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Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Scarecrow Boogie

My very first Real World job was at a little gift shop in Meridian Idaho about a 45 minute drive from the Orchard farm that I lived on at the age of 18. This gift shop also had a tea room that served brunch/lunch items. It was called "Cottage Expressions". I heard of the job through a friend and thought that maybe it was time for me to take the challenge. I felt so unsure if I could handle such responsibility with my lacking education. I hardly knew how to spell or how to add. I was very upset and easily embarrassed if I couldn't read a big word out loud. Also I was so sheltered that during the time of this job I was completely unaware of how people talk to each other. When driving my big tanker car I would stumble upon a flat tire or broken wind shield wipers in a storm, scared and confused I often panicked. Though my Father would stop by my work after I had called him with a concern about the car. One time it smelled like it was burning. He was often so frustrated at how clueless I was. That burning smell was the car being completely out of oil. Those were the things I simply knew nothing about. That is why my first job was a big milestone in my life, in my memory. I was now waking up in a scary new world. I remember It was getting close to Halloween when I actually worked along side the owner of the tea/gift shop. She had gathered most of her employees to the back storage room late one evening. She announced "We are going to win this years scarecrow contest!" My supervisor Christy had taken me under her wing in training and also gave me her friendship. She replied "Hell yeah!" Christy was a short middle aged woman who was both humorous and spunky. She was always giving me high-fives even after the hundredth try that I had gotten something right. She once said to my sister Dana when we were about to leave the Nampa store. "I just love Debby's pure innocence! And the look she makes when she is working hard to figure out what you just said is priceless!" Both her and Dana had some deeper understanding in that moment then did I. But I realized after she said that, how I often would agree to whatever anyone is saying as a quick reaction, then a second later say to myself "Now what?". Sometimes I was readable and people would just chuckle.
In the backroom that evening when we were working on the scarecrows. Those hours flew by with all of us stuffing scarecrows with straw, we glued buttons on the faces and tied gourds to the arms. Christy worked very closely with me then we ended up laughing at the funny things I did or said. I had learned along time ago how to laugh at my self along with others. It was almost midnight by the time I got home and since this was before the days of cell phones my parents were not happy. They had almost came looking for me, it was another part of growing up, being taught how to think of others. I somehow thought that since I now had a job my parents were going to automatically be done with their parenting. I was far from being able to function on my own, yet in my head I was finally ready to grow up.

Those scarecrows were huge, they were also very colorful in the yard of that gift shop. The yard was completely decked out with a red barn, hay bales, pumpkins and corn stalks.There must have been at least 8 scarecrows and that red barn played one song over and over again. It was a spoof of the famous country song at the time by Brooks&Dunn "The boot scootin boogie". For those scarecrows were displayed as if they were happily dancing to "The Scarecrow Boogie" I loved that year in the celebration for fall. When the whole town of Meridian was putting on that wonderful Fall festival! The setup had a hay bale maze in front of the town's post office, sidewalk shops,  hot dog stands and face painting booths. Along with the great pumpkin craving contest and the horse rides. I found working in that cute cozy shop during such a time to be so memorable, I would watch down the streets to see it all alive with people and children! I would also be singing along to that repetitive music coming from the barn in the yard. I worked the cash register dancing along or stocking the seasonal scented candles that were on sale. Some days I would be working in the kitchen making salads and soups by the open window where the song was the loudest while many other co-workers hated the never ending song. I would just find myself happily humming along. 
One night when the festival was in full swing and the tea room closed for the day. My supervisor Christy made me a large Carmel latte, She handed it to me right after a big crowd had just left the shop. "I bet you have never had a latte before." Chirsty announced looking at me. I took the big hot paper cup with foam and Carmel drizzle on top. "WOW what IS it?" I asked excitedly. She laughed while replying "I knew it! that is why I made it for you with only 2 shots of espresso. Girl, if you are going to work here ya'll need the caffeine!" She continued chuckling as she took over the cash register. I loved having her by my side when I rung people's purchases up. She was a charmer making everyone leave smiling and happy. I watched her every move and even repeated her phrases. "Thank Y'all for comin' in now!" As the gift shop door stayed open on that warm fall night the music of the scarecrow boogie flooded the room, while I felt a cozy warm feeling while drinking down my Carmel latte. I was laughing along side Christy through out the busy festival night. With this new found energy I found that as 9 pm came about and we still had a line of customers that I really could help them all! I wrapped breakable items in tissue paper, found collector boxes and printed out gift receipts. I answered the phone, I helped people find the Christmas room and served samples of hot cider all with such energy as it got later into that fall night. For I had this pure joy! Even long after 11 pm when the shop finally closed, I vacuumed and took out trash as if it was no work at all. Christy and I had crossed over from that very tired state of mind to pure laughter. As we both had tears in our eyes from laughing so hard and our lattes were completely drank. We found our closing mistakes to be even more hysterical. Once we turned out the lights and locked the door from outside, We headed to our cars only to stop suddenly by the sound of the music playing "...And that's how we do the scarecrow boogieeeeeeee...." Christy exclaimed with her car keys in hand looking at me "I forgot to turn off that damn song!" then we burst out laughing all over again.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hell House

