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Musings re the first day of 2007

Story ID:1433
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Lakewood Ohio USA
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Musings re the first day of  2007

Musings re the new 2007 year.

I think this is one of the strangest beginnings of a New Year for me yet. It started off sadly.
Vandals had again toppled the life-size Blessed Virgin Mary statue which graces a small garden on the side of St.Cyril and Methodius Catholic church. Father dismissed this as the shennigans of New Year revelers.

I didn't agree since this has happened twice now within the last 3 years. I think there is
something diabolical in the motives of whoever did this. This day was also the feast of the
Solemnity of the Mother of God. Why would anyone want to desecrate her image? When the lovely hymn - "Gentle Woman" was being sung during the liturgy-tears came to my eyes thinking of what happened to her likeness. But thankfully, I was able to pray for the perpetrators. Even If they do not summon the courage to accept responsibility for their dastardly action, I
pray that at least they will receive the grace to repent.

I'm glad my sister Anna had come to visit. She came bringing delicious candy - something she
knows I don't eat during the year because most of it- plus cakes and cookies are made with
butter, milk, and eggs. Instead, we vegans use margarine, soy milk, and egg replacer and usually only Health Food stores carry products we can enjoy among these foods. But she knows that during this happy Christmas season, I will joyfully partake of her gifts. And happily, there are oodles of internet sites with recipes where I can make vegan candy, cookies. and cakes. I even have adapted a beloved Slovak cookie favorite which I make with vegan cream cheese. Deprived I am not.

My "gifts" to her aren't nearly as intriguing. One of them was a package of eggless pasta noodles. I was in the midst of boiling a package for myself which I would mix with sauteed finely cut up cabbage and onions. She gladly accepted it since she wasn't aware of this product before.

Today I decided to use the last of the 3 eggless pasta noodle packages I had bought weeks ago. This pasta would be coated with spaghetti sauce for BOTH me and Casey, my dog. I reached for this last bag which I had just simply stowed in the same original grocery bag in my food cabinet. And low and behold- to my surprise, I found the missing cucumber of three weeks ago. I had searched for it in vain to add to my salad. Miraculously, there it was at the bottom of the bag and it had not turned into one messy,dripping mess! But naturally, this once fresh green cucumber - now yellow with age was no longer edible. The "moral" of the story -- empty all your grocery bags before stowing away! (A tip for those who want to get more greens in their diet. I add a half box of
frozen spinach to the boiling pound of pasta).

Poor Casey -a beautiful part Samoyed I got almost 2 years ago is still struggling with the good nurtitious food I "try" to feed her. She was 6 when I got her. Her owner told me that she could no longer care for her. I believe that she had largely fed her people scraps. I find that Casey has a hard time eating kibble and milk bones. She likes neither, but put some table scraps or treats before her and she happily devours both. I believe that her teeth have not probably developed enough to handle hard crunchy food because of her faulty diet.

Naturally, not all my food scraps are up to
"snuff" for Casey with the exception of spaghetti or the boxed macaroni and cheese which I sometimes buy from the store for her. But now I have learned that she gets neither until she eats the mixture of Pro Plan moist food and kibble sprinkled with vegetable oil. To bolster my suspicion of poor teeth growth, I was surprised that she even had difficulty breaking off part of the soy ice cream cake cone which I held out for her to lick. Admittedly, the cones were not the freshest, but to see her struggle to chew down on the cone made me realize that my hypothesis was probably accurate.

On this New Year's day I picked up a 2002 Good Housekeeping magazine. As you probably accurately suspect, I have atrocious reading habits and you would be right. But timely or not,I found a delightful story of Melanie and Michaela in it. There are so many stories of young children afflicted with cancer and their accounts of devasting illness and terrible suffering tug at our hearts. Michaela's story is one such with a wonderful added component - Melanie the Great White Pyrenee dog who she received because of a wonderful devoted and caring doctor.

While 4-year old Michaela was recuperating in the hospital after debilitating and nauseous sessions of chemo, Dr.Stuart Gold, her doctor thought she needed cheering up. So he allowed Bear, a beautiful Great White Pyrenee therapy dog to visit her. Her eyes lit up and it was the best medicine anyone could have given her. Dr.Gold told Michaela's parents - "I think she should have a dog."

And this wonderful doctor even made sure she would get one. He contacted the breeder in Maine who gladly said she would give Michaela the dog she named Melanie after herself. The problem was that Melanie was in Maine and Michaela was in North Carolina.

Not an insurmountable problem for Dr.Gold who convinced 4 fraternity brothers to ferry Melanie from Maine to N. Carolina in stages. The last of these four caring frat brothers arrived before Christmas and finally this wonderful beautiful Great White Pyrenee dog was unloaded and Michaela was called out. At first, overwhelmed by Melanie's size Michaela hesitated but she soon wrapped her thin arms around the 85 pound shaggy white dog and said, "When I'm weak, she'll make me feel right." Above is the picture of both of them in a happy embrace. What a wonderful Christmas present for Michaela and her family- thanx to a caring doctor, a generous breeder, and frat brothers with a mission.

Well, the day is almost over, but not before I heard a knock on my front door at 7:30 in the evening when it was already dark. Would you believe it - two handsome clean-shaven Mormon missionaries were at my door. Because Casey bounds out with the opening of a door - I explained to these two young men through the storm window panes that I couldn't open the door, but that I was a happy Catholic and I was sure they were happy Mormons. They agreed and politely left.

Then I did a foolish thing - I decided to have a nice cup of hot white tea. Bad news. Tea has caffeine. I should know better. Even though
I thoroughly enjoyed watching the movie "A Few Good Men" which I saw for the first time - not surprisingly, I didn't feel sleepy at midnight when it ended.

Bedding down, I fitfully tossed and turned and realized - maybe some more TV would do the trick. Was I in for a surprise. This gorgeous woman with long beautiful tresses appeared on the TV screen. She obviously was a fire-brand preacher talking animately and waving her hands while pointing to a background of biblical quotes. She wore a clerical collar with a blue bib and over that a long black coat and narrow black pants. She was amazing to watch but much too biblical and demonstrative for my tastes. Even her free flowing tresses proved distracting to me. She talked non-stop and at the end even sang a religious song. Her name is Pastor Melanie Scott and clearly she seems to have it all- talent and beauty wrapped up into one neat package. Her boundless energy finally tired ME out and I blissfully turned in and I got the shut eye I needed. Sorry, Pastor Melanie, I won't be tuning in again and I won't be drinking tea in the evening either.