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Ready to Get Back to Work . . .

20 Jun

Ready to Get Back to Work . . .

I had my most hopeful interview to date this week at Langley AFB. I would have joined a small team of six trainers on an Air Combat Command contract.

I found out several hours ago that the job went to another candidate.

Too bad. But, though I am disappointed, I am not in despair.

I have been unemployed since December. I know the right job is out there and I am anxious to get back to work.

When depression threatens, I do what I have learned to do over the years that I have walked with the Lord. Meditate on His goodness and remind myself that nothing lasts forever. In fact, I try to imagine myself in six months, working, and I think about the smile that will be on my face then.

My 56th birthday will be Monday. Tomorrow I am going to ride to Northern Virginia so my best friend can treat me to lunch for my birthday.

Sunday we will worship.

Monday I will hit the job search hot and heavy once again.

Lather, rinse, repeat. Life is full of joys and disappointments. But mostly it is full of God and His goodness!

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How Thin is Too Thin?

15 Jun

How Thin is Too Thin?

I had a glad reality check at Weight Watchers yesterday. There is another gal there who, like me, has lost over 100 pounds. Her name is Stephanie and her exact total is right at 120 pounds. Also like me, she is a Navy contractor who used to be active duty.

My total has been 120 pounds when I was at my smallest (144). My gynecologist actually weighed me in at 264 a couple of months before I went back to Weight Watchers, so I will always have that weigh-in as evidence of how high my weight crept in the end.

However, as the attached photo of me in the red dress shows, even at around 150, I am still plenty slim.

So yesterday Stephanie announced that she had gone shopping with her granddaughters while on vacation and had had a stunning moment when she tried on a pair of pants in size 6 and had to send her granddaughters out to get her a size 4. When she said that, I cheered and clapped, probably more loudly than anyone else!

Yet, I told her later that my wide hips make it less than feasible that I will ever get a pair of pants in size 4. Size 6 if they are loose; size 8 if they are jeans/fitted. That is just how God built me.

And I am glad to note that without the slightest hint of envy. I like who I am and how I look. Stephanie looks fantastic. But we are two different people and our weight loss and maintenance is not a contest.

Better to be there to support each other. It always is.

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Eating Healthily on Vacation . . .

14 Jun

Eating Healthily on Vacation . . .

Today our Weight Watchers meeting had the topic of how to go on vacation without going off the rails.
Since Noel and I just returned from an eight day marathon run to Wisconsin and back to Virginia, and since we both lost weight (he lost 2 pounds; I lost 3.8), we had a lot to say about how to do healthy vacations. We are not perfect, but we found:
1) Keeping fruit, granola bars, and water in the car is an important move. Weight Watchers counts all fruit and most veggies as zero points. Go ahead and indulge. It won’t hurt you (unless you can eat your weight in fruit every day . . .). We also like to put some baby carrots in the cooler with our fruit.
2) Do stop at the regional places where everyone goes, even the chains. We love Culver’s and Steak and Shake in the Midwest, especially as we don’t have them near us in Virginia. But we go with a plan. I have not yet tried a shake at Steak and Shake, although my husband has. He still lost weight. We went to Steak and Shake twice this trip. The first time, I had a salad with chicken; the second time, a cup of vegetable soup. Both were very good and satisfying.
3) Don’t make vows that you won’t keep, like not eating dessert just because you don’t usually eat it back home. We attended the graduation ceremony at our son’s college in Wisconsin. Their culinary school made the cupcakes for the reception, so I had one. The two times we went to Culver’s, I had a small lemon ice, which tasted great and was a lower points alternative to a custard with mixins! At my parents’ house in Michigan, I let my mom serve me a half cup serving of her chocolate trifle two days in a row. Excellent stuff!
4) Salad is your friend, but so is soup. Along with the grilled chicken salads at Steak and Shake, Culver’s has some excellent salads with grilled chicken and fruit, too. I had one of those both times we went. Yet, eating only salad is a sure path to boredom and feeling deprived. So when we stopped at other places, I ate soup. A late night snack at Perkins during a sudden downpour led to me ordering a bowl of chicken noodle soup while my men got burgers. So did a late night visit to Cracker Barrel after we had our long day of driving through the mountains. Soup is good, especially when I am with my son and his first question is “Do you want your crackers, Mom?” The answer, for his entire life, has been “no.” He eats my crackers.
5) Cracker Barrel’s four vegetable sampler is the best thing going. Really! I ate it the other time we hit a Cracker Barrel on this vacation. A green salad, a sweet potato, green beans, breaded okra (indulgence, guilty pleasure!), and cornbread make for a very satisfying meal.
There are many ways to do vacations without gaining weight. Those are just a few tips from where we stand!
Have fun!

