February 29, 2008
Leap Of Faith
.Country Sunset near Caldwell Arkansas
DON'T BE NERVOUS! You are going to have a relaxed and fun time learning all you hope to, I'm quite sure......Charles Conner, instructor Conner Jeweler's School to yours truly, in a email...
"If I find 10,000 ways something won't work, I haven't failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.'
Thomas A. Edison
"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."
Thomas A. Edison
I suppose that sounds rather New Agey, but anytime I am feeling like I have failed to succeed I try to take a look at these two quotes. Actually there are a bunch of others that I like to read, but I didn't have time to include all of them.
And that leads me to my next point/comment. The moments that I find that I am most disappointed with myself are tied into the fear of failure, not failure, but the fear of it. It is much easier to live with knowing that you tried than to say that you never did.
by Jack of Random Thoughts... Do They Have Meaning?
I have taken another huge leap of faith in my venture towards my goal to be self employed again and becoming a jeweler. This was a natural step and one that has been coming for the past 6 months. Tonight is my last night at thisplace and as an employed person. I am frightened and hopeful, reluctant and rejoicing.
It has been a good run. Two years and 4 months of steady employment and insurance coverage, challenges and times of peaceful existence. I have learned a great deal about myself and about the people around me as well as the culture and nuances of life in North West Arkansas. Thisplace has been a good place to come and work. But this good season has come to an end. There are major changes underway that will make it harder for me to work here. We had a Vice President go crazy this week and fire a bunch of people that crossed him. This and other things have told me that this is the time for me to go.
I gave my two weeks notice this week and fully expected to be walked out tonight. But they were willing to have me work till my end date in my letter of resignation letter. But Woody and I both see a huge number of projects that need to be done before I go to New Albany and my training. I also found myself second guessing my decision and saying and doing things that I wouldn't do normally, but because I am a "short timer" I felt emboldened. This is wrong. I have never burnt a bridge with regards to an employer and I am not starting now.
This is the first time that I have ever quit a good paying job with nothing in the offing. But I know that this will be good. I have felt like a disembodied spirit these last few days. I have watched my friends get transferred to new accounts and others mournfully left behind to clean up the mess. I was going to be sitting alone after having a desk mate that has become a good friend, doing who knows what instead of having something positive to do. I know that I can effect positive changes and get a lot of chores done if I am at home these next few weeks.
I also hate messy goodbyes. My friends are upset. They wanted the "going-away" thing ect, and my birthday is next week ect they wanted to have a party... This is just as well.
And so I go. My van is full of cartons of stuff. I emptied my computer of personal information as best I could, I am sitting in my stripped down desk and feeling odd that I may never pass this way again... As I made the familiar drive home under a canopy of stars on a moonless night, I thought about how I will miss being out in the night air, but glad I am not making the long commute with gas prices climbing every day. The shop is just on half mile from our home
I have stepped foot on the road, the real road towards a future that is full of unknowns. May God be with me, I feel like I have jumped off of a cliff. I am hoping to have sprouted wings... Maybe I can fly....
Labels: Artisans Fine Jewelry Repair, Breaking News, Business start up, Conner School, Dreams, working
February 24, 2008
Luke 10:1-24~The Sending Out
winter sunrise over Ashton Park Bella Vista AR
Luke 10:1-24Jesus Sends Out the Seventy-Two
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go.And he said to them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals, and greet no one on the road.Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him. But if not, it will return to you.And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house.Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you.Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say,‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.Woe to Unrepentant Cities
"Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.But it will be more bearable in the judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you.And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You shall be brought down to Hades."
"The one who hears you hears me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects him who sent me."The Return of the Seventy-Two
The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!" And he said to them, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."Jesus Rejoices in the Holy Spirit
In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him."
Then turning to the disciples he said privately, "Blessed are the eyes that see what you see!For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it."
Labels: Bella Vista, Scenic Arkansas, scripture
February 22, 2008
The Most Important Words
Mapping out the shop
Woody and I are laying out the new Jewelry Repair Shop. Using toilet paper, we measure and lay out where cases and partitions will stand. Carefully so as not to stretch the tissue or disrupt the work so carefully done, we walk around and over the lines. As we adjust the lines we measure and remeasure again. One such measurement involved crossing over quite a bit of the work. I am writing down a dimension and I hear the tape measure moving. I look and the lip like end was catching and dragging all of the lines spoiling the careful work. I yell for Woody to please stop. He does but snaps "just pick it up" I do and move the measuring tape over the tangled pile and then frantically try to rearrange everything again where it was. I am so angry at him I cant see straight.
"Couldn't you wait just a moment until I wrote that down? I would have helped you and I would have to redo all of this..."
He stands there not helping not doing anything. I then ask him,"Aren't you going to apologize?"
He says "What for?" "I didn't do anything wrong and see no need for it"
Flabbergasted I said " You just messed up hours of work needlessly and upset me, caused needless stress and work for me and were a jerk in the process, say you are sorry and be a man about it."
"I'm not going to apologize. This isn't a big deal, so what if you have to bend over and redo everything, see you are nearly done and its OK."
