Positivity is the hallmark of the Forney Messenger. If you want negativity, there’s plenty of that to go around, just check any major news outlet or any big city newspaper. Heck, check social media. It’s all negative. Yet, the road to inner peace will take you through some dark areas. I’m an expert on this topic. Happiness and fulfillment are things you have to work at for all eternity. There are internal wars brewing in all of us. The path is never-ending, full of evil ninjas ready to thwart you at every turn, and perpetually cloaked in darkness. But, that’s just our innards. What about the world around us? I’m no expert. I’m just really good at pondering and whatnot.
Most school districts have decided to open at some point in the Fall. Personally, I think this is good news so students, teachers and parents can get back to some type of routine. I am not sure how the classroom will look or function, but it is beneficial for students to return to instruction. However, before we can present instruction to students, I think it’s necessary to address the mental and emotional needs of those returning to campus.
America is on fire. Literally. We thought COVID-19 was chaotic until anarchy began in the wake of the death of citizen George Floyd, while in police custody. Rallies and protests have gone international as the world watches and waits to see how America’s leaders will handle yet another instance of an unarmed, African American man dying at the hands of those sworn to protect and serve him. They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly expecting a different result. We can only wonder when our nation’s leaders will choose to approach malfeasance in law enforcement effectively.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been using my quarantime to try and figure out where I went astray in my cleaning routine. Spring cleaning is too tame of a term. Let’s call it cleanageddon. I’ve always been the person who tried super hard to keep a pristine home, southern girl that I am. It’s how I was raised, up at dawn every Saturday morning, with the promise of a shopping trip and Mexican food looming like a carrot over my head. You see, shopping and Mexican food was a late 70’s/early 80’s Saturday constant. My mom, aunt, cousin, and little Grandma Cille would hop in our big Oldsmobile 98 and set out for an afternoon on the town. We loved Big Town. We adored the old Lochwood Mall. There were still iron alligators at Town East, near where the carpeted steps were, in case any moms needed to stop for a smoke break while the kids released some Ferrell’s sugar energy. First, we’d gather at Grandma’s house, and, while we loaded up every inch of space in the Olds – kids had to sit on the hump – my Grandpa would inevitably walk out with a $20 bill. “Cille, be sure you take them to the El Chico.” I don’t remember buying anything. I just remember my Grandma, the original Betty White, in her adorable pantsuit and Yo-Yo shoes, begging us not to tell her Sunday school class about the margarita she planned to order. But, let’s back up. Before the Olds took flight, before I begged to wear baby blue eyeshadow for the day, and before that matriarchal margarita hit the table, we had to clean. If I panned on going, my bed better be made before I set foot in the kitchen with a smile on my face and eyes that didn’t roll. My specialty was baseboards. My sword was a toothbrush. “More baking soda” was my battle cry. Momma released an excellent and driven homemaker into this world. What in tarnation happened?
There is a formula to life, much like this column, much like a Hallmark Christmas movie. For the movies, it’s simple: girl meets boy, girl and boy are about to express their undying love, random misunderstanding occurs – usually at the hands of the ex who never got the memo, girl and boy flee to opposite corners of the world yet accidentally bump into each other where they first met, everyone understands the error of their ways with lots of kissing and a sunset. See? Same with you and me every week. I tell you about something icky. We laugh. Life morphs around us and things work out just as we knew they would. Sound too saccharine? I understand. It’s just that there is so much horror and disgust organically in this world, I want this space to be love and light and happy endings. Except, it isn’t always like that. I thought I would get real with you today. Well, real-lite, kind of like Coke vs Diet Coke. Here’s a tale about a time things went awfully wrong. No Kleenex alert. You’ll be fine.