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Good to go

I won’t say I was scared.  It was sobering.  Being terminally flippant, and I did joke through this experience consistently, I was brought to a point of uncertainty in which I felt I had to say a few things to a few people.  See previous post.

I have also been thoroughly enjoying Facebook and have renamed it.  The preacher combines Facebook, Twitter, and My Space into one word — MyTwitFace.  Pretty good.  I’ve already decided Twitter is for the birds and will disconnect the next time I think of it — too much potential for too many people to know too much about me.  I’ve never looked into My Space since I have a blog and that too is too universal and subject to stalking.  But, like I told my mom when she worried about me being single in Minneapolis, when they get me under the street light, they’ll lose interest.

Facebook, however, has more of an exclusive club atmosphere and I am enjoying it a lot.  I can fondly change it from Facebook to Chatterbox. Or how about Party Line?

I’ve posted bottom line comments to my Chatterbox stating a stellar outcome to my heart cath  — clean and pretty, if you consider the bloody pump pretty at all, mine is in Cardo Man’s words, beautiful.  So.

I arrive on time, sit and wait.  Answer questions, go to another area, sit and wait.  Take my clothes off, put on a gown, answer some of the same questions — “Are you or could you be pregnant?” to which I replied “I bet you people love to ask that”, get plugged into monitor, lay and wait.  (Butt goes numb but it ain’t seen nothin’ yet) Go to procedure room, have things attached, an iodine wash where it doesn’t look good in a swimsuit, get draped, wait for CM to show. He poked his grinning face in the doorway at exactly 1:03 and cheerfully chirped “How are you?” How do you answer that one? “Oh, fine.” Ready to be punctured.

They claim I was sedated but what I think really happened is that Joy Juice Judy has her thumb on the trigger and dispenses it in increments —  the longer the procedure, the more she hits her trigger.  CM pierced the femoral artery which I did not feel and started pumping in the dye. When I say “pumping” I mean he lightly punched down on the entry site every time he wanted to see the arteries show up on the screen.

This is as gory as it gets.  The screen was even black and white.  I was able to watch and it was pretty cool to see the inside live.  I was wide awake according to me at the time meaning I had no idea how much Joy Juice Judy jammed.  But I’m pretty sure she was ready to shoot more if CM called out “hey, there’s some good stuff gumming up this one, gimme a stent!”  Instead he proclaimed me clear, replayed the video for me, turned me over to the plugger-upper guy, whipped off the glove and headed out the door before I could say “was it good for you”…. not even dinner?

At 1:35 they paraded me on my regal rolly bed back to the beige curtained chamber of boredom where my audience awaited my return.  CM blew in, shook hands, said I had a beautiful heart of an 18 year old and arteries he could drive a truck through.  “So what are the chest pains and the other symptoms about?”  “Well, it isn’t your heart, so you know you’re not going to die from them.”   Now the investigation can continue at a more relaxed pace.  He went on to say he loves putting in stents — a man who enjoys his work, I guess because doing so helps those who need it — but could find no excuse to do so on me.  (sorry)

After he left and our friends left, it was just Honey and me, no TV.  He brought a book, I brought a book, the lady on the other side of the curtain was snoring, I couldn’t prop the book, snoozed off and on, and I wasn’t allowed to so much as flex my right leg for four solid continuous unbroken hours.  I can’t tell you how profoundly that lack of movement affects the posterior region to the point where you say what posterior region?

At 5pm I was told I could sit up until the RN was sure nothing was going to spurt, after which she let me walk to the potty after which I could get dressed and sign off on all the instructions regarding showering, eating, etc.  I am to sit or lay all day today, take a shower this afternoon if I want to (ya think so?), carefully remove the dressing late tomorrow, look for all sorts of weird anomolies like, oh, maybe green and blue streaks, redness, hard surface from internal bleeding. Okay, and have a nice day, then.

All is well so far at 1:20 Saturday.  And before I sign off here, I went to the email and read that our good friend Bill Blevins, a WWII vet, lost his fight against heart disease.  Last month when I went to the ER, our friend Jim was upstairs undergoing his own heart cath and was administered stents.  This time, but different hospital, I was undergoing my test while Bill was being taken to another ER.  I came home to the house last night, he went Home to his mansion in heaven this morning.

We all say how wonderful that day will be when we see Him face to face, but we want to go together.  Not yet.  Until that great day of the Rapture of the Church, we say goodbye one at a time.

Goodbye, Bill.  We’ll miss you, we’ll take good care of Peggy, and look forward to seeing you again in God’s timing.

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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.

Not for sissies

If the theory of DNA Memory is true, that we genetically carry the footprints of our ancestors, shadows of their cultures, then there are sub-conscious rumblings in my soul and echoes of flutes and drums in my veins that connect me to Ireland .  I close my eyes and see green hills and Maureen O’Hara.

No?  I don’t believe the DNA thing either.  It just sounded good.  According to Ancestry.com my European heritage is all of Europe.  Lines weave backward through myriad shire and kingdom finding root through Troy to Goshen back to Abraham himself.

