THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS

SAND PLAY AT THE BEACH (PHOTO BY BMG)

He is a child–a 10 year old boy-child who wants to be treated like an adult, yet he still plays in the sand, building castles, then destroying them with his “wrecking ball” hand that swings through the air taller than any building and with the force of 1000 superhero’s!

He is almost as tall as I am, anxious to experience the thrill of making his own decisions…then looks to me to make things right when he does not achieve the desired results. This child-man or man-child knows that he has love and support from the adults around him.

He wants to choose his own meals (even tries to scramble and egg and fry sausage–supervised of course) but will not do the dishes until he is compelled to do so. Lesson learned-you cook, you clean.

He is not yet at the point of falling for a girl (thankfully), but, it’s okay if they want to be in his club of magical friends–if they have a super-power, or, if they are really, really smart. I laugh…with joy!

He is a child who wants to grow up way too fast, not realizing that the world is full of dangers that counter the good. He is only just beginning to recognize the “favoritism” that is shown to some people depending on who they are or the color of their skin. Asking why people are just plain stupid and not fair to everybody….I sadly, try to explain, but find words to sometimes be inadequate as I shake my head in understanding…He listens, then it’s back to cartoons and world of pretense where he can fly and out maneuver the evils that are faced…if only (I think to myself with an air of pessimism).

I wish that he could stay a child and be protected from the realities of life, yet, I know that he must one day chart his own path. Childhood is just a training field to learn how to manage and hopefully succeed in this world…So, for now, enjoy every moment. Listen and learn from the “grown-ups” who truly care about you. Be adventurous-we will catch you if you fall. Be joyful-we will laugh with you. When you cry-we will dry your tears. When you are hurt-we will care for you. We strive to be role models of leadership, parent-ship and relationships, that you can count on and build upon. Appreciate and learn from us now, for tomorrow, you will have to face the world on your own.

A REAL SUPERHERO

MORE CROWN THAN GLORY

September 2018–It is written in the bible and often said, ” a woman’s hair is her crowning glory…”  For the past few years, I have been in a struggle to keep my hair–the hair that actually grows from my head.  Do to issues I have encountered in life, my hair is ultra thin in some areas an nearly gone in others.  Women in particular, suffer hair lose for numerous reasons,  hormonal, stress, alopecia, illness, medicinal side effects, etc.

When I first noticed my hair loss, I was getting ready to go to work one morning, doing my hair as usual.  I used a hand mirror to check the back and discovered to my horror a gaping bald spot.  I screamed and my husband came running to see what was wrong.  I showed him and asked if he had noticed it.  To my dismay he said yes, but he didn’t tell me because he knew I would be upset.  I WAS terribly upset and LIVID with anger that he had not told me.  It meant that I had probably been going to work and other places with an obvious BALD spot in my head for who knows how long!

I quickly changed my hairstyle to cover the area and went to work.  I was stressed all day and made an appointment with my doctor. Though  medication has helped, my hair is still thin in some areas. I have also been using natural products and have seen some progress!

Mind you, throughout the years, I have known women who struggled with hair loss due to chemotherapy and alopecia, and have even helped them deal with the emotional turmoil of baldness.  I have been wig shopping with my mom and friends and scarf and hat shopping to find things that go with different outfits and moods, but when it actually happened to me I not only sympathized with them, I felt the deepest empathy!  The distress I felt was akin to the death of a best friend.

As the years have passed, I still struggle with thin hair and how to style it to make it look more voluminous.  I resist the temptation to wear wigs because they are just so darn uncomfortable, itchy and hot!  More so, I haven’t found anything that looks like “me”.

Coming to terms with hair loss was difficult, but over the years, it’s become easier.  As women, we sometimes base our worth on what the “outside” looks like, rather than what’s “inside” our heads. Whether or not my hair is long, short, or shaved low, I am still me–witty, charming, and  strong.

**UPDATE**

Today (June 10, 2019) After months of struggle, I finally made the decision yesterday (Sunday) to let go of my “crowning glory”.  I told my husband this is the day and got his clippers from the bathroom.  He didn’t believe I was actually going to shave my head completely free of hair.  I went into by bathroom and about 30 minutes later came out looking pretty cute, but without my hair.   The look on his face was priceless and then he smiled and said, I was still the most beautiful woman in the world.  Oh, what a wonderful man!

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Nathaniel

I have spent the last 6 weeks or so watching the struggle of life as it pushes against death. A friend (NF) was discovered to be in the last stages of cancer after an appointment with his doctor. I don’t use the term “doctor visit” because when you visit someone the company is usually desired and welcomed.

