Gig Line: Hear ye, hear ye!

Published 7:10 am Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Christmas again brought our celebration of Jesus’ birthday, awesome memories of the past, prayers for the future and much gratitude to the good Lord for the blessings of His love and forgiveness.

I don’t remember when I’ve seen any prettier displays of Christmas   illuminations both clear and multicolored throughout Roanoke Island. It seemed we’ve all been busting at the seams to cheer up and set aside debate on the “jab” in the arm temporarily at least and substitute it for a healthy “jolt” to our spirit!

Still, through Christmas week folks have seemed more upbeat and happier overall and downtown Manteo has been inundated with visitors and locals alike! It’s been wonderful to see unguarded smiles with lots of teeth showing, even if for a few minutes in the fresh air outside. I’ve noticed safe distances between strangers but just to be sure, they left their masks hanging from their ear. People seemed to live again, even if for a few minutes at a time and it almost seemed like life was returning to normal. Remember? When we were free to smile at each other? Embrace each other? And when hugs and kisses were something we never realized we had taken for granted?

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Do I think masks should be required? I’m not an expert, not a scientist, not a physician, but do I rag on people who choose not to get the “jab?” No, I respect others’ opinions and their personal accountability. However, when I wasn’t going to get the vaccine, three of my doctors in different office locations advised that I do and because I trust them and I’m confident they have my best interest at heart, I took their advice and got my vaccine in April.

But regardless, I made up my mind that I would always have a mask on my person or in close reach. I spend time with the people I love that love me – vaccinated or not – who respect me and wear a mask in my presence or who aren’t offended when I wear one in theirs. I pray for their safety, but I refuse to call them names, scowl at them or criticize them for their decision. I’m not foolish. Since Covid-19 reared its ugly head, three wonderful people whom I loved or cared deeply about died because of contracting Covid. So, I’m not encouraging or condoning that as Americans we be complacent, careless or that we let our guard down. Moving forward and into the New Year let’s be careful and safe and smart.

Because so much of the news today is too often heartbreaking, scary, frustrating, etc., I only listen selectively to the news commentators I feel are responsible journalists. I concentrate on positive things like reading quality materials and listening to music that inspires me. I want to be a better “me” and believe me when I say, I have lots of room for improvement!

A few goals (mine for sure) to consider for the New Year?

  • Examine bank statements to see where to cut unnecessary expenditures. Economic brains tell us we need to really tighten up for this New Year. I don’t know how much more I can trim excess personally, but I’m going to try;
  • Clear our closets and storage bins and donate clothing and other items to someone who could use and appreciate it or call Dare Challenge at 252-421–1807. It’s a wonderful organization that has helped both young and older men get a fresh start on life and put aside old, harmful habits. They are an outstanding group of people that organized and manage the ministry and they will pick items up from your home that you no longer need (or donate to other thrift stores of your choice) but cleaning up, clearing out and reorganizing ourselves will give us a new perspective for this New Year;
  • Make a better effort to practice utilizing healthier eating plans: low carb, low sugar, low salt and trying new recipes. For crying out loud, I have a large enough collection of diet books to compete with the Dare County Library! (Well, at least a close second anyway!)
  • Ride the used “fat tire” bicycle I purchased recently, the weather being so nice leaves no room for excuses – want to join me? We could organize a senior citizen bicycle brigade!
  • Prioritize a list of home repairs and get on dependable repairmen’s estimate and work schedule;
  • Check out classes offered by the College of The Albemarle – we’re never too old to learn, right? Want to join me?
  • Read the Bible more often and utilize the other books about faith that I bought with every good intention to read;
  • Make a plan to grow more veggies and fresh herbs this spring. It’s a good thing, it saves you money and it’s fun to watch those little seeds reach for the sky;
  • Re-evaluate things in our lives that drag us down or make us sad. Some things though, we just have to give time; personally and for me, a long time.

And speaking of that, please consider attending the free upcoming “Grief Share” class hosted by Peggy Snead starting January 13 from 4:30–6:30 p.m. at Mount Olivet United Methodist Church, 300 Ananias Dare St., Manteo. We will be in the Fellowship Hall Room B and masks will be required.

I’ve talked to y’all several times about this class and I cannot stress enough the help it is to the folks who attend. You are not required to tell your heartache, you are not pressured to engage if you choose not to, you are not “preached at” but you are offered beautiful video clips to watch of many people who have suffered immeasurable grief over the loss of a loved one. The topics cover every kind of relationship be it a spouse, a child, a parent, a sibling or a best friend. I strongly recommend that anyone who’s experiencing a broken heart due to the loss of someone they love to attend. I have attended several times over the last few years and I can personally attest to the fact that it helps. And if you aren’t personally grieving, invite a friend to take so that it will help them.

There is an optional workbook (not required) but extremely helpful that you can purchase if you want for only $15. I strongly recommend that you do. This is a faith-based program and the testimonies of many people featured in the videos help us to understand the process and expectations of grief – that we are not alone in the journey; that things will get better over time and that God is there to help us get through it.

I lost my Billy over five years ago and I love and miss him very much every single day. Please consider attending with me and if you would like to reserve your attendance, purchase your workbook or get further information in advance, please call the church at 252-473-2089.

Until next time, I love you all so much and I thank you for taking the time to read Gig Line, a weekly tribute to not only my “sweetie pie” Billy but to all the men and women who have or who currently serve in our incredible military and for the greatest nation on earth – the United States of America!

For specific questions regarding potential V.A. benefits, V.A. health care, duplicate DD-214, please contact Patty O’Sullivan, Dare County Veteran Service Officer. You can reach her at 252-475-5604 or by email at dcvac@darenc.com. If you want to just chat, call me at 252-202-2058 or write to me at giglineheroes@aol.com. Also, please check out www.giglineheroes.com. I wish you all a very happy and healthy New Year 2022! God bless you and stay tuned!

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