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Tag Archives: HUMOR

WELCOME TO THE SEVENTIES!

Do you know what I discovered this weekend?  I TURNED 70 FREAKIN’ YEARS OLD!

How Old Begin of Blog

WTF?!  Who and what gobbled up my life, and how did it happen so quickly?  It feels as if I was 19 just yesterday.  What the hell happened?  I woke up on June 9th with a 19-year-old’s spirit in a 70-year-old’s body that said, “Let’s go, go, go, go, go, Girl” but my old-woman body instantly responded:  “Oh, hell to the no, no, no, no, no, Girl”!!  (I had done some extra cardio the day before and everything on my body—including my earlobes and my nipples—was writhing in pain.)  But no one knew how to comfort me.  Part of the problem is that I don’t look 70 (thank God!), therefore, absolutely no one has sympathy for me.  I look good—owing to the fact that “Black don’t crack,” expensive make-up, and an unlimited supply of fashionable wigs.  I can still see well, hear well, walk several miles a day, and lead a coup against racist assholes when they try to take over my community.

I’ve started working on my fourth book, and I’m thinking of going on tour as a storyteller (move over David Sedaris).  So what’s my problem?  Why do I feel like I want to break out into a drunken sloppy rendition of a Frank Sinatra song:   “And now, the end is near, and so I face the final curtain…?”

Facing Death Stephane Peray Thailand

Cartoon used by permission: Stephane Peray, Thailand

I called a nonagenarian (my mentor of 54 years), and I told her I didn’t want to turn 70 years old. In fact, I was truly in a funk about it.  She replied:  “What is your alternative?”  Then she continued with her kick in the ass:  “I’m 90 years old.  I can’t see, I can’t hear without hearing aids, I can’t walk without a walker or a cane, I can no longer eat salads because they give me gas—but praise God, my mind is sharp as a tack, and for that I give him glory.  Otherwise, I’d kill to be 70 again—I was still driving then!  

“If you had told me when I met you at 16 and I was 36 that I’d still be alive to smack you upside your head and tell you to get over yourself as I did when you were young, I would have laughed in your face.  But here I am, on the phone with you, having to pee for the 5th time in an hour because my bladder no longer functions at this age.  So before I rush off (more like waddle off) to the ladies room, here’s the 911 about old age:  Lord willing, you’ve still got another decade of get-up-and-get-to-it-ness (although, none of us are guaranteed another minute of life past this moment).  It’s between 80 – 85 years old when the body starts to really drag you toward the dust, and no amount of wishing and hoping will curtail it.  All most of us manage to do during that time is get up, eat, poop, nap, remember the old days (if we’re lucky), rinse, and repeat.  Today, I suggest you put one foot in the front of the other, take each day at a time, don’t moan over what you’ve lost, but celebrate what you have left with every ounce of your being because none of us are guaranteed any tomorrows.  It’s all about the attitude, Little Girl.  Now, I’ve got to go pee.  Love you, Doll!”

what the hell happened

Birthday Card for the Aging

My mentor was right, of course.  I couldn’t let my pity party continue. Even though I felt I hadn’t yet reached all the goals I had set in life, one conversation with my kids helped me see that I had done more than I thought, and they admired me for it.  I had conquered internal demons as well as external ones.  I was a survivor of abuse—more than a survivor—a conqueror!  I was a mentor to both women and men.  According to my kids, they still see me reaching for the stars as if I were 19, and it blows them away.  They see me as someone who refuses to put up with religious stupidity and is not afraid to say “no” when others try and steer me off my true course in life.  They see me as someone who is not afraid to speak her mind.  They still see me as a fighter—still a badass in their minds with a sweet touch of Jesus.

Throat Punch Someone

Most of all, my kids see me as the love of their father’s life, and they say that we are their life’s aspiration.

On my birthday, 39 years ago, I gave myself a fabulous b-day present:  my man. Six years after the Supreme Court passed Loving v. Virginia, which invalidated laws prohibiting interracial marriage, I saw my future husband at an audition for a play, and it was intrigue at first sight.  A month later we went on our third date, and he knew he wanted to marry me.  Twelve years after the passing of Loving v. Virginia, my man and I tied the knot in front of an audience of hundreds of well-wishers in a cow barn turned into a hippy church.  It was the best choice either of us have ever made—law or no law.  When you’re a baked potato and you find your stick of butter, you lock that shit down!  Happy Birthday to me, and Happy Anniversary to the Tomczyk us.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The author and her husband (June 9, 1979): Photo credit—Bill Clarke

Anniversary pic

The author and her husband: 39TH ANNIVERSARY SELFIE

Est 1979

Best 39th wedding anniversary present ever

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES ABOUT GROWING OLD (ER)

“To keep the heart unwrinkled, to be hopeful, kindly, cheerful, reverent—that is to triumph over old age.”Thomas Bailey Aldrich

“While I am in this world, I am resolved that no vexation shall put me out of temper if I can possibly command myself. Even old age, which is making strides towards me, shall not prevail to make me peevish.”—Samuel Adams

“When marrying, ask yourself this question: Do you believe that you will be able to converse well with this person into your old age? Everything else in marriage is transitory.”—Friedrich Nietzsche

 “Old age is no place for sissies.”Bette Davis

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THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOK:  “The Fetus Chronicles:  Podcasts From my Miseducated Self” is on sale now at Amazon!

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR?  Check out her website at www.eleanortomczyk.com 

 WANT TO HEAR THE AUTHOR’S LATEST INTERVIEW?  Check out the podcast interview with Leo Brown: http://breadboxmedia.podbean.com/e/what-if-it-is-true-can-you-find-faith-in-darkness/ 

***

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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YOU KNOW YOU’RE A GOOD MOTHER WHEN…

Do you know what I discovered this week?  Mother’s Day is coming.  I hate this bogus holiday!  It’s that ONE DAY a year that mothers get celebrated for something we should be applauded for every freakin’ day of our children’s existence.  What we manage to get done in a lifetime of rearing kids boggles my mind. My kids are in their 30s, and I still can’t believe I never accidentally lost one of them along the way when they were little or strangled both of them when they were sassy-ass teenagers.  They survived—I survived—and they turned out okay in spite of me.

Mothers Hands Dave Granlund Minnesota

Cartoon used by permission: Dave Granlund, Minnesota

I’ve been thinking a lot about motherhood lately.  Wondering what my kids will say about me in their memoirs when I’m doing the “nae-nae” (for the uninitiated, this is a dance of exuberance) in heaven.  I wasn’t always calm. I scolded when I should have consoled, I prodded when I should have nurtured, I lectured when I should have listened, I confined them when I should have let them run free out of fear for their safety, and I thought too much about what others would think of my child-rearing when I should have let my kids just—be.  I did what I thought was right—I did the best I could.

As all these juxtapositions about my motherhood were rummaging through my head the other day, a repairman came to fix our garage door.  He was of the MAGA persuasion and immediately started in on a diatribe about the caravan of “illegal aliens storming our borders with their kids” and how “the gov’ment better do something to keep them out because we just can’t take everybody in who wants to come to our great land.”  Although his logic made sense, his morality did not.  He said this to me knowing that Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, our current Attorney General from Hell, had announced morally corrupt plans to immediately separate children from their mothers—placing the mothers in detention centers and the babies/children in foster care when they try to arrive in America. There is a strong case to be made that many of the children will not have proper identification or language skills to be able to be reconnected with their mothers before they are deported back to the countries from which they fled for their lives.  I think I told the idiot repairman that I would be right there in the midst of the caravan if I thought it was the only way to save my children from violence, rape, and starvation because that is what a good mother would do.

