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A Lesson In The Fall

Hues of orange and gold layer the floor beneath me,

Members of the multitude of pastel trees,

Floating ever so slowly down upon me,

Dancing freely in the scented breeze.

 

An everchanging kaleidoscope of color engulfs my eyes,

My face kissed by sun-warmed air,

A cloudless blue Heaven smiles upon me,

The fingers of Fall through my hair.

 

I stand, solitaire, inhaling nature’s gifts,

Absorbing a tranquility a lifetime sought,

Trickling water and the songs of birds fill the near distance,

The freedom that couldn’t be taught.

 

No longer am I a stranger to myself,

My tormented mind breathes anew,

Strengthened by my paradise,

For in it is where I grew.

 

Let’s Have a Parade

President Trump recently announced his wish to have a military parade and has commanded the Pentagon to begin planning it.  The President reportedly began pitching the idea of a military parade shortly after he was elected, after watching one at A Bastille Day celebration in Paris in July.  The last parade of this kind was held in the summer of 1991 to celebrate the end of the gulf war and is reported to have cost $12 million.

Although the President’s idea for such a tribute to our military may be well-respected since we all recognize his warm regard for the men and women who serve, it appears that it isn’t as warmly received by his political colleagues, both Democrat and Republican and, perhaps, with good reason.  Some question if this is President Trump’s latest thrust in the competition with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, You have a parade, I’ll have a parade, since the two leaders have been going head to head for some time now with regard to who is the most capable.  Others wonder what the cost for such a parade will be and where the funding will come from.  Will this, somehow, fall upon the nation’s taxpayers.  Many may argue that, with a near government shutdown and so many other priorities for our nation, why funding would be used for a showcase of our military weaponry.

Whether you are a Trump supporter or not, we are all left to question why this is necessary when there are so many other beneficial ways that funding for this endeavor can be used to support our military and its veterans.  The men and women who have sacrificed their lives and families deserve our respect and praise and certainly deserve much more than a parade.  We should always salute and thank them accordingly but, for President Trump and his idea to broadcast our military weapons down the streets of Washington, D.C. while further touting North Korea, this could be a dangerous game.

Love, Multiplied

While mindlessly channel surfing on TV the other night, I came across a new show called “Seeking Sister Wife”.  I had seen a preview for it, and I had also watched the show “Sister Wives” several times, so I settled onto the couch with a blanket to check it out.  The show highlights three families in search of a sister wife to join their households and I was immediately captivated.

Polygamy is not for me but I admit that the lifestyle has intrigued me since Warren Jeffs and the FLDS church made the news years ago, not because it is a lifestyle that I would choose for myself or that I even agree with but because the family dynamics interest me.  I find myself intrigued by the relationships between the wives in these families and the sacrifices that they appear to make for the lifestyle.  I understand why they’ve chosen it.  They believe that polygamy is what God has chosen for them and that the sacrifices are well worth the reward that they will receive in Heaven.  Their faith may, perhaps, encourage the lifestyle, but it doesn’t seem to be forced.  People do appear to be able to choose the type of marriage that they want.

I try to look at both sides of their lifestyle.  Part of me, like many women, wonder how one can share her husband with another woman, or women in this case.  How does she control the feelings of jealousy or envy if she feels that another wife is “favored”?  How does she so selflessly partake in the courtship and marriage to a new wife?  I suppose that this is part of the sacrifice.  Perhaps living in separate homes could make it easier, but abiding in the same home, all of the wives and children together, would appear to add to the already challenging way of life.  On the other hand, I realize that polygamy isn’t about a sexual desire but a religious desire.  These growing families are multiplied by what they believe God has chosen for them.  A good relationship can certainly have its benefits with another wife helping out with the house, children and finances.  A sister wife can step in with the household when another is too ill or busy to do so on a particular day.

I truly believe that there are families that certainly make this lifestyle of polygamy work and I definitely understand and respect it, but I’m still left to wonder about the rest, the families whose dynamic has been tarnished by jealousy or disfavor.  Some could argue that polygamy simply pits one woman against another, forcing them to make the sacrifices for a man who appears to have it all, an understandably unfair balance.  Perhaps we just don’t understand their clarity of the lifestyle.  Even so, we have been given no right to judge another for their choice of religion, spouse or lifestyle so I try only educate myself from these shows and, I have to admit, I look forward to keeping up with their lives on my Sunday evenings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sea of Anger

I wrote this long ago…

Sea of Anger

Salt-scented breezes caress my skin beneath a blanket of blue

As we glide across a rippling glass;

My reflection dances in the liquid mirror

As if to entertain my soul.

 

An ebony sky intrudes, replacing a fallen sun,

Fury will join in the night;

Roaring rumbles penetrate the silent air

In the electric darkness.

 

Swept up in a moistened and bitter wind,

Violent waves toss us forcefully about

As the depth swallows our bow,

It descends into ruffled black.

 

Under the flashing sky we leap, one by one,

Into an unknown world of erratic cold,

Blinded in the night, abandoned and forced to ride the ocean tide,

Monstrosity fights our search for blessed earth.

 

A fearful struggle of determination, softened by a song on my father’s tongue,

Prayers into the lightning stricken Heavens,

Wrestling with weary bones and trembling muscles,

And suddenly, we are spit out by the sea with a kiss of freedom.

