Saturday, August 30, 2014

August in Ferguson

Ferguson, Mo. Before August 9th, I am pretty sure no one but those in the area of Ferguson or those who were former residents of the place had ever heard of it. Now, unless you live under a rock with no news coverage whatsoever, you know Ferguson. Ferguson is now on the map both literally and figuratively.....for all the wrong reasons. 

In case you truly are coming out from under that rock, here's a little recap. On Aug. 9, 2014 a young man in Ferguson, named Michael Brown, was shot and killed by police officer Darren Wilson, after Wilson was responding to a robbery call. It was established that Brown was unarmed and that he put up a fight with Wilson, attempting to take his gun. Brown was killed. Tragic! Was Brown part of the robbery? Why did Brown go for Wilson's gun? There are a million and one questions, but regardless of the answers....Brown died. 

We live in a world where the good police officers are tainted by the ones who use excessive force and march to the beat of their own god complex egos. To them, it is not about protecting and is about making the public their bitch. Strong language? Yes, but more and more we see the bad cops making the headlines while the good cops suffer because of the notoriety. Was Wilson a vigilantly hell bent on getting Brown, the suspect, at all cost, or was Wilson a cop doing his job and protecting his own life against a suspect who was willing to take his gun and kill him just to get a way? Tried in the court of public opinion, the world seems to be split pretty evenly as the investigation continues into the case. Now some 21 days later, I find myself angry over this and question just what is happening to our world and what is happening to the people who inhabit it?

The days that followed Browns shooting were unbelievable as the media followed the town of Ferguson and watched as it's citizens literally destroyed the town of about 21,000 people. Ferguson is a suburb of St. Louis and according to both the internet and to a couple of people I know from that area, it is a high crime area and it is heavily populated by African Americans. So Browns death, made for the perfect storm for the race card to be shouted from the tops of the roofs and for the media to join in and stir the pot. 

Following the incident, Ferguson was turned on its head by riots, looting and the major destruction of property. There were death threats made against Wilson (who incidentally was white)and the police force in general and the media stood back stirring and asking inciting questions trying to keep the passion and anger of those rioting at a high burn.....all in the name of avenging Brown's (who incidentally was black) death. 

As the riots continued, the town had to be put on curfew as the violence escalated. Businesses were destroyed as their destroyers proudly went on camera threatening the business owners, if they didn't rebuild......for the community. What? This was not an act of civil disobedience. It was an act of anger gone wild with no worry of consequences and no empathy to those who were innocent and caught in the crossfire. It was one race hating another and acting violently on that hate. I couldn't help but wonder how the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. would view this. Was this his dream? I don't think so and if he were here today, I think he would have been a voice of reason trying to calm and unite both races and our country instead of what his so-called predecessors are doing by being the voice of instigation fueling anger, division of races, violence and ultimately a division of our country. Once again....the race card is played. 

It is a tragedy that Brown died, however when the investigation is over, will we find that Brown precipitated his own death by going for Wilson's gun? Whatever the findings, someone died and that never makes for a good day. However, if the victim had been a white man, would there have been such outrage? What if the officer had been a black man? Do you think that there would have been rioting and looting and do you think the Rev. Billy Graham would have been on sight to fuel the fire of an angry mob? I think we all know the answer to that. 

No....I am not racist, but I think in this day and age.....trying not to be viewed as racist has backfired. It has caused a division in this country that has not been seen since the 1960's and even then, with Malcom X, King and all of those on the forefront of the Civil Rights movement, cooler heads prevailed. No one wanted what is going on today. 

So we know we have a problem, how do we fix it? While I have several personal opinions on the subject, it appears that the most violent of storms happen involving the police or with police on the scene. Perhaps there needs to be a push for police cams to be general issue to all cops across the country. In the places that have already implemented them, crime is down and cops (especially the god complex ones) seem to be towing the line better. It has also cut down on citizen complaints against officers and ultimately, it makes the streets a whole lot safer for everyone. 

Now I am going to leave this blog with my opinion. Maybe instead of fighting each other, we need to remember that regardless of our skin color, we are Americans. With all that is going on in the world that is indirectly and could at the drop of a hat....directly be affecting our country, perhaps we should unite as a people and find a common ground...the common ground that our forefathers both black and white have fought hard for and some.....paid a hefty price for. A country that is divided is already weak and a weak country is an easy target for our enemies. Just a thought. 

Friday, August 29, 2014


Okay....a little late in the game today but better late than never to have posted at all. Right?! I guess the same goes with wisdom. For some strange reason, we never gain true wisdom until much later in the game. Why is that? Well, life experience of course. You can't be wise about things you know nothing about. Again....right?!

True wisdom and prayer, are in my opinion, right up there in the top ten of the greatest gifts we are given in this life. I say true wisdom with the emphasis on the "true," because it is only real and only comes after we have lived and experienced life. However, at every age we think we are wise and honestly, we are wiser at seven than we were at six and wiser at 18 than we were at 17, but just how wise is that?

At 18 we are not wise enough to comprehend that cigarettes will actually kill us, that college is one of the most important steps we will ever take in life and that our parents aren't going to be with us forever. We are just too limited and inexperienced to understand the gravity of the choices we make and the wheels we set in motion at such a young age that can and often do effect the rest of our lives. At 18, we are only wise by an 18 year old standards. To the rest of the world we are simply young and foolish. However, at 45 when someone finds out they have lung cancer and won't be around to watch their kids grow up, that their job opportunities and their ability to support their family might have been a lot better had they gone on to college and the realization of how much they miss hearing their parents voice, hugging them or simply having a conversation with them, that is when true wisdom sets in and the impact of just how little they really knew or understood the world way back when..... hits home like a brick.

A favorite saying of those who grow older and gain the wisdom of their years is "Youth is wasted on the young." Their perspective is more of an "If I knew then what I know now," but the fact is, the young have to be foolish. They have to make their mistakes, burn their bridges and live with their consequences. Without these things, then they would not grow up or grow wiser. It is the mistakes and failures that we learn from. That is when and where true wisdom is gained.

As a parent, I struggle with this. While my wisdom is surely far more advanced than that of an 18 year old, I still don't have all the answers and never will. I can however see further ahead than 18 years and I know when mistakes are being made, bridges are being burned and when the consequences of bad choices are likely to have long and lasting effects on life. The problem is, my wisdom to an 18 year old is antiquated, ridiculous and unnecessary and try as I might, you can't fix foolish and immature...only time and experience can do that, so I have to back off and let them proceed. That is when I invoke that other great gift....prayer. 

