Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day

This is my friend Kathy and her company while they were in Iraq. Shouting out a thanks to you, Kathy, for all the times you served on foreign soil to help the sick and injured get back home.

I hope any of you who have someone in Iraq or Afganistan, that your loved one stays safe and comes home soon. Thanks to all the men and women in the service working to keep us all safe.


Saturday, May 09, 2009


On this day every year since my mother died, I am filled with the sharp edges of missing her.

Mom was the glue of the family. We all came home for holidays and gathered around the table laden with familiar favorites she made especially for each of us.

When were were growing up, Mom made most of our clothes. I loved how she would invent things when necessity met with her whimsy. Mary and I were growing fast and our favorite skirts became too short. Mom cut them about six inches above the hem, inserted wide lace and sewed it back together--a fabulous new style.

She made Easter baskets for us even after we were grown and married. And she worried over us as only mamas do with unconditional love.

On this day I light a candle beneath her picture and place a note there telling her how much I love her, miss her and then I update her on the news.

I know that even if I just whisper it out into the great universe that she'll hear me when I say, "Happy Mother's Day, Mom. I will love you always."


Sunday, May 03, 2009

A Spiritual Experience--At A Bar

Christy Snow And The Free Spirits
I ran into a spiritual experience quite by accident when I went with a couple friends to The Grape at the North Lake Mall last night. Okay, it is a bar but that just makes my discovery all the more extraordinary.
The entertainment was Christy Snow and the Free Spirits who played songs that ran the gambit from funny tunes about camping trips and a dog to new found hope and confidence in the unfolding of life. A few songs were familiar to me but most of the songs were written by Ms Snow. She played the guitar, harmonica (often together like Tom Petty) and the Native American Flute. There’s something haunting and peaceful in the music of the Native American Flute. Her voice resonated in a rich, smoky tone that reminded me of K. D. Lang.
At break time I got a chance to talk to her and found that she used to work in corporate America making a pretty decent salary and gave it up to go into her musical career full force. I couldn’t help but relate to her on that level since I just retired from nursing to pursue my writing career even in the face of this recession or depression according to how you feel about a drastic drop in the economy worldwide. Her philosophy was that your life unfolds the way it should and you just have to be open to the positive. I asked her to give me her life philosophy in one sentence. Yeah, I put her on the spot but not intentionally. I just wanted to understand how, based on the content of her songs, she could come up smiling with such a great attitude about life. She responded faster than I would have been able to with, “Life is for us.” Sounds simple enough unless, like me, you feel so often that life is against us and spin in a spiral of negative thinking about the if only’s in life. She also said something else that I can relate to. Having worked in the emergency room for many years, I’ve seen the frequent underbelly of life and the way human spirit can deteriorate into self-destruction and self-gratification not to mention abusive behavior. By the time I retired, I’d had about all I could take of the “what’s in it for me” mentality. Ms Snow said, “Whatever you believe, like people are basically good, you have to believe even when times get rough.” Way easier said than done but a thing to hang on to like a raft in a storm.
Turns out Christy Snow is a minister. Wouldn’t you just know it? She delivers sermons and sings her uplifting songs every Sunday at The Center For Positive Living at 6101 Idlewild Rd., #332, Charlotte, NC 28212.
As a writer, I was interested in lyric writing. I can write stories long and short and I can write poetry but lyrics, well, I just don’t seem to have that unique gift. I asked Ms Snow about that, about being born with a gift to write lyrics and she insisted that anyone can do it if they want to. She said an amazing thing in regards to poetry and lyrics. A friend of hers sent her an eloquent poem and told her she could use it to come up with a song. Ms Snow said the poem could be changed into several songs. She “chopped it up” into the lyrics for several songs saying that lyrics are easier to write than poetry. Lyrics still mystify me but I’m going to take her word for it and figure that I must not “want to” enough.
I hope, if you ever get the chance, you go to one of her gigs and hear some spiritually uplifting and sometimes funny songs and her amazing talent on her instruments. Her website has the dates and places where she and the Free Spirits will be playing. You’ll come away with an inspired heart.