Tweets by @morningblend56 According to Mary: September 2014

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Story of the Coffee Cup (Or I Break Things)

I am not one to air dirty laundry in public but I do want to share one of my deepest regrets with you. It was the one time I hurt my husband deeply and could not make amends.  I broke his coffee cup.

I don't know what kind of men have coffee cups they are attached to - I think it's the same kind of men that keep t-shirts as souvenirs instead of wearing them.  And I married one.

Well, anyway, on to the coffee cup.

It was dull ceramic black with block prints of loons embossed in a circle near the lip.  It was neat and tidy, elegant, small and classy. (My husband likes small coffee cups.)  In a word, it was perfect.  We found it in a shop at the mouth of the Mississippi River which added to its mystique. Loons represented the vacations we took every summer to Minnesota with another family.

Enough background, except to say that he bought it in 1999 and used it until 2012.  Every morning.

And I broke it.

I wish I remember what happened but I think I blocked it.  "Blah,blah, blah, blah...and I broke your coffee cup."

He couldn't look at me.  Nor would he talk to me.  Suddenly I was aware I had done something that was close to, for Cal, unforgivable.   I can't say I understood it but somehow it had become one of those processions that morphed into a part of his identity, security, well being. AND I HAD RECKLESSLY BROKEN IT.

I would not hurt my husband on purpose for anything.  But this was an accident.  Surely we could replace a coffee cup!  I ran to my computer to look online.  You can find anything on the internet.  I knew I could replace it.

Strangely enough, it was not the case then, nor has it been the case since.  Cal and I both look periodically to see if we can find his coffee cup.  I keep thinking what a wonderful surprise it would be for Christmas.  I still can't believe a mass produced coffee cup does not have a mate on the internet.

And the broken pieces of my badge of shame still lay on a shelf in the basement.  I will probably bury the shards of pottery with Cal and hope they too will be resurrected someday and I will be forgiven.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Called to Love

Here Mary,
Read this.
I was too busy at the time, so about 2 hours later, I finally had a moment to pick up the Des Moines Register.  It was a couple of days old because we had been traveling and the article would have escaped my attention if Cal hadn't directed my attention to it.

I have to remind myself that the world has always been a cruel place but at times the cruelty comes a little closer.  We know of this couple.  Not friends, but friends of friends.

I can't imagine their pain, but it's enough to make me feel like I have been kicked in the gut and I find it hard to breathe.

Whenever we love, we risk pain, but this is unnatural pain.  My heart hurt. For them. For the children. For the world where an offer of love and goodness can be stolen and turned into a forever heartache.

And yet we are called to love.
God have mercy.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Sacred Fire

I downloaded Ronald Rolheisers new book Sacred Fire onto my ipad.  What a mistake!  It is one of the books that I want to physically hold in my hands and mark up and quote. And hug.  I expected to enjoy the book and found the first part simply to be a rehash of his book Holy Longing, but he continues in the  second part of the book to describe the new challenges of trying to live out our faith in the mature years.  There were times I simple had to close the book because the truth was so blinding, but there was no book to close!  How frustrating is that!  Cold, hard Ipads do not make for intimate reading.

He tells the story of a old monk who is asked by a younger monk if he still struggles with the devil. The old monk says no, that he is old and weak and the devil has grow old and weak with him.  Now he struggles with God.  (And hoped to lose.)

Fr Rohlheiser describes the new challenges of being a mature disciple.  I am no longer the younger son in the parable of the prodigal son, I am the older son.  The struggle is to grow past my righteousness and become as compassionate as God is compassionate.  Layers of hurt that I have buried in my stronger, younger years, start to rise to the surface as the final reality of  my life hits me over the head.  I can be blindsided by anger, depression, bitterness, jealousy, sadness and boredom.   I am living in a tension different than the one I knew in my younger years.  I need grace to learn how to give my life away.

This challenge is a beautiful, but confusing thing.  I'm glad Rohlheiser wrote about it because it's not easy becoming a saint.  ;-).

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Lost in Chicago (part ll)

I've been traveling around a bit these days - from the prairies of South Dakota, to metropolitan
Chicago, and in two weeks, I will be traveling back home to the woods of Michigan.  Des Moines, I love you, but it's good to be on these journeys.

I find myself in a city where something very interesting is happening.  A new archbishop for Chicago was announced this morning.  Everyone knew who it would be but a news conference was called and everyone in the Catholic KNOW (which is different from the Catholic SEE) needed to voice an opinion (would that be the Catholic SAY?) about the selection.  However, Holy Name Cathedral was silent and dark.  For a long time I had the place to myself.  I don't know what I expected...a band?

Strangely enough this new archbishop-to-be was also a former Bishop of South Dakota. When he was moved to Spokane, the Pope made Fr. Bob (a priest I knew from Pella) a new Bishop to take his place.  So at times the Catholic world gets smaller - even to a Protestant.

