"Language, as well as the faculty of speech, was the immediate gift of God." ~ Noah Webster

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

My List of Things to Do - Spending Treasure IX

I have expectations of summer that have been with me all my life, it seems. I notice the older I get though, the more I long for those lazy days of summer that I experienced as a youth.

Today, when I awoke, and I rehashed my schedule for the day in my mind, I could tell this was going to be the type of day that equals my fond memories of childhood. With the business of graduation, getting the garden and yard summer ready, preparing Matt’s summer travel agenda, and my work schedule, there just has not been very much free time. But at least for today, there was not a whole lot on my list of things to do. My summer had finally come.

I woke up to the sound of the lawn mower, Matt was already out getting his work done even before the dogs and I had wakened. I got up, made the coffee, and read a bit while I waited for him to come in from outside. When the sound of the mower stopped, he came in smiling, happy to have a jump on his day. We talked as I checked my email and then started loading some photographs to send via email at a friend’s request. Matthew washed up and started to make waffles for breakfast. He soon called me to come get the strawberries ready so we could have strawberries over our morning waffles. We had a leisurely breakfast talking about our plans for the day.

After breakfast, I went out to hoe my garden and he went out to spray a few weeds in the pasture that just didn’t want to die the first time around. As I was hoeing my garden, as is often the case, memories started flooding my mind from my childhood. When I was a kid, gardening was a big and important part of our summer. My mom and dad planted a huge garden every year, and it was part of the responsibility of my siblings and I, to help keep that garden weeded and hoed. We knew that we would not be going swimming, or horseback riding, or anything else, until that garden was weeded.

But weeding the garden is only part of my summer memories. Weeding my own garden this morning, only propelled me down “Memory Lane” into all kinds of summer activities that I decided I wanted to write down while I still remember.

One of my favorite things, when I was a kid, was to get up early before anyone else was awake, while all was quiet and still; the only sounds I might hear would be the woosh, woosh, woosh of the sprinklers in the nearby fields and the throaty, yet musical warble of a male meadowlark letting me know that all is well. I would sneak out the back door barefoot, just so I could feel the damp dew on my bare feet. I would listen to our African Geese honk a greeting to me upon my arrival at their pen. Peeper would invariably put his head down and run at me like he was going to attack me right through the wire of his pen.

The afternoon, when it was hot, would bring opportunity for me to grab a favorite book and climb up into my brother’s tree fort in the big, old locust tree. It was cool and quiet there and I could read for hours, pretending I was Nancy Drew or Trixie Belden solving yet another mystery that had come across our path. Yeah, “our path”: mine and Trixie’s, and Honey Wheeler’s, too.

After reading for a while, I might walk over the style to see what Grandma and Grandpa were doing for the day. I always knew I would receive a “Timely Word” there. Sometimes I would coax Casey, our Springer Spaniel, into sitting under the pear tree with me, where we could be all alone in the shade, where no one could see us. I would know that for that moment, he loved me better than he loved anyone else and he would be just mine… at least for the moment.

I might give my friend, Shirley, a call to see if she was up for a walk in the woods. We were WWW long before the www –World Wide Web. Shirley and I had formed a "club" called the Wary Wood Walkers, or WWW for short. She was Nancy…something…and I was Naomi Jackson. We were out to seek mysteries of our own. We would bring our younger sisters along with us and almost always desert them in the middle of the woods to see if they could find our secret hiding place or some such nonsense. I hate to think of what my little sis might now say about that.

Some summer mornings would often find me waiting for my friend, Cathy, to call so that we might go for a horseback ride. She would let me ride Sandy, while she would ride Go-Go. Eventually she got another horse whose name I can’t recall. We would jump on that horse and gallop across her pasture on our way to the little pond singing Scarecrow. I don’t recall those lyrics now either, but I do remember the moment. Treasure! One time when we did this, we came across a dead horse by the pond. I will never forget Cathy’s grief at finding this horse. She wasn’t sure to whom it belonged, but she ran to the nearest house for help, while I forlornly waited, not knowing what to do. Cathy will require a post simply telling all about her some day. The memories are many; and yes, they are pure treasure…like walking fence to see how long we could stay up and how far we could go on those straight wooden rails; or sleeping out at night, well away from her house at the base of the mountain, hidden among the trees of the forest. Or, riding our horses up “Stanea Hill” to the pipe-line and enjoying the solitude and beauty we found there. My childhood, certainly must not have been perfect, but it surely seemed like it was as close as one could get to “perfect”.

