Refugee Status

Warning: Compulsive Grammarians will be offended by the following:

Let’s just get this straight.  Politically, I am too lazy to be properly informed and don’t offer opinions, as I’m afraid of being “fullonfacebookignorant”. I don’t have time to read the news comprehensively, so I’m afraid of getting ahold of the wrong end of the stick.  My default state is pretending I don’t have my head in the sand.

Last November, I chose to write-in my vote.  Not throwing it away, but hoping that there were enough of us to bring both candidates down to percentages that didn’t represent a majority, so that neither could become president. (Yes.  That is a real thing.)  Mickey and I were not enough.

America elected a president who invited the Statue of Liberty to take a seat.

The Statue of Liberty*

The Statue of Liberty*

Millions of refugees had roamed the earth while we had plenty of space and a lame duck president.  When something could, finally, get done, it was a knee-jerk, face-slap.  Hundreds or  possibly even thousands with legitimate sponsorship and professional credentials, were locked out.  Families were separated; their loved ones left without legal status in any countries.

God brought me face to face with my own #refugeestatus

The Bible calls me a sojourner.  A refugee.

I walked away from my home, my status, my community, my history, my heritage. Choosing life over clinging to these things (Phil 3).  Choosing to roam, knowing I’m loved somewhere and will be reunited with my brothers and sisters, someday; rather than, dying in my own kingdom.

I don’t know what a day may bring.  I have to sleep with my shoes on.  Periodically, I have contact with far-flung brothers and sisters.  Joy and pain, and broken bread.

I’m on my way home.  I’ll fling my bag on the entry floor.  Eat my fill and change my robe.  And crawl up in Daddy’s lap.  To rest.

In the meantime, it’s not about me.  It’s about the heart of the God who sees.  He saw Hagar and Ishmael laying their heads on stones for pillows.  And he sees her grandchildren. (Genesis 16:9-15; 21:8-21).  It’s about a cup of cool water for the least of these (Matt 25:35-40).

See you back at the house.  (1 Peter 2:9-12)

 

*Inset: Emma Lazarus, whose poem, “The New Colossus” was immortalized at the foot of the Statue**, in which she refers to as ‘The Mother of Exiles’.

**“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Emma Lazarus (November 2, 1883)

 

 

 

Romance for Beginners: Part 1

Warning: This post may contain: Run-on Sentences

Romance.

There’s a lot of confusion.

  • Is it simply sweetness?  As in a romantic comedy film?  Or a dozen flowers on Valentine’s Day?
  • Is it sex?  As in falling into the arms of someone, whose arms you’ve dreamed about.  Subsequently, finding out the arms you’ve fallen into are attached to a mind and a spirit, and all that’s implied by behaving as if you’re only a body…
  • Is it a man thinking and behaving in feminine ways? Like when a man submits to a day of feminine behavior to please his significant other.  ~Gag~  I hope not.  Don’t make your man go for brunch, shopping and pedicures.  [He should be sending you out to do this on your own, not rolling his eyes, while you’re in the fitting room. And sighing.). Complain that this is sexist.  My blog.  My observations. {No, he doesn’t either love it because you do.  He loves you, so he tolerates it.}]
  • Is it a man soliciting for his girlfriend to be more masculine?  Like arranging to propose to her on the jumbotron at the MLB game? *
  • Is it looking cute together?   Uh.  Nur.
  • Is it him liking your pic on {social media platform}?  OHDEARJESUSNO!!!  I don’t care how young you are.  Romance is, categorically, NOT, him liking your social media posts.  If it has to happen in front of a group, real or virtual, that is not romance, it is you (or him) seeking attention and courting the culture, not one another.

All of these things can be fun, wholesome, and thrilling.  But.  They aren’t romance.  Google helpfully defines romance as: a quality or feeling of mystery, excitement, and remoteness from everyday life.  If (and there is) a God in heaven, you will get all of the above someday, but you will not see true romance until things get “remote from daily life”.  Daily life is work and school and church and eating and cleaning.  Remoteness is…  Distant.  Set apart.  Moments when you are in a roomful of people and a million miles away…

Romance will arrive in its time.  It will surprise you.  It might not be a text saying, “Want me to pick you up on my way to the [Pizza] Hut?”  But it could be.  Though that would be landmark.  to-date, unheard of.  surprising.  It might just be pizza.

