Ever Wonder?

Ever wonder what a day

one single day

would be like

if it were just

Black and White?

No gray

Just black

Or

Just white

Good or Bad

No Okays

Right or Wrong

No Halfways

Yes or No

No Maybes

Always or Never

No Sometimes

Now or Never

No Laters

Sun or Storm

No Overcast

Just Black and White

No gray

Ever wonder if it would be a better life; an easier life?

One might think so

Just imagine…our world with its indeterminable amount of 50/50 questions

answered in just one of two ways

Could that ever work?

Would we want it to?

Ever wonder?

Ask yourself 5…just 5…questions, whose answers at the time, helped shape your life. I am imagining these to be the toughest that we must ask ourselves at every critical juncture as we travel our respective journeys.

Then, think about how your life would (or wouldn’t) be different had you only had the option to answer in black or white.

I chose my 5 questions carefully. I won’t share the questions because we have each traveled our own paths, but what I will say is this…because of the ‘no gray’ constriction, my life would be vastly different.

In fact, my life would be no life at all.

You see, even though I had 5 questions, I only needed the ONE to change my life forever. At the time, if we’d been living in a black or white, yes or no, now or never world, my journey would have ended.

So, if you do ever wonder, you really should ask this ONE question first:

Is it worth it? The anxiety, ambiguity, doubt, pain, confusion, fear…and on and on.

The short answer, YES.

The long answer, YES because it is all temporary. What hurts now may not hurt tomorrow, but if it does, we can fix it. Your fears and doubts can be conquered if you work at it. The best motivators in life are doubt and fear…knowledge is the key to overcoming doubt and action is the key to overcoming fear.

What of the love, family, adventure, learning, teaching, helping, guiding…and on and on.

Have you ever walked behind a gray-haired, old person, limping with their cane, and thought “I don’t ever want that to be me”? Or watched from a distance as a gray-haired and bent old man, leans in and pushes his white-haired and wrinkly old sweetheart in a wheelchair, not noticing that he’s whispering to her as they travel, and thought…”I don’t want to live to be that old”?

If so, think of all you’ll loose in not living long and large enough to not earn that glorious CROWN of GRAY! Think of all the choices you’ve made to extend that life, only to look upon the gray, white, and silver generation with pity and sadness, or to some, even disgust.

I know, when I look at a face like the one of that man in the picture above, that he is someone I want talk to, listen to, laugh with, maybe even cry with. His face speaks to me of life yet to be lived.

His face says to me “I Wonder”!

THAT’S the face I want.

That’s the face I’m working on beneath my ever changing CROWN of black, white, and gray!

And another thing…

I guess today’s the day for reflecting on this new retirement gig ’cause I have another thought to share…though this isn’t really about retirement so much as agin’…know what I mean? ūüôā

This past weekend, we had family over for a cookout. I told them to come around 2 or so, and planned a bunch of appetizers for the afternoon, leading into grilling sometime between 5:30 and 6.

I got into the kitchen about 9:30 to prep for the day and realized I had 3 items on the dinner menu I could actually make ahead, that way my afternoon could be spent at leisure with our guests, with only grilling the meat for later.

Cool beans!

However, there was one ingredient missing, that I needed, to put that plan into action. I didn’t want the Mr to have to run to the store for one thing, so I asked him if he’d check with the neighbor.

He wasn’t thrilled because, well, I needed an onion.

“Who the hell asks the neighbor to borrow an onion?”

Well, the short answer is…I do!

I sat on the porch (hey,, I was still in my jammies, so I wasn’t gunna do it!) and watched him go to our closest neighbors.

A couple minutes later, I see him walking to the next neighbor’s house empty handed.

Hmmm

I heard his knock on their door, then a minute later, I see him walking up the drive empty handed.

Hmmm Hmmm

Before I could even ask if they didn’t have any or if they weren’t home…my mind went immediately to this:

Do a blog on the list of items you never ask to borrow from a neighbor in a retirement community!

Funny thing is, we don’t live in a retirement community, but I think the Mr and I are one of two couples in the entire neighborhood under the age of 70, and most are 80s and beyond!

Didn’t plan it, just happened to be the only place we could find a house with a first floor owner’s suite for my in-laws.

So…this list and the reasons why NOT to ask, began forming in my head!

(Not sure why all the responses I heard in my head were southern, hillfolk-y… but hey, it’s my head and that what I heered!)

  • Onions – (Heartburn)

Hunny, if I ete an onion at my age, I’d taste it ’til I done dropped dade!

  • Sugar – (Diabetes)

Darlin’, we ain’t had sugar in this house fer nigh on a decade. Not since Ralph here got the di-a-beet-is.

