For Where Your Treasure Is, There Will Your Heart Be Also

The Clan of the Nordic Bear had a lovely gathering on Terrace Drive this last Easter weekend. Of course there was food and drink that wouldn’t quit. (Our new fun thing is the “bucket o’ margaritas” which makes it oh, so easy to drink one after another!)

Amongst the eating and drinking and merrying activities was a very nearly dead heat round of Balderdash… and no end of laughter. But midway through the game Grandpa Bill (aka Papa Nordic Bear, aka Dad) came in and made an announcement (even with his golf hat atop his head). “I found a plastic egg that must have been missed in an Easter egg hunt years ago in the front yard. In it, I put something silver and something gold and hid it in the back yard. When you are finished with your game here, everyone go out and search for it!” (He knew the egg was from years past, as it’s been ages since we’ve had children of egg-hunting age in the family.) So after Erika properly won the Balderdash game, we all went out smartly to find a little lone egg in a fairly large back yard. Yes, go ahead and picture it… a group of thirteen or fourteen adults wandering around aimlessly… saying, “Now where would I be if I were an egg?”

At one point, I began asking for clues. Dad would respond, “It’s in the back yard.” Ha. And then I’d say, “Is it visible?” He’d say, “No… hence the word hidden.” Ha ha.

Tami finally found the egg in the bird feeder, buried in sunflower seeds (after Dad relented and gave us a hint that it could be found North, Northwest of where Jim was standing at the moment). He made us all gather together while she opened it and inside was a neat surprise. A rock with some silver in’t and a rough little piece of gold from the Santa Fe National Forest he’d obtained years ago. Pretty cute treasure.

A Car Seat with a View

I played George Michael’s “Father Figure” for the grandbaby yesterday, while we were in the car driving to Auntie Tami’s house… this is what she probably heard:

Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah … loves you … blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah … daddy … blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah … loves you … blah blah blah blah blah

Just goes to show you… things can be so different, depending on where you’re sitting!

Things That Don't Make Sense...

This list, of course, is NOT exhaustive... I will feel the need to add to it from time to time, and you are all (all? that's funny... how many readers do I have? Five?) welcome to do the same... by all means ~ add to the TTDMS list!

1. People who drive big vehicles (i.e. SUVs and TRUCKs)forgetting to remember that, when they are pulled up to a stop sign, that the little cars can't see around them. When a person with a big head or a big butt is in a theater or at a parade, they are constantly aware that they might be a hindrance to the field of vision of the people around them. Why does this rule not apply on the road???

2. Women who get upset when the toilet seat is left up. I mean, really... can't you just put it down before you sit on it? Is it all that necessary to be able to sit on a toilet without first looking at it? Are you approaching the bathroom with your eyes closed? You ARE facing the toilet when you walk in, right? You don't walk in backwards? (Once, while visiting a bachelor friend, he said, "I always tell the women who visit to be sure and put the toilet seat back up please!!!" ~ he was a character.)

3. Why do you hear people say they need a bigger bathroom? What do they plan on doing in there... dancing? Seriously, how much room do you need to shower and use the potty? Even a bathroom with an oversized, fun tub... you just need room to walk from it to the bedroom, right?

4. Reminds me of a joke:

Why men will never understand women:

A husband in his back yard is trying to fly a kite. He throws the kite up
in the air, the wind catches it for a few seconds, then it comes crashing
back down to earth. He tries this a few more times with no success.

All the while, his wife is watching from the kitchen window, muttering to
herself how men need to be told how to do everything.
She opens the window and yells to her husband. "You need more tail".

The man turns with a confused look on his face and says, "Make up your mind.
Last night, you told me to go fly a kite."

Today... while the blossoms still cling to the vine...

March 10, 2005
Bill & Ginny
Celebrating 49 Years Together
with the fringes of love blossoming on the Family Tree… as always

The Dance: In dancing, the women usually know the steps and the men know the holds.

Marriage: Having someone to witness your life.

