Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, October 16, 2021

MVNews this week:  Page 10

Mountain View News Saturday, October 16, 2021 10 Mountain View News Saturday, October 16, 2021 

A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder 


If you came to our parsonage, 
you would discover all 
over our property, plants and 
flowers. Just don’t ask me to 

identify what they are. I can tell a plant from a 
flower, but that’s as far as it goes with me. 

That is not true with the Gracious Mistress of 
the Parsonage. She gets all the credit for all the 
plants and flowers on our property. She knows 
them all by name. But, of course, I’m not sure if 
she’s making up those names because I couldn’t 
tell one plant from another plant. 

Walking up to our house, you will see right next 
to the door a pineapple plant. I never knew 
exactly what it was, but my wife kept telling me 
it was a pineapple. Then this year, the pineapple 
actually de-veloped. It took several years for it 
to get to this stage. It has grown quite a bit during 
this year. Look-ing at it, you would think 
you were in Hawaii. 

When she first planted it she asked me, “Did 
you see my new plant out front?” 

I did not, but I did not want to tell her that I did 
not. I try to keep things on the even as much as 

So I just said, “Yes, I saw it, and it looks wonderful.” 
I smiled a very gregarious smile at her. 

I thought I was off the hook with that, but guess 
what? I was not off the hook, because then she 
said, “What kind of a plant is it?” 

If I would’ve had all day and a thousand guesses, 
I could not have guessed what kind of plant 
it was. For me, one plant is the same as another. 
It makes no difference to me. 

“For your information,” she said somewhat 
sarcastically, “it is a pineapple plant.” 

I only thought they grew pineapples in Hawaii. 
Then, of course, there was the proposition that 
she was fooling with me. Why in the world 
would anybody want to grow a pineapple plant? 

“Oh,” I said as humbly as I possibly could, “I 
didn’t recognize it because I’ve never seen a pineapple 
plant before.” 

Then she said, “Why don’t you go out front and 
look at it?” 

When you’re in as much trouble as I am, you 
do what you are invited to do. So, I went out, 
and she followed me to the front to look at the 
pineapple plant. It was a very profitable session. 
First, she gave me a very detailed lecture 
on the pineapple plant, planting it and watering 
it through the year. Then she told me how 
long it takes a pineapple to grow to the point of 

Then, the other night she brought in from the 
backyard an armful of yellow dandelions. So, 
it seems that she has planted dandelions, and 
they have grown and produced these beautiful 
yellow flowers. 

As far as I’m concerned, a flower is a flower. But 

with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage, 
every flower has its own story. 

I had the story of the pineapple plant, and now 
I was privileged to hear the story of the dandelion 
flowers. Again, whether it’s true or not is 
above my pay scale. 

I think she is the Martha Stewart of all things 
growing outside in our backyard. 

Walking around our house outside, you would 
notice all kinds of plants and flowers of different 
colors. They all look healthy and are very 

I once walked around trying to identify the 
plants and the flowers, and I failed miserably. 
Someone in our home has a green thumb, and 
someone has a black and blue thumb. No need 
to explain any fur-ther. 

The one secret to her plants and flowers is that 
she talks to them. I didn’t know plants and 
flowers could hear, but obviously, they do. 

Last week it hadn’t rained for days, and I heard 
her out on the porch saying, “Don’t worry, 
it will rain very soon. Be ready for it and be 

Not knowing what she was talking about or 
who she was talking to, I just responded by 
saying, “Thanks, I was wondering about when 
it would rain.” 

Evidently, talking to the plants and flowers is 
very much appreciated by those plants and 
flowers. I’ve been tempted to go out and talk to 
them myself, but I was fearful that they would 
shrink in fear. Then guess who would be in 

It’s pretty evident that I could not take care of 
plants and flowers as she does. Probably none of 
them would survive. Those plants and flowers 
ought to be quite thankful that I am not the one 
taking care of them. They ought to be thankful 
for the expert with a wonderful green thumb 
and not the one with the black and blue thumb. 

Even though I can’t take care of them, I can 
appreciate them. Also, I can appreciate the one 
who does all the work to make them look as 
good as they do. 