" You are unbelievable,mean and very rude, just do it..."
Woody looks at me stone faced..."I'm not...you and your stupid constant apologies make me sick. You do it not to be polite but because you come from a abusive past and are a doormat. I am not your doormat, and I am not going to say I'm sorry."
At this point I am so mad..."This is proof of how low bred you really are. You were never taught proper manners, and you act like you are a little prince that everything you do in life is OK. Its one of the reasons you can't keep a job,your actions are so rude and you talk this way. Manners, like saying "please""thank you"and "I'm sorry" are the grease that lubricates the wheels of civilization, and are not the sign of a doormat...
I grew up in a difficult home. This is true. My parents had a lot of issues, but I will say this this for them, they insisted on good manners and good behavior. My Father in particular was a stickler for this. When he married the family (and that was how it truly was) prior to my Mother, the three kids were little hellions. Dad sat with each one in turn at the table training them in the proper use of a knife and fork and how to behave. The reward after a three month intensive effort was a night out on the town in Los Angeles where they lived. Years later the two boys who had been 7 and 9 at time of this transformation came to visit my Mom and Dad. They were both carrier military officers, one in the Marines and the other in the Air force. They both said that without the intervention of my Father and the civilizing influence of that summer (Dad was married to their mother only a short time, when she left him for another man)they would not have been able to become the men they became eventually.
For my brother and I it was best behavior at the table either at home or out in public. My parents liked to eat out and I remember that we were complimented often. "Please" "Thank You" and "Excuse Me" were natural parts of speech. At home we used courtesy even when we were teen age rs and fighting with the folks over the usual issues. We stood when adults came to visit and knew how to make conversation. My Mother took us to church meetings and other adult events without any concern about our deportment. This was without being treated "like a doormat" but I see it as a respect they had for us and vice verse. My parents would knock on our closed bedroom doors and to my knowledge never listened in on a phone conversation or read my journals. My Father could be dead drunk, but he would stand up and ask to assist when my mother came home from work, and at the end when his mind was failing, would apologize for making a mess, or forgetting to write down a phone message.
Woody wasnt raised this way. I think that he wasnt included in adult conversation when his parents talked in the tiny living room of their home after his father came home after a long days work. He doesnt think they ever had a meaningful conversation in front of him.He tells me of having his own little tray in front of the TV while his parents ate in the other room. This is still his preferred method of eating and I think I have served only a handful of meals in our dining room. Being an only child, he didnt have to interact or share and unlike my fairly social parents, who due to my mother's well known music ministry, had lots of social engagements.My father, for health reasons couldnt go to a lot of them, but we kids went and some of Christian music's luminaries came to our home to rehearse for programs, much to our family's delight. This required good behavior on our part as kids...not to worry that was the usual thing in our home, not the exception.
Both my Mother and my Father came from homes that were run the same way. I must admit that my Father with tyrannical Aunt Agnes and Uncle Aurthur (Aunt Jean's parents) was likely abused into a more rigid sort of civilized behavior, but something tells me that he would have been like that anyway. Blood will tell and that era was so much less permissive. My Mother came from less exalted stock, and I dont think life was quite as disciplined as my father's...but her father was a lay preacher and her mother was also heavily involved in church work. They were not educated but I get the feeling that they were reared in the manners and deportment of the day. Boys opened doors for girls and you allowed others to be served from a passed bowl before you served yourself. The kids all six of them, were lined up on the second pew from the front so while "Daddy" led the singing and "Mom" played the piano, they could be watched and woe to the one that misbehaved... or so the story goes.
I think that what I am writing is pretty standard for a child raise by parents of the "Greatest Generation" Since the 1950's there hes been a rapid deterioration in manners of all types. In the late 50's and early 60's deportment classes were in vogue, and are making a comeback today!Woody went to a local park program as a 12 year old that taught deportment. and ballroom dancing. This is where he met the man that 35 years later introduced us but that is another story) So for him to say that he cant be polite is just crazy. He knows how it is supposed to go.
True, I have a toungue like a razor and use it often. Too often. It is the only way to get his attention sadly, and I hurt worse than he does when I whip out a harsh word, a cutting trivializing name, or a cruel retort. I know better as well. The Bible says "Death and Life are in the power of the toungue, and those who love it shall eat its fruit..." Proverbs 18:21. I am speaking death into the already dead and dying relationship. I try to remember the words of life..."I Love You" "I appreciate you" "Thank You". And most of all,I try to pray allowing God to be the one to speak to Woody HIS words of life, and to work out our situation. Its hard to do but the right thing. Those most important words of life are necessary and hopefully I can be gracious in the face of borishness and trivilaizing behavior
Labels: Business start up, Faith, Family History, Woody
February 17, 2008
Psalm 1~He is like a tree...
Flowing Stream Descanso GardensThe Way of the Righteous and the Wicked
Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree...
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.
Labels: California, scripture
February 15, 2008
Proud Beauty Annabelle at 9 months in her new Valentine's Day dress
Happy Valentine's Day. We the pets of the Hale (that is what the kitties call our house, Im a local girl so I dont know much Hawaiian) are so glad that Mom and Dad finally got home from where ever it was they went and got us out of jail! I guess the kitties had is worse as they didnt want to get out of their little apartment all the time they were at the Cat Cottage.
