Unmerciful Hats

IMG-5018 Why do hats make me look like a blithering idiot? I have a string of photos of myself in which I didn’t have the common sense to remove my hat before someone snapped the picture. The look on my face in every single one one implies that I will have to look at the tag around my neck to recall my name. Assuming I can read.
Some women look so darn cute in a hat. In fact some women make baseball caps look classy. Life’s not fair. I don one and 50 percent of my IQ drools down the front of my shirt.
Then there is the problem of hat-hair. You may think you have experienced the heartache of hat-hair but you haven’t truly plumbed the depths of pain unless you have curly hair. Curls and hats do not mix.

In mythology there must be a legend about gods and curls. Flathedius, the god of the bald was envious of Curlius, the god of curls and challenged him to a battle. Curlius won of course but Flathedius has never forgotten and takes every opportunity to mash ringlets into a matted mess.

Simple solution: dump the hats. But there is this little detail that seems to have come along with my curls: skin that fries to a bright crimson just crossing the street.
So I live in that constant tension: wear the hat and end the day with hair that looks like it had a close encounter with a steam roller at the top and shooting out at right angles from my head(think Bozo) amd looking as intelligent as that iconic clown or forgo the hat and look windblown and barbecued. The struggle is real.

Deer Flies Go to Concerts Too Don’t They?

I wanted a deer fly to bite her.

 Now you know what a no good dirty rotten sinner I am. She was sitting in front of me at the Marlboro music festival and I was sitting next to a cute lady from the “greatest generation” who was sporting a darling page boy hair cut. The lady in front of me was sporting an attitude. 

She turned to the lady during the intermission and told her to stop crinkling her program. “You are so rude,”she told the ‘page boy’d-anyone-would-want-as-a-grandma’ next to me. 

My sweet aisle mate lowered her head and put the program down in her lap. What Grace under fire. I wanted to shout, “She is not shredding the NY times, for pity’s sake!” But instead, the thought of those summer flies that bite viciously- and help me understand why deer are so skittish-came to mind. I know it was wrong, but the thought grew and I began glancing hopefully around the concert barn after intermission. I did not wish her harm so much as I wished she would have to react to the bite and live out being truly “rude” during a concert. I managed to calm down and even apologized to God for such thoughts. I thanked him for Grace, sitting next to me, who sat stone still for the rest of the concert and modeled for me such gracious acquiescence. 

The concert ended and Grace stood to applaud the very deserving young genius musicians. Ms. Attitude stood and left, never putting her hands together even once for the musicians. The picture of one large ugly deer fly, right on the nape of the neck came back to my mind again. There goes the halo slipping again.

Three Times Never To Shop

Everyone has heard it is unwise to grocery shop when you are hungry. To this will I add two more warnings: 🍕Never shop when you are exhausted.

🍕Never shop when you are cantankerously irritated by humans. 

Saddled with all three of these states, I popped into the grocery store on a mission: grab a sandwich, a container of soup, split it with hubby and call it dinner. 

No line at the deli. Ah the stars were aligning for me, because if I had to stand in line, I was going to have to grab a fork and consume a “grab and go” container of potato salad while I waited. 
“Can I help you,” drawled the woman behind the counter.

‘She talks too slowly,’ I groaned inwardly. This will take too long. I grabbed a fork and eyed the salads. 
I also spotted the stromboli, my real target. Even hunger, however, could not make that sausage appealing. Lumps of pale grey globs oozed, and I thought for a moment possibly creeped out of the crust. 
The voice inside my head said, “Pepperoni stromboli, please.” 

But what came out of my mouth was, “Sausage and pepper stromboli please.” 

I had no idea what I was saying. 

She dutifully, slowly, grabbed the sausage sandwich. 

So I corrected her of course. More loudly.
“No, I said the pepperoni stromboli, please.”

Well the IN-HEAD voice said that, but apparently what came out was,

 “No, I said sausage and pepper.” 
She paused and looked at me. Oh, please, I thought, why are you stopping!? I cracked open a “grab and go.”
Again she reached for the sausage. 
 I suspected her hearing was poor, so I carefully, this time, repeated my order in my best diction.
My in-head voice said carefully, “NOO. Pehhpperrroooni, pleeese.” Yes, by the way, my in-head voice always says please.
Again she stopped and stared, then proceeded to grab the gross excuse for a sandwich for a third time.  
My disdain for mankind was fever pitch now. This woman was not deaf at all. Her level of intelligence was unquestionably wrong for this simple job. Where do they find them I wondered. 
I tried a fourth time, my diction garbled by the half chewed potato chunks.
“Mam, I really don’t want want the sausage. I want-”

She interrupted and quietly said, “You keep saying sausage.”

“I am SOO Sorry!” I said quickly.” I want the pepperoni! Oh my gosh, I am sorry.” This was definitely my in-head voice and out-of-my-mouth voice talking in unison now.
She slowly, slooowly packed the pepperoni parcel, but I was contentedly licking the salad container while I waited and let my stupidity sink in.
Oh, God, help me, I thought. I am the idiot. I knew there was one close by. I just knew it. I just did not realize it was me.
By the time I rounded the next aisle, I could not contain my giggles which grew harder the more I stifled them. As I left the store I was laughing out loud. I was also alone, and I would counsel against walking along, alone, and laughing. It makes people wonder.
I arrived hungry, ended up humbled, and left hysterical. 
Take the warning: never shop when you are hungry, tired, or cantankerous. If I heed my own warning I may never be able to shop again.

