Saturday, December 26, 2020

The Mountains Are Calling And I Must Go


“We could live here,” I told him. “Or some place a lot like this.”

He gazed across the lush green meadow at the distant hills scarred by a long-ago fire. Where legions of ponderosa pine, heady spruce, and douglas firs once rendezvoused, the ravaged landscape had softened with the arrival of a new generation of aspen—young, for sure, but tall enough to paint the rolling contours with summer green. In a few weeks, the view that kept us captivated for the last month would transform into fall’s golden gala.

“Yes, we could,” he agreed. Simple and profound, that lengthy exchange abruptly changed the course of our life. Four months ago, on vacation in Arizona’s White Mountains, we let ourselves believe in the dream. Yesterday we celebrated our first Christmas in our new home on the Mogollon Rim, deep inside an evergreen forest. Mostly moved in, the dining room holds the last twenty boxes waiting their turn to be unloaded, but we’re here.

I still can’t believe it.

We ran away from the crazy of 2020 last August, secluded ourselves deep in the woods for a month, found some sanity and calm, and realized we couldn’t live in the urban jungle anymore. Not only that, we didn’t have to. Rob’s been retired for over six years and I’ve been a kept woman for way longer than that. So far, this is still America and we can do whatever we want to do and are willing to work and fight for.

I knew moving would be a fight. Not with Rob—with the status quo. It meant I’d be forced to clean out those closets filled with thirteen years of forgotten materialism that I’ve been avoiding like unwelcome relatives. It meant the heartache of explaining to our nearby grandchildren that we’d be living a few hours away now. We’d lose the comfort and familiarity of the best neighbors we’ve ever had. Leave us wondering how to manage doctors and hairdressers. And worst of all, my OCD self would willingly choose to dismantle my home and live in a whirlwind of chaos for the unforeseeable future.

All in order to make the dream come true.

We had to ask ourselves a few times if it was worth it and encourage each other—when the vision got cloudy—that it was. I’m sure you’ve been there and know what I’m talking about. In 44 years of marriage, this is our eighth move. But I hate doing it. I hate chaos. And stress. And starting over. I loved our last home and all the perks that came with it. No one has been more shocked than me at this drastic thing we’ve done in the golden years of our retirement. It was exhausting. My body, devoid of the vigor I had those other seven times, may never forgive me. I think I’ve accurately predicted that we will die in this house—perhaps sooner than I expected according to my angry joints and aching muscles.

But I had a dream. A dream of writing from the desk where I now sit in full view of a forest of trees. I could actually see it as it drove me every day to pull photos off the wall and fill cardboard boxes with the security I once called home. I need tranquility. I crave serenity and peace. This year has destroyed that for me. As fear has taken over our country and once friendly faces have disappeared behind masks, as elected officials have declared themselves dictators and the concept of God-given rights has morphed into perceived selfishness, and even people of faith surrender their freedom and common sense to fall in line six feet apart and avoid any semblance of assembly, the familiar became the forgotten. It was a year of hiding for most of America. Believing that a virus with a 99.9% survival rate was equivalent to the plague, everything that we once took for granted was taken from us. The simple pleasures of being with friends, returning a smile, keeping my temperature to myself, attending movies and concerts, worshipping shoulder to shoulder in a crowded church, traveling easily. All gone. Relegated to history books and tearful memories. Things are difficult now. Lonely and complicated. Easy has been stolen from us.

No longer do friends offer healing hugs—they bump elbows if they even dare to get that close. No more can we sit in a coffee shop or fast-food restaurant while children play carelessly on a jungle gym nearby. Instead, the drive-throughs are open so we can eat cold food at home or spill ketchup on our shirts in the discomfort of our cars. It’s not even considered safe by some to enjoy the outdoors—that virus is sneaky. It apparently hovers all around our own heads wherever we go. Mask up, Arizona—you’re on somebody’s radar.

There’s a lot more going on than fear over a politically charged virus, though. Unfortunately, the majority of people still believe the mainstream media, i.e. evening news, tells the truth. I’ve known since my high school journalism class that manipulation and fear is what sells newspapers and pays the bills for networks. Perhaps the biggest loss to Americans right now is their ability to think for themselves.

Maybe people are beginning to wake up. I’m not sure. It’s hard to tell what they can see while they stay hidden behind worthless masks. I’ve thought about it a lot from where I now sit watching squirrels race up pine trees, listening to them leap onto the roof of our house here in the woods. Oblivious to the chaos of boxes in our new home or the lies of corrupt politicians and censorship testing our First Amendment rights, they just live life on their own terms, enjoying the piney jungle gym in our back yard, breathing free the way God intended.

While we were in the Adirondacks a few years ago, my husband bought a hat with the inscription, The mountains are calling and I must go. That’s why we’re here. We’ve returned to the simple life where we laugh at our dog’s delight as he races across the acre of treed land we call our own. Every day we listen to the soothing sound of swaying trees in a cool wind. Wake up to the delight of fresh fallen snow and fall asleep at night under a canopy of stars I’d forgotten exist.

The mountains offered us peace. Ravaged as they have been by manmade fires just as all our lives have been this year, they, too, are healing and life has returned. “I lift my eyes to the mountains and realize my help comes from the Lord, their Maker.” It was time. Time to go after the dream of tranquility and sanity. For us, that could only be found here, on the Mogollon Rim.

The mountains were calling and the only choice we had was to listen and come home.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Swim Lessons

I get it now. I don’t know how I missed it before. I didn’t completely, of course. I haven’t been in a coma exactly, just a head-in-the-sand kind of hopefulness that wasn’t as realistic as it should have been. Not that I’m gonna “should” on myself. It’s hard to put a puzzle together with half the pieces missing.

All these years. I missed it. Even though I’ve been an upstream swimmer all my life. Growing up in a conservative church environment will do that to you. Having a father who worked in the Haight-Ashbury District of San Francisco in the 60’s as a narcotics agent dulled the glamor of the drug culture. Then there’s the fact that I was born with a conscience more sensitive than a seismograph on the San Andreas Fault. I once turned myself in to my mother for getting in trouble at a friend’s house. “Go get the paddle,” my eight-year-old self announced. She did. Somehow, I felt better in spite of the spanking.

I don’t break rules. Until I hit menopause, you could count the number of swear words I’d uttered on one hand. Okay, maybe both hands. That was seven years ago and I no longer blame menopause for my potty mouth. I blame no one. I just call it my latent rebellion.

