Monthly Archives: March 2014

Made It!

Tonight the Old Lady spent her last night running the cash register at the drugstore.
And she is happy that she made it this far without ever actually having someone put a gun in her face.
See, shortly after she began running the cash register, the Old Lady had a dream:
She dreamed that a man stepped up to the counter with a silver pistol in his hand. He said something… but all she could hear was the gun going off and then everything went dark. She was still asleep and dreaming, but everything was dark and she didn’t know where she was, she assumed she was on the floor behind the cash register and she was afraid the man would shoot her again since she wasn’t dead, and she knew she was gutshot because of where the pistol had been aimed and she was trying to figure out if it hurt, being shot in the gut.
Then she woke up.
She looked to see what time it was and the digital clock read 2:34.
That was when the terror hit.
The Old Lady pays attention to numbers and number sequences; 2-3-4 seemed significant to her and she was so terrified, it took an hour and a cup of chamomile tea for her to go back to sleep.
She told her Spiritual Director about the dream, as well as her night manager at the drugstore.
Six weeks later, while the Old Lady was running the cash register, the man from her dream walked in.
She knew it was him, but she couldn’t really focus because she was very busy checking people out. The man stood for awhile just watching her at the register, then disappeared back towards the pharmacy.
A few minutes later the man came striding towards the door, talking on his cell phone, The Old Lady always speaks to people as they are leaving, so she said her usual “Have nice evening” but the man waved one hand and said, “Oh, I’m still waiting for my medicine” and went out the door.
The last person in line was a lady who said, “That man,” she indicated the man who had just left, “He told me that he was waiting for his daughter’s prescription from the pharmacy, and that he was $26 short and asked me if I could help him.”
“You didn’t give him any money, did you?” the Old Lady asked, concerned. The lady said, “Yes, I gave him $10,” and she and the Old Lady shook their heads, they both knew she’d made a mistake but there was nothing more to be said about it.
The Old Lady finished bagging up the lady’s purchases, and the lady looked out the glass doors at the dark parking lot and said, “I’m afraid to walk out to my car now.”
There was nobody else in line, so the Old Lady said “I’ll walk out with you.”
They walked outside and the lady got into her car without incident. The Old Lady saw the man over by the corner of the building, still talking on his phone.
When she went back inside the drugstore, the Old Lady called the pharmacy on the store phone. “Do you have anyone waiting on a prescription?” she asked, and the pharmacist said “No, nobody’s waiting right now.”
The Old Lady hung up the store phone, and dialed 9-1-1 on her cell phone. She told the 9-1-1 operator about the man who had solicited money from a customer, and said he was still hanging around the parking lot and she wished somebody would stop by to check him out.
Then she got busy checking out more customers.
A few minutes later, the Old Lady noticed a cop car out in the parking lot but she was still busy with customers. A few minutes after that, a woman came bursting in through the doors and said,
“You have got so much entertainment going on out here! There are four police cars, they’ve got some dude spread-eagled across the hood of one car, they’ve all got their guns drawn, and my husband and I saw them TAKE THE PISTOL OUT OF THE MAN’S POCKET!”
A cold chill ran up the Old Lady’s spine, followed by a warm wave of relief as she watched through the glass doors as the police handcuffed the man and put him in the back of a cop car. They took him away, something about drugs being found in his car in addition to the pistol in his pocket.
Tonight the Old Lady spent her last night running the cash register at the drugstore.
TxB2Gd!

Greetings to the Golden Dragon!

