Saturday, May 12, 2012


Marriage:  A joyful union of man and woman in which they grow a blissful family garden of new humans called children while providing mutual emotional and financial support.  It is the least defined legal contract imaginable.  There doesn't seem to be any mutual nullification possible, aside from a suicide pact, only divorce which is no easy out for either party.  As penalty for marital failure, divorce rewards lawyers, who are Taliban trained pickpockets having no other interest in the whole matter.

Husband's Biker Grandparents in the Late 1800's

After 40 or 50 years have ground away at them, married people morph into the people we all recognize as "happily married" or at least "still married."  There are the "go your own way" folks, who are never seen together; the "never apart" people, who seem to be required to hold hands and make a big show of their couple-ness; and the "happily bickering" people, whose life is one long sparring match of love.  Most of us are some combination of those fossil remains of romantic love.

My Parents in Love
I Don't Know Who Those People Are

Same sex couples are seeking to share in the dubious legal entanglement, and its blessings and pitfalls, in order to access rights given heterosexual couples, and that is understandable.  At the same time, the fundamental bad construction of the marriage agreement will continue to disappoint two people, who each have different expectations.  Would that I had known Husband's idea of "wife" was one who kissed him goodbye in the morning, cooked his meals, washed and ironed his clothes, and packed his lunch for trips on the road with his best friend.  I didn't.  Would that Husband had known I wanted to be part of a couple, who did things together and engaged in something called conversation, aside from "Where's my ___?; Did you wash my __?; Did you pack my __"?  Slowly the chasms of unfulfilled expectations filled in with inert matter:  the things I substituted for companionship and the things he substituted for text-book housekeeper and valet.

Happy Fish-Free Mother's Day

I do believe that same sex couples have advantage in their more intimate understanding of their respective minds.  The one thing I know a man can not do is understand the reasoning of a woman.  Instead of being perplexed when the wife gets angry that you went fishing with buddies on her birthday, anniversary, or Mother's Day, a lesbian partner would know that road without a map.  This is enviable.  The thing a woman can not do is understand why a man will wear a T-shirt that says "Kiss me, I have crabs."  Gentlemen lovers would consider the coarse humor as heightening a rollicking good maritime adventure.  Ahoy mates!

Friday, May 4, 2012


All Creatures of Our God and King

Lift Up Your Voice and With Us Sing

Thou Burning Sun with Golden Beam,
Thou Silver Moon with Softer Gleam

Dear Mother Earth Who Day by Day
Unfoldest Blessings on Our Way...

The Flower and Fruits That in Thee Grow,

Let Them His Glory Also Show

Lyrics from the hymn, "All Creatures of our God and King" which I found in a Cokesbury Worship Hymnal labeled as presented to Mt. Zion Church by Mrs. Hester Nuttall.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


When I was in elementary school, then grades 1-7, the single most eagerly awaited event - other than Christmas, was May Day.  It was the traditional celebration of spring's arrival and clearly pagan in spirit.

Our school, Botetourt Elementary, had each class present a costumed presentation in the form of mini- drama, dance, or other group performance.  In first grade, the year I moved from Flat Iron to a neighborhood near the county seat, I was selected to be "Miss Muffet" in our first grade nursery rhymes review.  I  brought the house down (so to speak) when I sprang from my tuffet, emoted a scream feigning fear, threw my bowl and spoon (of curds and whey), and ran from the huge "sat down beside her" spider let down by a string from the walnut tree gracing the school lawn.

Botetourt May Day 1949
Miss Muffet, Red and White Jumper, Socks and Sandals

In second grade, I was part of a square dance troupe and doe-see-doe was new to me.  Every May Day involved the May Pole Dance, the last attraction and the most fascinating.  Colored ribbons attached to costumed dancers wound around a central pole.  I lived in a camera-less family who thought children were to be seen and not heard," or photographed.  So no pictures, unless a kind stranger with a camera happened along (which is why we have the above photo).

Botetourt May Day 1955
I am queen for a day.
Mother's Aunt Maggie made the pretty dress.
Photo courtesy of a newspaper photographer.

The high school May Day grew more bizarre when, in 1958, the duly elected queen abdicated her throne in protest of the faculty's redefining the festivities as mostly athletic events.  She explained her actions to the student body in a speech saying, "I refuse to be the queen of a potato race."  The maid of honor assumed her duties and a pall fell over May Day from that day forward.

Feelings etched on their faces the Gloucester High School
May Court of 1958, all looking about to barf .
(I am 3rd row, far left)

May Day will forever be reminiscent of political protest and the pageantry is lost to human struggle.  Now when I think of May, it evokes Cinco de Mayo and Mothers' Day.  In our neck of the woods, Cinco is a foreign word and frowned upon as encouraging illegal immigration.  Mothers' Day is when some mother gets to cook and choose the menu.  Whoopee.  How does curds and whey sound?