Down to the Jordan Stream

One of the very best tunes I have heard in some time-this music soothes my soul.  I love old things: antiques, vintage clothing, the elderly, and I am reminded of simpler ways, kinder times.

Oh, hold on a second!  My husband is lecturing me about my absolute drive to come to the truth about our world, our society, our government.  

“I don’t know why you do it to yourself.”

“By the way, Tom Hanks is a pedophile,” I retaliate.

“Tom Hanks is a pedophile?” (giggle, guffaw, belch)

I say this with a lightness in my heart that hasn’t been seen since the day I married my man.  I know we are winning the war, the insidious little somethings that gradually grow and eventually manifest into full out plagues.  Sex trafficking.  ANTIFA.  Pedophilia.  Corruption.  Hellyweird…it’s getting to the point that people are waking up, and it encourages me.

Waking up was a process for me that, had I known what lay ahead?  I would have run for the hills.

Ah, Lord, I know I’ve been changed; I said Ah Lord I know I’ve been changed.  The angels in Heaven done signed my name-lyrics I relate to, believe me.  Here’s a little secret that I have been holding on to, wondering in what manner to bring it up in my writing-the closer you come to Jesus, the more you love Him?  Well, the more transformed you become.  I knew something was drastically different when I found myself loving my irritating, self righteous neighbor.  I am convinced she sells information about us all around this block, if you can call two square miles of countryside a “block.”

Yes, out of the blue, right after I became sober, the Grinch’s heart began to soften.  It came as a huge surprise because when I got sober-I got good and pissed.  At everything, really-I was a whirling dervish of RAGE and despondence.  Grief had crept up from the grave, and I went back and forth between crippling sadness over everyone I have lost thus far-especially my father-and the urge to beat the living crap out of anyone who even looked my way.  It’s like someone took you blanky, for crying out loud.  EVERTHING bothers you, my husband’s chewing was so irritating to me that I came close to sending him packing.  You cannot, and I REPEAT, you can NOT grieve, well, anything or anyone if you are using.  And when us addicts have to face pain, what do we do?  We medicate as quickly as possible.  Here’s something many don’t understand: alcoholics and addicts are extremely compassionate, empathetic and sensitive.  I know this for a fact.  I also know that I had, out of self preservation, put up an unsightly wall-against others, including myself.

When I was baptized by water last Easter, I wasn’t expecting any change, as I had been baptized as a child.  When I was saved, my life began anew-so I recommitted myself on a Sunday, in ice cold water-in front of a full church.  I was utterly and completely alone-no husband, family nor friends attended.  The air conditioning was on high, and I embarrassed myself by running from the altar, after having my clothing thrown at me by our Worship minister.  Not a pretty site.  Did I mention I had a sinus infection at the time?

Ah, I have totally veered off of my original point.  You will absolutely believe, deep in your soul, that Jesus is in and with you-when your heart begins to soften.  You stop thinking that you are any better/worse than the next guy.  I repeat that often, I am no better nor worse than my brothers and sisters.  You begin to put others first, and might even find yourself wanting to help others every chance you get-and it feels good and right and perfect.  The rage diminishes.  The cravings vanish.  Jesus sought after you, and you allowed Him into your very being.

So, if you think you’re turning soft, or that the hormones are raging-just call out to Jesus-then you will know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He will answer~

The Outer Limits…

Sixteen years ago, my father and then girlfriend Pat (I like to call her DOOM) invited the entire family down to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We went down a day late, as I had to work. Dwain, Bud and myself-we put our suitcases in the Jeep at 5 a.m. Poor Bud sitting in the back, for all 10 hours of the trip. We were hopelessly lost in Washington, but used to my husband’s utter helplessness with directions, I drank beer and laughed at the absurdity.

It wasn’t just the Elkins/Hoffman/Malinowski clan gathering at the bi-level vacation house in the dunes, au contraire-Pat and her four perfect children AND their children were said to be coming as well. Dwain and I anticipated the vacation with utter dread, and the only reason we participated at all was so I could spend time with my father, who was quite ill at the time.

The drive was harrowing. As we arrived at the house, I saw my siblings coming toward us-not to greet us, mind you, but to run. To run for their very lives, as they knew with utter certainty that I was about to BLOW MY TOP. You see, DOOM had miscounted the number of bedrooms, and it appeared that Bud, my husband and myself would have to sleep ON A PULL OUT COUCH IN THE KITCHEN.

While my siblings partied on the beach, I went directly to my father.

“Are you SERIOUS?” “Where is she, let me at her,” and UNFUCKINGBELIEVABLE were a few of the comments I spat. Dwain, who had assessed the situation in a matter of seconds, headed for the beach. I poured a gin martini and sat on the deck with my father, who was so heavy hearted, so upset on what would be his very last vacation.