My very first Halloween celebration was when I was 19 years old. I heard my mother say she did dress me up for Halloween when I was 9 months old. But that was before she KNEW BETTER. As Halloween gets a bad rap mostly from the evangelical Christians and really from this new wave of fear started in the early 80's. Back when no one knew any better....   (I chuckle here)
I think it's sad to have this new wave of fear, this strong determination to NOT join in the fun of Halloween. Just like with Christmas or Valentines day some people in society can display bad behavior on any holiday. Maybe we should boycott Thanksgiving for if we only knew better we wouldn't celebrate a holiday like that! If we talked about all the yearly suicides that happened with each holiday or the broken homes along with the added stress of a holiday brings about even more abuse? If you stand against Halloween for all it's evil then really you should stand against all the holidays. I know it is much easier to choose Halloween for it looks scary, it can easily be the holiday you pushed aside. Even if you really don't know why.... but if your Pastor and your church say it's wrong then by god it is! I spent my whole childhood NOT joining in Halloween, I use to looked down my nose at my friends who did. I stood in judgment over Halloween. For if it is known to be Satan's Birthday then How very sinful of you to enjoy it!  
This kind of fear along with feeling of being left out around Halloween would often bring out a very preachy Debby. If you can't join in the fun of dressing up, hanging out with friends on a freshly crisp fall night or get the biggest bag of candy ever. Then why not complain or I mean preach against other people's freedom? One of those Halloweens as a child was interrupted by the visit of my Father's parents. Normally Dad had the lights out in the house as early as 6pm, we had to be in bed 3 hours earlier then usual and were NOT allowed to answer the endless ringing door in those days of our trailer house. As tiny kids we grew up terrified of Satan, so along with every ring when the tailor park kids came Trick or Treating, we hided under our bedding shaking violently sometimes the next morning revealed a wet bed. But most years my little brother and sister would climb into my bed to sleep with me on that night of Satan's Birthday. I wish I could revisit those scared little children. While their parents seemed happy and relieved to go to bed so early, I would comfort them, sing happy songs and keep a night light on for them. Instead those kids suffered with their imaginations and whimpered by the ding dong noise of someone at the door, in that dark scary home. When Grandma and Papa came for Halloween our home stayed lite up and cozy all through the Halloween night. I was maybe 7 years old at the time, Grandma insisted on us helping her hand out candies to the visitors at the door. I loved looking at all the different costumes, Some kids would state they made theirs all by themselves and then the adults would laugh. But what I loved the most of all was giving, just simply giving candy was the most joyous feeling in the whole world! Because it was the one and only time where instead of hiding from Satan, I got to give out candy to the kids at the door! Halloween celebrated in love, in fun, in laughter and in giving isn't so scary after all. Maybe it even keeps Satan at bay? I knew I would always remember that one fun Halloween in my childhood when giving out candy was such a warm happy feeling that replace the fear usually there! I remembered my Father mumbled "Oh great now they will all think they can come here again NEXT year." 
So when I was 19 years old I got off work with a determination to see what Halloween was really like without all the rules against it. I was sleeping at my best friend Joanie's house that night so when I arrived at her home she had cookies baking and her dad was serving us hot apple cider. I felt a new found excitement in me! Joanie dressed me up as a good witch with a lacy black skirt and a stringy black shawl. I wore a witch hat, I also put flowers in it. When our other friend Sara arrived to the house she was the perfect image of "Alice in Wonderland" The 3 of us girls were not sure yet what we were going to do, Joanie had been in a French Maid costume all day at her high school. "I can not wear these shoes one more minuet!" She exclaimed tossing them to the other side of her bedroom. "Why? they look so cute!" I reasoned as I picked up the little black heels. Joanie continued rubbing her feet and complained "Try running up and down stairs to your classes all day in those!" She put on a pair of black slippers. "I bet the guys were checking you out all day!" I laughed. Joanie curled the back ends of my long blond hair and I touched up my makeup when Sara arrived "Hey there sexy Bitches!" she said twirling around in her perfect look of Alice. "Oh Debby I should take a picture of you! the GOOD witch!" she laughed as she leaned against the door frame. "I have never heard of a GOOD witch but that would be something Debby would do! hahahahaha!" She began to hold up her camera "NO pictures!" I exclaimed as I pushed her camera down, She looked surprised "but My mom wants me to take some pictures?" Joanie sprung to life saying "Let's go see your mom!" 
"No pictures for if my parents found out I was dressing up I could be dead!" I explained. Sara rolled her eyes at Joanie, "Okay lets go Trick or Treat at my house Mom would love to see you....SO Debby doesn't it feel great to brake the rules for once in your life to play on the devil's birthday?" She let out her scary laughter while both Joanie and I threw a couch pillow at her. She squealed and toss them right back at us. It was decided some where in that evening between driving around popping by a few friend's houses to Trick or Treat that we should go to the Christian haunted house. 
"I have been wanting to go the last couple of years and usually I am working at the movie theater." Explained Joanie, from the passenger seat of my big fat old Chevy car. "What is it called?" I asked again through all the noise of the back seat for we had picked up a few more friends to hang out with us, the back seat was packed yet I could always hear Sara squeal and laugh. Once we arrived at the 3 white dome church in Caldwell Idaho, Joanie said  "It's suppose to be really good and has great acting." She had guided me there as I drove but now I was worrying this could be a bit more scary for me. I was never allowed to go into any haunted houses at the State fairs growing up, we had completely avoid the famous haunted mason in our family visit to Disneyland when I was 15. So as I  paid out seven dollars to enter a Christian haunted house I worried about it being way to scary for me to handle. "JOANIE, You owe me seven bucks if this isn't any good!" Sara said as she jumped on Joanie while we waited. Joanie laugh and playfully pushed her back. Joanie said looking at me with a smile as Sara climb on her back "It's called Hell House, and I knew if I told you that then you would freaked out and not come." I folded my arms while mumbling "Great, so now I am freaking out and have already paid!" Both girls were giggling and watching me. Then Sara threw her arms around me as she exclaimed loudly "Hail Debby the virgin Halloween participator!"All at once our group of friends laughed, I just hugged Sara back. Thinking to myself  
"What have I gotten myself into?"
In this charismatic church the building at first felt empty showing a bright yellow rope as we enter the auditorium. This was going to mark the path we took through out the church from scene to scene of all these mini plays. The first scene acted out was of  a real car smashed into the stage with dry ice creating the fresh smoke, it was very realistic as we walked in single file then stop to watch. Our guide made us all stop at the first sound of a blood curling scream. Sara grabbed my arm and began to squeeze it tightly, then at the second scream she threw herself into Joanie. I watched on looking for who was screaming among the bodies. A hurt guy appeared to be moving among the broken car, all the glass and the blood covered his body. Along with empty beer cans laid out on the floor of the church. He cried out "Why oh why did I drink and drive?" then his girlfriend screamed for the 3rd time and then die. He cried and hit himself saying "I will never forgive myself" I stood speechless completely horrified. We kept walking through scenes like that, from One room that had drinking and drugs then showing the same person who got addicted to drugs homeless and gross looking. Another room had spousal abuse where the husband beat his wife as the wife said "My parents warned me not to marry you! I wish I had listen....listen....listen." I walked fearful not really wanting to keep going on with my teary eyes. BUT the one room I became very ill in was the abortion scene. It was a room looking like a hospital where the woman was screaming "Give me back my baby I have changed my mind!" It was also the scene that had the most blood. Which was why I had to look away from it as we stood there. They even held up a bloody looking fake baby doll and I thought I couldn't cry any harder. The second to the last room was Hell it's self. All dark almost painted black completely humid air and hot steam shooting on us as we stood there with the so called demons painted skull faces of people circling us, then Satan comes out and screams at us like we are in the military. He talks of how he will beat God and win our souls.  At that moment a part of me wanted to just punch him in the mouth when he got to close. I stood sweating in that hot enclosed stuffy room, drying my teary eyes from all the crazy drama we had just seen. I thought to myself  at that moment "I think if I said Fuck You Satan, I would have no guilt over it at all." As Joanie leaned into me more and Sara whispered between us both "When can we get out of here?" I stood there glaring down this acting Satan as he continued to scream at us. When the doors finally opened to Heaven I breathed a sigh of relief that in Heaven at least they have AC! This was the final room of the tour, it was all covered in white and gold decor. The angels sang a song for us, then everyone prayed to the sinner's prayer. Some people who had walked through with us were strangers but after coming through a haunted church like that we all felt a bit closer. When one or 2 people felt to their knees in this room called Heaven. They cried uncontrollably and called out to God to save them. Such powerful feelings, such great relief it was to find myself sitting back in my car ready to leave. All of us sat there silent, almost traumatized really. Then Sara broke the quietness stating clearly "Well now that isn't as fun as going door to door for candy." We all broke out laughing at once and continued on to T.P a few homes before calling it a night. 
I think sometimes when you spend so much time trying to protect your kids from fear, they grow up as adults unaware of how deal with that same fear.  Halloween has good things to offer but you have to know how to create the kind of holiday you want. First thing to realize is that there is no Satan's birthday, there is no actual Satan himself......... For I have long since kicked his ass for y'all!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Lavender Oil

These last few days I have been sick with a head cold. I am not a fan of that balloon head feeling you get when you are sick. Nor do I like not being able to breath. I was surprise to get so sick suddenly, I went down quickly, even rested in bed all day yesterday. Having my cat and dog sleep along side of me was very sweet! I have been doing everything for this cold and now on day 3 I am feeling much better! I made a homemade chicken soup with cabbage, and roasted veggies. Also drinking herbal tea that actually states it helps the common cold. I love that warm feeling of tea hitting my soar throat and the refreshing way it smells. But whenever I get sick my most favorite scent of all is Lavender. I am sure that comes at such a surprise:-)
Now I love the scent of Lavender no matter what, don't get me wrong! BUT in the last few days every time I got into a steamy hot shower I would put a few drops of my lavender oil in my hands while breathing it in. It clears my head instantly, helps my aches and pains to relax. I know it's just the beginning of the cold and flu season, I even got a flu shot a couple of weeks ago for my therapy dog visits at the hospital. I am really hoping once this is over I will be healthy and strong through out the rest of the holiday season. With the help of Lavender in my lotion, in my herbal tea, on my pillow and in my shower I am getting better.  Lavender oil has many usages, for me this week it was to help me deflate my balloon head!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Playing Dress Up

