Sunday, November 28, 2010

Part II: Mucal-Invaders--Sky Blue and Black

    Oh my….It is 12:02 p.m. It is late and I am up; working to breathe out of alternating nostrils and coughing up, what I can only assume, are chunks of lung….But maybe not even my own. Maybe I have coughed so much that I have actually activated the original person’s DNA that gave me this nasty, shopping-cart-licking mucal-invader. Do you think we get a bit of that person’s DNA with the virus?  I mean think about it; I bet we get a trace of DNA from the last person or animal the mosquito bit before it bit us. So why not a smidge of the snot-blowing, virus-flinging typhoid Mary’s DNA? If that scares you then just put it right out of your mind.
    Now, I cannot go to bed and lie there barking like a seal until my husband has to smother me with my own pillow. And, what did I used to do when this happened? Well, I read (which I still do. I am not a complete Gomer.) or I did puzzles; maybe Sudoku or crosswords…..then *ominous music* I got my laptop!
    It’s too late for me now. I am addicted to blogging, FB and Mahjong. I cannot help it. I live in a snow filled crack. So I sit here lapping up all the technology I can get, which is not much, but I am enjoying my MP3 player as well. Most of my music is happy. I mean I programmed it! But then I forget that sometimes I put some sad ones on there too. Like right now I am enjoying “Mr. Orson Brawl” by 100 Monkeys. (Excellent indie band).But earlier I listened to “Sky Blue and Black” by Jackson Browne. Oh that song is so haunting. Not sad exactly, but when you are a bit under the weather it clutches at you. It is in your soul and your spirit somewhere that it affects you, but probably closest to your spleen.
    See, some people think your spirit is located in one place in your body, I think your mind is the seat of the soul which is your personality, your likes and dislikes your adoration of certain people and your aversion to broccoli, whether you hate math or love to read Tolstoy... I mean, think about it, the mind and the brain are two very different things. You can change your mind, but you can't change your brain. But I think your spirit utterly infuses every part of you, I think it is in every corner of you, every cell, every hair and every finger! When you die and it leaves, it flies out of every cell in your body. When your soul and spirit (they are a package deal) go we cannot imagine all they take with them. Every bit of the essence that is ‘you’ is in there. Everything that makes you laugh or cry, makes you happy or sad, your personality, everything flies away…….But that is just a theory, try not to think about it.     
     Oh, dang! Pffft! My MP3 just died. Well that certainly makes the cheese more binding, and the night quieter. But that is not a bad thing either. Silence is a beautiful thing. I don’t hear a lot of it these days, which is fine. But sometimes don’t you just crave it? I do. Silence rests the soul and the mind. Did you know that scientists say that the same cells that are in your brain can be found in your intestines? It’s true. See what I mean? So, is that why people say they get a “gut feeling”? And, is that why paying your bills each month can be nature’s laxative? I believe so. That's your soul which is intertwined into your spirit, which  is everywhere you are baby!
   Ha Ha, I bet I sound all “New-agey” here, well I’m not! I know that these days being a fundamentalist sounds like a dirty word, but I am very fundamental in my Christianity. Still, I think about these things. No haters please. No scathing posts. If you don’t like my blog don’t read it. Sorry, I am cranky, it is the coughing; I may have just dislodged an eyeball……
     All I am saying is that; all we know, even all the big brains like Einstein and Hawking and the Professor and Mary Ann…no wait sorry…I lost my train of thought….okay, all the collective knowledge of all of humankind could fit into a thimble compared to what is to be known out in God’s vast universe. I do however hold the Bible as the true word of the Creator of the Universe. So, if I believe that animals go to Heaven, and there is nothing in the Bible to disprove that, then I know my little Otis will be waiting for me (my little pug baby we lost a year ago).
    See these are the kinds of things I sit up thinking about late at night. Now add to that this Mutant-Commie-Viral-Invader and my mind just gets ever-so creative. Like for instance; in your life, what has been the best decade so far? Think about it. Is it right now or do you hearken back to the good old days?
      I liked the eighties a lot. Again no nasty posts please. I am not saying I am a Boy-George, or Wham lover. I am just saying I liked that time a lot. I liked the music, I liked that phase of my life, poor and stupid, but happy. Raising our children and Wang-Chunging, and truly feeling with all my heart that it was Hammer-time….
       I am not saying that now is not good too. There is so much beauteous grace all around me. There are so many possibilities. Who knows what God has in store? I trust that there will be spring, and days of golden light. I trust that I will walk in the foamy ocean again at sunset. I like it then, when the waves, pink and gold and silver flow over my feet. I trust that I will get to enjoy the way it looks when I stare up through the bower of wisteria leaves above me in our backyard and the sunlight filters through just right. I think about all the ideas for paintings that I have and I know that I if I am fruitful and busy, I might get through a tiny fraction of them in my life-time. But, alas I am not always so busy or fruitful. Still, now is good.
   Now I get a chance to tell people about Jesus and try as best as I can to mirror the love of God (even in the screaming-baby-check-out line). Now is the moment I am in. It’s all I get for sure, which is kind of suck-y if you are sounding like a cat coughing up a fur-ball. But, it is still okay. Even with a nasty case of Commie-Virus-Mucal-Invaders, I know that life is a gift. I mean, just listen to “Sky Blue and Black”…..P.S. Jesus loves you very much……tee-hee... snuck it in on you! I have to go now. It’s time for more medication.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Commie-Viruses and Talking Turkeys

