Winter is…

Winter is the long Sunday morning that saved children endure in white, starched attires, as they sit still in reverent prayer and worship. It is the long devotion under dimmed sunshine that filters through stained glass windows, under hushed voices, under the watchful eyes of the saints staring down from heaven, under the bloodied icons of the naked Jesus dying on the cross for their sins, under assurances that bucketfuls of Jesus’ blood will wash them whiter than snow but their blood from a skinned knee that tore the new church pants will cause Mom to yell.

It is the long visit in a chapel, where, instead of milk and cookies, it’s the holy blood and body of Christ that are served; where mothers who scream at bloodstains on clothes will want their children to “drink the blood” and “eat the body” of Christ. Winter is the stark contrast of children being burden with itchy, stiff, riches of clothing while Jesus is free to die with only a loin cloth wrapped around his middle.

Winter is the long, difficult time that children spend inside a building, trying to make sense of the adults’ God when the little children’s God is in the outside – in the sunshine, in joyous laughter, in the cool grass, in the little caterpillars and butterflies, in the fat worms under black dirt, in the juicy melons and strawberries, on the swings, on the slides, rolling down hills, splashing in puddles – where Jesus is patiently waiting for them to finish church.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Beast of Want

The rustling of autumn leaves stirs the restlessness within me and brings forth the savage discontent of a caged beast. The leaves crackles like the whip, cracking the beast of want alive, and I can feel myself bursting with an energy to stalk something – something so quiet but so fierce that burns like a flicker at first that quickens to a rage. A rage of my mind for a thrilling stimulation to take me far, far beyond, a bursting of my soul for something higher, some distant blue that transcends the dirty brown clumps that I stand on, and a desperation in my limbs to leap outside of skin and bones to be of more substance.

I am taunt with a bursting, a pressure to escape, a desperate urging for me to elude the looming dullness. The dark clouds of dull days, stringent people, a staleness of stagnant gene pools of thoughs, ideas, and minds threaten to cloak themselves around me. I watch the dark clouds of them. They advance en mass like a black cape ready to encircle their ways around me. I pace in watchful suspicion and restlessness – the beast within me rumbling it’s quiet menace – and I know that I don’t belong here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Meloncholy Morning

The days of summer are leaving me, and leaving me lonely, and making me wish for just one more day, just another day longer. Summer hasn’t left completely but I am the jealous lover that can see the waning of his desires. I can see his gaze scanning the other side of the world for something else, and I can feel his heat cooling as he moves slowly away. There’s no way for me to stop his golden chariot from its escape across the horizon. I know one day he will come back when his wandering ways makes him repentent, and sorry for leaving me so coldly.

No, he hasn’t left yet. There is still some warmth left to my days. He still smiles his golden rays my way. I can still feel his heat burn my skin but it doesn’t burn with the same passion as before. He wakes up later and later each morning with hardly a hello. Slows to warm the day, and then leaves me to set to bed earlier and earlier each night. I can’t muster the joy to enjoy my last few days of sunshine, fresh air, and bliss. There’s no joy in a lingering good-bye. Visions of days to come chill my bones, dampen my remaining happiness, and lay my love dormit.

When he comes back he will be sorry for what he has done to me. When he comes he will see me older, not the young blossom of life that spend days basking in the sun with him. He will see what his callous leaving has done to me, because the woman that he comes back to will be a bittered, ashen, dry wrath. I am almost destroyed with grief, but I will take him back because he always comes back bringing flowers – the delicate coaxing of Narcissus. After the flowers, he promises: he promises birds, little bunnies, warm, loving days again, days in the garden again. And he promises to stay longer, he tells me he’s sorry for his ever leaving, and he promises to banish winter forever. And I am the lover that adores him, and foolishly believes.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Lazy People

Hats off to the lazy people because they work the hardest.

Lazy people carry life like a packed mule – everything is heavy and burdensome to them, but they do manage to get things done, eventually, and maybe after much nagging. They don’t mean to be slow and reluctant, and they can’t “do” with what they weren’t given to “do” with. They don’t come with a spring to their steps, extra umphs to give, a second wind to push them along, or even the all that they got. They are the misunderstood, and under appreciated side of humanity that lives within us. They aren’t hard to find. There’s at least one in every family, maybe none in yours, but you can find plenty on your in-law’s side of the family and anywhere else that you look. And if there is one in your family, then maybe you can relate.

