Sassy the cat likes to think of this laptop computer as her own personal heating pad. She's spent a lot of time on the keyboard lately, as it's her take-off pad for flinging herself into the transom window to perch and do a weird cat cackle at the pigeons who've nested there. Actually, more like built a three story high-rise, inviting all it's drunk on worms pigeon friends to make themselves at home, and "use this colonial pillar as your toilet." And since yesterday's blog was chock full of feces references, that's all I'll say about it.
So after the ugly and unholy I witnessed this past weekend, I feel an urgency to return to my home and make it more holy. Which brings to mind my own upbringing and the tremendous impact it had~and continues to have~on my life.
When I was in 7th grade, I would be squirming in Science class~last period of the day~and could just hardly wait for the bell to ring. And it wasn't to see my stupid friends, because they would most likely be busy sharpening their blades (they'd dulled when shoved into my back earlier on) and it wasn't to see a boy, because by the end of the day, my sideways ponytail (think Deb from Napoleon Dynamite) had usually come undone, leaving the entire left side sticking straight out with Miss Clairol hairspray residue. (Sometimes I'd put my bright yellow coat over my head as camouflage, looking out through the armhole, trying to make it down the hallway and onto the bus...clearly, I was brilliant and poised)...anyway, where was I?
Oh, yes. I watched. that. clock. I'd had just about all I could take for the day~my coffers were flooding with confidence beatings and "the wrong" jeans~apparently Kings wasn't the most fashionable place to purchase designer brands, who knew?~and it was time for a reprieve. It was time for a happy Mom who was there when I came busting in through the front door with a yell, "MOM! I'M HOME!" And she'd say, "I'm down here, dear." Down here was in her sewing room and I'd wad a piece of Wonder Bread into a ball and shoving it in my mouth, where it stuck to the roof, go climb on the washer and dryer to tell her all about the crappy day.
It was time for a sunshiny home, with the freshly folded clothes on my bed and the vacuum in the middle of the living room, with instructions for me to finish up. Wish I could say I put my heart and soul into that, but alas, I was a slaphappy teenager. I fully deserve all the sloth that my own chitlins heap upon me.
It was time for a quick search for hidden candy and a stolen sip of Mom and Dad's ice cold Pepsi that would "ROT YOUR GUTS OUT" if you were under the age of married. It was table setting time, as family dinner was a daily ritual. It was FAMILY FUN NIGHT time, where we'd go to the neighborhood store and buy a MASSIVE brown bag full of penny candy, bring it home and dump it in the middle of the living room floor, taking turns choosing our favorites and then consume it all while talking, laughing and burping together. (What's that you say? Dentist and nutrition issues? Don't know what you're talking about.)
It was time for Dad's homemade popcorn that he'd oft times make for just him and Mom after the kids had gone to bed, and we'd get a whiff of the heavenly scent, come out of our bedrooms STOMPING MAD, down the hallway with the accusation of, "YOU NEVER, EVER, EVER MAKE POPCORN FOR US KIDS! WHY IS IT OK FOR YOU TWO TO HAVE ALL THE FUN...AND THE POPCORN?! THAT IS JUST RUDE AND YOU NEVER, EVER, EVER DO FUN STUFF FOR US KIDS. YOU JUST SAVE IT FOR YOU GUYS. NO FAIR!!!" And they'd laugh and giggle and say these immortal words, "When you're the mom and dad, you can do the very same thing!" And we'd say back, with extreme intelligence and foresight, "But we'll NEVER be the moms and dads!" Then go stomping back to our popcornless beds.
I could go on and on, as the memories are still fresh as laundry on a line. But can I just say what a blessed thing it is to look back on my childhood with such peace and warmth? And isn't it funny that it didn't matter what my mom was wearing (she was always beautiful)...or how thin she was (she had a soft lap)...or what kind of car we drove? (It was a hideous brown van) And money? Three words~so very poor. But somehow, we always found enough for the giant brown bag of candy, or a piece of material for a lovely Easter dress.
What it comes down to is this. Bless my mother's heart for making our home a haven. And holy. For spending her days in the service of her family. For looking "Beyond This Moment" and knowing that out of small and simple things, come that which is GREAT!
Bless my father's heart for earning and providing. He tied his tie and walked out the door every morning to teach a bunch of snot nosed kids who needed a gun to their heads to be forced to learn, and then returned home to US, with a smile on his bedraggled face and a shout of, "Who wants to go for a bike ride?!" I would imagine that was last on his list, but it was first on ours.
Bless them both for understanding that our home could~and should~be a Heaven on Earth.
And now, please excuse me, as I have a batch of bread that needs to be baked and several loads of laundry patiently waiting. Appears just putting the word holy in front of HE%#, isn't the right idea. I have a tremendous journey ahead of me~would that I were perfect~but out of small and simple things...