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Archive for January, 2009

Uh God, Can We Talk?

Dear God,

I just finished reading an article in this week’s Newsweek that has gotten me to thinking.  They say that in a 2005 poll, only half of Americans think of resurrection as a physical event.  They think of it more as something spiritual, as the soul rises to heaven.  Okay, I’m down with that.

But the thing is, God, I guess there’s a real movement among orthodox Christian and Jewish scholars in which they maintain that resurrection is “a physical transformation – a literal reversal of death.”  In other words, they believe that in heaven we’ll have the same fleshly bodies we had on earth!  Furthermore, the article goes on to say, “For the faithful to be faithful, these proponents argue, they must believe, wholly and without hairsplitting, in resurrection as the reunion of an individual’s body and soul at the end of time – a miracle of God.”  And these scholars go on to say that if you don’t believe in miracles, then you can’t declare yourself a person of faith!  Well, I’m sorry, but that’s a bit much!

Okay, first off, Lord, let’s get one thing out of the way.  I am a person of faith.  I do believe in miracles, including the ones in the Bible.  I believe Jesus turned water into wine and raised Lazarus from the dead.  I don’t have a problem with those. (By the way, some of your children think those were just stories, but not ME, God.  I’m your good kid.  I’ve seen what You can do!  So please bear that in mind when the time comes!)

light_being_lgBut, this other idea?  Well, we’ve gotta talk.  I do believe that “whosoever believeth in You shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”  But, God?  Resurrected with our same bodies?  I think not! I mean, I know that this is just some scholars’ opinion and they can’t really prove anything unless they’re dead, and then it’s too late. But the idea just bugs me!  So, this is MY opinion. I’ve always seen Heaven as a perfect place – not a place where we’ll be dragging along the same old container we’ve had all the time we were on earth!  I mean that just doesn’t make sense!  I believe that what really matters is the soul.  I’ve always envisioned a Heaven in which we’d be these lovely “beings of light,” freed from our earthly shackles.  I mean, we’ll be on a higher plane and all that.  And in that higher, blissful existence, we won’t need bodies.  I bet that’s really how it’s going to be…right, God?  No muss, no fuss, just flitting around as joyful beings of light?  It’s a beautifully elegant solution.  And I’m pretty sure that’s the way it will be.  But I did want to double-check it with You.  Oh, and one last thing, God – if it wouldn’t be too much trouble, when my time comes, I’d really, really like for MY light to be pink! (If that’s okay with you and all. But, white’s good, too.)

Yours always,

Star

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Roadkill C.S.I.

Sometimes things aren’t always as they seem in life.  Take roadkill, for example.  Now we’re all accustomed to seeing roadkill now and then – cats, opossums, and raccoons.  I’ve even seen a deer from time to time.  And we always assume, “poor thing, probably just trying to cross the road.”  But the other day when I was running errands, I saw two very odd examples of roadkill, and realized there must be more to them than met the eye.

The first one I saw as I sped down the highway.  Up ahead, there was what appeared to be a pillow in the road.  As I neared, I saw that it was a goose, in a mass canada_gooseof feathers, with two big goose feet sticking up.  I wondered what the other drivers assumed happened.  They probably just thought, “big old goose must have flown into a car.”  But I asked myself “why?”  Then I put on my “Pseudo-Crime Scene-Investigator” hat, and figured it out.

This goose, probably named Griz, was flying with his extended family to Florida, like they had been doing all his life.  But, the truth was, Griz HATED Florida and hated this yearly migration.  He found it boring, tiring and nerve-wracking, what with his mother-in-law constantly saying, “I knew we should have left earlier!  Can you feel that cold?  Didn’t I say last week we were running late?” Finally he decided to speak up.

“Hey guys!” he called.  “My wings are killing me!  What do you say we take a little break?”

He was met with a bunch of negative honks, and the other geese looked at him like he was crazy.  They sped up, and this was where Griz took his stand.

“You guys go on.  I just need to stretch my legs.  I’ll catch up with you later!”  With that,  he turned around and started soaring towards earth.  As he did, he cursed himself for not keeping his last eye doctor appointment because everything appeared blurry.  But suddenly he saw two long yellow lines right down the middle of the highway.  “Daffodils!”  he exclaimed.  “I LOVE daffodils!  It must be Spring down there.  I’ve been wishing for Spring!  If it is, I’m gonna stay there forever!”   Alas, the moment his feet touched the highway, a white Ford Taurus station wagon immediately plowed into him, killing him instantly!

