Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Fixer

When you live in a house consisting of all men, there are bound to times when the testosterone levels become out of balance, the minds and the mouths are on different playing fields, and no matter that you have your face-mask strapped on and your catcher’s mitt adorned for anything that comes your way – you’re gonna make a bad call or get hit in the face with a missed word-punch meant for someone else. 

My sister and I are five years apart, me being the oldest. From the time I was an early teenager, we would stay home together after school and during the summers, and we would have chores assigned for our age capabilities. I’m here to tell you, that girl ALWAYS welshed on her chores and I ALWAYS covered for her. Because you can believe, more than just she was gonna hear about it if her responsibilities were not taken care of when our parents got home. I’m sure her side of the story would be different, but I’m the oldest, I’m re-living the memory, and this is my story.

Suffice to say, I learned from that early age how to keep people calm, how to please people, and basically, how to keep the chaos to a minimum. Because I deplore true chaos and loud, frustrated people; it all works my nervous system to no end. I know it’s not a fairy tale world, but dang it, I strive for it to be, I dream of it all the time, and I do my dead level best to make it so.

But let me tell you the downside to all of this: grown people don’t always appreciate peacemakers or all we seem to accomplish. Now my sister did of course, because I did her chores as well as mine so it would all get done with no fussing. Heck yeah she appreciated me! She KNEW in the end I would take care of it all, despite the fussing and bickering that went on while I was doing it. To say she had me pegged would be an understatement. She worked me like a fine-tuned banjo no doubt, but I knew it and did it for the greater good.

But grown people, they don’t see it that way. That you see two grown men battling for the most strength or power, each refusing to give or budge, to apologize or admit a misunderstanding – none of that matters when you try and intervene or to help. They see that as meddling, butting in where you don’t belong, because “they didn’t ask you to”.

Well I like peace and quiet in my home. I generally wake-up happy, and I like for it to stay that way, and whatever it takes to make that happen, that’s what I’ll continue to do. That I turn out to be the “bad guy” in these situations, well it sounds ridiculous, but it sure can happen. No matter, I’ll keep sprinkling my fairy dust, wishing for double rainbows and pots of gold, cause that’s how I roll.  

Friday, July 17, 2015

Batter Up!

I was sitting here this afternoon watching a baseball game on television. After a couple of dull innings with no action, my mind began to drift back to another place, another time, another game and different players. 

As we arrived at that long ago game we could see the boys heading to the outfield and the first one I saw was Hunter Suber, as he was the opening pitcher on the mound. I began mumbling to my husband, "What in heck is wrong with Hunter? Does he look different to you?"  Hunter began to pop his cap on and off his head, a nervous habit all men seem to have, and then I saw it. HE IS BALD!!! I mean like you can see-the-veins-in-his-head-BALD! I began to look at all the boys and they ALL looked different.

I could hear some parents beginning to laugh and some of them are talking under their breath. Then I heard Angie Suber LOUDLY telling Hunter's daddy what she thinks of Hunter's head. I was trying not to laugh because she surely did not think it was funny as they had an Olan Mills portrait appointment that next Saturday for Easter pictures! She looked like she wanted to tear his behind up and cry all at the same time.

I began to look for Zach, his position was far right field, and he appeared to look normal, his hair was long and curly and I could still see it at the bottom of his cap. He was so funny about his hair, it didn't surprise me that he didn’t succumb to the shave tradition, solidarity or not.

Inning over and Zach is next-up-to-bat. As I turned to watch, something looked very strange. I couldn't quite put my finger on it at first, but his hair looked weird. It was still long in the back, but it kind of looked like he had it tucked behind his ears on the sides - like a girl.

The umpire calls time, Zach steps out of the batter’s box and nervously begins to "pop his cap" on and off his head, and that’s when I see it - a curly strip going down the top of his head in the center, all the way to the back of his head, a MOHAWK.

I came OUT of my chair and was standing as close to the fence as I could get without jumping it. I leaned into the wire mesh, gritting my teeth as I said, "Boy, you'd better hope those clippers are still in that dugout, because you are shaving the rest of that mess off before we go home tonight"! He never even flinched; instead a slow cock-eyed grin started to form, he turned his head just slightly in my direction and winked – he WINKED AT ME!

