I’m Crazy

Patsy Cline–I’m crazy…worry, why do I let myself worry….

Music holds such power. It can set a mood, it can soothe a soul. It can excite and it can add courage as men march to war.

Funny thing about a song, the whole song may be irrelevant to a situation, but there can still be a connection.

Patsy Cline sings ‘I’m Crazy” as a sad realization that she has loved the wrong person. I don’t share that sense. I feel that I love my soul mate who comforts and creates more enjoyment of life. Yet…her words, “I’m Crazy” come out of my mouth frequently. It can be for any number of reasons. I’m crazy to go to the store in the rain. I’m crazy to start a new career late in life.

Today, I am reminded of the other lyrics in this song. “worry, why do I let myself worry?” There is no help in worry. Worry is a waste of energy. Worry drums up all the unquantified potential troubles that may never have to be addressed.

“Worry is the interest paid by those who borrow trouble.” George Washington




“Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do.” Edgar Degas

A dear friend gave me the gift of painting. She and I attended a painting class together. The class was designed to paint your pet. They wisely served wine at the class. We were all novice painters, and they had perhaps learned along the way that it is easier to instruct those who have taken the nervous edge off with a taste of the vine.

All of the painting students were to turn in a photo of their pet. That photo was turned into a pencil sketch on our canvas. When we arrived, we located the faint outline of our own pet, sat down, drank our wine, and wondered ‘How the hell am I going to do this?!” A little more wine, then we thought, “What the hell, let’s do this!”

My pet is all white. My friends pet had a zillion colors. My challenge was to capture Scampi’s white curls. Her challenge was to capture Maestro’s debonair style. I thought, “Hell, we better drink some more!”

scampi and maestro art

We were led through the class, and finished with a painting of our beloved pets. It was a moment in time, cherished with a friend, and captured in a work of art that will bring us a smile every time we see it.

“It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.” Ralph Waldo Emerson


Pass the Norvasc

“Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary.” Edgar Allen Poe

My son calls it ‘work drama’. It doesn’t seem to matter where a person works, there will be work drama. It is pervasive. It is the cause of millions of people on medication to modify high blood pressure. I felt it myself last Friday.

The pervasive questions arise, “When will this resistance go away? How many times does it have to be discussed? How many times, or how many ways, can it be said?” Then I wonder, “Why can’t I just say, ‘because I said so.’ Why do I have to couch everything is such a way that people are not offended?” Couch is a good word-please sit down and let us all be comfortable and discuss this….

I battle the decision to throw in the proverbial towel nearly everyday. My job is complex and directed by tedious, legalized diatribe regulations. If I explain them, the supposed listener looks at me with glazed eyes and the hint of reviewing a grocery list in their head as they nod understanding.

Working in a field of compliance, daily decisions are made related to what must be fixed and what can be let go. The Serenity Prayer advises me to change what I can-and to know the difference between what I can or cannot change. Hence, the need for the prayer-that knowledge is nebulous.

Friday, I stood my ground, although I nearly threw in the towel. In the end, we did what was compliant to the regulatory directives.

Sometimes, I have to let it go. The organization is too strong. On those days, I manage my reaction by reminding myself that I did my duty in informing the players involved of what was required. I am not the decision maker. I am the advisor. Then I go home and have a Margarita Meeting with me, myself, and I. We ‘let go’ of the situation, laugh and remember the story of the dog- “if you can’t eat it, or play with it, piss on it and walk away”.


Embrace or End the Relationship, the Choice is Yours

“The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.”  Victor Hugo

One thing most of us are not short of, is opinions. In general, I am in agreement with many of the opinions of my friends. That is one reason that we maintain a friendship. There are other people in my life that are probably not in harmony with everything that I believe. It is interesting to experience a dialogue with someone who comes from a different perspective.

One of two things generally happens.

1. We have an engaging experience. From a mutual respect we learn from each other. I have friends that are more conservative than I am. We would disagree on some religious practices. But, we love each other. We were there for each other when our daughters had surgery. We were there to hug through tears of sorrow. We shared history, and experiences. We see beyond the current difference and nurture the areas that we agree upon. We do that because, at the core, we love each other.

2. I am shunned or dismissed because of a difference. The singular difference is so great in the perspective of the former friend that the disagreement becomes insurmountable. The disagreement may have been over who should be president. It may be over watching certain movies. It may be over church attendance. Despite the volumes of areas that might be agreed upon, the critical focus is on the issue that we do not necessarily agree on. My marriage of 30 years to a minister basically fell into this category. Despite the fact that we shared a love of reading, travel, dancing, cooking, gardening, riding bikes and playing games-the fact that I did not want to attend the ultra conservative church services was enough to dissolve the marriage.

The danger to a relationship is when you hear the words, “if you loved me, you would do……”. “If you loved me, you would listen to me….” Those are hurtful words of control and manipulation. They represent conditional love. A refusal to agree to disagree. In many ways that attitude is egocentric and calloused.

“If my love is without sacrifice, it is selfish. Such a love is barter, for there is exchange of love and devotion in return for something. It is conditional love.”   Sadhu Vaswani


Song in the Storm

John Lennon said “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” My mother said it so often that I grew to believe she was the author of that pearl of wisdom. Now I repeat it as though it were my own. On any given day, I have plans in place for that day. Then, an unexpected storm blows through and my plans tumble away.

