Thursday, February 26, 2009

Argh!

I am such a control freak. I am. Hubby used to have a lot of credit cards and he never used them, but he kept them in his wallet, so one day while he was out running, I snuck into his wallet and cut all but two up. He used to manage our household finances, but he believed in sending a check for a bill the day or two before it was due and they never got there on time. It drove me crazy, so he hasn't seen our check book in years. I'm such a control freak that I can subtly control people and bend them to my will. I use my teacher voice in a non-threatening manner and they always yield and never know they're yielding. I'm not (really) proud of this, it's just the way I am.

So you can imagine how I am feeling right about this moment. The only thing I know for sure is that in a few months time I will not be living here, in this house. I may be in this area, I may not. I may still be working at this school, but most likely not. I have absolutely no control over where I am being sent. Hubby is in the running for several positions, not just the one from my previous post, so now we just have to wait and see. AND I CAN'T TAKE IT!!!

I've been suffering from this miserable head cold going around. When you are a teacher, your first year at a new school you catch everything until your body becomes resistant to the new germs, so I've been sick a lot. But for the past three days I've also been chilled to the bone, which is weird, because I live in the South, where we have been hovering over 50 degrees, well into summer for my Midwest bones. But I've been so cold that I had on 3 layers of clothes, a blanket, turned up my thermostat AND drank hot chocolate just trying to get warm. I thought it was part of being sick, but when I googled the symptom (you would have thought I had learned from my last internet scare NOT to do that) it came up as a symptom of...(dun dun dun) STRESS. And I know, a lot of you are saying I should have my thyroid checked. Trust me, it has been checked so much it smiles and says "I'm ready for my close-up!" But amazingly enough, once I acknowledged that yes, I am feeling quite stressed out, I wasn't so cold. So I am going to release a little more of my stress and write an open letter to my current church (except for the small minority who work their butts off to keep the church afloat.) Pastor's Wife 2, you feel free to add your .02 in as well. Heck, this might be your chance to guest post.

Dear Current Church,

I am so frigging pissed off right now I could spit. How dare you sit there and play with my life and my child's life! We were GOOD to you. We gave our life and soul to you. We plugged the dam and stopped the leaks and you couldn't even make your own damned COFFEE!! I give up my husband every Sunday of my life and you can't even be bothered to have a meeting to save the church from losing its full-time status. You just let us go, without a thought.

Well, I wonder what you're going to do that first Sunday we are not there when no one unlocks the doors, turns on the lights, turns on the A/C, teaches Sunday School, watches the nursery, prints the bulletins, folds the bulletins, makes the coffee, changes the paraments, checks the answering machine, goes through the mail, responds to the emails, puts out the garbage, visits the shut-ins and trims the bushes.

What are you going to do?

And who are you going to blame?

It won't be us. We'll be gone. It won't be the small select few who kept the church going, because I suspect they will be gone on the same day. We asked you to step up. We asked you to come forward. We asked you to meet us halfway. But there you sat, in that hard wooden pew, refusing to do anything more than attend the service on Sunday. And now, that's all you'll be able to do.

Sincerely,

Not your lackey anymore!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Opinions, Please.

I really would like to know what you think IF you are a reasonable person and not a white supremacist. I say that because this question leans toward race issues and is very sensitive and I am looking for thoughtful responses, not rants and raves.

Hubby has been offered a position in another part of our state. It is a good position at an established downtown church. However, it is an economically depressed city where whites are a minority and race relations are very tense. The school system is also one of the top ten worst in the state. While Hubby would be getting a nice raise, there is no guarantee I would be able to find a job, so essentially we would be in the same financial boat we are now, no better no worse.

Both Hubby and I believe strongly that white flight is wrong. We have a multi-cultural church now and our daughter attends a very diverse Title I public school even though I work at a private school. I never thought I would have this problem. On one hand I think that I am giving her a sense of entitlement if I am always sheltering her but on the other hand, we are dealing with a really crappy teacher right now. Supposedly this school system is filled with crappy teachers. Then add on the racial tensions and the economic disparity....But if I had a third hand, I would say we are just making the problem worse by not being willing to be the people who step up and put their gifted child and their higher salary to work in the schools.

So here's my question for those of you who can and want to issue a civil response: Would you accept this position and put your child into this situation?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

How to Kill LIMW or Stupid Human Tricks

Take one LIMW and place her into a Montessori Preschool classroom.

