Mississippi Moments

Friday, July 28, 2006

Today has been a tough day.
Baths are helping. Praying, too.
Tomorrow is the dancing...and the camping.
Then the kittens and elk and green herons...

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Learning is the thing...and today ain't over.
Here's what I've learned so far:
1. You can make sparks with garden tools, and yes, dry grass will burn from said sparks.
2. It is fun to do this.
3. It gives "teaching" a whole new face when the classroom is the restored wetlands beach area at Golden Gardens, the student is one creative, open-hearted six year old who can find and count herons almost as fast as me, and the lessons include teaching her how to draw labyrinths in the damp sand.
4. Igneous takes on a whole new meaning when it comes back to you as "Mother Earth First Rock"--yup, that's what the Greeks meant, too.
5. Colleen is more beautiful than ever...
5b...so are Brigie, Mimi, Julie, Sara,and, and...this Sistahs thing matters so much!
6. I learned what a STERB was today--Short-Term-Energy-Releasing-Behavior. In the Grief Recovery Handbook, these are things that distract and interfere with embracing and completing the painful process of grieving for loss. Okay, so it's like a cosmic game of cards--"Hit me, again" and I'll see what the latest hand brings...I get the point...I'll grieve and STERB and, and drink limeade. And do yardwork until I can't see anymore. And stack rocks. And touch cedars and lean on them occasionally. And go to church, in buildings and outside. And believe with all my Heart that there are kids out there for me to parent. And dance..sometimes while doing yardwork.
7. Mary J. rocks. I wish her safe and nourishing travels.
8. Jean and Laura and Mike rock. I wish them safe and nourishing travels.
9. I can't take "good" pictures--but good enough to tell my stories.
10. Dancing for and supporting great causes like the North Kitsap Arts and Crafts Fair is a good thing. So, there, Martha.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

More learning-TV is still stupid and a waste of time. Thank you.
Bolle and the Learning Curve!
My Learning Curve is tossing and twisting with the movement and pressure of the liquid lessons pouring through my consciousness like an old backyard hose...the occasional urp and taut, and then flow and power and more "water" for this personal garden of de-Lifes. SO here's what I've learned in the last three hours of being awake:
I . I took my new soccer ball out for a trot. I need something to walk/run with on a regular basis since my Shelties are in the land of leash-free. It wasn't so different. It tried to run out in the street a few times and doesn't keep a consistent pace. I had to be on watch the entire time. I cheated a few times and used some Magnolia-style lawn edges (which I believe are illegal here in Ballard) to keep "Bolle" rolling neatly at my side. Ultimately, I think we are up for a few good runs. Some benefits-no need for poop bags or walking stick. Downside-Bolle isn't trained to heel on the left yet--gonna work on that one (sigh).
2. If you leave your green GAP rubber garden " welliees" (rubber boots for you Herriot challenged folks) on the front porch of your house and it is over 95 degrees for a week or more, said welliees will stick to said porch...and leave a mark and rubber scunge when you want to use boots for yardwork.
3. You can get motion-sick on a glider garden bench and it's NOT Dad's fault.
4. I don't know what tamarind is... Will need to find out. A nice workout lady from Curves gave me a recipe for some great Vietnamese salad with...tamarind. I'm trying to turn on the Vietnam mojo in any way possible!:)
5. Honey pots come with their own roofing crews here in Ballard. I wonder if they ever show up with floor repair crews or paint kitchen crews...will need to find out.
6. There is still a magic and sacredness to the rhythm of my seasons--example from today: shearing lavendar to bundle and hang here in the cottage, warm sunshine on my back and neck while gathering the lavendar, and the pleasure of filling a vase or Mason jar in every room with this healing,beautiful gift from Mother Earth.
7. I learned to do something new on my computer--I scanned photos of my Shelties on the top of the world highway in Alaska from our journey to the Yukon and back again. I learned to crop, align, apply sepia, add to desktop, and print...
Now Rowan is coming, and I will have to learn some more things...thank you God for this most amazing day...

