My Dad

Listen to your father, who gave you life…

Proverbs 23:22

 

 

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Dad, the original “Natural”.

Tomorrow is Father’s Day, and this is my Dad, Jerry.  He was a great baseball player, that’s for sure.  Five Home Runs in one game.  True story.  I’ve seen the newspaper clipping.  Plus, once when I was home sick in bed, Dad brought me an ice cream sundae.  I never had one that tasted that good.  I felt better instantly.

But, it’s Dad’s most recent turn as a caregiver that’s really touched my heart.  My Mom recently had triple bypass heart surgery.  And, because of the pandemic, Dad’s her designated caregiver.  I’ve got to say, he’s doing a fantastic job.  Making sure she’s eating right, and taking her for short walks to get in some exercise.  I’m so proud of him.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

 

 

 

 

Two Little Girls

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People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them.  When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them.  But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  Truly, I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”                                           Luke 18:15-17(NIV)

 

Cherry was my first friend.  My grandma and I were strolling around the neighborhood, and we happened upon this sweet girl playing in her front yard.  She had the biggest smile.  It was Cherry.  Because my dad had recently lost his job, we’d moved into the neighborhood.  There were five mouths to feed, and rent to pay.  So, my grandparents  generously allowed us to move in with them.

My grandpa remodeled the single-car garage to accommodate my mom and dad, along with me and my two brothers.   In addition to our family of five,  grandma, grandpa, and my aunt also lived there.  Eight humans lived in that house with only one bathroom.  Now that’s a lotta love.

It was the early 1960’s, so even though racial tensions were rampant, I was only four years old.  When I  saw this girl with the great big smile, I knew I’d found a friend.  We played together nearly every day.  Sometimes we had dolls as props, sometimes only our collective imaginations.  I just remember it was fun and that the air was filled with lots of little girl giggles.

Then, one day after making the short trek around the corner to Cherry’s house, her mom answered the door.  She told me I was no longer welcome there, because my family was “white trash”, a term I’d never heard before.

I never figured out why my family was considered “white trash”.  Maybe, it was because we lived in a garage in the neighborhood.  Or, maybe it was my Peppermint Patty stringy hair, and second-hand clothes; a regular ragamuffin.  I just knew that because of circumstances beyond my control, my family was thought less than others.

I didn’t know anything about racial injustice. I just knew I missed my  sweet friend with the great smile.  And, that made me very sad.

 

 

 

 

 

Mother’s Day

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I love this picture of Mom, Jerri.  She looks so natural, enjoying a picnic in the 1950’s.

Thanks Mom

 

Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:

“Many women do noble things, but you surpass the all.”

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.     –Proverbs 31:28-30

Since tomorrow is Mother’s Day, I’d like to thank my Mom for teaching me…

  • Frugality-I remember Mom taking me and my two brothers, Steve and Rich to the Goodwill store downtown to pick out one toy each for Christmas.  That’s all we could afford.  I spied the most beautiful doll ever, and wanted her to be mine.  She had white wavy hair with a gorgeous pink felt hat and green, shiny ribbon.  Her dress was a floral, brocade Victorian gown.  So lovely.  Even though the doll was priced “Goodwill” low, Mom wanted her even lower.  After dickering, Mom got the doll for 25 cents!  Incredible.  And, even though the doll’s head is held on by a paper clip, I still have her. I call her Marie-Antoinette.  To me, she’s priceless.
  • Kindness-During a trip to the grocery store back in the 1960’s, we noticed a young boy who seemed to be in a bit of a pickle.  He was riding one of those coin-operated rocket ships so popular back then.  Unfortunately, he had a cast on his leg, and it got stuck as the machine was going up and down(presumably to imitate the orbital feel of a space ship–it was the 60’s, after all).  Mom immediately alerted management to the situation, and offered to stay with the boy until help arrived.  Oh, she also bought him a soda.  I remember thinking that was so nice.
  • Culture-Mom made various attempts to teach me culture.  First was signing me up for dance class.  The high school auditorium where we held our recital seemed enormous. I still remember the song we sang.  It was called, “Woop, Woop, Woop, Here’s the Happy Wind-Up Bus”.  Real classy stuff.   I say “we”, but really I was the only one singing.  All the other kids were stage-struck.  Always a bit headstrong, one day I told Mom I’d rather stay home.  She said, “Okay”.   Since I didn’t want to learn dance, Mom figured maybe I’d want to watch dance, and bought us season tickets to the ballet.  This I loved.  We’d get all dressed up, and Mom would take me out for a nice dinner.  Afterward, we’d see the ballet.  So wonderful.  Turns out I’m a better observer of dance than performer.  Lastly, with her wonderful bargaining skills, Mom bought me a piano, and started taking me to piano lessons.  A nice side-effect to music lessons is improved mathematics ability.  I shudder to think where my math skills would have been without them.  Yes, Mom tried to get me “cultured-up”.  But, it’s difficult with a girl who’s middle name was “Grace”, at least that’s what my Dad said, and who once re-enacted the opening scene to the Dick Van Dyke show for real upon entering our house.  Maybe I should have stuck with the dance lessons a little longer.
  • Commitment-Mom and Dad have been married over sixty-one years.  Their marriage is a real testament to love and commitment.  They’ve both grown and adapted as the years have passed.  And, they’ve done it together.  And, even though they are different as night and day, Mom and Dad make it work.  What an example of a good relationship.
  • To be Christ-Centered-Mom is a God-fearing woman.  Always has been.  So grateful for her prayers.  What a blessing she is to me and our family.