Showering while camping


Day one.
Got to the shower house and had forgotten my towel. No problem I will dry myself with my t shirt. 

Note to self: once you have worn a shirt all day it may not be the freshest choice for a towel off. Plus I find you have more wet than shirt.

 Day 2 remembered the towel lest I have to repeat yesterday. Stepped into the shower and realized I had forgotten the soap. No problem. I used my shampoo. The shampoo I buy with my home equity loan but it’s either that or soap up with toothpaste. 


Day 3
remembered the towel and the soap. Things are looking up. Left the shampoo at the tent. No problem, there is always soap. I can feel it drying out my hair on contact. Yea for camping. 


Day 4
towel check. Soap check. Shampoo check. I am definitely getting the hang of this. Shampooed. showered. Clean at last. Apparently I left my clean clothes at the camp site. Back into those clothes that are marinated in sweat, swamp and mud. On my way back from the shower I feel pretty much the way I arrived.

Day 5
. I compiled a list to help me organize this apparently complicated task.

  • Soap
  • Towel
  • Shampoo
  • Clean clothes

Showered with soap, shampooed with shampoo, dried with a towel, clean clothes at the ready. Time to brush teeth. 
Mental note: neither Soap nor shampoo make good toothpaste.

Grandma Vacation Bible School day three 

beautiful feet
Beautiful Feet that remind me of good news.

Day three of Grandma vacation bible school was grand for this grandma.

We breakfasted on baby pancakes while we read about David and Goliath. The first thing we discussed is how many people in bible times, presumably men, had beards.  Looking at the pictures we noted a remarkable resemblance to Uncle Dave. Well I did anyway.

So this little David, although too young for a beard at this point, did a remarkable thing. He stood up to a giant no else would.

As my charge sipped water from his sippy cup,  I tried to remember a song that ranked in the top 10 for my children. Funny how things that are ingrained  in our memory can be so inaccessible sometimes but thanks to a quick you tube search, it all came back:

Only a boy named David
Only a little sling
Only a boy named David 
But he could pray and sing 
Only a boy named David 
Only a little brook
Only a boy named David 
And  5 little stones he took
And one little stone went into the sling 
And the sling went round and round
And one little stone went into the sling 
And the sling went round and round
And round and round
And round and round

And round and round it went
And one little stone went up in the air
And the giant came tumbling down[splat]

Watching his little face as he soaked in this classic song, complete with  hand movements for the first time, gave me a chance to experience it for the first time as well: that a young lad too young for a beard could do great things for his people, because of his trust in the Lord.

That is one of the blessings a baby, a child, gives us: the wonder of seeing something old as brand new. The amazing things of this life that have lost their amazement: all things new again.

Get down on the floor with a little one, and they will show you what I mean, or consider the words of a song by George Beverly Shea, The Wonder of It All

There’s the wonder of sunset at evening,
The wonder as sunrise I see;
But the wonder of wonders that thrills my soul
Is the wonder that God loves me.

Refrain
O, the wonder of it all! The wonder of it all!
Just to think that God loves me.
O, the wonder of it all! The wonder of it all!
Just to think that God loves me.

Verse 2
There’s the wonder of springtime and harvest,
The sky, the stars, the sun;
But the wonder of wonders that thrills my soul
Is a wonder that’s only begun.

Home

I turn the car onto the road to my house and it happens every time: 

my heart gets lighter. 

 I drive down the road watching for the mailbox. 

Seeing it makes me glad

but if any of my family members’ cars are in the driveway, I am even happier. 

Dorothy was correct. 

There is no place like home. 

I know it is not like this for everyone but it is for me. 

So much ink has been spilled writing songs about home, poems about home. 

There is even a sickness 

named for missing it.

I am so grateful that home is where I want to be. 

Home is a place I long for when I am not in it. 

What will it feel like

 when I make the final turn toward my real home? 

Surely, then too

I will be looking ahead in anticipation 

for the first sighting of my true home 

and wondering 

who will be there waiting for me?

Some of my family has gone ahead of me. 

But there is One 
Who has paved the way for me

 prepared a place for me

and is waiting and watching for me.  

When days seem long

when things just don’t line up

 when this world just 

doesn’t seem to fit me

I can remember this world 

is not my final home.

 Someday 

I will turn the final corner 

and spot my true home 

and The One 

who waits for me.

Why Do I write

 

When I see a sculpture I am always drawn to look at it from every angle: walking around it it slowly, looking at it from different angles, helps me to understand it, see its details and  feel the emotions the the sculptor wanted to portray.

This is how I feel when I write. An idea comes to mind. It might seem distant and indistinct but the more I reflect on it the more it takes shape and its details are more clear. Turning it in my mind, thinking about something from different angles, asking and wondering about it, I can understand better what the idea is about.

Putting this idea into words seems to be a natural consequence; the way a person might sketch out a picture they see or a sculptor might take a lump of clay and pull and push and form it into what the sculptor imagines it should be.

I need to write. I want to learn to write more effectively for myself but hopefully in doing so others might also read what I have sculpted, understand it and recognize the emotion I have put into it.

My writing is an outlet. Not, hopefully, just to let a thought out, or for someone else to read but rather more like an outlet which a serves a body of water. The Dead Sea has no outlet and is slowly shrinking. Without an outlet a body of water dies.

If I do not write I will not improve my skills. I may not understand the thoughts I have and I may not be able to effectively communicate the emotions that come with the thoughts.