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Musings...."padre nuestro" isn't so very different sounding from "madre nuestro"...amazing what one's brain comes up with waiting for coffee to percolate. That's another "25 cent word"--percolate--it can mean so much. It is obvious that I need more (or less) coffee in the morning. I am missing my Star Sisters, Jean and Laura, very much...and their dog. I hope to spend time with them this week.

This day brought another beautiful gift--a learning session with the darling Rowan at Fair Isle Cottage School. We shared a story, did some drawing and writing, sorted hazelnuts, river rocks, seashells, and beans, and practiced math stories and the"Rainbow" Song (skip counting, Miz Ern style) with wee pinecones since I haven't unpacked the beanbags yet. Of course, there was snack time and some sharing of Jonestown Learning Center photos and stories.
I have been fighting the urge to contact Sheltie rescue all day or to fly off to Provence the week after harp camp...
The admissions officer from Walden University called today to ask how my statement of purpose is coming...I told him it was. I wonder how much internet access I will get at the Aberdeen Library. I have some ideas "percolating" about experiential learning, Jonestown kids, Waldorf, seashells, beanbags, pinecones, and hazelnuts...and silly songs that really need to be in a book of some sort. Or is this "THE reason" that I feel so called to be at OLF---is there something there and if so, what is it that will change my world, their world, the world of Catholic education in the Pacific Northwest, and contribute to peace and justice and equanimity?
I am going to be asking my Dear to Me ones to hold space and focus intention every evening at 9pm around me and the child/ren that is/are coming into circle together...picture it clearly with Love and Grace. You have my thanks.

Monday, July 24, 2006

This is getting ridiculous! At least in Mississippi, I knew what to expect...I can see Pine Lake in my very near future and the house and garden projects will just have to wait a bit! I'm hoping Mary J. will be able to help me with the Red Cottage piece that has been chosen for Harp Camp this year. Worked on it some this week, but haven't managed to practice as much as needed.
I brought home a new piece of furniture with an eye to the future while enjoying it in the now--a glider bench! It's just the thing for watching the swallows and the odd bat after the sun sinks...I'm hoping it will be just the thing for harping in the corner and studying 6 trait +1 writing strategies.
Something opens our wings.
Something makes boredom and hurt disappear.
Someone fills the cup in front of us.
We taste only sacredness. ---Rumi

Colleen told me that if I continue to blog for a year, then I would have my "book". This I will do...
I found this part of a prayer-poem today while completing my photo album from Jonestown this morning. It says it for me.
Right on the front cover with a picture of Carl wearing a bat mask, and this crazy white woman in a red apron with an ocelot for a face...

