On Hallows Eve

Halloween…

Back in the 60s, Halloween was for kids. For my sisters and I, Halloween was colored pumpkins at school, a dime store costume, tin noisemakers and a plastic bucket of bad candy. That’s about how it went every year with a few exceptions.

Halloween


One year Halloween fell on a Sunday. Pineville was strictly Baptist and moved trick-or-treating to Saturday. We did our usual trick-or-treating around the neighborhood on Saturday and then on Sunday, Mom and Dad piled us kids in the station wagon and we drove across the river to Alexandria that celebrated the holiday on the day. Dad drove to Charles Park, the most ritzy neighborhood in the city at the time, and drove us door to door. That year we got a load of good candy that lasted for weeks. I was a witch, I know this because I was always a witch.

Another memorable Halloween was the first year we had Tippy. Tippy was a gray cat cat with white paws that Mom found, through an ad in the paper, the summer I had to endure summer school. One class, Math. The kittens were born at a local trailer park where the owners gave the one, my sisters chose, the name Tippy-Toes. By October, he was a few months old and we had shortened his name to just Tippy. Tippy decided to go trick-or-treating with us. He followed us to each house… block after block. He became the highlight of the evening for the housewives passing out candy and more than once we even got extra candy… “for the cat”. If my memory holds that was one of the last times we trick-or-treated. The news was covered with horror stories of razorblades in candy and my Mom quickly put a stop to Halloween as we knew it.

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That night, started something though, something that continued for 18 years. Tippy and I would to go for walks. At first we walked about three streets but as he got older he refused to leave Cummings Drive. The traffic maybe? I never knew for sure but once I tried the railroad that passed behind Cummings Drive and Tippy followed. Turns out Tippy loved the railroad tracks and we walked them often. He would balance on one rail till we got to the cut off that led back home. I miss Tippy. He was a one of a kind cat for sure.

Halloween lasted only a night, but as a kid, I always looked forward to it. Today it is just another day. I guess that is called…"growing up".

Happy Halloween

A Quote

Friday Thoughts…

"The past catches up to you, whether you like it or not. It can be a gift or a curse if you let it. I will never forget the gift of Meg Loughlin, though I am plagued with the torment of failing again, failing somebody. But as she taught me, it's what you do last that counts."

The above is a quote from a movie I watched last night. The movie, The Girl Next Door, seemed very familiar and I was relieved to find out that it was a remake of one I had seen before and that the true event hadn't occurred twice. The names and details had changed a bit but it was a story of a girl that was severely abused by her guardian in the 1950s.

The ending quote was powerful and has stuck with me today.
"The past catches up to you, whether you like it or not. It can be a gift or a curse if you let it."…. O so true. I guess it comes with age but thoughts have a way of shutting me down if I let them. But the last line… "It's what you do last that counts." is one that I never thought about and hope is true. Something to ponder.

Have a blessed weekend.

Memories

I woke early this morning…4 o’clock to be exact, to a song running through my head. It was, "The green, green grass of home". Jim Neighbors voice sang the words...

“The old home town looks the same
As I step down from the train,
And there to meet me is my Mama and Papa.
Down the road I look and there runs Mary
Hair of gold and lips like cherries.

It's good to touch the green, green grass of home.
Yes, they'll all come to meet me, arms reaching, smiling sweetly.
It's good to touch the green, green grass of home.

The old house is still standing tho' the paint is cracked and dry,
And there's that old oak tree that I used to play on.
Down the lane I walk with my sweet Mary,
Hair of gold and lips like cherries.
It's good to touch the green, green grass of home”…