Have LIMW put out soap grating work for adorable wee ones. Make sure to use IVORY soap.

Have LIMW clean up soap shavings left everywhere by adorable wee ones in their grating glee.

While cleaning, have LIMW accidentally inhale soap shavings, sneeze hard and breathe in a giant lung full of finely ground IVORY soap.

On same day, leave to go out of town and forget until LIMW is on the longest, loneliest stretch of the interstate that she is highly ALLERGIC to IVORY soap. What causes her to remember that she is allergic to IVORY soap? Could it possibly be the sudden inability to, oh, I don't know, BREATHE!!!?? Could it be the delayed anaphylactic shock that suddenly came on and caused her throat to close up and her lungs to wheeze when her body realized it had been hit with a dose its most hated allergen?

Thankfully Hubby had his emergency allergy meds on him and I took one, but all last night at the hotel I kept feeling like I was drowning and every time I finally fell asleep, I would wake myself up because my lungs would squeak.

Yes, I really am allergic to Ivory soap. I'm also allergic to Dreft, which I found out the hard way when E was nursing and I developed a third degree burn below my breast where her clothes rested on my skin. That was fun, too.

But, while out of town, we did stop at an interstate rest area where E and I walked in on two obvious hookers and a female john. Both of the hookers were wearing such shockingly dayglo blue skin tight dance pants that I actually stopped in my tracks because I was blinded by the color. Ah, the lovely life lessons E gets to learn at public rest areas.

But, all in all, I lived. I'm blind, wheezing and raspy, but I'm okay.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

As Promised

I cannot say if this is the truth or just family lore. It happened in the 1920's, way before my time. All I can say is I have heard this story many times as I was growing up and no matter who told it, it was always the same, so I am inclined to believe that my family believes it happened. So here goes. This is the story of how my aunt went blind and was cured, otherwise known as the day my great-grandma was arrested for attempted murder.

My grandma was a little girl growing up in the hills of Pennsylvania. She was a first generation American girl born to Polish parents. Her parents had come over from Poland, bought a large house and taken in boarders, coal miners mostly, and made a fortune as that was boom time for Pa and the coal industry. She had two sisters and they enjoyed a fairly easy life.

But they were from another time and their parents were from another place, a place where old jealousies ran deep and followed them into this new land. The three sisters were well-known, especially because they were considered very beautiful and always had nicer clothing than the other coal miner children.

One day my grandma's older sister, Molly, woke up unable to see. She had been struck blind without any warning. My great-grandmother was frantic. She took her to see the most respectable doctors in all the state, the finest money could afford. All of the most new-fangled tests were run and universities were consulted to try to figure out why this young girl could not see. There was no medical reason for her blindness. The family was beside themselves with sadness. This was a time when blindness was a life sentence and blind children were sent away to special institutions.

Finally, Great-grandma broke down and consulted the local witch/midwife. She was a very powerful and feared figure in the community and had come from the "old world." She took one look at my aunt Molly and said a curse had been placed on the child. To prove it she asked for Molly's pillow. When Molly's pillow was brought to her, she tore it open and there inside, the feathers had been woven into a pattern that resembled the crown of thorns. The family was astonished. No one knew how the feathers had gotten that way. The witch took the feathers apart, said some words over Molly and her blindness was gone as suddenly as it had come on. The witch took her payment and told my Great-grandma not to let the next woman with dark-long-hair into the house, for she was the one who had cast the curse.

The witch left and my family was celebrating when a knock was heard at the door. My Great-Grandma opened it and there was her mother-in-law, a dark-haired woman whose hair reached down to her waist. Apparently my Great-grandma let out an ear-piercing screech, raced into the kitchen and reached for a butcher knife and proceeded to try to kill her mother-in-law. The MIL ran off and never set foot in the house again. My Great-grandma was arrested but let go a short while later (wealth went a long way back then) and my aunt went on to be a nurse who just happened to buy a house next to Jack Klugman in California. No one knows for sure if the MIL set a curse or why, but there was talk about a lot of jealousy over having her only son marry my Great-grandma and inappropriate relationships.

So, that is the story. Believe it or not.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What's Going On?

I've been avoiding my blog.

