Sunday Sermon

Dear Friends, fellow humans, let our deep pain at the horrible state of our country be expressed as Love — not the romantic, feely-feely love of hallmark cards, but the Agressive, Active Love that can overcome this civil war.  As our cities erupt with fire and anger, let our Love envelope those hurting and those hurt.  Can we look around and see a Way to help those who have been oppressed for 400 years?  Sometimes it’s our very helplessness that can move us to cry out that this racism must end.  I said it, racism, and it’s built in to our culture, wired into our brains, and many white people deny it because it is tribal.

I am a “woke white woman”.  What does that mean?  That means I realized, with horror, that I am a bigot.  The revelation came to me over Ferguson, the sight of Michael Brown lying in the street, dead, while the white police officers figured out their story to justify his murder.  Prior to that I used the usual racist-white-person excuse that I had personally always strived to treat people the same–and I did.  As a nurse, I looked at the illness, the wound, the problem and used the same tactics to heal no matter a person’s color  That much is true.

What I didn’t realize is that I would never be treated the way a black person is.  I understood that I had “gotten away with” stuff that black people would be jailed or killed for.  I saw the kids at the “good” school where I worked treated in two different ways with black kids always suspected and black parents always undermined.  I was sick with grief and guilt.

No amount of whitesplaining made it look any better.  I saw that my parents, my family members were of the bigoted mindset and that they seriously did Not See it–in fact, denied it vigorously.  I saw white people have biracial grandchildren that they loved and helped raise, so they claimed that proved they were not racist….but they still hated the father and the father’s family because their bigotry is so ingrained.  I’m no better than them, though, but I decided at that moment to be aware of my bias, my stupid feeling that this is America so everyone has the same chance–Ha!    Once you see something, you can’t un-see it.  Dr. Martin Luther King said, “An injustice anywhere is an injustice Everywhere.”

The folks rioting and burning have had the knee of the oppressor on their necks for centuries. I can’t say what I would do if I were in their shoes.  I’ll just not judge but Look, Look for a way to Agressively, Actively Love them and not make it in any way about myself.  Dr. Martin Luther King said, “A riot is the language of the unheard.”

Already I have prayed and prayed hard, sometimes with just tears because I don’t know what to say.  I left my church as I watched them coalesce around a mentally ill man who stoked their bigotry and homophobia, calling him a messiah even though he couldn’t tell you a single Bible story.  Since the pandemic I’ve been able to “attend” a lot of different church services and there are plenty of them who do not preach this and I’m relieved, even invigorated by their sermons.  In particular, I’ve virtually visited a lot of black churches; it’s a different world and one that has informed me about their plight. The scales continue to drop from my eyes and I see some ways I can help them and I will.

The truth about our country is this:  the confederacy won that war.  Though Lee surrendered, they went to Plan B and murdered the president and cabinet members running the country, replacing Lincoln with a Southerner.  We don’t teach that in our history books, the ones that are chosen in Texas; they don’t teach about the laws that were passed to keep these people from being recognized as People. As People!  My mother truly believed that black people had different skeletons and blood than white people…

We know Better.  We can Be Better.

I was out the other day to the grocery store and was astounded to see 95% of the people not wearing masks.  Taking care of each other has been labeled a Liberal thing, a Democrat thing, a Weak thing.  Taking care of each other has become a Weak Thing?  Is that what you believe?  Please.

It’s Pentecost Sunday in the christian church, marking the story of the Holy Spirit coming in like a big wind,  As the disciples preached, everyone in the audience heard the message in his own language because Love is for All of us.  It Woke them Up.  May that same Spirit of Love Wake Us Up today.

Peace.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that…

 Martin Luther King…

Sunday Report

Here we are at day Number Million of the Coronavirus Covid-19 Pandemic and how are ya’ll faring?

Sonnystoners have never been tempted by “normal” and there’s nothing out there that I Need to Do so badly that I would risk my life.  We’ve been caught up in the Seasonal Chores — gardening, cleaning the porches, putting up the pool, mowing between rains — just going with the flow.

The Big Thing that changed for us with the advent of the quarantine was our Plans…plans for traveling, but also plans to be with our New York Family to celebrate #1 Grandie Emma’s Graduation from Eighth Grade.  She will graduate via Virtual ceremony from Town. School on June 10th or so, and I will be present, probably with a better view than I would have if I were there physically.  Emma is just such a Great Kid and I’m not just saying that because I’m her Jojo…her Teachers and fellow Students agree.  I’m so proud that she was chosen to speak at the Town. Graduation…Check this out.

