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Friday, April 22, 2011

A Year Later

It has been a year since my grandpa died…I realized it late last night when I couldn’t sleep and I pondered a strange dream I had had the night before. I had dreamt that my family told me I had a great grandfather I had never met who was still alive in a nursing home somewhere. I asked to be taken to meet him immediately. My mother told me I would see him ‘sometime’. I said, “He’s 99! He could die anytime! I need to meet him now!” So they took me to a nursing home, where I found an empty bed with no one in it. I said, “He’s not here!” They told me, “Yes, but imagine it like he was here. I’m sure he’ll turn up.” As I thought on that image of the empty hospital bed, I suddenly realized my grandfather’s passing had taken place a year ago, and I had even taken the same day off of work (Wednesday) that I did last year when he died that I did this year because I was sick. I hadn’t even realized.
Last year, Easter came early, so he could celebrate with us, a blessing from the Lord, because any other year and he would have been gone before it came. Like the empty tomb in the scriptures, the hospital bed in my dream was also empty. Search as I might, I will not find my grandpa here with us, but he is not dead. His earthly body may be gone, but he will be given a new body by my Lord Jesus and one day I will see him again at my Lord’s side. In the meantime, pray for my family if you are a praying person. The trouble with truly loving one another is it causes true grief, which can be a painful, though precious, burden to bear. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Fluffy Fridays- Wherein our Heroine Goes out on a Limb and Can't Climb Back

I am planning something rather big for me, and I thought I would tell you all about it today while I wait to see if my client is going to show up. I had this idea at my church, where my husband is the youth pastor, to hold a benefit concert for our youth group, rather like the ones you see on TV for natural disasters and charities. I have been brainstorming this thing and finally got the time approved for May 14th at 6:30 at our church.  Since it is my brainchild, I am pretty much the producer, director, and publicist for the whole thing. I am excited that I am actually doing it, but I have never undertaken this kind of thing on my own before. I have enlisted some talented singers who I know will do an excellent job, and have enlisted the youth as crew and decorators. I am still trying to figure out if I have any kind of budget for this thing.

This is definitely going out on a limb for me, and now, the date is set, and the show must go on. I think part of me hoped someone would stop me, but instead, they are letting me do this thing. Hopefully people come, and hopefully people donate, and hopefully I didn't just get enough rope to hang myself.

Hm, 3:04...I wonder if my client is going to show up?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Poems from Yesteryear

I looked through an old flashdrive today, where I stored some of my writings from over a decade again. I was a voracious poet in high school,  constantly writing. I used to hate looking back on them, but now, 10-11 years later, I find it remarkable how many still reflect the way I feel about the world. Some of them don't, especially the ones that have to do with being lonely and wanting love, but many of them still capture the way I experience emotion and the way I see the world around me. So I am going to post several of the poems I wrote in high school for you today, I hope you like them. 

This one is one of my father's favorites. 


Red Slithers,
Black shivers,
Green grins mysteriously.
Blue watches,
Brown blotches,
Pink preens surreptitiously.
Gray cowers,
Purple overpowers,
Yellow raises arms to the sky.
Manila complains,
Orange stains,
White flies high.

These next ones are good examples of how I saw the world around me as a teen.  I was apparently even a sociologist back then! 

Poverty #2

In the city poverty
Is a nauseous rot-
In the disturbed blink of an eye.
In the country poverty is aired out
A show for all passerby’s
To avoid,
Uncomfortable with their suburban prosperity
In the midst of such degration.
But a city pretends
To be whole and alive
A leper in an Armani suit,
Dancing and drinking to the music of his own demise.

10 6/27/00 
Pursuit of Happiness
The piƱata shop
The hair salon
The small dying businesses
On the wrong side of town
All trademarks of The Poor’s pursuit of happiness.
Far after Costcos and Walmarts ruled the earth,
There are still these paint-chipped
With meager handmade merchandise
Shyly displayed on starving shelves.
They scream:
Do not let us die!
We are someone’s
Hope in the world!
We are all they have left!
It is our sparse business
Keeping them from the streets!
For what song will the world sing for them
 But that which they sing themselves?

