Fifty Shades of Illegal....

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Cardboard Box Part II Chapter 4. Amarillo, Texas..........................................by Julianna Rowe (Property of Diane Ogden)

Chapter 4 
Amarillo, Texas


       Even though I was driving east of Amarillo on Route 66 with my swollen cried out eyes, toward Sante Fe, my mind was filled with black spots called unfinished business.  I had just passed the Lackland Air Force Base approximately thirteen miles east of Amarillo when I realized I could go no further.  I found the perfect crossover spot to make a U-ee  and headed full speed directly back to the fair city of Amarillo.  It wasn't merely an emotional U turn, it was more some sort of centrifugal force pulling me back from my core.  A rather frightening feeling I recall as though not of my own doing. 

       So what did I think I was going to do in Amarillo? I presumed my supernatural pull was regarding Tom Baird and his family, who had closed himself off to any help I offered due to his core issue called Pride.  I was in great hopes the force that pulled me back would also show me the way.

       I drove around town until I ran into the famous Polk Street, well known for its young men "dragging" their souped up Chevy's and Ford's, back and forth, over and over.  The many lights, huge signs, and noise from the mufflers had Duke sitting upright and intent. As it did me also. 




       It was getting dark and I needed to find a place to stay for the night.  I decided against any and all Roadside Parks considering the trouble they had brought into my life since leaving the Boundary Waters of Northern Wisconsin.  That would be, trouble with a capital T.

       There were at least fifty motels within seeing distance.  We were not able to stay at any of the tall fancy ones considering I had no way to hide Duke to get him in an elevator.  Not that I would have tried anyway.  The ones with the pools looked so darn inviting but then again there was Duke to consider.  I supposed I could take a dip while he slept in the room but then again I hated water more than I hated anything on this earth.  Long as I could stay in the 3' area I was fine.  But going out into a pool alone at night brought all sort of noises inside my head to the point I could have carried a sign around my neck that read: "Out of Control"  or "In Need of Service! "   That said, I took a sabbatical from any stress whatsoever that night. 

       I passed the "Sante Fe" Hotel, tallest one in town except for the bank building.  All lit up like a Christmas Tree.   Then I passed "The  Downtowner," and then "The Holiday Inn."  I landed at Rice's Motel.  It appeared to have one story rentals as well as the high rise section for people who didn't have to sneak their pets in.  I parked around the back as was my usual game when dealing with motel stays. I had to hurry because it was warm outside.  I left the windows open just enough for Duke but it still concerned me.  Room P-22 all the way around to the side section.  Perfect unless someone saw me take Duke out to relieve himself and turned me in.  So far so good.  We were leaning on the side of cool for a change. 
 
       Next on both our minds was food.  Where to get food.  This motel had a restaurant and several menu's inside the desk drawer.  Such as Wyatt's Cafeteria.  That roast turkey plate looked amazing.  But then so did the Big Texas Steakhouse food.  Naturally out of respect for Duke  so not to leave him alone.  I walked to the Rice Motel Restaurant and ordered us up a couple hamburgers, fries, chocolate cake, and a coca cola.  For Duke I added an extra bowl of chicken soup in case his burger wasn't quite enough.  That is after I dissected the burger and soup for a fork induced surgical removal of all large and small onion pieces.  That was fun.  But onions are not good for dogs or me.

       While we were both woofing down our burgers I was telling Duke about the nice young girl I met in the restaurant.  Her name was Pam.  She took my order and because it was a weeknight and not very busy she visited with me for some time.  I was thinking she might get into trouble with her boss but then she told me she was the boss.  She asked me where I hailed from and all sort of questions like she was writing an article or something important like that.  I didn't share my entire mess with her.  Nothing about my fiancĂ© Harper Rutherford, or rotten Roger the thumber I picked up in Illinois, or my jail time with the hookers, or the rich Joseph Justice, or Governor James Connally and his handsome grandson Billy.  Nope none of that mess.  That would have been very tacky as they say in Texas.  No, just the fact I was traveling Route 66 to Los Angeles and the big city lights. 

       She told me she would be working in the morning to come on back for a good Texas breakfast on her.  I thought to myself, why would she pay for me a breakfast only knowing me for a half hour.  Humm.  O well, a free breakfast is a good thing to look forward to.  But at that particular moment in time,  Duke and I were happy with our supper.


 


       Now that I had come to a quiet time in the day it all came rushing back to me.  Old prideful loving Tom Baird, daughter Shamika, her little girl, and his ill son Shamanta laying on that awful uncomfortable cot being hand fed and I supposed all other intimate bodily functions had to be handled as well.  Those people needed a larger home, a hospital bed, toys for the child, and a job for old Tom.  Maybe I was thinking too much of myself.  Why did I think these people couldn't make it in this world without me.  Why did I think I had to save them.  I did and I didn't.  Regardless, it also didn't matter either way.  The force of something greater had pulled me back.  I could have had food, toys, and a bed delivered.  And I just might do that, but it seemed there was something greater going on here.  I always did have a sixth sense about things.  And that was one of those times.  It had come time to sleep even though I had no idea what I would do tomorrow, if anything.  But sleep didn't come.

       So there we were.  Laying on a bed at a motel in Amarillo, Texas.  Watching the news that in no way pertained to us.   I was once again sitting in a Cardboard Box able to easily get out but feeling as though God had nailed the boards down tight for now.  I wasn't going anywhere just yet.

       I pulled a TV guide out of the bedside table to find something to detour my mind from all the noise it was making.  I had missed The Guiding Light, a soap I had watched with my Nana since I was a tot.  I missed George Burns and Gracie Allen, they always made me laugh.  Rawhide was over.  All that was on was Johnny Carson.  So Johnny it was until we both fell quietly into the darkness and peace of the night.

     
all photos from: http://www.amachron.com/amarillo_graffiti2.htm ( a must see website)

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Dear Chad, Cody, and Chris...............Love Santa By Diane Ogden

Today I was cleaning out the old paper file box.  You know the old way of keeping paperwork. Now days you take a photo of it and file it on your computer.  Unless you find what I did today.  Notes to my children from Santa.....   I failed to put a date on the "elaborate" index cards I used but my guess is 28-30 years ago.  The middle son, Cody, was a very  face paced child. (I did not say hyper!) But he learned a bad word from some of the neighbor kids and found he got unlimited attention when he used it.  I think he was 4 and it was the bad word.....   as the index card from Santa reiterates.
Felt like sharing something from three decades ago from Mama Santa! 
 
 

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Cardboard Box Chapter 3 .... Hiding Tom...................by Julianna Rowe (property of Diane Ogden)

Chapter 3   Hiding Tom

      There we stood, the old black man and me.   I was now about ten feet from the cars drivers side door.  The old man was a couple feet from the passenger side door.  And Duke?  To my surprise Duke was sitting up quietly starring at the old black man, not barking.  It was unheard of for Duke to be silent with a stranger in our presence.   I was frozen with fear as we both simply stood there looking at one another.  Him waiting for me to answer and me hoping he would vanish into thin air.

       Just then a Texas State Patrolman pulled into the rest area.  I glanced at the old black man at the same time thinking the Police would relieve me of this burden and take him out of my life space.  But instead what I saw moved me to a much higher plane of thinking than I ever thought possible.   The old man had a supernatural glowing that surrounded him and a tear falling from one eye he uttered the words,  "Please ma'am, I needs yer help." To add to that Duke looked directly into my eyes and whined his sad whine! 

       I briskly walked toward my car as the officer briskly walked toward both of us with his hand on his gun.  I got there first and whispered to the old man, "What's your name?  

