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Friday, July 30, 2010

It's just my opinion, but......

I like to read a book before it becomes a movie. Movies almost never do justice for a really good book. For instance, I wanted to read Dear John about the time it was coming out on film, but I just never found the time. So I didn't go see it at the theater either. I finally watched it on pay per view the other day and it was pretty good. I did, however, feel like something was missing. It's like an inside joke that you, the outsider never gets. I hated the ending, but a few days later I realized what had happened. The characters loved each other. But being selfless people they sacrificed their love to help others. He, by reenlisting after the 911 attack, she, by taking care of a terminally ill man and his autistic son. I think the book would have explained that much better and I would have appreciated the ending. Sorry if I just ruined the story for anyone.
Well, a while back I bought the book, Eat Pray Love. I couldn't get past the first couple of chapters because I disagreed strongly with this woman's view of God. so I put it down. Recently I saw a preview for the movie, starring Julia Roberts. Everyone is talking about it, chain stores are building merchandise adds around it and it hasn't even come out yet. I guess it's going to be a really big deal. I thought maybe I should finish the book so at least I could say why I didn't want to see the movie. Only now I do. I still haven't gotten that far in the book, but it's got my attention.
Here are some of the things I had a problem with.
In chapter 3 she says" Culturally, though not theologically, I am a Christian. And while I do love that great teacher of peace who was called Jesus, I can't swallow that one fixed rule that Christ is the only path to God" I say, then you are not a Christian. She says"Traditionally I have responded to the transcendent mystics of all religions" And it goes on...blah blah blah the gospel according to Oprah, we are the world yadda yadda yadda...
OK, so I think most Christ followers can agree with me that this is disturbing. But then I read on into chapter 8 where she meets her Guru and he ask her want she wants. She says "I want to have a lasting experience of God. I want to be with God all the time but I don't want to be a monk, or totally give up worldly pleasures. I want to learn how to live in this world and enjoy it's delights, but also devote myself to God." hmmmm... Isn't that what we all want?

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Travelin' Heavy



We took a little trip this weekend. We went to see a Rangers game in Arlington. It was a two day trip so, of course, I took everything I own.




These days it takes a lot more primping paraphernalia to make this girl presentable. One bag for what I am going to wear and what I think I might wear, a hanging bag for things that will look just as wrinkled if I wad them up and shove them in the glove compartment, and my duffel bag. My duffel bag holds make up and a complete hair arsenal. For example, products, I don't know if I will need gel or mousse or otherwise, blow dryer,curling iron and flat iron. ( Lord, why do I think I need a flat iron?) After lugging all this 500 miles, I discovered, when getting dressed for the game, I had nothing to wear and my hair was flat because of the humidity.



My husband is just as bad. He packs everything in his bathroom cabinet and forgets his blood pressure medicine. It kind of takes the fun out of things when, in Dallas traffic, I see that little vein throbbing in his forehead.




I had a great time, though. It's something we need to do every now and then but, I couldn't help thinking how much better I enjoy the games at home.




At home there is no line for the bathroom and I have already paid for the snacks and beverages which, again there is no line for, in my kitchen. At home I can turn the air conditioning up if the temperature gets above boiling as it always does in Arlington.




At home if someone is too talkative or I don't like what he is saying, I can leave the room. There was this young man sitting behind us at the game who, for someone with such a limited vocabulary, talked constantly. He used the F word to describe everything. Also, after the game, there was a concert, which I considered going to, until I heard him tell his friend there would be a lot of HOES there. I'm not sure what they would be hoeing but it sounded like work to me so....... In all seriousness, it made me angry to hear him refer to women this way. I just hope he was as transparent to all the young ladies he attempted to pick up at the concert.


When we booked our hotel, they said it was a short stroll to and from the ball park. It seemed a bit further, so we decided to ride the hotel provided trolley. Now I have seen movies where they try to cram as many people as possible onto one bus or train. But these scenes always take place in foreign countries, not in the wide open spaces of Texas, U S A. I learned more about some of the other hotel guest than I really needed to know. Needless to say, we chose the walk, over the trolley after the game. It was still very hot and I don't know if it was the heat, humidity or perhaps the flimsy flip flops I was wearing, but my calves were cramping. Soon I had a full blown charlie horse in each leg. I thought I heard someone say something about a death march. I envisioned a smiling Nazi meeting us at the door and saying we were all going to get a shower now.


