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Monday, February 28, 2011

Gin's Big Grin

When the heat of summer's day
Get's in the way
And all you crave is a
Refreshing drink.

When the limes are sliced
As the bubbles sizzle
From the newly open tonic
The ice cubes crinkle
While these all mingle

When the Gin bottle sparkles
The pouring shot drizzles
With that strong flavor moving
In a sonic way
When the glass is mixed
When the limes float
When the gin gives way to a big happy grin

On that hot summer evening, there is nothing quite as calming then a simple Gin & Tonic.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Open Doors

As a teenager I never found privacy in my own home growing up, I took long walks to help myself feel safe again. I liked the feeling of closing my bedroom door and getting a sense of protection by the four walls. My bedroom was my refuge until my mother popped her head through saying "You know the rules." and then she leaves my door open again. I shared a room most of my childhood with my sister who would roll her eyes, making a face at the open door where mom had just been. My sister wanted the door closed too, I was glad we could agreed on that. I think most teenagers feel this way but not all parents can respect it. As far back as I can remember we were never allowed to close doors in our house. My mom said that if we have nothing to hide the door can stay open. This was a big deal for my sister Dana when she turned 13 years old and wanted to be left alone all the time. She also liked slamming doors in her frustration because it sent a clear warning to our mother that Dana was really mad and was now braking the rules. We had a million different rules for everything! But the door rule was one I wanted to change all the time, especially the older I got. Even my teen aged friends thought the door should be close to our bedroom though I would exclaim "DON'T do THAT! You want my mom to come hang out with us? If you close our bedroom door she will come in here and sit down to watch us wondering what we were doing that the door had to be closed!" My friends soon decided to invite me to their houses instead. We must of seemed like crazy children always stopping people from closing doors around us because we were afraid of Mom's wooden spoon or her stinging fly swatter. Closing a bedroom door was like talking back to our mother and the discipline for it was serious.
Our most humiliating rule of all was undoubtedly bathrooms doors! Those door could NEVER be locked. THIS was even bigger then the open door rule for bedrooms. As young teen aged women, my sister and I struggled greatly with this rule when our time of the month had arrived. Privacy, it is a simple word of respect for sensitive situations such as young women are trying to figure out how life works all over again. Our bathroom had 2 doors one from the hallway, the other to the laundry room. Now our mother never went the long way around to do her laundry, leaving her daughters alone in their own bathroom time. Instead she would swing into the bathroom while my sister or I sat on the toilet surprised by her bursting through to do the laundry then she left both doors open as she went away. (THIS happened ALL THE TIME) It was both cold and awkward because moving around from the toilet seat is nearly impossible! We would often shout out for help of someone coming to close our bathroom doors for us. It was never our own mother, her laundry was by far more important then our privacy. Sometimes Dana would be so angry from this embarrassment for hours later! I closed the bathroom doors for her as soon as our mother walked through, in hopes to keep her from being so mad all day. We did tried to talk to mom about this issue but she said we were crazy to think anyone cared to see us on the toilet. (but WE cared! she didn't understand us at all) I got use to covering my tracks, ready at any moment for invasion to my hormonal naked life. My sister on the other hand didn't fare as well, she was humiliated time and again by the surprise walk through of our mother doing the laundry. Finally Dana began locking the doors to keep from being caught naked in front of everyone! My poor sister for everything I felt she felt it ten times as much, I got use to the lack of respect, I just adjusted quickly to protecting myself. Like I would wait to under dress for the bath until all was ready I could jump in quickly and lay all the way down so as the bathroom door opened I was safe from embarrassment and exposure.  I also kept folded towels right by the tub if the doors stay opened so long I would put a towel on to go close the doors again, all of my personal things would be folded and hidden from my mother busting in through the bathroom. Now I was still annoyed, but I changed my life to protect myself, I even tried to give my sister pointers but she hated all of it with such a passion because she wished she could just be a boy. When she locked those doors all hell broke loose! Dana got in trouble for this kind of rebelling action. These kind of fights between Mom and Dana continued a really long time, I honestly think now that our mother was just clueless about what she was doing. She had forgotten what it first felt like to become a woman. AND She wanted full access to us at all times, she wanted to make sure we weren't sneaking around being naked for fun:-) If my sister and I hadn't moved into our own cottage when we did, I think Dana would have ran away from home so much sooner and maybe I would have followed her. When I slept over at my friends house they all notice weird behaviors in me, like I would open their own bedroom door feeling such anxiety coming over me, it was good that most of my friends talked it out with me on why I struggled like I did. The Open doors in my household was actually ironic because that very action closed the doors in our hearts and created such resentment.  We didn't have better relationships for it, in fact it was the total opposite!

One Sunday morning when I was 16 years old I got up at 6am to take my own private bath. I knew my parents would still be in bed so my own privacy was accomplished. I also had so much hair that drying it and curling it before church took me a good hour alone. It had become important to me to have this time for myself. Dana came in while I was all ready, I was happily curling my hair,  she used the toilet while talking to me but then she seemed edgy and frustrated. She left quickly. I thought it was kind of odd that she changed her personality so fast. But then my brother Derek came in all the while I just kept curling my hair. As Derek got up from the toilet he fell back against the wall with such a horrid panic look on his face, I began to giggle as I realized why he was so scared yet he didn't say a word and I just reached across to flush without looking down. I calmly explained  " That wasn't you, it was Dana and she needs to get back in here to take care of that issue."  I was still giggling because Derek just scrambled out of the bathroom so fast not speaking and not looking back. Then I quietly left the room with curlers still stuck in my hair, I closed the door as Dana returned even more mad then before.  Years later I still laugh at that memory, I wonder what it was like for my brother to instantly think he was dying only at the age of 13? That may not have been the best way for him to learn what in meant to be a woman. But I did have a growing sense of how to respect both of them by this certain time in my life and I realized in that awkward moment sometimes the only thing you can do is to just allow the bedroom doors to close.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Growing up my siblings and I shared one bath tub together, Then when I was 9 years old I asked to have my own bath time because it was getting so crowded. I loved taking showers BUT those were only for our father. He hated running out of hot water most of all, if by accident we flushed the other toilet or ran water in the kitchen sink there would be such a warning panic from the rest of the family noticing this. Our father would be in his shower suddenly yelling angrily and running out of the bathroom in his towel trying to find who did that. This was terrifying to any small child but all of us kids would run outside or hide under our bed because we forgot Dad was in the shower when we ran water. To say I grew up in a crazy place is putting it mildly......Yet I like how I have some many funny stories as these to always remember. As a small kid I had high standards for my bath time, it would drive my mom crazy that I had to wash the tub out first before filling it with water for our bath. Mom would come into the yellow old bathroom of the trailer house saying "I told you to fill the tub." I would stop to look up at her with a wash rag (at the age of only seven) I had to CLEAN the tub first with soap and water to wipe the soap sum and hair all down the drain or I would be grossed out. My mom thought I was crazy and sometimes even got mad saying "GET IN! Enough already!" (I still have that phobia of not a clean tub to bath in) Our rule of bath time was changing as we grew older, suddenly I wanted my own bath time and then so did my sister and then my brother...Mom said it was crazy how much water we used, so we had to share the bath water until we were teenagers or I was 16 finding ways around it. There is nothing more gross then working on farm full of bugs and dust to be the last in a line of 3 teenagers using the same bath water because your parents want to save the hot water for themselves. We were all willing to do this for so long because if our father didn't have his own hot shower he would be in a really bad mood. My sister Dana was the first to brake this horrid rule of sharing bath water. Our sibling fighting was growing as we have to take turns at who got to bath first. On Days Dana was last she went out a bath. By the time a 12 year old boy, a 16 year old girl washed all the farmland dirt off  Dana would be left staring at a gray dark tub of floating grass and hair. She would refuse a bath just that simple. Then Mom noticed every so often Dana was waiting every 3 days to wash. There was a huge argument over this, I tried to find my own way around things too. When no one was home I would jump into the forbidden shower of my parents, I loved my soapy lufa  and how clean my long hair got from an actual nice shower. I had to sneak around for this luxury, but it was so worth it! Finally Mom gave in to Dana's bath time complaints, Mom said we could change the bath tub water ONLY if it was a gray color. Suddenly even my brother Derek was happily saying the water was looking GRAY! It was a sweet little victory of freedom for us. When the day came that Dana and I got our very own bedrooms in the cottage across the yard from my parents, we were beyond thrilled and excited for our very own bathroom too! I had my own showering place at any hour I wanted! I couldn't believe it! So on that very first night in our cottage, Dana was humming along happily to her own music and I took a really long hot shower at 3am! I shouted out to Dana with my sudsy hair "This is so WONDERFUL!" Dana replied back "YUP! Sure beats trying to figure out what color the used water is!" We laughed happily in our own place.