The Golden Dragon
The Golden Dragon

 

 
The Golden Dragon has arrived!
If you have been reading this blog from the git-go, you know the story of the Purple Dragon. If not, see http://www.oldladyandpurpledragon.com/hello-world/ and http://www.oldladyandpurpledragon.com/r-i-p-purple-dragon/ for the whole story.
When the Old Lady started shopping for a new truck, she did not pray for a specific reassuring sign (i.e., the purple color) because this time she had friends and resources to help her. She just prayed that she would find a good truck. In fact, it was a dear friend of hers who found one on Facebook. She checked it out and liked it, the man allowed her to drive it to her mechanic for a checkover, and it was well within her budget. While in this process, the Old Lady realized that this Ford Ranger is gold… a Golden Dragon, she mused, then it hit her: the Old Lady was born in the Year of the Golden Dragon! A reassuring sign, even when she had not asked for one! TxB2Gd!
The Old Lady is constantly amazed… nay, amused!… at how true are the words of Robert Moss: “We live in a forest of symbols.” The Universe speaks constantly. Jesus said, “Those that have ears to hear, let them hear.”
Listen to the Universe!

Spring has Sprung

Spring Flower

Spring has sprung,
The grass has riz.
I wonder where
The flowers is.

The first day of Spring doesn’t always fall on March 20. Occasionally, it falls on March 21… which makes it coincide with the birthday of the Old Lady’s youngest brother.
Being a Spring baby seemed more fitting when he was a little lad. In fact, his nickname as a small child was “Bud.”
Being a Spring baby seems somewhat incongruous now that he is a big hairy man.
But the Old Lady never forgets those babies whom she has known for their entire lifetimes.
So, to her Spring baby brother…. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
I love you, man.

Worm Moon Retreat

Lake Octahatchee, Florida
Lake Octahatchee, Florida

For this March 2014 full moon, the Worm Moon, the women of my Full Moon Circle went on retreat to Taffy’s lake cabin, a place only 20 miles from my suburban Cottage yet so remote and wild as to seem like another planet.

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The interior of the cabin is old pinewood paneling, both walls and ceiling, hung with stuffed fish and old fish hooks. Outside, the lake is green with duckweed and full of cypress trees and knees.

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It rained all night so we never saw Madame Moon but we felt her as we convened cozily in the warm wooden room with candles and wine.  As we always do we spoke in turn as women of wisdom, each from her own unique spiritual perspective, holding long silences in between.

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The space itself spoke to many of us of lake cabins we have known and loved, of parents and grandparents who fished and decorated their cabins with old tackle and pictures made by children.

 

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We reminisced about boats and swimming holes and summer days, and honored our ancestors who gifted us with those memories.

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And we renewed our resolve to continue that work of creating spaces of unconditional love and safety until our entire planet exists as that space.

 

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The Old Lady: At Large

The Old Lady went out on the town tonight.

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First she went to 306 North restaurant in downtown Valdosta to hear The Remedy, a duo consisting of Chip Tanner on guitar and Bill Vendemo on percussion. The Remedy has a folky, laid back feel with tight harmony between the two men’s voices. Vendemo, who is one of the happiest looking musicians around, describes their song selections as “crowd pleasers, picking from every genre.” The sound is low-key enough so as to not drown out a rather sedate crowd of upscale diners, but provides a nice background for dinner.

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Then the Old Lady stumbled upon a carnival! It was just one of those parking lot affairs with the obligatory Ferris wheel, funnel cakes, and cotton candy, but the lights were lovely against a clear spring sunset.

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Ashley Street Station was the next stop, for the CD Release Party for the band Made Ready.
OMG, this band ROCKS! One of their originals in particular, Brand New, is as good as anything the Old Lady has ever heard… and she can certainly relate to the lyric “I’m not brand new.” This is straight up, hard driving rock with the heavy melodic elements that make the Old Lady scream along.
You can hear Made Ready’s new album at https://play.spotify.com/album/0BOVz5abbdlZQj1eGQOQ7o
but better yet, you should buy the download. These guys are rocking their asses off, they certainly rocked the Old Lady’s ass off, and they deserve your financial support.
Made Ready also does covers of their favorite band, Thin Lizzy (lead guitar/singer Justin Gray told me once that the band had “Thin Lizzy-envy”).
And here’s the real deal about live LOCAL music, as opposed to the hotshot big-name arena groups: after the set the Old Lady walked up to the stage, fist-bumped the lead guitar/singer, looked him in the eye and said “DAMN! That was good!” You’ll never get to do that to Steven Tyler or Mick Jagger.
SUPPORT LIVE LOCAL MUSIC! Listen to the Old Lady!

