Wednesday, May 29, 2013

SCHOOL CAN STUFF IT!



For those of you who don't know my boy goes to a Jr High/High School that has an arts program and a International Baccalureate program. They have a almost 100 % rate of graduates who attend college. They are in the top ten schools in the nation. Its crazy all the stuff they are known for. Its an honor to be chosen to attend this school because so many apply but not many are accepted. Some go for  the academics. Some for the arts and the scholorships that go along with it.

Did I care about all that stuff? Sure. But you know what I cared about most? I cared about the fact that he would get to make music because that what he loves. And whether he plays Brahms or Green Day,  on his Cello he goes to a place inside thats balanced. and fills his heart with joy it quiets his mind and takes him to a new balanced state of being.

                                         But the Academics are an asskicker.

           We had no idea that 6th grade is the weed out year.  For kids AND PARENTS....

Hey CONOR!

Will you have what it takes to slog through all the hours homework thats gonna suck up your summer?

Will you have the stamina to deal with alternating days of classes, keeping a daily journal and a schedule like college carrying books on your back like a little pack mule?

Run the halls with High School kids who are hell bent on ignoring you or squashing like your a bug.

Deal with the 7th and 8th graders  ahead of you who feel the need to initiate you keep you in your place to teach you that you really are on the bottom of the food chain?

Learn to work through the challenge of a classroom where the rules change daily and is as Spock would say totally illogical?

Conor said yes. We said yes.

Conor has spent hours doing tons of homework. Not always turning it in which we found out later but doing it.

We discovered he has test anxiety and have had to learn to work through that.

 He has been up in the A's and down in the D's.

He's had to bond with other kids and create a safe group who call themselves the Nerd Herd.

And some teachers are really helpful, some teachers not so much, who knows why and Im not naming names but I have aged 100 years dealing with them, however we don't gives up, and we don't quits.

The stress has been killer.  Me and Conor have butted heads, cried,  quit speaking and fought but we are almost finished.

So today after I dropped off some papers to his counselor and I walked out the door I realized in TWO MORE days its our summer.

And we can say at least for a little while I DONUT CARE anymore....

And so I celebrated with a donut from Browns Bakery. And it was good.

Right on and Amen











Wednesday, May 22, 2013

WE ARE OKIES

Growing up in Oklahoma you learn that when you look at the sky and it turns a sick green or yellow color,  or that weird blackish grey all hell is about to break loose someplace.
You can watch the weather but your ready to run to your fraidy hole or your basement or your closet or your bathtub and can get dressed in jeans and tennis shoes from a dead sleep in about 20 seconds if that siren goes off at 2:00 A.M. You can get a mattress off the bed and over the tub lickety split.

 In the spring it becomes a routine to load your bible , photo albums and grandmas quilts into a garbage sack and put it where you can grab it on the way.  Your kids have a backpack packed with flashlights and water. The dogs leashes are out and the cats crate is in the hall.  You tell your neighbors if you have a shelter or a basement but everybody hunkers down together.

But sometimes there is no place to go.

And a  teacher lays her body over six children in a school hallway and begins to pray, a husband wraps his wife in his arms in a closet, Coworkers and customers huddle in a bank safe, an elderly woman crouches in her bathroom with her little dog in her arms.

 And there are survivors, somehow they are spared.

But sometimes that Son Of a Bitch is a Monster so big, so evil, so powerful it eats everything in its path and leaves a path of rubble and pain and loss that's so unbelievable the world sits up and takes notice.

And thats when the ordinary becomes the extraordinary.

A Father rushes to a school and with others starts digging to pull children out, finds his own child didn't make it but keeps helping to search for survivors.

A young man runs to another school and in spite of having rubble fall on top of him and running a nail though his hand digs a tunnel and starts helping people out of a building.

A mother crawls out from under a brick wall with her son alive and intact.

Everybody who can starts searching or helping the injured.

Neighbors go through debris piles listening for any noise that means someone might be in there.

 People start checking  demolished cars, calling out, searching anyplace because someone might be alive.

Medical , Police, Fire Departments, come rushing in.

Churches start gathering supplies, food, meals, volunteers rounding up and organizing and providing and comforting.

All within a matter of minutes or an hour.

And everyone cheers when they find a survivor whether its a wet  kitten or a Grandma because its LIFE.

And we all break when the list of the dead goes up and we worry over the missing, but we do not stop working in whatever way we can to help.

 Some use Okie as a insulting derogatory term

Today we are redefining the word OKIE.

OKIE
A term describing a state of mind of  people who may fall down but don't stay down, are brave and stubborn, who give generously of all they have. Who work together, grieve together and build together.
Rooted in red dirt and backbone they are proud, maybe not born here but proud never the less  to embrace the tribe.

