I stayed too long at a TJ Max store that had just opened downtown and had to walk back to hotel in the rain. Umbrellas opened up like poppies around me.  I guess a true Chicagoan would carry one...just in case.

I got wet.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Being a "5"

Here are my friend's observations about being a 5 on the enneagram. Since I share that unfortunate number with her I asked if I could share it you. 😊

  • Searching for answers yet always slightly fearful that the answers might kill us. (Insatiably curiosity killed the cat, you know.)
  • Not wanting what we need. And sometimes not needing anything.
  • Wondering for fun and not profit.
  • Feeling highly creative and competent, or highly inept, depending on the day.
  • Being able to have fun all by ourselves

"We are not the most lovable types except for the wonderful connections that leap out of our heads when we are not trying...sometimes a poem, sometimes an insight, sometimes a pun. But we take no ownership - except to laugh in delight as if someone else had said it."

Lost in Chicago

Gosh, I love Chicago.  You know, that sudden curve in the road where all the skyscrapers pop into view.  I love the maze those tall buildings make for walking.  I even like losing my way for a little while, just long enough to see or hear something that I wasn't expecting.  Snatches of conversation, a flowerbed, a river, a bridge, a sign, a note of music, a window washer, a stained glass window, a gargoyle...

Today I wandered into Holy Name Cathedral where high school students in Vincent DePaul lime t-shirts were poking around the sanctuary.  I am always amazed how a cathedral can feel bigger, more spacious on the inside than it does outside. I closed my eyes for a moment and when I opened them again, the lime t-shirts were gone and the lights inside were dimmed and the stunning stained glass was blazing.  It was well worth getting lost for.

I hope to get lost again tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Phantom - One More Time

We (Cal and I) went to see Phantom of the Opera tonight at the Civic Center.

I tried not to let the fact that there is a sequel to Phantom called "Love Never Dies" ruin the the experience for me. It resumes the story 10 years later and Christine goes to America, Raoul is a drunk, and the Phantom returns, wins Christine's heart AND if I remember correctly, she dies.  It's just all wrong. Even the title sounds like a B grade vampire movie.

Oh well, the music tonight was as lavish as always and the chandelier exploded nicely.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Sisterhood

Long wonderful social weekend with the sisters.

It is a complicated group.  Two of the sisters are also sister-in-laws to each other.  Two of the sisters have the same name.  Two of the sisters married men with the same name.

Individual,  unique, taking on the mantel of sisterhood  under the name of family.

Picked up this painting this weekend.  Picture does't show the wonderful textures of material, paper, paint, ink that are this mixed media piece entitled "My Sisters."  It caught my eye high up on the wall and when I discovered the title I felt it represented this weekend of women. Looks great in my powder room wall.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

13 Reasons Why I Like Mammograms.

Today Is Mammogram day. 

These are my shower thoughts this morning about why I like mammograms better than other doctor and dentist appointments.
  1. You don’t get weighed.
  2. You only have to take off ½ of your clothes.
  3. You don’t get lectures.
  4. They have Better Homes and Gardens in their waiting rooms.
  5. You can spell it.
  6. You don’t have you to wear makeup or jewelry or dress nice, wear deodorant or powder or even brush your teeth if you don’t want to.
  7. It doesn’t take mental energy, They don’t ask a lot of questions that you don’t know the answers to… like when was your last…and they tell you exactly where to stand and where to put your arm and not to breathe.
  8. They apologize if they hurt you.
  9. They apologize if it’s cold.
  10. They apologize for everything which makes you feel gracious and rack up goodness points that day for being forgiving.
  11. The radiology techs are usually women who are very good at what they do, because it’s what they do, and I appreciate their “we are all in this together” attitude.
  12. They try to make the machines look feminine which makes me laugh as if the color pink is the magic key to make us happy about having our breasts squeezed. I hate pink - but I give them credit for trying. One hospital (which shall remain unnamed) tried to make their radiology room look like a suite in a grand hotel. I swear they even had lighted candles. A bit over the top, I thought, as if I’d be more likely to have a mammogram at the Ritz Carlton.
  13. You get to wear a cape. I like capes. Capes are classic and never go out of style. (Except they are always pink) Hospital gowns, well, you know....

I heard I am scheduled for a colonoscopy next month.
 Can’t spell it.
 Don’t want it. 
Let’s see what I think of that!

Until then, I remain faithfully,
 Your Mary

Friday, September 5, 2014

Woodchuck on Hickman

Picture it.

A busy street in Des Moines.
Hickman to be exact.
A woodchuck sitting on his haunches on the sidewalk,
calmly nibbling on something in his paws
(Let's make it an ear of sweetcorn.  Because it's Iowa.)
watching the cars go past.

Makes quite a picture doesn't it.
Almost poetic.
But it's true.
Cal saw it
and Cal

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Smile for the Day

I opened a door at the store for a bearded old man with a cigar hanging out of his mouth.  He bowed grandly and said,
 "You, madam, are a scholar and a gentleman, and there are so damn few of us left."

Made my day.