Saturday, January 29, 2011


How come it’s so far?
Cuz its six blocks away, I already said.
How much farther now?
Oh, shut up! (*sigh)…..
Fine, do you see the gas station sign?
Look! Waaaay down there, it’s that big red and blue Chevron thingy.
Oh yeah…that far, really?
Do you want the ice cream or not?
(*pause)…I want the ice cream…..

Lilly, how come that kid’s pants are so big?
What? I dunno he likes ’em that way; it’s the style I guess.
But, then how come Robert wears his pants tight like skin?
Because it’s his style, there’s lots of styles…sheesh!
Oh…. What’s mine?
What’s your what?
Style, what’s my style?
Well, I don’t think pink shoes and my fuzzy skirt’s annoying.
I think its bee-u-ti-ful.

Well it is annoying, trust me it is, and so are you!
Yep, you are. See that old lady at the bus stop? Maybe I’ll sell you to her.
More ice cream money for me.

(*sigh) Vanna come on! Stop crying, it was goof, I wouldn’t!
She wouldn’t buy you anyway; you’re too runny now; look at your nose!
I can’t look at my own nose! (*many sniffs)
I mean it’s gross wipe it.
Oh, for cryin’ out loud. Gimme your hand, we gotta cross.
Mom says look both ways.
I KNOW what she says Sa-van-nah, I’m not a moron!
What’s a moron?
You!......You know what? It doesn’t matter; never mind. Look how close we are.
What kinda ice cream do you want?
A fudge-ickle.
For your information they are called “fudgesicles”.
That’s what I just said, fudge-ickle.
What kind are you gettin’?
What then?
A Coke,
Lilly, mom says that’s too sugary!
“Mom says, Mom says …I can get a Coke if I want.
(*pause)…. then me too. I wanna Coke.
Fine then……
Really? You won’t tell?
Nope. I won’t if you won’t.
‘Um-Kay. (giggles)
Getting’ Cokes with you is fun.
Yeah? Pull up your socks.
Tonya Willman ©2011

Thursday, January 27, 2011


    The love of God is to be found in the sweetness of the faces of family and friends. What gracious gifts He sends to His children. Most of these, at the least expected of times. How can you measure such love? It comes down in millions of ways. It is to be found in the kindness of those who love us like the petals of flowers and views out of new windows. I have seen it on unfamiliar city streets and up winding paths surrounded with mossy trees and lush rolling hills. I have felt enveloped in His grace, His most unmerited favor, in crisp white sheets on gracious guest beds. And, in warm hugs of old friends that welcomed me the way I think I will, one day, be welcomed by long departed loved ones and angels rejoicing.
     The joy of God is to be found everywhere. It is the most renewable resource in the world, and I somehow forgot that. But I remembered within the silliness and the board games and fabulous food and happy people. I remembered it in walking down old familiar streets, and exploring new pieces of wonderful as well, with dear and lovely friends.
     The peace of God is to be absorbed like divinely saturated molecules that dance and glow; and which are like a billion tiny fireflies even on a rainy day. How did I forget that? The peace of God is knowing that you are loved exactly where you are at the moment; and that those who hold you ever dearer are waiting for your return. The peace of God is often quiet and restful, but sometimes it is loud and exuberant and laughter filled. There is an aerobic peace that comes after a deep belly laugh. It infuses every corner of your soul.
    There is a place in the mind and heart that says; I have to go, I have to see. It is the place that craves change and renewal of spirit. It is also the same place that, while craving change, has a deep longing to go back and see the places you had once inhabited. Remembered bits of dreams and long lost streets, houses and trees. And when you do go there, even if a hundred things have changed, your soul locks on to all the ways it hasn’t changed. There is a place deep inside that discards all the bad, because nothing is perfect, and chooses to sweetly remember the goodness and all the ways it should have been.
   Then, suddenly you realize that you are somehow feeling whole again, even for a small space of time, and you think; “Oh yes, I had forgotten this feeling.” This well-being is the very essence of Spirit-filled mercy. Such respite does not come from anything that is man-made or prescribed. It is just simply the love of God, the friendship of Jesus.
   It is important to seek wellness, to strive for tangible holistic health……but there is this grand thing that is unearned favor, a gracious surcease from anguish that you no longer thought could be found. No physician or counselor on earth can impart this and no amount of money will purchase it. To feel blackness lift and hope rise is to be touched by the hand of God which often flows through the compassion of others. So how come sometimes it feels as far away from you as the moon and stars?
     I think that in this school, this life of learning, we often get the hard tests and the pop quizzes; finding ourselves in corridors and classrooms where we cannot receive it. But then; just when we feel so ground down by the world that we cannot bear another milligram of its weight…..we get recess! God gives us a party. He showers us with gifts of unreasonable sweetness. He shows us a grand old time. He reminds us that while life is often hard, it is also spectacularly fun. Jesus said He would never leave us or forsake us, (no matter how forsaken, at times, we may feel) and He won’t, He truly won’t. And really, how could we ever appreciate all of that goldenness without moving through the blackness as well?  Tonya Willman