It's funny, for the past several days I have wanted to write about the story of my aunt and her sudden blindness that was supposedly caused by a curse. This happened over 80 years ago and the story has passed down through my family for years. I will write about it, hopefully tomorrow. But like I said, I've been avoiding my blog.

I've been absent because I am angry. I'm angry at my church for not trying harder to keep us when they found out they were losing us. I'm angry that we're going to be forced to move in the worst economy in our lifetimes and we don't have the money to move. I'm angry that I'm going to have to look for a job AGAIN! I'm angry at my body. I had a minor medical scare and googled too much before seeing the doctor today. I diagnosed myself correctly but the problem is not as serious as the computer makes it appear. But I'm tired of my body failing me even when I have been trying so hard to take care of it. I'm angry at the SC who have me constantly looking over my shoulder. I was angry at Hubby for failing to take my feelings over their reappearance as seriously as I needed him to. (I forgave him, at least.) So I didn't want to spew all that anger all over people when really, there was no reason for me to feel this way. I choose to be angry too often and have to remind myself to let it go. And I drag myself down when I write about it.

But today as I am looking over other people's blogs, it seems like everyone is angry. Wide Lawns got the finger; Dooce got who knows how many angry emails because she changed her layout; obviously my friend, Andie, took a hit (actually she's taking several) from religious people; Bubblewench wasn't angry per se, but...;FreeDragon is understandably angry; but everywhere I go, people are angry. I have to ask myself, what's going? Is it the economy? Is it some cosmic schism? Am I sending out angry waves? So many of us seem to be getting hit with some harsh realities right now.

So anywho, I'll blame my anger on American Idol. I always get angry when it comes around because inevitably someone asks me why I never auditioned for American Idol and I always have to answer, "Because I'm TOO FRIGGING OLD!! I've been too frigging old since it started and I'm only 38!"

I'm spreading peace to you all. Goosh! Check back tomorrow. I promise you, my aunt's story is a great story and it will only stay online for a few days. Yes, it's one of those! Namaste.

Dear Andie

I have another post coming later, but Andie posted something on her blog that I want to respond to right now.


GAY PEOPLE HAVE A RIGHT TO HAVE KIDS!!! A true Christian would never judge another person's right to have kids based on their sexual preference. A true Christian would say God doesn't make mistakes so God must have made you gay and God blessed you with a kid and God gave you Tina. So Tina has just as much right to call Oakley her kid as you give her!

There. I yelled it from the cyber-rooftops. That's the best I can do!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Valentine's Day Guest Post

Some of you may wonder, Is there really a Hubby? Why does he never comment on her blog? Well, I pretty much leave it as the domain of Living in Muddy Waters. She deserves to have her own thing...and quite frankly, I think she does a pretty fantastic job of it! You can tell from reading this blog that she's a great writer. She always has been--when we were dating, she created this whole journal of messages, letters, and poems for me. It is still one of my prized possessions.

So, although you may know she's a great writer, there are many other things you may not know about her. In honor of Valentine's Day, here are some of those things...

25 THINGS I LOVE ABOUT LIVING IN MUDDY WATERS:
1. She kept me warm when it was cold (and she still does).
2. Her eyes are blue, but they have these flecks of gold in them that shine in the sunlight.
3. I love her laugh—it’s contagious.
4. She has a special place in her heart for kids that other people have labeled as “problem kids,” and they know she cares, and they respond.
5. She almost never says my name in the “angry tone” anymore.
6. She is an excellent kisser!
7. Her hair is wild, and for some reason I really like that.
8. She remembers things for me (I’m very absent-minded).
9. She tolerates my very Southern family pretty well for a Yankee.
10. She actually loves it that I’m a Southern boy.
11. She gives me props for trying to be a good dad.
12. She supported me becoming a pastor, even though it meant becoming a pastor’s wife.
13. She says she may not be a good pastor’s wife, but she’s a good wife to the pastor (I think she’s a pretty good pastor’s wife, too!).
14. I can’t describe the way I feel inside when I hear her sing. Her voice is absolutely beautiful!
15. She’s sexy, even though she’ll say she doesn’t really feel like she is.
16. She’s smart: incredibly smart, almost to the point that I think she knows my next move before I make it. It’s unnerving.
17. She’s a reader—not the same stuff I read, but that’s okay.
18. She is an incredible cook! I mean it—I get better meals at home than most restaurants can serve.
19. She makes the world’s best eggplant parmesan (I know this seems like part of #18, but it’s so good that it deserves mentioning on its own).
20. She is an awesome mother, and I never would be as good of a dad without her.
21. She strokes my hair.
22. She makes me feel like a “manly” man.
23. Instead of making me guess, she tells me what she needs.
24. She laughs with me at silly things.
25. I can’t imagine living without her.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Why Did I Delete My Last Post?

