Just another ripple…

ripplesLife is just that way. Just as one thinks the waters are smooth and might stay that way, here comes some bozo and another stone is thrown in the middle of the lake or the wind picks up and the ripples start. Now if no more stones are thrown, those ripples will eventually stop but the wind is a much different story. On a truly windy day, that water could stay rippled all day long into the night and during hurricane season, well any duck sitting on that body of winter would need Dramamine to keep down their dinner. While it is soothing to gaze into a smooth body of water, one free of ripples or drama,life is simply not that way, never really has been but as long as there’s a balance, a stretch of smooth followed by ripples and so on, we adapt and so does the duck. Right now, we have ripples,major ripples and it may be “hurricane season” again eventually but “God willing and the creek don’t rise” we will get through it. Have faith,have another cup of coffee and quit chunking stones. Good morning. Continue reading

If it’s not right for me….

40114_1679836558024_1300835408_31873518_7302411_n If it is not right for me to do it, then it stands to reason it is also not right for you to do the same as well, but I am finding a double standard these days.So many seem to be saying one things and yet ,when one looks at what they actually do, their actions do not match their words. We are all guilty ,to one extent  or other, of doing the same thing but when one is a leader or  spiritual adviser , then a much higher standard must be adhered to. Do not condemn me for making mistakes and being human when you are unwilling to turn the same mirror back around and peruse your own soul for dark actions. Do not condemn those in the past for their mistakes and sins when you are basically doing the exact same thing yourself. Just because you’re wearing a different “robe” or “skin”  or even a different  “sex” does not give you a free pass to commit the same sin or injustice you rail against. The old saying  ” Two wrongs don’t make a right” is actually very true. The very public actions of some alleged “leaders”  would not make those in our past proud, but instead cause them to ask ” Was my death for naught?”.  Something to think about but most won’t. Good morning.

Everything old is new again….

misc pics 052Well,sort of new. I am starting to see signs of my paternal grandmother when I look in my bathroom mirror. I have since childhood grown used to being told I resemble my maternal grandmother but never thought I bore much resemblance to my Nanny Holmes until just recently. It’s not as pronounced, mind you, but it is there. One of my earliest memories of Nanny was her eyes twinkling through the screen door as she bent down to peer at me when we came to visit. I’m not sure if my eyes twinkle exactly like hers but when I put my ever thinning hair up in a tiny bun on the top of my head like she was prone to do, I see her. She was born in a much different time than I was , but given how things are going these days, I think she might just make the statement “everything old is new again” herself meaning this time is really starting to resemble the time surrounding my birth.  The sayings , “here we go again”, “same song second verse” come to mind but ,for today,I am just going to concentrate on the “old” is “new” again in me. The old love and joy shown by my Nanny is new again  in me and that, my family and friends, is a very good thing! Good morning.

Oh! Her?

misc pics 017Yes, the girl who thought she could stay out all day under the sun and not get sunburned.Back in the days of baby oil slathered on without thought of skin cancer or a future of skin texture like a leather saddle bag, I spent a fun filled day out under the warm sun, splashing and playing in the apartment complex swimming pool. Now I forgot about the reflective ability of clear water. At 15 years of age, all that occupied my mind was how cute a certain young blonde guy was and how much fun I was having. Some thought other things were rambling around in that brain case but no, just how cute Joe was and how great it was to be swimming in a nice clean pool instead of a muddy creek . At any rate by the days end, the area of my upper back  looked liked some one had painted it a bright vermilion . Two rounded splotches of pain stayed on my back for days. As my quirky memory tells me, it was almost a 3rd degree burn but back then, I just knew it hurt like heck. Now having told that, do I have the dreaded skin cancer yet? No, not yet but the possibility of it in my future is possible  but so far I’m  free and while my skin is a bit dry these days, that’s more hormones than over tanning. So I still use baby oil but in warm baths that soften the skin and ease the pain of arthritis. I still swim ,though not often,but slather sun block everywhere I can reach by hand or spray  and I still have fun but mostly inside sitting in front of this computer monitor  or wrangling kids who always make my heart grow stronger and so full of love . Oh yeah, I didn’t hide the keys,I found them,under a Kleenex(now who was going around with one in her hand? Not me!) but that ship has sailed and the milk has spilled and I’m just thankful to still be here to remember it! Good morning