The house I was thinking of was the McNamara home in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Some years back, when I was a newly graduated college student, Mom, Dad and I drove to Vicksburg on a Saturday morning. As with all our previous trips to my Dad's old home town, we left just before the sun rose in the sky. As our station wagon drove down the old highway, we passed small country churches, “Uncle Johnny’s” dam, and endless rows of plowed earth soon to be planted with cotton. I fought sleep as my Dad's strong trusting hands gripped the steering wheel. We drove pass roadside parks and I remembered stopping there as a kid. I remembered the sweating red water cooler, paper Dixie cups and a treasure trove of bottle caps under the concrete picnic tables. As we neared the mighty Mississippi, I found myself peering over the back seat as I did as a child, searching the landscape for a glimpse of the old Mississippi River bridge. This meant we were almost there. We crossed into the state of Mississippi where we were immediately greeted by rolling hills and kudzu vines. We passed reminders of the Civil War that merged with the city landscape on our way to our own Civil War relic. The gravel crunched under our tires as we pulled into the driveway... home at last. Sadly I looked at Uncle Johnny’s little house at the end of the driveway, empty as he had died a few years before. The screen door of the big house banged behind us as we entered and someone said hello from the living room.

The familiar smells hit me... a roast cooking, cigarettes, whiskey and age. Aunt Joe greeted us from her chair. In her lap was the fuzzy black dog, Tootie. Beside her on the windowsill in an ash tray shaped like a hand with a burning Salem cigarette. Next to that was a sweating glass of ice tea and small bottles of fingernail polish and one of aspirin. Her voice was raspy and her body was frail but somehow she was just the same.

Aunt Joe rummaged through a stack of letters and bills and pulled out a cream colored note card with a line drawing of the home of my cousin's in South Carolina. She then presented her request, which was for me to create a note card with a similar line drawing of the McNamara home. She planned to give the cards as gifts at Christmas. It was early in the year and I knew I had time, but I crossed the street and stood on the hill and photographed the home from afar for reference before we headed back to Pineville.

Her request was something she thought I could do. I had just finished taking architecture classes at Louisiana Tech. I did similar line drawings there, often in the wee hours of the morning, in the dark studios of Wiley tower overlooking the Ruston campus. But the thought of this task made me doubt my own abilities.

I got the film processed but was dragging my feet on the project until my Dad got a call from Aunt Lady informing us that Aunt Joe wasn't well. She had been diagnosed with cancer and her days were numbered. Dad's urgent plea set me in motion and within days the drawing was done. I photographed the drawing on the large stat camera at Louisiana College, where I was working for the summer. The print shop on campus had one dusty box of cream colored note cards and agreed to print the cards for me. I picked them up on Friday. Mom and I set at the kitchen table and divided the cards into packets of ten.

Mom and Dad delivered the cards the next day. I chose not to go. I wanted to remember Aunt Joe as she was. She called me long distance to thank me for the cards and I noticed a bit more life in her voice than my last visit. That life stayed within her through the summer. In the fall I received another long distance call from Aunt Joe. She said, “I know the cards were for Christmas gifts, but I have given almost all of them away. Any chance you could have some more printed?” The plea seemed urgent and her words were labored and tired. I immediately jumped into action.

The college didn’t have any more cards in stock so I had to search for another printer. I was working also for an Interior Designer at the time and we used a local print shop for bluelines. Much to my surprise, they had some cream colored note cards in stock and were able to knock the job out in a couple of days.

I ask Dad if he would drive with me to Vicksburg on Saturday and he agreed. We took his Red pickup truck. This time we passed rows of white fluffy cotton, ready for the picking. The trip seemed extra long and somber. Uncle Son was having a rib roast at his home a few blocks from the McNamara home and we planned to join in the party that night after delivering the cards.

Aunt Joe was lying on the couch. She was very frail but seemed so happy to see me and grateful to thank me in person for the cards. I pulled one out to show her and explained that they were a little different since I had to switch printers. Dad sat in the old rocker at her foot and the two began to reminisce. Aunt Joe said the thing she remembered the most when she looked at the drawing of the house was the variety show us kids had put on years ago. I was taken aback, since she had lived in the home all her life and the one event she remembered the most contained myself.

As they continued to chat, the memories came flooding back. Back in the 60s my sisters and I spent several months at the McNamara home. I was terribly homesick but I also have fond memories of our extended visit there. I was only 5 and perhaps what I remember isn’t as it truly was, but I fondly remember my memories of the show as well.

