sabineartist

Looking at the seams in the fabric of the universe to see how it is made.

Most Dogs Go to Heaven, but maybe not Catholic Ones?

Short Story # 3

Now, when I was a kid I had an Aunt Charlotte who read the Bible and told me that dogs and animals are different from people; that people have a choice and the Free Will to decide if they are going to go to Heaven or be bad and go to Hell. But that animals just go straight to Heaven.
But I have also heard that the Catholics believe that Animals don’t go to Heaven at all! That they simply go back into the earth and become dirt! “How Horrible!”, I say. “ I don’t know if I even want to have any part of a God that treats animals like that!” But, there are obviously many schools of thought on the subject and I will in my stories give you my Life Lessons about That!
Yet, for all of my gushy fawning over animals; when I was a kid it was still as difficult to get me to walk the dog as it was to get me to take out the garbage.
“Later!” ” After I watch Star Trek!” ” After I do my homework!” “In a minute.”
For some reason I just never seemed to do my part when it came to walking the dog.
(I actually went around to people houses and asked for money to donate to the local animal shelter and I gave every penny of it to my Mom to give to them, but I still wouldn’t walk the dog.)
Ok, I walked the dog sometimes. And Aunt Charlotte’s dog, Noni, once in a while too.

Our family dogs name was Lassie. Yes, named after the famous television dog; corny but true. Listen, I was born in the 50’s; I didn’t know any better.

We had Lassie for many, many years. From the time I was, say, 4 years old to maybe about 15 or 16 years old. Which to me was most of my life at that time. Toward the end of Lassie’s life, she had lumps on her belly and chest. Tumors of some sort. It was time to “Put Her to Sleep” when she started drinking and peeing; in one end and out the other and it was very sticky, and all over the kitchen floor. My mom thought it was full of sugar and that something had gone wrong with her that way. Mom and I spent the better part of 3 days cleaning up this clear sticky mess all over the kitchen floor, soaking it up with newspapers while our sneakers stuck to it crazily. After 3 days of this Mom asked me if I thought it was time; and I agreed that she must be right. That the dog was too sick and not getting better and she was old and had to go to sleep. I still tear up at that one.
Then Lassie was gone.

There wasn’t much that could be said about it. She was gone. I went about my life, went to school and did my homework but inside I was grieving quietly. The fact that she was having bladder problems made me think that I might have helped caused her to get sick and die. That maybe my not walking her made her sick. I felt horrible inside. That I could have done that to her. And I couldn’t take it back. I killed her.

About 3 days of this went by. I remember, somehow, it being 3 days and I think that might be significant. But there on the 3rd day, I was sitting in my room reading my homework and my attention was drawn to just outside my bedroom door. Outside in the hall there was Lassie standing in a “mustard colored glow”. It wasn’t really a golden glow, it was more of a mustard color. Darker and a bit hazy looking. I looked at this strange apparation and she, Lassie, spoke to me in my head. Or so it seemed. She explained to me that it wasn’t my fault that she died. That it wasn’t because of me that she got sick. It was simply her time to go. That my mom had been walking her all along and that she didn’t go for days without walking; because my Mom had taken care of it. That I needn’t continue to grieve the way I was, because it was ok.

I heard her in my heart and soul. But my head was amazed at how a grieving person could create apparitions with their mind to explain things to themselves this way.
What is the matter with me?
Why does it take so much for me to “Get It”?

I am so Programmed to be LOGICAL! that I couldn’t hear the Voice of God or an Angel or “Dog” if it hit me over the head. IF the sky opened up and trumpets and Heavenly angels came down through the roof in front of me. I would probably wonder if it was some kind of Hologram and how did it get here?

An Object Lesson on Intrinsic Beauty or Love is Blind but the Neighbors Ain’t

sabineartist

Two of my neighbors came to visit and I got the impression as I answered the door  that they didn’t think my banana tree in the front garden was as beautiful as I thought  it was.  It was a fleeting moment when I thought they had made some kind of statement and gesture at it that was less than complimentary of its beauty and grace.

