Hold the pickles, Hold the Lettuce…

Oh and can I have a beer with that burger please?

Wake up with the King?

And if that isn’t creepy enough to have this guy in your bed or peering through your window…South Beach Burger King, is now going to include beer on its menu.

That’s right. What is going on here? I thought this was a family friendly gig. I mean I remember going to Burger King when I was a young girl. It was the first competitor with McDonald’s. It was comparable to the Team Jacob, Team Edward.

It still is, since the Advent of this creeped out looking King. I mean, I never liked Ronald too much, but the king just gives me the extreme willies!

When this dude first came on the scene, I told my daughter, this is totally messed up. It is creepy squared! The weirdo is looking into a persons window, which just begs a call to authorities, with an arrest warrant. Then a guy wakes up with the perv laying next to him and the message, “Wake Up To The King!” Hmm, that’s not a king I ever want to wake up to and I don’t care what kingdom he reigns over. He’s got way too much time on his hands to be prowling around neighborhoods and bringing breakfast to strangers.

Now as I watched the news the other night I see that a specific Burger King in South Beach is about to start serving beer. I can picture the advertisements with ‘The King’ holding a Whopper in one hand and a beer in the other. Besides that, if this was going to begin anywhere, it should have had its start in my hometown, Milwaukee. And hey, about 30 years too late, as far as I’m concerned. But now are they going to present a commercial with a ‘hungover,’ King waking up in a guys bed? Probably asking, “Where the he** am I? And what’s for breakfast?” Hey, why don’t you run over to Micky D’s and get me one of those breakfast burritos! Oh yea…and don’t forget to make a beer run while you’re at it! What did you say your name is again?”

I can see the people lining up on South Beach with their little trays of fast food fare. Their Whopper’s and fries. They get the tray and saunter over to the soda dispenser walk right past it to the beer tap. Probably a nice half barrel. Pull the tap and instructions neatly posted on the placard above, “Tilt paper cup slightly. Fill glass about 3/4 full and straighten to produce a nice head of foam. Well of course, being a Milwaukee native, we all know how to do this as children. It’s a requirement to prove your native status.Look at our baseball team. The Brewers…It’s all about beer.

Hey, now that I think of it…I may be able to apply for a job there. As a Bar-Ista!

The Greatest of These Is Love

Love Never Ends

Yes, I am a work in progress. I never realized how far from the mark, I’ve really been. Well, if anyone thinks they have arrived….you haven’t! And the Lord will certainly show you that.

When I think of Love, I had a clouded understanding. I am learning that I wasn’t even close. Yet, I am getting there.The Lord tells us that we are going “from faith to faith and from glory to glory.” All I can say is; Be careful what you pray for!

I had forgotten prayers offered up, long ago. I let my suffering cloud my vision and the Lord allowed this as well. He has pruned me. A painful process to be sure, but necessary to bring forth the fruit of His spirit.

I doubt that many recognize this as it’s happening. Since it is a process, it is slowly happening as we live and try to walk as He desires us to walk.

Today, as I was praying, He spoke a word to my spirit. He pointed out an amazing concept. These things always seem to make sense and as if it’s something that we should already understand, yet, understanding and applying any principle, as you know, are worlds apart.

This is the word that the Lord had spoken today;

  • Grace, it opens the door to forgiveness
  • Forgiveness, it leads us down the road of love
  • Love, she sits on the throne of righteousness and she will make right every wrong

“Love covers a multitude of sins.”

I was mulling this over in my mind and was reminded of a few things in my life. I had thought of my childhood. I had already been devastated by the loss of my youngest brother, my parents divorce, and the loss of our home.

At this point I watched my mother deteriorate into an emaciated woman. I had no idea what was wrong with her, but I knew it was serious. As I watched her frame, whittle down to 94 pounds, I felt such incredible terror. I was helpless and felt if we just kept the house clean, she would be ok.

As she became more ill, it was clear that she needed medical attention. She finally checked herself into a hospital, as she secured a place with our neighbor. The woman had her own 5 or so kids to care for. In a small project home, we all crammed in. This woman had accepted us as her own and decided to go the distance. What an angel.

However, little did I know; my aunts had decided we belonged with family. They had a meeting and split us up. We went to various relatives.

At the time, I became ill and no wonder. The particular aunt I was with, did not like the idea of me and my brother being in her home, since she was extremely stressed out.

She was very impatient and especially given the fact that I was ill. She made cruel comments to me. The relatives had gotten together and decided we would all have to go. They placed us in The Children’s Home.