Who knows when or how school will resume in the Fall, but she will be attending Trevor School, a Learning Place that fits her, and welcomes her as a Student Ambassador.  Her wagon is hitched to a star.

Another Plan that changed was our Trip to London for Trooping the Colour and Royal Ascot.  We’d planned to go to Emma’s graduation, then hop a plane for London.  Thanks to the pandemic we did get a credit for our flights without change fees.  The hotel was also non-refundable, but I started a correspondence with The Queen’s Gate to see if they would also give me a credit.  At first they wanted me to schedule a visit before the end of the year.  Air travel and such are still so flux that I asked them to please extend my credit to accommodate a similar trip to what I’d planned.  I told them of my Royal fetish and crush on Prince Charles, moving them allow me to visit anytime before 30 June 2021.  Yay!  We’ll skip the Trooping the Colour since I don’t know When I’ll be comfortable in a crowd that size and will arrive the day after.  I made friends with the concierge and he will help us arrange tours and transport to the Royal Ascot.  Even though I’d planned this trip for that last six months, the New Trip will be Better, I just know.  All’s Well.

 

I went to my hairdresser on Friday and I’m blonde again.  Nails still ratty and ugly, but I’m hesitant to chance my usual salon. I might have to actually do my own for a while…. Casey let me cut his bangs…okay… ..is that the New Normal?  I can live with it.

Peace

Blank Report

I’m glad I haven’t got a deadline to write this drivel or I’d be in real trouble.  Fact is, I’ve written three separate posts that were crappy.  It’s not like I’ve got Nothing to Say, it’s just that I can’t seem to articulate it…or find that it’s already been said…

Ah, the struggles of Writing…

Peace

Wishing you All a Peaceful, Loving Mothers’ Day

I read an article the other day:  10 Unforgettable Literary Moms.  I came away with one quote that resonated my heart.

It’s a quote from Toni Morrisson’s deeply haunting book “Beloved”.  I confess, I didn’t get very far into the book before I set it down.  It was a glimpse into a world that is so disturbing and painful that it caused me pain, too.  I’ve always said I’ll get back to it when the Time is right because there is something to learn about suffering from it.  At any rate, here’s the quote from Sethe, whose tragic past has complicated her relationship with her daughter, 18-year-old Denver.  Despite all of Sethe’s problems, she is a Mother.

Grown don’t mean a thing to a mother.  A child is a child.  They get bigger, older, but grown?  What’s that supposed to mean?  In my heart, it don’t mean a thing.

She’s not talking about “raising” a child here.  She’s talking about the effeable feeling of Being a Mother.  There are no words, though I’ve just spent an hour trying to write some.  It is Mystical Spiritual Love that is instinctively protective and nurturing.  It doesn’t change  just because your children reach a certain age.

It’s not about the Love you receive from your children.  It’s not about what a Good Mother you are or aren’t.  It’s about that Spirit that enters you when you give birth, committing you to a Lifetime of Support to your creation.

I suppose that it’s possible that some mothers don’t feel it and I’m sad for them and their children.  Most of us, though, have been Blessed by that Love.  Now that my kids are parents, they, too, know that Ever-Present Love and Caring for their kids.

It doesn’t change, no matter how much anger or sadness has found its way into your lives.  It is Forever and Always.

It isn’t easy, this mothering thing.  We try our best to keep sight of that inexpressible Love when times are trying, but ain’t nobody perfect.  The Perfect Mother is one who has done her Best…and that’s all of us…and that’s Good Enough.

They are still my children, my babies.  In my heart, they never are Grown, but I sure do respect them as Adults. They are Good People.  I love being their Mom and am so grateful.  (I really like those grandkids, too, but that’s yet another Indescribable Love!)

Peace

 

 

Sunday Rerun: Derby Days

Finishing up the Loooooooong month of April was quick…!bam! it was the First Saturday in May, aka Derby Day in the Casey Family.  It was the Best Weather for a Derby we’ve had in years, but No bets were placed, no hats were donned, and no Juleps were consumed.  We did tune in to watch the Virtual race of past Triple Crown winners, won by Secretariat with Seattle Slew right behind.  With the Derby rescheduled for early September, we’re still a bit leery of the idea of such a large group gathering, but it would be nice…

Instead of preaching to you about wearing a mask (please do) and physical distancing (stay 6 feet away from me), I want to relive the Kentucky Derby…

Here’s a rerun of reruns from the 2018 Derby!

The News from Sonnystone Acres

It’s that Magical Time of Year — Derby fever has been raging in Louisville, KY for 2 weeks and we now have the field set and can make bets beginning tomorrow.

