Maybe Today

So My Beloved and I took a little trip to see this guy with crazy hair give a concert, with the added perk of being able to visit with this beautiful chick who sometimes blogs a little, and even though I wound up crying all my makeup off and really tired out by the end of it from holding my “baby” who weighs about nine thousand pounds by now, we ended up sponsoring another child from Compassion–which was pretty much the whole point of the evening (aka saving lives)–and having our attitudes adjusted, so I have to count the whole evening a roaring success.

 

Y’all. It was a sight to see. People clustered around the Compassion table afterwards, picking up packets of information on how to sponsor a child and quite literally change someone’s world for the better. No one could walk by that table with all those little faces looking up at them and not be moved.

 

Well, unless they were, you know, some sort of android with a heart made of mechanical flotsam.

 

And even then, I’m not so sure.

 

By the time we said our goodbyes and (reluctantly) departed, there had been a sizeable dent made in the number of sponsor-less children. Dozens of children who wonder where their next meal is coming from will wonder no more because that guy with a zucchini arm was faithful to let the Lord use his (prodigious, amazing) talent, and his audience was open to that same Lord’s a-tuggin’ on their spirits.

 

And yet.

 

There were many children that remained unspoken for. They still wait. They still pray. They still hope that someday someone will pluck their name out of the many and say “I care.”

 

Perhaps that day is today. Perhaps that someone is you.

Obvious

Some analogies are so blatant they need no interpretation…

 

 

 

 

 

What amazes me is how incredibly beautiful the chrysalis is…such a vivid green, with the little beads of what look like pure gold stitching along the ridge. Is it just for dramatic effect? Our own pleasure? Or His?

 

And as time passes, the case becomes more and more transparent until the butterfly is clearly seen inside, cramped and oh-so-claustrophobic to my human understanding! The creature emerges, utterly changed. How did it ever fit in those trappings that are now torn and discarded?

 

How painful is it to be transformed from one thing to another?

 

I think we all know. We feel the incongruity of life on this planet…we wait for the time when we will be changed, in the twinkling of an eye. It is hard to be patient when it seems to us that nothing is happening. Yet, here is a little drama played out before our eyes that gives us a picture of His creativity.

 

Can I trust The Monarch to do as well by me as He does the little monarch?

 

Can’t embed the video here…but this is the song I always hear in my head when I witness metamorphosis. Sadly, the band is no more but they were good while they lasted!

Oklahoma Kulture

By golly if today wasn’t another (ANOTHER!) one of those days!

 

 

 

The blue sky, the clear air…oh it was enough to make one giddy. Certainly it was enough to make one determined not to spend one more second indoors than one had to. And so we didn’t. We left! Gallivanted, even! To the local wildlife park/museum.

 

Truth be told, Woolaroc is a rather strange place. It is the former homestead of oil magnate Frank Phillips Himself (not magnet, MAGNATE, although wouldn’t that be cool? If you were an oil magnet? Cuz then you could just mosey around, attracting oil to yourself and we could do away with all that pesky prospecting and charting and seismic whathaveyou gibberish. But it might be kind of messy.) Frank P., besides making oodles of money simply from gathering up all that black goo that was practically oozing from the ground, was a nature-lover cowboy-wanna-be who collected exotic animals and friends of all kinds, from outlaws to Indians to big-city bankers.

 

When he wanted to entertain all these types, he brought them out to his homestead, Woolaroc, which sounds like a deep-and-meaningful Native American name but actually is a combination of woods (woo), lakes (la) and rocks (roc).

 

Could it get any cheezier?

 

Oh well. We love it, for all its cheese, and on a day like today it was just where we wanted to be.

 

The drive into the main museum is a couple of miles through (coincidentally enough) woods, rocks, and lakes (!!) and one can see plenty of mildly exotic animals as one trips merrily along. Frank P. was insatiably curious about exotic animals, and had many of them imported from various farflung lands so that he could watch them enjoying themselves on his property.

