Wednesday, January 23, 2019

The Joy of Things Going Right




Chicken soup for the soul--and the body
We all have them, days when nothing goes right. In spite of a positive doctor’s appointment, yesterday was one of those days for me. My hearing aid, newly repaired, wouldn’t hold a charge; my computer didn’t recognize me, and every time I clicked on a link it flipped me to a “Guest” screen from which I could not escape; I was having trouble wrapping my mind around putting a photo log together, and some photos I wanted were held in copyright by what appeared to be a mammoth commercial enterprise rather than the nice academic archives I’m used to dealing with. And Jordan was still sick, suffering from “the flu that I not the flu.”

Today the world looks much brighter. After a long overnight charge, the hearing aid appears to be working fine, and I am hearing a balanced world again, instead of all in my right ear. Makes a difference in phone conversations especially.

This morning I called the IT help desk at TCU and they did their magic thing where they can take over my computer. Knock on wood, I haven’t seen that guest screen since. I’ve begun to figure out the photo log, saved some photos, ordered others—it’s like taking two steps forward and one backward, slow and discouraging but I am gradually moving forward. I called the commercial repository of newspaper photo and talked to a most helpful young woman, so I sent in my request. No answer yet but I am hopeful.

Kind, sweet neighbor Mary was here for happy hour last night and went home and made Jordan chicken soup in her InstaPot, delivered it today, and I think Jordan is already feeling better. Perhaps cheered by the kindness of others.

At any rate, the world looks better to me, and I think there’s a moral there, though I haven’t for sure figured it out. Maybe it has do with patience—if you avoid a tizzy and wait patiently, most things will right themselves. But then again, I am not a believer in passivity—I think you have to nudge things into going right, which I did today with phone calls and some calm, rational (I hope) thinking about the mechanics of a photo log.

Did I really have to this old before I learned about photo logs? An archivist friend says she can’t believe I didn’t work with photo logs during my long years at TCU Press, but I was editing text and wasn’t in production. Authors brought us their photos, and the production person (mostly my good friend Melinda) dealt with them. I do remember though one author who brought us boxes of unlabeled photos with no indication of where in the book they should go. Those were different days, pre-computer I’m pretty sure.  The late Jerry Flemmons, a travel writer and essayist of great skill, brought us a box of clippings from which we cobbled a book of essays—the work included keying in the text, because nobody had digital files back then. Computer technology has brought us a long way and made life easier—if you can figure out how to harness it. I’m a medium—fairly literate about computers but woefully under-utilizing them.

I have let my mind wander to the business of the encounter between Covington Catholic School boys and the indigenous people. I have seen clips, read interpretations, and kicked myself for being gullible and not following my instinctive belief that the kids were at fault as well as some of their antagonists—but not Mr. Phillips who was trying in his own way to defuse the situation. Today I watched a clip of Nicholas Sandmann on the TODAY show, and I want to reassure Savannah Guthrie—not that she, a consummate professional, needs my reassurance. But she’s been criticized for being too soft on Sandmann; had she been harsher, she’d have been criticized for bullying a youngster.

My impression was that someone had taken that young man out behind the wood shed and given him a good thrashing—figuratively, of course. Gone was the supercilious smirk, and missing was his red hat and the jocular support of his fellow students. Not that I think his parents had anything to do with this transformation—they simply hired a public relations firm. And I think that’s the answer—the experts coached him carefully, so that he appeared as every mother wants her so to appear—respectful, thoughtful, honest. Racism, he said with a straight face, is not tolerated at his school. Not what I read elsewhere.

I am not for a minute convinced. But I agree with many who have said that if they had been in his situation and responded as he did, they’d have gotten a walloping or been grounded until they were twenty-five. There’s a moral there too—spare the rod and, well you know the rest.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Moon watch and the mystery of young boys




So there we were, all four of us, bundled up and huddled under blankets, sitting on the patio watching the moon. With high enthusiasm, Jacob had organized this moon watch, even coaxing out his mom who had spent the weekend in bed being sick and feeling utterly miserable. We probably went too early, right at the start—it was a slow process. Christian described it as watching paint dry, and I laughed because long ago I had a friend who literally could be content watching paint dry. Jacob was the first to spot just the beginning of an orange-red color. I was the first to retreat inside where it was warm, but I returned when Christian came to tell me it was near totality.