Because above all else I am a pastor's wife. I do not get to live by the same sets of rules that every other wife gets to live by, even anonymously. I know most of you think I should. You think that I should just say screw it and be free, but that could be very detrimental to my Hubby's career and Hubby is the bigger breadwinner in our family. That is how we agreed it would be when we got married. That is how we both wanted it. I want to be home after school with my daughter. I want to work part-time. I am very careful of what I put on this blog because I don't want anything to come back to Hubby that could cause us to be banished to a horrible assignment that has a parsonage with a giant hole in the floor or a parishioner who puts fleas in the pulpit out of spite when he doesn't agree with the pastor's views (it HAS happened). So while I may post things that go not only outside the realm of our denomination but AGAINST it, I will always delete them a few days later so as to protect Hubby. And if you think I am being overly cautious, tell that to the commenter who gently told me how easy it was to figure out who I was. Hubby is pretty popular in our community!

Also, I deleted that post because it makes me feel slightly crazy to admit to it. It happened. I didn't lie or exaggerate a single thing about it, but I still know how it sounds, so I am not sure how I feel about it just hanging out there in cyberspace. My family has a history of things like that happening. It goes all the way back to my great-grandma, so I grew up with thinking it was normal because I was surrounded by people with certain gifts and talents. But now that I am involved in the Christian community, I sometimes feel a little lost and leperish and those self-esteem issues kick in hard when I write about dead bodies and such. I mean, you have to admit, knowing my brother and grandmother were bi-polar makes you wonder about me when you read such stuff, doesn't it? I wonder about myself sometimes.

So anyway, Electricdaisy, I hope that answered your question. And Jeannie, I hope you're feeling better. And dw, thanks for hanging in there with me. And to everyone else who comments, I am checking out your blogs, I'm just not a big commenter. I am a computer addict and have to be careful how many people I follow or I would never make it to work or read a real novel.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Toot Toot

I know it's unattractive to boast, but...

My first round of students that I ever taught are all graduating from high school this year. I love these kids! They made me laugh on the dark days after my second miscarriage even though they never knew why I was so sad. They helped me up off the ground when I was finally fully pregnant and waddling around. My infant daughter was a 2-person work in their classroom and they even helped name her when Hubby and I couldn't decide between two names. They taught me everything I know about teaching kids with respect and to this day they keep in touch with me. Most of them are my Facebook friends so I can keep tabs on them.

One of my girls is in her senior year at a private school and has decided she is going to be a teacher. Her school offers an internship for the last semester as a teacher's helper. In order to qualify for the program she had to write an essay on why she wanted to be a teacher. She wrote about me. She said she remembered how in 4th grade, when she was struggling so much with math (because she had a mild case of dyslexia), I was always so patient with her. She said I always acknowledged that she had a learning difference but never made her feel different. And I never made her feel bad or stupid for not understanding the "usual" way something was explained. She wanted to be a teacher to make sure other kids like her had someone like me. That was the best compliment a teacher could ever get.

So excuse me if I boast. But after all the negative things happening in my life right now on top of the self-esteem beatings I have been taking at work, I think I would like to bask in the glow of knowing that I did something right. And not only did I do something right, but if this girl goes on to be a teacher, I passed it on.

Thanks, Universe, I needed a little lift today!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Never a Coincidence

I know you may not believe this, but I am really very mild-natured and even-keeled. My blog is my alter-ego, where I rant and rave and spew venom and get it all out, but truthfully I am pretty, well, normal. And I have learned in my life that drama begets drama. People who choose to constantly live on the edge of chaos invite all sorts of danger into their lives. But I am a weirdness magnet and always have been, so I actually runaway from drama at all costs. I have driven through a tornado, found a dead body and stood face to face with a boy with a gun who had just shot two people in my high school. Drama seeks me out.