Wisdom! To gain it is to be thankful for the past....both the good times and the bad. I think though, it is to be most especially thankful for the tough times, the hard times and yes.... the bad times, for that was when we grew, we learned and when we became wise. So it is true, with age comes wisdom, but thankfully, there will always be those who are older, wiser and still think I am nothing but young and foolish! God bless them all!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Twerking After 50 and the Rooms twerking after 50 is not a good idea! Truthfully, twerking at any age is not pretty, but after 50 it just becomes physically dangerous. Yes, I am speaking first hand. You have to know that alcohol was involved, along with hanging out with some really bad influences (other 50 year olds from my graduating class of #@ years ago). I am just thankful that everyone was too busy doing their own version of twerking to take pictures. Ain't nobody wants to see any of that!!!! 

Since that display of really bad judgment, I have been a miserable human being. Everything from my waist to my toenails sends out periodic waves of discomfort and sometimes full on pain. I have had to ice my knees and ankles like I just ran a marathon. Even the bottoms of my feet hurt and I have been walking like I am 90 years old and need a walker. To say that I have been moving slow is an understatement BUT, I have been accomplishing things.....slowly.....very slowly. This brings me to today's actual topic........projects!

Two rooms in my house were the bane of my existence. David's therapy room/guest bedroom and my crafting room/office. Both were catch-alls for the excess junk that accumulated in the rest of the house. It seems throwing stuff in those rooms was much easier than actually putting things away. I kept their doors shut because they depressed me so, and quite frankly they were embarrassing. Even my house broken dogs hated those two rooms and showed it by frequent acts of disrespect and self expression on their respective floors. I was so over those rooms! Even in my post twerking condition, I knew they must be done.

It took me two days and a whole lot of aspirin, ice packs and a couple of nights of sleeping with the heating pad, but I accomplished my goal and cleaned both rooms. Who knew they actually had floors? Oh yeah....the dogs knew! Now David's therapy room/guest room is 98% finished. There are still a couple of places on the walls that need to be touched up as his hospital bed did a number on them and I need to find a really good rug to cover the less than stellar floors, but other than that......I am pretty pleased with the outcome.

The craft room/office is about 80% done. Everything has a place and it is clean, neat and accessible but, the walls need painted and the floor needs immediate help. When we pulled up carpet several years ago, those two rooms were in the worst shape floor wise. I am thinking about possibly painting the floor in the craft room and see how it turns out. At any rate though, these projects have made my main floor living space a whole lot nicer and the dogs have been threatened with their lives if they even think of expressing themselves in either room.

So I am pretty proud of my rooms now and I am proud of working through the pain. I am however, not so proud of what I did to cause the pain. So let that be a lesson to you all. Twerking and alcohol just don't mix after 50!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Don't Judge Me! I'm a Blogger!

So I think I will start Monday out by patting myself on the back. I'll have you know that I have not missed a day of blogging in a week! Yay me! Okay, so back patting over and we are moving on...........

I am in a really positive mood today (hope I didn't just jinx myself) so I thought I would talk about something that I truly love. Blogging! Of course I was a blogger before blogging was cool. I would write down my thoughts, stories and ideas (I believe it was called a journal) and make anyone in close proximity to me read it. Apparently I was not the only one or else blogs would never have been a thing. Blogging is self-indulgence for the writer set.

Writing has always been my one true non-human passion. Knowing that I have the power to make someone feel happy, sad, nostalgic or even down right angry through my words, is amazing. Also having the ability to sway a persons opinions or feelings on subjects or just to make them think, is an empowerment all its own. It means that my words, thoughts and opinions mean something to someone.....other than just myself. How cool is that?

I have always had the desire to tell stories or maybe just to be heard. Then two very influential teachers in my high school years Mr. Mason, my creative writing teacher who challenged me on every level with my story creations and Mrs. Jaax my senior English teacher who challenged me on every level with words, ignited a fire in me that still burns brightly some 30 years later. They lit the match and although at times there have only been embers, now there is a full fledged fire again, with thoughts and words dying to get out daily. don't have to thank me! You're welcome!

When I learned about blogging, it seemed like such a natural progression from my story writing and my opinionated forum writing. At the time, Facebook was so limited on what you could post that it didn't come close to scratching my writing itch. However, after learning about blogs and starting my own, it took a while to completely understand the whole blog thing. Once I did though, and more importantly, once I learned that I had a real audience outside the family and friends I had to bribe into reading my stuff, it was as if I had found my destiny. Of course I always pretend I have a much larger following than I actually do and that EVERYONE is just dying to know what I have to say on any given subject......on any given day. It is part of the magic that is my mind. Honestly though, I do get my fair share of "fan" mail, both good and not so good at times, and I have had the occasional person stop me at the store telling me that they read my blogs, so it is a definite win for my ego and it keeps the narcissistic part of my brain happy.

The new thing (or new to me anyway), is making money with blogs. Now I know very little to almost nothing about this sort of thing. The fact that you could write a blog and make money on it, well it is just too fantastic to even comprehend. I guess though, that is the way the world is going and I honestly think I should educate myself and try to jump on that band wagon. I mean doing what you love and getting paid for it......HOW SWEET IS THAT?

Okay, so money or not, I love to blog! I will continue to write and in the fantasy world that is in the darkest most recessed part of my mind (fondly known as Lisaland) my readership will grow exponentially and you, my devoted fans......will all continue to hang on my every word. What???? Don't judge me! I'm a blogger!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Church....It's Not You....It's Me!

I saw a quote posted the other day that stated: "The biggest problem with being a Christian, is going to church!" Hmmmm Truth?

In the Ten Commandments we are told to "Keep Holy the Sabbath." Translation? Go to church? There was a time, that if you considered yourself a Christian, you went to church. If you didn't go, then you might as well just consider yourself a non-Christian heathen. As times have changed though, peoples relationships with God, church and the Ten Commandments have greatly changed and because of this, church is replaced by sleeping late, "family time," weekend projects and any other excuses we can come up with. But in a poll I saw recently on some Christian website, one of the top three reasons people quit going to church (regardless of denomination) was.....the people who also attend church. Hypocrisy and gossip were the reasons given for not going to church. It had nothing to do with lack of love for God or loss of faith....and everything to do with others. I have to say, I kind of get that excuse.

I have spent the better part of 40 years in my little town and my little church. Those two phrases (little town and little church) are exactly why when I was in school about 1/3 of  the kids were church attending Catholics and now only about 1/2 of that number remain. And it wasn't just Catholics. We had a large number of Baptists and Methodists also, with other denominations making up the rest. Their numbers are about the same too. Some of the loss of church goers was that growing up....going to church was a thing, but not really a thing. In other words, they did what was expected of them, but they never really got invested in God or the whole church thing and so when they were of age to make their own decisions, their choice was not to attend. In my home, we ate, slept and lived God as He and prayer were a fixture there. We prayed before meals and at bedtime and we invited God into our lives daily. Sunday Mass was not just a childhood my home it was a life long requirement.

