Friday, August 31

The 31st of August was my maternal Grandmother's birthday.
I can never remember the year she was born. Perhaps my Beloved Brother will leave me a comment telling me what year it was.
Her name was Christiana. She was the eldest girl in her family. Unlike her brothers & sisters, she was not given a second christian name.
I am not even sure how old she was when this photo was taken. She was born in Yorkshire in England, & when she was 18 years old, her whole family emigrated to New Zealand.

Her mother had very bad arthritis, & the family Doctor advised them that New Zealand would be kinder for her condition. Obviously, he had never been to New Zealand, which, while being very beautiful, is not kind to arthritis at all.

Christiana married an Australian born man, who had gone to New Zealand seeking work. They had 4 children, 3 boys, & my mother.

For much of Christiana & George's marriage, they lived in a very remote cottage in a wild Gorge beside a river in the North Island of New Zealand.

Christiana was the Post Mistress for the district, which business was just run from the cottage. And George was the Road Maintenance man, who kept the roads open for traffic- the 'Service Car' which was the bus service in those days, and the cars, but much of the traffic was horse & buggy!

My Grandmother loved driving the horse & gig, & in her young days, had loved to ride her horse alongside the train in Yorkshire. Until her father caught her, & forbade her to do it again. Plus she preferred to ride astride the horse, & not sidesaddle, which was considered disgraceful.

Christiana loved her family dearly, & was never happier than when they were all gathered together. She used to usually catch a cold on or near her birthday. Fickle Spring seemed to catch her every year, and she would spend about 2 weeks of misery, with running nose, & a general feeling of unwellness.

When she was about 50, she had a fall, which resulted in a badly broken leg, just above her knee. Her family found her lying beside the steps, unable to remember how she had fallen. She spent considerable time in the Waikato hospital, and the knee was left permanently stiff, & she walked with a stick for the rest of her life.

I can still see her, sitting on her stool, at the side of the bench, with her leg propped out in front of her, peeling the vegetables for our tea. She would go out to her beloved garden, & bend over from the waist, laying her stick on the ground, & she would weed, or collect the vegetables for tea.

She had a friend, Mrs W, who was Welsh, who used to come to visit, by bus once a week.
Often when I came home from school, Mrs W would be sitting in the dining room, chatting away with her lovely lilting accent. My Grandmother would have just slipped out the back door to the garden, to collect some parsely or lettuce, & quietly slip back in & murmur something, & her friend seemed utterly unaware of her having been gone!

We used to snigger about it, & wonder how it could happen. The rules of their friendship seemed rather odd to us. They never called each other by their first names, & it was always Mrs W & Mrs D. I have no idea how they ever met each other, as our Grandmother didn't go out really, & was more of a homebody, happy with her little domain.

She had a very forgiving heart, & when I was young, I used to be furious with how she could always make excuses for people who did seemingly rotten things. Our mother used to get impatient too, but as she aged she became so much like her mother in her thinking. And guess what. I have come to think like that also! Christiana used to study her bible almost nightly, & though she never rammed it down our throats she would say, "Judge not, lest ye be judged" and I see the wisdom of those words, though not in any religious sense.

Of course we remember our Grandmother every August 31st.

And then, there is the Diana factor about the day.
The August 31st she died on, was a surreal kind of day, & will always remain that way in my memory.

Our mother had died on the 17th of August. Her funeral had been held on 22nd August. We were trying to pack up her flat, & decide what to do with her small shoes, her neat clothes, in such cared for condition. And we had been going over photos, always guaranteed to bring tears, as well as laughs.

We had the radio on in the back ground. My brother & I were alone. He in one room, & I in another. Then I heard the news that Diana had died in a bizarre accident.

My first reaction was to laugh hysterically. Odd I know, but it is the truth. I was not laughing about it, really, it was just a reaction of .....hysteria, pent up emotions.... who knows.

The media had saturated us with Diana 'news' prior to her death, & we had discussed it, my mother & I, in a vague way, as one does when one is confronted continually with some 'gossip' on the media. I think we both felt she was a little foolish, but also agreed she could have no peace from the media hounds.

So, her death always springs to mind for me at this time. I am sure I would have no specific memory if not for the timing of her death. I am not one of those people who can remember exactly where they were when they learnt of any celebrity's death. I have no idea where I was when JFK got shot. Only remember about Elvis because he died on GOM's birthday, & we happened to be in Sydney on holiday.

And now, I would like opinions, help, any thoughts..

If it is true, that Energy Follows Thought, does Energy differentiate between positive & negative??
Or to put it another way. Does Energy recognize 'Good & Evil'?

