My new favorite sentence

How did “the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog” become the typical standard sentence that contains all letters of the alphabet and not “Sphinx of Black Quartz, judge my vow” which is objectively a million times cooler?

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What would you do?

A co-worker proposed an intriguing hypothetical this week. You’re given one million dollars and two choices: For one million dollars you can be sixteen again, or, you can stay the age you are and keep the million.

I will keep the money and remain where I am. You might not like the way my life looks, but I think it’s excellent.

The provisio on being sixteen again is nothing has changed. You don’t get to take your knowledge with you. Basically, you’re sixteen again just like you origionally were. That sounds like hell to me. Co-worker thought that would be the way to go, but then, don’t 50-something year old men wish they were sixteen again?

I was an angry sixteen year old. My mom remarried and we moved from the Dallas-Ft. Worth area to South BFE, Alabama between my sophomore and junior years. I was bullied in elementary school, and middle school. The girls matured that summer between middle and high school and I melted into the sea of annonymous freshman faces in high school. I had peace for two years, and then I was the new girl again in Alabama and bullied again. No. I would not return to my life at sixteen for a million dollars. Surviving hell once is enough for me, thank you very much.

Give me the money! I can buy a lot of coffee with a million bucks.

Having a wonderful time! Wish you were here.

I could be doing this wrong

Try as I might, I think I’m doing it wrong.

The x-husband told me he is fiercely protective of his wife. She is his priority. I know others who say that, too, that their spouse/partner is their priority and the kids come second. Spouse first; kids second.

The mystery of marriage is when two become one. We leave our parents and become one with our spouse. This is how it’s supposed to be, isn’t it?

I am one of the people who put my children first. Kids first; spouse second, and I’ll tell you why. I am flesh and blood related to my kids. I can replace a husband, but I will only get the kids I was given. We are familyand blood is thicker than water.

This could be a reason the x-husband is not the current husband: I always placed our children above him. I’ve remarried, and I still put my (grown) children above my husband. Don’t get me wrong. I love my husband. He is my very best friend. We’re soulmates. But, my kids (even though they’re grown men in their mid to late 20’s) are my kids, no matter what.

A Christian counselor once said some of us make our children idols. I took exception to that. Jesus Christ is number one in my life. My children are second to Him. He gave them to me, not to anyone else. It’s my job to take care of them and grow them into good men. Husband and x-husband were someone else’s responsibilty to raise.

I could very well wind up alone, living in one of my sons’s spare bedrooms, with a daughter-in-law who might or might not like me. I think we’ll get along okay if she’ll drink coffee with me, and love her children like a mama bear.

Having a wonderful time! Wish you were here.

That time I had to choose this or that

There’s an amazing class in San Antonio next month I would love to attend. It’s only $365. I can come up with $365.

I’ll need a place to stay for four nights. I found great deals on Travelocity for motels that will run about $200. That’s a bargain!

I certainly can come up with $500!

However, I haven’t figured in taxes, or gas, or food. I eat a lot of food. Now we’re up another two hundred bucks, maybe three.

If I really want this, I’ll figure out how to make it happen. Light bulb! I can sell some stuff I never use and is taking up space!

There’s the Seth Thomas clock I got as a wedding gift in 1978. It was very old then so it’s certainly a valuable antique now.

What about the clock my grandfather bought in Occupied Japan after WWII? Or my grandmother’s Noritake china (service for twelve) stamped “Made in Occupied Japan?”

My Depression glass cake stand, pitcher and glasses, and Noritake Bluebell snack set. All in storage. All worth something!

All of these things have been carefully wrapped in layers of newspapers, gently cradled in cardboard boxes, and hand carried for every move I’ve ever made. FRAGILE! DO NOT DROP! — overly punctuated in permanent marker on the outside of the boxes, me watching over each of them to ensure their safety.

One afternoon in the 80’s I came home from work to an unlocked front door. I was outraged that someone had let themselves into my apartment. A quick scan showed they’d taken my VCR and 12” portable black and white TV, and my VHS camcorder. Never mind that! I checked to make sure my family treasures were unharmed! And, they were untouched.

It took me a while to replace the cumbersome electronics but I would never have been able to replace my Depression glass or my clock. Stupid thieves missed the real valuables. Mom thought I was silly for worry about that old stuff. No one would want that, she said.

Thieves who knew antiquities would want that. I breathed a sigh of relief that the bad actors who robbed me weren’t educated.

Now that I think about it, I don’t have anything to sell. I can’t sell my memories, heirlooms from our dysfunctional family. These are my things! My treasures!

Who am I kidding? If I wait a minute I’ll see something shiny and forget all about the class. Crisis averted.

It’s time for coffee. Here’s to you.

Get your flu shot. God loves you.

I take great exception to Mrs. Televangelist telling people they don’t need a flu shot because they have the Holy Spirit in them.

Mrs. Kenneth Copeland, did you take a battery of vaccines before you traveled overseas so you wouldn’t get yellow fever or maleria? When you were a little girl, did you eat the sugar cube with the polio vaccine on it? Did you get the big nasty scab on your arm where you were vaccinated for chicken pox? I bet you were filled with the Holy Spirit at those times yet you were innoculated against horrible diseases. The vaccines had nothing to do with your level of spirituality but everything to do with our human condition living in a fallen world.

