Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Younger Longer--Water for Life

Here is a glass of water from my well.
It tastes of rock and root and earth and rain.
It is the best I have, my only spell,
And it is cold, and better than champagne. 

From May Sarton's poem 'A Glass of Water'

As a child growing up we often played adventurous games in and around Tar Creek in Miami, Oklahoma. (Yes, home to the worst environmental disaster.) But it wasn't that way in the '50's and '60's. The cool stream protected by trees and acres of farm land bubbled up from the ground, and we drank from it in cups made of folded tree leaves. With our clover necklaces we pretended to be princesses who wanted to hide from the world where Atomic Bombs from Russia couldn't harm us. 

Tributaries from various creeks flowed through the golf course, through Lou Newell's horse farm and into Tar Creek. I spent nearly two decades of my life playing golf, practicing, swimming, and simply playing with friends in and around these creeks. Our fresh water for drinking on the nine hole golf course (holes #3, #5, #8) came from wells deep down in the ground and within sight of Eagle Picher, the highest of the chat piles built with chat from the lead and zinc mines of Northeast Oklahoma during the forty year boom from 1910--1950. 
Remaining chat piles around Cardin, Ok. 

The most painful memory I have from those years was the day I didn't drink enough water to walk, talk, or think. By the time I reached the cool inside of the golf shop I passed out and barely missed falling into the glass case displaying golf balls for sale. I only remember waking up to dozens of people pouring cold water on my head, wrapping me in wet towels. It must have been a Thursday, men's night for the CS Club because Dad and Doc Jackson, Doc Ford, showed up. I thought I was in trouble for sure, since they had to leave their golf match, but they merely sighed in relief that I was fine and made me drink water until I had to go to the bathroom. 
Miami Country Club  1963.

To this day I fear passing out from dehydration whether gardening, walking, playing golf, or sitting in the sun and watching OU football. One of the most often spoken rules on the golf course for women is, "never let a bathroom pass by without a visit." My rule is, "never let a water jug pass by without adding water to my cups." 

Water with lemon and cucumber .
My water consumption stems from that experience, but also, because I sweat so much more than glistening as many people say. Even as child I preferred vinegar/oil on my salads, dill pickles at the movies rather than chocolate or candies. My system prefers dill, sour, and salt over sweets. I think this is important to know what your system needs to sustain good health. Therefore, I also drink "Pickle Juice" that I purchase at Academy Sports, and I drink packets of electrolytes called "Smart Styx" that I order online.   

We often talk about getting the 'dummies' on the golf course or at home from over working in the yard. The 'dummies' are a direct result from mild dehydration which leads to negative performance and weakened endurance.  As much as I know to drink water, I don't always follow my own advice. The easiest rule to remember for how much water to drink is called 8x8, drink 8 ounces of water 8 times a day, and it is calorie free. Luckily, I like plain water, but there are so many other options for drinking fresh water, such as: adding lemon, pineapple, orange, cucumber and lemon mixed in a filtration jug, or add a splash of various fruit juices like cranberry juice.  I carry jugs of water most everywhere I go now, and do my best to finish them before coming home.  

For more information on the benefits of water this is excellent article: The value of drinking plenty of water.

The benefits of drinking water make it drink for life. Our brain is mostly water and drinking it helps by improving concentration, maintaining memory function, increasing blood flow and oxygen to the brain (so important as we age), helping to flush out waste, regulates body temperature, and lubricates the joints. 

Like May Sarton wrote: (A glass of water) tastes of rock and root and earth and rain (and it's better than champagne). 

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Windows on Faith

Feeling my heart pump and tears filling my eyes, as I watched the spire fall into the flames at Notre Dame this week, I could only go inward and send prayers for the world of faith.  For each of us may see the same thing and interpret it quite differently, while in our hearts we experience the moment personally. 

As a young child of five I attended a Catholic school and services regularly during that one year. My only feeling of recall of that experience is that I continually had to look up.  I looked up at the nuns, the buildings, the adults, the alter, the trees, the sky, and the colorful stained glass windows. Then I was told to look down when praying. This made no sense to a child of tiny stature. I began to question religion quite early in life. Why not look up to the heavens when talking to God or Jesus or Mary? 

As long as no one watched me in church, I looked up to and through the stained glass windows sending my short prayers to heaven. I knew as a child that needed all the help I could get. 

Decades later and a life filled with sorrow, loss, bliss and love I still need help from above. In our sanctuary, at First Christian Church, I found peace and radiant colors of life and love in these traditional stained glass windows, and I discovered a new way of looking at faith through another set of windows to be found in our chapel. 

Our chapel glows with the colors from these windows on faith.  The six panels share a perspective on faith beginning with the first Window of the Beginning (not shown below)  Window of the Nativity, Window of Christ the King, Window of the Disciples, Window of the Trinity, and Window of Christ in the World (not shown below). Often I sat in Sunday school lost in the visuals surrounding me. 

Window of Nativity, of Christ the Kind, of the Disciples, of the Trinity 

The ribbons running through of blues and purple became my path for connecting the symbols. At last I asked a church member how the windows came to be and what some of the symbols represented. She explained that it was the church's intent that the windows be read and understood from any perspective (top to bottom, bottom to top, side to side in either direction) and singly or in any combination.  