Saturday, January 15, 2011

To A Degree

     People love to put all kind of initials after their names, in fact they adore it. Lots of these are very hard earned, and many of them are quite recognizable; PhD, MBA, BA, BS, BBA. Here’s a good one: BSASE, Bachelor of Science Aerospace Engineering. A little obscure…who knew? I, in my ignorance, would have thought it stood for “bring a self-addressed stamped envelope.” Oooo, here is a good one:  JD, Doctor of Jurisprudence. It seems like it should be DJ, but then people would just be trying to hire you out for weddings. Jurisprudence; The philosophy or science of law. So isn’t JD a lot like LLD, Doctor of Laws? (why the extra “L”?) My teeny-tiny mind is ever so confused.
     Here’s a good one: CVES, certified vocational evaluation specialist. I am confident I could do this job. In fact, I do it every day; sadly I am just lacking the certificate. I am sharp as a tack when it comes to evaluating whether someone is in their proper vocation. This has got to be the best certificate to obtain in the world. “Hey you! Yeah you…..you stink at this job!” Voila! But…how to get hired? Who hires you? Obviously, some crack Human Resources team. It’s like those “secret shopper” jobs you always see being touted over the Internet. What a gig! But, who falls in to these professions? You have just GOT to know somebody.
     And it gets so confusing. MD is obviously medical doctor.  MEd, is master of education….  But shouldn’t MEd have something to do with MEd-icine???? Also, just imagine it…what must it be like to be a Master of Education? It boggles the mind. Do you have to know everything about every subject? (I mean come on; you are a MASTER OF EDUCATION) If so, then clearly you are pretty sharp when it comes to med-icine as well. Why, a MEd should be able to get a job doing anything!!!! Hats off and kudos MEd!
    You probably think I have a bad case of education envy. You probably think I am mocking the learned. Not true! I hold some of them in highest esteem. I used to hold all of them in fairly high esteem, but then life happened, and I now know many of them are really just PH-dorks. You could have like, fitty letters after your name and still have the social skills and common sense of moldy bread.
      I hear you saying, “So what! Can you do what they do?” No! In fact at this point I am pretty much qualified for nothing, but this is neither here nor there. I met a Rheumatologist that should have had BSJ after his name for Big Stupid Jerk. Sadly he didn’t, which is too bad because it would have saved us all a lot of time. Later I met a Rheumatologist that should have had an AD, after his name for Awesome Doc.
      Over the top? I’m just saying…Okay then; it would help to have some sort of government verification number even just showing where they graduated in their class. (Talk about a time-saver!!!) Something like: Dr. Filbert M. Foggknocker, MD, PhD, DVM, 437/439. You would know that Dr. F.M.Foggknocker graduated 437th out of a graduating class of 439. See? Easy as a walk in the park to steer clear of him!
     In summary, I myself have a CBE….Certificate in Business Effectiveness. It has people beating down my door to hire me. Seriously it means nothing. It took me a year and a half (grades 13 through most of 14) to complete; and I can now state proudly that I have learned to be a team-player. I just have no team to play on. For some reason businesses seem to shy away from hiring 50-year-old Displaced-Homemakers. That is the term they used for me when I enrolled in the 13th grade (seriously, look it up).
     I think I should be able to add CBE, DH after my name whenever I sign it. I may even have checks printed…..and a plaque. Tonya L. Willman CBE, DH. Yep, I like the sound of that. I will use it to show others how to be effective at…whatever, and I will hire myself out as a consultant on the variables and diversity of The Displaced… (We are a motley crew.) How can I miss in a society that has such a love affair with letters?    Tonya Willman©2011