 

Unfortunately, being from farflung lands and largely unaccustomed to the oft-times brutal conditions of the Oklahoma prairie…they mostly died.

 

However, some of the hardier types stuck around, and continue to flourish to this day.

 

We took Tasha, the boxer (who remains alive in spite of her proclivity for eating glass), and her appreciation for the wildlife was…intense.

 

 

 

Some of that wildlife is downright cheeky.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been going to Woolaroc since I was a little girl, and I’m so tickled that I get to take my own kids now. It’s just so…dang…iconic.

 

Remind me to tell you sometime about the museum part of Woolaroc. Remind me to tell you how they have, aside from the massive amount of Native American artifacts, a case full of shrunken heads from South America. Remind me to tell you about the ten-zillion taxidermized remains of all those exotics who couldn’t quite cut the mustard here in Oklahoma. Remind me to tell you about the huge doll collection (creepy), the giant painting of frenzied Indian dancers ’round a bonfire (my favorite), and the bison (lots).

 

But we were there for the walking trails. Which means I’m too dang pooped to tell you anymore tonight. But I did manage to get a picture of my favorite brand of wildlife while we were there…

 

 

 

*sigh*…life is good.

@!!#%$$!!! And especially $$$!!!

I have been to Wal Mart far too often lately.

 

Far. Too. Often.

 

It’s beginning to seriously frighten me. We either need to

  1. get substantially richer
  2. eat far, far less, or
  3. prices need to fall just a few pennies. Or a thousand.

Cuz friends? It’s getting stinkin’ ridiculous out there.

 

 

And that whole let’s-make-the-package-smaller-so-we-can-keep-the-price-the-same thing? It’s just not funny. It’s mean and tricksy and evil. It seems to me like the dishonest scales spoken of in the Old Testament, even though, okay, technically YES, they ARE giving you exactly what the box says.

 

Because then you buy the same number of boxes or whathaveyou as you always have, and you don’t see the difference in your grocery bill until you realize that you have been to the friggin store friggin FOUR TIMES in a friggin week because you’re using up the friggin tiny boxes at a friggin frightening rate!

 

Friggin!

 

I’m seriously afraid somebody is going to go postal in Wal Mart when I’m there because they simply cannot take it anymore.

 

Actually, I’m afraid it’s going to be me.

 

I’m afraid I’m going to cease resisting the urge to pick up the ORANGES for OVER A DOLLAR EACH and just hurl them at some poor employee’s head. Or maybe I’ll shove some random store manager into the freezer with all the incredible shrinking ice cream containers. Or perhaps I will REACH FOR SOMETHING ON THE TOP SHELF WITHOUT ASKING FOR ASSISTANCE.    

 

**insert maniacal cackle**

 

Please send the men in white jackets. And all your recipes utilizing beans and rice.

High Definition (aka reality)

Sublime [suh-blahym’]: adj. 

  1. impressing the mind with a sense of grandeur or power; inspiring awe; supreme or outstanding  
  2. September 16, 2008, in Oklahoma

My friends, today was one of those days

 

But in a good way. 

 

The sky, it was so very, very blue. The air, it was so very, very fresh. The humidity, it was so very, very…nonexistent.

 

 

 

My father likes to use the word bucolic when describing day such as this one, because it is one of those words that sounds so nasty and yet means something so nice (pulchritudinous, anyone?)

 

It was just the sort of day for a local wildlife park and museum oops they’re closed on Mondays AND Tuesdays, which seems quite excessive but nobody asked me  the zoo. We woke up with springs in our steps and smiles on our faces, and knew that staying indoors would be a travesty of monumental proportions.

 

Discovering our first choice to have gates barred and locked, we rallied our spirits and rejoiced that we now had opportunity to burn! More! Gas! and headed instead for Tulsa, and ye olde zoological park. Mercifully, our family pass was still valid, so we only had to pay for three of our children (I will not digress into a rant against bogus family passes I will not digress into a rant against bogus family passes I will not…whew that was a close one).