So you'll have to excuse me if I say I am more than a little freaked out at the reappearance of the Stalker Congregants, even if they are staying in their car. I'm just at a loss as to how to feel. These people tortured me for almost 2 years. Not only did they torture me, but they do it so subtly as to make ME look like the crazy one. It took me several months for me to convince my own husband that the SC were bad news. I watched them as they interacted with other church members and saw how they manipulated our older members. They offered my daughter gifts and treated her like a granddaughter to gain my favor, all the while telling people that she was "running amok." They would tell Hubby how great I was, but tell people that I was hurting the church. At one point the husband cornered me in the nursery and yelled at me because he couldn't find Hubby and the vehemence with which he yelled at me just shook me to the core. But of course, no one was around to witness it, so no one believed me. Another time I was alone in the church with them and he screamed and swore at his wife, but the clergy counselor whom Hubby was consulting by then said it was definitely a power ploy to intimidate me. These people scare me!

Ultimately they are after Hubby, but he has this ability to just rise above it all and give off the appearance of being unphased by their hijinks. So, according to the clergy counselor, they have targeted me as a means of hitting Hubby where it hurts. Our denomination's highest boss (the CEO so to speak) is aware of this situation and Hubby's former boss took my concerns so seriously that there was talk of moving us immediately when everything came to a head last year just to keep me safe. But we had the upper hand at the time. We had the couple's real names and criminal history. They had been infiltrating churches for years and taking thousands of dollars from churches and congregants, but I was able to do some digging and find out who they really were. So they slunk out of our church, tortured me for a month or two more and left after I got the sheriff involved. I thought I was free.

Until yesterday. I was able to forget about the driveby of a few weeks ago. I just brushed that off to coincidence. But then I remembered, with these people, there are no coincidences. I can't help but feel that they were sitting there in their car, pulled over on the side of the road, waiting until they saw me. Why? Because they still have a few die hard minions in our church. They still hold sway over a few old ladies who believe that when the "inheritance money" comes in, the SC will pay back all the money thay have borrowed AND share the wealth. I'm sure they have been hearing about the instability in our church right now and are just circling the prey. I find it amazing that Hubby's boss and the SC showed up on the same day. That's too coincidental for my taste.

So here I sit, wondering...am I just being dramatic and making a mountain out of a molehill? Am I just worrying myself sick over nothing? Was it just a coincidence? Or is this all starting up again? Am I just being realistic and protecting myself? Am I being stalked again? Do I prepare to fight or do I just try to rise above? It takes a whole lot of energy to stay in crisis mode. Energy that I need for my job, for our limbo state, for so many other things right now. I just wish I knew which way this was going to go. All I know for sure is, this time I will not be quiet. Last time I held my tongue and let the church process run its course. This meant I got my butt kicked. I will NOT take an ass-whooping again. That whole turn the other cheek thing...yeah, it's not happening this time. This time I think I'm going with the eye for an eye thing!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

For which there is no title

I had so much I wanted to post tonight. I wanted to tell you all about my rotten day where the Universe just made my life into a sitcom for its enjoyment. I wanted to tell you about Hubby's boss showing up at church today because an old evil lifer had called and complained about Hubby ministering to Dionne. Apparently the Bible has been misinterpreted and the only person we are supposed to visit in jail is Jesus, not anyone else. Hubby's boss was there to support him, not malign him, thank goodness.

I wanted to tell you about the Stalker Congregants showing up today and trying to get into a staring match with me. About how they did a slow drive by while I was outside the church and it took everything I had not to flip them off. I will not be cowed....I will not be cowed.... I WILL NOT BE COWED!!! If I could move things with my mind I would have run their car into a tree!

And I wanted to tell you about how I was having lunch at a restaurant with my parents and one of my kindergarten students was sitting at the table behind me with his mom when my dad very loudly said, "So, your mom says its definite you're moving!" I didn't want my school parent to hear that! I'm not ready to open up that can of worms at school yet.

I even wanted to talk about Drunken Neighbor's kids who have been driving a go-cart in small circles around their backyard until all hours of the night and the sound is TRULY driving me crazy and I'm about to go out and shoot out the tires or grab them by their scrawny little necks and tell them to go the hell to bed already! I had so much to say!

But I'm not going to talk about any of that. Because E and Hubby just trumped everything else that happened today with one small conversation. E picked up a local magazine that shows rescue dogs (we have been considering getting a dog after we find out what the heck is going on in our life). Well, E was reading the little blurbs about each dog when she had a question.