       He whispered in response, "Tom, ma'am, Tom Baird."

       The officer said in a deep southern drawl, "Ma'am, is this here fellow botherin' you?" 

       I looked at Duke who gave me his ole' tilted head whine, looked back at the officer and said,  "Heck no officer, this is Tom, he works for my Granddad in Austin.  I'm just giving him a lift to Amarillo so he can visit his family for a spell. Then I'm off to Sante Fe for a little vacation time."

       Officer said, "So Tom, I'd like to see some identification."

       "Yesss sir."  And Tom pulled out his drivers license which stated he was Tom Baird indeed. Then the bombshell.  Ma'am I am going to need to contact your Grandfather and verify this information.  What is his phone number? 

       I truly thought I would pee myself except I had just done that for real.  I said, "Officer, I am a full grown woman giving our hired help a ride.  If you call my Granddaddy at this hour he will not be a happy man.  As well as he is a friend of your esteemed Governor James Connally.  As I am sir.  I was temporarily engaged to Billy, his Grandson.  The lot of us recently attended the grand opening of the new civic center in Austin.  Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Justice were guests of ours.  If you still feel so inclined to contact my Granddaddy at this late hour, please carry on.

       "Well, uh, I guess maybe everything is in order here.  Doesn't look like that dog would allow anyone strange around you and he seems fine with Mr. Tom being here.   Okay, well ya'll be on your way and be safe." 

        "Thank you officer, you as well."   Tom then tipped his hat to the white man who could have made his life a horror movie on the spot.

       I stood on the side panel of the cadi, peered over the top of my beautiful pink Hog at Tom Baird, and said, "Well get in Tom.  Looks like we're Amarillo bound.  And let it be known if it wasn't for my dog Duke you wouldn't be sittin' in my passenger seat. "  Tom threw his small bag of what I suspected were his life possessions in and we were off.

       "Yes 'em, and to you Masser Duke, I thanks you."   As Tom tipped his hat toward Duke in a show of appreciation Duke actually seemed to understand. "Might I ask your name ma'am?" 

       "My name is Julianna, Julianna Rowe.  I hale from the Boundary Waters of Upper Wisconsin near the Canadian border.  And you Mr. Tom Baird.  What's your story? Yet somehow I am afraid to ask."

        "Befowe I share me short story wit youse Miss Julie, might I ask where in da tarnation did youse come up wit dat big story foe da poleece man?"

       "Oh that wasn't a made up on the spot deal Tom.  It was the truth! I just prayed it worked 'cause I am not sure what my Granddaddy would do if that trooper would have contacted him at this late hour.  He would have been very worried about me and not said what we needed him to say. Now Tom, what is your short story?"

       "Oh no needs to be feared Miss Julianna. My story is bout as simple as day come.  Loss my job tendin' the stock at  da Riverside Ranch jist outside Austin.  No place to go and no monies to git dere."

      "Tom, you mean you didn't even have money for a bus ticket?  Why is that?"

       "Well cause missy.  I done sent it all to my daughter sows she could pay her rents.  She gots a little one that needs carin' for.  She lives with my son in Amarillo.  He is sick and she tendin' to him too.  I gots to go help them kids out.  They mama died not so long ago.  She was tendin' them but now ain't nobody.  I plan on gitten' me a job and makin' a better life for dem all."

       " Now I see why Duke likes you Tom!  I believe I like you also.  Now we have us a dilemma.  It is very late.  I have been driving most of the day.  I stopped back there to sleep for the night which obviously isn't going to happen. Nor can we get a motel together in these parts.  Nor dare we sleep at a rest stop lest we wake up dead.  Right?"

       "I believe that to be a true deduction ma'am.  Would you likes me to drive us on to Amarillo ma'am?"

       "Not so sure I know ya that good Tom!  How about you keep me awake as long as possible.  Then maybe so.  What do you think Duke?"  Duke sat up, tilted his head again and yawned a big noisy one!  I am not sure what that meant in dog language but I didn't care after my head started nodding off.  Until then ole Tom kept me awake singing gospel ballads.  He had the voice of an Angel. We sang Nearer My God to Thee about thirteen times.  We had tears and we laughed like we had known each other for years.  And as we sang I felt the presence of the mighty Angels all around us.  No, really I did. 
 
Nearer, my God, to thee, nearer to thee!
E'en though it be a cross that raiseth me,
still all my song shall be,
nearer, my God, to thee;
nearer, my God, to thee, nearer to thee!

Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down,
darkness be over me, my rest a stone;
yet in my dreams I'd be
nearer, my God, to thee;
nearer, my God, to thee, nearer to thee!

There let the way appear, steps unto heaven;
all that thou sendest me, in mercy given;
angels to beckon me
nearer, my God, to thee;
nearer, my God, to thee, nearer to thee!

Then, with my waking thoughts bright with thy praise,
out of my stony griefs Bethel I'll raise;
so by my woes to be
nearer, my God, to thee;
nearer, my God, to thee, nearer to thee!

Or if, on joyful wing cleaving the sky,
sun, moon, and stars forgot, upward I fly,
still all my song shall be,
nearer, my God, to thee;
nearer, my God, to thee, nearer to thee!

     We sang, He Walks With Me, and my favorite was That Glory Bound Train.  I swear that was the most fun I had since driving away from the Harper Rutherford back in Northern Wisconsin.  I will forever be grateful for meeting Mr. Tom Baird.  He lifted my faith more than the old grey haired pastor at our stale Lutheran church back home.  I told Tom I thought maybe he missed his calling.  He sweetly looked into my eyes and smiled what appeared to me to be an agreement smile.

        Then he said, "Missy Julie, it has been a dream of mine to has my own church all me life. But someways dreams doesn't always happen you know?"

        I recall telling Tom to never give up on his dreams.  Heck what have we got if we don't have our dreams? 

       Tom and I were both getting very hungry but again there was no place truly safe for us to stop and eat together. Whites had to eat separate from negroes. Nor could or should we even attempt a drive in hamburger joint.  No, I would have to park the car a ways away.  Tom would have to hide under a blanket while I got us food.  As for rest room stops, we hit a few rest areas that were empty and or we used the grassy side of the road.  This was all new to me, this segregation deal.  I will say we only had one Negro family living in and around the city I came from up North but people liked and respected them.  Some didn't but they weren't the majority for sure.  Regardless, here I was chauffeuring a negro, no hiding a negro man in my Hog with Duke, singing gospel songs, peeing on the side of the road, headed for Amarillo.  And might I add, having one heck of a good time.  Yet in the back of my mind doing what I do best.  "Wondering" what lay in store for Tom in Amarillo.  A grown son who is ill.  A grown daughter with a small child.  No jobs....  little food.  Okay okay, stop the noise in my head!  It was so loud I was sure Tom and Duke would hear it.  It was then I fell into a deep slumber while Tom drove the Cadi all the way into Amarillo.  When I awoke we were sitting in front of a run down shabby shack of a house in a low rent darn scary district of the city.  I suspected this would be Tom's new home.  He invited Duke and I to come in.   Duke relieved himself on the way and me, I just wanted to hightail it gone but that would have been so rude.  In we went, the three of us.

        Upon entering I was surprised how neat and clean it was.  Couldn't have been five hundred square feet of living space.  A hot plate for cooking, no stove.  The child was about two or three years of age.  Tom introduced me to his family as the Angel, God sent to bring him home, Julianna.  I was greeted with a sincere hug from his daughter and a smile from his son who lay on a cot near the window.  Tom picked up his Granddaughter and whirled her around playing airplane while she giggled freely.  There was no phone, no television, no vehicle, not even a bike.  Only a small radio that had seen its day.  Peeling wallpaper, rusty pipes, and barely enough blankets for three people. Not to mention no place at all for Tom to sleep, but the hard floor. 

