The new sheriff, James Gregory arrived this afternoon at 1:13.
But nonplused by the new addition…she opted to simply smell the day’s roses…
Critical lice are like body lice, which desert corpses to seek the living.
I was fortunate as a child and then later when I was the mother of a young child…
we escaped the dreaded head lice outbreaks…
despite our enduring first daycare–then later, the joining of preschool.
I counted that as one small victory despite our son having had every other childhood illness
known to man–
even some that were more or less unknown—-
like 5th disease.
Who gets things like 5th’s disease other than my child??
Such was our lot.
I feared the Mayor would not fair much better than that of her dad when we found ourselves in
Scottish Rite Children’s hospital when she came down with salmonella at the ripe old age
of 2 months old.
By the time her dad had turned 1 year old, we celebrated that milestone in the outpatient wing at the
local hospital by having tubes put in his ears.
Luckily, however, The Mayor has so far been fortunate with her ears…having had only one
ear infection thus far….knock on wood!
So the notion of a lice exposure creeping back into our world leaves me nonplused.
I am not a fan of infestations.
And so I think of that commercial where the grandmother is on the phone with her daughter.
The mother is delicately explaining that the grandson has come down with a case of head lice.
We then see the grandson proudly extolling that there are thousands of lice in his hair…
this as he drags his head across the couch and proudly exclaims that now the couch has lice…
The grandmother quickly tells her daughter that she’ll just mail them their Christmas gifts.
Lice has that kind of effect.
Any poor person affected becomes persona non grata…
We avoid such like we do the plague…
and whereas it’s a lot like the plague, it’s just not nearly as deadly.
It’s more of a terrible nuisance and great inconvenience versus that of a promising death.
However, those infested may actually prefer death before it’s all said and done…
or maybe that would be the mother’s wish after tending to the cares of the infected children.
This is one malady that I do not wish to experience.
I don’t want to have to burn the sheets, the brushes, the pillows, the couch, etc….
while acting like some sort of rhesus monkey picking bugs from a child’s head.
And yet all this talk of lice has reminded me that we actually have a lice problem here in the blogosphere.
And boy can it spread.
I think most folks call what I’m thinking about as a problem with trolls…
But I like the analogy of trolls being more like an infestation of lice.
Trolls are ugly things that live under bridges and demand payment when folks want to cross
the said bridge.
Lice, on the other hand, are tiny yet irritating things.
They multiply rapidly.
They aren’t necessarily deadly but they are more or less irritating and near incapacitating.
Plus they are most difficult to rid oneself of.
So there I was innocently playing catch up…
trying desperately to read the latest from our dear friend the Wee Flea,
the Scottish Pastor David Roberston, when I saw that he had posted an ‘end of year’ post…a sort of year
In the post, he nodded to a previous post in which he had announced that he would be stepping down from
the post he’s held at his church there in Dundee, Scotland, St Peter’s Free Chruch Presbyterian—
a post as senior pastor for the past 27 years.
He and his wife will most likely move to Australia to help head up a ministry team down under.
As I had obviously missed this little announcement, I felt the need to offer my gratitude.
For you see that’s what being the chief aid to the Mayor has done to me…
I am now chronically a day late and a dollar short!
The Mayor is such the taskmaster they I have had to forgo much of what I once did—
that being reading for one thing…in particular, reading the postings of our friends The Wee Flea and
Bishop Gavin Ashenden being first and foremost.
And so as I scrolled down to leave a comment of gratitude to David for his diligence in fighting the good
fight, I saw a familiar face….a face of one who had left a myriad of comments…a myriad of tits for tats.
It was a dreaded “troll”…or what I am now dubbing a lice…or is that louse??
I think both words are most fitting in this case.
A lice, or louse, is one who visits the blog of a Christian and proceeds to engage the tit for tat
with said host.
For the lice, louse, is a nonbleiver…an atheist by trade.
A person who is so blinded by disdain, they can’t see the forest for the trees.
However, no one is really wanting to argue, fuss or cuss but the louse.