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God’s Not Dead, the Movie!

4 Jun

God's Not Dead, the Movie!

This movie might be very good. I haven’t seen it so I won’t comment.

However, the meme, shown with this post, is just theologically wrong. Satan, as a created being, can’t tell the future any better than we other created beings can.

Sure, he is probably a very good student of God’s Word. He would probably put most of us to shame.

And he is probably a very good student of history, too.

But that said, if we were good students of history and of the Word, we could do much to subvert him because he doesn’t have any resources that are not available to us!

Just a thought. I hate to see precious Christian brothers and sisters in a flummox because they believe that Satan knows the future or can read their thoughts.

A loving God can do both of those. But not Satan.

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I Am Everywoman (Walking that Fine Line of Balance . . .)

7 May

I Am Everywoman (Walking that Fine Line of Balance . . .)

I have often said that if I could lose a hundred pounds in one year (2012), then anybody can. I mean that. Anyone willing to adhere to the Weight Watchers system for a year can do what I did. There may be other systems that would produce the same result. I only know about Weight Watchers.

I often present myself as Everywoman. There is a valid reason to do that. I am not movie star beautiful and I am not an heiress and was not a straight A student, although I was pretty close.

On the other hand, there is a lack of balance that can adhere to presenting oneself as Everywoman one too many times.

For example, I went through Aviation Officer Candidate School (AOCS) in Pensacola, Florida in 1981-82. I don’t think that AOCS is for everyone, nor do I think everyone can complete it. There comes a point where I think I am allowed to acknowledge that, God helping me, I accomplished something that few women of my time did. By the way, many men in my day actually enrolled in that program and failed to complete it. It is okay for me to rejoice in something exceptional that happened in my life (it’s called an accomplishment!).

I say that because I have heard women say that they wish they had known me earlier so they could have gone through AOCS with me and completed a naval career. When they make that theoretical statement, I usually think that the life they are living is probably the one God actually wanted them to live. Theirs, not mine.

Theoretical is not actual. I actually went through AOCS and did the following:
1) Completed an approximate 3 mile beach run at 7-8 minute miles while in ranks (many of the men and all of the other women fell out of ranks. Several of them were vomiting from exertion).
2) Was rolled inverted underwater in a simulated helicopter and a simulated airplane while blindfolded. Extricated myself from my seat and seatbelt and found my way to the surface from both.
3) Parasailed behind a truck.
4) Was picked up by a helicopter dropping a line to me out in Pensacola Bay.
5) Drownproofed for half an hour in the base pool after treading water for ten minutes after treading water with my hands held still and out of the water for one minute.
6) Jumped from a high dive and swam the length of an Olympic-sized pool without coming up for breath.
7) Many other rugged requirements of which this is just a sampling.

In addition to the physical requirements, we had a heavy schedule of academics which actually challenged me even more than the physical program did.

Needless to say, graduation day was a day of rejoicing for me.

So, when someone makes a theoretical statement that she wishes she could have done what I did and had my career, I have to bite my tongue to not say that neither of us knows whether she would have graduated from the program . . . Many people did not.

We are all unique. My life has not necessarily been more challenging than someone else’s, even having gone through AOCS. Even with having had breast cancer at age 49. Even with having had a child with autism.