       Tom's daughter Shamika invited me to sit down on the only available spot which was an old wooden chair whose paint was peeling and who had outlived its time on this earth.  About the only thing it was good for anymore was firewood and I was afraid I might crash into little logs with it but I did not.  It held me proud just like the little shack stood tall for these frail but proud people.  I was invited for dinner.   I began looking around for a dinner table.  Tom noticed and said, "Missy, we has enough plates and we's all fits jis fine in our seats so's we can eat.  I smiled and thanked them. Our meal consisted of greens, rice, and beans.  Something I was not accustomed to eating.  In fact it tasted like grass.  The beans helped wash it down.

       Shamika had to feed her brother as he was unable to sit all the way up.  It was a hard sight for me to maintain.  Food would fall from his mouth onto his homemade bib and then onto the cot.  I tried with all my might not to look.  But you know when you try not to look at something it makes it even harder not to.  Something in the brain.  When the food would fall Tom's little Granddaughter would scamper over and wipe it up with a rag that appeared to be an old shirt torn into smaller pieces.  On occasion Tom would look over at me and give me a big proud smile. 

       I was so outside my comfort zone.  A week before I had attended a formal grand opening wearing the finest gown, riding in the Governor's limousine, surrounded by all forms of wealth and beauty.  Today I was having a simple dinner in a shack on the poorest side of Amarillo.  I couldn't bear to drive on playing in my little dream world knowing I had left these people in this destitute condition.  But what could I do?  Granddaddy would say, "You caint save the world girl."  No but you can buy them some groceries for God sake.  Yet there was not much room for more than a bag full at a time.  These people needed more than a bag of groceries. 

      So there lie the dilemma.  A proud people no matter the circumstances trusting in the Lord for each day, each meal.  Me, I trusted in the Lord off an on like most folks.  I guess you don't learn to trust in God until you have nothing else. 

      I asked Tom if I could visit with him outside before I had to take off.   I thanked Shamika for her hospitality and told Shamanta how nice it was to meet him and wished him the best.  I happened to have a candy bar in my shirt pocket which couldn't be more perfect for the little one.  Bet she hadn't had a candy bar all year.   I told Tom I wanted to do something for his family but he sincerely rejected everything I had to say.  Like it was charity.  I told him I could afford to help but again he rejected my offer.  I had no choice but to leave.  I was once again stuck in my infamous cardboard box.  Able to get out but not knowing how.  And this time I had an entire family stuck inside with me. The head of the family, Tom, stuck by his own pride, not realizing he was making the rest of them suffer from it. 

       I hugged Mister Tom Baird and drove away sobbing so hard I could hardly see the road.  Duke licking my elephant tears and whining with me.  I drove to a park in a better section of Amarillo and starred out the window with the rays of God's warming sun filling me back up with love while it washed out my pain.  Temporarily that is. 
        



    


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sunday Morning ....................................by Diane Ogden

Every Sunday morning I treat myself by raising the head and foot of my fairly new Electric Bed.  I turn on the 32" VIZIO I pay $100 a month to watch while I recall the days I could watch for free.  I click to CBS to watch Sunday Morning with Charles Kuralt. (sp) Where I remain until it ends at 9:30.
Today they did a segment on Steve Harvey.  I enjoy watching Steve Harvey any time of the day or night.  He makes me laugh.  He is wise.  He is quite the charismatic person. And I do not care how many times he was married. (3)!  So have I.  I really should try to get that one right.
 He told how he grew up eating mayonnaise and bread sandwiches because they were poor.  I sat up farther in my electric bed, if that is even possible, thinking I should call my mother immediately to see how poor we really were considering I ate mayonnaise sandwiches for years.  I would guess from age 7 through 12 years old.  Along with hot chocolate and toast or pancakes for breakfast every day.   As well as my father required a desert after each meal.  My fav was the Mayonnaise Chocolate cake with fluffy white frosting that I would add to my breakfast routine whenever possible.  No wonder I have hypoglycemia!! 
  • 1 cup water
  •  1 cup mayonnaise
  •  1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  1 cup sugar
  •  3 tablespoons baking cocoa
  •  2 teaspoons baking soda
  • Pour into greased 9-in. square or 11-in. x 7-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely.
     
    About the only thing of value in that cake was the cocoa!  So much for wonderful childhood memories that have caused me terrible issues.  Not to worry, I found a East Side Ovens of Milwaukee.  They make vegan brownies of which I partake on the weekend.  But only ONE.

    At the end of Sunday Morning there was a segment on beef jerky.  Suddenly another vivid memory comes charging into my head, or my heart?  My Granddaddy had the first bison ranch in Texas in the 1950's.  Or so he told me.  He also told me he rode with Poncho Via.  Regardless, he did make the best bison jerky I have ever eaten.  He was quite the cook.  His jerky wasn't full of fillers, or artificial flavors or GMO corn syrup.  I can almost taste it as I type it.  Genuine Bison Jerky.  And now there is a company producing the same natural bison jerky as my Granddaddy used to make.  I can recall the large metal smoker tank where he cooked the meat as well as a small house where he would hang the meat pieces to dry.  We would beg for more. 
    Nowadays I peer at the beef jerky in its fancy labeled small packages at the grocery store as I walk on past before any gag reflex sets in.  When you've had the best, the worst wont do.
    The photo is Granddad's buffalo ranch.  I have a newspaper article about he and the ranch but it is buried in the ancestor file box....along with the family genealogy. 
     
     
                                                    His Cookhouse....
                                             He was a cook during the War.  I still have his aviator Sunglasses
                                                           and his dog tags and a beautiful white silk scarf.  I
                                                 "wonder"  sometimes who will I pass them on to.
                                              No one else remembers him from the new generation.
                                                                 Where will they end up?
     

    Saturday, January 10, 2015

    Chop. Chop. Chop.......................by Diane Ogden

    Many of my friends as well as acquaintances believe I am a bit "anal" regarding my hair.  For instance, nearly every time I have gotten it cut the past few years I am beyond upset for two months.  Let me give you a couple examples:  (I don't believe I am anal. I believe beauticians are taught the latest style and have no real artist ability any longer!!)  They cut the sides long, the back short.  I have gotten modified mullets, dog ear cuts, the last one I looked like Moe from the three stooges.


    This was the last CUT!!  I pulled the bottom back into a long ponytail.  I have natural wavy hair that obviously shouldn't be cut like that~  I couldn't do much with it for two months. 
    Below is another fiasco.
    Sooooo.   Today I cut it myself which I swore I would never do again.  I watched some tutorials on You Tube and set out for the bathroom and the sharpest pair of scissors in the house.  I blocked off all the proper sections but did have a hard time with the back!  I suspect it is not a precision cut.  Joke of the week.  Given my hair is very thick it wont show. (I hope)  At this time it is drying.  And if I have any complaints it will be on me this time.  And it didn't cost me $45.00.

    That would be about four months growth!  No regrets......STOP! I said, No regrets! 