No, I must have that all wrong, my banana tree is wonderful and I misunderstood them … is what I thought to myself.

But, now out in front of the house with my lawn man present, my neighbor asked him if there was anything that could be “Done” about it.

Ouch.  I guess they really don’t love it as much as I do.

How could that be!?

It goes so well with my crepe myrtles.  My crepe myrtles being the very essence of poetry in…

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An Object Lesson on Intrinsic Beauty or Love is Blind but the Neighbors Ain’t

Two of my neighbors came to visit and I got the impression as I answered the door  that they didn’t think my banana tree in the front garden was as beautiful as I thought  it was.  It was a fleeting moment when I thought they had made some kind of statement and gesture at it that was less than complimentary of its beauty and grace.

No, I must have that all wrong, my banana tree is wonderful and I misunderstood them … is what I thought to myself.

But, now out in front of the house with my lawn man present, my neighbor asked him if there was anything that could be “Done” about it.

Ouch.  I guess they really don’t love it as much as I do.

How could that be!?

It goes so well with my crepe myrtles.  My crepe myrtles being the very essence of poetry in the garden.  They are the very symbol of life and death in its circular motion though the seasons of life. in the Japanese tea garden.  By summer they are a rage in blooms some larger than my head, bright pink and lively as crepe ribbons at a party and by winter they are bare bones, appearing all but dead only to rise again the following spring.

The banana has even more poetry to me.  The banana will squeeze out  every ounce of its strength to leave its legacy before it finishes it life.  It will leave behind the fruit of its life’s work, the bananas for me to eat and share;  and it’s offspring to take its place and produce more fruit.

Long after the beautiful green foliage is brown and shriveled the tree will continue to feed the fruit and its little baby trees.  When there appears to be no life left in it; still the juices flow beneath its skin as it works behind the scenes to produce its “life’s work”.

What a beautiful plant!  How full of determination and courage.   Who could not think it is the very vision of beauty in the garden?

Then my other neighbor said, “ Why don’t you do a painting of it?”

“No!”, I said scornfully, “ it really isn’t pretty to look at!”

Then I got it.

I saw how it looked to my neighbors.

Oh.

So, sometimes beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

And I will probably end out moving my banana trees to the back yard and plant them there.

I guess my inner poet got shot down a bit.

But, in this case  I will consider that to be a reality check.

I just hope and pray that my own inner being doesn’t go so far out on a space ship to the moon that I cant see what is happening here on the earth.

Words from a poem someone wrote for me once, along time ago; long forgotten and never understood, they now spring to mind.

“On top of a hill, after a lonely climb, there are 3 trees, things take time.”

I believe this is a Christ reference, but what has it got to do with me, I thought, when I received these words  as part of a poem some 40 years ago.

As an artist and a writer, I do love my metaphors and maybe now is the time… after my lonely climb.

The various summers and winters of my life,  going circular, circular through them…like the fantastically colorful  crepe myrtles.  And just behind them closer to the house further from the street… the old Baba Yaga of a banana tree spins her magic quietly behind the scenes … even though it appears nothing is happening and she is about to die and leave nothing behind, taking with her her unfinished  fruit as she goes.  She is actually full of juice and flow and will complete her work and leave her legacy behind her.

Now for you and I , let us both be just a little like the banana tree and care not what other people see or think about us; but rather do what is right for us to do under the sun, in the eyes of the God who created us; with the last and all of our strength  before we go.

Two of my neighbors came to visit and I got the impression as I answered the door  that they didn’t think my banana tree in the front garden was as beautiful as I thought  it was.  It was a fleeting moment when I thought they had made some kind of statement and gesture at it that was less than complimentary of its beauty and grace.

No, I must have that all wrong, my banana tree is wonderful and I misunderstood them … is what I thought to myself.

But, now out in front of the house with my lawn man present, my neighbor asked him if there was anything that could be “Done” about it.

Ouch.  I guess they really don’t love it as much as I do.

How could that be!?