Sessions and the Mothers David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star Tucson AZ

Cartoon used by permission: David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star Tucson, AZ

I was miserable for the rest of the day.   It wasn’t just because I generally get depressed like this when I come in close proximity to a Trump supporter and their lack of humanity.  It was more than that. I was miserable because I could sense the pain of the mothers who were going to have their kids snatched from them in their attempt to flee hostile and violent lands as refugees and would end up losing their kids in the process.

I thought of all the American upper-middle class “Pinterest” moms who make motherhood sound so awesome and Martha Stewart cute—making pancakes in the shape of bunnies, and kids’ beds into rocket ships and princess thrones, when most women of the world are just trying to keep their kids alive.

Suddenly I had a revelation: Motherhood is not the fantasy that some mothers post on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.  For most women, motherhood is not easy.  Anyone who says it is easy and all sunshine and lollipops is lying. In fact, a woman doesn’t always get to define when she’s a good mother in the deepest sense—her responses to her children’s actions do, which is why I compiled a sampling of how one knows when one is a good mother or when one sees a good mother.  It’s called:  You Know You’re a Good Mother When…

Birth Announcement

Meme courtesy of jokedio.com

YOU KNOW YOU’RE A GOOD MOTHER WHEN…

You’ve been awake since the baby’s 2 a.m. feeding and your toddler’s subsequent blood-curdling screaming nightmare at 4 a.m. which caused her to crash into your bedroom, tap dance on your head while your husband never stirred an inch as she cried herself to sleep while clinging to your neck.  You haven’t peed in ten hours. You’re still in your pajamas and you smell like day-old soured milk and urine.  After finally getting your colicky baby down for her 2 p.m. nap at the same time as her three-year-old sister, you think you’ve finally struck gold.  So you drag your weary ass off to the bathroom for a much needed potty-break in the hopes that you’ll be able to take a quick shower, comb your hair, and put on some deodorant before you have to go back on duty, when you look down from the toilet seat and see a toddler’s hand poking underneath the door in search of her mommy.  You get up—mid-pee—and open the door….

Bathroom Break Not Meme

Meme courtesy of wheninmanila.com

YOU KNOW YOU’RE A GOOD MOTHER WHEN…

You’ve heard the ubiquitous word “Mommy” so often by the time your kids are five years old, that when some random kid yells “MOMMY, MOMMMMMY” at the mall, even though you’re a grandmother approaching 70 years old (your kids are in their thirties and live far away), you turn around and answer, “WHAT?!” along with twenty other mothers walking in the mall—none of whom have children in tow….

Mommy Mom Meme wheninmanila dot com

Meme courtesy of quickmeme.com

YOU KNOW YOU’RE A GOOD MOTHER WHEN…

A toddler does a throw-down in the middle of the grocery store—throwing herself into a backward limp noodle, and you rally in defiant solidarity with the mom because you’ve been there—done that.  You dare any of the non-childbearing haters to mess with your sister-mom in her time of need.  You know what the haters are thinking, because you thought the same when you were single and ignorant of how much strength and self-restraint it takes to be a mother.  You know the power of a toddler.  You know what only another mother can know:  Give her 200 toddlers and she could take over the world if she could harness their terrible-two’s ferociousness and willfulness….

SCREAMING TODDLER IN STORE HUNGER GAMES SALUTE

Meme courtesy of imgflip.com

YOU KNOW YOU’RE A GOOD MOTHER WHEN…

You’re watching the looting and riots in Baltimore a few years ago on TV after the killing of a young Black man by police, and as you’re watching, you see a Black mother smack her son upside his head before he does something stupid and life-altering and you’re cheering her on.  He was supposed to come home straight from school, but instead, he went in search of the riot and the looting and had picked up a brick and was attempting to throw it into a store window.  She saw him on TV, rushed to the scene, and caught him before he became another statistic.  The mother of six literally whupped his butt all the way home with the TV cameras following. There were those who objected to her “violence” against her child.  I didn’t.  He was her only son.  I understood as a good mother that when it comes to saving the lives of our children, desperate times call for desperate means.  Last time I checked on this kid, he was still walking the straight and narrow, although he had just accidentally burned down the kitchen when he was frying some chicken fingers and left the skillet unattended to go to the bathroom.  Upon discovering the fire, he poured water on it which made it worse.  He and his family became temporarily homeless in 2015 (no renter’s insurance).  I said his mother’s “rescue” slap upside the head saved his destiny and kept him off the streets—I didn’t say he had common sense….

Baltimore Mom John Darkow Columbia MO

Cartoon used by permission: John Darkow, Columbia, MO

YOU KNOW YOU’RE A GOOD MOTHER WHEN…

Some human that you’ve reared, or are rearing, whom you’ve wanted to throttle at least a dozen times for rolling their eyes at you and pouting when they couldn’t get their way, tells you that they hate you and that you’re the worst mother ever in the history of mothers, one day turns to you in an unscripted moment and gives you the biggest hug and whispers in your ear:  I love you, Mom!  The first time it happened to me, one of my kids was a toddler.  We were in an auditorium when the house lights went dark for the opening of a children’s play.  I picked my daughter up and held her close because she seemed afraid of the sudden darkness, and I heard her say over and over again as she kissed my cheek: “I lub ju…I lub ju…I lub ju.”  Right then and there, if she had asked me for the moon, I think I would have lassoed it down to Earth for her….

Child Hugs vs World Jeff Koterba Omaha World Herald NE

Cartoon used by permission:  Jeff Koterba, Omaha World, Herald, NE

 

ELEANOR’S SELAH (“AHA”) MOMENT ABOUT MOTHERHOOD

I am discovering that there are no perfect mothers. (Fortunately, there are no perfect children either, so the equation balances itself out.)  All I know is that motherhood is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and I will question my parenting skills until the day I die.  The best I can say is that they are alive and well and they love me as I love them.  I managed to get them to adulthood, and they turned out to be good, kind, and generous human beings.

God knows, I don’t know how I did it because I was less than perfect.

Perfect Mom Dave Granlund Minnesota

Cartoon used by permission: Dave Granlund, Minnesota

 

INSPIRATIONAL MOTHERHOOD QUOTES

“Motherhood is tough. If you just want a wonderful little creature to love, you can get a puppy.” Barbara Walters

“When your children are teenagers, it’s important to have a dog so that someone in the house is happy to see you.” — Nora Ephron

“Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials.—Meryl Streep

 “No Matter how old a mother is, she watches her middle-aged children for signs of improvement.” — Florida Scott Maxwell

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WANT TO READ MORE ABOUT MOTHERHOOD? CHECK OUT THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOK: “The Fetus Chronicles” on sale at Amazon!