  • Salt – (High Blood Pressure)

Oh Lordy Sugar, we got the blood pressure so bad, jes’ lookin’ at salt would keel us.

Bread – (Gluten Free)

Well you picked the right day to come by little lady…Ma just took a loaf outta t’oven! She’s a-makin’ that new fangled bread call glued-on free. Tain’t bad iff’n you toast it and have yer own teeth!

  • Eggs – (Cholesterol)

Oh goodness Chil’…with OUR co-less-trul? Shoot…if’n that don’t keel ya, the price of ’em sure as shootin’ would!

  • Butter – (Clogged Arteries)

Girl…ain’t you heered? Dont-cha-no that stuff’ll clog yer ar’trees faster than a mud pie? Here…take this-a-here. It ain’t half bad and wun’t keel ya ta boot. They done figured out howta make butter without no dairy init.

  • Milk – (Lactose Intolerance)

Oh now, let me tell ya, we sure do miss us some good ol’ fashioned, cold milk! An’ Ima serious. Wurs thing ’bout gittin’ up in years is losin’ the bowels. Cain’t abide no dairy no more or it’s goodbye kitchen chair – hello commode! Know what I mean?¬†

Tell me I’m wrong!

ūüôā

Re-TIRED!

Ahhhhhh…

The sound of retirement.

Those ‘not yet retired’ believe this, yes?

For us, we anticipated that Ahhhhh feeling when waking everyday to the knowledge that our time was now our own.

To do or not to do…that is the question!

Our car sticker won’t say ‘Salt Life’.

It’ll say ‘Ahhhhh Life’.

But wait!

Where’s the Ahhhhh?

Where’s the lazy, hazy, crazy days of sitting around watching games shows and daytime soap operas and eating bon bons and drinking tea in the afternoon and martinis at night?

Instead of this sister chinnin’ the wag and waggin’ the bone, I’m merging and purging, mopping and chopping, dusting and busting my ass all the time.

Instead of the mister sitting with other sisters’ misters, bending ears and lending elbows, or lending ears and bending elbows…he’s bending knees and lending back and groaning in all the wrong places!

We are busier than a one armed paper hangers!

Why?

Come on you old codgers!

Fess up ya Bastids!!

The Truth!

There’s a hierarchy to retirement isn’t there.

You knew all along and never let on, that retirement is more a ‘They’re young, and not doing anything now, ask them to do it’ kind of lifestyle!

Right?

We believe this to be the case.

Being retired in your early 60s, living in (a house) and a neighborhood surrounded by 70s, 80s, 90s…means just one thing!

We are the teenagers!

And we all know what is expected of teenagers.

Ack!!!!

‚ÄúOften when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.‚ÄĚ

‚Äď Fred Rogers

Today’s the day

Well, today’s the day I finally sit down and two-stroke this puppy into something more than white space!

That’s the plan at least…

We’ll see after a while if there’s anything here worth clicking on that little blue publish box.

Or if, as happens more and more lately, I delete the noise and walk away wondering why I keep paying for this torture.

Let’s see…

I have officially retired.

Is that worth a share?

Sure, why not.

Yay Me!

I’m a little early but sometimes a gray haired gal has to do what a gray haired gal has to do.

Sad though. Loved the job. Everything about it.

There is a lot of truth to the idea that employees don’t leave bad jobs so much as they leave bad management.

Oh well, a new shade in my 50 shades color-book right?

The hubs retired a couple months ago…

The look on his face when he got his first social security deposit made me laugh

(silently of course…uhhhh huh)

He said he didn’t feel old until then and I said…

“Honey, you think you’re old now? LOL, wait ’til your mother finds out! You’ll never have a free day from then on. Your new role will be her beck-and-callboy.”

Two weeks later he had a job.

28 hours a week of sweet freedom.

Trouble is…his days off have naught to do with R & R and everything to do with B & B

(and not the good kind…we’ll call his mom B)

Zilch

Zippo

Zero

Zeriously!

He’s so much in demand when he’s home…I call him Beck-y.

Oh, did I mention his mom and her husband left Florida and moved in with us?

Ohhhhh…how silly of me. I nearly let another Griswold saga go untold!

Geesh, I am rusty.

Those who know me know one thing; if it involves me and a moving truck…it’s a saga of comedic proportions.

I’ll put that on the back burner for now…let it simmer a bit, then fill you in.

I have to be more mindful these days (which is absolutely part of the comedy) of not only what I say, but oh so much more of how I say it!

B’s a bit, ummmm…

Literal?

