Thursday, June 15, 2017

Lessons from listening to people who speak, considering their consciences.

Kurt speech is a development of being from a big city. Straight forward and direct is an element of respect. How can we say it in as few words as possible? Get that sentence out and get to the next subject, is the highest gain, to us. Oh, how difficult it was, for me to listen to my slow speaking southern friends, who frame every sentence, with, whether or not their memories are accurate to clarity. "Did I ask you that?" I am always thinking. For the sake of brevity and for the sake of clarity and for the sake of accuracy are all different perspectives of communication. What time it was and where they were standing when it happened, were things that seemed to cloud the conversation to me. That was my difficulty with reading Hobbit. What color the tablecloth was, simply made me cringe, while trying to visualize these different types of beings that weren't human. Imagining the difference between a Hobbit and a Dwarf, was more difficult than grasping the color of the roots and the ground having curtains at the windows. Get to the point, I kept thinking.
Listening to different kinds of Christian people, some who have been taught a sensitivity to conscience, that I haven't matured to yet, has become refreshing. Is the truth something that we beat out of people in an investigatory tone? Is it a beautiful thing that a man is speaking according to his conscience and taking his time to answer, using words that are "accurate to his recollections". Do we give people that right? The right to answer the question, in good conscience. What does that mean? Are we learning in our interactions to be more honest in our dealings, or to bulldoze a man's conscience to get at truth? Some truths need a bulldozer. Some truths need a tweezer. Learn how to listen and request information that will grow you and your "inquisitee".
This is not the Spanish Inquisition!
Ananias and Saphira were killed because of their lying to the Holy Spirit and the fear of God should be developed in our use of words. When we have found a person who has great ability of speaking in good conscience, we should be more ready to listen and to hear how to do the same. Even if it takes a long time.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

On the subject of Nursing motherhood...

Nursing is a wonderful experience.   You share a bond with your children that is physical and emotional and you have a wonderful opportunity to transfer essential nutrients to your children.
It is my opinion that children get immunities and long term health benefits that cannot be matched in any other form.  I read every La Leche league book that I could get my hands on in the days of "wine and roses".  I learned about the different types of babies and I watched for the symptoms that my child were either a guzzler or a nip napper, etc.  It was wonderful to see the correlation between other mothers observations of categories and my own children.   

I suggest that you read the Bible out loud during your nursing sessions and Christian literature.  Try to keep your mind in a peaceful condition while you are nursing.  Talk to your baby in pleasantries and good baby talk.  It gives a healthy gentle interaction and I think it encourages peace loving in the children.  You can talk baby talk because I think it starts a beautiful new language that is just between you and your children and it starts their ears listening for just your voice.  Perhaps God will use your voice to draw them to Himself and replace your voice with His voice, erelong.

Eat a lot of veggies. Greens give the most nutrient value to your milk.   I am certain that essential nutrients are stored in the bones and in the bottom of the feet from birth and from the early nursing experiences.  I actually decided to detox my body, one day with one of those large magnetic things on the feet.  I got a lot of dirt on it after one night sleeping with it.  I don't think you are supposed to sleep with it on.  Just an hour or two.  I got so much dirt on this magnetic strip and my feet and bones haven't been the same since.  I blame this on my preservation of the essential nutrients that I had from my mother that I shouldn't have tried to get rid of.  Metals are in the bottom of the feet that will take you through your life.  They are  a preservative.  You are giving them to your baby when you nurse.  So, choose nursing, even though I decry the losses to my own body from doing this.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

First Alpha Xi and now Doug Eubanks award! What a wonderful year!

We are so proud of our great artist and student at Chowan. Mazeltov for your continued efforts on the scholastic fronts. Keep the Faith! Love Mom.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

HS remembrances {thoughts from 2009}

Chapter One –

The voyage-

It was going to be a long summer before my adventure into the unknown.  I had won the general excellence medal and no bells or whistles had accompanied this as I had hoped.  More responsibility, more children in the home, more conflicts to deflect; still, there was something to look past.  It was all a blur when S. Lucy asked me if I would like to take an adventure and travel into the far reaches of outer space and go to school.  She may as well have said that.  Bay Ridge?  Brooklyn?  Verrazano Bridge?  That was just about as far from home as I could imagine at that ripe old age of 14.  
We will leave this decision completely up to you, they said.   Would you do something like that and leave your home and go 2 hours everyday both ways for High School?  I would, I will.  Tony Boy screamed and cried, when we told them. “She’s leaving us.”  He said, at 3 years old.  I am not leaving Tony, yes you are you are going to that bridge place.  No, I am not I will be home everyday.   He was more right than I knew.
Now, we had the summer to brag and talk about Jayne’s upcoming adventure into the deep!  The clear blue sea was the distance that seemed to be between me and the bridge.

The talk of the family,  advice was flowing about the subway and how to stay away from strangers and derelicts and bums.   I couldn’t imagine what they were talking about at all.
I remember trying to picture the masses of people getting into the train like they talked about and I had nothing to compare it to.  Stay by the door, follow the groups of people and they will know where the door is so that you can get in and get a seat.   You should be able to get a seat because you are going from the first stop on the train to the last stop on the train so, everyday you should have a seat.   People will bump and the train lights will go out and all sorts of advice was flowing from people who heard that I was headed for such an adventure.   

