Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Slave labor OR Why I regret not having kids...

Recently, I have had family members that have children begin to struggle with the "empty nest" syndrome. Having just put in a load of 43 pairs of underwear, I can sympathize!

You see, being a guy with OCD and naturally quite lazy to boot, I wash underwear separately. Twice or not at all. They're the dirtiest so I don't want them in a load with anything else. In fact, so dirty, even a double washing really isn't good enough. So not having a trained child to do my bidding, I am faced with a half-day task of laundry or going to the store to buy another pack of underwear. Now you know why I have 43 pairs of underwear!!!

Of course, it goes beyond cleaning or cooking or mowing. Eventually you expect your love to return to you somehow. That your kids will keep YOU as the focus of their lives knowing good and well they'll be just as self-centered as you were when you spread your wings to fly.

Now I know, some don't fly too well, for whatever reason so if that's you, you have your own blog to write! For this topic, will talk about the ones raised right and able to go out and leave the nest. The ones we're proud of and resent at the same time.

Because now we have the hardest task. Letting go and hoping they do fly high and well, not looking back but forward into the vast future of a long and wonderful life. And we, the elders, are left behind, forgotten and we think, unloved.

We have to find a new path in life, without the responsibility of kids nor much of their attention, their needs, their help, and their love. It's all still there, but mostly focused on their NEW family, not their old.

So kids, take every chance you have to tell your forgotten family you love them. Let them know you still need them and always will. And you "empty nesters", don't worry too much. They do still love and need you even if they forget to reassure you as often as you'd like. They're just busy with the new life you helped prepare them for!

Friday, April 15, 2016

A Coat of Many Colors

One step forward, one step in the mud...

How not to use your words.

Although the video above is a short clip so we don't know how this got started, it seems people are much more likely to frown and spout hateful things for even the simple misunderstanding of who is next in line at an ATM.

Do these same folks, at all other times, smile and say polite "Hello"'s to strangers or is this hate their normal attitude to certain individuals or most everyone they meet? It seems to outwardly display the exact opposite of the principles that people in the South supposedly hold in so high esteem. Or is it okay to act this way 99% of the time as long as you put your hour or two of repentance into the week somehow?

In the above picture (left to right) are Almon Adams (my dad), Marge Adams (my mom), Peter Dinett (Mr. Peter to me), and Emily Dinett (Tete to me).

Mr. Peter and Tete were a couple that were from Grand Isle, LA. and lived in the French Quarter of New Orleans, LA. whom my father had befriended when the ship he worked on had docked in New Orleans. We became very close friends when my parents moved to New Orleans where I was born.

I suppose the terms Cajun could be applied to both Tete and Mr. Peter although it never came up. My father took great pleasure in claiming that Mr. Peter was black and Mr. Peter insisted he wasn't a "nigger". It was very confusing to me to hear them all talk about black people (only in private) in such derogatory ways and then tell me (and show me) that I was to treat everyone equally with kindness and respect.

One day, after one of these arguments, I asked Mr. Peter a question. He turned and gave me his full attention like I was an adult instead of an eight year old kid. Knowing that Mr. Peter was a Christian (often walking to Jackson square to go to church), I asked him "When you get to heaven, will there be a fence separating the blacks from the whites?". He sat back in his chair as if stunned and said, "I never thought about it.". After some thought he finally he said "No, I guess there wouldn't be." so I said "Well then we should treat them the same way while we're down here.".

After that, my dad still tried to tease Mr. Peter but it didn't seem to bother him. He had looked at the world through the eyes of a child and was changed. He seemed to be more at peace with himself and the world. He went back to being the kind man that taught me much about the ways of gardening well and probably a good appreciation for the rich soil found in the many reclaimed areas including his enclosed garden that was once pasture for the old vehicles of the French Quarter (yes, I mean horses).

The point is, I grew up influenced by prejudice and love tempered with the ability to think and choose which path to follow. The dark side is SO easy to slide into but I have also been privileged to experience the immense power of love. I may fall, but when I get back up, I try my best to step back onto the path of LOVE.