Humorless?

Judgy?

I’ll put it this way…if I say this:

“Oy Vey”

She’s over there, peaking around the doorway, saying (to no one in particular):

“Why’d she say that? She’s not Jewish”

Yeah.

She doesn’t ‘get’ me.

AT. ALL.

(not easy when you’re the sarcasm queen o’ de-nile)

Anyway, I’ll give it a good think and see how I can share without starting a new Cuban missile crisis!

We finally got winter here in South Carolina!

Yup

Oh wait….crap. It’s gone.

I swear though, I had to put a sweater on this morning.

Really. I ain’t lying!

It was awful!

To all my northern friends and family I say this…

“Stop yer bitchin!”

Some of us have to endure shorts and tank tops and sunscreen all freaking year!

So, pull those suspender laden ski-pants up over your thermal tees and undies, pick up that shovel, and hit the driveway!

I don’t want to hear it!

Back later…have a lunch date and need to change my flip flops.

Ha!

(and B? I’ll print this out and highlight the areas you’ll want to discuss ūüėģ )

From One Boomer to Another…yikes!

1966 – 2016

1966 : Long hair
2016:  Longing for hair

1966 : KEG
2016:  EKG

1966 : Acid rock
2016:  Acid reflux

1966 : Moving to¬† California¬† because it’s cool
2016: ¬†Moving to¬† Arizona¬† because it’s warm

1966 : Trying to look like Marlon Brando or Liz Taylor
2016:  Trying NOT to look like Marlon Brando or Liz Taylor

1966 : Seeds and stems
2016:  Roughage

1966 : Hoping for a BMW
2016:  Hoping for a BM

1966 : Going to a new, hip joint
2016:  Receiving a new hip joint

1966 : Rolling Stones
2016:  Kidney Stones

1966 : Screw the system
2016:  Upgrade the system

1966 : Disco
2016:  Costco

1966 : Parents begging you to get your hair cut
2016:  Children begging you to get their heads shaved

1966 : Passing the drivers’ test
2016:  Passing the vision test

1966 : Whatever
2016 : Depends

And…just in case you weren’t feeling old enough, this will certainly change things.

Each year the staff at Beloit College in Wisconsin puts together a list to try to give the faculty a sense of the mindset of this year’s incoming freshmen.

Here’s this year’s list:

  • The people who are starting college this fall across the nation were born in 1998.
  • They are too young to remember the space shuttle blowing up.
  • Their lifetime has always included AIDS.
  • Bottle caps have always been screw off and plastic.
  • The CD was introduced 7 years before they were born.
  • They have always had an answering machine.
  • They have always had cable.
  • They cannot fathom not having a remote control.
  • Popcorn has always been cooked in the microwave.
  • They never took a swim and thought about Jaws.
  • They can’t imagine what hard contact lenses are.
  • They don’t know who Mork was or where he was from.
  • They never heard: “Where’s the Beef?”, “I’d walk a mile for a Camel”, or “de plane, Boss, de plane.”
  • They do not care who shot J. R. and have no idea who J. R. even is. Mc Donald’s never came in Styrofoam containers.
  • They don’t have a clue how to use a typewriter.

Do you feel old yet?

Mother and Child Reunion…

You hope¬†and pray¬†you’ll do it well –¬†But only God and time will tell

their first breath – that moment when

your life begins all over again

completely blind and ignorant of

what lay in store – except the love

such love not imagined – all encompassing

one day you’re you – now they’re the thing

that wakes you, feeds you, and fills your dreams

the good ones, great ones – in others you scream

you give them all you have to give

and though you know better Рfor them you live

the minutes to hours to days just fly

they coo and giggle and laugh and cry

the months and years show on your face

“please don’t go” – now – “give me my space”