Friday, February 25, 2011

A Reason for Hope (A book review)

When my aunt sent me this book, I read it so quickly for I had always been a fan of Jane Goodall. Her book "A Reason for Hope." Is full of important stories, of her memories and importantly her hope. She heard a calling so young in her life to reach out to the world around her. When she says that we must try everyday to end the violence, end the pain and the hatred. I thought about what it takes to have that kind of courage! I hope someday when I am 76 years old that I can be even half the help to this world as Jane has been! She is inspiring and aware of what it takes to make a difference. In my own personal hope the good will always win and create a much better world.
         This book leads the reader into her thoughts and her history, She loves sharing her home and her family. It tells us about what it was like for her to camp out in Gombe during her very first time, while she looking for the chimpanzees. She soon discovered how people are more connected to nature, to animals then they realize.  She even wrote about how she sad she was when she learned of the chimps being tested and jailed in laboratories. I found myself getting very angry over the lack of compassion people have towards animals, it's an anger I have had my whole life. As I read this part of the book my anger would melt right into tears, crying is the helplessness I feel as I am trying to rescue every animal out there. I understand this desire in me was there from the moment I was born. That desire to love and to stop animal torture! I saw growing up this self superiority humans have in  thinking they are better then animals. When in fact animals often teach us humans something new about ourselves. I personally believe animals are talking to us all the time, but not every one will stop to listen. Our hope comes from learning more about our animal kingdom,  Our hope comes from seeing how we are all connected and we are all alive. Most importantly by simply loving and healing this world full of living things, by respecting ourselves, by realizing the power for good is also in our very own hands then..... 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Macks; The Boys

Working at the local grocery store/fruit stand called Macks, was a great job for someone like me who loved being apart of a community. I looked forward to remembering the names of all my customers and helping them find what they needed. I was amazed at how fast I learned to just jump into the work around me, I would grab my most favorite tool, THE BROOM. In almost all my memories of Macks fruit and Vegetables I am usually holding a broom! I even met my husband face to face while I held the broom in one and shook his hand with my other. I loved cleaning that place everyday! From sweeping down the spider webs to the cement floors holding that fine dust. My broom and I got the job done! Cleaning and chatting with customers was my natural way to move through the shop, my first big cleaning project was The Bathroom. So I hung my own mirror, put up hand soap, paper towels and air fresheners. I even put a vase of fake roses in the corner of this simple room. It not only sparkled but felt almost cozy too! and I remembered being SO PROUD of the new look! Now the owner of Macks was named Larry, along with his wife also named Debbie, they were both pleased by the bathroom. Debbie also thanked me for rotating the meats and milk in the display coolers, She worked in the store part time as her other job was at a bank. She showed me how to check once a week all the bags of beans and rice for bugs and expired dates. All those projects were undoubtedly wonderful to me! for I was never bored! Since everyday was so different then the one before and the customers would stop to chat. I enjoyed working in that place for almost 3 years, It was the kind of place I was going to try and recreate all the rest of my life.
The boys that worked there came in after school. Derek and Daniel Larry's boys, and their friends Jim and Dusty. Now I tried to be friends with all these boys right away, though the looks they shot me said they could care less. These boys nicknamed me "Smiley" Because all I could do was smile at them as they rough housed and chase each other through out the store. Sometimes a broccoli brunch would fly pass my head as they were out to get each other. And I would yell back at them "Don't dirty my freshly mopped floors!" Those boys were all in high school, and they were always planning pranks and games. I often worried someone was going to get hurt and yet it was also funny to watch what they came up with next. For New years day in that first year I worked there, we had to do an inventory count. Those four boys were goofy having not slept the night before. I ended up laughing through out the whole day as we were in teams competing against each other for who could finish the work first. Derek was the oldest of the boys with blond tipped hair and he was always on the look out for a contest, he wanted some kind of challenge. His younger brother Daniel was more laid back with that bowl shape hair cut and he clearly bigger then his brother. His friends Jim and Dusty were always hanging together even when only one of them was working the shop. Jim was tall and skinny with a big grin, he kept his head shaved to just a shadow of hair. Dusty was also tall and with bushy eye brows, crazy curly hair sticking out everywhere most of the time. My first question everyday to those boys when they wandered into the shop was my bright cheerful greeting "Hey! Did you have a Good Day!?" a grunt or nod was usually the first response, or a rolling of their eyes as they state they hated school. I never gave up on being this friendly and asking what they had learned in school that day. In never failed those boys would usually reply that if I had ever gone to an actual school I wouldn't be asking these cheerful questions. Perhaps I did walk around in a happy bubble, delighting in such simple things. I rarely had a bad day when my hands took hold of the broom again.

Derek threw my dusting rag at Jim who had been taunting us in the race of inventory counting. Jim mocked "  We are almost done! We will win, better watch out!"  Dusty snorted back as he caught my rag in mid air " It helps if one of you knew how to count."  He said this more to Derek then me but I laughed out loud as Derek rolled his eyes. Derek retorted " Dusty just learned to count in his kindergarten class last week."  I laughed again while the boys playfully wrestled . I had been writing down the numbers on the shelves while the boys were now all wrestling around on the floor, I was so use to this that I would step right around them as if they weren't there. Then Daniel yelled at them all " Get back to work! I don't want to be here all day!"  I looked up from my notebook in thinking out loud, I said " It's not fair that there are 3 of you boys against just Derek and I...This isn't even a contest!." Daniel smirked at me as the other boys went back to work, He explained with his hands going up " You're right! I should leave then."  I started laughing all over again.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

THE Squeaky Toy

Everyone knows that dog parks can be very dangerous places, almost suddenly and without knowing it the whole park can instantly change by a new dog. Now I have seen all kinds of dogs with all kinds of people over the last 4 years. I was thrilled to attend the ribbon cutting of the new dog park in Boise, the first fenced in area of bark and baby trees for the city. This place is open to the public and now has a colorful new play ground for kids too. Located behind the Jewish synagogue this dog park can have from anywhere to 30 dogs to none. When no one is there my dog and I will play ball together and walk around. Sometimes with moments like when I pet a cat who wandered by or laugh at how my dog tries not to step on other dog's poo.  One memory of my dog park time was on a summer evening, I was amazed by all the big dogs that night as the summer sun was setting I saw German shepherds, Labs, Great Danes and even a Rottweiler. I love Rotts because they are truly beautiful and strong so if you can get them on your side, you are safe! I was talking to an elder couple about their Retriever as my little Schnauzer Oscar followed me closely, he wasn't a fan of all big dogs who push him around or got him dirty, he doesn't like getting dirty.  There was maybe 15 big dogs that evening when I saw her walk in. The young woman was a Diva, she was even wearing heels into the dog park as if she wasn't flashy enough! Now I have nothing against looking good, dressing up or copying a magazine model. But in the situation of handling yourself wisely among the dog pack? SHE wasn't going to survive! She had big sparkling sun glasses and chatted on her rhinestone cell phone loudly, her bag was HUGE and all crazy colored. I began to chuckle when a yorky dog popped his head out of the bag, I had seen this before on TV, didn't famous actors carry around their decorated small dog like this? She sighed as she hung up her cell phone with finger nails so fake I just had to stare for a second. She began talking to people asking them what does one actually DO in a dog park. Her poor unbalanced yorky was spinning in crazy circles barking like a wined up toy from a happy meal. My Oscar loves small dogs, he will push himself between the big and smaller dogs watching out for the little guy, so he went to greet the new guy, the yorky bit him on his shaggy bread. I stepped in blocking the yorky from coming any more closer to my dog, The Diva owner began to talk to me and I knew I had to be nice. Someone completely clueless as her maybe was never told how to help your dog have a balanced personality and how to be a calm owner. I tried explaining it to her, how to protect her small dog, how the other dogs have to smell the new guy. This will gain trust among the pack, as an owner you just step back and watch. When the yorky pooped, the Diva screamed and we all jumped by surprise for it, some people laughed at her as she carried on and on about how discussing that was! I was thinking to myself "Oh brother!" as I showed her how to use a plastic bag to clean it up with one scoop. She just stood there screeching with her bleached blond hair all sprayed up high. In dramatic tears she called her boyfriend who arrived shortly to help her deal with her yorky in a dog park. By this time both Oscar and I in our casual attitudes moved far away from her drama. I understood her little dog was just as crazy as she was! The saddest part is that it wasn't the dog's fault, the little guy thought he needed to protect his unstable owner. I was visiting with the owner of the Great Dane, that huge dog was trying to small the yorky and the Dive girl grabbed up her yorky out of fear of the Great Dane. The owner of that big dog shot me an alarming look and I moved in fast to the crazy yorky owner, I said "Don't do that! They were still smelling each other!" I was pulling the Great Dane back as his big nose was still following the little tiny dog up into the air, suddenly the yorky bite his owner's hand, I understood that as an owner of a dog, YOU MUST NEVER EVER expose the belly of a dog to another! Especially if there isn't any trust built there yet, It doesn't matter the size of the dog when they are on all fours they simply feel safer and are in control of their own safety. The yorky had gone into hysterics as he bite the hand that grabbed him as the nose and mouth of the Great Dane was smelling after him. That yorky knew he had lost all control of safety. I don't blame him for biting her and then she screamed. What this crazy young flashy woman did next will always be remembered by me in SLOW MOTION. I was just a foot away in my long sleeved jacket as I threw myself forward releasing the Great Dane to his owner behind me, I threw myself in slow motion saying "NNNNNNNNnnnnnOoooooooooooo!" As that yorky flew through the air because the Diva was mad at her dog for biting her hand and she said "FINE! I won't save you!" THEN she threw her dog like it was a squeaky toy she hated! I was on one foot now jumping to save the poor thing from what I saw to be instant death! Every big huge dog in that park stopped to watch the flying yorky, then they all zoomed in to attack the noisy squeaky toy, Other owners all gasped and yell out warnings as I was just a second away from catching that little guy in mid air, EVERYTHING was terrifying for me! Even in such slow motion as I remembered, I still hoped I could catch him before it was to late, The yorky hit the ground under my shadow as I regain my balance just as dust and loose bark flew into my face for every dog was out to get this little guy, WHAT A MESS! Everyone running in from all over the park grabbing their dogs and the Diva screaming and crying as her boyfriend tried to find the yorky in a cloud of dust and barking. I stepped back because I was on fire with anger, I felt a push on the back of my leg as Oscar stood behind me watching from around my legs at the bad dog fight. HE was telling me it was time to go home, The yorky did lived but the whole mood in the park had changed. I pointed my finger at the Diva Girl and said as strongly as I could for I was truly shaken. "Don't EVER throw your dog in the air like that again! Your actions told all the other dogs that he was fare game!" I really wished I had caught that little guy but he would have shredded my hand no doubt as terrified as he was just hitting the free air and knowing all these dogs were coming to swallow him whole!  There was a certain calmness over Oscar as we left, it was if he thought to himself "Let's leave please as soon as possible I maybe next!" Even now I will bump into someone who was there that day and they will say to me "I remember you from that flying yorky night! How crazy was that!! She was so luckily those dogs didn't kill hers!" I usually joke back saying "Well, it no doubt was the first time those dogs have EVER seen a live squeaky toy!"

