For Thou Art With Me

By SJWNY, a Trail Mix Contributor

Early one morning I was awake in bed when the housekeeping attendant entered the room & announced she was there in her lovely caribbean accent. I waved at her; I no longer have the ability to speak. She looked at me & asked if I would like to pray. I nodded yes. She came over & placed her warm hands in mine; asked the Lord to help me, comfort me. Then she squeezed my hands & went on with her work. The human contact was priceless, the decency much welcome.

I watched the recent election results from my bed & with a viewpoint much prejudiced from my current situation. Friends, Romans, Countrymen … for God’s sake stop the bitterness & bad feelings from all sides. This accomplishes absolutely nothing but bitterness & bad feelings. As much as you may dislike someone or what they represent, wishing them harm or worse death brings you below their level. Because You Know Better. I may or may not be around for 2020. I may have no say or effort in trying to rebuild our country back to decency at that point but I still have a say now. Please, embrace the Good Samaritan over the Revengeful.

Doing good is harder than lashing out but in the end light defeats dark.

The world we build for our descendants begins & ends with us: no excuses.

More Posts by SJWNY


35 thoughts on “For Thou Art With Me”

  1. SJ when you recently told me about your condition I have not stopped thinking about how we are all there and where we are going. Kindness rules!

    As our ultimate Trail boss Mark Twain said, “Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”

  2. Here’s hoping SJ is up and voting in November, 2020.  When an old, old friend pops up on my facebook with crazy nut-case ideas they learned from Drudge, Bannon, Trump, I just push the trap door called “delete and block permanently” button and go about my business. That makes me happy, no sense responding.  I got a lot of that out of my system when I used to rail and rave about the crimes of President Nixon.  Yes, now it’s time for a little kindness, but being kind to one’s opposite , politically, is a strain.  One thing, age mellows the disposition…it’s easy to be not-so-crusty and hard when sitting in that old grandpa’s rockin’ chair.

  3. sjwny, been thinking about you lately. missing your efforts to calm the raging beasts of both sides. must be some sort of universal conscience thingy or because these “just be kind” signs have been popping up all over ky and it made me think of you and your gentle exhortations to us on the trail.

    here’s a story run in September about how these particular ones (pictured above) started:


    An Elizabethtown church group has raised more than $17,000 over the summer, and they are using the money to give back to their community.
    In June, members of the College Heights United Methodist Church began making signs that read “Just Be Kind.” The signs are sold for $10 each.
    Since then, the group has started selling “Just Be Kind” T-shirts, which cost $15 each.
    Church member Tricia Smith told WLKY the project started when another member needed help remodeling his bathroom to make it handicap-accessible.
    “We thought we’d sell 50 signs,” Smith said. “We never thought we’d still be doing this months and months later.”
    To date, the sign and T-shirt sales have exceeded $17,000. The group has used $8,000 to help people in need in the community.
    “That’s the huge thing, to get to make that phone call to meet up with a stranger and say, ‘Hey, we’re able to provide you with this because of the kindness campaign,'” Smith said. “It just makes it all worth it.”
    The group recently fixed up a donated SUV and gave it to Tammy Robins-York, who told WLKY she would walk miles to work because she did not have a car.
    “We had it transferred over into my name, and I just can’t tell you what a blessing it’s been to me,” Robins-York said.
    She said the experience has restored her faith in humanity.
    “Keep faith,” Robins-York said. “It does work out.”
    To purchase a sign or T-shirt, click here.


  4. No one can maintain outrage for very long.  There are too many people in need of love and understanding.  Even at my angriest at the current political shenanigans, I don’t wish them any worse ill than enforced retirement.

    Right now, I have friends and relatives in hospital or hospice.  That takes precedence over the political any day.

    SJWNY – May you stay with us as a reminder that the world is better when the human beings in it are kinder to each other.


  5. SJ’s post makes me believe that every day each of us needs to give an act or two of kindness to another person.  Whether we know the person is not important, it will be good for our own soul.

  6. it will be good for our own soul

    pilar, agree wholeheartedly.  from a thoroughly selfish point of view – like the adage to give is better than to receive –  being kind makes one feel a lot better about oneself inside than does being mean.