It was another of those rare moments when I felt so blessed with my world—they seem to happen a lot on the patio. I think it was because this was Jacob’s party, and he was having such fun. Twelve-year-old boys are funny. On the edge of puberty, they don’t know who they are, and we never know from minute to minute. They can go from sweet and funny to bored and blasé at the flip of a switch, and I guess what sustains the rest of us is that we know that the sweet, funny, affectionate kid we love is still in there. When he favors us, it’s sheer delight.

I am fortunate because Jacob comes out to talk to me, to sit and love on my dog and talk about school and church—he will be in the pastor’s class this year, whatever it’s called now—and friends and, occasionally, girls, though he’s pretty much sworn off them for the time being. Jacob is impervious to my bits of hard-gained wisdom, such as happiness is a choice you make and so is boredom. But he keeps my thinking young, and I like to think some of my sage advice registers, even if it doesn’t kick in for a few years.

This morning, Jordan came out to the cottage, hammer in hand. Startled, I asked what she intended to do, and she said she was going to finish hanging crosses on my wall. I had a small collection, but thanks to Marjorie who donated some she had collected. They hang on an unavoidably awkward small piece of wall in my bedroom between two doors. I could put a skinny chest of drawers or something there, except that it’s in a direct route between my bed and the bathroom and the path is not wide. I have a vision of crashing my walker into any furniture there at three a.m. so it has remained a blank, empty wall until today. I like the crosses, a couple of which have sentimental stories and one of which I know I’ve had forty years.

Tonight, supper with a longtime, faithful friend who has been so good to me through the rough times of the past few years and whose company I thoroughly enjoy. Tonight, we talked about photo logs—a subject much on my mind these days but one on which she is an expert—and a new book project and all kinds of good things. We ate at Lucille’s, where they serve the lobster bites that Jacob loves so I brought him some. Just because he’s a good kid, and I love him.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

This, that, and the other




A hodgepodge on my mind tonight, but I have to begin with the delicious dinner we just had.  I bought some really good salmon yesterday but, after cooking all week, I was relieved when Christian said he would cook. I gave him the recipe I wanted to try—a molasses/soy marinade. I volunteered to sauté some asparagus and sugar snap peas.

Christian: I’m not much on sugar snap peas.

Me: Have you ever eaten them?

Christian: Yes. And how will you cook the asparagus? I like mine crisp.

Tactfully said, but I told him he should have more faith in me than to think I would overcook the asparagus. As it was, I sautéed asparagus pieces and snap peas in olive oil with a generous splash of soy. Cooked them just enough to get warm, and he liked them. But the salmon was the pièce de résistance—grilled just right so that it was still soft and moist and topped with toasted sesame seeds. Christian was rightly proud of having done the sesame seeds. I always have to do two batches, because I burn the first batch. The molasses marinade gave it an extraordinarily rich flavor.

I was editing our neighborhood newsletter tonight and came across a sentence where the writer said we would utilize something. Struck a nerve. My red pen came out, and I changed utilize to use. It reminded me of a passage I read recently in an online newsletter, stressing the use of the most straightforward words. Using fancier words simply makes you look pretentious. So here are a few suggestions, beyond use for utilize:

For commence, simply say begin;

For launch, say open;

For myriad, say many;

For prior to, say before.

You get the idea—write as you would talk.

I’ve written before about how kind people are when you have a walker, but I found a passage in a short story collection that states it perfectly. The collected short stories, An Elderly Woman Up to No Good by Swedish author Helen Tursten, feature octogenarian Maud whose sins range from kleptomania to murder, mostly the latter which she meticulously plans when people annoy her. It’s a darkly humorous adventure in reading, and I almost read it in one sitting. One feature is that Maud hides her strong body and active mind behind the façade of a frail, slightly dotty old woman. One of her tricks is to use a walker—which she also employs as a murder weapon when the occasion arises.

But here’s the narrator’s description of Maud’s use of the walker: it provided useful support, she could sit on it and have a rest, she was suddenly offered a seat on the bus, people held the door open for her when she went into the stores, and middle-aged female shop assistants started treating her politely and . . . well, they really were quite sweet to her. The walker was a brilliant acquisition.

I think I shall practice the frail old lady part on occasion—just not the murder part.

But excuse me now, Jacob wants to watch the eclipse, and I’ll join him.


Saturday, January 19, 2019

An open letter to Mike Pence,




Mr. Pence, I am greatly offended by your wife’s acceptance of a teaching position at a school that requires sexual pledges of staff and students. As the second highest elected official in our country you should be thoroughly familiar with our history, our Declaration of Independence, and our Constitution. America is a land of equality for all, regardless of race, religion, or gender. As “devout Christians,” you and Mother Pence should know that nowhere does Jesus forbid or condemn such pesky things as abortion, homosexuality, dining alone with a person of another gender, and a raft of other things that seem to bother you.