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Macks; The Bees

I loved that job more then any other I ever had! Because working at Macks Fruit and Vegetables was apart of a small community. It was a local grocery store/fruit stand. I was 19 when I first got that job. I will never forget that first morning walking into the shop with the humming sounds of the motors from the coolers full of meats and cheeses. There was an old lady named Dora running the place with a clear frown on her face as she was talking on the phone while a customer waiting on her. I would soon learn that her frown didn't really mean anything, she was usually thinking deeply or worrying about something. I made sure to do whatever she asked of me right away and soon we became friends. I walked in on my very first morning without knowing what I could do to help. The customer who had been waiting just snorted at me as I explained I was new. The lady looked over to where Dora was talking still on the phone, I stood wondering what could I do? So I replied "Was she ringing you up?" The lady customer nodded frustratedly replying "I have a food stamp card, you just need to slide it like a credit card...BUT that old lady can't work the machine I guess.." I nodded with a smile and made small talk as I took the food stamp card to slide it in the machine, waiting on the next step, The lady customer grinned big while happily saying "Younger people usually understand technology faster." I nodded again, handed her receipt and she left quickly.  I stood there watching her leave while chuckling to myself thinking that if anyone disliked technology it was me! I had to calm an angry Dora down when she saw the customer was gone, I was able to explain everything I had done to reassure her that the customer didn't leave with free groceries. Dora sighed helplessly "I hate these machines! What is wrong with just paying with cash? Those food stamps are now on a sliding card! WE are making it easier and easier for them to spend our taxes." I smiled big at the old lady for I thought she was so funny! (even if we got off to a bad start.) I would learn both to stay out of her way and know I should take her side over the customer every time. When I asked her how does the registers work, she said she didn't really know. Then I asked her where the broom was and she wasn't sure they even had one. The fact that Dora didn't know anything made me worry that just standing around wasn't right. She kept saying that I best not do anything until Larry got back, Larry was the owner of the store. I asked how long would that be? She shrugged saying maybe 2 hours or so. I was dumbfounded by this! I could not stand around for 2 hours doing nothing! So I began to visit with Dora trying learn more about her, I asked her thoughtfully "Is this your first day too?" Because she didn't know very much about the place, she didn't seem setup to welcome the customers or even run the cash register. Then Dora burst out laughing, shaking her head as if she thought I was crazy. "No! hahahahahahahahaha." She laughed kindheartedly, she was not mad or annoyed at me anymore. She finally stopped laughing so much to explain that Larry was her son. Her husband and her started this store over 30 years ago. I was so surprise but realized it all made sense now. Larry needed me to start that very hour he didn't like leaving his grumpy mother all alone in the shop. Dora liked working in the mornings only, Larry would drive her home mid afternoons. She was a tough woman, short and stout, Dora wasn't someone I ever wanted to cross. When she left in the early afternoons I would do the things she didn't want done. Like cleaning the trash cans or tossing expired boxes of yogurt out. That first morning I worked we talked and talked, just getting to know each other. I even helped a few customers then I thought I should dump the trash cans, Dora warned me not to do any real work until her son got back. Yet I went off to toss the cans full of rotting fruits into the dumpster just as a swarm of bees attacked me. I was so surprised by this moment that I ran swinging my arms over my head until I made it back inside the store. Dora stood watching with wide eyes as she saw me dancing my way in quickly, She warned "I told you not to do anything! We have a bees nest by the dumpster and the boys are going to take care of it later." She shook her head of white thin hair that was pulled back into a tiny pony tail. I just stood there surprised and glad to not have been stung. I was wondering to myself if this job was going to be right for me or not. As a big spider was crawling up my arm, Dora pointed it out to me quickly and she tried to wipe it off. She was impressed that I stayed so calm as I explained "I'm not afraid of spiders, but I am afraid of bees!" She chuckled again. Then I went onto another new adventure, Looking for the broom.......

Monday, February 21, 2011

Can't Touch This!

When driving around listening to the radio on those country back roads or going out to my home, Joanie and I would always sing along to the radio. When MC Hammer's song "Can't Touch This." came on, we would groove to it proudly. I called it Joanie's song. To say my best friend didn't like to be touch would be putting it simply. She hated to be touch by anyone, expect her own dad who was so sweet and she adored him. People teased her since she was known for saying "Don't touch me!" with her hand up. I was very used to her phobia, I knew how to keep my own space just the same. When we were leaders at church for the Jr. High girls, on those Wednesday nights. We came across the occasional crying young girl. Moments like those Joanie would scramble around to find me with such panic. I remembered one night Joanie was calling down the church hallway saying "DEBBY! Where's DEBBY? Have you seen DEBBY!" I was alarmed at first but as I reached her, she pushed me into the classroom of the crying young girl, I realized suddenly this crying girl needed a hug and some comfort. I just held her until she was done crying and gave her my long sleeve. When she felt better she rejoined the rest of the other girls. I never found out why she was crying because I think I already knew. Young girls often feel such responsibility and loneliness all at the same time.  Joanie asked me "WHY was she crying like THAT! what was wrong?" I shook my head because I didn't know. I told Joanie later that night "You can't run away when someone is crying! You need to give them a hug at least. Young girls cry all the time for no real reason and it's about just being there for them!" Joanie rolled her eyes "I NEVER cried growing up and I won't cry now!" I watched my best friend for a moment, I knew why she didn't cry. I knew the darkness of her childhood that crying was weakness in her own eyes. I nodded sadly thinking how many more years will she go before she broke down to really cry? As far as I ever knew she never did cry, even the saddest movies we watched she cynically justified it as being "Just a movie." Whenever she and I were around a crying person, Joanie would grab me by the shoulder to push me in front of her so she didn't get touched. I could handle any hysterical person. In the moments I would burst out into my own tears, Joanie would sigh loudly waiting for me to stop. I would end up smiling at her saying "I need a hug!" then I would giggle as she sprung to life running away from me! She was funny to watch as she darted away from people trying to hug her. If she got caught she would squirm like a fish in a net and become frustrated that people will not leave just her alone. She would yell out inside my car many times saying "STOP TOUCHING ME PEOPLE!" I would chuckle then reply "You need to at least TRY to get over this fear or at least learn some short cuts, people just think you are so huggable!" Joanie looked back at me completely annoyed "WE are friends and I NEVER touch you! NOT even the other night when you were blubbering!" I laughed realizing I didn't care nor did I take it personal because I knew her so well. "Not everyone understands why you can't to be touched." Joanie DID tried to work on her no touching rule. Our other friend Sara was always throwing herself onto us, she wanted us to catch her falling or she leaned on us for no reason. When Sara realized Joanie never touched her back then she began throwing herself onto Joanie even more. Joanie would step out of the way giggling while Sara fell to the ground. Sara was surprised one day when this happened so Sara called Joanie MC Hammer for awhile. One afternoon Three of us danced to "Can't Touch This" while pretending to almost touch Joanie just as she ducked away from us so fast! Joanie simply liked keeping to her own groove.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

