Saturday, May 23, 2009

In Memory...

I was born & raised in a small town in OK-lived there every day of my life until I went to college & then I never went back there to live. Small as in less than 5,000 people. It was a rural town (my grandparents had a dairy farm so did my aunt & uncle-lots of people farmed) with a nice "downtown" where people congregated on Saturday night. We had a movie theater & a drive-in movie. I saw Old Yeller at the theater (bawled my eyes out)-my daddy took me to a matinee. I saw Pollyanna at the drive-in, my daddy took me. It was a 1950's town. Mothers stayed home. Dads went to work. You played outside all day long, we had two swimming pools & a National Park. As a teenager, we were always "dragging Main & circling Doves" (the local teenage hangout).

The days of Summer were lazy, I walked or rode my bike to the library. I was a voracious reader. We made homemade ice cream in the backyard, neighbors just stopped by to visit. We sat in the backyard or on the front porch. Watched the sunset, the moon rise, the stars come out. I caught lightnin' bugs in mason jars. We played in the sprinkler, we had fireworks on the 4th of July. We slept with the windows open & never locked our doors. Fresh washed, cool sheets & a breeze made for the best sleep.

When you started school you were placed in classes based on the alphabet. There were always two classes for each grade- first part of the alphabet in one, second part in the other. I was in the first part every year of my life so I shared a class with the same kids throughout grade school (it was not called elementary school back then). Once we went to Jr High we were combined with the grade school from the other side of town (there was one on the west side, where I went, & one on the east side). No bussing then, you had a school on your side of town. Even in small towns.

Butch & I were in the same part of the alphabet so we shared a classroom for 1-6. His dad was a plumber, mine the County Treasurer. He was one of those boys that was full of mischief. One who would grow to be in small town views a bad boy. He wasn't bad though. He was just himself. He was full of life, not a real good student, but a nice boy. He was always friendly. Butch was just a part of school & life the way kids are in small towns. Everyone knows everyone for many years.

Jr. & Sr. High though are where everyone begins to be who they are at that life stage. He was a wild one. He ran the roads. I was a "good" girl. I had few friends, studied hard, was on the debate team, involved in FHA, library club, pep club. Teachers liked me because I was polite & never rocked the boat. So, after grade school, while I knew Butch, I didn't really know who he was. I guess that is the way of teenagers. You find a niche or group & that is the label you have for those years. Unfortunately, sometimes those labels from adolescense color how we view ourselves for years. We ran in different circles. I don't remember him graduating with the rest of us. Best I can remember he dropped out in Jr year, but it could have been Soph year. Sad that I cannot really remember. I would see him around town. Then he joined up or maybe he was drafted. Again, I don't know. I know he got married. He was sent to Viet Nam. He died in Viet Nam. My daddy drove to the college I was attending to tell me. I was devastated. For his wife, his parents, his family, for the life he did not get a chance to live. One of my friends married his older brother-40 yrs later they are still together. I don't know what happened to Butch's widow-she was so young I hope she had a good life.

My Mom & I were walking through the local Wal-Mart about 10 yrs ago after I returned to OK. It was Memorial Day Weekend. In the middle of the main isle was a display. As we were walking toward it I was stopped dead in my tracks. Right in front of me at perfect eye level was a photo of Butch in his uniform. You know the one, that formal 8x10 that all members of the Armed Forces have taken. There he was, forever 18. I uttered an "OMG" & started to cry. My Mother always oblivious said what? I could only say "It's Butch". Now you have to understand, this Wal-Mart was not in the town where I grew up. This was 30 miles away. I have no idea who submitted his photo to be honored-was it that young girl he married, a friend, family? I will never know, but seeing him that day was a blessing in a way. I had never forgotten him in all those years. Never forgotton where he died - how he died. I had always said I wanted to go to DC to The Wall & touch his name.

When Sparky & I were together the first time, I mentioned this to him one day when we were talking about places we would like to see. Many months later he called me one Friday afternoon at work & wanted to know what I was doing after work. "Nothing" "Well, do you want to go to Holdenville?" "Sure, why?" Then he told me that he had just found out that the traveling Wall was at the park there. He said he knew I wanted to see it & would that version do? "YES!!!" I was so touched he remembered.

