Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pop talked about the "Do Nothing crowd"

Grandpa Charles would refer to the hoodlums on the corners as the "do nothing" crowd. He used this term and this was meant to dissuade his children from following in their footsteps. The corners are filled with unsupervised and undirected children who need a parent.
Mom kept the boys and girls directed and motivated by love. Both parents are a necessary component of human development. We have, unfortunately lost that vision.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

God showed Himself in Scripture

as the God who engages His people in the challenge to grow in grace and relation to him. Sometimes, on earth, our conflicts cause us to separate from eachother, especially the father-daughter kind. It is probably supposed to do so. Our conflicts with God are supposed to do the opposite. Grow us into His likeness. He is always right and always good and yet He comes down and engages our finite and feeble thinking into conformity to Himself. Let us not let our earthly fatherly conflicts grow us apart from them.
Even though our earthly father is not perfect and often very jaded by conflicts with the world system, we must honor him.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Importance of Paternal Conflicts.

Sometimes, in deference to Dad instead of the Spirit I want to say:"You..." Oh well, these are some of the things that people think when dealing with the family conflicts that we face. "Keep your tongue from evil."
God is good! We are fallen and the constant struggle to maintain family unity is why I remember yesterday everyday.
My father and I had unique and intense conflicts. Verbally and philosophically we went toe to toe and he allowed me, at times, to challenge his thinking.
I was harder to challenge than the rest of the children. My leaving stuff plugged in and leaving the toothpaste open and leaving the tub running and other stubborn mishaps were always dealt with firmly, if not, stomped upon completely. Still, I persist in many of these bad habits to this day.
How much challenge should we engage in with the children is the question. We are not going to annihilate their wills completely and if we do we will end up with discouraged and unmotivated children.
Strengthening the good points is the goal for me at this point. Hopefully the good points will cover up the vices and I will let God and providence deal with those.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

I just love that I look like Dad in this photo.
The more things change the more they stay the same. There he was and there I was 40 years later and I am squatting and he was squatting and the expression is exactly the same. Absolutely the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Growing and the trees behind us were in Grandma Monica's backyard...
Dad was in love with those rose bushes. When the ladies would die in the neighborhood over there, he would rob their gardens of one bush or the other. He said, he needed something to remind him of the beautiful women who stayed at home with their children who were dying all around him. He was in love with those women because they were the complete opposite of his mother who was out there in the workaday world. He loved that these women loved their husbands and children enough to sacrifice themselves to stay at home. He stole their roses after they died to always have a piece of them. None of them ever knew that the little fellow up the block was in love with them.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Uncle's kisses!

Nobody greeted us like Uncle Roy. His attention was fixed to kiss the person with whom he was interacting. Everybody in a big family has a thing that marks them out. Uncle Roy's was his special kisses. He loved loving people and it was evident in how he greeted us.
Grandma Delaphena probably loved him best because he had a cuteness and a tenderness that was delightful. She never talked about how she cared for any of her other children. She talked about how she would greet him coming home from school and have 2 or 3 cookies and a cup of milk for him to study and do his homework with. Her tenderness was clearly passed onto him through her care for him. He also cared for others with the same tenderness.
What a meek man and how I miss him.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Help! God! and Mommy!

mommy sewed these coats

The three words you use when you are drowning or in trouble. Sad, afraid, in pain, sick, sore...
After saying those three words, if the life-guard doesn't come, that is it. You are "done for". Thank God for Help and Mommy!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Aunt Jackie made the best scrambled eggs.

I do recall the special attention that Aunt Jackie paid to everything but especially to eggs for me. She would always ask me a question or two, before making them, like 1 or 2?
1 or 2, how could someone ask that question, was my thought, who could eat 2 eggs? 2 bowls of ice cream, I could imagine, but 2 eggs? Absolutely only one, I would always respond and then I would stand right next to her to watch her every move at that. She always scrambled my egg in the pan. Oh, right she would ask me what kind. What kind of egg? What kind are there? She would rehearse a lot of new terms, I had never heard before, poached?, sunnyside, scrambled, boiled. I knew the last 2 and she never laughed at me when I finally got the courage to ask her what was a sunnyside egg. I always said scrambled, because that is the only kind of egg I knew about other than boiled and it wasn't Easter... so of course scrambled was the choice.
Many people don't really notice the individuals reared in big families. They talk to the parents and they talk to the group and they talk about them in front of them, I mean us. Jesus said, whatsoever you do to the least...
Thank God, for scrambled eggs and conversations with Aunt Jackie.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Last Night, I dreamed about Mrs. Lee...

I miss them so much. I dreamed of a delicious meal at her house and Pam was there and the children were having a good time. I miss them so much. Anybody heard from Pammy?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Enjoying My boys and girls!

As we are enjoying the surprise boy at his 5th year, He yanks us out of our adult mindset and carries us back in time to the time when tying shoes and catching sunrays were important. That is why I am always remembering. I am a little afraid to grow past the kindergarten years in this family. It is humbling and precious to look at the little things through the eyes of a child.
This Sunday Ezra flashed a sunbeam in my eyes while we waited for the crew to come to the car after church. The sunbeam in my eyes made me tell them of the many nights that we sang into the spotlight of the mirror, from our beds. Ezra and Ethan were just at the age where that story of sisterly comradery and fun was engaging to them. I love to see their eyes look into mine in wonder that I was ever as little as they are. They seem to look in unbelief as though they could never imagine a little Jayne and Julia and Jacqueline and Joanne and Amy and Tony and Abdul and Mike playing and singing all of the songs in the bed and catching the bathroom light rays to use as a spotlight,not to mention Ally and Karla-Gail.
Remember that?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I remember, "Birthday House"

This week is the 13th birthday of my becoming a mother of Evelyn. I celebrated most of it in bed with my memories and rose toward evening to toast the day with the children at the Cold Stone Ice Cream Parlor.
I do remember being a little person and Mommy and Julia and I going to the birthday house one morning. I know that it was the very first time that we woke up before the sun, that wasn't a Christmas morning. I remember getting on the subway and all of the butterflies in my stomach when they told us that we were on TV. I remember Julia crying halfway through the tunnels on the subway and that it wasn't my birthday or Julia's so we didn't get called to get a present. WE had the best time and we didn't even realize that we were on TV. They had a lady that did a puppet dance and it was very dark except for the spotlight which was on her. It is amazing that I can remember that and can't remember what I had for dinner last night?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Granny Rosie would've enjoyed today!

Years and years before I had time to look at things like leaves and dirt, I had a mother-in-law and father-in-law who pointed beautiful pictures of such things out to me.
I would sit on the porch with my NY self and look at the cars and the traffic and the trucks and the people and Mom would say, did you see that? I would say what. The leaves falling out of the trees, she would say. Mom... I wanted to say, the leaves fall out of the trees every year. Why are you pointing these things out to me? I was blind to the beauty of God's creation. Blinded by the massive structures and awesome presence of man-made wonders around me...
I had to travel to the beach or something to see anything but the words and the fearful things around me. Is that man, friend or foe? Walking around with the guarded heart and mind and stance. That is the NY mindset. I lived and lived like that. My father-in-law would let me know how foreign this was to him. He would sigh and wonder. I am sure he wondered whatever Ben and I had in common.
I have learned, only since being in the south and being around trees everyday, without an agenda. Without a tournament to watch or play or an event to follow. Who is winning the race to the ground in the leaf race? It is a wonderful sight. Minus the fear of worrying who is going to run out in the street with those cars racing through the neighborhood like that. Minus the fear of who is getting lost. My lunch hours and my breaks are now able to be given to nature watching. No one would call it nature at all. My mother-in-law would understand the difference, in me. I spent about 5 whole minutes today watching a cricket on a chair in the courtyard. It was awesome and it didn't even look in my direction.
My Mother-in-law and Grandma Ruth and the older people in my life must've thought I was so nosey. I could not enter into their interests outside of themselves. I wanted to know about their relationships with people and they wanted to forget those things and talk about today. Today, the leaves were falling so beautifully swirling and racing to the ground, each wearing their colors and in different lanes, like... a race? Can't get away from my sports analogies, I have to work on that. Like twirling DNA?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A little Paint and a little polish,

and we've retreaved some of that "new house" smell that I've been looking for. Clean smelling in the girl's room thanks to my artiste.
Grandma Ruth would have a field day on Emily today. Her choices of color and texture and beauty are breathtaking and I think it is beautiful but pretty outlandish also. She has beautiful branches cascading across the right wall and a mix of textured blue and yellow splashed as an accent on the south wall. She is an artistic genius and these are the growing pains of such a mind.
Grandma Ruth was always cleaning something or cooking something when I went over to visit her. I get the feeling that on Saturday's, like myself she was in search of that new house smell!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Halloween is October 31st

Although, Miss Amy was celebrating Halloween the first day of her scholastic career. The importance of nagging has become more evident to me, now that I am the mother of a brood, myself. Certain of my children, like my Amy have mastered the art and get what they want and certain of them, I must pry and plead to find out what they would like to do or have.
Anything that we do has to be planned and perpetuated. The purchase of a pumpkin, for instance is major. So I say to myself, it is clear that Amy was meant to be the organized person that she has become. Even in her earliest times she was planning for the future. Halloween is coming, Mommy, we need a pumpkin.
We don't really celebrate Halloween, but we do enter in and try to entertain the children in our neighborhood or give candy if we can. I don't know if we will be able to.
It is so pleasant to see all of the children parading through the neighborhood and eating yummy candies.
I can't wait to make my first batch of pumpkin seeds of the season and reminisce about my Amy trying to find a pumpkin for school on September 1st.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Today, I was thinking about Daddy fighting

I usually pass on stories to my children that I heard from Dad. The fights on the corners and the gang activity on the street which he endured and participated in. This morning, my Ethan looked like such a little Walker man that I could hardly see any of myself in him. This is what seems to happen to Walker boys at 9 years old.
I shared with him the fight of my life, which my father participated in.

It was the fight against ignorance and mental sloth. I said you, Walker men remind me of the Roman army, which I would know nothing about, unless my father would have provoked me, by threat of death; to use all of the tools at that special school to the best of my ability. I didn't, but I did try!

Reading the Latin books and learning grammar and math and science and how to behave and how to sit still and how to take a test were just as difficult a foe as the gangs on the street. This time we were fighting against ourselves. Dad and I fighting against Dad and I.

He would have been me and I would have been him. We fought to get these thoughts injected into this mind of mine. Everytime I reminisce about Sr. Amadeus and the lessons of life that she taught us in her 90's, I see Dad rolling around on the streets of South Jamaica. That is my mind rolling around on the streets of South Jamaica. These are his fists are rolling around in my mind trying to get its fingers around the conjugations and declensions of my sluggish mind and seeing the Roman army marching along the Appian Way!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

BLESSED, Under the table!

The women at Grandma Ruth's house when they were 4 years old!

When we were little, my sister and I sat under the table at home and played games with eachother. I remember we were playing with the arm on Dad's chair. We swung it back and forth to eachother and caught the arm of the chair, giggling louder and louder with each throw and swing. ...Until pop, it hit me in the tooth and then, pop, it hit her in the tooth. Both of us were marked with one brown tooth from that playful incident. Here is a picture of our daughters playing under Grandma Ruth's table, in complete imitation of their mothers, 20+ years before that.
The beauty of child's play which marks us for life, as sisters and cousins and loves. The brown tooth which finally came out to adult teeth is a symbol of our sisterhood.
We bruise eachother with love and stories of the building of our love with eachother. The efforts of the 20's with these women has carried them to the other continents and south to NC, but we are still bruising eachother in love. Make your marks on the earth, ladies. Just know that we miss the days...UNDER THE TABLE!

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Show must GO ON!

Welcome Aiden Charles Tariq Rampey!

The Chairman's Great-grandson! What a heritage!

Its a boy!
What a precious gift! Thank you Justin and Maricel for sharing!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Grandpa Charles' Birthday is this month!

Grandpa Charles and Uncle Mose in 1990

The man of God and the man of prayer, believed God and raised 14 children to adulthood and preached to many of the goodness of God.
I had the privilege of having him in our home for a few months and God changed my life through that experience.
It will take eternity to tell what God spoke to me through that man.
He was history and historic and far more intelligent than I could see at that time.
Dean Hedik and he had such a time speaking to one another at Ben's graduation. The Dean showed the ultimate respect for a father of so many and showed me much about how to communicate with this man.
My precious sister-in-law Edna, now gone on to glory also, took me by the hand and showed me how to communicate with this man and the family. It was a season of lessons in humility and change. God resists the proud, but gives grace...to the humble.

I need grace!

Title- The Studious One!

Title-  The Studious One!
artwork by Elyse

Of biscuits and syrup

Of biscuits and syrup
tasty treats

Happy Saturday!

Happy Saturday!
a day at the Raptor Center.

Widdle Emmie in outer space school

Emmie jumped on the bus and off it flew out into the atmosphere. There was a set of clouds with turbulence right above the house and it took a few minutes for my Emmie to buckle her seatbelt. They hit the bump hard and it knocked my Emmie out of her seat and she bumped her head. The video camera came on and the monitor looked through and stated, Ms. Emmie, where are you? You are not in your seat. Where are you? I am alright I fell because I hadn’t buckled correctly. Well jump up Emmie we have a long way to go and you have to be buckled there is entirely too much turbulence in the stratosphere for you to unbuckle now. As soon as we are through this weather system there will be straight sailing but right now you must buckle. Emmie scrambled into the seat with intensity and purpose now. She watched every cloud pass her window and her nose was pressed to the window trying to see the top of the house as it drifted slowly out of sight. Soon they were not only out of sight of the house, the sun came out brightly and just as quickly they were putting on the atmospherical breathing apparatus and the outerspherical lights. The ABA and the OL. These precautions were to make them appear to be satellites to the radar as they were out in the ionosphere. Emmie knew all about this now. She had gone to the orientation and had a good breakfast and it took them 20 minutes for her to get out past the atmospherical pull and to feel the zero gravity. It would be 15 minutes before the gravity simulators would take effect, a glitch in the system which was being worked on. Until then, they enjoyed the couple of minutes of floatation, while being connected to the seats by belt. The first thing they saw everyday was the strataflotsam. The items which had been dumped into the atmosphere by earlier generations. What would their generation do about this ecological waste area that remained floating above their heads? This was a question for the generations. For now it was the area that they had to guide through on the way to school.

Midnight at the OASIS

Midnight at the OASIS
Sunset in Huntersville

My little Emmie

ran to the bus on the first day of the last year of school. 2 buns on the side of her head. She kissed me and ran at dawn to the bus. She was starting the adventure of a lifetime. I would never see that little girl again, she was going to woman school!

My Father and I 1989

My Father and I 1989

to the tune of Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme


Are you going to Mary Immaculate?

Apricots, Chocolate Cherries and Pie,

Remember me to the one who lived there,

He once was a true love of mine,

Tell him to buy me an acre of land,

Apricots, Chocolate Cherries and Pie,

Between the muddy Hudson in Jamaica Bay,

Then, He’ll be a true love of mine,

Tell him to sow in it seeds of pure cream,

Apricots, Chocolate Cherries and Pie,

And build Ice cream mountains and buildings of whipped cream,

Then, He’ll be a true love of mine,

Tell him to reap them with sickles of M&M’s,

Apricots, Chocolate Cherries and Pie,

And chew bubble gum and eat till we’re done,

Then, He’ll be a true love of mine.

Tell him to run it off down the motor parkway,

Apricots, Chocolate Cherries and Pie,

After your done 50 pushups

and jog down the West Side Highway,

Then he’ll be a true love of mine…

(Don’t wait for me today dad, The kids are sick again, My tummy’s bulging again, My heart is aching again, And now there’s no love there…)

He once was, a true love of mine….So, Girls, I do beg you don't miss your Daddy,Apricots, Chocolate cherries and Pie,You have one short chance to see him on this side, Go visit him and let your light shine.