Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Legacy of Doctor Doolittle

* First let me say I would love to be putting wonderful pictures with my posts, but due to problems with camera, computer and my own lack of expertise they will have to wait until I know more about what I am doing.

Everybody talks to the animals. The question is, do the animals listen? The reference is not to commands such as Giddy Up, Whoa, Roll-over, Play dead, Fetch, and Sic'em, but comments we would make to another human. Okay, there are some people who might utter those wishes to an actual, living person, but, I think it's safe to say, they are in the minority, and would generally be ignored.

A lady friend of mine who has a parakeet is a good example of what I mean. Whenever she is in the room with the bird she questions him. With a brain-piercing and repetitive version of fowl-speak she cries, "What are you doing, Tweety? What are you DOING, Tweety?" Etc. The object of her inquiry languishes on the perch, totally disinterested and, "doing" absolutely nothing, while the neighborhood dogs begin a discordant reply of their own.
Birds don't listen, and even if they did, they wouldn't care.

Cats and dogs listen and care; each in their own way. Let's take dog's first because they are known as man's best friend. Whoever penned that litttle, "ism" must have been a gentleman , and it surely happened before women were allowed to get in their two cents worth. (Little did they know we would make it a dime.)

You've heard the line, "I wish I was the person my dog thinks I am." I'm sure everyone thinks that way because in the dogs eyes we are the Be All, and End All of everything good that happens to him. His life's goal is to spend as much time at our side as possible. Actually, he would get IN our side if he could. He thinks his master is the greatest thing since automobile tires and month-old pork chops. They have a one-track mind...you and/or me. We are the guys obsessive fixation. Naturally we talk to him. We ask him if he likes the new wallpaper, if he thinks the red slacks go with the yellow top, if he thought what we said to Aunt Lavina was funny, and his answer is always, "Yes." We can tell because he wags his tail.at everything we say. He's a, "yes" dog, but he certainly listens and cares.

Now, we come to the cat, definetely a listener. The trouble is I think they have overheard some Egyptian mythology concerning the worship of their feline ancerstors, and are costantly demanding their share. Oh, they're smart all right. They rub against your leg, purring and acting like humble little beasts in front of company. But, the minute you're alone with them, they whip out the crown and immediately let you know who is really master of all the survey.

In spite of that, the cat is a listening creature, and it is quite easy to determine. When you are NOT speaking to him he condescends to look in your direction occasionally. He may even jump in your lap. But, the dead-give-away is when you address the animal directly; he then looks away and simultaneously lifts his nose in the air. He listens alright, and he cares, but only about himself. You see, he thinks he is what your dog thinks you are...if that makes any sense.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Just an Observation

Back in the dim, shadowy past of my teens I never pondered. I was too busy doing the stuff that was making my mother and father ponder. Now, in my so-called Golden Years, which have me in their iron grip, turning to rust as we speak--I not only ponnder, I ruminate, meditate and cogitate. One of the subjects causing me to fall into these philosophical states is the incongruous use parents make of certain sentences.

A mother is dragging her child from the middle of a busy street where 25 cars have just come to a screeching halt; causing two near-heart attacks,and as much foul language as you are ever likely to encounter

"You know better than that!" Mom informs the culprit. Ah, but DID he know better? What do you think? Can a 5-year-old have a death wish? Was he sauntering along toward imminent disaster on purpose? Or, was he completely in a dream world looking for a playmate amongst the whizzing fenders? My guess is, the 957 time Mom said, "Don't go in the street," had gone in one ear and speedily out the other, pausing no where in between.

One of the dire warnings sent out by a parent when their child is about to smack a companion, dump their milk, bite the dog or fill the bathroom commode with enough tissue to wrap the earth around is, "I'm not in the mood for that today." Doesn't that presuppose that at some later time Mama will throw caution to the wind, kick up her heels and announce she is now IN the mood and her offspring may feel free to smack, dump, bite and reel the tissue off the roll with abandon? The kid could feel justified in trying again tomorrow--several times--and every day thereafter, until he turns twenty-one.

When we ask a question we expect an answer, but not always in the parent/child relationship. Remember the ever popular, "How would you like me to give you something to cry about?" (This is not used anymore as the threat alone may mean jail-time.) It's interesting to imagine a possible answer. Here is one I'm glad I didn't have the nerve to use with my own mom who wore her ever present switch in a side-holster. "Oh, I would love it! Be creative! Bring it on! There is nothing I like better than crying!"

Parents ask unanswerable questions of older children also. Have you ever heard a mother ask, "What am I, a slave around here?" Any response will earn detention measured in years. Why do suppose I still live at home. (Only kidding.)

The absolute corker of all parental inquiries is, "How many times do I have to tell you?"

This is obviously a problem of higher mathematics; so high, in fact, that it is unreachable by the brain of any human being that has ever lived. Neither parent nor child has the answer, thus, we are doomed to hearing it repeated in every language for all time.