I do so love the zoo. It’s just one of those places that somehow retains a measure of innocence in a world overrun with the psychedelic and the strident. No licensed cartoon characters show their faces. No controllers or memory chips required.

 

And that’s the way, uh huh, uh huh, I like it. Uh huh. Uh huh.

 

They had two baby chimpanzees who were quite amusing, unlike their elder counterparts who were just plain dee-scusting. However, I was excited to finally find someone whose feet look worse than mine.

 

 

 

On a fine day such as this one, many animals were behaving in ways I had never witnessed before. I mean, the cheetahs were actually moving, people. Moving. Cheetahs! Instead of lying in spotty heaps in the shade, they were walking around like creatures that, theoretically, can run upwards of 60mph. As if!

 

I was amused by this sign:

 

 

 

There was also a racoon who had taken it upon himself to declare Racoon Independance Day. He ran across our path and headed straight into a trash can, where he nommed a large ice cream cone and growled at the nice gift shop lady who peaked at him. She put a rather useless sign upon the can (“Racoon in trash can. Stay away”) and told us that she’d call The Authorities to retrieve the renegade.

 

 

 

But he didn’t stick around for that scheme.

 

 

 

He had places to be, and many more trash cans to investigate

 

 

 

In the end, though, it wouldn’t have mattered how exciting the zoo was. It was more than enough to be together, soaking up the amazing autumn air. Graphics provided by God Almigty. Soundtrack by the same.

 

We think we’re so advanced for all our high-tech gizmos, but how hungry our spirits are for a taste of His simple gifts. I was reminded of them again today.

 

HDTV can’t compare with a beautiful day spent basking in His creation. 

 

Guest Blogger: Please Welcome…My Mommy

Every since I accomplished the considerable task of putting my children’s birth stories to paper (okay, so there was no paper involved; bytes doesn’t sound as nice), my mother has been telling me that she should write mine up so I could post it here for your perusal. I think she was both impressed and astounded that tales of birth could garner so much attention; the wonder of the internet has never been more palpable than when the collective empathy of mothers all over the globe oozes from comments over length of transition, hapless husbands, or bumbling doctors.

 

Or, to put it plainly, the allure of entering into the conversation was far too great for her to resist.

 

It brought both a smile to my face and a tear to my eye when I read it; it was my favorite birthday present, not so much for the story itself, but because my mom’s voice is so precious to me, and I hear her loud and clear throughout the whole of it. I told her I might just have to make her a regular feature here at One Thing. I hope you enjoy it too.

 

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“Fair Lady’s” Entry – and Random Relevant Musings From Forty years ago.

 

Yikes! Like my mother-in-law said in practically every letter she wrote us, “Where does the time go?” Unfortunately, I never have figured that one out. It just “goes”, never to return. At first, it’s at a snail’s pace, and then, like Jenni recently penned, you’re in your little red wagon, helmet secure, and you’re coming up on the downside of the hill! May as well “yeehaw” all the way down!

 

But I digress… Jennifer Rose Koenig…are you ready?…was not a “planned” child. She was a “surprise”, coming along a mere 13 months after her brother, Matthew – the third child in our family of five siblings – two girls, three boys and, for those who are of a statistical proclivity: girl, boy, girl, boy, and (nine years later) boy. For a heretofore self-absorbed, totally-uninterested-in-children-and-certainly-not- infants, young woman, I basically was getting a crash course in mothering! Nothing in my young life had prepared me for this immersion process, not even occasional babysitting.

 

However, there must have been some nascent predilection for spooning wet cereal into slobbery mouths, wiping up green peas from under the chair cushions (a 3yr.old’s clever substitute for her mouth), and sand blasting dried poop out of my husband’s fancy belt buckle, to somehow turn my sentiments toward nurturing someone besides myself! I found, to my surprise, that I rather enjoyed the company of these uninhibited little beings; they were, after all, a captive audience for my unbridled tendency to throw dramatics into everyday life. And Jenni….well, once over the shock of being pregnant yet again, was welcomed as the latest in what we assumed would be the best and the brightest.

