Category Archives: About Town

Shooting Your Mouth Off

I know that some people think those with special needs shouldn’t be in public places.  I disagree.  I took Gpa out lots of times. In only one case was I confronted.  Another time a waitress came into the bathroom but didn’t say anything when she saw that Gpa was in a wheel chair.  He had been yelling ‘ugly guy’ because he saw himself in the mirror.

The time I was confronted wasn’t because of Gpa’s special needs.  The woman thought my yelling at Gpa was me being mean to him.  My tone probably wasn’t the best.  I was exhausted and Gpa couldn’t hear well or respond without help sometimes.

So I’m yelling at him to put his foot in the car.  No, the other one. I get him in the car and I see this woman at the door of the place we had been and she shakes her head and asks me if I have to be so mean.

I just replied that he can’t hear as I’m slinging his wheel chair into the trunk.  She shook her head again. I just got in the car. I teared up, I thought it would be a treat to take Gpa for coffee and a cookie and got reprimanded. Gpa looks over at me and even in his demented state, he says, ‘Thank you.”

And his opinion is the only one that mattered.

So over the Memorial Day weekend. It’s reported that a gun got pulled out at a park. Looks like it was because the adults didn’t know how to teach the kids how to get along at the park.

A 5 year old hit another kid. Kids do that, they are learning how to interact.  That’s when we as adults step in and say ‘it’s not nice to hit other people’ That’s not when the adult should start calling the kid names. What will the kids learn?

But names got called, and the situation quickly got physical. Which isn’t good either. UM, what are you teaching your children about conflict resolution?

AND then a gun gets pulled out.  In the picture, there are at least 10 other people visible that had nothing to do with the situation. Each of them were put into risk when the gun came out.

So even though the police told the man and everyone else that he was within his rights – He was defending himself and he had a permit… but what about his verbal abuse that started the escalation?

Why don’t we address that if he had said something different to the children in the first place he wouldn’t have had to defend himself? What made him think that name calling is acceptable behavior at any age?

And now he has made so many other people feel unsafe in the park.

 

 

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Tableau’s on the way to Work

The other day I drove the hour to work and some tableau’s that caught my eye, caused my curiosity to wonder about the story behind what I saw, except one.

First, I left the house early enough to drive by a house I am considering to put an offer on.  The offer is not because I want the house but because I care about the owner who is on hospice and I don’t want him to worry. There is an offer on the house so it may go through.  I hope so.

The neighborhood is crowded with cars parked on both sides of the street.  The street is so narrow only 1 car can pass through at a time.  What a traffic jam that must be when people go to and from work.  Also, most of the homes had chain link fences extending to the front yard.  Why?!? to keep people in or is it out?

My first curious thought, and is it worth exploring?

I can’t remember the second one, something to do with a man and a dog. but it must not have made me curious enough to remember.

Then I drove by a brown man dressed in white with an orange turban on his head. He faced away from me, looking across a green lot where a black cat romped. It looked like he had taken his cat out for a walk. I loved the colors and wondered the significance and if that truly was his cat.

the incident that cause me to retract was when I pulled up to a light. Beside me was a white pick up truck with a sticker in the back window.  The sticker read: “Come and Take It”

I assumed it referred to his weapon.  I recoiled from the insinuating anger. It oozed from the sticker.

I don’t care to know whether he has a weapon in his truck or not.  I don’t plan to wrestle it from him. I also do not want to know him at all now. He led with an aggressive foot.

Another, equally aggressive person may do just as the sign suggests and I’d prefer to be far away when/if it happens. but for now, I am beside this person and exposed to potential crossfire. Ugh. Not where I want to be.

So, I turned right before the light turned green rather than continue driving parallel to this stranger about whom I know only 1 thing.

I hope and pray all goes well for him in his life and that no one attempts to take on his dare.

As I got closer to work, passing through a nicer neighborhood, I spied a man in his backyard watering.  He had no fencing at all on his corner lot.  And the lawn was bright green and well-kept.

I was curious about the fact he had no fence. Most of his neighbors have 6 foot wooden privacy fences encapsulating their back yards.