R.I.P. Purple Dragon

Purple Dragon Wound

The Old Lady has just bid a final farewell to the faithful Purple Dragon.
The Purple Dragon was mortally wounded by another, bigger pickup truck. But as accidents go, it was the best sort of accident: nobody was hurt, the truck was still driveable, the man in the other truck is a neighbor and it was all his fault and he has excellent insurance. So, his insurance company declared the Purple Dragon to be totaled… and gave the Old Lady nearly three times what she paid for her.
The settlement is enough to buy a newer, better truck.
But the Old Lady honors the service given to her by the Purple Dragon. That truck took her away from her old life, and took her into a new life that is beyond wonderful. She flew her into adventures and helped her invent a new identity. She helped her turn the page to this new chapter that the Old Lady is enjoying so much.
So, Rest In Peace, O Purple Dragon.
The Old Lady prays that you, or your parts, will provide the same life changing services to others.
And, the Old Lady knows that this “accident” is God’s way of providing her with a better, more reliable vehicle.
TxB2Gd!

Guns and Churches

Growing up in Atlanta, the Old Lady remembers her Daddy joking about the Georgia legislature by saying “When those boys are in town, you need to keep one hand on your wallet and the other on your wife.”
Right now, March of 2014, the Old Lady is keeping a wary eye on “those boys” as they consider H.B.875, a bill which would expand the public areas in which one may legally carry a gun to include bars and churches. This bill would also expand Georgia’s “Stand Your Ground” law in that “Stand Your Ground” claimants would no longer be required to have been in compliance with Chapter 11, Article 4, Part 3 of Georgia’s criminal code which includes provisions on carrying a handgun without a license, the possession of firearms by convicted felons, the possession of handguns by minors, and the discharging of a firearm “while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.”
This gun bill assumes the righteousness of proactive “lex talionis”… “an eye for an eye”… as in, if I think somebody’s packing heat and might shoot me it’s ok for me to pack heat to shoot them first. It also buys in to the current “Superheroes Saving the World” fantasy; everybody wants to be “the good guy” packing heat who can “stop the bad guy and be the hero.” The only thing that will stop this cycle of violence is unconditional love for our fellow humans, whether they intend to shoot us nor not. This is the principle for which Jesus died.
In her youth, the Old Lady carried a gun her Daddy gave her and was ready to shoot in order to protect herself. In her old age she perceives that the evolved response to attack is love for one’s enemy.
There is a story about a Buddhist monk who continued meditating as a Tibetan soldier pointed a rifle at him and said, “You don’t understand. I have the power to kill you.” The monk smiled and replied: “No, it is you who does not understand. I have the power to let you.”

A Golfer’s Guide to God

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Last Sunday the Old Lady read Psalm 32 out loud in front of her church, a Psalm which contains the Old Lady’s all-time favorite verse:

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go,
I will guide you, with my eye upon you.

Decades ago, when the Old Lady was just a Young Grip for a local TV crew… what’s a Grip, you ask? That means you grip large heavy things and tote them around! Anyway, the crew went to interview PGA golfer Larry Nelson at his home.
While toting large heavy things into Nelson’s home for the interview, she noticed a pad of white golf-ball-shaped Post-It notes on his mahogany desk. On the top one was written: “Psalm 32:8.”
Now the Old Lady has always had a numerology compulsion, noticing numbers that seem significant; she had just turned 32 years old and the interview took place on the 8th day of that month. So when she got back home she looked up that verse.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go,
I will guide you, with my eye upon you.