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR?  Check out her website at www.eleanortomczyk.com

 WANT TO HEAR THE AUTHOR’S LATEST INTERVIEW?  Check out the podcast interview with Leo Brown: http://breadboxmedia.podbean.com/e/what-if-it-is-true-can-you-find-faith-in-darkness/

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
9 Comments

Posted by on May 11, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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COSMIC HOPE

The Christmas Story

Do you know what I discovered last week?  Black women saved Alabama’s soul and, ultimately, America’s with the trouncing of Roy Moore—that racist, pervert, accused pedophile, and abomination to the name of Christianity who tried to railroad his way into the U.S. Senate.  You’re welcome, America!  Even though I don’t live in Alabama, I am a Black woman, an Evangelical (until they do something that makes me throw up in my mouth), and a person who is used to seeing miracles.   I know it seems hard to believe, but not every Christian in America has sold his or her soul to the Devil Trump and his minions—just enough of them have done so to make the rest of us occasionally wonder if there really is a God.  So there you have it:  God showed up in Alabama through Black women, therefore, thus did hope re-surge in me for the times ahead.  All is not lost, my Peeps.

Evangelicals an Moore in Hell Steve Sack The Minneapolis Star Tribune

Cartoon used by permission: Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune

As I meditated on that unexpected burst of hope that came out of the Doug Jones win in Alabama, I felt this explosion of happiness and joy in my soul which got me to thinking about Christmas.  (Of course, I was decorating the Christmas tree at the time, sipping champagne, and singing “Jingle Bells” at the top of my lungs, so thinking about Christmas might not have been a huge stretch of the imagination.)  Contrary to what Fox News, paranoid White Evangelicals, and Trump would have you believe, there is no war on Christmas (trust me).  Nobody cares if you say Merry Christmas or Happy Everything, just so long as you say it with love and good intentions.  We’ve been bombarded with Christmas this and that here, there, and everywhere since the day before Halloween.  Nobody in America has a problem saying “Merry Christmas”—just a problem living it.  Christmas has been “lost in translation” and left on the cutting room floor in our country for a very long time.

Star Wars FB Dave Granlund Politicalcartoons com

Cartoon used by permission: Dave Granlund, Politicalcartoons.com

This week I started asking any and everybody what Christmas meant to them.  Some said “family,” too many said “expensive,” others said “stress,” many said “fun,” a half dozen said “I’m Jewish, or Muslim, or atheist,”  others said, “abandoned,” a few said “Santa with lots of toys on his sleigh” (granted, they were under ten years old), and several said a “colossal pain in the ass—I’ll be glad when it is over!” I could have sworn that at least one person said “bah, humbug,” but I’m not sure. My grandson said Christmas meant “going to see Star Wars” when he comes to visit in a few days and “finding the new Xbox One LEGO Marvel Super Heroes under the tree on Christmas morning—please Mema, pleeaaaaassse!”  No one who I asked about the meaning of Christmas said what Christmas truly is: freedom from oppression, hope, joy, peace, love, comfort for the marginalized, and healing for the abused.

Xmas attitude Pat Bagley Salt Lake Tribune

Cartoon used by permission: Pat Bagley Salt Lake Tribune

I was slightly mortified by all the responses (including my grandson’s), if the truth be known.  I wondered: “How did Christmas get hi-jacked from the broken-hearted and the oppressed by the paranoid religious White people, inadequate Bible translations, and Wall Street.  Every year I try to figure out a way to translate the goodness of God into our holiday celebrations so my grandson can understand the true meaning of Christmas.  But every year something gets lost in translation in his young mind:  “So what’s a virgin? Are you trying to tell me, Jesus had two daddies AND a mommy?  What’s a frankincense and myrrh—is that like bubble bath and Chuck’s flea soap?”

In a world where nine-year-olds are committing suicide because of bullying, a child dies of hunger every seven seconds, and refugees and asylum-seekers have topped 65 million according to the UN, my grandson is going to need more from the Christmas story then gazing at a White baby Jesus in a manger once a year (Jesus was a Jew, so what’s up with the blond, blue-eyed savior?) and militantly saying “Merry Christmas” simply to prove a point. As a young Black man, he’s going to need lots of hope and courage to get through this life!  So I decided to rewrite the Christmas story in a way he would understand and leave the frankincense and myrrh to the Bible literalists.

Frankenstein

Courtesy of Christian Funny Pictures

 

THE CHRISTMAS STORY AS TOLD BY MEMA TO BABY BOY

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, a very mean king by the name of Caesar Augustus ruled over all the world—or as much as he could capture under Roman rule.  Caesar Augustus thought that he was all that and a bag of chips—kind of like Donald Trump.  In fact, CA thought he was God—much like Donald Trump. Actually, he was awful and very cruel. I’m told that he once said:  “I could run over a bunch of Jews with my chariot in the middle of Jerusalem and my Roman supporters would not care.  I truly am king of the world.”  If you were a Roman citizen and rich, life was pretty awesome, but if you were a Jew, a non-Roman, or poor, life was the pits.  People cried all of the time because they were not free to live their lives as they wished and they didn’t have enough money and food to take care of their families. Many people were slaves to the Romans. It had been this way for a very, very long time.  So much so that it caught God’s attention.

GOD:  Gabriel, my angel, what is going on in the Earth I’ve created?  In all the years since I first breathed life into humans, I’ve never heard such a hue and cry. 

GABE:  Pardon me, my Lord, but I beg to differ.  We had an issue with that bad Pharaoh a while back, remember?  Had to raise up an outstanding guy named Moses, part the Red Sea, and escape with hundreds of people into the desert for about forty years.  It seems as if this time, it’s a Roman, not an Egyptian causing all the mayhem.

GOD:  Oh, yes!  I remember.  What is it with these humans?  There is always some nutty leader trying to impersonate me but with the character of the Devil.  You give them a little bit of talent, a few smarts, and it all goes to their heads.  They start lording it over each other, abusing people, treating each other like pond scum.  Oy vez mir!  I’m telling you Gabe, humans are getting on my every last nerve.  They better not make me come down there, or they will have Hell to pay.

GABE:  Eureka, my Lord!  Maybe that’s exactly what you should do.  You made the blueprint of why humans were created, and not one group of them has ever done the right thing by each other since their inception.  They think they know you, but they don’t have a clue as to your character.  What if you went down to Earth and hung out with them for a few years—showed them how to treat each other and the Earth you gave them?

Save us from ourselves Bob Englehart PoliticalCartoons com

Cartoon used by permission: Bob Englehart PoliticalCartoons com

GOD:  Hum… that’s not a bad idea. Except, I’m made up of all sorts of energy and matter.  If I interact with them face-to-face, they’ll implode.  It will be as if they flew to close to the sun.  That would defeat my purpose.

GABE:  Not if you cloaked a portion of yourself (your son) in the costume of a human.  Since there are three parts of you (Father, Son, and the feminine Holy Spirit), surely you could spare one part of you for a while.  I propose that you do a real sci-fi thing: slip into the Earth’s atmosphere as a fetus, get yourself born, hang out for as long as you can take it (maybe 33 years or so), show them how to live, and find some way to get ejected off the Earth and back into the heavens.   In fact, I’m thinking of a pretty powerful way you can exit stage left that would really complete the circle of sacrificial love that you have for them.  It would involve some nails and wood, and be rather painful in your human form.  But you could handle it. 

GOD:  I do love them so.  Can’t help myself.  When they’re good, they’re very good, but when they are bad… eiy, yi, yi!  Okay, find me a vessel through which to make my entrance.

