Story Three from Epic Road Trip (in reverse order) An Un-Mormon Wedding

In the small town of Natchez, Mississippi, combining a group of local friends, some Latter Day Saints and a cadre of gorgeous Houstonites, for a wedding at a tiny Mormon church, was no small feat.

Uh oh, let me clarify. They are Houstonians, not Houstonites! I was skillfully corrected. Here’s the article to prove it!

http://www.wideopencountry.com/dont-call-houstonites-rules-labeling-texans/

But clearly they were from Houston and recognizable as such to many Southern folks. They are gorgeous! (Don’t get me wrong, there are some pretty gorgeous people from Natchez and they have their own social hierarchy!)

I have to say the Bishop who performed the ceremony was great and quite a good sport. In the pre-wedding interview with my cousin and his intended, the Officiant did his job well. Knowing these two were not practicing Mormons, he had to tactfully discover the nature of what the bride would be wearing. There are pretty specific standards in the Mormon church about what the bride can wear in her wedding…legs, arms, neck and shoulders are to be tastefully covered. I wish I could have seen his face when my new cousin-in-law described her lovely, Houstonian, strapless, designer gown. Bless his heart, somehow he worked it all out, maybe even in honor of my Aunt, long gone now, but a well-known member of this church…who knows.

tiffs dress
The Dress!
David and Tiff
I kinda wonder if the Bishop thought that veil would cover her risque` bare shoulders!

The wedding task, assigned me by my cousin, as his only relative present for the ceremony, was to choose a short reading.

My self-imposed task was to say something leading up to the reading that might bring these three groups together. YIKES…but, I love a good challenge. I really wanted to do this right! My cousin is much more like a brother to me. I lived with him, his brother, and my aunt and uncle for many years when I was young. They became my immediate family.

I have officiated at several weddings myself and I know that nothing brings a group together faster than shared laughter, but I had to do some research because I did not want to be disrespectful to the LDS wedding guests who came primarily because they loved my cousin’s mother. My Aunt had a big hand in starting the Mormon Church there in Natchez years ago and these people still remember her! I wanted to make sure it was proper to laugh out loud, to applaud, and to rebel yell in a Mormon “Meeting House”…not that I could have stopped my cousin’s longtime Natchez friends from cheering at the end…He is 68 years old and this is his first marriage so this was a Big Deal!

Me at David's wedding

 

I guess my research paid off because apparently the short comments I made before the reading were a hit.  At the reception, at least one member of each of the three distinct groups gave me positive feedback on what I said during the ceremony.

Anyway, the whole thing went off without a hitch…Well, except there was that mix-up about who got to use the limo from Dunleith to the Mormon Meetinghouse, the Houstonians or the Bridal Party. The out of town guests were all staying in one of Natchez most famous Antebellum Mansions, and the Hummer Limo was the transportation to the church.

lighting in the Mansion’s rooms

That was a slightly stressful 15 minute wait for the Bride’s arrival, but she and her beautiful maids showed up and the ceremony was short, sweet, and as predicted, raucous at the end!!

Tiff out of limo

The reception was lovely also. Again, in memory of my Aunt and Uncle, it was held in our childhood home. Beautiful string quartet, fantastic food and the successful blending of those three fairly distinct groups for an evening to remember! My aunt, uncle and other cousin would have been thrilled to see the transformation in their home, especially given the reason for it.

All in all, an amazing ending to the Natchez part of our trip. We piled in the car the next morning, bright and early, heading for home!

 

 

SongLyricSunday 10-9-17 Traveling #2

orniahttps://helenswordsoflife.com/2017/10/07/song-lyric-sunday-theme-for-10117-2/

OK my brain must still be in “traveling” mode from our recent Epic Trip, because I keep thinking of more and more songs for this theme. I’ll try to make this one my last post for the week.

I picked the song for obvious reasons but my personal one is that James and I got to take an amazing Road Trip a while back on his Harley Ultra Classic, complete with a trailer so we could haul camping equipment. We rode down the West Coast from Seattle to Pacific Grove, California, stopping to camp in the Redwoods! This was our trip song!!

Enjoy the video! (If you are of a certain age, you won’t be able to stop yourself!)

Lyrics

Get your motor runnin’
Head out on the highway
Lookin’ for adventure
And whatever comes our way
Yeah Darlin’ go make it happen
Take the world in a love embrace
Fire all of your guns at once
And explode into space

I like smoke and lightning
Heavy metal thunder
Racin’ with the wind
And the feelin’ that I’m under
Yeah Darlin’ go make it happen
Take the world in a love embrace
Fire all of your guns at once
And explode into space

Like a true nature’s child
We were born, born to be wild
We can climb so high
I never wanna die

Born to be wild
Born to be wild

Get your motor runnin’
Head out on the highway
Lookin’ for adventure
And whatever comes our way
Yeah Darlin’ go make it happen
Take the world in a love embrace
Fire all of your guns at once
And explode into space

Like a true nature’s child
We were born, born to be wild
We can climb so high
I never wanna die

Born to be wild
Born to be wild

Written by Mars Bonfire • Copyright © Universal Music Publishing Group
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This is MY Peter Fonda!!