 

In 1968, we lived in Anchorage, Alaska where Jenni’s dad was working in oil exploration with Conoco. Mind you, this was the Frontier. My auntie kept addressing her letters to “my Eskimo pioneers” and just assumed her stamp was doing its job by getting them to our igloo okay. It is my theory that, in those years anyway, the doctors (esp. of the ob/gyn variety) who practiced in our 49th state had graduated at the bottom of their class and only came to Alaska because the citizens were desperate for doctors.

 

That, and/or they wanted to fish for gigantic salmon and fly their own float plane.

 

This is probably ridiculously false, BUT…my experiences with some of them made it seem reasonable. On the other hand, the nurses were excellent and as far as I’m concerned, could have birthed all those new citizens very handily all by themselves. And so it transpired that I was looking for a new ob/gyn when Jenni was in utero. I must have been rather clueless (must have?) because this time around, “my” doctor proved to be not only irritating and inept, but absent. I don’t know…maybe he was floating on his float plane. Whatever…his beeper was not on, and Jenni was delivered by a very cool Elmendorf Air Force Base doctor who was on call. I begged him to stick around, but alas, he apparently had a plane that needed flying too (but he deserved it!).

 

When the folks back home in “the lower 48” found out there was another little Koenig on the way (when they hadn’t even met the recent boy child yet), my mother, bless her heart, started making arrangements to fly into the wild blue yonder by herself to help her baby girl (since I had had the temerity to birth the other two without her). You have to understand that this was a big deal back then. Mom never went traveling without my Dad begging her to tag along with him on his many excursions…and certainly the whole idea of getting on a plane alone was positively heroic for her! I appreciate her even more in retrospect.

 

We “planned” (hahahahaha) for her to arrive …oh, two days before my due date (what optimism). A week later, and then two weeks later, Mom and I were staring at each other and wondering: “maybe this lump is a tumor”. Hubby and I went out for regular, bouncy trips up and down Alaskan back roads in our old VW van, but nothing could rattle Miss Jennifer’s poise. She would simply make her grand entrance when the time was most auspicious. Back home in Texas, my father, bless him, assured Mom she should stay “as long as you’re needed”.

 

One evening, Mom was creating something delectable from leftover pot roast and I went to take a shower. Something about warm water coursing down over tortured flesh (a primeval urge to “go with the flow”?) reminded my child within that maybe it was time she investigated the outside world. Whatever the impetus, I was overjoyed (well, almost) to finally be timing contractions. So content was I that I insisted we serve dinner before even divulging the earthshaking news to Mr.Koenig!

 

My mother almost tied herself into knots, staring at me like I might deliver right there at the dinner table, while nodding absently when my husband kept complimenting her on the stew. But finally, the “secret” was divulged, there were shouts of “Eureka” all about, and we were on our way to the hospital.

 

I mentioned the nurses earlier. They were all there at Anchorage Community Hospital to greet me, and exclaimed “Weren’t you just here?”. Well, yes, thirteen months ago, but how time flies! (to where we don’t know, as already expounded upon). It was nice to be remembered, but rather embarrassing. I have no gory labor and delivery stories. After an unfortunate experience with my first baby, involving some monstrous, hallucinogenic drug which caused me to lose all sense of appropriateness and ladylike composure, I was introduced to the concept of “natural childbirth” in Alaska. I did mention this was the Frontier, didn’t I? Yes. I do remember being handed a gas mask and being told if I needed it, to take a whiff. Who can concentrate on the dexterity needed for that maneuver when you’re in the middle of intense labor? Forget that. So, without even a thought as to how revolutionary I was being (at that time), I became one with the pioneer women of yore, and simply – gave birth.

