Well, we sure stink

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PHOTO CREDIT: PIXABAY Rasterlocke

I had a post all ready. It was this correlation between the disregard for human life as exhibited in the glut of school shootings, and the legalization of abortion.

My reasoning was that, no matter what we call it, or how good the rationale might be for it, abortion takes something that was alive and kills it. And an intelligent kid is going to wonder what makes a life a few minutes after birth more worth the government’s protection than a life a few minutes pre-birth?

Then I was going to espouse my theory that some disturbed people have internalized the question and come to the conclusion that there is no difference between a defenseless infant in the womb and a defenseless student in a classroom. Any excuse might do—the child is unwanted, the classmates are mean. The child has a birth defect, school discipline is unfair. The child and everything it represents will compromise parents’ quality of life, the school and everything it represents compromise the shooter’s power. So might makes right in both instances.

But since I research almost everything I write to death, I started checking on extreme abortion stances. That led to sites on extreme eugenics and that’s when I tore up (in a virtual sort of way) my 846 words ready to be posted to this blog, and decided it was time to kick the human race in its virtual rear.

Seriously. Humans are jerks. I, a human, raised by humans, am sick of humankind’s collective jerkiness. I am ready to resign my citizenship and become a dog. But the dogs probably wouldn’t have me.

What was I thinking, that our problems started with abortion? It’s just another scab on the leprous human condition.

Before 1973 and Roe v. Wade, “separate but equal” laws were in effect in many states and if you think blacks had access to perfectly equal toilets, jobs, drinking fountains, voting rights and schools, I have a lovely little farm with forty acres in Chernobyl you might like to buy.

Most of us pro-life people know that Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, was an advocate of sterilization. Oh, and she might have had some racist opinions to boot. But wouldn’t you know it. Just when I point my finger at her as a prize jerk, it wobbles over and lands on…Clarence Darrow! Yep. A big advocate of eugenics. While he didn’t support the killing of “imbeciles and morons” (because someone had to do menial labor for the intelligentsia. Truly.), he was all for chloroforming babies seen as unfit. Oliver Wendell Holmes helped make forced sterilization of “undesirables’ the law of the land.

Well sure. They were liberals. What do you expect? Then my finger jerked over and landed on none other than Teddy Roosevelt. And Winston Churchill. What? My conservative heroes? Then there’s Alexander Graham Bell. And even Helen Keller. Say it ain’t so, Helen!
All promoted, at the very least, sterilization of anyone who didn’t meet a certain standard of intelligence, ambition, productivity or morals. At worse, some advocated outright killing of the “unfit,” from infants to adults.

Of course we stunk as humans long before the early 20th century. We stunk before and during and after the Civil War and our “slaves are three-fifths of a person” policy. We stunk in France when we slaughtered each other in the Reign of Terror of 1794 and the massacre of Huguenots two centuries earlier. We stunk in Russia with the starvation of millions, with pogroms against the Jewish population (think Fiddler on the Roof). We stunk in Victorian England when children were just cogs in factories and we stunk during the Crusades when Christians massacred Muslims and we stunk in China and India and…well hey. Can you name a place where humans haven’t stunk? A time in history when some human wasn’t treating another human as something less than a human?

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PHOTO CREDIT: PIXABAY ranjatm

Seriously, I’ve had it. I don’t like us. I don’t even particularly like me. I was all ready to call out abortion (which should be called out as one of the most noxious). And then I start wondering when in the history of people that we’ve ever smelled really, really good? Never. NEVER.

Aren’t you glad I’m not God? Because I wouldn’t have died for us. I wouldn’t give grace and hope and the Spirit of the Divine to such a group of jerks. I would have tossed our putrid selves into a pit, sprayed some Lysol on our lingering stench, and left us to rot.

Not that we’d have an opportunity to rot. We’ll slaughter each other first.

 

Note- once I get over my snit I’m going to write a post on whatever is true and right and noble and lovely. Because really, if God didn’t give up on us, why should I?

