Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Dent In My Armor

I was pulling out of one of my happy places, The Beaver St. Farm Market, when I was hit by another patron as she was leaving.
I saw it all in slow-mo but even the three second horn blast couldn't halt her as she blithely backed into my car. 
It's not like my car is the Pope-Mobile or anything but even with 150,000 miles on her I love that Volvo.  They don''t make 'em like that anymore.
So -- who am I when nobody is looking -- or I guess after that blast -- everybody is looking?
Well, I'm a red blooded American woman so the first thing I think of is law suit.  But then I remember I'm also a Christian and my assailant is a poor woman in a car that looks like it has had even more wear and tear than mine.  And I might just mention that it didn't help my litigious frame of mind that she had a Christian fish on her bumper making us sisters in the Lord.
I shot up a quick prayer and leaned into her window assuring her that it wasn't the first dent on my car and wouldn't be the last so have a good day and "God bless you."
I'm reminded of an old song by Nancy Honeytree:
"Hummer Bummer Bash-Mobile"
Uhhhhhhhhhh, that would be me!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Soooo Long, Sugah

... or sugar as they say North of the Mason Dixon Line.
After despairing for years over my creeping (up) weight I've decided to say good bye to one of my favorite friends. 
Parting is such sweet sorrow.
I hope that I can direct some of the hours lost to whipping up kitchen counter heroin to reading, writing, and just getting a high out of life instead.
Sugar, you've been a bad friend to me and now we're parting ways.
But wait, what is that tune I keep humming?
"I want candy!"

Monday, September 20, 2010

He said -- me said

I love to arrange furniture and get each piece into the perfect spot.  Order and unfortunately control are my drug of choice.
It's that way with my thoughts too.  I wake up in the middle of the night and my mind just races scanning the concerns of my family and friends. 
Oh, the places I go in my effort to make it all fit. 
I feel like the ant on the side walk who is spinning and pushing and working so hard not realizing that the shade of a tree is just inches away from the summer's day heat.
Reading the Bible is  the shade I dodge way too often and that sun can get pretty darn hot.
Last week I found my fanny sitting on a pew signing up for Bible study.  It felt like a cool wind is coming my way.
God has promised He will take care of the details if I will lend Him my ear (study the letter He so painstakingly wrote for me) and trust Him.  He's always come through in the past and with a 1,000 batting average I'm fairly optimistic He'll show up again.
me said -- if I can just get that shiny new thing I'll be satisfied
He said -- Trust in me and I will give you the desires of your heart.  (It took me awhile to understand that means... He'll change my "want-er")
me said -- if he/she would just follow my instructions it would be so much better and lead to wonderful results.  I often tease I want my tombstone to read "All of you would have been so much better off if you'd just done what I said."
He said -- What is that to thee?  Follow me.
I read my fair share of motivational books and inspiring stories but like the old Motown song goes...
"Ain't nothin' Like the Real Thing, Baby."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Every afternoon of my life my mother has waltzed up the stairs at 3:00 pm for her nap.  She might be perky at 2:45 but by 2:59 she is getting sleepy -- very sleepy.
I inherited her love of naps.

Nap Time

No - I did not take a nap -
The nap - took - me
off the bed and out the window
far beyond the sea,
to a land where sleepy heads
read only comic books
and lock their naps in iron safes
so that they can't get took.
"I did not take that nap," I cried,
"I give my solemn vow,
and if I took it by mistake
I do not have it now."

"Oh fiddle-fudge," cried out the judge,
your record looks quite sour.
Last night I see you stole a kiss,
Last week you took a shower,
"You beat your eggs, you've whipped your cream,
at work you punched the clock,
You've even killed an hour or two,
we've heard you darn your socks.
We know you shot a basketball,
you've stolen second base,
and we can see you're guilty
from the sleep that's on your face.

"Go lie down on your blanket now
and cry your guilty tears.
I sentence you to one long nap
for ninety million years.