If I keep hurling 'bad. thoughts at Bush, for his evil or deranged mind, are those thoughts going to manifest as more power to Bush, or as a lessening effect? So to say, a weakening power?

I ask, because I am not religious in any sense of the word. But I do believe that positive thoughts can help people, if they are directed with sincerity.

And I see the wickedness in the world, that I associate with the Bush Administration, and I cant help but send some very black thoughts in their direction. But is that 'energy' working against them----or me?

And I can't apply my Grandmother's philosophy of 'Judge not' for those evil men.

I suppose I can see why people pray. I can't, but I see why others might.

Seals & Crofts, Ruby Jean & Billie Lee


Harmany Quilting said...

For what my thoughts are worth, I too believe that thoughts have energy, either good or bad. Good thoughts benefit both the thinker and thinkee and bad thoughts are the same. Too many bad thoughts effect the thinkee and also the thinker and they become bitter and twisted with lots of frown lines. Think good of people and they will act accordingly.

Tanya Brown said...

I don't think energy follows thought. If it did, Shrub would surely be cured of his sociopathic tendencies by now, because he was on the receiving end of kind thoughts from the members of the Republican party for several years.

I do think concentrating on hatred and negativity can harm us, can fill us with bitterness and damage our health. However, for me at least, not hating Bush, Cheney and their cronies would require willfully ignoring reality. They are some of the best evidence of evil that I have ever personally witnessed.

How about just trying not to hate anyone else and giving yourself a free pass where Bush and company are concerned?

keryn said...

Peter Brock and Steve Irwin died around the same time as my Mum. I remember thinking that if they all had to get on a weekly bus for the Afterlife, Mum wouldn't have approved of all of her fellow passengers.

Good thoughts have positive energy, and most people are willing to receive that, but I think bad thoughts only affect those who are open to them. People like Bush aren't; and then that energy just bounces back to the thinker, and damages them instead. Because by thinking the negative thought in the first place, they made themselves receptive to it. I firmly believe that what goes around, comes around. I just wish it would come around for Bush the Younger quite soon!

DubiQuilts - Debbi said...

I believe thought are powerful and can do good. I would not spend anytime on Bush. I leave it up to David Letterman, every night he bashes Bush really good and I get a good laugh before falling asleep.

Fairlie said...

Lovely stories about your grandmother. There seems to be a few bloggers who have birthday connections to 31st August! And you must be the exception that proves my frozen moment rule about hearing of unexpected deaths, having no recollection of hearing of JFK's shooting!

I like the concept of "judge not, lest ye be judged," but not always so easy to put into practice! I do believe that positive thought has the potential to create way more good than negative thought, though.

ancient one said...

I loved the picture and story of your grandmother. I'm one of those people who know exactly what was going on with me and where I was at the time I heard of JFK, RFK, MLK, Dianna and others. I also know exactly where I was and how I felt when the planes hit the world trade center. I knew we were going to war. I pray a lot!!

Josie said...

What a beautiful story of your grandmother. I felt as if I actually met her. What an interesting life!

I have alway felt that August is a weird month. I don't know why, I just have. It's hard to believe it was ten years ago that Diana died. Ten years! It's almost as if she is still with us.

And yes, I do believe in good and bad energy. I think a lot of people send Bush's administration black thoughts, but I'm afraid it might backfire. But he is an evil, evil man.

Bren said...

Unlike others, I do not think you should take a free pass where your negative thoughts on Bush are concerned. You are focusing your energy (which is energy whether it is positive or negative) on something that you should not be focused on. If it is true that Bush is evil and is the cause of all evil in this world then his own negative energy will take care of him....I personally think that is what happened to Saddam Hussain, who by the way I believe is the true evil one...but I am an American who has people I love in Iraq right now and not one of them think Bush is evil. I trust them and that is why I can lay my head on my pillow at night and sleep soundly. I will pull every bit of energy I have and throw positive thoughts and yes even prays to them.

Linda said...

Meggie, I have to say I'm insulted, as an Australian now living in the USA and who has had a son serving in the Australian Navy to protect YOUR freedom. Rather than sitting in your safe home trying to put out negative energy, why not be thankful that you have the freedom that you have, and perhaps if you tried prayer, you just may be surprised. I'm sorry I don't believe that I was created by an unorgainsed bang theory, but by the Creator of Heaven and Earth,, otherwise known as God.

Aunty Evil said...

Nice story about your grandmother Meggie! :)

meggie said...