When My Beloved Friend Tiffany turned 15 one October day, We joined in together putting our hair up and applying makeup. Tiffany's bedroom was all laces and dresses. She had a trunk full of play clothes of hats, gloves, purses and shoes! Helping along any imagination back to the days of Jane Austin. I loved my personal hand written invited to her Birthday party. It was truly unlike any party I had ever attended. These girls were helping me dress in petti-coats and shawls. With an old pearls necklace and clip on earrings I was overcome into another world of dressing up! The time getting ready was half the fun of the tea party. Tiffany's Mom helped her put this dream birthday party all together. When Jennifer, Rebekah and I received the personal invites, we were talking at church about how fun this will be. On this day it was cloudy, a bit rainy even. Once inside Tiffany's bed room we girls were giggling, talking and hugging on each other. We tried on and off dresses, we laid around in our stockings and hot curlers. It was my first thought that I really loved being a girl! I loved the flowers in the straw hats and the perfume smells! When I began putting on play makeup I remember looking in the mirror back at my 3 beloved friends lounging on the bed in everything beautiful, in everything girlie. "Oh No! Debby that is just way to much makeup! You look like you are ready for the stage!" Tiffany exclaimed as she moved closer to me. Everyone laughed including myself. For I wasn't at all use to make up. Tiffany wiped my face with warm cloth and started again. She said I was a Spring colored person, She used pinks and soft light blues. I was amazed when she was done at how natural I looked, How pretty I felt. Rebekah had been Tiffany's best friend since kindergarten so they argued over whether Rebekah was a fall or a winter person. I had never heard of these seasons in the make up line before. I was learning all kinds of new things with these beloved friends. When the four of us girls sat dressed up around the dinning room table on that cozy afternoon, Tiffany served us. The china set had steaming tea, and tiny bite sized cookies. "These are Goosh!" Exclaimed Jennifer as she held one up before putting in on her small plate, I was watching her intensely for she seemed to know how to behave at a tea party. "Goosh?" I asked her as I passed around the tea cookies. Jen smiled big and beautifully saying "It's what my family says for something adorable." When Tiffany brought out the individual salads we ate quietly and carefully. Then Rebekah and Tiffany burst out laughing at once. Rebekah explained "It's so quiet! hahahahaha! I never thought Debby could be so quiet! hahahahaha" They all laughed together, I joined in. "This is just so fancy to me!" I replied bewildered. 
The fruit salad was amazingly displayed in half a shell of watermelon, these tiny baby watermelon had a spiky edge holding inside all the fruit. "How in the world did you make these?" I asked. Tiffany smiled proudly. "I am glad you like them, Mom and I worked all morning on everything so I could just grab it out of the frig, I wouldn't miss out visiting with you at the same time." The house was empty, everyone else was gone as the four of us girls visited over beautiful displayed foods and our pairs of gloves to the side. After our tea party we all four watched the "Anne of Green Gables" Movies and laid around each other in our outfits. When I would twirl to spin out my dress, I would giggle at how much fun it was to be a girl after all!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Perfect Chair

The BBQ of the year

A week ago from today my Aunt Veta had a great warm fire pit going on the grounds of her beautiful home in Sandpoint Idaho. I had spent the morning with my other Aunt Valorie over coffee with a hearty breakfast. She showed me her beautiful home in those Autumn colors, with the wet nose hugs from her dogs I took it all in with such refreshing excitement. Once at the BBQ I was surprised, I was amazed by all the people! My Cousin Trina and I have been close again and in our last phone conversation she said when I visit we will have a BBQ. "WOW!" was what both Val and I said when we arrived to all the vehicles. I enjoy all sizes of groups, in this was a moment I was so touched. My Cousin Trina has the sweetest Hubby Kyle who cooked all the food and kept the BBQ going. Their 2 kids Hannah and Harvey were on my mind when I (following my Aunt Kaisie's foot steps) gave them bubble gum too:-) I think it was one of those evenings I will always remember with such a smile. When my Aunt Nancy hugged me among all the other greetings, I was amazed at how long it has been since I have seen her. Now I knew she had always been close to my mother so I hadn't even once thought she would actually come by to say hi. I was moved very deeply, how special an act like this truly is. I realize I never really allowed myself to trust her simply because my mother adored her. How funny to understand now that our parents can control even our choices of friends? My Uncle Rudy is married to my Aunt Nancy, He also has the kindest smile. They were always apart of my parents time as I grew up. Even though one time I remember being thankful to Aunt Nancy saying that even though I was 15 years old I didn't have to go to bed at 7pm just because her younger children were. She said she understood I was older, I always thought that was very nice of her. But my Father eager to get rid of us, he sent us to bed just the same. Also when I was 15  I had saved up my money to take my first airplane ride up north. To spend a week with my Grandparents, I had to really fight with my parents about staying with Auntie Val also, because she and I wrote each other all the time. We were very close! My parents wanted me to stay with Uncle Rudy and Aunt Nancy. So naturally I would just put my guard up when around them. They also kept my parents informed about me that week. When I got home I tried to share some of my stories about my vacation. My parents told me to shut up, for they already knew everything from my Uncle Rudy. It was a moment that really hurt me, that really made me both sad and mad. Now last Saturday I wondered how much about them do I not know only because of that memory? That grudge I held on to? How amazing it was to see them along with their newly married daughter Rebekah. They are whole other side to the family, I would like very much to know more. My Aunt Chris recently told me that I would like them, and I trust her judgment. 
In this BBQ visit I felt so loved by having such a big family, with the laughter to share. I left thinking about how no matter the years, Family just has that great rich history.
At my cousin Henry's house Sunday, I enjoyed my final night of this trip to northern Idaho in Moscow. I got to meet his sweet Husband Alex. I got to cuddle with their pets, talk about their lives and learn more about them. My Auntie Val said the night before that she is so proud of her son and all he went through. She said with tears just how much she loves him. I was so happy, so proud to see him again. Over dinner at their place I watched Henry come alive with sharing jokes and telling stories just like he always did as a child. I laughed so hard thinking this is simply wonderful to see him so loved by Alex and so happy in his own place! After this whole trip I ended up making new friends, having these great new memories and a deeper understanding in how everyone is now. When I drove through St. Maries on that Sunday afternoon, this was the town I was born in. From back in 1979 to now 2010 I can see the places are still there but I have changed. I have seen that simple pure thing called LOVE preform miracles, heal the anger and humble the heart. 
The song on the radio played in the background while I drove slowly through town, lost in my own thoughts "..Did you miss me while you were looking for yourself out there?"

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Secret Lives of.........AUNTS

A week ago I embarked on a new adventure. Last Friday morning I drove up highway 95 with my auto book playing and drinking my favorite spicy tomato juice. The morning sky was vibrant and glowing with the chill of the fall season. Up North in Sandpoint was awaiting my Auntie Val, who found me on facebook and we enjoyed long phone conversations. I had promised her I would come up and visit yet all this past summer never seemed to work out as hoped. When I promise something I always follow through, this is why I never make declarative statements like "I am going to Mexico" or "I will see Paris." Because in all honesty those things are more out of my control. I would feel bad if I didn't follow through with a promise. A week ago from today I was excited and ready to give my Aunt a big strong hug! Since I come from such a big extended family...I realized there are some aunts I have never really got to visit with growing up. My Auntie Val not only wrote me back every time I wrote her during my difficult teenage years. But she lived in the same small town of St. Maries Idaho that her and my Father's Parents lived. Allowing for our big family visits to be so special to me. For Auntie Val would request from my parents to have me sleep over, feeling so comforted and special she would do my hair and play with make up. We would laugh the whole time over stories and baked cookies. We would go for ice creams and shop with lattes in hand. Her only son and I bounded  quite easily. Henry and I always stuck together when everyone else was around. He often got chewed out for bossing other kids around but I thought back then that if you are an only kid sometimes you can't help but know what is best for everyone.
So last weekend was my first visit in almost 10 years. Maybe most importantly it was my own visit without my Parents watching me, keeping me in check of who I could or couldn't talk to. 
I had a really great trip in seeing all my Aunts and my Cousins for who they are and not what was previously told to me in how I should think of them. I loved my trip in full by all the beauty, all the laughter and all the love that is and has always been there. My Father was the oldest in his family, so when I heard someone say "This is Delbert's oldest" at the Big family BBQ Saturday evening. I smiled to myself thinking just how true my Father and I are alike in some ways. The Klein Family is vibrant, vocal and energized. There are many members to these gatherings but not all of them can be heard or even noticed if by chance they were of a quieter nature. I was able to really enjoy the hugs and smiles. The stories and the memories, My Grandma was there after all. Though she has made it a point to let me know I am nothing special. There was a time as a child I idolized her and the whole experience of visiting St.Maries. Though more from the part my Father didn't spank me as much when we were there, and that there were more arms to give me the desperate hugs I craved. I now see my Grandma for the real person she keeps so guarded. She is the mirror image of my Father, that I sometimes realize my frustration should be direct to Grandma and not to my Father after all. When at the BBQ on Saturday I asked myself 
"IF THIS person had been my Mother what kind of person would I be?" I realized just then that I stood there with my arms folded thinking over this question...Oh! Dear God! I exclaimed dropping my arms quickly and wrapping them around the shoulders of my newly connected family.
My Aunts somehow had to learn how to deal with their manipulating mother, with her negative attitude and quick judgment. When she showed love, kindness and care those memories became historical. Something to cling to when the normal frustration and anger got in the way. In my eyes it isn't weakness to cry or to share how you really feel but in the presence of my Grandma I hear her frown and mumble "Grow up" under her breath. Some people never realize they can change, that it is never to late to be even a tiny bit nicer. For their pride or the way it has always been done can not dissolve into peace and joy over a fresh new start. I hugged my Grandma when I arrived at the BBQ saying "Oh it's good to see you and this weather! Isn't it so perfect for an outside fall BBQ!" She pushes her lips together in reply saying quickly "It's to Cold." I laughed while waving at her, I stated loudly "Well then GO INSIDE!" The simple truth is her negativity doesn't dampen my positive life anymore.
My Aunts;
Aunt Veta was born after my Father, She has such self confidence, a clear understanding of what she thinks and has a booming voice to convey it. She is a very strong person. Last weekend she reminded me of my sister Dana in almost every way of personality. They both are vibrant spit fire independent people, They have every right to be proud. My Aunt Veta opened up her home for my visit along with being now a Grandma herself , she takes joy in gardening, in her home and all her kids. It was Aunt Vee who named me "Little Dee" and I was so touched that she saw so clearly all those years ago the need in me to be different from my own Mother. Since everyone called my Mom "Debby" I would answer at the same time. Finally Veta said "This girl should have her OWN name! Who really wants to share the same name anyway?" She asked me making one of her cute slanted smiles that said "How ridiculous is that?" So from that day on I was "Little Dee" thanks to my protective Aunt Veta. Once when the family went through a scary time I remember how Aunt Veta held me and her daughter Cally close as we cried. I will always remember in awe how Veta stood up to my Father with no problem and that she didn't take shit from anyone. 