Sunday, May 19, 2013

Trailer Trash yep thats me

So when I was a kid we moved A LOT.  I dont remember much before I was 4 or so but I do know that my Mom married my Stepdad, got pregnant , and we moved at least 4 times if I recollect correctly..


One was over a bar in downtown Wichita. I liked to sit in the window at night. I'd sneak out of bed and look at the neon sign under the window. Lots of really tall Ladies with big hair, tight dresses and tons of make up going in and out. Sometimes they'd look up and see me and wave. I thought they were so pretty! I wanted to look JUST LIKE THAT... I have loved Neon and drag ever since. 




The next was a little ground floor duplex where I walked back and forth to kindergarten. One time I walked home in the rain because I felt bad and we didnt have a phone. I just got up told the teacher I didnt feel good, put on my raincoat, picked up my Bologna lunch and left. I was just taking care of business, I was a OLD, OLD, five year old.  My Mom opened the door, took off my wet clothes,  and stuck me in the bed with about a million blankets. I was still cold so she got in bed with me and put my baby brother in there too. My stepdad came home and died laughing at all of us asleep in the little tiny bottom bunk..


I still like to be packed in the bed like a sardine.


The next was my first foray in trailer livin. It was a tiny one. I had a pet turtle with my hand stamped on his back in bue paint . Our trailer was about the size of a shoe box,  smelled like cabbage and hamburger and I had the chicken pox that summer. We didnt have a/c it was pretty bad. My mom tried to distract me. She found a tadpole and stuck him in a jar by the bed so I could watch him because we didnt have a TV.  She put me in the bathtub and froze grapes for me to suck on and then shed let me lay in front of the fan and hold my hands so I didnt scratch.

One time I saw a lady mowing the lawn in curlers, a red bra and tight leopard pants. Her husband came home and they got in a fight in the front yard and he made her go in because she was in her bra. In retrospect I believe she may have been drunk but I didnt really care,  I liked her outfit and just sat on my trike and watched the entire thing it was entertaining. But right after that i didnt watch where I was going and got run over by a kid on a mini bike luckily I was not hurt but I was scared i thought he was a biker. In retrospect he might have been twelve...


So I guess when I moved to a trailer park again at 11 it was no big deal because I got EXPOSED so early. And really to me living in apartments was not that much different still lotsa drama just no metal buildings anywhere. Ah trailer park memories how they linger...

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

DO EPIC SHIT


 So as some of you know I have struggled with fear a lot in my life. I have some pretty fucked up voices in my head that really no amount of therapy, praying or shutting down will get rid of. Along with my naturally curly hair I also got thick legs and the fat gene which was tough but I learned a long time ago how to hide it. You would never know that behind that raucous laugh and vibrant smile is a person who sing like Lenny Kravitz  "I want to get away, I want to flyyyy away...."

But something funny has happened to me.... Last year I left a job where I had been for 12 years and didn't have anything else lined up and the entire world didn't collapse. And then I found another job that I love and its SO SO GOOD!

 And I started saying "Screw it I'm doing shit that scares me... those voices can talk all  they want I'm still doing it."

See 4 years ago after walking with my 9 year old Conor and husband Larry in a kids  Marathon Conor asked if I would walk a 5K with him. Any 5K. He didn't care which one. I said OK.
He said"Promise?"
 I said "Yes."

See I figured he'd forget or it wouldn't really be something he wanted to do. Not REALLY.
Famous last words.

Every year he would bring it up. "Are we going to do the Memorial Marathon this year Mom?" Every year I had some excuse. The real reason was I was AFRAID,  I was AFRAID to admit I was AFRAID.

 I was afraid of what people would think about this 50 year old woman, I was afraid I'd get too tired and wouldn't be able to finish,  I was afraid I couldn't do it. 3 miles does not seem like much to most people. But when you are out of shape , have bad knees, and are as big as I am even one mile feels like a long way.

3 MILES? Now do you see why I wanted to fly AWAY?

 Then last spring it seemed like all of a sudden  everyone I knew was doing 5k s all over the place. And all these pictures of the Color Me Rad looked like well, THE SHIT!  How much fun would that be? Hanging out with my kid getting crazy colored powder thrown at us,  funky costumes, every body having a great time. So I decided that was our 5K.

I signed us up in Feb.  2013 And I started walking. I walked  in the basketball court at the Community center down the street.  Two to three times a week at 8AM I'd get in there. Then one of the girls who worked there started walking with me sometimes. She would talk and talk to me about her Mom who had Cancer and her husband and how much she wanted a baby ...And I would be panting and feel like I was going to fall over but I did a half a mile.