One of our favorite TV shows at the time was, Our Gang or The Little Rascals. Spanky, Buckwheat, Alfalfa, Darla, Stymie, and Pete, the dog, were like old friends. I most enjoyed the episodes when they put on variety shows in their clubhouse to benefit the USO. When our extended Vicksburg stay was coming to an end, our cousins and sisters and I decided to have a similar variety show. The front porch of the McNamara home was our stage. We organized, practiced and planned the show for days until we had everything just right. We invited the family to watch the big event. Our parents, aunts and uncles filled the lawn chairs scattered about the yard below the big concrete steps leading up to the long porch that fronted the house.

The show unfolded with skit after skit and ended with a grand finale, the only skit I remembered. It took the most planning and involved props and costumes. It was to be a true copy of the Our Gang TV show as each one of us dressed as a character from the show. All summer we had been collecting refundable pop bottles and we spent some of our hard earned nickel and dimes on kazoos at the local Woolworth store. We made tri-corner hats out of newspaper and raided the kitchen for pots and pans to make drums and cymbals. We found a small American flag about the place and we rummaged through Uncle Johnny’s shoe shine box for black shoe polish. Vaseline was confiscated from Aunt Joe’s medicine chest. We were all set. Durning an intermission, while our family members freshened their drinks and lit fresh cigarettes, we become “The Little Rascals”.

I was Buckwheat. I don’t know if this was by choice or circumstance since even though he was my favorite, I was the only one in our group with short black hair. I was also only 5 years old and I didn’t have much of a voice when it came to my siblings and cousins. Regardless, I seemed to accept my character willingly. By now I am sure the pieces of the puzzle are falling into place. The Vaseline was for my hair and the shoe polish was for my face. We were just kids. We didn’t know what blackface was and the word racism wasn’t in our vocabulary. I simply need to become Buckwheat and my sisters did what they could to transform me into character.

Our parade began out the kitchen door, rounded the side of the house, up the porch stairs and ended on the stage. I was in the lead, waving the American flag and blowing my kazoo in an attempt to mimic my fellow “Rascals” in a patriotic song. As we high stepped around the side of the house toward the front porch, I heard a burst of laughter from the audience like none I have heard since. Perhaps it was the highballs or the cans of Falstaff beer that added to the merriment but I now think most of the laughter was directed straight at me. I was oblivious to how ridiculous I must have looked at the moment and was only focused on my task at hand which was to march in step, blow the kazoo and wave the flag all at the same time. A tall order for a 5 year old little girl performing in her first play. I don’t remember the goodbyes that day, the ride back to Louisiana or running into my Mom’s arms after months being away for so long, but I do remember the play or what I remember of the play thru my childish eyes.

Apparently others fondly remember it too as Dad, Aunt Joe and Aunt Lady spoke of that day with high regard some 20 or so years after the event. It touch my heart as the three had all grown up in the house and Aunt Joe, who was born there and in a few hours would also die in the house on the hill, had spent her whole life in that house.

As we got into the truck that night to head home I said, “That’s the last time we will see her isn’t it?” Dad said, “Yes," tossed me the keys and said, “you drive”. As I drove into the night, Vicksburg, Grove Street and the old McNamara home slipped silently into darkness. The call came early Sunday morning. The funeral was three days later.

Of the 11, only one of the McNamara siblings is still with us. Aunt Lady is in her 90s. Like the song… “The old house is still standing tho' the paint is cracked and dry”… the McNamara home still sits high on the hill but it’s days are numbered. Recent events cause me to reminisce with a heavy heart. I didn’t live in Vicksburg or grow up in the house but it still holds a special place in my heart as I am sure it does for the whole family and I can’t help but tear up as I write these words.

The song ends…

“Then I awake and look around me,
At four grey walls that surround me
And I realize, yes, I was only dreaming.
For there's a guard and there's a sad old padre,
Arm in arm, we'll walk at daybreak.
Again I touch the green, green grass of home.”

The year following Aunt Joe’s death, I had a series of nightmares where she was very sick. They were disturbing dreams, that caused me to wake with a start and toss sleepless till dawn. But one night that all changed as I dreamed Aunt Joe was in Heaven. Heaven was the McNamara front porch, all bathed in white. Aunt Joe was a beautiful white light. We chatted for hours on the porch as the sun slowly sank into the horizon. I never had dreams of her again, good or bad. I was at peace knowing she was home and again able to touch the green, green grass of her home on the hill.