E: Daddy, what is N-E-U-T-E-R-E-D?

D: That's neutered, honey. It's when they cut a boy dog's balls off. (To which I just about CHOKED, let me tell you)

E: Daddy, what are balls?

D: They're testicles honey.

E: But why would they do that daddy?

D: So they can't make puppies with girl dogs.

E: Oh.

Oh indeed. Of all the things I thought I might hear my husband say to my SEVEN YEAR OLD daughter, not once in my life did I think it would be "It's when they cut a boy dog's balls off." Hubby may be a lot of things, but tactful he ain't.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Sliding on a Slippery Slope

Hubby's not quite comfortable with my post topic for today. So I am once again starting with a disclaimer.

First, this is a churchy post, so if you're not interested in church stuff, come back tomorrow. I respect that, I get over-churched a lot too, so I won't be offended if you leave.

And second, for all the bitching and moaning I do about this church, Hubby and I like where we are. These people are like family for reasons that I can't go into on this blog. But whatever you may think after reading this post, we are not forcing the issue to leave this church. Really! I'm not just saying that because I have 2 church members who read this blog or my circle of anonymity seems to have shrunk because people are more savvy about our denomination then I thought! Okay, enough, let's tell the story, shall we?

Several months ago Hubby's earthly boss approached Hubby about the state of the church. It's not good. Our church seems to always be the "Church of the Halfway There." People who only want to attend church on Sunday and maybe, maybe put in one extra hour a month gravitate to our church for some reason and that's the way it's been for 20 years, way before our time. The church is old; old building, old members, old ideas. While the church is maintaining its membership, it's just not growing and with the economy faltering, the powers that oversee our denomination are really starting to look at the dead weight churches and asking them to account for themselves.

Our church held a study designed to revitalize ideas and set the course for a new path for the church. The Usual Suspects (our small group of strongholds) took part and tried hard to come up with a new vision for the church, to get the other people onboard and to get their butts in gear. All to no avail. 80% of the people are just people who want a Sunday worship experience and nothing more.

Now, I'm sure a lot of you are reading this wondering why that is such an issue. A lot of churches survive with just Sunday attenders. You're right, but our church is extremely old and the building is draining its finances. Our tithes are not sustaining the building, much less the cost of a full-time pastor. We haven't paid our share of our denominations missions expenses in several years (a really big no-no). All because, even though we are attracting some new members, we are not attracting enough new members to pay our bills. We are not able to compete with the YEAH God churches. You know, the mega churches where people who want to actively participate in ministries seem to go. And yes, I know, a lot of you probably go to a mega church and love them and take offense at me calling them YEAH God churches, but those mega churches are the Walmarts of the religious world. They draw people in and give you what you want and that's great and if that's what is getting people back to a spiritual base, more power to them. But the little mom and pop churches are just getting creamed in the process. If we brought in a rock praise band, our blue hairs eyeballs would fall out and there would go our biggest financial supporters. But I digress, that's not what this post is about.

Anywho, after all of this, the church still failed to meet its benchmarks that were set by Hubby's boss and the committee that oversees church staff. The church has failed to show that it is improving or even moving forward. So Hubby's boss met with the committee in a private meeting and discussed the future of the church. The committee has been asked to decide what they feel is the best thing for the church. They have been made aware that they can no longer sustain the salary of a full-time pastor on their own. The denomination has been letting Hubby stay at this church out of his sense of duty and commitment, but there are a lot of pastors retiring this year and they are having a hard time justifying letting the "Church of the Halfway There" keep someone of his caliber. And for those of you reading this thinking, "Well, if the church is failing, isn't that the pastor's fault?" It's not. There are so many factors aside from a pastor. Hubby has been highly sought after for several years. He's not the most evangelical pastor out there, but he is a quietly religious man who drinks beer and occasionally swears, but for the most part lives his life by example and people really respond to that. They see his failings and feel like that makes it okay for them to be Christian, too.

So, the big meeting took place and now there have been some smaller meetings and we are left in limbo. No one knows officially what is going to happen, but I believe the staff committee is going to start gently letting the church know that there will be a change this year and that the change will mean we will be moving on to a new church. I think the committee just doesn't have the energy to swim against the tide. They have years of experience with the people of this church and it has been made clear that any changes have to come from the congregants, not from the clergy family. I guess I am tired of swimming as well. So, I am probably looking at a packing up and moving...again.