Me I got to go to Dr. Eric's and play with his little boy and run around in the back yard with his puppies and be a real doggie. I got very dirty and had grass in my hair but I had fun. Best of all was when Dr let his son little Eric who is only a little puppy, Mom says hes three, that is 6 months in dog years, play with me. Once he learned how to pet me softly, and that I was alive and not a toy doggie, he could run and play with me. I liked that a lot. I wish that my Mom and Dad had a puppy to play with me...I kinda think Mom would like one too, she is always trying to treat me like a human baby.
Mom's lady frind must think I am a baby too because she and Mom exchanged baby dresses for valentines day. Mom gave her friend a dress made by her dressmaker in California. Mom's friend said she saw this little dress at Walmart and got it for me. Mom liked it so well she went and got me another one for Easter whenever that is...
I got a bag of rawhide bones and a new harness for walking Mom got chocolates and Dad some jerkey treats...he wont share with me and I think that is very selfish of him. Still I love him and I forgive him. I understand how it is to have a special treat and not share... I hide my rawhide bones and toys all of the time
Aint She Sweet, Annabelle at 9 months
February 09, 2008
Luke 5:27-32- Follow Me
Thunderhead over the Gulf Cape San Blas FL
The Call of Levi
After this he went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth. And he said to him, "Follow me."And leaving everything, he rose and followed him.
And Levi made him a great feast in his house, and there was a large company of tax collectors and others reclining at table with them.And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at his disciples, saying, "Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?"And Jesus answered them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance."
Labels: Florida, scripture
Beautiful Double Camellia Descanso Gardens La Canada Flintridge
Post started 2-9-2008
Aboard American Airlines Flight 3347
Over half of the people in America die without a will "Aunt Jean, you need to think about coming to live near us… we would have days like this and there are plenty of nice homes and apartments to choose from. Didn’t we have a wonderful day today? You have gotten your money’s worth out of this trailer. It is falling apart, and isn’t safe anymore. To top that off they are robbing you on the space rent 900.00 is horrible and they are raising it too. 1200.00 a month…it’s a sin! Worse, Disney wants this land bad, its right next to the park and if the owners get their price, every trailer in this park will have to move, and yours is in such bad shape, it cant be moved. One good earthquake and its done for…
Over 90 percent of people have no long term care plan in place
Most people over 80 need some assistance with regards to daily decisions but 25 percent of them live alone with no assistance from family or spouse
There are 50 violent crimes against the elderly in Orange Co every week
If you leave an aging relative on their own without assistance due to negligence it is a misdemenour in California punishable with prison time. It is considered the same as child abuse.
This is the only place I know, Hoku. You and Woody like it there but I don’t know if I would like it there. California is all I know
You would, the people are nice and there is plenty to see and do. I could take you round and help you…
My neighbors help me well enough…
Aunt Jean, your neighbors have been wonderful, but they are illegal aliens. You let them drive you to the store, to the doctor and they have no license, no insurance, and no green card. They don’t speak English well enough to help you. Please take your ID whenever you go out so if they get picked up, you can prove who you are. If you cant you could be deported along with them, and I cant do a thing about it. If you have a heart attack they might not call 9-11 because they don’t want to talk to the police get deported. Please consider it. Please give us the name of your doctor, and your lawyer…We need to make sure that arrangements
Please give me the chance to be as your daughter in this situation…"
She said no to everything. The trailer is unsafe and unsanitary with half of the plumbing not working right. She got the heat fixed this year but the electrical is scary and does not always work. The stove works haphazardly and oven is broken, and she wont accept meals on wheels because people have to come to her house… she doesn’t own a microwave and eats a lot of things cold or raw. The neighbors feed her as well… All home cooked foods that are traditional Mexican cooking full of fat that will cause her health to deteriorate, as she has had quadruple bypass, an aortic valve replacement and most recently a stent into one artery . Other than these things she is spry and with it mentally, only having some confusion about medical bills , which confuse the soundest of minds as you sort the various charges out...
It’s a wonder that the Mexican people next door were able to help her the way they did. Jean had a heart attack last month and her doctor wouldn’t release her to stay alone, so she stayed with one family for 19 days. She got a huge education in Third World life. The kids translated and they used sign language…but I know that her doctor would help us to move her closer to us and the family that has been so gracious wants to see her looked after.
But the same environment that allows these two families their illegal anonymity is very dangerous for a frail old lady, who some people might think is rich, due to her European bred manners and tall tales. They might break into her home thinking she has money or jewelry stashed away. In their disappointment they will hurt her, if not physically, then emotionally as they violate her privacy and tear up her home in search of non-existent valuables. The owners of the park have cut off the outside lighting and are no longer repairing the security fence. This area of Anaheim is known as the Disney Resort Area but the park is tucked away in a back alley and the police cars drive by and never pull in. It is a high priced slum where the trailers are full, two and three families in tiny single wides. It is the only afordable housing in this area, yet it is filled with enough crime that the daughters of Aunt Jean's friends are not allowed to walk uneascorted... Even around our timeshare, just a stones throw away from the trailer park, there were police and incidents requiring the police day and night. It frightens me to think she is alone there day in and out.