Another song seems to sum it all up. Bookends, written by Paul Simon…

“Time it was
And what a time it was, it was
A time of innocence
A time of confidences

Long ago it must be
I have a photograph
Preserve your memories
They're all that's left you”


It hurts to see things changing and the life slowly fading from the old place but we each have our memories and the home will live on in our hearts forever.

God Bless and thanks for stopping by to read my rambling thoughts on this hot summer day.

Egrets

Iatt Lake
More Photos from my July 3rd Photo Shoot…

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July 4th

Fireworks
It is hard to believe that the year is half over. I sit here watching the Capital 4th on tv. My cat is in her box at the foot of my bed. I've been off the past 4 days and she is so ready for me to return to work so she can have her house back. She is snoozing, trying to make up for lost sleep. I spent my days off half as an artists and half doing the usual laundry, house cleaning, grocery shopping and bill paying.

Lots of family stuff going on. My heart is saddened but I look to God to get me through it all. As I have said before and will say again, the greatest gift Mom & Dad gave me was to raise me Catholic. The Catholic faith is rich in time tested traditions and rituals and those deep roots keep me grounded all the while reaching to the heavens.

Being off for two days I have slept late and have gone to evening Mass. This evening I joined the ladies at the church across the street for the Rosary and Mass. Sister, with unbelievable passion, lead the Rosary. I remembered the days following hurricane Rita when my Aunt walked across the street for the same and I would meet her for 5:30 Mass after I left the office. From my dear Aunt Dot, I have come to learn that I can get through any heartache by turning off the world and turning to God. Each weekday morning, if at all possible, I start my day with the Holy Eucharist and each night the Rosary ends my day with peace and hope. I pray the Rosary with Bishop Reed from CatholicTV. I kneel at my prayer corner and my cat quietly lies close by. It is a peaceful end to the day.

The 1812 overture has just begun which means the ending fireworks will soon follow. I have been watching the faces of happy children on TV that seem to have not a care in the world. I was that way at one time. I felt so safe with Mom and Dad. They sheltered us from all worry. I find that if I turn to my Heavenly Mother and Father I feel that same peace. But I, much older now, have lost that child like trust and can't "let go" as often as I should.

I believe we are at the end of days. The signs, good and bad, are all around us. I don't know what God's plans are for me but my focus each day is that I may spend eternity with Him. I hope to share that joy with my family, friends and anyone reading this. That is what matters.

Our days may be numbered but I am making the most out of every second God gifts me with. I escaped to the woods yesterday. I went to two of my favorite spots, camera in tow. I will post those photos this week...provided they are worthy of sharing. I also worked on my prayer boxes. I finished one and began on a second.

The fireworks have faded into the dark sky over Washington. My cat, aroused by the purple motorcycle, a new sound, in the driveway and the annual neighborhood celebrations popping outside the window, is ready for treats and bedtime. I too am ready to end the day and get back to work in the morning. I miss my ADs family when I am away. I hope you had a happy 4th. God Bless America.

Thoughts

Life & After…

“All of us have a path to follow and the path begins on earth.”
What Dreams May Come

“Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day.”
Dead Poets Society

“I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately… I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life? To put to rout all that was not life… and not, when I come to die, discover that I had not lived… HDT”
Dead Poets Society


I recently watched two of Robin Williams movies.
The Dead Poets Society and What Dreams May Come. I didn’t remember that there was suicide in both. Both movies seem to take on a new meaning now that Robin is gone. Each movie has a character (not played by Robin) that ends their own life. Both characters are dealing with a pain so deep that they chose to end their time on earth rather then continue living.

Both movies celebrate life, art, poetry, music, theater. Simply the beauty of living. Robin did “seize the day”. He also “lived” more than most. He left us a wonderful legacy but I now can’t watch these two movies and not feel a deep sadness knowing that Robin experienced that same unbearable pain that Annie (a grieving wife) & Perry (a restricted teen) did. A Pain so great he didn’t want to live on this earth anymore.

