Monday, August 28, 2006

1971~ Big Wheels, Bicycles & Madame Alexander

My determined & experimental brother, two years my senior, was always an early riser. Being a defiant & independant thing myself, I always wanted to be the last one down & I never cared about being the first one up. I just knew all the excitement happened in the wee hours of the night, especially at Christmas-time.
Christmas morning, 1971, saw my brother awakening before the peacocks & the roosters. This was normal on any day, but especially on Christmas day. Usually, my sweet & thoughtful sister & myself, were the last to rise and actually we really didn't rise, as much as we were tugged, pulled, bullied & bribed out of bed. In our world, the opening of the gifts under the tree could not... would not, happen until we were all up and at 'em.
So, with promises of stockings overflowing, bribes of 'breakfast is ready' and threats of 'everyone is up but you,' I finally arose this Christmas morning.
Groggy-eyed, I followed my brother to the living room, he was chirping 'Look what Santa left me...a bike! And look, a Big Wheel too!' I was rubbing my eyes, disoriented, I said 'What did I get?' He said 'Well, Look in your stocking and see!'
There was a doll, along with some apples and oranges. I wasn't discouraged...but I wasn't impressed. I asked him 'Why didn't I get a Big Wheel or a bike?' Wisely, he replied 'You're a GIRL! Girls get dolls!' Hmmm...I wandered onto the kitchen to get a plate full of scrambled eggs & grits, so we could all begin our gift opening ritual.
Later in the day, as my brother raced around the neighborhood, splitting his time between Big Wheels & bicycles, I ventured out back. I sat on the dock and fixed my doll. It had a head full of hair. I painstakingly & purposelly pulled all of the hair out of it's crown...newborn babies rarely had a head full of perfect hair, in my world. I left the hair just over the ears and around the backside, making it even more life-like, for my world.
When I tracked my way back in the house, my Mother liked to have had a stroke. Apparently this was a very special doll... a Madame Alexander. She was apalled that I had spent the afternoon pulling its' hair out & wanted to know why I hadn't been outside riding with the boys. I told her that I didn't have anything to ride. She looked bewildered & told me to go look again in the living room, Santa had brought me something. I thought there must be a scooter or something that we all over-looked, so I searched, high & low. I searched behind the tree and under the tree, behind and under the sofa...everywhere.
No scooter, nothing to ride...just wads of spent paper, piles of crumpled boxes and stretched out nylon socks.
Not long before dark, Mom turned into the Repossessor. She clarified for my brother that the bike was his & the Big Wheel was mine. He didn't really beleive her...I was a girl & got a doll. Finally she had to call on the Re-enforcer, Dad, who resolved the issue once & for all. He was a big boy & got a bike, I was a little girl and got a Big Wheel.
Winter turned to Spring & I had already worn a hole in my back right wheel. You know, from yanking on the brake and sliding sideways. The hole startied as a slit but quickly became shaped just like the number 4.
Meanwhile, my sweet & patient older sister had her bike, first stolen by neighborhood boys, then finally destroyed by leaving it in the driveway behind Dad's car.
Dad lectured us all on leaving our toys out...they'd get stolen or destroyed.
My determined older brother took good care of his bike though. He always put it up. He never let me ride it & he refused to try to teach me how to ride it, despite my pleas.
One day, he ventured in asking me where my Big Wheel was. I told him it was outside & he lit into me very much like Dad had lit into my sister....'It'll get stolen, it'll get run over! Ewww, Dad is gonna creme you' So, finally fatigued by his words I went out to fetch it.
But it was gone.
That week, my brother started riding his bike a little bit further than normal. He was now allowed to ride it 4 blocks away to his friend Warren's house to help him & his family paint the exterior of their home a stylish 70's color of mustard yellow, accented by doo-doo brown.
In just a matter of days, my brother returned home with a story of a great venture that he & Warren had gone on. They'd ridden their bikes around the lake. It was garbage day & they'd found the coolest stuff put out by the neighbors on the other side. They found some carpeting to go into another boys treehouse and amongst everything else, they had also found 'the Coolest Big Wheel Ever!' It was just like mine, but even cooler, it's in BOY colors!'
You got it...mustard yellow & doo-doo brown!
But the hole... the hole in the right wheel, the hole shaped like the number 4, was there & I knew that this Big Wheel had once been mine.
Lesson learned...if you leave your toys outside, they'll get stolen or destroyed. Maybe by the boys down the street or maybe just by the boys down the hall.
I was mad, but defiant and ready to move on.
I really didn't ride the Big Wheel again. Instead, while my dear, crafty, determined & ingenuitive brother was busy at school, I defiantly taught myself how to ride a bike...not just any bike, but his bike.
This little life lesson makes us all laugh today.
It taught my brother not to steal, as he learned it'll come back to get you double-fold & it taught me that what can seem like a set-back can really just be push ahead.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

