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Friday, May 28, 2010

School's Out


During water aerobics yesterday, kids were running in and out asking the lifeguard when it would be their turn to swim. When the pool was finally turned over to the ungoverned youth , I realized school had been out for three hours and parents were already dumping their kids off on the YMCA. It's Summer at last.

When I think about it, I guess it was pretty much the same when we were kids. I know there were days when we didn't have to beg too hard for Mom to take us to the pool. I'm sure she enjoyed the time alone.

We used to swim at the American Legion pool, which was very large and indoors. I remember the chlorine was so strong, our eyes were red and burning. They must use different chemicals now. Anyway, the Legion, as we called it then, had the highest high diving board around. I always went off the low board until the day I was chided and humiliated into going up on the high. Everyone always said the rule was, if you climbed up the high board you couldn't climb back down. You had to jump off. Well, for some reason they let me use the ladder to get back down. I eventually made a couple of leaps off the high and it was as awful as I thought it would be. It took so long to reach the water, I had time to think about it. And I plunged deep enough, it took a while to make it back to the surface.
I was never much of a dare devil, but my brothers were. There was a rope that hung from the very tall ceiling of that pool and they, and other boys would swing from it, looking like they would surely miss the water. I don't think anyone ever died but my brother, Steve, ruptured an eardrum.
It was pretty exciting when the 16th street pool opened. Outdoors and not nearly so crowded, it only cost a quarter. Ivy, Joel, Steve and I had a lemonade stand. We sold lemonade everyday until we had enough quarters for all of us to swim, then we closed up shop and headed to the pool. We weren't exactly entrepreneurs.

West Texas in the Summer is hotter than Hades, but the water in the 16th street pool was always too cold to actually get in the pool. There were rumors they iced it down at night. I don't know how they got it that cold, but it was miserably frigid. Why we wanted to go there everyday, is lost somewhere in my memory. All we really accomplished was a great tan.
Wouldn't it be nice if we could all have the summer off to be a kid again? I'm just sayin...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Let it Rain


I know I write a lot about music, but after all, I am a Music Nazi. Today I was wondering why so many songs are written about rain. What is it about rain that stirs us? Not only do we sing about it, we blame our moods on it. How many times have you said, "this rainy weather makes me sleepy"? It makes us want to be at home with a good book or movie. I love to sit on my back porch with a cup of coffee and listen to music during a down pour. It's better than a sedative.

But what about those songs? Is it because rain makes us remember old times? Or do sweethearts really leave in the rain? Who knows? But this is a great time to list my top ten all time favorite rain songs, once again, in autobiographic order...

10. Rhythm Of the Falling Rain By Ricky Nelson

9. Rainy Night In Georgia By Brooke Benton

8. Who'll Stop the Rain By CCR

7. I Wish it Would Rain By The Temptations

6. Summer Rain By Johnny Rivers

5. Hard Rain By Bob Dylan

4. Box Of Rain By The Grateful Dead

3. Black Summer Rain By Eric Clapton

2. Cry Like a Rainstorm By Bonnie Raitt

and the #1 all time favorite Rain song.......

Texas Flood By Stevie Ray Vaughn "It's floodin' down in Texas, all the telephone lines are down."



Monday, May 17, 2010

Stormy Weather


This morning I got caught in a terrible rainstorm, with howling wind, thunder and lightening. My umbrella was of no use, except maybe as a sail. And then, suddenly, it was over. The sky turned blue and the sun was shining. I barely had time to be frightened.

When we were kids, we had days like this, seems like all summer long. It would be hot and sticky, the air like a heavy, wet blanket. Then it clouded up and the warnings would start. Mothers called for children to come home, and we did. We sat in front of the TV and watched the weather radar, which showed us nothing. It was a dial going around in a circle, showing an occasional blurry spot on the screen, which may or may not have been a storm. Soon the sirens would sound and we headed for the cellar. On a good day, it was over quickly and we came out to play again. We would wade through ditches full of rainwater and catch tadpoles. Cars smashed big frogs on the streets. I had a dog that would drag the frogs up on the front porch, which was pretty disgusting. I remember Ivy and I trying not to step on smashed frogs as we walked back and forth to each others houses.