Just me and a baby

misc pics 003 Well not just any baby,this baby has grown up into a very talented and accomplished woman. The culinary confections that come from her hands are not only tasty but amazingly decorated. She has a very warm and loving heart and a capacity for fun that spreads outward to those around her and causes smiles ,chuckles and grins to pop out all over! Well, I’m her aunt and that is how I see her, my perspective is just what I have written,matter of fact she reminds me of another relative who had those very qualities. This crazy world has lost so many wonderful people but as painful as those losses are, there are others to help fill in the gap where those marvelous souls once stood. No, they’re not the same person lost nor do they cause all the pain to go away. In some cases, the pain is a constant companion but in my opinion and in my experience, it lightens the heavy load of sorrow and angst to see a smile or hear unfettered laughter ,to receive a warm hug  even if it is not from the person I so wish it could be. Good morning.

The picture does tell a story… if you know all the facts

misc pics 020 I found myself recounting to my oldest daughter the story not told by this photograph. The picture shows me as a toddler sitting on an inner tube. One could wonder why I don’t look so happy and make statements about “tired toddlers” or  “spoiled brats not getting their way and being in  time  out” but ,as much as I wish that had been the case,it wasn’t. The fact is that this  little girl looking rather sad, was suffering from, what my mother and a lot of family have told me over the years,  bad plumbing! Bad plumbing in that my inner workings just don’t look quite the same as the normal rule. Happened in utero and if my family doctor at the time had done what he should have, we might not have known until I was much older but he didn’t and it came down to do an invasive reworking of those tubes and bladder and kidneys or say good bye in three months and my parents opted to be brave and have faith and say yes for which most of the time I am extremely grateful. Nowadays, they probably do to babies in the womb, the same type of surgery they did to me but in the early 60’s ,it was still not necessarily done to one so young, especially in this part of the country so yes, it is a big deal to me. I owe my life and those of my children and grandchildren to two parents ,brave and loving and two brilliant and caring doctors( thank you Dr Garner and Dr Howse!) and an extended family and caring community who “circled the wagons” and helped  support  us during those times with prayer and love . I have no memory of that time except what I have been told but I do have a permanent reminder of a temporary affliction and I will never stop saying thank you to those who kept me alive! Good morning!

Caboose the Stubborn Rabbit
By

Brenda E Holmes

                   Caboose was a very stubborn rabbit, the most stubborn in his whole family but it really wasn’t all his fault. He was the youngest in his family, indeed ,in the whole rabbit village,he was the very last born which had always caused the population to treat him like a baby rabbit even though, in his eyes at least, he was all grown up. It was always,” Caboose, don’t go out without your brothers!” or, “Caboose, let me get that for you,you’re too little to do that,let me help you!’ or his personal favorite,”Caboose, you need to grow up and quit acting like a baby!” which always puzzled Caboose as well as making him lose his temper because how could he grow up if every one persisted in treating him like he was a little baby rabbit,still eating liquefied lettuce which he actually still liked but he had all his rabbit teeth and could even clean up his very own little warren. It might not be as neat as his brothers but it still looked good. Maybe it would look better if all his toys weren’t piled up in the closet but putting them in neat little rows made no sense to Caboose because he liked them all higgledy-piggledy but his mother still gave him the look when she opened his closet and they all fell out onto the floor!
                       Caboose wasn’t too fond of his name either and it really wasn’t his real name, that was Cabot Wallingford Bunne but since he was the youngest and the smallest and was always trailing along at the end of the line,his bunny brothers started calling him Caboose and that was that! His oldest brother Bert,short for Bertram who really loved his baby brother, would always tell Caboose, when he started getting upset about the teasing about his nickname, how important the caboose was to the “family train” and how sometimes,being the last to reach the destination meant you got to enjoy the trip longer which never failed to make Caboose feel better. Being at the end and the last sometimes meant getting the biggest rewards like the end of the bread loaf which was his absolute favorite thing because his mama made bread from scratch and sliced as they needed it so ,sometimes the end was the biggest piece and besides, his Granddaddy Jeremiah always told him the end was the best because it had all the vitamins in it to make him fast and being a fast bunny was sometimes a very good thing. Today it was good because ,even though he had been given very clear instructions not to go into the woods at the end of the clearing, he was going!
              After all, he was very fast and very brave and he was so tired of being told not to do anything,they acted like all he was ,was just a big baby and he most certainly was not! The woods were dark and mysterious and very interesting and to a very small and stubborn young bunny rabbit boy, that was more tempting than a whole bunch of carrots, which were his second favorite food!
                A cool breeze ruffled the treetops and sounded like an invitation to come on inside so Caboose hopped closer to the edge of the forest and stopped,suddenly nervous and wondering if this really was such a good idea and then the morning’s events came back to him and he could hear Delilah his older sister by five years telling him to stay close by because he was too little and he might get lost and off he hopped.
               The coolness of the forest and the dim light slowed him down a little as he entered the dark confines of the woods. Strange noises and smells unsettled him a little but he was a very stubborn rabbit and this was his adventure so on he went,even though his paws trembled just a little and his nose was twitching like crazy and his right ear ,which always bent to the right and quivered when he was doing something he knew he shouldn’t, was vibrating like crazy!! A pine cone fell right beside him and he jumped a foot high!
                 “Ha ha, you almost jumped right out of your skin Caboose,you silly bunny!” Penelope Possum giggled loudly from her upside down perch on the tree branch right above his head. “Did you think it was the big bad wolf going to eat you for his supper?

