Monday, May 30, 2011
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Friday, May 27, 2011
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
fell, Kenny knew it was his obligation to step aside and give more of the work directly to the small group of men who had so much skill and ability, however, that meant we would have to recede. We were not, too,
afraid, however, because the television program started and we knew there would soon be enough speaking engagements for us to bridge the gap, it now seems a frightful miscalculation! I find myself reliving these pains because we received a package, around June of 2009, addressed to Mr.& Mrs. Kenneth Edward Dyer. I knew in my heart it was in reference to our house, my home, the one we have, long since, left behind.. This coming up Aug will be the summer 2 yrs ago my Mom came to Tallahassee loaded me and the kids up and brought us to North Carolina. I cant believe it has been over 1 1/2 years. As I sit here I am 45 years old and I feel as though I am 60 and going in the reverse. All I have left is what I could load on a trailer, a trailer we borrowed from one of the men a trailer we use to own! A house full of stuff with no permanent place to put it. If I can't pay my landlord next month my things will be donated to some second hand store. They are of no value to anyone but me. I read the paper, see the news and there are thousands of families in situations just like mine, I use to give my "amens" and "oh I feel your pain and I'm for you," but in honesty I had no earthly idea what those folks where going through., I had no premise to base it on. And you don't always have to have experienced something to be empathetic but I think for me a light bulb went off when I saw those papers. As Kenny and I sat outside shelling beans and he was "flirting" with me, watching the kids play, (we had cut bamboo early in the day, because my Mom was going to make the kids tepees) so Coleman was sawing his and Bella was using hers for a baton, I thought ,God if we were asked to leave today, leave all my "stuff" and just take our clothes, ALL that I hold valuable in this world (the people I love) would fit in that 79 Bronco. You don't have to own a home to have an investment in it, you can cut greenery from your yard and put it jars on your table and in your bathrooms as a way of service to your home. Take an afternoon and leave the house as it is, it will be there when you return and don't text or talk on the phone and just watch your kids play in the yard, or watch something "they" want to watch. We have NO entertainment money so we had started planning our meal menus together and the kids pick one meal out of the week and then they prepare it. These things are huge to them and they create the home, not the deed of the property. We Americans sacrificed our families a generation ago, the old-fashioned idea of Mom staying at home, even though it meant fewer "things", was
shamed by the intellectual community, so we pawned our children off to daycare and nannies. Now, we have a lot more stuff, marriages which have disintegrated, a new and mutated form of self-centeredness, and
we have made any form of values a point of disdain! The only casualties in this "New Society" are the little creatures(as the scientist call them) who mill about us having our DNA (because they, according to the scientific community, are nothing more than genetic off-shoots). It was always of interest to me that a society built on the idea
there is no God would be like (even though we have a pristine model in the form of the Old Soviet Union)
well, we are privileged to see it firsthand. None-the-less, we can return, there is a greater value in our desperate times than we may be aware of. One thing I am amazed at is the way our children have, yet,
to be driven into a dark, deep depression! They laugh, they play, they sing, all they really need is their parents. As long as we keep our spirits up they seem to be as happy and fulfilled as if we still lived in that beautiful little house at 1014 E. 6th Ave. No, all Is Not Lost!!!