I have never smoked a cigarette. Not once. Reference the “drugs are no fun” declaration above. I didn’t taste my first beer until 2010. I was 52 years old. It was nice – all two sips of it. Then I gave it to Rob and drove us both home cuz he’d already finished off his own when I donated my glass. I’ve never stolen anything, not even a pack of gum. I crossed my legs for four years in high school so I wouldn’t have to breathe in the marijuana smoke in the girls’ bathroom. I didn’t go to dances because I wasn’t allowed to. As a result, I still can’t dance, which is really a shame.

I have been called ‘pure as the driven snow’—a favorite of the not-my-people crowd—which isn’t as vitriolic as they thought, although it still managed to hurt my feelings. After all, the reason non rule-breakers avoid breaking rules is because they want to be liked. And stay out of trouble. It’s hard to be accepted by troublemakers when you disagree with their platform.

So, I grew up as an oddball. I was not a cool kid, in case you haven’t picked up on that. The most rebellious thing I ever did was get my ears pierced on my 18th birthday because that’s the age when my father figured I was old enough to add extra holes to my head. I’m still glad I did it. Two years ago, for my 60th birthday, I got my first tattoo. The next year, I got another one. I think I’m done now. No matter what anybody tells you, tattoos really hurt. That’s about it for my rebellions. I cuss when I’m mad, have had pierced ears since I was eighteen, and own two tattoos, both of which I’m proud of.

Please don’t misunderstand. I was saved from a lot of pain by marching to the beat of a different drummer. For example, I’m not chemically addicted to anything except chocolate. I’ve only ever been intimate with my husband of 44 years. I don’t have a rap sheet. I can’t even rap. I have scars, both inside and out like everyone does, but they’re survivor scars. They’re not self-inflicted.

Swimming upstream all my life may have been the best preparation for what I’m facing now.

And what is that? It’s the same thing you’re facing. That we’re all facing. An attempted overthrow of our 244-year-old republic by our own citizens. The horrifying possibility of the downfall of freedom. To be sure, we have enemies outside of America, but they have wedged their big fat toes in the door of traitors who have sold us out for cash on the barrelhead. Promised favors. Wealth and power. You know, the normal bribes weak-charactered people can always be bought out for. But what really hurts is that we didn’t see it coming. Or, maybe I need to own this since I can’t speak for you, I didn’t see it coming. I heard rumors in the wind, listened to warnings from political watchdog groups, and tried not to panic. I may be used to going against counterculture, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t scare me.

We once owned a red-headed beagle blend of a dog who thought she was safe if she stuck her head under the dust ruffle of our bed. Or cozied up against the two-inch ledge beneath the oven in the kitchen. Her logic seemed to be if she couldn’t see us, we couldn’t see her. We laughed at her stupidity as much as at the bulk of her exposed body while she thought she was hiding, but the joke was on us.

Maybe she was just imitating her owners.

There’s plenty to be scared about now. Socialism masquerading as democracy, which is a pretty lousy disguise if you ask me, has declared itself in control of our country. Illegally. Right now, their tentacles are so far-reaching you’d be hard pressed to find a mayor or council member, secretary of state or governor who has not deserted their sacred oaths and crossed over to the dark side. The proof of their attempted coup is everywhere. Dishonesty recorded and played back to the socialist players means nothing to them. They lie to our faces and are proud of it. Overflowing evidence of a stolen election can only be discounted from that hole in the ground where sleepy ostriches hide their brains. Now the impetus is on our courts, many of them pre-packaged with corrupt judges, to sort out the good from the bad. They are woefully unqualified, being themselves as crooked as sin.

Right is called wrong (vote for Trump? We will find you and make sure you disappear from polite society.) Since when is the privilege of voting a punishable offense? City-destroying violence is called ‘peaceful’ by the mobster politicians who now govern blocks of ashes—convince the families of dead policeman and children to accept that description while the smoke from Antifa riots hovers above their graves. Medical “authorities” have sold their souls to the devil, convincing a terrified populace that a virus with a 99.9 per cent survival rate permeates the air they breathe, even in their own homes, and the only way to protect themselves is to isolate. Forever. Faceless, fearful people in grocery stores are a constant reminder that all is not well with the world.

I’m not telling you anything new. This is barely scratching the surface of the fallout of 2020.

But why do public servants surrender to evil? Is it for money and power? And why does half our population think they’ll have any freedom left if they submit to the government putting them out of business, purposely impoverishing them until they’re completely dependent on it for their very survival?

Why are so many people blinded by what’s really going on? Is it because they’ve stood for nothing and will fall for anything? Are their muscles atrophied because they never swam against the easy flow of compliance? Do they seriously believe that the progressive socialist platform of the thieving left will still be their savior once they’re in control? It’s a lie—an unraveled rope clung to by those who have never learned the repetitive nature of history and may be doomed to repeat it.

I don’t know if it’s too late. I know good always conquers evil, eventually. Even the decrepit movie industry portrays that in the plot of every film they’ve cranked out for the last hundred years. I know that turning us against each other in the arena of opinions and politics is deadly. Haven’t you been reminded that united we’ll stand and divided we’ll fall? There must be some common ground somewhere that we can agree on, a safe place where we can all link arms and stand against lies and corruption and the threat of a holocaust more horrible than even World War II represented.

If we are listening. If we are watching. If we pay attention to the rumbling earth around us and shake the sand from off our heads. There’s so little time left to recognize the signs of an approaching earthquake. The trap has been laid for the future of our children and grandchildren—a stolen heritage that we could have prevented if we’d put aside our pride and taken a hard look at the truth.

Everything that has happened this year—one enormous tsunami of bad news and lockdowns and riots and politics—has been in the works for decades. That’s what I missed. Maybe it’s what you missed, too. The slow, purposeful erosion of our morals and our liberties have converged and now the dam is about to break.

For the love of God and everyone else who matters to you, I’m begging you to connect the dots and turn around. Start swimming against the flow before it’s too late. It’s going to take all of us together, speaking up, standing for freedom, demanding the truth, and refusing to settle for anything less.

It’s the only way. There’s no more time to hide. This is the time for righteous rebellion. Civil disobedience. Swimming upstream. Taking off the floaties.