Sitting on the back porch drinking some coffee 
and looking at the flowers, I thought of the 
wonderful verse in the Bible. “Wherefore comfort 
yourselves together, and edify one another, 
even as also ye do” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). 

Relationships are not built upon having the 
same qualities. Rather, it is appreciating our 
differences that pull us together and enable us 
to do what God wants us to do. 

Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of 
God Fellowship, Ocala, FL 34472, where he lives 
with his wife. Call him at 352-216-3025 or 
e-mail The church 
web site is 


HAPPY BIRTHDAY! …October Birthdays* 

Janda Ferris, Darlene Traxler, Margit Johnson, Sole Krieg, George Maurer, Dick 
Anderson, Eva Poet, Mary Jane Baker, Dixie Coutant, Jill Franks, Cathleen Cremins, 
Adie Marshall, Darlene Crook, Susan Gallagher, Maggie Ellis, Gloria Giersbach, Elva 
Johnson, Ellen O’Leary, Jenny Piangenti, Gail Ann Skiles, Anita Thompson, Linda 
Boehm and Angela Stella

* To add your name to this distinguished list, please call the paper at 626.355.2737. 
YEAR of birth not required 



All Classes and programs will maintain a distance of 6 ft between participants. All equipment 
used will be sanitized after each use before it is stored. Each participant is responsible for providing 
their own water, masks and additionally needed supplies for each class. 

Please call the Community Services Department at 355-7394 with any questions or concerns. 


FRANKENSTEIN (1931) – Wednesday, 10/13 at 2:00 pmIn James Whale's timeless adaptation of Mary Shelley's masterpiece 
novel, Boris Karloff stars as the screen's most tragic and memorable 
horror giant, when Dr. Frankenstein dares to tamper with life and 
death by piecing together salvaged body parts to create a human 


Wednesday, 10/27 at 2:00 pm

Can two young boys overcome the worst the devil himself can deal out? Wishes are 
granted, but twisted as only the esteemed Mr. Dark can make them. Based on the Ray Bradbury novel. 

CHAIR YOGA – Monday and Wednesday each week, 10-10:45 amPlease join us for some gentle stretching, yoga, balance exercise and overall relaxation with Paul. 
Classes are ongoing and held in the Memorial Park Covered Pavilion. 

TEA AND TALK, SENIOR BOOK CLUB 2nd and 4th Wednesday, 9:00 am

Staff has launched a new book club series, Tea and Talk, which meets twice a month to discuss the 
fun, suspense, intrigue, love and so much more that each selection will have in store! 

FIBER FRIENDS – Tuesday, 10/12 & 10/26 AT 10:00 AM

If you enjoy knitting, crocheting, embroidery, needlepoint, bunka, huck, tatting or cross stitch then 
we have a group for you! Bring your current project, sit and chat with like-minded fiber friends. We 
meet in the Hart Park House. 

HULA AND POLYNESIAN DANCE – Friday, 10-10:45 amBring a lei, your flower skirt or just your desire to dance! Hula in the Park is back and waiting for you 
to join in on all the fun! Memorial Park Pavilion. 

TEA AT THREE WITH CHIEF BARTLETT AND THE SMFD Friday, October 8th, 3:00-5:00 pm

Stop by for some bingo, tea and conversations with Sierra Madre Fire Chief Bartlett and crew. Reserve 
your spot with Lawren. 


The object of the game is for a player to play all the tiles from their hand onto one or more trains, 
emanating from a central hub or “station”. Call Lawren with questions that you may have. 

BINGO -Tuesday, 10/12, 1:00 pm Hart Park House 

Hart Park House Senior Bingo is back by popular demand! Come on down to enjoy this time honored 
game with some old and new friends. We are trying a new spin on your BINGO fun so please 
bring your good luck charms and BINGO markers! 

SKELETON WREATH – Tuesday, 10/19, 10:00 amWhat would Halloween be without a skeleton or a wreath? I invite you to join me in combining the 
two for a whimsical and fun door greeting. Space is limited to six participants so please call Lawren 
to reserve your spot. 