 

Jennifer – sans the afore mentioned irritating and inept obstetrician – came into this world in the early evening hours (after a fine dinner – for her Daddy anyway) of August 27, 1968. She was just dandy – sweet and rosebud like, slowly unfolding like the veritable flower that she was (*sniff*). She fulfilled beautifully the great need I have for smelling the top of a newborn’s head and snuffling about in her neck, kissing little feet, etc. etc. and…etc. (you know what I mean). Meanwhile, I enjoyed my time in the hospital, being catered to and chit-chatting with the other moms in the “ward” (six beds, usually full – a prolific bunch, those Alaskans) – a well-earned vacation, even though there was no sandy beach or rhythmic waves. One takes what one has at hand.

 

“My” doctor never acknowledged that I was even in the hospital (which was, for crying out loud, on the second floor above his offices!). This marked The End of my forays into medical specialization; I henceforth got myself to an old country GP who efficiently delivered our fourth little Alaskan two years later.

 

Once home with darlin’ Jenni, I found myself in a maelstrom of activity that made it clear that we needed a real house, not a mobile home! I just now realized that I can’t remember where my mother slept all this time. Reactions from the kids to this even smaller-than-they new member ranged from Pam’s effusive “little mother” hormones kicking in (which have never abated), to Matthew’s 13-mo.old disbelief. Well do I remember my mom carrying our little bundle of joy over to him while he was sitting in his highchair enjoying his afternoon repast of milk. “Look Matthew, how do you like your new little sister?” she beamed. Master Matthew took one look, did his superb imitation of a vibrating concrete buster (teeth and fists clenched, eyes squenched shut) and threw his cup against the wall. Whether he howled in indignation, I don’t remember, but the point was well taken.

 

Her father and I always suspected something about our third child: she’s been here before. Not in the reincarnation-sense, but that she was just born with some innate handle on the foibles and general incongruity of life. She frequently had this particular look and all-knowing half smile that let you know that indeed, she had your number. She was always quietly weaving her way through the crowd, smiling and doing her private little dance of life.

 

One might have worried that she would be lost in that crowd – like for instance, her first grade teacher. But that all changed one day when Jenni won the bingo game and came to the front of the class to proudly call out the numbers. As her teacher told me later “I was so concerned. Jenni hardly spoke a word usually and she was so quiet when she did that I worried that no one would be able to hear her.” Not to worry! Jenni withdrew a number, studied it for a minute, looked out at the class, and literally bellowed: “B – 1”!!!!! Whereupon every child’s head went back, their hands gripped their desk tops, and their hair waved in the wind just like in the old hi-fi commercials. And Jenni just smiled and looked knowingly at her bemused teacher.

 

But that was first grade. In second grade, Mrs. Robinson was more attuned. On one of Jenni’s report cards, she had written “You’re a nut, Miss Koenig!” Besides being a nut, she was deemed “very interested” in the spiritual, so said her religion teacher. That fits. A nutty spiritual person. What’s not to love? Let me just wrap this up by quoting from a long-ago (1975) Christmas poem I sent to innocent, unsuspecting relatives and friends (I did that a lot). It actually is quite prophetic if I do say so myself:

 

(beside a cartoon of a girl arising from a pile of flowers, gripping a bloom in her teeth):

 

And then there’s Jenni, she seems so sweet and shy
So peaceful amid the chaos, you’d almost pass her by.
But we will not be fooled, for behind her Cheshire grin
An undiscovered Carol Burnett is lurking within.
She’s a loving individual…and full of fantasy
Perhaps in time, she’ll make her world
More peaceful in reality.

 

And we all said “Amen”.

My “Y” Gives Me Away

Don’t you just love mindless diversions? There’s just nothing like a bit o’ mindless diversion to take one’s mind off the mountain of laundry, or the fact that dinner needs assembling, or any number of petty little details of life.

