A SUMMER OF PSALMS

In 1975 my thinking about suffering in life was challenged in a profound way.  A film depicting the Ten Boom family during WWII called “The Hiding Place” was playing at a local theater.  Once I saw it, Corrie Ten Boom became my favorite person on the planet.  I’m thankful to everyone involved in the film.  Nobody understands why my favorite movie is about such a horrific time in history.  Well, I suppose it’s because this film taught me about adversity in life and how to react when bad things happen.

We don’t like to think about storms, do we?  And yes, I guess this movie could be considered a “downer” to some people, but I walked away with the thought that if Corrie Ten Boom was able to lean so heavily on God and trust Him to see her through something so unbelievably evil, then I can trust Him for any bad situation I find myself in!  I was not depressed after watching it – I felt a peace and a hope that God is sufficient for any circumstance in life.  He is and always will be enough.

One day a psychologist friend asked me how I’m able to function in life.  We had talked a bit about how bumps in the road of life can affect us in negative ways as Christians.  The first thing people notice about me is that I don’t have children.  They become uncomfortable at that point.  Nobody knows what to talk about with me because the “go-to” subject of any conversation is kids.  How old are your kids?  What school do they go to?  It’s the most predictable conversation people have when they meet for the first time.

But when they ask if I have children and I say no, they’re at a loss.  They have no idea what to say next.  Once in a while I hear, “Oh, then you probably have fur babies then, right?”  Well, yes I did – but we lost our fur baby a while back.  Sometimes I just smile or nod yes to save face.  I don’t want two pity pauses in the conversation.

I was chatting with a friend recently and the subject of childlessness came up and I said something to the effect that I felt like a freak.  She said, “It stinks.”  It’s true – it does!  There’s not a thing I can do about it, but it does!  Sometimes you just want someone to acknowledge the fact that something stinks, ya know?  I felt better after she said that – I felt understood.

When I was younger, it was difficult to be around the women my age who were having children.  I kept thinking it would get easier as I got older, but now those same women have grandchildren and no…  it’s no easier to deal with that either.

The Bible says that children are a reward… which makes a childless person wonder if they are being punished Everyone’s quick to tell me that’s not the case, but that’s not how it feels.  One of my friends told me that the Lord may have saved me from worse heartache because perhaps a child of mine could have had serious health issues or something like that.  Well – I guess that could be true too.  I just don’t know – but I have to trust God.  He knows what He’s doing and I need to accept it.

God does surround me with songs of victory.  He helps me cope with all kinds of loss.  I can’t really explain it except to say I know in my soul that God’s helping me.  When it storms and I’m tempted to give up, I hear that sweet song of victory and I know it will be okay.  The Lord is with me.  Oh, and even though Corrie Ten Boom is no longer alive, she’s still my favorite person.  🙂

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ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

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Here’s John Coyote singing one of my favorite Elvis songs – “Don’t”. 

Let’s begin today’s post with a trivia question:  In which film did Elvis Presley wear a beard?

Yes…  I said a BEARD.  Do you know the answer?  Not to worry – I didn’t know which one it was either.

On this day in 1968, Elvis began filming the movie CHARRO!  It was a bust – Elvis had a beard and only one of his songs was used in the film.  It was an all-around bummer.

Of course to die-hard Elvis fans (like me), anything he did was quite alright.  Beard, no beard – whatever.  He had music in his voice and I could listen to him sing forever.  His presence on the big screen was mesmerizing.

Although 1968 seems like a very long time ago, sometimes it seems like yesterday.  I used to hear my grandparents talk about how when they were young those were simpler, more innocent days.  I didn’t know what they meant at the time they were telling me that, but now – well, I would say that 1968 was a simpler, more innocent time than 2016.

In 1968 I was 9 years old.  It was a pre-computer age and our telephones were all landlines.  There were not many “R” rated movies showing at the theater, and we had another Elvis movie to look forward to.

Elvis played Jess Wade, a man falsely accused of having stolen a cannon from the Mexican revolutionary forces.  He tries to find the real culprits, a gang of criminals.

