in Action (LIA):
Day, September 13th
2020! It’s unlike any September we’ve ever experi-enced, isn’t
it? Worldwide news is discouraging, national challenges are
unprecedented, pandemic restrictions box us in, and hurricanes
hover over us like dark clouds ready to rain on our parades. We
also have the annual observance of the heartbreaking loss and new
reality associated with 9-11.
news! Love in Action (LIA) may have a solution to any related
blahs or blues that may threaten us this month. We can say no to
debilitating fears, worries and bad feelings by putting on an
imaginary pair of 3-D glasses to add clarity and depth to what we
see (just as the 3-D movie goggles do).
go ahead, put yours on. Look at all the good, the bad and the ugly
that September has to offer. Some things are "in our
faces" and others remain at varying distances. But what makes
these glasses so amazing is the fact that they also extend our
peripheral vision so we see all and don’t get blindsided. They
supernaturally give us insight and wisdom for making our best
choices throughout the month.
turn the little knob on the right side of the 3-D frame to the
first of our 3-D surprises. One click and the focus is on your:
Delightful blessings. Now all you can see are the things
you treasure most. For me, it’s Hugo, our cozy home here
in Golden Lakes Village, our closest family living just minutes
away, many dear friends and neighbors to enjoy and rely on when
necessary, and the thrill and honor of being President of Love in
Action; Trustee for our personal non-profit organization Open
Doors; and a follower of my Lord Jesus Christ. These are my
right-in-my-face delights, but as I look around and beyond, I see
many more that I’ve taken for granted or wasn’t even aware of.
I see loved ones cheering me on from heaven, including my maternal
grandparents who died by the time I was four years old, but whose
loving influence has been a mainstay in my life, bringing tears to
my eyes each time I think of them. And there are countless other
blessings to recall and fill my heart with gratitude.
let’s press the clicker on our 3-D frame to get to the second
"D" which enables us to make:
Decisions based on love, caring and kindness. O Boy! I see
many of LIA’s good decisions that have come to fruition, such as
having an in-village Walk-a-Thon fundraiser to put an LIA
Friendship Bench in our village. There’s also the decision to
activate our Angel Network to help GLV residents during the
pandemic. I see decisions being made to observe the two major
Jewish Holidays this month, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, to the
glory of the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And I see decisions
being made regarding the upcoming presidential election. In my
periphery is a unique thought: a decision to have debaters argue
the position of their opponents (like we had to do in junior
high). For that, they’d have to get to the truth beneath the
spin of the rhetoric and the selfish agendas, and delve into
objective research, seeing from differing perspectives, and
finding a respectful way to work together for the good of all.
turn the knob once again and we’ll see some great ways to:
Do so many small and big good deeds that there’s no time to
fret or fear. Hurray! Now I see that even though we think we’ve
done a lot, we have barely touched the surface. There are endless
things we can do (a word of encouragement, an unexpected or even
anonymous favor, a quick call or email, etc.) that will increase
the delights and good decisions of both givers and recipients.
That in turn means "pass-along" ripples fanning outward
(and where it stops, nobody knows!) To do
that we must hear the call to action!
we now remove our love-tinted glasses we find that we are not
where we started. Our vision has been extended. We see things more
clearly, and we are more caring and courageous as we add to the
good in the world. Now let’s pass those imaginary glasses on to
others while keeping an extra pair handy to refresh, remind and
rejuvenate ourselves as needed!
you out there!!
knew her grandparents, Edna and William Schoonmaker (above), for
just a few short years, but her Grandma’s singing her to sleep
while holding her hand has made a singing hand-holder out of her.
And her Granddad’s storytelling made her a lover and teller of
stories. She wishes she'd inherited his perfect pitch and and
piano playing, but cheats by enjoying her new electronic piano
that automatically plays as she sings along.
of Ruth's heavenly cheering section: Grandparents Joseph and
Frieda Olnowich on the left, her parents Howard and Grace Olnowich
(center) and Grandparents Edna and William Schoonmaker (right).
member Gloria holds photos of her Jamaican Grandmothers, Ethlyn
and Elsie (photos shown up close), who filled her Jamaican growing
years with tons of loving attention and encouragement. And they
lived a literal hop, skip and jump away from her! She now has
their photographs in a prominent place in her living room, where
she can speak to them and feel their loving presence each day. She
gets helpful heart-felt messages loud and clear as needed. Often
it’s the command to "Pray!" which she does… and it
never fails to bring her the peace and help she is seeking.