To make you feel my Love

I had called my mom from the restaurant, for my group of friends were all planning to go to a late night movie. Mom was upset and said that I had to come home. I was only 20 years old sadden by the sudden change in my evening, my car was in the shop and my best friend Joanie had picked me up from my work for a Friday dinner with our bible study group of friends. When I went back to the table of friends saying I had to be home before my 11pm curfew. The group irrupted into protest and Joanie refused to take me home. I stood there surprised Joanie said my mom had to get off her high horse and let me just be an adult. I replied "Well I still have to be home or I will be in trouble, she said if I am not home in time she will take my car away!" I had just lived a few days without my car and it was so frustrating, I hated being helplessly stuck. No one came to my rescue, they said I should call my mom back and tell her off. I knew I wasn't going to do that! Then they said I should move out on my own, they never heard of a curfew for a 20 year old! I also knew I wasn't ready to live on my own yet. Even though I talked about my baby brothers all the time no one thought I should care so much about them. But I did think of them as if they were my own children so moving out meant leaving them behind, I couldn't do that to them. Now this group of friends left me alone for a movie and what hurt the most though I tried not to think about it was that Joanie left me saying she was sick of my mom manipulating me and I just let her. Then the guy who liked me and everyone knew it, said he would give me a ride home. I wanted to just die because I couldn't stay out of his way lately without being hugged or bumped into by him. He was very shy but every so often he was aggressively grabbing at me almost like telling others he has me in mind for his wife. I would dodge out very way I could and helplessly try to let him know he was ONLY a friend. It wasn't easy, for I didn't want to hurt his feelings and if I took charge of my own space it made me look like a mean person. He drove me home because everyone else went to the movies, If he hadn't offered I would of had to called my mom to come get me. Everything really went crazy fast as I sat in his pick-up with the radio blaring. I made small talk as I hung onto the handle of the door when he swung corner so fast trying to throw me into him as he drove. I was determined NOT to touch at ALL while riding along the half hour out to my home in the dark late night. Joanie had left me! was all that rolled over in my mind as I realized I wouldn't have abandon her for ANYTHING..... something about this fact made me very very sad. I sat chatting to this shy guy who always looked at me with such longing. "Sometimes God is the only thing we have to give us strength." I began thoughtfully trying not to cry, "He has brought me through the last year which was maybe the hardest of my life, I miss my sister and I miss my childhood yet God is here with me, I am really glad God knows my life the best." I nodded at him casually and trying to brace myself for another fast turn on the street as he replied  "I completely agree! God takes such good care of me too, for just yesterday I was starving and only had a loaf of bread to eat but then I prayed to God that I needed to eat and  suddenly there was peanut butter for my slice of bread! God is so Good!"   I tried not to stare at him as I wondered if this is as deep as he was going to get. I had been telling him that being friends is the best kind of a relationship to have. He was trying for something more asking me how do I know I never had a boyfriend. He said I couldn't say something like that for not even knowing how good other styles of relationships are. I was usually alarmed by him when he would tell me I needed a boyfriend, we both knew HE wanted to be that boyfriend. I sat in that ride home that night thinking it never felt so long and so dark. He suddenly turned up his radio I didn't think it could get any louder so I jumped after our awkward silence was broken by it, he exclaimed excitedly and happily "I LOVE THIS SONG! Have YOU heard it???"  I wasn't into country music anymore so I said "Nope never heard it. He went crazy waving at me to listen to it saying "YOU NEED TO LISTEN! It is my most favorite song of Garth Brooks!" I sat listening while my blood ran cold.
I couldn't breathe, I couldn't speak, I couldn't look over at him as he watched the country road taking me home but he also was watching me. As the horribly obvious lyrics made me melt into my seat and I grabbed to edge ready to jump out of the moving vehicle and RUN!
These were the words I would never forget, and I truly do not like this song because of this moment....

When the rain's blowing in your face
And the whole world is on your case
I would offer you a warm embrace
To make you feel my love

When the evening shadows and the stars appear
And there is no one to dry your tears
I could hold you for a million years
To make you feel my love

I know you haven't made your mind up yet
But I would never do you wrong
I've known it from the moment that we met
So no doubt in my mind where you belong

I'd go hungry, I'd go black and blue
I'd go crawling down the avenue
There ain't nothing that I wouldn't do
To make you feel my love

The storms are raging on a rolling sea
And down the highway of regret
The winds of change are blowing wild and free
But you ain't seen nothin' like me yet

There ain't nothin' that I wouldn't do
Go to the ends of the earth for you
Make you happy, make your dreams come true
To make you feel my love

He waited for me to say something about this song, I took a deep breath for the first time since the song had started. I laughed nervously explaining "Ya know...I never listen to country music anymore is this the newest from Garth? I think he is a great entertainer, I like how fun his songs are, he really puts thought into what he wants to say or how clever he makes the song stick....I am amazed at the world of music out there! I hope to learn more about who sings what and how music ever got started. OH LOOK! That is my home to the left! This was VERY nice of you to drive me all the way out here. I can't wait to get my own car back from the shop tomorrow! See ya Sunday at church! Okay Thanks again BYE!" I hadn't stop talking, I knew how to rambling on and on to avoid EVER discussing THIS song EVER AGAIN. He sat quietly frowning and just nodded until I was gone. I didn't look back and I couldn't wait chew out my friend Joanie for all I had JUST been through! She did come out later that night realizing she had been mean to me earlier, so she slept over and was laughing hysterically as I told her of my ride home. "IT WAS NOT FUNNY!" I cried out as I tossed my pillow at her as she couldn't stop till she had tears in her eyes from laughing, "It would NEVER of happened if YOU had drove me home!" I pouted, Joanie began laughing all over again as she said "THIS is a CLASSIC story! Something you could tell your children....How their daddy shared his heart with you!" I squealed out helplessly "STILL NOT FUNNY!" but I knew, I just knew it was all so crazy to ever forget.....Sometimes when that song plays I really wish I could forget!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Match Maker, Match Maker

The moment I turned 18 years old my life shifted, my childhood was gone against my will! I was so clingy to my younger friends, to playing games and being dorky. If I was funny, joking around and choosing to be animated then I felt like I was in control of slowing down my adulthood. I was very much like the "Happy Wanderer." I made friends with every one  in my church. I drifted in and out of people's homes and lives. I loved going out to random restaurants even if I was completely alone. It was with my sense of adventure and confidence that my tennis shoes and jeans didn't keep me from a lovely lunch in a 5 star restaurant. I would sit in moments like this with a calm happiness. If I shared the lunch time with a friend then I was even more happier! I was both ready to grow up and scared to death all at the same time! I noticed instantly the first Sunday I was 18 years old. People changed, they would ask me when I was going to get married too. Hmmmmmmm I thought to myself, I am STILL a KID! Or at least I want to be:-}  Sunday invites to lunch at a family's home where other young single men came made me duck out into a corner annoyed. This happened suddenly ALL the time for awhile until I started declining invites and speaking out against marriage. "Debby Dear, I would like you to meet (Insert single man's name here), He has just started attending our church. This is Debby she is such a sweetheart and loves really truly loves children!" I sighed with a half smile and loose hand shake. Left alone we stood facing each other saying nothing, I had decided not to speak. THIS IS A HUGE SIGN to anyone who knew me as something is wrong with Debby! I can talk the ear of a homeless man I never met until that moment and I knew my way around small talk as calmly as if I were swimming in a pool. I liked deep long discussions or quality of conversations that took an hour just as much as I liked polite small talk, In never took me long to get to know someone, I stood next to this new guy not speaking at all. I wasn't STUPID my age suddenly opened the door for other married women to play "Match Maker"  I would confirm to myself that I did NOT want to grow up, facing so many more moments like these......

"You would make him such a great wife! he needs someone like you! Someone to love him no matter what since he is so bossy." When my friend's mother said this so casually, I rolled my eyes behind her back to my friend. I knew it had begun the race to get Debby married before she turned 19. The only person I know who would fight against this was my father, he would be on the war path to all these match making women in my church. My mother wanted to do "Arranged Marriages", she talked about them all the time! She knew it was impossible by the force my sister Dana and I came at her when she talked about it. Even our father sarcastically said "I don't want to be responsible for the out come of their marriages!" Mom still talked about it as if it was the best way to get married. Mom said once "My father would have married me off to a great guy because he loves me so much, you girls should trust your parents for choosing your husbands because we love you just as much!" Dana and I stared at each other in pure horror and thankfulness that our father shook his head to reassure us it wouldn't happen.  Now at 18 I found that EVERYONE had an idea of my husband! It was so crazy to me that I was just a piece of the game board. These match makers moved me from one lunch event to a group party event all the while acting so surprise when single men showed up too! I must have fooled everyone if they thought that is what I needed.....I asked a friend one time "DO I LOOK so DESPERATE? When will these setup dates END???" She laughed and said "You do play dumb quite a bit, People think they are doing good by helping you met other singles." I sighed sadly because everything was happening around me that I couldn't stop. My beloved friend Tiffany was already married as she laughed at me, while I was telling her how is it was now being 18. "I guess I never had that, everyone knew I was with Devin for so long...But I know you Deb, you will say YES to the first person who asks because you live in such a romantic world!" I snorted loudly and groaned. She then asked about one of the new young men that had joined our church, "He likes you it's so obvious! You guys would be such a cute couple." I stared in shock as I realized that even in the refuge of my close friend marriage was following me around like a dark shadow.
There was many moments when my friends suddenly back out of an event leaving me stand there next the only other single guy who said we could still hang out. I would glare as my friends left me standing there on purpose. If the young man tried to touch I would pull away and be loud in whatever I talked about like I didn't care I was so abandon. It helped me grow up and just be myself, Sometimes it made me down right rude and bold with the pushy single young man. I didn't have a clue how a man's mind worked, so in trying to be nice and not hurtful he would think I liked him when I clearly didn't. I guess it is one of those things you live through to know better the next time how to handle the surprise setup!