    Saturday, January 3, 2015

    The Cardboard Box Part II Chapter 11.......These Boots are Made for Walkin'.......by Julianna Rowe (Property of Diane Ogden)

            The Cadi was packed up tight, she had been washed and waxed and ready for whatever came her way.  Wait, I think I shall rephrase that considering the various situations I had encountered recently all of which were negative.  They, being the philosophers of the world, say nothing comes easy.  Well no shit Sherlock.  In retrospect I would say I did alright.  I came out of the various situations with one million smack-a-roos and the best dog ever, Duke.  Not to mention a pair of the 'neatest," "coolest," pink cowboy boots to match my Cadi (Hog) ever!  And so it was time to hit the road heading north to Amarillo and then West on Route 66 into New Mexico.....
              After the Grandparent goodbye hugs Duker and I crawled into the Hog, turned the radio on high and drove off into and toward a new part of the world. A new life.  As I merged onto the highway would you believe the song coming across the radio waves was, "These Boots Were Made for Walking," by Nancy Sinatra.  My pink boots were tappin' to the best and as the song played on it seemed to exhilarate my brain which led to my foot to become much heavier than usual on the pedal.  I was on my way. 
               I hit US Highway 71 out of Austin headed for Llano with a hard fast destination of mind.  Amarillo and Route 66.  It wasn't long before my hard fast attitude went south.  I had checked the map again after we found our way due West to Mason on US Highway 29 then to Brady and San Angelo on US Highway 87.  I was jig jaggin' all over the map.  I had pulled off the highway for a pee stop with Duke at a roadside park outside San Angelo.  It was then I realized what a serious trek we had ahead of us....  637 miles total and I had only gone a grand total of 210 miles.  My pink boots felt like they'd been walkin' instead of drivin'.   That being said, I removed them and opted for my white tennies and bobbie socks.  Yes with Granddad's knife tucked gently inside the left sock.  And yes I carried another piece in the glove box.  One of Grandad's collection "pieces" he sent with me after the fiasco's I had encountered on my journey from the upper Boundary Waters of Wisconsin where I got sidetracked by a thumber in Illinois.   Although he instructed me not to shoot anyone, but to shoot everyone who attempted any harm my way.  He had taught me to shoot at an early age so I wasn't afraid.  There she laid, soft and gentle, the little killer.....My brand new 1966 model Baby Browning 25 automatic pistol.  I was instructed not to keep the chamber loaded because if jarred seriously it could go off on its own.  "What?"    I kept the clip laying directly next to her in case of any emergency.  I did wonder if there were an emergency how I would get the clip into the gun while shaking violently.  I think Granddaddy purchased it especially for me even though he said it was part of his collection. 
               I had never been to San Angelo.  My mind was so set on getting to Route 66 I had forgotten to enjoy my surroundings.  So Duke and I drove around the city for an hour searching for sites, history, anything.  And we found almost nothing.  When we stopped at a quickie hamburger joint I asked one of the locals about the history of San Angelo and if there were any interesting sites to be seen.  I heard about some local lawmen and outlaws long since dead.  Their best offering was Ft. Concho where the soldiers battled the Indians many times.  A University and a State Park.  That being said, I looked at Duke, Duke looked at me and we hit the road on US Highway 87  North while having to travel next to the Concho River for way too long but not long enough or close enough to require my paper bag under the seat.
               My mind was then diverted to a huge building on my right.  We were about sixteen miles North West of San Angelo when I saw it.  And the creeps it gave me were hard to find words for.  The locals had mentioned it to me at the hamburger joint but nothing prepared me for this viewing.  The sign read, Sanatorium Texas.  It was the largest Tuberculosis Sanatorium in the State.  People told me over four thousand children and adults died there. The number of TB beds had been reduced in the past few years to 550 and the length of treatment continued to decline due to new drugs and surgery techniques.  The average stay for people in the beginning was three hundred and fifty five days.  I felt hot tears flowing down my face thinking of the little children who had to stay there alone without their Mother's or siblings.  So alone, and then died alone.  It didn't help the radio was playing, "You Can Never Go Home Again," by the Shangri La's. Duke was now licking my tears as if he knew my thoughts.

     I pulled the Cadi over to regain my composure and thanked the Universe for the new drugs and other procedures stopping the spread of that hideous disease.  And then we pulled back out onto US Highway 87 toward the city of Watersalley and don't you know I couldn't wait to see why they named it that! I never saw Watersalley.  It was listed on my map and all I could figure out is it was part of the Sanatorium. And so it appeared as though we were now headed to Sterling City, Texas and then Big Spring.  All the while I had to try not to look at the North Concho River out my drivers side window.  The radio helped divert my thoughts of a wheel flying off and the car plunging into the river.  Not being able to get the windows open to get out.  Or an oncoming car coming into my lane crashing into me so hard the Cadi went airborne in the opposite direction of dirt.  My mind heard a huge splash.  That is when I came back to my senses only to notice Duke looking at me like I was nuts.
               We were a little ways outside of Big Spring when I screamed and scared the beans out of Duke.  I said, "Sorry Duke," but look over there. Its "tittie mountain!!"  I recalled as a small child driving with my Granddad past this very spot and him telling me to look over yonder, there is "tittie mountain!" And then he broke out in his hearty deep laugh. And sure enough there it was.  The perfect little tittie made of dirt and rock.
     

    My side kick Duke rarely understood my emotional outbursts but they kept him occupied and entertained.  A bit later we came to Big Spring. What a beautiful sign that was.  Even though very small.

    http://oldbigspring.com/view.php?id=14117

    http://exhibits.hsl.virginia.edu/breath/dry-air/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Spring,_Texas#mediaviewer/File:Signal_Mountain_TX_1900.jpgtp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Spring,_Texas#mediaviewer/File:Signal_Mountain_TX_1900.jpg

                        I decided it was time to look for a rest area to spend the night.  As I drove around the town I realized we would have to head north toward Lamesa to find a rest area and I was not willing to drive one mile more.  Wait a minute, I have a million dollars.  We can stay at the finest hotel in the area Duke.  Sometimes I would forget I was rich.  At that moment we were at the edge of town heading out with no where to turn around that I could see.  As well as it was getting dark.  Suddenly there it was...    a REST AREA.  Well why not I told Duke.  Big Spring isn't a very big town. Probably not any nice hotels here anyway.  And so we parked the Cadi, I took Duke for a short run, put him back in the car so I could use the Rest Room myself.  When I came out to my horror, there, standing outside my Pink Cadillac was a tall black man.  He was calmly talking to Duke asking him where his owner was.  Duke wasn't barking in response until he saw me.  I was dying inside.  My God, how many lives do I have to spare on this trip?  I felt like a cat who had already lost two or three.  I tried very hard to gather my emotions and think clearly.  My gun was in the glove box.  I did have my knife tucked in the bobbie sock......  There were no other cars in sight.  What had I been thinking?  Why did I always think after the fact? 
                        I gave a shout out to the black man. 
                       "Hey, what are you doing out here all alone?  Best be careful, my dog isn't so friendly when I am nearer him."  My distant thought was telling me how a million dollars will do me no good in this situation.  A bad motel would have.
                        He responded, "Well youse see Ma'am I needs me a lift to da Amarillo city or closest as I kin git. I gots me no money but I gotsta has a ride ma'm."
                        Any black man in Texas in 1966 knows better than to ask a white girl for a ride anywhere.  It was a death sentence.   But this felt like mine. 

    Sunday, November 30, 2014

    The Red Tailed Hawk. (came in a dream)..........................by Diane Ogden


    I was kneeling on one knee on the lawn of my apartment complex.  I was holding a child.   My two grown sons were on top of one of the buildings watching quite an unbelievable scene about to take place. 