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
with the truck had blown, then an old NC mechanic installed a used one and it blew on his test drive) and we had an extraordinary string of events which gave us just enough money to get to Tallahassee, headed to New Port Richey, Fl. to pick her up. We where going to Tallahassee!! We loaded up and headed to what we remembered as home, and to where Kenny was. What you have to know is, it was not home as we had known it, we had no furniture there but mine and kennys bed, our flat screen over the fireplace, and the boys' bunk beds. Emma's apartment size frig and her microwave. From the outside Kenny had kept the yards and it looked so nice and manicured when I pulled up my heart leaped and then I felt darkness fill my soul as I realized the truth. Kenny greeted us and reached out and held me as I buried my face in his neck I felt as if i could melt into his flesh I felt weak and spent and old and used and utterly out of sorts. I felt as though we had both faced an army of giants' but I had faced them with no down time , no reprieve, but I had to maintain a balance for the children, because they were with me and they drew strength from me. They looked to me for security, and I hate to say it, but I resented Kenny for that. As I stood there catching my composure I felt equally angry for feeling "all" those things, because I had never been a weak person. I felt angry and weak. As I entered my home, the home I had painted every inch of, it's bare walls and bare floors Kenny had cleaned and dusted, trying to ease the pain he knew I would face, which I truly appreciated. I prayed, "God please help me not ruin what time we will have together by being a boiling pot of emotion and help me have a good attitude while we are here." As I laid there thinking I considered one positive is that we do have air conditioning and, remember, this is Florida. All the struggles of that month and I could take a month and tell you of the miraculous way that monies and food and entertainment appeared on our doorstep, but I don't have the time, however I will share the hot water story. After I ask forgiveness for my bad attitude, collected myself, and came out of the bedroom, we went to the park then shared a "buy a big mac get one free" and a 99 cent sundae, we where hot and sweaty and I asked, "How would yall like to get in your bathing suits and take the water hose and wet Dad and Mom?! Well what do you think?" They had a blast and it was the hit until we left, almost a week later. Later that night, as the kids watched tv, I said, "Kenny I need to wash my hair but I am a little afraid to go outside in the dark by myself, would you like to go outside and bath with me?" Well, running out of gas was the best thing that ever happened to Kenny Dyer!!!" You know we had alot of days living on the edge with no food, no gas, almost no lights, but we never failed to have closeness as the kids made their palettes on the floor and Kenny and I reconnected in the back yard under the water hose. Ironically, Dad had not finished the Bronco and we were not able to go down and pick it up. Our money was gone and we
were nearly insane with worry, just at that time we had a highly unusual and extraordinary turn of events. We had about $25.00 and no sign of work coming when we had a call and by the next day we had over $1,000.00 and
it was just enough to get us back to NC, and have a little to hold us for another two weeks, and, of course, as is somewhat obvious, we did, indeed, not die!! The point is, our attitude made all the difference and when we allowed God to change it, we all had a much closer, and much, much happier, time together.
begin to sing. It was then he would yell out, "Poop-deck, come sing with Grandpaw!" Mom was, surely, relieved with my safety. My grandparents had a special attachment to me, because, one; we lived 2 houses down and, two; there was a dynamic in my own home of secrecy and deceit. We always seem to cater to, or pay the extra attention to, the child who needs us the most, as with my Mother. I also had very black hair, just like my grandfather, and I loved the biter greens of the gardens, as he did, and would sit for hours and listens to him sing and just loved his very being as he did mine. And every chance I got I would slip away and go straight to his house! He not only bought me my first Easter dress, but, also, the very first bike I got he made payments on and bought, which was a HUGE sacrifice, partially because, he and my Grandmother still had children at home. The day of his funeral they had to remove me because I wanted to be in the casket with him, I had a deep love for him. And that love, as well, for my Granny continued through the years. In these early years my Granny told my Mother she had a premonition my destiny would be to help and serve others. I must have been 5 or 6 when, at a traveling fair, I came upon a trainer beating an elephant, as I was passing going to the next ride. I had skipped ahead of Mom and don't remember exactly where Dad was. As he raised his hand to strike again something in me did not care about my own safety or how small I was all I cared about was how helpless and defenceless and trapped that elephant was! I ran and stood between them and bowed up and said "Don't you hit him again!" Well, the man was not so happy and, let's just say, he quickly asked me to move, which was when my father suddenly appeared, a talent of his, HE DID not LIKE his tone with me; it turned bad quickly! Another talent of his-don't mess with little girl or there will be trouble. I have never been able to stand by and see the person in the room who is alone or trapped or is odd or looks different be picked on or humiliated or not be befriended. It is just not in my nature. I felt a draw to humanity from a small age and it continued throughout my life and up until I met and married Kenny. Everything we did we based on that premise. So here I am 45 yrs old, in one of the most remote parts of country (the mountains and hollows of western North Carolina), a small town, hardly more than a village, no larger city within 40 miles, hardly any cell signal, and with the stigma of an outsider. God how have I found myself here? How effective can I be? I have no voice. I have fallen off the face of the earth. Who can I serve. My very nature is of no good. I invite people to dinner, a free meal, I serve you, we visit, coffee, dessert! (I promise it was not a Amway party!!) Can't even get people to show up. It baffles me? Have you ever questioned your given talents and skills? We all have them. We all recognize them if we look for them. Do you see them but question sometimes God, "how will I ever use them?" I reflect on that Denali and I said I would explain why that truck meant so much more than just a truck. It was means by which alot of people who had NO ONE got to the doctor, social services, immigrations, grocery store, a meal at our house, church. I remember, as we detailed it to return it, I thought we may be broke, but we still have our dignity, I thought about those people and how they would make their way around town. We would be alright, because, no matter what we lost, Kenny and I could fit in just about in any situation, these people fit in no where. It made me sad. So today I am grateful for the these mountains and isolation and I am grateful for my voice, because I am able to share my story and use what God has called me to do and that is serve.
