Another Yom Kippur

Here it is, Fall again, and another Yom Kippur alone.

I should not be concerned about Yom Kippur since I have been or professed Christianity for 20 years.  Yet, I still felt God, or the Holy Spirit driving me to fast Yom Kippur.  If I felt assured of my Salvation I might write it off as bunk or “Judaizing” my faith.  But, I really don’t know if I’m saved since 2010 and even before that.  I had been backsliding since 2003 or so, and I thought I had made it right but this last year has been from hell and I don’t think God is with me anymore.

For four years now, I’ve also been fasting once a week thinking this would keep me in God’s good graces and keep demons and other troubles off me.  It’s a healthy physical practice but I haven’t got much from it spiritually since the fast became just a part of my weekly routine.  I keep hearing negative messages from God (or Voice to Skull?) so I stopped praying pretty much.  If I pray, I get Voice to Skull and it does not seem I get through to God.  I stopped fasting once a week 3 weeks ago but I’ll do Yom Kippur.

I doubt I’d have even considered Christianity if it hadn’t been for the rabbi that rejected me when I was a kid.  I would have stayed put as a Jew and not been abandoned by my family (even though they might have done it because I’m a ti).  I really thought Christianity was the way to go since I had guilty sins on my conscience, and Jesus Christ promised forgiveness of all sins.

About the Bat Mitzvah I never had:  to be honest, it wasn’t that I just missed out on the gifts, the party, the adoring relatives, etc….that is very well for a child and I would have loved it, but I had a deeper feeling of rejection.

I felt you just about pushed me out of Cheder and the Bar/Bat Mitzvah program because God told you to.  I felt you had a pipeline to God and He told you not to give me a Bat Mitzvah.  I didn’t measure up.  At 11 1/2 I was evil, somehow, a defective.  That feeling led to my rebellion in my teen years along with all the bullying and ostracisism.

I thought it would all be cool with God and I when I got “Saved”.  Maybe not.  I had never heard of Predestination until later.  Maybe I’m not one of the elect.  I’m probably not one of the elect.  I still coulda had a Bat Mitzvah.  Did my parents/teachers get their tips on raising me from the devil himself?

Here’s to another Yom Kippur.

Good Book

w/o Internet at home I have more time to read..and read.  Just finished a 400+ page book called Straight Into Darkness by Faye Kellerman.  It is about pre-Hitler Germany and how a troubled understaffed police department and a detective with at least a few morals left solve a case of mass murder in Munich or “lustmord” which is I think the definition of “love of death” or something.  It also examines the state of the art and entertainment around Germany at that time.  Munich was sort of a place of middle class “respectability” compared to Berlin…so they did not get the hootchie cootchie shows as much but they did have Kabarets, or nightclubs.  It also explores the world of 1920s German art which had themes of violence (the lustmord) as well.  The main character watches as Hitler rises, and his rallies and his (eventually disposable) Brownshirts become more and more violent and how the police have trouble controlling the riots from the rallies and how the police and populance become more and more sympathetic to the Nazi cause and how honest people like Axel Berg (the main character) are getting fewer and fewer.  Kellerman leaves you guessing to the end who the killer is and the ending is a big surprise.  It is a good read for a ti as perps have been compared to Brownshirts over and over again.  Another theme is…drum roll…FOOD.  German pub food sucks apparently, and if the Germans had a better cuisine they probably would not have had to have so many wars.  I bet Postwar Germany is full of Chinese, Mexican, Indian and American food.  Kellerman uses lots of German phrases to make the novel seem authentically German even though it is written in English.  I recognized a few German words due to my Grandmother using some Yiddish words even though she spoke English.  She also spoke Yiddish and my mother understood it.  I can only make out a few food words.  Apparently Jewish food is German food, essentially, sort of like Macrobiotic food is Japanese food, essentially…except for SAUSAGE.  The Jews ate Brisket and bird not sausage

Sober–Angle of self deception? Looking at sober in a new way?

Are you Sober? Am I? What is Sober?

Is Sober merely abstaining from mind altering substances such as liquor and street drugs, or, is it also being in a rational mental state also abstaining from anger and rage and silly frivolity? Is Sober avoiding (if it can be avoided) the depths of melancholy and self pity? How many people are actually Sober in your state your country, the world? Not so many.