 

[OK, everyone turn your heads, I’m about to get personal.]

Girls,

One of these days, you’ll realize, romance isn’t a cinematographic effect, Valentine’s Day compliance, or defined by a love song.  One of these days, a guy will come along, who sees E’s off-the-charts anxiety for what it is, and looks past it to the wildly profound self-awareness buried under there. For reasons that escape the rest of us, he’ll think that stuff’s cute and sexy.

One of these days, M’s exquisite good taste will intersect with her raging good luck.  Someone will (#FINALLY) realize she won’t take his flirting personally, she just thinks he’s a friendly person.   He’ll tell her plain out, she’s hilarious and makes an impressive exit and he’d like to sit across from her at dinner  and see her chew with her mouth open, because she’s the cutest.

While movies are made from just such romantic notions (and let’s face it, sometimes a lot less plot to work with), they’re only halfway there.   Real romance happens when all that beauty and lavish outward expression has been joined by the mysterious glue of real life.

When he holds your hair while you puke up your real guts.

When you fight over trivial things. Hard.

When you don’t wash your hair and you don’t think he’s funny and you’re being a bitch heifer and he laughs at you and tells you to text when you want to act like an adult.

When you are tenderly unfazed by a glimpse of a well-hidden weakness.

When you accidentally revealed more than you meant to about your heart (#ohcrap).

When he talks about Jesus  and his dreams and plans and you think you’re going to have to take a chair.

 

This.

 

This, dear Daughter, is Bible.  We are the bride of Christ.  He plans the grand gestures, the daily surprises and endures with us through our sin-sickness.  He waits while we clue up.  His heart is squeezed to the bursting point with pride and pleasure in who we are before we know He’s even interested in us. He’s captivated by our joy and our way of doing life.  He laughs at our jokes.  He hums our favorite song.  He loves the look on our faces when He shares His plans with us.

His timeline remains excruciatingly beyond our control.  He’s waiting too.

 

He’s waiting, too.

 

But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.  James 1:4 NKJV

 

 

 

*If you’re planning this, stop. Right now. Call me and I’ll explain the finer points, but this will get you started:  1) If she has any grace, she won’t tell you, “no”, in front of thousands of people, even if she should.  2) You aren’t motivated enough to come up with your own plan, but are using an out-of-the-box plan.  Have a little confidence in yourself.  3) This is not neutral turf.  If you aren’t willing to take the risk of coming off your own territory to build this new “we”, she should say, “no,”  but here she is (see point number 1), so she can’t.  Yes, this all applies even if she is the most rabid baseball fan ever, and a raging narcissist. If she’s at the game with you, that’s SO MUCH FUN, but she needs an proposal she can proudly tell her daughters about, and they’ll look at you like a freaking rockstar and not settle for anything less in their own lives.

~end rant~

 

 

Weak Knees

Look out.

There’s a seismic shift.

There’s a thermal lift.

You’ll stumble or you’ll fly.

Worship while you cry*.

 

Humans prefer something to hold on to.  Maybe because we don’t know what to do with our hands.  Maybe because we’re afraid we’ll fall.  Maybe because we always think we’re the driver and need to hold the wheel.  It is the illusion of control, in every case.  You might hold the mic, the wheel, or their hand.  But.  You are never, ever, in control of what happens next.

 

Li’l Girl, Can’t dance.

Quit tryna lead.

Stand still a minute.

Get lost in it.

Let Him worry about the beat.

 

Relinquishing control of the next moment.   Is terrifying.  But like a roller coaster.  Heartracing.  Visceral.  Delightful…  Addictive.

 

It’s not the sweetness that makes you.

Weak in the knees.

It’s the fighting against the beauty.

Disbelieving that He wants to give you.

The desires of your heart.

 

We don’t drop the reins, because we are more intelligent than the horse.  We don’t take our hands off the wheel, because the car can’t choose a direction for itself.  In relationship with God there is no control instrument.  Much as we’d like that.  We couldn’t handle Him, if we wanted.  When I stop trying to drive, He takes me further, faster.  It’s a thrill ride.