Traumatized once again, as I’m surer my siblings were. I felt so much anger toward the particular aunt that had me, that I couldn’t see ever having the ability to forgive her. After all, we were only children. I had an angel working in the Home. She was a nurse and she would rock me in a chair as I cried. I would say, “I’m never going to see my mom again.” and she would reassure me that I would be with her again. I remember Baby Love, by the Supremes, playing as I would rock in that chair. She gave me the love that a young child needed at that time. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one that she offered her love to, but I felt special. The Lord used her to bring comfort to a host of hurting children.

My mother did recover and mostly because of the knowledge that her children had been placed in a home. To this day, I hate grapefruit juice and the smell of oatmeal, because it was the breakfast that we had been served, every morning.

Years later, after becoming a Christian, I began learning about forgiveness. Not having a complete understanding, I was about to have the lesson taught in another complete picture. A parable come to life.

I received a call from my aunt. The one that I was still holding in my anger cell. She had come to the state that I live in, on a quest for fun. She had spent all of her money, made her children angry enough that they would not speak to her, and now had a complete breakdown.

“Why call me?” I was still feeling the hurt and pain of childhood stinging my heart. “Serves her right,” I thought. I mean this is the same circumstance for her, except that she has alienated herself. As I spoke this, I was reminded by someone…”Do you think of all the places she could be in the world, it is a coincidence that she is 15 minutes away in a home?”

No, I agreed, this is an incredible coincidence. Which was painfully obvious that it was not a coincidence at all. God was moving His hand I supposed, but why? “Ok, I’ll go and see her. Whatever God wants.” But I sure wasn’t feelin the love.

As I walked into this place, I asked where my aunt was. “Oh, she’s having dinner in that room.” The gentleman pointed to a door with a small round window in it. As I approached, I saw through the portal. A mass of people at a table. I peered closer. Which one was my aunt? She was a striking woman who appeared younger than her age. Surely I would be able to pick her out of a crowd like this one. As I studied the faces of each person, I saw a woman who bore a resemblance, except for the fact that she was about 60 pounds heavier than my aunt and her hair was gray. My aunt had a beautiful head of red hair the last time I had seen her. The woman was eating very slowly and shaking while trying to bring the spoon to her mouth. The man came up alongside of me, as if he’d read my mind. “That is her.” All of a sudden a wave of emotions came over me. I started to cry. All these years of anger and to see it come full circle and the punishment I had so desired, had now given birth to compassion. “Lord, I don’t want this for her.” Now the Lord was beginning to show me that in all my anger, if I could have chosen a punishment, it probably would have been similar. Oh, how many times had I wanted her to experience my pain? My mother’s pain? And yet, now….I couldn’t bear the sight of this.

I went in to visit and all of my anger slipped away. It seem almost as if it had been a fire extinguished. It was as if the Lord had taken a hose from the water of life, and sprayed in one gushing shower. I felt a need to reach out to her. To help her. “Please remove this Lord. ” I felt myself asking for His mercy for her. That was about 20 years ago.

I had just visited her again. She has had a lot of hurt in her life, yet I will never feel anger toward her again. I have nothing but compassion. This was the gift that the Lord gave me. The forgiveness wasn’t for her, as much as it was for me.

Grace….it opens the door to forgiveness. Did she deserve it? Yes, if grace by its definition, is unmerited favor. We deserve it because we don’t deserve it. If that makes any sense to you.

I am at once aware of the meaning of my suffering. It is developing in me, the character of Christ. I am to be a reflection of Him. How foolish I have been. Staring me right in the face all along. The very things that had caused my pain, had also blinded me to what He has been trying to teach me.  And what is required of me  if I am to learn these lessons? He’s already told us. A baptism of fire. Suffering to the point of our death. Our death to ourselves. Our death to our desires, which is the opposite of what the world desires. So it is no longer me who lives, but Christ who lives in me.

I had thought of another picture. A beautiful picture and as I said, the Lord always speaks to us through what is natural. If we have eyes to see.

My friend Grace. I knew her when we were both in second grade. Right after coming through the trauma’s of my young life. I met Grace. She was perfect. She was the best at everything. Teachers pet. Best singer. Best athlete. Grace…was wonderful.

Grace was the one who delivered the news of my boyfriends death.

Grace became lost. She moved out of my life. I was searching for Grace on the streets of a city and her address didn’t exist.

The mire of this world, killed Grace. She died years ago as I was also falling into darkness. Sad that I couldn’t find Grace years earlier. I asked the Lord why? I had only heard of her demise, as I was leaving my hotel in this city. Why couldn’t I find Grace? I asked.  “It is in my time,” He reminded me. “One day, Grace will return to you.

Now, I am beginning to understand. Grace did not die. She is resurrecting…from the rubble of my life. And Grace now reigns in my heart.

The door swings wide open…all we have to do is walk through!♥

Our Father’s Love

A father and his daughter

I love my dad. He’s been gone for years now, but my love is just as strong, perhaps stronger now than ever. I’ve grown to appreciate him in spite of all of his flaws.