Fishing for Compliments

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I’m guilty, I admit it. When I was the epitome of awkward, shy teen, I would have given almost anything for affirmation from my peers. (Compliments from Mom and aunts, although appreciated, didn’t really count. After all, they loved me. They had to say nice things.)

Sometimes the compliments from friends would be so scarce that I would resort to fishing for a compliment. Ever done that? I’d dangle the bait—“I look so gross today” or “I made these cookies but they aren’t very good”—and then hope someone would contradict me with a nice juicy compliment.

It rarely worked. Peer groups, especially in junior high, are notoriously good at sniffing out neediness and rejecting it.

Somehow I survived but recently I’ve been thinking about the importance of genuine words of affirmation. If you have a minute, follow the link to my post at Heart”wings” today. I always love company!

http://www.heartwingsblog.com/2018/02/fishing-for-compliments/

With this ring…or was it that one?

 

 

Or that ringSeveral months ago I shared my engagement story.

Engaging (or, How About It?)
Below are the rings my husband thought had sunk to the bottom of the river.

With this Ring

On top is the engagement ring. I flashed it everywhere in the nine months before we married.
I made certain everyone in flashing distance knew I was engaged by using my left hand almost exclusively.
I’m a rightie, by the way.

The ring on the bottom is the one my husband slipped (ok, let’s be honest. He jammed it) on my fourth finger, left hand, during our wedding ceremony.

I wore them through pregnancy and child-rearing, baths and showers, cooking and baking and dish washing and puppy house-breaking.

Maybe that was the problem.

About 22 years into marriage, which would make it almost 10 years back, I was fusting with my rings in church. Fusting is the act of twisting the rings on my finger, pushing them up a bit, down a bit and then back around.

Something felt different.

I looked at the engagement ring where the biggest diamond was supposed to be and saw only prongs. Can I confess that I probably didn’t pay as much attention to the rest of the service as I should have?

After the final benediction I alerted my family, who all dropped to their knees to examine the carpet. A beautiful thing happened then. Everyone is church started looking for my diamond.

But no one found it.

I put the engagement ring in my jewelry box and just wore my wedding band. That’s the one on the bottom with the three smaller diamonds. And guess what happened? Yep. Those diamonds jumped ship and the naked wedding band cowered in my jewelry box with the naked engagement ring.

My husband graciously did not remind me that I should have had both cleaned and checked periodically.

For a month or so my left hand remained unadorned and I had to fend off a ridiculous number of men who thought I was unattached and available.
I’m kidding.

But I didn’t like the no-ring/not married look at all.

My mother, not long before my dad died, had bought new wedding rings to wear since the ones Daddy gave her were worn thin to the point of fragility. She’d willed those rings to my eldest son, so he could use the diamond when he was ready to get married. He wasn’t ready to get married when the Great Diamond Fiasco occurred and told me I could wear the rings.

When he was ready to get married, my son could afford to buy a diamond for his wife.
So I continued to wear my mom’s rings.

I loved my mom. She was a great mom, loving and selfless and funny. Every time I looked at my fourth finger, left hand, I thought of her.

See the problem? When you look at your wedding rings, you should be thinking, “I love my husband,” not “I love my mom.”

But there were always other things to spend money on and Mom’s rings continued on my hand while mine sat in my jewelry box.

On our yearly Chicago Christmas junket last month, my husband pulled a small plastic bag out of his pocket.

Inside were my rings.

The ones he had given me almost 32 years ago. He’d snuck them out of my jewelry box, brought them to a jeweler, and had new stones set.

So now my mom’s rings can go to my son to do with as he wishes.

And I can look at my fourth finger, left hand, and be reminded that That’s right! I do love my husband!

The Perennial Middle Child

This is reprinted (with a few changes to some previously irritating syntax) from Nov. 2015.

Version 2

Know what prudes don’t like? Short-shrifting months.