     The night before Thanksgiving I felt it. Creeeping up, all sly and villainous. *gong-sound* It was The Crud. I think I may have mentioned that I have fibromyalgia. Just like I may have mentioned that I like to paint, or hate snow….Sorry, I am now about to redundantly, obnoxiously revisit my ailment. Oh Lord, I am becoming just like those old people you edge away from at the doctor’s office that will tell you about their prostate or their acute angina, before you have a chance to bury your nose in a dog-eared Golf-Digest magazine from 1994.  They may have acute angina, well I have nice knees. Big deal…..
     Now where was I? Oh yes, about me…..I could feel it, so I knew it was coming with an agenda. My fibro usually dulls my spider-senses to these things. I always feel flu-ish and poopy anyway, so I often can’t tell I am getting something new until I am embracing the toilet as though it were a long lost relative, or I have begun to stumble around, clutch my head and moan. For instance, when I went to get my flu shot they sent me home with no shot, because I had a fever hovering around 100 degrees. Huh….I have low-thyroid so I usually have the temp of a cadaver after about three hours gone. Around 95-96.6 so this was like really having a temp!   
     So, anyway this new hypo-gurucus headed straight for my lungs. *gong-sound* It did not pause in my nose, except to trick me into thinking it was a mere sinus headache…..no it came charging in the night before Thanksgiving and set up shop. I pictured all those little green blobs, like on the commercials, full of attitude and mucous. Grrr. I took all kinds of home remedies. They did NOT work. “E-mergency” is a sham! Teas are useless. Viruses scoff at these drinks and use them in their little tiny hot tubs. They use zinc and vitamin–C as party Hors D'Oeuvres. “Have another zinc on toast!” They laugh gaily.
   This morning I got up feeling like Godzilla was stomping around in my chest. It makes you move ever so carefully. I could hear the turkey making noises in the fridge. Oh sure it is headless and plucked, but it still demands to know who is going to put it out of its naked shame. A golden brown turkey is a happy turkey.
      My daughter had to work, that let her off the hook. Jacob (our youngest) would have tried to shove it in the microwave on high for 3 minutes and say “Waaaa-Laaaaa!” (I know it’s voila, Shudd-up!) Dennis (our oldest)  poked at it a couple of times through the netting in a puzzled manner. Poor little Charly had a look like a deer caught in headlights; first Thanksgiving at the in-laws and that is a lot to ask of a new little bride. My hubby would have tried, bless him,  he would have. But we won't discuss the outcome of that in my delicate state.
   Well the turkey may have been talking, but it wasn’t going to hop in the roaster by itself. So I did my thing. Hey, I wore gloves, and coughed into my jammie shirt. At this point I had the chills and thought of climbing in right along with it, but I knew it was too tight a squeeze... Well, as I was up anyway, I staggered around and made a bunch more stuff, which I hear is pretty good. But, everything has a weird taste to me. Charly helped me, bless her little bones. Great deviled-eggs, girl…so I hear….but nothing seems right to me! *gong-sound*
     My Mom and Step-Dad were supposed to come; but one croak on the telephone and they backed out faster than Sarah Palin refusing a White House dinner party (NOT that she would be invited, unless there was also a knife-thrower for the dinner-show) take that as you wish, I am non-political……But later, I made up a care package for my parents and they grabbed it and ran like rabbits.
     Word is they thought it was yummy too. Either I cook wicked-good when I am sick, or everybody is humoring me! How will I ever know?... I think I got a scald on that bird though! The fam was actually changing into their meat-pants. Oh you wicked, wretched virus...you ruined my fun, but you didn’t ruin theirs. Ha Ha!!!
     I hear all viruses come from China! I believe this is some sort of Commie-Plot,
 "HA! You Capitalistic Pig. We send you the swine flu. May your big American turkey have flavor of boot-leather. May your decadent gravy have many lumps….."   *gong-sound*
    I looked around on Facebook today. Some of my friends had fancy tables and lots of family pictures. I did actually get showered and dressed, but only because as I was cutting off all of  the trappings from the turkey, frozen meat and ice went into my eyeball and hair. If someone had dared to pull out a camera they would have immediately been pureed into the celery spread. Eventually, in the afternoon we all finally grabbed a chair, said grace and dug in. Not a flower on the table!
     We watched the episode of WKRP where Mr. Carlson, as a publicity stunt, throws live turkeys from the back of a helicopter. My favorite line ever is, “As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.” I enjoyed that especially in an attempt to bum out my commie-virus. I am sleepy now due to medication and don’t want to talk to you anymore. Doesn’t mean I don’t love you. I do. Doesn’t mean I don’t want your prayers for good health and the death of the commie-virus, I desperately do. I just want to go lay my weary bones down. Let sleep knit the raveled sleeve, and all that.
     And, about your Thanksgiving, if you had flowers on the table and wine glasses, divoon! If you all dressed in your finest and all the kiddies were adorable I am glad. If Norman Rockwell would be envious, I salute you. And, I am very thankful you had it my lovely, lovely friends. Now I am going to bed and hope for a light coma. Nothing serious, you understand; just a wee bit of obliteration until morning. *faint, faint gong-sound*