I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life–bad choices.  But, it occurs to me that the one choice I didn’t make was who my parents were.  I hit the jackpot.  And, when it comes to Mothers, God blessed me with the best.

I love you, Mom.  Happy Mother’s Day!

 

 

Timing is Everything–The Suprep Bowl

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It’s Super Bowl Weekend.  Over one billion wings, ten million pounds of ribs,  and two million pizzas will be devoured, along with three-hundred twenty-five gallons of beer imbibed.  Now, that’s a party.  Whenever the Super Bowl comes around, it reminds me of something that happened a few years ago.

The time had come for my, now, ex-husband, to schedule his colonoscopy.  For anyone who’s gone through this before, it’s not the procedure itself that’s difficult.  Because, you’re totally knocked out while the unthinkable is happening.  It’s the preparations you go through leading up to the colonoscopy that are, to put it mildly, a pile of crap.  Think of the scene from “Dumb and Dumber”, after Jeff Daniels’ character has taken a butt-load of laxatives courtesy of his jealous friend, played by Jim Carrey.

The Prep before having a colonoscopy are as follows:

  1. You see your Dr. who refers you to a Gastroenterologist.
  2. During the initial visit, the Gastroenterologist gathers your vitals, like weight, blood pressure, etc…and, gives a brief overview of the procedure.
  3. Finally, you’re given a prescription, sometimes pills, sometimes liquid goo, guaranteed to “clean you out” the day before, so nothing gets in the way of the results.

Between the horse-pills, and the goo, my ex-husband chose the goo(known as Suprep).  In addition to the goo, you’re allowed to have certain clear liquids, like broth and Crystal Light, along with popsicles.  That’s it.  Just make sure that whatever you have it’s light colored, not red or purple.  Might interfere with the “dye”-gnosis.

My ex is a big guy.  So, he loaded up on tons of chicken broth and citrus popsicles.  Special preparations made, he was ready to go, so to speak.

There was just one problem.  He’d scheduled his colonoscopy for the day after the Super Bowl.  Which meant that during the Super Bowl, arguably the biggest snack day of the year, my ex-husband was sipping chicken broth and sucking popsicles.  Of course, being the supportive wife that I was, I ate tons of boneless wings, Rotel Dip and chips.  Yum!  I did, however, cheer on my ex each time he successfully made it to the toilet; which, in fact, outnumbered Tom Brady’s touchdowns.  Impressive.

The following morning, we showed up for the colonoscopy appointment.  My ex walked up to the front desk to sign-in.  Perusing the list of patients scheduled for the day, the puzzled receptionist said, “I can’t seem to locate your name”.  After further research, however, she found it–on next week’s schedule.

 

 

 

*By the way, this story was told with ex-husband’s approval, God Bless him.

