- I finally saw Bohemian Rhapsody on Sunday afternoon. I’m still singing in my head.
- Some people should not be allowed to drive. Yep, dude in the black Beemer tailgating my new car, I’m talking to you. #%?!*#%
- I’m already tired of wrapping gifts, and I’m not even halfway done.
- How can two seemingly identical bras, in the same size, from the same shop, fit so differently? #BuyersRemorse #RightBoobSquashed #BreathingNotOptional
- Great football this past weekend. #HowAboutThemCowboys
- My Apple Watch is something of a bully. I’ll get up when I damned well please! Okay, now is good.
- I like bullet points.
- Sometimes so-called “relaxation” music is anything but. Listen, if you want me to relax, don’t put any sudden changes in the track.
- Bradley Cooper is hot.
- If you’re still reading, you’ll know I really had nothing much to say today. Thanks for hanging in there.
- I always wanted a tumbleweed Christmas tree.
- There aren’t any tumbleweeds in Florida, as far as I know.
- Jenna Bush Hagar seems like such a sweet young woman. #TodayShow
- When I die, will someone take my ashes on a cross country train ride?
- I’m not on the shortlist for Time magazine’s Person of the Year. Again.
- Did I mention how much I loved Bohemian Rhapsody? And bullet points?
If in death I succumb to the depths of a cold, dark grave, my dear,
Heart stalled permanently; no sights to see, nor sounds to hear,
Then why waste time on costly coffin accoutrement?
My nakedness will not offend worms in search of nutrients.
Why sing songs, most mournful dirges to send me on my way?
Just close the lid and lock it tight against the light of day.
Better still to light a pyre, or set adrift in Viking ship
Burning boldly through the night, ashes sifting, soul adrift.
Note: Look for more of Julie Powell’s photography at juliepowell2014.wordpress.com
Earlier this week my mother-in-law, Saint Helen, called to let us know that her beloved brother-in-law, our Uncle Junior, had passed away. Junior was one of the best men I ever met. He always had a smile and a story to tell. Every Sunday he’d call Saint Helen and they’d share their week’s adventures. Even in his last years Junior would be out on his large property in Oklahoma tending to chores that would be daunting to much younger men. He was quite a man.
I also lost a friend I met in a Facebook group of political progressives, and while we never met face to face, Thom’s death hit me hard. He was a retired Methodist minister who lived a life of service to others. His heart was huge and his sense of humor kept us all on our toes. He shared his beautifully written prayers with us along with his calming and deep wisdom. Even in his last days he was posting puns on Facebook to cheer us up. The world has lost a great man.
Then just this morning I learned that a friend from my hometown was hit by a car and killed. I hadn’t seen Roy in years, but he was like a big brother to me when I was in high school. He had a big personality and an even bigger heart. I’m so sad for his family and for all who knew him. Another good guy gone.
Life is short. Hug your loved ones, cherish your friends.
Don’t be shocked by another school shooting, the eleventh in this brand new year.
Don’t tell me we are better than this; obviously, we are not.
Don’t send up thoughts and prayers. God honors action, not weepy hand-wringing.
Don’t try to console me; your words are empty.
Don’t tell me you are pro-life when clearly you support the industry of death.
Lately I feel like I’m living under a cloud. Not a happy, fluffy cloud, but not a threatening one, either. Just a cloud.
Well, that one is a little too cute, and vaguely resembles a politician, but you get my drift.
Am I depressed? Maybe. Fall is always a tough time for me. My mom passed away on a beautiful fall day 22 years ago, and since her death I view the season with mixed emotions. Fall has always been my favorite time of year, but some days, like this one, it’s difficult to muster the energy to get out of bed.
Thank goodness I have some upcoming events to prepare for, forcing me to get a move on, otherwise I’d burrow beneath my covers and perhaps never emerge again. That’s pretty pitiful, am I right?
I know this all will pass. Today just seems very hard–and it’s only 7:30 a.m. Thanks for reading. Some days writing this blog is my motivation to participate in life. Now go away little cloud.
Will you enter this long sleep with clear conscience, exalted by your good works, camouflaged by your religion?
