Just Plain Dumb

Just Plain Dumb

  1. thanks-youNot enough education.  You need those string of alphabet behind your name.  They make you acceptable, believable and valued.
  2. Unable to identify helpful people. It’s all about network and connections.  Friends aren’t really friends you serve a purpose for them otherwise you’re history.
  3. Have sex to young. It’s like using your Social Security check to buy your first bicycle.  It won’t get you anywhere but broken spokes.
  4. Get married to people based on a feeling. Marriage is a business partnership.  You have to have some logical connection. Marriages based on emotional connection are like tying your kite to a submarine.  It’s difficult to soar with the eagles when you’re swimming with the sharks.
  5. Trusting people-with words, money and possibilities. Even friends and family can’t be considered “trustworthy.”
  6. Investing in “investments.” This means you’re spending way too much money trying to make more money a lot later.
  7. By not valuing my personal potential. Self-esteem seems to be grown from dirt and watered by sweat. Self-confidence comes from skill and experience.   Looking into the eyes of people who you want to “give it you” is fatal.
  8. Agreeing to something I knew was wrong in the first place. Intuition and gut feelings are believable.  The mind is purely a GPS.  It leads you to wear the “ gut tells you to go.”
  9. We think we don’t have to participate in life and activities.  Only with action and vulnerability do we actually experience life to its fullest.
  10. Not saying Thank You enough. There are more people in this world that I owe thanks to.








Tears from her face like the fire hydrant at the street- burst and sprayed everything in its path. She hadn’t cried in years.  It was if the water in all the world had been held back by her denial of pain and memories and then in one instant even the waters of all the oceans in the world splattered into her world.

The child at the edge of a room standing in the doorway frowns, bends over to hold his stomach, grimes in pain and then in one instant he laughs and holds his nose. His mother scolds his act of “passing gas.”  She smiles, too but in the opposite direction. His father laughs, “that’s so cute.”  The father is reminded that he doesn’t have control over his bowels like he did when he was young.  Sometimes they “slip out” and he is embarrassed and ashamed. As one grows older the passing gas is spontaneous. It is humiliating and painful.  It is the loss of control that is undeniably fatal.

Tears can be held back.  They can be distracted with thoughts and the denial. Repression works until the dog or the cat dies-maybe it’s the time your hero is murdered in the movies. It’s all about letting go and being able to withstand the pressure of release.  As humans we like to think we are logical. We’re not.

We are emotional.  The canvas, the years of our life are logical: We live. We die.  Inside that frame is art. The art of living.  Showing love. Action and reaction.  We are emotional.  Crying is not sadness.  It is “opening the vein” of emotion. It is a release.  Crying and farting indications that everything is not controllable.




THE EAGLES = TEARS of LOVE: I was driving to work yesterday and a song from The Eagles Greatest Hit Album came on and I started tearing up, more like a few tissues moment. I was shocked and asked myself what was going on…then I started getting images of our home and car growing up. It was like my Dad was in the car with me jamming out. He loved this album! I knew he was with me at that very moment. This album was played over and over in our house…probably on an 8- track upstairs and on an album in our paneled walls with gold-shag-carpet in the family room. So out of the memories of my past came to visit me, reminding me of the love that Dad gave me then, now and forever. Thanks Dad for the music you continue to bring into my life from Heaven. Love you forever!



This week brought back a myriad of memories. Several weeks ago, My neighbor asked if I would care for their three children (6 years, 4 years,  an 10 months) while they went on a cruise.  I am 68 years old now, but I think of it as the new 38, so I said, “Sure, it will be fun!” Last night their parents returned from their trip, and today I sit in my recliner reflecting and recovering from the week with three small children realizing that 68 is really 68.

The children came on a Friday evening ready for bed. That sounded easy enough until the parents left and the tears started to flow. I spent thirty minutes comforting the girls while their baby brother slept blissfully in his crib (pac and play). Since my bed is very high, I had designated the living room as the dorm. The girls were on each end of the sofa, and I was on the loveseat. However, the first night, the girls needed my on the sofa next to them with their arms clinging to me. LESSON one: children need security.  They need to know that someone loves and cares for them. After a few minutes of hugs and lullabies, they were asleep, and I was on the loveseat.