And it’s gonna hurt. Evil doesn’t give in easily, but we don’t either. I’m taking my own advice to heart, pulling my head out of the sand, practicing my breaststroke. I’m scared, but I’m not willing to give up without a fight.

This could ruin my snow white record, though. I may wind up rapping after all.

With thanks to Prezmek P for the use of the photo above. The original may be viewed by following this link:

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Chivalry Is Dead

“Welcome, m’Lord and m’Lady,” the medieval peasant muttered in a deep bow. His eyes narrowed in confusion as he looked us up and down. “Thou dost sport strange attire,” he said slowly and then stepped behind my husband who wore our toddler in a baby carrier on his back. The timid man pointed a dirty finger and then drew away in mock fear.

“Hast thou noticed a child grows between thy shoulder blades, sir?” his voice warbled. “Might this be some kind of . . . witchery???” Covering his mouth in feigned horror, he quickly disappeared through the arched entry at the annual Renaissance Festival.

“He’s right, you know,” I laughed. “You do look like a two-headed creature.”

And that’s how the costumed actors convince you that for one day in the desert of Apache Junction, Arizona, you have stepped back in time to live among kings and queens, bawdy maidens and hapless beggars, merchants and musicians, knights and jesters. With a turkey leg in one hand and a wooden sword in the other, you can transform yourself into a noble whose virtue is above question. Long live chivalry!

That is, until you reach the highlight of the festival—the jousting. Then all bets are off.

With velveteen layers of royalty watching from the reserved boxes above, the dusty arena below their stands the center of equine machismo, visitors like us filled in the cheap seats to watch and applaud. It was a display of divided loyalty. Everyone in the east stands, rooted for the good guys, cheering a loud “Huzzah!” for the King’s favorite, while the spectators in the west, including us, gave their best boo’s and screamed at the top of their lungs, “Cheat To Win! Cheat To Win!”

And cheat they did. Charging the hero’s horse when he wasn’t looking, the popular knight was knocked into the dirt to the horror of the royal family and the easterners while the western crowd went wild, clapping in glee. While the royal favorite showcased courage and skill, the arrogant challenger played every dirty game in the book to the delight of half the stadium. We hooted at his sneaky antics and the childish insults he lobbed at the crowd favorite. Boy, was this ever fun!

It was hilarious to throw our support behind the rival knight even though he was so obviously bad to the bone. “Cheat To Win!” we laughed and yelled, caught up in the delirium of the western crowd that surrounded us, all of us behaving like newly rebellious teenagers, stoked up by our enthusiastic peers. Of course, I knew it was all a game and assumed the good guys would win in the end, bruised and bloodied as they were. After all, it was just for show, right?

But sometimes the bad guys won. Then what? Was the kingdom lost? The princess spoiled? The royals flushed? It was like reeling in a catfish after a struggle with the spiny creature—maybe you won the battle, but suddenly that salty trophy lanced your fighting hand.

You gotta be careful what you fish for.

It’s a lot like politics, don’t you think? Especially this year, in the battle to end all battles between communism, a two-headed creature disguised as progressive socialism, and our republic of freedom. It would be one thing if the challengers were transparent and honest. Heck, at this point, I’d settle for just one of those. Instead, they’re no better than actors on a stage, their selfish intentions disguised by scripted speeches. I know, that’s politics. But this year, 2020, they’ve managed to outdo themselves. The supporters of the left—more often than not rebellious crowds of naïve college students blended with the murderous, violent rioters of Antifa and BLM—cheered from the wrong side of the stadium while their puppet hero sold them all out. They don’t know it yet. And my prayer is that they will never know it if the Good Guy in the White Hat arrives to save the day.

But it might not happen.

This year’s elections have been hijacked. With ballots cast by long-dead voters. Underage voters. Multiple ballots by the same voters. Out of state voters. The playbook used by the left is long and complex. Ignoring a state Supreme Court order to allow observers in buildings to keep the elections clean, poll watchers have been left standing with nothing to watch except disappearing votes reported by a corrupt media on their cellphones.

But that’s not the coup de grâce. With their carefully contrived plot of deceit involving the sophisticated supercomputer system known as The Hammer and its counterpart program application, Scorecard, the left engineered a way of hacking into computers to flip votes on election night, effectively knocking the Good Guy completely off his steed so they could steal an election.

In plain sight.

Right in the middle of the political arena with western stands of traitorous reporters, cowardly conservatives, and greedy, power hungry politicians all cheering wildly, “Cheat to Win!” After all, the ends justify the means, right? It’s not the first time they’ve done it. It’s just the first time they’ve been caught at it. The only option now involves the nation's Supreme Court. Litigation. And hostile accusations aimed at the right that they don’t know how to be good sports.

It’s embarrassing, isn’t it?

Why can’t we all just get along? Let bygones be bygones, accept defeat and get on with our lives? That’s what it means to be an adult after all, isn’t it? Sure. Under normal circumstances when a fight is fair. When the count is accurate. When your vote matters.

That’s the problem.

If the left can claim a victory on the basis of the all-out cheating lengths they went to in this election, then your vote and mine will never ever matter again. You think this kind of election is a lark? It’s not. It is all too common in socialist countries across the globe. Just ask every immigrant you know who came to the land of the free to escape communist leaders and manipulated elections. And those are the lucky ones. The rest of their countries’ dissenters had their voices silenced years ago.

This is what’s hiding beneath the masked intentions of the so-called president elect and his co-conspirators. If they win the White House, not only will there never be another true election in the United States, but our days of personal freedom will be numbered. And all those turncoat politicians selling their souls to enemies both foreign and domestic? Boy, will they be surprised when they’re dismissed by the new regime as quickly as a far-right conspiracy theory. Puppets are disposable, you know.

This is an attempted coup. An overthrow. A forced takeover by the socialist mob who are now threatening to make Trump supporters pay for their crime of endorsement should the left win an Electoral College victory in December. Inspiring, isn't it?

It could happen. Victory can be stolen from the jaws of defeat. It happens every spring in Apache Junction, Arizona. You just have to remember the rules of the game.

Cheat To Win.

With thanks to Hans Splinter for the use of the photo seen above. The original can be viewed by following this link:

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Five Days


Five days.

Til the election.

The one so contentious it makes the Revolutionary War look like a family squabble.