It goes so well with my crepe myrtles.  My crepe myrtles being the very essence of poetry in the garden.  They are the very symbol of life and death in its circular motion though the seasons of life. in the Japanese tea garden.  By summer they are a rage in blooms some larger than my head, bright pink and lively as crepe ribbons at a party and by winter they are bare bones, appearing all but dead only to rise again the following spring.

The banana has even more poetry to me.  The banana will squeeze out  every ounce of its strength to leave its legacy before it finishes it life.  It will leave behind the fruit of its life’s work, the bananas for me to eat and share;  and it’s offspring to take its place and produce more fruit.

Long after the beautiful green foliage is brown and shriveled the tree will continue to feed the fruit and its little baby trees.  When there appears to be no life left in it; still the juices flow beneath its skin as it works behind the scenes to produce its “life’s work”.

What a beautiful plant!  How full of determination and courage.   Who could not think it is the very vision of beauty in the garden?

Then my other neighbor said, “ Why don’t you do a painting of it?”

“No!”, I said scornfully, “ it really isn’t pretty to look at!”

Then I got it.

I saw how it looked to my neighbors.

Oh.

So, sometimes beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

And I will probably end out moving my banana trees to the back yard and plant them there.

I guess my inner poet got shot down a bit.

But, in this case  I will consider that to be a reality check.

I just hope and pray that my own inner being doesn’t go so far out on a space ship to the moon that I cant see what is happening here on the earth.

Words from a poem someone wrote for me once, along time ago; long forgotten and never understood, they now spring to mind.

“On top of a hill, after a lonely climb, there are 3 trees, things take time.”

I believe this is a Christ reference, but what has it got to do with me, I thought, when I received these words  as part of a poem some 40 years ago.

As an artist and a writer, I do love my metaphors and maybe now is the time… after my lonely climb.

The various summers and winters of my life,  going circular, circular through them…like the fantastically colorful  crepe myrtles.  And just behind them closer to the house further from the street… the old Baba Yaga of a banana tree spins her magic quietly behind the scenes … even though it appears nothing is happening and she is about to die and leave nothing behind, taking with her her unfinished  fruit as she goes.  She is actually full of juice and flow and will complete her work and leave her legacy behind her.

Now for you and I , let us both be just a little like the banana tree and care not what other people see or think about us; but rather do what is right for us to do under the sun, in the eyes of the God who created us; with the last and all of our strength  before we go.

An Object Lesson on

GOD-DOG and How Well I Don’t Walk on a Leash

I have long suffered from hearing a voice inside / outside of me that tells me things.
I call it: The Voice .
For most of my life I didn’t speak much of it, but there came a time when my friends were so accustomed to me referring to it that they would sometimes speak about The Voice that speaks to them too. I found that rather curious but; I did not question them, I just went with it. Maybe I am not crazy alone?

I have a long history of Not Listening to The Voice and therefore having made a lot of mistakes in my life that could have been corrected.

Example #1: Living in Miami, in the lovely town of Miami Springs I used to go bike riding at 7 am along Hunting lodge Drive, Westward Drive (Main Street) around the traffic circle then Curtis Parkway … ect . It was a lovely ride past historic homes and often with parrots flying over head.
On this one particular morning as I dressed to leave a Voice clearly Outside/Inside me told me not to go out this particular day. Of course I argued with it and told it that I do not listen to disembodied voices that speak to me from inside my head and I Would do what I want. The Voice persisted and tried to reason with me and to calmly state It’s point. Point being that I would get hit by a car. I explained to The Voice that I am way too practical and logical a person to think that God would speak to me and tell me such a thing. That if this was God speaking to me He would just have to protect me from the car and that I would be very much on my guard to be careful of cars. That nothing was going to happen wrong. I explained back to God that it is just not practical to listen to God because God just doesn’t talk to people anymore …. Who Ever heard of such a thing ?! I told The Voice that I was going !