I dream of the day when I will see him again, and tell him how much I love him. I regret that I had not told him enough.

Yet, a father’s heart toward his children is always love. Even though a father may not express it in ways we see nor understand, it is there. He knows we are his own seed and how can he deny himself?

I have a book that has spoken to me over the years in many ways. It has become especially dear to my heart, as I know that my heavenly Father loves me in a much deeper more profound way, than my earthly father ever could. He knows every secret thought and wound I have. He even understands my own faults and the heart breaks that have caused me to ‘act out’ as a rebellious child.

When I read the passages from this book, From the Fathers Heart, by Charles Slagle, I hear His words of comfort and love to me.

I have always loved to read the Bible. His word. But He reaches us in many other ways. If you open your eyes, you will see your Father reaching down from heaven to speak to you. Listen, and you will hear him.

Today he spoke to me from this book;

Let Me Vindicate  Luke6:27-30

Pressured Peacemaker,

Let me vindicate you.Allow me to be the Lord you have confessed Me to be. Stop worrying about your brother’s opinion and go on doing what I have called you to do.

You have sought to gain the understanding of one who has much to learn before any of your words can even begin to make sense to his mind. You have tried to win his heart. Well done. You have tried-earnestly tried-and I have seen it and I AM pleased. Now will you leave the results to Me?

Cease all self-castigations, all self-justifications and all your rationalizations now. Henceforth I will do the correcting, the defending, the explaining. And you? You will be happy again. And I do think it’s time you were….

Truly!                                                                                                                                          Dad

Make Us Laugh!

Don’t you love it? We laugh and it brings healing.

I watched this episode of American Idol, when this song was first performed and to see it done by Jimmie Fallon, as Neil Young, is just classic!

I was just telling my son last month that I believe Bob Dylan should do a Christmas album and at that we were both imitating him singing Christmas songs. This is so funny that I think, Bob Dylan really should do it!

Well, believe it or not, Bob Dylan has recorded a Christmas Album! Someone sent me the link and I am definitely going to order this! I wonder if he’s reworked any of his old songs. Like, “The Times They Are A Changin,” could be The Chimes, They Are A Clangin.”  or perhaps a new title for Eve of Destruction. It sounds so ominous.

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Tragedy…Our Opportunity to show love

Love flowing through our hands

The devastation of Haiti. It’s everywhere. The compassion is being poured out, by others is astounding.  “Why do these terrible things happen? Doesn’t God know what’s going on?”

Oh yes, He knows and He is with us during these terrible tragedies. He was there at the cross too, when Jesus saw these days coming. This is horrible to live in a world of sickness, famine, earthquakes, tsunamis’ and death. And this is why Christ endured all of the pain and suffering. He knew the future and redeeming  the creation was worth every bit of His suffering and death. Yet, creation is still in its painful grip….for the present time.

This is something we cannot avoid…at least for now. It is so horrifying to see these things, yet, we know that no human being could even begin to show compassion toward another, unless opportunity arises for us to do so.

Our Father told us that “He  holds all of our tears.” This means that our tears are precious to Him. He also grieves with us. He told us that man was not created to experience this heartbreak, and one day it will all come to an end.

For the present time, we must live with this. And do the best we can to extend our love and compassion to others in need. Haiti, is right in my back yard. I see the people every day in my community. Many of them have loved ones that are missing or dead.

The depth of sadness is palpable.  We tend to feel helpless in times like this. But we can do much more than we think. The smallest act of kindness, is seed sown into a harvest of compassion.

The Word of God has spoken into the power of unity and these events are the very circumstances that bring us together. In Genesis 11, mankind had come together to build a tower to the heavens. The Lord Himself came down to see this tower and He spoke of a powerful concept to men, if they can understand. He said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.” Of course, if you look at the lines previous, the motive of mans heart was all wrong. This is why God scattered them. It was pride. They had “wanted to build a tower that reaches the heavens and make a name for ourselves, and not be scattered.” But, now reading what our Lord has stated, there is hidden a mystery. The power is in unity, and that being birthed by Gods love, will bring the very power, in which nothing is impossible, for man! This is what He wants us to discover in our suffering.

I believe that if each person reaches out in love, we become a powerful force. We become the hands and feet of God. His love poured out on others. Yes, some people don’t even know how to help, yet they want to be a part of something.  We can help them be a part of Gods love and mercy, by asking them if we can become a chauffeur to take their donations to drop off points, or bring them along as we serve. We can canvass the neighborhood and request unused items which they wish to give.Anything to help is incorporating this unity of spirit

Pass out flyers and make purchases for a few extra items when you shop. You can also give money to organizations. Former presidents Bush and Clinton, have just set up a charity organization to help rebuild Haiti.