Resolutions

Today, I noticed some new faces in the gym, a few getting an early start on their New Year’s resolution to get fit.  The start of a new year always seems to bring a flood of exercisers in for the same reason, some of whom will stay and many who will fade out by spring.  They will begin a new diet or, perhaps, quit smoking.  At some level, a new year symbolizes a new beginning for most of us, a chance to change and start fresh with the changes that we want in our lives.  We live in excess on New Year’s Eve while vowing to become better versions of ourselves on January 1st.

The past years have given me ample opportunity for my resolutions, none of which I managed to follow the way that I was sure that I would, though I am proud to say that I have followed through with some of them later on.  I did quit smoking and I have been consistent in the gym but, no, I never managed to get that big promotion at work and I’m still struggling to be the famous author that I’ve always dreamed of becoming.

This year, there are no resolutions for me.  I’ve finally realized that, though I have much room for improvement, I love who I am and set my goals daily rather than annually, to be better, a better wife and mother, a better daughter and friend, a better writer and employee, just better.  I vow to be a better version of me for myself and for all of you, my readers, family and friends.

I wish you all a very prosperous, happy and successful 2018 of just appreciating who you’ve already become.  Enjoy and many blessings.

The Beautiful Side of Autism

Those of you who know me know that I have a stepdaughter with autism.  It feels a little strange even calling her my stepdaughter because I have been in her life for nearly 15 years, since she was just eight years old.  I have known her mother even longer (we were high school friends), and I’m so grateful to her for trusting me with her most prized possession.  It’s true what they say… “it takes a village to raise a child” and this is especially true when that child is autistic.  We are a family joined together and rallied around her.

I admit, before Courtney, I had little experience or knowledge of autism and, at that time, there was still much research to be done.  I was nervous to meet her and, moreover, nervous about my two year old son to meet her for fear of him unintentionally offending her father by his inquisitiveness.  I knew that he would have a lot of questions about why she was nonverbal and not like many of the other kids that he’d been around.  I explained to him before meeting her that she was like the other children but just communicated in her own way and he appeared satisfied with my answer.  That evening, when we met her, we got so much more than we had expected.  There, in her Barney-themed bedroom sat a petite and bright-eyed beauty with blond curls and an inviting grin.  I was drawn to her, immediately, and so was my young son.

It has been a blessing, through the years, to watch our kids grow up together and be so close.  We’ve hosted birthday parties with the children from the neighborhood for Courtney, dressed her up for Halloween and spoiled her with mountains of Christmas gifts, none of which she appeared overly enthused about but, in my heart and in hers, they are beautiful memories that our family has together.  Courtney has faced her challenges head on, still requiring assistance to meet her daily needs but also overcoming some difficult obstacles.  We have gotten the opportunity to see her graduate from school and recently be baptized at her church.  At her job, she receives praise for her work and we are all so proud of her.

Though Courtney is nonverbal and can’t express her requests and feelings in our language, we have all found ways to communicate with her.  We realize that she yearns to be like every other girl her age, wearing makeup and doing her hair or going out with friends.  I see the way that she leaps in front of the bathroom mirror when I am putting makeup on, asking me to put it on her, too.  I’ve even seen her admire a boy or two.  We realize how frustrating it is for her to have the anxieties that she faces while not having people understand her thoughts.  Certainly, she seeks normalcy, but her parents and I also take comfort knowing that we don’t have to worry about her being in an accident while driving or suffering a broken heart because of a boy.  Our worries are for her future, when we are all gone from this earth, but she has three younger brothers who I know will be good to her and take care of her in every way possible.

Courtney teaches me not to sweat the small stuff, not to allow the unimportant things to upset me.  She shows me that life is about being happy with what you have, not what you want, and she shows us how to love, unconditionally.  That is just a couple of the gifts that she brings to our lives and it is the beautiful side of an otherwise challenging way of life and we look forward to seeing all her future accomplishments.

Author Appreciation

As many of you may know, I have published four fiction novels and written some that haven’t been published. I have been a writer of poetry, magazine articles, short stories and even ehow articles online.

For any kind of writer, every word needs to audition for a part in our work and putting the right words together in a way that can both capture the reader and keep his interest is almost always an agonizing ritual of reading, editing, rereading and editing again in an attempt to ensure that we get our message across in the most interesting way possible.  Most writers will agree with me that it is the most torturous and blissful process that we do for our readers, especially given all of the competition out there.  These sentiments are our blood, sweat and tears, our heartache and happiness and, most of all, our souls spilled out into our literary pieces.  We give you all that we have, in fear of the criticism and rejection, continuously picking ourselves back up after a fall because of an unwavering passion that we can’t survive without.  We hope that, somewhere, someone can feel our words, be provided the escape that they need through our stories, hold onto its characters and, hopefully, let us know that they enjoyed reading it.

Though some authors may appear to find an easy road to success, most of us are simply people who squeeze in writing between full-time jobs, raising children and household chores, spilling out words at crazy hours and, sometimes, in crazy places.  You might see us writing on a napkin in a restaurant or on the back of a receipt while shopping because a good idea has just hit us.  Not all authors write for fame.  We do it because we are feeding a passion that we need to fulfill, but our goal is always the same, to have the public read and appreciate what we have put our everything into.  As a writer, we need you, the readers, for so many reasons, and the very best thing that you can give a writer is a review of their work on a public platform.  I always ask my readers to review my books on Amazon and other online outlets.  I’ve even given away books in exchange for reviews, honest reviews, even if they aren’t what I want to hear.  Every review makes an author better and helps us succeed.  You are imperative to a writer so, please, take a few minutes and review the authors that you like, even if it’s only a sentence.  You will be making an absolute difference in their careers and be part of their success.