Most of my life, I believed I had been “Sober”. Actually, I was only “Sober” on paper since I did not drink nor do street drugs with a few backslidings with alcohol and teen experimentation with pot. I also smoked for a few years.  There was also that time I did the diet pills….For the most part, I did not drink, smoke, or use recreational drugs for almost 50 years. Still, I drink lots of coffee, eat lots of sugar and bread, and take psych drugs, including benzodiazepines.  I’m a junkie, really, if you get down to it.  I have also indulged myself emotionally in anger and ranting and cursing and long periods of self pity and depression.  My Sobriety comes in moments, maybe hours but never for even a day.

I think I have used this “sober clean living” thing as a facade.  It’s a platform for sinful pride.  I’m prideful that I do not indulge in cigarettes, alcohol, sleep with men, gamble, etc…makes me think I have an “in” with God.  It’s all a lie.  God looks at the heart.  Maybe some of His favorites are junkies sitting in alleys.  Mine is a hard fisted miserable sobriety done more for self preservation than to be “good”.  White knuckles could describe it.  If I had a buck for every time I’ve wanted a cigarette these past four years….

There are many actions and attitudes in today’s society that although they do not include beer, cigarettes or cocaine or even an innocent cup of coffee, are not “Sober” activities.

Giving way to anger and rage puts one in an altered state that is ungodly.  People who used to do various drugs and drinks and tell happy stories of those days or linger on those memories or still act immature are considered “dry drunks” by organizations such as AA.  People who indulge themselves in jealousy are taken over by a demon that can lead to murder.  If your cup of tea is melancholy it can lead you to living a “dark” lifestyle where the negative and even gross aspects of life gain importance and God loses out.  Some people use incredible amounts of legal supplements to get a sort of “high”, like the kind you get drinking Red Bull or Five Hour Energy.  Those substances are good in a pinch when extra energy is needed and there is little time for rest.  God knows I have had Red Bull and Five Hour Energy, I just avoid the occult looking Monster drink.

Some people get a high off of starving which some people say is the reason it is so hard to get anorexics to eat.  Some hallucinate on long fasts and keep going on them to get enlightenment or not.  Some people eat until they get sleepy enough to block out the world.  Some people use pornography for a temporary high. There is a hypnotic state achieved by watching a movie or even TV.  Between the constant ads, brainwashing and flicker rate TV and movies are a drug.  I used to feel a lot “better” when I used to watch TV for hours every evening.  Some people use compulsive and extravagant shopping trips to get a high.  Some people play video games for hours on end. Even poor people like me buy stuff we don’t need but want just to “feel better”.  NO one is totally “Sober”.

Most of us delude ourselves into thinking we are living “clean and sober”.  With our laundry list of little habits and emotions we retain a sort of high, just enough to get through a day.  If we were to be truly sober or all substances or media including starving, overeating, and shopping, it would be unendurable to most of us.  Were they more “Sober” in the old days without all the psych drugs and TV and coffee on every corner?  Maybe not.  People consumed a lot more alcohol than we do now and there was not a “drinking age”.  Alcohol was served at least once a day in an average household that was not overtly religious.  People smoked more, too, especially men.  Overall, they were “more Sober” than we are in this techno-controlled society.  Shopping was limited, there were not restaurants on every corner, no easily available porn, or psych drugs.  People were grateful to eat and did not worship “skinny”.  For some, they did not even get needful medication for their ills, living in constant pain.\

Could people live “Sober” today?  If one was willing to live without the TV, the Internet, Coffee, Sweets, any psych drugs, movies, drugs and alcohol and cigarettes, and even shopping except for necessities, you could be sort of “Sober”.  What about books?  Do some books make people high?  Would people have to live without novels or sensational journalism?  What about puzzles?  Where does it end?  Would we be hunched over a candle in a small room reading a Bible Commentary for hours or be like Lincoln reading Law by the fire?

Nineteen, free write w/o editing..spelinng optional

Yesterday’s post got me to thinking about the sad state of the elderly poor. They sometimes remain naive of the ways of the world especially if they are widowed and are largelay taken adventage of.

My “Mrs Pauley” post was partially based on a real person whose life fell apart. She was married to her third husband and living in low income housing. They were pretty happy but poor. He loved her. She loved him.

When he was dying he asked his family to help take care of her since her family was quite estranged from her. The only child she talked to was in prison and the only other person she talked to was his ex wife–crabby and bipolar but with a love for cleaning.

She had some friends amongst her neighbors but they could do little for her as they were poor themselves.  She was friendly with a crabby lady downstairs and did many things for her but then they fell out.

This person’s life was mainly focused on her job as an in home dispatcher for her family’s plumbing business.  She would earn extra over her Social Security and be kept busy without leaving her apartment as she was somewhat disabled with COPD and arthritis.  She still smoked.