Somebody should have said that is stupid.   Nobody said that in those days, no distance was long enough to send children for the cause of integration.   What is integration?   What is busing?  What is a child?  What is the purpose?  Are we integrated yet?

I did believe in integration and I believed in all of the civil rights that they told us that we were fighting for and integrating for.  What they netted, all toll? I am not sure.

Anyway, S. Lucy had gone to the school and she painted it as a magical and beautiful place and when I visited, I could see myself there.  S.Lucy gave me a vision, outside of my life.  I don’t know if that was a gift or a nightmare.  Some of both, I suppose.

The first day in the subway after the testdrive.  I walked down the stairs and there were lights and arrows and people, who all seemed to know where they were going. 
I was dressed in my new, new uniform and floundering through the seas of people, in a dreamlike state.  I was absolutely unsure where I was going.  All I knew was the F train to 4th Ave and the RR to the last stop.  That seemed easy enough.  Darkness.
Every window had lines and levels of darkness passing by, darted with signs of street names that I had never seen before.  After a while, they would become as familiar as the faces at home.  Not now, now they were darts and images of the dark and unfamiliar.  Blackness and grayness and lights and shadows, mixed with signs of street names.  
All of a sudden light started coming through the windows and I remember the feeling of complete horror at the sight of the sun, the first time, after being underground for over an hour.  Am I in the wrong place?  How come I don’t remember this?  Should I get off?  Where am I?  Finally the place that I was looking for, 4th Avenue.  Whew!  This is right.
I looked around and everybody still knew where they were going.  I forgot.  I had done this once with mom, but she talks the whole trip.  I didn’t remember anything and nothing looked familiar except the sign 4th Avenue.  Where is the RR train?  Where is the RR train?  I probably would have layed right down there and had a temper tantrum, if I were anyone else but me.  I was exhausted and I had all of my books and there were only the sight of over 100 steps to go down to anything and everybody was going that way.  Don’t ask and never talk to strangers, of course.

I couldn’t count the steps there that day, I was too tired.  It was 8 oclock and I was due at school at 8:45.  I could not imagine making it to school in that time.  Of course, the thrill of a new school was still ahead and I believe that that was the only thing that kept me from barfing.  What was I in for?  This?  Everyday?  It was an adventure and you are on a mission.  That was the plan, I suppose?
Down, down,down,down…  it was 10 after 8 when I got to the RR train platform.  It was a small dark platform way under ground.  More darkness.  More signs and trains and klikety klack. Finally 99th st and the last stop.  I may have fallen asleep.  There was a sigh that there really was such a thing as 95th st . exit.  7 blocks more.  I do remember this part, because it was above ground.  I climbed upstairs and started walking.  How do the streets go, down here  I think it was the 95 st exit and I was going to.   

Everyday, no matter what I did my knee socks would be around my feet, by the time I got to the deli.  I pulled them up when I was coming up the steps into the sunlight and then when I got to the corner of the deli, they would be around my shoes.  I would put all my books down and look inside for the time on the clock and pull up my socks.  If they came down between there and class, it was too bad.  I was not putting my books down again for something so silly.  Dad said every book home every day.  Every book home everyday!
What a beautiful place!  It was like a fairy land.  The hedges were always impeccable, later on they would be Ju’s tissue when she sneezed everyday.  I couldn’t imagine how fond of the hedges we would become.  Then the view of the Bridge.  My favorite place in the entire world.  It was worth the trip.  One look at that immense and beautiful structure, with the sun shining in my eyes made it worth every moment of darkness.  I was scared of the people, for sure.  But the bridge was just beautiful and peaceful and protective even.  I loved it.
I looked around at the new class.  Nobody looked at me funny.  Nobody made fun of my socks.  I felt somewhat safe.  This was going to be home for a while.

1440 hours with Julia

I spent 1440 hours give or take with Julia.  I can’t think of anyone else that I have spent that much time with.   Intense and protective I already was, but the 1520 made me more so.  It would snow and we would be watching the swinging Brooklyn Bridge together and imagining what would happen, good and bad.   Scared and happy, fear and joy, tried and tried and tried.   I’m gonna get it for this or that grade was often, my cry  had other.   She acted out on the train for 2 years 1440 hours of crying and trying to laugh.   It is different, when you go to class together, there is something else to look at.  When you are on the train, there is darkness and each other.  The rest of the world was apart from us and just us 2. 