Of course the “up” side of this is – he went out with Spring in his heart forever.

Then there was another example.  I was returning from my errands down a quiet outer road, when I saw something small and gray right in the middle of the street.  Since there was no traffic at all, I veered to the right and slowed down to look out my window.  There, with his arms and legs spread out, was a dead mouse.  There was no blood.  In fact, startled_mousehe looked like one of those cartoon mice who get hit by a train or something.  Here again, most people might just assume this mouse had been running across the street and was hit.  But not me.  In my role as “Star- Roadkill C.S.I.” I noticed the lack of trauma on the body and the absence of any weapon.  So here’s what I think happened:

This mouse, let’s call him Tad, had been wintering in the huge basement of a house in an upper-bracket neighborhood with his wife and 323 children.  Due to the frigid temperatures, he’s been stuck inside with all the yelling, whining, running and squeaking of those 323 baby mice, and he’s about to lose his mind.  So, he decided he HAD to get out!  He left through a crack in the basement wall and started running until he could no longer hear the racket.  He was walking down a nice, deserted road and, for the first time in months, he experienced peace and quiet.  “Ah!” he exclaimed, “this is lovely!  I wish I could just rest in this peace forever!”

Just then his cell phone rang.  It was his wife.  “Darling!” she said, “I just got a call from the doctor, and guess what?  I’m pregnant again!”

At the sound of those fateful words, poor Tad’s tiny heart went into spasms, and he dropped down stone cold dead!

But, the last time I saw him, he WAS resting in peace.

So, the point I’d like to make today is – things aren’t always as cut and dried as they seem.  Life is much more complicated than that.  And if there’s a lesson to be learned from these two victims, it is, “Be very careful what you wish for.”

(P.S. I didn’t use actual crime scene photos of the deceased out of respect to the Geese and Mice families.)


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My Winter Love…

He came into my life last winter and captured my heart.  Not to boast or anything, but I can honestly say, I made a man of him. He also brought out the best in me, with his cool European ways.  I loved his impeccable manners, his smooth good looks and the way he always referred to me as “Mon Cherie.”  We laughed and giggled as the snowflakes fell around us.  Ah yes, while it lasted, it was so intense, so exciting!  Every day I’d wake up and there he’d be outside, waiting for me, his one and only love.

But despite our closeness, I sensed a melancholy deep within him, a cold sorrow, as if he knew our days together would be measured.  And, despite my reassurances, my support and constant attentiveness, I noticed he was starting to lose weight.  He kept up a brave front and his smile never wavered, but eventually, as I guess I knew he would, he faded out of my life.

But I swear I will never forget –my little Pierre.

little-pierre-copy

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I can just see the newscast.  There are my bad neighbors, the Rudes, being interviewed, saying to the reporter, “We didn’t even realize that we had a neighbor!  Then the next thing we knew, this crazy woman broke down our front door and started beating all of us on the head with a wooden spoon, screaming, ‘Move, damn you!  Move, I say!'”

Yes, they’ve been at it again.  I had backed out of my driveway and was waiting for the garage door to go down, when I glanced sideways at my beautifully landscaped driveway divider, with my precious yuccas, the ones I had nurtured for a year, only to see that one had been stomped on!  I had noticed previously that the teenage son always took a “shortcut” through my landscaping when he took his dog out to poop behind my townhouse, rather than just walk down his own driveway, but I had restrained myself from saying anything.  Now, as I sat there, seeing the smallest of my yuccas smashed down, my heart sunk and then slowly began to fill with rage!!  Unfortunately I had a lunch date and didn’t have time to survey the damage.  When I got back home, I changed into my work clothes and went out back, fueled by fury.  I had to slowly release some of the leaves from the landscape rocks on the little one.  Then, I noticed that some leaves on the big one had been broken by him and his dog brushing by.  What’s wrong with these people?