However, I will not negate my challenges and say they were not challenges. I will not say that anyone could handle them. But for the grace of God, even I could not! But His grace was applied to my life in these challenges because He willed them to be part of my life. That does not mean anyone else could have handled them in the same way or as well as I did. I am me. I have lived this life. Anyone comparing herself to me is just being theoretical.

It has become important to me to spell that out because a longtime mentoree who probably has borderline personality disorder seems to have become enraged at me that my life has turned out fairly successfully while hers has shipwrecked. From all I can see in her communication, she seems to wish she had had my life for herself without having had to put into it the effort I have put into my life.

In other words, she wants to have the same things I have worked for, but without the work.

Life doesn’t work that way, folks.

Yes, God has blessed me abundantly. But I have partnered with Him. I didn’t just lie down under an apple tree and wait for Him to drop blessings on my sleeping head.

God is sovereign; man has choice. Those two work together somehow.

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A Drink of Cold Water for the Soul!

17 Apr

A Drink of Cold Water for the Soul!

A Drink of Cold Water for the Soul . . .
Proverbs 25:25, “As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.”
When I see a friend I have not seen in a while, I always think of the verses equating the experience with having a cold, refreshing drink of water.
I had that experience again earlier this year, amidst the snowstorms of February.
In fact, my friend lives in Ohio and was on the road with her daughter, who is an engineering student at Purdue University in Indiana. My friend came down to see me while her daughter was at a conference at the Naval Academy in Annapolis.
They braved a snowstorm to get out of Ohio, ending up unexpectedly in a hotel in Pennsylvania overnight when whiteout conditions hit.
And my friend and I watched the weather.com website religiously for the two days she was here, eying another storm heading from the Midwest toward the East Coast.
Travel plans out of here had to be altered. My friend left earlier in the day than expected to get to Williamsburg, an hour north of here, before the East Coast storm started. She left Williamsburg later than planned the following day and ended up meeting her daughter in Washington, D.C. instead of picking her up in Annapolis.
In all of this, I watched weather.com in fascination, texting my friend as appropriate while she was on the road. I was never so glad as when she texted me that they had arrived safely home in the Dayton, Ohio area that weekend!
But what delight we had in each other’s company the two days she was here! We had met in our military reserve unit almost 20 years ago. She had influenced me to join the national Bible study that I still attend after 19 years. We have both taught ladies’ Bible study and enjoy a great theological discussion.
We went to a tearoom in the town where she used to live down here for a fancy lunch . . . and we could have stayed there talking all afternoon, just like in the old days!
A treasured friend, and one who encourages me to come outside of myself and my own petty concerns of the day to behold the greatness of our God!
A refreshing drink of cold water indeed!

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Dear Diary . . .

14 Feb

Dear Diary . . .

My perfect Valentine’s Day has downsized over the years. It had to do that, because I have been married to a frugal guy for almost 25 years and . . . when we marry someone, we inevitably change each other. That seems to be one of the reasons God instituted marriage in the first place–to smooth off the rough edges.

I started my Valentine’s Day at 2:45 AM. I had intentionally set my alarm, going to bed at 10 PM so that I could get up and watch “Woman of the Year” with Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy on Turner Classic Movies.

They did not disappoint me! I love that pair. Sad that their relationship never was based on the sound marriages they portrayed in their films, but their onscreen pairing certainly made a strong case for enduring marriage (and for forgiveness within marriage).

In “Woman of the Year,” Ms. Hepburn is portrayed as more the selfish, unreasonable partner who needs to change.

In “Adam’s Rib,” which I saw again earlier this week, Mr. Tracy is more the selfish partner who changes by the end of the film.

So they balance!

As do Noel and I. Two imperfect people, bonded by Christ’s love as well as romantic love.

After the movie was over, I crept back up to bed, only to find my husband already awake. He had fallen asleep in his recliner early last night while I was at Bible Study. He was slowly waking up for the day.