There really is never a spring to their steps, never a spontaneity to their movements, and never a urge to speed. Gravity’s pull affects them greater than other objects on earth. An object in motion will stay in motion until a force is acted upon it, and an object are rest will remain at rest until a force is acted upon it, that’s Sir Newton’s law of gravity. But with lazy people, they are as motionless as possible so there’s hardly a chance for any force to act upon them to cease movements. And when at rest, they will remain at rest even when a force to move. They are a wonder to boggle the mind, and a beautiful defiance to any laws.

When you don’t have a pep in your steps, then life is hard. Without that little umph to umph you along, then all energy is your own. And we all know that start-up is the costliest of energy exertion. So lazy people are not really “lazy” for lack of trying, they are justing slower because they are working harder to pull their own weight. And a nagging spouse is not considered an “umph” push, he or she is more like the horn blowing it’s noise at the slow cow blocking the road. For example: wind against the sail of a boat will move a boat quick, but only if it’s outside force. Meaning, that if a wind comes along, then the wind’s force will push the boat to movement. But if the wind is an inside force, like a fan on the boat, or a person sitting on the boat, blowing against the boat’s sail, then movement is slow and inefficient – affirming the position that lazy people are “doing” and moving, but on their own wind, on low speed, whenever they get to it.

The notion that lazy people are no good, good-for-nothing, free-loaders is wrong. Lazy people have a valuable place in society – they are the backbone of what makes us a progressive society. They are the factors that keep our economy going. If everyone was content to break their backs working harder, then everyone would either be chopping wood or hauling water. Thank God for the conviences of electric-everything and indoor plumbing. Thank God for the lazy man somewhere who decided that he was too lazy to find the outhouse in the dead of night, in the mist of winter, and that his lazy wife shouldn’t have to lay another finger on a nasty chamber pot for another moment.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Quick Dispute

The gathering of gentle folks and great minds can’t decide on the an appropriate form of entertainment. So tempers flare and words cut close to being personal. No one would listen to reason and everyone is too emotionally invested to see clearly. But if they all had been a little more observant and less argumentative, then the impending diaster could have been prevented.

While the children fought for their choice of movies to play, Mother pushed the “open” button on the DVD player to eject the present movie disc. In the seconds that followed, Mother’s attention was briefly shifted to the warring factions. But everything instantly ceased at the first “CRACK!”. When no one can agree, the baby quickly settled the disputes. She snapped the open DVD tray down as she was grabbing for the disc.

Everyone was silent to let the truth sink in, and then to allow a moment of silent mourning for a beloved appliance. The baby smiled. Mother quietly lifted up her child, and Father was brought in to examine the devastation. He quickly confirmed everyone’s suspicion, “It’s broke.”

Everyone received the news with a quiet sadness, and then looked at the clueless baby with an understanding pity – now the baby will grow up never knowing the pleasure of Disney cartoons, princess movies, any movies. Father quietly added, “DVD players are cheap these days.” The rest of the children sighed a collective breath of relief before filing out of the “tv room”. And Mother thanked her stars that she didn’t buy the PlayStation1 that the next door neighbor was trying to sell for $20. The baby has decided – PlayStation2 it will be. The kids can play video games and the game console will also play movies. Alls well that ends well.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How a Marriage Survives

Yes, two wrongs don’t make a right. True, true, generally true. We all should all agree to live by this.

But in the battlefield of marriage, or the blissful nuptial paradise – depending on the moment – two wrongs make everything right.

He’s clumsy, always breaking something, drives scary…
She’s forgetful, loses everything, yells a lot…

But together they are right. No one is the better person, because as soon as someone opens their mouth to complain, there are enough counter-complaints to stir together a humble pie.

He stays up late, wakes up late, always cranky…
She sleeps early, wakes up early, always peeved…

It seems all wrong, but really, it’s all right. He picks up the loose slack and she fill in the gaps, and together they can scrape together a smile.