Aunt Chris was the 3rd in line of the Klein family, She was also the first Aunt to contact me a few years ago via facebook. She lives in Portland and through all the years of Klein family drama has been a bit more protected through that distance. I loved my visit with her a year ago when I flew in to meet face to face and to be able to have an actual hug. I believe in the positive way of  facebook bringing about a connection that when visiting in personal makes it feel like no time has passed between kindred spirits. My Aunt Chris is a good listener and she thinks about things before just speaking. When her husband Steve said she is the most giving, loving, gracious person he has ever known I could see it so true. Her friendship has become so naturally apart of my everyday life. I couldn't imagine not having such a sweet Aunt like her in my life. She remembers me when I was just a baby, when she thought there is no way this little girl should suffer so many spankings so young. I know it was her hope, her love that as a child I enjoyed sitting on her lap playing with her gold cross necklace by the fire. When I grew up watching her and my Mom argue, I often felt helpless in reconciling the situation. Then the day came when my mother declared we weren't visiting Aunt Chris in Portland anymore for she is a Liberal. I laugh at this memory for being a liberal myself  I still don't understand why the hostility? Now being around my Aunt Chris makes me feel so relaxed and so happy. How did I get so blessed with such amazing women in my life?

Aunt Kaisie was born after the twins boys. My Uncles that look almost identical Randy and Rudy. My Aunt Kaisie has beautiful red hair just like my own father. She use to babysit us little kids when she lived in Boise for awhile. Aunt Kaisie always brought my sister Dana a packet of grape bubble gum. We all got to enjoy it but for Dana and my Aunt Kaisie it was a special bond. Kaisie's laughter and her confidence reminded me very much of my Father. Over last weekend's visit I saw the same common sense that my father always had also in her. They have the same smile and that refreshing no nonsense way in visiting. I truly adore my Aunt Kaisie with her strong friendships she maintains in her family, the fact that she can be sensitive and strong at the very same time made me feel so hopeful in my own life. I often let myself over worry about things and get so emotionally tangled up in my fears but Aunt Kaisie simply stated "Everything will work out and it will be okay." Just made me smile so big and feel so happy when leaving her place. She was a happy presence at the BBQ, She listens and shares in the conversations with a twinkle in her eye and a hearty laugh that made me so happy to have such an Aunt as her!

Auntie Val was almost timeless in appearance, when I opened my hotel door to hug her I honestly couldn't believe she hadn't change or even aged in the last 9 or so years since last we met. Dinner was a perfect event in a quiet corner we laughed and talked like we always ate together. I loved learning of her new life in Sandpoint, listening to how much she is loved by her Hubby. It really was amazing to see how she has grown into herself more. How she as the baby of the family was making her own way through life, realizing how she could focus on her married life more letting the past rest in peace, I am proud of her and I will always encourage her not to be afraid to stand up for herself. She is also passionate in her faith, and in her religion. I understand how she feels. I can relate to having once that same passion, I think it's important to note that a friendship like hers isn't based on faith but of love. I love her just the way she is and know I can share myself in what may help her as she has always been there to help me. My Auntie Val can smile big and laugh just as much as I can! She said with such love "I was afraid you would forget about me, after your parents disowned me, then Trina and Cally moved away...But Mom said "They will never forget their Auntie Val."
I stop to hug my sweet teary eyed Auntie Val, saying "I have NEVER forgotten you! I love you!" 
I knew this trip was much more then just a weekend get away, this was closer for my heart and soul.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Harvest Moon

It was such a romantic night with the Fall season surrounding us with those chilly evenings and the smell of hot tea steaming. Tea is a beverage of my Husband, Tony. This is also the man in my life whose love and company gives me time to calm down and relax. He shows me how important just doing nothing at all really is. Some may say that sounds like being lazy but for me last night it was perfect. I celebrated my life under the harvest moon. We attended a wonderful production of the "Fleet Street Klezmer Band" at the Shangri-La Tea Room here in Boise Idaho. My sweet friend Victoria Kostenko plays the violin in the band of Jewish klezmer, sephardic and gypsy music. I loved the Shangri-la in general but last night's performance was delightful and intimate! I love the cozy season of fall, the colors outside with the comfort of sweaters. But after thinking over the last few of my blog stories I realize how far I have come in my life with so much beauty among my sadness. I am moving forward with such depth and such closure in my life that the new journey before me is both exciting and alarming. I hadn't thought taking a trip last weekend to the northern part of this state would awake in me such a past of pain and confusion. Yet in seeing my extended family I have such hope for better relationships in the over all time I have left on this earth. Last night after such amazing food, along with such passion for cooking and the new ideas sparked in me. I am inspired more to look to the future! My Tony was charmed as much as myself in the wonderful special night of singing along and clapping to such beauty. When the children danced, I laughed thinking how lucky they are to have such musically gifted parents and to have so much love all around!
Once we settled into our one last cup of tea before bed, I sang "Be happy" by Ananda band. This is one of my most favorite songs, Tony said I had such a beautiful singing voice and I knew you can change the story that was told to you as a child about who you are. As an adult I now sing with love....

BE HAPPY by Ananda Band

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Defiant Doughnut

There is a memory in all of us of the moment we were clearly defiant. The moment we had such clarity and a sense of justice. I sometimes wish I only had one such moment in my life....But honestly with parents like mine I just grew up feeling that way all the time. Only secretly hiding who I was and what I really thought all along. Now as an Adult I struggle with that same sense of justice. That same clarity that the world needs my help in order to survive. It is rather silly! I can understand it better now. For I grew up under such pressure to save the world,   finally now I can let go of such guilt. I can understand now that I was NEVER to blame, for I was just a child. As an adult I am held accountable for my actions in this present time. I ask myself “Where does this pain in my soul come from? How can I calm myself down when I feel like time is running out and one day this world will explode?” As a child I was given such sadness, such huge responsibilities. I can realize now the world will not explode at least not by me. Both in good and bad ways I see what I need to deal with when facing myself today in the mirror.
So just because I forgive my parents, and that I have come along ways in realizing they did the best they could with what they themselves also struggled with. Doesn't mean they are not held accountable. When I look at them now I wonder to myself “How long is a life time of avoidance? Of simply Not talking it out, not facing our mistakes?” As their child it would be rude of me to call them out on their bullshit, not mention disrespectful.
A parent leads the way in maturity and forgiveness...usually, For children watch everything, learn everything they can since they do not know yet how to be their own person.
I find myself STILL watching my parents, I am hopeful for a better relationship. Just like I did in all of those childhood days. Without HOPE I wouldn't be here, the person I am in all honesty.