Hi all, Thankyou for the support, & the positive comments & thoughts.
I can assure you, I dont spend time sending evil thought to anyone. If you had read my blog on any regular basis, you would know that.
I dont feel ashamed at my lack of religion, it is just how I am.
I am surprised to see the most vituperative attack comes from one who professes to be a "Christian".
I would say, read my words carefully.
I dont send 'hate' to anyone. I might send a dark thought at evil, as I percieve it. I dont judge you, for your beliefs. Dont judge me.
Any death, or loss of life, or lie, has to be evil. Would any of you, honestly, condone evil?
Judge not lest ye be judged. It goes both ways, I would suspect.

It was a question. But I see it has 'stirred the pot'.

The Sagittarian said...

Hi Meggie.
My nephew, one of my close friends and also my dearest Aunt in the world have a birthday today.
Bush has done some very bad stuff. the sad thing is he doesn't seem to know.

Mary said...

I'm curious if your feelings for Bush are commonplace there? I remember traveling a few years ago to Denmark and London and worrying about anti-American sentiment.

I'm not an overly political person and I don't agree with everything Bush has done but I don't feel he's evil. I'd just like to live in a world where I'm not hated or a target for blame just because I'm an American.

I know you aren't writing about me personally but when I read it, it feels personal (which is probably why I usually avoid political discussions).

Tracey Petersen said...

You have many strong female figures in your life, Meggie. They will all provide you with all the positive energy you need.

Alice said...

Your Grandmother sounds like a wonderful woman, and I'm certain you must take after her.

I was driving to hockey when I heard about Princess Diana and I was rounding up the cows for morning milking when I heard about JFK. Have no idea where I was when Elvis died as I wasn't a fan at all.

ThirdCat said...

Meggie, that's such a lovely post about your grandmother. It's interesting that earlier comment about August, because for me it's just a month to be endured. Though at the same time, the weather turns lovely, and my brother and my dad both have birthdays. And, yes, to the Diana factor. So weird.

joyce said...

I enjoyed your post about your grandmother. Grammas can have a strong influence on children. I hope I have a positive influence on my grandchildren and that they will feel about me as you feel about your Grandmother.
I think Americans and maybe everyone else in the world should realize that it's the politics we don't agree with, not the American people themselves. Living as close to the US border as we do, we are often across there and have never been treated badly. In fact they are always wonderful and friendly to us. We do complain about the war and Bush etc, but don't dislike the people.

Henri said...

31st August 1883 it was for our Grandmother Meggie . I not only remember her sitting on the stool in the kitchen peeling the spuds and doing the veggies - with the walking stick hooked on the bench beside her -- We still have the very folding stool , which although a bit ' used ' is still very servicable .
She and our grandfather seemed a slightly odd pairing to me -I would love to know where & how they met.
You are right about her being very forgiving , I can recall her telling me on more than one occasion that if I could not think of something good to say about someone not to speak ill -- Sound advice but easier said than done sometimes !

sheoflittlebrain said...

meggie, this is a wonderful essay about your Grandmother. My Grandmother was a similar brave and hard working lady whom I still revere.

positive and negative energy-yes, I agree with the person who said that the energy you project affects you and the person you are directing it toward alike.

It seems to me that Bush-bashing has become a mindless world wide fad.
To me, President Bush as a man, just an ordinary man, who is doing what he believes to be the best for the people who, by majority vote, elected him, not once, but twice, to the highest office in our land. Right or wrong, all anyone can do is what they believe is best. Let history be his judge.
I've been doing a lot of reading about Fundimentalist Islam. If anyone needs to point a finger and shout, "Evil!" That would probably be a good place to start.
Sorry, Meggie, if I got soap boxy!!!!!

Linda said...

I can assure you that my comment was not a personal attack directed towards you personally, but as I stated I had a son who served to protect "your" freedom.
As Mary said in her comment that " I know you aren't writing about me personally, but when I read it, it feels personal".
You said read my words carefully. I did, you said "If I keep hurling bad thoughts at Bush for his evil or dereanged mind..... " and " And I see the wickedness in the world, that I associate with the Bush Administration, and I can't help but send some very black thoughts in their direction...." Have I misunderstood what you have said, or am I reading it correctly? I also want to assure you that I don't profess to be a Christian, I am a Christian, and God has appointed Mr Bush into his positiom as President of the USA, and again he has been elected twice into office.
I respect the fact that you have your own opinion just as I do, but when you voice your opinion on a blog which is open to anyone to read then you in turn invite others to voice their opinion.

Thimbleanna said...