The evenings would bring a ride over to the baseball diamond to watch my brother’s Little League game. These were not only great games, these were also fun social events, as many of the kids from school and their families would be there as well, to cheer on our own "boys of summer". We would see some of the kids we might not otherwise see until school began again in the fall.

When Daddy was working at home, we could count on him to drive us down to one of the local lakes for an evening swim after supper. We loved the evening swims even more than during the day. There was rarely anyone there at the beach, and the water felt oh so much warmer. When the daytime temperatures had cooled just a bit, the temperature of the lake felt almost like bath water. Dad would watch us swim for a while and then when it was time to go, he would treat us to an ice cream or a root beer from the A and W before heading home.

Summer evenings also brought games of “Kick-the-Can” and “No Ghost Out Tonight” with the other kids on the block…or sometimes with my older sister’s friends who would be spending the night with her. The older girls added an extra dimension to our "play" making song requests to the local radio station, which we had turned up to hear as we played our games well past dusk and into the night.  "Pretty Woman" by Roy Orbison would be one of the songs most requested at the time.

Our favorite summer nights would consist of Mom’s spaghetti for dinner and Henry Aldrich on TV before bed. Sleeping out under the stars and watching for shooting stars would be at the top of our list…maybe only to be topped by waking the next morning in the cool morning air, with the sun beginning to rise and realizing it was going to be yet another hot lazy day of summer with not a whole lot on my list of things to do.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Unlikely Duo?

Barney Frank and Ron Paul! Unlikely duo? Nope, not really. Ron Paul is just finally exposing his true colors. Ron Paul is not the true conservative he has tried to make us all believe he is. Rather, Ron Paul hides behind “States Rights”, knowing full well if he can say this is his reasoning, he will be able to gain conservative support. But he just may have gone too far this time. Working together with Barney Frank (liberal US Representative from Massachusetts) to write a bill to legalize marijuana may finally be the catalyst to cause us all to stop and ask, “Wait a minute! Who is this man, Ron Paul, really?”

I have said it before, and I will say it again: Ron Paul is not a conservative Republican. Ron Paul is a Libertarian that is conservative on some issues and very liberal on most social issues. If any one is a RINO - Republican In Name Only - it is Ron Paul. He even finally admitted it a month or so ago, by saying there is no way he could win a Presidential nomination any other way but by running on the Republican ticket. It would simply cost millions of dollars that he would not be able to generate by running on any other ticket. He said it; I didn’t.

If we stop to think critically for just a moment, we can see that writing a bill to legalize marijuana is not leaving the decision to “States Rights”. Creating a bill to legalize marijuana is rather PUSHING it forward. Yes! I meant to use the word “pushing”.

Read about it here:


Ron Paul has voted in his own state for the legalization of marijuana as well as the legalization of prostitution claiming these are issues that should be left to the states. Ask a Ron Paul supporter about this and they will always defend him saying, “Well he is simply a true Constitutionalist and he believes these are things that should be left to the states.” I am afraid that is just not true. Can you imagine our Founding Fathers voting to legalize drugs or prostitution? Hardly! They understood the fact that there are some things that simply need to be considered illegal. That is why we have a rule of law in the first place. The Tenth Amendment was to ensure the federal government did not gain too much power; it was not created to allow states an "out" to accept criminal behavior.