LESSON Two: Children still love lullabies and music. When my children, an then grandchildren, were small, I always rocked and sang to them. “Jesus Loves Me” and “Over in Kilarney” were there favorites, and now at 68, they still worked. I know I sang each of these songs at least a hundred times this past week. There is nothing more precious than having a baby fall asleep in your arms as you sing  “Jesus Loved Me”.  It was true at 28 and still true at 68. 

The next morning we were up early so we could get the oldest to a baseball parade and preseason celebration by 8:30.  LESSON three: mothers need to know how to organize.  The ball uniform was laid out on the bed ready for a sleepy child to get into. While she and  her sister were dressing, I was dressing  and feeding the baby.  I was determined that breakfast would be healthy so we had scrambled eggs and toast. The checklist began: breakfast finished?Check! Everyone dressed? Check! Diaper bag packed? Check!  Everyone  in the van? Check!  Seat belts on? Check! We were on our way to drop off the oldest one to join her team. Sister, baby ,and I stood on the sidewalk and watched the parade and took pictures to send to mom and dad. We were back home about eleven and just enough time for lunch and a nap before we had to be back at the ball field for a 2:00 game. LESSON four: always choose a nap over doing chores when you can at 28 or 68. 

Thank goodness for the nap because it was a long afternoon with a preschooler and a 10-month-old on my hip. LESSON five:  mothers at 28 or 68 have to have eyes in the backs of their heads in order to keep up with children at a ballpark.  Don’t let the three-year-old wonder off, and don’t let the baby eat a discarded potato chip.  Also be ready to  cheer and to take a picture of the oldest when she gets her very first softball hit. I must add that when you are not organized you forget the stroller which would have been a big help with these things. Stroller? Unchecked!

Of course by the time you’re ready to go home, the children are all hungry again.  Healthy food is no longer on my mind –  what will be fast and require no preparation is now the criteria. So, off to the local fast pizza establishment we go. We are home with hot pizza and breadsticks and everyone is happy. 

Then it is bath time. Again  organization. Have the pajamas ready, bubbles in the bath, and detangler for the girls hair.  Ater their baths, as they are wrapped in their towels, I remember that nothing smells better than a freshly bathed child. Now the girls are on their bed /couch, and I’m cuddling  the baby as the TV is broadcasting cartoons. LESSON six: children make the decision on what channel the TV is turned to. It was true at the age of 28 and still true at the age of 68. However, parents still have veto power, and I used my veto power on SpongeBob SquarePants. We find My Little  Pony makes us all happy: cute little colorful horses that teach life lessons about being friends and being kind. In an hour we are all asleep.

In the middle of the night I remember LESSON seven: all mothers live in  fear that something will happen to their child. I wake up and look over at the baby.  He is still in the same position that he was in when I placed him in the crib and my heart stops. I reach over and touch him on the top of his little head and he moves. My heart begins to beat again. I wondered how many times I had done this with my own children – Gotten  out of bed to check and see if they were still OK.  Part of this lesson is not  to allow this fear to rob  you of the joy of the moments you have  with your child. 

The next day is Sunday and anyone who takes children to church knows you need to refer to lesson three – be organized!  Clothes are laid, out breakfast is served, and the checklist begins. When I arrive at church with my new little family, everyone is amazed that at 68 I am doing this. I just smile and say, “Oh, they are no problem.” In  reality I don’t quite feel 28 inside anymore – maybe pushing 38. The oldest child chooses to sit on the pew in front of me next to a friend of mine. The three-year-old is glued to my side,  and the baby is in my lap standing up and checking out everything and everyone around him smiling. They all three love the music and the singing. Of all mornings, I have been scheduled to stand and read a scripture. I wonder how I am going to handle this. Take the baby with me or hand him off to the friend on the front pew?  I choose option two. As  I hand the baby over to her, she asks, “Will he cry?” I smile and say, “I don’t know.”  Thankfully, it is a short passage, and baby looks straight at me smiling as if he think I am reading revelation chapter four just for him. I pick him up on the way back  to my pew and thank my friend. LESSON eight: don’t be afraid to ask for help. I don’t think I did that as well at 28 as I do at 68.  Friends take the girls to children’s church and baby sleeps contentedly in my arms.