We have the privilege of being part of Gods very heart to a hurting world. The harvest that we reap for sowing these seeds, is the harvest of righteousness and love.

“Give and it shall be given you, a good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.” (Luke 6:38) It is a spiritual principle that God will return a harvest of whatever seeds we sow into the world.

The natural inclination of mankind is to serve self. But when we turn the natural laws upside down, by doing the unnatural, the actions become supernatural! Our time is short….sow good seed!

The Conversion

To sit at His feet

“The Truth Shall Set you Free.” The words taped to my bathroom mirror. I placed them on it a long time ago, to remind me that I am inprisoned, and the only way to be free is to know the Truth.

I thought I knew what this scripture meant…but I did not. Not even close. It was the reason I kept crying out to the Lord for release and none would come. The suffering in the last 3 years, has grown, and I cried to Him to help me.

I just finished reading a book. Probably the best I’ve ever read, besides the bible, of course.It’s title is; The Shack. And I was soaking in my tub as I was nearing the end of this book. I was crying as I was starting to understand the picture of grace that the author had conveyed. This is when the Holy Spirit spoke to me. He told me that this book was what He was using to point out something important that I had missed. It is all about truth, yes, but the truth is….forgiveness. It is the, knowing and walking out this truth, that we are set free. Unforgiveness, imprisons us.

I was shocked as He pointed out that I hold out forgiveness to those who deserve it, but not to the ones that do not. And I am the one who decides. Which makes me the judge.

I have experienced so much injustice and pain in the past and I wanted everyone that I deemed responsible for this, to be punished. Yet, I have not wanted to acknowledge that I have been the one punished because I am imprisoned by my own failure to walk in love.

The Lord has spoken to me, “How can I convey my love and grace to the world through you, when you do this? How can anyone understand what I’ve done for them if you claim to know me and yet represent me in this way? If you truly understand the depth of my love,”That while you were still sinners, I died for you,” then you would be able to forgive anyone for everything they’ve done against you.”

Yes…this is grace isn’t it? Unmerited favor and mercy. It makes no difference what the rest of the world does, it is not an understanding that anyone can have without the Lords truth, living in them.

“Just forgive,” He tells me.” Keep forgiving and walking in this Truth, and in this, you will remain free.This is the WAY, I AM, and the TRUTH, of that understanding, will give you LIFE. And this is why these are my names. The only way to our Father’s heart.It is through this Love, that I can change the hearts of men. It is when a man knows, that he doesn’t deserve forgiveness, yet it is given, that he truly begins to understand, my love. My love is unconditional.”

“Oh….so the truth shall set you free. It doesn’t mean uncovering others. The truth is, “Love covers a multitude of sins.” It is only by loving that we truly know the Father’s grace toward us. It is not because we deserved love, that He loves us. “We love Him because He first loved us.” And it was this love that offered up His only son to redeem us. There is not love greater.

As I begin to see the picture of who I have been, I’m broken. I begin to sob as I’ve seen my own cruelty through His eyes. I am the one who had asked the Lord to allow me to impart His love to a dying world, and now to see this picture of myself, brings me such grief.

All of a sudden I begin to understand what Paul must have realized, when Christ appeared to him and revealed His pain at what Saul (Paul) had been doing. Saul, acting in what he believed to be, righteous actions and using his power, to send Christians to their death. The question that the Lord should first ask, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” Yes, this is when Saul’s name was changed. He had the conversion and finally felt the pain of what he had done, to the Lord. The Lord gave him a new name and a new life.

But for me. I have known His love. His forgiveness. How can I be excused?

I know the answer to that…is still…His grace. His grace is extended to me and I am to become a vessel of this grace. The vessel, broken and spilled out, to others. The grace that was extended to Mary as she gave the picture of herself to us. The picture so profound, that the Lord said, “her name would never be forgotten, for what she had done.When she broke the expensive vial of Canard, and anointed our Lord. Yet this vessel does not release its fragrance until it is broken. And it is this anointing that breaks the yoke, of bondage offering us freedom.

Mary, the one who sat at Jesus feet. The “one who is forgiven much, loves much, but for those who are forgiven little, love little.”

And now I understand, “The Truth, will set you free.”

This is the truth… to love others…as He loves me. My prayer today is that He fills me as a vessel to overflow into the world around me.

You Have Disappointed Me

The Lord longs to show you compassion

This is His word to us

“The Lord is full of grace and mercy and He longs to forgive.”

It’s amazing, what a simple message this is, yet so powerful. We are not like Him. He tells us this. And yet I read and hear stories about someone falling from grace, every day.

