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Mothers Day wishes

1971, Christmas.  I was 21, hadn’t met my husband yet. Mom was 63. These are from left to right Ralph (Buddy), Margaret Anne, Mom, me, Sharon Rose. Four of her five children in the same room, something that didn’t happen more than a handful of times. Missing from the photo was her first, Mary.

I wish I’d known Mom had 20 Mothers Days left. Had someone told me I would have called that a lot, that it was way far away. Twenty years are nothing in retrospect.

I wish I’d have made more of those 4 day weekend trips. We were only 500 miles apart, an 8 hour drive.  Phone calls and cards were sometimes late.  I had two little ones and time got away from me.  Although we did call. We did visit. Just not enough when I look back.

Time flies.

I think she understood.  I think, having been transplanted away from her family by 600+ miles and two states, she wasn’t surprised that visits were sometimes far apart.

I wish we’d taken better pictures.  I wish we’d had digital cameras so we could keep snapping until we were all looking at the camera, nobody was talking and nobody got cut off.  I wish we’d gone to a studio.  Although there are studio pictures here and there, the vast majority of our collective memories are captured in shadow, on faded Polaroids, in black and white, somebody with their eyes closed.

I wish I could call her in the middle of the day on a week day and hear her ask “who died” because it was higher phone rates.  If she hadn’t been in her 40’s when I came along unexpectedly, I wouldn’t have lost her in my 40’s and I could still visit.  She’d be 103 now.  Some things we can’t control.

I wish we’d had a movie camera.

I wish I’d listened more closely to her stories of her youth and the family. I did listen, but I wish I’d written them down.

I’m almost her age now that she was in the snapshot.  Buddy’s gone. Sharon’s husband, gone.  All our kids are grown.  The good lookin’ husband I hadn’t met then has white hair now. Still my man.

My family got together for a week last year, 2010. I wanted a professional set of pictures, pro shots as well as snapshots.  A mother-daughter pose, a father-son pose, a mother-son, a father-daughter, a girls only and a guys only, a Nana with the grandsons shot, a Poppy with boys, a three generation of men and of course the group, goofy and formal.  I want. I didn’t get. I’ll try again next time to arrange it. I’ll even pay for it.

Sixty-three sounds old to the young. “Hey, Grandma, that’s almost to the end” from my four year old son to my mother-in-law when she turned 68.  Yeah, well, you live long enough and at some point you’re almost to the end.  I’m a ways away from the end.  But once you cross the 44 line, statistically you’re halfway there.  I am a ways away the other side of 44.  I’m forty-twenty-one.

I do have a long term retirement plan in a dwelling place far far away close enough to visit Mom frequently.  In the meantime, I wish I could see her face and wish her a Happy Mothers Day, like she’s moping around in HEAVEN!!!

So. That settled, here’s a happy wish to all the mothers of young ones, grown ones, new mothers, grandmothers, mothers to be.

All we ever have is the current.  Love your moms now, don’t put it off.  Take a picture of her, of yourself or kids, write down that you love her. Thank her for raising you. If the least you can do is send a picture in a card, send it.

And have a great day.

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Christmas Day

On the way home from midnight service, we listened one more time to The Gaithers’ Christmas CD, The Greatest Story Ever Told, pulling into the driveway to the last delicate note of Mary, Did You Know, blessing us as our heads hit pillow approximately 1 am.  I am up ahead of Honey, talking to you in the pre-dawn morning light, waiting to grind the coffee beans.  We have exactly 7 gifts under the tree for the two of us.  The stockings each have DVDs, a jolly tradition to fatten the movie collection, and somebody got a new cologne to replace the Old Spice (finally).

Christmas. It is what it is, a day set aside to honor and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.  We dress up, buy gifts, give to the poor, bake and cook and eat, send greeting cards and letters reporting the year on one page or just sign the card, and attend an extra worship service.

And this is good in its simplicity and adornment.

Then we diet or plan to diet.

I’ve posted many times my complaints of the Christmas machine, how it needs a face lift, a tweak here or there, that we should move the date, tear away the pagan symbols, etc.  I still want to move it, I still want to retire the jolly old elf. Greg Laurie, a prominent minister in California, suggested we at least eliminate gift exchange in a effort to tone down the unrealistic expectation factor for people who become depressed or in debt trying.  I don’t know if I agree with elimination, maybe reduce the pile under the tree and give more to those in need.

In short,

  • research states Jesus was conceived during the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah, and born the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles in the fall.
  • Santa was originally a false god called Obed or Obid or some such name but is now publicized as a 19th century morph of Nicholas, born in Turkey in the early 300’s, who was a bishop in that early church father group, performed miracles, gave extravagantly to the needy, attended the Council of Nicaea from which he was thrown out and jailed for slapping another attendee who insisted Jesus wasn’t deity
  • from that Council, Constantine made Christianity legal, profitable, and state run, adopting nearly all the pagan symbols from Babylon BTW (and we know how God just loves Babylon), renaming them Christian to attract the multitudes to the new easy religion and pay taxes to him. He was baptized and allegedly converted. If that’s right, I’m going to have a serious discussion with him in heaven right after I scold Eve (poor Eve. Maybe she’s heard it already).

Christmas today resembles nothing of Jesus’ day, Constantine trashed all things Jewish and lest we forget, Christianity is grafted into (not from) the Judeac root, Jesus Himself.

In spite of it all, those who get it worship not the baby, but the existing risen Lord Jesus and rejoice, celebrating through gift exchange and fullness of food, sharing both in Jesus’ name.

The world has gone overboard, twisting each detail.  Christmas is an opportunity to profit, eat, drink, and be merry in all its temporary loud emptiness and glitter, avoiding the intent and meaning of Luke 2. It’s misplaced but we’ve mentioned that already.

(sigh) I can’t fix it.  But I can tell it better.  So can parents teach the real meaning, and please understand you are confusing your children when you let them actually truly believe in the unrecognizable morph of a false god, then a righteous servant of God into an elf in a red suit who can do magic.  Let’s have some fun with fairy tales but call them fairy tales, games if you wish. Consider this.  If they believe in Santa because you said to, and believe in Jesus because you said to, and find out Santa isn’t real, what about Jesus? Is He real or not?

The coffee is on.  The stockings beg attention.  One of my gifts is a tallit, a prayer shawl like those worn from Moses’ day, like in Jesus’ day, like He Himself wore.  I can hardly wait to see it.  I replaced Honey’s worn out Thompson Chain Reference study Bible.  What a blessing he wears out Bibles when years ago he didn’t open it.

May the peace of the season dwell in your hearts.  May your giving give all year. May the Messiah of the manger live in your homes.

July 4, Picnic day

“After Joshua had dismissed them, the People of Israel went off to claim their allotted territories and take possession of the land. The people worshiped God throughout the lifetime of Joshua and the time of the leaders who survived him, leaders who had been in on all of God’s great work that he had done for Israel.  Then Joshua son of Nun, the servant of God, died.  He was 110 years old.  They buried him in his allotted inheritance at Timnath Heres in the hills of Ephraim north of Mount Gaash.

“Eventually that entire generation died and was buried.  Then another generation grew up that didn’t know anything of God or the work he had done for Israel.”

—–Judges 2: 6-10, Message translation.

Generations of Americans have come and gone since the original founders risked their lives and those of their families to declare freedom from oppressive government.  They passed on to their children their stories, their principles, and their values as patriots.  Each generation fought for their own freedoms.  There is a group we call The Greatest Generation, those who beat back two dictators in the 1940s so we could have peace and prosperity.  They’re almost gone.  Who is left of their children, the Baby Boomers, to teach the spirit of patriotism, to ensure that this will continue to be the land of the free? Are there enough to pass it on? After the sexual revolution of the 60’s, who is  left?

As I have tried to talk of how things used to be, of who came before us as if maybe there’s something the next generation could learn, I have never encountered so much apathy and resistence.  The only people who didn’t have someone to learn from were Adam and Eve.  The rest of us are idiots to shut out the past.

Do not forget how easy it was to turn Germany from a people whose many cultures lived peacefully into a nation that killed millions based on first, their value to government, and second, their faith.

Lincoln’s birthday used to be a day off from school.  Washington’s birthday was separate from Lincoln’s.  They are now combined and generically called President’s Day, set on a Monday so people could have another 3 day weekend. Never mind who’s actual birthday it was.

Memorial Day was moved from the 31st of May, a day set aside to commemorate the soldiers who kept the United in the United States.  It’s now an official holiday on the last Monday of the month, and many have no clue what they’re supposed to remember.  It now signifies the beginning of summer.

I wonder when this generation of politicians will change Independence Day to the first Monday of July so — are you getting it yet? — we can have another automatic 3 day holiday.  The real motivation may be the blurring of why it was called Independence Day into maybe Fireworks Day.

I’ve said it before.  If we don’t indoctrinate our children in our ways, somebody else will indoctrinate them in theirs.

The Wedding

2009:  Hey, sailor.  You look pretty spiffy in that tux.  How about you come home with me?”

Honey really was in the Navy.  Daddy was in the war, I mean, The War.  He told me to stay away from soldiers, that they didn’t respect women and said nasty things behind their backs.   I went on a blind date with a sailor just off the boat.  So, Daddy, you like him?