So, we got there. Even in that version it was the most humbling sight. Humbing because of what The Wall is, what it represents, & also because of the people who were there. I went to the tent where I would find the panel, row, & column that contained Butch's name. Then, with Sparky staying behind to let me go alone, I found the name & date he died. I touched his name, I cryed for the life he did not have. I cryed for the boy I knew & the soldier I did not. I cryed for all of them-the ones who never came home, the ones who came home in a flag-draped casket, the ones who came home so damaged whether physically, mentally or emotionally (like my ex husband) they are the ones I have always called the walking dead. I cryed for what they had all lost. I cryed for what we had all lost-a generation of young men, a generation of young people, who lost their innocence in a country we had never known existed until it became the 6 o'clock news. Body counts every night. Protests, going to Canada. My generation lost it all. We have now lived & raised our children in a world foreign to the one we saw as children. It is not safe to sleep with your windows open, your doors unlocked. Kids cannot roam town on lazy summer days. And young men & women are dying today in a country so far away, with a strange sounding name. Full circle in my life time.

But, for me, there was some healing in touching that name on The Wall. I remembered & honored a boy that I knew for a very long time, & that I didn't know at all. He died so very far away from that small OK town. The sad tragedy....

He was killed when a buddy's M-16 accidentally discharged in the barracks

He was in country 1 month & 9 days


Forrest Clifford Childs
Specialist Four
Army of the United States
11 December 1951 - 10 September 1970
Sulphur, OK
Panel 07W Line 052


Forrest Clifford Childs
Specialist Four
Home of Record: Sulphur, Oklahoma
Date of birth: Tuesday, 12/11/1951
Service: Army (Regular)
Grade at loss: E4
Rank: Specialist Four
ID No: 442567612
MOS: 11D20 Armor Reconnaissance Specialist
LenSvc: Not recorded
Start Tour: Saturday, 08/01/1970
Cas Date: Thursday, 09/10/1970
Age at Loss: 18
Remains: Body Recovered
Location: Pleiku, South Vietnam
Type: Non-hostile, Died Of Other Causes
Reason: Other causes - Ground Casualty
ON THE WALL Panel 07W Line 052


the above is from

Gone but not forgotten.

Blessed be...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wolf -- Thoughts, Musings, Legends

When you look into the eyes of a wolf, you see your soul . . .
I found this quote on a wolf sanctuary in Lucerne, CA. It really spoke to me. I have visited Wolf Haven in Tenino, WA since it opened. I have seen the graves of the wolves that I saw on that first visit. I have seen the sanctuary grow, expand, & work on reintroduction. They have a breeding program for Mexican Red Wolves. The last time I was there a friend & I went to a Howl In & camped on the grounds overnight. We were treated to a Native American storyteller from one of the NW Tribes (forgive me but I have forgotten which one). There were arts & crafts for the kids that were wolf-related. One was being able to make a plaster paperweight of a wolf paw print. I did that one. I have that print setting on my dresser in my bedroom. I pick it up often. After all the events & entertainment we started howling. Then the wolves started to howl. It touched me so deep inside my Spirit. It was primal, haunting. The wolves howled off & on all night. It was worth the loss of sleep to hear a howl start up in the far reaches of the compound & be picked up as each wolf joined until the chorus was all around our tent. I was at one with my Totem. We also got an extended tour the next morning to the areas not open to the public. It was amazing.
A couple of years ago I was blessed to be able to hold wolf pups in my arms. The little one snuggled against my chest & I felt our hearts beating as one. She wrapped her front legs around my arm in a hug. I held a wolf in my arms. She was soft, sweet, smelled kinda woody but it was beautiful to feel the warm weight of that magnificent creature in my arms.
I have looked into the eyes of many wolves over the years. Most recently a Montana Grey at GW Animal Park in Wynnewood, OK. He was huge & so gorgeous. I sat just outside his enclosure for a long time. He gazed at me & I gazed at him. We communicated in our Spirits. Those lovely amber eyes truly did see into my soul & allowed me to see there also. As his amber & my blue eyes met, we knew each other. We spoke of centuries old memories. We saw the buffalo on the prairie, we howled, we hunted, we slept, we were one.
The Legend of the Wolf Moon
The animals met and decided they needed leadership. They chose two pairs; one from the water, one from the air, and two from the earth whose breeding together created two wolf pups. The two cubs were again placed on the earth. When they reached the right age, they walked to the opening of their den. When their eyes opened for the first time in their new world that autumn evening, the first thing they saw was the yellow harvest moon. The color of the moon absorbed into their eyes, thus creating the yellow eyes of wolf pups. This color then absorbed into the eyes of all predatory animals.
My Totem has been visiting me alot lately. This is the first time he has ever manifested inside the house. He & his pack (there are 3 wolves in total) have come in my visions. I have seen him outside my house many times. He guards me, warns me, keeps me safe. That he has come inside is a wonder. I think the furbabies see/sense him also. Zane will track through the house sniffing the ground & the air. He is looking for my wolf. Lobo (named for my Totem) also tracks him. Scrappy, who has a very old soul, is the only one who never seems to look for him. But I know Scrappy sees him just as I see him. We both acknowledge his existence in our den, in our pack. I think it is a good omen that he has come inside. I am waiting for his message. He always brings me a message.
Wolves in Native American Culture
Edwin Wollert / Education Coordinator / Wolf Song of Alaska