Yet, I feel so much more Irish than say, Prussian or Italian.  That could have something to do with growing up with the surname of Murphy and listening to Dad talking about his Murphy line, who was the immigrant, etc.  Mom also spoke of her Dutch line of sailors.  I just wasn’t that fascinated.  Sorry, Mom.  But, aye now, the Irish, the twinkling eyes, the roguish smiles, the castles, the green shutters and stone fences, the dancing and drums …  much more fun than say, wooden shoes.

We’re watching the Best of Riverdance.  When I emerged from the Celtic store in Gatlinburg last week proudly waving my purchase, my son-in-law chuckled and said “as opposed to the Worst Of?”  After viewing of the Best Of and remembering my experience of the live performance in Minneapolis, I’ve concluded that the Worst Of would look the same.  There is no Worst.

It can only be described as an experience.  You watch, you feel, you meld with it and believe all you have to do is put on the tap shoes and you are one of them.  That night my friend Lisa and I persisted 65 dark miles through winter wind and snow, and froze our fingers and cheekbones walking to the old Minneapolis Theatre.  The stage was wooden, the floors were wooden, the seats creaky and packed close together, barely room to peel off the parkas.

Lisa educated me all the way there on theater behavior.  She studied theater, there is protocol.  There is prescribed pattern.  By first curtain, if theater is a verb, I knew how to.  Then the thunder of steeled toes and heels vibrated through the stage, the floors, the seats and penetrated the bodies.  At the first opportunity to do so, the whole of the audience flew to their feet, shouting, whistling, applauding hard enough to wear on the tendon and joint.  Lisa must have been in theatrical shock but she too rose to her feet eventually, commenting later that she thought she was at a hockey game after a double overtime.

You too can buy the DVD in Dolby, set up the surround sound, crank up the subwoofer, and swim in the magic of Riverdance.  But …. until they’re in front of you on a wooden stage, passionately stomping out their heritage, until you’re watching “by the seat of your pants,” you haven’t felt Riverdance.  If you have that opportunity, you just may hear some Irish in your blood.

The biggest and the best day ever

The Resurrection, the climax to the greatest story ever told.  God created the beauty and comfort of the garden for man.  When Adam and Eve fell, the plot thickened.  As the story unfolded — prophecies, the flood, kings good and bad, cycles of blessings and exiles, obedience and rebellion rolled through the ages — the common thread of promise was woven, that of a savior who would sacrifice Himself for all.

I am going to thoroughly enjoy our Easter Sunday celebration, all the music and the joy.  I think He got out of that tomb immediately after midnight Saturday, that rolling the stone away and posting the angels was for the benefit of those who came to the tomb at dawn.  I think the shroud is what they say it is, that being a proud Dad, God took a picture of his kid on His graduation from death to life.  I think Yeshua greeted his disciples with a huge grin on his face and a twinkle in his eye — hugs all around, tears flowing freely, maybe even uncontrolled fist bumps and air leaps.  I’m going to celebrate this holiday with all I’ve got in me!

But we’re missing a few things after 17 centuries of dilution, religious wars, distortion and antisemitism.

The feasts given to Moses in the wilderness were the pattern of how that promise first mentioned just prior to the expulsion from the garden would be fulfilled both in the coming of the sacrificial lamb which we celebrate now and that of the victorious conqueror, soon to come again.

This year I attended Passover with my Messianic Jewish friends.  They set it a day early as Yeshua did that fateful year of His sacrifice, knowing He’d be “busy” on the cross as the real and final lamb precisely when lambs were being slaughtered in the temple.  Passover is the 14th of Nissan also known as Aviv.  That year it fell on the Sabbath, sundown on Friday, explaining the hurry to get Jesus’ body in the borrowed tomb late that afternoon.

Our Church traditions have disconnected from the Passover with both the Roman calendar based on the sun (they were sun worshipers) and by renaming His Passover celebration exclusively as The Last Supper.  By doing so, we come away with only bread and wine, still a beautiful sacrament.  We’ve even diluted the wine part of that last feast of Passover by interpreting His statement that He would not drink of the cup again until He returned, as a teaching against all kinds of alcohol consumption.  Instead He was referring to the fourth cup of the Passover feast.

We’ve lost a vast amount of value and blessing by obliterating our Judaic roots without considering Yeshua’s Jewishness and that He followed all the customs and feasts as did the first century believers. Want to know how that happened?  Here’s an excerpt from this:

Passover, which fell on the 14th day of the month of Nisan, always fell on a full moon. Some Christians, principally those in the East, known as the Quartodecimians, thought Easter, too, should always fall on the 14th day of the lunar month, which was, by definition, the full moon, since the month started at the new moon. Others thought Easter should always fall on a Sunday, since that was the original Resurrection Day. This led to conflict: One reason to convene the Nicene Council was to prevent the resulting, threatened schism.

The Council decreed Easter to be the first Sunday after the Full Moon following the Spring Equinox, March 21, unless that Full Moon fell on a Sunday (in which case Easter would be the following Sunday).