    Something spiritual made me look up.  That is when I found myself watching the most beautiful Leucistic Red Kite Hawk soaring downward toward me.  I should have been frightened but I was not.  The site of his huge, what seemed bigger than life wingspan of brown and white feathers came closer and closer.  The feathers were so vivid to my eyesight I am sure he came from another world.
    And then, he landed directly before and aside me.  I still wasn't frightened.  I can still see the intensity of his eyes as I write this memory.  He leaned his majestic white head toward me and touched the child's head with his.  I knew he had come with a healing.  I reached out and touched his neck.  I could feel his strength through the dense feathers.  He allowed me to stroke his neck with my fingers.  That is when I heard the boys holler down,  "Is that a Hawk?"  

    I was afraid to shout back that it was.  I didn't wish to disturb our heavenly connection.  I did not respond to my sons, rather I loudly said, "Dad!"   My intention as I recall now was to call my Dad to come see this amazing creature.  Or was it me telling my sons it was my Dad who was sitting before me as The Hawk.  I saw my mother in the background at another house being busy and not interested in "The Hawk."   My Dad never came after I called out his name.  That is because he was "The Hawk."  Allowed to come from the here after to assist me at a difficult time. I know this without a shadow of a doubt.

    Recently I had experienced some real life on earth problems with a few people.  My Dad was not pleased with all the naughty little attacking birds (people) around me.   I believe the child I was holding was myself.  (Who by the way disappeared after the Hawk touched her with his majestic strength......) We all have a child within us no matter our age.  Apparently my little child needed a healing touch.  I must have had  some childhood memories that were holding me back.

    I believe in Animal Totems.  When I woke up from this vivid dream at 4:30 a.m. I fixed a cup of decaf with 100% cocoa.  Pulled out my Animal Totem book by Ted Andrews and found the description of The Hawk Totem.  That simply means if you encounter the same animal several times it usually means they are trying to tell you something.  Listen. 

    Example:  From page 154 Ted Andrews/Animals Speak
    Hawks are occasionally harassed and attacked by smaller birds.  This is very significant for those  who have a hawk as a totem.  It indicates that there are likely to be attacks by people who wont understand you or the varied and different uses  of your creative energy.  They may attack your ability to soar.

    That is exactly what was happening to me in real life. 

    The Hawk showing me his majestic soaring toward me was also described in the book. 
    "Rising to a higher level can bring a rapid development of the psychic energies.  The red-tailed hawk helps us in balancing and using those senses appropriately.  It teaches the balance necessary to discover our true purpose in life.  The hawk is a catalyst, stimulating hope and new ideas."
     
    To the Pueblo Indians, the red-tailed hawk was known as the red eagle.  Its feathers and energies were used in healing ceremonies and for bringing the rains and waters necessary for life.  To the Ojibwa, the red-tailed hawk represented leadership, deliberation, and foresight.  "Hawk is akin to Mercury, the messenger of the gods. Hawk medicine teaches you to be observant.  Life is sending you signals. The red-tail can spread its wings to a great width, (which I observed in the dream) and it can teach you to use your creative energies in the same way.  It can extend the vision of your life as it did mine.
     
    The sky is the realm of he hawk.  Through its flight it communicates with humans and with the great creator spirit.  It awakens our vision and inspires us to a creative purpose.
     
    When something comes from heaven there is no way to find a photo to represent it properly.  The strength isn't of an earthly nature.  The colors are not of an earthly nature.  I hope my description was enough to show my visitor was real.  Love you Dad, Thank you!
     
    Top photo from Lois of Flickr.
     



    Saturday, November 22, 2014

    The Rose.......................by Diane Ogden

    I enjoy the look of roses as well as the feel and smell of each one.  They remind me of antiques, pearls, lace, gentleness and peace of mind.  Riches. A calm and safe place.  Beauty of every color. Velvet.

    One of my clients is an artist.  She  enjoys painting people, landscapes, and animals in her spare time.  One day I spotted one of her finished canvas's.  It was a pink rose and pink is my favorite color.  I asked her if I could buy it from her.  She wasn't sure, but added maybe later.  I assumed  she may have had an upcoming art show. 

    A couple visits later I told her I would like to buy that for myself as a Birthday gift.  I always buy myself something nice for my birthday. After all it is MY birthday.

    Yesterday came and it was time for my bi weekly visit to Fran Klos.  When it came time for her to pay me for my services I told her to make the check out for $100 less as it was time for me to buy her beautiful Pink Rose for my Birthday gift.  She responded with, "Absolutely not, you may have that for your Birthday!"  I was shocked.  I am still not sure what I said as I am used to being the one that gives so when receiving, especially at that level, I was at a loss for words.   I think I said the standard OMG.  How classlessly tacky huh?  I may have said gosh vs God.  I probably added something like, "Oh you don't have to do that."  Jeepers I wish I would have stuck with OMG.   I recall her saying, "I am pleased to give this to you Diane."    And so I appropriately said, "Thank You Fran, this makes me very happy."

    And so I drove home with great anticipation of hanging the precious gift, "My Rose."

     
     

    Saturday, November 15, 2014

    The Fullest Pampers Box in the World................by Diane Ogden

    For some time now I have needed to send my son in California a few items.  With the UPS and or FED X and or Post Office Rates going up up lately I sort of put it off.  The last time at the Post Office I inquired how much a certain weight would be to ship to Cali.  They estimated ten pounds for $35.00.  Not bad... I had expected it to cost a lot more. 

    I boxed the items up in a Pampers box and headed for the Post Office.  The nice Postal employee-man who I have gotten to know over the years gave me the total and then checked my taping to his satisfaction.  As he tallied up the  I mentioned to him what was in the small box.  He looked at me with utter disbelief.  That is when I told him my son had better get those items out of that box a.s.a.p. next Friday or they will never be the same again.  After he agreed we both laughed at the craziness of how I got all those items in that small box along with a jar of my son's favorite cookies.

    One J.Crew Navy Pea Coat: Size LARGE
    One Columbia Winter Coat lined, for his camping trips:  Size LARGE

    Three Banana Republic Silk Cashmere Sweaters:  Black, Grey, Plum. Size LARGE
    And two very nice button down shirts:  Pink and White for under the million dollar sweaters.  
    One pickle jar of Gma Tillie's German Pfieffernut Cookies.

    EIGHT ITEMS:  I rolled the two coats up and stood them upright leaving a small space in the center of the box. I put the cookies between the two shirts I placed between the two coats  in the empty space. I did have to push pretty hard.  The three sweaters lay flat on top of everything.    (The size of the box also kept the cost down.)

    Not very interesting huh?  Yet fascinating indeed.  I can pack a UHaul just as good. Not that that is any major human feat.  Hey, some people cant do it. 

    I can now mark that off my list of to-do's.  It will arrive next Friday and hopefully the items will regain their shape as well as my son will DRY CLEAN those amazingly expensive sweaters!!

    Til next time:   Be Well, Be Safe, Be Happy, and get rich so you can ship the scrunched up coats and such OVERNIGHT!  Not really.  That would have cost more than the clothes all put together were worth! 

    Friday, November 14, 2014

    Coffee Jolts ......................by Diane Ogden

    It's Friday. I was happy to get home after a long week.  Had some hidden thoughts about doing nothing for two days until I noticed the kitty litter needed some serious refreshing in terms of a trip to the Pet Store for more Dr. Elsey's litter, which is the best I have ever experienced.  Not that I have really experienced using it of course, rather the time it lasts for my two felines.