After church we drive an hour to my daughters house where I apply rule eight some more. Everyone wants to help and play with the children, and I am thankful for the help. As we return home that evening, I stop at McDonald’s for happpy meals -once more throwing healthy foods to the wind. I know why they ate called “happpy” – children are happy for the silly toy, and mothers are happy they don’t have to cook. Baths, cartoons, and sleep. 

The dreaded Monday arrives. Back to lesson three – organization. Dress, breakfast, and now add on lunch boxes a book bags.  Do the checklist and be at school before 7:55 or you are late; we are there at 7:30. Drop off child two at pre school and then back home. Clean and do chores – baby gets lunch and then we nap. When we pick up child one, I am swept back to 28.  She comes running out so excited and her long brown hair flying.  The same way my little girl did except with long blonde hair. My heart aches a little. 

Monday through Tuesday  the schedule is the same except for a softball game thrown in on Tuesday night. Thursday night the children’s parents return to hugs, kisses,  and squeals of delight. I’m not sure who missed whom the most, and It is a sweet reunion.

This morning I woke up at six ready to start again,  but I could stay in bed as long as I wanted to. I chose to stay in bed until 10 o’clock – I couldn’t do that at 28 but I can at 68. I’ve cleaned up the dorm room,  fed the animals, and chosen to write. My legs and arms are little sore from carrying a 20 pound baby around all week and picking up a three-year-old who also needed to have a hug or two now and then.  I am happy to have some peace and quiet and to be able to do what I need to do, but I do miss them. keeping three children for six days at the age of 68 has brought back memories from 28, and reminded me of the words, “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” I may think I am still 28 but my arms, legs, back, and knees are reminding me loudly that I am not 28; I am 68. I love children and respect parents today who are juggling children, jobs, and marriages. This week has reminded me of how much energy and patience parenting requires.

I was also reminded this week why my children were not allowed to have pets until they were older and able to help take care of them. My 13-year-old beagle Annie was so overwhelmed by three children in the house, she laid in her bed most of the time looking at me with sad eyes as if to say, “What about me?” I also have an inside cat with a litter box.  Litter boxes and dirty diapers are not a good combination. And the cat really hates to have his tail and whiskers pullled.  Add two outside cats and 20 chickens, and I would have been overwhelmed even at 28. 

It reminded me that mothers sometimes forget themselves in the midst of mothering. The first school day the children were dressed, fed, and ready to go when I looked down and realized I was still in my pajamas. I have never cared to see mothers out in public in their PJs,  but as I quickly pulled on a pair jeans, I realized how that might happen very easily. Several times after feeding the children, diapering and feeding the baby, I would sit down and realize I hadn’t eaten yet. I also realize that maybe now I have a dog, three cats, and 20 chickens because I miss caring for my own three children who are now grown. I love planting flowers and watching them bud and blossom.  Maybe that is a metaphor for raising children and watching them bud and blossom. It goes so fast from 28 to 68. LESSON ten: don’t wish these exhausting days with children away. Take time to rock, sing, play, and nap. Sixty-eight will be here before you know it.

Shallow Thoughts: Compromise

Shallow Thoughts: Compromise

It takes a lot of work to be in a successful marriage. You should respect boundaries and sacrifice for one another. One of the most difficult parts of my marriage is knowing when a joke is over. Sure, it’s fun for me to distract and play, but knowing when to stop, when not to poke at my partner’s frustrations, that’s tough.

It’s knowing when the joke is over for them. Giving up the gag because the other person is no longer into it. Because making myself laugh while he cries isn’t funny. Laughter is for sharing, not just for me alone.