Friday, December 19, 2008

Snow Comes to the High Desert

Monday morning I packed up my overnight bag for the trip to moms' house. I left it in the living room figuring I'd stop by home after work then head out. Then snow. The most since 1979. Worst yet, I'd also left my camera behind. I was able to get back home on Thursday. Here are some pictures taken after the sun already had some time to start warming the desert back up.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Muddling Through Christmas

A couple of years ago while in the midst of my divorce I came across this post by Dean Barnett. It hit a chord, and I sent him an email. Though relatively famous, he responded to my email. That's one of the things I like about new media. Folks, even famous ones, are more approachable.

Dean succumbed to CF October 27, 2008.

"Luckily, while we muddle, we can surround ourselves with things we cherish. We can muddle nobly, happily and with a sense of purpose. We can choose to love and allow ourselves to be loved as we muddle. Ultimately, if you want it to be and let it be, it’s a beautiful muddle indeed."

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mom Chronicles: Cancer and Scary Hallucinations

The length of our days is seventy years—or eighty, if we have the strength;
Yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.
Who knows the power of your anger? For your wrath is as great as the fear that is due you.
Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

My mother has spent the month from Halloween to the present limping through her house and her life due to pain in her hip. Last Thursday she was in so much pain that she could not move. She called the ambulance to take her to the hospital.

Monday they confirmed that she had cancer in her hip---and numerous other sites in her body. Monday was spent working through the shock, with tears, questions, and hugs for Hailey as I shared with her the news about ‘Grandma Ta-ta.'

We had visited my mom in the hospital the past weekend. While there, she had me draw close to the bed to tell me that, “Something strange is going on here.” She went on to tell me that there were all types of people roaming the hallways; Rabbis, doctors, Germans and Russians. Amazingly, they all spoke Latvian. More significantly, they were all in cahoots regarding a plot to exterminate her.

When in the tube for the MRI, she says that there was a story that you read along with while the machine made its loud noises. She was amazed that beside the usual choices (Spanish, French, Vietnamese), the story was in (wait-for-it) Latvian. If you’ve ever had an MRI done, you know that it makes a consistent noise; chunk-chunk-chunk. My mom said that with each “chunk” the story pronounced, “You-you-you. Will-will-will. Be-be. Healed healed.” Of course, all in Latvian. Interesting plot for a movie. I’m just afraid that the Latvian references may be lost on some audiences.

One amazing thing regarding the cancer is the amount of folks who have been through a similar battle. Haileys’ bible homework this week was to list some effects of sin that she’s experienced or heard about in the news. Certainly cancer is one of them.

My mom, sister and I (along with a host of others—many who speak Latvian) will be walking through the process over the next weeks and months. One day at a time, step by step, grace upon grace.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Horrors of Mumbai, Horror of the Cross-Response to Shmuley Boteach

"As for my Christian brethren who regularly quote to me Jesus' famous saying, "Love your enemies," my response is that our enemies and God's enemies are different parties altogether. Jesus meant to love those who steal your girlfriend, cut you off on the road or swindle you in a business deal. But to love those who indiscriminately murder God's children is an abomination against all that is sacred. Is there a man who is human whose heart is not filled with moral revulsion against terrorists who target a rabbi who feeds the hungry? Would God or Jesus ask me to extend even one morsel of my limited capacity for compassion to fiends rather than saving every last particle for their victims instead?" So writes Shmuley Boteach in the Jerusalem Post.

Love does not erase consequence nor wrath. While I certainly relate to the heart of the Rabbis' message, he at the same time misses the heart of Christianity. As seen in the life of King David, sin has consequences. The high standard is that each of us, even the most heinous, are created in God's image. However, "Each of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him." Love seeks that they know the truth, and repent of evil. Consequences must be paid; either wrath was paid for and satisfied at the cross, or wrath will be suffered by the individual. Love shines brightly, it does not cover truth, nor erase consequences.

For a vivid, modern example of Christ-like love of one's enemies;
note the life, and death, of Graham Staines.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Art at Grandmas' House

The crazy dog hurt his leg, so grandma and Hailey took him to the vet. Grandpa was still sleeping, I was alone, and bored, and with camera.

Photo by Hailey

Monday, December 01, 2008

Wild and Captivating

Journal Entry Dec. 1-That noise you hear is my head banging against a wall. That kind of day. Jagged emotional edges all over the place. Inventory at work. Glenn didn't do squat when he closed the shop last night. Squat. Cleaning the shop. Blood pressure HIGH. "Hello," she says. It's her. Melissa. Great. I'm off-guard, angry, frustrated---and flummoxed, because I'm not certain....what to to react. She's at the store for the day, covering in Bakery.

Went out for a walk at lunch to clear my head. When you're fasting and you hit that WALL where you've forgotten your hungry. Then you smell soup. She's like that.

Thinking. I bought that book for her last year, "Captivating." Adrenaline plus. Feeling alive though---very alive. Thought comes to mind. What we all need is someone that reminds us of who we are. For me, that I'm wild-at heart. For women, that they're captivating. At our core, we need to have people and places in our lives that remind us of who we are at our core. Wild. Captivating. Bought. Redeemed. Friend. Lover. Searching. Sought. Done. Til the next entry.