When work was over she watched television. She cooked a little here and there.  Her few outings took her to restaurants or to her ex daughter-in-law’s apartment.  She loved to go out and would dress up a bit and had a smile on her face.  She loved to talk and also to brag about how good her son in prison had become.  She had a tendancy to gossip.

Then, her life started to fall apart bit by bit.  First, it was her doctor.  He started giving her fewer pain pills because the HMO she was with set a limit.  She was left with pain during the day.  At first she used menthol rubs and Advil and such to mask the extra pain but it never completely worked.  Still she lived with it.

Next, her son came out of prison.  He was not the reformed creature she said he was.  He was on the make, always looking for drugs.  He stayed at his mother’s house on and off sponging off her as much as possible.  He struck up a friendship with an alcoholic neighbor across the hall and they schemed to steal whatever was valuable from the old lady’s apartment.  I don’t know how he got the safe’s combintation but he did.  Things started missing from her apartment.  I started calling the alcoholic woman the “thief” and she did a few dirty perpy tricks on me.  I was not upset when the management made her leave later on.

When I visited her alone or with my friend she would joke that she had “old-timer’s disease” which filled me with terror as I saw my grandfather die badly of it.  I assured her she did not, but, her work performance started to go down.  Her in laws fired her.  She was left virtually destitute.  The pain was worse.

We took her to the ER for something and one of the nurses said she was an alcoholic but I had never seen her with a drink so I was angry and thought they lied to rile up a vulneralble woman.

Soon I saw the alcohol.  She bought Whiskey at a half gallon a pop.  I didn’t even know they made it that big.  Whiskey, cigarettes and Coke were her mainstays to keep the pain away that the lower does of pills did not handle.

She was getting my friend or even ME to go to the liquor store to buy her half gallon of whiskey at 30 bucks.

Finally she could not take care of herself at all and the state got involved and put her into some kind of assisted care building.  I inferred they had diagnosed her with Alzeimer’s as well.  She was only in her mid 60s.

She had had a hard life in the woods of the South.  She had no plumbing as a child.  After two disastrous marriages and a few kids she moved here with her last husband.  He was a quiet gentle man.

He treated her as she always wanted to be treated.  She drank during her earlier marriages but remained dry for at least 20 years with the third marriage and afterward until her life fell apart.

We visited her only once.  She had moved maybe two miles away to an apartment building refitted for assisted care.  Instead of an apartment she now only had a tiny room that led into a common area with a fridge and microwave.  Another woman lived in a room off the common area as well.  That was her life.  She also went to adult day care where they put her with the “droolers” even though she still had lots of lucidity.  The indignity.

I’m sure she has passed away by now.  It frightened me how people will take advantage of an elderly person alone, especially one who hadn’t had much education or experience except the hard knocks.  Even with them, she seemd to be a little lamb amongst wolves.  The only book in her house was the Bible.

She was a friend to me when I needed her and I wonder if she was being perped.  I hope she remembers me when she gets to Heaven as a have few friends on the Earth.

Lost and Found–The Sixteenth Temp Agency

Imagine you had a job in which you had to sift through forgotten or lost belongings. Describe a day in which you come upon something peculiar, or tell a story about something interesting you find in a pile.

 

So, today’s twist: If you’d like to continue our serial challenge, also reflect on the theme of “lost and found” more generally in this post.

By the end of Writing 101, you’ll have multiple posts around a theme — material you could thread together in a longform piece.

Questions to think about as you write your post:

  • What have you learned about loss over the years?
  • What does it feel like to find an object that was once important to you?
  • When can reconnecting go horribly wrong?
  • When are things better left buried and forgotten?

In your “lost and found” tale, tell us something larger — a life lesson, perhaps —

This post is based on this website.  State mental patients in Upstate New York left their few belongings which ended up in storage.  The “Suitcase Project” became famous and a catalyst for patient rights in the current era.

The following is fiction:  I never held a job like this…dcms

It had happened again:  I was caught broke and hard up with no one to help.  I needed money fast.  I went to the Recollections temp agency because they seemed to offer jobs a little different than the ones I got at standard temp agencies….could I possibly get any experience on these assignments instead of the usual gig that lands you in an office somewhere doing work my cat could do and look better doing it.

I knew it would be different when I heard my first assignment would be at a CLOSED mental hospital.  There would be no administrative tasks to be done:  no filing, no answering phones, no data entry, no food service in the now closed cafeteria.  I could  not imagine why they would want people to work in an abandoned mental hospital.