And that's the story of how I spent Saturday night with 47,798 other Rangers fans. Other than the heat, humidity, obnoxious drunks and over crowding, it was a great time.
I am posting a trailer to a movie we saw a couple of years ago. I really liked this movie, if you haven't seen it you should check it out.



Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Summer, Baseball, Green Koolaide and Big Hair




My mind is full of memories of long lazy summer days. Little things bring them to me, a smell, a noise an old pair of cut off jeans, these things are my childhood. After playing with neighbor kids most of the morning, it was time for lunch. My mother's kitchen was always noisy. Everyone talked at once about their jobs or what they were doing that evening. There was ice clinking in glasses and dishes being set on the table and of course the sound of what ever my mother was frying for lunch. Yes my mother was a fry cook and my brothers and I have the arteries to prove it. All that noise and suddenly it was quiet when we heard "Like sands through the hour glass, so are the Days of Our Lives"


I think of mornings spent at Vacation Bible school, singing, learning, playing and having snack, green Koolaide and store bought cookies. It was an event filled week, beginning with a parade and ending with a picnic in the park. We lined up outside every morning for the promenade into the sanctuary. We pledged allegiance to the flag, the Christian flag and the Bible. After singing Jesus Loves The Little Children, we were given a scripture to learn and sent by age to our classes. I thought everyone lived like that.


I loved going to the beauty shop with my Mom. I watched as young women in white uniforms teased hair into lofty coifs. I breathed hairspray and waving solutions, never thinking about my lungs or the ozone layer. American Bandstand was on the television and Elvis and Priscilla were in the magazines. It's where I drank my first Fresca, or was it a Tab? I still love beauty shops today.


The best part of Summer was the Little League games. I'll never forget those hot sticky mosquito ridden nights at the ball park. The sights and sounds seem like a dream now.


I need to push myself away from this desk and my work and enjoy summer like a child. I need to smell the chlorine and mosquito spray and burn some hot dogs over a campfire. But for now, I'll be the responsible adult.....until this weekend. Texas Rangers baseball, I'm on my way.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Mrs. Bacon











I bought an old wicker rocking chair at an antiques store. It reminded me of one my grandmother had when I was a little girl. Hers was black and mine is brown, but I may paint it. My grandfathers rocking chair was a wooden ladder back. They always sat, side by side on their front porch in Cumby. That's a very nice memory for me.





I don't think I really noticed my grandmother much, until after Grandpa died. I was six years old, the baby girl of his baby girl and he had my heart, as well as my attention. Grandma was that sweet white haired lady who sat with Grandpa on the porch, made pallets on the floor and told us kids who was sleeping where. She cooked for us and called every meal supper. We'd wake up in the morning and she would say "come eat your supper".





I think the first time I really noticed her was after Grandpa's funeral. All her family was there and she wanted to give her son's something of their father's. She opened his closet door, looked at his straw hats and walking canes, then collapsed in tears. She had married him when she was fourteen years old, almost sixty five years earlier, and now she was alone. I needed to know my grandmother after that day.




I heard her telling my parents, once, "Sheila takes good care of me, but maybe she needs to go play". If it was a hint she wanted to be alone, I didn't get it. I stayed by her side every time we visited.




She told me about when she tripped over a tree root leaving church and broke her arm. It didn't heal right and she could no longer put her waist length hair up. It broke his heart, but Grandpa took her to the beauty shop to have it cut. He took a lock of Grandma's hair home and braided it. I asked her if she still had it and she said she threw it away after he died. It made her too sad to look at it.




She talked about traveling in a covered wagon with her parents. She said her father had changed their last name from Kirk to Wilson. She didn't know why, but sometimes he would wake them in the middle of the night and say they had to leave. I have since tried to research this, but found nothing.