Never once did I ever think I’d see the collapse of this Great Country in my lifetime. Not on our watch. Not with my generation at the helm. If we lose the legacy left in our care by an army of veterans who died to preserve this Republic, we will have no one to blame but our own deluded selves. We heard the warnings. We may not have known how to steer this storm-tossed ship, but God help us, the alarm bells have been sounding for years. I fear we were asleep at the wheel and woke up too late.

Someone neglected their duty – a collective someone – and missed the frantic warnings sent out constantly by faithful lighthouses for decades. The rocks of destruction obscured the shoreline, but we didn’t recognize the danger. As breakers licked their lips in saline anticipation of our imminent doom, we looked the other way and hoped for the best.

Is it too late to turn this Titanic around? I’m praying it’s not. Oh, God, how I’ve prayed. Earnestly, desperately, weeping, I’ve asked God since January to expose the truth, the lies, the evil, and hold the perpetrators of it all accountable.

Be careful what you pray for.

I had no idea how deep the corruption, how far-reaching the tentacles of evil, how devastating the betrayal by men and women who lied as they swore to support and defend our Constitution against all enemies, both foreign and domestic and bear true faith and allegiance to the same. It never occurred to me that they themselves were our enemies.

God answers prayer. The truth is coming out. And it’s ugly.

I didn’t know about the pedophilia. I didn’t know about adrenochrome. Or Hollywood’s addiction to it. Or red shoes.

I was unaware of the push toward Marxism, socialism, and communism in our universities. For decades.

I naïvely trusted in the balance of power, confident that justice still prevails, and that public servants are exactly that. I had no idea that career politicians never retire and their bank accounts grow larger than the national debt while they tax us into poverty.

I laughed at the overreaction and obvious marketing maneuvers when designer face masks first showed up on the internet on foreign faces. I never dreamed our elected officials would soon force them on us and that citizens would be arrested for refusing to wear them.

You see, until this spring, I thought that America was still the Land of the Free.

I was sure everyone around me would realize the “novel” virus could be outsmarted by a healthy immune system created for just such a purpose by our Creator. But I, like everyone else, knew nothing of herd immunity until a group of courageous doctors explained it to us and were immediately shut down, their message silenced, their videos removed. I never dreamed we no longer have freedom of the press or that communistic censorship would rule America.

I also didn’t know the Mainstream Media is corrupt. Like I told you—asleep at the wheel.

This time last year I still believed our Constitution was as impenetrable as Fort Knox. That my right to peaceably assemble, worship in public or private, and bear arms if the need arose to protect my property, my loved ones, or my own life was immutable. I still understood that public property was public – not once did it cross my mind that statues stood in the open as an invitation to thugs to destroy them—without fear of consequences.

I’ve been a mother for thirty-nine years, but if either of my children had ever attacked police officers, thrown Molotov cocktails at department stores and federal buildings, beaten strangers bloody simply because they disagreed with them, or stolen millions of dollars’ worth of merchandise and called it a “peaceful protest,” the last thing on earth I’d have done was form a wall with other mothers of criminals and wept at the way my kids were misunderstood by the masses.

I’d have beaten their butts and turned them in to the police. Just ask my children.

I always understood that destruction and violence were against the law and would be punished. That “peaceful” meant no one died or was maimed and no buildings were burned down while police officers watched helplessly on the sidelines as per orders from their supervisors and mayors. I thought “protesters” and “rioters” were listed separately in the dictionary for a reason.

I didn’t know someone changed dictionaries when I wasn’t looking.

But above all else, as wave after wave of shocking violence and panic and fear was lobbed at us every single day since last spring, it was inconceivable to me that the end result would be the fall of our country into the hands of power hungry politicians who’ve sold their souls to the devil of socialism.

Is it too late for America? I don’t believe for one minute that God is punishing us. Let’s be real here—we’ve never been a perfect people in a perfect country. I am confident that God is on the side of good. He shed His grace on America, remember? That the great experiment of freedom dreamed up by our forefathers was honored by our Creator. He fights for us. And while I did not, any more than you, see the net that was cast for us by enemies both foreign and domestic this year, nothing takes the God of Heaven by surprise.


It is not too late to avoid the breakers. To save our ship. The world is rooting for us—it’s true. I’ve read their comments. People in Australia and England and Canada and Spain and Chile and Africa and other countries see the trouble we’re in and they are praying for us. Praying that we will survive this crisis. Why?

Because America is the last vestige of hope in a world already overtaken by evil men who want nothing more than to oppress freedom.

Five days. While the clock ticks its countdown, the beacons of warning flash their lights  across the waves—from sea to shining sea.

Are you awake yet?

My thanks goes to Peter Roome for permission to use his stunning photograph, seen above. The original can be viewed by following this link to the artist's page:

Monday, August 3, 2020


I get it now.

I get so many things that once were dusty words in history books. The people on those pages have been coming to life, practically against my will. The dates and fashion that kept them locked down in the past no longer separate us. Gradually appearing in the shadows of current events, they are real people who once walked in the shoes I’m wearing now. Only mine don’t have big black buckles on them.

Suddenly, I know how they felt in both the struggle to gain freedom and the fight to keep it.

I’ve been to the birthplace of America a couple of times with my family. We walked Boston’s Freedom Trail where all those guys in funny looking tights put their lives, their wealth and their sacred honor on the line. We stood beside the grave where Paul Revere is buried. The North Church, where he lit “two lanterns if by sea,” is in peril once again, just as much as the upscale businesses surrounding it.

And we’ve driven through Gettysburg where bullet holes still riddle the stone walls of historic buildings, sobering reminders of what can happen when friends and family divide over little things like states’ rights. They say there are ghosts who still linger on its Civil War battlefields. But apparitions like those are as questionable as Covid case numbers. The thing that haunts me about that conflict, which took more American lives than all other wars combined, is this—now I understand how friends can be lost, families can divide, and a nation can disintegrate when unity is undermined. I’ve already seen brother turn against brother and children against their parents. There were probably more tears shed in that war than in all others combined, too.

My history teacher never told me there’d be a final exam like this one.

Bible stories are coming to life for me as well. Fear is written in its pages where true stories of oppression and depravity are told without the gilt edges of censorship. The conflict there was always good vs. evil, leading up to the climax of Jesus’ death. But in a well-played sting operation, Jesus turned the tables on his enemies by rising from the dead and overcoming sin for us. He is alive. But the Church is on a ventilator. The cancel culture of A.D. 85 feels like a mirror image to dictatorships like the one happening in California where now, as then, Christians began to meet in secret to avoid arrest and persecution.