I’ve been planning, dreaming, talking about moving closer to work.  Some days the drive is so frustrating but maybe I really do like the drive to work for it affords me so many sights and thoughts I would miss if I only had a 5-10 minute drive.

I Can Empathize

I do not have to be like someone to experience what they do. I may not be exactly on the mark but I can get pretty close. And to those around me, I reach out in good times and in bad.  I have had good times and bad and that is how I can imagine how the other person is feeling.

I am not happily married and yet recently I was able to celebrate a friend’s 50th wedding anniversary.

I have not lost a child and yet I can cry with a family who has, give them lots of hugs, visit and share memories of this precious person they miss.

I can greet those around me pleasantly and wish them a great day, even if they drive by me recklessly on the highway on the way to work.  (I may have to calm down.  For we all want to get to work not just the one careening by. I am still working on my initial reaction.)

I can be horrified when any person interacts violently towards another person. I can celebrate when a person overcomes a hurdle or accomplishes a great feat.

And I’m sure you can as well.

To suggest otherwise is ludicrous. Empathy is part of what makes us human. For you today, I wish all the best and know that if you are currently going through a bad time, you are not alone, there is someone who cares.

 

 

 

 

 

What if…We Practiced the Year of Jubilee?

The whole world is in debt. Major debt.  OK so maybe not all but enough to cause concern.  What happens if a country goes bankrupt?  If one falls, will more? Then what?

Will the creditors then own the country? Will they rule? Can they?

Is there a way to bail out a country?  Who has the means to do so?  Would they be willing if we asked them?

What would happen if all debts around the world were marked paid in full?  What if all countries, businesses and persons were wiped clean and all were able to start fresh?

I don’t have an economic calculator.  So I can’t run the numbers. But these would be interesting exercises to do.

And then maybe do incremental scenarios. What if all debt was split in half, quartered, etc. What if half the countries default, one fourth, etc.

Do we have to let the play run the course or can we step back and do some figuring before the first domino falls?

 

A Christian’s Only Task

I don’t know why Christian’s still debate over sin.  Which one is bigger, which one is the one that will doom you forever.  What happens if you die before….

When Christ came to Earth, he told us we had it all wrong.  We still do.

He said to Love God and one another.  This statement doesn’t even address sin. Because that isn’t the focus on life.  Love is.

It is a simple statement, not so easy to do. But I’ve been practicing loving everyone since Lent and will until the day I die.

Makes life a lot less stressful for me when I look at life from the viewpoint of how would I approach this situation, this person and/or this choice if I came from a place of love?

My morning starts with a prayer for all those in need and thanksgiving for a new day.  I ask for help in being able to love all I meet.  And especially when I don’t think I can do it. For example driving in rush hour traffic is hard. Calling about a late bill because I didn’t notice the due date had changed was a complete failure on my part.

But I get to re-assess and choose that even though I didn’t behave as well as I would like, I would like God to bless this situation, this person and this choice.  And I like focusing on love rather than sin.

Won’t you joining me in loving everyone?

Someone on the Corner

Over the years there has been an internal debate on how to respond to people on the corner with a sign.

Sometimes I give and sometimes I don’t.  Once when the kids were real little, I noticed a regular and decided to put a jug of water in the car for him.  It was more than a week before I saw him again.  I got a lot of flack from the kids dad.

However, last week as I was coming to a corner and saw someone standing there a question flashed through my mind.

What if that was Gpa? Or another loved one? Or what if that was me? How would I respond then?

I had a dollar in my purse and I gave it to him when it was my turn at the stop sign.

And as usual when I do reach out and give, he said, “God bless you.” The one with nothing blesses the one with much.

I responded, “God bless you.” And hence we had church on the side of the road.

Lenten Love

Lent is a little more than half way done. I have chosen to love everyone. I plan to continue this exercise past Easter.

I will continue because I haven’t done a very good job of loving everyone. I still rant at other drivers. Really do you have to cut all the way across the highway, or merge in with inches between you and the other car.

Not surprised there are so many accidents on the highway. I am choosing not to drive on them  as much.  But city streets aren’t much better.