Monday, May 23, 2011
As I pound my pork roast and get it ready to stuff, sometimes I think, "why do I even bother". Peanut butter and jelly would be so much easier, and peanut butter is a protein and jelly is a fruit, right? I keep the table set with flowers, that who, really, ever sees? We always use my dishware, not paper or plastic, but why? I try to whistle or sing, an attitude I learned from my wonderful Mother who had also seen displayed by her Mother. I am trying to hide my fears. Maybe the kids won't sense my real anxiety. As I pound the pork I realize I am pounding a little too hard, are my hippie friends right? You don't know how many of my, lets just say "liberal", I affectionately call them hippie women friends have picked at and made fun of me for years for doing these things, and this afternoon I am second guessing myself, but don't we all? I fix these elaborate meals night after night as some form of "Calgon take me away", do you remember those commercials? Somehow, if I have everything in order, nice and neat, the kids schedule, the dogs bathed, Kenny and my relationship "attended" to, it will make this chaos make sense. Which, in reality, will make no difference. I have had a day of immense loneliness and dispare, even while sitting in my home church. As I headed for church and locked the door behind me, as if I was locking the door to my 6th avenue home and would return to nap, Kenny's truck would be in the drive, the boat in its spot, and my Denali in the driveway, somehow forgetting we are in a very desperate situation. I had so craved, in my heart, a glance, a smile, any acknowledgment from someone at my church that said "I see you", "I am here", "I am praying for you", "I feel your pain", "your are of value". I don't know, when you get in these situations your perception of things gets so screwed up, and I will tell you I doubt myself almost daily. Our Church here is fairly large and the greatest class I had ever taken in a church, and I have taken many, was at this church. It was a chaplaincy class developed by the Billy Graham Association. It put into an organized form what had been my nature my entire life. We talked about he homeless, the broken, the families in trauma, and how we can serve them, it was custom made for Me! I had been to many classes, many services, many prayer gatherings, yet, today, it was as if not a soul recognized me, not even on a superficial level. Certainly, it was more my depression than anything else, but it made me remember that Church should never elevate programs over people. Old time Churches had little money, little technology, little property, yet they lived by the creed, that "loving" people was the sum total of what God is, and, thereby, what the Church should be. It is at the basis for what people always have needed, and always will. Preachers that could barely read was the mouth piece of God. Today we have the most educated men we have ever had and somehow we lack. I made a new commitment, yeah another one, that I would always be sure to search for the people about me who seem disconnected, lonely, or deeply sad and make sure they sense my compassion for them. I did come to the realization, in spite of the conflict, I still have a responsibility to myself and family, we may be in hard times, but we have not been stripped of everything we have known. We can maintain some form of normalcy in our life, and for centuries hasn't that been what women have done? They have been the strength that has held societies, cultures and communities together, forever, my Mother and her Mother (my granny) and the untold Mothers before us, and not under the best of circumstance. So, if they can do it I can. If I can do anything, I can do whatever it takes to be whatever I have to be for the loves of my life. It still doesn't change a lot about the way I feel, but life should be more about decisions than feelings. This sad feeling in Church did, however, remind me of another such
time, it was near the end of 2007. Kenny was presiding over the funeral of a man we deeply admired and
respected, Mr. Norman Munyon. and at that funeral we were to met a woman who would be the connection, or the link, to what, I would come to feel, would be our demise.