No saints, martyrs, or angels in this house please! To have a spouse so perfect would kill the marriage; an angel-spouse would drown the mate in sweetness; and please no martyrs – no deaths or dying on this watch. It’s too painful to witness, and the mess. Oh, the mess! Don’t add to the workload, there’s enough to do as it is.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ownership Society

This is why I hate the concept of the “Ownership Society” and I think we should perish that thought.

In an ‘Ownership Society’, according to Bush administration, people would be able to take a portion of their tax dollars that would traditionally go into a communal fund OUT of that pool and put it IN their personal accounts. “Let the people have control of their money” is the concept.

But that concept is so wrong and short-sighted. It’s the rich/middle-class that will own, and it’s those classes of people that will have the opportunity to “own”. And poor people will continue to be poor – they already have the hard reality of how expensive it is to be poor: their votes don’t count, they are the lost constituency that politicians don’t care for, and everything they pay for costs more – housing is always the no-win renting to a slum lord, the food they can afford is unhealthy, and they get no respect. Life for the poor, is the day to day struggle to barely meet needs. So to even suggest that poor people will have the available funds to invest into their retirement accounts is ludicrous – why, I don’t even think that the poor are a part of the equation.

It breaks my heart and makes me mad to think that policy makers are abandoning a big slice of America when it comes social policies. Have we forgotten history and what life was like before social safety nets like social securities and welfare, to name the two big ones, were established? People were starving to death, elderly folks who worked hard, but couldn’t rise above the poverty died in poverty – life was cruel. It was the hard-nosed “help yourself” mentality and society that left the helpless despondent. The rich were definitely owners, owning and profiting on the backs of the middle class and especially the poor. This great nation was build on the backs of the poor and helpless.

Then the Crash of 1929 just about leveled the playing field. Then people of former riches felt the collective hardship, hunger, and pain of poverty of the poor. And then everyone gave a great clamoring shout to be heard and cared for. And so evolved a society of social safety nets. We work, we contribute, we share our resources, we care for each other.

And have we forgotten the horrific lesson of what happens to money invested in the stock market? 1929 was bad, that happened long ago, we have regulations… goes the rationals. Just above 5 years ago, the dot-com bust and the stock market killed many portfolios – the only people unaffected by this were the poor who didn’t have money invested to either lose or gain.

And to put such faith in regulations, and the honesty of corporations to safeguard retirement savings is like putting your money in the hand of tailor-suited thieves. I will say two words: Enron, Worldcom.

Leave social security alone. Stop giving tax breaks while running up a huge deficit, fix the leaks.

One night, we were watching “Spiderman 2” with the kids and my son asked me: Mom, what is Spiderman?

“He is a social safety net.”

“Alexis, pleeeeeease!” – that was Hex.

“Yes, he is. Think about it. Why do we have superheros? It’s because we want a safety net for us.”

Since we don’t have superheros, and we have each other, why not help each other. Aren’t we, supposedly, brothers and sisters in God’s family? That means we are famblee-amblee right?

Pass the sugar! I’m feeling myself lean “liberal”. I guess I’ll go to the fat section now and feel the love. (If you don’t get this reference, check out the blog: My Leanings.)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Signs of the Time

We live in the Junk Age. Everything is so cheap today that we can buy plenty of it, and keep buying more…to eventually junk up our homes and lives…which spawns industries to sell us more stuff to help us sort, organize, and label the junk “the artifacts of our daily lives.”

We have cheap sources of paper to waste. Kids have tons of coloring paper, everywhere they go there’s something to color – at home, schools, doctors’ offices, restaurants. Everywhere we go we are given sheets of papers – pamphlets on our car windows; flyers advertising sales, the God news, business ventures, and just about anything else; notices of taxes, bills, payments, services.

And to add more to the paper waste, we get copies of everything – copies of all original, copies of copies, everyone got a copy? Copies. We make ton of them.

Receipts. Do we have enough of them? Spend five cents and you get a receipt. Spend more and you get a receipt with a whole sheet on warrantee and the extented warrantee option, and dont’t forget the instruction manual, and the product registration in case of a recall and then you will get a written notice. Keep all receipts, save them for the IRS, and make copies.