I set out as usual but with more caution than usual. I looked over my shoulder more carefully and around me more alertly. I was defiant. Everything was going smoothly till I came to Westward Drive and some woman left a store and got in a car. The Voice said: That is the person who is going to hit you. “No, she is not.” I declared back.
But I was a bit shook.
I got on the sidewalk to ride the rest of the way, which is wrong for a bicycle but I was being very careful. I got to the traffic circle and decided to cross the way they taught us in kindergarten …with the get off and walk your bike across In the cross walk method after looking both ways, after all the cars had come to a complete stop. I was taking no chances.
So, right there in the crosswalk, with me clearly and plainly walking my bike across, after the cars had come to a stop. One car just leaps out and belts me.
I went flying through the air in what felt like slow motion and as I flew I found myself calmly concerned with landing and counting my arms, legs, fingers and toes as I bounced into my landing position. I lay on the concrete stunned. Just trying to get my breath and to gather the courage to stand up. It seemed all my parts were still there. People came running over and a man told me not to get up that I had broken my back, that he had seen the whole thing and he would be my witness in court. I felt grateful. I didn’t move.
The woman who drove the car was the one The Voice had pointed out earlier. She was angry with me and as I was laying there told me that she didn’t see me and it was my fault that I must have been disguised or something. That I had some kind of camouflage that prevented her from seeing me. I pointed out the bright white and silver of my bike and the rather pedestrian clothing I was wearing . She was angry and resentful. An ambulance arrived tout suite.
Despite the expectations of the crowd. I got up and shook my self off, examined my twisted up Peugeot and tried my best to straighten it up enough to ride it home. I didn’t seem to have anything more than a scratch on my ankle that wasn’t even bleeding.
The ambulance guys wanted me to get in and have a look.
I rode my bike home.

Aside….. If you visit Miami Springs you will see a beautiful paved bike path, some of it along Curtis Parkway, under the trees. This was put in after what happened to me and for a gift to others like me in the future. I was the “Poster Child”. Thank you RC and all the other good people who helped make it happen.

Example #2.
Again, back in Miami Springs, back in the 80’s. I was cleaning the house and doing my “chores” . And the voice spoke and said to me: Call your Aunt Stella.
“No, Not right now”, I replied, “I am too busy, I have to clean the house, and weed the garden and do the shopping and then get to my creative work if I can, I don’t have time right now to call my Aunt Stella.
The next day, The Voice said to me again: Call your Aunt Stella.
“No, NO No no no…. I just cant do that right now, I never did finish weeding the garden and I have to get dinner ready and I will get to it soon enough, just not now.
The next day the same argument.
The following day there was silence in the air around me.
I went about my business as usual and listened for the Still Quiet Voice that speaks to me and I heard nothing. And so I asked, “ Call my Aunt Stella?”
And the voice said: It is too late.
And then the phone rang and it was a family member to tell me she had just passed away.

As I write to you I am over whelmed with feeling. Regret. Sorrow. Mixed with gratitude. I am grateful that I can speak to you now in this way to share with you this Truth. That God lives and he speaks to us… The one True God. He is alive and speaks to us This Day. We just do not have ears to hear. And I may have ears to hear; but I do not know how to Obey.

Back in the Present again….
I went for some exercise with my dog today, we walked along Edgewater Drive, the vet says she needs to develop more mussel strength and quite honestly I need the exercise too. My Labradoodle has been pretty willful lately. She has decided she would rather lay in the cool and comfort of my bedroom .. sleeping, dreaming and waiting for a snack… than to go on a two mile walk. I loaded her up in the SUV and when she saw we weren’t at the ice cream parlor; .she just layed there on the car seat and looked at me sideways. Not exactly wagging her tail and getting ready to jump out. I leashed her up; she wasn’t going to just wait for me in the car like last time.
She can be a rather charming animal, but right now, she was being down right ORNERY. She wouldn’t walk straight and zigged and zagged and tried to stop and dragged behind till I rolled up the leash so that she was walking on an 8 inch lead.

As I dragged her along I thought about how much I am like her.
How small and dumb I am and how much I think I know better than my God and insist on running out into the street even though there is a car is coming . Even she is smarter than that, but I tightened up her collar anyway. I am such a dumb dog I would even keep running when I hear His Voice say: NO! Like my old dog Ben, I must have failed in Obedience School.

