could be anything. might be nothing. might make you think. could make you wish I would stop.
breathe people...everything is easier when you breathe!

11.30.2015

30 day people challenge - me

 Ahhh...we have come full circle.
I started this challenge with a pull from my blog archives. A completely narcissistic tongue in cheek maybe a little bit true poem about moi.
Now we end with a post about me. Karma.
(kinda wishing I hadn't already used that poem.)

If you read this blog journal at all then you know me. I am a glorious mess! Nah, that sounds too southern "bless her heart". That is so not me.
I am not self deprecating or humble or obtuse.
I lean more towards arrogant and aware of my awesome.
At the same time tho, I am fully aware that I am not all that. I am just all and none. Me.
I am actually just a regular person in every way. I like to think of myself as unique...and I do know that there is no one like me exactly but I am also so very very regular.
There are people like me. I find them sometimes and it makes my heart so happy when I do.
I am not alone.
I am known and understood.
I do not have to have exacts in order to be part of the group that shares my weird.

I was raised to believe that I must become nothing to honor my creator. I no longer believe that. Not for myself. Not for you.
I was created to be full of myself. Truly! I was made to be aware of the beauty placed inside of my self. I was created to love that place inside of me. I was created to love that place inside of you!
I have come to realize that it is alllll about me. And that it doesn't stop there. It doesn't stop there because when you come to the place that you love you and see you and appreciate you ...you find that you also love  and see and appreciate the people around you.
Funny thing...Jesus said "you love me because I first loved you".
He also said "love your neighbor as yourself".

Is it possible that I love you better when I love myself? And that I love you because I first loved me?

That sounds far reaching and certainly far preaching. I don't mean it that way.
I am just sounding off about me.
I am learning not to be scared of myself. In that journey I am finding that less afraid I become the more loving I become.

Tis a puzzle.

I am done here. I wrote the things all month long and I am done.
I hope you liked our little challenge.


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30 day people challenge. Swing by and see what our other contributors are up to.

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30 day people challenge - bingo

 Tinkerbell.

Somewhere inside me a tiny child resides. She loves to think of fairies creating and sustaining all of nature. The boring, grossly religious "grown up" still whispers that fairies are a little bit pagan.
Hogwash.
Fairies do not in any way diminish the thought of God.
What a small deity He would be if He could not deal with the fanciful imaginings of life.
My heart delights in the thought that creatures could exist that paint the flowers and create the wind.
What if fairies came in all sizes? What if the tiny ones keep the pollen and the giant ones shoot the arrows of lightning? What if microscopic fairies danced on the breezes created by the wings of fairie creatures so large that they cannot be seen at all?

What if fairies and angels are the same thing?
I like this thought. A lot.

Disney did a really good job playing with the ideas of fairies and their world. Since I have a little girl I am smack dab in the middle of fairie world.
I love it.

I just wish I had some fairie dust.


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30 day people challenge. Swing by and see what our other contributors are up to.

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30 day people challenge - historical figure

I cannot stinkin believe that I am in the home stretch of this challenge and I can't brain enough to think of an interesting historical figure. I even googled "random historical figure" because you would be surprised what Uncle Google knows. There was this personality test and I took it to see which historical figure fit me best.
Leonardo.
Not the turtle...the inventor/artist guy.
Bow. Ring. 
Since my brain is tired I am afraid that writing about any historical figure is going to sound like a 5th period essay assignment. I must not let this stop me.
I am just going to free associate for a minute to see who comes up and what things I know, think I know, learned in college, heard from my teenagers...6 degrees to Kevin Bacon.
Bear with me.

Genghis Khan- conqueror -something like 87% of the worlds population shares his genetic material.
Marie Antoinette- french empress? - lived in excess while her people suffered.
Bonaparte.- French
Benedict Arnold- not french but for some reason I always think he is at first thought
Benedict Cumberbatch - because obviously
Carlie Simon- why? this must be some subconscious connecting mechanism at work
Simon Legree- Claim to fame from Rogers and Hammerstein's, The King and I
George Washington- cherry trees and bad teeth
Abraham Lincoln- February birthday and referenced in The King and I
Some guy that crossed the Alps with elephants (Hanibal)- Again with the King and I
Erik the Red- viking, great beard, explorer and conqueror
Pocahontis - thinking about the New World
Lewis and Clark- more explorers - men needing directions - women baling them out
Clark Griswald -stupid men needing help
Cleopatra - powerful women
Charlie Chaplin - brain blip
that's it. That's all I got.
I cannot explain the train of thought.

I love history. I have never loved history assignments so my mind is rebelling.
I will end with this...history seems to be so subjective that I tend to sit in suspect. This kinda steals the fun from it for me. What I prefer is historical fiction. I like it when a good writer takes a character and fleshes out the times and dates with emotions and reactions. I enjoy the what-ifs. I believe that the best way to understand history is to put yourself into the pages of time and live those moments with the characters at play.

Some time later I may revisit this topic and flesh out some historical...probably biblical...scenario.
For now, please accept my lameness and lets move on.

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30 day people challenge - online friend


This is a little bit of a cheater. I do actually know this person in real life but I never get to spend time with her because Colorado and Texas refuse to be close together. 
We met in college. She was a freshman twerp. I was an upperclass badass with a fiance. We didn't really run in the same circles.
My loss.
We got done with college and went our separate ways to live life. It wasn't until 20 something years later that we reconnected online.
Facebook is a good tool for re-connection.
I found her in a random comment.
I think she mentioned something about her non-traditional doctor or maybe her spirit-filled church experience?? Whatever it was, it caused me to send her a private message where I layed  out my heart in a very non-committal way and asked her some question or other to see if it was safe to proceed with conversation.
That is always so scary, that first reach out. Alcohol would make it so much easier.
Does anyone but me feel the pain of sending a message that is not answered?
The agony.
( could be inserted here that blogging with no reply on the end is the same kind of torture. hint. hint.)

She answered.
I don't remember it feeling painful in those first rounds of friend discovery. She is good like that.
We seemed to click right off. If either one of us was bluffing I don't know or remember.
I don't really understand how two people with such different lives could think so much alike.

She is my friend. I run to her for encouragement and for painful truths I do not want to hear. We talk long about the scary places where our hearts seem alone and we find companionship even when we do not share that particular dark alley. Together we explore the high mountains of theory and explode into the Eureka! moments as we begin to really understand how much we have never understood.
We are friends.
I thank the internet for this connection. Maybe snail mail could forge a friendship like this but it is doubtful. We seem to need our real time bounce off each others heart and mind. A growing of thought that happens as fast as our fingers can type. It works.
Maybe it would not work the same face to face. Maybe we would not have the time we devote to our click-talking. I can type while all the world is screaming around me. My family life would not really be conducive to full-day coffee meetings like we share over the interwebs.
Still, it would be nice to be neighbors in the borrow a cup of sugar sense.
Until that happens I will be content with my online friendship. It means so very much to me.

Thank you for being my friend. You know who you are.
I treasure you.



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30 day people challenge - coworker

I work at home. My home is my work. My children are my subordinates. I have no boss but me.
I guess that makes my husband my coworker.
Hmmmm.....

Let me tell you about my coworker.

He never washes his coffee cup.
He has been known to eat my lunch out of the fridge.
He does his projects in his own sweet time and will not be swayed by promises of bonus.
He gets to work when he pleases and takes long lunches as he sees fit.
He refuses to do some of the chores and assignments set out by the life boss.
He sasses.
He uses his expense account for personal gain.
He sexually harasses me on a regular basis.