I am further offended by the idea of Mother Pence working. Is the budget the problem? Surely you do not need a second income. Is this an appointment for show, a volunteer position that allows the school to boast of the celebrity on its faculty? You both should know better than to walk into that trap.

I feel confident that, as SLOTUS, Mother Pence has enough official duties to keep her so busy that she won’t stray, as you apparently think women are wont to do. Perhaps she can help Mrs. Trump with official entertainment and duties, since the latter person doesn’t seem much interested in those things. Besides, the two women seem like they would be so compatible and share the same values. Think what jolly fun they could have serving tea to members of Planned Parenthood or the National Center for Transgender Equality.

I hereby call for SLOTUS to resign from the “Christian” school forthwith, devote herself to her duties as second lady of our country, with enough time left to volunteer to use her teaching skills to bring art to the students in the public-school system of Washington, D.C., where, as in God’s kingdom, all are welcome.

Sincerely,


Friday, January 18, 2019

Restaurant memories




Star Café on West Exchange in the Stockyards
I’ve been having lots of fun reading Lost Restaurants of Fort Worth by Celestina Blok. My ex- and I arrived in Fort Worth in 1965 and for several years were dead broke. But when he finished his surgical residency and I finished my graduate studies at TCU, we were able to step out on the town a bit.

We ate at the Carriage House most frequently. I remember a favorite waiter—Chad, a tall, thin man with a big Afro. When he saw me come in, he’d say, “Dover sole and spinach,” and he was right. That was what I wanted every time. The waiters used to serenade birthday customers, and I remember once when Joel told them it was my birthday. They sang to me, much to my embarrassment, while Joel’s mother kept saying, “Judy dear, such a considerate husband you have.” I was seriously thinking about strangling him when we got home.

A few years pass, and we took our two oldest children for their first night out—I think dinner was to be followed by a performance of Gilbert & Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore and I now have no memory of how indignant the two younger ones must have been to be left behind. We ate, as always, in the back room where Mac had lined the walls with pictures of nudes. The kids could hardly eat they were so busy surreptitiously glancing at the art. And then there was the time we took my parents—my Scottish father was appalled that Joel spent $40 on a bottle of wine; Dad could hardly drink it.

We ate at Mac’s House frequently enough to be considered regulars—and I even did after our divorce. Colin, my oldest, worked there as a bus boy in high school, and we all have fond memories of Mac’s salad—the recipe is in the book. I also remember the Christmas Eve we all had brandy ices and went straight home to bed instead, as we intended, to the late church service.

The book solves another puzzle for me: for years I’ve wondered why the name Steve’s is embedded in tile in the sidewalk near the back of Lucille’s. In a charming passage, Steve Murrin, Jr., talks about the restaurant his dad, Steve, Sr., had in that spot. The feature was ham sandwiches, and a big part of his business came from people who had been hired to drive used cars to California, where there was a good market for them. They were given lunch money and stopped at Steve’s on their way down Highway 80.

I barely remember the Farmer’s Daughter on South University, a steak and prime rib house fashioned after a northern California fancy restaurant and owned by the man who also owned the Cattleman’s. What I remember best was that after its heyday they used to have wet T-shirt contests, and all the guys would gather to wait for their girls to emerge from the bar. I better remember the London House on Camp Bowie where I first saw—and loved—the concept of a salad bar. Later, the Steak and Ale chain picked up on the idea.

Other memories came flooding back—Theo’s Saddle & Sirloin Inn, supposedly the place that introduced calf fries—can you even get them these days? They also served a delicious sauerkraut soup—I remember taking a suitor there who was horrified that I would eat that. And the cafeterias—remember when Jetton’s introduced the new concept of food stations rather than one long line?

There are places in the book that I never ate and wish I had—Neil Hosper’s Cross Keys and Jimmy Dip’s, the Richelieu Grill where legend has it the famous chili recipe was written on the wall. When the building was demolished, someone saved that piece of plaster wall.

This slim book makes you appreciate what a rich restaurant heritage Fort Worth has. The last chapter is devoted to longtime restaurants that are still feeding us—and they include some of my favorites: Angelo’s Barbecue (who can forget the moth-eaten bear?) and Carshon’s Delicatessen where I still lunch frequently, the Paris Coffee Shop and Joe T. Garcia’s. But where is the Star Café, supposedly the longest continually open restaurant in the city?