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Here is my very own haiku poetry. I tried to remember the rules from high school. It was just too much effort. As a result, these are my own hyper-pompous versions. They appear to be haiku-like, but it is a hollow sham.  So please to enjoy most honorable Tonya haiku….
Just the thought!
Words wanting meaning
but really, Teflon
    that slip
Old sailor
not salty at all
wrenching desire;
sharing is more needful
than breathing.
Now, just for someone
to hear
the sea
Doctors move briskly
paper gowns cold and gaping
put my feet where?
Who should have the right to be this intimate?
Not someone with cold hands
and deli sandwich fallout.
Pearls do not go with
A house
full of chirping crickets
each longing to hop away,
each trapped in such a tiny box
what will happen?
Where will these music makers
place their songs
into the world?

I wish they moved me
haikus, I mean.
Overly ostentatious praises
but you don’t get it either.
Of course I did them
all wrong
I have lost the remote
it was the only cure.
No rules.
Brown shoes should always be avoided
with tuxedos.
There is meanness in a plethora of forks.
I am not saying to give up elegance;
Do not embrace the spork…
Yet swans napkins are NOT hats.
Oh TV tray
you are beautiful.
Such utilitarian

Friday, January 7, 2011


     I keep getting ‘water’ metaphors stuck in my head. I noticed I have written a few posts on here about water as well. It is something that seems to be a reoccurring theme in my life. I am in a very strange time of my life right now. It feels very turbulent and choppy. When I was nine years-old I almost drowned; in a weir, which is also very turbulent and choppy. It is a type of canal dam down in the farming valleys that chops everything up (fish too, I suppose) and then spills it all very calmly out on the other side. The other side is very tranquil. But, trust me when I tell you that falling into the roaring, churning water; which is so loud that no one can hear you scream, is definitely a “come to Jesus” moment. My step-father saved my life when everyone finally realized what was happening.
   He dove in to those roiling, angry waters, dove down below me and shoved me up above the surface. By the time he got to me I was ever-so calm. I went from screaming, hysterical panic, having bloodied my fingers, trying to claw my way out of the cement sides, ( here’s a tip…you can’t, well you can’t if you’re nine and cannot swim.) to complete acceptance as I went below the waters and watched the blades churning closer and closer. I had an experience with my step-father and God. First I saw my dad smiling up at me when I looked down at him while we were both submerged, then I heard him tell me two things; first; “I love you.” And second, “Don’t squeeze my neck so tight.” I told him this later after we were pulled on land by my uncle who kicked in the glass to a boxed lifer-preserver. My father told me that he had been thinking those exact things.
   Lately I have come to realize that I often describe my life in terms of water. Calm waters, flipping over and floating, struggling against the currents, going with the flow. I use all these water comparisons for moving through my life constantly, and probably even a dozen more. I realized I use them every day. As my life has become increasingly chaotic I have begun to hear this litany (which I believe is from God) in my head dozens of times a day as the metaphoric waters churn, “Life is a river, just let it flow around you. Stop struggling.”
   That day when I almost drowned feels like it branded me. And, I never really learned to swim very well either. I know that I received grace from God at that moment. It was more than my brain shutting down, or whatever. God made a way for me, moment by moment, and calmed my soul. I love water, I do. And I love the way sunlight looks filtering into it. I clearly remember looking up at the surface of that churning water and I could see all the lovely sunlight coming through in sparkles and spangles and weird golden ribbons flowing into the brown and white motion all around me. And then, I had peace….
    I think I see everything from that view point even now. If the waters “feel calm” I can rest, float, relax, but the moment it gets rough, I now realize more than ever, I begin to thrash around in my life. I begin to flail and try and try on my own. Why do I do that? Why would I ever think anyone except God can control such currents? They are Life.
     Whether I am submerged in trauma, drama or crisis, or whether the surface of my life feels as calm as the other side of the weir is not the point. I must choose every day whether I am going to let it all flow around me, knowing that my Heavenly Father has me, or I can try to do it on my own and keep myself panicky and worn out, the choice is really mine. Hmmm, It seems that I was actually much wiser at nine years old than at fifty… Tonya Willman