We lay there, talking for almost an hour before I drowsed back off to sleep and he got up.

What a precious time. I always think of the early morning quiet and darkness as velvety and intimate, not frightening like darkness can be at midnight when you are rushing a child to the emergency room or when you are lost on the road somewhere.

Such a good time to share your hearts in ways that belong just to the two of you, never to be shared on a blog.

This morning, when I finally got up, I scrambled us egg whites and served them with leftover blueberry scones I made for our meal at Bible study last night. It was a good enough treat. We don’t need heartshaped donuts!

Tomorrow night we will attend a Valentine’s party at the home of friends.

And, with that, I am content, having found a place to belong in a world that sometimes seems frighteningly random.

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Happy Valentine’s Day, Virginia!

14 Feb

Happy Valentine's Day, Virginia!

So much has changed since yesterday in the state of Virginia, but yet so much remains the same.

The gospel of Jesus Christ still remains the antidote for the sin problem of the entire human race. Our problem with anger, our problem with selfishness, our problem with sexual sin, our problem with wanting to make a name for ourselves independent of God, and independent of the design and plan He built into the human race.

When Jesus came, during the Roman Empire, He defined marriage as between one man and one woman for life. So many of us nowadays fall woefully short of His definition.

Jesus then went on to concentrate on bringing the gospel, His good news, to broken, sinful people.

He did not rage against the machine.

He didn’t preach against the polygamy that was occurring in every part of the Roman Empire except Israel at that time.

He didn’t preach against the marriages that were marriages in name only, to produce heirs, while the men involved in them carried on with dozens of other women, or men, or young children.

Jesus addressed sin as sin; He addressed sinners as sinners. Yet He did more. He loved sinners. Often they received His love. They were then loved back into wholeness by the very Son of God!

Jesus is still doing that only . . . He is using the hands and feet and hearts of people who are alive in Him on earth right now. His Holy Spirit empowers us to love sinners and to lead them to Christ, that the Holy Spirit may dwell in them, too, breaking the hold of sin over their lives, as He has broken the hold of sin over our lives.

John, the Apostle of love, writes often of how Jesus said that that would be the only way the world around us would know that God is real and that He is love–when they see our love for each other and for lost people around us.

That is God’s plan for redeeming a lost world. Us. So we had better take it seriously.

Remember, the only time anyone ever threw a sexual sinner on the floor in front of our Saviour, He told her He did not condemn her.

And to go and sin no more!

That is our message for a broken world, and our message for Virginia today.

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May I not Show Respect of Persons!

10 Feb

May I not Show Respect of Persons!

James 3:17, “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.”

The book of James speaks a lot about partiality or respect of persons. And they are totally relevant terms today (of course!). BBC World News and other news sources say that the reason the third world is the third world (lots of lawlessness) is not due to any country having a lack of laws, but rather due to them being unevenly applied to the citizens of that country (partiality). If you are poor in the third world, nobody uses the law to protect you like they use it to protect richer people.

The same happens to us. When we get angry with someone, we unevenly apply “our personal law” to that person. How many times do we see a person get angry with a leader in a church and hold that person to a totally different standard than the other leaders? We might put that person’s grammar under a microscope or count the number of “ah’s” as he speaks. Then, next service, someone with whom we don’t have issues speaks, with just as many mistakes or “ah’s,” and we never notice.

That, my friends, is partiality. That, my friends, is respect of persons. And James says, simply, “stop it

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Diversity in Coastal Virginia . . .

7 Feb

Diversity in Coastal Virginia . . .

Last night I looked up in my small group at Bible study and realized, of the six of us present, I was the only non-African American member.

It was a totally cool moment.

This was not an intentional thing. In fact, our Bible study is still majority Caucasian overall.

But this year, when we arranged the small groups, it just happened that, as one person invites another sometimes, we ended up with almost all of the African-American women in our group.

We were being led by a substitute, our associate teaching director. She is an African-American woman married to a Caucasian man. They have two beautiful adult children.

