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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

 Today is an anniversary. How do you mark the anniversary of the worse day of your life?
  I suppose that's not entirely true. It was more like the first day of many really bad days. For months after that day, my heart physically ached in my chest. I guess that's where that saying comes from. I felt like I couldn't breath. I constantly found myself ducking outside, or under a fan, to catch my breath. If I wasn't crying, when I looked at Jon, I would see he was crying, and it would start again. I cried until my eyes hurt, and I thought there could be no tears left to cry,  and then I cried again.
 It's better now. Most days, I walk through life with the sadness, like a black dog nipping at my heels. He's a constant companion, pleading for my attention, but I manage to stay one step ahead. Then, this morning he caught me sleeping, made his way into my dreams, and when I awoke, there he was,
sitting fully on my chest, breaking my heart. Then the darkness.
 In my despair, I remind myself, God is still listening. On the cross, Christ's heart was filled with a mother's grief, for every child lost across time. He made a way for their reunion. This sadness is my Babylon, my exile from which I have already been delivered.
 I saw this little flower on my walk this morning, and, silly as it may sound, I felt like God put it there to remind me, He loves me, and I'm going to be OK.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Where Chickens Roam

 Recently, Jon and I stumbled into one of those trendy, new restaurants in Dallas. Apparently, it's in vogue to have such bad lighting, old people can't see where to walk, sit, or read a menu. Soon, a thin, sufficiently tattooed waitress came over to explain our choices. She started off by saying all their beef was grain fed and they only served free range chickens. At this point, I didn't hear another word, as my mind began to wander.

 How, exactly do you capture and kill a free range chicken? Do you chase it around the yard with an ax, or sneak up on it with a gun? I thought about the little chicken running around, the "range", eating worms and singing like Louie Armstrong, What A Wonderful World. Then suddenly, there's a giant with an ax. Would it be less cruel to raise the chick in a tightly populated pen, knowing her fate?

 Also, these grain fed cows, the waitress spoke of, might prefer to be grazing in a meadow somewhere. Grass has got to be better than grain. Cows always look so sad. Maybe the fresh air and sunshine in a green pasture is just what they need. But, if that's true, maybe it isn't so bad to let the chickens run free, while they can.

 I don't really care to hear what my dinners life was like before, and I believe there are many others, who feel the same. Maybe the restaurant should rethink their strategy. I ordered a salad.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Welcome 2014

 Looks like I waited a little too long to say happy new year, but Happy New Year, anyway.

If January is any indication, ours is going to be an expensive year. We had to have our foundation worked on. It had fallen, over three inches on one corner, and a little less elsewhere. This is something that happens in this part of the country, so it was not unexpected. It should last another thirty years, which is longer than I expect to live. The people we bought our house from, had fixed all the cracks, probably trying to cover up the problem. When they started lifting the house, all those places began to re crack. Now we have a new project.

 I have a new TV addiction for 2014. I hear everyone talking about Breaking Bad, and how if they didn't watch before, they are now getting caught up on past episodes. I watched that show when it first started, and found out, right away, I am not that tough. The only kind of meanness, and violence I can handle is on Pretty Little Liars. I am completely hung up on PLL, as well as Ravenswood. I usually watch these shows during the day, when I'm home alone. Ravenswood gets a little scary, but I can't stop watching it.
 The thing that bothers me about Pretty Little Liars, is the way those, supposed high school girls, dress. You might think they went shopping in Grandma's closet. And Grandma was an Airline stewardess in the 60's, who hung out in Jazz clubs, with Grace Slick and Twiggy. These days you might catch Grandma sitting at a slot machine in Vegas. I'm trying to say, the girls wear extremely gawdy, tacky clothing, like leopard skin leggings with ankle boots.
Also, these girls do very adult things. One picked up a guy at a bar, that apparently has no problem admitting high school kids, only to find, on the first day of school, that he was her new English teacher. I can honestly say, I was never attracted to any of my teachers. Not even the coaches, with their polyester knit, high rise shorts, and knee socks, caught my attention.
 I'm not saying we were all that innocent as teenagers, but it was a different time. It was a time when we never suspected Elton John as being anything, but straight. It also was a time when being straight meant you didn't get high. The reason I never thought  Elton John, or anyone else for that matter, was gay, was I didn't care. Everyone loved his music. We didn't need to know everything about everyone. We just wanted their 8 tracks, not their dating or fashion advice.