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Sitting under the Rubus, trying not to have large spiders fall into my coffee...first times, there are so many of them, in this new to me life without my dogs...I cleared Fiona's spot under the rubus yesterday when I was in a bit of a yardwork frenzy. I can't bear to see that spot with things growing when it should be bare from dog bodies lying there, at ease and in bliss. Sadie's spot was always nearest to me wherever that was...she's clearly in my heart now, but sometimes I feel like she has just flopped on the floor by me when I am on the couch. At Mass this morning, I saw a piece of my past, and had the pleasure of saying hello to Mr. and Mrs. McCarthy after the Irish substitute priest told his joke about the NYC taxi driver. So why am I crying as I blog this morning--some things are just so right with my world and some will never be right again...it's my blog and it's my life so I can do as I please...and it pleases me to drink Folger's after mass on Sundays. eat a veggie turkey sandwich, think about doing my homework for next year's pedagogical pilgrimage (which is about the only thing keeping me sane right now, that and the yardwork, and sleeping in the RV parked in the backyard awaiting the next adventure..and Matt's music, all of it).
I had a ball yesterday at the "Bonespiel" at the Curling Club. First of all, the kinds of people that are part of this planet Curling is a book in and of itself. But yesterday provided fodder for several interesting chapters on human pyschology, the competitive natures of the human beast, the influence of alcohol in early afternoon hours in an upstairs-room environment that would have rivaled the heat/humidity/hazards of a Delta afternoon, the "coaching styles" of the asundry helpers to the newbie to bones crowd, and the looks on folks' faces as I was introduced as " the one chosen to be best man at Scott and Lisa's wedding" and the real shocker was actually that I was a "NONCURLER" and what was I really doing there! You'd think 5 hours would drag on by..not so...I learned to do the "PUNTO DANCE" (thanks to Jonell) and I made the lovely acquaintances of Dani and Betty at my table. It was a pleasure to play as a "borg unit" with Lisa McLean until the powers that be split us up. The more I am around Miz Lisa, the more I love her. I learned about her competitive streak yesterday and her take-charge attitude, her strength, her humor, her pleasure at making others around her feel comfortable and included. Scott chose the best...and she didn't do so badly in the deal, either. I am grateful to be a part of their family of choice. Since I avoided the alcohol aspect of this ritual, I am looking forward to how that would impact my "strategizing", but since I turn my brain off in the summer, mostly I just had fun with the bare bones of bones. Sort of like getting a tool box full of all kinds of cool tools with functions and hanging out for an afternoon pounding nails and then pulling them in a piece of old decking...a lovely way to sweat...
The Curves thing is going well for me. I like the getting in and getting out in under 40 minutes thing. I also like early mornings and having somewhere to go---time off is not so good for me. I haven't jumped into anything for my afternoon sweat sessions, but that will come. I have spent a couple of hours daily working in the yard, cleaning, yanking, pruning, edging. My bins are full and the pile growing in the backyard. I just like how my brain and heart go into neutral peace zone when I am out there and mindlessly doing "stuff". I don't even really want to grow anything else. I just don't want to kill anything else.

I had a interesting phone conversation with my social worker yesterday. I am finding this waiting until 2009-2010 thing hard to swallow for making family with kid thing to come to fruition. Vietnam is now on the plate. I need to research this one a bit more. The mother and child in the photo on my home altar are in Vietnam. The mother is from here (Seattle area) and her daughter is from V ietnam. The article was actually about an adoption agency based here in Seattle that was shut down because the children being adopted were not actually orphans. They were children being sold by their families of origin to the adoption "brokers". Alot of this and other things that I am learning through this process kick me right back to the slavery here in this country and the culture of human trafficking that exists now. I can pray, be aware , and support the SNJMs who work directly to bring justice...not crying anymore...I just have these moments...another beautiful day...

Friday, July 21, 2006

Dominoes that aren't dominoes.

When you go over to the McLean's house, you can always be sure of a couple of things:
1. There are enough doggy kisses from Molly to wake anyone from a major depression!
2. You will always be treated as if you were there yesterday and everyday before that and they are REALLY glad to see you again...
3. The food is always great.
4. The art and science that is curling has many offshoots---such as dominoes that aren't dominoes. Either way, it helps to build dendrytes, is challenging, and will involve being around more fun people.

The Curling Club is having a fundraiser, a dominoes tournament, and for me, this will be an opportunity to learn something new. I also learned that "smokers" in the Bothell area of the Pacific Northwest stand upright (another cultural difference from Jonestown) but the smell is the same and the food it makes deliciously sinful! I had a lovely time.

Spent today doing laundry, reading about 6+1 Trait writing, thinking about working in the garden, and having a harp practice session with Avis and Val at Val's house. In all honesty, it was way more storytelling and sharing than harping in Val's beautiful house, but it's not often that we get the opportunity. We are looking forward to harp camp and the wonders that it wil bring.

Came home to nap and think about working in the garden as the heat goes down and the moon goes up...the thinking is the thing.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Murder. It was senseless, violent murder. Two women, mother and daughter, connected to one another and to the One in Nature...and some monster(s) ended their lives and the ripples of loving influence that they had in this present life when their bodies with bullets were found on the trail near Mt. Pilchuck...and Mary and I were camping right next door to them on the Stilliguamish River in Verlot. I wish I could say it wasn't fear that made us leave in a hurry, but it was. We headed to our sanctuary, the lake, and I barely remember anything but naps, tea, Yahtzee, and a very heavy heart. I miss my dogs so much everything else seems like a bloody blurrrrr most of the time. They still haven't found the killers of Mary Cooper and Susanna Stodden. I am going to the memorial for these two souls, and somehow, I am going to walk in the woods in peace and without fear as their family has requested to honor their memories and their being...

