Real life mermaid...
Allow me to introduce myself

As a result of discussion regarding racial profiling and racism on social media it has come to my attention that I am immediately judged by my race ,age and sex in nearly every interaction.
A stranger sees a photo of a female , blonde “older” white conservative on my profile and assumes I’m racist,homophobic, and elitist. I do espouse mostly “conservative” political views but those have been developed over a life time and were not foisted upon me by media pundits or politicians.

My family was not wealthy. My Dad was a mailman and my Mom was a secretary. We lived frugally within our means in a 2 BR/1 bath home and I was taught to delay gratification by saving my money until I could afford to buy something. I started working at age 15 and later went to college on loans that I paid back in full by myself.

I had 2 black kids in my elementary school and when the time came for school plays or dances I volunteered to dance with the only black boy in the school because I didn’t want him to feel left out. It was awkward for both of us at first but we ended up laughing at ourselves trying to do the Virginia Reel.

My Mom routinely took me to a local orphanage to give away clothes and toys that I no longer needed . She wanted me to see for myself that some kids were much less fortunate than us.

I am a child of the 1960’s in the South during the time of desegregation . I served on a student committee to help with the transition of black kids to our school. I received threats from both black and white students who were against desegregation but I did not let that deter me from trying to help. We had daily fights and “race riots” during school and sometimes it was quite scary. White girls learned not to walk the halls at school alone or go to the restroom alone in order to avoid confrontation. My parents were afraid for my safety but deep down inside I knew these new kids at school were just scared and not inherently mean.

As a young adult I participated in prison ministry and shared Bible study with men convicted of violent crimes hoping to encourage them to make better choices once they were released from incarceration.

After I married and had my own family I supported my husband’s daily work with disadvantaged teenagers. Over the years we have provided money, clothing ,jobs, transportation, emotional support and anything we could manage when we saw a young person in need. We encouraged and expected the young people we helped to be good citizens and to stay out of trouble just the same as our own daughter… sometimes they listened.

For years I volunteered at my local food bank prepping food to be cooked for after school programs and elderly home bound individuals.

I have a gay family member who I love more than I can put into words. This person has taught me the meaning of being truly open and accepting of lifestyles that differ from my own.

The point of sharing all this about myself is to demonstrate that my conservative Christian values lead me to be of service to others NOT to judge them by their appearance or circumstances.

Don’t judge me as female/white/politically conservative and assume that makes me intolerant and hateful.

I judge those around me by their actions and not their words.

Anyone can “talk a good game” and tell me what everyone SHOULD
be doing but if we are not “hands on” trying to help in our own community… then words are useless.

So enough already with the self absorbed demand for “starting a dialog” about how to make this country less racist ,better,fairer or whatever the term of the day may be - stop talking and get off your ass and help someone!

Peace out … Trying to focus more in the moment and less on social media. Thanks to everyone who followed my occasional posts
Janice

I found him !

I found him !

I enjoy good music …

A friend just said “I can’t believe you’re flying somewhere just for one night to attend a concert” … My response was “I can’t believe you just spent $6000 on deck furniture !”
Why do I feel the need to defend my passion for great music and sharing that experience with like minded people ?! Don’t people travel great distances for sporting events, shopping ,theater or just to play golf ? Why are those pursuits somehow more “sensible” than listening to great live music that brings joy to everyone in attendance ?!
I’m not a groupie but I AM a fan of music… first concert was Eric Clapton 1970 something …I made no apologies for loving that show and I will make no apologies now for seeking out a similar experience ….over and over again !

The day after…

Now that I’ve had time to process the Earthquake that we had in Virginia yesterday I have to say that was the scariest thing I have ever experienced. Keep in mind I have worked in hospitals for 20 years, weathered hurricane Isabel, and I am a certified instructor/rescue diver with over 500 dives. I have jumped off cliffs in full scuba gear, swam with hammerheads in the Galapagos, searched for lost divers, broken down on a boat in the middle of the ocean and handled untold numbers of medical emergencies….so why was I like a deer in headlights yesterday ?! 

Part of the answer to that question is that this event gave no warning and since I had never experienced a REAL earthquake before… I had NO idea what was happening. I cannot even describe the rumbling noise that was heard before my house started to shake. Nobody ever told me you can HEAR an earthquake! My husband and I were both home watching the weather channel planning for hurricane Irene. He was sitting in his favorite chair in our family room and I was on my computer at the kitchen table. I had just recieved a phone call from an unknown number. It was our cable company letting me know my employer had failed to pay my bill and my cable was to be disconnected ( I work from home) At that very moment the rumbling started, the table vibrated such that I had to grab my laptop to keep it from falling and the chandelier over my head was swaying. My husband immediately said ” We have to get out of the house” and I screamed at the poor cable lady ” I have to call you back , I think we’re having a fuckng earthquake!!”  I bet she’s never heard THAT excuse before when calling about a billing issue! We ran out the back door and stood on our deck watching our house swaying and feeling the vibrations underfoot. The kids outside in the neighbor’s yard were screaming and all the dogs in the neighborhood were barking in terror. All this probably only lasted a few minutes but it seemed much longer…

I immediately got a text from my daughter in DC saying part of the ceiling in her office was falling and her building was being evacuated..she is a tough girl like her Mom and she was terrified…phones were jammed for the next few hours and I finally got in touch with her on Facebook ( Yay! for social media). Everyone was fine if just a bit shaken up  (pun intended).

So why did I ( the person who is always the clear headed one in stressful situations)… why did I FREAK OUT ! The only answer I can come up with is that I felt completely out of control.

 All my scuba diving adventures are a calculated risk and we make detailed plans in case of emergencies, hurricanes and other weather events give us plenty of warning, and the medical emergencies of my job are what I am trained to do… Earthquakes are not on my preparedness list !

So today I have taken a deep breath and I am very thankful that my friends and family are OK. I do have one co worker who lives very near the epicenter whose home is so damaged she cannot stay there and FEMA is in the area….

But from this day forward, when I hear the rumble of a train or a jet near my house I will stop and listen a bit closer…because now I have HEARD an Earthquake!

Permanently on the merch stand at Va Beach Amphitheater …

Permanently on the merch stand at Va Beach Amphitheater …

Sitting on the lawn in the dark …. But I asked Kid Rock ?!

Sitting on the lawn in the dark …. But I asked Kid Rock ?!

I asked Sheryl Crow ?!

I asked Sheryl Crow ?!

Inactivity

In the last month I have travelled by :

Truck, power boat , plane, taxi, ferry,
dinghy, sailboat, van, train and subway … Having a hard time sitting still in front of a computer for 10 hrs a day …

Good guess Kyle…

but it’s used to adjust the amount of air in a helmet - this concludes today’s football trivia !