you gently fade from their day to day

you open the door – you show the way

for them to taste and see anew

the world once filtered – made safe by you

you know it’s time – they feel it too

to let go of the strings – the both of you

and as they pushed and pulled away

your heart wished, once, for yesterday

when you helped them climb Рwatched them fall

saw them rise and push through it all

you’d let their lives envelope yours

you were the keeper – you kept the scores

of their battles won – challenges met

their struggles to come – those not met yet

you know it’s perspective and balance you need

to nourish the tree – not just the seed

you understand and search for the middle

the line that answers motherhood’s riddle

but the balance you missed –¬†was in not knowing

it was your duty too ¬†–¬†to keep on growing

into the woman – not just the mother

you could be both – not one or t’other

you were just a girl when they came to be

but womanhood stalled for the mother, you see

the trusses you built from that balance not found

kept the woman at bay Рshadow bound

so focused were you on their little lives

you forgot to sing Рto keep alive

that woman in you you’d set aside

so mother shined while the woman tried

to remake the bed already laid

the woman you could be –¬†the mother you made

in the¬†wings she’ll¬†stay – that much is¬†clear

the woman’s hidden for¬†the mother’s fear

that this bed of weeks – without a word

is that¬†woman’s fault – their wants unheard

but it’s mother who pays this price so daunting

you’ve¬†been weighed and¬†measured – and found wanting

now silent tears drop to mommy’s¬†breast

’cause good’s not enough – your¬†best not best

your youth – a down payment – not the sum

and that number will rise for years to come

the life you gave matters not on the whole

now’s what’s important – their happiness you stole

by not staying that mother to them and to theirs

trying to figure it out – but no one cares

You’ve seen women do it – be both – not just one

that mom of the year – and – that woman so fun

but you are found wanting – and that must be the truth

for you allowed her to die Рthat woman of your youth

in favor of the mother you thought you should be

now the mom-ster you created shall not be free

to live the life that you once placed on hold

so that others could flourish Рin happiness you molded

so – woman repent – to the shadows you go

and the mother you are must pay penance to show

that as long as you live – as long as you breathe

your life is for them –¬†it’s what they believe

You hoped¬†and prayed¬†you¬†did¬†it well –¬†but only God and time will¬†tell


On this, the one year anniversary of the loss of my father, my Superman, I cannot help but reflect on the relationships I have and have had, in my life.

As humans, we embody the word dichotomy in so many ways….but the number one in my book is…we are as simple as we are complicated.

We all begin¬†the same way…simply…we are born. ¬†Yet the simplicity ends there and the complications begin.

Our relationships.  Simple yet complicated.

We love simply, yet that same love, complicates everything.

This post: ¬†A simple plea for an end to the silence…and a look at the complicated life of a woman as mother and mother as woman, and where you go from here…

If you don’t know…you’re in good company, for I don’t either.

To be a mother is a lifelong commitment, of this I have no doubt.  But at what point can the woman come out from behind the curtain with the expectation that the child will see her, know her, for the woman she could be underneath the mother she is?

At what point in her life of being daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother…can a woman who mistakenly set herself aside, reasonably expect to fix that mistake of self-denial, with their blessing instead of their resentment for putting herself first?

My guess would be…not today.

At what point in a child’s life did they forget all she did…so as to¬†remind her of what she’s not doing now?

My guess would be…today


 

So…it is time to say what I want to say and hope it’s heard and felt:

They say there is a reason

They say that time will heal

But neither time nor reason

Will change the way I feel

For no one knows the heartache

That lies behind my smiles

No one knows how many times

I’ve broken down and cried

I want to tell you something

So there won’t be any doubt

You’re so wonderful to think of

But so hard to be without

Simon says…

No I would not give you false hope
On this strange and mournful day
But the mother and child reunion
Is only a motion away…

(header photo credit:galleryhip.com)

Mommy Dearest

I’ll go out on a limb here and say for most of us, being a parent is, quite literally, the hardest job we’ve ever had or ever will. And, at the same time, it’s the richest, most fulfilling, most rewarding contribution to our own lives and always will be. ¬†alex

One of the most surprising¬†aspects of parenthood’s lifelong journey is finding out that one split second is all it takes for you to come to know the best and worst of being a parent…the span of that second is the distance between loving another being¬†so much it hurts, to wishing¬†you’d gotten a dog instead! ¬†True dat ¬†ūüôā

angry_baby11

But in looking at this¬†most difficult¬†/¬†most rewarding dichotomy, it’s not so hard to understand when you consider first, our tendency¬†to place the highest value on that which was hardest won, and second, our amazing capacity for forgiveness (as parents at least).

But what is it that takes parents to the depths of the difficult to the heights of reward when it comes to loving our children? How do we survive the splintering of our brains in a thousand directions trying to figure them out, yet tarnishes the love in our hearts never?

I don’t question the reward; I think it’s obvious. I do, however, ponder the difficult. Is it because we love too much? ¬†Is it that even possible?

I don’t believe so…

However, could it be that we love too much for too long?  Is that it?  Does parental love need to be doled out in stages or degrees?  Or fit into categories in order to not overload these little overlords once they come into their own?

So what (you ask) are these stages/degrees/categories you ask?

I’m a little cuss who can’t (and don’t want to) function without you so love me, love me more, love me most!

I’m a teenager so love me lots, and with patience, but for God’s sake, don’t let my friends see it!