Did you know?

The Navajo word for wolf, "mai-coh," also means witch, and a person could transform if he or she donned a wolf skin. So the Europeans were not the only ones with werewolf legends. However, the American tribes have an overwhelming tendency to look upon the wolf in a much more favorable light. The Navajo themselves have healing ceremonies which call upon Powers to restore peace and harmony to the ill, and the wolf is one such Power.

"The caribou feeds the wolf, but it is the wolf who keeps the caribou strong."

-Keewatin Eskimo saying

Native American tribes recognized the wolf for its extreme devotion to its family, and many drew parallels between wolf pack members and the members of the tribe. Also, the wolf's superior and cooperative hunting skills made it the envy of many tribes. Finally, the wolf was known to defend its home against outsiders, a task with which each tribe had to contend as well.

Some examples of the wolf appearing throughout Native American religion and mythology include the following. The Eskimos told of an old woman, Qisaruatsiaq, who was abandoned and forced to live by herself, and who eventually turned into a wolf. The Sioux called the wolf "shunk manitu tanka," or "animal that looks like a dog but is a powerful spirit."

Cheyenne medicine men rubbed warrior arrows against wolf fur to bring better success in hunting. The Nootka celebrated spiritual ties to the wolf, in a ceremony whereby they pretended to bring back to life the chief's dead son, by wearing wolf clothing. The Cherokee would not kill a wolf, believing the dead wolf's siblings would enact revenge. They also imitated the wolf's walk to help ward off frostbite to their feet. The Crow dressed in wolf skins to hunt. The Mandan displayed on their moccasins wolf tails, signs of success in battle. Women of the Hidatsa tribe rubbed their bellies with wolf skin to alleviate difficult childbirth. The Cree believed divine wolves visited earth when the northern lights would shine during winter. The Ahtena would prop dead wolves up, sometimes feeding them ceremonial meals. Chippewa myths tell of wolves supplying humans with food and hides. The Delaware tribe thought a change in weather might be announced through a wolf's howl. The Hopis include Wolf as one of the Katchinas, the costumed dancers who represent the powers of the universe.

Indian creation mythology sometimes involves wolves, as in this example from the heritage of the Arikara tribe:

"In the beginning, they say, was water and sky. Here on high you could find Nesaru the sky spirit, and Wolf and Lucky-man. Below lay a watery vastness, empty, it seemed, with only two small ducks swimming about, making eternal, small ripples. Envisioning another kind of earth, with space and variety for myriad creatures, Wolf and Lucky-man asked the ducks to dive down for mud. Using his endless energy, Wolf took half of the mud to build a great prairie for hunting beasts like himself. Lucky-man, his partner in creation, built hills and valleys where the Indians could hunt and live. Last they pushed up the remaining mud into banks of a river, which you can still see, to divide their territories. Earth was ready. Wolf and Lucky-man understood that large creatures must emerge from the reproduction of smaller, humble ones. They enter deep into the earth to find two Spiders who are meant to begin propagating the world. Imagine their disgust when they find the Spiders to be not only ignorant of the business of reproduction, but so dirty and ugly that they aren't interested in each other. Wolf and Lucky-man scrub down their charges and explain the pleasures and responsibilities of fertilization. Clean and enlightened, the Spiders give birth to earth's many creatures - the eight-legged like themselves, the six, the four, and finally the two-legged ones."