“Daddy, it’s not your fault, really. I guess we would have stayed at a hotel if we had a head’s up, but it is what it is,” I stammered. Meanwhile, at the beach, my husband was busy telling my brother and sister off in seven different languages, which helped…..a little.

Realizing that part of the problem was hormones, I took a hot shower and emerged stronger, calmer if you will. What happened next is legend in the Elkins family-and if you weren’t there, well, you might have trouble believing the pure insanity that followed. When the gang returned, they found my father and I on said deck, drinking what had to be our fifth martini. The following story is true, and it is with incredulity that I write, not sanguine acceptance.

At some point in the evening, I ended up at the tippy top of the Widow’s Walk, screaming at my sister. Over the years I had held a few things in, and for whatever reason, her ass was GRASS in my book. I don’t remember what I said, but I can imagine. My brother tried to calm me, but I had unleased a momentum that was only stopped by the State Police, and here’s where it gets good.

My husband was at the bar downstairs, with my father. He heard a knock on the door, and before he could answer it, two state cops-guns at the ready-demanded to know where the screaming was coming from. They had received more than a few complaints. As the Keystone Cops looked through the home, my father, now drunk as the proverbial skunk, sat watching television-he had no idea that a circus was enfolding in front of him and to this day, I think he knew alright. I also think he didn’t want to deal with it.

So, they find me on the fifth floor deck, and immediately go to arrest me. Balking, my brother pleaded with them. “Just a family argument,” he begged.

“Ma’am, do you know your voice could be heard at headquarters, five miles away?,” one of them asked me.

Before I could answer, my brother rushed me down to the living room and put me to bed. When I awoke the next day, things were a blur, but no one and I mean NO ONE was talking to me.

The moral of the story? Speak your peace. Don’t let things fester. And for the love of God, keep your voice down when all hell breaks loose.

Renew Your Mind, the Rest Will Follow

I could not, for the life of me, get out of my own way today. You know that feeling-when you know, before it happens, that whatever you do/say/touch will be a mother loving nightmare of epic proportions. Yep. I should have known at the gas station, where I sat for ten minutes (no lie) trying to put my seatbelt on. A simple task performed day in and day out, and not once, but twice this happened today. I try not to get hysterical when something isn’t going smoothly-I always think that God may be holding me up for a reason, and that puts things in perspective.

At Walmart, I wore my brand new Batman hat, complete with ears that go up and down and it glows in the dark, the batman signal. It has long pom poms on each side. Incredibly warm. I set out today to make at least one person smile-and I was blessed by the reactions of most people this morning. I would say, ‘watch this’ to a complete stranger, and inevitably? If not a guffaw, a giggle and smile. I want to two of the cashiers that have been there forever. My whole heart goes out to them, they look so fatigued, so defeated. I felt pure joy when the saddest one laughed. In twenty some years, I have not seen her lips turned upward.

At the park, Jesse burst out of his orange hunting coat-whilst jumping in to the creek. This after chasing a heron so majestic it caught my breath. I begged him to go back into the creek and retrieve his coat. He swam right toward the thing, then balked at the idea-he hates this bloody coat. We were just beginning our trek, and as I waded in the Hammer Creek, ice cold water sloshing around in my shit stompers, I cried out to the heavens, “WHY, GOD, WHY???” Instantaneously over myself, I hiked the entire trail with freezing, wet feet. I remembered how hysterical my mother became at even the thought of my feet being wet, screaming – “You’ll get a kidney infection if you walk around in wet feeeeet!!!” That’s when I got teary, and remained emotional for the duration.

I stood at the window and took in the orange and blues, purples and pink of the evening sky. My husband had mentioned our Dylan, the golden retriever who lost his battle with Leukemia in 2015. I tried to hide my tears. Dwain came to comfort. I again began my nostalgic grieving-then, as I praised Him for the perfect Fall evening-a television reporter said these words:

“And after the ending, there is a new beginning.”

Cuffed on a Dirt Road

 

Okay, I have a million different things on my mind, it’s my 26th wedding anniversary, and I forgot my husband’s card.  I have eleventy hundred boxes of cards-as a matter of fact?  I collect them.  I.  heart. cards.  Big time.  I guess I could use one of those, but hey-it’s not the same.  Somehow, spending twenty bucks on a card makes it mean more, and Hallmark?  You have enough of my money, thank you.

Dwain and I have moved mountains since we met, or should I say God has moved mountains for us.  Financial instability,  cancer, anorexia, a motorcycle accident, the almost-divorce, alcoholism and drug addiction, the death of my parents-issues that would normally drive a couple apart, only served to bring us closer.

