When I Get it Wrong

I’m not going to write much today. It seems that I worked myself up over something I manufactured in my head. I didn’t sleep at all last night wondering what I’d done wrong, who I’d ticked off, and how I should make amends, only to discover that I’d misread the communications that precipitated my presumptions. I jumped to some wrong conclusions and landed ungracefully on my face.

Sometimes I forget that I’m not the center of the universe, you see. I’m not responsible for all of the good in the world, nor am I the cause of all that is foul. I’m just an almost 62 year old woman who is blundering along in this life. Usually I can avoid unnecessary drama, but occasionally I’m a veritable factory of the same.

The sad thing is, jumping to conclusions doesn’t burn any calories. If it did I’d be able to fit into my size 7 wedding dress with room to spare. Here’s to trying to do better.

Peace, people.

King of the Road

Thursday morning NPR’s program, Fresh Air, featured an interview with Dean Miller, son of the deceased country singer, Roger Miller. Dean has compiled a tribute album, actually a double album, of his father’s music and was promoting it in an interview with the wonderful Terry Gross. I listened as I drove into Tallahassee to do some grocery shopping.

Roger Miller was one of my favorites growing up. Even when I detested country music I still enjoyed his songs: “King of the Road,” “England Swings,” “Husbands and Wives,” “The Last Word in Lonesome is Me,” and so many more. No one put words together like Roger, and the interview with his son brought back some great memories of trying to sing along with his novelty songs like, “You Can’t Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd,” and “Oo-de-Lally.”

I’m tempted to order King of the Road: A Tribute to Roger Miller. Here’s what LA Times pop music critic, Mikael Woods writes about the album,

Various artists, “King of the Road: A Tribute to Roger Miller” (BMG)

Country stars young and old — from Kacey Musgraves and Lennon & Maisy to Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn — crowd this double-disc set to honor the late Nashville songwriter best known for the oft-covered “King of the Road.” (Some non-country types show up too, including Ringo Starr and, uh, Toad the Wet Sprocket.) If anybody was worried about being overshadowed, though, you can hardly tell: What distinguishes the project is the care each act takes to respectfully showcase Miller’s top-shelf wordplay. The result is the rare tribute album with class to spare.”

Sounds like the perfect soundtrack for my autumn. Couldn’t we all use a little “Do-Wacka-Do,” and “You Can’t Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd,” in our lives right now? I certainly could.

https://youtu.be/UI-Y0CMGwxo

Peace, people.

The Offering Plate

In my little blogging world one random idea often leads to another, and soon a theme emerges. After I posted “Choosing My Religion” on Monday, a piece prompted by a sun beam shining through clouds on a stormy day, the feedback I received here and on Facebook dredged up some long buried church-related memories.

As I recounted in “Choosing My Religion” I grew up attending three varieties of Protestant churches: Pentecostal, Primitive Baptist, and Southern Baptist. While the three were quite different in terms of worship volume and decorum, ranging from the jubilant, yet often apocalyptic tone of the Pentecostals to the solemn certainty of the Primitive Baptists, they all three shared one thing in common–the offering plate.

At some point in every service the preacher would intone an offertory prayer and the choir and/or the congregation would commence singing an offertory hymn while the deacons passed the plates. There was a rhythm to the plate passing and an order to it that made this one of my favorite parts of the service.

A person sitting on the end of an aisle would take the plate from the deacon in one hand, deposit money with his or her free hand and then pass the plate on to the next person and so on until the plate was handed to another deacon at the end of the pew. It was a beautiful thing to behold.

No matter which church I happened to be attending on any given Sunday I always had a bit of money to contribute, either from my own allowance or from one of the adults in my life. Usually I had a quarter, sometimes only a nickel, but occasionally I was able to give a whole dollar. Those were proud days indeed, although, we were taught that excessive pride was a sin, so I squelched the chest puffing and smile that went with placing a buck in the bucket.

One Sunday when I was five or so I was with my Grandma and Grandpa Hall at their little Pentecostal Church in Floydada, Texas. Just before the service started my bladder told me urgently that I needed to potty. My no-nonsense Grandma took me firmly by the hand and marched me back to the ladies’ room, accompanying me inside so as to hurry me up. I might have had a reputation for lollygagging, and she was having none of that on her watch.

I placed the two quarters I had for the offering plate on the back of the toilet, did my business, and went to flush, accidentally knocking my money into the toilet. Thankfully I hadn’t pressed the handle, so a tsk-tsking Grandma had me pull a handful of toilet paper off the roll to keep my hands dry while I retrieved the coins, all the time trying to get me to hurry.