 

 

 

 

 

*many years ago, a worship leader pointed out that sometimes crying could be an expression of worship. (Not that single, sexy tear.  Ugly, snot-smearing crying.) I was so relieved.  Because I often cried through entire worship services when I wasn’t sad or angry and didn’t know why, this explanation liberated me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phenomenon: Eighteen

Several months ago, I overheard a casual comment by a mother of a boy man, who was going to play in a card tournament at the mall that weekend.*

“…But he’s 18 and I can’t tell him what to do anymore.”

Wait, what?

Initially, my thought was, “Is he paying fair market room and board rates to live in your house and eat your food? Does he wash his own clothes and do his fair share of the vacuuming, dusting, mopping and preparation of the aforementioned food?”

I decided he probably was.  He’s a homeschooled boy man, after all.  And almost all homeschool families are vastly superior to ours.

But the thought lingered.

If the parent had objected to public card playing when the child was 17, they could have made a public scene and “punished” the child.  Mall security would have hesitated to become involved.  A call to the police,(when one knows where one’s child is, what they are doing– a legal activity, who they are with, and that they were not being harmed) may have resulted in a stern lecture to the parent.

Now, at 18, the parent can decide no longer to support a child who plays cards publicly.  A respectful child, who knows that their wanton behavior is displeasing to their parents, can pack his personal effects, place a deposit and first & last month’s rent on an apartment, pay deposits on utilities and internet service and have their cell phone removed from their parent’s name and placed in their own with the bill forwarded to their new address.  They can buy their own food.  They are free to purchase their own mode of transportation, be that an automobile and insurance, or a bus pass.

I am assuming this person, who cannot be told what to do, works a job.

Yet.

This dear mama is just one of many mothers of 18 year-olds, I’ve talked to in the last year.  I heard the, “I can’t tell him/her what to do,”

A lot.

The other day, the girls were shopping with a friend who encouraged them to buy swimsuits they, themselves, were not comfortable being seen in, by saying, “You’re 18. You can buy it and your mom can’t tell you what to do.”

It struck me entirely differently.

Most of the people I’ve heard say this, have been homeschool mommies worrying over stuff they don’t realize is benign in the extreme.  Traditional school moms say it, as well, I just don’t have a strong research sample of these.  But this time, it was a homeschooled young lady, telling my kids to throw off the teaching of their parents and their own personal standards to demonstrate their legal prerogative to “flaunt” what they “got”.  Her parents encourage her to flaunt hers and require her to be in by dark.  She is unfailingly obedient, endlessly sweet, and doesn’t turn 18 until later this year.

Suddenly, it became clear.

I know dozens of young adults who have TOTALLY thrown off their home training.  Not just their religion, but their manners and poise (poise is an old-fashioned word for knowing the right behavior for the right situation and applying that knowledge.).  We are informing them, when they turn 18, that we are finished with them.  They can ruin their lives and we have nothing to do with it.  They are informing each other that at 18, it is imperative that the guidance of their upbringing is to be thrown off like a soiled garment (or merely one that completely covers their butt crack).

What could possibly go wrong?

I certainly don’t comment from a holier than anyone position.  I am still waiting for my freaking medal for getting through years 12-15.  I can, and do, tell my about-to-be 19 year-olds some things that they will (and will not) do.  I have offered to take them to the grocery for an Apartment Guide.  I have invited them to chip in for a g@#$%mn maid.

They, in turn, have acknowledged, that they do NOT want me to check-out on them now, when things are getting more difficult BECAUSE they have more freedom.  And the paperwork in adulthood is a bitch lot.

I think the idea that, “They are 18; you can’t tell them what to do,” originated in the idea that people should be allowed to grow up and be adults and accept responsibility for themselves–an idea with which I heartily concur.  However, the term may have been co-opted as an excuse for parent of the young person who hasn’t mastered five languages and four musical instruments and struggled to decide whether to go pre-law at Harvard, pre-med at Cornell, or double major in Jazz Studies and Orchestral Conducting at Julliard.

I really don’t know.

But I do know that a lot of young people feel very “empowered” by what looks very, very much like free fall.  Tune into the TV news, or the news headlines on your phone.