Friday, November 19, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

     To all of you who are new to this magnificent country; those visiting, those immigrating, and those hiding in the trunk…We would like to take a moment to perform a public service and explain this glorious tradition which we call, “Thanksgiving”.
  According to Wikipedia, the absolute rock-solid source for all your information needs:  “Thanksgiving Day is a harvest festival celebrated primarily in the United States and Canada. Thanksgiving was a holiday to express thankfulness, gratitude, and appreciation to God, family and friends for which all have been blessed of material possessions and relationships. Traditionally, it has been a time to give thanks for a bountiful harvest. This holiday has since moved away from its religious roots.
     In the United States, Thanksgiving Day falls on the fourth Thursday of November. In Canada it is celebrated on the second Monday in October.
      The precise historical origin of the holiday is disputed. Although Americans commonly believe that the first Thanksgiving happened in 1621, at Plymouth Plantation, in Massachusetts, there is strong evidence for earlier celebrations in Canada (1578) and by Spanish explorers in Florida (1565).Thanksgiving Day is also celebrated in Leiden, in the Netherlands.”
As we can see, The Canadians get theirs over with earlier. Wikipedia would have us believe it is always the second Monday in October, unless it is a leap year or the Prime Minister is feeling cranky. Ours supposedly has to do with some pilgrims and Indians. We don’t know what the Canadian’s story is. We could check that out on Wikipedia too, but we don’t want to, so if you would look into it, that would be great, thanks.
    And who knew about Leiden? We suspect Wiki is just making that up. We have serious doubts that there even is a “Leiden”. All though we are fairly sure there is (are?) a Netherlands, they just sound like they should be lower on the map that’s all.
   Plus, can you believe the “Precise historical origin of the holiday is disputed.”??? Nobody shared that piece of information with us in grade school when we were tracing our hands to make turkeys and making silly hats out of construction paper and glue….Also; apparently the Spanish were Giving Thanks WAAAAY earlier down in Florida! But do they ever get any credit? Heck no! It is not like chips, salsa and quesadillas are traditional Thanksgiving Day fare. If we were the Spanish government we would write a harshly worded telegram to the President every November asking “What is up, Por favor????”
     Anyway, foreigners, here is what happens on Thanksgiving Day; Friends and families spend the day in prayer being ever-so-grateful to God for all of their blessings. Then, they dress up in their best clothes (That’s right! Just like in the commercials!) And they sit down to a beautifully adorned table that Grandma and Mom have been decorating for days: a gathering that puts Norman Rockwell to shame. (Foreigners, if you do not know who that is, look him up on Wikipedia, apparently he is famous for the Mona Lisa)
     Anyway, Dad used to have to go out and shoot the turkey himself, but no more, thanks to the magical turkey fairies! We just go and buy them straight from the store now, just as God intended; featherless, headless, with their own heart, neck and gizzard stuffed up their butts and frozen harder than a Titanic ice berg. (However; we are very suspicious of the “gizzard” and believe it is something the turkey fairies made up as a prank) So, this leaves extra time for Dad to help with all of the holiday fixins’…..just ask him! Often he will actually go and retrieve the turkey-shaped, lumpy, bowling-ball-type-thing for you, straight from the freezer!
