Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Friday, December 23, 2011
Saturday, December 17, 2011
We all remember with much fondness the many treasured gifts loving given to us by our children. On those many birthday’s and wonderful Christmas’ morning’s madness when we are roused out of our beds, eyes heavy with sleep from the long night of wrapping last minute gifts by shouts of excitement. We watch our children’s joy and endure the shouts of gladness as they scramble to find their treasured Christmas’s gifts. Our own faces exaggerate our surprise and happiness as they give us our Christmas’s packages they might have picked our and wrapped, with the help of someone when they were younger.
Of course we are constantly overjoyed to experience their own success of their lives and share tears with them when things go wrong. We try to encourage and be engaged with them as they learn life’s lessons, what ever those lessons might be for the both of us. There are a few gift’s that my children have given me that can’t not be procured by monetary means, some are priced beyond actual value.
And so it is with my daughter’s most recent gift to me and her step-mother. She has given us a way to negotiate the healing among the family; for me her ‘father’, her Mother, her Step-mother and hopefully her brothers in due time.
The other morning Kay and I accompanied a friend to the local Cancer Center for the first Chemo treatment, as they didn’t have family who lived close enough. As we were waiting in the open seating area to be seen by the doctor, my ex-wife arrived for her regular appointment and we said our hello’s. I thought that was quite a coincidence to see her. Between our friends doctor appointment and his treatment, my ex had finished her appointment and she stopped to chat. As she mentioned that my sister would be arriving soon for her regular appointment, she checked herself in and sat down with us. And so we introduced everyone to our friend and chatted about things, about time long ago, when my sister and I lived in Japan as kids. She went on to describe the earthquakes and typhoons we had to endure and some of the damages and discoveries with the aftermaths. Everyone was quite chatty until my ex had to leave to get back to her school job and my sister left for her appointment.
I believe that this encounter among the four of us only happened because of my daughter’s intervention. The fact that the encounter was so casual and delightful I give full credit to my daughter’s sincere efforts to bring the family back together. It has been because of her insistence to reconnect with me and bring a mature understanding that I had to transition; that I am and have always been the same throughout my life. That I have treated my wife and children with compassion and love; as both ‘John’ and Sarah. That I am a much happier person as Sarah and can hold my head high with pride. So, I thank you, my daughter, from the bottom of my heart for this most wonderful Christmas gift ever!!
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Monday, November 21, 2011
This picture was taken in the courtyard area of the Brandywine River Museum, in Chadds Ford, Pa. Someone told us when we were in Delaware that it would be a short trip to see the home of Andrew Wyeth's home in Chadds Ford, and we are always up for an adventure. I realized later that I didn't take any pictures of his home or the studio that was built by his father, N. C. Wyeth. I did not know about NC Wyeth. As a premier artist and teacher he would gather the actual items to paint for his pictures; costumes, busts, pistons, rifles, farm implements and tools. He even bought a birchbark canoe from the indians and has it shipped back by train for just one of his pictures. He traveled to the west to live the life of a 'cowboy' and paint them. He brought back western 'cowboy' clothing to add his collection. N C painted the original illustrations for "Treasure Island" and was paid $2000 in 1911 by which he bought the land where his studio and house sits. Those paintings measuring at least 4 ft by 5 ft are hanging in the Brandywine Museum down the hill from his house.
This is my backside as I was looking for shells and other odd bits that we collected. We even brought back with us a piece of driftwood of fair size. We always feel a need to get close to water sometimes and this was our chance; only one other family on the beach.
This is a picture of the first and oldest light house on Cape Henry, there 191 steps which will take you to the top. But which we didn't climb; too much time and energy as we needed to head north to Delaware.
Monday, November 14, 2011
Monday, November 7, 2011
Monday, October 31, 2011
One can’t explain the reasons some thing’s in one’s life happen, we can only articulate the how. I had heard that my brother and his wife would be coming to town for his high school reunion, but as of last Friday I had not heard anything from him. Kay and I had taken a friend to the movies and we met some other friends afterward and so we all went to have pizza together and we had a great time. Saturday morning, Kay and I drove down to Tallahassee to attend a friends wedding.
We have known Margeaux since 03 when I started my transition and had begun to meet regularly with a lgbt group in Tallahassee, it was at the time I needed support the most; so we have stayed friends since. The original group quit meeting as everyone went their own way, and by that time I was well on my way to living as Sarah. Then about two years ago we attended the Pride Festival in Tallahassee and we met up again with Margeaux; she had formed a trans group that met once a month. As it meets during the week, we could only attend occasionally and so when we received the invitation to her wedding, we were thrilled to be included.
