Saturday, January 3, 2015

There Is Always Hope

Welcome 2015 -- we're glad you're here.  

Last year was a strange, and difficult, year in many ways; do you think so?  The people of our nation (and around the world) experienced many challenges -- unusually cold and bitter weather last winter due to a polar vortex, something I'd never heard of before, how about you?  :)  High unemployment; high food and gas prices; constant, confusing, and expensive changes in our health coverage; loss of health coverage for some; and most recently, protesting, rioting, looting, destruction of local businesses, and loss of life.

Then in other news of the strange and unexpected -- Tony Romo is playing well and the Dallas Cowboys have been winning games, several of them.  :-D  Sorry, I couldn't resist.  :-D  Please no nasty e-mails; I promise I have nothing against the Dallas Cowboys.  I'm just surprised they're doing so well.  Then, a movie, which in my humble opinion is probably extremely silly and inane, is now of supreme interest because Sony was hacked and threatened with attacks if the movie was shown at theaters.  On Christmas morning, I couldn't even listen to the Hallelujah Chorus on You Tube; apparently it was overloaded by people trying to watch "The Interview" online.  Sigh.  It's a crazy old world, I sometimes think.

For us here at Forest Manor, 2014 was a challenging year in some regards, but it had its good points, too.  We got to go to Charleston, SC and Oak Island, NC -- two very nice breaks from the everyday routine.  My father spent five weeks in the hospital back in the summer, which was a scary time for us, but he is slowly recovering.  Our son lost his job in August, but thankfully, he has found a new job (with better pay) and he'll start that on Monday.  Thank you Lord!  We have had a health issue with my beloved Mr. Forest Manor which has required biopsies, but thankfully, that remains okay.  And for comic relief in all this, we have a puppy who makes the Tasmanian Devil look sweet and docile.  ;)

 I'm also aware that our problems are very small compared to what some people have to deal with.  We are mindful of our blessings.  We have each other, our son, our parents and siblings, good friends and neighbors, and we have food to eat everyday and a place to lay our heads at night.

I have to tell you that it got to the point this year that I just couldn't even stand to listen to the news at all.  Nothing but anger, hatred, and accusations, from one group of Americans to another.  But these voices don't speak for all of us; they don't represent the good people out there who are kind to each other and work hard to make the world a better place.  That's why I have hope for 2015 and the future.

My husband and I are big fans of The Lord of the Rings movies.  I didn't expect to enjoy these movies.  I read the Tolkien trilogy about 30 years ago, but when we went to see the first movie, The Fellowship of the Ring, I was going for my husband's sake.  I was more interested in seeing a romantic comedy when we had a rare outing to the movie theater.  But I got interested in these characters and their struggles and triumphs, and we've watched these movies many times at home over the years.  Today, I thought about one of my favorite short scenes from The Two Towers --

How about you?  What gives you hope for the coming year?  Thank you for your visit and have a great weekend.

Wishing you hope and good cheer,




  1. Yes, the world is a baffling contradiction of good and evil. So hard to watch the news and to see how humans treat each other. You've had your own personal challenges, too, and I'm glad that things are good for your son, father and husband. How fun to have a playful puppy to provide distracting entertainment. Wishing you joy in 2015.

  2. You have encouraged me to try the Lord of the Rings movies---my husband usually sees them with our sons. I am so happy to hear all your good news at the end of this year, especially your son's new job. Yay! I too love the word "hope" and think life would be so hard if we did not have hope. My ultimate hope, of course, is in my Heavenly Father and it is a comfort to know He has His hand on all things. Happy New Year!

  3. While Tony may be coming around, those silly sports people worry that Payton Manning is getting too old and losing his touch. Here the mummers of a Super Bowl win are becoming a deafening roar so loud that the rest of the world will cease to exist in the coming weeks. We are probably better off not to watch the news these days since it either does not give the whole story or slants it, or the story is so grim that we do not care to hear it. So, I like to retreat into Blog Land. Let's hope that some of the problems work themselves out on this new year. And talk about a devil dog!

  4. So sorry for all you and your family went throught last year.. I know 2015 will be better for you.. You weathered a few storms and now its time for the sun to come out and shine brightly upon you and yours...

  5. So happy to hear about your son's new job with better pay. I do feel the same as you about the news anymore. What gives me hope is to look back and see what God has done over all those years and then to know we'll make it through this next year with his help. We always can count on a year filled with joy and sorrow I think but God pulls us through. We are huge Lord of the Rings Fans at our house. We have read the series several times in our lives. God bless you and yours in this New Year!

  6. It is hard watching the news, so much discord...very sad. Hoping 2015 will be a year of peace and joy for you and your family!

  7. Hi Denise. Wow, there really has been some upheaval in a lot of the world this past year. I'm so glad for you that all you health issues with family have turned out well. I really hope for a better time this year but, I guess, we have to take it one day at a time, because human nature being what it is it can't always be on the bright side. Myself, I am hoping for a healthy and happy year for my family and all my friends and I am really going to try to not complain about how slowly winter is going and why can't spring be here already. At this point in my life, time is moving so quickly and I don't want it to go any quicker! I hope this world can find a way to realize that we are all the same and we all deserve a good life. The time has come..Happy Weekend..Judy

  8. It has been quite a year.

    Happy New Year!

    - Alma, The Tablescaper



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