- Cottie Burland

Perhaps the tribe with the closest of all associations with the wolf is the Pawnee, in the lands now known as Nebraska and Kansas. The Pawnee felt such a close kinship that their hand-signal for wolf is the same as the hand-signal for Pawnee. They were known as the Wolf People even by neighboring tribes. The cyclical appearance and disappearance of Sirius, the Wolf Star, indicated the wolf coming and going from the spirit world, running down the trail of the Wolf Road, otherwise known as the Milky Way. The Blackfoot tribe also called our galaxy the Wolf Trail, or the Route to Heaven. The Pawnee, like the Hidatsa and Oto tribes, used wolf bundles, pouches of skins from wolves in which to keep and protect treasured implements used for ceremonies and magic.

Perhaps I should call myself Wolf Woman...
Blessed be...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


"If we weren't all crazy, we'd go insane" ~Jimmy Buffett~
Yep, it's true. I go a little crazy now & again. All the rainy weather really bummed me out for awhile. I was so stoked to see SUN on Sunday. Looks good for the rest of the week. I discovered during this most recent monsoon season that while I love the Great NW (Seattle & Portland most particularly) I cannot live there anymore. ~frowns~ I need SUN, I need warm weather on a regular basis. I find my thoughts more & more traveling to Key West. It is so laid back, to me so real. The people, locals, I met when I was there were authentically themselves. No glossing over who they are. Like me. What ya see is what ya get.
I think I am going through another emergence (is that a word??) of who I am. I want more & more to find a place where I can find shops that sell crystals, herbs, New Age music. A place where like-minded people gather for stimulating conversation. I am always so excited when I spot such a shop in OKC or Tulsa or Dallas. Haven't gotten Sparky to stop yet, but I know the way to those towns on my own ~LOL~. I think he is more spiritual than he realizes. Either that or I am rubbing off on him. ~smiles~ He takes the "hits" in life more calmly knowing everything will work out. He speaks of being "watched out for" & of things "happening as they are supposed to". While I don't think I will ever get him to have his cards read or visit a psychic fair I know he believes in the unseen. I know he respects my walks in that realm.
I have been just a little sad lately but I really think it is the weather. Plus I really don't like my job. Honestly, it's not so much that I don't like it but rather that I am bored. It is so slow that I spend much of my day trying to be busy. I would rather truly be busy. I am not challenged on a daily basis so I am bored. Bored brings me down. I really need a new job, but no one is hiring here for any jobs that pay what I need to make to keep the furbabies & me with our heads above water. We do have a certain standard of living to maintain, & believe me it ain't grand just comfortable.
My Totem is beginning to visit regularly in the house. I saw him twice last night. Just hanging out, floating through. Now I need to really connect to see what message is there. Everything I am seeing right now is positive, loving, & feels safe. While I think Zane, my schnauzer/corgi baby, saw something behind me yesterday he did not like, it did not feel threatening. But he would not stop snarling while looking past me out of his crate. I probably should burn some sage tonight & smudge the house. It has been awhile since I have done that.
So, I am going to be starting up my reading again, working in meditation with Great Spirit & my Totem, as well as getting busy on the investment endeavor Sparky & I are working on because it will be my ticket to whatever I want to do with the rest of my life if it pays off the way we invision.
Think I should paint the ceiling of my front porch blue like in Key West & the Caribbean to keep away the evil spirits. Gonna hang wind chimes even if Sparky does not like them after all he doesn't live with me. I also need to set my fountain up in the house again. Lobo thinks it is his personal fountain (water bubbles up out of a rock) but I don't see that as a problem.
So, while there is some conflict I am finding my path. Continuing to walk toward my Purpose. I went to a psychic in OR 11-12 yrs ago who told me many things that have come to pass. One that has always stayed with me is that she told me "You are a healer". I have seen it in some ways. That is the path I would really like to walk.
I had my cards read in WA 4-5 yrs ago & when I met the young woman she asked if she could hug me & of course I said sure. She hugged me, stepped back, & said "Wow, I have never felt that before. You have no agenda". I thought that was so cool, because that is how I feel. So now that is how I live my life-no agenda. I think that was so positive for me to hear from another person. To me, with no agenda of my own, I can focus on who I am with at any given moment. I can be fully present. I can give the message (if it is given to me) that someone needs to hear at any given time. There are times that I have to remind myself to be agendaless so that I can be fully present. To be able to truly listen & connect with another. Hum, I'm gonna work on that some more. I think the Path of my Journey is beginning to reveal itself.
Blessed be...
Interesting note: My horoscope for today.
May 19, 2009
Aquarius (1/20-2/18)
Growth is always a good thing, but you should take a break from pushing yourself right now. Today will not be best spent challenging yourself or starting any difficult conversations. Settle in to a routine right now, and find comfort in doing the same things in familiar patterns. There is something to be said for predictability. Plus, if things never got boring, shaking them up again would not feel nearly as wonderful. Let the dust settle on your newly renovated life.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