The Dogs of My World

The Dogs of My World
Let me introduce you to Smokie, Ander, Brodie, Marbeline & Vilulah (in proper order:)

Smokie, the Loverboy, is now almost 2 years old & when he was born with mange, the original owners had hoped it would go away. Six months later they had a bloody mess of a puppy on their hands. He would not walk, barely ate & spent his days confined to a front porch with flies swarming around him. The original owners were going to drop him off at Animal Control. Six months of weekly treatments & lots of good old fashioned love has brought this dog to nearly 100 lbs of pure love. His spirit is such that it is like he remembers the pain he felt & he is filled with affectionate gratitude. He is my ticklish loverboy. Just a run of my fingers across his back sends his entire body into a near orgasmic body spasm.
Ander, the Giant, is pictured next. She is, presumably, a little younger than Smokie. She was found, skin & bone, and reaking of swamp in the middle of the road. Problem being the road was a highway & not in a populated area. I'd like to think that she was not dumped, but perhaps jumped out of the back of someone's truck during their travels. We tried to find original owners & we tried to find her a home. But she ran away from them & showed back up here. So, after three baths, she no longer reaked of rancid, soured waste water and after about 8 weeks, she began to really fill out. We just wonder, when will she quit growing? She is the softest, sweetest thing and when she looks you in the eyes, you get the sense that she is an 'old soul.'
Brodie, The Talker, is all dog. He comes from Gordon Setter Rescue because original owners supposedly said he kept running away. I don't beleive it. I think that he was not running 'away,' but running after it a squirrel, bird, or even thunder. He cannot clear our fence, so we don't have that problem. When we had the doghouse closer to the fence, I saw him jump up on it, then jump over the fence so that he could chase the thunder. He's crazy like that. he is the oldest of our dogs, about 8 years old, we think, and is the least domesticated. he likes to point, gets excited when he hears a gun fire & is very vocal in telling us all about the goings on in the yard.
Marbeline, also known as ass-biter, came from pitbull rescue. She was pulled from a breeding house for fighters. Many of the dogs there had to be euthanised. She was barely a month old & thought to be a future bait dog, since she is mixed with Sharpai. the first time I saw her, she was at the vets office & she literally ran up to me, then as I squated down, she ran up me and curled into a little ball in the small of my neck. I said 'oh my, this little thing is like a marble!' the girls at the office told me her story & said she was posted on-line for rescue-adoption. 4 weeks later, they called me. They had interviewed 13 of the 15 prospective adopters to no avail & wanted to know if I would take her...she was answering to the name I inadvertantly had given her on our first meeting...Marbeline. We call her ass-biter because everyone things she is a ferocious dog, lol, and we just prefer that they continue to think that. truth be known, she & Smokie are the two most tender & affectionate of all of ours dogs. They both have an innate sensitivity towards children & babies.
Finally, there is Vilulah the Crazy Girl, named after a small community & church in South Georgia. She actually came from the garden center of the local KMart. She is the most spirited of all of the dogs. She is 11" tall and 33" long & we beleive her to be part Corgie & part border Collie. She loves to go camping, she loves to swing and will go under water, nose & all, to get what she wants. She'll hang out all day long in the hammock if you let her & she's up for any thing. When strangers are coming up the street, she's the first to let me know. She is a total Momma's girl, as crazy as she is.
I KNOW THIS DOES NOT INTEREST MOST OF YOU, BUT THESE WILD BEASTS ARE A SIGNIFIGANT PART OF MY WORLD, consuming a signifigant amount of my affections, time, energy & yes, money. I adore them being in My World & am driven to share them here. Should any of you be considering getting a dog, please make sure that you have plenty of all of those things, plus some patience and a fenced in backyard :) peace/love

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Can you Feel the Magic?