Other family members have not been in her home to my knowledge. Her other cousin, Betty Grace has not physically seen her in 50 years. She is 75, and in poor health and resides with a son in Bend Oregon. I have only seen Aunt Jean a handful of times in my life and never was invited into her home. I had no idea what to expect and I did give a report to Betty Grace by phone this week with regards to the situation and the condition of Jean’s living space
I was pleasantly surprised to see the order she keeps her home in. Things are not clean, thought she dusted for our coming, but everything is put somewhere, and if you didn’t know what you were looking at you would think she just has a thing for dust covers. I know differently. If you will remember my post about the death of her husband Peter , I Will Be True To The Promise I Have Made
you know that this lady has made huge strides in dealing with her acute mental illness. She was Paranoid Schizophrenic, with a huge Obsessive Compulsive component for much of her life. Because I know this I know what to look for… Truth is she has covers over things because she is paranoid and is hiding her possessions. She covers up the radio and tv, and has piles and piles of stuff on her bed, all wrapped in plastic. She is paranoid about running out of paper goods and could stock the park with paper towels and TP for a year. While she is doing better about hording, (she recently with the help of Maria and Nery her neighbor ladies) she disposed of all of Peters clothing and “stuff”. She felt it was wrong to keep things that others can use. Maria told me that she is restraining her from buying more paper goods and is helping little by little to clear out the stuff, one plastic wrapped package at a time. Jean agreed that she should do this and as we talked about her moving, she said frankly she could do without most of her stuff and is sorting things out.
There will come a time soon when she wont be able to stay there. Who wil call me? No one knows that I am related to her, she is my second cousin, and how do I go about establishing this? I will need a lawyer and a whole lot of paitence. Woody tried for an hour to get her to give us the name and number of her cardiologist and her lawyer. We did find out where Peter is buried and will try to figure out what we can do long distance to make arrangements in advance. I dont dont know what I can do but I shall try to do what I can...
For her sake and the sake of a 4 year old little boy that she and her parents took into their home and raised, my father, I promise that I will not give up...
Seal Beach California
Labels: California, Faith, Family History, flowers
February 08, 2008
Main Steet Bellflower CA. The City that was my home before we left on The Journey to Hawaii. The shopping district is in the process of redevelopement, Johnsons Jewelers my mentors and friends have been here since 1947 and is the business longest in one location in the city. The Downtown area is dominated by the 1920 Art Deco theater that runs the entire city block and seats 1500 people. Closed in 1970, it was purchased at tax auction in 1983 by a native son and restored to its roaring twenties splendor. In 1985 it reopened as the home of Hosanna Calvary Chapel, and that native son is still its seinor pastor. It was my spiritual "West Point" and a place where I fufilled my dreams of becoming a working professional vocalist
This week is a time for me to really put the past to rest. It all started with a call from my Aunt Jean months ago that showed us that we needed to take the time before I started school in Louisville, and go to California to see Aunt Jean. She is 88 and in poor health, but doing OK and I am glad of it. She is frail but sharp, and full of stories to tell. But this is the story she seems to need to tell me the most
“Let me tell you about your Father, Hoku…I loved Bobby, he was like my kid brother. My parents were evil people, and were very unkind to both of us. But I must say we had good food and we were dressed beautifully, and went to school. But they were hateful, and did it out of duty and not love. That was the sad thing. You father only wanted to be loved and respected. That’s what we all want I think… He loved your mother and he loved you. I know because he told me so and don’t you forget it…"
Woody and I have been spending a lot of time with her, but also attempting get in touch with friends we haven’t seen in ages. We went to church with Ed and Helen, the folks that encouraged us to move to Arkansas. John has all of his golfing/school friends and I have places I needed to go and see.
Waiting to worship, Calvary Chapel Long Beach CA
When we went to Calvary Chapel Long Beach last year the pastor there made a point to ask me for forgiveness, in the name of all of the Calvary Chapel Churches, for all of the wrongs committed against me by the church. This practice is becoming more common as there is recognition that people have been hurt by the dictatorial decisions made by a few people that had issues of their own, usually the pastors. Since then, I have felt a steady sense of healing. I can sing the old songs again with gladness, We often sing Pastor Chuck Smith’s theme song “Spirit Song” as a Gathering Song at the Methodist Church we attend. I often see Pastor David’s compassionate face looking at me as we sing….
Oh, let the Son of God enfold you, in the Spirit of His Love
Let Him fill you heart and satisfy your soul
Oh, let Him have the things that hold you, and His Spirit, like a dove
Will descend upon your life and make you whole
Jesus, Oh Jesus, come and fill Your lambs
Jesus, Oh Jesus, come and fill Your lambs
I no longer feel the knife twist of pain in my heart for lost friends lost dreams lost relationships
The front lobby of Hosanna Chapel, Coffee shop next door and Marquee above. The interior lobby has space for about 350 people to visit easily, The coffee shop known as the Java Oasis, was one of the first that we know of in a church and was installed in 1989. The tower in the back ground is the structure that rises above the stage and would have supported the use of curtains, projection screens, and backdrops. We had a shell permanantly installed for sound projection.