Shel Silverstien

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

It Just Makes Scents

Most of what I learned in college has gone with the wind but one social studies course stuck. 
When we studied Pavlov and his reflex experiment I was impressed. 
If associating sensory impressions with memories was a tool for Pavlov imagine  how it  fit into my motherhood tool box?
When the boys were growing up and we were having an especially rich moment I would encourage them to "Quick.... breathe in deeply and always remember this moment."  I had learned that our sense of smell is the one most closely associated with our memory.
We hyper-ventilated our way through their childhood. 
One of my goals was to teach them to pray spontaneously and to know that God always has His ear bent toward them.  So each time we heard an ambulance's siren I would say "Who wants to pray for those people?"   And we would pray on the spot.
I knew that no matter where they were and all through their life they would hear that sound and someday when they were far from home it would nudge them in the right direction.  Motherhood is clandestine isn't it?
During the days I was able to be a stay at home mother I tried to have something freshly baking or a fire in the fireplace when they came in from their school day.  "This is the smell of being home" I would whisper in their ear as they entered.

When my youngest son went into a troubled teen period he didn't want to be hugged.  But I knew people need to be touched.  Babies die in orphanages from lack of touch because they loose the desire to thrive.  Sometimes late at night after he was sound asleep I would kneel by his bed and hold him and pray silent prayers for my hurting boy.
I believe an orderly home is a gift to all who enter.  It doesn't matter if it is outfitted from Neimans or the Goodwill.  The sight of things in their place allows people to come in and let their light shine.
And so add it all up -- our senses are powerful forces in the documenting and living of our lives.  So I try to remember to  "Take a deep breath" - of life.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Almost thirty years ago I lost my best friend.

It was during a terrible time in my life when I lost my footing and fell from her grace.
It was a rip to both of our hearts and yet I see how this separation drove me into a more intimate relationship with my Creator.
I mean when everything your life is built on disappears -- Who ya gonna call?
My marriage was broken, the mailbox was empty of the usual kind notes, my phone quit ringing, and I was left with my shame and regrets.
I would have quit going to church but I didn't fit in anywhere else because I was ruined by a conversion that convinced me that my Christian faith was true. Even when I'm not.
I believe that God gives us little pictures or dreams to help us journey on in life. My picture was a movie that came out about that time titled "Places In The Heart".
The story is one of life's inequalities and mistakes and unforgiveness but the closing scene is stunning.
After the cotton crop is finally in and the farm is literally saved we see the widow owner and her faithful black man worker sitting on a pew in church passing the communion plate.
"That's odd" you think "people didn't have mixed racial churches back then?"
But as the plate is passed down the row you realize that some of the communicants were killed earlier in the film. And then it dawns on you just before the credits roll that the scene is in heaven where all of the dirty baggage is sitting on the unloading dock back on earth.
All is forgiven -- all is equal.
I tucked that picture into my heart and would often comfort myself by knowing it would be played out for my friend and I in heaven if not on this earth.
Sunday morning this week found me sitting in a pew along with 5,000 other church attendees at a church in Louisville. I was a little distracted because I was flying home that afternoon after a summer of being away.
When it came time to stand and greet our neighbors I realized my dear friend from years ago was sitting right next to us.
It took us a minute to recognize each other (30 years takes its toll) but when we did , in that holy place, all of the bitterness was gone.
The sermon was preached and communion was served.
After the service I had to tell her how much I've missed her and thank her for being the person who introduced me to the faith that has been the foundation and rudder of my life.
We hugged and left.
They say timing is everything. God's timing is perfect.
I once heard a quote that goes:
"The mills of God grind exceedingly slow but they grind exceedingly fine - indeed."

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Queen and Her Court

Summer is winding down and so is my time with the sweetest children in the universe.
We are making the most of our last days together:
Cleaning the family grave site at Cave Hill Cemetery.  Our tombstone is just three sites down from Colonel Sanders' grave.  
There are folks who make a pilgrimage to his grave (now there is a fun story to investigate) and so the proprietors have painted a discrete yellow strip on the lanes to direct people to his plot.  
I have sworn the kids to promising that upon the event of my untimely demise they will promptly go to Benjamin Moore and purchase a pint of yellow paint and extend the line to my and Papa Joe's graves.
Visiting Yew Dell Gardens.

Making these little miniature pies in jam jars.

Last night we hosted a "Minute To Win It" party at the grand kid's house.
We competed in  contests we had found on the Internet.
The winners were allowed to decide if they wanted to be "Pie-d" with a pie pan filled with whipped cream.  Everyone opted to be smothered with real whipped cream.

Sooooooooooooooo fun.