Proud to be an American


Saturday was a day of celebration for America. People wished each other a Happy 4th of July or Happy Independence Day! Pictures of BBQs and parades flooded Facebook. People from Canada and other countries sent happy greetings to America and her people. Joy was in the air.

When darkness fell, the sky was lit with fireworks of every color, size and configuration. They sparkled for hours as if this celebration was meant to go on forever. People didn’t want to let this happiness slip away.

I am a firm believer in “hope for a better tomorrow.” America is a great country! When I was young, I wanted a big globe, about three feet across that would have a prominent place in the living room. By the time I could afford one, and the appropriate room to place it in, the world had sustained so many wars and so many countries had realigned their borders, it didn’t make any sense to get a globe that had moveable borders.

Every time I hear of some atrocity in the world my heart breaks. World War II and the holocaust was a horror that must never be allowed to happen again. Sadly the Jews are once again being persecuted in many countries. People in the Middle East are being killed on a daily basis.

In America we have our own sordid history in how we treated Native Americans and African Americans. We must be mindful that ALL Americans are created equal and are entitled to the same rights.

Because we are Americans and have more rights than any other country grants their people, we can choose to ensure ALL Americans are treated equally. We have the ability to be the avengers for atrocities that are happening here in America and in other parts of the world. Only 40 people signed the Constitution of the United States. They were our forefathers. They believed in a country where people could be free to follow their own beliefs.

You may feel there is nothing YOU can do. I disagree. If YOU contribute just one small act of kindness or share one happy thought or word of encouragement with someone every day, YOU will be a hero. YOU have an opportunity to change the world. GOD BLESS AMERICA!


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#Love Wins

Photo by Chicago Tribune
Photo by Chicago Tribune

June 26, 2015 is a monumental day in history. I am glad I was part of the celebration when the Supreme Court of the United States declared Marriage Equality for all. Justice Kennedy said it so well: “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family…”

I spent a lot of time on Facebook enjoying the celebration across the world as people rejoiced over the ruling. I have gay friends who are married, but until now, they have lived under a cloud of not knowing if the marriage laws in their state would be revoked. This law not only provides for love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family, it gives legal rights to a couple. One right that I think of as the “death bed right” allowing the spouse to be with their dying loved one when the time comes. This is a good law. I am happy.

While the celebration was going on, I remembered when it was illegal for people of different races to get married. Although it was not illegal for people of different religions to get married, it was often frowned upon – sometimes to the point of having a person disowned by the family. Chris Lema wrote a post June 26, at 3:36pm in celebration of #Love Wins telling how his marriage was not legal 40 years ago because he was Latino and his wife was white. The horror stories go on and on.

Friday was a glorious day. I was so happy. It was like a nationwide party.

Saturday arrived and the tide started to change as the “good christians” stated their opinions. One of the harshest and most hurtful was on Jean Parks‘ time line on June 26 at 7:53pm.

My husband Mike Parks just read a mess sent to me admonishing me to reconsider my stance on gay marriage, warning me that with my cancer I could be left “rotting in my grave” by the lord. You know, no Gay or Lesbian person has ever sent me such a shockingly cruel msg ‪#‎lovewins

Jean is suffering from cancer and doing all she can to keep her spirts up as she battles this disease. This message is just plain wrong. I know it wasn’t sent from God.

Other people said they received “private messages” from “friends” cautioning them about supporting Gay Marriage and how it may “affect their business.” I guess the friends are bigots who do not believe in equal rights for all. In other words, the Supreme Court just passed one of the greatest laws ever giving people equality and some people are saying we should not talk about it and be joyful?

Hypocrisy is a terrible sin.

I have gay friends. They are caring, kind, and wonderful. I have straight friends who have the same qualities.

The problems arise when my straight friends start saying what “God wants” or what “God means” as if they have a direct line to the almighty.

My truth is in the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

What is your truth?

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Jurassic World is now playing in theaters. It is big, bold and available in 3D in most places if you want an extra jolt.

Steve and I enjoyed all two hours and ten minutes of the show. It was interesting to see how many more dinosaurs had been added.

The most interesting part was Chris Pratt’s performance of Owen, the velociraptor’s trainer.  The exploration of velociraptor intelligence could have gone further, but maybe that will be the basis of the next movie.

