Thursday, November 29, 2012

Again, he makes me cry. And this time in PUBLIC!

Okay.  This just about did me in, and in a crowded coffee shop, no less.  It doesn't help that I've probably been more inexplicably weepy the last few days than I've been in my life, but Single Dad Laughing's follow up post to Anything Other Than Straight just emphasized what I was thinking about when I read his coming out post.  And Then I Heard It actually had me holding my breath, sitting on the edge of my seat, biting my tongue and wanting to fix everthing for someone I don't even know.  LOVE unconditionally.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Commando-like Courage!

I think of all the things that I'm afraid of, silly things in my little life that take courage, and the little "problems" that keep me awake at night, and then I read something like this and realize what true bravery is.  Single Dad Laughing's newest post, Anything Other Than Straight.  I've already seen his courage in the posts, I'm Christian, Unless You're Gay and 16 Ways I Blew My Marriage, but his latest took some serious gumption to write.  When reading it, I was reminded again that I have no problems, no reason to be up worrying at night, nothing to complain about, no reason to feel uncomfortable in my own skin when there are people struggling so hard just to be allowed to say who they are. 

I am fed up with the ridiculous notion that homosexuality is a choice.  I think that anyone who believes that has never had a conversation with someone who is gay.  As a straight an as arrow female who was always attracted to the opposite sex, I never understood homosexuality until I did open my mind and begin conversing on the subject, right from the source.  The act of homosexuality literally turns my stomach because I am not gay.  But that doesn't mean it isn't real!  Heterosexuality may seem just as revolting to a person of same-sex orientation.  I soon began to see it from another point of view when a homosexual co-worker told me that even though he had been in a relationship with his partner for 20 years, he still couldn't tell his parents because his father would have disowned him and his mother would have keeled right over from a massive heart attack, the shock would have been so great.  As a mother, this was one of the most heartbreaking things I had ever heard.  Of course I would want my children at any age to be able to come to me with anything.  Of course I would accept them for who they are no matter what.  How sad that some parents have conditions.

Then I imagined how it would feel if the majority of people were homosexual and if homosexuality was the "norm" and heterosexuals were expected to conform, to pray the straight away as homophobes expect homosexuals to "pray the gay away".  Could I force myself to be a homosexual to fit into society and keep my family happy if that were the norm?  No way.  How ridiculous is that?! Celibacy would be my life choice and I'm sure it would be a sad, miserable, fearful life to hide what I really felt.  I can't do that to anyone else, so even though I'm straight, I can't think less of someone who courageous enough to face criticism for living their true lives.  I don't think anyone should.  And I don't mean that I "love them anyway".  I'm sick to death of such statements, I mean that I really get it.  I can never relate, but I see it.  What I mean is that everyone should take another look and really see what your Bible says about it if that's the premise you are so adamant to stand on concerning homosexuality.

And anyone who wants to quote Leviticus to me (yes I've read 18:22 and studied the entire book) should read every verse to gain understanding, particularly chapters 18-20.  Along with famed "thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind" is the law that menstruating women should not be approached but separated from all of society because they are unclean, two different seeds should not be planted in the same field, any man with any blemishes such as "a flat nose", "blind", "broken handed", "a dwarf", "scabbed" were not to be allowed to make an offering to God, hair and beards were not to be trimmed, no marks or cuttings upon the body were to be made, no garment was to mingled of wool and linen, and if you planted a fruit tree you were not to even dare eat the fruit for three years. 

So...until people quit cutting their hair and shaving, stop square-foot gardening, wearing wool blend clothing and hanging earrings from holes in their ears, noses, lips, whatever, and women start "going to the river" every month because they are "unclean" I don't think they should say one word against homosexuality.  A beard trim is apparently as much an abomination to God as homosexuality.  It is what it is.  And for those who want to preach all day, the Bible states what it states.  You can't focus on one portion and ignore the rest.  Well I guess you can if you want to and there lies the problem.

So why these days in modern times do we trim beards and hair, square-foot garden, wear wool blends, put holes in our ears to dangle earrings from, when they were all marked as abominations in the Old Testament?  You could say that the old ways are no longer relevant.  You could say, if a Christian, as evangelicals preach every day, that when Christ sacrificed himself for mankind, the need to follow the old laws was eliminated.  So what of homosexuality?  I don't know.  I just refuse to believe that someone of a homosexual orientation is sinning by being who they were made to be by the same creator that made me, and I applaud the commando-like courage it takes for anyone to stand for what they believe and say "This is who I am!".