 I am happy to say, I have officially lost 30 real pounds, and only have 25 more to go. It has taken months to get this far, but in the past, any weight I lost quickly, returned in double. I have found the secret to loosing weight, and keeping it off is, to have your doctor say you are going to die. OK, that and counting carbs and fat.

Friday, December 20, 2013

It's A Wonderful Life

  December has really flown by, and it's almost Christmas.

 I finished my shopping early, and have had a lot of free time to watch Hallmark Christmas movies, and make candy. It's been great.
 I made Martha Washington candy, several varieties of fudge, and tried some new recipes. One of those was Bourbon Balls. This is a very easy recipe, once you find the chocolate wafer cookies, and if you follow the instructions well, which I did not on the first try. The recipe called for a cup of this, a 1/4 cup of that, and so on. After mixing up the first batch, I could see it was too thin to make into balls, so I asked Jon what he thought I did wrong. He looked over the recipe, and our conversation went something like this. Jon, "Did you use one cup of powdered sugar?"
Me, "Yes"
Jon, "One cup of cookie crumbs, 1/4 cup bourbon?"
Me, rather indignant, "Yes"
Jon, "1 and 1/4 tablespoon corn syrup?"
Me, a little more sheepish this time, "Is that what it says?"
Jon, "How much bourbon did you drink?"
I had added 1 and 1/4 CUPS of corn syrup, and I hadn't drank any of the bourbon. I was not drunk, just blind. I don't really need my glasses, unless I want to see.

 Like I said before, I finished my shopping early. In years past, I have gone so overboard, I never knew when I was through. It was just a matter of running out of time. I think, for so many years, I was trying to give my kids that classic, over the top Christmas, building traditions and memories, that just could not be achieved with material things. It was stressful to everyone involved, and ran up terrible debt to be paid in January, or more likely, February and March. Jon and I decided to tone it down this Christmas. We want to try to make it all about Jesus, and just enjoy being with the people we love.
  At Bible study, our core leader wanted us to share a happy Christmas memory. I heard some pretty funny stories. One lady talked about her grandmother buying all the kids bicycles. She said she had them all lined up by the Christmas tree, and when the kids came running in, one was bumped and they all went down like dominoes, crashing into the china hutch. There was broken glass and china everywhere. I don't know why that's funny, but I laughed. Another said her mother is nurse practitioner, at a large hospital emergency room in Houston, and brings a stranger home for Christmas dinner every year. Of course, the stranger is welcome to come back the next Christmas. She said they never know who is going to show up. I thought that was nice, gutsy, but nice.
  I was a very little girl, when I received my most memorable gift. Santa had been to our house, and left toys, fruit and candy. Everyone was happy and all was right with the world. I saw my daddy walk out to his pickup where he had hidden two gift wrapped boxes. He gave the first one to my mother. It was a black negligee. I thought it was a slip and embarrassed her, by telling everyone I knew about it. The other gift was for me. I opened it and was tickled to find a little pair of gold house shoes. I put them on my bare feet, and suddenly felt very warm. It warms my heart now. I can imagine Daddy was in a store, looking for Mom a gift, when he saw the gold slippers, and thought of me. Maybe he knew my feet were cold. Or maybe he was thinking about his other little girl, who got so sick, it damaged her heart. Anyway, he was my daddy and he loved me. This will be my first Christmas without him.
 I miss you, Daddy. Thanks for the shoes. The memory is still keeping me warm.