Diana planned her wedding for Memorial Day weekend so they could have a day off before they had to go back to work, both being in the Air Force National Guard, both having vacation issues.  Last week Di’s daughter, a senior, was in the high school’s production of Oklahoma.  They did an outstanding job.  This weekend Di gets married. This Thursday, the same daughter graduates.  Honeymoon? Next week.  Don’t call her on her cell phone.

1973:  I had just started my new job at 3M that year and accumulated all of 4 days of vacation.  We set the wedding date for Memorial Day weekend.  The stupid part was holding it 500 miles away in the home town.  The only reason I can come up with now was that I wanted to prove to the town and graduating class that I was not doomed to be an old maid at 23.

2009:  “You still have to change into your tux.  It’s 1:25 now and pictures are 1:30.  Pull up to the door and run in.  I’ll park the car.”  I park and head for the door and see Honey coming out.

“Diana is in curlers and is looking for you.”

“Jane, you have to fix my hair.” The last time I was fixing anybody’s hair, it was my daughter’s just before a danceline performance and she was trying to get away from me for good reason.  The time before that, she was 3, I was trying to cut her bangs and she was crying and getting teeny hairs her eyes.  “You’re sure…”

Not only that, I was to adjust her eye makeup, apply the lipstick, spread skin toner to cover her freckles, stand in between her and the window while she put the longline on, zip her dress, and stick the veil on.  I loved it!  What a girlfriend! Not only, that, I did a good job.  She looked gorgeous.  Of course, all you have to do with her hair is direct it with your fingers, it’s so thick and heavy.

1973:  Storms.  Tornado watch kept farmers at home rounding up livestock and locking barn doors.  Someone was fussing with my veil.  Someone came up to me to offer congratulations and words of something.  I said thank you and was distracted by tumbleweeds — tumbleweeds! in central Illinois! — flying by the windows.  Dad was ready to escort me down the aisle, stiff and military.  He reminded me of the guys who held post at the tomb of the unknown soldier.

I could hear the organist playing “Oh, Promise Me” knowing I had insisted it NOT be sung.  The soloist was halfway through a song I insisted she sing when the power went out.  The organist kept going, the soloist kept singing and when the power went back on they were in sync and on key.

Not only that, my sister, who was one of my attendants, was 4 months pregnant and looked funny in her dress.  Her son, the ring bearer, had a puffy red lip from a softball that afternoon.

2009:  Nothing went wrong.  Nobody tripped or fainted or forgot their lines. The unity candle did not fall and catch anything on fire.  No nosebleeds, no fat lips from softballs.  I did get a few chuckles at the guest book, however.  Yes, I was the Guest book Nazi. “You vill sign ze book. Yah?”  I even charged the assistant pastor admission which he did not pay, nor did he leave anything in my tip jar.

1973:  The best man tortured me for two whole days threatening to spike the punch and write “help me” on Honey’s shoe soles.  Kathy, is the punch spiked? “No nails in my glass!”

2009:  Sandwiches, fruit, potato salad, pasta salad, deviled eggs, and other et cetera, plus a cake tilting dangerously.

1973:  Mints, nuts, cake, punch — no nails.

2009:  The bride and groom danced.  Alone.  Nobody got up.  What a bunch ‘o’ Baptists!  C’mon, Honey.  We won’t have this chance again.  We walked hand in hand up to the happy couple and tapped the groom’s shoulder to cut in.  I took Diana who was laughing her head off, and Honey grabbed the groom.  Y’know, you only go around once.  You don’t seize the moment, it’s gone.

Hey, Honey.  What are we doing for our anniversary? (panicked stare)

1973:  “Where’s your car, Stan?” shaving cream in hand.  Are you kidding me? We hid that two towns away from you guys.  “Awwwww…”

We opened gifts at the reception.  Diana opened gifts at the reception. I’m normally the first person out at any given wedding, but this time, I enjoyed every minute.

Thirty-six years ago the dark haired sailor in the tuxedo whisked me away.  The last picture in the album was me with a rose in my teeth, winking. This year, the silver fox and I danced at our friends’ wedding.

What do you want to do for our anniversary?  Being in a wedding was pretty good.  How about grilling a couple steaks this Saturday? Sounds like a plan.

As soon as I find that little camera cord …

Since the SD card I used in the camera this weekend is the weird one that won’t function simply by inserting it into the slotty thing, I need the cord to connect from the camera to the laptop.  It’s 8:45, I’ve been up since 5:02, worked two extra hours and am in no way excited about digging around for a connecting cord.  Besides, Fringe is coming on.

We spent 4 short days with our Seattle kids, daughter and son-in-law.  If I could retrieve it, a picture would go here.

We played games, went to a movie, shopped, shot fireworks, ate at a way cool restaurant on a bluff, talked, grilled, celebrated Jesus’ resurrection, grilled some more, shot off fireworks, laughed, went to Ripley’s Acquarium in Gatlinburg, ate carmel corn, played mini-golf, and watched a couple of  movies at home.  All that took 4 whole days to pack it in but we managed.

Tuesday morning came all too soon and early too.  So did clock in time at work.

Our workload is heavy if not heavier than it was before they cut staff.  Now they have to kick in with the overtime, begging for it in fact.  After 3 weeks of  “thou shalt not clock in earlier than your appointed time, nor shalt thou clock out later than your appointed time, not one minute!”  So much for cutting expenses.  Speaking of cutting expenses, I headed for the kitchen for my coffee and saw a monstrous machine that actually requires MONEY, 50 cents to be exact.  HAH!  I went to Wally’s and got an air pot!  Too bad, so sad.  They’re not getting my 50 cents a cup.  I figure it will take a couple of weeks, then my coffee is freeee, freeee, I tell you! And mine, miiiine….

I miss my kids.  We’re scheduled to fly out there the first full week of June for a combination trade show for Honey and the rest of the week with the kids.  They want to take us to Seaside for a couple days of fun on the beach.  In the meantime, that feels like a long time away.

Gotta run.  Fringe is on.  There’s a heavily clawed mysterious people eater on the loose and I have to concentrate on the plot.  I hope I’m not so tired I fall asleep in the middle and dream about it.

Great wall !

I love it!  I make these declarations before the mantle is reattached, before any family pictures smile from their frames.  It is just plain right.

Since blogging each brush stroke could get a tad boring, I’ll simply post a few pics when it’s all done.  That should be around April 5th.  Check back!

In the meantime, on my 1/2 hour lunch breaks, I am reading a timely to the season book, The Incomplete Church by Sid Roth, a Messianic Jew, host of It’s Supernatural.  You can scoff the supernatural all day and I won’t say much past “it’s your choice” but his lessons concerning the church and the applicability of Passover to Easter and vice versa is astounding–brand new information to me, backed up by scripture and written world history.

The other book, completed in the car last Saturday while Honey deplored sitting in weekend  Pigeon Forge traffic, is a novel The Shack.  Can’t tell you much without revealing too much.  I will say it’s really hard to put down.  You could experience a few really, really late nights saying to yourself  “just one more chapter.”

It’s late right now.  Do you suppose if I went to bed earlier like Mom used to say, I wouldn’t be so wiped out in the morning?  (I think I hear Mom’s laugh-snort, that way she had of covering her mouth with her hand and her too short arm bouncing on her bosom.  Laugh on, Woman-Who-Just-Turned-101-on-March-16!)

I signed up for the Passover Seder with my Messianic friends on Tuesday the, Wed the, sometime during the week before Easter which you know I prefer to call Resurrection Day.  I will be nutshelling Mr. Roth’s book by then as well.

Talk to y’all later.

Forty nineteen

One more year of winsome math.  One more year in the archives.

When my mother-in-law turned 67, my four year old said, “That’s almost to the end, isn’t it?”  My countdown is uncomfortably close to an innocent child’s vision of a human life span.

We went to see the Minnesota kids last fall.  An effort was made to explain generation links to the 5 year old.  Honey said he was his daddy’s daddy.  The 5 year old laughed and said, “No, Poppy, you don’t look like a daddy. You look like a grandpa.”  Is that almost to the end?

At this moment, I’m trying to follow a new TV program while blogging, which isn’t working really well, and Honey has nodded off on the other end of the sofa.  I know that from the snory sounds.  Oop! He woke up!

It’s Friday.  I’m poo’d.  I’ve been putting in overtime, 9 hours last week and maybe 7 or 8 this week.  Add drive time to that, and I’m definitely aware of not being as young as I used to be.  Tomorrow I sleep in, hopefully at least an hour past when I’m used to getting up.

We clean the house for company tomorrow.  Eight friends are coming into my house to help me mark (celebrate isn’t computing right now) a number that can be described only as “on the edge.”

A lady, a deeeeaaar Christian sister,  once told me when I turned 50 that 49 was the old of the young and 50 was the young of the old. I’m sure she meant to make me feel better to be considered young again even if it was in the “next up” age group.

It didn’t.

Maybe after a good night’s sleep and a bunch of laughs with friends—-in spite or because of  the ugly cards, I’ll be able to blog a bit more chipper-ly on Sunday.  Until then………

Hey, Honey got me flowers.