If he weren't so dang cute he'd probably get fired.

My coworker. I love him. 


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30 day people challenge - alien


I felt a little panicked when I saw the topic for this post. I might have sent some not nice thoughts in the general direction of our list maker.
Alien?
Really?
Throwing caution to the wind I mentioned my writing task to my minion crew at dinner. I told them it was hard. Actually, I think I said "haaaard" in a whiney voice just like the one I tell them to never make. I mostly complained because there was just not enough ways to put interesting words onto my favorite alien. They just blinked at me.
My problem was that I was thinking too small. They helped me broaden my perspective.

The only alien I could think of was Marvin.

What can you say about Marvin?
Ineffectual little guy wailing about the lack of an earth-shattering-kaboom.
See...not much to say.

My children told me that was a stupid idea and gave me some other suggestions.

In no particular order...
The Alien in Alien
Any from the Star Wars or Trek series
My Favorite Martian
Men in Black
Signs
Close Encounters
Dr. Who
Mork from Ork
E.T.
there are lots of them.

I sighed. Now the job was too big. How could I possibly pick just one?
I sat and thought and then....
Edgar.


He is my favorite. Maybe it is just because I can do a killer impression.
Doesn't matter. The heart knows what it wants.
I love you Edgar.

Need. more. sugar.

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11.28.2015

30 day people challenge - author

My favorite author is C.S.Lewis.
The only books of his that I have read are The Chronicles of Narnia.
He is very well respected for his many books but I know nothing of this.

I only know Aslan and Peter and Susan and Lucy and Edmond.
I only know that Mr. Lewis changed my view of God and time and space and my relationship to all of everything.

Evidently, Mr. Lewis was writing for his granddaughter Lucy. His inscription is sweet and loving and has always struck me as an example of wisdom packing words with meaning that will only be revealed with time.

My Dear Lucy,
        I wrote this story for you, but when I began it I had not realized that girls grow quicker than books. As a result you are already too old for fairy tales, and by the time it is printed and bound you will be older still. But some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. You can then take it down from some upper shelf, dust it, and tell me what you think of it. I shall probably be too deaf to hear, and too old to understand a word you say but I shall still be

        your affectionate Godfather,”

I think that C.S. Lewis understood that Lucy would someday come back to appreciate her grandfather's story. I think that he knew she would need time and that time would reveal new worlds of understanding to her heart and mind.  I think that his story held layers of meaning that he could only barely understand himself.  I think he was trying to explain to her the wonder that he had seen and known and that he was patient enough to let it come and not rush it.
I think that Lucy was a lucky girl.

My copies of Narnia are worn from reading. They sit on my shelf in my room where I can guard them from harm. My children are allowed to read them...carefully. (I actually bought them a set so they would leave mine alone.) I have probably read these books 100 times as there was a time in my life when I would read the series through and then begin at the beginning for an unending round of Narnia.

I believe that heaven looks like Narnia.
With these words from The Last Battle my heart swells...

“I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now...Come further up, come further in!”

Thank you Mr. Lewis.



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30 day people challenge - favorite actress

When I was a child my mom could look at the opening credits of an old movie and boldly declare "Oh this is going to be a good one."

She had the ability to look at the list of actors and know if the movie was going to be worth watching.
I thought she had some kind of magical powers.

I think that super-power must have only been effective for movies made in the golden age of Hollywood. Back in the golden days it felt like studios cared about their "image."  They had their stable of actors and if their top string players were cast then the movie was going to be good.

Please do not slam me if I am just way wrong here. Honestly I don't care. This is just how it appears to me.
Maybe it was always this way but it seems like today there is a lot of "acting" going on where I swear the actor must be seriously in debt to his booky or trying to help his cousin or something.
Case in point...When bad films happen to good actors.

 My point...you can't always tell if a movie nowdays is going to be good just by who is acting in it.
Except for this actress. She is amazing. Powerful. Full of pith and deep emotion.
If she is in the movie you know it is going to showcase her professionalism. You are going to be in for a real treat.

She is wonderful.


Maybe this actress has some doggers on her list but I haven't seen one.

Ok.Ok. there is this...





and, well, there is also this...


But who cares??!!!

I still think she is wonderful.

You know what, I am not going to bore you with listing her more serious roles. I just don't care.
She has depth, she is versatile. Blah blah blah.

She can do this...


Ahhh Meryl.

Thank you.

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30 day people challenge. Swing by and see what our other contributors are up to.

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30 day people challenge - favorite actor

 Tom Hanks.
I've loved him since Bosom Buddies.



I love how he becomes the character he is playing instead of playing the character as Tom Hanks.
I love how you see his emotion and you feel his emotion at the same time.
I love that he is outrageous in his delivery. Not overacting, just being real.
Over the top maybe but real nonetheless.
      
When he made fire...I. made fire.

When he got frustrated...yeah.


When he was sad...I cried.



And when he was happy...I wept.


I haven't seen every Tom Hanks movie. This needs to be rectified forthwith.



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30 day people challenge. Swing by and see what our other contributors are up to.

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30 day people challenge - musician/band

If you ask me who my favorite musician/band is I will say, "Huey Lewis and the News" every time.
If you ask me why, I will say,"duh".
If you do not agree with me then we probably should no longer try to be friends.

The thing I love about Huey...his big band sound.  I love that his songs have a big sound and crescendo in all the right places. I love how I can picture the brass section standing up to deliver a big punch.I love that sound.

I love how you can hear his lyrics. Understand them. They tell a story. 
They make you laugh. They bring you in.

I love how his songs pick a feeling and recognize the universality of that emotion. We all get to share.

"Don't need no credit card to ride this train."

Huey Lewis. He's my favorite.



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30 day people challenge - artist

I love me some good art.
That said, I simply do not have a favorite artist. I appreciate all kinds of art. This is not to say I appreciate all "art". Just many varieties. Mostly, I appreciate all kinds of artists.

My favorite artist is the sincere heart just letting it all hang out.

I do not know that you can judge art and talent with the same scales. If you try to put parameters on art it becomes regulated and uptight. You get followers who rapidly become disciples and as the call to fame begins to whisper you sell your artistic soul for a few schmancy reviews and a corner in a marble hall.
People dissecting your inner turmoil. You getting paid to put your crazy on display. Worse, people deciding which of your marbles are worthy of a cocktail party because your loony "speaks" to them.
Harumph.
Actually tho, I think I would like to be an art critic. (If I could remain anonymous and get paid a bunch of money) It would be fun to critique things that people call art and throw around words like existential and au courant.
I could go to fancy parties  stay home in my jammies and surf the interwebs for the newest and brightest and then I could rip them up oneside and down the other for the pretentious posturing and juvenile approach. Or...and this is the fun part...I could praise all the little guys that no one looks twice at and raise their stock by a thousand percent (while they are still living) just because they caught my fancy.
Would I enjoy pointing fingers and snickering or praising just because I feel like it?
Have we met?
I would revel in my power.

I think everybody (including me) just needs to calm down and see art for what it is...expression.
I think that art is just expression. Therefore artists are just people expressing themselves. Most of the art I have seen in modern art exhibits reeks of crazy. Skill does not necessarily come into play.
It just seems like the artist burped up a hairball and hung it on the wall.
I do not believe there has to be "talent" involved in art. Just crazy large kahunahs.