I’m a young adult now so love me from a distance, but not too far ’cause I may need the car!

I’ve met someone and we’re going to get married. ¬†Can ya help, can ya pay, can we have it there? (ps Mom and Dad…you’re gonna love him/her!)

I’m going to have a baby so love me, love me most, and love me now ’cause we’re going to need babysitters!¬†(ps Mom and Dad…you’re gonna love it!)

Mom? Dad? I’ve never felt this way before…I love this kid so much my heart hurts!
(ps honey…we know!)

And so on…..

The short answer to the too much / too long question is…yes, okay, maybe, a little bit. But we parents come to this conclusion naturally I think. We instinctively know (or learn soon enough if our instincts are not as honed as they will be), which stage or category we’re dealing with or which degree of parental love to douse them with, simply by living it. Organic knowledge. ¬†We just have to choose¬†to go with it.

Does that stop us from loving the same soul-deep way we did when they were newborn?

No.  Perhaps it does in theirs though.  For a time.

I know¬†that they love us the same way we do them…in the beginning. ¬†Outside of themselves, we are their world. Their universe. Their moon and their stars, and they are ours.

Parents and kids grow up together. ¬†That’s a given. ¬†No matter if you’re 18 or 45 when you have your children, you¬†have¬†to grow up with them to be able to give and receive all that these little selves need, and later, need to share.

We may grow up more with our first.  Then again, it may just be that we grow up differently with the next one or two or three.

But…if we’ve played our hands well, we are love. ¬†All of it. ¬†Every stage, every degree, every category is of the love, by¬†the love, for the love. ¬†And they are right there with us.

Completely (in the beginning)

Mostly (in the middle)

Until (still in the middle but getting further towards the…the…well shit…not the end, but you know what I mean right?)

Until…they find out there are more people to love and to be loved by; more stars to shine the light of love on their heads and in their hearts; more room in their world for other loves.

As it has always been.  As it was with our own parents to be sure.  Just another way of experiencing the circle of life.

Consider…

Our children are loved as only a child can be loved and they in turn, love as only a child can love. The universe is secure.

As time goes on, they thrive and grow in that forever, universe-spanning, parental love and love them right back. But as they continue to grow, they s l o w l y  recognize that their world is expanding to include the many, many different kinds of love; each addition a glimmering star to their universe thus far.

But their recognition is as single-minded as their love for us was in the beginning. When they venture out from underneath the love-cloaked expanse of their parental universe, they don’t at once realize that their hearts¬†are big enough to add new loves without setting aside old ones.

Our time will come again (usually around the time the grand-kids show up!), but as parents, it’s only natural that we do feel the initial loss of that connection when our love is no longer the moon and the stars in our child’s heart.

BUT…

Facing this fact head-on is hard, but absolutely necessary.

For our own well-being as well as theirs.

If we don’t, we run the risk of pushing them further out into the expanse by clinging too close, depending too much on their always being there, pining away for their childhood days when they aren’t there, regretting what we didn’t do, or forgetting what we did. Even romanticizing the harder times and not counting our blessings.

We all can probably think of a parent in our experience who has done, or does, this. Think back to the last time you witnessed a parent who cannot let go and re-live what you felt. It’s a very uncomfortable feeling.

I’m certainly not completely innocent of it still. ¬†I sometimes catch myself feeling guilty for not being ‘that mother’. The one who always can, always will, never says no, never says can’t. Who wouldn’t want to be considered ‘the perfect mom’? ¬†But that’s not perfection. It’s limiting to both your life and those of your children.

However, even knowing I am not (and never could be) that mother…(nor is their Dad ‘that guy’) it nevertheless hurts (and in the dark of night, makes me wonder if they’ll still love me enough to ask again- I know, just silly ) to know that we are the ones disappointing our¬†children.

But we get over it because we know we are good parents¬†who have raised good people. ¬†We all¬†deal with disappointments in our relationships. ¬†We have difficult conversations followed by deafening silences. ¬†But we’ve loved each other long enough and well enough to know what’s really important.

So there is hope. Once we’ve matured enough in our parenthood to realize this fact of life, we can recapture¬†that sense of oneness, specialness, absolute love not felt anywhere but in your parents’ heart of hearts. ¬†It is, after all,¬†our hearts that need to make preparations for the day when our children learn there is a love flow-chart. ¬†This will fluctuate during their life spans, but it will always show a solid heart-red line for us. ¬†Mom and Dad. ¬†Steady as she goes. ¬†What more could we hope for?

And an added benefit to this stage of parental maturity is…we can (and hopefully do) look back at our own parents with a new appreciation for all they’ve done, all they’ve been through, and all we’ve¬†learned from them without even knowing it. ¬†Score!