  7. If you see your brother standing by the roadWith a heavy load from the seeds he’s sowedAnd if you see your sister falling by the wayJust stop and say, you’re going the wrong way
    You got to try a little kindnessYes show a little kindnessJust shine your light for everyone to seeAnd if you try a little kindnessThen you’ll overlook the blindnessOf narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets
    Don’t walk around the down and outLend a helping hand instead of doubtAnd the kindness that you show every dayWill help someone along their way
    You got to try a little kindnessYes show a little kindnessJust shine your light for everyone to seeAnd if you try a little kindnessThen you’ll overlook the blindnessOf narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets
    You got to try a little kindnessYes show a little kindnessJust shine your light for everyone to seeAnd if you try a little kindnessThen you’ll overlook the blindnessOf narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets



  8. cbs news:
    Michelle Obama still stands by her motto, “When they go low, we go high,” asking, “What’s the alternative?”
    “You learn that vindication in the moment is so short term,” the former first lady told “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King in an interview that will air Wednesday. Obama’s slogan became famous after her Democratic National Convention speech in 2016 where she addressed the bitter discourse in American politics ahead of the presidential election.
    Obama said going low “means you’re operating from your place of emotion,” not results. “More often than not, you don’t get results when you go low,” she said.
    “When you’re in the White House and you have that platform and that responsibility where every word matters, you know, you’re often thinking – at least Barack and I often thought is what we’re about to say going to help? Is it going to move the needle forward? Or is it just going to make us feel vindicated in the moment?” Obama said, adding, “The goal is moving forward.”
    But that doesn’t mean you don’t express your feelings – “that you don’t acknowledge hurt or pain or anger,” she said.
    “That’s not what going high is. Going high means, now you have the feeling. How do you express that feeling in the world and how do you do that responsibly?” Obama said.


  9. WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham said on Tuesday he supported a bill that would protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller from any politically motivated firings and would urge Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to allow a vote on it.
    “I would certainly vote for it,” Graham told reporters of the bill, which he supported when it passed the Senate Judiciary in April.
    “I don’t see any movement to get rid of Mueller. But it probably would be good to have this legislation in place just for the future,” he said.
    McConnell told reporters in Kentucky last week he did not think legislation was necessary because he did not think Mueller was in danger.
    Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said he also supported the bill but would not lobby McConnell to allow the measure to move forward.
    “Every bill that comes out of my committee, I’d like to see a vote. But whether it comes up will be up to the leader and I’m not going to lobby the leader,” Grassley told reporters on Tuesday. “If it comes up, I’ll vote on it. And I think it ought to pass.”
    Maryland asked U.S. District Judge Ellen Hollander in Baltimore to bar Whitaker from appearing in an official capacity as acting attorney general in its ongoing lawsuit against the administration over the Affordable Care Act healthcare law. The state asked the judge to substitute Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in Whitaker’s place.
    The city of San Francisco, also involved in litigation against the Trump administration, on Monday told the Justice Department it may sue to challenge Whitaker’s appointment.


  10. meanwhile, back in floriduh

    cbs news:
    A new problem complicated Florida’s ongoing recount battle as lawyers headed back to court on Wednesday: Palm Beach County’s tallying machines have overheated, causing mismatched results with the recount of 174,000 early voting ballots. Now workers are re-doing that part of the recount, making it even more unlikely that legal deadlines will be met.
    A mechanic was flown in to fix the problems, but “we don’t have a lot of assurances,” Palm Beach County Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher told WPTV Tuesday night.
    This is only the latest complication in Florida’s legally mandated vote recount, which is drawing national attention, including a stream of tweets from President Donald Trump.
    Bucher said the county’s 11-year-old machines began having problems on Monday as early voting ballots were being counted in the U.S. Senate race. They “started overheating so as a result the tally types are not reconciling properly.” And when the totals were added up on Tuesday, they didn’t match.
    Workers are feeding ballots into the machines around the clock, but the machines can only tally one race at a time, and Bucher has already said they will not meet the state’s Thursday deadline to report the recounted votes.


  11. SJ…  I wish you the very best.

    In person… I always practice kindness.  I have friends on the opposite side of the political aisle and have vowed I wouldn’t lose one of them due to all the political crap…  at least from my side.  Can’t control someone else.  So far…   it’s held.  We’ve all agreed to stay civil with one another and respect the other’s point of view.

    On this here blog….   it’s where I get my anger and frustrations out.  If that offends someone… you don’t have to read my posts.  I don’t have a problem with others doing the same.