 Is there talent in this?
Isn't it wonderful?!

I believe that no sane person ever becomes an artist. 
This statement does not in any way disparage my love for artists in general.
You have to release your tight hold on "reality"and "propriety" if you want to truly express the things going on inside you.
I admire the ones that can get all that out there.

My favorite artist is the one that just is. No rules. Just heart.


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11.19.2015

30 day people challenge - fictional movie character

 I suppose it is no surprise that my favorite movie character, Joe, comes directly from the scenes in my favorite movie.
Joe vs The Volcano

Joe is a man that is just fed up with life. His job sucks. His private life is non-existent. His spirit is gasping for air. Finally, his body seems to just give up.
Braincloud.
The diagnosis is grim and terminal.
There is nothing left to do but die.

Joe is given an option. He can die alone and miserable or he can make his last days worth something.
He is offered the use of a no-limit charge account to use however he pleases as long as he makes it to a remote island to offer himself up for sacrifice to appease the volcano God before time runs out.

Of course Joe chooses to go out with a bang. (click the link!!!! click it!!)

What we see is a transformation of Joe. He stops living a life that is unending in its doldrums. He begins living his life with the knowledge that each moment he has is a gift to be treasured.
It seems like embracing his finality gave him the power to recreate and to enjoy his present reality.

I love Joe because he is so very real. He crushes my heart with his tragedy but then he swells my heart to bursting with his awakening.
He begins a journey of living as he travels closer and closer to his impending doom.

You will have to watch the movie to see what happens. I will only tell you that Joe reaches a new level of wonder with each obstacle he faces. (click the link!)

One word of warning...this movie is quirky and existential. This is not a "christian movie" that will tell you all the things you should do to get your life right with God and your spouse and your local football team. If you want that then you need to go find something made by Kirk Cameron.

This movie is about finding yourself. It is also about losing yourself and also about loosing yourself.

I will end with my favorite quote of all time. Also from this movie.

"I have no response to that."  (and again...click the link)

Please do yourself a favor and watch this movie. Let your spirit watch and know and understand even if your brains don't really get it.

Joe is my hero.








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11.18.2015

30 day people challenge - fictional character in a book

There is a set of books that I just adore. They are called Tales of the Kingdom.
They are allegorical stories of the Kingdom.
They follow a child named Scarboy and we follow along...
" as Scarboy and his friends boldly follow the one True King to overcome the evil Enchanter and his tenacious hold on the oppressed residents of Enchanted City."

There is one character in this book that stands out beyond the others.
His name is Ranger. His name is also Caretaker.
Caretaker is the one who has created and cares for the beautiful park where Scarboy finds refuge.
At times, Caretaker is seen as Ranger, the defender of the park and all who dwell within.

Caretaker swells my heart. He is described as laughing as he breathes life into the flowers that dance around him. His heart is all about caring for every thing that needs care. He jingles as he walks because of the many tools he caries as he strolls along doing the things that need to be done. He knows when his world is in disarray and he calls on those who dwell in his park to come to his aid to assist and protect anyone in need.
Caretaker lives within the gentle persona of a kindly old gardener until...
Until the need comes that reveals Ranger.

Ranger is the mighty arm of power in the beautiful park. Ranger is strong and able to defend all in need. He is the one to call on when danger is near and hearts are crying in terror. Ranger is revealed through the fire. Ranger summons his warriors from among the peaceful dwellers of the park and through fire reveals their awesome power.
Ranger lives inside of caretaker as caretaker lives inside of him.

The two never contradict each other but work in unity to restore peace and bring healing to every need.

When I first encountered Caretaker and Ranger I felt my heart swell with an understanding of God that I never had felt before. He has changed my perspective on everything.

Please read these books. I cannot give you words that adequately describe their goodness.


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30 day people challenge - mentor

A mentor is someone who teaches you something.
I will now list my mentors with the things in which they mentor me.

My parents - unconditional love
Kendall - patience
Andi - honesty
Matthew - steadfastness
Joshua - pursuit
Ethan - humor
Mercy - thankfulness
Mary - planning
Kimberly - overcoming
Laurie - schooling
Kevin - reality
Marlys - bravery
Niki - authenticity
Pam - looking ahead
Pat - the here and now

They teach. I learn.



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11.16.2015

30 day people challenge - mentoree

There was a time when I believed that I had no "real" influence. When I went to church I found my heart burdened by the ideals of mentoring. (also by the terms discipling and accountability but that is another post entirely) Church preached a world where you looked up to someone and learned from them and where you had your group of padowans in training. This was only good and right.
I felt like I wasn't holding up "kingdom values" because I did not have someone lower than me on the evolutionary religious journey. I was a big failure.

I cringe when I even use the word mentor. Actually, I don't use the word mentor. I prefer rabbi.
I kid.
Honestly tho, mentoring is not my schtick.
I am a mom. I am a teacher. I am a friend. I am a guide. I am a companion.
I have kids. They are my 24/7 mentorees. Nah, minions is more like it.
I am the big evil scientist. Dr. Devious. Mama Maleficent.
They do my bidding.
I have trained them well.
cue evil laughter.


Seriously, I have taught my children to do everything from wiping the dishes to wiping their own behind parts. My job has never been so much about taking care of them as it has been about training them to care for themselves.
If I know how to do something, I teach them how to do it. 
If they need something done and are capable of it, I make sure they know how to go about it.
I teach them to fish. (not literally)

As they have progressed in this growing up journey my job has changed a little bit. Sure, I still have to instruct them on the basics of chores and communal living but now we are more into the realm of interpersonal dynamics.
Also known as how to deal with the real world and not make people want to knock your block off while also keeping yourself from decapitating them.
I am trying to teach them to be nice and respectful and conscientious and courteous and assertive and humble and loving.
You might think I should have already thought them these things. You would be right. They know how to do all these inside the bounds of our house and our rules.
Life outside our walls is not the same.
Those people do not always remember to speak with love and respect. Those people forget to apologize. Those people do not have our pristine habits of living as perfectly defined by me.
Those people are the real life everyday people in the neighborhood.
My current job is to teach my children how to walk amongst the human race and not be asshats.

I sincerely hope that you know that I do not consider my ways to be perfect. I have not taught my children all the pretty things and am now hoping that they enter the world and not be sullied.
No.
I have taught my children the things that I thought were right. Certainly the things that were for their best. Ok, maybe sometimes the things that were most convenient and did not alert cps.
Anyway, what I want now is for my kids to go out into the big world with love and acceptance in their hearts knowing that our ways are not universal....and that is ok.
I want no superiority complexes originating from our kitchen.
I want my children to be successful at living with others, not just at living with us.

I do not actively "mentor" my children. But only in the way that I do not actually use that term.
I hope my offspring have learned and are learning from me.
(I also hope that their counseling bills are not too expensive.)




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30 day people challenge. Swing by and see what our other contributors are up to.

Don at donhillson.wordpress.com
Niki at nikinowell.wordpress.com
Beckie at free2b2much.blogspot.com
Tracy at countyroadchronicles.wordpress.com

It’s not too late to join us! Get the details here:
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30 day people challenge - The POTUS

Subject today, The President of the United States. (take this sentence and compare it to my title for today. Ahhhh, now you get it.)