Grandma was napping out on Aunt Lilly's screened back porch one day and when she woke up she told me about a dream she had. She said she was down in a valley, all alone, shivering in the snow. She looked up on the mountain and saw flowers growing in colors she had never seen. And there was my grandpa as the young cowboy she first met. He threw down a lasso and pulled her up. Years later I saw a man on TV talking about his near death experience. He said, in Heaven he had seen flowers in colors unknown to this world. I wondered then, if Grandma had been given a preview of Heaven.




She had so many stories, but soon she would loose the ability to speak and I wished I had started listening sooner. She would blurt out the occasional word. When my brother, Steve walked in the room, she would laugh and say Calvin. I think she was saying he looked like my father. She still said Imogene, my mothers name, and cried when were leaving. I felt a lump in my throat and a deep sadness for days after going home.




She died when I was seventeen, she was ninety something. I remember her in her pink shawl and butterfly pin. It looked so pretty with her white hair. Her funeral was in the little country Church where my cousin was pastor. It rained that day, and standing in the cemetery with my heels sinking in the wet ground, I thought about her life. She crossed Texas in a covered wagon, married the cowboy of her dreams and lived to see a man walk on the moon. She lost children, babies and adults and saw her sons go to war. She delivered at least two of my mothers babies. How awesome to bring your own grandchildren into the world. How awful to see your daughter go through childbirth.




I knew she was back with her love, happy and whole, but I missed her. I still do.





Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Frisco Kid

This is my favorite scene from one of my favorite movies.
God gives you strength to make it through the dry hard spells of life and then sometimes, just like that........

Rain Dance.wmv

Saturday, July 10, 2010

TO LAUREN
















Happy Birthday, Lauren Brooke. You would be 25 today. That's a milestone birthday. If you're a boy, your insurance cost drops dramatically. For girls, it's when everyone starts asking when you are going to get married.






It's likely you would be married by now. You were picky, but when you loved, you loved with your whole heart. A lot can happen in four years, you might even have a little girl of your own by now. Imagine, another little Lauren running around.






I spent the morning watching videos of you. I know, it's like picking at a scab, but it made me feel like you were with me today. You were twirling all morning. You always sparkled on the field. Not just because of the sequined suits and fire batons, but your eyes and your smile, you glowed.






You would be so proud of the Rangers, with the exception of the past two nights. This is going to sound crazy, of course I am crazy, so why shouldn't I sound crazy. Anyway, the thing is, when I watch the games on TV, I always see you in the stands.





Did I ever tell you about the day you were born? I remember every minute. It was just after midnight on your due date. I had back labor, which I had never experienced before, and I wasn't sure if it was labor but it sure hurt. We went to the emergency room and the nurses said it would be awhile, so they would call the doctor and Jon should go have me admitted. Well you thought differently. you were almost born in the bathroom. A little Vietnamese woman actually delivered you. They gave you to me and you were crying. I said don't cry baby, and you instantly, opened your big ole eyes and cooed like you knew who I was. You were beautiful. You came into this world as quickly as you left. I should have been with you for the later.





The one thing that keeps me going each day, Lauren, is I know you are not just in my past. You are my future.





I love you with all my heart





Love





Mom

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Bored On The 4th Of July, part two







There is possibly a half foot of the Gulf of Mexico standing in my backyard, thanks to hurricane Alex. Oh well, as a West Texan, I know better than to complain about too much rain. If the fireworks are canceled that just means a few less mosquito bites for me.



We have had very few rainy Independence Days but two stand out in my mind.



The first was when my brother, Danny was overseas, so his wife, Shirley and the kids were living here. She tried to be sweet and take some of us to Palo Duro canyon for the day. It was a cold rain, and I'm sure we complained, but we had fun, Shirley was always fun.



The second, and one of my favorite memories, was an impromptu cook out at Joel and Sue's house, my brother and sister in law. The weather had ruined a lot of plans, but we had the best time sitting in a circle around an outdoor fire pit, snuggled up in blankets. We talked and laughed and passed around a mason jar filled with a vodka concoction the neighbor had passed over the fence. Steve played the guitar and we sang Friends in Low Places and Amazing Grace. Yes, I know, ours is a strange tribe. Some call that tribe Redneck. We call it family.



