Monthly Archives: July 2017

Religion vs. LGBTQ (still)

For those of you that have evolved in your thinking and those of you that accept the LGBTQ community for what it is, without judgement and without prejudice, you may find the actions I witnessed today unbelievable and ignorant.

I believe many of us naively thought once the supreme court of the United States confirmed that people who identify as LGBTQ deserved the same rights as any other American our fight was over. Sure there will always be people that don’t care for us…but they won’t be able to treat us as if we are not equal.

Silly us. Though we have made great strides and though we are now afforded many of the same rights as others, there are still plenty of people in our country that believe who we are and how we live is “sinful” and “wrong.” The same people will continue to fight against any advance we make socially, politically and religiously.

Today I was reminded of this.

I attended a conference for people that work with the senior population. Organized by Tarrant Area Gerontological Society. The majority of the event planners and attendees were social workers. When a group of social workers get together you know most of the conversations will be inclusive, progressive and tilt to the left. Our conferences tend to focus on ways to assure the people we serve are given the tools they need to function in the world.

Rarely do we find ourselves having to confront prejudice during a conference. Today that changed. Our conference was held at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Apparently they took issue with the fact that the Coalition for Aging LGBT paid to have a vender booth and would be presenting one of the educational sessions. The seminary refused to allow the organization to have a booth. They actually went to the board of directors of TAGS and told them the booth must be dismantled. It is my understanding that when the group attempted to challenge the seminary’s decision they were told if they put the booth back up they would not be provided a microphone for the presentation.

This really happened.

I am happy to say the TAGS board members were just as upset as the rest of us. I was told by several of the board members they would never rent this space again for any activity. The Coalition for Aging LGBT did dismantle the booth, but they maintained a presence at the conference throughout the day and other vender booths voluntarily displayed the Coalition’s educational material. The coalition also went through with their presentation with grace, class and dignity.

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Lollipop

She stretched her arm high above her head, stood on her tip-toes and begged her dad for a lollipop from the jar.
“Please Daddy, can I have one?”
Her dad looked down at the girl and smiled. “Of course, but first I have to finish my business.”

The lollipops were only one reason Teresa liked to run errands with her dad on Saturday morning. The bank, in the neighboring town, was so big and fancy. The counters were marble and everything shined. It was like one of those banks on TV. She fantasized about being the hero that stopped the bank robbers from getting away.

After the bank they would go to Lost Corner. The full-service gas station owned by her dad’s friend. While her dad and his buddies stood around and talked she would go play in the junk cars behind the building. With imagination as her co-pilot Teresa would have time to drive across the country and race around the Indianapolis Speedway, before she heard her dad call her name.

Teresa wasn’t sure what other errands her dad needed to run this Saturday morning, but she knew there would be adventure at every stop

Her dad hesitated before turning away from the teller’s window, he grasped the lollipop jar and lowered it to where Teresa could reach the candy of her choice. Chocolate Tootsie Pop….no other lollipop would do. She plucked the lollipop out of the jar and smiled at her dad. “Thank you.”

He placed his hand in the center of her back and guided her toward the exit. “Come on Sis, we have a lot to do today.”

 

This story inspired by The Daily Post – Daily Prompt: Lollipop

The Daily Post – Unusual

A tag line used in Austin Texas is, ‘Keep Austin Weird.” So when I read this week’s challenge from The Daily Post (Unusual) I immediately thought of some photos I took recently when I visited the south side of Austin.

Apparently someone with a unique eye has stapled stuffed animals, puzzle pieces and photos of people on telephone poles up and down a main street. And even more unusual…no one seems to mind. Its just more proof that Austin is proud of its weirdness.DSC_0995

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Memories of the Garden

I recently saw a post on Facebook that said: “The problem with the world today is that no one snaps green beans with grandma anymore.”

Maybe that’s true. I remember spending many hours each summer snapping beans, and shucking corn.

