You snooze, you lose

I learned something valuable this week. I have to stop letting fear dictate my decisions.

We looked at a house almost a month ago that we both really liked. It had an excellent floor plan, hardwood floors, beautiful wide trim, a fireplace, and a whirlpool tub, and was in an picturesque neighborhood about 20 minutes away in a larger city. We went back a few days later to see it again, but we just couldn’t make up our minds.

It was almost perfect, but it would have been a big change. And we would have had to worry with listing and selling our current home as quickly as possible. So, feeling both scared of the change and the inevitable chaos our lives would be thrown into for a few months, we felt we should take our time and make sure we didn’t do something we regretted.

Tuesday evening, after a few weeks of back-and-forth, we finally decided to make an offer on the house. I excitedly contacted our realtor, submitted an offer electronically, and crawled into the bathtub to relax.

A few minutes later I received a text saying a contract had been signed on the property a couple of hours earlier.

I was heartbroken. Honey took it fairly well until the next day, and then he got depressed. We both realized that we simply took too long to decide, and that we let fear hold us back from what we both knew was the right decision for us to make.

I have often heard that you don’t typically regret the things you do, but the things you don’t do. While I don’t entirely agree with that sentiment, I certainly understand it a little better than I did a month ago.

My response to This Modest Mom

A blog by the name of This Modest Mom recently published a post about canceling a $6,000 vacation to Disney World over a same-sex moment in the upcoming live-action version of Beauty and The Beast. After she received hundreds of responses that she deemed “hate mail,” she wrote a response defending her views as being neither homophobic or unreasonable. I was unable to post a response on her blog due to a server error, so I wanted to share it here in the hopes that she might run across it one day.

​Perhaps the reason people are singling out your anti-LGBT comments is because you made a point to focus on that issue in your last post. It’s in the title for goodness sake!

As someone who grew up Pentecostal, I would venture you are of the same background based on your appearance. I am also gay. I understand how strongly most Pentecostal people feel about homosexuality, but your “boycott” of Disney feels more like a convenient way of getting attention than a personal conviction.

After all, if you use Google, Facebook, or WordPress, you are utilizing companies that strongly support LGBT causes. Heck, the company that makes the phone you use most likely spends vast amounts of time and money promoting equality. It seems a bit hypocritical to pick and choose which companies you refuse to do business with, especially when your trip to Disney was an unnecessary vacation that would have cost you several thousand dollars.

While I am sure you are a nice person who is simply trying to do the “right” thing, I hope that one day you will wake up and realize just how wrong you are. You are on the wrong side of history, and you ignore the most basic tenets of Christianity while attempting to live a Christian life. It’s all about love, really, and if you can’t love and accept those who are different, then I don’t know how much you truly know about Christ.

They do exist

I would rather have Putin as President than Obama.

I never voted for Obama, and I certainly wasn’t going to vote for Hillary.

Donald Trump says the things we all wish we could say.

Gay marriage doesn’t make sense, because two men or two women can’t reproduce. If we only had gay marriage the human race would die off.

These things were said to my face earlier this week by a Trump voter – a man who used to identify as a Democrat.

The people in my area are so happy a white man is going to be President again they don’t care if he destroys their healthcare, embodies the seven deadly sins, or grabs women by the pussy.

#MindBlown

Different

Although you were several years my senior
There was an awkward kinship between us
An unspoken acknowledgement
Both swimming against the tide
Of social constructs around masculinity and gender

Once, while being being chastised for having long hair
And being called “effeminate”
I used you as an example
Of a Christian who seemed both gay and femme
I was sternly corrected with
“He’s just different”

Several years later
After I had come to terms with my own sexuality
I ran into you at a local gay bar
We shook hands
Both seemingly relieved that the pretenses
Were no longer necessary

I heard things about you through
The Gospel Grapevine
Religious tongue-waggers
With nothing better to do than
Ridicule those who are different

About your failed attempts at relationships
How you ultimately joined the Catholic faith
And devoted yourself to it
Much like a priest shelters himself inside the Church
To hide from his perverse inclinations
You probably felt you had a sickness
That you needed to protect yourself from

But you should have known that you
Like everyone else
Were fearfully and wonderfully made
And deserving of God’s love and acceptance
Whether or not God’s children ever gave you either

I heard you passed away the other day
And the thing that bothers me so much
The one question that nags at me is
Were you ever truly happy with yourself?

I hope so…

Carolyn

We unexpectedly lost one of our beautiful friends yesterday evening. We first met Carolyn in 2006, and she quickly became a fixture in our lives – frequently accompanying us to movies, restaurants, and even on the occasional road trip.

Some people don’t understand why we enjoy hanging out with elderly people, but if they had spent just a few moments with Carolyn they would have quickly discovered what a delightful person she was.

She was probably the least judgmental person I have ever known. She rarely had an unkind word to say about anyone – but if she did they were most assuredly deserving of it. It was simply her nature to see the good in people.

