Wednesday, February 19, 2020

The Dog Whisperer and Jesus

My canine friend is very strong.   We're just walking along with me holding his leash and then all of a sudden he about jerks my arm out of its socket  because he catches the scent of EVERYTHING, most likely another dog.  I don't talk a lot because mostly I'm thinking and one can't really carry on a conversation with an animal.  But, lately, I am saying to him, "I think I will talk to you because you're a really good listener and because humans (which I pronounced as 'hoomans') suck. "

He's very stubborn. Today, we were walking by this house where a man was loading his car with his luggage and the dog was just fascinated by the process.  The man kept looking at us and smiling, but it looked odd and felt creepy. Perhaps the dog thought he would take him on a trip with him if he approached him, but I held his collar so he  couldn't take off toward the guy.  I tried coaxing him and then pulling him to keep continuing on our walk.  The dog and all of his 85 pounds resisted by sitting down, something he rarely does especially on command. Pffft.  So much for his obedience training. Finally, the guy left in his car and we moved on, but I admonished the dog gently, "You know, you're not supposed to want to meet everyone.  Not everybody likes big dogs.  Many people are crabby.  Besides, you're supposed to be protecting me, not  dragging me toward danger."  And then I leaned down just a bit and whispered to him, "Don't you know a serial killer when you see one?"   GEEZE.    Perhaps I shouldn't have watched that Ted Bundy special on  20/20 last week......  or read my very first Stephen King novel recently, or watch Snapped, Killer Couples and Forensic Files before I fall asleep at night.   Ya think?   I can't  believe that dog tried to pull me toward a suspicious man with an open trunk and a large rolling suitcase!

He continued to walk, stop, pull, lower his head to the ground and tow me.  "You're not Balto, you know," I say as he drags me into a snowbank so he can sniff the yellow snow of all dogs that have gone before.  "You're having a lemonade snow cone, huh, buddy?"  Gross.

On the way back home, we pass the pond in our subdivision where I used to fish sometimes out of sheer boredom.  Even though it's just a retention pond, there are signs that say no swimming and fishing, but that doesn't stop anyone from the fishing part.  Some of the guys in the neighborhood caught several large mouth bass from a nearby lake and then put them in there for the kids to catch and release.   I did not know this until I caught several myself and they had tags in their fins for you to report online the date and serial number of when you caught it.   So the first time I got a huge fish, I was shocked.   There are little fish in there like blue gil, but no way would there ever be anything bigger unless someone put them there.

 I have permission to fish in our neighbor's yard, but THEIR next door neighbor hates it when anybody fishes there period.   Two years ago, he came out SCREAMING at me, swearing, because my dad stepped briefly in his yard.  He was a really big jerk.  He told me he didn't want people around his house because he likes to walk around in his underwear.  Good grief, I am fishing, idiot, not looking in your windows hoping to catch you in your tighty whities or playing Christian Grey with Ana and Leila trapped in there, although I don't care if the rotting corpse of Elena is in there at all!!  So he just kept screaming at me and my dad.   My dad looked at him strangely, "This really bothers you that much, huh?" as he cast out his line out again and the bobber  hit the water with a nice sounding plop!  Laughing.  And then my dad looks at him like he's nuts, "You're going to give yourself a heart attack getting all upset like that."  Another casual cast.  Meanwhile he's lecturing me about standing in his neighbor's yard with my backpack and 1 fishing pole like I'm destroying property or something when a guy several yards away takes his son out in the pond to test his new kayak.  Laughing.  If you're wondering what my response was to all his screaming and swearing, I just kept up a calm demeanor and repeated, "I don't care."   And because of what was going on in my life at the time, I just wanted a little time out by the water for some peace and quiet.  Well, he ruined that.  (The bible says that a soft answer turns away wrath.  Pffft, not if it is quietly clear to both the jerk and myself that when I am saying I don't care, I really mean I don't give a flying f***!   HA!)

So back to the dog and our walk.  I looked at the pond that finally froze over this late into winter and saw either a great blue heron or a great green heron, I don't know or care, but I pointed out toward the bird and said to the dog, "Look!  There's Jesus.  He's walking on the water."   I think even God himself may have chuckled at that one.

Not my yard, fence, or my dog.  Yes, those are my shoes.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Is it love?

I wonder what love looks like from different points of view.
Do others see it n the way that I often do?

Does it look like two young people each wearing Letterman's jackets, holding hands in the movie theater?  And does it smell like a sweet and salty combination of buttery popcorn and Reese's Pieces?   Or  does it feel like thin, cheap, and greasy napkins?  Is love the cup holder that hugs a Diet Coke?  ;)

Does it look like older folks or middle aged people walking arm in arm at the tired end of a visit to their local farmer's market?  And does it smell like a combination of that which they just bought from the fishmonger and the flower cart?

Does it look and feel like newlyweds reaching for one another in the middle of the night to make passionate love?

Or is it the surrendering kind of love making at 2 a.m. by a long time married couple who are exhausted and beat up by the contagious ugliness of many people in this world.  Though they were both keeping careful watch, a little bit of chaos bore into their own  precious 2'gether-4'ever bubble..... The fires of trouble and doubt extinguish when meaty flesh enters soft flesh.  Is it love that lingers when only the scent of their fire-brings-new-life kind of sex remains?