Read and enjoy—and then go to the Star for what Bud Kennedy says is the best chicken-fried steak in town.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Going camping—or I apparently thought I was


This brightens our dull days for me


Colin had a minor surgical procedure today, one of those where they tell you to bring a licensed driver who will not leave the premises. So I was his designated driver—since I didn’t drive for two years and there was great family concern about my getting behind the wheel again, just the idea of me as a designated driver is enough to strike fear into some hearts in my family. But I was determined to meet the challenge—and to plan ahead.

Anticipating a long, boring morning in a sterile waiting room, I packed a bag. My purse wasn’t big enough, so I got one of those recyclable bags every other store gives you these days. Into it went a bottle of water (unnecessary—they had water available in the waiting area); a buttered biscuit and a half a bar of dark chocolate with peppermint (unnecessary because I wasn’t there long enough to get hungry though I was anticipating a pre-lunch famine); two pairs of glasses in their cases—sunglasses and readers (unnecessary because it wasn’t  sunny  and I never had time to read more than email and Facebook). By the time I got the bag loaded, it was so heavy I could hardly manage it with the walker. But I felt like I was going on a campout.

And all my preparations were unnecessary because everything went smoothly and quickly. We got to the one-day surgical center at eight-thirty and left at ten-forty-five. I was called back to see Colin twice—once before the procedure and once when he was in recovery. In between I visited with a woman who has three adopted children through the Edna Gladney international program. I saw her T-shirt with “Gladney” on it, and when she kindly asked if she could get me water, I mentioned the shirt and told her I am the proud mother of four Gladney babies, although they’ve long since grown past the baby stage. So then we had a wonderful talk about Gladney and adoption and big families and all that’s entailed. Time passed so quickly that I never even got to read the two books I had on my Kindle just in case.

And then we were off to Carshon’s. Colin does not consider a trip to Fort Worth complete unless he has a Rebecca sandwich at Carshon’s—hold the Russian dressing, please. We visited with staff who have helped us for years—after all, Colin’s beating eating there at least forty-five years.

Tonight we had Doris’ casserole for supper, at Colin’s request. I’ve told that story so many times I’m sure you all know it, but here goes. When my ex was a resident, we went to a small dinner party at another resident’s home. The wife, named Doris, served this casserole called American Beef Casserole that had won a Mrs. America cooking contest or something like that. We loved it, and the wives who were there have cooked it over the years. One calls it American lasagna, because it’s basically a meat and tomato sauce layer, a noodles and cream cheese/sour cream layer, and grated cheese. I’ve even had the catering department at TCU cook it for a luncheon. It’s ubiquitous and delicious-and I ate too much tonight. After residency, I never saw Doris much but once, when I did, I mentioned the casserole—and she didn’t even remember it!

At dinner, Colin, Christian and Jacob got to reminiscing about past family holidays and looking at videos—and I thought what wonderful memories my grandchildren will carry through life. Like the Thanksgiving they hunted for Big Foot on my brother’s ranch and actually found his foot prints (don’t ask!).

Nine-thirty, and my “big baby,” (nearly fifty), is asleep on the couch, and I’m ready to go to sleep. A long but happy day.

Monday, January 14, 2019

A family day


Sophie telling me naptime is over


The holidays are over, the days of family getting together gone for the time being. You really don’t expect much in the way of family reunions in mid-January. But that’s what I had today. A mini-reunion.

My good friend Melinda, who I hired as production manage for TCU Press some sixteen years ago, a position she still holds, brought lunch today—a wonderful chicken salad sandwich on a croissant—and we chattered about publishing and the press and one project in particular, a book I had shepherded. Now she either has to reprint or look to a new edition. I promised to talk to some of the contributors and look ahead into the crystal ball of the future. Meantime, I said, reprint. It’s Grace & Gumption: Stories of Fort Worth Women. IF you’re in Fort Worth and don’t have a copy, order it now.

I expected Colin, my oldest child, about suppertime, so I was surprised when I was in another part of the cottage (hard to do in this small space) and heard the front door. “Your dog isn’t much of a watchdog,” he said. Of course not--she adores him. He just got unloaded for a two-night stay when my brother and sister-in-law arrived. We were having a good visit, when Christian came in, saying he had come home for something he forgot and saw the cars in the driveway. So we had a cheerful, happy reunion. My brother has not been feeling well lately, was sick over Christmas, so I was delighted to see him with good color, in good humor, and by his own admission feeling a lot better. We siblings are aging, and it’s easy to worry about each other.