I wanted to find a way, if underwhelming, to put those years into a blog.  But there aren’t enough hours in the day-I have so many memories, which will turn into stories, perhaps, one day.  So, here’s the Reader’s Digest version, ’cause it’s our day and my man is kicking me in my kidneys.

I was engaged to a decent man.  Or so I thought.  We brought out the worst in one another.  He became abusive on our honeymoon.  He knew I was in love with another man, and despite my pleas, we were married on June 9, 1990.  Allowing myself to be coerced, I made the worst mistake of my life.  I had cervical cancer at the time.  The stress was overwhelming.  I sent Dwain a card from my honeymoon.  

The marriage lasted one week.

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The biggest challenge and love of my life.

 

I moved in with Dwain not long after.

It was wild, all consuming, raw and passionate love.  We couldn’t keep our hands off one another, it was a sickness-a curse.  When he left the room, I ached.  When he came back?  I swooned.  We are still as passionate and crazy in love.

God protected us from murdering one another over the years.  Alcoholism.  Drug Addiction.  Anorexia.  A shit ton of mental health issues, denied grief and a violent temper-all on my part.  We never laid a hand on one another.  We have never cheated on one another.  Although, I deliberately tried to run him over when I caught him driving his secretary back from lunch one Spring afternoon, years ago.

We were poor.  Dirt poor.  His first wife took everything but his soul.  I was a violent, malicious drunk-and the tears flow every time I think of how I must have wounded him.  There was emotional abuse on both sides.   Cops.  Court orders.  And, finally?  Jesus.

He is the song I sing.  He will always have me, heart and soul.

What a beautiful gift He has given me!

 

 

The Weeping Cherry

light painting at night
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The holidays are over, and as for me and my house? We will serve the Lord, whilst picking up the tornado wreckage that is our abode. Boxes, tissue paper and gifts, looking like a scene in Toy Story, which by the way? That movie ain’t for any kids I know, serious sexual undertones and witchery abounds…take your kids to see Halloween, trust me, the therapy bills will be much lower.

I had lifted myself out of the funk I was in by Christmas Eve. As I sat, crumpled over in my chair, I heard the faintest of words, and they grew, in volume and enthusiasm…it was our Children’s Choir, and singing Silent Night at that. I felt a surge of hope, a hope that this year, we win the war against Human Trafficking, Suicide and Homelessness. Anything is possible with God.

As I finished up the dishes, I walked out on to our deck Christmas evening, to see the stars and find some peace.

What at first appeared to be a shadow of a man, (Good Grief!!!!) appeared instead a Weeping Cherry tree. A gift from my husband, as I have wanted one to place at our golden Dylan’s grave out back.

I dried my hands on the dishtowel; and ran to the man who embodies my soul, and makes all my dreams come true.

And then I gave Dwain a hug, a big fat kiss on the lips.

It is well, it is well with my soul.

Christmas By Myself This Year

I am ready to crawl into the fetal position and be done with this nightmare. What was the movie?The Nightmare Before Christmas? Never saw the flick, but who cares? Who gives a flying fazuck? It’s Christmas time, the halls are decked, the tree is done, my shopping almost complete. Wake me up when it’s time to take a long Winter’s nap; put a fork in my for crying out loud-I’m DONE.

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As a matter of fact, this Facebook post just about sums it up right now. All I want for Christmas is to have my husband and critters healthy and safe. That’s it, that’s my list. But the unseen forces of this world have a different idea-they want me a withered nub of nothing, so I have news for them.

STEP OFF!!!

Last Sunday, exhausted from a weekend of socializing, I drug my weary ass cheeks up the concrete stairs-I had a drink in one hand and a purse in the other. I was also carrying my dog’s collection of toys; left like little bodies, littering the yard. And so it was that I had no hands to break my fall when the inevitable happened. I tripped, my forehead breaking my fall.

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Not very pretty, but after an OK from the Emergency Room doctor, I went home-thinking, this won’t be so bad. I’ve suffered worse, believe me. But a week later? I still feel nauseous and the headaches are not so pleasant. But none of this matters, it truly doesn’t. Last night, God put everything in perspective for me. I was spent from crying all morning; I miss my parents at this time of year-Christmas was truly special at our home. I know what the reason for the season is-I just want a modicum of peace to fill my heart and soul.

I turned the music up (Charlie Brown Christmas, my favorite holiday tune) and Jess and I began to dance. Jubilant for over a minute, the smile was wiped from my face when I bent down to hug the dog-I found a small lump on his chest. The room began to spin, my heart was beating erratically, this can’t be happening, NO, no, no, no. My husband was in the shower; I yelled up to him, told him the grim news.