Saturday, May 21, 2011
"Angie", he whispered my name, and suddenly I could hardly stand, I was dizzy, "You have to drive Wyatt to school." Kenny had scheduled to ride to Asheville with Emma,well, number one; we didn't have the gas for the beast, and two; he HAD to take care of some business regarding our company back home, Aesthetic Engineering Koncepts, Inc. I was very sensitive over this matter, already, because I get very attached to things, not for the reasons you might think, but for reasons I will explain in a moment. How Kenny came to our business name, almost 15 yrs ago, is it is a acronym. A is for Angela E is for Emma, and K for Kenny, and I always get attached to anything that is close to home, and it has nothing to do with financial issues, so this was a difficult day for me. Kenny was going to address one of the last things relating to Aesthetic Engineering Koncepts. A few more loose ends and the business was no more. Back to my attachment of things, that business represented our family, our legacy. I have seen Kenny pull out one of our company checks, too many times to recall ,and slip them into a needy hand. It had been a part of sending Bibles and missionaries around the world. It had bought missionary families, not an ordinary meal like they had been accustomed to, but a meal of real expense to show our appreciation for the sacrifices their families had made. So, no, not just Kenny, I had invested, not by working but by the honoring of not having Kenny at home and by being in the background and making things work so he would be more efficient. Also by giving of our monies. A part of Bible history comes to mind, God said pay a man a fair wage. The cries of the men, whose money you have held back, come up to Me, because they don't have enough to live on. So we always made sure to pay more than the market price. And we always had extremely skilled, loyal, and devoted men, who, also, became like family.This business was an extension of our family. See you don't live your life at church then live your life at home but then in your business live another way. The old platitude of "Business is Business", which is used to justify deception and greed is dreadful. It is ironic we are here now, that is, with no "honor" left. The principles you believe in should apply to all areas of your life and we tried, as best we knew how, to display this through our business. So this is why these "things" meant so much to me. I will explain the significance of the Denali at a later time as well. Back to the whisper of my name. The reason I became dizzy and felt this horrid darkness come over me was that I had heard the exact same whisper before. I was awoken March 7, 2008 at 2:17 am with the whisper of my name. "Angie, we have to go get Emma's car." I came to, immediately, not necessarily alarmed. She had just texted me a few hours earlier (a system she and I used). She would text, every so often, and I would go back to sleep not even a mild interruption. So I assumed she was broke down. As I stood, he said, "No she has been arrested." Emma has been arrested.?..... I don't know how, I am not a skilled enough writer to display the emotion I felt at the time, nor even at this moment as I relive it by trying to tell the story. As I pulled on a pair of Kenny jeans from the floor and slipped on a hoodie we rode to the campus in silence and in shock. Emma had a studio apartment above the garage and we hadn't heard her come and leave again. I know for sure what we Both were thinking, but most likely it was, "God what had we missed." I KNOW, at least, what I was thinking, "God what had "I" missed." By the way I have asked Emma permission to use this story and she said yes. She did say she, at this time, does not want to read my blog, maybe someday, but not at this time. As we arrived at Florida State University we saw the lights flashing and Emmas Audi the trunk open, her beach towel hanging half out, all her doors open, her pink flip flop air freshener hanging from the mirror, one of her flip flops laying beside the back door, and the floorboard covered in clothes. My eyes took me to a Police car pulling away with the child we had dubbed our "Resurrection" child, the child who came after losing four, the child who should not exist, being taken to the county jail. As I folded her stuff and placed it back in her car, as if it really mattered, and pulled away I looked around , it looked like her, it smelled like her, it felt like her, the only thing missing was her. We got home and I sat in her car staring up at her at room and thought I had better call my Mom. The officer had told us Emma refused to give him our number..She said she would rather face the punishment alone than to hurt us in the way she knew it going to hurt us. So once she was out of sight he called us and gave us the option to get her car instead of impounding it. We were grateful. Emma also declined bail. She said she would not cost us any money. She knew to do right but had made her own decision, she also knew we would not spend one penny on legal help under these conditions. He said (the officer) I could be at her hearing at 7:oo the next morning. So I called Mom and she headed to Tallahassee to watch the children so I could be at Emmas hearing the next