/15/16, Denver and I decided to go to an early movie and then lunch. Denver found 3 on the web….good times for us and good flicks.  But, when we got to Southlands Theatre none of those movies were showing.  So we decided on Criminals.  But then we were made to choose seats from the ticket agent’s computer.  When did all of this techno stuff start?   Okay, 2 seats and off we go.  Inside the darkened theatre we saw nothing to identify our seating and only 2 other people were there.  So, only 4 people in the movie theatre so why the reserved seats????

We pulled out a “table” so we could sit.. Then the flick begins.  CRIMINAL is a gruesome, blood filled, nightmarish movie. It is not action…it is gorey! I was closing my eyes & ears for an hour before we said, “Enough” and left.  Good actors, yes but no plot….just lots of torturing, brain surgery, gore.

So, we hope the world of movies has not gone way above our heads and  way down in the gutter. I was going to complain but the young man is just that….. “young” so I did not want to take our frustration out on him.

Okay, so we should have gone to Jungle Book!

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For almost two weeks, I have been sick with the flu….not THE flu (I had my vaccination) and then the virus had the gall to turn into a bacterial sinus infection.  This is really not a bad turn since you get antibiotics with a rampid bacterial infection.

Usually, on weekdays, I get out of bed, turn on Good Morning America and then run to the pool.  But when forced to rest, I discovered TV land and it is not all bad.  For instance, after GMA, comes “Wendy”, a sort of Jersey talk show with a woman (Wendy)I have grown to love.  She is outrageous in a nice way and I love the “whohoo” the audience yells as Wendy comes on stage.  I love the earthy advice she gives to members of the audience.

After Wendy, I discovered The Food Network.  This is a little troubling for me, a non cook, to watch.  The Prairie woman is the perfect wife and mom.  There is no end to what she bakes and makes for her family out working on the ranch.  She is just too perfect for me.

Sometime later, I awaken from my flu nap and watch The Barefoot Contessa.  Also, just too perfect.  She is whipping up all sorts of stuff and some of it is called “canapes”.  Eventually her guests arrive, toast a little wine and neatly devour her offerings.  Sometimes the Contessa allows us to go on a food shopping trip with her….not the neighborhood grocery store but specialty meat markets and the vendors all know and love her.

I have discovered that I do not have a food processor but it looks remarkable.  I do not have a fancy mixer.  I do not have pretty pots and pans.  I do not have several ovens.  And, I think, I do not have as many friends as the Contessa or the large family of the Prarie lady.  My life flashes before me and I make note of all the things I need to be more perfect or just a little bit perfect.

Well, I am much better now and have been shaken back to my own reality.  For dinner tonight, I have microwaved a delicious frozen dinner.  YES, I AM BACK TO MY OLD SELF AND READY FOR THE POOL NEXT WEEK.

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Washington, D.C., Eastern High School and Two Courageous Young Women Unwittingly Sharing in the Civil Rights Movement

Click here to see Nora’s Spotlights Blog

“The U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education (1954) is one of the most pivotal opinions ever rendered by that body. This landmark decision highlights the U.S. Supreme Court’s role in affecting changes in national and social policy. Often when people think of the case, they remember a little girl whose parents sued so that she could attend an all-white school in her neighborhood. In reality, the story of Brown v. Board of Education is far more complex.” From the National Park Service Web page (bold and italics added)


I grew up in Washington, D.C.  We lived at 120 13th Street, S.E., the corner of 13th and Massachusetts Avenue, just 13 blocks east of the United States Capitol and the Supreme Court.

My home in 1955


Eastern High School was also my home.


There, I did a little cheer leading, a great deal of journalism and labored through geometry and algebra.  Walking to Eastern, arms laden with books, I sang all the way.  I looked forward to my senior year in high school, 1954-1955.  Just one thing was missing and I never noticed it prior to that year –  what were then called “colored people”.

That was the fateful year of integration and Eastern was one of the first schools to integrate.

“After the 1954 ruling, President Eisenhower had declared that DC’s desegregation should be a model for the country. DC school officials touted their integration program and its “miracle of social adjustment,” but a subcommittee of mostly Southern congressmen held hearings that featured sensationalist stories of black boys fondling white girls in DC school hallways.”  http://www.washingtonian.com/articles/people/the-decision-that-changed-everything/  Italics and bold added.