After the testing and consultations with experts in the field, a course of action was decided upon. Radiation, chemotherapy, medications, and a special diet. The course of action gave us all hope for more time. He passed on Mother’s Day in the wee hours of morning. He died in the hospital. Wife and children, and grands by his side. We funeralized him yesterday.

Unlike his immediate family, I had the opportunity to come home and enjoy a peaceful house. They had company until late evening. I listened to some of his favorite songs and reflected upon the first time my husband and I met NF and his wife.

One Sunday morning, another couple in our small church brought friends along. Everyone was introduced and we settled into our service beginning with Sunday School, devotional singing, and then the sermon. They were amazed and delighted that I played the bass guitar during devotion. My husband delivered the sermon with his usual way of invigorating the verses and involving the audience by asking questions with them supplying reasons and answers. The sermon was followed by the alter call and then, benediction. After the service, our guests stayed to let us know how much they enjoyed the service. That was almost 10 years ago. After that they were regulars at church, singing, reading scripture, teaching Sunday School, and proclaiming God’s glory!

In our 10 years of friendship (familyship) we shared many lunches, dinners, and visits. Getting to know each others family members and habits. Knowing how much love and devotion N and G had with each other, my heart breaks to know that she will have to adjust to living alone. She and her husband did almost everything together. You rarely saw one without the other.

Things about Nathaniel:

Favorite Verse: “This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

Favorite Songs: Lord, If I Got My Ticket, Can I Ride and I Surrender All along with many others . . .

Favorite Food: All of it

Favorite Saying: Anything worth having is worth asking for.

Nathaniel lived with determination and spirit. His zest for life was apparent in his words and in his walk. He was loving and giving, and his love of God was more than just lip-service.

Nathaniel collected and sold metal and other things for a living. He called himself (laughingly) a “junkman” but in reality he was a treasure hunter. Oh, the stories he could tell about his adventures with his wife backing up every story as the truth. We would laugh in joy and amazement at his adventures.

Our short dinners would usually go well past 2 hours as we ate and shared stories. Visits were more like sit-ins because nobody wanted to be the first to leave. Even at church, when the service was over, most of us would stand around talking every Sunday for another while.

Nathaniel was loved and will be missed.

His Glory

Every morning of my life I awaken to the sounds and sight of God’s glory, the first thing being the song of birds outside my window (rain or shine).

After I am up, the window coverings are opened, allowing in the starlight, or moonlight . . . then the rising sun. If clouds are overhead, there is still the soft light of day.

The greenery outside, either stands still and upright welcoming greatness, or does a praise dance accompanied by the winds. A dance that includes the waving of branches (hands), the swaying of stems or trunks (bodies); the whisper of air through branches (voice) extolling the hallelujahs that are due.

Every living creature that is blessed to do so, moves, by the power of the holy spirit. Whether one is a believer or an atheist the scriptures proclaim, “‘As surely as I live,’ says the LORD, every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will confess and give praise to God.'”

The mountains of Ashville, NC (photo credit: B. Goodjoin)


A Simple Kindness

There was nothing unusual about the start of the day. I awakened before the alarm rang out the hour–nothing unusual for me. The shower was a comfortable temperature, and after I dried and dressed for the day, my tea was hot and ready to be poured. I opened the cabinet to get my cup and enjoyed my moments of quietness.

After the tea, I strummed my guitar and listened as my favorite neighbors (the birds) sang their morning song. As I prepared to leave for work, it began to rain…slowly at first and then, a heavier rainfall that drummed against the rooftop, and ran in rivulets across the driveway and beyond. As I grabbed the umbrella and keys, my husband came into the den saying, “Honey, I will take you to work and drop you off at the door so that you don’t have to cross the puddles.” Yes, I was thrilled that even after all the years of marriage, that he cared enough to leave the warmth of our home to brave the weather for my benefit. A simple kindness, yes, but the thought and action worth more than a rose or a diamond for Valentine’s day.

WHEN THE SCALES ARE OFF

The scale (pictured above) is a representation of society. Yes, it is an unbalanced scale–the question is, “How do we bring it into balance so that ALL PEOPLE ARE TREATED FAIRLY?”

When JUSTICE is not blind, but peeking from behind the blindfold…

Weighing not, the CONTENT OF CHARACTER…

Decisions based on the COLOR OF SKIN–the COUNTRY OF ORIGIN…

Fearing the ADVANCEMENT of a RACE other than your own…

PROFILING and PLANTING EVIDENCE..

LYNCHING everything including HOPE

HOW DO WE BALANCE THE SCALES… or do you believe…they are…okay…

CAN YOU SMELL THE RAIN?

