Second Sunday of Advent

We are people of hope!

Time to hope and to enjoy the gifts we have

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Dear Father Mark,

Your homily about the  St. Patrick’s parish couple who found out last Monday they were chosen to be parents for a baby girl, after years of trying to adopt a child, brought tears to my eyes.
Like you, I cried. I will always cry whenever this story of adoption enters my mind.
I cried tears of joy for the couple whom I have known for a long time.

I cried tears of belief that there is hope no matter what, as long as we believe. Even the tiniest grain of belief matters.
I cried tears of gratitude for my own children and for all parents who seek adoption.
Thank you for the beautiful story on this second Sunday of Advent, which means hope.
May the story of the  parish couple inspire others never to lose hope.

Hope is love in disguise.

Emma

About the featured photo: The wreath in the middle with four candles, of two which are lit, signify the second Sunday of Advent. It expresses our hope.

 

frmarkpeacock

Second Sunday of Advent

Isaiah 11:1-10

Romans 15:4-9

Matthew 3:1-12 

A couple here at the parish, have been trying to adopt a child for four to five years. So many times they would get right to the end and not get chosen. This was very disheartening as you can image. Recently the couple told me they were not going to renew their contract because it was just too difficult. The wife began visiting a very holy woman of the parish who kept telling her, “I am going to pray for a miracle that you get a baby.” Well, that very holy woman died on Thanksgiving Day and we celebrated her funeral mass here on Monday. After the funeral and after the luncheon I went to the rectory when all of a sudden I heard screaming coming from outside the front door of the rectory. This woman, who has been trying…

View original post 407 more words

Time to take a mental break

fb_img_1480336165473.jpgwp-1480421506571.jpegew-christmas-lowell

 

Time to relax, time to live

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI – In this busy holiday season I needed author Becky Stuit’s prompt to relax today and over the weekend. I’ve been running myself crazy around in circles or spirals as you will.

“When are you going to get the house ready?” asked my husband Ludek on Tuesday as he was stepping over all sorts of stuff laid out on the floor. That is my typical style of designing, laying out things on the floor, so I can see what I have.

I finally wrapped up client E-newsletters yesterday, with more to go on Monday. I have to do two interviews via Skype, which I am really looking forward to. I want to stream the WordCamp live from Philadelphia, since I couldn’t go. I have two stories to write today.

This week has just taken its toll on me.

I’ve never really been able to take a mental break, as advised by both Becky and my husband Ludek.
On any given night, I wake up around 2 a.m. and immediately think about all my projects from writing to design, to shopping, to living, repainting, redecorating and back to writing. And I forget to sleep.

I almost freaked out when I saw the fires in Tennessee followed by the tornadoes. My parents Ella & Vaclav were on their way to Florida passing by pretty close to all the nature’s fury.

Reading Stuit’s post, I realized I need to live more, believe more and enjoy life more. I am going to enjoy my granddaughter Josephine Marie Palova this weekend as much as I can. First early in the morning I will run to the Rogue River Arts Show at the Lowell High School, so I can get a photo of artist/hunter Linda Kropf Phillips (I am writing a story about her).

Then we will speed to the Horrock’s Christmas farm in Ionia with Josephine, take a horse-drawn wagon ride into the fields, cut a tree, have a hot dog inside, roast some marshmallows , decorate the tree and try to catch up with Santa on the Showboat in Lowell.

Relax, girl. It’s all in good time.

20150224_124921.jpg

And all along, I am trying to live up to the high demands of my surroundings. These include sometimes counselling, as if I know anything about numerology or reading people’s future.

However, my great colleague and friend Annie Conboy of UK ( I am writing a story about her blogging for the past 382 days) says you can do anything through your intuition.
“Just listen to your Guides.”
Well my “Guides” yesterday told me that someone out there needs my help.
I kind of know who it is. I pulled her out of obscurity from the past last spring using a non-conform technique.
“Please tell me something positive,” she begged this week.
“I always tell you positive things, but you never listen,” I said.
Down the road, when the time is right, I will write about this woman. That is once I can sort everything out and getting a mental break.

Guides, can I do all that?

Subscribe to Emma Blogs, LLC E newsletter here today to stay in the loop.

Copyright (c) 2016, Emma Blogs, LLC.  All rights reserved.