I never thought I’d see the day when governors would order churches to close and stay closed. Or that corrupt politicians like Gavin Newsom would forbid Christians to hold in-home Bible studies. Or sing together. All while mass riots are not only overlooked but validated as important for the mental health of its violent participants.

Suddenly, bullying is not only tolerated, it is encouraged.

So, when John wrote his epistle to the first century church with teaching on how to become a Christian, he wasn't suggesting that born-again believers weren’t born again. John knew his audience. He knew their audience. And just like today, when Christians are afraid to show up at church for fear of being turned in by trolls, the apostle understood the reason. Congregations in A.D. 85 were a mixed bag of Christians and spies.

The echoes of those holy sandals rings loud in my ears right now.

Freedom, that thing which matters as much to God as it does to us, is under fire. Again. And the reason? Because control is a valuable commodity to bullies. We let our guard down while our enemies, both foreign and domestic, have burned their candles at both ends for decades. We took our cherished independence for granted, assuming we were immune to hostile takeovers. After all, we’re the land of the free and the home of the brave, right? But we got careless. Lazy. Lulled to sleep by entertainment and complicity. If the hostilities we are dealing with right now take a turn for the worse, many of us will wonder how and where we missed the warning signs.

Why didn’t we listen to the alarms of watchmen on the crumbling walls of liberty? Because fear sells and liars know this. We have forgotten how to think for ourselves, listening instead to the advice of power-hungry authorities and caving under peer pressure. Or maybe we never knew how. Critical thinking, too, is a valuable commodity because it is rare.

So, what about those shadowy people I just mentioned? That great cloud of witnesses who fought back against tyranny in their own time? And those who didn’t? In junior high when I read about peace loving Quakers who didn’t believe in conflict, I thought they were just fearful. Even disloyal for leaving the freedom fight up to others. Then when America’s enemies were eventually routed, conscientious objectors reaped the benefits of victory. I judged them as a bunch of cowards.

But, this morning, my own conflict-hating stomach is in knots. I watched a video of folks much braver than me who did what has become the unthinkable. As medical professionals who took an oath never to harm, they stepped out on thin ice and told the truth. They walked out in public in our nation’s capital to tell us we can have hope and live free. It wasn’t a popular message in D.C., strangely enough. While hecklers tried to shout them down outside, inside the hallowed halls of Washington politicians made sure their good news was censored. We wouldn’t want people to unite in these United States, especially while we’re being told to be fearful and stay away from one another.

Ironic, isn’t it? Who’s really afraid here?

Mesmerized, I saw a video of a man in an open-air event in communist California. By the time it was over, he’d been hung out to dry in the farmer’s market. His transgression? Bucking government approved fashion trends and letting people see his lips move. He refused to cave before a faceless society. He was mocked. Threatened. Confronted by a police officer who could not tell him what law he was breaking by breathing free outdoors. I was proud of him—from where I watched inside the temporary safety of my own home. Unmasked. Unseen. Unassaulted. Uncondemned.

I want peace. I want my life back. I want to wake up from this dystopian nightmare. But every single morning, it’s Groundhog Day. More liberties, paid for by my relatives and yours as they, too, were attacked by socialist enemies, are stolen. Right out from under our masked noses while we try to keep the peace, not make waves, and live our lives in silent desperation.

It’s the silence that is killing us.

Freedom matters. That’s the reason it’s under attack by people we actually elected to represent us in government, people who swore to protect the Constitution of the United States. It’s under attack by the CDC and Fauci and Birx, health officials who are breaking their Hippocratic oath to do no harm. And it’s under attack in farmer’s markets in California where citizens are held hostage by a communist governor who has them scared to death by illegal mandates.

Freedom is under attack in grocery stores that make announcements to “mask up or get out and do your shopping online.” You are dangerous, you oxygen-breathing resisters. We see you. We can pick you out in a crowd. You’re the one with the face.

Freedom is forbidden in fast food restaurants, too, where asthmatic teenagers deliver milkshakes to self-righteous drivers who yell at them for not wearing a mask. The choice now is "paper or fabric?" Our forced protection against a virus at least ten times smaller than the tiniest opening in a “face covering.” There’s a reason they’ve changed the noun there, you know. Calling them ‘masks’ isn’t specific enough—just ask the Lone Ranger. Face coverings imply that your ability to be seen is a danger to others—and they are one step away from a burqa.

But I get it. You can’t incite a Marxist takeover of a Republic by being obvious. You have to make it look like the rebels are those who resist. You can’t call yourself a communist when Democratic Socialist sounds more politically correct. You can’t capture a population of 350 million people by an overt attack. But you can immobilize them with panic and fear if you use a less-than-novel virus to cripple their courage, shoving propaganda in their faces twenty-four-seven on every TV, freeway, and store in America.

We are being conditioned to accept the unacceptable. And what is that? You already know. And our shadowy ancestors know. If we don’t get their history—which is our history—we will be doomed to repeat it. The goal of the left is to keep us so ignorant that while we submit to illegal mandates and government overreaches, we won’t realize we are surrendering everything.

It’s a white flag assault on our liberties and the future of our children. But we never saw it coming. We never thought our voice mattered. Until it was silenced.

It's time for the Silent Majority to make their voices heard. It’s not too late. It’s actually our time, and our turn. While the pen pauses and history waits to record our choice, we can take back what was given to us by the millions of Americans who gave their all for us. But we have to speak up in whatever way we know how. The warriors are weary. You and I are needed. Our silence won't cut it anymore.

This time, if we value freedom, it's going to be up to us to . . . get it.

With thanks to Simon Johansson for the use of the photo above. The original can be viewed by following this link:

Thursday, July 23, 2020

The Greatest Generation

Today is Grandma’s birthday. Her 110th. She’s busy celebrating it with Jesus instead of hanging out here with us, but she’s still on my mind.

She’s been on my mind a lot lately. I know some of her life story. How she was born at home in Charleston, South Carolina, one hot, muggy July in 1910. An only child, she was moved from one end of the country to the other for the next seven years until she lost her mother to TB. Three years later her father adopted her out to an elderly, childless couple (Anne with an “E” style), months before her father died of the same disease as her mom.

She lived in Arizona most of her seventy years, except for the war years between 1941 and 1945 when Grandpa was sent to Australia to fight with the Army. During those four years, she and their two young children were passed around among his relatives who reminded her daily that her husband would probably die over there and she should get used to the idea of being a widow.