When I bent to pick up the coins with one hand using the toilet paper as a shield, I leveraged my free hand on the side of the toilet and accidentally pushed the handle, flushing the quarters. I started crying, but Grandma Hall got tickled. This stern woman laughed as she dried my tears. She laughed until tears of her own rolled down her cheeks.

I washed my hands and walked solemnly back to my seat, chagrined at having nothing for the offering plate that week. Seeing my Grandma laugh that hard, though, more than compensated for the lack of funds. It’s still one of my best memories of her.

Peace, people.

Langston Hughes’s “Salvation”

Yesterday I published a piece called “Choosing My Religion.” My friend, Luri read it on Facebook and asked if I’d ever read “Salvation” by Langston Hughes. I hadn’t, but rectified that mistake immediately. Mr. Hughes has always been one of my favorite poets, this piece I’ve linked to just makes him more so.

http://www.spiritwatch.org/firelangsave.htm

Here are some more of my favorite pieces by Langston Hughes. His words are as timely as ever.

This first one’s my favorite:

The next one needs a fervent “amen!”

Weird

I published a blog post this morning. It’s garnered a few likes. Folks have commented on it, and I’ve responded. However, it’s not showing up on my site. I realized I needed to edit the piece a bit (Thanks, Marty!), but when I went to do so, the post wasn’t there. This isn’t the first time this has happened. Any suggestions?

Below: Totally irrelevant photo of the back of truck I saw in Tallahassee today. Funeral Solutions? Weird name for a company. I guess it’s not that irrelevant after all.

9/11 in Trump’s World

Some things you might’ve forgotten on your way to vote for trump.

A lot from Lydia

Trump, in Pennsylvania, on his way to flight 93 memorial.

Trump tweeted ‘No Collusion’ before mentioning 9/11 today, on 9/11

Trump Tweets About ‘No Collusion’ Before Mentioning 9/11 on 9/11 – The Daily Beast

A brief history of 9/11:
Seventeen years ago today America was attacked.
The men involved in the hijackings hailed from: 15 from Saudi Arabia, 2 from the United Arab Emeritus, 1 from Egypt, and 1 from the Lebanese Republic.
None were: Afghans, Iranians, Iraqis, South Americans, or Mexicans.
Osama Bin Laden, was the leader of the militant organization, al-Qaeda, that these men belonged to and worked for. Bin Laden was a Saudi Arabian member of the wealthy bin Laden family who were connected to the Saudi Royal family.
Some of Bin Ladin’s family members were living in the U.S. at the time and were permitted to fly out of the country immediately after the attack, even…

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Choosing My Religion

Religion is one of those things I think about a great deal. At times I obsess over it. Now, I’m not talking about faith. Faith is something I don’t worry about. I’ve got faith in spades, up the wazoo, coming out my ears. Religion, though, seems much more subjective.

As a kid I was exposed to opposing experiences in Christianity. Through my paternal grandparents I was introduced to the Pentecostal Church. Faith healers, speaking in tongues, arms raised in praise and dancing in the aisles to an exuberantly played piano, were de rigueur in Sunday services. Every time I visited I left a bit worried I’d be left behind in the Rapture that they assured me was coming any day. That’s a scary thought for a little kid. I had nightmares for years and flat refused to read that once popular Left Behind series.

https://www.facebook.com/JungleVT/videos/2455207547954406/

In my maternal grandparents’ Primitive Baptist Church, services were much more restrained. There was no instrumental music, and every line of every hymn was intoned with what seemed a lack of enthusiasm. The sermons seemed interminable, as well, but I wasn’t allowed to complain or squirm–my great grandfather was the minister. And while there was some hellfire and brimstone preaching it was done more in lesson form, for the promise and security of predestination were deeply ingrained in all the members. I left church each time fervently hoping that I had more Primitive Baptist blood in me than Pentecostal, even if their services were much less interesting.

That’s the New Salem Primitive Baptist Church of Floydada, Texas, below, where I spent many Sundays.

To confuse matters further, my parents raised my brothers and me in southern Baptist Churches where services were much less somber than those of the Primitive Baptists, but a good deal more sedate than those at the Pentecostal meetings. In the Southern Baptist churches we had to get saved to go to heaven, and the Book of Revelation was mentioned quite often, but no one made me think that I’d be forgotten on the day the trumpets sounded. The organ and/or piano accompanied hymns were better, too. And instead of having to sing every verse, we generally only sang the first, second and fourth verses.