Yet, this is not true grace. It’s only our human standards, subject to change with each person’s rules. It is not an absolute standard of righteousness. Where does this absolute standard originate, if we are so subjective in our judgments? Yes, this is the question that comes to each of us at some time or another. Moral codes. And why don’t the animals have them as well? Is there a such thing as murder, incest, rape, in the animal world? So, we can already acknowledge that humans have a moral code and it has been placed within us. “For since the creation of the world, His invisible qualities, have been clearly seen, His eternal power, His divine nature-have been clearly seen, being misunderstood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20)

Today the sex scandal and tomorrow, something else. What do we expect? We are fallen beings, living in a corrupt world. We are subject to temptations every day, and what is the source of power to overcome?Or shall I say, Whom? It is not going come from a man-made system of religion. This story shows yet another person, trying to become sanctified by a form of religion and sinning at the same time, while pointing the finger at others. A perfect example of the Lords word to us, “Be careful how you judge, lest you be judged by the same measure, you use.”

Oh, I know, we all have done it. There is always someone, worse than myself. However, God does not look at things the same way, as we do. The sacrifice of our Lord, meant and open curtain between us and the Father, for us all. But in so doing, and this is the rub, we first must acknowledge that we just aren’t as good as we think we are. Yep, that’s the difficult part. How can we acknowledge this, if we are yet looking at someone else and saying, “I’m not as bad as that guy!”

This story in the news, is the same as all I have heard this past year. Sex scandals, drugs, greed. I watched the evening news the other night and the title was, “Who has disappointed us the most in 2009?” The mere title, gives the impression that we, have some courtroom and sit as the judges of all mankind. We know that judges in the courts, are also sinful men, as we have seen in our own government. No one is immune to this ‘sin disease.’

So, who are we to say that “We are disappointed?” I had a pastor state, that if God told us, “Listen, I’m going to pick 20 minutes of your life and show it to the world.” We would be hysterical about this. Wouldn’t we want to choose the portion that denotes all of our ‘good behavior? But if God told us, I will be the one to decide. I’m betting we would have the ACLU standing at the door!

I mean who does this ‘God” think He is? Violating my rights, like this! If He does this, it will show the world that I am just like them and then I will lose my self-appointed right to judge others by my standards!

Yes, this is it, isn’t it? It’s all about rights. I had someone speak to me recently about the rights of a person, and the person, she was speaking of, is in prison.  At some point, even in this world system of laws, we can lose our rights. Or a better explanation is that we choose, to give them up.

But while we decide, who’s rights have been trampled, we need to stop, and look at the cross. A man, who had done no wrong, died because He gave up His rights for us,. And He willingly did this, for the ones who could not be right in any way, shape or form, no matter how hard we tried.

As I read this story in the news bout this “scandalous woman,” I noticed that she  gave money to her church, which her sister pastored. I’m betting, she thought she was ‘buying some grace,’ to elevate herself. For some reason, we still try to assume God is like man. He can be bribed, to turning a blind eye to our deeds. This is mans way of doing things. Empty religion.

The Lord tells us, “They worship me with their lips, but their hearts, are far from me. The hold to a form of religion, but deny my power.”

Of course, this is a picture of everyone, before we reach the true understanding, of how sick all of us really are. This is why Jesus Christ, the great physician, has come. He came for the sick, not the healthy. And my joke has always been, “that if a man thinks he’s healthy…he the sickest of all!”

Every day, I must remind myself, I am sick, in need of the physician. When we lean on Him, and not our own strength, we allow the Lord to take these burdens. He will give us the strength to overcome. The law of sin and death is inherent, in every human being, and therefore, our choice will always be to follow our flesh…that is until we turn to the Lord. We just cannot turn from sin, before we accept Him, to be our master and savior.

When a person falls, and they are ‘shamed,’ I believe that they are closer to the truth, than most. It is this discipline that the Lord speaks about. “He disciplines those that He loves.” He also tells us, “be sure to know that your sin will find you out.” Oh haven’t I experienced that thousands of times in my life?

It isn’t pleasant, and it has caused some, to even jump from the tallest buildings, however, if you listen carefully, this is probably the Lord bringing you to a place of submitting. It is His love allowing this uncovering. What feels like punishment is His perfect love. “Fear has to do with punishment, but perfect love, casts out all fear.” He wants you to know this perfect love.

If you are reading this, yes, He’s speaking to you. You are not so great as you think you are. You think that you are better? Yes, so did I. You think perhaps, because you haven’t ‘killed anyone,’ or ‘raped anyone,’ that you have a loophole? Or perhaps you have raped or killed. Well, God wants all of us. He loves us and He knows that the reason we do terrible things is because we are trying to live without him. He wants all of His children to know Him and once we realize it is His blood that He shed, to allow us in we are forgiven. He tells us that “as far as the east is from the west, I will remember you sin no more.” (Psalm 103:13)

I had an interesting discussion the other day about those words. The Lord did not say, “the North from the South, because one we reach the North Pole we start to go south again, but East is always East and West is always West. It is infinity…and where our sins are cast when repentance comes to us.

