Old Tires and Good People

Wow, it has been a tough year—the seemingly never-ending pandemic, social upheaval, ever-growing political and social divides (not just in the United States but worldwide), the increasingly dire effects of climate change, and too much senseless violence like what happened yesterday at the holiday parade in Waukesha, WI. If you haven’t heard, a car rammed through the parade, killing five (as of now) and injuring many more. 

Unfortunately, this depressing list is not complete. I could easily add other items as well. But I think my point is made. It has been a tough year. 

HOWEVER, I’m not going to paint the world as just a gloomy, horrible place. I refuse to see the world that way. Maybe my little story below with help to illustrate my point.

Today, I took a very short and very cold walk in the park. But it was worth it. Why? Because the snowmen and snowwomen were there. Each year the local Rotary Club decorates the park. They string lights, decorate trees, and make the park look very festive. They do a great job. 

I don’t know how many holiday seasons these snowmen and snowwomen have been on display. You see, I have lived in this community for only a couple of years. But one day about this time last year, I noticed these strange but adorable snowmen (and snowwomen) made of tires sitting in the park. Although some might call these corny or goofy-looking, I love them. They make me smile.

It took imagination, hard work, and a can or two of paint to turn old tires into these cuties. So to me, that makes these so much better than “store-bought” decorations. Someone took the time to create something to make children smile.  

Please don’t think that I’m bad-mouthing store-bought decorations. I’m not. Whatever brings a smile to someone is a good thing—whether homemade or not.

So what is my point? There are good people in the world. Take a moment and think about that. They are out there. They don’t usually make the headlines in the newspapers. But they are out there—holding doors open for strangers, stuffing a dollar into the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle, volunteering at local charities, smiling at strangers, picking up litter in the park, and turning old tires into holiday wonders.

So yes, there are certainly crappy things happening in the world. BUT there are also good things and good people in the world too.

Book Review of Life in the World Unseen

I recently put on my reading glasses and finished reading a book that was getting dusty.  I regret not finishing it sooner.  Here is a quick review of it! 

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Life in the World Unseen by Anthony Borgia

Have you ever wondered what the afterlife will be like? Will you face fire and brimstone—or a glorious heaven filled with love? Or perhaps you doubt if there really is an afterlife? Maybe our life on earth is all that there is. Personally, I hope not.

However, if you are curious about such things, you might enjoy reading the book, Life in the World Unseen, by Anthony Borgia. This is not a new book by any means. In fact, it is a very old book as it was first published in the 1950’s from my understanding.

So what is the book about? It is an account of what the afterlife is really like based on the experiences of a priest who died in 1914. After his death, the priest (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson) provided a detailed look into the different realms of the afterlife—from the lowest to the highest. The priest wished to clarify/correct some misinformation that he had helped to spread in his lifetime. He wanted to tell the truth about the afterlife.

You might be wondering—how could a deceased priest write a book? Well, the explanation presented is this. At a certain point after his death, the priest was able to communicate with a medium that he had known during his time on the earth-plane. The medium was Anthony Borgia, and the priest’s words were channeled through him.

I don’t feel that you need to believe in mediums nor in this version of the afterlife to find this an interesting book. You only need a willingness to learn about what others might believe.

Basically, this book provides a description of the different realms of the afterlife. It also firmly sets forth the idea that one reaps what he or she sows. However, it also explains that when or if a soul has a genuine wish (a spark of light within), it is possible to evolve and move to a higher spiritual realm. However, the book also states this: “The urge must come from within the fallen soul himself.”

The book describes in great detail the overwhelming beauty and wonder of the higher realms and the “ugliness” that is found in the lower realms. It also describes the process of death, or more precisely, the process of crossing over. Additionally, there is a discussion of spirit guides, communication between the spirit world and the earth-plane, and how the spirit world influences the earthly world. Further, there is a very interesting section on the children’s sphere.

At times, however, I found the descriptions to be overly “detailed,” and I skimmed over some paragraphs. However, that is really my only negative comment.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is even somewhat interested in the afterlife.

Happy Veterans Day to my father!

