Excellence in Mediocrity

Monday, May 11, 2015

The Birth of a Mother

     Somewhere early in the year 1978 my Mom started praying a very specific prayer.  You see, she had just found out that her first born was due that summer.  Now you would expect this very specific prayer to be for her son – that God would make him strong, healthy, wise, successful…but you would be wrong.  While her prayer involved him, it was not specifically for him. 
     Assuming this boy would be at least somewhat like his Father she knew it was going to take a very special woman to take on the task of being his best friend, support, and voice of reason…his wife.  A very special and much prayed up woman.  She knew God had His work cut out for Him so she began to pray, diligently.  His future wife’s parents had no idea that a mother a thousand miles away was praying for their daughter.  In fact, they had no idea that they would have a daughter.  It would be another five years before God would bring them into his plan by providing them with a beautiful baby girl.
    On Wednesday, May 11, 1983, God initiated the first stage of his answer to my Mom’s prayers.  An exhausted mother looked down at that curly-headed smile for the first time and felt a love that nearly two decades later she would share with me.  I would take her daughter’s hand, her daughter would take my name, and we would take each other’s hearts.
     Now, thirty-two years later, Amber Lynn Solomon Gregory is a loving wife and mother to three boys that are enough like her husband that she is already diligently praying for their future wives. 
     No doubt the woman Amber is today can be attributed to the love of two mothers.  One that prayed for her without knowing her and one that dedicated her life to raising her and filling her with love.  Brenda Gregory and Wanda Solomon, you are both warriors and I thank you for helping my Amber becoming the woman God knew I needed.  Happy Mother’s Day.
    Amber, thank you for loving your Mom and your God.  Thank you for taking their guidance.  Thank you for not arguing with God when he told you I would be your husband.
    With each year that we conquer together our love grows stronger, your wisdom and support for me grows deeper, and your beauty grows exponentially.  You are a remarkable woman.  Happy Birthday.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Haunted Gully of Abbeville

It was the late 1800’s, a lonely inventor lived secluded in the woods of what would one day be the small town of Abbeville, Mississippi. He was a brilliant man and invented many amazing things but lacked the creativeness to give them good names. It was this weakness and his refusal to seek help that held him back and never allowed his inventions to gain acceptance. Up until this date in history his inventions were mocked and ridiculed. Turns out this date would be no different.

He rode into town with a smile on his face and a wagon load of small rubber duck shaped toys he called Phony Ducks. Surely these would bring joy to the children of the town and he would finally be accepted and make his mark on history. But the town’s people thought that Phony Ducks was a stupid name for a toy and once again laughed him out of town. Convinced that the world was not ready for such a technologically advanced toy he buried his wagon load of small rubber duck shaped toys and then disappeared.

Just two short years later Bryn Shaffer came up with the same concept, called her invention the Rubber Duck, and has been making bath time fun for kids for more than 100 years now.

Fifty years later the recluse inventor showed back up with an invention that could change the world forever. He had figured out how to split atoms and in turn had invented the world’s strongest bomb. He called it The Glowy Bomb of Doom. But the town’s people thought that was a stupid name for a bomb and once again laughed him out of town.

Again, just two short years later the Manhattan Project discovered the same principle, named it the Atomic Bomb and ended World War II.

Dismayed over his lack of invention naming skills he vowed never to invent again and went to bury his Glowy Bomb of Doom in the same location as his Phony Ducks. It was a cold October evening and a full moon lit up the sky. Upon arriving at the location he found that Indians had used it as a ceremonial burial ground during the years he was gone. With complete disregard to the known dangers of burying things on top of Indian burial grounds he buried the Glowy Bomb of Doom there anyway and once again disappeared this time never to be seen again.

Over the years the radioactive goo from his Glowy Bomb of Doom seeped down through the earth and released the angered spirits of the Indians buried there. Those spirits entered into the Rubber Ducks and now haunt that very spot every year on the night of October’s Full Moon.

If you’re brave and adventurous you can go out this Saturday on the Full Moon and watch for their iridescent radioactive glow and listen for their soft squeaks.

And if you’re a good neighbor you’ll bring your rifle and help me eradicate these pesky glow-in-the-dark ducks once and for all.