But what about you? What is the Lord speaking to you this day? Are you finding yourself, disappointed in world leaders, or the idols of the world? Have they “let you down,” because you had the false hopes that someone achieved a ‘god status?’ Well, stop being disappointed. Only God can be this for you. And He is reaching out to grab you in you quietest moments. When you are alone with no one else, He is speaking to you. The Lord tells us that “No one, can come to me, unless the Father who sent me, draws him, and I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:44) “So as the Holy Spirit says, “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden you hearts.” (Hebrews 3:7,8)

This is your day, the first day, whether great or small, it makes no difference to the Lord, for He is no respecter of men. Turn to Him, and let Him be your rock and your shelter. He will never disappoint you!

Jesus Loves You….And So Do I!

The Dysfunctional Family…Move

Contemplating my next move

The Move should be a Movie

At least thats what the friend of my cousins exclaimed. I had just come out to see my brother and my cousin in the truck, with this guy (called upon with very little notice) helping to hoist furniture into this moving truck.

“Mom just told me to shut up,” I said laughing. “I know, I heard her, this should be a reality show on tv about a dysfunctional family trying to move!” The hilarious statement made by Mike, my cousins buddy.

Yea, this was only the beginning of several screw ups. Of course the fact that my mom told me to “shut up,” was even more hilarious, given the fact that I wasn’t even supposed to be in this city and packed up every box in her house! Not to mention, I got the boxes as well.

Now don’t get me wrong, I want to help my mom in any way that I can, but this whole situation was messed up! I was going to come up to see her since a very good friend of mine had offered to take me on a vacation. I have had an enormous amount of stress this past year, and my therapist, (that’s right I have one) thought this would be a great idea. I didn’t think I should go, but after realizing my friend was making such a wonderful gesture, and I certainly can use a few days to regenerate, I called her back. “Hey, you know, I was thinking about this and I would love to go.” “Ok, but just so you understand, you will have to fly up to Milwaukee, before we go to Cancun.” “Oh, that’s no problem, I need to visit my mom anyway. I haven’t seen her in quite a while and it will do me good. I miss her.”

Well, I called my mom only to find out, she’s moving. Oh, and I don’t mean across the city, moving. no it’s another state altogether! “Well, you better hurry up,” she stated. I’m moving on the 12th of December.” I was shocked. We had been trying to convince her that she should move a long time ago. We didn’t like the idea that none of her children were nearby and she’s getting older.

The only one that lives near her is this particular cousin, but he certainly isn’t going to look after her as a son or daughter would. Besides the fact that he’s just a little goofy. lol

The picture will become clearer as you read this post. He believes that we are descendants of Indians, because he inadvertently heard a remark my grandfather made about him,”acting like a wild Indian.” and next, stated, “he reminds me of him.” To which my grandmother replied, “We aren’t to talk about that.” And with that she turned her back and walked away.

Ever since this conversation as a child, he had firmly believed that we have Indian in our ancestry. Ok, that’s possible, and I wouldn’t be upset at all, but you know that people had a tendency to hide their ancestry in days of old, if it seemed it was not congruent with their own bias.

My cousins belief was also predicated upon the story from his mother, that Indians would come to my great grandmothers house, every spring to get pots and pans to cook in. She would receive them back from these Indians after they were finished using them. My aunt told the story to me as well, and I my first thought was, “why didn’t these Indians, clean the bloody pans before returning them?”

So, my cousin sat, regaling us once more with this story and I reminded him that we really do not know what my grandfather meant by this, however, I do know that there was a cousin, that is rumored to really have been an uncle, and he may have been referring to this man when he stated, “he reminds me of him.” That would explain why my grandma said, “we aren’t supposed to talk about that.”

“Yes, he said, you might be right about that. I never thought about that.” But,” he concluded, I think we still may have Indian blood, because this man, wore a hat with a feather in it.” “Ok,” that just cracked me up that we shall now find our lineage clues in the fashion statement that this uncle/cousin, found appealing in his day.

The most humorous part of the whole thing is that my mom and my cousin irritate each other so much, and at the mention of almost every story my cousin brought up, my mother would get more and more angry. At one point she raised her hand, as if chopping something, and stated, “Ok, I have to stop you right here!” I said, “hey, did you see mom? She sure looked like she was doing a Tomahawk Chop, to me! And it’s wicked! That’s all the proof I need! At this my mom started laughing hysterically and we continued to imitate her ‘chop,’ every time we had a point to make.