I always loved church, but I also knew that the Catholic church had rules. When I was old enough to choose for myself, there were stretches of time that I didn't go to Mass. It wasn't because I didn't believe or didn't want was because I was making the choice to live outside the rules of the Catholic church and therefore I didn't feel worthy of attending Mass. At least that is what I told myself.

Once I began having a family, I realized how important a faith based foundation was for raising a family and I came back to regular attendance and was the best Catholic I could be. However, I couldn't receive any sacraments.....Holy Communion to be precise, because I was married to a divorced man outside the church. It is amazing how being denied that one thing can change the entire Mass experience. Now don't get me wrong, I am not blaming the church. That rule was in existence long before I was ever thought of and as a cradle Catholic, I was fully aware of it. I made the choice and I lived with the consequences. The Church had no reason to bend for me...nor should it.

After Tim died, I was once again allowed to receive the sacraments and I was happy with my faith and my religion. Then it began to happen. Maybe it had always happened and I was now just at a place in my life where I actually saw it. I am speaking of the whole hypocrisy and gossipy thing. I found myself more than once witness to people sitting in church on Sunday with their judgmental eye on everyone who walked in the door and yet Monday they were being the opposite of what most of us would perceive as good Christians. Since I try hard not to judge others, I chalked it up to all human beings, being works in progress and would tell myself, "Well at least they go to church and try. Think how much worse they might be if they didn't do that!" I think though, the straw that broke my back was when I learned that I was the target of judgement and gossip. I tried very hard at first to keep a low profile and stick to my own little world and my own little life. Then I thought, maybe I should just jump head first into church groups and that would quiet the voices. Neither worked as apparently my life, my family and our souls were up for conversation and judgment every time two or more were gathered at that church.

One Sunday, several years back, as David, Z and I were sitting at the back of the church in the vestibule (we no longer have a cry room.....and I for one miss it) David got a little loud and vocal. I tried my best to keep his loud "wooo's" and "yee haws" to a minimum. He was not happy sitting still and wanted to roam and after Mass I felt like I had been through the wringer. The next day I was told by not one but two people, in the kindest of ways that maybe bringing David to Mass was not such a good idea because he was loud and very distracting. Not wanting to further subject David to those people nor the Parrish to David's loudness, from that day forward, Z and I have not attended Mass together. We now go in shifts so that one of us can always stay home with David. After that, it got to the point that people were "kindly" letting me know that so and so said this about me and surely it wasn't true. After one of Davids two week episodes of being in and out of the hospital someone else came up to me and said, "I heard you had left the church!" Shocked, I explained that David had been in the hospital and that is why I had not been able to attend the last couple of Sunday's. Their reply was, "Well you know not attending Mass is a sin." Yeah, I was taken a back. The most heart breaking incident though, happened when someone close to me, grabbed my son after Mass one Sunday when I was home sick with the flu and told Z that they were worried for our souls because we were not attending Mass regularly. It was all I could take.

After all of the judgment and gossip, I simply couldn't do it anymore. I dropped out of any and all church groups and I started attending Mass at the Catholic care home in town. They have early Mass on Sunday at 7:30 a.m. and aside from the residents, there are only a handful of parishioners that attend.  That and the occasional trip to the church in the next town is where I have been attending. Of late though, I have been struggling with church. NOT my faith mind you, but my church. I pray, I question and quite honestly, I have been lost. My life does not feel right without church, but in light of the last six months and all that has been happening with my family, I am simply not up to being judged or gossiped about. I don't do it to others and I hate that others feel that it is okay to do it to me. Now let me say here, the few I speak of, are not the whole at my home town church. Within that church lie the hearts and souls of  many very kind and generous people who have reached out to me on more than one occasion, especially when it was hard for me to ask for help on my own. Unfortunately, it was the few with sharp tongues and unrequested judgments based in nothing more than gossip that were keeping me from walking through those doors. However, today I realized that the power I gave them was ruining my spiritual wholeness, my relationship with God and my relationships with all the truly wonderful people in the Parrish. It really was me.....and not the whole of them.

There has been much soul searching going on of late. I am changing and not just in one area. I am changing EVERYTHING and today, I stepped out of the past and left it at the door of my church as I walked into 11 a.m. Mass. When I stepped in, the comfort and warmth surrounded me and the feeling of "home" was there. I watched as familiar faces, new faces and some faces I missed very much, walked in and took their seats. As I knelt to pray, I felt a calm and relief come over me and I realized, that for the first time in a very long time, I wasn't angry. I no longer had the feeling that at times almost felt like rage over how I and my kids had been treated by a select few. It was replaced with complete forgiveness and I went back to knowing what deep down I had always known, these people weren't perfect. They were human and they weren't why I attended Mass. I was allowing my inability to forgive, and my anger over the past, to be my excuse for not visiting God in His home. His sanctuary. My sanctuary. My home. God had done nothing wrong and my going to Church was not about them. It was about Him and my relationship with God and God alone.

Today, I have spiritual perspective.....much more than I have had in a very long time. I have forgiven, been forgiven, found peace and most of all......I have found my way back home!

Happy Sunday everyone.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

OKC Satanic Black Mass.....The Ultimate Hate Speech

The black mass or satanic mass....just what it is? It is a complete inversion and desecration of the Christian Catholic mass. It is a calling on and worshiping of satan, pure and simple.

The black mass and forms of it, go back to the middle ages when "ceremonies" began by what were considered heretical groups involved in witchcraft and the dark arts. These masses were designed with the purpose of worshiping "the dark lord," better known as satan. The ceremonies or masses consisted of everything from bizarre sexual acts to ritualistic sacrifices. 

Satanist along with other fringe dark arts worshipers remained a hidden element for centuries. Their ceremonies were held in secrecy and their followers were carefully admitted as their acts of satanic worship were both blasphemous to God and Christianity and in many cases illegal. It wasn't until the late 1960's that the satanic underground movement began to pull itself above ground, with the likes of Anton LaVey. In 1966 LaVey founded the Church of Satan and brought satanism and the black mass into the light of day and declared 1966 to be anno satanas- or the first year of the age of satan. From here there were publicly performed satanic marriages as well as his youngest daughter Zeena's first satanic baptism. 

LaVey's desire was to be as anti-Christian as possible with his greatest target being the Catholic church. He wrote the Satanic Bible and wrote essays satanizing main stream Christian writings. His satanic masses became a tantalization to many Hollywood types and money and power brought on many deviant and illegal activities in the name of LaVey and the dark lord.  

A satanic mass is a mockery and a degradation of the traditional Catholic mass. There are altars draped in black, upside down crosses, the drinking of ritualistic blood and the Catholic missal and prayers are reworded to glorify and invite satan. The basis of the satanic mass is to steal consecrated host (the body and blood of Christ used for Catholic Communion) from a Catholic church which is a desecration itself, then they use it in profane acts during the black mass as disrespect to God and Christians of all denominations. Quite frankly, the satanic black mass is the ultimate hate crime toward Christians and most especially......Catholics. 