I was sent to the sub basement to a huge area filled with boxes of patients belongings.  These were the few personal belongings of patients who had died at the hospital and had no one to pick up their few scraps of possessions.  There were lots and lots of boxes.  Once we were done collecting, categorizing and repackaging belongings, they were to go to the Metropolitan museum to become an exhibit.  Lives Lost:  the possessions of the dispossessed.   There was even a show on Discovery Channel planned.  I felt exited and honored to be part of the project even though the temps were offered nothing but their wages.  We would not be listed as contributors to the project.

There is little ceremony on a temp job.  We were set to work with latex gloves and dusting wipes to snoop into the lives of the forgotten ones.

The first person my work buddy and I came onto was an old lady that had died in the institution.  She had photos of relatives dating from the 1940s all the way until 1986 when she had died.  She also had a few pieces of costume jewelry, a brush comb and mirror, and some very old expired cosmetics.  There was a book of poems by an obscure author and some white gloves.  There was also a pair of heels and cheap-fancy underwear.  She must have been a “trusty” who was allowed out on passes to various events or just to shop or go out to eat.  There were a few stilted letters from her husband, the guilty one, who had put her there.  If he had been alive when she died he never bothered to get her things or to bury her because her burial plot number was put in Magic Marker on the outside of the box.  The graveyard for patients was about a mile away and there were thousands of simple crosses and small headstones that marked the lives of the disposable people.  Over 100 years of unloved ones buried beneath the earth.  It was going to be a Historical Area so at least the remains would not be disturbed.

The second suitcase was a set.  In the first one there were clothes, underwear, cosmetics, and even expensive perfume.  There was a small packet at the bottom of the suitcase.  I lost myself to time and place when I found myself reading love letters from this woman’s boyfriend written a year or so before her admission to the hospital.  The letters ended abruptly.  They had broken up and he had married the woman his parents wanted him to marry and left her heartbroken.  The second box contained tons of sheet music for the violin and piano loaded up with instructor’s notes.  The fading spidery notes were guides for some musician to improve playing the piece at hand.  I felt a chill.  The box also contained some novels and philosophical books and even a Bible.  On the bottom was a box of hats and gloves and a cigarette holder.  This was one elegant lady.

In yet another big box there was a case in which there was a dusty violin with broken strings.  Lumps of rosin accompanied the instrument and there were spare strings along with a photo of the Boyfriend.  Turned out she was a concert violinist on the verge of big fame when she went into a downward spiral over the loss of her engagement.  She took to drink and was found drunk on the street.  Instead of putting her in jail where she could have called someone they took her to one hospital after another where she did not appear to get better.  The one picture of her before the hospital showed a slim stylish woman with all her faculties.  Where was her family, her friends?, her lawyer?  She was transferred to State and spent the next fifty years of her “life” here helping wash dishes in the hospital kitchen.  She spent a few years in a group home towards the end but poor health brought her into a nursing home.  Apparently there is one recording of this woman’s playing but a Net search failed to produce it.

The next person’s suitcase looked like an elderly grandmother’s.  It was full of Bibles and Bible Commentaries and knitted and crocheted and tatted items of good quality. A letter by James Vernon McGee had been framed in a cheap frame. She had been on the “Bible Bus”.  A small transistor radio was found. There was a looking glass, brush and comb, and a nail clipper with file.  No cosmetics.  A paper bag revealed Mother’s Day and Christmas and Birthday cards to the inmate from her family.  The cartoonish or gaudily floral greetings seemed so out of place for State.  There were also a few drawings and Report Cards full of A’s for the inmate to look at.  There was a romance novel full of pressed flowers and a dried bouquet in the box.  Her husband had kept in touch.

The next box of hers revealed lots of flowery house coats and a few dowdy dresses.  There were 2 pair of sensible shoes, size 11.  The one picture of the woman was taken slightly before her incarceration at State.  She was a Middle-Aged slightly fat woman with fading beauty and a sad face.  Her hair, done in a dowdy bun, drooped.  I could have cried.  What was this woman’s crime?

The woman was once a very active Church member of a village nearby and had a family of 7.  She was quite happy and busy as a small town housewife and leader of various charities in her Church.  Then the change happened.  The old pastor left and a new one came in.  Also, strange people started joining the Church and some of the wives challenged her right to run her groups.  Some of this group got together to ruin the woman by starting a psychological campaign to destroy her by undermining her Spirituality and making her believe she had never been Saved.  In the end she fell apart, had to quit her groups and even the Church.  She had been brought to a village hospital after a suicide attempt and never seemed much better after that.  She was brought to State to live out the rest of her 30 years.