11At that point, I realized that, with people this dumb, I’d obviously have to stake out my property!  So, armed with string, paint stirrers (I didn’t have stakes,) a screwdriver and a rubber mallet, I set out to hammer notches into the frozen earth, in order to get the stakes in.  It was hard work, I’ll tell you, and I’m pretty sure I pulled a couple of muscles doing it, but the hammering was a good way to vent.  As I was working, one of their cars pulled into their driveway to drop off the teenage boy, then backed right out and left.  Moments later, he emerged with the dog, and, miracle of miracles, took the dog to the back of his own townhouse to do his business for the first time!  He glanced at me and saw what I was doing, but didn’t say a word.  I glanced at him, and kept hammering.    The next day I saw the mother out with the dog, and she was frowning, obviously studying what I had done.  Good! I hope she got the message, which was, stay the hell off my property, you destructive idiots!

There’s just something odd about this family in that they live their lives as if no one else exists. They have no respect for others or their property.  I can’t figure them out.

All of this made me remember an old TV show that ran from 1985 to 1989 called “The Equalizer.”  According to Wikipedia, “The series stars British actor the-equalizerEdward Woodward as Robert McCall, a former secret agent of an unnamed organization, which was often referred to simply as “The Agency” or “The Company”, who tries to atone for past sins by offering, free of charge, his services as a troubleshooter (often literally), a protector, and an investigator. People in need find him through a newspaper ad: “Got a problem? Odds against you? Call the Equalizer.” I remember watching this show and thinking how great it would be to have someone I could call to “take care” of certain problems.  This guy would fight for justice and did it in a way that made the bad guys sit up and take notice.  If only I had him now.  I can just see it, him patting my hand, and saying, “Don’t worry, Star, all your neighbors need is a little persuasion to change their behavior.  Trust me, they won’t bother you again.” And I’d smile gratefully, thinking, “my hero!”

All I want is peace and respect.  Is that asking for too much?  I think not.

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Betrayed By My Heart…

Well, I felt that today I was due to write something humorous, or, at the very least, amusing.  After all, things have gotten a bit heavy in this blog lately, what with cabin fever and worrying about my friends and all.  And I know people enjoy my humorous posts.  But, you know what?  It ain’t gonna happen.  So, if you just stopped by to be amused, I apologize and urge you to stop by another day.  The fact is, no matter how much I want to be funny, I’m in a bit of a funk.  And even though I wanted to attribute that funk to the cold weather, that’s not really the cause.  The truth is – I miss my sister.  Despite the fact that she chose an inheritance over me, I miss my sister.  Despite the fact that she responded to my kindness with cruelty, I miss my sister.  It’s crazy, I know, but, as they say, “it is what it is.”

It came out of nowhere a few days ago.  I was just finishing a DVD episode of “Farscape,” and they were playing the theme music, which I can only describe as “insane asylum music.”  And I glanced over at the sofa, where she would always sit when we watched TV, and knew immediately how we’d react to that music.  We both would have  jumped up and started doing some Randi and Star, crazy, no-holds-barred, spontaneous “insane person dance.”  One of us would start making up a song, and the other would have chimed in as if it were a song we had sang all our lives.  And we would have ended up laughing so hard we’d have tears in our eyes.  And I realized, yet again, that those times are gone forever.  There is no one else in my life with whom I have such a shared history.  No one else who shares my particular brand of silly abandon.

Before you accuse me of being a sentimental sap, try to imagine what it would feel like to have no family at all. I bet not many of you are in that position.  And, although I work hard not to dwell on it, sometimes it hits me between the eyes like a sledge hammer.  I’m fortunate to have wonderful friends, many of whom are like family, but, let’s face it, their own families are their priority, and that’s how it should be.  So, who worries about me?  If I were to fall down the stairs and break my neck, how long would it be before anyone notices?  Dire, I know, but it’s a reality I must accept.  I have always been really good at amusing myself, but there are moments… terrifying moments in time… when I have to face the fact that I’m alone.

I don’t intend to wallow in this gloom, but apparently I’m going to have to ride this episode out.  You can’t always “snap out” of something on command.  And, considering how much I loved her, I don’t think it’s surprising that I would have these flashbacks.  Intellectually, I know nothing can be done.  I don’t want to contact her in view of the terrible, terrible things she’s done to me.  In my head I know this is a “done deal.”   It’s over for all the right reasons.  No one should be treated the way I was.  Now all I have to do…

is wait for my heart to catch up.