To  short shrift means To give little consideration to.
  A shrift was the penance imposed by a priest to provide absolution.
 Death row in the good old days of jolly old England didn’t last for years.
 Usually one went from the trial to the sentence to the gallows.
 So they only had time to consider a short penance, or shrift, before facing the hangman.
 Every cloud has a silver lining.

The short-shrifted month to which I refer is November. Squeezed right on the back of Halloween, most participants on 11/1 are too sugar-dazed with trick-or-treat candy to notice its arrival.
Poor November grew up believing its real name was “Only a few dozen shopping days till Christmas.”
The typical middle child. Sandwiched between the over-achiever and everybody’s favorite.
November isn’t much to look at, at least in most parts of the northern hemisphere. October is a flamboyant exhibitionist, with its “look at me, everybody!” attitude. December gets grace and affection and enough twinkle lights to give Jupiter a migraine.

But the eleventh month is drab and modest and unmemorable. It shies away from weather extremes. Every few years it works up a doozy of a blizzard, or a few balmy, halcyon days, but they are soon forgotten in the gray chilliness.

No matter what November does, its reputation is set. It is the awkward, frumpy month. Occasionally it can be found huddling with March and grousing about ingratitude and kiss-up months like May and June that everyone likes even though they have no major holidays to commend them.
November may be disgruntled at times. It might indulge in spates of self-pity and drizzle its misery all over our windows, but it still has reasons to hold its head high. Cheer up November. Look what you’ve got to offer!

Veterans Day


After a shameful period beginning about 50 years ago, when the armed services were treated with disdain, veterans are finally, in some quarters, given the homage due them. November is the perfect month to recognize these men and women. Humble enough so as not to obstruct their honor under a plethora of picnics and three day weekends. Sturdy enough to support them on matching 11/11 legs.

Deer Hunting Season


While the season has been extended so far that Pilgrims are now applying for licenses, its apex is November. The quiet sky (bereft of birds that have sought out the warmer fraternal twin of November somewhere ‘down south’ ) is filled with the ringing of shotgun blasts. The drab woods are brightened with jackets, vests, hats and pants in that glowing color affectionately known as ‘blaze orange.’

Thanksgiving


The shining jewel in November’s dowdy crown. The holiday that exempts us from buying gifts, sending cards, and untangling two hundred miles of twinkle lights. The holiday that only requires us to cook our turkey till it reaches an internal temperature of 165°, include at least one menu item that vaguely resembles a vegetable, and watch football games through a poultry and carb-induced stupor.
November is waving its unprepossessing hand and wants to say something.
 Don’t forget to be thankful. Don’t forget to articulate the thanks. If you have the breath of life in you, there is something to be thankful for.


November remains out of the limelight and lets Thanksgiving take center stage, and Thanksgiving will gladly step back and showcase what really matters.
Gratitude. Hearts filled and overflowing and bursting with so much thankfulness that voices are raised to God and hands outstretch with shared bounty.
Never give the middle child a short shrift. A meek nature can hide a heart of gold.

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I like the fall

 

SONY DSCIt’s November and that means I read my favorite poem “The Mist and All.” I discovered it as a teen in my favorite book of my father’s called “One Thousand Beautiful Things” that my favorite youngest son had rebound for me a couple of Christmases ago.

In case you don’t have access, here it is. You’ll forgive me if this is about the fourth time I’ve shared this. Right?

 

The Mist and All
by Dixie Willson

I like the fall

The mist and all

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I like the night owl’s lonely call
—owl-1377983_1280

 

 

 

 

 

And wailing sound

Of wind around

 

I like the gray

November day,

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And dead, bare boughs

that coldly sway
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Against my pane
.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I like the rain.

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I like to sit

And laugh at it—


And tend

my cozy fire a bit

I like the fall—

The mist and all—SONY DSC

 

(Owl photo credit to Pixabay contributor Skeeze)