Everything I know about  the potus I learned from 11th grade government class and current episodes of Madame Secretary. Well, I guess that isn't exactly true.
I also learned a lot from Hollywood. I can tell you exactly what potus will do if/when we are attacked by aliens or threatened by large meteors.
Maybe there is not much more to say.
I am going to give you my sometimes ugly opinion of the potus. You can take this opinion straight to the bank and get nothing for it because opinions are cheap and easy. Add in a healthy portion of uneducated bias and you have something worth exactly zero. I don't really do politics.
I'll bet you can tell.
In my opinion, if you have reached the level of presidential candidate you have sold your soul to the devil in form of the political machine. This makes you untrustworthy mostly because you are naive enough to really believe that you can effect change once you sit in the oval office. If you are nice and decent then you are a pawn for the party. If you refuse to believe that you are a pawn then you are a cog twisting in your place as the machine goes round and round about you. The gods of political opinion run your career and since you have already sold your soul to get this far the only thing left to sacrifice is your secret cache of ideals. Those things you swear you will not compromise but find yourself offering up on the alter of the party line both to ensure the public's credence and your party's political good will.
I do not believe the potus has any real power in our country. Well, except the power to gum up the works. It seems that potus reigns on a throne of decisional ambiguity. His terms of service seem to be primarily centered around creating policy obnoxious enough to get everybody just upset enough to sustain the current news cycle.
Also, can I just say that if you are in the potus position (or aspire to such) and you believe that your marital indiscretions (past or present) are hidden from the press and public then you are the highest caliber of moron and should not be trusted to know the appropriate time to push any button besides the nurse call on your adjustable bed.
Now. Let me tell you how I really feel.
I feel that the potus must genuinely have the most difficult job in the world. You are looked upon to be the beacon of diplomacy and the watch tower of democracy. You carry the weight of a thousand wars upon your shoulders as you pivot among the nations at peace and in distress. You wade through countless hours of advice and entreaty knowing that whether or not you truly wield the power, the buck stops at the presidential seal. You are the yes man, and the no man, and the let's wait and see man that knows whatever you decide is thoroughly going to chap more than half of the hides involved. You can't please any of the people most of the time.
That must suck.
I do not know the true ins and outs of running a country. I am glad that there are people willing to do that horrifically difficult job. I am glad that there are potus aspirations among the hearts and minds of the politically elite. I hope that those who serve realize more their responsibility to decency than their commitment to power (or the powers that be).
I do not have a solution for my cynicism. Somewhere, deep down, I think I have a small belief that the system works somehow. Maybe I just want it to be true. Whatever, I am just really really grateful that the potus is not me.
I hope that my joy in not having to do that job overcomes my *ahem* negativity towards the ones who seem to be pulling it off.

Hail to the Chief.


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30 day people challenge. Swing by and see what our other contributors are up to.

Don at donhillson.wordpress.com
Niki at nikinowell.wordpress.com
Beckie at free2b2much.blogspot.com
Tracy at countyroadchronicles.wordpress.com

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11.15.2015

30 day people challenge - challenger

I want to gush. I want you all to know the fantastic wonder that is my oldest born. My daughter.
There is no better word for her than challenge.
Challenge, as described by google dictionary is:
an objection or query as to the truth of something, often with an implicit demand for proof.

This. is. my. daughter.

When I saw the writing assignment for today I immediately thought of her. She has challenged me to be who I am since the day she was born. I decided to write about her and all the ways that she pushes me to be me...then I read the definition of the word challenge and my thoughts on the matter completely changed. Bloomed actually. While I was ready to illustrate specifics, I was not fully understanding just how much of a challenger she is. 

This girl is now and has always been a seeker of truth. Every question. Every stubborn defiance. Every decision has been about getting to the bottom of the truth of the situation. When she was so tiny I found that she did not simply ask "why?" She asked me to prove it. She could not seem to get dressed unless she knew the destination and the ramifications of going naked. She had a deep need to understand the timing of bed and the reasoning behind green beans.
"Because I said so" never ever worked.
I
quickly learned  that life was going to be much simpler if I just offered up the why before she could ask it. My many words seemed insane but soothed her need to know. If I could explain it she was all on board.
That worked until she got to be about four. Then she started asking the hard questions. She started by asking me why I wore blush and mascara. The answers "so I can look pretty" or "to help me look younger" sounded so very lame. She could not find truth there. She asked me if I didn't like how I already looked. She did not accept my sighs as answers.
At five she asked me if the Apostle John could see himself when he saw the 12 apostles sitting around the heavenly throne.
Her teenage years brought questions about God. Oy. While she did not ask me this directly, I know that she squeezed her youth pastor by asking "if God is with us always, why do we beg him to be here when we pray?"
She wants to know why humans continue to kill animals for food. Do not attempt to answer her with scripture. Trust me here.
She wants to know who could possibly like that particular outfit and what would possess them to pay that price for it. 

She wants to know why people put faith in things that the church has taught when the church has been responsible for so much killing in the name of God.
She wants to know the exact reason I can mother my children with kindness on the days when she would like to whop all her siblings simultaneously upside the head.
She wants to know if souls can recirculate and if not, why? and can I prove it.
She wants to know why she still looks for and misses her twin that was lost in utero.

She wants to know. And her desire to know challenges me to be me.
Why?
Because she asks for truth. She demands it. When she feels like truth is not happening she calls it out. I am challenged each day to be as authentic as I can be because I know that she will call me on it if I am not. 

Am I afraid?
Heck yeah.
But I delight in her. I delight in her inability to accept the status quo. I delight in her piercing gaze and her thoughtful insight. I appreciate her willingness to push the edge of everything. She stretches the boundaries of convention in search of the reasons. 
Tradition is never enough. Because is a cop out. Acceptance without is question is  abominable...and stupid.

She challenges me, this girl. Every day.
May her search for truth continue as long as there is truth to challenge.



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30 day people challenge. Swing by and see what our other contributors are up to.

Don at donhillson.wordpress.com
Niki at nikinowell.wordpress.com
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Tracy at countyroadchronicles.wordpress.com