The only reason anyone knew of all this was that her husband had petitioned for her release into his custody to accompany him to a country retreat and he gave this testimony of his wife.  Turns out the Church totally fell apart and disbanded months after this woman left.  The damage had been done though.

In her early years at the hospital according to Dr.’s Notes she had been sullen and uncommunicative.  She made more suicide attempts.  Later, when they put her on psychiatric drugs she calmed down enough to go to an unlocked ward and attend Occupational Therapy and to work in the Kitchen.  She even had a small cottage to herself on the grounds before she became too ill physically to live there.  Her husband even took her on passes to town to shop and to eat out.  When asked if she would like to leave the hospital she would grow pale and shake and retreat within herself for several days.  The loving husband died rather young and the family slowly lost touch as they grew up and moved away.

The third box had me in tears.  I almost could not go on.  But life goes on and I had rent, a car payment and cable to pay for.  There were 500 boxes that had been left there and they were still looking for more around the huge campus when I finally left to get a job in my field.  It was getting stressful with the tourists and TV cameras anyway.

It was ironic how these lost people had been found by strangers and made well known though modern electronic media.  I will never know if the lost ones we found really wanted to be found at all but I can only hope that life after death had been kinder to them than on this side of mortality.

Some things when lost, remain lost forever.  The joys of this life pass quickly and sometimes there is nothing to replace the loss here on Earth.  I have rarely reclaimed something or somebody I had on Earth.  I used to find
“surprises” at my parent’s home if I searched the top of my old closet.  Items from the past, worth nothing but remembrance.  A window into another time.  I used to peruse an old brown suitcase full of old family pictures my father had including some of me.  I would sadly note that the times had passed, people had died and I had not “turned out”.

Several years ago, I backslid and tried to somehow return to my old “life” as a groupie.  It not only failed, it hurt me more than I could say.  I asked God this time to show me my idols as they really were and He did even though I backslid.  I was very disappointed.  They were just men and flawed ones at that.  Then the perps took what I was doing and turned it into a nightmare.  When I finally turned away I heartily regretted what I had done.  The past belongs in the past.

I believe I should have simply forgotten my idolatry from the past but my rebellious nature got the best of me when my life went downhill.  I got angry at God and opened up that old can of worms.  I had found nothing had changed nor gotten better.  One evening, when I was living in one of my fantasies, I came to myself and found I was acting like I did when I was a girl and new to the fantasies.  I was sickened I had slid all the way to the bottom of the hill.  I have tried to reclaim my faith since then but it has never been the same.  The beginning of sin is as the letting forth of water……

 

Day Thirteen Serial Killer Part 2

On day four, you wrote a post about losing something. Today, write about finding something.

Tell us about the time you retrieved your favorite t-shirt from your ex. Or when you accidentally stumbled upon your fifth-grade journal in your parents’ attic. Or how about the moment you found out the truth about a person whose history or real nature you thought you’d figured out. Interpret this theme of “finding something” however you see fit.

Today’s twist: if you wrote day four’s post as the first in a series, use this one as the second installment — loosely defined.

You could pick up the action where you stopped, or jump backward or forward in time. You might write about the same topic, but use a different style, or use the same style to tackle a neighboring topic.

Not sure how to approach continuity? Here’s a time-tested tip: pick a favorite book or two. Read the last page of chapter one, then the first page of chapter two. How did the author choose to connect these two separate-but-connected narrative units?

In the last installment of a cereal killer I had lost everything:  my freedom, my joy, my laughter, my love of country, any trust I had for my family, any notion that I was “free” in any way.  If everything is lost and is not coming back, what is there to find?  There are small things, and thin comfort they are, but they exist nonetheless.

By losing everything by being a ti you gain the knowledge that everything is not as it seems in life and you are forced to walk around awake and not asleep.  The new knowledge you gain is painful and unpleasant as you see the nice little world around you crumble and ugly realities take their place.  No one is who they seem to be.  You cannot trust the news anymore, you cannot worship celebrities anymore.  Amusements don’t seem fun anymore if there are lots of people there.  You begin to see the multitude of amusements around you as stupifying activities for the hypnotized masses.  They go to amusements to waste time and get their pocketbooks raped.  Even simple passtimes like walking and visiting a library or museum are ruined by the presence of law enforcement and guards everywhere along with aircraft that dog you from the sky and of course the perps.  This is a thin recompense for your past life but at least its real.