Chris (Robin Williams) and his daughter have this exchange in What Dreams May Come:

"Is this where we go when we die?
It's a dream baby, it's a beautiful one, but you know dreams...
I know, aren't real. I know."
What Dreams May Come


I believe Heaven is better than any dream I have ever had and is as real as real can be… “What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and what has not entered the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love him…” And, I pray that Robin, you, myself and all people can share in the joy of it some day. For pure joy can only be found in God and the best joy will be in heaven.

Flashes

I remember my life in flashes…
I look back on my life and I seem to remember it in flashes. I remember a given moment but I don't remember what happened before or after that moment. Mom and Dad took lots of photographs and Super 8 movies of us as kids. So, perhaps I am remembering the images not the real events.

Easter Flashes –

Giving up something for Lent.
The Way of the Cross on Fridays.
Getting Palm on Palm Sunday.
Mom exchanging the old Palm for new behind all the Crucifix in the house.
Mom burning the old Palm and letting it blow away in the wind
A week off from school - Easter Vacation.
Holy Week Services - Washing of the Feet and Adoration of the Cross.
Mom planting her flower and tomato plants on Good Friday. For "Good Luck" she said.
Dying eggs on Holy Saturday.
The smell of vinegar and watching the dye tablets fizz into bright colors.
The purple dye never worked. Even with food coloring, purple eggs never looked right.
Names magically appearing on some eggs thanks to Mom and the white wax crayon found in the box of dye.
Mom always, always told how she dyed eggs as a child, that is with orange and blue crepe paper from her dad's office… Gulf Refining Co.
Waking up Easter morning to find three baskets wrapped in colorful cellophane.
Dressing alike in new dresses for Easter Mass.
Mass being very full and long if Bishop Greco said Mass.
Ham, always a ham, topped with pineapple and maraschino cherries.
Finding eggs hidden by the easter bunny in the backyard except for one Easter when it rained and he hid the eggs in the house.
Playing with the plastic eggs. Miss-matching the colors halves. Pink with purple was my favorite.
Dad hiding the eggs again and again and again…
There was always an egg or two hidden in the clothes line pole too tall for us to reach.
Eating the ears off the chocolate bunny first.
Dad taking 2 boiled eggs to his buddies at work on Monday.
Creamed eggs over toast the week after Easter.
Mom complaining for weeks about the Easter grass she kept finding when she swept the floor.

Images (flashes) below I made from the Super 8 movies my Parents took of myself and my two Sisters at Easter over the years.

Have a Happy and A Most Blessed Easter.

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Home

Mom

Mom

I have been thinking of my Mom a lot lately. This is her First Communion photo. The Prayer book and Rosary she holds I have in my prayer corner. I owe my faith to Mom and Dad. They raised me Catholic. They made sure I was at Mass every Sunday and Holy Days of Obligation. I have fond memories of going to the Holy Week services durning our Easter vacation, which for us was the week before Easter. I loved every second of it. To walk the passion of Christ durning Holy Week is an incredible gift and one I thank Mom & Dad for every day.

I know I didn't truly appreciate this gift when they were still living. As a kid I was the only Catholic kid in my class and worked to hide it as Catholics were teased by the Baptist kids that dominated the class. I didn't know how to respond to the teasing so I just kept quiet. At school, back in the day, once a year someone would pass out tiny Gideon Bibles, in the parking lot after school. One year, I was so proud of the gift I had received that I brought it to Mass the following Sunday with the intent of following the Readings in the tiny bible. The lengthly Readings of the day were not in the Bible and I questioned my Father why after church. He explained the obvious, that the Bible was too small and also that it was a Protestant Bible.

That opened the door for me to ask the question… why are we Catholic? His answer has stuck with me always. "Your Mom and I raised you Catholic because the Catholic Church was created by Jesus Himself. All other religions are a watered down version of the Catholic faith. Other dominations kept parts they liked and discarded the rest. The Catholic Faith is the True Church created by Jesus." I was most proud of that answer. For the first time ever, I realized how special the Catholic Church was. I no longer wanted to switch to the Baptist Church even though the First Baptist Church where most of my classmates attended, had a skating rink. At that point I had never been to a Protestant Church so I didn't realize the stark difference which was much greater than a skating rink.