The movie is currently running a 7.5/10 approval rating. It was directed by Colin Trevorrow.

After the movie, Steve and I wondered how much we remembered from the original Jurassic Park.

On Father’s Day, Steve and I settled in for a day with the dinosaurs.

Jurassic Park

The first of the series debuted in 1993. It was 2 hours and 8 minutes long. The overall approval rating was 8.1/10 – directed by Steven Speilberg

The story line took renowned paleontologist Dr. Drake, Sam Neill, and his graduate student, Dr. Ellie Sattler, Laura Dern, along with Dr. Malcolm, Jeff Goldblum, to visit John Hammond’s dream vacation spot, Jurassic Park. Just as the scientists were about to embark on their tour of the park, Mr. Hammond’s two young grandchildren appear. They join the tour.

The movie was full of emotion. One of my favorite parts was when Dr. Drake laid on the dinosaur’s belly and just smiled with joy. He smiled a great deal at the beginning of the movie. He was so happy to see dinosaurs alive and well.

This 22 year old movie is as exciting today as it was when we first saw it. I even screamed in a couple places. To see the water vibrate and hear the thud of the approaching dinosaur is thrilling.

The movie was perfect.

The Lost World

Shown in 1997,  the movie is 2 hours 10 minutes, 6.5/10 – directed by Steven Speilberg

Strangely, Steve and I missed this movie when it was in the theaters. After seeing it Sunday, we could have missed it again and been just as happy, but we wanted to see them all.

John Hammond’s family had lost a fortune with Jurassic Park. They planned to recoup their loss by opening the breeding park to hunters. They also made arrangements to take a T-Rex to the San Diego Zoo.

With tons of people running around and as many dinosaurs following them, everything falls apart. It is Dr. Ian Malcolm and his girlfriend, Dr. Sara Harding, a behavioral paleontologist, who saves the world.

Jurassic Park III

Debuted in 2001, the movie is 1 hour 33 minutes, 5.9/10 – directed by Joe Johnson

Dr. Alan Grant returns to the land of the dinosaurs when he is given an offer he can’t refuse. Always in need of research money, he trusted the nice couple and accepted their deal to “fly over” the island. They didn’t tell him they were going there to find their missing son. It was another great movie with even better visuals. And yes, the boy was rescued.


Michael Crichton wrote a brilliant book that he and Steven Speilberg made into a fabulous movie. We had a wonderful Sunday together.  What is your experience in the Jurassic world?

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Happy Father’s Day


This whole post is the result of a rant. It happened when I suggested to a man, who doesn’t have a computer, that perhaps his daughter could print a document for him.

“Oh no,” he responded. “I wouldn’t want to bother her.”

BOTHER HER? You profess to have the greatest kids ever born. You scrimped and saved to put them all through college. They are all doing well. And you can’t “BOTHER” them to do you a kindness. Thankfully this whole paragraph went through my mind and I was able to keep my mouth shut.

I cannot imagine hesitating to ask either of our sons to do me a favor. How does one let a priceless relationship fade away?

BUT, I have only my own experience. I didn’t particularly like my own father. He was dictatorial and selfish.

Thankfully God paid me off in spades when he blessed me with a good husband who is also an exceptionally great father. When it was time for bedtime stories, the boys always wanted “Daddy” to read to them. Daddy had a different voice for each character and often used tickles as exclamation points. When they could read themselves, Steve was there to discuss science fiction and agree that super heroes are important to the wellbeing of the universe.

Steve, with other fathers, helped with the Pinewood Derby, teaching so much without specifying all the lessons the boys were actually learning.

Steve taught the boys the importance of keeping Mom happy by putting dirty clothes in the hamper, maintaining a presentable bedroom, and helping clean the house when company was coming.

Dads are also part of the cheering squad when that little fish is landed, when the ball is caught, when that first trophy is won, when they hear that first musical performance, when they witness that first “on stage” performance. Fathers are giants among men.

I imagine that all Dads are perfect and that all children have a great relationship with their parents. In reality, I know that is not true. At this point in life I am not sure what I can do except to offer words of encouragement to take the role of being a father seriously. Being a father is a big responsibility, but the payback is the greatest dividend of all.

When all is said and done, the richness of life is contained in FAMILY.

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