I couldn’t do it last time but this time I went to Hosanna Chapel, the Calvary Chapel that did me wrong and sat before the huge converted theatre in the heart of Bellflower, and tried to feel…something…I don’t feel much else but loss and as sort of “dried up” feeling. I owe them a lot. I wouldn’t be here today if it were not for them. Like my parents who did a lot of things that weren’t so hot, this body of believers was a loving home for me for many years, and nurtured me into a strong well taught Christian.
I have moved on. And I am very glad. I no longer dwell on that past that so hurt me and I feel so very good about it.
My Little House that owned prior to my move to Hawaii, looking very spiffy in a fresh coat of paint porch rails and a new and muchly needed roof! I noticed that they have coverted the shed that was as big as the house into a separate dwelling.
I found that true as I drove past the homes that I used to own and saw places that I frequented, and stopped and ate at resturants that were fixtures in my life. Places like Johnson’s Jewelers, where I was given the family welcome and discussed the opening of my new trade shop. They were very excited for us and want to be there as cunsultants and guides as we set up and get started… Some of the people that I thought to look up I said to myself… “No let them go, you have a new life a new faith…never more apparent than today Ash Wednesday , with the holy mark on my forehead that I wore proudly all day. I failed to try to call on my brother, or anyone else from the past but Ed and Helen. Woody was not able to see anyone but his friend Al and his wife Yolie. I looked into faces and at the surroundings and more than once felt like the seven years that have passed since I lived here, were a dream and that as the evenings wore on that I would drive into Bellflower and up the drive to my tiny clapboard house that I cherished and found a home in. Woody found himself thinking a lot about his mother and a life lived well. He says he has no regrets moving to Arkansas and is looking to the future now rather than towards the past
One day the streets of Rogers, Springdale and Fayetteville will be as familiar to me as Buena Park, Whittier and Los Angeles. While I miss some of the places we visited this week like Descanso Gardens, Little India and Seal Beach very much. I too have no regrets as I am steadily surely heading towards a new future with more adventures straight ahead
The Place of my spiritual birth Seal Beach California
Labels: California, Faith, Family History, Traveling
February 07, 2008
May Perpetual Light Shine On Them
Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust...Me pouring handfulls of soil into my Mother's grave. Fir Lawn, Rose Hills, Whittier California
…O loving God…I pray You welcome my deceased parents into heaven. Forgive them their sins, and reward them Your goodness, provided by Your grace alone. Grant that I may be with them again in Your Peaceful presence, Amen….
Today was a day that I have longed for and dreaded. For a person that is used to constant upset rather than a workable relationship, this day is a milestone, a period, and ending that signals a new beginning….
In November I received a call from the mortuary that handled my mother’s arrangements when she died in September of 2006. The lady said that a dreadful mistake had happened and that my mother’s cremated remains were never interred. They had been sitting on a shelf in a stock room all of this time. This was due to a number of issues, that involved some missing documentation, my brother’s unwillingness to return phone calls or contact me, and the unfortunate sale and resale of the firm that was handling or rather not handling this situation. A wonderful young lady took the bull by the horns and called me. Throwing herself and her company (mortuaries have been sued for less than this) on my mercy they told me the story. I agreed that a lawyer was not the answer but rather getting to the bottom of the situation was. The mortuary rolled out the red carpet, setting up the internment and covering all of the expenses for that.
One of the issues was that my mother was to be placed in the same grave that my father is in but no documentation was signed to this affect. I got that all cleared up. Legally my brother should have some say on this but after again trying to contact him,. I was awarded sole rights to have her buried according to my dictates, and I signed all of the documentation. I arranged to have a committal service for myself and Woody and the lady that assisted me through this process three months ago. I also said I would tell no one in the family and didn’t. I didn’t want anyone to feel badly or think that they should have followed up ect…
I also wanted to handle her committal myself. I called no clergy and asked no one’s advice. I wrote a short prayer service based on the Lux Aeterna prayers adding some scripture readings and prayers that I wrote that would end a Holy Souls Novena that I had been praying for 8 days. Woody and Delaine followed along and the Latino workmen who came to assist said the responses in accented English which I thought was a wonderful counterpoint and reminder of my mother’s love for the people of Latin America, and the Spanish language. After a series of prayers, the Lords prayer (in English and Spanish) a prayer asking for help from my new mother Mary, and my new sister Edith Stein, I prayed the Lux Aeterna
Eternal Rest grant unto them , O Lord
And let Perpetual Light shine upon them
And closed with
Incline thine ear, O Lord, unto our prayers
Wherein we humbly pray Thee to show
Thy mercy unto Thy servant Catherine
whom Thou hast commanded to pass out of this world
That Thou wouldst place her in the region of peace and light
And bid her be partaker with Thy Saints
Through Christ Our Lord
The young men asked me if I wanted to pour some soil into the small hole where the gilded container was being placed. The box of ashes was sealed inside and secure. I stood upon my father's grave and looked down into our mutual future...I poured handful after handful in and it felt like I was pouring my old self into that hole. All of the hurt and misunderstanding is in there. The flesh and its pain filled journey is now ended. I am alone in truth and answer to God and to Woody .