    I then cleaned the kitchen for the weekend and noticed I needed to water my several plants.  That reminded me of the time someone told me to give my plants some coffee.  It will make them happy just like it does us.  I happened to have some real coffee left in the cupboard from last year so I made a full 12 oz. cup which I then poured  on one of my plants.  I walked back to the kitchen and made another 12 oz. cup and poured that on another plant.  Then another, and two trees, and finally a spider plant and a palm. 

    Suddenly the apartment smelled like hot dirt.  The smell of Hot Dirt does not smell very good. 

    It was then I remembered why I had that plastic tub of real coffee left in the cupboard.  I cant drink real coffee.  It makes me sort of crazy!  I then thought to myself, as I looked up into the sun room waiting for the trees and potted plants to start making noises or moving around like the wind was blowing when it really wasn't, that they might get weird and crazy somehow.  I mean that is what coffee does to me and my friend told me to give coffee to my plants because they would have the same reaction as I do.  Little did that friend know I could end up at the E.R.  after a cup of coffee.  Its called ANXIETY.   So far no plants have freaked out, wilted, or died.  In fact they look real real happy. 

    Wonder what would happen if I tried to make them happy with a Margarita!   
    Probably not 12 oz. though.  I cant even do that.   I do wonder if I overdosed them with the coffee thing.  My friend did say to pour my leftovers on the plants. She didn't mention making each one a pot. (or a large cup) 

    Not to worry, I wont be pouring Margarita's on my trees, or giving them coffee again in the near future (unless they grow a foot this month).  I might try pickle juice though.  They say that is amazing in many ways.  What I wont be doing is putting anymore chemicals on them or me.  They are a living thing like myself and my animals.  So I am doing some testing on my living plants.  If they die I may not drink coffee anymore ever.  I will change to Green Tea for my Tree's.

    So for now, Be Safe, Be Happy, Be Healthy, and get RICH, so can counter act the KOCK Brothers takeover of our country.  You know?  The old fogies who are fracking our earth, using Roundup on our crops trying to kill us so they can make billions!  Or maybe use your money to move to an island or Norway.  They say that is the best place to live and where you can live the longest.  I wonder why?
    Maybe no RoundUp there!  I betcha. 

    Nite!

    Thursday, November 13, 2014

    Open House..........................by Diane Ogden

    I have this really sweet High School friend, well she was not a High School friend, but since the invention of facebook we have re- connected and are now friends.  God that was not a necessary explanation or was it?

    So my friend is having an open house for her live in Father's 90th Birthday. (Bless her care taking heart!)
    Fact number two or three is she lives 1.5-2 hours north of where I live in a super nice log cabin home.  With food.
    That being said, I have been planning on surprising her with a visit to her open house.  Even considered inviting another of our H.S. friends along for the ride. 
    But then..... I googled how to get there without driving the INTERSTATE which causes me undo anxiety due to feelings of abandonment when I see too far ahead where the road "don't" end.   Yes I know the proper grammar is, doesn't end.  So I googled GPS to her home without Highways.  The time would be approximately two hours up, an hour sitting or standing around eating due to lack of knowing anyone, and two hours back. Not that I do not know how to mingle.  Also having to cross one long bridge over water which could ultimately kill me due to my total fear of dying in water.  I know I know....fear it and it will come.  So erase that please. 
    I have decided it would be and is more enjoyable calling her on occasion from a grocery store parking lot with news of this and that.  We both laugh much during these phone calls.  No bridges over water, no guilt on her end for not having time to sit / babysit me and whoever I convinced to take the trek with me.  I will say if I were retired and more laid back I would go, relax, eat a bit, stay longer, and get back home before dark considering I was the 1% whose cataract surgery messed up.  I  cant see to drive at night and would drive off the bridge and die in my most feared way.  Erase that .....now.  
    Am I kidding?  Maybe. 
    Have an amazing open house my friend!!  I will be thinking of you and yours while I bake cookies.
    Be Safe, Be Well, Be Happy and get rich so you can hire a driver who isn't afraid to cross bridges! (over water)

    Sunday, November 9, 2014

    ANOTHER WORLD.................by Diane Ogden


    It was late evening when I departed Missouri headed for even deeper southern parts of this country with its so called freedom of everything. Somehow lately that was becoming a trend of the past. Government seemed to be taking over in an undercover manner that reminded me of the MAFIA days in the sixties. Same deal, different year. No public gunshots and bloodshed at the bars of brotherly love in Chicago and New York. No this takeover of the masses was not as smooth as it was hidden behind congressional doors. I paid as little attention to it as I could considering my inability to stop it. I did wonder on occasion, should I store up some water jugs and cans of tuna just in case. In case of what? I was never sure of what. I heard tell of secret concentration camps for the poor and those who didn't agree with the new world and their antics. Conspiracy theorist? No I was never one of those. But hey, come on, I wasn't blind either. Most people with any sense knew change was on the horizon and it wasn't coming from the then black President. The country was being run by old fogies hiding in the underworld of what we used to call democracy.
    I had not traveled even midway toward my destination when my car broke down. I was in a small town in Oklahoma. I had all my papers in order for the border crossing into Mexico as well as I had purchased a beautiful villa on the coast, from a friend. That friend had made his way to Australia. One of the few less ruled countries in the world. Nevertheless, there I was in little
    "timbuck40" calling for a wrecker and feeling very alone on the side of the road in the middle of no where'sville. The wrecker arrived within a half hour. A pleasant surprise to see a tiny little woman climb down from the cab greeting me with the standard, "Howdie do." Why she looked to be the size of a twelve year old. I had to giggle to myself. After all the necessary vehicle security hook ups we climbed into the cab headed for Okmulgee. I know, it sounds like the name of an old army stew. Rather it means bubbling water. This from Wikipedia:
    Okmulgee, city, seat (1907) of Okmulgee county, east-central Oklahoma, U.S. It lies near the Deep Fork of the North Canadian River, south of Tulsa. Its name (meaning "bubbling water") comes from a Creek Indian town in Alabama. It was the capital of the Creek Nation from 1868 until Oklahoma achieved statehood in 1907. Settled by whites about 1889, Okmulgee boomed after the discovery of oil in 1904 and is now a commercial and industrial centre for oil and gas production and agriculture (pecans, cotton, corn [maize], cattle). The manufacture of oil-field equipment, electronic equipment, small aircraft, and glass is also important. Oklahoma State University at Okmulgee (1946) is one of the largest U.S. technical colleges. Okmulgee Lake Recreational Area is to the west. Inc. 1908. Pop. (2000) 13,022; (2010) 12,321.

    On our ride back to the city the woman told me all about herself. She had seven children. She owned the local tire store with an attached vehicle repair center. Her husband had run off a few years back and instead of wallowing in the self pity of it all, she started her own business. She then listed to me one by one each of her children's ages and duties. She had some dandy stories to tell me during our forty minute trek back. It was hard to get a word in edgewise, even so, there was much laughter in the cab of that shiny yellow tow truck that day. Upon arrival at the repair shop she offered me a loaner vehicle, at a price of course.