             Caboose liked his forest friends and most of the time he had a lot of fun playing with Penelope but this was one time he wished she’d been hanging somewhere else. His little bunny heart was still beating a mile a minute and he just knew if he told her where he was going, and didn’t let her go too, she’d run tell on him and that would be that! No brave adventure, no exciting tales to tell, just a stern lecture and a sore tail and more boring chores to do to keep him out of trouble so, what to do?Penelope was the youngest in her family too and sometimes she really understood his feelings because she too received the same treatment simply because she was so little so ,maybe,just maybe she might go along with what he wanted to do and they could both have fun exploring in the big dark forest! Not to mention, her eyes worked even better in the dim light of the overgrown forest floor!
        Just then, two pair of fluttering wings settled on the tree branch above Penelope and Caboose recognized his friends the Owlyn twins, Aloysius and Alissa .Suddenly his solo trek and adventure into the  forest had gotten even better for the twins could twist their necks and look behind them so no body could sneak up on them!
        ” What are you two up to ,Caboose? Going to go into the forest? You know they say there’s a big scary monster living in the bushes around the Ancient Oak and he eats small ones like us for breakfast, lunch and dinner and use our bones to pick his big sharp teeth!”
         Aloysius chittered as he watched Caboose and Penelope’s eyes grow big and round as they contemplated his words. Alissa elbowed him and ,looking down with kind eyes at the two younger animals on the forest floor, spoke softly. ” Don’t listen to Aloys, he’s just pulling your leg, he wouldn’t know if there is a monster because this is our first time in here too but our parents come in here all the time and they’ve never said anything! Do you  mind if we come along with you ?”
        Caboose looked at Penelope and Penelope looked at him and both had the same thought,there is safety in numbers and too, if they did have a great adventure, there would be more witnesses to back them up and ,just maybe, possibly their parents wouldn’t get so mad at them for venturing into the forest!
    Nodding his head, Caboose looked up at the twins and smiled,” That would be great! Any ideas on which way to go next?”
      Aloysius puffed up his chest and ,pointing his wing off to the right, said,” Let’s head towards that little stream running besides the big rock, there’s a path alongside it and that will make it easier for you and Penelope to walk .” He was a bit of a blowhard but it was mainly for show and it covered up a big heart and he really did like the little bunny.
       The little group of youngsters moved towards the murmuring brook and were soon hopping, ambling and flying down the path beside it. The sounds of the deep dark forest surrounded them but since, this time, Caboose wasn’t alone, the twigs cracking and the sounds of mice and squirrels skittering along didn’t make his fur stand up and his tummy squinch so he was feeling pretty good. Alissa and Penelope were chattering about girl stuff and since Caboose was a boy, he ignored that silly banter and just paid attention to the directions Aloysius was giving as to the safest, easiest way to travel through the forest floor .
Alissa squeaked loudly all of a sudden and Cab’s little bunny heart about jumped out of his furry chest. “ I know where we should go! There’s a waterfall right at the edge of the forest, right before the big clearing where our daddy always says we should never go because dangerous animals come there to hunt and as we are so sweet, we’d be snapped up first!”
Penelope and Caboose both nodded their heads in agreement for it sounded like a lot of fun and not too dangerous, after all, they had no reason to venture out onto the clearing and judging from the sounds of falling water they were already hearing, it wasn’t much further to the falls. Little bunny and possum feet were getting a little sore and tired and that cool water from the falls would be the perfect thing to plop them in and get rested up for the trip back home. Caboose remembered his mom talking about the wild lettuce that grew by the falls and how sweet it was . His tiny tummy was empty for he had barely eaten any breakfast that morning in anticipation of the forbidden adventure to come and his mouth watered in reaction.
The group made their way through the tall tree trunks and across the damp moss to the opening beside the falls and mouths fell open as they looked up and up and up! It looked to Caboose like the top of the falls touched the sky it was so high up and the noise made by the falling water as it rushed down the side of the mountain thundered in their ears. Looking around , he spotted the lettuce patch and there beside it was a large swath of red clover. To Caboose, that was even better, he did love his clover and red was the sweetest and had the softest texture .
Penelope, being a possum and known to eat pretty much anything, followed in his wake and began to stuff her cheeks as fast as Caboose was. Grabbing fistfuls of lettuce and clover, the duo made their way over to the water’s edge and plopped down, sticking their tired feet into the soothing cool water, glad to be in one spot for the trek in had worn them out. After all, they hadn’t ever ventured this far into the big dark forest. Just then Penelope spotted the Ancient Oak, the one Caboose’s siblings had told him about that supposedly had a big scary monster living inside that ate tender little animals just like them. It did look very old and it was very big, bigger than any other tree in the forest that she’d ever seen. It had a lot of branches and some were broken and the trunk had scars on it from where animals like deer had sharpened their horns on it and a couple of spots that looked like maybe lightning had hit it in the past but what made her little heart skip a beat was the big dark hole on one side that looked big enough for a monster to walk through and grab up a tender morsel like her.
“Oh, Cabbbbooose,look there! It’s the Ancient Oak and there’s the monster’s door!” Penelope’s heart beat even faster as they slowly crept closer to the oak tree. Aloysuis and Alissa circled overhead and the tiny group approached the old tree. They paid little attention to the big moss covered rock sitting right beside the tree trunk, their eyes glued to what appeared to be a door set in the middle.
Caboose looked carefully over the door for a doorknob but the surface was smooth and had no handle or knob sticking out. How on earth were they to open the little door and venture inside if they couldn’t open it and venture inside,wondered Caboose to himself? He ran his small rabbit fingers over the door ,feeling for maybe a depression or a button to push that would cause the door to open wide but there was nothing. Sitting back on his hind feet , he looked at the others ,hoping that maybe they had noticed something but they looked as puzzled as he did.
Just then, the “rock” started shaking and creaking ,twigs and small pebbles falling from the top to land on the forest floor.