     Traditional fare includes; homemade pies, home-grown corn and yams (which are really only sweet potatoes with an attitude) homemade rolls and freshly churned butter. And, a highly suspicious dish made from green beans and french-fried onions, which we are pretty sure the pilgrims did not enjoy----at all. After the hearty feast Americans will often sit and string dried cranberries in preparation for Christmas or whittle by the fire. Dad and the kids usually shoo Mom and Grandma out of the kitchen to do the clean-up work.
     Ha-ha foreigner, ask any American and they will tell you that we are pulling your leg! (Please adjust your Lederhosen and, or, Kilt). Oh sure, lots of families still do many of the traditional “festivities” if you count; football, two minutes of parade, interrupted by six minutes of commercials aimed at your children, causing them to shriek every few minutes, “I WANT THAT FOR CHRISTMAS!”, large quantities of malt beverages and horribly uncomfortable family arguments with relatives you avoid like the plague for the rest of the year, “traditional”.
   Also we are “joking” (big fat liars) when we spin the yarn about the men helping. Oh some will try….they will bring a plate or a bowl to the women in a puzzled manner, as though they had never set foot inside an actual kitchen before in their lives. They will even try to help “load” the dishwasher by doing it completely wrong, their eyes glued to the television as they drip gravy from the dangling plate onto their shoes. This causes the dog to follow them around in an excited manner for the rest of the day. But, since they will only be moving to the couch to groan and undo their belts, it’s a sort jaunt for Rover too.
   But, now is the time for confession dear foreign friend (we are friends, right?). The only thing “home-made” on our table this year will probably be the stains on the cloth from last year….We usually have Mrs. Smith or Sara Lee make our pies. Also; we throw away enough tinned cans in our house on Thanksgiving Day to create a metal sculpture in the town-square back in your homeland (Trust me; it won’t matter where that is.) We have actually seen butter-churns in quaint little antique shops, and laaaughed! Yes, sadly we are a fraud and a sham. Seriously, if we could afford a caterer we would dance wildly around our house, giving all kinds of thanks!
     But really the question is; are we really thankful? Do we really remember on this day where all of our blessings come from? If we remember that all good things come from the hand of God then it doesn’t matter what our feast looks like. It doesn’t even matter if our pies are home-made. Or if after dinner, Uncle Harland keeps asking all the kids to pull his finger.
    Sadly, Wikipedia was right when it stated that the holiday has moved away from its religious roots. This can be a very scary world (is that why you chose America?) and we need to remember where our blessings come from every day. We need to live in a state of gratefulness and appreciation for everything we have because it could be gone in a heartbeat. That’s what the pilgrims knew, and we are sure, the Canadians, Spanish and the Leidenians as well. Happy Thanksgiving everybody!!!!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