In recent weeks Christians have been very alarmed because for the second time this year, a public satanic black mass is scheduled to be performed. This time at the Civic Center Music Hall in Oklahoma City, OK. The first time it was scheduled was at the beginning of 2014 in Rochester, NY, however, the outcry against it was so great that it was cancelled. Now, this one is planned for September 21, 2014 and is being put on by Dakhma of Angra Mainyu, the satanic church of  OKC. According to Adam Daniels, a registered sex offender and apparent spokesperson for DAM, the event for September is "a defiant act to show the Catholics that Satanism will stand up and fight for our religious rights." Their first act was to obtain consecrated host to desecrate at the satanic mass. 

On Aug. 20, 2014, Archbishop Paul Coakley of the Catholic Diocese of OKC , filed a lawsuit against the organizers of the black mass stating that the consecrated host that DAM obtained were church property and demanded they be returned to the church. Daniels was named as a defendant in the lawsuit as he told various media outlets that a friend had mailed him the consecrated Host and that it would be desecrated during the ritual by being "stomped on." Since the lawsuit was filed, the Host has supposedly been returned to the archbishop and the lawsuit has been dropped. Daniels has continued to cry out, that the ritual will go on. 

Okay, here is my question. In a world where "hate speech" and "hate acts" supersede the First Amendment and are now viewed as illegal and can carry jail time, how is this ritual allowed to go on? It is bold hate against Christians of all denominations and most especially to Catholics. We live in a world where eating a ham sandwich in front of a mosque is considered an act of hate, but this ritual in OKC is acceptable? How is this possible? Christians are crying out all over the country but shouldn't EVERYONE be just as appalled that such blatant hate towards any group is being allowed at all, let alone publicly? 

The acts and the desire of DAM are open and obvious. They make no bones about their end game and it has nothing to do with religious freedom. It is all about giving the middle finger to Catholics and all other Christian religions, but most especially to God. Have we been so busy kicking God out of our schools, our public places and our lives that we are good with letting satan in? A separation of Church and State in the original terms of our Founding Fathers, I understand, but in their terminology....God was not to be forsaken. On the contrary, our country was founded so that God could be worshiped by Protestants and Catholics alike in the way each chose. The separation was to insure that regardless of the religious beliefs of those in office (Catholic or Protestant), that the rules and the laws would not favor one over the other. However, regardless of religious preference, satan was viewed evil and he was given no voice, let alone a public platform to be worshiped on. I am sure our FF are rolling in their graves at the mockery we have made of their hard work and the God they fought to be able to worship. 

If you can't tell, as both a Catholic and a Christian, I find this gratification of evil not only blasphemous and horrific, but also sinful on the part of Christians, Jews and anyone who worships God but idly stands back and allows it to happen without a fight. The world is becoming more and more evil because good men don't speak up and speak out and are letting themselves be bulldozed and bullied by entities such as DAM and people such as Daniels. This satanic black mass is "hate speech" to end all "hate speech" and if you truly are a fair and unbiased American, then regardless of your religious MUST take a stand. If this was directed at blacks, Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton would be plastered all over our TV's. If this was against the gay and lesbian community, GLAAD and every celebrity known to man would be publicly speaking out against it and if it was directed at the Muslim community, DAM would be run out of town tarred and feathered while being chastised for their intolerance of the Muslim faith. But no....this is directed at where is our support? Where is the celebrity outrage and the chastisement for intolerance? (crickets?)

Perhaps since we have no high profile support, we will do what Christians have done since Jesus said, "Upon this rock I will build my church," we stand up and fight for our right to worship God and to keep satan where he hell. If you want your voice to be heard and you want this ultimate act of "hate speech" squelched, then here are the numbers that you can call and let your voice be heard. Don't let satan get this public attention and don't let DAM get the last laugh. Here are the numbers that you can call: Mayor and City Manger of OKC 405-297-2424 and Civic Center Music Hall where mass is to be held 405-297-2584Please let your voice be heard.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Wichita....My Past

I have been feeling rather nostalgic of late. If you are a friend of mine on facebook, I am sure yesterdays numerous nostalgic posts made this quite evident. With all the changes I am trying to implement, perhaps I am looking for that one last hurrah with the past, so that I can move forward. Sometimes visiting the past is like a warm and fuzzy feeling on a cold night. You don't really want to be warm and fuzzy forever (at least I don't), but that walk down memory lane sure can be a nice vacation away from reality and the present.

So last night I saw a post about the 16 most missed landmarks of Denver....or something along those lines. At any rate, it got me to thinking about Wichita. Wichita is the city that I grew up closest to. Early on, I lived there and later on, it was the place where we shopped, I worked and for a few months, where I lived again. I played a lot in Wichita, from my late teens on and I have some truly fond memories of one of the smaller cities in America.

Wichita sits in the south central part of the state of Kansas and while it is not the capitol, it is the largest city in the state and the 49th largest city in the country. Wichita has an interesting past of wagon trains, cattle drives and shoot outs, all before it began taking the shape of what it has become today. One of my favorite places to visit in Wichita is the Old Cow Town Museum. It is an outdoor museum made up of some of the original buildings from Wichita's early days. During the summer they have actors take up daily residence there and act out a day in the life of early Wichitans, complete with long dresses, long sleeves and sometimes 100+ degree weather. It is actually an amazing place and if you like history like I do, then TOCTM is a must see if you are ever in these parts.

Growing up in Wichita pre-Michael Soles and pre-Otero murder/BTK, it was an amazing place. In the 1960's and early 70's, people still left their doors unlocked and their keys in their cars, even downtown. My mother would go once a week to the K-Mart on east Kellogg which was also a grocery store and buy a station wagon full of groceries for $50. We had family bbq's, kids played all over the neighborhood and we couldn't wait until school was out every year to take our final grade cards to Joyland Amusment Park and get free ride tickets for our A's and B's.

Joyland was a wonderful amusement park that left a mark on the memories of anyone growing up in the Wichita area between 1949 and 2006, with Louie, the organ playing clown, the Old Woman's Shoe and the pig trash can. There was also the Wacky Shack, where many a teen had their first kiss and the famous wooden roller coaster that was as dangerous as it was fun. Joyland opened Easter Sunday of every year and stayed open until Halloween. It was an exciting place for our little piece of the world and when it closed for good in 2006, due to a lack of funds and an increase in crime and gang activity in the area, it was as if a piece of our childhood had died. Now the park sits deserted, falling apart and according to some......haunted. In fact for years after it closed, many said they could hear Louie playing the old Wurlitzer late late at night. Hmmmm

The amusement park was not the only place we had fun though. As a kid, a huge treat was going to the drive-in. We would get dressed in our pajama's, Mom would make sandwiches and we would head out. We would back our station wagon into the stall, throw down pillows and blankets and we were set for the evening. The first drive-in movie I ever saw was The Jungle Book at the Meadowlark on east Harry St. I loved it! Wichita had it's fair share of drive-ins back in the day: The 54, Sunset, Meadowlark and the Landmark just to name a few, but sadly, only the Starlite currently remains. I am glad to say though, that during drive-in season, that place is still hoppin'!