    It was wheat harvesting time in that area. I had taken a drive out and about the countryside while my car was being repaired. There really wasn't much to see in that part of the country. Not until I came to pass a field appearing to have been partially flooded. Flooded with something besides rainwater. It looked like milk. A huge field of mashed down wheat soaking in milk. Oddest thing I had ever seen. I slowed down to the point I was creeping along about ten mph. There was a curve in the road and as I rounded that bend there stood two white animals. They were actually two of the most beautiful creatures I had ever seen. I knew I shouldn't stop and get out but I had to. Some force other than anything I had ever known was pulling me toward those animals. The thick milky substance in the field, and he odd looking animals, should have been totally creeped me out and I should have driven away as fast as humanly possible, but I did not. As I walked toward them I again noticed something odd. Their eyes were shining like tiny stars. Was I dreaming? No. I reached out to the smaller one what appeared to be a cow. The other was a large dog. Both very similar in size. I know, weird right? Each time I touched one of the animals it felt like I was in another world. A peace came over me that I had never experienced on this earth. I began to feel frightened. I backed away and I drove on searching for more white covered fields and or animals but there were no more. That is when I saw a ranch house and pulled in the driveway. I was in need of sharing my findings. There were several vehicles parked around the house and outer buildings so I felt rather safe. I am not sure why because at that point I should have been calling the authorities. The next thought was why? What would I tell them? Maybe something like :

    "Hi, my name is, and I just passed a wheat field soaking in milk and two very peace filled white animals with sparkling stars for eyes." Ya right. Call the padded wagon people for sure.

    So what did I tell the people who lived in this ranch house? Same deal? I knocked at the front entrance. I stood there for what seemed too long when a man finally answered the door. I recited my name as though that would be all I would need to do and he would understand the entire story. Of course not. Funny what our minds do to us when we are nervous and wish to escape. I proceeded to ask him what the milky substance in the wheat field adjacent to his residence was. And I thought possibly he had misplaced a couple of animals. He looked at me strangely not saying a word. I pressed my lips thin and raised my eyebrows in an expression as to say, "Well?"

    He answered with, "Maam, I don't know what you are talking about."

    I carefully and slowly reiterated what I had seen in the fields regarding the white milk and the animals, at which time he hollered very loudly for his brother Chetley. Yes Chetley. Who names their kid Chetley? But then who tells a story like I just had told to Chetley's wiener brother! Yes that was either my humorous side regarding the wiener brother or fear. Maybe both as I am seeing something strange in the eyes of the brothers and it "ain't" stars. They are thinking there may be a crazy lady at their door, yet her story needed to be checked out. They invited me inside and introduced me to the rest of the family. Said they were going to go investigate my story and I was welcome to stay until their return. I accepted. Sometimes in life it would be helpful to be able to see ahead just a few hours! If I could have done that my decision to stay would have been a very different one.

    About thirty minutes had passed when Chetley and wiener hustled back into the ranch house with such intensity I felt twinges of anxiety rushing through my veins. They instructed the family to gather all necessary belongings along with family photos and load the vehicles.

    I said, "Wait, why, what did you find out there?"

    Chetley told me to stay in the living room and they would come and get me when the cars were loaded and it was time to leave. And then they systematically moved about the house and yard readying themselves for what appeared to be a long vacation. Inside I knew different. Something big was happening and I was smack dab in the middle of it. But what? I paced for a bit, sat for a bit, even turned on the television trying to disengage my brain and find that peace I had back near the "Milk Field."

    As the TV came on saying "SPECIAL BULLETIN FROM NBC NEWS." The cars pulled out of the driveway without me! And before I could run outside to join them, a helicopter was over the ranch house with a loud speaker saying anyone left inside was not to leave the area. The area was now under quarantine. I whirled around toward the TV and there was my loaner car and the ranch house in grand 52 inch view. Who would ever need a 52 inch TV anyway?

    Gathering my wits about me had not worked. I opened the front door only to see men in huge white suits covered from head to toe. Oxygen tanks in tow. Oh my dear God what is happening? The men told me I was under quarantine orders from the United States department of defense. Defense? I asked why please. They said they weren't able to give me any information at this time but that the quarantine was indefinite. They would be in contact with me if I needed anything in the meantime.

    Meantime? Indefinite? Are you fricking serious? I started running through the house out of shear fear and panic. Then to the kitchen to see what food was available for indefinite which to me meant the same as the word infinity when I used to try to figure that out as a child. I had my phone but the charger was in the car. Was I allowed to go to my car? Then the tanks arrived. Yes army tanks outside on the County Road such and such. It was obvious this woman, me, was going no where.

    The TV was now giving me more information than the authorities. It showed the field of thick milky substances and the two white peace-filled animals. Then the ranch house and my vehicle. I wanted to go to the front door and wave at the camera's but thought I had best not do that. I was a foreigner in these parts. I only said "howdie do" a couple times and that was just a mere attempt to fit in. Well I had found a way to never fit in, hadn't I?

    The nights darkness came swiftly. Something I hadn't thought about in all the ruckus of helicopters, news crews, police and fire trucks.... and then they all disappeared. NBC Bulletin said the foreign white substance could be deadly and the only human being that touched it was in quarantine inside the ranch house on County Road such and such. Why I was terrified. Not of death from the substance, but of human beings coming to get rid of the only person to have touched the goo. I knew the goo wasn't bad. It was white and peaceful. Nothing like I had ever felt or touched.

    Weariness had settled upon me. I fell into a deep sleep in the big old brown leather recliner. I left the television running as it helped the loneliness of the situation. Did the government think it was a disease? Who put it there? How did the two animals get there and why?

    Just then a beautiful man appeared before me. I believe I was dreaming. Or was I? He told me "they" were from Another World and not to be afraid. The milky substance was their creation given to us, the U.S. as an antidote to the latest killing virus Ebola. The government would never know where it came from or why. Only I had been allowed that information.

    I asked why me? The kind loving man told me because it was my time to have that special peace everlasting. I had been chosen because I was the closest human being to the area when it was sprayed. No one would have ever known if I hadn't told the rancher man. And by touching the animals I had received a dosage of anti viral medicine beyond the level any human could endure.... I would be leaving with the men in white and the two animals for everlasting life elsewhere. I had no fear. The peace I felt from the other world didn't exist anywhere I had ever lived or traveled here. I asked what about the people left here? Shouldn't we tell them about the healing from Ebola?

    He smiled and said, "No my dear, they wouldn't believe. Each of them will come to a time in their lives such as you have this day. Their time to go to Another World and have everlasting peace. Are you ready to go now?"

    And so we did, and it was forever peacefully beautiful.

    Amen.

    Sunday, October 19, 2014

    Liz-Sport in 1984.................by Diane Ogden


    I visited my Nana in or around 1984.  She took me shopping as she had since I was seven. (On various occasions until I moved away.)   This time I was around thirty seven and visiting her from out of town.  (I cannot recall my exact age but that is very close)   We went to Dillard's, which is comparable to our Boston Store, North of the Mason Dixon Line.  Yankee's that we are.  Me, I'm a half-breed.  Raised half my life below the Mason Dixon Line and half above it. 

    Back to Dillard's.  We had a lovely shopping excursion along with a fine lunch. 

    My Nana passed away about twelve years later.  I had moved back to Wisconsin in 1988 and never saw her again.  But I still have the sweater she bought me that shopping day back when. 

    The sweater is a Liz-Sport.  I am having it dry cleaned this month.  No need to frame it like some would the #4 Packer jersey.  It got a bit musty from the storage bin at my complex.  Not enough circulation.  I shall hand it down to a family member one of these days.  It is nice to have something tangible to remind me of what a fine woman she was.  She taught me what true class means. She was engaged to Gene Autry.  I know I shared that before.  But then I could have/should have slept with Buck Owens and sat on one of those swings on Hee Haw, but I did not.  God my Dad would have been so proud.  LOL.  I am laughing out loud too. 

                                                     Buelah (Pat) Morrison     Austin, Texas

    Saturday, October 18, 2014

    The Cardboard Box Part II Chapter One "Good Bye".............................property of Diane Ogden

    Chapter One:
    Good Bye....

