We welcome you to Thanks For Listening. We think it to be one of the best websites of its kind. The title comes from the sign-off to the award winning column in the Westside Journal in Port Allen, Louisiana. Each column is initiated with this kind of caring, whether with the poignancy of the Christmas message: The Little Star or noting the interaction of a father and son as the father slips away into the shadow world of Alzheimer disease. The award winning Gardens of Stone warned of the dismal flourishing of military funerals for casualties sacrificed post 9/11. The writing is both powerful and effective, presenting points to ponder and answers to be demanded. Our honest and sometimes controversial approach to analyzing issues is garnered from years of stepping to the front lines to better assess and confront problems. We try to exhibit strong, solid writing, but with a sense of poignancy but never shying away from the irreverence punctuating the depth of our reader (and our) life experiences. We try to get straight to the point. Based in small town America, communication energy spreads to cities and villages alike; it's us, being us and trying to make sense of it all lips away into the shadow world of Alzheimer disease. The award winning Gardens of Stone? We warned of the dismal flourishing of military funeral rites at the outset of military operations and the first casualties sacrificed post 9/11.” The writing is both powerful and effective, presenting points to ponder and answers to be demanded. Communication is people relating socially interacting as equals, each adding an element to the sauce piquant of community. Without communication we're another herd moving toward sterile domestication or extinction as a people? We look at people, placing elements of their personhood in the spotlight for their neighbors to admire or possibly view with a more jaundiced eye. We're not afraid to tackle the tough issues of the day whether they're on the national, regional or local level. Our honest and sometimes controversial approach to analyzing issues is garnered from years of stepping to the frontlines to better assess and confront problems. We try to exhibit “strong, solid writing” (Louisiana Press Association) with a sense of poignancy but never shying away from the irreverence punctuating the depth of our life experiences. We try to get straight to the point. Based in small town America communications energy spreads to cities and villages alike; we're neighbors, whether we're talking across the alley separating New England tenements, like I did as a child, or from a rocking chair at the cracker barrel in the general store, it's us, being us and trying to make sense of all.

Stella
02/24/15
Stella By Sarge My function is to sit in this over-stuffed chair, on my generously overstuffed butt and drain the vitriol from my overflowing brain. It’s a job I’ve normally enjoyed over the years. Knowing and understanding politicians are the exemplars of duplicity and self-aggrandizement is one thing I describe as damnable. Disclosing their idiotic and petulant efforts to drive good things into the ground through their never-ending drive to fix what ain’t broke is commendable. Therefore I’ve come to the point in my efforts where I must steer away for a moment and thank my higher power (That would be God to you stupid atheists and egotistical and mentally challenged secularists think I’m speaking to you; I most assuredly not!) for the most powerful act of mercy can occur in any man or woman’s life: the blessing of healing. My buddy Stella is a cranky, irascible and irreverent old gal of 77 years. She sticks her foot in her mouth regularly and has the ability to offer some pretty sage advice at times when she’s not busy aggravating you. She’s experienced the terror brought about from at least two battles with illness of such major proportion it would bow the back of any man. She stumbled on through it all with a near loss of hope but a defiant dignity could really test you when you weren’t expecting it. You never knew whether to laugh or cry. But always we’ve followed. Sometimes we followed to catch her when she started falling; other times we merely argued encouragement for her to take those first tentative steps after having hit the deck full force with her head. She’d arise in a wobbly state, grab life by the belt and start putting one foot in front of the other until the old legs were stronger and more sure of the path she was on. When she was sure she could keep on keeping on, she challenged us to keep up. That was and still is her way. She gets angry, she gets sad, she gets sorry then she gets glad for the warmth of sunshine on her face, the sound of grand babies giggling or crying because that’s what babies do and then she gets going: still. She’s watching each new generation take hold of life and give it a prod to see where the pony trots toward. Stella has beat cancer twice. Beat isn’t a good word; stomped would be better. She took radiation and lost her hair. She took chemotherapy and lost her lunch regularly and painfully. But she took her destiny into her own hands and triumphed with a drive many twenty year olds can’t match. Now, more recently she’s been put to the test and walked through that emotional fire of pain and fleeting disfigurement and walked out of the flaming fire pit singed by fear but hopeful. She may have beaten it again. She was having headaches and went to the Ophthalmologist. He saw something “not of in my field of expertise” and directed her to see her Oncologist. Our spirits sank. She was tested as her eye began to bulge and the pain became more sharp and hurtful. We prayed for the best and prepared for the worst. This may be too early and may not be what we want, but early testing has indicated it is not a cancerous growth. It’s still something doesn’t belong there but it doesn’t appear to be malignant or metastasizing. And for this I thank God. I thank God for having this old cranky woman in my life. I thank God every day she brings trial and joy into her family’s life. She reminds them life is scary at times, wonderful at others and entirely too short no matter what. So Stella’s got a better day dawning. I’m glad for her. I’m glad for her daughter and sons and grandchildren and great grandchildren and all of the peripheral people like sisters and nieces and nephews. And in the end: I’m glad for me. Thanks for listening God.
Thanks for Listening
Sarge