Her wedding was at 11 am that Saturday morning and we stayed until they cut their cake. It was so wonderful to reconnect with so many friends we had made in that community that it really felt like a homecoming of one’s extended family. Even saw friends from the first group of so many years ago. To see the joy on the faces of the brides as they looked into each other eye’s with profound happiness and joy was worth the drive. We even met Margeaux’s daughter who stood on her side during the wedding ceremony.
Later that afternoon while we were shopping, I received a call from my ex-wife, of all people, and since I didn’t find my phone in my pocketbook quick enough, I missed her call. I listen to the message she left, which seemed a little frantic, and so I called her back. She was with the rest of my family having taken my mother to lunch and wanted to know if I knew my brother Bill was in town. I told her no, he had not called or sent an e-mail to let me know his plans; so she said; “Do you want to talk to him?”, I said yes, so she gives her phone to my brother. I think he was surprised when he realized that he was talking to me and didn’t or hadn’t thought of calling me first. Well, because of our evening plans and the fact that we were not in town at the moment, we arranged to get together at the airport before their plane left on Sunday afternoon.
We were not sure just how our meeting was going to go that afternoon, so we had agreed that if the discussion became heated and aggressive we would just walk away. And so we were a little anxious as we walked through the double doors to the waiting room at the airport. I saw my brother, Bill first, and could see that he was watching a sports program on TV with his brother-in-law; Bobbie, his wife, and her sister were sitting across the small room just talking together when Kay and I walked in. Bill was the first to greet me and hugged me, but Bobbie gave me a big hug and was a little surprised at the way I looked (I had brushed my hair and put a dab of perfume and lipstick on for the occasion). After I introduced Kay to everyone, we sat together in a row of seats, so Bill sat between Kay and I, as I sat next to Bobbie. Bill was turned talking to Kay, so I turned and began talking to Bobbie and her sister about grandchildren and how her family was doing and how they had a good chat with my daughter and son. It was a pleasant afternoon, catching up on everyone’s lives. But all too soon they were called to board their return flight to Nebraska. So we parted after some very warm and sincere hugs and thank you’s and let them say their goodbye’s to their family.
I would never in a hundred years believe that my relationship with my ex, my daughter, my sister and my brother was because they were urged by my ex-wife to open up to me, but it has happened. Kay and I pray that relationships with family will get better, but we never exactly know the scope or depth prayers can reach.
I really don’t think Bill would have ever talked to me this weekend if my ex had not shoved her phone into his face Saturday afternoon, and I am telling everyone that I am truly grateful for all that she had done for the families. But I now believe that because Bobbie has gotten to know me in those few minutes she might become a great ally not only for me but for others and her friends.
Peace and Love Everyone!
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
The Episcopal Church has a great tradition of receiving, welcoming and recognizing new converts the this Body of Christ. I know because I have been a part of this Church for a long time; I am not a cradle Episcopalian, but I believe that I have been a strong and active member since I joined in '94. But my life has taken a drastic new direction and the person who joined so many years ago is now legally known as Sarah. Unfortunately, I was told that Sarah was not recognized by my church, but I am writing on a new page now that I have been officially recognized and Acknowledged to be Sarah.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Kay and I celebrated the 10 Anniversary of Integrity Georgia at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Savannah, Georgia this past weekend. We were able to meet and engage in delightful conversation with Harry Crew, the Founder of Integrity and Earnest, his husband of many years. Please take time to watch it on the internet.
Saturday, October 8, 2011
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Monday, October 3, 2011
For the past 5 days we were given the opportunity, (chance) to watch our granddaughter. It was better that there are the 2 of us cause she can run our old legs off. Miss Trinity is 18 months and is a little spitfire of personality, giving us lots of things to smile about and keeping us very busy. Don't let those playful eyes and smiles fool you, cause there is mischief in there somewhere.
Sunday, October 2, 2011
Saturday, October 1, 2011
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Friday, September 9, 2011
A Gun battery at Vicksburg
Thursday, September 8, 2011
This past week Kay and I took an extended trip (2827 miles), partially in respect for the Labor Day Concert at the National Cathedral that didn’t happen and for a continued birthday present for her. All in all, I would say I had a great time; saw many wonderful sights and some of the country I had never been in before. We even discovered, quite by chance, the BB King Museum, learning how he started playing the blues and about his life as an International
Music Ambassador. We found Kermit the Frog’s birth place in Leland, Mississippi, and had our picture taken with the ‘old boy’. Learned that “Kermit” was named after a close boyhood friend.
Crossed into Alabama and the great fields of cotton where it was difficult to see the other edge of the field. Crossed the Mississippi River into Arkansas and spent the night in Hot Springs in the Historic Section of town. The next day we bought a few pieces from the Dryden Pottery factory (opened in1946) and spoke to the present owner and
his son bough a few pieces.