That done and over with , I have decided that I will now do my best to forgive and forget. Woody and I agreed that our parents are gone and all of that pain is best forgiven and forgotten. Life goes on and we need to focus on new challenges presenting themselves.
There was a bank account that I was not able to get closed up and it was a nousense thing too. But it is all worked out. The account had about 650.00 in it and I gave the money to Woody, he’s paid for nearly the whole trip. I know that he was glad to get it. I am sorry that I was not able to give it to the lady that helped my mother so much, but we used money we really didn’t have to get out here to get the account closed. I am just glad that is over and done with.
My parents are at rest now. My nearly 46 years of life and dealing with them are done. Again it’s a matter of turning the page, and being willing to forgive them, other members of my misguided family and mostly myself.
Have mercy on me
Your Holy Face
Is my desire
Grant me peace
And my loved ones
Perpetual rest in You
For they loved You
In their own way.
Help me to move forward
Into a new and better understanding
For you are my Father
Your Son is my Brother
Mary the mother of Your Son,
Is now my only Mother…
Place of Rest Rose Hills Memorial Park Whittier CA
Labels: California, Faith, Family History, Traveling
February 05, 2008
Ranch of Rest
Shaded pathways, Descanso Gardens LaCanada Flintridge California
This is a place in Los Angeles that I dream about...From the time I could drive this patch of heaven on earth has been a part of my home just slightly detached from the rest. I would come and enter a different world, one filled with peace and life. The smell of the city would fade away and be replaced with the green smells of cedars and green plants. Often I would go early in the day and the little valley would be filled with mist that would burn off by noon into glorious sunshine.
water garden in the summer this smells of lotus flowers that grow in abundance
El Rancho del Descanso, the Ranch of Rest has a very interesting history, read here
Manchester Boddy came to California with hardly any money, and a young growing family to support. He began to write for a local paper eventually founding his own highly sucessful daily paper. A survivor of the gassings of WWI he was a pacifist and outspoken supporter of the isolationist ideal during the 20's and 30's. His Newspaper the heavely read Los Angeles Daily News
was the liberal journal of its day, and Boddy was its outspoken editor for nearly 30 years.
His home in the San Gabriel Foothills, on 150 acres of virgin California Black oaks was a haven against the social and political swirl of the day. He built a 22 room Mansion above the oak forest with sweeping views of the wooded vally below. It became a place of renown as Boddy and his gracious wife entertained the elite of the LA Political Scene, during the city's golden age. Movie Stars and Business Tycoons flocked to the Ranch of Rest, for the hospitality and serene atmosphere.
An Amature botinist and plant breeder, Boddy's championship rose gardens were exceptional. He hired noted plant breeders to work for him, and a number of famous roses (Chrysler Imperial, Mr. Lincoln and Tropicana among others) were bred there.
Spanish Oaks Descanso Gardenso
But Descanso is most famous for its camellia forest. Boddy himself was a camellia fancier and breeder and worked with a number of Japanese nurserymen in the 1930's. The enviroment under the shade of the oak trees combined with the soils nurished by the oaks decaying leaves provides the perfect enviroment to grow exceptional camellias. Boddy planted thousands of varieties. Later as the Japanese Internment was inforced, Boddy bought his friends nursery stock and had more acerage planted, so that currently Descanso Gardens has the largest Camellia specimine gardens outside of Asia. Today, the late winter forest comes alive with color as the camellia's bloom again. It is a fantastic sight.
Years later the property was sold to the county and many improvements made. Many Thousands come every year to relax learn and just be free of the hassles of life. It is one of the gems of Los Angeles County and place I will visit everytime I come back to California
The sundial garden, where Woody proposed for the umpteenth time and I accepted under the pair of gingko trees in the foreground. This place is filled with my young life's memories
This week Woody and I needed this rest. We were only able to spend a few hours there, as we had other commitments. But we had lunch in the cafe at the garden gate, and took a walk among the beautiful trees and plants. The air is sweet filled with the scents of plants and the sharp smell of decaying oak leaves
Formal garden at the Main House Descanso Gardens La Canada Flintridge California
Labels: California, Family History, flowers, Traveling, Woody
February 04, 2008
The Table of Rememberance is set...Calvary Chapel of Long Beach California
Ordinary Time is a season of the Christian (especially the Catholic) liturgical calendar. The name corresponds to the Latin term Tempus per annum (literally "time through the year"). Ordinary Time comprises the two periods — one following Epiphany, the other following Pentecost — which do not fall under the "strong seasons" of Advent, Christmas, Lent, or Easter.