When Eric and Sarah were little, we lived in Borger, Texas. We were all the family we had. On the 4th of July, 1985 I was very pregnant with Lauren. We had been to the lake and I had a backache. Wanting to take a walk to relieve my back pain and possibly start a little labor, we strapped Sarah in the stroller and started to leave. Eric, however, was playing next door with a little girl and wanted to stay there. Her 14 year old sister said she would watch them and we believed her. When we got home, Eric was not there. The sister went inside and the little girl got mad at Eric and told him to go home, so he went looking for us. He was only three. We scoured the neighborhood and could not find him anywhere and wouldn't you know it, the labor pains did start. We finally found him at a grocery store where he had gone through the check out line with a toy. He told the checker his name was Eric Jon Superman and his mom would come by to pay for the toy. I was so frightened, but after we found him the labor pains stopped and that is the story of how Lauren was almost born on the 4th of July.



Lauren marched in the 4th of July parade for many years. First in a line of twirlers and later as the feature twirler. I was always very proud of her. In 2005 she was crowned College Miss Majorette Of Oklahoma. The lady who organized the parade in our town asked Lauren to ride in the parade that year with her sash and crown. Lauren, who was in summer school at the time, reluctantly came home for the big event. That morning while getting ready to go, I could tell she was really dragging her feet. I asked her if she didn't want to do it and she said, " It's one thing to march with a band and represent your school, but this is just shameless self promotion." I was never more proud of her. We snuck out of town and went shopping. It was a great day and as it turned out, our last 4th of July together.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Bored On The 4th Of July, part one







July 4th has always been special to me. Not because I'm so patriotic, but because of the memories. When I was a little girl, I had my own personal fireworks show, with my brothers spending their hard earned money from summer jobs, on what I thought were the ultimate in pyrotechnics. Kids would come from all over the neighborhood to watch as they popped firecrackers and shot off missiles, bottle rockets, spinners and, my favorite, roman candles. My brother, Greg had the roman candles. It was sort of his thing, and he saved it for the finale. The show was fun for everyone watching, but these were my brothers. I remember the first time I was allowed to hold a lit sparkler and make circles in the night sky. It's no wonder I suffer from "Princess" syndrome to this day.





One 4th, I went to the lake with my friend, Ivy. Some of my brothers had left home by then and it wasn't quite the same. Still, I knew I would miss being with my family. I never expected it, but there was a huge fireworks show at the lake. I had never seen anything so beautiful. The explosions made the shape of an American flag in the sky. Years later, I wondered if I had imagined it.





We took our kids to Padre Island for vacation in July of 1989. After learning a few important things about the use of sunscreen, we headed north for Texas Rangers Baseball. It was the 4th of July and we were promised a spectacular fireworks show. We drug our blistering scarlet bodies into the stadium just as a down pour began. We went with 30,000 other folks under the stands, this was the old stadium, and tried to get out of the rain. The water rose higher as we tried to hold three kids off the floor where they were being stepped on. After having enough beer spilled on us and plenty of smoke blown in our faces we made a mad dash for the motel.. There were broken tree limbs and downed power lines every where. There had been a tornado pass through while we were taking shelter under the baseball stadium. Last year, while watching the Rangers play on T V, we heard the announcer say only once had the Rangers experienced a rain out on July 4th and that was in 1989. We call that Armstrong Luck.



We were in St. Louis for Fair St. Louis in 1997. It took place under the arch by the Mississippi River. We saw Cheryl Crow, Tony Bennett and the most fabulous fireworks show ever. And you know what? There was that American flag. Maybe I hadn't dreamed it. It was a great time for the kids and us. I remember a man carrying two beers, stopping to look over the sea of bodies. Just at that moment it got really quiet and the sea of people looked at him. He nervously said "Barb, where are ya honey? Ive got your beer." Everyone laughed and then, across the miles of bodies we saw a woman jump up and say "over here". We all applauded. It was great, until all one million of us needed to catch the same bus back to civilization. But I won't go into that.



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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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