When Mother Mary Came To Me, The Baptist Preacher Who Won The War, Mama Cowgirls and Tattoos, Speaking English For The First Time. Still Picking The Blackberries…..

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the East Wing.

“When I find my self in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom, let it be, so let it be…… Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.”

And now my Son RJ’s newest tattoo reflects “Mother Mary Comes To Me” forever on his left arm. I’m not an expert on tattoos ‘cause I’m always too chicken to get one, but his “Mother Mary” Tattoo is kinda cool. If you’re Catholic, it’s really cool.  And for all those misinformed Baptist who visit the East Wing, no, we Catholic don’t pray to Mary in place of praying to Jesus.

I’ve heard that argument put forth so many times in my life I’m tired of putting it to rest. But once more over the line Sweet Jesus, and it’s one more time for the cause. It’s just one more step along the way. Now being Baplic means I was Baptist prior to being Catholic. I really wasn’t a member of a Baptist Church, but my dad was a Baptist Preacher all my life. So guess that made me Baptist by association.   I heard the argument put forth many, many times.  My dad was the main reason I became interested in the Catholic Church.  It was his unwavering defense of “ Mother Mary Pray for me”, that made me look into the Catholic Church.

Only God fearing Baptist can really understand what I’m ‘bout to say next, so here goes….. Now when I was a kid, after church every Sunday we had a house full of company. Somebody always  went home with the preacher for dinner, lots of people, every Sunday, different people, different  Sundays, but lots of people every Sunday, to eat, to visit, to socialize and to continue the conversations ‘bout God and “living right”.

It was while the women prepared the Sunday meal, that the men, depending on the weather, would sit in the living room or outside in the yard, and discuss religion. Religion according to the belief of the particular Baptist faith ya happened to belong to, and there are many different Baptist beliefs, even to this day. And so the difference of opinions never ended.

On many Sundays someone would eventually get around to pointing out the fact that the Catholics didn’t pray to Jesus, but instead prayed to Mary, and that’s why they’re all going to hell even if they don’t know ‘bout it.

 It was at this point  where my dad, a Baptist Preacher, blew ‘em away, when he said “How many times have ya heard a Baptist Preacher stand up in front of his congregation and the very first words from his mouth are I want ya all to pray for me today  that I might be able to speak the words of God in your presence.” “If I’ve said that once, I’ve said it hundreds of times, I want ya all to pray for me.”

He then continued,  “if I have a choice of who’d pray for me today, I couldn’t ever choose a better person to pray for me than the mother of Jesus. Mother Mary pray for me” And so it was that the Baptist Preacher from Downtown Toto won both the battle and the war of heaven and hell ‘bout Catholics going to where they go and where Catholics go and how they pray. Mother Mary Pray For Me.

It seemed to me that when the men sat out in the yard they tended to yell at each other more over bible stuff. I always had the impression that most of ‘em wanted to be the Chief and very few wanted to be the Indians. ‘Course that was only when they played Cowboys & Indians. Everybody there knew that I’s always gona be the Cowboy.

Ya got a tattoo? Most people don’t, but many people under 35 or so do have tattoos. Tattooing is an interesting part of the culture of the human race. People have done body art as long as there’s been people.  I always thought it’d hurt too much, so I was never brave enough to say start the needle.

Both my sons have tattoos, but me and my daughter Angela, we’re too chicken to allow the needle to make the first stick. I don’t think my daughter-in-law, Jaimie has a tattoo either, but I didn’t ask her. I know Sis don’t, ‘cause Angela’s as scared as me. I guess I just stuck too many needles into too many people in times past. Maybe it’s a Bill Clinton thing, when he said “I feel your pain” I’m afraid I’ll feel the pain.

One time my Mama said the only thing in life she was sorry for was that she’d not be able to vote for Bill Clinton again for President. I said “Mama what did Bill Clinton do for you?” She said “everything”  And everybody knows ya don’t argue with your Mama.

Of all the presidents my Mama voted for in her life, Bill Clinton was her favorite.  Now my Mama voted in every election since she was of 21 years old. She told me “if ya don’t vote, ya can’t criticize , and I might want to criticize from time to time . And so Mama voted, every time.

The last time my Mama voted was last November, I called her up the night before an asked if I needed take her to vote. The answer was of course you do. So we made arrangements that I’d pick her up and take her to vote before I went to my office.

I voted before 7:30 AM and picked up Mama by 8:00. She voted at one of the Baptist Churches north of Toto. When she got to the voting booth it was like old home week. It was like taking your Mama to Cheers, where everybody knows your name and they’re always glad ya came. It’s like that in Toto when ya vote at that little Baptist Church just north of Toto, up there on Range Road.

One of the election workers said “Ruth I need to see your photo ID.” Mama said “Oh shucks, I forgot to bring my purse in with me.” The election worker said “BobbyRay is you mother’s purse in your car?” I said “Yes it is”. She said “That’s close enough”.  So Mama voted. Friendly people there at Toto. Whether ya go vote or go eat at Richards of Toto, they’re always glad ya came, and they always know your name. They always knew my Mama. They’ll remember her forever, my Mama…..

Mama never had a tattoo, but there’s no doubt in my mind, had she lived in a different time and space, then my Mama would’ve had a tattoo, maybe more than one.  If ya saw my Mama’s picture on Facebook riding a horse when she was young and pretty, and ya could just see the cowgirl in her eyes.  Well now everybody knows that all good cowgirls have tattoos, and my Mama was a good cowgirl.

Did ya know the federal government is rolling out a new official language for all documents created for the public? Yeah, it called plain English and I’m not sure if it’ll work or not.

Here’s the reason why: Pursuant to regulations promulgated hereunder and commencing in accordance with a statute signed herein by President Barack Obama, the government shall be precluded from writing the pompous gibberish heretofore evidenced, to the extent practicable. Now that sentence contains 11 new language no-nos.

The President signed the Plain Writing Act last fall after decades of effort by a cadre of passionate grammarians in the civil service to jettison the jargon. It takes full effect in October, when federal agencies must start writing plainly in all new or substantially revised documents produced for the public. The government will still be allowed to write preposterously to itself.

Ahead then, if the law works, is a culture change for an enterprise that turns out reams of confusing benefit forms, tangled rules and foggy pronouncements. Not to mention a Pentagon brownie recipe that went on for 26 pages about “regulations promulgated thereunder,” “flow rates of thermoplastics by extrusion plastometer” and a commandment that ingredients “shall be examined organoleptically.” That just means look at, smell, touch or taste.

Can ya believe 26 pages of regulation for making brownies?  Shewwwww…. I think I can get ‘er done in three lines:

  1. Buy Brownie Mix
  2. Read directions
  3. Follow directions
  4. Eat Brownies.

Oh well, four lines maximum. But the brownies got made and consumed in four lines. Now we have 25 ¾ pages for other government crap to come our way. But looking on the good side, at least we’ve got the brownies done early.

 I can truly believe this complex nonsense, called regulations, ‘cause I used to deal with the Medicare regulations 30 years ago, and it’s only gotten worse,  and so now you know why I quit working in health care administration.  Too damn hard to understand the rules.  And it was much more fun to just go pick Blackberries and eat ‘em. And so I did.

Stay safe in Afghanistan and Iraq.

From the East Wing, When Mother Mary Came To Me, The Baptist Preacher Who Won The War, Mama Cowgirls and Tattoos, Speaking English For The First Time. Still Picking The Blackberries…..

I wish you well                                                                                                                   BobbyRay