The carousel of religious choices in my life was often confusing. Why did parishioners in one church have to sing a cappella? How come we could celebrate in the aisles in one service, but would be frowned upon if we did it in another? Did God care how we worshipped? Was I truly going to be left behind or could I relax in knowing that my name had been written in the Book of Life from my birth?

As an adult I seldom go to church, but when I do I attend a progressive Methodist service. And, I love going to Catholic mass with my mother-in-law when we visit her in Texas. In both cases there’s a steadiness to the worship that calms and reassures me.

If you’ve lasted this long in reading this you might wonder what prompted my post. Well, on Monday afternoon I was driving home from Tallahassee as a thunderstorm threatened. Towering cumulonimbus clouds promised one heck of a storm, but there was a break in the clouds through which a golden column of sun shone through. My thoughts instantly went back to the days when I was pretty sure everyone around me was going to be gathered up and raptured into the heavens leaving me behind. I guess some lessons, especially those invoking fear, never die.

I’m still here. Are you?

(By the way, I found the amazing cloud photos on Pinterest.)

Peace, people!

Hell on Wheels

After Studly Doright and I finished watching the western tv series, Godless, I suggested we start the Handmaid’s Tale. It seemed like a nice change of pace to go from the wild west to a peek at a bleak future. After one episode, though, I could tell Studly wasn’t into the whole “Blessed be the fruit” and “May the Lord open” dialogue.

I’ve read Margaret Atwood’s novel more than once, and tried to coax Studly into giving the Hulu series another chance, but he wasn’t feeling it. I figured I could watch it alone so I tasked him with finding us another series. Apparently he didn’t get enough western fare, because he borrowed five seasons of the series Hell on Wheels from a colleague at work, and we’ve been semi-binge watching for the past week.

Set in the post-Civil War era, Hell on Wheels follows the adventures and misadventures of the men and women who built the railroads across the American wilderness. Hell on Wheels is the name of the moving town that accompanies the workers. Basically, this series is a soap opera set in the Nebraska territory.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun to watch, but if you dressed the cast of the Young and the Restless in hoop skirts and put six shooters on their hips you would barely be able to tell one series from the other. There’s adultery, back stabbing, murder, racial tension, substance abuse, uncertain parentage, and all the other stuff one expects from a good modern soap opera, just with muddy streets and horses thrown in to separate one era from another.

The cast is pretty, though, especially Mr. Bohannon played by Anson Mount and Elam Ferguson, played by Common. Whoa!

Okay, I’ve got to go. Studly has the first disc of season four queued up. I’d hate to miss out. It’s time to see who’s conspiring against the railroad and who’s causing a ruckus. Blessed be the fruit, y’all.

Peace, people.

ONCE I WAS A UNICORN

Take a listen!

Zoolon Hub

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA‘Sun Day, Sunday’ by Zoolon

I’m taking a short break from blogging. A working break as I’ve a bespoke new business website project to sort and a mass of other things to do, so rather than just sit here dripping on about the pressure I’m under I figure I’d get it all done. I’ll be back in a couple of weeks. I’ll catch up on your posts then. Be good, and if you can’t be good, don’t be. See you soon – for now a few words and some music.

Once I was a unicorn

Missed out on Noah’s final cut

Got drowned and born again for no good reason

Back on the city streets every entrance door was shut

I’d survived the deep dark, death wish waters

Though I couldn’t bring myself to say ‘Amen’

One step forward, two steps back

‘I’ll see you someday, as and when’

But…

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What is the Fine for Perjury?

Great piece!

A lot from Lydia

Perjury: the offense of willfully telling an untruth in a court after having taken an oath or affirmation.

What is the fine for perjury? Well, it appears you either get two weeks in prison or a judicial appointment.

George Papadopoulos, Trump’s first coffee boy (wink, wink), is serving a 2 week sentence for lying to the FBI. He was also ordered to pay a $9,500 fine, perform community service, and he must be on his best behavior for a year. GP is the first to be sentenced in Robert Mueller’s probe into Russia election interference.

GP’s lie was regarding the timing of his contact with Joseph Mifsud, a professor with “deep Russian contacts”, who told him about Russian dirt on Hillary Clinton.

GP initially said the contact was made before he joined the Trump campaign; the truth was he met Mifsud as a member of the Trump campaign. The consequence…

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