Grandma Elsie, right, attended Gloria’s wedding and kept dancing
despite being advised to sit and rest a bit between dances.
of LIA, Romelia, has knitted a lovely baby blanket for a little
girl at the YMCA’s Harmony House, which helps battered women and
their children. It will be presented just in time for Grandparents
Day. We don't know if the baby and mom have that generation of
support, but they will surely see and feel the loving care Romelia
put into the gift.
member Dorinda recently made and delivered seven homemade for
specially-recommended and extremely grateful GLV residents. It was
soup-to-nuts turkey meatloaf with mashed potatoes, green-bean
casserole, cut-up watermelon and small roll. She wrote on each:
"Hope you enjoy your meal. Lots of love, Dorinda." She
even customized each meal according to individual dietary needs
Decisions Based on Love, Caring and Kindness
and giving to make the world a better place
BENCH #! (brown): This is the bench envisioned by Walk-a-Thon
participants, led by LIA member Kim (above). Photo above shows the
plaque, designed by LIA-er Rosemary, up close. The bench is now in the
Phase B breezeway, positioned to watch the village news on the TV there.
BENCH #2 (red): LIA VP Nancy and member Joy social distance on the new
bench, sturdily installed along Golden Lakes Blvd. by Simon and Bruce of
Jeff Industries, Inc. (standing proudly behind). The Lantana non-profit
made and installed the benches. The message on this bench, along with
the walking-heart LIA icon, is: "Sit awhile… compliments of Love
in Action 2020."
and Active in Golden Lakes Village
I said to myself this past week as I saw my reflection in the
store windows at the mall. I don’t often see myself from the
side or back so I hadn’t realized just how slumped over I am. I’ve
never had great posture and, though I’ve been trying to rectify
that for years, it’s now time to do some serious work on both my
upright and sitting positions.
of us find ourselves in this dilemma, due to spending so much time
hovering over our electronic devices, sitting too long in a chair
without proper support, slouching at the dinner table and the low
bathroom sink, or sleeping in an unnatural way. No doubt aging
itself pulls us down physically… and the weight of the pandemic,
political and social issues, and hurricane threats surely affect
our body silhouettes, too.
that I have more posture-awareness I can be more mindful of how I
stand, walk and sit these days. I think of my good friend Florence
who turned 97 this past week, and how we all marvel at the
straight-as-an-arrow way she carries herself on her daily walk.
With her as my hero, I’m striving to give others a lift while
improving my own health by following these three "let’s-make-it-easy-and-fun"
LOOK UP. On one of my early-morning walks last year I got a real
boost to my spirits when I perceived a message from above saying
"Look up!" And whenever I do, I marvel at Creation and
am reminded of Psalm 121, which begins with "I will lift
up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help
cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth." And
having a better outlook also includes seeing the bright side of
things, laughing a lot and filling our lives with positive
ventures and positive people.
STRENGTHEN THE BACK MUSCLES. I’m a big proponent of this. Since
the 70’s I’ve been doing a series of early-morning exercises
that have kept chronic back pain at bay all these years. Lately I
sometimes also do three simple exercises to improve posture per an
Internet video. And now that Phase-A exercise class is back in
full swing I can enjoy the company of others as my back muscles
(and all the muscles in my body) get great stretches and
workouts. What a difference it makes when we strengthen our core
and spine, which also includes being stronger in our virtues and
convictions, standing up for what we believe in and speaking out
against injustice. Those who stand with and behind us, and
"have our backs" (watch out for us) make us stronger,
MOVE MORE! My hero in the moving category is dear friend Monika.
She rides her motorized tricycle around GLV, works out in the
exercise class, and does her own 7 AM water aerobics. She had
walked a neighbor’s super-active Schnauzer for years; I’ve
seen her dance non-stop, long after the rest of us are huffing and
puffing. She is the "gold standard" of movement but most
of us would be delighted to attain even the bronze. Things like
morning and evening walks, getting up once for every half-hour
spent sitting, and active involvement in life are all great
be a slouch! Check out your own posture and reposition yourself
throughout the day for a healthier, more energizing countenance…
then look up, straighten your shoulders and back… and get out
there and make good things happen. In essence, be Love in
Action wherever you are!
leaves for his 6:00 am walk. He leaves early to beat the sun and
the bugs, but take his hat as a weapon to make sure the bugs do,
helps neighbors with their gardens. As you can see, she does a
fantastic job and is very much appreciated. In addition she sings
in the "Third Row Center" a'cappella group and also has
a great love of cats; she’s a go-to person when something
shows the book she recommended to the Bridges of Understanding
group. It’s "Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change
the World and Become a Good Ancestor" by Layla F. Saad. This
is a look within to supplement the group’s outward look at
systemic racism historically and in current events.
and projects are also goals of the group.
used a hair dryer to shrink wrap the first Basket of Cheer this
time around. Nancy and Joy helped to assemble the basket and Ruth
delivered it to the grateful recipient.