The term Ordinary does not mean common or plain, but is derived from the term ordinal or "numbered." The weeks in ordinary time are numbered, although several Sundays are named for the feast they commemorate, such as Trinity Sunday (first Sunday after Pentecost) and the Feast of Christ the King (last Sunday in OT), and for American Catholics, the Feast of Corpus Christi (second Sunday after Pentecost).From Wikipedia read more
I am is a sort of Ordinary time, a counting of weeks and a period of time between great seasons of my life. We are entering Lent this week and counting down towards Easter and what I had hoped would be my full reception into the Roman Church and a new spiritual time in my life...I am in the last six weeks or so of my time here on my job at thisplace, with my future schooling and new career just over the horizon...
Waiting holding my breath.
But it looks like my spritual quest is on hold. I am stuck in a beaurcratic situation that I hadnt counted on. My Chatechist and his wife who were my sponsors had a falling out with the church and left the parish. That was sad and unfortunate for me as I loved these folks and wanted to make them a deeper part of my life. Now that may not be the case. To make matters worse, my new chatechist believes that no matter if you are a new convert or a Christian wanting to be a Catholic you must go the whole way with a full on Catachetic experience, which means months of classes.... never mind that I would be bored to tears by it.
Then there is the Annulment...Both Woody and I need one. Its a huge process of soul searching questions and then contacting people to bear witness to what you have said. I have no such people in my life that can do this and frankly I fear digging this stuff...this person up. Let sleeping dogs lie so to speak. Father Andy assures me that my location will be kept secret but then, whatabout the Engineer? Its been 20 years now. What if he has a new life and his significant other has no idea of a past of any sort. Do I have the right to ruin a life by plunking a thick envelope full of searching questions on his doorstep? I think not, and I think Jesus wouldnt mind if I took the sacrament either. But that is for others to decide.
Ordinary time ends today, Mardi Gras, and I begin a Lent that will be filled with pennance, but less joy and hope. I am waitng at a crossroads of sorts, one of obedience and sacrifice, and one that I hope will be as rewarding as it can be and that my streach into Order will become a realized quest.
Labels: Catholic, Faith, Family History, Marriage, RCIA, Woody
February 03, 2008
Zephaniah 2:3, 3:9-13~Seek The Lord All You Humble Of The Earth
Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land,
who do his just commands;
seek righteousness; seek humility;
perhaps you may be hidden
on the day of the anger of the Lord
For at that time I will change the speech of the peoples
to a pure speech,
that all of them may call upon the name of the Lord
and serve him with one accord.
From beyond the rivers of Cush
my worshipers, the daughter of my dispersed ones,
shall bring my offering.
On that day you shall not be put to shame
because of the deeds by which you have rebelled against me;
for then I will remove from your midst
your proudly exultant ones,
and you shall no longer be haughty
in my holy mountain.
But I will leave in your midst
a people humble and lowly.
They shall seek refuge in the name of the Lord,
those who are left in Israel;
they shall do no injustice
and speak no lies,
nor shall there be found in their mouth
a deceitful tongue.
For they shall graze and lie down,
and none shall make them afraid.
Labels: Scenic Arkansas, scripture
February 02, 2008
A City In Motion
The ultimate in fuel economy and "green"driving. A smart car! Gets 100 miles to the gallon but is a bit short on comfort, and forget about shopping trips. Bellflower CA
Written from the Peacock Suites
Feb 2 2008
I have not spoken of this trip I am making this week to any of my family or my blogs. It is complicated and I will share more as the week progresses. I have literally returned to the place of my birth, the hospital where I was born is only a block down the street. I sit and the lights of Disneyland’s Magic Kingdom flash in my window, the sounds of thousands of people break into my stillness. The worst is the roar of the traffic, the hum of the wheels of the greatest concentration of vehicles in the nation assaults my hearing
I have arrived back in the Southland, Southern California and was greeted by my usual welcoming committee of nausea due to the smell of burning jet fuel, and the incredible din of traffic.
We landed at LAX about 1630 on a Saturday. Should be the quietest time of day and really the non stop flight was fine half full. I didn’t have to share a seat, and Woody did what he often does, he found a friend in a crowd of strangers. As we sat in the airport a man approached Woody and the two of them were shaking hands and patting each other on the back .
Darryl had just come out to care for his very aged father, who passed away while he was here. Darryl is 67 so this man was quite old. He’d not been ill and I was told it was a peaceful end to a long and well lived life. Would that we all could say that . Woody has know this man most of his adult life and has worked with him on and off over a 30 year span, in the forklift parts and sales business. Darryl is a native son whose parents moved to California for work back in the 1940’s and when retirement came, his folks moved back to the old home place, a small frame house on a city lot in the old part of Lowell, the same city where I work. He and his brother intend to sell, and I am sure that it will.
Darryl was on his way back to LA, to his job and grandchildren. He provided Woody excellent company for the flight. I sat alone a few rows up, without a seatmate thank goodness. The woman assigned to sit with me gave me this look of loathing when she saw me. I hate it and yes I do take up more than my share of space but don’t punish me for it. That doesn’t normally happen, people have been very nice the past few trips we have taken. That is why we fly on Saturdays at off times.
