Thursday, July 27, 2006
What do you save?
I had a long talk tonight with a good friend of mine about the pros and cons of saving things....She does not save much ...I do ....I love to read and so I always try to buy my books in either hardback or trade paperbacks. After I read them, I keep them. I have shelves full of books .....in fact I only recently started looking for more shelves. Books are wonderful. How can you not keep them ??
Another thing that I save and have only recently found out that many people do not and that is old Christmas decorations. You know the ones I am talking about; the little cheap nothing junk you made at VBS during the summer of 1979 at Woodland Presbyterian Church in Notasulga, Al.
But heres the kicker ...they aint junk. Thats the stuff that makes us....US . It is the things that thread us together as a family. It is going to your grandmothers house in December and helping decorate the tree. The same way you have done it for all your life. It is getting out the crushed,wrinkled,spotted angel made out of clothespins and coffee filters and sprinkled with glitter. Maybe it's the ornament made out of pipe cleaners, glue and metal bottle lids. I am 32 years old and I still get excited to take out the little snowman with the pointy yellow hat, the same one that was one on a strand of lights. One year they stopped working so my Grandadaddy and I took each one off and made ornaments out of them. His idea was that we had them for so long it would be just wrong to toss um. Anyway maybe I am the only one who feels this way.
I recently read in Emilys blog that everything in some way always seems to come back around to family. I believe that also. Our family can be the very first to get on our nerves sometimes but we always come back to them. I know I do. Thats the way it is supposed to be.
It has been four months and change since Daddy died. I can sit and remember the many times that I had given thought to the idea that our family was very blessed. That we had it . Comfort, love, security. I long for that again. I look for the day when I can go out with friends and actually have something to say. To be able to function on some level outside of a few close friends and work. My heart longs for that again. My heart longs for Daddy to come and let us know that is all going to be fine. I would still worry when he used to do that but somewhere in me I knew it would be ok. He is dead . Normal shattered by seperation.
I think I am in the darkest place in my life. Grief that still keeps me away. That keeps me from being open and honest with friends and family . I wake at night after dreaming of being with Daddy the last time. It is still hard for me to realize that one minute he was here and the next he was gone . His energy and love of life was away from us. There are times when I still dont understand the eternal. I know his job was done the second he slipped away but seperation clouds what should be a happy thought that he is in the Kingdom with God.
Life looks different now.
I close with a couple of lines of lyrics from a Joni Mitchell song...
"Well somethings lost, but somethings gained......In living every day"
and one last thing......74 days till North Carolina
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Two weeks ago it was VBS now its Youth Week at church ......BIG DIFFERENCE in the way I do my job around DUMC. It have kept me very busy though ... But its been a fantastic week...Now i am kinda tired ....its late and i am actually wanting to sleep .....more tomorrow ...I promise
Monday, July 17, 2006
"The only realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith." From an Undelivered Jefferson Day speech by FDR.Was to be given April 13, 1945. He died the 12 of April.
Last Friday I spent most of the day in Warm Springs,Ga. Anyone familer with history knows that Warm Springs holds a strong place in US history. Franklin D. Roosevelt arrived in Warm Springs in the mid 1920s to receive treatment for his paralysis. He was stricken with polio at age 39 and lost most of the use of his legs.
Warm Springs in mainly made up of antique shops and specialty stores but you can still find traces of FDR all around.
You can visit the train station where he arrived on his visits to Warm Springs. You can see the Roosevelt Rehab Center. It is a world class rehabilitation center that grew out of the orginal warm springs. You can visit Dowdells Knob and see where Roosevelt entertained national and world leaders on picnics. The centerpieces of Warm Springs is the actual Warm Springs and FDR's house there known to everyone as "The Little White House".
I am a huge history buff and one of my things is to actually go and stand where things happened. There are a few places that have always been on my list to go and visit. Philadelphia, The White House, Gettysburg Battlefield, the Statue Of Liberty and I have been able to visit all those places. I visited Warm Springs as a child and went to the Little White house then but as always it is different when you visit as an adult. There are places that I have yet to visit but want to ..Those include Scotland, the beaches of Nomandy and the beaches of Anzio, Italy.
The Little White House is different than many other museums because this one lets you actually get in the house and see things up close. You can stand literally inches from the Presidents bed, you can touch the items in the kitchen and see the inscription on the wall made by the Presidents cook ...she wrote the following "I cooked the first meal and the last meal eaten by Pres.FDR in this house .April 12,45."
It was in Warm Springs that FDR got his political legs back. He learned to connect with the people on such a different level. One historian said that we should thank God that FDR contracted polio and lost the use of his legs ...because of this he came to Georgia, swam in the pools and met people who had nothing . He realized that he was just like them on so many levels.
The historian says that because of this FDR learned how to deal with things when he became president. He could lift people up. People would listen to him on the radio and go away thinking that things are bad but they are getting better. FDR saved America.
Some folks have video games or sports ...I have history ....I am a geek about it...and I dig Franklin D. Roosevelt.....he was flawed on many levels but what person is not. He used the things in his life to help others ...to lift them up ....our leaders today should do the same thing.