You get a keen painful awareness that people are taking all kinds of trouble and time to get ahead in life but that if will give them nothing.  They attend school after school to attain degrees they will never use, or, if they use them at all they will work beneath their potential in a soul stealing job that they will probably lose due to layoffs or whatever whim the “boss” decides to use to get rid of them.  The few that succeed will have their souls (yes their souls) demanded of them if they wish to continue to be successful.  Some good people slip by and work hard in their fields all their life to be laid off with months to retirement and nothing to show for it.  Others will retire with some money only to have a long illness take it all away.  The only ones who grow rich and keep their money and toys are the evil ones.  Everyone else ends up in the poorhouse or in very lean circumstances otherwise.  This knowledge brings you nothing.  The perps even stop you when you try to learn something online to try and “get ahead”.  To learn for the sake of learning and not earning and for personal use and not economic use is a new concept for many,

You realize any happy or joyful moments are rare and do not return.  That any joy does not come from the amusements THEY provide but from God.  The hollow laughter at a sitcom, the scream on the roller coaster, or wild applause at a rock concert are plastic.  Did you ever get the feeling at a concert that you were there and supposed to be enjoying it but you didn’t and you felt crowded out and miserable in the dark amongst people you would cross the street to avoid?  You try to whoop and cheer and forget about it but the whole thing was plastic.  Did you leave the concert feeling cheated, almost raped?  I have.  I never shared that.  People brag about being at this concert or that, but the actual experience sucked.  There is more real joy in watching a bird fly or lightning in a storm.

The loss of family is real and cannot be replaced though.  How can you replace it?  If you have God in your heart and a relationship with Him, He can love you in the absence of family.  You still can’t replace family, though.

Day Twelve way too late

We don’t write in a bubble — we write in the world, and what we say is influenced by our experiences. Today, take a cue from something you’ve overheard and write a post inspired by a real-life conversation. Revisit a time when you wish you’d spoken up, reminisce about an important conversation that will always stick with you, or tune in to a conversation happening around you right now and write your reaction. Take time to listen — to what you hear around you, or what your memories stir up.

 

Today’s twist: include an element of foreshadowing in the beginning of your post.

This assignment is hard for me because as a ti people do not act normally around me.  Even conversations I overhear are usually “directed conversations” designed for me to overhear and to agitate or depress me.  It has been a long long time since people acted normally around me and I didn’t feel the vigilance of people to capture my every word and deed.  I have thought over these last few days of conversations I might have overheard in my family as a child and young person but even those are few and far between.  Even then I was not privy to family secrets and I was also kept from the real life of the family…the love.  I was set apart, kept in the dark.  I do not know if my parents were perps but I certainly was not accepted in the family.  Only on a surface level.  I was a guest in my own house…like a sort of foster child.  There was a wall there put up right around the time I was 8 or 9 or so.

OK, here’s one I heard at my last job, which was over 5 years ago:

A man at our work table announced he had been a father at age 8.  I forgot the response to it.

It’s hard to hear convos even though I try.  Due to my targetting everyone is on guard around me like I’m some criminal.

It’s hard to remember when anyone was natural around me even in an overheard conversation,

 

 

Day Eleven–I believe I did a post like this before.

Tell us about the home where you lived when you were twelve. Which town, city, or country? Was it a house or an apartment? A boarding school or foster home? An airstream or an RV? Who lived there with you?

I have already done a post like this last year.  As I read it, I noticed sentence structure.  I had too many small sentences.  For awhile, writing with many small sentences was “cool” I think, in maybe the 1990s.  I mixed it up just enough.  This time I will just relate what the house looked like, not personal history from age 11 on like I did in that old post.

Today’s twist: pay attention to your sentence lengths and use short, medium, and long sentences as you compose your response about the home you lived in when you were twelve.

My childhood home circa 1977 was the epitome of Middle America.

We had a medium-sized house with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.  It came with a jumbo kitchen and a semi formal parlor and dining room and 2 dens.  It had a large yard front and back and even a side yard.  It was built in 1961 by an architect who was leaving to go live in a bigger home he had built for himself.  This man became very rich later.  The house oozed ’60s with Avocado carpet and orange yellow and green linoleum in the kitchen.  I believe he was responsible for the Shag carpeting in some rooms and also the Avocado, Pumpkin and Yellow curtains for the den.

I lived there with my parents and my younger sister.  We didn’t have pets until later.  By 1977 we had lived in the house almost a decade.  We still had much of the original look.  My parents upgraded the kitchen, the carpets and the paint in the 1980s.  The house had a large front porch but no one sat on porches in that neighborhood.  My folks added a patio in back so they could barbeque.