Single Dad Laughing had this married mom sniffling in her coffee this morning.  BRAVO!! 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


It's been a very fearful week for me, for one reason or another (and another), but I happened to have ordered this necklace around a week and a half ago from a friend who sells jewelry.

I spent my entire day in fear, but combatted it by devoting my time to designing a logo and website for my business, setting up Twitter and Facebook pages along with a separate email for the business, and setting up my Elance profile.  I was just about to click save on the Elance profile, with all kinds of thought attacks running through my head-- you aren't qualified, you don't have the education, you don't have the experience to put yourself out there, someone's going to hire you then you'll realize you can't do the job-- when my husband came in with a little box from the mailman. 

There it was, my little note to self, the necklace and charms I had ordered days and days ago.  I had chosen the charms "be" and "fearless" as a daily reminder, and the New Jade stone dangle because it is said to have "immense powers in mental healing".

How nice to be rewarded for all my hard work today, and at the exact moment I needed the encouragement.  I know what I can do, what I have done over the last year, and what I am doing now.  I just need to have the courage to cast my line in the direction of the circling fish and not be afraid that if I hook one, I won't be able to reel it in. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Ghost Riders

Tonight I am thankful for Johnny Cash.  When I was growing up, my mother was often out socializing with friends.  We loved it when she was gone or having a party at our house, because it meant rides in my dad's little car, Herbie, to the corner store for ice cream sandwiches, a Three Musketeers bar, or root beer float making ingredients.  Sometimes it meant trips to play putt putt golf or to the go-kart track, but, most often, my dad would pull out his guitar to sing and play for us. 

I loved when he would sing Puff the Magic Dragon, and sang along with him about Little Jackie "Paper", thinking that was the boy's name.  I always felt like crying when Puff would "sadly slip into his cave".  On top of being my absolute favorite person in the world, my dad had a beautiful singing voice, and I loved those times.

Along with Puff, there was the story of Charlie stuck on the train.  He didn't have the required nickel, or maybe it was a dime, to get off the train, so his wife just handed him sandwiches when the train passed his stop.  My husband always asks when I tell him of  this song, why his wife didn't just hand him money to get off the train. I shush him, of course, before he can ruin one of my favorite childhood memories.  Some things just don't need fixing! 

There were other folk songs that my dad would sing, like Where Have All the Flowers Gone.  He loved Peter, Paul, & Mary and The Mamas and the Papas.  I'm sure he still does.  I wish I could remember all the songs he would sing.  He is a fabulous musician.  His father was a trumpet player, supported his family that way, in fact, and also played the piano very well, as well as the banjo, guitar, and mandolin.  As a result, Dad and his brothers and sisters became great singers and musicians.  Our family get togethers were usually centered around music.

And it's just occurred to me.  Could this be where my live music addiction began?  Why I stand mesmerized below the stage at concerts, fascinated by a guitarist's fingers rapidly plying the strings?  I still don't get it.  I've tried and tried, and though dad has always assured me by telling me that once my fingers develop calluses, guitar playing will be much easier, I never take the time to practise enough to develop them and learn to play, so have great respect for those who are disciplined enough to make incredible sounds come from a stringed instrument. 
Coyle Girreli of The Chevin.  10-24-12, The Orange Peel, Asheville, NC
But, to return to the point of this ghostly post, I was lying here watching The Bridges of Madison County and trying to fall asleep while fighting an ear infection.  I had a crushed garlic water soaked cotton ball in my ear, which burned like the Dickens and was doing a very good job of keeping sleep at bay, and before I knew it, the movie had ended and a Johnny Cash special had come on.  Joaquin Phoenix is one of my favorite actors, so when he made Walk the Line, I learned all about the late singer and have developed a soft spot for Johnny and June and the love story surrounding them.  I am still more familiar with Joaquin's versions of Johnny's songs, however, so any time I have the opportunity hear Johnny sing his songs, I am in awe of how well that Joaquin boy really did imitating his voice and mannerisms.   