Only the storms that came after dark really frightened me. That's the kind that got us. I was twelve years old and at home on a Friday night with my parents, two of my brothers and my niece. The wind started blowing hard and my Dad went to the window and looked out. My brother, trying to calm my niece, said "It's just high wind." My dad, calmly said,"No, it's a tornado." We crawled under the beds, because it was too late to leave the house. I will never forget the sound of the wind blowing under the house as it lifted off the foundation, and then, the silence and darkness after it was over. We had lived through it.

Ive been through many storms since. Some took me by surprise, while others were self induced. Most, I thought would kill me. I've been too sad to pray. But the darkness lifts and the silence breaks. Look at me... I lived through it.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Let's Go To The Movies

It's been a while since Ive done a movie review, so lets catch up.
We recently saw Diary Of a Wimpy kid. I know, I know, you're thinking it's a kids movie, right? It was but weren't we all kids at one time? I enjoyed this movie. It made me laugh and brought back a lot of memories, like just how gross a twelve year old boy can be. I'll give it one and a half thumbs up.
Iron Man 2 was as good as the original and I loved the original. Robert Downy Jr has become a favorite for me. I'll give it two thumbs and eight fingers up.
I had never even heard of the movie Losers, until we saw it last night. A more appropriate title would be Cliche. Honestly, I enjoy the trailers before the movie starts about as much as the movie its self. But, last night, after about ten minutes I leaned over and said to my husband, "Is this the longest trailer you've ever seen?" He said"this is the movie we came to watch" I am serious. I never knew when it started, but I wish I could have those two and a half hours of my life back. The film maker borrowed the formula from every bad made for TV flick you've ever seen. The lead character was unmarried and had only the men he lead as family. He was loyal, yet withdrawn. Then there was the so called nerd who, of course, wore glasses and knew all the tech stuff. The sharp shooter was quiet, always hit his target and wore a cowboy hat. I think his only line was "never touch my hat". The family man, the one who had everything to live for, as you expected, would be the only one to get shot. His name should have been Dead Meat. You also knew the bitter argumentative one would be the turncoat or Judas of the bunch. And let us not forget the female, the super model out to avenge her fathers death.
The look and feel of this film was like one of those ads in Vogue magazine when you think, "what are they trying to sell here?" You know, the deliberate five o clock shadow and unbuttoned shirt with a suit jacket. The sharp shooters cowboy hat was leather, and looked like he borrowed it from someone at a gay disco. The super model looked lovely using the latest weapons and martial arts, while wearing off the shoulder blouses, short shorts, and combat boots.
This movie earned it's title, Losers.

Friday, May 7, 2010

A Man With No Strike Zone

I have a new baseball hero. His name is Vladamir Guerrero and he is a Texas Ranger from the Dominican Republic. I love watching this guy. You can tell he just loves to play baseball. He swings at whatever they pitch him and most times he hits it. Sometimes he hits it into the stands. If he misses, he just laughs and tries again. There will be another at bat.

I have read that his life before baseball was pretty hard, and he is just thankful for what he has now.

I think it is easier to recognize your blessings when they are few. When you grow up in a nice house with warm beds and all you can eat, you start to think you deserve it. You forget to be thankful and generous to others.

We had a very different kind of Mother's Day sermon this morning. This man, a missionary to Muslims in the West Bank, talked about how Hagar was the mother to Abraham's son, just like Sarah. It's in the Bible, we cant just ignore it. I think his sermon was called the Chosen Unchosen. Anyway, I know that as American Christians we tend to write off all Muslims.

He told a story about a Muslim woman who had become a Christian. She was riding in a taxi one day with her young son, when an Israeli militant threw a rock through the window, shattering glass into her eye. After many surgeries some Israeli women came to her to apologize for what the boy had done. The Muslim woman was then able to show these Israeli women the grace and love of Christ. Can you imagine? That story has brought me to my knees today.

It's made me wonder what I am doing here. I can walk into my church and sit in my padded chair anytime I want. No one is going to threaten me. I'm surrounded by other Christians and we don't have to pretend to be anything else.

But sill, I miss so many opportunities to show God's love. We are all waiting for someone to throw us a strike when we should be ready to swing at every pitch. Even if we strike out, we've got to try. There may not be another at bat.

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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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