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11.13.2015

30 day people challenge - beloved child

Hello pumpkin,

I am writing this note today to try and use words to explain the hugeness of my love for you. It won't work you know. Words refuse to mean all the things I know inside my heart about you. So, just let me try and hug your heart a little bit with these thoughts. Then we can snuggle up and not use words because that is better anyway.
I have loved you from the beginning of time. Before I ever even knew you. I know this because I tried to measure my love for you and it would not fit on any measuring stick in the entire universe.
It was too gigantic.
By the time you were born my love was about ready to explode my chest with yummy goodness. I held you for the first time and I knew in that moment that these arms were made to hold your preciousness. You were a squishy ball of delicious. I could not stop looking at you and wondering how I could have ever lived without knowing you.
I have loved watching you grow every day. You get a little bit bigger and you seem surprised when the things don't fit anymore. It seems like a mystery every time it happens. But I know that feeling of things getting bigger and bigger and bigger. That is my love for you, Chiquita. It keeps on growing. The thing is, you can never out grow this love I have. It will continue to grow with you, every day, forever.
I love your laugh. I love how you get so into the laughing that you squeal the sounds that only dogs can hear.  I love your evil mad scientist laugh and your howl of delight when you pound your brothers in a video game. I love your giggle when you play a joke. I love to laugh with you. Let's do it all the time.
I love your sense of style. I love how patterns become neutral background as you combine eye bursting combinations of color. I love how you ask for advise on an outfit but choose with your heart. I love how "look at me" is an adventure and it makes me smile because your fashion pairings truly show your joy.
I love your business ideas. Combination tea shop and art palace with massages while you wait. Nail salon that comes to the customer. Indoor lemonade and cookie stand. I am always hoping that some new customers will magically appear so that you can truly flex your artistic skills. Thank you for sharing your creativity with all of us.
I love your thankfulness. There is no-one in the world who is more thankful than you. Any small present is oohed and ahhed until I almost feel guilty that your gift came from the dollar store. I love that your heart says thank you. I love that you are thankful for time and for hugs and for the thoughts that never materialize but that you seem to be able to sense. I will tell you a secret, it makes me want to be more, give more, do more, just to see your delight.
I love your spice. Even tho I ask you to redirect it sometimes, I love how passionately you feel about everything. I love that you stand up to your brothers. I love that you have the best ideas ever, every single day. I love that you leap upon your daddy and hug him fiercely. I love that you watch every move and argue and continually learn from your sister. I love that you sass your grandpa in a way that only a dearly loved and appreciated granddaughter can. I hope that you never tame that tiger inside you, Baby Girl.
I look forward to sharing life with you at full speed.
My love for you is way too big to write down. The words simply cannot wrap around you the way my love does. Still, I hope you hear all this and feel all the love that is so so very much bigger than the world or time or space.
I hope you know that even tho you think you will someday outgrow the baby name you will always be my child.
Always. Always. Always.

I love you, my Little Petunia Sweetie Pie.
Always.

30 day people challenge - neighbor

I would like it noted that I wrote about a neighbor the day before yesterday so technically this post is "on time"...if you wiggle the rules a little bit.

I love my neighbors. I had previously lived in a neighborhood with rear entry garages. I hardly ever saw my neighbors there because they pulled into their garages and went into their tidy houses without ever coming out front. I saw the guys that would come take care of their lawns but never the people that lived next door. That made me sad. I made a point to meet those neighbors. All lovely people just absent from the front yard life that I lived.
I had small children then. Four of them ages 10 and under. We lived a lot of life in our yard. My children also lived a lot of life in those neighbors yards too (as I am told now that these children are much older and into the confessing stage). I thought that when I was inside they played safely behind the fence. I thought wrong.
When we moved to this neighborhood I vowed to know my neighbors better. I loved the fact that this older neighborhood had driveways. As I drove down these streets I saw people walking dogs and taking care of their own yards. Life. I was excited.
I am sure my four bebes shook up the neighborhood a bit. We are surrounded here by retired folks living in the houses that were built for them in the early 60's. I reintroduced raucous laughter and speeding bicycles and acorn fights. My neighbors seem to like it.
I have one neighbor that gives me the keys to her house so that we can watch over things when they are gone. Because her last name is White, she giggles as she says "Here are the keys to the White house." She says we are the best neighbors ever and I think she means it. Just neighborly I say.
I have another neighbor that makes sure I see the good stuff when she puts things out on the curb for bulk trash pick up. She has given us a dresser, a basketball hoop, a ping pong table, and my favorite coffee table circa 1975. Neighbors do that.
I have a neighbor that has dogs and cats and leaves home quite often. This creates income for my boys as they are called to pet-sit. One time when she was gone her living room ceiling fell in due to a water leak upstairs. Her pet-sitter found the mess and we rushed in to turn off the water and call in the industrial dry-up crew. Neighbors do that, too.
I have this other neighbor that helps me decorate. Or redecorate. She notices when I am in project mode and talks with me about hers. She has babies so she gets bags of baby stuff as our family babies grow. My now big girl plays with her babies every time she can slip from our yard to theirs. Neighbor friends.
I love my neighbors. I love seeing their lives and them seeing ours. Together we make up a neighbor hood of sharing and caring and living and laughing and loving.
That's called life here. We do it together.
Neighbors.


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30 day people challenge. Swing by and see what our other contributors are up to.

Don at donhillson.wordpress.com
Niki at nikinowell.wordpress.com
Beckie at free2b2much.blogspot.com
Tracy at countyroadchronicles.wordpress.com

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11.11.2015

30 day people challenge - admiration

I admire Pat.
Pat is my next door neighbor. She has lived in the same house since it was built in the early 60's. She has raised two boys and now enjoys a bevy of grandchildren and, I believe, may be starting on the great grandparent circuit.
Pat is a tiny woman with beautiful white hair and a sparkly smile.
She is a Christian woman in the very best way because she pushes Jesus like one pushes sunlight.
She soaks it up and leaves room for you to join her as you like.
There is no pressure with Pat.
It is hard to define all the things I admire most about my friend Pat.
I am going to try and illustrate two.
I admire and am forever indebted in my heart to her for befriending my youngest son, Ethan. Right after we moved here we received the beautiful gift of another baby girl. This meant that Ethan was no longer the baby.
Every middle child reading this just sighed the knowing sigh.
Ethan was in middle child pergatory.
Pat came to his rescue.
I simply cannot explain how good it felt to this overwhelmed mommy heart to have a perfect grandma right next door. She "got" my Ethan. God had ordained a beautiful companion for my
so-unique son. At a time when I was frequently full up with the clatter and chore 5 children bring, she would invite him into her quiet and listen to him chatter. She gave him space to be really heard. When his little heart needed nurture she would offer jelly beans (not too many) and slices of cake (which she always seemed to desperately need herself at just the time he came to see her) and undivided attention that filled him up and kept him going. I never knew of a time that she corrected him tho I believe that she guided him as necessary.
Mostly tho, she let him be. And she enjoyed his being.
And that has made all the difference.
One thing must be said for you to understand the depth of my admiration. She honored me. She praised me for the raising of my precious son. Her words encouraged me to keep doing the things that I sometimes felt were ineffectual. Her welcome for my son was felt and gratefully accepted because she reinforced the importance and relevance of my often overtaxed affection. She built me up by telling me what an amazing child I had. I thank her for that.

I admire Pat for the way she has raised her family. This is a judgement call on my part because I do not know her family really but I have seen them many times. What I see in them is freedom. This is where the judgement comes in because I could be looking at full on rebellion but if it is they wear it well.
When her family gathers, and here is also a source of my admiration, they gather in force and often. I watch them troop in and out and take note that by societies standard of "proper", well, they laughingly do not fit the requirements. I have stalked a few of them on social media and peek into their colorful lives and I admire from afar their weird beautiful takes on life.
She did that.
Started it anyway. I feel sure of it.
She may refuse to take the credit but I believe in her heart she knows what she did. I hope to stay close enough to her so that some of her wisdom rubs off on me.
I do not know how she raised her young sons. She might have been a strict mom then that made them tow the line and hop to on a regular basis. If she did, and they have busted out of all the regulations to forge their own crazy roads, well, I can only say more power to em. She still gets my admiration because on this end she accepts their freedom...I giggle when I say, she eats it up.
They fill her, those sons and their wives and their kaleidoscope of children. I can tell because her eyes light up when she talks of their adventures and misadventures. They are their own people.
Each aware of the power of the journey.
Empowered by this tiny woman that cheers them on whether they can hear her or not.
I admire Pat. Because she drinks in life. Because she smiles into my heart. Because she answers honestly but never makes me feel that I have to agree. Because she knows how to laugh. Because she knows how to be sad. Because she is not afraid to care deeply. Because she is brave enough to encourage those around her to live their lives face forward.
And she enjoys the journey with them.
I admire Pat and I love that our life paths have crossed and we have taken this part of the road together.
I have learned much.