 

 

 

Sixty Years…And Counting

…as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.  Joshua 24:15

On August 10, 1957, Jerri said “I do” to Jerry. That’s when Mom and Dad officially became a married couple. A few years earlier, mom called dad, a member of her Sunday School Class,  to see if he wanted to buy tickets to her band concert. Her exact words were, “Would you like to go to my band concert”? Dad, something of a playboy, assumed mom was asking him out, and said, “Sure. What time should I pick you up”? The rest, as they say, is history.
Sixty years is a lot of living, especially with another person in such close proximity. Mom and dad have completely different personalities. Opposites, really do attract. For instance, mom is more prone to read a book while dad likes to watch Reality TV. Mom prefers peace and quiet, and dad likes loud and boisterous, which pretty much describes him to a tee. Mom’s an introvert, dad, you guessed it, an extrovert. I guess opposites really do attract. In spite of their obvious differences, this unlikely pair has managed to stay together sixty years—and rather happily, I might add.
So, what’s the secret to their success? Sixty Years is known as the Diamond Anniversary. Here’s why…
The quality of a diamond is measured by the so-called 4Cs: Color, Clarity, Cut and Carats. Likewise, the quality of a long-term relationship is determined by the 5Cs of Commitment, Character, Communication, Comic-Relief, and Christ-Centered.
Commitment– The marriage vows weren’t just something they said during the wedding. They lived them. “For richer, or poorer”-when dad lost his job our family of five moved in with mom’s parents; a one-car garage that my grandpa had remodeled. Funny, I don’t remember the situation being difficult, though I’m sure it was—there were eight humans and one toilet. You do the math. But, what I do remember is how much fun I had staying with my grandparents, eating dinner with them, and playing “hangman” on the blackboard my grandpa had made for me and my brothers. Who needs video games!?
Character-It takes a lot of character to admit you’re wrong. Even more important, learn to “pick your battles”. It means being faithful and truthful. Honesty is important. Forgiveness, crucial.
Communication-And, not just verbally. It’s gently holding each other’s hand. It’s dad getting mom her first cup of coffee in the morning. It’s mom giving dad a kiss as he’s on his way out the door. And, dad returning her kiss when he arrives back home. And, when they argue, it looks more like an episode of “Burns and Allen”, an old comedy starring the real married couple of George Burns and Gracie Allen. The words are never mean, never cruel or hurtful. In fact, I’ve never heard my parents utter a single cuss word. Something I find absolutely astounding and charming. I really admire that.
Comic-Relief-In crowds, my dad’s the center of attention. A real hoot. He makes you laugh. More important, he makes my mom laugh. And, that’s a good thing. A very good thing. Mom’s been known to throw in some well-timed “zingers” of her own. Laughter is not only good for your health, it’s good for your marriage.
Christ-Centered-Last, but most important, mom and dad keep Christ at the center of their relationship.

I still can’t believe mom and dad have been married sixty years. This weekend our family will be celebrating their Diamond Anniversary. A diamond’s quality is determined by the 4Cs. And, the quality of mom and dad’s relationship can be summed up in 2Js—Jerry and Jerri.

Love ya’ Mom and Dad.

The Party’s Over…

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Hope you had fun on New Year’s Eve.  I had a very tame New Year’s Eve.  When you get to be a woman of a certain age,  like me, tame is okay.  I’ve already done my share of partying.  My last real New Year’s shindig, MC Hammer was singing “Can’t Touch This” over the speaker.  Stop laughing.

My partying days are long gone.  Last night, for instance, my “partying” consisted of watching Kathie Lee and Hoda on TV pretending to have fun at a New Year’s party.  Whoop- di- doo!  I went to bed at 10:30.  I figured New York would drop the ball whether I was watching or not.

I was sleeping peacefully until a boom woke me up around midnight.  A neighbor shot off some fireworks, or my husband was reacting to the mushroom puffs he’d eaten earlier in the evening.  Either way, excitement was definitely in the air, at least momentarily.

Have a Happy 2017 that’s full of life, laughter, and love.  God Bless and Party On…

Thanksgiving…Not Just a Day in November

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Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;let us make a joyful noise to Him with songs of praise!

Psalm 95:2

So much to be thankful for…and the turkey and dressing aren’t too bad, either!  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

It’s Fall, Y’all!

 

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…

Ecclesiastes 3:1

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Fall, my favorite time of the year.  With all the amazing colors, football and festivals, what’s not to love?  Hope you can get out and enjoy it before the colors fade!

Pray, Vote, and Trust God

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I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people–for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

–1 Timothy 2:1-2

  • Pray for wisdom, our country, and our leaders.
  • Vote–it’s our right and privilege.
  • Trust God; it will work out for good.

Remember to vote!  God Bless America!

I Ain’t Afraid of No Ghost

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The Lord is my Light and my Salvation–whom shall I fear or dread?  The Lord is the Refuge and Stronghold of my life–of whom shall I be afraid?

–Psalm 27:1

Take that, Ghostbusters!