Glow-In-The-Dark Rubber Duck Shoot (Rim-fire Rifle Competition)

Date: Saturday, October 23, 2010

Time: Sight in @ 6:00pm / Competition @ 7:00pm (after dark)

What to bring: Sense of Adventure, rim-fire rifle (i.e. 22lr, 17hmr… there will be plenty there if you don’t have one)

Cost: $5 to cover the cost of the rubber ducks and ammo

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Fun for the Kids or Threat to the American Way of Life

The migration has been happening for as long as I can remember; always sometime around April. You walk out in the yard one day and there they are…everywhere…up in trees, in tuffs of grass, behind the gutter spout, sometimes even hiding inside of bushes – then the next day…gone. Nobody knows for sure where they come from or where the survivors of the kid raid go.

Officially, we don’t really know what they are. Unofficially, we call them Easter Eggs. They were given the name “Easter Eggs” because their migration occurs around the same time as Easter every year and they have a shape very similar to that of an egg. But their shape is where the similarities end. Unlike the egg with its white shell and runny insides that taste good fried the “Easter Egg” has a multi-colored shell and its guts (when not completely void of guts) resemble small candy bars, bubble gum and sometimes even…jelly beans.

Because of the eagerness of children to eat candy bars, bubble gum and…jelly beans, they have been led to believe that the yearly migration is meant especially for them. We release our children in hordes to find, capture and devour entire colonies of “Easter Eggs” in a matter of moments. These “Easter Eggs” seemingly pose no real threat. Their poor hiding skills and bright colors make them easy to find. And their poor reaction time and lack of situational awareness allow the kids to easily sneak up on them, snatch them up and trap them in meager baskets full of fake grass to later be torn open revealing their sweet, tasty insides. Meanwhile we just sit back and watch the massacre never carrying to wonder about the truth of the “Easter Egg” and never taking the time to ensure that the kid raid left no survivors…and there are survivors…there are always survivors.

Each year more and more “Easter Eggs” make the migration and each year more and more survive the raid. “My kids find most of them”, “There can’t be more than one or two missing”, “How harmful can a couple of sneaky plastic eggs be?” – I’ll tell how harmful they can be! Sure, your kid may only miss one or two…but so does the neighbors kid…and so does the kid down the street…and his second cousin twice removed…before you know it there are dozens of “Easter Eggs” evading capture and residing illegally inside your neighborhood. Multiply this by every neighborhood in the country duplicated year after year after year and it begins to get very scary.

These “Easter Eggs” are silently taking over our country! Before you know it they’ll be taking our jobs, draining our social security benefits and stealing our women! Go ahead and ignore the threat and one day you’ll pick up the phone to call a support line and have to press “1” to not talk “Easter Egg”!

“They aren’t all bad, they just want to make a better life for themselves,” you might say. And I might answer, “Are you insane? They’re plastic! What kind of better life could they have?” Even if only a small portion of this invading force has evil intentions, that’s still a lot of bad eggs. So you can bury your head in the sand and pretend like this is no big deal if you want but when you wake up one April morning to find young Timmy laid out in the yard with chocolate all over his face and an Easter basket smashed over his head surrounded by a bunch of evil elliptical plastic invaders covered in tattoos and wearing scary looking bandanas, don’t come crying to me.

Me? I choose to fight back! I refuse to sit back and watch these synthetic fowl progeny destroy the country I love. This is a matter of National Defense. The Easter Egg Hunt is no longer a game for children; it is time for the men of this great nation to step up and defend its borders. No longer will we sit indolently by setting our children out to take care of a job that should have been taken care of long ago. It is time to stand! Stand with me brethren! Take up arms and push back the approaching hordes! As individuals we don’t stand a chance, but as a nation we can push back this annual invasion and once again reclaim our borders. Years from now our grandchildren will read of our bravery in the history books and talk proudly of how their granddaddy stood up for what he knew was right and blew those little plastic oval invaders to smithereens.

April will no longer be the month of the invasion – it will be the month of our independence!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I haven’t experienced it lately but I used to have this regular dream about falling. The total dream lasted less than even a second…really more of a feeling than an actual dream. It felt as if not only my bed but the whole world was suddenly ripped out from under me. Laying there in bed my body would jump startling me awake – never an impact. Eyes wide open, now wide awake, heart racing like I’d just looked under the bed to realize the boogey man was in fact under there; I’d spend the next fifteen minutes struggling to rejoin the unconscious.