If you expect pointed fingers to catch you out, they won’t be mine. I’ve hurt my share of people, filled my own bucket with
The dregs of guilt and regret. If anything I will be the one to offer reconciliation, but without the artifice of narrow beliefs.
Think now on those you’ve wronged, those whose affections you’ve betrayed, while anyone without sin casts the first stones.
Will we take our guns to church now?
Jesus take the wheel, but leave me my pistol
Dylan Roof opened fire in a South Carolina prayer meeting
Now more dead occupy the pews in Texas
Just wondering which firearm goes best with Psalms.
Yea, tho I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil,
For I am armed with a semi-automatic weapon.
No doubt lawmakers will offer meaningless thoughts and prayers
Their mantra sounding weaker by the hour
Who will answer for these deaths?
Who will offer a solution?
Chaos does not sleep
Just points his gun and takes aim
Chips fall where they may
Collect your fallen
Move along, nothing to see
Prayers and thoughts sent
What’s one more life lost?
After Sandy Hook we shed
Once upon a time I was a teacher. I wasn’t a great teacher, nor was I an awful one. I loved being with young people all day long, but I am a woman of little patience, and that is not a good thing when working with active children.
While I taught students in grades three through seven at various times in my career, by far my favorite years were those I spent teaching English to middle schoolers. I know what you’re thinking, “How’d someone with Leslie’s blatant disregard for the rules of grammar ever teach English?”
Shucks, y’all. I had a teaching manual. Duh. Seriously, though, before I began blogging I was much more cognizant of, and adherent to, those pesky rules. Now it’s “Rules, Shmules” most days. But this post really isn’t about me. Gasp!
One of the first assignments I gave as a seventh grade English teacher was for students to write about something important that had happened in their lives. It could be something funny or frightening, happy, or sad. I’m not even sure I placed a word count requirement on this paper, I just wanted to get to know the students better and to get a feel for their individual writing abilities.
I was shocked and pleased that those seventh graders went immediately to work, and after I’d read their rough drafts I knew that the students who wanted to share their stories with their classmates should have the opportunity to do so. Much of what they’d handed in was so honest that it had to be worth more than just a grade.
After making some editing and proofreading suggestions on each of the ninety or so papers (I taught four sections of English), I handed back the papers and told my students how proud I was to have them in my class, and that once they’d written their final copy I’d open up the floor for anyone who chose to share.
Now seventh graders are an interesting lot. I figured I’d have perhaps twenty percent of each class volunteer to read their papers. Instead, every single student shared their stories. And what an experience that became! I’m sure we spent way too much time on this activity, but my students and I bonded over these stories.
One athletic young man had us all in stitches as he told of the time he and his buddies got into his older sister’s closet and put on various pieces of her clothing, including tutus and swimsuits. and wore them to dinner, much to the horror of his sister and the amusement of his parents.
A shy young woman told of being chased by a vicious dog while riding her bike and being rescued by another dog at the last minute! By the end of the story her classmates were on the edges of their seats, cheering her on.
The story I remember having the most impact, though, was the story a quiet young man told about his mother’s illness. He and his father and sister were at the hospital visiting his mom who had been diagnosed with cancer. As the boy walked down the hospital hallway, he turned to his sister and asked, “Is Mom going to die?”
His sister became angry and told him that he just killed their mom because it’s bad luck to mention dying in the hospital. Their mother did die later that week, and the child blamed himself. The class sat silently when he finished, many were in tears. I was in tears, and I’d read the story.
The love that then surrounded that young man was amazing. Other students made a point to tell him he wasn’t to blame for his mom’s death. He knew that deep down, but hearing those words from his peers seemed to turn a light on in this child. I watched him blossom that year.
When we finished sharing, more than one child thanked me for allowing them to write about themselves. While I’d just been trying to help myself get a feel for their abilities, I got a good deal more. Extras like that are what make the profession unlike any other.
I’m a native of the tiny Texas panhandle town of Floydada. So was country music artist Don Williams. He’s much better known than I am, and that’s a fact.
Mr. Williams passed away this week. His music, though, will live on. I was a fan of his work, and believe I would have been even if we hadn’t had Floydada in common.