Vilano Beach Dragonfly Sometimes
, I feel the magic when I'm camping & everyone is asleep, including the dogs, and the fire is snapping and spitting, throwing images and shadows my way, and the wind is blowing whispers and wings all through the night. All I can do is just think, watch and listen to feel that feeling.

Sometimes, I fee
l it when I am in My Own World, doing My Own Thing, and I get interrupted by the hardy, heartfelt laughter of a child or a stranger. It echoes down the hallway, down the street, through the trees, across the yards to me. It doesn't bounce off of me, I absorb it & it fills me with that special magical feeling.

I have had that feeling walking along, as a butterfly landed on my shoulder then fluttered to my chest, and finally proceeded to dance with me and around me all the way to my destination.

I have that magical feeling when I find old, mishaped, well-loved & forgotten mar
bles in the yard or in the walls of this 103 year old house ... feeling the stories, tales & times of days gone by.

Today, I had that
magical feeling when I rolled down my car window, as I pulled up to the red light, only to look to my left and see a dragonfly hovering there, eight inches from my nose, looking at me. The light turned green, as he sailed to the front center of my windsheild. As if held by the circumvent of wind created by my right-hand turn and acceleration. The dragonfly road outside my front windsheild, facing me the whole time, fluttering slightly towards the center of the windsheild then back again, facing me. One more light & two more left turns saw me to work. Upon arrival, my co-worker was waiting for me outside & I quickly popped out of the car, with this one crazy dragon fly zooming around my car & now my head. My co-worker said'I think theyr'e supposed to mean good luck.' I said "Oh, I hope so" and smiled.

I don't know if any
of these things bring 'Good Luck,' but they all give me that magical feeling... That Feeling that I Belong Here, on earth.

So, What Is It that Gives You that Magical Feeling, that feeling that You Belong Here?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Weird, Wild Stuff

In Kindergarten, it is Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman & sometimes even the Boogie Man. Someone who keeps us up at night, waiting and anticipating.

But twenty years or more later, who can it be? What could it be? Just what is it you believe in, that touches you with magic, that comes to you secretly in the wee hours of the night to give you a gift, or to take one of their own... to scare & surprise you ... to steal you, your heart and your sleep or to give it all to you?
Just who is it ... What is it that you believe in, that keeps you up at night, waiting & anticipating?