Is it something more innocent such as that thing that started off decades ago at the roller rink, her long hair flowing backwards, his accelerated blood-flow pulsing, weaving, and pulling them through the throng of hormones and pheromones in sinusoidal patterns.  White knuckled, they're holding hands when he officially asks her to be his girlfriend.  Is  it love when her "yes" is then recorded among the invisible mental list of things that might occur in high school, but does not end with torn photo booth pictures soaked in lighter fluid by one angry graduate the following summer?

Or is it when one humbly crawls up against her husband and softly weeps while he silently sleeps?  Is it the instant he awakens and wraps his arms around her tighter than she ever remembers and he whispers huskily in her ear, "I've got you, Babe. Stay close to me."  It has all been said before this moment.  Understanding is now felt instead of spoken.   Is her part a kind of submission while his part a protective form of dominance?  It feels like it, but all I know for sure is that it's deeply rooted in the home of When the Storm Whispers to the Wind -- where love endures all things.

I see that love can taste sweet and salty, appear weathered or new, burn brightly or burn out, feel dry or sweaty, and be administered with both ease and great difficulty and everything in between.

I wonder what love looks like from your points of view.
Do you see it here in the way that I do?

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Great Expectations

No, I am not reading about Charles' Dickens' Pip and his conscience, but I have been doing some reading on the topic of expecting too much of myself and others.  I have to admit that I am having a hard time understanding let alone agreeing with most of the articles that I have read.   Here is a set of common  themes among my research and my thoughts to each one:

1.  Expect nothing from others, that way you'll never be disappointed.   Really?  Wait...... what if they have stated their intentions clearly and then didn't follow through?  Random example one:  Your lover says to you one Friday morning, "When we get home from our dinner date tonight, I am going to rock your world."  And then he/she sends you sweet nothings texts throughout the day, flirts with you during dinner, gets you naked once you get home, but then just stops for no apparent reason and decides to watch television in bed.  How is THAT not disappointing? (unless you're playing some kind of agreed upon denial game - no, thank you!)

Random example two:  You tell your hairdresser to cut 3 inches off and please highlight it blond, but you end up  with 7 inches cut off and blue hair.  And then you still have to pay the 200 dollar bill.  Anyone feel as frustrated as I do right now just thinking of this?

Final random example three:  Expect that the clerk who puts your groceries in the car to break all 12 eggs, then when you get home, only 3 of them are broken, so you're a bit pleasantly surprised.  Anyone actually happy about this?  And before you say, just make scrambled eggs, I will tell you that in this hypothetical example, I was supposed to make deviled eggs!!!  Hmph!

2.  Don't expect from others what you expect from yourself.   Huh?  Why the heck not?  I am not saying that life is all  50/50 with gave and take, but it sure as flip had better not to be 20/80! Laughing! GEEZE!   I'm not going to give someone a huge effort if they don't in some way return that or meet some of my needs.  And neither would I expect that they live that kind of imbalance with me if I'm not giving enough to them according to them.

I do expect a lot from myself and I disappoint myself just about every day in some way.  But, whose day is perfect and full of every single item  you wanted to accomplish, keeping a wonderful and patient attitude while doing so?  On the flip side, am I supposed to wake up every morning, expect little of myself and then just hope that the house will clean itself and make us dinner?  Nope, I have to have some reasonable expectations of myself ....... and others.

3.  People are not mind readers, so you often need to tell them how you feel even if you think they should know already.   Okay, I get this one  partially based on the differences between how men and women think.  I am okay with saying what I need (with Storm mostly, not so much with others ...... and how do you express your needs as a mother?  That is a slippery slope because Mom has to be the mature one in the relationship, the more forgiving one, the more giving one, no matter what the children's age, 4 or 40 !)   Excluding motherhood, if I express my needs to someone close to me, how many times do I have to keep saying it if they're not getting it? (The answer is A LOT if you're in a new and/or evolving ttwd relationship, or just marriage in general! )  And what about the opposite of all of this......... when you DON'T want to talk about whatever, hear about whatever, and you set this as a boundary for yourself, but the person keeps crossing it?  Am I wrong to expect someone to not cross my boundaries and then I'm just happy when they don't and I ignore it when they do?  I call bull.

Our little family has had recent discussions on this topic of expectations while Storm and I have been having this conversation off and on for years.  Amazingly, Storm really does live statement # 1. For those that have met him and gotten to know him or are related to him, they see that he is one of the most chill persons ever.  It is one of the things that I find most  endearing about him in my life.  He helps me so much.  However, it is also the very thing that drives me up the dang wall and why I sometimes end up clinging to the ceiling in the first place.  Laughing.  He peels me off the ceiling and I pick him up off the floor......... meaning, I think to live statement #1 is a very depressing way to live.  I just don't see how he functions like that.  He says he's happy.  I say that he seems content, but that is not always the same as being happy, in my opinion.  He sees it as the opposite of depression.  He likes to be pleasantly surprised by expecting things to not work out, then when they do........voila!  I, on the other hand, expect things to work out pretty close to the ideal situation and when they don't, I get frustrated or feel hurt.  What fun!

If these 3 ideas is what it means to have peaceful relationships, peace of mind, and an advanced degree in the field of Psychology, then count me out!  Maybe the answer for me lies somewhere in not erasing my expectations, but lowering them.  Although, I do want to clarify that that is not the same thing as lowering my standards.  I won't do that for anyone, but I will lower my drawers.... for Storm!

What do you expect of yourself and/or others?