A wedding anniversary is the celebration of love, trust, partnership, tolerance and tenacity. The order varies for any given year. ~Paul Sweeney

Love is the thing that enables a woman to sing while she mops up the floor after her husband has walked across it in his barn boots. ~Hoosier Farmer

The bonds of matrimony are like any other bonds - they mature slowly. ~Peter De Vries

Spouse: someone who'll stand by you through all the trouble you wouldn't have had if you'd stayed single. ~Author Unknown

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person. ~Mignon McLaughlin

We are all a little weird and life's a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love. ~Author Unknown

Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Are we not like two volumes of one book? ~Marceline Desbordes-Valmore

True love stories never have endings. ~Richard Bach

And finally…

Remember, if you smoke after sex you're doing it too fast. ~Woody Allen

It's Valentine's Day...

...and this is my story.

It is a lovely life. I have received more love than anyone could possibly deserve. My parents are a beautiful picture of a close and caring union. They knew each other six weeks from the time they met until the time they married. This March 10, that will be 49 years ago.

I go swimming every morning and then go to mom and dad’s house to have breakfast and get ready for work. Dad had given mom a heart-shaped box full of almond roca and a pair of cutesy socks. He called me into the living room to check out her new socks. His cards are always mushy and quite the tear jearkers. Mom’s cards to him are usually comedic, but also extremely mushy. They are just too cute.

But when I arrived at their house earlier, Dad was the only one up. I said hello as I hauled my stuff into the spare bedroom I always use and came back into the kitchen. Dad said, “Happy Valentine’s Day!” and I said, “Thanks! Happy V.D. to you too!” He then walked into the living room, opened up the candy dish, picked up a little red foil wrapped chocolate heart, brought it to me and said, “Here’s your valentine.” It was one of the best gifts I have ever received.

So, in short… I have had and continue to have many admirers. I’d be hard pressed to count the whole of them, over the years. But regardless of how many men swear their undying devotion and love to me, it’s my Dad who is always there for me… even with a little chocolate heart.

With what measure you judge....

Judgment is a tricky thing. I find that when I’m discussing something with someone, they often might become uncomfortable with the subject matter and say something like, “Well, I don’t like to judge.” What a line of bullshit. That has to mean one of two things. Either you are at a loss for words and want the conversation to end, or you have set yourself up on some sort of self-righteous pedestal. Of course you judge. We all do. It’s natural and good to do so. How can we possibly make a reasonable go at this life without making judgments? When I meet someone, I make certain observations about them. For instance, if they have shifty eyes, I might be inclined to mistrust them. As I get to know them, it may become clear that there is a different reason for the shiftiness, but until that happens, I have to interpret what I know about them. I had a friend say, “I don’t like to make judgments until I know the whole story.” Well I find it hard to believe that anyone ever really has the whole story. Let me make some examples. Recently a lieutenant general was quoted in a newspaper article as saying, "It's fun to shoot some people... You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn't wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them." Now, I don’t have to know anything else about this man to know certain things about him. I don’t need to know the context of what he said, as there is no context where this sort of statement would be appropriate. Or, another example, I recently saw a video taken from a hidden camera of a woman smacking a baby in the head. I don’t need to know anything else about her to know that her privilege of being around children should be revoked. Of course, when you cross the line into pigeonholing people just for the sake of making you feel superior, this is wrong. I think this is the thing we are resisting when we say we don’t judge. We don’t want to become like that. As well we shouldn’t. But we must not think that judging is a bad word. It is a thing we ought to do. In fact, I’m sure we don’t do enough of it. I mean in the right way. We’ve got right-wingers judging left-wingers, and vice versa. All to prove one’s own “rightness.” (Right about being left? Left about being right?) So, on a circular path, we return… judgment is a tricky thing. I think of many a professing Christian who quotes the bible, but if you return to the original meaning of the word, we are admonished not to judge in the sense of deciding condemnation and punishment. We are actually told that we should judge things and even the behavior of people. But we are also told many other things to add to that, which protects us from the wrong sort of judgment. So please just don’t talk to me about this shit unless you are prepared to give an account for what you say. Because I’ll call you on it.

Stretch pants - the garment that made skiing a spectator sport.

