Saturday, December 30, 2017

One of my biggest regrets...

Years ago, Steve & I owned and ran a feed store in the downtown of our small town. We met lots of people, and one of those people was Dale B.

Dale had gone to school with Steve and was a few years older. He had a thing for bantam chickens, and often came in and placed orders with me for specialty birds. He also often bought things on credit and would come in the store and do work to pay them off, since his disability payments only went so far.

One day, Dale came into the store and told me that he'd been thinking about it, and he wanted me to teach him to read.

I was so busy, what with the store and the kids and our mini farm, so I had to tell him that it honored me that he'd want me to do that, but that there was no way I could.

Dale died a few years ago, and one of my biggest regrets is that I didn't teach him to read. I don't know how I would or could have found time, but I know that I get so much enjoyment from reading, I wish that he could have had that joy too.

♥ Melody

Friday, August 11, 2017

"Tell me about yourself"

It's a memory I've been thinking about for the past few years, as I've tried to figure out who I really am.

I was about 11 or 12 years old. I asked my mom one day to come outside and visit with me. While she gathered up her cigarettes, lighter, and water glass, I ran outside and got two lawn chairs. I opened them up and sat them across from each other. She came outside, and I said, "So tell me about yourself."

She did. We had several more conversations of the same throughout the years, so I don't remember what she told me that day.

I've often thought about those words throughout the years, and this story is more about me that her - I just keep thinking, "What kind of kid asks that question?" The only one I know of is me.

Thursday, October 29, 2015


I just read Glennon's blog post, "Why I'm Prejudiced & So are You".
Since I’ve started speaking about this, one thing that I’ve had to resist is shutting down and shutting up in response to this refrain: BUT I’M NOT RACIST. I AM NOT PREJUDICED. I WAS RAISED BETTER THAN THAT. I need you to please try to hear me on this.

We are raised by our families, but we are also raised by our culture.

I am a feminist. At my heart, I am a fierce, bold advocate for women. But I was raised in a sexist culture. I was raised in a world that tried to convince me through media, through certain religious organizations, through inadequate history books and through the beauty industry – that female bodies are worth less than male bodies- and that certain types of female bodies (thin, tall young) are worth more than other types of female bodies.

The daily deluge of images of women’s bodies for sale and the onslaught of emaciated women’s bodies held up as the pinnacle of female achievement and the pervasive message that women exist to please men was the air I breathed decade after decade. I was a radiation canary living in a mine and the toxins were misogyny. I got sick from it. Not because I’m a bad, sexist person but because I was just breathing sexist air.
Me too! I am a feminist. I thank God often that He sent women into my life that worked their farms, fixed their tractors, raised horses, developed their photography, and were good home managers to boot.

In my life, I garden, I raise chickens, I build fencing for my animals, I mow the lawn, I unclog drains, I check levels on my vehicle, I prune trees, I take the limbs and branches to the dump, plus I help with grandchildren and care for my own children. I can cook from scratch, clean, do laundry, scrub floors, and get stains out of clothes. And none of those things require me to be a female or male. The only thing that requires me to be a female that I have done is gestate and lactate.

And yet...

When Jessica was learning to be a woman from me during a crash course lesson when she was 21 (remember, Jessica was Jared just last spring), I realized how many rules I have for how women are supposed to behave.

I plucked Jessica's eyebrows and taught her how I do my make-up. When she was putting on her mascara, she said, "Good enough."

And I said, "There is no 'good enough' when you are a woman. You have to get it right.'"

Wow! How powerful are those words? There is no good enough. You have to get it right.

Who'd have thought that me, a woman who has taught my daughters to not be afraid to get their hands dirty, to kill their own spiders, to check their own oil has probably also taught them that society expects them to "get it right". I had no idea that I had that in me...

Yes indeed, it has come from our culture. From the time I was 14 until I was 18, at least once a year the activity of learning how to put on makeup was part of my life in my young women's group at church. Why, a leader in that church was just videotaped as he made this statement at a young single adult fireside (watch here).

There is more to a woman than being beautiful and charming. I have been called both of those things, but I am with Cristina from "Grey's Anatomy" as she says, "Oh screw beautiful. I'm brilliant. If you want to appease me, compliment my brain."

When Jared was talking about transitioning to a woman years ago, I asked why he would cut off the part of his body that allowed him to be ordained to the priesthood, allowed him to make more money, and allowed him to be taken more serious. How screwed up is that?! I am, as Glennon says, "I was a radiation canary living in a mine and the toxins were misogyny."

(As a side note: in The Episcopal Church I can keep my genitalia and be still be ordained to the priesthood if I'd like to be. Jessica -as a trans woman- can too. I love that!)

As I have read comments that people say about inequality of the genders, I keep reading that because we aren't sold into sex trafficking, because we can vote, because men say that they value us, we are equal.

I saw this SNL ("Saturday Night Live") video that talks about this very issue. Take a look (here).

Yes, we've come a long way, but we have a long way to go.
♥ Melody