I made a very tough decision not to go meet a Sheltie puppy and her brother over in eastern Washington. The circumstances around these little Shelties were very circumspect...I choose not to support situations that just perpetuate greed. I have a long way to go, and there is "Do" in my try. I'm also not ready. Brenin, wiseheart, brought something to my attention--that maybe I would be ready for the next puppy when I didn't need one so much...hard as it is to be alone, I'm going to try that one on for awhile. I still went over to Lake Wenatchee State Park. LIttle Feather went with me. It was an act of love for her to come away from the kittens at the Field. It is also a blessing to be with someone who understands just what a miracle is Diet Pepsi with lime! It was also an opportunity to create some new memories with empowerment mayo smeared all over the top by driving my own little RV on the roads that I'd previously only been on as a passenger in a big red truck or on the back of a motorcycle. I will be spending more time over White and Blewitt passes in the future...

Lake Wenatchee was a cool, windy place...with potential for lots of walks and lodgepole pine watching... The drive over the pass and then along the Yakima River and then over another pass through Mossyrock and on to Hwy 101 and North River Valley was too long and also incredibly beautiful. Staying at the Field also feels to me like a lonely coming home. Part of my Heart is buried there and dancing in the Trees. I was married there. My darling Sadie rests there. Will and Little Feather and now kittens and MommaKitty live there. Birds, trees, deer, elk, river, and my joy, tears, and soul are part of this womb-place.
I have been given the opportunity to care-take this place while they are away on a journey to the midwest. I am afraid and grateful.

Friday, July 14, 2006

July 14, 2006
I'm back in this lovely little home, Fair Isle Cottage, holding space with love...and some tears. It's going to take some time to adjust, and meanwhile I am going to continue to give thanks to my Wonderous Loving God for the love in my life and the opportunities to be of service in the ways and for those whom God means for me to be.

Had "une aventure merveileuse" with my mother and father in Salaberry de Valleyfield, Quebec with the language, the cool breezy weather, the hydroplane culture and racing, and the best of all---experiencing the wonder and genius that is my brother, Scott. He is amazing--we all knew that--but to observe him in his own element, working, thinking, directing, creating, synthesizing, interacting, --justement, une chose incroyable! And all the people of his team--the clockwork, the intuition, the dedication, the professionalism, the sharing---the folks to whom I was introduced have the highest respect for Scott--as they should...I enjoyed conversing in French the entire weekend and ordering food for myself and the folks. Reading all the historical signs, watching the boat races from the hotel room when I'd had enough of white people (still in transition from Jonestown), listening to tv en francais/wathcing the World Cup finale, and going to Mass at "le cathedrale de Sainte Cecile" with Mom and Dad to UNDERSTAND the liturgy/the homily/the prayers/the songs...one other thing-I didn't appreciate the local food "poutin"--french fries with goat cheese curds on top with some kind of brown gravy...

I offer my apologies to anyone who thinks that my blog might have been less than respectful of my mission and my faith.
I have tried to share in a style that would be somewhat entertaining as well as reflective of how the experiences touched my inner life and self. I give thanks to God for all that nourished me and continues to challenge me to grow in faith, in life, and in mission. Victory is mine......or "le victoire est le mien"...