Downtown Wichita used to be quite a place too. Long before the suburbs brought us Towne East and Towne West malls, we had downtown Wichita. It was an exciting bustling place where everyone did their shopping and you could see housewives in hats, gloves and heels, with a tight grip on their equally dressed up children frequenting places like the Innes Tea Room, The Model and Lewins. We had Macy's, Henry's and Brooks Brothers and of course my favorite place was Woolworth's. Not only did it seem like Woolworth's had absolutely everything, but the best part of all was the lunch counter with the soda fountain. A soda or a sandwich at Woolworth's was really quite the treat.

My all time favorite spot downtown though, was Macy's. Macy's was a multilevel building just like something out of an old black and white movie. You took an elevator to get to whatever department you wanted. As it has been many years since Macy's left Wichita, I don't remember what level was what, but I do remember absolutely loving that store. It still makes me sad to know that it is gone.

As Wichita began to spread out both east and west, keeping up with the times, one of  the first local malls came to be. On east Harry they knocked out another small amusement park called Kiddieland which was basically a Joyland for the 6 and under set and my beloved Meadowlark Drive-in was also sacrificed so that the Harry Street Mall could be built. Being the child of divorced parents, I spent a great many Saturday's and Sunday's at the HSM because my dad didn't know what else to do with us. I spent hours walking the oblong mall past McDonald's Department Store, Hickory Farms, Montgomery Wards, the pet store with puppies on display, Cricket Alley(the most amazing dress store ever) and of course....Orange Julius. HSM also boasted a movie theater where I was privileged to see at least the first two Star Wars movies and maybe even the third. I loved the HSM and it will forever hold a special place in my heart. Sadly, in the mid 1970's HSM began to see the beginning of the end as Towne East Square and soon after Towne West Square were built to anchor Kellogg and draw traffic to the suburbs.

While Towne East meant the slow and steady demise of my beloved HSM, I grew very enamored with TE very quickly. Perhaps it was it's multi-levels, it's shiny new surfaces or maybe it was the fact that I was now of the Mall Rat age and I just loved hanging out in the food court. Whatever the case though, TE won me over and I have been a dedicated fan ever since.

Wichita holds other dear memories for me such as skating on Saturday nights. All us Mulvane kids would load into someones parents car (often my mothers) and we would head out to Joyland Skate, Skate South or Skate East and make the rounds of the rink to the likes of the Bee Gee's and Donna Summer. We ALL ate Italian at Angelo's and the Colonial had the best ice cream soda's around.

When I was old enough to drive (and maybe even a little before), there was Douglas street dragging. Douglas was two or so miles of midtown street where every Friday and Saturday night, kids and car aficionado's from all over the area met and made the round over and over again. On a busy night, it might take two hours to go the two miles. The cars were amazing, the kids were from all over and the music was blaring from car speakers up and down the strip. It was the cheapest and some of the best spent moments of my teen's and early 20's. But like everything else, it only takes a few bad apples to spoil it for everyone. Gangs became a bigger presence in the area and since the decline of the downtown shopping area with the mall boom, the city decided they wanted to renovate the area and thus ended dragging on Douglas in the early 1990's.

Wichita was an amazing place back in the recesses of my mind. There were pony rides at Watson park and the "original" zoo at Riverside Park. We ate at places like Angelo's, Portobella Road, the Lazy R, Howard Johnson's, The Old Weigh Station and Shakey's Pizza. We partied at Pogo's, Backstage, Bubba Rocks, Johnny Rockets, The Rattlesnake Club, the Fireside and the Cowboy. We shopped at Macy's, Lewin's, Henry's, the Model and my all time favorite....Cricket Alley. We watched football at Cessna Stadium and went to the Coliseum for everything. We had the Twin Lakes Mall and the Harry Street Mall, drive-in's galore and bowling alley's all over town. We were the Air Capitol of the world with Cessna, Beech, Boeing and Learjet. We had Wichita State University for higher education and with Century II and the Wichita Art Association we kept up with the culture and refinement of the times. To those from the St. Louis's, Oklahoma City's and other big cities, Wichita might not have seemed like much in it's growing years, but to the locals, it was bursting with activities, shops and it's own little midwestern culture and I hold it fondly in my heart.

So there you have nostalgic stroll down memory lane into a time, mostly forgotten and yet it still holds a special place inside me. Now I will carefully take these wonderful places and times and fold them neatly and tuck them away until another day when a wave of nostalgia hits. Until then though, I move forward knowing that each and everyone of these memories, made me who I am today.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

No Project...Projects Day

It is project day and woefully, I have nothing to show for this week...or even the last couple of weeks. Once the pool and the fire pit were finished, my energy seemed to kind of die away! Now don't get me wrong, my whole life is a work in progress with nothing but projects and it can get a bit overwhelming. That being said, I have embarked on a new journey and these projects are all a part of it.

So as school has started and the summer heat blares on, there are still a couple of outside projects I would like to complete before cool days and cold nights steal the last of our summer fun. One project I would like to finish in the next week or so, is a deck shower. Since a good deal of my yard is still dirt, keeping it out of the pool is a challenge. I think a PVC deck shower might be the answer to this issue and thanks to Pinterest, I have instructions with pictures and everything. Good thing too because I am more of a visual learner than an instruction reader learner. Yeah....say that five times fast! Also, thanks to Pinterest, I am going to make a PVC water hose holder. It will fit nicely under my deck in the winter months and hold a proud space next to the water spigot in the summer. I figure that even with my limited skills....I can make these projects.

As the summer wears down though, there are going to be plenty of in the house projects to accomplish. David will soon be 14 years old and this year, it is my hope that for his birthday, a complete room re-do will get accomplished. I am still looking towards a Spongebob motif, but time and money may change those plans a bit. At any rate.....David is due for new digs and I would like to make that his one big gift this year. Right now his room is not exactly inviting or stimulating. I plan to change all of that!

Speaking of disaster areas.....we were....right? Another area that needs a redo....or possibly a complete demolition, is my craft room/sewing room/office. It is currently just fondly known as the junk room. It has become the catch all for everything from every other room and for those too lazy to actually put things away. I am naming no names, but you know who you are!!! Currently....I can't even see the floor. I would really like my space back and clutter free. I know that is a lot to ask, but...... That project is to be in the works, sooner than later. Wish me luck on this one!

Another project screaming my name is the therapy room/guest room that has been everything from an extra closet, to a hospital recovery room after Davids surgery. Now, it just holds the junk overrun from the other junk room. It needs to get back to it's serene self with a proper use. Yes, I know I never have guests, but David DOES do therapy! Soon it will be back to it's true self and I will personally flog any person who tries to junk it up again. know who you are!!!!