For My Mother

     My Momma told me it is time to write a new blog. She says I have left the old one on here long enough and she is bored with the ads. She is my biggest fan. She clicks on all of the ads to make me a smidgen of money. But in the process she has actually explored some good sites and found some really interesting things. I, myself, am not allowed to click on my own ads. This is true. Google gets very testy if you do that as a blogger and will take away all of your pennies.
    At this stage in my life I try to do what my Momma says. I tried hard as a child, but would often forget what she asked me to do approximately 2.5 seconds after she asked…..At first she just thought I was being disobedient. But I remember the day (here, I was about eight or nine) when I could see a sort of comprehension steal over her face. She looked at me with a mixture of wonder and pity and said, “You really do completely forget. You really aren’t trying to disobey me….” And she was right. I have always had the memory of a gnat, which I made even worse in the 70’s, if you are receiving my drift.
    Now, speaking of the 70’s; I did turn into a rotten teenager. I wasn’t so much openly rebellious as I was a sneaky little (bad word). My sister was a child of the 60’s, openly a hellion; she drove my mother to the brink. I watched where it got her: in to ever so much trouble. I decided; that was not the way of the Tonya. No, the way of the Tonya was stealthy, tricksey, sly and slippery, much like a bad Ninja only much clumsier. My poor Momma. If it burned, I smoked it. If it was liquid, I drank it. (Well for the most part; I did avoid rope and Draino). And I lied like a dog. I would lie just for practice. It was sort of my only sport, as I was not an athletic child. If it suited my purpose and kept my parents in the dark…then I fibbed.
     My point in this is not to share my misspent youth, but to tell you about my amazing Mother. She is the loveliest thing. I wish I could take back all the youthful shenanigans I inflicted upon her. If I could take back every gray hair I gave her over my ridiculousness she would be, well salt & pepper actually, because my sister was an equal stress-producer for our Mother as well. (Disclaimer; Sorry Sissy but you were…..sometimes my sister reads my blog…)  
    My Momma loves with the heart of God. She loves openly and forthrightly. She doesn’t judge us, and if she does, then she keeps it silently to herself and does not criticize. Her advice is 99% spot-on. Sorry Mommacita, but every now and then that 1% does show up. Remember when you thought it would be a good idea for me to join that organization (which will remain nameless) even though you, yourself would not join a group with actual people in it, of any kind, even if they offered you large sums of money? Remember how I quit after two mind-numbingly agonizing meetings? Remember how you thought it was funny that they kept calling for over a month asking me why I quit? Right there….boom! There’s your 1%.
     Mommy, we have both noticed that whatever I write about in my posts determines the ads, right? So I thought I would put some interesting words in here, in hopes that you have some much more fascinating ‘clicks’.  Here it goes: Leprechauns, Whales, Antiques, England, The Louver, The Aegean Sea, The Holy Lands, Faeries, Tom Jones, George Clooney, Diamonds and Rubies, Jerusalem, Maxfield Parrish Skies, Willa Cather, Fire Flies, Beautiful Parks, Pumpkin Cheesecakes and Elephants.
I wish this was a better tribute to you Mom. I wish I could write better about every little beautiful thing you do. I wish I could write about all the time you actually spend on your knees in prayer for us, and how you see the achingly beautiful things in this world, and how, without being one bit suicidal, how you long for the next one. I wish I could explain better about how, no matter what happened in my childhood, I always felt safe if you were there. I wish I could really describe how you get so tickled when you see people fall down. And, how you can’t help it, but it makes you laugh until you cry. And, how your granddaughters do the same thing.
     Thank you, Momma. Thank you for all the sleepless nights you spent over me, and all the hard work. Thank you for all your generosity; both materially and of spirit. You bless me every day, and I realized that I had a forum where I could say so. So I am. I pray God’s blessings on you. I pray health to your bones and joy for your spirit. I pray goldenly happy days for you with no loneliness. I pray that you really know, deep down how loved you are. And, I pray that you get some new killer-good ads on here to click on!!!  

Tonya Willman ©2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Who Will Remember?