There were no F bombs and no scenes that were uncomfortable to watch in mixed company.  I miss simplicity and innocence in films.  No, this wasn’t his best movie, but I’d still rather watch it than some of the junk that they try to pass off as entertainment these days.

By 1968, Elvis had made 28 movies – and they were all starting to run together and the plots were beginning to seem very familiar.  It seemed to be a matter of what environment they decided to put Elvis in.  By the time movie number 29 was being filmed, they apparently thought the only thing they could do to change the routine of the plot was have Elvis grow a five-day shadow.

Real fans didn’t mind the familiarity of the plot – but even we were predicting with a fair degree of accuracy the twists and turns of the movies once there were so many of them.  I head Elvis say in an interview that he wished he had spent less time working on movies and more time working on new music.  He was a great talent to be sure and could obviously do either one – and whether you think anything he did was cheesy or not, I think it’s great that he left these gifts for us to enjoy.  🙂

 

 

 

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

905bb6eff125ed45baec0cf0ac4e97bc_six_columnOn this day in 2007, the 8th PIXAR film, RATATOUILLE was released by Walt Disney Pictures.  As I think back, it’s the last movie I went to see in a theatre.  I thoroughly enjoyed it because it was completely void of social or political “agenda”.  Few films, including Disney / Pixar releases of late, can say that.  I’m tired of movies, even the ones for kids, pushing a particular leftist agenda off on the youth.  I just want to be entertained – that is ALL.  That’s my agenda…  and it’s the agenda of many others, including Lucinda Berry Hill.  ❤MY AGENDA

Ratatouille was directed by Brad Bird, who took over from Jan Pinkava in 2005.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t know that ratatouille was a French dish – or that the main character in the film would be…  a rat.  It was so cute and cleaver!  RATatouille – and Remy is a RAT.  Who thinks of this stuff?

I’ll do my best not to spoil the ending for you – but basically, Remy the rat has a goal to become a chef.  He goes about achieving this dream by making friends with a Parisian restaurant’s garbage boy.  I can’t remember his name – hey, it was 2007, give me a break.  Anyway…  Ratatouille was released on June 29, 2007 in the United States and enjoyed box office success!  It also won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, among other honors.

Will Remy realize his lifelong dream of becoming a renowned French chef???  Why would I spoil the ending for you?  I know – most of you have probably seen it.  If you have small children you may have seen it more than once and less than a hundred times.  I don’t like everything Disney does (okay, don’t smack me) – but this is one movie that gets two thumbs up – really high – from me.

Have you made ratatouille?  There are a bunch of ingredients, but it’s so worth the expense and the time because it tastes so good and is so healthy.  I found the link for Disney’s recipe – did not know there was a recipe from the movie – but here it is!

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/222006/disneys-ratatouille/

I’m thankful for the odd movie that is just cute and fun for everyone without political correctness injected or obvious agenda pushing parts.  Are those days over?  I hope not.  I’m looking forward to the next really good movie from Disney and Pixar.  🙂

 

 

 

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

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There is nothing like a dream to create the future.  – Victor Hugo

Walt Disney’s Song Of South was released on this day in 1946.

History never looks like history when you are living through it.  – John Gardner

If you’re a child of the 1960’s like me, you watched a lot of Walt Disney movies!  Yes I know, by today’s standards this movie would never have been made – but back in 1946 it was a different story.  As a kid I saw Uncle Remus as a nice man with a song in his heart and a wonderful outlook on life – who happened to talk to cartoon friends.  Nothing weird or racist about that (well, except the whole talking to cartoon friends thing).  There’s nothing wrong with starting the day with a Zip-a-Dee Doo-Dah attitude, is there?