It is time we stop to think about the fact that there are some issues that simply cannot be left to “States Rights”. Case in point – The Parental Rights Amendment is a prime example. Now if you have not followed this attempt to amend our U. S. Constitution, you can read about it here: www.parentalrights.org/

The UN Rights of the Child is trumping your position as parent of your own child to make your own decisions in what might be best for him or her. If a parental rights amendment is not passed, it may very well be the UN that is telling you how to raise your child…Does that sound extreme? Read about it here: http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=00f9e4541df7da80194807124&id=4a8dea1faa

Now the reason I bring up Parental Rights is because this is a perfect example as to something that is entirely too important and has moved too far forward to simply leave for the states to handle. We need legislation at the Federal level in this case to prevent loosing our rights to parent our children which would instead be given to the UN under the authority of other nations. CONSERVATIVE politicians are diligently working to pass this amendment so that our children might be protected from the UN. I imagine Ron Paul would oppose this legislation in the same manner that he opposes the Marriage Amendment.  No these amendments aren't something we like to see, but unfortunatley this is where our country has come and if these amendments are not passed we will lose the simple basic rights to remain a nation of traditional families.  Unfortunately the family and our basic Judeo/Christian values are being attacked and now need to be protected. It is time for Ron Paul to quit hinding under the cloak of States Rights and take an authoritative stand on these issues. That is, if he really believes in them.  Sometimes I wonder!

But let me get back to the legalization of marijuana. I think we can see the correlation. To enact legislation to legalize an already illegal and dangerous drug is not leaving the decision to the States. It is moving it forward. Next, I’m sure Dr. Paul will say. “Oh, but it will be up to the states to decide if they want it or not”. But I guarantee you, this will lead to nation-wide legalization of this drug. And we can thank Mr. Paul for helping us get there.

There are one or two more things I would like to address in this post, though I know it is getting lengthy. Dr. Paul has always claimed his pro-life stance. He has for the most part voted accordingly. But don’t be misled. Though there are those that have tried to make us believe otherwise, Paul’s record is not a perfect pro-life position. For example, Ron Paul neglected to show up for one of the most important pro-life votes in our nation’s history: the vote to protect the right to life of Terri Schiavo. Remember Terri, who was said to be in a vegetative state though doctors and family testified otherwise. Ron Paul also voted “NO” on legislation that would criminalize those that take an underage child across state lines (without parental consent) to receive an abortion. That is simply not a pro-life position. The fact is, Ron Paul is not the most pro-life candidate in this election, nor was he the most pro-life candidate in the last election. Ron Paul is a moderate that is hiding behind the guise of “States Rights”. There are others that would seek to change what happened with Roe V. Wade and openly oppose it. Ron Paul will not. He will only say it should be left to the states. And I’m afraid this is one more time that States Rights is just not good enough. As upsetting as it may be, there are times we now need to seek the change at the Federal level.

Don’t get me wrong. I understand the importance of States Rights and the 10th amendment that our Founding Fathers ensured for us. But I also see how it is being abused at this time in our history to fool conservatives into voting for what is otherwise a LIBERAL platform. Think about it!  It is a clever way to get conservatives to join forces with liberals in these critical issues thereby ensuring liberal success. And it is working! The states are not going to be able to stand individually, at least in regard to the issues I have mentioned above.

Further, Mr. Paul’s position on Israel is atrocious. Christian, this is especially important for you to pay attention. We have a Biblical mandate to stand with Israel. For those that have a different theological belief in this area, most can still understand the need to stand with a nation that has been our long-time ally; a nation that is the only democracy in the Middle East. Israel is being attacked by nations that are not only their enemy, but nations that are also our enemy. Yet Dr. Paul and his son, Rand, continue to seek to deny aid to Israel. Rand Paul attempted early in the year to enact legislation that would deny support to Israel and he received so much opposition that he had to withdraw it. Thank God, for those still paying attention. Much of this I discovered when I decided to find out why Dr. Paul had the strong support of Neo-nazis and Muslim voters and Muslim organization in the last Presidential election.

We must think critically and we must think for ourselves. If something seems odd, we must ask why. We must check out voting records for ourselves, and we must look at things for what they really are - like legislating the legalization of marijuana. That fact, I’m afraid has nothing to do with “States Rights”!! We cannot afford to be fooled again this next election.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Way He Was Raised - More Graduation

Each of the graduates had an opportunity to do a musical number for the prelude before graduation. Almost all of them chose to participate in this. Matthew has been practicing his guitar, and loves to sing, but he is by no means a professional. Still, he had a desire to participate. When I saw the song he had chosen, I understood why. This is an absolutely beautiful song by Josh Turner and the lyrics are powerful. When I heard this song the first time, I thought it was so appropriate for a graduation. The beginning verses led me to believe it was about a young boy growing up. And I thought how perfect for graduation! As I listened, tears began to stream down my face. Read along and you will understand too. The song could not be more perfect!