While my cousin would stand over my mom, when she got particularly riled up, and act as if he was performing an exorcism, all the while chanting something in Latin. The whole scene was quite comical, and I only wish I would have thought to video this.

My cousin was so adamant about this story, that as we talked, and I convinced my mom, that my aunt had, indeed, correlated the events of the Indians and my great-grandmother, she was extremely irritated.

My brother and I were trying to suppress our smiles, so as not to bring out the full wrath, and perhaps suffer a blow of the now, much feared, Tomahawk hand! Razor sharp and from across the room, I could see her beginning to raise it.

At this my cousin had disappeared for a few moments to the bathroom. A few minutes later, he emerges with phone in hand and stating flatly, “I stand corrected. I am on the phone with Aunt Carol, and those weren’t Indians that came up to our great grandmas house, but railroad hobos!” Oh, my gosh! I looked at my brother and exclaimed, we are related to the railroad hobos! Now that explains a lot!”I’m betting my mom wishes he would have stuck with the Indians on this one!

I said to my brother, “remember, we always used to hang out at the railroad tracks? I learned to hop a train, with my brother, before I could ever drive a car! “Hey, also our favorite bar we hung out at, was called The Tracks, and it was smack dab next to the railroad tracks, in East Milwaukee!” This is all making so much sense to me.

You could see my cousin was not ready to relent. After having me ask my aunt a few more questions, about perhaps my great-grandmother having psychic powers, and all of the other beliefs my cousin had, we hung up. He declared, “well, she’s the youngest of the five girls, what does she really remember? After all, to her they probably were hobos!” Yes, I said, perhaps they were hobo Indians, and then you’re both right!” This, I was hoping would allow he and my mom to smoke a peace pipe, and we would retire the Tomahawk for a while.

Nope, she was about to get worse, as he related the story, once again, about my great-grandfather, who had hung himself from a rafter in the barn. It was a sad story, only made a comedy, by the manner in which he told it. The story was told to him, by my own grandmother, who happened to see the whole sordid mess, as she was a young girl when it happened.

But when my cousin tells the story it is one of my grandmother telling him about it as she’s driving her Pontiac in the darkness, down winding country roads. My cousin describes her perfectly, as my grandmother, stayed with us all day for many years, as she drove my grandfather to Milwaukee for his job.

My cousin speaks of her hair, wound up in the French Twist, she always wore. I personally only saw her hair down, a couple of times in my own life, and it was in the late 60’s. I said, “grandma, you should wear your hair like that! You look like a hippie!” She laughed at that.

Now as she was telling me cousin the story, he said, she was turning back to him every now and then. She spoke of the fact that her father had not come to the dinner table and her and her brother’s were waiting for him. At some point her mother went out to find him….hanging from a rafter in the barn. Supposedly, my grandmother had followed her out to the barn and saw her father hanging there.

The story continues, “My mother, got a buckboard, and pulled it over to the barn and cut him down. She laid him on the buckboard and spoke to me, “Now we dasn’t tell anyone what happened. We will just tell everyone that he died of the meningitis.” At this point my cousin tells me that my grandmother turns to him with a smile on her face and says, “Just like you had when you were little!”

He describes the scene, “she looked like Betty Davis, and she had an evil grin on her face! I was just about 10 years old, so she scared the crap out of me.

“Later, we arrived at the house and I was getting ready for bed. I walked to the bedroom to say goodnight to grandma and grandpa, and there she was sitting with all of her hair down. She was brushing it and I’d never seen it down before. I screamed! Then grandpa stared laughing and he said, “Do you want me to sleep with you?” “I said, Yes!” At this point my brother replied, “Well you had bigger problems if you slept with grandpa!” The sickness of our minds is apparent.

All the time my own mother is yelling her own comments, “That’s crazy. My mother was a teacher, she would never use a word like, “dasn’t!”

Ok, now I was ready with my own Tomahawk; “Mom! We always heard her using that word! She also used other strange words, like “pert near.” I don’t care if she was on the school board, and a teacher…she came from a small town and she grew up with farmers. (Maybe Indians too) But I sure wasn’t going to bring that up again! Now, the beginning of my story with my great grandpa, was that he had been “kicked in the head by a horse and went crazy.” Hmmm, that sounds to me like another exxageration.The questions in my mind are as follows,

  1. “Is the crazy from a horse kick, an inherited trait?
  2. Did he discover my great-grandmother was fraternizing with the Indian, railroad hobos?
  3. Was He an Indian railroad hobo?
  4. Did he have the “physic powers of my great-grandmother, and was attempting to stop the future insanity? (In which case, it didn’t work)

Well, some things I guess, we shall never know. At any rate, all of this was causing quite a stir in my mom. I would see my cousin glance at me from across the room, as if to say, she’s really getting mad now.” Her agitation, seems to give him a thrill.