Cheers and happy parenting (and I mean that!)

Dearest Mommy

Dedicated to my Mother and Father and to my Sons
I’m proud to be one of your stars

The Post Politic

As I await the dawn of my¬†20,075th day on this earth, I feel the need for reflection. ¬†Time enough alive, I should think, to have learned a thing or two. Sorry to say, it hasn’t been all good.

However, owing to the fact that tomorrow is an election day here, and the boob-tube shows nothing but boobs…I couldn’t help but get stuck in the quagmire that is our government

Having learned that cliches are cliches, and euphemisms are euphemisms for good reason, and never more evident than when a pattern of behavior BEGS to be seen for exactly what it is, I do think it’s time for me to call it what it is and like I see it…
B U L L S H I T

And by bullshit, I mean Politics

If you’ll allow, I give you:

The top 20 cliches and euphemisms of this 20,074¬†¬Ĺ day old¬†female, who believes are alive and well in today’s bloody, rotten, stinkin’, crappy, silly, non-productive, infuriating, ridiculous, embarrassing; yet ours…world of politics

The more things change, the more they stay the same – POLITICS

A house divided against itself, cannot stand – POLITICS

Actions speak louder than words – POLITICS

Those who do not learn from history, are doomed to repeat it – POLITICS

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em – POLITICS

Money talks – POLITICS

Stupid is as stupid does – POLITICS

Birds of a feather flock together – POLITICS

Talk is cheap – POLITICS

The ends justify the means – POLITICS

There’s one born every minute – POLITICS

The truth is stranger than fiction – POLITICS

Two wrongs don’t make a right – POLITICS

Cut off your nose to spite your face – POLITICS

Feeding frenzy – POLITICS

Out of sight, out of mind – POLITICS

The blind leading the blind – POLITICS

The status quo – POLITICS

It takes one to know one – POLITICS

A good man/woman  is hard to find РPOLITICS

…and trust me, I could go on


But another pattern of behavior ‘frosts my ass’ too. ¬† And you’ll likely notice that many of the above can be applied to what is below

I think I’ll call it the Tolerance/Intolerance Side Show to the circus that is Political Correctness:

Protesting to rename highways, parks, etc., and trying to remove monuments that celebrate confederate Generals because they fought a fight you don’t agree with

Yet…organizing campaigns to rename those same said highways, parks, etc. for people that answered the call for civil rights decades after the fact. The same protesters, I might add, who themselves never cried out for¬†the removal from written history, all who made their lives hell

Removing the Confederate flag from all state and federal facilities because some see it as a symbol of hatred, when in fact, it was a battle flag designed to differentiate it from the Union flag and therefore has historical value; nothing more

Yet, not protesting when a world renowned symbol of the United States, The Empire State Building, is used to herald the achievements or celebrate holidays of the very countries that would like nothing more than to see the United States cease to exist

Removing something as iconic as The Duke’s of Hazard from TV Land because the car had a Confederate flag on it, even though not a single word of a single episode, ever suggested bigotry or racism or intolerance

Yet, if you’re a fan of TV Land programs, have you noticed George Jefferson says¬†the word Honky in just about every episode?


And there are some behaviors that are not so easily categorized, yet the influence of today’s PC madness is evident in the overwhelming number of those who ascribe to these beliefs relating to color:

Listening as people of color tell me that I’ll never understand, could never relate, to what it’s like to be a person of color

True.  Yet at the same time, those said same people of color, tell me they know exactly what it is to be white, because being white means only one thing; privilege

[I get it, in theory. ¬†But I can just as easily say that I wouldn’t know what it’s like to be a bird. It’s irrelevant. ¬†And, another truth is that, unless you’ve¬†walked the back roads of my life…your right to this claim¬†is false. ¬†So let’s stick to the truth¬†that none of us can know what it’s like to be in another man’s shoes, unless we’ve walked in them, and call it a day.]

Sanitizing our history books to shield our kids from the worst in our country’s history, including the path of our growth (that we are still on by the way)

Yet making sure we do include a focus of study¬†that tries to maximize a culture of them vs us, with little regard for how far we’ve come, nor teachings on the strides made in the last 200 years…as though nothing has changed


The worst of it comes out in the various ways we bite each other’s ankles…and to what end?

For instance:

Demonizing the rich for having too much

Denigrating the poor for having too little and needing more

Expecting the government to give more and more

Blaming the government for sticking it’s nose in our business

Tolerance for groups that separate and segregate

Intolerance for groups that point it out

Fighting for women’s equality

Crying that chivalry is dead

Calling for change through peaceful protest for the injustices seen in all facets of the human struggle, especially those affecting minorities

Yet some especially touched by these injustices hide behind a guise of protest for change, take it as the opportunity to loot for personal gain and destroy entire neighborhoods, then scream racism when motives are questioned


Are we so intolerant or jealous of each other’s success that we have to denigrate and belittle?
Are we so comfortable in our misery, we feel we must maintain it at all costs?
Have we forgotten what it’s like to celebrate each other to the point that every gain should be looked at as a loss because it didn’t happen 200 years ago? ¬†100 years ago? ¬†50? ¬†Yesterday?

When all we have to show for the 3 centuries we’ve been a country are broken teeth and bloody socks…why the hell do we even try?


Is this to be our legacy…?

Welcome to the United States

The land of equal opportunity damning

Damned if we do

And by God

Damned if we don’t


Is the only way to prove I’m not a racist to agree with everything a person of color says and thinks?

Why?  Why can I not just agree and disagree with anyone and everyone based on what I believe and be done with it!

Conversely, is the only way to be true to your heritage as a person of color to pretend success doesn’t matter lest your peers think you an Uncle Tom or some other stupid shit?

That’s ridiculous on its face and damned insulting to every person who’s ever made more of themselves than those around them! ¬†REGARDLESS of your heritage.

Is the only way I can prove I’m a strong woman to think and act like a man?

Shit, I’d rather¬†be a cat (I almost said dog, but cats get away with more!)


We are better than this!

We…men, women, black, white, red, yellow, brown, HUMAN…are better than this!

This began as a reflection in the wading pool that is this political swamp, but resulted in getting caught in the current of political correctness, and nearly drowning in the tidal wave of whatthefuckarewethinking!

Enough already!

Just

Enough


I end it here…I am 55 tomorrow.
I am seeing the country I love implode because of an agenda I have no interest in adopting as my own.

I am proud to be an American.
I am proud to be a Christian.
I am proud to hold the values I hold and don’t feel the need to label them one way or the other.
I am proud to be a woman.
I hold no pride in being white…I have ZERO say in that.
Nor do I maintain guilt because of it.
I am proud to champion anyone who leaves the world a better place.
I don’t see the race or religion.
I could care two-shits for the land that you hailed from as long as you take good care of the one you are living in.
I will celebrate your achievements, but none so much as your paying forward that which you can to those that cannot.

I am a member of one race – the human one – and unless you expect me to give that up – I’ll always welcome you at my table

THIS…IS WHAT I WILL ALWAYS BE

My Life-Bucket List

We’ve all heard of a Bucket List.
With another birthday looming, I can’t help but look at mine and say
Aw Crap! Another year gone and the bucket’s about where it was last year.”

But, that’s just one bucket right?
We have more than one bucket surely.
I know I do.
I probably have more buckets than I have lists!

But this did get me thinking…do I have a Life-Bucket?
A Life-Bucket List?
Never heard of it?
That’s okay, it’s nothing official, just a easy way to visualize it.

Being a list person to the nth degree, I find I actually DO have one.
I draw from it; this life-bucket; and drink from it to nourish the virtues, qualities, lessons, reminders, etc., of and for, the person I’m working to be

I also choke on it once in a while, but that’s all part of it isn’t it? Learning to drink without choking?

You may agree with all, or some, or none at all.

And that’s okay.

Do you have one? Would you share it if you did?

I think of it as a resource – a life resource.
A very personal gift from me to myself.

Still, it’s one I am happy to share.

Now, just because it’s on my list, doesn’t mean I follow it perfectly.
I believe in it perfectly, drink from it religiously, but it is a fluid work in progress.

And this is one bucket whose contents will remain fluid.
I fill it; I kick it over; I shoot it full of holes.
What matters is that I re-fill it.
What matters is that I remember it’s there so I can draw from it.
It may never be perfectly filled, at least until I am no more.

But, what is left in it is where those who know and love me, will see me reflected.
So I fill it with care.

Always…I fill it with care.