She zigged and zagged a bit more and just about got under my feet, and I thought that she would trip me up walking this way and I would be better off just leaving her at home.
She is becoming quiet the lazy and useless animal. Not unlike me. I am always afraid God might want something out of me that I don’t want to give. Lousy Disciple of God I would and have made.
Have you noticed that the word Disciple is like the word disciplined? And how much that sounds like work and maybe something we don’t want to do.
I do not stand where he tells me to stand or do what he tells me to do. I am zigging and zagging and just not very disciplined when I hear his voice. Getting in the way of progress as I do not try to walk the walk
And so to me there is the GOD DOG relationship.
He sees the car coming and we are to obey. Or get hit. He gives us commands and we are to obey. Not my will but your will Father.

I just broke my frickin toe pacing around the house being mad at all of this.

So, even though I am not his good and faithful servant who obeys his will… I am hoping that at least I can pass on the knowledge that it is ok to hear and to listen to God.

Even Now in Modern Times. DO I HEAR ME?

Brushed by an Angels Wing

Rubys RBrushed by an Angels Wing

My very beloved dog, Benjamin, had just been “put to sleep”. I was grieving heavily and decided to do the right thing and bring home another pet to love. Ben had been such a wonderful animal that I decided that the best thing to do was to rescue an animal that severely needed to be rescued as an act of gratitude for having been fortunate enough to have known Ben.
I went from holding his little body as it grew cold, for a walk down the cement path to the shelter where the living ones were. I looked them over, though tearful eyes. One stood out. She was half Chow-Chow and half German Sheppard. She bared her teeth and snarled as she barked at me and looked very forbidding and not at all like a nice companion dog.
Then I heard the “still, small voice” say to me: She is not vicious; she is guarding her cage, the way she would a home, she is a guard dog.
And the voice bade me to give her a try.
I asked to go in her cage and a volunteer with a lead, came to bring her and I out to a green area together. She came with all kinds of cautions and warning this dog: No Children, No Cats, No Other Animals. I forget now some of the warnings. The Volunteer cautioned me once we were in the cage not to touch Ruby’s head or face. Ruby faced me and I her, we just looked at each other and I just grabbed her head in my hands and greeted her with my eyes. The Volunteer looked shocked. She told me I shouldn’t have done that. But we were fine.
Ruby had been there for more than 2 years, she was 9 years old when her family gave her up and now she was an older dog of 11 years.
The volunteer told me that in that much time only 1 other person had looked at her, and now Ruby was a regular here at the shelter.
I didn’t feel convinced that Ruby would be the right choice for me and so I decided to sleep on it for a few days before I made my decision. How much of a difference would a day or few days make I wondered.
Then I heard that voice say to me: It would be better if you take her now.
Why? Why can’t I just sleep on it? What’s the big deal? She has been here for 2 years; what difference would another even 3 days make?
It is always better to do what the quiet voice of God asks me to do. To Obey. But I seem to have a hard time with that.
I slept on it for 3 days and then decided to go back and get her. When I got there I couldn’t find her and when I asked one of the Volunteers where she was …. She told me that there was another dog there that didn’t get along with Ruby. They hated each other and were always looking for a chance to get at each other and this time it happened. And they fought. That Ruby got the worse end of the deal and the other dog had her head in his teeth and that he held on so tight they had to spray water up his nose with a hose until he couldn’t breathe to make him let go. That her head had a big flap of skin hanging off and they had to stitch her back up and she was recovering and wasn’t really ready to be seen.