Happy Veterans Day to both those who served in recent times and those who served years and years ago. I  was in the military once (a long time ago) but not during a war. However, my father served during WWII. He never talked of his experiences, which is true of many of his generation. He died when I was a senior in high school. I wish that he hadn’t died so young, of course, for many reasons. One reason is very simple: I wish that I could just sit with him now and talk—adult to adult. He might have shared more about his life, including his military service.

My pop was a quiet man, seldom raising his voice and never raising his hand to his children. He worked long hours to support his family and came straight home from work. He disapproved of men who stopped at the local taverns before heading home to their families. He was, as they say, a good family man, and I loved him. He was my pop. 

However, it’s hard to imagine him as a soldier, but nonetheless, he was. Whether you disapprove of any given war or the military in general, those who wear the uniforms are just someone’s son, daughter, father, mother, uncle, aunt, friend, lover, neighbor, and so on.  And that is what we need to remember.

Happy Veterans Day to my father and all the other vets out there.

A Dreary October Day

I love October. I love the autumn colors and the cooler days. I even love the gray and dreary days of late October, and today was certainly a dreary day.

However, the cloudy gray sky seemed to match my mood as I took a walk in the park. With each step, the mist speckled my glasses, hinting at impending rain.   

I felt a little melancholy as I walked, and the dreary day seemed like an old friend, wrapping me in its grayness and providing a quiet, abandoned park in which to walk and think. In the quietness, questions swirled. Should I do this? Or should I do that? I won’t go into details, but I found no answers in the park.

However, I had snapped some photos as I walked. When I got home, one of the photos stood out—a lighted lamp post. I often walked through this park, but I don’t believe that I ever took this particular photo or really paid attention to the lamp posts. 

Was there an answer to be found in this photo? Was it a sign? What does a lighted lamp post along a winding path mean anyhow? Was I grasping at straws, as they say, to find answers to my questions?

Well, if I look at the photo in a very spiritual way, it sort of answers my questions of this or that. As one walks their path in life, there are proverbial lamp posts, helping us find our way. 

Now, if I only knew what the heck that means. I might need to take another walk in the park tomorrow to figure it out! 

My Great-Great Grandma Was A Psychic-Medium!

A few years back, I was doing some research into my family history, and I stumbled across something that caught me off guard. I discovered that my great-great grandparents, George and Elizabeth Knowles, were founding members of the spiritualist church in Delphos, KS. I was floored. It was something that I never knew and didn’t expect to find.

My great-great grandparents, George and Elizabeth, moved to Delphos in 1877 with several of their children. Their daughter, Jennie, my great-grandmother, was already married and remained behind in Wisconsin. Hence, the reason that I’m a cheesehead!

I wasn’t overly caught off guard by the fact that they were members of a spiritualist church. Spiritualism was very popular in the years after the Civil War and probably for obvious reasons. It is understandable that grieving family members of those lost in the war would find solace in spiritualism.

However, what really surprised me was this:  My great-great grandmother, Elizabeth, was a psychic medium!  Wow, I wondered, how could I have never known this. 

But this was never discussed in my family, and I honestly believe my mother didn’t know this fact either for she certainly would not have hidden it. My mother was a wonderful woman but not especially interested in her family history. 

Unfortunately, both of my mother’s parents died years before I took my first breath. So there was no chance of them spilling the beans to me, as they say.

I feel very fortunate to have discovered this piece of my family history, and I feel a connection to Elizabeth. Who knows, perhaps she is the reason that I have always had an interest in the paranormal. 

It is so sad that little tidbits of family history—or really history in general—are just lost. I hope to continue finding out more interesting stuff about my family’s history.  😊

The Butterfly Message

Have you ever gotten a message from the universe, an angel or guide, or a departed loved one? Don’t know for sure?

Well, have you ever had a long-forgotten song pop into your mind for no reason, and the song mysteriously spoke to the moment or perhaps reminded you of a loved one? Have you ever found a penny or feather in an unlikely spot after a loved one died? Have you ever caught sight of a red cardinal or two perched on nearby branches or railings? Has a dragonfly relentlessly pestered you while walking in the park? Have you woken up repeatedly at a given time each night, such as at 3:33 am? Have you ever had a gut feeling about something?

I could keep going on and on, but these are all messages. Or at least that is what many would claim—myself included. The message may be only a simple hello from a departed loved one, such as when you spot a cardinal. Or a warning that something is wrong, such as with a gut feeling. 