Window of Beginning 
With the information in hand, I told myself to jump into the deeper meanings. Journeys take us in so many directions but always my eyes search for colors first. The blues in the panels represent water, sky, hope, truth, spiritual love, or God the Father. The purple ribbons that flow across the panels tell the story of endurance, sorrow, royalty, penitence, Advent, Lent, and God the Father. Green, the color of spring, represents nature, hope, faith, triumph of life over death, growth, victory, and the Trinity Season. A rainbow in the heavens can say so much.

In the first window, the Window of the Beginning the symbols are the Star of David, Alpha Omega, the Rainbow and the Ark, the Tablets of the Ten Commandments. The text words are; Covenant, Prophecy, Logos, Truth, and Lord.

The various crosses then came to life for me. They are: Celtic, the early Christian symbol taken from Ireland to Iona by Columba in the 6th C. The circle through the cross symbolizes eternity;  Tau, the first letter of the Greek word for God, theos, OT cross and Cross of prophecy;  Anchor, used by early Christians in the catacombs, less obvious than the Latin or Greek shapes stands for the Christians' hope in Christ as a sure anchor;  Greek, one of the two traditional forms of all arms equal or the vertical arm longer. It is also the ancient symbol of the four directions and four winds;  Crux Ansate, hieroglyphic symbol of life and regeneration, later adapted by Christians as symbol of eternal life. These are still picture stories to be seen, felt, and pulled into. 

In the last panel I felt our heritage expand and grow, but I have many windows to go to learn about faith. This is not intended to be a story of labels, instead I think it is another way to look at our world through the lenses of these symbols and the history of our faith world.

Window of Christ in the World (6) 

Here is where I found the keeping of the love of God in my heart as the Dove, the symbol of peace and the Holy Spirit descends upon us


and sits outside my writing window to open my heart and mind, reminding me to look upward and say, "Thank You."

*Thank you Lynne Levy for sharing history and meaning of these Stained Glass Windows. 

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Magnolia Sunrise

I stand beside hole #10 and see the sun everyday it shines.

Blood once flowed on this rich red Georgia soil where I took root. 
Some men fought and died on this land, other men saw
the beauty it offered with hillsides lined with color and the magnificence of trees. 
     Time past.
     Rains washed the soil.
     Sunrises brought new life.

When I was the size of a door frame our nursery grew by adding plants, trees, bushes of colors, shapes, and sizes not seen before. Some spoke another language and told of giant bodies of water and forests of deep greens.
     Chinese Fir and Juniper
     Tea Olive and Holly
     Redbud and Dogwood


Green is my favorite color, along with my sweet silky white bloom. My saplings have now spread throughout our land. Far beyond me, other plants sprout and thrive in the Georgia hillsides.
     Azaleas and Camellias
     Golden Bell and Yellow Jasmine
     Firethorn and Nandina

Too pretty for words to describe.

As new plants arrive, grow, and fill our hillsides I grow even taller and wider and stand as a proud parent who is the protector and storyteller for the future. 
Animals scurry under the bushes, birds nests in our trees, and make music for our leaves.
     Warblers and sparrows
     Rabbits and chipmunks
     Hawks and woodpeckers

One day noise and shaking comes to our lands. Paths were carved up and down the hills, trees moved, saplings planted, seed spread where there's been none. I watched.
     Time past.
     Rains washed the soil.
     Sunrises brought life. 

Amen Corner hole 13, azaleas

Now mankind brought a new life to our lands. Spring was no longer ours to enjoy. Our beauty shared by others who walk by us, some touching us, nodding, and respecting; others who never noticed.
     Carolina Cherry trees, pampas grasses.
     Flowering Peach and crab apples in full bloom.
     Tiny hummingbirds and bees.

Our stately size offers grandeur to those who pass us by. Once again the masses of people have arrived. They dot our landscapes like our nursery once did, in various shades of color, sizes, and shapes. A few are privileged to walk our lush green paths carved in the old nursery. Others, like me watch. 
     Ladies and gentlemen.
     Gardeners and cleaning crews.
     Saplings of white, brown, black and red.

Bryson DeChambeau hole #13 (2018)

Still I stand the protectorate of the lands, all these one hundred and fifty-years. Regal magnolias we are.
     Time passes.
     Rains wash our limbs and soften our soil.
     Sunrise brings new life and graces these old gnarly limbs. 

A year ago this week my husband and I were fortunate enough to check off a Big Bucket List dream, to visit the Master's Golf Championship. We were only there one day and the sun shone through from time to time, but we didn't care. The hillsides are truly lined with splendor given to us by nature and man's hand in arrangement. It is worth the visit, and maybe someday we will return. 

For more information about the golf course click on this site: The Golf Course



Monday, April 1, 2019


I did not plan
                to slice my ring finger
                and bloody the dish-washing water, 
But I did.
                So my husband bandaged my finger
                and finished washing the dishes.

I did not plan
                to break a glass vase filled with water
and  ivy plants,
But I did.
                So now my ivy sprigs are potted for spring
                and my floor is mopped.

I did not plan
                On winter staying till April
But it did!
                So now I wait and wait and watch
                for the green green grasses  of spring.

I did not plan
                To dry and comb a wet muddy dog
while in the house
But I did.
                So now the carpets have been vacuumed.

I did not plan
                to break my reading glasses
                hiding under the newspapers
But I did.
                So now I will buy a new pair of glasses.

I did not plan
                to arrive at church on Eastern Standard Time
But I did.
                So I walked around the neighborhood 
enjoying that time zone.

I did plan
                to write all day
But the sun came out
                and I went out to play.
                I am no April Fool.