    The limo stopped in front of 4202 Bradwood Road, the home of my Grandparents I had been visiting the past month.  James, the driver, stepped out of his ultra upscale daily living quarters where he ushered around some of the most well known political and social people of Texas and Oklahoma.  Me, I was out of my league and then again I proved to myself I knew when to hold 'em, I knew when to fold 'em, and I certainly showed I knew when to walk away.  I had held my own with the "big boys," and walked away at precisely the right moment.  Heck I should have been proud of myself when instead I was very sad. 

    Billy and I had a short lived love story killed by mistrust.  Something he had grown up with.  I grew up with the same mistrust yet money triggered a false sense of confidence in him called pride.  That reminded me of the Oklahoma town I drove through last month called Pride.  I sure wondered why anyone would name a town Pride.  I suppose it's like lemons and lemonade.  Depends on how one thinks. 

    Sitting in the back of such an elegantly upholstered moving vehicle should make even the finest of a lady happy.  But I was feeling quite empty.  I am sure it was the emotionally charged day I had just experienced.  I felt like my internal battery had died.  Or like a huge balloon someone poked a pin into and as I deflated so did my energies.  Just then James opened my door and extended his hand as an aid to my exit.  I reciprocated and stepped out of my once promised future now gone.  James walked me to the front door where Nana and Duke greeted us.  Duke was so excited he was crying and rolling around like the lost child who just found its mother.  James got down on one knee and spoke to Duke with a gentle kind voice.  Duke responded by sitting quietly at James feet.  You can always tell a good man by how he treats an animal.  We both walked Duke outside for his evening relief time.   James turned to leave but before doing so looked into my eyes and said, "Miss Julianna, yousse juss give dat boy some time. Lets him grow some, den see hows yousse feelin' on da insides of yo heart.  You take care now." 

    James was from deep in the heart of Louisiana where they spoke half French and half something else.  I think it is called Cajun.  I loved to listen to him speak for I had never heard such a combination of languages before.  Maybe James was right. Billy did need some time to grow.  But how would I ever get the sight of him on one knee extending that gorgeous ring towards me.... unfortunately his tone was a beggars tone.  Desperate to right the wrong he had done to the woman he said he loved.  He was but a boy.   A long legged man.  I had loved a boy.  Sadness overwhelmed me. Pity overwhelmed me for Billy and for me.  The Governor's Grandson and all that went with it was out of my reach because that was my decision.  Marrying Billy now would never have worked out in the end. 

    Nana and I sat in the summer house off the main house quarters for hours that night. She sat quietly while I told her what had happened at the Governors ranch that day.  How Billy had set me up, not asking me where the million dollars had came from.  Rather believing I was hiding something from him.  I told Nana how Daddy Justice was there sitting all big and full of nasty southern pride.  How he and Billy and Governor Connally cornered me like three rodeo boys on steeds cornering a small calf.  How I came out fighting like Cassius Clay but also like a lady.  It was the three of them that ended up in barrels like rodeo clowns hiding from the charge of the bull.   Nana was sipping her usual Canadian Club laughing at my descriptiveness.  Cant say I didn't join in with her by having a couple Canadian Club  shots myself.  Duke seemed quite content laying very close to me picking up every tone of voice I expressed.  When my voice rose with intensity so did Duke.  We had to giggle yet appreciate his sincere loyalty to me.

    The door to the summer house swung open and a voice said, "What in the sam hell are you two doing out here in the middle of the night. Why I searched the house over for you two."

    Nana and I broke into deep laughter at Granddaddy standing there in his satin pajama's I know were made of the finest materials from Dillard's department store.  The best in the area.  Granddad asked if everything was okay.  Then shook his head and went back to bed.  And so did we.

    I decided to wait until the following day to make any decisions regarding when to head north to Amarillo to hit Route 66 back toward Los Angeles.  I was going to find my way back to my original travel plan after all that had transpired.   I was glad to be alive and glad to have experienced most of what went down.  Especially meeting and falling in love with the Governor of Texas's Grandson, Billy Connally.




    Why Was I Born?

    Sitting in my office late one evening, meaning like tonight, watching an old Netflix movie.  As it ended I had the revelation of WHY I WAS BORN.....  I have always wondered, which my mentor tells me not to do as she believes strongly that means I don't have enough faith in God.  I say hogwash.  Of course I do, its just that I believe in more.  God gives us MORE. I don't hide behind God.  Humm maybe I should.
    I personally have had a football field life. In all honesty I have learned the common skills of receiving  which include passing, tackling, evasion of tackles, catching and kicking all sort of bullshit out of my huddle.  I could pull out a few positives and I do because I am the great pretender.  I could and do listen to motivational speakers to pull myself out of the quicksand I have feared and imagined since childhood. But the truth is .....my life has been a steady stream of bad plays.  All sort of matters I don't fancy. I could explain it by saying:  I have a life I watch happen while wondering wtf?  Yes wtf?  My physician sent me to a counselor.  The first appointment of ONE HOUR, I was told I deserve to say that f bomb word.  She also said they had no one available except a student to work with me.  I laughed.  The poor student.  How dare she do that to basically a child.  I left the building.  
    I am a person born to love.  I am a nurturer, caretaker, lover of creativity, rhyme, and much fancy.  Glitz, fun, colored lites, jokes, singing and so on.  A person who has been hit with the baseball, crushed by the football quarterbacks, smashed by the tennis racket, hit with the hockey puc, thrown by the horse, run over by the truck, and last but certainly not least, hit with a family shotgun, and so on. 
    What was my revelation before continuing my rant of a rough life.....? Wha Wha.
    It is simply I was born for  a reason
    Maybe it was the son who aspires to be a famous actor.
    Maybe it was the son whose Dutch wife wishes seclusion from everyone and changed their names so no one can find them. And who sent me a funeral card stating my son was dead.  I still do not know for sure.                
    Or maybe the son who thought I overstepped my boundaries. Don't all Grandma's?  At least once!
    Or maybe the Granddaughter who cant publicly acknowledge me for fear her step dad might find out he paid for the wrong kid all his life.  Add I do not get to be a part of  her son's, my GGrandson's life due to that fact also.
    Or maybe it's the step Granddaughter who believes she is a wounded soul and throws fits at every family gathering to the point there will no longer be any.
    Maybe it is the son who is imprisoned who may change the life of another inmate .......
    Maybe it is the estranged daughter whose daughter may be President someday or better yet a Senator....or even better yet, happy and uncursed. 
    Maybe its merely the kids I fostered in 1990's....
    Maybe its my mummie dearest who after my father died decided she needed a new whipping boy.  Don't worry, I got away from that quarterback real fast.
    Like it or not, I get to live out a life so the big picture puzzle can be completed.. Yeah for me. Is that sounding like a martyr?  Nawh.
    It is just fact.
    Life is an intricate web, like semen and birth and the human body and brain and souls and spirits of animals and humans alike.   It is what you DO NOT SEE.   It is physics.  It is an equation that is far beyond my earthly understanding.
    Therefore if I have to endure the body going thru things I'd rather not deal with and or the mind having to go thru all those quarterbacks and shotgun blasts for what must be a darn good reason. I say BY GOD when I pass this world I better get to know what it was. 
    YET....now having this revelation, I might be able to endure all of it in a better frame of mind....
    I will be able to draw on the positives knowing the negatives exist no matter what.. 
    I can chose to live on the positive side even tho the negatives are out to kill my spirit and soul...
    And knowing even if they do.....
    There is one or more people I was born, to birth, that had to be.   I am a part of what had to be.
    In the big picture.
    I get it now.   Thanks Charles ......