Even without Dad's pep talk that day, I know that if I would have gone to a service in another domination that I would have gone running back home… God's House, the Catholic Church. Nothing can compare to the beauty and silence of the Church. Father Chad said one Sunday that all Catholic Churches have shadows. Shadows where you can be alone with God. Other Churches just don't have that space where you can drop to your Knees in prayer and truly converse with God. Shadows are but one of the many beauties of the Catholic Faith that draw me home day after day. I so look forward to the beauty of Holy Week that begins with Palm Sunday in just three days.

Thanks Mom and Dad.

Idols

Idols
The readings today referenced idols…

“Be ready now to fall down and worship the statue I had made,
whenever you hear the sound of the trumpet,
flute, lyre, harp, psaltery, bagpipe,
and all the other musical instruments;
otherwise, you shall be instantly cast into the white-hot furnace;
And who is the God who can deliver you out of my hands?””

What is an idol? Webster says it’s a false god.
What about worship? Webster says: devotion (earnest attachment) to an object of esteem (worth or value).

So, who or what is your idol? And don’t say you don’t have one till you think about it for a moment. What occupies most of your time in a given day. Today, for most people, I think it is the same. When I am in public, I look around and see this idol everywhere. It is small enough to fit in one’s hands. It isn’t that expensive but considering all it does, it is of great value. When people hear its sound they instantly stop, dare I say to “worship” it. I am, of course, referencing the smartphone.

Yes, the smart phone and other electronic devices like tablets or laptops can offer good but for the most part I believe they are simple idols. In the evenings I use my tablet in prayer and that’s a good thing, but that same device can and does distract me from God and God’s children.

It is a very scary trend. People panic when their battery life begins to drop. They spend hours gossiping or reading gossip on Facebook all the while having no social contact with their own family. An alarmingly high percentage of people text family members in their own home. I recently read where recreational drug use was in decline as people were too occupied with their smartphones. Getting high, if you will, from social media and texting. They panic if they don’t have their “fix” every few minutes. It is the new drug. I’ve seen it and it isn't pretty. Call it an addiction if you will but I think it is idol worship.

I get very defensive when people say Catholics worship idols. They believe that somehow the statues, stained glass windows and other images of the Saints, Jesus, His Mother or God himself are idols. They believe we worship them and not God himself. What I hear most often is that: “Catholics worship Mary”. Sadly, instead of seeking the truth, they simply believe the lies of others that will only hurt themselves in the end.

The truth from a devoted Catholic is this…
Images of God, Jesus, Mary and the Saints bring us closer to God and stronger in our faith. When you walk into my house you know I am Catholic. You see that I love my God, His Mother and the Saints because you will see their images everywhere. Have you ever walked into someone’s house and seen Mickey Mouse or the pop star of the day on everywhere or LSU’s purple and gold dripping from the walls? I have, and I wonder if they even have a love for God at all or do they worship pop culture or some sports team more their creator.

And as far as… “Catholics worship Mary” goes, this is my take. God chose Mary to bring Jesus to us. We too can choose Mary to bring ourselves to Jesus. She is our Heavenly Mother that will walk with us on the journey to know and love her Son better. Take some time to get to know her and your life will forever change for the better. Trust me. She is waiting for you to bring you to Her Son.

So instead of reaching for that smartphone consider reaching for God. The smartphone is not your salvation, God is. And if you don't think enough about Him in your day, consider putting His image within view to remind you of Him.

Read Daniel 3:14-20, 91-92, 95 to hear the rest of the story…

Lunch

Yard Sale Jesus


I left the office at lunch yesterday with the intentions of treating myself to a Subway veggie sub. The plan was to get the sub and head off to one of my secluded spots for lunch. Plans varied slightly when I saw a tiny “Yard Sale” sign one driveway passed the office. Yes, I am an addict, I will admit that. My head slowly turned right and my eyes trailed up the driveway and landed on Jesus… or so I thought it was Jesus. I had no cash on me so I kept driving.