The master bedroom was pretty small but had an attached bathroom in green.  My parents had to buy furniture for the new house since they had moved from an apartment.  A lot of it was cheapo until my mother added nicer pieces in the 1980s in some rooms.  The old bed with the metal frame lasted until my father moved into his own condo in the 1990s.  We had 3 dial phones.  One old beige box phone in the bedroom, an Avocado slimline for the den and a Wall Phone in tan for the kitchen.

Our bedrooms were even smaller.  Mine might have been slightly larger than my sister’s but it was also the coldest room in the house.  It was about 60 degrees there in Winter if I closed the door.  I would have to go under my comforter with a heating pad to keep warm.  The main bathroom, in pink, was nice with a large vanity and drawers and 2 sinks.  I spent a large part of my childhood/adolescence in the large pink tub falling asleep.  My mother upgraded the floor in the 1980s with ceramic tile, which wasn’t that much in use yet.

Some of carpet was in mustard puke yellow as well.  The house had lots and lots of windows.  The kitchen was very light as was the parlor and dining room.  The 2nd den was all windows on its East side.  It was never used as anything but a playroom and later a rec room.  My father could have requisitioned it as a home office/library but he didn’t.

Gardening was not priority with my mother.  She planted a few Annuals in our Rock Garden and a few Perennials came up every year including a large Yucca that came with the house.  She refused for some reason to plant bulbs which disappointed me because the Spring flowers are from bulbs.  She also did not keep Roses or Iris like Grandma.  We also did not have fruit trees.  My mother spent so much time watering the lawn on our huge lot that gardening took a back seat.  I also have a feeling she did not want to be outside amongst the neighbors even back then.  When my father and I left the house I put in bulbs for the next owner by digging up an old garden spot on the side of the house.  There were no flowers there the last time I checked and the grass had grown up over the spot.

There were only the bushes and 2 evergreens including a huge Blue Spruce when we moved in.  My father planted a tree for my mother’s 50th Birthday.  I guess it is still there.  No one knew how little she had yet to live.  My parents put trees in around the backyard but the beetles got them.  The house also came with bushes and an evergreen tree in the backyard.  I was very jealous of the neighbor girl whose parents had put a fish pond in their backyard.

I went back to the house of my bad childhood (see other posts) a few times.  It looks as if the Monster Bushes in front had been cut back and the house looked a little spruced up.  Nothing major.  Of course I didn’t go inside.  I wonder if the marble entryway is still there and if there is still that weird ironwork in the kitchen and dining room that came with the house.

As the years go on, the house becomes a memory.  My sister lives in a home of her own (more than twice as big according to Zillow) with a circle drive and 5 bedrooms.  I live in a Section 8 apartment in the ‘hood or former ‘hood as it’s getting to be.  When we moved my father told me to take a last look through the house for anything we missed.  I found one of my Mother’s wedding portraits.  It “lives” with me in the ‘hood today.  I was the last one in our home that day.  Thirty mostly miserable years had passed on.  I doubt I will ever have any kind of home of my own due to being gangstalked already for most of my life.

 

Shabbos–Day Ten

Tell us about your favorite childhood meal — the one that was always a treat, that meant “celebration,” or that comforted you and has deep roots in your memory.

Today’s twist: Tell the story in your own distinct voice.

“Aw c’mon dcms, there must be SOMETHING comforting from your childhood!”

“Well, I already told you about Passover and what a comforting tradition that was so I guess there’s only Shabbos, or Friday night dinner left.”

“Okay, tell me about it.”

“It was one of the most enduring traditions of my childhood.  It happened every week!  Ya couldn’t escape it!  Friday was Shabbos!  When I was very young up to about age 13 it meant going to Grandma’s across town to eat what she made.  It was just us four, Grandma and Grandpa, and the dog.  It was always good.  We always had Candle Lighting, except in Summer when it was so late, then the family would gather and we would do the prayers over the Challah and Wine.  My Grandpa and Dad would take a piece of Challah and say the Motzi and then put some salt on it and eat it.  Then we started eating.

There was always a first course.  Usually it was chopped liver or cold turnip salad with Challah.  I didn’t like either much, but the liver was better for me because the turnip salad was bitter.  Of course I loved the homemade Challah with white raisins.

Then we’d get to business and the main course.  It usually was some kind of chicken but Grandma also baked beef sometimes and occasionally did a “milk” Shabbos with tuna casserole as the main dish.  We’d also get cold salad and a hot vegetable and kugel.  I liked every kind of kugel except potato.  Sometimes it would be rice kugel or noodle kugel which were both sweetened with fruit and cinnamon.  Potato was plain and there were no condiments to put on it.  Sometimes we’d get pickled green tomatoes my Grandma put up from her tomatoes.