If you have never gone to Warm Springs....You should ...it is an easy drive up the interstate.
Go soon .
98,100,99.....these are not the scores of someones tests they are the actual temperatures we have been having lately . The people who keep records said it is the hottest summer ever recorded in US history . It was 107 degrees in South Dakota last week one day .....
There are two things that amaze me about all this mess....
1. That folks actually enjoy it !!?!!??! I mean come on folks.....I am not suprised that its this hot ...it is summer for goodness sakes but I am always suprised to hear folks say how much they enjoy the warm weather!!!!!!! WARM WEATHER its warm in Alaska right now ....IT IS HOT HERE. My sister in law loves to lay by the pool on the weekends and get sun. I think she is nuts .
2. That folks are suprised its this hot. I talked to a friend the other day in Atlanta and he said "my God its hot man....I cannot believe its this hot" Why not ? Scientist have been telling us for years that the Earth is warming up. Some folks say its part of the natural cycle. But there are nearly 7 billion people on this planet. The vast majority of them use cars . Industry spews waste into the sky daily. I understand that the Earth goes through cycles but you cannot tell me that we are not contributing something to the problem.
I am counting the days till fall and then winter. Until then its mind over matter!!!
I close with a few quotes and sayings
Dont hate yourself in the morning ...sleep until noon.
Show me a sane man and I will cure him.---Carl Jung
If at first you dont succeed, skydiving might not be for you!
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
I think I am becoming a different person. I am sure that it's about time, but I have actually staved off the bitterness and the paranoia for a long time. I tend to be more trusting. In the last couple of months, though, since things have been a bit tough, I have gotten a bit of a hard edge. I think that is finally seeping into other aspects of me. I actually find myself struggling between the old me and the new me at times... Old me meaning Jason in his early to mid 20's and new me meaning Jason now.
I don't necessarily like this - but I think it necessary. When you go through something rough, I think there is always that uneasiness on the other side.....Who exactly am I now? How has what I have been through made me stronger.. or weaker.. or just different. Can I ever be that same person I was before? Do I even want to be that same person?
I have always said that the experiences someone has can either affect them or control them. I have also said that I chose to let them affect me, but not control me. Times like now cause me to doubt that a bit. I am being controlled.
Again Insomnia finds me. I wish he would lose my address or something. He comes into my house almost every night and sits at the foot of my bed and cries like a baby .....But not sleeping turn out to be good for reading ....and man I am reading lots ....more on that later.
One more night of VBS!!!!!!!!!!!
I love my job so much ...let me say that first but VBS is something that I almost cannot handle!! It is so fantastic to see the church filled each night with not only kids but with their parents, grandparents and all the youth members who are helping out .....The sounds of kids playing outside with recreation , dancing and singing with Music or working on crafts they are some of the best sounds you will ever hear.......but I really dont think Children Ministry is my strong point .....I know its not. I can deal with youth on a much different level than I can with kids... Kids cry,throw food,fight with each other, laugh at things I dont understand....and while the folks in the youth group do all those same things ....I can just deal with the youth better. Anyway its done tomorrow.
Superman,Pirates and Mutants......
I have seen three movies this summer.....Thats it ....and all three were pretty dang good.....Superman Returns was my favorite by far...But Pirates is a very close second ....If you like Superman or enjoyed the first Pirates then you should by all means go see both of these movies.
A Prarie Home Companion starts at the Capri on July 21.
I am currently reading Dirty South by Ace Atkins.....Ace played football as a Defensive end in the early 1990s at Auburn University and was on the 1993 Undefeated Team. He is a great writer. I read an article about him in Entertainment Weekly magazine and bought one of his books last fall and just got this latest one. He mainly writes southern crime stories but not in the same vein as John Grisham....These books have a harder edge to them....they make you feel the dirt and the grime....but that is what a good book is supposed to do ....PULL YOU IN .
Before turning to writing full time, Ace Atkins worked as a crime reporter for The Tampa Tribune for several years. He earned a Pulitzer Prize nomination and Livingston Award nomination for his seven-part series about an unsolved murder of a Tampa socialite in 1956, “Tampa Confidential". Those stories became the basis of his latest book, White Shadow. He has been reviewed by the New York Times, Tampa Tribune, LA Times, Entertainment Weekly, and the Chicago Tribune. If You are looking for a really good summer read check him out .
Plus he's an AUBURN MAN .......WAR DAMN EAGLE!!!!
I am finally going to Georgia on Friday ....it is my payment for getting through VBS. Hope to have some pictures to post by Saturday.
I have said enough.....and if I have not said it enough before....I HAVE THE BEST FRIENDS IN THE WORLD!!!!!!!!!
FIESTA is the name of our VBS this year........Everyone one else in the Southeast is also doing this same VBS....The reason I mention this is that I have been involved with VBS all week long ....well for a couple of weeks actually but it all come to a head this week and the kids have had a blast .....It has worn me out.....I have had great help this week ...from adults to my youth ....the help has been fantastic ...