In the moments after while coaxing myself back to sleep I often wondered why the dream was so frightening to me. Heights have never bothered me – I’ve dangled my toes off the edge of the Grand Canyon, arms spread wide and felt overwhelming freedom but no fear. Falling doesn’t bother me – I’ve jumped from bridges fifty feet above the water, repelled off high cliffs and anxiously await the day I can put a check in the box next to free-fall sky diving. But then the saying goes – it’s not the fall that kills you but the sudden stop at the end.

There are several interpretations of falling dreams most of them involving some sort of insecurity, lack of control or fear. Then again there is also an interpretation that says that these are archaic memories from the time when we were tree-dwelling monkeys. The ape-men that survived their fall passed on their genes with the memory of the event. The dead ones did not. And that’s why so often you dream of falling but of never hitting the ground. Other interpretations range from an upcoming monetary loss to informing you that someone has lied about you – the later if in your dream you fall into mud. Judging by the facts that I don’t fall into mud in my dreams, I’ve never had enough money to worry about losing and I’m pretty certain my granddad wasn’t a monkey; my recurring dream probably had something to do with an insecurity or feeling of lack of control.

I haven’t had the dream lately. Maybe it’s because I’ve begun to relinquish control…If I give up control I no longer have to fear losing it. This past year I’ve felt just like in my dream that the entire world has been torn out from under me and I’m now in a free fall from so high that the ground isn’t even in view yet. At first I was panicked trying desperately to find a way to slow the fall, deploy a parachute or at least find something soft to land on. But now I think I’m starting to enjoy it. I’m no longer flailing around wildly tumbling end over end. I’m now steady; arms freely out to the side, legs tucked behind me, big wind-forced flappy smile on my face. Although I can’t see where I’m falling, I’m not falling blindly. God is in control…he always has been. I know there is a chute on my back it’s just not time for it to open yet. If I can resist the urge to pull the cord and take over I’ll get there much faster and with much less risk of being blown off course during a parachute slowed, personally controlled decent. So here’s to enjoying the free fall and not being a financially challenged, tree-dwelling ape-man with mud on his face.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Appointment

He was careful not to speed. He had a lot of ground to cover and not a lot of time to do it in but waiting for a cop to write out a ticket would definitely cause him to miss his appointment. He could not miss this appointment. He had one chance, one very small window of opportunity. He could not be late.

The drive was only twenty minutes and his appointment was still just shy of an hour out. But he had two stops to make on the way that could easily eat up the extra forty minutes. He looked at the clock in the dash. Thirty-seven minutes. His original plan gave him plenty of time to prepare. But circumstances change. Plans change.

The house was on top of a hill at the end of a long dirt driveway. Certain the driveway was uninhabited by over-zealous ticket writing cops he mashed the accelerator allowing the rear tires to slide as he took the soft dirt curves going up the hill. He knew this was silly, no more than a few seconds would be saved by speeding only in the driveway but it at least made him feel like he wasn’t wasting time.

He threw the truck in park before it was even close to a complete stop causing the body of the truck to lurch forward over the now stationary tires. Just seconds later he was shedding the clothes covered in the evidences of his days work and fumbling through the closet for something more appropriate. Something casual but not too informal. Something inconspicuous but not too ordinary. Inconspicuous. He laughed at the thought of the word.

Two minutes later he was out the door again. Wearing nice jeans, deck shoes, an un-tucked polo shirt and wool jacket he wouldn’t exactly match the standard attire of his destination – most would likely be wearing dress shirts and slacks or at least khaki pants – but he wouldn’t be underdressed enough to draw attention to himself. Besides, he was comfortable and there’s something to be said for that.

As he rounded the corner of the house into the driveway, the truck sat waiting for him, door open, engine still running, Alabama serendipitously singing “I’m in a hurry to get things done” on the radio. That last part wasn’t exactly true but entering the truck to the sound of a GEICO commercial just didn’t seem to fit.

Precious seconds were made up once again as the truck sped back down the driveway to resume the speed limit once back on the main road. One more stop. This time the clock read 3:56. Thirty-four minutes.