 

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Re-booting the blog…

I went on a vacation. I called it our Epic Roots and Reunion Road Trip. I thought I would write something clever and entertaining each day like I read from others, but it turned out to be impossible to write. Every day was filled with unexpected adventures and absolute necessities, the latter defined completely objectively!

Now I am home and though I am still savoring many highlights from the 34 days we had on the road, I have no clue where to begin writing about it.

So instead of saving the best for last, I’ll start with the last important event we had, which also happens to be one of the very best!

I got to meet one of my very favorite Bloggers!!

It all started when her photography caught me eye. Each week, she’d post for the weekly WordPress Photo Challenge. I loved her photos, truly a talent, but even more, I loved her words and philosophy. So I started commenting on her site, then following her.

If you have ever had it happen, you know what a special treat it can be when you come across someone who articulates exactly what you think and feel, but a lot better! It makes for a great friendship!

I asked her once if she’d be willing to engage in an actual conversation with me about a particularly laden topic and I don’t know if she batted an eye, but her resounding yes was instant.

I think that exact exchange started a real friendship. We decided to do it in a phone call but then of course, life happened and we have yet to have that talk. But the connection has built anyway. And we will get to that talk someday.

While planning, I noticed on the map for the Epic Road Trip, we were passing right through her town on our way home so guess what? James and I spent a lovely afternoon with her. She is so sweet and kind and generous. She was completely prepared to make up the guest room for us, even though she had just spent 10 days or so caring for her grandchildren whose parents were busy in Houston in the Harvey aftermath.

Unfortunately for us (but maybe lucky for her) we were on a dead run from Mississippi back to Washington State so we all settled for a short but memorable visit.

I had brought her a piece of art she had seen in a picture on my blog and she gave me one of her photos, enlarged and stunning!

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Here’s her blog.

https://pausesandclicks.com/tag/pauses-and-clicks/

One of my favorite posts of her is this one.

2000 Days

It tells about her personal Instagram a Day challenge but so much more. If you read the comments, you’ll see the seeds of our friendship germinating…

I dare you to read her blog and NOT fall in love. This is one very good woman!!

There.

Blog rebooted!

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Song Lyric Sunday

https://libbyroderick.com/how-could-anyone/

Especially for you Helen! I have a great story about this song but when I looked it up, I found that many, many others do also.

Here’s mine.

To become a practitioner in the kind of therapy I do takes a ton of personal work first.

You have to practice what you preach. You have to model behavior you hope to see in others. You have to be impeccable….ALL THE TIME! Not just in front of your clients.

After 30 years of practice, I figured I had this one down, until my wonderful therapist/mentor/teacher/”Mom” passed away! She is the person who first shared this song with me and it became my anthem for myself, and eventually for many clients. But when Elaine died, I had forgotten all about this song.

At her memorial, with hundreds of people there, someone told me they got a “message” from Elaine that I was supposed to go up to the front of the room and lead the group in a song.

I said “WHAT??”

First of all, I do NOT sing in front of people after a traumatic high school event where my choir teacher broke my heart and spirit by telling me to please just lipsync because my voice was so bad.

And second of all, how was I supposed to know what song!!

I resisted…but my training kicked in (and maybe a little “fake it ’til you make it” self-love).

I’m not one to ignore channeling or messages from beyond or whatever it was, so I marched up there, and without a second thought, I belted out THIS VERY SONG! Clear, loud, and, later I was told, even on key!! I lead the group in singing several rounds because anyone who knew Elaine, knew this beautiful song! (I still get goose bumps remembering this moment!)

That action, compelled somehow by someone else’s belief in me, finished one more piece of work for me that had lingered all these years!

Close your eyes when you listen and imagine these words coming from the person you most need to hear them from.

Love,

Kathie

Song Lyric Sunday Theme for 10/1/17

 

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SongLyricSunday-Breathe

Song Lyric Sunday Theme for 9/3/17

 

Here’s my song for this Sunday. Love the lyrics, especially

Two AM and I’m still awake, writing a song
If I get it all down on paper, its no longer
Inside of me, threatening the life it belongs to
And I feel like I’m naked in front of the crowd
‘Cause these words are my diary, screaming out loud
And I know that you’ll use them, however you want to

It’s how I feel every time I post on my blog!

 

 

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SongLyricsSunday-“Lying” 8-6-17

One of my “areas of expertise” as a Psychotherapist is relationships, but do not take the following as professional advice. Certain decisions are 100% personal.