GABE:  Already on it.  Her name’s Mary.  Just got engaged to a real stand up dude by the name of Joseph.  He’s mature enough to be your earthly father once he gets over the shock that his future wife is the temporary shuttle for the son of God.

GOD:  Cool.  We’ll need to alert a few of my peeps to let them know I’m in their midst since I’ll be a baby with no language skills.  Get the ad department to draft an announcement.  Send it out to the shepherds since they are usually the only ones hanging out at night under the stars.  They’ll spread the word. 

GABE:  Got it.  I think I’ll lead the angels in the proclamation myself, Sir.  How’s this:

 “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord…  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth, peace…” 

GOD:  Awesome!  Excellent Gabriel.  The hope just radiates from that proclamation makes me tingle all over.  Do you think the shepherds will believe it?

News of Jesus Birth Pat Bagley Salt Lake Tribune

Cartoon used by permission: Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune

GABE:  It’s worth a try.  If you don’t go down soon they will devour each other and there will be no humans left in a millennium or two.  They are not getting better—they’re getting worse.

GOD:  This is so exciting!  I have so much to show them about what it really means to be human.  Do they even realize that I created them in my likeness?  Do they understand that that likeness is the personification of love and joy?  I want to tell them that murder, hatred, theft, and cruelty are not why they were created.  They need to know that every soul has great worth—no matter who they are or where they were born.  I’ve got to teach them how to love one other, because my law is love, and my gospel is peace.  Come on Gabe, let’s pull together some genes, some DNA, and some chromosomes and get this baby entry pod cookin’!  People of Earth, hope is on its way!  From this day forward, all oppression shall cease!

Light of Christ Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle

Cartoon used by permission: Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle

 

ELEANOR’S SELAH (“AHA” MOMENT) ON THE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS

I am discovering that humans have always been in peril from other humans since the beginning of man. I am also discovering that my hope is not in man, in political parties, or even in myself.  My hope is that the true character of God will triumph in the Earth as well as in my own heart.  No evil lasts forever and no true love will ever die, and that is why Jesus came to Earth.  God’s love and hope is what Christmas means to me.

MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY HANUKKAH, HAPPY HOLIDAYS, AND PEACE AND GOODWILL TO ALL!

Love, Eleanor

 

 

Hope Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle

Cartoon used by permission: Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle

 

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES ABOUT HOPE

 “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.”—Desmond Tutu

 “The message of Jesus is summed up partly in the Sermon on the Mount, and partly when he begins his ministry and quotes the passage from Isaiah: ‘I have come to set free the prisoners and restore sight to the blind.’ And certainly, his mission is also to bring hope. It was to heal people, to befriend the outcast.”—Dan Wakefield

“For Jesus, there are no countries to be conquered, no ideologies to be imposed, no people to be dominated. There are only children, women and men to be loved.”—Henri Nouwen

***

THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOK:  “The Fetus Chronicles:  Podcasts From my Miseducated Self” is on sale now at Amazon!

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR?  Check out her website at www.eleanortomczyk.com

WANT TO HEAR THE AUTHOR’S LATEST INTERVIEW?  Check out the podcast interview with Leo Brown: http://breadboxmedia.podbean.com/e/what-if-it-is-true-can-you-find-faith-in-darkness/

Christ is born Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle

Cartoon used by permission: Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on December 19, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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HYPOCRITES, SPIDERS, AND HELL

(2017 Halloween Edition)

Do you know what I discovered this week about myself?  I hope there is a Hell.  I know I shouldn’t wish anybody goes to Hell if I want to be a good person, but I’ve had it.  Nothing is seemingly being done to stop the horror of the man in the White House by God at this moment (although I’m still holding out for a Pharaoh-like deliverance).  Therefore, it sure would be encouraging if I knew certain elements would not get away with their deplorable actions here on Earth and, thus, fry in the afterlife due to a gigantic bitch-slap from karma. I need to know that justice is coming at some point.

I’ve been thinking about it a lot this week.  If there is a Hell, I would nominate two categories to start with:  hypocrites and spiders.  Especially Huntsman spiders.  They act all cool and nonchalant—all Charlotte Webby and shit—but they don’t talk to you or weave webs that say “nice Negro” like Charlotte did to keep you from getting taken to the slaughter house like Wilbur, the pig.  They actually have the ability to move at the speed of lightning and aggressively jump at you if you encounter them during your travels in Latin America, South America or Australia, and their bite can be vicious.

Spider I weknowmemes dot com

Courtesy of Zipmeme

Hypocrites are like that.  They make you think they represent one thing, say—the Christian Church, compassion, truth, honesty, empathy, morality, and godliness (like the Voters Value Summit on October 13th, who hosted Trump as their main speaker, and welcomed him as a conquering hero), while they sell their souls to a man who is vainglorious, boasts of grabbing women by their genitals, boasts that the best way to treat women is like shit, bullies any and every one, lies through his teeth, and must be the most spiteful, insensitive human being alive.  Yep, Hell sounds like a pretty good landing place for Trump and all the Trump diehards—people who refuse to see the truth about him no matter what he does.  Come to think of it, maybe Hell is too good a place for hypocrites such as these.

As I wrestled with my fantasy about zapping deplorable people and spiders into Hell, I came across a Halloween story that dealt with all three.  It was such a timely story that I had to share it with my readers.  Enjoy!

Scooby Doo Meme Dark and Stormy Night

Meme Courtesy of Scooby Doo and Friends, Hanna Barbera

*****

NOTHING TO FEAR, BUT. . .

The older couple should have known that something was afoot. They’d been married for more years than they could remember, and the patterns were always the same a couple days before All Hallows Eve every year: The day would somehow go off the rails—as if pushed off the tracks by ghosts and goblins just to underscore that they were in charge for Halloween.

This couple loved Halloween, but as they progressed in years, both were finding it increasingly hard to come up with Halloween costumes they hadn’t previously featured.  They weren’t amateurs when it came to figuring out unusual costumes.  No sexy nurse or Freddy Krueger costumes for them.  No siree!  At one Halloween party for couples before they were married, the man went as Frédéric Chopin, and the woman dressed as Chopin’s lover, George Sand (the notorious female, cigar smoking, trouser-wearing novelist).  In the midst of that Halloween party of yore, where there were three sets of bacon and eggs, two devils, five witches, four zombies, and six astronauts, they easily took the first place prize.  But after 45 years of knowing each other, they were stumped as to what to wear to the upcoming Halloween party with their friends that weekend.

You’d think that with all their previous Halloween experience they should have seen the signs of demons afoot.

As the couple barreled down the highway in their minivan to do their monthly Costco shopping, they both noticed how stormy the weather was.  It hadn’t even been raining when they left home, and there had been no rain in the forecast, but all of a sudden the sky darkened and it opened up with such fury, it was as if the Devil had called forth all his handymen to have a party at the expense of the sons of men.  (SCARY SIGN #1)

HER:  This is just awful.  Do you think we should turn back?  I can barely see the road.

HIM:  Of course not.  We’re almost there.  Besides, we promised we’d bring fruit platters enough for fifty people and the only place we can get that much fruit without breaking the bank is at Costco. We’re retired, remember.  Income fixed—fixed income.  Anyway you say it, it all means the same:  limited income for extravagance.  Let’s talk about other things so that we don’t think about lashing rains and flooding roads.  Have you come up with a Halloween costume yet?  The theme of this year’s party is:  things that scare the shit out of you.