Micro is Metro’s new on-demand rideshare service, offering trips within several zones in LA County. 
The new service is for short local trips and uses small vehicles (seating up to 10 passengers). Micro 
is part of Metro’s family of services and has been designed hand-in-hand with Metro’s NextGen Bus 
Plan. The service is meant to be a fast, safe and convenient option for quick trips around town, Monday-
Sunday, 5:30 am-9:30 pm. At this time, a promotional fare of $1 will run six months from the 
date of service launch. The $1 will not include a transfer to Metro bus and rail. Customers can pay using 
their TAP Card/account (stored value only) or with a credit card (no cash). Metro staff will return 
to the Board at the end of the six-moth introductory period to consider potential fare adjustments. 

Service hours of operation are: Monday—Sunday between 5:30 am-9:30 pm. 
Download the Metro Micro App: visit: book.metro-micro.netor 
Call 323-GO-METRO (323) 446-3876 



Dear Savvy Senior:
Do you know of any financial assistance programs that 
can help seniors with home improvement projects? I 
would like to help my grandparents make a few modifications 
to their house so they can continue living there 
safely, but money is tight. Searching Grandson 

Dear Searching:

 Yes! There are a number of financial aid programs available that can help seniors with home modifications 
and improvement projects for aging-in-place, but what’s available to your grandparents will 
depend on their financial situation and where they live. Here are some different options to explore.
Medicare Advantage benefits: While original Medicare does not typically pay for home improvements, 
if your grandparents are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan, it may offer some aid 
for modifications based on need. Contact their Medicare Advantage provider to see if this is available.

Medicaid waivers: If your grandparents are low-income and eligible for Medicaid, most states have 
Medicaid Home and Community Based Services waivers that provide financial assistance to help 
seniors avoid nursing homes and remain living at home. Each state has different waivers, eligibility 
requirements and benefits. Contact your Medicaid office (see for information.

Non-Medicaid government assistance: Many state governments and several agencies within the 
federal government have programs that help low to moderate income seniors, who aren’t eligible for 
Medicaid with home modifications. For example, the Department of Housing and Urban Development 
offers HUD Home Improvement Loans by private lenders. Contact a HUD approved counseling 
agency (call 800-569-4287) to learn more.

And the U.S. Department of Agriculture has a Rural Development program that provides grants and 
loans to rural homeowners. Your local USDA service center (see can give 
you more for information.

Many states also have financial assistance programs known as nursing home diversion programs. 
These programs, which may include grants or loans or a combination, helps pay for modifications 
that enable the elderly and disabled to remain living at home. Modifications covered typically include 
accessibility improvements like wheelchair ramps, handrails and grab bars.

To find out if there are programs in your grandparent’s area, contact the city or county housing 
authority, the local Area Aging Agency (800-677-1116) or the state housing finance agency – see

Veteran benefits: If your either of your grandparents is a veteran with a disability, the VA provides 
grants like the SAH, SHA and HISA grants that will pay for home modifications. See
benefits/factsheets/homeloans/sahfactsheet.pdf for details and eligibility requirements.

Some other VA programs to inquire about are the “Veteran-Directed Care” program and “Aid and 
Attendance or Housebound Benefits.” Both programs provide monthly financial benefits to eligible 
veterans that can help pay for home modifications. To learn more, visit or call 

Nonprofit organizations: Depending on where your grandparent’s live, they may also be able to get 
assistance in the form of financial aid or volunteer labor to help with modifications. One of the most 
noteworthy is the organization Rebuilding Together (, 800-473-4229), which 
offers three programs: Safe at Home, Heroes at Home, and National Rebuilding Day. 
Another option is community building projects, which provide seniors with volunteer labor to help 
them make home improvements. To search for projects in your grandparent’s area, do web search 
containing the phrase “community building project” followed by their “city and state.” 

Reverse mortgage: Available to seniors 62 and older who own their own home and are currently living 
there, a reverse mortgage will let your grandparents convert part of the equity in their home into 
cash – which can be used for home improvements – that doesn’t have to be paid back as long as they 
live there. But reverse mortgages are expensive loans, so this should be a last resort.
For more information on these and other financial assistance programs, go to PayingForSeniorCare.
com and click on “Senior Care” followed by “Home Modifications.” 

Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.
org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book. 

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: