Friday, March 11, 2011

Granite Run Mall Goes Green!!

Oh, this is not your ordinary Reduce, Reuse, Reycle program!  I am amazed at the participation!

Reduce -- Young girls are working diligently to reduce the amount of material it takes to clothe the public; in just a few short years, we won't need any silk caterpillars or cotton fields at all!  We witnessed one young man so inspired, he must have decided to do his part right on the spot!  When we encountered him, he'd almost completely removed his pants down to his boxers!  What a global conscience!

Reuse -- Young women are taking the lead on this as well.  Shower caps are now doing double duty in the shower and as fashionable headwear at the mall!  Stylish.

Recycle -- As we walked into the mall, we noticed, in one of the decorative planters, a PA Drivers' Manual -- no doubt left by some disenfranchised examinee from the PennDOT center across the lot.  As we left about two hours later, a young man exiting ahead of us spotted it in the planter and considered it only for a split second before removing it to its new place in his backpack!

So c'mon, these folks have proven it can be done!  Wear your PJ's as outerwear, your slippers as shoes!  Retrieve that Auntie Anne's pretzel from the garbage -- it's right on top anyway!  There are countless of creative ways we can reduce our carbon footprint!  Let's hear your suggestions.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mad About You!

So Madison is dying for me to write about her, which means without a doubt, a follow-up about Olivia.  No worries, plenty of room in my heart and I could write all day about each one of them.  I'm just not sure the rest of the world shares my enthusiasm -- sort of like a Power Point presentation of summer vacation, or a baby album.  So, I tried to come up with an angle, something to make a story about Madison relevant and interesting for the reader...

Madison sits in my office, staring at me from her perch on a carousel horse.  Not a real carousel horse - that would be some office -- but the one in the picture from last year's Doo Dah Parade.  Already I am looking forward to this year's.  I'm not a beach person, but Madison is, and the Doo Dah Parade is Ocean City's wacky way of signaling the beginning of the beach season.  The weather is still pretty chilly - a plus in my book, but there are plenty of the summer boardwalk treats that Madison enjoys!  We shop and laugh and enjoy the ocean breeze.  We trek through the cool clean sand to the water's edge and stick our feet in, wading just a little bit farther each time.  Madison's hair blows wildly around her face, and even though it keeps going into her mouth, she can't stop laughing and trying to shout out the roar of the waves.  Before we leave we ride the rides.  No crowds.  No lines.  We stop for dinner on the way home.  It's a quiet ride; bellies are full, the salt air and sunshine has gotten to each one of us.  Warm showers and cottony PJ's never felt so good.  Madison slides between crisp sheets and whispers, "Goodnight, I love you."  I love you, too Madison.  I love you, too.

Monday, March 7, 2011

You Are More

"But wanting it still didn't make me believe it." -- Gina Welch, In the Land of Believers

Some time around seventh grade I began using food as a weapon, against myself.  I manipulated my weight as I chose, binged to stifle the loneliness, purged to "cure" the self-loathing that being overweight bore.  Somewhere along the line "cutting" introduced itself into my repertoire; I burned myself, picked at my wounds, mutilated and punished myself in any way I could keep "under control."  Gradually the mutilation turned into pushing -- taking on more than I could handle, pressuring myself to do more (better), then failing, burning out, and hating myself some more.  After high school, alcohol became my drug of choice.  Each party had to be bigger and wilder than the last; when things began to slow down I was front and center, making sure they got fired up again -- whatever it took.  When the parties got old, there was always a relationship.  I was, as they say, a serial monogamist.  I wanted the knight on a white horse; I wanted so desperately for someone to save me from my pain, my past, myself.  I could picture him: tall, strong, smiling and courageous, ready to rush to the rescue; I just couldn't picture him rescuing me.  Just because I wanted that, didn't mean I believed it would ever happen for me.

At the age of 39, with two children (of two different fathers), two marriages, one divorce, and one pending, I could have been wrecked.  Instead I was remade.  I began to realize that not only had I denied myself the happinesses of this life -- loving relationships, "normalcy," peace -- but I'd never really been able to see myself clean -- a Christian, loved, washed pure by Christ's blood.  But this time I'd had enough.  I wanted nothing more but to live in happiness, and for God to bless me. It wasn't gonna happen without some committment on my part, but at that point, I would've done anything for a life without pain.  So, I threw away the knight, the white horse, the excuses, the would haves, the could haves; I gave it all to God, and He gave me His Son. 

And slowly, those things I wanted all those years?  Well, I not only believe them now, I see them -- everyday.  The knight has come and he brought three great kids.  His faithful steed was a tractor trailer and a few demons of his own.  He didn't run away with me, but he stands with me (and Jesus) day after day, fighting the demons.  I want to be a writer, but wanting it, doesn't mean I believe it; I can't picture myself on the dust jacket of a book, I can't see my name on the binding.  So for now, I continue to see myself following God's direction, and I will wait for the end of the story.

Tenth Avenue North
"You Are More"

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Would Somebody Come Get This Clown?

Can someone explain to me how a guy in make-up, a wig and grossly oversized bowling shoes represents unhealthy food choices for children?  Does this mean a fat guy in a red suit trimmed with white fur represents the senseless slaughter of seals?  Or maybe a slick-looking guy in a business suit, sitting in a seat in the House of Representatives represents greed? sloth? lust?  OK, strike that last one.

Anyone care to tell me when advertisers are going to stop giving people excuses for their -- let's not be PC about this -- sin, negligence, ignorance, laziness, greed,  feel free to insert your own offense here?  I guess when it stops being a cash cow.  Oh cow.  Beef.  I could go for a burger.