 And sometimes if I didn't get there til 9AM I'd run into this sweet Lady named Miss Laura who walks everyday and she would talk and talk about being retired and she had a funny little girl voice because one time she was holding a straight pin in her mouth and sucked it into her lung and had to have surgery to get it out and almost died but she said "I just knew death WAS NOT to be for me."  I would listen because God knows I could not talk I could barely breathe and before I knew it I had walked a mile...

Then the weather got nicer. So I called my neighbor  and we got the dog and the baby and walked all around the capitol complex while she talked to me about walking in Europe and how she knew her husband loved to cook and they wanted to have a little food truck someday. And before you knew it  we  had done a mile and a little bit more. And I could breathe.

Saturday Morning 
(He didn't know I overheard him but Larry told my brother  "Suzie is training every week to do the Color Me Rad she is hauling ass I better get in the pool and swim or she's gonna say when are you gonna do something?" and it made me laugh because it was true. )

Sometimes the voices would say "You will get really sore and tired, you walked yesterday." And "I'd say screw that I'll go to Yoga afterwards." And I did. SO SO GOOD.

I even confessed to my Facebook friends I was scared and they were all so kind and encouraging and kept telling me "YOU GOT THIS!" And before you knew it it was time for the Color Me Rad...

Saturday we got up put on party clothes and hit the fairgrounds.
We danced, Conor threw blue powder all over me even right in my ear. I saw my pals the Whitneys and made sure to get them messy.

 It was a beautiful day and then we were off. We got about half way through Larry popped up out of nowhere and took pictures of us.  Further on was a little harder but it was worth it to listen to Conor chattering away next to me about school and music and comic books and Zombies HA!
 About 3/4 of the way through I looked at him and said "I'm pretty sure we need to just take a shortcut." He said "Nope you can't you'd be mad later." and he took my hand.
 I was getting really tired and slower, I just really felt like I was barely walking. I looked up ahead and there were my friends Derrick and Sarah. They had finished but come back to wait on us. She slipped over to my side and put her arm around me and said "Almost there, hang in there you can do this." We all slipped into the big purple cloud Conor and Derrick running , me and Sarah right behind.
  


And then there it was the finish line.

I had walked to that finish line with Krystal, Miss Laura, Sarah, Sandi, Larry, Conor, The Whitneys, and all the others who had told me I could and I listened.

My new bucket list is easy, "DO EPIC SHIT"....
Right on and amen.

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Songs We Sing

My friend I have not seen since High School, reconnected through the wonderfullness thats Facebook. I invited him to the show. I really wanted him to come and see because he's an artist and I just knew he would love it. He responded with "Of course Im grinning ear to ear!"

After the event I was led off the stage by my son to my pod of family and friends, my husband hugging me like a big bear,  my sisters laughing,  all loving and smiling and excited, and my friend Skip Hill who I hugged like crazy and showed to MY PRECIOUS MOM who smiled and said "I remember you!" Then he slipped away and I was swept off on a wave of love and people and pictures and party...

And I laughed later when I saw a post where he said he was painting because the rent was due...

And then today I saw this and she was beautiful...

"She confessed to Him her inner shame and so many private things that he surely must have already known. She wished her skin was lighter, her nose was thinner and her hair was long, blonde and flowing. She prayed God would make her pretty one day. But the birds knew the Truth...and they swarmed and flocked and gathered in the trees; just to be in her presence."


We had a conversation about it:

Me: "That really touched me."

Him: " Maybe your hug yesterday told me something like that..."

Me: "Dammit now Im crying, my hearts so soft lately."

Him: ...the stories of the women i heard yesterday opened my heart & soul to finish this painting."

Me: "Thats wonderful to hear..."



And so we were the ones who gathered under the tree's to tell our stories and the beautiful birds gathered to hear and we were all  MADE -

Beautiful, Brave, and True by the words we spoke, and the song of our hearts....

Forever changed and inspired and inspiring the world around us  ....

and amen


Listen To Your Mother Show OKC May 5th, 2013


















Wednesday, May 1, 2013

BIG SWEET LIFE







Listen to your mother first read through and I was a wad of nerves. What was I thinking I was about to basically get naked with all these people I barely knew... Yes I blog but I don't have to LOOK at these people while Im putting it all out there. But.....
I was not the only one. 
So I listened to this song...

What I had not reminded myself of was we would all be doing the same thing and we were in this together - Fear is just a dream and this is real life
And its a big sweet life

with lots of joy

and pain

And doubt

sacrifice

and learning 

And we are more alike than we know

The art of the story is still here.  And for a short time we all are the same and we know ....
We are not alone.
And its a
Big Sweet Life