Becky Due - Writes Books

Today’s Challenge: Find some time to relax, maybe take a mental vacation.

Have a great weekend!

View original post

A Haiku on “Magic”

Feeling inspired today by the Traveling Nurse’s Haiku on “Magic.”
I might try to write a few of my own Haikus.
I wrote some and illustrated them in the early 2000s and later in 2008. I feel like it’s coming back to me at full force during this busy holiday time.
I actually find reprieve in Haiku writing. Haiku to me is like an island in the midst of the vast ocean of writing.
I need to spend some time on this Haiku island to gain strength to head out back into the ocean of writing.
Sometimes, like most writers and authors, I am intimidated by my upcoming writing. I know the idea has already taken some form in my head, and it is waiting to break out.
Will it be the right time and shape for that idea?
I’ve been carrying all these ideas in me for a long long time.
I’ve also been storing the products of my ideas on the shelves of my book cases for what seems like infinity.
Sometimes, I find old stories all dusty and fading on the yellow paper. Editors demanded hard print copies back then.
As I pick those products back up, I wonder what am I going to do with them this time?
Should I wake them up and bring them to life? Like a sleeping giant or a boring midget?
I have an entire collection “Glass Flowers” (c) Emma Palova that was inspired by an important time in my life.
I am dusting that off and bringing it out into the daylight.
It’s about time for my “Glass Flowers” to be broken into endless pieces.
Copyright (c) 2016 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

That Traveling Nurse

It’s Haiku Fridays, People!

20161007_104718

Looking for fairies
Enchanted woods and magic
Please don’t wake me up!

(In response to The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge on Magic)

View original post

27. November 1989

A step back in time to  Monday Nov. 27 in 1989

Lowell, MI- It was Monday under the sign of Sagittarius as George W. Bush took the presidential torch from Ronald Reagan.

It was also the release of “Christmas Vacation” with Chevy Chase and John Grisham topped the bestselling list with his “A Time to Kill.” Two major tragedies set 1989 apart from the rest: the massacre at Tiananmen Square and the Exxon-Valdez oil spill.

Just as the world lost Salvador Dali in 1989, Taylor Swift was born, according to takemebackto.com.

The following are excerpts from my memoir “Greenwich Meridian” (c) copyright 2016 Emma Palova.

“That Monday morning I dressed up warm in my Benetton jacket adorned with an tricolor ribbon, a red, white and blue sweater and jeans. I made a quick snack for the four-hour trip from Zlin to Prague. It was probably an old croissant with salami.

I boarded the 6 a.m. train to Prague called “Citron” packed with young people in the standing room only aisles.

As daylight broke into the dark morning, I felt the crisp air from the outside brush my red cheeks. Exhausted from the events of the past few months, I didn’t sleep much. I was shaking and not just from the November chill.

The last 10 days since the Nov. 17 student demonstrations in Prague were filled with political turmoil and uncertainty. I was either glued to the TV much like the entire nation or demonstrating on the town square in Zlin.

The communist regime has already fallen in the neighboring Poland. We all supported the Polish leader of revolution, Lech Walesa along with our own dissident Vaclav Havel and the Civic Forum (CF) that led the movement for freedom. This movement entered modern history as the Velvet Revolution, lasting from Nov. 17 through Dec. 10, 1989.

The mass media in former Czechoslovakia informed the nation about the General Strike on Nov. 27 in Prague and all the major cities.

“Please participate in the strike,” the media encouraged, “or if you cannot hold solidarity with the people on strike.”

That Monday, a nation that could not agree on anything, walked out of universities, factories and offices to show the power of the people.

Twenty-seven years later sitting behind my desk on a Sunday morning in rural America, while it’s still dark outside, I ask myself:

“What if the manifestation went violent like in Tiananmen Square?”

I left that trail of thought untouched.

As we disembarked from the train at the art nouveau Prague Main Station, like a river, the crowds flowed into the Wenceslas Square. 300,000 people howled in the square from noon to 2 p.m. holding their arms up with hands in the peace sign.

“Havel to the castle,” I chanted along with the crowds.

We wanted the poet, the playwright and the dissident Havel, to become the next president of Czechoslovakia, as we rang our keys and little bells.

That ring magnified by millions across the nation signified that the hour of freedom has arrived after years of darkness and oppression.

For Havel, it was an uneasy progression from a communist jail cell to the Hradcany Castle, over the last two decades since the Prague Spring in 1968.