They are wearing blinders to everything and anything that they believe runs counter to their own limited
and angry empty vision.
They poke and prod…daring the host to engage in an endless back of forth of nowhere.
Some call it falling down into the proverbial rabbit hole.
The lice, or louse, becomes irritating and they don’t dare ease off….not when they know
they are becoming maddening.
Maddening is the only point they know…forget making sense or civil discourse.
Round and round they run…like a poor dog tethered to a chain on a pole.
Their next move is to go out and call all their kith and kin to come join in the fun.
They will also go back to their own blogs where they feature the victimized host that they’ve been “visiting”
while touting them as a grand old host worthy for others to come suck the lifeblood from…
They want you to forget blogging, forget intelligent sharing or dialogue, forget your original post…
you are now itching like a mad person, desperately trying to rid yourself of an infestation.
Then you hit the “block” button and suddenly you are happily cured and free.
But here’s the thing, they see where you’ve been, who your friends and family are and they
quickly head that way.
It’s an infestation by association.
I saw that on David’s blog.
There in plain sight was one of my former lice, louse, trying desperately to irritate
But David is a smart man.
He nixed the lice.
They will none the less resurface where they are not blocked.
Maybe we’ll one day develop an anti-lice vaccine…
I think we call that the Blood of the lamb!
Here is David’s year-end post:
For this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
“There are many going afar to marvel at the heights of mountains,
the mighty waves of the sea, the long courses of great rivers,
the vastness of the ocean, the movements of the stars, yet they leave themselves unnoticed!”
I’ve been marveling recently.
Marveling at the development of a wee small person.
No surprise there I would imagine.
Yet this marveling of mine, however, goes beyond the mere grandmotherly marveling over the
leaps and strides made by a baby who appears to miraculously change and grow,
if not day by day, but more like minute by millisecond…
As each new moment brings a brand new advancement.
to utter sounds,
to express likes and dislikes…
to demonstrate joy and anguish,
to recognize pain and self-satisfaction.
The discoveries made of both self and surroundings are each incredible to behold.
Quite amazing really.
I think back to the time when I was once a new parent myself.
I was so caught up in what that responsibility entailed…
coupled with my working outside of the home while just trying to get us all from one day
to the next, in one safe piece…
so much so that all of that overrode my ability to actually marvel.
Of course, there were glimpses and revelations that would leave me without words but life
would demand its way…leaving me running at such a frenetic pace that basking in the
minute by minute miracles was only afforded in increments of breaths.
Life called for a family to step up to the plate and I had to answer…
no luxury found for stopping to marvel…albeit fleetingly.
It is only now in my older age…an age that gives way to both collected knowledge and wisdom,
that I can thankfully step back from the moment while blessedly stopping to take it all in.
And I am left speechless.
What we take for granted, or rather what we merely assume as we are just too busy to
acknowledge anything else, is truly nothing less than spectacular.
And so no, I am not the first nor will I be the last grandparent to marvel over a grandchild…
And yes, there have been countless numbers of psychologists, anthropologists, sociologists,
doctors, and psychiatrists over the past millennium who have all closely
studied child development…
So this marveling of mine, as it were, is really nothing new nor even very special…
This marveling, this wonderment, of which I speak is not found in the science of
It is not found in the measurements of statistics or in averages…
It is not found in numbers or sequential advancements…
But rather it is found in that which makes no sense…
found in that which is beyond comprehension.
Because what I am currently witnessing taking place, day by day, breath by breath,
within one small person, over the course of these past nine months, is nothing less than
So I suppose we could say that her first nine months were hidden from view…
yet were no less amazing.
The fact is that I have been given the opportunity of actually viewing the past nine months
a bit more up close and personal as those first nine months were watched not only by doctors
but moment by moment by the One who breathes life into all that is…
I suppose we could say she has actually lived both seen and unseen now for 18 months…
all of which have been cemented in my heart.
And so as the calendar prepares to give way to a new season, we find ourselves standing
before the door of the impending season of Advent.