Cousins performing "The Way He Was Raised"

 I decided to post the lyrics here, because Matthew's choice in song, was not to display his talent - which I'm sure some would say is debatable.  (Only cause that is what they would say.) Rather, it was to share these awesome lyrics. Unfortunately, we didn't announce the beginning of the prelude, and Matt and his cousin Spirit, (though strong and as beautiful as her voice is - she IS a professional) failed to capture the attention of the audience. Soooo, people were talking all the way through the song. A bit tricky for someone who is performing for the first time! I decided to post the lyrics here; they are too beautiful, to not be shared. It is my way of honoring what Matthew wanted to do. Enjoy!

The Way He Was Raised
Written by Josh Turner, Mark Narmore and Bobby Tomberlin

He always wore those worn out flip-flops
Spent hours in his Daddy's workshop
He loved being on the water
Fishing with His friends

He always listened to the old folks
When they'd tell stories and crack jokes.
Didn't talk back to his Mama
When she got onto Him.,

Oh, that's just the way He was raised
Had to finish all His chores 'fore He could go outside and play
they always went to church that's were he learned how to pray
And that's just the way He was raised.

He grew His hair out when He got older
Grew it clear down to His shoulders
Started hanging with the outcasts
When He went off to town

Some called Him a troublemaker
Even some said a lawbreaker
No matter how they talked about Him
He never put nobody down

'Cause that's just the way He was raised
When people start to gossip, He'd just walk away
He always loved his neighbor no matter what they'd say
Oh, that's just the way He was raised

On a cross, on a hill
That longhaired boy was killed
All our sins washed away
When He walked out of that grave

Oh, that's just the way He was raised
there's no way we can measure
The sacrifice He made
He knew He had to die
For our debt to be paid

Oh, that's just the way He was raised
It took the hand of God to roll the stone away
And that's just the way He was raised.
Yeah, that's just the way He was raised.

Oh and by the way, Spirit and Matt's performance was absolutely beautiful - in spite of all the chatter. Yeah, I know..a mama's perspective. :-) ..if you get a chance to hear Josh Turner sing this song, I highly recommend it! You won't be sorry.  You would have liked Matt and Spirit, too.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Changing of the Guard

Matt's graduated!!  Phew!!  I wanted to write a few thoughts about that. But I have some special comments I want to post first. The parents of the graduates were asked to send their child off with a prayer, blessing or comments as they handed their son or daughter their diploma. I had prepared something, but then "chickened out" in delivering it.  Matt's dad assured me he would say something instead.  But I had neglected to communicate with him exactly to what depth or degree that should be.  He was thinking that all he would have to say was something like "We love you and we are so proud."  So he didn't really plan a "speech" to give.  When he saw what the other parents had prepared, he realized that he was...well...unprepared in what he should say.  As we stood to present Matthew with his diploma, he said, "Oh boy, I have no idea what I am going to say."  That put me in panic mode, so I thought I had better at least start with something to help him out....I mumbled a few words just to help him get started, then he continued through broken voice, fighting tears, with what words he could muster.  We both felt we had failed Matthew there, in comparison with what other parents had prepared for their child....Soooooo, I decided I would post here,what I had originally planned (but was unable) to say to Matthew in front of all those people:

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Through *His* Eyes

Football? Oh man! I used to love it. Of course I had my favorite team. The Seattle Seahawks. Yep! And I rarely missed a game. Now, this was a while ago. Back when it was Zorn and Largeant. Ha ha. Yes!! Now, that’s dating myself! But I understand the excitement and desire of wanting ones team to win. For whatever reason, I simply quit watching. I decided I was wasting too much time. I can honestly say, I don’t think I have sat through an entire game of football since, though I have watched parts of a Super Bowl or two.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Sharing Stories

I love my desk. It’s one of my favorite spots in the house, and I do spend quite a bit of my spare time here. I run two home businesses from my computer that sits at the center of this desk; one of these businesses keeps me busier than the other, bringing me back to my desk several times a day. I also spend time writing here; which I love to do to relax, though I will always find that fact quite curious.