Paiger Ramblings "Weird, Wild Stuff" ~ Johnny Carson

The Original Wham-O Brand Slip N Slide Summer

The summer of 1975 saw some changes & the Slip n Slide played an integral part in those my world.
My world was the open road of a seven year old living in central Florida. It consisted of bike rides many, many miles beyond the neighborhood boundaries set by mom, climbing trees & jumping roofs down the street, playing freeze tag & softball, skateboarding, the '57 Chevy, late nights and no television. And it was one of my favorite summers.
It was also the summer that we lived with no electricity and for a spell, no water in suburbia America.
By birth and by adoption, all 5 of us kids were blessed with our Mother & Father. When we came about, Dad was doing much better than average,personally and financially. Mom was the traditional stay-at-home mom (definitely NOT to be confused with todays soccer-type mom, no offense...but my stay-at-home mom liked to stay-at-home:)
As health problems besieged my two brothers for years, my father started having financial difficulties, then he lost his job. Things change. We moved into a smaller house, off of the lake...not even near a lake, where the land was flat and comparatively barren of trees, where the roads were wide & paved, where every house looked alike and you never got to meet all your neighbors. Those were the things I noticed.
I was seven and although things were changing, life was still all good.
A few weeks into summer vacation from school, we had our power shut off. After a few days, a few phonecalls (and probably some payments) the power came back on. About a week later, the power was shut off again. This time it stayed off for a couple months.
A family of 7, living in a 3/2 cinderblock house in central florida in the summertime with no electricity... Things could have been a lot worse ... in my world.
First of all, there was no TV. That was awesome. I'd never really liked it . I didn't like how it made people act ... sluggish, loafing, unmotivated and unmotivating. TV just made folks boring to be around... in my world.
So instead of turning on the boob tube after supper, we got busy.We talked & laughed, we played games of charades & cards, we made up games...but mainly, I remember all the stories shared. After dark and by candle-light inside or moonlight out, everyone had stories. Some were truths and some were tall-tales, but they all were insightful in my world. Or at least, they were entertaining. All the neighborhood kids migrated to the moths to the light. Except, our light was provided by candles, the moon and our souls.
My older sisters and their friends would tell ghost stories & stories of 'I can remember once ....'. Mom would join in. She kept us on track...she'd start up games, share stories of her experiences & of her imagination, while Dad cooked supper on the Hibatchi. I loved these times. Sometimes, late at night Mom would do magic tricks to move us further from the scary stories and closer to the peace of mind that would allow eventual sleep.
Dad would usually make cornbread with supper and pancakes with breakfast. He would use the largest & deepest iron skillet we had & he flipped only once. His little flips would send the flapstack spinning 2-3 times, his big ones triple, over and over...but he unfailingly caught it right side up every time. It was an amazing skill & it greatly entertained me.
Things were pretty good, in my world.
And actually, even after the water was turned off, I was still digging life...although I could tell it was tapping my folks out. Not long ago, we were trying to figure out how long we were without water, ontop of power. None of us were too sure how long it was, but we all agreed it was probably long enough for some folks to question our well-being, although no-body did. Anyway since I am telling the story from my perspective, I'll tell you it was a week and however long it was, it was long enough...long enough for convictions to be questioned.
The neighbors to our right lived on a corner lot and their backyard backed up to our side yard. They had the most miserable dogs in the neighborhood. Two Chows that always seemed pissed off at the world, as they ran the fence-line on all sides chasing any sign of activity anywhere in the neighborhood. We avoided that corner of our yard as best we could. These dogs had a built in doggie door to the back door of the garage & if out of sight, they would seem to lay in wait for you make a sound. Any sound and Bam! They would be right at the fence, foaming and growling...looking like rabid little bears and they were the first dogs I ever met that I didn't like.
These neighbors were always out of town & had a regular dog-sitter than would come to feed & water the dogs for days at a time. I don't know how she did it, but I do know she went in through the front door and she never stayed long. I never saw her actually with the dogs, but she got them fed.