Moving forward, we spent some time in my home town of Mena, Ark., and saw found my family’s church; my grandmothers house and the empty lot where my uncle’s house once was next to my grandmothers.We visited the main park and sat by the old spring that used to quench travelers thirst. All changed, all different. We learned that the Old ruins of the Queen Wilhelmina Hotel has been rebuilt and sits on top of the Ozark Mountain with a grand view of the valley.
Instead of backtracking down to Mena, we forged ahead through the “Winding Stairs” mountains and park, 38 miles riding atop the ridge peering through a blue haze into the hills of Oklahoma.
Discovered the re-Acquired Creek Council House Museum and their history, which is a story in itself. Speaking of the treatment of the American Indian Nations and their peoples.
Found ourselves on a original strip of “Route 66” and wandered around “The Blue Whale” National Landmark. It was at the Cherokee Welcome Center that we learned about the Pow Wow and how Labor Day is also celebrated as their National Holiday, by holding the Pow Wow at their spiritual grounds in Tahlequah, OK.
We left a little early after visiting their quilt show, ruins of their female Seminary School and exhibits of the “trail of tears”. As an observer of their singing and dancing I was moved in some spiritual way. Leaving all to soon to race over to Enid, Ok., to spend the night at Vance AFB as we had made reservations. We saw quite a few Historical Markers on our journey across the USA and back, but the one we did stop for, was the marker for the Oklahoma Land Run of 1889 of the “Cherokee Strip”, starting at 12 noon and by nightfall over 2,000,000 acre tract had been staked and settled.
Well, now it is Sunday and the last day of the Octoberfest in Choctaw, just east of Oklahoma City. We had discovered the two weekend beer fest after the DC Concert as canceled and it was our main reason for the trip. The beer was great, the German Bands were wonderful and I got to play bell with the other kids. Kay knows her way around the web and can find some good hotel room prices; staying at military lodging is a great bargain if you can. As we leftOklahoma City we found ourselves at the Oklahoma City National Memorial Reflecting Pond and grounds. Quite a powerful place for feelings as the timing of our visit was approaching the 10th Anniversary of 9/11.
We saw the tomb and museum for Will Rogers in Oklahoma and learned how he was captivated the American People as was an Ambassador in his own right. But the most frightening scene was as we crossed I 20 into Kilgore, Texas we could see the smoke of the huge fires that are burning across the plains of Texas, destroying crops, homes, livestock. The land is burning up by fires and the two year drought; the animals can’t find enough water to drink or grass to eat. They all lie together in whatever shade they can find.
One thing I learned is that you really can’t go back home; for one thing, your home might not be there. Places and people change. Most of the older folks die and others have moved on, just as you have. Just as I have taken the road ‘less traveled’ and thought I needed to burn my bridges, I know that going back to the place where the two road diverged, one finds two new and very different road. Memories long forgotten are awakened by just looking for them.
We are glad to be home to sleep in our own beds tonight.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
The Road Not Taken
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
This past week Kay and I took an extended trip, partially in respect for the Labor Day Concert at the National Cathedral that didn’t happen and for a continued birthday present for her. All in all, I would say I had a great time; saw many wonderful sights and some of the country I had never been in before. We even discovered, quite by chance, Kermit the Frog’s birth place in Leland Mississippi, and saw the tomb and museum for Will Rogers in Oklahoma. Was a bystander at the Cherokee Pow Wow, watching the dancers take to the Sacred Ground as the Singers and drummers sat around the living, vocal drum sing the songs of the different tribes in attendance.
But one thing I learned is that you really can’t go back home; for one thing, your home might not be there. Places and people change. Most of the older folks die and others have moved on, just as you have. Just as I have taken the road ‘less traveled’ and thought I needed to burn my bridges, I know that going back to the place where the two road diverged, one finds two new and very different road. Maybe more than two roads, but one remembers. That first footprint on the other path might have been swept away with time, but the memory of that step bring back so many more. Memories long forgotten are awakened by just looking for them. Pieces of yourself that you know will always be you, always be a part of you. It’s who you are. Remember and gather in your memories.
A few year back on our trip through New England, we visited Robert Frost’s farm, where he tried his hand at farming. Where we looked out his window and saw trees that were not planted when he lived there. This poem by Robert Frost’s has always been one of my favorite. Without knowing the reasons why it pulled so many possibilities out of thin air, it has charted my life’s journey in some manor of speaking. My path of transition and what I found in my way was most certainly not what I expected. Finding a happier self, helping others when I can and showing others that I am just me. Finding that I can face adversity as I deal with my breast cancer. Happy, contented person with a purpose with my daughter and wife by my side; I have indeed made quite a difference by taking the less traveled road.