-----------------------------------------------------------
30 day people challenge. Swing by and see what our other contributors are up to.

Don at donhillson.wordpress.com
Niki at nikinowell.wordpress.com
Beckie at free2b2much.blogspot.com
Tracy at countyroadchronicles.wordpress.com

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11.10.2015

30 day people challenge - unforgettable

Today I write about someone I wish I could forget. Somehow, it just feels wrong to write about something that you wish to not remember. This could get sticky.

Her name was Becky. Still is Becky for all I know. I didn't like her very much. She lived up the street and she just annoyed me because she existed. She wasn't very pretty and she wasn't very smart and she laughed weird and smelled worse.
She was all the things that, as a grown-up, I know should not be held against her. But I was not grown up then. I was ten. And boy did I hold it all against her.
Mostly, I held it against her that she had my name.
How dare her.
With my name she held power. She could do weird stuff and people might think I did it. She could laugh her donkey laugh and someone might say, "who is making that racket?" and someone else would say, "oh, that's Becky." AND PEOPLE WOULD THINK IT WAS ME!
Identity theft is serious, people.
This had to be stopped.
Somewhere in the pre-teen mind there is a place where fantasy meets rationality
and beats it up real good.
That little pocket of insanity came up with a brilliant idea.
If I changed my name, people would never mix us up. I would be cool and she would be...her...
and nobody would ever mix us up.
Perfect.
Except for the fact that I wanted to keep my name. She stole it because she was stupid from birth and it simply wasn't fair. Besides, changing my name might be complicated. Getting everyone on board with calling me my new name would be impossible and probably some would think I was being ridiculous. This was hard.

hmmmm....what to do...what to do....
I thought about it for a long time. Days in fact. Then lightbulb.
Instead of changing my whole name I could just change how I spelled my name.
Then, nobody would ever mix us up.

She would be Becky with a y. The one that lived up the street and had all the uncool.

I would be Becki with an i. The one lived down the street. The one with the class and the brains.
Becki. 


I toyed a bit with  that name spelling, never really satisfied with the look of the i.
Becki was a cheerleader that had cute freckles and giggled. The singular i was pert.
While it would serve to protect my identity,
it just didn't feel right.
I needed to try again.

The i seemed lonely. I decided to add an e.
Beckie

Beckie seemed more dignified.
I did not realize that adding the e would mystify all spellers of my name forevermore.
I also did not realize that changing from y to i to ie would thoroughly confuse my poor daddy and cause at least one of my brothers to mock me for life.
Apparently it never ceases to be funny to ask me if I have changed my name spelling recently.
I have now lived under the ie for 35 years. They still spell it with a y at times.
My family is sometimes slow to catch on.

Beckie. I have defined her as her own bright self. Not to be confused with perky Becki. Never to be mixed with Becky up the street.

I think that I have forgiven Becky with a y her treachery. I feel no pain in writing her name. It belongs to her. I did not give it to her. But I was not willing to share so I had to re-write me a little bit.

I became the girl with the ie. I believed  that the letters made a statement. Even tho you did not see those letters when you spoke my name, they existed.  Different. Changed. Defiant and defined.
Mine.

It's funny tho, when I write about my childhood pre-ten years old I write my name as Becky. I do not see the girl up the street. Only the child me that did not know another way to spell my name.

I will never forget you Becky up the street. You changed me. I wasn't nice about it.
Thank you.






11.09.2015

30 day people challenge - crush

Journal of an 8 yr old.

Jason told me that he liked me. He is the nicest boy in class and even tho Kelly is the nicest girl he likes me better. I don't think anyone knows. Tomorrow I will save room for him at reading.

Today Jason gave me a nilla wafer. We both like history the best. When I look at Jason I feel funny.

I got new shoes. They say JCP on the label. I think Jason's middle name is Paul. My initials on our towels will be RCS. Jason Paul Carter is a nice name I think.

I like playing tag at recess. I always can catch Jason but nobody else can. I'm probably getting faster since I got new shoes.

I wish I rode bus 7. Jason and Kelly and Cindy get to ride together. I have to walk. Jason waved at me from the bus window.

Mary is so stupid. She found my notebook because she was snooping again in my stuff. I wrote I love Jason about a million million times. She told mom that Jason is my boyfriend and now they won't shut up. I don't care anyway. I will get her for this.

Laurie says she will paint my fingernails if I get all the old polish off. Jason will think I am so pretty.

We will get married and have 4 kids. I hope he likes girls but we can have one boy to call Jason Jr.

The last day of school was so fun! We had a picnic and played games all day long. I can't wait until September to be in 2nd grade with Jason and Kelly and Cindy. I hope our teacher is nice.


We are moving back to Oklahoma this week. I will write letters to all my friends when I get there. I will spray some of my sparkly perfume on Jason's letter so he will know it is from me. I miss Arkansas already.


I met a boy named Deon today. He is very nice to all the girls and to me. I don't know any names of anybody. I think Deon might like me. Tomorrow I will save room for him at reading.


------------------------------------------------
30 day people challenge. Swing by and see what our other contributors are up to.

Don at donhillson.wordpress.com
Niki at nikinowell.wordpress.com
Beckie at free2b2much.blogspot.com
Tracy at countyroadchronicles.wordpress.com

It’s not too late to join us! Get the details here:
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11.08.2015

30 day people challenge - my best friend now

His name is Kendall.
His eyes are brown and he's taller than me and stronger than me and he likes to eat cheese and potato chips. When we first got together I found out that he liked to eat sour cream and cheddar potato chips and that he really liked it when he got one that was folded over on itself. From that moment on I made sure that if I got a foldy potato chip I gave it to him.
Because he is my best friend.
We read each others' minds.
Except when it is really important like "would you please pick up your socks" or "can we watch something else". Other than that, he pretty much knows what I am thinking right as I think it. It makes driving down the road really interesting because even with all the signs and people and things whizzing by, I know that he laughed at exactly the thing I was looking at.
That kid with the hair. The bumper sticker. Those lame attempts at religious humor church signs.
I know by the look on his face when he has encountered a moron behind the desk at the gas station. I can read his eyebrows and extrapolate precisely how much or how little he is looking forward to that dinner invitation.  I can feel him mocking me with his eyes when I crack myself up yet again tho he swears he is laughing with me...not at me.
We see each others' worst.
Those times are not the best and I will make this paragraph short even tho that will be lying. He has guided my hand as I stumbled to the bathroom, bloodied and bruised from childbirth. He has held my head in his lap as I cried out the storm of overwhelm that came with the first day on the job after twenty years at home. He has endured my rantings when things have not gone right and my gloating when everything did because I am so cool. I have watched him flip out both too much and too little as life has ebbed and flowed. I have wiped tears. I have soothed the savage breast.
I have apologized when it was clearly not my fault...as has he.
Together we have seen the best and done the best and been the best as we have survived and thrived through diapers and growth spurts and hormones and other blessed disasters waiting to happen that is the glory of parenting. Together we have weathered the not fun parts of marriage as we grow together and on our own as people and as couple. Together we have known the joys of loving each other and our not always perfect life.
Friends always.
We relish the everyday. It is the thing that keeps us going. The grind of the mundane. Our utopia. Hot dates that never sway from two $$ old people date restaurants and not too gooey, not too graphic date movies.
It is the quiet not popular spots we gravitate towards. A standing joke between us that we bow our heads for a moment of silence each time we find a new favorite spot.
We know, if we like it, nobody else does.
He is my friend.
He sees me.
He looks for me.
He knows me.
I knew when we first met that he would be my friend. I knew that it didn't much matter where he was going, I just wanted to be on the road with him. I knew that in him, my heart had found its true.
I still know all that.
He is my best friend.