The other four ladies in our group have become my friends over the years, one at a time, in different activities related to our Bible study.

I didn’t meet them all at the same time and I haven’t gotten to know them all in the same way. They are diverse ladies and, accordingly, my friendships with them are diverse.

I love that about our coastal Virginia area. It is Southern enough to have a good balance of Caucasian and African-American people to begin with. It is enough of a commercial hub to have had lots of Asian and Hispanic people thrown into the mix over the centuries.

Then Eisenhower totally integrated the military back in the 1950’s and produced even more diversity in this area with three major Army bases, a major Air Force base, two Marine Corps bases, and a grand total of eight major Navy bases.

We all say the military was the great bringer of a level playing field during and after the Civil Rights movement. That is very much the case! When you share a tank or an aircraft or a submarine or a ship 24/7, you tend to have the barriers come down. Praise God for that!

When I was younger, I sought out Bible studies that had African-American majorities on a couple of occasions, as I liked to hear the way that African-American groups around me prayed out loud. Corporate prayer can be very fervent and lovely in these groups. I wanted to learn from them. I especially did that early on in my tour in Germany. The groups were readily available through the base chapel when I was staying on base, waiting for my housing to be ready.

But, to be honest, I like it better when such friendships and associations arise, unsought, because God just happens to bring them into existence. There is something so natural and wholesome about being the only Caucasian in a small group when no one but God intended it to be that way.

We studied John 11 last night. Our group had a wonderful time in the Scriptures, discussing the raising of Lazarus from the dead. We totally got that Mary and Martha, along with their brother, were probably surrogate siblings to Jesus. We understood why He let both Martha, then Mary chew Him out for not arriving in time to heal Lazarus before his death. We also thought that the reason Jesus wept was probably a sympathy cry when He saw His dear friend Mary crying. We have all done that. There may be some deeper theology to why He wept, but we thought the sympathy cry was certainly part of it, too.

And, when Jesus stood there, ready to raise Lazarus from the dead, we envisioned Him turning to Martha and Mary, like a younger brother, saying, “Ya’ll watch this!!!” His relationship with them seems to have been that warm!

What a wonderful Bible study to bring six diverse women together around such a great passage!

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Old Spice

5 Feb

Old Spice

I recently used up some spices that had been around the house for over a decade. In one case, saffron, it was over 30 years, as it was the remnants of my first saffron purchase back in the early days of my Navy career (when I learned to make paella after a deployment to Spain).

Saffron is expensive. You don’t throw it out. And, if it has been stored correctly, even during moves, it doesn’t go off.
So that saffron survived three subsequent Navy moves.

Nothing wrong with old spices, if treated well.

Nothing except they are not fresh. My new saffron is noticeably peppier in paella.

You see, the idea of eating something that has been dead for over thirty years (since it was cut from a living plant) is kind of creepy, isn’t it?

So is the idea of eating meat that has been frozen in the freezer for a couple of years. Technically, nothing is wrong with it. But the thought of it dying so long ago is kind of weird.

I once had a friend who gave a talk entitled “Fresh Bread” about teaching the Bible. She said that, just as the ancients baked their bread fresh every day, so our presentation of the Scriptures to our students must always issue forth from a renewed heart. She was not big on using the same sermon or teaching notes over and over again throughout the years.

I am not either. I once dropped a Bible teacher’s classes because it became apparent he had settled into using the same notes to teach for over twenty years. He could’ve just emailed them to me for the same effect (very little effect–he didn’t engage the heart because his heart didn’t appear to be engaged).

Let’s remember that. Christ is always fresh and new. Our teaching on Him must be, too. It must issue from a renewed heart in Christ.

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The Theology of The Lost Weekend

3 Feb

The Theology of The Lost Weekend

I saw The Lost Weekend for the first time tonight and was very glad that it finally presented a message of redemption at the end (in the way Hollywood has traditionally presented such messages, as a “love conquers everything” sort of twist).