And now...

"I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become" - Carl Jung
I have been divorced from Cowboy for 15 yrs this month. It has been an amazing ride since starting life on my own. I spent several years with SWA & then moved back to OK in December, 1999. 1999 was a monumental year in my life. My brother was diagnosed with NHL in February, I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, & Hypoglycemia in June & a very strange lump was found during my mammogram (turned out to be benign). I spent a month on medical leave. During that month I stayed in OK with my Mom, went to treatment with my bro, & decided I was very tired of the corporate rat race. So, when an opportunity to move back to OK came along I took it. I became very active in the church I was attending at that time with my Mom. I was the Missions Director, I taught Sunday School, I preached at Sunday Night services on occasion. I toyed with the idea of becoming a minister. Mutual friends set Sparky & me up on a blind date in 2000. He recognized my first name & informed them that we knew each other, had gone to school together, grown up in the same small town. We were together for several years (during which my son got married & my grandson was born-Sparky adores him BTW) then he decided he wanted to be alone. I was heartbroken & had a very hard time getting over him. I went back into therapy for three years. Best three years I have spent on myself. I worked through so much old crap. I worked through my whole life & learned a lot about myself. My therapist was wonderful & I will be forever grateful to her for all the work she made me accomplish. I worked very hard to get healthy & to conquer my depression (I have been med free for 4 yrs). I got back in contact with my first love, my first kiss. We eventually became engaged. I spent alot of time in Seattle where he lives. My first granddaughter was born. My brother's cancer returned twice-he had a stem cell transplant when Sparky & I were together. The final relaspe came 18 months later. We spent alot of time together, we went to Key West, we went to his treatments, we went to clubs, we danced, we laughed, & in the last 6 months of his life he lived with me. I was honored to be his caretaker. We said our goodbyes many times, we talked about everything we needed to discuss, we laughed & we loved. He finished teaching me how to live & he taught me how to die. I helped him understand how to cross over & when he left it was with a smile on his lips & a look of joy & wonderment in his eyes. I will forever miss him.
For the next year I did not know what to do with myself. I broke off the engagement because the relationship was not a positive in my life. My second granddaughter was born. Sparky came back into my life (he was also friends with my brother & had spent a lot of time with us during the last months-he spoke at the funeral, he was a pallbearer). I think in that time he saw me in a very different light & developed a new appreciation for the person I had become. I let him know I was not going to tolerate any more of his freaking out over the relationship. I told him we could date til we die, but I was not interested in marrying him (and I still am not 3 yrs later). We are good friends & he treats me like gold. He is very lucky I took him back, & I am blessed to have him in my life. He takes care of me.
Life is not what I dreamed it would be back when I was a smalltown girl, but it is what it is supposed to be. I am on a Journey that is fulfilling, happy, & always surprising. I am becoming who I was meant to be, but who I could not have been without going through what I went through. I am not those experiences, but I have grown to become me for having gone through them. I am stronger, smarter, more spiritual, more tolerant, more understanding, & more at peace than I would have been if I had not chosen the paths I walked. Now I am choosing the path toward higher enlightenment of my Spirit. Who knows where the remainder of the Journey will lead. I do know I am looking forward to the ride.
Blessed be...