Thursday, July 06, 2006

More Driving and "Mih Ern, you is one of us!"
I am tired and have a splitting headache as I blog this, but I want to get this in before I head to Memphis and then to Montreal. This morning, we were back at the JLC with the younger kids to head up to the Memphis Zoo. We loaded two vans and off we went. On the way, something occurred which was potentially endangering to the children and which necessitated a change in driver for one of the vans. When it happened, I did my protective teacher thing in my seat and was muttering to myself about how it's just not right to mess around with other people's precious kids. What I didn't know was that two of the other JLC staff were watching and listening to me grouse, and Miz Lady then said in her booming voice, "MIZ ERN! You is one of us! You got it right, girl." That made my day...I also ended up having to drive up to the zoo..not my favorite thing to do, but I am here to serve. We enjoyed ourselves at the Zoo, although family, be thankful for the Woodland Park Zoo. We are so lucky for the quality and variety of our zoo. Take your kids there this month or better yet, let me take them there and you stay home (or go shopping) and do something sweet for yourself! We ended up having to wait close to an hour for lunch and we got stuck in a traffic jam on the way back so we were late for the Girls to Women program this afternoon. I was still (and STILL am) in my shorts and t-shirt and the other staff were all dressed up. (My clean, pressed not pitted out clothes were at the Learning Center and there wasn't time for me to go back and change...oops, it is not okay to whine at the Jonestown Learning Center). The place was packed (For Jonestown, with parents, aunties and uncles, siblings, Sr. Kay and the HNA volunteers, and their friends). Some of the girls read essays they have written about what they have learned about puberty, self-esteem, decision-making, and sports. Then they put on a show/display of what they have been learning. I guess the soccer went well. It went by so fast that I don't really know. The music was cool (USHER!) and I heard a couple of booms during the shooting demo part.At least they hit the wall and not people in the audience.) They loved their awards, and started calling me Mih RAAAANEEE when they saw my last name. They also did a basketball demo and their dance. We gave them the soccer balls to keep. Note to self: bring those little mini-cones next year and mail down enough soccer balls from Seattle before I come. This will eliminate the need to bring the massive parking cones from the Learning Center (and there are only five) and sending other nuns to the store for more soccer balls and she comes back with Barbie ones...not that I am complaining...I'll blog more about the history and what I've learned about the community here in Jonestown when I have a chance. I am ready to leave and am torn between wanting to come home and not wanting to come home...it's going to be hard for awhile...love to you all.
July 5th-6th: Driving, Driving, Driving...
We were up at the crack of o'dark thirty the day after the 4th and off to Choctaw, Mississippi to take the Girls to Women on their big field trip to Geyser Springs Water Theme Park on the Choctaw Reservation. Supposedly, this trip was about 2 1/2 hours away..NOT! Try 4 or more each way...I was not looking forward to the driving because the coach who was driving the little van drives like Dad---how shall I say this, with purpose...so I loaded up on the Dramamine and prepared to snooze my way. Then, it turned out she had had an all night shift (she is in nursing school), and so I got to drive. We drove out of the flat, cotton-field laden Delta counties into the beautiful hill country of Mississippi as the sun was coming up and the mist gently draped over kudzu-wrapped trees. Little tiny towns and horse farms were the order of this part of the state. The land had been farmed out by the Civil War, so the locals turned to growing and producing other types of products. We crossed over the Natchez Trace, and I begged Miz Sr. Teresa to let me drop everyone off and then drive back 50 miles to go exploring and then I promised to come pick them up later...she didn't believe me...so that will have to wait until another trip. I can't wait--it's an historic route first begun by the Native Americans, then the French traders, the American military and traders, and then, planters, families and slaves from Nashville all the way to Natchez, MS. There is some Lewis and Clarking on the route as well. Meriwhether Lewis is buried on the Trace. A "trace" is a track or trail. We arrived at the water park by noon. It was hot and the girls were excited. Now, for those of you with delicate leanings, you might not want to continue reading. Mississippi has the record for the being the leader in entire U.S. for the highest percentage of obese people-adults and kids. I believe they all decided to go to the water park on that day...and since I haven't really watched t.v. for almost