"I would NEVER abandon my single girlfriends to the company of awkward seeking single men!" I was still angry over the first time this had happened to me. My bluntness was always my way out of  such moments, as that I refused to share a car or stay as long as I had first planned with only this young man there. If I really wrote down all the moments I was abandon in my life it would explain why I am not afraid anymore to be alone. Why I can walk with myself into any situation without hesitation. 
I explained everything to my friend Joanie, who laughed and giggled as I told her of my crazy awkward setup Sunday afternoon. I never forgot what she said "You need to realize everyone thinks you will not be happy unless you are a mother, they don't care if your husband is smart or nice, they just want you to get married now and settle down......I think it's sad and I know you better then that! But that is where these Match Makers are coming from." I sat down next to her listening and thinking for she was probably right. I declared back "I am NEVER getting married!"  She replied "ME NEITHER!" We both laughed proudly as we sat there wondering if we really wanted to say that......

Friday, February 18, 2011


In the days I slept over at Joanie's house all time, I loved having my freedom! Especially the freedom of my own bedtime! Growing up I had a set bedtime at 9pm everyday of the week. Since my siblings and I were also home schooled having a set bedtime seemed really funny to us. YET we would have never argued against it, For the simple fear of our father. I was even 16 years old racing around hoping to be in bed by 9pm no matter what! My sister was grounded from the TV for a week once because she wasn't in bed at 9pm, she was just 14 and she was VERY mad by it. I remember thinking after that something was wrong here, We were teenagers treated like we were still little kids with our set bedtime. On the nights our father was working late or not home, our mother wouldn't even notice if we were in bed or not, in fact she never cared either way. We loved her for all these moments she broke the rules of our father with her careless shrug and smile like nothing was such a big deal after all. She never stood up to dad when he yelled at us all to be bed right then. For Mom just read late into those nights on the couch in the 3am glow of her light with the sound of turning pages. I liked finding her there when I wanted to chat with her, she probably didn't even realize we kids had a set bedtime for years. My father would boom his anger quickly when glancing at the clock noticing how late it was and we teenagers were still up! He thought we were sneaking around trying to avoid the early bedtime, I look back remembering with such a sigh of annoyance, for maybe we should have challenged him!

With Joanie, I found myself sitting in the cafe booth at 2am laughing and drinking hot cocoa. We both loved wearing our Pajama pants everywhere, so in our big fluffy sweaters and colorfully designed pj pants we stayed up late into the early morning. Our group of friends from a Thursday night bible study kept teasing us for not caring to dress normal. I guess she and I felt if people don't like us for just us then we might as well be comfy! No matter where I went to a coffee shop, a book store or a restaurant Joanie was with me! I loved our friendship and that sense of freedom.
"Do you want to get food? I think I will!" I asked Joanie as we sat in a booth on another Thursday night, it was after 9pm and we were settling in for the next four hours. Knowing I was sleeping over at Joanie's place allowed me to just relax and be in the moment. She played with her broken finger nail nodding back in reply "Sure, I want the big cookie ice cream bowl." I laughed and shook my head "NO SILLY! I want REAL food! How about we share a sample platter and split the cookie ice cream?" Joanie nodded while leaning her back against the wall  and watching the other people move around the place. She noted "I would hate working at a restaurant, I don't like people!" I laughed happily, I looked around the place with her. She continued "I mean, people would want their food just so and then complain or tip poorly after having been so high maintenance and I would loose it! Likely shove their plate into their laps! It would be BAD! Nope! this kind of job isn't for me." I chuckled listening and thinking about Joanie as a server. She looked at me with a smile "Oh but YOU could do it." I mumbled "Oh THANKS I guess!" I rolled my eyes and she giggled "No I just meant you are nicer then me is all, its a compliment!" I nodded replying back "I don't care whatever job I have as long as I get to have time to play! AND decide my own bed time!" Joanie gave me a high five from across the table in reply with a nod she asked as our food came "WHO NEEDS SLEEP?"

Our group of friends were joining us on another Thursday night at the restaurant, that bible study group usually ran over to McDonald or a fast food place instead of joining us in the booth. Joanie and I refused fast food unless we were dying of starvation, We usually found it so peaceful to be on our own anyway. On this certain night the caravan of cars were entering the parking lot of our usual restaurant. Joanie was already upset that the guy who liked her was stalking her again. He had yelled out as we headed out to the restaurant "Hey Joanie ride with me!" She slid into my car so fast and locked the door, while I yelled back "We'll just meet ya there!" I got into my car giggling at Joanie "STOP! it's NOT FUNNY!" She hissed back rolling her eyes and went off during the 10 minuet drive about how crazy he is and stupid it was to yell out in front of the whole group like that, she was instantly embarrassed. I always knew this of my dear friend,  she hated being called out or yelled at in public. I had learned the hard way, I called out to her once in a parking lot and she ducked behind a car so embarrassed and mad at me. I smiled while listening to her in my car, for she was mad again. When I realized there wasn't a place to park, I drove the car back around for it very crowded night at the restaurant. The guy who liked Joanie drove up next to us, Joanie groaned "Don't park HERE! Move on! Move away from him NOW!" I slowly tried but was stuck as cars were moving all around me, Joanie squealed out "OH NO! Don't get out of your truck!" I glanced over my shoulder to see the guy get out of his truck, Joanie continued in a panic "DON'T come over HERE!" He was headed straight towards us as we waited to park my car, Joanie sighed "PLEASE don't knock on my window!" He knocked on her side of the window. I was about to burst out laughing at all the things Joanie said for this guy to NOT DO and yet I began to roll down the window, Joanie slid back into her seat starring straight ahead as if she could just die with embarrassment. When he stuck his head all the way inside I had tears of laughter filling my eyes but I remained calm. This is the same man who I had fought off at singles retreat, he also prayed the exact same prayer line for line about how he wanted to get a good night's sleep, how sleep was so important. He asked God to even give all his friends a good night's sleep too. I often sat silently along side everyone else as his voice boomed these many requests to God for sleep! I would think to myself I was actually falling asleep just praying for sleep! I nick named him the "Sleepy man." Joanie loved it, when I would ask her "So is "Sleepy man" going to be there?" She would giggle and reply "God, I hope not!"  Now as this Sleepy man talked to us outside the crowded restaurant, he said (and I quote) "It's a 30 minuet wait for a table so we are calling it a night. YOU GIRLS need to go straight home now." I frowned "Why?" I hated being told what to do! He still kept his head fully stuck inside my car as I noticed Joanie pushing way back into her passenger seat to avoid bumping his cheek. He replied smugly "I know how much you girls do not sleep! So go home and go to bed!" I began to pull the car froward as he back out yelling "Watch it now! GO HOME! GO TO BED!" I waved him back and drove off the first open chance I got! I was annoyed at first then I began laughing so hard! Joanie's face after the whole event was priceless. We drove around town for 30 minuets talking and laughing about the whole thing with sleepy praying guy. Joanie exclaimed "When he said GO TO BED! I wanted to say WHY NOT PRAY about it instead!" We laughed as pulled back into our favorite restaurant. We had ditched the group and found ourselves in the comfort of our usual booth with just the 2 of us gossiping about the world over cherry cokes and cheese sticks. Now we did LOVE our beds and loved sleeping in most of all! but no one not even that know-it-all bossy man could tell us when we should go to bed! Joanie pointed to the clock as we left that night "OH NO Debby! look! its 2:30am!.." I was giggling as she continued "AND we are NOT in bed!" She gasped mockily and rolled her eyes. I was thinking I could stay up all night as happy and free as I felt!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Can the Cheese cut it?

My husband and I love discovering which brands of food are the best flavored. We did this again in our search for cheese, on one of our many taste testings afternoons. It was over the fact I bought a generic brand of cheese because it was cheaper. AND because I said "Cheese is cheese!" (Something my own mom had said to me, when I said I didn't like her already shredded cheese that she got in those huge bags from Costco. It had that after taste of "Anti-cake powder". Leaving my mouth all foamy from that powder) Now my sweet knowledgeable husband Tony gasped in shock by my statement. He replied "I will have you know! That cheese is not just cheese! It's so much more! There is a whole world out there on cheese flavors alone!....The real taste of cheese is by far more important then saving a couple of dollars!" I laughed as he shared his passion for cheese, I adore him when he gets rattled up. Back when we were dating he took me to a restaurant for an appetizer of 3 different kinds of goat cheese that I thought was all so amazing! I also discovered BRE and was hooked by the very first bite! It reminded me of black walnuts right off my childhood farm, that yummy perfect taste of BRE cheese opened my eyes to other things besides just cheddar. Goat cheese was a whole new world of earthy strong flavors, with the different textures I found this new cheese world simply yummy! Tony and I laughed so hard one night watching an episode of "Frasier." when they reacted to "American cheese". Tony said that was a discussing slime in plastic, it should NOT be associated with America in it's name. I replied "I use to like American cheese as a kid we had it all the time!" Tony stared in horror at me and I realized how shocking this was to say out loud, because I would never purchase such a thing now! (heehee)  
Our afternoon of talking about Cheese, of tasting so many different kinds and after watching a tour through the cheese factory on the TV channel "The Food Network." We made an agreement that I would NOT ever settle for less taste just to save $ when next time I purchase cheese. Tillamook Cheese won over 4 brands of the same cheddar and Sharp cheddar won the taste testing over all. Currently with pizza or sandwiches I can tell instantly a difference when lesser quality cheese is used. After that cheese tasting test we changed our butter and sour cream over to support the Tillamook company. I now love the amazingly flavored world of cheese just as much as my husband! 
Because Cheese isn't just cheese it is a journey of wonder, of flavors, of adventure! AND of a yummy aroma coming from your kitchen:-)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Is God out There?

