Monday, June 29, 2009

Soapbox Derby #1

Sometimes I feel the need to get on a soapbox and just scream...not just rant, but scream! I am so tired of people (and by people I mean friends, acquaintances and just plain strangers) thinking it is perfectly correct to walk up to me and just start spouting off their political views.

I don't encourage it or even ask for it. They just feel this need to sound off and assume I share their views. While sometimes I do, I consider my political and religious beliefs personal and don't feel the urgency to foist them on others. I am so tired of vitriolic rants, e-mails that are downright stupid in their lack of credibility, and just plain racism hiding behind the Constitution.

Now don't get me wrong...ignorance isn't limited to party affiliation or denomination. It's stems from not wanting to accept what is while ignoring what was. Am I happy with the current administration? For me it is just too soon to tell, but I will say I don't consider Obama the Anti-Christ nor do I think he is an illegal alien. But I digress...this will not be a post about my personal feelings one way or the other and it is certainly not an invitation for yours either(meaning if you do leave a comment as to your viewpoint, know that I will delete it). My point is that I want folks to get out of my face about how they feel regarding our former and current presidents. There are enough people out there who do share your beliefs you can talk to or better yet, start a blog where you will find your audience. In the meantime,please, just leave me the hell alone!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

What Price Fame?

How bizarre to get on the Internet tonight and see that Michael Jackson had passed away at 50. My first reaction was that it was some kind of joke. Perhaps a way to avoid all the debt he had accumulated or a way for privacy that he had been denied. Then, I am so ashamed, I thought it was a publicity stunt.

I don't know why I was feeling ashamed. It's not like he didn't do things constantly as a way of drawing attention to himself. He was odd and perhaps more than just a little tormented. His public actions in his adult years rarely made sense. Having been in the limelight his entire life, he probably didn't know any other way to live....needing the focus to be on himself just to breathe.

You have to wonder what kind of life experiences does that to a person....warping them in such a way that they never know happiness. Now what will become of the children? Hopefully someone will step in and try to undone what has been done so that they never feel the overwhelming need for love and adulation that was so obviously his addiction.

May he rest in peace finally and perhaps have a ringside seat to see the circus that most certainly will be the media exposure surrounding his demise.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Revisiting the Summer of '61

Tonight when I took Jake outside one last time before bed, I was amazed by the lightening bugs in my backyard. I don't remember seeing this many since I was a kid. All of a sudden, I was ten years old again. I could smell fresh cut grass, Mercurochrome, lemonade and Off mosquito spray!

It was wonderful to relive memories long forgotten had it not been for the lightening bugs. Now I know most people refer to them as fireflies and that may be correct, but growing up in the small town of McKinney, I never heard anyone refer to them as anything else. They were lightening bugs made to be caught by small children and kept in a mason jar with a tin lid punched full of tiny air holes.

Growing up in a small town as I did, summer was a magical time. We played outside from can till can't, coming inside only during the real heat of the day for an afternoon nap, then back outside in the evening. All the parents on our street would sit on their front porches (backyards were for clothesline, not visiting) or on the grass in aluminum lawn chairs watching the kids play and visiting back and forth. Occasionally, one of the dads would pitch a whiffle ball game for us or act as the umpire while a mother would drag out and crank an ice cream freezer full of bananas, nuts, vanilla and cream.

It was a time of dirty, bare feet toughened over summer until we could walk on glass and never feel a thing. Shoes were only for church or special occasions. We were allowed absolute freedom in our kingdom of one city block. We knew no fear. Knees were made for skinning, trees for climbing and ditches for catching crawdads after a summer rain.

I feel sorry for children today. Parents want to wrap their children in saran wrap, sanitize everything and protect them from the world. It's sad that the world is no longer safe for children and even sadder that children don't have the same carefree childhood we did. They stay in an air conditioned home, watching endless TV or playing video games when they need to be outside. Their activities are organized by parents who enroll them in summer camps for everything from swimming to science. They aren't encouraged to use their own imaginations or allowed to just be. But tomorrow night when my granddaughter comes over, I think I will spray her down with Off and we'll sit outside, count stars and wait for the lightening bugs.