As luck would have it there was an open spot just a few spaces away from the doors. He whipped in and quickly hopped out of the truck. This time he turned off the engine but left the keys in the ignition. He would only be a minute and he wasn’t the least bit worried about someone driving off with the truck. This was Oxford after all, not Memphis.

The layout of the greeting cards was definitely not conducive to quick searching but he still managed to make pretty quick work of it. He found the card and its corresponding envelope and headed towards the registers. Apparently everybody thought this would be a good time to check out.

“You’ve got to be kidding me.” The words came out loud, though he had intended them to remain in his head. “I’m never going to get out of here.” These words he was able to keep contained.

Just as despair was beginning to set in, he noticed the Self Checkout lines were all empty.

“Perfect.” This word too was audible although considerably more under his breath than his previous statement. Still he couldn’t help but point out to himself that he was basically talking to himself. Himself then retorted with the fact that by pointing that out to himself he was again talking to himself.

He scanned the card, put it in the bag and pushed the PAY NOW button on the touch screen. As a payment method he chose CASH, using his debit card would leave evidence of his plans. Was he over thinking this? He feed the twenty dollar bill into the slot half expecting the machine to spit it back out because of some small crease on the corner much like every Coke machine he had ever tried to give his business to. He never understood that. “I’m trying to give you my money,” he would tell the machine. “Why won’t you take it?” It can’t be good business to turn down people’s money just because it has a few wrinkles. The machine did not spit his twenty back at him. It also did not spit his change back at him. That can’t be good business either. The screen now read, “Please see cashier for your change.” So much for self checkout.

“Just a minute,” the cashier responded when the impatient man forwarded the machine’s message to her. “I need to get a manager.”

Seconds were turning into minutes. Minutes seemed to be turning into hours. After the third time she paged a manager another person in a blue vest finally started walking their way. Meandering, strolling, not quite at a walk speed. She obviously had no idea how pertinent his not being late was.

She fumbled with her keys and punched in some secret code on the keyboard (it was 69734 she didn’t bother hiding her keystrokes). When the drawer opened her hands just rested on top of it. She didn’t reach for the change. She just stood there staring at the drawer. Everything inside him wanted to shove her out of the way so he could count out the change himself. He didn’t have time for this.

“It looks like all I have are ones,” she finally said with a sheepish smile. “I’ll have to go take some to another register to get you a ten and a five.”

“Ones are fine, ma’am,” his tone was short and he added ma’am to the end hoping it would add some politeness to what he knew wasn’t.

“It’s no trouble…”

“Ones are fine,” this time he said it with a forced smile and not quite as short of a tone. Realizing he had cut her off he added “Thank you” to make up for the offense.

She slowly, painfully slow, counted out seventeen ones then started trying to figure the change. She held onto the ones as she fumbled with the change trying to use the pinky and ring finger of the hand that was holding the ones to slide each coin from its compartment. He again fought the urge to help. Briefly he contemplated explaining his rush but figured that the explanation would only distract her from her obviously daunting task and therefore decided that keeping quiet would likely lead to the quickest recovery of his change.

His toe began to tap. He was using every bit of his will power keeping his hand from hijacking the change recovery effort and therefore had no will power available to keep his toe from tapping. She didn’t notice. It took all of her attention to meticulously remove each coin from its compartment using only the pinky and ring finger of her un-free hand and therefore had no attention available to notice his tapping toe.

Finally the change recovery challenge was complete and she turned to hand it over to the toe tapping man. He imagined her trying to recount the change one bill at a time, one coin at a time as she laid each of them in his hand. He wasn’t sure if his will power was strong enough to endure that. She didn’t. The entire wad was handed to him with a satisfied smile. He took the change and quickly headed for the door.

Unsure if he really wanted to know at this point, he glanced at the clock on the dash as he backed the truck out of the parking spot. 4:16. Fourteen minutes. Not as bad as he had thought but possibly cutting it close. His destination was no more than a mile up the road but traffic at this time of day was unpredictable and so was parking.

He made it up University quick enough but was stopped by the red light at the top of the hill. Using every second wisely, he removed a pen from his coat pocket and wrote a note inside the card. No sooner had he finished his note, the light turned green. The two cars in front of him continued across the intersection but he turned right heading toward the Square.