Hi Meggie,

I enjoyed your story of your grandmother -- don't you love the old stories? And here you've documented it for your children and grandchildren. Don't have "energy" advice, except to say that I hope you don't spend too much time worrying about Bush and things that are beyond your control!


Lucy said...

I really enjoyed reading about your grandmother, I just drifted off into the story! Interesting to think about people getting more tolerant and less judgemental as they get older, they don't always.
Sorry, I haven't any words of wisdom about thinking good or bad thoughts in people's directions; it can't do any harm to think the good ones...

ancient one said...

I reread your blog.

Your grandmother sounds a lot like mine. I remember a neighbor, (no..all her women friends) she called Mrs. "what ever the name was" and they called her Mrs. Addie. Maybe that was the custom back in the day ... or maybe they did that so the children wouldn't get too lax and just say "Lossie" instead of "Mrs. Lossie"...

One of my daughters in law calls me Mrs. Ann and now all the people in my church that are younger than me call me Mrs. Ann even my pastor. Might just be a "southern thing" over here...

My folks were not religious. But neighbors sometimes took us to church. What I heard in church just reached my soul and I just knew the Bible is right. Even then I tried to pray. And I believed God heard my prayer. Now that I'm grown I know it was the "Holy Spirit" witnessing to me. I have accepted Jesus Christ as my savior. It is nothing that I have done or ever will do. It is Christ that keeps me. HE has promised to never leave me or forsake me and I believe HIM. I know Christians are not perfect and never will be. Jesus Christ is the only perfect person who lived on this earth.

I am not judging you if you say you don't believe. I would like for you to believe and so would God, but he gave us a free will to do it or not.

I like you and your thoughts on the subjects that you write about. Forgive me for "preaching".

Molly said...

We all bitch about Bush. I don't think he is evil, just intellectually challenged. As someone said above, it's a good idea , if you have nothing good to say, to keep your counsel.....of course tghat's easier said than yreally opened a can of worms with this one, Meg! Sending positive thoughts your way!

meggie said...

Hi, I am a little flabbergasted to think that some people would see my questions as 'true'. I said 'IF'- there is a very different meaning to If than 'I DO'.
And I do think dark thoughts, when I see men & women of all nations being killed & maimed. But I dont dwell on it, or think that I can change the course of destiny.
And Molly is right, I think Bush is percieved as more of a 'challenged person' who is manipulated by puppet masters, whose intent one can only guess at.

I felt quite sad to think that Americans might feel I see them in the same light. Of course I dont. I dont like to think of people in such devisive ways, after all we are all human, & all have our faults. I truly detest racisim in ALL it's forms.

I could go on & on about my reasons for seeing the Iraq war as wrong. I will only say, we see it as being based on lies.

This may offend more people, which is not my intention, so please DONT take it personally, or mis-take my intent.
"You dont judge a whole Circus by the Monkey Riding the Lead Horse" -do you?

Thank you for the support I have recieved outside the blog world. I do assure my American friends I have nothing but admiration for you all.

fifi said...

Hi Meggie,

Happy first Day of Spring!!

I am not a George Bush fan in the slightest. I think what most Americans don't realise is that in Australia we dislike our own Prime Minister for kowtowing so Emperor Bush the way he does, which is scary.
Also, i don't think he's evil, just ...well, I won't say here in public.

My hcildren have the day off school next friday because he is here.... It's my studio day that day so if for no other reason than that, I resent him!!

love the grandma story . LOVE IT.

ThirdCat said...

I don't think we should really forgive/excuse George Bush by saying he's 'an ordinary man' doing the best he can. We need extraordinary people as leaders, and if he isn't one, he shouldn't be doing the job (imho).

anne bebbington said...

My paternal grandmother's birthday was also 31st August but she was born in 1900 which made her as old as the century. Sadly she died after a succession of strokes in 1951, 9 years before my birth so I never knew her. My father even after all these years is a touch melancholy when the 31st comes around. She was also born in Yorkshire.

anne bebbington said...

Incidentally I can say I empathise with you regarding Bush and what I feel to be his misguided actions along with our then British Prime Minister in the Middle East. My other (maternal) grandmother always had the saying 'Curses are like chickens, they come home to roost' and I always took this to mean if you send ill feelings to someone else be careful as they may well come back on you like a boomerang. Interesting to see just how hot under the collar people become when face with a provocative question - keep 'em coming Meggie - they make us all think in our wonderful world of free speech :o)

anne bebbington said...

Just as a funny to brighten the tone - your comment about 'monkey on the lead horse' reminds me of a somewhat irreverant saying from an old colleague about his seniors at work - "The higher a monkey climbs, the more you can see of his bottom" tee hee!!!