Finally (for now anyway).....we have my closet. A little fun fact here, my house was built over 50 years ago and apparently in the early 60's, women had a whole lot less clothes and shoes, and therefore needed a whole lot less closet space. Jump ahead to 2014 and we have issues. My closet is packed from top to bottom and side to side. Goodness knows what actually lies at the bottom of said closet. I hear tell there could even be a pair of size 7 jeans. They've obviously been there awhile. Yep, another project that could use some immediate attention.

So you see, the projects abound in Lisaland. It is just a matter of putting my mind to them and accomplishing them. Now maybe, when next Wednesday rolls around, I will actually have something to blog about! ;)

Monday, August 18, 2014

A Much Better Version of Me

I love the feel of a new school year....but I hate saying good bye to leisurely mornings and most of all I hate putting David on the bus knowing that it will be hours before I hear his laugh or see his amazing little face again. There is a part of me that is never ready for this transition into cooler days and the changing colors of the world and another part that lives in anticipation of the change.

This year the world is different to me. David is my last and only child attending school this year. Z is on his way to college and no longer in need of my early morning mother henning. Since David and I have our routine down to a science, there isn't much chaos or commotion. At least this morning there wasn't. However, as I put him on the bus and watched it drive down the road to his new school year, the weekend that I just left behind came back full force. It was the catalyst for a new beginning for me....and this time there will be no looking back.

I hate change. The very fact that change is even on my radar obviously means that it is necessary and yet the status quo is comfortable, if not wearing me to the point of complete and total mental and physical exhaustion. Still, comfortable exhaustion can be less scary than real change. So I told myself..."Buck up little cowgirl. Pull up those big girl panties and lets get this party started!" a matter of fact I do talk to myself in cliches!

This weekend, I experienced change among my friends and I saw its positive side. I was able to unload a little emotional weight, dance a little and end the weekend....tired with blistered feet and a new view of my present and a new vision for my future. My vision you ask? Something a heck of a lot more positive than the last nine months. That could entail anything from a root canal to a lottery win. Yes, it has been just that unfun!

So today I am prepared to begin my journey with just one tiny baby step and moving forward from there, I refuse to look back. It is time that I did something for me....and this is it. Now what this is for sure, I can't tell you, but I made a promise to myself that by this time next year, I am going to be a much better version of me!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

God's Not Dead....The Right Words at the Right Time

I have friends from all walks of life spiritually and religiously. I have never had my friendship contingent upon a persons willingness to go to church or even believe in God. How another believes has never really affected me, unless their beliefs infringed upon my own. Truly, my own soul is what I worry about....and trust me, it is a full time job.

Of late though, I have been down. Never have I lost faith but I have quite honestly, questioned God's plan for me. Life has hit some really rocky points for both me and my family and I have found myself wondering what I was doing wrong? Adages such as "God helps those who help themselves," keep creeping into my head, making me wonder if God is waiting for me to do something different. "Everything happens in God's time," is another one that keeps coming to mind. Again I wonder, when is God's time and how will I keep hanging onto the thread that my life has become, if God's time is not sooner than later? Then I remember that nothing happens without purpose and there is a lesson in everything. There is a lesson I am suppose to learn. There is something that I have yet to see and until I see it..........

So being in this abyss of wondering where I fit in, how I should move forward and wondering how I continue on in the here and now, I have found myself emotionally and spiritually exhausted. Last night Z said he wanted to watch a movie with me. This in itself was kind of a miracle, as Z has had little time for anything family related lately. He chose the movie and together we sat down and watched. The movie was God's Not Dead. Of course I had heard of the movie and I actually wanted to see it, but my movie going happens pretty seldom. Z had seen it when it came out at the movies and it apparently affected him pretty deeply as it was a time that he was going through his own issues and questioning everything......including God. At the time he said it was a movie that I really needed to see. He was right!

Now those of you who know me or who have read my blogs in the past, know that I am a Christian. I was born and raised Roman Catholic and I have never strayed from my beliefs. That being said, I have always been a big believer in people leading by example and not forcing religion and/or faith on someone. True faith and belief in God has to be a choice, otherwise it really means nothing. So I wondered about this movie. Sometimes Christian movies come off as preachy and quite honestly I wondered if this movie was going to be preachy and one sided, which is great if you believe in God, but often turns off those on the fence. wasn't preachy at all.

As I watched the movie I found myself amazed at how beautifully it was done and although I am not a big movie quoter....there were some quotes in the movie that I actually took to heart. The movie took on Atheism and Christianity and gave them both equal time. Yes, it was heavy on the Christianity because it was a Christian film and for those of us who are Christian and lose track of just what that means, the film was peppered with quotes such as "God is good all the time. And all the time, God is good." While the movie is made up of interlocking stories of faith as well as Atheism, the main story line is that a young college freshman taking a first year Philosophy course is asked by the professor on the first day of class to write on paper, God is Dead, and then to sign it. Being a Christian, he is the only one in the class that refuses to. Because of this, his openly Atheist professor then challenges the freshman to take a portion of the next three class periods to prove that God is not dead, with his classmates judging his arguments. If he cannot sway them, then he fails that portion of the class. Knowing he bit off a lot, he talks to his pastor and his pastor advises him that God is guiding him and that he has to decide whether to listen or not saying "It's not easy, but it's simple." Those words struck a chord with me. Faith is simple, but for so is not easy.

The movie makes a bold and yet factual argument that a good many Atheist started out as Christians but then became disgruntled that God's time was not their time and that God's answers were not the ones they wanted to hear. Perhaps many Atheist do not believe in God, but a good many have chosen Atheism not because they don't believe in God's existence but rather that they are angry with Him, thus turning their back and denying Him is their way of punishing Him when His answer is "No!"

Along with some amazing quotes, God's' Not Dead, had many good points, one of the most important being that even here in America, Christians are persecuted and ridiculed for their faith. Schools, families, friends and often society in general make fun of faith and religion and of course there are those that simply deny God's existence altogether and ridicule anyone who feels differently. It makes standing up for and with God again, although simple....not easy.

For those that see the movie, I am sure that everyone will take something different away from it. Some will hate it, many will like, but in the end,  it will make everyone with an open mind.....think. It made me think! It gave me hope and in some ways it strengthened my faith. It was the right movie and the right the right time. Perhaps that was God's way of reminding me that I am not alone, that there is a plan and in time, all will be fine.

No....God's not dead!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Q & A Sunday

It has been a strange week and quite's topic, religion/faith/spirituality is a bit overwhelming in my current emotional state. I decided though, to go through some old emails and messages and answer some questions that have been sent to me in the past about my blogs that were faith based. I am much more confident that I can answer questions than I am that I can write a full on blog today. So here it goes......