  12. in lieu of blogging anger and frustration, perhaps whomping a shmoo would do

    from lil abner. com
    The Shmoo first appeared in the strip in August 1948. According to Shmoo legend, the lovable creature laid eggs, gave milk and died of sheer esctasy when looked at with hunger. The Shmoo loved to be eaten and tasted like any food desired. Anything that delighted people delighted a Shmoo. Fry a Shmoo and it came out chicken. Broil it and it came out steak. Shmoo eyes made terrific suspender buttons. The hide of the Shmoo if cut thin made fine leather and if cut thick made the best lumber. Shmoo whiskers made splendid toothpicks. The Shmoo satisfied all the world’s wants. You could never run out of Shmoon (plural of Shmoo) because they multiplied at such an incredible rate. The Shmoo believed that the only way to happiness was to bring happiness to others. Li’l Abner discovered Shmoos when he ventured into the forbidden Valley of the Shmoon, against the frantic protestations of Ol’ Man Mose. “Shmoos,” he warned, “is the greatest menace to hoomanity th’ world has evah known.” “Thass becuz they is so bad, huh?” asked Li’l Abner. “No, stupid,” answered Mose, hurling one of life’s profoundest paradoxes at Li’l Abner. “It’s because they’re so good!”
    Ironically, the lovable and selfless Shmoos ultimately brought misery to humankind because people with a limitless supply of self-sacrificing Shmoos stopped working and society broke down. Seen at first as a boon to humankind, they were ultimately hunted down and exterminated to preserve the status quo. […continues…]

    [or a house elf like Dobby to kick around]

  13. SJ, our very best to you.  Aging and illness are bitches, and it’s distressing when that combination comes home through someone who we consider a friend.  Mrs. P & I send our very best to you and hope for a speedy recovery.

    While I may rail against SFB and his supporters I do not really wish them ill except politically.  I just wish they’d go away by whatever mechanism takes them out of positions of power.

  14. This the kind of organizing that I think works best over time
    Proud to be a Neighborhood Leader in the first year of the project for the Democratic Party of Oregon
    From Chair Jeanne Atkins
    “Some of the numbers our team has shared with me about the success of our Neighborhood Leader Program are truly amazing:
    • We had 20 counties participate in the Neighborhood Leader Program this cycle, recruiting 83 county coordinators and 2,263 Neighborhood Leaders!
    • Neighborhood Leaders knocked on 90,640 doors, and asked 36,956 Oregonians if we could count on their vote.
    • In a midterm election that saw record numbers of Oregon voters turn in their ballots, Neighborhood Leaders boosted Democratic turnout among their contacts by 10 percentage points! As of today, Democratic statewide turnout is at 79 percent — and the turnout for voters contacted by our Neighborhood Leaders is currently 89 percent!”

    The Blue Wave turned out to be a sneaker wave

  15. SJ,
    I’m overwhelmed by the thoughtfulness of your message and the magnanimity of your spirit and kindness. You are special.

  16. The faces of the Democratic party are different now.  Mrs. Alan Greenspan is either incredibly dense or a horrible journalist.  I just heard her say the choice is between Connor Lamb or Stacey Abrams for the face of the party.

    Wow not fake news but pretty close

  17. sj – You’ve been missed around here.  Thank you for today’s post.

    patD – I guess that’s why the pet name for the kids on The Goldberg’s is “shmoo.”  Like the shmoo, the internet was, at first, supposed to be a boon to mankind, too.  Only when we control ourselves. It’s not the fault of the shmoon.

  18. SJ

    Thank you for your post. It lends a much needed perspective that sometimes escapes us in the heat of the moment.

    I can relate very closely to your situation,so it was indeed a pleasure read something so uplifting.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you.


  19. the hill:
    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Wednesday said special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation should be allowed to finish, reiterating what has been a mantra for Senate Republicans this year.
    The GOP leader, however, said legislation to protect Mueller from interference by President Trump or his new acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker is unnecessary, an argument he has made before.
    “There’s been no indication — as you can imagine, I speak to the president fairly often — no indication the Mueller investigation will not be allowed to finish and it should be allowed to finish,” McConnell said.
    Asked if former Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s resignation under pressure might have changed his mind at all about the need for legislation to protect Mueller, McConnell answered with an exasperated “no.”
    “We know how the president feels about the Mueller investigation but he’s never said he wants to shut it down. I’ve never heard anybody down there say they want to shut it down. I think it’s in no danger so I don’t think any legislation is necessary,” he said, referring to what he knows about conversations at the White House.
    McConnell made his comments on the same day that two colleagues, Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Chris Coons (R-Del.), said they would ask for unanimous consent to vote on the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act.
    The bill was co-authored by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and passed the Judiciary Committee in April.
    The legislation codifies Department of Justice regulations mandating that a special counsel can only be fired for good cause and can only be fired by a senior Justice Department official.
    It would also create a 10-day review period during which a judge would determine whether a special counsel’s termination was justified.