The Oxford Square consists of four things: banks, bars, law offices and really expensive places to shop. In the middle of the Square an old fashioned court house sits surrounded by a wrought iron fence, walking path and a few park benches. All the buildings around the Square are two stories with balconies on the second story. The stone and brick buildings, many with columns out front, have a high class look but still remain small town, country, inviting. In front of each of the building are an inadequate amount of parking spaces. Even if you found an open spot, the likelihood of it being on the same side of the Square as your destination was rare. Because of this, the employees that worked the many banks, bars, law offices and really expensive places to shop on the Square generally parked behind their respective banks, bars, law offices and really expensive places to shop.

Half way around the Square he spotted his destination. Southbank sat on one of the corners of the Square and he noticed a back alley that ran behind the bank and its neighboring shops adjoining University on the opposite side of the Square from where he had entered. He turned into the alley and slowed the truck to a crawl scanning through the cars parked by the back doors of each building as he went looking for her car.

He found it nosed up to a small open staircase with no more than six steps leading to the back door of the bank. The back of the bank did not protrude into the alley as much as the two buildings beside it forming a small alcove that the bank employees used as a parking lot. There was another small car parked next to hers. Both cars were blocked in by SUV’s, presumably driven by fellow employees. The back of the SUV’s lined up near perfectly with the corner of the neighboring building. Metal emergency exit stairs with a dumpster tucked underneath sat to the right of the SUV parked behind her car. The building across the alley had a loading dock height concrete porch with wrought iron railing. The porch faced parallel to the alley toward a larger open parking area.

The truck slipped into the only available parking spot in the lot. There was no view of the door from this spot but it was the only spot available so it would have to do. This time he removed the keys and slipped them into his pocket as he walked towards her car.

There was only one window on the back of the bank. It appeared to be the bank’s break room. It was less than ten minutes to closing time; nobody would be on break right now. With the card resting on top of the driver’s side windshield wiper he quickly walked across the alley to the loading dock porch. There was no one else around that he could see but he still felt as if a million eyes were watching him. He stood as casually as possible against the tall concrete porch watching the bank door to his left out of the corner of his eye. A large metal beam at the corner of the porch blocked the upper half of his body from view from the bank. The concrete porch blocked the lower half.

He pulled his cell phone from his pocket to see what time it was. Seven minutes to closing time. As he put the phone back into his pocket a truck pulled down the alley and turned into the lot right in front of him. It stopped abruptly just past him. The brake lights extinguished but the truck didn’t move. It was in park. It was nowhere close to being in a parking spot. In fact where it was parked was blocking at least three other vehicles from being able to back out of their spots. The driver remained in the truck. Unsure if the driver had seen him, he now felt uneasy standing this close to the vehicle. He didn’t want the driver to suddenly see him and wonder what he was doing standing so close to his vehicle…or wonder what he was doing watching the back door to a bank. He realized he was being paranoid. There was no reason for the driver to suspect anything. Still the more he tried to act like he wasn’t up to something the more he felt he looked like he was up to something.

The driver finally exited his truck leaving the engine running and walked over to a car parked just behind the truck. It became apparent that the driver was just changing vehicles. As he approached the back of his truck he noticed the man leaning against the concrete porch. Now it seemed the paranoia had shifted. The man appeared to be wrestling with the same thought that this at first unseen stranger might think he was up to something even though he obviously was not. This realization made the man who was up to something smile. The other man pulled a car out of a parking spot, replaced it with the truck and then drove off in the car leaving the alley and its small parking area empty once again.

The next five minutes crawled agonizingly by. He began to wish he hadn’t rushed so much to get here. But then again he couldn’t risk being late. The sun was beginning its afternoon decent and the air was becoming noticeably cooler. Any minute now.

Suddenly out of silence came chaos. The back door to the bank as well as the back door to a neighboring building opened and a handful of employees spilled out into the alley. She was out of the door before he was able to react but she didn’t notice him. Her gaze was fixed on the envelope on her windshield. The diversion had worked.

He crossed from the concrete porch over to the small lot and walked behind the first row of cars until he came to the metal emergency exit stairs. The SUV behind her car was already pulling out paying no attention to him. A self thought overworked employee worried about nothing but getting away from work. He moved quickly but quietly under the stairs, around the dumpster and behind the car where the SUV was just parked. She had just sat down in the car and not yet closed the door her focus still on the unexpected card that she was now reading. She reached out for the door to shut it, her eyes still focused on the card. But as she pulled it shut his hand grabbed it and yanked it open out of hers his head quickly filling the space next to hers. She jumped back with alarm and a squeal that brought obvious joy to his face.