Both sets of grandparents had large gardens. Many weekends were spent helping them pick vegetables. As payment for the help, our family got a portion of the food. My mom and her mom would spend hot summer days canning every conceivable vegetable that would last our family through the winter months.

The garden memory that brings a smile to my face was picking ears of corn with my grandpa. As we sat in the backyard shucking the corn Nanny would be in the kitchen boiling the water for the corn and preparing the rest of dinner. I’m not sure I’ve tasted a fresher ear of corn.

As a child, I never enjoyed the work. But as an adult I certainly enjoy the memories. There are times when I can feel the clumps of dirt breaking between my fingers. I learned many lessons about family, hard work and the pride a family can experience when they provide for themselves from the soil of their own land.

 

Written in response to The Daily Post prompt: Soil

The Moment You Know…

On Thursday July 16, 1992 my dad woke in the morning and left for work. Not unlike he had done nearly everyday of his life. He went to the warehouse where he picked up the 18-wheeler and drove south on Interstate 75.

He arrived at his first stop in Kentucky. Checked in with the warehouse and dropped over dead.

I was at work that morning. I worked a full day. When I arrived home my uncle was on the phone. He told me that dad died earlier that day.

Today, 25 years later, I’ve been thinking a lot about that day. The thought that keeps going through my mind is: “ You never know what you don’t know…until you know it.”

I understand that probably sounds silly. But, what I realize is that I worked that entire day not knowing that dad was dead. How often do things happen and we continue on with our lives, because we don’t know.

Obviously there isn’t a way to change this. Its impossible to know something before we actually know it. But that moment in time when you learn “the news” its like stepping through a wall of time that you can never return through. The heartbreak is attached and the only way to release any of it is to move forward, one step at a time, no matter how deep you fall into the darkness, no matter how difficult it is to lift your foot, you must move forward.

It took me a long time to move through the grief after loosing my dad. To date it was the most difficult loss of my life. I struggled. I sunk deep into a severe depression. I drug my feet…unable many days to lift them off the ground. But I did it. I survived. I found the light again and I embraced it.

Today I still think of dad, I miss him and still wish I could talk to him. But today I can do these things with a smile on my face not a pain in my heart.

Dad, Big Bunk, Little Bunk, Matt

Left – right: Grandpa Rabold, Dad, Great-Grandpa Rabold, Front Row: Brother (Matt)

Cee’s B&W Photo Challenge: Things Made of Wood

As a child we vacationed in Northern Ontario every summer. One of the two places we stayed was called Kegos Camp. As an adult I’ve continued making the journey back to Kegos Camp.

A few years ago Tina and I were staying at Kegos. We decided to go into town for the day and visited a lovely souvenir shop called The Round Barn. I immediately noticed several sets of oars leaning against the barn. All of them were stamped with Kegos. I was excited to realize they were the old oars we used as children. I talked to the owner and bought one of the oars to take back to Texas.

When we returned to the camp my friend Mike, the owner of Kegos gave me a hard time for buying the oar. Apparently he had taken the oars to the dump and the owner of the Round Barn found them and sold them. Mike and I still laugh about this and he still says…”all you had to do was ask me…I would have given you one for free.”

So, I’ve decided to submit a photo of this old wooden oar for Cee’s B&W challenge; Things Made of Wood. It now hangs on my back fence…which is also made of wood!Kegos oar

I hope you like the story and I hope you visit Cee’s page to see the other submissions to her B&W challenge this week.

Thursday Doors – Austin TX

I recently ate at this restaurant in Austin Texas. Last week I posted the Restaurant’s sign on Cee’s Black & White Challenge.DSC_0009

As the door may indicate, it’s a funky little place – much like Austin. The restaurant caters to vegetarians and vegans.  DSC_0010

So, if you are ever in Austin Texas and happen to be a vegetarian or vegan, or someone that enjoys good food, head to the south side of the city and look for Bouldin Creek Cafe.

And…if you enjoy doors…look up Norm 2.0