It Starts Here
The Heavy-Hipped females
glide their way through the
Hormonal Crowds to
Rub their bodies against pubescents who
Sweat and sickly grin for
each party trying to find Romance
that they are too young for and will
ruin themselves before their prime and
Their heavy-hipped bodies will become
Heavy-Bellied with the illegitimates that were not on their Christmas lists,
Just like their mothers, lended to lust when love is scarce and abuse when attention is scarce and dance to the sickly tune of dirty beds and hearts too old for their owners.

And, one lighter one to offset all the intensity:


Bicycling breeds goats of men
With laconic wives missing
Stomachs and Rears
(Sweated off over years)
Bikers are wizened little drivers
(Like stones smoothed by rivers, indistinguishable from their vehicles)
They are nymphish pipe cleaners
Wound about metal
Feet encircling pedals and
Bodies so entangled
No cyclist remains,

Just tight spandex shorts and a

bouncy water bottle pedaling by…

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Thrift Store Success # 2

Last Tuesday, I went out thrift store shopping in an attempt to find some clothes with labels I like at prices I can afford (which is about $3 a shirt right now). I tried it again this week, at another thrift store downtown, and I was even more successful! I got a Vera Wang tunic, one Talbot's blouse, and one Ann Taylor Loft Blouse, all new.I spent $8.25 on three new awesome additions to my wardrobe. This may have to become a Tuesday ritual.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Giving You My Life

I do not know the length of my days,
But I know they'll be complete.

I do not know the paths I'll walk,
But I know You'll guide my feet.

Lord, I give you my life,
To use as you will,
And I know it won't be in vain,
All I ask is to be able to enter your presence,
Again, again, again, and again.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Fluffy Fridays- A Poem for Hawaii

I lied, a little. This is not so fluffy, but it is also not as heavy as some of my other stuff and it explains one of the reasons that Hawaii is special to me and my family. My husband and I also honeymooned in Hawaii, so now the Islands have strong personal significance for us, but there were stronger connections before then. My grandfather, after a long, successful career in the merchant marines was a cruise ship captain to the Hawaiian Islands before he died. My parents got to visit the islands on his ship as did my grandmother. There is a beautiful picture of the 2 of them on the ship, him in his Captain's Uniform, her in a lovely Mumu, taken a little before he got sick. Tall, proud, and strong, that is how I remember my Grandfather the best.

 So here is a little poem written to them.

Oh Islands,
So symbolic for me of the grandfather I lost,
the brave ship's captain who trekked your waters,
and the long-lost love of my grandmother,
who to this day photographs lighthouses in remembrance of you.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Camino De Decaer

Peeling paint, ruffled people,
Pock-marked asphalt, an abandoned church's steeple
Burnt out buildings, shuttered doors,
Rehab centers where we keep the poor-

Bits of grass shooting up through cracks,
Suspicious eyes watching our backs
lumber yards, a vacant, half-built stripmall,
Everyday I drive past them all-

Sirens blaring, train whistles blasting,
a parade of Semi-Trucks is passing,
The air is brown, so are the trees,
As the wind blows dust and tumbleweed seeds-

Catty-corner to the bustling swapmeet,
Next to the liquor store, with the storage yard across the street,
is the little brown building where I work everyday,
Hoping to revitalize this place someday.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Thrift Store Success

I have a problem which I am trying to fix. The problem is that I like to shop for, and dress in, nice clothes, but I don't have money for nice clothes. In our best months, my clothing budget is Wal-Mart sized, and I get really tired of my clothes wearing out, wearing the same things every day, and looking sloppy. Hence, my newest strategy: Selective Thrift Store Shopping. What I mean by selective, is I will look for brand names first. My favorites are Talbots, Coldwater Creek, and Ann Taylor Loft.

I have to say it wasn't without prompting. My twin sister has been an avid thrift store shopper for sometime and I finally decided to follow her lead.

Today was the first time I tried this strategy during my lunch hour. I browsed blouses by label first, then by like. It went surprisingly well. I found a nice Ann Taylor Loft Blouse for 3 dollars, and a brand new Route 66 dress (which I found out is a K-Mart brand, oh well) for 3 dollars. And the thrift store near where I work isn't even that nice of a thrift store. I actually found multiple Cold Water Creek blouses, some Liz Claiborne, and some other brands I know to be reliable and nice. So, kudos to me for some good finds. I hope this strategy will allow me to do some satisfying shopping without breaking the bank.