  20. move on’s latest effort according to wapo:
    Washington’s latest ice cream truck is politically themed, and yes, you’re legally allowed to call your purchase a scoop. Meet Guilty Pleasures, the newest move by progressive organization Move On to advocate for Robert Mueller‘s Russia investigation. With a logo that emphasizes the words “guilty pleas,” this confectionary on wheels is serving complimentary dollops of themed creams, including Cartel Almond Brittle, Fudge the Truth, Chocolate Mueller-Berry, and Putin’s Vanilla Delight.
    According to a spokesperson for the organization, the truck will offer “four rotating investigations-themed flavors daily, such as “IndictMint Chip,” and it will offer patrons the option of receiving their treat in either “Cup or Cohen.” MoveOn’s truck is currently at 9th and Constitution  near the Department of Justice building, where it will park until 1:30 PM. As with other food trucks around town, Guilty Pleasures has a Twitter account where eager customers can track the location and flavors of the day.



    Hello, World! We’re Washington D.C.’s first investigation-themed ice cream truck! We’re giving out FREE ?? to spread the word about the big successes of the Mueller investigation. Come find us at 9th & Constitution–near the DOJ building–until 1:30 to get your Guilty Pleas-ure.

    12:03 PM – Nov 14, 2018

    This is the latest in a string of pro-Mueller initiatives from MoveOn, who was a partner in the recent Mueller Protection Rapid Response” demonstrations around the country and a member of the Nobody Is Above the Law Network, which has several resources and toolkits in the case the special counsel is ousted by Trump. Organizers tell Washingtonian that the truck will be around for at least the next few weeks.
    UPDATE: Russian food-truck Bel-Feast has tweeted at Guilty Pleasures to, in other words, catch them outside.

    Replying to @jsidman

    Just wait till they’re parked next to @FT_Belfeast: “Food with a Russian accent.”


  21. I wish the entire administration a healthy and fulfulling stay in federal prison.  Or Russia.  Either is fine.

  22. I wish the Trail Secretary to note that I subscribe to kind wisdom of Mr Bink, as expressed in his post of 2:24 pm.

    I hope they and the entire trump/republican campaigns of 2016 and 2018 all enjoy lengthy, even lifetime stays at public expense in our many fine penal institutions. Did I write ‘fine’ ? Yes, and I hope that they all enjoy the many opportunities they should have to pay deficit-correcting fines.

  23. I see, now, that I’ve missed the sentiment of this thread, so:

    Warm holiday pleasantries to all of the white supremacists, toddler-imprisoners, disinformation artists, xenophobes, arms proliferators, predatory lenders, fascists, despots, and all their associated henchpeople, and a bountiful new year!


    I suppose “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Republicans”, would have sufficed.

  24. SJWNY – there is a secret to life which we share.  It is something we see and know that others fail to see and know that is who we are.

    We are in a most important (roughly) seven weeks of this Republic’s existence.  We need to make it to noon and one second Eastern Standard Time on January 3, 2019 to when the Democrats take over the House. At which time there becomes a check on the out of control republicans and SFB.

  25. Thank You to everyone. So nice to see Pilar again: please, friend, write another Post. Really enjoyed the one you wrote.

    I adore all of you & truly believe you are gifted, wise & valuable to our democracy.

    All the best – take care.


  26. Bink, if I could bake again I would make you a big platter of gingerbread, sugar cookies & peanut butter kiss cookies. Just because.

    Everyone else gets a pie of your choice. Just a hint, I’m partial to peach. Or blackberry.


  27. SJ, a pie-ish peach or blackberry cobbler and we are totally sympatico. Truth be told, pie, cobbler….it’s all good. And cookies with peanut butter in any form or configuration and I’m in heaven.

  28. Yes, Ms Cracker,

    I wish corsi a long life without companionship or the light of day, and with sleep under a 100 watt lights only. May he have 10,000 consecutive meals without savor. May even the sex he experiences in his solitary confinement be unsatisfactory and irritating. Above all, may he lack the equipment to commit suicide.

    Lock them ALL up !

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