In a Trip to Portland with grandma Norma and my mother, as a child I have a memory to share but I can't recall the very year or the actual age I was. This was a yearly trip with my sister and I staring out the backseat through the window of Grandma's blue perfectly cleaned car. I loved how nice the seat cushions were. How beautiful the Columbia Gorge was as we drove up to Portland Oregon from Boise Idaho. My outgoing, bubbly Aunt Karen was attending a College in Portland. She was the youngest of my mom's side of the family. She was the kind of Aunt who always colored with us, played all kinds of games like hide n' seek or Green light Red light in the back yard. She was just 11 years older then me so I naturally I followed her everywhere! I loved when she laughed, for my Aunt Karen giggled all the time and it made me feel comforted. She could be firm in directing us kids when we needed some control or guidance. But she never lost her temper, she always had some creative way in punishment.
I simply adored her.
When we arrived to the college I remembered Grandma getting so choked up with tears. Just as we pulled into the college campus. We saw Karen walking to her dorm at the same time Grandma yelled out “There she is!” The tears flooded Grandma's face, I stared in awe and in wonder as to why on earth would she be crying? Grandma jump out of the moving car while Mom had to slam on her brakes saying surprised “Wait wait I'm almost parked..” But my little 5 foot Grandma was gone! She soon was hugging her daughter as if it had been years since they last saw each other. When it was decided the next day we would all meet up in the morning go to the Oregon coast. My Aunt Karen exclaimed “We could get doughnuts for breakfast!” My sister and I cheered happily along side our young vibrant Aunt. After we said our good nights just before we drove away my Aunt Karen said again “Don't forget the doughnuts!” I replied back filled with such excitement “Don't worry we WON'T!” I laughed as she did a little dance while leaving us. I loved my Aunt Karen's happiness!
The next morning standing in the yellow glow of the bakery lights I was waking up. I watched my Mom, my Grandma and my Sister each grabbed a breakfast doughnut. “Don't forget Karens.” I said as I put my maple bar in to Mom's white paper bag.
I repeated it again “Don't forget Karen needs her doughnut.” I was frustrated for no one was listening to me, I said it again “Don't forget KAREN, she wants a doughnut too!” I replied but everyone was now walking away from the pastry case. “WHAT ABOUT KAREN?” I exclaimed with panic. I had assured her the night before we wouldn't forget about her. My Mother was clearly bothered by me and snapped hissing like a snake. “Stop it! Debby we are not talking about this right now.” I was bewildered almost in tears while completely panicking now. “WHY!? Karen needs her doughnut too!” Mom was pinching my upper arm with her strong hand, her face was an inch from mine as she hissed again“If you don't stop right now! I will put your doughnut back and you won't have any breakfast. Be silent!” My tears flooded my face and my throat burned while trying to understand what was happening around me. “Karen!” was all I could speak out as I cried and pointed to the bakery section of the store. When you are a small child crying because you are hurt, confused or frighten often Adults over look you as a problem. The things that parents do not pay attention to, can make up for all the tears I see in any small child today. Now when I go to the store as a woman in my 30s I sympathize automatically towards the screaming upset child. I instantly see an Asshole parent first. Though most people would think it's a bratty, spoiled, screaming kid. It is of my strongest option that Children cry because a Parent won't listen.
In the car at that moment of fighting for my Aunt to have a doughnut as she asked us to do for her, I tried to stop crying from my defeat. Grandma Norma looked surprised at me asking “What is wrong?” I mumbled “We forgot Karen's doughnut.” Grandma smiled sympathetically while nodding and looking sideways at my mom. When my Mom spoke sternly we were now in the car driving away to the college up the road. She explained glancing at me through the rear view mirror.
“When I say “Be quiet” it means the same as when your dad says it. You have to obey me like you would your Father, just because I don't yell doesn't mean I don't mean it.” My Grandma sat silently, as Mom talked. I wiped my wet face with the long shirt sleeve. Mom continued finally explaining herself. “We decided the last thing Karen needs is a doughnut. Maybe she will already had a more healthier breakfast by the time we see her.” I watched my Mom rolled her eyes at my Grandma. “Why?” I asked completely confused still by thinking over everything that had just happened. Mom sighed again “Debby be quiet! finish up your doughnut it needs to be gone before we get to the college.” I ate quickly in pain with my sore throat from crying so hard. My anger was growing inside of me, for not keeping my word to my sweet Aunt made me feel helpless. I sat bewildered to realize what my Mom was actually saying is that my Aunt Karen was fat. I had NEVER looked at Karen in that way before. I was horrified to suddenly realize what my own mother was doing. So as Mom gave us wet wipes to get the sugar off our hands. I was steaming like a boiling kettle, I wanted to yell at my Mom when I had reach such clarity, such frustration. “HOW DARE YOU! YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF!” Then suddenly my Aunt appeared by the roadside waiting for us. Karen was excited, happily chatting away. She was truly beautiful with dark curly hair and her giggles bubbling out her. While the conversations were going I sat pouting in anger then suddenly I felt a white pastry bag at my feet, I looked down surprised by it and then so confidently I said my voice was force through with hissing anger “Mom, Where do you want me to throw this DOUGHNUT bag out of the way? It's sticking to my feet.” I glared at her through the rear view mirror with my smug smile. Her eyes showed sudden fear then pure rage. I kept staring her down through the mirror as she drove with my “Bring it on, Bitch” look that I have. My attitude was so justified in my loyal love to my Aunt Karen. I wasn't going to let anyone get away with calling her fat! My Aunt Karen looked at me in such deep sadness saying “You said you would bring me a doughnut too?” I felt suddenly alarmed that Karen misunderstood that I of all people would not forget! “No no I remembered! I was trying to get you one! But Mom wouldn't let me!” I realized if I told her Mom said she was fat that would just hurt her feelings, even cause Grandma to be mad at me! I bewildered by the sudden mess I had created. Now my Mom didn't speak to me for the rest of that day, she did buy her sister a doughnut after all. Yet she glared me down the whole time while she even let her little sister drink chocolate milk with her doughnut. I knew my Mom was beyond rage, that she was so deeply angry with me. My punishment came 4 days later when once we were home again, my Father reached for his big thick leather belt. That was a spanking that still haunts me in my sleep sometimes as I now wake up startled and alarmed. With tears I can remember this moment in my life along with every slice of that belt on my legs, it was the first time I got a spanking that my Mother watched proudly over. Ironically I didn't actual DO anything wrong.....I have to keep telling myself that sometimes after not being able to fall a sleep when haunted by such an emotional memory..I maybe 31 years old right now but the memories can feel like they happened just yesterday. I guess that is why I am the strong person I am today.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My 3 Beloved Girls