    In this world, in the eons of time that people have lived upon this planet their numbers have become like the sands on the shores. Like the stars in the sky. Too many to even begin to comprehend or know. Oh, we can read about a few of them in history books and biographies and in God’s great word. But really, even then, we can only know small facets of their lives. Each person is so unique, whether you liken them to a diamond, or a snake, good or evil. Each person has facets. And even the best of story tellers can only show you the very tiniest view into the window of that person’s life.
     Everyone wants to be remembered, but only a few are dusted off from the sands of time now and again to be recollected and studied. Hated or admired. Let’s take you for example; the person reading this right now. You are somebody’s child, possibly sibling, spouse, parent, aunt, uncle, friend…. This list could go on much longer. But let’s say you are a wonderful parent. Your children grow up and know that. Your actions and their stories teach your grandchildren that you are a wonderful grandparent. And someday your great grandchildren will learn that too, even if you have left this world by then, they will hear the stories.
      But then, your great, great grandchildren may not know as much about you. If you are still alive by their adulthood, they may know that you really don’t know a person from a pencil…But they hear that you used to be heaps of fun! Now we come to your great, great, great grandchildren. You are a story that periodically gets told. You could be pieces of furniture or paintings or some ephemera that your family has saved along with some aged photographs. Some people love antiquity, they might be fascinated; most will acknowledge your life only in passing.
   Oh sure, if you were Churchill, or Einstein or Madame Curie, or even Stalin or Hitler the family would pay you a lot more attention, and probably try to design a theme park around you or at least a Museum. Wow, let’s say you were Elvis or M.J. you would have your own legacy in Graceland/Never-Never Land…for a while.
   But time passes even for the most interesting and extraordinary people. Every minute somebody leaves this planet with a fascinating story. Most of them never get told. Some get remembered for a time, most fade from memory within one to two generations. All of that history and all of those enthralling, and intriguing life stories passing from memory. That includes you. Sorry, but it does. Beautiful souls leave every day, like passengers boarding train after train. Who will remember that this one put out the food for the birds and that one took soup to the sick or helped clothe the needy?
   Some people will do anything to be remembered; famous or infamous, noteworthy or notorious. It means a lot to a lot of folks. But Even if you are remembered for a while, nobody is going to remember everything. All the funny things you did. All of the challenges you overcame. All of the thoughts that you never shared because you didn’t think anyone would care, or they were too private, or you were too embarrassed. All of the dreams and aspirations, and real reasons and intentions behind your actions and decisions that made up the sum total of your life. Because no one can know them all, even if they were to work on a biography about you every single day as their own life’s pursuit.
    Well that is not entirely true. In fact; it is not true at all. There is someone who remembers it all. He knows and He keeps track. Not on some big score card; here’s a total of all the good, here’s a total of all the bad, nope. But He really knows your life. Every single detail. To Him you will NEVER be forgotten.  For all of eternity your life will be fascinating and of the utmost importance to Him. Of course you know I am speaking of God. You know I am saying that Christ knows you intimately, whether you choose to acknowledge Him or not. But how can it be? Millions get wiped out at a time in catastrophes….Countless forgotten people through time, turned to dust in this world, beyond remembrance. He cannot possibly care, or keep track. Oh yes He can, and He does.
    What about the ignorant serf that died eight hundred years ago in a plague? What about the gang members today that look at life as something to waste and pour out on to the ground like a flat soda? That person? Who cares, he was a gang member. Drive-bys happen every day. He made no contributions. He did not matter. SO not true. That person mattered. That serf, that gang member mattered. God will not forget them, ever. His word says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” Jeremiah 1:5. It also says that He knows how fragile we are, He knows how short or how long our time here on Earth is. He knows the exact day we will die. That is not the point.
    The point is that; that place within us that needs to be special, needs to be remembered is the place He set up for Himself. Jesus said that He is so interested in us that even the hairs on our heads are numbered!!!
    If you don’t like to think about your own death because it scares or depresses you, you are not alone. If you feel like all of your days, and work and tears and laughter and the very essence of who you are will be forgotten, take heart, they will not.
    Life in this world is fleeting. The Bible says we are like the grass that springs up and then quickly withers away. But, oh what is waiting beyond!  And everybody will meet Him and He will remember every day, every thought, word and deed.
     If that scares you ask yourself why. God’s word says, if we know Jesus Christ as our redeemer we do not have to fear. We know that He paid the price for every bad thing we have ever done. We can come joyously and boldly before God. We can sit with Him as He talks with us and remembers…..everything.  