It's a funny story now, but it wasn't so funny that night. I can still hear Jeff Suber telling his wife Angie “it’s just hair, he can wear a cap in the pictures and it’ll be fine. Now that’s some entertaining baseball folks. 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Peace, Love and Harmony

I think we got along better before social media came along, we followed the rules of etiquette that religion and politics shouldn’t be discussed in general groups and there was no Face Book or Twitter for public bashing.

This week two events, neither having anything to do with the other, have turned this United States of America upside down and inside out.

A very sick and confused young man sat in a church for over an hour during a bible study in Charleston South Carolina, only to gun down nine human beings, who would later be determined to have been his planned victims/targets all along.  So many things have been talked about and decided about, and at some point the Southern Flag of Confederacy entered the picture as a participating culprit and it was decided that ALL of those flags in the land must come down from their poles, come off the shelves of sale items, and be banned from every single government building and monument that exists.

I personally do not believe that guns nor flags kill anyone as they stand alone, but the minds who own them and carry them we can never really know, until a tragedy reveals the whole story. It is my opinion, that mental health is one of the biggest issues in this country receiving the least attention.

Then today the U.S. Supreme Court voted in favor of legalizing same sex marriages for the entire United States. I don’t know about your computer but mine absolutely blew-up about 10am this morning. So many pro and con comments flying in every direction, some simply stating their opinions, some so very happy and finally acknowledged, and some were downright ugly. 

On this matter, I sit in judgement of no one. I believe you love who you love and should be free to do so, marriage inclusive. To quote a friend of mine today “who am I as a filthy sinner to judge them or anyone, I only have to answer for myself when that time comes”.

The 4th of July is right around the corner, the holiday that celebrates our country’s independence and freedoms. Our right to live in this country with our own thoughts and opinions, freedom of whether we practice religion or not, and the ability to follow our own political party of choice. I’m just not sure it’s original meanings of those freedoms was for all of us to tear each other down with raw hate in our words and our hearts when the opinions of others do not agree with our own. We are slowing but surely ripping apart our own neighborhoods, cities, and small towns with all of this misery and hurt. We have got to learn to live together, among one another, with respect and love for one another, and let that bell of freedom ring true, not dulled with the thickness of built-up madness, hate and tragic deaths.

“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me, I was once lost, but now am found, was blind but now I see.” 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Hinged At The Heart

This is how my mind works about divorce: you’ve done all you can do, nothing is working, you’ve outgrown one another or someone hasn’t grown at all, and it’s time to move on. Now I will acknowledge for all the people who believe in for better or worse til death do you part, that I understand your commitment, your belief in the truth of those words, and I applaud those who live those thoughts until the end.

I also believe that sometimes, things are not just meant to be, including some marriages. I also don’t believe in the theory of “staying together for the children”. I divorced from my first marriage in 1996 and I promise you, my children had already seen and heard more than they needed to and our home afterward was free of tension and all the problems that came with trying to repair something that was terminally broken.

But I also believe that if you have tried your hardest and taken all you can take, that once that marriage is over, you’re not particularly ready to jump out there and do it all again. I’m really just not sure how you could just turn those feelings on and off like that, unless they had already been dead for a lot longer than you ever admitted to yourself or anyone else.

Late 1998 I would meet what I call the true love of my life. He would become a part of our everyday lives, every school event, my son’s tee-ball games, baseball and football games, building barb-wire fences in the freezing cold to protect my children’s baby puppies, and teaching them both lessons and advice about everything in life that would transpire and need explanation or conversation. He would attend family holiday dinners, some of our vacations, and every 4th of July in the back of a pick-up truck.

But that man and I would not marry for another eight years, I wasn’t ready, he wasn’t ready, and it just worked better that way. I made a good living and I could afford, without monetary pressures, to raise my children alone, in a home that I could provide myself.  Nonetheless, he was a huge part of our lives and my children leaned on him for all the things a father is for; and he provided all of those things without blinking an eye.

On July 2nd, I will have been married to that same wonderful man for nine years and a part of his life for almost seventeen years. When we would finally marry, we knew we were ready. That eight years or so of dating, yet spending an immense amount of time together as well as alone, gave us both an opportunity to see each other in almost every light possible, which for me, gave a much truer and more clear meaning to “for better or worse” than all those years ago.

Happy Anniversary to the missing piece of my complicated puzzle – you’re permanently super-glued into the big picture now; our big bonus-united as one equals all, family picture.