Sunday, September 4, 2011
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Statement from YouthCUE's Executive Director Regarding Labor Day at the Cathedral
August 26, 2011 |
Early this morning, Cathedral officials notified YouthCUE they would be unable host our concert due to damages sustained during the earthquake and the impending threat to the facility posed by Hurricane Irene’s projected landfall over the next several days.
YouthCUE’s Executive Leadership Team has been working diligently and around-the-clock to simulate contingency plans and explore potential opportunities for alternate concert venues.
Due to the Cathedral’s decision, and influenced in no small part by the very serious threat posed to the entire eastern seaboard by the hurricane, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2011 Labor Day at the Cathedral event.
The powers involved are making plans to reschedule the concert for next year, so now we are changing our holiday plans, stay tuned. Maybe headed west!
Friday, August 26, 2011
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
This is a publicity poster for the Labor Day Concert, that I will be singing with; please note that our good Dr. Neal from VSU is the Associate Festival Conductor. There is to be a dedication piece for 9/11 from the movie "Saving Private "Ryan". If you know of anyone who lives in the DC area please tell them about the concert, please invite them to DC and spread the word.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Spoke too soon, I have seen this film at the University VSU
Friday, August 5, 2011
We must keep telling these stories, as some preach the denial theory, that this never happened.
Voices of Light
Soldiers who fought the Fight
Voices of War’s, telling truth’s light
Of those who lived the horrors of War
Each true voice, a single shard of light
Truth in the telling of Armies might
Lived on far distant shores
By collective voices of Armies
Shining like beacons
Together blinding the words
Of lies and deceit
As each soldier who fought
Grows older and falls, so dims the light
And memories of War with time
As each shard of light is extinguished
The beacons of Truth wavers and blurs
But, we who are washed with beacons light
Must listen ever louder
To the dimming voices of truth
Proclaiming the true lessons of War
Against the voices of lies and deceit
Monday, July 25, 2011
This is the important part of this horrific story. This is the possibilities within the reactive factions of the Christian Right, extremist who become, Judge and Executioner of those 'they' perceive to be a threat to their cultural way of life.
Another Christian Post story has this highlight:
n Norway and Sweden extreme Marxist attitudes have become acceptable/everyday while the old-established truths of patriotism and cultural conservatism today are branded as extremism.
Candidly, his complaints against liberal churches sound like the screeds one sees on the website of the far right's so-called Institute for Religion and Democracy. Another example is Robert Knight's recent screed in the Washington Times against gay marriage and "the Obama administration has stepped up its attacks on the moral order." This highlight from the New York Times is also noteworthy:
Thomas Hegghammer, a terrorism specialist at the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment, said the manifesto bears an eerie resemblance to those of Osama bin Laden and other Al Qaeda leaders, though from a Christian rather than a Muslim point of view. Like Mr. Breivik's manuscript, the major Al Qaeda declarations have detailed accounts of the Crusades, a pronounced sense of historical grievance and calls for apocalyptic warfare to defeat the religious and cultural enemy.
According to the police, Mr. Breivik first drew security services to central Oslo when he exploded a car bomb outside a 17-story government office building, killing at least seven people. Then he took a public ferry to Utoya Island, where he carried out a remarkably meticulous attack on Norway's current and future political elite. Dressed as a police officer, he announced that he had come to check on the security of the young people who were attending a political summer camp there, many of them the children of members of the governing Labor Party.
He gathered the campers together and for some 90 hellish minutes he coolly and methodically shot them, hunting down those who fled. At least 85 people, some as young as 16, were killed.
Given the constant drumbeat of grievances against gays, liberals, Hispanics, blacks and Muslims being put out by so-called Christian "family values" groups and far right GOP aligned organizations, one can only wonder how many would-be Breiviks are being cultivated here at home in the USA.
Sunday, July 24, 2011
This cosmic change reaches further into the people's of the world than we could ever imagine. Kay and I were speaking to a college class for Social Work studies and the Professor is from Japan. She suggested that because the City of New York is an Icon for a great number of foreign citizens, the great number of images of marriages of same-sex partners will speak volumes to our changing cultures and mind set for the lgbt community. If we combine New York's gift of marriage with our military finally repealing 'DADT', will be like a tsunami spreading and reaching into and throughout society's darkest corners.
This wave of recognition for change will push and wash over so many constructs of society that we can only imagine. What will happen is this change will cause serious and overreaction by those who do not want change; who will take their revenge out on those they despise. We can expect to see vicious acts of hate and expressed anger from those who are being pushed to the edges.
Lets pray for peaceful days in the coming months.