In tonight's television special, Johnny did Folsom Prison Blues, Ring of Fire, then...oh wow.  I forgot that was a Johnny Cash song, Ghost Riders In the Sky.  I immediately began hearing my dad's voice rather than Johnny's, because another of my favorites that Dad would sing to us was Ghost Riders In the Sky. He had a beautiful tenor voice for the yippee ay yays, but could also really hit those low notes, spot on.  Such a nice memory!

We're all camping together in a couple of weeks, those of us from my dad's side of the family, and we are planning on celebrating our Cherokee roots with a little family pow wow.  I'm sure Dad will be pulling out his harmonica and guitar.  If so, I can't imagine anything better than sitting next to the fire while he sings Ghost Riders.  So, while I am very thankful for my wonderful father, tonight I am counting Johnny Cash in my 30 Days of Thanks for bringing me such a comforting memory.  And now to get this dadgum cotton ball out of my ear so I can sleep.  "It burns, burns, burns..."

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Skeletons in the closet.

We keep a skeleton in our closet.  Literally.  It was either last year when we studied medieval history or the previous year when we studied pirates that we bought a glow in the dark full-sized Halloween skeleton with light up green eyes.  Our lesson room, now changed to a breakfast room, contains a closet, probably added by a previous owner trying to use the small space as an extra bedroom.  It has a clothes rod in the top that I used to hang artwork from when the boys were small, and still use to hold charts and such.  The skeleton hangs from this rod.  It hasn't occurred to me how difficult  Mr. Skeleton is to work around.  I added several shelves and bins to the closet so that it holds all of our schoolwork and computer paper, charts, etc.  We found it hilarious to hang the skeleton in our closet when the rest of the room was decorated in a theme. Now he hangs there so obviously in the way but not an actual hindrance to our daily lives.  We just push him aside to do what we have to do every day, but wouldn't dream of taking him down, except for the few days around Halloween that he gets to proudly hang from our front stoop, behaving as a glow in the dark skeleton with green light up eyes was meant to behave.  He swings ominously in the wind, his lanky limbs flopping about, while crinkled leaves and even occasional snowflakes drift by.

Tonight I walked past Mr. Skeleton where he was hanging when we were done with our away from home Halloween festivities.  It was an odd Halloween.  We didn't realize until this morning that we hadn't carved Jack O' Lanterns and that we hadn't had any Halloween candy in the house but for a package of candy corn/pumpkins a few weeks ago, which really isn't like us at all, we love Halloween candy and can't usually resist the urge to throw a package or two into the grocery cart every other food run this time of year.  It was also strange, yet wonderful, to have my husband home all day and to not have to wait until clock-out time at some corporate job for him to pull in from work before we could head out for Halloween fun.  But there hung Mr. Skeleton, free for a short time from the confines of his closet, oddly comforting in the moonlight as one of our newest holiday traditions .

I thought to myself as I walked up the porch steps, that, fortunately, he is the only skeleton in our closet.  By the time I entered the sun room, however, at least five other skeletons our families keep hidden entered my mind.  As I walked through the kitchen, snippets of conversations and old family stories and incidents flooded my thoughts, all before I reached the bedroom to put away my coat, and I had to giggle.  Then, as was inevitable, I was saddened by some of my history.  I often feel embarrassed for "baring all" in my blogs, but tonight I realized that some skeletons are meant to be left in the closet, constantly being pushed aside or to the back of our minds so we can just get through each day and do what we have to do.  We may pull them out on occasion when the subject of their existence comes up, letting them air in the wind for a bit, but we wouldn't dream of permanently pulling them out of the closet.  Their glowing eyes may even haunt us in the night, through periods of insomnia, but those skeletons have helped to make us who we are and so are allowed to stay hidden away.  At other times, we may wish to stop and study them in moments of introspection, but like Mr. Skeleton, the longer we look, the more unpleasant they may appear. 

The nice thing is that when they start to freak us out we can just shut the closet door and pretend they don't exist.  And unlike Mr. Skeleton who is purposefully exposed like clockwork, it may be years before others see the light of day.  Some skeletons I don't mind leaving hanging around to get dusty,  brittle, old and decrepit, but others have hung out in the open for so long that they needed to be shut away and left to time, and I realize never should have been on display in the first place.  But Mr. Skeleton?  He will be allowed to flutter around, giving passersby the shivers, at least until the end of the week when he will be moved back into the closet until next fall.