I find my self, ranting, then stopping and blessing the jerk.  Taking that moment to change my focus has been a good thing for me.

I can let the frustration go faster.  I don’t get to the point where I fall to the temptation to retaliate in my driving.  Letting myself get to that point isn’t good for anyone and could get me in an accident.

And when I bless the jerk and let the frustration go, I feel better about myself.  I get to my destination with a better journey than if I didn’t have the reminder to love even drivers.

Yesterday, it was a good thing my daughter in law was in the car.  She listened to me rant for a bit and then reminded me to love them.  I took a deep breath.  Smiled and agreed with her.

When I love the jerks out there, I can love the jerk I am.

Loving Everyone is Hard

Last year while missing loved ones who had passed, I was sad I had all this love to give and the people I wanted to give it to weren’t here.

So this year for Lent I decided to love everyone I came in contact with.   Should be a no-brainer.  I have all this love to give. And there are so many people in the world.  Easy, right?

Nope.  It’s only been a week since Ash Wednesday and I have discovered loving everyone isn’t as easy as I thought.

You know, the crazy drivers on the road.  Especially yesterday when there was still ice on the road.  People were zooming past me. One the way home I passed a fender bender.  The guys involved were out in the cold exchanging information.

My first thought was not compassion.  My first thought was, “that’s what you get for driving crazy”

And then I remembered my goal. I didn’t do anything awesome like stop and get them a cup of coffee.  I don’t think I even said a prayer.

I took a look at my attitude, said, ‘oops’. And gave sending them loving thoughts a try.

I also said a ‘thank you!’ when I got home safely.

I can tell this is going to be an interesting Lenten season.

 

Thoughts about Hospice

This week a garden friend was put on hospice. She’s been fighting cancer for a little over a year now.
It’s no longer responding to treatment.

She had a crises on Thursday. She thought she was dying and she was alone. Another garden friend and I were headed to her place. He son left work to come.

She was mad, she told me the angels didn’t show up. I told her I didn’t know what she was talking about. She asked, “Aren’t the angels supposed to come get you?”

“I don’t know, my grandmother’s dad came for her.”

“Well, no one has come!”

I think she decided that now she is on hospice, it’s time to go, now.

That isn’t how hospice works.

It’s an acknowledgement that the end of life phase has been entered. You can be put on hospice up to 6 months before the end actually happens. Um, well, the calculated 6 months. We really can’t predict when we will be done with an illness.

She thought she would be gone in 2 weeks after she found out about the cancer. She’s still here.
She’s fought the good fight. Looks like she still has some life in her.

I’m sorry she’s disappointed. I’m glad I got to spend another afternoon with her.

I asked her what her favorite Valentine’s day was. She had a lovely memory of when she and her late husband were first engaged.

Even though it is good to talk to people about what is happening, I think we need to be careful and ask questions to determine what hospice means to the person who is ill.

Love at First Sight

Love at first sight is not just for lovers.  A dear friend asked me last year what it was like to experience love at first sight.  He was talking about when I first beheld my children.  He didn’t have children and said he would never experience love at first sight.

I thought he was wrong but I couldn’t figure out why.  Until now.  He did when he was born and saw his parents for the first time.

But that isn’t the only time you can experience love at first sight.  There are some people in life that you have an instant connection with.  I’m not sure why we don’t connect with everyone but we don’t.

Yesterday, for valentine’s day, I joined a few other gardeners and helped a senior living facility put in raised beds.  One of the ladies, from Columbia, couldn’t speak much English but she made it clear that she wanted us to join her for lunch.

When we got in line, the lady in front of me turned around and lit up with a smile and said ‘hello!’  The excitement caused me to respond in kind.  The gardener behind me asked if we knew each other.  Not that I am aware of but I replied, “we do now!”

What a lovely way to spend a day devoted to love.  I do hope we get invited back, I’d love to see both my new friend and the lady from Columbia.

Love at first sight is pretty awesome. I’m going to try it on like an attitude rather than an elusive once in a life time event.  And see how many people I can share this experience with in 2015.