In addition to the perfectly reasonable desire to keep the memorial on the same day of the week as Christ’s Resurrection, there were other, ignoble motives for separating the Christian celebration from the Jewish holy day. In his letter to those not at the Nicene Council, the Emperor Constantine spells out some of what we would refer to as anti-semitism:

“Let us then have nothing in common with the detestable Jewish crowd; for we have received from our Saviour a different way.”
– Eusebius The Life of Constantine

Other Reasons for Easter’s Date

The dating of Easter could have been intended to include pagans rather than exclude Jews. it would be fitting for Constantine, as a sun-worshiping pagan, to have selected the vernal equinox, representing the rebirth of the sun, in the same season as the blood-letting pagan Hilaria and Taurobolium festivals.  Hence, “Sunday.”

These changes wouldn’t have been much of a problem had the Jews not been excluded purely on a prejudicial basis and the Passover been scrubbed as exclusive to them.  A much better way would have been to acknowledge the actual date of Nissan the 14th as Passover, that that was the last meal of our Lord, associate it with the crucifixion and set up the nearest Sunday as a celebration day for the convenience of the community’s work schedule and to commemorate that Yeshua did rise on the first day of the week.  And that’s about all the blending I’m willing to tolerate.
Remember, you are now brought out of your ignorance of the origin of those infernal eggs and rabbits used for fertility worship in Baal’s temple in Babylon.  When we have the whole story, when we realize how God’s first commandment in the Big Ten was “thou shalt have no other gods before me” did not say it’s okay to have other gods’ stuff in your house as long as you worship Him too (see the lessons on leaven).  Realize also that Jezebel, not one of God’s examples of purity, was a practicing prostitute in the Baal temple with all those egg and rabbit symbols.  Realize too that the next king after her husband Ahaz razed the Baal temple and turned it into the community toilet.
Do you get the pagan symbolism yet and God’s hatred for them?  God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  When Jesus walked through the locked door where the disciples were hiding, He did not bring Easter baskets.

bridge out

I used to live in Minneapolis-St.Paul.  Then I lived 60 miles west of The Cities and visited countless times.  I’ve been on that bridge ….. countless times. 

You have to have heard about the Interstate 35w bridge collapse over the Mississippi River between downtown Minnepolis and the University of Minnesota about 6pm, the heart of the rush hour.  It is incomprehensible.

Faith is driving across a bridge thinking nothing of anything but what’s on the radio and are we there yet. 

One particular memory from the fall of 1977 involves a blowout on the curve right before the I94 bridge over the same river less than a mile(?) from the bridge that went down.  We had a huge chromed 1970 Mercury, and my toddler son was running along the concrete sidewalk, controlled by Grandma Edna and Mommy, who was not quite showing evidence of carrying a second child, stranded inches from rush hour next to a bridge abuttment, Daddy changing the tire, a ham radio operator stopping to help.  Other than that specific incident in 1977, all bazillion Mississippi crossings ever, from the headwaters to Keokuk, Illinois, have been without incident.

My heart aches for the loss of life and the grief of those who lost their loved ones.  May the God of the universe, His Son, and the Holy Spirit comfort them.

I look at the screen in disbelief.  One of the reporters at the scene reported that just before the collapse one witness heard and saw a “blowing up” of what? smoke? concrete dust from the start of the fall? an explosion?

There are more questions than answers at this point.

Standing on the shoulders

The flag, the Star Spangled Banner, God Bless America, asking the veterans to stand — all stirred into the message of salvation, beautifully expressed in song by Mike Walter, a song that delcares our statue of liberty to be the Cross of Christ who went to war for us.  Continue reading

The house is clean when the dining room table is cleared.

Trust me, the tablecloth is a memory. I have a new carry on ready to be stuffed and have not begun to gather the stuffing. I’m not terribly worried since we are both taking off all of Friday and the plane doesn’t take off until 8 something PM. But it looms.

Also listed under ToDo is the paperwork that cannot go up in flames in our absence (why does Honey call me paranoid?) that I have designated to the Chevy trunk until we return and secure that safety deposit box currently sporting a sticky note with our names on it. The paper pile includes but is not limited to insurance policies, pictures, genealogy records, tax returns, passwords, and bank records, and especially the 300 year old family Bible entrusted to my care for which I purchased unbleached muslin in which to wrap it. (we must be careful to not end a sentence a preposition in)

In the meantime, overtaken with curiosity over my own statements concerning the dining room table, I took an inventory:

Clear bags for small stuff in case we are inspected, gum for takeoffs and landing, outfits for the grand-babes, bubble wrap – apparently it didn’t make it into the return-this-horrible-outfit bag, potscrubber heads picked up today because they were on the list, batteries just in case, sexy strappy sandals with the potential of snapping an ankle bone, huge bag to pose as a purse which doesn’t count as a carryon, purse to be packed in the bigger carryon, pictures printed before the chip is erased forever, paper shredder still in the box, roofing samples, bandaids which aren’t necessary until you don’t take them, and last, but not least, junk mail waiting for an opportunity to burn it in the fireplace. Oh, wait — I have a shredder!

I am seconds away from overload, a short trip for someone who knows how to organize but has never once enjoyed it.

Isn’t Boston Legal on tonight?