HER:  Yes, I have.  I’m going as Donald Trump holding the red button that launches our nuclear bombs.

Scariest Costume Trump Nate Beeler The Columbus Dispatch

Cartoon used by permission: Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch

HIM:  Good one!  Simple.  Not much needed:  orange wig, white face makeup, one of my suits, and a red button box made out of cardboard.  Within budget.  That costume should be easily understandable to just about everyone except a Trump supporter.  Unfortunately, I haven’t come up with a thing I haven’t done before.  I’m not like you—I’m not afraid of much.  I’ve been chased by the KGB in my youth, shot at in Beirut, survived a bombing of my business by terrorists in the Middle East, and married you.  Do you know what cojones it took to marry you?

HER:  Oh really, old man.  You’re really pissing me off right now.  Not afraid of much, huh?  How about going as a spider, and not just any ol’ spider, but a big, juicy, gargantuan spider—if your bowels can handle it.  It won’t take much:  put a black stocking over your face, sew on two balled up black socks as eyes, put you in your black diving suit, and attach eight elongated blackened tubes made out of thousands of intertwined and connected pipe cleaners to your body, and voila!  There you have it.  Easy, cheap, and scary.  Then we’ll see just how much you’re NOT afraid of anything.  So nani-nani-boo-boo!

As the perturbed old woman watched her man’s face turn ashen and his knuckles grip the steering wheel (as if trying to hang on for dear life), she instantly regretted her spider taunt and realized she might have crossed the line.  In the stony silence that ensued, she remembered a horror story he had experienced from their salad days that she had forgotten in her old age.

Constipated spider solver END

Many years ago, the man had temporarily rented a room in the home of a couple and their two sons in a city where he was starting a new job.   He had moved to the city ahead of his family until they could sell their old home, while he established himself in his new job.  He knew the couple but had never realized what poor housekeepers they were.  To say that the couple’s home was a pigsty was an understatement.  Roaches weaved in and out of an incessant trail of ants who were constantly holding house parties in the weeks’ old spills all over the counters, stove, and floors.  The smell of months’ old urine caked on the toilet bowls gagged the uninitiated at the entry of every bathroom door and took second place only to the months-long litter box pea-and-poop collection of the two cats.  What made it worse was that the family reveled in their filth.  The consistent rallying cry among them was:  “Who is our friend?  DUST is our friend!”

But the man reasoned that one can put up with anything if one knows the end date.  At least that was his motto until the morning he woke up with his scalp feeling as if it were on fire.  When he rushed to the bathroom and looked in the mirror, swirling in the blood on his head were hundreds of tiny baby spiders who were feasting on his scalp and dangling from his hair follicles into his eyes and ears.  As he frantically scrubbed his scalp with anything he could find and screamed in bloody terror, the family’s initial response was:  “We told you that dust is our friend.  I guess spiders are our friends too!” Although the man stayed in the home another week or two, and scrubbed the mattress with a gallon of bleach, he never fully slept again until he rejoined his family.

Spiders en mass Meme

HER:  I’m so sorry, Honey.  I’d forgotten that you have arachnophobia for a reason.  Forget what I said.  We’ll think of something else.  Okay.  Look, we’re at the Costco parking lot.  See.  You love Costco.  You can turn off the car now . . .  Just put one foot in front of the other—baby steps.  I promise, I’ll never tease you about spiders again.  I was being totally obnoxious.  (SCARY SIGN #2)

The old couple became engulfed in Costco, and the man soon forgot his episode in the car. Like most couples, the old man and woman went into Costco to spend $100 but arrived at the cashier’s station having spent more like $600.  The cashier made a snarky remark about the abundance of their purchases (everybody’s a critic!) and offered to provide boxes for all their items, especially the copious fruits for the party. (SCARY SIGN #3)

By the time the old couple left Costco, the rain had stopped, but it was still gloomy and cloudy.  The man was totally back to normal as he and the old woman remarked on how wonderful it was to be part of a global market where one could have the best fruits and vegetables all year round, whether they were in season or not.  When they returned home and unpacked their goodies, they made a game of noting where each box had originated:  grapes, bananas, and mangos from Latin America, Mexico, and South America—oh my!  As the old couple emptied each box, they threw them into the garage at the foot of the stairs, and proceeded to make their dinner.

Like most couples they had their unspoken duties as husband and wife.  Most of the time, the wife would cook, they’d clean up the kitchen together, and now that the kids were grown and gone, the old man would take out the garbage each night and put it in the industrial garbage can in the garage.  But for some reason that night the old man got distracted by the storm that had picked up again and had gone to check on a noise he heard in the basement, so the old woman (still feeling horribly guilty for the spider tease that had traumatized her man) decided to be especially kind and take out the garbage. 

The minute the old woman turned on the garage light, she saw it at the foot of the stairs by the Costco boxes.  She froze.  It froze.  Her mind couldn’t fathom what she was seeing.  It was not from her realm of knowledge.  It was not from North America.  It was the size of her hand.  Big.  Black. Eight legged.  Beady eyed.  Menacing. 

The old woman knew she needed two things:  shoes on her bare feet and a weapon.  She stealthily backed up the stairs (never taking her eyes off the creature), quietly put on her husband’s house slippers, and grabbed the most dangerous weapon in the house—a can of hornet’s spray.  She would have given anything to be a card-carrying, pistol-packing member of the NRA right about then, but…oh well.

Her eyes locked with the eyes of the alien creature, and they stayed frozen in position for what seemed like an eternity as they sized each other up and down.  The old woman would later swear that at that exact moment she heard the theme song to the western:  “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.”

Large Spider Top

Meme Courtesy of quickmeme.com

The old man’s wife reasoned that it had to be a spider because of its eight legs, but its body was so big that four legs jutted off to the left and four to the right giving it the ability to zig and zag.  She also reasoned that she’d only have one shot at destroying this demonic creature before the old man saw it.  He’d survived many things, as he had said in the car, but there would be no way he’d survive the sight of this creature.  Talk about a widow maker.

The wife positioned the long-shot hornet’s spray at what she hoped was the perfect angle and pressed the button with all her might.  It was Armageddon at warp speed!  No matter how much she sprayed the goddamn creature, the faster he moved—TOWARDS HER!  The creature chased her, she chased him, paint cans crashed to the floor, ladders crashed to the ground, garden tools slammed against the cars, and the garage floor was awash in toxic bug spray.  Just as the old woman shot out her last stream of killer spray and was about to faint from the fumes, the massive spider tried to make a run for one of the Costco boxes from whence he had come.  “Oh, Hell to the no!” screamed the old woman as she lifted up her leg as high as she could and slammed it down on the massive spider with all her might.  She not only stomped on it, but ground it into the pavement a dozen times or so to make sure the execution was complete.  The old woman would later swear that she heard the screams of a million Huntsman spider babies descending into Hell.  Because that is what the creature was:  the biggest Huntsman spider ever, from either Latin or South America that had made the journey across the border in a Costco shipping box to the home of the most arachnophobic man on the planet—just in time for Halloween.  THE END

Jesus killed the spider

Meme: Google/Anonymous

THOUGHT YOU WOULD LIKE TO KNOW:  Although the conversation between the “old man” and the “old woman” are embellished, both spider stories, including the showdown in the garage, actually happened to my husband and me.  His arachnid story happened many years ago and was as horrifying as recounted, and my confrontation of the Huntsman spider happened this past weekend after a trip to Costco.  To say I lost my shit in the garage over the encounter with the biggest spider I’ve ever seen in my life would be putting it mildly—but to conclude that I’m seriously wondering if our earthly creatures are a new ISIS terrorist strategy, then you wouldn’t be too far off the mark.  Also, my husband has refused to wear the murder weapon (his house shoes) ever again—even though I washed them.