A day at the beach results in a broken arm and ends in the emergency room. A morning at a favorite bistro results in receiving the news of the death of a loved one. A plan for a vacation gives way to emergency surgery. The storm enters and blows away the peace and enjoyment of my day and sends me into a turbulent whirlwind.

The storm blows in. My dreams are shattered. My heart is broken. My plans are shot to hell. Sometimes the storm in a mere inconvenience. Sometimes the storm changes my life.

Storms swirl like tornadoes. Your hair flies at your face. You squint to keep the fine hair from scratching your eyes. Your clothes hug you and your scarf blows away. You’re hit by the flying debris. You search for cover, but there isn’t any. There is only wide open terror.

A person can try and fight the wind. A person can let themselves be blown by the wind. A person can complain about the wind. Fighting, and complaining does not stop the storm. The storm will do as it will. Look for the eye-the central place of peace-in the center of the swirl.

When the storm enters my life, I search for the eye-the centered place of peace. I remind myself that storms can cleanse. They can remove debris that I am unable to move-in some cases to even recognize. We hate the devastation, to our life and to our environment. We would not choose  the storm.

I have lived in cities where tornadoes have gone through the town and brought it completely down. The people had to rebuild, not once, but twice. The lives were safe. Their belongings were gone. The re-start brought blessings they did not anticipate.

Storms do that. They also make me appreciate every beautiful day that does not contain a storm.

I like John Lennon’s song, “Imagine”, and the line: “Imagine all the people living for today”. Enjoy this moment. Each moment is all we have; for the next a storm may blow in.


A Baby is Born

What does it mean when a baby is born? To some it means ecstatic celebration. The family planned and prepared and looked forward to the day the baby could be held and brought into their home. To some it means despair as the family is uncertain how they will care for one more family member. To some it means confusion, as nothing went as planned.

What does it mean when a baby is born? To me, it involved all three of the emotions mentioned above. I was ecstatic to have a second child. We loved our first child and longed to bring our second into our happy home. Everyone wanted to see the baby and to hold her. But that didn’t work out-at least not for a while. Our baby had to go to intensive care. She was there for a month and had two surgeries during her stay. So we felt some despair. We had little means to pay for such intensive, and surgical care. We had to meet with hospital finance to work out payment plans-which would continue for the next 10 years. And I was also overwhelmed with confusion. My baby was born with a crippling disability. I had not planned for that. I didn’t know anyone with a disability. I worried about how I could help her.

What does it mean when a baby is born? It means a soul has come to earth for a purpose. My baby had a purpose as she came to us. We had a purpose when we came. We all have our own unique purpose as we live out our lives.

The trick is to enjoy the purpose. I get in a hurry to ‘reach’ a certain point in my journey. Sometimes I slip into a desire that I was on someone else’s journey. I have to take a moment and embrace my own purpose.

“When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way.” Wayne Dyer



Poulet Noir at Apethorpe Hall

“The secret to humor is surprise.”  Aristotle

Ronnie W Floyd, the new President for the largest protestant group in America is invited to a dinner party at Apethorpe Hall in England. He is thrilled at the opportunity to dine with distinguished guests and share with them the virtues of the Southern Baptist principles.

Ronnie is seated next to George Villiers, the 1st Duke of Buckingham. Also present at the table is the beautiful, yet quiet Joan Flowers, seated next to her is Frederick Douglas who is chatting with Susan B Anthony. As Ronnie does not recognize any of the dinner guests he is pleased to see that King James I will be seated to his right. James has not yet arrived, but Ronnie is delighted to get to meet him as he is the one who commissioned the beloved King James Authorized Version of the Holy Bible.

The choleric Ronnie falls silent as he is overcome with the dinner conversation. He wonders how it got so out of hand. George is drawing hearts on his napkin and making a list of men to include in his next dinner party. He mentions to Frederick that many of them are gay. He asked if Frederick would oppose such a dinner party. Frederick is supportive. He has lived through a terrible time when people were allowed to perform hate crimes. He cannot believe that many people in society continue to behave as though they are better than other people.  Susan is nodding in complete agreement.  Women suffered as they tried to find their place in society. Susan is complaining that women still can’t preach or be ordained in Southern Baptist Churches. Joan finally speaks up. She is petite and respectful. She is a naturalist who had been accused of witchcraft. She informs the group that they should ask Ronnie about it. Ronnie is the new president for that religious group. Perhaps he might shed some light on the Southern Baptists feelings about African American people, women, naturalists, and their campaign against the Gay Agenda.

Ronnie’s breathe quickens. His heart rate picks up. He has addressed these issues many times from his pulpit. But looking into their faces now, he is uncertain how to begin. He prays for the quick entrance of King James. If ever he needed the Biblical support, he needed it now.

Finally, King James comes through the newly discovered hidden passageway of Apethorpe Hall. He is dressed for the party. Ronnie reaches out to greet him, but King James steps past him and into the arms of his lover, George Villiers.

The servers bring in Poulet Noir. Let the feast begin.