Tonight, with Jordan enjoying sunrises in Puerto Rico, I fixed dinner—a repeat of last night’s spaghetti. I am spending the week cooking a day ahead of myself—today I cooked tomorrow night’s dinner, and tomorrow I will at least get a start on Wednesday’s dinner. Jordan comes home Wednesday and announced she would really like a dinner. So she’ll get chicken pot pie—Jacob liked it so well last time he used fresh strawberries to wipe up the sauce left on his plate.

It’s a social week for me, but that’s okay because I’m in a holding pattern—waiting for the editor’s comments on my Alamo manuscript, waiting while people research photo requests, etc. And I’m reading fiction—what a joy.

Hope your week is off to as good a start as mine. What more can a mom ask than to have one of her out-of-town kids asleep on her couch. I am, always, blessed.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

When I grow old, I shall wear purple...and red!



I did not make it to church this morning. There was uncertainty in the household about how Jordan’s 3:30 a.m. departure for a business trip would affect everyone’s sleep, so I elected not to scurry around and get ready for church only to hear at ten in the morning that my escorts were not going. I attended church via live streaming, which is a blessing.
And I was so glad I did. The sermon was about asking the bigger questions, such as if I am to love my neighbor, who is my neighbor. But the takeaway for me came when Russ Peterman quote Scott Colglazier, who was the UCC minister for eleven years (and married Jordan and Christian). Scott said there are two kinds of churches: answer churches and journey churches. Answer churches have a prepared answer for every question you ask—I would assume that encompasses their bans on abortion and gay marriage, among other issues. But at journey churches, we seek together to find the answers to question that arise. I love that approach, because I have always thought I go to church not to study ancient Biblical texts but to find the answer to how I can better live my life today. That’s a journey, and I am happy to be on that journey with my church.
My second philosophical moment came when I discovered an article by Mary Pipher, author of the forthcoming Women Rowing North: Navigating Life’s Currents and Flourishing as We Age. Pipher’s thesis is that women in their seventies and above are happier, more fulfilled than at any other stage in their lives. In our seventies and beyond, we are marginalized—something I am very aware of on my walker. But most of us consider ourselves vibrant and happy. We have learned not to expect too much but to find happiness in what we have. We have learned how to make our own happiness, how to create a good day.
This resonates with me because, after a series of fairly devastating health problems, I am feeling better, healthier, and happier than perhaps I ever have in my life, except maybe when my babies were little. There are some things I miss about my earlier life—the social involvement, the sense of being part of something important (In my case, publishing), the possibility of romance. But like magic, those concerns have disappeared. What matters to me these days is love of family and friends, and I have that in abundance. I have meaningful work and the avocation of cooking. My days are full and busy.
Happiness comes from small things—like a discussion tonight of family genetics with Jacob who was truly engaged and interested—and not from the most exciting party, the latest love of my life, the thrill of professional recognition. I make my own happiness these days.
I know all this could be swept away in an instance. A friend, much younger than I, died in her sleep recently, and the threat of a dread disease hangs over me. But I will not cross my bridges until I come to them, and I will not let the world spoil the extraordinary physical and emotional well-being I am enjoying.
Not over seventy? Not female? No matter. I suggest you read the article anyway. And the book, due out January 15—uh-oh, tax day for those of us who pay quarterly—is on my TBR list Find the article at https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/12/opinion/sunday/women-older-happiness.html?fbclid=IwAR0QCKRtOjiyIwwFnx21EEXmC7uCpTQ4_twX4TXvg-CLH6nsjlyAd_CGHqU
Happy week ahead, everyone!