ten years nor have I engaged in shopping in a contemporary way (Fred Meyer Docker sale hardly counts), I couldn't believe what I was seeing on people by way of swimsuits..or lack thereof and what wasn't fitting into the fabric allotments and what would happen to what wasn't fitting in after some of the rides, slides, and attractions...now, before you think this is just me with my weird hang-up on the human body, etc., let me present to you a couple of the quotes from the Jonestown Learning Center staff while I was trying to nap--"Miz Sister Teresa, have you read Moby Dick lately?" "Miz Sister Teresa, we're sure havin' us a WHALE of a time now ain't we?!?" Sadly but truthfully, the three counties that top out the nation for obesity include two Delta counties, and Jonestown is in one of them. (i.e.This is exactly why there is now a Jonestown Fitness and Health club and why Kids' Aerobics are on twice a week and the classes are full!)Back to the water park..the tatoo viewing was fulfilling that day, and we interrupted the trip home with a stop at Shoney's, country fried anything buffet...and Julie, I got the same cross-eyed look from the waitron as in 1989 when I asked for HOT TEA with cream. She repeated my request three times to make sure and then she shook her head as she walked off.
Something to note: when you are around kids and people who go hungry at times, it makes for a certain energy and intensity when you go to a buffet-style restaurant...
O Say Can You Sweat...
Hello, All. I have a little catching up to do. It's been a busy, busy past few days.
This entry is for July 4th. I started out the day with a workout down at the F & H all by myself (it helps to live with the person who has the only key) and I discovered a couple of Motown and R & B dance CDs. An hour 45 min. later, I figured out why my knees were bugging me!
Miz Sr. Teresa went into Clarkesdale to run and shop with her friend, Sr. Mo from Tutwiler, and then to celebrate, they went to the hospital cafeteria and chowed down on "the best, most buttery grits" south of Tennessee! Me, I had a lovely time preparing the makings for potato salad and keeping Sr. Teresa's cat from attacking my feet. This cat has a foot fetish, and he already clawed and chewed up one of my school shoes. I'll have to get Dad to show me how to buff that out or I'll get Aidan to chew on it or something when he's teething so they match.
There is a tradition in the Delta South among black families to buy and wear brand new and in some cases, matching Fourth of July outfits. The girls and women also have their hair done in these beautiful, intricate braids and upsweeps. I asked around as to why the tradition of dress-up and everyone said that was just the way it had always been. Aother delightful thing to remark on was when I was walking home from the Fitness Center at 8:45am..all over town, the smokers are being prepared for the ribs, burgers, steaks, and pork pieces. Try to picture this: a water heater tank like rusted out oil barrel shape turned on its side with holes punched in it with one long piece of pipe attached and setting on saw horses. Inside this contraption is where each family smokes their fixins' for the feast...and as you can imagine, each family has their own particular mix and match of preparations. What it makes for the rest of us in the early morning is a town full of the scents of ambrosia to come---even for a vegetarian!
After Miz Sister Teresa returned,we went on a little historical jaunt over to a nearby town called Friar's Point. This town sits right along the levees of the MIssissippi River. It was founded in the late 1830's when the white planters of that area tried to bring over Italian immigrants to work in the fields as laborers. The Italians brought with them their own priest, ie. Friar's Point. In the history of the Delta, the white planters have tried twice to bring over Italian workers, but from their perspective, the Italians were too "uppity", independent, and hard-working for their own gain to be the kind of field laborers that the Delta planters were trying to find when the local labor force was asserting itself after the Civil War. The conditions and tragic, unbelievable history of the plantation situation here in the Delta counties have remained essentially the same from 1830-1979. I kid you not and will explain this in more detail at another time for those who are interested. I have learned a great deal this trip about the social, economic, political, and familial themes and forces that have shaped this part of the U.S. Anyway, back to Friar's Point. This was a port town on Ole Man River and in fact, one of the old houses in the white section of town bears scars from the Minie balls that struck it during shelling from the river during the Civil War. The town has two distinct sections and downtown is less than a block and a half long. We found the local cemetary and it is pretty typical. The whites are buried inside the fence with many headstones and the blacks and others are scattered outside the fence with few or no headstones. This time, many of the families were the Italian families who had "made good". In fact, their descendants are still prevalent at St. Elizabeth Parish in Clarkesdale.