“And just who has come to see me today? What creatures be these who surround my old home ? Friend or foe? Come now, answer Old Hilly,for I am much too busy to bother with time takers,state your quest and be quick!”
She chuckled under her breath as she saw the wide eyes and trembling limbs. Old Hilly knew precisely who these little ones were for she knew all who inhabited her forest kingdom and had many times protected them from the ones from beyond who wished to harm them. Eons ago when she was young and the Ancient Oak but a sapling, she’d made a promise that if she were given safety and sanctuary, she would in turn, do the same to those around her.
Caboose, being the one who had started this adventure and not wishing to be thought a coward in front of his friends, though his knees felt like jelly and his paws shook, spoke up. “ We meant no harm Old Mother, we just wanted an adventure and we have been told a monster lived in that tree and meant to see for ourselves!”
“Little one, did you not stop to think that maybe, just maybe that” monster” of which you speak might just gobble up creatures such as yourselves for breakfast and use their bones to pick teeth?” Hilly didn’t want to scare them more but she knew ,more than any other creature in the dark forest what lay beyond her tree house and she had to make sure that when they went home today, they would never venture any farther than her dwelling and even that ,not very often for danger did lurk just beyond. Bravery was a good thing to have but foolish bravery was a dangerous thing…..336_1041404797629_1748_n