--------------------------------------------------------------------
30 day people challenge. Swing by and see what our other contributors are up to.

Don at donhillson.wordpress.com
Niki at nikinowell.wordpress.com
Beckie at free2b2much.blogspot.com
Tracy at countyroadchronicles.wordpress.com

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11.07.2015

30 day people challenge - best friend of yore

I am not a person who has "best" friends. I like different people for different reasons and aside from my sister and my husband and my daughter, my friends are all "just" friends.
Or, they are all best friends.
Depends on my mood, their mood, topic at hand or amount of sugar filled goodness being offered.
I guess you could say I am non-committal but I prefer to think of it as opportunistic.
Bribe me people. "Best" is totally up for grabs.

If I really had to put boundaries on the best friend category, those walls would encircle... authenticity.
I wanted to say that comfort is my first priority in a best friend but then I started thinking about my besties and comfort flew out the window.
My friends know how to poke the bear.
There are times when I am with my friends and I squirm as the real me comes out. Often, the real me explodes out because my best friend asked just the right question or snort laughed at my sincerely shallow commentary.
Best friends know how to twist the knife in love.
Best friends not only have the ammo, they know exactly where the target is.
Best friends are not afraid to help me be the real me because they see me.
Even when I don't.
My best friends see and hear the parts of me that I quite carefully tuck away from public view. They get to go beyond the velvet ropes and read the journal pages that the everyday folk just get to shuffle past as they tour my personal Museum of Antiquities and Antics.
Best friends have power and have proven that they know how to use their powers for good.

It seems that my best friends are the ones that can hurt me the most. That is true. But they are also the ones that can bring the most healing, the most protection, the most life.
Best friends know the words that you can hear and they know how to say them when you can hear them.
Best friends know how to keep their mouths shut in those moments when you just need a warm body to take up space next to you in your spiraling universe.
Best friends completely understand how much you hate them when they speak the truth.
Best friends know how to hold truth tightly and honorably when you speak yours.

It must be said that best friends totally screw things up once in awhile. Yes, it must be said.
Still, the best of the best friends make their way through the ick. Sometimes repeatedly.

Ultimately, best friends are best called because they are authentic in the giving and receiving of life and love. No shenanigans.

I am happy to have a list of  "best" friends. (past, present, and future)

Shanon, Kelly, Janet, Chaniel, Denise, Robin, Leanne, Donna, Sonja, Kristi, Kathy, Shari, Becki, Laurie, Cindy, Pam, Marlys, Niki, Andi, Kendall, Mary...you know who you are. (but you're probably not reading cuz that's how we roll. :-)

Love to you all.

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11.06.2015

30 day people challenge - favorite teacher

Fourth period English. Ninth grade. Nova high school. Redding, California.
First day of school overwhelm is in full swing and my head aches from transition to overload. This school is huge. Enormous even. My country girl brain has not yet accepted the life of the city school.
City schools suck.

First days at country schools bring laughter and hugs from all your friends that you haven't seen since May because they were all on their own farms doing fun stuff you do in summer in the country. Come September and you blast through the doors and settle in with the 25 people that are in your grade and have been in your grade since forever. You know them well. Everybody is scoping out who grew what over the summer. Nobody wants to sit next to Eugene. The only thing you have to get used to this year is the new teacher or rather, teachers, because you have shed the bonds of elementary and moved upstairs to "high school". Seventh grade. Big Time.
Country schools will forever be the best. Go Bears!


I wished to be back in my country school while I faced the reality of this big stinking prison that now held me hostage. I think there were 1000 people in this ninth grade class. This school, the brilliant brain child of a city council on drugs, was the collection of all the ninth grades in the city. Bring them all together in their 15 yr old angst and level the playing field before they separate out into their high school territories. Great. Now you didn't just have one group of snotty mean cool kids...you had three. Three groups of jocks. Three groups of nerds. Three groups of stoners.
King of the mountain just got real.

Tho I leaned heavily toward the nerd herd I really fell safely in "normal" land. Smart enough to know when to keep my head down. Cool enough to know when to keep my mouth shut. Stoners are everybody's friend. Things you need to know.


So, I'm sitting in the bowels of hell. Four hours in. The bell rang eons ago but we still have no teacher. We sit and stare uncomfortably at each other and at our hands and at the door. What do we do now? Wait...a tall person just walked by...twice.
He's a gangly almost hippie wearing birkenstocks and an untucked shirt. He has already passed by a second time when he stops and backs up. He looks into the classroom.
"Hey. Is this Mr. Wexlers class?"
Thirty 15 yr olds stare at him. Not a single one says anything.
"Wexler. English. 4th period. Is this his class?"
I guess somebody nodded their fool head or something.
"Good. Have you seen Mr. Wexler?"
uhhhhh....
Tall hippie man steps out into the hall and checks the number above the door. Then he jumps up and grabs the top door frame and swings his body back and forth into and out of the room.
"You're sure this is Mr. Wexler's class?"
He swings hard and leaps into the room, walks over to the desk and sits for a second.
"I guess you'd like to know who I am."
He stands and screetchy scrawls his name on the board.
Mr. Wexler.


He saved my sanity more than once that year.

Thank you Mr. Wexler. Forever, my favorite.




11.05.2015

30 day people challenge - family member

Let's talk about brothers. I have three so I consider myself well versed on this topic. My brothers are all older than me so I did not get to experience "little brother" madness. No, I got the crazy that comes from large creatures messing with your life both for your own good and, no denying, for their own big brotherly delight. They were good brothers. They bossed me. They teased me. They tricked me. They loved me. Who could ask for more?

Wanna take a walk down my memory lane?

Laundry day. Mom told them to get the laundry put away before she got home. At the tender age of five I did not realize that them convincing me to use my wagon to "deliver the packages" was their big brother way to get the job done without actually doing any of the work themselves.

Spin machine. Three brothers stand in a circle and put baby in the middle. Brothers spin baby around and around until her eyes start wobbling. Brothers take large steps back until there is much room between them. Brothers call to baby sister and laugh hysterically while she drunkenly attempts to walk toward them. Baby falls down often. Brothers laugh their fool heads off.



     
Sing with the feeling. Ahhh, the summer of  '73. The music was loud. The headphones were almost bigger than my baby head. They would turn up the juice and tell me to sing. "Sing with the feeling!"
I must have sung it real good. All I remember is a loud chorus of "Country Roads" and the image of my brothers rolling around on the floor with tears in their eyes.

Shark attack. Brothers make good babysitters. What could be more responsible than sitting your young charge down in front of "Jaws"? Sometimes brothers go around the house and turn off all the lights. Then they hide and call out to the baby sister to come find them. In the dark. After watching people getting eaten alive. Brothers make good babysitters.
 
