Archive for May, 2012

Probably Not A Real Shocker, But . . .

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Some of you know that Jeff and I have been graced by the Lord with a trip to Europe, for which we leave tomorrow in anticipation of two and a half weeks of living lives that will hardly seem our own.  I’ve had, as you can imagine, a ton of things to do in preparation, with the usual business demands and landlording problems that pop up when you least need them to, and while I had every intention of getting back to regular blogging now that my formatting issue has been fixed, the fulfillment of that intention has fallen by the wayside.

And there’s so much to weigh in on!  There’s my response to the correspondent who believes I have stolen from the Holy Spirit by . . . well, I’m not sure, but I imagine it has to do with having pastored while female.  There’s my passionate defense of breastfeeding and late weaning, my take on the presidential election, my observations of hideous apostasy and heartbreaking malice from those who purport to be Christians, and, of course, a steady stream of Wilsonian blather.  There’s a veritable smorgasbord of issues to tackle, but for the next two or three weeks, the Winds that Prevail around here will have to be restrained.

Fortunately, though, the pneuma of the Spirit of God won’t be, and I pray the Spirit’s cleansing wind to blow through the dusty temples of all of our lives.  Please pray for my sons during our absence and for the two young men who’ll be housesitting for us.  (Or, perhaps you ought to be praying for me, given that two young men will be housesitting for us . . . ).  I wish you all well and invite you to check in again when Prevailing Winds gust forth again June 21.  It’ll be the longest day of the year, so I’ll feel justified to stay up late and write my little heart out.

I appreciate your hanging in there with me and look forward to our getting together again soon.

Ladies and Gentlemen, We Have Paragraph Breaks!

Friday, May 18th, 2012

We have, after an embarrassingly easy fix — note to Blogger:  some of us thought HTML was shorthand for Hotmail, not the coded form of Blogger site composition — not only  paragraph breaks and indents, but a blogger whose husband is on retreat for much of the weekend and whose mind, heart, soul, and fingers are a-twitch with pent up energy.

Thanks to my dear friend and church elder Sue, a web designer par excellence who took about a nanosecond to identify my problem, Prevailing Winds is up and running.  The Spirit is moving, there’s much, and then some, to discuss, and I’ve got a weekend ahead with nothing scheduled.  In other cutting-edge technology news, I’ll remind you that the email that accompanies the Prevailing Winds header, keelyemerinemix2008@hotmail.com, is not an account I ever use — it was just required to set things up.  I’ve used the same email address, kjajmix1@msn.com, for, like 16 years, but a recent viral attack has led me to change that, and the new one is what you should use to contact me privately.  Of course, your comments, with my thanks and my decided preference that you use your name, can be added at the bottom of each post. 

The new, improved, and, for our purposes, ONLY email address that I use is siyocreo@live.com.  “Si, yo creo” is Spanish for “Yes, I believe,” which is meaningful and so much more lovely than “Hey, really, just use this one and scratch the other ones” would’ve been in any language.

(I know you’re asking, so the above in Spanish translates “Pues, de veras, favor de usar este y desnege los demas.”  Yes, I do requests; no, I won’t translate the tattoo you got in Cabo on Spring Break three years ago . . .) 

We’ll begin with my discovery, during Sue’s visit, of some 53 “unmoderated” comments that I had never seen before — most of which are either too vague or uninteresting to post, or discuss things from a couple of years ago, or written by those brave patriarchs who believe so strongly in standing for what’s right that they tear into me as unsigned, anonymous, or with obvious pseudonyms.  But there was one that requires address, and it’s on deck now that I’ve thrown the first pitch to open this new season of Prevailing Winds.

Thanks to all of you for hanging in there with me.  While I’ll be traveling the first two weeks of June, I plan to keep busy writing — which, I hope, keeps you busy reading — until then and then for a good long stretch thereafter.  My arthritic little fingers will fly over the keyboard, my mind will be fully engaged if not exactly computer literate, and my soul will be filled-to-overflowing with things that I believe need to be said.  May the Spirit lead, and may the co-opters of the Gospel who trumpet a Jesus foreign to the Scriptures tremble.

Not because of me, but because of the zeal of the Holy Spirit to protect and nurture His Church.  If the LORD does some of that through a 51-year-old bilingual homemaker and former pastor in north-central Idaho, so be it and may Yahweh be praised forever.