A child is fairly sure he isn't supposed to answer these questions, but by the time he is old enough to be certain, he finds himself looking down at a very short person, saying, "You know better than that."

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


No one knows where it started
Or the date when it first began
It is definetely clear, however,
That it affects both woman and man

"Country Crazies," has them all
The older and the younger
And no quilt or grape-vine wreath
Can satisfy the hunger

From shop to shop they wander
In search of the ultimate, "fix"
But only succeed in easing the pangs
With a chair of willow sticks

Wild-eyed and trembling slightly
They are always on the loose
Reaching out with shaky hands
For a teddy bear or a goose

What the poor addicted suffer
Is not fit for the lips to speak
The burning need for an Amish doll
Is enough to render them weak

What will happen if they're deprived
Of a wooden-hearts sweet pleasure
Or denied the satisfaction
Of a new-found treasure

Why, they'll riot that's what
You can't fight desires so keen
Americana urges won't be stilled
Nor the quest for a Kitchen Queen

So relax rag-rug devotees
And Baby's Breath lovers all
A smorgasbord hypodermic awaits
To answer your hunters call

In old re-vamped Victorians
Shopkeepers join the daft
Selling, while longing to keep
Tin ware and stencil craft

The disesase is wide spread
With so many affected
That not an attic or garrett
Has gone undetected

Good Gracious! I'm feeling strange
Could I have the "Country" disorder?
Yes, I'm sinking fast-while gripping
A cloth with the, "Schoolhouse" border

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Of the Sad and Bitter Split of a Church

A lovely wooden chapel
Stands among the trees
Fashioned by the hands of men
Opened with High-Heaven keys
God placed it as a sheepfold
Offering still waters
And food from greenest pastures
For His new sons and daughters
Angels hovered near the scene
To view salvation
Looking on in wonderment
At every celebration
A wedding feast was readied
As the Groom drew near
Reaching out a hand for her
For whom He had paid so dear
Next would follow unity
All in one accord
The congregation all alike
A single heart with Christ their Lord
Wait! Heaven's eyes are focused
On the Earth below
The bride has sent an arrow
And now a cruel blow
Against herself she battles
In the name of love
With mercy flown away she fights
To stab and pierce and shove
While in the bridal chamber
A gown hangs...soiled
By wounds inflicted there
Oh, small-town maid
What have you spoiled
(Many years ago I watched a seemingly strong Christian fellowship split with an ugly judgemental, merciless spirit. It left a mark on my heart and I always wanted to somehow get the feeling out of my heart and replace it with understanding. Not possible, I have found.. Forgive me if I have over-used my imagination)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

2,000 year ago

The warm wind blew in Jerusalem
Tossing robes 'round sandaled feet
Hebrews hurried toward their homes
As the sinking sun inhaled the heat
The tax collector's booth was closed
The potter took in his wares
While in the nearby temple
A Pharisee made repetitious prayers
From dawn that day the maze of streets had teemed
With Roman soldier as well as Jew
And now the shadowed doorways stood
Like skeletal eyes...as if they knew...
That morning would bring a difference
Too awful to contemplate
An evil rage massed in the air
As Pontious Pilate dined in state
A coppery moon thrust upward
To join the glittering sky
And Earth knew a false serenity
While Heaven held back a great sigh
Tomorrow would bring insanity
A crowd so cleverly incited
With death and destruction and untellable pain
Yet man's old wrong would be righted
The day would be sliced with brutal shouts
With insult, sneer and curse
Even now, a stealthy figure moved
With thirty coins held in a money purse
(And in another part of the city)
It had been a solemn supper
Eaten in the oil-lamp gloom
The Master talked so strangely
To those in the upper room

Nope, that isn't all there is

Most of us slip easily into the waiting niche of middle age when it comes because, silly geese that we are, we haven't calculated correctly. Somewhere in the dreamland of our subconscious we think of ourselves as middle age at around 50-65.

Better give it another think unless you plan to make it to 100 because 55 years under your belt, and everywhere else it can squeeze in, means you already made it to Senior Citizen ship-hood.

When Senior citizen notices began to invade my mailbox with the news that I needed to be on the alert for the best deals in burial plots, health plans and adjustable canes I really wasn't prepared.

Is this it, then? The pinnacle of,"oldness" and all we get is a couple of bucks taken off our breakfast tab at IHops and various and sundry other so-called perks?

Personally, it ticks me off.

And, there is an added insult a title that the rest of the world uses to degrade us even further. You may have used it yourself as a kid when you referred to the ancient couple rocking on their front porch. They were the, "elderly," the really, really old.

Ugh, I hate to say it. Elderly is such a disgusting word--and only one place to go from there. The only partly comforting thing about it is the fact that all those who are working so furiously on their rock-hard, "abs"and their blinding white teeth will find themselves in the same position if they live long enough.