It looks as though Eville is going to have decent weather on Saturday with a.m. clouds/p.m. sun and highs in the 70’s,  in stark contrast to my report in  2013 Coldest Derby Ever  

I shared with you in  2015 – It’s Derby Week-end how befuddled I become when betting The Run for the Roses, but I’m a little less confused than usual this year.  (2015 was the American Pharoah year, so the decision seems easy, now.)

In 2016, I was visiting NYC on Derby Week-end…

Eliza’s Derby Hat 2016 NYC

Around these parts, we have a Real Kentucky Thoroughbred Racetrack, Ellis Park, 10 miles away, but Manhattan lacks such amenities.  I discovered TwinSpires, the Official online wagering…

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Sunday Report

My son-in-law, Eric the Super Dad, cancer Survivor, started experiencing pain in his right lower abdominal quadrant last week.  They live in New York City, you know, so there was much consternation.  As the pain steadily worsened over a couple of days, he zoomed into a CityMD and was directed to the hospital….  The Hospital…in New York City.  Eric’s cancer had been treated at Memorial Sloan Kettering and some of their Good Friends work there and they could have presented there.  However, Melissa’s Crohn’s Disease has been treated at Mt. Sinai and since this was obviously a GI problem, they decided to go there.  You’ve no doubt seen scenes of overwhelmed doctors and nurses battling against the virus that has inundated the building

The had to take an Uber through the Belly of the Beast and by the time they got to the entrance, Eric could hardly walk.  At the metal detector just inside, Melissa had to leave him.  She walked the mile back to their apartment and she and her daughters held each other tight.  And she called me.  As usual, I was ready to fly to her side.  As usual, there would be nothing I could do to help.  And as always, I wanted them to Be Here under my wings where I could Protect them, but that is deluded thinking.

Right away Eric was tested for coronavirus.  By the time it came back negative, his appendix had burst.  Thank-you, Lord, he was where he needed to be.  Melissa’s surgeon, the Amazing Dr. Ky from Sesame Street, showed up to take care of Eric and the very angry appendix and he was whisked to surgery.  I am so thankful that it was Dr. Ky and I know that it made Eric feel more confident.  Last report he would be heading back home soon.

While our media has seemed to emphasize the polarization of our country regarding these stay-at-home orders and seems to delight in scaring us as we watch the California beaches fill up and the Michigan protesters scream their ignorance at healthcare workers, I’d like to point out that in NYC they’re unified, determined to do whatever it takes to win against this formidable foe.  Every evening at 7pm the New Yorkers appear at their windows to Clap for the Carers.  They Know that these are People, their neighbors and friends and loved ones who are impossible to replace and they’re not going to be sacrificed for any amount of money.  Fact is, as a Blue State, even their stimulus checks have been held up, but they’re tough and they’ll make it.  Even with their stupid mayor, they look to each other for strength and keep their children closely guarded.  I Love You, New Yorkers!

So I’m a little weepy these days.  I just give in to it.  Looking Directly at my Fears, I can give myself the Compassion that I extend to Others.  Hell, yeah, we’re all scared.  We spend a lot of time cheering ourselves up, and that’s fine, but don’t be afraid to Feel the Helplessness that is inevitable in a time such as this.  My Dad did not tolerate tears and I still feel that childhood conditioning that crying is a sign of weakness.  Wrong-o, Dad; Crying is a sign of Humanity.  I plead Human.

And the Dreams…ever since we started isolating I have had vivid dreams that involve many dead people: Mom, Dad, my cousin Janice, my ex-husband, and my great-grandmother. There’s almost always a Baby, too.  Every one of the dreams ends up with me Lost and running around trying to find my way to someplace that I just can’t find. Once I had run all up and down the streets asking for directions and they were all wrong. Finally I found a couple sleeping in a doorway; the guy looked like Shaggy from Scooby-doo and the gal looked suspiciously like a young Me, wearing a fascinator.  They woke up and pointed out that the Door was right behind me. I turned and there it was; I woke up.

In the dream Last night I was trying to drive a sheriff’s car to rescue someone.  When I sat in the driver’s seat I couldn’t see out the windshield. I fiddled with the seat controls, squishing myself into the steering wheel and laying the seat back until I finally found the control that lifted me up above the dashboard and I could see  through the windshield to drive.  I took off and made it back to a room where Casey was sleeping and I crawled into bed to sleep, then woke up.

I’ve wasted so much Time worrying over things that just don’t matter and I’m grateful that I see that now.  I’ve tried to live up to some sort of expectation of Life while not seeing what’s right in front of me.  I hope this new-found clarity lasts.  I pray that All of Us can See over the steering wheel and find our way Home to our Hearts where our Loved Ones are held tight and safe.