 

Here is a fun little, completely mindless diversion for you. Because I like you. Because it made me giggle. Because it’s actually slightly intriguing (not that I believe it for one second, no sireebob, I know a load of hooey when I see it. But dang if it wasn’t spot-on)!

 

For the record, I am outgoing, sociable…and voluptuous. Not that I needed a handwriting analysis to tell me that.

Now, Gabriel? Now? How ’bout Now?

I know, I know, I’m not supposed to wish away the present, but seriously! Good-bye, week of September 7th-through-12th! I shall not miss you, nay, not even a jot!

 

Several times throughout it, I confess to calling “Maranatha!” with all the strength I could muster. Yes, I know. I’m So Very Tough. But consider:

  • Sunday: Smashed my pinkie. Oh, sure, it’s just a pinkie. But it was a very owie boo boo!
  • Monday: Back launches jihad against me.
  • Tuesday: Laid up, recovering in increments.
  • Wednesday: Stricken with Idon’tEVENknowwhat in the stomach region. Ulcer? Dyspepsia? Whatever it was, I was devouring the Tums and mopping my clammy brow.
  • Thursday: migraine.
  • Friday: woke up with dregs of migraine, finally ebbed away around midday, PRAISE THE LORD.

So I think I am every-so-slightly justified in my vigorous hankie-waving and barring of the door should the week decide to revisit.

 

But let’s move on to greener pastures and brighter, bluer skies, shall we? I mean, only old people talk about their ailments, right? And I am not old. Shut up. I am not.

 

What we have here is a GIVEAWAY. A giveaway of a few of my favorite things, matteroffact. Just a few, understand. This is not a comprehensive list (postage would be a bit daunting, I think, were that the case), and, truth be told, it is a rather silly amalgamation.

 

Hopefully that is not a surprise to anyone who has been reading One Thing for any little amount of time. I’m going to be completely transparent here, and hopefully the more spiritual among you will turn a blind (or at least slightly myopic) eye to my less-than-lofty tastes.

 

First off, we have a $5 gift card to McDonalds. Five dollars should garner exactly a baker’s dozen of their chocolate chip cookies. I would recommend stalking your friendly neighborhood McD’s until they come fresh out of the oven, personally.

 

Next, a $10 giftcard to Starbucks. Oh, it’s been done to death, I know, but there’s just something about that place. I claim no immunity.

 

In honor of my infrequent-yet-dearly-sought scrapbooking endeavors, combined with my ever-lovin’ love of the big blue sea, a little packet of ocean-themed stickers and paper.

 

 

 

A Hoops and Yoyo panic button. Whenever you’re feeling insecure, this little gizmo is sure to reassure. (you can go here to see it and listen to it, but you have to click the thumbnail that is in the middle of the top row)

 

And Burt’s Bees lip balm. Without which, my lips would disintegrate.

 

 

 

Lastly, two movies that never fail to make me laugh. Never. And here is where the lowbrow really shines. Hey! I love Pride and Prejudice and Much Ado About Nothing too, but sometimes you just need a little physical humor, manic behavior, and bizarre circumstances to pitch you into a fit of the giggles. And we all know that laughter is the best medicine. So there. Nyah.

 

I give you:

and:

Yes, they contain farting. And pratfalls. And other off-color bits. I had a friend once who heard me speak of how funny School of Rock was, so she rented it.

 

She didn’t get it.

 

I thought they were all going to learn a lesson in the end. She said. I thought there would be a moral!

Nope! I’m sorry, but these are two completely moral-free movies. Not immoral, understand. Just moral-free.

 

I like to think there is a difference.

 

But anyway. The winner of all this goofy ridiculousness is…………………………..#39, “Carrie”!

 

Carrie, I hope you are excited to hear about what you won. If you are unable or unwilling to fulfill your duties as winner (ie. accept the package when it comes to your door), just let me know and I’ll run the numbers through random.org again. I will not be offended. Not everyone likes the same brand of silly, after all.