Why where it was made matters to me

Several years ago I visited the remains of a town that was once a booming textile community. They proudly made sheets, bath towels, kitchen towels and such. This visit was way before I thought about American made and such, but I can remember feeling the energy that once inhabited those streets. I felt bad for the people who no longer had jobs and wondered what they did to take care of their families now.

Today I needed to buy new sheets for my bed. I couldn’t find anything that wasn’t made in India. My mind went back to thinking about those ghosts who still walk around the textile mills. Empty parking lots with chained link fences and buildings with broken windows abound in that area. Images of people with their metal lunch boxes walking from their cars into their steady job filled my mind.

The mills have since been leveled, imploded, demolished. I’m sure that there is a lingering heavy spirit that still covers those grounds.

There was a nearby village where mill workers lived. I did a little homework on this area and found out that the collapse of Fieldcrest-Cannon and the surrounding village was basically put to death by Wal-Mart’s insistence to send production overseas. The company, then Pillowtex, refused to do so. Because of undercuts by other companies, 7,650 people lost their jobs. The Cannon Mills era was over.

This was just a spot on a map when I visited. I didn’t realize the impact that it had on me until many years later. No wonder I felt the sadness and the energy still lingering in the air. There’s no telling how many families were destroyed, how many suicides complete, contemplated or attempted.

What you buy does matter. Take small steps in buying American made products. Don’t let it overwhelm you.

Make 2012 the year you try to make a difference in the American economy and in the lives of those who work here. Don’t forget to make it a happy new year too!

Peace from the Rogue Mare


Dark Places of My Heart

Maybe it’s the holidays or maybe it’s the nearing anniversary of my father’s passing. All I know is that I feel as if my heart has been turned inside out like a pillowcase and all that is exposed are the dark corners. These places are so dark that you cannot see your hand in front of your face. Do we all have these dark places or do I carry with me an ever-shaded hitchhiker that taunts me from time to time?

I try to appease myself, calm myself, and find my center when this aphotic cloud emerges. Some would say this is depression. I don’t think so. It’s more of a tugging restlessness that pushes its way into my soul. Television doesn’t help. I can’t focus on reading a book. I’m just being tossed about right now. Soon enough the waves will stop crashing and there will be peace again.

I attend college and I’m on winter break right now. I think that leaves too much time for my mind to go haywire. They say that idle hands are the devil’s workshop but an idle mind is vulnerable to self destruction.

It doesn’t help that I’ve allowed anger to move back into my life. I’m still angry at someone who hurt me. I don’t know where to put that energy or how to use it for my own good. I talk people through this sort of thing all the time but I can’t take my own medicine. A very dear friend of mine told me to stop letting people “rent space in my head.” I loved it when she said that and it makes total sense. The people who insist on hurting me don’t deserve a moment of my precious thinking…… but that’s easier said than done.

Those of you that have read my other posts know that this one is a bit unusual. It doesn’t have a focus. It doesn’t have a theme. It’s simply my inside-out heart on a page. Maybe it will help someone else or maybe these words will leave the tips of my fingers and I will once again find concilation.

Peace from the Rogue Mare

Am I the “right” type of Christian?

I know this will stir a few feelings and opinions on the topic of gays but I just need to get this out.

Yesterday I was horrified to see Governor Rick Perry’s advertisement which slammed gay people serving in the military. At first I was angry and then I thought that maybe I interpreted the message wrong. His message goes on to talk about how Christians are unable to talk openly about their beliefs and so on and so forth. I am a Christian. I know I will be persecuted. It says so in a Book that I read. I’m not the first and I won’t be the last. I’m okay with it because that’s the expectation. Will I attempt to pass for something that I’m not? No way.

I am also able to be a friend to anyone. It doesn’t matter what your belief, race, tribe, or sexual orientation. I was examining my openness and I suddenly began to feel like I was not a good Christian. Am I supposed to shun homosexuals? Would some of my fellow churchgoers consider me lukewarm? Then I thought about Christ. He was kind to prostitutes, destitute and lepers. Isn’t that who I’m supposed be like?

I don’t believe in the death penalty. There I go again. What a weird Christian! Where does it say that I have the power to decide when someone dies? Someone tried to convince me that we are simply following the law of the land by enforcing the death penalty. I’m not buying that bag of tricks. Which land? Shall we cut off one another’s hand if we are convinced that  someone stole something? There seem to be a lot of Christians who believe in the death penalty but not abortion. Wouldn’t the death penalty and abortion be classified as killing? They both have the same end result.

I’m done questioning myself. It is not my job to convince anyone that they are doing wrong. It is my job to love them and the Holy Spirit’s job to convict or guide. All of us ponder from time to time that another person is doing wrong but isn’t that when they need a friend the most?

If you don’t believe in God, I’m okay with that. That’s your choice. I just know that I have nothing to lose for believing and living the way that I do.

I’ve taken a few online quizzes to see if I’m a liberal or a conservative. Normally the computer gets frustrated and just crashes. It can’t even figure out what I am.

One last note, if you’re serving or have served in the military, gay, straight or none of the above, thank you for your service.

Peace from the Rogue Mare

Altering traditions to make life fit

Being a divorced parent has its drawbacks. I think that it caused my youngest son to hate any and every holiday because of being stretched too thin and trying to make it to everyone’s house to make everyone happy. He’s the type of kid who will just give up if he’s losing the race, so when it comes to the holidays he’s the one who will go hide in a cave and not visit anyone.

That being said, being a divorced parent has its benefits. I don’t have to share miserable holidays with the father of my children! Gotta look on the bright side, right?

This year I’ve decided to make the ultimate decision that our family and close friends will celebrate Hanukkah. It has always intrigued me. The tiny little area in stores that has set aside two square feet of decor for some of the most persecuted people in history. I always wondered about the Jewish traditions and belief system, but then again, I’m very curious about many beliefs. I guess I’m more interested in Judaism due to the fact that my beliefs have Hebraic roots. I believe in tolerance for any belief system as long as no one mistakes tolerance for weakness. Aside from the “religious” (don’t like that word) aspects of the evening, I’m just looking forward to enjoying time with my family.

I suppose I should call what we’re celebrating Chrismukkah. For some reason I’m not completely comfortable with that. If someone told me it was okay then I’d probably believe them. From what I know, Messianic Jews celebrate Hanukkah so that’s how I’m keeping it real.

Hanukkah also has many benefits in the fact that you have eight days to share your tradition, gather with family and friends and most important, learn a bit of history regarding Judaism.

We will be eating fried food, lighting the Menorah and sampling some Maneschewitz!

My husband is very conservative so this is going to be a stepping stone for him. He might just sit in the corner eating a matzo ball but that’s okay. He married me because I’m fun, keep things interesting and a stone-cold fox. hehehe

My oldest son was the sweetest when it came to my “changing up” of tradition. He said, “But I still want to see you on Christmas.” I told him that would be wonderful but that I just didn’t want he and his fiance to feel pressured to being somewhere at a certain time. What a sweet man I raised!

As we enter the winter solstice, may you all enjoy a peaceful holiday and enjoy your families. Try not to stress about the gifts. The greatest gift has already been given.

Peace from the Rogue Mare