After that there was dessert, the best part.  Most times she would bake some kind of cake:  either banana or marble cake or even a pie.  With a milk meal it would be coffee cake.  Sometimes there would also be fruit salad or even in summer, Grandma’s version of ice cream made with Coffee Rich, usually strawberry flavored.  For a beverage, it was usually Swee Touch Nee tea and sometimes coffee.

The best part however, was being together at the end of the work/school week and talking.  If it was Summer, we’d retire to the patio to talk till it got dark.  If it was Winter, I’d go with the ‘rents and my sister would stay over and go to shul with Grandma.  I had allergies at her house and could not stay the night even though I tried a few times.

After the dog passed I would stay at her apartment she later got for the whole weekend for a few years.  Then it would just be Grandma and I eating the Shabbos after my folks got into it with her one Friday.  My sister came to these dinners also if she wasn’t out of town at college or at her job.  At the end it was just Grandma and I.  The food would not be finished so we would eat the rest for lunch the next day.

All those days are gone now.  Everything is gone now.  Only my sister and her family are left alive and she does not talk to me.

“Wow, dcms, Shabbos was a real stable part of your young life.”

“It sure was.  I probably turned out better than I would have if not for those family traditions to keep me somewhat grounded.”

 

The Park???

It’s been awhile since I’ve been to “the park”. I used to go almost every day, but after almost being arrested for giving a dirty look to a cop, having dead animals put into my path, skitted and scammed with fake little dramas and then to top it all off seeing my OLD landlord at the park who made me homeless back in the 1990s and finding out he is trying to take over a large part of the city…..ugh, a nightmare.

Here’s an old one from a few years ago….

Wow, what a great way to make money!  This has to be the best untapped way to make a buck!  Making money off the backs of the homeless!  I supply the drugs and they sell it to their homeless buddies!  All I do is sit here in the parking lot and rake in the cash!  And the cops do not bother me!  It’s almost like they want me here!  Like I help to “keep order”.  I am a feudal Lord!  Some ugly bitch over there keeps giving me dirty looks and I think she’s on to me, but, she is one of those targets and can’t do a damn thing.  Plus all my guys keep staring at her and giving her dirty looks as they constantly go back and forth to my car!  What a sucker that woman is!  I bet she comes here to get away from the “neighbors” if you know what I mean.  If this keeps up I won’t have to go back to work!  I’m afraid when the weather gets colder though the bums will go inside and I will lose income.  Better think up another scam.  Maybe I should be a stalker….

It can’t be!  That bastard is dealing drugs out of the park and destroying the only peace I get at all!  His “men” keep staring at me as they walk back and forth all over the bridge.  Not one cop in sight.  Where is that cop I keep seeing following me around everywhere?  He zips past me on the bike path, he “meets” me in parking lots, once he even kept speed with the bus as I was on it!  I even see him sitting half a block away while I wait for the bus!  I see tire tracks on the grass sometimes but if those belong to cops they aren’t messing with this operation.  They follow me on the street when I walk home from the park turning and driving past me dozens of times but these guys deal drugs out in the sunlight just like my “neighbor” does.  The cops tell my landlady that there’s “nothing they can do”, but, I watched an interaction with him and the cops one evening and it’s obvious he’s a snitch even if he’s not a well-liked one!  He was trying to demand respect from the cops and they were laughing at him.   But they won’t arrest him even though he does his dealing in front of everyone.  Why are those asshole bums staring at me like they want to beat me up?  I’m not interfering with their “business”.  They know I can’t call the cops because they won’t do anything but accuse me of being nuts and trying to force me into a hospital or on psych drugs.

Wow what a niiiice awesome day for me to ride my bike!  I look awesome in my tight “bike outfit” Cowabunga!  I hate all the poor people walking on the path, they get in the way.  I want to go fast!  A guy like me needs to stay in shape to get girls in bed!  My current girlfriend is a drag and is getting demanding so I’m gonna have to trade her in–matter of fact I’m already cheating on her ass!  She’s gained like five whole pounds and a yuppie like me cannot be seen with a fat girl.  I hang out with the guys from work and I’d lose social cred if I’m seen with a needy fat chick!  Here’s the park!  Sometimes my buddies and I come here for a few beers or to pick up some cheap chicks–like slumming!  Usually, I just ride past here as fast as I can since there are bums everywhere!  This summer, it’s like weird.  They seem to be walking up and down the path near the bridge every time I come here.  I almost ran into one.  Ten points!  Can’t they see they are getting in the way of my fitness goals?