I would agree that the year was chaotic but I would add the atrocious behavior of many white students.  Not an easy year.  There were fist fights, knives and bloody hallways.  To my mind, at that time, there was not black and white.  There was a depth of ignorance combined with pure hate that left no room for a path out of the deteriorating violence.  Those of us not mired in the hole, felt terror as we were pushed in the hallway and even mocked while at our lockers.  Because of the violence, all after-school activities, including journalism, ceased.  Policemen stood, arms length apart, around Eastern and for many blocks as I headed home.

Prior to that year, I looked forward to the walk home.  Now, as I departed school, the hang out across the street was filled with white punks yelling obscenities at the police and at our new classmates.  As I walked just a little farther, away from the protection of the police, I was followed by caustic gangs threatening me because I was “white.”  Resentment, close to rage, filled my soul.  What saved us that year was the coming of winter.

My school chums and I were not part of these groups, most of us struggling to finish our senior year.   My contribution to the civil rights movement is so small that, for years, I felt it hardly worth mentioning.  ‘Just a little incident’ I thought. In those days I had not yet learned that reasoning with ignorance and hatred did no good. A young black girl and I unwittingly became the center of that bigotry.


It happened in the girls’ hygiene class, now a mixture of black and white girls.  My partner was another young lady like myself but she was black.  Both of us shy, we made a good pair.  I asked her about her kinky hair and she asked me about my straight hair, sometimes curled overnight by toilet paper strips.  How could she even imagine that?

Our assignment was to take each other’s temperature with the brand new allotment of mercury thermometers.  (Have you ever dropped one of those things and watched the mercury form into little balls?  What could be the harm?)

My turn first, putting the thermometer in her mouth, waiting and then removing it.  I saw that her temperature was right at 98 degrees.  Hurray! Then it was her turn to take my temp.  As she began, shaking the mercury down and cleaning the device with soapy water, then alcohol and then rinse with water, we both stopped moving.  There was an eerie silence from the other girls in the class.  She and I looked at each other and without saying a word, we continued as she placed the thermometer, only recently in her mouth, in my mouth. The remainder of the hour was filled with a deadly hush, not a word, just looks of shock zeroing in on the two of us.  The bell rang and my new friend sprinted out of the room, her face filled with fear.  Outside the classroom the other girls surrounded me, “How could you put that thing in your mouth after that “n..” had it in hers?”  “What were you thinking?’  “You’re going to be sick.”

Eventually, I learned that what she and I did took tremendous courage.  Courage, yes courage.  I have puzzled over why I, a shy and frightened teen -ager, had the gumption to take a stand. And why and where did my new black friend find her courage.

About the same time, my father walked door to door around our large block of houses, begging our white neighbors to please go across the street and meet our new black neighbors.  My father was shunned and spat upon.  Soon, almost every white resident  moved out of our area.  I am proud of my dad.  Maybe courage is inherited.

In our 1955 graduation class, I see only one black person.  Each day I trudged home during 54-55, I was terrified but I overcame that fear.  Many of us, black and white, without knowing it, changed history.



 In 1976 I took my family to Washington, D.C. in celebration of our nation’s bicentennial.  We drove to EHS. I hopped out of our car and approached the front door.  Two armed guards greeted me.  I explained I just wanted to glimpse at my old school again.  One guard asked, “Are you carrying any guns?”  Finally, he let me just step inside the door.  Once again, I heard the chaos but now it did not include white folks, only black students.

 So, I ask myself, “What was the point of living through all the hatred only to find my previously all white school, is now mostly black?”

My conclusion, now 61 years later, with a life time of experience tells me:

I know of no injustice in our country that was corrected without a strong law and even stronger enforcement of that law.

Segregation was wrong. No nation climbs to greatness while one section of that society is suppressed.  From what I now read, Eastern High School is, once again achieving excellence after years of turmoil.

Go to Eastern High School web page and click on “The Eastern Legacy” and  find ….

“Since the 1954 Supreme Court ruling on school desegregation, Eastern has welcomed members of all races to its student body and faculty.