She got used to tuning them out instead.

When Grandpa came back, mostly in one piece, they started over again in the Phoenix desert, living in the house Grandma built during the year it took for her husband to recover in a hospital in Texas from war injuries. Twenty years later, when Grandpa came down with melanoma and Hodgkin’s Disease, they sold the family’s homestead, moved north to Payson, and Grandma stayed busy with the Garden Club and the First Southern Baptist Church while Grandpa got well again. She suffered with rheumatoid arthritis and horrific migraines for decades, but still welcomed us to stay with her and Grandpa every chance we got.

She was the feistiest ninety pounds of woman I’ve ever known and I loved her like crazy. She loved Jesus like crazy. I watched her read her Bible every single day and when she died, I asked for one of her Bibles so I could hold the book that held her together through all the rocky roads she walked. I miss her humor and wisdom and acceptance, though that Irish temper of hers was something to be avoided.

The more I know about her life story, though, and walk through mine, the more I understand how she felt.

And I wonder, as I think of Marie Elizabeth Quigley Weatherford Jennings today on the 110th anniversary of her birth, what would she have to say about the world that’s spinning out of control all around me right now? What would she think of lockdowns and panic and mandates? Of mayor/governor sanctioned riots? How would she feel about the destruction of historical statues, the burning of flags, the burning of the Star of David, and graffitied federal buildings?

It’s a rhetorical question, I agree, but it’s still on my mind.

You could probably guess what she’d say about defunding the police, making our Constitution obsolete, requiring untested vaccinations for our military, and forcing children to stay home from school while teachers unite with Marxist ideals and refuse to teach. Not to mention what she’d think about voter fraud and censorship in the media. How would a woman who watched newsreels about the war her husband was fighting in feel about government overreach and manipulated covid numbers intent on enslaving a nation of more than 300 million people?

She’d have a lot to say, I’m sure of it. I’m also sure there’d be a lot of liberals with their noses out of joint afterwards. But what would she think about the hopelessness I feel sometimes when I see the Republic I love with all my heart attacked by Communism within our own borders? And would my spunky, outspoken, opinionated wisp of a grandmother kowtow to the demands of rebellious youth, greedy politicians, and fearful religious leaders the way the media does? Would she stop going to church just because she was in her sixties and a pastor told her to stay home?

I really doubt it. She’d have probably headed the committee to fire him.

This pillar of a woman lived through the loss of two parents to tuberculosis while she was a child, the rejection of her own relatives that led her father to adopt her out to strangers, and was alive during the Flu Pandemic of 1918, as well as World War I. In 1929, six months after she married at the age of eighteen, the stock market crashed. In the thirties, she and Grandpa became parents to two children. One night while they were away from home, an arsonist with a grudge set fire to their house in an attempt to murder them. The man was never found or charged. Grandma and Grandpa lost everything except their lives and their babies.

Then they started over.

Because they had no other choice. If I’ve learned anything from examining what I know about Grandma’s life, it is that you do what you have to do to survive. And you get up and start over. Never give up.

During the Great Depression, she and Grandpa lived out of their own car for years, camped on the side of the road, and borrowed abandoned homes while moving from job to job with two young children in tow. They got back on their feet, never once depending on government bailouts while they were homeless, and Grandpa began his own business as an electrician. The day Pearl Harbor was attacked, Grandpa showed up for duty as an officer in the Army Reserves, and it was four years before he saw his wife and children again.

They lived through horrible times, including a pandemic that no one today had ever even heard about until fear mongers began making comparisons to it this year. The Great Depression was a national crisis, but it didn’t leave her in one. Grandma endured two “wars to end all wars” and watched her husband disappear for four years to fight in one of them. That home she built in the Arizona desert while Grandpa recovered from his injuries in another state? It had no air conditioning. Not even an evaporative cooler. Ever. While they lived on that small ranch, enduring 115 degree summers, they managed forty acres of citrus groves, took care of me and my baby sister for most of a full year when our mother became seriously ill, contributed to their church and community, and raised their own family.

Grandma saw a lot of chaos. I still remember the frown she wore while she watched news reports during the rebellious sixties as college students rioted against the Viet Nam war, demanded the right to free sex and drugs, and burned their bras and the American flag. She was there when television broadcast the assassinations of two Kennedy brothers, the assassination of Martin Luther King, and the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan. She was part of The Greatest Generation but, if you ask me, all those seventy years she was walking in the shoes I’m wearing now were nothing to look back on with fondness.

She suffered. But she didn’t suffer in silence. The only thing that ever silenced my grandmother was her own death and, even then, as long as people like me know at least part of her story and pass it on, her voice will never be muzzled.

What would Grandma say about all the confusion and chaos and rebellion and lawlessness that threatens to destroy the country her father and her husband fought for in their own times? Well, remember Grandma was a strong Christian lady. A patriot. A survivor. But honest to God, I think she’d point a crooked finger in my tear-streaked face and speak the truth.

“Stand up straight,” she’d tell me. “And stop crying. You’re a child of God, and a citizen of the greatest country in the world. Act like it. And fight for it.”

Thanks, Grandma. Keep talking. I’m listening.

Happy Birthday.

Monday, July 20, 2020

One Hundred Thirty-Two and Counting

I walked into the grocery store, forty feet from the nearest shopper, mask in hand. Dangerous, I know. Selfish, some would say. Or worse. Who knew that the hill I would choose to die on is made of 80% cotton and 20% polyester? With little baby sheep imprinted on it. Baaah.

There was no friendly greeting, but a loud voice yelled across the room from a checkout counter, “You need a mask!” I had one. I showed it to her. Then a booming voice, presumably from heaven, sounded from that giant PA system in the sky. “Put on thy mask!” Suddenly, all the other worshippers focused their attention on me instead of on the carts spaced six feet away from them where they waited obediently for permission to buy their groceries.

I complied. I put on the fabric that would assuage all the fears of coronavirus I had inconsiderately carried with me through the front door. Instantly all those little boogers ran for cover. They knew I meant business. As long as my face was unrecognizable, the virus was confused and wouldn’t follow me down the produce aisle. Catastrophe averted. Thank God I bowed at the feet of pseudo-science and obeyed the illegal mandates of a corporation flexing its muscles at the expense of my feelings and convictions.