Jesus or was that a plastic Joseph from a nativity? No, I think it was Jesus but… it was probably too much money… still, it’s Jesus, I think? Regardless I have to check it out. There is an ATM by Subway. Get some cash, the sub and stop back by on the way to the spot for lunch. Good plan!

The Subway lady quickly made my “usual” and with cash in my pocket I was back on the highway in no time. I drive back to the yard sale. The driveway was long so I drove about halfway and walked the rest. Yes, It’s Jesus not a plastic Joseph. But there’s the price… o wow, $3.00… yep that is doable. A sightless voice spoke from the shadows of the carport… “Hi, how are you”.

“Fine, Nice day” I said, “I’ll take Jesus”. To be polite I shopped the tables of other offerings before I paid for Jesus. I was then given instructions. “You can pull your car up. The driveway circles thru. I’ll help you when I finish my sandwich. It's heavy.”

“O, I can get it. Thank You", I said. Uh… NO !!! Heavy was not the word… what did I just buy? Solid concrete... How am I going to get “Yard Sale” Jesus in my car much less my house? But.. I already paid for it… it's mine… I want "Yard Sale Jesus"… You want it? It will happen.

Sandwich eaten, the previous owner of “Yard Sale Jesus helped me get the heavy hunk of concrete into my trunk. I drove to my “spot” for lunch as originally planned wondering all the while how the heck I was going to get “Yard Sale" Jesus” up the steps into my house. I planned how I would repaint the faded Jesus and where its new spot would be in my eclectic house but… damm it, how the heck will I get “Yard Sale" Jesus in my house?

I woke early this morning and thought of “Yard Sale Jesus” all alone in my trunk. You, know, It wasn’t that heavy… I can do it… today is another day… I'll get dressed, I can do this. Uh… NO!!! I couldn’t even lift his head in the coffin of my trunk.

So, once again I was quickly reminded that I can’t do everything myself. It sometimes take more than one person to bring Jesus home… It takes time… slow down… help will be available this weekend. “Yard Sale" Jesus will make it home when He is good and ready.

A good lesson for us all really. Jesus comes on His time, not ours, right?

Have a most blessed weekend.

Thoughts...

Backward, Deplorable, Redneck !!!

No pictures, just thoughts today. My faith, beliefs and ideals were headline news today. The list of adjectives describing me grows. I am now a “backward, deplorable, redneck.” My first response was, “I would rather be a backward, deplorable, redneck than a forward liberal.” Yes, it’s humorous to some but in truth I’m not laughing.

My heart is saddened that so many people HATE me because I am what I am. My heart is also sad that these same people live in a world void of the graces that God offers to them. I was listening to a Priest a few nights ago that said, “We all have a season ticket. It is up to us if we choose to use it or not.” Putting the ticket in a drawer isn’t good enough for some. It goes further than that. These people, who have pinned these labels on me, go out of their way to mock my beliefs. It’s as if they think that dragging me down to their level will make their future better for them. It seems like they believe they know more than God. Wow… could that be?

They ridicule my beliefs by injecting the poison of their beliefs into society thus hurting not only themselves but others. They say I am evil for not respecting the rights of women. AKA… Killing a child is acceptable. They say I am heartless for believing that relationships should be a union between a man and a women for the purpose of procreation. AKA… premarital sex, birth control, gay marriage and switching gender is acceptable. They say I worship idol by having a statue of Mary and an image of Christ in my home but fail to realize that by it’s very definition an "IDOL" is the device they are using to type their hate… smart phone, iPad , laptops, social media, etc. Praying an hour before an image of the Crucified Christ brings one closer to Jesus. Wasting an hour before their "golden calf" bashing people, does the opposite. When they say the Catholic church is archaic in their beliefs they are only hurting themselves and others because the purpose of the Church is to bring souls to heaven. It isn’t there to make one feel good. Yes, it’s hard …
VERY HARD but the reward will be oh so sweet for those who are up to the challenge.

Yes, it hurts to be called names but in truth, they can bash me all the want and call me every name in the book because I believe that I have God as my shield and in the end He will protect me from satan’s wrath. But who will protect them? It is bad enough to descend into hell on your on but bringing others alone for the ride makes the fall much faster and the landing more painful.

Pray, Pray, Pray.