This is the main reason for lack of posting this week or since the other night ....I am going to try and get back on track before Nick writes another post condeming all those who dont write on a regular basis .....OH THATS RIGHT Nick never writes anymore either HA
Talk to everyone soon
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
It is almost 2am here in Alabama on July 5th, 2006. This time last year I was laying on a bunk bed in Rockville ,Maryland. I was just a few days into a 1o day mission trip to the Washington, D.C. and we had gotten back late at night on the 4th. Spending the 4th of July in DC was one of those things I had on my list of "Things to do" and last year I had the chance to do it. I will never forget the fireworks on The Mall. We also had a wonderful chance to actually march in the National Independence Dad Parade. Not only did we march we got to carry this HUGE GIGANTIC American flag.....and by huge I mean it was 70ftx40ft. Tonight I watched the fireworks on The Mall but this time I was sitting in my living room. What a difference a year makes.......
I cant sleep. For a few weeks after Daddy died I had trouble sleeping ....then things seemed to settle down ....now my pattern of not sleeping had returned with a vengence ....I lay in the bed at night and flip through the channels on television ....I might doze a little but I never really go to sleep until late late in the night ...usually around 3 or so .......I sit and think and think and think even more about things ....regrets..... things I wish to God I had done ...My faith is battered but it holds ....
I am also dreaming more ...well actually I am remembering my dreams more it seems ....some of the dreams are good ...some can only be described as nightmares.....I would pay real money for a weeks worth of good sleep....I know my friends are tired of hearing me talk about this stuff....so I try not to speak to much about it .....to them I am sorry !!!
Am I depressed? I dont know to be honest.....I keep telling myself that I need a real break of some kind....Ever since March I have been working without any kind of break....Dont get me wrong ...I do not have a hard job....My Brother has a hard job,Susanne has a hard job.....I love my job ...at this point in my life I really believe that it is where God has led me ...but I need a break of some kind.....I thought after Daddy died that I should get right back to things ...I had been off a week with his illness and then his death....so I thought the best plan of action was to jump right back into things....Its July now and I am tired ....I keep saying that I will take some time off but then I think that I need to get past the next big thing with my job ....Dinner Theater,Easter egg hunt, multiple youth sponsored Wednesday night suppers, Wonderful Wednesdays in June, mission trip.....VBS is next week and after that I have Youth Week to get ready for .....Maybe I am crazy but I dont want to take off a week just to come back into something else big to be planned or worked out ...I want to get most of everything behind me then I am leaving ...I WILL BE BACK ...but I am leaving for a bit ....I say this all the time but this time its going to happen ....I will be going to North Carolina in the early fall....October is the month...Asheville most likely ...but I am going and not just for a weekend but for several days....
Yall might be saying "Heck that is over three months away" but I get excited about North Carolina very easily and am already looking forward to being there ....
I need this .
I close with CS LEWIS
"Many things -such as loving, going to sleep or behaving unaffectedly, are done badly when we try our hardest to do them"
Sunday, July 02, 2006
Every year we celebrate the 4th with fireworks, partys at the lake and beach,good cookouts,parades, attending ballgames ....On July 2 1776 John Adams wrote the following "an epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated , as the day of deliverance, by solom acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward, forevermore."
How great is it that he was right .....although he was talking about July 2nd.
I think about my grandfather who was in England,North Africa, Italy for three July 4ths. He fought, killed, was almost killed and then came home and helped build America in the 20th Century. He is what our founders talked about when they talked of defending freedom ...not just here but all over. Freedom is Universal.
Founding Fathers,July 4th and others...
- July 4th has been celebrated as our national birthday since 1777 but Congress finally made it an "official" holiday in 1941.
- Fireworks have their start all the way back to 11th Century China.
- George Washington,John Adams,Ben Franklin and countless others who framed our nation knew Betsy Ross. Sorry to say but there is no historical "paper trail" that actually links her to sewing the first flag of the USA.
- The Star Spangled Banner was of course written as a poem by Francis Scott Key but the tune it was set to was an old British drinking song called "The Anacreon in Heaven"
- John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4th, 1826.
- Independence Hall was the statehouse of Pennsylvania.
- George Washington began his public service at age 17 and was an elder statesman visited by hundreds right up until his death in 1799.
- US population in 1776-2.5 Million.........US population in 2006-Almost 300 Million.
- By an act of Congress all American Flags MUST be manufactured in the USA. Mexico imports thousands each year.
- John Hancock signed the Declaration Of Independence so large so that King George III could read it without his eyeglasses.
- George Washington picked the spot for the new "Federal City". No suprise that it was mere miles from his beloved Mt. Vernon
- George Washington is the only US president not to live in the White House.
- For years if July 4th fell on a Sunday ....the Holiday was actually celebrated Monday July 5th!
Just a few facts ....
"Give me your tired ,your poor,Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore, send these, the homeless, the tempest-tossed to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door." Emma Lazarus-Poet These words are etched on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. These words were written when we welcomed new people to this country. We forget that we are a country mixed backgrounds. We are all "tempest-tossed" in some way. How many people stand outside our borders wishing for a new start. People wanting to live the dream that began 230 years ago.
Happy Birthday America.......heres to 230 more.