The skies were clear and I had wonderful views of the desert landscape as we flew over route forty, crossing sinuous rivers, and checkerboard farmscapes. The piles of majestic Cumulous Nimbus we sailed though were amazing. Really I love flying, I just hate TSA, the strip searches, tiny seats, damaged and lost luggage and no service whatsoever. I read my devotional, and journaled about my expectations of the week, and tried to ignore the obnoxious brats in the seat behind me, and the nearly constant running to the back of the plane by one couple who were having bathroom issues I guess. I felt bad for them.
We disembark and are immediately reminded of a fact that I have been imbued with since childhood, you are nothing and nowhere in LA without a set of wheels, the chatter around me is “What kinda car are we getting Daddy?” My immediate concern is managing the jetway and did all of our bags make it on this flight.. I don’t want to come back here this week.
Getting off the plane and getting our gear together and getting to the rental car agency is quite an adventure. We are not ones to pack lightly. Travel confirms to Woody that I am a throwback to my great grandmother Georgianne, and her Victorian mode of travel which was to “pack it all and my little dog too…” We have two big cases, two travel bags for gate check, one for my pillow and night things and the other is for our shoes. We NEVER check a bag with shoes in it. That is the number one clothing item stolen by TSA. I wear a men’s 10 ½ . I had three pairs of expensive athletic shoes in there, I am not stupid. Woody wears an 8, a bit small but he has very expensive tastes in shoes. We figure we had at least 1000.00 replacement value in that bag. Why so picky about shoes. When you are big like we are, you need that support, and a poorly made shoe will breakdown quickly. Since my accident I have been living in Nike trainers and cant wear any of my dress shoes for much longer than a church service. Need the support and the protection from the cold as it makes my foot hurt like a burning cigarette is being applied to the break. Uggh
Unlike the children I know what kind of wheels we are getting. A 2008 Chrysler Grand Caravan touring model.I no longer care what the thing looks like I want to see what is going on around me and never so much as in “the devil take it, get out of my way!” driving arena that is the SoCal freeway system. Its comfortable, and holds all of our gear. My only regret is that it is a V-6 and is a slug when you stick your foot into it.
Woody and I load our stuff and set out like the Natives that we are. People drive like they are the only ones on the road and every savage for themselves is the rule of law. We were not out there on the Inglewood streets 10 minutes but we saw two police chases and said, we are getting on the freeway, even if we get stomped, we are getting out of this bad part of town. I am the Navigator and know most of LA county like I have a road map burned into my brain, I get us on the freeway… or as Woody said into the free for all, and we join in the mad dash for everywhere that most of the 2 million people seem to be making at any given place in the city at any given moment…
LA thrives on motion like no other place I have ever known. People drive for everything, you cant hardly walk to anyplace you need to be and the words “Public Transportation” spell LOSER, because you cant get to where you need to go on the dangerous dirty bus system, or the silly electric train that was obsolete before it was built and was only built because the money was earmarked by Congress. I have never worked a job where the hours were stable enough that I could carpool or take Public Transportation. On top of that the culture of the city demands immediate transport, and that means cars.
People in Arkansas laugh at Woody and I for eating out twice a day on the weekends. This might mean two trips into town, at 30 miles round trip. To us this is nothing even with three dollar a gallon gas. As we are driving this week we see why we feel this way. We have decided that to the Angeleno, one of the most personal expressions of freedom in this city is freedom of movement. We drive for sport, for pleasure, and for the thrill of driving itself. Driving and the cars we drive are a statement of who we are. I know so many people (Woody included) who “drive to impress” just as some “dress for success”. We treat our vehicles as extensions of our homes and equip them with state of the art audio/visual set ups. I see people here watching DVD’s in rush hour, let alone chatting on a cel phone. Putting on makeup and shaving is a matter of course as is eating and having that latte at 65 miles per hour. Life here moves at the speed of traffic, and that traffic is slowing down growing more congested and concentrated as the days go by. Yet more and more people find their way to LA and join in on this incredible parade. It is amazing.
We drove to Descanso Gardens
today, a 125 mile round trip from Orange County. The freeways are in our blood and with one of us driving and the other navagating we flew down Diamond/HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle or carpool) lanes and averted collision, sig-a-lert ( traffic incedent that takes 30 minutes or less to clear off the road)and worse incedents thanks to KNX 1070
, the combined knowledge of two people that have driven for a living in Metro LA. Woody was great, as he managed our lumbering van in and out of tight spots like he was wearing the thing.We spent a lovely few hours there then went back to Orange county to pick up my Aunt Jean and take her to the doctor. She is doing fine and is well
I am finishing this post at nearly midnight. The whining of radial tires on the Golden State Freeway just a block from the hotel is growing fainter and less frequent, traffic on Harbor Blvd has quieted at Disney land is closing at 7pm this week due to the wet cold weather. We have driven over 450 miles in time we have been here and expect to put 1000 miles on the van ... I love it. For us, as much as we love this City in Motion, and taking advantage of the opportunity to go and do this week in a place we both love but can live in anymore. We will be glad to get back on the plane at the end of the week and return to a quieter place that while it depends on the car just as much, it chooses to not make such a big deal about it.
Labels: Traveling, Woody