Carolyn was rarely anxious about the little things that so many of us stress over. She would wave away concerns over her leaking patio roof or who was going to be president, but she always cared enough to ask about the health of my family members or which plants I had purchased on a recent trip to the local nursery.

Carolyn could be extremely humorous without even trying. She is the only person I have ever known who treated a wig like a hat. She would haphazardly throw it on before leaving the house, and then hang it on the hat stand when she arrived at her sister Betty’s for a game of dominoes.

And speaking of dominoes, that was one game she was always happy to play regardless of how badly she felt, and she thoroughly enjoyed rebuking her sister for swapping out pieces when no one was watching.

Riding in the car while Carolyn was driving was its own kind of amusement. I will never forget how she said she liked to drive especially fast around the curve on Buckner because it made her feel “elegant.” When coming up behind a car at a stop light, she would wait until the very last second to slam on the brakes, leaving us passengers screaming like we were at a theme park.

She loved frozen yogurt – especially the Cake Batter flavor.

She read constantly.

She loved plants and gardening.

She was kind, and generous, and loving.

A French poet once said, “A great man is one who leaves others at a loss after he is gone.” Carolyn is gone, and we have certainly experienced a loss, but I also recognize what a blessing it was to have known her and to have been able to call her my friend.

I will miss her terribly.

Hate replaces hope

I kept hoping someone would pinch me and wake up me from the horrible nightmare last night. It just didn’t seem like real life.

Honey and I finally gave up on the dire-looking election results and went to bed with heavy hearts. I tried to go to sleep, but just kept lying there imagining all the terrible scenarios that could happen under a Trump presidency. Adrenalin coursed through my veins as I considered his mental instability and his coming access to nuclear weapons.

I awoke in the early morning hours to check my phone, hoping for a miracle, only to be terribly disappointed. Donald Trump was officially president-elect.

How could America choose this man? Isn’t good always supposed to triumph over evil?

I have been hearing chatter from Christians for months about how terrible Hillary Clinton is, all the while excusing Donald Trump’s reprehensible behavior because he is a “baby Christian.” That is complete bullshit.

Isn’t good always supposed to triumph over evil?

Donald Trump embodies everything that is wrong about this country. Greed, pride, sexism, misogyny, racism, adultery, sexual assault, and dishonesty all while pretending to be a follower of Christ. Nothing about him reflects the beliefs of Jesus.

Hillary Clinton is a life-long Methodist who subscribes to the mantra of her faith, “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.”

She has spent her life helping the poor and sick, working for more access to childcare and healthcare, and promoting education and equality for people from all walks of life.

She isn’t without her flaws (are any of us?), but she has stood the test of time and proven that she will never back down when the going gets tough.

All of this is why I am so blown away when Christians say Donald Trump is the better choice.

If abortion is your main issue with Clinton, then remember that Donald Trump was pro-choice until he started running for president.

If gay marriage and equality is your main issue with Clinton, then remember that Donald Trump was for gay civil unions before he started running for president. He was even seen waving a gay pride flag onstage a few weeks ago, and he claims no other candidate would be as good for the gay community as he will be.

I really don’t care about either candidates religious views, but I DO care about idiots who make their voting selections based on a very narrow view of which candidate most fits with their religious ideology – as if that should somehow supersede every other important issue (like climate change, war, feeding the hungry, healing the sick, and helping the economy). There is much more at stake in this country than whether your candidate matches your religious beliefs. Anyway, ever heard of separation of church and state?

I can’t help but feel completely depressed over the election results. It feels like everything President Obama accomplished over the past 8 years will be wiped clean, and that the country will revert back 50 years. Women’s rights will be decimated. People of color will feel less safe in our country. The LGBT community can only live in fear of when our gains will be reversed.

Obama gave us hope; Trump gives us hate.

Christmas time’s a comin’

It’s that time of year again when we put up the Christmas trees, drag out the ornaments and lights, and begin creating shopping lists for our friends and families. Unfortunately, the temperature being 70+ degrees most days has not been conducive to getting me in the holiday spirit.

It has been unseasonably warm and dry over the past few months. The trees decided it was too much effort to show off their autumn colors, so they just let their leaves turn brown and blow away in the wind. The grass is almost completely dead, and the mower (and me) were completely covered in dust the last time I mowed.

I have planted several more things in the yard thinking the seasonal rains would make it easier on me with keeping things watered, but no such luck. I am packing watering cans to various spots in the yard almost every evening.

I’m sure it will be freezing cold and raining before long, and then I will be complaining about all of that, so I try to just enjoy it as much as possible.

The warmer weather is nice in ways. Heating bills are basically nonexistent, and I don’t have to wait for the frost to clear off the windshield of my truck every morning before work. It’s nice to see some of my trees and shrubs still growing, too.

But I am still not ready to put up those dang trees or start shopping!