Happy Halloween!  May God bless you, may God bless these United States of America (and the Earth) by saving and delivering us from the madman in the White House, just as I saved my husband from the attack of the Huntsman spider, before every day in America becomes a “dark and stormy night.”

Menacing spider top

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE ABOUT SPIDERS

 “From everything I can read about Aussie spiders, it seems like all they really like doing is hiding in your house or garden or car until you ‘accidentally’ disturb them – probably by doing something crazy like putting on the shoe they are lurking in – and they can officially bite you to pieces.”—John Niven

*****

THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOK:  “The Fetus Chronicles:  Podcasts From my Miseducated Self” is on sale now at Amazon!

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR?  Check out her website at www.eleanortomczyk.com

WANT TO HEAR THE AUTHOR’S LATEST INTERVIEW?  Check out the podcast interview with Leo Brown: http://breadboxmedia.podbean.com/e/what-if-it-is-true-can-you-find-faith-in-darkness/

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 
6 Comments

Posted by on October 19, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , ,

MEET THE DOTARDS

Do you know what I discovered this week with great amusement?  Most of our news anchors had never heard of the word “dotard” when Kim Jong Un rocketed the word as an insult against Trump.  What was even worse is that most of them couldn’t even pronounce it.

I was screaming at the TV every time Joe Scarborough bastardized the word on Morning Joe.  Even this poor Black child, born in the ghetto, knew what “dotard” meant and how to pronounce it, but I guess that’s what happens when one has read Chaucer, Shakespeare, Agatha Christie, and J.R.R. Tolkien. (Thanks Cleveland School System; maybe you weren’t so awful after all.)

Dotard 1 Dave Granlund Politicalcartoons com

Cartoon used by permission: Dave Granlund, Politicalcartoons.com

By the way, in case you haven’t been brought up to speed regarding Kim Jong Un’s vocabulary lesson to the English-speaking world (albeit, outdated English):

MEANING OF DOTARD ACCORDING TO MERRIAM-WEBSTER:  “a person in his or her dotage,” which is “a state or period of senile decay marked by decline of mental poise and alertness.”

PRONUNCIATION OF DOTARD: dō-tərd (as in DOE-turd)

Since the word has gone viral (#dotard), I thought I’d look around for some examples to add to the online chatter about this hilarious choice of wording from one crazy-ass dictator to his wannabe counterpart.

I didn’t have too far to look.

I have retired to a town that is a haven for retirees.  It is a lovely town—extremely bucolic—with a world-class university, lots of educational and social opportunities, wonderful restaurants, and easy access to major metropolitan areas to partake in wonderful theater and museum events.  But for all its positive aspects, I have found a place where the dotards go to hang out.  It is the back page of the local newspaper (the only part of the local paper that I read because the rest is too boring for words), and they use it as if it were a communal Twitter and/or Facebook page.  One can call, fax, or email the editor of this newspaper and all the dotards are allowed to remain anonymous, which I think emboldens them.  Each message has its own stand-alone title.  I thought I’d feature a few of the more dotard-like examples to show my readers that dotards are alive and well—probably someone in your family, even—or at least a Trump voter who is mad as hell at everything and everybody.  I daresay, if any one of these dotards had access to a nuclear bomb, my lovely retirement town would have gone up in smoke a long time ago.

old man yells at cloud

GET OFF MY LAWN BACK PAGE

(From the Retirement Mecca Gazette)

Name of newspaper and its back page have been changed to protect me from becoming one of the local dotard’s anonymous attacks

***

WHEELIE TERRORS

Well, I see another day that the roads are all screwed up…for a damn bicycle race.  It never ceases to amaze me how something that pays no taxes to use the road can screw it up for people who do pay taxes.  I can’t even go to the grocery store without encountering a two-wheeler.  If God wanted us to ride bicycles, he wouldn’t have given us cars.   Down with bicycles, I say!  Up with tax-payin’ diesel mobiles!

DAMN YOU RAIN GET OFF MY LAWN

***

YOU GET WHAT YOU DESERVE

Read your article about car thefts on the rise.  Couldn’t help but notice that many of the cars stolen didn’t have their doors locked.  If you leave your car doors unlocked, what do you expect to happen?  There is a fool born every minute is all I have to say. 

YOUNG WHIPPER-SNAPPER

To the young woman who passed me on the road the other day, I couldn’t help but notice that you had two little kids in the back seat observing you breaking the law.  Now it is true that I was traveling below the speed limit (when I make a mistake, I own it), but that was no reason for you to pass me and give me what looked like “the finger” (although, I’m not quite sure it was your finger because I didn’t have on my glasses which is why I was driving so slow).  Do you hug your mother with that hand?  Shame on you…and to think your children saw you do that.  You owe me an apology, young lady!

RAZZLE-DAZZLE

Orange is my favorite color, but not on accent panels on the design of buildings for the rebuilt/redesigned shopping center, let alone red and yellow, too.  Why not some blues and greens?  Planning commission wants “edgy.”  What’s next?  Digital signs on our main road?  Who bamboozled the city planners into this?  I bet you it was that pesky Obama.  He’s out of the White House (thank God!), but still causing problems…roaming to and fro seeking whom he can devour with his foreign communist ways.  I heard on Fox News that he pops up all over the place, and the next thing you know, Confederate statues are being removed and towns are tryin’ to go all “edgy” in their color schemes.  He’d be the one to push red and yellow colors on our historical town just to get back at President Trump.  I’ll be keeping a close eye on this—you bet your sweet biffy.

Grumpy Old Woman

***

DREAMERS

Last week, the Retirement Mecca Gazette ran an article that stated 23 college students at our very fine upstanding university are part of the 800,000 protected by the executive order President Obama signed in 2010. These so-called “dreamers” were given short-term protection…What’s puzzling to me is that 23 legal citizens were denied entry into the college because our state college chose illegals over my granddaughter.  Are illegal immigrants a protected minority class in the USA?  If so, are they more protected than struggling Black families?

DREAMERS CONTINUED

I’ve got one thing to say to the so-called “dreamers”:  Get out of my country.  Go back to Africa with the man who brung you—your savior, Barack Hussein Obama!  Worst president ever!  Good thing President Trump is going to make America great again and kick you out.  President Trump—best president ever!

DACA John Cole The Scranton Times Tribune

Cartoon used by permission: John Cole, The Scranton Times Tribune

 ***

ELEANOR’S SELAH (“AHA” MOMENT) REGARDING THE WORD “DOTARD”

I am discovering that dotards are everywhere, because being a dotard is a state of mind.  They are in our families, our churches, our communities, and our government.   A dotard is anyone who is afraid of change, intransigent in thought, and hard of heart when it comes to his or her fellowman.  Dotards have to be right even when the entire world knows they are wrong because to admit they are incorrect would involve a streak of humility that no dotard possesses.  All dotards fear things getting out of control (people moving too fast, ideas changing too quickly, the status quo vanishing before their eyes).  The most recent dotards have popped up on the Right-Wing Christian horizon proclaiming that the Rapture will start on Saturday, September 23rd because God is judging America for its wicked ways.  That’s the day when God will “snatch” all the Christians (all dotards) up to heaven and leave the rest of us sinners on Earth to be tormented by the likes of Kim Jong Un, the winds, the rains, and the earthquakes until Jesus comes back and sends us all to Hell.