I was amazed at the way the addiction to alcohol was presented, quite realistically, I am sure. The main character’s despair at dawn “when the bars are closed and the liquor stores are not yet open” was almost palpable. What a raging force alcoholism must be inside of a person!

I recall a theology professor once saying that part of the hellishness of hell will probably be that addicts are still addicted throughout eternity, with no means of satisfying their cravings for alcohol, drugs, or sex. Wow!

My addiction was to food, for many years of my life. As you can see from the photograph, I have currently learned to control that addiction (since you can’t quit eating cold turkey!). I will, however, have to track my food for the rest of my life on Weight Watchers. I know my own tendencies to excess far too well.

Two and a half years ago, I weighed almost 120 pounds more than this. I can recall pleading with God every morning of 2011 to help me find the key to losing the weight I had piled on following the administration of steroids for chemotherapy associated with breast cancer at age 49.

He showed me. It was hard work to lose the weight, but He showed me how to do it and stood by me as I did.

Oddly, I have never been so hungry (starved of nutrients) as I was when I stuffed myself full of every carbohydrate in sight back in the bad old days. It was like I was never full, even after eating a half gallon of ice cream or half a package of Oreos. No wonder–my food was mostly processed food back then.

Praise God for a better way. No more sodas. Very few processed foods or sweets. And freedom to remain a foodie (I love to chow down, even now) without damaging my body or my health. It is almost impossible to consume too many fruits and veggies!!!

Thank You, Lord, for showing me the way out of food addiction. And, if I ever fall again in that area, your ways will still suffice. You delight to deliver addicts from their addictions.

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A Tribute to Miss Trudie and Snowball Fights . . .

22 Jan

A Tribute to Miss Trudie and Snowball Fights . . .

Miss Trudie was my son’s babysitter while I was on active duty . . . and for quite a while afterwards. Miss Trudie died of breast cancer in the summer of 2005.

Those are facts but they do nothing to explain the force of nature named Miss Trudie. Nor do they reveal that she was one of my best friends ever.

I can’t possibly eulogize Miss Trudie in one blog post. I wouldn’t even try. Others have already done this, and have done much better than I ever could.

So I will talk about Miss Trudie and her love of snow!

Miss Trudie loved Christmas and she loved snow.

Miss Trudie made a 2-3 month occasion of Christmas, doing her shopping in the middle of the night with her husband John. She did that because the middle of the night was, quite literally, the only time when her eight children and all of her extra children (like my son) didn’t usually need her on a moment-by-moment basis.

You see, Miss Trudie’s at-home daycare was a home away from home where every child was loved as an individual by a second mother. She always quietly supported moms, never trying to steal one ounce of their joy. I know that because I am quite sure my son took his first steps at her house while I was at work, yet she convinced me at the time (and never changed her story) that I arrived just as it happened for the first time!

We established a tradition on Christmas Eve, Miss Trudie and I. After our church’s midnight service, we would both sit up almost till dawn, wrapping presents. She did it because there were so many presents at her house, with a husband and eight children at home. I did it because my grandmother had always done it and . . . because it became fun to call Miss Trudie at 2 AM and talk to her, while sitting crosslegged on the carpet, cutting paper and lengths of ribbon.

The thing for which Miss Trudie is universally remembered, however, is her love of snow. She was like a kid in a toy store when it snowed. Since she was from New Jersey, transplanted to Virginia, it was easy to understand that.

She knew that Virginia snows are rare and don’t last long. So she would awaken her husband and children and take them out for a snowball fight and to build snowmen and snowforts . . . at 3:00 in the morning.

If there was not enough snow in their yard, they would drive to a park or to the local community college, where the snow would always accumulate.

They would also walk down the middle of the nearby roads when they were choked off by snow, making monuments to their merriment along the way.

All of this, sometimes, between 3 and 5 in the morning!

What a fun family in which to grow up, eh?