Karen G. asks: You have made it clear that you are catholic. What is the difference between a catholic and a christian?
Karen, Catholics are Christians. In fact, the Catholic church is the first Christian church which was started by Jesus Himself, when he said, "Upon this rock, I shall build my church." He was referring to St. Peter as the rock who He chose as the first pope. The church He refers to is the Catholic church. All other Christian religions came after this and in the early years, were started by those who no longer wanted to go along with the Catholic teachings or to follow the pope. In modern day, some other religions have services that fairly closely mirror the Catholic mass, however the main difference between a Catholic mass and a Protestant service is, that when Catholics receive Holy Communion, the bread and wine are consecrated as at the Last Supper and Catholics are receiving the body and blood of Christ just like the apostles did. 

Anonymous asks: Do you believe that if you are not catholic you will not go to heaven? 
Anonymous, it is not for me to judge who will and will not go to heaven. I believe that God gave us the Bible and the Ten Commandments as guides in how He wants us to live our lives. Regardless of religious preference, I believe that if you follow these things the best you can and trust in them as God's word, then whether you are Protestant, Catholic or any other faith, your chances are much greater of getting into heaven than they are if you ignore Gods word. That being said, I was taught that you never judge anyone's eternity for two reasons. One, only God has the final say and two, because you never know the last thoughts in someones heart. All God ask of us is complete sorrow for our sins and if someone leads a sinful life but their last thought are complete sorrow, then who's to say God will not take that into consideration? 

Deon asks: Do you find the Muslim religion to be good or evil? 
Deon, quite frankly I have not studied the Muslim religion to any degree. My basic knowledge of it is that those Muslims who live in the Middle East or have come from the Middle East are much more zealous in their beliefs and understanding of the Koran. They use their belief to start and continue Holy Wars and demand complete loyalty to their faith by all. I don't see their view of their faith as a religion of peace and more that they see it as a religion of dominance. That being said, I don't think most American born Muslims believe like that. I do think they try to be a religion of peace and coexist with other religions, but their beliefs are overshadowed by the hatred we see on the news and see happening across the world, thus leaving them to also be viewed as a religion of hate and dominance. In this case, the peace loving Muslims are judged harshly because of those Muslims who use their faith as a way to hate.

T.R. asks: Are you "born again?" 
T.R., yes and no. No, I am not "born again," in the Protestant way of being born again. I used to be a bit flip about this question. When someone would ask me if I was born again I would smile and say, "Nope. No need. It took the first time." However I have realized over time that someone of a Protestant faith finds being born again to be a renewal of their belief and their love of God. Definitely not something to be flip about and quite honestly, Catholics too are born again each time they receive a sacrament of the Catholic Church such as reconciliation or Holy Communion or anytime they renew their baptismal vows. It is a reaffirmation of their love of God and their love of their faith. 

Anonymous asks: Do you believe in miracles?
Anonymous, yes very much and not only do I believe in them, but I have seen them with my own eyes

Okay, so there you have it. Some questions. Some answers and maybe a bit of clarity too.I want to thank all of you who read my blogs and who take the time to comment and even write me and ask questions. It gives this blogger a happy heart to know that every once and awhile my words might just have some meaning! .

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The N-Word and the Headline "Fail" of the Decade

So the truth is, I rarely watch the news anymore. No, I'm not burying my head in the sand, I am simply tired of the negativity. There is no good news and what news there is has gotten so biased that in order to watch it, I feel I have to fact check everything. It is exhausting. That being said, Saturday's I like to write about what is going on in the world so not watching the news means I have to do research. Trust me, there are no shortage of political stories I could write about or Ebola stories or immigration stories, but frankly they have been done to death this week, so I decided to research a little further. I happened upon an article in the New York Post about an article that ran in the WestView News in NY. The headline in the WV News read "A N***** in the White House," referring to current president Barrack Obama. The article was written by James Lincoln Collier who seemed to have been writing this as a pro-Obama piece showing that racism is still alive and well in the world today. Apparently though, people of the West Village and around the country didn't take too kindly to the headline, regardless of Colliers intent.

The n-word. As a child in the last days of segregation, the word was still used but mostly by older people. They also used terms like "boy" referring to a young black man and "negro" referring to the race in general. Like the other n-word, "negro" could be used in a derogatory manner, but when the n-word was used among themselves, blacks didn't seem to find it as offensive as they did hearing it from outside their race. The first time I realized the term was negative was when my mom and I were reading "Huckleberry Finn," a literary classic by Mark Twain. One of the main characters was N***** Jim. Being somewhat socially conscious at the time, my mother took the time to stop and talk to me about the word. She explained to me that I would likely hear that word out in the world and it would be directed at blacks, but it was not a term to describe a race. It was a term to describe an attitude. She said that in her book a n***** was someone who was lazy, worthless and without character and that anyone regardless of skin color could be a n***** if they held those traits, but that it was a bad word that people should not call each other. I sort of understood but I liked the character N***** Jim and I forever hated his name after our talk. I NEVER have nor will I ever use that word to describe another human being.

All this being said, the n-word is just that.....a word. It is no more or less racist than Cracker and I have heard blacks on the news spewing the word "Cracker" and it was simply ignored and life went on. You would think that these words would only have the power we allowed them to have, however....the n-word seems to pack quite a powerful punch to the point of provoking riots, lawsuits and a national tongue lashing from Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. So if the word is so degrading and so racist, why do blacks use the term among themselves and called it their word and not ours? I have always wondered this and a few years back I had a young 30 something black man in one of the college courses I took. One day, the conversation turned to the n-word and I asked him why blacks called themselves that. He told me that only the "low class" blacks did that, referring to the bangers and the uneducated or under educated. He said it was more a street/gang word and regardless of what they try to tell the world, it is just as degrading and racist if not more so, when a black man calls another black man the n-word as it is when anyone else does it.
So I asked...."Why do blacks call it their word?"
He just shook his head and said, "It shouldn't be anybody's word with in the modern day definition," and then he went on to talk about when blacks were brought over as slaves. He said the n-word was a common word at the time and used not as a racist term but more as a class term. Blacks were viewed as property and were viewed nowhere near the class of the white man. There were masters (the whites) and n*****s (blacks). It was almost a hundred years later before the term racist became common and the term n***** became the #1 word on the forefront of racism. I then asked him if he was offended by the n-word and he told me that he found it far more insulting to hear blacks calling each other that than he did to hear a white man call a black man that. The reason was, when a white man calls a black man that....then the white man is speaking in ignorance, but when a black man calls another black man that, then he is showing no pride for his race, no respect for himself or his race and no desire to better himself or his race. Then he asked me, how many college educated black men I had ever heard using that word.
When I thought about it, I really couldn't think of any and he shook his head and said....."And you won't, because they are proud, respectable and respectful men. They want to bring their race up not hold it down with self hate and self prejudice."
It was one of the most interesting and educational conversations I have ever had. His goal was to go to law school and then go to Georgia where he had family and practice law there. He said there was a lot of racial ignorance in that part of the world and he wanted to help change that. I have no doubt that he is probably doing that as we speak.