There were many pre-Civil War graves and of course, lots of children. It isn't wise to walk out among gravesites outside of teh fence where the grass is long, so we found a few graves up close. One that touched my heart was a handcarved stone from the 1930s for a young man. He obviously had died far before his prime. These are the times I wish the stones could talk or that I could listen better.
The local museum wasn't open so we found an antique shop. The sign in the window read "THIS STORE PROTECTED BY A PIT BULL...WITH AIDS." Only in Mississippi! There were old spinning wheels in the window, doll furniture, clothing, and books also scattered on the sidewalk in front.
That afternoon, we enjoyed a festive gathering at Sr. Kay's house. Sr. Kay runs the Durocher Learning Center. This is where the HNA volunteers come to from Seattle and Albany. They live and work right there, teaching botany, oceanography, chemistry, English, SAT prep, GED prep, Math, and whatever else is needed. This year's group is unbelievable and when I look at them, I have hope in the future. Brigid, someone you know and who remembers you fondly is the chaperone this year-Kathleen Costello. I am to send her warm HELLOS and a hug...so there, I did.:) There was a bunch of sisters from many communities there as well and they got to doing what sisters do- talk about how their communities are shrinking, transitioning, and reconfiguring. The youngest ones are in their 60s. I didn't really fit in with either group, but it was still interesting and the food was great. There was a big rainstorm afterward so most of the local booms and fireworks were postponed. All in all, it was an enjoyable day.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Victory is mine and Kool-aid pickles!
Hope everyone had a good weekend. We had an interesting weekend here in Jonestown.
Here is what I learned at the Jericho-Jonestown Day #7:
Victory is mine,
victory is mine,
victory is mine today.
Tell ole Satan, get thee behind me,
victory is Mine!
We prayed together on the corner and then began the walk around. We invited several 'mens' that we met to join us. One, named Nehemiah, did. I learned later that he is twenty years old, has a four year old son, lives with his great grandmother, and is a drug addict. We also attracted the attention of some other folks who were finishing up their night. They weren't walking very straight, let's just put it that way.I'm still trying to wrap my brain around the commonality here of women and men younger than me who are grandparents. There are 30 year old grandmothers in Jonestown and it isn't unusual...
The Carnival was a success. The kids loved the big bouncy thing and the games. Horseshoes were not popular. Most of the kids had never seen them before. It was hot,hot and hotter--about 97F with the humidity. It was the longest I've been outside this trip and it nearly did me in. It was well-attended and Sr. Teresa extended the time by an hour. And I did one of the 25 THINGS TO DO BEFORE YOU DIE: I ate a Koolaid pickle! The kids love these. It was disgusting! They soak these giant dill pickles in Koolaid and sugar for three or four days before the carnival. They shrivel up and turn greenish pink. Then you eat them...I have a photo to prove it. Afterwards, we cleaned up and went home to collapse.
We went to dinner with Sr. Maureen from Tutwiler at "the Ranch". This small family owned restaurant has been open since the 1950's, kind of like a Zesto's. The smell is unforgettable-BBQ, smoke, earth, sweat, and beer-all mixed in with formica. It is BYOW (bring your own wine). The salad bar would rival Denny's and I enjoyed the Mississippi version of ravioli. I'll never need to have that experience again.
Here's another thing I learned. Baptists are pro-life for the beginning of life but not at the end of life. Most of them down here support the death penalty so the sinners can pay. The SNJMs are fervent pro-lifers and everytime there is an execution at the prison near here (It is Parchman. If you saw "O Brother Where Art Thou"-they filmed that at this prison), they go and pray at the prison-for the executioner, for the condemned, for the guards, for the families, for the victims...it is a tender situation because many of the prison guards are also coaches and mentors at the Tutwiler Center and they arejust doing their jobs putting these criminals to death. There is another execution scheduled for next week. Sr. Teresa will be at the prison.
Sunday was quiet-Mass, Kroeger's, naps, and then a workout all by myself at the F&H with A Women's Heart 2 and the Stair Stepper. A lovely day...and a little note, I am looking forward to having Mom and Dad to MYSELF (more or less-Scott will be too busy) for three whole days in Montreal! HAH! And I just had to wait until I was 44 to get there and go across the country...