November 21, 2013

Friendships Help Prevent Alzheimer’s



Hug for Pat


Sitting in front of me is an AARP article titled Strategies to Help Prevent Alzheimer’s. Much of it is redundant of healthy living—exercise, eat smart, watch your waistline, cut bad habits—smoking, too much television, stress, take safety precautions (seatbelts, helmets)—all messages heard repetitively until they have become almost meaningless.

They listed one prevention method that caught my eye: FRIENDSHIPS. Keep friends close.

790px-Friend_or_Foe_(1230030259)I just contacted my only remaining high school friend, Pat. She is about a month younger than I am, and I try to call her each year. For us, this is a special birthday year. Due to circumstances, however, I still have her special-year birthday gift here—she’ll receive it before my birthday.

Growing up I didn’t learn how to make or maintain relationships. That’s just the kind of typically dysfunctional family I grew up in. I worked two jobs in college, and that left me little time to develop friendships. Michael is my one friend from the technical school I attended. I wonder sometimes that I had no meaningful (more…)


May 2, 2011

Are My Friends in Huntsville, Alabama, Safe After the 4/27/2011 Tornadoes?





May 1, 2011,10:00 a. m.

Network difficulties. Call cannot be completed at this time.

      My attempt to contact my good friend, Phredfred, and his wife Grace, who live in Huntsville, Alabama, were thus thwarted. As I expected it would be.

     Huntsville, in Madison County, was not directly hit by the tornadoes that ravaged its state and other areas. However, services were severely cut, as I learned from a local neighbor’s husband who had just left this area to work on a project outside Huntsville. After the tornadoes hit, he returned to this area and will probably not return until the end of this week. When he leaves, he will be taking a generator.

     He reassured me that Huntsville itself (more…)

September 20, 2010




Nancy Briskay Cornell Lipsius

     The following post was written by my late mother. 

     For me, the word friendship is synonymous with the name Edith.

     Twenty-three years ago I met Edith quite by chance at a Sunday school picnic. Both of us were accompanied by our children—Edith’s three girls, the oldest about twelve and the youngest about seven—and my four, the oldest a girl of five and the youngest a girl almost two.

     I suspect neither of us really remembers what drew us into conversation but, suddenly, there we were, bursting with an eager exchange of ideas, both of us basking in the opportunity to engage in adult conversation. That was the beginning. Although we did not see each other very often in the ensuing months, we were drawn together occasionally at worship services and church activities, through which we developed a genuine liking for one another. Still, with both of us working full time and raising our families there remained little time for socializing and so the development of our relationship was put on hold.

     One needs to know a bit about both of us to understand the need we had for one another’s company, how our personalities blended and complemented each other, as well as the differences that drew us together.


     Edith is a solid citizen, both feet on the ground, faces reality head on: I am a dreamer, an idealist with a tendency to, at times, back off from reality. At the time I met Edith she seemed painfully shy, projected little self-confidence, felt comfortable blending into the background, and almost successfully covered up her leadership qualities. I, on the other hand, athough somewhat shy, am a bit more (more…)

April 10, 2010

I Hate My Job!



A Devotion

SCRIPTURE: Psalm 46:10    Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
Related Scripture:  Isaiah 2:11, 17

REFLECTION: Bill hates his job as grocery store check-out clerk. Not only is it a job he does not want, but you should see the people, he says. They are nasty! I hate this job! I just ring the groceries and bag them, don’t even speak to the people unless they speak first!

     Rebecca, a Christian, tries to tell Bill, also a Christian, that each person going through the line is a child of God. They have their personal problems and pains to deal with, and Bill has an opportunity to (more…)

March 12, 2010

Jasper Milquetoast: Precious Stone, Physics Teacher




SCRIPTURE: Exodus 28:20     And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be set in gold in their inclosings.  (KJV)

Revelation 21:19     The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedoyn, the fourth emerald,  (NIV)

Related Scripture:     Exodus 39:13; Ezekial 28:13; Revelation 4:3, 21:11, 18

REFLECTION: JASPER—a variety of quartz, of red, yellow and some dull

Jasper Necklace

colors. (Webster’s Dictionary)  a red, yellow or brown opaque quartz (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).

     A variety of stones were placed on the breastplate of judgment. The jasper was one of the choice stones.

     Jasper is also a male name, the name of my high school physics teachers at Kensington High School in Buffalo, New York. His last name was actually Militello.

     Being the typical image of the physics teacher, he was open to teasing by the students. We called him (more…)

February 26, 2010

My Spider Plant Lives: A Devotion



SCRIPTURE: Micah 5:7   And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as a dew from the Lord, as the showers upon the grass, that tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men. (KJV)

DEVOTION:  I found my three-foot high planter tipped over on my porch, dirt scattered about and pieces of the lush, green spider plant and its multiple babies rendered lifeless. I swept up the mess, tossing the remaining dirt clump into an empty container, and mourned the loss of the precious plant.     

     The plant was a gift to me almost twenty-five years previously by my good friend and unofficially (more…)

Blog at