Let the games begin . . .

Wanted: A Paragraph Break. Sigh.

Friday, May 11th, 2012

Obviously the new format Blogger.com has given me for my blog is causing me problems — you’ll notice, I’m sure, that I haven’t had a paragraph break to offer you for awhile — and I beg your patient indulgence until my computer tech friend Sue helps me learn the new formatting system. And then, watch out . . . a few things recently have caused the Spirit to stir in me, including my discovery that somehow I have a cache of comments relating to things I’ve written here that, lamentably, I’d never seen before. A couple warrant comment, as do many other things. So once I format correctly, the Prevailing Winds will blow. Bigots, gun nuts, patriarchs and “Christians” who choose to ignore the Savior’s teachings but slavishly pledge their allegiance to Grover Norquist, GunPac, “Constitutionalists,” and other far-right manifestations of unbridled faithlessness to the Gospel, listen up. I’ll have quite a few things to take up with you.

Yikes, Ricky! A Hollister Surprise!

Friday, May 11th, 2012

If you’ve been reading Prevailing Winds for awhile, you might remember a Valentine’s Day 2011 post that mentioned Jeff’s gift to me of what I thought then was the entire, original, hardcover set of my childhood favorite book series, The Happy Hollisters. I’m reprinting that post below — and you’ll see why, late last night, I was delighted to see that the wife of the Hollister author’s grandson had come across my post and wrote to tell me that the whole series — Jeeper’s! It turns out there were 33 volumes of Happy Hollister fun — will soon be re-released. There’s even a website, www.happyhollisters.com. Let me put it this way: I got a personal note from a relative of the man whose stories not only held my rapturous attention when, every month, a new volume of the series arrived, but who also had my gratitude for bringing some joy into a childhood that was less than joyful. I couldn’t have been more excited than if David Cassidy had pecked me on the cheek a’la Josh Ritter. Yikes, indeed! Here’s the original Feb. 2011 post, with Callie’s comment below: (Prevailing Winds, Feb. 2011) Because Valentine’s Day arrives on February 14, a day after my father died, I tend to have low expectations for a day that women, Christian women in particular, seem to assign enormous importance to. Jeff’s always been good to me on Valentine’s Day, a real romantic in denim and flannel, but the day still feels kind of ruined to me, and this year was no exception. Let’s segue back to my mid-elementary school years, when I was about 9 or 10 and reading everything I could find, including cereal boxes, product warranties, and, in what I think was probably not the most appropriate choice, Eldredge Cleaver’s “Soul On Ice.” But I caught wind of perhaps a better offering for fourth-graders, the Happy Hollisters Mystery Book Club, and begged my parents to let me join. Eager, I think, to keep me both out of their hair and out of The Revolution, they signed me up, and every three weeks or so, the nice people at Doubleday & Company sent me the latest of the 19-volume series. I was devoted to the gripping adventures of the Happy Hollisters and the Shoreham Detective Club, run by Pete, a crewcut 12-year-old, and his pretty, fair-haired 10-year-old sister, Pam. Their younger siblings, the mischievous red-haired Ricky, 7, and his pigtailed, curious, six-year-old sister Holly, helped solved mysteries, while the family cat and her frozen-in-time brood of kittens were tended by the impish Sue, a four-year-old with a shiny black bob. As a studious, less-than-mischievous fourth-grader with stringy brown hair, it never occurred to me that the Happy Hollisters — including dad Russ, with his thick, wavy brown hair, and mom Elaine, a pert blonde — were more than a little fixated on their tonsorial blessings. I just envied their Happiness, their independence — the kids, like Nancy Drew, zipped all over the county apprehending criminals and solving mysteries with stunningly laid-back parents, while I had to ask permission to walk down the driveway — and their myriad adventures. The Hollisters were Happy, and it had to have been because their wholesome and lovable personalities were formed through constant involvement with Lucky Coins, Haunted Houses, Swiss Echoes, Ice Carnivals, Totem Poles, Lizard Coves, Secret Forts, and Skyscraper Cities. I, on the other hand, lived a life full of Desert Cul-de-Sacs, Grape Boycotts, Anti-War Picketing, Avoiding Cactus, and Being Afraid Of The School Lunchroom. I was the anti-Hollister, living vicariously through Pam, an idol through whom I could be groomed for a life modeled after Nancy Drew. (Pete, even with his golden crewcut, was, sadly, not man enough to forestall my eventual life’s goal of becoming the Happy Wife of David Cassidy). I devoured the Happy Hollister mysteries and consider my time as a Happy Hollister devotee probably the most wonderful time in a not-always-wonderful childhood. So when the entire series showed up at a local coffee shop, offered by the bookstore my son works at, I was both delighted and chagrined. Delighted because a singularly joyful slice of my childhood was shelved just a couple of feet above me, chagrined because the series was priced at $50, and I don’t generally feel good about fifty-dollar purchases that aren’t absolutely necessary. It was tantalizing, and, unlike the perennially Happy Pam Hollister, I did a bit of sulking, especially when my husband reminded me that our budget was a bit tighter these days than before. But if Russ Hollister was an athletic, kind, and hard-working father and husband, Jeff Mix is even better. Because when I woke up on Valentine’s Day, there was a lumpy pillow case on which was scattered chocolates and old-fashioned valentines and a single red rose. I swept them off and peered into the pillow case, where the brightly-illustrated dust covers of all 19 Happy Hollister Mystery Club adventures lay strewn together, with every damned Happy One looking back at me with all the love, joy, and anticipation I’ve ever felt. I cried Happy tears, buckets of ‘em, and I’m going to read every one of them. So far I’ve delved into The Haunted House Mystery and The Secret of the Lucky Coins, and I’m halfway through the fascinating Swiss Echo Mystery, which features the five children running all around Switzerland in pursuit of the dark-haired, husky jewel thief taunting their new friend, Inspector Meyer. Gripping, they are. Simple, they are. Silly, contrived, and echoing early-60s social stereotypes and mores, they are. And they’re probably the best gift I’ve ever gotten, from the best guy I know. Here are Callie’s comments: What a very sweet story! We just came across your blog, and thought you’d like to know that the Happy Hollisters are back in print! There were 33 volumes in the series, originally written by my husband’s grandfather, Andrew Svenson, using the pseudonym Jerry West. In 2010 we started reissuing the books in paperback and eBook format, and have completed 8 volumes so far. We plan to reissue several volumes each year until the whole series is available once again. The stories were based on the real-life adventures of the author’s own children, my husband’s father, aunts, and uncle. If you’d like to read more about the reissue project, or the family behind the stories, please check out our oficial website:www.TheHappyHollisters.com Thanks for remembering The Happy Hollisters! Andrew Svenson would be very happy indeed to know that his writing made such a lasting impression on you! Callie Svenson