Living in Utah, there’s a big push for skiers. I believe everyone in our family has tried it, at least once. I know Erika became quite an avid skier for a time. But we all have our stories to tell. I won’t bore you with mine now. Just suffice it to say that it was a premonition of my entire marriage. I will share, though, my mother’s story. She has a friend who lived in this area at the time. She said, “Now, Ginny… you have GOT to try skiing! It’s just the greatest thing to do!” Mom protested… Bernie persisted… finally convincing mom to use Bernie’s hubby’s equipment and take a shot at trying to make it down a hill without tumbling. All prepared for the big day (which means being sure to bring along a thermos full of gin & tonic) they headed up to the slopes. Mom became frustrated time after time because when you fall, it is certainly not easy to get up again! We all know you do a lot of falling on that first day too. At one point, very nearly at the end of her rope… struggling and struggling to set herself aright again… an older gentleman shussssshed up and said, (I’m imagining a grinning man with arms akimbo like superman) “Now if you want to get up, you have to put your arms here and there and put your legs here and there and push this and that and move this way and that way and… voila! You’ll be up!” Mom looked squarely up at him and said, “Fuck off!” Which he did. Bernie nearly fell off her skis laughing. Mom somehow stood up and began to ski down the hill, and finding that she had no way to stop when she reached the bottom, she simply found a bus to run into. She took off her gear, grabbed her thermos, went to the lodge, put her feet up and proceeded to finish the day off emptying that thermos.

Passing Pungs and Dragons...

We have a family tradition. On Superbowl Sunday, we get together to play Mah Jongg, in the style set by the Wright-Patterson OWC.

“During the 1920’s when Wright-Patterson AFB was still McCook Field, Mah Jongg players began to compile their own rules and hands based on the ancient Chinese game. The first edition of the rule book was the work of Sylva Bauer and Helen Morris. The basis of the current book has been the cumulative experience of 70 years of service-connected Mah Jongg players.” (Interesting stuff, eh?)

Most people associate the term “Mah Jongg” with the bizarre matching game available for use on your PC. I have yet to discover why this has any association with the game I know. But we have fun. Over the years, the dynamics have changed. When we were still young and learning the game, we would go to a real superbowl party where the tables were set up for the women to play the tile game, while the men watched the game... (which I never really saw them do… I’m reasonably sure they didn’t even know the score, until the game was over… they were much too busy binking dreers and poking smot… okay, maybe not poking smot… but I do know the ladies kept them busy mixing the drinks… “Garcon! My glass is empty!”) And as time marched on, some of the names and places changed… but we still make some feeble attempt at the ritual…

Those were the days of the ya-yas. This Sunday, we did indeed spend the day playing Mah Jongg… binking dreers… (and other libations)… eating yummies… and watched while the next generation of the petite ya-ya clan(Katie) wiped up the floor with us!

What's in a Name?

I would much rather have someone think I'm a whore and find out I'm a saint, than have them think I'm a saint and find out I'm a whore. ;)


I was thinking about this today. I can’t remember why. Oh yes, I was listening to Elton John’s “Have Mercy on the Criminal.” Trying to imagine what state one would have to be in to say, “Lord, you gotta help me… I ain’t never gonna sin again… just take these chains from around my legs… sweet Jesus, I’ll be your friend.” (And I don’t mean the state of Georgia) But the words did compel my mind to wander to a dark place like that. The anguished face of a man in chains. I’ve never had to experience such a place, and I’ve no doubt that regardless of the active ability of your imagination, one could not come remotely close to identifying with it. I do know, though, that there are many forms of chains and many who would label us as “criminals” in order to righteously restrain us. Like anyone, I don’t believe that anyone should use the past as a means to gain control over something (or someone) else. But it’s important to realize that there are people walking among us who have been in some serious bondage. And it’s true what Harriet Beecher Stowe said… “A slave will always become a tyrant when he gets the chance.”

I do know oppression. It’s a most terrible thing. But in the end of it all… I would rather choose not to be a tyrant. And I would rather choose to be wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove. We are all guilty and have no cause to set ourselves above others. So, in the words of Plato,

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

Be You Blithe and Bonny

Becky Jo… the Little Root of Profundities…
Definitely a girl after my own heart… I mean, who uses that word? :)

Be sure to always read her comments… and visit her blog page…

She’s full of goodness and light.