A season that brings humankind together–
offering the heightened sense of anticipation as we prepare to both watch and wait…
Is it, therefore, a coincidence that as I watch and marvel over one growing baby,
God so chose the same miraculous gift of a baby?
A gift that has been freely given to anyone who is willing to receive it?
A baby who grew both seen and unseen…
A baby who was formed in the miraculous…
A baby whose family marveled, just as I marvel, over his milestones.
Explanations will always fall away when given the gift of the miraculous…
And Mary said,
“Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.”
And the angel departed from her.
Freedom is the most contagious virus known to man.
Hubert H. Humphrey
Well, our wee one has been quite sickly this past week with a nasty virus.
Yet the doctors have requested some tests run…so…we shall see.
With that said, know that I am back up in Atlanta on “moppie” duty.
And since I’ve not had time to create a new offering for today…
I’m going to share what I read two days back on the blog our friend the Wee Flea.
I found his words a great reflection on one of the latest idiocies racing around
these United States.
And as there are perhaps too many circuses running around this great land of ours…
perhaps it takes the vision of a Scotsman, one who sees things for what they truly are,
to open our eyes to our own pitiful state of affairs…and as he so pointedly reminds us
that in the end…it is only one thing we all need…the need we each have for the
one true Savior…
Enjoy the link below based on a tale of
Sermons, weddings, and funerals…
Never trust anyone completely but God. Love people,
but put your full trust only in God.
As I’ve shared before, I was city born and bred, but moved west and met a country boy.
35 years ago in fact.
And so I am certainly old enough to remember things like meat and three and blue plate specials.
This is long before cutting-edge chefs found it chic to offer such on their menus.
Recently, on our little jaunt to Nashville, I overheard someone trying to explain the
concept of a meat and three to an out-of-towner.
They explained that a meat and three was just what it said.
A customer would have a choice of a meat, usually fried chicken, country steak or meatloaf
and then they had a choice to add three vegetables…choosing from a host of options…
vegetables such as fried okra (may I just say yum?!), collard greens, squash casserole,
green beans, mac-n-cheese…
At which time this fellow offering the explanation stopped to further explain that in the South,
mac-n-cheese (aka macaroni and cheese) actually passes as a vegetable.
At which point, some other woman overhearing the conversation hollered
“CAN I GET AN AMEN?!”
I suppose that’s one of those quirky little things about us Southerners
I’m also old enough to remember when Atlanta was closely surrounded by cows and chickens
as well as open pasture land.
In fact, not a mile from my elementary school folks still had horses idyllically grazing
in open fields…
However today, long gone are the horses and fields…
they’ve all been replaced by multimillion-dollar homes, multimillion-dollar subdivisions,
an Orthodox Jewish Temple, a state of the art Jewish school, an Episcopal Community
Center–and yet my circa 1958 elementary school keeps on keeping on.
Nowadays it’s few and far between that one can find a cow within 50 miles of the city…
not unless it is one of those grammatically challenged Chick-Fil-A cows…
but I digress.
Now my dad’s parents had a nice home in Atlanta on a nice quiet street.
My grandfather, who had graduated from GA Tech in 1919 with an Electrical Engineering degree,
started his own electrical business that consistently grew with the times.
Yet my grandmother had been a country girl….proper none the less, but country all the same.
Country as in open land, horses, farm to table food long before such was trending…
She had however graduated from what was LaGrange Women’s College down in LaGrange, Georgia
and did a bold thing for a woman in 1917…
She moved nothrward to the big city…striking out on her own.
And it was in the big city where she met my grandfather…riding on a trolly.
I’ve shared this story before but it’s simply just too funny not to offer it again.
There was my grandmother, dressed to the nines for a Victorian type young woman standing on the
cusp of those roaring 20’s, riding the trolly bound for work when my grandfather and his brother
jumped on the same trolly bound for who knows where.
My grandfather spied my grandmother sitting a few rows away and brazenly jumped up from his
seat making his way over to the empty seat beside her and plops down.
He boldly and most likely rather cheekily introduced himself.