Around that time there were a lot of TV preachers saying a lot of things about a lot of stuff that people should buy into because, as they said, “… the Bible says!” It had already occurred to the Old Lady that the only way she could be absolutely sure what the Bible REALLY says is to read it for herself.
Psalm 32:8 provided the push. The Old Lady started to read.
She read that Bible, the Oxford Annotated version, cover to cover. It took more than a year. Then she went on to read the Bible again in the King James version, the Scofield Reference version, the Living Bible, the Good News Bible… over and over, in every version she could lay her hands on. This took decades, and continues to this day, one chapter every day. Every day she has found instruction, teaching, and guidance.
And it’s all because of professional golfer Larry Nelson.
Thanks, Larry.

Past Life Digression

Some people of the Old Lady’s acquaintance are into investigating their “past lives.” They make focused attempts to re-enter the lives they have lived before this one.
The Old Lady considers this pursuit to be something of an unnecessary distraction for herself since she has all she can handle with THIS life, thank you.
But then, one night, the Old Lady dreamed:
She was in a bank in Paris in the late 1800s, a room lit by gas light. She was wearing a long gray dress and was talking to an elegant young man who was an officer of the bank… and her lover. He turned to talk to a customer, and the Old Lady walked over to an ornate desk where a severe woman with pinned-up hair wearing a starched white blouse was sitting. The Old Lady sat down and said to the clerk: “Madame, I need your help. I want to make a deposit into your bank, a very private deposit.”
The clerk cut her eyes over to the elegant young man… she obviously understood the situation… and asked, “His?”
“No, Madame,” the Old Lady replied firmly. “Mine. I have finally managed to lay a little by, and as you know, Madame, a woman must take care of herself.”
The clerk nodded knowingly, and reached for a pen.
Then the Old Lady woke up.
One of the acquaintances mentioned earlier always describes her past life experiences in terms of Egyptian temples and sacred rites and goddesses.
Apparently, the Old Lady has been exhibiting scandalous behavior throughout the millennia.
She is pretty pleased about it.

Living Above Average Below the Poverty Line

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The Old Lady wants to share some techniques that can help you live above average below the poverty line. Today we are talking about SMART SHOPPING.
The first step to smart shopping is to identify the cheapest local store to shop in… and it’s NOT always Walmart. Walmart has spent so much money pushing its “low prices” that people believe them, and don’t check. If you are living below the poverty line, you MUST check prices on a regular basis!
The Walmart closest to the Old Lady’s Cottage is right next door to a Publix where (the Publix marketing people happily point out on signboards) quite often the Publix price is cheaper. Which, it turns out, is often true but this is still more marketing. Marketing means: you are letting other people do your thinking for you.
The Old Lady did her homework: just down the street, Dollar General is even cheaper! Grocery items that DG doesn’t carry are generally cheaper than Publix at Winn Dixie. And produce (which should make up the bulk of your grocery bill) is cheaper than WD at the local farmer’s market.
OK, sometimes DG doesn’t have what you need. But at least, you can avoid the Brand Name Trap. When you buy Brand Name products, you are paying for advertising. Hey, somebody has to cover the cost of all those TV commercials! That would be you, if you fall into the Brand Name Trap. But very few products are really worth buying Brand Name. One is ketchup… Heinz is worth the extra money; maybe it’s the quality of their high fructose corn syrup, but it really is the best tasting ketchup. Q-Tips are worth a few cents extra; store brands tend to shred. But store brand tissues are just as good as Kleenex, and at DG are considerably cheaper. And who the hell cares who put the beans in that can?
The Old Lady sleeps better wearing a nasal strip (Brand Name: BreatheRight). But there are store brands, two dollars cheaper per box, that are just as good. The Old Lady likes Grape Nuts but Publix has a store brand called Nutty Nuggets that is not only cheaper, it’s actually better and easier to chew.
Bottom line: you’ve got to do your homework. Consider it a second job. If you are living below the poverty line, you probably are only working part time and probably only make minimum wage anyway. So, what’s your time worth? If you spend a few extra minutes checking prices or going to two stores instead of just one to save five or ten dollars, doesn’t that make the effort worthwhile?
Do the math. Read the labels. Plan your shopping so your trips are efficient. And you, too, can live well on less money! Listen to the Old Lady!