I know a very Spirit-filled man with a powerful healing ministy. He is a mighty man of God with a powerful anointing. Six years ago, filled to the brim with the Holy Spirit, he contracted H1N1 flu and was in a coma for three months. He flat-lined and had to be brought back to life. He remembers his time in heaven and tells about it. The flu left him with weakened his legs and he walks with a cane. Because of Fr. Nigel Mumford, I get an annual flu shot, even though I am a Spririt-filled woman of God.

We’re supposed to take care of ourselves. Going to our doctors and following their prescriptions for care is wise.

You know that God made physicians and phrarmacists. He inspires them to practice medicine, to learn about how to help people stay healthy or fight diseases. God is the one who heals, but the doctors and nurses are his hands here on earth.

It is foolish to tell people to not get a flu shot and cruel to question their level of spirituality if they do get a flu shot.

Be gentle with people and guide them with love.

Now, let’s get some coffee.

The sticky note will be larger next time

I thought I was doing okay with my mother’s passing. I know she’s in the excellent place. I know she’s in that great cloud of witnesses urging me on. I know that in the scope of eternity, I’ll get to be with her soon. I know these things.

In my mind, it seems like it’s just been a couple of weeks since I’ve seen her and then I think I need to get over for a visit, and then I think, No, that’s not right. Then I move on, return to here and now with a faint thought that I’ll see her tomorrow.

I’ve been doing this for 2 1/2 years. I’ve been in a combination of acceptance and denial, and then I ran out of that comfortable place into the truth. Mom is gone. She’s been gone for 2 1/2 years and she’s not coming back. There aren’t going to be any more hugs or laughs ever again, and that’s the way it is. Period. End of story.

I miss her so much. She was 5’ 5” and larger than life. She was everything. When she died, she took the light and the laughter with her and my heart is shattered.

If I could stay in bed under the covers, I would. It’s difficult to concentrate or remember things. I can’t even crochet and I have crocheted for years.

Well, at least we’re stupid busy at work so I don’t have time to be weepy, or hide under the covers.

Yes, I know I’ll be 60 years old this year. I’m an adult. But, my mom hung the moon. We were very, very close. We were best friends. I don’t care how old you are or how all together you are, it’s very hard to be without your best friend you’ve known your whole life.

I like to think I was trying to take care of myself, but actually I lacked the energy or give a flip to do anything Saturday. The day began with thunderstorms and excellent sleeping weather. Benny knows when I’m down, so he velcroed himself to my side and we slept in. He was quiet so Nicky was quiet. Eventually Loving Husband took them outside for a walk. I unsuccessfully tried to read, and wound up watching a Michelle Pfeiffer movie, binge watch a comedy series on HBO, and napping. I didn’t even bother to get dressed.

Hours of sitting in bed kinks up my back. Same thing for the living room furniture. I was stiff and sore Sunday morning with a new pain shooting down the front of my left leg. With Loving Husband and the dogs sleeping, I took the opportunity to listen to a meditation CD in the front bedroom. I put a neon green sticky note on the door telling Loving Husband to not open the door, I was doing a meditation, and I would be out when I was finished.

Everything was perfect. The laptop played the CD. The volume was perfect. The desk chair was perfect. The comforting aroma of coffee mingled with Sharon’s voice. The temperature was even perfect.

Years ago Sharon led meditation walks with the Holy Spirit. They were phenomenal. Eventually she recorded her walks. I received more inner healing from these walks than I ever did from any therapist. I knew that I could return to that anointed place and my heart would heal. It happened before and it would happen again.

“Breathe,” Sharon said. “ In. Out. Count the breaths. One, two, very gently.”

I closed my eyes, and breathed. In. Out. One, two.

Of course there’s a car alarm going off. Ignore it.. Three. Four. Follow the breath. Up around my knees… They’ll turn the alarm off… six, seven, in, out…. This isn’t how I remembered this. Why am I not relaxing? Twelve. Thirteen. The breath is swirling around my head, behind my eyes… in ….out… my arms are light…. Stop thinking…. I miss Sharon… don’t miss the car alarm….

Sharon’s gentle, calming, even voice leading the way, leading the way I had been many times before, floating up, away to God’s arms, a real place, a place of peace.

Really shouldn’t have spent yesterday sitting…. Dang that hurts!…. in… out… breath…

“Shell? Shell? Shelly?” from the far end of the house, getting closer, looking for me in that small house void of hiding places. First bedroom door opened and closed, and then my door opened.

“Whatcha doing?”

“I was meditating. I left a neon green note on the door.”

“Oh. Sorry. I didn’t see it.”

He closed the door. I closed the computer.

No meditation. No mended heart.

What a waste. What a silly notion I had, meditating in the front room with someone else in the house. I teared up. My mom was gone and my heart was broken and my back and leg pain would eventually go into spasms. That’s just the way things go.

No weekend is complete without a trip to the grocery store, which is usually Walmart, which is always a challenge. A benefit of depression was a complete lack of interest in everyone else’s rudeness. A plus!

Abruptly, the back and leg pain vanished. I hadn’t taken any NSAIDs or anti-inflammatories but the pain was all gone. The kinks were gone.

When we go to God asking for help, He helps. He hears our prayers and is with us, no matter where we are. We don’t have to be perfect to go to Him, or all prayed up, or well dressed. We just have to ask. I wanted my heart mended right then, but He took care of my back and leg first. And he quieted my spirit so I could navigate the full contact sport of Walmart shopping without being rude in return.

Having a wonderful time. Wish you were here.