OK, Here’s Why:

Monday, May 7th, 2012

Bless my readers! If I don’t post for awhile, they check in to see if I’m OK. Both of them — she said, grinning in charming self-deprecation — seem to use my posting frequency as a gauge for how I’m doing, and I’m very grateful. So, how am I? Well, it’s been a little stressful around here tax time and tenant issues, but I’m doing fine. So, why haven’t I written? Because I haven’t felt a nudge from the Spirit compelling me to. I am a writer, which means that I tend to write not only as a way to live out loud, but to organize my thoughts and make sense of what’s going on in my life. Obviously, Prevailing Winds is an “out loud” venue; in it, I say the things that I feel strongly about and believe need to be said, and I do so with strong words and clear points. But I DON’T write on the blog until I feel led by the Holy Spirit to write. I’ve learned the hard way that writing from the flesh and not from the Spirit doesn’t work. And it shouldn’t. After all, if I’m going to say things as a disciple of Jesus Christ, then I’d better be compelled by his Spirit to write them. And so, while there are lots and lots of things to discuss, there is nothing I’ve felt Spirit-led to comment on in the last two weeks. Sure, it’s unusual, and I imagine it won’t be too long before I’m back on the blog (with paragraph indents if I can figure out how the new site is formatted). So know that I’m up and ready to write whenever the Lord leads — but know as well that my own anger, observation, or perspective is truly a poor substitute for my perspective, observation, and even anger when informed and energized by the Spirit. My hope is that that’s all you’ll ever see on Prevailing Winds.