Summer Is Nigh

You may have gathered by the recent blog entries… that I come from a family which has strong roots. These roots feed the tree quite expertly… not only the older and stronger and deeper roots, but even the young, tender ones. It’s a good tree and branches out on the earth to create a place of shade in the heat of the harsh sun and shelter during storms. It can also be a formidable sight on the horizon for anyone standing near (or even some distance from) it. There are those that have been threatened by both its magnificence and its immovability. And some of us have been “captured” by them. They like the thing they see in us. They like it that we come from a strong place. They pluck us up, plant us in the middle of a living room and tell us to grow. You can imagine how a real branch might respond to this. I suppose the concept is that a cut off branch can grow into a tree of its own. But I know this only works with some forms of flora and even then, only under certain conditions. These haphazard ones are not normally sensitive to this. So there is often harm done. Fortunate we are that we can be grafted back in to the great oak and made strong again.

The Sisters:

Extremely capable.
Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Artistic and creative.
Full of empathy.
Driven to be always dependable.
Generous to a fault.
Able to keep tall buildings for a single hound.

Excels in art and music.
Follows the beat of the ‘different drummer.’
Creatively humorous.
Able to heap tall buildings with a single sound.

Funny Story

The previous entry was about Mike, my sister Cindy's good friend. Her soulmate. (Cindy, by the way, is older sister, not little sister.) It was Mike's desire to be cremated and have his ashes scattered in the San Francisco Bay. The cremation was somewhat hindered, by reasons unknown to us all... but Cindy was finally able to obtain his ashes yesterday, eleven days after his death. Cindy and Tami (oldest sister) had purchased a beautiful basket to keep Mike in until such a time as Cindy can make the trip west. (Likely to take place in a couple of months... with little sister, Pedi. :) ANYWAY, last night, there was a knock on Cindy's door and it was the local police and fire department, alerting her to some sort of chemical leak eminating from next door, which would would require her IMMEDIATE evaucation of the premises... adding that the place could blow at any moment! Well Cindy rushed upstairs (before they could stop her) and retrieved the beloved basket from her bedroom, before getting into the car to leave.

We've gone ahead and summed up the evening's events as "Hauling Ash!"

How Do We Measure A Man?

Little sister said, “A good man died today.”
I always struggle with that word “good.”
It means different things to different people…
and yet another thing to society, in general.

Mike was fifty-two years old when he succumbed to the effects of this life
on his body this past New Year’s Day.
He had never accomplished anything of note.
He had spent his life indulging in many things,
some of which contributed to his demise.
Like most of us, he loved good music, good friends and good times.
To a passer-by, he might be seen as an example of a wasted life.
He had not planned for his future, nor even for the end of his future.
He lived one day at a time, and he lived each one abundantly.
His daily living expenses were provided by the state.
Mike wasn’t overly handsome. In fact, you could say that
physically, he was not attractive at all.
But he was one of the most beautiful human beings I have ever known.
When Mike looked at you, he looked at your spirit.
He was someone who always told you that you looked fantastic.
And he meant it.
Because he knew your heart and measured you by it.

When I made a decision to end an oppressive marriage of eighteen years,
Mike was astonished to find people saying of me, “Oh it’s so neat to see
Teri become such a free spirit.” He would reply, “No, no, no…
Teri has always been a free spirit… someone just parked a
semi-truck on her for awhile!"

This man seemed to have nothing but good things to give.
I looked up the word “good” in the dictionary.
Under the first entry, one of the definitions was “bountiful.”
By this definition, then truly, a good man died that day.
We’ll miss you, my friend.

Inspired by Leila (and Dan)

It’s the Way of the Cat

She has a penchant for climbing.
How they love high places!
Observing from the balcony ledge…
You feel that tingle of fear… will she fall?
Your sweet baby… whatever would you do without her!
How can she be so oblivious to your dread?
She’s aloof about so many things.
This is her charm… and your aggravation!
But when she comes to cuddle…
And purr…
You forget all that.
It’s all worth it.
She’s worth it.
And you wouldn’t have her any other way.
(Not that she’d let you ;)

The Conclusion of the Matter:

I'm not sure it really is in our nature to be with someone for the rest
of our lives just because you made this pact. You keep going as long as
you keep growing. When that dies, we do.

Brad Pitt

New Year's Resolution of Monsieur Everyman:

"I think I'm going to go ahead and continue to try to hit the bullseye
by using a shotgun."