So is racism still alive and well in our country? Yes and I think there has been a strong resurgence in the last few years like this country hasn't seen since the 1960's. I believe there are many reasons for this and a black president is one of those reasons. Having our first black president laid racism wide open. When Obama ran the first term many admittedly voted for him not because they felt that he was the best man for the job but because he was black. Many believed that it was time a black man was president and if you weren't on board with that or possibly questioned whether he was the man (regardless of color) that we needed at the time, then you were viewed as racist. Ever since, that sentiment has only grown stronger and where in the past, you could openly disagree with a president or even say something negative about a president now it is viewed as racist. No one wants to be viewed that way, but people are getting tired of not being able to speak out about something that has nothing to do with the color of the mans skin and everything to do with the kind of job he is doing, for fear of being labeled. In my opinion....racism has become a smoke screen for the current administration to hide behind and it is something that needs to be addressed to ensure the success of another president of a race other than white or even a woman. Credentials are what a presidency should be judged on, not race or sex or any other factors that have nothing at all to do with the job.

Now tell there really a place in modern society for the n-word? Does it add to our culture? Does it make our world a better place? Should it be used for whites to degrade blacks or blacks to degrade each other? No, to all of that. I do not judge a person by the color of their skin but rather the strength of their character and no man can grow strong in character if he is constantly degraded and put down by his own or by others. No.... I am not a fan of Collier's headline, regardless of the intent and while I am also not a huge supporter of the current administration and president, calling him a n***** in print, shows no class and great disrespect not just to the president but to all black people in this country. Colliers article may have been written with the best of intentions, but his headline in my opinion, was nothing but one huge  fail! 

Friday, August 1, 2014

The One....Before the One

It is funny, how sometimes you can hear a song and immediately be taken back to a certain time or place. It is so clear in your memory that you remember every detail, smell every smell and feel every sense. It happened to me just the other day. I rarely have time to think in the present, let alone take a journey back in time, but I guess it was taken out of my hands. In this case, I didn't even hear the song. Someone posted on facebook about another song and the rat maze of my brain immediately thought of the song and I was there.

We all have a first true love. The one. In my case, I had the one, before I married the one. The one...the first one, was the last thing I expected. I had gone to school away from home and I hated it. I felt alone, deserted and I had barely come out of my dorm room for three days. My roommate had decided to have as much sex with as many guys as she could her freshman year and so far, she was doing a stellar job. I was out of my element and definitely way too naive for college life. Just when I was ready to call home and beg my parents to end my suffering, he happened. He and a friend showed up at my door. He was a sophomore and he scared me to death, but with some persistence he managed to pry me from my room. He was different than anyone I had ever met. He was smart and funny and there was something about the way he looked at me that drew me in. It was almost as if he could see inside of me and it made me feel more shy than I had ever felt in my life. 

Once he had pulled me from my room....he and his friend decided to show my roommate and I, the doughnut shop which made their delectable offerings at night and had a back door where you could go and get fresh hot doughnuts. It was the first time I had ever had such a thing and little did I know at the time, it was the start of many firsts in my life. I remember as we got into his car, he motioned for me to sit next to him (bench seats were nice like that). As I hesitantly moved closer, I could have sworn I felt a dart of electricity as he touched my hand. From that second on, the boy and I, the one....were inseparable. In that moment all fear of school, being away from home and the unknown washed away. There has never been another moment in my life like that. 

Our relationship grew quickly, but almost from the beginning it was full of uphill battles. Somehow though, we always seemed to clear the hurdles and grow closer. He showed me places and things that I had never seen before and to this day I am sure that my love of Star Trek is thanks to him. I also can't watch M*A*S*H without thinking of our Monday night ritual of never missing an episode and watching the final episode together in his friends room. 

This boy made me feel like no one had ever made me feel before. He was sweet and romantic. He wrote me poetry and left me notes just to let me know he was thinking of me. Then one day he told me he loved me and in that moment, I realized that I loved him too. When we were apart, life was not the same and I counted the days until I could see his face and feel his arms around me. Time couldn't go by fast enough. Then once together, I never wanted our time to end. He made me laugh and he seemed to understand just who I was. No one had ever really cared enough about me before to find out who I really was and it felt amazing. 

As we grew closer he took me to meet his family. During that trip, most of it was a blur with the exception of two things. One, he asked me to marry him and two we went to a little bar with his brother and the song played and we danced. Of course it was the song that came to mind just the other day and shot me back to all those years ago. I could see him so clearly....his arms around me as we danced. I could smell the smokey air and hear the clink of bottles but mostly....I just felt that feeling of total happiness in that moment. It was one of the few perfect moments I have ever had. 

Of course life doesn't stay perfect. One day it all just ended. I never really was sure why. It came on the tail end of a tragedy in my life and that, with the loss of the boy, was almost more than I could bare. His loss left a hole in my heart for many years. In fact, I don't think I ever truly got over the one.....until I met the one. Until I met my husband, the boy set the standard and all others seem to pale in comparison. No one else seemed as kind, as smart, as funny nor could they even begin to touch my heart the way he did. I went through a lot of painful, sad years and some pretty painful and sad relationships.Then, when I met my husband, it was the first time in years that I didn't think about the boy. There were no more comparisons and my heart no longer belonged to the boy. I was free of the pain and I never looked back. 

One might think that was the end of the story, but thanks to was not. I am not sure who friend requested who all those years ago. It was likely me requesting him as in my early fb days, I frantically tried to reconnect with everyone I had ever known.....ever. We had both grown up and moved on. Both of us have families and lives that took us far from who we were all those years ago. I had forgiven our ending even though I still had no idea why it happened, but somehow it no longer seemed important. He is married and happy leading the life he was destined for. I once again have a hole in my heart that no one will likely ever be able to fill. So the boy, now the man, and I are once again friends. We share the connection of a time many years ago when the world was a different place, but that is where it ends. Now we talk a couple of times a year checking in on each other and catching up on our respective families, then signing off until the next time. Then the song. 

The memory was clear and brilliant and perfect. It made me smile thinking of that girl and that boy and all the dreams they had that night. It was bitter sweet and maybe even a little painful too, knowing how the world would soon change for them, but in that moment it was all either of them could have ever wanted. Life though, has a way of working out the way it is suppose to and he and I were not meant to be. Today we are nothing more than just a passing memory for each other of another time and another place.....and honestly,  I am good with that. However, for a brief moment in the middle of a horribly screwed up day, it was really nice to take a trip back and remember a time, when I was innocently and completely in love, with the one...... before the one.