I’ve always been claustrophobic, and the moving crowd made me nauseous. The defunct communist leadership under President Gustav Husak met most of the demands of the Civic Forum (CF), so the demonstration ended peacefully.

I remember heading into one of the pubs on the Lesser Square aka Mala Strana on the other side of the Vltava River. Havel frequented that area, and in 1994 as the president of Czech Republic, visited one of the pubs with the former USA president Bill Clinton.

Meanwhile, a different story was transpiring on the home front on that gloomy Monday. The late afternoon train took me back to hometown Zlin.

My grandpa Joseph passed from lung cancer at the Vizovice Hospital of Merciful Friars after steadily deteriorating for six months.

In one of the last conversations held at the white hospital room, that smelled of a heavy disinfectant agent, grandpa asked me about his beloved ranch. That is the house at 111 Krnovska Street in Vizovice that I inherited in grandpa’s will. Together, with husband Ludek and daughter Emma, we spent many delightful years at the ranch.

“You know I had to sell it, so I can leave the country,” I explained patiently for the 100th time.

After selling all my worldly possessions as a condition to emigration, I was holding tight onto my exit visa to the USA. Ludek was waiting for his emigration visa in Pabneukirchen, Austria.

“The ranch is in good hands of a person who loves it,” I reassured grandpa.

“Who is it?” grandpa whispered in pain.

“It’s Eugene,” I said in equal emotional pain.

“Mr. Drabek, do you want your yogurt,” asked a nurse traditionally dressed in blue with white apron and a starched white hat.”

“No,” sighed grandpa turning away from us.

…………………………………………………………….I remained in the country until Dec. 22.”

What’s your story?

In the pictures: Top, late Vaclav Havel lays flowers at the Velvet Revolution memorial on Wenceslas Square in Prague.

Bottom: Grandpa Joseph Drabek with wife Anna, daughters left to right: Ella & Anna.

For more stories on Velvet Revolution go to https://wordpress.com/post/emmapalova.com/172636

For more info on certain dates go to takemebackto.com

Copyright © 2016 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Happy Thanksgiving 2016

What is your favorite holiday parade character?

This question was inspired by the 90th anniversary of the Thanksgiving Macy’s Parade special.

“Mine is Lucy,” I laughed with my husband Ludek last night.

“Mine is Popeye,” Ludek said. “I didn’t know anything else.”

Thanksgiving & Christmas traditions inspire creative work

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI – From our family to yours, I would like to wish everyone a great Thanksgiving. Like…

Source: Happy Thanksgiving 2016

Happy Thanksgiving 2016

Thanksgiving & Christmas traditions inspire creative work

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI – From our family to yours, I would like to wish everyone a great Thanksgiving. Like many, I consider Thanksgiving a kick-off to the holiday season filled with joy and traditions.

Being the little kid that I am, I love to discover new things and start new traditions.

Last night, I watched the 90th Anniversary special of the Thanksgiving Macy’s Parade in NYC.

In awe, I watched the balloons flying seven stories high, and I wished I could be in one of the apartments watching the parade at the same level as the balloons fly by you.

“What is your favorite character?” was the question at large during the TV anniversary special.

Living here in the 70s, I loved the Peanuts, and pretty much I didn’t know anything else.

“Of course it’s Lucy,” I laughed.

“Mine is Popeye,” said Ludek.

Since, I am not from this country, I have only heard about the famous parade in NYC. I don’t know what I’ve been doing up until now, but I definitely haven’t been watching TV on any given Thanksgiving morning.

Like most women, I must have been cooking and getting the house ready for the guests.

But, last night’s anniversary special about the Macy’s Parade totally changed my perspective on Thanksgiving.

I got up early this morning to get a head start in the kitchen, so I could be ready by 9 a.m. to watch the parade and start a new Thanksgiving tradition.

“How come the communist parades in Czechoslovakia didn’t have these cool balloon characters or the floats?” I asked my husband Ludek.

“They did,” he laughed, “Don’t you remember the allegoric vehicles?”

“Is that what they called the floats?” I smiled. “What did they look like?”

“I don’t remember,” Ludek said.

That’s the problem with time as it passes by like a parade, you don’t remember all of them. But, some stick in your mind.