We won't know for sure for a few months, just like we won't know where. But I'm scared. I live in a Red state, I'm quite liberal. I live in a state where you can still find doors with the old shadowy imprints of "whites only" on the outside. I live in a state where gay people stay away from certain cities out of fear for their lives. I'm always worried when a move comes up because I am a "live and let live" kind of person. And churches? Well, churches can be funny places and they can be the least "live and let live" kind of places. What if? What if my gay Catholic pagan friend finally gets off her lazy ass and comes to visit me and my new church is, well, more Old Stereotypical South than Nouveau South? What if I move to a church that has a congregant who keeps a key to the parsonage so they can walk in whenever they want? (Don't laugh, it happens). What if we move to a new church and it backs up to a cow pasture? I've been there, done that. It's just not me. What if....I know, what if's just make you old before your time. But our last church was a nightmare. I can't believe I haven't blogged about them. I guess I know what you'll be reading about for the next few days.

And what if I have to leave the ocean behind? I can't leave my ocean.

Bleh!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

World's Greatest Dad

Several years ago I started a blog on another site at a time in my life when my husband and I were on the verge of divorce. We, actually, I had come out and said the D word and things were at a stand still in our relationship. I needed the blog to reach out to my real-life friends, to get their support and to vent my feelings in a way that Hubby could read and comprehend what I was feeling without getting the full brunt of my very intense personality, which tends to just shut him down. It was a very useful tool in our relationship to get us back on track. So even today you may think when I talk about him I run hot and cold with the things I say. He's okay with whatever I say because he knows that I love him unconditionally and whatever I put in here are things that come from a place of love.

Fast forward to our relationship now and we are in a far better place. I have always loved my husband. Our deterioration of our marriage was never about a lack of love on either of our parts, it was about a lack of communication. He drifted away and I let him. But luckily I wasn't willing to give up that easily. And we worked things out. We could be divorced and married to other people 20 years and still be drawn back into each others arms in a heartbeat. Our love for each other is just THAT type of love. But whatever kind of husband Hubby has been, he has always been an unfaltering wonderful father.

I have been half-teasing him lately that our daughter is never going to get married because she is never going to find a man who lives up to her daddy in her eyes. Hubby makes sure he spends time with her each and every day. If he is out of town, she is allowed to pick up the phone and call anytime and he always answers. They are both athletic and he has taught her how to shoot a basket, roller blade, play tennis and soccer. He reads to her at night and I hear him in the bedroom making funny voices for all the characters and their laughter echoes through our house. It is something that is so sweet it actually makes my heart hurt with love for the two of them. They snuggle on the couch together and they look so much alike and so content to be together that I feel a little tug of jealousy that I am outside of their little circle, even though I hold my own place in both of their worlds.

But today I got to see first hand the result of E having such a wonderful dad. All school year long E has been telling me about this boy, R. R is her "boyfriend." When a Queen Bee/Mean Bee kind of girl decided to torment E, R stood up and defended her and took her over to play with his friends. She always comes home and talks about the fun she has with him and how nice he is, but I never really took it to heart, because, well...they're 7. But today I had lunch with E at school and R sat next to her. Let me tell you, he was the sweetest, most respectful little boy I have ever met and he cherished the ground my daughter walked on. She burned her hand on her hot pocket lunch and he picked up her milk carton and told her to hold it since it was cold. I know, it seems silly, but for 2nd grade it was such a chivalrous gesture. He would turn to the boys next to him and they would burp and make arm pit noises, but the minute E spoke to him, he would turn and smile and his world would stop while they talked. As a mom who is scared of what lies ahead when her daughter turns into a teenager and is dealing with boys who don't respect themselves, much less girls, it gave me just a little bit of hope.

So to all you dads out there who are taking the time to show your sons how to treat women, THANKS! And to all you dads who are taking the time to show your daughter that she deserves respect, THANKS! And to my hubby, you go right ahead and teach our daughter to burp the alphabet. Obviously you know just what you're doing and I shouldn't change a thing.