I had to wait a month before she could be seen and a few weeks more till they would release her to me. But she was healed up enough and her hair grew over the scars so that she was really a beautiful animal again. She looked like a wolf. Like a red colored wolf. And she was pretty big, I think she was 74 pounds.
We had a difficult adjustment period where she and I didn’t get along together right away . We had a fight over the sofa a few times. She thought it was hers and I thought it was mine. I tried to grab her butt and push her off and she went for me. I jumped back and then was immediately aware that she just won.
I yelled; Down! Down! Down! And she really didn’t care. I grabbed a few heavy books off of the book shelf and threw one on the sofa next to her and yelled : DOWN ! Again. Then another , this time closer to her. She just watched. Then he next very close so that it brushed her. Yelling Down each time. The last one did it and she jumped down.
I had to win that or she would rule the roost.
I packed her up in the car and brought her back to the shelter. And I told the lady at the desk. This dog tried to bite me and she said: If she really wanted to bite you; believe me, she would have. You two just go home and work it out together.
And at that time I was about 125 pound female with mostly vegetarian style teeth.
I asked God if she was really the right dog for me. It was plain she missed her former family and that she was looking for them … she sniffed every front door that she could get near and she looked hopefully into the face of every large man that she saw. I fed her and walked her and took care of her medical needs and she really could take me or leave me mostly. I could see she was a good animal. Very disciplined and would get annoyed at me if I didn’t walk on the sidewalk at a proper heal. She would even walk me back to the door and we would have to start our walk over again and this time at a proper heal. And my leash never had to be let out more than 6 inches; if I walked proper.
She had some real medical problems. I guess the shelter wasn’t able to take proper care of her teeth and they had rotted badly enough that the bacteria had gotten into her kidneys and the vet said she wouldn’t last much past 6 months, she would never last a year. (Remember how I was told not to touch her face) I had her teeth pulled that were infected and the rest cleaned. And I put her on a diet of cooked chicken and rice, with green beans in a lot of chicken broth, to get her to drink enough, to help flush her kidneys.
She was a lot of money and a lot of work. And not that much reward. Are you sure God that this is the right dog for me.
Send me a sign I asked. Just a little sign; that is all I need, nothing too fancy. In fact, all I need is something for her collar for her to wear. A piece of jewelry like a symbol of her … maybe a letter R, for Ruby made out of Rhinestones or something and it doesn’t have to be in really good shape or anything. I wouldn’t even mind if I found it in a parking lot , next to my car door as I opened it to get in. And it could even be ran over by other cars so that it is missing some of the rhinestones. And it can just be something that someone lost that they will barely even miss. Just please have an Angel’s wing knock it off of some ones pile of stuff, while they are getting in or out of the car for me to find.
It was only about 2 weeks later that I found it. And put it around Ruby’s neck for her to wear.
She was the dog that God intended for me to take care of.
Sometimes it is our turn to take care of someone or something. Sometimes it is not for us to be selfish, but to remember that we are here to serve. Not to be served.
Maybe when God gave us dominion over the animals he meant for it to be benevolent .