They haven’t mentioned whether Trump will be one of the snatched.

Personally, I’ll take my chances with God as to the state of my soul, but I sure would like to see all the Christian dotards (and Trump) vanish on September 23rd.  I need some peace.

End is Nigh Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle

Cartoon used by permission: Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle

Dotard Trump

WANT TO READ MORE OF THE AUTHOR’S WORK?  CHECK OUT HER LATEST BOOK:  “THE FETUS CHRONICLES: PODCASTS FROM MY MISEDUCATED SELF” ON SALE NOW AT AMAZON!

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR? CHECK OUT HER WEBSITE: www.eleanortomczyk.com

***

ADDITIONAL READING

http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/22/asia/north-korea-dotard/index.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/09/21/a-short-history-of-the-word-dotard-which-north-korea-called-trump/?nid

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/21/world/asia/kim-trump-rocketman-dotard.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/the-world-is-going-to-end-%e2%80%94-just-probably-not-saturday/ar-AAskITR?li=BBnbfcL&ocid=UE13DHP

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on September 23, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , ,

GOD IN THE DARK

Recently, a self-described “heathen” asked me, a self-described “God-fearing woman” (her words—not mine) what hope could I offer her in response to the overwhelming anguish and despair she felt in the midst of all the racial, political, and natural disasters that have recently descended upon Americans as to why God was allowing all this devastation.

Dreamers David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star

Cartoon used by permission: David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star

 

Did I agree with the loud-mouthed, ignorant Christians who were proclaiming the hurricanes to be the wrath of God against a nation that allowed homosexuality and abortions to exist?

 

Gods Wrath Larry Wright CagleCartoons com

Cartoon used by permission: Larry Wright, CagleCartoons.com

 

She said: “If all the mayhem is God’s ‘wrath,’ as your Christian peeps would try and lead me to believe, then why is he punishing the innocents by drowning or displacing them while patently evil characters of our world seem to run amok freely and God seemingly looks the other way?”

 

Evil Others Steve Sack The Minneapolis Star Tribune

Cartoon used by permission: Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune

 

I told her that she was asking the wrong questions.

 

Hurrican Treaty Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle

Cartoon used by permission: Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle

 

There is only one question that brings any comfort and perspective in the midst of a storm—man-made or nature-born:  “Where is God in all this pain and devastation?”  I am not in the path of a hurricane today and agents of racial hatred are not burning crosses on my lawn at this moment, but in my lifetime of almost seventy years as an African-American, I have been almost consumed by so many relentless personal storms that, in the heart of them, my anger against God was palpable and almost Job-like. 

 

God Fearing Religion John Darkow PoliticalCartoons com

Cartoon used by permission:  John Darkow, PoliticalCartoons.com

 

But as I told my heathen friend, God always showed up for me in the dark through the love, grace, heroism, comfort, helping hands, and mercy of human beings—and sometimes angels.  Many times I had no idea that they represented the presence of God to me when it was happening.  It was only in looking back all through my copious personal storms that I saw God in my darkest hours, and finding God in the dark has always obliterated the so-called prophets of doom, as well as strengthened my faith and trust in a higher power.  I agree with the wonderful Mr. Rogers when he asked his mother how to deal with the awfulness of tragedy, and she said:  “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” 

Mr. Rogers

 

…and I would add, look for God in the midst of the helpers…I’ve always found him to be there, not only in my life but in the storms we are facing today as a nation.

***

WANT TO READ MORE OF THE AUTHOR’S WORK?  CHECK OUT HER LATEST BOOK:  “THE FETUS CHRONICLES: PODCASTS FROM MY MISEDUCATED SELF” ON SALE NOW AT AMAZON!

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR? CHECK OUT HER WEBSITE: www.eleanortomczyk.com

***

ADDITIONAL READING ON WHO TO BLAME FOR ALL OUR PAIN

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2017/09/10/theres-no-one-else-you-can-point-to-how-disasters-elicit-talk-of-gods-wrath-and-end-times/

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , ,

ONE FAMILY IN GOD’S EYES

Do you know what I discovered this week?  Charlottesville and Houston had similar “aha” moments for me.  I’ve basically been sitting in sackcloth and ashes for several weeks—unable to pray to God or write a blog—ever since the hate-filled murderous march of the KKK/Neo Nazis/Alt-right in Charlottesville.  Back when I was a child, they wore hoods to hide their faces—now they are unashamed to commit murder with open faces and lit torches to illuminate their visceral hate.  I have been numb ever since—barely able to breathe and scared stiff for every Jew, African-American, Latino, and anyone with the slightest melanin in their skin.  Worried sick that this hatred would wash up on the shores of my children and grandson’s lives.

At first I just put on a shapeless, itchy, sackcloth dress (think burlap coffee sack) while still wearing full diva makeup to signify my mournful state, but when Trump refused to issue a full-throated rebuke to the KKK/Neo-Nazis/Alt-right demons who proclaimed their racist hatred in his name, I stripped my face of makeup and smeared my body with ashes like the old biblical characters.  I also expected to hear a loud thunderous rebuke from the Christians who support Trump about his lackluster rebuke of our domestic terrorists, but all I heard were crickets.  White Christians I once knew who once upon a time said they loved me “in the Lord” were now justifying the actions of the White Supremacists on their Facebook pages.  I was so hurt that I sat down on the ground and proceeded to engage in an African death ritual.  In the dust I mourned the passing of truth, the manifestation of the love of Jesus, as well as my naïve concept of our national unity.

Trump and his many sides rebuke Daryl Cagle CagleCartoons com

Cartoon used by permission: Daryl Cagle, CagleCartoons.com

Then Hurricane Harvey struck, and I really started crying.  Not just crying, but sobbing—that ugly hysterical kind of crying, which turns you into a Tammy Faye Bakker replica.  I cried because I couldn’t see God anywhere in all this horrible devastation.

But on the third day, I noticed something that gave me hope that he might be on the move:  American men and women of all stripes risking their lives to save people of all stripes and not one of them asked if the other were something they weren’t or didn’t like.  Christians rescuing non-Christians, straight rescuing gay, immigrant rescuing life-long Texans, Blacks rescuing Whites, and vice versa.  They all were elated to help and be helped.   It was then that I got up out of the ashes, and started writing letters of observation to God because it looked as if he had showed up in the storm.

National Uniy Nate Beeler The Columbus Dispatch

Cartoon used by permission: Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch

DEAR JESUS:

It’s me—Eleanor.  You know, the one who is constantly nagging you day and night about the sorry state of our human affairs.

I’ve been wondering where you’ve been.  The scientists are saying this situation in Texas is a 1,000-year flood event unprecedented in scale, and places in and around Texas may never recover.