“Hey baby.” He said with an obnoxious smile.

“You scared the mess out of me,” she scorned swatting at him playfully. “You’re lucky I didn’t punch you in the face.”

He just smiled even bigger.

“Happy anniversary, baby,” he said through his smile. “Come on. Let’s go get some dinner.”

Friday, November 06, 2009

No Wrinkles Available For Bad Memories

They say that every time you learn something new or make a new memory you form a new wrinkle in your brain. If that’s true then I must have a little OCD midget in my skull with an ironing board because my memory is terrible. The little overachiever is up there smoothing out all the wrinkles and doing his best to keep things clean and organized. Not organized like a vast library full of endless knowledge with a card catalog to easily retrieve said knowledge when needed; more like a house that someone just moved out of – there’s no clutter or mess but there is also a very noticeable lack of stuff. An old couch that wasn’t worth moving, a half eaten carton of ice cream in the freezer and one of those ink blot pictures in a broken frame hanging crooked on the wall that looks like something different depending on whoever is looking at it or whatever your current mood or state of mind is – today it looks a lot like a monkey in a row boat with a banana shaped oar wondering whether he should keep fighting the current or just give up and eat the banana...at least that’s what it looks like to me.

I’ve gone lately to keeping my thoughts as disorganized as possible thinking that if I make the midgets job miserable he’ll eventually quit and my memory will improve. I would just fire him but I can hardly justify firing him for doing what is obviously his job. Plus he probably has an OCD midget wife and three little OCD midget kids that he needs to keep fed and I don’t want to be responsible for the starvation of an entire OCD midget family. So I’ll stick with the disorganized thinking and the hope that he will eventually get fed up with the over abundance of work and the total lack of appreciation and go off looking for employment between someone else’s ears. Still, I remain careful not to be too disorganized in my thinking. If I push the little neat freak too hard he might fill my head with embarrassing false memories before he leaves and I’ll walk around for the rest of my life remembering the joys of my short term stint as a nun in my early twenties and making claims about how I invented the internet. It’s a theory anyway and I’ll keep you updated on how it’s working out.

Anyway, until I run off the midget, I’ll have to contend with my memory shortfalls. To list a few: I am completely inept when it comes to remembering people’s names even just moments after I’ve been told; I’ll tell stories to people completely forgetting about the fact that they were there with me when it happened; and people often remind me of events that happened when we were together that I have absolutely no memory of whatsoever. These are all things that would be nice to have stored neatly in my brain’s computer filing system for quick access in individual folders labeled “People’s Names”, “Who was with me”, and “Fun things I’ve done that people will remind me of later” respectively. However they seem to have been moved to the Trash Bin (My brain is Pro-Global Warming so it still uses the old Trash Bin rather than the now common Recycle Bin) or misfiled someone amongst all the 1’s and 0’s along with the memory of what exactly all those 1’s and 0’s mean.

Now I’ve completely lost track of the point I was trying to get to…oooh, look, something shiny!

So with my brain having about as many wrinkles as an infant’s fart maker on which to store memories I can’t waste valuable storage space on bad memories. When I say “can’t” I really should be saying “shouldn’t” because I do even though I shouldn’t because I can’t can’t. If there was anybody still reading after the first three paragraphs I probably just lost them with that sentence.

I’m not haunted much by bad memories of personal failures, bad decisions or embarrassing moments. I live my life with no regrets save one and that’s words for another ramble. The memories that seem to plaque my thoughts, rearing their spiteful head just when I thought I’d gotten over them are those where I feel I was wronged in some way. Saturated in bitterness the events replay themselves over and over in my head. With each replay my brain adding to them a last word on my part that went unspoken during the actual event…one last zing to put the perpetrator in their place, forever proving that they were wrong and I was right. If you were to produce an action movie based on the poison my mind feeds itself it would end with the hero and villain locked hand to wrist while the villain dangled over the edge of a bridge the hero’s weakening grip the only thing postponing the villains pending judgment. The villain’s hardened eyes finally begin showing understanding of his wrongdoing. As the hero’s grip slips the words “I’m sorry” trail off chasing their body of origin both growing farther and farther away from me and closer and closer to the judgment below. But this isn’t a movie and since I’ve yet to get any of those staring in these memories to hang from my arm over a bridge I guess I’d better find a better way to deal with it.