We wouldn’t want anyone to think this is a free country anymore, now would we?

It’s difficult to narrow down all the reasons I am opposed to masks, but the main reason is because some people think I have no right to choose whether or not to wear one. Others tell me I do have a choice—if I don’t like the policies of a business which requires them, then I don’t have to shop there. That’s plausible on the surface until you tell me where, in a state that is closing the net on individual freedom faster than Fauci can change his mind, I am supposed to buy food for my family.

The easy answer there is to use pick-up service at my local Kroger’s or Walmart or Tarzjay. Did you know they raise the prices if their shoppers have to shop for you? That they make substitutions without your approval? That they charge you a service fee to be of service to you? And still expect a tip after they tell you to stay in your car while they load it all in the back of your vehicle and smash your tomatoes? So, if I have convictions about whether or not wearing a mask is appropriate for me that go against the current narrative, I will be discriminated against in every possible way, including in my wallet.

I promised myself I’d keep this short, but I’ve discovered it’s a bottomless pit of explanation. Still, I’ll try.

I am not being selfish. I am not being unloving. Or un-Christian. I am fighting for the last vestiges of freedom that many among us don’t even realize they are in danger of losing. Dr. Fauci himself, on one of his many about-faces, said masks offer limited protection but that they are a symbol. Of respect. I agree that they are a symbol, but not of respect. They are the symbol of a war most of us don’t even know we’re involved in. I’m beginning to think they are also a distraction. As long as we keep fighting with each other about whether or not love means putting on a mask, we won’t pay attention to the man hiding behind the curtain.

What comes after compliance to a mask? Compliance to an untested vaccine, forced on us by governmental power trips? Compliance to a Covid-pass installed on our phones so we can be tracked and monitored for the rest of our lives? Compliance to a chip proving we are safe from the virus-of-the-month and are allowed to enter a restaurant? Compliance to freedom from religion that is already threatening to close our churches for good? Take a close look at California’s Christians right now and ask them if they have permission to hold home Bible studies, if that one sounds like a stretch.

But it’s only a little piece of fabric. An inconvenience. A small price to pay. That depends on what you’re using it to pay for.

Put it on and you completely disappear, figuratively and literally. It hides our smiles, which is kind of a waste of all that money we’ve been spending to whiten our teeth. It makes us look grumpy and angry to children—their words, not mine. Wrap your face in it and you look like either a hostage or a terrorist, a zombie or a robot.

Even an N95 mask, with permeation twice as large as the virus itself, is a poor excuse for protection. Did you know the same thing is true of condoms in the presence of the HIV virus? Picture that worn out “mosquito through a chain link fence” metaphor. Breathing through a mask recirculates carbon dioxide and toxins and bacteria the body is trying to exhale, setting the wearer up for serious illnesses. Take a look at Legionnaire’s Disease if you wonder what a dirty, damp mask could lead to—it makes covid look like a bad case of hay fever.

How about the way masks muffle your voice and make your words indiscernible until people finally pull them down—contaminating their security blanket—so they can be understood. People adjust and mess with their masks constantly, fouling the protective barrier we’re told is our only defense against a virus with a 99.2 per cent survival rate. They shove them in pockets, push them down under chins, stuff them into purses, drop them on the floor, hang them from rear view mirrors—this fashion forward clothing article that is supposed to save my life from your deadly germs and offer you peace of mind in return is a fraud.

But let’s just say I’m wrong and trapping my spit in my mask is the difference between life and death for others. There is still death in the mandates to wear them, and it comes at the cost of your right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. A governor, the executive branch of our government, has no authority to make laws of any kind. Nor do the courts. Only the legislative branch can make laws. Mandates and orders and guidelines and suggestions are imposters behaving like laws, enforced as they are by public pressure and police officers, but that still doesn’t make them the law. There is a law that defends people who are discriminated against when it comes to mask pressure, and it carries a stiff fine of $75,000 for the first offense. But even the ADA can’t protect everyone who wants to breathe free and make their own choices for their own bodies and their own health.

If all that were happening is that you can choose to wear a mask and I can choose not to wear one, none of this arguing or shaming or judging would be going on. Masks would quickly become a non-issue. But they are an issue because as states across the country fall like dominoes to governor-dictated orders to wear them, I am the loser here. Suddenly someone else’s choice to wear one based on the opinion that they are critical is the only voice that matters. Mine is silenced behind the mask I am forced to wear against my will.

That’s not all we lose, though. We lose friendships as a divisive issue like this requires either gut-wrenching honesty from people like me, or silent acquiescence from a compliant population. Neither seems ideal when the line in the sand means if I’m not in agreement with you, I’m against you. We are being turned against each other in an arena of personal choice. Masks are a test case to see how easily we can be frightened and manipulated into compliance with inconsistent mandates. For example, is the magic age for compulsory masks two years old or eight? Depends on whether you are in Tempe, Arizona or Gilbert.

If masks work and protect as effectively as some insist, why aren’t the standards standard?

We are being conditioned to feel ashamed of knowing what our rights are and recognizing when they are being violated. From the never-ending commercials and public service messages we are bombarded with daily to the ads sprinkled across blogs and pinterest and even the weather channel apps on our phones, we are in the cross-hairs of an agenda. While Facebook and google, Twitter and YouTube dub themselves the Fact Police, access to their version of truth must be pre-approved or it will be censored.

This is a takeover. It is tyranny on display. We have been lied to from the first fifteen days of flattening the curve to now, one hundred thirty-two since Arizona’s dictator decreed a state of unending emergency. With nothing in his order that says anything about an expiration date, this season’s Twilight Zone will never be canceled until the final outcome is achieved.

And what is that outcome? You are not allowed to ask.

Mask up, Arizona.

The photo above is the creation of Sanickels. Her original photo can be viewed at the following link:

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Swamp Life

The first ten years of our marriage, my husband Rob and I lived in his home state of Florida on the Gulf Coast. I’m a desert gal and had met a few insects in my life, but nothing prepared me for the regular invasions of Florida’s state bird, the mosquito. My favorite cologne quickly became Eau d’Off, and we went through dozens of cans of it just so we could hang onto our own blood.

We’ve been in Arizona for 34 years now and we’ve seen a few of those little suckers here, too, but usually just in the summer. That’s when occasional rain can transform an empty pot or overturned garbage can lid into a stagnant pool of water and suddenly you’re a target for blood-sucking opportunists.