Florence’s 97th birthday neighbors and LIA friends gathered to
do "flash-sing" for her. The songs were "Happy
Birthday" (of course), "God Bless America" and
"Let There Be Peace on Earth." A big card was signed by
all giving personal greetings.
was also given a peace medal-of-honor for all the goodness she’s
spread during her first 97 years. She waved her flag and joined in
Making The Best Of These Difficult Times
courtesy of Love in Action
I perused the Business section of today’s Palm Beach Post
I noticed that Jim Pawlak’s column had the headline "The
Wisdom of Samuel Smiles." With a name like that, of course I
had to see what it was all about. It turned out that Mr. Smiles
(1812-1904) was the oldest of eleven children, born in Scotland, a
contemporary of Queen Victoria and the Industrial Revolution. He
studied at Edinburgh University and became a doctor, then went
into political journalism, promoting freer trade, voting rights
for all and better conditions for factory workers.
with political reform, Smiles eventually turned his attention
toward personal development. He is best known for his book
entitled "Self-Help," published in 1859. It sold over
250,000 copies then and is still available on the Amazon and
Barnes & Noble websites. It was so highly regarded during that
era it was second only to the Bible in many households.
the sampling of Smiles’ words of wisdom in Mr. Pawlak’s
column, these are my favorites: Hope is like the sun, which, as
we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us…
To aspire we cannot look down, we must look up… Progress of the
best kind is comparatively slow; we must be satisfied to advance
in life as we walk, step by step…The duty of helping one’s
self in the highest sense involves the helping of one’s
neighbors…The shortest way to do many things is to do only one
thing at a time… Lost wealth may be replaced by industry, lost
knowledge by study, lost health by temperance or medicine, but
lost time is gone forever…The reason why so little is done is
generally because so little is attempted.
selected quotes remind us that inspiration, optimism, patience,
generosity, focus, prioritizing and thinking-big are
"muscles" we can exercise and strengthen during these
challenging times. Smiles also said: If there were no
difficulties there’d be no success; if there was nothing to
struggle for, there would be nothing to be achieved.
said, Mr. Smiles! You have now encouraged us to "up" our
efforts to make good things happen—as best we can, whenever we
can, however we can and wherever we can. That will spread smiles
around, won’t it? And those interested can get his book as a
free Amazon kindle and fight the pandemic with Smiles and more
at Phase B, Junior and Miguel, helped LIA to set up a DVD showing
of Bob Hope entertaining the troops. Laughter is good medicine and
many laughs were enjoyed by those who attended. Next on the agenda
is asking these great "techies" to help us use the TV so
Marie, facilitator of the Bridges of Understanding group, can be a
part of the meetings while in her NY home.
right, and her friend Sylvia (left) read about Vincent’s
"Gifts of Nature" artwork in the last issue of Condo
News. They contacted LIA (by calling or texting 201-785-6481)
and came To Golden Lakes Village for some bargain purchases for
themselves and as gifts for friends and family.
A is continuing its much-needed and greatly-appreciated exercise
class with social distancing, of course. Marcia, center, sometimes
teaches salsa steps to the class for fun endings to fabulous
workout sessions led by fitness expert Jacob.