Thank you for reading this far
Donna

Found Object

I have reason to believe this letter R has been brushed by an Angels wing.
Read the Story: Brushed by an Angels Wing

Looking at Real Estate that Looks Like My Father

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August of 2013 Tampa, Florida

I took a drive to visit a nearby neighborhood to see if it would make a good investment property. These condos were very reasonably priced and located on some sort of canal so; I wanted to have a look. It turned out to be a bit past where I thought it was and when I pulled in it had a strangely old and worn look to it, the kind of city feel that you might find in a neighborhood on the outskirts of Manhattan. This felt strangely familiar to me … ex New Yorker that I am.
As I waited to make that left hand turn across so much traffic; I noticed a kind of etiquette in the way the residents turned in and out of this neighborhood. It wasn’t: Me First. There was a definite respect for each other and patience with who’s turn it was to cross over all the traffic into and out of place.
The residents were coming home from work and some of them gathered together in groups. Some looked like family groups and some looked like friends. Everyone looked to be people of color. Spanish and Black and maybe some other nationalities with darker skin types mixed in.
I asked for directions from a tall African American man who was standing with a group and I could feel his generosity and fun spirit as he explained where I had to go.
This was a relatively poor working class neighborhood. There was a sign up at the clubhouse to report any suspected drug sales or other crime watch issues.
I walked around back to see the river and while I was back there I could see that the screens on the balconies were all ripped and hanging. Some just completely gone and there was very little in the way of outdoor furnishings to make the balconies comfortable. Probably the cost of a few extra things like wicker furniture would be too much to spend.
I am not rich by any means but I thanked God for the things I have that I can indulge myself with. Even my old Ford is a shy bit newer than these folks old cars with the worn off paint and even a plastic bag taped on where a passenger window used to be.
I remembered my Dad and Mom and how poor we were when we were growing up and I remembered how much my Dad might actually have been very much like a guy from this neighborhood. He was a handsome Italian guy, liked to dance and wear nice cloths. My mom was the valedictorian of her High School class but somehow fell in love with this Saturday Night Fever kind of guy. I breathed in the feel of the place; the hopes, the dreams and the wishes that I can somehow feel in the air. In this good air of people who are working, doing the right things as well as they know how and dreaming of a future that doesn’t look quite as bleak as this Apartment style neighborhood. New cars, nice things, college for the kids, all that.
I remembered growing up in my own little town and the things that I dreamed of. The things that seemed so unobtainable from my way down low position in life. Working my way through school.
I thought about how my dad had worked and gone to school for so many years to get his teaching degree. How my mom encouraged him and tried to help him with typing and a part time job of her own besides taking care of the meals and the house. For a guy from the Hood he did pretty well. My mom kept him in line and pursing his dreams. He worked hard and for a guy who was actually a very sick man (with a serious life threatening disease) he did very well for himself and I think proved that he could make it if he tried. My mom always teased him though about his still saying: Diss, Dees, Dat, Dem and Dose. You can take the boy out of Brooklyn; but you can’t always take Brooklyn out of the boy.
It was part of his charm. He taught kids that were almost as street wise as he was. He taught them in a food trades class at BOCES. And some of them Learned.
I can’t say that I always appreciated the kind of guy my Dad was; but on this day I was seeing Him in the glowing light of an epiphany from God. I could kind of recognize the color of the light, the feel in the air.
He came from a neighborhood much like this one I was visiting and I appreciated his and my mom’s hard work to get somewhere in life. Here in this place I could appreciate it so much it all felt very real to me, like I was back there in the past and living it again and even back in Their past and able to see it lit and living in the sunlight again.
I loved the feeling of this place, the feeling of some kind of old time Brooklyn neighborhood , but instead of Italians like my Dad, (Wops, as it were) this was black and Hispanic; but still very much like my own family as they started out here in this country as immigrants.
As I left in my car to go back out into traffic; I turned to the left, my heart and mind full of some very real appreciation for the kind of guy my Dad turned out to be.
And I thought with a very loud thought: DADS!
And
There was a billboard that had a picture of 2 dads and the word: DADS!
On it as big as life.
I turned my head to look down the street the other way and I was thinking: that was just a co-incidence and it had nothing to do with God, or my Dad or any of this Crazy Dream Visit and there was a sign in the other direction that read: A Dream Visit.
Tears.
And I know once again, there are no co-incidences.
God has Spoken.

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How I learned to Love Dog Poop

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my current spoiled pet, Gigi, dining at an sidewalk cafe

When my beloved dog Benjamin was near the end of his life, he was forced to wear a cute little pair of striped pants with a hole cut in it for his tale to curl through. This was to cover up and help hold in place the little doggie diaper he was forced to wear. And he wore with great charm and dignity for such a proud little guy, might I add.

He had developed cancer and tumors of some kind in his intestine that made it difficult for the poop to pass. So, the Vet had put him on meds that made it more liquid and easier to pass but he also lost some of his control this way. But now the situation had become quiet bad. So that he would squat to poop and nothing would come out. He would squat again and still nothing. It became obvious that it wouldn’t come out at all. At this point there wasn’t much that could be done.
After years of walking dogs and not very much relishing having to pick up poop… I found myself crying and praying that he would be able to poop. There was none coming. It was his time to go.
Worse than dog poop is no dog poop.
He has long since passed on and I have gotten other dogs since he was my dog. But the life lesson has not been lost. I now have no problem walking the dog and picking up poop. I love it. And I thank God for it.