Stagnant water is a problem because mosquitos can transmit some serious diseases. It doesn’t take long for even a small amount of standing water to become stagnant. If it’s not moving, the oxygen levels drop too low for human consumption or for the survival of plants. Organic matter will rot in the wet stuff and before long it reeks with the smell of death.

Technically, an overlooked pool of stagnant water isn’t a swamp, but there are some similarities. Mosquitos breed well there. They’re unfit for cultivation. Decay is prevalent. And the odor is foul as rotten eggs. Much like this election year and the political stink surrounding our country right now.

Since the first rumors of novel virus began blowing across our desert, I’ve prayed for the truth to come out. That those behind all the lies and manipulation would be unveiled and held accountable. Expose the evil, Lord, I asked. Let people see what’s really going on. Set us free from corrupt leadership.

Hoo boy. You gotta be careful what you pray for.

When our kids were growing up, I often prayed that, among other things, they’d be caught when they were guilty. I didn’t want them to get away with dishonesty. Own it, we taught them. Make it right and move on. The goal was for them to grow up to be self-controlled adults with a good conscience. That meant when they tested the waters to see if they could get away with evil, they’d find out they couldn’t. Not forever.

But there was a catch.

There was something I didn’t understand about that prayer until God began to answer it. Here it is. When your kids get caught and are punished, you suffer right along with them. Sometimes I felt like it really did hurt us more than it hurt them. But you have to let your kids experience the consequences of their actions, even though you’ll be dragged through the mud right along with them, because a child’s heart matters.

So, for the last six months I’ve been praying for the truth to come out and for evil people to be exposed and held accountable in our country. The chaos around us was never about a virus. It’s always been about control. Turns out, a lot of other people have been praying the same way I have, which is a powerful combination. But, as the swamp drains, there’s a nauseating stench filling our nostrils while the depravity hiding in all that murky water is exposed.

That’s one of the consequences I didn’t expect.

I don’t usually live in the world of politics. We stopped taking the newspaper years ago. I know mass media is really yellow journalism and always has a liberal bias. Honestly, I’d rather spend my internet time writing funny stories and mindlessly exploring Pinterest. But I don’t have the luxury of doing those things right now. Every voice matters in the fight against tyranny and the push toward Marxism and Communism that has suddenly reared its ugly head in America.

We’re on a collision course with those evil ideologies which have placed our 244-year-old Republic in the crosshairs of a revolution that’s been brewing for years. Though it’s been in the making for generations, I never saw it until this year because it was hidden behind university classroom doors and in the bedrooms of perverted celebrities, politicians, and millionaires.

And because I didn’t want to know. I didn’t want to smell the stench of a draining swamp. I didn’t want to see the filth hidden in the rotting depths. I didn’t want to believe there could be an apocalypse in my lifetime.

When your prayer is answered and truth comes out, what is also revealed are the horrible actions committed by horrible people. It’s like popping a pimple. How’s that for a word picture? Gross, but accurate. When you ask God to expose the names behind the lies, you’ll be disillusioned when it turns out people you once idolized have been hiding behind masks for years.

I didn’t know until this month what the Patriot Act has done to our privacy and freedoms, because I once thought the world of George W. Bush. I didn’t realize in 2002, during the panicked aftermath of 9/11, that our state lawmakers gave so much power to the governor in our executive branch that, not only does he believe he can rule with an iron fist, I no longer believe we live in a democracy. It’s to the point in Arizona now that if you’re wanting to escape the monarchy in California, don’t come here. You won’t see a difference between the two states.

I’d never heard the word Draconian before. Or Dystopian. Not until I began to experience them both under the misplaced idea that my constitutional and God-given freedoms only matter when there isn’t a virus floating around that’s been declared Public Enemy Number One.

I was ignorant of the machinery behind Planned Parenthood’s schemes. Although, when it comes to that one, I’m not alone. Even those who riot and protest right now for racial equality seem unaware that Margaret Sanger, the founder of PP in 1916, was a eugenist who believed “minorities are inferior in the human race” and created Planned Parenthood as part of a plan “to exterminate the Negro population.”[i]

Not until last night did I realize that the legalization of abortion has led to the harvesting of baby body parts sold “fresh, never frozen” to researchers in obscure, idyllic towns like Hamilton, Montana, where they are used to try to make “humanized mice.”[ii]   Now I know. Enlightenment isn't at all what it's cracked up to be.

Are you nauseous now at the stench rising from draining swamps? I am. There isn’t enough Pepto in the world to make it go away, either. Or essential oils, for that matter.

It’s an ugly, ugly thing to watch the vile existence of hidden depravity emerge right before our eyes and right beneath our feet in this country, knowing its publicity is an answer to the prayer for truth. I prayed that “it” would be stopped. I didn’t know exactly what “it” was when I began praying for the facts to come out so the corrupt would be exposed and held accountable. Now that I know more, I wish I could wake up from this nightmare.

I’m weary of arguing with people over viruses with a 99.8 per cent rate of survival except to add this. Seven years ago I had extensive surgery to remove cancer from my body and when the pathology report came back I was told they were 99 per cent sure they’d gotten it all. Those are slightly less optimistic odds than what we see with a politically charged virus that has governors, mayors, city councils and county officials demanding us all to comply to mandates that aren’t even legal. But the one per cent uncertainty my doctors gave me set me free to live and enjoy my life. The two-tenths of the one per cent uncertainty of coronavirus has so inflated the heads of elected officials, they now declare themselves king of the world. And most people bow in obedience.

It’s no stretch to see that it’s all connected unless you don’t want to see it, and even then I can’t blame you. Keeping your head in the sand might be better than smelling the decay and corruption in the swamp all around us. Until it begins to suffocate you, too.

I, like you, want it to end. I want to believe in the goodness of men. I want to feel secure in the protection of America’s constitution. I want to sleep peacefully at night once more, unafraid of domestic terrorists with their eyes focused on my community. I want to feel hopeful that the future will be bright for my children and their children.

If I want those things, I’ll have to see this prayer out to the end. The swamp isn’t empty until it’s devoid of all secrecy and coverups. Which means I’ll have to suffer along with the rest of America while justice is served, evil is overcome, and the fresh wind of freedom blows through our land once more.

And I need to stock up on a lot more cans of OFF. You may want to do the same. See you in the deep end.