Anyway, this summer, one of my sisters friends brought over a brand new Wham-o slip-n-slide for when we got our water shut back on! Oh how excited we were! It was the dogs days of summer in central Florida & nothing sounded better than a Slip N Slide. Lord knows what poor Dad went through on this one.
I remember he and my brother pulled me to the side of the house for a huddle. They had the master plan. We would wait until after the dog-sitter had left & the dogs were busy in the garage chomping down. They had several hoses hooked together and coiled up. I would have to climb over the chainlink fence, ever so quietly, and just grab the nozzle & run as quickly and as silently as I could to the spigot. I was upset, I wanted Dad to pick me up and put me over the fence so I wouldn't make the fence rattle if we were gonna do this. I didn't understand Dad would have to silently hoist 3 or more hoses over the fence and hold them there to give me all the slack I needed to run with. Dad said he trusted me to run like an Indian, quickly & quietly and my brother reminded me of the Slip n Slide just waiting to happen.
My brother stood watch, when the dog-watcher left and the chows wandered in, he gathered Dad & I. I climbed to the top of the fence & for a moment on the top bar, I didn't know whether I should jump down or climb. Before that thought was complete I was half way across their yard, hose in hand. I threaded the hose perfectly (I was scared it would give me a hard time lining up right) and began back when I could hear my brother saying "Turn IT On, Turn IT ON!" Looking over my shoulder, I saw no dogs so I knew I had to run back now & turn the spigot on. As soon as I did, I realized the loud pipes peaked the dogs awareness...with a good last spin of the spigot, I spun on my heels and ran like I never had before. My feet were four feet in front of the rest of me. Dad was yelling and leaning four feet over the fence. The dogs foaming saliva was spitting onto the back of my legs. My brother was jumping up and down with an intensity I'd never seen before. I just kept running. I ran until I jumped towards the outreached arms of my father. But, he seemed to be letting me fly threw the air, even pushing me even higher into the air. Just as I was thinking I was destined not to be mauled to death by vicious dogs, but loose all my teeth to a case of eating dirt, my dad sprinted into a spin that allowed him to grab hold of me and end this venture with a big circular swing or two from my dad.
Whew! I made it.
Then I heard my brother say 'ut-oh.' He was holding our end of the hose up and nothing! All 3 of us were frozen with hope, disappointment and/or disbeleif ...then we heard the gurgling. We must have used every hose we ever owned because it seemed forever before the water came and when it came, it was scalding hot, too hot to touch & so was Mom. She was apalled by what we were doing & the risks we had taken...but what were we to do now? We couldn't very well just turn it off. My Mom marched back into the house & my Dad quickly followed her, as we hooked the SlipnSlide up and got it in place.
No sooner did we start sliding when Dad came back out. He helped move the slide further up the incline in the backyard, giving us more speed. It was a squelling good time on the slip n slide.Then Dad started squirting Dove dish soap on the slide. We had so much fun...we were slipping and sliding ten times as fast with the soap. It was crazy fun and we couldn't get enough. After of hours of rationing out the soap, Dad put some in our hair & told us to go head first.
We played on that SlipnSlide until dark thirty.
My Mom had my sisters' boyfriends do the dirty work with the dogs. Armed with left-overs from our nightly cook-out, it took them but a moment to turn that spigot back off.
That night, as we were all on the back porch winding down and talking, Mom started laughing out of nowhere. And she just kept on laughing. We all wanted to know what it was, but she couldn't stop laughing to tell us & before we could figure it out, we startled laughing too. It was infectious, we were all getting the giggles. Well, all except for my Dad, who was entertained, but still too perplexed to laugh himself. He kept asking Mom 'What is it? What is it? Tell us what it is!' Her laughter broke long enough for her to begin, 'Honey when I told you the children needed real bathes, where they could wash their hair .... ' but that's as far as she made it before she was rolling into another fit of uncontrollable laughter. Even Dad couldn't resist laughing out loud.
Needless to say, Mom sent the boys back over the fence the next day. We were slipsliding away!