Katie said...

I still love Seals & Crofts. :)

paula said...

Meggie, you know whats going on here with my family and I can assure you, I don't think you are directing your opinion about Bush on Americans. I see Bush on TV and I have to change the channel, God DID NOT appoint Bush president. A bunch of sheep who can't see past a sound bite or admit when they've made a mistake elected Bush...Twice.

As far as negative energy goes, I don't wish for bad things for people like Bush, only that they get what they deserve.

Meggie, you are sweet and dear don't ever forget that.

meggie said...

Hi again.
I have debated with myself about commenting further here. I was not going to.

However, I feel I do want to make one thing quite clear to Linda, and to others, who would have read her assertion that her son served in the Navy to 'protect my freedom.'

As Linda said, I put my opinions out for general comment. And it is fair enough, I expected disagreement. However I feel I have to correct something she has stated, as she put it out for public reading too.
With due respect to Linda's son for his choice of career, he has done nothing to ensure my 'freedom' or my freedom of speech or any other 'freedom'.

I feel deeply insulted that she would say such a thing. I regard it as a denigration of the service my father, uncles, & all ANZACs, who fought for our freedom in World War 2. A terrible war that destroyed so many lives, but they fought to truly protect our freedom.

I would invite her to read the following 'facts' about the reason her son was sent to Iraq, if that is where he went.

"Australia's involvement in the Iraq War.

Contemporary Review, Nov, 2003 by Keith Suter
AUSTRALIA was the third member of the 'coalition of the willing' in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The operation was conducted with little enthusiasm among the Australian population, and with misgivings from a wide range of people (including from the defence community).

Australia got involved because the conservative Liberal Party government of John Howard decided that Australia should support its ally, the United States. Australia is the only country to have fought alongside the US in every war in which the US fought in the twentieth century. It has maintained that unique reputation into the twenty-first century with the Iraq operation. On the eve of war, the US claimed that forty-four countries were committed to the Coalition. But most did not supply any military personnel. Australia sent its best personnel, including the Australian Special Air Service (SAS).

On February 16 an estimated 500,000 people took part in some of the biggest peace marches in Australian history. But the prime minister ignored the opinion polls and went ahead with the commitment. Australian opinion changed at the outset of hostilities. This was not due to any sudden belief that President Bush was now right but that Australians believe in supporting Australians."

This information is freely available on the Internet.
Australia was under no threat from Iraq. I don't know why Linda believes her son was 'protecting our freedom'. That is simply not true.

We have since been threatened with terrorist activities, because of Australia's involvement in the Iraq war. Therefore I feel, far from 'protecting our freedom' involvement of any military in this war, which was based on lies, for invasion, has opened this country to attack, from terrorists.

I think this will be my last word on matters of this nature. I dont normally make my thoughts known about politics.
I am quite open about my not having religion, & I am not ashamed about that. I dont mind others having religion, that is entrirely their choice.

Finn said...

Dear, dear Meggie, how's about we put the kettle on the boil and make some tea?? Seems we could all use a cuppa right about now..*VBS*

I loved reading about your grandmothers..and lovely pictures too. My Father In Law shared the 31st with many others of you. Your dear granny sounds like a strong,courageous lady. I would love to have known her or someone like her. I'll bet she was a truly class act..*VBS*
And regarding life, well, you know what they say.."it's not the ups and downs that get ya, it's the little jerks along the way". Sending big non-political, nuetral country type hugs, Finn

sMC said...

The Scot has always maintained never discuss Sex Religion or Politics....oh and never tell anyone how much you earn.

I'll have white coffee no sugar finn and I will bring the cookies.

anne bebbington said...

Can I put my order in for a black tea one sugar and I'll bring a cake ok???

My float said...

Your grandmother sounds wonderful! I was nowhere when JFK was shot, a teensy little thing when Elvis died, and in a newsroom when the news of Diana's death broke.

Your questions are thought-provoking.

But I admit to being shocked at the vitriol that was flung at you. How appalling that people misread what you wrote and put their own emotion-driven spin on it. This is exactly why Bush is able to make the crazy decisions he has made. Bush doesn't even represent the American people - he represents the American VOTERS. Many, many US citizens don't vote. How is that representative?? A leader is not automatically all-powerful - to believe he/she is is to hand over all free thought and will.

Argh. Sorry about the rant, Meg!

smilnsigh said...

Hey Girl, I missed this one!

And I guess the topic has had most sides covered by now. ,-) But...

As to someone with evil ideas, and as to what I say to him, please go look at this entry of mine.