Is God out there? Somewhere we haven't been? Does it even matter, If He or She exist if all they do is watch? I wondered when I was younger, when I was walking through all those nature walks on my childhood farm, Is God out there watching me right now? I believed in what I was told to think, I behaved in the ways I was told where right. That somehow the earth couldn't all come together without a God who guided and controlled it all. I was told of stories over those years that were both scary and amazing! Of this idea that God would punish the wrong and honor the right. God was there like a shadow from the sky to my everyday life as a child. I didn't doubt for a second, that if he wanted me dead there was nothing I could do. As a child I believed willingly and hopefully that I was growing up right, growing up correctly according to the power of God, who controls the very air I needed to breathe.......
Yet right now I am in my 30s wondering why I still want to believe in God, of course my own personal idea of God now is much more peaceful and loving. YET I am asking myself today because I realize nothing is ever set in stone, That honestly no one can actually say for a fact that they do know who God is or where God is. A book like the bible just has stories of history and hope, or scary fear and control. With metaphors and life lessons the bible can be easily argued and faulted. Sometimes when reading it everything makes perfect sense! Then all to quickly a section pops up that is so confusing. I guess it comes down to the fact we are looking for God in that book, the Bible has been given so much power over people, I was told such an absolute truth that God is what the bible says. How scary to give a man made book even the power to know and reveal God! God can not be captured so easily nor proven to exist. I have long since refused to believe that God is so easily "boxed in". For I used to talk to him growing up especially on my nature walks and it was the hope of God that helped me live through those times. I believe it's that kind of hope which gives us faith, peace of mind and love. The other rules or ideas come from how people like to control other people. I am an adult now waking up from what I was told as a child, For now I can think for myself by asking deeper questions about where and who God is? I have come to my own personal peace, Maybe it will keep me improving and changing in the years to come. I want be to the type of person who is willing to believe in all things! I know there is a dangerous line to cross when thinking I have all the answers..... I hope I never actually stop asking these kind of questions. For I have a beautiful imagination! I only have just one life to live, and not knowing is just the beginning of reaching all the possibilities! 
I still take my nature walks, I still talk to God while letting the lavender leafs crumble through my fingers as I asked with a happy smile.....Is God a lavender lover too?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My Nature Walks

When I was young I walked for miles along the orchard trees, ditch banks and hillsides. I had been shown how to look for a bird nest with bright blue eggs with the help of my Grandpa Ansil. He loved birds of all kinds, he walked through his own land confident and calm. He had a way with being both responsible and respectful towards nature.

When I walked I talked to God, I replayed over my memories and worked out the pieces of puzzle as I began to seek a deeper peace and meaning for my life. 

When I was young I walked in nature at all different times of the day. My father taught me what the differences between apple trees or plum trees are, especially when they don't have any fruit. I asked him why we could see deer every so often among the trees. He said that the fruit and the sweet bark was what they wanted to eat.
He had a way with getting things done, with a protective attitude and street wise common sense. My Father loved all kinds of animals.

When I walked I talked to God, I replayed my own points of view. I began to seek a deeper knowledge of all the things around me.

When I was young I walked in nature hoping to catch the beauty of the sun set from the comfort of the ditch bank road. Sometimes my mother would join me and she would smile at the sun light saying this was her own childhood spot to watch. I always noticed her beauty and her way of praying. She liked sharing her memories growing up on that farm as we walked and talked. She said one time "You are lucky to be growing up in the very same place I did."And I nodded happily agreeing. My mom walked through the fruit trees lost in her own peace.

When I was young I walked in nature, taking the time to look at those bright blue eggs, while whispering to them "This is a great place to be born!" and I knew no matter what happened in my life I would always remember this place as a farm cherished in time, held in my mind.

When I walked I talked to God, and God was the only thing that never left me, never abandon nor rejected me. How beautiful is the hope of life that burst forth from those hidden blue eggs! 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Everlasting Love

He was hanging in there for his beloved wife. She was not always aware of her husband across the living room in his own hospital bed. Now that their children were taking care of them, and watching over them. It was nice to still be in their own home, dying was a process made easier with the comfort of each other, they had to face this together. It was hard for him to think about loosing his wife, yet it was impossible for him to go first. He was determined to not leave her. He had never left her in his whole life, he wasn't going to start now. He had a clear understanding, a certain peace about himself coming to an end. Still he was not going leave her, not in this way. She laid helplessly confused, she had lost her voice, the cancer would claim her too. He loved his wife more then he loved his own life. He was going to be there for her, even though his old shaky hands wouldn't obey what he commanded. He watched and listened to everything people said or did around his wife, for he knew she deserved the very best treatment. He loved all those moments when her eyes met his as she sent him silent love messages. He would smile right back at her, then her eyes would sparkle. Not everyone understood them, how they communicated. Though he now lived for those private jokes and comforting gestures she sent towards him. She was his wife, after four grown children and a handful of grand kids, they looked back on such a good life too. From their strong friendship to their loving marriage. He had spent many hours lying in bed, weak and shaking from his Parkinson’s disease, remembering their stories, their life time together. He was also grateful to be there for her, just across the living room he felt proud to watch over everything. She was comforted by his huge grin and his clapping of hands whenever she needed help, he stayed alert for her. He also knew what was going on around them even when she didn't. They had a love so deeply grounded into their souls that even as they came to the end, they never let go of that love.
He was very pleased with himself for usually he didn't have this kind of strength to move from one bed to the other without falling down. He slowly, quietly settled himself on the edge of his wife's bed as she sat up to lean against him. Time stood still, hand in hand, he was happy and she was soft. He sat there remembering her once young and beautiful, she use to giggle looking up at him as he was showing off all those years ago, back when they first met. It had taken him what felt like forever to get her attention, Usually women followed him around where ever he went and often in groups they crowded him, they never seemed to notice he was so shy. His eyes would follow her annoying glance, as she stepped away from such a scene. She didn't like him simply because he had so many other girls around. He chuckled now to himself as Her bald head rested against his skinny chest. Illness and old age had taken everything, but their love remained their strength. She was hanging on to him tightly. He was so happy that she knew him, even this close to death. She still knew him! He smiled proudly as his own tears slid down his wrinkled cheek. Sitting together on that warm summer afternoon, he held his wife next to his heart. 

She was just a young short woman living in the big city of Portland Oregon. She wore lovely dresses everyday and worked at the bank. He was head over heels in love with her, yet she wasn't sure someone so handsome could even be trusted. When she finally said "I do." He was bursting with joy, bursting with determination never to leave her side. She was a strong woman in the end, she came from the city to the country and never regretted for a second who she had married. She loved her farm with open arms just as she loved her man. They had been young, so full of plans and dreams. 

He smiled now holding her close, He recalled that she had even danced in this same room one winter's night a year or so ago, He had laughed at how cute she was twirling around. Even with her silver hair and wrinkled hands, she was still so beautiful! They understood that love never ages, it has a strong purpose to be there forever. He always saw his young bride when he looked into her eyes and She loved him completely. She had giggled while sharing this story with her granddaughter, that Grandpa had women throwing themselves at him when they first met. But he just kept on walking up to her. Grandma laughed out loud as she explained "And boy! Those women were so jealous! I hadn't expected him to be standing by my side...after all he could of chosen the most beautiful one if he had wanted." Her granddaughter grinned back in a quick reply "I think he DID!" She laughed again with sigh saying "Oh well now, that was so long ago..." 

He touch her arm, he had to feel her resting against his chest as they remembered together, when they had first met. He glanced up as his granddaughter walked into room but she stopped to watch them a moment longer. She nodded respectfully at him though her own tears silently fell. He wanted this moment to last forever, He wanted to never let go of his wife as she died. The room had a cool breeze moving softly through the open window as his heart said that final goodbye to his sleeping wife. They had lived, They had shared, They would be remembered for their everlasting love.