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Shiny,Happy People~~~

     I absolutely believe my family is insane. Doesn’t everyone secretly and sometimes not so secretly believe that? You look at the families around you. And, oh sure you see some incredibly dysfunctional situations. Families so launched that they make the clan in “Deliverance” look like the Osmond's (Whom I think are actually extremely peculiar, and possibly cloned. Note to Marie: get another gig. We know you’ve lost it okay?)
     But, we all know those other families. Everyone is doing swell. They are the shiny, happy people. When you talk to the matriarch’s and patriarchs; aka/people your own age, they always tell you about how Robert is now a brain surgeon and of course Dustin, that little rogue, has become head of the CIA. They all seem to be doing great.
     Oh sure, everybody may live across the country from each other but they just fly, at will, in to visit one another any old time. How is little Katie doing? Oh she is great! They say. She has married a lawyer who charges $1000.00 per hour and they have two adorable children and get their photos done professionally every three to six months. They all look better than any television commercial family out there and everyone has 100 mega-watt smiles, even the newest baby’s two lone teeth gleam as though professionally whitened.
   There are many ways that you can be subjected to all this good news while your family is trying to figure out how to get that oil change and set of tires they’ve had their eye on. Some families will always subject you to the Happy Christmas card photo along with a folksy “family” newsletter about how Jennifer and Todd are now picking out their 5.4 carat rings for the upcoming nuptials. (Registry at Nordstrom’s) So you go to the web site and you realize you would have to take out a small loan for the salt and pepper shakers, but you might be able to pull off purchasing a full place-setting if you sold a kidney.
    You can also get all the news that is fit to print on Facebook. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy Facebook. I drive my family crazy with it. Well, even crazier than they already are! But there is nothing that will grind your self-worth under the heel of humanity more than to find out that the people you always suspected were perfect in high school are jetting off to Paris for a quick family “get-a-way”.
     And because everyone will have one of those cell phones that can do everything except launch the space shuttle, they can also take professional photography quality pictures with some sort of “Black-Droid-Berry-Tooth”. So, you get subjected to 5,493 vacation photos that have been shared or tagged every 9.3 minutes. Oh look! There is Rupert and Laura in the Louvre…and somehow they have gotten special permission to fondle the Mona Lisa! Look how fun! Rupert is such a wag. Don’t drop it Rupert! Oh and Laura will write several LOL’s and say isn’t he a stitch! Yes, Laura he sure is!
     But you are not bitter. You know that it takes all kinds of families to make up this world. And so what if you occasionally feel trapped like a rat in a maze because you live in a tiny little crack-of-a-town that that has you in an iron grip?
      Because what if, just suppose, that behind all of the gloss and shininess they are as crazy as you are? What if they hold on to their children’s accomplishments like the shine on their new Lexus because secretly Jeffery wears a dress or little Ryan has been caught repeatedly in the garage eating the dry dog food straight from the bag along with the King Charles Spaniel, and now that young Cindy is in high school she gets straight F’s, dresses in black and will not eat anything but strawberry Pop-Tarts and sticks of white chalk?
     Families work SO hard to look “normal” and “Successful” and the first thing everyone wants to know is how all of yours are doing. Ahhh, your family; you love them. You are completely proud of them. And yet you find yourself hedging ever so slightly. Oh you would never claim that they had just won the Pulitzer Prize. But you want to be shiny too, yet you know you are really not terribly shiny. You are just an average family that actually counts running to the Wal-Mart as an “outing”.
      You have three rotten dogs that constantly track crud all over your Pergo floors which you couldn’t wait to get, but now they mock you. Oh sure, you started out buffing out every little spot, but you drove yourself and everyone else in the house completely mad. So now you pay no attention to the Rorschach blots they leave everywhere. And you really only notice them when people drop-in and so you try to look at it all through “their eyes.” But don’t do that. I urge you. You will only want to fling yourself off of something very tall. Also do not think about the constant, incessant clicking of 48 dog toes racing to the lone dropped Dorito, just put it right out of your mind.
   So you sit and you take the time to remember that your children can make you laugh until you pee your pants. And your husband works like a dog every day so that he can provide, and come home and share his life with you. You remember that your oldest child is incredibly talented and amazing and has a wit that is sharp as a knife. You remember that your middle child is like gold, precious and lovely and funny and a total pain in your butt. You remember that your youngest is grown, but is still your baby. This one was different and the love and the labor that went into it was all worth is because he shines like a diamond. And then you think about the new additions; the daughter-in-law that is really, truly your friend and the grand children that are wild and woolly and beautiful.
    Even as life hits you from every direction, you begin to see that you do too shine. Yes you do, in your own way. And you know that all though you will probably never need plug adapters or a passport, because you are more likely to tour Alpha-Centari than you are to tour Europe; it is okay. No one else has exactly what you have. And what you have is good. It is what you were given from God. It is up to you to do something shiny with it.
     And I do not mean shiny like Laura and Rupert’s photos, I mean shiny like the things that stand the test of time and count in the next world. Shining thankfulness for the average craziness all around you, for the love and the tears and the pain and the laughter and all the macaroni and cheese. The shine of gratefulness is the brightest light of all and makes for the happiest people, no matter how unsuccessful or successful the world may deem you. Well, look there----- you are one of the shiny, happy people after all…. Tonya Willman ©2010    

Thursday, November 4, 2010

What A Day I'm Having....