I am a natural lover of all parades. They inspire my creative work. A hometown parade in Lowell, MI in October of 2006 with a clown theme prompted me to write the short story, “Riddleyville Clowns” © copyright Emma Palova.

Three years later based on the short story, I penned the screenplay “Riddleyville Clowns” © copyright Emma Palova.

Along with the short story “Tonight on Main” © Emma Palova, these two original works have base in small town America.

“Mom, that’s a great story,” said my daughter Doc Emma.

“Really?” I paused in disbelief.

I have learned to love dearly this piece of Americana; that is the traditional parades.

And I rejoiced, as I watched the 90th anniversary Macy’s Parade special when I found out that the Rockford Marching Band will be in the 2017 Macy’s parade.

I live 10 miles southeast of yuppie Rockford.

The two towns, rural Lowell & suburban Rockford, have engaged in an unfair competition in everything ranging from sports, bands to MEAP scores and more. Lowell steadily wins the sports competition not just with Rockford, but in the entire West Michigan region, under the tutelage of coach Noel Dean.

I suppose one day, coach Dean will be in one of the allegoric vehicles or honored as an oversized balloon floating high above the crowd.

Lowell will hold its night Christmas parade next Saturday on Dec. 3rd. Even though it’s a lot of vehicles sounding off sirens on Main, I still love the flavor of the parade with the marching bands and the Grinch, and finally Santa and his wife, Mrs. Santa.

“I would love to have an exuberant parade,” said Lowell Chamber director Liz Baker. “We have the village theme this year.”

My favorite is the Lowell Area Historical society float with horses and period costumes.

The noontime Christmas parade in 1999 set off my writing of the novel “Fire on Water” ©copyright Emma Palova.

I remember writing notes on a receipt from the Meijer store, while I waited for my son Jake who played the saxophone in the parade.

After all these years with all the parades, I still love clowns and the characters from Peanuts.

Have a great holiday season.

What is your favorite character?

About the featured photo: Prague Christmas markets on Wenceslas Square. Watch for stories about the Christmas markets in Europe that coincide with the Advent Sundays.

Copyright © 2016 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

27th Anniversary of Velvet Revolution

Masses commemorate 27th anniversary of Velvet Revolution in Czech Republic in  march for freedom

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI- I watched the live stream from the demonstrations commemorating the 27th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution in Czech Republic with mixed feelings as they turned into protests against the current government. That is mainly against the third president of the Czech Republic, Milos Zeman.

Only yesterday hundreds of college students walked out against the President-elect Donald Trump in the USA following high school students’ and citizens’ protests across the nation.

In a time of political unrest all over the world, I attempt to dissect everything impartially. I don’t know if it is always possible to be totally without any bias because I don’t live in social isolation.

“Milos into the trash,” reverberated the crowds marching from the Prague Castle Square known as “Hradcany” across the Manes Bridge over the Vltava River and onto the Wenceslas Square. A stage was set up by the King Wenceslas statue for a concert for freedom in the evening.

At times the crowds used the 1989 slogan of the Velvet Revolution, “It’s already here,” That was a reference to the movement started by students in memory of the death of Jan Opletal by the Nazis in 1939.

ew-vaclav-havel-head

“We don’t want another totality,” was the message for the Nov. 17, 2016 events. “It’s already here.”

“It was always here, then and now,” I say while watching the history repeat itself.

I was still in Czechoslovakia in that critical period of time from Nov. 17 to Dec. 10, when the communist officials including former president Gustav Husak resigned under pressure.

A democratic coalition and an economic forum led by former dissident Vaclav Havel replaced the dictatorship.

I was finalizing my emigration to the USA to join my parents and my husband, who had already left the homeland for Austria in 1988.

I dedicate a few chapters in the Greenwich Meridian © memoir to this difficult time in my life, when I was living alone with my kids. My grandfather Joseph Drabek was already in the hospital dying from lung cancer.

In those 23 days from Nov. 17 to Dec. 10, 1989, I learned more than I have learned in all the schools: past and present, physical or virtual.

I’ve learned that a change in the society is possible as long as enough people want it, and if they are willing to stand behind their beliefs in face of adversity by taking action.

The 1989 demonstrations for freedom from the communist dictatorship spread across the country. I was standing together with thousands of others on the town squares in the cold November nights, sporting the tri-color ribbons on the lapel of my coat.