There will never be another Miss Trudie and I will miss her forever, particularly each Christmas Eve. We still go back to the midnight service at our former church, and hang out with Miss Trudie’s family afterwards. Sometimes we still go back to their house for a snack after the midnight service, as we did some years when Miss Trudie was still alive! Those years, I would call Miss Trudie super late!

Yes, there will never be another Miss Trudie. Her children, however, have all continued the tradition of playing in the snow in the middle of the night and, since six of them live within walking distance of their father (or with him), they do that together.

Thus the enclosed photograph, taken last night during the latest Virginia Beach snowstorm!!! Love this family!

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History is Now Written By Everyone!

22 Jan

History is Now Written By Everyone!

The era of smartphones has made everyone a citizen photojournalist.

Even those who are totally intimidated by the idea of writing can snap and post pictures.

As today’s snowstorm in Virginia Beach has attested, the best pictures on most news shows are currently taken by people who send them in for free, just hoping for a photo credit on a local or national show.

Gone is the old adage about history being written by the victors because we all write it now.

And proven is the adage that history is nothing more than the sum total of all of our stories, combined.

There is nothing that levels the playing field better than that. And totalitarian regimes worldwide (Ukraine, China) are finding it out at the moment.

A camera with an instant Internet connection is a powerful thing.

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Healthy Beverages!

21 Jan

Healthy Beverages!

I have just passed the one year mark after my 100 pound weight loss. That means that I have sustained the loss for a year. Actually, I lost ten pounds more.

In a recent online discussion of healthy beverages, I asserted that I have learned to drink only coffee (usually black) and water. My motto is to drink no calories, with the very occasional latte an exception to that. Not bad for a woman who used to singlehandedly keep Starbucks in business by picking up two venti lattes at a time . . . with full fat milk. I would do that 3-4 times a week, too. Imagine the calories. Imagine the cost.

Eating healthier ultimately turns out to be eating cheaper, too. Even when I buy K-cups for my Keurig and go through up to eight of them a day.

My husband has recently tried to introduce flavored waters into our repertoire. I say no, and here is why. I am not trying to be a spoilsport or an ascetic (people who gave things up just for the sake of living with minimal comforts in their lives). I just find that . . . I get thirsty after drinking flavored water. I am not sure what the sucralose (sugar substitute) does but it leaves my tongue hanging out for water, just as sodas used to do when consumed at picnics on hot days in my youth.

It is clear that high fructose corn syrup was a highly addictive substance for me (there is mounting evidence that it is for most of the human race). I am thrilled to be free of it. I am also pretty sure that if I had a Coke tonight, I would be craving another one tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day . . .

Water, water, water. Whether bottled or from the tap, whatever your philosophy, whatever your pleasure, water is good for you and good for me.

What happens to people when they don’t get enough water? We don’t have to go to Third World nations in need of wells being drilled to see the answer to that.

Look no further than West Virginia last week when a chemical used in washing coal was inadvertently released into much of the state’s water system, resulting in a white, fizzy substance pouring forth from faucets in the capital, Charleston, and elsewhere.

Look to the areas that went through the polar vortex two weeks ago and had frozen and sometimes burst water pipes.

When there is a water emergency, suddenly we are sizing up bottled water supplies in stores and rushing trucks in with more. A lack of water is a serious thing.

On a much more minor scale, I have recently noted that my occasional dizziness (inner ear related) gets worse when I am dehydrated. For instance, when I go to choir practice on Sunday afternoon and stay at church for four hours after forgetting to bring a bottle of water. I don’t usually drink from drinking fountains (at least not during flu season) so I have to remind myself to find a glass in the church kitchen and fill it with water. Or I will find myself suffering from a spinning room by the next morning.

It makes perfect sense. If there are bits of calcium or something getting caught in my inner ear channels, water will move them along. Passages in the body need to stay hydrated in order to get things to where they need to be (usually outside the body).

So . . . in conclusion, I hope to convince many to drink more water and to consume fewer other beverages (except plain coffee and tea). I think it is an easy step to take to better health.

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