Junk mail. Tons of that – the credit card offers, the bank offers, business opportunity offers – offers of services for hire, offers for chances to win free trips, gifts, millions. Lots of junk.

That’s paper. This is plastic. It’s the stuff that will take more millions of years to break down than we have time for. It is more likely that our nearest star, the sun, will explode first and, thus, ridding us of all life and plastic.

Plastic grocery bags. They use to be thicker and strong so the bag boys can jam all your groceries into two bags. Now the bags are so thin, you can see right through them, even the Wal-mart blue ones. And everything is an excuse for a bag. Two apples and a celery stalk get a bag. The lonely loaf of bread gets a bag. The gallon of milk gets TWO bags. Five toothbrushes, the toothpaste, band-aides, one bag. Then slam the bananas, mush the grapes, bruise the pears – one bag for them. No care, break Kosher and stick the bloody, dripping meats packages with the cheese, half and half, cream cheese – one bag, double bagged, please.

So by the time you unload the groceries, there lays at your feet sixty bags to gather up and confuse your mind. What should you do with all these bags? Take them back to the stores to recycle? No, you always forget to. Use them in your home? Sure, why not. A bag for carrying lunch in. A bag for nicknacks, for dirty diapers, for kids to carry their toys to their rooms, for the same kids to use as toys – they can make parachutes out to them. And a bag to yell at your kids to not put over their faces. One bag.

But what do you do with the 59 still on the floor? Throw them in the trash. Its quick and easy. Yes and it’s the sinful thing to do but you are thorough exhausted by now to care.

Toys come in plastic. Thick plastic is good, because it generally will last longer. The thin plastic toy is the cheaper of the cheap and will break at a touch. And now you have to buy more cheap toys because they keep breaking. Plastic Legos to step on, scratch up the nice wood floors you spent thousands of dollars to make shine, and break your back trying to pick up. Barbie, her van, and the many tiny accessories are all plastic. Too many to count but it takes, as my mother-in-law likes to say, “forever in a day” to pick up.

That’s the sign of our time. We are in the Junk Age. We have so much that we clutter up our lives with it and there seems to be no escape. So, what will you take: paper or plastic?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Minor miracle

Jesus is God and so he can do the amazing. Like the time He was able to feed five thousand people with two fish and five loaves of bread. I don’t think we will ever see the likes of that again.

But since I am the fun and crafts mom, I have an idea that kids, young and old, can try. It follows the concept of making something out of nothing:

How can you make a sandwich with just two slices of bread?

Take the two slices of bread and JAM them together!

Jam sandwich – Voila!

So whether you are looking for a snack or a quick fix to feed a crowd, so long as there are slices of bread available, jam sandwiches can be made.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

ersity is a Good Thing

I appreciate diversity, the broad spectrum of the Christian brotherhood, because there are things to be learned from all Christians, the Orthodox, the Roman Catholic, the Protestants, the non-denomination fundamentalists, and so on…and we need places that will accept our money.

The Orthodox Sunday school teachers sent my kids home with their Lenten boxes:

“Children, children. Listen, children. This is serious. These boxes are for our missionaries in other countries to help our brothers and sisters of the world. In this time of Lent, we are to give and so let us be generous. Take a box home and before each meal, remember to put something in the box. No pennies. Put a dollar bill, or quarters, dimes, nickels, but no pennies. Okay?”

Then my kids go to AWANA and they hear:

“Okay kids! Settle down! We have a goal to help our missionaries in Africa. Listen up because we have a fun game for you. Are you ready to have fun? I SAID, ARE YOU READY TO HAVE FUN? That’s better…let’s split into two groups – the boys team and the girls team. Each team will have a jar and the team that fills their jar the highest with pennies by the end of March will win. Each week, remember to bring pennies for your team’s jar. Good luck! But even if you don’t win, remember, we are still winners in God’s eyes. So, bring your pennies! And here’s a tip: twenty-five pennies take up more space then one quarter. Bring your pennies – Okay?”

It’s good to be ecumenical because then we can fill in the gaps for each other.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment