Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Why I love country music

They have some of the best lyrics:

I hate that stupid old pickup truck,
You never let me drive
You’re a redneck, heartbreak
Who’s really bad at lying
So watch me strike a match
On all my wasted time
As far as I’m concerned,
You’re just another picture to burn.
(Taylor Swift)

Husslers shootin' eightball
Throwin' darts at the wall
Feelin' damn near 10 ft. tall
Here she comes, Lord help us all
Ol' T.W.'s girlfriend done slapped him out' his chair
Poor ole boy, it ain't his fault
It's so hard not to stare
At that honky tonk badonkadonk
Keepin' perfect rhythm
Make ya wanna swing along
Got it goin' on
Like Donkey Kong
And whoo-wee
Shut my mouth, slap your grandma
There outta be a law
Get the Sheriff on the phone
Lord have mercy, how's she even get them britches on
That honky tonk badonkadonk
(sung by Trace Adkins)

How do you like me now,
Now that I'm on my way?
Do you still think I'm crazy
Standin here today?
I couldnt make you love me
But I always dreamed about living in your radio
How do you like me now?
(Toby Keith)

He's a good-time cowboy casanova
Leaning up against the record machine
He looks like a cool drink of water
But he's candy-coated misery
He's the devil in disguise
A snake with blue eyes
And he only comes out at night
Gives you feelings that you don't want to fight
You better run for your life
(Carrie Underwood)

And, of course, my favorite:

Well, I know sometimes you think that all you really are,
Is the woman with the kids an' the groceries in the car.
An' you worry about your hips an' you worry about your age.
Meanwhile I'm tryin' to catch the breath you take away.
Oh, an' believe me, you still do.
Baby, all I see, when I look at you,

Is one hot mama;
You turn me on, let's turn it up,
An' turn this room into a sauna.
One hot mama,
Oh, whaddya say, baby?
You wanna?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

In memory of Isaac

Isaac William Gwaltney
Born and reborn December 26, 1987

Visitor From Heaven
Twila Paris

A visitor from Heaven
If only for a while
A gift of love to be returned
We think of you and smile

A visitor from Heaven
Accompanied by grace
Reminding of a better love
And of a better place

With aching hearts and empty arms
We send you with a name
It hurts so much to let you go
But we’re so glad you came
We’re so glad you came

A visitor from Heaven
If only for a day
We thank Him for the time He gave
And now it’s time to say
We trust you to the Father’s love
And to His tender care
Held in the everlasting arms
And we’re so glad you’re there
We’re so glad you’re there

With breaking hearts and open hands
We send you with a name
It hurts so much to let you go
But we’re so glad you came
We’re so glad you came

Saturday, November 28, 2009


"Fear is a kind of parenting fungus: invisible, insidious, perfectly designed to decompose your peace of mind."

Nancy Gibbs
Can These Parents Be Saved?
Time Magazine Nov 30th

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A pointless exercise

I was born 54 years ago
I graduated from high school 37 years ago.
I bought my first car (for $500) 37 years ago.
I was married 34 years ago.
I went to Europe 33 years ago.
I was divorced 30 years ago.
I gave my last horse away to a friend 29 years ago.
I graduated from college 27 years ago.
I moved to NC 27 years ago.
I met Will 26 years ago.
I married Will 25 years ago.
I worked my last day of a full-time job 24 years ago.
I had my first child 24 years ago.
My second child died at birth 21 years ago.
I started homeschooling 19 years ago.
We moved to Alabama 18 years ago.
We returned to NC 13 years ago.
My youngest child was born 12 years ago.
My oldest child graduated from college and was married 1 year ago.
I joined the Catholic Church 3 weeks ago.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Coming "home" to the RCC

This is mostly a reprint of something I posted on my wall on facebook.

I joined the Catholic church in a Rite of Reception yesterday, July 12th. Of course no one thought to bring a camera, so there are no pictures. It's a shame, because I looked good! ;-) (Even though I was nervous!)

Will was my sponsor, which was comforting. Father John loves the anointing oil, so he poured a liberal amount on my head in the shape of a cross, and then rubbed it down my forehead and cheeks. I dripped for several hours until I could shower! It smells wonderful, though, so I didn't mind much looking like a drowned rat.

When I came back down the aisle to Will after taking communion (the new members take first), he was crying. We knelt together and he just held my arm and cried quietly for a while. It was very sweet. ...

The Liturgy of the Eucharist really did take on special meaning for me once I knew I could fully participate. I felt like I was hearing and saying all of it for the first time.

Deciding to join the RCC was a leap of faith, even with all the careful consideration I put into it over the past three years. In the end I had to just step up and do it. In some ways the deciding factor was the structure, freedom within boundaries meant a true freedom for me. I finally realized that I have felt like so much depended on me in the past, and now I don't. I love the Sacraments because they are God's doing. They work because he wills it. Not because of me, or the priest, but because God wills it. I get grace no matter what. I get to stop trying to interpret God or His will. I get to receive and then, hopefully, spread it around. I don't' have to be careful with it. I can love recklessly and let God sort it all out.

The structure of the RCC and of the Mass specifically allows me to not only be free, but to grab on when I don't know what to do or how to feel...which is often. The liturgy lays the path out for me to follow, and again, God's will means the path is right.

I still have many question and confusions about the Church. And I know they are as screwed up as any other church or institution. But to paraphrase one of the disciples, "Where else would I go? You alone can show me the truth."

Thank you to all my friends who have influenced me, supported me, prayed for me, admonished me, challenged me, changed me, argued with me, and loved me. I thank God for you daily.

Edited to Add: Will wants me to make sure everyone knows he cried in a very manly way. ;-)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Marriage, revisited

I recently had a conversation with Julie about marriage. Her question was whether we should reverence long-term marriages. It's a good post and a good conversation. Check it out if you haven't already.

My take, much distilled, is that marriage shouldn't be reverenced at all, but relationships need to be supported and nurtured. I also pointed out that for whatever reason, people still want/need long-term, committed relationships. We seem to be built that way. Whether it's family, friends, or lovers, we want people who will be in our lives for the long haul, and ending those relationships is extrememly painful.

Last night while I lounged on the bed sporadically reading my book, Iturned on the TV and caught part of a movie titled Shall We Dance? The movie is so-so, but it has an interesting message about marriage, midlife changes, and "finding yourself." (How cliche is that?) The character played by Susan Sarandon hires a private investigator because she thinks her husband is having an affair. The PI asks a rhetorical question at one point- "Why do people still want to get married?" Sarandon's character gives this answer, "People get married to have a witness for their life." She goes on to expand on that thought in a short monologue that I think is full of truth and insight. We live on a crowded planet. Marriage, or any long-term relationship, helps give our life continuity and meaning. Having someone witness our life helps validate it. I know as I get older the people who have known me for 10, 15, or even 20 years hold a special place in my life. They have the back story, they know the score, and they are still there. Witnessing my life, giving it meaning, supporting and loving me. In a society where other long-term relationships are fragile- community, friends, extended family- we want to think someone is committed to being there, not leaving, not moving away, but always there giving continuity to our days. Our lives are like art masterpieces that need viewers to appreciate them. What do they matter if no one is there to share the joy, beauty, and pain? Lovers, friends, families, communities all give our lives that shared meaning.

Why do people still hope and pray marriage works? At least partly because we want someone there to witness our life so we know it matters; that we matter.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

42 hours alone

True confession time. I think I'm turning into a closet introvert. For the past few years my evenings have consisted mainly of me retiring to my room to surf the web, read, or watch TV. Hopefully, by myself. And now I've spent the last 42 hours by myself, mainly in my house, alone, and it's been blissful. Heaven. Like getting into a warm, scented bath on a winter evening, or downing that first drink of something cool and wet after mowing the lawn, or jogging in the heat. For 42 hours no one talked to me, no one needed anything, and no one needed a ride anywhere. No deadlines.

I've watched five movies. I've read for hours. I ate only what and when I wanted. I exercised when I felt like it. I spent over an hour in a book store just browsing. I did laundry and cleaned my bathroom, but I even enjoyed that.

I never thought a weekend to myself as very appealing. I've known people to go on silent retreats and I thought that was cool, but not for me. Maybe it's age. Who knows. But while I love, love, love to spend time with my husband, and I enjoy my children and friends, I find I enjoy myself, too. And I find I really enjoy watching movies alone. And I like to read. And I like to "waste" time doing almost nothing.

I'm looking forward to my week alone with Will in July. That's a different and wonderful kind of alone time, and I treasure it even more than time totally alone. But totally alone has grown in appeal, at least for 42 hours. That's probably just the right amount of time. Or maybe about 42 more would be nice, too.