Sadly, I have actually arrived. My diabetic shoes, nearly non-existent, eyelashes, and the notation on my calendar for an appointment to have a cataract removed make it abundantly clear.

Some of you may refer me to God if I have a grievance about His plan, but, I don't, because my Mama

had a point, and a deep, abiding belief that, "The good stuff comes next."

At age 94 she headed out of here with a smile.

God Bless You...

Friday, June 12, 2009

They see me Comin'

If anybody knows about cars it should be yours truly; that is if ownership of ten automobiles withn two years is any indication. Then again, it could mean when I walk onto a car lot, the sales people see yellow, citrus yellow as in, lemon." They all have at least one of these at the top of their vehicular fruit bowl masquerading as a Porche or a 280Z. And I end up obligingly taking it off their hands shortly before its last gasp. Yet, cunningly, it goes just long enough so the warranty has run out. There is a never traceable timer inside somewhere, set to go off the second the warranty no longer applies. One minute after midnight of that day you know Big Trouble is knocking at your engine, or, more probably, in it.

Sometimes I have gone as long as 6 months with no car problems. but then, I get cocky and take it out of the driveway. Instant disaster. A terrible noise comes from the innards of my transportation. I get out and peer below. Lemon jui...er, oil, is dripping quickly to the pavement. Repairs will cost more that the vehicle is worth. Junk it and find another fruit stand.

I have become and infamous legend in my own time. I doesn't matter how much I remind others of the, "fruit factor," they believe I am somehow to blame for the demise of all those automobiles. No one will loan me a car--not my dearest friend or fondest child. I am considered a bane on anything from a carnival go-cart to a 16-wheel semi. I have even noticed apprehensive glances when I go near one of the grandkid's bicycles.

Whatever it is that goes wrong with my cars, you can be sure it is mechanically unusual. None of your run-of-the-mill starter or ignition replacements; nothing so simple as a dirty carburetor--no, no.

Unless there are bunches of you out there who have had a squirrel breathe his last in your rusted catalytic converter, my mechanical happenings are peculiar. Even the so-called trivial frustrations are magnified in my automobiles. Take the third car back as an example. It was lovely weather for a couple of weeks after the purchase--no need to turn on the windshield wipers. Then one afternoon I was out in the hinterlands looking for a rural address when a storm came up. The rain was torrential. I turned on the wipers for the first time and one of them-of course it was the drivers side- flipped off and knocked a passing dog out cold. Do I need to tell you the wipers were not covered under the warranty?

The car incident I recall with the most trepidation took place when I was at the stop-light in the small town where I lived. Pulled up beside me was a kid gunning his motor as if he wanted to, "drag." Not with this old gal. When the light turned green, I stepped gently on the gas, only to shoot inexplicably forward at top speed. I found out later the accelerator was stuck. I left an open-mouthed young man, several bystanders, and a pavement bouncing muffler in a cloud of black smoke as I was launched forward several blocks against my will.

I don't live there anymore.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Big Question

When the well runs dry
Or the pump won't work
Christians have a funny quirk
They keep on praising
When jobs are scarce
And the cupboard is almost bare
Believers do a thing that's rare
They keep on praising
When the car has quit
And the payment is overdue
God's children have a different view
They keep on praising
When the house is empty
with no mate to share the days
The born-again have the queerest ways
They keep on praising
When sorrow presses hard
And distress is everywhere
The Christian says a prayer
And keeps on praising
When the world is watching
To see the slightest stumble
God's own stay blessed but humble
They keep on praising
When the doubters pause
To see why we still stand
We tell them of the Promised Land
And keep on praising
That's a Christian
That's us...
Isn't it???
Good advise according to old-time actor/philosopher, Will Rogers: "With Congress, every time they make a joke, it's a law; and every time they make a law it's a joke"
Fits right in with today's government...right?

I can't resist using another one of Will's quotes: "So live that you wouldn't be ashamed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip."

Okay, one more:"What the country needs is dirtier fingernails and cleaner minds."

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Miracle on the Water

A Boat Ride

They settled down to get some rest
The fisherman and their Friend
The boat was like a cradle
The sea a hand to tend

Then the night began to whisper
With a raspy, angry sound
In an eye-blink there was fury!
Waves crashing all around

The men awoke with pounding hearts
"We're doomed," was their fearful cry
The vessel's seams were screechng
black waves became the sky

Panic filled the little band
As they grasped for rope and rail
The mast was swaying crazily
To shake off a whipping sail
And in the midst of chaos
One Man slept on in peace
The Friend that they all followed
His brow without a crease
"Master!" They cried, astonished
"Awake! We're about to die!
He streched His arms quitte calmly
Toward the boiling sky
The silence came so quickly
It almost hurt the ears
This couldn't be! It couldn't be!
But, this man all nature hears
More awesome than the storm
Was a thought that began to prod
And on the Galilean lake
They faced the Son of God