Friday, November 22, 2013

A Child's Perspective on November 22, 1963

   I remember the day our president died.
 I was sitting at my desk, cutting a pilgrim hat from black construction paper. My first grade teacher, Mrs. Tullis, was taping the hats, and some paper turkeys, to the window that looked out on the playground. My school was one of those old country school houses, with three classrooms, and a cafeteria that doubled as a library. The third grade teacher, who was also the principal, called Mrs. Tullis, and the second grade teacher out of class. I looked out the door and saw the three of them crying. I had lost my grandfather six months earlier, and knew when grownups cried like that, it must be something bad.
 Mrs. Tullis walked back into the classroom and announced President Kennedy had been shot. I don't think she said he had been killed. Maybe she didn't know yet.
 They released us from school, and I walked home with my brothers.
 My mom was crying when we got home. She, like most homemakers that day, were watching As The World Turns, when the news broke. It was the saddest day, and we watched it over and over on our black and white TV.
 As children, we had no idea, of the fear and uncertainties the country was facing. We knew it happened in Texas, but not that the rest of the country hated us. I asked why Oswald did it, and was told he was a Communist. Then, we saw Jack Ruby kill Oswald on television, and knew our questions would never be answered.

 It was different time. We prayed and sang Jesus Loves Me, before saying the Pledge of Allegiance, every morning at school, and no one complained. We were taught to respect our elders and honor our leaders. We loved our president. Even most adults hadn't heard all the negative rumors about JFK. Sometimes, I wish I still hadn't heard. I know it's a good thing, freedom of the press and all that. We have a right to know the truth. But, do we really need to know everything? It was nice having a hero in President Kennedy. I loved looking at the Life magazine photos of him and Jackie. I wanted to be Caroline. I had a Caroline Kennedy doll. I remember being upset that Jackie had to move out of the White House. I didn't know she was rich and could live anywhere. I saw her as the widow of my hero, pitiful, sad and deserving.
 We watched the funeral procession, the flag draped casket pulled down the street on a horse drawn wagon, all day. We saw little John John's salute as it happened. And then, it was over...until 1968.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Legacy of Blessings

  We had a family reunion, here, at my house, last weekend. We didn't have a great turn out, but good for a first try.
 Getting ready for the reunion, I made a photo album and put together a notebook with Bacon family genealogy, and some letters and newspaper clippings I found in my mothers bible. One of my cousins sent some stories and poems written by her mother and brother, as well. There were some great stories about the people we came from.
 During all this, I was taking a 13 day round of steroids, which tried to kill me. It almost turned me into a man. Seriously, I'm still tweezing the hairs from my chin. It kept me awake at night, and I couldn't eat. Nothing tasted right and I was just not hungry. Also, I found myself, with the television remote, mindlessly changing channels. See, just like a man.
 When I did sleep, because of all the family stories I was reading, I would wake up, in the middle of the night, and think, "Where is my butter churn?", or something like that. Silly, I know, but I walked the Trail of Tears and fought in the Civil War, until morning.
 This all has me thinking, today about suffering. Those of my generation have lived, what some might consider charmed lives. We were born after the country recovered from the big war. Our parents owned their homes with color TVs and frost free refrigerators. Most of us never picked cotton. We rode our bikes to and from school and watched The Monkeys and I Dream Of Jeanie, while doing our homework. When the boys, in our generation reached Draft age, The Vietnam war ended and the Draft was no more. It does sound like a cushy life. Most hardships and sufferings were self inflicted.
 I wonder why we were so blessed. I wonder why my father had to be fatherless during the Depression, and my grandparents went through fires, devastation, and the loss of four children. Why were my ancestors forced off their land and made to live on a reservation?
 All I know for sure is, if any of these things had gone a different way, I might not be here today. If my great- great grandfather had not had a calling on his life, to educate and bring the Gospel to the Indian Nation, I might not be a Christian today. And, I am thankful for these things, and for the life I have been given.

 I believe in Heaven. I wrote the previous post for a friend, who enjoys ghost stories. It was fun, and good practice.
 But, I feel it is necessary to say, I believe in Heaven. I believe in God. If ghost were real, why would they hang around old buildings and cemeteries, instead of people they knew and loved in this world?
 C. S. Lewis said, we do not have souls. We are souls and we have bodies.
 I see our bodies as chains, keeping souls attached to this world. Someday, our chains will break, and we will be set free.


About Me

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A wife, mother, and spoiler of small dogs, I grew up in a small West Texas town, with my eyes full of sand, and my heart full of joy.

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