In 1964, Mr. Madison W. Tignor became the first African American principal to serve at Eastern.  Mr. Ralph Neal was our longest serving Eastern principal who led Eastern from 1984 to 1997 and is remembered fondly by our Eastern alumni.

Mr. William Chiselom became principal of Eastern in the fall of 2008.  Prior to his tenure, Eastern was led by eleven principals in ten years and had experienced difficult times.  Principal Chiselom began the turnaround of Eastern Senior High School, overseeing an impressive $77 million renovation to the campus.  He presided over the graduation of the class of 2011, the last class to graduate until the class of 2015 take their walk up the honored marble staircase.”  From Eastern High School; The Eastern Legacy web page.  Italics and bold added.

It is with great pride that I recall a time when I became a part of correcting a terrible injustice.  It is my sincere hope that, in the near future, Eastern High School will become fully integrated, white, black, yellow, purple, polka dot all striving for excellence, tolerance and Kindness.


1955 Student Council Officers on the famous marble steps.

Below-Recent photo of famous marble steps with people moving onward and upward!

ehs front steps


Post Script: I received this beautiful invitation to Eastern High School’s Homecoming.  I wish I could attend but I am thrilled to see what this amazing school is now accomplishing.


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Following are pictures and my attempt at trying to figure out how to get photos from my camera on to my blog.  Daughter-in-law, Amy, spent many hours trying to teach me.  Today, on my own, I have spent about 4 hours experimenting with thoughts of calling Amy with an SOS.  So here goes!

Not a pretty site!

Not a pretty site!

My darling finch at the feeding sock.  Isn't life great?

My darling finch at the feeding sock. Isn’t life great?

My quircky little flower lady

My quircky little flower lady

My back porch--almost ready for pure joy!

My back porch–almost ready for pure joy!

GERANIUMS!  My favorite

GERANIUMS! My favorite

Amy taking photo of me taking photo.  Just another quirky lady!

Amy taking photo of me taking photo. Just another quirky lady!

My attempt at southwestern look.

My attempt at southwestern look.

Denver's favorite place for reading/napping

Denver’s favorite place for reading/napping

Doesn't everyone love to hand Hobby Lobby stuff on Shepherd's hooks?

Doesn’t everyone love to hand Hobby Lobby stuff on Shepherd’s hooks?

Red Leaf Maple in autumn...gorgeous.

Red Leaf Maple in autumn…gorgeous.



Even more snow.  When will spring come again?

Even more snow. When will spring come again?



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I grew up thinking we, in the United States of America, were one big patriotic family.

I stood in the long lines on voting day and sang “God Bless America.”  Yes, I really did do that.  Wasn’t it great, I thought, that even if we each voted differently, we were filled with elation that we could freely vote.

Not true.  Now listen to me carefully.  This is important


You have a pretty good idea of the kind of dwelling you want.  You make a check list sort of like this:

  •  One bedroom, 2 baths
  • Excellent schools
  • Trails for biking and walking
  • Outstanding recreation facilities
  • Numerous and various religious estabishments


Children!  Children! STOP.  You forgot…..POLITICS

You are still in that fairy land of “We are all one happy family.”  If your community is heavily populated by one political party or the other and if you are in that same party, no worries.  But, if your life style, beliefs, and votes place you in the other party, you will not fit in.  That’s the way it is.


Say, you go to a game night.  Well, that must be neutral territory, right?  Not true...  Pretty soon, as you get ready to play your tidily winks, the subject of the state of the world, the economy, weather, Santa Clause, etc., etc., etc. will be discussed and, guess what?  It is all pretty sad state of affairs and it is all your party’s fault.


#1 – Think about your goals:

 If your goal is simply to meet like minded political big mouths, you are fine.  Do not proceed to #2.

If your goal is to have some kind of social life and human interaction, you are in for big trouble.  So, if that is the case, you must 

#2 – Do the following

  • Do your meditation for at least an hour before the event.
  • Put duct tape over your mouth.  If you don’t have duct tape, place a stupid grin on that face of yours and keep thinking about your goal.
  • Maybe a little wine ?
  • Place a pierced earring in your tongue.
  • Keep singing under your breath

AND THEN…………………………………..


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