In my defense, I was five years old when I saw the movie, so I’m not exactly the most qualified critic.  As a matter of fact, I think I may have fallen asleep the night my family went to see it at the Landmark Drive-In here in Wichita – on that summer night in 1966.  Our local drive-in had DISNEY MOVIE FRIDAYS when I was a kid.  We packed a picnic basket with my mom’s fried chicken & fixin’s… took the ol’ Rambler station wagon – backed into a spot and put the tailgate down.  Sat there and ate dinner while we watched the movie.  I almost never saw the end of the movie because after all that good food…  well – I went to sleep!  :-/

Disney has kept the film locked in its vault for the past 25 years.  If you were born after 1980, you’ve almost certainly never seen it in full, and it’s unlikely that will change anytime soon.  For better or for worse…  who knows?

I still like this song!

https://youtu.be/LcxYwwIL5zQ

How something as benign and pure as Uncle Remus could incur the scorn of some people indicates a warped mind.  These days it seems to me that some folks are looking for things to call racist.  Why can’t we celebrate diversity instead of allowing ourselves to be divided by it?  Song of the South, the performance, cartoons and especially the music were designed to bring a smile to children’s faces.  By the time I saw the movie in 1966, it was already 20 years old – and it brought a smile to my face!  It did what it was intended to do. 

Disney bought the rights to Uncle Remus’ Tales by Joel Chandler Harris in 1939 and built the movie scenario from there.  I found a wonderful website dedicated to this movie.  Everything you would ever want to know (and a few things you didn’t think you cared about) are here.  There are trailers and all sorts of facts about the movie.

http://www.songofthesouth.net/

I hope we don’t over-analyze these older movies and determine that they should be banned based on ideals that were clearly not considered at the time the movies were made.  It really was a different era in the late 1940’s.  World War II was finally over and people were needing someone to come along and make them feel happy.  That person was Uncle Remus and we have Walt Disney to thank for bringing Song of the South to us.  🙂

 

I WILL MISS YOU…

TL I WILL MISS YOU

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WHAT DID KATE WHISPER

Maureen O’Hara passed away on October 24th, 2015.  She was 95 years old.  The spunky green-eyed, red-headed actress was best known for playing fiercely passionate but sensible heroines, and often worked with director John Ford and longtime friend John Wayne. She was one of the last surviving stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood.

O’Hara was born in Dublin, so when she played the role of Kate in “The Quiet Man”, it was a genuine and sincere performance.  It’s tradition in our house to watch the popular movie every St. Patrick’s Day.  Rarely do you see a true connection between actors – but in this film, you can tell that Maureen O’Hara and John Wayne have a true connection and worked well together.

Have you seen “The Quiet Man”?  If so, you are probably just as curious as I am to know what Maureen O’Hara whispered in the Duke’s ear at the end of the movie!  At the film’s conclusion, after the credits, we see Kate and Sean standing in their garden waving good-bye. Maureen O’Hara turns to John Wayne and whispers something in his ear, evoking a priceless reaction from Wayne. What was said was known only to O’Hara, Wayne and director John Ford. In exchange for saying this unscripted bit of text, O’Hara insisted that the exact line never be disclosed by any involved parties. In her memoirs she says that she refused to say the line at first as she “couldn’t possibly say that to Duke”, but Ford insisted, claiming he needed a genuine shock reaction from Wayne. The line remains a mystery to this day.

I’ve tried to find out – I’ve searched and googled it…  it seems she took the secret with her – sadly.  Whatever she whispered to him – it definitely got the desired shock reaction from him!  I won’t say it’s my favorite part of the movie, but I will say – it’s the most interesting – just because I’m nosey and want to know what she whispered.  Oh well…

I miss movies that have a bit of mystery.  Ones that hold a little back and make us want more.  Nowadays – everything just hangs out, leaving us in a perpetual state of TMI overkill.  The Golden age of Hollywood is gone.  I will miss Maureen O’Hara.  🙂

 

 

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

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Baby, take a bow! – Unknown

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Happy Birthday, Mary!

Just in case you don’t think anything (or anyone) great comes from Kansas…  today we are going to say Happy Birthday to actress/singer Mary McCarty!  On this day in 1923 this talented little powerhouse was born in Winfield, Kansas!