Remember, it’s okay to melt down.  Know This: You are Not Alone…

 We Are All One.

Peace

 

 

 

Wow, that was awkward…

I’ve been soo looking forward to getting down to my local plant place this morning.  I had read an FB post that said she’d require masks and gloves, limit the amount of people inside (it is very small and crowded with plants), and so I felt she was doing her best to keep us all safe.  I was very disappointed when I saw that she was Not wearing a mask and I said so as I walked in.

She went off on me.  I mean, she was hollering at me, shaking, tears…Told me that the Dept. of Health said she and her employees cannot wear masks and that the problem was with the shoes…that I would need to go home and bleach my shoes after I shopped… My jaw dropped, under my mask, and I said, I’m sorry.  I was thinking about You; I’m wearing a mask.  She yelled that my mask wasn’t doing me any good (per the Health Dept.) I was wearing gloves and she shouted that I couldn’t wear those gloves in and they had an employee standing there (no mask) handing out gloves (no social distancing). She howled that she and her employees are not sick…(you could still be a carrier) I tried to calm her down, but she kept on wailing that I just don’t know how scared she is and how hard she’s working.  (good thing she’s not a nurse) She was screaming all this standing about a foot away from me and realized how close she was, so she stepped back a couple of feet and kept yelling,  Inside people stopped and stared, many of them not wearing masks, many of them crowded together.  During the rant she said the Health Dept. told her she is not allowed to Make people wear masks. This went on a little longer until I said, If you’re going to keep yelling at me I guess I’ll just leave.  She said Go.  I was shaking by that time, so that was that.

It is critical to emphasize that maintaining 6-feet social distancing remains important to slowing the spread of the virus.  CDC is additionally advising the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.  Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.

That place has been a part of my life since I started gardening 20+ years ago and I’m already grieving it. I love those people and support them even in the winter time when they’re just a convenience store.  The yelling lady is a kind person and I forgive her for her tirade, but there was no social distancing going on by her or her employees and they were Not Wearing Masks to protect themselves.  I hope they’re all okay and remain healthy.

My money will be spent at another local nursery that has set up barriers between themselves and their customers, practices proper social distancing, to take care of ThemSelves.  I would have bought everything there already, but I wanted to support her business.

I’ll take care of me and that includes not shopping where people let their employees be at risk.  That’s why I send Casey to Rural King…hahaha.

As for the Health Department, wtf?  According to her, they’re the ones that told her all this crap.  And they are the folks who denied any covid in the area as late as mid-March.  The messaging on this pandemic has been So Faulty, to say the least.  I know, plenty of people are saying they’re not afraid of getting sick and they’ll take their chances. Well, I’m not a gambler, but I know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, and know when to walk away.

My hairdresser sent out a notice that the salon is going to open back up.  If they simply go back to the way things were, or if the Health Dept. is telling them they’re not allowed to wear masks or gloves, and that there’s no need to social distance, then I’ll just wait.  But that’s just me.  Ya’ll go on out there and enjoy.

I guess we’re all feeling a little stressed right now, huh?  Sending out Rays of Love.

Peace

Sunday Sermon

I’ve been wearing a mask since our state first shut down on March 13.  I had a paper one from my dental experience and now my daughter-in-law has made some cloth masks for me and Casey.  A couple of weeks ago, before we’d even put 6-foot lines on the floors to mark the distance or face guards in front of the cashiers, I ran into the Liquor Store to pick up some drink, wearing my mask.  There was a line of about six people, most of them about three feet apart.  One guy in the middle of the line yelled out the minute I walked through the door: “Chinese!”  I surveyed him:  no taller than me, probably in his mid-thirties but looked about 60, glazed eyes, clutching a quart of beer (probably had to borrow the money for it), wearing shorts and a tank top and…socks…no shoes.  The socks were ankle high with black and white dots and black “ears” on either side of his toes…  “Nice socks”, I replied as a squeezed past him.  He shouted at me again, “I said Chinese!” and pointed at my mask.  I know I shouldn’t, but I turned and pulled my mask down slightly so he could hear:  “Your socks are Chinese.  They are panda bears.  Panda bears are from China.”  He kind of swayed and looked at his feet.  “Whatever”…  I pulled up my mask and went on, but I’m such a smartass…I couldn’t resist snarling..”Whatever”  He got louder, “Whatever”…. I got in the last “Whatever”…

Life has changed, permanently. No amount of denial will put it back to the way it was just a few weeks ago.  This week, for some reason, that really hit home with me.  I’m not sure if it was the rise of infections, the predictions that it’s only going to get worse.  Maybe it was the makeshift hospitals and funeral homes, or the rise of domestic abuse cases, or the bajillion new unemployment claims, but for a day or so all I could see was the Loss  Loss of jobs, Loss of business, Loss of friends, Loss of dreams, Loss of Life.  And you can’t grieve “normally” or be there with your loved one when they pass.  It’s a sobering reality, but it is Truth:  We can Never Go Back to Before.