When I was thirteen and my Mother was pregnant. I found the world of pregnancy very interesting. I watched my mother closely and laugh at her growing belly. Seeing my baby brother's foot pop out into her skin."Weird!" I would exclaim while holding my hand as he kicked. My Mom ate every 2 hours and it amazed me how much she ate or even WHAT she ate. I understood deep down inside of me that I would Never want to be pregnant myself. I just loved learning everything about her new baby on the way. Mom would have a big bowl of ice cream then steam a big pot of fresh beets from the garden. "Didn't you just have ice cream?" I would ask as she salted a cooked beet. "yes and now I am craving beets...I was unhealthy in eating all that ice cream so now I am eating more nutrition." I would laugh so much by all that she ate and how she set up some strange combos.
One night I was sleeping over at my friend's house, so along with her dad, she came to pick me up from the farm. I remember letting myself relax completely in her back seat next to my friend Tiff. "Wow being pregnant makes you act all kinds of crazy!" I said sighing thinking of my Mom in her bad mood before I had left. Thankfully I was not going to be home tonight! I jabbered away about all the new things happening in getting ready for a baby in the home. "It's funny to watch her eat an entire jar of pickles while also eating a bowl of cold sugary cereal! hahahaha it's amazing to watch all the food flying out! We went to Costco twice last month and we use to go every couple of months! It's really crazy I am tellin' ya, The common dish is ice cream and then beets! and at least every 2 hours she says she is starving! hahahahaha" 
I was relieved to be talking to someone, just very happy to be embraced by my dear friend in her car while her Father listened and laughed along with us. Tiff turned to her dad saying "Don't get any ideas." and he laughed even harder.
The very next day at Church Tiffany's Father joked with my Parents about my mom being pregnant. I have no idea what he said but it was the mother load of all mistakes I had made. For I was told to get in the car, to wait and while we all came to sit in the car, I sat there still holding my sleep over bag from the night before. I wondered what did I do to get into trouble? Mom turned to face me from the front seat "How dare you! How dare you think you are so special, You like to talk about your crazy mother?!" I was bewildered then crushed staring at her in horror. Now I really wanted to know what did I do? Dad was the one who drove home while yelling at me for having such a big mouth and not being loyal to the family. He ended by saying I could not speak about what went on inside our home ever to anyone unless I wanted to be grounded for life. I believed him fully, without question. My parents both said angrily back and forth of all the things I have done wrong lately. Then Mom said she was so embarrassed that Mr. Brown would walk right up to her and joke about her being pregnant! And THAT is when I realized what had happened. 
My Sister said later she tried to warn me but nope I was just to stupid, happily I ran up to Mom and Dad after a night away with my carefree hugs. Only to be thrown in the car and yelled at all the way home. I guess this was the event that changed me from the inside out. Suddenly I had to judge when to speak so openly and honestly. It would be a good 10 years later when that fear inside me could heal. 
So at the time I cried and felt so miserable wishing I had never come home from my friends house. My Dad then said my punishment for having a big mouth was to stand next to him for 6 weeks while at church.
IF ANYONE knows my Father THIS is a HUGE punishment. For every Sunday we 3 kids would beg to attend Sunday school at 9am, for this gave us an extra hour with our friends in a classroom away from our smothering mother. Then after the morning service it would be noonish and then we 3 kids would disappeared among hallways, the people until Mom said it was time to go home. But our Father NEVER moved, he stood like a statue against the far away corner by the doors of the church facing our parked car. He was completely unapproachable. My Friends were scared of him also, they told me they didn't trust him at all. I would say with a wave of my hand "Oh he is harmless,. unless you make him mad...Ha, Ha, Ha." I knew they didn't believe me but it also hurt me to be known as the kid with the really scary Father. When I would hear someone "He was actually kinda nice." I would smile proud thanking God he was in a good mood then. Now 6 weeks of my number one social day being held next to my Father made me cry into my pillow that Sunday afternoon. Any other 13 year old girl would have given up I am sure. But being grounded for just talking my thoughts out in complete honesty made me realize I needed to always be one step ahead of my parents at ALL times.
That following Sunday in church with my 3 Beloved Girls who shared in my Sunday school class, I said quickly before class started "I am grounded for the next 6 weeks each Sunday after morning service I can no longer walk around outside with you girls. So when you see me at my Father's side you will know why and that I am NOT ignoring you!" I sat down with a sigh. They stared at me "Why!! What did you do!?" they watched on in alarm. My beloved friend Tiffany lived 4 miles away from my farm and just across the street from her was my other beloved friend Rebekah. Now Beloved Jennifer lived in Boise a 45 minuet freeway drive, All these homes would become a place of refuge for me over all those high school years. These 3 girls were all around the same age, I had been following them around, I had really been putting myself out there for their friendship. These 3 girls had been close before my family had started attending this church and now I saw in them with the qualities of maybe being good friends. I was trusting them now with this family info that my Father would have grounded me for life over. They were amazed when I told them the whole story and they laughed. Even my Sunday school teacher giggled asking "Why did you get grounded for just speaking your mind?" then she seemed alarmed in over stepping boundaries and quickly added "You know he is your Father I am sure you will honor him." Then she went back to setting up her Sunday school lesson, while my girls and I wiped the tears from my face. This had been eating me up all week! I was waiting to let them know that as their fourth wheel to their group, I would be gone a month and a half. 
Tiff stated angrily "Wait until I chew out my Dad! He should know better then to insult your parents!" she came to my defense instantly, "NO!" I exclaimed and grabbed her by the arm. "If you do that then he will go apologize to my parents and they will then know I am Talking about THIS again! I would get the belt for sure!" Rebekah looked even more hurt when she leaned into me asking "You get spanked by a belt?" I nodded "Don't you?" she shook her head unsure of what to say next. Jen sat still watching back and forth while listening steadily. Then she asked "Your Mom must be feeling very sensitive being pregnant?" The Sunday school lesson started and I didn't want the class time to end. Racing to sit next to my father even though the morning service didn't start for another 15 minuets. My punishment was actually a good match for me, because I was a baby butterfly learning to socialize.
After service we stood there like shadows on the church's house plants. My Father would push up his eye glasses from his nose and fold his arms. He had rusty red hair, while he stood there he glanced at his wrist watch. He was always ready to go home and for the first time in my life I wanted to leave too. I was watching him move to the other side of the wall so he could lean up against it, I followed. The big frown on my Father's face caught my eye and I spun around to see my 3 Beloved Girls standing there arms locked. I was so surprised that I asked "Where are you girls going?" They avoided my Father, like he was just part of a haunted mason. "No where, we are here to visit with YOU!" They all looked over my shoulder to glare at my Father then wrap their arms around me. I was laughing, I was bursting inside with such love, such joy for these girls. From that moment on and for all the 6 weeks they joined me in the corner next to my Father. Now it was funny to see my Father rolling his eyes, rubbing his forehead and trying to avoid the conversations of us young teenaged girls. That finally it became to much for him so before the 6th Sunday was even over my Father finally let me go play, saying and waving us girls away  "All you girls should go outside!" We ran the back field in our dresses as if we had all been freed together!

I will never forget that first moment when Rebekah, Jennifer and Tiffany came to my side bringing along with them all the socializing I thought I would miss out on. That was the moment when these 3 beautiful girls became a huge part of my life, they were my strength and my refuge. And most importantly      
My Beloved Friends. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Flash Back

This morning while taking my husband to work, I had to find some random library I had never been to. Along with the help of my husband Tony. He had reserved an auto book for my road trip. So we kept looking for this strange hidden library. With construction all around this old strip mall we somehow found a door hidden in the back of the building. Tony turned to me worried "It Looks abandon! where the hell is this library?" I began to get out of our parked car. He exclaimed "YOU AREN'T GOING IN....ARE YOU?" I laughed at his response. "Oh Please, I will just look." As I venture closer to the scary looking doors I heard Tony suddenly lock his car door. I began to giggle for once again I am married to Niels Crane from the TV sitcom "Frasier". When I opened the doors to see through the dark dim light of the morning shining from the other side I realized the Library was tucked back in the corner. I nodded back to my Husband who would have sworn this had JUST turned into a horror movie! One nice quiet married couple with a sleepy mini schnauzer dog in the backseat of a little car go missing on this early morning...the last thing the woman said while driving around in circles was "Where the hell is this library?" 
Now I walked through those doors and instantly was flashed back almost 25 years ago. I have been here before! was my first reaction. I walked on down the dark open mall, it was a place completely abandon, the flooring was so dirty and damaged. The little shops inside were empty and fully displayed by all these beaten up windows. Though EVERYTHING was trashed as if  in a scene from a movie. I was alarmed to be walking through this alone at first, then really I was just in awe again by the center area of this crazy sad lonely place. I stopped for a second while standing there half way to the library. On the other side of this mall was a much nicer looking strip mall area. For me in my flash back, I was alive by the memory of that I have been here before! ....So very long ago. The floor tiles were tiny squares and when you are a toddler THAT is the first thing you will notice and remember! The colors were bright pink, yellow, blue and purple against all white, now those same tiles were under inches of dirt. I stood looking up at the falling down ceiling. A Christmas Tree was here, it was RIGHT here in my memory, It was all RIGHT HERE! I was HERE! I felt excited by seeing it again so real, so alive with Christmas music playing in the background. I wonder how old was I? I wish I knew. I know I was so tiny sitting on the bench that once was here in this now dirty broken place. 
My Memory is of my Mom Christmas shopping and it's dark outside but inside this mall with a big decorated Christmas tree, there is Christmas music playing while tons of people are everywhere. Everything is lit up for the holidays and my father shared his Hickory Farms sample with me as we sat there waiting for Mom to finish shopping. I remember thinking it was such a wonderful place, the building is enclosed yet there is this open area to the outside parking lot. There is something magical in this memory for me, I was with my Father as he would hold my hand while we walked around looking at the moving Christmas display. This morning I was filled with such awe that I could be right back to this spot again. I thought to myself "How random is this? How crazy that a clear flash back just now hit me!" I do wonder how many years later now it has been? I now came across this scene this very morning, from when people shopped here just before Christmas it was so alive to right now where it could make for a great haunted house? I was here once as tiny little child whose Father watched over me and pointed out all the wonderful magic of Christmas. Maybe it was my first understanding of the celebration of the holiday. I thinks it was AMAZING this morning to find that place and get hit with a flash back. I wonder if the older I get the more of these moments will sneak up on me? 
I think it will be exciting to watch and see!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Dad vs. My Father

I have grown into an open book, I have no secrets. I am amazed everyday by how my life has turned out! I never would have thought I would be THIS happy nor did I even imagine I could be THIS LOVED! 