Truth be told no one has ever wronged me enough to warrant the fantasized retribution that my mind, poisoned with bitterness, bestowed upon them. To be even more truthful, I’ve probably done more harm to myself through my own personal bitterness than all those that wronged me before. I don’t want to be bitter. I don’t even want to think about the events. I just want to move on, lesson learned, stronger. But just when I think I’ve gotten over it the vindictive memory cunningly attaches itself to another pure memory and jumps out into the forefront of my thought dragging the happiness away and replacing it with frustration. As many times as I’ve snatched that bitter weed from the ground the root remains and it continues to come back choking out the good memories and spreading to take over my thoughts.

I plea with the Lord to take the memories away but He doesn’t answer. He doesn’t answer because He’s already told me once and confirmed it and He’s not going to say it again. I ignore the silence with defiance. My plea continues. Help me move on. Help me get over it. Just make it go away. Give me back my joy and direction. I’m willing to go anywhere, give up anything, do anything, anything, anything…anything but that. I’ve tried. I can’t. The thought makes me nauseous. There’s has to be another way. Of course there’s another way. Can’t there be another way? Silence.

I don’t want to call him.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Every other Monday night Amber makes a batch of something yummy that I’m not allowed to touch. Cookies, muffins, cupcakes...for the sake of this story we will categorize them all as masterful creations of yummyness (By the way, I have added “yummyness” to my Microsoft Word dictionary so that it will quit showing up with a red underline. Therefore “yummyness” is now officially a real word and y-u-m-m-y-n-e-s-s is its official spelling). I’m not allowed to eat said masterful creations of yummyness because they have been set aside for the girls in her MOPS (Mothers Of Preschoolers) group of which I am not a part. Not being a part of this group apparently means that not only am I not allowed to have one, I’m not allowed even a sample taste of said masterful creations of yummyness.

Still, because instinct forces me to, I ask every week. And every week I get the same “I’ll bring home what’s left and you can have it” answer. She has yet to come home with any “what’s left’s” for me to “have”.

This week Amber made a batch of cupcakes that were so moist that even gently picking them up to move them left soft little finger indents on the side. Only a thin layer of icing topped them as to not take away from the flavor of the cake. They were decorated with a ring of sprinkles around the edge that, though looked very attractive, I’m sure my stomach wouldn’t notice. I had to have one of these cupcakes.

Knowing what answer would come from straight forward ask approach, I decided to try a different approach. I counted them...17 cupcakes. That’s an odd number and just doesn’t look right. 16 cupcakes would look much more presentable. So, armed with this information, I approached the creator of these masterful creations of yummyness and with all humility pointed out the only flaw I could find in them...their number. And it worked.

As a dog that’s been chasing cars down this street for a long time, I really wasn’t sure what to do now that I’d finally caught one. I couldn’t just giddily skip into the kitchen and grab one. Before I’d have a chance to stuff it in my face the kids would see it and then they’d want one and the ensuing toddler begging would likely lead to me having to put my cupcake back and I wasn’t about to not have a cupcake now that I finally had a cupcake. No, I’d have to wait until later. Be patient, eventually the little likely cupcake spoiling critters would go to bed and then I could have #17.

The next morning I awoke and immediately remembered what in the midst of putting little likely cupcake spoiling critters to bed I had forgotten the night before. #17. Now the conundrum; If I wait until this afternoon there won’t be a #17; If I eat it now, I would be eating a cupcake for breakfast and cupcakes aren’t exactly breakfast food. As my mind continued running through my current options it stumbled across a memory of a similar situation faced by Bill Cosby.

The child wanted chocolate cake for breakfast! How ridiculous! And I said... and someone in my brain looked under chocolate cake and saw the ingredients: eggs! Eggs are in chocolate cake! And milk! Oh goody! And wheat! That's nutrition! "What do you want?" "Can I have some chocolate cake?" "Chocolate cake coming up."

Thank you Mr Cosby. Breakfast was wonderful.