morning. As I sat there I am ashamed to say I had the thought that had I not had other children the pain in my heart was so great that I did not want to live. My own convictions would not and could not allow us to post bail for a child that knew better , but saying that, it did not relieve the ache in my arms to a hold her and tell her we would get through this. As I arrived for her hearing I realized God put so many people in the situations in Emmas life, as well as beginning a healing in my own life, but I will stay on track and not share all the details at this time. But as to how God got ME through, you don't appear in person anymore you appear via camera. When he announced her name Emma Alexandra Dyer (her surname Dyer, given name Emma Alexandra) I remembered how Kenny and I took great consideration in naming our children. Emma being "servant to mankind" as well as 4th generation family female name, Alexandra is derivative of Alexander the Great which is "great leader". As the judge said this name I died a thousand deaths, and the snot started running, and the whys and the whys and the whys........ God You said train them up in Your ways and when they are old they will not depart from them. This seems like a pretty big departure. As she focused and caught a glimpse of me she said, " Mr judge I don't want my Mom here she has raised me right and she should not be here please Mom don't cry>" I stand ..interrupt Emma, "I love you!" He says," Ms Dyer don't make admissions!" "But I did it I am 18 and I have never seen my parents drink and I did it." "Ms. Dyer Ms DYER!!" He is now standing. "My parents taught me not to lie!" I shouted, "Emma I'm proud of you!!! "Mom I love you!" "Mrs DYER, Ms DYER. QUIET!!! QUIET!!!" He looked around the room, it is packed, so he chooses his words carefully, "Could you come up here Mrs Dyer? Ms. Dyer I am going to talk to your Mom and I will get back to you in a moment." Emma is GONE (the video feed was cut). He told me to talk to the District Attorney who would be prosecuting Emma for drunk driving (one of four felonies she was charged with) which at this time I did not know she had denied council. Then he said, "Mrs. Dyer, by the way, it is quite refreshing to see a young person take responsibility for their actions. I wish you and Emma the best." So I spoke to the attorney and, unbelievably, they released her on her own recognisance. God was working, even then, in Emma. But even more in me. You see from that morning on I began to have crippling bouts of panic and fear attacks. As Kenny and I signed Emma out and I felt her in my arms and smelled the familiar smell of her hair I said, "Thank you God that she had not been killed herself or killed someone else." But I sensed a little bit of her strong spirit saying "well my friends do it all the time and get away with it" and knew that God still had alot of work left to do in this situation. I also knew in my heart, she would pay the fees, represent herself, show up for court days but I would face the bad attitudes, the "this sucks why did I get caught" rants and I had my own questions of how my daughter wound up here in the first place. So on an inward level my attitude was just as bad, I just hid it better. And we were yet to know how this would turn out and it would take it's toll on our relationship as well. Mine and kennys.
Friday, May 20, 2011
Thursday, May 19, 2011
over 400 in Jerusalem alone (the 2 greatest Hillel's and Gamaliel's) "What is The Greatest commandment?" If Jesus was the highest authority on such issues, His response was very, very important. He said, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength." Then he expanded and said, "The second is like the first, Love your neighbor as you love yourself." That is very interesting, however I am convinced that in the Church in our generation, as it has been in most, we obey neither of these two. We have good thoughts about people, we wish them well, we even take time to breathe a prayer for them, sometimes consistently,
but loving our neighbor as ourself is one we cannot, truly, fathom. It means things we don't really want to consider. Do we pray for the promotion so we advance or do we pray equally, and with sincerity, for our co-worker? I will relate to you, it happens, almost, never. What is even just as fascinating is considering that God loved us in a way that brought Him extraordinary pain, in essence, He loved others at His own expense! A lifetime well spent would be one seeking these two grand moral themes, whether we ever gained or lost anything else. Finally, there is country. It is a terrible time we live in when bitterness toward our nation is common and approved. However, what democracy is about, at least American democracy, is a government built on the premise of equality. The preamble says, since we all were created equal, and there is the underpinning. If we were created, there is, by nature of creation, an inherent equality amongst mankind. Our government went beyond and tried to establish just enough government to keep the peace and protect the citizens and then stay well away from the individual. That means the remainder of our lives is at our freedom and disposal. We can travel where we wish, follow the vocation we wish, marry the man or woman we wish, and experience a freedom untouched by the powers at be. Any other form of government has been, at best, a far second, and at worst a tyrannical and despotic nightmare. Abraham Lincoln once said, "I like to see a man proud of the place (the land) in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place (the land) will be proud of him." Well, there it is, (1)God, (2)We begin and end with family, (3)Love for country.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