I can tell my about to be 19 year-olds what to do, and they can choose to do it or not.  They have been reporting in with some very poignant, “Mom, you were right,” events.  We have discussed how pleasant life will be around here, when the not-piles-of-money is reduced by having to clean up “mistakes”.

As parents, we are to raise them to adulthood.  Not get them most of the way there and wash our hands of them and their buffoonery.

I hear that parenting is a life span job (not supporting big babies, who won’t pull their own weight, but presence as a reference and an unconditional supporter). The greatest people I know acknowledge their family and their upbringing as vital to their lives, yet the culture-at-large, seems to reflect, “You’re 18; no one can tell you what to do,” as orthodoxy.

 

 

*This mom was stressed out and this young man is going to be ragingly successful (the girls had classes with him and count him as a good friend.  Someone they admire.).  I merely use this as the example, because it was THE day that this phrase stuck with me.  I had probably heard it 100 times before. And card playing is a good neutral example, because it can be positive or negative, unlike some other choices that can only lead to negative outcomes.

 

 

 

After All This Time

The last time I was blogging consistently was more than two years ago.  My everyday activities are completely different today.  The people I spend my time with and the places I go and my daily activities are completely different.  And I’m drowning.

Don’t get me wrong.  All the changes…  ALL the changes, are good.  But they happened fast.  And I’m getting old. Er.

I still blog in my head.  I make commentary on bullet-points of everyday life.  In my head.  No one to tell it to.  I mean, some of it.

But there was a day when I consciously did business with myself.  In order to join this group, there were things about myself I had to hide away.  I knew I was where I belonged, so I entrusted those things to God and moved forward.  No regret.

For nearly two years, I have been studying.  Again, there are some answers that aren’t acceptable.  Even when you’re asked for your opinion.  I’m doing alright.

It’s not easy.

The girls have graduated from this homeschool.  One is trained as a dental assistant and seeking a job.  The other will transfer to a private university in the Fall on academic scholarship.

I read the occasional blog and I still follow my faves.  On Facebook and Instagram.

Now, I just wish I bellyache to my two blog friends again and have them tell me I had a thought worth thinking.

Just words.

Kept inside.

Discouragement.  To spare.

Hope on hold.

IMG_2745

 

 

Something for the Young People

Lately I’ve been pulling punches.  Holding back.  Trying to be some sort of bland hot cereal that appeals to everyone. No one likes that.  Spicy, at least identifies a tribe.

If you are between the ages of 15 and 23, I am going to tell you something that it seems no one else is saying. While I am by no means speaking to every person in that age group, I am addressing a trend.

Here’s the deal.  I think I can say this because I am older than the number on those black balloons at the party store.

I digress.

Here’s the deal.

You can do adulthood.

I apologize for my generation.  We’ve made it look awfully freaking dismal.  Except for, apparently, the alcoholism cocktails.

No wonder so many of you guys put on your snap front, short sleeve cowboy shirts, throw on one of those tiny knapsacks with a string, hop on your scooters and wander off to find yourself.

Some of you look in bars and farmer’s markets and ratty old buildings with chalkboard signs.

Some of you go to school, but have no idea what you want to do, and when you graduate, you aren’t sure you want to work.

Let me just answer that: you don’t.  Here is the disservice your education has done you.  Starting with the Dora the Explorer panties or the Avengers toothbrush, we made every non-negotiable task seem negotiable.  Until it looks very much like you get to choose the glory tasks and opt-out of the @#$% tasks in whatever path you take.

Sorry.  That’s on us.

Here’s how this should have gone.

Dad:  Now you’re going to brush your teeth like mom and I do.

Kid:  You’re joking!  That’s fantastic.

Dad: Yeah, because also, your teeth won’t rot out.

Kid: Man, this big boy @#$% just keeps getting better and better.

Or…

Mom: You’re too big to wear diapers.  You’re going to wear regular underwear and use the toilet like Dad and your sister and I do.

Kid: I don’t know how to do all that.

Mom: That’s why they call it potty training.

Kid: Wait, what’s ‘potty’ mean?

Mom: That’s a baby word for the commode.

Kid: So no more strangers working me over in the church nursery?