Singles Retreat

Now 12 years ago when I was just 20, I was excited to join my best friend Joanie on a road trip to the mountains as she told me about our church's singles retreat. It was a 3 day weekend up in Warm Lake Idaho at the camp ground shared by other small churches in the valley who shared in the same biblical doctrine. This just so happened to be the year our small church grew with young adults, all of them friends, all of from a bible study Joanie and I attended. There was going to be a big group of us from our church to go. I asked Joanie as she took my money to pay for our places in the retreat. "Why can't married couples come too?" I was thinking of my beloved friend Tiffany who was married, she had once said that when you got married people treated you differently and suddenly you weren't allowed the same freedoms. I was alarmed by such a statement from Tiff, so I became aware of not wanting to loose my own freedoms. Joanie just rolled her eyes and shook her head in reply "You are such a dork Debby! Single people don't want the married people to tag along trying marry off all the single people." I stood there wondering even more about this retreat, but I simply said "OoooH OoooKay." I was about to embark on a new adventure into the world of silly single people!

The car was packed as Joanie's cousin Kessa joined us even our new guy friends had a sister visiting. So they asked us to befriend their sister Marie. The look Marie gave me at first introduction was obvious to me that she was looking for someone "Cooler" and I didn't take it as an insult for I had gotten THAT look my whole life! I just chuckled as I told my Joanie girl we would loose her friendship the first chance she could meet cooler people then us. Joanie was applaud by my quick discernment. She exclaimed "WE ARE COOL! Maybe we are the coolest people I know! I don't want her to leave us for someone better, I think you are crazy! WE ARE SO COOL!" I was giggling as Joanie sighed "Well we SHOULD be cool anyway!" I nodded with amusement still thinking maybe I was wrong in my assumption.

The small car with us four girls had "Ace of Base" playing as we sung along in our cut off jean short and flip flops. Joanie and I had been up late the night before painting our toes. I was always giving Joanie a hard time about not taking her old paint off when it broke or chipped off. "You look like you have toe nail fungus!" I would exclaim and she would push me playfully saying "Leave my feet alone!" and I would grab her small finger pointing out the longer then all other nails "Do you snort cocaine? I don't think so! Ya need to clip this down! What will people think?"  I would roll my eyes and make all kinds of funny faces in the mirror at her as she curled her hair. She was my very best friend, I was always playful and happy to be around her! In our car of four girls Joanie and I bantered back and forth with Marie looking at us annoyingly, she ended up finding a better friend to ride home with at the end of the weekend (How ironic) Joanie said she tried to make friends with her but it was not a natural fit. I remember sitting in the back as Kessa drove and Joanie sang to the music, I just listened. I always thought Joanie was so gifted in music when it came to singing, she was really good at it! When we arrived at the camp grounds of cabins and trees, with the volleyball net, the fire pit and the dinning hall made me smile for I really truly deeply loved this place! It was where all our church family camps took place and years of memories had added up. It was a short lived happiness when the recognizable laughter of a guy I use to chase away from my beloved girl friends maybe four or five years earlier came out of the dinning hall. "OH, HELL NO!" was all I could stop to say as Joanie's eyes widen too. We both gave each other the " What do we do?"   look in alarm. Joanie's cousin snorted saying it was no big deal. But Joanie agreed with me the pervy guy was back! I really liked having a friend who saw right through his bull shit also! That first night he and I got into a huge argument then he spent the rest of the time avoiding me as I him. He said I had changed, that I wasn't as nice as I use to be, then I said he was still as creepy as always. (Poor guy, he was raised that way)  The Singles Retreat was all together a foreign place for me, It only took that first few hours to figure out what was REALLY going on!
" Could it be we came here to be better friends? To be happy in our youth? To praise God for unconditional love and develop strong character? To be healthier for relaxing a weekend far away from our busy world? Maybe we all came here to admire nature and be one with the earth in the Holy spirit with the power of God?"  
Sadly none of the above! Unless you did that on your own time and in your own growth. Singles Retreat was a joke or a slap in the face to me when it came to what was really going on...The counselors went around asking what boy or girl you liked and who you would want to date or court in marriage. I sat stunned and ashamed by this ridiculousness, I felt like we had re-entered Junior high!  Kessa soon made fun of all the guys and girls, she amused herself with asking "Are they a couple or not?" I realized she had come up with a perfect title for this trip on that very first night. There were many girls around all of whom I knew or understood they didn't like me. When I would say something bold or challenging there was a ripple among those girls whispering about me. I would smirk thinking...
(Nothing like a bunch of catty bitches to keep you on your toes!) Joanie warned me that I was now walking around with a huge target on my back as an "Improper woman" Automatically making me a "Black Sheep" in this christian flock. With Kessa and Joanie I usually hid out away from what I clearly did not want to play, Couples or not. YET I grew bolder realizing there wasn't much more I could do or say around the other girls they still chatted about me and gasped in unison when I had declared that women had every right to play football too. (I do look back realizing I did lack tack and humbleness) Back then I was proud to tell my counselor that I had come to Singles Retreat to be with my friends NOT to get engaged! While some people chuckled at me, others stared in horror. I stood up saying "And I'll be damned if I miss out on this nice sunny afternoon, just sitting here talking about marriage!" Another group of girls gasp in shock as I left...and I didn't care.
Joanie had her own troubles with this retreat, now we weren't always together. Our friendship was wonderful like that, we didn't cling to each other the way others would. She could be playing basketball with a group, I could be out walking or writing in the woods, we were still friends no matter who we saw or what we did. I would play volleyball and she would wave at me as she ran by kicking the soccer ball. When we met up again it was as if we never ran out of something to talk about. "Debby I am so worried what should I do?" Joanie exclaimed once we met up. (Now she was just as bad as I was in telling guys to back off and keep to the friend only conduct.) Since arriving at this retreat I had noticed instantly all our new guy friends were competitive with each other, some of them got down right aggressive! Even approaching the girls boldly. By the second night most of the guys had paired up with a girl, I found myself thinking it was all so creepy! I didn't find it fun to talk about match making or flirting. I was never like that actually. So instead I asked my guy friends directly "What is your problem? why can't you just be real?" This back fired as the guys joked about me being "On the rag" when they didn't think I could hear their jokes, so they didn't take me seriously. Joanie and I found each other both annoyed by everything going on. "He keeps touching me for no real reason! Like when I was playing volleyball he came up behind me with his hands on my back then he slid them down my arms to "Teach me how to serve the ball better." I was so stunned and terrified but I didn't want him to hurt his feelings if I reacted by pulling away from him! what do I do??" She asked me with a deep sigh throwing herself on her sleeping bag. I felt a sudden rush of anger towards this guy, he hadn't been friends with us very long but he did stare after Joanie every where she went in church. I became aware of it shooting him a straight up glare when he saw me. (We will call him "H") he was on the look out for a wife there was no denying it. Yet I knew he didn't stand a chance with Joanie ever! Not even once for a second did he ever have a hope. I tried to tell him that nicely all the time, but then we would end up in argument over the fact he thought I didn't know my place as a woman. Such a phrase like that would send me over the edge in suddenly getting loud and mad, then he would push aside my advice to leave my best friend alone, because I was an emotional woman. "What do I do! It's getting worse he is touching me all the time now and running up from behind throwing me up in air! CRAZY! I am going CRAZY!" Joanie moaned into her pillow as I sat on the floor by her bed eating my favorite peanut M&Ms. "WELL....I could go kick his ass for ya." I joked around in reply. We both liked talking big and tough yet when the actual moment came we worried over if we would hurt the desperate guy's feelings. That first night Joanie and I walked through the starry wide open field out by the dinning hall, laying on our backs on the cold ground talking about what God thinks of us and how big the universe really is. It was 4:30am when she and I slipped into our beds. The other single girls got up at 5am to shower and put on their make up. I had exclaimed at the dinner table "It takes 3 HOURS to put your makeup on!!!???" (I made NO NEW FRIENDS by that reaction) It was 7:30am when H drove his pick-up to our cabin door and yelled into his speaker phone of his truck. "WAKE UP GIRLS!" over and over with some obnoxious music playing too. I shot awake from a deep cozy sleep with such terror at the sound of H's voice. I had sat straight up in my top bunk startled to death hissing out "That dumb ass! I am going to kick the shit out of him!" then I realized I was still at a church camp my language needed to stay in check. "NOT before I get to him!" was Joanie's response and I burst out laughing as my heart slowed down again. Joanie looked way more mad then I did which rarely happened. "I was having a wonderful romantic dream then HIS voice ruined it all!" She explained and we laid there under the booming noise he was making for we had stop listening, we were trying to calm down from the shock. I got down to slip on my shoes, when I suddenly notice our cabin. "OH MY! Where are we sleeping?!" I asked trying to not step on someone's makeup bag slipping open every color of lipstick that was ever made, the floor had deodorants, lotions and perfume bottles every where like some beauty parlor! I had never seen so many curling irons of every shape and size, curlers to sleep in and clothes piled high every where! Joanie got out her bed just as reluctantly as I had. "Hells Bells! what happened to this place!" She exclaimed as we both looked at each other in alarm. All of the girls had gotten up early to "LOOK GOOD." for the rest of the day! One of them even brought 3 suit cases, I sighed rolling my eyes thinking once again I didn't relate to the female sex very well. Now I did think it was important to look good, even care about body odor, but not at the price of sleep. I walked into breakfast time having put my bra on under my big sweater in my pajama pants, I thought I was descent enough for coffee and eggs. I put my hand up in H's face as he yelled his good morning at me and I stated quietly "Don't give me your shit." He hissed back "Don't say bad words." and I knew I had enough anger in me that needed to be guarded, Or I could picture myself punching him in the face only for myself to feel better. That same day he and I had many run-ins, I hadn't forgave him for rudely waking Joanie and I up. He finally moved in on Joanie cornering her on a walk that evening. I saw his hands move all over her as she shot me a startled look as if to say " What do we do?"   I ran up next to her wedging myself between H and her in hopes to help her feel safe. Then H shove me back telling me to leave. H always acted like he thought I was completely out of line. I always thought of him as a big bully so we weren't going any where in our friendship. He grabbed Joanie by the side of her chest to move her away from me and she squealed out her protest. He didn't stop man handling her all the way back on the walk. I of course was applauded when she cried out and he STILL hung onto her sides pushing her into him as a full body hug. I grew beyond angry , shouting at him "Did you NOT hear her! LET GO!" He turned on me saying I should leave them alone again, He said I was pulling on Joanie like she was a rope. I lost it right then, I went off  "I am not the one grabbing her by the boobs! and smoothing her! She doesn't like to be touched and I KNOW that I am her BEST friend!" He rolled his eyes saying I was over reacting. Then I yelled out "NO! YOU BACK OFF" I shoved him back, then he came at me pulling me back away from Joanie and I turned my elbow into his side. He was surprised swing me away then I kicked him in his grew into a real fight from there, I was wild with kicking and slapping, Joanie was waving us away from each other as a new group of people arrived on the scene, I was fuming! He yelled back that I was a brat and didn't know my place. I flipped him off so easily as Joanie took my arm almost crying. "I was so scared Debby! I want you to stay close to me until we get back to our cabin." I cooled down nodding and glaring back at the aggressive H guy. When we got to our cabin, we stayed in for awhile. Joanie and I talked it all out what was really happening,  "Debby you are going to get into trouble for flipping him off, he might even be telling everyone what you did right now!" I sat there realizing my temper had won out and I wish I could of handle the whole situation better. I sighed helplessly "Like I could give a shit." She smiled shaking her head while rubbing her wrist where he had pulled her down to him against her will. I had wander away from those 2 for a second and came back to their struggle on the slope of the mountain. To me, from my point of view, I was a warrior of virtue, to him I had interrupted his romance of stealing a kiss. I know what I saw, how a surge of anger flew through me and how I realized it was time to fight back. Joanie and I spent the rest of the night together laughing and joking. We told her dad the next day how invaded Joanie had felt and he said next time I should use my knee. I think in moments like that we learn how to be bold. I was both surprised and completely pissed off, I had lost my temper! Joanie and I spent that last night of singles retreat being goofy by the fire pit, acting out movie lines, singing modern song lyrics and feeling relieved to just simply be. For we were proud to be single after all!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