And yes, there are many who would call this balderdash. I won’t make any judgement call if someone only believes in the concrete world.  But it is certainly comforting to believe that there is something beyond this life, isn’t it?

But receiving a message does come with a catch, and it is a big one. You have to understand what the message is, and this isn’t particularly easy. I still have these sorts of messages appear to me, and to be honest, I don’t understand most of them.

So why do I believe in this? 

Well, my belief was cemented by one particular message that I received a few years ago.  I had been hopelessly unhappy both in my job and life. I prayed, meditated, and asked for guidance. And if I got any guidance (or message), I most definitely wasn’t understanding it. 

Anyhow, one day I had an appointment with Robin, a psychic medium. We met at the local library, and she did a reading for me. She mentioned I was receiving signs or messages from the other side already, and I agreed but explained that I really didn’t understand what they meant. 

So she suggested that I ask my angels/guides a specific question but provide them with a given sign to use for their response, or message, back to me. She further suggested that the item should not be too common, such as spotting a pumpkin in October.

I took her advice, and I wrote the question on a piece of paper. I wanted to know if I should quit my job? I really needed guidance on this. I wanted to live my life differently, but the thought of giving up a steady paycheck was scary, very scary.

What sign did I ask for? If the response was yes that I should quit, I asked to see butterflies. (I have to admit that I don’t remember what sign I wanted if they disagreed.)

So what happened? Well, nothing happened for a while. I looked for butterflies everywhere—at my bus stop, on the bus, at work, and at the local grocery store. But I saw none. Around this same time, I was required to get a new ID for my job, and this was not done in the building in which I worked. Instead, I needed to go across town to another building—a building that I hadn’t been in for years.

Anyhow, I made the appointment to get a new ID and went there a few days later. The woman issuing the ID cards was encountering some sort of issue and asked me to wait. I sat down and looked up at the wall. The wall was covered with butterflies! Or rather, the wall was covered with a huge poster, depicting monarch butterflies and their life cycle, migratory route, and so on. 

I smiled and thought—Wow, message received!

It still took me a number of weeks before I was able to actually leave my job, but I had gotten a very clear message. It was the right thing to do. Of course, I already knew this. It wasn’t a good place to work, and I really wanted to break free and start a new chapter in my life. But I needed a little encouragement, and boy, did I get it.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but the sign or message of a butterfly is renewal, rebirth, and metamorphosis. And that was exactly the right sign for me to receive at that time.

I will forever remember the butterfly message that I received on that day.

Interview with Diana Forsberg

I recently completed an interview on Smashwords.com, and I think that it turned out pretty good!

In case you don’t know this site, Smashwords sells and distributes ebooks.

By the way, my book is available in print form as well. You can order a copy from Amazon. Or if you want to support your local library or bookstore, you can always ask them to order a copy.

If interested, the link to the interview is below.


A Ray of Light

I’m sure that every area has some version of an emergency med flight, a chopper that lands and then quickly whisks someone away.  These choppers appear like angels in only the most serious emergencies, offering a fast ride and a chance to survive.

Well, this morning one of these choppers landed at the local hospital.  We saw its approach and figured that a hospital patient had to be in a dire life and death situation. 

It must be so scary for the patient to be whisked off, knowing that their life depends on the whirl of the chopper blades.  But I suppose that many times the patient may not even be aware of the angels that landed and whisked them away.

About an hour later, we drove by and noticed that the chopper still sat there, awaiting its patient.  Why the delay, we wondered.  Did the patient no longer need urgent, life-saving care?  I felt a little melancholy at that moment. 

I snapped a photo as we drove by, and afterwards I noticed this strange ray of light in the photo.  Most will say that this was just a lens flare and nothing more. 

However, I wonder if that is true.  Now, I’m not especially religious, but it sure seems strange that a mysterious beam of light appeared right above the chopper.  Was it a ray of healing energy for the patient?  Or was it lighting a path to the heavens for the departed? 

I sure hope that it was bringing healing to the patient.  But if not, it is comforting to think that the light awaits us as we depart this world.

Like I said, I’m not especially religious.  I believe in God, but I’m not a church-goer.  But it’s nice to think that there is some sort of divine realm out there, isn’t it?