Today is Palm Sunday in the Traditional Christian churches  When I was a youngster it was the beginning of a marathon Holy Week of Music and Prayer as we re-lived the Passion of Jesus.  Wearing our choir robes, we would process down the aisle to the Altar, waving our palm fronds and singing, All Glory, Laud, and Honor to Thee, Redeemer King!

This year, many years removed from those days, I am thinking how the disciples and followers of Jesus had no clue that their lives were about to be totally upended. They felt triumphant that day.  No doubt they were excited to be in Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover and to bring more people into their movement.  They felt confident and probably a little proud that their teacher was getting this clamor of praise — kind of like having 10 million followers on Insta…

Little did they know that in four days Jesus would be arrested and killed and they would have to run for their lives and hide somewhere.  I have no doubt that after his death and burial they were confused and afraid.  They knew it would never be the same, that what they had planned was not going to happen.  They could only think of what they had Lost.  What Did happen was so much better than their plans of grandeur.  Their Loss was their Gain.

There’s a lesson there for us today. The past wasn’t meant to last.  We begin again, going forward into a time of spiritual renewal and rebirth.  Each of us will will emerge from this time a different person, a changed Human Being.  And wouldn’t it be Awful if we did go back to the way we were?  Do we really want to go back to a time when we were so mean to each other, when we were divided in every way, to when we ignored our neighbors, or labeled a stranger as “other”?  Let’s Not.

Turn and Face the Changes.. Changes in the the way you worship, in the way you Live, in the Way you Love.  Don’t trust someone who says he’s got all the answers and Knows more than G-d.  No one can say what’s going to happen and there’s nothing at all new about that. True Faith is knowing that even in the worst of times, we are not Alone. Trust the guy who says, My Peace I give to you, the Peace that passes all understanding.  Share that Peace with Everyone, even the Whatever guy.

I know this time has been brutal in every way for just about everyone financially, spiritually, mentally, physically.  I am Loving the Surge of Camaraderie over on Facebook.  It seems like the old days when fb was novel and people actually used it to converse.  I’m with all you sweet mamas and daddies and grannies and gramps who are now sharing your tips for keeping everybody home and safe, making masks, creating some great videos, keeping a journal of your experiences and sharing your heartache at how your children are being affected.  Naturally, I wish we could a join in a Giant Group Hug, but we’ll have to settle for our virtual hugs and Share Peace.

Whilst doing some digging the other day I twisted my knee and now I’m hobbling about like a little old lady.  It’s slowed down my gardening, but I hope to get back at it today.   It seems like it’s a regular occurrence, these small injuries — draining cysts, broken teeth, sprained foot and now knee.  The Covid sure helps put things in perspective, doesn’t it?  I’ll take my ibuprofen, prop up my legs, and thank The Lord that I can breathe.

Look out for each other and stay the fuck home.  Wear a mask if you have to be out. Who cares if the assholes call you Chinese?  Stay Strong, dear Readers.

Peace

 

 

 

Another week? Seems longer…

I’m such a loner.  The “isolation” of this virus hasn’t bothered me a bit.  We Garden at this time of year, starting seeds and breaking up new ground for planting, and that’s just what I’ve been doing.  Other than wearing mask and gloves when I grocery shop at 7am, not much has changed around here.  I sort-of started Spring Cleaning, kind of, which is totally normal for me.  What has bothered me is how Time is Warped right now… Every week seems like a year and the days lumber along slowly — what day is it, again?

I know that many of you are concerned about my daughter.  She and her family are doing well, thank-you.  If you are friends with her on facebook you can see for yourself.  We stay in touch and there’s not much else that can be done right now.  In order to keep a handle on my anxiety, I stop and Practice the Presence more often and that’s a Good Thing.

We had some storms fly through last night and tornadoes touched down about 10 miles from here, both sides of the river, just adding to the Stress on our First Responders.  With All my Heart and Soul, I am sending Love and Strength their way.  The clean-up efforts will only compound the hazard of spreading the virus.  Please stay safe if you are inclined to help, and Bless you for it.

This week I’m starting a series of posts about the “genealogy” of our house and grounds, aka Sonnystone Acres.  We continue to garden and I post at Growing Every Season on Thursdays.  I’ll try to be friendlier over at the facebook, but you can always call or text or email, as well.

Peace