From This:
I learned that Dads pick you up, not when you think they should, but when you need them to.
I learned that one may compromise their own morales when it comes to survival and providing for their kids.
I learned that one can cook-out anything
I learned that a game of charades beats a computer game and that a quality conversation beats a reality TV show.
I learned that when times are bad, you make the best of them.
I learned that electricity is a valuable luxury and that a healthy & happy family is a much more valuable luxury
I learned that uncoventional actions can lead to conventional outcomes.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

The 57 Chevy, the Hari Karishna & the Bucket of Money

1977, nearly twenty years ago, I learned the powers of persuasion while in the back seat of a 57 Chevy in a Food Lion parking lot.
That year, like many others, had been a rough one for my family. But, as usual, in My World, things weren't so bad.
Dad would often be MIA, as he was hitting the bottle pretty hard, was still having a difficult time landing a job, & I think was in general overwhelmed with the curved balls life had thrown at him. Two sons having seizures, one with diabetes, one with Down's Syndrome & seemingly unsurmountable financial woes.
Our most valuable blessings and commondoties in life often carry the greatest risk & cost, be it financial, emotional &/or spiritual. For most parents, I beleive their greatest assett is their children.
Anyway, Dad was MIA & Mom was heading the household. My oldest sister was 19 & had moved up & out, which left Mom with only 4 of us, when the sh*t hit the fan in her parents family. That has no relevance, other than the fact that my Mother had to leave town unexpectantly with a penny and a prayer for an undetermined amount of time. She had no choice but to call upon my oldest sister to tend to the rest of us...which she did.
After spending a day or two at the house, she quickly realized we needed food. No skimping on the right foods allowed when there is a fragile juvenile diabetic kid in the mix. Bless her heart. She was able to get a fifty dollar cash advance from her boss & with that she loaded all of us up in the '57 Chevy & off to Food Lion we went. Every item had to evaluated & re-evaluated before it made it's way into our buggy. Some things gots put back. I remember shopping with Mom, we felt good to average 10 dollars a bag (they were all paper bags in that era). My dear sister managed to average about 5 dollars a bag and as I calculated this in my head as we were checking out, I became quite excited about how well we were doing on our shopping excursion. Meanwhile, my diabetic brother was getting excited about the sheer volume of food & my youngest brother, who has the Down's Syndrome, began to get stressed. When he would get stressed, he would often hit himself or begin to smash his head into his surroundings, be it a wall, the floor or what have you.
As he began to take position, indian style on the floor of the Food Lion, to begin the ritual of crushing his forehead into the tile, my eldest sister scooped him up & put him in the vacant buggy. As the cashier was still ringing & the bag boy was quickly bagging, she frantically pulled the fifty dollar bill out of bell bottoms' hip pocket & passed it to my middle sister...advising her that she was taking us on out to the car, along with half of the groceries already bagged.
Out we went into the glorious sunlight. We had four or five bags of groceries already & more on the way. About half way to the car, we were approached by a young man, sporting some kind of beanie cap & toting a silver bucket on each hip. One bucket was filled with beautiful flowers & the other with a great mystery, which I would later discover. He pulled a flower from his bucket and was trying to hand it to my sister. She thanked him and politely rejected his offering. He advised us that it was a gift because she was a child of God. As she was encouraging my older brother to 'just get in' the car, I could sense her irritability growing & I didn't understand why.
This man had the greatest job ever...standing on street corners in the beautiful daylight passing out pieces of God's works of art, flowers...for free! Whew, that's what I wanted to do when I grew up...much better than being indoors all day!
As my sister was trying to pull my 5 year old baby brother from the kid section of the buggy, I accepted a flower from the beanie wearing, peace-loving flower child of God. No sooner had she gotten my little brother secured in the center section of the '57 Chevy's back seat, when things changed. The air of love that had emitted from this fellow turned into an evil eye.
As my sister pulled herself back out of the back seat, he was telling her that he was due a ten dollar contribution. She was livid...'what for?,' she popped. He pointed at me & I removed from nose the flower... just in time for big sis to yank it from my hands & hurl it back at him. What was happening?
He shamed my sister, pointing out that we had sveral bags of groceries and a running vehicle while people were literally starving to death around the world.
My little brother began to rock backwards & forwards in the car. If the tensions continued to rise, soon he would be in a fit.
The Giver of Gods gifts & my sister were blocking my entrance into the car and I could see my other sister now exiting the store with the 2nd buggy of groceries. I pointed her out to my Big Sis and she yelled for her to 'Hurry Up.' About then, this Giver of God's Gifts began his approach towards her, along with her buggy of food. As she raced towards the car, not knowing what was going on, both my sister & the Giver, were racing towards her. My 19 year old sister was yelling 'You leave her alone, she is just a child.'
That kind of teed me off. She was not being selfish... we did not have ten dollars. Yes, we had groceries, but they were on borrowed dollars & we needed them...there were no twinkies, no cereals, no sweet treats in our bags. We had oil, flour, sugar, bread, milk, eggs, pasta etc and we didn't know how long we would have to make them last. Ugh, I got into the car with my brothers, as my two sisters continued to move the remaining bags into the trunk & the Giver continued to berate my sisters for our ungodly, self-serving ways.
My door was still open, as we were in Central Florida & it was hot & I was beginning to get little brother was quickly entering an autistic fit & my older brother was having an increasingly difficult time easing him. My little brother was talking between his two hands, rocking in place and making the croaking sound of a frog.
As my middle sister jumped in shotgun, barking at me to close my door, my eldest sister took a final position with this Giver of God's Gifts.
In an almost subdued voice, leaning across me to check my little brothers belt & brush his hair back, she said 'Lemme ask you something Sir.' He said 'Yes' as she pulled back out & began to close my door. She said 'Just exactly where do your donations go?' He quickly replied 'to Gods Children.'
With that she quite emphatically responded, 'Gods Children!? Gods Children?!'