Something I have seen so many times is outright lying, and I still don’t understand it.

It’s one thing to engage, for example, in “cheating” in a relationship. It’s a whole different level of yuck to lie about it, straight to someone’s face…even AFTER you’ve been caught!

I can almost understand the act of being unfaithful…there is almost always a perceived element of being carried away by something bigger than oneself, feeling helpless in the face of something, etc.

But the lying part…willful…crazy-making…calculated…that’s the part that would do me in. I couldn’t cheat because I would suffocate under the incredible crushing weight of the having to lie part.

And the lying part ends up to be the most damaging part of the whole thing, not the act of infidelity itself.

People who do finally do tell the truth about cheating can rarely offer good explanations.

Even my own former husband, after 13 years of what I thought was wedded bliss, only had this excuse to offer when I asked him why.

“Well, I thought I could get away with it.”

So if you wandered and did not get caught, think long and hard before indulging in that guilt-relieving dump some people feel compelled to do under the guise of total honesty, or “coming clean”. It is usually just for the cheater to get out from under the hefty guilt-weight of his or her actions. Or worse, it’s a passive aggressive move to make sure your indiscretion is known so it can actually hurt your partner.

That is your shit to carry…possibly forever. So shut the fuck up and live with it. Deal with the real issues!

But if you have been busted, tell the truth, for God’s sake!!

Don’t gaslight someone you supposedly love.

 

End of obviously biased lecture of the day!

Lyrics from Google Play

There ain’t no use in me trying to tell you how I feel
’cause what I feel ain’t what you’re feeling
I don’t know what we did wrong
I just know if you come home
I ain’t gonna let you break my heart again

There ain’t no use in me trying to find out where you’ve been
Where you’ve been ain’t where I’m going
’cause if I ask you where you’ve been
The hurting starts and it don’t end
So I ain’t gonna let you break my heart again, no
I ain’t gonna let you break my heart again, no no

Tears don’t become me
Pain ain’t my friend
It seems like you enjoy my crying, baby
You always said that I was strong
But I believe that you were wrong
Lately, God knows, I have been trying

There ain’t no use in you trying to kiss away the hurt, baby
’cause it hurts where it’s deep down inside of me and it’s hiding
If you decide you’re coming home
You walk in, it won’t be like before
’cause I ain’t gonna let you break my heart again, no
Ain’t gonna let you break my heart again, no no

Written by David Lasley, Julie Lasley • Copyright © Universal Music Publishing Group
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Song Lyric Sunday Theme for 8/6/17

ChosenPerspectives on Collage for WPC 7/12/17

Collage

My life is FILLED with “Collage”. I love surrounding myself with collections in categories.

The are each a Collage I made for someone else (top to bottom). A jewelry box filled with the jewelry pieces from a dear friend’s Mom, Memory Boxes for my Grandsons containing tiny symbols and souvenirs from their adventures, and photo cards.

My dear friend who gave me her mother’s jewelry pieces and old jewelry box above inspired me to facilitate a Collaging for Grief Workshop. My participants would collect the small things they couldn’t part with after a death. We would gather together to put all the trinkets in collage shadow boxes, all the while telling each other the stories behind the pieces. It was a wonderful way to let go of the large piles of things we can be left with when a loved one dies, but still end up with a lovely memorial piece of art in their honor.

I have posted before the embarrassing proof that most of the walls in my home are giant Collages

This is a series I called “Toy Baskets”. Trinkets from my own childhood. If you are of a similar age you might recognize Monopoly, Pick up Stix, Tiddly Winks, etc.

 

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More Wall Collages from my home and Office

 

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I could never stand to throw away the beautiful cards my clients have given me over 40 years in private practice, so I would always turn them into collages and display them. They so enjoyed spotting a piece of a card I had saved from them.

And many of my clients have been artists so I have many beautiful handmade pieces.

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This is titled “a Million Tears” (cried in therapy). Each tear hand-inked with a blue pen

This one below is my favorite. It was when my practice was HUGE. I had 8 groups of 10 people each (5 therapy, 1 couples’ group, a Graduate Group, and a training group). The artist who did this mixed media sort of collage told me it represented the path of my heart through my professional life, with many, many connections shooting off into the world, like stars. I was so moved by this. The piece always remains a focal point of my current Wall Collage display. Hand done painting, stitching, gluing, etc. (I especially love this piece since my current practice is only 3 clients.) It’s so sweet to remember that I used to have a larger impact on my world…..

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She told me this central line was my heart path….connected to and spreading out to the world, each star and sequin representing a life I had touched. It’s taken me years to accept (not my focus at the time) that I really did get to love a lot of people!!

Author note: Sorry for bad photos and for lack of editing. I wanted to get this in before the new challenge happens today!