Mom: That’s the deal.  AND, when you poop you won’t have to sit around in it until we get where we’re going in the car or I get the casserole into the oven.

Kid: I’m all in.

I’m mostly not joking.

You were created to grow up.  The culture casts parents as buffoons and the child as the guru on the mountaintop.  “The wisdom of children” is simply more pressure to talk like a poet.  You aren’t supposed to be responsible for deciding Every. Single. Thing. when you are 6 or 7 years old.  When you get up in the morning when you are 7, you should pretty much know that your parents have this @#$% nailed down and all you have to do is step into the template.  There are clean clothes in the dresser and closet.  Put some on and be open to editorial revision by your mother.  Comb your hair.  Present yourself to the breakfast table and eat what magically appears there.  At the bus stop, you should find yet another hardworking adult waiting to deliver you into the classroom where your teacher has a lesson plan and doesn’t require guidance from people who don’t possess the skills she is employed to teach.  At the end of the day, give a nod to the bus driver and chuck your backpack on the entry floor.  Eat your “4 food group” approved dinner and relax for a couple of hours.  Take a bath and get in bed.

You might need a team sport or piano lessons.

But not really.

By the time you are 13, you should be able to follow the above with the exception that you should be able to make dinner.

If you are 15 and you can’t make dinner.  Call me, I will teach you how.

You can do this.  You can grow up.

Adulthood doesn’t suck.  And there is more privilege to adulthood than the beverages.

Work is not a punishment.  It’s what we are made for.

You were made to grow up.  A very wise man wrote a book before you were born that discussed the fact that we were pushing the curriculum down and adultifying kids’ clothing.  So, somehow, we interpreted this as people should be babies as long as they can be.

My generation has not allowed you to grow up.  We might teach you to do some fun skill at a really early age for our own entertainment, but as soon as you start telling us your life plan, we start digging our heels in.

“You don’t want to go to that school.”

“You don’t want to study that, there’s no money in it.”

“You are too young to choose a life partner. You are not ready for marriage.”

Incidentally, I have never heard a parent say, “You aren’t ready to get a job and stop living off me.  Why don’t you go to Europe for six months or a year? My treat.”

Young adult, you are ready to grow up, get an education, enter the workforce, and discern an appropriate mate; in any order that life serves itself up to you.  One caveat: Being young is not an excuse for poor decision-making.  A lot of damage has been done by the expression, “It’s easier to ask forgiveness than to ask permission”.  Yeah, that’s true.  I can repair drywall, but I can’t spackle your soul, Chickie Baby.  Use your head.

People also say, “Don’t let your life pass you by.”  Usually they mean surf and skate and have sex with people you don’t know and drink until you blackout.

No red flags there.

The truth is:  You aren’t ready.  It’s like cliff diving.  You can’t just stand there until you are ready.  You leap and get ready in the air.

There is no perfection. There is only good.  Good takes a lot of work.  People gotta work.  I didn’t say, “Other people gotta work.”

Sometimes, you are ready and too lazy to get on with it.

It isn’t difficult.  There are no secrets.  Choose your path.  Show up for your commitments.  Don’t make excuses.  You might suck.  But.  The sun comes up tomorrow.  With new mercy.

I believe in you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Movie Night Revisited

This evening, we watched the movie, Belle.  It’s based on a true story.  It broke my heart.  It’s a beautiful story.  It’s a victory story.  The trouble is the victory was won in 1779 and we are re-enacting similar battles, one relationship at a time, everyday.

In fact, this very evening, the local news featured a city man who strung his porch with blue lights for the holidays in support of the #policelivesmatter movement.  #Policelivesmatter seems to be a response to the #blacklivesmatter campaign which has competed since Michael Brown’s and Eric Garner’s deaths, though the news story focused only on ways one might identify with #policelivesmatter.  As my husband pointed out…  There has never been a problem with a failure to honor the fallen in the line of duty.

In the film, the beautiful thing is that everyone did what they believed was right.  The truth prevailed and wrong was defeated.  Perhaps it was a fairy tale and I should leave it at that and go to bed (it’s quite late).

I can’t.  I want to go on my face in front of the God Who Sees.  To wrestle Him until dawn.  To demand He bless me and my family.