Now the move had been scheduled for the next day. My nephew’s girlfriend was also planning to move the same place and she brought all of her things to my moms little apartment.

I couldn’t understand why now, I had heard a peep from her and yet, here I am packing all of her boxes, along with my moms. I sensed my sister, was behind all of this mess. Her and I had argument about something, because I knew she was responsible for all of this chaos. Even though she lives in the state my mom is moving to, she still manages to stir the pot. Her state is “the state of confusion,” and whenever there is a mess, you can bet, she’s somewhere behind the scenes.

So, the day of the move, this girl(and her brother) were supposed to be packing and moving things. The strangest thing was that my sister, who was the one coordinating all of this, would just call to chat with my mom. As if my mom had nothing else to do with her time! My brother, who had initially told me, my sister had nothing at all to do with this craziness, would take all the blame. He does this to thwart trouble between her and I.

Meanwhile, he had to hire and pay for another guy to come and help out. Now, the picture was becoming clearer. I decided not to mention anything except the fact that, my mom had spoken to my sister and never asked where these two people were, when we all knew that my sister was in constant communication with this girl.

When my sister called, (for a second time) just to chat, my brother was furious. “Ask her where this girl is???He kept speaking to my mom while she was on the phone. My mom then says, listen, I have to let you go. I can’t even talk with all this racket!”

What??? I couldn’t believe this! My sister is calling just to talk about nothing, for the second time. She’s the one that my mom is moving near, and the whole time, neither one will tell us, where this girl and her brother are at!

My mom hurriedly hung up the phone before my brother could snatch it. He said, “Why didn’t you ask where she is?” He picked up the phone once more to call back, and thought better of it. I told him, “I’m placing money on the fact that she’ll show up when we’re finished.”

After he stormed out with my cousin, the other guy was moving something, when I said, “Mom, why have you spoken with her twice and never asked her what is going on? “Oh, shut up!,” she said. “Don’t tell me to shut up. I’m the one that packed all these boxes, and I wasn’t even supposed to be here. I came back from this vacation, and got stuck in the snowstorm, or I wouldn’t have even been able to help you! That’s a lot of nerve! And these guys are the ones moving it all into the truck! After all, the nephew and girlfriend that are moving, are my sister’s son and his girlfriend. She is responsible for all of this!” My cousin probably hit the nail on the head, when he told me, “I can guarantee your sister probably told them not to show up, because we’d take care of everything.”

I walked out the door and as I was leaving, my mom, said, “Aren’t you going to say goodbye?” “Mom, I’m not leaving. I wouldn’t just walk out the door and leave you like that! I was just going out to the truck.”

I was sad just thinking that my mom, assumed I would just walk out without telling her goodbye. I was so upset about the whole process, yet I knew that I was certainly there for a reason. Yes, my great grandpa sure didn’t know what he was missing, on the other side! Or did he see into the future? Perhaps it was this event that he had seen, that made him jump into the noose! Or one equally as insane! We have a lot in our family and when you add up my mother’s four other sisters….well, you can only imagine.

I walked out to the truck and pronounced, “Mom just told me to shut up.” We all laughed. It was at this point that any sense of my family being normal, was reduced to the Title of a tv show. “Yea, I heard her. This should be a reality show, The Dysfunctional Family Move, spoke this friend of my cousin’s.

Well, just as I called it. All the boxes being packed into the truck. My brother and cousin, now dismantling the bed…and lo and behold in she strolls. “Sure, now you show up, I yell out.” “I was working,” almost a whine, detected.

My brother now with the full force of his anger, “And we were supposed to know this?” “Well, I tried to call but the phone was disconnected.” To which I replied, my mom, just unplugged it.”(I’m also betting my sister told her to do this, so this girl could have an alibi)

Now my brother continues, “And where is your brother?” “He’s in Pennsylvania. He’s not going to be here until Christmas!” “What? And I’m supposed to know that as well? The last I heard from my sister, you and him were going to be here to move all of your sh**!

Well, of course she didn’t have any logical explanation, and none was needed, as far as I’m concerned. She was caught right in the center of the spider’s web of deception and I knew this scheming all too well. Yet I wasn’t going to call, a spider, a spider. It was understood. As my cousin stated later, I heard her walking up the stairs with your brother and telling him, “Now everyone’s going to think this is all my fault!”

Hmmm, welcome to the Dysfunctional Family. At one point I had to go to the Post Office and ship something. It was in a whiskey box and a guy walked in to see Canadian Club on the box. He said, “I used to work for them.” “Oh, I’m not really shipping myself a case of whiskey, although, I should be,” I said…..I’m visiting my family! At this everyone in the line turned around with a look of compassion and laughed.

My cousin and mom...exorcism!

A wonderful time to move!