People always ask me which "Dad" I am referring to in my stories. To me it's just obvious for the Dad who is by nature nice, outgoing and loving is NOT my bio Father. Now I think of my Father as a guy named "Dad". But the term of endearment such as "Oh Thanks Dad!" Or "Hey Dad!" is of My Father-in-law, Kelly Shively.  He is the Dad who checks in on me all the time and proudly reads this blog. Saying "I love ya Dad." comes naturally for me when hugging my Father-in-law goodbye. Kelly is a world class Father and my adopted Dad from the very beginning of my new life with his son Tony. He was there with a big smile, and welcoming wave. "Come on in! Make yourself at home! Do you want a beer?" were the first words he said to me when I entered his home and began dating his son. Sometimes you come across a person whose parenting is as natural to them as a fish in water. I am so very proud of my Dad, and amazed he is in my life!

My Father gave birth to me, he did the best he could with what he had. I don't blame him in not being there for me like he should or could have been. He maybe didn't know, he actually was annoyed by most women naturally. He had high standards for his life, for himself. Let alone for him to lead his 6 kids into a life of riches. When I say "Riches" I do mean money, actual wealth and the bills paid in full. My Father has a passion for those things most of all. My idea of "Riches" is quality time, laughing together and being friends in the great outdoors, (all killing and hunting NOT included) My Father was working his way to being a millionaire, I hope it can work out for him too! But if one day before he dies, he stops to say "Working hard day in and day out for that reachable dollar bill isn't what life is about." I will honor him with my proud smile. For it is never to change. Yet as a kid growing up if my father was at work, we all breathed a sigh of relief. He was an edgy man when he had to sit still, why just the other day I arrived for family birthday dinner he was lounging in his usual chair right in front of the TV. He only got up to pray for the feast his wife cooked up, then visited over the crazy situations his job encounters while he ate. Once that topic is covered, He goes about doing his own thing, he can't seem to ever relax. Sometimes he is in a great mood, sometimes he isn't. I can judge clearly, easily enough to know that even though he hasn't actual frighten me in the last 10 years I automatically avoid causing him to yell.
My Father is a good person with a sad heart. He was hurt beyond healing at one point in his life. He battles with his natural bitterness everyday and I can see him age. I realized in just my last family visit the other day, that I understand my Father deeper then he ever understood me. My Husband Tony was mad when my Father joked and laughed at me for being stupid. Tony's knee jerk reaction to say "SHE IS NOT STUPID!" But instead he pulls on me saying "We should leave now." I had to explain to Tony, that I put myself out there on purpose, if I look stupid to everyone around that is okay with me! Because I KNOW I am NOT stupid, I am just sharing my silliness for a good all around laugh. I always think to myself  that my very last memory of my Father should always be of him laughing even if he thought "Dear God, I have a dumb daughter!" It doesn't hurt me, it doesn't upset me at all anymore. For I not only know who I am now. I also see the big picture, it is to create a smile and hear some laughter! Our time on this Earth is so short that to fill those moments up with laughter and happiness is why I was even born unto this man.

When the time came in my life to move, when I was 22 years old. My parents didn't speak to me from when I moved out in July 2001 to that following Christmas day. I would call my Mother whenever I could but she wasn't as friendly as I was use to. I guess those last few nights being home were some of the worse in my life. We had huge fights, arguments turned ugly. Shouting into screaming. And I started telling my Mother I was moving, back in May of that year. I had to be bold or she would just ignore me. One time I began chatting it up about my new apartment with all it's features, I was putting on my "Oh so Happy" tone while talking to her. When she let out a cry like I had hit her in the face! I was startled by it and stop still while watching her turn around to face me with such a weird look on her face. I reach out to touch her completely alarmed. Then she pointed her finger in my face commanding angrily "BEGONE SATAN!" I was so frozen at her words. She rush off to her garden crying out to God to save her from this evilness. I really only wanted to move out to my own place in town about a 20 minuet drive? Being called "Satan" made me burst out laughing and crying all at the same time. When I told my best friend what had happened I said I kept looking over my shoulder for the rest of the day as if to see some guy in horns grinning at me. My Best friend asked "What if your Mom had come at you with a knife because Satan is a scary dude!" I replied "I would personally see that as sign to move out then." We laughed whole heartedly for these moments were to be expected. 
My Father was even more angered by my moving out. He shouted across the glowing living room one late night "Don't you even care you are breaking your Mother's heart?" How easily I cried for no one wants to break their Mother's heart! Honestly no one I know! For me it was an ugly time in my life this moving out drama, YET I still did it even though I was.... "Satan"???

My boyfriend Tony and his Dad came to help me move on a rainy Saturday afternoon. I had just a couple of big things like a bed and a desk. Inside my parents home was just my brother Derek and my Father eating lunch. 
This was the first moment my Father met my Dad.
Kelly walks in happily chatting away with Derek then turns to shake the hand of my Father. I watched the whole event go down very closely. My Father stood frowning with his arms folded looking at Kelly in such anger and annoyance. Kelly keeps his hand out waiting on purpose for my Father to shake it. The smile on Kelly, Dad's face is now frozen and determined not to move. My Father stays folded armed and glares on, acting in way that shows he doesn't like Tony's Dad. I stood watching wishing I hadn't been so stupid in bringing the guys into this house. The stand off lasted forever to me, There was no backing down in either men but I spoke out saying "We better go before it rains on us." Kelly my new Dad smiled big saying "We sure love your daughter Debby, You should be proud." He turned away from my Father who stood motionless and cold. Dad could have said a few other things I am sure. But when he saw me his smile was both sad and relieved to be moving out of that tense house. Dad has been protecting me from that day forward, he could read my face as I stood there watching my Father reject one of the greatest men I have ever met, Dad didn't want to cause a scene that would bring the tears from my already worried eyes. Even though I apologized on behalf of my Father, Dad hugged me saying "This isn't your fault, YOU have done nothing wrong. I am very proud of you." I was amazed by his words. I stop just for a moment to look back at my parents home, suddenly I wasn't sad at all in saying goodbye. My Father stood like a statue very close to the kitchen window. He wanted me to see him clearly, he still had his arms folded and a bigger frown on his face. Maybe he was beyond rage, knowing he should be silent this whole time or he would get in trouble for screaming at my new family? I watched him closely standing there, I wanted him to know he didn't scare me anymore so I pause to look right back at him before I climbed up into Dad's red durango. That was the moment in my life when I realized my Father never really knew me.

Life is way to short to chase after parents who don't care, I am amazed everyday that I can understand how a parent loves, How important being there for each other really is. My Father taught me about who I am, My Dad taught me about who I can be.   Now I love my Father and I love my Dad!
I AM an open book, I have no secrets. I believe in Happy endings.....For I am living in one right now.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Lovely Luna

Yesterday my Aunt Chris's Boston terrier named Luna died. 
I was so fortunate to meet Luna a few times. Yesterday morning when my husband Tony and I stop in at the smoothie shop before he had to be to work. I saw a display of breakfast bars and exclaimed "Look! it's a LUNA bar! She is famous!" Later on in the day I would discover that Luna is now resting in peace....Oh, Sweet Pup!
How fast it is when the lives of dogs fill our days, our home and become a part of the family! How sad, how quickly they are gone as well. Yet those memories are the best moments to recall and laugh out loud as if they still lived side by side with you again. Saying goodbye to a dog's friendship is by far harder then an actual person though equal in such parting pain. The passing of a companion such as a dog comes from a place no one else can touch in your soul. How happy are those wet nosed creatures, whose caring eyes and devoted love makes us also happy? How hard it is to say Goodbye when you never stop to think the day will come? I guess in understanding for every dog who lived, and died, there is another one waiting to share in our time of now. Maybe can be some comfort? I think it's wonderful to realize dogs will always need us, for we surely could not have made it this far in the world without them either.