My mother didn’t push.  She aimed me.  – Mary McCarty

McCarty was better known as a supporting actress than a leading lady, but let’s face it – it’s those supporting performances that make the stars shine even brighter!  She made a real splash early in life, beginning as a torch singer at a night spot called Hollywood Tropics, and ending up in front of the bright lights of Broadway and later in front of TV cameras.

Gotta dance!  – Unknown

Her Broadway début was in Sleepy Hollow when she was just 15 years old!  Even though the show fizzled after 12 performances, McCarty received a Theatre World Award for her role as Eva.  She continued to sing and dance her way into our hearts as Maisie Doll in the Irving Berlin hit, Miss Liberty in 1949.

I’m dancing as fast as I can.  – Unknown

She created the role of sassy Mama Morton in the Broadway stage version of Chicago.

In Bless You All she performed with legendary stars Pearl Bailey and Gene Barry, which firmly established her as a supporting actress.  And she appeared on an occasional television show…

https://youtu.be/xt5Zz5gRjik

By the mid 1950’s, she was more active in film than on the Broadway stage.  Movies such as The French Line, Pillow Talk, Babes in Toyland, My Six Loves and All That Jazz made her a familiar name and face to movie goers everywhere!

Brake a leg!  – Unknown

In 1977 she played Bertha Gardner in the popular daytime drama, All My Children.  And my favorite nurse, Clara “Starch” Willoughby, R.N. emerged in the television show Trapper John, M.D. with Parnell Roberts.

On April 30, 1980 at just 57 years old, Mary McCarty passed away after a heart attack.  She lived her life to the fullest, this Kansas girl.  May she rest in peace.

All you need are toe shoes, a tutu and a willing heart.  – Unknown

Wouldn’t it be a great tribute to watch one of her performances today?  I have a few of these wonderful movies on DVD.  It might take all day to watch all of them – I may not get anything else done.  Ah…  that’d be a real shame, that would.  LOL!!!

Bravo!!!  Encore!!!  – Unknown

She put more life into her life in 57 short years than many of us do with more time on earth.  Today we are reminded to appreciate each and every day.  Happy Birthday, Mary!  🙂

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

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DINNER AT EIGHT

 

Call me a square…  I just don’t care!  I love old movies!  Is it so surprising that one who wears vintage clothing and does not dig modern movies with profanity and other non-important additions should enjoy a flick from more innocent times?

Even though this movie was released nearly 30 years before I was born, my favorite old flick came out on this day in 1933 and is called “Dinner at Eight”.   I hear everyone rave on about how it’s such a great comedy – and maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t see it as a comedy.  It’s more of a drama to be sure since some of the subject matter includes the dawn of the talkies, divorce, aging, fading careers, alcoholism, class conflict, economic pressures, infidelity, love, financial ruin and suicide.

Based on a very successful play, I’ve gone to more than one performance at live theatre here in Wichita, but there’s just something about the movie version that draws me in.  My favorite character is Kitty.

Jean Harlow, stylishly coiffured from her lovely gowns to her platinum blonde hair, plays the role of “Kitty” with absolute perfection.  Kitty is often propped up in bed, wearing a silky white negligée, eating chocolates that she spits out when finding one she doesn’t like (I never have that problem, do you?)  She resorts to both baby talk and brassy insults in the same sentence (how does she do that?) She and her husband, Packard are always bickering.  Maybe that’s why people think it’s a comedy – she is sort of funny.

My favorite part is when Packard lets her know he doesn’t want to go to the dinner and promptly tells her:

Aw…  GO LAY AN EGG!

That cracks me up!  Get it???  Egg…  crack…???  Aw…  never mind.  If I need to explain why it’s funny, something gets lost in the translation.

I’m enamored with this era and am convinced I was born too late!  Then I am quick to reconsider when I realize that 1933 was smack dab in the middle of the depression era.  God spared me from that.  My folks lived through it – but all I got were stories from them.  It didn’t sound like it was much fun – at all.  Then there was WWII – it just kept getting more fun, didn’t it?

Dinner at Eight is an old classic that should be on everyone’s DVD shelf.  It’s cute and quirky, but still a little edgy for its time.  Wink!  😉