Big brothers let baby sisters sit on the open tailgate of the pickup as it drives down the highway.

Big brothers fuss at baby sister for saying "Jiminy Cricket" because everybody knows that is just a by-word for "Jesus Christ".


Big brothers show you how the speedometer can go past 100 if you cheer really loud.


Big brothers give you glasses of straight lemon juice and convince you that it is yummy lemonaid.


Big brothers show you how to spit.


Big brothers convince you to open the jar. The jar they have all just farted into.

Big brothers send you flowers when you star in the play.

Big brothers call you just to say hi.


Big brothers travel out of their way to get to you. Because you need them to.

Big brothers will always be full of crazy mad goodness.

Big brothers become friends.


Baby sisters love big brothers.

dedicated to Dale, Keith, and Kevin. Much of my crazy belongs to you.


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Don at donhillson.wordpress.com
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Tracy at countyroadchronicles.wordpress.com

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11.04.2015

30 day people challenge - my dad

I want to tell you about my sweet Papa.
Some call him "Sugar Pops" because he calls everyone "Sugar". He can't help himself. He comes from the deep deep south.  Panhandle of Florida.
Suthurn Al-bama.
If you were raised in the deep south, and you were raised right you talk sweet. You talk gentle and genteel. You know that it's not only what you say that matters.
It's also how you say it.
Down there they swallow their words to the back of their throat and when they greet you they don't talk, they purr.
That Southern talk, all coated and dripping with sweetness.

Mama told me that one time Papa got in trouble with a waitress because he kept calling her by that sweet name.
"Thank you, Sugar."
"Sugar, do you think I could get another piece of that pie?"
From the mouth of a proper Southern gentleman, those words hold power.
That little waitress thought he was flirting with her and she got a little irritated that my mama was just sitting there letting him go at it.
Mama just laughed. Daddy didn't even catch on that anything was amiss. He didn't mean anything by it. Sugar was just his normal.
His sweet normal.
Accompanied by his million dollar smile, his "Sugar" can make you feel quite special. Even when you know him well and you realize that everyone he greets gets to feel that same way. You know in your heart that he is sincere in his calling out to you.
Your "Sugar" is, in that moment, for you alone. It makes you a better person.
Sweeter anyway.
Or maybe he just calls em as he sees em.
When he smiles on you it is love you feel. Sweetness like sugar.
It's his specialty.

If you haven't felt particularly sweet lately you need to come meet my "Sugar Pops".
I promise, it'll make you feel better.

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Don at donhillson.wordpress.com
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30 day people challenge - my mom

I called her mom. Often it was mama. Hardly ever mommy. Never mother.
The word "mother" has a negative vibe to me. (I know not everyone agrees with this.)
Mother is the word said with the tone that mutters "I cannot believe what I have to deal with."
You hear that word and look up to see an old lady talking louder than is comfortable to an even older lady in the cruise-wear isle at JCPenny.
"that's not your color, Mother, would you please pick something, we have your hair appointment at three."
I always felt bad for that mother and promised myself that I would never be that daughter.
I never got the chance.
My mama passed through in her mid seventies. She was one of the bright stars in the heaven full of saints on earth. Now, fully realized outside her human skin always a bit too bogged down with physical frailness, she leaps and shines in unencumbered thought and emotion.
Free like she was meant to be.
I saw so much pain cross through my mama's life. Unbearable to me yet she bore it daily, most often with a smile.
She taught me much.
Our interactions ceased to age past the stage of my desperately needing her wisdom and her sweetly offering her ear and shoulder whenever they were in want.
Some days I am glad about this. Other days it breaks my heart that we did not get the opportunity to move into that growing old place.
I wonder sometimes what life would have revealed with both of us old and set in our ways. Would I have come into a second adolescence knowing well my intelligence and making sure she knew it too? Would I have challenged her life experience with my superior life discoveries? Would I have taken it upon myself to teach her how to survive in a world that had grown past her? Could I have endured her slowing down as I sped up?
Would I have called her, "mother"?
I like to think that the answer is no. Let me be smug in the safety of the fact that this cannot be tested.
I would have been patient and kind.
Always.
Respect would have been given as I understood her one sided opinions and archaic philosophies.
Completely.
She would not have tried my patience.
I would not have shuffled her comforts into stacks of dignity and relevance.
We would have simply continued on as companions. As friends.
My wrinkles would have touched hers as I wondered at the beauty of her life imprinted in her soft skin.
I would have spoken louder as her aged ears would have muffled my voice but the words would have been filled with i-love-you's as I helped her put on her favorite blue sweater that should have been thrown out ten years before.
I would have daily known the blessing of a mama created to raise this daughter.
My mama would have deserved all of that.

I wish I could know that future.
We would have been perfect together.

I have a really beautiful mama. Not perfect yet perfect for me.
Gone too soon.

I love you mama.


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Don at donhillson.wordpress.com
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11.02.2015

30 day people challenge - someone who makes you laugh

I love to laugh.
Laughter tickles me in the center of everything. Like in the very center.
That place that seems out of reach in the everyday suddenly becomes accessible.
Sometimes it is a gentle murmur that giggles up like a wiggly puppy.
Sometimes a shock that rocks my stable mundane look on life.
Often unexpected. Maybe even nervously unwanted. Still, release and relief.
Always a powerful combination.

My favorite kind of laughter is the one that bops you over the head with its irreverent mirth.
No boundaries.
Just delight.

My children bring much of this type of laughter to my life. No boundaries on these offspring. They say the things they think and in my opinion their thinkers must be both mad genius and comedic warlord.
Makes a mama proud.
To walk though life with beings that continually reveal the soft underbelly of your decorum...
That is an adventure.
To try and keep a straight face when that creature has tipped over your giggle box and is dancing on the shards of your dignity...
That is the life.
To wake and know that today you will laugh, more than once and inappropriately at best...
That, my friends, is really living.






My children make me laugh.

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30 day people challenge. Swing by and see what our other contributors are up to.

Don at donhillson.wordpress.com
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11.01.2015

30 day people challenge - the person you love most

the person you love most

I simply could not choose amongst my loves so today is a cheater day. Pulled from the archives and narcissistic to the core. Enjoy.

me

Lip-prints on the mirror
love songs in the air
every time I catch a glimpse
I have to stop and stare.
A not so secret longing
to admire
my desire ever true
I only want to spend my days with you.

I never know just how excited
I might be
to see
to spend a moment
of my time
in precious harmony
the glee
becomes unruly
yet it's awfully sweet and true
I'm blue
when thinking thoughts of anything but you

I find I giggle right out loud
at every smart remark
I simply can't believe
the awesome power
each jot and tittle pulls apart
the mundane thoughts
and building blocks
of common life
and leaves in place
a literary tower.

I crown you with my favor
and you crown me with your love
together we are quite a combination.
And tho the adoration
looks like worship
in relation
to elation
it is passion
that's the fashion of my heart

I simply cannot hide my true emotion
Marvelous is understating you
your genius wit I never doubt
amusing stories fly about
my laughter just comes rolling out
and every breath intended to pitch woo
it's true
I am addicted
to you.


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30 day people challenge. Swing by and see what our other contributors are up to.

Don at donhillson.wordpress.com
Niki at nikinowell.wordpress.com
Beckie at free2b2much.blogspot.com
Tracy at countyroadchronicles.wordpress.com

It’s not too late to join us! Get the details here:
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