My Life-Bucket List:

The most destructive habit……………………………………..Worry
The greatest Joy…………………………………………………….Giving
The greatest Loss……………………………………………………Self Respect
The most satisfying work…………………………………………Helping Others
The ugliest personality trait……………………………………..Selfishness
The most endangered species…………………………………Dedicated Leaders
Our greatest natural resource………………………………….Our Youth and Our Elderly
The greatest ‘shot in the arm’…………………………………..Encouragement
The greatest problem to overcome…………………………..Fear
The most effective sleeping pill………………………………..Peace of Mind
The most crippling failure disease…………………………….Excuses
The most powerful force in life…………………………………Love
The most dangerous outcast……………………………………A Gossip
The most incredible computer………………………………….The Brain
The worst thing to be without…………………………………..Hope
The deadliest weapon………………………………………………The Tongue
The two most power-filled words………………………………I Can
The greatest asset……………………………………………………..Faith
The most worthless emotion……………………………………..Self Pity
The most beautiful attire……………………………………………A Smile
The most prize possession…………………………………………Integrity
The most powerful channel of communication…………..Prayer
The most contagious spirit………………………………………..Enthusiasm
Our greatest teacher…………………………………………………Experience

Now get out there and fill your buckets!

Cheers ūüôā
R

Older Than Dirt!

A young person asked the other day “What was your favorite fast food when you were growing up?”

I answeredWe didn’t have fast food when I was growing up.¬† It was all slow.”

C’mon, seriously” he continued,¬† “Where did you eat?”

I sighed that older person’s sigh and answeredIt was a place called home.”

To clarify, I told him Mom cooked every day and when Dad got home from work,¬†we sat down together at the dining room table.” ¬†I further explained “And if I didn’t like what she put on my plate, I was allowed to sit there until I did!”

By this time, the kid was laughing so hard I was afraid he was going to suffer serious internal damage, so I didn’t tell him the part about how I had to have permission to leave the table.

Here are some other things I would have told him about my childhood if I figured his system could have handled it: 

Some parents NEVER owned their own house, wore Levis , set foot on a golf course, travelled out of the country or had a credit card .

My parents never drove me to school. I had two good legs and at one point a bicycle that weighed probably 50 pounds, and it only had one speed -S L O W

The first television in our house was, of course, black and white, but there was a screen we could put on it that turned the sky blue and the grass green.  The 3 stations we had went off the air at 11, after playing the national anthem. It came back on the air at about 6 a.m. and there was usually a locally produced news and farm show on, featuring local people.  The only stuff worth watching was on Saturday mornings and Sunday nights.  Period!

I never had a telephone in my room. The only phone was on a party line and before you could dial, you had to listen and make sure some people weren’t already using the line.¬† If so, you’d hang up and wait.¬† Or if you were like me, you’d listen ūüėČ

Pizzas were not delivered to our home… But milk was.

All newspapers were delivered by boys and all boys delivered newspapers.  My brother delivered a newspaper, six days a week before school and on Saturday.

Movie stars kissed with their mouths shut. At least, they did in the movies!  There were no movie ratings because all movies were responsibly produced for everyone to enjoy viewing, without profanity or violence or most anything offensive .

(Growing up isn’t what it used to be, is it?)

Another memory (that, according to this generation, prove I’m older than dirt!)

Have you ever seen a cola bottle with a stopper with holes in it and wondered what it was? ¬†Did you ever see¬†your mother or grandmother iron and see them use it? ¬†If yes, you are as old as dirt too!¬† If not, you’ll have no idea.¬† I’ve heard kids guess it was a homemade salt shaker.¬† Wrong.¬† It was to sprinkle water on clothes that were being ironed.¬† They didn’t have steam irons, so they made their own!¬† I got a steam iron when I got married, but before then?
Sprinkle Sprinkle Sprinkle!

(Man, I am old!)

Okay, here’s an¬†Older Than Dirt Quiz¬†:

How many do you remember?  Count all the ones that you remember, NOT the ones you were told about  (Ratings at the bottom)

Head lights dimmer switches on the floor
Ignition switches on the dashboard

Pant leg clips for bicycles without chain guards

Wearing plastic bread bags over your shoes instead of boots

Curling irons you heat on a gas burner or wood stove
Using hand signals for cars without turn signals
 
Candy cigarettes
Coffee shops with table side juke boxes
Home milk delivery in glass bottles 
Party lines on the telephones
 
Newsreels before the movie

Serials and cartoons before the movie
Drive Ins
TV
test patterns that came on at night after the last show before and were there until TV shows started again in the morning
Peashooters
Cap guns
It’s Howdy Doody
 Time
45s and 78s records
33 1/3 Hi-fi records
Metal ice trays with lever
 
Blue flashbulbs
 
Cork popguns
 
Studebakers
 
Wash tub wringers
 
Outhouses

If you remembered 0-3 = You’re still young
If you remembered 3-6 = You are getting older
If you remembered 7-10 = Don’t tell your age
If you remembered 11+¬†=¬†You’re older than dirt¬†!!

We might be older than dirt but those memories are some of the best parts of our lives