I thought a word of comfort, solace…maybe even hope. What I received instead? Name calling, of the you ruined my Christmas variety. It was if he thought I was purposefully looking for bad news: Lord have mercy! He had put up the Christmas lights, cut us a tree, dealt with my weeping just hours before.

He gave me the silent treatment. I gathered my things and headed for bed. 5:30 folks. I went to bed at 5:30 p.m. I awoke to the piercing pain in my heart. I remembered the lump. My husband slammed the door as he left the house, as I was none to eager to hear his apology. Actions speak louder than words, you know.

I phoned the vet, made an appointment first thing. My mood was as low as low could be; until I stopped in at Walmart for a few things. I asked a woman for help finding the cat nip, and the look on her face told me two things: I forgot to comb my hair, and I was now the freak at Wally World. I stopped to take a perusal of my appearance-sweet Jesus, the tattered clothing, combined with a shiner reminiscent of Muhammed Ali? Not good. I didn’t care, I was on a mission to be at the vet on time. I paid for my things and drove to the animal hospital.

To my surprise, Dwain stood at the door.

“What are you doing here?,” I mumbled.

Thirty minutes later, with a diagnoses of a fatty tumor, I took my dog for a hike. I thanked Abba with all I had in me. And when we returned? Tootsie went to comfort his friend.

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We must remember what is truly important at this time of year; and that is our family, friends and treasured children; whether animal or human. Be grateful for the small things, and let God take care of the rest.

Down to the Jordan Stream

 

One of the very best tunes I have heard in some time-this music soothes my soul.  I love old things: antiques, vintage clothing, the elderly, and I am reminded of simpler ways, kinder times.

Oh, hold on a second!  My husband is lecturing me about my absolute drive to come to the truth about our world, our society, our government.  

“I don’t know why you do it to yourself.”

“By the way, Tom Hanks is a pedophile,” I retaliate.

“Tom Hanks is a pedophile?” (giggle, guffaw, belch)

I say this with a lightness in my heart that hasn’t been seen since the day I married my man.  I know we are winning the war, the insidious little somethings that gradually grow and eventually manifest into full out plagues.  Sex trafficking.  ANTIFA.  Pedophilia.  Corruption.  Hellyweird…it’s getting to the point that people are waking up, and it encourages me.

Waking up was a process for me that, had I known what lay ahead?  I would have run for the hills.

Ah, Lord, I know I’ve been changed; I said Ah Lord I know I’ve been changed.  The angels in Heaven done signed my name-lyrics I relate to, believe me.  Here’s a little secret that I have been holding on to, wondering in what manner to bring it up in my writing-the closer you come to Jesus, the more you love Him?  Well, the more transformed you become.  I knew something was drastically different when I found myself loving my irritating, self righteous neighbor.  I am convinced she sells information about us all around this block, if you can call two square miles of countryside a “block.”

Yes, out of the blue, right after I became sober, the Grinch’s heart began to soften.  It came as a huge surprise because when I got sober-I got good and pissed.  At everything, really-I was a whirling dervish of RAGE and despondence.  Grief had crept up from the grave, and I went back and forth between crippling sadness over everyone I have lost thus far-especially my father-and the urge to beat the living crap out of anyone who even looked my way.  It’s like someone took you blanky, for crying out loud.  EVERTHING bothers you, my husband’s chewing was so irritating to me that I came close to sending him packing.  You cannot, and I REPEAT, you can NOT grieve, well, anything or anyone if you are using.  And when us addicts have to face pain, what do we do?  We medicate as quickly as possible.  Here’s something many don’t understand: alcoholics and addicts are extremely compassionate, empathetic and sensitive.  I know this for a fact.  I also know that I had, out of self preservation, put up an unsightly wall-against others, including myself.

When I was baptized by water last Easter, I wasn’t expecting any change, as I had been baptized as a child.  When I was saved, my life began anew-so I recommitted myself on a Sunday, in ice cold water-in front of a full church.  I was utterly and completely alone-no husband, family nor friends attended.  The air conditioning was on high, and I embarrassed myself by running from the altar, after having my clothing thrown at me by our Worship minister.  Not a pretty site.  Did I mention I had a sinus infection at the time?

Ah, I have totally veered off of my original point.  You will absolutely believe, deep in your soul, that Jesus is in and with you-when your heart begins to soften.  You stop thinking that you are any better/worse than the next guy.  I repeat that often, I am no better nor worse than my brothers and sisters.  You begin to put others first, and might even find yourself wanting to help others every chance you get-and it feels good and right and perfect.  The rage diminishes.  The cravings vanish.  Jesus sought after you, and you allowed Him into your very being.

So, if you think you’re turning soft, or that the hormones are raging-just call out to Jesus-then you will know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He will answer~