You’ve been awful quiet of late.  Were you dealing with the severe flooding in Asia which I hear has caused a couple thousand deaths, and there may be more to come in the monsoon season?  Or were you preoccupied with the despair in Africa over the severe famine that may starve out 20 million souls before all is said and done?  Oh, I almost forgot about Syria—maybe you were there.   I feel kind of wretched having barely noticed those other tragedies, but when it comes to my own country, I can’t sleep over the devastation in Texas.  I know I should be more global thinking and feeling, but these are my countrymen and women, and it is in the country where I live.  Right now the devastation in Texas is breaking my heart.  The police don’t know how many still haven’t been rescued and the poor (who always seem to bear the brunt of these disasters) may not be able to recover—ever.  Please help, please save, please deliver, and please restore my sisters and brothers—my human family—in Texas!

Houston Flood Bob Englehart CagleCartoons com

Cartoon used by permission: Bob Englehart, CagleCartoons.com

DEAR JESUS:

It’s me again.  I’m sitting here scratching my allergic reaction to my burlap bag and wondering why you allow so much suffering to happen to us.  I know that humans have been asking their gods this since the evolution of man, and it has always remained a very squishy topic and a mystery.  It would be a lot simpler if you sat down for an interview on CNN or with the NY Times and did a Q&A on the subject.  You could start out by making yourself visible (not being able to see you creates more problems than you can possibly imagine) and letting us know that you are more than our pathetic miniature concepts of you as a god.  Maybe we could withstand the trauma of the journey better if we understood the “why” of the destination.  There are a lot of precious people in Texas who are never going to be able to put their lives back together again.  The rich might be able to, but the poor won’t.

Before I fled Oz (the Christian Church), I used to glibly look at disasters like Texas and equate it to your will—your judgment for some sin that had gotten on your nerves—as if you were a petulant Greek god.  (I’m sure you’re appalled to hear that attributed to your character, just as I am horrified to admit it.)   Let’s just say I had been taught about the essence of your character by some very ignorant people, which is why I no longer attend church.  At least I’m “woke” now.  Now I know you are a God of love and spewing destruction is not in your wheelhouse.

But do you know what will probably make you vomit?  When Hurricane Sandy hit the New York area, Christian leaders like Dobson, Robertson, Franklyn Graham (and many Texan Mega-Church Christians) blamed it on your wrath for the liberal ways of those “northern elites” who supported abortion and gay marriage.  Two Texas (born-again Christians) Republicans tried to block relief and recovery aid to New York and New Jersey.  When Hurricane Katrina practically wiped out New Orleans, those same folks blamed the gay and lesbian communities.  Houston has at least 37 mega churches and 53,525 Christian adherents per every 100,000 persons.  Yet, I haven’t heard one Christian conservative call Hurricane Harvey—the worst disaster in American history—an act of God’s will because of some perceived sin(s) committed by the Texans.  Isn’t that ironic?

People of Houston David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star

Cartoon used by permission: David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star

DEAR JESUS:

Okay, I did find an egregious sin in Houston that warrants your immediate smack down.  There’s this dude who claims to know you and speak for you.  His name is Joel Osteen.  He has a church of 43,500 attendees and a facility so huge that you could show up one Sunday in all your glory surrounded by 10,000 twelve-foot angels, and no one would ever notice you were there—that is, if you ever deigned to set foot in the place.  His church is the biggest in Houston.  Osteen is reportedly worth $40 million and lives in a $10 million mansion in Houston’s River Oaks neighborhood, and all of it gotten by trying to sell access to a prosperous life via you.  (Is this bringing up shades of you ridding the temple of the money lenders back in the day?)

Anyway, I’m writing to squeal on Osteen’s behind.  While furniture stores were opening up their businesses to house refugees, sporting goods stores were housing entire emergency rescue teams, and ordinary people were taking in strangers in their homes, this dude shuttered his church (your so-called house) doors.  Twenty-five mosques opened their doors immediately upon the onset of the storm to become centers of refuge for their fellow citizens—regardless of religion. Meanwhile, down in the flooded streets of Houston, people were using whatever would float to rescue others, and I even saw a couple guys wearing hats with the NWA logo (“Niggas with Attitudes”) carrying a little ol’ White lady through the flood water to safety.

Now Osteen says he didn’t really close the church (there is a video that shows otherwise). His church is open now, but only because Twitter went all, “Hell to the no, Joel Osteen–you should have been the first in line to rescue your fellow Houstonians after all the money you’ve soaked them for.”   HOWEVER, he later contradicted himself and said he didn’t initially open his church because he was never asked to open it as a rescue center.  (FYI—none of the thousands of volunteers who showed up were asked, they were simply being human.)

May I suggest you talk to your boy, Lord Jesus, and get him to straighten up and fly right. Cause if you don’t, Houston is getting ready to open up a can of whup ass on him for being so “un-Christlike.”  While you’re at it, would you mind schooling Osteen on the fact that the “prosperity doctrine” he pushes in your name (God will make Christians rich if they give at least 10% of their money to people like him so he can have a house the size of a hotel and a private jet) is pretty obscene, and it has nothing to do with you?  Osteen and all the rest of that prosperity gospel gang (most of whom are ardent supporters of Donald Trump) are really giving you a bad rep.  By the time they are finished, you won’t be able to pay people to become Christians.  Just looking out for your reputation.  Love and Kisses, Eleanor

Joel Olstein Meme

Joel Osteen, Christian Empathy Award Winner of the Year

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ELEANOR’S SELAH (“AHA”) REGARDING GOD IN THE MIDST OF PAIN

I am discovering that the spirit of Christ is always in our midst no matter how dark the night or how deep the pain—if we choose to acknowledge that presence.  If there is anything good, or lovely, selfless or kind, there Jesus is. That’s what I got woke to years ago, and I hope and pray that if I am ever caught up in a disaster such as the one in Houston, or Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, or September 11th, that I’ll be one of the people God can count on to administer his love, his grace, his mercy, and his comfort to those around me regardless of who they are and without hesitation.

Melania had right idea RJ Matson CagleCartoons com

Cartoon used by permission: RJ Matson, CagleCartoons.com

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES

 “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”John 15:13

“Nature is value-free. It can’t tell the role between the deserving and the undeserving. God’s role is not to decide where the hurricane goes and how severe it is. God’s role is to motivate people to help neighbors and improve methods to predict hurricanes. God is found not in the problem, but in the resilience.”Rabbi Kushner, author of “When Bad Things Happen to Good People”

“You, me, and the citizens of this country carry a special burden in 2017. We have to do what our president has not. We have to uphold America’s values. We have to do what he will not.”Vice President, Joe Biden

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WANT TO READ MORE OF THE AUTHOR’S WORK?  CHECK OUT HER LATEST BOOK:  “THE FETUS CHRONICLES: PODCASTS FROM MY MISEDUCATED SELF” ON SALE NOW AT AMAZON!

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR? CHECK OUT HER WEBSITE: www.eleanortomczyk.com

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REFERENCES

http://www.thedailybeast.com/joel-osteens-prosperity-gospel-made-him-houstons-hurricane-pariah 

http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/29/opinions/joel-osteen-hypocrisy-harvey-filipovic-opinion/index.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/joel-osteen-lakewood-church-houston-harvey_us_59a6ac7fe4b084581a148cef?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

http://www.salon.com/2017/08/30/religious-leaders-like-joel-osteen-are-a-big-reason-why-americans-are-dumping-religion/

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
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Posted by on September 1, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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