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Someone I’ve known for 26 years did something that has left me wondering if I ever really knew her.  It’s something that’s so crazy that I’m starting to doubt her sanity.

Did she mess with a married man?  Nope.

Did she rob a bank?  Nope.

Did she drown a bunch of kittens?  Nope.

It’s worse, much, much worse!

She got rid of her internet connection!

Now, she did have a dial-up connection, which I know from past experience can be computer-attackexcruciating.  I had been trying to talk her into getting broadband, but she didn’t seem interested.  It’s not a matter of money, because she’s got cable TV, just bought an RV and got satellite TV for it and she and her husband just bought a huge surround sound system for their big screen TV.  So that’s not it.

She’s retired, so she doesn’t have access at work, nor does she go to the library.  So she has, in essence, cut herself off from the worldwide web.

Now before you start going, “Star, what’s the big deal?” I want you to think about what this means.  It means no email – nada.  It means no reading blogs, articles, or perusing houses for sale.  It means no shopping online, comparing prices, getting the best deal.  No recipes.  No beautiful photographs.  No downloading coupons.  No teaching yourself something new.  It means no access to all the information in the world!

Just today I was running the vacuum and realized it was not picking up lint, despite the fact that it had suction.  After examining it, I realized the brush bar wasn’t spinning, which meant the belt had broken.  But, look as I might, I couldn’t figure out how to get it to, nor could I find the instruction book.  So, what did I do?  I did what you would do.  I looked it up on the internet, downloaded the manual, and there, in step by step photographs, I saw how it was done!  And I thought to myself, “What did I ever do before the internet?” I hope I don’t ever have to find out.

But I guess my friend, Suz, is going to find out.  But for now, as far as I’m concerned, she’s off-line…and I do mean… totally off- line!

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winter-stormI think it’s the frigid temperatures that are doing it to me.  (Either that, or I’m losing it altogether!) For the past few days I’ve been feeling edgy and aimless.  It’s not that we’ve gotten lots of snow.  When we do, and it’s cold and dark outside, it’s easier for me to assume my “hibernation mode,” and curl up with a good book or DVD and just dream away the days.  No, it’s the below-zero temperatures day after day that are driving me crazy!  Right now, as I write this, the sun is just beaming outside, saying, “Come on out!  The weather’s fine!”  But it’s a lie!  I know the moment I step outside, the hairs inside my nose will turn into tiny icicles, (which is not a good look for me!) I ran errands a couple of days ago, and in the short time it took me to load up my car in the Wal-mart parking lot, I was chilled to the bone.  By the time I had put the cart back and scurried into the car, my teeth were literally chattering!

So, I’ve been staying in as much as possible, but there’s the problem.  I can’t focus.  I can’t settle down.  Being the kind of person I am, I feel compelled to accomplish at least one productive thing each day but I’m having trouble getting motivated.  There are loads of things I could do.  I got a Flip Digital camcorder this Christmas and I want to teach myself how to make mini-movies.  That sounds like fun.  But I just can’t get started.  I have a kitchen and three bathrooms that could all use a little caulking, but I just don’t care.  I’d even like to repaint my downstairs bathroom, but feel no sense of urgency.  I just wander around the house, doing little piddly things.  The truth is – I HATE WINTER.

I miss not having the windows open with a cool breeze blowing in.  I miss hearing the birds singing outside.  I miss the green leaves on my trees.  I miss my neighbor, Iris, and our long chats out on the balcony or the front porch.  I miss fiddling around with a little village I’ve established in my shrubbery bed out front.  A lot of people who live here in the Midwest where I do, extol the virtues of having four seasons.  Well I say, bosh to that!  Give me a perpetual spring, like in Southern California or parts of Florida, and I’ll gladly sacrifice summer and fall!

This horrid cold is starting to get to me.  Look up the word “restless” in the dictionary and you’ll see a definition of:  “uneasy, ill at ease, restive, fidgety, edgy, on edge, tense, worked up, nervous, agitated, anxious, on tenterhooks, keyed up; informal jumpy, jittery, twitchy, uptight, antsy”… right along with a picture of ME!

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