Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Better Cow

WARNING!!! This post is written with the aim of displaying the sheer stupidity of racism.
No cows were harmed in the making of this blog.



When I was a child, my uncle David took on a summer job across the country. He decided to backpack home across the Appalachian Mountains. He vanished for six months. His parents were struck down with worry. The entire family put together an extensive search for the beloved young man. And then, after a half year of no signs of his whereabouts, David stumbled into the front yard of his home.

Uncle David refused to say a word of what happened. The family was overjoyed to receive him, they didn't pressure him for answers. Decades later, as he lay dying, he finally told his story.

 In the middle of those mountains, after many gloomy, rainy days, David resigned to his predicament. He was lost.

"A lost soul is a vulnerable, impressionable thing," he whispered.

Living off beetles and moss, he made off in the distance, the welcome sounds of mooing cows. Certain that he would find ranchers attached to those animals, he grappled his way toward the noise. By the time he climbed a final rise in the mountain, he stumbled from the shock of what he discovered. An entire herd of orange cows.

He had found the secret to why cheddar cheese is orange.

Collapsing beside a bright orange calf, a rancher saved his life. As he was wakening from his weakened state, David overheard the rancher's children talking about him. Seems his bright orange hair had been his saving grace. Anyone with cheddar coloring on their head, must be a heavenly being. Someone above all others.

He was weak, exhausted beyond belief. The ranchers fed him bits of cheese to bring him back to health. He discovered that the only way out of the orange cow ranch was through dangerous hiking. He must stay until he could make the trip.

In the months that he was there, he learned many things. First, and foremost, was that orange is a superior color. It is better than every other color in the rainbow. So much so, that the ranchers had SOP, Superior Orange Power, tattooed to their right buttock.

After awhile of being around the colored cows, David came to believe in this way of thinking. The cows were perfect. They held themselves a bit higher than other cows he had seen. They grazed with somber distinction, mooed in smooth, deep harmony, even pooped bigger and sturdier pies. Just a few reasons why they could not be segregated with other, ordinary cows.

The ranchers considered themselves lucky to be able to serve these god-like creatures. They would have done it, even without the profits of the special cheese. The money made went toward the well-being of the four-leggeds. The plushest grass, filtered water, daily rub downs, everything that could be done to spoil the creatures was done with awe and gratitude. They were slaves to higher beings.

Having become a convert to the thinking of the ranchers, David joined them on daily bowings to the orange cows. He was never allowed to touch one, though. One must be born into the family of orange cow caregivers to be given that right. The only thing he could do was convince them to tattoo his right buttock with the SOP insignia.

When he was finally able to leave, he gave praise and thanks to the cow for its existence. David knew the world was a better place because of them.

The ranchers blindfolded David, and led him out of the mountains. They filled his backpack with the orange dairy food, and sent him home on a bus. As instructed, he never revealed his story, the secret to where orange cheddar comes from. But in his heart, he always knew that one color could be better than another.

As he has been gone for many years now, I am writing his tale. Please don't tell anyone else what I have told you. I would fear for my family if 'they' knew of my knowledge.



Heather Leigh,
There is no such thing as a white or black race. The only thing blood tests can tell you is ancestral areas.
The orange cows may be true, though. Couldn't possibly be made with red and yellow food dye.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Love Those Grandmas


What is it about hanging out with Grandmothers that is so damned inviting? Is it the calmness, tranquility, the consistency of their lifestyle? Playing cards, reading the paper, making cookies, coleslaw or daily dinners? The healthy, home cooked meals are always a delight. And who doesn't love having someone who thinks everything you do is a miracle?

Maternal Grandma taught me to eat peaches over the sink, scramble eggs just so, and how to fold a fitted sheet. She thought I was a genius chess player. Never did she realize that the secret to so many of my winnings, were a direct outcome of her revealing every one of her maneuvers, as she stated them out loud. She was too absorbed in the game, to notice that she was constantly revealing her strategy. As she passed over a decade ago, she'll never know that I'm a barely passable chess player. Anyone heading to heaven before me, please don't let her know. It still feels good to my ego, pretending that I am a family champion player.

I wear her wedding ring on my right pinkie. Could be my overly inventive mind, but it still holds her energy. When I do something stupid, it's a link to a vision of her shaking her head, telling me to be good. When I shut up and listen, I can hear her wise advise. Like always see the woman before the make up; the ultra classic: if you don't have something nice to say about another person, then just don't say anything; and in order for love to be real, it must be reciprocated. Do people still talk like that?

Paternal Grandma is still kicking up a storm. Albeit a slower storm. Okay, maybe like a light mist of a storm. But her spirit, mind and direct, honest words will never slow down a beat. She is one of the Oklahoma immigrants from the Dust Bowl in Steinbeck's 'Grapes of Wrath'. A childhood of extreme poverty is something too painful for discussion with me, memories she shies away from.

 I don't believe I ever had the privilege of wondering what she's thinking. It always comes out in blunt, tactful, honest conversations. Pre-navy days, before my ears were accustomed to dirty jokes, she could bring a blush to my cheeks with her good-natured humor. She taught me that growing old pertains to the body, not the attitude of it's owner.

She, too, thinks I am a much better person than I really am. Although she is quick to complain that she has used up more than one address book, trying to keep up with my many moves. Next one I make, I'm going to mail her a new book, with a box of pencils and big erasures. No use denying my traveling spirit. Even a Grandmother can't hold me to a city.

Her biggest wish now is being able to dance with her husband. They were quite the earth shattering, dance duo, not long ago. Simple love like that is not to be brushed away.

Today's life style is much more hurried than theirs was. We all have built in, life stressors, just different ones with each passing decade. But spending time talking face to face was a norm. Seeing the other person's reactions to your words could not be deleted. Appreciating times of laughter was not done with an lol. You got to see it happen. In fact, those are my best memories of being with both grandmothers. Sharing a laugh.

Think I'll have to bake some chocolate cookies and reflect some more on the blessings of grandmothers. I'll be sure to bake them on the top oven rack, as taught to me by Grandma.

Moving advice from the expert, as accused by Grandma:



Heather Leigh,
Admirer of Grandmothers