To meet the sunrise.

I will have to be prepared to speak to something.  I don’t want to.  When we went here, it was only to become a family, not an activist.  Hate that word.  I don’t want to be naked, again.  The only one exposed and vulnerable.  The only one being told, “You’re wrong. Let me help you understand your experience, in terms with which I am more comfortable.”

Yet, I want action.  Need healing.  God’s proof of Himself.  Sorry.  I know He owes me nothing of the sort.

I’m stiff-arming Him on the work of the call.  I have to speak.  In one relationship.  At a time. Doesn’t matter how many people are standing around qualified to initiate the same discussion.  Same credentials.

My call.  My bucket.  My waders.  My shovel.

My blog posts run cryptic.  I don’t really know why.  Probably so they aren’t specific and measurable, so someone can’t read an old post and say, “Hey!  How’s it coming on that commitment you made back in blah, blah, blah.”

I digress.

If I’m honest (are we ever really?), I know why I’m vague.  I write to find out what I think.  The kabillion unpublished posts are proof of that.  I publish to dare to say something scary.  I guess I rarely do.  I think I’m being avant garde and the feedback is that I’m winsome and safe and, sometimes, deep.

I’m sorry.

I’m evasive because I don’t want to identify anyone in particular because I have to do business with my self and my responses.  Not take take account of another person’s business.  I have to reckon my call to speak in a loving, honest, incisive way.  If someone recognized themselves and took offense (it’s happened), maybe they didn’t notice that I left it not with their problem, but with my responsibility.  As a child of God, I’m responsible to speak the truth in love, to those who are going a way that will hurt themselves or someone else.  No matter the potential cost to my personal comfort.

Love is more than comfort.

Worth the work.

And the wait.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Thought Thursday


I keep trying to write three posts and I think the ideas are conjoined .  Because this blogging thing is like giving birth.  In five years, this post won’t vomit on the couch, but otherwise….  I digress.

In no particular order, I’ve been thinking this:

The poetry is there.  It’s there in the sh*t days.  It’s there in the drudgery.  It’s there in the “WHEN YOU HAVE A NOSEBLEED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT, GET ME!!! DON’T LEAVE THE BATHROOM LOOKING LIKE SOMEONE WAS KILLED IN THERE!!!”

It’s there when you are fried from stress and worrying about your kids.  Roaming the house with your insomnia for companionship, you look out the window at your ugly little neighborhood robed in peace and, at long last, quiet.

When you fight back.

When you surrender.

When your love looks like hate.

And you love something you should hate.

Life is simply lyric.

Whether we think so or not.

The next thing is this:

There is a trend in our area to make your homeschoolers take a 5th year of high school if the parent and the Independent Study Program administrator agree it would be a good idea.  To me this is like flunking your senior year.  A few months ago, a couple of moms tried to get me to hold my daughters back.

NO FREAKING WAY.  They will turn 18 a week after graduation which makes them among the youngest of their class, but it isn’t as if they are a whole year ahead.  Their credits will be completed.  I couldn’t, in my right mind, come up with an excuse to make them stay longer.

THEY’VE GOT TO GET OUT.

Sure.  I want them to stay.  I’m a mom and I’m supposed to feel nostalgic and resistant at the same time.  But that isn’t a sign something is wrong.  It is a sign something is very, very right.  They are designed, like the birds and fish and bears and stuff, to mature.  Grow-up.  Launch out on their own.

They need to find work they love. They need to fall in love and get married  and finish the last of that box of wine during a power outage and 9 months later give me a grandbaby.  I’ve earned her.

And last:

Chatting with the therapist, I bemoaned that I was opposite of someone who is the “my kids speak four languages, play the musical instruments of dead cultures, and the governor calls them for advice” homeschool mom.  She pointed out that could be a way of keeping busy so you don’t have to think about relationships.    It could be true, because girls our age were taught to build a resume (Look out!!! French Club President, coming through!!!), so colleges and our peers could rank us.

Boom.

It healed my lonely soul.  I’m still growing in who I always have been, which really never was that.  I can stop measuring myself by the unit used to measure another kind of creation.  I can stop comparing apples with asparagus.

God has given me the desires of my heart.