My friend Zuzana was watching my two-and-a-half year old son Jake in the stroller, while her boyfriend was speaking from the podium.

We all took part in the change. It didn’t happen by itself. And it didn’t happen overnight. It started with the political movement for the reformation of the communist party known as the “Prague Spring” in 1968.

The Velvet Revolution was 21 years in the making since the Soviet tanks invaded the country to punish the reformers including Havel. Even in prison, Havel, known as the poet of democracy, never gave up.

I’ve learned that anything is possible including my highly improbable exit from the politically torn Czechoslovakia.

I’ve learned that we are stronger than we think, and that we have to make decisions that will impact other people, as well.

Speaking about decision-making.

I was standing on the brink of freedom, with exit visa in my drawer, shaking with cold and not just from the November night, but from the things to come.

The CTK Czech Press Office covered the demonstrations in Prague.

To be continued……..

Copyright © 2016 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

In nature’s harmony

Hunting season 2015 opens strong, artist inspired by hunting

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI- Today is the opening day of the firearm hunting season in the Midwest. It will last until the end of November.

It may or may not mean anything to big city folks, but out here in the country it is a big deal.

Some school districts like Portland schools in Ionia County close for the opening day, so kids can go out and hunt with their dads.

Although I am not a hunter, I have so many friends, both female and male, who are hunters that I had to post this to honor their passion.

The first who comes to my mind is my artist hunter friend Linda Kropf Phillips of Lowell. Inspired by nature and hunting, Phillips has created a line of slab wood paintings “Natures Serenity.”

Natures Serenity
Natures Serenity art by Linda Kropf Phillips and Jerry Kropf @fallasburg.

The second hunter is a long-time friend from former Czechoslovakia,  Miroslav Hlavenka.  He now resides in Montreal, Canada. Hlavenka is an awesome chef a la naturelle.

Both are hunting now, as I write this post that could also be called “Living in harmony with nature.”

Annually, the sports hunting industry fuels the economy in many ways from direct hunting permits, & gear to indirect sports hunting tourism.

Hunter Miroslav Hlavenka.
Miroslav Hlavenka with his deer and a dog.

And the experts predict a good hunting season due to unseasonably mild weather.

“The deer had a lot to feed on,” said TV sports commentator.

This morning opened strong with clear skies and 50 degree temperatures. Hundreds of hunters in camouflage headed out into the woods.

As I drove to an appointment through the country, I could see cars parked by public hunting lands.

One opening day, I actually headed out into the Lowell State Game Area and joined a local hunter for a great experience, and a great story.

Archery hunting.
Some hunters’ gear.

We always took photos of proud hunters who brought their deer in at the various newspapers that I have worked for.

Phillips of Lowell is already in  Upper Peninsula with four guys determined to get their deer.

We postponed our interview for IW Inspiring Women series until Phillips returns in December.

Phillips fascinates me that she is both an avid hunter and a very apt nature artist and she shows that off in  “Natures Serenity.”

She was one of the first artists at the Fallasburg Village Bazaar last year.

Hlavenka used to hunt already back in former Czechoslovakia. He picked back up his passion in Quebec, as he heads out into the woods.

Nature' Serenity.
Deer art by the Kropfs.

Back in Czech Republic, hunters and public at large celebrated the hunting season with the annual Hunter’s Ball in the winter months.

The hunters wore their green uniforms and made hunter’s goulash for the occasion. It was either venison, boar and rabbit stew or steaks with potato dumplings and red cabbage.

There is something about hunting that’s inherent to human kind. That’s how we survived in the first place all the earth’s elements, agriculture came later.

Whenever I see deer in my garden feasting on apples or turkeys running in the cornfields, there’s joy in my heart, that peace will prevail.

With the upcoming Thanksgiving next week, there is a lot to be thankful for.

Driving through the woods and the fields on a beautiful sunny November morning, crossing the Thornapple, Grand and Flat rivers, I realized how grateful I am for the surrounding nature, for the harmony, for the fall abundance and the co-existence of it all.

Send me a picture of you and your deer and I will post it on my Emma Blogs, LLC portfolio of sites.

Watch for a recipe for Hunter’s Stew coming up.

Also in the works are stories in the IW Inspiring Women winter series. They have the logo of the orchids.

Copyright © 2016 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

EW This WordPress.com site is about Emma's Writings.