When Harry met Sally (A Movie review)

"When Harry met Sally" came to film in1989, I was just 10 years old and every TV commercial about this movie made my mom jump out of her chair to change the channel. She didn't like this modern story so by her surprising reaction I took note to remember this movie and watch it someday. I was dating Tony when this show was randomly on TV. Tony was surprised I had never seen it before, as I excitedly said "I have wanted to actually watch this since I was 10 years old!" Happily I found the movie completely wonderful! Tony said Sally reminded him of me, As the first part of the story has her driving talking about being a basically a happy person. Sally is played by Meg Ryan and Harry is Billy Crystal. When Harry spits grapes on Sally's car window I laughed out loud thinking it reminded me of moments with Tony. As Tony and I cuddled together watching this film, I said giggling "Well if I am Sally then YOU are Harry! Harry who thinks about death and how he will be ready for it hahahaha." When Harry and Sally have the very same disagreement that Tony and I were currently having about whether or not guys and girls could just be friends. I said Yes it was possible to just be friends with the opposite sex with no sexual tension or desire. But Tony said there will always be an aliment of sexual desire when a friendship is of 2 people in the opposite sex. So in this movie when the same conversation came up I was laughing so hard. Discussions and disagreeing is all part of a relationship, having these ideas or thoughts were apart of growth. I loved this movie how it broke off into interviews of other couples sharing their stories. Before long I could say line for line in this movie from watching it all the time, I felt like it  played a big part of who Tony and I are in our own love story. AND it also has the very BEST New year's eve kiss EVER captured on film! XoXoXo

Friday, February 11, 2011


I was 14 years old when I was babysitting regularly for Laura's Mother. Laura was the oldest child of 5 kids at the time. She had long dark brown hair as she bounced around me. I was a natural with babies also by this time in my life carrying them around, changing diapers and bottle feeding while singing soft tunes in the way my mom had shown me to do. Now I never could sit mindless in front of the TV when being in charge of babysitting. Even though there were moments I could breathed a sigh of relief when all the kids finally settled down to a movie. I didn't like the fact that TV was doing my job, I had many ideas to creatively teach children to play, color, draw or challenge their young minds. One of my favorite games I made up was getting the kids around the kitchen table to draw what I thought about in a time limit as if in a race. Like I would say "I am thinking of a dog...on your mark, get set, GO!" Then the kids while giggling would roll the crayons across their blank pieces of paper to draw fast creating a picture of a dog. I always arrived with a small bag of candy for prizes or getting them to make their beds. My biggest job while babysitting was cleaning the house. I thought that if I was Laura's mother after being out on a date then the last thing I would want to do was wash dishes in the kitchen. So a spotless home create a sense of peace and calming to me as I herded the children around to help with such energized excitement, saying "Let's clean House!" Laura would always look at me as if I was so weird. Yet I relied on her more then all the other children, because she knew where things were and how everything worked. When her younger sister Marissa was laying on the floor screaming. I thought to myself "This child will be the death of me!" as I went back to scrubbing the dishes in a soapy sink, Marissa was refusing to take a bath and I didn't pay attention to her as she screamed on the floor for what felt like forever. She grew even more mad as I stopped paying attention to her all together. Laura came out into the room where Marissa still laid on the floor explaining to me "You need to give her something so she will stop screaming." I was bewildered by this time. My ears hurt and my house cleaning chores felt like they would never end. "Like what? She is refusing to calm down." I asked helplessly as Laura reached into the refrigerator to hand her hysterical sister a pudding cup. Instantly the house was silent again, I couldn't help but chuckle at how simple that was and yet how crazy at the same time! I accidentally got bit on my pinky finger by the baby girl Megan as she refused the apple sauce I was trying to feed her so she bit my finger so I squealed and danced around the room she thought I was funny and giggled. I gave in and fed her those pudding cups as Laura walked by explaining "She won't eat anything else, just pudding." I nodded as I kept my fingers more to myself.

When I walked into Laura's home the first room was a wide open living room with a new couch set. The room went right into the dinning room table and sliding glass door to the big backyard. To the right hand side was the kitchen with dark cabinets tucked away in the passing through space to the family room full of books, toys and where the TV was. This was the most commonly used space of the home. From the dinning room table to the hallway Laura's brother had his bedroom, Then the bathroom was to the right which also double as the laundry room so as I cleaned it I thought of how toothpaste was the hardest thing to removed . What always bothered me was the only boy in the family had his own room while the second bedroom was crowded for 3 girls. So I asked them why doesn't anyone share a room with their brother so each of them could have half a bedroom. They thought I was crazy for suggesting that and the older I got the more I thought of ways to give each girl some more privacy. "You could always hang a curtain over here in this is corner of bedroom to be your own space." I would suggest as the girls would giggle at me. Laura would roll her eyes and answer "Curtains are for windows, not to hang in the middle of the bedroom." I laughed at how funny I must be sounding to them. I was always happy to get Laura's bedroom setup so she had her own bookshelf with her favorite things on them. I think deep down I related to her in being the oldest and understood how she was the one with the most responsibility over her siblings. In a way I thought she needed to be spoiled sometimes too. Her mother and I often got into discussions and I am sure I lacked tactfulness in how I thought a parent should behave. Yet she always invited me back to babysit even if we ended up in a heated disagreement. When Laura's Parents came home at night asking if the kids had been good, even if the kids hadn't behaved, I always said they were wonderful. I had a fear that if I said anything troubling or frustrating then those kids would get the belt. It came from my own childhood of being babysat, I often acted up or tried to get away with something when babysat since my parents were gone. For all my bad reports and bad behavior I remembered that the belt followed. Now that I was the one in charge, the one who babysat, my own report of the kids never failed, I couldn't live with myself if they got spanked because of something I said. Laura and I would both get along and then challenge each other too. My priority was that once the house was cleaned we could all play, have candy or ice cream during a movie time or on those late summer nights outside. I loved teaching the kids games in the back yard like "Green light, Red light.","Simon says." and "Toss Salad."  Looking back now, I realize the time spent with the kids was by far more important then creating an immaculate home. I was always trying to do it all and sometimes I would think I didn't have the energy to babysit more then just once a week. Laura was always one of those girls who could just look at you and know if you were bullshiting her or not. I couldn't help but admire her spunk, her awareness and most importantly her beauty!