Friday, September 11, 2015

I am concerned

I have concerns.  I have a lot of concerns.  I just don't know what to do with them.  Would you like a list?

I am concerned that modern day Christianity is being reduced to a list of do's and don'ts, and who is and isn't acceptable rather sharing the love, grace and peace of Jesus.  Sometimes I think Jesus just doesn't fit into the mold of modern day Christianity at all!

The game seems to be about "winning souls" for heaven.  I don't like that game.  If the whole point in knowing Jesus is going to heaven, why do we then stick around earth for so long?  Why doesn't Jesus just snatch us up the moment we believe?  It bothers me, a lot, that the people I am around seem to focus solely on that one area.  I'm not in the club because I get a "get out of hell free" pass.  That doesn't hold a lot of appeal.  What does have a whole lot of appeal is putting the words of Jesus into action, loving others, helping the poor and needy, being a light - a ray of hope- in the darkness, those things appeal to me.  That's why I'm in "the club".

I am concerned that politicians are too focused on women's bodies and the things that women SHOULDN'T be allowed to be allowed to do with THEIR bodies.  I am really bothered by the movement to restrict women's rights, in general. It concerns me that the work of generations of women, to be treated fairly and equally, seems to be taken for granted.  There's still work to do, ladies!

I am concerned that one portion of the movement to restrict women's rights is focusing on an organization that performs many worthwhile services to women who need health care.  Many more services than the one that is garnering the most attention.

I am concerned that I am plodding through life, just merely existing.  I'm not sure what to do about that one yet.

I am concerned about our nation's fascination with guns and the ideal that guns will "protect" us.

I am concerned that we are so politically polarized as a nation, we can't even listen to each other.

I am concerned about the potential of an El Nino year and the potential rain it will bring to our very dry state.  I foresee many landslides in the winter if the rain comes down, down, down.

I am concerned about the church I attend and the viability for the future.

I am concerned with the amount of time the man with the really awful hair running for President gets on TV and in the news media.  I'm extremely concerned that people are actually taking him seriously.

Switching it up - with all due respect to Papa Bear, I am REALLY grateful he isn't alive during this Presidential election.  He would be going through the roof.  I miss him, a lot, but I don't miss some of those political discussions (and I agreed with him 95% of the time.)

I am concerned...I am concerned...I am concerned.  Thanks for listening.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A tale of a purse, a phone and a video

I got a pretty new purse some months ago.  It's quilted with a black and white print. The other day, I was looking at my pretty new purse and thought "it's time to wash this!"  The white was looking a little more yellow in places.  Gross.

So Sunday, I came home from church and a quick stop at G.G's to turn on the water for her dogwood tree (being a dutiful niece following a text from her uncle who was thinking about his mom) and gathered up clothes to wash.  I remembered my yellowing purse and grabbed it, emptying the contents onto the coffee table.  I put everything in the HE washer, hit start and went back out to go back to G.G's house to turn off the water (it had been about 20 minutes total).

As I drove the mile and a half or so, it occurred to me that I didn't have my cell phone with me and my brain began to backtrack.  The last place I remembered having it was when I was sitting in the chair, with my purse.  Hmmm.  I finished what I was doing at G.G's and headed back home.

I arrived at home and searched for my phone.  High and low.  With dawning horror, I called my number, listening for the buzz so I could locate it...and it went straight to voicemail.  CR*P.  I knew where it was.  At that moment I heard the washer slow to switch cycles and I hightailed it to the bathroom.  Opening the washer, I reached in, felt around and found my phone.

And I fell apart.  Not because of the phone.  I could care less about the phone.  It wasn't about the pictures.  Yes, there were some great pics on the phone but they were on a MicroSD card that was more likely to be salvageable.  No, I fell apart because on that phone is a video from December 2013 of Papa Bear and Little Miss P.  It was after dinner one night and she was using the napkin rings and napkins to decorate her Grandpa.  At one point she draped the napkin over his head, placed the gold napkin ring on his ear and proclaimed "He's a pirate!"  She was giggling, he was giggling, sitting patiently and enjoying the moment.  The video is only a minute and 35 seconds long but it's the only thing left where I can hear Papa Bear's laugh and his voice.  Where I can see him move, blinking to adjust the contact lens that was knocked off his eye in the fun, holding onto Little Miss P so she didn't fall off, and in the final seconds, leaning forward and to hug her.  I fell apart fearing that one last connection was lost.

We aren't a family that has done a lot of video recording, nor are we so good with taking photos, though I have plenty of photo's to remind me of good times with Papa Bear.  It's the sound of his voice and his laugh that I so desperately long to hear again.  As I sat pulling apart the phone, drying off everything I could reach, googling how to dry out a phone and MicroSD card, my heart was breaking again.

Yo Momma and I had made plans with some friends, and so after doing what I could to salvage those items, we left home.  I broke down on the car ride to our friends house.  The looming sense of ONE MORE loss just too much to handle.  Yo Momma cried with me as I shared my worries.

I've held myself together over little, silly things these past 15 months.  But this one didn't seem so little or so silly.  This one was tangible.  I can watch that video over and over again and for a minute and a half, I can see and hear Papa Bear again.

As I contemplated my phone that was sitting at home drying out, with the potential only copy of an irreplaceable video trapped inside, a glimmer of hope suddenly pushed it's way to the surface.  When I was putting together the slideshow for Papa Bear's celebration of life party, had I transferred the video from my phone to the laptop?  I patiently waited through the movie and ice cream with my friends (and enjoyed the time) but once we got home, I turned on the laptop and stared at it with the fervor of that lady who starred in the Mervyn's ad's years ago thinking, "Open, open, open."

A few clicks later, I opened a file and breathed fully for the first time in a few hours.  The panic eased as I watched Papa Bear and Little Miss P on the screen, playing, laughing and hugging.  I heard his voice, listened to his laugh and saw Papa Bear again.  I cried and cried and cried.  I hadn't lost that connection after all.

My washed phone is truly dead.  I have a new one.  Phones are easily replaceable.  I've lost most of my contacts but I can get many of those back.  The MicroSD card works.  I've transferred the photos onto a flash drive.  I've backed up the video onto a flash drive and will be putting it on a DVD and Dropbox.  I'm not taking any chances.  All was not lost, and for that I am very grateful.

"He's a pirate!"
 *Sorry, I couldn't fix the photo so please excuse the eye glare.*