For these three things, I am deeply grateful.

 

 

 

And the Trees of the ‘Hood Shall Clap Their Hands

This is the tree…

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This photo doesn’t capture the fullness of its beauty.

Throughout the year, I forget to be grateful for my home.  Because I’m wretched, that way.  I could be more specific, but I don’t need to rehearse my ingratitude.

So throughout the year, the tree is insulted by the neighbors’ dogs.

Then comes Autumn.

The tree rejoices profoundly.  In reverence and honor and worship, it puts on the most radiant complex colors.   I can’t even describe it and it seems my camera is a bit stumped, as well.

My tree makes the little troubles with the house worth it.  We all agree.

Gratitude is a color.

 

 

 

“You will indeed go out with joy and be peacefully guided; the mountains and the hills will break into singing before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”

It’s Not the Shoes

They say you never miss things until they’re gone.

My professors said,”You’ve got to do something about this anxiety.”  And, “Let something go.”

I chose to let the laundry go.

Friday morning, I had no clean underwear.

On Tuesdays, the girls are supposed to do laundry.  They did.  Theirs.  They left it in all stages of the process.  I backtracked through the mashed in the basket to wrinkle., the left in the dryer to wrinkle, and the mildewing in the washer.  I found not more than a half dozen items belonging to other family members in three loads of laundry.  The mildewing washer load had a single pair of my underwear but I didn’t have time to re-wash and dry them.

There are two options, as it was 8:03 and I had to be out the door by 8:10:

1) Re-wear the dirty ones.

2) Go “Commando”.

I will not burden your imagination with my decision.  Suffice to say, I find these alternatives difficult to rank in order of relative psychological comfort.

Today, I had the opportunity to attack the laundry problem, and was distressed to find:

–Mickey might have gone to work naked on Friday.  Which might be pushing “Casual Friday” beyond reasonable limits on a regular week, but this week he was supposed to have a meeting with the Bishop of the local diocese.  Lord, have mercy; Christ, have mercy.

–Marcus took a different approach.  Though I hadn’t done any laundry since last week, there were only three pair of his underwear in the laundry.  I decline to speculate on all that this implies.  I was however able to do an entire load of laundry consisting almost entirely of socks and underwear.

ACCIDENTAL THOUGHTS ON THE POWER OF THE RIGHT PAIR OF DRAWERS:

1) Have you ever searched for your favorite underwear on an important day?  This can either mean a day when you expect great things, like your birthday; or it can refer to anticipated stress, like a big exam.  Of course, you have.  The right underwear make a difference.

2) Do you have special underwear for different purposes? Of course, you do.  The right underwear make a difference.  For example:  When you exercise, there are some underwear that make you feel really sad.   Also, don’t even try to wear those five year-old Hanes Her Way under that prom dress.  And I assume you understand that you aren’t under any circumstances to wear the prom underwear to a meeting with the Bishop.  Of course, you do.  There is a right place and a right time.

3) There are some people who do not wear underwear.  This is a lifestyle choice and in no way my business to judge.  If this describes you, do you know that you aren’t to tell me about it?  Of course, you do.  Again, no judging, but I think “no underwear” people are missing out.

Awhile back, the time came to have a little more in-depth talk with the girls about romance and relationships.  It was sort of strenuous.  Like herding cats.  For those of you young parents who think “the talk” happens once, I wish you all the best.  That has not been my experience. When we were done, we went shopping for cute underwear.  Sound weird?  Of course, it does.  My point to them, then (and I need to remember it myself) was that you feel special for yourself.  Respect yourself and treat yourself well.

When I was about 15, I started shopping for high end underwear.  Mom made no comment. I was in 9th grade; P.E. and I had broken up years before.  It was the eighties, and we all dressed like bankers for high school. I wasn’t buying them to show anyone.  They worked just as well as the ugly  ones. I wasn’t buying them to communicate an identity– grandmother, skank, athlete.  I was buying them to celebrate- “This is not for boys, of which I am not one.  Oh, and by the way, I feel pretty powerful.”

The right underwear is a powerful thing.  Clark Kent knows.

It’s not the shoes.

 

NaBloPoMo_November_0

 

 

 

 

 

 

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