Before I could blink she had grabbed his smaller silver bucket and tossed it into the back seat with us...Oh My! It was filled with money! She said 'Thank you so much! You see, I have Gods Children right here in the back seat of my '57 Chevy!' She ,now, was tossing his bucket of flowers in through the window.
He was speechless and dumb-founded, frantically trying to reach through the window to retrieve his goodies. She barked at him 'YOU?! Not giving to Gods Children! You should be ashamed!?' Her words! They mirrored this man's words from just moments before. I continued to roll my window up on this man, he was scaring all of us. But he stopped & looked at her, seemingly stunned by her words. She jumped in the drivers' seat, slamming the door shut. Before I knew it, the good ole '57 Chevy was cranked & rolling, with him running alongside us, through the Food Lion parking lot, smashing his palms against my window.
I was terrified, shocked, proud, excited and confused. As we had to stop before pulling out onto the road, my sister said "Honey- quickly roll down the window & throw his stuff back out to him when I stop.' I protested, telling her that there was money...dollar bills. She said 'Yes, Darlin' I know, but REALLY it's NOT ours and we don't need it. It's dirty money! We're all together & we'll be OK, really.'
As we stopped, I crammed everything out the window.
Seeing the bucket of money spill onto the hot pavement didn't bother me so much, as seeing that man step all over those beautiful flowers to pick his money up. He totally destroyed the ideologies I had formed in my head of the life of a god-loving flower child, as her pureed those petals into the pavement.
He also reinforced my values in many ways... my values of worth, merit & values of the simple things in values of perserverance & conviction and of course, my value of family.
Things I learned from this experience:
-That it's not in what you say, it is what you do
-That a little can go a long way
-That patience can quickly turn into perseverence
-That things aren't always as they seem & nothing is free
-That there is always someone worse off, in one way or another, than you
-That I'd rather have a bucket of flowers than a bucket of money, as long as we have some food in the trunk
Please feel free to post any comments. I'd like to think that someone, anyone, anywhere, (other than me) might have gotten something out of this experience:) Until Next Time ~ Peace, Love, Flowers & Tin Buckets

For Visitors from JustGiveMePeace

Artwork shared on JustGiveMePeace link & Ebay is created by my sister, Singleton (SAS.)
The drawings, primarily with colored pencils & marker, are her doodlings, her key to sanity & her expression to us.
Although she's never been trained, she's always had art in her life. By day she is & has been for 30 yrs, an office manager. In her spare time in the 70's she painted murals, including one which was a local landmark for years to come, had a comic strip & piddle-paddled in graphic arts on the side. In the 80's & 90's, she bartered her artwork for everything from braces to ballet lessons.
Now, she's at a point in her life where the kids are moving out & away.
Expressing herself creatively is grounding, while it is also an escape for her. She is a sudden empty nester & she fills her time creating the pieces seen on ebay & justgivemepeace
Artwork has always has been an ally to her... a great escape, a great resource, a great inspiration & a great savior of sorts.
Her first portait, still proudly displayed in her parents' home, was done with oil when she was nine years old. She has always worked wonderfully with acryllic on canvas & wood. Her home is a mosaic of artistic expression of her world.
To me, her work is magical. So often something will happen that coincides with her work, uncannily. Above & beyond that, I can see a story in every piece. It may not be the same story she created, but I can see a story. And, sometimes those stories come true, as evidenced by Tuesday's the Day, Keeper of the Twins, Madonna, Paige's Wedding Box and more.

She creates the work, I list it on ebay for her & it is a wonderful adventure for us.
Honestly, she'd be creating these pieces whether I put them on ebay or not. In fact, I started putting them on ebay because they were piling up on her (they are kind of like a daily journal :)
Throwing her work out there for the whole world, if you will, to see has been most rewarding. We've been able to come in contact with some awesome folks from all around. We've learned that we're never really alone & neither are you.
We've learned that although Singleton calls herself a lot of things...sister, mother, manager, daughter, survivor, consumer, etc., she doesn't have to call herself an artist. That's OK, I will. She is all that and more. As are each and everyone of us!
We're still learning from all of this & it's great. . .Very inspirational
Created with Love & Appreciated with Love.