When I met Lovely Luna her ears were sticking straight up and her eyes were watching me very closely, I thought to myself how scary I must look to her entering her home. So quickly getting down for her to smell me and letting her know I am a gentle person entering with her consent. She spent the time running in to check on me and Aunt Chris then back to her chair of blankets. So adorable she was with her waddling back and forth!
This summer when we were at the Oregon Coast together, My Aunt Chris and her daughter Kelsy took Luna with us for a nice early morning stroll. Over the miles of sand and waves we drank our coffee and watched the dogs. My Mini-Schnauzer Oscar and Luna were almost the same size. When they played in the sand my Oscar barked excitedly and Luna hid. Soon those 2 formed a pack, and our walk was very enjoyable. When on our return walk up the coast line Luna had decided she was done walking. There wasn't any whining or protest like my dog Oscar would have displayed. Oscar has been known to beg me to carry him when he is done walking too. Nope! Luna locked up on all fours and refused to go another step. My Aunt was walking and talking along side her daughter, when I noticed the skid marks all the way across the loose soft sand. It had to be the funniest thing to ever see! Luna was NOT walking anymore. Period! but in the sand her protest went completely unnoticed! I was laughing so much at how adorable Luna was, My Aunt Chris said that Luna sometimes has a mind of her own. But in that deep soft sand she just slid right along side of us on that sunny summer morning. 
Maybe in Luna's own personal heaven she gets to lay out in the warm sun light, Just viewing the ocean this time and eating endless peanuts! Farewell kisses to Lovely Luna<3

Monday, October 11, 2010


The BCB is a small book club my Mother-in-law JoAnn, (Mama Jojo) started last month. It stands for Book Club Bitches. Now the first book was 
"The Elegance of the Hedgehog." 
by Muriel Barbery
I instantly knew when I opened this freshly purchased book that I was going to need some help in grasping the meaning of some of those elaborate words. When I showed it to my husband Tony he said "Mom was telling me about this story a while back, Let's read this together."  Instantly this book took on a life of it's own. I was romantically settled next to Tony on the couch as we took on this new book. Being together like this will always make this book supreme in my memory. When we laughed out loud or paused to discuss the book's events. I will remember it with such endearment as a great book!
I saw Tony's personality come out clearly in Paloma's profound thoughts journal. With the stories, the thoughts and the big words that all come from this book holding such beauty in them. I will love this book! and I was very sad when we finished it. This story is about Paris and a certain hotel particulier, along side the lives of the tenants who live there. 
The Concierge at number 7 is Renee Michel. She is the first person you meet in the book, at 54 years old she begins reminiscing about how she came to this job of Concierge for the last 27 years. There also is a young girl named Paloma who is12, yet she is brilliant and keeps a journal reveling her true thoughts as if she was at the age of 18. This book goes back and forth between Renee and Paloma in a way of keeping up with the cozy little place. I found myself feeling the emotion of a situation before Tony would stop to explain what those profound words meant. 
Like for example; Autodidact was mention in describing Madam Michel. Renee, who discovered the beauty in learning as a small neglected child, she came alive in the world with knowledge as she grew. Though society sees her outwardly as just a simple Concierge. I found myself not only eating up all that Renee said or thought, but I realized the simple fact while chatting along with Tony when I had mentioned never reading the word Autodidact before,  which means a self taught person. Then in fact I AM an Autodidact!!  Since I have never had the structure of a classroom nor any special attention. I related to Renee in trying to grasp the world and what it means through one's own merit. Perhaps back in those days when my Father tried sitting me down over basic math problems, (he did this once or twice.) The fact that he gave up so quickly left me struggling on my own. I am sure I bewildered him in explaining how I saw numbers, I worked harder then any average person to put the numbers together.  I remember my Father would explain having lost patience with me,      " Debby that is so much harder to do! just add the numbers! stop moving them all around like that!"   He was often completely speechless by my mathematical explanations. Soon after being left on my own I decided I would drop the whole world of numbers and dive into the world of words. When you are an Autodidact you just find your own way.
While reading this book lost among the magical world of Paris, Once My husband and I had just sat down with tea when suddenly a reference to a popular Eminem song came to thought by Renee. And almost spitting out tea I had to swallow before laughing hysterically. Tony re-read the scene asking out loud "Where did THAT come from!"  we laughed again. This book was everything wonderful for me! I shared in it with Tony, my very best friend. 
AND I was teaching myself about the art of language.  
During the meeting of the BCB I realized not everyone had such a great time reading this story. Maybe it was very snobbish and ridiculous that people talk that way in modern day Paris, maybe most of us have to be entertain more within a story, then to sit and read through a whole capture of one continuous thought. 
Mama Jojo is so proud of her son and my Husband Tony for jumping right into this book and helping me read it, He even honestly delighted over the deep messages of it's pages. 
I am in awe that this book came to my life through this book club, and that when I asked for help from Tony, he didn't even hesitate! 
So I agree with Renee Michel in this delightful book when she said  "If you have but one friend, choose her (him) well." 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

How Far is Heaven?

Oh Look! I found a picture of Heaven, God's bright light is saying "Goodnight"

MY People

Whenever someone makes a documentary to capture the story, the history of their people. I watch in amazement over the beauty, the colors and the life captured on film! I think to myself "Wow what amazing people to have come across time, across such trail to realize now they can be proud to be black, to be Jewish or to even be alive!

Then one night I sat down to watch the documentary "Friends of God, A road trip with Alexandra Pelosi" Only to choke on my beverage when a young man says he goes to church on a Friday night to avoid getting AIDS. My reaction had me laughing loudly while responding "WHAT? What is wrong with that guy? You can go out to a bar and NOT get AIDS! Oh please.." My Husband looked right at me smiling proudly then stated 
"  Well, Honey, THEY are YOUR people."
I was frozen in action, in my own response and bewilderment.
My mouth open, my hands in air pointing to the TV screen, My sentence cut off in mid thought. I was struck frozen by the simple truth, Tony's one little comment had paused the very person I am now to be reminded from where I have come from. I had never heard it put so simple. So true and yet so powerful
MY PEOPLE? what? do I have a people? My People..YES yes yes yes this is true...I melted back into a humble state of mind 
(Not always a natural way for me to be) 
YES, I have a "My People" story after all! 
Only My people didn't get whipped and sold into slavery. My people didn't have their homeland ripped out from under them. My people didn't burn in some evil fire or choke to death with gases. NOPE, NOT my people! 
My people happen to be like this one young man caught in this documentary, Completely afraid of getting AIDS.
Now MY people the Evangelicals Christians are not always afraid of getting AIDS, I know that. But it's the thought that the world outside of church isn't safe and full of SIN. Understanding MY people can be so confusing, especially when it's not put into a simple statement or into a "Power Point presentation". The over all history of religion is a long drawn out tangled web of a story, not mention explaining just one belief system.  Maybe I can sum it all up by explaining this; The Catholics killed the Protestants, The Protestants killed the Catholics. The Jews hated the Muslims, The Muslims hated the Jews. AND the Mormons pop up like popcorn all over the place! 
Well my word! Maybe I DO need a "Power point" system here. Religion is an enjoyable conversation for me, yet I can still react as if I were STILL a Christian! In facing the opposite view point during a discussion on religion I become alive, I am not as passive nor calm as I wish to be. I should also add I am trying, for I understand the calm and peace of mind makes a battling conversation more pleasant. My old background growing up Christian "How to witness to the sinful lost world 101" sneaks up into my mind, into my passion and I am suddenly off arguing against Christianity as equally as I did when I once was a Christian. IRONICALLY  I have to step back and think to myself "Why do I have to change people? why do I have to "SAVE" the world AGAIN???" Only now I think I am justified because I am not using my faith in a system set for me. I am thinking people who live in this "All or nothing" Christianity need to be saved from not thinking for themselves. I just assume they aren't thinking for themselves, which makes me realize how my old habits die hard. Now I am not ashamed of MY people anymore and it's taken a good 11 years to come to this understanding in myself. For those first 21 years I lived as a Christian doesn't make me entitled to say I know for sure that it was all a big mistake. In fact it was amazing to grow up in a world of miraculous stories, of colorful personalities and learning to speak to my own inner soul. Now in the last 11 years I have been learning, (I hope I never stop learning) I have travel this passionate road of  love, of  peace and of joy. I feel like I just woke up one day from dreaming only to see that this world is by far more beautiful then I was ever told. 
I honestly loved what Jane Goodall said in her book "Reason for hope." that what she believed was for her own personal peace of mind and she had no need to share it.
I also enjoyed what Bill Maher said in his famous documentary "Religulous" that he was Doubt, He was the man to doubt what people are saying. I think if we do ask questions and seek knowledge we find our own hope, our belief and our own inner peace. I adore the memory of Mother Teresa, who lived in faith and even more importantly with powerful LOVE. I will be a Love believer. I don't miss Christianity, I don't miss all that fear, rules and elitist ideas. I do respect my Christian friends, actually all my friends of any faith. I understand everyone can choose the life that works for them. I like to think of religion as a rainbow in this world, just a little something for everyone. I enjoy a rainbow for all it's beauty!  It's important to respect all those colors in their perfect places. For when it all comes together it creates such a magical picture to behold! 
My people in that rainbow of life, will always make me smile, make me laugh and make me sigh deeply. For my people still think they will be the only ones in heaven.
"Should you tell them or shall I?" God asked me that this morning;-)