from hour to hour and minute to minute, if I allow my life to be moved along by feeling I will never experience anything worthwhile. The most horrid and difficult people I have ever dealt with, in or out of the Church, have been people who live by emotion and not commitment and principle. What I can, also, say is that I have experienced, and needed, more of God's forgiveness in the past three years than I ever imagined I might
Monday, May 16, 2011
Sunday, May 15, 2011
be able to leave behind. You see when I walked into this house I went into mental or visual overdrive. I am a OCD type person when it comes to color or images or decorating, also with scale and symmetry. And, yes, that can be a talent, but can also be a force that can drive your life! I remember Kenny had to go somewhere for the weekend and when he got home I had painted straight for 2 and half days. I had tunnel vision! It did not make for a very nice person! Well this house is a decorators DREAM COME TRUE!!!! But the other 99% of people who looked at it ran! As I walked thru the house and the property my adrenaline was at its max! I remember as we drove away Isabella said, "Mom that house was scary". And Wyatt said, "Mom you can make anything look good." Cole said, "Yes she does it all the time. No biggie." I felt like superwoman, but also a little scared because I had no budget. "Budget" that's funny, Kenny has a saying, when I say something really outrageous, "Woman your funny", especially when I have a certain "tone", well I was hearing that tone. Their was no budget, I didn't even have the deposit or the first months rent, the light deposit, let alone cable or a landline. One of those defining moments. But my little mind had colors, light fixtures, sitting arrangements, who got what bedrooms and whose bathroom was whoms. Now remember Kenny was 5oo miles away. Ok back to the chair I see to my right. I had gotten a new black table. I had searched for weeks at our 6th Ave house. I wanted one that was BIG because I love to have people over for dinner. Gathering at someones house for dinner and sitting around the table and visiting. It was a heritage from my Granny, one of hospitality and self-sacrifice, and it was what I, absolutely Loved. I had people over at least a couple nights a week if not more. This seems to be a lost art that is so wonderful about my Southern roots. So I had picked out all the chairs I needed one by one and needed only one more. But I could not find the one with the right scale. Saying all that I looked at that table and remembered all the hours we spent at that table laughing and loving people. The money I had spent shopping. I had spared no expense. It made no difference who the guest was. The hours I had spent that day cooking and baking for our guests. Things no one saw. I loved it. I loved to find out what my guests loved to eat and surprise them with their favorite meal. Then I had another guest who hadn't come for a meal. This guest I found downtown, at the lake sleeping on a bottle, later I come to know as Mr Charlie. Then there was the Hungarians nun who had a genetic disorder that caused sores to rise all over her face and made her have to shave her head. She, too, would become a part of our family. She would have no heat in the winter, live off less than 200.00 a month and get no social service help. Her life was dark and sad. Our home was life and a place of refuge to her. My table was set with my best dishes fresh flowers from my garden and we dressed for dinner for Ms Eve the same as if we we entertaining the Governor. Status didn't matter in our home. Many, many days at that table I had put together baskets of toiletries for my friends I had met at the lake (homeless friends). That table meant far more than a color or scale. So as I reflect on the mission I was on to find that chair I have to thank the Lord for the compassion He has given me for opening my home to the broken and less fortunate. My Granny for having a humble, but warm and loving, home that anyone felt welcome in. For serving people, a talent she had passed to me. A talent I loved. I met the Landlady the next day and she said, "Honey I cant explain it but your shear enthusiasm rented you this house. Where did you come from?!" She thought Georgia when I dropped the "yall" bomb. I said, "Almost south Georgia, Tallahassee." And she said, "I will keep the utilities in my name until you can make other arrangement!" God is faithful at times when we are not even able to believe. I had not even told Kenny about the house the first day because it was so ridiculous to even consider. So 3 days later we moved our mattresses in the living room and me and the children began a healing that came through this house. And my OCD also began to heal LOL! More of that later to come....