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


    So a duck a rabbi and a proctologist walk into a bar……now see, don’t you wish you knew how this turned out? Or even the middle part. So do I. But you know, that is not the point. The point is that the beginning intrigues you so that you desire to know the end. But the meat of the thing is the middle. Some things in life have a definite beginning, life, foot races, lunch and labor pains. And some things have definite endings; books, movies, death and south-ends of north-bound dogs.
   But the middle oh, there is the unknown. The middle can be picked up anywhere. The middle is where you are now, unless of course, you are really close to the end and don’t know it. The middle gives you breathing room. It is the friend that invites you to lunch unexpectedly, and then pays for it! It is the book you picked up at the library just because--- but it turns out to be the best thing you have ever read. The middle is where you say “I am so tired of the same old recipes, and then give yourself a chance to discover new ones, not caring who else may or may not like them.
   The middle is like realizing you’ve been holding your breath for a long, long time and you finally find yourself slowly releasing it and then doing a few more deep breaths for good measure. Your soul can relax in the middle. It is not trying to figure it all out or racing to the finish line. The middle sends you on unexpected walks down tree lined streets. The middle gives you time to stand in the road in awe at the dust motes dancing in the rays of light coming through the trees. And it is the time when you are really learning not to care if anyone may be wondering just what you’re doing standing out there. The middle gives you the courage to even invite them to enjoy it with you. Complete strangers! You could just say to them, ‘how lovely is that!” And even if they begin to slowly edge away, pffft, who cares? That’s just fine.
     No one ever knows where the middle begins to become the end. So many, many people saying; how? When? And, It was only yesterday…..’Do you remember? It was the year the baby had the bad croup.’ That same baby is now seeing his proctologist every year and faking his way through his eye exams.
     This is the middle, people. It is all we’ve got. The middle is this very moment, where I am typing and you may be reading or dreaming or doing your toenails. But it is now. I have to constantly remind myself not to miss it, any of it. Not a moment.
     I spent so many years thinking I just wanted to be 18, and then oh I can’t wait until they are potty trained! Finally ahh, see I have them raised. Yes I do, and now what? Now? Now is the middle! The ridiculous thing is I could have seen it as the middle so many years ago. And it could have been such a big middle too, a grand, wide-open giant of a middle. But I was just way too busy trying to work through the beginning as fast as I could.
     What a shame to believe life is a race. What most people believe is the preparation for the journey…is the journey. Every moment could be a very important middle point to stop and absorb. Mostly we are oblivious, we rarely absorb. How many moments have I missed? Probably thousands and thousands. But no matter because this is the middle, as far as I know. As far as my finite mind can see, I am in the middle of my life and in the middle of the moment.
     So what about the end? What if it is closer than we think? This is the important thing. We must not see the middle as lasting forever. The middle is the perfect time to figure out what God has to say about the end. Because the end is really just the beginning all over again in that ‘undiscovered, never-ending, country”.

Tonya Willman ©2010