Rising long before the sun, I opened the blinds covering the windows; I unlocked the front door and went outside. It was cold and dark, except for the occasional lights of random cars passing by. I felt a breeze–smelled the odor of rain on the way. Rain would start falling in less than 15 minutes was my guestimate. I smiled.

According to my husband, I have an uncanny way of sensing the time of events, like rain or snow, illness, and phone calls (telephone telepathy) if you will. It comes from years of observation, I believe. Practicing AWARENESS of sound and smell. Noticing that people have patterns of action that are hard to break. It’s all about observation.

Take a moment just to sit still and feel what your internal body and mind are experiencing. Notice the temperature, the sounds your body makes, the rate at which you breath, the sounds in your environment.

Use your sense of hearing, sight, taste, smell, and touch to do more that just indulge in things that bring you pleasure. When is the last time you actually sat quietly and listened to a person–looking into their eyes–noticing how their breathing changes with different emotions, hearing their heartbeat, empathizing, and realizing that you are one spirit even though you are not the same physical body…

COAL IN THE STOCKING

The big day–Christmas–has come and gone and I am in the midst of a much needed vacation. It is always so wonderful to have the time to sit down with family and friends and not have to check my watch as I think about having to get up early for work the next morning. I am generally an “early bird” getting up at 4 or 5 a.m., but during this extended vacation I have been staying in bed until 6, thanks to the encouragement of my husband.

The funny thing about Christmas this year–coal in the stockings! Seriously, the kids had never seen coal before (we laughed so hard, my husband and I) at their reactions. I explained the uses of coal and how important it was when I was a child. We even had people over later that evening who were begging for a lump of coal! HILLARIOUS! So no surprises for next Christmas–you KNOW what you will be getting 🙂


ALL WE REALLY HAVE IS EACH OTHER…

Peeping through the blinds of the living room window, I see the snow on the ground.  This photo was taken during the snow of January 2018. I  remember being so glad that I had heat, and if the power should happen to fail, I had the fireplace as a second source of heat.

This morning (December 2018)  we have a forecast of possible snow for the weekend.  I awakened at 1:30 a.m. and felt the cold on the tip of my nose. I wrapped the blanket around me to ward off the cold as I scampered to adjust the thermostat on the wall.  The child  “inside” is looking forward to enough snow to play in…The adult me knows that the beauty of snow has an ugly side. Snow is  a dangerous thing for those  who are not prepared for it do to, ability, income, and homelessness.

I am a big believer in  donating to shelters, Red Cross,  and to other causes that are supposed to help the needy.  My husband and I help people directly, because as you know, there are always people who will be left out for one reason or another.  These days, we,  never know when WE may be on the receiving end of needing help.

The blessings of abundance are many times taken for granted…until they are gone.  Every year, there are people all over the world (USA included) who lose homes and possessions to fire, flood, landslides, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, and other major events. These people will find themselves standing in line for help.  As we know, insurance agencies  do not cover everything, IF they will even help at all (loopholes).  So all we really have is each other.

ALL WE REALLY HAVE IS EACH OTHER!  Regardless of status, ethnicity, nationality, political standing,  or whatever system is used to classify people, all we really have is…each other.

In my blog archives (September 28, 2017) I wrote a poem titled “STANDING IN LINE”. It is as true today as it was then.  Take a moment to read it.  Thank you!

 

 

 

 

 

THE SMELL OF FALL IS IN THE AIR

 

Fall! The season of changing leaves and cooler weather, and Thanksgiving.  I love the look and smell of Fall!  Here in SC the leaves have began the  ritual of changing color.  The mornings and evenings are very cool, and the days are just gorgeous.   Great for longs walks, and playing outside.

What does fall smell like?  It smells fresh and cool in the mornings as I enjoy my hot tea on the back porch.

What does fall sound like? Sometimes I wrap myself in a blanket as I enjoy the early morning peace of glistening stars and chirping insects and croaking frogs.  The birds start their first songs of the day before sunrise. I can hear the sounds of automobiles in the distance–sometimes the deep rumble of trucks on the highway.  Often I hear the engines of airplanes as their blinking lights cross the sky.

What does fall feel like? It feels like love.  Sometimes cold, sometimes hot. Usually refreshing, even when its raining.  The first frost is invigorating. It’s a time of warning to prepare for the winter that is sure to come.

What does fall look like? It looks like the rainbow in the sky dripped color into nature. The trees adorn themselves in gay colors and as the leaves age, turn brown and fall, they look like rain, only bigger and more colorful–  Of course, the evergreens are always green…just to remind us that spring and summer are just a few short months away.

Fall is the perfect time to slow down, enjoy the beauty of nature, and enjoy time with family and friends over dinner.