In the beginning, it was dark, scary, being 14 on the subway, for the first time.  God took care of us.  Lost and finding the way.  Strange people in a strange world, outside of home.  NY was our campus.  All of the inhabitants of the city were our classmates.   Where are you going?  What are you doing?   Whatever everybody was doing, we were all learning about the world of NY.   Some came from other countries and some came from around the block from us.  Ju and I were definitely, not ready for the real world and we didn’t live in the real world, either.   NY subway system was an imaginary world and an imaginary land with strange and different sights and smells and sounds; if there is such a thing as sound in the subway.
It is amazing that we can hear anything after that many hours on the subway.  It is amazing that our eyes adjusted to the sunshine after that many hours on the train.  We did.  Who is that man, Jayne?  She clung close to me the first couple of weeks.   I don’t know these people, Ju.  Mind your own business.  I can’t, he’s looking at us.  You are looking at him, mind your own business.  Tears flowed.   I don’t like it here, why do we have to go this far.   She really made sense, but I didn’t think so at the time.   Where could you go and learn Latin from someone who knew Julius Caesar himself?   That was my motivation.   You know you need Latin to be a doctor.   I don’t want to learn Latin or be a doctor, Jayne why can’t I stay home?  Years of crying and trying to find some comfort for her and reason as to why busing was important in our culture.   Why the intercultural exchange would make us more well rounded and why the subway trip to the other side of the world was important.   These answers were all lies or half truths. They didn’t pan out for us.   We are not more well rounded or better educated, but we do know eachother better and we do know the subway better and maybe we know NY a little better because of 1440 unsupervised hours traversing the subways to get to school.

The first 1440 hours I took by myself for the most part, so by the time she came along I had done most of the getting lost and carving out new ways and different shortcuts through the process.   I had gotten on every train in the system, it felt like.   I felt like I had met every homeless person from Queens to Bay Ridge. 2 hours was how long it took, period.   S. Annelle took me back or forth because she taught there and most of my reprieves from the subway came from her.  
I remember the shrieks on the phone when I got lost the first time.  One dime in my pocket and I was in GRAVESEND Brooklyn.   Uh OH! Mom I am lost.  Jayne is lost!  The kids all screamed in the background,  I had gotten off at the wrong exit! Only money to make one phone call and the turnstile was one way!  AHHHH!   I will walk up the block, mom and see if there is an entrance down there.  I can’t call you again, though.  Okay, I’ll pray, it’ll be alright.  Sure:{   It was alright and my heart beat fast, in my chest, as I hoped that the time was not past for my bus pass.  They didn’t call me back so I guess it must’ve been alright.   That was definitely the first time I wet myself and not to be the last.

I am sure that they do have bathrooms, on the subway and I maybe went to one once; but most of the time it was already too late…BLADDER CONTROL problems
2 hours on the subway is too long to hold it, sometimes.

I do remember my first time on the train after mom had taken me.  All of the stories of others who had travelled those paths and had given me their stories of happytrails did not prepare me for the herds and herds of humans in and out of these contraptions.  Don’t stand too close, don’t stand too far,  don’t talk to strangers, don’t…All of these set in stone rules that people had lived by and swore by that these would keep me safe travelling so far from home were up for grabs to say the least. The what ifs were more prevalent than the answers that people always gave me.  Did you ever visit Bay Ridge?  No!  Did you ever go across the Verrazano?  No.   Why was I listening  to them was in my mind?  There were lines that were never crossed and Bay Ridge was definitely on the other side of the tracks if not the world!  My parents wouldn’t go there or had no reason to and my grandparents either.  Racial lines had been drawn and here I was stepping across them with no escorts and no guardians.   The first parent meetings, they talked about and they were very a part of the academics, but they had no idea what happened underground everyday.   I guess,  I liked that.   There was some freedom from the intense oversight and contributions and corrections that were my lot as eldest child.   They saw little or nothing that anyone else did but me and it was my time out from under their microscope for a minute or 86400 minutes.  Those were the minutes before Julia was born into the subway, so to speak.  The subway was our mother for a lot longer than we were in our mother.   Loud and violent sometimes, it seemed.  We lived in another world for 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening.  We left at dawn, or before and returned at dark to piles and piles of dishes, on our day.  Not complaining, but we were exhausted.  There were family conflicts and painful discussions and the only freedom happened when we were on the subway.   We slept we played games we cried we studied, we tried not to fight although there were a couple of close calls. To us, it was like being Pioneer children, in our minds. 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Just as the tears were about to fall missing Evie... I spotted a line of clouds that made me laugh.

As usual, your Dad was continuing his conversation with Jermel with me on the way home.  I didn' t dare interrupt him and we were both trying to keep ourselves aware of our awake status.  So the conversation didn't lag about this and that.

Somehow, departures always remind mother about the years of nursing my baby Evi and the little fiddle, fluting girl who was "on the bus with Rosa Parks" in kindergarten.

Where did the time go?  we probably meant to say.  We didn't because we didn't want to make each other cry.  Still, your father goes on, trying to encourage me, with cliche's about making the right use of the years of baby and child development experience that I have.  Oh, you should write about it.  He says, as he always does.  Nobody has any use for a "wet-nurse" experienced woman, was what I was about to say about 3 hours into the trip home.

That is about the time that we notice our surroundings.  The clouds broke up and we started to see the sky.  It was delightful and there were a series of curvaceous clouds that looked like a straight line of brassieres across the sky.  I always blame "Mother Day" from Life With Father for these occurrences.  I could almost hear them singing "Our daughters daughters will adore us..."  as they flung what looked like the monument of their own motherhood across the sky in front of us.

None of that milk went to waste, I imagined and I had to laugh instead of  cry, missing you!  Love mommy