are honoring those who have died during the lockdown by having
memorial trees planted in Israel, a Holy Land for Jews and
Christians—and Muslims, too. Here is a sample of the original
certificate that went to the wife of the deceased (Bryan, the
nephew of longtime LIA member, Doreen.) For just $18 (18 is the
Jewish symbol for chai, meaning " life") you can choose
the wording and have the tree planted via the website
Lakes Love in Action:
During the Lockdown
courtesy of Love in Action
to our brave new world… where we find ourselves confronting a deadly virus,
economic/social/business/educational upheaval, nationwide protests, political
warfare and the hurricane season—all at once! And the whole world seems to be
embroiled in similar challenges or watching intently to see how we’ll all
fare. I breathe a sigh of thanksgiving as I report that we at Golden Lakes Love
in Action (LIA) have fared very well so far. I attribute this largely to our
continuing efforts to:
RE-ORDER OUR INDIVIDUAL PRIORITIES. The coronavirus "down time"
has given us plenty of space to step back and see our world from more
appreciative, caring, and actively helpful perspectives. I, for example, always
thought that, if I found the time, I’d finally have a decluttered house with a
place for everything and everything in its place. I’d remember people’s
birthdays, return their calls promptly, get tax returns in on time and be known
for arriving early rather than late. But after five months of "found
time" due to the lockdown, I’ve made very little progress along those
lines. Instead, my priorities have been Love in Action’s virus-related efforts
and a new personal project that entails learning by heart 66 key Scriptures (one
from each Book of the Bible) for inclusion in an inspirational booklet entitled
"A Walk through the Holy Scriptures, 66 Steps in the Lord’s
Direction." So, my various tax returns have been extended, my house and
files are still in need of organization and my bi-weekly column for Condo News
will now be shorter and shared with guest writers.
delivers bags of fresh farm surplus to in-village distributors for
packaging and distribution within GLV. Kim also oversees the
TEAM UP WITH LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE. In March social director Gina asked
what LIA was doing during the COVID outbreak. That started the ball rolling! We
expanded our Angel Network (originally created to help each other with household
tasks, etc.) to answer the call. We set up a dedicated telephone number as the
Angel Hotline, posted flyers and put ads on the village TV stations. Kim
gathered a team of driving angels to pick up prescriptions. A team of praying
angels was organized to handle prayer requests. Toni donated boxes of
overage produce her daughter purchased from an area farm, which has led to our
purchasing additional ones (thanks to driving, packaging and distributing angels
who get the fresh, healthy food surpluses from farm to hungry GLV residents).
LIA also teamed up with our all-village "Circle of Friends" to
supplement and support each other’s services, so that hopefully no
resident-in-need would fall through the cracks. Like-minded helpers throughout
the village donated food and other items… and contributed financial support to
strengthen our efforts.
displays some of her homemade masks which she gave to residents who
needed them. She is a cat-lover: notice the cat-themed mask she made for
the Toilet Paper Lady: elicited many hearty chuckles from the grateful
recipients. Nancy’s clever idea as a surprise "pick-me-up."
master artist, Vincent (who has hosted all-village art classes for
years) shows a sample of his "New Leaf" which inspires us to
see things from new perspectives—and his decorated shell that whispers
"It’s time to get out your shell!" This photo recently
appeared in the P. B. Post. If you’d like to see his various
works of art or wish to purchase one of these pandemic spirit-lifters
for just $10 each, call or text 201-785-6481.
BE PART OF THE SOLUTION. Willi saw the need early-on and filled it!
She sewed 150+ face masks which she gave out (sometimes even delivered) to those
in need of them. Pearl, a licensed professional peer counselor, offered
15-minute fear-reducing telephone sessions. And Nancy (with help from her
sister Joy and husband Robert) brought smiles and chuckles to
anxious friends and members with her "Tilly, the Toilet Paper
Lady:" a roll of much sought-after toilet paper with a pair or two of
plastic gloves as "hair," and a smiling face artistically added as a
lighthearted flourish. Vincent, our resident artist (who believes that
"All art fights the virus and lifts the spirit") painted beautiful
designs on shells and sea-grape leaves found right in his own backyard. He sells
these fanciful works of art (up-cycled "Gifts of Nature") for just $10
each to help LIA continue its pandemic outreach. A new friend to LIA, resident Marie
Clergé, (who was touched deeply by the recent news of police brutality)
teamed up with us to start an interracial group called "Bridges of
Understanding" to discuss systemic racism and work together for much-needed
change, keeping in mind Dr. M.L. King’s wise words: "Hate cannot drive
out hate. Only love can do that."
sincerely thank our dedicated volunteers, teammates and supporters. Among them
are our friends at Condo News. Hearty congrats to Betty Thomas,
owner and columnist, for using her "down time" to create a new and
exciting web page. Also to editor Jimmy Shirley, for using his
photographic expertise to capture one-in-a-million nature shots and organize his
treasure trove of amazing photos. I’d love to see a special section on the new
site for Jimmy’s striking masterpieces, presented in living color. Welcome
back, Condo News! We’re delighted to be a part of your continuing
efforts to add good to the world, starting with our own neighborhoods. And to
all our dear readers, please join us in sharing the good things happening in
your communities, too, so together we can not only survive, but thrive!
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