An introduction complete with a large wad of chewing tobacco in his mouth.
My grandmother (a girl from the country who no doubt was accustomed to those chewing tobacco)
indignantly turned her head away from him remarking that she did not talk to boys who
Well, desperate times call for desperate measures…
and so he had no other option…he swallowed the tobacco wad in one hard gulp.
He then proceeded to correct her, explaining that he never had tobacco in his mouth and would
she then be interested in getting a Coca-Cola…
The rest of the story is history for my family tree.
Yet the love of country always remained in my grandmother and so at some point long before
I ever came along, they bought a farm with some land and horses north of the city.
A place they could go to escape the madness of city life on weekends and holidays…
and it was later the place where us city grandkids would run and play till our heart’s content.
I say all of this as I recall during one of the elections when Barak Obama was campaigning
that he made mention that people were now, more than ever before, living in cities.
I don’t remember if it was his first or second run.
But he made the point that it would be the urbanites who would become the determining
factors charting the course of election outcomes….in turn determining our red vs blue states.
Inwardly I took issue with this.
I felt that he was basically dismissing those Americans who were living across this
Nation in places other than metro cities. Those who lived, filling in the spaces between all
the major metropolitan cities.
And whereas I’ve not studied any recent census numbers or polls…I suppose there is some truth
to his words.
That our cities are filling up…and are… well, as those here in the South are often heard
to say…they are simply all full.
And so therefore, obviously on the flip side, that sadly means our suburbs and rural areas must be shrinking in population.
Yet here I am, in a rural west Georgia city…
a place where the cows, goats, horses, and sheep continue spilling over into the multi-million
dollar golf courses, homes, and subdivisions as the luxury equally continues spilling
over on while gobbling up the remaining farmland…
we reamin a hodgepodge of rural and urban all rolled into one…
And folks around these parts…just as with their city counterparts —
are equally diligent when it comes to concern for the Nation and voting …
As in we all have a voice…
And whereas our cities may be full and our rural areas perhaps less full…
the true matter in all of this urban, city vs rural, suburban is not really where we live,
or even to what level we live but what matters most is actually what exists within our hearts—-
what is it that fills these hearts of ours.
It’s not so much a matter of where we live but rather it’s a matter of how we opt to fill up
our hearts…or in some case…how we choose to empty them.
St John of the Cross reminds us of this very fact.
“God does not fit in an occupied heart.”
St. John of the Cross
And so as we continue to fix our sights on our political mayhem, our elections, our government
our contention, our divisions, our Supreme Court…our cities and our dwindling rural
forgotten towns, it would behoove all of us to recall St John’s words…
God cannot fit into a space that is already all full up.
Maybe that’s the best part of going away for a vacation-coming home again.
for both happy and sad, today (yesterday in case you’re reading this today) has finally come.
The day for packing up and having to move from a temporary home back
to a real home has arrived…
This is the part of life’s story when being the adult, the grown-up, the parent,
the grandparent is one of the more difficult roles to play.
Life dictates that I’m supposed to be the one who knows what is best and
simply keep that stiff upper lip.
And so, reluctantly, I do.
We packed up and journeyed homeward.
A wreck, coupled by construction, on 285 had us sitting in traffic for over an hour.
Do you know what a screaming baby sounds like in a car stuck in the middle of
an interstate impasse?
A baby who is happy only as long as the car is moving??
I wanted to roll down the windows for all the truckers and cars alike—telling them this
is what I’m currently listening to so could everyone just please drive
like they’re supposed to!!!
Yet when we finally reached “home”, what a splendid greeting…
Mom’s little lone tea rose bush was in full bloom.
Blooms of anticipation for a great-granddaughter mom never meet here on earth but
who I know she has met long before I had even met my little one.
This wee one has finally come home…a home that was once mom’s home…
a home that was also once my own home.
What a most fitting welcome…
And so whereas I will miss these day to day moments of growth and change…
I know there’s just nothing like one’s own bed and one’s own space…
each providing a welcomed sense of peace
Sweet dreams my precious little wee one…
When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.