Monday, February 2, 2009

My One Big Regret in Life

In case I haven't said it enough, I am a singer. It is one of the very few things in my life that I claim with pride and don't hide under a bushel. I don't walk up to people and say, "Hi, I'm MW and I like to SING!!!" But if you know me for very long you soon learn that I can carry a tune and that I once toured with a rock opera, sang with a Motown revue group and even sang once with Chaka Kahn's back up band. I got me some chops.

I love other female singers. Right now I really like Patti Griffin and Cyndi Lauper (now Cyndi, not then Cyndi) but I have always loved the one and only original Carole King. I know Carole is not the greatest singer in the world but there is just something about the way she sings and the songs she writes. She is the queen of angst and the tone of her voice has always just resonated with me. There are, maybe, 3 people in this world I want to meet, and she is at the top of the list.

Many years ago Hubby surprised me with tickets to see Mary Chapin-Carpenter, another great story teller singer. It was in a basketball auditorium (our town is too small for a music hall) and we were on the side, fairly close to the stage and a door leading to the backstage area. For some reason Hubby had to run back out to the car before the start of the show and I was sitting there, people watching, waiting for him to return, twiddling my thumbs. I was just sitting there when a woman walked up and stopped RIGHT NEXT TO ME!

This woman looked so familiar. She had kinky curly blond hair, a hawk shaped nose and she was shorter than me. But it was her laugh. It was smoky and infectious. I kept staring at her, sure that I knew her, wondering who she was. She was so close I could have stretched out my pinky and touched her coat. She turned her head towards me and smiled at me, having caught me staring at her, and my eyes got wide and my knees got weak. I felt the earth move under my feet. No, that went too far. But still. I realized at that moment that Carole King was standing right next to me. But I was speechless. I was struck dumb. I argued silently with myself. Surely that wasn't Carole King. Why would Carole King be standing next to me in this town? People like Carole King don't stand next to me. Is that really her? I saw Hubby walking toward me and I gestured to him to hurry up but it was too late, the woman walked offf towards the backstage doors and disappeared from view.

I kept babbling at Hubby that Carole King was standing there and I had been too afraid to say anything to her. It was her, I knew it. Everyone else around me was staring at me like I was a freak. No one else thought it was her. And yet...halfway through the concert...Mary Chapin-Carpenter introduced her friend....CAROLE KING! And do you know what the first thing Carole King said was? She said, "I've been in __________ all day and every one keeps saying 'You look just like Carole King.'"

So there you have it, my one big regret in my life. I had the opportunity to meet Carole King and I blew it because I didn't trust myself that it was her. I don't even know why it was important to me to say hello. Her life wouldn't have changed or been bettered one iota by me saying, "Hi, I'm MW and I just want to thank you for breaking all those barriers for woman singers and I love you." But mine would have. To this day, whenever I am afraid to do something, I think to myself, well, remember how you missed your opportunity to meet Carole King? Sometimes it moves me forward to not be so afraid, sometimes it doesn't.

But I'll tell you what, if I EVER find myself standing next to a kinky blond haired short smoky voiced woman with an infectious laugh, you better believe I am going to reach out with more than a pinky. She'd probably have to have me arrested for stalking!

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a lunch date with my wonderful, loving Hubby who makes the earth really move under my feet, and that's NOT going too far.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

FYI

I feel like I offended some people with my last post. I am sorry if I did. I really was trying to show support and understanding, not the opposite. J, I did get out of the house. E, Hubby and I went to the movies and spent the whole day as a family. DW, everybody has body issues. I wasn't trying to be funny...really. In fact, I'm pretty sure nowhere in that post was I funny. I truly was just trying to show how I went from disdain at seeing people like that to seeing just how easy it is to become like that. We all have our achilles heels.

I agonized over whether or not to write that post yesterday because I enjoy when people like what I write and when I get positive feedback. I knew this post wouldn't make me the most popular person in the blogosphere. But I also know I am nothing if not honest, and sometimes people need to hear the honest. The good is never so good if you don't taint it with some bad.

So again, I am sorry if you are someone who read my post and felt hurt by what I wrote. I really meant no offense. I am just a humble blogger who writes from the heart and has to write what is swirling around in my head before I can move on to the next topic. I have two days off from work to work from home and nothing dramatic happened at church today, so hopefully the drama that is my life will calm down for awhile and I will be able to move on to some happier topics. No more rants and rambles for at least 3 days. I promise!