     So why is it that when you are having a good day, and all is right with the world…you get whapped with the rolled up newspaper of life? You’re cruising along doing fine, and are actually accomplishing much of what you have set out to do. But then, one silly thing happens and sometimes that is all it takes to make you wish that you could go curl-up like a boiled shrimp and contemplate your navel for a few hours.  
     Sometimes you can just shake certain incidences off, “no big deal” You say, smiling serenely, but the Powers and Principalities will have none of it, and this causes a cascade of poopy, if you will, that begins that downhill roll, picking up momentum, until it turns into a giant avalanche of crud.
     I am a person that truly lives within my emotions. This is not good folks. Oh I envy the analytical minds out there that can just swat away the flies of irritation that like to buzz around us as though we were their own personal garbage dump. But this is not my style. No. At first I will wave it off. Trying to remember all of what I know as a Christian, trying to let the Lord take the situation.  And sometime, lo-and-behold it happens…glorious peace. That is when I am really walking in His Spirit.
     BUT, some days just aren’t that victorious. Some days you don’t see the flies beginning to circle until you suddenly find yourself wishing for some existential Raid! Some “annoying-person-be-gone” Spray, or some industrial sized “incident” traps that will just “Snaaaap” up the situation and, poof! It’s gone. Oh the verminous junk the Powers and Principalities likes to pitch at you.
     Still even as I write this, I begin to calm down. I recognize myself for the dork that I am. I say to myself, “What is your problem? Do you live in a tin-shack or a mud hut? Do you have to haul your brown water in a jug on your head every day for two miles? Do you live in a country where you cannot fart without someone chasing you down in the name of someone else and beating you senseless with sharp sticks?
     Are you the blind woman in the rose garden? Are you the deaf man at the symphony? Are you the piteous individual with their jaw wired shut at the All You Can Eat Shrimp Buffet for $5.99 (beverage and dessert included)? Answer: No, of course you are not, you ungrateful feeb. At once this puts many of the difficulties of the day into perspective.
     Now here; I am talking about the typical kind of flies buzzing day, not those medium-gall and bitter-bitter-wormwood kinds where you find yourself pleading before a judge or watching the doctor stripping off his rubber gloves in a worried manner, or the bank calling to remind you that if you have not vacated by Monday they will be stopping around with the attack dogs. Those kinds of days are somewhere in between the mere annoying and the black and gaping maw. Still you definitely deserve full sympathy from anyone who will listen. If they choose not to, you are allowed to grab them by the shirt collar until they comply.
     And, by God’s grace, this was NOT one of the “Medium” days. And by “Medium” again I mean somewhere in between the “Crud avalanche-fly-buzzing” and the “Severe Retribution of the Sharp Stick.” And since this was merely; an existential fly buzzing, avalanche of poopy, kind of day I give thanks.
     After all; Now, good food is cooking and family surrounds me, and I just got a hug and a note with my name on it from my five year old grandson! So really to complain would be like griping about getting a splinter from the life-boat on the Titanic.
    This was a very cathartic blog post. The kind of blog that may make you say: “Why did she bother?” But it is the kind that gives me back my piece of happy. It shows me glimmers of wonderful. I need that. I need to be reminded on the general “poopy’ days that things could always be a million-jillion times worse and that all of those little flies eventually fly away. And I need to learn to stop living with my
emotions right out there for everyone and everything to tap-dance on. That is my bad. That is where I fail. If I always let everybody else’s whims and emotions control me then I am the prisoner of everyone. Not a good way to live! Not healthy and God is working on that in me.
      Of course, since the last paragraph I have found myself in an argument with my grandson on what he has written on a piece of paper. He started to cry, but I held my ground until his Dad stepped in and refereed. Call me Grandma Wank if you wish, but sometimes you have to stick to your guns….

Tonya Willman ©2010