Saturday, January 12, 2019

An Aha! moment and no more boredom



This story begins with my shoulders. I know for sure I have one torn rotator cuff, torn so long ago the muscles have atrophied beyond repair. I suspect the other shoulder is in the same shape. Yes, my reach exceeds my grasp, and I can’t put dishes on the second shelf, etc. But mostly it doesn’t bother me. And then, sometimes it does. Last night was one of those nights. I woke about 2:30 with both shoulders painfully stiff—maybe I slept wrong. But I couldn’t go back to sleep. You know about those three o’clock in the morning thoughts—they can be devastating.  And for a while, they were.
But then I had an aha! moment and came up with an idea for a new book. No, I’m not going to share—I don’t trust a one of you not to usurp my idea and run with it. But I lay there creating notes for an introduction, a table of contents, a list of things to check on the web in the morning. In fact, I was so revved up about this I nearly got out of bed and headed for the computer—but that violates one of my principle rules for dealing with middle of the night wakefulness. So I stayed cozy and comfortable and plotted and planned—no, its not another mystery. I will give you a hint: it involves subjects dear to my heart, including Texas.
I did finally fall asleep again, and worried that I’d forget everything. I used to work for a man who would wake in the night, think of something, and call to leave it on his administrative assistant’s voicemail. I don’t have that option This morning I felt rushed when truly it was a day I had not much to do, except pick up my groceries at Central Market. To my joy, I remembered all the planning I’d done in the night. Internet exploration convinced me this this is good topic, because there’s nothing on it.
So today has been busy. I delivered an orchid to a friend for her birthday, picked up my groceries, explored on the internet a lot. Tonight, soup of the week—an accumulation from my freezer, which seems perfect for a chilly night. Then I’m going to investigate vacation housing for my clan, all sixteen of us, next Christmas. And then, the luxury of a good book.
So glad to be over my spell of boredom. It’s absolutely no fun to be bored or to feel sorry for yourself. Besides, today was rain free and a bit brighter though still not filled with sunshine.


Friday, January 11, 2019

The downside of a rainy day, some encouraging news, and advice from Jesus




Rainy, chilly, damp and dark in North Texas today, and frankly I was bored. I find that a whiney admission on my part, some sort of lack of character, but nothing engaged me, and time dragged. I am doing photo research but was stymied—one curator is out of the office for an indeterminate time, as in months, and not a single other soul can help me; another was just out today, so I suppose I can call her Monday; and a third office is only open Monday through Thursday. I suppose photo research is not considered urgent, but when it’s what’s next on your plate, such lack of response is frustrating. I have emailed a couple of archives twice with no response.
And I finished the cozy mystery, Nobody’s Sweetheart Now, that I was much enjoying. I always hate to finish a book when I’ve gotten absorbed in the story and its world. I didn’t expect to like this one so well—a British cozy set on an estate in the 1920s, very Agatha Christie-like with the houseguests at a Saturday-to-Monday the suspects in the murder. But the hostess, recently widowed Adelaide Compton, is charming, sly and witty behind the naïve and overly kind façade the world sees. And when her late husband, a terrible philanderer, reappears in ghostly form, she thinks she is losing her mind. A standard cast of characters, including the dullard nobleman who wants to marry her, but then. .. there’s the handsome inspector of British and Indian descent, so good looking, so…. well, read and find out. It’s all good fun.
One of my new year’s resolutions was to share more positive posts on Facebook, and I’ve been pleased to share several on environmental subjects. From schools in the jungles of Brazil to roads in India made from discarded plastic and from high sales of electric cars in Norway to desert lands reclaimed by using ancient farming methods, it seems to me the world is light years ahead of America, the so-called strongest nation in the world, on saving our physical world. While our government allows pollution of rivers and the use of poisonous pesticide with nary a thought to the consequences, much of the world seems to understand climate change and the desperate need to change our ways. Some days it’s enough to start me fantasizing about moving, though I’m too old for that.
And then there’s this word about Biblical commandments. You have my permission to throw it in the face of the next rigid, righteous Christian you meet. In his daily meditation yesterday, Richard Rohr, a monk well known for his theological writing, pointed out that there are 613 clear commandments in the Bible (do you think he counted them?), but Jesus reduced them to two: Love they God, and love they neighbor as thyself. See? You don’t have to worry about abortion and LGBTQ and other people’s marriages and marijuana and any of those things that send some off into a tizzy. Why did Mike Pence, that walking uptight bundle of repressed emotions, rush into my mind when I read that? I read today he predicts legalized abortion will disappear in this country soon. Talk about rigid ways. But back to Jesus’ two commands, just think if we all, Christian or not, followed those two commandments, what a great world it would be.
Here’s a link to Rohr’s complete meditation for the day. I read his work daily and find it inspiring, pushing me in a direction I need and want to go.
Which reminds me of a joyful note: Tarrant County Republicans voted NOT to unseat the duly elected co-chair because of his Muslim religion. Can you imagine? It should never have been an issue at all, but at least good sense won out. He can worship his God, I can worship mine, and we both can love our neighbors. Great hope for the world.
Tomorrow I plan to avoid boredom. I’ll do a grocery run, make a batch of spaghetti sauce, and think some more about the vague idea for a mystery that is batting around in my mind.